Although we have learned where the subjugation quest’s target,【Emperor Isopod】was, we couldn’t just go straight there and beat him. Together with Taku we returned to【Atelier】to wait for Myu and Sei-nee’s return.
And once the two came back, we shared with them the information we have learned from Shichifuku, resulting in Myu’s reaction.
“So, Yun-oneechan, Taku-san. What are the weaknesses and movement patterns of【Emperor Isopod】?”
Having it pointed to us by Myu, I noticed that I was too occupied with the mob’s location. Meanwhile, Taku heaved a sigh as if he was tired.
“Shichifuku told us the location, but it looks like he didn’t tell us the weaknesses and details on purpose. I bet he laughs inside his head, telling us to have a hard time.”
Personally, Shichifuku felt to me like a good-natured big bro-type so I didn’t have a bad image of him. Reading my thoughts based on my expression, Taku added.
“Shichifuku is harsh on guys, but gentle and polite toward girls. Since Yun was there he told us the location, but wouldn’t tell anything more because I was there.”
“Hee, is that so...wait, am I being treated as a girl?!”
Hearing Taku’s words, I realized the reason for Shichifuku’s attitude and was dumbfounded, but Myu and Taku stared at me as if to say “you realize that now?”, causing me even more shock.
Seeing me like that, Sei-nee smiled wryly and changed the topic.
“Still, it was Daias Forest, huh?”
“Sei-nee, something on your mind?”
“It’s a forest with a lake in it, the density of trees is very high and the view in the forest is bad. The ground is muddy like in a swamp so the footing is bad, because of the leaves that fall on the ground and lump together it’s easy to slip, and on top of that there are mobs that camouflage and attack from hiding.”
Certainly, when we went there together with Lyly, I remember that both the Fluff Cloud who called allies in and a Thorn Plant that caught players by their legs and hung them, were annoying.
“So, what do we do? We going now?”
Myu tilted her head and asked, Taku and I opened our menu to check the time.
It was currently four in the afternoon.
“Hmm, there is still time before it gets dark, but it might be half-assed try…"
“Time-wise, can we go to Daias Forest now and defeat the boss?”
“Let’s see, Myu-chan can use light magic, but I don’t want to fight in the dark. Also, while Yun-chan and Taku-kun were negotiating for information exchange, Myu-chan and I were adventuring so I think we can leave it for tomorrow.”
“Eeeehh, there isn’t much time until Sei-oneechan goes back to her lodging and I’m still not satisfied with fighting enemies that weak. Let’s fight more!”
“After negotiating with Shichifuku I’m still feeling kind of irritated. I’d love to fight some mobs and relieve stress.”
Sei-nee and I were of opinion to leave【Emperor Isopod】for tomorrow, but Myu and Taku were in a momentum to go right away.
“Can’t be helped, eh. Then let’s go beat【Emperor Isopod】now.”
“Oh well. It might be worth even seeing what kind of mob it is.”
“Yaay! I love you Onee-chans!”
When Sei-nee and I caved in, Myu was so happy we’ll go to challenge the boss that she clung to us.
Good grief, I sure am soft on Myu, I thought while smiling wryly.
“Then, let’s go right away!”
Myu drank the remaining tea all at once and moved in front of the mini portal that’s inside【Atelier】’s workshop.
“Even if we’re family, I’d prefer if you didn’t enter a crafter’s workshop when it’s empty y’know?”
I heaved a sigh and together with Taku teleported through the mini portal.
Since in Daias Forest there was no portal nearby, the shortest route to get there required passing through the forest near the Second Town.
“It’s really inconvenient when there’s no direct portal.”
“Well, it can’t be helped there isn’t any. Also, distance-wise it’s not so far anyway.”
Taku answered my dissatisfied comment.
In fact, it wasn’t like there was a large distance from the Second Town to Daias Forest’s lake. It’s just that on the way, there were mobs attacking you.
Even now, the forest’s mobs were being taken out by us as they spawned.
At one point, I recalled that Zakuro had left my hood and wasn’t there.
Ryui, who is always by my side, wasn’t there either.
Both Ryui and Zakuro were left in Kyouko-san’s care in【Atelier】for this Sense Expansion Quest’s duration.
I’ll have to compensate them for this somehow later, I thought and smiled. There, Myu and Taku stared at my face.
“W-what is it? Looking at my face like that.”
"Mmm, Yun-oneechan, you should have taken Ryui and Zakuro together with you…”
Myu seemed to be displeased that Ryui wasn’t there, but Ryui who could act as help in combat aside, Zakuro was still a young beast and it would be pitiful to bring him together to fight a boss.
As for Taku, he was worried about my MP.
“Yun, is your MP okay with the two of them summoned?”
