122 Important goals
After Evlin took a little more time to put herself back together, she rejoined with East who was still trying to make the internet connection work with little success.
"I'm telling you, it's not going to work... The wifi is dead..." Said Ellie who was laying on sphinx while looking at the woman who seemed to be in the middle of some kind of battle with Evlin's phone.
"Ughhhh... Stupid technology from this stupid world... Why can't things just obey my will like they should!!??" East said while sounding extremely frustrated.
"..." Evlin simply watched the scene and started to feel jealous wishing her problems could be as simple as trying to make a cell phone work. "Must be nice...".
Ellie heard her aunt's voice and turned around to talk to her. "Aunt Evie! Detra broke the wifi!!"
"!!!" East suddenly started to lose color as if she was afraid Evlin was going to strangle her again.
"No, she didn't... Mia broke our house and must have messed with the cables... Come on, we are leaving for the hotel."
"Eh? We're going out?" Said Ellie surprised.
"Well, yeah... It's getting late and my place is too much of a mess for everyone to sleep here... Plus, we can use their connection to continue our research..."
"Continue... ?" East looked at Evlin with irritated eyes as she realized she would need to continue doing this for the whole night while everyone else sleeps.
"Don't worry East... You can catch a break if you don't find anything after a few hours..." Said Evlin as she looked out the window as if trying to see if there was any other monster running around as a gift from Mia again. She also realized that the sky was dark already. Back in the old day, the night used to calm her down as it would mean Daren would be able to use his curse to help in a fight. But now, it just served as a reminder that she only had a few days left to become a full mage again to clear Mia's first game mission.
She used her modeling magic to make a door to lock her home and proceeded to bring her group to the nearest and cheapest hotel she could find. She had to use her mother's card since she wasn't making that much money with her job as an art teacher, at least, not enough seven people to sleep outside.
Marcus and Daren took Sphinx and the black lion, who Daren finally revealed was named Drion, apparently as some kind of joke from Ria, not that he minded, to someplace where they could sleep without attracting too much attention.
After Daren and Marcus returned, Evlin placed everyone in their rooms. She made sure to not let East stay with either of her friends as she was afraid that they would try to choke her while she slept, thus, Daren, Lance, and Lilith stayed on room 6B, Ellie and Marcus stayed on room 6C, and Evlin and East stayed on room 6D.
Ellie seemed really unhappy after finding out she was staying with Marcus for some reason. Evlin assumed she probably didn't want to share a room with a man she barely knew, or that she probably didn't want to separate from Evlin.
Evlin herself didn't want to leave her niece alone after such a long and stressful day so she made a suggestion.
"I'm sorry Marcus, would you mind staying in the room by yourself?"
Marcus turned his face once he saw Evlin approaching her, much to her confusion, and simply nodded. "N- No problem... "
"Thanks, sword-kid!" She then turned towards her niece. "Ellie, would you like to sleep in my bed with me? Or are you too old to sleep with your aunt?"
Ellie then looked at Marcus and released a wide grin at him, which once again really confused Evlin. "Sure, aunt Evie! I would love to!!"
"I... See..." Evlin started to feel like she was missing something.
Before parting ways, Marcus took one glance at East. As far as Evlin remembered, these two hadn't shared a single line with each other ever since they reunited.
East had no power in this world so she couldn't do any harm to Marcus, but the memory of her tormenting him probably still haunted the lad. At the same time, Marcus was the champion that betrayed East and asked Evlin to free him from her, she probably still held a grudge against him as well.
Evlin realized that it might be for the best if those two stay far away from each other.
She entered her room with East and Ellie right behind her and they all took turns taking a shower to try and clear their minds. They all then proceeded to change into their sleeping clothes.
Ellie wanted to stay up all night and talk about magic with her aunt, but the moment she touched the bed her whole body started to feel like it weighed ten tons. She fell asleep instantly and began to snore like a truck. Evlin just looked at the scene and thought how cute her niece was, like usual, while East got really annoyed with the noise.
"Do I really have to keep researching under these conditions?" asked the former goddess.
"Fine, fine... Let's all just take a break for now and get some rest... I get the feeling we will have a lot of work tomorrow." Said Evlin while laying on the bed next to her niece.
She noticed that East was staring at the two of them for some reason.
"Hey East..." said Evlin.
"You used to be human right?"
"... Yes... But that was a very, very long time ago... I don't even remember my original name..."
"Really...? What about your family? Your mother? Your father? Maybe brothers and sisters...? Or even..." She looked at Ellie before finishing her sentence. "A daughter...?"
