The Byk chuckled, an amused light in its eyes.
May the Great Mother spare me from such terrible fates.
No offense, but to be a decent mating partner you are too thin, too small, hairless and too human.
Thanks to his recently found mana sensibility, Lith realized that the Byk wasn\'t actually talking.
It was using air magic to turn the sounds of the forest in words for him to understand.
To be honest, I\'m happy to hear that.
As far as I know, I\'m interested only in human females.
Just thinking otherwise was creeping me out. He replied.
What\'s a friend The Byk asked sniggering.
Excellent question. Lith sighed.
In theory is someone that cares for you as much as you do for him.
Someone to rely on during though times or when you are in trouble.
Sounds like a mom or a pack leader.
Maybe it was because it was young, or maybe just because it was an animal, but Lith had the impression the conversation was going nowhere.
Do you know anything about the castle Lith pointed at the academy\'s spires, clearly visible above the tree line.
The man-made mountain Sure, everyone knows about it.
It\'s the place where the white-furred pups like you reside.
Lith was about to facepalm himself in frustration, but then the Byk asked him an odd question.
Now that you mention it, can you explain to me why your den mates have gone insane
What are you talking about Lith replied in confusion.
Until last winter, the forest folks and the man-made mountain folks coexisted peacefully.
Sure, from time to time a big fight happened, but that\'s the nature of wilderness.
The strong lives, the weak dies. It shrugged.
But now things are different.
The white-furred roam the forest not for food or herbs, they now hunt us actively, trying to kill us.
And when I say us, I mean young magical beasts if not litters.
That piece of news made no sense.
According to what Selia told Lith in the past, a cub had a no market value either dead or alive.
The pelt was too rough compared to an adult specimen, and no one had ever managed to tame one.
Magical beasts were not just powerful, they were also strong-willed.
If a cub was properly fed and cared for, it would soon become able to escape, or at least die trying.
If not, they would simply die out of starvation or of the abuse.
Also, killing a cub was bound to incur the wrath of its parents, it was a high risk no reward move.
A vagrant hunter might not care, but for academy\'s students it was suicidal to do so.
They could meet the beasts again during an exam, or even worse, when alone, and that would mean either getting a failing grade for receiving a Professor\'s help or death.
Luckily, most of them are stealthy as a storm, so only a few were killed.
After we retaliated, the Lord of the forest told us to stand down, to try to settle things with the Lord of the mountain.
But then things got even worse.
More and more strangers arrived, strong enough to kill adults. The Byk pointed at the unconscious hunters with its snout.
Lith could understand how those events were related to the Headmaster.
It was a pincer manoeuvre, to make the academy dangerous both inside and outside its walls.
If a student were to die or disappear in the forest, especially during an exam, pinning the blame on Linjos would be child play.
What he didn\'t understand was why such events were linked to his own soul.
There was still something amiss, he could feel that the vision had yet to reveal itself.
Lith\'s heart started to pound loudly in his chest.
An irrational fear was pricking his mind like countless needles, cold sweat covering his body.
He had no idea what he was supposed to do or find, but he knew that the window of opportunity was about to close.
The only card he had left to play were the hunters.
It was still broad daylight, and he couldn\'t afford to be discovered or interrupted, so he changed his clothes again and cast the Hush spell all around them.
Now no matter what he did or how much they screamed, no one would hear them.
And even if someone stumbled on him, all he would see was a hunter killing the competition.
He woke them all up with a jet of icy cold water.
They discovered to have their hands and feet trapped inside the earth below them, that Lith had turned to stone.
Their mouths were stuffed with clay, preventing them to talk.
Lith had searched them one by one, even in the mouth, taken every enchanted or alchemical item they possessed, leaving only their clothes.
They were at his complete mercy, even casting first magic would be incredibly difficult.
He removed the gag from the burly woman, she was the one less likely to know something useful, so was the perfect choice to set an example for the other two.
Free me and fight like a man, if you dare, you f*cker! She spat on him, her wet chestnut hair danced wildly while she struggled to break free, ignoring the pain from her fractures.
Lith\'s reply was to strike right at the broken sternum, making her cough blood, the agony clouding her eyes with tears.
You lost fighting three versus one, when you were at your peak condition.
You being free or trapped would not change the outcome. He said trying to hide the desperate need he had for information.
Tell me who are you guys and what are you doing here.
She laughed in his face, showing a wolfish smile of defiance.
The little man is on a schedule, uh Do your worst.
Kill me, I don\'t give a sh*t.
I hope your master will give you a dog\'s death for your failure.
Another chill invaded Lith\'s body, images of the excruciating cab ride only to find Carl\'s dead body pushed him over the brink, steeling him enough to let the abyss that dwelled inside him roam free once again.
You had just made your two last mistakes.
First, I serve no master, second you have no idea what\'s my worst.
I\'m a healer. Those words were meant to be a threat, but she found the hilarious.
A healer Then heal me so I can rip your head from your f*cking neck.
Lith removed the glove on his right hand, placing it on her chiselled stomach, right above the solar plexus.
If you want to r*pe me, that\'s the wrong spot, kid. Lith ignored her.
You see, a healer is bound to know the human body better than anyone else.
We know how to deal the maximum pain while keeping our patient alive.
After using Invigoration on her, he located her mana core.
According the Alchemy Professor, sending mana into someone else\'s body was like injecting poison.
Lith was now curious to see what would happen if he injected his mana directly into her mana core.