Eve approached slowly as Add stayed frozen. Let’s hope that her gaze being frostier than usual is just an imagination.
“Don’t do something weird in a public lounge, useless person.”
“That’s not it Ms.Eve. Mr.Add was about to fall so I caught him.”
Eve tried to push Add down after hearing Ara’s explanation. Add staggered but barely managed to not fall and stood up right after.
“You could have just fell down, useless.”
When Add didn’t answer and fixed his crumpled clothes, Eve’s gaze became even colder.
“You could have just stayed rolling on the floor, useless.”
“What’s wrong Ms.Eve?”
Ara asked carefully because the air felt was like Eve was scolding Add.
“I’ll explain it to you later so return to your room. I have something to talk about with this man who should have been better off rolling on the floor.”
Ara asked carefully after looking at Add. It seemed Ara could at least read that this situation was serious. Add nodded silently.
“Then…. two of you have a nice talk.”
Ara reluctantly left the lounge. Soon as Ara left, Eve glared at Add while expulsing an icy aura. She seemed more even more offended compared to when Add had first arrived in Lanox.
“I won’t forgive you do something bad to Ara.”
Eve spoke sharply with an icy voice.
“Ara opens her heart to anyone and treats them kindly. I won’t forgive anyone who disrespects her good will.”
Were those words something that Eve should say? When Add was taken aback and stared back crookedly, Eve stretched her arm out as if there was no point in talking anymore. Then Oberon and Ophelia were summoned immediately.
Add laughed emptily at this gesture resorting to display of force.
“You must be like this because you saw what I did just now. That was just a light experiment. Why are you so upset?”
“My comrade was insulted. I can’t let this slide.”
Well, Eve that Add knew could have acted like this as well. Eve was like Eve in this and other universe so her showing this kind of reaction was understandable.
“Comrades….? Since when were you so close with Ara?”
“Don’t judge me by your standards.”
Eve was treating Add with a tone as if she was disgusted with just having to talk with Add. It seemed Eve became very upset after seeing Add train(?) Ara.
Was the observation that Eve’s reaction was like ‘how dare you try to mess with our puppy!’. A bit twisted?
“Kukukuk, so…. Seeing me play with Ara a bit upset you that much?”
Add asked while sneering because Eve’s words were surprising and strange for him. Eve sighed then folded her arms. Then Oberon and Ophelia disappeared through the dimension gate.
She must have realized she got too riled up.
“Ara tend to be fooled easily by others. I especially don’t want her to be involved with useless person like you that only tries to comes up with petty schemes. If you want to speak with Ara from now on, then you’ll have to speak through me.”
Why was she being so overprotective? This was a bit surprising but Add continued the conversation to get some more information out of this.
“Are you saying I should speak everything through you if I want to talk with Ara? Isn’t that a bit over the top?”
“This rule will stand until I determine that you won’t insult Ara anymore.”
That’s right. Come to think of it, Eve was the second sister and Ara was the youngest sister.
So should he think of this as the second sister being protective of her naïve younger sister and trying to keep an eye on anyone that might harm her?
Add went over the relationship chart in his head then acknowledged Eve’s actions. But he still asked with a thought of what else he could find out.
“Why? What did I do? I just lightly consulted with her. I did play a little joke at the end but this shouldn’t be anything you should get so worked up over.”
Eve must have not expected this question because she hesitated for a bit then spoke slowly.
“…..I felt something very indecent from how you treated Ara. Although I’m not exactly sure what it is.”
She was right on the mark. To think Nasods could be this sharp.
Add was in shock and admiration at Eve’s superior senses but Eve must have interpreted that as Add being suspicious. Eve made an unpleasant expression.
“Anyways, it will be like I said for a while. I’ll also tell Ara to not talk with you alone. If you do not comply with this, I’ll speak about this to Elesis.”
Totally forceful and even with an added threat. But her instinct was right on the mark.
Add was taken aback at this turn of events but was keeping quiet for now. Eve was very furious right now so saying something to retort back will only fuel her anger.
Of course, Eve will never admit that she was being angry right now.
When Add kept silent, Eve must have determined that Add understood and turned around to leave. That was the moment Add was aiming for.
Time to go on the offensive during the moment when she thinks everything is finished.
Eve who was about to walk away glanced back. Add issued a challenge while Eve still had a confused and loosened expression.
“What do you think a kiss is?”
Eve thought for a moment then answered confidently.
“Isn’t that just a membrane contact? Why do you ask?”
“……Kukukuk, never mind. It’s fine.”
Add shrugged as if it was nothing then Eve walked away. Add withdrew his smile after Eve disappeared from his view.
