The tragedy that Yu IlHan had expected did not occur. Although Erta did glare at Liera as if she would kill her, when Liera hid behind Yu IlHan's back, she could only give up. Liera also did not provoke Erta more than needed. It was as if Liera was being considerate for Erta - this made Yu IlHan's curiosity rise even more, but the girls did not solve his question.
[Liera, did you completely abandon Heaven?]
"Yes, I did."
The once-an-angel and still-an-angel looked at each other. Emotions were being exchanged between the two of them through their gazes.
Liera who decided to go back to being a lower existence to stay with Yu IlHan, and Erta, who had to leave Yu IlHan for a few years in pursuit of a new realm. The two at that time each did what they thought was for the best, but the results were drastically different.
[Are you not planning to go back? Heaven will gladly receive you again.]
"I can live for several hundred years more even like this. And also……"
Liera hugged Yu IlHan's arm and made a warm smile. Yu IlHan had still not realized what was going on.
"I've decided to bet on IlHan's possibilities. If it's him, he'll be able to do it."
"Kyaak, protect me, IlHan!"
Erta's chances of winning was pretty slim in the first place. In the first place, the one who widened the gap was herself, so no good would come out of any resentment. But even if she did admit her loss, she wouldn't feel better about it.
Moreover, Erta was a higher existence. As it was not easy to move her heart in the first place, once he did, it was also near impossible to turn it back.
Yu IlHan, who hadn't the slightest clue of how Erta was feeling right now, just concluded that he wouldn't have to point his spear against her, and breathed in relief.
"Anyway, it's good that Erta is not an enemy."
"Well, you said you were going to kill Liera, so….."
Erta stared daggers at both Yu IlHan and Liera alternately while her hands were trembling, but eventually, she loosened her arms with a sigh.
At the same time she put up a barrier that covered herself, Yu IlHan Liera and a few others. As Dareu had entered into the realm of higher worlds, Erta was also not limited to use her abilities to use mana.
Yu IlHan was very shocked at her proficiency, speed, and above all, the endurance of the barrier. He newly realized that Erta was a higher existence after all.
"Is this a soundproof barrier?"
"It's not only that. Isn't this interfering with the Akashic Record? I think anything that happens in here won't even be recorded……. Erta, you've made progress, haven't you?"
To Yu IlHan and Liera who were surprised at the unintended elements, Erta once again made a low sigh before speaking.
[Please remember, Yu IlHan. That I will never go against you even if Heaven collapses.]
[Even without that! No, wait, your faith in me is that little?]
Yu IlHan once again checked that anything that happened within this barrier will not be transmitted to Heaven's Army and replied to Erta.
"Well, I do believe you. But you're in a position where you can only obey if Heaven orders you to do something, are you not?"
[Uuu, it is definitely like that now, yes……]
Erta once again realized that Yu IlHan's heart left the Heaven's Army completely. Perhaps he noticed the negotiation between the Heaven's Army, the Destruction Demon Army and the Army of Brilliant Light. She couldn't even make up any excuses.
Heaven's Army priced Yu IlHan's value as too low. He was not a talent that they should overlook for one or two higher worlds. If they somehow made him an angel, then Heaven's Army would have leaped in power instantly!
However, right now, nothing good would come out of Yu IlHan becoming more distant from Heaven's Army. Even to Yu IlHan himself. Erta started to explain the reason why she had come to look for Yu IlHan so quickly.
[Heaven's Army will also enter Dareu soon. Although the Destruction Demon Army and the Garden of Sunset Light had the advantage until now, a certain rising star from somewhere had destroyed that balance and thanks to that, there was a gap for the Heaven's Army and the Army of Brilliant Light to appear.]
[Of course it's a big thing.]
The fact that Yu IlHan had killed tens of higher existences belonging to the Destruction Demon Army and the Garden of Sunset may actually be quite small in comparison to the entire war.
However, they were only in the initial stages of the war for Dareu right now. While both sides were scouting each other out, he just wiped them all out, so as a result, Yu IlHan called for nervousness from both sides and made their scope of action smaller.
[I've volunteered myself in the Heaven's Army's scouts for Dareu. Of course, the main camp isn't here yet…… but I realized that you were about to use the Hourglass of Eternity and immediately contacted you first. And I also did expect this to a certain extent.
[I've used a pseudo-barrier that applied the flow of time only in the barrier put up by the Hourglass of Eternity, on me as well. Of course, as you know, I couldn't maintain it for long…… Moreover, it did use up quite a lot of my mana and magic stones, but thanks to that, I could find you faster than anyone else.]
