Chapter 877 Master and Servant Part 1
Have you found anything interesting Acala asked with a smug grin on his face.
Only the Warp Gate.
Aside from that, just empty caves and lots of dirt. Lith lied, dusting his shoulders.
No trace of the undead either.
Well, it seems it\'s up to me saving the day, huh It took me a bit of luck, but I found Odi writings engraved on the walls.
You can read them Lith opened wide his eyes for an instant, feigning surprise and ignorance.
Of course I can.
After hearing about the Kulah incident, I thought that not everyone can be so lucky to have Professors by their side when they stumble upon ancient ruins.
I researched the Odi a bit before resuming duty since they gave even the great Ranger Verhen a hard time. Acala mistook Lith\'s grimace for envy, while it was his usual glare.
\'He knows about the Odi.
How surprisingly convenient.\' Lith thought while a few pieces fell into place.
I followed the signs pointing at some kind of lab until my detection arrays spotted our enemies and several dormant magical formations.
I think they didn\'t expect us to find their lair this fast, nor that we would deactivate their alarms on our way in.
I counted 15 of them.
The others must have left to capture more humans to replace the thralls you killed.
There were still too many of them to take them on by myself, but together we have a chance.
Divide and conquer, I say.
First, we kill the undead that are still here with an ambush, and then we can easily get rid of the second group upon their return.
We have all the time we need to set up enough arrays to make my plan work. Acala\'s patronizing voice almost made Lith chuckle.
He curled his upper lip instead, pretending to be angry with himself and with his fellow Ranger.
It\'s a good plan, but 15 is still quite the number.
Maybe we should get out and report everything to Commander Berion. Lith said.
Report what That we found a junkpile I already gave the location of the lair and the enemy numbers in my previous report.
Berion knows as much as we do. Acala sneered.
Reinforcements are already on their way.
They might even get rid of the missing undead for us if they stumble into them.
We don\'t have much time to waste.
If the vampires disable the dimensional array, they can pack up and leave in a jiffy.
If they manage to get away, it will be on you. Seeing that Lith was still hesitating, Acala softened up and changed approach.
You\'ve already killed six of them all by yourself and with no time to prepare.
With the two of us and a proper set of arrays, 15 is nothing to be afraid of.
Once we get our reward, the first round is on me.
Make it two rounds and I\'m in. Lith said with a stressed sigh as if he was still reluctant, but could not deny his rival\'s logic.
Stop being so glum.
We don\'t need to like each other to have some fun together.
Follow me and I promise that I\'ll get you wasted for good. Acala smiled while caressing his chest where one of Dawn\'s corners slightly protruded.
Lith followed his colleague along the stone corridors, trying to make sense of his current situation.
Not trusting Acala, Lith silently cast detection arrays even though his fellow Ranger assured him that their path was clear.
Acala didn\'t seem smart or knowledgeable enough to be a mastermind and his history confirmed the theory.
Lith was certain they were about to walk into a trap.
The question was if the vampires had fooled Acala or if he just wanted to exploit the chaos that would ensue to try and put Lith in his place.
\'He\'s no Awakened, there\'s no trace of Necromancy studies in his background, and his equipment is slightly better than average for a Ranger.\' Solus studied Acala, trying to understand how deep his involvement could be.
\'Those vampires we killed earlier were way stronger than he is.
He can\'t have possibly created them nor does he have the means to control such powerful creatures.
Heck, it would be enough for him to be able to use offensive light magic to become famous.
\'If he got back in the Ranger business at his age, it must be because he\'s desperate for attention.\' Solus said.
\'Let\'s wait and see.\' Lith replied.
\'If it really is an ambush, we\'ll spot it in advance thanks to our mystical senses.\'
They went deeper and deeper underground until they found several traps and arrays that Acala showed Lith how to disable.
Solus could already spot the 15 enemies ahead and there was nothing out of the ordinary that could alarm her.
\'What is the vampire-thrall ratio\' Lith asked.
\'Half and half, just like before.
Don\'t ask me why.\' Solus replied.
The vampires were vagrants that Dawn had captured and enslaved, but due to their strong willpower, she was having a hard time keeping them in check.
That was one of the reasons why she had kidnapped people.
She had forced the vampires to turn the prisoners into thralls so that she would enslave them while they still retained their weak human psyche.
This way, by the time the thralls would be turned into undead, there would be no trace left of their personality.
They would be reduced to mindless puppets ready to die on her whim.
On top of that, Dawn could exploit the psychic bond between sire and thrall to strengthen her hold over the vampires until they had outlived their usefulness.
Another reason to keep the number of undead in check was that Dawn was powerful, but far from omnipotent.
Every time she generated a spawn prism, it would weaken her will and diminish her power.
Spreading herself too thin would mean not only to lose her grip on the undead, but also on Acala.
She couldn\'t afford the Ranger awakening from the web of delusions she had trapped him within.
Back when they had just bonded, he was hell-bent on revealing his newfound abilities to become the Kingdom\'s champion and filthy rich in the process.
It had taken her quite a lot of time and effort to discourage him.
How will you explain to them your powers without revealing my existence Dawn had said.
You have been a Ranger long enough to know how the Kingdom treats my brethren.
Do you want us to end up like the Black Star
Also, what good is being a hero Did this Verhen become rich Did Manohar No, the Kingdom just works them to the bone, forcing them to risk their lives time and time again.
Lith was actually pretty rich and could\'ve gotten much more if he didn\'t suffer from his reincarnation problem.
It was the reason why had turned down the many lands and titles that had been offered to him
As for Manohar, he was indeed filthy rich and the Kingdom\'s most wanted man at the same time, but that was another story.
Yet Acala was unaware of the implications that wielding a huge power involved.
He just wanted a simple solution to a complex problem, which made him as greedy as he was ruthless.
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