What greeted us when we hurried back to our base camp were players rushing around like bees from a beehive that was poked.
I thought that players who moved around the base camp were upset the same way as I was, but——
"Hey! Let's go for a hunt immediately. Let's locate 【Eater of Mythical Beasts】 and hunt him down."
"Wait a moment! How about we lure it over here and have everyone watch?"
"That's a good idea?!! Let's have parties and individuals compete with time attacks."
"I'll participate too!"
"Wait a second, what's that, it's disgusting. I don't want to approach that?!"
"Woahh?! It came over already! Let's go at it, bastards!"
" " "YEAHH!!" " "
What is this, what's up with the difference in temperature between my anxiousness and their motivation...
When I was returning to our base camp from the rocky area in the north I saw the 【Eater of Mythical Beasts】 mob only once. It was using its irregular mouth sharp teeth lined up inside to tear apart trees. The elements its body was comprised of, could be called eerie. It's torso had a meaty texture mixed of brown and black tones, countless tentacles extended from it, there were places which seemed to have human fingers sticking out of it, from the dark meat white and pale pink muscle fibres peaked out, it was painted with red to accentuate the colours.
The place that looked like its head seemed to have recessed; fallen in, the eye sockets were vacant and filled with darkness. With its raspy screech my spirit took a hit and I frowned feeling unpleasant.
Only now, I hated 【Hawk Eyes】 for being able to see that figure clearly. However, I did see a similar figure recently.
"——Eh?!! What is it?!"
"I know what Yun-kun wants to say. Well, this is the game's reality."
Because I started thinking deeply, I didn't realize it, but it seemed like Magi-san called out to me multiple times. Then I recalled it and asked Magi-san and Sei-nee about the 'temperature' difference I thought of a while ago.
"Sei-nee... normally, wouldn't one panic when they see such a monstrosity?"
"Well, this is a game. But thinking logically, if players were to be instantly killed they wouldn't be able to raise their levels, I wonder if they're feeling too safe."
"But, it's design takes into account physiological disgust and intimidation, I think that's interesting."
After hearing what Magi-san and Sei-nee said I was convinced. If anything, players happily collected information in this situation, places to attack and weaknesses, locations where damage can be dealt and locations there's none... that spurs need to exchange opinions to verify it.
When I furrowed my eyebrows as the situation changed, Cloude found me and approached.
"Perfect timing, Yun. Help us out."
"Haa? With what?"
"To prepare consumables for the decisive battle with the boss."
"Uhee, I made them just yesterday, you want me to do it again..."
I started to walk towards the location designated by Cloude. There seemed to be collected materials waiting in there.
And towards my back, he called out to me before leaving.
"Oh right. The screenshots you made on the lake bottom will be the hints for taking down the enemy. We're studying various hints aside from these, so we'll be able to find enemy's weak points at an early stage."
"Hm? Is that so? Got it."
I've responded to his words, so that was useful. With a small smile I started crafting potions.
And then, as the intense interchange of players to and from the safety area happened, the crafting system has been established in the safety area which was involved in this wild dance.
"Hey! Multiple Beast Eaters are approaching the base camp! Intercept them immediately!"
Reacting to the voice of the person who was on the lookout, the players who were taking a break took action immediately. And——
"...myth eating, is it after Young Beasts?"
I stopped moving my hands as I worked to check as the situation changed, I saw young beasts come to the safety area to take refuge.
Seeing the Mythical Beast Eaters who were hurriedly defeated by the players, the young beasts hugged each other frightened.
"Umm... what to do with these little ones?"
A woman carried several young beasts who were cuddling against each other and asked me.
"Eh, why ask me?"
"No... it's cause you're Young Beast's Nanny."
"Stop with that nickname. I hate it."
Even though I'm a man, to be called a 'nanny', I hate it a lot. I'll probably be teased by Taku because of that. It seems like there's gloom ahead of me. But well, I can't just leave them like that.
"Why don't you ask around if there's anyone who wants to take care of them? Maybe someone will be able to contract with them."
There seemed to be a number of people who were looking for Young Beasts but didn't meet any. It's a good opportunity for these people to look after them.
"Is that fine?"
"Fine or whatever, I already have two of them... and it's not like I have a right to tell others what to do. But, if there are people who are willing to look after them, isn't it fine to just cooperate with them?"
As I said so, the representative was taken aback. After returning to her senses she lowered her head deeply.
"T-thank you very much!"
"Don't act so humble, you make me feel apologetic instead."
Being relied on by such humble person made me feel a faint itch. After that, the woman's serious expression loosened in an instant and I realized that she's been already charmed by the little ones.
After that, without any mishaps the ran-away young beasts were able to find refuge. The men seemed to pick ones that might become strong in the future, focusing on the cool young beasts. Women seemed to emphasize on the young beasts' cuteness.
Trying to feed them, asking what's better for them, they made a commotion by talking to them, as well as explored the sense of distance by timidly patting the young beasts.
Looking at the situation objectively, it looked like a proper animal-petting plaza, it was soothing. However...
"Why do I have to prepare food for the young beasts."
"Practically none of us can use 【Cooking】, please."
