50 – Promise
Since Levia first spoke to Kael, they became quite close quickly.
Well, according to Kael’s standards, of course.
Levia often talked to Kael when they had time, and it was the only time that felt like hope to Kael. For the girl, it was an act born out of a sense of obligation to show interest in a friend who was pitiful or isolated, but such things were not important to Kael.
“Oh… Can we talk today? I want to consult about something I’m worried about…”
Kael and Levia often had conversations for various reasons. Most of them were trivial things.
“Sorry, Kael. I’m busy today. Let’s talk tomorrow!”
“Okay! Let’s talk tomorrow, Levia.”
It wasn’t that there was no signal. Levia sometimes avoided Kael when he tried to get too close. Levia knew too. That Kael was starting to feel a little fondness for her.
The only reason Levia couldn’t push Kael away was because he was in a position where he was being tormented.
“Kael… why did you get hurt this time? Did Teccas and his friends do something?”
“hehehe… it’s not like that.”
Ironically, Levia’s concern for his wounds was more touching than the wounds themselves. On the days when he was beaten, he felt as if he would die and collapse, but every time, Levia comforted him.
“Does it hurt a lot…?”
“No… not at all… aah!”
“Are you okay, Kael? I told you to let me know if it hurts!”
Levia had always used healing magic. Of course, she could only provide emergency treatment as her magic required a tremendous amount of mana to heal severe wounds.
Levia’s concern healed Kael’s mind, and her restorative magic healed his body.
Kael had to admit it. Levia had become deeply ingrained in his life, and thanks to her, he could endure this harsh existence.
“Kael, you worthless bastard. Didn’t I tell you to come every morning and bark after eating? You slave!”
“Idiot. You really do as I say.”
Tecas, known for his influential position in class and his noble father, often engaged in insulting behavior, but Kael could endure it. After enduring the torment, Levia would always comfort him. But that day was a little different.
“Hey, it seems like you’re interested in Levia. Should I help you out?”
Starting with that remark, Tecas began to involve Levia and Kael without their consent.
“Look at Kael and Levia sticking together. So disgusting. I’ll teach you a lesson. Come here, Kael.”
Whenever Levia and Kael were together, Tecas would come and slap Kael. And then he would say one line.
“Thanks to the torment I give you, you can receive Levia’s sympathy. You know that, right? Otherwise, you’re not someone who can be involved with Levia, you worthless bastard. Be grateful, you piece of sh*t. I’m playing the villain for you.”
Levia was famous within the academy for her beautiful face. However, she had never accepted a confession from any man. They didn’t feel any romantic attraction. Anyway, Tecas had confessed to Levia in the past and got rejected.
Perhaps for that reason, Tecas started treating Kael more and more cruelly. Especially when Levia was with him.
“Hey, take off your pants. Show off. Show that you’re a man. Isn’t that right?”
Not only did he make Kael take off his pants in front of Levia, but he also made him hit his head against the wall to show a manly appearance or forced him to eat rotten food.
Every time, Levia would scream.
“Do it moderately. Can’t you see that it’s something Kael dislikes?”
Her contemptuous expression and tone clearly showed her hostility towards Tekas. Kael was happy. The fact that she was taking his side.
Although Leviah couldn’t act directly, she indirectly said,
“What can I do if he dislikes it? Keep your mouth shut. Before you interfere, that is.”
Every time Tekas tried to use violence against Leviah, Kael shouted.
“I… I said I would only touch him. L… Leviah has nothing to do with it, why…”
“Wow, what a bastard.”
Because of those words, he was beaten to a pulp for half a day.
Instead, the next day, he received Leviah’s sympathy again.
Being hit by Tekas and healed by Leviah, those moments seemed to make Kael stronger, but it wasn’t true at all.
He was becoming numb. Numb to his own suffering and to the sympathy given by Leviah without any cost.
Kael couldn’t listen to Leviah’s worries, offer her anything, or remain in an equal relationship enough to truly become friends.