Normal magic uses MP whenever it’s activated, but tamed mob summoning takes a percentage of maximum MP based on the summoned tamed mob’s strength and makes it unavailable for use.
Which is why Taku was worried about me who could only use sixty percent of the total MP while I had Ryui and Zakuro summoned.
“Hmmm, normally I don’t use that much MP, so it’s all fine.”
Well, for times like fighting against the Lightning Horse when I need MP, I properly dismiss Ryui and Zakuro.
“And they would be pitiful if I didn’t summon Ryui and Zakuro together, right?”
“No, there’s more realistic merits from summoning them, right? Like gaining experience for【Taming】Sense, or speeding up reaching adulthood.”
"...Ohhh, I see!”
I hit my hand with my fist, making Taku look at me strangely.
Certainly, there is a reason like that for summoning, about when I thought so, the entrance to Daias Forest has entered our sight.
The boss mob that blocks the area border, Killer Mantis was non-active since we all already beat him once and we passed by him to proceed into a lush and dense forest.
“About time we get on our guard, we’ve entered Daias Forest.”
After entering the forest that I have previously entered without even knowing its name, I proceeded in front, but soon stopped in my tracks.
Sei-nee looked at me mystified and tilted her head as she asked, but within my line of sight thanks to【See-Through】Sense I could see a creeping plant mob, Thorn Plant hiding in the dark forest.
“Ohh, a Thorn Plant. They’re great at concealment so I thought we would be attacked first, but it looks like Onee-chan found it quicker.”
“Hey, Myu. There’s just family here, so how about you stop with Onee-chan?”
“Thorn Plants are easily cut, but their regeneration is annoying, so there’s a need to attack their weakness and finish them off.”
While I made a distant look, Myu pointed her finger’s aim at the Thorn Plant’s root base.
From her finger, a converged ray of light had pierced the ground and the Thorn Plant had shriveled powerlessly without even struggling.
“Myu...what did you do?”
“Thorn Plant’s weakness is an orb-shaped root under the ground, so if you attack it precisely you can easily defeat it. How about that? You didn’t know it, right?”
Last time, we continued to attack Thorn Plants until their HP ran out, but if there was a weakness like that then I could think of several ways to deal with it.
For example, using earth magic’s 《Earthquake》 that deals damage to enemies in the ground would be effective.
As we proceeded to the lake, I heard from Myu about weaknesses of other mobs in this area.
“──I can see it!”
The opening in the forest came in sight and Myu had ran straight towards it, but Taku and I matched our walking speed to Sei-nee who walked slowly in this hard to travel terrain.
After leaving the lush forest, we took a look around the open space the lake was spreading in.
In the North of the lake there were several small rivers flowing in which eventually flow out from the Southern side, but between the North and South the vegetation was fairly different.
The part of Daias Forest that was near the Second Town was lush and dense dark forest, but the opposite side of the lake wasn’t as dense and seemed to be much brighter forest.
“C’mon! I’ll beat you【Emperor Isopod】! I know you’re hiding in that lake!”
“Yun, you go inside the lake and lure out【Emperor Isopod】, we’re counting on you.”
”Yun-chan, be careful.”
Most likely, we’ve gotten this trial because I have the【Swimming】Sense, thinking so I started preparing to enter the water.
In order to enter the nearly-frozen winter lake, it was necessary for me to drink a Hot Drink and take out the【Substitute Gem’s Ring】from my inventory and equip it, then check my Senses.
【Longbow Lv34】【Magic Bow Lv15】【Sky Eyes Lv18】【See-Through Lv31】【Swiftness Lv22】【Sorcery Lv23】【Earth Element Talent Lv２】【Enchant Arts Lv45】【Swimming Lv15】【Cooking Lv15】
【Bow Lv52】【Dosing Master Lv13】【Alchemy Lv46】【Synthesis Lv46】【Engraving Lv28】【Taming Lv33】【Crafter’s Knowledge Lv10】【Linguistics Lv25】【Climbing Lv21】【Bodily Resistance Lv５】【Mental Resistance Lv４】【Pre-emptive Knowledge Lv11】【Vital Points Knowledge Lv10】【Physical Damage Increase Lv13】
For the time being, I entered the lake with a Sense build that can deal with both water-based and outside threats.
Once I entered the unexpectedly warm lake, it quickly turned dark.
In the nearly complete darkness, thanks to【Sky Eyes】ability I did not feel any fear as I dived deep.
(“Hm? A cave on the bottom of the lake?”)
Near the very bottom of the lake, in the wall there was a tunnel, and it was big enough for me to spread my arms and still have plenty of space.
Because I didn’t see any enemy mobs in the lake so far, I was fearful of what might come out as I peeked inside to see a complete darkness devoid of any light.
I guess even with a night vision-performance Sense, I can’t see in complete darkness without any light sources at all.
