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Despite the distance, he was able to notice that the light in the eyes of the creature had turned from deep red to bright blue.
"As you have seen when I reanimated this carca.s.s, I left an imprint on it by using my life force to bind our essences." The Zekell-rat tapped its head with a paw, making the mark visible again.
"The bond allows necromancers to temporarily transfer their consciousness inside their creations. Students used this skill mostly to cheat during written exams. By using a small undead mouse, they could communicate between them or simply copy the answers of the most brilliant students.
Undead were also a very popular tool for pulling cruel practical jokes and peeping through windows. There is a reason that all academies have removed windows from their dorms. Even magic can't beat the enthusiasm of a bunch of h.o.r.n.y teenagers.
No matter the protection, they would always find a loophole." The rat laughed.
"Keep in mind that the transfer is not without risks. The mage's body is left completely helpless for the entire duration. Someone could simmer you and you wouldn't even notice.
"Also, in this form I don't have the perceptions of a rat or of an undead. I can see and hear as if I'm on your desk, but all my other senses are lost. I can't use magic and if something happens to this body before I return to my own, the resulting shock could incapacitate me for hours."
The creature's eyes turned red again and Professor Zeneff snapped her fingers a third time, taking out a third rat's skeleton from her dimensional amulet. When she cast the necromantic spell, the black fog engulfed the carca.s.s for a while before disappearing.
"This is what happens when attempting to reanimate a long-dead corpse: a failure. To date, the phenomenon is still unclear. What we do know is that if a corpse it's not reanimated at least once every five days it becomes useless."
- "I wish I could use Life Vision to collect data. Solus, what did you see with your mana sense?" Lith thought.
"Her spell seems to fly blind. Fake necromancy has no concept of mana core, so the darkness energies scanned the whole body before forming the blood core. My guess is that when a living being dies, its mana core leaves behind some kind of echo that disappears after about five days.
Fake necromancy seems to be heavily reliant on those lingering energies. Without them, the spell loses focus and becomes ineffective."
"Kalla isn't an Awakened one, yet she knew on instinct what to do." Lith pondered. "Magical beasts' natural affinity with the elements is simply terrifying. No wonder there is still no dominant species on this planet."–
"During the following lessons, I'll teach you how to safely create all the lesser undead, how to transfer your consciousness and how to recognize when you are pushing your limits.
Necromancy is all about control and self awareness. Unlike all other kinds of magic, it can backfire. It will help you build your character, make you realize that your decisions, your spells have consequences on yourselves and others.
We have still a few minutes before the gong. Any questions?"
Lith raised his hand and Professor Zekell nodded to him.
"How long does an undead last?"
"Depends on the tier of the spell and the strength of the creature." She was happy to hear a relevant question instead of one about ghosts and curses.
"Let's say that after this course you will be able to keep a simple skeleton for up to fifteen hours or a skeletal knight for one."
- "I take back everything I thought. The only kind of necromancy I know needs me to constantly infuse mana into my undead servants, while hers can provide them an energy reserve.
Not to mention that my knowledge about the undead is limited to Dungeons & Looting and George Romeno's movies. There's a lot I can learn from her. I tend to forget that unlike magical beasts, humans have legacies.
I can merge their hundreds of years of experience with what Kalla taught me to create my version of necromancy, something stronger than the sum of its parts."–
"Another question: you mentioned small rodents. Why not insects? They are smaller and are more likely to go unnoticed."
"Excellent question!" Professor Zekell didn't like playing favourites, but seeing genuine curiosity in her field was as rare as flattering.
"For two reasons. The first is that if the body is too small, instead of getting infused by darkness magic it gets destroyed by it. The fine tuning it would require makes such a spell too expensive and leads to reason number two.
Even if one manages to succeed, the stored energy would last only for a very short time, making the creature useless."
Lith still had more questions, but the gong resounded forcing him to stop.
"That's all for today. Dismissed."
Since they had yet to receive the books for the third trimester, Lith's group split once outside the cla.s.sroom. Everyone went back to their rooms waiting for the delivery.
"Mind if I accompany you for a bit?" Yurial asked.
"I want to talk to you about Phloria."
"Don't tell me that you liked her in secret all this time!" Lith joked about it, hoping to avoid getting schooled about relationships by a single-minded hormonal teenager.
"G.o.ds protect me, no." He laughed.
"She is too tall and definitely too strong-willed for me. I prefer pet.i.te, well endowed girls that don't threaten to turn me inside out like a sock. It's just that since I never saw you with a girl, I wanted to give you an unsolicited piece of advice."
Lith inwardly cringed, while keeping his poker face and nodding.
"If I were you, I'd return the Ballot to Linjos and let her have it."
Lith was left in a daze. This wasn't what he had expected from Yurial.
"After the second exam, Phloria is second guessing her life a lot. I know it because I lived under her roof until the academy started again. I don't know if Rudd will manage to get Lukart expelled, his father is a powerful and well connected man.
