2. Sword Knight vs Dark Knight
Add blinked numbly after coming back to the past. He was inside the kitchen. Elsword was about to chomp on a delicious looking steamed potato.
“Elsword, Rena told us to stand by at the barracks.”
“Here, you eat too.”
When Eve lectured him, Elsword grabbed one of the steamed potatoes and put in on Eve’s hand. Eve made a troublesome expression as she looked down at the bribe(?) on her head.
Ara was already eating the potatoes together with Elsword.
“It’s delicious. Would you like some Mr.Add?”
Add blankly stared at the steamed potato Ara held out towards him. He was fighting in a life threatening battle just a moment ago. Witnessing this scene now made his mind blank out.
“Eat it by yourselves.”
“…..Will that really be alright? This is the army’s food storage.”
Seeing Add approve(?), Ara and Elsword were already grabbing their next potatoes. Eve who had expected Add to stop them was now looking confusedly at Add.
“They need to eat to fight well.”
Add responded with words that weren’t like him as he bit his lips. Time travel was successful. But…. Elesis’ sword was waiting for them in the fight tomorrow.
The strongest leader of the Red Knights, Elesis. She was unbelievably powerful.
It will end with the similar result if they faced her tomorrow without any plans. He could make an excuse that they got ambushed during the first time. But even during the seconding time where he had known she would appear, they still got pushed back.
It looked like they could win for a moment but it only confirmed that there was no way to stop Elesis if she made up her mind to attack the back line.
“Here you go.”
When Add was letting out a helpless sigh, Eve suddenly broke her potato in half and held it out to Add. When Add couldn’t tell her intention and stared at her quietly, Eve spoke with a cold voice.
“Didn’t you just say yourself that you need to eat in order to fight? Nasods don’t need foods but humans are different after all.”
What she said was correct but for Eve to take care of him like this? Add was dumbfounded but took the potato for now.
Ara and Elsword were already eating their fourth potatoes. What a big appetite.
“Wow, they even have salt here. Should I enlist here too?”
“Here you go, Mr.Add. Eat it with some salt.”
Add dipped his potato lightly inside the dish of salt that Ara held out to him. He then silently chewed and swallowed the potato. Inside of his mouth heated up as the soft and sweet taste of the potato got mixed with the taste of salt. The taste lingered on the tip of his tongue.
Eve held out a cup of water towards Add who was eating wordlessly.
“You’ll choke yourself like that.”
That’s right. He couldn’t do anything if he was hungry. He had to run his brain in order to think of a way to beat that powerful enemy, that black panther. Actually, the plan just now was the best he could think of…… but he couldn’t beat Elesis if he didn’t come up with something even better.
“So this is where you guys were?”
Then a familiar voice joined in. Rena entered the kitchen and examined the group with a bitter smile. Her gaze finally turned towards Add who was chewing the potato mechanically.
“It’s my fault for coming in such haste despite knowing you guys were hungry….. But I didn’t think Add would be like this too.”
“Humans cannot fight when they are hungry. I’d like you to give us more time, Rena.”
Eve sided with and spoke for the three who were busy eating. Rena made a strange smile as she nodded.
“Alright, I’ll be discussing our plans with Ms.Vanessa first so don’t be too late.”
“Yes, I’ll bring everyone with me after.”
Rena looked proudly at Eve as she left while smiling. Add finally finished swallowing his potato and was about to call Rena. But Eve looked at Add with a pitiful gaze and handed him another potato.
“Were you that hungry? Here.”
He had eaten quickly so he could say his excuses to Rena. But Eve must have judged that Add ate quickly because he was hungry.
It was a gaze as if she was looking at a poor wild animal….. But Add wordlessly took the potato.
It wasn’t because he was hungry. It was because it was so rare for Eve to take care of him like this. No, wasn’t this the first time?
Elsword who had eaten 6 potatoes meanwhile kicked the ground as he stood up.
