El Search Party divided into two teams and headed to their destinations.
Add was included in a same team with Rena, Eve, Elesis and Lu. They were going to scout the hot springs and liberate it from demons if necessary.
He was the only guy here. It was a perfect environment to raise the affection points that Eun kept talking about.
But that was a story for when it wasn’t raining.
They couldn’t even see 5 meters in front of them because of the heavy downpour. El Search Party moved below a tree to escape from the rain. They did set up some poles with a cloth on top to block the rain from falling down on them but they couldn’t do anything about getting wet before they set the whole thing up.
“This rain would have been nothing if my Dynamos were normal……”
Add could now mobilize 4 Dynamos at once because he repaired them overnight. But they weren’t still perfect. It was still too much for generating a rain barrier.
“It’s noisy so mutter more quietly, useless Add that came from another universe.”
Eve who was sitting on top of Moby frowned and scolded Add. She was still acting sassy even after knowing Add was a different person that came from another universe.
Lu who was looking far out while sitting on top of a tree trunk joined in on the conversation with a passerby tone.
“Looks like this rain will last long. It’s going to pour all night.”
Rena and Eve were silent to Lu’s words. Add had no choice but to be unlike himself and keep the conversation going.
“Weren’t we supposed to cross a river? Then advancing further today will be difficult.”
“We’ll decide when Elesis comes back from examining what’s ahead.”
Rena spoke for the first time after they had moved under the tree. A drop of water on her forehead dripping down along her cheek made her look very beautiful. Although Add couldn’t dare to reply to her because she had even colder atmosphere than her beauty.
But Lu responded nonchalantly.
“Then we can have dinner here. I don’t know much about cooking so please take care of it for me.”
Eve and Rena didn’t answer again. Add continued the conversation while feeling quite reluctant.
“We don’t have that many ingredients so I’m not sure. And I’m also not too great at cooking.”
“Seriously, you’re so meticulously useless.”
When Eve snapped as if she was waiting for him to say this, Add unknowingly became furious.
“Does that mean your highness Queen of Nasods knows how to cook?”
“I have no need to cook personally.”
Ophelia appeared through the dimension gate soon as Eve’s words ended. She had a sharp kitchen knife in her hand. You could tell from a single glance that she was experienced in cooking.
“You’re making your servants cook in the end. Don’t speak as if you’re the one who’s doing it.”
“But my Ophelia is more useful than your Dynamos.”
Add flew into a fit of rage as an engineer but Eve stared back haughtily. It was frustrating! It was frustrating but he had no choice but to admit. There was no cooking feature in the Dynamos yet!
“Don’t make me laugh. What’s so great about a cooking feature? I’ll surpass it in couple days.”
“You’ll be bit less useless if that’s possible. But you’re extremely useless at the moment.”
“……You’ll takes those words back once you try today’s dinner.”
“Are you saying that you’ll cook personally?”
Eve stared at Add as if she was seriously surprised. Add regretted reacting out of passion but the water was already spilt.
“There’s no reason I can’t. Take back what you said about my Dynamos being useless if my cooking suits your tastes.”
“If it can satisfy my taste that’s been tuned towards Ophelia’s cooking. Although such a thing will be impossible for your useless Dynamos.”
Add could somewhat accept words saying he’s useless, no it made him angry but he could bare with it. But he couldn’t stand hearing that his Dynamos were useless.
Add glared back at Eve from getting seriously angry but Eve just snorted back.
“Stop it you two. I can’t listen well.”
Then Rena butted in to stop the two’s argument. Add and Eve were about to turn their heads away from each other to ignore each other when Lu meddled in from above.
“I’ll watch the surroundings so leave them to it. That’s how everyone grow up.”
Eve and Rena ignored again. They were pretending they haven’t heard Lu as if they were forbidden from replying to her. Even Add who just joined this El Search Party could tell that Rena and Eve were quite uncomfortable with Lu. No it was beyond uncomfortable. They were hostile to her.
Should he reply instead again or not? Add was frowning from this distasteful choice when it looked like a person’s shadow appeared amongst the downpour then Elesis dashed in.
“How was it? How was the river?”
“I saw and it’s no use today. We’ll have to stop for today.”
Completely drenched Elesis shook her head as she muttered. Rain water splattered everywhere whenever her head moved.
“You’ll catch a cold if you stay like that, Elesis.”
“Ah, I should change. Add, can you look away for a bit?”
“Stay outside for a bit, Add.”
“……Into this rain?”
They were telling him to stay outside in this downpour that could drench someone completely in just 3 seconds?
“Ah, it’s fine. I’ll trust you so just turn away, Add.”
“It’s still too irresponsible, Elesis. This is rude to Add as well.”
