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«Supreme Magus (Web Novel) - Chapter 2977 Murder, She Said (Part 1)

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Chapter 2977 Murder, She Said (Part 1)

This chapter is updated by Novels.pl

"What do you think you are doing?" Strider tried to grab the amulet from Lith's hands but razor-sharp wings and tail whipped at him, forcing the Zouwu to stand back.

Even in his human form, the Tiamat still had the mass of a Divine Beast and the mere air pressure generated by his movements hit like a storm. Strider had dodged everything yet small bruises and cuts appeared on his hands and face.

"I'm an expert at tracking people, not a Constable." Lith replied. "Yet I know a very good one and I like to understand what kind of mess I'm facing before getting involved with it."

"Thank you for the call, Lith. I was really bored and I could use some company." The image of a petite, blonde woman lying on a sofa appeared in the middle of the room. "I would have liked to be forewarned that others were going to be present, though."

Lady Jirni Ernas sat straight, wiping the chocolate mustache from her face and lots of crumbs from her dress. She ate a lot due to the cravings and, in the privacy of her own home, she didn't care for appearances.

"Yeah, you're right. I should have thought about that." Lith cleared his throat in embarrassment. "Can you help me with a case?"

"A case?" Jirni's eyes shone with interest. "Dear, you shouldn't even ask. You know that I'm always here for you in your times of need. Tell me everything."

She spoke with an amiable voice and a warm smile, yet Lith could see in her eyes an "I owe you" bill with his name written on the bottom.

Once Lith was done recounting the events and showing her the room, Jirni was deep in thought.

"It's unbelievable." She said.

"I know, it doesn't make sense." Lith said and the rest of the team nodded.

"No, I mean that it's unbelievable that after five months this case is still open." Jirni grunted like when she had to deal with a rookie Constable on their first day on the job. "I guess Awakened must be so used to using magic to solve their problems that they let their brains rot."

"I don't know who you are, miss, but I assure you that we are professionals. We covered every base and investigated everyone involved." Strider said with his best professional and detached tone.

He didn't like Jirni because she was Lith's friend, but taking his anger on an innocent human and a pregnant one at that was out of the question.

"I can see that." Jirni nodded. "Which is why I find it incredible you've stopped one step away from the finishing line. Be a dear, Lith, and ask the Zouwu with anger issues who?the person supposed to provide Nem Limbell with the ingredients was."

Both Lith and Strider were flabbergasted.

The former thought that maybe Pharek's death was linked to his latest magical theory, but that would mean looking for the perpetrator among those who had sought the same magical resources. Their source was irrelevant.

The latter, instead, had a hard time believing that not only had the human recognized an Emperor Beast from Zima at first glance but also seen through his best poker face.

"The merchant's name is Eeram Zeth." Strider said, trying and failing to hide his shock.

"His name is irrelevant, sir." Jirni shook her head. "What I'm interested in is to know what Zeth's relationship with the victim was."

"They were friends for centuries and he has an alibi as well. He's beyond suspicion." The Zouwu replied.

"Then I was right. You guys are not very good at your job." Jirni sighed. "You should think about Awakening a few Constables. You can't improvise being one and even the best tools are pointless if you can't read their findings."

Truth be told, no one there was a detective of any sort. The members of the Hand of Fate constantly rotated and they were assigned cases based on who was available, not on their area of expertise.

"Do you have the name and a description of the culprit?" Lith asked with a stern face that Jirni matched as she nodded, making everyone gasp in astonishment.

"Do you really have to work with such gullible people, Lith?" Jirni chuckled at the Awakened for falling for a blatant lie. "Jokes aside, I have a few more questions. This Limbell was very old and powerful, correct?"

Lith nodded for her to continue.

"Is there any chance he had some dark secret he didn't want anyone to know about, even after his death?"

"Most likely. You don't live a thousand years without a few skeletons hidden in your closet." Lith's face seemed to be carved in stone and so was Zoreth's.

The members of the Hand of Fate were dumbfounded whereas Solus and Bytra showed more nervousness than curiosity, telling Jirni more about the nature of the case.

"Then I'm almost certain that you are dealing with a shadow disciple." Jirni said.

"A shadow what?" Lith asked in confusion while the faces of the members of the Hand of Fate lit up in understanding.

"A shadow disciple, dear." Jirni replied. "Someone who is not going to inherit the title, the house, and the riches. Only the dirty little secrets that the real heir has been deemed incapable of keeping under wraps or that the master just doesn't want to burden them with."

"Are you sure?" Strider asked, a newfound respect for humans in his voice.

"It's the only possible explanation." Jirni said. "Limbell didn't send Nem for ingredients, he sent the youth away. I bet that Zeth had to keep an eye on Nem and warn Limbell in case his heir left early.

"Limbell needed time to meet his shadow disciple in secret and make the final arrangements. He couldn't afford to die and let Nem discover the secret room before clearing it.

"The missing items aren't stolen. They were entrusted to the murderer and neatly organized for them. That's why there's no trace of pillaging or ransacking."

"Wait a second." Lith raised his hand to stop her. "Even if you are right, the shadow disciple had no motive either. If he got books, materials, a Forge, and Limbell's teachings, why kill his dying mentor?"

"I can clear that up." Strider said with a sigh. "As the miss said, a shadow disciple inherits none of the wealth and fame of their master. They are forced to start from scratch and build their reputation on their own so that no one will ever link them to their teacher.

"Even their techniques and spells must undergo many modifications so that they can pass as inspired by the master's work and not passed down. It can create a lot of resentment, especially at the end of the master-apprentice relationship…(c)om

"As long as the master is alive, the shadow disciple still gets access to the resources and wealth they need. They get to learn from their mentor and take pride in knowing that the real heir won't get any of those secrets.

"It's something special, only for them. Yet as the master gets old, there's less and less to learn and the shadow disciple knows that they're going to end up alone and lose access to all the things they have taken for granted until that moment."

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