While Kamila cooked, Lith took a shower and assessed his mental condition.
He had never spent so much time away from Solus, so he had never had the opportunity to understand how much their bond influenced his way of living.
Without her, Mogar was an awfully silent place.
He felt no pleasure while the hot water ran over his body, washing away both his physical and mental fatigue.
Everything felt like a waste of time to him, so Lith mulled over the progress he had made in his research to bind his soul to Mogar.
\'Becoming a cursed object is a no go.
The Black Star proved that even years of planning can be screwed up by a small mistake.
Turning into an undead is feasible, but aside from attaining lichhood the other species have too many limitations.
\'After comparing notes with Kalla, even if I use her research as a base, it would still require a lot of work.
There is no precise method, each person has to find the proper way for their soul and life force to be split and stored.
\'The process is unique just like the individual attempting it.
There is no cookie cut version or shortcut.
Fuck Dungeons & Looting, here sacrificing innocents makes you a sociopath, not a Lich.
\'So far, my best shot is Arthan\'s Madness.
If Thrud made it, so can I.
There are too many people on Mogar that don\'t deserve to live.
Thanks to Invigoration and Body Sculpting, I can turn anyone into a proper vessel.
At least in theory.
\'I\'ll keep that as a backup plan if I can\'t find something more definite.
Repeating the process is a hassle, not to mention Solus might not be enthusiastic at the idea.\'
Only the thought of his loved ones prevented him from considering human lives in terms of statistics or in terms of a cost-benefit analysis.
\'The bad news is that I\'m still a monster and that without Solus my family is the only thing that prevents me from acting as a living Lich.
The good news is that now I\'m able to care for someone even if they have no use to me.
\'Back when I attended the academy, I wouldn\'t have given a damn about someone like Kamila.
Yurial and the others were just a means to an end.
Even though I\'m alone, I regret treating Yurial like I did and letting Phloria go without fighting for her.
\'Now, instead, my feelings for Kamila are strong enough that as long as we are close, I can fight the void in my soul.
I don\'t want to screw things up with her as I did with Phloria.
\'I never thought the day would come where I would say it, but I\'m happy Solus and I are separated.
I\'ve become so dependent on her that my self control and emotions are almost impaired.\'
Lith joined Kamila in the kitchen.
The wonderful smell spreading from the oven made his stomach grumble again.
He used spirit magic to set the table while thinking about how to bring up the latest news.
\'Every time I said we need to talk Phloria thought I was going to break up with her, just like Kamila finds I need to tell you something ominous.
I\'m out of opening lines, and without Solus, I only have the direct approach left.\' He thought.
Kamila had prepared the Mogar equivalent of lasagna and practice had made it delicious.
It was supposed to be enough for a second meal! Kamila said as Lith cleaned the oven dish with some bread after taking his third serving.
I was hungry.
All that work in the kitchen and you ate everything in just a few minutes.
You could have at least chatted a bit, maybe have even complimented the cook instead of eating like a famished troll. She grumbled.
It was really good, Kami.
You make a great cook.
I\'ll do the dishes to make up for my gluttony. Lith said hoping she wouldn\'t remember that with darkness magic it would take him less than a minute to perform his \'herculean labor\'.
Kamila was delighted at his offer.
There was a lot of stuff to clean and she could use some help.
The compliment sweetened the deal and made her heart flutter.
I\'ve been invited to Lady Ernas\'s birthday and I was wondering if you wanted to come as my date. Lith dropped the news like a live grenade, making Kamila\'s fork fall onto her plate.
Isn\'t that a really big event She said swallowing a big lump of saliva.
Jirni\'s birthday is also the day of her wedding anniversary.
This year she and her husband celebrate their 25th.
She and I are going to be awarded for the mission in Othre, so there will be a lot of stuck up nobles, part of the royal family, and mages.
I\'m not a big fan of galas. Kamila\'s stomach was churning.
I have never attended one, I have nothing to wear for it, and my etiquette is rusty at best.
Also, if I come with you, all eyes will be on me.
It would be incredibly awkward.
Thanks for the invite, but maybe it\'s better if you take Tista.
Actually, my whole family has been invited already, so Tista will come with her own date.
I\'ve been friends with the Ernas ever since I dated their daughter, Phloria.
I can understand if you would prefer to…
The lasagna in Kamila\'s stomach rose like a Romeo longing to be reunited with the Juliet waiting for him on the plate.
I\'ve changed my mind.
I\'ll gladly accompany you. Kamila cut him short.
The opportunity to meet her mentor was already a strong motivator, but Lith\'s family\'s presence and the potential threat of an ex gave her all the courage she needed.
When is the gala
A couple of weeks from now.
I received the invite right before the mission in Maekosh.
I didn\'t bring it up earlier because you already had a lot on your plate. He explained before she could ask, just to play it safe.
Oh gods, I have a lot to do.
I need a dress, a few etiquette lessons, and time to practice. Kamila stabbed at the remaining lasagna like it had betrayed her.
I can provide you everything you need.
You\'re my guest, so it\'s my treat.
Unless I get called for an emergency, I can be by your side the whole time. He took her hand and kissed it, making Kamila blush.
Really Would you do that for me Even the simplest gala dress was bound to be expensive.
She was aware of what it meant for someone as stingy as Lith.
I will even craft some jewels for you. She took his offer as affection, but it was actually a way to save some money.
Thanks to Rena\'s father-in law, Zekell the blacksmith, Lith could obtain the materials at a discounted price.
Lith had long since learned to use magic in the forge to shape precious metals without the need of a goldsmith.
Even in the past every piece of jewelry he had gifted someone had been made at cost.
Thank you so much. Kamila was almost moved to tears.
If there\'s anything I can do to repay you, you just have to ask. She rubbed his hand against her cheek before kissing it.
Actually, there is.
Speaking of plates, are you going to eat that Lith pointed at the remaining lasagna.
Yes, of course I will. She took a big bite to emphasize her point.
Lith had ruined the moment for her, the least Kamila could do was return the favor.