The strategy meeting was already in progress when Add entered the Velder’s Liberation army’s commander’s tent. But the goal they were trying to achieve was something outrageous. It was a situation where no one could come up with a proper suggestion.
Add didn’t bother to sit and glanced at the map as he made his conclusion.
“What a ridiculous plan. Retreat before you get annihilated.”
When Vanessa frowned, Rena quickly spoke in Vanessa’s place.
“Wait Add, listen to me for a moment. We can’t just retreat….”
“Yes, you can’t retreat because of the citizens and the king. But no matter how important the goal is, you should know when to retreat when you are outmatched. We’ll get annihilated if we engage blindly.”
Add’s sharp words cut across the atmosphere of the meeting. Everyone had been giving various opinions but this meeting was more like an armchair meeting. Vanessa’s adjutants that hadn’t been here last time were frowning as they stared at Add.
But Add sneered on purpose to show them.
“You’re going to face the elite Demon army with the scraped together forces that’s barely managing to hold themselves together? Are you misunderstanding that your forces’ battle capabilities went up amazingly just because we are here? What an attitude to show when you don’t even have any courage to fight without borrowing someone else’s strength.”
It was a blatant mockery. Even if the El Search Party were important reinforcements that came in their hours of need, it was hard to suppress their rage after getting mocked so openly like this. Just when one of the knights was about to stamp up from their seat, Vanessa quickly grabbed the knights’ arm and put him back in his seat.
In this tense atmosphere, Add withdrew his sneer and threw sharp words across the meeting.
“Bring some reinforcements if you really want to go through with this plan. I heard this on the way here but didn’t you have something like the Red Knights? Soldiers were all praising them that this tragedy wouldn’t have happened if the Red Knights were here. Why don’t you call them?”
“Red Knights are now……”
“Now what? Where are those Knights that are supposed to be the strongest in the kingdom?”
Just when Vanessa was about to murmur with a troubled voice, Elsword got up from his seat and left. While everyone blinked in surprise seeing that he left without saying anything, Eve also quickly stood up and left as she followed after Elsword.
Just when Knights that were startled by the repeated walkouts were about to raise their voice, Add lightly hit down on the table.
“The meeting ends here. I’ll come up with the plan. So be prepared to fight. Battle will start soon even if we don’t want to.”
Rena and Vanessa, and everyone else looked at Add with a surprised expression. Wasn’t what Add said right now 180 degrees different from what he was saying before?
But Add who had completely changed his attitude didn’t explain anymore and instructed Rena.
“Rena, help encourage the soldiers with Vanessa. They won’t be able to fight as they are right now.”
Rena looked like she wanted to ask many questions but was holding back for now. Did she notice that this was something they couldn’t talk about in front of other people including Vanessa?
“Then I’ll go get some fresh air.”
Of course, that was a lie.
Add exited the tent but he didn’t get on the Dynamos and walked instead. He didn’t want to hurry.
Elsword was sitting on the same box from the previous time. If there’s something that had changed, it was that Eve was now also beside him.
Elsword had his head dropped down and Eve was beside him holding his hand. Seeing Eve’s hand on top of the back of Elsword’s hand….. It felt unpleasant.
Well, wouldn’t such feelings be beneficial now? Add did his best to suppress his displeasure, rage and all sorts of negative emotions as he approached the two. Eve turned around after hearing Add’s footsteps and tried to say something to stop him from talking. But Add didn’t give any eye to her.
Target of his sight was Elsword’s limp back.
“I found Elesis.”
Elsword’s back winced then he slowly turned his gaze towards Add. His shadowed eyes contained a question asking that how he knew.
Add made an exaggerated shrug then continued his words.
“I’m going to talk with Elsword now. Are you planning to listen in?”
“…..So it was on purpose.”
Eve’s face turned extremely unpleasant. She just realized that Add had purposely brought up the topic of the Red Knights in front of Elsword in order to provoke him.
Her stare was filled with rage. As if she was asking if Add was doing this purposely to hurt Elsword.
But Add didn’t give even a single glance at Eve. It was because he was afraid that he wouldn’t have the courage to continue talking if he saw what face Eve was making right now.
Add sneered as he asked Elsword again.
“Do you want to know?”
Elsword let out a sigh as he pulled his hand out of Eve’s hand and stood up to face Add.
