It looked like the soldiers couldn’t afford to keep the four of them unrestrained anymore. So the four’s wrists got tied up with ropes after arriving at the castle. They suddenly seemed very alert because even the smiles of soldiers that had been chatting with Rena had disappeared.
‘As I thought, there’s something going on here.’
Add felt doubts after seeing the soldiers’ changed atmosphere. But before Add could figure out what was going on, the party members ended up getting confined inside the inner most building.
Add let out a thin sigh after hearing the giant gate slam shut behind him.
“…We’re finally here.”
“I can only sense two of the Mr.Soldiers outside.”
“I’ve already scanned the surrounding area on our way here.”
“Is everyone here all right?”
Upon Rena’s question, questions rose up in the eyes of the girls that were already here . This place was a large area that must have been used as an assembly hall. There were over hundreds of young girls inside the hall.
The captive girls let out a thin sigh after looking at their new comrades with very a gloomy expression.
“Was there people like them in Elder?”
“They must be travelers that had been passing by.”
The captive girls that were here before them looked at the group while conversing amongst themselves. Amongst them, a girl with an impressionable blonde hair got up from her spot.
“Hello everyone. I’m Ariel from the COBO service. Welcome…… although I don’t think that’s appropriate here.”
Rena smiled brightly after seeing Ariel make a bitter smile.
“Hello. I’m Rena. Hmm, we came here to rescue all of you.”
“Is that true?”
Ariel who came forth as the representative made a surprised expression but the face of the other girls stayed gloomy. It looked like they were listening but weren’t expecting much.
Explaining things to them like this will take long time.
Add brought forth his Dynamos and discharged high intensity electric current thinly as possible. He began to burn away the knot that was tied around his wrist.
Only a small gap the size of one’s finger lay between both of his wrists. To burn away the rope that was positioned between this gap required a very high level of skill. He’d burn his own wrist away if he made a mistake in precise output control or made a mistake in area designation.
But Add showed no signs of doubt. Dynamos were basically like the extension of his hands by now. There was no way he’d fail in their manipulation.
After realizing what Add was doing, the girls stopped talking amongst themselves and focused on his actions. Gazes showered from all directions but Add didn’t lose his focus.
With the sizzling sound of a rope getting burnt off, the knot that was restraining Add’s wrists broke away easily. After gathering everyone’s attention on him Add stretched out both of his arms as if to show them.
“Kahaha! Now will you believe that we came to rescue you….-”
Ara who was observing Add’s method tilted her head then moved both of her arms in an opposite direction.
Only with that, her ropes snapped off as if they were strings.
The girl’s eyes opened widely at the much more direct and quicker display than Add’s.
Even Add’s eyes widened.
“Ah, did I make some kind of mistake? …..Was I not supposed to take this off now? It was really uncomfortable.”
Ara asked Add in a clingy voice while making a very nervous expression. Add was in shock just like the other girls but then came back to his senses and stared at Ara’s arms that were now free.
“H, how did you do that?”
“Ah, it’s easy. You just have to combine the moment when your breath and body moves. Would Mr.Add like to try as well?”
Ara who was looking uneasy before now rejoiced and tried to teach Add. When Add shook his head and looked besides him, Eve conjured up knives and instantly cut off her ropes.
“Could she be? Nasod?”
Eve stood still silently as if she was used to all the curious gazes.
When Add finally turned his gaze towards Rena….Rena was also finishing untying her knot slowly. Unlike the other three, there wasn’t even a sign that she used any tricks.
“How did you do it?”
The girls that were looking at her exclaimed in surprise and Ariel’s also raised her voice in surprise. Rena spoke as she smiled awkwardly.
“I asked one the soldiers on our way here. So I wasn’t actually tied up properly.”
The looks of how the girls viewed the El Search Party changed completely. From helpless hostages that had been captured just like them into heroes that had really come to rescue them.
“Then let’s start the talks quickly.”
Add let out a blunt voice while ignoring Ara who was untying the parts of his knot that the Dynamos couldn’t burn off completely.
