Chapter 887 Mother Lode Part 1
Lith was surprised when Invigoration traveled through the moss and revealed to him that countless mana crystals nucleated from the cracks in the rocks underlying the rusted metal walls.
The crystal vein followed the path of the mana geyser that they had previously encountered.
Both Kulah and the ruins Lith was currently exploring had been crystal mines in the past.
Unlike the resting place of the last members of the Odi race, the ruins had to have been abandoned for centuries.
Mana crystals took a long time to form and judging by their vitality, nothing had interfered with their sustenance in a long while.
Another surprise was the complete lack of defense systems, be them ancient or modern in making.
Why are there no arrays here Lith\'s thought out loud, receiving an unexpected answer.
Never cast any kind of spell near growing crystals. Nalrond pointed at the closest crystal vein.
They are hungry for world energy and if you mess with their meal, your magic will go wild.
If you are lucky.
What if you are unlucky
Nalrond quickly closed and opened his hands while mouthing a boom.
How can you perceive the crystals through all this metal
I stumbled upon several crystal veins while swimming through the mountain.
Nothing useful for at least 300 more years.
Lith had still many questions, but their words echoed like thunder and Hushing the zone wasn\'t an option.
\'I guess that\'s how his people dug their share of crystals.
I bet that if the Kingdom knew about their skill, swimming through the earth would be added to the list of forbidden magic.\' He thought.
After walking together for a while, Nalrond had stopped worrying about Solus.
He looked at Lith from time to time, trying to understand who the real monster was.
The cursed object had shown empathy and compassion while he had recounted his story, whereas her host seemed to be more interested in the Odi library than worried by the ancient horror that was stalking them.
Their descent continued for hours.
Neither of them needed light, so they advanced in silence and stopped only for a quick meal or to drink some water.
Before leaving the tower, Lith had taken more food out of his pocket dimension to replace the bag he had lost.
Hunger was the worst enemy for a mage since water could be easily conjured whereas food couldn\'t.
To make matters worse, a starving mage couldn\'t even heal their wounds without hastening their own demise.
\'Not to jinx our mission, but what makes you think that we\'ll find the tomes we need still in place If I were Dawn, I would store them inside my pocket dimension and always bring them with me.\' Solus said.
\'True, but you must also consider that she has no Soluspedia.
Dawn needs to constantly consult the books and with the dimensional blocking array in place, her options are even more limited.\' Lith replied.
\'Turning off such a big formation without severing its link with the mana geyser that serves as a power source is almost impossible.
Especially since she had to patch up what remained of the Odi array.
\'Also, you have to consider how it was probably Dawn who destroyed the tags leading to the underground facility.
My guess is that, whatever she is building in these caves, it needs the mana geyser to work.
\'When you assumed your tower form, you told me the geyser wasn\'t at full capacity, remember Two arrays are nothing compared to the flow of world energy.
My guess is that she planned on using the Odi lab until Acala got a place and a mana geyser of his own.
\'She never expected that we would escape from her trap, nor that we would have a guide.
Without Nalrond, we would be wandering aimlessly instead of moving straight toward her lab.
\'The real problem will be taking everything we need outside before Dawn or her spawns catch up with us.\'
\'Maybe, and maybe not.\' Solus didn\'t want to put Lith\'s hopes up, but she could feel they were getting closer again to the mana geyser they had accessed earlier.
Most of the world energy ran through the mountain, forming the crystal veins.
Without an access point, the mana geyser was useless for their purposes.
But if they found another opening, then all books could have been stored inside the pocket dimension after moving them inside the tower.
Lith\'s stomach told him that it was about dinnertime.
That and Nalrond stumbling more and more frequently made Lith decide it was better to take a break.
They had been walking for hours and he was the only one with an enhanced body.
Lith was still as fresh as a daisy, whereas Nalrond was drenched with sweat and panted like a steam engine.
His human body was suffering from hunger and exhaustion.
He had survived the last few months by eating bugs, fruits, and rarely some fish, which had further weakened him.
By watching at Nalrond\'s battered body and how voracious he had been during their shared meal inside the tower, Lith guessed that had been the first real food the Rezar had eaten since the destruction of his village.
Lith needed to plan their next move with Nalrond, hence they needed to talk.
After checking with all of his senses that there were no enemies nor crystal veins, he conjured a Hush spell and gave the hybrid a big ration of food.
Nalrond sat in the less dirty spot he could find and devoted his full focus to make sure that not a crumb would be lost.
You have yet to make a single attempt to escape.
Why Lith asked.
I can\'t Warp, I can\'t dig through stone, and I\'m pretty sure that even if I managed to get the drop on you, I wouldn\'t come out unscathed.
Also, the commotion would alarm Dawn and her flunkies.
I\'m no match for her one on one, let alone if I\'m put against 15 spawns. Nalrond replied.
That was going to be my next question.
I noticed that you have got good spells but you fight inefficiently.
You invest too much mana in a single attack, leaving you exposed whenever it misses.
What do you expect from me Nalrond asked and received seconds.
The lack of mockery in his tone was the closest thing to a thank you that his hate for cursed objects allowed him to give Lith.
I\'m no warrior.
I lived all my life in my village as a Healer and making sure that the Bright Day wouldn\'t escape.
Gods, how I missed meat.
I never had the time to field dress animals.
Then I guess you don\'t know how to use a weapon. Lith had an unimprinted short sword with him.
He had taken it from the tower to give it to Nalrond in the case the enemies caught up with them.
What good is a weapon against an artifact Nalrond shrugged.
I never learned how to use a blade because I never thought I would need one.
This isn\'t how I planned my life.
Can you take on her spawns while I deal with Dawn Lith asked.
Alone against 15 hive-minded individuals who share part of her power and all of their skills No way.
I can kill a couple if I manage to take them by surprise.
15 is madness. Nalrond shook his head.
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