Around half of chapter 3. Gotta study for exams for next two days but will be free after that.
Grand Cavern entrance.
El Search Party regrouped in front of the entrance. Something must have happened because there was a strange atmosphere between Elsword and Aisha…… but everyone else seemed fine.
“Then let’s enter the Grand Cavern. This place is Scar’s lair so even I don’t know much.” Lu spoke cautiously.
“Karis should be here as well. We don’t know what tricks she might use so let’s all be careful.”
Lu nodded as Ciel warned.
“Yes, and I’d like to settle things with Karis personally if possible.”
“The battle could get chaotic so I can’t grantee that, do you understand Lu?”
Elesis cautioned and Lu reluctantly accepted.
“Our objective is to defeat Scar and stop the demon god resurrection ritual. Don’t forget that everyone.”
Elesis spoke gravely then loosened her expression then looked at Add.
“Add, thanks for coming together with us. You shouldn’t have to help with fights in our universe.”
“Hmph, don’t say something useless. I’m was just sticking around with you guys to achieve my own goals.”
“Then I’ll be thankful if you stuck around with us till then end.”
Add nodded quietly when Elesis asked while grinning. During this battle, Add was planning to search for a way to go back and put his plans into motion.
Although that didn’t mean he will overlook it when the El Search Party came into danger……
Add stole a glance at Eve. Eve who was staring at Elsword must have noticed Add’s gaze and turned to look at Add.
Add felt somewhat guilty after meeting her eyes so he quickly turned his head away and looked only forwards.
“Okay, let’s go everyone!”
Aisha got surprised when Elsword took a deep breath then dashed forward with a shout.
“Wait! Why are you running off on your own?!”
“Let’s go everyone!”
Elesis spoke refreshingly then dashed forward as well. Other El Search Party members all started to run after Elsword.
Elsword energetically ran forward, Aisha had a disgruntled face as she followed behind Elsword, Rena followed with a cold expression beside Aisha, Raven followed as he calmly scanned the situation from beside Rena, Eve followed calmly behind Raven, Chung followed with a determined face beside Eve, Elesis followed with her sword held tightly behind Chung, Ara followed nervously to the left of Elesis, Add followed on his Dynamos behind Ara and Lu who was excited for battle and Ciel who protected her side followed after Add.
It was start of the final battle in the Grand Cavern, the fight to stop the demon god resurrection ritual.
The first abnormally of this battle was a shout from Elsword who had been running in very first. Elsword’s body seemed to get surrounded by a light then he disappeared in an instant.
Aisha looked down at the floor in surprise then shouted urgently.
“Be careful! Forced teleport…..!”
A light surrounded Aisha’s body too as she spoke. Everyone tried to react somehow but they didn’t have enough time.
Add also felt his body being surrounded by light as he instinctively forced himself to run forward.
Somewhere inside the Grand Cavern.
Elsword who got teleported first looked around with sword in his hand. It was a place he was seeing for the first time and he couldn’t see the other party members that were with him before.
“Where is this place?”
“……That’s what you get for running in without any preparations.”
Elsword turned back due to muttering voice behind him. Aisha was glaring at him angrily.
“There’s not enough time to stop the demon god from resurrecting. We should hurry.”
“But nothing is going to get solved just by running in. Just how long are you going to fight only looking at what’s ahead of you? Grow up a little you idiot.”
“……What happen to the others?”
Aisha made even more upset expression when Elsword ignored her last words but she quickly regained her composure.
This place was a wide platform floating in midair and there were only two of them on top….. Aisha thought at least she had to stay calm.
“We got caught by the forced teleport magic circles. It was hidden in a very clever way. Was it Karis’s doing? She didn’t look like she had this much power. There could be someone else behind…..”
Elsword only focused on the main point as Aisha trailed her words.
“Then did everyone else get separated like us? They should be safe, right?”
“You should worry more about yourself. You would have been separated all by yourself without knowing how to come back if I didn’t follow right behind you this time. Just how long do I have to take care of you?”
