The following morning, Lieutenant Kamila Yehval was fixing her hair in a bun before going to work, when she received a call on her communication amulet.
\'I hope it\'s not Lith again.
Last night we ended up talking until it was really late.
I don\'t like clingy guys much.\' The smile on her face disappeared as soon as she saw whose rune was blinking.
Has something happened to Zinya Is she all right
Good morning to you too, dear.
Your sister is fine.
Can\'t a mother just want to hear from her daughter The voice was sweet and caring as Kamila remembered it.
Yet she knew it was just a pretense.
After she had escaped from the marriage her family had arranged for her by joining the army, Kamila had cut all ties with them.
The last time she had heard from her mother, Kima, was when she had been promoted to the rank of First Lieutenant.
Kima had aimed to exploit her daughter\'s authority to solve some problems with the local constables.
The family hadn\'t taken her refusal well.
The only reason they had exchanged contact runes was that Kamila was worried about her sister.
Zinya\'s husband wasn\'t a bad man, but he was cold and uncaring toward her.
Their marriage was just a business deal.
He considered her nothing more than a trophy wife.
What do you want this time, mother Kamila\'s voice was cold and detached, but her hands started shaking.
She stung her hand with the hairpin a few times before giving up on her hair until the call was over.
We haven\'t talked in months.
Can\'t you call me \'mom\' at least
What do you want this time, Kima Her voice became even colder while stressing her mother\'s first name.
I just heard that there is this mage courting you and I was worried about you.
You know how those monsters are.
They think that they can take whatever they want because of their powers.
It\'s awful like some people treat others like objects.
\'People like you.\' Kamila thought with anger.
Don\'t worry, he\'s very kind.
I\'m sorry, but I\'m late for work.
If there\'s nothing else… She said trying to end the conversation quickly.
Oh, my sweet child, you\'re so naïve.
Of course he is kind.
He has yet to get what he wants.
Despite your age, you are still a beautiful woman.
You need to play your cards right.
Kima\'s allegations of Kamila being dumb and old made her unable to talk back.
Kima took her daughter\'s silence as her cue to continue.
Young men are hot headed enough to do anything to reach their goals.
If you really want to waste your time with someone who will surely dump you for a younger and richer girl, you could at least get something in return.
A few dimensional items could be of great help for the family business.
They would not only allow us to cut transportation fee expenses, but would also prevent our most delicate products from being stolen or damaged.
You are dead to me. Kamila cut her short.
When you fail, because you will, don\'t knock on my door because it will remain shut.
You are no longer part of this family.
These are the words with which father decided to part ways with me.
He didn\'t mean…
He sure did, just like you kindly reminded me when I refused to endanger my career to fix your mess.
I\'m not part of your family and I\'m happier this way.
Unless something happens to Zinya, don\'t call me ever again.
She hung up the call and noticed that her favorite hairpin was ruined.
Her hand was still clenched around it so hard that it was trembling.
The thin metal pin was bent and deformed.
Kamila threw it in the garbage bin before taking a deep breath to calm herself.
They may be your parents, but they are not your family. She said to herself at the mirror.
You didn\'t let them ruin your life, do not let them ruin your day either.
Kamila fixed her bun with the second best hairpin she had and left for work.
Returning to Belius proved to be annoying for Lith.
Not only did he had to Warp around to get a decent number of flowers for the mixed bouquet, but he also had to take everything out of his pocket dimension before the customs.
Belius\'s arrays blocked dimensional magic, which meant he had to carry everything by hand.
\'I feel like an idiot walking with flowers in one hand and a box of sweets in the other one.\' Lith thought.
\'Why did you put the camellia in the middle of the bouquet\' Solus asked.
\'Because it\'s either my back up plan in case I screw something up or my forget-me-not if everything goes well.\'
Lith arrived early at the appointed place to scout it and check the menu.
This time he managed to avoid making faces, yet the head waiter admonished him.
I\'m sorry, sir, but it\'s not allowed to bring food inside the restaurant. His words and his face didn\'t match.
He looked annoyed, staring at Lith\'s foreign features with ill concealed spite.
Look, I would gladly put everything inside my dimensional amulet.
Too bad it doesn\'t work in here. Lith didn\'t like the man\'s attitude and was quickly running out of patience.
Do you really own one The man\'s demeanor turned amiable abruptly.
Dimensional items were the mark of big spenders.
More than one actually. Lith smiled while his Skinwalker armor shapeshifted into his Ranger uniform.
I\'m Great Mage and Ranger Lith Verhen.
I would really appreciate if you kept the box in a safe place for me.
He said the last part with a snarl, to make it sound threatening.
Yet the man didn\'t seem to notice.
His full attention was focused on the badge confirming Lith\'s identity and the newly appointed Great Mage insignia below it.
It\'s an honor to have the destroyer of Kaduria in our establishment! The head waiter took the box of sweets from Lith\'s hands like it was a jewel and carried it over to the kitchen.
Would you like to change your table One of those near the bandstand just opened up.
Can you please repeat the offer once my date arrives Make it sound casual. Lith nodded as his uniform turned into a black suit with a white shirt.
Of course! The man said while looking at Lith like he was a huge sack of gold.
Lith tipped the man a few silver pieces as a thank you and to make sure nothing would happen to his stuff.
His heart bled one drop for each coin, yet he soldiered up.
Kamila arrived earlier again, wearing a long coat over a red silk shirt and black pants.
Thank you so much! I\'ve never seen so many different flowers at once. She sniffed them one by one.
The head waiter checked the reservation before asking Kamila if she wanted to switch tables.
Does it cost extra She looked at Lith, who became beet red from the embarrassment.
We\'ll take it, thanks!
The head waiter led them to one of the best tables in the room.