Prologue - The Bounty and Metallic Thread
I looked inside while humming, making sure it's well-baked.
It would take some more time, but the aroma of the butter from the baking cookies drifted in the store. Two gluttonous young beasts got up and were waiting for them, their noses twitching.
"It'll take time until they're baked, maybe I should read a book."
While they were being baked, I picked up a book placed on the counter and continued from the page that was marked with a bookmark placed between the pages.
The other day I finally finished reading through the book I got during the summer event and now I worked on deciphering a new book.
The mysterious book that was a reward for the Wisteria Peach Tree and Giant Wolf's raid quest. The book's title was—— 【Folk Medicine's Encyclopaedia】, it was a book that had collected together highly versatile 【Mixing】 recipes.
"So this was the original recipe for making Revival Medicine."
I turned the book's page and compared the Revival Medicine recipes.
Although it was clearly written in this book how to make the Revival Medicine I came up with by trying blindly, comparing it to my recipe, apparently this one was a very basic arrangement.
The choice of materials and the way of preparation were slightly different, but roughly there was not much difference. It was interesting that this much could make such a difference in potions.
In the meantime, the timer function in the oven's menu had sounded the alarm, informing me that the cookies are done.
"Oh, looks like they got baked properly."
When I opened the oven, the leaking out scent of butter had spread all at once and the young beasts that were sleeping to wait it over have stood up immediately, coming closer to my feet.
"Hey, Ryui, Zakuro. They're still hot so wait."
In response the unicorn, Ryui lied down flat at the sunniest spot. But, the two-tailed black fox Zakuro's movement stopped in a pose with one of its forefeet raised, supporting itself with the remaining legs it started to strongly tremble.
"Pft, you don't have to do your best like that. Also, until the heat settles down you won't be able to eat anyways."
Hearing that it can't be eaten, Zakuro lost support and did a classic fall to the side. So it must have been a horrible shock to hear it can't be eaten immediately, I thought and let out a light laughter.
The place I was in now, was the shop in OSO that had dealt with potions and consumables as its main——【Atelier】.
To make medicines I use 【Mixing】 type Senses, but as for why I'm baking cookies, that would be because 【Cooking】 Sense is my hobby.
"It can't be helped. C'mon, Zakuro. You can eat the ones that look poorly-made ahead of time."
With these words Zakuro who fell sideways had bounced up and put up forefeet on my leg, stood on its hind legs alone.
"Don't rush so much. They're still hot so be careful."
I said so and threw some baked cookies cracked in half into Zakuro's mouth, they were sunk teeth into with gusto.
Just, possibly because they were still hot, Zakuro ate them while trying to deal with heat. Huffing loudly, it seemed like they were really hot but at the same time delicious. That's how it looked like.
I picked one up to try, they were brittle and tasty, together with hot air the butter's scent filled my mouth, but it seemed still too early to eat them.
"Hmm. Well, once they cool down I'll wrap them in something. ——Welcome."
While holding the clean cloth and a ribbon I prepared and put aside, I called out to the players who visited the 【Atelier】.
"Hello, Yun-san. Smells delicious."
" "Helloo." "
"Letia. Also, Lyna and Al. How are you?"
I exchanged greetings with an ever-hungry elf guild master Letia and the newbies who joined her newly established guild 【Fresh Green Wind】.
Lyna and Al also greeted Ryui who was lying down in the sunniest place in the store and Zakuro who was oozing the scent of butter, but Ryui just coldly turned away.
"Little by little... we're gathering ingredients."
"No, I'm not asking about your food supplies."
Immediately after I retorted she responded with "It's a joke" with straight face.
"I'm accumulating guild funds by utilizing tamed mob for earning, we're working towards acquiring a guild home."
"By your tamed mob, you mean——."
Herbivorous Beast Haru, Mill Bird Natsu, Wisp Aki, Fairy Panther Fuyu.
Also, Ganesha Mutsuki that she had made her comrade during the summer event.
The Runner Bug Kisaragi she had tamed during the crafting event sponsored by the guild.
A method taking advantage of those six would be——
"It can't be that you're shaving Haru's fluffy fur and Natsu's feathers to sell them or something..."
"I won't do that. If I did, my pillow would disappear."
"Letia-san! Is Haru-chan a pillow for you?!"
Lyna who was trying to get Ryui's and Zakuro's attention turned around and raised her voice. If I muttered "I had a similar idea" Lyna would probably glare at me and Al would put on a bitter smile.
"If not that, then... passing herbs to Wisp to get 【Phosphorous Soul Crystals】 and 【Phosphorous Soul Ore】 and sell them?"
"There's that too. For a while now Aki is eating various things and from time to time ejects an item. They are quite expensive once they're sold."
Certain mobs are giving specific drop items or rare materials in exchange for fixed items. Out of them Wisps give off a really fun reaction when you pass an item to one of their kind.
"Also, it's not just Aki, there's another one who had become a source of income."
As I tilted my head puzzled, Letia called that tamed mob on spot.
"Come out, Ragi. ——《Summon》 "
The one called out was the insect-type mob, Runner Bug that had a tear-shaped crystal in the centre of its head Kisaragi, nicknamed Ragi.
When I earlier saw it, it was only from the front and during the combat so I couldn't calmly observe it, but the way it chattered its teeth and rubbed front legs was somewhat cute.
"How do I say this soft body has a somewhat attracting charm."
"Yes, if they're raised with affection the tamed mobs all become cute and pretty."
Even for the Wild Dogs that are beast-type mobs, although their appearance looks dirty when you face them as enemies, if you carefully raise them as companions and brush them their hair turns gloss and they look much more graceful.
My Ryui and Zakuro too, through brushing and communication maintain a fluffy and silky appearance.
"Ragi isn't just beautiful, you see. This little one is creating crafting material."
"That's right. Here I take out an... Iron Ingot."
With that said Letia took out a lump of iron from the inventory. With gestures as if a magic trick was about to be presented, she held out the ingot towards Ragi.
And, receiving it, Ragi——started to eat it.
*crunch* *crunch* *crunch*, Ragi crushed the mass of iron with its tough jaws as if it was a rice cracker or some other snack.
"Hey, is it all right to eat that?! Is it really okay?!"
"It's all right. And, Ragi, please."
When Letia said that, Ragi who finished eating several ingots opened its mouth and discharged something thin from between its front legs, starting to spin it.
"This is, a thread?"
"Yes, Metallic Thread. Depending on the ingots, it's things like Steel Thread, materials for mesh."
Certainly, insects like spiders and silkworms spit out thread, but to spit out a thread of metal, this is a true fantasy spectacle.
"The Runner Bugs are limited to metal, but they spit out metal thread. So, Silver Thread and Iron Thread, they're all purchased from us as material for cloth-based armour."
They sell quite expensive. Letia added.
Its use would be reinforcement of vulnerable points where the damage is most likely to enter by weaving a mesh. It would also have an effect for defending against blades although not to the level of a chain mail. In addition to being used for armour, it could be also used for embroidery and improvising traps, there are many ways of using a sturdy rope.
"Amazing. Where do you sell this?"
"Currently, it's offered through the crafting guild. Since there's a limit to the amount Ragi can produce every day, currently there are reservations."
"That's why, Yun-san, in order to reduce burden on me please do your best and craft Metallic Thread. If possible, please secretly spread information on how to craft it."
"That means... yeah, I got it."
I nodded. Crafting of Metallic Thread. No, it's more like synthesizing it, considering the combination of materials with 【Synthesis】 Sense well, it may be possible to create metal-based items and yarn. However, it would be difficult with low-level items so high-level materials need to be prepared.
In that case, the creation cost would be higher than having Runner Bug make it, but it's worth experimenting on.
"Interesting. Then I'll have to mine for ore and find thread I can use... hey, what's up with you two?"
Hearing my mutter, Lyna's and Al's gaze shook. I looked at them curiously and asked.
"No, we just thought that you're really amazing, Yun-san."
Hearing that suddenly from Lyna, my voice turned inside out. I turned towards Al in order to ask him to supplement for Lyna's lack of explanation.
"Being able to go into mines and dungeons to easily recover materials is amazing. That's what we realized just recently. We can't find any materials ourselves and we're chased around by mobs, it takes time to collect and we don't get the results we'd like."
"Well, my Sense build is adapted to doing that."