"No, I need to craft potions though..."
"It's okay. You can mass produce them with the skill until you deplete MP, and use the time MP takes to recover to use 【Cooking】."
The one who came to talk to me first, was the woman I thought was humble earlier, but that's what she said to me.
However, despite several people taking the 【Cooking】 Sense and advanced it while listening to my lecture, it didn't become any less of a burden.
That said, the day was nearing its end, and after finally securing a constant supply of consumables I decided to get some rest.
Since it's virtual reality I wasn't fatigued physically, but I felt mentally exhausted. Nevertheless, as I turned my shoulders around or moved my eyes, my body seemed to operate as if I was normally fatigued.
"You seem quite tired, Yun."
"What, Cloude huh. I helped out just as you wanted me to. It'd be good if I was rewarded better though."
"Before we talk about the reward, there's another thing I want to ask you..."
"Hey, I hope it's not more work, I absolutely won't do any."
"Yun. Won't you participate in subjugation of the boss mob?"
"Haa, that's another thing which seems like it'll be a hassle."
Haa, although I spat out a sigh, Cloude asked me if I want to do it and didn't force me. I listened to what he had to say before making my decision.
"We confirmed six Mythical Beast Eater boss mobs in total, the 【Great Eaters of Mythical Beasts】. As for their weakness, although its their pupils just like with the normal Beast Eaters, they have an abundance of them on their huge bodies. Above all, they have an ability to generate Beast Eaters around them over time."
"So... why are you inviting me. It's not like I'm that strong."
Cloude should know that. I'm not strong enough to be useful.
"The ones who are inviting you right now aren't looking for fighting force. They need the support your enchants can provide as well as improvement in heals in the rear, thanks to that, the ones in front won't have to spend extra time and power. It's what you'd call reserve force."
"I see, my role is to be a medicine box."
That's what I said myself, but strangely, I was convinced.
"The ones being recruited are rearguard staff and magic-types who are relatively safe during combat. If you're anxious we'll have you go to the same place your acquaintances are now... what will you do?"
I am a bit uneasy but——I have earth magic, ranged attacks, I can act as a pseudo-healer with potions, I can use Enchant Arts to act as a buffer, I can fill various roles while maintaining safe margin as the rearguard. Although, the number one safe position is crafting in base camp...
"Got it. I'll roll out as a support. If I'm together with Taku and Myu then I'll feel secure to an extent and if it turns out badly I can always run."
"Fuu, very well."
Although Cloude smiled with his arms folded, that fresh smile of his was suspicious instead. That was something concerning.
"But I don't want to have Ryui nor Zakuro follow me to the boss fight."
"You should ask Lyly and Magi then. I didn't ask those two to go out to frontlines. I too, was invited to take charge of the front line operations and strategy."
I would feel secure were Ryui and Zakuro to stay with Magi-san.
"Then, let's assign you to one of your acquaintances. Your older sister should be fine right?"
"Why did you come up with Sei-nee all of a sudden."
"The best adjustment would be to place you near a highly skilled mage who would ensure your safety, under that pretence you would compensate that mage's used up MP with MP Potions."
"AM I AN MP TANK!?"
As I raised my voice, Cloude responded with "hahaha", he laughed shadily, but I wasn't joking there. It felt like truth to me.
"Now then, I'll go back to finish my own preparations first."
"Yun. Do you intend to challenge the boss like that? You forgot something."
As he said so, Cloude has passed me the armour I left with him for repairs, the Ochre Creator. Speaking of which, I got used to the white one piece and forgot about it, I raised the hem of the dress lightly.
"I made quite an effort to raise its grade, with this, the defence has increased and you can have some peace of mind right?"
"Thanks. See you later then."
I separated from Cloude and went to our dwelling to retrieve the materials. For as long as time and MP permitted me, I processed the gems and continued to embed magic in them by using 【Skill Enchant】.
I prepared two types of Magic Gems and the equipment, consumables, and confirmed my Sense build.
And after I finished my preparations, I headed to where Lyly was to leave my partners, Ryui and Zakuro with him. There I found——
"Magi-san?! Why are you here!"
"Yun-kun. You're not being fair, you're going to join something as interesting as boss subjugation and leave your Onee-san behind."
"No, I've just been asked by Cloude... rather, I've been only requested to help with rearguard..."
"That's——so you've been involved in by Cloude, so he forced you to do it huh."
Wow, it's the power play. I was surprised, but I'm not sure if I felt sympathy for Cloude or not.
Sei-nee was waiting for me ahead, she accepted Magi-san coming along without raising any problems and we joined forces.
The six bosses were to be defeated simultaneously. The one we were going to defeat was one that appeared near the lake in the south.
【Bow Lv24】【Hawk Eyes Lv36】 【Speed Increase Lv20】 【Discovery Lv21】 【Magic Talent Lv39】
【Magic Power Lv41】 【Enchant Arts Lv12】 【Alchemy Lv27】 【Dosing Lv17】 【Cooking Lv16】
【Taming Lv1】 【Synthesis Lv24】 【Earth Element Talent Lv9】 【Craftsmanship Lv27】 【Swimming Lv13】
【Crafting Knowledge Lv27】
As we marched towards the lake I've been lectured about the positions of parties and group battles, the duty assignment and switching, voice exchanges and other methods, and so on by Magi-san and Sei-nee. Because of that, since I was mainly playing solo I didn't really understand it and was anxious, but it seemed that the trick was to have a clear purpose in mind.