“Alright, I’m full now. I’ll go ahead first!”
“Wait. Elsword, he’s still….”
“Go with him. I’ll finish eating and go with Ara.”
Eve hesitated for a moment at Add’s words then nodded as she left the kitchen. Hearing her footsteps get further, Add pondered if he ever had this kind of peaceful conversation with Eve before.
“It’s enjoyable to see such harmonious moments.”
Eun answered Add’s internal question for him. Ara’s hair had already turned white and fox ears were twitching on top of her head.
Add stared quietly at the being, Eun who came out unwarranted.
“You’re not showing an unpleasant reaction anymore, boy. Should I interpret that as you feeling slightly more goodwill towards me now?”
“This time….how can I win this time?”
Eun must already know what will happen tomorrow. Shadow Master could be beaten if the entire El Search Party fought it together.
But how can they beat Elesis? Is there even a way to conquer that terrifying monster?
Eun sat on the chair with her legs crossed and didn’t answer as she just wagged her tails. She was leisurely grabbing the potatoes one by one and stroking them as if she was checking for their quality.
Add would have been normally become unpleasant and enraged by Eun’s guile attitude right now. But he just stared quietly right now. Eun smiled with her eyes. It seemed Eun hadn’t expected this kind of reaction from Add.
“Huhu, boy seems reserved today. No. Is saying ‘today’ strange after all? Saying ‘this moment’ should be more correct way for talking with the boy.”
“Tell me how.”
“There could be a way, or there could be none.”
Add closed his mouth at the riddle like response. Like this, one who’ll get the initiative will be Eun.
But Add didn’t quibble over this fact like before. There was something he had to bring into question before that.
“…..Just what do you want from me? It’s probably not making me randomly and endlessly time travel. You wouldn’t have helped with defeating Shadow Master if that was your intention.”
“What do you mean?”
“Eve would have kept being destroyed if you didn’t tell me how to defeat Shadow Master. I would have been repeatedly rewinding that time.”
Add suddenly realized as he spoke.
He would rewind time was only when Eve was destroyed. Add was acting according to this decision so far. And his belief didn’t change until he actually witnessed Rena and Elsword’s deaths.
“Could it be…..”
“Stop! Do not speak if you are going to suspect that I had already seen everything that was going to happen, that I knew boy will change his mind. As I’ve said before, I’m not omnipotent or omniscient.”
Add shut his mouth just as he was about to ask if Eun had known Add would turn back time even if Eve wasn’t destroyed and another party member was killed instead.
Eun was lightly scratching her head with a tried face.
“It would be obvious for boy to suspect as such in his position. And I didn’t intervene in various ways because I was afraid of getting that same suspicion. But the only thing I know about at this point is the enemy waiting for us tomorrow. Even I do not know how that enemy would act, or what kind of result will be waiting.”
“Even you can’t take her?”
Could it be that even Eun coming out to the surface completely isn’t enough to beat Elesis?
Add made a very surprised expression when he inferred this conclusion from Eun’s words.
No, no matter how strong Elesis was, wasn’t she within the realms of humans? Even the Great Specter Eun cannot defeat her?
“Did you just dare to call me a Great Specter?
Although Add hadn’t said it out loud, Eun shook her head as if she was honestly displeased.
“I didn’t read your thoughts. I pointed it out because your attitude was clearly evident. Geez, hearing such words even though I’ve helped…..”
“….Just continue with what you were saying.”
Add was embarrassed that his thoughts got found out and spoke bluntly. For some reason, Eun was rather cooperative right now. He needed to use this chance to get information.
“I’m currently sealed away right now. Also, Ara’s body won’t hold out if I fought seriously.”
Eun said those words as she curled up her right hand to make a claw shape then waved it in midair. Then a human sized claw marks got carved into a stone wall that was far way. It was amazingly powerful.
Normal people would have died before they even figured out how they got killed.
But they couldn’t be assured of victory against Elesis even if this powerful Eun helped.
