Arthan Griffon had been born just three generations after Valeron.
Tyris\'s blood ran thick in his veins compared to the present King.
He had even married a distant relative, hoping to keep their bloodline pure and their magical talent unmatched.
Thrud had inherited part of Tyris\' beauty, which made her a beautiful woman even before she underwent Arthan\'s Madness time and time again.
Not only did the machine refine her body similarly to what happened to an Awakened one, but it also filtered out the human portion of her blood while enhancing Tyris\' with each cycle.
Thrud was 1.78 meters (5\'10) tall, with long ash blonde hair that framed the delicate features of her oval face.
Her rosy skin was flawless, emphasizing the contrast between her silver eyes and her full red lips.
Not even the Royal armor could hide her soft curves nor her powerful aura suppress the sensual grace of every of her move.
Unluckily for her ego, Manohar had known Tista long enough to be unfazed by her presence.
Yeah, definitely second. He repeated after rudely checking her out for several seconds, managing to make her fury grow.
Meanwhile, the barrage of spells kept hitting the external barrier so hard that for a second the resulting shockwaves made him almost lose his balance.
Kilian ignored the two Mad Babblers and focused on the array.
His Third Eye was still active, revealing that cracks had appeared at several points along the barrier and were slowly but inexorably expanding.
He used the Queen\'s corps sign language to signal the others to stall for time.
Manohar, where\'s Mynna Jirni believed that she was actually staring at her.
Even if her suspicions were incorrect, she couldn\'t care less about Mynna\'s fate at the moment.
She asked the question mostly to prevent the Professor from further enraging the enemy and avoid being attacked.
You should ask her loyal housemaid, Hessie here. Manohar shrugged, pointing his finger at Thrud.
Hessie Jirni was honestly surprised.
She had never suspected such a meek woman.
You disappoint me, Jirni Ernas. Thrud laughed, turning back to her arrogant self.
You should play more of the game your young friend invented. She pointed her sword at Lith.
You would learn that at the end of every game, Queen and Pawn go back into the same box.
By always being forced to stick close to her incompetent young miss, Hessie gave me access to the same information Mynna had, but with much more freedom of movement.
Besides, I got tired of playing princess decades ago.
Another tremor made dust fall from the ceiling.
Thrud inwardly cursed, realizing she had almost fallen for their trickery simply because it was the first time in decades that she could be herself.
Let\'s see which will last longer, your lives or my barrier. She snarled while darting forward with the point of her sword aimed at Jirni\'s heart.
Even though Jirni was under the effect of some of the most powerful potions Alchemy could produce, the assault was so fast that only Manohar\'s shields of light saved her life.
Despite them being a physical manifestation of the Mad Professor\'s mana and willpower, the Sword of Arthan pierced three shields before it could be stopped.
Lith threw Manohar a body enhancing potion while cursing at himself.
\'Damn, I was so surprised by all this ** that I almost let Jirni die.\' He thought as the rest of the team drank their own.
His mind was racing thinking about all the possible applications hard light constructs may have.
It could even help him figure out a way to give Solus a body.
Yet a simple glance with Life Vision was enough to make his amazement turn into worry.
\'Her sword isn\'t the only problem.
Her armor emits a stronger magical aura than anything else I have ever seen.
Even putting a scratch on it will be a challenge.\'
\'What really worries me is that she has yet to chant a single spell.\' Solus warned him.
\'Either she believes that she is strong enough to not need them, or just like us she has everything at the ready.\'
Lith moved around Thrud, aiming to stab under her still raised armpit, where the armor was at its weakest because of the shoulder joints.
She sneered as she executed a side kick to thwart his predictable attack.
Thrud\'s body was way stronger than Lith and centuries of being exposed to her own improved version of Arthan\'s madness had modified her cells to the point of making them capable of absorbing world energy by generating a vortex.
Yet she wasn\'t a true Awakened.
Thrud had no idea what fusion and spirit magic were, nor could she activate her vortex without having her core poisoned.
Solus was suppressing Lith\'s blue aura to not blow his cover, allowing him to go all out right from the start.
Lith waited until the last moment before activating fusion magic.
Thanks to his enhanced body empowered by all the elements, Lith easily sneaked past her defenses.
When the Gatekeeper made contact with Arthan\'s Armor, Lith felt its tip being dragged by the side, as if an invisible hand was deflecting his lunge.
He gritted his teeth, pivoting on his feet to keep the blade along its intended course.
Despite having put all of his body weight and technique behind the strike, it only managed to emit sparks when the two enchantments clashed.
Lith\'s sudden change of pace had taken Thrud by surprise, but she needed only one split second to adapt.
Lith used water fusion to make his movements so fluid that there was no pause between his attacks.
Although it failed to draw blood, he hoped the lunge would throw her off balance and used the residual momentum to follow up with a strike to the throat.
Thrud\'s eyes burned with yellow light and so did the corresponding crystal on her sword.
Chains of lightning intercepted Lith as she side stepped and gained enough space to parry his attack.
Jirni\'s needles tried to act as lightning rods, but Thrud\'s will was guiding her spell, making Orion\'s enchantment useless.
Even with earth fusion, the sudden jolt slowed Lith, allowing Arthan\'s Sword to make short work of his defenses.
Jirni moved to Thrud\'s back, her needles had turned into knives as she aimed for a double kidney blow.
Thrud used the downward momentum of her slash to suddenly raise her right leg and kick Jirni\'s chest with the strength of a horse.
A cushion made of light put itself between the kick and its intended target, while many others softened Jirni\'s crash against the wall.
Arthan\'s Blade was cutting into Lith\'s neck, his sudden loss of strength had put him on the literal back foot, when a white hand pulled him from harm\'s way.
Thrud was unwilling to let her prey slip away, so she gave chase faster that the construct could move.
Suddenly a sphere of purple flames enveloped her.
The armor protected her from the heat, but the fire burned all the oxygen around her, making her almost stumble while gasping for air.
A second later, the flaming prison turned into an ice coffin.
The thermal shock would have shattered a lesser armor, but in Thrud\'s case, it only prevented her from breathing.
Her eyes turned blue as she activated another gemstone on her sword which took control of the ice turning it into harmless water.
Or so she thought.
Thrud had yet to take a single breath when streams of lightning crackled out of thin air, riding her now wet armor to bypass her enchanted protection.
She was still convulsing when the floor came alive, slamming her against the ceiling over and over again.
It was Vastor\'s tier five spell Tetrastrophe.
Four different tier four effects with a single cast.
Seems you haven\'t lost your touch. Manohar said before activating another spell and chanting the next one.
Old versus ancient. Vastor grunted.
This should be interesting.