\'Rise and shine, sleepyhead.\' Solus woke up Lith after sunrise, to make sure he had a full eight hours of sleep.
It would reset the effects of Invigoration and bring his body back to his natural peak condition.
The fight with Treius had been demanding.
Solus had no idea what a world tribulation was, but she knew that whenever Lith assumed that monstrous form, his mind had undergone heavy stress.
\'What a **ty date.\' Lith griped for the umpteenth time.
\'The only silver lining is that she insisted to split the bill.\'
\'By my maker, just because you didn\'t get laid doesn\'t make it a bad date!\'
\'I beg to differ.
The food was just okay, the kiss was so fast I barely noticed it, and the I\'ve to wake up early tomorrow is the lamest excuse in the book.
Kamila might as well claimed she had a migraine.\' Lith sighed.
He was in such a bad mood he had returned to the house on Royal Road only because Belius\'s security measures made it a hassle getting in and out of the city.
Lith had to give his detailed report in person in the afternoon, otherwise he would have already gone back to Lutia to spend there the rest of his leave.
\'Stop being a sourpuss.
If Kamila really didn\'t enjoy herself, she wouldn\'t have spent three hours talking with you.
She even took into account you being a cheapskate and split the bill.\' Solus pointed out.
\'Why do you think that\'
\'How many tall mages wearing a Ranger uniform do you think walked into the Velorian yesterday It doesn\'t take a Constable to do the math.\' Her thoughts oozed sarcasm.
\'The next time, bring her a nice present, Scrooge.\'
\'For the record, I\'m thrifty, not stingy.\' His paper thin excuse only managed to make Solus cry from laughing.
Lith went to the kitchen on the first floor to have breakfast.
Lith ruminated on both Solus\'s words and the food before giving Kamila a call.
She sounded really happy to hear from him and she kept the conversation going until she had to leave for work.
This time it was her inviting him to dinner the next day.
\'Told you so.
Don\'t forget the present.\' Solus projected in his mind a smug grin.
Lith spent the morning practicing Accumulation to further refine his mana core and rehearsing his report with Solus.
He arrived at the army Headquarters well in advance the appointed time.
Sergeant Tepper had drilled his If you are five minutes early, you are already ten minutes late creed into all of his recruits.
Lith was immediately brought by the Desk Sergeant through a series of corridors until they reached the destination.
Despite the woman walked double time, Lith had the time to appreciate the rustic furniture decorating the place and the padded reinforced doors along the way.
All in all, he had the impression of being inside an asylum for the criminally insane.
They are waiting for you. The Sergeant, a sturdy woman in her forties, pointed him to a door with a Briefing Room tag attached to it.
She gave him a salute before extending her hand.
Thanks for your hard work, Sir.
Belius is a safer place now.
Lith shook it while cold sweat ran down his spine.
\'Damn, first the custom officer and now the Sergeant This is worse than I thought.
No good deed goes unpunished, we have some serious damage control to do.\' Lith thought.
\'Stop whining, I\'m sure that- Oh, **!\' Solus choked on her optimism when Lith opened the door.
A single uncomfortable looking chair was in front of a rectangular table, behind which there were three armchairs.
King Meron was sitting in the middle.
A golden crown rested on his head as he was wearing his red uniform of Commander-in-Chief of the army.
The King was a lean man in his mid fifties, yet he didn\'t look a day past thirty.
He had thick red hair and the silver eyes typical of the descendants of Valeron, the first King.
On his right, there was a man bearing a striking resemblance with the King who wore the red uniform of a General of the Army.
He had brown reddish hair and silver eyes.
Just like Meron, he was in his fifties, but time hadn\'t been very kind to him.
He looked old and tired, but mostly worried.
To the King\'s left, there was the most stunning woman Lith had ever seen.
She wore the uniform of a Royal Constable and was 1.76 (5\'9) meters tall.
She was in her mid twenties, or so it seemed.
There was something about her that made her look timeless yet ancient at once.
She had shining gold hair braided into a tress long enough to be twisted and knotted above her head resembling a crown.
Her silver eyes sparkled like stars under the sunlight.
Lith\'s mood was sour yet it took him just a second to feel something was off.
He gave them a salute and stood at attention while waiting for instructions.
\'Solus, how strong are these guys\'
\'The General has a cyan core, while the King has a violet one and a body slightly more powerful than yours despite his age.
The woman has a blue core and an inhuman physique.
By my maker, compared to her Tista is nothing special.\'
\'This is wrong.
No one can be this beautiful.\' Lith\'s paranoia kicked in, quickly followed by his survival instinct.
He took a deep breath and activated Death Vision.
It was the only still lingering side effect of Lith\'s attempt to repair Protector\'s mana core at the cost of his own life force.
Lith had yet to understand if it was an ability, a curse, or simply a symptom of his shaky sanity.
It made every living being in front of him look like they were about to die.
It had taken him years of training to learn how to keep it in check.
In the next few seconds, Lith saw the King die of old age, poisoned, or because a spell turned him to dust.
The General would die of old age, or after being poisoned, stabbed, beheaded, or simply because he tumbled and fell.
The Constable remained unchanged instead.
\'It\'s already abnormal for the King to have only three ways to die, but maybe is because of his magical protections.
Why Death Vision doesn\'t work on the Constable So far only Phloria was immune to it.\' Lith thought.
At ease, Lieutenant Verhen.
Please, have a seat The King said with a small smile.
This is the General of the Army Morn Griffon, my cousin, while she is Royal Constable Tyris Griffon, my niece.
The General suppressed the desire to curl his lip in disgust, replying to Lith\'s salute with a mere nod of the head.
The Constable returned the salute and even offered him her hand.
Lith shook it, discovering that her skin was soft and silky, yet her grip was as firm as a mountain.
\'This is bad.\' Lith thought.
\'They want to either promote or demote me.
Both events can screw up my plans.
Worst case scenario, they want to force me into marriage with Barbie.
First the house, now this Why would a royal be so kind with me\'
Solus wanted to give him a more rational and less paranoid explanation.
Unluckily, she was unable to find one.