About damn time! The rest of the team yelled in unison.
Manohar Blinked as far away as he could from the enemy, using the temporary respite to rebuild all of his constructs and plan his next move.
Vastor was faring much worse.
The same stone walls which had protected him from the tornado also made him blind to the incoming danger.
He became aware of the Black Griffon\'s threat only when it tore apart his defenses, leaving him almost no time to retaliate.
Vastor unleashed against the conjured creature all the spells he had at ready, buying himself a few precious instants.
When the Griffon finally reached him, it was weakened enough to not disrupt his focus, but still capable of snuffing his life.
When Kilian gave him the good news, his Professor suit was on its last leg.
The Griffon\'s chaotic energies were slowly robbing Vastor of his vitality.
Blink saved him just at the last second, but the creature, guided by Thrud\'s will, went after him.
Lith unknowingly followed Kilian\'s example.
The Griffons were so close to the wall that when Death Call\'s hands Blinked away, they weren\'t able to stop their mad charge.
The darkness energy composing them dissipated, but not without further weakening the defensive array from the inside.
Lith left Jirni beside Kilian and Blinked again, this time right above the eye of the storm.
It was the only safe place from the air blades and also Thrud\'s blind spot.
Lith descended with the Gatekeeper\'s tip pointed downwards, aimed at her head.
Once again, he experienced an invisible force pulling the blade away, but this time they were waiting for it.
Lith and Solus infused their blade with all six elements, generating a gravity sheath that countered Arthan\'s Armor protection.
The hit took Thrud by surprise, dissipating all of her active spells.
\'I knew it!\' Solus gloated.
\'It\'s like the protection that makes our armor impenetrable to conventional bullets, just much stronger.
It alters our direction and acceleration but it\'s not invincible!\'
Unfortunately, aside from a small trickle of blood, it dealt no damage.
The Mad Queen turned around so fast that Lith had no time to follow up on his attack.
Her sword lunged to his heart, forcing him to side step and focus on the defense.
He had yet to find a way to inflict her real damage, whereas Arthan\'s Sword had already proven capable of piercing his Skinwalker Armor with ease.
Trading blows was off the table.
\'I can only buy the others some time.\' He though while triggering his tier four spell Burning Prison.
Six fireballs appeared from Thrud\'s every side, but she only needed to activate Ruler\'s Will, Arthan\'s sword\'s blue gemstone\'s power, to make them disappear.
Ruler\'s Will allowed the wielder of the sword to control any tier four or below spell like it was their own.
It was the same power Thrud had employed to get rid of Vastor\'s ice prison.
Although it was a very strong ability, it came at a heavy price.
It was a simplified version of Silverwing\'s Hexagram, so it required from Thrud to spend as much mana as Lith had poured in the spell.
Yet for her rainbow core, which she had overcharged while waiting for her guests, a tier four spell was like a tear in the rain: unnoticeable.
She pivoted on her feet, following Lith\'s side step like they were dance partners.
Her blade still pointing at his heart.
Lith deflected her weapon time and time again, but she managed to push the Gatekeeper farther away with each hit, leaving on its surface a deep scratch every time the blades clashed.
How dares a filthy commoner, the son of a wretched farmer, to draw a Queen\'s blood Thrud\'s fury multiplied her energies, making Lith almost incapable of following her swordplay.
He was faster and stronger than her, but her centuries of practice made the skill gap between them abysmal.
Solus tried to help him with her spells, but even at point blank Thrud was able to use Ruler\'s Will to nullify them.
The only silver lining was that Solus finally understood what was happening.
\'Tier four and below are useless! We can only rely on tier five spells.\'
\'Great! Too bad I have none ready.
Not only didn\'t I had much mana to start with, but also the ones I know have a huge area of effect.
I risk wiping out my team with them.\' Lith grunted in reply.
He Blinked away, leaving the Mad Queen flabbergasted.
\'I didn\'t see him chant nor perform hand signs.
How many Blink can that runt keep at…\' Her split second of hesitation was exactly what Manohar had been waiting for.
That and Lith being out of his way, of course.
Now, you idiots! He yelled while activating his trump card, the tier five Double Standards spell.
Manohar had never liked being a team player, but experience had taught him that sometimes quantity had a quality of its own.
A cube made of translucent light appeared around Thrud.
The moment she tried to cross it, it became solid, blocking both her sword and body.
Vastor and Kilian didn\'t waste any time, releasing respectively the tier five spells Raging Sun and Dark Star.
The former released a blast of purple flames capable of blowing a castle\'s doors open, while the latter generated a pillar of darkness with a radius of ten meters (33 feet).
When Lith recognized Vastor\'s spell, he almost panicked.
\'Is he insane\' Lith thought while setting up his defenses.
\'Raging Sun should never be used in enclosed spaces.
It could kill us all!\'
Unlike his companions, he had never seen Manohar in action.
Double Standards was a nasty spell that prevented anything from getting out while letting everything getting in.
The Mad Queen did her best, using both her sword and spells to get out of the death trap, but to no avail.
Raging Sun\'s effect was amplified by the cube, which gave the flames all the oxygen they needed while forcing their shockwaves to bounce on its walls like pinballs.
It also allowed Dark Star to unleash its maximum potential.
The pillar of darkness couldn\'t move, but neither could its target.
Jirni used that time to pour one of the best tonics on Vastor\'s body.
Between the aftermath of Thrud\'s Black Griffon spell and the non stop spellcasting, the old Professor was as pale as a ghost.
The moment Lith understood what was happening, he dropped his guards and cast his personal tier five darkness spell Death Zone.
A thick, black mist resembling a small storm cloud appeared in front of him.
After conjuring it, Lith needed only a thought to send it toward the light cube.
Like all darkness spells, Death Zone moved slowly, but its destructive power was unmatched.
It was the perfect weapon against a trapped enemy.
Manohar\'s ego was flattered by his companions thinking so highly of him, but three tier five spells plus Thrud\'s efforts to escape were too much even for him.
He clapped his hands, making Double Standards implode on itself with a thud.
Thrud Griffon stood amid the specks of flickering light.
Her body was enveloped by a blinding light which restored her charred skin and withered flesh.
She looked tired but satisfied as she clapped her hands at their performance.