Chapter 1103 Mistakes and Failures Part 1
Night had warned her agents that Lutia was called "the Graveyard" for a reason. A single mistake could spell death and the light pillar marked the fifth mistake the undead had made in just a few minutes.
Each still standing house was a mistake and things were about to get worse. Until that moment, the red eyes of the undead had been the only light visible for kilometers after Night had darkened the skies with her magic.
Yet now the woods had come to life and countless yellow eyes shone from the darkness of the tree, reflecting the light from the golden pillar.
Zinya's house, a few minutes earlier.
Night had patiently waited for the first opportunity when all the households were defenseless, leading the attack herself to make sure that everything went without a hitch.
Yet no plan survived contact with the enemy. Dawn had followed Baba Yaga's instructions, never sharing with Night that Lith was already bonded to a cursed object.
The Bright Day had also avoided mentioning the Rezar's existence, assuming that either Lith had killed him or that Nalrond had resumed chasing her in his foolish quest for revenge.
On top of that, Night couldn't have predicted that night Professor Zogar Vastor would be visiting the Yehval household.
The recent series of events had destroyed the old Professor's self-confidence, making Vastor think that the White Griffon didn't need him anymore and that it was time to retire.
Lith becoming an Archmage was the only silver lining in a streak of unlucky years.
First Balkor had killed dozens of his precious students, then Nalear had almost destroyed the White Griffon, causing Yurial's death and almost leading Quylla on the path of self-destruction.
Every time one of his pupils needed him, Vastor failed them. Such thought had eaten at him from the inside until even his marriage fell apart.
"I'm really sorry for bothering you so often. It's late so maybe I'd better go." Vastor said, yet his short legs refused to stand up from the chair.
"You never bother me, Professor Vastor. Lutia is a wonderful place, but it's quite lonely after sundown. Unless my neighbors visit, I spend my evenings alone while the kids play with their pets." Zinya pointed at the huge magical beast curled up in front of the fireplace.
"Please, call me Zogar, or at least just Vastor." Her constant use of honorifics embarrassed him
"I'll do it only if you stop calling me miss Yehval." Zinya chuckled while covering her children with a blanket.
They had fallen asleep while hugging their fuzzy friends who in turn refused to leave the room until the stranger left.
"That would be inappropriate. I'm old enough to be your father." Vastor looked into the magical beasts' big, round eyes and saw in them a reproach that actually came only from himself.
"And I'm old enough to hang out with whoever I want, Professor Vastor. Now, would you mind telling me what's weighing on your heart so much lately or do you prefer more empty chatter?" She said.
"It's about my students." Vastor sighed. "It all started with those idiots following Deirus destroying Phloria's career, then the undead invaded our land, and now Quylla has quit the White Griffon.
"I'm tired of seeing fools destroying the lives of promising mages out of petty grudges. Tired of power-hungry buffoons waging a war after another just to fill their pockets. Tired of seeing good mages drift apart from the Kingdom because we fail them in their hour of need!"
Vastor slammed his fist on the table, yet it didn't produce a single vibration nor a sound. The Professor had managed to cancel the impact with first magic in the nick of time.
"People hurting people is how Mogar spins, you have no fault in that. As for your students, did you play any part in their misfortunes or did you do everything you could to help them?" She asked.
"I did everything in my power, but in the end, it amounted to nothing. I might as well sit on my thumbs all day and nothing would have changed." Vastor said with a deep sigh.
"You're dead wrong about that. If you feel so bad after doing your best, imagine how would you feel if you didn't even try. Failure is an integral part of life. It's painful sometimes, but in the long run it helps us to improve." Zinya said.
"Please, if that was true, with all my failures I should have become so powerful that Manohar would be nothing compared to me, yet it's the opposite." Vastor's rage gave him the strength to get up.
"I meant to improve as a person, not as a mage. Otherwise I should be a Magus at this point." Zinya never stopped giving him a warm smile and making him feel like a jerk.
Vastor was born a noble and a powerful mage. After doing whatever he wanted for all his life and even reaching the peak of his profession, he found complaining about the unfairness of life with someone like Zinya beyond ridiculous.
She had been blind from birth and her parents had treated Zinya as a tool, forcing her to marry an awful man to ensure their own happiness. Vastor just felt powerless whereas Zinya had been powerless all her life and a prisoner in her own home.
"I'm really sorry for my tantrum. I'll take my leave now." Vastor attempted to cast a Warp Steps, but nothing happened.
"What the heck?" The communication amulet in his breast pocket was silent, all the runes on its surface inactive.
After failing to retrieve his equipment from his dimensional item, Vastor felt a cold shiver running down his spine.
"How many entrances does the house have?" He asked while looking out the nearest window.
"Just the front door." Zinya had never heard him with such a cold voice. For the first time since they had met, Vastor scared her.
"What about windows? Is there a wall thinner than the others?" He couldn't see anything due to the clouds, which in his experience never bode well.
"This is a house, not a fortress. It has plenty of windows to let the sunlight in and I've no idea about the walls. What's happening?" Zinya moved near her children while Vastor chanted one spell after another.
His hands moved so nimbly that he even managed to place potions on the table without disrupting his fingers tracing hand signs. The small Professor started to hum with power as his body glowed from the energy burning within.
He took a golden wand out of his pocket, moving it from the door to the windows non-stop. The energy inside him had become so powerful that it crackled, emitting from time to time small bursts that resembled bolts of lighting.
Seconds stretched into minutes until a thick mist seeped from under the door, slithering on the floor like a living being. Vastor flicked his wand and the mist turned into ashes.
Then, the door was burst open and so were the windows as unknown assailants entered the living room. Each one of them was taller than Lith and emitted such a powerful killing intent that Zinya had to bite her cheek to not faint.
She sweated bullets, feeling her knees buckling from the pressure those things exerted. Yet she was determined to not abandon her children and Vastor's calm gave her hope.