around half of chapter 1.
1. Destruction Overture
Velder outer castle.
Add looked dissatisfied as he leaned on the hallway’s wall while touching the clothes he was wearing. The suit was uncomfortable but all the males in here wore it so it couldn’t be helped.
“…..Well it’s still better than you.”
“How did it come to…..”
Chung standing beside Add was blankly looking down at his own feet. His long golden hair fit well with the two tone black and white maid uniform. He looked like a beautiful girl even for Add who knew the truth.
Add recalled the event in Elder that he didn’t want to recall. It wasn’t like Add, but he offered some words of comfort to Chung.
“It can’t be helped. Condition for this infiltration is to not be noticed. Guys like you will attract too much attention.”
“But I am a guy. Just why……”
Chung protested while pressing down on the hem of his skirt. But a guy that looks like a girl is more likely to attract attention than just a regular girl. Chung must have been conscious of this himself because he was letting out heavy sighs while looking extremely depressed.
His feelings must have been hurt quite a lot…..so it’s probably better to not say anything to him for a while.
“Okay, we’re all ready.”
Rena exited the room and smiled brightly. Black and white maid uniform enhanced her beauty.
Rena looked at Chung and made a very joyful expression.
“Chung, you look so pretty no matter how many times I see you.”
“…….I really didn’t want to do this.”
This was an infiltration mission so attracting attention was troublesome. Chung was reluctantly accepting this situation only because of this single reason. He wasn’t enjoying this at all. When Rena smiled and was about to say some words of comfort to Chung who was dejected, Ara and Eve came out of the room as well.
“We’re ready now.”
Ara walked out politely and smiled after noticing Add’s gaze. But she then tripped on a door sill. Ara was about to fall with a surprised expression when Eve grabbed Ara’s waist to catch her from falling.
“Be careful, Ara.”
“Ah, thank you Ms.Eve.”
Ara quickly thanked Eve while still in her arm. Add stole a quick glance at how Eve was nodding silently and also at Eve and Ara’s maid uniforms. He then turned his head around and started moving.
Ara quickly thanked Eve while still in her arm.
“This wasted too much time.”
“How about saying some words to Eve?”
Rena whispered to Add while walking up right beside him. When Add ignored her while wondering what prank she was planning again, Rena added.
“It seems she really liked those clothes. Wouldn’t she like it if Add complimented her?”
Rena didn’t say anything more when Add continued walking as if he hadn’t heard anything. Add sighed internally while hearing the idle chatter coming from behind him.
Add had been recently purposely avoiding talking to Eve.
Eve didn’t bring up the incident where Add saw her bare body anymore…..
But Add still felt uneasy about that incident and still couldn’t get a gasp on how he should treat Eve.
He became uneasy whenever he saw Eve.
He didn’t know what kind of emotion this was…..so he wanted to avoid facing her much as possible until he figured it out.
“Well, don’t I have more than enough data already…..?”
Add murmured to himself after hearing Eve offer her words of comfort to dejected Chung. It was true that Eve became very intriguing and charming after her appearance and attitude towards other people changed.
But all of these can be analyzed from data logs after he collect her core.
Add frowned and started walking faster as if he was running away…..then Elsword suddenly appeared out of the corner.
Add lost his balance from the direct collision. Elsword quickly reached out his arm to grab Add.
“Sorry about that.”
“Watch where you’re going idiot.”
Normally, this kind of collision would have been avoided because Dynamo would have noticed and warned him beforehand….. But Add didn’t have his Dynamos with him right now.
When Elsword let him go, Add wiped the dust off his clothes and asked for the important thing first.
“So did you get the jobs?”
“Yea, it’s just like we heard. They will provide lodging and give 2,000ED daily.”
“That’s a generous offer.”
Demons that captured Velder were using an appeasement policy. Not only were they enforcing strict public order but they also handed out uniforms and gave jobs to the citizens that needed money when they came to the outer castle.