Then how about avoiding this battle? Turning back time to before they headed to Velder and telling them to go somewhere else….
“No. I guess it won’t work.”
“That’s correct. After converting the El inside the royal castle into the Dark El, Demons will be able to use the Dimension Gate freely again. If that happens, they will send assassins after Eve again. If you avoid facing Elesis now, you’ll end up having to face Elesis plus the thousands of Demons next time.”
Even darker future waited for them if they ran away.
“Just what is that woman’s goal? How come a woman who was the strongest amongst the humans joined up with the Demons?”
“That’s not something important. Elly is like a sword when she makes up her decision. She probably won’t forgive any enemies that stand in her way.”
Add didn’t like Eun’s attitude as if she was talking like this was someone else’s business. But Add realized that it was obvious. No matter how much Add suffered and struggled, it was his problem. It didn’t matter at all to Eun.
All she had to do was take over Ara’s body and run away if things got dicey.
“……I don’t understand what kind of evil spirit boy sees me as.”
Add didn’t answer even though Eun spoke with a tone as if she was hurt. Even how she read his thoughts right now wasn’t important. It probably must have shown on his face.
When Add didn’t remove his suspicions, Eun sighed and got up from her seat. She approached Add with a pouting face that was unlike her. She then abruptly held out her hand.
Eun pinched Add’s cheek as she spoke sharply.
“Isn’t that a bit harsh boy? Did you think me, who’s been journeying together with all of you, would abandon boy and the others so ruthlessly, without any regrets, and run away?”
“That’s because you said…..”
“That’s just something I said because boy made me angry. How can you be so dense about a girl’s heart? Do I really have to say this out loud?”
Eun expressed her irritation as she twisted Add’s cheek painfully. Add felt like screaming but held on with willpower as he spoke each words precisely.
“Then tell me what I have to do to win.”
“Shouldn’t there be an appropriate procedure if you are going to make a request to me?”
Eun let go of Add’s cheek for now but didn’t look like she had relieved her anger. Add rubbed his cheek as he saw her glare at him with her arms crossed.
“If you help me this time, then I’ll time travel once according to your request.”
His shin got kicked. All he did was give a reasonable bargain but he got violence in return. Add groaned as he grabbed his leg and hopped in his place in pain.
Eun looked at Add hopping in pain and spoke coldly.
“…..Even if you don’t know about human’s heart, you should at least know about a girl’s heart.”
What was she saying when he had gone out of his way to suggest to her a fair bargain? Add looked at Eun while suppressing his pain, but all he got back was a cold stare.
“…..If it’s about that time, I’m sorry.”
“What time do you mean? Boy has been going back and forth in time so much that I cannot remember clearly.”
Add made a light sigh at her snort and apologized.
“About how I treated you as an object in a pocket…..”
“Now you seem to understand human words. How can you be denser than me, a fox? And also, did you think I’ll feel better now that you’ve bowed in apology to me?”
Eun was shooting back as if she was waiting for this opportunity. Before, she had always been leisurely and teased him with a tone as if she was looking down on him. But now, she was quite straightforward when she actually started to reveal her emotions.
Although she hadn’t shown any signs, she must have been extremely offended that time.
“I said I’m sorry….”
“That’s not a tone of someone who is sorry. I can see clearly that you’re saying it reluctantly.”
Eun words were cold but she soon let out a sigh and dropped down to sit on the table. It seems her mood had loosened slightly after pouring out her emotions.
“Well, I somewhat understand boy’s position as well. I would look quite suspicious. Is she trying to toy around with my fate? Is she doing this because she has some ulterior motive? Well, they are obvious thoughts to make.”
Eun’s tone was as if she was used to these suspicions. Eun shook her feet lightly in midair then waved her hand and changed the topic.
“But I at least wholeheartedly agree with the boy’s great cause of wanting win against Elly in the fight tomorrow without anyone’s death. Do you understand?”