That's why I decided to stick to my goals and act accordingly.
As for the goal, I had no choice but to look at the current situation and judge what's required accordingly, although it's easy to decide on being flexible, if I were to mistake the timing it would be the same as not doing anything at all.
And after we arrived at the location before dawn, I squeezed out a voice full of disgust from the back of my throat.
A mass of black meat, I saw something similar to the Mythical Beast Eaters, but the scale was different.
The mountain-like mass of meat was covered in human faces with anguished expressions on them. Like a four-legged animal, it crawled on its own limbs while drilling holes in the ground and released a dissonant roar.
Moreover, the pupils that were a weakness of Mythical Beast Eaters were everywhere. On its limbs, on its back, throughout its torso and its head. All of these eyes shed tears of blood, hatefully they looked around with an empty and dark look in those eyes.
Just the sight of murky dark-coloured tentacles flailing around made me uneasy. Seeing that figure, I took a step back, and my shoulder was gently hit.
"It's okay, Yun-chan. Don't worry."
"Yupyup. Sei-san and I are here with you."
Hearing that Sei-nee is with me and Magi-san's encouragement I was happy and made a strong smile.
"I know it's artificial but..."
Seeing this creation which should have an age limit, my mood turned bad. It felt unpleasant and I was restless, I was unable to puke since it was a game, and as I stood there the creepiness undermined my spirit.
The spectacle that unfolded before my eyes. There was a huge body with countless amount of eyes and its subordinate Mythical Beast Eaters surrounding it, behind them, the lake could be seen——The Great Eater of Mythical Beasts had all of its eyes look in front, and the meat from its body was dripping down to the ground. With the pupils in the meat that fell to the ground as a nucleus, it continued to grow fresh meat, building a body. The eyes that fell into the lake turned into figures that slowly crawled out of the water, coupled with its black and red body colours, it produced a splatter horror.
"No way... it's creating Beast Eaters."
The pupils that were left behind grown meat and build bodies, the predators were born all at once. Then, those Mythical Beast Eaters have scattered all over the forest, and started to fight against the players that awaited them. Moreover, the newly created monsters stayed nearby the boss and protected it.
Expulsion of old mobs and creation of new ones. This cycle repeated and Mythical Beast Eaters appeared in various places. If it turns into a prolonged war, we'll be at disadvantage.
And again, brand new pupils dropped from the black meat and started moving.
"Looking at it from up close, it has quite an impact doesn't it."
"Yeah, it's big isn't it. There's its surface shine and the texture, those are... well, let's not say that."
It seems like for women, the sight of new Mythical Beast Easters being created was disgusting as well, Magi-san rubbed her arms and Sei-nee put a wry smile saying 'I'm bad with those too'.
The Great Eater of Mythical Beasts slowly deposited half of its body on the shore and continued to creep up to the shore.
While we had subtle expressions seeing this disgusting spectacle, our great game-addicted little sister was——
"Because there's a lake in the back, we can only seriously attack from the front... don't cluster up too much."
"The moment the eyes land, its henchmen are being created, it's the worst possible timing! Oh come on!"
Taku muttered, and Myu yelled angrily, you guys... I murmured quietly as I stared at them.
However, that was a fact. With a small amount of land area around it, surrounding and defeating it was impossible. The boss and the minions need to be defeated from the front. In such a situation, players couldn't pull their prey properly.
I've held a bow in my hand, but my role wasn't a big one.
Since I had no experience in group battles and couldn't read the enemy's behaviour pattern, I was unable to immediately begin shooting from outside of range or skilfully escape.
"Now then, we'll be going in front, Yun and the others should do their best too."
"Don't force yourselves too much, Onee-chans."
After that was said, everyone started acting their respective roles.
What I could do, was to heal people and support those within my reach, as well as shoot from long distance. That's the job I have tasked myself with.
"Now then, I'll aim for the places that are hard to reach. What will you do, Sei-nee, Magi-san?"
I've drawn the bow and I asked the two lined up next to me as I aimed the arrow.
The distance between me and the boss, Great Eater of Mythical Beasts was about seventy metres. There was a wall of monsters between us, but as long as I don't aim at the pupils at the feet of the monsters, there's no problem.
The place I aimed for, were the pupils at hard to reach areas.
I shot in the air at an angle of about sixty degrees, after drawing a large arc aiming for the back——the arrow fell into the lake.
That's no good. The voices of surrounding people judged the situation. The second arrow appeared in their line of sight.
I fine tuned power and strength, the arrow I released from my hand flew just as I aimed it and was stuck to the monster's back. However, it was stuck to the black meat between pupils rather then a pupil itself. Looks like the arrow's point attack was hard to use in a case like this, I changed my plan.
"This should be fine. If precise shooting is not good, then I need to shoot faster instead... next!"
As the third, fourth arrow advanced over the monster's head——the first collision started on the ground.
