I guess translating the last section in this chapter counts as my Elsword Valentine’s day contribution?
Beach after the sunset.
The El Search Party sat around and quietly ate dinner. Cooked vegetables and meat that Angkor cooked continued to get placed on their dishes. Good quality ingredients must have been used because it tasted good. No one complained.
And Add couldn’t even move his finger properly due to the back pain. It stung whenever he moved.
“…..A, Are you alright Mr.Add?”
Add was about to shoot back a glare but frowned instead when Ara beside him asked. What kind of phenomenon was this? It hurt whenever he moved.
“If it’s difficult for you then I’ll feed you instead! Here, say Ahh!”
“Don’t. I’m not that hungry anyways.”
Even talking causes his back muscle to ache. When Add averted his head from the meat Ara held out to him, Ara made a depressed face and only looked down at her knee. She looked very discouraged…..but she still ate the large piece of meat she tried to feed Add.
She looked depressed even while chewing. It was getting difficult to ignore so Add spoke first.
“Just what did you hear to make you smash down on my back?”
“She said Mr.Add’s back muscle was tensed so in order to loosen it……”
“Stop trusting what that fox says so easily.”
It’s useless to blame Ara who was just tricked. But Ara sternly shook her head at Add’s advice.
“Lord Eun plays mean pranks from time to time, but she’s still a good person.”
Will you still be able to say that if you knew what she did with your body up till now? Those words almost came out from Add’s mouth but he didn’t say more.
He didn’t like the atmosphere right now. Everyone was sitting together, then why were only Ara and Add talking with a low voice right now? Elsword was silently eating. Rena and Eve also didn’t say anything as they ate.
Even Aisha sitting in the corner seat had her eyes facing down and didn’t say anything. Add thought there must have been some kind of argument while they were playing volleyball but there were no such signs from the conversations that Dynamo had relayed to him.
Everyone’s atmosphere had turned solemn after playing energetically together.
“What is this?”
Add couldn’t bear to watch anymore and opened his mouth. They were playing so cheerfully during the day but went back to this atmosphere soon as the sun set. He didn’t like this at all.
His displeasure overtook his back pain and he couldn’t help but to speak.
“Did somebody die? Why is everyone so quiet?”
“Didn’t Mr.Add dislike noisy places?”
He ignored Ara asking while tilting her head and glared once at Eve, Rena and finally Elsword. Saying something like this wasn’t like him and it was true that he didn’t like rowdy atmosphere but this kind of sunken atmosphere was annoying in its own way.
“Is playing for a day not enough? Should we play tomorrow too? What are you all so dissatisfied about? Why are you all just sitting there looking dejected?”
Everyone stopped eating and looked at Add. He was quite reluctant to do this when he started, but his words didn’t stop soon as he opened his mouth.
“Is losing against Elesis the problem here? Everyone is alive right now right? Isn’t that enough?”
Rena called calmly but Add didn’t even pretend to listen. He couldn’t bear to leave this miserable scene alone anymore.
It was the present he worked so hard to achieve; he had to pull out every stops to keep the El Search Party safe. But this is the result he gets?
Was this the feeling of a parent watching the child they raised so preciously after doing everything they could for the child, only to see their child merely stay seated weakly in the corner of the room and just stay breathing?
“Are we going to end it like this? Should we have the El Search Party disbandment ceremony right here? Should we all just disband and go our own ways?”
“How long are you all going to stay down like this? Let’s just quit everything and separate if you’re going to be like this after just losing once. I don’t have any regrets either! Anyone who wants to leave should just leave right now! I won’t hold you back from leaving because you’re scared!”
It’s so irritating.
“But aren’t you guys….. mad?”
“Aren’t you guys mad about running away like the defeated dog with its tail tucked in? Why are you all acting as if the sky is collapsing over just losing once?”
Yes, this was something only Add could say. It must be difficult and painful for them all. They shouldn’t be able to figure out what to do and only wallow in self-hatred and feeling of helplessness after realizing all the way up to their bones that their skills aren’t enough.
