The young woman wore a white evening dress that left her shoulders and arms exposed.
It was embroidered with sapphires that emphasized her sky blue eyes.
She had a lively face and a bright smile.
Her demeanor left Lith quite puzzled.
I\'m sorry, do I know you The young woman looked somehow familiar, but no matter how much he focused, Lith couldn\'t recognize her.
The only thing he knew was that she was quite well endowed, her beauty was easily on Friya\'s level.
Did you really forget about me She said with a playful gaze.
Even though you are the only man that ever saw me naked She whispered while blushing on cue, hiding her face with a fan made of what looked like golden peacock\'s feathers.
\'She\'s the Marchioness\' daughter.
Don\'t you see the resemblance\' Solus pointed out.
\'Besides, it\'s true that so far most of the girls on Mogar are on the thin side, but for example Tista is much more…\'
Second, Tista isn\'t a girl, she is my sister.
Don\'t use her as a standard, thanks.\' Lith cut her short.
His companions were all taken aback by the girl\'s last remark.
\'And he had the gall to call me a lucky b*stard!\' Yurial inwardly cursed and congratulated at his friend at the same time.
I\'m sorry, Milady.
I can\'t remember all of my patients, no matter how pleasing to the eye they are.
I had too many. Lith gave her a small bow, pretending to not know who she was.
Phloria felt reassured by the \'patient\' part and threatened by everything else.
Lith wasn\'t the kind of man to make false compliments.
How do you know I was your patient then She closed her fan, her expression inquisitive in a way that Jirni didn\'t like at all.
You called me your savior.
I\'m no warrior, just a healer. While Lith played Sherlock Holmes again, his companions had a hard time repressing a burst of laughter at the blatant lie.
That and the other part… He whispered.
made everything clear.
Brilliant. She clapped her hands while smiling non stop.
A strong character, a bright mind, and an eye that doesn\'t stop just at a pretty dress.
These are all traits that I appreciate in a man.
Also, you are right, we were never properly introduced.
I\'m Brinja Distar, first daughter of Marchioness Mirim Distar and heir to my household. Her choice of words was formal, Brinja even accompanied her self-introduction with a second curtsy, much deeper than the first.
It was quite uncommon for the host to show so much respect to a guest met for the first time.
That and her previous words worried Lith as much as they did Phoria and Jirni.
Being wooed by the daughter of his patron sounded like a massive pain in the a*s.
\'Seems my big sister has a rival now.\' Friya inwardly smiled.
That evening was getting more interesting by the second.
I\'m Lith of Lutia.
If next year I graduate I will still be just a mage. He gave her a deep bow while using modest words to belittle himself.
Well, for being \'just\' a mage you proved to be resourceful and brave.
You even stood your ground against a self-entitled Archmage.
Or was it just recklessness She replied without backing down from her position.
No, it wasn\'t. Lith shook his head.
I may be someone of humble origins, but I didn\'t spend my time hiding in a cave studying magic or fighting non stop like a bloodthirsty beast.
I learned society\'s rules, got admitted to one of the six great academies, made friends… He pointed at his companions.
and allies. Lith nodded toward the Marchioness.
I just showed everyone what I accomplished after a single year of proper education.
Now it\'s up to them to choose if they want to stand against me or support me.
Either way, I\'m not easily bullied because I made myself really hard to replace.
No matter how big their ego is or how small minded they are, I believe that in times of crisis most of them would feel reassured rather than threatened by my presence.
See That\'s what I meant, \'just a mage\' Lith. Brinja said with a radiant smile while taking his arm between hers, gently pressing it against her breast.
Lith was flattered, but unfazed by her behavior.
Thanks, your Ladyship, but I think you missed the part about me being just thirteen years old and without any background. Lith tried to step away, he could feel several eyes piercing his back.
How is that a problem She giggled, holding his arm even tighter.
In a few years, the age gap will become irrelevant.
Whoever I\'m going to marry, he will join my family and I\'m rich enough for three people.
I may have no magical power of my own, but the Distar bloodline gave birth to several powerful mages.
I can\'t stand those shallow nobles that only care for my wealth nor the arrogant mages that see every non magic user as an object.
I\'m tired of being considered an arm candy with annuities from those who aim for my family title.
Based on what I heard about you and on what you did tonight you are like a breath of fresh air.
I just want to get to know you better.
Her points were all valid, but Lith had no interest in any kind of relationship.
\'What the heck, first Phloria and now Brinja Women in the new world are quite assertive.\' Lith thought.
\'Maybe it\'s because here magic gives them an edge.\' Solus suggested.
\'Or maybe it\'s just a cultural thing they have.
Unlike Earth\'s middle ages on Mogar women have the same opportunities as men.
They can pass their last name and inherit their families\' fortunes.\'
Solus had a hard time not mentioning that she also would be assertive, if only she had the means to.
Despite being brief, her experience with a body, first Lith\'s and then hers, had filled her with hope and confidence.
At the same time, Solus had become quite impatient.
\'I wonder how many years will it take for me to get even that body made of light.\' She inwardly sighed in a corner of her mind, glad to have her privacy.
\'Until then, I can only cheer for Lith from the sidelines.\'
Distar Household, later that evening.
After all of her guests had safely departed to their homes via the Marchioness\' private Warp Gate, she could finally sit down in the armchair in her office and relax.
After the bumpy start, everything had gone as planned.
She took out a communication amulet, placing it in the middle of her desk.
Four blue magic crystals appeared from the corners of the solid white oak table, opening a secure channel with Queen Sylpha.
I hope you bring me good news, Mirim. The Queen\'s stern face greeted her with a nod.
Excellent news, your Majesty. The Marchioness gave her a small bow.