Somewhere in the Grand Cavern.
Add was on his knees and panting after the forced teleport. He recalled the sensation he felt when infiltrating the Velder inner castle so he immediately ran forward to not get separated from Eve.
And the result….
“It’s heavy, useless.”
He was holding Eve down on the ground by pressing on her shoulders. Eve looked at Add displeasingly from being pushed down.
“I said it’s heavy, useless…..”
Eve looked annoyed because Add didn’t move aside but she didn’t try to push Add away by force. Come to think of it, Eve always judged Add as useless…..but she was treating him as someone she needed to take care of at the same time. She won’t instantly retaliate with force even if Add does something rather rude.
She was like that when Add was touching her face before too. Anyways… Add was successful in securing Eve from the forced teleport.
They were by themselves now so this was the perfect chance for Add to achieve his goal.
Add was staring down at Eve while making cold calculations in his head when…. A voice came from above.
“That’s a nice scene there. So how long are you two going to stay like that? I’d like it if you proceeded quickly if you’re going to do something.”
Add raised his head from the sudden voice to see Ara looking down on them as she sat on the tip of her spear which was diagonally stabbed on the ground.
White hair and red eyes, 3 tails waving in the air, it was Eun who was borrowing Ara’s appearance.
Add realized Eun was watching so he quickly moved away from Eve. Showing this kind of scene was embarrassing…..even if Eun was his ally with the same objective as him.
Eve stood up by grabbing the hand Add held out to her then summoned Ophelia to hit the dust off her back. Eve’s gaze as she was tidying up headed towards Eun who was sitting on the spear.
“Yes, I’m a nameless fox borrowing Ara’s appearance just for a while. I’m an old friend of that boy in front of you.”
Eun shrugged when Add responded to that unreasonable word disgruntledly.
“It’s true that we’re lovers in time but I shouldn’t be saying that in front of the girl. Please do understand.”
“…..It’s getting worse.”
Eun gave a beautiful disapproving glance at Add when he frowned from not even wanting to retort.
“My, boy can be quite cruel. Can’t he vouch for me since we’ve fought alongside each other for so long? I should definitely pass for his lover after all we’ve been through. I mean we did sleep on the same bed couple times already.”
“Where is this place?”
Eun purposely made an audible sigh when Add ignored her and started the area scan.
“You’re ignoring me after licking my tails so much in your sleep? That’s so harsh boy. You were only interested in my tails after all”
“…..So Eun was here too.”
Eun nodded when Eve spoke as if she understood.
“That’s correct, girl. But let’s talk about the details later. Boy’s business should be more urgent.”
“Yes, so Add. Where is this place? Where are the others?”
Oberon and Ophelia that Eve commanded were proficient in battle or other petty tasks but they didn’t have any features to scan for life signatures in a wide area.
That feature was for Dynamos alone.
“Everyone seems to have gotten separated….”
Life signatures from far away… El Search Party’s signatures and other signatures around them…
“They must be engaging the enemy.”
“Then let’s go assist.”
Three of them were currently on top of a circular platform floating in midair. While Eve, Oberon and Ophelia had features to float temporarily, they didn’t have any long flight feature.
“What are you doing Add?”
“Dynamo’s flight isn’t perfect yet….”
Dynamos surrounding Add still hadn’t reached their maximum number of 6. Eve noticed this as well and made a disappointed face.
Previous remarks from Eve had been only light teases but she looked really disappointed this time. This hurt Add’s pride quite a lot. He wanted to prove that there was no problem in flight with only 5 Dynamos, that he could transport 2 people easily.
But he couldn’t. He didn’t secure a time alone with Eve for no reason (Although Eun appearing was outside his calculation). He originally planned to achieve his goals during the final battle with the demons….and a great chance to go through with that plan was here.
Add collected his voice as he stared at Eve. He had to start his plan now.
“Wait, there is still a way……”
“Girl, boy is saying he’ll give you a ride on the Dynamos if you give him a kiss later.”
Add froze from the sound that came from behind him.
This situation akin to him putting a vegetable on the cutting board to start slicing….but someone else taking the entire vegetable and eating it whole.
Eve asked as she looked over Add’s shoulder.
“What does that mean?”
“Boy will give you a ride if you give him a kiss later. That’s the condition.”
“……You mean that membrane contact?”
Eve looked at Add with an expression as if she couldn’t understand at all.
Add felt like jumping off from here since all his plot was revealed. Eve’s direct stare was….strangely tormenting.
Just battling the demons would be much easier.
“That’s an incomprehensible request. According to Rena and Elesis, humans seems carry out the act as a sign of affection…. But I’m a Nasod.”
“But boy is a human. It shouldn’t be too difficult of an exchange condition.”
Ah, he seriously wanted to tear this fox’s mouth apart. After everything he planned was ruined, Add clenched his fists and started to turn around.
I’ll tear that fox’s mouth off for sure today……
“I understand. So let’s head out quickly now.”
Add who was about to settle his score with Eun froze in place. Eve spoke coldly towards Add who was slowly turning around suspecting if he had just misheard.
“I’ll do it after the fight. So let’s head out quickly.”
He just asked such a stupid question with such a stupid voice. Add seriously wanted to jump off into that abyss below. Dying would be better than living like this.
Eve became very offended when Add asked again.
“Do you think Queen of Nasods would tell a lie? I promise.”
No, was it really okay for her to decide so easily like this? She’s going to do it just as a travel fee(?)?
What has all of Add’s struggles about affection points been for?
“Others could be in danger if we stall too long. Hurry.”
Add didn’t realize his face was turning red. Eve made her decision calmly as ever but Add was the one who was flustered right now.
Was this result okay? No, why did he worry so much in the first place if this was going to happen? Didn’t this make him look like an idiot for being so worried?
Eve grabbed Add’s cheeks with both of her hands then made him look straightly into her eyes.