This was the one thing I couldn't help them with because our fields of specialization are different.
I turned towards Letia and signalled her that I have no advice for the twins, leaving the rest to her.
"If you're that worried——then gather some food instead!"
"So in the end, it's foodstuffs after all!"
"Yes, all is connected to each other. Defeat enemy mobs. Level increases and at the same time ingredients are gathered. And, eating food you power up. And then again hunt. That's the repetition."
I have no need for her smug expression as if she had said something good. It's just Letia's own gluttony in the first place.
"Well, that is true, although you can temporarily raise your stats with cooking, it's not as simple. Well, try forming a stray party with various players to see how it goes."
Since Letia's opinion was too extreme, I told the twins my own idea and received a lively "yes!" in response.
I too learn a lot from Taku and Myu, Magi-san and others. If it's those two, they should be able to do more things than I do.
"So, ultimately what did you come to the store for?"
"Oh right, right! Replenishment of consumables! Bluepots for me and Al. Highpots and MP Potions for Letia-san. Also, sandwiches for all three of us please."
I took out goods from a box behind the counter and passed them to the Kyouko-san the NPC. Leaving accounting to her.
And, when the transaction with the three was complete, a new visitor stood in the 【Atelier】's entrance.
Seeing him Lyna and Al froze.
"Yoo, been healthy? 【Atelier】's boss."
"【Flame Prison Corps】 guild?! Why are you here!"
The ones who came to the store were PK guild 【Flame Prison Corps'】 guild master Flein and the sub-master Tobias. Lyna screamed seeing the emergence.
Just recently, there was a little trouble with the PKs so Lyna and Al were in full alert.
In particular, that troublesome event involved Tobias so the target of the twins' vigilance was exclusively directed towards him rather than Flein.
"Hn? What is it? Your acquaintances?"
Flein reacted hearing the name of his guild. Although the twins weren't acquainted with Flein, the guild's submaster Tobias who stood behind him raised one hand apologetically.
Also, my two young beasts have noticed the two coming in. Ryui hid himself with illusion and Zakuro ran away to 【Atelier】's workshop part.
"Hmm. Intimidating, ehh."
Flein stared intently at Lyna and Al. Trembling, Lyna hid behind Al who couldn't escape since he was used as a shield.
"Well, my previous PK guild was disbanded and reformed again, but it can't be helped that you're scared. So——want to be PK'd?"
"H-hmph! I-I won't be s-scared by such a threat!"
Flein's nice guy tone changed into a chilly one. Lyna reflexively responded to it with a trembling voice as she hid behind Al, who turned blue stared at by Flein and was unable to say anything.
"Flein-san, that should be enough teasing."
"Naw, I just thought that this is how people playing the role of an ogre must feel."
"Stop bullying newbies. Also, it's Tobias' fault that they're so scared now. Good grief..."
I heaved a sigh and prepared recovery items for the two, after exchanging words for two, three times their shopping was finished.
Since Flein had a fearless grin on his face the entire time, Lyna and Al remained cautious and didn't move, watching the two until they left.
And, when the two from 【Flame Prison Corps】 were no longer visible, they exhaled with relief, but soon enough they pressed towards me for answers.
"Why! Why are you allowing the PKs in this store?!"
"It was scary. Lyn-chan used me for a wall, I was stared at intently, it was scary."
"Ahh, well, there's circumstances you know. Just calm down, you two."
With the twins in this state, going on adventure would probably be impossible, judging so I have made the two together with Letia sit on the counter seats.
Since the cookies I baked earlier have cooled down, I prepared some together with sweet tea to calm the two.
"Now then, what shall we talk about."
"Nomnom. ...these cookies are delicious. Do you have those on sale?"
"Good grief... Letia, really."
While drinking sweet tea we picked some of the prepared cookies. Just Letia had stuffed her cheeks full of the cookies, looking like a chipmunk. Try to hold back just a little bit.
We'll have a serious talk now, that's what Lyna and Al have imagined but the scene has turned out like this and their shoulders slumped in disappointment. But well, I don't think it was that serious of a topic.
"Well, you can't change the fact that Flein and Tobias are PKs, just because they disbanded once doesn't mean they're quitting being PKs."
"Yun-san, why do you sell items to people like that! Some time ago, you banned guilds that carried out malicious solicitation from entering the store!"
"I don't like PKs, but with OSO's system it'll be a problem if you one-sidedly decide something without letting others to explain."
OSO's PK system worked in this way, that if a player kills another player, then half of the money the killed player carries is transferred to the killer.
It was simple, but not to the taste of many people. However, the system did exist and was acknowledged. Also with PK-oriented and PvP-oriented Senses discovered PK has become one of ways to play the game and recognized as such.
"Well, PK is a radical way to play done by a minority."
"Certainly, if PK wasn't acknowledged, eliminating attack judgement towards players would be fine and the player against player combat would be limited to normal PvP. However, thinking of that, it feels kinda stifling."
Lyna had described the world without PKs as stifling. Certainly, going over the top with anything was not bad, so if a limit was applied it would feel stifling.
OSO's catchphrase was——your playstyle is only——. So as long as it isn't too much of an annoyance, it was fine.
"Also. PKs being shunned was decided one-sidedly whereas normal PvP is preferred. Do you know what's the difference?"
"Hmm. Normal PvP is fair and square?"
"That's slightly wrong."
Lyna responded really honestly. I thought with a smile. And then, Al who considered it with a hand on his chin answered.
"Whether all the players have same profits and losses?"
"Correct. In case of PKs, if they one-sidedly decide to attack someone they have the advantage, even if the attacked player defends themselves, the PK would take the risk of defeat into the account beforehand and deposited their entire money, so just the attacked player suffers risk."
In response, the two nodded strongly.
On the other hand, for normal PvP the players decide on the rules and fight in accordance to them. The rules can be a time limit, bet on money or items in case of victory or defeat, but in that case both would have same profits and losses in case of their victory and defeat.
"In order to prevent the centralization of the benefits on the PKs, Flein and others from 【Flame Prison Corps】 have cooperated with the Crafting Guild and created a certain system. And that's——the 【Bounty】 system."
"By bounty you mean, that bounty?"
I nodded in response to Lyna's words, affirming it. Since it was mostly made by Cloude, I heard about it directly from the person himself.
"Flein and others have registered themselves in the 【Bounty】 system themselves for PK activities. With that, 90% of the money obtained from the players they defeat is put up as a bounty."
For example, if Flein PKs a player who owns 200kG, he receives 100kG, out of that 90kG is added into the 【Bounty】.
Speaking of why is it 90%, it seems like that's roughly the amount required for replenishment of consumables, equipment and item costs.
"And, if a PK with 【Bounty】 is defeated, the player or the party that has defeated the PK will receive the accumulated bounty. Well, it's one of the services provided by the guild."
Once the system's rules are decided upon, the checkout of the prizes is left to the NPCs. Other than that, if for a certain period of time the PK with a bounty isn't defeated, half of the accumulated bounty is transferred to the PK, there's lots of detailed rules about it but I don't know that deeply.
"I see. Players hunting PKs.Those hunters would be PKKs huh."
Al nodded, convinced. Well, with bounty on PKs, we can expect people aiming for their bounties to appear.
Flein too, by defeating players would gladly turn himself into a bait attracting even more players.
"Then, what about PKs who don't register themselves with this 【Bounty】? Will they be out of control?"
"That's where their way of having fun differs. Flein and others are enjoying themselves by playing the role of OSO's heel's. So I think if others PKs are being an excessive nuisance they won't leave it be, right?"
Like I said to the twins, everyone from Flein's 【Flame Prison Corps】 seemed like they are going to take initiative taking down wild PKs. Not really out of some sense of justice, but simply because they'll increase their own bounty like that. They can already compete who has more prize money among PKs.
"Haa, seems like there's a huge world we don't know anything about."
"Right. I guess that if they attack poorly they'll get their own head hunted instead."
Lyna and Al said so, let's not involve ourselves. They stated.
"Well, it's fine to play however you want and understand what you need for that, right?"
I have no clue myself. I'm not interested in PK, and even more so in the 【Bounty】.
"Actually, for future reference let me ask, how much bounty is there on their heads?"
Letia whom I thought hasn't listened to my explanation had swallowed a cookie, drank some tea and asked.
