Ch4 Complete. Almost done.
Add grunted from the new scenery in front of him. Space Time Wormhole appeared soon as he moved away from his mother then forcefully teleported him.
“Where is this place…….?”
It must be that suspicious guide’s doing. That guide didn’t give Add any moments to collect himself from such quick departure from his mother.
Add felt extremely displeased but he didn’t see anyone he could complain to. Add looked around then realized this was a place he didn’t know.
He should be seeing this place for the first time but it felt like he saw it somewhere before.
A giant Nasod was functioning without a sound.
Although still gloomy from departure with his mother, Add’s interests were piqued so he unknowingly examined that Nasod. It seemed to be prioritizing minimum power usage because it didn’t show any reaction despite how Add intruded on its domain.
“Is it autonomous? Anyways, why was I sent here……?”
According to that guide, there were two pasts that could be affected by his subconscious so he had to make correct choices in both.
Add obviously guessed one of them would be a past related to his mother, but what should he fix here?
Add’s footsteps as he approached the giant Nasod stopped. No explanation was given but Add immediately understood why he was here.
Green colored orb in the middle, and a Nasod sleeping inside……
It was Eve.
Just what was this turn of events? Add pressed on his forehead and pondered in confusion. He thought he might have arrived in future, but the guide made it certain that this was a past.
“Then this is before the El Search Party was formed……”
Add quickly made this conclusion as he looked around the room then looked down at Eve again. Eve had her eyes closed and didn’t look like she’d wake up any time soon.
Add recalled that Eve was an Ancient Nasod and she was waiting for the day to wake up right now. He wasn’t sure if this information was something he already knew or if it was acquired by time travelling.
It could be that he knew this because he was now transcendent existence separated from time with the control over space-time.
He was a devil wandering through time. It wasn’t strange if he had many special abilities.
“……Then can I use quintuple now?”
Add spoke emptily as he clenched his fist then opened it. He currently possessed a power stronger than anyone else but there was nothing he could do as he wanted.
He couldn’t even change the past where his mother died……
Add struggled then shook his head in agony. Something surged up from within his chest every time he recalled this event. He felt like going back immediately to forcefully save his mother.
Suppressing himself not to when he had the power do so was ever so painful.
Just when Add calmed down, he became surprised from sensing a vibration in the ground. Something must have happened far away because shock was being transferred all the way here.
“What was that?”
What’s the reason for sending Add to this past where Eve was still asleep? Could it be that he had to save Eve from impending danger?
Just when Add prepared himself as he started walking towards where the sound came from……
Metallic sound was heard from behind him. Add doubted his ears but then sound of someone moving was heard a short moment later.
“……Who are you?”
It was Eve’s voice. Add almost turned around but stopped himself. Strange. This was strange.
“What era is this?”
Judging by Eve’s words, she understood she just woke up from a very long sleep. And Add knew the course of events that led to Eve joining the El Search Party after this.
‘It can’t be……’
Add could change that history. A tremor went down his spine.
He could change the first person that Eve met after her hibernation. Not Elsword……
But to Add.
Add almost turned around to face Eve from the sudden urge but barely managed to withhold himself. Eve seemed to be looking around to examine the situation.
“Altera’s El has been destroyed. Just who did such a thing……?”
Then a sound Eve standing up was heard. Add had all sorts of thoughts. He could create and achieve completely different history than before.
Wasn’t he always frustrated that Eve only looked at Elsword and never looked at him?
He could solve all that right here. He could change the first person that Eve met when she opened her eyes to Add and not Elsword. Not only that, he could change the time Eve spent with Elsword into time she spent with Add instead.
He could change the person Eve looked at into him.
Add became caught up in this thought. All of history will change if he just turns his head around, go up to her and hold out his hand.
He could instantly grasp what he wanted to obtain so much.
“……Why aren’t you revealing yourself, intruder?”
Caution started to form in Eve’s voice. Well, it was given since he was only showing his back and not saying anything.
But when Add continued to keep quiet, Eve started approaching him. Add sensed it would be dangerous like this so he spoke out unknowingly.
“Don’t come closer.”
Eve understood and stopped her steps. A prim response came back.
“I activated unexpectedly because Altera’s El was destroyed. My name is Eve. Did you destroy the El here?”
Eve’s stern questioning caused a conflict inside Add. He was about to go crazy from the feeling of wanting to turn around and not turn around clashing with each other.
Eve seemed confused as she moved her steps again when Add’s silence went on.
“Just what is it? Why aren’t you answering…..”
“Don’t come closer!!”
Add’s shout echoed throughout the room. Eve’s surprised reaction was conveyed to Add even without having to look back.
As Add’s voice still echoed throughout the room, he closed his eyes…… then sighed.
He can now save his mother, and change the first person that Eve meets into him. But doing so will make the task of restoring the universe impossible, and he’ll also end up following in D’s footsteps.
He had to end it here. End everything.
He had to make the right choice.
“……I revealed my name. Reveal yours, rude person.”
He couldn’t tell her his name, he shouldn’t reveal who he was. Doing so will cause the Time War again.