Beautiful Nasod met her eyes with Add then explained clearly with a voice that rang in his heart.
“I know you’re confused about fighting in this different universe and how everyone’s all separated. It’s the same for me, but your Dynamos are the only things that can move without being restricted by the terrain.”
“Chance for you to be useful has finally arrived. Try displaying your skills.”
Cool slowly returned to Add’s head when his eyes met Eve’s direct stare and heard her logical decision. Add made a forced smile then started to move his hands.
“Alright, let’s go.”
Five Dynamos opened up like flower petals then floated up while supporting Add’s feet. Eve held the hem of her skirt as she stepped on top of the Dynamos.
Add hesitated for a moment then put his arms around Eve’s waist to hold onto her tightly.
Eun who was watching turned into the small fox then dived into Add’s jacket pocket.
Add spoke strongly after finishing his preparations.
Although his mind was cluttered and dizzy, he got a kiss promise from Eve. Let’s leave aside the feeling of wanting to question Eve’s actions for later.
Even though this Search Party was from a different universe, he didn’t want to watch them get killed by demons again.
Everyone was struggling from the battle that ensued after falling into the demon’s trap. But their crisis was also their chance. This was the chance to turn this trap against them and achieve victory.
And the only thing that could turn this situation around was Add and his Dynamos.
Eve must have read Add’s intentions because she quietly stuck close to him then put her arms around his waist. Human and Nasod held onto each other as they flew across the darkness towards the battle.
The platform turned into a sea of fire. Ignia burned everything in front of her with all her strength then started to pour rain of fire as if she wasn’t satisfied.
Grrrooowar! Flames hot enough to instantly kill anything they grazed rained down on the platform.
“Wait! That’s enough, it’s dangerous!”
Ignia managed to withdraw her spear after hearing Lu’s complaint coming from behind her. The rain of fire started to subside gradually. Ignia felt like destroying everything but remembered they were standing on top of a floating platform.
The platform had tilted off balance due to Ignia’s firepower but was returning to normal once she withdrew her rain of fire.
Ignia glared at the area in front of her where the flames were slowly subsiding.
She poured all the firepower she had because she couldn’t hold in her rage. No regular demons could have possibly withstood that.
“With this much…..”
Even Karis, a demon general wouldn’t have gotten unscathed. Ignia still focused her attention in front of her just in case. Then she heard a frightening voice.
“That’s a violent way to greet someone, priestess.”
Karis had appeared from behind Ignia without any noises. Ignia instinctively turned around to swing her spear but Karis easily stopped the spear’s shaft with her palm.
Then Karis smiled cruelly while stroking Ignia’s face with her other hand.
“Wasn’t that reaction too much from a little tease? I even praised you for being pretty…..”
Enraged by the taunt, Ignia quickly surrounded her body in flames. But Karis read this beforehand and dodged by immediately letting go of the spear and flapping her wings to fly above.
“You’re making such a fuss over nothing. Well, it did annoy me how I got to kill all the other priestesses except you. How you lose your temper quickly is quite cute so I’ll toy with you for a while then kill you when I get bored. Fire priestess….”
Karis who was mouthing spiteful words urgently turned her head. Bullet that Ciel fired grazed by her cheek.
It didn’t end there as Ciel took up position with a cold expression then took his aim toward Karis in the air.
“Death Sentence of Marbas!”
Ratatatatatatata! Karis was momentarily surprised by the endless hail of bullets but smiled seductively after as she swiftly dove down. Cruel smile appeared on Karis’ face as she dove down while dodging the storm of bullets Ciel fired at her.
“I have no intention of toying with you! I’m going to kill you this instant….!”
Karis was approaching rapidly but her face suddenly got distorted in pain. Lu who was looking for her chance had suddenly jumped up and scratched Karis’ side.
Karis’ body got flung sideways from the shock of her side being torn apart.
Lu didn’t look satisfied even though she had just landed a perfect hit. Lu scolded gravely while glaring at Karis who wasn’t moving after falling on her side.
“Stop pretending to be hurt and get up Karis. This shouldn’t be all there is to your power.”
Karis’ shoulders shook from laughter from hearing those words then she raised her head slightly. Her gestures were enough to seduce any man…… but the smile on her face was indescribably heinous.
“My, that’s so cruel. Getting hit by Lord Luciela hurts my heart more than my body. It’s my side that got hit but it’s also hurting my heart.”
Lu stared at Karis without knowing how to respond. This subordinate betrayed her, stole her power, and made her a lone wanderer and now was suddenly making a love confession to her?
Lu treated this as nonsense at first…. But it seemed Karis was being honest after all.
“It looks like your heart has been quite twisted while I wasn’t paying attention to you. I do not wish to speak with you anymore. I’ll take your life right here….for old times sake.”
“Twisted? I don’t understand what you mean. Isn’t it obvious for a demon to steal and destroy to obtain what they want? So if I wanted to obtain you, Lord Luciela and make you a decoration for my room so I can love you whenever I get the chance….. Then I should obviously take your power and make you inferior to me. Wasn’t making you my slave without caring about ways or means the only way for me to fulfill my desires?”
Ciel aimed his gunblade with a disgusted expression. He harbored grudge against Karis for killing him when he was still a human but the words she was speaking disgusted him beyond his grudge.
Lu clenched her fists as she called Ciel. She was telling Ciel that they should attack together to finish Karis once and for all. But Ignia who had been looking for her chance ran in first.
Trail of fire emerged whenever Ignia waved her spear towards Karis. Normal demons would have gotten burnt completely from just being grazed by these flames.
One could block Ignia’s spear but couldn’t block the flames that came after.
Thus, these were attacks that must be dodged. They were incredibly bothersome attacks but Karis calmly dodged all of them then managed to swing her scythe in response.
“You’re cute too…. But you’re in the way right now!”
