3. To Overcome Fate
Their 3rd night in Velder outer castle. The El Search Party sat around tightly in a circle inside their bedroom. There were all impressed by what Rena told them.
She actually convinced the enemy general Chloe. It was an unbelievable story.
“Then we won’t have to fight the Dark Elves.”
Add who was leaning on the wall listening frowned.
“How can we trust Chloe’s words?”
“Because we’re still here talking together.”
Add agreed to what Rena said. This place was enemy territory. Chloe shouldn’t need to use tricks. All she had to do was bring all of the demon forces down on the Search Party.
“It’s a good opportunity. What are we going to do Big Brother Add?”
“…..We’ll get help from Chloe and the Dark Elves and attack Elesis right away.”
If Chloe became their ally, then the outer castle was basically within the El Search Party’s hands.
Only one remaining was Elesis staying in 3rd floor.
“Are you sure? We weren’t originally planning to fight Big Sister. You don’t have to worry about me.”
“Idiot. This isn’t because of you. We cannot carry this out with Elesis behind us.”
It wasn’t over with just capturing the outer castle. They had to go to the inner castle and stop the process of royal castle’s El turning into a Dark El.
“Even Elesis isn’t invincible. We can defeat her if us, Chloe and the Dark Elves attack her all at once. Rena, contact the Velder Liberation Army that we’ll start the plan tomorrow night.”
“Yes, got it.”
While they couldn’t move in or out freely because of the spatial barrier, it was planned beforehand for the Velder Liberation Army to come in if they signaled with a torch from the empty house that they chose as their hideout.
But no one could leave once they entered.
“Tomorrow will be the only chance we’ll get. So everyone should make sure to prepare properly.”
“But do we really have to carry out the plan during the night?”
Add looked back because he couldn’t understand what Elsword meant with his question.
“Everyone won’t be able to see well during the night. But demons won’t be affected much by this. We’ll be at a disadvantage if we fight during the night.”
“……Then let’s make it afternoon of day after tomorrow.”
It was a sensible opinion despite coming from Elsword. They had to make various preparations so starting tomorrow afternoon would be difficult anyways.
“Everyone listen up. We’ll start the plan on afternoon of day after tomorrow, 3 o’clock. Everything is over if our identities get found out until then. So continue to work without drawing suspicion. Rena, make sure Chloe doesn’t accidentally leak information either. Tell her to not say anything even to her subordinates until the plan execution date.”
“I already told her before coming here.”
“Alright….. Then everyone prepare yourselves. This will be our final fight against the demons and it will be that much more dangerous.”
El Search Party members all answered without hesitation at Add’s words.
“I’ll give it my best too.”
“I’ll do my best!”
“I’ll also help all of you best I can.”
Add clenched his fists tightly at everyone’s agreements. His head heated up no matter how much he tried to think rationally.
Finally, it was time for their final showdown with the demons.
He’ll succeed for sure this time.
Two days later, operation start time.
Rena headed to the rendezvous point located at the landing of stairway heading to the 3rd floor. There were mainly two stairways that went up to the 3rd floor. Rena and Chloe’s rendezvous point was on the left side stairway.
As Rena walked up the stairs, Chloe waiting at the landing turned to look at her.
“I had something to prepare.”
After giving a glance at the bow in Rena’s hand, Chloe looked back at the Dark Elves around her. Over 20 Dark Elves nodded from Chloe’s gaze and drew their weapons.
“So I cooperate with you to take down Elesis on the 3rd floor….. Then we create equilibrium by bringing in the Velder Liberation Army to capture the outer castle. Then try negotiating with the other generals inside the inner castle?”
“Yes, let’s give it our best.”
“But where are the other Search Party members? I thought there were many of you.”
Rena seemed to sigh then suddenly jumped down. Everyone got confused and just blinked in their places when Rena ran away to the bottom floor in middle of her words.
But only Chloe wasn’t confused and asked coldly instead.
“…..Why are you running away in middle of speaking?”
