103 Found girl
Evlin was gazing at her surroundings.
The street she would take every day to be on her way to school. The house with the angry dog that always stopped screaming after she petted his head. The broken traffic light that always glitched when she tried to cross to the other side. The huge pair of buildings that blocked the sun when she would be on her way home casting a nice shadow she could hide on.
But years had passed since then.
The angry dog was nowhere to be seen as the house itself seemed to have been sold off and now someone else was living there. The traffic light was removed and replaced with a newer model that she didn't recognize. The pair of buildings were now a group of seven buildings.
She felt like she had traveled into the future. She spent two years in the other world learning to be a mage, one year searching for Marcus and collecting silver metal and another year traveling towards the demon kingdom.
She left her home as a fourteen-year-old girl and had returned as an eighteen-year-old adult.
"I'm really back..."
East suddenly started to attack Evlin on a desperate rampage and began to choke her.
"I'm going to kill you!!! You hear me!!?? You took my powers from me!! I'll make you pay with your life!!!"
"So you plan to try and live here by yourself? Good luck with that, let's see how long you last without me!"
East was frozen by Evlin's words and stopped her rampage.
"I told you... There is no power in this world... No magic energy, no blessed energy, no cursed energy, no ice-cream energy... Here if you want to survive, you need knowledge and background."
"What... What do you mean..."
"People here only have value based on what they are able to do or on where they come from... You are a woman from another world who don't know jack about how things work here. For all anyone knows, you're just a homeless hobo in a pretty dress!"
East started to fall on her knees and began to realize she had no idea how to survive in this world. She was planning to kill Evlin after she left her world just like she killed Marceus. But now? If she tried to kill Evlin, she would have no one to help her.
Evlin stood up and fixed the mess East had made on her clothes.
"If you want to stay alive... You listen to everything I say."
"You want me to just obey you?? Like... Like..."
"Like a tool? Heavens no... If I wanted a tool I could find more use out of a can-opener. This is just me doing charity so I don't feel bad about you..."
"It's your choice... Will you behave?"
"... Tch... Fine..."
"What's the magic word?"
"... ... ... Please..."
"I hate you..."
"Is that so?"
A little girl who was watching tv heard the bell ringing on her front door and rushed to warn her mother.
"Mom!!! We have visitors!!"
"Honey, could you please see who it is? I'm doing the dishes right now."
"But I'm watching tv!!"
"I mean... I'm doing homework..."
"I'll... I'll go see who it is..."
The small four-year-old girl with short black hair rushed across the living room and came towards the front door to see who her visitor was and not too long after, returned to the kitchen to speak with her mom.
"Who is it, honey?"
"Two women. One was dressed like in a towel and the other was carrying a piece of wood."
The mother, an old lady with long black hair and wearing glasses looked at her daughter with worried eyes as if she was trying to confirm what she had heard.
"She said her name was Evlin..."
"... ... What...?"
The mother dropped on her knees and grabbed the shoulders of her daughter.
"Ellie... Ellie, could you please repeat that? What did the woman said her name was??"
The mother looked at the front door and moved as fast as she could to see if it was true.
She opened the door and saw a woman with short messy black hair carrying a crossbow standing by the side of some blond woman wearing some kind of greek attire.
The mother could barely form words at the sight of a face that, while a little older, definitely belonged to the sister she had lost so long ago.
The crossbow woman smiled at her while trying to hold her tears.
"E- Evlin...?? Is that... Is that really you??"
"Hey, Ash... Sorry I'm late... I got lost..."
"But I found my way..."
Ashley jumped to hug her sister as if to confirm she was real and started to squash her within her arms.
"I thought I had lost you!! We all did!! We thought you were kidnapped or that you had run away or had killed yourself!! You just disappeared without saying a word!!!"
Her sister continued to describe how worried she and her family were when they found out she was gone and almost didn't realize Evlin was gasping for air.
"Too... Tight!! Can't... Breath!!!"
"Ah, sorry... But, where have you been?? What happened to you?? Why do you look so beat up??"
"Arf... Arf... It's a long story... Where is mom? I can tell to you both at the same time... Is she still at school?"
"Ah, no... She goes every day to the police department to see if they find any clues on your whereabouts. Ah!! I need to call her and tell you're back!! Hold on!!"
Ashley rushed back to the house and left Evlin and East alone in the front door. They realized that the little girl from before was staring at them.
"Huh... Hi... You must be my niece..."
"I'm Evlin... Your aunt... What's your name?"
The girl didn't say anything. Evlin noticed that she was distracted looking at her crossbow.
"... Do you want it?"
The girl nodded with sparkles on her eyes. East looked at her in shock.
"You're just going to give it to her? Do you know how valuable this thing is??"
"Back there? A lot... Here? It's just a toy..."
