After the closing of the academy.
Phloria Ernas was having the time of her life.
Her ranking was high enough to earn her father\'s admiration and to prevent her mother from nagging at her.
She could spend her days as she pleased, riding, hunting, practicing her sword or magic.
The only sour note was that she wasn\'t allowed to leave the estate.
Winter was the time of the year when the Ernas, her father\'s household, and the Myrok, her mother\'s, would meet to spend some quality time and reinforce their bond.
Since she attended the academy, it was her only opportunity to see her cousins and grandparents.
There was no bad blood between the families and although Phloria found her mother\'s bloodline to be quite creepy, she loved them nonetheless.Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
She was aware that while the Ernas embodied the shield protecting the royal family in broad daylight, the Myrok were the poisoned blade that was tasked of taking care of the enemies of the Kingdom from the shadows, under the façade of being harmless second rate nobles.
Jirni\'s side of the family was very interested in Friya and Quylla.
Since the girls had no blood relationship with the Ernas, the Myrok hoped to have them marry into their household to add their magical talent to their assets and hopefully to their bloodline too.
Between her relatives and the parties she was forced to attend to, she never had the time to visit Lith, only hearing from him with the amulet.
Whoever said \'away from the eyes, away from the heart\' was a jacka*s, right Lucky Phloria said throwing a chicken leg to the big mastiff, that barked enthusiastically.
As long as she fed him roasted chicken, Lucky agreed with everything she said.
I miss so much our walks, our talks, the cuddling and everything else.
I can\'t invite him here, or my grandparents would eat him alive, nor can I go to Lutia.
They have no Warp Steps and I have never been there.
Going back and forth would take too much time, dammit. A chicken wing earned her another woof of compassion.
Quylla and Friya were faring much worse than their adoptive sister.
During the last two months, Quylla had been unable to practice magic even once.
Jirni gave Quylla her undivided attention, trying to cram in a single winter the education the other girls had received since birth.
Quylla had to learn the proper etiquette during conversation and the meals.
How to ride a horse, play at least one instrument, and learn everything about the Kingdom\'s history and current political affairs.
Her talent for magic couldn\'t help her in any of the above, while her shy character made everything more difficult.
Day after day, Quylla was forced to talk with people she didn\'t know and do things she didn\'t care about.
Friya had a lot of free time, instead.
She used it to learn about her new family, spending more time with Orion and Jirni.
Compared to her biological mother, Jirni was a much better kind of monster, giving her ample freedom about how to manage her life.
Orion was the father she had always wished for, so she soon came to realize that being adopted by the Ernas couple was the best thing that had ever happened to her.
Friya spent her days helping Quylla revise the various subjects daily assigned to her and training together with Phloria.
Outside the academy, the two had still a shallow relationship, but it was slowly improving.
Friya had long feared for Phloria to push her around abusing her status of the true daughter, yet the only thing she ever did was nag her about how bossy Jirni was and how fat Lucky was getting.
There were only two downsides to her current situation.
The first, just like for Yurial, was being paraded as the second best student of the White Griffon at every occasion.
The second one was closely related to the first: the bad rumors that came with her achievement.
Being a former member of the Solivar family was a stigma she was unable to wash away.
Both the old and new magical bloodlines resented Friya, spreading the vilest accusations about her.
During each party, as soon as Friya turned her back, she could hear whispers about her sleeping with the Professors, blackmailing them, or cheating her way to success.
There was nothing she could do about those rumors.
The thought that despite her presence was hurting the Ernas\' reputation, her new parents treated her as one of her own, only made her wish that she could cut away those filthy tongues and shove them up their as*es.
Two weeks after the call.
That evening, one of the most important events of the season was taking place in the Marchioness\' house.
Her Marquisate was flourishing quickly, since it now ruled over the region hosting two of the only four remaining great academies.
The Earth and Crystal Griffon academies were closed.
No one knew when or if they would ever reopen.
Archmage Deirus had been awarded for his services with the lands hosting the Black Griffon, giving him control over the remaining two.
They now shared an enormous power above all the other noble households.
Some said too much power.
All the four remaining academies depended on the two households for funding and supplies, giving them a voice in the matter of who to admit or about the changes in the academies\' system.
The Crown had received countless petitions about taking at least one academy away from each of them, yet none had received a response.
Officially, the Crown was still considering both sides\' claims.
Off the record, they had already dismissed them all.
The Crown had no interest to strip two of its most loyal subjects of a prize they had worked hard to achieve just to indulge households with a shady past and an even more shady present.
The names at the bottoms of most petitions were the same on the Marchioness\' list.
It wasn\'t enough to accuse them of treason but more than enough to not listen to a word they said.
That night Marchioness Distar had gathered the most influential people of the region to celebrate the rankers in the top twenty of the White and Lightning Griffon academies, allowing to students and their parents to mingle together.
Yurial and his fiancée, Libea, were having another \'happy\' evening together.
You know, when our parents arranged our marriage, I couldn\'t help but see you Deirus like tricksters hungry for the Fintyr household wealth.
I would have never expected for a commoner\'s bloodline to become so successful.
I admit I was wrong about you.
Libea said as soon they got rid of Duke Cailon.
I was wrong about you too. Yurial replied with the same plastered smile like hers.
I always saw you Fintyr as thirsty beggars in desperate need to get a bit of magic in their bloodline.
I knew all along that your family has given birth to more dragons than mages in the past. He added viciously.
I hoped we could at least keep things civil between us, but as I said, I was wrong.