Good gods! Friya had seen Lith\'s creations during Jirni\'s birthday, but back then they were all based on a single element.
Something that more or less, she too could do.
She waved her hand through the hologram, feeling its warmth and shattering it into stardust.
Friya! Lith said.
I\'m sorry, I was just too curious.
It almost looked solid.
Was it solid She didn\'t sound sorry at all.
Her hazel eyes sparkled like during their academy days when she was about to learn one of the marvels magic was capable of.
I wish! Do you have any idea how hard it is to create a map There are hundreds of streets and buildings that I cannot possibly remember.
I need to be able to look at the original to keep it stable.
The moment your hand covered the map, I\'ve lost both my focus and mana! Lith snarled while creating a second one.
He was actually capable of creating a map from scratch, but only if the original was stored inside Soluspedia.
Sorry, Lith. This time she was sincere.
Friya felt stupid for both her action and her words, yet she didn\'t regret them.
For the first time in years, she was having fun.
Ever since the academy had ended, her life had been one of duty.
First, she had to take care of Quylla.
Friya had helped her to retake her fifth year at the White Griffon and overcome the trauma Quylla had suffered after killing Yurial under the influence of Nalear\'s slave ring.
Then, her sisters had left Friya alone to search for their own path in life.
After all that had happened to her during the Academy, Friya trusted no one and was unable to relax unless when in the safety of her own home.
The Crystal Shield guild was her creature and her cage at the same time.
Leading arrogant and disgruntled mages was a full time job that left her no time for a personal life.
Lith was a safe oasis for her.
Someone she could trust almost as much as Quylla, but who unlike her sister and guildmates didn\'t need her protection.
Whenever they met, he always had something to teach her about magic, and that was the most precious gift anyone could give her.
Lieutenant Yehval, please this time read me only the addresses of all those who have no role in the city\'s administration. Lith said while patting Friya\'s shoulder.
That small gesture made Kamila hate her job for the second time in as many days.
Hundreds of kilometers and a snowstorm separated them, yet it was being called by her last name that exacerbated the distance between them.
For a moment, she envied Friya for her strength, her magic, and because Kamila imagined her free to do what she wanted rather than what she had to.
Then, she started listing the addresses and a new pattern appeared on the map.
What appeared in front of their eyes was still a mess, but at least it didn\'t look like a Pollock anymore.
They spent a few minutes trying to make sense of the image, but to no avail.
If you tilt your head and remove these dots you can almost see a magic circle. Lith said while tapping on several locations on the map.
Right idea but wrong dots.
If we ignore the dots you proposed, you can see that some of the remaining ones form this array. Friya\'s slender finger traced a circle above the map.
The problem is that you can\'t ignore any of those points.
If all of the locations are magically marked the same way, then they would disrupt the formation.
Even if you are right, two overlapping arrays would cancel each other without proper insulation.
Kamila\'s words left Friya flabbergasted.
How come you are an array expert She asked.
I just repeated what Lith and Manohar yelled at each other back in Othre.
They quarreled about runes and lines of power so much that I ended up learning a thing or two. Kamila chuckled.
\'Wait a minute.
I think you\'re both right.
Check the list more carefully.\' Solus thought.
Sons of a bitch Lith blurted out as he realized the meaning of her words.
Kami- I mean, Lieutenant Yehval, please filter the names based on the floor they live on. Like most cities surrounded by walls, Zantia had no choice but to expand vertically rather than horizontally.
Most buildings were at least three-story high.
Instead of ignoring the dots, Lith split the map into three different layers, each one with its own set of tokens and marked with a different color.
Even a layman like Kamila could easily recognize the magic circles formed by connecting the dots.
Okay, this is not good. Lith said.
I recognize the array on top and the one at the ground level, but I have no idea what the middle one is.
The upper circle is a containment array, similar to those I use when I practice Forgemastering.
Its purpose is to contain great masses of energy and prevent them from escaping.
It maximizes the effects of a magical procedure.
The bottom one is a grounding array, used to safely disperse mana in case a spell goes out of control.
I\'ve already taken a scan of the holographic map and of the three arrays. Kamila said.
I\'ll contact immediately General Vorgh, the Master Warden, and call you back as soon as I have some answers.
Over and out.
Lith pulled the curtain covering the window to check the weather.
The wind carrying the snow was so strong that he wasn\'t able to see further than ten meters even with his enhanced senses.
\'I have no idea where the Awakened could be and even if I did, I can\'t risk making a move before I understand what their endgame is.
Going to the Church of the Six now would be pointless.
\'The clerics are likely to be unwitting puppets in their hands, so interrogating them would be a waste of time.
The ones performing miracles are the Awakened ones, but they will not show up without a crowd.
\'Once the storm settles, I need to attend one of their ceremonies.
If they made me come here, it means that they are almost done with their preparations.\' He thought.
A bronze coin for your thoughts. Friya said.
We\'re on the clock.
The arrays are completed and they felt so confident that one of them attacked me in the open.
I don\'t like that they lured and trapped me here.
If I don\'t get rid of them now, they could find me again.
Also, I hate them for using arrays to perform their crap.
Whenever I use an array, I can still hear Yurial whining about Wardens being useless. Lith replied.
His voice went from calm to stone cold when he talked about his enemies and then it became sad while he remembered his lost friend.
I miss him so much. Friya sighed.
You know, right after Balkor\'s attack, when you and Phloria started to be all lovey-dovey, he asked me if I was interested in being his friend with benefits.
Sounds like Yurial.
What did you answer him Lith said with a light smile.
I slapped him and said no, of course.
I never regretted my choice, I\'m only sad that he never got the opportunity to get the happiness he deserved.