Okay maybe 3 more post estimate for end of ch2 (or 1 post and one really long one)
The problem with this plan where the girls of the El Search Party got captured was how they were going to secretly bring their weapons. Other girls were quite powerful even without their weapons unlike Add who had physical abilities of a normal boy. But you never know what’s waiting for them in the castle.
When the others couldn’t give any particular solutions, Add solved the issue by using an area specific optical camouflage. Put the Dynamos inside a large bag then put all of the group’s weapons inside and make them invisible.
There won’t be any problems long as they don’t touch the bag directly. All preparations done.
“….They are late.”
Add clicked his tongue after coming down to the inn’s first floor because he didn’t want to be with the others. Sidelong glances of the inn’s guests that came and went really annoyed him. Especially how the group of men that had just arrived were staring at him with wide eyes.
He would have blown them away under normal circumstances. But he was right now disguised as a frail girl in order to be captured. He couldn’t cause a scene until the soldiers arrived.
‘…..Do girls always get these kinds of stares from guys?’
He had to withstand all of these stares until he could achieve his goal. Add was busy suppressing his boiling rage….when a man sat across from him without any permission.
Who the heck is this? The man smiled and held out his hand towards Add. Add was already in an unsatisfactory mood so he glared at the man.
“Beautiful lady, may I join you?”
Let’s never cross-dress again even if this plan was to fail and he had to time travel again. Add thought as he refused the man while grinding his teeth. But the man just smiled.
“My, it seems what they said about beautiful roses having thorns was true.”
Wow that just gave me goose bumps. Just when Add was trying to focus on suppressing himself while shivering in disgust, the man abruptly grabbed Add’s wrist.
Add was now beyond shivering and was about to have a seizure. Add got startled and tried to pull his hand out but the man grabbed on tightly and didn’t let go.
“My, lady your wrist is beautiful too.”
Add couldn’t win in physical strength. The man’s tone had become impolite before long.
Sound of whistles.
“Mac! Don’t treat the lady so roughly!”
For some reason, cheers rang across the floor as if the man did something cool. There was no one around to help Add and the man in front of him was trying to be overly familiar, relying only on his physical strength.
Come to think of it, disguise or whatever…did he really have to take this? Wasn’t it more natural to cause a ruckus in town and get captured instead?
Add stole a look at the bag that lay near his feet and at the Dynamos inside. He then stretched out his other arm and put it on top of the man’s hand.
“Oh? Do you feel like talking now lady? You should tell me your name first.”
“I’ll tell you. If you still got a head to remember.”
Just when Add smiled viciously and was about to move the Dynamos….a familiar hand slightly pressed on Add’s shoulder.
As if to tell him to be patient.
“Do you have some business with my younger sister?”
Rena was standing behind Add. The man was too focused on trying to hit on Add that he was late in noticing Rena’s presence. The man’s face turned red soon as he looked up.
“I’m sorry but people from the castle will come soon. Could you come later if you have some business with us?”
“F, From the castle….?”
The man winced in surprise then got up from his spot and hurriedly left the inn. The man’s friends that had been standing still out of their minds due to Rena’s beauty also stopped and left quickly.
Rena sat across from Add where the man was sitting before after resolving the situation.
“You did well in holding back, Add.”
“….I could have handled it by myself.”
Rena smiled brightly when Add muttered back.
“Hmm, please try to understand those people. They must have been lonely because all the girls in Elder got captured.”
“Why do you always think so positively?”
Add was dumbfounded and couldn’t help but to ask. He knew she was seriously soft hearted……but wasn’t this too much?
“I would have suppressed him if he didn’t let go. But he listened when I asked right? So they are not that bad people.”
It was more like they got mesmerized by Rena’s beauty then got scared and ran away when she mentioned the castle. Add tried but still couldn’t make sense of what Rena said.
“You did really well in holding back.”
Add frowned when Rena complimented him again. Rena spoke kindly in response after noticing that Add’s frown was meant to get her to stop talking about this subject.
“You didn’t have to deal with this if you stayed in our room.”
“….Everyone is getting ready to be captured.”
Add couldn’t stay in that room because Ara and Eve now had to wash and get dressed themselves. They had helped with Add’s disguise soon as they got up this morning.
“What’s wrong with that? Add is also a girl now right?”
“If you say that one more time…..”