Elsword had a troubled expression as he spoke with a low voice.
“Please tell me where Big sister is.”
“She joined up with the Demons that captured Velder and is cooperating with them. She’s our enemy now.”
Elsword’s face stiffened. Add looked up towards the sky as he spoke with exaggerated voice.
Alright, let’s paint over time.
“Would it be more correct to say that she’s now an enemy of the entire human race?”
Eve’s disgusted voice caused a ripple of pain through Add’s heart. Add looked down to stare at Elsword. Elsword had his eyes opened widely and was biting his lower lip. The shock must have been quite big.
“There’s no way Big sister would…..”
Elsword’s words as he tried to refute stopped. Hand that Add held out towards him, a long red hair on top of his hands.
Elsword couldn’t continue his words after seeing the hair with an extremely similar color as his own. The hair Add had picked up in Feita, something he had kept just in case was now giving extra persuasive power to Add’s words.
“You still can’t believe after seeing this? Then you can just confirm with your own eyes tomorrow. But before that, I want to hear your opinion. What are you going to do now? Your sister is on the Demons’ side. Are you going to join them too?”
“Stop this, Add. I won’t forgive you if you say anymore.”
Add didn’t stop despite Eve’s warning.
He wouldn’t have started this in the first place if he was going to stop here. He wouldn’t have traveled back in time if he wasn’t going to say this.
“You must be doubtful; you probably don’t want to trust what I said. But what are you going to do if it’s true?”
“Elsword, I asked you what you are going to do if your Big sister who had gone missing for half a year actually joined up with the Demons.”
When Add pressed for an answer, Elsword continued to bite his lower lip and couldn’t say anything.
His heart must be a mess. The gladness from the sudden news about his family being alive and the impulse of denial must be getting mixed up within him.
“Add, I told you to stop.”
“I don’t want to.”
Add finally averted his gaze from Elsword and looked at Eve. He pretty much finished what he had to say to Elsword.
Eve was staring at Add with a gaze that was cold beyond measure. Eve’s attitude towards Add before had been stiff and distanced. Now, she was clearly showing expression of loathing, contempt and rage towards him.
Insisting that she doesn’t have any emotions despite this…..? Isn’t this unfair?
Add let out a sigh then looked at Eve with narrow eyes.
“What are you going to do by keep doting on him like this?”
“Enough is enough. Do you think I’m doing this for no reason? Elesis is already our enemy. You can confirm it yourself tomorrow if you’re doubtful. But what are you going to do if it’s true?
Eve’s couldn’t respond. Add sharply pushed the issue.
“Big sister he’s been looking for joined up with the Demons that are trying to destroy this kingdom. What is he going to do now? Shouldn’t he know beforehand so he can make his choice?”
“…..What choice do you mean?”
Eve was barely managing to respond. Add waved his hand as a gesture of saying don’t say something so obvious.
“Choice if he will follow his sister and surrender himself to the Demons or not…. I’m saying that if he’s going to betray us, let’s get it over with neatly. Since he was an El Search Party member, we’ll also get suspected if he joined the Demons….”
Slap!!! Add’s body staggered after getting hit by Eve’s palm that came at his cheek by tearing through the wind. Impact was so powerful that the strength in his back almost gave out, but Add held on with willpower and didn’t let himself fall.
Eve was now glaring at Add as if she was looking at an enemy.
“So…. This is how it’s going turn out is it?”
Add lamented after seeing Eve’s hostile gaze. He didn’t do this so it would turn out like this. But could only turn out like this.
Eve ignored Add’s lamentation and glared coldly.
“I won’t stand by quietly if you say anything more.”
“Really? What are you going to do? Are you going to kill me?”
He had gotten slapped by Eve many times before. But he had never felt this disgusted from it. Add sneered as he laughed with a feeling of not knowing who he was laughing at.
“Or what? Are you going to follow Elsword wherever he goes? If he joins the Demons, are you going to go together with him?”
“I don’t even want to deal with you anymore. Let’s go, Elsword.”
“I asked you a question Elsword. Answer.”
Add suppressed the shout that was about to burst out from his throat and asked calmly as possible. Eve grabbed Elsword’s hand again as if she didn’t want to deal with such nonsense. Elsword, who had been looking down towards the ground the entire time was now about to move his steps and follow Eve who was pulling him.
