Cracked is a big word.
Understanding its nature is one thing, curing it is another entirely. Lith tried to curb Kilian\'s enthusiasm.
Kilian seemed to not have listened to a word he said, dragging him away by the arm at full speed while frantically speaking to someone with his communicator amulet.
For some reason, Lith\'s mind recalled all the times he had seen Manohar pulled around by Marth like a small child.
Walking a mile in his shoes wasn\'t pleasant at all.
Before he could realize what had happened, Lith found himself back in the Colonel\'s tent.
Much to his surprise, Varegrave was kneeling at him.
Lith sneered at that sight, thinking that maybe the Colonel wasn\'t such a bad man, if he was willing to humble himself to that point, after realizing how wrong he had been.
Your Majesty, Lith from Lustria is ready to report his discoveries. Kilian said after falling on his knee.
It was only at that point that Lith turned around, discovering that on the floor behind him, lied a blue gemstone, that was projecting a life size hologram of the King, a woman, and several youths that only a blind man could not recognize as their offspring.
Judging from the number of crowns in front of him, Lith was about to share his discoveries with the whole royal family.
Thanks to the etiquette books stored in Soluspedia, he knew what to do.
Lith backstepped until he was lined up with the other two men and kneeled, barely holding in a laughter.
- To think that after almost triggering a civil war because of their incompetence in handling some power-hungry nobles, these royal idiots need the help of a twelve years old to clean their own mess.
Wearing a mask had been liberating for Lith.
With it he didn\'t need to hide his thoughts and emotions.
Yet, even if behind thick crystals, his eyes were still almost visible.
In them, the King didn\'t see awe, respect or nervousness, like he would have expected from a commoner child, but only contempt and amusement, like it was just a game.
A game that he was winning.
Take off your mask and gloves, Mage Lith.
I assure you that Colonel Varegrave\'s apartments are safe. The King ordered.
Despite the King\'s tone was calm and his expression amiable, Lith seemed to perceive a tinge of anger in him.
- Maybe is just my full-blown paranoia, maybe not.
Better play safe. –
Lith obeyed, removing the protections.
Looking at the kid\'s serious and brooding expression, the King realized that all the accumulated stress of those last few months was pushing him on edge, to the point of seeing things.
Please, share your findings with us.
What so far has been considered a plague, is actually something much worse. Lith started to explain.
Do you remember what happened to Marchioness Distar\'s daughter a few years ago She fell victim to a magically laced poison, that disrupted the effects of light magic, turning any attempt to cure it into a new wound.
That\'s impossible. The Queen interrupted him.
We already noticed the similarities with that case.
The antidote for that kind of poison has already be tested and proven useless.
That\'s because there isn\'t a plague that manifests itself in four different ways, there are actually four different plagues, and all of them are man-made.
I believe that whoever created that poison years ago, has learned his lesson and stepped up his game.
From what I could infer, the plagues are a miracle of alchemy.
The weak point of the poison was its being static.
Instead of spreading into the bloodstream, it was designed to remain in the place it was injected, to not lose its potency.
Hence, once identified, it could be easily removed.
But the plagues that are affecting this area aren\'t that simple.
Both the King and the Queen knitted their browns.
From what they remembered, that poison had escaped the detection of many expert healers.
The only reason it had been later discovered a method to identify and treat it, was because Lith had extracted the poison without degrading it.
That had allowed to conduct long and extensive analysis to understand its nature.
The fact that he earnestly used the word simple to describe such a nightmare, was the first silver lining in the brewing storm that threatened to sweep away the Griffon Kingdom.
- Maybe he can become a leading figure in the field of poisons, just like Professor Duke Marth did when he had his age, but in the field of regeneration.
Crazy or not, we cannot afford to lose such talent. –
The Queen\'s line of thought was shared with her spouse via a mind link, that allowed them to comment and discuss any matter.
Even if they often quarrelled, no one could tell, since they would deliberate only after reaching an agreement.
This time they were on the same page, yet the consequences of it burdened the King\'s mind.
There would be much to talk about later.
The plagues… Lith continued.
are not static, nor act like any illness I have ever seen before.
They all work the same way: once the host is infected, they spread to the whole body and remain dormant until magic is used.
At that point, they alter the mana flow, making it chaotic.
The effects are devastating, if not lethal.
If it\'s not a poison or a plague, then what is it The King asked.
It\'s a very small parasite, barely the size of a needle.
As long as the host is alive, it keeps spawning.
I found eggs in all the patients\' bodily fluids, sweat included.
I don\'t know if physical contact is enough or if it needs an open wound to be transmitted.
The one thing I\'m sure, is that it mustn\'t be allowed to spread.
A parasite The Queen was flabbergasted.
Then how come no one else managed to detect them
Because normally, diagnostic spells look for something wrong with the patient\'s body.
A broken bone, a malfunctioning organ and so on.
In this case, the patient is perfectly fine until he tries to use magic.
A healer will be able to detect common parasites either sensing their life force or because they suck the nutrients out of the host.
In this case, their small size, coupled with their ability to mess with mana, make them hard to find, unless the healer, like me, is capable of perceiving even small alterations in the human body.
Also, I have noticed no tissue degeneration near the parasites.
The only explanation I can find, albeit is only a guess, is that they feed on mana.
For several seconds, no one spoke.
Everyone in the room was struggling to accept those revelations.
Kilian was worried for the people, while Varegrave, although sharing his feelings, was also concerned about his neck.
Can you find a cure The King\'s face was composed, but his hands were squeezing the armrests of his throne hard enough to break his nails.
No. Lith admitted with a sigh, throwing those present into despair.
I\'m just a student, after all.
I never worked on something so big.
When it comes down to research, I wouldn\'t know where to start.
Actually, Lith believed that given enough time, he could cure anything with true magic and Invigoration.
But this case was different from all the others he had faced before.
There wasn\'t a single patient, but hundreds if not thousands of them.
Not only he would never been able to cure them all in time by himself, but also the parasites were clearly a biological weapon.
If he declared he could cure it, any sane ruler would have demanded him to share his method, offering any sum for compensation.
Lith wasn\'t willing to teach true magic, and was not skilled enough to convert an elaborate spell in fake magic for anyone to learn with so little time at hand.
The King and the Queen looked at each other, before issuing their order.
Well done, Mage Lith. The royal family clapped their hands, almost making him feel guilty for his deception.
You have brilliantly fulfilled your part of the agreement.
Rest assured the Crown will do the same.
Thank you, Your Majesty.
It pains me, but your Kingdom requires a further sacrifice from you, for the greater good.
You will remain in Kandria, and use the best of your abilities in developing a cure for this monstrosity.
What! Lith was so shocked that his expression almost revealed the shock and outrage seething within him.
You are the one that discovered the truth about this accident, I\'m sure that even with your limited experience, you will be able to offer your guidance and help.
Do not worry about the academy.
At this point, we can only declare the state of national emergency and call all hands on deck.
We need the help of all the light magic specialists to solve this situation as fast as possible.
From today onward, all the six great academies will suspend their activities until a cure it\'s found.