Zatiel was speaking and looking at the boy as he notices how this one uses every strength he has left to straighten his head and look back at him with his only eye left.
As Zatiel looks at the boy's eye he could not help but be impressed by what he saw.
'What an immense will!'
In the state that he was currently, any normal human will have already given up. Even some official Magi that take pride in their rationality will surrender to fate. But Zatiel could see in the boy's eye a will that won't allow him to surrender and force him to continue.
'Definitely a good seed, since I have enough material for the both of us, I could help him, and judging by what I saw, he will have no problem passing the ritual. But still, it is better to be sure.'
Zatiel continued to stare at the boy for a minute and the boy never moved his remaining eye away.
¨I am no saint, but since you have made an impression on me and it will not affect me, I can help you. I give you a choice, I can heal your wounds but your body is so badly damaged that even then, you will become a cripple for the rest of your life or... I take you out of your misery right now," Zatiel spoke emotionlessly as he looked at the boy and tried to see any change.
After all, most people would rather die than become a cripple that can barely move, especially in a world like this where a human life was a lot of the time's worthless.
Even though the boy was shocked at first knowing that even if he survives he will forever be disabled, immediately that immense will came back, stopping him from surrendering.
¨Truly impressive, even knowing that your life will be hell you still chose to go on, can I know why you do it?" Zatiel asked patiently, as he put the boy on the ground carefully. ｂ𝚎ｄｎ𝚘ｖ𝚎𝚕．𝚘𝚛𝚐
The boy looks at Zatiel as he gathers his strength to speak.
"I want... to be... free."
Zatiel was shocked at the answer of the boy, and how those words make him remember something.
A lonely figure was atop a mountain. Darkness covered his body making it impossible to see his true appearance. His surroundings were full of dead bodies of all types of species. You could see demons and devil, dragons, even the mythical titans and leviathans were among the corpses. Although this scenario was a testament to his incredible power, he knows this was not what he seeks.
Exhausted, he looked at his surroundings and he couldn't stop himself from shouting with all his strength.
"I will break every shackle that exists, become so powerful that nothing can restrain me. I will see how the universe looks like once I remove what makes me blind, I will reach the highest peak and feel true freedom!"
Zatiel could not help but start to laugh as he remembers those aspirations that fueled his path to power.
"Hahahaha, good, very good, from this moment on you will become my subordinate and together we will search for true freedom together, what do you say?" Zatiel asked the boy with excitement on his face.
The boy could not understand why someone wants a cripple like him as a subordinate, but after a moment he accepted.
Some may say that being a subordinate to someone is not freedom, but deciding who to follow is freedom.
Zatiel immediately starts to make a potion with the herbs he has with him, the ones he collected during his preparation before assaulting the bandit camp.
Although none of these herbs could do something as magical as regrowing a hand or an eye, they were more than enough to heal the wounds of the boy.
Zatiel helps the boy drink the potion and support him against a big rock.
"Rest here, I have many things to do before I start the ritual, and don't worry about your body. With what I am about to do, regrowing a hand and an eye is but a walk in the park."
The boy only nodded as he watched Zatiel move around the camp picking the unconscious bandits and putting them all together.
As long as he can remember, Ezequiel was always a slave, according to what he was told by his masters, he was sold when he was a baby.
He was brought up to become a slave warrior, a disposable tool to carry deadly missions. So when he was strong enough to stand, he was thrown into hellish training.
The training in the slave camp was always brutal, most of the children died during the first year. But the ones that survived became incredible soldiers able to perform amazing feats.
Because he was small and fast, Ezequiel was trained in the way of the Assassin. Although every day he was walking between life and death, he was able to overcome every trial and excel as a show of his immense talent.
Through the years he becomes more and more proficient in killing, being usually the one tasked with the more difficult tasks despite his young age. Although his identity as a slave never changed, he was often rewarded with every type of pleasure that his masters could arrange, but none of that ever brought him true happiness.
If there was something he truly enjoyed, it was watching the birds fly. Seeing them move through the sky completely free and unrestrained was one of the few pleasures he had in life.
His last job was to kill the Captain of a bandit group that killed the son of an important businessman. He was supposed to join a group of mercenaries that were hired to attack the bandit group and distract the Captain so Ezequiel could find an opportunity to kill him, unfortunately for the group, the information had failed to mention that the Captain was a powerful Warrior, hence they were completely exterminated.
Since he wounded the captain, Ezequiel had to suffer the wrath of the man because of which he was tortured for many days, and finally thrown alive into the burial pit to die.
When Ezequiel thought his life was over, he did not feel scared, what he felt was frustration.?He has always lived doing what others tell him to do, what others desire, and now he will die because of other's decisions.
What he has always wanted and will never have now, was freedom. Freedom to live how he desires, and to die because of his own choices.
But then he shows up, a man not much older than himself but so incredibly powerful that not only did he defeat the Captain, whom he thought was invincible, but also all of the bandits in the camp by himself.
When the man gives him the option that he can cure him and he will be able to live the life of a cripple or kill him to end his suffering, Ezequiel didn't think much and chose to continue to live, so he could keep pursuing his wish.
Who would have thought that the man would start laughing when he told him his desire and would offer him to be his subordinate.
At that moment Ezequiel felt something telling him that this is the most important decision of his entire life, that this was the point in which his true path will begin.
'I will follow this person., This will be the first real choice of my life!'