“I never asked you to take care of me…..”
“What did you say? Who do you think I’m going through all this trouble for?”
Elsword closed his mouth when Aisha’s eyes turned furious.
It was tiresome for Elsword to deal with Aisha since she tended to get angry just from mentioning the truth. He couldn’t grasp which part of what he said was always making her angry.
‘Come to think of it, she always seems to get angry at only me……”
Didn’t she get along with everyone else rather fine? Of course, she did seem a bit at odds with Add but Add was that type of person in the first place.
Elsword responded by keeping quiet as Aisha kept glaring at him with a face as if saying ‘try to refute me if you can’. It was better this to keep quiet……
In that moment, Elsword’s face became serious as he held his sword up.
“I know how we can get back to others.”
Then dimension gates opened in front of the two as Steel Lava Fighters started to pour out. Aisha spoke as she became nervous.
“This platform is too small. It will be the end if we fall from here.”
“Aisha, I’m going to weave through them so get ready to fire off a big one!”
Aisha got frustrated at being ordered one-sidedly but Elsword didn’t listen to her as he dashed out towards the demons.
Somewhere in the Grand Cavern.
Rena narrowed her eyes and scanned her surroundings when the light disappeared. She was on top of a floating platform, she couldn’t see any way out.
“…..I don’t see the others.”
Rena nodded gravely to agree with a man standing beside her.
“Attacking us yesterday was…..a trick to get us overconfident. We only thought about beating Scar and Karis quickly after easy victory against the minions…. I never imagined they had laid this kind of trap.”
“This is my fault. I should have anticipated something like this.”
The man slowly shook his head.
“Even if this was a trap by the demons, it’s not something you should feel responsible for.”
Elsword was still young and while Elesis was skillful she could be overly reckless. So shouldn’t it be Rena’s job to level-headedly analyze the situation and come up with a countermeasure?
This was how Rena thought of her position in the El Search Party all this time.
“You shouldn’t blame yourself for this all alone.”
Raven looked at Rena with a complicated expression. There were so many piled up words he should say to her but he couldn’t get a grasp of how he should convey them. When he quietly stared at Rena without knowing which words to say first, Rena sighed then spoke with a calm voice.
“Thanks Raven. I calmed down a bit thanks to you. We can’t do anything about what already happened…. We should be thinking about what to do now.”
That’s not what I meant… he meant she was taking too much responsibility all to herself. But his timing to say this had already passed.
Rena seemed to have shoved her self-blame to the corner of her mind and was now observing their surroundings sharply. She was scanning the terrain, tapping the floor and trying to figure out where they were. She was completely focused on how to regroup with the others.
Raven who was looking at Rena’s back then closed his eyes. Bringing up the past won’t mean anything now. Even so…..
“Even what happened to the Elves wasn’t your fault.”
Rena who was moving her hands winced then froze up. As Raven thought, these words were too late after all.
He should have been beside her beforehand and told her these words when she was in pain….. But Rena had already strongly suppressed her emotions all by herself by the time when Raven realized the situation.
Despite how this elf went through a tragedy that tore her heart apart, it won’t be an exaggeration to say that Rena possessed mind of steel that allowed her to recover by herself. Rena’s mind should be stronger than anyone else in the El Search Party.
Incomparably beautiful steel sword, but wouldn’t that sword be damaged right now?
Raven always kept these thoughts in his mind and couldn’t bring it up until now. There weren’t many chances to talk to Rena alone…. And he wasn’t confident if he had the strength to re-forge the possibly damaged sword, the strength to comfort others and ease their minds.
This uncertainty was because Raven himself was also a sword remade by somehow scraping together shattered pieces.
Raven who was looking down at his left arm…his Nasod arm clenched his fist.
He wasn’t certain if he had the ability or right to comfort others. That’s why he had neglected this conversation with Rena all this time…..
Rena who had been sitting examining the platform pushed on the ground and stood up. She made a light sigh then shook her head. This was much lighter reaction than Raven prepared for.
“I’m sorry for making you worry.”
