Scarlett too recognized the signs of a world tribulation.
It reminded her of Tyris\'s words, sending a cold shiver down her spine.
\'Damn my bad luck.
Not only am I forced to face a Guardian, but I also have to undertake a tribulation at the same time.
I don\'t know what the world wants from me, only that my odds of dying just doubled.
Even if Salaark doesn\'t kill me, the world could if I fail.
Bah, too late for hindsight!\'
Scarlett set aside her fear of death and charged forward.
Her body started to swell and change, doubling its size.
Her fur morphed into red scales as thick as a shield and a pair of feathered wings appeared on the Scorpicore\'s back.
The muzzle became a fiery slate, only her eyes remained visible.
Scarlett\'s mane turned into a raging purple flame, hot enough to turn sand into glass.
Salaark\'s interest was piqued, but she wasn\'t impressed.
The changes occurring during a tribulation were merely cosmetic, pointing out the nature of the potential guardian.
Alas, the Scorpicore\'s strength hadn\'t changed.
Scarlett weaved ten spells at once, unleashing an elemental barrage.
The ground was upturned, the sand turned into spikes, attacking the Guardian from all sides.
Huge hands erupted from the ground, pushing Salaark down a pit that had opened below her feet.
Scarlett\'s only hope was for the combined spells to swallow and bury the Guardian long enough for her to take Balkor\'s life.
A hail of lightning and ice crashed on Salaark from the skies, darkness engulfed her sapping her strength, while molten lava erupted from the trench beneath her.
Salaark was unfazed.
All of Scarlett\'s attacks were nullified by a wave of Salaark\'s hand that turned the spikes and the hands back to harmless sand, closing the pit at the same time.
White flames surrounded her body dispelling the darkness engulfing her, consuming the lightning bolts and sublimating ice.
Despite Scarlett\'s best efforts, an ant would still remain an ant.
Scarlett focused all the mana she had left in one final attack.
Whole dunes floated mid-air, turning into flaming black meteors the size of a two-story house.
Each one of them had enough destructive power to turn a medium-sized city into a crater.
They all crushed against the Guardian, who was forced to raise both her arms to block them all.
Salaark was astonished by the attacking prowess Scarlett possessed.
\'What a cunning opponent.
If I miss or deflect even one of these darkness imbued meteors, I bet she will redirect it toward the Forgotten Plume tribe.
I can\'t afford to play anymore, time to get serious!\'
Salaark\'s battle cry sounded like an eagle\'s screech, her white aura expanded in the form of spreading wings that engulfed the surrounding area with blinding light.
Any other people would believe it to be a sign that the goddess of light had descended among them.
However, the Forgotten Plume tribe knew better.
They fell to their knees, their foreheads touching the sand while worshipping the Benefactor.
The white flames and the black meteors fought for a long second before the light consumed everything in its path.
Salaark looked at her own palms in surprise.
Even under her human guise, she was still a phoenix and yet her arms were covered in third-degree burns, bleeding from several wounds.
You attacked me despite knowing who I am and managed to hurt me fighting fair and square.
You have earned my respect.
This time I\'ll let you go, but if you dare to attack me again, I will end you.
Now scram! Salaark opened a Warp Steps, shoving the exhausted Scorpicore through it.
Scarlett had barely the strength to stand, so she offered no resistance.
She found herself back in the forest surrounding the White Griffon academy.
\'Damn Salaark!\' She inwardly cursed.
\'How can Guardians be so aloof and self-absorbed Yet her power is far beyond mine, a second attempt would be suicidal.
It\'s time for me to stop wasting time with humans.
The Council is useless, the Guardians untrustworthy.
If I want justice, I\'ll need the power to take it with my own hands!\'
When Lith returned to the academy, his world was still upside down.
The anger stemming from Solus\'s lie and the bewilderment from the breach of their absolute bond of trust fought on equal ground inside his head.
He didn\'t know what to think or what to do anymore.
He had stopped grieving Protector from the moment he accepted his death, before leaving house Ernas.
The trip to his grave served as a mean to deal with Lith\'s sense of loss and accepting his failure.
Therefore, there was nothing preventing him from resenting his so-called old friend for his manipulation.
Yet it had all been so sudden that he needed time to digest the revelation.
Lith went to Phloria\'s room, to return the bastard sword.
She remained shocked seeing his uniform tattered.
His left sleeve seemed to have been almost turned to shreds, the uniform\'s self repairing magic barely managed to prevent it from falling apart.
Phloria noticed that despite all the damage the magical cloth had sustained, Lith seemed to be perfectly fine.
He was without a scratch and full of energy, yet his eyes were dead.
He wasn\'t even looking at her but at something past her.
His voice was flat, his mind was elsewhere, in a bad place.
Thank your father for me.
This sword truly is a masterpiece. He handed it to her with both hands.
I will. She nodded.
Has something happened Do you need to talk
Many things, but none I\'m willing to share, sorry.
We\'ll have to postpone our date.
I need some time to think alone.
The following days were the worst Lith had lived since his rebirth in the new world.
Before finding Solus, he had been knee-deep in his personal hell.
His new family was alien to him, but he had managed to accept that he was some kind of monster and that he would be forced to spend his whole life pretending.
His true identity, his past, weren\'t something he could share.
He had come to accept that he was destined to be alone even when surrounded by people, a shadow in a world of lights.
Yet finding Solus also meant finding hope. During the last eight years, he had never been truly alone.
She had been a constant presence in his life, from the moment he woke up in the morning.
