By the time the artificial sun started to set, the members of the expedition decided to call it quits for the day.
Yondra could make the sun rise whenever she wanted, but that would mess up their sleep cycle even more.
Everyone was tired either because of the constant spellcasting or from trying to make sense of the collected data about the wall.
Some, like Quylla, had a splitting headache from doing both.
Morok and Phloria\'s soldiers were pretty relaxed instead.
They had slept, eaten, and spent their time playing dices or cards while guarding the tunnels.
How do your weapons work, exactly Lith asked Morok while eating dinner.
The problem with the wilds is that you never know what mess you\'re going to stumble into.
So I had a good Forgemaster made me Orichalcum weapons capable of shapeshifting at will.
The sheaths are part of the weapons and the key to trigger their shapeshifting abilities.
If I need them to be heavier, the extra mass comes from the sheaths.
They are also made with Orichalcum and are thicker than they look.
Solus studied their pseudo core with mana sense and was relieved to discover that they had no runes engraved on their surface.
\'It seems that we are right.
Runes must be a state secret.
The pseudo core is very complex and it even required purple crystals to be stabilized.\' She thought.
They shapeshift That\'s it Lith asked.
That\'s it my ass! Morok was offended.
They saved my life countless times.
They have a few minor incantations too, but nothing more.
Energy based properties and Orichalcum are hard to not mix together, smartass.
I don\'t have that kind of money. He said while looking at the Skinwalker in envy.
Sorry, I didn\'t mean to belittle them.
It\'s just that between the Orichalcum and the purple crystals, I expected something a little flashier.
What does your gauntlet do Morok asked, ignoring the apology.
Not much, yet.
It\'s a work in progress.
So far it can store a few low tier spells and serve as a last-ditch weapon. The glove\'s fingers turned into claws.
I think it\'s very useful already.
If you ever mass-produce them, I call dibs.
Why use stone as its foundation though
I told you, it\'s a work in progress.
I used cheap materials because I constantly upgrade it. Lith replied.
No duh, man.
You are too stingy.
Those magic crystals are smaller than my eyes and green and yellow at that! No offense, but that\'s lame.
\'Lame I\'ve worked my ass off for years to get those two… gems, things, whatever they are!\' Solus thought.
\'Can I please punch him on the nose\'
Any idea about how to open the door Lith was stuck between a rock and a moron, so he was eager to change the topic.
None and I don\'t even care.
I get paid no matter the result of the expedition.
Fighting an Eldritch and those Teks should be already worth a hefty bonus.
Anything more is just gravy.
Since there was nothing to get from him, except maybe getting cleaned up at gambling, Lith went to speak with Quylla.
Aside from the Professors and Solus, she was definitely the smartest person in the cave.
How\'s your head Lith asked.
After I treated myself, the pain is gone, but I\'m still foggy.
I can\'t waste a tonic on our first day. She replied while massaging her temples.
Gods, I feel so useless.
I\'m more of a deadweight in battle now than when we were still at the White Griffon and I can\'t even open a damn door.
That\'s not true.
You saved Phloria\'s life and many others\'.
As for the door, I\'d say you are in good company. Lith tried to cheer her up.
That was days ago.
The only thing I\'ve achieved today is getting prime callouses on my fingers. She showed him her right hand.
After swinging the Forgemaster wand for hours and using healing magic to treat blisters and skin irritation, her skin had hardened.
Quylla could easily get rid of them, but since she seemed to have many hours of wand swinging ahead of her, it would have been pointless.
While they were talking, one of the Assistants passed them a copy of the information collected by the members of the expedition during the day.
Withholding knowledge in front of a common hurdle was pointless.
Each Professor wanted the glory for themselves, but unless they got past the door, there was no glory to take.
The data had been sorted so that each array could be studied separately from the others and from the door\'s enchantment, making it easier to identify their rune patterns and energy nodes.
There was a lot of Warden jargon on each piece of paper and Lith could only understand the terms that Kulah\'s arrays and those he knew had in common.
Quylla squinted her eyes hard as if there was something she couldn\'t focus properly on.
Great, my headache is back! I give up.
Good night, Lith. She put the notes in her dimensional amulet and stormed away.
\'Why didn\'t you help her with Invigoration\' Solus asked.
\'She\'s tired and frustrated with herself.
The headache gives her a reason to rest and blow off some steam.
If I make her head clear and she still fails, Quylla will feel twice as useless.
\'Once because I fixed something that she couldn\'t and the second time because she would have no excuse for failing to open the door.\' Lith replied.
Lith wasn\'t prideful.
He didn\'t care how he solved a problem as long as he succeeded so he had no qualms asking for help to his betters.
He walked towards Yondra\'s campfire.
Up to that point, the Professor from the Black Griffon was the one he had the best relationship with.
She had already taught him a few things and maybe she was willing to expand his understanding of ancient arrays.
Professor Yondra, maybe it\'s a stupid question, but why no one has tried to use Clean Slate to open the door Clean Slate was a tier four Forgemaster spell that would temporarily disable an enchantment, so in theory, it might solve their problem.
It\'s not a stupid question, Ranger Verhen.
This array here- She said while showing him one of her notes.
-prevents the lock from being tampered from the outside.
If we use Clean Slate, it will trigger the first energy node and cause a chain reaction that will activate all the other arrays.
I can\'t even use Invigoration, then.\' He thought.
\'It\'s not a spell, but it\'s likely to be perceived as an external energy.
I don\'t know what most of the other arrays do, but they are too powerful for a blind tinkering approach.\'
Lith started to ask her about all the runes he was unfamiliar with and Yondra was happy to answer all of his questions.
They had got off on the wrong foot, but the more time Lith spent with her, the more Yondra reminded him of his late mentor, Nana.
Yondra wasn\'t that old nor her back hunched, but the fierce light in her eyes was the same as Nana\'s and so it was her shameless approach to get what she wanted from people.
It\'s fantastic that someone as young as you are has already comprehended the importance that every single rune comprising an array has.
Most students are only interested in learning how to cast an array and how to bring them down.
They don\'t care for the hows or the whys involved in the process. She patted his back before yawning.