Stay back! We have a Ballot! The leader screamed with a high pitched voice that was hard to believe it could come out of someone that big.
They never intended to pick on Lith, no matter what their orders were, it was just too dangerous.
After being discovered, they had no choice left though.
Lith wouldn\'t believe a word they said.
It was better taking a punch in the face than a knife in the back.
They were three against one and well prepared for the encounter.
They could only hope to scare him away.
- Do they
So far it\'s a bluff.
They only have some magic rings and alchemic tools.
No Ballot. Solus replied.
They had studied it for months.
She could recognize a Ballot\'s pseudo core from a mile away.
Really Lith sneered.
Did you incriminate yourselves by recording since you started following us Or are you going to activate it now Lith\'s voice was stone cold, a huge smile had appeared on his face, yet it contained no joy.
It was the smile of a predator closing in on a cornered prey.
A twitch in the left arm alarmed Solus.
- I stand corrected.
The one in the middle now holds a Ballot in the left hand.–
Thanks to her timely warning, Lith extended his right arm ripping the Ballot off his enemy\'s fingers with spirit magic before he could even activate it.
I said no recording devices! Lith engulfed the Ballot in a shroud of darkness, actually sending it in his pocket dimension.
He had no idea what kind of safety measures it could have and wasn\'t willing to take unnecessary risks.
Lith let the shroud disappear, revealing his now empty hand.
You have just destroyed an academy\'s property.
You are insane! Not only had they just lost their only ace in the hole, but seeing an artifact crumble like that brought the three to the verge of panic.
The leader of the group was Raynart Poltus.
His mother Duchess Poltus, a leading figure in the old noble faction and had a bone to pick with Jirni Ernas, Phloria\'s mother.
Ever since the end of the plague, the Poltus family was under the scrutiny of the Crown because of their deep ties with Coirn Hatorne, the fugitive alchemist believed to be responsible for creating the parasites and known for being a middleman for the major black market dealers.
During her inquiries, Lady Ernas had discovered that the Duchess\' brother was part of a slave trade.
Even if most of his victims were dead or missing, he had been found in possession of a new kind of slave collars that could be disguised as a necklace, a ring, or a bracelet.
It was by itself a capital crime, so no matter how powerful and influent the Poltus family was, he had been tortured until he had revealed all the names of his accomplices and then executed.
The event had been a disaster for the family.
Its members were now looked down on even by commoners and cut out from all the major social events.
The identity of the royal constable in charge of investigations was supposed to be a secret, but Duchess Poltus still had many informant and friends.
She wanted to give Lady Ernas a taste of her own medicine.
Her only daughter r*ped and branded as a sl*t was punishment enough in the Duchess\' eyes.
Without a Ballot, her son could have always claimed it was consensual s*x.
It would also help the noble faction\'s cause, forcing Linjos to take a side between the two families and putting himself in a lose-lose situation.
Siding with the Poltus meant making an enemy of the Crown, while siding with the Ernas was like admitting his own incompetence, adding the scandal to his long list of faults as Headmaster.
The lights\' flickering intensified, while a black fog seeped out of the shadows making the scene looked more and more like a nightmare by the second.
Raynart and his cousins wanted to run away, but for some reason their feet refused to move.
The previous warmth Lith had demonstrated earlier had disappeared, only the hunger remained.
The abyss inside him kept pouring out its hate, infecting the outer world.
Lith\'s killing intent reached a new peak, forcing the three on their knees with just a gentle push from spirit magic.
Albeit brief, the touch from those invisible hands made the three squeal in terror.
That was the side of Lith Solus was more scared of.
No matter how much love and affection he received, turning back into the same man that had abducted and tortured a young boy was as easy as flipping a switch for him.
What made things worse was that the more people he cared for, the more ruthless he would become.
Each light that entered his life would only make the darkness inside of him deeper.
Usually I don\'t give speeches, but for you I\'ll make an exception.
I need to send a message and you\'ll be the one delivering it.
Lith\'s hand squeezed Raynart\'s throat so hard that for a moment he thought his eyes were going to pop out of his skull.
Then the pressure lessened enough to let him breathe, but not enough to make it easy.
At the same time, spirit magic and wind magic pinned the other two on the ground, making them incapable of breathing as well.
The scene in front of Raynart\'s eyes almost made him faint.
Through their contact, he could see something that even Lith and Solus were unaware of.
A legion of hands made of shadows was gushing out of Lith\'s body.Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
Only a few were suppressing the three students, countless others stood still like snakes, ready to strike at any moment.
Spirit magic was invisible, yet for some reason Raynart was able to see its true form.
Countless eyes of all sizes and colors had materialized wherever light was absent, staring full of curiosity at the unfolding events.
The world was watching over its new toy, lured by the unbridled hate that had been offered to it.
It\'s already the second time today that someone tries to take away what\'s mine.
You can\'t imagine how angry I am right now. Lith used darkness magic to appear more terrifying and water magic to freeze the surrounding environment to scare them out of their wits.
He smirked noticing that the other two had already lost control of their bladders, drenching themselves in their own p*ss.
- These nobles, how can someone be so cowardly– Lith thought.
Only Raynart knew the truth.
Fueled by the world\'s will, the tendrils of darkness seeped into his cousins\' bodies from the nostrils, eyes, ears, and mouths, robbing them of their vitality.
