Professor Vastor was true to his word, he brought them to the hospital\'s Intensive Care Unit (ICU), and asked them in turns to diagnose the nature of the patients\' condition.
Vastor would take notes about their answers, to confront them with the charts.
He wasn\'t allowed to gave them scores on their first day, but he didn\'t hesitate to harshly reprimand those who missed any detail, humiliating them in front of the class.
Because of the nature of the task, the class was split into two groups, right after each one of them had examined their first patient.
The following rounds allowed Vastor to further split the groups based on the students\' degree of expertise.
In the first group, belonged those who had chosen the Master healer specialization, lured by the prestige the title implied.
Yet they lacked either any experience in the healer practice or the resources to have a proper tutor to make up for it.
Vastor was immediately able to spot them, since they were only able to use Vinire Rad Tu, the ubiquitous tier one diagnostic spell.
In the second group, instead, there were snob face, edgy face, young miss, Yurial and all those who had at their disposal a diagnostic personal spell or even more than one.
Much to his surprise, the archmage\'s son Yurial was equalled in talent and precision by the snob faced girl, while the young miss and the edgy faced kid ran circles around even them, standing out like hawks among crows.
Especially edgy face had proven to be capable of finding minor details, that even the academy\'s Master healers had missed in their diagnosis.
It was nothing big, but he was also able to suggest ways to improve their prognosis, hastening the healing process.
Vastor hadn\'t arrived at his age and social standing by letting something insignificant, like his personal prejudices or preferences, stand in the way of his best interests.
- Commoners or not, those two smells of success.
Even that snotty faced brat is damn good, if she is able to hold her ground against a pureblood like Yurial.
I have always been proud of my knack for recognizing true talent.
I don\'t care if the spotlight I\'m under is mine or someone\'s else.
As long I get to maintain my status and position, anything goes.
I have to get in their good graces before anyone else.
After they get famous, I would be a nobody.
Right now, I\'m all their world.
Time to jot down some names and remember them properly. -
I\'d say we have some winners. While talking to the top four students, Vastor\'s voice had lost any trace of sarcasm and disrespect.
He spoke with a soft and amiable tone, like a grandfather talking to his beloved grandkids.
Would you mind to introduce yourself properly to the class It would motivate them to work hard enough to compete with you all.
- If they are delusional enough to believe they even have a sliver of hope, of course. He inwardly sneered.
In his mind, Vastor had already separated the cream from the milk, and the milk from the p*ss.
He was merely being polite.
My name is Friya Solivar. Like everyone else, she was wearing pants not a skirt, so while doing the curtsy she held up her robe instead.
My mother is Duchess Solivar, I hope you have heard about her.
Vastor\'s eyebrow rose, while he was racking his brain trying to remember.
I heard only praises about how she managed to stop that terrible flood last year.
Such an ingenious woman was bound to have gifted daughter.
I\'m sure you have a bright future ahead of you.
He skipped Yurial, he doubted that even those boneheads could have missed him flaunting his status of archmage Deirus\' heir.
After making a few gestures to one of his attendants, Vastor stood in front of the petite girl, smiling kindly.
My name is Quylla from Cerea.
I\'m twelve years old. Quylla didn\'t know etiquette or how to introduce herself, so she just made a deep bow while sharing what she deemed to be relevant.
So young yet so skilled! You truly are a diamond in the rough. Vastor received from his attendant a bottle containing a purple liquid, that he gifted to Quylla with a small bow.
Here, this is one of the best tonics our master Alchemists can prepare.
Drink a glass of it every night before going to bed, and you\'ll grow up like a mushroom.
I\'m sure you\'ll become a beautiful lady.
Quylla took his bait, line and sinker, blushing up to her ears for the compliments.
She had never received anything so precious in her life, so she held the bottle like a baby, stuttering her thanks.
Contrary to his expectations, edgy face had taken out his notebook, literally jotting down what the others had said.
He made the brilliant move of using water magic to write instead of a pen.
- Perfect silent water magic.
My gut never fails me. - Vastor\'s smile widened, he was sure to have struck a gold mine.
Showing respect to your competitors is always a smart move, young man.
Following the etiquette books he had stored in Soluspedia, Lith took a step back, in sign of respect towards Professor Vastor, before performing a deep bow.
I always write down everything that\'s significant, to make it easier to remember.
