El Search Party group that headed to the Temple of Fire arrived at the Hot Springs. Add heard that members who just arrived went to bathe to relieve their fatigue so he made up his mind and also headed to the men’s bath.
He didn’t like bathing with other people but he needed information.
When Add arrived, Raven, Elsword, Ciel and Chung were already in the water enjoying their bath. Elsword waved his hands to greet Add.
“Big Brother Add, was everything fine on this side?”
‘Lu and Rena had a big fight and Elesis and I got captured’ was too long of an explanation.
“Listen to what happened on our side from the others. How did things go on your side?”
“Didn’t Ms.Ignia come before us?”
“…..I haven’t talked properly with that priestess.”
Add couldn’t make time to talk with Ignia because the information Eun revealed was too shocking. Raven explained simply.
“There were demons lying in ambush. It took some time to defeat them.”
“Didn’t Lu cause trouble?”
Add shrugged when Ciel asked amiably. The reason Add came to the men’s bath wasn’t to give trifling explanations.
“Things seems to be complicated amongst girls. It’s difficult for me to explain.”
“…….It must be.”
Raven must have guessed what might have happened because he sighed. He must also understand Rena’s feelings.
Anyways, the main topic starts from here. Add nervously looked at the other guys then carefully brought up the topic.
“I have something I want to ask. But I first want a promise from all of you that you’ll keep this a secret from the girls.”
Chung asked confusedly and Ciel stared at Add with a strange gaze for a bit then made a mischievous smile.
“Interesting. I’ll keep it a secret.”
“Is it something you can’t tell them? What is it?
“If it’s just consulting……”
Elsword and Raven seem to have accepted as well. Add gulped then…..warned again.
“I’ll say it again, if you don’t keep this a secret…..”
“There must be a girl that’s on your mind, who is it?”
Add shut his mouth when Ciel asked while smiling. He wanted to deny Ciel’s words so strongly but he didn’t know if denying would help with the conversation that will follow.
“Let me first say that this doesn’t concern this universe.”
Add got wary when Ciel unexpectedly showed strong interest in this.
Come to think of it, Add didn’t have any information about Ciel unlike the other search party members. You could conclude others were just generally naive despite being a different universe, but there was no precedent information about Lu and Ciel.
But to catch the tiger, you must go into the tiger’s den.
“…….I’ll be straightforward. Have any of you ever kissed with a girl?”
Elsword and Chung’s eyes widened and Raven and Ciel had no response.
Attitudes of two men keeping their silence strangely contrasted each other. Raven had an expression as if he was reluctant about this topic while Ciel looked like he was forcing himself to prevent himself from laughing.
It will look lame if Add withdrew the topic now that he started it.
“There’s someone I have to kiss. But I don’t know how I should do that. If any of you have experience with it, I’d like to hear about your experience or any other information regarding it….”
Add trailed his words because troubled from the stares of the guys.
“…..I know it’s strange to ask something like this.”
“N, no. I, it’s not strange at….all.”
Ciel was covering his mouth with his hands and shaking. Add became annoyed because Ciel looked at him with a strangely warm gaze when they made eye contact.
Add ignored Ciel then looked around at the other three.
“……What does that mean?”
Elsword was making a face as if he was bewildered and Chung was embarrassed with his face all red. Two of them didn’t seem like they’d be much of a help.
Raven had his head turned away with his mouth shut. It seemed like he was going to spare his words much as possible……and Add didn’t have intentions to pressure him to talk.
The problem was…. only one remaining after the elimination rule was Ciel who was currently struggling not to laugh.
When Add looked back at Ciel with a reluctant gaze, Ciel covered his mouth with his hands then turned away.
“Don’t laugh at me……”
“I, I’m not…… ah.”
Ciel was shaking trying not to laugh. Add felt like hitting his bare exposed back.
The reason for Add’s face becoming red probably wasn’t only because of heat from the hot spring.
“…..I’m asking seriously.”
Elsword must have realized this wasn’t a joke and groaned troublesomely then spoke out.
“Want me to ask Big Sis about it for you?”
“……..Don’t do it ever. I already said this is a secret from the girls. I won’t forgive you if you do.”
Elsword scratched his head troublesomely when Add glared at him.
“But isn’t that something a guy and girl does together? Wouldn’t it be better to ask what girls think about it?”
That was a rather mature(?) opinion coming from Elsword but Add shook his head. Add said this was about his universe but that was just an excuse. This was something that had to be done in this universe in order for him to go back to the original universe.
It was an information that shouldn’t be revealed to the girls of the Search Party. He wanted to keep it a secret much as possible.
“I’m sorry Mr.Add. I don’t think I’ll be much help.”
“I didn’t expect much from you…..”
Chung made a complicated expression at Add’s sharp response. Raven was still keeping silent and Ciel was struggling to hold in his laugh.
