After Noct stormed out of the room with Mikoto, an eerily silence wrapped inside the room.
However, Elvie was still feeling flustered, as if he was oblivious to the silence.
The day he decided to take care of Aru, he knew this will happen one day.
And he did wish to see her one day.
However, he did not think that the day will come so soon.
He didn’t have the courage to face his younger sister at the moment.
Aru was the one to break the silence when Marca froze on the spot after seeing Elvie.
「Marca, what happened? You said you were looking for me.」
「Oh, yeah. A teacher gave me a different letter after class. So, I came to give it to you. But I didn’t know where your club room was. Then, that fox lady helped me out when I was wandering around the school. Oh, this, it’s the letter.」
「Thank you, Marca.」
Aru smiled as he accepted the letter, then Marca smiled back at him.
Elvie felt something odd as he saw the two of them smile at each other. Then, Aru continued curiously.
「Hey Marca, when you said “older brother”, were you referring to El senpai?」
Marca’s face lit up as she heard Aru’s question, who was the only person left in that room who didn’t know about this.
「Yeah, I was! I’m so happy to finally see you again, brother! I can’t believe he was the club president!」
「Yeah, I’m sorry, I should have told you earlier.」
As Elvie apologised, Marca frowned and put her hands on her hip.
「Geez, you never come back home on any of the breaks, and you haven’t replied to any of my letters! Do you have any idea how much I’ve looked around for you?」
Although she was complaining, Elvie could see that she was struggling to hold back her joy. Seeing this, Aru gave a small smile.
「Yeah, I’m happy for you. Marca.」
「Thank you Aru!」
Seeing Marca smile joyfully, Elvie felt relieved. Yet, that wasn’t enough to erase the uneasiness.
It was now too late to play strangers. His only option now was to make sure she leaves the room before she realises anything.
But seeing how happy Marca was, Elvie did not know what to do.
「Brother, do you study properly? I’ve heard some stuff about the club from Aru but I wasn’t too sure, so….」
As Elvie went quiet, Iori, who was silent all along spoke.
「Hello, Elvie’s little sister. I’m Elvie’s best friend, Iori Eisle. It’s nice meeting you.」
Although Marca felt uneasy after an upper classmate has suddenly talked to her, she politely bowed to him.
「Oh, um, my name is Marca Slaggart. I’m in the first year of Fundamental Magecraft. It’s nice to meet you too.」
「You see the subject we are studying is a little complicated. Basically, we aren’t only casting spells onto objects but we are also trying to invent tools which can be used by people who don’t possess any magic potentials.」
「Wow! That’s amazing.」
「Your brother came up with such a painful spell to use and has been bothering me a lot.」
Iori gave Elvie a quick glance as he casually stepped into their conversation and kept Marca entertained.
Then, Elvie realised that Iori was looking at his tie, and quickly he tried to take it off.
「If you’re using such a difficult spell, you must be enrolled in a Magic school right? That lady I met before was also in the Magic school. Could she be your classmate?」
Before he could take off his tie, Marca turned around and excitedly asked a question.
Then, she saw the navy coloured tie of Combat School.
「Brother… that tie. You’re not studying magic?」
Aru answered the question as she tilted her head in confusion, trying to make a sense out of this situation.
「El senpai is in the Combat school.」
「What, but, brother, you have to study mage craft.」
「Only people who have to study mage craft are those who possess magic potential.」
Elvie called out Aru’s name in panic but it ended up coming out harsher then he has originally intended.
Hearing Elvie’s shout, Aru jumped a little and fell silent. But then, Marca mumbled as she realised something.
「Is it because of….. that time?」
Elvie’s face turned pale. This was the worst-case scenario which he was trying to avoid.
Then, Marca’s face turned pale as well.
「It’s all my fault!!」
Her voice sounded more like a scream. A scream filled with regret and despair, overpowering Elvie’s voice.
「It’s, it’s all my fault. Because that day, I was, so now brother…..」
「Marca, you’ve got the wrong idea.」
Her body was shaking, her face was pale, and her vision was blurred with tears. Elvie tried to calm her down but she only shook her head furiously.
「I’m sorry, father, brother, I’m sorry. This is all my fault!」
「Marca, just listen to me!!」
Suddenly, Marca turned around, showing large drops of tears running down her face.
At that moment, the door opened at the worst possible timing and Marca ran out of the club room. Elvie tried to go after her. But the arm which he stretched out couldn’t reach her. And his legs felt as if they were rooted down into the floor.
Then, a figure rushed past Elvie who was paralysed on the spot.
It was Aru.
Elvie couldn’t do anything but to look at Aru run after Marca, desperately calling out her name.
