With his new body, Lith was capable of lifting an adult with one hand and of running as fast as a magical beast for several minutes before getting tired.
Yet after giving that speech he was already panting.
Speaking those words out loud had been one of the most difficult things he had ever done.
Opening up, willingly showing his weakness, it went against everything he lived for during his past three lives.
It was the closest thing he had ever done close to self-injuring himself, forcing so many old wounds to open up and bleed in public.
He still had so many things that he wanted to say, how he envied every single one of them, even Quylla, for being born with talent in a world that gave them limitless potential.
They were so young, while he felt so bitter and old.
They could take whatever path they wanted in life, while he was struck on a one-way railroad.
- I already said too much.
If I keep going, I\'ll do more damage than good to them.
Unlike me, they are really children.
Their minds are still frail, they need time to really understand what they have just heard.–
Everyone in the room was crying, even Lith and Solus.
She had no tears to shed, yet Lith could perceive her suffering like he did for those physically present.
Unlike them, though, that were temporarily being swayed by fleeting emotions, Solus was also happy for the small, painful step forward Lith had just taken.
I think we are done here. Lith said wiping away the only two tears he had shed.
I won\'t outstay my welcome, so I\'ll take my leave.
He walked out of the door without turning back, until he felt a small body hugging him from behind.
I\'m so sorry for saying all those things back then, about you hunting and killing people being cool. Quylla was bawling her eyes out.
I never stopped to think how hard such a life had to be on you.
Despite having gone through so many hardships myself, I could only picture you like one of those heroes from my books, capable of shrugging everything off with a smile.
I just stood there, watching you from a distance only thinking about myself and never caring for your feeling.
If there\'s something, anything I can do for you, even if you only want to talk, just say the word.
Lith turned around without escaping from her embrace, but not returning it either.
Thanks for your words, but I think you are letting this thing go to your head. He patted her head kindly, running his hand through her hair.
You have nothing to apologize for.
I didn\'t tell you guys all those things because I wanted your pity or compassion, but only because I believe you needed to hear them before deciding what you want to do with your lives.
Now that you know who I am, I need you to calm down and reflect about all that has happened during this year.
You should never make important decisions when you are emotional, or you\'ll do and say things you\'ll end up regretting in the future.
When we meet again at the academy, if you still think the things you just said, repeat your offer once more.
Who knows Maybe this time we\'ll become friends for real.
Quylla let him go, realizing she has just gone from one extreme to another, from never speaking to him to almost confessing her feelings for him.
- Gods, I\'m so stupid.
I never fell in love with Lith, only with the distorted image I had of him.
Thank heavens he stopped me before I could make a fool of myself.
I can\'t blame him for seeing me only as a potential friend and not a love interest.
We are still too young and know nothing about each other.
Let\'s start as friends.–
Only when Lith reached the Ernas\' private Gate he realized he couldn\'t operate it without Orion\'s royal pass.
- Great job, smarta*s.
Now I have to go back and search for help.
I\'ll be lucky if the staff doesn\'t kick me out.
No one here knows me or why I am here.–
Then, he heard the door behind him opening up.
It was Phloria, with a still tear-stained face from the little make up she wore.
She was wringing her hands, trying to muster the courage to tell him how sorry she was.
Phloria was the one that had spent more time with Lith, taking a walk together before breakfast every morning.
She wasn\'t shy as Quylla and didn\'t keep her distance from him like Friya to not hurt Quylla\'s feelings, yet she had never bothered asking him about his burden.
The problem was that her speech and Quylla\'s were awfully similar.
Phloria had eavesdropped his reply already and it fitted her too quite well.
Only after listening to his story, she had realized how silly was her constant whining about her mother and the duties her family required from her.
Phloria had never understood how lucky she was, being born with a silver spoon, until that evening.
It made her feel like a shallow and spoiled girl.
Just the girl I was about to look for. Lith smiled at her, leaving Phloria amazed at how fast he had gone back to his usual self.
Can you please open it for me I want to go home.
Phloria took her pass out of her dimensional necklace, setting the Gate\'s coordinates without saying a word.
When Lith was about to walk through the Warp, Phloria grabbed his arm.
Are you sure you don\'t want to stay The dinner will be delicious and we have plenty of rooms for our guests. It was a stupid line and she knew it, but Phloria didn\'t want to let him go like that, dismissed like a servant after performing his duty.
Thanks for your offer, but there\'s nothing for me here.
