Chapter 967 Win Some, Lose Some Part 1
Kallion had spent the last year accepting and completing the most difficult missions the Mage Association had to offer.
He used the merits achieved to boost his noble title and increase the Nuragor\'s family political influence, yet, in the end, all of his efforts amounted to nothing.
Just listening to the Queen praising Lith\'s meritorious acts made him green with envy.
He was nowhere near that kind of prowess and he had always worked with a team.
Kallion was aware that without Deirus\'s support he would\'ve never become a Great Mage despite being older than Ranger Verhen.
The same Queen who treated Lith like a son in front of the Court had yet to grant Kallion a single audience without Archmage Deirus interceding for him.
To make matters worse, both Lith and Kallion had received their Great Mage title in a private ceremony.
However, Lith\'s had received it directly from the King, whereas Kallion had been awarded by a nameless bureaucrat of the Association.
Great Mage Nuragor was now replaying the entire event of Lith\'s ascension to Archmage in his mind.
Kallion felt humiliated by his opponent and exploited by his patron, making it impossible for him to attend the ceremony any longer.
He stormed out of the room, losing a lot of face and drawing more sneers from his own allies than from his enemies.
Even Archmage Deirus considered such childish behavior unbecoming of a powerful figure.
Losing with dignity was more important than winning to achieve the respect of the Royal Court, or any powerful association for that matter.
Sooner or later, everyone would make a mistake, even Lith had failures in his resume, like Kulah\'s massacre or the destruction of Zolgrish\'s lab.
Just like with magic, what mattered was learning and improving from your own failures.
Someone who threw a tantrum and ruined the mood was hardly considered a worthy candidate for a key position in the Kingdom.
At most, they would send him back to kindergarten.
Meanwhile, Lith was finally able to reconnect with his family.
Each one of them congratulated him and Tista shook his hand, slipping Solus into his palm.
They exchanged their respective memories of the last week, updating Lith on the outside world.
Solus had not remained idle, splitting her time between studying Kulah\'s books in the case Lith\'s life force needed fixing and Forgemastering weapons for the prison break with Protector\'s help.
She would sneak inside Tista\'s room at night through the window and receive updates from her.
\'After I learned about the ceremony, I stopped producing weapons and remained at Tista\'s finger to not miss the departure.
I wouldn\'t have missed your ascension for the world.\' Solus thought.
\'Our ascension.\' Lith corrected her.
\'None of it would have been possible without you, partner.\'
Solus smiled with joy at those words, yet looked at Lith\'s sisters and Kamila with an envy so strong that he perceived it.
\'Not only do they look gorgeous in their gala dresses, but they could actually attend the ceremony.
How long will I be forced to be just an extra and to live at the fringes of Lith\'s life\' She thought.
I\'m so proud of you, Archmage Lith. Rena gave him a curtsy, barely holding her chuckles.
Don\'t you dare to give me a big scare like this again.
At least you knew it was an award ceremony.
I was kept in the dark. Lith said.
Rena was stunning in her red dress.
No one thought she could actually be the mother of four kids.
What do you mean, kept in the dark Everyone studies the ascension ritual at the academy. Tista said.
What did you think the jumpsuit and the honor guards were for
Only those already tempered by at least a couple of meetings with the alias Tyris used to attend the Royal Court, Constable Griffon, managed to not stare at her like a bunch of sleazebags.
Gala dresses were meant to be seductive, but in Tista\'s case, it was like throwing rocket fuel into a blazing inferno.
Never mind. Lith left all rituals and etiquette to either Solus or Soluspedia.
Separated from the former and with the latter still empty, he was as ignorant as a Lich about social topics.
\'It\'s best not to tell them that the ascension ritual and public executions only differ by the speech given and the ending.\' Solus thought.
Lith approached Kamila, who had remained on the sides while the family reunion happened.
On the one hand, she was embarrassed, feeling like she didn\'t belong to a place filled with so many influential figures.
On the other, the rules of etiquette strictly forbid public displays of affection and she wasn\'t sure to be capable of holding back.
She had been worried sick the whole time that Lith\'s cracked life force might have been further compromised or that the Royal Healers could discover his hybrid nature.
Thanks to Jirni, she was posted in real-time about his conditions and treatments, making her even more anxious than his parents.
On top of that, she didn\'t share that information with anyone to not make the others worry and had carried that burden alone.
After being finally reunited with Lith, it took her sheer willpower to not check his body and make sure he truly was alright before kissing him.
Kamila wore a silk-satin deep blue evening dress to match with Lith\'s Archmage robe.
It had a v neckline which left her arms and shoulders exposed, emphasizing her bosom.
She also wore a golden circlet which appeared to be made out of small camellias woven together.
The gold of the circlet brought out her black hair and vice versa, while both shone under the magical lighting of the room.
She wasn\'t much compared to Tista, Friya, or any of the gorgeous noble dames around them, but she was the only woman in his eyes.
Good evening, Captain Yehval.
Would you do me the honor of having the first dance with you Lith gave her a polite bow as if they had just met.
Gladly. Was all she managed to reply while taking him by the arm.
\'Thank the gods I\'m wearing a dress, otherwise everyone would notice how much my knees are still shaking.\' She thought.
The Ernas girls joined them as soon as Lith was done with the family reunion.
It would still take a while for the ball to begin.
Envious much Lith said while greeting them with a bow and a smug grin on his face.
No really. Quylla punched his arm before giving him a curtsy.
During the past days, Mom allowed us to read the reports of all your missions that have become public knowledge after the ceremony.
I like my life as it is, peaceful.
I already had my share of trouble at the academy and Kulah.
If I had to live half of what you experienced just to become a Great Mage, I\'ll gladly pass on that.
I\'d rather build my reputation one magical breakthrough at a time rather than risking my life on a daily basis.
Quylla was wearing a silk satin cream-colored ballgown, which left her shoulders and arms exposed, and had a square neck.
Her long brown hair was decorated with silver jewelry that complemented the silver streaks it bore due to her talent for light magic.
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