(“If I knew it would be like this, maybe I should have developed an underwater source of light? Or rather, a fluorescent flashlight?”)
While thinking so and deciding that to search inside it was necessary to prepare, I tried to move away when inside the cave, two bluish-white points lit up.
It was very faint, but thanks to that light I could tell even in the darkness that it were a living being’s eyes and could tell the creature’s entire silhouette.
(“I-it’s huge!! So this is【Emperor Isopod】boss?!”)
This creature as big as a small hill, stood there as if to stop the intruder from entering the cave.
(“It’s so big I can’t see all of it.”)
When in order to look more closely I once again closed up onto the entrance, from the place I assumed to be the creature’s mouth, bubbles suddenly started to gush out.
When I entered the cave to further observe it, the amount of bubbles gushing out increased and the bluish-white lights suddenly changed into red.
Red is the warning color, feeling that to be the case I──
(“Need to fall back──?!”）
In order to avoid fighting the boss in water, I escaped from the cave and kicked the water to head for the surface as fast as possible.
The【Emperor Isopod】that has become hostile due to me getting too close, had left the cave.
When I tried to take a look down to check his entire size,【Emperor Isopod】turned just his head toward me and moved something like a slender limb that came out of the mouth-seeming place. The next moment, the bubbles stopped gushing out.
After feeling an impact as something hit my body and passed by, this single strike caused【Substitute Gem’s Ring】’s gem to crack all at once.
The impact just now was clearly an attack, but even with my【See-Through】Sense I couldn’t see it.
When I once again hurriedly headed for the surface, attacks impossible for me to see have started destroying rocks nearby.
(“I need to quickly get out…")
Without rest I moved my legs, focusing on getting to the surface.
When I pulled my head out of the water and took a breath,【Emperor Isopod】who was rising behind me had also shown himself from inside the water.
“Pwahh?! Pwha...the current──”
【Emperor Isopod】’s enormous body had raised the surface of water and the water flowing from its huge back caused waves which carried me to the lakeshore all at once.
“Yun-chan, are you okay?”
When I was struck against the lakeshore, my body hit the ground twice and I received damage from the ground and once again my【Substitute Gem’s Ring】responded, using up the three attacks worth of damage from a fresh gem that were available.
I brushed up the hair that was stuck to my cheek and while dragging my completely wet clothes I stood up.
When I looked at the lakeshore flooded by the big wave from earlier, Sei-nee created a foothold for herself on which she avoided the waves and Taku with Myu climbed on the trees to wait out until the waves stop.
“You guys...running away all by yourself!”
“Ahahaha...well, ‘s fine. Rather, Yun-oneechan, behind you!”
In response to Myu’s words, I quickly turned around and saw【Emperor Isopod】’s figure.
A glossy white carapace on the back, solid legs supporting a huge body. The boss had several tongues for capturing its prey that looked like dried branches which came out of a grid-shaped mouth, as well as two antennas. On top of that, it had a pair of inorganic red insect eyes, all of it making it look like an enormous pillbug.
“It’s the thing from the Valley of the Wind!”
“It certainly looks similar, but to me it’s closer more like a giant isopod you can see in an aquarium.”
“Rather than similar, it’s almost identical. And they just changed the “king" from the name to emperor.”
Myu was all excited about【Emperor Isopod】boss, while Sei-nee was looking up at it calmly.
Taku had calmly connected the similarities between the three.
While the waves caused by【Emperor Isopod】slowly pulled back and Taku and Myu moved down from the trees, the boss swam on the surface of water with its thick legs until it placed its huge head on the lakeside to face against us.
Since behind the enemy was the lake, we couldn’t attack it from a dead angle or by surprise, and from the front we were prevented from attacking by the swings of thick, crab-like legs.
“C’mon, my resolve is ready! ──Commence combat!”
Following Taku who leaped forward, Myu also faced against【Emperor Isopod】.
Watching their backs, Sei-nee and I also raised our weapons.
“Well then, Myu-chan. Pre-emptive attack!”
“Let’s try this first──《Aqua Bullet》”
Sei-nee created over ten water bullets and released them on【Emperor Isopod】, and shortly after Myu released her converged ray of light as she swung her sword at the hard carapace.
The bursting water and the reflected light hide the boss’ appearance for an instant. Due to【Sky Eyes】too good eyesight I had to squint at the flash of light and wait for Myu’s attack to be over.
Once magic’s effect disappeared, I checked【Emperor Isopod】’s figure and inadvertently, words spilled from my mouth.
“──No way, magic isn’t working?”
Facing the fact that【Emperor Isopod】’s HP barely decreased at all, I thought that there’s no way we can win against an enemy like this, but Taku who attacked with his two swords matching Myu’s attacks had raised his voice.
“Look well! It’s only Sei-san’s magic that didn’t work! Myu-chan’s magic worked!”
