The Odi had taken into account that one or more of the creatures composing the pseudo-Balor could be killed in battle and had given them plenty of options.
The six heads were the first to finish assembling.
The final result was a monstrous face with four mouths and twelve eyes arranged in a circle.
Ten of them were brimming with power and emitted a stream of multi-colored mana that closely resembled a Balor\'s elemental pillar.
Except it was much weaker due to both the incomplete powering up and merging of the creatures\' mana core.
Ellkas used one of his artifacts, the Void Shield, to take the full power of the mana pillar without interrupting his attack.
Phloria\'s kill had thrown the creature off balance and by using one of its more powerful moves despite its debilitated state, had forced its movements to a halt.
Lith exploited that opening to slip under the still ongoing pillar and struck at the red heart.
Unlike fake mages, all of his spells were infused with his will, so that the moment the second heart exploded, Lith managed to recover all the excess energy, leaving the creature nothing to feed upon, preventing it from healing its wounds.
Another set of eyes became dull, the flesh monster screamed in agony and envy.
The survivors had to endure an inhuman pain whereas their fallen comrades were finally free from the Odi\'s mind control.
The creatures\' movements slowed down even further, allowing Yondra to use her tier four spell, Great Glacier, on both the yellow and black hearts.
It turned them into ice crystals that shattered at their next attempt to beat as if they were made of glass.
Professor Ellkas unleashed three tier four spells at once, one for each remaining heart and the third for the main body.
He had no idea if once all the hearts were lost the creature would simply die or it might self-destruct.
He had seen enough of the Odi\'s cruelty that his scientific curiosity was overshadowed by the revulsion he felt.
Lith\'s paranoia and Life Vision agreed with Ellkas judgment, so he used the remaining spells he had at the ready to destroy the flesh titan before it could overload its accumulated mana into an explosion.
The giant\'s body turned into ashes, while everyone was panting due to the repeated use of powerful spells or artifacts.
I\'d gladly take a break before moving forward. Yondra said.
I still have quite some mana left, but no spell at the ready anymore.
Agreed. Phloria said while sheathing her blade.
Let\'s go back to base and prepare new spells before… The sound of what seemed to be an avalanche was quickly followed by the noise of a heavy door crashing on the ground.
The four of them started to chant new spells while running outside to make sure that such a ruckus wasn\'t the harbinger of a new enemy.
When they saw the second group Blinking in front of them, quickly followed by a massive wave of sand, they had their answer.
Their intuition was correct, it wasn\'t one enemy but four of them, making Phloria\'s group uncertain whether to laugh or cry.
Gods, no! She said when she identified the constructs as an unknown kind of hybrid Golems made of stone and metal.
Gods, yes! Morok said when he saw that the members of the first group were in perfect condition.
We already threw at them everything we had, but nothing worked.
Buy us a little time so that we can prepare new spells.
We are on the same boat! Lith said pretending to have finished one chant before starting another.
As a true mage, he could speak and weave spells, yet he dispelled the Final Sunset he was casting anyway.
It would have been useless against Golems.
Those in front of him were the first he had ever met on the battlefield.
The Golems were nothing like the modern constructs Professor Wanemyre had taught him about during his time as a student first and as Assistant Professor later.
Constructs were by far the most complex artifact that a mage could craft.
The simplest ones required only a Forgemaster to be made, but a really powerful Golem required Forgemaster, Warden, and even Alchemical magic.
Golems were also known as artificial mages or mindless mages.
The Forgemastering process bonded them with magic crystal that fueled their magical properties, while Warden magic was required to \'program\' them, giving them a purpose and even teaching them battle strategies.
If their master had enough magic crystal to invest in their creation, Golems could even act as walking arrays.
Alchemy, instead, was a great tool to provide Golems with an extra number of abilities that wouldn\'t affect their power cores.
Due to their enormous power, Golems also consumed an enormous amount of energy, more than what any number of mana crystals might provide.
Once the output of their power cores would drop below a certain amount, they would return to their recharging arrays.
If not for such a weak spot, Golems would have been considered perfect killer machines.
They could self-repair, were immune to most spells, and had no vitals, making it almost impossible to destroy them.
Fire would inflict them no damage since it would take a prolonged exposure to a flame thousands of degrees hot to vaporize their bodies, and a Golem never stood still.
The same applied to water, air, and darkness magic.
Stone and metal would just ground lightning bolts, ignore the cold just like they did for the heat, but most of all, they were darkness magic\'s bane.
Darkness strongest suit was its ability to bypass protections and attack the vitals of its target, but a Golem had none.
When encountering their enchanted bodies, darkness magic would eat at their magic first and then at the matter the Golems were made of.
Turning stone into dust required an enormous amount of energy, to the point that even tier five darkness spells would barely scratch its surface.
The Golems\' only weakness was indirect attacks performed by using earth magic.
Once their movements were restricted, one only had to wait for their battery to run out.
Time was a Golem\'s worst enemy.
Unfortunately, the whole Kulah was protected by an array which made its surface immune to earth magic, so the only thing the expedition members could use was the sand that the Golems used to speed up their movements.
To make matters worse, Golemsmiths were aware of the limits constructs had, so there was no Forgemaster that wouldn\'t give them the ability to manipulate earth.
Lith tried to take control of the sand, just like Jareth had done barely a minute earlier, and he failed as well.
\'Solus, why can\'t I manipulate the sand and what kind of power can those things draw upon\' He asked.
\'Bad news #1: that\'s not sand, it\'s part of the Golems.
They have pulverized the outer layer of their bodies to move faster and be able to physically attack from a distance.
You can\'t control that sand more than the Golems can force your arm to punch you.\' She said.
Mana sense allowed Solus to see that Golems and sand had the same energy signature.
It was another clever trick of the Odi, to make fake mages waste their mana in a fool\'s errand.
\'Bad news #2: their power core is the size of a soccer ball and entirely made of purple crystals.
Either they can last very long or their abilities require a lot of mana.
No matter the answer, you\'re in big troubles.\'
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