"Um, well. If I'm not wrong Flein has 3,45mG, Tobias has 2,14mG..."
I wasn't confident in my faint memory of that, also, if they PK'd more since then it should have increased.
"How about it? Let's beat them and we can buy a guild home."
Letia had asked while looking at the twins sleepily, but Lyna and Al shook their heads so strongly it looked like their head would come off, rejecting it.
"Well, it doesn't look like I can get food to drop out of them so I won't take them down, well then Yun-san. Thanks for the food."
So Letia's criteria was food after all, huh. Thinking so I've seen off the three out of the store.
Since there were more efficient ways to earn money than attacking noticeable players like Flein, one could expect it to turn into a battle of strong players, but well, it has nothing to do with me.
I returned to the counter seat of the 【Atelier】 and when I began to list materials for the 【Synthesis】 experiments to make metallic thread an official notice had come from the menu.
"Hee, a maintenance and update. Also, a time-limited quest huh."
The text I read through contained the announcement of the maintenance period and the content of the update. Also, the suggestion what the time-limited quest's content after the update will be.
The update's content were additional mobs and additional items, things like that.
The detailed content on the time-limited quest wasn't written down, but after the update the information should appear.
I'm not interested in the update's content. Probably, Myu and Taku will find some information and come with it, thinking so I continued to list the required materials.
Chapter 1 - Thorns and Archeni
The school's hallway. Seeing the class committee member, Endo-san whose features were lower rim glasses and a long braid was carrying a large amount of what seemed to be notes and submissions. I decided to help her out and during the short while we carried them we exchanged information about OSO amongst each other.
"Hey, Shun-kun. Do you remember the planter I spoke with you about?"
"Ah, that story item for gardening? What about it?"
I remember well the story we talked about when we chatted about nothing in particular. While I thought so, I listened to what Endo-san had to say.
"I thought of going to take a look at it, but I don't know where they sell it. Would you come with me?"
"Oh, I see. Certainly it's hard to describe with words how to find it."
I recalled the NPC that was selling the store items for gardening. The location was in the back alley, since it's quite far in the back of it it's hard to explain the route, just one turn was enough to get it wrong.
The reason I have entered that back valley was because I was exploring the town for a change of the mood. Since muffling myself up in the 【Atelier】 was not good for mental health, other than to library I went to purchase stationery supplies like notes and fountain pen, I also walked around looking for a store that sold agricultural and gardening items for plowing the fields.
Other than that there was a vacant relaxation with lots of free space and grass growing in there, I really liked its atmosphere.
"No, um, the reward from the raid quest last time. Mine was, um... a seedling."
"Oh, I get it."
The raid quest related to Wisteria Peach Tree. Endo-san and I who participated in it have received reward for clearing it. One of the reward items was an item called 【Wisteria Peach's Seedling】.
By planting and growing it, one could collect a Wisteria Peach Petal every day, they were one of the ingredients used in crafting Revival Medicine.
And, the 【Wisteria Peach's Seedling】 that was planted in the field behind the 【Atelier】 grew larger every day, it's been five days now, once it reaches its maximum size it will be possible to collect up to ten petals a day.
However, since there were very few player who owned a field like I do, there were many players who couldn't use it.
"Certainly, it can't be helped if I only got a seedling. People might say."
"It's quite hard to use, right? I looked into it and it seems like it won't grow fully, but the collected amount will increase to a certain extent."
"Got it. But, that shop is only open during the day so I'll take you there tomorrow. It's the weekend so that's perfect."
"Understood. In any case, today's an update and we can't log in anyway. Well then, I'll be looking forward to it."
After that, I exchanged some more information with Endo-san and spoke of tomorrow's meet-up, after which I went home.
And, the next day. I logged in and headed to Endo-san's, no, since it's the game character - Emily-san's store to pick her up.
The sign in the back of an obscure alley where sun didn't reach marked the store for crafters called 【Material Merchant】.
"Hello. Emily-san, are you here?"
"Yes, Yun-kun. I've been waiting. Well then, let's go."
Emily-san put on a hat and a mask, transforming into masked beauty Emilio she went outside.
"So you're going to wear it outside after all."
"I got used to it."
She put on a bitter smile.
"Even though your real face looks great."
"Even if you drop such a pick up line, with a girl's appearance it doesn't feel like one."
"No, I didn't intend to say any pick up lines. Also, I'm also bothered about my character's appearance."
I took the long hair that extended down to my waist in my hand and heaved a sigh.
As a result of receiving a character's body correction during the character edit, I ended up with this female character I am now.
"Since your identity is known by Taku now, there's no real reason to wear it, right?"
"Aah, I guess. But, isn't it more mysterious this way?"
She slid the mask to the side and sent me a wink. Certainly, it could be considered a fashion item just like glasses.
Also, Emily-san's mask, 【Mask of Pain Receiving】 was useful as equipment since it was a good measure of armour durability consumption.
Together with Emily-san we passed through the main street, although our goal was the shop that sold gardening items, somehow the town seemed different from usual.
"It kinda looks like it's more lively today than usual."
"That's because it's right after the update. Everyone wants to enjoy the new content even if just a little bit earlier."
Told that I once again looked around and saw players who were so restless it seemed like they would jump out somewhere, squirming, they looked around nervously as if searching for something.
"When the announcement after the update comes, the time-limited Fairy Quest will begin. Also, it seems like unique boss will appear randomly in the field. Other than that, there are various minor additions as well as bug fixes, there's lots of it."
"A Fairy Quest and unique boss huh."
I wonder about those, I muttered. Fairies could be called an exemplary element of fantasy worlds. Since Letia's tamed mob Fairy Panther also had fairy-like translucent wings, I guess it's something like a tiny human with that kind of wings? I tried imagining it.
"Well, I intend to start it once there's enough information, I guess, I'm not in much of a hurry."
"Ahh, I guess it's the same for me."
Since I had no motivation to become a pioneer for the quest myself, inside my mind I sent encouragement towards the squirming players who looked for fairies and headed towards the store with gardening items in the back alley together with Emily-san.
In there, we found the speciality store with planters under eaves full of blooming flowers. At the moment, the clerk NPC was watering the flowers.
The NPC clerk that looked like a florist girl had bowed and entered the store.
In there, in addition to the flowers that were outside under the eaves, there were also gardening items.
Flower seeds, seedlings and consumables. Pot and planters for growing plants. Fertilizers for improving the quality of the grown plants, there were various different categories of items.
"Hee, there's lots of things. Hey, what's that big tool?"
Emily-san ignored the tools she understood the usage of and stood in front of a tool that stood out conspicuously.
It had a semi-spherical cover and a tray placed on top of it, a magical circle was sketched on the lump of iron. I remember having a similar question when I first came here myself.
"That's——a Seed Maker."
"Seed Maker? You mean it can make seeds?"
"Ah, for example if you put a herb in this pan, you can get its seed. In other words, if you harvest the planted herb you receive one herb for one seed, so theoretically, you can increase the amount of the herb of one type."
"So it's the same as 【Alchemy】's 《Lower Matter Conversion》. But, with the way you said it, it feels like there's a catch."
Theoretically, because of that word Emily-san looked at me with suspicion, but she was completely right.
"Actually, its conversion efficiency is bad. 【Alchemy Skill】 converts one herb into two seeds, this Seed Maker here converts one to one."
"Ah, so it's backwards compatible with 【Alchemy】 Sense."
In fact, the 【Alchemy】 Sense's efficiency was poor in the first place, hearing that this was even less efficient Emily-san made a slight grimace.
"Then, that picture frame?"
"That's——"It's a Green Frame.""
As I was at loss for words, not knowing it, the NPC approached from behind, explaining.
"It's a product that we have acquired recently. If you set it to the side and plant a seed inside, it turns into a three-dimensional interior for a plant."
Now, it's just a white frame, but if it's complete it turns into this, She had displayed the real thing.
The herb would pop out from the frame and grow straight towards the sun, the plants would extend and twist its ivy to hook itself into the frame creating a natural art. This was a short frame with a single side for short moss-like and grass-type short plants that grew thick.. There were various types of frames in the store.
"This is a small version, but a bigger one would be good for planting a seedling in."
"Hee, so you didn't know, Yun-kun. Which means, this might be one of many minor items added with the update."
Somehow it feels like I profited, Emily-san quietly muttered and touched the moss' frame, stroking it.