“No I was……”
Raven tried to convey the words that he kept for himself all this time. But Rena shook her head again.
“Elesis keeps teasing me more recently. She’s really like a mischievous kid.”
“She must be concerned because she thinks I’ve changed. Everyone tends to change…. but I guess it’s strange for this to apply to long-living elves…..”
Rena spoke up to that much then looked back at Raven.
“Honestly, I wasn’t particularly interested if I had changed. I left those matters for later. All I thought about was defeating the enemy. I was in a position where I had to lead the Elf squadron so I had no time to look back upon myself. I only got some chances for personal activities after arriving in Lanox.”
“But I plan to think about this carefully after finishing this fight. Of course, I won’t change all of a sudden…. But the fight against demons should get somewhat settled after solving this crisis in Lanox.”
Rena was speaking about the future calmly.
“I don’t know what kind of person I’ll be then…. but I think I’ll be a better person than now. Does this sound strange for me to say?”
When Reaven shook his head stiffly, Rena approached him then sighed.
“I ended up making you worry too. I’m sorry.”
“I did what’s obvious. We’re…..”
Raven hesitated for a brief moment then gave an answer that sounded obvious.
“Comrades after all.”
Rena closed her eyes and savored the tone of that word. She tried to make a thin smile…..then changed her expression drastically then turned back. Raven also noticed someone else’s presence and drew his blade.
Dimension gate opened as In and Jin appeared.
“We can’t let you get to General Scar.”
“We’ll finish you two here.”
Raven asked shortly.
“Are they the enemies you spoke of?”
“Yes, they seem like Scar’s direct subordinates. They are quite skilled. Be careful.”
In laughed with a loud voice.
“Two of you looked quite skilled amongst the El Search Party so we’ll take care of you two personally by ourselves.”
Jin didn’t say anything as she ran in swinging her serpentine sword. Rena also didn’t speak more as she drew her sword while running in.
2 vs 2 fight started.
Somewhere in the Grand Cavern.
Chung and Ara who also got teleported to some platform were in middle of a battle. Ara’s energy blast sent the Steel Lava Fighters flying and Chung’s cannons attacked Incubi that were waiting for their chance in the air.
But there were too many of them. The two that’s been fighting the enemy for a while stood back to back in middle of the platform and caught their breaths.
As they did that, dimension gate opened once more as demons poured out again.
“There’s really no end to them…..”
“What should we do Big Sister Ara?”
At Chung’s question, Ara made her decision.
“Others should be fighting somewhere else too. Let’s do our best here as well.”
“Then what about Scar or Karis…..?”
“I don’t think this is the time to be conserving our strengths. We’ll think about what happens later when the time comes, Mr.Chung!”
Chung nodded at Ara’s words then closed his eyes. After taking in a deep breath, he abruptly opened his eyes.
Chung’s armor seemed to get larger with his shout then it transformed into a full body armor that protected his body perfectly. Berserk mode, it was an ability passed down in the Seiker family.
Ara also seemed to do a backflip then her appearance changed to a form with white hair, red eyes and blindingly white nine tails.
It was the Celestial Fox state which brought out power of the fox within her.
“I’ll go first, Mr.Chung!”
Ara ran to the left as Chung also ran towards the right. How they didn’t look back at each other and ran into the enemies by themselves seemed like they were making a suicidal attack…. but the truth was different.
Impact multiple times larger than the ones two had been showing in a fight before swept over the demons. Demons fell like leaves before the storm whenever white fox flew in swinging the spear. Demons got utterly shattered whenever white armor ran in swinging the Destroyer.
Fox and armor moved about in the darkness as they crushed their enemies.
No matter how many enemies they faced, they could never lose when two of them were fighting together.
Grand Cavern, under the dark hole in mid air that was sucking in everything.
Elesis closed her eyes then shook her head. After sighing, Elesis opened only one eye then glared at the enemy showing his back toward her.
“Long time no see…. Blue Lava Scar!”
“Yes, it’s been long time. Red Haired Knight.”
