Supreme Magus

Chapter 2897: Artificial Guardian (part 1)

Chapter 2897: Artificial Guardian (part 1)

Tyris had destroyed everything in one go save for the cornerstone containing the pseudo cores of the lost city. It was supposed to cause a massive energy loss that would weaken Thaymos while also ensuring that the damage wouldn't trigger a chain reaction and endanger her children.

Yet the Eternal Fortress' core was still burning with power.

Too much power for what measly amount he could draw from the thrice-occupied mana geyser. Way more power than even the collective cores that the monsters of the Black Tide possessed.

A power stronger than Thaymos possessed a few seconds ago when Tyris had stepped on the battlefield. Due to Fenagar's interference, the Great Mother needed some effort to spread her breathing technique, Mother Earth, throughout the battlefield and understand what was happening.

Only then did she notice that the monsters of the Black Tide were willingly jumping into the chasm she had created to protect the Wayfinder. Only then did she discover the true source of Thaymos' power.

The red and blue flows coming from the dead monsters carried their mana, their life force, and their mana cores. Their living essence left their physical form upon its destruction and was assimilated by the Eternal Fortress' pseudo score, becoming one with them.

Tyris experienced something similar to what Friya had felt while handling the corrupted mana but millions of times worse. She sensed the world energy twisting in the futile attempt to resist Thaymos' pull.

Every core he gained increased his ability to absorb the essence of Mogar, enhancing his recovery abilities, his magical and physical strength.

She heard the desperate cries of the living monsters just like Lith heard those of their dead and they were heart-wrenching. They expressed the pain of the loss and the fear they felt knowing that soon they would be forever trapped inside the Eternal Fortress as well.

Mother Earth showed her how during her fight against Thaymos, he had forced his thralls to sacrifice their lives to fuel his strength. The forbidden magic amplified the mana of the monsters by hundreds of folds by sacrificing their life force.

By killing them in droves he obtained a supply of power comparable to a mana geyser while also gaining new mana cores that passively and permanently increased his abilities.

Tyris' body lit up with burning golden light from outrage and indignance.

'Zagran, explain!' Her voice forced its way through the mind link the Guardians shared, sounding both like an order and a threat.

'I'm sorry, I don't know. I just punch stuff.' Despite the thousands of kilometers separating them, the Garuda still took a step back by reflex.

'Fenagar!' The Leviathan's name sounded like an order, a threat, and an insult.

'It's ancient stuff. How am I supposed to know?' He replied while leaving Jiera for the moon, just to be safe.

'Leegaain!' This time, her voice sounded like a frustrated cry for help.

'What is it n- Order and chaos!' The Father of All Dragons would have liked to complain about being left out until they needed him, but seeing two of his grandchildren so close to the obscenity that Thaymos was put his personal feelings on the back burner.

The Eternal Fortress had almost finished rebuilding himself so Leegaain couldn't afford the time to explain things with a mind link. He looked at the lost city thought Tyris' eyes but studied it with Leegaain's Eyes, letting the knowledge flow into her as soon as he gained it.

The Griffon witnessed events that had taken place millennia ago unfold in front of her like memories. Thaymos had been a magical city rich of culture and talented individuals, whose populace had tirelessly worked to expand the limits of fake magic, but with little luck.

They had no concept of Awakening and they failed to replicate the true magic that seemed to come easy to the other races. The turning point in their history had been the advent of the Guardians.

Back then, the mighty beings accepted disciples and granted advice, giving the people of Thaymos the opportunity to observe and study the Guardians. The fruit of their foolish labors was the Eternal Fortress.

After misunderstanding the relationship between Mogar and their Guardians, the people of Thaymos had crafted something that could grow like a living being. Their goal was to build an artificial Guardian that would obey and protect them.

Someone who would bestow upon all of them the gifts and longevity of Awakening.

Of course, with only a rough understanding of world energy and only a few recently Awakened among their ranks, the only way they had found to further their ambitions was forbidden magic.

The spell animating what had once been a lively city granted it the ability that the people of Thaymos attributed to the Guardians: to claim the world energy as their own and grow stronger over time.

Their plan was simple. Since every person had a mana core and every mana core could tap into the power of magic, the people of Thaymos believed that to make the impossible possible they only needed to amass enough cores for the job.

At first, they had fed the living monstrosity with the essence harvested from their enemies. Then their criminals. Then the wretches of their society. Until the servant had become the master and sacrificed his own makers for the sake of power.

Back then, Thaymos was still weak and the neighbours of the lost city had soon noticed the disappearance of an entire civilization. After sending and losing enough scouts, the Awakened Council had taken the situation in its hands.

The elders had safely infiltrated the Eternal Fortress but found no trace of survivors or blueprints that could help them solve the matter once and for all. The only solution they could devise was to seal the city from the rest of Mogar before it grew too strong to be contained.

The Council had hoped that with no source of energy aside from the mana geyser below the city and isolation, the enchantments of the living legacy would have faded away over time or at that at least Thaymos would have lost his mind.

After the fall of Jiera, the Eternal Fortress had freed itself with the help of the monster hordes seeking to reach his geyser. At that point, he had bred and herded them to obtain an endless source of food.

Monsters only respected strength and someone like Thaymos was akin to a god to them. He had unified the different monster tribes, providing them with food and protection so that they could multiply without limit.

He had also used his powers to alter their life forces to trigger mutations that served his purposes and reinforced the impression he was a god. The Eternal Fortress had no slave array nor did he need it.

The foolish creatures were willing to fight and die for him, driven by their instinct to obey the strongest member of the tribe.

The current Black Tide was Thaymos' work and the millions that comprised it had been spawned by the crumbs of his every meal. The lost city had been already powerful at the time he had been sealed.

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