Add clenched his fists tightly after recalling how Elsword was crying soundlessly.
That feeling of helplessness, sense of defeat, Add had already experienced that bitterly up till now. How much had he struggled in order to save Eve only to experience frustration and despair? He knew how cruel it was to urge someone who’s in a state of dejection to stop whining and get up. Add would have also given up everything as well and broke down if Eun wasn’t there at that time.
Telling someone who’s worn out to stand up once more is a cruel thing to do.
“Fine, is it fun licking each other’s wounds like this? Kukukuk, is it fun?”
“How long are you going to lick each other’s wounds until you’re satisfied?! You idiots!! Are you going to let it end like this?”
But comforting them didn’t suit Add. Some other soft hearted people can comfort each other.
If someone hands out a candy, then someone else has to give the whip.
He couldn’t let this present that he had finally achieved to degrade into something unsightly like this.
“If we lost this time, then we just have to win next time!!”
He didn’t even need to turn back time this time. Since everyone survived. So they can just collect their strengths again then challenge again. Then win.
After letting out his rage, Add was about to stand up with his fists clenched when Elsword who had put down his spoon stood up first. Add who got his initiative taken looked at Elsword in an awkward position. Others were still sitting down as they looked up at Elsword.
Elsword didn’t open his mouth immediately and turned his head to look towards the sea for a moment. But no one urged Elsword to speak, not even Add.
Elsword took a deep breath then turned his gaze around again to look towards the El Search Party.
“I’m sorry everyone.”
This guy, again? Add boiled up in anger but that wasn’t the end of Elsword’s words.
“Everyone knew that I’ll end up fighting Big Sister, everyone trusted me and helped me so I could fight. But I still couldn’t win.”
“…..It’s not like you couldn’t win.”
Add got annoyed and threw his words bluntly.
He still didn’t say that his plan was the one that was wrong because it would only feel like they are licking each other’s wounds again.
“I don’t know why Big Sister is on the Demon’s side and why she is pointing her sword at us. Even if I tried to talk….Big Sister probably won’t tell me. Since actions come first for her.”
That’s why I’m going to fight Big Sister with my sword again and win. I’ll listen to the answer from Big Sister after. That’s the conclusion I’ve come to.”
Elsword quietly clenched his fists then revealed his determination.
“I couldn’t win this time, but I’ll win next time for sure. So everyone, please lend me your strengths.”
“You’re saying something unnecessary like an idiot again.”
“Yes, I’ll help.”
“Yes! I also want to contest my strength against Ms.Elesis one more time!”
Other members each responded to Elsword’s words.
Geez, this guy is popular in this group after all. Just when Add muttered while feeling his mind ease….. Elsword spoke again.
“I’ll be relying on you as well when that time comes, Big Brother Add.”
“…..There are only idiots here so I have no choice but to use my brain.”
No one retorted when Add mocked. It was something he said to get them angry so he felt awkward when there were no reactions.
“Alright, it’s good that you guys are determined. But what will you do next?”
Aisha who had been listening without saying a word threw a question that broke the atmosphere. It was a sound that felt like it had dumped a bucket of cold water on the El Search Party just when they were finally starting to recover their mood.
But the words that Aisha threw at them were very sharp and realistic.
“You guys can’t defeat Elesis and Demons that have captured Velder as you guys are right now. So you all figured out your place. We’ll win next time, constructing a future-oriented goal like this is fine. But do you guys have any detailed plans?”
Gazes that had been examining each other all faced towards Add in the end.
But bitterly, Add didn’t have any realistic alternatives either.
Should they go into some deep mountain and train for a while? But they couldn’t let the Demon army run amok for too long.
“What? You guys had a ‘unite together’ rally first without any plans?”
“Will you help us too?”
Aisha made an extremely surprised face at Elsword’s question then she quickly waved her hand.
