Nalear's own words echoed in her head, but now they sounded more sarcastic than triumphant.
'Like heck the heavens are on my side. What's happening here?'
The entire world seemed to have turned upside down in less than a minute.
Lith's corpse was supposed to be hung to a wall, yet he was jumping with the bastard sword aimed at her neck. He was also wearing the Skinwalker armor that until a moment ago she was certain it was safe inside her dimensional amulet.
Nalear had no way to know Lith and Solus shared a pocket dimension and thus the dimensional amulet he always carried around was merely a decoy. After Lith had lost consciousness, Solus had stored away the Gatekeeper, making it appear as it was Lith's final act before fainting.
When Nalear had taken away the rest of his equipment, Solus had bid her time, letting her store away the magical rings while mana sense allowed her to study the timing with which Nalear opened her dimensional space.
The moment Solus saw with mana sense the glow preceding the opening of the dimensional rift, she had recovered the Skinwalker armor just a split second before it could be stolen.
Nalear never bothered checking her loot because until Lith was alive, the magical items would bear his imprint, making it impossible for anyone else to use them.
The Professor was shocked by the sudden turn of events, yet she managed to activate the barrier in time, blocking Lith's first attack without a scratch. She still felt the impact, realizing that his strength was above hers.
'This doesn't make any sense. I Awakened almost nine years ago while he can't be Awakened from more than six years. It can't be just because he is a man. It doesn't matter. He is still just a student while I practiced magic for almost twenty years.
'While he spent the whole night getting stabbed, I had a good sleep. Whatever that stupid piece of stone does I still hold all the advantages!'
Nalear's reasoning wasn't wrong, but it wasn't entirely right either. Having graduated from the academy seven years prior, she indeed had a stronger core and more experience with using high level true magic.
However, Lith had a stronger body, all the knowledge from his previous life, and a rich combat experience. Not to mention that fighting Linjos and patching up Wanemyre had already cost her quite some energy, while Lith partially recovered from feeding on her little lambs' life force.
Nalear infused herself with air, fire, and earth magic, intercepting Lith's sword with her own. The impact made her slid a few meters backward, almost making her lose the grip on the weapon.
"What the f*ck are you?" Nalear extended her left hand, pointing the iron glove against him. A series of shockwaves struck Lith, like several cars were ramming against him one after the other.
Solus used her spirit magic to create a force field while Lith used his own air magic to disrupt the attack, making it lose part of its strength. Yet the remaining force was enough to make him crash against a wall, bleeding from his mouth and nostrils.
'F*ck! It's the first time I fight an Awakened with this much experience. Magical beasts were always limited to two elements while the Clacker Queen was as inexperienced as Protector.
'In a battle between Awakened ones, experience and equipment can easily turn the tables. I have yet to create a single damn tier five spell!' He thought.
'Do you think we should retreat?' Solus didn't like the idea one bit. She wanted Nalear to suffer an agonizing death, but the short exchange had shown her a gap between the two that fury alone couldn't overcome.
They needed a plan, a diversion, or both.
'No way.' Lith replied. 'The vision showed me someone capable of killing the Queen's corps before slaughtering my family. I bet we are staring at her.'
A couple of Nalear's little lambs joined the fray, showering Lith with a torrent of fire and lightning respectively. He kicked the wall behind him, managing to dodge both the attacks by jumping above them.
He impaled the students with the darkness imbued Gatekeeper, sucking away their life forces to restore his own. Nalear used the split second of distraction to Blink behind his back and decapitate Lith with a horizontal slash.
Or so she planned. This time Lith was ready. Just like her, he was silently weaving spell after spell from the moment they had met. Her blade struck Solus's spirit magic force field which made it lose momentum, allowing Lith to briefly touch her weapon.
His hand released a small but powerful globular lightning that traveled through the metal bypassing all of her protections. Thanks to earth fusion, Nalear managed to avoid the brunt of the damage.
Yet the moment the spell struck, it stopped her movements long enough to put her on the back foot again.
Yurial had yet to recover from the shocking news Phloria told him about when all hell broke loose. The door of his room opened, letting two students in. With the academy's power core down, the locks had stopped working.
Yurial knew the invaders pretty well. One was Lyam Lukart's cousin, a brawny fifteen year old boy. The other was a very cute girl he dated the previous year.
"You'll pay for what you did to the Lukart family, Deirus!" The boy said unleashing a fireball from one of his rings.
"How could you play with my feelings and toss me away like garbage? You said you loved me!" The girl conjured a swarm of small ice blades. They were all aimed to Yurial's nether regions.
Luckily, Yurial had taken Lith's vision very seriously. He had stockpiled his dimensional amulet with the best tools money could afford. Arrays were too slow to cast and healing magic dealt no damage. Since his specializations were useless in case of ambush, he could only be prepared for the worst.
The moment he realized the danger he was in, Yurial Blinked twice. The first moved him behind his assailants, leaving a Fire Seed at their feet, while the second brought him outside the room, just in time to close the door behind himself.
The three fireballs exploded almost at the same time, making the walls tremble.
'I know you probably were out of your minds, but I really want to live. I'm sorry I'm not a fighter good enough to have the luxury of mercy.' He inwardly prayed for their souls.
Yurial could hear terrible screams, some of pain, other desperately calling for help. He felt terrible ignoring them, but he did it nonetheless. After finding an isolated corner, Yurial opened a Warp Steps to the arranged meeting point.
He didn't immediately cross it. Yurial simply used it to peek if someone else was already there. It was only when he spotted Friya and Quylla that Yurial moved to the other side, happy to see again his loyal friends.
Friya was deadly pale. The rapier in her hand was dripping with fresh blood and her clothes were tore in multiple points. Quylla was doing her best to hold back the tears, clenching her knife with so much strength her hand was white.