Since the citizens couldn’t leave because of the spatial barrier, they had no choice but to gather at the outer castle to get jobs from the demons in order to make a living.
The El Search Party were successful in mixing into these job seekers to infiltrate the outer castle.
“Still their security is too lacking.”
“It seems there haven’t been any problems even though they opened up the outer castle to the citizens. Velder Liberation army hadn’t been making a move after all. Demons must have thought no one would infiltrate since they can’t leave once they enter.”
Add’s Dynamo, his dimension distortion mode could block things from coming in but couldn’t stop things from going out. This spatial barrier that Aisha put over Velder was the opposite.
“Although now we can’t leave either.”
“Don’t worry. I’ll take care of that if it comes down to it.”
Add already confirmed that his quantum teleport can go through Aisha’s spatial barrier. This was because Aisha taught him space related formulas. You could say this spatial barrier had the same principles as Add’s abilities.
Add’s curiosity as a researcher peaked. He could probably figure out the exact mechanisms behind this spatial barrier if he was given enough time.
Chung who had been listening asked very quietly.
“So what do we have to do Elsword?”
“I told them there were six of us then they told us to work in pairs of two. They’ll come to check on us before the sun sets. Two for cleaning the East windows, two for cleaning the North storage and…..”
Elsword spoke as if this was difficult to bring up.
“When they heard Big Sister Rena was an Elf, they told her to be Chloe’s bathing attendant.”
“……You mean the Dark Elf.”
Rena’s expression turned grim after hearing the name she heard during the strategy meeting again. Add didn’t know what kind of relationship Elves had with Dark Elves but judging from Rena’s reaction they must not have a friendly relationship.
“Decline if you don’t like it. Just stay in the hideout.”
Outer castle was rather open to the citizens so the demons didn’t say anything if citizens quit because they didn’t like the work they were given. There were plenty of other workers anyways.
Rena shook her head at Add’s suggestion.
“…..Hmm, no, I want to talk with her to figure out why Dark Elves are siding with the demons. Also, she’ll know about the inner castle well since she’s a general. I’ll figure it out from her carefully.”
“Then we have to split up into pairs of two, how are we going to do this?”
Chloe was a girl so bathing attendant that goes together with Rena must be a girl as well. Add organized the situation.
“Rena, take Ara. Chloe might get suspicious if she figures out Elf and a Nasod are traveling together. She doesn’t know our faces but there’s a high chance she knows information about us.”
“Okay, got it. Ara, let’s go together.”
Then that leaves window and storage cleaning. Storage work should obviously go to those with good strength right?
Basically, Elsword and Chung. Although Chung was dressed as a girl, he had the strength to wield the Destroyer freely.
Then that leaves Add and Eve.
Add didn’t like this result from the elimination rule and was about to speak up. But Elsword spoke faster.
“Then Chung and I will go to the storage. Big Brother Add and Eve take care of the windows.”
“Don’t break anything when you are cleaning, Elsword.”
“I don’t do that anymore.”
“Then let’s all gather information and see each other again at night.”
Rena, Ara, Elsword and Chung all parted and went to do their jobs. After being left alone with Eve, Add carefully looked at Eve. Eve handed her hand out towards Add without an expression.
Rag was in her hand.
“Then let’s start cleaning.”
He had been avoiding being alone together with her, but they ended up being together.
Window cleaning started.
Cleaning the windows that were the size of three people standing beside each other was quite difficult.
First of all, Add wasn’t a physical working type. He had always solved things that required physical efforts by commanding his Dynamos.
So getting exhausted after only a third window was definitely not Add’s fault. They were in disguise right now. This was just a trivial issue that occurred because he had to move without his Dynamos in order to hide everyone’s weapons and clothes with optical camouflage.
“Are you tired?”
“……W, who’s tired?!”
