2 scenes. I’ll try to get at least 3 scenes done per week.
2. Queen of Nasods
Demon subjugation army was formed and they started to move out.
People that participated in the subjugation army were Penensio and the Velder Knights, Chung and the El Search Party and…. restrained Ara.
The El Search Party members each looked at the carriage with worried eyes. The carriage being guarded by the Velder Knights was covered in order to hide who was inside but the person inside was Ara.
“Since we’re moving together anyways, can’t we just travel together?”
Seeing how Rena and Elsword couldn’t take their eyes off the carriage, Add sighed and responded.
“Don’t say something stupid. Be patient for now.”
“How long do we have to be patient Add?”
Eve questioned Add coldly.
“All you’ve been telling us is to be patient. I’d like you to promise us the exact time when Ara Haan can regain her freedom.”
“Stop thinking that this matter is so simple.”
What Eve asked for was reasonable but even Add couldn’t answer her for sure.
As the representative of the El Search Party, Add had continued to participate in the strategy meetings together with Rena. But he wasn’t able to make any explicit requests regarding Ara in those meetings.
It was because if you took out any emotional ties, Chung’s method of handling things was right.
“Then what if I ride on the carriage together with her? How about that?”
At Rena’s suggestion, Add dived into his thoughts for a moment. Although it was too much to ask to free Ara right now…. Having some companions riding together with her inside the carriage could be negotiated.
Add’s heart moved and he nodded.
“I’ll try negotiating.”
Add moved his Dynamos forward and approached Chung who was traveling in the front of the army. Chung had volunteered to be at the front because he knew the terrain well. He nodded politely as Add approached.
“What do you need?”
“About the person inside the carriage…. We’d like to take turns riding together with her.”
Add was surprised when Chung answered right away without any particular thoughts.
“Is it okay for you to agree so easily?”
“If you were intending on breaking out Ara Haan, you would have already done so. Regardless…. It would be troublesome for me if you people decided to honestly pressure me by force.”
Just as he said, the only person here from Hamel’s side was Chung at the moment. They had left the Hamel’s soldiers behind to guard the city just in case. It was a measure taken because the damage Hamel took from Ran was too large.
Although Penensio was a righteous person, he was a person from Velder. Chung was alone amongst foreigners right now.
“But this is far as I can concede. I’d like you people to respect my opinion as well.”
“….I’ll accept for now.”
Chung was saying he’d accept the El Search Party’s suggestion in exchange for confirming his opinion that he couldn’t free Ara. It was a fair negotiation based on mutual trust.
Add decided he might as well ask another question to Chung.
“I actually know Ran a bit as well…. Do you really think using a hostage will work on him?”
“I think it’s a half-half chance. I’m honestly not expecting much.”
Hostile expression showed immediately on Chung’s face when Ran was mentioned. Then he quickly changed is expression back as if he was a bit embarrassed by it.
“…..I agree that Ara Haan doesn’t seem to be that much of a dangerous individual. But I’m the temporary Lord of Hamel and Hamel has been destroyed by Ran. I cannot handle this matter just from my own instincts.”
Chung smiled slightly at Add’s evaluation.
“Thank you for understanding. I’ll carry this out in a way where she doesn’t come to harm much as possible.”
“Please do that.”
Add accepted with a voice that was soft enough to surprise even himself as he turned the Dynamos back to return to where the El Search Party was.
“Talk is over. You can go inside.”
“Alright. Call me if something happens.”
Rena nodded as she approached the Velder Knights that were guarding the carriage.
Rena’s steps were very quick. She hadn’t had the chance to talk with Ara face to face even though she was worried about her.
“I’ll go talk with her after Rena.”
“Come to think of it…. Why are you worried about Ara so much?”
“I’m not particularly worried. I think it’s not correct to pass by a person that’s being treated unfairly.”
Elsword who’s been walking beside Eve joined in on Add and Eve’s conversation.
“But didn’t you ask me for a way to get along with human girls….. ow!”
“Don’t say something strange Elsword.”
Reby that had flown away came back after hitting the back of Elsword’s head.Then Eve noticed Add staring at her with a strange gaze so she spoke in denial.
“I was just asking for some advice since I was finding understanding human girls a bit difficult. Do not misunderstand.”
Eve frowned slightly when Add let off a vague smile.
Add felt like he’d get some interesting responses from Eve if he said something here but he purposely stayed quiet.
Eve looked already friendly with Rena and judging by how she was caring about Ara this much, it seemed that Eve attitude towards people other than Elsword was loosening up.
Even though they had traveled together, girls and boys bedrooms were always different. Various things must have happened in the places out of Add’s sight.
Eve looked offended when Add continued to smile so she hastened her steps and moved forwards. Add was smirking as he looked at her back move further away when Elsword changed the subject.
“Anyways, do you think Ran will be strong?”
“Of course he will be.”
