Before starting our lesson, I\'ll ask you a question.
Please be honest about it, it will save us a lot of time.
How many of you were too tired to practice the spell on page 22 that I assigned two days ago
Nalear\'s inquiry was followed by prolonged silence.
There\'s nothing to be ashamed of, it happens every year.
The first day is all about theory, so students get confident.
The second day is all about practice and drains their energies.
Take five minutes to study it, despite it being a tier four spell is very simple.
Aside from Lith, Quylla and a few others, most of the students took out their books and read like madmen.
Lith used that time to practice it on the crystal mass.
The spell was called Scope and turned out to be extremely similar to a diagnostic spell, but instead of showing the status of a patient, it allowed one to distinguish the single crystals that composed the mass.
Just like a mana blade, it hadn\'t a set duration.
Once cast, Scope would last as long as the mage kept spending mana, requiring the constant use of earth and light magic.
- Invigoration doesn\'t work on inanimate matter, yet it does on magic items and artifacts.
I wonder how I should classify mana crystals. - Lith thought while activating Invigoration.
His breathing technique revealed not only the crystals\' outline, but also allowed him to see on their surface a series of lines and cracks, of which Lith was unable to understand the significance.
All you have to do for today is to separate the cluster that I provided you into single mana crystals and then cut them into a usable form.
Do not underestimate your task.
Using the mana blade and Scope at the same time takes a lot of energy, while adjusting the blade\'s density according to the situation requires focus.
Nalear closed in to the first row of desks.
Use too little mana and you\'ll get sparks but no cuts.
Too much and… Her blade cut straight into a crystal, that emitted a bright light before crumbling.
If this was a real mana crystal, instead of scraps of the lowest tier minerals, it would have caused the whole cluster to explode.
The force of the resulting detonation would be proportional to the amount of mana stored.
That\'s why Crystalsmiths require huge fees.
The more powerful the crystal, the higher the risks.
Since they are risking their lives on your behalf, don\'t be stingy with them.
Never believe to those that offer their services for a reasonable sum.
They are either trying to rob you of your crystals or are so incompetent that they will lose more than half during the refining process.
If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.
The first part of the exercise was easy.
The crystals composing the cluster were big and didn\'t overlap much.
Thanks to Scope the students could discern where a crystal ended and the other began.
The mana blade was capable of separating the conjoined sides without destabilizing the structure.
Everyone managed to finish their task quickly.
Now comes the hard part, cutting a crystal into a usable form.
In their natural state, most mana crystals are bigger than my fist.
If you remember my first lesson, all those I showed you were the size of a walnut.
That\'s because bigger crystals not only are more brittle, but also the mana they contain is scattered along its whole structure.
The cutting process allows compressing the mana crystal, making its power focused and more easily accessible to a good craftsman.
Let me give you a demonstration.
Nalear used Scope on a single gemstone and then activated her mana blade again.
Her mana was ethereal, passing through the surface of the crystal without leaving a scratch.
Yet each time the blade touched the gemstone, it would shrink more and more.
The final product, despite she had worked on scraps, was a bright red gem the size of a pearl.
Don\'t get fooled by appearances.
A mana crystal it\'s not a rock imbued with mana, it\'s pure mana that somehow took physical form.
Removing even a small chip means making it weaker.
The cutting process requires to use the mana blade to stimulate its structure, making it slowly collapse on itself.
To do it, you need to use Scope to see the keystone points and to make the mana composing the blade as thin as possible.
Lith did as instructed, discovering that the spell showed the same lines highlighted by Invigoration, but they were fainter and there was no trace of the cracks.
The hardest part of the exercise was to keep the mana flow as weak as possible.
Aside from healers, fake mages weren\'t used to such fine control, so many students ended up breaking one crystal or more.
Lith\'s work was progressing smoothly, like for the rest of his group, so he exploited a moment when Nalear was helping a boy on the other side of the class to make an experiment.
He used Invigoration on the crystal and instead of applying the blade on the lines, he struck with it one of the cracks.
The crystal didn\'t change its size, but he could sense his mana getting slowly sapped, being absorbed by the gemstone.
- I can charge these things! He thought.
I can turn scraps into perfectly fine crystals.
Solus, we have struck a gold mine!
Not to burst your bubble, but even scraps are rare.
We never found one before.
Not to mention that we would need a plausible excuse for the crystal\'s origin, otherwise it would blow your cover.
This isn\'t a gold mine, more a way to spare some bucks on your staff.–
Solus\'s cold pragmatism made Lith mind whimper.
The lesson ended in complete success.
All the student had managed to cut at least three crystals, even though many of them had required several breaks to catch their breath.
- This is odd. Lith thought.
Despite their cores aren\'t at the level of Yurial\'s and the rest of the group, how can they be so exhausted for something like this–
He looked around, noticing that most of his colleagues from the Healer\'s specialization had no such problem.
- Maybe it\'s just that their control is really poor. Solus replied.
I don\'t know if you have noticed, but those who destroyed a few crystals are also the same that have yet to succeed to open a Warp Gate.
They must have very low mana sensitivity.–
There was only so much that even logic could do against Lith\'s paranoia, but in the end he didn\'t care for them.
