Lith\'s group was happily enjoying their meal, exchanging suggestions about how to better treat magic crystals during the next lesson when Jirni Ernas almost burst open the door marching inside.
All the conversations suddenly stopped.
All eyes were drawn to the badge shining on her chest.
Aside from a few students choking on their food, the clicking of Jirni\'s boots on the stone floor was the only audible sound.
Lady Ernas exuded enough killing intent to take away the appetite of those she passed along.
While most of his schoolmates avoided her gaze, Lith couldn\'t stop hearing in his head the Imperius March along with a rhythmic heavy breathing.
Lady Ernas didn\'t bother caring for the reactions of the ants surrounding her.
She was still high strung because she couldn\'t kill the three little b*stards.
She wasn\'t a fan of due process, judges, and all those technicalities.
In her opinion, once she was done with her job, she should have been allowed to take out the trash.
Yet she had the utmost respect for the law.
Jirni had tailored her work life around a deep respect for rules and regulations.
There was only one thing that she could do to avoid murdering someone on her way home.
Mom What are you doing here Phloria looked at her with a puzzled look.
Jirni had rarely allowed her daughter to see her in her uniform.
She liked to keep her personal life separated from the professional one.
Oh, my baby! Thank the gods you are all right. She hugged Phloria, squeezing her against her chest while caressing and kissing her daughter\'s head.
The killing intent popped like a bubble, replaced by a scene quite embarrassing for a teenage girl.
Phloria became beet red, trying to shake off her mother\'s embrace, but to no avail.
She could hear many people sniggering at her.
Only once Jirni was certain that nothing had happened to her daughter, she let her go.
What followed was even more embarrassing.
Jirni went in front of each one of the most vocal to have found the previous scene hilarious and after scanning their features with her silver tablet, she listed all the past misdeeds that their families had tried so hard to cover up.
R*pe, tax embezzlement, slavers, traitors.
Sometimes the list was long, but she took her sweet time, starting with the most recent crimes and promising them she would take care of all those cases personally.
Some ran away in tears, others hid their faces in shame, a few attacked her.
The result was always the same, broken bones and new criminal charges for assaulting an officer in the line of duty.
When she had finished, no one was laughing anymore.
Jirni Ernas was a short woman, 1.52 (5\') high, but in their eyes she had turned into a terrifying giant that no one dared to offend.
Lith, do you have a few minutes to spare She asked with a gentle smile after returning to his table.
I have some questions for you and my little Flower.
It\'s better if we discuss this privately.
Phloria blushed violently, while Friya and Yurial had to hold back their chuckles.
Their reactions made no sense to Jirni, but being teenagers, there were few things about them she understood, so she paid them no heed.
- How the heck did she found out so fast Phloria\'s mind was a train wreck.
I didn\'t even tell dad that Lith and I are dating.
We have yet to have a proper date.
Is it possible she has someone spying on me in here–
They went to Lith\'s room and when Jirni insisted on talking to them separately, Phloria almost went into a panic.
What do I do She\'ll scare him away! I\'ll never have a boyfriend.
Why does she have to meddle in everything I do
It\'s not a big deal, sister. Friya chuckled.
There are plenty of other fish in the sea.
Yeah and every one of them will get scared when having a meeting with a shark! I want to see if you\'ll keep laughing when it happens to you. Phloria\'s retort snuffed out her hilarity.
Friya had yet to see Lady Ernas treat her adoptive daughters any different from her own blood.
While the three girls were panicking, each fueling the others\' paranoia, Jirni and Lith were having another kind of talk.
Do you know why I am here Her tone was firm, but gentle.
Jirni preferred a soft approach in questioning a possible ally.
She had already contacted the King on her way to the canteen and he had shared with her the Crown\'s agenda.
They knew Lith was an anomaly, like Manohar or Hatorne, but they hoped to turn him into an asset and prevent him from being snatched by other countries.
King Meron didn\'t explicitly order her to leave him alone, it was implied in his wording.
Jirni was a loyal servant of the Crown, but above everything else she was a mother and a man hunter.
She had understood at first glance that Lith was like her, a ruthless killer with no compassion or care for human life.
According to his background check, he cared for his family.
It was a good start, but not enough.
It could have been all an act.
She had to make sure that just like her, he was actually capable of caring.
Otherwise letting him so close to her daughters was too dangerous.
Not to mention that once Lith graduated from the academy, she had no doubt he would succeed, he would become a time bomb.
She knew that such a menace had to be snuffed out as soon as possible, before it became unstoppable as it had already happened with Hatorne or the god of death.
Is this an official visit Lith asked.
- If this was about me and Phloria dating, she wouldn\'t wear a uniform.
She wouldn\'t question me, but fawn me instead.
Lady Ernas wanted us to date since the second semester.
Phloria never told me her mother is a royal constable, dammit.
I would have planned things more carefully.–
Then it\'s about yesterday\'s accident.Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
Nailed in one.
Now, since you seem a smart boy to me, I suggest telling me the truth.
We are cut from the same cloth.
