After the end of the lesson, the group went to the canteen to eat something and recover from the shock.
For months they had been watching their backs for Lukart and his goons, and now Professor Rudd was getting rid of him.
That and Friya joining them as a full fledged A ranked student was too good to be true.
Friya was literally walking on air from excitement.
She was so happy that her magic had gone out of control making her float a few centimetres over the ground.
Keep a seat for me, I\'ll join you in a while.
I can\'t wait to give the good news to Orion, he\'s going to be so proud of me!
Quylla already calls him \'father\' and Friya\'s first thought after going out of the classroom was to share his joy with him.
Your dad must be a great man, Phloria. The group sat down at their usual table.
It was too early for lunch, so they ordered snacks and beverages.
Lith would have loved to have a cold beer after how much sweating Rudd had put him through, but he knew that his body was still too young.
No matter how many times he asked for it, the kitchen staff would always refuse to serve him alcohol.
He\'s more than that, he\'s a great dad.
Unlike my mother, he has never let me down nor has ever tried to force his will on me.
Too bad that he is often away from home for weeks and that makes my mother the ruler of the land.
Just the thought of her mother was enough to make even her fruit juice taste sour.
To be honest, I am really surprised Friya managed to Blink before you, Quylla. Yurial expressed what everyone had in mind, while Friya was still away to not hurt her feelings.
I\'m not. Quylla lowered her gaze in embarrassment.
Despite I mastered tetra casting before her, fire magic is still my weak point.
Do you remember I told you I started practicing magic after my village\'s healer death
What I omitted to say is that the bandits set fire to the village and I almost died back then.
Since that moment, I have been scared of fire magic.
Fire is different from the other elements, even without mana it doesn\'t disappear, it keeps growing and burning like it\'s alive.
Because of that I never practiced it much, but now things have changed.
I\'m not that scared little girl anymore, I\'ll catch up with you in no time!
When Friya returned everyone was already eating and drinking.
Lith decided to exploit that moment when everyone had their guard lowered to ask his question as casually as he could.
I\'m glad to see you are all in a good mood.
That leaves me with a question, though.
Why none of you ever called me You had me thinking you wanted to cut ties with me. Despite all his efforts, Lith ended up fiddling with his glass while he was talking.
I\'m really sorry for that. Friya lowered her eyes, her smile disappeared already.
It\'s just that after hearing your story, I was embarrassed for having treated you so coldly.
After realizing that your burden is much heavier than mine, I felt like a tantrumming child demanding attention.
I didn\'t know what to say without making even more of a fool out of myself.
It wasn\'t a suffering measuring contest! Lith sounded stressed, but was actually relieved by her answer.
Since Phloria seemed pensive, he looked at Quylla.
She opened and closed her mouth a couple of times, like she was about to say something but changed her mind at the last moment.
- Gods, why I\'m such a coward I just have to tell him the truth.
Of how after he left, I needed to sort out my feelings, to understand what was real and what was just make believe.
Tell him how much you missed him, but you were too afraid of being rejected again.
It\'s not that hard, I\'m sure Phloria would say it in one breath.–
Well, I needed some time to sort out my feelings. Phloria said with a straight face, making Quylla spit her beverage back in the glass while Lith tilted his head in confusion.
What feelings Those for your mother Your new sisters Or about the realization that sooner or later you\'ll have to kill someone He asked.
None of the above. She waved her hand like putting away all those topics.
You see, when she is not trying to boss me around and telling me how to live my life, my mother is a great listener.
She knows human nature very well and people are just open books for her.
As much as it pains me to admit it, I\'m no exception.
After you left my home, I was left with an odd feeling.
When I spoke about it with my mother, she offered me her insight and suggestions, instead of trying to manipulate me, which was a refreshing event.
She pointed out that I\'m already fifteen and I\'m not going to get younger.
The next year I will turn sixteen, becoming an adult.
Either I decide to marry or not, I still have no experience at all with boys and once I join my father\'s corps things will get real.
It will be kill or be killed, with no middle ground nor compromise.
So I\'ve decided to enjoy my last year as a kid to its fullest and come out of my shell.
Lith, would you like to go out with me
Lith\'s face froze with a creepy smile while Quylla was choking on her drink.
Gee, don\'t jump me like that.
Wait at least the fifth date or something. She sneered after Lith remained stuck in the same pose for several seconds.
I\'m sorry, but saying that this is unexpected is an understatement.
Also, I\'m flattered by your attentions, but I never thought about you that way.
I don\'t like-like you, for that matters. Phloria replied still in high spirits.
Okay, now you have lost me.
If you don\'t feel anything for me, why asking me out
It\'s not that I don\'t have feelings for you, more like I don\'t understand them, yet.
So far all the boys my age are either immature daydreamers that still believe to be destined one day to slay monsters and marry a princess, or horny teens that only want to get in a girl\'s pants, like Yurial.
Hey, I resent that! Yurial became beet red up to his ears.
Dude, I was there when you flirted with your girls of the day.