“What does this mean?”
I turned around and looked at Sei-nee.
With a serious expression, Sei-nee watched Myu’s, Taku’s and【Emperor Isopod】.’s HP bar moving.
“Let’s go. ──《Ice Lance》《Aqua Bullet》!”
This time Sei-nee released a single ice lance and water bullet each.
With Sei-nee’s skill she is capable of using more spells at once, so why was she attacking like this?
The ice lance struck【Emperor Isopod】whose HP decreased slightly from Myu’s and Taku’s attacks, but for just an instant a thin film-like thing appeared on the carapace and nothing happened. As for the water bullet, it was sucked in by the boss even before it managed to reach him and disappeared.
The absorbed water bullet was immediately added to【Emperor Isopod】’s HP.
“──Looks like it has【Ice Element Immunity】and【Water Element Absorption】.”
The moment Sei-nee muttered so,【Emperor Isopod】who up until now only swung its forelegs now started to release a creakily sound from its mouth. At the same time, from its forelegs it released a blade of water to strike at me and Sei-nee.
Sei-nee calmly created several shields of water, then moved and overlapped them on the trajectory of the water blade.
Due to the difference in power, the water blades cut through the water shields one by another until it stopped on the fifth one.
“Looks like this trial’s boss is my natural enemy...but I’m glad that defensive magic isn’t either ineffective or absorbed. ...Everyone, I’m focusing on support!”
“Roger! Then we’re leaving recovery and defenses to you! Myu-chan go right! I’m going left!”
In the front Myu and Taku coordinated with each other and avoided the foreleg swings as they attacked from the front.
I put enchants on the two and besides me, Sei-nee raised her staff high.
“《Zone Enchant》──Attack, speed!”
Sei-nee started to exude white fog which, like waves, reached the lake and started to freeze it’s surface.
Through the magic that was also used inside the Grand Rock’s innards dungeon, the surroundings were covered by thick ice and although it was impossible to freeze【Emperor Isopod】itself, all legs except for the forelegs were locked under ice hindering its movements.
Furthermore, the frozen lake surface served as foothold reaching the boss’ back and slightly protruded upwards like a small hill.
This part was somewhat similar to the footing made during the summer camp event to reach the【Mythical Beast Eater】. While back then there was only one, this time there were multiple hills of which two that sandwiched【Emperor Isopod】from the left and right were used by Taku and Myu who ran up them all at once.
“Let’s go! ──《Cross Execution!》”
“Me too──《Nine Sword Slash!》”
From the edge of the scarp Myu and Taku attacked the boss at the same time.
Taku’s attack released from the crossed longswords and Myu’s nine attacks struck the boss.
In order to counter the attacks from the sides,【Emperor Isopod】extended its legs and attempted to strike the two with extending antennas.
“Good grief, you’re acting too risky──《Magic Bow Skill - Phantom Arrow》!”
I released a single arrow that trailed a red tail behind itself, which split into five arrows, of which the main one hit the front of【Emperor Isopod】.
However, the attacks of the three of us were all repelled from the boss’ thick carapace and barely released some sparks, not dealing any serious damage.
“Khh, my hand’s gone numbb! It’s really hard! Maybe next time I should try a blunt attack?”
“Yun! Decrease this guy’s defense!”
After releasing an art, Myu and Taku used the rebound from it to get back on the icy scarp.
Following Taku’s instructions, I select a curse that decreases defense.
The curse I cast on【Emperor Isopod】was resisted and did not work due to the high stats of the boss.
“──《Water Round》《Summon Aqua Serpent》!”
While I was thinking of the next way to attack, Sei-nee used water shields and created a water serpent mob to protect Myu and Taku from high-pressure water attack, properly supporting them.
Sei-nee summoned the maximum number of Aqua Serpents possible, and whenever they were taken out she summoned new ones. I was in awe at how skilled a mage she was.
But her magic, this time, had met the worst possible enemy when it comes to compatibility and not being able to use it in full was a strong blow against our party.
I sporadically released arrows and kept casting enchants on Myu and Taku making sure they are continuously up. Meanwhile, I analysed the boss in my own way.
“Boss’ HP is decreasing… but at this rate we might lose in attrition.”
After trying various methods, using poison arrows and bad status arrows of various types, and tried to curse【Emperor Isopod】multiple times, yet none of it had any effect.
“It can’t be helped, let’s focus on searching for his weak point──《Ingredient Knowledge》!”
I used the【Cooking】skill’s support 《Ingredient Knowledge》 and started searching for【Emperor Isopod】’s weakness, but meanwhile Myu and Taku found a working method of attacking.
“HAaa! “ ──《Power Wave》! Great, with this the damage will get to him! Taku-san!”
“If blunt attacks are effective, then let’s overpower him with arts! ──《Power Buster》!”