Ignia who didn’t expect a counter quickly raised her spear to block. No one ever challenged the Fire Priestess to a close quarters combat because they could get burnt by the flames following her spear attacks and blocking those flames required enormous power.
Karis was a demon general but did she really have the power to block Ignia’s flames? After blocking Karis’ scythe, Ignia gritted her teeth as she conjured up a huge wall of flames around her. Flames larger than Ignia’s height rose up as it spread onto Karis’ scythe as well.
But Karis gave up on her scythe without any regret then dodged the flames by flying backwards.
Lu’s eyes gleamed at this chance as she threw a magical spear at Karis who was flying backwards. This was the perfect chance to get Karis while she had abandoned her weapon. Karis’ eyes widened as she hastily dodged to the side but Ciel was already waiting in the line of fire.
Three consecutive shots, three bullets directly hit Karis who had just barely dodged Lu’s spear. Karis’ eyes opened widely after getting shot on her leg, chest and shoulder in an instant.
“Huh, how did I……”
As Karis fell to the floor, Lu kicked the ground then dashed in for the finish.
“It’s over! Shadow Bolt!”
Lu waved her arm widely as she ran in then magic circle opened above Karis’ head. Countless magic spears started to fall from the magic circle as they pierced through Karis’ body. Karis who was blocking with her arms couldn’t withstand the spears and fell down on her knees while groaning.
As Karis knelt on her knees making painful groans from the spears falling from above her, Lu stood in front of Karis and spoke coldly.
“I’ll turn back all the wrongs you’ve committed. So go to sleep now, Karis.”
As a chill went down Lu’s spine from Karis’ sudden laugh….. arms suddenly came around Lu’s neck. Lu looked back in surprise to see Karis smiling with her arms wrapped around Lu’s neck.
“You’re still good at speaking idealistically Lord Luciela.”
Was Karis they’ve been fighting until now an illusion? Lu got frightened and quickly tried to escape by striking Karis with her elbow. But Karis who read this beforehand grabbed Lu’s arm tightly then waved her around.
“Now, beg for your life! Lord Luciela!”
Bam! Bam! Bam! Karis repeatedly bashed Lu down on the ground as if she was some kind of toy. Even through all this, Lu gritted her teeth as waved her magic gauntlet.
Slash!! Lu’s attack was effective as it made a huge scar on Karis’ stomach. Karis got startled and let go of Lu’s arm then backed up while pressing down on her wound.
“Ow, it hurts…. Lord Luciela. I just wanted to play……”
Karis was groaning miserably in pain but Lu was pressing down on her own bleeding wound and was panting as she glared at Karis. Lu’s feeling of caution right now was mutual between Ciel and Ignia as well.
This was because…. Karis that was getting struck by the Shadow Bolt and Karis that was in pain from getting hit on the stomach was existing at the same time.
There were two Karises. But they couldn’t be twins….
“Did you create duplicates using your mana? But….”
“You would have noticed if it was a trick like that?”
The first Karis stood up after the Shadow Bolt ended. When she put her hand on the shoulder of second Karis who was pressing down on her stomach wound, two Karises combined into one.
Then the stomach wound on Karis healed immediately.
The three of them closed their mouth from this shocking scene. Duplicating ability was usually for distracting the enemies with an illusion. But what Karis was doing wasn’t a normal duplication.
“Do you want to know what this is? I might tell you if you beg me, Lord Luciela.”
Tsh! Ciel’s gun answered instead. Bullet aimed at Karis’ forehead hit its mark….. but Karis was merely frowning in response.
“How dare a lowly human male butt into conversation between me and Lord Luciela? I was originally going to use you to torture Lord Luciela but….. I’m going to kill you after all.”
She could still frown with a bullet stuck on her forehead? Ignia groaned from being aback.
“……You’re trying to bring about a disaster Karis! You made a foolish choice! How dare you lay your hands on space-time!”
Lu screamed in anger after realizing what was going on. Karis grinned while making a cute wink. As she did this, bullet stuck on her forehead came out on its own then the wound healed by itself.
It was as if time was getting rewound.
“That’s correct. Aaaaah, as to be expected of my Lord Luciela. You have the right to be my favorite slave.”
“Laying hands on space-time is the greatest forbidden act. No demon has gone down that path! Just why……”
“We’re going to blow away Elrios and the Celestial Realm. So what’s the use in caring about some taboo like that? Scar didn’t complain about this.”
“I’ve made a grave mistake! I helped to raise a disaster!”
Lu glared at Karis with a revolting expression. Lu had been acting emotionally before taking her old relationship with Karis into account but she now looked determined to erase Karis from this world no matter what.
Lu answered quickly when Ciel standing beside her asked what was going on with an eye gesture.
“Karis must have laid her hands upon domain of space-time. What we just saw wasn’t a duplicate, it was Karis that exists in another timeline.”
“…..She’s controlling time?”
Lu nodded nervously when Ignia asked with a surprised voice.
“Thankfully, she can’t seem to use it properly yet. She can only turn back her own time or summon herself from different timeline for now.”
“Aww, Lord Luciela. I won’t get the chance to boast if you keep telling them everything.”
“Laying hands on space-time is not just a forbidden act amongst demons, it’s forbidden across all those who live in this universe! Karis, I’ll punish you today in the place of all lifeforms of this universe!!”
“Will that even be possible? Only thing on my mind is how I’ll play with Lord Luciela.”
Karis seemed to make a seductive groan…… then two Karises appeared beside her. It was 3 versus 3 now. Lu, Ciel and Ignia all exchanged glances then raised their weapons.
Their opponent was a demon who controlled time, even if only just a bit. The fight from before was just Karis playing around. The real fight was about to start.
Just when Lu was about to make her decision, a voice of admiration came from above. Karis and the Search Party members all looked up to see Add with his eyes gleaming with curiosity.
“That’s very intriguing…..”
Eve who jumped off from the Dynamos landed lightly on the ground then summoned Oberon and Ophelia at the same time.