You can\'t fool me like you do with the others.
There wasn\'t much he could do about his situation.
- Phloria\'s mom is too calm.
She probably already knows the answers to her questions, she must have interrogated those three.
There is no other possible explanation.
Lying to her can only put me in trouble.
In this dance, she leads while I can only follow.–
Before he could answer, Jirni took out a device the size of a USB pen drive with a small blue gemstone embedded on it.
After she pressed the stone, it emitted a low buzzing sound.
It prevents anyone from listening to our conversation, either by conventional or magical means.
There is a traitor in the academy, I wouldn\'t be surprised if one or more of the rooms are bugged. Jirni explained.
Knowing how hard it was to deceive someone like him, Lith only told her the truth, simply omitting the parts about the use of spirit magic.
Jirni was pleased by his behavior.
His story matched what she already knew and she couldn\'t detect any hint of deception in his words or body language.
However it wasn\'t enough.
What did you do to send them into a coma
Torture. The shortest, most concise and satisfying answer in her vocabulary, but she remained expressionless.
Two of them with killing intent and air magic.
Against the leader I used something more sophisticated.
Constable Ernas log.
What follows happens due to my explicit request, it\'s not an act of aggression.
Repeat, not an aggression from the suspect. After Jirni spoke those words in her magic tablet, she closed in to Lith.
Show me. She asked him.
It\'s hard to believe that a twelve year old single-handedly suppressed three men taller and heavier than him.
Do to me the same thing you did to the two Poltus boys, but stop when I ask you to.
I don\'t think I can. Lith replied.
The only time I can emit killing intent is when I\'m threatened or when I feel a deep hatred.
Otherwise it\'s painful, like making scars become open wounds again.
The answer was a pleasant surprise.
Jirni had experienced the same thing when she was about his age, learning how to control her emotions at will.
For a moment, she thought about pretending to threaten his family, but quickly dismissed the idea.
She wanted a confrontation, not a fight to the death.
If Lith was even one bit similar to her, only one of them would come out alive before she could explain her reasons.
Even then, the Crown would probably execute the survivor for treason, it would be a lose-lose situation.
Please, try it anyway. She asked.
Lith forced himself to think about his father back on Earth, to Carl\'s death, to all those people that plagued his existence so far.
Jirni could feel the killing intent rise bit by bit, but it was nothing much.
Then she found it difficult to breathe.
An air spell was surrounding her head, sucking the air out.
I can see those two almost die of fright.
Lith obeyed, still blinded by the emotional pain.
Now show me what you did to the last one. She offered him her hand.
Do it only once.
Lith pretended to chant and as soon he touched Jirni\'s skin she felt a burning pain ravaging her flesh with an intensity she had rarely experienced.
Yet she endured it without batting an eye, leaving Lith deeply impressed.
Do you recall anything about black hands and mystical eyes popping out from the shadows Her question left Lith flabbergasted.
She stared in his eyes, finding only genuine surprise.
- Seems that Raynart was really delirious after all.
That or one of them is lying without knowing it. She thought.
Did you tell Phloria about that night
No. He shrugged.
There\'s no point in making her worry about what could have happened.
She has my Ballot now, so she\'s safe.
As a man hunter and a constable, that was the answer she had been looking for.
Lith was able to care, otherwise he wouldn\'t have sacrificed his safety for someone else\'s sake.
If he really gave Phloria his Ballot before the assault, then it couldn\'t be part of a ruse, since the Poltus boys had followed them after meeting them by chance.
She could easily check the timing, Linjos was the only one that could reset a Ballot.
As a mother in search of a husband for her daughter, that piece of news made Jirni\'s heart flutter.
She decided not to push him.
They were still young, but that was a good sign.
Thank you for protecting my family. Jirni said offering him her hand, which he promptly shook.
One day I hope to be able to return the favor.
Could you please tell my little Flower to come in
Phloria barged in a second later, slamming the door behind her.
Mom, this is too much, even for you.
Stay out of my love life! Jirni had no idea what she was talking about, but she had learned that suspects with a guilty conscience would often talk too much, so she remained silent.
How could you put me under surveillance I asked him out two days ago and you already come here in high uniform to interrogate us We did nothing wrong!
You didn\'t Jirni kept her face expressionless.
We just kissed.
Once! I have the right to date who I want.
I will not allow you to control my life. Phloria\'s face was red due to rage and embarrassment.
She was really happy that the dorms were soundproof, she had yelled quite a bit.
Oh sweetie, that\'s marvelous! I\'m so happy for you. Jirni hugged her tight, finally letting her joy out.
I was starting to fear you\'d die single.
You listened to my advice and courted Lith instead.
He even gave you his Ballot, now everything makes sense.
Good girl, mom is proud of you.
Phloria froze, panic quickly replacing her outrage.
Didn\'t you know it already She squeaked.
No, I just wanted to see you.
I\'m here on official business for yesterday\'s accident.
I\'m glad you choose to share the good news with me.
Phloria thought she was going to die out of embarrassment, but her heart stood still and the earth refused to open up and swallow her.