Changing their attacking method from slashes into blunt attacks, Myu and Taku started dealing serious damage.
It appeared that【Emperor Isopod】felt proper damage at the same time, and his huge body has shown a reaction to it.
A creaking sound like that of metal hitting against one another came out from the boss’ grating-shaped mouth, and as the speed of the sound’s repetition increased, the carapace of the boss peeled off to display soft-looking pink meat under.
This pink part had responded to my 《Ingredient Knowledge》 and lit up with a blue marker, but immediately after there was an explosive sound causing me to block my ears and crouch.
It appeared that【Emperor Isopod】made a creaking sound in its mouth and amplified it inside his body, before opening the carapace and releasing it from there.
This sound bomb was not set to be fatal and it ended with cutting just a bit of our HP, but the main reason for this attack was to stop players from moving.
Not just me, but also Myu and Taku who were on the scarp of ice, as well as Sei-nee who was in the back supporting have all stopped moving.
The water shields and serpents Sei-nee had active have all burst and returned into water, and cracks started to run throughout the ice surfaces including the foothold scarps.
"...?!! Myu, below you!”
Myu who stood on top of the scarp that was about to break anytime, leaped off it the moment I called out to her.
However, the thick ice on the lake surface also cracked and from inside the water several of【Emperor Isopod】legs have gotten free and assaulted Myu.
Even for Myu who had【Action Restriction Release】Sense and could move freely in three dimensions could not suddenly change her direction in mid-air. At this rate, she would receive a powerful piercing attack.
Hearing Myu’s words I understood in an instant and with the fastest timing possible I activated the 《Bomb》 magic.
With【Sky Eyes】’s targeting, I caused an explosion in a place a little behind Myu’s back.
By receiving the shockwave of the explosion with her back, Myu acquired a meaning of propulsion in mid-air and changed her trajectory of fall, managing to avoid【Emperor Isopod】’s leg attack by a hair’s breadth.
It was a different application of double jump I used before with 《Bomb》, this time for used emergency avoidance.
This time, Myu used the sudden change of falling direction to barely avoid the boss’ uppercut and with elasticity of a cat has landed on the frozen surface of the lake.
“Good grief, I panicked when you called out to me!”
“But I knew you would notice what I mean, Yun-oneechan!”
Being told so with a smile by Myu, made me go “good grief" again and heave a sigh.
Matching each other like that wasn’t something that can be done easily. Honestly, I’d prefer if this was the last time we had to do this.
Immediately after,【Emperor Isopod】released a shrill scream and started to swing its legs wildly, striking the frozen lake surface and crushing the ice footholds.
“Great, that stream of attacks cut quite a lot of his HP.”
Right after that sound explosion Taku who stood on the opposite side of【Emperor Isopod】had jumped onto the boss’ back and with his two longswords he slashed the pink meat that could be seen through the opening in the carapace.
After receiving Taku’s attacks,【Emperor Isopod】started to struggle in rage and destroyed the icy scarp, but Sei-nee who had recovered from the effects of the sound explosion had recreated it thus securing Taku an escape route.
Meanwhile, since I was busy helping out Myu I did not join this “stream of attacks”. I unconsciously heaved a sigh.
“So, there’s 70% HP left, should we force him to do that sound explosion again?”
Taku and Myu have fallen back to where we are for the time being, and spoke to us.
While freezing the broken ice again, Sei-nee started deliberating on the strategy to use from here on.
Unlike normal bosses who are defeated just by dealing enough damage,【Emperor Isopod】did not aggressively attack players so we could take time to rest.
With that said, it’s not like we had it easy in combat, the enemy's carapace was hard and he had resistance to many elements which made him quite a difficult opponent.
I was almost completely useless this time.
When I recasted enchants on Myu and Taku which was my only role this time, the two seemed to want to say something, but soon enough they turned in【Emperor Isopod】’s direction.
“All right, let’s attack him again and chip his HP away bit by bit!”
“Yun-oneechan, Sei-oneechan, we leave support to you again!”
In order not to let the battle end, and the boss to escape back into the bottom of the lake, Myu and Taku restarted their attacks.
The two recovered their MP with potions as they used arts causing blunt damage, forcing the damage through to【Emperor Isopod】.
Sei-nee once again created water shields and water serpents to focus on the defense, but all I could was to shoot arrows.
In the middle of all that, Sei-nee spoke to me.
“Yun-chan, go in front.”
“Certainly you are bad when it comes to boss battles and your Sense build is suited to stay in the back, but you know that you are of no use as is now, right?”
Although gently, Sei-nee said this to me with a firm tone of voice, making me lower my hands holding the bow.
“The enemy this time has【Water Element Absorption】and【Ice Element Immunity】. Because of that I can’t fight like I usually do. Still, I’m here because you three are here with me.”
