Eve stayed and guarded beside Add for a while then she got up from her spot when Elsword called. They must all be playing volleyball.
But Add didn’t join in by saying he wasn’t feeling well.
“Okay, here I come! Hiyah!”
Instead, Aisha had joined in and was displaying fancy skills. Appearing at the left, appearing at the right….she was hitting scary spikes by restlessly teleporting.
“…..Isn’t that cheating?”
“We should limit the amount.”
They were playing far enough that you couldn’t even tell their expressions clearly, but Add could hear their conversations because he had sent one of the Dynamos.
Eve who on the opposite team gave an overwhelmed reaction and even Elsword who was on the same team as Aisha gave a same reaction as Eve. But Rena was responding to Aisha’s spikes easily as if they were no big deal. Well, even as how Add saw it, while Aisha’s teleports were dizzy, it was merely a trick to distract the eyes, it might be useful for defense, but it wasn’t a very effective maneuver for offense.
Aisha herself should know this as well since she’s smart. It looked like she was just running wild because she was having fun and wasn’t doing this particularly because she wanted to win.
“She looks normal when you see her like this.”
Add sighed as he went over the improved Void Impact that Aisha taught him. If you followed her formula, not only Void Impact, but the outputs of all other skills that used space and shockwaves would improve greatly.
After being taught by Aisha, Add could confidently say that he became 1.5 times, no to exaggerate, even 2 times stronger. But even so….
“I don’t know.”
He couldn’t think of a way to defeat Elesis. They needed the entire El Search Party’s full efforts to even defeat the form before she transformed. He couldn’t even begin to imagine how powerful she became after she transformed.
“We can’t win right now…..”
No matter how much he repeated his calculations, this wasn’t the time to fight. When Add was putting his hand on his forehead and letting out a sigh, he could feel a presence beside him. He turned around to see Ara who had brought a sunbed and was opening it.
White hair, and cute twitching fox ears on top, it wasn’t Ara. But she didn’t have tails for some reason.
When Add asked displeasingly, Eun looked around and slightly pulled on her swimsuit’s bottom piece to adjust its position. Add watched blankly at her finger’s movements then abruptly averted his gaze.
Eun didn’t mind Add’s reaction and smiled beamingly. She then stretched out her arms and legs as she laid frontwards on the sunbed. Looking at how she covered her mouth with her hands as she slightly yawned, she looked very leisurely.
“Everyone is playing, why doesn’t boy go join them as well?”
“Things that require me to move are tiresome. Also, what happened to your tail?”
“It gets heavy when it gets soaked in water. I’ll put it on right now if boy needs a pillow though.”
“Don’t make me laugh.”
Add instinctively let out an enraged voice. Then Eun who had been enjoying bathing in the sun opened one eye to look at Add.
“It looks like you are quite mad at me.”
It was obvious. According to Add’s deduction, Eun would have known at least about Elesis’ true abilities. That’s because….
“Didn’t you say that you’d trust me if you could win safely? I’d like boy to meekly open his heart to me now.”
He indeed said something like that before. When Add stared coldly, Eun spoke as she smiled beamingly.
“Isn’t everyone safe? Boy’s objectives have been accomplished with this.”
“…..You didn’t come out even when Ara was in danger.”
“That’s something Ara asked me separately. She said she wanted to handle much of the fight by herself as possible. I usually only lend my strength with Celesital Fox state.”
“I said, don’t make me laugh.”
When Add violently cut her off, Eun sighed then closed her eye.
“Getting so angry when we actually got to have a vacation for a change. Did boy develop a hobby for treating me with contempt?”
“About how Elesis wasn’t revealing her true abilities. You hid that from me even while I time traveled two times.”
“How can you say that? I might have not known. I’m telling you, it’s not like I…..”
“You would have at least known that. Why don’t you try recalling what you said?”
Add showed his teeth.
“Didn’t you say that you’d even take over Ara’s body and evacuate if her life was in danger? But you only watched even when Ara’s was in danger. That’s because fighting with Elesis’ 1st form wasn’t really dangerous.”
“You would have expected that her 2nd form where she released her true powers was the true danger. That we could somehow beat the 1st form but the 2nd form will be waiting for us right after, that if you really had to take over Ara’s body and evacuate, it’ll be because of the 2nd form.”
Add had thought from the start that they couldn’t defeat even the 1st from with just Ara’s strength alone. That’s why he thought he should bring Eun out instead.
The result was obvious After combining the fact that how Ara had decided to fight much as possible with her own strength and the Celestial Fox state’s mechanism where you could recover while fighting the enemy.
