Chapter 1376 - Living and Undead (Part 2)
’F.u.c.k me sideways! I’ve kicked the asses of two of her Hors.e.m.e.n and killed countless of her children. If the forefather of all Vampires calls me Butcher, there’s no telling what she thinks of me.’ Lith thought.
He and Solus started weaving their best spells, not stopping even when Baba Yaga’s eyes met Lith’s.
"What a pleasant surprise. I’ve heard a lot about all of you and I was eager to meet you in person." Baba Yaga shapeshifted from the Crone into the Mother.
She now looked like a beautiful woman in her forties, with flaming red hair and emerald green eyes, wearing a farmer’s day dress. Her voice was calm and wise, her body had the reassuring aura typical of good mothers.
"There’s no need to conjure power, child. I’m not Silverwing and our meeting will be peaceful as long as you don’t force my hand." Baba Yaga said to Lith, who still didn’t trust her and kept weaving new spells.
"Radusk is just like you, a hybrid. He’s not someone raised by Vladion’s core but a child born from love. Do you really think I would put the blood of my blood into danger?"
"Hybrid?" Lith echoed as all the spells he had prepared faded away. The kid was defenseless and his life force so weak that the pressure of conflicting high-tiered spells would be enough to kill him.
"Yes." Vladion nodded while reassuring the child that had started crying in fear, making Lith feel like a bad guy.
"His skin and hair are white because his two life forces have yet to stabilize. I’m only giving Radusk human food and the lack of nutrients makes his undead half drain the color out of him."
"Is everything okay, Mother?" A deep rumbling voice said as a pitch-black Minotaur walked in.
The creature was 2.74 meters (9’) tall, with the head of a bull, the upper body of a bulky man, and the lower body resembled that of a bull, but capable of moving on two legs.
He wore a suit of armor made of Adamant and engraved with several white crystals that covered him from head to toe. Its enchantments and the runes that covered it made it a masterpiece that only the Royal Fortress Armor outshone.
"Nandi, what did I tell you about scaring the children?" The Mother facepalmed as the entrance of the armored beast made the ground quake and Radusk cry harder.
"I’m sorry." The armor turned into a soft fleece while the Minotaur shapeshifted into a small calf with several small violet crystals on his forehead, c.h.e.s.t, and hands.
Nandi lapped the child’s tears, inviting him to play.
Radusk laughed as the raspy tongue tickled him and quickly forgot about the scare. Vladion helped him to ride his mount that started trotting around the room the moment Radusk safely sat on its back.
"You must be Nandi. I’ve heard a lot about you." Lith stood up.
All the undead in Lightkeep were nothing compared to Baba Yaga or to the Abomination hybrid. They exuded no aura, yet their simple presence gave him the creeps. His paranoia commanded him to act, but his common sense stayed his hand.
"I heard a lot about you as well." Nandi said. "Xenagrosh and the Master always talk about you, Lith."
Nandi usually referred to Vastor as "Father", but having called Baba Yaga "Mother" it would cause a big misunderstanding.
At those words, Lith inwardly cursed himself. After trying and failing multiple times to thank Xenagrosh for helping him to deal with Night and her army, he had completely forgotten about her after Lark’s death.
"What are you two doing here?" Lith asked. "Is the Master involved in the disappearances?"
"Someone is kidnapping my children from one of the few places where those like Radusk who carry my bloodline live and is murdering them. I can feel their death like an astronomer can follow the lifespan of stars.
"Their light suddenly disappears, leaving behind an empty space in the night sky and making the world darker. Not even my tower allowed me to track the culprit, but I can at least make sure that this will not happen again.
"Nandi is here to help me. The Master was against him coming here." Baba Yaga said.
"You’re being paranoid, Mother." Vladion shook his head. "The arrays we laid are the life’s work of more than one Firstborn and we have further reinforced them after the kidnappings started. There’s no way-"
Suddenly, the room started to quake. Yet it was nothing like when Nandi had spread his aura. The entire city of Lightkeep was trembling with such violence that even the arrays surrounding the Dragonborn household couldn’t stop them.
"What’s happening?" Kalla said while screams filled the air and people started running amok through the streets.
"The children!" Vladion didn’t trust Nandi farther than he could throw him. The Firstborn took Radusk off his back and entrusted him to Baba Yaga before leaving the house so fast that he left behind a black and white blur.
"Where?" Kalla asked Scarlett who tapped her pince-nez, pinpointing their host no matter how fast or far away he was.
"Order and Chaos!" The Scorpicore blurted out in surprise as the Eyes of Menadion informed her about how powerful the people in the room were and even picked up her future opponents.
"Baba Yaga, leave the child to Kalla and follow me. She’s too weak to be of help whereas you can make a difference."
"Trusting a wannabe Lich is the last thing I would do." The Mother curled up her upper lip in disgust.
"I’ll stay here and protect the hybrid children. They are beyond unique and it wouldn’t surprise me if this is nothing but a rouse to get to them. Nandi, I’ll need your help to fuel my tower. The city drains the geyser too much for it to sustain my hut as well."
"Nyka." Kalla inwardly cursed her own weakness.
"Please be careful." The Wight nodded to Lith and Scarlett in a silent plea to keep her safe.
The young Vampire had spent her years of loneliness doing nothing but drinking Awakened blood and practicing magic. Nyka already surpassed her mother, at least on the battlefield.
"Running is for morons." Scarlett dropped the young Vampire on her back, compressing her legs like springs before taking off with a single flap of her wings enhanced by fire and air magic.
"And so is being slow." Lith shapeshifted into his hybrid form and disappeared in a silvery blur as he used air magic to fill his wings and complemented the effects of fusion magic.
"What the heck is going on? The arrays surrounding the city are supposed to negate air and dimensional magic." Despite her amazement, Scarlett followed his lead, increasing her speed by tenfold.
’She’s right. You shouldn’t be able to move this fast.’ Solus said.
’Someone has breached the arrays, then.’ Lith replied. ’It seems that Vladion isn’t as strong as he thinks. This has never happened to Belius or any city of the Kingdom.’
’Wrong. He’s very strong and the arrays are still in place. It’s just that their owner has turned them off.’ Solus said.
’The bad news is that there’s a traitor in their midst. The good news is that they just gave out their identity.’ Lith thought.
’Wrong again. Vladion is the City Lord and the arrays bear his imprint.’
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