When Master Saleh first takes him in, all he wants is to learn magic so he can be strong and show off for everyone. During his first lesson he overdoes it and winds up sleeping for almost two days afterwards, and after that Master Saleh has to keep a sharper eye on him to make sure he doesn't do it again.
When talk of the war with Grado reaches Caer Pelyn's ears, Saleh starts training him in combat magic. He's just barely mastered the basic Fire spell when Princess Eirika's army arrives, but he joins the party anyway and sticks close to Saleh's side to learn more.
"The love of knowledge itself is its own reward," Saleh tells him every now and then. Ewan isn't sure what that means, all he knows is that he likes making Amelia smile with colorful lights and tricking Ross with puzzles. He likes talking to Dozla about things that could happen in the future, possibly by elevating magic to its highest form. Learning makes you stronger and smarter, even Tethys seems impressed with his power now.
Saleh reads with him every night, though. Stories and poetry, history lessons. "For the sake of knowing," he says. Ewan still doesn't get that, but he likes the stories and poetry. And some of the history is pretty neat.
When they meet up with Prince Ephraim and his party, he starts overhearing things. That gloomy guy, the shaman...knowledge can be a dangerous thing, he tells the twins. That night, Ewan asks Saleh if he's been lying all along.
"Yes and no," Saleh says. "At times, a clear understanding of a situation can lead to feelings of helplessness when we realize there's nothing we can do to change it. I assume Knoll speaks of the situation with Prince Lyon."
"Because of what Prince Ephraim said, about the prince starting the war. But I don't believe it! It's gotta be a lie someone spread, Princess Eirika says he's a good guy."
"Unfortunately, even with two sides to the same story, we still don't know everything," Saleh sighs. "This is why we must keep going. Because only knowledge will give us what we need to end the war and bring peace to the continent."
Ewan nods, leaning against his teacher.
"What if we don't like what we find out?"
"Then we work to change it."
"So that means we keep studying and fighting and getting stronger, right?" Saleh actually smiles, wrapping an arm around him.
"Yes." Ewan grins.
"Does this mean you're gonna teach me the stronger magic spells now?"
"We'll see." Saleh tucks a loose wisp of hair behind his ear and pulls him closer. "But in the meantime, Ewan, I want you to keep learning all that you can. Because I think you may finally be learning what it is to love knowledge for its own sake."
Ewan realizes his teacher might be right. When did that happen?