Add was about to retort in anger but decided to sigh instead. There was no reason to reply so sharply when Rena was only making a light joke.
“Hmm, what I said before was too much. I’m sorry that we got too carried away.”
Rena admitted her mistake and seriously apologized to Add.
“I know Add is doing this even though he doesn’t want to. This is something very important for you after all.”
“….What do you mean?”
Does she know something? Did Eun tell her? Add went on alert but Rena just smiled calmly.
“Since Add is being so patient and trying his best I’ll also help the best I can.”
“What am I trying?”
Does she know about him time traveling? Add asked while staring at her suspiciously but Rena continued to reply calmly.
“You’re trying your best despite knowing that this doesn’t suit you. That’s very admirable.”
I’m totally being treated like a kid. Add clicked his tongue but didn’t deny what she said. From how it seems, Rena must have noticed something just from her wits.
Rena stretched out her hand and patted Add’s head when he continued to keep his mouth shut.
“There, there you’re a good boy.”
“Don’t treat me like a kid.”
Add got angry and pushed her hand away but Rena just continued to smile. He couldn’t stay angry anymore seeing her smile.
No. Normally, he should be able to grind anyone’s smiling face….but he somehow couldn’t do that against Rena’s smiling face.
Add sighed and admitted this internally. He didn’t know since when, but he wasn’t able to treat Rena with contempt anymore.
Also just sitting together with her in silence didn’t feel uncomfortable at all.
“Ara thinks you’re admirable as well. Eve also.”
Add got surprised at such nonsense and asked back. What did he do to get that kind of evaluation from them?
“You’re coming with us even resorting to disguising as a girl because you don’t want to send just us frail girls by ourselves right? Of course they’d be touched.”
That was not what he had intended. Add was at a loss for words….but didn’t bother to correct Rena. Rena will probably think positively of whatever Add said in response.
Add made a snort and was about to bring the coffee mug to his mouth, then Rena asked suddenly.
“So who do you like more Add? Eve or Ara?”
Add spat out the coffee he was drinking and beat his chest. He managed to avoid getting his attire dirty….but he couldn’t stop coughing.
“Oh, are you okay?”
“C, cough. Cough. What the heck are you saying?”
After wiping his mouth with the hand cloth Rena handed to him, Add glared at Rena with fire in his eyes. He couldn’t just gloss this over even if it was Rena who had said it.
“Hmm? Could it be that you like me? Ah, knowing that Add like me makes me happy.”
“….Don’t say such nonsense!!”
Add got up abruptly hitting the table and yelled so loud that his voice rang across the entire floor. He was glad no one was in the first floor.
“Hmm, it makes big sis sad if you deny it so seriously like that.”
Add closed his mouth after seeing Rena lower her head with a really depressed expression. He knew that Rena had said it only as a joke. But Add yelling in response just made the matter serious.
“I, It’s not like I hate….. That’s…..”
“Which is it? Do you hate me? Or like me?”
Add became flustered and couldn’t think of how to answer when Rena asked with a sad voice. This was the first time in his life that he was asked this kind of question so he didn’t know what to say.
Because he was flustered….Add realized late that Rena’s shoulders were lightly shivering. He had first thought it was because she was sobbing. But upon closer inspection, he realized that the end of her mouth was slightly curved upwards.
“….are you laughing right now?”
“P, Pfft. I’m sorry.”
Rena couldn’t hold her laugh anymore and openly burst out laughing. Add stared blankly at her not knowing how to react after realizing that he just got made fun of.
“It’s because Add got so flustered…..I couldn’t hold back. Ahaha, are you mad?”
Add made a deep sigh and dropped back on his seat. He was so fed up that he couldn’t get angry anymore.
Rena quietly whispered seeing Add numbly stare up at the ceiling.
“As I thought. Add is a good kid.”
“You’re saying something stupidly soft hearted again….”
Add answered accordingly but Rena was serious this time.
“You actually pondered seriously just now. You did that because you were worried about hurting my feelings right?”
“I just couldn’t answer right away because it was so absurd.”
“Alright. I’ll just remember that Add is a good kid by myself.”
Rena’s tone became very soft.
“So please don’t let Ara and Eve, don’t let any one of them get hurt during this mission. Got it?”
“I was planning to even if you didn’t mention it.”
That was why he had traveled back in time and was enduring dressing up like this in the first place.
“Okay, that puts me at ease.”
Add hesitated if he should say this but his words came out faster than his hesitation.