“Then the way to win?”
Didn’t she say that it won’t work even if Eun fought? Eun paused when Add insisted.
“Before I say, promise me one thing. That you won’t suspect me again.”
“I can tell by your face. Don’t answer half-heartedly just so you can avoid this situation. Say no if you don’t want to.”
Eun requested with a clear cut tone. It seemed she was quite begrudged….. but Add shook his head.
“Don’t make such unreasonable demands.”
“……That sounds contradictory to how you were begging me just now. Shouldn’t boy have to lick my feet right now if I wanted him to?”
Eun’s eyes narrowed and her voice turned low.
She looked very emotional, even dangerous. But Add coldly glared at Eun.
“Stop making unreasonable demands, fox. You won’t reveal your intentions, won’t give me any information and you expect me to blatantly trust you? Do you think that makes sense? Didn’t you say it yourself that it was obvious for me to be suspicious?”
“Show some sincerity if you want to earn my trust. If you won’t show any sincerity, then give up my trust. Isn’t that very simple?”
Eun was wordless and had her eyes opened narrowly. It was an ambiguous attitude where you couldn’t tell if she didn’t want to speak anymore or if she’ll listen to more of his words.
Add haughtily looked up and concluded.
“But if I can win tomorrow by listening to you…… Then I’ll trust you a bit.”
When Add threw his words bluntly, Eun looked like she was at a loss for words as she put her hand on her forehead and let out a long sigh. Almost like the cat that saw a mouse acting cute in front of its eyes?
But Add didn’t change his attitude.
Well, he understood that Eun had been very hurt by that one time. Her attitude just now was probably her true feelings and not an act.
But that was that and this was this.
“…..Fine, boy’s words are logical. But what are you going to do if I get more offended by this and refuse to help?”
“You won’t. You must have wanted this.”
“Even if you hadn’t known everything, you must have wanted this time to come.”
Add spoke coldly as he glared at Eun.
He could deduce from the traces of their past conversations. Add determined himself to not rewind time unless Eve was destroyed and Eun asked multiple times if he was really sure about that.
She must have said those words knowing that there will be a casualty other than Eve when they fought with Elesis tomorrow. Well, although if you believed Eun’s words asking not to suspect her…. she wouldn’t have known in every detail.
Achieving victory against such a powerful enemy like Elesis without any casualties was almost impossible. Even if she didn’t look into the future, Eun could have easily known that the El Search Party would get destroyed if Elesis attacked them.
Eun was cleverly justifying her position. Add concluded this much but didn’t ask any further.
“I turned back time again when Rena and Elsword died. This must be one of the results you wanted right?”
“…..I won’t say it’s not.”
“The moment you’ve wanted is right here. So cooperate.”
It was Add who should be begging in this situation but Add examined the situation carefully and didn’t let go of his initiative. Just like how Eun had shown Add the scene of Eve getting destroyed many times before telling Add the solution, Eun had been trying to do the same thing here.
Thus, Eun had also wanted this situation of Add acting like this, Add making up his mind to win against Elesis without the death of any party members.
He didn’t need to show any signs of weakness when their goals were aligned. When Add quickly made his conclusion and looked at Eun haughtily, Eun let out a thin sigh.
“I don’t know where I let up this time. Boy is too smart that it’s sometimes difficult to deal with him.”
“Kukukuk, you don’t have to pay any lip service.”
Add let out a cold laugh and held out his hand towards Eun. Eun who was sitting down looked up at him. Add pressed for the answer.
“Don’t just sit there, get up and tell me what I should do. I’ll do exactly as you say.”
“There is a best possible way….. But I don’t know if boy can pull it off.”
“I’ve come this far, there’s nothing I can’t pull off.”
There can’t be anything worse than cross-dressing right? When Add snorted, Eun smiled bitterly as she grabbed Add’s hand.
“Even if you act so confidently, something even more hideous is waiting for you.”
And it was just as she said.