Meanwhile, the Odi had mixed feelings about the most recent developments.
They had lost more than half of their so-called invincible army and for the first time in centuries, they had prisoners yet had managed to let them escape.
The silver lining was that among the runaways there was at least one person able to understand their language.
Gaakhu had decided to prioritize speed over stealth since disabling the cameras would reveal her position anyway.
Unbeknownst to her, it had allowed the Odi to notice how she checked every sign before deciding where to go.
This solves all of our problems. Jiira said.
We only need to preserve this monkey and the youths to have full access to the outside world.
It\'s time to take out the trash.
Lith\'s group moved along the corridors, being forced to explore them all in search of a way to reach the floors below.
While their companions were unconscious, Lith had shared with Phloria the Golems\' dying words.
She was glad to know they had an edge over their hidden enemies and shared Lith\'s amazement at his ability to understand the dead language even though he was unable to read it.
\'Could his Death Vision curse and the near-death state of those wretched creatures be the explanation for the phenomenon\' Phloria thought.
\'I hope I\'m wrong, otherwise it might mean that Lith\'s condition is even worse than what the Professors assessed.\'
The place was completely empty, but thanks to the reinforced glass windows, they could watch inside each room and Phloria could use her Forgemaster spells to look for dimensional runes.
The underground labs were completely different from those on the upper level of Kulah.
They were all clean, with no chains nor cells.
Each room was full of a mix of magic and machinery, the Odi\'s signature technique to overcome the limits of ancient runes.
The labs were designed to host a full research team but only two specimens at the time.
Clearly, they used them to perform the perfected procedures on the Odi or just to fine-tune the last details.
They found both an elevator and the stairs, but being cramped in a confined space with the risk of the Golems Warping with them was a no go, so they preferred to take the stairs to reach the lower floor.
\'Anything useful, Solus\' Lith asked while opening the keycard locks one after another.
\'Nope, but stay on your guard.
I\'m surprised that the Odi haven\'t used their meat shields more nor did they move to face us.
After centuries of practice and with their ego, they should believe to be unbeatable.\' Solus replied.
Lith was pondering about her words when a more pressing problem arose.
There were two corridors in front of them, one to the left and the other to the right, and above each one of them multiple tags were hung.
Both corridors branched into many others and since no one was able to read the Odi language nor the room had windows, the floor was akin to a maze to them.
What do we do now Lith asked everyone, Solus included.
The Golems had warned them about a green array and prompted them to reach the basement, but that information had become pointless.
Open these goddamn doors one by one and as soon as we find a dimensional rune, if there isn\'t that noxious gas on the other side we leave, period! Neshal said.
Phloria had many objections to leaving behind her soldiers, the Professors, and the Assistant.
Not because it would have been an utter failure on her personal file, but because after all the time they had spent together, she considered them almost as friends.
Yet not knowing if they were even still alive and the idea of joining them on an Odi\'s operating table left her with no choice.
She pointed at the closest door and nodded for Lith to open it.
Using Live Vision, Lith could see that there were no life forces inside, so he did as instructed and looked inside.
The room turned out to be an archive, full of cabinet files and orderly placed folders.
Lith closed the door while shaking his head when Solus warned him.
\'They\'re opening Gates!\'
\'From what direction\' He asked.
\'All of them!\'
Lith had barely the time to alert the others when Warp Steps opened at the end of each corridor.
A Flesh Golem stepped out of each one of them, unleashing a fireball as large as the corridor itself.
Neshal activated her Power Detector array, keeping herself ready to Blink to safety.
Lith was aware that each time he opened a lock he gave out his position, but he couldn\'t Warp to unknown locations.
To make matters worse, that kind of attack was clearly meant to force them to split.
The Golems had waited for the humans to be in a place impossible to defend before using a spell that could be dodged but not blocked.
The moment Lith\'s group Blinked it was over.
Metal walls fell from the ceiling, blocking both their view and their path to retreat.
\'How did we miss them\' Lith couldn\'t believe his own eyes.
\'They are not magical, but mechanical in nature.
None of us has gear sense.\' Solus explained.
Lith Blinked near the Golem\'s power core, pretending to follow the enemy script.
But instead of aiming for a direct strike, he Blinked away, to dodge the attack he knew was about to come and use the opening it would create to kill his enemy.
Unfortunately, together with its attack, the Golem also activated a Water Blocking array, sealing dimensional magic.
Thanks to his enhanced reflexes, Lith managed to block the construct\'s fist but took the full power of the fireball accompanying it.
Only the Skinwalker Armor boosted by his mana and earth fusion saved his life.
Close combat wasn\'t Neshal\'s specialty, so she had kept away from the construct.
Unfortunately, with dimensional magic sealed she was soon overwhelmed.
Keeping the array at the ready had required most of her focus, she had few spells to protect herself.
She couldn\'t even access her dimensional item, leaving her with only the means she had on her pockets and fingers.
Fuck! She said while unleashing all the spells she kept inside her magic storing rings.
Some of them were even tier four and five.
A jet stream of flames thousands of degrees hot struck the Golem, instantly followed by a blazing tornado.
Neshal chanted as fast as she could, timing the release of the spell so that to buy herself as much time as she could.
The only good thing about being isolated from the others was that the walls also protected her allies from her most powerful spells.
\'If I hold on long enough, they\'ll come for me.\' She thought.
Yet the Golem just kept protecting its core with its arms while walking forward, ignoring the blazing inferno Neshal had created and attacking with more fireballs of its own.
With no earth nor ice to manipulate, Neshal couldn\'t block them nor she could Blink away.
The first explosion made her eyes bleed and brought her eardrums on the verge of bursting.
She kept attacking despite being blind, but the second explosion broke through her magical protections and made her cough out blood.
The Golem undid its array and Warped in front of her, clutching her head with its half-melted hand.
Luckily, the Golem killed her before she could feel the heat that charred her bones and made her blood evaporate.
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