“You never know what could happen so you be careful too.”
Rena was the strongest amongst the El Search Party currently so she could probably handle most opponents without letting them even get close to her.
But their destination was Wally’s Castle. Although it looked like a normal castle from the outside, it was a demonic den where you couldn’t tell what was waiting for you.
“Yes, okay. I’ll be careful so that I won’t worry you Add.”
“It’s not because I’m worried. It’s because I’ll end up taking care of the others if you’re not here and that’s bothersome for me.”
Add purposely made a blunt remark. He could have just left everything to Raven instead if he was here….Why didn’t he join up with them already? Just what was he doing in Ruben?
Come to think of it, various changes had happened so far as Add time traveled. Even a drastic change where Elsword suddenly grew up happened. But there were no cases of Raven rejoining the El Search Party.
Raven was equally skilled as Rena. Couldn’t they succeed easily if they were able to bring Raven here somehow?
Add had realized this fact and was about to speak….but Rena spoke in a soft tone first.
“Please take care of everyone if such time comes.”
That gentle smile was something that existed in memories of his far past.
Add’s numbly stared at Rena’s smile then his face got contorted. Just when Add was about to instinctively raise his voice, Rena got up as if the conversation right now didn’t happen.
“Okay, our guests are here. Let’s get ready.”
They could hear busy footsteps outside the inn. Soldiers had come to capture the girls that had newly appeared in Elder.
Add also stood up with a sour taste in his mouth.
Eve, Ara, Rena and cross-dressing Add followed the soldiers and headed to the Wally’s Castle. It was protocol to have the captives tied up during this process but they managed not to get tied up because Rena had asked the soldiers politely.
It would just look like some soldiers were protecting couple of girls in the eyes of other people in the streets that didn’t know the details.
Add snorted unpleasantly. Soldiers were all too busy trying to sneak a side glance at Rena that they were tripping over rocks and hitting their heads after losing grip on their spears….Their military discipline was a mess.
Upon closer inspection….they weren’t distracted only because of Rena. Lots of eyes were also focused on Ara who walked quietly with her head down and Eve who was a Nasod also became a large target for attention.
Their gazes were filled with curiosity, admiration and lust.
‘….How dare they?!’
Add got filled with rage and slowed down his steps. Eve who was walking quietly in the very back of the group stared at Add as he slowed down to walk beside her.
“What is it?”
These soldiers would have normally been not even worth a single punch. No, even now he could move the Dynamos inside the bag to blow them all away. Add had to struggle a lot in order to restrain the destructive impulses that boiled up from within him.
‘I’ll have to be patient for just a little longer….then blow them all way later’
Soldiers got startled when Add angrily glared at the soldiers. But then they stared back at him(?). Their looks were kind of like….the same looks they were giving the other girls?
Did they get fish eyes transplanted to them? When Add let out an angry groan, Eve calmly persuaded Add.
“You can’t. Eren, restrain yourself.”
A noun that he had never heard before came into his ear.
“I chose it because I thought you’d need an alias. There were other candidates like Ave, Era, Aena, Ari, Adi, and Aru.”
He had to change names now? Just because he disguised as a girl? It made sense although it wasn’t too desirable.
Rena should have at least stopped them from coming up foolish things like this. Add thought as he glared at Rena who was walking lightly in the very front. Soon as Add glared in front like this, Eve spoke to Add with a serious tone.
“Certainly, Ara Haan’s hips are ideally shaped for having children. No wonder why she’d attract attention.”
Ara had been walking in front with her head drooped down when she heard this sudden evaluation come from behind her. She reacted by hopping then covering her hips with both of her hands.
“W, what are you saying!? Ms.Eve!”
“Person beside me was staring at your hips with a very passionate gaze, Ara Haan.”
Although I agree with the opinion.
“M,Mr I mean Ms.Add! That’s so mean!”
Shouldn’t she refrain from addressing him as Add altogether right now? Ara protested as her face turned red and Eve tilted her head in response.
“Isn’t saying you’re ideal for having children a compliment for human females? That’s how I learned it.”
Ara couldn’t seem to figure out what to say and instead stared at Add with a clingy look. Add turned his head and ignored as if he didn’t hear anything. He didn’t want to join in this conversation.
But Ara didn’t back down easily.
“Ms.Add! If you stared so intently then please help me explain this to Ms.Eve!!”