He couldn't understand a single thing.
However, he did understand that Erta's magic potential was exceptional to the point of being able to interfere with a god-ranked artifact. Liera said one before, but Erta did seem to be quite a talent even in the Heaven's Army.
To Yu IlHan, who completely accepted this situation, Erta continued to speak.
[The Heaven's Army will request an alliance from you. And Yu IlHan, the alliance at this point in time, regardless of their views and objectives, will be of help even to you. No matter how prepared you are, going against four higher existence factions is worse than allying with one of them, even for your allies as well.]
Erta was speaking with the consideration of the alliance breaking up later. She understood Yu IlHan's vantages roughly. Perhaps the reason she put up the barrier was also because of this.
However, despite that, Yu IlHan had a hard time believing her words.
"Will there really be no problem even if the alliance breaks mid way? There's no way their work is so sloppy."
He understood immediately. However, wasn't that a bigger problem? As long as Yu IlHan had the Angel's partner subclass, he could not betray the Heaven's……
At that time, Erta slightly closed her left eye and opened it again.
Yes, she winked.
[I have a way. I've prepared for this until now.]
Yu IlHan, who never imagined that the cold her would do something so cute, blinked his eyes several times in confusion, but he roughly understood why she did that. Although he didn't know what she prepared, from her enormous confidence, it would be fine to believe in her.
"Ok, your eyes are pretty. so what?"
[Y, you've advanced a lot, flattering women in such a natural fashion.]
Even though her words sounded pouty, Erta's face was colored in red. Although unintentional, her disappointment about Yu IlHan seemed to have been washed away a little with this flattery. Liera laughed at her with a small voice.
"Let's talk more detail. What exactly are you going to do?"
[For that, I'd have to explain a little more about myself, but…… fine. I'll reveal everything.]
Erta made a slightly boastful expression. Her calm green eyes contained some playful light.
[In the past, I was a talent that all of the higher existence factions wanted.]
[However, that's the truth; unlike Liera, who was number one on the list for Destruction Demon Army thanks to her violent and barbaric tendencies.]
Yu IlHan subdued Liera with both his arms since she was taking out her spear to attack Erta, and urged her on.
"……You'll betray the Heaven's Army and join the Garden of Sunset!?"
Liera, who was struggling within Yu IlHan's arms abruptly widened her eyes. Erta's expression while replying was also quite strange.
[Do you really not want me that much? I'm only using them to return to being a lower existence safely.]
[The magic I've prepared until now is precisely for that purpose.]
Yu IlHan looked at Liera to see if he was the only one that didn't understand but Liera's expression was also in confusion. He was relieved.
[No, it's not that difficult. Yu IlHan, I'll use the simple terms you like so much. First, think up of the process of a magical girl transformation.]
"First, they activate the magic while clothed, and the moment the clothes are stripped, an annoying light appears to conceal the naked body, and some ribbon-y stuff comes out and equips the girl with the magical girl outfit."
That light. That resentful light that turns that beautiful scene into a thing for 7 year olds! (T/N: xD) Just as Yu IlHan was burning in rage, Erta asked.
[And if a bad guy attacks mid way through the transformation?]
[The magic I've prepared is precisely that bad guy.]
[There's no way that's true!]
Of course, there's no way that Yu IlHan didn't understand after all that. The explanation was definitely simple. Right now, she was saying that she would activate a magic to return to being a lower existence, in the process of transforming from an angel to a member of the Garden of Sunset.
"You…… will you be alright?"
"Well, I was planning to make them enemies in the first place, so, yeah. Leave that to me."
Despite the fact that this was about turning two higher existence factions into enemies, Yu IlHan's answer had no hesitation. Erta slightly fell for his reassuring reply.
On one side, Yu IlHan realized one thing mid way.
"So that's it. If you return to a lower existence, the partnership between you and me will naturally crumble. And like that, you'll dissolve the alliance between the Heaven's Army and me. You're saying that, right?"
"If that's so, there's another obstacle in our way."
Since the story reached here, Liera could also realize as well.
"IlHan is still bound to another angel through a contract."
[Yes. That is why, there's one more thing you need to do before you cancel your alliance with the Heaven's Army. Something that you need to resolve in a place like this barrier, where no contract will affect you.]
Erta's eyes glistened. Her eyes contained a hint of hesitation, resolve and decisiveness.
[You need to…… settle it with Spiera.]
Author's notesErta really is an exceptional angel! Though, she didn't have the chance to show herself off until now!