“That theory still has room for interpretations. I could have stayed back in order to improve Ara’s skills.”
“If you stepped up, there would have been numerous chances to beat the 1st form much easily.”
Actually, Add wasn’t interrogating with clear cut evidence either. He was basing this on circumstantial evidences. But what Eun said about how they weren’t guaranteed to defeat Elesis’ 1st form even if she joined in was nonsense.
If Eun had helped as well, defeating the 1st Elesis would have been much easier.
Thus, what Eun said about she couldn’t grantee a victory could only be seen as her putting the 2nd form into her calculation as well.
“Didn’t you say it yourself? That we couldn’t guarantee a victory against Elesis even if you stepped up. But only two conclusions can come from that if you restrict Elesis’ abilities to only her 1st form. Either what you said about not being able to guarantee a victory was a lie, or you knew that the 2nd form was waiting for us.”
Eun didn’t speak anymore. Add revealed all the rage he had withheld up till now.
“In the end, you knew that we would lose. That we could beat the 1st form but would lose against the 2nd…..”
“According to the timespace coordinates, that form of Elly is called Crimson Avenger. It’s hard to understand when you’re speaking in terms of 1st and 2nd.”
“…..That means you only stood by and watched even when you knew that we’d be driven into danger!”
Add ignored the nonsense she spoke and exploded in anger. But Eun replied calmly to Add’s interrogation.
“So, is there any problem with that?”
Add got up from his spot immediately.
He had tried to avoid forceful confrontations with Eun so far, but it was difficult to restrain himself anymore. Electric currents started flowing through the Dynamos. Since he also got a formula boost recently; he was going to fight today without any restraints.
I’ll hang you upside down and make you beg for your life!! When Add enflamed his will to fight, Eun opened her eyes narrowly to look at him then moved her hands.
Just when Add was about to quickly move his Dynamos, the attack that Eun launched surpassed his imaginations.
Her swimsuit’s top piece, she had unhooked the back hook of the swimsuit that had been covering the breasts. Amidst the sound of electric currents, Add blinked while thinking if his hearing was mistaken.
Just what was she doing in this explosive situation?
“A mark would remain on the back if I tanned like this. It would be a bad thing to do to Ara.”
“Hmm? Why is boy standing like that? So you want to have a go without any restraints? Well, there’s no reason not to play along with some anger venting.”
“What are you doing?!”
Add got flustered and backed off when Eun tried to get up from the sunbed as she was now. But he backed off around two steps then got his cool-head back. He glared at Eun with displeasure and rage. Eun had gotten up barely to the point where it looked really dangerous and was smiling sluggishly while observing him with narrow eyes.
“Is there any problems, boy?”
Eun was acting slyly as if she didn’t know anything. But there was no way she actually didn’t know. If he attacks Eun now….her upper body that’s not wearing anything will get revealed.
No, why was someone who even has the skills escaping with this kind of shameful method? Add’s blood boiled but he withdrew his Dynamos.
First of all, it was something he couldn’t do to Ara. It was annoying to the point where he wanted to hang Eun upside down and pull out hairs on her tail one by one. But he didn’t have any particular grudge against Ara.
“That’s enough, stop going so far with Ara’s body.”
“That’s why I’m only moderately exaggerating the breasts. It’s much more amazing if I do it properly.”
Let’s just stop talking. When Add displeasingly continued to glare, Eun laughed slyly then nodded slightly.
“That’s right, boy. Boy’s assumptions are all correct. I knew beforehand that Elly didn’t release her true powers. Boy’s judgemental ability in finding this out just from couple circumstances and words passing by is quite surprising. It’s as expected of the brain of the El Search Party.”
“Stop playing innocent, why didn’t you tell me beforehand?”
“Let me ask you instead, what would have changed if I told you?”
Eun withdrew her mischievousness then asked. Add was about to answer then paused.
“The result wouldn’t have changed. Boy should already be feeling this as well. That no strategies will work on Elly’s true abilities. That no matter how superior boy’s brain is, no matter how many times boy challenged by rewinding time, that he wouldn’t have ever been able to surpass that giant wall.”
“Doesn’t boy know down to his bones already? That’s why you would have been tempted by the choice of joining the Demons.”
“I would have just made use of the Demons if necessary.”
Add answered bluntly but her indication was correct. Soon as Add witnessed Elesis’ skills…..he couldn’t even think about how to handle her.
Others could do their best in their positions, but coming up with the plan was Add’s task.
If the El Search Party loses, that’s because Add made an error in his plan.