I could have even asked you out if I wasn\'t sure that the first thing you would do is to put your hand up my a*s.
Yurial lowered his eyes, incapable of denying the truth of her words.
He was quite fickle with girls, to be polite.
Lith, you are the most level headed and mature boy I know.
Be it about politics, literature, or mystical arts I can always have a nice conversation with you.
I would like for us to start as friends and see how things develop.
- I must admit her offer is interesting.
I never had a high school sweetheart.
They were all a bunch of immature kids while I had my hands full by keeping my scholarship and part time works.
This could be the opportunity to experience what I thought I had missed forever.
The problem is that I don\'t like her that way, she is still a child in my eyes.
At that age, things can escalate fast and I don\'t want to ruin our friendship before it even begins.
What do you think about it, Solus
Why do you ask me She was honestly surprised.
As I said, I don\'t like her.
Most importantly, I don\'t want to hurt your feelings.
Our relationship may be complicated at times, but I wouldn\'t ruin it for the world.
Those words made Solus cry from happiness, but she hid all her emotions in a corner of her mind where Lith couldn\'t find them unless he explicitly searched her memories.
Thanks, but you don\'t need to worry about me.
Don\'t you remember how I pushed you toward all the girls we met I always believed you needed someone to rely on outside of your family, someone that\'s more than just a voice in your head.
You are much more than a voice in my head! Lith was outraged by Solus\' self-deprecation.
You are my partner in battle, my confidant.
You are the only reason I haven\'t already turned in the monster I\'m afraid to become if I lose my last shred of humanity.
Yet I\'m just a voice in your head.
It took eight years for me to obtain my wisp form.
Maybe in another eight I\'ll get some kind of ethereal body, that will take eight more to materialize.
Do you really think you can avoid human contact for sixteen years, to never hold hands, kiss or sleep with a woman When you met Nalear and Nindra, you would have asked them out if not for the age gap.
This is all I have to say, the life is yours and so is the choice.–
In their mind space, time flowed much faster than in the outside world.
Their conversation lasted barely a second.
- Well, I can get a sweetheart and maybe this will help Quylla get over me.
It\'s not like I\'m going to marry Phloria, things will probably not work out.
I\'d say the pros outweigh the cons.
Only one thing. Solus added.
Whatever you do, this is not one of your business deals.
She is a real person with real feelings, don\'t treat her like a calculated risk, looking for a gain.
Otherwise I will be really disappointed in you.–
I would love to go out with you. Lith replied with his best smile while Solus\'s words were still echoing in his head.
The only problem is when and where.
The academy takes out almost all our free time and there\'s nothing to see around here.
Not a problem. Phloria was radiant, way more than Lith would have expected.
During the weekend we can go anywhere thanks to the academy\'s Gate.
Do you mind if we take a walk I\'ve so many things I want to discuss with you right now.
Lith stood up and waved goodbye to his still frozen stiff friends.
I never saw that coming. Yurial was the first to recover.
Of all the girls of the academy, Phloria is the last one I would have expected to make a move on Lith.
The real shocker is that he didn\'t turn her down like all the other girls.
Maybe he is not made of stone like I always thought.
A faint hiccup stopped him in his tracks.
Quylla was on the verge of tears, while Friya was holding her tight, trying to console her.
It\'s all right, it\'s not the end of the world. She said.
It\'s all my fault. Quylla sobbed.
I had countless occasions with him but I wasted them all, always waiting for the right moment instead of creating one as Phloria did.
I feel so stupid.
I deluded myself into believing I had changed, but I\'m still a coward.
Yurial and Friya helper her to get up and brought Quylla to her room, before all the canteen noticed her distress.
Meanwhile, Lith and Phloria were walking along the corridors with Phloria doing most of the talking and listing all the places she wanted to visit in the Griffon Kingdom.
Suddenly Lith noticed they were in front of Phloria\'s room.
There\'s something I want to tell you, but I don\'t want anyone else to hear it.
Lith was hesitant.Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click for visiting.
- Her room already This isn\'t escalating fast, it\'s skipping all the bases!–
When she noticed it, Phloria giggled.
Come on, I will not eat you.
Phloria closed the door behind them.
Then, without saying a word she hugged him tight.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. She sniffed, being on the verge of tears.
The truth is that after the second exam, I am always scared.
Down in that dungeon, I realized that death is closer than I thought.
I trained my sword and my magic, believing I would become invincible, but now I know it was just an illusion.
When that ogre almost killed me, all I could think about was that I would have never seen my family again, that I had yet to experience love or a boy\'s touch.
There are still so many things I want to do and places I want to see.
I don\'t want to die with so many regrets.
Lith hugged her back, caressing her head while trying to understand what all of that had to do with him.
He was certain that Phloria had never demonstrated romantic feelings for him and Solus had always confirmed his impression.
That turn of events was still incomprehensible to him, but he remained silent.
His logic could only trample her feelings.
The real reason I asked you out is that despite you are shorter than me, stingy, cold, and the gods know how much you remember me of my mother, whenever I\'m with you I\'m not afraid anymore.