Although Invigoration allowed Lith to avoid sleeping, it wasn\'t without side effects.
Back when he was still at home, he had several opportunities to relax, like when hunting for food, teaching Tista fake magic, or simply spending quality time with his family.
Now Lith was relentlessly working like a machine, piling up stress without any break outside his three daily meals.
Over time, the accumulated mental fatigue made him more cranky, nervous and aggressive.
It was something the Professors would not notice.
Lith treasured them, and did his best to hold his temper and treat them with the respect they deserved.
The same applied to his \'friends\'.
After his last heart to heart with Solus, he tried to spend more time them, to give her what she needed, more emotions and human interaction.
It would soothe her depression and wear down his nerves, but he didn\'t care.
- Solus always does so much for me.
Not only she is basically my moral compass, helping me on all the academical subjects.
She also restricts my most violent urges, making me almost human.
Heck, if it was possible, I would gladly trade place with her.
She would make a much better person than me. –
Solus was moved by how strong were his feelings for her, and how many sacrifices he was willing to endure for her sake.
At the same time, thought, she was very worried.
The prolonged lack of sleep had only made more apparent that his mind and body were experiencing a major change.
Since overcoming the bottleneck, Lith\'s body kept getting stronger every time the mana core was refined.
As for his mind, the recent events had put a lot of stress on his already twisted psyche.
Ironically, while near death experiences were the norm since Lith had started to practice high level magic, it was finding people that actually cared for him outside of his family that triggered an inner conflict.
Changing life-long values wasn\'t easy, it was like admitting to have always been wrong about almost everything.
On the other hand, the same could be said about her.
The quality and quantity of her nourishment had dramatically improved, and her mana core was on the verge of turning green.
But what bothered Solus the most, were her new feelings.
Thanks to Lith\'s new enhanced senses she could hear all the mean comments people would make behind his back, all the petty grudges that every praise he received would arise.
The more she knew humans, the more disgusted she became.
After he had almost died protecting everyone from the spatial cracks, the kindest comment she had heard was:
Even after losing an arm, we can\'t get him out of our hair for a whole day That guy is worse than a cockroach!
Solus was starting to think it was her being wrong all along.
Lith was summoned by the Headmaster less than an hour later Queen Sylpha had expressed her newfound interest for turning Linjos\' head into a toilet brush holder, instead of mounting it on a wall.
After consulting with Professor Marth, the second-best healer of the White Griffon academy, Linjos was left with no choice.
If it\'s a life or death situation…
Cut the \'if\'! There are lives on the line, mine included! Linjos interrupted Marth.
…then I\'d definitely send Lith from Lustria.
Is the only one whose diagnostic skills are at Manohar\'s level.
A student instead of a Professor How low have we stooped What will become of the prestige of this academy Linjos moaned.
Stooped Marth knitted his eyebrows in disapproval.
The new replacing the old is the way of life.
Also, accepting someone that all the other academies rejected out of prejudice, is not stooping.
Especially if he succeeds.
But what if he fails Linjos was about to cry.
We\'ll become the laughingstock of the Kingdom.
Everyone will think we are so incompetent we have to rely on a child!
Well, we can always send a couple of Professors and hope for the best.
At least you would fail with dignity.
Linjos groaned, his neck suddenly hurting.
Failure wasn\'t an option.
What about that other student Quylla from Cerea At this point, sending one or two makes no difference.
It actually does. Marth objected.
Her talent for light magic is outstanding, I believe that if properly nurtured, she can become the next Manohar…
Stop saying that name! Linjos\' neck felt a new pang, feeling the executioner\'s axe nearing.
I mean in a good way.
There is nothing good about that man! Seeing the Headmaster being unreasonable, Marth dropped the matter.
As I was saying, she is a magnificent mage, yet she is too young to witness such horrors.
Not to mention that her diagnostic skills are about my level.
I\'d rather go myself instead of putting her future at risk.
As for our new star, he is… quite special.
Marth tapped on Lith\'s complete personal file.
A folder almost as thick as a book, where the experts from the Mage Association had classified him as what on Earth would be called high-functioning sociopath.
At that point, Linjos had stopped resisting and accepted his fate.
When Lith entered, he was wearing his old set of frown and glare.
I didn\'t do anything wrong, and was about to have a magical breakthrough! When he had received the call, Lith was about to clear the second last exercise before attempting a real Warp Steps.
After the sabotage, the fourth-year lessons had been suspended for a few days, until the internal investigation was concluded.
He had used that time to further practice under Quylla\'s guidance, and was close to placing eight opening a Gate.
While most students had been scarred by the event and needed psychological counselling, he had continued his studies like nothing had happened, managing to catch up with those more talented than him.
Lith\'s choice of words only intensified Linjos\' feeling of impending doom.
The Headmaster gave him a file, containing all the relevant information about the events in Kandria, explaining to him that his presence was required to shed light on the matter.
I\'m just a student. Lith replied giving back the folder.
What does this have to do with me
What Headmaster Linjos forget to tell you, boy, is that this isn\'t a request.
This is an order from the Queen herself.
The voice belonged to a man about thirty years old, 1.82 meters (6\') high that walked out of a Warp Steps that opened right in the middle of the room.
He had light brown crew cut hair and moustaches of the same colour.
He was wearing a deep blue uniform, bearing on the heart the Royal crest, a triangular shield representing a prancing griffon with a crown on its head and holding two sceptres in his front claws.
One representing the magical power, the other the military one.
Lith, allow me to introduce to you Captain Velagros, from the Queen\'s corps.
Captain, this is Lith from Lustria Linjos stood up, offering his hand to his esteemed guest.
Were you spying on us, or did you just wait in order to make a dramatic entrance Lith wasn\'t impressed, more like annoyed.
His bad mood made him blurt out what normally he would have just thought.
Kid, this is no laughing matter.
People is dying this very moment.
If you can do something about it, it\'s your duty to.
People dies every day. Lith shrugged.
Usually it happens to the poor, the orphans, the homeless.
Yet no one gives a damn about it.
But if it happens to a few rich guys in a fancy city, then suddenly it becomes a huge problem.
Also, I have no duty, since I took no oath.
So, let me rephrase: what\'s in it for me He said rubbing his right thumb and index fingers together.
Normally Captain Velagros would have been tempted of teaching the arrogant kid a lesson, but he too had read the file.
It was clearly stated that because of his upbringing, Lith had no real ties to the Kingdom.
That was the reason his family was so tightly protected.
The orders were to not antagonize him, unless it was absolutely necessary.