It was a hateful sight.
“You hide behind your sister when you are young and you are going to hide behind Eve like a coward now?”
Elsword’s steps stopped.
“I see, you’re still a brat inside despite how your body grew and your skills improved. It was stupid of me have tried changing my opinion of you even for a bit. You were just a useless brat. I wasted my time.”
“If Big sister…..”
A raspy voice, Elsword didn’t know what to do with his surging emotions.
“If Big sister really joined hands with the Demons, I…….”
Elsword clenched his fists and couldn’t continue his words. Boy only shook in his place for a while then kicked the ground as he dashed off by himself.
Eve obviously tried to follow him right away but Add used three of the Dynamos to block her path. Add sneered when Eve sharply turned her head to glare at him.
“Kukuk, just leave him alone and let him think by himself. He should have lots to worry about.”
Eve was about to use her gears to hit the Dynamos away but stopped for some reason. She looked like she was collecting her thoughts then spoke with a low voice.
“Add, I think I understand why you did this.”
Add was quite surprised at Eve’s tone that was as if she had put aside all the emotions she was showing before.
He had thought she’d be in haste to follow Elsword. Her talking like this right now was quite unexpected.
“If Elesis is really our enemy then it’s correct to tell Elsword. But I cannot agree with this method of yours.”
“I didn’t do this expecting someone to agree.”
“I cannot forgive you for this.”
What Eve showed after putting aside her emotions was a plain hostility and animosity. It was a gaze as if she was looking at an enemy she had to destroy.
Add’s heart hurt as if it was getting stabbed but he suppressed his emotions.
“Whichever side has to, I hope we don’t ever see each other’s face again after this mission.”
It was an extremely explicit demand. Did it mean if you won’t leave then they will?
“Also, although Elsword is shaken right now, he won’t collapse. I assure you.”
Eve didn’t respond to Add’s laugh and slowly walked away avoiding the Dynamos.
She walked off towards the direction Elsword ran off. Was she trying to find and stay beside him? Was she trying to stay beside Elsword to protect and comfort him as he is caught up in pain and worry all night? Would she say to him that I was lying? Or would she say that I’m just a jerk?
What will those two talk about through the night?
Add’s smile stopped. What showed up on his face was rage and helplessness. What remained in his heart was self-loathing.
He tried laughing to get rid of this lump in his heart but it didn’t show any signs of disappearing.
Originally in this time…… This would have been a scene where Add recognized Elsword’s feelings towards Elesis and comforted Elsword. This would have gotten found out by the other party members and Add would have gotten warm evaluations from the party other members. Didn’t Eve also react as if she had changed her opinion of Add?
But it got painted over.
Add rudely tore out Elsword’s heart and Eve opposed Add’s actions. No, it didn’t end with just opposition. She declared that they were strangers soon as this mission was over.
It was unsightly, although he didn’t know what it was that was unsightly.
Night, private tent.
Add sat on the chair as he stared quietly at the steaming potato. He even prepared a dish of salt beside it. Add who was staring at the potato for a while made his decision and started to peel the potato.
He dipped the potato in the salt and tasted it. It was tasty. But Add didn’t’ feel like eating it anymore after swallowing his first bite.
“It tastes different…..”
A sudden rage swept over Add as he was looking down at the potato. Then he swung his arm to throw the potato away. He couldn’t withstand it after recalling Eve’s face that was only filled with hostility towards him.
Then the potato that was flying towards the tent entrance stopped in midair as if it was caught by something. Defiance of gravity. When Add was looking at the potato confusedly…..a voice came from outside the tent.
“You shouldn’t mistreat food.”
Eun who entered the tent grabbed the potato in the air as if she was picking a fruit then tastily took a bite out of it. Looking at Eun enjoyably eating the potato, Add covered his face with his palm and waved his hand.
“Go to the kitchen if you want something to eat.”
“Do you think I came to meet the boy because I needed something to eat?”
She ate deliciously despite what she said. Eun quickly finished the potato then tried to sit on the table with the strategy map on it but stopped to make a puzzled expression.
“There’s no plan.”
“There’s no point unless we beat Elesis.”
Velder Liberation Army already had inferior numbers. Even without that disadvantage…. It didn’t feel like numbers mattered to Elesis. She can easily blow away buildings by gathering then firing demonic energy. Would normal soldiers be able to even approach her?
