All the fighting ended.
Elesis bitterly stared at the Devil’s back. A dark hole created around 3 meters above the Devil was strongly sucking in air of the throne room.
Space-Time Gate leading to center of the universe started to open. If D enters it, it won’t just end with time twisting to bend cause and effect…… even fundamental laws of the universe could be changed.
Elesis made up her mind and took a step forward. Raven gave eye gesture telling her to stop but she didn’t oblige.
Now that Aisha has fallen…… there were no more chances left for her, and for the El Search Party.
“Stop, where are you going?”
The Devil looked defenceless because he was focusing on opening the Space-Time Gate. Karis blocked Elesis’ path.
Elesis grabbed her sword hilt instead of answering.
“Are you insane……”
Karis couldn’t finish her words because she was astounded. Betrayal? Why would she do it now after watching the El Search Party fall?
Karis was about to attack despite being confused when an unexpected voice was heard.
“Don’t get in her way.”
Not just anyone, but the Devil who was being targeted ordered Karis to step aside. Karis felt puzzled but she couldn’t imagine going against the Devil’s order.
As Elesis’ footsteps approached, the Devil didn’t look back and asked.
With a voice mixed with laughter for some reason.
“I’m impressed you restrained yourself when I killed Elsword, Elesis.”
“It’s not the first time I saw it happen.”
There was a vague shaking in her voice. The Devil noticed this but didn’t pry further.
“Yes, so what’s the reason for you going against me now? You’ve seen it happen countless times.”
“I can’t let you open the Space-Time Gate, D. I won’t accept you changing this universe’s history however you like.”
“Why can’t I?”
The Devil finally looked back. His dark eyes gave off chilling aura.
“I invested uncountable amount of time to get to this point.”
“…..Eve you know won’t come back even if you do this. You should know very well.”
Murderous intent dwelled on the Devil’s face when Elesis’ words hit the mark.
But the Devil…. unexpectedly chose to converse instead.
Elesis who endured so much torment during those innumerable times she stood on his side was worthy of his respect.
The Devil turned his head again and looked forwards at fallen Eve leaning against the wall…… he looked at the scene for a moment then turned his gaze towards the ceiling.
As if he couldn’t bare to look any longer.
“Do machines have life? Do you think there is individuality between Nasods? No, do you think such a thing exists across all lifeforms?”
The Devil’s lonesome voice rang across the throne room.
“If they have the same structure, same voice and same appearance, then is that really the same Nasod? Is that really the same lifeform? In the first place, is me from 5 minutes before really the same person as me? Even in this moment cells are dying and being born. If lifeforms are just collection of cells, if they are moving from stimulation of electric signals…… Then those variables are continuously changing even as I’m speaking right now. To be strict, it’s difficult to say me from just a moment before is a same individual as me right now.”
“So in the end, just how am I defined? How are you defined? Can you give me an acceptable answer to this question?”
“I’m not an engineer. I’m a tainted knight.”
The Devil chuckled in a low voice from the answer. Elesis who turned her back on the El Search Party together with him still had righteous side to her after all this time.
“I already knew long ago about what you pointed out. That’s why I’ll create the world I want, with Eve that I can accept.”
Elesis slowly swung her sword without answering. The Devil didn’t even bother to look towards her direction.
“No matter how hard you try, you cannot defeat me now that I have control of both time and space. You should have attacked me together with Aisha you were seriously trying to kill me.”
Great sword slowly made an arc amidst the silence then touched the Devil’s neck.
“Stop this right now.”
“……This isn’t like you. Instead of making trifling threats, striking without taking questions suits you better.”
The Devil whispered as if singing then closed his eyes.
“Stop this, Elesis. Since we’ve been together for so long I’ll give you an appropriate reward. A time where you can go on an adventure with your brother and the El Search Party to save Elrios. Will you be satisfied with that?”
“I didn’t turn a blind eye on you so I can obtain some garbage like that. I……”
“Yes, you didn’t want to kill me if possible. You wanted to end this without killing, that’s why you let innumerable amount of time flow by.”
The Devil said this then looked back while grinning. His dimension distortion field could be turned off and on with caster’s wish. Blood trickled down his neck from a cut made by the sword but he didn’t care.
The Devil bleeding from his neck looked at the people that joined his side.
“Raven, should I give you back the time where Seris is alive?”
Raven who was carrying unconscious Rena didn’t say anything. He only added strength to his hand that was holding someone dear to him.
“I can return Sasha for Ran. I don’t know what Helputt wants but I’ll listen to whatever request he has. Also for Karis……”
“Yes, Lord D!”
