Under the crystal mines, he could see a flow of world energy so big that it made mana geysers look like drinking fountains.
There were also life forces inside the ground, the kind of which he had never seen before.
He couldn\'t notice any of it earlier because he was in the middle of the raging storm that was Mogar\'s essence.
It was also the reason he had been unable to chase Korgh.
Only now that Lith was far enough, could he glimpse the magnitude of the natural phenomenon that gave life to mana crystals.
\'Does the life force belong to Awakened crystals or to Mogar itself Thank heavens we left the mines.
Being exposed for long to such a vigorous flow of world energy might speed up Phloria\'s Awakening process.
\'It would be a shame if I had to kill the entire expedition to protect our secret.
Yondra and Morok seem to be nice people, but seem is not enough to…\'
Who are you planning to kill Phloria\'s voice took him by surprise and make Lith flinch.
What are you doing here You should be sleeping.
I don\'t believe you.
Your eyes were ablaze and you were making the face. She shook her head.
What face Lith asked.
Your battle face.
When you look at people as nothing but corpses to dissect.
You know, it hurts thinking that when we first met, you looked at me that way.
If I knew what it meant back then, I would have never asked you out. Phloria chuckled.
Do you mind company while you stand guard I think I\'m still tense from the ambush and I can\'t fall asleep, no matter how hard I try.
\'I must have given her too much life force.\' Lith pondered.
I\'ve no such face. He lied through his teeth, making her giggle.
And these eyes are not because I\'m angry.
I call this Life Vision.
It allows to those like me to gauge our opponent\'s strength and to see even through walls. He said while using a quick Hush to prevent others from hearing him.
Seeing that Phloria had become beet red and was covering her chest and nether regions with her arms, Lith rushed to explain.
It came out wrong.
I don\'t mean I can see through clothes or something, I see people as featureless lumps of energy.
I can\'t even tell a man from a woman unless they\'re very close.
Really Do I have your word Her arms didn\'t move an inch.
Yes, I swear on my family.
Am I making my perverted face He said while looking straight at her body.
According to Kamila, he had that one too.
Definitely not. Phloria relaxed as the realization he actually had a perverted face stung at Lith\'s pride.
Why are you telling me this now Phloria asked.
Because there are a lot of things down here and I don\'t know if they are friendly or hostile.
You already know enough about me and I need your trust so that the next time something happens, you\'ll do as I say.
Lith also wanted to check how much he could reveal about himself without shocking someone he cared for.
Who among my men is the strongest Phloria asked, curious to put his ability to the test.
Physically, the small guy with red hair.
Magically, the woman sleeping near the people from the Earth Griffon.
Helion has an uncanny constitution and Jerth is the only one in the team who got into one of the great academies.
Wait, what do you mean \'those like me\' She knew about the Hush zone, but she still lowered her voice until it was barely audible.
There are others
Nalear was one of them.
Why do you think she only kidnapped me She was afraid that I could mess with her plan, and she was right.
Suddenly many things started to make sense to Phloria.
Why both Lith and Nalear could emit an aura without the use of spells, how he had been able to notice the slave items despite they all had a different shape.
The revelation was quite a big shock, so she needed to sit down for a minute.
Could she shapeshift too
As far as I know, only Emperor Beasts and I can shapeshift.
Undead too. He said after a while.
Are you a human or an Emperor Beast The shock in her eyes was growing stronger, but Phloria was just surprised, not scared.
I wish I knew.
My parents are humans, and so are my siblings.
As for me, I\'m me.
I can\'t give you a better answer, sorry.
Phloria stood up, never averting his gaze.
She couldn\'t stop asking herself how she looked through those blazing eyes.
Do you mind if I ask you a personal question Lith said, grateful that she wasn\'t prying further.
Not at all.
What in the gods\' names did you do with your hair It was so… His hand moved towards where the soft mass once was, before stopping midway.
And now is so… There was no way to express his disappointment without being rude.
Phloria\'s hair had always been a delight for his touch and his nose.
After losing the Gatekeeper, seeing her with the pixie cut was like one blow too many.
Men are idiots.
You\'ve lost your blade, I almost died, you opened to me four years late, and your biggest worry while we are stranded hundreds of meters below the ground, guided by the rudest man I\'ve ever met, it\'s the length of my hair
She was laughing heartily, bringing back for both of them many happy memories.
I didn\'t do anything to it.
My hair is alive and kicking. Phloria grabbed a small silver hairpin in the back of her head and took it off.
A cascade of waist long hair fell down from her head, giving Phloria back the appearance she had at Jirni\'s birthday party.
I cut them once I joined the army, but I got permission to grow them back once I became an officer.
My mother too nagged at me for my looks, so I asked Dad for help.
Long hair might be nice to look at, but for a fighter is nothing but a nuisance.
So, he did this for me. The moment she put the hairpin back, her hair rolled up like a shutter while it was compressed as if it was vacuum-packed.
Can I see it Lith\'s Forgemaster curiosity was piqued.
The hairpin turned out to be a mix of dimensional, air, and light magic.
It was the most complex useless pseudo core Lith had ever seen.
\'Son of a gun!\' Lith thought as Invigoration revealed several little runes covering the hairpin.
\'Not only was Solus right about the Kingdom knowing about the runes, but also that big oaf used so many resources for his daughter\'s hair and made my Gatekeeper so frail!\' He was quite pissed off by Orion\'s double standards.
\'First, unless we\'re talking about people, I\'m always right.
Second, hello kettle! My name is pot and you are black!\' Solus replied.
As if mentioning his name was akin to a summoning ritual, Orion\'s rune lighted on Lith\'s communication amulet, drawing his attention.
Is Jirni okay Did something happen to Friya Lith asked before Orion could even utter a word.
There was no other reason he could think of to explain the call.
On the rare occasions they had talked to each other, it had always happened in person.