This wasn’t a fight between the Velder Liberation army and the Demon army. It was a fight between the El Search Party and Elesis. Victory was impossible for the Velder Liberation army if the El Search Party couldn’t defeat Elesis.
“So, I told Elsword beforehand just like you said. Will everything be fine now?”
“Even I don’t know that, boy.”
Eun shook her head at Add’s blunt question. Her attitude was as if she honestly didn’t know.
“I only told you the best possible way. I can’t guarantee that it will work out well.”
Someone here had executed her instructions while suppressing their emotions and this is her answer? But Add knew that he couldn’t blame Eun.
That’s how much beyond the reason the opponent called Elesis was.
“We couldn’t fight with a burden anyways. It was correct to tell him.”
Elsword was so shocked after knowing that Elesis was their opponent that he couldn’t even about holding up his sword. He’ll only get in the way in such a state. Of course, Add was only alive right now because that Elsword had thrown his body……
But that was that, and this was this. The result might have changed if Elsword had made up his mind to fight.
“I’ll turn the time back again if we fail. It will work out somehow.”
“I wouldn’t recommend it too much…..What are you planning to do after that?”
Unexpectedly, Eun’s tone was as if she was trying to dissuade him. So what were they going to do if they still couldn’t beat Elesis even after telling the truth to Elsword beforehand? There was something that Add had planned.
“We’ll go back in time further and bring Raven. That will work.”
If they can’t win because they don’t have enough forces, then they just had to supplement their forces. He had never met Raven again ever since the time Raven separated in Ruben and he never had the chance to confirm why with Rena. But he had to bring in Raven now no matter what.
Raven was a skilled individual comparable to Rena. With him, they had a chance of victory against Elesis. It felt like a convincing plan for Add, but Eun shook her head.
“Master of blades is already fighting in a different battlefield. It’s impossible for him to join up.”
Add could tell that this strange title was referring to Raven. But he still couldn’t understand what Eun had said.
“What do you mean? Didn’t he split up so he could research what Banthus did with the Nasods in Ruben?”
“That’s only the surface excuse. It’s actually different. He won’t be rejoining.”
Add pressed his forehead with his hand and dived into his thoughts at this abrupt information. Certainly, he had time traveled multiple times but had never seen any hint of Raven.
Add had been passing this off as something trivial…. But there was a hidden circumstance behind it?
“Are you telling me he won’t rejoin even if I convince him that Rena will be in danger?”
“He’ll be extremely tormented by it, extremely….”
Eun’s bitter words meant that he wouldn’t rejoin. Add exploded in anger at this miscalculation and kicked the chair.
Empty chair made an unpleasant sound as it dragged on the floor.
“It looks like you know something about this.”
“He’s a famously skilled individual in Elrios. He can’t help but to be busy when Demons are invading all over the place.”
“I don’t think that’s a reason for him to not rejoin when Rena he had been traveling with is in danger.”
Eun didn’t answer Add’s question. Add sighed knowing that this meant she won’t talk about this anymore. The circumstances didn’t matter.
Important thing here is that the method of going way back in time to have Raven rejoin got blocked.
“Then….. There’s no other way?”
“I wonder if there is…”
Add let out an empty laugh at Eun’s unconfident response. This was the first time he’s seen this sly fox acting so weak. Just like she said, it really did seem like she wasn’t all powerful.
He had to even withstand Eve’s cold stare as he painted over time. But they still didn’t have any guarantee at victory?
When Add sighed, Eun moved her tail to wag it in front of Add’s face. Add got annoyed at this distracting movement and pushed the tail away with his hand. But then, another tail moved in.
There were 9 of Eun’s fox tails and Add only had two arms. It was obvious who would win.
In the end, Add got buried in Eun’s tails. It tickled so much and he couldn’t stand it.
“…..Get these off me.”
“Well, aren’t they very soft that it feels uplifting?”
They were indeed soft but Add didn’t feel good. To be accurate, he didn’t feel like joking around right now. When Add got angry and tried to move the tails again, Eun spoke with a calm voice.
“Don’t get anxious, boy. I understand that you were hurt by girl’s words. But boy has more time than the others. This can be redeemed if you use that time right.”