Add answered him right away. He couldn’t even be a match for Ran when they ran into each other in Elder. But Add had been through many battles since then and had become stronger by enhancing his Dynamo’s formulas.
Not only that, there were others beside him this time. Eve, Elsword, Rena and Ara were together with him and that guy Chung looked quite skilled as well.
Ran was a powerful foe but he felt like they had a chance.
“Don’t worry about it. He’ll be weaker than Elesis.”
Elsword responded to Add’s baseless words as he nodded as if it was obvious. It almost felt like if Add told him that Elesis was the strongest person in the world, Elsword would just respond ‘why would you say something so obvious?’
When Add let out a slight laugh, Elsword tilted his head.
“Come to think of it. You seemed to be laughing more often Big brother Add.”
“….Kukukuk, it’s nothing.”
Add somehow became flustered and turned his head away. Eve was prudishly walking in front of them by herself and Rena was talking with Ara inside the carriage.
“It doesn’t feel like we’ll lose….”
As an engineer, Add had always lived by believing in numbers and percentages and yet these baseless words came out of his mouth without him realizing.
The demon subjugation army stopped near the Resiam Outskirts and prepared to camp out. The El Search Party was getting ready as well when Rena approached and spoke to Add.
“Add, could you go see Ara for a bit?”
“Didn’t everyone talk with her already? Was there a problem?”
When Rena trailed her words, Add instinctively looked for Elsword and Eve.
Add didn’t feel anything special seeing how those two were in front of the campfire getting ready for dinner. Since those two had gone in and talked with Ara already, Add might as well do so too.
“Alright, I’ll go.”
“Yea, I’m counting on you. Here.”
Rena handed over two bowls of warm stew that she prepared beforehand to Add.
Add took them without saying a word then headed to the carriage. He was planning on discussing about their current situation with Eun anyways.
It shouldn’t matter if he comforted Ara before doing that.
“I’m coming in.”
Add abruptly entered by opening the carriage door then sat on the chair inside. Ara who had been sitting inside the carriage with a numb expression recognised Add and lowered her head to greet him.
You could tell just from a single glance that she wasn’t her usual self. Ara took the stew when Add handed it to her but she didn’t look like she had much appetite.
“Be sure to eat properly. The fight will start soon.”
Add frowned after hearing her barely audible response. He understood that Ara was feeling dejected right now, but this wasn’t right.
“If you’re worrying about Chung and Hamel, put those matters aside for now. Just focus on defeating Ran.”
Add stopped eating when Ara didn’t answer. This was a bit strange. Add put down his bowl and asked seriously.
“What’s going on?”
“You’re wasting my time. What’s going on?”
Ara’s expression turned even darker when Add asked repeatedly. Looking closely, she had dark circles under her eyes and had a pale expression. It looked like she didn’t even get any proper sleep.
Her days inside the prison wouldn’t have been comfortable. But there was something else to this.
“Say it quickly.”
“…..I can’t tell you.”
“If you don’t want to talk, I’ll talk with Eun instead. Send her out.”
Ara bit her lower lip when Eun was mentioned. Her body shook thinly then after a long pause she spoke quietly.
“It’s because I’ve been having strange dreams recently…..”
“…..A dream where Mr.Elsword was killed by Ms.Elesis.”
Add paused. There was something that stuck to his mind.
“Not only that, Ms.Eve was killed by Elder Brother Aren in Elder…….”
They weren’t dreams. They were events from the timelines that Add had experienced.
When Add stayed frozen, Ara continued to speak sparsely while only looking down at both of her palms that were on top of her knees.
“And I know that it will happen….. So I try to fight. But I always lack the strength….. I cannot do anything even though everyone is killed by the demons in front of my very eyes…..”
“Forget it. Those don’t have anything to do with the present.”
Add spoke stiffly after suppressing his shock. It was true that those events had happened but they no longer held any meaning.
They were all times that Add had abandoned.
But darkness seeped inside Ara’s expression didn’t disappear despite Add’s words.
Just when Add was trying to choose his words because of this unexpected situation…. Ara’s hair seemed to flash brightly then got dyed in white.
Then with a ‘poof’ sound, pair of fox ears appeared on her head.
“That’s no good, boy. Treat her more kindly.”
Add would have normally felt unpleasant by this change but he let out a sigh of relief this time. He was actually glad.
“What happened? How does Ara know about those times?”
“She knows because I know, boy.”
Eun smiled coldly as she crossed her legs. Add knew that Eun had the power to look into the future. But wasn’t that unrelated to Ara?
Eun must have read Add’s question and explained.
“In martial arts, one trains to read their opponent’s mind. You predict beforehand how your opponent would move then respond. Your opponent’s line of sight, breathing, weight, balance, movement of their body, flow of the surrounding air, you combine all these factors to read your opponent’s moves and stay one step ahead of them.”