Add immediately came to a conclusion as he spoke in a mocking voice.
“Why does a Nasod like you need to know? That my name is……”
If he revealed his name here, he’ll be the first person that Eve met. Add swallowed his name with the last ounce of self-restraint he had, but this made Eve react even more confusedly.
“Why did you stop in middle of your words? Did the courtesy in this era degenerate like that?”
“That my name is……”
He couldn’t use the name Add. He just wanted to leave without saying anything but he couldn’t because the guide wasn’t opening the Space-Time Wormhole. That was obvious, there was a danger of this time changing if Add subconsciously wished it to.
Right to leave was only granted after properly choosing the correct choice.
Just like he chose to not save his mother even after meeting her again.
This will only end if he chooses to not reveal his identity after meeting Eve.
Should he say he’s a devil(diablo)? But he was reluctant about using that name. Because he promised that fox, whom he could never meet again, that he’ll never become a devil no matter what.
“That my name is……”
Eve was waiting for him to speak. Add spoke with a sigh mixed into his voice.
Someone who was ever so like the devil but wasn’t. A devil-like person with supernatural power. It was a name Add urgently came up from being driven into a corner by Eve’s questioning.
“……That’s a strange name.”
“Yes, it’s strange……”
Add agreed with an empty laugh.
He wanted to reveal everything to her. He wanted to ease his mind by saying that he was the person responsible for breaking this universe, and that he came all this way to fix that mistake, that he hurt her so many times in that process. But he couldn’t say any one of those things.
Even without those topics, he wanted to at least chat with her idly about various other things within the line of not revealing his identity.
But he had a thought he shouldn’t at the same time.
Eve just woke up and doesn’t know anything. A single word he slips might influence and change her differently. Revealing that name before was only to make the correct choice…… he would have liked to leave without saying a word if possible.
But there was no sign of Space-Time Wormhole opening no matter how much he waited. His resolve wasn’t accepted with merely hiding his name.
Add sighed then spoke calmly as possible.
“Eve, someone will come here soon. No, you might go outside and meet them instead.”
“……The group that destroyed Altera’s El?”
Add nodded accordingly. If Add doesn’t intervene, Eve will first meet with Elsword, then with the other El Search Party members. She’ll meet with Add last.
Original time should have this kind of trajectory.
“Yes, there will be a stupid red-haired kid. You should……”
Add clenched his fists. He couldn’t bring himself to speak this but he had to. This was the way to return the broken world back to normal.
“Become friends with him.”
Add almost turned around in surprise but urgently covered his face with his hands then stopped. It looked lame but thankfully, Eve wasn’t minding Add’s reaction because she was busy looking around.”
Eve’s response was heard when Add quickly turned away again.
“I’ll be the one to decide such things, Di….. what was your name again?”
You even forgot the name?
“My functions aren’t working properly because I was woken in unexpected circumstances. Tell me your name again.”
“No, I refuse……”
So will it get erased like this? Add felt dejection, gladness and bitterness at the same time as he let out a pained sigh.
Everything was going in the right direction but that didn’t ease his pain.
“I should go punish the rude intruders that forcefully woke me up.”
After Eve said this, she seemed to hesitate for a moment then spoke primly.
“Like I mentioned, my functions aren’t working properly yet. Could you lend me your hand for a bit?”
“I don’t have any information on this era. I’ll lend you my strength later on if you accept my request now.”
It was such a powerful temptation. If Add nodded here, Eve’s likeability towards him will skyrocket.
Eve spoke carefully for some odd reason when Add didn’t answer.
“I may not look it, but I’m the Queen of Nasods. I won’t be a hindrance to you.”
The future that awaited if he accepted this request will be ever so sweet. What he wanted will be achieved immediately.
He could rewrite time so that the one Eve really held dear and cared for was not Elsword, but him instead. It was such a sweet temptation for Add whose mind was in tatters from ignoring the choice of saving his mother from death.
He almost felt like nodding unconsciously to fill the gaping hole in his heart.
“I’ll have to refuse.”
Eve’s voice contained significant amount of displeasure. Anyone wouldn’t feel too great after getting the hand they reached out refused, and it will feel even worse for Eve since she had a strong pride as Queen of Nasods.
“It’s easier for me to work alone. So I’m going to refuse playing ‘friends’ with you.”
“……F-Friends? Don’t talk as if I asked for your help because I was lonely. I merely needed an informant!”
Eve unexpectedly replied in an emotional tone. It seemed that the word ‘friend’ was a key word that resonated her emotions. This unexpected response made Add want to continue this conversation…… but that was no good.
They had to separate quickly. And Add knew how to make Eve move in this situation better than anyone else.
“Queen of Nasods can’t gather information on her own? How useless are you……?”
“Useless?! What did you just say?”
Rage dwelled in Eve’s voice. Her tone was as if she couldn’t contain her anger because of a very aggravating insult. Add winced internally but still ran his mouth.
“What? Am I wrong? Then try taking care of the intruders on your own. I’ll become your friend after seeing how you handle this.”
“Fine! Just you wait!”