“So it’s Karis. I’ll fight as well.”
“…..Small fries are mixing in all of a sudden. Just what is that dragon doing?”
Karis put her hands on her waist then complained. Add came down by lowering Dynamo’s altitude then asked after looking curiously at three Karises.
“So they are not copies but are you from other timelines? But from what I know, same individuals cannot exist at the same time in this universe.”
“That’s why I can’t maintain it for too long. Of course, it’s more than enough time to kill all of you.”
Karis unexpectedly answered Add’s question willingly. This was because everyone who saw her time controlling power was scolding her as if she did something wrong….. But some odd guy who recognized its value was praising it.
“Isn’t it burdening even for a short time? How are you maintaining it right now?”
“You must be interested in space-time domain as well….. To put it simply, I’m maintaining it with my enormous mana. Of course, I can’t use any big magic while maintaining this, but it’s still worth it.”
She was easily exposing her weaknesses during this question and answer session.…. El Search Party that was about to go into battle were astonished by this turn of events but Add ignored their stares and asked again.
“So that means you’re the original inhabitant of this universe and there isn’t much problem with you multiplying? Even if same person from different universes can’t co-exist…. The original existence of this universe multiplying must be treated as mere cell proliferation. The problem is if the universe has a will of its own….”
“Space-time has a will. Although it’s not an individual will….. But if you think about how time and space is the universe’s core, then saying universe has a will isn’t necessarily wrong.”
“I see. So why is that forbidden?”
Lu who was listening to the questions and answers sighed.
“……Disturbing time is an immense sin. I need not explain how much disaster someone who bends the past according to their personal desires would bring about.”
“So that’s why you forbid research on time and space?”
Lu frowned when Add asked with shine in his eyes. Eve spoke with an icy tone.
“Add, I don’t think this is the situation to have a friendly chat with an enemy.”
“No, we can talk a bit more. I like his attitude.”
Karis who was their enemy was saying it was okay for Add to question her some more. She looked quite satisfied with Add’s enthusiastic attitude.
Karis had face of a researcher who found a sponsor who recognised the value of her research.
“That means you’re separating the past timeline with you from the present…. Is that possible?”
“It’s not too difficult if you’re powerful as me. The issue is figuring out how to. Even Lord Luciela could do it without much difficulty if she got her powers back. Of course, such a day won’t come.”
“Why would I do something so foolish?”
Lu glared at Karis and then at Add with a frustrated expression. She couldn’t help but to get angry when a Q&A session occurred just when they were getting into the decisive battle.
Of course, Add’s priority was his intellectual curiosity so he didn’t care about how others looked at him.
“No, what I’m curious about is…. There are three of you but how can you maintain your consciousness? Are you all acting after deciding each one of you as Karis A, B and C?”
“I thought it would be like that too but that’s not true. Even though I summoned myselves from the past, our consciousness is unified inside me. There are three Karises but we move as one consciousness of the present’s Karis.”
“Thus, even if you summon your past…. They won’t have individual consciousness. Am I right?”
Karis nodded slowly then looked at Add with a captivating gaze. Her gaze was filled with desire.
“You’re not too bad. I didn’t think there was a guy like you in the Search Party….How about it? Want to become my slave? Your face is rather nice so it will be nice to adore you.”
“You’re smarter than I thought as well…. I didn’t think there was a demon that I could discuss this topic with.”
Karis laughed when Add didn’t hide his admiration.
“You’ll have to be taught how to obey your master…. But this is amusing. Come to my side.”
A sudden recruitment happened at the end of the Q&A session. El Search Party that were staring in confusion all looked at Add with surprised faces. The original Add would have obviously refused…. But Add right here wasn’t originally from their universe.
He was outsider from a different universe that didn’t need to assist the El Search Party in their battles.
Lu, Ciel and Ignia stared nervously at Add when he didn’t refuse right away. If Add turns into their enemy right now……
“Add, what are you doing? Keeping your mouth shut won’t hide your uselessness.”
Add just shrugged when Eve spoke to him coldly.
“My calculations are over. I refuse, demon.”
“Is that so?”
Three Karises were about to step forward as if they didn’t mind…… when the ground suddenly got dyed in purple as their bodies became restrained. They tried to escape but they couldn’t.
Add stretched his hand toward Karis then smiled coldly.
“I figured out everything I needed to know. Get lost, demon.”
Then a gate opened above Karis’ head……and gravity orbs started to fall. Simultaneous activation of Void Field and Stardust Shower, Add was keeping Karis in place with questions so he could calculate the necessary spatial equations for this.
Of course, Karis hadn’t let her guard down completely. She was confident in her ability to summon her past selves and she could even use teleport. That’s why she could spare a moment talking with Add….
But she couldn’t teleport right now!
Sense of dismay showed on Karis’ face for the first time.
“How come?! Just what is this!!?”
“Everyone, focus fire!!”
Ignia’s eyes gleamed soon as she heard Add’s shout then she waved her spear widely. Rain of fire started to fall. Lu and Ciel also held their hands together then started to increase their mana flow. Blue demonic energy started to gather….. then two of their wavelengths started build up as overwhelming energy sprouted up.
Lu and Ciel opened their eyes at the same time then shouted burningly to blow away their enemy.
Space got torn from their harmonious shout as countless demonic spirits flew out of the gap and flew towards Karis. Getting assaulted by Stardust Shower’s gravity orbs, Ignia’s rain of fire and Lu and Ciel’s Eschaton, Karis covered herself with her arms as she screamed.
Her scream meant she was still alive! Add opened up another Void Field to be thorough. Even though Karis could control a bit of time…..even if she obtained unimaginable power….!
“There’s no one who can surpass me in regards to time!!”
Along with Add’s prideful declaration…. Karis’ scream subsided. Eve who couldn’t join in due to the nature of her abilities frowned while looking forward.
