Supreme Magus - Chapter 1540 - Family Care (Part 2)
"Yeah. Once you get used to homemade food, going back is hard." Peicus, his second in command, said. "I'm tired of working in the field. I want to be able to go back home and find more than an empty apartment."
The members of the three units that protected Lutia spent their lunch break taking turns at both eating and whining. They missed Elina's smile as much as her cooking.
"Gods, how much I miss Lady Verhen already." Zest the Shyf whined while looking at the raw meat that filled the trough from which they had gotten used to feeding. "She always adds some tasty treat and even remembers what each one of us likes the best."
Before going away, Raaz had paid the local butcher to provide the beasts that protected his fields, his farmhands, and his neighbors with plenty of meat, but aside from cutting it into bite-sized chunks, he served it as it was.
"Yeah." Gremst the Ry said while gobbling the bland food. "I like her so much that it didn't even bother me cleaning my teeth and make sure that my breath didn't smell to not look bad compared to the humans."
The magical beasts and the Corps were in a friendly competition to see which one of them received more attention from the Lady of the house. So far, neither of the two factions had managed to break the tie.
'Gods, those guys are hilarious!' From his pocket space, Tezka the Fylgja laughed behind the backs of all of them. 'So powerful and yet so naïve.'
He sat on a throne made from the bones of all those who had escaped the notice of both forces just to end up as his meal.
'Vastor did well sending me here. Undead attack at night, skilled mercenaries during the day, and now even some rogue Emperor Beasts for hire.' He thought.
'Whoever is behind them, they know the Corps' skills very well and send enough troops to keep them busy but not enough to make them call for permanent reinforcements. Now that Lith and the Phoenixes are gone, this is the perfect time for the guy who sent the Future card to attack.
'All I need to do is to make sure to stay hidden and stop making their forces "mysteriously" disappear. This way, once the one behind the card thinks to have gauged the Corps' strength, they will reveal themselves and find me ready.'
The Abomination-Warg hybrid looked at Zinya's kids playing with nostalgia. They reminded him of back when he was just a Xogh (Fox-type magical beast) and life was much simpler.
Then, his dimensional senses picked up a disturbance in the surrounding space and Tezka took his blade, Endless Night, out of his pocket dimension.
'What the heck?'
Aran and Leria galloped out of the barn while riding their magical beasts. The Desert at night was too boring for them so they had gone back home to play with their friends.
The children's laughter brought Zinya outside in the open as well and created an opening that no skilled assassin would miss. Between the lunch and the sudden return of the Verhen's, the detail had been caught off guard.
Tezka readied himself to jump out of his dimensional space, in the case he wasn't the only predator on the prowl.
Golden Griffon Academy, Kellar region, at the same time.
After a little over three months, the lost city had undergone a complete makeover. The outdated teaching equipment had been replaced with state-of-the-art tools and the once empty classes were now filled with students.
The apprentices from all races that Thrud had brought with her were now Awakened mages who devoted their time helping her to study the many bloodline legacies that she had liberated.
Her aim was to integrate them to create a powerful breathing technique and unique spells that would benefit her entire army instead of a single entitled idiot that would later pass them upon a single heir.
She had yet to craft anything from the resources that she had accumulated after killing Xedros and his associates because she wanted to wait for the moment when she was finally Awakened.
Only then and after mastering techniques that would tap into the full potential of her new status would the Mad Queen start creating the equipment necessary for her war machine.
Thrud had demonstrated unyielding willpower by resuming her operations the day after Jakra had left.
During the day she would study the Awakened legacies, searching for anything that she could use even as a fake mage. The smartest among her followers helped her while those capable of using Origin Flames were tasked with purifying the metals.
During the afternoon, she would impart lessons about military strategy and have her apprentices train against the Forgotten, the previous students of the Golden Griffon. Despite Thrud's and Sevenus's best efforts, their sanity was forever lost.
Nothing of their personality remained, only mindless creatures who followed their most basic urges. Thrud needed to keep them under the Unwavering Loyalty array and its slave spell just to keep them from harming themselves or others.
During the night, she worked alone on the academy's power core, to bring it up to the standards of the modern runes. It was supposed to be an impossible feat, but the Mad Queen had found a way.
After thoroughly studying the dozens of bloodline legacies she had seized, Thrud had managed to combine several different Forgemastering arts with the one she had developed during her 700 years of research and her current condition.
She used the Dominance she had gotten from Arthan's sword, Life Maelstrom, and the power of her nine months old baby to not just take control of the academy's power core so much as to temporarily integrate it as a part of her body.
Dominance replaced the mana of the living legacy with her own, Life Maelstrom gave the power core so much power that it could resist damage that otherwise would have destroyed it, and the baby brought Thrud's prowess beyond even a bright violet-cored Awakened's wildest dreams.
Even after a few hours since her water broke, the Mad Queen kept working relentlessly on Hystar's core, channeling the violent bursts of mana that each contraction generated into a mana blade that she handled with surgical precision.
'I would love to lay down and rest, but I have no idea if I'll ever be as powerful as I am now.' She thought. 'Even if I achieve a bright violet mana core, I doubt that I'll have half of my current magical prowess.'
The process was slow and incredibly painful for Sevenus Hystar, the body that the living legacy possessed, but Thrud couldn't care less about his suffering.
Compared to that he had inflicted upon the students of the Golden Griffon and more importantly on her beloved, it was nothing.
The Mad Queen destroyed small parts of the power core at a time and then she regenerated them while exploiting Domination to force the ancient runes to turn into their modern equivalent.
Once the power core recovered from the damage, it had no memory of its previous status and considered the new runes as if they had always been a part of its enchantments.