Months passed and soon came the end of the second trimester. Lith's teaching methods gave Marth a headache, but it was the good kind. Unlike other Professors, Lith wouldn't leave everything to self study and give only cryptic advice.
Lith always gave a full explanation of the exercises he assigned and even a short tutorial. The problem was that none of his lessons were simple. The exercises always required a deep understanding of the principles of advanced magic and the ability to put them into practice.
It resulted in half the class acing the exercises and the other half failing miserably. Oddly enough, the results seemed to be influenced more by each student's amount of practice rather than by raw talent.
The reason why Marth hadn't ordered him to use more orthodox methods was that those who thrived in Lith's lessons would also improve in most of the other subjects.
'Maybe these kinds of exercises are better suited for an elective class, or perhaps even an exam.' Marth thought. 'I'll give him until the end of the year before deciding what to do.'
Phillard the Lindwurm and the magical beasts of the Trawn woods survived the battle with the trolls. Lith returned the following weekend and brought all those who still lived back to their peak condition. He taught Phillard several healing spells, so that even in his absence someone could take care of injuries or illnesses.
Reaper introduced him to seventeen magical beasts, but Lith dismissed half of them right off the bat. Only those who already had a cyan core were suitable for his experiments. The memory of the green cored Byk turning into an Abomination was still fresh in his mind.
After the near death experience, Phillard was strongly motivated to learn. Through relentless practice he mastered Accumulation and Invigoration, becoming capable of assisting Lith in teaching the magical beasts.
By the end of the year, out of the nine magical beasts under his care only Reaper and Lifebringer managed to evolve into a Manticore and a Kirin respectively. Lifebringer's new body resembled a gigantic white horse partially covered in scales.
Emerald flames came out of his hooves and antlers.
Thunder and two more beasts died in the attempt, none of them returned as an Abomination.
The failures taught Lith many things he had missed during Phillard's Awakening process, while the surviving members learned the importance of patience.
'I can use Solus's tower form to make the process easier and safer, but I can't risk revealing her existence. I won't trust any of them until I see how they behave when they believe they have reached my level of strength.' He thought.
Thanks to Solus, Lith was able to conceal part of his powers. He trusted magical beasts more than he did humans, but that didn't mean much. Lith had prepared several safeguards in preparation to kill anyone who dared to turn against him.
Those two years as an Assistant Professor were one of the happiest times in Lith's life. His brother Aran and his niece Leria grew healthy thanks to their family's love. Lith didn't give them his special treatment. The idea of an Awakened baby was something that gave him the creeps.
'Power without wisdom is the perfect recipe for a disaster.' He thought.
After Quylla graduated, she and Friya left the academy, leaving Lith truly alone for the first time in a very long time. Tista was busy with her own friends. Lith preferred her to live her life without being constantly overshadowed by his presence.
He buried himself in magical research, trying to understand the various magical specializations while he was still at the academy and could ask for the help of his colleagues when necessary.
Lith had several flings during his last year at the White Griffon. After his break up with Phloria, dating older women made it easy for him to get back in the game.
The only real challenge he met was keeping an eye on Tista's natural Awakening process. She wasn't a magical beast, so at least he could hope she wouldn't emit a light pillar from her body.
After a year and a half at the academy, the impurities in her body were dangerously close to her bright green mana core. Incidents started to happen whenever she used first magic. Her tier zero spells would occasionally go wild, destroying her things or hurting her friends.
Lith kept his finger crossed, hoping for the weekend to come before it was too late. He couldn't drag her away from the academy without a good reason and with Manohar around faking an illness would risk drawing his attention.
As soon as Tista finished her weekly lessons, Lith brought her back to Lutia and into the Trawn woods.
"Why are we here?" Tista was confused.
Lith had refused to give her any explanation while still inside the academy and had performed several Warp Steps to make sure no one was able to follow them unnoticed. He even stored all their academy related enchanted items inside his pocket dimension to jam any kind of tracking devices.
"First, don't get scared. Second, do not scream. I don't want to draw any attention."
Lith had brought her over the mana geyser in the woods he used for Solus's tower form.
"We trained in the woods countless times, there's nothing scary here. Why should I s… GOOD G…!" Her scream was muffled by Lith's hand.
He had to admit that seeing his ring grow into a small building was quite a shocker.
"Because of that. Now can you promise me to keep your cool? Otherwise my hand will have to stay there." Tista nodded, turning from the tower to her brother over and over again.
"A mage tower? Yes. Now get in, we don't have all day." As soon as they walked in, a bright yellow wisp of light the size of a watermelon welcomed the siblings.
Tista instinctively chanted a defensive spell, but Lith stopped her.
"Tista, allow me to introduce you to Solus. Solus, this is Tista."
"It's nice to finally get to know you, Tista." Solus's silvery voice made Tista's jaw fall to the ground.
"The tower speaks?" She would have run away screaming if Lith wasn't right beside her, acting like nothing was happening.
"Yes, she does. Also, she has a name, unless you have completely forgotten your manners." Lith sighed. At this pace the sun would set before he could even mention the Awakening process.
"Does Phloria know? About your tower girlfriend?" Tista didn't know whether to be more shocked or angry at all the secrets her brother kept from everyone else.
"She's not my girlfriend!"
"I'm not his girlfriend!"
The two shouted in unison.
"Also, no. I have never told anyone before, because you know, legendary artifacts rarely remain in the hands of someone stupid enough to flaunt them to the world. I'll be honest, I probably wouldn't have even told you until you finished the academy.
I'm forced to do it now because Solus is the best chance I have of saving your life."
"I beg your pardon?" Tista had still hundreds of questions, but Lith's last words made her reconsider her priorities.