“There’s still a life signature.”
Add who was panting opened his eyes widely from shock. They still couldn’t finish Karis even though Add, Ignia, Lu and Ciel attacked her all at once?
Ignia held her spear tightly as she glared forwards.
“I’ll finish her. That binding move, can you do it one more time?”
“……I’ll have to even if I can’t.”
Add forced himself to smile while hiding the tremor of his left hand with his right hand. This was a decisive battle against demons, there was no time to cry about little feedbacks.
But Eve shook her head as she stood beside Add.
“You already did your part. I’ll finish it from here.”
Add was about to say this much was nothing when Lu looked at where Karis was then sighed.
“You don’t have to compete with each other. Looks like it’s finished.”
Karis was pressing down on the ground with both of her hands and panting heavily.
Her beautiful face was covered with blood and her arms and legs were burnt so she couldn’t stand up on her own. Karis also knew it was all over if she didn’t do anything so she was trying her best to get back up. But the part below one of her legs was missing already.
She wasn’t acting this time, she was really in dire straits.
“That’s what happens when you lay your hands on time and space, how foolish.”
“…..Lord Luciela, you’re so beautiful even when your saying something like that.”
Karis smiled as if she could recover from this easily but anyone could tell it was over from a single glance. Ignia took a step forward to end Karis’ life when Lu shook her head.
“I’d like to finish her. Please concede, Ignia.”
“…..I can’t. I’ll erase her with my own hands.”
Karis looked at the two argue over who gets to take her life then burst out into a quiet laughter.
“Ahahaha, you’re treating my life like some object ready to be taken? Do you really think you’ve beaten me with just this?”
“Acting tough is useless. I already know your abilities because I’ve fought you in a different universe.”
Add had fought Karis momentarily in the other universe’s Hamel. That’s why he knew Karis utilized teleport and bound her using Void Field. In contrast, Karis had never fought Add(Time Tracer) so she didn’t have any idea about Void Field. She had been overconfident in her ability to control a bit of time and that was what led to her downfall.
El Search Party’s victory would have been uncertain if they had fought Karis directly.
The match had been determined by the difference in amount of information they held.
Add was still on guard for any final desperate struggle from Karis when Karis laughed frantically.
“You knew my ability because you were from a different universe? I see, so you’re the foreign substance that dragon talked about. I didn’t think you’d really exist.”
Dragon? But Add didn’t intend to drag this conversation longer. Add’s only reason for talking with Karis before was to prepare for simultaneous activation of Void Field and Stardust Shower. Although he did get some useful information out of it…..
Karis stopped laughing then made a sorrowful expression. She then pulled out some sort of gem from between her breasts. The gem had an ominous glow to it, it was Dark El.
Lu’s eyes widened from recognising this.
“Wait, you can’t be thinking about…..”
“Wait just a bit longer, Lord Luciela. I’ll love you in a most brutal way possible.”
Karis gave an unpleasant remark then brought the Dark El close to her mouth without any hesitation. Stunned from this unimaginable situation, the El Search Party blankly stared at Karis. Only Ciel reacted to this and shot Karis.
Bullet flew in piercing Karis’ shoulder but this didn’t stop her from swallowing the Dark El.
Lu was utterly abhorred.
“S, she’s seriously insane!”
“That was…. Dark El, right?”
“What happens if she eats it? Will she recover?”
Eve summoned Oberon and Ophelia to prepare for attack when Lu shook her head from side to side.
“Dark El is a crystalized energy. It’s not something a lifeform can dare to embody in their body. It’s no different from a suicide!”
Karis staggered as she stood up as if answering to Lu’s scream filled shout. Her burnt body had already recovered. It didn’t end there as extraordinary power started to flow out of her body.
White part of Karis’ eyes had been dyed black. You could tell she obtained much stronger power than before from how….an enormous amount of mana flowed out of her just from her tightening her fist.
“Perfect! This is the perfect power!! Power that I always wanted!! Now I can shatter anyone that stands in my way, even Scar or original Lord Luciela!! I can destroy the Celestial Realm!!”
“…..Just what is that?”
Ignia clenched her teeth as she asked in disbelief. Ignia was strong enough to gauge her opponent’s strength. If Karis from before was still within the range of combatable, this Karis now possessed unimaginable power.
Lu also replied gravely in a wary tone.
“She made the mana in her body explode by using the Dark El. Be careful, Karis right now will be…..at least three times stronger than she was before.”
“Why doesn’t other demons do this?”
Add questioned level-headedly. As Lu looked back at him, Add spoke while still glaring at Karis.
“There’s no way that kind of doping doesn’t have any side effects. Other demons would have done it as well without any hesitation if it just gave them power. But judging from your reaction, it must be the first time you saw this as well. What’s its weakness?”
Lu who had been surprised at Add’s level-headed analysis explained.
“That Karis won’t hold out for long. Dark El she swallowed beats instead of her heart as it greedily sucks in all her mana. No matter how long she lasts…..”
“No matter how long she lasts…..?”
They might be able to drag the fight on to make Karis destroy herself. At Add’s expectant gaze, Lu spoke clearly as if Karis had committed the most foolish act ever.
“She won’t last 100 days.”
Concept of time for demons was too lenient. Eve joined in as if she read Add’s thoughts.
“That’s more than enough time for Karis to destroy Elrios entirely.”
“And that’s more than enough time for love confessions. She seems totally obsessed with you. Since she’s already out of her mind, wouldn’t she stay put quietly for 100 days if you soothed her well?”
Of course, Karis who was now insane wouldn’t do that but Add was just following up after what Eve said.
Lu became troubled from seeing Karis expulsing her energy for a bit then shook her head disgustedly.
“I don’t want to…. I don’t want that no matter how benevolent I am.”
“I have no intention of handing Lu over to Karis either.”
Ciel spoke calmly. Ignia also glared at Karis with a new-found determination.
