After witnessing the events leading to the destruction of the Black Star, Tyris decided that her meeting with the anomaly was long overdue.
She had pondered if to wait for him outside Kaduria, but she decided against it.
Explaining how she had got there and how much she had witnessed would require a long-winded explanation about her role as a Guardian to avoid a useless struggle.
She knew enough about Lith to predict that he would attempt to silence her forever if he thought she had discovered his nature as Awakened.
Guardians didn\'t hide their existence.
Everyone in the Gorgon Empire knew about the massive dragon sleeping in the throne room and Salaark was an even lesser example of discretion.
Her rampages against the enemies of the Blood Desert were legendary.
She would change to one form to another, leaving any witness awestruck.
Yet Tyris preferred a subtler approach, to prevent Lith\'s paranoia from destroying any chance of a friendly relationship.
She had joined the King to introduce herself as a member of the Royal family and not arouse Lith\'s suspicions.
Even the handshake was a probe.
Soul Vision, the Guardians\' version of Life Vision, had its limits.
She exploited the physical contact to employ Mother Earth, her Invigoration technique, to better understand the nature of the anomaly.
The results piqued Tyris\'s interest for several reasons.
She was mildly surprised by Lith\'s distant behavior.
Tyris was used to make quite an impression at the first meeting.
The real shocker was the readings from Mother Earth, though.
Right where his heart was supposed to be, Lith\'s life force was cracked.
To a casual observer, it would look like the aftermath of his foolish attempt to repair a mana core.
Yet she knew better.
Lith\'s efforts to save Protector had cost him almost half of his lifespan yet it had simply brought to the surface something that was already there.
The crack ran deep underneath his life force like an invisible bloodstream.
It was made of deep-seated pain and grieving, which poisoned his very being.
Tyris had met countless broken men, so it wasn\'t a surprise to her.
The fact that the crack oozed death puzzled her quite a bit and so did noticing how the permanent loss of life force had extended the damage up to his eyes through rifts as small as hairlines.
How energies typical of death could surge from a living being made no sense even to her.
The second and most astounding revelation was the presence of a second life force well hidden in the background.
It looked like a black sphere that sealed at its core a small star.
The star, in turn, emitted violent waves of energy that harmlessly crashed against the sphere.
Tyris had never seen anything like that.
\'I guess it\'s better to consult an expert.\' She thought.
I wanted to personally congratulate you on your latest success, Ranger Verhen. She said with a smile that made the two high ranked officials wish they were young again.
Yet, this committee has been assembled to review your work and determine if your actions brought more harm than benefit to the Griffon Kingdom.
Exactly. Morn said with a reprimanding tone.
You were given a simple task: to preserve a centuries-long equilibrium that has kept the country safe from unspeakable horrors.
Thank the gods your hero stunt ended well, but luck is a fickle mistress.
Your lack of judgment endangered us all. Lith didn\'t miss how the General sneaked a look at the Constable, looking for her approval.
\'What a pig.
He is old enough to be her father.\' Solus thought in disgust.
What matters is that so far everything is within our expectations.\' Lith inwardly sighed in relief.
To Lith, the King said :Let\'s not rush our judgment.
Ranger Verhen, tell us everything that happened during your stay in Kaduria.
Lith told them about his arrival in front of the barrier surrounding the city and how he had witnessed the horrors of the shadow phase.
He avoided dramatic descriptions, sticking to the facts instead.
Lith explained how he had followed the procedure of slaughtering the Kadurians during the light phase and then decided to experiment on the Shadows during the next cycle.
The recount of how he learned the lost Kadurian language left those present speechless.
That\'s what I was talking about. Morn grunted.
You are not a mage of the academy anymore, you are a Ranger in the army.
You were supposed to follow orders, not conduct some crazy research.
I\'m a mage and a Ranger. Lith rebuked pretending to be indignant.
You can\'t have one without the other.
As you know, if I was interested in blindly following orders, I would have accepted your other proposal.
Lith had been offered a job as a black ops soldier, which he had turned down.
The King nodded, prompting him to continue.
I became a Ranger to further my studies.
The lost cities hold priceless knowledge that can be used for good.
I bet you are aware of the tomes I have been consulting.
I need the army\'s resources as much as the army needs me to clean up messes like Kaduria.
Since you are the one who introduced the topic, let\'s talk about your readings. The General leaned forward with a menacing expression.
Why are you researching forbidden magic It could be considered an act of treason by itself.
Because I\'m a Healer.
As such, my aim is to find a cure for all diseases.
Including the one afflicting me. Lith lowered his gaze, as if he was haunted by a painful memory.
You have attended the White Griffon for four years.
Are you saying you suffer from a condition not even Manohar could fix Morn was surprised by the revelation, yet he was unwilling to believe in such a convenient turn of events.
Your Majesty, do you know the Scanner spell When the King nodded, Lith offered him his arm to examine it.
The King cast the spell and found the same crack Tyris had noticed earlier.
Good gods. The King turned pale.
How did it happen
It\'s the price I had to pay to defend my friends from the Valor during Balkor\'s attack. Lith lied through his teeth.
If they wanted a tragic hero, he would give them one.
My life force is crippled.
I don\'t regret what I did, yet I also refuse to give up on a normal life.
My goal is to find a cure for all those who fell victims of forbidden magic, and only by studying the disease you can learn how to fight it.
Please, continue your report. The King was worried about all the plans the Crown still had in store for Lith.
Suddenly there was less time than he had hoped for.
Lith then told them how by learning the Kadurian he was able to communicate with the cleric of the High Sun who had helped him to defeat both the Black Star and the foreigner that had come to free the cursed object from its cage.
You see, this is the part of your report that I find really hard to believe and I\'m not the only one in the army. The General tapped the table with his forefinger to emphasize his lack of trust.
A mysterious stranger forced your hand.
Do you have any proof to back your claim
Is this proof enough for you Lith took out Treius\'s head from his pocket dimension, placing it on the table while it was still dripping fresh blood.