Phloria Ernas wasn\'t having the time of her life.
Her adoptive sisters were running circles around her in the academy, her mother called too often with stars shining in her eyes, waiting for some big announcement.
Every time she heard from her father, Orion seemed to be on the verge of tears instead.
Also, her relationship with Lith hadn\'t progressed much during the last month, giving her the impression there was something wrong.
They were already at their sixth date and Lith had always behaved like a perfect gentleman, having a deep knowledge of the places they visited together even if he had never been there before.
Phloria didn\'t know about Soluspedia, so the idea of him investing so much time and effort for her sake was truly flattering.
They would always have brilliant conversations and while his jokes were a bit odd, Lith managed to be funny or mature according to the situation.Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
The problem was everything else.
- He is way too mature, but that\'s actually nice. She would often think.
The more I know him, the more it seems I\'m dating my parents though.
He is a paranoid control freak like mom, but without being bossy or nosy.
He is also caring and protective like dad, without being clingy or possessive.
I like his virtues and flaws, but while, at the start, it was nice of him to leave me my personal space and not try to touch me inappropriately, now I\'m starting to worry about it.
Holding my hand from time to time is the boldest move he ever did.
Be it kissing or hugging, he never takes the initiative, it\'s always up to me.
Did he agree to go out with me out of pity Or was it to get rid of Quylla–
Mulling those questions over and over, Phloria was getting more insecure by the day.
She couldn\'t imagine that Lith was actually a forty year old in the body of an almost thirteen year boy.
He was conflicted between his psychological and physical age.
Lith was incapable of approaching her without the fear of being guilty of forcing himself on someone naïve and inexperienced.
Phloria was too embarrassed to seek advice from her parents and asking her older brothers was useless.
Gunyin, her eldest brother, had followed their mother\'s wishes, marrying a girl when he was barely sixteen.
He had never dated someone outside of his own wife.
Tulion, her second brother, had almost been kicked out of the household because of his many affairs with maidens from other noble families.
- I can already hear Gunyin say: Ask mom, she knows better. Or Tulion: Push him down on the bed.
It would work with me.–
Being cornered, Phloria had sought Friya\'s advice the day before.
Phloria knew that she was still rooting for Quylla, but she had no one to turn to.
I never dated anyone, so I really don\'t know what to say. Friya was really embarrassed to reveal that while she very much liked talking about boys, she knew almost nothing about them.
If I were in your shoes, I would just ask him.
If he doesn\'t like you, then he doesn\'t deserve you, sis. Phloria was moved by her words.
She had always thought that, between the almost forced adoption and Quylla, they would only be sisters on paper.
Her advice made a lot of sense, so she was waiting for the end of the lessons to confront Lith.
Magic Crystals was the last course of the day and since they would spend the next three days working in the mines, they had the rest of the afternoon free.
Phloria was so nervous, looking for the right moment to talk to him, that she almost flinched when Lith tapped on her shoulder while they were coming out of the classroom.
Since we have nothing to do until tomorrow morning, do you mind coming to my room for a few minutes We need to talk. Lith said taking the words right out of her mind, making her swallow a lump of saliva.
Saying those four words was hard, but hearing them was even worse.
According to her brother Tulion, it was the best line before dumping someone and he was an authority in the field.
- I have no idea what the security reasons Professor Nalear spoke about are, but it\'s likely that Phloria\'s mother does.
I don\'t have Lady Ernas\'s contact rune, but I\'m sure that she wouldn\'t mind helping me.
The last time we met, we parted on good terms.–
Lith\'s intentions were completely unrelated to his relationship with Phloria, but she had no way to know that.
She lived every step towards Lith\'s room like a death row inmate would while approaching the chopping block.
After they walked through the door, Phloria clenched her hands covered in sweat, finding the courage to speak her mind.
Actually, I have something to say that can\'t wait anymore.
Noticing the urgency in her voice, Lith nodded, offering her the only chair in the room while he sat on the bed instead.
That\'s exactly what I want to talk about! She stood up, pointing a finger at him.
Meaning Lith tilted his head in confusion.
Why do you always keep your distance from me No matter where we are, you never sit beside me, let alone try to kiss or touch me.
Am I that ugly to you Are you pity dating me
Her voice was full of rage, yet Lith could clearly see the insecure teenage girl hiding behind the mask.
The new world closely resembled the middle ages in his mind.
Since they were so different in age and social status, he had thought that Phloria was content with what they had, never suspecting she wanted something more, like a modern Earth girl.
The only answer he could offer her wasn\'t the truth, but the next best thing.
Absolutely not! He stood up too, his tone was firm as a rock in denying her allegation.
It\'s just that I\'ve never dated someone your age, so I don\'t know what to do. Lith scratched his head in embarrassment.
He was a late bloomer, never dating anyone before his last year of high school.
Also, being as strong as I am, I\'m afraid to hurt you.
Last, but not least, our height gap doesn\'t help. He stood in front of her, using his hand to emphasize it.
Lith was now 1.65 meters (5\'5) high, but Phloria was still taller than him with her 1.77 meters (5\' 10).
Do you want me to bring around a soapbox during our dates Because I feel so dumb having to use a spell or ask you to bend down. Phloria felt so relieved by his answers that it was like someone had just lifted a mountain from her shoulder and another from her stomach.