She stroked comfortable cool and moist moss, enjoying it innocently. Next, Emily-san enjoyed the stimulus of scratchy grass, before focusing on the moss again.
This is... it seems like she won't come back for a while. Thinking so, I went to the front of the store to enjoy the greenery and flowers, waiting until Emily-san is satisfied.
"I'm satisfied. Now, let's buy a plant pot and go back."
"So you're not buying a frame."
"If it's patting things slime-type and beast-type synthetic mobs are enough. Let's return immediately."
With that said, she purchased a large plant pot and planter from the NPC and carried them inside the inventory.
Since I had fertilizer I could put inside the plant pot, we headed to the 【Atelier】 first.
However, on the way back Emily-san made a few small detours to do item delivery as 【Material Merchant】.
And, after going around a several shops, delivering items Emily-san stopped by a store of her acquaintance crafter.
"Welcome, miss 【Material Merchant】. There's something I'd like to consult you about, is it all right?"
"What is it? If it's work as 【Material Merchant】 then you're welcome to. But before that, I need to deliver materials."
After Emily-san had passed tailoring materials to her acquaintance tailor, I attended the two's consultation.
"Hey, Miss 【Material Merchant】, could you prepare a lot of this item?"
After the delivery of tailoring materials, the female crafter pulled out a bunch of a certain thread.
"Ah, Metallic Thread. And copper-coloured too."
While Emily-san tilted her neck in wonder, I muttered the name of the material I was familiar with.
"Oh my, the girl over there, you're really up to date with news. You've got good info there."
"No, I'm a man, you know.."
"It's a new material that began to circulate today."
Hey, "ignoring my remark?" I wanted to retort, but the female crafter explained meanwhile.
What mob drops it, what is it crafted from, it was a mysterious material. Although she meaningfully explained it like that, the truth was that Letia's tamed mob was eating metallic materials and ejected it as thread. Since it was too exaggerated I felt like exposing it all.
"So, I want the same material or similar. The moment I saw it a lot of different clothes came to my mind!"
I looked away as the female crafter emphasised strongly, but Emily-san put on a big smile, motivated.
"Fufufu, being presented with the possibility of a new material, as 【Material Merchant】 I want to complete it no matter what."
"Ohh, seems like some switch went on."
"Tough like metal, flexible like silk. It's a material suitable for making the whip part of my connecting sword."
As Emily-san confirmed the properties of the Copper Metallic Thread, her eyes sparkled. Emily-san was a crafter after all. Once it comes to her speciality, her switch is flipped on. I thought, looking into the distance.
And, having my shoulder tapped by Emily-san I returned to reality.
"So, Yun-kun, how did you know about it so fast? It started to circulate just today."
"Eh, ah, Emily-san, you're being really scary..."
"I'm not scary or anything. Just, I want information I can use for coming up with 【Synthesis】 pattern. That's why, tell me everything you know."
Unable to go against her, I nodded obediently.
After that, when we finished deliveries and returned to the 【Atelier】 I explained in detail.
"I see, so Metallic Thread comes from Letia's Ragi. With just Letia alone, there's no way she'll be able to keep up with balancing the supply and demand."
She sipped the tea and let out a heavy sigh.
From the renovated wooden deck I looked towards the field, drinking tea. I asked Kyouko-san the NPC to replant the seedling into a plant pot and explained the other matter to Emily-san.
"I certainly have tried combining sewing-type materials with metal-type materials. I tried the combination of the materials you have listed and it all failed."
"They were 90% failures, were they."
Some of the attempts have succeeded, but the result was an item different from Metallic Thread.
"Letia didn't forbid you from speaking about it. In other words, she must be annoyed with how troublesome it has become. Also, it's so that information was passed along to me."
Since it's hard to find my store she didn't even try looking for it, did she. Said Emily-san and taking the mask off, smiled bitterly. Certainly, Emily-san's store was in a back alley in a hard to find place, but Letia could also just tell her about it through friend call. She had thought its too troublesome to explain it a few times, I ended up thinking.
"Let's see. I have one-sidedly elicited information from you so, Yun-kun. How about you pair up and make 【Metallic Thread】 together with me?"
"If I could help you out, who's much better at handling 【Synthesis】 then I'd be glad. But is that to any benefit for you, Emily-san?"
"Yun-kun, I would benefit greatly from that. Making a 【Synthesis】 recipe is a difficult matter."
Emily-san who combined multitude of materials using 【Synthesis】 and 【Alchemy】 seemed to have been in middle of a war with materials and money.
There was a limit to the amount of materials she could gather by herself. To compensate for that she increased the amount of her comrades by synthetic and alchemic mobs, fighting. However, she needed material to maintain them, too.
Since there was a limit to how much she can do alone, she purchased materials from others and made a new material to sell it for profit, it was a handful.
In particular, the materials with very low demand and high difficulty of mobs to defeat to obtain were either difficult to obtain or very expensive, making it impossible to obtain the required number.
"That's why, I'd like to cooperate with someone else who has the same goal in order to complete the recipe. With just this, once we go to the area and the amount of mobs we defeat increases, the costs will decrease."
I was impressed hearing her quiet emphasis.
Certainly, I was weak at first. I struggled all alone. Even now I struggle. And, until my store had started functioning in a stable manner I suffered lack of money. The times when I had three or four digit amounts of money were nostalgic.
That's why, I offered to cooperate with her.
"Let's do our best together. No, please let me help!"
"Thanks, Yun-kun——actually, during the fight with Garm Phantom a while ago I have exhausted almost all of my synthetic and alchemic mobs."
"Did you say something?"
Since I couldn't hear Emily-san's subdued mutter starting from the middle part, I asked for her to repeat.
"Yeah, well. We need to gather a lot of thread samples. The material I couldn't collect myself are——"
Emily-san mentioned several types of mobs. We have immediately headed out to hunt them.
The materials we need are 【Archeni Silk Bag】, Magical Silk Scraps and Magical Bamboo.
The place in which you could obtain each of them was completely different, but two of them are materials front-lines players like Taku, Myu and the others bring to 【Atelier】.
And, the only material for which we were missing enough samples was 【Archeni Silk Bag】 obtained from Archenis, to obtain it we have come to the Mine Dungeon nearby third town, and went down the stairs to the third level of the Area A.
"Uehh, it feels like it's been a while since I was this deep inside here."
Last time I was here to fight a boss for guild establishment quest, but this time we have proceeded even further than that.
"Yun-kun, are your preparations all right?"
"Yeah. Both Senses and consumables."
【Bow Lv40】 【Longbow Lv14】 【Sky Eyes Lv5】 【Speed Increase Lv28】 【See-Through Lv15】 【Magic Talent Lv46】 【Magic Power Lv49】 【Enchant Arts Lv26】 【Dosing Lv28】 【Cooking Lv27】
【Alchemy Lv32】 【Synthesis Lv33】 【Engraving Lv2】 【Swimming Lv13】 【Crafting Knowledge Lv34】 【Taming Lv8】 【Earth Element Talent Lv19】 【Linguistics Lv18】
Once again I confirmed my Senses and started to worry if I can fight well enough with them.
"It's okay. Compared to third level of Area B, Area A is all right for our levels. Surely."
"It might be so but..."
The Mine Dungeon wasn't like a common dungeon where the aim was to follow straight route towards the bottom.
Each level was wide and complex, and had more than one exit.
In the third level's Area A Archeni's emerged and in Area B Orc-type mobs assaulted players in formations.
The Area A was a narrow and dim cave, and the Area B was bright and wide enough for a full party to fight comfortably. Each area had their own characteristic.
The Mine Dungeon's lowest levels were still unexplored, seeing a large increase in difficulty with each level you descended, I got nervous.
"C'mon, we can't help it even if we stand here forever, let's go."
"Uuh, I get it."
Resolving myself, I went down to the third level.
In this darkness specific to cave dungeons my grown 【Sky Eyes】 Sense gave me a night vision capability and I could grasp firmly what's ahead. There, I could see the Archenis, spider-human mobs we were aiming for. From the chest and above they had human bodies and below of the chest they had bodies of a spider, including both spiders arm's and legs.
"Somehow, they look less human than I thought they would."
"Well, these are just small fry Archenis, the Arachne boss feels more like a human."
