There were double and triple tents inside Elesis’ bag. Add set up the tents without much trouble thanks to Oberon’s help. Just when Add wiped the sweat off his forehead, a towel was handed to him. Oberon was giving Add a thumbs up and handing him a towel.
“You were pretty good too.”
Oberon was unexpectedly good at setting up tents. It seemed Oberon and Ophelia have been in charge of various minor tasks of the El Search Party.
Honestly, they were above Add’s Dynamo in regards to this kind of functionality.
“No, this is only possible because they are human type. My Dynamo is better for things that human types can’t do. No only that, but my Dynamo is smaller so they are easy to carry around. Although these guys appear through dimension gates too……”
Add was talking to himself when he felt a chin touch his shoulder from his back. He turned around annoyingly.
“Just say it if you want to have a word, Re-…..”
“You finished these while we were eating?”
It was Elesis. That’s right, it was Rena that Add knew who would have acted overly friendly like this. This universe’s Rena was inspecting her weapon right now.
Judging by her strict face and cold expression, she was totally not someone who would attempt this kind of skinship.
“Did you have something to say to Big Sister Rena?”
“…….It’s fine. Just state your business.”
It would be stranger to compare those two. Let’s just accept that this and other Renas are different.
Elesis spoke as she smiled.
“Where do you want to sleep, Add?”
“Of course in the double…..”
Even a bit less crowded place was better. Add was about to say this but Add’s expression turned stiff.
Weren’t everyone here girls except for Add?
Elesis grinned when Add moved only his eyes to stare at her. She was grinning, did she really ask about this without any thoughts?
But he already finished setting up the tents and saying that he’ll sleep outside in this rain was not an option. He could catch a cold.
“I’ll sleep in the double tent with Lu. Will that be fine?”
“Are you sure?”
When Elesis asked with a strangely exaggerated tone, Add frowned and lowered his voice so others couldn’t hear.
“I don’t know why but Eve and Rena are wary of Lu. They are not just wary, they hate her. Nothing good will come from letting them sleep together. Also, her appearance is like a small kid…..”
“But she’s probably older than anyone here. Her current form is because she became smaller.”
Why is she saying something so absurd like this right now? Add stared at Elesis confusedly when she raised her voice.
“Eve! Sleep with Add in the small tent today, okay?”
Add got surprised and glared at Elesis. Why is she burying his suggestion that he went out of his way to think up so easily like this? But Elesis who was still in a bunny girl costume laughed as she patted Add’s shoulder.
“Alright, then I’ll leave it to you Add.”
“Leave what to me? What are you planning?”
Add openly expressed his frustration as he avoided Elesis’ hand. It felt like his shoulder would break if he was hit any more.
Elesis folded her arms and nodded.
“Well, we have to get Big Sister Rena and Lu to talk. Big Sister Rena should have more emotional distance than Eve. Girls talk. Will this be an acceptable reason for you?”
It was an understandable reason but Add didn’t like it. Elesis laughed as if it wasn’t a big deal then pulled on Add’s cheek.
“Don’t worry too much. It will all work out. Also, it’s not like Eve is going to devour you.”
“It’s not because of that….”
He didn’t know what to say. Well, Elesis’ words were correct. They were all girls but Eve was a Nasod. Strictly speaking, she wasn’t a lifeform.
If someone had to sleep in the same tent as Add, Eve was a correct choice.
Add admitted Elesis’ decision was reasonable. Although he didn’t like it.
Elesis scratched the back of her neck when Add answered reluctantly. It wasn’t anything new, but she didn’t care at all about how she was in a bunny girl outfit.
“Do you hate sleeping with Eve that much? Then do you want to sleep with me?”
“Who said I hated it? The thing between Lu and Rena, try to take care of it.”
Add answered bluntly. Elesis smiled and turned around. Elesis was about to walk away when she turned back around as if she just remembered.
“Ah, girls will go bathe soon so you better not peep. I’ll kill you half way.”
“Who would do such a useless thing?”
She was smiling but it really felt like she’d kill him half way. Elesis waved her hand to acknowledge Add’s bitter answer then left. Add who was left alone turned his gaze towards far off distance.
Rain was still pouring heavily. It definitely won’t let up today.
“……It just had to rain.”
