Fight was over and it was now night.
El Search Party members decided it was too late to go back to town and prepared to camp outside for the night. Dinner was handled with simple foods they prepared before they had left Ruben.
The gang set up a campfire and sat around it. But Add was sitting away from everyone by himself with his back against a tree.
He had a fragment of a drill in his hand. Because it exploded into so many fragments there was nothing that had remained relatively intact to be examined.
Dissatisfied, Add stared at the fragment in his hand. Just what was the meaning of this? Banthus a mere bandit had a hidden army of Nasod Miners and a Nasod Driller?
If he had them at his disposal why didn’t he use them earlier? No, if he had such a huge army why is he still a petty bandit?
Things didn’t make sense and it was displeasing.
As Add was muttering to himself someone sitting at the fireplace stood up.
“Is something worrying you?”
Rena asked as she came near. But Add impertinently asked Rena for a confirmation on something else.
“Where is that left hand Nasod?”
“If you’re talking about Raven he went to escort the captured bandits to town. It might take some time so we decided to meet up again in Elder.”
“Kukuk, too bad. That left arm was nice to look at.”
Add let out a small laugh and Rena smiled softly.
“Is something worrying you?”
Add hesitated for a moment at the repeated question but showed her the fragment in his hand.
“This is a fragment of that Nasod we fought earlier. Don’t you think it’s strange?”
“What do you mean?”
“The request we got was to retrieve the El that bandit called Banthus stole. But Nasods appeared all of a sudden. How can a mere bandit command Nasods?”
“Hm. I guess you’re right.”
Add frowned at Rena’s carefree response. Add knew very well that she was much stronger than him but how could she be so easygoing?
But Add changed his evaluation of her after hearing her next words.
“Raven is going to ask about the Nasods when he gets back to Ruben. So you shouldn’t have to worry too much about it.”
“….Kuku, I wasn’t worried. I was just frustrated because it didn’t make sense.”
Raven and Rena must have had the same question and had decided to figure it out by themselves. El Search Party was comprised of bizarre individuals but Rena felt reliable amongst them.
Not only her fighting skill was great, but she also had a great judgement.
They could talk on same page. Add felt a bit better.
“Ah, come to think of it you were protecting Eve earlier right?”
“Kukuk, was I? I don’t quite remember.”
Add unknowingly glossed over the question abruptly thrown at him. Rena made a helpless smile for a moment then shrugged.
“Eve doesn’t show her expressions much but she must be thankful to you. Try talking to her later.”
“….You act like you know a lot when you’ve only known her for a day.”
Amongst the El Search Party members only people that knew each other before they gathered were Rena&Raven and Elsword&Eve. For Ara and Add everyone here were new faces.
Thus Rena had only met Eve yesterday. But by the way she spoke it felt like she could see through everything.
“Girls around that time are complicated. I know you’re interested but I’m gonna to scold you if you tease her too much, got it?”
Rena poked Add’s forehead with her fingertip. Rena was misunderstanding completely but it was tiresome to argue back so Add kept his mouth shut.
Rena smiled and was about to head back to the campfire. She asked Add to promise something before she left.
“The girls will now go wash together. You better not peep. Got it?”
“Kukuk, Why would I do something so useless?”
If I had such a time, I’d just do more research.
Rena took off with Ara and Eve to go bathe. Raven wasn’t here right now so only Elsword and Add remained.
With both hands behind his head, Add stared silently at Elsword. You could see the boy’s disheartened face across the campfire.
“You’re looking as if the world had just ended.”
Following Add’s gesture a single Dynamo flew in front of Elsword’s nose. Because the Dynamo had abruptly flown in, Elsword who was deep in thought staggered and reflexively grabbed his sword.
“What are you doing? Put it away!”
“Kukuk, you scared?”
Add laughed as Dynamo spun in circles around Elsword.
“Are you picking a fight?”
Add retracted the Dynamo when Elsword finally stood up in frustration. Elsword continued to glare at him in anger so Add sighed and spoke.
“Kids should act like kids. It’s unsightly to see you sulking like that.”
“I knew from the start you’re a type that speaks out without thinking. But you’ve never said a word since then so you must be sulking. Kukuk.”
If Rena was here she would have obviously stopped this argument. But all the girls had gone off to bathe. Even Raven who was the oldest amongst guys was gone.
There were only two of them right now.
“You must have realized how weak you are from today. Give up and go home.”
Elsword clenched his fists and shook in vexation. Add nodded in satisfaction after seeing Elsword’s reaction.
“Kids are fine staying as kids. Just don’t get in the way of those around you.”
Elsword and Eve already knew each other; he could become an obstacle when Add attempted to obtain Eve so it should be wise to get rid of him beforehand. Also Add wasn’t too fond of Elsword who in his eyes was too young and always acted without thinking.
“I’m….weak right now.”
“Hmph, you finally know your place.”
I can finally say goodbye to this eyesore of a brat. While Add was smiling gleefully, Elsword held his sword tight and shouted.