“Fundamentally, Telegnosis ability that I use isn’t too different from this. I read the breath of all creation and combine those in order to look into the future.”
“What does that have to do with this?”
Enough with the explanations. How was it possible that Ara knew about times that Add had abandoned? Eun let out a thin sigh when Add pressed for an answer.
“A crack has formed in Ara’s consciousness and thus she started to become influenced by me. Our souls are mixing together.”
That sounded extremely dangerous to Add but Eun continued her words leisurely.
“For a human, Ara’s vessel is an extremely large one. Vessels like her are so rare that you can barely find one or two out of thousands. Humans like her are able to carry my power up to certain amount. But no matter how large the vessel is, she’s only a human in the end.”
“…..Ara is going to break because she cannot withstand your power?”
“No, it’s different.”
Eun shook her head to deny Add’s guess.
“As Ara’s heart breaks, my power and memories end up filling the broken gap. If this continues, Ara will turn into something that isn’t Ara. Just like how Aren turned into Ran…..”
“What an unfortunate fate these siblings have, so unfortunate.”
Add felt the chills at these words that Eun was confessing so calmly.
The scenery where moonlight was coming through the carriage’s small window and shining upon Ara’s whitely dyed hair was…. beautiful yet frightening at the same time.
“…..How come you’re speaking about this as if it was someone else’s business?”
“Because there’s no other way.”
“Then we should try to come up with one before….”
Eun shook her head.
“Boy is misunderstanding. Ara not becoming Ara anymore also means I won’t be myself anymore. What should we call Ara who’s mixed together with me and what should we call me who’s mixed together with Ara?”
“Should we give her a name beforehand? How do you like Eunara?”
What a surprising talent Eun had to speak about such things so leisurely. Add lowered his head and groaned.
“If things continue like this, something that’s a mix of Ara and my consciousness will come out as a result. At the least, she’ll be much stronger than we are now.”
“But that also means you’ll disappear. How can you be so casual about this?”
“I’ve lived for a long time so I don’t have any large attachments to life. I do have something I desire…. But it can’t be helped if this cannot be fulfilled.”
Eun was speaking of her own demise ever so lightly. But even if Eun had accepted her demise, there shouldn’t be any reason for Ara to get mixed up in this.
“How about you….”
“If you’re going to say I should leave Ara’s body right away, that’s impossible. Ara borrowed too much of my power up till now. Even if I were to leave her, the residues will delve into Ara’s consciousness instead. It will only become worse.”
“Then what is the solution to this?”
Eun shook her head.
“Even I don’t know too much in detail about feelings of humans. There’s no other way but for Ara to firmly guard her consciousness.”
“Wielding large power results in large recoil. Ara has been wielding my power to achieve greater feats than her skills would normally allow. It is now time for her to withstand those recoils”
Tragedy in Hamel has caused crack in Ara’s heart…. And Eun’s memories and abilities started to fill the gap. If this continues, Eun and Ara will mix together and be reborn as something that isn’t Ara or Eun.
Just like how Aren became Ran, Ara will turn into something that isn’t Ara.
“You don’t have to mind this, boy. I’ll still have the eyes to see into time and space even if I change. I’ll still assist boy with his time travel.”
“How can you tell me not to mind this?”
“Doesn’t boy have nothing to do with this problem?”
Add couldn’t answer right away. She was correct. Add’s goal was solely to obtain Eve’s core and go back in time.
Even if Ara’s heart was shattered and she turned into something else during the process….
“Just tell me the solution.”
“Hoho, boy is being unexpectedly caring towards Ara. Did your thoughts change after seeing her in her swimsuit?”
“Stop saying unhealthy things. I have no idea what will come out if you and Ara get mixed together and I don’t know if whatever that comes out will be controllable.”
“My, so you’re saying Ara has to stay as she is because she’s naïve and listens to your orders well. How cruel. Although Ara would be happy to hear that.”
“I meant that I’m just not fond of things with vague identities.”
Add frowned with displeasure when Eun smiled mysteriously.
“I’m just striving for the result I want by putting in some light effort. So just tell me the solution.”
“Well, the answer is simple. Bring comfort to Ara’s heart.”
That was an extremely difficult condition. Ara couldn’t hold in her tears after seeing the atrocities that Ran had committed in Hamel and thus willingly accepted to be chained up and become a prisoner.
One must be a saint if they still had a comfortable heart after going through all this.
“Just what should I do exactly?”
“How about you have a heartfelt talk with her while bathing together? I’ll tell Ara beforehand.”
“I’ll do that.”
When Add replied as he stood up, Eun momentarily made a surprised expression then smiled voluptuously right after.
“So there are days when boy responds like this too. It’s a nice change.”
“Don’t make me laugh. I’ll do this my way.”
He realized that Ara needed mental comfort. And there was someone else that was suited for this job.