In the end, Lith was the one who got the short end of the stick.
The new Quylla was a pocket sized bulldozer, while Friya and Yurial could always ask the other two for a second opinion whenever they had a doubt.
Lith, instead, had to smile more than he had ever done his whole life while listening to idiotic questions and worries.
He was forced to reply without sarcasm or spicing his answers up with insults like he was used to back in Lutia.
He still managed to do it, thanks to Solus\' help, his companions\' constantly worried looks and the occasional friendly nudge in the ribs.
The rest of the morning was uneventful.
They checked off over half the list and had time to spare.
Their next destination was House Seket, in the uptown district of the city of Lorion.
I was thinking that if we manage to finish our rounds early, we could actually come back and have lunch here.
I heard that Lorion\'s salmon mousse is to die for.
My treat. Yurial said.
Great idea! Let\'s get Phloria too, though.
It would be sad for her to have to eat alone at the academy. Friya agreed, purposely adding fuel to the fire.
It would be too sad. Quylla echoed, while she kept getting knots in her stomach.
Not a big fan of fish.
Do they have some good meat Lith\'s mouth and brain seemed to be disconnected.
Even before finishing his sentence, he was already cursing at himself, waiting for Solus to scold him again.
Then, a Warden array appeared out of nowhere under their feet, Warping them away.
What the heck just happened The Queen\'s corps unit that was assigned to the group as a detail was shocked.
Half of them were undercover, following them closely, while the other half would scout the group\'s more likely routes to check for dangers.
Every student of the academy was considered an invaluable asset and the future backbone of the Kingdom.
Knowing there was at least one traitor in the academy, Linjos had assigned a detail to every group without notifying anyone but the Queen.
Yet his precautions proved to not be enough.
The squad was composed only of veterans, so they immediately contacted their commanding officer and requested back up, searching for their targets at the same time.
Where are they The captain asked the unit\'s Warden.
Linjos\' paranoia was finally paying off.
In case something like this happened, he had the uniforms imbued with a powerful tracking spell that could be remotely activated.
The good news is that I have their position.
The enemies have taken them quite far, but Linjos has spared no effort in those trackers.
Four of them together produce a signal so strong that we could pinpoint them even at half a county of distance.
He\'s not here, stop blowing smoke up Linjos\' a*s and give me the bad news. The captain roared.
They are a few kilometres away.
Unless one of us is familiar with the outskirts of the city, it will take a while to get there even at full speed.
Our enemies spared no effort too. The Warden sighed.
Damn! Let\'s hope they can hold on long enough.
Otherwise the Queen will have our heads.
The moment the Warping array activated, Lith and Solus prepared for battle.
The rest of the group was panicking, trying to make heads or tails out of their situation.
Ambush! Get ready to run! Lith yelled, fearing he had just walked into a trap similar to the one used to kill Captain Velagros (*) and his unit.
He immediately conjured several spells at once, activating both Life Vision and mana sense.
He wouldn\'t let any array or enemy take him by surprise again.
His companions were scared, but Lith\'s warning made them regain their cool and become wary of their new surroundings.
They had been transported to the slums of the city, in the middle of a back alley.
The stench coming from the open sewers was enough to make them puke, but fear kept them focused.
- No arrays- Lith was pleasantly surprised, failing to remember that the previous ambush had been tailored for an elite military unit, not for a bunch of teenagers.
Yet he couldn\'t relax, there were too many life forces nearby and he had no idea who was a real hobo and who was just pretending.
Suddenly, a shadow jumped from behind a heap of garbage into the middle of the group.
His dirty, raggedy clothes and some makeup made the man look like a beggar, but his curved blade aiming at Yurial\'s throat told a different story.
Yurial! Friya screamed, making her hands fumble the signs necessary to save him from death with a timely Blink.
The green radiance of enchanted steel, a splash of blood.
It was all that it took for the cleanly cut head to hit the ground with a thud, rolling in the middle of the group with an expression still filled with fear stamped on its face.
I never understood why you guys never cauterized the enemies\' wounds during the exam.
There\'s never a reason to make a bloody mess.
Lith had appeared out of nowhere right in front of Yurial.
His left hand was clenching the corpse\'s crushed right wrist while the right one was open and covered by a layer of ice that made it razor sharp.
The battle experience of the group of assassins was first class, but they were no Talons.
No one had told them about the Queen\'s corps involvement, so when they noticed the detail protecting the kids, they had been forced to improvise.Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click for visiting.
The Warp array was a last minute trick, to bring the target to a secluded place they were familiar with.
It implied they had no opportunity to prepare the field in advance, since their Warden had to stay behind to cast the Warp array at the right moment.
A man placing magical stones in the middle of the road of one of the most exclusive districts of Lorion was beyond suspicious.
The residents would have called the guards faster than if they had painted with blood the word Murder on a wall.
They had no idea their opponent was the Queen\'s corps, otherwise they would have long fled.
