I stood up from the couch and put the remaining money in a cloth bag before handing it over to the dumbfounded El, saying, “Here you go.”
Al made a doubtful face and looked back and forth between the cloth bag and me. Even I was aware of how weird I was acting.
It would be a matter of fact to say that I was overly optimistic and naïve. If I were El, I would definitely think that there was a catch to this.
“I love magic, you see. So if anyone was restricting my beloved magic, I would definitely hate it. But that I came all the way to the slave market and bought El is weird, right?”
“You… love magic?”
For some reason, El showed a terribly surprised expression when I told him that “I love magic”.
Even if I set El free now, slavery wouldn’t disappear. Because of this, this was just hypocrisy. But even then, I couldn’t watch him wear that collar.
To begin with, that I could get the money to buy him was just a coincidence. I’m sure Pyon from Heaven would understand this too.
Besides that, I had more time on my hands. Giving up on the muscular slave, I’ll look for an ally some other way. It was when I decided on this that…
El said and returned the cloth bag.
“I don’t have anywhere to go anyways, and with how I look, there’s a chance I’ll be kidnapped and sold again. It seems safer to stay with the good-natured and naive young lady, so I’ll spend some time here.”
As expected, he had a condescending and proud attitude and spoke rudely, however, I smiled and said, “I see, then by all means stay.”
And then, this heartbreakingly became a place for El to return to. This child was probably all alone.
“To begin with, why did you come to a slave market?”
“...No one told you?”
“No one wants to tell me.”
I decided to tell him the story of my past two days prior, everything that had made me want to run away on my 18th birthday.
“...Huh. So you weren’t only sheltered. Your room and clothing are shabby, so I thought it was weird.”
This young boy is really hitting a nerve here.
Except for when I go out or attend social meetings, I wear commoner clothing. The furniture in this room didn’t look like it belonged to an aristocrat.
Having said that, I had already been living the poor commoner’s life, so I didn’t mind, rather, I thought it was enough.
“That’s right. Help me lift this curse too.”
“Yeah. This can only be a curse.”
Surprisingly, El had lost his family, been kidnapped, and even cursed.
Frankly, till now, I had thought my circumstances were unfortunate. However, I understood that there’s always something worse and became embarrassed with myself.
I pitied him enough to make me dismiss his choice of words and attitude.
“Do you know how?”
“I don’t know anything. But aren’t you a magician? You should be a little more helpful.”
Why did he… No one had even said anything about me being a magician.
Besides, magicians in this country were only 20% of the population in this country. Regardless of social standing, they were born with magic.
For this reason, it was normal not to be able to use magic, so I couldn’t help but be surprised that he could tell.
“H-how do you know? After all, you can only see people like that in high positions in the temples.”
“My eyes are special. Only this was safe.”
What in the world did he mean by “safe”? It probably had to do with the curse he spoke of.
“...Well, at any rate, as long as I don’t have to take care of this brat. That old hag, if I meet her again, I’ll never let her get away with this.”
What was that? He spoke so absentmindedly. That was probably also because of his curse.
And to be called a brat when I was obviously older than him…
“El, how old are you?”
“I look my age.”
“Hmm, then around 10 years old?”
I wonder if he decided on his age just now.
“...Rather, isn’t it weird for you to have magic?”
“To be so foolish to not hurry to the temple.”
“I-is that so?”
Since I didn’t know about my own magical powers, I couldn’t hide my surprise. Maybe I had some sort of talent and would end up as a prominent magician.
Moreover, did El know about magic and the temple?
“Didn’t you go to the temple on your 12th birthday?”
“They told me ‘there’s no way you could have magic’ and wouldn’t take me along.”
When you turn 12, you can use magic.
However, not everyone could use magic immediately, and the power could stay dormant. Because of this, people go to the temple and they unleash the power.
Incidentally, when I tried to imitate a magician from a picture book on my birthday, I accidentally ended up using magic and learned that I was a magician.
Two years ago, my one year younger sister, Samantha, went to the temple and learned that she could use magic.
Starting with my stepmother, everyone said that Samantha was magnificent and that I should be more like her, so I thought it would become problematic if I said anything about this and kept silent. instead
“Really? Poor you.”
El said and laughed scornfully, seemingly having a twisted personality.
He must have been through a lot of worse things than I can imagine having become this way.
It wasn’t like I had picked up a dog or a cat, but I was now responsible for having brought him back.
From now on, I, who am older, have to show him an example and give it my all.