Karis became overjoyed at the arrangement of rewards. The Devil suddenly smiled coldly after seeing Karis wag her tail in anticipation like an excited puppy.
“Should I give Luciela to you?”
“Huh? Who’s that?”
Karis’ reaction was as if she never heard of the name before. The Devil shrugged as if saying ‘forget it’.
The Devil had an absolute confidence. He didn’t even consider Elesis pointing her sword against his neck right now as a threat.
“It’s a name you wouldn’t know now…… and will never know. Yes, I’ll make you Empress of the Demons. Is that good enough for you?”
“Yes! I’ll be loyal to you forever, Lord D!”
Karis bowed while becoming very exuberant. The Devil looked at Elesis again after promising everyone to grant whatever they wished in the newly created space-time.
“All their wishes will disappear if you kill me. Wishes they tried to fulfill even by turning back time and changing the universe will be all for naught. Will you strike me down despite knowing this?”
“……I hoped this moment would never come.”
Elesis sighed then slowly withdrew her sword. She wasn’t ceasing hostility, she was positioning herself to swing her sword properly. The Devil could open the dimension distortion barrier at any moment he wanted, so she had to fight properly in order to break through the barrier.
Elesis gripped her sword tightly with two hands then lowered her stance.
“Don’t say anything more.”
The Devil right now had dominion over both time and space. Elesis couldn’t win no matter how strong she was.
No, she had no chance of victory even when he was proclaiming himself as King of Time.
“But I can still die while fighting. It’s too late…..but I’ll die while trying to stop you just like the others.”
“……Elsword would have been happy if he saw you now.”
The Devil smiled bitterly then closed his eyes.
Elesis knew all too well that she couldn’t win. She was expressing her will that she had no desire to live in the artificial blissful time that the Devil created.
Just like the Dimension Princess, Aisha did.
“Two of us have come so far…..”
Elesis wouldn’t change her mind no matter what he says now. It was time to end their long relationship.
The moment when the Devil opened his eyes and Elesis was about to start the fight where her defeat was certain……
‘That’ appeared with a heavy thud.
The Devil turned to look at the purple sphere that appeared at the center of the fallen El Search Party. Elesis also looked towards the direction of the sphere. It seemed she could use this chance to take the Devil’s life but he wasn’t someone that such simple surprise attack worked against.
Also, she had a general idea as to what that sphere was.
“It can’t be……”
The sphere dissolved along with Elesis’ gasp, and the passenger revealed himself.
He returned to the place he was at before he crossed universes.
Dark red stain below his feet… it was Elsword’s dried blood. Add looked down at his feet for a moment then slowly looked around the surroundings. Add closed his eyes after confirming fallen Ara, Chung, Aisha and lastly….Eve.
It was better to close his eyes. Since continuing to look felt like he was going to be turned inside out.
“I thought…… I could arrive at the time I wanted if I crossed universes.”
“That was a wasted hope. You can’t time travel anymo-……”
The Devil who was answering must have noticed because he closed his mouth. Gazes were exchanged without words. Add acknowledged when the Devil’s face froze.
“Yes, I’m the only one that returned.”
“Eun knew about you. No…..actually, all of you knew each other, am I right?”
Add’s gaze passed by the Devil, Elesis and Raven one by one. Add let out an empty laugh when no one denied his claim.
“I thought for a long time while returning. I was wrong. It wasn’t that the other universe’s El Search Party had banded together….. People that had originally banded together were separated in this universe.”
Before he met Lu and Ciel, Add was overjoyed from seeing the El Search Party with all 9 members together. But that was actually the original El Search Party.
Combining how Elesis and Aisha recognised each other, and other various conversations that went back and forth, it was certain that the 9 member El Search Party had existed in this universe at one time.
“And the one who destroyed that is……”
Add slowly opened his eyes then looked at the Devil. His future, someone he couldn’t defeat right now.
It was obvious. It was painfully obvious that him in the future who mastered more knowledge and skills was stronger than him from the present.
How can anyone surpass their own future?
“You must have learned some useless information while moving across universes. So? What’s your point?”
The Devil spoke coldly then slowly raised his hand. His hand was directed towards Add’s chest. It was a death sentence.
Add spoke slowly and clearly while putting emphasis on each and every word. He needed to suppress this surging rage, urge to shout and madness and declare clearly so that everyone could hear.
For the sake of that fox he can never see again.
“I’m going to get rid of you, Diablo.”
“There were days when we spoke about things like this, remember the talk about rolling a dice?”
The Devil smiled coldly. This comparison about rolling a dice until you got the result you wanted was used numerous times before.
“The dice I’ve been rolling is you.”