Rena scolded then stretched out a cloth with both of her hands to block Elesis from being exposed while changing. Eve also joined in on the security.
“…..Ophelia, keep an eye on Add and attack if you have to.”
He felt Ophelia who’s carrying a sharp kitchen knife moving to stand behind him. Looking would only make things awkward, so why were they so suspicious, geez.
Add was muttering internally but then looked down from feeling something move inside his jacket.
Eun who had awoken slightly popped her head out to look at Add with a mischievous expression, she then poked Add’s chest with her elbow. Add knew what she meant right away but ignored her.
Yes, I know that I have to kiss someone if I want to go back to my universe. I also know that now where I’m the only guy here is a great chance.
But he had no idea what he had to do.
“Ah, you can look back now.”
Add was turning around while groaning internally then his expression became numb.
“It feels refreshing after changing after all.”
Elesis was in her bunny girl outfit again. Its color was different than before and was black. When Add stared numbly from being dumbfounded, Elesis looked down at her chest.
“Oh, this? It’s an outfit I wore while I was in a circus. Do you want to wear it too Add?”
“Demons were causing ruckus all over the place so I had to disguise myself in order to gather intelligence. No one ever suspected when I moved about while wearing this.”
That makes sense, no one would ever suspect that a girl wearing a bunny girl costume was actually a strongest Red Knights captain. He could understand…..
But a guy who was looking at her felt uncomfortable.
“But why did you change into that right now?”
“Hmm? Because it feels comfortable.”
Elesis looked back confusedly when Rena called her name.
“But Big Sister Rena, you wore them together with me before without any complaints. What’s wrong now?”
“You should wear something appropriate for the situation. I thought I gave you some proper clothes to change into.”
“Ah, they all got dirty while fighting with Lu….. Isn’t that right, Lu?”
“That’s right, your clothes got torn so I gave you some time to change.”
“Come to think of it, I promised you before right Lu? Want one? I have multiple of the same outfit with varying sizes.”
“…..Just why would you keep so many of those around?”
When Add questioned from not being able to comprehend, Elesis replied with a face as if it was obvious.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. You never know what might happen.”
So she keeps multiple bunny girl outfits just in case she needs them? Rena pressed her hand on her forehead and sighed when Add stared confusedly.
“Don’t get any wrong ideas. We needed various objects in order to scout a city occupied by demons.”
“I even have a wizard and nurse outfit too. Eve, you saw them too right?”
“……That was the most violent nurse in the world.”
Eve had a sigh mixed into her voice as well but Elesis didn’t mind too much.
“Everyone got soaked right? Let’s all change before we sleep.”
“I’m going to change into pajamas.”
“Aww, But Eve and Big Sister Rena will look much better in them than me.”
Elesis looked very disappointed as she looked straightly at Add. She looked as if she thought of something good.
“You want try wearing them Add?”
“……Drop it. If we’re going to stay here, let’s prepare to camp out for the night.”
“Before that, meal, dinner comes first. I’m extremely starving.”
Lu hopped down from the tree and stretched both her arms widely. Eve and Rena’s faces stiffened but Elesis spoke while smiling.
“Alright, then shall we ask Ophelia today as well?”
“No, apparently Add is going to cook today also.”
Eve spoke while looking at Add challengingly. Elesis must have been slightly surprised because she opened her eyes widely.
“What? Add? You cooked in your universe?”
“…..Long as it’s something simple.”
He wasn’t lying. He had to take care of eating and sleeping by himself before he joined the El Search Party. In the first place, Add’s tastes weren’t particularly picky (He did grow up while eating well when he was young, but he’s been through so much hardship since then) so he could eat anything long as they were up to normal standards.
He didn’t want to back out when the Dynamos were insulted.
There was no problem long as he defeated Ophelia….with his cooking skills! Eve declared coldly at Add’s challenge.
“Then let’s start the cooking competition between Nasod and human.”
Lu and Elesis made a very hungry expression.
Ingredients were provided from El Search Party’s reserves.
Add crated a fire with his Dynamo then grabbed a kitchen knife. Eve who was watching Ophelia with her arms folded declared.
“Category is curry. Rena will be our judge. It should be fair this way.”
Rena who ended up becoming a judge gave a slightly tiresome nod. It seemed Rena was going along with this because Eve was so fired up.
Add collected himself then decided to make potato slices. He was quickly peeling the potatoes when a voice of admiration was heard from beside him.
“Wow, you’re really good at peeling. Our Add would say ‘don’t make me laugh’ when we make him cook.”
Elesis was on tiptoes looking over Add’s shoulder to watch him cook. Add was fine with her watching, but it was bothersome because her position made it so she was basically sticking close to Add’s back.