With so many unforeseen problems the mission was already a disaster, yet it managed to get even worse.
As soon as they moved toward the target, some of Lith\'s rings glowed, releasing several fireballs aimed at them.
They exploded beside or above the assassins\' hiding spots, engulfing them in flames that would have been lethal if not for their enchanted protections.
How the heck does he know where we are The leader screamed in his communication earpiece, having become temporarily deaf due to the explosion.
It\'s almost like he can see us!
- I actually do. Lith thought with a wolfish smile on his face.
Let\'s see if they like this.–
Lith shot another round of fireballs, this time high in the sky.
Oh gods, why The assassins\' leader was on the verge of tears.
The key to a job well done was to be quick and go unnoticed.
With so many fireballs flying around it was just a matter of time before the city guards and the Mage Association swarmed the place.
I could use a little help, here. Lith said while shooting down whoever ran towards them instead of away from them.
Yurial stopped staring at the head laying at his feet, remembering who he was and who he was meant to become.
Friya, protect me! I\'m clearly the target of the attempt.
Quylla, keep the flames under control! This may be a sh*thole, but there are people living here and they need our protection.
Lith… His brain froze for a split second.
What kind of advice could he possibly give to someone that moved faster than his eyes could see and capable of attacking fiercely like a divine punishment
- I literally meant to help me, not to do damage control. Lith thought, surprised by Yurial\'s care for the residents.
The more spell they cast, the less people will be able to understand who did what. -
You just focus on those b*stards, I\'ll cover your back! If there was something that Yurial had learned from Lith\'s negative attitude, fueled by his unbridled paranoia, was to always expect the worst.
Hence Yurial started to conjure the faster arrays of his repertoire in case something went wrong.
Less than ten seconds had passed since the activation of the Warp array, and most of the assassins were already dead or gravely injured.
- F*ck! If I leave even one of my men behind, my identity will be exposed.
A royal constable\'s tortures can even make you remember how much milk you drank as a newborn.
I can only kill my way out of here.– The leader thought.
Code black! Repeat code black! We sink or swim here, boys! He yelled in his earpiece.
The remaining assassins quickly gulped down all the enhancing potions they had, even those with dangerous side effects.
While their leader bravely charged forward, they ran away as one, scattering in all directions.
Their only wish was to see another day as free men.
No amount of money was worth their lives.
The leader was now empowered by top tier Hatorne (*) potions, that turned him into a one man army.
He easily dodged the barrage of incoming spells.
To his eyes the world was now moving in slow motion.
He had never felt so powerful in his whole life.
The first target was the rugrat that had ruined their ambush.
Years of experience in the field had honed his instinct.
The other three were like mages riding on the back of a dragon, his sword had no chance to reach them without slaying the beast first.
Seeing his mana was going to waste, Lith interrupted his casting, projecting instead a shroud of spirit magic that engulfed the assassin and squeezed him like a wet rug.
The leader noticed something was attempting to restrain him, but he shrugged off the feeling with sheer force.
- F*ck! Lith thought.
Whatever this guy is high on, has effects so similar to fusion magic that the mana flowing in his body counters my spirit magic.
Time for plan B.–
Lith infused himself with all the elements at once with fusion magic.
The assassin executed several feints, using footwork to make his real target unpredictable.
Between the high speed movements and the abysmal gap in technique, Lith was left in a daze.
He was still physically superior, but thanks to the potions the assassin was able to use the advantage coming from his combat skills to put Lith on the defensive.
The sword struck Lith several times, piercing both the uniform and his magically hardened skin.
Lith had managed to avoid or block all the slashes aimed to his vitals, but it came at a price.
His arms and legs were full of cuts, some even deep enough to bleed profusely.
Do you see it, men If he bleeds, we can kill it!
From their short exchange the leader had partially regained his confidence.
The rugrat was a monster, but still an untrained civilian.
Now that he had managed to stop the little monster from raining death from above by putting his life on the line, his teammates could safely join the battle.
It was only a matter of seconds before they surrounded the rugrat and killed him with their teamwork.
- Any moment now.– The leader stopped his attacks to catch his breath, taking a quick look over his shoulder to check the situation.
Only then he realized no one was coming to his help.
Lith exploited that pause to use Invigoration, making his wounds close with a speed visible to the naked eye and sending the assassin further into panic.
He immediately resumed his attack, discovering that little by little the monster was getting used to his pattern.
I still need help, here! Lith yelled after noticing his opponent\'s distress.
Yurial racked his brain to find a way to help him, but they were moving too fast.
If they attacked without a plan, the enemy could exploit their spells turning Lith into a human shield.
Their opponent was the one with a clear line of sight, while their friend was unaware of their actions.
The only silver lining was that he had already finished placing the first array, so he was able to talk again.
Quylla, attack on Lith\'s right side.
Friya, same on the left.
Lith, push forward. Yurial yelled.
F*ck, no! The assassin moaned.