“Since I can’t fight this enemy, I want you to do your best, Yun-chan. And I will support you from behind. Our positions are the opposite from the usual, aren’t they?”
Hearing her say this with a smile, I noticed.
Whereas I normally act as the support, this time Sei-nee has joined me and the entire party’s defense has increased, but instead the attacking power has decreased.
In a situation like this, having me remain in the back because I’m not good with boss battles, increases risks and makes us take more time than necessary.
And what I felt now, was that this way of fighting was something I could not continue.
"...All right. I’m off.”
Just earlier Myu and Taku seemed to want to say something to me, it must have been this, I thought and took a deep breath to focus myself. When I did that, Sei-nee said that I made a good expression.
I once again faced【Emperor Isopod】and lowering the bow, I started to run in a posture slanted forward.
The boss has set his aim on me as I approached and released a stream of water under high pressure, but matching that I chanted an enchant.
With the increased speed, I avoided【Emperor Isopod】’s attack and ran up a newly-made icy scarp.
“Yun, you came!”
“Rather than shoot arrows from the rear and let them be repelled by the hard carapace, I decided to fight this way!”
From the scarp I ran up to, I jumped over to another one that was on the side of【Emperor Isopod】.
“Unless I get this close I can’t aim well. 《Element Enchant》──Weapon!”
I crushed a fire elemental stone and enchanted my own weapon with it.
Furthermore, I used an art that had a very specialized effect.
“Let’s go! ──《Bow Skill - Armor Penetration》!”
Aiming at a crevice in the carapace that could not be targeted from the front due to the where it faced, I lowered myself to my knees and released an art from up close.
This 《Bow Skill - Armor Penetration》 was an art that could not be used unless I was very close to the target. Its effect was ignoring armor and physical defense decrease.
It was an art that required a specific situation so I didn’t use it up until now, but it was extremely effective against opponents with high defense like this one.
I should have thought of using this skill and come in front earlier.
【Emperor Isopod】who had his physical defense decreased thanks to 《Bow Skill - Armor Penetration》, focused his aim on me and swung down his forelegs he pulled out of water. While avoiding that, I waited for the good timing and continued to release the same art.
“HAaa! ──《Power Wave》!”
“──《Bow Skill - Armor Penetration》!”
The three of us used footholds of ice and while avoiding enemy attacks, we matched our timing to release arts and deal large amounts of chain damage bonus to deal more and more damage.
Our plan was going well and completely one-sided, and【Emperor Isopod】who received attacks from the side started to counter-attack harder and harder, as a result of which the footholds started to break all over.
It was Sei-nee who protected us from it, and instantly repaired the footholds.
“There’s 30% remaining! Don’t forget to manage your HP and MP!”
“I won’t make such a novice’s mistake!”
While Myu and Taku chatted over the boss’ large back, suddenly【Emperor Isopod】stopped moving at once and started releasing a creaking sound from its mouth.
Noticing that preparation movement first, Sei-nee raised her voice nervously.
“Everyone! The sound bomb is coming!
“I guess he won’t just fall that easy. Yun!”
Good grief, both Myu and Taku expect too much from me and won’t even give clear instructions.
While fighting I kept thinking of a plan on how to change this tough situation into a chance, in order to commence it I ran up the tallest ice scarp.
Myu and Taku were certain of my success and have already started charging their attacks.
That moment, Sei-nee even extended the scarp I ran up to and when I got on it I entered a position from which I could look down on the boss who slowly opened his carapace.
From the inventory I took out two full handfuls of Magic Gems and scattered them all at once inside the opening carapace.
There were so many of them I could not throw them all in, and also pulled new ones multiple items from the inventory. The gems hit each other in the air and some of them hit the carapace before falling into the lake, but most of them fell inside the carapace.
It was the instant【Emperor Isopod】tried to release the sound it has amplified that the explosions happened inside the carapace and the Magic Gems that fell inside the lake caused pillars of water to rise high.
In the middle of all the splashing water, the boss who received multiple explosions from Magic Gems had his insides ravaged by them and released yellow smoke from inside its mouth as it convulsed.
“Let’s finish him off, match me! ──《Swallow Line》!”
“Roger! 《Magic Sword》──Sol Ray!”
“If we’re making the finish a flashy one, then《Element Enchant》──Weapon!”
I enchanted Taku’s two longswords with earth element and Myu’s sword with light element, making their weapons shine strongly.
Taku jumped on【Emperor Isopod】’s back and swinging his two swords he used the 《Swallow Line》 art. Like a swallow in flight, the sword left a beautiful light behind in its trajectory and cut both the open flesh and the smoke coming out from it. A few seconds of slashes and flashy effects later and the boss’ HP has decreased by a lot.
Myu slashed【Emperor Isopod】’s body along with the hard carapace with simple slashes imbued with light magic enchant and her own magic, cutting up the smoking boss.
