Lith didn\'t play favorites and obeyed his orders.
Professor Gaakhu was his first choice being the youngest among her peers and the language expert.
Then came Professor Neshal.
Her condition was as bad as the others\', but she was the only Master Warden in the group so Lith presumed he might still need her help.
After saving them, Lith had enough strength to save only one Professor.
His choice was between Professor Ellkas from the Fire Griffon, the one who was better at deciphering the Odi language, and Professor Syndra, who was a War Mage.
The Odi\'s protections were all heavyweight and Syndra could kill dozens of enemies with a single spell.
Professor Phesta from the White Griffon was the most useless member of the team.
Aside from a historian she was also a Master Alchemist and a Mage Knight.
The former was inconsequential for the expedition and the latter was ruined by his old age.
This is up to you, Phloria.
Both of them can be useful in their own way and their survival rate is identical. Lith said.
He was panting and his breathing was irregular.
Using so many times tier four healing magic without Invigoration was truly exhausting.
\'Thank the gods Quylla is still unconscious.
She would cry her eyes out knowing the old, meek Phesta is going to die.\' Phloria thought.
She wasn\'t faring any better than Lith.
It was her life force he was using now, and even after drinking a tonic and eating some food, she still needed rest to recover.
Is it impossible to save them both She asked.
Lith shook his head in reply.
Then save Ellkas.
So far, all the threats we faced required more brain than brawns, not to mention that Syndra\'s contribution to the expedition has less significance compared to Ellkas\'.
When Lith was done, both Phloria and he were on the verge of fainting.
Why didn\'t you ask Morok to contribute He asked, glad that Solus was able to keep watch and that it would only take him a few breathes to recover in case something else happened.
Because he is already tired from all the healing he performed.
We need at least one person able to stand guard while we rest. Phloria fell asleep the moment she finished her explanation.
Lith followed her lead after using Invigoration to restore half of his strength, just to be safe.
Luckily, the arrays were all still standing since Professor Neshal was alive and well.
Morok\'s guard duty was hellish due to his fatigue but relatively safe.
When Lith woke up, bad news was waiting for the survivors of the expedition team.
Professors Phesta and Syndra were dead and so was Nilla, Professor Gaakhu\'s assistant.
Many tears were being shed, either due to shock or for the loss of precious friends.
The Professors had known each other for years and even if they were rivals, they still respected their competition.
On top of that, seeing a veteran mage die that easily filled their hearts with the fear of being the next one to fall.
Rainer was crying like a lamb sent to slaughter.
The easiest expedition my ass! We\'re dying like flies.
Professor Yondra, please, I want to go home.
Field work is bound to be unpredictable, son.
We came searching for ruins and we found a military compound.
No one could have predicted this outcome, otherwise the team would have been assembled very differently.
It was Calil\'s naivety that brought this disaster upon himself and us as well. She replied, bursting into a violent cough she was unable to repress.
To save her beloved assistant, the old Professor had given her all and some more.
Rainer regained his cool, performing on his mentor a quick diagnostic spell.
Oh gods, Professor Yondra, what have you done Don\'t speak, you need to rest. He forced her to lie down.
Despite her protests, Yondra was now weaker than a child and unable to get up without help.
Thinking about his previous words, Rainer felt like an egotistical prick.
He went in search of a Healer while cursing himself for his helplessness.
Quylla was still asleep, the Professors were still weakened, leaving only Morok or Lith as a possible choice.
\'Professor Yondra and Ranger Verhen are in a good relationship.
He should be willing to help.\' Rainer thought.
The youth was shocked seeing the Ranger\'s appearance.
Phloria and Morok had suffered no damage as well, but even after eight hours they still bore the signs of exhaustion.
Phloria was slightly pale and had bags under her eyes despite having plenty of sleep.
Lith, instead, looked like someone who had just arrived there after a relaxing vacation.
How is this possible You have fought that thing, healed people, and yet you look amazing.
Do you have a reason to disturb me or are you just hitting on me Lith had relieved Morok from guard duty for a while, to allow his fellow Ranger to get some sleep.
Rainer inwardly cursed and explained to him how dire Yondra\'s condition was.
Lith wouldn\'t have believed a single word if not for the honest fear he could see in Rainer\'s eyes.
I personally checked on her before going to sleep, but taking a second look can\'t hurt.
You stay here and if any of the traps I set up make a single noise, scream.
Rainer nodded, staring at the tunnels in front of him as they were the open maws of as many beasts, ready to release unknown horrors upon him.
He was scared of them, but he was terrified at the idea of losing the closest thing to a family he had ever had, so he calmed his heart and kept an ear to the ground.
Lith discovered that Yondra\'s condition was actually worse than Rainer had described.
Her life force was such a mess that he needed to use his tier five Scanner and Chisel spells to stabilize her.
The moment he was done, she opened her eyes abruptly.
What the heck did you do to damage yourself that badly Lith asked.
I simply did what was necessary.
Rainer and the other Assistants needed help.
If it wasn\'t for this old body, the poor Nilla would still be alive.
I collapsed before treating her. Yondra sighed.
That was stupid of you, it almost cost you your life.
Nilla was barely twenty! She has- had all her life in front of her whereas I squandered mine.
I spent so much time researching magic that I almost lost my family more than once.
My children may recognize my face, but they don\'t know me at all.
Her voice was filled with regret while her eyes looked past Lith, staring at visions of all her past mistakes.
Yondra now regretted many things and wished she had made different choices in her life.
That\'s why I want to retire and why I approached you.
I want someone to relieve me of the burden of my magical legacy.
Most of all, I know you can use rejuvenation magic.
Please, give me back my strength! I beg of you.
I can\'t keep living like a helpless fool, incapable of protecting even what she holds dear the most!
Yondra looked at Lith\'s face, finding sympathy, compassion, and more.
She felt like she was staring into the eyes of an ancient creature, something whose feelings were smothered by the dust of centuries and too many still open wounds.