Evlin stared at her crossbow as she was about to say goodbye to it as well. Her second crossbow that she made when escaping from the demon-slayers after being rescued by Lilith. Her old crossbow was transformed into a gauntlet and was still in the other world with the rest of her friends. A crossbow here, and a gauntlet there, Evlin's two favorite weapons, each in a different world.
"Here you go kid!"
"Thanks!! Are you... Are you really my aunt?"
"... God, when I hear you say it I feel so old... But yes... I'm your aunt Evlin! Nice to meet you!"
"Nice to meet you! I'm Ellie!"
"Ellie...? So we are Ashley, Evlin, and Ellie...?"
"I guess so?"
"... And Ashley said I was a dork..."
"Oh, not her... Another Ashley... I mean... Sigh... It's a long story..."
Ellie then looked at the woman next to her aunt.
"Is she also my aunt?"
"Who, her? Oh, no... She is..."
"Our new housemaid!"
East looked at Evlin as if she had just slapped her face.
"... I'm what...???"
"Is there a problem?"
East wanted to object but she couldn't do anything against Evlin. In this world, she needed to obey her if she wanted to survive or she would have to try and fend for herself on the streets.
"Ugh... No... Problem..."
"Guess she really is gone huh...?"
Back in the other world, the rest of the group was looking at the spot where Evlin jumped into a portal to return to her own world.
The team still couldn't believe that their leader who brought them so far was actually gone for good.
Ashley in particular was having a hard time accepting this new reality.
"She's probably hugging her real sister right now..."
Gustav came closer and placed his hand over her shoulder.
"Don't you mean her other sister? Don't talk as if what you two had was fake."
Lilith came closer to also support Ashley.
The red-haired girl tried to force a smile despite still being a little sad.
"I will be... Just need some time..."
Daren was petting his new black lion when Auren approached him.
"So... Who won the favor of the south god...?"
"... That's a good question actually... I kinda forgot about it in the middle of all that chaos..."
Marcus then approached the two and tried to clear their doubts.
"...??" x 6
The whole group suddenly looked at the boy with silver hair after hearing his words.
"The blond man is a servant of the south god right? And his power purified most of the demons in the mountain. So in a way... The south god got his kingdom back by himself."
"Marcus... Are you sure??"
"Yes... The slayers would not stop talking about how the south god would show up and grant them a blessing after they defeated the demons for him. But the demons are gone and he still is nowhere to be seem... Which means none of the gods are going to receive his favor."
Ria covered her mouth with both hands.
"Oh... West is going to be so mad..."
Daren continued to pet his lion while Lilith approached him and raised another question.
"So... Where to now?"
"..." x 6
"East is finally dealt with and Marcus no longer is our enemy... What's our next goal?"
Auren, Mia, Gustav, and Lilith all started to talk in order.
"We need to keep our deal with West and continue to kill demons or she will come and become our enemy as well..."
"We also need to deal with my sister... Auren threw her at the sky but I doubt this would be enough to keep her down..."
"Now that East is gone, another god will probably show up to take her place and create a new champion to join the competition... Another problematic person might appear at any moment now."
"And now that the demon leader is gone... Who knows how the rest of the world will react when they hear the news... People might start coming here to take the kingdom for themselves..."
Daren listened to all of them and simply released a small sigh.
"Guess our work is never truly over..."
He stopped playing with his lion and came towards Ashley's side.
"Looks like we are going to need a new leader... What do you say?"
Ashley turned her head confused as she finished wiping her tears and looked at Daren while processing his suggestion.
"Have you forgot the mess I created with the dryad?? How could you trust me with this??"
"Are you planning to fuse with a dryad again?"
"Of course not!!"
"Then there is no problem!"
The young man extended his hand towards Ashley who was sitting on the snow and smiled at her.
"You made a mistake... And you learned from it... You were strong and reliable before and you're strong and reliable now."
Gustav approached and was the second to speak.
"I agree! There is no better option!"
Lilith then spoke next.
"Same!! I completely trust in Ashley!"
Then it was Auren.
"Your ideas always saved us in the past. Please keep saving us in the future!"
And finally Ria.
"Just say yes, big brain!"
Ashley couldn't believe it. After all she had done, these people still wanted her to guide them. She wasn't Evlin, she wasn't Daren, she wasn't Marceus, she was just a regular girl with no power, and they wanted her to be the next leader.
"I can't... I'm not strong like Evlin..."
Gustav came closer and held her hands.
"Then let us be your strength! We will be your power, and you will be ours!"
The rest of the group came closer and they all started to place their hands on top of Ashley's hand, even Marcus.
Gustav simply smiled at her.
"Do you trust us?"
Ashley started to cry with joy.
And thus, the fourth leader of the group was selected, opening the curtain for a new series of adventures and the start of a new journey.