“H, help? Who said I’m going to help?! Why should I have to join the likes of you guys and help?”
“Because you already helped us. I think it will be reassuring if you are together with us.”
Aisha acted like she didn’t know what to do. She then became angry all of a sudden.
“D, don’t say something stupid! Stop always trying to blindly borrow someone else’s strength and try to solve it by yourselves!”
“It seems you have something in mind. Hurry up and say it, I’ll bother to listen to it now.”
It wasn’t intentional but Add joined in on the conversation to help Elsword out. For some reason, Aisha was showing quite a disoriented reaction from Elsword’s request. She refused in an instant when Add had requested but she acted like she didn’t know what to do when Elsword had requested.
Was this guy popular with the people other than the party members as well?
Add suspiciously stole a glance at Elsword but whatever the reason was, this was a good chance. Let’s find out whatever he can while Aisha is disturbed.
“Listen? What do you mean by listen? Why are you acting so confidently?”
“Is there a way?”
When Elsword asked, Aisha stopped in the middle of letting out her temper then frowned. Aisha finally sighed then lightly snapped her finger. Then gems the size of a person’s hand started to float around her.
Beach at night, as if the stars had descended, lights sprayed out brightly amidst the darkness where there had been no light sources except for the bonfire.
Rena recognised what the gems circling around Aisha were and let out a quiet groan.
The numbers of El were 4. They each had red, orange, pink and purple colors. At Aisha’s hand gesture, each El flew slowly towards the El Search Party.
Red went to Elsword, orange to Ara, pink to Eve and finally the purple came towards Add.
They all looked down mesmerized at the shining Els that had flown to in front of their chests. Ara was stroking it in amazement.
“Wow! It’s so warm…..”
“Why are you giving these to us?”
Giving the El to the El Search Party should normally mean to request them to return these to their original places. But there was no reason to hand them out separately if she was asking for them to do this.
“I’m presenting these Els that I specially processed to you all. Their tentative names are Memory of Time and Space. You guys will be able to look upon a higher stage the moment those Els resonate with your souls.”
“Can I become stronger if I have this?”
Ara asked while still bewildered.
“I don’t know either.”
Aisha replied coldly.
“If you guys strongly wish to become stronger, then at some moment those Els might answer to you. Then the path might open.”
“It only sounds like a fraud.”
Add criticised but Eve was already storing the El. Ara was holding her El tightly and was praying with her eyes closed.
“That’s no use. Resonation of soul isn’t something that’s easy. You need an intense desperation.”
“So what are you going to make us do after giving us these?”
Just as Add had deduced, Aisha didn’t protect the El Search Party for no reason. She made Elesis back off, gave them leisure to collect their minds and even gave them these special Els. Having the El Search Party drive off the Demons must be her goal.
“There’s no use going back to Velder right now. Go to Hamel, the capital of the principality of Senace. Make the Velder Kingdom’s knights there withdraw. Then Vanessa will be able to get a breather and it will be a great help in defeating the Demons in Velder. I’ll keep the Velder’s Demons at bay until then.”
“Ah, so there weren’t enough forces because they sent them to Hamel.”
Elsword nodded as if he finally understood. There were differences in time for each area of Elrios that the Demon attacked.
Demons had first endangered Hamel. So Hamel sent out a request for reinforcements to the nearby nation of Velder. But when those reinforcements had left for Hamel, the Velder Kingdom got raided by Demons as well. That was why Velder was in a sorry state it is right now.
“Alright, we’ll go.”
Add understood the situation and agreed. There was no way they’d win if they went back to Velder right now to fight Elesis again.
It should be advantageous to go to Hamel first to gather reinforcements, and then have the final confrontation in Velder.
Everyone agreed to Add’s decision and nodded.
“Then help us by teleporting us there.”
“There’s no need to hurry. Go clean up the rooms you all used first, you should do at least that much for letting you stay right?”
“Yes, let’s do that.”
