Well, we have just passed half an hour from the start of the exercise. Nalear said after her communication amulet emitted a low ringing noise.
Seems I have nothing more to teach you about Lift.
Now, do me a favour.
Soon many will start to get scared or frustrated, and will call me for help non-stop.
Be a dear and give hints or suggestions to your classmates stuck at least at the third mark.
I\'ll take care of the desperate cases.
Lith had nothing to do for at least another hour and a half, so he accepted, rubbing his forehead and closing his eyes, to not look at her face.
Great! Ten points for demonstrating complete mastery of the Lift spell, and another ten for helping me out. She made a smile so radiant that would have made protocol omega useless, despite Solus\' best efforts.
But Lith had timed correctly his thank-you bow, avoiding her gaze, and immediately turned back.
He had so many people to look down upon, that he felt like a kid in a candy shop.
Yurial had made no improvement, but Lith didn\'t feel compelled to help him.
He\'d rather preferred for his help to be openly required, if not begged for.
After looking around, he noticed that Quylla too wasn\'t too far away.
She seemed to be swamped at the second mark, sometimes managing to reach the third.
She was 1.35 meters (4\'5) high, with such a scrawny build that she could hope to weight over 30 kilograms (66 pounds) only if soaking wet.
She looked so frail and weak that a gust of wind would be able to carry her away any moment.
- It\'s amazing how she managed to get a bright green mana core despite being so malnourished.
If the tonic she received from Vastor really works, I wonder how powerful she will become. – Lith thought.
Need a hand He asked.
She was a commoner too, and up to that point, the only person that had apologized to him without a hidden agenda.
What am I doing wrong
Nothing, is just that you failed to grasp the spell\'s explanation. Quylla looked at him with a downtrodden expression, racking her brain while her neighbours at the fourth mark were sneering at her.
Lith was really tempted to kick them in the nuts, but alas, too many witnesses.
If you remember, it mentioned that this exercise requires creating five steps, right
Right. Quylla nodded, taking a break to give Lith her undivided attention.
Every step pushes the weight above a mark, so you may think that you need to create five steps, or if you prefer, five small pulses of mana, to push the weight up to the top.
She nodded again.
But the book never mentioned that you need to generate them all together.
Lift gives you a wide window of opportunity to create the steps.
Noticing that she still wasn\'t understanding, he dumbed down the concept.
Imagine that you must walk a stair to get to an upper floor.
You need five steps to do it, and it\'s your mana that creates them.
Even if you can maintain only two steps at a time, it\'s plenty enough.
You just need to get up to the second step, let the first one dissolve, create the third…
Move up to the third, rinse and repeat! Quylla completed the thought.
That\'s why the book called them steps instead of pulses or pushes.
To be honest the choice of words had puzzled me quite a bit.
Otherwise it would require to be able to cast five pulses at a time, and it would be completely unreasonable for the second lesson.
But Quylla was listening no more.
After thanking him quickly, she went back to practice, managing instantly to always reach the third mark.
In less than ten minutes, another ding resounded.
Her neighbours had long stopped sneering, and once they managed to find the courage for asking Lith for an encore, he was nowhere to be found.
Quylla ignored their requests for help, working hard to master what she had just understood.
After her, Lith helped Yurial and then Friya.
He had yet to decide what to do with them, but he had nothing to lose in the exchange.
He would kill two birds with one stone, showing them his superiority while also making them feel obligated.
Managing to establish a relationship on equal terms with the heir of an archmage and the daughter of an influential noble, would discourage his peers to show open hostility if not force them to avoid any further harassment.
Soon, his outstanding performance in the light department would be well known, very few would dare to move against him once Marth and Manohar had shown such interest towards him.
All he needed was just another push, and all the young master/mistress drama would become a relic of the past.
At the end of the lesson, Lith received ten more points from Nalear, since many of those he helped had managed to completely understand the true nature of the exercise.
- That makes fifty points! Solus was ecstatic.
Too bad we must also deduct the ten Trasque took away.
It\'s no use crying over spilled milk. Lith replied.
Besides, after lunch we will have our first Forgemaster lesson.
I can\'t wait to get my hands on it! –
At lunch, Quylla, Yurial and Friya tried to join him once again, and this time Lith didn\'t send them away.
He was curious to see what they had to offer in terms of knowledge and power.
Instead, he ended up swamped in small talk.
Lith had completely forgotten what high-school conversations were like, how teenagers mostly talked about boys, girls or whine about their teachers.
Seriously… Friya stabbed her lasagne like she had a personal vendetta against it.