「This is all my fault!」
As Noct and Mikoto heard the shrieking voice of a little girl, they knew something bad was happening. When they opened up the door to the room, a small figure came out running.
Noct immediately dodged the figure but the moment he saw Marca with the wheat coloured hair which reminded him of Belga, he realised that her eyes were filled with tears.
He tried to go after her but before he could do anything, Aru came out running and told him through telepathy.
『I’ll go after Marca so mother, can you take care of El senpai?』
Noct stood there in confusion.
Aru, although still a child, ran off into the distance at an unbelievable speed.
Still unsure with what is going on, Noct decided to leave Marca with Aru and finally walked into the club room.
In the room sat Elvie with a dead expression.
Sorrow, regret and hopelessness were written all over his face.
It was not an expression of someone who just had an ordinary conversation with their sister.
「Hi, what happened?」
Seeing Elvie’s state, Mikoto hesitantly broke the silence. Then, Iori tried to answer the question but Elvie looked up at them before he could say anything.
「Oh, hello Ms Mikoto, and Mr Noct. Did you two finish the meeting?」
「Yes, thanks to your help.」
Noct replied to Elvie’s casual question but then he realised Elvie’s face was as white as a ghost.
「I’m sorry, well, shall we head off to the practice run?」
「Oi, Elive, you’re not going to go after your sister?」
As Elvie tried to walk away, as if nothing has happened, Iori grabbed his shoulder and asked him in irritation.
However, Elvie refused to look at his best friend.
「Well, what am I supposed to do, Iori? I’m no longer the big brother that Marca knows. She knows the secret now.」
「On top of that, while Aru, who’s so much younger than me chased after her without hesitation, I stood right here like an idiot… I, don’t deserve to be her older brother.」
As Iori stood there in silence, filled with fury and irritation, Elvie gave a hopeless look and shook off Iori’s hand which was rested on his shoulder. Then, he turned to face Noct.
「I’m sorry that you had to see this, anyway… ouch!」
As Noct flicked his finger on Elvie’s forehead, he fell silent.
Both Iori and Mikoto widened their eyes as they heard how much noise it made.
Although Noct held back his strength, Elvie trembled as he covered his forehead with both of his hands.
This is what Noct calls it the 「Ligurila Sealing Forehead Flick」.
He saw that Elvie was trapped in a loop of negative thoughts. So, he thought this forehead flick was the best option to temporarily distract him from the negativity loop.
Also, when Noct flicked his fingers at Elvie’s forehead, he sent some magic to calm his nerves down.
「Mr Noct, what are you doing all of a sudden?」
「First of all, take a deep breath. Inhale, then exhale.」
Elvie gave him a hateful glare. Yet Noct felt a little relieved as he could hear some of the liveliness has returned in his tone. Before Elvie could say anything else, he quickly gave an order and Elvie obediently started to take a deep breath.
「… so, why did you do that?」
「I just thought you needed to calm down. Did it work?」
Elvie frowned but his face turned bright red.
「Do you mind if I ask you what happened?」
「Well, Marca is my little sister. And I haven’t seen her in a while. But I coincidentally ran into her just then. But then she ended up finding out about a secret I’ve been keeping it from her. All that effort for nothing.」
Elvie gave a weak, hopeless smile, then Noct gave a sigh and spoke.
「Listen, I don’t know why you ended up arguing with your sister. And I don’t know what happened between the two of you. But that thing you were keeping it a secret from her, is it more important than being with your sister when she’s crying?」
Noct continued on as Elvie’s expression changed.
「You’re so focused on keeping it a secret that you’ve forgotten the purpose. I’m not saying that it’s wrong to protect your image. But your image isn’t the most important thing right now, is it? You shouldn’t hold back on your feelings so much. Even if you stutter, even if it seems pointless, nothing will change if you don’t talk. You care about your sister, don’t you?」
However, Elvie’s lips twitched as if to say something but he only shook his head.
「But, I can’t face her. Not now.」
「… are you sure about that?」
Seeing Elvie’s trembling fist, Noct decided not to stop talking.
However, Elvie who was silent for a while suddenly spoke.
「In the past, I could use magic.」
Elvie continued on as Noct seemed surprised.
「But one day, I wasn’t able to use it any more. I couldn’t protect Marca. So, I wanted to prove it to her that I was fine even if I couldn’t use magic. That I can fight without magic. That I can protect her.」
Elvie said as he looked up at Noct.
「I wanted to protect her, so I didn’t have to lose her again.」
Seeing Elvie’s teary eyes, Noct couldn’t do anything but to stand there in silence.