Supreme Magus

Chapter 296 Growing Hostility Part 1

Lith stood up, eager to put his talent as Forgemaster to the test. The pattern of the spell was simple, but the execution was complex. It allowed the mage to choose if to power up the runes one by one like Wanemyre just did, or to group them up as she suggested.

Making a single strand out of four runes meant a lesser strain on the mage during the first chant, since it required an average level of multi casting, but it made things more complicated during the second spell.

It would generate a thread four times thicker and likely four times harder to control. The second spell was just a crutch for the mage's willpower, making it easier to control the conjured energies.

After learning the spells, Lith went all out. His multi casting ability allowed him to control ten spells at once, one for each finger. He created one thread out of two runes, twice the number Wanemyre required.

Lith could have conjured more, but it would have meant risking to fail. Since it wasn't a life or death situation, there was no need to bite more than he was certain to be able to chew.

When Wanemyre performed the spell, the resulting energy strands were as thick as hairs and moved in unison, like they shared a hive mind. Lith's performance turned out much different.

Each strand was as thick as a finger and moved like a snake slithering for its life while having a seizure.

'Damn! I thought that my experience with true magic would make things easier. It's the first time I meet such wild energies. Let's hope the second spell helps.'

Lith started the next chant. He had a hard time just to prevent the blue threads from crashing against the walls of the classroom, marking the failure of his attempt.

"This is a classic rookie mistake." Wanemyre explained to the rest of the students.

"Always remember to commence the second spell as soon as you finish the first, otherwise the Bonding spell goes rampant." Contrary to the expectations of most, she didn't deduct any points from Lith.

The second chant was a revelation for him. He could feel small tendrils of pure mana emanating from his body. They latched themselves on the wild energy threads, taming them like trained dogs on a leash.

'I never thought it was possible to use spirit magic to control remotely another spell!' Lith was overjoyed. 'I have to master this Leash spell as soon as I can. It has countless applications!'

From that point onwards, the rest was easy. Lith successfully completed the Bonding spell, but the difference between his product and Wanemyre's was like heaven and earth.

Lith's amulet had a much weaker magical aura, not even half as strong as the one the Professor made. The mana vessels he created were fewer, smaller, and formed a less complex pattern compared to hers.

'Seems the results of the Bonding spell aren't linearly proportional to the number of threads generated, as much as exponentially.' He thought.

"Outstanding job!" Wanemyre clapped her hands with a big smile on her face.

"Thirty points for handling so many threads at the first attempt, thirty for succeeding at the first try, and another forty for achieving all the above despite my mistake."

"Your mistake?" Lith raised an eyebrow in confusion, while the rest of the class heard nothing after realizing the total sum was one hundred points.

"Yes." She nodded.

"I forgot to point out the importance of the timing for a successful Bonding. Unlike everything you have attempted before, the two spells are interlinked. My blunder affected negatively your odds of success. Hence the forty points.

"Now let's see how those that were so smug while you were about to fail perform. I expect great things from them." She threw a cold look to a few students that went immediately pale.

Lith turned around to go back at his desk, when suddenly the hostility returned. The threat was as close as pressing, forcing him to perform a quick 180° turn by pivoting on his front leg.

Wanemyre looked at his arms raised in a guard position with a puzzled look. The feeling of danger coming from behind had disappeared.

"Is it something wrong?" She tilted her head in confusion.

Lith shook briefly his head before returning to his station.

'Okay, something is f*cking wrong here. First the brats, now the Professor. Solus?'

'I was going to wait until the end of the lesson to tell you, but at this point we cannot take any more risks.' Lith could feel Solus using all of her senses to keep the whole classroom under surveillance.

'Do you remember I told you there was something familiar? Well, I was right. When I went checking your colleagues, I noticed that at least five of them wear trinkets bearing the same pseudo core of those we found in the boxes. I have no idea what they do, but this can't be a coincidence.

'Until we figure it out, I want you to wear your paranoia cap and never take it off.'

Lith inwardly cursed. He hated being forced on the defense, but there was nothing he could do. Lith had no reason to report them, nor he could explain in any way the significance of the trinkets they wore.

'Even worse, we recognize them only because we can see their pseudo cores. I have no plausible way to justify how I know that completely different items all do the same thing. Do you think Wanemyre is involved in this too?'

'I can't be sure.' Solus replied. 'I didn't take a close look at that betrothal gift of hers back then, but I remember its vibe. It's definitely possible.'

Those words were enough to make Lith shiver. It was only the second day he had returned at the academy, yet another storm was already brewing at the horizon.


Meanwhile, in the Headmaster's office, Linjos was even more worried than Lith. Despite taking all the necessary precautions, he could feel the control of the academy slipping through his fingers.

He had spent the winter break personally crafting the new Ballots, giving them to students and Professors alike to make it possible for them to record any suspicious activity they may encounter, but to no avail.

An academy's power core was a priceless treasure for the Griffon Kingdom. To avoid enemies or spies from tampering it, in times of crisis only the Headmaster could access it. It was the reason why one of the qualifications for becoming a Headmaster was to also be a Forgemaster.

"Today's attempt on Lith's life it's undeniable proof that traitors are still operating within these walls." He said to Marchioness Distar. Linjos was one of the few people aware of her real nature of mage and of her role as Lord Commander of the Queen's corps.

"Constable Ernas's investigation proves that the real target was Captain Yerna, but to assign Lith to a slaughterhouse, those nobles needed help from inside the academy."

"Agreed." The Marchioness nodded. "Even sending Professors to do a clerk's job didn't help. Let's admit it, our opponent beat us at our own game. Information keeps leaking and now you tell me materials have started to disappear?"

"Yes." Linjos sighed deeply. "Small quantities at a time, but what worries me the most is that they are all ingredients necessary for making weapons. Military weapons at that."

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