Lith was now moving a few centimeters above the ground, using air magic to float and prevent the enemy from detecting his presence.
He even used darkness magic to cancel his own smell.
Yet, as soon as he obtained a clean line of sight, Lith noticed the orc staring back at him with eyes filled with mana.
It was a male, slightly shorter than Lith.
He was armed with a heavy stone club and was only wearing pants made of orc\'s skin.
In the orcs\' society, the weak were nothing but livestock.
\'What the heck I always moved while keeping myself hidden behind trees or vegetation.
There\'s no way he could know my position, unless…\'
Lith activated Life Vision again, noticing that the enemy\'s mana was moving from his eyes to his free left hand.
The orc waved his hand, releasing a wind blade towards Lith\'s neck.
At such a short range, it was fast and powerful enough to decapitate an opponent unaware of the existence of true magic.
Lith had no problem going under the blade while using spirit magic to break the orc\'s neck.
Unfortunately, it had no effect.
\'My usual rotten luck.\' Lith inwardly cursed.
\'First, the f*cker employed some kind of Life Vision, then he used a tier two true spell, and now this Why do I always find champions instead of regular grunts Core color\' He asked Solus.
\'Deep yellow but definitely Awakened.\' Solus replied.
\'This orc must be one of those the bestiary refers to as displaying incredible abilities.\'
The orc didn\'t like Lith being taller than him.
In his society size meant strength and strength meant survival.
Seeing a feeble human surpassing him meant hate at first sight.
When Lith easily dodged the air blade, hate turned into rage.
The orc swung his club in a wide arc that started above his head and ended at Lith\'s feet causing a thundering noise.
Lith sidestepped, avoiding the telegraphed attack and stabbing the opponent\'s heart at the same time.
The orc grunted, activating earth fusion to stop the sword in its tracks.
He contracted his strong muscles which together with his thick ribcage formed a rock hard defense.
Lith reacted by infusing himself with fire magic, piercing both like paper.
The boost granted by the yellow core was nothing compared to the one from Lith\'s bright cyan one.
The creature died with a shocked expression on his face while releasing a foul smell.
The sword had not only robbed the orc of his life, but also of the control over his bowels.
\'What the heck does this mean\' Lith could see the creature\'s life force fading away, yet the mana flow was increasing.
He kneeled near the corpse, using Invigoration to get a grasp of the phenomenon.
\'Amazing!\' Solus exclaimed.
\'Somehow the life force is being converted into mana instead of going to waste.
The question is: to what end\'
\'I don\'t know and I don\'t care.\' Lith decapitated the creature, just to be safe, before storing it inside the dimensional ring.
As soon as the head was removed, all the accumulated mana departed from the body in the form of a yellow dart.
It flew above the trees disappearing at the speed of light.
\'This doesn\'t make sense!\' Solus was shocked.
\'Usually when someone dies, their core leaks mana until it turns grey and disappears.
This time, instead, it grew in power before releasing a large amount of mana and turning red at once.
\'Only then the core started leaking mana.\'
\'What does this mean\' Lith asked.
\'I don\'t know.
Otherwise I would have said that it makes sense.\' Solus\'s thoughts oozed sarcasm
\'One down, two more to go.
I hope they let me keep the body.
Maybe we could learn something from it.\' Lith thought while activating Life Vision just in time to notice the other two orcs converging on him.
Lith took out a couple of wands, floating above the ground again to hide his movements.
Yet once more the enemies seemed to see through the vegetation, following him with ease.
\'Orcs do not use magic my pale a*s!\' Lith inwardly cursed.
\'Either I\'m the unluckiest man alive or there\'s something terribly wrong here.
Solus, what color are their cores\'
\'Deep yellow and orange.\' She replied.
Lith stopped wasting mana trying to be stealthy and used it to infuse himself with several elements at once instead.
The orcs used their natural abilities and air fusion to boost their speed, but they were still unable to keep up with Lith\'s pace.
Physically they were equal, but the gap between their cores was too big.
Lith focused on the weaker orange cored orc first.
Ice spears from the first wand pierced the orc\'s body while lightning bolts from the other wand traveled through the ice, striking directly the internal organs.
Lith used wands instead of spells to not waste mana and make his victories more believable.
The yellow cored orc suffered the same fate.
Even knowing Lith\'s strategy, there was nothing the creature could do to stop him.
Both the corpses released a dart of light before they could be stored inside the dimensional ring.
\'This doesn\'t make sense!\' Now it was Lith\'s turn to be shocked.
\'Whatever these creatures were, they weren\'t Awakened.
I was wrong before.
That wasn\'t a tier two wind blade, that was simply a boosted chore magic spell.
All three orcs didn\'t use a single proper spell.
It\'s like they never practiced magic before.
\'Also, why I couldn\'t store any of the bodies until the accumulated mana departed\'
\'I have a crazy theory.\' Solus thought.
\'Crazy is better than nothing.\' Lith replied.
\'What if those creatures were just normal orcs What if somehow, they borrowed those powers and after their deaths, the mana returned to its rightful owner It would explain why the mana was alive and where it did go.\'
\'Only one way to be sure.
We have to rush back to the unit and check the remaining three orcs.\' Lith started to move even before their telepathic conversation was over.
Killing the orcs had taken him less than a minute, so he considered unlikely for his comrades to be dead.
He was right.
When Lith arrived, the battle was still ongoing and the cadets were winning.
Nhilo\'s decision to move the unit to the clearing had allowed them to keep the orcs at bay.
The cadets had used earth wands to build obstacles and trenches that made it impossible for the orcs to get close without getting caught by barrages of spells.
As Lith had imagined, with their weak cores and only chore magic at their disposal, the orcs were sitting ducks at long range.
Fusion magic allowed them to tank part of the damage, but their defeat was only a matter of time.
Tired and frustrated, the creatures sought shelter inside one of the trenches.
They took each other\'s hand, allowing the energies inside themselves to resonate in unison.
Solus looked at their cores getting stronger and stronger.
She was uncapable of believing her own mana sense.
\'That\'s our thing!\' The shock prevented her from being clearer.
\'The orcs are becoming one!\' She said only making Lith even more confused.