Others all nodded in agreement to Rena’s words. Everyone was about to go back to their lodge when Aisha grabbed Elsword’s sleeve while being careful so the others wouldn’t notice.
“Wait, I have something left to say to you so stay here.”
Elsword tilted his head because he couldn’t understand. But Aisha spoke again with a very nervous expression.
“I have something to say to you.”
Elsword stopped his steps and quietly looked out towards the night’s ocean. Aisha quietly waited for the time to pass.
Elsword spoke when the others going back to the lodge couldn’t be seen anymore.
“Can’t you say it now?”
Aisha still grabbing onto Elsword’s sleeve sighed as if she was quite hesitant.
“First, keep this a secret. You can’t tell this to anyone, even Eve.”
“Why? What is it?”
“Promise me first. Didn’t you forget that I saved you from Big Sister Elly?”
Elsword got startled when Elesis was mentioned but still nodded to agree. Aisha finally seemed to have made up her mind as she pulled out a pair of rings then put it on top of her palm.
She then grabbed one of those and held it out towards Elsword.
“This ring, keep it on from now on.”
Elsword took it and looked at it to see that it was a beautifully crafted ring. There were quite a bit of power emanating from it. It must not be a normal ring considering how a powerful magician like Aisha would hand it over personally.
Elsword nodded and tried to put away the ring inside his chest. Then Aisha got angry and kicked his shin.
“Ow! Why did you kick me?!”
“I told you to keep it on, not keep it inside your chest! Do you have your finger on your chest?!”
Because Aisha nitpicked impudently, Elsword frowned and examined the ring again. Elsword was a guy so he didn’t have any reason to wear a ring. Not only that, he was a swordsman.
“How am I going to swing my sword with this uncomfortable thing on my finger?”
“……Are you going to keep making a lady angry?”
When Aisha spoke threateningly, Elsword muttered as he brought himself to try and put on the ring.
He tried to put it on his index finger but it didn’t fit.
“Not there, on the ring finger, your fourth finger. Ah, geez!!”
Aisha got annoyed and could bear to watch anymore. She grabbed Elsword’s hand then personally placed the ring on his finger. Elsword frowned at the sudden feeling of irritation on his hand and tried to fix the ring’s position…..But it didn’t even move an inch.
“…..Why won’t it come off?”
“Hohoho, do you really think that’s going to come off? That’s a ring this Great Aisha had specially crafted so it will never come off if you put it on once! I took an extra care since you might take it off merely because it’s bothersome before you sleep then wake up only to lose it the day after!”
When Aisha spoke proudly, Elsword gave up taking the ring off and asked.
“Why are you giving this to me?”
“It’s a special ring that I crafted as a pair. Special protective and transmitting power activates when the owners are wearing it. So when you and I are wearing these, I can find out if you are in danger. I can’t move carelessly because of circumstances but if you really are in danger, then I’ll come to help you.”
Aisha raised her index finger then put it in front of her lips.
“You have to absolutely keep this a secret from the others. Especially to Add. Since he’ll obviously try to manipulate it. This is a secret only between the two of us, you and me. Promise me again.”
“Yes, I got it.”
“You can’t even tell this to Eve. It’s a promise!”
Elsword nodded when Aisha repeatedly requested.
“I got it, I won’t tell it to anyone.”
“I’ll keep it since it’s a promise I made with Big Sister’s friend.”
Aisha’s expression turned vague at Elsword’s answer. A face as if she was glad yet disappointed.
“…..So you won’t say since it’s a promise you made with me anymore.”
“No, it’s a story that you don’t need to know. A story that only I need to know.”
Aisha unconsciously shook her head and waved hand. This caused Aisha’s portion of the ring to fall to the ground. Aisha quickly tried to bend down to pick it up but Elsword picked it up faster.
“Here, hold out your hand.”
“Didn’t you say that you need to keep it on as well? I’ll put it on for you.”
Aisha’s face abruptly reddened at the words that Elsword said without much thought. She looked like she didn’t know how to react then she finally turned around and shouted.
