Blue sky could be seen.
“This place is……?”
Add looked around then gasped in surprise after seeing a familiar mansion. He was in a place he thought about even in his dreams, his home.
And it was before the mansion had burned down. It was a place he grew up in. His heart beat so loudly that he wanted to pinch his cheek to check if this was a dream. Add struggled to keep his mind calm.
Just how much did he long to come back to this time? To save his mother?
But he wasn’t here to save his mother right now. Add closed his eyes tightly then shook his head as all sorts of emotions swirled within him.
He wanted to ignore the mansion because his chest was boiling up from inside and it felt as if tears were about to pour out of his eyes.
But that suspicious masked guide certainly had a reason for sending him to this point of time. The ‘correct choice’ he talked about was obviously…… not stopping his mother’s death.
The reason he was sent here was to let go.
Add suppressed his emotions as he slowly approached the mansion. There were security personnel, but Add used to be a young master of this place. Not only that, but he had the Dynamos so he could reach the mansion’s garden without being noticed.
Add closed his eyes and sighed from the familiar sight of the garden. Even though he tried to calm himself, this fresh air, this familiar scenery, made it very difficult for him to do so. Add diverted his attention to something else because it felt like he might make a mistake if he kept looking around the garden.
“When is this……?”
It certainly was before that tragedy happened. But he didn’t know exactly when this was. And it wasn’t like he could just go up to someone and ask……
Add was thinking on what to do when he sensed people approaching and quickly hid behind a tree. As lively footsteps were heard…….
“What a nice weather we have today!”
…….An unbelievable voice was heard. Add opened his eyes widely because of the feeling of his heart almost stopping.
Owner of that voice was…… Add himself!
Add blinked numerous times in disbelief then felt that he couldn’t believe this no matter what so he peeked out to look from behind the tree. Add’s face froze immediately.
There was him when he was younger.
Just what happened? He never experienced a time paradox when time traveling so far. Didn’t the universe not accept same entities? Add thought of numerous theories even while being astonished, but then he looked down at himself and sighed.
“I see…… So I’m the devil now?”
There was a reason for his appearances becoming like this. It was a trick that Eun mentioned. As Add took control over time and space, he became an existence separated from time.
Add was now in the same position as D.
That’s why…… he could come back to the past like this and look at his younger self. Looking at one’s younger self with their own eyes, it was an experience that normal people could never experience. Even while feeling bitter, Add looked objectively.
His younger self had a bright expression, and seemed well mannered despite his young age. He could be basically described as a perfect young master of a wealthy household. Although he did seem a bit overconfident……
So that kid will grow up to be me? Add smiled bitterly while feeling satirical……. Then his eyes opened widely because someone else appeared.
Long hair blew about in the wind.
Woman sitting on an autonomous Nasod wheelchair came into his view. The woman who looked sickly was smiling gently as she watched young Add.
The person he thought about even in his dreams.
“But it might rain tomorrow.”
“Then it might be difficult for you to take a stroll in the garden, mother. I think that wheelchair needs an umbrella feature after all, and a parasol feature too.”
The voice he heard in his dreams.
Add was nailed to the ground and couldn’t move. The person he longed to see again so much…… was right in front of his eyes right now. She was alive, and talking to his younger self.
The person he longed to see again the most. The person most important to him.
Add stood still because it felt as if something was stuck in his throat. Meanwhile, the conversation between young Add and his mother continued.
“You don’t have to do that. Watching the rain while sitting in the living room is enjoyable too.”
“But that wheelchair can certainly use more features. I think it needs flight, defense, and most of all, a shock absorption feature. Actually, I’d like to improve on the offense feature if I could…..”
Mother smiled when Add excitedly expressed his opinions.
“It’s not always good to add more.”
“Huh? But isn’t it always better to have more features?”
“Sometimes, things are better off not being added or fixed. Just like an old rocking chair.”
Young Add’s face was as if he couldn’t understand. Mother approached him by moving the wheelchair then gently petted Add’s head.
“But I’m happy for your thoughts. I’m always thankful for your kindness.”
“N-not at all. It’s something obvious, I’m your son after all!”
Young Add’s face reddened from his mother’s compliment.
“Nothing in this world is obvious. Even if an event might seem obvious, never forget to be thankful of it. Don’t forget this.”
Young Add grinned brightly then nodded. Mother spoke softly.
“I’ll take a stroll bit longer so could you go back first and prepare for your studies?”
