I resent the use of the \'disappear\' term. Manohar said with an indignant tone.
I don\'t run away like a spoiled brat, I simply seek the isolation a complex matter like my endless research requires.
You are a spoiled brat. Jirni replied as she opened the cuffs.
Manohar had the habit of gesturing like a hysterical bird while he talked, almost dislocating her shoulder in result.
Without constant supervision, you\'d break more laws in a week than a serial killer in their whole life.
You never fill your paperwork and neglect your students to pursue your own agenda.
Manohar wanted to reply, but Jirni scared him.
He decided that shutting up and hiding behind Lith was in his best interest.
I know you said that you\'re a fan of my work, but this is more like stalking. Lith said while giving Jirni a bow.
Don\'t flatter yourself, kid.
This time I\'m here for him. She laughed at the joke while pointing at Manohar.
Once you geniuses find some answers, it will be my job to decide how to continue the investigation.
From now on, you all work for me.
Mage Felhorn, explain to us what\'s really happening in Othre.
Gladly. Dorian stepped in the middle of the room and took a deep breath to calm himself.
Death and madness plagued the room, making it hard for him to decide if to find more unsettling the corpses or the living.
Aside from the two young women, he had the impression to be the only human in the room.
It all started a couple of months ago, when the first caravans arrived to exchange goods for food and vice versa.
At first, the crime rate spiked.
It\'s nothing alarming since Othre\'s population doubles until winter ends.
Then, things escalated from the usual routine to crimes of magical nature.
People with little or no magical talent turned into powerful mages and settled old scores the worst possible way. He pointed at the corpses on the metal scaffolds.
The phenomenon started from the outer rim and slowly spread to the whole city.
The only thing we know is that receiving those powers is a double edged sword.
It makes their wielder very dangerous, but in exchange, they die when struck by a spell.
No matter the element employed, a tier one spell is enough to kill them.
While we were still trying to sort things up, our analysts reported that the number of missing persons had spiked as well.
It took us a while to notice because most of the victims were foreigners.
Once it started to happen in the inner rims of the city too, the missing person reports led us to discover that the situation was even worse than we suspected.
People come into Othre every day.
We don\'t know if we are looking for dozens or hundreds of kidnappings. Dorian was crestfallen noticing the lack of reactions in the room.
Tista\'s and Kamila\'s were genuinely worried, but the others seemed bored as if he had been talking about his vacations.
We have been able to cover up both these issues and prevent panic from spreading, until these things started to appear. He moved near the stretcher and pulled away the blanket hiding its content.
It was a corpse, but unlike the others on the scaffolds, it was completely dried up.
The eye sockets were empty, the nose was replaced by two small holes in the skull, and the skin was so stretched that the mouth was deformed into a crazed smile.
Unlike the other anomalies, this phenomenon appeared at the same time in all the rims.
Also, in some cases we have witnesses, so at least we know what happened even though we have no idea of how or why.
The gentleman in front of you is, or better, was Sir Rosen Stern, Baronet of the Kingdom.
He died in front of over twenty guests and every one of them said the same thing.
One moment they were having an amiable conversation and the following a blue pillar descended from the sky enveloping him.
When the pillar disappeared, he had become like this.
Fascinating. Jirni, Manohar, and Lith said as one while coming closer to the body.
We haven\'t been able to identify a pattern in the timing or in the places of the alleged murders.
Everything appears to be completely coincidental.
Our only certainty is that whenever a blue light pillar appears, someone dies.
All the victims belonged to the middle class or the nobility, which makes it impossible to cover it up.
Especially since some of them died in front of numerous witnesses or in crowded places.
Jirni knew of substances capable of inducing hallucinations and venoms that could reduce the victim into a similar state, so she searched the body for puncture wounds.
Lith used all of his and Solus\'s abilities to perform a full body scan of the corpse.
\'The light pillar from the sky manifests when a magical beast is about to evolve.
Usually it\'s of a golden color, while mine was silver.
I\'ve never seen a blue one.
What the heck could it mean\' He thought.
\'No idea.\' Solus replied.
\'There\'s one odd thing, though.
The body is completely dry of mana.
Check it with Life Vision.\'
Everything on Mogar was imbued with mana.
Rocks, trees, even corpses.
Yet only sentient beings developed a mana core and could use magic.
Ever since his first meeting with Kalla, Lith\'s Life Vision was capable of perceiving the mana permeating all things in the form of a faint wind of different colors they emanated according to their nature.
Green for the plants, grey for the stones, red for the animals, and black for the dead.
Lith pretended to chant a spell, touched his eyelids and activated Life Vision.
His eyes now burning with light magic revealed that the corpses on the stretchers had no mana at all.
There was no black wind.
It was the most unnatural thing Lith had ever seen, a void that he couldn\'t even begin to understand.
Even Abominations were infused with mana.
Manohar cast a few spells while examining the body and after a while his eyes shone like those of child staring at his carefully wrapped Christmas presents.
The reason I called you here is to solve the mystery behind these anomalies.
Our first priority is to understand what killed Sir Rosen and is still killing his peers. Dorian continued.
What about the others Kamila knew she was just a liaison officer and had no active role in the investigation.
Yet she couldn\'t help but be outraged by such a manifest discrimination.
Are their deaths less important just because they were poor or commoners
It\'s just that we have no leads.
A problem that I hope our diagnosticians will be able to correct soon. Dorian said while giving a small bow to both Lith and Manohar, even though after all the troubles he had gone through to recruit them, he felt they didn\'t deserve it.
Cases like that of sir Rosen are so peculiar that, according to our experts, there are only three possible explanations and they are as bad as each other.