The Night Court despises the living.
They consider them just like humans consider their food.
Inferior sentient beings, a lesser ring in the food chain, or two steps behind on the evolutionary scale if you prefer.
They only value power and rank themselves like an army rather than a Court.
A General keeps his authority only as long as he is capable of defending it.
They believe that the end always justifies the means, making betrayals and conspiracies the norm.
They are their own worst enemy.
Their only rule is to not kill among themselves, otherwise their numbers could be counted on one hand in less than a week.
To them birthing an offspring only means to create more rivals, so they don\'t share the gift of undeath easily.
Unlike the Dawn Court that mingles with nobles, artists, and politicians, Night Court members are usually active members of the human underworld.
With its human trade, drug trafficking, and weapon dealing, the black market allows them to hide in plain sight.
To obtain what they want and get away with it.
They like to befriend corrupt nobles and officials.
Such people are the perfect straw men to take care of their business during the day and the perfect fall guys in case something goes wrong.
What\'s a Vassal Lith asked.
For the Dawn Court, a potential new recruit.
For the Dusk Court, a friend.
For the Night Court, a means to an end.
Some undead, like the vampires, can bestow their gifts to the living, allowing them to temporarily surpass their limits.
Becoming a Vassal means to be a willing servant, but it\'s also the first step to become a greater undead.
Don\'t get me wrong, none of the Courts are absolutely good or bad, just like there are not only good or bad humans.
Their philosophy on most things may be different, but they are all predators.
Ancient and powerful beings that have no mercy killing whoever can expose their existence or ruin centuries of hard work.
I don\'t know anyone in Othre, but I think I can still put you in contact with members of the Dawn Court.
They will act friendly because of my backing, but to them, you are still a living and a stranger, hence disposable.
Don\'t worry, he is not going there alone.
We\'ll have his back. Jirni said with a steel gaze while placing her hand on Lith\'s shoulder.
No, you won\'t.
They\'ll never accept so many strangers at once and even if they did, it would be a death trap.
Once inside their territory, you would be forced to abide to their rules or die.
Exposing themselves to you is a big risk that would demand compensation.
One favor is all they need to involve you in the Courts\' quarrels and make you unable to survive without their help, which would require compensation in an endless loop.
The only thing that can keep Lith relatively safe is the blessing I bestowed him.
I\'ll call you back as soon as I know something.
Kalla hung up, leaving an awkward silence fill the room.
Jirni opened her mouth more than once, but in the end she didn\'t say a word and walked out of the door.
I don\'t think you should go. Dorian was the first to speak.
I\'m in charge of the investigation.
I handpicked each one of you for the task.
What happened so far is my responsibility, I can\'t allow you to take such risks.
Exactly. Kamila added while squeezing his hand so hard that her knuckles turned white.
You only came here as a diagnostician and to protect Tista.
Neither the army or the Association can force you to meet those monsters.
Lith appreciated her concern, yet her words stung at him.
\'Monsters They just do what they think is right for their survival and have no qualms killing those who stand in their path.
I don\'t see any difference with what I do, with what society does every day under the pretense of morality or the greater good.\' Lith thought.
\'I wonder what she would say if she saw my other form.\'
\'Don\'t be too harsh on her.\' Solus was jealous of Kamila.
Jealous of all the care Lith put in each of their dates, of the camellia, yet she admired her courage and honesty.
\'It\'s the first time she leaves her desk.
Even Phloria considered magical beasts as monsters back at the academy.
People are always afraid of the unknown, but it doesn\'t mean that they stay scared forever.\'
\'Let\'s be honest.\' Lith preferred to put that thought aside and focus on the matter at hand.
\'I don\'t really have much of a choice.
If Xolver is really the one who requested my personal file, then Kaelarn is investigating me.
I don\'t think our squabble will escalate, but it\'s not safe to remain as ignorant as I am now about the Night Court.
\'Also, we always planned to make contact with the undead to solve my reincarnation problem or at least find a proper body for you.
This is an opportunity as good as any other to see if they can be of any use or if it\'s just a dead end.\'
\'It\'s all true.\' Solus sighed.
\'Not to mention the possibility of you becoming Manohar\'s replacement if we fail to find him, or of the creation of another Black Star.
\'If the Professor is right about the kind of Forbidden Magic taking place in Othre during the last months, there is no telling how powerful the cursed object resulting from all the missing people could be.\'
Jirni returned after a few minutes, while the others were still debating about where to start looking for Manohar.
Othre was a big city.
Even if they used every single soldier and mage available, it would take weeks for a comb search and they had hours at best.
No one doubted that Manohar\'s captor wouldn\'t stand his antics for long.
Still, the Professor\'s death was unanimously considered the best case scenario.
If the one behind the meat puppets and Manohar worked together, it would be a nightmare.
We need to talk. Jirni sighed as she pulled Lith outside the room.
I\'ve just finished talking with the Crown.
The Griffon Kingdom is long aware of the Courts existence and the Royals are not happy with this situation more than we are.
They were against the idea of sending you to meet the Dawn Court until I mentioned Arthan\'s name.
She handed him her communication amulet, making Queen Sylpha\'s hologram appear.
Lith knelt down, well aware that all of his reasonings were about to become irrelevant.
Stand up, Great Mage Verhen. Her square chin and sharp features made her serious face look almost intimidating.
Since I have to send you into the lion\'s den, I think it\'s fair doing it in person.
I hereby command you to do everything you can to find your missing colleague and unveil the identity of our enemy.
As you command, your Majesty. Lith inwardly grinned.
He would have done it anyway.
At least now he would also get rewarded for it.
\'I knew it would happen, sooner or later.\' He thought.
\'You can\'t be valued as one of the best mages in the Kingdoms and not expect to be thrown into the proverbial hornet\'s nest.\'