“But I already finished the homework you gave me yesterday.”
“Then preview the part we’ll study today. I’ll quiz you about it.”
When mother spoke mischievously, young Add nodded with a strangely competitive expression. It looked like he wanted to pass the quiz flawlessly to impress his mother.
Silence descended in the garden when young Add ran back inside the house.
Add who was eavesdropping on the conversation from behind the tree sighed because it felt as if his heart was being struck. He did somewhat…… remember this event from long time ago. They were nostalgic times.
But this time will soon burn away into ashes and disappear.……
“Then, will you show yourself?”
Add winced from hearing a soft voice. That voice was certainly calling out to him.
“I’m sorry but my body isn’t too well so it’s difficult for me to move. Could you show yourself instead?”
Mother did have unexpectedly sharp senses. Add bit his lips in nervousness but he couldn’t just stay like this longer.
Most of all, he wanted to see his mother closer.
Add couldn’t suppress the urge and jumped out to show himself to his mother. His mother saw him then remained wordless for a long time.
What will his mother say after seeing his grown-up son? But a cold voice was returned to Add who showed himself with numerous expectations.
“What business do you have here?”
Her tone was as if clearly drawing a line…… this was unlike Add’s expectations. Add inhaled deeply from his mother’s cold response and expression, but his reasoning was now catching up.
He had the appearance of a grown-up Add right now, and he was not even in his normal form at that. Who in the world would think a devil with dark eyes is their son?
He knew this…. but it still felt as if the world was collapsing.
As Add stayed speechless from the feeling of his heart getting torn apart, his mother spoke in a cold tone.
“I have a son here. If you’re here to cause trouble, I’d like you to not get him involved.”
She must be expressing that she will retaliate if he didn’t accept her request. Add slowly settled his uneasy breathing at his mother’s hostile response.
It felt painful as if his throat was burning, but he couldn’t afford to keep silent any longer.
“I….. was just passing by.”
He didn’t want to worry his mother.
“This mansion looked nice……. So…… I was just taking a look inside.”
He couldn’t reveal the truth…..to his mother. No, he wanted to! Say that I’m your son! I crossed countless times to finally arrive here and save you! I’m going to save you! He wanted to reveal everything!
But he couldn’t.
If he did that, all his times together with the El Search Party, and all those grueling battles will have been for nothing. He’ll be betraying the feelings of those that sent him here with their trust.
He knew what the right choice was in his head.
This was all he could say to his mother who was showing him such an icy expression. Even if he saved his mother by doing whatever it took right now, that will not only ruin the task of restoring the universe back to normal…… it will also change the future unpredictably just like Aisha’s warning.
If even worse future awaited because he changed the past here, will Add be able to ignore it?
If the future became worse because the past has changed, then he will certainly try to control time again, adjust the variables and attempt to change it for the better. Continuing until he got a result he’s satisfied with.
That was……. basically, Add becoming D.
The reason D kept throwing the dice was because he thought Eve chose to give up her emotions because of his mistake.
The long battle where one continuously rolls the dice with the resolve of wanting to change their mistake, the Time War cannot happen again.
He had to end it with his own hands.
For the sake of those people that sent him here believing that he’ll make the right choice.
……Even if the result is him ignoring his mother’s death.
Add couldn’t look at his mother’s face directly so he only looked down at his feet.
Mother didn’t say anything. It should be obvious to call for security if a strange man invaded their garden…… But she evacuated his son first, then faced the intruder bravely by herself.
This person was certainly……. the mother he loved.
“Then…… I’ll be going now.”
This was enough. Just being able to see her face one more time was sufficient.
Add pressed down his overflowing heart as he turned away. A voice spoke to him as he was about to leave.
“You shouldn’t always be adding.”
A kind voice.
“There are things better off not being fixed.”
Add couldn’t move because of the tremor spreading through his entire body. There was a sound of wheelchair approaching, and then a sound of her standing up.
Then the sense of her touch as she opened her arms and held him in her embrace.
Add didn’t have the courage to look back so he stayed still. He finally managed to strengthen his resolve, but it felt like all that will break down if he spoke a single word back to his mother.
He wanted to immediately turn around and hug her in return…… but he will not be able to restrain himself anymore if he did that.
“You shouldn’t be here right now.”
His precious person spoke regrettably while still embracing him. Add barely managed to nod in answer. He shouldn’t be here. Only one allowed to be here was his past self, the young Add.
