Chapter 24 Missteps
"No, it's just a bit more complicated," Julia replied with a sigh, her expression a blend of determination and reassurance. El found some comfort in Julia's words but remained vigilant. He noticed that Lys continued to writhe, shake, and sweat despite Julia's treatment, which left him astonished. El had believed that Julia could perform resuscitation, the pinnacle of healing. After all, if you can bring the dead back to life, what can't you heal?
Had Sylv heard El's thoughts, she would have provided an answer: "Yes, I can heal almost anything and everything, but that's as long as the patient only has physical injuries or ailments. Anything beyond that depends on the case or is outright impossible." For instance, even mental issues like trauma are incurable without forceful methods, such as memory deletion. Healing souls is even more challenging, and there's no forceful method available, unlike with traumas, at least none that doesn't lead to death. magic
El was unaware of these complexities, so Julia taking an extended amount of time to heal Lys led him to believe her condition was dire, which wasn't entirely incorrect. As this realization dawned on him, his typical indifference briefly gave way to genuine concern.
El wasn't one to easily become anxious about matters unrelated to Elian's safety. However, he understood the significance of Lys in Elian's life. He contemplated how Elian would react when he learned about this situation. Initially, he didn't care much, assuming Lys was merely exhausted. But if her condition was more severe, to the extent that even Julia deemed it complicated, would Elian blame him? El doubted it, as Elian was mature enough to recognize he had done nothing wrong. But El couldn't face Elian knowing he had caused harm to the one person Elian trusted deeply. He questioned whether this would have occurred had they not sparred, though it remained uncertain. Nonetheless, El was consumed by guilt.
El's thoughts were abruptly interrupted by a substantial change in the ambient mana. He noticed something peculiar a?? a shift in the mana being used for Lys's healing. Initially, he had sensed the utilization of an enormous amount of light mana. He dismissed it as Julia using healing techniques, given that she was clearly at the center of the light mana particles. The sheer quantity of mana she had amassed didn't surprise him as it should have. He was convinced that Marcus couldn't accumulate half of this energy. Over time, he had ceased comparing Julia to her late husband or to anyone he knew. In his eyes, Julia had become an enigmatic expert he needed to surpass. She had caught him off guard initially, causing a slight emotional fluster, but now that he had regained his composure, he realized he shouldn't be so easily surprised. He made a silent promise to himself to always remain calm and considered his initial surprise a one-time lapse. But...
Five minutes later...
"How?!" El exclaimed, his astonishment escaping in an unguarded shout. El had always possessed a keen sensitivity to mana, which is why he could discern the nature of the mana Julia was using to heal Lys. His innate sensitivity to mana enabled him to instantly detect the appearance of an unfamiliar mana attribute, leaving him perplexed.
El had prided himself on his ability, honed from a young age through rigorous training and his naturally heightened mana sensitivity, to identify various types of mana. He believed he could recognize them all. Now, he had been shown that his knowledge was incomplete.
What truly prompted El's reaction were two significant factors. First, it was the realization that the mana was no longer emanating exclusively from Julia. Although only two individuals occupied the room, El keenly sensed that Julia was no longer the sole conduit for the unknown mana that was being directed toward Lys's healing.
Secondly, the transformation of the ambient mana startled El. Almost immediately after the appearance of the unfamiliar mana attribute, it overtook and replaced the room's natural mana. This effectively eliminated neutral mana and the presence of other elemental attributes, such as fire and air.
El couldn't contain his emotional outburst because this situation rendered him powerless. Deprived of access to mana, he found himself unable to cast spells. Moreover, he felt entirely subject to the will of the individual who had summoned and controlled this potent mana source. With such an immense reservoir of mana at their disposal, they could potentially employ any offensive spell at their discretion, placing El in a precarious position. While his instincts suggested there was no immediate threat, El couldn't shake his discomfort at being so vulnerable to another person's control. Adding to his unease, the presence controlling this mana was an enigma to him, a complete stranger about whom he knew nothing. He may have maintained a degree of vigilance toward Julia, but he was cognizant of her love for Elian at the moment. In contrast, this newcomer was an unknown entity.
Puzzled and on guard, El turned his gaze to Julia, suspecting she held the answers. Someone of her caliber would surely have sensed the change in the atmospheric mana.
If she hadn't taken action, it likely meant the new presence posed no threat. A moment later, Julia faced him, offering a warm smile before her voice resonated in his mind, "Don't worry, it's a friend." Her words provided relief, and her motherly smile comforted him. In that moment, El realized that he couldn't instantaneously disregard all the love and care she had showered upon Elian and himself over the years.
Meanwhile, Julia began to recognize the various missteps she had made due to her intense concern for Lys. The realization dawned on her when she observed the difficulty of concealing the mana fluctuations associated with Sylv's magic. Initially, when Sylv had begun the healing process, Julia could maintain her presence hidden by skillfully managing the surrounding mana, allowing El to only identify the nature of the mana but not the caster. However, as Sylv focused entirely on her task and harnessed a considerable amount of mana, Julia could no longer maintain her concealment. She should have prompted El to leave the room before this became an issue, but her preoccupation with Lys had caused her to overlook El's presence. She also realized that she hadn't hidden her extraordinary speed when she had hurried to Lys's side. She understood El well enough to anticipate his reaction. "I'll address that later," she thought to herself while keeping a vigilant eye on Lys, who was clearly showing signs of improvement.