Add protested in a surge of anger and moved his hands busily. But judging by his arms shivering every time he moved, a future where he’ll suffer from terrifying muscle pain tomorrow awaited him
“Rest for a bit if you are tired.”
He didn’t even have the strength to respond now. Eve looked at Add who was panting heavily with a very pitiful gaze.
……His frustration was surging up but his body couldn’t follow.
“Take a break, Add.”
“Wait, let’s rest for a bit together.”
There were hundreds of windows just on the West side of the castle. Seriously? We have to clean all of these to get just 2,000ED? Just when Add was burning up with his hatred towards the demons…..Eve dropped her rag and stood beside Add who was sitting.
Just when Add was about to turn and talk, Eve’s white thighs came directly into view. Add quickly looked forwards again.
“I didn’t think Queen of Nasods would do this kind of petty work so willingly.”
“It has to be done in order to not look suspicious.”
Eve answered trivially to Add’s mockery. She became much more mature compared to the days when she responded angrily to Add’s light provocations.
……Honestly, he felt pathetic towards himself for mocking. When Add stayed quiet, Eve spoke to him this time.
“So what kind of information should we gather exactly?”
“Outer castle’s security, geography, situation inside the inner castle and whereabouts of Elesis. I want to confirm that she rarely comes down from the third floor.”
Other generals were problematic as well but Elesis was their biggest problem.
Of course, Ran, Karis, Chloe and Helputt…… they were all powerful individuals that needed attention but the person that worried Add the most was Elesis.
“Will we be able to defeat Elesis?”
“……We won’t run into her if possible in this plan.”
They had to fight so many powerful enemies. He wanted to avoid clashing with Elesis much as possible. He wanted to carry this plan out safely as possible.
“Did you ask Ara about Memory of Time and Space?”
“She wasn’t able to explain it well.”
It was the same for Eve, but Ara also didn’t know how she had awakened the Memory of Time and Space. Well, he shouldn’t have expected any explaining skills from Ara.
Eve and Ara awakened the Memory of Time and Space. Only ones remaining were Add and Elsword.
“Even if Elsword succeeds, he probably won’t be able to explain it either.”
That’s obviously right. Add realized the situation after hearing what Eve said. This wasn’t a mechanism that could be done by following the instructions of people that have already succeeded.
This was because people other than Add were not too knowledgeable about emotions or too forthright.
Only thing Add managed to find out from the success of two people was that emotion was a clue to awakening the Memory of Time and Space.
“If Elesis, or an even more powerful enemy that surpasses her stands in our way, you and Elsword will both have to awaken the Memory of Time and Space.”
“I know already.”
Add answered coldly while grabbing the El inside his pocket. Even though Eve and Ara’s battle capabilities rose tremendously, this Velder royal castle was filled with powerful enemies.
Elsword and Add had to awaken the Memory of Time and Space to increase the El Search Party’ battle capabilities.
But Add had done various researches ever since Eve’s awakening, and tried various attempts but didn’t get any results.
“Ara and I both activated it while fighting. Don’t worry about it right now.”
“I’m saying you don’t have to worry too much about it beforehand.”
Could it be that….she was trying to comfort him? Add got surprised and looked around, then became even more surprised. Eve must have decided that the break was over and was stretching up her arm to clean the top part of the window.
Doing that while wearing a maid uniform with such a short skirt… looked very perilous to Add who was sitting down.
Surprised, Add quickly stood up and snatched away the rag that Eve was holding. Eve looked confusedly at Add after getting her cleaning tool taken away. Then Add quietly started cleaning the upper window parts that Eve was having trouble cleaning.
“I’ll clean the top.”
Add was taller so he should be able to clean the top part much easier than Eve. Eve nodded and picked up the other rag.
“Thank you, Add.”
After laughing instinctively, Add hesitated then said something else. He hadn’t intended on saying something like this.
But just to poke around and get the conversation going.
“Those clothes…..they look rather good on you.”
“What do you mean?”
‘You lied to me Rena!! Just you wait!!’
