The next day, after breakfast, Lith could notice that people were looking at him with astonished eyes.
He had no idea if it depended by his new set of rings and the amulet in plain sight, over the shirt.
After all, only the user knew its quality, they looked all the same.
Another possibility was that the news from the Master healer class had started to spread.
Either way, he didn\'t care.
Lith just waved his hand to those who stared at him for too long, giving them the finger and forcing them to turn around.
The first lesson would be with Professor Trasque again, this time in Theory of Combat Magic\'s training hall.
While everyone else was on foot, checking the map from time to time, Lith flew straight to destination, arriving several minutes earlier.
He spent that time with Solus, reviewing all the contingency plans they had prepared against Professor Nalear\'s dumbing effect.
Thanks to Soluspedia, he had no need to read and memorize what was required for any lesson, but he still needed to practice the accents and hand signs.
Knowing was not doing.
Still, Soluspedia had given him a lot of spare time, compared to his peers, and he had used that time to prepare for the worse.
Lith had no idea if his new body was so much worse than his old one against hormones, or if his problem was psychologic.
Maybe he was so disaccustomed to strong positive feelings, that the unexpected first crush had been able to caught him off guard.
All the good things that happened in his life, he had obtained them through effort and hard work.
He wasn\'t used for things to go well just because of luck.
Lith needed years of constant care and affection, before accepting that his new family was composed by good people.
And now, out of the blue, he had such strong feelings for a complete stranger, that just thinking about her, would make him feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
- If just the idea of looking into those eyes, bright green as a luscious forest during spring, under the noonday sun, makes me weak in the knees and dries my mouth, I\'m scared to death by what the real thing could do. Lith thought.
Yeah, agreed. Solus sneered.
It\'s only getting worse, you are only a few bad rhymes away to write her a poem.
Yes. Lith inwardly sighed.
The good thing is that unless I think about her, I\'m able to be my usual self.
I must avoid turning into a rambling fool if she comes near me.
Solus, I\'m depending on you in case sh*t hits the fan.
Do your worst. –
The training hall was even bigger than the canteen.
The space inside was completely empty, except for circular rings with a diameter of ten metres (11 yards), evenly spaced among them and spread throughout the whole room.
Lith\'s train of thought was interrupted only when he saw Professor Trasque arrive, followed by Headmaster Linjos.
After all of the students had arrived, Linjos made them sit down on the ground.
He had something to tell.
If any of you is asking himself why Lady Hestia, Lady Vark and Lady Carn haven\'t attended any of yesterday\'s lessons, the answer is they were busy packing their stuff.
As a matter of fact, they have been dishonourably expelled from this academy.
The terrible events that transpired yesterday, have been added to their personal files.
They can apply to other academies, yet I doubt anyone will give them even a probation admittance.
I am not telling you this because I want to threaten you.
I just want you to realize that your actions have consequences.
Life isn\'t a game, there is no do over.
More importantly, I want you reflect about the society you want to live in.
Does anyone of you know that, despite at the beginning of each year six out of ten students belong to the great noble families, seven out of ten of those that actually manage to graduate are just commoners, merchants and small nobles
And why is that Because while the nobles waste their time harassing others, thinking that their family name will always solve every problem, the others work hard, knowing how important magic is.
They don\'t have the luxury of a second chance.
If a noble fails, he just returns to his beautiful manor, his whole life is still planned ahead for him.
Those who succeed, instead, have too much to lose, and their motivation keeps them focused.
Most of the time, a huge part of that motivation is revenge.
Do you realize how many mages have destroyed entire noble households because of past grudges Do you really want to live in a world were commoners tremble in fear of the nobles, while the nobles in turn fear the mages
It\'s because of this flawed morality that our Kingdom is slowly devolving into chaos.
The academy rules don\'t just protect the commoners from you, they also protect you from the mages of tomorrow.
Might makes right is all fun and games, until you find someone stronger than you.
Then, it becomes a nightmare, were you can lose everything on a whim of your better.
Law is a shield to defend the weak, not a sword to threaten others\' lives.
I hope that you all take my words to heart.
Thanks for your time.
As soon as the Headmaster left the room, the air filled with comments about the news.
It had been years since the last time someone managed to get expelled, and it only happened because a Professor witnessed the events.
It was easy to predict where the discussion was headed, so Lith took out the Ballot and stood up near Professor Trasque.
He had joined the academy a little more than 24 hours ago, and all that mean looks routine had already bored him to death.