“It’s over. ──【Release】!”
Myu pierced the one-handed sword deep inside【Emperor Isopod】and released the powerful light from the weapon, making the converged light pierce deep inside from the tip of the sword and to the opposite side of the boss.
With this as the decisive blow, the boss mob【Emperor Isopod】has stopped in his activity.
And in our menu, there was an information saying that the three trials quest was complete.
“All right, the quest’s cleared!”
“Taku! Quickly move away from there! You’ll fall!”
I felt sorry for disturbing him when he was enjoying his victory from on top of【Emperor Isopod】, but just looking at him made me feel anxious.
“I know, it’s just that… my leg, it’s stuck.”
Unable to understand what he said, I tilted my head and stared under Taku’s feet.
The place Taku was standing on was near a bending of the carapace and when【Emperor Isopod】died, the opened carapace closed, sandwiching his boot.
With that said, the defeated mob will all turn into light particles and disappear,【Emperor Isopod】on whose back Taku was standing on was no exception──
Seeing Taku being dropped in mid air, I jumped into the lake chasing after him.
I jumped from a fairly high, but probably thanks to【Swimming】Sense’s correction I didn’t feel almost any impact when hitting the water.
More importantly, Taku who fell into the water first caused a large water column to rise, which made me lose my calm.
Taku did not have the【Swimming】Sense.
Without appropriate Sense, no matter how high level a player is, they can’t act in the restricted environment requiring it.
I found sinking Taku and dove all at once.
Due to the heavy equipment, the speed at which Taku was sinking was quite high and I had to kick the water hard to somehow catch up with him.
However, probably because of the cold damage from the winter lake and the damage from suffocating, Taku’s HP gradually decreased.
(“We won the battle against【Emperor Isopod】with almost no damage taken, don’t die and go back to town NOW!”)
In my mind I cursed Taku and holding him with both arms from behind, I hurried to raise him up.
It seemed like he noticed I came to help him, but since he didn’t have an appropriate Sense, Taku acted calmly and did not move. It was really helpful from the perspective of the rescuer.
And when we reached the surface──
"*cough**cough*……ahhh, I thought I was dead.”
“Good grief, don’t worry me like that.”
Taku pulled out from under the surface, faced towards the sky and let himself be rescued by me.
With the suffocation damage from being underwater being removed, the rate at which his HP decreased has lowered, but it was still necessary to bring him to the land as quickly.
“Without an appropriate Sense we’re useless in situations like this, I couldn’t find any strength in my body. Geez, it reminds me of the prediction Shichifuku made.”
Certainly, if Shichifuku used the leveling level that Shichifuku told us about he would have been able to get out of the lake by himself.
“Then how about you pick up the【Swimming】Sense and learn from Shichifuku? He said he was planning training for combat from aboard a ship, didn’t he?”
“Mmm. It feels like I’m being played with by Shichifuku and I can’t get over the idea.”
While talking like that, I pulled Taku who drifted on his back until we reached the lakeshore.
There, Myu and Sei-nee who were removing the ice scarps were waiting for us, and helped me to pull Taku out.
“Welcome back, Yun-chan, Taku-kun.”
“I’m back Sei-nee.”
“Sorry to trouble you like that… ughh, so colldd!”
Completely wet and freezing, Taku shivered from the cold.
I was still affected by the Hot Drink I drank before the battle with【Emperor Isopod】so I wasn’t feeling cold, but I took out a bottle with Hot Drink, poured it into a cup and passed it to Taku to calm him down.
And once with time our clothes dried, I spoke.
“With this the third trial is over, right?”
When I confirmed the log in the menu’s information tab, the subjugation of the boss mob【Emperor Isopod】was complete and that I acquired the boss drop【Fooleg’s Shining Orb】and the quest item【Legopod’s Joint】.
“Still, that was one big boss, wasn’t it.”
“It was. It was classified as a large mob and was probably adjusted for a party of six.”
Normally it would be the end after defeating a big enemy like this.
But on the bottom of the lake I saw the cave【Emperor Isopod】.
“Everyone, could you come here for a moment?”
Before I told everyone that I want to check the bottom of the lake, Taku who had already recovered, had gestured to us with his hand to come closer to the lake.
I approached the lake and──
“Whoa, what’s this?!”
Before me an unnatural whirlpool appeared on the water surface.
Next moment, Taku jumped inside the whirl without any hesitation.
“Hey, Taku, what are you──HUH?!”
Somehow, Taku was not swallowed by the whirlpool but was standing on top of it.”
“Naww, just thought that this must be the case since this is a game.”
“Good grief. You have no fear, do you. Still, under what principles does this whirlpool even work to act as a footing? This is way too fantasy.”