So to speak, Archenis were in 30% human and 70% spider. After we went down to the third level, it had approached us moving along the ceiling of a narrow tunnel.
"They have irregular movements so be careful!"
"《Enchant》——Attack, Defence, Speed!"
I overlapped three different enchants on Emily-san, reinforcing her stats.
It swung up its forelegs and looking at us with its spider compound eyes in a human's face, it bared fangs in intimidation.
Emily-san raised her long sword above her head and swung it to receive the crossed forelegs, but she didn't deal any damage. However, as she immediately pulled away, I shot an arrow towards the Archeni whose movement was stopped.
"——《Bow Skill - Arrow Stitching》!"
I used an art in the narrow tunnel without any place to run to, striking the Archeni.
The arrow had slipped through the forelegs and gouging a big hole in the human body part, it pierced the wall of the tunnel.
The moment the arrow struck, even over the distance I felt a very soft sensation. As the Archeni's defence broke greatly Emily-san pressed onto it.
A single slash of the long sword. The human head was cut off and the Archeni broke into light particles.
"Yun-kun, what is it?"
As if to ascertain the soft sensation I felt, I gripped my palm several times, causing Emily-san to ask curiously.
"Its torso was quite soft, I mean, the damage entered really well."
Maybe Archeni's weakness is the torso. Next time, let's use 【Cooking】's 《Ingredients Knowledge》 to examine it.
While I considered the arrangements for the next fight, Emily-san confirmed the drop from Archeni through the menu.
"Well then, the first drop is... Archeni's leg."
"Do you know how the way to use it?"
"It seems to be delicious, kind of like a crab."
She took out the long leg out of the inventory and showed it to me. Certainly, the appearance was was very similar to that of a crabs, but considering the human element I lost the appetite.
"Somehow, I don't feel like eating it."
"What are you saying. I haven't tasted half-human meat until now so I'd like to try it."
"The meat of the Orcs that appear in Area B is the representative of the kind. It's quite popular food considering it adds ATK."
I didn't really want to hear that. Thinking so, I continued to explore the third level.
The passage was narrow and the Archenis very rarely grouped up together. In case there were two or three of them, I lured one with an arrow and Emily-san would finish them off.
We could avoid the traps and Archeni's surprise attacks thanks to 【See-Through】 Sense.
"They aren't too strong after all."
"What's strong, is the Arachne boss' special attack. Look, adhesive silk is coming!"
Archeni had turned its backside towards us.
White silk ejected with high velocity from the backside tried to catch us. However, the adhesive silk's attack only travelled in a straight line which made it possible to avoid it to the side.
At first, despite sensing the usage of the adhesive silk I didn't know the scope and the effect, ending up hit head-on.
As my legs were immobilized with the adhesive silk and I couldn't escape, the Archeni aimed their attack at me in unison.
It seemed like the adhesive silk had an effect of attracting other of their kind so quite a number of them has gathered. There was also a limit of how many Emily-san can take on at once.
At the time, maybe, I thought of trying to use the 【Insect Repelling Incense】 I made a while ago. Since it had an effect of repelling insects, it might have an effect on the Archenis.
At the same time, I thought that it might not have any effect since spiders are not insects, but it did have an effect.
After using it, I waited for the effect of the adhesive silk to expire.
Even if we were caught up in trouble between two groups, thanks to cooperation our efficiency had increased and we took down Archenis one by one, as if it was work.
"Emily-san, there's a treasure chest on the dead end over there."
"Oh, I'm happy to hear that."
The Mine Dungeon's landscape went up and down randomly so it was hard to find oneself, other than the main route to the boss there was a lot of minor side routes, but as long as you followed the main course you wouldn't get lost.
And, in some of those back streets there were mining points or treasure chests, we could collect materials for synthesis from those too.
"I wonder what's inside."
"Well, I don't think it'll be anything amazing."
The treasure chests in the first and second levels of the Mine Dungeon were common treasure chest-shaped ones, but in this level they were unusual because of the Archenis residing over here and shaped like a cocoon.
The cocoon made of spider silk was big enough to require both arms to lift. Emily-san had opened it by cutting it open with the long sword.
"...well, as expected there's nothing really amazing inside."
With that said, she retrieved what was inside and showed it to me.
It were was a leather armour and Archeni's greaves. The leather armour had slightly inferior performance as for the dungeon's difficulty, the Archeni's greaves were extra rare equipment that was part of an item set and for the set collector it was a very strong equipment.
"Splendidly turns out to be equipment we can't use. What will you do, Emily-san? Sell?"
"Since we don't need it that's all we have left. But, if we put up an entire set at a stall it might sell, with just one piece it might not be so."
"Well, it if doesn't sell at worst we can sell it to NPC. I smiled bitterly.
And then, suddenly, what I almost overlooked, was that hiding behind the cocoon in the front there was another one in the back.
"Emily-san, there's another treasure box."
"Eh, ah, you're right. But, why are there two treasure boxes so close to each other?"
Despite the puzzlement because of seeing a second treasure box so close to the first one, Emily-san cut the cocoon with the long sword.
And, once she looked inside the cocoon to confirm what's inside——
"A person? Too small for that thought."
"She has wings on her back. So, a fairy?"
It was a small humanoid with indigo-coloured hair and wings. She was thin, her limbs looked as if they would very easily break as it curled up inside the cocoon, just the wings have moved as she breathed, moving lightly.
What this figure had reminded me of, was the time-limited Fairy Quest that was added with the update.
And, we have stared at the fairy emerging from the cocoon, she spread her wings sparkling with phosphorescent light.
"Fuaa〜, where am I?"
With a sleepy look in her eyes, the fairy tilted her head and fluttering the phosphorescent indigo wings she illuminated the dim cave.
"I'm Water Fairy. I have no name. Thank you for helping me."
"Eh, yes. I'm Yun."
"At the moment, I'm called Emilio."
Wearing a mask and the equipment for falsifying her own name, Emily-san introduced herself with the pseudonym.
"While you have saved me, I have a request. Could you please save our Fairy Village?"
The Water Fairy tilted her head in opposite direction and at the same time as she asked, a quest had began.
——【Limited Quest: Save The Fairy Village (provisional)】 has been initiated.
Although I expected it seeing the information, it was the limited fairy-related quest. But, why was (provisional) attached to the quest.
"Emily-san, the quest has been started, hasn't it."
"Looks like it."
——【Limited Quest: Save The Fairy Village (provisional) 1／ 4】——
Defeat Thorn Tokens. ——0／ 4
※This is the quest for the companion of the player who has received the quest. By advancing this quest it is possible to receive the quest.
Although it was described as the first stage of the quest, it seems like I received it only provisionally and the one who received it officially was Emily-san.
In order to obtain more detailed information, Emily-san asked the Water Fairy.
"Miss Water Fairy, could you tell us about that in detail?"
Collecting information through conversation with game's NPC was basics. Despite the fact the fairy was clearly languid, she spoke clearly.
"Our Fairy Village was assaulted by monsters, both the Fairy Village and the Fairy Queen have fallen into the demons' hands. That's why please, save us."
"I see. So, what do we have to do?"
"In order to catch the fairies that escaped, the monster that had assaulted the Fairy Village had made monster subordinates. That's why, if by defeating the subordinates you weaken the main body, we'll be able to guide you to the Fairy Village.'
So this fairy was the NPC acting as a moderator and guide for the quest. Both Emily-san and I were convinced so.
The Water Fairy rode on Emily-san's shoulder, who had officially received the quest and, a single monster subordinate has been spawned within the mine. She announced that.
"Our comrade might have been caught. Therefore, please help her."
"Yun-kun, what do we do? Our original goal was already achieved so..."
"Well, let's do what we can? Also, being asked like that is hard to refuse."
Folding her hands in front of her chest, the Water Fairy asked with tears in her eyes. Somehow it felt like a small child's request, imagining the guilty we'd feel if we refused, we decided to take on the monster's subordinate mob.
"Well then, the presence can be felt this way. I will guide you."
Flying away from Emily-san's shoulder, the Water Fairy proceeded into the back of the tunnel.
After beating several Archenis, the area we advanced to, was a large room of the Mine's third level's Area B. In the paths connected to the large room there were several Archenis.
"Is that the monster's subordinate? It looks like a normal Archeni to me."