A single arrow didn't crush the pupil, but an accumulated damage from dozens of them caused one to collapse. My attacks with the bow didn't focus on precise aiming, and I didn't know how good were the results considering the attacks dispersed widely on the eyes that were located high up.
"Yun-kun, nice shooting. Could you put an a physical attack enchant on me too?"
"Understood. ——《Enchant》 Attack."
"Yup. Thank you."
After saying so, around Magi-san who waved her hand various weapons appeared, with a dull sound they all fell on the ground. A broad axe, javelin, throwing knives, a small iron ball, a battering hammer and various different metal weapons. From between then Magi-san pulled out a light javelin, she poised her shoulders and——
"First throw! GOOoooooo!!"
After a short run-up the javelin was released with a powerful momentum reminiscent of a cannonball, it has grazed the Great Eater's torso.
The Great Eater let out a loud shrill voice. The attack flew over the vanguard players heads and gouged the flesh in a flashy manner, my cheek started to twitch as I saw that attack tear off one of tentacles nearby.
"Hmm. The aim seemed to be a bit off? This time I'll aim for the middle."
"Nono, that's more than enough!"
"But look, because I didn't hit an eye, the tentacle and the gouged off part are regenerating."
The place she pointed at with her finger had dark red smoke appear from it and through cell division the meat was regenerated and wound closed, that sight made my mood plummet. Moreover, the mobs around intensified the attacks to give it time to regenerate.
The damage taken high up and the regeneration were completely separate from what happened below. After looking down on the ground, both vanguards had four out of six party members surround Beast Eaters and they continued to wipe them out.
One party was responsible for one monster. Roughly, the twenty parties efficiently slaughtered enemies at regular intervals and pressed in front.
"Luka-chan restrain it! I'll do it!"
"Understood! Hino-san, Tobi-san, suppress that side! I'll go in front. Myu-san from behind. Kohaku-san and Rirei-san support!"
"Yes yes... thereee!"
...well, one of the parties takes two of them at once, as expected, asking other parties to do the same would be cruel.
But to put it simply, we didn't have the required numbers.
The better the parties managed to take actions in conjunction to the disparate movements of surging mobs and reduce the time it took them, the greater were the results of player side.
All parties moved while emphasizing security as not to be taken down, there were no holes noticeable as of yet.
Even so, suppressing them all was impossible, the vanguard was fighting a defensive battle and the minions were pushing them backwards.
Eliminating them, was the role of mages located in the rear.
"Sei-nee, it's your turn. You okay?"
"I'm all right. I've already made my preparations."
As she said so, Sei-nee raised her long staff and five spears of ice which waited before her were raised higher.
Originally, the ice spears are released one by one. Sei-nee changed the time it was triggered by using 【Delay】 and five spears of ice were released all at once.
The result of her from her Sense structure which emphasized on power rather than firing speed, the legs of the approaching Mythical Beast Eater were gouged out, it has also pierced deeply into its head and chest pulverizing its pupils including the ones on the back.
In addition to two monsters that were killed on spot, three others luckily had the pupils on their back survive the attack. But another player swiftly came up and easily destroyed the eyes on the back of pierced monsters.
The end to this destructive sight has come.
"10% MP left. Need to recover."
"Roger. I'll use an MP Potion."
"Set it aside in case of an emergency, I'll just change my Sense build to quicken the recovery."
Sei-nee refused the MP Potion gently and after lowering herself a little, she watched the situation with wide opened eyes.
I too held my bow and after nocking arrows I aimed at the eyes and shot. And as I did that——
"Hahahaha! You're too sweet, you're sweeter than sugar mixed with honey and maple syrup that's been boiled for two hours! Fuhahaha! A good beast eater is a dead beast eater!"
"Heyhey, calm down a bit. You're attracting too much attention. Ah, Minute. Recovery please〜."
As for Taku's party, Taku alone held down one monster and other of his party members held another one.
The excited Taku was eye-catching, continued to buy time as avoiding attacks and giving others time to defeat the other monster.
"That place looks amazing."
"Yup. Taku's jumping all over the place."
"Not that, Taku-kun's party members' cooperation is very good."
The ones Sei-nee praised, was Kei and the others who were fighting against the second monster. Kei withstood the enemy's attacks from the front while Gantz hit the enemy's weak points from behind using his martial arts. Also, there was the cooperation of two mages, Mami-san's and Minute's who assisted in recovery and by attacking in moderation.
Taku was running around alone. Probably inspired by him, Gantz bounced off, dashed and raising a high pitched voice he did fluttered in the air making an acrobatic motion then attacked the pupils which were the monster's weakness. Seeing other players continue to annihilate them at this pace worried me in a different way.
"Good grief... Taku and the others seem energetic."
I looked around the battlefield and shook off pointless thoughts, I poised the bow once again. Probably because a considerable damage was dealt to the Great Eater, I was able to determine a weak point in the mass of meat, after activating a supportive skill I continued to release arrows mechanically.
——The skill 《Ingredient Knowledge》
Although it's a skill of the Cooking Sense, it allows me to find enemy's weak points in combat, as I tried to use it like this it turned out to be very useful. Light remained on the number of places on its body, but it disappeared from the part of the back.
