Lith first instinct was to run away and test his theory, but he hadn\'t returned home to spend his time working, he really needed some real rest while enjoying the luxury of being his real self, with no strings attached.
Mom, dad, thank you. He replied.
I know how cruel people can be.
I learned it from experience since the day I started working as a healer.
It started with that noble trying to kill me, and continued by showing me what a man can do to his wife, a parent to his own children.
He avoided mentioning brothers, since despite the passing of years, Orpal\'s name kept stirring a lot of pain in his parent\'s hearts.
This village is not perfect, the world is not perfect.
But I\'ll do my best to remain true to myself and make you all proud of me.
Lith could say that looking them straight in the eyes, since the wording of choice didn\'t mention what his morals were or how he meant to achieve his goals.
In his mind, it was all a white lie to prevent his family from worrying about him.
He stood up and hugged his family one at a time, feeling the warmth of their embrace and love.
After finishing their meal, Lith insisted to be the one to do the dishes.
Elina opposed at first, but before anyone could even move one plate, he had already washed and cleaned dishes, cookware and the whole room.
Show-off! Tista pretended to scold him.
They spent the following hour discussing the last arrangements for Rena\'s marriage, which brought several grunts from the male side of the family, and Lith\'s academy life, which brought several grunts from the female side of the family.
He had lived all his life as a monk, going from home to work and vice versa, and doing nothing else.
They had hoped that being surrounded by so many girls, he would have found one of his liking.
- Dammit, first Yurial tries to set me up with a date, then you, Solus, with all your innuendos, and now this For crying out loud, who cares about romance at twelve
You would be right… Solus replied.
If this wasn\'t a world where people get married around sixteen and seventeen years of age.
There\'s only so much time to just hang out for fun or make experience with the opposite sex.
Unless one plans to marry with his first girlfriend or has an arranged marriage, of course. –
After that, everyone had to go back to work.
Daylight was precious, and only Lith was actually on vacation.
Before going back to his forgemastering lab, Lith visited and treated all the animals in the farm and the farmhands his parents employed.
It would ensure the rise of their reputation and saved them quite some money.
Once back inside Solus\'s ruined tower form, he could finally share his enlightment.
He had actually offered her to read his mind, to stop the pestering, but she refused.
With the growing trust between them, they rarely accessed each other mind, preferring to rely on their telepathic link, unless it was absolutely necessary.
The problem with our earlier experiments, is that we were just imitating the form of the forgemastering spell, not his nature.
Meaning Solus asked.
Well, replicating a fire ball is easy, it\'s just an exploding flame.
But what does exactly forgemastering do What does each rune individually That\'s the problem that we overlooked.
Fake magic is like true magic with auto-pilot.
He took out the dimensional amulet he had bought from the academy, using Invigoration on it, while Solus did the same.
Unlike for normal unanimated objects, Invigoration was capable of tracing the mana flow cursing through magical item.
It revealed a mana sphere similar to a core, but much rougher and simpler, kept stable by thirteen mana patterns that insulated it from external influences.
By my maker, how did you get the idea of using Invigoration like this Solus was amazed by this discovery.
Actually, I didn\'t.
It\'s all thanks to that Scorpicore.
Remember when it passed me it\'s pince-nez to analyse it Solus mind nodded.
That\'s the first time that I did it, but back then I was too scared to understand the implication of the lesson the creature imparted me.
I don\'t know if it did it on purpose to teach me how to recognize cursed objects, or was just trying to convince me of its good faith.
Whatever was its purpose it taught me something new about true magic, and in turn the true nature of forgemastering.
Unlike some hypothesized, forgemastering isn\'t about feeling the mana flow in an object and enhance it.
On the contrary, it allows to create a pseudo mana core, that has to be literally engraved into an object, and then stabilized by precise mana patterns, that feed on the world energy for self-sustenance and prevent the core from dissipating.
Unlike yours, the pseudo cores have no conscience, just a purpose.
Without an external binding they would just dissipate in the thin air.