“Wait a moment, Job Change!!”
Aisha’s body shined with gold light then her appearance that appeared after was completely different.
Until just now she wore revealing attire with her belly exposed. But now she didn’t have any exposures except her legs. Not only that, but her hair was neatly tied down so although her face was the same, her impression had completely.
If just before was a lively and provocative magician, this was now a neat and elegant magician.
“……Please do it in this appearance.”
Elsword was surprised at Aisha’s sudden change in appearance but didn’t ask for details. He thought that she transformed like this because she’s such a powerful magician. Not only that, but it was easier to understand since he had already seen Elesis transform.
The hand held out towards him after taking the glove off. Elsword put the ring on Aisha’s ring finger. The beach in a moonlight night, only the sound of waves lingered around the two of them.
“Alright, it’s done.”
Aisha raised her hand to look up at the ring on her ring finger with a faint gaze. It was a bitter and sorrowful, yet joyous gaze.
“So we can contact each other if we have this right?”
“…..Only I’m able to know how you are doing.”
“Why don’t you join the El Search Party too if you are that worried? Can’t we go together?”
Aisha weakly shook her head at the words Elsword spoke without any regard. Elsword became confused and asked again.
“Hey, are you crying?”
“…..No, your eyes must have been mistaken.”
Aisha wiped her eyes with the back of her hand then looked at Elsword affectionately. Elsword scratched his head while looking troubled then stretched out his hand.
“Let’s just go together. I’m worried about you.”
“…..I’m fine by myself.”
Aisha murmured weakly. Elsword was about to say something but Aisha firmly refused this time.
“Thank you for asking me to come together with you. But I can’t right now. I can’t in this time.”
“It really made me happy.”
Aisha back stepped as she smiled. Elsword instinctively knew that wasn’t a simple smile but he didn’t know what he should say.
The magician with the bright white moon, the dark blue ocean on her back was smiling ever so sadly.
The girl was joyous yet sad.
“Go now, you can’t stay here anymore.”
“What are you….”
Elsword’s form disappeared just when Aisha waved her hand with a one sided goodbye. She had teleported him. She sent him to Hamel.
It wasn’t just Elsword, she sent the entire El Search Party. Now the only human remaining in this island was Aisha alone.
Aisha stood blankly by herself on the beach then let out a thin sigh as she slowly turned her head.
“Stop hiding there and come out Chloe who I really hate. Although it’s not like I hate you for any other reason than being on the Demon’s side.”
Sound of rustling leaves was heard then Dark Elves started appearing. Roughly couple hundreds of them. How had they not known when such a large number hand infiltrated the island?
The answer was simple, they had just arrived using teleport.
Commander Chloe, the leader of the Dark Elves looked at Aisha as she spoke.
“Where did you send the El Search Party?”
“Stop the chat. I’m not in the mood for it right now.”
Aisha spoke bitterly then looked down towards the tip of her feet. She was in a completely defenceless position but Dark Elves did not let their guard down.
They couldn’t let their guards down against the purple magician that had appeared abruptly to lock down the Velder’s battlefront.
“It’s already obvious seeing how you came out breaking through my Dimension barrier. Your position would have dropped down low when I appeared to take care of Velder. As a general of the army that captured Velder, you probably requested to personally take care of me in order to save face right?”
At Aisha words that saw through everything, Chloe didn’t say it wasn’t. Aisha slowly turned around. What was hanging near her lips was a cold mocking smile.
“But no one must have told you who I am. If you were even a bit of an important strength to them then they would have stopped you facing the Dimension Princess without knowing your place.”
“Where did you hide the El Search Party you took with you?”
“I already sent them away so you can’t follow them. And you won’t be able to follow them. Since I’m in front of you right now.”
Chloe frowned at this haughty word. There were hundreds of her subordinates standing ready. It shouldn’t be hard to take care of Aisha if she just gave the order. But she felt somehow uneasy.
