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そこまで言いかけたリューだったが、へたり込んでいるリリを見てすっと目を細めた。

I'm not sure if が is acting as a conjunctive particle or a subject marker. Is it correct to interpret this as

(そこまで言いかけたリューだった)が、へたり込んでいるリリを見てすっと目を細めた。

Thank you!

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This が is a conjunctive particle which corresponds to "and", "but", etc.

「そこまで言いかけたリュー」 could be a noun phrase, but 「そこまで言いかけたリューだった」 is not a noun phrase, and thus can't serve as a subject.

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