“That’s why I’ll become stronger! So that I won’t lose to anyone!”
Add was at a loss for words at his unexpected response but Elsword was already walking away towards the forest. Add asked in instinctively.
“It’s already night, where are you going?”
“I’m going to train. Don’t follow me.”
Elsword said in a sharp voice and walked off. Well, his pride must be hurting after getting directly pointed out how weak he was like that.
“Tch, things got more annoying….”
Elsword was weak, young and most of all… stubborn. Add couldn’t see how Eve had managed to stick around with this guy.
Add also got up. It was boring alone so he was going to take a walk while thinking about his future plans.
Of course in the opposite direction of where Elsword went.
The forest at night was different from the day. One could easily get lost if they weren’t careful but Add wasn’t worried. He could just send out his Dynamos to do a terrain scan.
“ What should I do now….”
For now he arrived at ‘this age’ and somehow managed to join a strange party called the El Search Party. He was planning to spend his days quietly while gathering more information about ‘this age’…… but he ended up finding a masterful mechanical doll called Eve.
He knew from the moment he saw her. In the past or the future there never was and will be a Nasod that’s superior to her.
“I want it….”
Add reflexively murmured as he thought of Eve. But he had to admit, it definitely won’t be an easy task. Add’s wish was to dissect Eve’s core and investigate it, then also find out more about her anatomy…. But the main problem was the core.
For Nasods their core was like the human’s heart. If their cores got damaged Nasods will go into a state that’s like death.
Obviously, Eve would object to Add’s wishes.
Not only that. As he saw today, Eve’s battle capabilities were rather impressive. Even Add couldn’t easily assure victory. And Elsword will no doubt take Eve’s side…..
“The others are a problem too…”
It would work out if he had Rena and Raven on his side but they didn’t look like people who’d do that. If Add attempted to steal Eve’s core which was basically her life, then tried to dissect her body those two would obviously try to stop him.
Moreover, the two of them were way stronger than Add. The feat Rena had displayed earlier today was remarkable and it didn’t feel like she had shown the full extent her skills.
“I need someone on my side…”
By process of elimination only Ara remains. Should he trick that dense girl into helping him obtain Eve?
Add was dumbfounded by his own thought process but this was the only conclusion he could get considering his situation.
“Well I guess I could use her as bait. Kukuk.”
Anyways he must obtain Eve.
By obtaining Eve and analysing her he’ll be able to improve his tech, which in turn will greatly help him achieve his ‘true goal’.
“For now let’s bide for the right time….”
After organizing his thoughts Add was about to bring back his Dynamos to head back but stopped. Dynamos were sending a signal that they had detected a human presence.
“A bandit that’s still hiding…..?”
They should have captured all of the Banthus’s bandits and Raven had escorted all of them to Ruben. It seemed like they had missed one.
“Well fine…. Something useful might come out of this.”
He might be able to find out how Banthus was able to command Nasods by interrogating this bandit. Add started to follow the Dynamo’s signals.
He could hear the sound of river flowing.
Wait a moment! Rena took all the girls with her to take a bath. Add had just remembered this fact but the Dynamos were only detecting a single presence.
There’s no way someone would still be bathing alone.
“Kukuk, I’ll figure out when I’m there.”
Unlike the way he spoke, Add quietly reduced the sound of his footsteps as he climbed down the hill.
It was extremely unlikely, but he didn’t want any misunderstandings. It was for the future. It was advantageous for him that these members trusted him much as possible. It was for the perfect execution of his kidnap Eve scenario! It’s not like he was particularly interested in female body!
Pushing through the branches in his way, Add unconsciously brought up various excuses in his head while climbing down the hill. This was a mistake!
Normally he’d continuously scan the area with Dynamos so this wouldn’t happen. But the rock Add had stepped on as he climbed down was extremely slippery.
His left feet flew into the air. Then as he lost balance his right feet flew into the air as well.
It turned out so he had just lunged himself off the cliff. Add was tremendously shocked but quickly manipulated his Dynamos. Immediate danger made it so he couldn’t think clearly….. Add desperately brought the Dynamos close to him much as possible.
By increasing the Dynamo’s output he could stand on them and levitate. The question was if he could succeed before he crashed into the ground.
“There’s no way that my calculations will fail!!”
Add clenched his teeth and quickly moved his Dynamos. He was able to succeed by leaving 30cm between him and the ground.
Standing on the levitating Dynamos Add let out a sigh of relief. For him to make such a mistake because he was too deep in thought….
“Kukuk, well I came down the hill in one go. It saved some time.”
It wasn’t bad since he used the mistake and turned it into a good result. While Add was reeling himself in from the startling experience, he heard a chilling voice.
“It was a perfect night to bathe alone so I was befriending the moon…… but a boy fell from the sky.”
It was voice of a girl. Add instinctively swung his Dynamos and turned around but his face stiffened.
The girl standing in the river was naked.