He had no reason to maintain his disguise now. Add let Rena and the other members take care of talking to the girls and changed into his original outfit.
“Phew, I finally feel alive.”
Add shook his head honestly. He will never do something this insulting again no matter what happened.
Add made a vow to himself and turned around…..then winced at the awkward stares. The eyes of the girls that were busily discussing the escape plan were now suddenly all fixed on Add.
Add took a step back due to all the gazes that showered upon him like the rain.
He was the only guy here amongst hundreds of girls. Was it just his imagination or was he feeling very exposed right now?
“Umm, I know our Add is handsome but can we talk about that later? Going home is more important for everyone right now right?”
They must have all agreed to Rena’s words because the girls regrettably(?) withdrew their gazes on Add. Add was shedding dry sweat and now let out a sigh of relief.
…..He didn’t know why but that was kind of scary.
“Are you nervous already? The plan is set to execute during night time.”
Eve approached and told Add about how things were proceeding. Rena had gained the other girls’ trust and was coming up with an escape plan.
“It’s impossible for the soldiers to not notice us if this many people moved all at once. We should cause a disturbance inside the castle and…..”
Add gravely denied this plan. What the El Search Party was trying to do right now was obvious. Add, Ara and Eve grabbed the attention of the soldiers by causing a disturbance then Rena will use that chance to help the hostages escape. It was a very rational plan.
But that won’t be any different than the first time they came to the Wally’s Castle. Wally Robot will appear again then Shadow Master will appear after.
And there was no guarantee that it will end after those two.
“We have to all move together.”
“That’s waste of manpower.”
Add also admitted Eve’s indication. It was a plan he’d accept gladly if he hadn’t known anything.
“There’s no use talking with you. I’ll go talk with Rena personally.”
It would be unreasonably stubborn of him, but Rena will probably accept what Add said if he prepared his words right. Add got up and was about to head towards Rena who was having a discussion with the girls, but stopped his steps.
Eve’s gears were floating in front of him.
“You still haven’t explained to me why you are acting like this, Add.”
Add couldn’t move forward anymore now that his name was called. He could just walk away ignoring the gear and pretend he had not heard anything, but he couldn’t.
“I would like you to explain to me in a way I can understand.”
“….Because it could be dangerous.”
It was fine if she didn’t believe him. No, he didn’t expect her to believe him. He had just wanted to say it. This conversation was a waste of time….but wasn’t time something that’s abundant to him anyways?
Nothing will change by having couple meaningless conversations. But there was no reason not to have such conversations either.
“There could be something unexpected waiting for us in this castle. I have a very bad feeling about this place. It’s already strange enough that they captured all these girls and were just keeping them confined here. Demons might have rigged this place somehow. You never know what might happen so to prepare for that…..I”
“Understood. I’ll go request Rena for change in plans.”
Eve nodded as if she had understood everything. Add mind numbingly stared blinking as Eve’s back moved further away in a quick pace.
Did that work just now? But only thing she had to go on was that Add had a bad feeling about this place.
A Nasod, that should be making decisions based on reason, is going to believe such baseless words and make changes to the plan? Add stared at Eve as she conversed with Rena but still couldn’t believe his eyes.
“I’ll protect you if you feel uneasy, Mr.Add!”
Hearing Ara speak energetically brought Add to his senses. The event just now was so unexpected that it felt dreamy.
“Strange. Why….did she listen to what I said?”
“That’s because Ms. Eve also knows about Mr.Add’s feelings.”
Add looked beside him with a numb expression. Ara was making an angelic smile but then her cheeks slowly started to turn red.
“B, because you’re reflecting on your actions from back then and is trying to make amends!”
“What do you mean back then?”
Ara’s face turned even redder when Add asked blankly.
She looked like she couldn’t dare say this out loud. But when Add continued to make an expression that said he didn’t know what she was talking about, Ara spoke in a tiny voice.
“I can’t hear you.”
