After she left, Lith had the Desk Sergeant set the coordinates of the Gate to the city of Othre, the nearest waypoint to Kogaluga.
He had the impression that after Kamila met his parents, that small gap between them was gone.
Lith didn\'t know whether to be happy or worried about it.
He only had one year left in the army and after that, he might be forced to expand his search to other countries.
He hadn\'t planned Kamila just like he had never expected to become so attached to Phloria during the academy.
He was afraid history was going to repeat itself, setting an expiration date on his new relationship too.
Once Lith reached Kogaluga, it took him only a few hours to discover the truth.
The anomaly detected by the lost city\'s array system didn\'t come from the inside.
Lith had been thorough during his last sweep and the undead inside were still few in number.
A tribe of trolls had reached the city, lured by the darkness magic flooding from the rift.
They had been trying to get in for a few days.
Without food, their numbers wouldn\'t rise, but the energy seeping out of the barrier was enough to strengthen each one of them over time.
The good news was that all Lith had to do was kill them from a distance with fire magic and make sure they stayed dead.
Trolls could regenerate even from their smallest bits, so even with Life Vision it took him a while.
The bad news was that once he was done with them, it was already late at night.
Too late to go back to Belius to spend the night with Kamila or even to give her a call.
The only silver lining was the presence of the nearby mana geyser, so he could at least spend the remaining hours of his birthday with Solus.
Once inside the tower, he noticed that the core inside the wisp had grown bigger from the last time he had seen it.
Solus, did you have a breakthrough
Yes! She had an ecstatic tone.
It\'s the second one already since you got your blue core.
At this rate, I\'ll get halfway through green in just a few months.
Between the boot camp and the constant traveling, I couldn\'t use Accumulation as often as usual.
I\'ve only promoted my core by one shade so far.
I\'m two levels apart from you even though and I\'m constantly nurtured by both you and the world energy.
I should be the one complaining. She rebuked him.
Did you enjoy your birthday
Well, it went much better than I expected. Lith said while taking a long hot bath.
Even though he had acted tough all day, he had actually been worried things could not work out for either Kamila or his family.
Indeed. Solus replied from the Alchemical lab, where she was sorting out all the new equipment they had received from the Crown as a reward.
Much more had yet to come.
It would give her something to do the next time Lith didn\'t need her help or presence.
It\'s the first time we have to skip your second birthday, though.
I\'ll miss Count Lark and his staff who still believe you are his son, just like I really wanted to check on Friya and Quylla.
We haven\'t seen them from over a year now. She sighed.
Lith usually celebrated his birthday twice.
Once only with his family and his closest friends, like Nana or Selia, and a second time during a social event hosted by the Ernas or by Count Lark.
Lith was tired of always being alone, but he had no other choice.
He regretted not meeting Count Lark, Jirni, or any of the Ernas girls for his birthday, but he had only one day and had to make it count.
Me too, Solus.
Yet Kamila is my home away from home now.
I have to give her and my family priority.
I will call the others tomorrow, first thing in the morning.
Later, that night, while Lith was fast asleep inside his bed, Solus\'s wisp form escaped from his embrace and moved to the bedside.
Suddenly, it started to pulse as its core expanded until it touched the fringes of the wisp\'s sphere of light.
Solus\'s life force broke free of its restraints, taking the form of a humanoid female, entirely made of golden light.
It had no facial features aside from her shining eyes and lips half-opened in a very sweet but sad smile.
A cascade of golden hair enveloped her whole body as it floated in the air like she was underwater.
\'Yes! I knew I felt different the moment I assumed my tower form.\' Solus danced in the air out of joy before looking at her figure thanks to a series of mirrors that she had conjured around her.
\'I do have some baby fat.\' She inwardly griped while she stared down and squeezed her belly.
\'Whoever I was before turning into a tower, I must have been a couch potato.
There\'s no way a mage would be so cruel as to make their tower\'s avatar short and paunchy.
I\'ve always known I\'m not a thing!\'
After looking at her form from every possible angle, Solus was satisfied overall.
\'At least I\'m well proportioned for my height and have a tight ass.
Yay me.\' She chuckled.
Solus swept her hair back, to be sure it wouldn\'t tickle Lith\'s sleeping face before kissing him softly on the cheek.
Happy birthday, Lith. Her voice was barely a whisper.
\'I\'ve waited for 12 years, I can wait a bit longer.
If I tell him now, it would make our relationship even odder.
I don\'t want to risk ruining his relationship with Kamila for just… this.\'
Solus had waited for three years to have even a semblance of a body, just to discover it was still not enough.
It still didn\'t allow her to have a normal life nor to be with Lith like she wanted to.
Solus caressed his hair for a second before going out to see the stars accompanied by a glass of milk and a trail full of all kinds of biscuits.
The following morning, Lith noticed immediately that the tower had changed overnight.
The stones which composed his room were sturdier and smoother compared to their usual crude look.
Every room of the tower was now larger than he remembered.
Solus He looked around before noticing the wisp snuggled in his arms under the blankets.
Let me rest five more minutes.
I\'m dead tired. She grumbled.
\'Not only did I eat so much that I got a stomach-ache, but also I can\'t remain in human form for more than an hour without spending a lot of mana.
Worst power up ever!\' She was careful to hide her thoughts where Lith couldn\'t find them.
How could you possibly be dead tired We slept all night to recover from using all the Warp Steps necessary to go back to Derios and then reach Kogaluga.
Lith had indeed slept all night, whereas Solus had joined him just an hour earlier, just in time to experience what an embrace felt like before exhaustion forced her back into being a wisp.