Demon general Scar slowly turned around. Scar’s rank was equal to Karis and Ran but he was the most powerful amongst demons in terms of pure physical and destructive power.
Just him turning around made the ground platform he was standing on shatter and make the debris fly away.
Of course, this kind of destruction wouldn’t happen since Scar normally controlled his power. This was a side-effect of him having no intention of controlling his power right now.
Elesis knew this as well and smiled.
“I was skeptic at first but I didn’t think you’ll really invite me by myself. Are the others okay?”
“There can’t be any distractions in our fight.”
It was a simple answer but Elesis confirmed Scar’s motives. What happened just now was nothing more than a simple forced teleport. Other Search Party members should be fighting by themselves.
And in front of Elesis was Scar. The strongest amongst demons was standing by himself.
“Strongest amongst demons…..”
Elesis smiled as she raised her sword. Scar smiled back at Elesis as he raised his sword. It was a very satisfied smile.
“Strongest amongst humans…..”
No one would dare object to Elesis and Scar representing their race. Humans or demons, who was stronger will be decided by their fight.
“No, calling you the strongest amongst humans isn’t enough. Red Haired Knight, strongest in Elrios, let’s finally settle our score today!”
“Yes, strongest in Demon Realm. I’ll destroy you for sure today. I’ll also stop the demon god resurrection ritual while at it.”
“Kahaha. If you can.”
Storm suddenly started to blow as Scar unleashed his full power while laughing. The air was shaking because of the unleashed the power that was usually kept suppressed.
Elesis smiled energetically as she confronted the energy storm blowing against her.
“Alright, let’s do this!”
Red Haired Knight and Blue Lava Demon charged towards each other.
Strongest in Elrios versus Strongest in Demon Realm, one who survives this fight will truly obtain the title of the strongest!
Somewhere in the Grand Cavern.
Lu who was standing on top of a platform blinked.
“Ooh, it suddenly became bright then we got forcefully moved to somewhere else. How intriguing.”
“Nothing seems to be wrong with our bodies.”
Ignia frowned when Ciel standing beside Lu joined in.
“Just what’s going on? Did demons have this kind of power? I don’t know about others….but to move me, a priestess?”
Ignia’s remark sounded arrogant but she could say it because she was actually an incredibly powerful individual. You could tell how powerful Ignia was from how she was the only priestess that survived while other priestesses were murdered by the demons and from how she protected Lanox as the final line of defense against the demons until the El Search Party came to assist.
Lu tilted her head as if she couldn’t understand either.
“It wasn’t a familiar magical wave.”
“Lanox would have fallen already long ago if there was someone this skilled amongst the demons….”
Ignia was more worried about what kind of incredibly powerful being made this event possible rather than being glad that she was okay after the teleport. But even Lu who was lord of the Demon Realm didn’t have any clues.
Ciel spoke as he looked forward.
“Looks like someone with an answer is showing up.”
Dimension gate opened then Karis walked out from it while yawning lightly. She even stretched as if to show off then glared at Lu with narrow eyes.
“So we meet other like this. Lord Luciela.”
“Karis, was calling me here your doing? You shouldn’t have this much power.”
Lu demanded with a cold voice. The reason Lu lost her original power and ended up wandering in Elrios was because of betrayal by Karis who was her direct subordinate.
Although Lu never liked Karis’ actions, she took good care of Karis regardless. Lu did scold Karis time to time whenever she did things wrong but Lu never imagined to get betrayed by her.
“Even a dog recognises their master…. But apparently, demons don’t.”
Karis laughed with a low voice after hearing Lu scold her.
“Ahaha, no matter what you say you don’t look dignified at all with that small and weak form right now. Don’t worry, I’ll take away whatever remaining power you have…. Then make you a decoration in my room. I could leave behind at least your arms and legs if you beg for your life now.”
“Nonsense! This war would never have happened if you didn’t betray me! That foolish warmongering faction must have shifted the popular opinion in the Demon Realm towards invading Elrios when I who was against the war disappeared!”