Add washed himself simply then changed into his pajamas and stayed stuck inside the tent. It wasn’t because he was scared of Elesis’ warning, it was because he didn’t want to get any unnecessary misunderstandings.
He was trying to repair his Dynamos before he slept when Eun hopped out of his jacket that he had hung on the cloth hanger. She nimbly jumped out, stretched her arms then pitter-pattered towards Add.
Her actions were cute objectively.
“Girls are bathing so why aren’t you peeping?! Come on, let us head off to an adventure together!”
…..Subjectively, she was a fox saying nonsensical things.
When Add stared at her blankly from being dumbfounded, Eun spoke as if nothing was wrong with what she said.
“Isn’t it a chance to raise affection points? Hurry up and go peep.”
“……Are you serious?”
He needed to get a kiss from someone in order to go back to his own universe, and he needed to raise someone’s affection points. Add was reluctant about this situation but accepted that it was necessary.
If Add couldn’t go back, that meant Eun was stuck here as well. Was she really suggesting such an action despite knowing this fully well?
“When did I ever make useless jokes to you boy? You won’t be seen if you watch from on top of the tree. I’ll assist in every way I can.”
“How could you blatantly say that isn’t a useless joke? Maybe you’re missing liver because you’re a fox?”
“I am good at taking out and eating other’s livers.”
Eun sat comfortably and watched Add repair.
“But Rena’s breasts were very attractive even across universes. Any man would fall for…..”
Eun shut her mouth when Add glared at her seriously. Getting angry at her when she was not even in Ara’s body and was in a small fox form didn’t feel right. Add didn’t say anything more and tried to fix the Dynamos.
But Eun hadn’t stopped talking.
“If you don’t like Rena, isn’t Elly also quite attractive? She doesn’t have any extra flabs and is womanly…..”
Add smashed down on the ground with his fist. It was a dirt floor so it didn’t make much noise, but Add’s feelings should have been conveyed clearly.
“I get what you’re trying to say. I agree on what’s needed to go back. Even so….”
He momentarily boiled up and ended up acting angrily, but he couldn’t explain his feelings clearly. It wasn’t the first time Eun made these kinds of jokes so he didn’t know why he was so angry this time.
“Don’t belittle others.”
“I don’t understand. Wasn’t boy the one who’s been looking down on the El Search Party all this time?”
It was true that he changed the present multiple times using time travel and that D was him from the future. He had no way to deny Eun’s indication. It made him angry, but he couldn’t refute.
And he still couldn’t organize how he felt.
“You don’t have to belittle others. If there’s a need, I’ll do it myself. Also, that isn’t how I do things.”
“I see. So boy doesn’t want to deceive and seduce women. Boy can be quite finicky at times…..”
Eun continued speaking with a tone as if she was reminiscing something from long ago.
“Boy says he’ll do whatever it takes to achieve his goal but never actually thinks about manipulating the El Search Party.”
“……I’ll end up manipulating them anyways.”
He was in a situation where he had to request a kiss from someone. It was a homework that he couldn’t avoid. He was delaying it only because he didn’t know how to solve it, but he couldn’t stay here forever.
“I know already. Stop nagging.”
“It’s a great chance. Isn’t getting caught while peeping a great situation to confirm affection point of the girls and get evaluated by them? Of course they will get angry, but it’s still better to act and bring about a change rather than staying put and not doing anything.”
“Don’t you remember what happened in Ruben? Didn’t boy obtain trust and affection from the group that time?”
“That was just me getting caught up in your scheme. I already said multiple times that I don’t agree with your way of doing things.”
Well, Eun’s words weren’t exactly wrong. Would the girls really kick Add out in this rainy night because he got caught peeping? Would they really expel him from the El Search Party?
Add also knew very well that they wouldn’t.
Also, Eun was right. It was better to move and bring about a change rather than doing nothing.
But he didn’t want to. Peeping itself was of course an issue….. but he didn’t like this in a more substantial way.
When it seemed that Add wouldn’t move, Eun sighed then hopped on some objects to jump back inside the jacket pocket.
“Tell me if you change your mind. I’ll help with time travel if necessary.”
“If you want to savor multiple times, or if you want to raise affection point of someone, I’ll help with time travel much as boy wants.”
