Supreme Magus - chapter 751
“Why don’t you sit down while we wait for the last member of this meeting to join us?” Tyris said, pointing a padded chair near to Phloria at Lith. The Guardian was intrigued seeing that both hybrids were broken beings, even though for completely different reasons.
Quylla entered the room soon after Lith. Her surprise was big as well, but her poker face wasn’t up with the rest of the family’s standards. She stuttered when Tyris stood up to greet her and she tensed so much that even Lith would have suspected she practiced forbidden magic if he didn’t know better.
“There’s no reason to worry.” Tyris chuckled at her reaction, making everyone present swallow a lump of saliva. They all knew that a Constable’s reassurances were mostly smoke and mirrors.
“This is a friendly hearing. I assembled you here because I know that you’re all tired, but I need to hear from you how you dealt with the last of the Odi. This should be the quickest way for you to give your report and go back to your deserved rest.” Tyris said.
Phloria took the initiative and told only the truth, at least until the part where she and Lith had remained alone with Jiira in the body-swapping room. Too many people had witnessed the first part of the fight and she had no idea what they had reported.
She undersold the gravity of the injuries Lith had sustained but kept the rest accurate. After that, she stuck with the story they had agreed beforehand. Tyris didn’t interrupt her nor asked questions, she just stared at the other two and studied their reaction.
Lith was as calm as Quylla was nervous. Tyris’s set up was as simple as it was effective. Since they have had all the time to forge a story, by putting them all together and in front of their parents as a reminder of the consequences that lying would have, Constable Griffon could find the weak link in the group.
Unfortunately for her, Lith just nodded from time to time, whereas Quylla was so nervous that she never stopped fidgeting, even when Phloria told the truth, making it impossible to understand the reason for her discomfort.
When it was Lith’s turn, he told her how he and Morok had reached the Reactor and how he had found the safe. Lith also handed Tyris the three books and the God’s Will array bead.
After carefully studying the artifact, he and Solus had realized that now it was just a piece of junk. Not only did the bead require the Reactor to be fueled, but also half of its runes had to have been carved into the Odi’s enchanted life force.
Without them, the bead’s pseudo core had slowly started to crumble. With just the mana pathways inside the artifact, the pseudo core was unable to sustain its existence.
“Did they ever leave your storage items? Did you make any copy of their content?” Tyris asked while putting them away with her eyes staring into Lith’s.
“No and no. I made no copy.” Much to Tyris’s surprise, he was telling the truth. When dealing with opponents of Jirni’s caliber, Lith knew that even he couldn’t afford to lie.
That was the reason he had stored them inside Soluspedia, to never have to take them out, and why he had let Solus do all the work. A fight was a messy, unpredictable series of events, so it was hard to discern facts from fiction, whereas simple yes or no questions were much harder to lie about.
Quylla told her all about her experience with the Reactor and Morok, including the kick which had prevented him from partaking in the final battle. She was quite relieved having to speak nothing but the truth since just like Lith, they didn’t repeat what Phloria had already told Tyris.
“I’m glad to hear that despite the dire circumstances you experienced you’ve managed to keep a level head. Captain Ernas, you have failed to protect the Professors, but judging from the reports of the other survivors, it’s already a miracle that so many people made it out of Kulah alive.” Tyris said.
“The failed mission will go down in your personal file but it will not affect your career. You have my word. Mage Ernas, you took part in the mission as an Assistant, and yet your contribution overshadows that of most Professors. I’ll make sure that the White Griffon academy compensates you properly.
“Ranger Verhen, you have played your role splendidly, yet there is only so much that the Kingdom can do to award you and that’s one of the reasons why I’m here. This matter is even more pressing due to the excellent references that Ranger Eari gave you.
“Are you still unwilling to claim a land as your own?” Lith nodded.
“I suppose that the same stands for your career in the army or the Association.” More nodding ensued.
“Is there anything in particular that you want?” She asked.
“I’ve seen the Royal Forgemasters at work and I’d love to study their art.” Lith replied.
“I’m sorry, but no.” Tyris shook her head. “You’ve been given plenty of chances to become an integral part of the Kingdom yet you always refused, remaining at the fringes of the system.
“Even right now, you’re like a wolf that circles around a village and refuses to be domesticated. The Griffon Kingdom or any other of the three great countries cannot put a wolf to guard the henhouse, it’s too dangerous.
“I can grant you free access to the Royal Library, mana crystals, anything that money can buy, but nothing more. I’ve come personally here today to assure you that the Crown holds you in great esteem and hopes that you’ll decide to become one of its keystones in the future.
“Yet right now you are too young and too many people question where your loyalty lays. The Kingdom can’t afford to disclose its secret to someone that might use them against it.
“We would love for you to take this country as your home, but the choice is up to you. Feel free to contact the embassies of the other countries, you’ll discover that your situation there would be the same.”
Tyris had spectated to the whole fight, so she knew the truth without the need of listening to their reports. Also, she knew that Lith was withholding Rizo’s Adamant Eternal Blade.
On one hand, it proved that he was a smart and resourceful man, capable of inspiring the loyalty of those around him. On the other hand, however, it made him a thief that had pushed two of the most talented young mages of the Kingdom to commit treason.
They both knew about the sword and yet neither of them had mentioned it to protect their friend’s secret. Sure, they had no idea what Lith could make out of that sword, but that didn’t make him any less dangerous nor their crime any less severe.
Yet Tyris decided to let it slide. She was an enforcer of the change, not of the law.
Also, she was pretty sure that Mogar had assembled all the three Guardians of the Garlen continent to spectate, even though one would have been more than enough to wipe out the Odi, to make them aware she had plans for Lith.