Supreme Magus - Chapter 1007 The Mark of a Genius Part 1
Chapter 1007 The Mark of a Genius Part 1
Both Crystalsmithing and Dimensional Magic were considered lesser specializations, but while the former was just treated as the last chance out of mediocrity for those who failed at achieving a real specialization, the latter was considered the mark of a truly powerful mage.
None of those who graduated from an academy would be graded above B if they failed at dimensional magic, no matter how good their marks in the other disciplines were.
“Thanks, but no thanks.” Quylla replied even before Tlea could think about a decent pitch.
As long as she kept Tlea close, Blinking two people cost the same as one, which was of paramount importance since the spell had limited range and reaching the safety of sunlight required a few of them.
Ghouls and Mage Slayers could move during the day, but the sun was still their bane.
Unfortunately for the two women, Rezo wasn’t the only Ghoul in the cave, just like Noor wasn’t the only Mage Slayer. Teams of two were scattered along the walls, with the Ghouls unleashing their partners before hiding underground and waiting for an opportunity to attack.
The Mage Slayers had been dropped on critical junctions of the caves, forcing those who tried to escape to face them no matter the route they took. The Ghouls, instead, had sealed all the entrances with earth magic and kept them that way.
“Fuck me sideways!” Quylla found a Mage Slayer in the middle of her path and all the exits closed. To her, all tunnels looked the same and without a clear mental image of her destination, Blink was useless.
She could use Warp Steps to get outside, but casting it required time, something that the undead weren’t willing to allow her.
The camp wasn’t faring much better. A horde of skeletons and zombies had popped out of the ground, surrounding the arrays and preventing anyone from getting in or out.
On the one hand, lesser undead were brainless creatures that couldn’t use any magical tool because they were incapable of imprinting them, but on the other, to them the sun meant nothing.
Only the strong barriers that Friya had her guild set up in accordance with Phloria’s strategy had kept the expedition from being wiped out in one wave. The various elemental blocking arrays were useless against creatures that fought solely using their bodies.
“This is a diversion!” Phloria yelled at the top of her lungs, to make sure that everyone heard her. “Their real aim is to kill the Prospectors. Without them, no matter if we win or lose this battle, the mission will fail.”
She hated the fact that not only speaking made her a target, but also prevented her from casting spells. Panic, however, was the greatest weapon of the undead.
‘Prospectors suck at fighting and soldiers need teamwork to beat physically superior opponents. We couldn’t assign many bodyguards because of the limited space inside the caves and because it was more practical to keep reinforcements on stand-by.
‘Whoever planned this, he’s good.’ Phloria thought.
“I’m going in to rescue Quylla. Can you hold the camp by yourself?” Friya had just finished recalling all the members of the Crystal Shield guild and was now using her custom-made communication amulet as a map.
Orion had planted tracker spells inside the armor of all his children, allowing Friya to pinpoint Quylla. On top of that, on Friya’s request, Orion had added to her amulet the camera feature.
By scanning a place, she could conjure its hologram to serve as a memory aid. Even the Master of Space needed to know her destination and the camera allowed her to return to places with no landmarks or that she was unfamiliar with.
Useless to say, her communication amulet was a very expensive prototype.
“Yes, but I could use some help.” A powerful explosion made the ground quake and the barrier falter, forcing Phloria to start chanting.
“I’ll get back as soon as I can. If you finish first, join me.” Friya focused on the hologram in front of her to jog her memory.
She couldn’t reach a place just by seeing its picture. Warping didn’t just require to combine all the elements together, it was also a matter of time and space awareness. Recreating a place in her mind while weaving complex spells at the same time was incredibly difficult.
Lith usually had no trouble doing it only because even though he rarely remembered even what he had for breakfast, Solus did. Using someone else’s memory to cast dimensional and offensive spells together was something only cursed objects could do.
“Good gods, some of the skeletons have their ribcage and skull stuffed with Fire Seeds. One of them was enough to make the array tremble. You have to stop them before they break the barrier and kill us all!” Captain Kortus ordered.
Fire Seeds were fireballs in a candy-like shell that exploded on contact. Even lesser undead could use such an Alchemical tool.
“How exactly, Captain Obvious?” More than one soldier replied, too desperate to care about insubordination charges.
Except for the darkness element, magic was nigh-useless against the undead. Fire, ice, and lightning bolts caused them no pain and only massive spells could inflict them real damage. Air blades produced clean cuts that were mended simply by joining the severed limbs.
All soldiers used their wands to bombard with darkness magic the mass of skeletons and zombies hammering at the barrier with their bodies, but there were just too many. On top of that, from time to time a Fire Seed loaded skeleton would cut through the ranks and threaten to bring down the barrier.
The elite units were with the Prospectors, leaving in the camp mostly soldiers with alchemical tools. Being split from their main force made them incapable to deploy their best strategies and a panicking officer didn’t help.
That’s why Phloria activated her tier five Mage Knight spell, Death Bastion, instead of going on the offensive. Death Bastion would usually conjure a stone wall infused with darkness magic, but she turned it upside-down, using the wall to instantly create a deep trench all around the barrier.
The lesser undead fell with the grace of bricks and blindly followed their orders, climbing the rock walls to resume their attack, just like Phloria had planned. The entirety of the trench was brimming with darkness magic that sapped their strength and turned most of the undead to dust before they could get out.
With a clear path to victory in front of them, the soldiers didn’t miss the opening and focused their attacks on the creatures near the top of the trench. It helped Phloria to keep the undead contained and left a clear line of sight of the battlefield.
Now it was possible to see the ground ripple and the explosive skeleton coming out of it in time to make it explode at a safe distance.
“Half of you, eyes on the ground. Ghouls fear sunlight, but we provide them with plenty of shade. They could drop all kinds of nasty surprises right outside the barrier. Don’t focus only on the skeletons and prepare for the next wave.
“The other half use this time to put fresh crystals to fuel the barrier and make sure the arrays are intact.” Once the units resumed working like a well-oiled machine, Phloria poured more mana in her spell and forced the trench to close.