… what kind of Professor just puts you in a room and demands that you figure out everything by yourself How big of a jerk can she be
Lith listened on and off to her, so when the topic at hand became his area of expertise, he was ready to answer the question he had just misheard.
- At least a double D cup. He thought.
By my maker, don\'t you dare say that out loud! Solus mind-scolded him –
I bet your family hired a tutor for you. Yurial chimed in, shaking his head at her remark.
Only tutors spoon-fed magic.
My father never explained anything to me, unless I was uncapable of understanding something on my own.
He would just give me books and demand results.
Being clear-headed again, Lith joined the conversation.
By the way, why your father didn\'t teach you all these exercises beforehand It would have given you quite an edge, and I don\'t think the academy would care.
Yurial shook his head again, sighing.
Just because my father is an archmage, I have all the knowledge of the world at my fingertips. He said gritting his teeth.
I wish it was like that.
Until my great-grandmother became a mage, our was a family of commoners.
The two things she passed down on his bloodline are: the spite for nobles, no offense. He said raising his in sign of apology toward Friya.
None taken. She replied, while actually shivering with fear.
The Headmaster\'s words were finally clear to her.
People like Lith would resent the nobles that abused their authority, and so would magic bloodlines.
- That\'s why the King is so hell-bent on changing the system. She thought.
Over time, us nobles are isolating ourselves from the masses.
If it keeps up like this, soon the status of noble will be like having a bounty on your head. –
And her hard-working nature. Yurial continued.
In my family, the less you do, the farther you get from the line of succession.
Some of my profligate siblings are as good as disowned, with no money or authority of their own.
The reason why I am the heir is because of my talent and efforts, and I could lose the title anytime if I start to slack off.
When I asked my father to teach me the secrets of the academy, do you know how he replied
Yurial made a stern face, speaking with a low, harsh voice, mimicking archmage Deirus demeanour.
Son, your grandfather was just a noble, not even a mage.
My foundations and resources for magic where nothing compared to what I gave you.
If you cannot achieve as much as I did despite all that, teaching you is pointless.
For our Kraston family to prosper, you need to be able to walk with your own legs.
Getting unfair advantages make you lazy and reliant on other\'s help.
There are no shortcuts in life to achieve what really matters.
Now go back to work!
The whole table giggled, Yurial had got so immersed in his persona to yell the last part, drawing on him the looks of their neighbours.
Realizing his slip-up, Yurial had become red, so Lith asked Friya about her tutor, to cut him some slack.
I asked her countless times. She sighed.
But she always replied that our money was buying her services, not her loyalty.
And that she had no intention of taking the smallest risk with the Mage Association for such a little sum. Friya scoffed.
With the amount we paid her, we could have probably built a fortress.
What about you, Quylla
Quylla was wolfing down her second serving of lasagna, looking at Lith\'s steak like a hungry tiger.
The mouthful she had taken was too big for her to talk, so they had to wait for her to be able to swallow.
I had no tutor. She explained, while trying to wipe the sauce off her face.
The healer of our village had been killed by some bandits, so his books were available for everyone.
I was an orphan, too weak to work in the fields, so I began studying them.
Once I understood magic, I became the next healer, until the Duke that was managing the rebuilt of the village heard about me.
He built a house for me, and when I became old enough, he recommended me to the academy.
You know the rest.
She returned to give her meal all the care she could.
That story is really impressing. Yurial said.
But at the moment I am so amazed by the amount of food you are eating that I cannot think about anything else.
I swear, she wasn\'t like this yesterday. Friya said.
It must be Vastor\'s tonic. Lith said.
She is shorter then me by a good head, yet she is eating more than me.
I guess she needs a lot of food to catch up.
Mind if I touch your head
Quylla violently blushed, tried to say something, but her mouth was full again, so she just nodded, lowering her head.
Lith pretended to cast a spell while actually activating Invigoration.
Your muscles are severely undeveloped, and your bone density is terrible.
You need to drink more milk, for your skeleton.
It\'s the first time I hear this. Yurial asked with a curious look in his eyes.
Mind to explain
- Yeah, sure! How can I possible explain the concepts of vitamins, proteins and calcium when your language lacks even the words necessary to describe them – Lith thought.
It\'s an old saying from my village.
Meat for the muscles, milk for the bones.
How do you think I got so big at twelve Was what he actually said.
Despite being three years older than him, Yurial was just a few centimetres taller than Lith, while Friya was five centimetres (2 inches) shorter than him.
To Lith\'s amazement, the three of them ordered a bottle of milk each, starting to drink it instead of water.