From his first and only serious fight with Protector, back when he was still a child, Lith had learned an important lesson.
Be it while facing one of the Kings of the Trawn woods, an Abomination, an Evolved Monster, or a Valor, he had always stuck to it, never allowing his pride to blind him.
Even with an enhanced body, even despite all the changes he had experienced after the recent breakthroughs, Lith never allowed himself to forget that he was just human.
There were enemies whose fury and savagery he couldn\'t match, no matter how badly he wanted it.
Instead of charging blindly like his rage demanded, like his opponent was doing, Lith kept his mind cold while his mana core burned with power.
He had to play it smart, eroding his opponent\'s strength until the tables were turned.
Gadorf had never been so furious in all his life.
He had allowed a simple human hatchling to mutilate him.
With his flesh now rotten, reattaching the pieces was impossible, the only choice he had left was regrowing it.
That was the exact reason why Lith had done it.
\'He is faster and stronger than me, but without the tail his balance is all over the place.
No matter if he prefers to keep his energies and wobble like a duck or to heal himself and exhaust his reserves.
Either way he is dead.\'
The stump had stopped bleeding, but Gadorf wasn\'t used moving, let alone flying without his tail and in such a confined space at that.
To keep his balance, he ended up twisting his body multiple times, touching the edges of the array with catastrophic consequences.
Every time the array and the destructive spell engulfing him clashed, both would lose part of their power while waves of pain invaded the wyvern\'s body.
Lith easily dodged the charge with a few side steps.
When the left wing passed a few centimeters from him, he slashed down with both hands.
The blade cut through the light bone of the arm, lacerating the wing almost all the way to the wyvern\'s hip.
The short flight turned into a tumble, slamming against the altars before crashing into the barrier again.
A new barrage of spells struck the wyvern\'s body, making him bounce back and forth against the dome of light like a pinball.
Lith and the surviving members of the unit, even Red, were throwing everything they had, to pin Gadorf as long as possible.
Gadorf was almost in agony.
The phantom pain from the tail was blinding, his left wing was being consumed by the darkness magic Lith had infused into the blade, and his back was sizzling like a steak forgotten on the barbeque.
Worst of all was his pride, shattered like it didn\'t happen from years.
Yet the physical pain made him snap out of his fury.
The wyvern was thinking clearly again.
His survival instinct combined with centuries of battle experience allowed him to see how foolish he had been.
\'I really am an idiot.\' The Master\'s words echoed into his mind and for the first time the wyvern actually listened to them.
Seeing that the kid with the sword was waiting for him to do something stupid again, Gadorf took a deep breath instead.
Lith rolled behind the closest altar, expecting another breath of fire and so did the others.
Gadorf channeled light magic into his wing instead, wiping off the dark energies and healing the limb.
I\'m done underestimating you, human.
Despite his arrogant tone, Gadorf didn\'t like his odds.
His body was too huge to move nimbly inside the array\'s closed space.
Yet he didn\'t dare return to his human husk.
Tier three and below spells could barely break his skin, let alone harm his scales.
The sword, though, was another matter entirely.
His human form wouldn\'t be able to stand more than a couple of slashes from such a powerful weapon.
\'That kid is too fast for a human.
Could he be like me In disguise\' Another sting struck his abdomen while Gadorf was lost in thought.
Lith was tampering again with the array, poisoning its energies and the wyvern along with them.
Gadorf inwardly cursed at him, quickly weaving a barrage of ice spears while taking back control over the array at the same time.
Lith channeled fire fusion into the Gatekeeper, engulfing himself in a shroud of flames that turned the ice into steam.
Gadorf looked at the sword with greed, before Blinking behind Lith and releasing a new stream of flames from his mouth.
\'Oh sh*t!\' Lith inwardly cursed, realizing that the opponent not only could use dimensional magic, but also true dimensional magic.
His instincts screamed at him to put the sword away and Blink to safety, an action that would lead to his death.
Warp Steps had already failed him before, there was no reason to believe Blink would work any different.
Also, without the sword, the difference in physical prowess would be crippling at such a close range.
Lith clenched his teeth while suppressing his muscle reflexes.
His only option was to dodge.
Yet it failed.
His legs were stuck to the ground, Lith found himself incapable of lifting a single foot.
While the flames roared towards him, he needed only a glance to understand what had happened.
The energy of the array was wrapped around him like a leash, blocking his movements.
Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me.
The array is mine! You are not the only one that can twist it to your whims!
Lith didn\'t lose time wondering how the heck the wyvern could talk while hurling the stream of fire.
He channeled water and air fusion into the sword, splitting the river of flames in two while generating a cold aura to protect himself from the scorching heat.
Yet he was too close to their source and the wyvern\'s breath too deep.
The creature\'s flames had an intensity on par with the tier five Raging Sun that had almost killed him in the past.
They broke through the aura first and the armor later, prickling at his skin like thousands of white-hot needles.
Lith\'s hair took fire, his skin was covered in blisters and burns despite the multiple layers of magical protections.
Captain Yerna didn\'t stand idle.
She had attempted to contact the HQ multiple times, but the signal was jammed.
Yerna had already used all the weapons she had with little to no effect.
She only had one card left to play.
While the two monsters fought, she reached Red\'s side.
Why are you staring at them like an idiot Do something, now!
Me Red was almost frozen in fear, his mind replaying Balkor\'s attack in a loop.
You are the soldier! You do something.
Kid, I only know tier three spells that the army bestowed to me.
The Sargent is just a magico stuck at tier two.
Do you really think we can help You are a Warden and we are stuck inside an array.
Do your thing!
Red cursed at himself.
He had picked a potentially dangerous job to get rid of the fear and helplessness Balkor had etched into his heart.
Yet just like during those days, he was cowering in fear behind others.
It\'s going to take time.
Then you\'d better start now!