The barbarian nodded to Lith\'s question.
Your senses are sharper than ever.
It seems that since our last encounter we both have changed greatly.
Do not call me Protector though.
I go by the name of Ryman now.
Humans are still diffident of newcomers.
If they discover my name is an alias, it could bring out the worst in them.
You should know it better than anyone else.
Then do not call me \'Scourge\'. Lith replied freeing his wrist from Ryman\'s grasp.
My name is Lith. The piece of news left Ryman quite baffled.
I thought it was an endearing term, since few calls you like that.
You have many names, like Scourge, young spirit, little b*stard and others I will not repeat because they make me want to bite heads off.
Ungrateful b*stards! Lith yelled making most of those present run away.
After all I and Tista did for them, I would expect that protecting her from a single idiot isn\'t a mammoth task.
They stood idly instead, like she was a complete stranger.
Someone is going to die for that.
I always return favours in kind.
I\'m sorry for not stepping in earlier. Protector scratched his thick hair with an embarrassed expression.
I still don\'t understand the human\'s mating rituals.
I thought it was some kind of courtship, yet it seemed odd that despite the female being stronger the male was so aggressive.
I expected her to bite him away or something.
That makes the two of us. Lith\'s rage was being smothered by his old friend\'s soothing presence.
Me and Tista definitely need to talk and so do we.
Where can I find you
That\'s easy! Ryman gave him a very wolfish smile.
We are neighbours since I\'m living with Selia in the house next to yours.
You what Lith\'s eyes almost popped out from the surprise.
I can\'t make clothes out of thin air. He waved at his attire.
And she is the only human I know besides you.
I often saw her hunting in the woods, I know she has a good heart.
A good heart Are we speaking about the same woman
She respects the woods and its inhabitants and never takes more than she needs.
So when I came out of the woods after transforming into a human for the first time, I went to her place.
She was very kind to me.
Selia washed me and dressed me.
I was surprised by her attentions, but it seemed rude of me reject her, since she is very attractive for a human.
Your females are incredibly aggressive in mating and quite flexible.
Too much information, dude! Spare me the details, I beg of you. Lith\'s head was spinning.
First the idiot\'s threatening Tista, then the villagers\' betrayal and now his wolf friend was human and living with his old mentor.
That was too much for a single day.
She is practically an aunt to me.
The image of you two having s*x together will haunt me for days!
There\'s nothing wrong with that.
Don\'t your parents have s*x too They must be pretty vigorous to have many offspring. Lith\'s words didn\'t make sense to Protector.
Yes, they do, but not in front of me, and absolutely they do not share any detail.
It\'s a human thing. Lith decided to cut the conversation short.
See you later.
I want to know everything about your transformation.
Ryman nodded and then went to buy the groceries Selia had requested.
Lith went back to Nana\'s house, bowing to his old mentor before hugging her.
Master, why you did not intervene He asked with a tinge of pain in the voice.
I\'m sorry, young spirit.
I hoped to do some good. Nana caressed Lith\'s cheek gently.
Is the idiot taken care of
Permanently. Lith\'s tone was stone cold.
This is all on you, child. Nana was scolding Tista for the first time since she had started to work with her.
You can\'t always depend on me or your brother.
Being good and being stupid are two different things.
A mage as powerful as you acting as a damsel in distress is an affront to all those poor girls that are actually helpless.
If you had kicked his a*s earlier, none of this would have happened.
Far be it from me to put the blame on the victim, he was a lustful fool that would have died anyway, sooner or later, but you could have prevented things from escalating.
Why do you think your mother has my firewood axe Why do you think your brother was so furious You need to learn to stand up for yourself and fight your battles, otherwise someone else will and blood will be spilled anyway.
Tista blushed with shame, staring at the floor while fiddling with her hair.
Seeing her mother and brother react like that had been a shock for her.
Tista had never thought to be in real danger, she considered the whole village like her extended family.
When she had realized how aggressive Garth was and no one, not even Nana, had intervened, Tista had panicked, completely forgetting about chore magic.
Once back at home, the whole family, Rena included, first hugged Tista and after checking she was unscathed, they scolded her in turns until she started crying uncontrollably, forcing them to stop.
Dad, something feels off.
Our village was never full of saints and geniuses, but assaulting Tista in broad daylight is too much.
Also, our community is quite tight knitted, why no one did move a finger to help her Lith asked.
Raaz sighed, hiding his face in his hands.
It\'s actually my fault.
Now that all you kids are independent, and with the money you and Tista give to the family, I had the time and the resources to develop the family business.
Right now, our farm is Lutia\'s biggest.
No offence dad, but that\'s not a big deal.
How are the two things related
Because for a month now, rumors about an impending illness are becoming more and more frequent.
