”Someone I owe asked me to do it. ”

I gulped an uncomfortable breath. ”What are you doing to me? ” I yelled, knowing exactly what she was doing.

”Its almost done. Don resist, ” she said, and the surge of power was lost inside me.

I can feel them and access them, but its a lot less than what I was really capable of. She actually sealed the source from me. Well, she did leave a pathway, a tiny hole from where I could manage a trickle, but thats it.

”Its done, ” she said and walked back. ”How do you feel? ”

I gasped for breath and drew for the power, the source. I could still touch it, but its barely a trickle.

”Ian, how do you feel? ”

”Weak ” I answered and felt a surge of anger undulating inside me.

”I can understand that, ” Ariane said, returning to her seat, ”but you need to get used to it. At least, I find a way. ”

I jerked in my seat uncomfortably. Could she perhaps know? No, if she know about the Crippled Gods power inside me she would absolutely throw me into a dungeon. But perhaps, she found some hints and was not sure. She mentioned someone asked her to do it, who that could be?

”You
e wondering who asked me to do this to you, ” Ariane said. ”I don think you
e ready to learn it, but you must know that person doesn mean to harm you. ”

”I believe you, ” I snorted, leaning forward to sit upright. I let out a couple of breaths and calm down. Unconsciously, the respect I showed at first vanished from my voice, and it reduced to scorn with slight anger. ”How long are you planning to keep it this way? ”

Only after I finished my phrase did I learn the way I spoke those words. Luckily, Ariane didn seem to care. Just stared at me with . . . a melancholic look?

Now Im sure Im missing something. Something big. There was no way such a powerful individual would act like this.

”Madam Ariane, ” I called, trying to find what Im missing. ”You know my parents personally? ”

The defender of the realm raised an eyebrow. ”You can say that, ” she said and sighed without knowing it. ”You have much of your fathers looks. ”

I frowned, unsure what to make of this. Looks like I would need to dig it more. Maybe not now.

”About the seal, ” Ariane opened her lips, ”treat it like a test from me and behave well. There is no shortage of people who would like to see your House fall. Again. ”

”Theres not much of it left for it to fall again. ”

”But there is you, ” Ariane said and withdrew to her sit. ”If you
e even half a person of what your father and mother were, you can do great things and even regaining the lost glory of your House is not out of question. ”

Sounds like mommy and daddy were great people. Well, I knew that, but I wasn sure she viewed them in such a way.

Anyway, about the seal, it was not permanent, but the one that did this was no less than an Arch Magus, so its almost permanent. Also, she would know if I somehow managed to break the seal, which was nearly impossible for someone like me.

Ah, right, I told, smiling to myself. There are plenty of ways to break the seal, but that won solve the problem. I need to gain her trust first, and I could try to weaken it somehow. Besides, without the contract I had with the great demon, I may really go mad if I keep drawing the power. Gosh, I hate depending on others.

”I know its hard for you, ” Ariane said. ”I have seen hundreds of youth like you. They think they lost everything after this, but its not like that. You can still find greatness. There is a whole world before your eyes. ”

As she was trying to motivate me, something else was brewing in my head. I guess she was right to call my head screwed, after all. Fooling an Arch Magus, I thought as my eyes were drawn towards Ariane again. Her face showed no wrinkles of age, but this being was more than two hundred years old and who knew how many centuries she would live.

I guess Ill have fun fooling you.

”Times are changing, ” Ariane said, looking at the pendulum clock on the wall. ”Civilisation is progressing, and its progressing fast. Maybe the day was not that far when magic and sorcery would just be the faint remembrances of the past. ”

I stood up. ”Can I go now? ” I asked.

”Here, take this, ” the head of the academy said as an envelope from the document she was reading before flew towards me.

”Is this about the task? ” I asked, looking at the envelope.

”Yes, ” she said. ”Don worry, you won need to fight, nor you
e doing this for free. You know, those newly developed suits that let you manipulate gravity? ”

”You mean those Lavis Primacy Knight Suits? ” I asked, as my eyes sparkled a little.

”Yes, those, ” Ariane nodded. ”If you do as I say and succeed in the task, perhaps you would be able to fly in one of those soon. ”

I raised an eyebrow. ”This task of yours, ” I asked, ”Im beginning to think, is not so simple. ”

”Your part is simple, but not others, ” the headmistress said. ”Now, leave. Also, I forgot to mention you
e demoted to the freshmen year for all your misdeeds. ”

”What? ” I almost shouted. ”You cannot do that, I– ”

Before I could complete my sentence, the door opened, and my body jerked out of the room. I got out and then the door closed. The message was obvious.

This was her academy. She could literally do whatever the hell she wanted.

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