As soon as everyone finished eating, Lith left with the excuse of needing to prepare the final details for his first Forgemaster lesson.
The actual truth was that having a conversation with them, about anything but magic, made him want to rip his ears off.
- Damn! Now I remember why back on Earth I never took a babysitter job, unless I was desperate for money.
Kids are so annoying, always worried about what others think of them, obsessing themselves with the stupidest things. -
While he was walking toward his room, he noticed a group of four, one girl and three boys, that had pinned another girl in a corner.
Before Lith could walk away, the bullying quickly escalated in a beating.
Lith never stopped walking, he just threw a glance of them, curling his upper lip in a disgusted expression.
- Shouldn\'t we help her Four against one is unfair. Solus asked.
Life is unfair. Lith replied.
I don\'t know, nor I care for her.
Besides, what could I do Even if I saved her this time, as soon as I turn my back, they would beat her twice as hard for revenge.
If she is so stupid to prefer getting beaten instead of taking a Ballot, that\'s her problem.
I don\'t plan on opening an idiot shelter. –
Back in his room, Lith took a long bath, discussing with Solus what they had learned from the book and how far it was safe to reveal his talent and mastery.
Soon the first gong resounded, indicating that fifteen minutes were left before the beginning of the next period.
Lith flew at full speed, discovering that the lesson would not take place into a classroom, but inside the Forgemastering training hall, right beside the Alchemist training hall.
When Lith landed, both the doors were still closed and many people were waiting outside.
The students were mingling together.
From what he could understand, the two specialization courses would take place simultaneously, allowing people to meet before and after the lesson.
- I\'m really interested in the Master Alchemist course. Solus said.
I think it would be a perfect complement to Forgemastering.
Who knows, maybe we could even fuse them together, obtaining powerful single-use weapons for when we are out of mana.
Lith\'s interest was piqued.
Yeah, it would be great.
Too bad I cannot afford another specialization, that would mark me as a S rank student.
Besides, I can\'t be in two places at once.
That\'s not a problem, since there\'s two of us.
I\'ll piggyback on one of the students with my shapeshifting abilities.
We\'ll get two specializations for the price of one.
Wish me luck.
See you later!-
Before Lith could stutter a surprised reply, Solus had already left his finger.
She turned into a snow-white blot, using the crowd as a cover, while she got under the robe of a kid with the Master Alchemist textbook in his hand.
Lith was so shocked that his mind went completely blank, until the Professors arrived and opened their respective doors.
Lith followed her inside the Forgemaster training hall, still incredulous of Solus sudden departure.
Only the mocking laughter of one of his classmates managed to woke him from his daze.
Luckily, it wasn\'t Lith the target, but another student that was whining about having forgotten his book.
Lith immediately regained his focus.
- Keep calm, old man.
Sh*t happens, this is just a small setback.
We\'ll get her back in a couple of hours. -
Thanks to their mind link, he was still able to perceive Solus presence in the next room, just like her was able to keep moving, since they were less than one hundred meters (110 yards) apart.
But because of the distance and the magical nature of the White Griffon castle, they weren\'t able to share their minds as usual.
It was like being in a crowd in a club event, they were still able to communicate, but it required effort.
He could perceive that Solus\'s mind was paying attention to something, the other lesson seemed to have already started.
Hello, boys and girls.
My name is Professor Lyca Wanemyre, and I will be your instructor in the path towards becoming Forgemasters.
My class will be different from all the others you follow, because forgemastering is different from any kind of magic you have ever learned.
You have just moved your first step in the seventh department of the White Griffon, the crafting department.
Professor Wanemyre was a woman in her early thirties, 1.65 meters (5\'5) high, with long black hair with shades of red held up in a chignon.
She was wearing skin tight working gloves that highlighted her long and nimble fingers.
She didn\'t have her robe on, so it was impossible to hide her soft, luscious curves.
Professor Wanemyre was better endowed than Nalear in every aspect, and despite she wore no make-up, that made her heart-shaped face stand out even more.
Her demeanour was less flashy and jovial than Nalear, her calm and composed attitude were those of a mature woman, not of an exuberant girl.
Lith could empathise with his male classmates, that were gulping non-stop, while staring at her with dumbfounded expressions.
- Lucky me. Lith thought.
Seems that my heart is too little for more than a crush at a time.
I couldn\'t bear acting out as an idiot again. –
Wanemyre paid no attention to the agape mouths and the bright red faces.