“To think our point of views would align in this…..”
Well, Add was a Nasod engineer and Eve was a Nasod. Two of their thoughts and point of views were similar. Of course, Eve had the tendency to distance herself from Add…. But you couldn’t deny that two of them had similar point of views.
“I’ll first organize all the information.”
Let’s head back.
Add saw someone unfamiliar as he was returning to his lodge. Red hair, but it didn’t belong to Elsword or Elesis.
The one who was holding a spear and looking far out towards the volcano was Ignia.
“If I’m correct she was… priestess of fire.”
Add never heard about Ignia in his universe so he had no information on her. But he did know from experience that Ignia was very powerful. Ignia must have sensed someone was nearby so she turned around. Then she waved her hand towards Add.
“Ooh. Nice to see you!”
Ignia gave a weird greeting then approached quickly and cut to the chase.
“You, is it true that you came over from a different universe? Elesis said so.”
“What do you want?”
Elesis must have determined that this wasn’t an information that had to be hidden. Well, a lax group like the El Search party couldn’t possibly understand the concept of controlling and hiding information.
Although Eun was a very special case.
“Ah, not much…. I’m Priestess of Fire, Ignia. Did I have to explain that? I have something I want to ask you…. you saw me in your universe too right?”
“No, this is my first time seeing you.”
Ignia asked brightly but her expression turned stiff when she heard the answer. She asked again reluctantly.
“Could it be….. that I died on that side?”
That was a miss. Add spoke while frowning.
“This is the first time I heard about a priestess. I’ve never heard about a priestess or have been to a village called Lanox where I came from.”
“So I wasn’t even there?”
“It’s not like all conditions are same between parallel universes. It’s not a big deal if you didn’t exist on our side.”
At Add’s answer, Ignia let out a huge sigh then crouched down then sighed again. She looked totally let down so Add just passed by her.
……But he couldn’t walk forward. Ignia who was crouching down had grabbed Add’s sleeve.
“Wait, here I am being really depressed and you’re going to ignore me and go on your way?”
“I don’t know the information you want.”
Despite being a girl with the power to incinerate hundreds of demons…..tone of her voice was light. So she wasn’t asking how herself from another universe was doing out of curiosity like Ara?
At Add’s answer, Ignia made a very displeased face then forcefully dragged Add down.
She was unexpectedly strong so Add ended up being dragged down and hitting his bottom on the floor. Add got annoyed at how he was sitting on the floor…..but Ignia protested as she glared at Add.
“If someone is having a hard time like this then it’s a common courtesy to stay beside and protect their side! How dare you try to ignore.”
It seemed she was talking about something but he couldn’t understand. Add even forgot being angry and made a blank expression from the words that he was trying to translate in his head.
But Ignia restlessly spewed out words at Add.
“Do you even know how much I looked forward to meeting you ever since I heard that you came from a different universe? Do you think I arrived a day earlier for no reason? It was to meet you! But I got scared to confirm things from you so it took an entire day until I settled my mind. So how dare you try to end this with just couple words? Also, didn’t I appear and help you guys? Of course, I would have eradicated all the demons anyways but I think I’m in a position where I deserve some thanks from you. So me, who helped you is really depressed right now but rather than worry about me and asking what’s wrong, you try to ignore me instead? Just what’s wrong with you? You’re not popular, right? Do you not know about a girl’s heart?”
I can’t understand what you’re saying in the first place. While thinking this, Add listened to the rain of complaints coming at him with a blank expression then barely managed to catch some words that he could understand.
“…..Yes, you appearing and cleaning up all the demons was very good. Thanks.”
“Are you trying to end this by just saying that? Then what about my heart that was beating so much before I met you? Do you think you can get away by just saying you don’t know anything?”
Add got startled unlike himself when Ignia glared at him with sizzling gaze.
“……I, I’m sorry.”
“Do you think it will all end with just an apology? Maybe they let you get away with that in your universe but it’s different here.”
Just what do you want from me then? Add couldn’t understand why Ignia was so angry at him so he just kept his mouth shut. It didn’t look like this girl will let him go….and he didn’t have enough strength to escape from her grasp so having her let all her emotions out felt like the correct response.
When Add kept silent, Ignia who was fuming with anger looked like she calmed down and steadied her breath.
Ignia got up by stabbing her spear on the ground and leaning on it. She sighed as she brushed her bang to the side then held out her hand towards Add.
“Sorry, I said too much because I got too worked up.”
It might not be over. When Add silently grabbed her hand and stood up, Ignia leered at him.
