Chapter 1811: New And Old Memories (Part 1)
Good gods, am I that out of shape, or have you gained a few tons The Blue Phoenix said after his back popped from the effort.
Kind of both.
Creatures your size are supposed to lift me with ease. Solus nodded in Lith\'s direction while gently but firmly taking Aerth\'s hands off of her.
The Phoenix may have remembered her clearly but she didn\'t, making the sudden intimacy creepy.
Oh, I\'m sorry for my manners.
I\'m Aerth. He offered Lith his hand.
Are you her boyfriend, husband, or something in between
I\'m Lith Verhen and I\'m her partner.
This is definitely a slang term I\'m not familiar with.
Damn, I need to get out more. Aerth nodded.
Did Elphyn ever tell you how we\'ve met She was really curious about the Phoenixes\' mating ritual and I was the lucky one she picked at a party.
One of my acquaintances mentioned the ritual to me.
What\'s so great about it Lith asked, out of scientific curiosity, of course.
Well, Phoenixes are born and bred warriors.
When we pick a mate, we engage in a brutal and sensual fight that ends only once one of the contestants gets pinned to the ground.
Then the winner mounts the loser and-
By my Mom, we got the picture! Solus cut him short while Aerth was making explicit gestures.
Her face had turned to a shade of purple up to her ears and her voice had come out shrill and dry.
She had remained frozen in embarrassment until she couldn\'t take it any longer.
Who won Lith asked, always for science.
She did, of course.
Back then I was weak whereas she trained like a freak due to what had happened to her father. Aerth said with a pensive tone.
By the way, Elphyn, you are behaving in a very odd way.
There\'s nothing shameful about what we did and everyone in the Awakened community knows how the mating ritual works.
Let me be crystal clear with you. Solus snarled at Lith for prying into her past life.
I suffer from almost total amnesia.
Whatever my mother did to save my life, I fell into a slumber that lasted until 15 years ago.
I go by the name of Solus now and everything you say doesn\'t ring any bell.
You are just embarrassing me big time.
Fascinating. The Phoenix said with a pensive tone.
This explains the fall in your magical strength, your increase in mass, and the altered personality.
Menadion must have bonded you to some kind of phylactery to save your life but the procedure had unexpected side effects.
Did you get all of this from a hug and an embarrassing anecdote She asked in amazement.
Well, Grandma said that he is good. Lith shrugged.
Grandma Then you must be that Lith Verhen. A light of recognition shone in Aerth\'s eyes.
The one and only. Lith shapeshifted into his true form while giving him a bow.
Then, he explained Aerth the reasons for their coming.
After meeting you for the first time after all these years, I had hoped that you would come to me for more than a mere errand, Solus.
You may not remember me, but even after we broke up, we still remained good friends.
TI\'ll gladly help you.
Please, follow me. He led them through a series of perfectly smoothened stone corridors.
The ceiling was over 30 meters high and aside from doors and locks, there was no furniture.
The ground caught Lith\'s attention.
It had been covered with gold-veined marble, one of the few natural materials resistant to magic.
Wow, that\'s it No questions about how she survived, what our relationship is, anything The Tiamat asked.
In the Awakened community in general and in my line of work in particular, secrets are of the utmost importance.
Poking around means looking for trouble. Aerth replied.
Besides, mother considers you part of the family.
That\'s enough for me.
Is your father a Dragon Solus asked, impressed by how aloof and cool-headed he was for a Phoenix.
No, a human.
It\'s the reason you picked me and accepted your court.
For pureblood Phoenix you would have been barely a toddler, but to a boy your age you were really hot.
You had the brain of a genius and the body of-
T get that! She cut him short as his hands were tracing the exact shape of her curves in the air.
Sorry. He shrugged, his voice not matching his words.
I have a question. Lith said, receiving a glare from Solus that he ignored.
Grandma said that you are part of her research and development team for the memory crystals.
Correct. Aerth nodded.
What does she need R&D for She examined my crystals and seemed to have understood everything already.
For the same reason she needs the nest, the Feathers, and she didn\'t bother with Dawn centuries ago.
Mother wants us to be able to walk with our own legs.
She only helps with things we can\'t solve on our own and only after we have given our all. The Phoenix replied.
Here we are.
The gallery. A wave of his hand opened a human-sized door.
The room inside was magically lit, the floor and walls covered in tiles respectively painted red and white.
On the walls, there were several paintings with a recurring theme.
All of them depicted a man sitting on a large couch beside a woman.
Lith recognized them as Threin and Menadion.
In the first painting, the Ruler of the Flames held a newborn between her arms.
In the next painting, a small girl sat on her lap.
Then a young girl that Lith recognized as Solus sat on the opposite side of Threin.
Each painting was named after the year it had been drawn, and depicted Solus\'s growth until she was identical to how she looked now.
The rest of the paintings were landscapes or still life that arose no interest in them.
Are these copies Solus asked while her eyes were fixated on the figure of her father.
I kept them to make you feel at home whenever you spent the night here. Aerth nodded.
You kept the originals in your room in the tower.
Wasn\'t Dad supposed to have died when I was a teen How come he\'s in all the paintings
Threin and your mother were both Awakened.
They didn\'t age like you did.
Your father would always draw you and Ripha first and then add his self-portrait.
After his death, you kept the tradition alive and asked the painter to keep adding Threin even when he was no more.
Aerth took the last painting off the wall and handed it to Solus.
This is one of the few originals I have and is yours to take.
What do you mean She stuttered, her eyes veiled with tears reading the date of the painting.
It had been made just a few months after she and her mother had been murdered, yet they all looked so alive, even Threin.
I learned how to paint for you and I got so good at imitating your father\'s style that you had me draw your birthday picture every year.
I would make one for you and one for me. He replied.
She could see that the love and the passion in the painting were in no way inferior to Threin\'s..
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