The lightning bolt had squeezed the air out of Jirni\'s lungs and pushed her back while her body still refused to obey her.
Her Constable armor coupled with the potion\'s effects had taken the brunt of the damage, but pain radiated from the point of impact turning every movement into agony.
Yet pain was an old friend to her, something Jirni had got used to ever since her family had trained her to inflict and withstand torture before she even turned ten.
Pain was what allowed her to regain control of her limbs.
The ice spikes barely managed to pierce her skin before she pivoted on the balls of her feet to redirect the momentum of her fall to the side and roll to safety.
Lith was having it much worse than her.
The city array prevented him to Blink while the Carpenter\'s vortex was close enough to rob him of his magic aside from fusion magic.
His rings were useless, he couldn\'t fly or use spirit magic to pull himself away.
Lith had to choose between being turned into a kebab, a charred corpse, or both.
He chose the fourth option, the one he created.
Lith jumped back and to the side, putting himself willingly in front of the closest of the enemy\'s clawed hands.
With one hand on the blade\'s hilt and the other on its flat side, Lith used the earth magic infused Gatekeeper as a shield against the enemy\'s middle finger.
It was the longest and the closest one among those forming the spear-like hand which was darting at him with the speed of a freight train.
It was also the most dangerous one, aimed at his heart.
Lith used the force of the impact to propel himself away from the spell and the other hand.
What he couldn\'t expect was that the remaining three fingers dislocated themselves, becoming long enough to reach his head, abdomen, and left leg respectively.
Lith was still in mid air after parrying the middle finger, he couldn\'t dodge while his magic was still sealed.
Cursing at the enemy\'s wits, he could only tilt his head sideways to avoid the deadly tap at his forehead.
The puppeteer laughed at his feeble attempt.
The incoming spear head wasn\'t a mindless projectile, but one of their fingers.
Carpenters couldn\'t feel pain.
Receptors were among the many things they had discarded to make their strength as explosive as their lifespan was short.
The Carpenter\'s forefinger followed Lith\'s movements, striking him on his right temple as the other two phalanges pierced his body.
Blood spurted from Lith\'s stomach and left thigh, yet the moment his clenched muscles stopped the fingers, the darkness magic infused Gatekeeper performed a circular motion that cut all four of them almost down to the knuckles.
Ravaged by the chaotic energies, the creature\'s secondary core and its fingers collapsed at the same time, reducing its battle strength considerably.
\'It\'s impossible!\' Suddenly the puppeteer had nothing to laugh about.
\'I know that a wound caused by the tip of one phalanx is bound to be shallow, but even a few centimeters deep hole in the head is supposed to be deadly!\'
Yet there wasn\'t even a bruise on Lith\'s forehead.
Only a curved stone plate that had deflected the projectile and reduced the impact to an oversized finger flick.
\'Are you all right, Solus\' Lith asked as the plate turned liquid and hid under his clothes again.
\'Nothing that a bit of rest can\'t heal.\' She replied.
\'Our combined earth fusion did most of the work, otherwise I would be shattered in pieces.\'
The Carpenter roared in outrage.
Its kneecaps were healed, but both of his prey were alive and well.
The puppeteer couldn\'t believe that the body and techniques they had perfected after centuries of training couldn\'t get rid of two newborns, not even after being forced to go all out.
\'Our enemy has lost one hand and its secondary core.
Without the vortex, its remaining core is a cyan one.
With the vortex it can reach the output of a blue one, but if it gets poisoned too the Carpenter\'s strength will plummet.\' Solus explained.
Lith smiled in reply while weaving a new set of spells that he knew the enemy couldn\'t risk absorbing anymore.
Jirni kept her distance and circled around the creature, with Lith quickly following her lead.
Three mouths, three spells at once! Even though the second set of arms was hidden again in the creature\'s sides, Jirni was certain that they were forming hand signs non stop.
Now that they had been exposed, the quiet mumblings coming from the jaws on the Carpenter\'s abdomen and shoulders explained the trick behind its \'silent casting\'.
Fake mages could delay the activation of their spells until their focus was broken, just like an Awakened.
Hand signs required less time than most chants, but a normal mage would make them last as long as the chanting to perform them with accuracy.
Yet the Carpenter had several mouths, so while one chanted the others would make noises to cover the incoming spell and start the next one as soon as the first set of hand signs was completed.
The creature tried to escape from the encirclement, but it discovered that the duo could follow its movements with ease.
Jirni\'s air infused needles pierced its four limbs while Lith\'s magic froze and deformed the marble floor at its feet, turning the Carpenter\'s footwork into a mess.
Jirni then activated several wands at once, releasing a barrage of lightning bolts that could sweep the whole ballroom.
The puppeteer thought that she had gone mad.
They only needed to make the creature crouch to dodge what looked like the spell of an angered thunder god and make Lith its new target.
Their coordination was too perfect.
They were always at the opposing sides of the Carpenter, making it easy to exploit any incoming spell and turn it against the other human.
Lith ignored the incoming thunderstorm and released a volley of Plague Arrows, leaving the creature twice dumbfounded.
\'Is he insane He\'ll take the Constable\'s attack head on, whereas I only need a roll to escape from such a slow spell.\' The puppeteer was disappointed.
Their prey were clearly panicking, turning what was supposed to be a fun game into a farce.
The lightning bolts curved sharply, following the four needles like the remote tracking devices they were.
Even with multiple layers of body fat shielding the nerves, the electrical current was so violent that it caused a seizure in all four limbs.
The Carpenter found itself paralyzed, so none of the Plague Arrows missed its target.
The dark energies spread like a disease, eating away the creature\'s physical and magical strength.
Its focus was lost, and so were all the spells it had prepared.
Refusing to accept their loss, the puppeteer activated the vortex to escape from the trap and kill both those pests by burning away all the lifespan their creature had left.
Much to their surprise, even in its boosted state, the creature was unable to deal a lethal blow.
Jirni and Lith were both able to follow the Carpenter\'s speed with ease.
While normal humans under the effect of a potion were fast, they were fast and graceful.
While any other human opponent the puppeteer had ever faced was just strong, they were strong and feral.
\'I was wrong.
They can use the potion\'s effect to its maximum, if not even more.
These guys move more like beasts than humans!\' The puppeteer\'s heart was filled with joy and awe.
Finding two worthy opponents outshined even Lith\'s blade slowing their prized creature long enough for Jirni\'s long knives to stab it in the ass, right where its brain was hidden, and send it into oblivion.