No way, do we have to defeat it in the same way we have defeated the Archeni's so far, when I though that——
The Water Fairy raised her voice. Immediately after that, with a dull sound the entire room had began to shake.
As the shaking had grown stronger Emily-san and I put our hands on the ground and endured it.
While the ground shook strongly enough that we couldn't remain standing, a green object emerged from the ground.
"Kyahh! A plant?"
Thick green thorns rampaged striking the ground, but most of it struck the Archeni, defeating it. In the middle of it the tip of the thorn had pierced deeply through the remnant of the Archeni.
"This is kind of a grotesque sight. Especially when you consider that Archeni has human parts."
I frowned while looking at the tragedy in front of us.
It was fine since it's just a game, but if blood splattered all over my mood would definitely worsen.
However, the change in front of me put me in a bad mood in a different way.
"——Thorns are eroding it."
Emily-san strained her eyes staring at it in the dim cave. I could clearly see the erosion with my 【Sky Eyes】 night vision capability and I could feel my face turn pale.
The thorn that pierced through its back grew inside of Archeni, thin thorns crawled under its skin like green blood vessels. Matching the growth of the thorns, the spider's limbs jerked in convulsions and its body expanded, turning bigger than it was originally.
And, small thorns appeared on the human chest from which a red rose had bloomed.
"——【Thorn Token】 it says."
The mobs name changed from Archeni to Thorn Token and its head hung without any strength. The Thorn Token, using the Archeni like a doll had used the spider limbs to leap high into the air.
Emily-san instantly jumped to the right, I avoided by jumping to the left.
The Thorn Token used its mass and agility beyond that of Archeni's and pounced on us.
The front legs that struck the ground using the mob's large weight had made it sink in, and then with a swing they have left a scratch in the ground, the broken off pieces from the ground scattered all over the room.
I had become the Thorn Token's target and I was chased after. With no time to set up the bow because of the continuous attacks, I focused on desperately avoiding.
"I'm all right!"
Although I was somehow able to deal with it by immediately casting a speed enchant on myself, I couldn't continue to avoid forever.
Longbow was a weapon difficult to use in close proximity while manoeuvring, so my means of attacking in close range were nearly non-existent.
As the Thorn Token exposed its back to Emily-san, she had swung her connecting sword releasing a powerful blow at it.
However, the next moment the powerful strike of the connecting sword's was to hit Thorn Token's back, its body withdrew backwards strongly making Emily-san's attack miss.
"What was that movement just now..."
"The thorn dug in the ground have pulled it. That's troublesome."
The thorns that eroded Archeni from its back had extended to it from the centre of the room, connecting the Archeni with the Thorn Token.
The thorns were capable of freely extending and retracting, although they could manipulate the host irregularly, it seemed like they hated being attacked from behind where the thorn was.
"Let's try it. ——《Bomb》!"
Using 【Sky Eyes】 Sense's high level targeting capability it retained from the previous Sense, I aimed at the base of the thorns in a place where it was absolutely unable to move from and caused a blast.
Although it was the weakest earth element magic, in response to it the Archeni's body stiffened for a moment.
"You did it. If we know where to aim, we can do it. ——《Snake Bind》!"
Emily-san swung her sword as close to the ground as possible and winding it around the base of the thorns, she tightened it around them damaging the thorns by slashing bit by bit.
Although it was a hassle to fight with an enhanced Archeni, knowing where to aim for we could deal with it.
Once again the Archeni's body leaped, then fell in my direction.
It's using the same move again, I thought and tried to avoid to the left but——
The thorn connected with the body bent and caused it to turn to the right in the air. As if being swung in the air, Archeni pounced at me from improbable angle, putting pressure at me.
"Yun-kun, I'll help you now!"
"Emily-san, you won't make it!"
The metal pieces of the connecting sword wound around the thorn have shred the surface, but the Thorn Token's attack was faster.
The lifeless mouth opened wide and inside, I could see small wriggling thorns.
Suddenly, I could feel chills on my spine and at the same moment I was pushed down, the mouth full of thorns had stuck to my left shoulder. I felt a horrible sensation of the thorns assaulting the inside of me through the shoulder.
"?!! You... get off!"
I let go off the bow and holding the kitchen knife for 【Cooking】 Sense I had at my belt in reverse grip of my right hand, I impaled the Thorn Token making it falter for a moment, the strength of its bite had also weakened.
"Try eating this instead. ——【Bomb】!"
I grasped all of the 【Bomb】's Magic Gems I had available with my left hand and shoved them into the mouth full of wrigling thorns, then I closed it's mouth with a kick, activating them.
A yellow explosion had wrapped around the human face, the Thorn Token had started rampaging, scratching its own head as if it wanted to tear it off.
"Yun-kun, are you okay?!"
"Yeah, I received some damage, but I'm fine."
Supported by Emily-san who ran up to me, I raised my body. When I touched the place that was bitten I didn't feel anything in particular, but it had put me into an unpleasant mood.
I took out a High Potion from the inventory and poured it over the bitten place, the damage done by the bite and erosion has gradually recovered.
Still, once the 【Bomb】's explosion had subsided, I looked towards the Archeni Thorn Token that had completely turned towards me as the one with highest hate and sighed.
"I didn't deal that much damage to it. Why was it so keen on getting me, I wonder."
"This thing, didn't it recover its HP through absorption while using its biting attack?"
"That's troublesome. Well, as long not all attacks are like that we just have to be careful of that one."
The enemy attacks patterns were based on Archeni's movements. However, with the thorns' movements added, it sometimes showed unexpected actions. Still, considering I was pushed down and was able to get out of it, its total power wasn't that great. It seemed like I could cope with it by using a few items.
"Emily-san, I have a proposal. I'll act as a bait, so in the meantime, can I leave the attacks on the thorns to you?"
"Is that all right? Normally it should be better to split into vanguard and the rear, right?"
"If I can't deal with those thorns, I'll leave it to you. Meanwhile I'll use the chance to run and continue observing it."
Even if the target changes from me to Emily-san, I don't think she'll be able to respond to these irregular movements. That's why, I have to earn as much time as possible for her to attack the thorns themselves.
"...got it. Well then, do your best."
"Now, I'm not used to close combat but, let's do what I can. 【Enchant】——Defence, Speed."
After using defence and speed enchants for strengthening myself for the endurance battle, I used Boost Tablet to increase my SPEED.
Holding a kitchen knife I looked at the opponent's movements, like before it had leaped high into the air using spider legs.
If I avoided too early, the thorns would change the token's trajectory and I would end up getting crushed, so I waited until the last moment before avoiding backwards.
Immediately after avoiding, the Thorn Token used its legs to catch me, but I easily avoided that kind of monotonous attack.
Behind it, Emily-san swung the connecting sword at the thick thorns, delivering damage.
Aware that I cannot stop for even a moment, I continued to avoid.
"Haa, haa, Taku and others sure are amazing. They do this kind of thing happily."
Since I didn't do much close combat before, my movements slowly have grown dull. My long black hair was grazed by the Thorn Token's nails, and my armour was caught.
Still, for the vital points where an attack could be critical, I parried the attacks with the kitchen knife and avoided them.
"It's getting worse. Emily-san, hurry up."
I muttered as if praying, but then, the Thorn Token's stopped just for a moment. What's it doing, I wondered and stopped moving in order to raise my vigilance, but that was my mistake.
As it protruded its backside, I realized it was the motion for ejecting adhesive silk.
The adhesive silk emitted had headed straight towards where I stood.
If I receive it, I definitely won't be able to escape. If that happens, I'll surely be defeated and Emily-san will have to fight alone.
Normally, I wouldn't be able to leisurely think about this. However, right in this moment I felt like the flow of time was slower than usual.
I took a step forward, feeling as if I walked in water.
When I took a step towards the front leaning forward as if I was to fall over, and then the flow of time returned.
While taking that step, I sank my body low while moving in front, dodging the adhesive silk by a hair's breadth.
Taking this chance, I approached the Thorn Token's body all at once.
I rushed over and impaled the blooming rose on the Archeni's chest, at the same time Emily-san let out a powerful whip-type Art, deciding the fight.
While it was unknown which attack was the decisive one, the thorns powerlessly separated from the Archeni's body and dove into the ground.
Left behind, was the husk of the Archeni Thorn Token's body.
"You did it. You defeated the monster's subordinate. Cheers for your good work."
