Lith took the bottle away and locked the cabinet.
He didn\'t want to risk for Yurial to go from one addiction to another.
At this point, you should have realized the meaning of what I told you after the second exam.
Life is like a crucible.
It pushes us until we break apart and then it melts the pieces to forge something new.
The mold is always the same, but the person that comes out it\'s not.
Our beliefs and our convictions are put to the test every day.
Some we keep, others we discard.
When it happens, a part of us dies, never to return.
You are not the same person you were when the academy started, just like you are not even the same person you were after passing the second exam.
It\'s the same for everyone.
My only choice is to embrace the change or keep mourning my past self as much as I mourn Protector.
I need my closure.
If I back away without even trying, I will regret it my whole life and sooner or later that weight is going to kill me.
I understand. Yurial replied.
I\'m the same.
I know that things can\'t go back to the way they were, but I can\'t accept my current situation either.
Unlike you, I have yet to find an answer.
I won\'t try to stop you anymore.
Is there anything I can do to help you
Actually, there are two things you can do.
The first is to stay the heck away from the liquor cabinet, the second is to not tell the girls that I\'m gone. Lith was back to his peak condition and had made up his mind.
\'I can\'t risk their lives for something like this.
I don\'t want to lose anyone else.\' He thought.
Lith was about to leave when Yurial stopped him by standing in front of the door.
I know that you could knock me down with a single punch, just like I know that you believe you are doing the right thing, but you are not.
This isn\'t protecting us.
This is casting us aside because you think of us as a weakness.
I\'m aware our friendship isn\'t that deep, we started talking for real only recently, but your relationship with Phloria should matter something to you.
If you run away behind her back, you\'ll betray her trust.
At least have the guts to tell her the truth.
Lith sighed, Yurial was right.
Man, bad habits die hard.
I was about to make the same mistake I always do.
Treating people like they are too weak or stupid for their will to matter.
Please, come with me outside.
Otherwise Phloria will kill me.
Lith let Yurial out of the dimensional tent first.
As he expected, Phloria was waiting for him outside.
When she saw the door opening, she was about to give Lith a piece of her mind.
Yet Yurial came out of it instead, leaving her surprised and relieved at the same time.
You know me well, don\'t you Lith said.
Let me guess.
You were about to sneak out and leave us in the dark.
Just like you did to your family for all those years. Phloria\'s calm didn\'t last long.
Not when she saw the determined look on his face.
Yes, I was.
Yurial already talked me out of it.
There is no need to scold me again.
Are you saying you are going back to the academy with us Phloria couldn\'t believe her ears.
I\'m sending you guys back, but only after explaining the situation to you.
Please, come inside.
Yurial, please, leave us alone.
Back into the boys\' tent, Lith cast the Hush spell.
He had no idea how the magic distorting the tent\'s space worked.
Lith wanted to be sure what he was about to say would remain between the two of them.
Spit it out, let me hear your excuse. Phloria refused to sit, leaning against the wall with her arms folded.
Lith saw her die many times in a short period of time.
Her face melted after being splashed by Clacker\'s poison, her head was bitten off by something, and lastly, her chest was pierced in multiple points while blood drenched her clothes.
All those visions didn\'t make him waver, they only strengthened his conviction.
No excuses, only the truth.
You have heard the dryad.
The mining town has probably been taken over by the Clackers.
Even remaining here it\'s too dangerous for you guys.
Use the emergency device and go back to the academy.
You\'ll be safe there.
Why should it be any different for you Why don\'t you come back with us There\'s no reason to risk your life for a corpse.
If the dryad is right, the Clackers have probably feasted on it already.
Lith felt his rage seethe at the thought, but he managed to suppress it.
It\'s different because I am different from you guys.
You have seen me in action.
I am faster and stronger than any of you.
While I was underground, I killed two of those giant Clackers, while you only took care of the one I served you on a silver platter.
Since when is this a contest Phloria retorted.
She was determined to not back down.
I\'m only saying that it\'s much easier for me to go in and out of the mining town alone.
I promise you I\'m not going to risk my life meaninglessly.
If the place is infested with Clackers and the situation turns out to be too dangerous, I\'ll run away.
I have to at least try.
I need to see Protector one last time, even if it\'s just an empty grave or an egg infested corpse.
He is… was my best friend, my mentor, my partner.
When he died, I was so conceited and self absorbed I never got to tell him goodbye.
I owe him that much.
Phloria saw Lith blink too often for it to be normal.
She knew he had still a hard time fighting off Death Vision and how painful it was for him seeing his loved ones dying again and again.
\'I don\'t want him to go, I want him to be safe.
Yet maybe going there can help Lith overcoming his trauma.
I can\'t live with the thought of being even partially responsible for his continuous suffering.
I hope that Raaz is right and letting him go is the right thing to do.\'
Fine, but I can\'t let you leave just like this. She took out a bastard sword from her dimensional amulet.
It resembled a longsword with a blade 110 centimeters (3,6 feet) long, but the hilt was longer, allowing the wielder to use it with one hand or both according to the circumstances.
It had four blue magical crystals embedded, one on each side of the blade and the other two on each side of the hilt.
This was supposed to be your birthday present.