When Add asked back vacantly, Ara covered her hears with both of her hands then shouted out loud as she could.
“About that time when Mr.Add p, peeped on us while we were bathing!!”
Add stiffened at the voice that suddenly rang out loudly across the hall. But Ara must have interpreted this as Add not understanding her and continued to speak.
“When we were bathing!! Mr.Add suddenly appeared and…..Mmh?! mmmphh!!”
Add instinctively shut Ara’s mouth with his hands. He could afford to let Ara speak anymore.
The hostages’ gaze towards him seemed to have changed but he could care less.
“I see. So that wasn’t….something meaningless after all.”
Should he say that the misfortune from back then had turned into an advantage? It seemed Add making a mistake then apologizing, then following the group to the extent of withstanding humiliation must have earned him their trust.
Well he didn’t care much about trust. Important thing here was that he was able to create a different result from last time. Add let out a confident laugh.
“Great, very great. This is the best result possible. Kahahaha!”
They were now fully prepared. He didn’t know what kind of enemies might pop up but the party’s strength was in top condition right now.
Well, Elsword wasn’t here…but he’s still a brat even if he grew up a bit. He would only create variables that could put Eve in danger anyways. It was better for him to be not here.
“I can’t wait for… tonight.”
Finally, his time for revenge had come. Add’s eyes made a dangerous gleam.
Ara was still struggling for breath after getting her mouth covered up by Add’s forceful hand. Add let his hand go and backed off after finally realizing that he was still covering Ara’s mouth.
She was strong so she could have shaken Add’s hands off if she had wanted to. Was she really slow after all?”
“Haah, phaah… I,It was tough not being able to breathe.”
Add ignored Ara’s sigh and enflamed his fighting spirit. The time to return everything to normal had come.
He’ll destroy all the demons that were after Eve! Then steal her Core after!
I’ll be the one who’s laughing from now on. Add laughed much as he could while drawing picture of the enjoyable future inside his head. It was great to feel that all the suffering he went through seemed to disappear.
“Are you also trying to breathe more Mr.Add?”
….Let’s ignore Ara’s indication coming from beside him.
It was night.
“Okay, then….is everyone ready? You all remember where to go right?”
All the captive girls unanimously answered Rena’s words. They had gone over the escape route that went through the Underground Waterway so much that even the captives had it memorized by now.
“Elder’s militia are waiting for you inside the Waterway. We’ll protect everyone in getting to the Waterway’s entrance so please move while remaining calm.”
“Ms.Rena! I finished untying everyone!”
Rena looked back towards Eve and Add after listening to Ara’s energetic report that all the captive’s ropes were untied.
“Then shall we start?”
“Eve, battle ready”
Add didn’t respond and repeated making a fist with his hand then opening them again. The scenes of his past failures passed by in his eyes when he tried to focus.
Eve who was destroyed no matter how much he turned back time, but this time was different. He’ll….make it different!
Signal flare that Rena had attached to her arrow flew out across the window. It was a signal alerting the Elder’s militia that the operation had started. But at the same time, it will alert the castle’s soldiers.
This is the start.
In that instant, Ara smashed the ground with her fist. Then the metal gate that had been keeping the captives inside seemed to make a cracking sound then got bent awkwardly.
But it only got bent and not destroyed.
Ara got embarrassed by everyone’s blank stares and tried to run up close to the metal gate but she tripped on something and fell frontwards.
Add couldn’t bear to watch anymore and blew up the metal door with a shockwave that destroyed space. Expression of the captives brightened after finally getting to breathe fresh air in so long.
“Alright, hurry everyone!”
The captives came to their senses at Rena’s words and started to run forwards. El Search Party also followed suit and moved forwards.
Operation to conquer Wally’s Castle started.
Although they moved late at night, it was impossible for hundreds of people moving all at once to not get detected.
That’s why they had initially come up with a disturbance strategy. But that plan was dismissed because Add had refused and Eve also agreed with Add. Then their second strategy was….