Add became red up to his ears while screaming and shouting internally. Then Eve nodded slightly.
Add desperately looked at the window and focused on cleaning with all he had. His arms were exhausted and hurt as if they were about to fall off. But he was glad of this right now.
Because it helped to hide tip of his mouth trying to dance on its own from Eve.
Rena and Ara got undressed and put towels around their bodies as they got led to where Chloe was bathing.
Judging from the blindingly white tiles on the floor, this was a bath that normally only nobles staying in the royal castle would have used. Chloe was inside the bathtub with the water coming up to her shoulders. She opened only one eye to look towards Rena and Ara.
“I’m surprised that there was actually an Elf in Velder.”
“And I’m surprised to meet a Dark Elf here.”
“……Is that how it’s going to be? Fine.”
Chloe frowned for a moment at Rena’s reply but nodded as if she wasn’t going to care. Rena looked around the bathroom as they talked…..there was no one else here but Chloe.
She was completely defenceless.
Even if Chloe was a demon general, she wouldn’t be able to escape unscathed if Rena and Ara attacked her right now. Of course, Rena and Ara also didn’t have their weapons at the moment…..
Their goal right now wasn’t elimination of an enemy general. They had to act carefully while watching out for not only Chloe but other generals as well.
Rena closed this line of thought and spoke to Chloe while smiling.
“So I heard we’ll be your bathing attendants? What do we have to do?”
“Not much, just massage my shoulders.”
Ara who was looking around the bathroom in admiration quickly nodded and moved behind Chloe’s back. But she didn’t take into account that the floor was slippery from the moisture…..so her feet slipped and she fell forwards.
Of course like the trained martial artist she was, she broke the fall with her right hand to avoid being hurt….. But her left hand ended up striking down on Chloe’s shoulder.
“A, are you okay?”
Ara got surprised from the scream and quickly withdrew her hand. Chloe looked back with tear filled eyes and grinded her teeth from the pain.
“What? How can a human girl be so strong?”
“Ah, umm… that’s because….”
Ara got flustered and was having trouble answering so Rena quickly stepped up to take care of it.
“She became like that because she went through a lot while traveling with me. Also, I think only one bathing attendant should be enough. Why don’t we talk 1 on 1?”
“What does that mean?”
“Do you think that I, an Elf would have come to Velder for no reason at all?”
Ara got surprised by Rena’s bold words and tried to call her but stopped. Ara couldn’t hide her nervousness and stared at Chloe’s back.
She didn’t know what Rena was thinking, but she might have to take Chloe down if necessary.
“So what are you saying?”
“I wanted to talk about why a Dark Elf sided with the Demons invading Elrios. Wouldn’t it be nice for a light bath time chat?”
Chloe seemed like she was thinking for a moment then waved her hand towards Ara. Ara who had been looking nervously at Rena exited the bathroom with a worried expression.
Chloe made a low chuckle when the bathroom door closed.
“Hahaha, I found it strange that an Elf came into the inner castle….. So you came to meet me after all?”
“Yes, thank you for calling me here, Chloe.”
Chloe was a Dark Elf so she became curious when she heard that an Elf came to the outer castle looking for work. That’s why she called Rena here. Rena also had something she wanted to find out from Chloe….. So they had to talk eventually. Also, Rena needed to approach Chloe somewhat boldly to attract her curiosity.
Even if doing so brought about a significant danger.
“Fine, Dark Elf and an Elf talking to each other is a rare event in history. Come in.”
Rena carefully took off the towel and entered the bathtub. Water was warm with just the right temperature so it felt nice.
But Chloe across the bathtub looked at Rena’s chest area then frowned.
“You’re just a mere Elf, how impudent…..”
“You’re just a mere Elf, how impudent…..”
“Is there a problem?”
Chloe was muttering then got surprised when Rena nonchalantly changed her position. Rena now sat with her shoulder touching Chloe’s as if it was nothing.