Why was she acting so confident in front of the hundreds of elite Dark Elf squad?
“It’s not like I’m doing this because I like it.”
“It’s not like I’m fighting alone separated by myself because I like it.”
Aisha spoke to herself then held up her hand in front of her eyes. Ring that shined from being reflected by the moonlight, its other half wasn’t here in this place anymore.
Aisha had personally pushed his back to send him away.
“This is something that I chose for myself…….. There are too many things that I’ve lost to say this. Original memories, there’s someone else in the place where I should have been and my old friends don’t even recognise me. Do you know how that feels?”
“You won’t know how it feels to look at even a precious promise disappear to only remain as a vague afterimage.”
Aisha grabbed her staff then looked towards the Dark Elves. There wasn’t even a reason to enflame her will to fight.
“But even so, even though everyone had forgotten about me, it’s a path that I’ve chosen for myself. So I’ll continue to fight even by myself. Go tell this to D.”
“What do you mean…..?”
“Although that’s only if you survive.”
Soon as Aisha’s words ended, the air in the island suddenly dropped. Not just dropped, but it became an absolute zero, it had frozen everything solid.
Snowstorm struck without any warning. It wasn’t an attack anyone could face.
A sudden cold wave mixed with snow and hail. It wasn’t enough to say that it was shearing through flesh. Hands and legs froze up even before they could think about a way to deal with this. Terrifying ice storm made the sky and earth freeze up. It was impossible for creatures made out of flesh and blood to withstand this.
Hundreds of Dark Elves couldn’t even react and were all frozen solid. With all the ice sculptures in front of her now, Aisha frowned.
“Did Chloe run away? Well, she was always at least good at running away.”
Magician who had instantly caused hundreds of her enemies to freeze, who hadn’t even broke a sweat didn’t give any more interest and walked forwards.
Even the sea was frozen due to this powerful magic.
Frozen sea now shining silver. The magician slid slightly on its surface then suddenly let out a lonely sigh.
This strong power that she obtained by even erasing her existence from the original time. But this wasn’t a power she obtained because she wanted it. It was a power she obtained because it was necessary.
“This wasn’t what I wanted. What I wanted was…..”
The magician sorrowfully murmured then raised her head to look up towards the moon. A cold wave had swept across the earth in no time. But even amidst this abnormally that had even frozen the sea, the moon hadn’t changed and was shining beautifully.
Aisha’s gaze as she unknowingly stretched out her hand towards the moon remained on her ring finger. Moonlight reflected from the ring as it sprayed out a brilliant light.
Unlike her words, the magician’s face was gentle. The girl looked at the ring reflecting moonlight and smiled slightly as she prayed.
“It will be hard but give it your best, Elsword.”
For this ring’s other half.
For the knight to finish his fight and return safely.
And someday, for the days she can be to be together with her friends again to return.
“Is everyone alright?”
“Yes, there are no abnormalities.”
“It really surprised me.”
“That magician…..she should have told us before she sent us.”
The El Search Party that had suddenly teleported confirmed each other’s well being then looked around to see where they were. Seaport with ships docked, there was a city with an impressionable white buildings and flowing water in front of them.
“This is Hamel. It’s good that we were able to arrive in no time at all.”
“That magician… what if something had gone wrong? Hey, Elsword?”
Elsword didn’t join in the others’ conversation and vacantly looked across, towards the far sea that the moonlight dimly shined upon.
“Why are you standing there out of your mind? Aren’t you the one who saw that magician last?”
“……I don’t quite understand, but.”
Elsword murmured while still looking out towards the sea.
“I think I knew her before.”
Add and the other members made a confused expression but Elsword didn’t talk anymore. An indescribable feeling was rushing up from his heart.
Let’s try talking with her one more time when we meet again.
Boy who had been looking out towards the far sea collected his mind as such then turned around. He didn’t know what this jerking feeling in his heart was, but it was something to think about later.
The ocean and the moonlit sky separated the two once again.