One after the other, the impurities reached Tista's green core, forcing their way in. The mana reacted strongly to the invasion, giving its all to wipe out the foreign objects.
Lith could watch via Invigoration a small scale war of matter versus energy taking place inside Tista's body. The green core slowly turned black as more and more impurities amassed inside.
The pain grew as Tista's core darkened, until Tista couldn't bear it any more and screamed at the top of her lungs. Lith knew the pain was normal, so he kept watching. It had happened to him multiple times.
Tista's mana core started to pulse, contracting and expanding like it was going to blow. Then it released a powerful wave of cyan mana that purged the impurities inside and outside itself.
Lith could see the mana coursing throw her body like it was searching for impurities to vent its wrath upon. Whenever it encountered them, they would be flushed out, no matter the cost. Flesh and muscles were torn, bones cracked.
It was like Tista's body was suddenly disgusted by itself and had decided to start over from scratch.
Tista's pain was nearing its peak. Lith kept watching and waiting, the refining process seemed identical to his own. The only thing he could do was to ease her pain with light magic and give her a bit of his life force whenever her body experienced a major breakdown.
Not knowing what was actually helpful and what wasn't, he couldn't directly interfere. The self inflicted wounds brought Tista to the verge of death, yet he couldn't heal her without risking doing more harm than good.
Lith and Solus did their best to keep her stable, moving alongside the mana flow to not obstruct its movements.
The process lasted barely a few minutes, but to both siblings it might as well have been hours. Black goo came out from Tista's pores, making her puke, cry, and bleed impurities all at the same time.
Only when the last drop was shed was Tista's body fully repaired. Lith destroyed the tar-like substance with darkness magic while assessing the damage.
'She expelled way fewer impurities than I usually do, yet the pain was much worse.' He thought.
'I think it's because at first you expelled only impurities and your body got progressively stronger and more resistant to pain. She had to endure broken bones right off the bat. The pain must have been unbearable.' Solus replied.
Lith checked Tista with Invigoration again. Aside from being unconscious, she was perfectly fine. Her core was now deep cyan and was constantly absorbing the world energy Solus had conjured inside the basement.
'Solus, can you make a room for her too? She needs to sleep and so do I.' Lith was exhausted too. Tiptoeing across a minefield and getting out alive would have been easier than what he had done to not get in Tista's mana's way while keeping her alive.
'Sure I can. My mana core may still be deep green but that is more than enough.' During the past two years, Solus's mana core had been further enhanced, allowing her to complete the first floor of the tower.
Unfortunately, she had yet to acquire any semblance of a body.
'I'll also pump world energy into her room non stop. It should help her to recover faster.'
Lith brought Tista to a brand new room that was a perfect replica of her own at the academy before going to sleep.
Tista woke up several hours later, feeling like someone had kicked her all the way back home. The first thing she noticed was that her body felt different. She was faster, stronger, but most of all smellier.
"Did I fall into an open sewer or what?" She took off her dress, throwing it into a corner, yet the stench didn't subside.
"Or what." Solus replied making Tista flinch. She wasn't expecting company.
"The impurities can have that effect. Follow me, I prepared you a bath."
Solus was relieved seeing Tista was all right. She was also incredibly embarrassed. After the Awakening Tista's physical appearance hadn't changed much, but it was Solus's first time seeing her naked.
She was now a gorgeous woman who stood 1.76 (5'9") meters tall with waist length auburn hair containing several shades of red. What made Solus feel really awkward wasn't just the fact that Tista's three sizes were 92D-58-88 centimeters (37D-23-35 inches), but also the perfect proportions of her body.
'I bet countless artists would be glad to spend their lives trying to reproduce her symmetry.' Solus thought while staring at Tista's oval face and her delicate features.
'By my maker, if it keeps up this way either my self-esteem will crumble or I'll develop a crush on her.'
"How long have you known my brother?" Tista asked snapping Solus out of her reverie.
"A long time. Since he was four years old." Now that she was submerged in water and foam Solus had a much easier time thinking straight.
"Do you want me to show you?" Solus had already asked Lith's opinion via their mind link.
'She already knows a lot, there's no harm in sharing the rest. Just keep my first two lives out of the picture and enjoy your first human friend.' Was his answer.
Tista and Solus talked a lot about themselves, true magic, and their plans for the future. Solus would often show her images from their easiest battles or of the Evolved Beasts they befriended.
"Once I graduate from the academy, I want to see the world. When I was younger Lutia was my everything but now it feels like a cage, just like my house was back when I was still ill.
"I want to see the capitol, the big cities I visited during my house calls for the White Griffon. I know people will be the same ass*oles wherever I go but the scenery of some cities just stole my heart. What about you, Solus?"
"There's not much I can plan." She sighed. "Soon we will join the army, that's all I know."
"I never got why Lith wants to enlist. Can you explain it to me?" Tista asked.
"It's not for me to say."
"How deep is your bond?"
"Do the two of you ever separate? I mean, where were you while lil brother was with Phloria? Did you watch or something?" Tista's question made the wisp turn beet red.
"No, I didn't. I always gave them their privacy. I can isolate myself from the outside world when it's necessary. Oh, Lith just woke up. He will be glad to know you are alright." Solus quickly changed the topic, materializing a replica of the uniform's academy out of thin air.
"I can give you any dress you want, but you can't take them outside. My creations disappear beyond the tower's walls." She explained.
Tista dried herself with a wave of her hand before wearing her new clothes. She entered Lith's room without knocking. He was focused on practicing Silverwing's Hexagram and another impossible array at the same time.
"What's that?" Tista was referring to the six pointed star inscribed inside a silver circle originating from Lith's right hand.
"Yurial's Hexagram." Lith's replied. "Something he theorized and I'm working to turn it into reality. I still have a long way to go. Also, I could have been naked."
"Yeah, right. Even when we were kids you always swam in the river with your clothes on and your door was always closed whenever you changed. You always hated feeling vulnerable, lil brother. Isn't that the reason why you bought the Skinwalker armor?" She pointed out.
"Point taken, but still." Lith dropped the matter. He preferred to explain to her the basics of true magic since it was almost time to go home before Elina started to worry.