I sat down limp in front of the defeated Archeni's body. Just before the attack with adhesive silk, there was a moment where the movement of everything in the surroundings had slowed down. Nothing like that had happened before, there must be a reason, as I put a hand on my forehead and thought, I realized.
"Possibly, these eyes had evolved in a different way, too."
The 【Sky Eyes】 Sense grown out of 【Hawk Eyes】 took over the night vision and far-sightedness ability from the 【Hawk Eyes】 Sense, as well as targeting capability and the auxiliary skill 《Area Targeting》. Aside from those, it might have a hidden ability.
"I'm glad you avoided it, Yun-kun. I thought you wouldn't be able to make it."
Meanwhile as I concentrated on the issue of my eyes, as Emily-san put on a smile of relief, the Water Fairy riding on her shoulder had said words of appreciation from above me.
As we confirmed each other's safety, the Water Fairy jumped up from Emily-san's shoulder.
"With this, the power of the monster that had assaulted Fairy Village had weakened. Also, a comrade of ours was released, thank you."
"Speaking of which, that comrade——"
Where is it? When I was about to ask that, the mass in front of me moved from the inside. What? The Archeni Thorn Token ahead of my line of sight should have been defeated. While a normal mob would have disappeared turning into particles of light when defeated, this one remained.
As I tried to raise from my sitting posture, something popped out breaking through of the Archeni's remnants and headed straight towards my face.
A slimy and warm existence stuck right into my face.
At the same time as the green body fluids spilled out from the Archeni's body, it had disappeared turning into light particles.
"Thanks for saving me! I'm Mischievous Wind Fairy! What I'm good at and what I like, is mischief! Nice to meet you!"
When I pulled away the object sticking to my face, I saw it was a humanoid dripping wet with green mucus who waved cheerfully towards me.
"You're horrible! I will stick to you and guide you, so be grateful to me!"
No, I'm not happy at all to have my face tackled by a fairy dripping wet with mysterious green mucus.
"Well, you properly got a guide for the quest so it's all right, isn't it?"
While Emily-san smiled wryly, the Watery Fairy riding on her shoulder with a composed expression had produced water and washed away the mucus attached to me and the Mischievous Wind Fairy.
Meanwhile, the Wind Fairy splashed water over my face, referring to it as to pranks. It was really annoying so I'd like it to stop. With a Wind Fairy that loves pranks I felt nothing but anxiety.
" "——?!!" "
Defeating the Thorn Token that was the quest's goal we have grown relaxed. The last attack of the Archeni's which emitted the adhesive silk had an effect of luring all the Archenis from nearby.
And, from two out of three passages leading to this small room, Archenis were in two of them.
"Damn it. Our way back has been blocked!"
"Yun-kun, use that! Throw the 【Insect Repelling Incense】 at them!"
"I didn't make them for a while so I don't have anymore!"
"Then, we can only break through them forcefully..."
Emily-san held the connecting sword and confronted the Archenis. I also held a bow ready to go any time, but the Mischievous Fairy riding on top of my head had pulled my head.
"What is it, I'm busy now."
"I know a way out."
"I'm a wind fairy! I can tell where's the exit from the flow of wind! Follow me!"
Saying so, the Wind Fairy took off from my head and headed to the last passage, the one that didn't have any Archenis in it.
"Let's believe her now."
While remaining vigilant as not to receive attacks from the Archenis behind us, together with Emily-san we followed the Mischievous Fairy.
We moved through the passage to the right and then to the left when it branched.
When the Archenis caught up to us, they would shoot adhesive silk, further increasing the amount of comrades chasing after us and shooting silk.
"Hiii! Archenis crawling on the ground are super scarryyyy!"
"I think horror films have these kinds of scenes, don't they. Ones with monsters that have very low stature chasing after people."
Speaking personally, they feel like those characters from the exorcist films possessed by the devil. And those things are now rushing through the narrow tunnels.
"C'mon, we're almost at the exit!"
"Great. We can escape now!"
I started running faster towards the outlet from which light was entering and together with Emily-san, we escaped through the hole.
In there——was a narrow wooden scaffolding and a thick wire extending to the other side.
"Look, hold this!"
Ahead of where the Mischievous Fairy was pointing, there were a hooks and ropes, they was a huge Tarzan rope even thicker than one used in athletics.
She must have meant to use this. Emily-san and I held one rope each and hooked them to the wire.
"Let's go then! ——《O' Wind, Blow》!"
Deciding on her own when our preparations are complete, the Mischievous Fairy had entered my hood and generated wind that blew from behind us.
The tailwind pressed directly onto our backs.
As we slid towards the cliff on the opposite side which was lower than the cliff we started at, we desperately clung onto the rope.
Seeming to enjoy the wind stroking her cheeks, the Mischievous Fairy that entered my hood had laughed happily into my ear.
"Wohooo! Look! Enemies look like garbage! Ahahahahaa——"
When I looked towards where the Mischievous Fairy pointed to, Archenis that rushed to the small outlet of the mine had gathered turning into a ball. As they turned smaller and smaller, they did indeed look like garbage.
"Haa, it's over isn't it."
"Ahahahaa, the wind feels great! I'm the wind!"
With her head peeking out from the hood, the Mischievous Fairy continued to laugh by my ear. Probably because I could relax after escaping the enemy, I clung to the rope, enjoying both the wind and the scenery.
It seemed like I've been possessed by a strange fairy, but it might be surprisingly fun. That's the hunch I had.
Chapter 2 - The Mischievous Fairy and the Fairy Quest
"Uuh, we're finally back."
After coming back to the 【Atelier】, Emily-san and I tardily sat down on the chair and fell on the counter.
The wind during the escape using the rope was comfortable, but as we gradually approached the opposite cliff and were on the verge of colliding with it, we felt fear. However, thanks to the fantasy world, we decelerated ignoring the laws of physics and stopped right before colliding with the cliff. Although both Emily-san and I were able to get off safely, both of us had a very difficult expression.
"Really, what was that in the first place, I wonder."
We were mostly silent until we returned to the 【Atelier】, but after arriving, I asked.
"Isn't it one of those short-cuts you see often? Something like a warp device connecting with outside of the dungeon."
The dungeon was complex, so a trip both back and forth would take quite a long time. So they made a short-cut for the sake of returning with ease.
"Well, it's a gimmick that uses a different concept from a portal."
"If that's the case, then I'd prefer some equipment that strains my heart less."
"I guess, it might just be one of the attractions."
Stating that the thrill was the equipment's purpose, Emily-san made a slightly fatigued expression.
At least there's enough ingenuity to never get bored. While thinking so again, I looked towards the two fairies flying around inside the store.
"Ahahaha!! Human habitats are interesting! There's lots of strange things!"
"Plants. I love raising plants. Leave water management to me."
The Mischievous Fairy that had come after me was flying freely around the store and touched various things. The Water Fairy that had come after Emily-san was interested in the seedling of the Wisteria Peach Tree whose replanting was complete.
"Well, there's no problem leaving them be."
"You're right. Well then, let's confirm the materials and prepare the 【Synthesis】."
Saying so, starting with the 【Arachne's Silk Bag】, Emily-san and I have started confirming the drops and the ore mined in the dungeon.
Other than that, I took out Magical Silk Scraps and Magical Bamboo as well as ingots and ores from the 【Atelier】's stock.
"Ohhh?! What are you doing?! What are you two doing?! Can I do it too?!"
"We're synthesizing materials. Since you can't do it, eat this instead."
As the Mischievous Fairy was being noisy as it was flying around, I took out a single parcel out of the inventory and held it out towards her. The content of the wrapping were the cookies I made the other day. The Mischievous Fairy, unable to support the weight had gradually dropped down. Seeing it, the Water Fairy helped her to support it and they placed it at the counter.
"OHHH?! Human's sweets! The sweetness you can't eat in the Fairy Village!"
"Sweet nectar is good too, but human's sweets are rare! They look tasty."
The two, cooperating, have unwrapped the package and started enjoying the spreading aroma of the butter cookies. The fairies that acted noisily just earlier now were quiet. We returned to working with synthesis.
"Emily-san, is it fine to just synthesise this with metal?"
"First we need to make preparations. It'll fail as it is."
As she said so, I put down the Magical Bamboo and the Copper Ore I had in my hands on the counter and listened to Emily-san's explanation.