“Who said I was hurt?”
There was rage mixed in with Add’s voice. Eun let out a thin sigh as she slightly lowered her head.
“I do feel sorry about today.”
“I let boy do something despicable. I should have spoken those words myself after all.”
“It’s not something I should get comforted over.”
Eun told Add that they should tell Elsword the truth about how Elesis was their enemy. She said it didn’t matter if she borrowed Ara’s body to speak those words to Elsword. But Add refused and chose to say those words himself.
“I chose to do it.”
Eve wouldn’t have become hostile to Add if Eun had spoken those words instead of Add. That was certain….. But Add couldn’t accept that.
It was annoying and enraging, but Add didn’t want to remain an observer hiding behind someone’s back.
“Eve never thought good of me from the start anyways. All that happened was returning to point zero. Kukukuk.”
It felt like a certain emotion he had built up till now, a feeling that he couldn’t quite describe got set back to point zero, no, went back into the negatives, but Add didn’t care.
No, Add tried not to care. If he got caught up in something so trivial, he would lose something that’s truly important.
Eve, Rena and Elsword, he’ll win against Elesis without having anyone die. He could swallow any kind of hostile stares from Eve for the sake of achieving that result.
“There was nothing from the start anyways…..”
Add suppressed his own emotions and murmured with a tone as if he was comforting himself. Then he felt his chin getting tickled again. Add thought this was Eun’s tail again and tried to push it away without any thought. But what got caught in Add’s hand was a hand.
Eun who had lowered her upper body was tickling Add’s chin as if to soothe him.
“What do you think you’re doing?”
“I was comforting the boy.”
Even if he tried to move her hand away, he couldn’t win in physical strength. When Add frowned, Eun who had lowered her upper body and placed both of her hands on the table subtly lowered her voice.
“I would like to comfort the wounded boy with the ways of the fox.”
Voluptuous ringing voice that any guy would fall for. But Add instinctively raised his guard. He didn’t know what might be done to him if he became this fox’s plaything….
“Big brother Add, are you in there?”
Then a question suddenly came from outside then someone entered the tent without waiting for the response. Person that came in looked straightly at Add sitting on the chair and Eun sitting on the table tickling Add’s chin….. He asked seriously.
“Should I come later?”
“….Don’t go, it’s a misunderstanding.”
He was glad that Elsword didn’t misunderstand like Eve. Only at this moment, Add was thankful that Elsword was more mature unlike his age.
Eun took her hand off Add’s chin and made a beaming smile at Elsword.
Elsword tilted his head then asked.
“Are you really Big sister Ara?”
“Because walking while bathing in the night breeze felt soothing. Not only that, isn’t the moon very bright today?”
“Ah, I guess, the moon was really bright.”
Add was at a loss for words when Elsword conversed with Eun without any suspicions. You could tell with a single glance the difference between Eun and Ara’s atmosphere. But Elsword didn’t suspect anything. Well, you wouldn’t normally think that a Celestial Fox spirit was possessing Ara’s body.
“Big sister Ara, would you give Big brother Add and me a moment?”
When Elsword spoke maturely, Eun smiled glamorously as she got up from the table.
“Then I’ll come back after the talk is over, boy.”
Eun left while laughing without a sound at Add’s hateful response. Only two people, Elsword and Add remained in Add’s private tent now. Add realized this fact a moment later and felt unpleasant.
Should I have told her to stay?
When Add leaned both of his hands below his chin and glared at him, Elsword colleced his breath then asked with a stiff expression. It looked like he had been through a lot of difficulty in coming to meet with Add in private.
“Is it true that Big sister is working together with the Demons that have captured Velder?”
“Why did you come by yourself?”
Add answered Elsword’s question with a question of his own. And Add was also curious. Shouldn’t Eve be sticking beside and comforting Elsword right now? Even if that wasn’t the case, Eve would have without a doubt tried to come with Elsword if he was coming to meet with Add.
Since Eve cares deeply about everything that has to do with Elsword.
‘Thinking about it doesn’t feel too good.’
While Add was frowning, Elsword answered earnestly.
“Like you said. I didn’t want to hide behind Eve.”
“So please answer me. Did Big sister really….really join the Demons? Why?”
Add gave up responding emotionally after hearing Elsword’s desperate voice. Elsword was currently acting with the heart of wanting to get back his precious person.