It had become like this even before he realized. This was partly because Add’s brain was superior, but it was also because he knew what would happen already. If Add wanted to prevent the undesirable future that was approaching them, it was correct for him to take the strategist role by coming up with plans and making the Search Party listen to his plans.
Wasn’t it because the other members had unquestionably listened to Add’s request that they could give up the diversionary tactics with the Velder Liberation army and focus on Elesis?
Although they still lost in the end.
Add felt vexed and rolled his hands up into fists. Just like Eun said, it wasn’t something that would have changed even if he knew beforehand. At first, he was angry that Eun had kept her mouth shut despite knowing everything, but he had no choice but to accept it now.
Nothing would have changed.
“So there was no way for us to win against Elesis.”
“At this point, yes.”
Add raised his head. Eun who was resting her chin on her hands while lying on the sunbed with her back completely exposed was looking at him with a bewitching smile.
Add knew that he would get dragged around by her again if he asked this, but he couldn’t help but to ask.
“Is there a way for us to win from now on?”
“It’s difficult to tell you without anything in return.”
Eun spoke this then held up some tube with her thumb and index finger.
“Rub some sun cream on the back. Then I’ll listen to your request.”
He shouldn’t have asked.
“Rub some sun cream on the back. Then I’ll listen to your request.”
“Why are you saying you’ll tell me if I do something like this?”
“Shall we say that it’s a type of ceremony for reconciliation? I want to loosen boy’s anger a bit.”
Add reluctantly grabbed the sun scream. He knew how to use it…… But was she really telling him to do this?
“You have to do it using your hands. Don’t think of doing it half-heartedly. Please put it on every inch, without any missing spots.”
I should just splash this on her head. Add even got impulse of wanting to do this because his insides boiled up… But this whitely dyed hair was actually Ara’s.
How dumfounding would it be if something like that happened to you when you were asleep?
In the end, the fundamental problem as to why Add always got dragged around by Eun was because Eun didn’t care at all about Ara’s well being. No, it did look like she cared…..but she glosses over parts that she should be concerned about. There were much more cases where Add who was watching got startled instead and didn’t know what to do.
If the person that was lying on the sunbed revealing her back right now was Ara, it wouldn’t be strange if she fainted from embarrassment.
Since Ara was to a point where she couldn’t step out easily because she was quite embarrassed about just wearing a swimsuit.
“I’ll request you to put it on every inch carefully.”
“Don’t make me laugh.”
Add made his decision and threw the sun cream back at Eun. Eun caught the sun cream flying at her without even looking then narrowed her eyes.
“Doesn’t boy want to know the way to win?”
“That’s Ara’s body. Stop fooling around with it so much.”
“Hmm, boy is caring about Ara’s well being now? How condescending of you after pushing her into the perilous front line.”
“Having Ara in the front line is what I ordered Ara to do. If you have any complaints then say them separately. Don’t mix them up.”
Add clearly drew the line then glared at Eun. If he gave into Eun’s enticement here and obediently followed her instructions….well, he could probably obtain the information he needed.
But wasn’t that touching someone’s body while its owner was asleep? Ara, or anyone else, he didn’t want to commit such a thievery.
If he really needs to, he’ll take them fair and square. Hiding and stealing like a cowards wasn’t Add’s way of doing things!
“If you really hold Ara dear, then you shouldn’t be offering this kind of deals. It seems you lived for too long that you don’t know about human embarrassment and humiliation. Should I educate you straightly so that even a fox can understand?”
“Hmm, boy getting serious has a different taste to it.”
Eun didn’t show particular unrest even though her offer got refused. Rather, she seemed to be glad by Add’s serious reaction and was even making a satisfied smile.
“Fine, good. Why shouldn’t I speak a word for the boy when he treasures Ara this dearly? Alright, what do you want to find out from this fox Celestial Spirit who’s lived for thousand years that she can see through the order of heaven and earth?”
Wasn’t this the first time she was so pleased like this? Add looked at her very suspiciously but it looked like she was really overjoyed.
……He didn’t know why, but getting mad must have brought out a positive result.
Anyways, this was the first time Eun was saying she’d give out information this freely. When Add hesitated to think about what to ask, Eun pulled out one of her tails to tickle his stomach.
Add got distracted during his thought so he twitched his fingers. Then the Dynamo fired a shockwave towards the tail. But the tail Eun had pulled out had already disappeared without a trace.
“Don’t distract me in my thoughts. It won’t end with just the tail next time.”
“I did it because I’m feeling joyful. You should just play along too. Anyways, boy is way too finicky. You’d be a lot cuter if you went along with my jokes accordingly.”
