A mere moment ago, upon hearing Julia's response, El was struck by the realization that there was little he could do to aid Lys in her current state. In his heart, he harbored hope that Julia would swiftly unearth a solution. Simultaneously, he acknowledged that Elian would likely be deeply affected by this situation, potentially going to the extent of delving into the study of psychology to support his only human friend.
However, amidst these pressing concerns, El redirected his gaze towards Lys's bedside, the very spot where Julia now stood. "It disappeared," he pondered. Just seconds ago, he could distinctly feel the presence of an individual in that precise location. This mysterious presence had harnessed a considerable amount of mana, an element unknown to El, to aid in Lys's healing. But as the mana gradually dissipated, coinciding with the operation's completion, the presence faded into obscurity, leaving no trace behind.
This turn of events left El grappling with conflicting emotions and thoughts. Julia had vouched for this unseen person as her friend. Although El had been taken aback by Julia's recent display of remarkable abilities, and perhaps entertained doubts, he couldn't completely forsake his trust in her. She had, after all, raised him and had never posed a threat to his well-being. While the current situation suggested potential peril, severing all ties with Julia would be a drastic move, one that might deeply upset Elian, for whom the bonds of family were of utmost importance. Thus, until concrete evidence of betrayal materialized, El chose to maintain the status quo, albeit with unwavering vigilance.
The fact that Julia was trustworthy, and that her invisible friend could also garner her trust, led to a straightforward conclusion: the stranger was deserving of El's trust as he knew Julia won't trust someone who would want to harm him.
However, there was more to consider. The enigmatic figure had just performed a miraculous feat by healing Lys right before El's eyes. This prompted a critical question in El's mind: Who had truly saved him from the brink of death? Was it, as Julia claimed, her doing, or did the mysterious stranger possess this remarkable ability? Judging by the stranger's astounding skills, El was inclined to place his bet on the latter.
Consequently, the stranger was not only trustworthy but El also owed a significant debt of gratitude. This is where the conflict arose. El was steadfast in his belief that trust should be built over time. He had always required about a year to be genuinely comfortable around someone. However, the present circumstances forced him to be grateful to someone he had met just moments ago, and to make matters more complicated, he couldn't even see or feel this person.
After a brief moment of reflection, El reached a straightforward conclusion. Before making any further decisions, he would assess the stranger's strength. If he could successfully evade them, that would be enough reason for El to extend his gratitude and offer heartfelt thanks for their timely intervention. However, evaluating their strength posed a unique challenge, considering he couldn't perceive the individual.
The urgency of the situation struck him. What if the stranger turned out to be an enemy with malicious intentions? In such a scenario, he wouldn't even know how he met his demise. Typically, El would employ his mana to send out a ripple and, by analyzing its interactions with the environment, could map the area within a ten-meter radius. Furthermore, living beings absorbed a fraction of this mana, allowing El to identify all living creatures nearby. However, the stranger appeared to be capable of eluding this detection method. Furthermore, El suspected that there might be others within the kingdom, or even the continent, who possessed similar capabilities. This realization indicated that, despite his escape technique, he might not be entirely safe. Consequently, he needed to find a way to address this predicament.
El's mind went into overdrive as he began brainstorming. How could he enhance his detection skills? How could he pierce through any form of stealth? These questions raced through his mind as he delved into his eidetic memory, searching for hints and answers. Almost instantaneously, a solution struck him.
"The Byakugan!" It was an eye technique famous from an old Japanese manga, celebrated for its extraordinary visual capabilities: a 360-degree field of vision, the power to see through solid objects, and even the ability to discern the chakra network within living beings. What intrigued El, however, was not the Byakugan itself, but a skill he, or more accurately, Elian, possessed-a skill that bore a striking resemblance in appearance to the Byakugan.
lightsΝοvεl ƈοmUntil this point, El had never employed this skill, as he had never perceived a need for it. To the best of his understanding, this technique allowed him to peer into the runic realm, a parallel dimension replete with runic structures corresponding to objects and entities in this realm. Elian typically employed this in his runesmithing endeavors to comprehend the runic structure of materials. However, runic structures were not exclusive to inanimate objects; living beings also possessed them. This revelation prompted El to ponder whether this eye skill could be employed to observe the runic structure of the invisible stranger.
Yet, another challenge presented itself. Elian had chosen to conceal the existence of the runic eyes from Julia. Did El have the right to reveal them? He knew that Elian had hidden this knowledge from his parents, a decision prompted by a request from General Marcus.
When Elian constructed Zero One in an unprecedentedly short period, his father, General Marcus, immediately sensed that there must have been a significant factor or 'cheat' contributing to Elian's remarkable success. The precise nature of this factor was unknown to him, and honestly, he didn't concern himself with the specifics. He did, however, impart a crucial request to his son: keep this secret closely guarded. General Marcus comprehended the immeasurable value of what he called Elian's "cheat," and he foresaw the potential danger it might attract from nefarious individuals with sinister intentions. As a person who might someday be subjected to torture for information, he opted to remain blissfully ignorant regarding the particulars of this mysterious advantage.
El had concurred with Marcus's judgment. However, he was confident that Julia was more than capable of safeguarding this knowledge, and he knew that Elian would have to discuss his near-death experience in the lab with Julia, which would inevitably involve the revelation of the runic eyes.
Traditionally, El adhered to the principle of obtaining Elian's consent for any significant decisions outside of combat. However, the current circumstances demanded an exception. He found himself compelled to ascertain whether runic eyes had the ability to perceive someone who could elude his detection. Would he encounter another opportunity to test their efficacy? Throughout his six years of existence, he had yet to encounter an individual capable of evading his senses. The pressing question was when the next encounter with such a person might occur. What if that meeting transpired during a combat situation? It would be too late.
El recognized the imperative nature of this test, especially in terms of Elian's safety. However, the question remained: should he proceed without Elian's knowledge? If the same question had been posed just two days earlier, El's response would have been a resounding "NO!"
Yet, the harrowing events of the previous day, where Elian's life hung in the balance because El hesitated, had left an indelible mark. He was determined not to repeat that grave error.
'I hope you'll understand Elian' He said to himself before activating the runic eyes.