“…..And I have to get my revenge. I’ll end your life this time for sure Karis!!”
“That name doesn’t fit me too well now. Shouldn’t I be called something else since I became this powerful? But I like the name I’ve been using as well….”
Karis licked her lips seductively then made an alluring smile.
“From now on, my name is True Karis!”
“…..That’s a horrible naming sense.”
Add couldn’t resist pointing that out and Eve unexpectedly agreed with him as well. True Karis didn’t care about their remarks as she stared at Lu like a dreaming girl. Karis’ tenacious, dreamy and obsessive stare bothered Lu and made her wince.
True Karis laughed loudly like a predator facing a frightened prey.
“Ahahahaha!! Just you wait Lord Luciela!! I’ll destroy everything starting now then destroy you very last!! I’ll destroy this world that you love so much! After that I’ll make you sit on a throne surrounded by ruins then ridicule you all I want!!”
Countless magic orbs started to fly towards the Search Party once completely insane True Karis waved her hand. The determined El Search Party all shouted at once.
“Here it comes!!”
“Ignia, hit away the magic orbs using rain of fire!!”
Fight with True Karis started with Add giving strategic commands.
Red and blue blades aimed at their foes repeatedly clashed then separated. Elesis wielded her sword composedly but she was getting pushed back slowly.
She was losing.
She had already anticipated this outcome before arriving at the Grand Cavern but she was falling behind after all.
“Is that all you got, Red Haired knight? Come at me more intensely! Stronger!!”
Scar triumphantly swung his sword. You might mistake him for being overzealous just from his words but his attacks were quick and didn’t have any unnecessary movements. His attacks were based off brute strength….but Elesis wouldn’t be able to dodge the next attack if she tried to lunge in aiming for the openings.
‘His strength is phenomenal …..and his defenses are good as well. He’s much stronger than before.’
Elesis had prepared for this final battle with Scar by drawing simulations in her head but this was more than she had imagined. She was still holding out somehow but there was a slim chance that she’ll win.
She had accepted Add’s advice and changed her mind to think about various ways to defeat Scar. But it was all for nothing soon as it turned into a 1 vs 1 fight like this.
Scar frowned displeasingly then withdrew his sword when Elesis only defended carefully.
“Why aren’t you coming at me properly, Red Haired Knight?”
“I was thinking you’re stronger than I thought.”
“Hmph, and you became weaker than I thought.”
Scar scoffed as if he was displeased but a flash of joy passed by his face for a moment. There was no one who wouldn’t be happy from having their strength acknowledged by their arch rival.
“I wasn’t lazy with my training….. but you became far stronger than I would have ever imagined. I’m honestly not sure if I can win.”
“So what will you do? Will you run away?”
Scar glared displeasingly at Elesis then turned his head away for some reason.
“Alright then, get out of here.”
What did that mean? Scar wanted to spare his words but explained bluntly when Elesis couldn’t understand.
“I left our fight last time. So I’ll give you a chance to leave this time. Get out of here before I change my mind. Go back….then come back after you hone your skills more. We’ll finish this next time for certain.”
“…..You’re just going to let me go? Just because I’m weaker than you expected?”
“This is your last chance. Become stronger by doing whatever necessary then challenge me again, Red Haired Knight.”
Elesis laughed from Scar’s words. Scar was their enemy and he was the supreme commander of the demon army that invaded Elrios. She shouldn’t be having these thoughts about their enemy. But…..
“I really like how you think, Scar.”
“You’re the only one that gets to go. Others can’t.”
“Don’t worry. I have no intention of delaying our fight. I would never run away by myself and leave my comrades behind.”
Scar frowned from hearing Elesis’ answer.
“I honed my strength while gnashing my teeth since that day. I trained countless hours to become stronger. Was this boring fight the result we’ve been preparing for, Red Haired Knight?”
Scar waved his arm then a large shockwave swept past. Each of his actions were causing tremors in the air. Even a light wave of Scar’s fist could annihilate dozens of regular soldiers.
He was literally a walking disaster, demon general that shook the skies with his fighting spirit alone. Only Elesis who was undoubtedly the strongest in Elrios could match him blow to blow until now.
But the result could be seen already. They say you never knew until you actually tried, but Elesis’ skills will barely not be enough….. Both Elesis and Scar realized this.
“Are you going to waste all of my efforts I’ve put into defeating you, this fight we’ve been longing for, in such a boring manner? Are you going to disappoint me because you’re worried about those weaklings? Red Haired Knight?! No, Elesis!!!”
Elesis sighed from hearing Scar’s rage filled howl. Although her opponent was a demon trying to resurrect the demon god and destroy Elrios…… at least his anticipation towards fight with Elesis was pure.
Although it was an unfit description, Scar was a true warrior.
He was a warrior who could tolerate giving his arch rival a chance to escape so he could settle the score later after returning stronger.
“Scar, regardless of our species…. If you’re a warrior then I’m a warrior as well. I appreciate your generosity and I’m honestly impressed. But not abandoning one’s comrades is also what being a warrior is all about.”
“Comrades? How stupid. You’re choosing a foolish death despite knowing the difference between our strengths.”
Scar realized Elesis was determined to not back down so he raised his word again.
But unlike his resolute face, his next question was still overflowing with regret.
“I’ll ask for the last time. Do you have any intention of finishing this fight later?”
“……I’m going to ask just in case but will you stop the demon god resurrection ritual if I back out?”
“Of course not.”
“But Elrios will be destroyed if the demon god resurrects. I’m not demanding you stop the destruction….. don’t you think it’s strange for me to hone my skills when Elrios is being destroyed?”
She didn’t have any intention to run away but even if she did what Scar said and escaped to fight another day….. Wouldn’t there be no time to train since Elrios will be destroyed?
But Scar replied with a tone as if he just heard a strangest question ever.
“If the world is in chaos, isn’t it the perfect condition for honing one’s skills?”