“Well, don’t mind it. Still, it wasn’t here earlier, so it must be that beating the boss was a trigger!”
“Game-wise this is a staple, if we get on, we will go to the next area I assume?”
Just like the Highlands area’s Lightning Horse blocked the way to the North Town,【Emperor Isopod】might also have been blocking the way to the next area.
However, we knew that beyond the Daias Forest’s dense part there was a different boss mob protecting an area. Which meant that this whirlpool would take us to an unknown area that isn’t anywhere nearby.
The expectation for the unknown has filled each of our chest’s.
“I’m getting on too!”
“Yes, we won’t know until we get on.”
Myu took Taku’s extended hand to keep her from falling into the lake and got on. Sei-nee also took his hand and boarded it.
“C’mon Yun, get on as well.”
“Y-yeah. Got it.”
Even if I fell I could get out of water by myself, but I felt it would be bad to ignore it, so I took Taku’s hand and boarded the whirlpool.
“Well then, let’s go.”
Taku must have been so curious about the destination of this whirlpool that he forgot to let go of my hand and was looking around at the surroundings.
When we all boarded it, the whirl started to dive. We panicked for a moment, but as it submerged, the water deflected starting with our legs and then around us in a spherical shape. Standing in what seemed to be a bubble we slowly moved inside water.
“Howaa!! This is amazing, Onee-chan! It feels like we’re inside a tunnel underwater or aquarium. But ten times better!”
Excited, Myu put her hands on the barrier-like walls of the bubble and watched the water outside.
When we submerged deep enough, we entered【Emperor Isopod】’s cave.
“This place, it’s where I dived and found a cave. When I peeked inside I found【Emperor Isopod】and when I tried to enter, he turned hostile and chased after me.”
“So that’s what happened. Well, it was a big success when it comes to luring out the enemy.”
"...Taku, you sure are optimistic.”
While I heaved a sigh in amazement, Myu and Sei-nee giggled.
At first it was dark, but as we swam through the tunnel, shining fish started to light our surroundings.
"Ohhh?! Are those boss’ young? How small!”
“No, I think they’re plenty big.”
On the walls of the cave we found basketball-sized creatures that seemed to be【Emperor Isopod】’s young, and watched deep-sea looking fish and plants as the bubble progressed.
On the way, we passed by a shoal of shining fish and shining jellyfish that looked like artificial illumination. As we enjoyed the mysterious deep sea-like experience, far above we found a red light different from one that could be seen inside water.
As we approached it, it grew closer and eventually we found what seemed to be the cave’ exit.
“So that is the end of the cave──?!!”
As we headed up toward it, the sphere surfaced completely and opened starting from the ceiling, eventually forming a whirlpool foothold like the one we boarded.
If we boarded it again, we would probably return to Daias Forest’s lake, but we headed outside of the cave instead.
Outside the cave, a strong red light blinded me and I reflexively raised my hand to block it.
As my eyes slowly got used to the light, the scenery I saw was that of a sea beachside.
We walked several steps out of the cave where the gentle sound of waves reverberated and checked the feel of the sand beneath our feet. The outside was literally dyed red with the setting sun.
The sound of waves washing the sand calmed my heart.
“Woow! it’s the sea, SEA! So there was an area like this!”
“Looks like it. The sand is clear, and it doesn’t seem like there are enemies nearby.”
Near the small cave we left, there was a teleportation object, a portal, and above the cave was a cliff. It looked really tough to climb, I thought, for no reason in particular.
“I want to come here with Luka-chan and others to play here in swimsuits…!”
“Fufufu, right now it’s winter so there is the【Cold Damage】, so it might be hard. But the season to enjoy it will come soon enough.”
When Taku stood next to me and I looked as Myu and Sei-nee walked up to the water’s edge, I noticed he made a slightly bitter expression.
“What happened, Taku?””
“No, I just thought that Shichifuku and others want to make their ship in order to adventure on this sea.”
I thought that they would use their large ship as a guild house, but certainly, to sail on this sea, a ship of that size was preferable. I thought, convinced.
However, it would still take time until it’s complete. Taku said that it didn’t sit well with him to learn swimming from Shichifuku, but thinking of combat on water, he will probably participate in the on-ship training.
Taku and I stared in silence as Myu and Sei-nee frolicked in on the water’s edge, lit by the sinking sun.
And when the sea of the evening colors turned into night sea, the two came back satisfied.
“Now, let’s go back! Next time let’s bring everyone with us!”
“Agreed. Also, we need to complete the Sense Expansion quest first.”
We nodded to Myu’s and Sei-nee’s words and registered with the portal here.
With this, we can teleport here at any time.
Although I had no intent on entering the winter sea, it might be nice to bring Ryui and Zakuro to spend some leisurely time on this wide beach, listening to the sound of waves. Thinking so, I logged out for today.