Let’s respond sincerely.
“I don’t know the reason myself. But Elesis has indeed currently joined hands with the Demons and she will block our path tomorrow. Actually, I’d to ask you why she would do such a thing…..”
Add examined to see if he could get any information but there was nothing he could find out from Elsword’s cloudy face.
Didn’t they say she was the leader of the kingdom’s strongest, Red Knights? Rising to such a position as a girl probably meant that she possessed enormous skills and people’s opinion of her must have been outstanding.
She was the enemy but Add honestly had no choice but to respect Elesis. Although her skills were clearly superior, she took the initiative by ambushing, all the while being calm and overflowing with composure.
There was no wavering in her movements even though she was facing against her family.
Although, judging by how after she unexpectedly slew Elsword…..and her movements became very distressed, it didn’t seem like she was a total mechanical person. Add wondered for a moment if he should tie Elsword up and tried negotiating with her, but he felt that it was futile.
Even if they took Elsword hostage, wouldn’t she just jump in and slash all the other party members then release Elsword?
It was a ridiculous story, but it was totally possible with Elesis’ skills.
“Hostage negotiation would be futile….”
“I was talking to myself, don’t mind it.”
Add leaned his chin on his hands then looked at Elsword’s face sideways. Elsword looked distressed as he let his words trail as if he was groaning.
“I don’t know why. Big sister….. Everyone said Big sister was strong and she was actually strong. I was no match for her. That’s why I always wanted to become stronger than her, and on the other hand….. I was really proud of my Big sister who was stronger than me, who was stronger than anyone else.”
“She was so bright that just looking at her was blinding.”
Add didn’t sigh at Elsword’s gloomy words.
Those were words about his memories. Add wasn’t too interested…..but Add listening to this was better than Elsword telling this to Eve. On the other hand, each word Elsword spoke oozed out how precious Elesis was to him and how much he loved Elesis. Add didn’t want to interfere.
No matter who it is, you don’t interfere with these kinds of things.
“That’s why I wanted to become stronger. I wanted to fight side by side with Big sister. But…. If Big sister is on the Demons’ side, what am I supposed to do?”
“If you want list of choices, I’ll give them to you. First, run away from here. You didn’t hear anything or know anything.”
Elsword immediately shook his head to refuse. He finally encountered news about Elesis. He couldn’t run away knowing this. Not only that, righteous Elsword would never run away leaving the other Search Party members behind.
…..If it was Eve, wouldn’t she go with her? Add cut off the thought as it rose up from within him then presented Elsword with the next suggestion.
“Second, surrender yourself to the Demon army. Then you’ll be able to fight side by side with Elesis just as you wished. You probably would be in good standing in there if you became her subordinate. She did seem like she held a rather important position in their army.”
Judging by how she could command Glitter Vanguard freely or how the Demons left her alone to run amok as a solitarily unit, the Demon army must trust her quite a bit. Well, with that much skill, she probably has more value as a fighting force if they left her alone to run around freely by herself…..And you also had to wonder if there was even anyone amongst the Demons that could suppress her.
She was the worst possible enemy for Elrios, but would the Demons be able to blatantly trust D’s knight? They wouldn’t be able to trust her since someone who had betrayed once before could betray again.
Just when Add was dwelling in his thoughts, Elsword who kept a numb expression until now burst out in anger.
“…..Are you telling me, the Velder Kingdom’s knight to join the Demons? Those guys are disturbing Elrios!”
“Don’t say something that everyone already knows. I’m telling you to join Elesis. She’s just siding with the Demons. And I’m not sure but I don’t think her position in the Demon army as a human would be too good don’t you think so? You being beside her could be quite a help to her.”
Elsword’s face got swept up in disarray at Add’s words. Add smiled as he added.
“I won’t blame you even if you make this choice. Do what you would like.”
“…..Do you really want me to?”
Add shook his head bitterly at Elsword’s words that contained a suspicion and rage as if he was asking if Add was coaxing him into betraying.
“Didn’t I say it before? Ignore what anyone else says if it’s a path you chose in order to be with the person precious to you. Why do you care if Demons destroy Elrios? Isn’t being beside Elesis all that matters to you?”
