\'First, I had no idea what you were about to say.
That wasn\'t one of your usual rehearsed speeches.
Second, even if I knew, I would have never stopped you.
I\'ve been trying for years to stop you from bottling up your feelings.\' Solus replied.
\'I\'m happy that you finally admitted how this cruel world is worth living for, yet your words hurt me deeply.
I know that I have never held your hand nor hugged you when your- no, our existence seemed hopeless, but I was always there for you.
\'I have told you many times the same things that Phloria, Tista, and now Kamila have said, yet you never listened.
I\'m part of you, but I\'m not you.
After all this time, and after all that we have gone through together, I should deserve your trust.\'
\'I trust you, Solus.
I always have.\' Lith tried to defend himself.
\'No, you don\'t trust me.
It\'s just that you can\'t hide anything from me, there\'s a big difference.
After I lied to you, only once, to protect your life, you said terrible things to me, you kept me at arm\'s length for weeks.
\'You never stopped to think how hard it had been for me nor why I did it.
You never have any idea how many sacrifices I make for you until we trigger a mind fusion and then you apologize just to start over again.
\'Back when we reconciled, you gave me permission to kick your ass if I ever disagreed with you, but only now have I found the strength to do it.
I never get angry at you because unlike Phloria, unlike every single goddamn soul on this planet, I know the real you.
\'Derek McCoy, Lith Verhen, whatever the name, I don\'t care.
Where your family sees an iron willed man, where Kamila sees a hero, where you see a monster, I see a man that no matter how much he had to crawl, no matter how much ** he had to swallow to move forward, he never stopped fighting.
\'I always respected you for that and I didn\'t want to become another burden for you to carry.
After the wargs, after spending some time with my friends rather than yours, I\'ve finally realized what being a person really means.
\'I deserve from you the same respect I give to you and if sometimes my feelings are a burden, well, deal with it.
Because I\'m as real as Phloria is, I\'m not just a voice in your head.\'
Lith was still recovering from his own moment of weakness with Phloria, so taking in Solus\'s, all of her pent up feelings, left him completely speechless.
He returned to his friends not knowing whether to feel like a jerk for what he had just done to Phloria, or for what he had done to Solus for all those years.
Because she was right about everything.
\'By the way, while you played Romeo, I checked your Juliet with Invigoration.
Her impurities are way closer to her mana core compared to the last time we checked, but she\'s still safe.
\'You don\'t need to worry about her Awakening any soon.
You and I still have a bit of time to find a way to make her survive her Awakening.\'
Lith had been so engrossed by his emotions that he had completely forgotten about the issue with Phloria\'s mana core.
Yet, once again Solus had covered for him, because she cared.
I\'ll never say it enough.
Thank you for being my only true friend.
If Phloria has been my tailor, sewing me back together, you are my mold.
You kept me from losing myself over and over and you still do.\'
Solus telepathically nodded, accepting the compliment.
She thought about sharing with him the news about her humanoid form, but in the end, she decided against it.
\'It would be a low blow.
A cry for attention now that he\'s still emotional.
As I just said, I\'m not Lith.
I do things my way.
The right way.
I don\'t manipulate those I love to get what I want.\' She thought.
As they returned to their friends, Lith heard several whispers.
Even though he couldn\'t piece enough of them together to get the whole story, he got the gist of it.
Luckily, Phloria and he hadn\'t been gone for long and Kamila had yet to give her reply.
Lith and Jirni had warned both his family and his girlfriend about the risks of the gala.
Messing directly with Lith was suicidal, but they were much easier targets.
In front of such an audience, losing their temper could seriously harm Lith, even if he wasn\'t there.
Kamila and Elina were cut from the same cloth.
They would have likely slapped Kallion into oblivion for his contemptuous words, yet aside from clenching their hands they smiled and didn\'t do anything.
\'Since both the options he left me with put me in the wrong, I can only pick the third one: remain silent and hope that Lith returns quickly.\'
What\'s going on here Lith asked Friya while taking Kamila\'s hand.
Not only was she his friend, but Friya was also a Lady of the family.
No one could question her judgment without disrespecting the whole Ernas Household.
She told him everything, feeling a bit embarrassed for not having intervened.
Quylla and she hadn\'t liked Kamila marking her territory since they were rooting for their sister.
Let me get this straight. Lith stood straight as an arrow, so that he could look down on Kallion while staring at him in the eyes.
First, you treated my date as a servant, demanding apologies only based on your assumptions.
Then, you belittled my work, my magic, in front of my entire family and the rest of the guests.
Lastly, by questioning her upbringing you also questioned my judgment.
Not at all.
You are oversimplifying things. Kallion said with an aggrieved expression.
I was simply trying to help your girlfriend and defend mine.
\'Come on, you idiot.
Challenge me, attack me or something.
No one expects me to win and the harder you beat me, the worse it will be for you.
It\'ll prove you\'re nothing but a bloodthirsty barbarian.\' He thought.
Am I Lith shrugged.
Phloria, did Kamila insult you in any way
I asked her about her corsage and she simply replied.
It\'s beautiful, by the way, calling it a trinket… She glared at Kallion for a second before regaining her composure.
So, no apology was required and you did belittle my work. Lith repeated while staring at him in contempt.
I\'m really sorry. Phloria gave Kamila a bow first and then Lith.
She felt terrible since she was not only one of the hosts, but also Kallion\'s date.
No need to apologize, Phloria. Lith picked her up by the shoulders and made her stand tall.
You\'re one of my best friends, I could never get offended with you. Those words weighed more heavily than any reproach could, especially after the moment they had just shared in the side room.
Phloria felt stupid and miserable.
She clenched the sides of her dress as her eyes turned watery from the rage and embarrassment, exactly like Lith had planned.