Especially bothersome with that outfit.
“You’re distracting me. Go away.”
“I’m just curious. Can I watch a bit longer?”
Add frowned and was about to shoo her off then got surprised from taking a glance at the cutting board. Steamed potato that he should have finished peeling was nowhere to be seen.
Lu was gracefully chewing with her mouth.
“Middle realm’s potato is quite good. It’s a taste hard to come by in the demon realm!”
“Why are you eating it so confidently?!”
She ate the potato he peeled! Add was feeling dumbfounded when Elesis asked while smacking her lips.
“Can I have one too?”
“…..Are you guys possessed by ghosts that couldn’t eat potatoes their entire life?”
Well, the El Search Party from original universe was like this too. Elesis rubbed her belly when Add frowned.
“I became hungry because I ran around so much. Just let me have one.”
How ridiculous. But having bunny girl Elesis rubbing her belly right behind his back was annoying. Add quickly peeled a potato and threw it towards her as a way of saying just eat this and go away. Elesis caught the potato joyfully.
“Thanks a lot!”
“Don’t just eat it like that, have some salt with it. And here’s some water too.”
It felt like she would get in the way if he left her alone so Add even gave her salt and water. Then he resumed cooking, he cut some green onions and was about to cut the carrots that he washed before….. But half of the carrots had been moved to an unexpected location.
Inside Lu and Elesis’ mouths.
Add stopped moving his kitchen knife and stared at them in disbelief. Noticing Add’s gaze, Lu finished swallowed an entire carrot and Elesis slowly pulled out from her mouth a partly eaten carrot and held it in her hand as she explained.
“Because I’m a rabbit…..”
“…..Just shut up.”
Elesis shut her mouth and lowered her gaze when Add got seriously annoyed and spoke sharply. It seemed she at least understood that she did something wrong.
“It was because I was hungry. I apologize if I got in your way. I’ll stay put now.”
Lu also lowered her head to stare at the ground. …..Add was sure he was cooking but the atmosphere here was like a funeral. There was no way he could focus on cooking with these two emitting gloomy aura beside him.
This was annoying in its own way. While muttering, Add sliced some apples he was going to use as an ingredient, put them on a dish then held the dish out towards Lu and Elesis.
“Only eat things I tell you to from now on.”
“……Can we eat this?”
“…….Can we really eat this?”
Did these two starve for at least four days? How they were behaving themselves merely because of some apples was quite baffling and funny at the same time that Add ended up laughing without realizing.
For two girls that fought while destroying an entire town to turn into modest girls in front of a guy in an apron.
“Yes, you can eat them.”
“Thank you so much!”
Add shook his head left and right as he saw Lu and Elesis cheer and eat the apples. He didn’t know how it ended up like this….. but it was funny.
“Wasting ingredients like that. You must be feeling quite confident.”
When Eve approached and spoke to him, Add examined the current status. Ophelia was already approaching middle stage of her cooking process.
“Come to think of it, what happens if I win?”
“You won’t win so that’s not an issue.”
“Yes, I’ll admit I’m useless if I lose. But what if I win?”
He didn’t say Dynamo was useless. So he could deal with this much.
It was also true that Eve was stronger than him right now.
“Does an engineer talk about ifs? I can’t believe this.”
“Kukukuk, then were you able to imagine that I was Add from a different universe? Did you ever think about such a possibility?”
He hasn’t felt this excited in a long while. When Add went with the flow and sneered, Eve made a very offended expression.
Her expression…. Was completely same as the one in his memories that Add unknowingly stopped sneering.
“Are you that proud about harassing me while hiding your identity? You’re a rude individual after all.”
“I never said I was polite. I never did.”
Add stopped moving his knife then made a sickening smile. His heart felt complicated and stifling but it felt like he shouldn’t supress this feeling.
Eve was silent for a moment at Add’s reaction then spoke sharply as if she didn’t want to talk anymore.
“Fine, if you win then I’ll listen to whatever you say. I’ll promise as Empress of Nasods.”
Add laughed then turned around. Eve glared at Add displeasingly then went back to her original position. Lu and Elesis who were excitedly watching Add and Eve’s verbal battle chimed in.
“Do you have a strategy to win?”
“Got any good plans? Want me to help?”
“I’ll also lend you a hand if you give me a cherry tomato!”
“…..Don’t get bribed just by potatoes and apples.”
Add made a bitter smile then started moving his hands. Elesis stared with a strange expression then asked Add.
“I want to eat something sour now. Can I eat this?”
“Not that one.”
Add saw where tip of Elesis’ hand was pointing and drew the line sharply. She did ask for permission before eating, it was a great improvement.
