She\'s right, dear. Elina said.
We\'re already on edge, don\'t make things even harder for us. She was wearing a silk satin cream colored ballgown which left her shoulders and arms exposed and had a square neck.
The others joined her plea, forcing him to shut up.
Lith was very nervous too and couldn\'t wait for the Gala to be over.
Meeting Phloria again after so much time was a bittersweet event to him, especially since now they had both moved on.
Things with Solus weren\'t great either.
Lith was happy seeing her grow as a person, but at the same time, he was sad at not being able to spend as much time together as before.
Solus now spent her free time in her own room, receiving her friends rather than being around him like in the past.
Tista, Kalla, and even her vampire daughter, Nyka, visited Solus whenever they had a chance.
It always happened when Lith was spending time with Kamila, so that Solus wasn\'t forced to hole up in her ring to give them some privacy.
\'Am I jealous\' Lith thought while being careful so that Solus couldn\'t hear him.
\'I never took Solus for granted, yet I would have never expected that being separated from her even just from time to time could be so painful.
Heck, if she ever gets a body, things will become even more complicated.\'
\'I can only hope that Solus is faring better than me and she doesn\'t have conflicting feelings about our situation like I do.\' Lith thought.
Unfortunately, she had realized their problem long before he did and wasn\'t any closer than Lith to finding a solution.
As for Solus\'s feelings, calling them a mess was an understatement.
The more time they spent apart, the more she understood how badly she lacked in every social aspect.
Tista had been schooling both Nyka and her about how to act in human society, but despite all the time she had spent watching Lith from the sidelines, the only thing she was better at than the vampire, was keeping her clothes on.
Nyka had gotten used to living with the customs of an undead beast, making personal hygiene optional and her dress code non existent.
She would say anything that came to her mind, no matter how rude, and was completely oblivious of her body language, just like Solus.
They would both yawn whenever the topic at hand bored them and eat like starving beasts.
Nyka because she had no concept of cutlery, Solus because she would become so engrossed in discovering new flavors that she would forget her manners.
\'I would have never imagined that being polite could be so hard.\' Solus inwardly sighed.
\'Because of our mind link, I\'m not used to sugarcoating my words nor hiding my feelings.
I\'m a terrible liar, I did it only once and I\'m still regretting it.\' She thought.
\'Yet human interactions are mostly based on deception.
Even Tista says that my honesty is refreshing at first, but soon becomes obnoxious.
To make matters worse, the few humans who I\'ve met in the Trawn woods all ran away screaming.
\'No matter how pretty my dress is or how kind I am, I\'m nothing but a monster in their eyes.\'
While Solus and Lith were brooding about their problems, their stagecoach finally reached the Ernas ancestral home.
It was Kamila\'s first time seeing something so magnificent.
The manor was surrounded by high white crystal walls, which generated an array that prevented anyone from flying or Warping past its boundaries without the use of a special amulet.
Their coachman showed his ID to the guards stationed at the gates, who in turn lifted an amulet over their heads.
It emitted a ray of light that resonated with coachman\'s uniform first, then his papers, and lastly the entire stagecoach.
Each of them glowed with a silver light, proving the authenticity of the documents, the man\'s identity, and that the magical seals placed on the vehicle hadn\'t been tampered with.
Kamila gasped while looking through the passenger window as she noticed that the park around the manor extended as far as her eye could see.
Even though the night sky was covered by black clouds, the gardens were perfectly lit.
Each statue, bench, and even fountain which decorated the area radiated a gentle glow, giving the hosts the impression of having walked into a fairy tale.
The air smelled of freshly cut grass, flower beds adorned the cobblestone paths that went from the front gardens to the main building.
Trees and bushes were all artistically trimmed to resemble mythical beasts, like unicorns and griffons.
The benches were made of white marble and engraved with runes that made them water and dirt proof, keeping them dry and clean no matter the weather.
The manor itself was bigger than Belius\' army headquarters.
It extended for at least 3,000 square meters (32,292 square feet), divided into a main building, a left and a right wing forming a reversed U shape.
The massive hardwood double doors of the house were wide open, letting all noise and light coming from the Main Hall reach the stagecoach\'s stopping area.
Jirni and Orion were welcoming their guests as soon as they arrived, letting their house staff escort them inside.
Despite the chilly night breeze, the moment the coach door opened Kamila felt suffocated like she was stepping into a furnace.
\'This isn\'t right.
This isn\'t my place.
I\'m just the disowned daughter of a dishonest merchant.\' She thought as her body was being covered in nervous sweat.
Kamila tried to stand up, but her weakened knees failed her, making her stumble on the coach steps.
Lith managed to catch her by the waist, using water magic at the same time to cool her burning skin and make the sweat disappear.
You almost literally fell head over heels for me. Lith chuckled at his terrible joke as he got off the stagecoach first to help Kamila by holding both her hands.
His kind gesture made Kamila find her strength again and made Lith\'s parents hope for the best.
The Ernas couple watched the scene too, but with mixed feelings about it.
Long time no see, Lith.
It\'s too bad you haven\'t grown much since your days at the academy. Orion joked.
He was over 1.96 metres (6\'5) tall, with black hair, brown eyes, and a perfectly shaven face.
His physique was lean but muscular.
Every one of his movements was full of vigor.
It\'s nice to see you too.
Is everyone inside
I\'ll join you as soon as we\'re done with our guests.
I have a little surprise for you.
Two members of the house staff accompanied the Verhens to the Ballroom.
One of them was Dyta, Jirni\'s cousin, who was still disguised as a housemaid.
The other was Deiter, an old family butler who managed to glare at Lith like he was a traitor while maintaining perfect composure.
\'I guess it\'s reasonable to assume that the rest of the staff blames me for the break up too.\' Lith thought.
The entrance had a double staircase leading to the first floor of the house, which formed an arch above the door leading to the Main Hall, where the guests would mingle while waiting for their hosts to arrive.
Lith sighed, hoping that when his past and present clashed, he wouldn\'t be caught in the middle.