Trasque didn\'t miss any of it.
Still blaming the victim, uh Our Headmaster is really a good guy.
He really believes in you lot.
As for me, I believe that humans are too arrogant and self-centered to have any concept of pain outside their own.
People are only able to empathise with things they experienced hard enough to get hurt themselves.
That\'s why I took this job.
The contrast between Professor Trasque\'s handsome face and the cruel smile he made, managed to make it even creepier.
- Between his veiled threats and the grins, the Professor really seems a full-blown psycho.
I doubt he\'ll receive many love letters from the female students.
Harrumph. Solus objected.
The pot calling the kettle black.
That\'s the same face you do almost every minute of the day.
Do I really have such an unsettling expression! Lith was flabbergasted.
No sh*t, Sherlock! –
Now, let me explain today\'s lesson. Professor Trasque continued.
These rings are special.
Once activated, they become a closed cage, nothing can get in or out.
I can also modify their internal structure as I see fit.
With a few flicks of his fingers, the pavement rose in different sections of the nearest ring, forming first a small corridor, then a stairway, and lastly an L shaped path.
You will enter in this ring, in pairs.
I\'ll prepare for you different scenarios, and in each one there will be an assailant and a victim.
The assailant can either use first magic or a knife like this.
Trasque showed them a blunt piece of metal that could barely pass for a wedge.
The victim can only use first magic for self-defence.
The scenario ends as soon either one gets a direct hit.
Seeing a little too much enthusiasm in some of the students, he decided to make things clearer.
I know what you are thinking, but it\'s not as it looks like.
This room is for training, not fighting.
It means that even winning every scenario, no matter as victim or assailant, won\'t necessarily give you any point.
You are here to learn how to handle difficult situations.
What it really matters is not the result, but what you learn from experience.
There\'s a lot of you, so we\'ll use two rings simultaneously.
Don\'t worry, it won\'t take long.
This is a real-life simulation, not a bard\'s tale.
Each try will last around five seconds, ten if you really take things slowly.
We have plenty of time.
To follow the Headmaster\'s wishes, I divided you in pairs composed by a commoner and a noble.
Let\'s do a few warm-up rounds, to give you an idea.
Mister \'most wanted\' here, has just volunteered.
Seeing no raised hand, he picked a random student.
- Solus, since I have impulse control issues, limit my output to Nana\'s first magic level.
Copy that. –
In the first round Lith was the victim, while the assailant was a fifteen years old girl with shoulder length curly red hair.
Despite she was at least five centimetres (2 inches) taller than Lith, she had no confidence in her physical skills, so she decided to use magic.
When Lith saw that she was actually performing hand signs for first magic, he weaved together two spells.
The first made a thick layer of ice appear under her feet, while the second was a wind blow, the equivalent of a push.
When she tried shifting her weight to resist the push, she slipped, falling down head first.
Trasque started laughing his a*s off.
The fight had lasted barely two seconds.
I\'m sorry, I really am. He said while helping her to get up, healing her broken nose.
I completely forgot he is a perfect silent hexacaster, that made a living out of hunting since he was four, while you led a pampered life, composing poems.
There was no malice on my side, gods are my witnesses.
No one believed a single word he was saying.
Jokes aside, that was terrible on your side. He said to Lith.
Let\'s see if the problem it\'s you or your opponent.
Who is capable of at least silent triple casting Few hands were raised.
Okay, among you, who received military training Among the remaining ones, Trasque picked the biggest guy he could find.
It was a fifteen-year-old boy, already 1.77 meters (5\'9) high, weighing at least 80 kilograms (176 pounds).
His muscular body resembled that of a marine.
As soon as Trasque let them start, Lith threw the knife at his victim, guiding and accelerating it with a sliver of air magic.
The student dodged it easily, but not having any real combat experience, he kept his eyes on the knife until it clashed with the translucent yellow barrier that enveloped the ring.
When he looked back at Lith, he was already in front of him.
Lith\'s right hand released a blinding light with the same intensity of several cameras flashing together, while the left one was holding a small ice knife, aimed to the victim\'s throat.
Okay, stop. Trasque appeared between them, grabbing Lith by the wrist.
Once again, the battle ended a second after its start.
Kid, I don\'t remember stuttering.
Your performance is a perfect example of what you don\'t have to do.
Get off the ring.
Minus twenty points for you, and that\'s because this was just a warm up.
The next time you do that, it will be much worse.