Despite being calm and composed, the Queen\'s voice echoed throughout the whole Ballroom thanks to both its perfect acoustics and a little air magic spell she added to make sure all eyes were on her victim.
Her Majesty is right, Kallion. Phloria smiled warmly while hugging his arm, pretending that as his girlfriend she believed in his skills and words.
You always tell me that back when you graduated from the academy, people called you \'the Lith of the Fire Griffon\'.
This is the perfect occasion to show both my family and the Royals what you are capable of.
Cold sweat ran down Kallion\'s spine as cruel remarks filled the room.
What an idiot to blatantly slander the Camellia again after the Queen praised it. Said a Duchess well aware that the fan she was using to cover her mouth couldn\'t muffle her voice at all.
He\'s worse than an idiot. Said another noble dame that despite her human appearance Solus recognized as an undead from her blood core.
There\'s no glory being called \'the Lith of the Fire Griffon\'.
It means he is still considered inferior to the original, otherwise they would call Lith \'the Kallion of the White Griffon.\'.
In his shoes, I wouldn\'t flaunt such a title.
Lith dissipated the illusion he had created with a snap of his finger, turning the fairy tale lake back into a luxurious but ordinary ballroom.
How many first magic spells did you weave together, Great Mage Verhen Queen Sylpha emphasized every syllable of Lith\'s title.
Fifteen, Your Majesty. His words caused a small uproar among the guests, but Sylpha only needed to raise her hand to make the room silent again.
The Crown praises your skill and relentless practice.
A mage\'s worth can be measured by the number of spells they can cast.
Anything else is just empty air.
She turned towards Kallion, her gaze lost any trace of benevolence.
Mage Nuragor, prove your worth.
Kallion barely held in the hatred he felt when he noticed that Phloria was still smiling despite his evident distress.
\'I hoped she had changed her mind about me, but that witch was only digging me a deeper grave!\' He thought while taking a few deep breaths to calm down and focus his mind.
He hadn\'t lied about his title back at the academy, Kallion simply had never understood the implications of being compared to someone rather than being the benchmark.
Darkness spread from his body, making the room become pitch black.
Only after several attempts did he manage to make the shadows fade enough to see further than his own nose.
He then conjured a thin layer of water that drenched everyone\'s shoes and gowns, making many curse his incompetence.
After that, a thick fog appeared, which made the air humid and sticky.
This seems more like a marsh than a lake. King Meron grunted as he used air magic to find some relief.
The laughs following his remark made Kallion lose focus, so that when he tried to imitate starlight, his light and darkness spells canceled each other.
I\'m not going to judge until I see the final result.
I counted four spells, so you still have eleven to go. Sylpha never averted her gaze, making him feel the full weight of her disdain.
Kallion did his best, but like most mages, he had always considered first magic irrelevant compared to tier five spells.
His attempt to use a fifth spell while he still had to keep active and balance the other four made them all disappear at once.
A second and third attempt only resulted in more blatant failures and further humiliation.
At every iteration, he was more tired and angry, until he couldn\'t take it anymore.
I can\'t do it, Your Majesty.
Four is my limit. Kallion fell to his knees incapable of looking the Royals or his peers in the eyes.
Four The Queen echoed the word like it was an insult.
Isn\'t first magic just a cheap trick Isn\'t Great Mage Verhen just a maker of trinkets How dare you belittle others when you\'re not even able to wield more than four spells at once
I can wield far more than four! Kallion raised his head and hands, conjuring eight different elemental effects on his fingers.
Eight would be great if those were not unlinked spells and all the size of a pinhole.
Can you at least do this A Silverwing\'s Hexagram the size of a handkerchief appeared above Sylpha\'s palm.
It was the impossible array that had earned Lith his admission with honors at the White Griffon academy when he was still twelve.
Kallion and all of those presents understood the question underlying the Queen\'s words.
No. Kallion shook his head without even giving it a try.
His spirit was already broken.
Since another humiliation was unavoidable, he decided to make it last as little as possible.
So much for the \'Lith of the Fire Griffon\'. Sylpha turned her back to him.
We\'ve already lost too much time.
Great Mage Verhen, it\'s your turn again.
Lith had devised many ways to humiliate Kallion further, but since everyone was already kicking him while he was down, any more could have turned the spite into pity, so Lith only did as instructed.
While Orion and Jirni opened the ball by dancing the first waltz alone, Solus warned Lith about her discoveries.
\'I\'ve detected four undead and one Awakened among the guests.\'
\'Is Kaelan among them\' The vampire from Othre was the first one who came to Lith\'s mind.
He discarded the idea immediately, since attacking him in front of so many powerful mages was worse than suicidal.
Both the King and the Queen had purple mana cores and many members of the house staff were actually elite warriors in disguise.
\'No.\' Solus replied.
\'I don\'t think they are here together, nor that they have an agenda.
All they\'ve done so far is mingle and gossip.
I think they are just here to enjoy the gala.\'
\'Any idea what kind of undead we\'re talking about\' Lith asked while the Royals joined the dance, quickly followed by the others.
All I can say is that the undead duchess from earlier is the strongest among the four.
The other three are nothing compared to her.\'
\'What about the Awakened\' Lith and Kamila joined the dance too, forcing him to add his own feet to the already long list of things he had to focus on.
\'A woman in her mid twenties, but she could actually be much older.
Blue mana core, so her magic should be a bit stronger than yours, but her physical prowess is inferior to yours.
\'I wonder why all the Awakened we meet have this trait in common.\' Solus pondered.
\'Probably because I Awakened at birth.
Even if they were born with better mana cores than mine, my body has been refined while it developed whereas theirs need to slowly adapt.\'
Are you sure you can afford to dance Kamila\'s worried voice interrupted their mind link.
Keeping so many spells active at once must be excruciating.
I\'ve never seen you with such a stern expression. She wasn\'t far from the truth.
Lith could either speak with Solus or with her, he didn\'t have the strength to do both.