At first I used a broad range of attacks, but I gradually changed into precise aiming. I crushed eyes one after another. I destroyed about ten pupils in the hardest to reach part on its back, all that was left was about half of them.
And when the wall of smaller monsters in front has diminished, everyone rushed aggressively seeing possibility to attack the Great Eater. That's when I observed a new type of movement.
"Retreat!! Beam is coming!"
One of the players in the back who was the supreme commander screamed.
Immediately after that, lights were lit on the tips of the tentacles growing out of the Great Eater.
I couldn't tell from my position, but I wondered if there was any indication of that happening in advance. Towards the forest and the sky, the beams were emitted including the ground, it was blocked by defence deployed by mages. There were various defensive spells. Everyone was chanting and created a colourful wall between themselves and the Great Eater behind which players hid and prepared for the impending rays of light.
I was no exception, I slammed a Magic Gem into the ground and activated it by chanting a keyword.
"Run this way!"
As I peeked out from behind the wall of soil I saw the boss whose eyes moved around violently as it looked for a target. The front lines backed off once again and the small monsters flowed into emptied space.
Although the special attack was suppressed, it was a hassle to maintain the front after that. A multitude of defensive magic types formed a semi-circular shape around the Great Eater whose back was in the lake.
Avoiding the walls, the small monsters flocked to places the defences were weak, here and there the situation turned dangerous.
"Oh, all the small ones gathered in the place 【Eight Million Gods】 is in."
"That's true. Mikadzuchi's there. Is that place fine?"
"I think they should be... but aren't they short on walls over there? Since Yun-chan can place walls too, come with me."
"Eh?! Is it fine to move around freely?!"
"It's okay. We're mainly a force that moves around freely. Rather than that, we might not make it in time, so put an enchant on us."
"Got it. 《Enchant》——Speed."
I said so and applied a speed enchant on Sei-nee and myself. Magi-san was left behind, protected by the wall of earth I created. I jumped from behind the wall together with Sei-nee and went to a place the forest was thin.
With one hand I prepared the Magic Gems, and immediately ran towards the place Sei-nee instructed me to go to.
As I ran, I saw beams of light aim at places where the defence was thin, in order to ward them off I placed walls of soil in these spots.
And as for the places there were holes in through which smaller monsters entered in, they ground their teeth as I filled the holes opened up by the beams of light.
As I looked around wondering what to do, I saw all the people who knew me make the same surprised expression. From among them I found one person I could consult with and spoke to her.
"Heyy, Mikadzuchi. Could you help out with reinforcing the walls?"
"You... why are you in this place. Weren't you in the rearguard."
"I came with Sei-nee to reinforce the defences, she's in the back."
In the place I pointed to there was Sei-nee who scattered the enchant's yellow light behind her as she created walls of ice in regular intervals.
"It seems like Sei's okay. Got it, we'll help you Missy! We started getting more injuries, we have to suppress them on the other side of the wall."
"I said, don't call me 'missy'!"
Although I raised a voice in protest to Mikadzuchi's words, everyone from 【Eight Million Gods】 who was hiding waited until the beam attack ends and jumped from behind the earthen walls, they engaged in combat against the Mythical Beast Eaters that entered through the gaps.
I used that opportunity to run around and close the gaps by installing one gem in each place where there was a hole in the defences. I also placed gems in places where the defence was weak.
On the battlefield that had attacks flying all over, I used the 【Discovery】 Sense and overlooked the battlefield to see preliminary motions. Since I had a full view spread out and could see the attacks, I could easily tell which ones were going to come my way, it wasn't that hard.
Well, I still relied on the enchant's speed increase to get away, it didn't look the best, although I was supposed to have a margin, there were blows I barely managed to avoid.
"Missy! It's fine now!"
"Roger that. ——【Clay Shield】!"
All the Magic Gems I held reacted to my voice and a five-layered wall of earth was created.
Seeing that, Mikadzuchi opened her eyes wide in surprise. Although Sei-nee could simultaneously activate multiple spells by using 【Delay】 Sense, this was an alternative approach to that.
I regained my composure as the influx of enemies has stopped.
"For the time being, let's call it a success?"
"It went well. All that's left is our, vanguard's job. But before that, we need to breathe some life into these guys"
As I came back Mikadzuchi smiled and said words of appreciation.
I checked if the beams of light from the Great Eater had stopped, confirmed how the magic walls built up until now were used in combat and understood it's not something I should join in. That's when Sei-nee came to collect me.
"Yun-chan, I'm here to pick you up. Let's go back to our original location. Also, Mikadzuchi I leave the rest to you."
"Sure. It's time to strike back! Disperse and deal with enemies!"
After staining her own rod-like weapon with her prey's blood she yelled.
While watching her from behind and the surroundings, we have came back to where Magi-san was positioned.
Our right side was dominating, the centre was restraining the enemy and the left side was using the walls to rebuild the front. The counter-attack was going well. At this rate we will push the front, if we're able to wipe out the minions before the next special attack, we will open the way to the main body.
We got this far after thirty minutes.