In five minutes you all will regain your cool and then it would be all forced apologies and awkward silences.
You need time to think about what to do next, and so do I.
The Gate closed as soon as Lith passed through it, making Phloria feel cold and alone despite being in the comfort of her own house.
House Ernas was an ancient noble house, full of hidden passages and secret doors.
There was a reason that Velan Deirus had taken the apartment right next to his son.
By simply removing a metal grid in the chimney, it was possible to hear everything that was happening in the adjacent room without the need of using spells that could alert a paranoid magician.
Velan, Jirni and Orion had listened from start to finish, not even missing Quylla\'s speech.
Orion had fiercely opposed to the intrusion on the kid\'s privacy, but Velan had been adamant about it.
I can\'t put my son\'s future in the hands of a stranger I don\'t know and who has so many bad rumours going on about him.
Leaving Yurial alone in his time of need would mean failing him once again and I\'m done doing it.
Jirni seized the opportunity to better understand the nature of her newest opponent and his relationship with her daughters, while Orion could only sigh and accept his fate.
A very interesting fellow. Velan said while fiddling with his goatee.
People like that are damaged goods, but they can be incredible assets.
I must tell my son to keep him close, if he doesn\'t break down along the way, this Lith may have a brilliant future ahead of him.
He reminds me of my grandmother in many ways.
At the words damaged goods Jirni felt personally offended, giving to Velan a soft smile that sent shivers down Orion\'s spine.
It was the same one she wore while taking care of her torturing devices in front of her prisoners.
Orion knew that if glares could maim, Velan\'s remains would easily fit into Jirni\'s purse.
Yet she didn\'t rebuke their guest.
Dinner time was nearing and they still needed to prepare themselves.
Orion and Jirni took their leave and went to their private quarters before continuing the discussion.
What an ignorant idiot. She sneered.
If he just spent a little more time out of his lab and in the Court, he would know that half of them are \'damaged goods\'.
What do you think of the young Lith, dear
Orion would never cease to be amazed by how no matter how violent her emotions could be, his wife would never let them get the better of her, remaining cold and collected under all circumstances.
He is still young.
I really hope he can recover from his past traumas.
It takes willpower and courage to not let such burden crush you and be able to share it with others.
He can become a great friend to our girls and an asset for the Crown.
That\'s not what I was talking about. Jirni started to pick up a suit for him, since Orion was still deciding on the tie.
Quylla is not very attractive yet, but she has a lot of talent and seems to really care for the boy.
Friya acts tough, but she wouldn\'t be so mad at him if she considered him just a stranger.
As for our little Flower, any boy that can make her blush is better than all those we have introduced to her so far.
Not to mention how she ran after him after a bit of hesitation.
When we bring him into the family, we must be certain about who to match him with.
A happy marriage is all about compatibility, like it happened for us.
What do you mean with \'When\'
After arriving back to Lutia, Lith didn\'t go home going straight for the Trawn woods.
The recent events had taken a toll on him and he felt the need to remain alone.
- Mom thinks I\'m away, so she will not worry.
Besides, if anything happens, she always has the communication amulet.–
Solus and Lith went down to the Forgemastering lab to experiment on the second method.
Lith was still tired, but Invigoration could make up for it and with his mind in turmoil he felt the need to bury himself in his work.
According to Gantzwell\'s theory, the best way to overcome Forgemastering\'s limits was to use a second magic circle.
The normal enchanting processes required only one magic circle, to store the runes and collect the mana necessary.
It was the Forgemaster\'s duty to provide the energy necessary to force both runes and mana into the item, by exerting a magical force superior to the one the magic circle stored.
If the condition wasn\'t met, the enchantment would fail, that was the reason why a Forgemaster\'s creations could never exceed his own mana capacity.
Gantzwell hypothesised that by using a second circle instead of their own mana, Forgemasters could team up and produce superior items.
His work had raised great expectations, since using more than a single circle was already a standard procedure, although it served to better contain the magical energies rather than to make them clash.
In the end, Gantzwell theory had been discarded because it never bore any fruit.
Filling two overlapping magical circles with mana would make them unstable, the conflicting energies would damage the circles and dissipate too fast for any enchantment to succeed.
After a few attempts, Lith and Solus discovered that neither Solus\'s tower using Invigoration to keep the circles powered up nor Lith using true magic to speed up the process was enough to succeed.
The night is still young. Solus sighed.
Do you want to get some sleep or do you prefer to pick a third method
I think I have a solution.