“You’re not surprised. You must have understood now.”
Theory that Add made while returning turned out to be correct but he didn’t answer.
If D had planned all of this, if he had used the demons to get in the way of the El Search Party…… then there must be a reason for it.
Just why did D target the El Search Party? No, if he did target them, why did he let it drag on?
The El Search Party would have been annihilated if D appeared in Ruben.
“No, it would have been all over quickly if you sent Ran and Karis at the same time……”
Ran and Karis faced the El Search Party separately in Hamel. Add’s gaze lingered on Ran and Karis for a moment then returned to the Devil.
“But you never intervened directly until the 2nd Velder Liberation operation. ……All you did was toy with us.”
It was vexing but this was the truth. But D wouldn’t have done this without any reason. It must be part of the method to achieve his goal.
The Devil nodded to Add’s question with a bored face.
“That’s right, I stopped this universe’s time, stopped the flow of history, then kept rolling the dice. I kept rolling, rolling and rolling the dice……waiting for the result I wanted.”
It was just as Add expected. This wasn’t the first time situation like this happened.
There must have been numerous standoffs like this during more than 20 million fights Add had repeated.
“Normally at this point, Eun would send you back to the past, to the starting point. And since Aisha wasn’t present…… I’d just turn a blind eye.”
It meant that all the fights until now have been merely dancing on top of the Devil’s palm.
The Devil gripped his fist lightly as if to show off. Even with that light movement, space nearby crumbled then twirled back into its original state.
The Devil didn’t look interested at all despite obtaining truly overwhelming power.
“But boring dice rolls are finally over. I conquered space….. and that damned fox died in middle of nowhere.”
Remorse flashed by the Devil’s face.
“How foolish of her till the end……”
“Shut your mouth.”
The Devil stopped speaking from Add’s clear reply. Add slowly and calmly glared at his future.
“That damned fox’s efforts weren’t wasted. She gave her life, she gave everything she had and fought together with me. Her efforts in both times I remember and don’t remember…… they were all so she could make me destroy you.”
The Devil made an astonished face for a moment then burst out laughing.
“Kahahaha! That’s funny! That’s so funny! Are you saying you are going to defeat me? Me, who obtained time and space, and became King of Space-Time? …… Nonsense!!”
“You’ll see if I’m speaking nonsense or not. Also……”
Add clenched his fists tightly.
“Don’t you dare call her a damned fox.”
There were many uncertain intertwining feelings regarding this but there was only one answer.
“……I’m the only one who gets to call her that.”
The Devil became disinterested then flicked his finger lightly. Then space shattered consecutively six times to tear apart Add’s body-…..
But It couldn’t. Add had opened miniature dimension distortion barriers at each point of the Devil’s attacks the moment they activated.
The Devil frowned after witnessing the unexpected result. He realized the change that occurred to Add.
“You can’t possible have……”
“It’s the power that damned fox left me.”
Add’s eyes momentarily became dyed in red then returned to normal.
Clairvoyance, Add could read how the Devil would attack and prepare accordingly thanks to this power of seeing into the future.
Even if his powers lacked, he could respond readily long as he could read couple moves ahead.
This was an unimaginable situation but the surprised look on the Devil’s face disappeared quickly.
“And? So what?”
The Devil launched 2 Space Distortions and 3 Void Impacts this time. Add intercepted them by opening dimension distortion barriers again but the Devil didn’t stop there and also launched Void Field and Void Breaker.
Sweat dripped down along Add’s face after managing to successfully counter all of them. In contrast, the Devil didn’t show even single drop of sweat on his face.
“Is that all you got after declaring so confidently that you’ll defeat me? This isn’t even a warm-up-…….”
Sword strike aiming for the jeering Devil flew in. Elesis had lunged and swung her sword aiming for the Devil’s neck. 2 layers out of 10 dimension distortion barriers casted around the Devil instantly got destroyed.
The Devil managed to buy some time thanks to the barriers as he immediately backed out and attacked at the same time.
Elesis quickly performed a backflip to dodge the Devil’s attack then landed beside Add. Add had seen with Clairvoyance that Elesis would attack the Devil, but he didn’t know the reason.
“I changed my mind.”
Elesis spoke coldly while looking ahead.
“You’re the only one who can defeat D. I didn’t want to believe that…… But I’ll believe it unconditionally now since Eun even gave up her life. I’ll become your sword and shield. So……”
He’ll defeat the Devil for sure. At Add’s answer, Elesis didn’t even nod as she dashed towards the Devil without any hesitation. Add also mobilized his Dynamos and followed closely behind Elesis so he wouldn’t get left behind.
It was start of the Time War’s final battle.