At first, everything went according to plan.
Lith could see via Life Vision that the highly compressed forces stored inside the spatial crack were progressively weakening.
But then, he noticed its edges turning white hot, just like had happened to the previous one before exploding.
- Dammit, I was too naïve.
In this situation darkness magic is a double-edged sword.
It allows me to erode the energy just as I predicted.
What I didn\'t take into account, is that at the same time it accelerates the destabilization of the crack, making it even more volatile. –
Quylla, I did all that I could.
Time for you to step in!
Lith let the darkness fade away, hoping she had still enough time to complete her spell.
At the same time, his hands moved rapidly, forming random signs, pretending to cast one spell after another, creating strong and thick multi layered barriers in case something went wrong.
Lith could only count the seconds, watching the fissure becoming more and more unstable, inwardly wishing for Quylla to hurry up and finish.
Just when the crack was about to collapse, the Restoration spell took effect, making it disappear with a small bang.
One down, one million to go. Lith didn\'t find any joy in succeeding.
There were still too many spatial distortions, and only a handful of seconds had passed since he closed the conversation with Linjos.
Time wasn\'t on their side.
He immediately attacked the next crack, using all his focus and skill to speed the energy degeneration process while trying not to affect the fissure\'s stability.
If before he had just made chaos clash with chaos, now there was a method behind it.
Lith could see the hot spots where different cracks overlapped, and gently used darkness magic to weaken the interactions between them before attacking their cores, avoiding chain reactions.
Rudd had no such thing as Life Vision, but thanks to his talent and abundant experience, he could appreciate the finesse Lith was demonstrating by using darkness magic in such an unorthodox way.
- Brilliant, simply brilliant. He thought.
It\'s such a shame that his space sensibility is so much greater than his dimensional magic aptitude.
And to add insult to injury, the only one capable of using Restoration is a flimsy commoner.
The world has really turned upside down.
Here I am, fighting side by side with some \'inferior\' commoners that yet stand at the top of the class, showing unparallel talent and improvisation, while the \'nobles\' do nothing but run like rabbits.
Maybe I have grown too old for this job. - Rudd inwardly sighed, closing one fissure after the other, trying to create a safe zone for the students.
Meanwhile, Lith realized that the strategy was doomed to fail.
They had only two mages able to use Restoration, while the space distortions were too many and too strong to keep attacking them one at the time.
Quylla, focus only on the cracks that I point out for you! Phloria, Friya, you protect her at all costs with your Mage Knight\'s shields! I\'m going all out!
Without waiting for a reply, he enveloped several spatial distortions at once with darkness magic, marking each time the most dangerous one with a wisp of light.
His hands and mouth moved like crazy, mixing random seals and words, giving Lith the alibi he needed to create small but densely packed barriers around the remaining cracks, this time trying to prevent the resulting explosion to get out, rather than get in.
- What in the gods\' name is that Professor Rudd was flabbergasted by his performance.
He is controlling so many spells at once, adapting the shape, size and intensity of each one according to the situation.
No matter how simple each incantation is by itself, the combined effect is on par with a tier five spell. –
The number of fissures started to decrease rapidly, but it came at a cost.
Only those treated properly with Restoration would just disappear, the rest would suffer the corruption of darkness magic until they blew up.
Thanks to Lith\'s efforts and planning, they were controlled explosions, but explosions nonetheless.
He couldn\'t get too far from them, the hot spots were small to begin with, and he had to keep track of all at the same time with Life Vision.
Each time, the flames were strong enough to overcome the uniform\'s magical protections, burning through the fabric and the flesh alike.
The others were barely able to defend themselves with their combined efforts, leaving Lith alone.
The burns kept piling up, until the pain became unbearable.
Lith was forced to use light fusion to regenerate the parts of his body that were too damaged, while cutting off the pain receptors with dark magic to avoid impairing his focus and movements.
Where the heck is Linjos He tried to yell, but the hot air had injured even his throat.
His voice came out as a raspy hiss, before he started to cough uncontrollably, falling on his knees while gasping for air.
Yurial immediately came to Lith\'s side, attempting to treat the most severe injuries without draining too much of his life force.
You can\'t keep up like this, it\'s a suicidal move. Yurial was horrified.
Most of Lith\'s upper body was now exposed, burned beyond recognition.
His arms and back, which he had used to cover his vitals, had flakes of skin falling down at his every movement, revealing the bloody muscle tissue underneath.
I don\'t know how can you handle so much pain without going crazy, but you need to rest, or you will die!
Thanks, man. Lith appreciated him being so concerned about him to be blind to the truth.
But if I stop, we\'ll all die.
Or do you have a god in the family that we can call upon for actual help Lith smiled, patting Yurial\'s shoulder before attacking the next group of cracks.
In the new world, religions were a relic of the past, whose only remnants were the old gods\' names, used either as exclamations or swear words.
Since humans had discovered magic, they had stopped believing in superstitions and devoted their passion and faith in the mystical arts.
Even the so called six gods of magic, one for each element, weren\'t considered real deities.
They referred to the first mages that not only mastered the power of the elements, but also left behind their legacy, allowing their knowledge to spread and be shared instead of getting lost after their demise.
Lith\'s words were meant to remember Yurial that it was useless to stay idle and hope for help.
He was no hero; his actions weren\'t a selfless sacrifice for a bunch of strangers and an old coot.
He was simply doing the only thing he could in a time of crisis, creating a path for himself and his friends to survive an unjust fate.
For the second time in less than a week, Yurial felt stupid for choosing the Warden specialization.
Even if he had started casting a fire protection array from the moment Rudd had warned them of the danger, he would had never finished it in time.
Yet he swallowed down his self-pity.
Lith constantly needed healing and energy, hence Yurial focused on keeping close to him, assisting whenever he could, to at least lessen his burden.
Finally, help arrived.
Linjos and several Professors entered the class, using an artifact to completely clear the door\'s surroundings from spatial fissures.
Lith\'s group moved towards them, to escape the death trap.
Yet the ray of hope quickly turned into despair.
The students closer to the exit went into a frenzy, trying to force their way out even at the cost of trampling others.
During the struggle that ensued, a girl pushed all those around her away conjuring a powerful gust of wind.
One of her victims ended up colliding with a spatial crack, triggering a chain reaction that quickly spread to the whole training hall.
Cursing mankind stupidity, Lith dashed forward, dodging people and explosions alike.
Then, something hard crashed against his chest with the strength of a cannonball.
The combined pain from the impact and the burns almost made him lose consciousness, and because of that, Lith didn\'t manage to change his trajectory.
The hit sent him against one of the still open fissures, that seemed to swallow him whole before tinging his world red.