Even if he does, it's only a matter of time before people start talking about you two, and that would put a second target on her back. Everyone knows you have a Ballot, so you can always bluff your way out of trouble. Not to mention that you are incredibly strong." Yurial winked, referring to Lith's shared secret.
"She is strong too, but right now Phloria is in a rough patch. She doesn't need more traumas. If you really care about her, you should put her safety first. A year is a long time, many things can happen."
"Who are you and what did you do to Yurial?" Lith replied raising his eyebrow in disbelief, making his friend laugh.
"It's just that her future is not set in stone. She can change her path anytime and I believe Phloria needs peace and quiet to not rush her decision. I really envy her for that."
Yurial sighed. Since he seemed to need to take something off his chest, Lith didn't interrupt him.
"You know, the reason why I may appear so shallow at times it's because I'm just like Phloria, trying to enjoy the little time I have left to its fullest. Don't get me wrong, unlike her I will not put my life on the line every day, yet I will be chained.
By my responsibilities towards my father, my subjects, my wife and children."
"Your what?" Lith was flabbergasted.
"Man, even before I started the academy, I was already betrothed. I know who and when I'll marry since I was ten years old."
"Do I know her?"
"No, she's not a mage. It's a political marriage to join my magically talented household to an ancient n.o.ble family. Everybody wins. After we graduate, I'll become my father's second in command for a couple of years.
Then marriage and I'm expected to have at least a couple of heirs by the age of twenty. As I said, Phloria's future is not set in stone, but mine is. I understand better than anyone else how it feels being trapped."
- "You and me both." Lith inwardly sighed. –
"Maybe it will not work between you two, but you can still learn something from each other. Promise me you will think about it."
In a remote corner of the Blood Desert, the three Guardians had met in person for the first time in hundreds of years. Even though they had turned into their human forms and were suppressing their auras as much as they could, it wasn't enough.
The earth below trembled slightly while the skies thundered. The world seemed to be scared by their a.s.sembly and was trying to break them apart once again.
"I hate to admit it, but you were right." Salaark said.
She had taken the appearance of a young-looking woman, with silky black long hair, emerald eyes and a bronze tinge of skin so clear it seemed to shine under the morning sun.
She wore the same white clothes her tribal leaders, the Feathers, did but with no turban, allowing her hair to graze the ground.
"Some b*stard has invaded my turf and is spreading Abominations like they are presents. I underestimated our opponent, leaving everything in the hands of my Awakened ones. The result is that five of my Feathers died in less than a month.Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click for visiting.
They were all good men and women. Someone has to pay for their deaths."
Her eyes ignited with a purple flame while the sand below her feet turned into gla.s.s because of the heat she emitted. The trembling and thundering intensified, but none of those present cared.
"It's not all. The sudden death of so many Awakened crippled my military force, my borders are under attack from all directions!"
"I'm not responsible, the truce with the Griffon Kingdom still holds." Tyris said.
"Me neither. I control nothing in the Empire, but my apprentice would have told me before making such a move. She knows how much is at stake." Leegaain shrugged in annoyance.
"I'm not blaming you idiots, but myself!" Salaark roared.
"Clearly the culprit has made sure that all my enemies knew about my weakness, otherwise the neighbouring countries could never set up a coordinated attack like this. They are ruining years of hard work!"
Her delicate feet stomped multiple times, shattering the gla.s.s, the land, and causing a minor tremor, around 3.0 on the Richter scale.
"Then why did you summon us if you knew we are innocent?" Tyris already had a headache from having to stand Salaark's temper without the possibility of bashing her head.
"Because I know who did it and where they are right now. If this was just about killing, I would have done it myself, but I want to take them alive and make them talk. I need you to prevent them from escaping."
"I'm fine with it. I had nothing to do this evening anyway." Leegaain yawned, giving her a thumbs up.
With a snap of her fingers, Salaark Warped them hundreds of kilometres away, in the proximity of a small mountain range. Like most of her kingdom, the landscape was barren. Too barren even for a desert.
"The b*stard must have taken its sweet time here. Even the mountains are crumbling due to the void of world energy." Salaark snorted.
"Seal the s.p.a.ce around here, I'm going in."
Tyris and Leegaain operated their magic their own way. A Guardian was attuned to the planet, to the point that even their simplest act was magic. Tyris started to walk, countless runes of power spread in the air and the ground with each step she took.
Leegaain was feeling nostalgic, seeing both his friends moved his old heart. The dragon started to sing with a tenor voice. Wherever the song reached, the matter would be bound to the dragon's will.
"Show off." Tyris smiled, singing along in a counter melody. Their voices filled the air with mana, making flowers bloom from long dried up seeds and water gush out of the ground. The Guardians were only sealing up the s.p.a.ce, life was just a by-product of their joy from being together.
"Well, at least there will be a lot of rain this year." Salaark grumbled while entering the underground maze.