During the following days, Lith made several discoveries about the changes he had undergone. His body felt lighter than ever, all his physical abilities augmented, all his senses sharper and heightened, compared to before.
There had also been cosmetic changes in his appearance. The moles on his body had visibly shrank, his skin was smoother than after a Spa treatment back on Earth and most of the freckles around his nose and eyes had disappeared.
Lith took note of all these changes, trying to understand what had happened, but he could not care less about beautifying effects. Even with no moles and freckles at all, he would still look like a crude hillbilly.
If his mother had passed anything to him, he was unable to notice. Unlike his sisters, Lith had nothing of her beauty or grace. Elina moved like a ballerina, while he was rough and clumsy enough to feel like a caveman.
Lith had deep set eyes like his father, a high forehead and a nose a little too big to be proportionate to his visage.
He wasn’t ugly but not even cute. The best he could give himself was a solid six out of ten. Lith’s only hope for improvement was the teenage growth spurt, to get rid of his thin and scrawny build.
Figuring out the changes in the mana core required even more time. Lith understood that his mana had undergone a qualitative change, becoming purer and denser.
This allowed him to cast stronger spells, also reducing the time he needed manipulate elemental and spirit magic, resulting in faster casting speed.
Through Invigorate, he could now spot the presence of that tar-like material scattered all around his body, in his organs, blood vessels and even in the neural pathway.
Whenever he used the Accumulation technique, he could feel the smaller tar-like particles being pulled toward the mana core, while the bigger ones would fragment over time, shrinking in size before actually moving.
Confident in his new strength, Lith started getting deeper in the woods, hunting for bigger preys. He was no longer afraid of predators. Instead of avoiding them, he started looking out for them.
Lith wanted for his family to have enough fur to make a set of warm clothes for everyone. He was sick of being forced to wear so many layers of clothes during winter, that he was unable to walk properly, swinging every step like a penguin.
The problem was that Lith still moved through the forest making a lot of noise, exuding enough killing intent to scare away anything that wasn’t stupid or desperate enough to stand in his way.
It was only thanks to the Life Vision spell combined with spirit magic that he was still capable of hunting. The spirit magic range had expanded to over 30 meters (32.8 yards) range, so he could easily kill any animal that tried to escape by climbing trees or by taking flight.
When Lith wasn’t able to catch anything, he would shoot down any bird that made the mistake of flying within his scope.
One day, Lith was exploring a new area of the Trawn woods, hoping to find a fur wearing meal, killing two birds with one stone.
While looking at a small mound, his Life vision spotted three lifeforces hiding a few meters underground. They were not strong enough to be predators, but they were big enough to be a perfect lunch.
“If those are rodents or other smart animals, there could be more than one exit. I have no time to waste, I’ll force them out!”
After getting on the highest spot of the mound, always keeping both eyes on the prize, he used earth magic.
“Magna!” The ground around him started to shake, making the burrow and the small tunnels collapse. The creatures started panicking, taking the most direct route out.
Lith started running, following their underground movements as close as possible, not letting them get out of the spirit magic range.
From a well-hidden hole near a bush, came out three big fat rabbits, two of them still wearing a snow-white fur.
“Lucky!” Lith screamed while snapping his fingers, forcing the rabbits’ neck to a 180° turn.
“I’ll keep the brown white one for myself, while I’ll trade the other two pelts with Selia for some fur of lesser quality but much more quantity. Today is really my lucky day.”
Lith was so used being alone in the woods to always think out loud, to break the feeling of isolation. He hung the rabbits to his belt by the ears and started walking toward Selia’s house.
After a few steps, Lith heard an odd sound closing in. He had never heard it before, so he started looking around for its source. Soon he could see two horses in the distance, galloping in his direction.
“F*ck! It seems I have been too loud. Fight or flight?” To answer his own question, he activated Life Vision again. The horses were just horses, while the men were far from impressive.
The one taking point was barely as strong as Selia, while the one behind was even weaker than Raaz, Lith’s father.
Lith forced himself hiding a cruel smile. “Well, well. My first encounter with complete strangers in this new world! Are they good people? I bet that humans are humans everywhere. This would mean that they are a**holes! I can’t wait to find out!”
Lith stood there, waiting for them to arrive.