To charge in directly while defeating every soldier that got in their way. Add clicked his tongue as he looked down while flying up high on his Dynamos. It was obvious that the soldiers would swarm in if the party attempted to break through up front like this. But it didn’t make any difference.
Soldiers were like measly leaves getting blown away by the wind against the El Search Party.
“Where is it….?”
There was only one thing that was a problem in this castle, Wally Robot.
When they realized that they cannot handle the El Search Party no matter how much soldiers they threw at them….then.
Add dived down soon as he heard the noise that made his hair stand up. He flew down towards Rena who was running in front leading the escaping girls.
“A powerful enemy appeared. Send all the captives up front, all of us have to stay and fight.”
Rena made a surprised expression then quickly made a beautiful sounding whistle. Then as if they had planned this beforehand, all the girls ran ahead of the Search Party with Ariel in the lead.
“It’s not too far from the Underground Waterway from here so should be fine. But can never be too sure so can you watch them from above Add?”
“There’s no time. I told you, a powerful enemy has appeared.”
“Is there a powerful enemy?”
“Then I’ll follow those people!”
Ara tried to energetically catch up to the captives but Add quickly grabbed her arms.
Add’s true goal wasn’t to rescue the captive girls. It was to make El Search Party fight against the demons with full preparations.
He obviously couldn’t exempt Ara from the fighting force…..and he also couldn’t exempt Eun who was likely more powerful than Ara.
“Just stay here! This is more important right now!”
Ara stared at Rena with a troubled expression. Rena stopped to think for a moment then she nodded.
“Okay. So where’s the powerful enemy?”
Creak, Creak, a mechanical sound substituted as an answer. Add let out a nervous breath after seeing the chunk of metal that appeared across the corner.
It looked shabby on the outside but Add knew all too well how powerful it was.
“Everyone be caref….”
Rena fired an arrow to freeze the Wally Robot No.44 before Add could even finish speaking. Wally Robot got frozen solid in its attack motion and couldn’t do anything. Rena didn’t miss this chance and continued to fire arrows at it.
Dozens of arrows flew towards the frozen Wally Robot and pierced it mercilessly…..
And it got destroyed with an explosion.
Add couldn’t close his gaping jaws after seeing an enemy that had troubled him so much get erased before it could even launch a proper attack.
He knew that Rena was powerful. But it was up to this extent? It wasn’t only Add that was shocked, Ara also had her eyes wide open and couldn’t even breathe properly. Eve didn’t change her expression but also seemed extremely surprised.
“So where’s the powerful enemy?”
Rena asked as if it was nothing. Add was astonished. If he had known Rena possessed such overwhelming skills…..He could have solved this with her help earlier!
This thought instantly ran by Add’s mind but he didn’t let his guard down. Even Add could defeat Wally Robot if he gave it his all. He could have probably beaten it much easier now that he had become stronger from his time travels.
The real problem started now.
The darkness across from them seemed to wave……then the Dimension Gate got created. Add explained quickly before the other members could get caught off guard.
“They are extremely powerful so be caref….”
Rena fired an arrow before Add could finish explaining. Shadow Master and its minions that tried to come through the Dimension Gate all got frozen solid.
…. Could it be that everything could have been solved with only Rena’s help? Add’s face unconsciously turned pale in astonishment. But Rena’s expression looked very grave.
She was admitting that these weren’t enemies she could dispatch easily like before.
“There are a lot of them but the captives will get exposed to danger if we pull back here.”
“Yes! I’m ready too!”
Ara pointed her fingers at the enemies after grabbing the spear she had thrown upwards. Did Eun have no intention of helping right now? Add gave a side glance at Ara but he didn’t have the moment to ask her.
With the sound of glass breaking, Shadow’s Master’s frozen body returned to normal. Not only Shadow Master, hundreds of its minions returned to normal as well.
“Everyone, be careful.”
Rena spoke kindly as she started firing her arrows and Ara instantly dashed forwards bravely.
And Add released all the boiling rage pent up within him as he shouted loudly.
I’m going to send all of you to hell starting now!!