The three of them are the only ones worthy of attention, after all.
After the poor figure he did during Professor Nalear\'s class, Lith was brimming with confidence.
Thanks to Invigoration, he was certain to have performed better than anyone else.
For the first time in his life, he didn\'t feel anymore like a frog in the well.
He had finally found something he was actually the best at.
After how his classmates had treated him, Lith didn\'t care to keep up appearances.
He was already a pariah, someone they threw trash at without a care.
He had nothing to lose anymore.
Lith would treat them just like they did to him, with spite and showing no mercy.
My name is Lith from Lutia.
I\'m twelve years old too.
Twelve years! Lith Lith was already taller than him, (AN: Lith is 1.6 m aka 5\'3 high) so Vastor had failed to recognize him.
I\'ve heard so much around you.
Heck, everyone here has.
Guys… He was allegedly talking to the whole class, but he looked only at the other three, to make sure they paid attention.
…Lith, here, is the one that cracked the so-called \'curse\', a unique poison that had eluded even the best of us.
Have you heard about it Friya and Yurial nodded, while Quylla and many others shook their heads.
Vastor\'s heart bleed at the idea of wasting so much paper, but he couldn\'t make a single copy of the report just for Quylla.
The other students would have complained about such blatant discrimination.
While his attendant was handing the reports, he kept tending at his gold mine.
A twelve-year-old hexacaster, with great talent in light magic to boot, that\'s how he got his admission.
Between his build, height and everything they had learned in the last minute, Lith\'s classmates were looking at him with new eyes, even a hint of respect.
Friya and Yurial regretted what they had done earlier.
If instead of throwing trash at him they had managed to get on his good book, maybe he could have taught them so much.
For a second, Friya thought that she was the only one to have another chance.
After what happened earlier, this Lith was clearly sensitive to feminine charms, and she was quite pretty.
But when she smiled at him, opening her mouth to start chatting, he sent her a cold glare that sent shivers down her spine.
His eyes were empty, like those of a predator that\'s about to rip its prey apart.
Friya swallowed back her hopes and pretended that nothing had happened.
Lith, my boy, you should smile more.
If you keep glaring at everyone, how could they notice how handsome you are Vastor patted his shoulder.
- Me Handsome What a bootlicker! How can he even think I didn\'t notice his 180° turn of attitude Lith thought.
I think he knows you did, he just hopes you don\'t care. Solus replied.
As for the handsome, yeah, you are not at Trasque level, but maybe if you drop the teenage serial killer look… –
Quylla too was regretting what had happened earlier, but for entirely different reasons.
She didn\'t do anything against Lith, but she hadn\'t helped him either.
Like the others, she had always kept her distance.
In hindsight, she maybe would have helped another commoner of her own age.
But he was tall and scary, so she mistook him for a noble.
Not to mention that her class scared her even more.
Well, enough with the rounds, I already got what I need.
Let me show you all where the real magica happens.
Vastor walked them through few corridors and into another ward.
The plaque above the door was self-explanatory Missing Limbs.
As you should have realized, this is where we move the patients that have lost one or more limbs, after stabilizing their conditions.
We can actually regrow them from scratch, but it\'s a long and difficult spell.
The ward was almost empty, only a couple of beds were occupied.
Unlike the ICU, it was filled with flowers and magic paintings, making the atmosphere soothing and relaxing.
The walls were magic frescos, depicting sunny woods, so vivid to seem true.
Professor Vastor brought them around the bed of a twenty something years old blonde guy, that was missing his right arm.
Only a small stump remained.
Students, allow me to introduce you captain Zarran.
He lost his arm in a skirmish against the Gorgon empire, while defending the northern borders of your Kingdom.
The man was clearly embarrassed.
Unlike most of the ICU patients, he was awake and clear-headed.
Despite they were politely greeting him, he couldn\'t help but feel like a horse at the market, ready to be probed and examined mercilessly.
Suddenly, the ward\'s double doors opened again.
The man that walked in, drew the attention of all the staff and almost all students.
From their gasps of admiration, Lith could deduce that he was either Professor Marth or Manohar.
- Bright blue mana core. Solus pointed out.
My money on him being Marth.
Not accepting the bet. Lith replied.
Professor Marth, so nice to see you. Vastor said with a smile from ear to ear.
I was just about to explain the fourth-year students the regrowth procedure.
Do you want to do the honours