His priority was eating lunch and getting ready for the first practical Necromancy lesson.
White Griffon, Headmaster\'s office
Linjos had just received the latest Crown\'s proclamation reserved for their inner circle, remaining shocked by what he had just read.
Linjos used his communication amulet to contact the Queen, expecting a long queue, but she replied immediately.
Let me guess, you too are calling about the new slave collars, right Queen Sylpha had the annoyed tone of someone who already had that conversation countless times.
Yes, Your Majesty.
You know there is at least a mole in my academy, if not more.
Those cursed devices allow the traitors to turn anyone into unwilling allies.
My situation has just gone from dire to desperate!
Your situation The Queen frowned, barely keeping her anger in check.
The civil war has been almost foiled, but almost isn\'t enough.
I and the King don\'t know who to trust anymore.
We have to perform daily controls on everyone that approaches us, our children, or has access to sensitive information.
It\'s not just \'your situation\', it\'s everyone\'s.
I had to inform all my loyal subjects, even knowing that the news would spread panic and distrust.
I prefer paranoid officials to dead ones.
A slave collar can make a mother kill her newborn child, turn your loving husband into a violent beast with a single word.
I need you all to be on your toes, but most of all, to read the damn proclamation until the end.
It\'s clearly written that the slave items found in Lord Poltus\' possession were just three and custom made.
To his knowledge, there is no mass production, but the fact that someone has the means to create them is a threat that can\'t be underestimated.
Did you execute a security sweep recently
One right after the sabotage of the training hall and another right before the start of the trimester.
I checked students, Professors, clerks, everyone.
I had Trasque check myself, just to be safe.
Someone could always turn me into a sleeper agent.Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
Sylpha seemed happy by that news, but after a second her eyes became cold.
What about the students
I\'m really sorry, your Majesty.
I\'ve let you down again.
What are you talking about Sylpha was genuinely surprised by his answer.
I know that the students\' grades are at an all time low, but the promotion rate…
I wasn\'t talking about that. She cut him short.
It\'s the same in all the academies.
What Linjos jumped out of his chair, he couldn\'t believe his ears.
What did you expect That the other Headmasters would flaunt their problems Off the record, since the threat of the civil war started, the students spend more time fighting among themselves or following their parents\' agenda rather than studying.
The Black Griffon never expelled so many students in a single year, while at the Crystal Griffon academy they have so many injured that they had to hire new medical staff.
Your White Griffon is the crown jewel of the academies at the moment.
Sylpha\'s smile perfectly hid her amusement at Linjos\' shocked expression.
I was talking about the Poltus boys.
Three of them, at night near the girls\' dorm.
It creeps me out just saying it out loud.
What were they doing there Why have they yet to wake up
- Oh, that!– Linjos thought, inwardly sighing of relief.
Up to no good, that\'s the only thing that I\'m sure of.
They had a Ballot, but they didn\'t activate it.
It means that either they knew their aggressor or that they couldn\'t afford to record their meeting.
I had them searched.
No slave items, but they had several alchemic products on them.
Most of them where to… incapacitate the victim.
Meaning Sylpha didn\'t like the pause at all.
I can\'t be sure until the alchemic lab confirms it, but judging from the smell I\'d say they were sedatives or roofies.
I\'m going to interrogate them as soon as they wake up.
Depending on their answers and the lab results, I\'ll decide what to do.
Off the record, they are as good as expelled, already.
After breaking their dimensional amulets, we found so many drugs they could open a pharmacy.
Oh dear. Sylpha silently prayed for Linjos.
The Headmaster was about to ask the Queen why she cared so much for the Poltus family, when the gemstone on his desk blinked red.
His personal assistant had something very urgent to tell him.
This better be important, Balfas. Linjos answered with an annoyed tone, bowing to the Queen as an apology for the interruption.
Royal constable Jirni Ernas requests your presence, Headmaster. Balfas was a retired veteran, not even dragons soaring the skies could upset him.
Yet he was squeaking like a mouse.
Tell her I\'m innocent! I mean busy! As a royal constable, Lady Ernas had an authority second only to the Royal Court.
She was that good at her job that no one, either innocent or guilty, wanted her poking at their personal life.
She says it\'s for official business. Balfas\' voice rose of another octave.
What official business could she possibly… Linjos\' eyes suddenly noticed the name of a particular student that lived near the site of the accident.
Gods, no! I mean, tell her I\'ll be there immediately.
Be careful about what you do and say, Linjos. Sylpha said after he closed the communication with his assistant.
She knows about the Poltus boys, the roofies, everything.
I know what you are thinking, it\'s a minor offense, but don\'t fool yourself.
Do you know what\'s a royal pardon
Of course I do! Linjos felt offended by the question.
A royal pardon was a get out of jail free card for any crime non punishable by the death penalty.
The Crown granted a few of them every year to their most loyal servants for their outstanding results.
All the noble families had one or more black sheep that needed protection from the law.
Most of them would do anything to obtain one to not get their name tarnished.
The royal pardon was a leash that kept them loyal and efficient.
Well, she has collected five so far, but never needed one.
Does that mean…
That she could maim half your staff and as long she kills no one, she will go home in time for dinner.