After El taught me how to use magic, I was practicing by myself in my room.
As a result, I gradually got a knack for it and was able to perfectly heal a small wound. Thanks to this, all of the injuries I got from Samantha disappeared.
The people who could use healing magic were few so it was pretty valuable. It didn't seem like getting a job would be hard if I learned it properly.
However, why did El, who wasn’t at the age he should be able to use magic, know how to use it and the tricks for it? And that wasn’t all. He knew of the temple and magicians, too.
On top of that, having special eyes that could spot one’s element made him too mysterious. Incidentally, since my fire magic was dormant, El had told me it was fine to not improve it. I understood little about this, but I thought I should do as he said.
… Also, I couldn’t get El’s words “I don’t have that and I don’t need it” out of my head.
I could guess that he had a tough time with his family in the past. So, from now on, I thought I should be more careful about using the word and wanted to apologize. But after I met him after that, he was acting as usual again.
One day in the afternoon.
As i was watering the blooming flowers around Pyon's grave In the corner of the backyard, i saw El approaching.
"El? What's going on?"
The Grandpa in the kitchen made your favorite cake."
"Really? Thank you. Let's eat it together."
It was rare for him to come all the way here so it made me kind of happy. Usually, I got mad and called out when he walked away without waiting for me.
A strong wind blew, and I noticed the scrap wood piled by the wall was on the verge of falling down. El's small body stood near it.
My body moved before I could think, and I pushed El's back. Immediately as I did, I heard an unfamiliar sound behind me.
At the same time, an unbelievable pain ran through my body as I collapsed together with the scrap wood on the ground.
The pain was too much and my consciousness grew blurry, but the last thing I saw was El looking at me with a dumbfounded expression.
As I regained consciousness, I felt a stinging pain and opened my eyes in a hurry. The first thing entering my vision was a familiar ceiling, so I immediately understood that I was lying on my bed in my room.
And on my side, El was sitting on a small chair, wearing an unreadable expression. Maybe because his face was too orderly, but he really looked like a doll and made my heart skip a beat for a moment.
If I slowly raised my body, my back would sting.
"Err, what time is it?"
"5 o'clock in the evening. You were unconscious for three days."
Although I had thought a few hours had passed, I never would have expected such a long time.
It seemed like he had called the Count, Countess, and even a doctor as well as having tended to me.
"Why did you save me?"
"To even be injured like this, is there any merit for you to save me like I am now? As I am right now, I don't have anything. And there's nothing for you to gain."
For some reason, El seemed to truly think so.
I didn't really understand the meaning behind his words "merit for saving him" and "as I am now". However, it made me sad that he was thinking those things about himself.
"There was no time to think of such things at that moment."
"But I hate thinking of you in pain or being in danger."
"Because El is so adorable."
If I answered like that, El would unconsciously respond with "What?"
It always felt like I was drawn to Ruby, who had been with me for so long and had a different social status and situation. It was something unavoidable.
However, even if El had a lousy attitude and manner of talking, he didn't hesitate to speak to me and stayed by my side. On the contrary, I thought he was acting too carefree. So for me, who had been alone since my mother passed away, his existence was very comforting.
Before I knew it, I started thinking whatever El did was cute, no matter whether he was happily eating confections or sleeping. Maybe it was the feeling I would have if I had a younger brother.
"I'm happy as long as I can stay with you."
"That alone is enough reason to get hurt instead of you."
If I declared that, El would say "you're really weird" with a bewildered expression.
"Oh, I got really good at healing magic by the way."
As long as I managed to hold my hand on my injured back, a warmth would envelop me and ease the pain. Healing magic was really convenient.
“...Alright, now it’s fine. El, did you wait for me? Thank you so much.”
I was happy that I hadn’t been alone when I woke up.
However, El said “you’re mistaken” and left the room.
I stared at the door he had slammed shut and hoped that he would one day find a person he treasured so he would understand this feeling.
Still, from that day on, I noticed a slight change in him.
He would give me one of the cookies he hogged all to himself.