“But you’re also at fault. Do you realize how shocked I was when I heard that I don’t exist in your universe? Shouldn’t you say something like that more carefully?”
“Is that really something you should be so shocked about?”
Ignia stared at Add in disbelief as if trying to say ‘how can such a person exist? Is he even a human?’. She looked quite appalled so Add traced back on what he said to check if he really did say something wrong.
Ignia withdrew her appalled gaze then spoke. Her tone was calm unlike before.
“…..Ah, yes. If you came here from the other side, then you wouldn’t know how things are going in here. Thing aren’t going too well in this universe.”
“I heard about it roughly. Elves are about to go extinct, there’s dragon as our enemy and Velder Kingdom was destroyed.”
“Yes….but it seems you didn’t hear that all other priestesses except me are dead.”
The word priestesses felt fresh for Add. No, it seems he did hear it somewhere….. Add was rummaging over his past memories when Ignia spoke depressingly.
“All other priestesses were killed by the demons. Even those two kids that I promised to protect…..”
Ignia’s eyes were filled to the brim with tears as she spoke. She wiped her eyes then bit her lower lips as she tried to collect her emotion.
“I know that those kids won’t come back. But I had a thought that if an alternate universe existed, maybe they might be living happily in there…..I thought that would be really nice…..”
“……They must have been important to you.”
Ignia gave a small nod.
“Of course, I know that confirming something like this doesn’t have any meaning. I couldn’t protect them in the end. Still…. I ended up thinking how nice it would be if there was a universe where those kids are safe.”
Add also knew what she meant. That’s right, Add jumped over time for the possibility of protecting someone precious to him, possibility of getting back someone precious to him.
But time travel wasn’t something that others could use.
You can’t ever meet people that have been lost or dead again. That’s the cruel rule of the world.
Add didn’t say anything as he looked at Ignia sorrowfully lower her gaze.
Add chose the path of jumping over time but telling others to do the same was impossible. If there was still a possibility of protecting the ones important to them, a possibility that it could be achieved, then Add can encourage them and even lend his help.
He could help Ara with turning Ran back.
But Ignia had already lost people that were important to her. What words from him could possibly hold any meaning for her?
As Add was thinking, a single line of thought flashed by in his head. His mouth spoke faster than his head could organize this thought.
“Legend of the water priestess.”
“Legend of the water priestess, story….about a priestess who fell in love with a demon.”
Add became shocked at this information that he just remembered. This was a story he heard from Chung back in Hamel. Add hadn’t been interested in it back then but its significance changes now that he’s face to face with Ignia, the priestess of fire.
“It’s a legend that has been passed down in my universe. I thought that it was just a simple legend……”
“There’s a priestess?”
Ignia’s mood changed then she asked while pushing her face closer to Add almost as if she was going to grab him by the collar. But Add responded level-headedly.
“It’s a legend from hundreds of years ago. But from your reaction, priestess of water did seem to exist.”
“……Yes, Hamel’s Sasha.”
There was no proof that the water priestess from the legend and this universe’s water priestess were same individuals. But there was a high chance that they were.
“I didn’t mention in detail about what’s happening in my universe to others. Keep what I’m about to say from now on only a secret between us.”
Ignia looked at Add with eyes filled with anticipation as she nodded. Well, she didn’t look that trustworthy to keep a secret but it wouldn’t be a big deal for Add if this detail was leaked.
“I think the time has been distorted in my universe.”
“What does that mean?”
“I don’t know in detail either. But there’s someone called D trying to rule over time and space and time is being distorted in that process. Things that shouldn’t be happening are happening.”
Add from present and future existing at the same time was something that should normally be impossible.
‘Eun also spoke about this as if D was cheating, breaking the rules.’
Add recalled the wooden lattice board that Eun showed him, a stone on top of another stone then nodded strongly. D was existing in a form that shouldn’t be possible and as bending the world to his will.
And the order of time has been distorted in that process.
“So because of D’s work, water priestess might have changed into a person from hundreds of years ago and is being passed down as legend.”
“If I defeat D, then the priestesses might return to present.”
No, it will certainly happen. D who rules over time was trying to obtain space that Aisha had been controlling to become the king of time and space…… But what will happen if Add defeats D?
There will be a vacancy for the throne. Not just any throne but the throne of king of time, a position of enormous power.
Then who should take up that empty position? Shouldn’t it obviously be the winner?
Add gripped his fist tightly at this thought surging up from within him.
“If I…… defeat D. Then everything will be solved.”
He’ll become the king of time after D. He’ll obtain the power to go back to the past freely….. then he’ll get back the person that was precious to him.
Defeating D was same as achieving his goal. These two shouldn’t be thought separately.