Seeing that Elesis looked saddened, Add let out a short snicker and brought out some other ingredient.
“I’ll blend some other fruits and make you a juice so wait.”
“I like tomatoes. Make me a juice with those instead!” Lu also joined in.
“Alright, wait a bit.”
Add would have normally refused instantly but he was listening to their requests for some reason while smiling openly.
He felt like he was acting strangely but it didn’t feel bad so he was continuing.
‘Ah, so that’s why……’
This stupid and soft-hearted atmosphere, this atmosphere where they don’t listen to any of his complaints and makes him get caught up in their flow instead.
“It’s been a while…..”
It felt like his body and mind that was in tatters from fights and despair found a place to rest after a long time. He could listen to any childish or ridiculous requests right now.
“Did I get in the way of your cooking?”
“No, not really……”
Add shook his head then slowly started to pet Lu’s head. Lu got surprised from the sudden touch then frowned.
“Don’t treat me like a little kid!”
“Want cherry tomatoes in your juice?”
“Huh? U, uuuuu….. F, fine. I’ll allow it for just 1 minute.”
Lu who was about to get angry was conflicted for a bit then closed her eyes tightly then allowed Add to pet her. Then Elesis crouched down and pushed her head towards Add.
“Alright, Add. You can pet me too.”
When Add stared at her dumbfounded, Elesis lowered her voice and whispered to him as if she was making a secret suggestion. But it could still be heard by Lu clearly.
“But you have to give me more juice than Lu.”
“Such a cowardly method! Add, give me twice as more than Elly! I even let you pet my head!”
“Alright, don’t fight.”
Add let off an empty laugh then resumed cooking. This whole situation was laughable. If him from before saw this, he would say he’s a soft-hearted idiot, he would scold him saying he should use any methods necessary to win and secure Eve’s wish…..
But doing something stupid like this, having stupid conversations like this…. wasn’t too bad either.
Cooking was finished. Ophelia’s curry was spicy but had a sweet aftertaste. It was vexing but her skills surpassed Add’s. It was Add’s complete defeat without Rena having to make a decision.
“Compared to that, you couldn’t even provide curry for everyone because you wasted your ingredients, useless Add.”
Just as she said, Add couldn’t even make enough to give to everyone. Lu and Elesis were shocked and opened their eyes widely.
“Could it be because I ate too much….?”
“Did I eat too many potatoes…..?”
Lu and Elesis stared at Add nervously but Add took off his apron and held a dish out toward Eve.
“I managed to make enough for 1 person at least. Try it.”
“…..You couldn’t even follow the regulations properly. It’s your defeat without me having to try your cooking. Could it be that you don’t even possess the ability to determine victory or defeat?”
“Yes, I lost.”
Eve must have not expected Add to admit defeat so easily because she had a slightly surprised expression.
“But I can’t just throw it out. I made it for you so why don’t you try it?”
“…..You can’t waste food after all.”
Although she was a Nasod and didn’t need to eat, but her concept that wasting food was bad must be same as humans. Eve took the curry dish Add held out to her with a reluctant expression.
“It will taste bad anyways…..”
Eve reluctantly scooped Add’s curry with a spoon then brought it to her mouth. Then her face stiffened. Add sneered when Eve stared back at him in surprise.
“Kukukuk, how is it?”
When Eve couldn’t answer right away and was still in shock, Lu and Elesis discretely approached her.
“Why? How does it taste?”
“I’ll just have a slight taste.”
Lu and Elesis also ate a bit of Add’s curry and became surprised.
“It’s a mysterious taste!”
“It tastes special.”
Elesis turned towards Add with a surprised face. How Add’s curry had a sour but fresh taste at the same time was unique, people who liked this kind of taste had more than enough reason to like this curry.
But you couldn’t say it would be a popular curry. Taste that people normally expected from curry was sweet or spicy.
But Eve who just had one spoon was speechless.
“I tried mixing in some lemons but it turned out a bit vague. I think it was a failure. Should I throw it out if you don’t like it?”
“……Didn’t I already say that throwing out food is a crime?”
Eve’s begrudging voice, she wasn’t able to hide her shock. It was a tone as if she was just struck a blow.
Add laughed satisfyingly then backed out.
“Alright, then deal with it however you’d like. I’ll go prepare the tents for sleeping.”
“Add, how about your dinner?”
Rena asked. Add replied appropriately.
“I also ate some while cooking.”
Add let a laugh slip out of his mouth as he went to set up the tents. What he made was a strange curry…..but one would like it if they liked things with sour taste.
“Not everyone has to like it. Kukukuk…..”
He just needed to feed one person. Add laughed quietly as he heard clearly from behind him.
Sound of Eve’s spoon moving.