Chapter 2122 Hidden Palace (Part 2)
Its structure was that of a castle surrounded by a circular wall that went from the ground to the ceiling, leaving only one way in that was as obvious as it was rigged with traps.
The Dead King had never shined for originality, but he recognized a good idea when he saw one. Then, he would steal it, improve it, and call it his own creation. He had taken a page out of the Eclipsed Lands' book and built the palace on the ceiling instead of the ground.
The cave he had picked was low and the corridors leading there narrow so that flying creatures would have no advantage there and those of great size wouldn't be capable of using their true form to its true potential.
'Is it me, or does this place looks like designed to counter Verhen?' Kelia asked.
'If it was anyone else we're talking about, I'd say that the Dead King just built it to hinder any Divine Beast. Knowing Meln, however, you're probably right.' Xenagrosh replied.
'By the way, congratulations.' Kelia said.
'Congratulations for what?'
'I heard about the baby and I know that never before has an Abomination managed to give life. Your kind is supposed only to take it. Isn't that a big deal for you hybrids?' The young girl asked.
'It means more than you can possibly imagine.' Xenagrosh gave her a warm smile while wishing that Vastor would be the next. 'Lith was a hybrid just like us, but somehow, he overcame all of our limitations.
'If he did it, it means that we can as well. At that point, we'll become a proper race and in time, our descendants will be treated no differently from those of the Emperor Beasts.'
'How was the party? I asked Milea- I mean, the Empress to bring me along but she refused. I heard it was amazing.'
'I don't know since I couldn't attend either. Salaark denied me entrance.' Xenagrosh sighed. Her only consolation was that she had still managed to congratulate Lith via the amulet and hear about the party from Zinya.
Kigan activated his black Balor eye along with his Phoenix bloodline ability, Shadow Step, to conjure his hybrid ability, Shadow Walk. He fused himself and his companions with the darkness of the cave and emerged on the other side of the wall.
A regular Steps would have created dimensional points of access that would have shined like stars in the darkness of the cave. A Chaos Steps, instead, would have been limited to their line of sight and once they came out, the movement detection arrays would have spotted them.
Shadow Walk, instead, allowed them to move around while still hidden by the cover of darkness as they searched for the best entry point. Even when they came out of it, they didn't need to step out of the shadows, making a movement that would be perceived.
The blackness would simply coalesce into their bodies as if they had always been there.
'The information we possess is accurate.' Dusk said, happy that Shadow Walk even covered the light coming out of his eyes due to Life Vision. 'The least enchanted doors are just a trap.
'Behind them, there are countless arrays and a solid Orichalcum wall 2 meters (6'7") thick. The moment we enter, a second Orichalcum wall would seal the entrance, leaving us trapped inside the arrays and nowhere to Blink.
'To make matters worse, this darkness is not normal. It makes all of my senses fuzzy and I can't pick up a single dimensional coordinate.'
'Same.' Kigan admitted in embarrassment. 'If not for Shadow Walk, I would have lost control of any dimensional spell the moment we got inside.'
'If there's no way in but the main door, we might as well knock properly.' As soon as Kigan brought them back in front of the fortress' gates, Xenagrosh unleashed her tier four Chaos spell, Howling Void.
A black beam the size of a small tree pierced through the defensive arrays, the Orichalcum door, and triggered the traps behind it. The inner layers of the magical protections managed to stop it before Howling Void even reached the end of the hallway.
'The fuck?' The Shadow Dragon said in amazement. 'That was supposed to pulverize the door and to clear the way for dozens of meters whereas it just punched a hole in the entrance.'
'That's my fault.' Dusk said. 'It seems that Night has gotten her hands on my anti-Abomination spells. After our last fight, I understood how powerful you hybrids are and devised a series of enchantments based on light magic.
'This way, whenever one of your Chaos spells hits something imbued with the countermeasures, the light element neutralizes part of the Chaos on impact while the arrays weaken it by the millimeter.'
'How do we shut them down?' Kigan asked.
'I have no idea. Life Vision shows me that Night gave my enchantments her own spin. I'd need time to study them and we don't have any.' The alarm was already blaring and several undead armed to the teeth were converging on the entrance.
'Fine.' The Dragon and the Phoenix nodded to each other as they emitted a blast of bright violet Origin Flames in unison.
The moment they met, their life forces imbued within the world energy resonated with each other. It allowed the mystical blazes to combine their strength instead of canceling each other and turn into Primordial Flames.
The violet became bright white and the pillar of fire grew until it filled the entire corridor. The Primordial Flames burned everything on their path, leaving behind only charred stones and ashes.
'Wait a second.' Kelia said the moment the white flames disappeared and she could see again with Life Vision. 'How can those two undead be still alive? Even with our equipment, we would have taken quite a beating from something that powerful.'
While the rest of the soldiers had been vaporized, a couple of humanoid figures had never stopped advancing and were now just a few meters away. Their skin had turned red hot from the heat, but aside from that, they didn't seem to be injured.
Kigan and Xenagrosh had no Life Vision and had to rely on their other senses to navigate the darkness of the corridor. The air was filled with the smell of undeath, burned flesh, and overheated metal and stone.
The creatures advanced with steps so heavy that their body density had to be on par with a medium-sized Emperor Beast.
'So did they, it's just that they don't care.' Dusk had to admit that Night and Orpal were quite impressive, when they put their mind to it.
After the disappearance of the Red Sun, his sister had taken the blueprints of his best golems and had crafted them using her prisms as vessels for the power core. This way, not only were they capable of feeding off the natural darkness element like her, but also her Chosen could wear them as suits of armor.
The prism of the golem and that inside the Chosen communicated between them, allowing the undead wearing the construct to move it as their own body. It gave the golems the intelligence and the ability to adapt they usually lacked.
Also, it gave the undead a protective layer of a few tons of Adamant-studded solid stone and several spells they had no need to chant for.