To double check my theory, let\'s analyse the cuffs of my uniform too.
The pseudo core designed to store the Ballot was even smaller than the one in the amulet, but more refined.
Well, this makes sense. Solus pondered.
The amulet can store anything, while the cuffs only the Ballot.
To apply such restriction, the core must be more complex.
But that means…
Yeah. Lith sighed.
It means that we will have to forgemaster all the items in the book with fake magic, just to study their cores and understand the underlying principles, before creating something really new.
Lith needed several attempts to understand how to carve the patterns inside an object without looking into it via Invigoration.
Every test required a lot of focus and mana expenditure, but with every failure, he was closer to success.
Well, now we also know why Forgemasters require so much mana.
Even an inanimate object offers a tremendous resistance to the external energy.
The more complex and powerful the artifact, the more complex the pseudo core must be.
If a \'simple\' dimensional object it\'s taking so much time and effort, I wonder how powerful was the mage that created that pince-nez. Solus said.
Probably it was his/her life\'s work. Lith replied.
Yeah, it also explains why second attempts at forgemastering are useless.
Every rune leaves a carving, if one creates a wrong pathway for the mana, the object becomes useless.
Lith nodded, noticing something unusual.
Odd, I should have exhausted my mana many times over, yet I\'m only starting to feel tired now, and I have yet to use Invigoration once.
Maybe thanks to our bond, you have access to the world energy geyser too. Solus proposed.
That would explain why in the legends mages were said to be invincible in their towers.
Between an almost endless supply of mana and the tower defences, defeating them should be nigh impossible.
Lith and Solus kept working non-stop, and before sunset they had already realized their first dimensional pebble.
Lith brought it in the bedroom, and Solus framed it right beside the entrance, adding a small tag with the date and a small incision.
Our first work together.
After that, they created seven low-tier dimensional rings with true magic.
He was certain to be able to craft even the high tier ones, but that would have been a fatal mistake.
Dimensional rings could not be kept hidden, they had to be used, otherwise it was like not having one at all.
According to the academy\'s records, Lith creating low-tier objects was already an impressing feat.
Distributing freely high-tier ones would be madness, no less than putting a bullseye on his chest and back.
Before returning home, he went to Selia\'s place, her first mentor, the woman who taught him how to survive with his hunting skills.
Look who\'s back! Still all dressed up and everything, I see. Selia hugged him, leaving Lith quite shocked.
He never pegged her for the affectionate type.
This uniform can\'t get dirty and is almost indestructible.
I have no reason to change outfit. He explained returning the hug.
Wish I had one too. She sighed.
Since you left, doing the house chores is such a bother.
This disciple is really sorry, Master Selia. Lith mocked her.
But I hope this will make your life easier. He handed her a ring.
She wasn\'t impressed at all.
You know, is all right for a hunter to be stingy.
But being smug while handing a cheap ring like this is below even us.
Seeing her disappointed, Lith laughed out loud.
I admit the ring isn\'t worth more than ten copper coins by itself, but just like me, it\'s more than meets the eye.
He shortly explained her how to imprint the ring.
Even someone who had never practiced chore magic could do it at the first try.
After realizing what it was, Selia was left speechless.
I did it myself. Lith explained.
It can only store three square meters (33 square feet) but at least you will not be bothered anymore by your equipment and your preys.
If you feel lazy, you can even use it to store food and keep it warm.
This… this is too much.
I cannot accept it. Selia knew that such object was worth over thirty gold coins.
One could build a luxury house at Lutia with all that money.
Not to mention it was an invaluable tool for a hunter, keeping the preys fresh before field dressing it or while looking for a good buyer.
She tried to give it back, but Lith closed her hand around it with his palms.
You can, and you must.
First because once imprinted, it\'s useless to anyone else, unless you die, of course.
And second, because despite you have always been a stingy, nagging Master that would make rip-off deals, it\'s only because of your help that my family was saved from hunger and starvation, and that\'s a debt that not even this ring can settle.