Add did anticipate only ones amongst the El Search Party that likely had this kind of experience was Raven and Ciel who were older.
But Raven’s atmosphere was as if he didn’t want to talk and Ciel was…..
Going to die from laughing too much. Add internally wished he really did drop dead right now.
“I was skeptic but you guys can’t help me after all. Let’s stop talking about this. Remember, don’t…..”
“Ah, wait Add. Pfft, hahaha…..”
Ciel waved his hands to stop Add. It was annoying how he burst out into laughter in middle of his words but Add decided to listen to what he had to say for now.
“Alright, so do you mean there’s a girl your concerned about in your universe? Who is it?”
“Do I have to reveal that?”
“I can’t give any advices if I don’t know who.”
Add didn’t answer right away to Ciel who finally stopped laughing, no, who was still laughing but stopped laughing out loud.
Who will he kiss?
Although he bought time by keeping silent, he couldn’t get a quick answer. Add had asked because it might be a good reference if he heard about the guys’ experience.
This had been originally for gathering information. But Add couldn’t ignore Ciel’s suggestion.
“I see, so it changes depending on who.”
Eun did also say something similar while mentioning about affection points. Add delved into his thoughts while stroking his chin. So far, he had blindly thought that he was going to raise the affection point of someone…. But that was too vague.
It needed to be more thorough.
“I see, that’s right.”
Ciel was watching with an excited gaze as Add delved into his thoughts. Although Ciel was being annoying, he was the only consultant right now.
“You said Lu and I weren’t there so that leaves the girls except Lu….. Is it one of Aisha, Rena, Eve, Elesis or Ara?”
Chung stared straightly at Add when names of the girls were mentioned. Elsword stared piercingly at Add when Elesis was mentioned.
And Raven was just staring quietly.
Add’s expression became nervous when gazes of three naked(because this is a bath) guys focused on him. Three of them didn’t say anything…..but were giving off a strange pressure.
The atmosphere was as if there might be trouble if Add said something wrong.
“Big Brother, you can’t possibly be……”
Elsword stopped in middle of his word and scratched his head. Elsword was groaning as if he couldn’t organize his thoughts then glared at Add.
“Thinking about Big Sis right?”
“……You think I’m that suicidal?”
He’d be glad if he didn’t lose a limb or two after kissing her. Add wasn’t putting Elesis in the list of candidates in the first place.
Just dealing with her was bothersome enough, so affection points? Ridiculous.
Add answered with detest at the idea but Elsword didn’t seem like he was listening.
“I don’t want to meddle…..but you have to beat me first if you want to do it with Big Sis.”
Elsword was acting like he would have pulled out his sword if this wasn’t a bath. Add was so bewildered that he retorted.
“Do you think I’m crazy? Why would I make approaches to that girl? Stop speaking nonsense…..”
What do you call these kinds of guys again? Siscon? But Elsword calmly expressed his opinion despite Add’s annoyed response.
“I won’t accept anyone who’s weaker than Big Sis. Fight with me first.”
Is he saying if anyone wants to kiss Elesis, they must beat him first? How does that process come about? If you want to kiss the older sister, you must fight and beat her younger brother? What universe is that culture from?
“Drop it. Didn’t I say clearly that it wasn’t Elesis?”
“Then who is it, Mr.Add?”
Add closed his mouth at Chung’s question. This situation felt like how one fastened the first button of a coat wrong. Add hasn’t been wary of the other members because he was focusing only on his tasks, but…..
‘Wait…. So guys here are mindful about girl members as well?’
Hypothesis that Add hadn’t even thought about once passed through his mind.
Elsword cares about Elesis. Although Elsword’s reaction was over the top, this was understandable since they were siblings….. But others too?
It felt like he carelessly touched upon complicatedly tangled feelings and relationships. When Add wasn’t saying anything, Raven who had been keeping silent all this time opened his mouth.
“It’s about something from that universe, it’s not something we should meddle in.”
“……I know. But you can’t with Big Sis. I won’t accept anyone who’s weaker than Big Sis.”
Just by what authority did he have the right to say something like that…….? Also, saying that he won’t accept any man who was weaker than Elesis was not too different from saying he was going let his sister be single forever.
“I also think that’s a bit…..”
“So, Add. Who’s the girl you’re concerned about?”
Ciel, the culprit who inflated this issue asked again without hiding how much he was enjoying this. Add who was feeling like he was cornered rolled his eyes for a while looking for a way to answer then got up quickly.
This calls for tactical retreat.
“I wasn’t thinking right. This doesn’t conversation doesn’t seem too useful so let’s stop here.”
Gazes of the guys followed him but Add ignored and quickly escaped from the bath. This was running away even thinking subjectively, but he had no choice but to escape right now.