I think we should contact our commanding officer. Phloria said.
As a person, I just want to run away from this nightmarish place.
As a soldier, however, I think we should at least make sure that by opening Kulah\'s gates we haven\'t unleashed some ancient horror upon the Griffon Kingdom.
He really hoped to receive the order to retreat.
In the case that happened, he would only need to have Solus\'s to assume her tower form above the mana geyser once to be able to return there anytime he wanted.
\'If it works.\' Solus said.
\'The ground has been enchanted to not be affected by earth magic and even if the mana geyser has not been claimed, most of its energy is drained by Kulah.
\'There might not be enough world energy left to assume my tower form, let alone to perform a Warp.\'
Phloria took her army amulet out of her dimensional amulet and tried to contact the headquarters.
Unlike a civilian device, the army communication amulet had green mana crystals supporting the blue one and amplifying its signal.
Yet all the runes carved on its surface were inactive.
She had to infuse it with her own mana to have even the emergency rune to lit up.
Dammit, I don\'t know the reason but now the signal sucks.
Give me a hand, please.
I can\'t speak and focus so much all at once.
With Lith\'s help, the hologram of commander Berion soon appeared between them.
Phloria reported to him everything that had happened and the losses they had suffered.
Dammit! You should have called me the moment you realized it was a military compound! Your expedition isn\'t suited for that kind of recon.
Historians are a must, but you need many more Master Forgemasters and Wardens. Berion slammed his fist against his desk.
Lith had never seen him angry, not even during the events of Othre.
Once he looked more carefully, Lith could notice that he stood corrected.
The Commander was worried, not angry.
With all due respect, sir, the creature attacked the moment we stepped inside Kulah, despite not even it being provoked.
There is no telling that even if we didn\'t enter the premises it wouldn\'t have attacked us the moment we lowered our guard.
It was controlled by a slave item, so despite its will was restricted, it was far from a mindless creature.
Also, I think that your first order would have been to assess the danger the compound poses to the Kingdom. Phloria replied.
You are right. Berion sighed.
Those Odi were cunning.
If you didn\'t destroy the arrays, they would have killed you as soon as the door was opened, whereas removing the arrays let that fungus thing free to murder you on the first occasion it got.
Normally I would order you to get out of there and wait for reinforcements, but we have no idea what other contingency measures the Odi might have set in place.
On top of that, now that the gates of Kulah are open, we can\'t risk that someone coming from the tunnels might trigger the gods know what traps or steal the Odi\'s secrets.
Even worse, something could follow you to the surface, and if the fights break out inside the mines, our losses would be incalculable.
For now, your task is to guard the compound and make sure that nothing gets in or out of it.
I\'ll inform you as soon as the Royals make their decision.
This is too big, even for me to decide alone.
Over and out.
The moment the conversation was over, Phloria put her amulet back inside her dimensional item and conjured a Hush zone to prevent being heard.
At least now we have our orders.
Can you see something out of the ordinary in the tunnels She asked.
Lith\'s eyes flared up with Life Vision and then he looked around before replying:
Nothing, but it doesn\'t mean much.
When the Teks attacked, I had no notice of it until it was too late and I can\'t see inside Kulah\'s buildings due to the arrays surrounding them.
Ugh, I hoped to receive some good news. Phloria said.
Quylla mentioned how the Odi used slaves and golems to do their scut work.
Unless they managed to imprison another eternal being, we are bound to face golems.
Being Kulah a military compound, there must be a lot of them, and all armed to the teeth.
Can Life Vision see them or are they invisible to it
They have no life force, but I can see their mana flow so I should be able to warn you in time.
Unless they pull some stunt like the Tek, of course. Lith replied.
By the time the remaining members of the expedition team woke up, it was already noon.
Old age was an unbeatable enemy and some of the Professors had suffered great damage, forcing them to rest for more than a day.
Quylla and Morok were surprisingly energetic.
They showed no sign of fatigue and they both ate for two people.
Yondra still looked exhausted, but her movements were now lighter and nimbler than before.
After Phloria brought everyone up to speed, explaining to them what had happened after they had lost consciousness, Professor Gaakhu, the expedition leader, took a few deep breaths to calm down before saying:
As much as it pains me to admit it, Berion is right.
This team is ill suited to explore such a historical marvel like Kulah appears to be.
At the word marvel the Professors who were still grieving needed sheer willpower to not strangle her, and so did the surviving Assistants.
Yet everyone gritted their teeth and let her continue.
Our team is still powerful, but us Professor lack the stamina and speed necessary to be truly useful.
Our Assistants\' inexperience is a liability, Calil almost doomed as all.
To make matters worse, the Odi were truly cunning.
In all of my years of experience, I\'ve never faced arrays with so many layers of traps, nor creatures that powerful.
I\'m not going to lie, I proved to be a liability as well.
If we preserved the arrays as I wanted, they would have killed us.
Even if somehow we survived, I don\'t think I would have been able to beat that magical beast.
I still don\'t understand how Ranger Verhen defeated it, but I can say that if that fungus had been on the level of an Emperor Beast, we wouldn\'t be having this conversation.
Everyone nodded to those words, Lith included.
He had faced only a non Awakened Emperor Beast in the past, and even then he had needed help to beat him.
Now he was much stronger and better equipped, but after facing the sentient fungus, he realized that it wasn\'t only a matter of how powerful the opponent was, but also of how long the creature had to prepare the terrain for the fight.
The spores would have been a much easier opponent if they hadn\'t spent centuries multiplying.
Lith then explained to the rest of the group how he had survived the encounter.
Gods, the Odi are almost embarrassing in their hubris. Gaakhu said when she heard about the cable fueling the arrays.
Once again it would be a groundbreaking discovery, if not for its fatal weak point.
If they applied the same method for sealing the buildings, getting inside will be the easy part, whereas facing what\'s waiting for us might cost us our lives.