So far Peonia has been a loyal ally. Lith scolded Solus.
You\'ve seen what Morn and those idiots in the Royal Court tried to do behind my back.
Peonia is the reason Lutia is safe and my Queen\'s Corps escort has not been revoked despite the war.
Without her, we would worry about our family all day and the quality of our work would suffer every time we leave for the Desert.
I owe her this much. Then he turned the amulet on.
How can I be of assistance today, Your Majesty
How many times do I have to tell you to call me Peonia The Princess pouted.
You need to get used to it because if you call me like that in public, everything would have been for naught.
How are you doing Lith always opened their conversations that way to reaffirm that he considered their relationship strictly professional.
He wouldn\'t have minded a bit of company, but he couldn\'t risk the Princess having them accidentally found in bed and forcing him into marriage.
Great! Last night Thrud conquered another fortress and an important one at that! Peonia said with a huge smile and a joyful voice that made Lith think she had gone insane.
How is that great He asked.
Because with every loss that Uncle Morn suffers, my faction strengthens and his hold over the Royal Court lessens.
Also, losing the city of Mandia isn\'t a big deal since you are going to reconquer it. Her smile turned into a predatory grin.
Okay, slow down and run it by me again.
This time speak as if I don\'t live inside your head. Lith said.
I\'m sorry, I got carried away. She took a few deep breaths to calm down before speaking again.
My faction lacks both military and political power so, until this moment, every proposal of mine that didn\'t receive the full support of my parents has always been rejected.
Losing Mandia changed things.
Uncle Morn always opposed your intervention, saying that you are disloyal, unpredictable and that your relationship with Orpal makes you a threat.
I think that Morn is actually afraid that if you succeed where he failed, you will become the hero of the Kingdom once more.
All the influence he has lost would become mine, eroding his power base.
What\'s really important, however, is that until yesterday the Royal Court backed him because they are afraid of Orpal but now they are more afraid of Thrud.
This time, they backed my proposal and it got approved even against my parents\' opinion. She said with a huge smile.
Why didn\'t your parents support you Lith asked.
You are so naïve that sometimes you are silly. Peonia looked lovely as she giggled.
They did it on purpose because this way if the mission succeeds, neither them nor Morn will take any credit.
It\'s the first Royal Decree approved that only bears my signature.
Until now, Uncle Morn and the Royal Court belittled my successes and gave all the credit to my parents to keep me in check.
Now, however, whatever comes out of this will be all on me, be it good or bad.
Recapturing Mandia should be relatively easy since Thrud\'s troops have yet to settle, yet I want you to personally lead the mission for obvious reasons. She said.
Because my success would prove that all the fears of the Court about me are groundless. Lith said.
It would also bring a lot of blame on your uncle since he\'s the one who kept me out of the conflict until now.
Last, but not least, everyone assumes that we are a couple.
My status as a hero would reflect on you in the Royal Court, doubling your influence.
I have no interest in political power but people would still think that you are acting on my behalf.
All those who support me or just want to suck up to me will not hesitate to join your faction or at least support it from the outside.
I accept the mission.
Peonia gave him a small round of applause.
Excellent thinking and excellent choice.
I\'m about to forward you everything you need to know about Mandia. She pressed a few buttons on her amulet and Lith received a message with several attachments.
They contained maps of the city, the blueprints of the City Hall, and the place where the Warp Gate was kept.
I want to thank you for putting your life on the line.
No matter the outcome of the mission, I\'ll be grateful to you.
At the same time, however, I want you to understand that you are about to leave the peace of Lutia and step into the War of the Griffons.
Are you sure that this is how you want to depart She asked, biting her lips seductively.
Do you mean single and without any lady with my bun in her oven Yes, I\'m sure. Peonia blushed at his impertinence.
I\'ve left my legacy orderly organized for Tista and my little ones in the case something happens to me.
Like Manohar. She sighed.
I hope you have better luck than he did.
Call me if you change your mind.
What a shameless woman! Solus snarled the moment the hologram of the Princess disappeared.
She dared to emphasize the dangerousness of the mission just to make her move on you.
Peonia isn\'t completely wrong. Lith sighed.
Manohar\'s death made me realize that even those I deemed immortal can actually die.
A war is nothing like the battles I fought in the past.
It\'s a chaotic place where your life can end at any moment, either by the hand of an enemy or of an incompetent ally.
If it wasn\'t for how awkward I felt when I kissed Faluel, I\'d have asked her for a second date.
Faluel What about Phloria or Kamila Solus said.
\'Or me.\' She inwardly added.
Dating either of them would be more than a fling aimed to leave an heir behind.
It would also mean playing with their feelings, leaving behind a grieving widow if something happens to me, and setting up for an angry divorce if I survive.
As things are now, none of my relationships is marriage material.
Kamila still has to wrap her head about the role that you play in my life while Phloria is too dependent on me for her survival to be objective. Yet when Lith said Phloria, he actually meant Solus.
Let\'s finish the prototypes and then we have to give the bad news to our family.
They are not going to like it one bit.
Just as Lith had predicted, the news regarding his involvement in the war killed the mood, making everyone gloomy as if he was already dead.
The members of his family knew that Lith couldn\'t back down, but it didn\'t make it any easier to accept.
Please, be careful out there. Elina said while taking his face between her hands.
I\'m not just careful, Mom.
I\'m full-blown paranoid. Lith joked, trying to ease their tension.
I don\'t care about your secrets.
Go all-out if things go badly.
I\'d rather leave the Kingdom than lose my son.. Raaz felt responsible for Lith\'s choice.
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