She would often even take part in his own dreams.
At first, he had been scared by her intrusions in his thoughts, by all her questions about him and why he acted as he did.
However, over time their relationship had grown, becoming deeper than he could have ever expected.
Solus was the only one to truly know him, the one he could share all his deepest and darkest secrets without being judged.
Whenever Lith had been struggling, either by accepting his new family or the hardships in his life, she had always been his mental support.
With every struggle he overcame, Lith\'s life had become easier, yet the abyss inside him would also become deeper and hungrier.
In the end, everything he had achieved, he had got it through hard work, deception, and the occasional killing.
Mogar, the new world, wasn\'t much different from Earth.
\'Every man for himself\' and \'power conquers all\' were unwritten rules everyone abided to.
Solus had been his moral compass, often questioning his choices and forcing him to ponder about the consequences of his actions, but in the end, she would always be on his side.
Now they were separated, their mind link remained inactive since both of them were unwilling to make the first move.
Solus was still consumed with remorse for her lie, living in constant fear to have forever destroyed their bond.
Cutting herself out of Lith\'s life was her way to atone for her mistake and give him the time he needed to reflect on what she did without external influences.
As for Lith, he longed every day to hear her voice in his mind again.
To feel her warm compassion for all the secrets and the sacrifices he was daily burdened with.
Hiding in plain sight, lying even to his own family wasn\'t so bad as long she was with him.
Solus knew the truth and supported him at every step he had taken so far.
Yet he wasn\'t willing to forgive her, nor to resume their usual routine pretending that nothing had happened.
The situation was tearing him apart, it was like the sun was covered by a permanent eclipse.
It was still there, but he wasn\'t able to experience its warmth and light anymore.
The thing that bothered him the most was being angry at Protector as much as he was at her.
\'Damn Protector! How could he do this to me Or to her Loving me like a son my a*s.
He put us one against the other with his idiotic decision.
He left me grieving like an idiot, second guessing everything I\'ve done, to the point of almost revealing my secret to my family!\'
During that time, Lith realized how dependent he had become on Solus\'s influence in his daily activities.
Without her constantly soothing his rage and filling the void he felt in his life, Lith became colder and detached.
Outside the lessons, he would spend most of his time alone.
Even his grades started to drop, albeit slowly.
It wasn\'t just the feeling of betrayal putting him off his game.
He was too used to brainstorming every problem with Solus, being forced to do everything alone only reinforced his feeling of loss.
After failing to approach him a few times, Friya, Quylla, and Yurial decided it was better to give him some space.
They thought he was having a hard time to accept what he had seen at the mining town.
Lith would barely speak to them and even when he did, his voice was full of ill concealed annoyance.
\'If Solus can\'t be trusted, then I can trust no one.\' Was what Lith repeated to himself more and more often.
Phloria was the only one that held onto him, no matter how many times he pushed her away.
She would go visit him in his room, sometimes they would spend hours in silence, each one studying for the following day lessons.
She didn\'t force him to open up, her hope was that her company would help Lith understand he wasn\'t alone.
If he needed help, he just had to ask.
Lith was grateful to her.
Phloria was the first person in the new world that had approached him without a hidden agenda.
She was more interested in who he was rather than what he was able to do.
Her care and dedication to him were the only silver lining in his situation.
Yet at the same time, it made things worse, forcing him to realize she was just a young girl.
No matter how much he wanted to share his burden with her, he simply couldn\'t.
A week passed, Lith\'s mood was getting worse by the day.
Sometimes he would even dine by himself in his room to avoid being bothered by his companions.
Not only his relationship with Solus was at a stalemate, but he was also so used talking to her about everything that in the past days he often established a mind link out of habit just to shut it down immediately.
That morning, before the gong marking the start of the first lesson resounded, a hologram of Linjos appeared in all the classes and the departments.
My dear students, I have an announcement to make. The Headmaster\'s voice was firm, but he appeared to be exhausted.
He had black circles under his eyes and despite being in his middle thirties, his hair was already turning grey.Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
Many things have happened this year, some good, some bad.
All the academies have lost members of their staff because of Balkor\'s attack, causing a further delay in our activities.
To allow everyone to mourn their loved ones and in respect of what you have gone through, the Crown has decreed that this year there will be no third exam.
Your grades will depend exclusively on your daily evaluation during the third trimester.
The rankings will be revealed during the last day of academy, but you can already learn your grade in a specific subject by asking the Professor in charge.
If for any reason you are not satisfied with your results, you can apply for a practical test to re evaluate your skill.
Beware that Professors are allowed to raise as well as to lower your grade, in case you decide to take it.
We have only two weeks left before the winter break.
You can schedule your test any time before that deadline.
Have a nice day.
Lith\'s group left the academy for the morning rounds, accompanied by Professor Ironhelm.
Lith was happy for the turn of events, he had no desire to babysit his companions again, nor to pretend to care for whatever lesson Linjos meant to teach to the other students.
Every day without Solus was torture, he could feel his rage and hatred grow without limits.
It required him sheer willpower to not lash out every time something or someone bothered him.
Lith knew that sooner or later he would have to confront her once and for all.
Keeping her at a distance wasn\'t doing him any good.
On the contrary, the void her absence created was a constant reminder of how he needed Solus as a person even more than the abilities their bond granted him.
He was already at the point where he could barely care for Phloria.
If the whole academy exploded in front of him, Lith wouldn\'t bat an eye.
He couldn\'t wait for the winter break to finally have three months only for himself.