"..." East didn't expect such a question from Evlin like that. She remained quiet for a while and finally answered her "Like I said... That was a long time ago... Do you remember the time when you used to be a baby still learning to walk?"
"Can't say that I do..."
"Well, it's the same for me... I can't recall every single minor moment of my life... I was a very busy person in case you don't know..."
"Busy hiring people to do your work for you...?"
"..." East glared at Evlin. "You think being a god is a joke... Don't you...?"
"In my defense... I think several things are a joke... If you want I can make a list for you."
"Being a god is not just about recruiting people to work for you. I needed to carefully plan the best way to help the human race reach it's natural progression so they could be prepared to reach terminal energy one day in the future."
"... What...?" Evlin was taken by surprise once the topic suddenly shifted to an element from Hana and Angela's story.
"You remember right? Terminal energy is meant to be the peak of our evolution. My job was to help the people of that world reach the point where they were ready for this kind of power..." East then grabbed her blankets and covered herself. "But now West is the one in charge... That crazy girl that just revealed the most important secret of our history as if she was sharing what her mother was planning to buy for her as a birthday present..."
Evlin noticed that East was looking rather frustrated while talking about that.
"But of course... It's ok for her to be reckless... After all, her recklessness helped you solve your little problem when you needed it... But when I try to shift things so they can reach their natural progression, I get an army of morons coming after my head..."
Evlin was a little annoyed from hearing her maid call her friends morons, but she didn't feel any enthusiasm to kick someone that was already down.
"So... The reason you didn't want Daren to be the definitive partner of Marceus..." Asked Evlin.
"It's because I was trying to stop people from finding out about terminal energy..." East answered as she turned around in her bed and stared at the wall, away from Evlin's sight. "You think you're the only one who gets worried about the idea of too much power falling into the wrong hands?"
"..." Evlin understood. The same way Evlin hated magic because it gave people too much power they weren't prepared for, East hated terminal energy for the exact same reason.
"I was just trying to do my job well... But because I caused a little bit of pain, everyone decided to label me the bad guy..."
"East, you enslaved Marceus for centuries, turned Daren and the rest of my friends into statues, and tortured Marcus for years..." Evlin said, trying to remind the blond woman why people truly hated her. "You're not some misunderstood hero... Just like Marcus was wrong in hurting people because he was alone, you're also wrong in hurting people just because you have some vaguely noble goal..."
"Is that so...?"
"Yes... It is that so... Causing pain is never justified..."
East then turned around and looked straight at Evlin. "What if you need to cause pain to save your family?"
"What if the only way to make sure your world is not destroyed by Mia is to cause more pain than anyone can ever imagine?" East said while raising her upper body from her blanket.
"What are you talking about?"
"Mia is not going to stop... Crossbow girl... I know you won't have the guts to really kill her... You're too soft for this..." East then stood up from her bed and pointed her finger at Evlin.
"You want to make her stop from trying to hurt your family? You hurt her even more! Even harder! Make her suffer so much that she will never consider trying to go against you again!"
"..." Evlin simply grabbed East's hand and gently pushed it down. "You mean, just like how you did with Marcus?"
"I'm not going to let you turn me into you East... I don't know how I'm going to deal with Mia... But I'll find a way... I always do..." She then looked down and started to caress Ellie's hair to reveal her forehead. "I'll keep my family safe... Even if I need to..." She closed her eyes and opened then again looking straight at East. "Even if I need to take Mia down! I'll do what needs to be done!"
"..." East returned to her bed and covered herself with her blanket again. Evlin couldn't see her face as it was turned towards the wall once again, but the former goddess tried to open her mouth to say one last thing, but at the last moment realized it would be pointless to try and convince Evlin.
"..." Evlin herself noticed that the conversation had died and decided to try to sleep as well.
She gave Ellie one kiss on her forehead and covered the two of them in a warm blanket.
She then started doing her routine of talking to herself to calm herself down. "I'll keep you all safe... I'll keep you all safe..."
When Evlin finally fell asleep, Ellie opened her eyes revealing that she was awake the whole time.
The little girl looked at her aunt and all the traumatic images she acquired from the last couple of days flashed before her eyes.
The explosion on the park, the fire on the restaurant, the crystal monster almost crushing Evlin, and of course, Myriad.
Ellie then turned her body so that it would face her aunt and began to whisper in a low voice. "Me too..."
As the current formation of the crossbow family continued to rest from their long day, a beast made of wood started to roam the city bathed under the moonlight, searching for its prey.