Elsword clenched his fists and painfully bit his lower lip. A conflicted face, he probably can’t choose anything after being faced with his own sets of values and the truth that Elesis has joined the demons.
“If you don’t want to choose either of them, then here’s the final third choice. Someone told me that there are always three choices.”
It’s what that damned fox told him. Add smiled coldly as he clenched his fist tightly and held it up in front of his face.
“Fight Elesis and win, then bring her to our side.”
“You can do whatever you want when you win. If you don’t want to go join her, then win and bring her into the El Search Party.”
Elsword only blinked vacantly for a while. Then after a long pause, he finally must have understood what Add said and spoke with a dumfounded tone.
“Nonsense, if Big sister decides on something once, she won’t listen to what I….”
“That’s why you beat her down. Nothing beats a good whipping.”
When Add spoke about this ancient truth that had been passed down through generations, Elsword stared at Add with an appalled gaze as if he was asking how such a heinous and blasphemous thought could exist.
For Elsword, Elesis was…. absolute. He was like the sunflower looking up at the sun. He must have only looked at her and never have dreamed of standing in the same place as her.
No. standing in the same place was the boy’s dream.
Add had devalued Elsword on the outside, but he internally admitted Elsword’s skills. He had already saved Add’s life two times, and even without that, his sword skills and battlefield judgement was top notch. Considering his age, he will become stronger and stronger from now on.
The talk about how he would become stronger than Add after 1 year, those words couldn’t blindly be discarded as nonsense.
“Aren’t you the youngest knight ever in the Velder Kingdom?”
It was more than enough for Elsword to be proud of his own skills. But Elsword had never shown any signs of that. For example, during the previous timeline where Add wanted to make a bet about who could defeat more Glitter soldiers, didn’t Elsword answer that his skills were below Add’s without any hesitation?
Add had always looked down on him. He had evaluated that this little kid was acting out of his place. But the whole thing looked different now after hearing the story about Elesis.
It wasn’t because Elsword was proud of his skills that he was always trying to fight at the front head on.
He wants to become stronger quickly. That’s right; Add now realized the meaning behind what Rena had been saying time to time.
Elsword was desperate.
“Didn’t you want to be recognized by becoming stronger?”
He wanted to catch up to his big sister that everyone recognised and looked up to, his big sister who had the title of the strongest on her back. That’s why the boy endeavored with only a single mindset of becoming stronger.
He wasn’t satisfied no matter how stronger he became, he didn’t desire anyone else’s compliments, and only followed after the single person’s back.
Elsword didn’t say he wasn’t. After a long moment later, he saw Elsword’s chin nod ever so slightly. Add smiled.
This wasn’t a fake smile to show Elsword. Add smiled because he knew what was inside Elsword’s heart right now.
The heart Add himself had lost long ago was in front of his eyes right now.
“Then show how much stronger you’ve become to Elesis. Fight and win, then drag her back here. You can’t stand by idly and let the sister that you’re so proud of be used as a hound for the Demons right? The fact that she was on the Demons’ side can be dealt with by making up some reasonable excuses like she was brainwashed or something. Demon invasion will continue and her sins can be repaid with achievements. The fight will continue on so there will be plenty of chances for the strongest leader of the Red Knights to redeem herself.”
“There, that’s the third choice. What will you choose?”
With this, Add had used up all the methods Eun told him. But no matter what choice Elsword makes, Add was planning to respect his choice. Add himself was already ridiculing time, how can he blame Elsword for something so miniscule like surrendering himself to the Demon army? He would rather side with and try to understand him.
If maybe Elsword chooses the second choice…..would Eve also follow him? Wait, then shouldn’t I just join the Demon army too?
Add didn’t have too much interest about how the Demon army was running amok in Elrios. The reason Add was hostile to the Demons was because they were after the Queen of Nasods, Eve.
‘…..so, the El Search Party would get disbanded.’
If Elsword, Eve and Add go over to the Demon army, only Ara and Rena would remain. Ara could change her mind if she got carefully persuaded about how her older brother Ran was a Demon general. Not only that, Add didn’t know why Demons were trying to destroy Eve…. But they wouldn’t try to destroy her if she was an ally.
Except Rena, no, shouldn’t this problem be solved in an instant if they somehow persuaded even Rena and have the entire El Search Party join the Demons? Elesis was already like that, there shouldn’t be a reason why they won’t accept other people.