Her tone was as if Add could time travel with incomplete Dynamos with Eun’s help. Also…. it was true that raising that so called affection points wouldn’t be too hard if he used time travel.
Add didn’t know much about kissing, but everything was in the end a result of choices.
And time travel was a power that could help him reset his choices many times as he wanted. It was a power that could even kill or resurrect people, so it could probably achieve something like a kiss easily.
“……I don’t like it.”
His hands that have been moving restlessly stopped. Eun’s words and her methods were reasonable but it was difficult to bring himself to follow them.
He didn’t like it, but he couldn’t explain why.
“It’s not like I’m a spoiled kid…..”
If you looked at Add objectively right now, he couldn’t deny it if someone told him right now that he was a spoiled brat that kept saying ‘I don’t want to’. Of course, Eun’s suggestion wasn’t morally correct but it was also laughable for someone who had been going back and forth in time to speak about morality and ethics.
Still….. he didn’t like it.
Add kept sighing deeply when the tent door opened widely without any prior notice.
“I’m coming in, useless person.”
Person that just spoke after taking action was Eve.
Add ended up unconsciously staring straightly at Eve due to uncommon combination of her slightly wet hair and her pajama look. Eve entered the tent while drying her hair with a towel and cleanly ignoring Add’s gaze.
At Eve’s call, Ophelia appeared out of the dimension gate to set up pillow and bedsheet then went away. Seeing how she even made servants set up her bedding, Add unconsciously spoke out.
“Do you really have to make others do everything for you?”
“It’s something Ophelia always does. Although your Dynamo can’t.”
From observation, this universe’s Eve was entrusting almost all petty tasks to Oberon and Ophelia. It was to the point where she entrusted them with cooking, setting up the bed and even fighting.
Of course, Eve wasn’t a battle type Nasod so her developing appropriate tools and commanding them was a natural thing to do. Development purposes for Add’s Dynamo and Eve’s Ophelia weren’t too different.
“I’ll have to she’s amazing. How long did it take for you to make?”
“It took 10 minutes. It would have taken 50 years for you.”
“……Hey don’t lie.”
He asked out of pure curiosity as an engineer but got a prudish response back. At Add’s criticism, Eve only moved her eyes to glare at him.
“It would actually have taken you 500 years but I took off some years. Is there a problem?”
“…..I know this is too much of a request, but I’m not the Add you know. Is there really a need to react so sharply to whatever I say?”
Add ended up saying this without realizing it. He already knew more than enough that Add B and this Eve didn’t have a very good relationship.
“I’m suspicious if you might be fooling everyone after drinking some kind of potion that makes you younger. I wouldn’t put it past you to do such a thing.”
“I would just sell it if I could make such a potion…..”
“You would certainly go to such lengths to harass me. This would be a small scale in comparison to how you teleported an entire town to suggest that I read the map wrong.”
Add B here must have been bit insane. Add felt dumbfounded but realized a bit more as to why Eve was giving him such a cold attitude. Add and Eve didn’t get along too well in the beginning in the original universe as well…..but it must have reached an entirely new level here.
“More of all, even if what you say about coming from another universe is true, I’m not the Eve that you know. Don’t expect me to give same responses as her.”
“……Well, that’s true.”
Eve looked surprised when Add willingly nodded and acknowledged. Eve was acting so surprised whenever Add made daily life responses like this. Just how much of a nincompoop was this other Add?
“I apologize if I unintentionally acted like that. Sorry.”
“……Are you really a different person? How do you know how to apologize?”
“I had some reasons to learn.”
What he learned from Ara was proving to be useful time and time again. Eve stared half doubtfully then shook her head.
“If you’re a really a different Add then I’ll apologize for a bit about my actions from before. I’m sorry. There’s no reason for you to be treated same as other Add just because you two look alike.”
“I don’t mind too much. Actually, it would be easier for me if everyone treated me as same person……”
Judging from how others didn’t show much reaction, the pranks(?) must have been directed only towards Eve. It was just that the extent of these pranks(?) must have been over the top. That must be why this Eve was showing hysteric reactions of being suspicious of everything Add said and distancing herself from him.
“I won’t be here for long. Just think of me as a visitor who’s passing by.”
“You said you had to return to your universe. I don’t know much about this but Aisha said that universe travel is something that’s very difficult and dangerous. Also, according to her speculation, your universe must be in a very unstable and chaotic state…..”