Realizing he was not only younger, but also as inexperienced as her, made her heart flutter.
Phloria gave him a long, deep kiss while her hands caressed his hair and wide shoulders.
Lith was surprised by how good a kisser she had become, needing his sheer willpower to keep his hands on her back instead of going for second base.
He had no idea if he would be able to stop there.
What do you want to talk about She whispered in his hear, refusing to let him go and making it really hard for him to focus.
This field trip sounds fishy. He replied with a hoarse voice.
I was thinking we may ask your parents for information.
It never hurts being prepared for the worst.
It can wait. She shrugged emitting an adorable giggle.
All work and no play makes Lith a dull boy. She had just kissed him again when someone knocked on the door.
Lith Little Flower Are you in there Please open up.
Dad Phloria blurted out from surprise.
I told you it could wait, dammit.
Give them some space.
Mom Phloria panicked, pushing Lith away and sending him butt first to the floor.
Yes dear. Jirni\'s voice replied from the other side of the door.
Take your time, there is no rush. In Phloria\'s mind those words sounded like:
Put your clothes on carefully.
Think about your father.
If her parents\' sudden appearance was like a sudden cold shower for her, Lith needed a magical one, cooling down his face, hands, and other obvious places to make himself decent.
As soon as he opened the door, Orion barged in, sighing in relief seeing that the bed was still made and all the buttons on the two youths\' uniforms were in proper order.
Why didn\'t you answer your communication amulet I\'ve been calling you for hours! Orion yelled.
I was busy! Phloria angrily rebuked.
Please forgive us, Lith. Lady Ernas said.
I couldn\'t stop his rampage after he heard the news.
The moment Phloria missed his tenth call, we were already on our way here.
I suppose you know that something is going on.
Yes, Lady Ernas.
We were just about to call you. He reported to them Professor Nalear\'s announcement and his doubts about it.
Emotions are important, but in time of crisis, keeping a cool head is of the utmost importance. Jirni clicked her tongue, making both father and daughter blush in embarrassment.
Also, it\'s the exact reason why we are here.
By now, most of the students should have been contacted by their parents and informed about the current predicament.
Which is Lith asked.
Have you ever heard about the god of death Phloria and Lith shook their heads.
Ilyum Balkor, better known as the god of death, is one of the blackest pages in the Griffon Kingdom\'s modern history.
Twenty years ago, before either of you were born, he was a commoner of humble origins that had entered the Black Griffon academy, soon revealing to possess an outstanding talent for magic.
It quickly turned out to be more a curse rather than a blessing.
According to the academy\'s old standards, might makes right, so he and his family were constantly victims of harassment from the noble families.
The previous Queen ignored all the reports because she considered such behavior useful to her agenda.
In her mind, they would push Balkor to seek the Crown\'s support, making him more malleable to her requests in order to satisfy his thirst for revenge and protection.
Her \'brilliant\' plan fell apart when a few months before his graduation, Balkor\'s village was set ablaze and his family killed by unknown bandits.
It\'s still unclear if it was just an unlucky incident or something staged by one of the old noble families.
What matters is that Balkor didn\'t care for the Crown\'s promises of finding the culprits, nor for all the flatteries coming from the academies and noble families alike, aiming to recruit him.
They tried to exploit his pain of losing his family by replacing it with a new one.
After graduating, he disappeared for a few months before returning at the lead of an army of greater undead, exterminating in one night all the noble families in his birthplace.
Then he escaped to the Blood Desert while the army and the Mage Association were still busy dealing with his thralls.
That night, Ilyum Balkor gained the title of god of death and the old Queen abdicated in Sylpha\'s favor.
The following year, the Crown received a single word from him: \'Past\'.
During the night of the anniversary of Balkor\'s family\'s death, a whole old noble household disappeared.
Not even children or elderly were spared, the only thing left behind was a single word, painted with blood over every single wall, ceiling, or floor: Soon.
Every year, for the following four years, the Crown received the same note and another ancient household would disappear during the night of the anniversary.
Then, for the next five years, the note contained a different word: \'Present\'.
During the anniversary, the new target became the Crown and the Mage Association.
Their most notable members would be attacked by legions of never seen before undead.
We know this because most of the intended victims managed to survive, thanks to the heavy security.
The King and the Queen survived all five attempts, allowing the Association to collect a lot of samples and devise new weapons against the new race of undead.
Sadly, this is the eleventh year and the note changed once again.
Now it says: \'Future\'.
So they think he will now target the academies It makes sense since the students represent the future of the Kingdom.
What makes them think he will target the White Griffon Lith asked.
Lady Ernas shook her head sighing.
No one thinks the god of death will target the White Griffon.
We think he will target all the academies.
The first five years were just the appetizer.
He used them to perfect his creations while putting to test the magical defenses of the most powerful families, succeeding most of the times.
Then, he targeted both the Crown and the Mage Association, attacking all of their most notable members.
He is the reason that lead the Griffon Kingdom to hasten the reform of the nobility and academy system, leading to the current crisis.
The existence of the god of death is a secret to the public, but every major power of the country knows about him, and lives in fear of his return.