At the start people considered them just a bad joke, but over time they started panicking.
In times of crisis, only two things really matter: long lasting food for survival and weapons to protect yourself and the food.
The blacksmith, despite raising his prices, has sold out everything weeks ago.
While he is waiting for new supplies, people bring him their tools to turn them into weapons.
You can\'t rush food, though, nor make it appear out of thin air.
Our barn is filled to the brim, but unlike some of our neighbours, I refused to restrict supply and raise prices.
That angered those that hoped to profit off the mass hysteria and Renkin in particular.
He offered to buy supplies from me in bulk, to hide them away while waiting for their value to hit the roof and make a fortune.
My answer was always no.
First, because I\'m not so foolish to make money in the short term just to starve later.
Second, because I didn\'t want so many people, good people, that I know and have respect from years to become poor because I exploited their fears.
If the rumors turn out to be just rumors, half the village would have spent all their saving for nothing.
Lith whistled with admiration for his father\'s adamant morals, wondering if he would be capable of doing the same.
So, you are the reason why farmers and merchants cannot speculate on the food\'s price.
Because of that, some of our neighbours resent me.
They hoped to get rich by selling their provisions at inflated prices.
As for Renkin, when he understood I wouldn\'t budge, he sent his son to do the dirty work.
Rena is untouchable, being the blacksmith\'s daughter in law.
Gurid probably thought that you being away and with Tista\'s meek attitude, he could force his way into the family and change my mind.
Dad, you are a true hero.
I\'m proud of you Lith put his hand on Raaz\'s shoulder.
The Kingdom should award more people like you.
- And less like me. He inwardly added.
With your actions, you have saved countless lives from low-life vultures.
Those who resent you were never your friends in the first place, they were just snakes in the grass.
As for the others, they\'ll be grateful once they find out it was all a lie.
There is no such thing as an illness threatening the Kingdom.
- Not anymore. Solus giggled.
Really Are you sure Lith\'s words lifted a huge emotional burden from Raaz\'s conscience.
Of course I am.
Until this morning I was working as an assistant for Professor Marth at the White Griffon. He lied through his teeth so easily that it made him feel guilty.
Lith hated playing with their feelings, but it was the only way he had to keep them safe.
He had been tasked to verify these rumors and he personally told me there is nothing to worry about.
I can\'t wait to share the good news with the others!
Sorry to burst your bubble, but no one will believe you.
I am just a student and you are already considered a party po*per, do not make things worse.
Wait for the official announcement to be made before gloating.
Lith and his family spent the time until after lunch to make up for the lost time, forcing him to lie about everything that had happened to Lith in the last two weeks.
After the meal, he went to find Protector telling him the background behind Tista\'s harassment.
So it wasn\'t courting The male\'s father risked his own pup\'s life for pieces of metal Even in his human form, Ryman managed to snarl.
Humans sure have a talent for disappointment.
Never mind that, tell me how did you manage to change so much in less than three months.
- Yep, from Ry to humanoid and from a bright cyan mana core to a deep blue one is a huge step. Solus pointed out.
Soon after you left, a Scorpicore came to the Trawn woods.
She was looking for a Scourge and she had learned that it was the title of the king in the west.
She That thing, it\'s a female Lith was flabbergasted.
That\'s very rude of you. Ryman snorted.
Why \'it\' We are not things, we are living, intelligent beings, just like you, young pup.
She is stronger and older than us both and most importantly, wiser.
You should learn to respect your elders.
Sorry. Lith said lowering his eyes in embarrassment.
You know, when I talk to you I have always the impression of speaking with my magical godfather or something.
You always scold or lecture me.
Ryman laughed out loud.
Sorry, but after having sired more than fifty pups, being a father is second nature to me.
As I was saying, the Scorpicore could have demanded answers from me, instead she just asked.
She was stronger than me, but instead of stealing my territory she treated me with respect and courtesy, so I replied honestly.
Great! So she now knows where I live.
What did you tell her exactly
That you are not the monster she thought you were.
Just a broken and twisted pup searching for its purpose.
That\'s it Lith could not believe his ears.
Scarlett wanted to learn about you, to decide if you are a threat that needs to be put down or one of us.
I think you are safe now.
Lith didn\'t know whether to laugh or cry at the thought of having dodged a bullet he wasn\'t even aware of.
How the heck did that lead to you becoming humanoid
Ryman\'s eyes blinked in surprise.
I think that saving your life deserves at least a thank you.
I\'m sorry, again.
I\'m a rude jerk.
Thank you very much. Lith gave him a small bow.
What about your transformation
Humans and your curiosity. Ryman snorted, then proceeded to tell him the whole story.