“Yes, that’s correct. That’s why I betrayed you after all.”
Karis licked her lips as if saying it was obvious then twisted her body. Looking down on her old master whom she betrayed must be giving her quite a stimulating pleasure.
“It’s not like I hated you that much Lord Luciela. Your words were always drastically ideal but you were pretty after all…. And you always came to save me whenever my life was in danger. You treated me who was powerless kindly and adored me. Honestly, I might have loved you… No, I certainly loved you.”
“Come to think of it now, I completely fell for you. Yes, so this is love. I fell in love.”
Lu was bewildered by the sudden confession but Karis must have gotten excited because she smiled seductively.
“Isn’t that true? When a demon who’s beautiful like a goddess, takes care of you and adores you…. wouldn’t you naturally fall in love with her?”
“You say you love her yet you betrayed her? You’re insane Karis.”
Karis made an extremely dissatisfied face when Ciel replied boldly.
It was if Karis didn’t like Ciel’s existence itself. She glared at Ciel with a murderous intent but sighed in the end and shook her head.
“But Lord Luciela treats everyone equally and was too idealistic. I knew that she didn’t adore me because she particularly liked me or because I was lovely. I already knew it was only because I was her subordinate. Not just that but I wanted to exact vengeance against the Celestial Realm….. That’s when Scar timely asked me to join hands with him.”
Karis burst out laughing when Lu asked calmly.
“Wasn’t it same as catching two birds with one stone for me if I betrayed you Lord Luciela? I can both start a war and keep my beloved Lord Luciela caged within my embrace at the same time? Oh my! I had no choice but to betray you after all.”
“Are you finished blurting out nonsense Karis?”
Lu frowned as she summoned her magical gauntlets. Karis stared at Lu with extremely overjoyed eyes.
“I love you Lord Luciela. So I’ll kill anyone who gets in our way. Then I’ll make you submit to my words. No matter how much you try to resist me…. You’ll be tormented when people you know start to die in front of your eyes, right? You wouldn’t let that happen, right? I’ll continue to make you watch Elrios get destroyed until you listen to me, until you accept my feelings.”
“…..You guys have been talking about something weird. But.”
Ignia who had been listening quietly pointed her spear at Karis. She glared at Karis as if she was her sworn enemy.
“If what I just heard is correct…. Lu, demons invaded Elrios because you were exiled from the Demon Realm?”
“…..Yes, I could have stopped this war from happening if I stayed in power. It’s all my fault.”
Flames burst up from Ignia’s body when Lu painfully admitted. Ignia’s powers were flowing out because she was too enraged.
“And Karis’ betrayal got you exiled?”
Ignia was grinding her teeth as if everything was clear now.
“So that means, the reason Gloria and Darkmoon died, the reason other priestesses lost their lives….the reason so many people of Elrios died in this war with demons was because of this insane demon in front of my eyes?”
“Ah, I get it, you’re the fire priestess.”
Karis gazed at Ingia with bleary eyes as if she just figured out.
“You look pretty too but is a bit arrogant. Well, I guess I can let you into my collection…. But you should know your place. Fix your insolent stare first if you want to stay alive and become my slave.”
“……I’ll burn you until nothing remains.”
Karis laughed loudly when Ignia gripped her spear tightly while grinding her teeth.
“Ah, is that it? Are you here for revenge? Come to think of it, there were other priestesses too. Yes, there were. Scar asked for it so me and my minions took care of them.”
“Security was quite lax so they were easy to kidnap. I toyed with them one by one then killed them when I got bored. It wasn’t bad for entertainment. Amongst them though, who were the youngest again? There were some twins….were they sun and moon priestesses? Am I right?”
Karis smiled brightly as she looked at Ignia.
“Their names were Gloria and Darkmoon, right? Do you know whose name they called before they were mangled to death? Please spare me Lord Karis, don’t hate me, Lord Karis. I’ll do anything, Lord Karis…..”
Boom!! Ignia became an orb of fire in that moment and ran into Karis.