Her nostalgic voice being whispered into his ear broke the lock on his heart that had been trying to refrain from speaking.
“How can I not recognize?”
Mother had a sad voice. She actually recognized Add immediately when he showed himself, and had been scolding him. Add shut his mouth tightly from feeling something warm trickling down his cheek.
It felt like he’d end up crying immodestly if he said anything more.
“No matter what happens, you shouldn’t do something like this.”
Mother knew that he came back in time, and that it was something wrong. And…… she probably had a good guess as to why he came back too.
She was someone who taught him Nasod engineering after all. And she was also unusually quick-witted. And…..
“You can’t do something like this from now on. Can you…… promise me this?”
Mother’s voice was becoming damp as well. Add couldn’t bring himself to speak so he only nodded.
He wanted to look back at his mother who was hugging him and hug her back. Tell her to be at ease, that your son has grown up well. He wanted to show himself to her bit more.
“Now go back. To the time where you’re supposed to be.”
But his mother won’t allow this. It was cruel. But……
“Otherwise I’ll keep wanting to see you too.”
It will be difficult to part if they stayed like this. They wouldn’t be able to separate because of their attachment.
And that will disturb time, and break the universe.
He couldn’t console his mother’s sorrow. He couldn’t change his mother’s death. Add suppressed his tearing heart and moved his mouth.
He couldn’t just part like this. He had to say something. He couldn’t bear to not say anything.
“I……got to know some people.”
“Are they your friends?”
“No, not my friends. Well, they call me their comrade. But every one of them are idiots. They are completely naïve, don’t listen to what I tell them and keep getting themselves into situations that makes things even harder for them. Being with them is so stifling and frustrating.”
Add forced himself to brighten his voice.
“There’s a red-haired idiot who always charges forwards without thinking. There’s a girl who’s too naïve to understand what I’m talking about, but there’s also a fox inside her. It’s irking because this fox likes pulling pranks on people. There’s also an Elf and she’s difficult to deal with because she’s too caring. There’s a Nasod as well…..and this is quite an interesting one. This Nasod keeps insisting that she doesn’t have an emotion but that’s not true at all. Not only that, she has such high degree of completion. She’s probably the only Nasod like that in entire history.”
Mother quietly listened to the continuing explanation then replied with a blissful tone.
“You must love your friends very much.”
“……They are not friends. They are the ones that keeps calling me their comrade on their own.”
“Please cherish them.”
Mother’s arms let go of him then moved further. Add unknowingly tried to grab the tip of her hands as they moved away but refrained.
They both knew what they had to do.
Her voice came from behind his back.
“Looks like you’re doing well. I’m relieved. I’m glad I could see you like this.”
What should he say? No, any words he says now will be pointless.
“Please be happy……”
Mother’s voice called his real name. Add nodded to answer but he didn’t want to move. He couldn’t move forward.
He didn’t want to leave his mother and this time.
Gentle hands slowly pressed on his back then lightly pushed him forwards.
“Don’t be caught up by the past.”
Add slowly took a step forward due to his mother’s guidance. Each step was heavy but he had to go forward.
He couldn’t betray his mother’s feelings. She probably guessed the circumstances behind Add being here and yet was still pushing his back telling him to go forth.
Son moves his steps.
“I…… cannot save you no matter what I do.”
As he speaks with a voice that tears apart his heart.
“I’m sorry for giving up……”
“You came here today to give me a gift. A gift that all parents can never be thankful enough for.”
With words that caresses her son’s heart.
“I’m glad…… I could at least see you safely grown up like this. Thank you for always caring for me so much.”
Add stopped his steps then answered.
“Thank you as well.”
Add clenched his fists after hearing her final words, he suppressed his hesitation then started walking forwards again.
The feeling of wanting to look back, wanting to cling to her was surging up.
He wanted to stay here a bit longer. He wanted to talk to her some more.
But that will pain and sadden his mother even more. Two of them shared the feeling of not wanting to part with each other, they wanted this time to last longer because they both knew what fate awaited in this time.
Mother understood everything but was pushing his back to send him off.
He couldn’t betray her feelings.
He couldn’t betray her expectations.
He couldn’t defy his mother’s feelings when she was defying her own tears so she could send his son forwards.
Calling her mother at the end was the only indulgence he could allow. As his mother watched him from behind, Add straightened his back and headed forwards confidently as to not betray his mother’s expectations.
Even though he was crying.
So that his mother behind him can wave her hand with a smile.