“I’m sorry, Chloe. But I don’t plan on getting captured here.”
Chloe maintained silence for a while then asked because she was honestly curious.
“How did you know?”
“There’s no way Chloe wouldn’t know that other kids are inside the outer castle together with me. You would have obviously researched this beforehand. So there’s no reason for you to ask about them as if it’s the first time you’ve heard about them.”
“……Just from that intuition?”
Elf that was always smiling and acting friendly sensed danger from just a single word then suspected others? Of course, what Rena was saying was correct but Chloe couldn’t understand where she made an error.
“It’s not an intuition. Chloe doesn’t speak that way. You should have gotten angry and asked why I didn’t come with the others. You wouldn’t say something that sounded so made up.”
What a surprising observation skills. Chloe clicked her tongue shortly.
“I’ll take it upon myself and spare your life if you surrender.”
“Why did you suddenly change your mind?”
“I didn’t change my mind. This is the correct action to take as a demon.”
At Chloe’s declaration, other Dark Elves each drew their daggers and bows. Rena stared up at Chloe sadly then nodded.
“I see. So we’ll have to fight.”
Dark Elves charged at Rena with their weapons drawn soon as Chloe gave her order.
Right side stairway leading to the 3rd floor.
Elsword, Eve, Ara, Chung and Add were standing ready on the landing.
“Will Big Sister Rena be alright?”
“Don’t ask me. I don’t know.”
The core of this plan was to join up with Chloe and attack Elesis. But Add couldn’t trust Chloe in the end and only sent Rena.
Ara must be feeling restless because she was repeatedly grasping then letting go of her spear. But then her eyes suddenly widened.
“I hear fighting!”
“Let’s quickly go help Rena.”
“I don’t think that will be so easy…..”
Soon as Add said this, Glitter soldiers started to gather at the bottom floor. Of course, even Add by himself could take care of them easily…… But if Chloe betrayed them, then it meant that everything was already found out.
Even though enemies appeared the other members all just stared at Add. It meant they were waiting for his instructions. Add realized that this attempt was a failure.
He had to retry from the start.
“Ara, call Eun out.”
“She’s telling me to tell you that it’s not time yet.”
What’s that fox saying? But thinking about it again, one who fell into the trap was none other than Rena. Not only that, Add already cautioned Rena telling her that Chloe might change her mind at the last moment.
Rena definitely wouldn’t go down so easily.
“Why aren’t they attacking us?”
Glitter soldiers were only gathering below them. They were displaying hostility towards the party but didn’t come to attack them. They weren’t behaving like this because they were afraid. Rather, they were ordered to wall the party off.
“We’ll have to move forward anyways. Let’s use the 3rd floor’s hallway to head to where Rena is.”
The party followed Add’s instructions and moved up the stairs while being wary of the Glitter solders’ movements. Glitter soldiers that already numbered over 100 slowly followed the group up to the 3rd floor. Add carefully examined their behavior and bit his lips.
Something didn’t feel right. It felt like they’ve become a rabbit being chased into a corner.
“Just who could have come up with this kind of trap…..?”
He should first suspect Chloe who changed her mind. But this felt a bit different. Demons so far had been just recklessly charging at them. They had never shown this kind of behavior of trying to control where the party went.
And on the third floor…..
“It’s too late.”
Familiar voice he’d never forget. Add got shocked from the cold voice and looked in front of him. Red hair waving from the breeze coming in through open windows.
Elesis was waiting for them in middle of the 3rd floor’s hallway.
Elsword spoke in a low voice as he drew his sword. Other members also couldn’t hide their tension as they raised their weapons.
Behind them were continuously gathering Glitter soldiers, and Elesis was in front.
“Add, me and Ara will open a path. You go ahead and help Rena out.”
“…..You and Ara alone are definitely no match for Elesis.”
Even though Eve and Ara had awakened the Memory of Time and Space they still couldn’t even grasp the full extent of Elesis’ power. When Add drew the line, Chung spoke this time.
“I’ll help as well. Go on ahead Mr.Add.”