The first man was clearly a servant, dressed in a hunter suit made of leather of low quality with a crest on both his chest and shoulders. He was an unshaven middle-aged man, with pitch black short hair, mean and angry eyes sitting on a face worthy of a mugshot.
The one behind him was dressed with a suit of much better quality, probably brand new. He wore the same crest on his chest, but this one seemed to be made of silk and gold embroidered.
He was a kid maybe sixteen years old, with a handsome face and the build of a swimsuit model. The tight-fitting leather emphasised his muscular body moving in tune with his horse.
Lith felt really pissed off, and he knew exactly why.
“I really hope he is as much of a d*ck as he is handsome. Otherwise not only I will be forced to start to believe in prince charming, but I will also die of envy.”
“Hey, kid!” The servant had a rude tone of voice. “What was that noise from before?”
Lith put on his best innocent expression, playing wolf in sheep clothes.
“Good day, sir. It was just me hunting. I’m sorry if I scared you.” Lith’s voice sounded genuinely apologetic. He wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt.
“Where did you get those?” He said ignoring Lith apologies and pointing at the rabbits.
“From a rabbit hole. They are my game.” Lith smiled keeping watch on both of them.
“Give them to us, now. They will make a perfect muff for my mother.”
The handsome youth had also a beautiful voice.
“If you are really sorry, you should offer us proper compensation. Even a commoner like you should know the basics of decency.” He said with a mocking smile.
Lith dropped the act like a live grenade.
“Seriously? Robbing a kid in broad daylight? Don’t you have any shame?”
“Kid!” The servant rebuked. “Do you know who are you talking to? He is the son of baron Rath, lord of these lands.”
Lith started laughing out loud.
“Please! Trawn woods has no owner, except maybe count Lark. Stop spewing bulls*it just to cover your sorry a*s. And besides do YOU know whom are you talking to? I am the supreme mage!”
“See what happens when you waste your breath on commoners, Korth?” The young noble took up the short bow he carried on his back, nocking an arrow. “They are just too stupid, it’s in the nature of things.”
He shot the arrow with perfect aim towards Lith’s heart.
But Lith was far enough, and had kept many spells ready on his fingertips. With a wave of his hand, a strong gust of wind hit the arrow on the side, making it spin out of control before harmlessly hitting the ground meters away from its intended target.
Despite being flabbergasted, the young noble was able to keep his cool, nocking another arrow while ordering Korth to kill the kid.
Lith raised his left hand, freezing Korth in place with spirit magic, while with the right he took control of the arrow, that slipped away from the youth’s fingers before stabbing him in the eye.
The youth fell from his horse, screaming in pain
“To think that I even bothered giving you guys a chance to get out of here alive.” Lith sighed shaking his head.
“Wait! If you kill the young lord, you and whoever you love will die! Think about it.”
Lith started laughing again. “Really? And how could they ever find out what happened here?” Lith moved his left thumb, and Korth noticed with horror that his right hand was moving against his will, unsheathing the hunting knife he carried at his belt.
“Wait, please! Have mercy! Don’t do this, you are just a kid!” He begged.
“So, when you want to kill, you kill. But when you lose, I am supposed to show mercy?” The spite in his voice was palpable. Lith lowered his ring finger, bringing the knife at Korth’s throat.
“Since you are just a servant, I’ll give you a clean death.” With a flicker of the little finger Lith forced Korth to cut his throat from ear to ear.
Then he approached the young noble that was still writhing in pain, uncaring of what just happened to his loyal servant.
“As for you, you are the kind of guy I hate the most!” With one hand Lith kept him frozen at mid-air, while he used the other to punch him nonstop.
“You have f*cking everything! Money, beauty, a bright future, and all you can do with such treasures is screw those who are already struggling to survive?”
Lith hated humans more than everything, even back on Earth the only thing keeping his rage in check was his responsibilities towards his family.
But in the new world there was no cameras, no GPS, nothing. There was only power, and for once he was the one holding it.
“You know, I have a very ill sister.” Lith said after venting out. “I could never practice darkness magic on living beings, because using it on animals is just plain cruel. You, on the other side, are just a monster with the face of a man. You will make a perfect specimen for my research.”
Trawn woods resounded with screams for hours before death could come to claim her prize.