Supreme Magus

Chapter 270 New Start Part 1

"A Rememberer." Another touch from Phloria made the egg close and the hologram disappear. Then, Lith watched one showing Phloria playing with Lucky when the mastiff was still a puppy, both covered in mud from head to toes.

Another was about Jirni teaching her the basics of self defense.

"It's how mages store their precious moments."

"Why did you never show them to me before?" Lith's doubts were turning into a suspicion.

"Because those are my private moments." Phloria fiddled with her hair while she was staring at the ground incapable of looking him in the eye out of embarrassment.

"I didn't share them even with my sisters."

"Okay, let's cut to the chase." Lith closed the Rememberer, resisting the temptation to pry further in her life.

"Are you jealous?"

"What? Why do you say that?" Phloria's flinching like that was a big tell.

"Well, whenever you called me after the gala, you seemed nervous. You have always liked to keep some boundaries. To go slow and steady. Yet now you are offering me to sleep here and sharing all this stuff. Sounds…"

"Desperate?" She completed the phrase for him.

"No. I was going to say: 'out of character'."

"Oh." Phloria blushed up to her ears. She wished for the ground to swallow her whole, but the carpet remained still.

She walked to her bed, sitting on it before answering with a sad voice.

"Yes, I'm jealous. I don't think I can compete with the Marchioness' daughter." Phloria's fears had gone through the roof when Jirni had pressed her to visit him during the last days of winter, instead of nagging her about her studies as usual.

"She's better than me under every aspect. She's very beautiful, moves and speaks like a lady. I'm just a clumsy giantess compared to her." Her eyes fell on her chest area, closing the speech with an unspoken comparison.

"Since when it's a challenge?" Lith scoffed.

"Do you think I have a little book where I assign all the girls I know points or something? That I score them according to some standards? How shallow do you think I am?"

"Wait, did you say all the girls? As in there's more?" Phloria was dumbfounded.

"Of course, there are. Ever since the rankings came out, all the girls of marrying age of my village have been parading in front of me every time I left my house. I keep getting invitations from small and medium importance nobles of the Lustria county.

"Most of them I didn't even know they existed. To be honest, I expect to receive the same attention from our female schoolmates Yurial did last year, if not even worse. Because now he is publicly engaged, while I am just 'an ignorant fool'.

"I expect them to think of me as a limitless letter of credit. I'm not stupid or arrogant enough to believe I've suddenly turned into a beautiful swan. They are all just gold diggers."

Lith sat on the bed beside her.

"Brinja is not different from them. Even after I saved her life, she never considered me nothing more than a brat with a glare. Otherwise, she wouldn't have waited for so long before making a move.

"She probably heard about me from her mother and got curious. You are the only person I met since I joined the academy that looked at me as a person, instead of an asset. Even before we started dating, you sought my company and advice.

"You have shared with me your everyday problems, the quarrels with your mother, and even your dreams for the future." Lith swept the hair that was covering Phloria's face before starting to caress her cheek.

"I wouldn't have ever accepted to go out with you otherwise. Not even if you were the most beautiful girl in the world."

"Are you saying I am not?" Phloria had suddenly found her spunk back, hitting him with a cushion.

"Your words, not mine, remember?"

The mood while they walked toward the fifth year Lecture Hall was completely different from before. Phloria hummed the whole time, without forcing herself to be clingy or flirty.

Not even when several girls looked at him like they saw Lith for the first time, giggling and trying to strike up a conversation with him managed to ruin her high spirits.

Especially because he dismissed them every time with a growl. Lith had no time to waste in pleasantries and hated leeches ever since his time on Earth. He still vividly remembered all those that thought him being parentless was "cool", who had attempted to make him waste his hard earned money for their own gain.

The Lecture Hall was identical to the fourth year one, but even with all the students attending the first compulsory lesson more than half the seats were empty.

When the second gong rang, Headmaster Linjos entered the room, closely followed by Professor Farg.

"Welcome back, my dear students." Linjos's face was still long and unattractive, but he seemed to have turned into a different man. His gaze was hard as steel, any trace of his previous optimistic disposition was gone.

Despite the Headmaster was just in his late twenties, his chestnut hair had partly turned white, complimenting the shades of silver he was gifted with and giving him an even colder look.

There was no joy in his voice as he spoke, only determination mixed with something that Lith recognized as slithering rage. Linjos's expression could only be described as feral. Usually the Headmaster's sharp features and aquiline nose contrasted with his kind nature, while now they gave him a ferocious appearance.

"Since lesson time has already started, I'll go straight to the point. The past year has been a nightmare, partly because bad things happen and partly because of some of the students and their parents."

A few youths stood up in outrage, but before they could even open their mouth they were forced back to sit with a thud, unable to say a word. Linjos had used no spell or array.

He only needed to let out part of his magical aura to overwhelm with his killing intent all those who had attempted to interrupt him. The power released by the Headmaster was so strong that everyone present who didn't attend a combat specialization or wasn't part of Lith's group found themselves shivering in fear.

"So many troubles could have been avoided if some of you had the decency to leave politics outside the castle walls. So many would be still alive if not for blind pride and stupid prejudice tainting young minds like poison.

"Most of the perpetrators have been arrested at this point, others I have just expelled. This is my academy, after all, I don't need to justify myself to you or anyone else for that matter. Since I believe we still have some snakes in the grass, this message is for them.

The party is over." With a snap of his finger, Linjos made a Guilty Ballot appear in front of every student.

"To use it or not is up to you, but I strongly believe it's better to have it and not need it rather than to not have it and need it. Now imprint it with your mana."

A few students stood up again. This time Linjos did nothing to stop them.

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