28 Guilt trip

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El's excitement was barely contained as he inquired, "Could you introduce us now?" His experiment had surpassed his expectations, granting him a clearer view of the runic structure that formed a female figure standing alongside Julia. Nevertheless, this achievement was not without its difficulties. Gazing into the runic realm from a distance presented challenges. Many runes, both carried by the air and microscopic particles, as well as the enigmatic runic markings surrounding the enigmatic woman, hindered his observation.

Julia and Sylv received El's request without surprise, well aware of his unique ability to perceive Sylv. Julia recognized her oversight in not making introductions sooner and began, "El, meet Sylv-" but paused as she watched her friend materialize beside her.

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With a warm smile, Sylv extended her greeting, "Nice to meet you, El. I'm Sylv, a friend of Julia's."

Sylv cut a graceful and mature figure, exuding an aura of wisdom and kindness. Her ethereal gown seemed to be woven from the very fabric of existence, shimmering with iridescent hues. Her radiant skin held an otherworldly glow, akin to the warmth of sunlight. Silver hair cascaded like liquid metal, flowing with the tranquility of a babbling brook, a testament to her timeless beauty. Sylv's reassuring smile concealed the secrets of countless lifetimes, and her presence suffused the room with a sense of well-being.

El was immediately struck by Sylv's unique and captivating presence, requiring a moment to regain his composure. Even then, he could hardly believe his eyes.

In truth, when Julia had mentioned her healer friend, El had been curious about her identity. After all, both Elian and El had always seen Julia as a solitary individual who preferred solitude. She rarely sought the company of anyone other than her son or husband. The idea of having anyone else around her didn't appeal to her, explaining why Julia didn't have a personal maid like Lys did for Elian and why she consistently declined invitations to parties and celebrations, earning her a reputation throughout the capital.

El was eager to meet Julia's friend and learn more about her, intrigued by what made her so special to be able to befriend Julia. Julia had a reputation for being harsh with anyone who disrupted her peace, making this connection all the more intriguing.

Special? Well, she was definitely something else – a spirit. You can't get much more unique than that. While the presence of non-humans was an open secret, spirits were in a league of their own.

After the cataclysm, numerous reports of spirits had circulated, but none had been confirmed. Some people believed in spirits without concrete evidence, with the most devout even maintaining books and websites dedicated to the subject. However, public opinion on the existence of spirits remained divided, much like the debate about extraterrestrial life before the cataclysm.

El was aware that Elian believed in the existence of spirits due to some scientific theory, but El had no interest in spirits as long as they didn't pose a threat to him. He believed that he would rarely encounter a spirit, and yet...

'Sigh' Pushing aside his thoughts, El decided there was no point in overthinking the situation. He turned his attention to Sylv and extended a friendly introduction. "I'm El, and it's a pleasure to meet you."

Rather than introducing as 'Elian Thorne' as he usually did, El chose to go by his name after hearing how Sylv addressed him, suspecting that Julia had likely briefed her on both Elian and himself. However, he couldn't help but wonder what Julia might have revealed to her friend. While El was mature, he, like any other individual, had experienced moments of embarrassment that he preferred to keep private.

'Let's hope she didn't share too much,' El thought before broaching a question with Sylv, "Can I ask you something?"

"Of course, anything," Sylv replied.lightsnovel

El's curiosity got the better of him, and he asked bluntly, "Why were you hiding? It seemed rather suspicious."

Sylv clarified, "Oh, you're misunderstanding. That's our natural state as spirits. Light, sound, or any matter phases through us, unlike other living beings. What you're seeing now is me using mana to force light to reflect on my body."

El's interest was piqued, and he expressed, "Oh?" He might not be as scientifically inclined as Elian, but he easily grasped the concept and couldn't help but envy this ability, considering its potential usefulness in battles.

Sylv, familiar with the reactions of non-spirit battle enthusiasts, said, "I know what you're thinking. This trait is passive. We can't choose what we phase through, and only older spirits can materialize like I do. Even then, it consumes a tremendous amount of mana, making it challenging to sustain."

El responded, a tad disappointed, "I guess it was too good to be true." Nonetheless, he was relieved to learn that Sylv hadn't been hiding on purpose, which significantly reduced his suspicions. He hadn't even considered the possibility that she might be lying, as he would likely have noticed.

"You're right; it would be too convenient. By the way, let me know if you feel any discomfort, even the tiniest bit. Resuscitation is a procedure that can easily lead to complications," Sylv cautioned.

Realization dawned on El, and he confirmed, "So it was really you, huh?"

Sylv nodded in confirmation, crossing her arms as she added, "I have to say that both of you are quite lucky. If not for me, both of you would have perished. What's more, unlike this girl who was a victim, you were the one at the root of your own life-threatening injuries."

El responded with a weak smile, unsure of how to retort. He had yet to overcome the failure that still weighed on his mind. Thinking of that, he immediately bowed and expressed his gratitude, "I'm genuinely thankful for your intervention." His pride wouldn't allow him to accept being in someone's debt, especially to this extent.

Lys, grinning widely, had never expected a favor from El, as he had no means to repay her. Instead, she aimed to remind him that she had assisted him, hoping to soften his vigilance against her. Complications? It was almost comical. What she said was true but only applied to soul resuscitation. For the physical body, Sylv's healing prowess far surpassed human standards. She knew El was still wary of her, so she played on his sentiments. Fortunately, her tactic worked. El might be mature, but he still bore his insecurities. Taking advantage of this vulnerability, she began to advance her agenda.

"El, let's-"

"Stop," Julia interrupted with a shout.

'What do you think you're doing, Sylv?' Julia asked telepathically, her tone laced with anger. She couldn't fathom Sylv's audacity in attempting to guilt-trip her own son right in front of her. Sylv was fortunate to be a friend, as Julia would have reacted differently if she were not.