The feeling they were experiencing was akin to being buried alive.
Lith lifted Raynart from the neck until their eyes were at the same height, sending him into panic.
Half of Lith\'s face was now covered by Raynart\'s shadow, assuming ghastly features.
Lith\'s eclipsed eye had become bright yellow with a vertical pupil, the mouth was lipless and full of fangs highlighted by an inner fire that seemed to be burning in his throat.
I don\'t care who sent you.
Tell Lukart or whoever it is behind this attack that these kids are mine and mine alone!
Lith sent a new wave of spirit magic on the two that were lying on the ground, bringing them closer.
He also clenched the hand around Raynart\'s throat making him incapable of breathing anymore.
Raynart could hear his voice and feel the lack of oxygen, but he couldn\'t avert his gaze from the darkness running under his cousins\' skin, whose eyes rolled backward while foaming at the mouth.
The next time I see one of you around them, even if I just smell you, I\'ll make your worst nightmare seem like a wet dream after what I\'ll do to you.
The other two had already fainted, so Lith could focus only on Raynart, alternating waves of darkness and light magic.
His skin would crumble, his life vessels collapse, just to be restored less than a second later.
On the outside, it was like nothing was happening, but Raynart felt pain like never before.
His whole body was constantly being destroyed and regenerated in a never ending cycle, yet it left no mark on him.
His mind and body collapsed in just a few seconds, unable to bear anymore that torture.
Lith left him alongside the other two, putting the Ballot in Raynart\'s hands before going to his room for a good night sleep.
The next morning, the canteen was lively again.
Everyone was discussing how three students had been found unconscious and hospitalized.
For some unknown reason, it was impossible to wake them up.
Normally no one would have cared, things like that happened all the time.
The reason a common event had piqued so much curiosity was that they weren\'t injured at all.
They even had a Ballot, but according to the Professors it had never been used.
I can\'t believe it happened just a few meters from my room and I didn\'t notice anything.
Maybe I could have helped them. Phloria was shocked by the news.
Yurial scoffed, telling to the rest of the group why no one cared about the fate of the Poltus family.
Either it was the consequence of an internal strife, to get rid of the rotten apples before the whole household collapse, or it was an act of vengeance from the relatives of their victims.
Those guys deserve no pity Phloria.
Lith couldn\'t care less about their background.
Even if they came from a family of saints, he would have done the same thing.
- No one touches my things, no matter the reason. He thought.
Solus sighed, wishing he stopped referring to them as objects instead of people.
I wonder why the two you didn\'t roughen up are still unconscious.
It has never happened before. It was the only part of the rumor that didn\'t make sense to her.
I don\'t know and honestly, I don\'t care.
Three guys following a single girl at night, knowing she has no Ballot.
It doesn\'t take a genius to put two and two together.–
Lith regretted deeply not having the opportunity to kill them for good, but he knew about the academy\'s security system that prevented deadly injuries.
It was the reason why he had used that torture technique.
It would leave the victim exhausted and mentally scarred, but the body would remain in perfect health.
After breakfast, the group split up for the morning activities.
Lith\'s group rounds of visits were uneventful, allowing them to make up for most of the time lost the day before.
They met back with Phloria for the first practical lesson of Magic Crystals.
After welcoming the students, Professor Nalear clapped her hands, making a crystalline mass as big as a melon appear on their desks along with what looked like a rune-inscribed wrench the size of a pen.
Normally, when people hear the words \'underground mine\' and \'extraction of minerals\' they think about rough men with a pickaxe, but for magic crystals it\'s the worst image possible.
Normal tools have no effect on mana crystals, no matter how strong you are or how hard is the metal.
Best case scenario, you can crack one and hope that the resulting explosion will not trigger a chain reaction making the whole mine collapse.
There is a reason why only a mage can become a Crystalsmith.
Nalear picked up the wrench-like tool from her own desk.
The students saw the runes lighting up one after the other until a small energy blade formed in the U shaped extremity.
Lith involuntarily quivered.
The phenomenon reminded him of the blade that had killed him during his second life.
He had never forgotten the pain of dying drowned in his own blood, gasping for air like a washed up fish.
- There\'s nothing to be scared of.
That thing is just the magical equivalent of a box cutter. Lith said to himself.
Extracting mana crystals doesn\'t require brute force, but finesse and technique.
First, all of you must learn how to power up a mana blade.
Pick up your own and hold it in the way that\'s more comfortable for you.
Some hold it like a carving knife, others like a scalpel.
Too many like it\'s a spoon.
That\'s the only wrong way to do it.
The class laughed, following Nalear\'s instructions.
It\'s very simple to use.
Inject it with your mana, like if you were trying to imprint it.
Many blades appeared, but none remained for more than a split second.
For those that didn\'t make it, just put some more effort.
Those who made it, keep it coming.
Mana blades can\'t be imprinted and need a constant flow of mana to function properly.
Lith noticed that he was the only one in the group with the mana blade turned off, so he corrected the situation.
By using Invigoration, he noticed there was no pseudo core, just mana pathways that redirected the mana into a physical form.
Well done everyone! Now put it down.
Our lesson has just begun, don\'t waste your energies.
You will need them in a while.
Lith powered on and off the blade a few times, appreciating the buzzing sound it produced while being activated or swung around.
- I wish I could say \'Yurial, I am your father\', but the reference would be lost in translation.– Lith sighed.