Her students were barely teenagers, she was used at their first meet reactions.
So many mages are so fixated on elemental magic, that they never mention the arts of crating to their disciples.
So, I applaud you for choosing a specialization too often inglorious and underestimated, instead of making things blow up with fire and lightning like most of your peers.
Contrary to what you may have heard or imagined, Forgemastering doesn\'t require a forge, a hammer or ingredients.
Sure, some proper magic imbued items like mana crystals or the fur of a magical beast or monster, can improve the results, but that\'s material for another lesson.
Let\'s start with the basics.
Who of you went ahead and learned about forgemastering from our book
It was mostly a rhetorical question, the books had been delivered just the day before, and between the classes and the self-study, she wasn\'t expecting much.
Yet a couple of hands were raised.
The early bird gets the worm! Good.
Describe to the class how a generic forgemastering spell works. She was pointing at a fifteen-year-old boy with red hair, the only one to have raised his hand beside Lith.
Uhhh, well, uhm… first you need to draw a circle, and… uhm. He actually has skimmed the first pages, and had raised his hand to make an impression on the Professor, he never expected to be questioned.
Wanemyre shook her head.
- So typical of teenagers, always thinking with the head in the pants first.
At least this time I got only two posers. – She thought.
You, with the mean eyes, mind to step in
Lith ignored the remark, replying promptly.
Forgemastering requires drawing two magic circles, one inscribed into the other, with a series of magical runes between them.
The number and type of runes depends on the nature of the enchantment to apply.
The circles must be perfectly drawn with no imperfections, and even their radius matter.
It must be as close as possible to the size of the item that is going to be enchanted.
Wanemyre whistled in surprise and approval.
Very well said.
Where is your book, by the way
It\'s all in here. Lith tapped his temple with the right index finger.
- No way I take it out.
Until it\'s in Soluspedia, I can quote it word by word. – He thought.
Really The Professor raised an eyebrow in disbelief.
Then do you mind drawing for the class the dimensional amulet circle Page 22, diagram 4. She sneered.
While everyone was flipping their books, Lith closed in to Wanemyre, who pointed to him a flask holding a pungent smelled liquid.
- I wish Solus was here.
She would be laughing like a madwoman, mocking me for my know-it-all façade. – For the first time in so many years, Lith felt alone, and he didn\'t like that feeling, not one bit.
The room was so silent that he could listen to the steady beating of his own heart.
There was no voice in his head, cheering for him or trying to make him laugh, everything felt pointless and hollow.
With a series of gestures, several drops of the liquid flew in the air thanks to water magic, splashing on several points of the perfectly smooth white stone table between Lith and the Professor.
The internal and external circles took form simultaneously, one drop moving clockwise, and the other counter-clockwise.
The innermost circle had a radius of ten centimetres (4 inches), while the other had a fifteen cm (6 inches) radius, leaving about five cm (2 inches) between them for the runes.
Only after completing both circles and checking that there were no imperfections, Lith moved the remaining drops, forming one of the thirteen runes at a time, devoting all his focus on each one.
When he finished, Professor Wanemyre clapped her hands loudly, and after a second, the class unwillingly joined her.
Bravo! She said.
You weren\'t pretending, you really studied.
Sorry if I doubted you.
Thirty points for your performance, and ten more as an apology.
I guess I should have expected as much from Manohar\'s and Marth\'s new friend.
At those words, all those who were planning about revenge or how humiliating Lith without incurring in the Ballot, immediately took a 180° turn.
It was already hard hiring Manohar as it was, if angered, there was no telling how he would react.
Not to mention that being the Royal Healer he held an enormous amount of influence and political power, he just didn\'t care using it.
It was better not to rattle his cage.
If I asked you to, would you be able to continue the explanation
Yes. Lith answered.
But I hadn\'t the time to go much further, plus I don\'t believe I have fully grasped the contents.
My exposition would be lacking depth and true knowledge. The first part was a lie, just to avoid standing out too much.
Reading twenty pages wasn\'t much, but the whole book was another story.
The second part, instead, was the truth.
If books were enough, anyone could get infinite specializations simply by going to the academy\'s library.
Humble and honest to the boot, worthy of a Forgemaster.
Another twenty points for you, Lith.
Feel free to gather around here, everyone.
Since your classmate has gifted us with a perfect circle, it would be wasteful not to use it.
I\'ll give you a practical demonstration of forgemastering.