A young boy, tall and with eyes as dark as coal, lay on an expansive bed, his gaze fixed upon the ceiling. He appeared lost in thought. The news of the old man's death had profoundly affected him, shaking him to his core. As much as he had initially denied it, he couldn't escape the realization that Marcus was like a mentor to him.
It was true that he created an escape technique tailored for Marcus but he himself knew he had lowered his guard in front of Marcus millions of time. Marcus could have kill him on multiple occasions but he didn't and in fact always protect him in dungeons and even during their spars. Yes, El was as reckless as Elian during his experiments when he was sparring. How many times did he almost crippled himself trying a self-created technique before being saved by a slap of Marcus? Had he not full trust in Marcus he would have never done that in front of him. The shock of Marcus's death had hardly begun to settle when the lab accident occurred, with El himself to blame. The brief period between the moment Elian fainted and the intervention of Lys, witnessing Elian's state, had driven El to the brink of madness. He had felt completely helpless, unable to heal or contribute in any way. The idea of taking his own life to make amends had crossed his mind, but he knew it wouldn't have solved anything. His only option was to wait and hope. During those agonizing moments, the feeling of helplessness gnawed at him, making it feel like an eternity.
Then came the realization that someone was healing him but this didn't bring him any joy. El had always prided himself on being self-sufficient, but now he was forced to rely on others, and it disgusted him. He was genuinely repulsed by his own weakness, having always considered himself Elian's ultimate protector. Now, he could barely live with himself. That long day spent within his thoughts, unable to wake up, allowed him to reflect and conclude that taking his own life wasn't the solution. Instead, he needed to punish himself by getting better and ensuring such a catastrophe would never happen again.
When he woke up, he decided that these had been perhaps the worst two days of his life. He felt the best way to end them would be to sleep after a good meal,since Elian's body was hungry and sleep-deprived. However, his plans took a different turn when Lys fainted. That's when he looked for Julia to check on her. At that moment, he had believed that it was the right thing to do. But now, he couldn't help but question if it truly was.
'Was it really?'
After all, the revelation that followed Julia's arrival in the room still baffled him. He couldn't simply dismiss it; it continued to haunt his thoughts. "Who are you?" El pondered as he thought of Julia. It seemed unlikely that just anyone could befriend a spirit, let alone request their assistance twice. This suggested that, in addition to her formidable strength, Julia likely had significant connections or a significant background. But this raised another pressing question, "Why is she concealing it?"
This time, a worried frown etched onto El's face. He needed answers because Julia's secrets were growing too significant. What if her past life caught up with her and he became the target to hurt her? El wanted to avoid any such scenario, or at the very least, be informed of potential enemies. However, he knew that he wasn't the right person to extract these answers.
Julia, having embraced a maternal role, genuinely cared about both Elian and El. Initially, El hadn't seen Marcus and Julia as his parents; Elian was his only family. But over the years, through numerous spars and father-son dungeon outings, El and Marcus had become close, given their shared passion for battle. For Marcus, El was also his son, the overprotective older brother of Elian. Julia, on the other hand, had also come to treat him as her son. To her, El was just another side of Elian. El had also grown to see them as reliable and trustworthy, but they had never become as close as Julia and Elian. So, only Elian could obtain answers from her.
El closed his eyes to calm his racing thoughts. A moment later, his eyes opened, displaying a determined expression. He thought to himself, "I am not strong enough; that needs to change." El had come to realize that Julia was hiding much more than he initially thought. He understood that if he remained as weak as he currently was, he would always live in fear of being targeted by individuals with no connection to him, but who might be after Julia. For someone as prideful as El, that was unacceptable. He needed to get stronger quickly, but he still didn't know how to accelerate his growth. Despite his already remarkable improvement for his age, it wasn't sufficient. He had to make it faster, but how? That was a puzzle he had no answer to.
As fatigue washed over him, he felt the need to rest. "I think it's time to get some rest," he mumbled to himself, aware that deep sleep might leave him vulnerable. With a yawn, he spoke up, "Zero One, can you activate the deep sleep protection for me?"
A robotic voice responded, [Deep sleep protection activated].
lightsnοvεlThis was a gift from Elian for his brother, designed to ensure El's peaceful sleep. It was a complex creation, comprising numerous intricate mechanisms that had consumed months of Elian's time. This project had ranked among his top ten most challenging undertakings. Despite the intricacy, Elian relished every moment spent crafting it, knowing that it held the key to his brother's restful slumber.
This remarkable invention served multiple purposes, too many to elucidate here. However, the most prominent features included a mana spherical barrier encompassing the bed, constant biometric security checks, a vigilant alarm system, and various other functions.
Now, El was ready to embrace the embrace of sleep, but not without a silent plea, "Elian, please wake up." El couldn't fully savor his day without the reassuring presence of his brother, which he had grown accustomed to, especially after recent events. From displaying his unique eyes to Julia and Sylv, to posing questions to Julia, and intensifying his training, all these activities bore a common thread â they required Elian's presence. However, for now, El had no choice but to surrender to slumber.
Little did he know that the next time he conversed with Elian, their usual roles would likely be reversed. Elian would be the one compelling El to engage in rigorous training, a surprising twist in their routine.