Eun muttered but didn’t tease him anymore. She narrowed her eyes then spoke with a tone as if she was reminiscing about a far past.
“We lost…..huh? Boy became able to say some good words now.”
Ignoring Eun’s unknown words, Add repeatedly struggled in his mind then made his decision. There were many things he needed to know but let’s first deal with the problem that’s right in front of him.
“So, how can we defeat Elesis?”
“Yes, the answer is simple. You just have to become strong enough to beat Elly.”
“I’ll rip your ears off if you are joking around.”
“Didn’t boy already become sufficiently stronger after getting taught from Aisha?”
She already knew. She’s really a ghost after all.
“Boy right now can probably deal with Shadow Master on his own easily. You’re lacking self-recognition that you became stronger.”
Eun spoke tiredly while still lying down forwards with her back bathing in sunlight.
“Other members are the same. They all have a chance to become stronger. All you have to do this grab that chance…..then fight. Just like how Elsword became stronger.”
“I’m asking for a definite answer.”
Add’s voice heated up.
“You’ll find out about the big picture soon. I’ll tell you about the small pictures from beside you.”
“…..Is that all you’re going to tell me?”
“Don’t be so hasty. You can’t expect the rice to cook without lighting the fire.”
Add couldn’t understand what Eun was muttering. It seemed for a moment that Eun’s heavy lips had finally opened, but all that came out were bizarre words.
Should he at least be glad that she did somewhat answer like she said she would?
It felt enraging since the answer was below expectations. But there was no particular choice. If there’s someone that can see out into the future, the best course of action would be to listen to that person to overcome the events to come.
Eun must have read Add’s thoughts because she shook her head.
“Don’t try to rely on me too much. Boy is already doing plenty well.”
“Who said I’m relying on you? I only bothered myself to chat with you for a bit.”
“Yes, that attitude right now is perfect. If you cling to me too much….. You’ll regret it enormously later.”
Eun’s bitter words, her words continued even before Add could question her about what they meant.
“I’m doing this so no one would cry. So don’t be so mad at me.”
“It doesn’t matter if you hate me because I keep talking in circles or because I always joke around….. But it’s kind of sorrowful seeing boy show this much hot tempered reaction.”
Her drooped down fox ears were conveying her feelings.
“Do you think I was overjoyed to see you all lose to Elly? Do you think I had no desires of wanting to get out there and swing the spear as well?”
“If you really were, then give some proper information…..”
“Boy’s action changes if I reveal information. Then the future I’ve seen becomes useless.”
Add was about to refute but paused. What Eun said was pointing at a dilemma.
“Wait, then, could it be…..?”
“Didn’t I say from the start that the future isn’t something that’s set in stone? We are merely tossing dices.”
Eun let out a tired voice.
“Being suspected by people that I’m plotting something against them, that I’m an evil Specter, this happened almost more times than the amount of hairs on my tail. Well fine, but I didn’t tell them everything even if I knew. Even this time, I wanted a result where everyone was still alive even if we were to lose against Elly. That’s why I hid Elly’s true might from the boy.”
“Why do you think that is?”
When Add didn’t answer, Eun answered her own question.
“If boy knew that there was no chance to win and only a chance of total annihilation awaited, then he would have tried with all his might to avoid the fight itself. You wouldn’t have accepted easily the words telling you to fight in order to lose. Especially since it was a fight where everyone’s life could be in danger.”
“You have to beat the iron to make it strong.”
Unlike the usual Eun, it somehow felt like she was putting in a lot of effort to justify herself. It felt like she was examining Add’s thoughts. And Add also….thought that Eun’s words were reasonable.
Add had desperately tried to beat Elesis and wouldn’t have easily accepted it even if Eun had told him he couldn’t defeat her. Even if he accepted it, then he would have prioritized a method that didn’t confront Elesis.
Eun was probably reluctant about this choice as well.
“I have nothing else to say if boy still hates me after this ….”
“I don’t have any emotions to waste on you. I only prioritize in my goal.”
“Does boy still desire the girl’s Core?”
“Do I have to explain that in detail to you?”
Eun would have normally replied with a tease but she didn’t answer for some reason. That bothered Add so he spoke strongly.
“You should know that this is something inevitable if you already know about my goal. I’ll end this time in a way that I can accept it. That’s all there is. Is there something else you want to say?”
“Ah, come to think of it…..”
Eun who looked like she had been listening quietly suddenly smiled enchantingly.
“The way for the girl to become stronger than right now is…..”