“She said that this was only possible because restraining force of your universe became weaker.”
Add nodded silently to Eve’s worried voice. He had skipped explanation about D, his future self but Aisha’s speculation is probably correct.
“Do you really have to risk such danger and go back?”
“……But Add that was originally here will never return if I don’t go back.”
“He doesn’t need to come back. We’ll just not see each other forever.”
Eve spoke coldly but then made a slightly worried expression.
“……Never mind, that seems to be too harsh of a treatment even for him.”
“I have to go back regardless. I have to go back and……”
Add unconsciously tightened his fists.
“I’ll solve everything for sure this time and turn everything back to normal.”
“Your reason for coming to our universe, did you find a clue to defeating this person called D?”
“No, I don’t know yet. I’m thinking if leader of the demons might know something.”
Eve nodded quietly.
“Understood. Ask me any time if there’s something I can do to help. I’ll try my best as possible.”
“That’s a completely different attitude than before.”
“It’s because I confirmed from this conversation that you are really a different Add. Which means I treated you harshly for no reason, so I have to pay back the debt.”
Eve hesitated for a moment then also added.
“Also….your curry was fairly good.”
“Thanks for the compliment.”
Eve made a hurt expression for some reason.
“……I almost never say something like this, useless person.”
Did the thing called affection points go down? Also, does the ‘useless’ title stay even though she acknowledged that he was a different Add?
Add changed the topic when the atmosphere inside the tent turned cold all of a sudden.
“So why are you and Rena so wary of Lu? Although Lu is a demon she’s…..”
“Isn’t it stranger to trust her?”
Eve spoke sharply.
“This case is different than Chung and Ara. Ara had her relative become a demon and Chung understood this. But Lu and Ciel are demon and her servant. Don’t you think it’s too much of an excessive request to ask someone who lost their own kind to demons to accept those two?”
Add couldn’t answer because Eve’s response was very heated.
“Demons destroyed the key to resurrecting the Nasod civilization. It was a really horrible event…. But I was alone in the first place anyways. But Rena is different.”
“Demons brutally slaughtered Rena’s people. Asking her to trust and accept demons as comrades doesn’t make sense.”
Eve continued speaking with an unusually passionate tone. She realized Add was only listening to her and lowered her voice a bit.
“…..I don’t know much about people’s emotions and can’t understand them. But I think that Rena’s reaction is natural.”
So Rena’s personality changed so drastically because she lost her people to the demons. Rena’s change was understandable now after hearing about the reason. Eve took her gaze off Add and laid down.
“I spoke too much. I’ll be sleeping now.”
Eve closed her eyes then fell asleep even before Add could respond. Nasods shouldn’t need to sleep but they could fall sleep right away if they wanted to.
“That was fast…..”
Add unconsciously let out a voice of admiration then lowered his gaze towards Dynamos that he was repairing. Add was examining the circuits for a bit then his gaze slowly rose up again.
Reby and Moby that were circling around Eve were also asleep.
No, I’m guy too. Of course, it’s not like I’m going to do something. What can human and Nasod do in the first place? He knew that being concerned about such things was crazy…. Well he was already crazy. D, his future self was also completely insane.
“Why am I like this….?”
Add who was staring straightly at sleeping Eve sighed. Add was about to turn his head away when a single word flashed by Add’s mind.
His heart started beating very fast all of a sudden. Why hadn’t he thought of this before?
Add tried to steal Eve’s core in order to go back to his own past. Everything started from here.
Then he escaped to this universe because he lacked the strength to defeat his future self. But there was also Eve here in this universe. Was this all a coincidence?
“……Don’t tell me that-”
Add stared at sleeping Eve’s core as if he was mesmerized. Obtaining Eve’s core and deciphering its data will drastically improve his ability to calculate time functions. That meant his ability to utilize space and shockwaves will increase as well.
He could become stronger. He can become a lot stronger by stealing this Eve’s core. Eve’s core will rapidly make Add stronger.
It will give Add the strength to defeat D.
Add’s eyes became cold. Even though his Dynamos were still not in their perfect state, Add had the limited time travel that Eun could perform.
There was Eve and her core in the universe that he arrived at in order to escape from D. Not only that but Eun who could help him time travel also came with him. This couldn’t all be coincidence.