“Everyone go ahead. I’ll face Big Sister by myself.”
Add got annoyed and was about to answer but Elsword butted in. Eve winced then spoke coldly.
“Not by yourself.”
“That’s right, Mr.Elsword. It’s too dangerous for you to fight Ms.Elesis by yourself.”
“But I still have to do this.”
Elsword took a deep breath then spoke.
“Everyone, please. I want to fight Big Sister…..with everything I got.”
“Are you saying we’re in the way?”
Add got dumbfounded and asked but Elsword shook his head.
“I don’t know. But…..I think I have to be the one to settle things with Big Sister.”
It was a firm determination that wouldn’t be swayed no matter what. Add bit down on his lips and stared at Elesis.
Elesis had her sword lowered slightly and was just standing still without saying anything. It was as if she’ll wait until the group finished discussing.
“……..How long will you be able to hold out?”
“Wait a moment, Add.”
Eve protested but Add didn’t listen to her.
He hadn’t wanted this but things were seriously messed up now. Chloe betrayed them and Eun didn’t want to help with time travel saying something nonsensical like it wasn’t time yet.
Water was already spilt. In that case, they had to try to get far as they could. He didn’t like it, but there was no choice but to bet on Elsword’s potential.
“I won’t just hold out….. I’ll win.”
“Alright, then we’ll leave this place to Elsword and everyone else will charge into the inner castle.”
Overpass connecting to the inner castle was closer to the El Search Party than to Elesis. They could cross it if they wanted to…. But there was no way Elesis would stand idly and let them.
Even if this hallway was wide, going to assist Rena fighting beyond Elesis was impossible unless they defeated Elesis. If that’s the case, they’ll charge into the inner castle and finish everything once and for all.
Ara got surprised from Add’s plan and asked.
“Then what about Ms.Rena?”
“We already sent the signal so the Velder Liberation Army should be heading here soon. Also, Rena won’t go down so easily….. Stopping the royal castle’s El turning into a Dark El comes first. There’s Ran, Karis and Helputt waiting inside so we cannot divide our forces any further.”
Actually, battle in inner castle will be much more difficult than outer castle. The problem was just that the name Elesis carried too much weight.
“Elsword, Rena will clean things up quickly and come to help you soon. Do everything you can until then.”
Eve stared at Elsword as if she couldn’t accept this. Everyone already knew how scary of an opponent Elesis was and yet they were leaving her only to Elsword?
“Eve, this is what I requested Big Brother Add. Don’t worry.”
“You became stronger too.”
Elsword put strength in his hands holding his sword then collected his breath.
“That’s why I’ll become stronger as well. Trust me.”
“There’s no time. Let’s go.”
When Eve hesitated, Add forcefully grabbed her hand and dragged her. Not only was there more terrifying enemies waiting inside the inner castle, he also didn’t want to hear the two’s conversation any longer.
“Mr.Elsword, I’ll come back after defeating Elder Brother!”
“Be careful, Elsword.”
Ara and Chung’s said their parting words. Eve was still at a loss for what words to leave Elsword. Add forcefully grabbed Eve’s hand and dragged her away. Rest of the group ran to the overpass but Elesis didn’t even move a step despite this and just stared quietly.
A detached gaze, Elesis finally opened her mouth when the footsteps crossing the overpass got further way.
“Did you finish your farewells?”
Elsword inhaled lightly then stared straightly at Elesis.
“No, we’ll meet and talk with each other again.”
“It will become a farewell if you cannot stop me.”
Elesis fixed her sword then collected her breath as she lowered her stance. A terrifying pressure emanated from her now that she was in attack stance.
But Elsword didn’t succumb to the pressure and followed suit by lowering his stance. If he loses here, Elesis will follow the party and swing her sword at them. He had to stop her from doing so.
“Here I come, Big Sister.”
With Elesis’ short answer, the siblings charged at each other simultaneously. Swords of red haired warrior and knight sprayed out sparks as they clashed.
It was the beginning of a fight to end everything.