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«Supreme Magus (Web Novel) - Chapter 2975 Hidden Lab (Part 1)

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Chapter 2975 Hidden Lab (Part 1)

This chapter is updated by Novels.pl

"During one of the longest famines of this century, your dear cousin erased an entire bloodline and turned a fertile barony into a barren land to relieve his anger! Do you deny it?" Strider asked.

"No, but-"

"After that, he bought his pardon by sharing Void Magic with the humans instead of the Awakened community. He didn't care for us, only for himself. The title of Supreme Magus he carries marks him as a convicted murderer and a traitor! He-"

A slow clap cut the Zouwu off just like he had done to Solus.

"Thanks for the recap." Lith said. "If I ever want a biographer, I know who *not* to call. Now, what do you say if you quit whining and we get a move on? I don't have all day."

The Zouwu's eyes narrowed into fiery slits that brimmed with mana. He growled but said nothing, his gaze lingering on Bytra way longer than it was polite.

"And you. How could you do it?" The Fourth Ruler of the Flames was aware that Strider had no way of knowing about her killing Menadion, but his words sounded like an accusation nonetheless. "How could you betray us for… this?"

He pointed at the Shadow Dragon.

Not knowing about the real Bytra or the clones, the Zouwu assumed that she had lived in seclusion for some reason until the Organization had scouted her. Then, Bytra must have fallen in love and willingly turned into a hybrid to be with her lover.

None of it was true, but he didn't know nor care.

"That's enough." Zoreth grabbed his extended finger and broke it into three parts, bringing Strider to his knees from pain. "I'm tired of listening to you, kitten. Bring us to Limbell's lab. Now."

"Fine." The Zouwu mended his wound. "This way."

A wave of his hand opened a Warp Gate leading straight to their destination.

It was an underground palace, either built inside a mountain or so deep into the ground that everyone could feel the pressure of dozens of tons of rocks weighing above them.

"You first." Lith took the Zouwu by surprise and by the scruff of his neck, throwing him inside first and then the rest of his team. "No traps. We can go in."

"Was it necessary?" Strider asked while helping the members of the Hand of Fate who had trouble getting up

Being thrown like a sack of potatoes by a Divine Beast did a number on your pride, bones, and internal organs.

"Yes." Lith nodded. "Since we are such good friends, it was reasonable to think you might have 'forgotten' to deactivate the protection system so that we could have an unfortunate accident."

The truth was that the Zouwu had thought about it and decided otherwise for Solus' sake. He hated Abominations but he would never sacrifice an innocent for his revenge.

"I see. Follow me." He turned around and started walking.

The palace was exactly what one could expect from an ancient powerful being who spent more time in his lab than in the outside world. Every room and corridor was pristine, the self-cleaning spells of the house made it low-maintenance.

The furniture was made of high-end materials and finely crafted. Their beauty showed the hand of master artists capable of creating a masterpiece without it being ostentatious.

Yet while every piece of art was pleasant by itself, the overall impression of the palace was jarring.

Limbell/Pharek had collected many things in his over one thousand years of life and his house was filled with things linked by the common feelings they inspired in him, not by design.

Colorful tapestries were hung on the walls behind what looked like plain vases and even rocks. Paintings of completely different styles and ages were displayed one near the other, their themes often in contrast.

The house seemed to have been decorated by a color-blind compulsive hoarder in a drunken fit. Yet everyone could appreciate the majestic complexity of the enchantments interwoven throughout the palace.

Pharek was indeed a gifted Forgemaster and one of Menadion's dearest apprentices. Solus and Bytra could see it in his work, in how every rune was drawn and placed with the care of an artist.

The enchantments were a symphony to their eyes, making them mist with tears as the familiar designs aroused long-forgotten memories in both women.

"Why are…" Strider said and Lith Hushed him not to ruin Solus' moment. "They crying?"

"You can ask them later." The Tiamat replied, receiving a fist bump of approval by Zoreth. "By the way, as far as I know, the Hand of Fate is supposed to be comprised of bright blue-cored individuals who seek the Elders' help to reach the violet.

"Yet unlike your men, you already have a violet core. What's in it for you?"

The ease with which Lith asked such a cynical question made Strider sigh in exasperation, reaffirming his prejudices about Abominations.

"Yes, the bulk of our forces is stuck at the bright blue but that's more than enough for most investigations. The blue core is the limit for everyone and between Spirit Magic and our longevity, it takes a lot to harm an Awakened.

"Yet when someone capable of killing an Elder appears, sending blue cores would be like throwing leaves into a fire and hope to smother it. That's why there are people like me who take point when something like this happens.

"As for what's in it for me, the answer is not much. I get to keep my seat among the Council's Elders and my turf. We take turns serving the Hand of Fate as part of our duty. Even your former master, Faluel, has to answer the call when summoned.

"Can I ask you a few questions?" Strider said.

"Sure." Lith nodded as the Zouwu asked him the reason he had refused the seat in the Council.

As Lith replied with his usual blunt candor, Ryka the Titania asked him for advice about the violet while Rhuta was eager to listen about how it felt to have become a Magus at such a young age.

As a fellow Awakened human, Rhuta was used to stay on the sideline and hide his abilities. Fame and recognition were something he could only dream about. The more Lith talked, the less he appeared like the bloodthirsty monster Strider had painted him.

As the ice between the two groups thinned, Azhom the Lich dared to ask Xenagrosh questions about her condition as an Eldritch and her role in the War of the Griffons. She turned out to be warm and friendly, when you weren't ambushing her.

Bytra and Solus, instead, walked in silence for a while. They snapped out of their reverie almost at the same time and noticed that they could see everyone's lips moving yet hear nothing.

They turned to each other, noticing their respective teary eyes. For a moment, they felt close. The two of them were the only ones who could appreciate the hidden beauty of the palace and see the traces of Menadion's legacy hidden in Pharek's work.

Then the moment passed and it made thing awkward between them. They rushed to wipe their eyes and dispel the Hush zone just in time to hear:

"This is it." The Zouwu said, pointing at the crime scene.

It was hidden behind a fake wall, a second Forgemastery lab right past the one where Lindell trained his disciple and met his clients.

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