“….Ah, I understand. That idea is a bit too macho for my taste.”
Elesis sighed then gripped her sword with both of her hands.
“I tend to forget these days but I’m a girl too….. I like a peaceful world and has been training all this time to protect that peace. The world falling into chaos is completely against my methods.”
“It’s fine if you made up your mind. It’s regretful but let’s finish this here.”
Scar spoke in a heavy voice as if he abandoned his regrets then raised up his sword. Elesis also shouted as she gathered her strength. Elesis’ sword became surrounded in red light then became gigantic.
According to Elesis’ original plan, this secret skill was supposed to be used as a finisher after securing her victory….. But she ended up using it now to cover for her inferiority.
But Elesis didn’t let herself feel down as she poured courage into herself.
“Here I come, Sword of Victory!”
“Insignificant trick, I’ll shatter it!!”
Elesis ran in against the enemy she couldn’t defeat despite knowing she’ll lose.
Raven quickly backed out as In’s restraining orb flew towards him. Jin was about to swing her serpentine sword at maximum length towards Raven but leaned her body backwards urgently. Rena’s arrow grazed by the place where Jin’s head was.
But this acrobatic movement made it difficult for Jin to dodge consecutively. Rena was about to shoot her next volley of arrows but backed out displeasingly. In had thrown his restraining orb at Rena.
In was about to throw more orbs at Rena but he backed out then frowned. Raven was running toward In.
In quickly gave up his attack then backed out behind Jin. In was in change of ranged support so it was obvious who was advantageous if he fought with Raven at close range. Raven didn’t chase further when he noticed Jin was poised to sling her serpentine swords again.
Rena sighed then wiped the sweat off her forehead. In and Jin were also collecting themselves so a mutual ceasefire was established.
“…..There’s no end to this. We can’t afford to get stalled like this.”
If one person was in danger then their teammate covered their back. This dicey confrontation of chasing each other’s tails seemed to be endless.
“Got any good ideas, Rena?”
Rena was an all around type that fought by mixing sword and bow skills while Raven was a close combat type. Compared to that, In was a long range attack type while Jin could handle both close and long ranges.
Honestly, Rena and Raven were superior if you considered only their individual skills. This wasn’t a boast…. Rena came to this conclusion with cold and level-headed comparison.
But compatibility with their enemies wasn’t too good. If In and Jin kept fighting passively from the long range then Rena had to respond with her bow as well….and Raven who could only shine in close combat had no choice but to watch.
Although the situation was at a stalemate, In and Jin must have realized their skills fell behind so they were being cautious with their attacks. It was a situation where one single wrong move could not only endanger one’s own life but could endanger their partner’s life as well.
And their partners were people precious to them. Both sides couldn’t engage in battle carelessly.
Rena was pondering for a solution while drawing a frown on her beautiful face when Raven took a step forward while clenching his fist.
“…..There’s no time. We’ll have to make a move first.”
What was he thinking? Rena got alarmed and tried to dissuade him but Raven wasn’t acting thoughtlessly.
“They just have to stall for time. But we have to break through.”
They were on time limit since they had to stop the demon resurrection ritual. Not only that, but other members that got separated could be in danger.
Rena was also thinking Raven’s method was correct. They had to break through and achieve victory no matter how reckless of a method they used. But she wanted to deny Raven’s words in her heart.
Because she wasn’t the only one who’ll be in danger if this went wrong.
“Rena, other kids might be in danger.”
“….But that doesn’t mean it’s okay for you to be in danger.”
Raven smiled vaguely at Rena’s scolding voice. It was a smile that this blunt man rarely showed.
Rena was about to shake her head to deny Raven’s unreasonable words but he was already moving forward. After collecting his breath, Raven ran straightly towards Jin without any hesitation.
In obviously didn’t let this chance slide and tried to throw his restraining orbs….. but Rena fired multiple arrows to distract him.
Rena pressured In without giving him any moment to rest as she hollered towards Raven’s back.
“I’ll get mad if you get hurt even a little!”
The tight stalemate started to be shaken off balance. This confrontation will decide the victor. Rena had no choice but to believe in Raven’s victory as she faced In in front of her.
Jin coldly swung her serpentine sword at Raven who was charging directly towards her. Raven’s fist had too short of a reach compared to her serpentine swords that could adjust their lengths freely.
No matter how skilled Raven was, there was no way Jin could be at a disadvantage……
But Raven was still running towards her without any hesitation despite seeing the serpentine sword coming right for his throat. Confusion flashed by Jin’s face when her check was completely ignored. If he isn’t trying to commit suicide…..
Sword that flew in aiming for Raven struck its target.
Ring of clashing metal was heard. Raven blocked the serpentine sword flying towards his neck by raising his left arm, his Nasod hand. It was an unexpected obstacle. Nasod hand was too sturdy for the serpentine sword to cut through so the sword got tied around the hand instead.
But the serpentine sword winding violently caused injuries nearby Raven’s neck as blood trickled down and soaked his chest.
But Raven didn’t make any sound from the pain as he clenched his fist tightly then focused on the target he was about to blow away.
Jin only hesitated for a moment then swung her other serpentine sword right away. Raven must be trying to drag this into a contest of strength but Jin was a dual wielder. She just had to finish Raven off with her remaining sword.
Rena couldn’t help him since she was tied up from facing In…..
In that moment, Raven let out a boiling shout. It was an unwavering howl that disregarded the immediate danger approaching him. Jin instinctively sensed danger and quickly tried to escape. But Raven’s charge was even faster.
Almost like the tempest about to blow everything away!
Jin got shocked and attempted to escape somehow as Raven closed the distance in an instant with unimaginable speed.
Jin had already used all the weapons she had and Raven’s charge was just too fast. Her sibling that could cover for her in this crisis….was currently struggling desperately against Rena.