“Sitting like this is easier for talking right?”
“How shameless…. As to be expected from an Elf.”
For a demon general to bathe shoulder to shoulder with an Elf woman she met just today. Chloe looked dumfounded but Rena was just smiling sociably as if nothing was wrong.
It felt like getting angry at this smiling face would only make her the small-minded person. If an Elf came to her being this bold and openly….. Then as a Dark Elf, shouldn’t she counter composedly as well?
“Hmph, so what business do you have sauntering about into Velder? Is it really just to talk? You should know that I can get rid of you easily if I wanted to.”
Just as she said, this was a deadly place. Even though demons were using appeasement policy in the outer castle, it didn’t change the fact that they were the conquerors and that they were demons.
But Rena smiled softly at Chloe’s stern warning.
“That’s something to think about after we finish our talk. Also, I won’t go down so easily either.”
“…..I see. So why did an Elf that always stays in the forest dillydallying come out into the world? I’m telling you this now. I don’t think there’s a way for you to leave Velder now that you’ve come in.”
“Yea, I came to meet you knowing that.”
Rena’s warm attitude didn’t change despite how Chloe continued to warn threateningly. When Chloe closed her mouth while frowning, Rena asked this time.
“How come Dark Elves are assisting the demon invasion of Elrios? Isn’t it your people’s duty to protect the Demon Realm’s sacred site and the Dark El?”
“That was true before. But it’s not the time for such things anymore.”
“How come? Did something happen in the Demon Realm?”
At Rena’s question, Chloe hesitated for a moment but answered willingly.
“The Dark El’s energy is weakening.”
Rena got so shocked that she stood up.
In the first place, the reason why Rena left the Forest of the Elves was because the El’s energy was weakening. Then she met Raven and travelled together with him until they joined the El Search Party. This was Rena’s journey so far.
“You must be quite surprised. Sit down, Elf.”
This time Chloe was the one who was smiling as she spoke. It was a complicated smile where she was enjoying Rena’s shocked reaction but feeling sorrowful about the topic at the same time.
When Rena sat down beside her, Chloe scooped up some water with her hand then continued to speak.
“You should already know. But if Elrios is a world blessed by the El, then Demon Realm is a world protected by the Dark El. But that Dark El’s energy is weakening. There were many different opinions on what to do about this….”
“So is that why you’re invading Elrios and trying to change the El into Dark El?”
Chloe made a cruel smile. Rena didn’t hide her pale expression as she protested.
“But doing that will endanger Elrios!”
“It’s better than Demon Realm becoming endangered.”
The reason for the demons’ invasion hadn’t been clearly known. But according to the story right now, Chloe invaded Elrios with her Dark Elves in order to secure more Dark El.
“This is a fight for survival.”
“…..Do other demons think the same?”
“No, like I said before, there are differing opinions amongst demons as well. This is only from what I heard, but one moderate faction demon opposed the invasion then lost all their power and got banished to Elrios. Another aggressive faction of demons is plotting to resurrect the Demon God in order to destroy Elrios once and for all.”
Weakening of the Dark El. There must have been numerous opinions amongst the demons with this crisis at hand. Then a faction that suggested they should invade Elrios appeared…. And that was the reason why they invaded Elrios.
“Are you satisfied now after knowing this, Elf?”
“…….I can understand why.”
Rena could finally understand why demons suddenly invaded Elrios in such a large scale. If the El blesses Elrios, then the Dark El protects Demon Realm.
Not only the El, but Dark El was weakening as well…..
“But why did you have to do something like this? You could have explained the situation to Elrios and united our strengths to figure out the solution.”
“Hmph, you’re speaking like an Elf after all. Would your side even have listened to our request? Even if they did, what if we don’t find the solution? Then we’ll have no choice but to take your El.”
Rena bit her lips hard when Chloe spoke sharply. Rena looked gentle and kind, but she was a warrior who had been through many life threatening battles. Chloe’s words made sense.
