Before leaving the Mage Association, Lith collected the money they owed him for treating the people wounded during the last accident.
It wouldn\'t surprise me if he was writing his last will right now.
Your acting skills are impressive.\' Solus chuckled.
\'Because most of what I said is true.
I don\'t care about their problem and unless I get properly compensated, I\'ll find a way to get even with them.
The moment the Commander ordered me to listen rather than to do something, I knew something big was going on.
\'What I didn\'t expect was that they would drag Tista in this mess to force my hand.
I tried twisting their arm to get a juicy reward and ended up with my own arm twisted.
Whoever is behind this is going to owe me big time.\' Lith replied.
\'Dorian is just a mage, he hasn\'t the power to pull off a stunt like this.
He is just obeying orders and it\'s the one pulling his strings I\'m after.\' Lith came out of the building and called his sister.
Where are you
Good morning to you too, lil brother. Tista replied with a radiant smile, ignoring his cold tone.
I\'ve just reached your hotel.
Your room is really nice.
I was expecting you would sleep in a hostel to save money and you picked a suite instead.
The trip to Othre must have been a nightmare.
And thanks to you the stay isn\'t looking good either.
I\'ll be there shortly. He took off and reached the Swan\'s Song less than a minute later.
The moment he stepped inside, Lith was welcomed by a familiar vibe.
Envy mixed with hostility.
Tista. Lith said with a sigh.
Whenever they traveled together, she drew a lot of attention on herself and turned most men in Lith\'s sworn enemies.
The fact she introduced herself with his same last name without ever saying she was his sister added fuel to the fire.
Even the half pint receptionist at the front desk was outraged enough to glare at him.
Lith went upstairs and found the Do not disturb tag hanging off the doorknob.
He was about to knock, just to be safe, when a voice inside said:
Come on in!
Tista ran to him and hugged him tightly.
Lith returned it for a second before pushing her gently away.
I missed you, big sis.
I missed you too, lil brother.
Why the angry voice earlier She asked with a curious tone.
First things first, how did you get in here
As usual. She shrugged.
I told the receptionist I\'m with you and I showed him my ID.
The one with my family crest and name Now everyone will think we\'re married. He sat on the nearest sofa like a deadweight.
That was the plan.
I\'ve yet to find a creep or a wannabe playboy that dares to bother me after seeing you. She chuckled.
Fine! Now would you like to explain to me how could you let yourself be dragged in whatever is happening here
You really don\'t know how grave the situation is Tista was stunned.
I don\'t care about the situation.
Well, you should! We took an oath as Healers and even if they are just fancy words to you, they mean a lot to me.
After all I went through as a child, I can\'t stay idle while people suffer. Tista was angry at his indifference, she wanted him to be better than this.
They fooled you to get my help.
There isn\'t nothing noble in letting yourself being manipulated so easily. He replied with a snort.
How stupid do you think I am I knew what the Association was after the moment they mentioned the city of Othre.
Then why did you accept Lith steepled his fingers with a look that made her feel like she was his student again.
For several reasons.
After I received their offer, I contacted one of my classmates that lives here.
He confirmed everything Mage Wren, my recruiter, told me.
The city is on the verge of chaos.
Every day, odd corpses are found lying around all the three rims.
A lot of people have disappeared and no one knows what happened to them.
Last, but not least, rogue mages no one have ever heard about are pillaging Othre.
The Association has managed to keep things under control only because the Warp Gate allows for backup to arrive instantly when needed.
But if whatever is happening here spreads through the merchants back to their cities, once winter begins no one will be able to help them until it\'s too late.
So Lith didn\'t bother to hide how underwhelmed he was.
So, I decided I could do some good and make it worth my while.
By accepting I got the chance to work together with two of the most brilliant minds of the Kingdom, one of whom happens to be my always missing brother, and to join the Mage Association.
Two birds with one stone.
Wait, I had to teach for two years at the White Griffon to join.
Are they really that desperate Lith had no need for merits, but maybe he could force the Association to pay him in magical resources.
Yes. Tista nodded.
I also consulted Professor Vastor before making my demands.
According to him, Archmage Kwart, the current Chairman, has led the Association to the brink of extinction.
He needs a big win to stay afloat and he needs it badly.
A ravenous smile appeared on Lith\'s face.
He didn\'t like the hand he had been dealt, nor the game he was been forced to play.
The pot, though, looked more alluring by the second.
Army\'s Headquarters, city of Belius.
Commander Berion, Lith\'s commanding officer and sponsor in the army, had just been reminded how dangerous it was to underestimate a cornered prey.
\'I should have never allowed Ranger Verhen to listen to their demands.
General Morn Griffon is already out for my blood, I can\'t let more members of the High Command turn their back on me.
It would be the end of my career.\' He thought.
The army\'s upper echelons were already celebrating the Association\'s funeral when Archmage Kwart had thrown a monkey wrench into their plans.
They were sure Lith would refuse.
The Association had nothing to offer him and he wasn\'t the kind of man to work out of the goodness of his heart.
No one expected Kwart would manage to recruit Manohar, nor Tista Verhen.
If Kwart\'s ploy succeeded, Berion would be held accountable for that.
Controlling the Association would mean for the army to gain authority over the noble system and change the criteria to assign a title and the lands that came with it.
The game had yet to begin, but he was already on his back foot.
Two of the major players were outside his reach and according to their deal, Lith would be considered belonging to both factions.
He was in desperate need to do damage control.
Excuse me, Sir.
First Lieutenant Kamila Yehval has arrived. His secretary announced through the amulet.
Let her in.
Kamila\'s relationship with Lith wasn\'t a secret, nor it was the fact that the only one Lith was loyal to was himself.
Berion knew that his poor decision had left himself exposed.
She was his only chance to tip the scale in his favor.