Punch that destroyed anything standing in its way struck Jin’s body. Jin’s body flew into the air and out of the platform as she spewed out blood.
It was all over.
Jin sensed this as she used small remaining strength she had to turn her eyes to search for her sibling.
In who was in middle of his battle with Rena also noticed the disturbance and was looking at Jin in shock.
Gazes of the siblings crossed only for a moment. Jin quietly fell towards the bottom without letting out any screams. In was about to shout…..but then Rena ran in with her blade drawing a chilling arc.
In’s body also got lifted in the air then flew out of the platform from the large slash and a kick that came after.
As In fell, he sent an enraged glare at Rena but resignation dwelled in his face soon after….. He turned his gaze towards the bottom.
To search for his sibling that fell before him.
After the situation was over, Rena withdrew her sword as she collected her breath. In was a quite bothersome foe as well but she was able to finish him off easily once he let down his guard from the shock of seeing Jin fall down first.
“…..and we already heard how you guys fought from Elesis.”
In and Jin’s combat methods were already known to the El Search Party but In and Jin didn’t know how Rena and Raven fought.
Jin wouldn’t have fell from trying to finish off Raven right away otherwise.
Rena let out a long sigh then turned her head around while shooting an angry gaze.
Raven who about to stretch his back received this gaze then winced. His reaction was like a big dog getting scolded by his master.
Rena approached Raven angrily then demanded one-sidedly.
“…….I told you not to get hurt!”
“It was an accident.”
“That wasn’t an accident…… You did it again thinking it was okay to get hurt, right?!”
Raven kept silent as Rena shouted angrily. The reason they could get out of this stalemate was because Raven had charged in without regarding his safety. But Rena wouldn’t have allowed this strategy if she knew about it beforehand.
Rena kept glaring at Raven but then let out a sigh as she shook her head from side to side.
“I kept telling you to stop doing something like this.”
“That wasn’t it…..”
Raven tried to speak but closed his mouth. Rena tore a large chunk of cloth off her outfit’s waist decoration. Raven realized what she was trying to do and tried to stop her but it was already too late.
Rena wiped Raven’s neck with a cloth made from tearing apart her own clothing. The bleeding had been severe….. Raven was covered in blood all the way down to his chest.
Raven finally opened his mouth when Rena quietly and carefully wiped the blood off.
“…..I’ll be more careful next time.”
“Forget it. I don’t even expect you to listen anymore. You always try to fight like that.”
Raven didn’t have any answer to her feisty response.
After wiping the blood all the way down to his chest…..Rena let out a weak sigh as she spoke sternly.
“……But I will never forgive you if you die. Never.”
“You of all people, don’t ever die, in front of me……”
Rena’s shoulder shook thinly as she spoke in a quiet voice. Raven hesitated for a moment….. then slowly stroked the back of Rena’s head. Rena must be having trouble suppressing her surging emotion because her body was shaking thinly and she didn’t make any other movements for a while.
Rena used to express her emotions freely in the past. But she never let her emotions out like this ever since she witnessed the tragedy that befell her race.
Maybe he had wished for Rena to show her emotions again like before. Since smiling face suited her better.
Raven blankly thought about this…..but didn’t have any idea what he should do right now.
Although crudely, all he could do was hold her until her shaking shoulders calmed down.
Raven’s mouth as he gently held Rena opened on its own. Words he didn’t prepare were coming from his heart.
Raven spoke with a softest voice he could manage, but resolutely as well.
“I’m strong so I won’t die. I promise.”
“…..I’ll believe you.”
Rena nodded with a shaky voice then slowly grabbed Raven’s hand. Rena sadly stroked Raven’s cold steel left arm for a while then slowly stepped back.
Raven wanted to grab the warmth that was leaving his embrace but didn’t.
Rena who had her gaze lowered slowly shook her head from side to side then raised her head. Her face was cold as if her dishevelled voice and emotional moment from before had been an illusion.
“In and Jin has been taken care of. If our information is correct then only problematic demons left are Scar and Karis. The problem is how to escape from here……”
Although Rena and Raven were amongst top fighters in the El Search Party, they didn’t have any means to fly. Was there any other way out of here? Two of them were looking around the platform again…. When a dark hole suddenly appeared at the center of the platform.
Two of them immediately poised for battle at the familiar scene.
“It’s a dimension gate.”
“Nothing’s coming out.”
According to the usual pattern, demons poured out whenever the dimension gates opened. But nothing came out from this dimension gate. The portal just remained open emitting an ominous aura.
“I have the same thought.”
Two of them had been together for a long time so they could both come to a same conclusion easily. Did this dimension gate appear so two of them could use it?
“The problem is…..”
“It’s too suspicious.”
They had seen many demons utilize the dimension gate, but the El Search Party had never used it before. Of course, Rena and Raven didn’t have any experience using it either.
Rena shook her head.
“This is obviously a trap. Why would demons do a favor for us? They went out of their way to separate us so there’s no way they would let us join up again so easily.”
“That should be normal. But….”
Raven agreed too but couldn’t avert his gaze from the dimension gate. Their foes could have deployed more demons or isolate the two of them on this platform. There was no reason for them to open a path…..
“They’re provoking us.”
Rena and Raven both agreed that they were reluctant but also agreed there was no other way than this one.
Only way to escape from this place… It was suspicious no matter how you looked at it, but they didn’t have any time to waste.
More the two delayed, more their comrades could be in danger. After coming to an agreement, two of them stepped towards the dimension gate.
“…..Wait, since you never know what might happen.”
Rena said this then carefully grabbed Raven’s right hand. Although hesitating for a bit, she locked her fingers with his so they wouldn’t be separated.
“I don’t know where this will lead to…. but don’t let go.”
“Yes, let’s go together.”
Raven got startled for a bit but nodded then began to walk towards the dimension gate. Path ahead was filled with endless darkness but Raven didn’t have any hesitation.
Since he was going together with her.