Chloe was saying that their motives weren’t wrong since this was a competition with their survival on the line.
“…..The El’s energy is weakening as well.”
This time Chloe got surprised and raised her voice. She must not have known about this because she questioned Rena threateningly. She might have pointed her weapon at Rena if this wasn’t a bathroom.
“You better not be lying to me.”
“No, I’m not. The reason I came out of the forest was to find the reason why the El’s energy is weakening.”
Rena slowly shook her head. Chloe must have sensed that Rena was speaking the truth and stopped questioning. This information must have been quite shocking because Chloe couldn’t hide her turmoil and was breathing heavily.
“That’s troublesome. We’ll have to turn all the El here into Dark El soon as possible…..”
“Then Elrios will be destroyed.”
“Then are you telling me just to watch as the Demon Realm is destroyed? What an Elf like thing to say. If you’re a warrior too, then stop with the ideal talks.”
“I’m saying let’s join our forces now. If the El and Dark El are both losing their energy, then we have to unite our strength and knowledge so that the both worlds can survive.”
Rena asked desperately. Chloe shut her mouth and didn’t say anything for a while.
“Chloe, please think about it carefully.”
“…….Stop it, Elf. We already pointed weapons at each other. We’ve come too far to turn back.”
Rena didn’t back out even though Chloe shook her head violently.
“The root of the problem won’t be solved even if you turn all the El into Dark El. That’s only postponing the destruction.”
“We’ll find the solution to that on our own.”
Chloe closed her eyes when Rena called her name sadly.
“Stop, stop it. I’ve already made up my mind to do anything for the sake of the Demon Realm. So stop trying to persuade me with these useless talks if you want to go back alive.”
Rena asked again because she wasn’t scared of Chloe’s threat, but from pure regret.
“If….the Demon Realm knew beforehand that the El was weakening as well, will this war have ever happened?”
The El and Dark El were like two opposite sides of a coin. They both had different properties but couldn’t be separated from each other. If demons had thought more deeply about this fact and researched more thoroughly, there might have been a different future where the demons didn’t invade Elrios and the two sides joined their efforts to search for the problem and think of a solution together.
But the war had already started and blood had been split.
“Chloe, please change your mind. If other demons generals find out about this as well…..”
“Stop it. There’s no reason to stop when we’ve basically won the war. Other generals will mock me and most of all…. D won’t allow it.”
Terror flashed by Chloe’s face as she mentioned that name. Rena asked confusedly when it seemed like Chloe wouldn’t listen no matter what.
“Is there someone above the generals?”
“…..I don’t want to talk anymore. Go back.”
Chloe snapped as she closed her eyes. Rena looked at her regrettably then got up.
“Yes, alright, Then let’s talk again tomorrow, Chloe.”
“Our stories aren’t over yet right? It’s been a while since Elves have interacted with Dark Elves after all.”
Rena spoke while smiling after leaving the bathtub. Chloe frowned then clicked her tongue.
“What a cheeky Elf.”
“Then see you tomorrow.”
Rena put a towel around her then left the bathroom. Chloe who was left alone looked at the closed door for a while then shook her head.
“Hmph, turn back after all this? …..How stupid.”
This was the first time Chloe had heard that the El’s energy was also weakening. Would other generals have known about this?
Well, the warmongering faction could have known about it but kept silent because they wanted war…..
“But there’s no way that D didn’t know.”
She was suspicious but too afraid to confirm it. Chloe sighed then recalled Rena’s face and blinked.
“…..Come to think of it. I never asked for her name.”
Chloe spoke to herself then shook her head soon after.
“No, there’s no reason to know a mere Elf’s name.”
But if what that Elf said as she left was true, they’ll meet again tomorrow. She had a feeling that she’ll talk face to face with that Elf again tomorrow.
She wasn’t fond of Elves, but she was interested in information so she might as well face her again tomorrow.