After clearing the issue about you, the Scorpicore told me that I was ready to move forward, and that I should better hurry because I had left only a few more years to live.
What Lith had known Protector since he was four years old.
In his eyes the Ry had only gotten bigger and stronger over time, not older.
I lived for more than eight years as a wolf, before becoming a Ry.
And thirty more after that.
For a magical beast I was quite old, Scourge.
The thought of death didn\'t surprise me as much as her words, since they made no sense.
She noticed my confusion and explained to me that being a magical beast is not the end of the journey, but just a step.
At least, if you are able to Awaken.
All that news was giving Lith and Solus an headache.
- Magical beasts do not hide the secret of Awakening Are they insane Lith thought.
It\'s not just that.
Based on what he says, seems that Awakening is not as easy as we thought. –
Lith expected to hear a reiteration of his own story: breathing technique, feel the world energy and after a while becoming able to sense the mana core inside the body.
Reality was different, though.
Scarlett brought me to what she called \'a special place\', close to where we fought the Abomination months ago. Lith knew exactly the place.
It was where Solus was able to take her tower form, above the mana geyser.
She had me stay there for days, forcing me to practice my magic over and over.
Days Practice magic This is all so wrong! Lith blurted out in surprise.
Right or wrong, this is my story.
Let me finish it, please.
Lith raised his hands in an apologetic sign, letting Ryman continue.
I do not know how to describe it precisely.
It was all too abrupt.
Suddenly I became able to perceive how my magic would interact with the world energy, and in turn see its flow.
It was such a magnificent sight, revealing to me how everything in this world has mana, and through it, we are all connected.
I felt hot inside, discovering a cyan ball inside of me…
Mana core. Lith chimed in.
…that was capable of interacting with the world energy.
I started to absorb it without even realizing how, and while my mana core grew and changed so did my body.
The metamorphosis was long and painful, I expelled even more black goo than when I became a Ry…
Impurities. Lith corrected him again, making Ryman snort in annoyance.
…but that was far from being the end.
I spent the following months learning how to manipulate other elements outside air and fire.
It was a nightmare, especially for light and darkness magic.
I have yet to grasp their basics.
Scarlett was so fed up with me being such a slow learner, that she left right after teaching me how to change form into a human.
She said I am too big and clumsy in my new form to interact with humans and that disguised like this I can travel the world and learn about myself.
Lith\'s eyes were brimming with curiosity.
Can you teach me how to change form or did she restrict you from sharing this technique
She did not. Ryman replied frowning his brows.
But Scarlett told me is very dangerous for humans.
You have a frail mind and a very strong sense of self.
Most of you go mad just attempting to change form.
Guilty as charged about the frail mind, but I don\'t even know if I still have a sense of self.
- Who am I Derek McCoy from Earth Lith from Lutia Or some kind of monster born by fusing one\'s memories and the other\'s body This face is nothing more than bone and muscles, it\'s not me. Scarlett\'s words still echoed in Lith\'s mind, about him being unnatural.
Then it was Lith\'s turn telling Protector all about his own meeting with Scarlett, the dryad, Kalla.
How along his journey more and more beings referred to him as not human, and how he recently had almost changed into something else.
I must admit that your smell is unique among humans, but it always was, ever since our first meeting.
You smelled like hatred and pain, and no pup should carry such a heavy burden.
I don\'t know what Kalla perceived, but I can understand her confusion.
Your human smell is very diluted now, is more similar to mine and Scarlett\'s.
You smell like power, but it\'s unbalanced toward darkness, like an Abomination.
Even this morning I could feel your wrath, clawing to escape.
But no matter how many you will harm, sharing your pain will not make you feel better.
It can temporarily relieve your burden, but it will turn into hunger.
You are not a monster, but as any human, you can turn into one.
You must decide if to ride your inner demons as a tool for an end, or to become their steed, enslaved by your urges.
That\'s something I can\'t help you with.
All magical beasts face your same trial every day, and the final outcome is rarely obvious.
I\'ll teach you what I know, so if you really change like I did, turning back to human will not be an issue.
Ryman offered Lith his hand, which Lith took between his hands while activating Invigoration at the same time, letting their mana flow freely between them, like two bodies with a single heart.
As I said previously that\'s all wrong.
I\'m an Awakened too, but you should have already got that by now.
I bet I can teach you better than that grumpy cat.
By the way, you still have to show me your new form.
Ryman took a few steps away from Lith and started undressing himself.
Is this really necessary Lith asked with a tinge of envy.
Protector was equipped with heavy artillery; it was no surprise the huntress had taken a liking to him.
His body was a mass of dancing muscles that would have put to shame a Greek god.
A light pillar erupted from Ryman\'s body, that soon was replaced by an enormous wolf like thing.
Its shoulder height reached two meters and a half (8\'3), with a flaming red fur with shades of white and yellow.