It was a solution that he had thought of randomly, but Add felt increasingly drawn by it.
Add delved into his thoughts as he stroked his chin and subtly hoped that Elsword would choose the second choice. Depending on Elsword’s choice right now, the result of most of the El Search Party joining the Demons could happen.
It was a very appealing solution.
“After I meet with Big sister tomorrow……I’ll listen to what she has to say. Then decide.”
“Fine, I’ll arrange the meeting myself.”
Telling him to decide tonight was too much. When Add accepted frankly, Elsword nodded with a troubled face then was about to turn around to leave…..then paused.
“Big brother Add, thank you for telling me about Big sister.”
“Kukuk, it’s nothing. It was a troubling matter on my side too.”
“Still, thank you.”
Elsword spoke those words then left the tent. Add who got left alone was about to think about the events of tomorrow, then Eun with her hands behind her back walked inside the tent with carefree strides.
From how it looked, she must have been waiting for the moment to come in.
“Did the talk go well?”
“What will Elsword choose?”
Eun shook her head at Add’s question.
“Didn’t I say before that the secrets of the universe should not be revealed so carelessly? Clairvoyant powers aren’t something that can be overused.”
Add wanted to prepare beforehand but he decided to let it pass. He’ll find out tomorrow anyways.
“Does boy feel that the choice joining the Demons is appealing?”
“Ghost or fox, just choose one.”
When Add responded in displeasure, Eun laughed quietly.
“Are you that scared to stand against Elly?”
They shouldn’t have to fight with Elesis if they joined the Demons. She was honestly an enemy that made your hair stand on ends. She closes in towards you despite how you had distanced yourself then tries to cut through your neck without taking any questions. It was stranger to not get scared.
Recalling it brings chills through his body.
“We lost even though we went in with a plan. You also said even you cannot guarantee a win against her.”
“You are acting like you’ll listen to me if I prophesized that you’d lose. I only presented the best possible solution I could think of. It’s not like I have a sure proof strategy. All I know is that when you continue to roll the dice called time travel, you sometimes get different types of numbers.”
“But if I said it like this, would boy criticise me for only trying to satisfy my own greed?”
Eun smiled as she moved her tail and covered Add’s eyes with it. Add had them closed anyways so nothing had changed much.
The soft sensation felt pleasant.
“But boy, there’s something you should not forget. The reason for your victory against Shadow Master wasn’t because you relied on my strength. Victory from that fight was the result of the El Search Party including the boy joining together and fighting as one. I only helped with the cleanup.”
“You’re saying something tiresome.”
If need be, he wanted to even borrow Eun’s power to take down Elesis. But Eun didn’t seem to have much intention of doing so.
Well, what Eun was saying did make sense.
“……So you’re doing this to make Elsword fight too.”
Elsword had been out of his mind during the first fight, and he was acting similarly in the second fight and only ended up becoming a meat shield.
So the El Search Party had never joined as one to stand against Elesis before.
The reason for Add creating this situation by painting over time and even getting reproached by Eve was…..to give Elsword the will to fight even if he was to go against Elesis.
“I won’t say that I’m not.”
So it means yes. Add finally understood as he nodded. They couldn’t defeat Elesis even though Rena, Ara, Add and Eve had fought together. Then they had to bring in Elsword as well and face Elesis by focusing the capabilities of the entire El Search Party.
They still couldn’t guarantee victory, but there was no other way than this.
“It would be easy if everyone just joined sides with the Demons.”
“You must be really scared of Elly.”
“I’m tired so get out now. I’ll sleep for a bit.”
El Search Party’s actions for the battle tomorrow had been decided but he still hasn’t given the Velder Liberation army his plan. Since he talked big during the strategy meeting, he should at least draw them a rough sketch.
But Add was tired because he acted unlike himself by telling Elsword various choices. He wanted to rest even for a bit.
“You were time traveling continuously so you must have not gotten any proper sleep. Have some rest for now.”
His consciousness faded. To the point where he couldn’t even think about removing the fox tail on top of his eyes.
When Add didn’t answer, Eun moved her other tails to cover Add in layers of tails. They felt like a soft blanket.
“I heard using my tails as a pillow feels quite pleasant.”
Flood rushing in, the string of tension snapped and Add fell into a far distant sleep.