Thanks to Life Vision, Lith could see that every inch of their surface was covered in mystical runes.
Wait a minute. Lith snapped out of his reverie.
How did they open those doors
They master assistants, just like Ratpack.
They have codes for all doors.
Eighth floor is for specimens.
If you can open your master\'s cage, what do you need me for
You really deaf.
I need you deal with Trouble. Ratpack whispered while pointing at the next corridor to their right.
Lith peeked behind the corner, noticing a Balor standing guard in front of the most complex door they had met so far.
The creature was over 2.5 meters (8\'2) tall, with a humanoid body covered by small blood colored scales.
His head had three eyes arranged in a vertical line.
A red one was in the middle of his forehead, a black one was right above his nose, and a blue one was between his lower lip and his chin.
Three sets of black curved horns emerged from his head, his cheekbones, and the sides of his chin.
His massive upper body was completely exposed and seemed to be comprised solely of bulging muscles.
His legs were reverse jointed like those of a cat, and were covered by a black armor that only left the talons extending out from his toes and heel exposed.
Two flaming red membranous wings were folded around his neck, almost looking like a mantle.
That\'s not trouble, that\'s a Balor! Lith cursed at Ratpack with a whisper.
He call himself Trou\'Bleskamuz the Fierce, but master call him Trouble because he escape three times before master could find a proper door to contain him.
Trouble hate master\'s experiments and hate master even more.
Lith ignored Ratpack\'s ramblings and prepared a set of spells according to the information he had about Balors and his full blown paranoia.
Despite their appearance, they were no demons.
According to the lore, before their fall they had six eyes, one for each element and colored accordingly. Their eyes granted them mastery over all the elements, but they were also their weak point.
Losing an eye meant losing the corresponding element and since magic didn\'t flow through their bodies, they were incapable of mixing together different elements, leaving them stuck with the equivalent of tier four magic.
After their fall, Balors could have from one to three eyes, while the others were allegedly fused within their bodies by the failed attempt to evolve and force the mana to flow freely.
\'Any advice\' Lith had never faced one, but could see via Life Vision that the creature\'s vitality was on par with Scarlett the Scorpicore.
Luckily, its mana flow was way worse than the Lord of the Forest\'s.
\'If he wasn\'t stand in front of that **ing door, maybe.\' Lith was flabbergasted by Solus\'s swearing.
\'I\'m almost blind, so take my words with a grain of salt.
The Balor seems to have four mana cores.
A bright cyan one in its usual place, right below his solar plexus, and three green ones inside his eyes.\'
The good news is that he can\'t use light magic, so if I manage to destroy one or more of his eyes, he can\'t regenerate them.\' Lith was done with his preparations.
He was about to step in the corridor when he felt Ratpack tugging at his leg.
Master told me that Trouble has weakness, that even Ratpack can face him if I wear magical protections.
Master gave it to Ratpack, Ratpack give it to you.
The small creature took out a bundle of shackles linked to several envelopes from his pocket, which was actually a pocket dimension.
It made little sense to Lith, more so since according to Life Vision they were not enchanted.
What\'s this supposed to be He asked.
Isn\'t it obvious It\'s a chainmail! Ratpack puffed out his chest with pride while Lith opened one of the envelopes.
If you\'re reading this, you\'re not the moron I always thought you were.
Happy deathday, Zolgrish.
Lith had no time to waste explaining to the moron what a pun was, so he returned the gift and launched himself against Trouble while infused with all the elements.
The Balor gave no sign of being surprised by the sudden attack.
Trou\'Bleskamuz\'s middle eye ignited with mana and what looked like a two handed scimitar made of black smoke appeared in his right hand.
Much to Lith\'s surprise, the Gatekeeper clashed against the black smoke and the sudden impact threw him off balance allowing the Balor to send him flying away with but a flick of his wrist.
\'How is that possible Darkness magic is supposed to be ethereal.
I was expecting him to attempt to trade blows… What the heck\' Only then did Lith notice that the blue eye was lit too, meaning the sword was composed of black ice.
\'Seems that Balors can mix elements after all.\' Lith inwardly cursed at the army bestiary\'s author as the red eye too was set ablaze with mana, generating a pillar of cyan flames that filled the whole corridor leaving Lith no way out.
Lith encased himself inside a massive ice coffin to protect himself and seal the corridor.
His own spells couldn\'t harm him exactly how the Balor\'s flames had no effect on their caster after rebounding on the enemy barrier.
Soon the fire consumed all the air in the corridor, forcing the spell to disappear, the red eye to close, and the Balor to fall to his knees gasping for oxygen.
The creatures\' black eye lit up again, unleashing a pillar of darkness so powerful that the arrays protecting the lab became visible to the naked eye as they prevented the Balor\'s spell from turning the walls into debris.
Their positions were now reversed.
Lith was stuck inside the ice just like the Balor was trapped in the small corridor a second ago.
To not lose his life, Lith was forced to lose his advantage and shatter the ice to Blink to safety.
Fresh air filled both the corridor and the Balor\'s lungs as he unfolded his wings to chase his opponent.
Trou\'Bleskamuz flew in a spiral pattern, to prevent Lith from predicting his trajectory and using dimensional magic to stab him in the back.
Contrary to his expectations, no attack came until he reached the T junction where the two corridors met.
Only then did he realize he had fallen into a trap.
Lith knew that his enemy\'s physical prowess was way above his own.
He had considered using spell sealing arrays, but they would cripple the only edge he had.
Arrays worked both ways, affecting their caster along with their target.
Hence, he had decided to stay at a safe distance and play it smart.
Two Death Zones were waiting for Trou\'Bleskamuz, one at each side of the junction.
The darkness spells resembled two small thunderclouds, which completely engulfed the corridors as they converged on the Balor.
Trou\'Bleskamuz exploded in a wild laughter and opened his middle eye again.
A second pillar of darkness clashed with Lith\'s Death Zone with such violence that the entire corridor trembled and all of the arrays protecting the cells became visible.
Lith was amazed by how a simple cyan core could emit such power without a moment\'s notice.
His surprise only increased when, even as it was powered by his blue core and boosted by a continuous flow of mana, Death Zone was overpowered by the black pillar.