It would be fine to say that my role was over at this point of time.
I've used up the Clay Shield's Magic Gems when I built the earthen walls earlier, all that remained were Bomb's Magic Gems which I couldn't use unless I was close enough. They couldn't be used now.
As for High Potions and MP Potions, it seems like we'll manage to finish a fight while having some of them left over.
Together with Magi-san we were using my arrows and her weapons to take down the eyes on top of the monster's large body but——
"...I ran out of arrows."
If I continued to shoot with my bow, it would be possible to take down all the pupils.
Even if there was an auto-recovery function and I carried a lot of arrows, the bow's attack power was lower than that of an attack from close range. After shooting dozens of arrows I finally managed to take down a single pupil. If the arrow missed, it was judged as no damage dealt and the arrow was wasted. I don't know how many pupils I crushed with the flurry of long-range attacks.
"With this, my role's over isn't it."
It was fifty minutes after the battle started. Regular mobs were almost wiped out. Everyone surrounded the boss and continued to beat it. If we reached up till this point, we could say that this pattern means a win.
"Report——the boss on the north. Also, the northeast as well as western bosses are nearly subjugated! An unknown attack pattern discovered! Hundred eyes more discovered!"
As everyone heard the communication officer's voice, everyone called 'let's hurry and defeat this one too'. The morale has increased and most of the pupils were crushed. The Great Eater of Mythical Beasts had wounds all over its body and it has started the last offensive.
Thick hind legs penetrated the ground, it half-burried itself in the ground, the meat of its front legs melted and its tentacles rooted itself to the ground like a plant.
Although it looked like a beast, it hasn't opened its mouth until this moment, it has released a roar.
As the roar and a shockwave shook the air, everyone stopped moving.
In it's opened mouth there were conspicuously large eyes which hung down.
Considering it from biological perspective, they grew in the place tongue should have been, after establishing vision a pale blue light appeared.
It looked similar to the white beams from before. The remaining eyes flashed with these lights as well and emitted beams. Short lasers. That's how these rays of light looked like.
Although the range and the damage itself were greatly inferior to the special attack from before, the rate of fire and accuracy was higher. It has intercepted the approaching players and magic regardless of the type, making it difficult for anyone to close on it.
A storm of perfectly accurate lasers seemed to constantly reject anything approaching. The momentarily reaching laser accurately aimed for vital points, it was impossible to run through at constant speed.
"So this boss has it too. The enraged mode."
As Sei-nee muttered, I tilted my neck and asked. Magi-san immediately replied.
"It's the mode that appears after a boss' HP falls below a certain level, it gains stats and special attacks. Yun-kun."
"That means... isn't this bad?!"
I panicked a little and looked at the players on the frontline.
"YEAHHHH! Let's take it down!"
"Uohhhh!! I'll take the honour of doing the last attack!"
"I'll be happy if there was a drop!"
"""The last eyeball is first come first served!!!!"""
There were enthusiastic gaming maniacs who weren't afraid of the laser barrage nor tentacles in here.
The laser streamed from the right to left, as explosions under their feet sent players flying Magi-san and Sei-nee showed troubled expressions.
"Well, enraged mode is that kind of mechanic. The mob gets relatively stronger, but in exchange for raising its capacity, it abandons its defence to change into a peak state."
"Also, another troublesome thing is that as the mob is in the enraged mode, when its HP percentage decreases it uses special attacks."
"Oh, does it."
Sei-nee and Magi-san lectured me about the game. Originally, I didn't come here to learn about the game. I looked towards the Great Eater once again.
It's defensive posture, and the way it attacks was unexpected, it's as if it's buying time, that thought crossed my mind.
The only remaining weakness were five places in its mouth where new pupils appeared.
Three on the right and one on the left, one of those was in a place that's hard to reach. And one in the centre.
I stared at it, and understood from observation, each pupil aimed using its own sight and released the lasers. Sometimes it hit a shadow of someone with large physique or people hidden behind defensive magic before those who approached it, it might have been a coincidence or its habit. I thought.
With that said though, it's mine, an amateur's opinion. In fact, there was a person who rushed ahead while carrying a tower shield and as he hid behind it he wasn't targeted by the pupils.
The tentacles that have melted and sunk into the ground reacted and sprung out the moment he entered the range, it jumped out like a spear and pierced through his body mercilessly. There were lasers from the front, and if one reached that range, there was an attack from below one's feet. It would be one thing if it was a single tentacle, but you could have tentacles pop out all at once, one wrong step and you turn into a beehive.
The long range magical attacks too, were suppressed by the lasers and completely erased before they reached the flesh.
I thought that if all the mages cast their spells at once they would go through, but I couldn't recommend something that risky to magic users who had low defence, it would be suicidal.
"Well, I'll just watch until it's over."
"Is that fine? There's still room for participation."
"Hm? Ah, Taku. Yeah, as a rear guard who's out of ammo I don't have any means of attacking, so I have no choice but to act as a medic now."
As I shrugged my shoulders and spoke exaggeratedly, "What a liar" he said and laughed it off.
"I saw it. You jumped into the front-lines together with Sei-san and continued to create walls."