I asked my father to forge something for you as a thank you gift for saving my life time and time again.
You should have seen his face back then. She chuckled.
He reacted like I was asking him to cut his own right hand.
After I told him all that happened during Balkor\'s attack and when my mom and sisters backed me, he gave in.
I explained to him that you are not very skilled yet incredibly strong, so he made this sword.
It\'s the first and for now the only piece of his Gatekeeper series of blades.
Not only it can shrink, just like mine, allowing the wielder to fight in enclosed spaces, but it also can enhance the strength of all elements channeled into the sword.
Each element produces a different effect. She handed it to Lith, who immediately imprinted it with his mana while performing a few practice swings.
\'Does it mean this weapon has fusion magic too\' Lith was amazed by how light the sword was.
It was the first time for him to see a weapon made by Orion with a double edge instead of a single one.
Since you refuse to listen to reason, I\'ll borrow it to you.
You have to give it back, though.
It\'s not yours until your thirteenth birthday, am I clear
Lith nodded, putting the sword away.
Look at the bright side. He smiled softly, caressing her cheek.
I\'ll return to the academy in less than an hour.
After that, since we are not going to stay in this stinking forest one minute longer, I can take you out to a proper date.
Lith flew out of the door and into the sky, without waiting for her reply.
Once he was high enough, he didn\'t need the map to find the way.
Yet he didn\'t rush forward.
He took his time to conjure and manipulate a low altitude cloud to hide his approach.
\'This Brood Mother is likely to be an Awakened one.
Otherwise it shouldn\'t be able to order around Clackers capable of using magic.
If she keeps an eye at the sky with Life Vision or something similar, my disguise is useless.
Luckily, there\'s more than one way to kill a spider.\' Lith thought.
He hoped that no Clacker would mind a small cloud two kilometers high in the sky that moved along the wind.
When he was right above the mining town, he looked below with Life Vision.
Lith discovered that all the houses had lost their enchantments, whatever the Headmaster had done to them, was only temporary.
There were multiple life forms, but judging from their numbers and strength there was nothing that could worry him much.
He kept moving the cloud until he arrived at a point where, if he moved fast enough, he could descend to the ground without being noticed.
Lith plunged down like a meteor, using the slipstream effect to accelerate his movements and a thin layer of darkness magic to hide his presence.
Before leaving the academy, he had asked to Linjos what had happened to the corpses of the fallen beasts.
Contrary to his expectations, instead of punishing or reprimanding him for his behavior while they were at Protector\'s deathbed, the Headmaster simply informed him that Scarlett had buried them in a mass grave near the forest.
Linjos never intended to punish Lith for his words.
He too had lost many friends that day, so he could understand Lith\'s feelings.
Also, when Linjos saw his condition after the failed attempt to save Protector\'s life, he considered the case closed.
In Linjos\'s eyes, losing a dear friend and almost his own life on the same day was the worse punishment someone could ever deserve.
Lith stopped his fall just a few meters from the ground.
Then, he moved while floating mid air, to not make any noise.
Thanks to air and darkness magic, he was like a ghost, moving unnoticed behind the enemy lines.
He also made sure to always keep a house between himself and the nearest Clacker.
\'After the last time, I learned my lesson.
These creatures do not rely much on their eyes as much as on their bristles.
Air magic cannot hide my movements.
I can only stay as far as possible from them and hope it\'s enough.\'Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
Thanks to Life Vision, he could soon make sure that only Hatchling Clackers were inside the mining town.
He found no sign of the presence of Soldiers or of the Brood Mother.
The closer he got to the mass grave, the greater the number of Clackers he met, until he reached a point where moving forward while remaining undetected became impossible.
Lith took out the bastard sword, infusing it with darkness magic.
Instead of butchering his way to the grave, he proceeded slowly, ambushing the nearest Clacker and hiding its corpse in the pocket dimension to not leave traces behind.
Lith repeated the process until he had a clear path ahead.
Before moving forward, he weaved several spells, preparing for the worse.
Soon he was close enough to notice that the mass grave had been unearthed and enlarged.
While looking at it with Life Vision, it appeared like a huge pool of life forces, too close and numerous to distinguish one from the other.
\'If the dryad is right and the Brood Mother turned the corpses into incubators, it\'s unlikely she has left such a precious asset unprotected.\' Lith sprinted the last hundred meters, flying to the destination.
He had no idea how sensitive Clackers\' perception was, but he was pretty sure they would notice him as soon as he got too close.
He was right.
Lith was nearing the edge of the grave when he saw the front legs of two Soldier Clackers climbing out of the pit to check on the approaching anomaly they perceived.
Lith was too fast for them.
He managed to close in before their heads emerged completely and attacked them while they were still defenseless.
Lith cut them down with a single slash each, jumping over the edge and taking by surprise the two remaining Soldiers.
The first one died before realizing what had happened.
Lith cleaved its head while unleashing several ice spears against the last enemy.
Despite the shock, the Soldier managed to deflect most of the spears with true magic.
The Clacker was pierced multiple times, losing half of its legs in the process, but before the intruder could strike him down, it managed to sound the alarm.
By disregarding its own safety, the creature used the last strand of mana it had to strike the ground in a precise sequence, to alert his goddess of the impending threat to the colony.