Julia offered a tender smile, wiping her tears away, and placed a reassuring hand on El's shoulder. Her words carried a soothing quality, "Don't carry the weight of this mistake as if it defines your entire existence."
As she gazed into El's eyes, she could see the profound impact the situation had on him. Guilt hung heavily in the air, threatening to devour him from the inside. Julia understood that allowing him to continue tormenting himself would not only be harmful but could potentially shatter his spirit irreparably.
"I understand that your purpose in life revolves around protecting him," Julia continued, "but one failure does not render your entire existence a failure."
She paused, taking a moment to gather her thoughts before proceeding, "What truly matters is how we learn from our mistakes and use them as stepping stones to become stronger. It's a painful journey, one that leads to redemption and self-discovery." Julia's hope was that her words could offer El the comfort and strength he needed.
El managed a faint smile, his agreement with Julia evident. He realized that dwelling in self-blame would only hinder his progress. He needed to find a way to prevent such a mistake from happening again, for the haunting possibility of a repeat was tearing at his very soul.
With determination, El composed himself, his icy demeanor returning as he turned to Julia and said, "Thank you again for healing me." He leaned forward, locking eyes with her before continuing, "I believe you have the right to know what happened, but I can't reveal it to you. You'll have to wait for Elian to wake up."
Julia simply smiled, observing how rapidly he regained his composure. She wasn't taken aback by his response. Even though Elian regarded El as his brother, it had always been clear that El held himself accountable to Elian's authority. Unless in exceptional circumstances, El would only yield to Elian's directives. Thus, expecting El to reveal one of Elian's secrets without his prior consent was unrealistic.
She chuckled and remarked, "You don't need to thank me for healing my own son."
lightsnοvεl"Alright, I won't press you. Do you know how long he'll be in slumber?" She inquired.
She was determined to uncover the actions or intentions that had led her son to end up in such a condition.
El responded, "At least four days."
Julia raised an eyebrow and commented, "That's cutting it close. We have Marcus's funeral to attend in five days."
El responded matter-of-factly, "Don't worry, I can take his place. It's the least I can do for that old man," he added with a bitter smile.
El might be friendly only to Elian, Marcus had earned his profound respect. From the moment El was 'born', it was Marcus who had taken on the role of personally training him. El, driven by his sole purpose of protection, had a deep passion for combat and relished in the process of becoming stronger, knowing it was vital for his role as a guardian.
Marcus had successfully earned respect from El's battle-hungry nature. To El, Marcus, a true enthusiast of combat, was the ideal mentor. Despite their differing elemental affinities, Marcus had skillfully guided El in crafting his unique fighting style. However, achieving this had required Marcus to engage in countless intense sparring sessions with El, leaving him battered and bruised. Yet, throughout these encounters, both of them sported smiles on their faces. In fact, some of El's most cherished moments were when he faced Marcus in combat. With Marcus by their side, El felt assured that
Elian's safety was virtually guaranteed, allowing him to drop his guard and savor the valuable lessons and intense training sessions with Marcus.
However, the news of Marcus's death had come as a shocking revelation. El found it hard to accept the reality of the situation. To make matters more puzzling, they hadn't been informed of the circumstances surrounding Marcus's demise. According to the Generals, this information was classified as a state secret, leaving them with no choice but to await an explanation from the King himself.
In any case, he felt a deep desire to offer his last respects to Marcus. Attending the funeral felt like the most fitting and heartfelt tribute he could offer.
Julia found herself in a state of uncertainty regarding the situation. She was well aware of the close bond her late husband had shared with El. Still, in her mind, it seemed more appropriate for Elian, as their son, to attend the funeral. Despite these thoughts, she decided to let go of her reservations, reasoning that Elian might have awakened by then. Even if he wouldn't be the one in control, their unique connection allowed him to share in El's experiences, seeing and sensing everything alongside him.
She then stated, "I'll be occupied. Just come find me when he awakens," before leaving the room.
El turned his attention to the sole remaining person in the room, Lys. She had been there from the beginning but had made herself inconspicuous, not wanting to intrude on their conversation.
Feeling El's gaze, Lys decided to initiate the dialogue. With concern in her voice, she asked, "Are you certain Elian is alright?" The image of Elian collapsing with blood covering his eyes still haunted her thoughts.
El reassured her, saying, "Yes, he's perfectly fine. Don't worry. Julia performed miracles."
Lys nodded and took a step closer. She buried her head in El's tall frame and spoke with a melancholic tone, "Why did he do that? Why?"
"Doesn't he realize how worried I was?" she continued, her voice filled with sadness. "Or does he simply not care about me?"
Lys greatly admired Elian for his unwavering dedication to his craft. However, there were moments when she wished he would pause and consider the consequences before undertaking certain experiments. It wasn't the first time Elian had faced accidents during his pursuits. For instance, when he had begun learning basic spatial runes, the potential for catastrophic mistakes had been high. A single error with those runes could trigger spatial implosions, and on that occasion, he had narrowly escaped death five times in a single day, thanks only to El's lightning-fast reflexes and speed.
Lys vividly remembered that fateful day when she had been present. Despite her earnest pleas for him to abandon the reckless pursuit, Elian had remained resolute in his determination to master those runes. The ordeal had nearly given her a series of heart attacks, and it was only after he had successfully completed his task that he had apologized for scaring her.
This time, she anticipated the same pattern. She knew that once Elian woke up, he would offer his apologies and somehow manage to coax her into forgiving him. But this time, she resolved to stand her ground. No, she thought to herself, I won't yield this time. Hmph!
In the meantime, El could easily discern her thoughts from her expression and simply shook his head. This scenario had played out a dozen times before, and he knew it all too well.