Everything had been arranged beforehand.
“…..Let’s calm down.”
Add unknowingly walked on his knees to approach Eve. He took deep breaths to calm himself down as he organized his thoughts.
I want to attack right now. He wanted to steal it.
Those guys that turned their backs on him to face D.
Just recalling their backs made his heart tighten.
Even though they knew he was the cause of all this, they believed in him and let him escape without even a single resentment. He didn’t want to let their feelings down.
He could do anything if it was for defeating D.
“….can do it.”
He can save them on the other side if he steals this Eve’s core.
He can save Eve that he had been always looking at.
“…..I can do it.”
Add repeated after himself as if he was pouring courage into himself. Add took a deep breath and was stretching his hand out towards Eve but stopped midway and thought one more time.
Can I really do this? Is this a right thing to do?
“…..This isn’t Eve that I know.”
Only their faces and way of speaking was alike. Their actions and thought processes were different. Eve that Add knew was cold but she acts while thinking preciously about Elsword, and her other comrades. If there is a problem she prefers to solve it with her own hands.
She was totally not a type who tries to solve everything through her servants like this sleeping Eve here.
“…..They are different.”
How they liked lemonade and things that had sour taste was the same but they were still different people. They were different Nasods. All he needs is data.
Eve that Add knows can be saved if he destroys this Eve.
But his hand didn’t move. His hand couldn’t move because he couldn’t surpass something, some barrier in his heart. Add closed his eyes tightly and struggled, but he couldn’t surpass this something.
He came running all this way surpassing morals, ethics, time and many more but he couldn’t stretch his hand out because he couldn’t overcome this something, just this one thing.
Add opened his eyes while sighing deplorably but then froze up. There was someone else inside the tent. Ophelia was at Eve’s bedside.
She had appeared through the dimension gate on her own before Add had realized.
Did she see? Does she know what he was thinking? Add quickly made calculations while still frozen. If Ophelia found out, then it would be best to turn back time right now. She might start attacking.
When Add stayed frozen, a picket sign appeared on Ophelia’s hand. There were words written on the picket sign which seemed like it was summoned through a dimension gate.
Hello. I’m Ophelia. Queen Eve’s servant.
Nod. Add nodded for now and stared nervously. Ophelia summoned another picket sign and showed Add.
I’m in charge of Queen Eve’s night security. Pleased to meet you.
Security, that’s right. There was a security. Reby and Moby were asleep but Ophelia didn’t sleep. Add would have gotten counterattacked instead if he had tried to attack Eve carelessly.
Add sighed in relief while feeling glad that he didn’t stretch his hand out because of his inner turmoil. His back was already soaked with sweat.
Now fatigued, Add wanted to bathe in some night air so he tried to raise his body but stopped. Something was holding his hand and wasn’t letting go.
It was Eve’s hand.
Eve who had turned sideways while sleeping was holding tightly onto Add’s hand. When Add stayed frozen, Ophelia brought out a picket sign again and explained the situation.
Queen holds on to something beside her when she sleeps.
……That’s right. Didn’t this also happen in Elder? Add nodded while recalling an old memory. Ophelia held up another picket sign.
That’s originally my job. *Tremble*
She must not have a voice feature. Ophelia saw that Add was blankly staring at the sign with Tremble written on it. She must have thought she was not being taken seriously so she actually trembled her body to show Add.
It looked like she was really upset.
“I can’t take a night stroll like this.”
Well it was raining outside anyways. Add gave up everything and half-heartedly finished the Dynamos he was repairing with only one hand. He couldn’t escape because Eve was holding on to him so tightly…..so it looked like he had to go to sleep like this. Eve was sound asleep.
Looking at her peaceful expression…. made the sigh that was pent up in his heart flow out.
“I’m glad….I didn’t do it.”
Thinking carefully, Add had to get a kiss from someone in the El Search Party in order to go back to his original universe. But who would do such a thing for Add if he attacked Eve and stole her core?
If the clue to defeating D was core of this universe’s Eve, then he should steal it after he secured a way to go back. Add unknowingly felt relieved as he closed his eyes.
He was mentally tired and fatigued. It felt like he could sleep well tonight.
Although he was holding someone’s hand.
Or because he was holding her hand.