He was aware of it too. That his relationship with Leviah was maintained because of her sympathy. It was a sentiment similar to taking a lost child to the police station or rescuing an animal in danger.
But Kael wanted to believe that it was her liking for him.
Even though his face wasn’t handsome, even though their relationship wasn’t good, even though he didn’t use magic, and even though he had no reason to be called an orphan, Kael just wanted Leviah to like him.
That’s why he wanted to further progress their relationship, and in the end, he made a mistake.
“Leviah… I really like you… Even if I’m tormented by the others, I always feel stronger when you’re by my side. Can’t we date? I… I’ll treat you well, I promise.”
His confession was cowardly. He tried to date her using Leviah’s sympathy. However, Leviah unexpectedly showed firmness in this regard.
“Kael. Let’s just pretend you didn’t say anything today… I don’t have the desire to date anyone yet.”
However, Tringman did not stop. Whenever he had free time, he wanted to be alone with Leviah, and when the opportunity arose for a deeper conversation, he would inevitably confess his feelings.
It was around that time when Leviah stopped coming to Kaël’s side.
She started looking at Kaël with uncomfortable eyes.
After several confessions, Leviah no longer approached Kaël, and Kaël, considering himself a burden, spent similar days.
However, unlike before, every time he was beaten by Tekas, exhaustion and wounds accumulated in his body. For Kaël, who had no money to even buy potions, enduring Tekas’ cruel behavior, which involved using magic and beating him, was nothing short of hell.
He lost both his mental and physical support in an instant. Like a cornered rat biting a cat. The day when the beatings became particularly severe. Kaël actively resisted Tekas.
“You… ease up! I… I don’t want to be beaten anymore, and I want to attend the academy normally. It’s not good to torment and ignore people just because you know a little bit of magic.”
“What nonsense are you spouting? Isn’t Leviah helping you lately? It’s because you’re a retard. Even that pitiful Vergery has no pity for you.”
“Tekas, you… you were rejected by Leviah too.”
“What did you just say?”
Kaël touched Tekas’ sore spot, and the price he paid was brutal. Hours of Tekas’ indiscriminate beatings followed.
“T-Tekas, stop it! Kaël really will die!”
“Let go! Are you trying to kill this bastard? Let go, damn it!”
When he opened his eyes, Kaël’s body was grotesquely twisted. Was it the aftermath of magic? Blood began to flow as if it were going crazy, without drying up.
“You retard. Stay twisted like that and die like a bug.”
Tekas spat on Kaël and turned away. He had no strength left. He really thought he might die.
By chance, or perhaps it was truly fate, at that very moment, Leviah happened to pass by and saw Kaël’s condition.
Leviah shouted and rushed to Kaël in a hurry. And she used all her mana to cast healing magic. However, Kaël’s wounds were too deep to show any signs of recovery. In a situation where only some bleeding had been stopped, Kaël quietly spoke.
“Leviah… thank you… for helping me… even though I made things uncomfortable…”
“No! Is this the time to be thinking about that? Look at your condition right now! If I hadn’t come, you could have really died, you know? Why did you end up like this? It would be better to report it. This is serious enough to report…”
“No… even if I report it, it’s meaningless. You know… Tekas’ father is a noble… as an orphan, even if I report it, it won’t be properly dealt with… and I don’t have the money to go through those procedures.”
“Then what do you plan to do…”
As Leviah looked at Cael with pity in her eyes, Cael spoke.
“I… I want to try to overcome it. I want to overcome it with my own hands.”
Even though he was collapsed, Cael tightly clenched his fist. Leviah remained silent for a moment before speaking.
“Cael… to be honest, I feel a bit uncomfortable around you. It’s hard for me to keep confessing all the time. I told you I don’t feel for you in a romantic way, but you keep doing this… But aside from that, if you’re determined to be courageous, I’ll help you. I don’t know how I can help you. If you have a direction you want to go, let me know… If there’s a way to escape from Tekas, I want to set you free.”
Looking straight at Cael, who was avoiding her gaze, Leviah added.
“I promise. If you’re brave, I’ll help you.”