Lith\'s opponent had the appearance of a brute.
He was a man at least two meters (6\'7) tall, with long black hair and beard.
His muscular body reminded Lith that of a professional wrestler.
Unbeknownst to Lith, his opponent was a vampire named Zarran.
He was Kaelan\'s blood spawn and one of his favorites.
His grey eyes moved quickly from Lith to the Lich while waiting for the start signal.
Usually, Zarran would disregard such formalities, but since the referee was capable of turning him into a memory with just a thought, the vampire decided to stick to the rules.
Or better, the rule.
Once Inxialot clapped his hands, there were none.
The rattle of bones and rings was his cue.
Even if they weren\'t Awakened, vampires could use air and darkness in their true magic form.
Zarran took off, darting toward his opponent like a falcon on its prey.
Lith clapped his hands a split second after Inxialot.
His breathing was steady, his body so stiff to resemble a statue.
Right above the fighters, covering the whole arena, appeared the very fist impossible array Lith had learned when he was just twelve years old.
This time it wasn\'t meant to impress the White Griffon academy\'s board, it was a terrible weapon.
One of the golden points of Silverwing\'s Hexagram lit up and Zarran\'s flight spell disappear, turning the falcon into Newton\'s apple.
Lith waved his right hand, conjuring a stone pillar that intercepted Zarran\'s fall and sent him crashing against the barrier.
Contrary to Lith\'s hopes, the magical formation dealt no more damage than a real wall would.
\'According to Inxialot, the sum of this guy\'s years of magical practice and his time as an undead should be around twenty years, if the Courts bent the rules.
He\'s too buff to be a magician, I bet Kaelan chose him because he\'s a pure vampire.
\'Instead of sending a half baked fighter, I would have picked a professional too.
Alas, I\'m no pushover either.\' Lith inwardly sneered as he waved his left hand.
A stream of lightning intercepted Zarran while he bounced off the wall, turning his pale skin black.
Both the fighters wore no armor.
Lith had been forced to remove his Ranger uniform for a white shirt made of the finest silk he had ever seen and night black pants so soft they would put cashmere to shame.
Zarran was bare chested, with only a pair of leather pants to cover him.
\'At least the Dawn Court knows how to dress.
These clothes are coming home with me.\' Lith knew that worrying about saving a few coins was ridiculous during a life or death situation, but since such a thing was just Monday to him, his wallet was entitled to speak.
Zarran landed with the grace of a cat.
His face was twisted in a mask of rage.
\'Master Kaelan told me the Awakened is supposed to be a brutal fighter.
According to our information, against the meat puppets he relied on brute strength and magical tools, yet now he stands still.
It must be related to the secret behind the array.\'
Vampires took damage from electricity based attacks, but thanks to their undead nature, their movements wouldn\'t be hindered by them.
It wasn\'t the nerves moving their bodies, just like their strength didn\'t come from their muscles.
Hence Lith\'s lightning had not disrupted Zarran\'s focus.
The vampire extended his arms, releasing a scatter shot shower of darkness bullets.
Their speed was slow, but from that distance and inside an enclosed space they were fast enough to be deadly.
If Lith focused on dodging the daggers, the opponent would have an easy game overpowering him physically, while focusing on the enemy would leave him exposed to the incoming spell.
Zarran moved forward almost as fast as the dark daggers, using them as a cover while approaching the enemy.
Lith stood firm until the daggers almost reached him.
Then, he took a deep breath and had the array neutralize the spell as he unleashed a barrage of Plague Arrows.
He mimicked Zarran\'s strategy, leaving him astonished.
\'It\'s impossible! Arrays are supposed to work both ways.
Why does it negate only my spells First air, now darkness too.
It\'s bound to have some limits.\' Zarran thought while dodging as many Plague Arrows as he could.
Much to his surprise, Lith didn\'t press the advantage.
Instead of charging forward, he used earth magic to turn the stone floor into sand, messing with the vampire\'s footwork.
The strong kick that was supposed to propel him away from danger plunged into the ground instead.
Zarran cursed his opponent and enveloped himself with a shroud of darkness.
Multiple Plague Arrows struck him from head to toe, sapping his strength.
Thanks to his last ditch effort, the damage was halved.
Unlike humans, vampires only needed to expend part of the energy stored inside their blood cores to heal from any injury.
It wouldn\'t even sap their life force, only make them hungry.
Zarran was well fed, so the exchange had only hurt his pride.
The audience was stunned as well.
Most of them knew Silverwing\'s Hexagram, but had no idea what it was capable of.
Only Awakened ones could master impossible arrays and usually their opponent ended up dead.
The only exception was Inxialot, who was having a lot of fun.
Not because of the fight, which was trivial and amateurish to his eyes.
He loved watching the shocked expression lowly animals made when they realized the depth of their ignorance.
I told you so. He turned his head of 180° to look straight into Xolver\'s eyes without having to move.
Liches are the strongest, then Awakened.
Remember that if your champion loses, your life is forfeit as well.
The person wearing Hessie\'s skin was royally pissed.
Manohar was a walking wrecking ball, crushing her minions and arrays in a matter of seconds after they met in battle.
\'He\'s too fast.
I need some time to revert to my real body, this one doesn\'t stand a chance against his impossible magic.\' She thought.
The Professor was now surrounded by a swarm of shields made of light as big as a man, which blocked any incoming attack, be it physical or magical in nature.
Even in Hessie\'s body, the puppeteer was still a master magician with centuries of expertise.
The problem was that while the Carpenters kept their vortexes active, weaving spells was worse than a waste of mana.
They would poison her creatures and kill them.
At the same time, the moment they turned their vortexes off, they became sitting ducks.
Without the boost from the constant consumption of world energy, Manohar would let his personal army of hard light constructs mow the Carpenters down like ripe wheat and focus his defense to block all of her attacks.
She had even employed a War Mage tier five Raging Sun, only to have it enclosed by his energy shields and snuffed out like a candle.
Manohar was winning by a landslide, yet he kept his guard up conjuring spells non stop and keeping them on his fingertips, ready to be activated.
He couldn\'t risk losing his concentration, otherwise both his spells and mana would be lost.
Even though Hessie was forced to admit the gap between their talent, she had still centuries of experience to even the field, now that she finally understood what was happening.