"You were being reckless too. Going against a Mythical Beast Eater alone..."
"Then, how about you join our party. You'll cover me from behind as the sixth member."
"I'm a solo crafter. Well, I occasionally hunt to raise my level but..."
"If you want to join us to hunt efficiently and have fun and you're making network where we get mutual benefits, then we'll gladly welcome you if you want to participate in our party. Then, you'll be our temporary member."
"I won't be temporary anything."
Although I retorted to him, Taku had a lively and happy expression on his face, knowing that I had fun playing the game he didn't complain any more.
"Geez, seeing you motivated in a different way makes it hard on me too."
As I spat out a sigh, what responded me was laughter. I too have completely devoted myself to the game called 【OSO】.
"Fuu, even so, it seems like they've lost interest in attacking. Yun."
Certainly, there were those who jumped whenever an opportunity came, but they were unable to land a proper attack at all and they have returned. It's about time we settled this, but is that something you should say in front of me? He pulled out the sword he had in his sheath, put more strength into the grip——
"Want to go at it together?'
"It sounds as if you were asking me if I'll go with you to a convenience store despite inviting me to danger zone. I'm not going."
"Even if you say that, you're too late. It's forced participation."
Ahhh... my acquaintances in the distance stared at me strongly. My sisters, Mikadzuchi, as well as Myu's and Taku's party members.
"Better resolve yourself."
"No way. I want to go back right now..."
"You've been already included in the strategy."
This conversation must have been planned to keep me here. Surely, we spoke naturally, but meanwhile he must have been receiving instructions through friend chat to detain me.
As I held my head in my hands, I've heard the details on the plan flow from Taku's mouth.
"First, Sei-san will make a foothold with ice magic."
"Is that really necessary?"
"We will attack from the sky in order to avoid tentacles in the ground. The decoy will jump from the scaffolding and go on top of boss' head to attract attention of all the pupils. If possible, blind them."
"And in the meanwhile, the attack will come from the air and bring it down. Huh."
Yup. And my position is——
"So, do your best, decoy."
At times like this, I always get such a thankless role.
"Rather, listen——is it possible to reach the boss' head with a normal jump?"
"Well, normally it's impossible. However, you can do it! No, only you can do it!"
It seemed like I raised a delicate topic, but the meaning behind his words was 'if you don't become a decoy, there will be much more victims', I felt like I was threatened with that.
"By the way, I want to hear what's the metho——"
"You'll make a huge double jump by riding on a magic's blast wave."
"Like I said, you will jump in mid-air. You will use the backlash of your own magic to propel yourself and gain momentum."
No, that's impossible. Simply impossible.
"A movement method using knockbacks, it's a little trick. You don't receive any damage as you are accelerated by the magic's blast wave, there's a PVP style that utilizes that skill and the fact you don't receive any damage."
"...don't force me to perform some tricks I know nothing about. Isn't that sort of thing more like something either you or Myu would do?"
"Doing those movements with an armour equipped is impossible. Also, you can activate multiple spells at once with those items, right? We don't know how to use it, currently you're the only one who can handle it."
"I've got the items, but anyone can use it as long as I teach them how. I don't want to do it."
"The problem is not the usage. You're absolutely needed in order to safely carry out the role of the bait. If it's you, it'll succeed. I'm confident about it! Please!"
He said that, then lowered his head and said "please" once again. Around us, several people who observed our exchange had concerned expressions.
"F-fine, raise your head. Their line of sight is..."
"Thank you. I'm in your debt."
"Geez, I'm weak at dealing with people who lower their heads."
As I was in daze, what reached my ears from the surroundings was "tsundere", "she went dere". "splendid tsundere" in low voices. HEY, come out whoever said that! You'll be acting as a decoy together with me!
When I looked around with a gaze full of resentment everyone looked away.
"Stop idling and start preparing!"
As everyone was standing restless, Mikadzuchi had everyone regain composure with a single sentence. In front of the Great Eater there was an ice slope prepared by Sei-nee, it was reaching to the boss as far as it was possible.
"Yun-chan, we're ready any time. Your objective is to gather their line of sight at you. Also, blind them. Do your best."
"Got it. Let me prepare for a moment."
I checked my own status. I had a sufficient number of Bomb's Magic Gems. Since I'm not aiming for the pupils directly I went with both of my hands empty. Since I had no Sense corresponding to one, I had no weapons.
I concentrated and performed a simulation in my head. At what timing should I detonate the bomb, and calculate back from it to learn when to recite the keyword.
"《Enchant》——Defence, Mind, Speed."
The last thing I could do, what a cheap trick which increased my own ability.
Magi-san approached me. She threw a number of weapons, and what was left is only her favourite large axe.
"Yun-kun, are you all right?"
"Yes, I'm okay."
Even though I said that, I don't want to be the decoy. It's dangerous... a strangely calculative thought appeared in my head but I immediately shook it off and determined myself once again.
"Then, I'll go ahead and act as Yun-kun's shield. That's why, be at ease and blind them——"
"Yes. Thank you for worr...ying...?"
Eh? Didn't Magi-san just say something strange?
The moment I thought that, Magi-san ran up the slope created by Sei-nee.