“What was it again? I think I can almost recall it.”
Eun bit her index finger then sent him a provocative gaze. Add clenched his fist then suppressed the desire of wanting to hit her. He couldn’t help but to get angry when someone who’s been acting as if she was begging him to understand her was now provoking him like this.
He was dumb to have tried to understand her even by little. Add suppressed his temper and spoke with a lowest voice possible.
“What do you want now?”
“I can’t reach so please on the back……”
“I’ll refuse. Don’t bring that up again. More of all, Eve getting stronger will only get in my way. Don’t you think that the condition of this deal is strange?”
Add spoke strongly.
“Eve is fine as she is right now. I just need to solve things myself by getting stronger.”
“Huhuhu, you’re correct. How could I have made such a mistake?”
Eun seemed to nod in agreement then smiled beamingly.
“Let’s consider this negotiation broken.”
Woosh, a sudden cold wind seemed to breeze by then Ara’s hair got dyed in black. Then an innocent gaze looked at him, Add froze after making eye contact.
Ara got startled then looked around. She then turned back to look at Add again then got even more startled. When Ara quickly tried to get up, Add turned his head around abruptly then shouted.
“Don’t get up like that!!”
Ara finally realized that the top piece of her swimsuit was unhooked then covered with her arms as she sat down on the sunbed. It would have been better if she just dropped on the sunbed instead. But it seemed her thoughts couldn’t reach that far so she was covering with her arms instead.
“…..I’m telling you this right now. This has nothing to do with me.”
“I, I know. B, but can you not look this way?”
Add turned around as she said, no he even covered his face with his palm then let out a sigh. There had been various circumstances with Eun before. But there were no cases where Ara had found out. How was he going to wrap this up now?
Sound of moving was heard from behind him then Ara spoke with a quiet voice.
“…..It’s fine now, Mr.Add.”
No, wouldn’t it be better to just leave this place? Well, it’s too late to run away now. Add thought this as he turned around. Ara bowed her head politely.
“I’m sorry, Lord Eun must have played some kind of prank. You must have been really troubled.”
“I’ll get mad at Lord Eun later. So please don’t mind it.”
Add sighed then shook his head when Ara looked like she didn’t know what to do. It was very obvious that this wasn’t something to scold Ara for.
Also, Ara went through so many hardships during the struggle against Elesis. Add had made an unreasonable request to her by having her face Elesis alone until Elsword made up his mind, Add did feel a bit sorry about this.
“It was nothing. You should not mind it as well. Since its going get annoying otherwise.”
“It seems you kept Lord Eun company.”
Ara had a bit fearful expression then asked carefully. It seemed Eun who went back after giving up control was telling Ara about what happened.
“I’m sorry for bothering you. So instead, I’ll help with rubbing this sun cream on Mr.Add back!”
“…..I don’t need it at all.”
“It’s really okay so please don’t refuse! Mr.Add’s skin is very light so it will be bad for you like this.”
Ara held the tube tightly while looking straightly at Add as if she won’t let it end like this.
“Mr.Add went through many troubles too. So please rest even if it’s just for a moment.”
Well, that was somewhat correct. Wasn’t today’s vacation time a collaborative effort between Aisha and Add? Although the time he spent with Eve was relaxing, his heart had to suffer quite a bit from it. Also, his emotions fluctuated so much during his conversation with Eun that he was a bit tired now.
“……If you insist that much, then go ahead.”
His skin getting tanned will get annoying as well. So it didn’t matter if he was just lending his back for a bit. And Ara was also burning with a desire of wanting to rub sun cream on Add’s back…..
“Okay, please lie down carefully.”
Add obediently lied down on the sunbed just as Ara instructed. He could see Eve, Elsword, Rena and Aisha in the middle of playing volleyball far away. There must have been some kind of agreement because Aisha wasn’t using teleports anymore.
They look so friendly with each other. After he gets some sun cream on him…. should he go join them too?
Add narrowed his eyes as he got soaked in a rare moment of peace then thought things that he wouldn’t have normally thought. Then Ara who had finished her preparations made a strange sound.
Sound of gathering energy, Add momentarily couldn’t comprehend this situation while a chill went down his spine. Ara was mistaken about something again!! She’s about to do something stupid!!!
The problem was that he was the target. Add turned pale from fear and tried to escape as fast as possible but Ara’s reaction speed was faster.
“Ah! It will be bad if it misses so don’t move, Mr.Add! Here I go!!”
Ara’s palm filled with her concentrated shout powerfully smacked Add’s back.
Dramatic sound effect and a soundless scream rang across the beach.