Its whole body was enveloped in a deep blue flame, that erupted more intensity out its neck, almost looking like a mane
The monster had two curved horns coming out of its forehead, right in front of the ears, eagle-like feathered wing coming out from his back and the tail was made out of dancing flames.
Lith whistled in admiration.
How are you called now
No idea. Ryman replied.
Every superior monster is unique, unless he has offspring in the old fashioned way.
According to Scarlett, I\'m the first of my kind.
Then I\'ll call you Skoll, like sky wolf that in the legends chased the Sun trying to eat it.
Protector didn\'t like the name\'s backstory much, it was something that suited Scourge more than him.
But he had an horrible sense for names, and Skoll had a nice ring to it, so he decided to keep it.
Near the northern borders of the Griffon Kingdom, Tyris was still looking for the one responsible for the sudden raise in the Abomination\'s numbers.
Now that she was close to their origin point, Tyris was able to easily follow its tracks with Mother Earth, her Invigoration technique.
Tired of chasing shadows, she had asked for Leegaain\'s help.
He was the most knowledgeable among the Guardians, thank to all the centuries spent minding his own business.
There was very little he couldn\'t find out, once he put his mind into it, of course.
She considered herself lucky.
Not only Leegaain had managed to track down the approximate location of the next event, but had also promised to help.
Even in times of war, when he still cared about the Empire, it was very rare of him to leave his turf.
Tyris telepathically sent him her coordinates and a Warp Steps immediately appeared next to her.
The one who walked out the dimensional gate was barely human in appearance
It looked like and albino man, with pure white skin and hair, with bright red eyes and clad in a black war armour.
On his exposed face and hands there were multiple spots where the skin turned into scales.
He had claws instead of nails and fangs instead of teeth.
His smile would have struck terror in any living being with a shred of sanity.
Tyris, my dear, you are always so flashy.
If Milea was here, you would crush her self-esteem.
The pot calls the kettle black. She replied.
I have many forms.
Unlike you I spent a lot of time around my country, I need a suit for every occasion.
Tyris snorted, considering herself less lucky with every passing second.
Guardians were very proud, and didn\'t like their flaws being pointed out.
For every superior magical beast, assuming their first form was relatively easy.
It was the one they had in their heart.
In Tyris\' case, it was the one she had chosen hoping to please her first love.
After that, she had interacted so rarely with humans that she had never bothered acquiring another.
Leegaain, instead, after his self-imposed exile, had often walked among humans doing his best to go unnoticed.
To do that, he had to spend a lot of time and efforts to achieve multiple alias, be them humanoid or animals.
It wasn\'t possible to modify a form, even changing a single detail required to start everything from scratch, no matter how similar it was to one already available.
Instead of fighting a lost cause, Tyris moved toward the source of the anomaly, forcing Leegaain to shut up and focus to keep up with her speed.
In the blink of an eye, they had covered dozens of kilometres, stopping only from time to time to use Mother Earth again while chasing their prey.
When the hunt came to an end, they couldn\'t believe their eyes.
Three fully developed Abominations attempted to ambush them.
They were an Empowered one and two Puppeteers, respectively in the body of a human and of a Byk.
That\'s impossible! Leegaain blurted out avoiding the Empowered deadly touch with a side step.
The creature was entirely made of shadows, with no facial features.
Despite the complete lack of a body, the energy mass was so dense that is was almost impossible distinguish it from a real one.
According to my intel, they have spawned barely a day ago.
How can they have evolved so fast
Tyris was surprised too, but decided to attempt a non violent approach.
We don\'t want to harm you.
As long as you are able to control your urges, you are living beings like anyone else.
Just tell us what happened to you and we will let you go.
Instead of reacting to her words, the Abominations emitted an inhuman shriek relentlessly attacking the two Guardians with physical and magical attacks, with the only result of angering them.
There was no method or strategy behind their actions, it was just a suicidal series of attacks.
Tired of their madness, Tyris clenched her fist, squashing the Empowered Abomination like a bug by using only spirit magic, paralyzing the other two in her magical grip.
This is your last chance, speak or die! The Abominations just kept shrieking, almost breaking free from Tyris\' grasp with sheer brute force.
This shouldn\'t be happening. Said Leegaain.
Developed Abominations should aim only for survival.
These things look even more senseless then newborn.
Let me attempt to read them.
Tyris nodded, focusing her strength on not letting them escape.
It wasn\'t only their mind to be apparently broken, even their powers were out of scale.
It was just them being too stupid to use them properly.
Leegaain let out two tendrils of mana, attempting a telepathic communication with the two anomalies.
As soon as the link was established, Leegaain fell on his knees screaming in pain.
Tyris squashed them mercilessly, going to aid her old friend.
It\'s worse than we thought.
Not only something is creating artificial Abominations, in a way similar to what you use for your artificial Awakened ones, but it\'s also fusing themselves together to force them to evolve faster.
Each one of those things was several Abominations merged into one.
That\'s why they were so strong.