Add became assured that he had to defeat D not because of others, not because Eun said Add was the only one who could defeat D…..but to achieve his ultimate goal.
There was no detailed explanation but Ignia seemed like she understood.
“I see, so in that universe…..there’s still a chance that Gloria and Darkmoon can be happy?”
“Well, if I go back and achieve my goal…. Then I could consider it.”
He could consider doing it as a favor for Ignia to commemorate his goal becoming clearer. Ignia bowed when Add spoke slowly.
“Yes, I’ll be counting on you. Although it will be impossible in this universe…. But please protect them so those kids can be happy on that side.”
“……I’ll do that.”
Gloria, Darkmoon. They were names that Add haven’t heard before but he could sense that they had been very dear to Ignia.
When Add accepted readily, Ignia made an expression as if she was relieved then leaned her spear on her shoulder.
“I won’t be able to help directly with what’s going on in your universe but tell me if there’s anything I can do to help you. I’ll do my best.”
Add was about to say he’ll tell her later when he thinks of something but paused.
The condition Eun spoke about was to kiss with someone from the El Search Party, but did Ignia count as El Search Party?
“….What I’m about to say is an absolute secret. I’ll cancel what we talked about before if you tell this to anyone.”
“Don’t worry. I’m good at keeping secrets. So what can I help you with?”
Ignia replied with an extremely willing expression. She would have rolled up her sleeves if the design of her clothes allowed her to.
Add explained the situation slowly while wishing this didn’t sound weird.
“For me to go back to my universe….. I need to kiss one of the girls from the El Search Party.”
“Don’t doubt me. I’m not joking.”
Add ignored Ignia’s confused reaction then continued speaking.
Well, it sounded as if he could also do it with a guy but omitting that….
“I don’t want to do it either. But there’s no other way. But I…..haven’t done that kind of thing before. I don’t even know where to begin.”
“……Uh, so are you asking me to do it with you?”
Add shook his head from side to side when Ignia got startled.
“With El Search Party from my universe. So, I have to do it with someone except Lu and you.”
Ignia didn’t seem convinced because she scratched her head. It would be weird if she easily believed that a way for Add to return to his original universe was a kiss. It was as if a story about science fiction had suddenly turned into a story about magic and fairy tales.
Ignia repeatedly tapped the ground with the tail of her spear as she asked.
“Let’s say I believe you, so how can I help?”
“This isn’t something many people should know about. That will only make things more complicated and troublesome since there should be some established….personal relationships between the Search Party members as well. So I want to figure this out quietly as possible.”
“Ah, of course. There’s probably something like that.”
That’s right. He needed an informant.
Eun was still untrustworthy and was from same a universe as Add. She wouldn’t be much help. So he tried to get the help of the Search Party’s males but that failed. What remained was a help from the 3rd party.
Someone who knew the situation well, and someone who would support him fully without any trickery.
“So find out who’s the target that I can kiss most easily….. Find out what the girls are thinking.”
“This is a really strange story…… so you’re basically asking me to gather the Search Party’s girls in one place then ask them which guy is on their mind the most?”
“……I didn’t tell you to do that.”
Ah, why was his ears turning red just from hearing that? Add hoped Ignia wouldn’t notice his state as he rubbed his ears.
“But that should be the fastest way. Isn’t it basically gathering all the girls then having a chat about love relationships?”
Rather than Add asking the girls, Ignia who was a girl asking instead should yield more honest answers.
“You aren’t messing with me right? I won’t let you off if that’s the case. I’ll burn you to crisp.”
“I’m not doing this because I want to.”
Ignia stared at Add for a while then nodded as if she accepted his circumstance.
“Alright, then so that Gloria and Darkmoon in your universe can live happily….. I have to find out who’s the girl that has the most chance of kissing with you. I may not look it but I’m still a priestess…and yet I’ll have to become some sort of love diviner for this.”
“There’s not much time so hurry.”
Ignia made an expression as if it couldn’t be helped then turned around.
“I’ll check it out right away tonight. But don’t get your hopes up too much.”
“You better come through.”
At Add’s words, Ignia sighed then walked away while sulking.
“Just my luck. Love divination all of a sudden…..”
Ignia was openly expressing her complaints but she will certainly try her best. Although by improvisation, Add acquired a cooperator on the girls’ side.
Even though Add had lived so far without interest in love relationships, he at least knew that this sort of topic became more honest when only people of same genders were gathered. Ignia was a magnificent cooperator in this situation.
“Alright, should I go and wait for the result?”
Let’s finish repairing the Dynamos while waiting for Ignia’s information. Add headed back to his lodge.