“I told you I didn’t!!”
“….Did I say something wrong? Then I apologize. It was actually an unsatisfactory pelvic structure.”
When Eve nodded and corrected her words, Ara’s face turned red even more and she could only repeat the words “Ummm….”.
Soldiers began to stare at them with a curious look when the three’s argument got larger. Since the soldiers didn’t know the details of their conversation, they’d just think that an argument broke out amongst the three girls.
Ara also must have realized the surrounding gazes around her because she tightened her hands into fists then stared at her hands with a surprised expression. She must have unconsciously tried to grab her spear.
Add let out a sigh seeing Ara shaking in anxiety for not being able to do anything. Rena who was walking in front must not have heard this ruckus because she was now taking the leisure to chat with the soldier beside her.
Only Add could resolve this situation.
“It’s rude to give that kind of evaluation to humans.”
“Isn’t it a great compliment to say that you are a superior entity for propagation of your race?”
Well what Eve said wasn’t baseless when you thought about it. Wasn’t it an evaluation that said you are a superior individual amongst your race?
Add thought about this for a moment then answered with a serious tone.
“You would be right if you considered the entirety of the human race. But humans value themselves more than the many. Evaluations based on individuals are more important than the evaluations based on entire human race.”
“….Then for example, would Add be fine with me badly evaluating the entire human race?”
“I wouldn’t care about that.”
He wasn’t a person from this age, and even without time travel Add didn’t have much interest about evaluation of human race.
But Eve seemed quite shocked at Add’s response and stared back at him with a stiff face. Her gaze started to make him uncomfortable.
Just when Add couldn’t stand her gaze anymore and frowned, Eve made a low sigh then asked Ara.
“Is it the same for you Ara Haan?”
“Um…..No. I’d like to help Ms.Eve understand that there are good things about humans as well.”
“I see. I’m glad.”
Eve heaved a sigh of relief.
“I just found out that there are humans that don’t take pride in their race.”
So in the end, I’m the only one that said something bad. Add snorted and purposely slowed his steps. Unwelcome person should read the mood and back off.
But despite how Add slowed down, the fact that Eve was still walking beside him didn’t change. Noticing that Eve had also slowed down, Add increased his speed this time.
Even then, the fact that Eve was walking beside him didn’t change. She was adjusting her speed to match with Add’s.
“Kukukuk. What? Do you have something more to say?”
Add found this difficult to ignore anymore and asked bluntly. Eve stared at Add for a moment with an indifferent attitude.
“Your view is different from mine but it is also true that Ara Haan was embarrassed by my evaluation. I judge that this is not something where one side is correct and the other is wrong.”
Eve slightly lowered her head toward Add.
“So thank you for your explanation.”
“I just didn’t want to get strange misunderstandings.”
Add replied bluntly and stared in front of him only to notice that Ara was gone. He didn’t know when Ara had moved but she was now walking beside him on his left.
“….Why do all three of us have to walk side by side?”
“That’s because Ms.Add keeps staring at my, umm, my bottom….”
“I told you I didn’t….”
Add let out a deep sigh seeing Ara speak so hesitantly while still covering her hips with her hands.
Eun was uncomfortable to deal with in various ways. But Ara was also uncomfortable to deal with in a different sense. Ara was normally a righteous and polite girl but now she looked like she was about to burst into tears at any moment.
‘Just how is she older than me….?’
“Do what you like.”
After hearing his approval, Ara nodded with a relieved expression that seemed to say her worries were finally over. Add ended up getting an undeserved misunderstanding but he didn’t bother to explain himself. Ara will forget everything and run around wildly soon as she gets her spear back.
In the first place, was looking at her hips while they were still covered clothes such a big deal? Didn’t he accidentally look at her naked already?
But judging by how Ara acted like she had forgotten all about what happened back then. This matter will probably also get treated as if it never happened.
It wasn’t just Ara that acted like this….Eve and Rena also had these tendencies.
Add let out a laugh before he had realized it himself. Then he noticed a gaze directed at him and frowned. Rena who was talking with the soldier in front was giving Add a slight look while waving her hand.
“….So she was listening to everything.”
To pretend not to hear even though she had noticed the argument back here. Add was at a loss for words but didn’t feel like protesting to Rena anymore.
Because the demonic den that threw him down into pit of hopelessness and despair time and time again,
The Wally’s castle started coming into view.