Supreme Magus - Chapter 1517 Final Test Part 1
Chapter 1517 Final Test Part 1
Aalejah needed to read but a few lines of the Tree's archives to understand the truth behind Lith's words about the ruthlessness of the world.
"Is that why you are still an apprentice?" The elf said.
"Yes. Ever since I realized that I was an anomaly, I knew that people wouldn't leave me alone out of the goodness of their hearts. I needed to borrow the power of the Kingdom and of an elder of the Council to avoid becoming a puppet. So far so good." Lith replied.
"Enough with the depressing talks. Let's get to work then." Aalejah stood up and uncovered the Yggdrasill staff, having no idea how pointless her precautions were.
A few days later, the expedition ended after every disciple had been tested several times for teamwork, loyalty, and trustworthiness. After their behavior had been established, it was time for Inxialot to trigger the final trial.
The apprentices had to prove to be able to fight like an army and to have learned from their defeat at the Gargoyles' hands during the first day.
Were they to fail again, the Council would have been forced to train them properly by preparing Awakened boot camps. Without discipline and teamwork, the Council would have stood no chance against Thrud's army of Awakened slaves.
Rather than waste their time with a pointless struggle, they might as well surrender and leave the door open for her.
The day started like any other, with the apprentices scouring the city's every nook and cranny in the search of mystical legacies.
Athung Soranot, Raagu's apprentice, had scored several pieces and hints about breathing techniques that she hoped that once examined together with her mentor, they would give her the insight that she still lacked to understand the secret behind the violet core.
Athung didn't have the Eyes of Menadion, but her team was second solely to the plants for the number of relics found. She had learned from her mentor both Earth Vision and how to maximize the power of the arrays, but she couldn't compare with the Fae's unique bloodlines abilities.
Plant folk could move through the ground freely and even communicate with the local vegetation for clues, giving them an edge over the competition that no spell could compensate.
"This is odd." Athung said while tapping on the ground with her polearm at each step she took so that Earth Vision would allow her to follow the vibrations and find hidden rooms or switches.
"I'm pretty sure that I saw the Fae scout this place yesterday, yet I have just found an underground corridor whose traps are still operational. The Fae should have easily found it, but if they did, the defensive arrays would have been already disabled."
"Maybe they missed it." Temania, a lady-killer-looking brown-haired man, shrugged. "Or maybe they didn't know how to deactivate the protections and moved onto an easier target."
"Maybe." Athung said after studying the intricate set of magical formations that intertwined together, forming the array equivalent of a sailor's knot.
"Fae are not creatures patient enough to solve something like this, but I find it strange that they didn't at least try to force their way in. Their bodies are nigh-immortal and with darkness fusion, they would have felt no pain."
The truth was that Inxialot had opened the tunnel at daybreak. Back when the Fae had explored that very city block, there was nothing that they could find.
"Can you open it or do we need to ask for help?" Henya, a gorgeous redhead that had been stuck at the bright blue core for almost a century said. "Splitting the loot is better than losing it entirely, and with my apprenticeship nearing its end, I need all the resources that I can get."
"Good gods!" Temania said in annoyance. "We've got that after you said it the first one hundred times. Give it a rest, will you?"
"Easy for you to say! Your master is mommy dearest and even at the end of your apprenticeship you'll have a nice place to live and a bloodline lega-"
"Just fuck already!" Athung put an end to their umpteenth quarrel while inwardly regretting to not have been able to join a better group than a couple of annoying kids.
They were actually older than her, yet she felt as if she was stuck baby-sitting immature brats. Greed, fear, and ambition brought out the worst in most people, disrupting even the most basic form of teamwork in the hope of getting a single scrap more than the others.
The two Liches watching at the scene devoured pop-corn while waiting for the two youths to follow the order and jog their memory about the lost discipline of sex. Alas, they remained utterly disappointed.
The youths stood still while their leader unraveled the arrays one at a time in the correct order.
"Do you need some rest before going down?" Temania said while offering Athung a tonic.
"No time for that. If another group arrives from another corridor, they'll get to the treasure first." She gulped down the tonic and used Invigoration to recover her strength.
"Another corridor?" Henya echoed.
She envied Athung for having a master that not only had developed unique techniques like Earth Vision, but that had also taught her more about arrays than most elders knew despite being centuries older than her.
"Yes. The corridor leads to a central area filled with enchanted items that is connected to several other tunnels. We have struck the motherlode, but others might have done the same." Athung had no idea that the multiple accesses were a trick.
Inxialot wanted the final chamber to be found as soon as possible so that his cruel and unusual punishment would end. He couldn't wait to get back to his lab and return to his beloved experiments.
Athung took a deep breath and three magical formations compressed to the size of a frisbee appeared around both her wrists and behind her back. It was one of Raagu's most prized techniques, Portable Arrays.
It made the mana take physical form, relieving the mage's mind from the burden of keeping the magical formations at the ready.
Athung could carry them around, spending a minimum amount of energy to maintain the arrays active. She only needed to input the dimensional coordinates of their area of effect to activate their powers.
A wave of her right hand threw the corresponding array in the middle of the city plaza, at blinking distance from the fortified common hall. Then, she conjured a new array around her now free hand and had her teammates take the lead.
Henya complained so much that Lith looked like mister optimism in comparison, but she was an excellent fighter. Her master had taught her both the Battle Mage and Mage Knight specializations, making Henya capable of switching from offense to defense according to the circumstances.
"Is it me or this is all too easy?" She asked while deactivating the traps that Life Vision revealed.
"No, you are right. Yet both my array detecting spells and mystical senses fail to find any hidden trap." Athung nodded. "Temania?"
"On it." The youth froze the corridor, covering it with a thick layer of ice that would trigger mechanical traps and keep pressure tiles from activating.
"Nothing. It's as if after laying those huge ass arrays the maker of this place got tired of their job and quit halfway through!" He said in amazement.
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