Neshal and Gaakhu checked both doors, just to be safe.
One could easily understand the value of what lied beyond a threshold based on how heavily defended it was.
The Main Office had just a good quality door, with no defensive arrays and no locks at that.
Turning the handle released in the air with the smell of paperwork that all those present knew and hated.
The room was filled with filing cabinets and had three desks, one for each side of the room except for its entrance.
The place closely resembled the academies\' administrative offices.
The Professors could almost hear the echoes of a clerk demanding for a report to be filed in triplicate.
The Armory, instead, had a solid metal door.
It also had several powerful arrays restricting its access, a holographic pad to insert a password, and heavy metal cylinders acting as locks.
Getting rid of the arrays was the easy part.
The Professors only needed a few seconds to find the mana crystal cable running along the door frame and cut it along with the power fueling the magical defense system.
Gods, they were real morons. The group commented in unison.
The holographic pad was still active, displaying both numbers and letters in the ancient Odi language.
Okay, we have two choices.
We could force the door with magic, but it\'s risky.
There are no active arrays any more but we don\'t know what kind of weapons are stored here.
They might explode or worse. Gaakhu explained.
Our only other option is to guess the password.
If this was the Crystal Griffon, I would devise a way to safely crack the metal door open.
Our passwords are obscenely long and convoluted.
The Odi, however, have proven to be conceited at best.
I bet that the password is \'Odi\'.
Ten silvers on \'Armory\'. Neshal said while pointing at the door tag.
Twenty on \'Open\'. Morok said.
Professor Gaakhu input the word of her choice in the Odi language first.
The holographic display emitted a beep and the metal cylinders were pulled inside the door frame.
I can\'t believe they picked a three-letter word password! Morok handed the Professor twenty silver coins while he inwardly cursed the Odi to the best of his abilities.
We call them Odi, but in their language, they were called Minhuyti.
It means \'the chosen race\'. Gaakhu said with a smug grin.
I think that you\'re right Neshal.
Arrogance was the cause of the Odi\'s fall.
Neshal was glad that her colleague agreed with her, yet she was still pissed off by the lost bet.
The door slid on its hinges easily, as if it was made of paper.
Inside there was a huge room, 20 meters (66 feet) wide and 15 meters (50 feet) long.
The walls and ceiling were entirely made of metal and so were the shelves filling the room.
They were regularly spaced, going from one end of the room to another.
Most of the shelves were empty, but some stored weapons with several magic crystals embedded on their surface.
Unlike the racks in the antechamber, the weapons were locked behind a glass-like substance that in turn was protected by a multi-layered array, each one fueled by purple crystals and the usual cable.
The floor was made of metal as well, but it was covered by a layer of sand a couple of centimeters (1 inch) thick.
Seems we found the motherlode. Morok said while stepping inside the room.
Gaakhu grabbed his shoulder, locking him into place.
Look carefully. She pointed at the sand under their feet.
I saw that, but I also know it\'s not enchanted.
It\'s just regular sand.
Must have been a trick to spot intruders by their traces in case someone snuck inside.
It\'s simple but effective.
Gaakhu and Neshal scanned the room, but aside from the shelves, there were no protective arrays.
See I told you- **! Morok said.
The four corners of the room opened, revealing as many Charging Station arrays, each one holding a golem.
The constructs were made of a mix of metal and earth, resembling humanoid creatures 2 meters (6\'7) tall.
The moment the metal shutters revealed their presence, purple eyes appeared on the golems\' faces and they were all fixated on the intruders.
Arrogance had indeed been the cause of the Odi\'s fall as well as of the second group.
Once the wrong password had been inserted, the holographic display had attempted and failed to activate the arrays, hence the beep.
Then, it had opened the door and activated the auxiliary defense system to prevent the weapons from being harmed in the incoming conflict.
Run! Morok said while pulling the Professors by their sleeves and regretting they weren\'t at least 30 years younger.
That way he could have hoped instead of feared that the adrenaline rush might later lead to amorous offers.
There are five of us and only four of them.
Why are we running Jerth, the strongest mage among Phloria\'s unit asked while following their temporary leader.
Because sand! Just as if the Golems and Morok had rehearsed their timing, the layer of sand came to life a split second after the Ranger spoke.
The Golems were injecting it with their mana, moving it as if it was just one of their limbs.
Soon the sand formed a wave that the constructs rode to chase after their prey.
Jerth used a tier four earth magic spell, Great Rumble, to use the wave against its own makers.
Unfortunately, something prevented her mana to take root.
The four golems were akin to four true mages, so her willpower was unable to override their combined efforts.
Gaakhu used gravity magic to reverse the gravity pull and send the constructs slamming against the ceiling.
Before they could hit the metal, the four creatures shapeshifted so that their legs became their arms and vice versa, landing on their feet while they unleashed a barrage of rock bullets.
The Golems mixed together earth magic to condense the sand into magic bullets and air magic to give it a magnetic charge opposed to their own, creating a makeshift equivalent of an electromagnetic railgun.
Even the metal floor was deformed by the violence of the impact, yet the armors the group wore allowed them to survive.
Each bullet still managed to overpower the armors\' gravity sheath and hit them like a solid slap.
Whatever happens, do not stop running! Neshal said.
They have just been activated, so they are still powering up.
We need to reunite with the rest of the expedition before it\'s too late.
The light in the golems\' eyes burned brighter as a purple lightning bolt went from golem to golem, its power amplified several folds at each step until it struck the metal floor with the goal of killing all the intruders in one fell swoop.
At the same time, in the first building, Lith\'s group was still in the antechamber.
After scanning the six tanks and their prisoners, they were weaving their spells to kill the unfortunate creatures as quickly as possible and then some, in case something went wrong.
Once everyone was done with their own preparations, Professor Yondra was the first to strike.
They had no idea how strong the glass-like substance was, so instead of unleashing four tier five spells in such an enclosed space, it was better to test the waters a little at the time.
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