"Yun! Go together with Magi-san!"
I also broke into a run to chase after Magi-san. I grasped a Magic Gem in each of my hands and ran up the ice slope at full power. Without slipping, I threaded firmly on the icy road and continued to accelerate, I ran up to a position slightly above the Great Eater of Mythical Beasts.
Just before the end of the road I chanted the keyword and left behind gems I had in my hands. Five seconds until the magic activates. In my head, imagined the phenomenon that will happen.
I jumped over the edge and felt a gentle light-headedness as I flew forward due to inertia.
With the aid of the enchant I caught up with Magi-san who was leading ahead. Magi-san who was lined up next to me poised her large axe like a shield right in front of me. All the pupils were directed at me and a blue light near them.
Before the light could be emitted, the blast of magic pushed against my back, I accelerated together with Magi-san.
While overflowing with a cold sweat as the lasers passed right beside where I was just before accelerating, but then I felt relieved seeing as there was no damage as I was far away from the effect.
But it was something I won't be able to get used to. I predicted the location where we will land together with Magi-san. The distance we flew wasn't sufficient, at this rate we will fall by the Great Eater's feet. I could predict the future in which I will fall to the ground along with her.
"It's all right. I'm here for you, Yun-kun——GOOOooooo!"
While saying so, she took my hand in mid-air with no footing at all and——she threw me?!
The distance I travelled in the air was increased after being thrown, in exchange Magi-san's distance travelled decreased.
But what awaited me next, was failure. Next laser was ready to be released and it was aimed at me. The moment I felt like it's over as the light was emitted, I heard a sound of wind coming from behind, it offset the laser.
Seeing an ice spear crumble and turn into dust after being hit by laser I understood that Sei-nee covered me.
Since the thing that was about to intercept me was gone, I took out a handful of magic gems with both of my hands while still in mid-air.
In the place I was in right now, above of the Great Eater's head I scattered the magic gems. From this place I could easily see the pupils I destroyed with my bow, I had that out-of-place thought.
The eyes under me tried to capture me in mid-air, tentacles stretched as far as possible from its body but they didn't reach, they flooded. A number of players surged and cut then down preparing the road to the body of the boss.
As I said the keyword, the gems I've scattered over the six pupils started to shine radiantly. I maintained the momentum as I flew through the air and jumped on the back of the Great Eater and looked at the outcome.
The gems that poured down on the boss exploded at the same time, their power increased as multiple explosions overlapped making a chain.
The yellow explosion blocked the view and rushed towards the pupils.
Although the interception lasers tried to open a hole in the blast, the overwhelming power surged anyway.
"Tch... the impact's going to reach me too!? I need to hurry and run away!"
The power was increased because of the chain attack, but it seemed like the range and the power of the blast have been raised as well. I was surprised since I've felt the impact but didn't receive any damage.
The rest of the blast spread a yellow smokescreen, I could tell that the surge of players has finally reached the pupils, it happened when I decided to leave the rest to them and stood up.
From behind a pale blue light pierced my chest and my body floated in the air.
In my ears I've heard a *parin* sound as if something cracked and my body was blown away by a blast, I was carried away by the flow I was unable to control.
As I was being blown away, the pupils were focused on my position in the air, but immediately after they were crushed by Sei-nee's ice spears, I continued to fly away, at this rate I would fall into the lake.
(...I died. But it doesn't seem so, there was no damage.)
Unexpectedly, as my back hit the lake's surface and as I continued to sink, my own finger reflected in my field of vision resolved my question.
——Substitute Gem's Ring... has no gem?
In other words, it took one hit for me. It took over all the damage. That's how it was.
With that question resolved, there was no longer any need to continue sinking in the water. I immediately equipped the 【Swimming】 Sense and emerged to the surface.
At the same time as I appeared from the water, the mountain-like black organism turned into sand and all players received a message at the same time.
———【The Great Eater of Mythical Beasts' defeat confirmed. Five left.】
Loud cheers sounded on spot, and after a small delay, there was a report of the second one being defeated. Everyone went crazy.
And as that went on, I got out to the shore and slowly headed towards where everyone was.
"Yun-chan! Are you all right?!"
Sei-nee who ran up to me caught me, strength left my body and I nearly collapsed.
The excitement and battle fever that was beyond my expectations has cooled down after I dropped into water, mental fatigue attacked me all at once.
"I'm back and tired. Participating in combat after replenishing potions made me wanna sleep. I'm tired."
"You can rest after we get back. Bear with it until then!"
After a delay, starting with Taku and Myu, my acquaintances came over worrying about me, who fell into the lake.
"I know but that... might be impossible."
The rest of the strength left my body and I fell towards Sei-nee, after I completely leaned on her, Sei-nee who is a mage-type player with low ATK couldn't hold me up me completely. Magi-san reached out from the side and supported my body.
"Yun-kun, cheers for the good work. Rest well."
My body was completely soaked, when her quiet voice reached my ears I nodded lightly and fell asleep.
The sun has risen, and I fell asleep as a new morning has come. The next time I woke up, everything was already over.
- ↑ Well, in this case "sweet" means "weak", basically that.