Eve didn’t hide her temper as she moved towards the exit. She stopped momentarily then turned around to speak.
“Prepare to cancel that insult when I come back. Also…… It’s not like I need a friend. Don’t get the wrong idea.”
“Do as you’d like. Kukukuk.”
Eve didn’t answer and left when Add laughed back unpleasantly. But Add could tell there was a displeasure mixed in her footsteps.
After leaving like that, Eve will meet Elsword.
“……This is the correct choice.”
After swallowing his bitterness, Add suddenly realized he wanted to stay in this place. Wouldn’t Eve come back after knocking out Elsword then demand to him to cancel the insult?
He can’t be her first friend……. But can he at least become her second friend? Would that count as not changing time?
Add laughed bitterly as he thought about this idea. Then the air shook……a Space-Time Wormhole was being generated.
“Devils tend to only tell lies. It must be same with something that’s like a devil…….”
Add sighed as he stared at the generating wormhole.
Just like Eve revealed, she wasn’t functioning properly yet. He was covered in shadow the whole time so Eve shouldn’t remember his appearance properly.
Not even his name will remain.
“This is goodbye…… Queen.”
Add left a parting word that will never be heard then threw himself into the Space-Time Wormhole.
Across the Space-Time Gate.
When Add came back to the spot he was before, his jaw dropped in astonishment at the scene before him. Countless moving hologram videos expanded far as he could see, from end of the horizon to end of the sky. Each video being shown in these thousands, millions of holograms represented some place and time.
And the number of holograms were still increasing.
“Kahaha, welcome back.”
Masked man who sent Add to make the correct choices smiled sinisterly. His skill as he manipulated the holograms while talking was no joke.
The man must have read Add’s reaction because he shrugged.
“I’m manager of space-time. Nothing is too difficult for me long as it’s within the rules.”
“……I see, so will the time return to normal now?”
“I just finished the preparations. I made the restore point long ago after all. Before you arrived in this place.”
His tone was as if…… he predicted that Add might come here one day to turn the universe back to normal.
Add was about to tell him to hurry up but paused from what the man said next.
“Ah, this might sound blatantly obvious but everything will disappear when the space-time is restored. Everything about the Time War is rolled back so that it never happened.”
“Everything is wiped clean, even more than the memories you lost during your loops. Even you will have almost no memories remaining because of the feedback of falling from the status of ruler of space-time into a mere human.”
Mouth behind the mask smiled as if it was amusing.
“Everything you’ve done will have been for nothing. No one will recall or remember. It will merely be something that never happened. Everything was only your pitiful struggle. But no…… maybe this is a good thing for you. Since no one will remember the wrongs you’ve committed. Even you will forget about them.”
“Legitimate pardon for your crimes.”
The man began to clap while mocking. Add who had been quietly listening to the man’s cruel comments closed his eyes.
“I won’t forget.”
“Like I said……”
“It might turn out like you said. Everyone will forget what I’ve done and even my own memories might become hazy. I might…… target Eve like an clueless idiot to return to the past again. No, this will certainly happen.”
Add sighed as his heart became stifled.
“Obsessions turn into diseases if they run too deep. This obsession at least will probably still remain in my heart.”
“Then the Time War will happen again. How futile…..”
“That won’t ever happen again.”
Add declared with certainty.
“Even if I become obsessed with Eve, even if I forget most of the sins I’ve committed in the past…… I’ll at least remember one thing. No matter what.”
“I’m an El Search Party.”
Was it because this was the end?
“I’ll never…… betray those stupid idiots. Never, no matter what. I’ll be together with them in both life and death.”
“……Are you serious?”
“Yes, those idiots are……”
The words Add never spoke before finally came out of his mouth.
“My most precious comrades.”
Mocking tone disappeared from the masked man. Eyes behind the cracked mask gleamed seriously. He gazed piercingly at Add’s eyes for a while then nodded.
“I see, so this is the choice you are making. Then let’s start.”
“Even when everything turns into nothing, I’ll watch to see if you can follow through with your resolve.”
Add nodded wordlessly to answer to the masked man’s grave words.
Actually, even Add wasn’t sure what will happen in the future. Like the masked man said, if he turns from the ruler of space-time back into a mere human, and is caught up by the shock of the universe being restored, then the memory of the Time War probably will not remain within him.
There was nothing that prevented him from targeting Eve again to go back to the past, then repeat the same errors again. But……
“I won’t forget……”
The feeling of wanting to save Eve, and the regret he felt when he realized the cause of Eve’s horrible fate was himself.
The feeling of wanting to save his mother, and the grief he felt when he had to turn away from her and say goodbye.
The final image of a fox who believed in him despite knowing he was the cause of all problems.
The image of his comrades that believed in him even to the point of throwing away their lives for him.
Trust of his comrades that granted him chance to turn back his errors.
The times they spent together.
The feelings they shared together.
“I’ll…… never forget.”
King of Space and Time close his eyes while numerously promising to himself. Then countless lights glimmered beyond his eyelids as everything started to turn back.
It was the end of the broken world, end of the broken time.