"First, we'll process the pieces of Magical Silk with 【Alchemy】 to make ten pieces of 【Magical Silk Fabric】."
After saying so, she immediately started using the 【Alchemy】's skill, Higher Conversion to create ten pieces of silk fabric.
The mobs you can acquire this magical silk from is the Magical Robe that appears in the normal dungeon of the fourth town, the 【Maze Town】.
Although it was a dungeon with a lot of mobs dealing bad statuses, there were very few people grinding it because of the lack of countermeasures, I have purchased the material from Taku in large amounts as he had come to me saying he had no use for it.
"It looks pretty. It might look great if I were to hang it on the wall."
"There are stores that do that, too. Look——"
Saying so, Emily-san had shown me a screenshot of one of those stores.
The glossy fabric was hung all over the store, indirectly lighting it up. Reflecting delicate light it brightened up the room, creating a gentle space inside, it was a store with a great design.
"Ah, we've strayed from the topic. So, if we use 【Alchemy】's lower conversion skill on this 【Magical Silk Fabric】——"
It would return to the original, is what I thought, but it had turned into two bundles of silk.
"Like this, you can make 【Bundle of Magical Silk's Thread】. Also, you can use 【Alchemy】 to turn drop items into an easy to process form."
"Is it fine to teach me this? It seems like quite significant knowledge."
"No problem. Rather, it's one of the required pieces of information for crafting the target material."
Other than that, the metal gravel that had come out of the treasure box was a material situated between the ore and the ingot, but it was difficult to process by itself. So, it could be processed manually using the 【Smithing】 or 【Craftsmanship】 by melting and remaking into ingots, but those who couldn't do that were able to use 【Alchemy】, by gathering three of them, they could turn them into an ingot.
So that's how it was. I didn't know since I have always processed them the same way as ore.
And, as for the method of handling the Magical Bamboo, she had explained it verbally, but left it to me.
"I see, so I'm eligible to do it."
We entered the 【Atelier】's workshop part, I put fire to the mobile furnace for making accessories and put the Magical Bamboo into it as it was heated up by weak flame.
The weak flame had slowly burned the Magical Bamboo. While paying attention to the flame in the furnace making sure it doesn't disappear, I piled up Magical Bamboo pieces one on top of another.
As it was scorched with the flames, the green pieces of bamboo had carbonized , once the combustion was complete it turned white, piling up as ash in the furnace.
"Is this fine?"
Once it had been burned to ash I scrapped it out and dissolved it in the prepared water bucket.
I scooped the black fibres that had emerged from the ash dissolved in the water and washed it clean in another bucket with water.
A very small amount of a durable fibre could be obtained from the Magical Bamboo, which was called 【Bamboo Fibre】. And, the remaining Arachne's Silk Bag could be processed into a thread by leaving it to a crafter with 【Sewing】.
"There's only this much of the fibre made from the bamboo we had, so it's quite valuable. I wonder, if Emily-san is done."
After removing the fibres from all the bamboo, I bundled it together and brought back to the store part of the 【Atelier】.
"Yun-kun, I finished processing them on my side too."
All of the magical silk was converted into the thread and neatly lined up next to each other.
The fairies finished eating the cookie and had headed to visit the field as I could see them fly outside of the open window.
"Well then, what's remaining is the 【Arachne's Silk Bag】, right."
"I've asked an acquaintance crafter to process that, it'll take a day for processing the bags, so I'd like you to wait two days until we synthesize it."
"Then, there's time until the day after tomorrow——"
So the results won't show immediately, it can't be helped. Thinking so, I stretched my back.
At the same time as I said there's time, I triggered a certain skill.
A summoning that used the stones I took out of the inventory. No, the young beasts have forced a summon, coming out on their own and appeared by my side.
Recently, because of the event and preparations for the raid quest there were very few opportunities to call them, so they started coming out on their own. I thought.
The mobs tamed with 【Taming】 Sense were highly autonomous, as compared to Emily-san's alchemic and synthetic mobs. And so, if you don't summon them for a long period of time or summon them less often, sometimes they forcibly pop out by themselves.
In such cases, they choose a timing when nothing related to combat happened. This time the words "there's time" must have been the trigger.
"Sorry. This time, let's go do some field work together."
I pat both Ryui and Zakuro that have both rubbed their necks against me.
I checked Ryui's silky mane and Zakuro's glossy fur.
"Ahh, there's lots of green out there! Like, small flowers and a big tree! So humans are raising things that can be found in the forest!"
The Mischievous Wind Fairy blew inside from the wide-open window, and seeing out figures, it froze in mid-air.
"W-what! What are those creatures?!"
"Yun-kun, your fairy is really energetic."
"She's just being noisy."
Emily-san looked towards me with a pleasant smile, but personally, I'd like a quiet fairy instead.
"I have possessed this human first! I'm the senior over here all right!"
The fairy flying around Ryui and Zakuro had stopped in front of their eyes and declared strictly. However, hearing that Zakuro grasped the fairy's neck in its mouth.
"Uwoah?!! What! I'm the wind fairy that loves mischief! I'm doing mischievous things! Stop handling me so roughly!"
She flailed her hands about in struggle, but soon enough she had hung down powerlessly, grasped with the mouth.
"Uuu, even if you eat me I'm not tasty."
"No, Zakuro won't eat you."
When I retorted to her, still holding the fairy in its mouth, Zakuro had walked towards the sunniest place in the 【Atelier】.
Just like that, Zakuro positioned its two tails by its belly and put down the fairy onto the tails.
"Somehow, Zakuro's acting like Ryui."
When I muttered that, Ryui head-butted me lightly. However, the way Zakuro placed the small fairy beside it as not to crush it looked just like Ryui did with Zakuro. It was a pleasing sight, like a younger brother imitating his older brother.
"I'm a fairy. Faced with such captivating fluffiness I——howaahnn."
Before long, charmed by the fluffy powers of the twin tails, she buried herself in the fur and her body disappeared, hidden.
"Speaking of which, where is my Water Fairy?"
"It seems like she's watering plants with a different human〜.'
Buried in Zakuro's fur, the Mischievous Fairy responded to Emily-san's question with a muffled voice.
Speaking of humans other than me and Emily-san that were in the 【Atelier】, it was just Kyouko-san the NPC.
After the Mischievous Fairy responded to Emily-san's question, it quickly fell asleep. Ryui too had lied down in the same place as to snuggle next to the two.
"It's truly a healing sight. Yun-kun, are you going to sleep there too?"
"Certainly, I'd like to receive some healing, but before that let's finish preparations for 【Synthesis】."
In addition to the thread-type materials and ingots I passed Emily-san some of the materials I knew that were related to the 【Sewing】 Sense. I also included the recently found materials such as 【Water of Life】 that was one of the materials for 【Revival Medicine】.
After I passed them to Emily-san, the first stage of the arrangements was complete and all the materials just had to be stowed away in her inventory..
"Oh-ho, 【Arachne's Silk Bag】, 【Magical Silk's Thread】 and 【Bamboo Fibre】, you've got multiple materials there. Are you making a 【Sewing】-type material?"
A shadow had plugged the entrance to the 【Atelier】 and had accurately discerned the materials we held. When I looked in its direction, I saw a player wearing a cape who had a kitten ride on his shoulder. Cloude stood there.
"Ohh, Cloude. Welcome. What's up?"
Cloude walked straight up to the counter and for an instant, he squinted while looking at the aligned materials.
"Hmm. For now, is it all right if I asked what are you trying to make?"
"Yes, we're trying to synthesize the Metallic Thread that has been in circulation recently, it's a joint project with Yun-kun."
"Once it's complete, we'll order the materials and we'd like purchase the recipe from you. You know, I'm working behind the scenes of the 【Crafting Guild】, I know who had brought it to us, but because of the high demand we can't keep up with the supply."
Hearing what Cloude said, I realized that he did know that Letia was the origin of the Metallic Thread. And since we, friends associated with Letia are gathering 【Sewing】-type materials, he must have guessed we're making something relevant to the Metallic Thread.
"As for your orders for the material, we'll accept as long as it's bringing in the synthesized material, as for the selling of the recipe, we refuse."
While saying so, Emily-san stowed away the materials arranged on the table in her inventory and I prepared tea for three people.
"For the time being, let me ask. Why?"
"There are two reasons. If we immediately publish the recipe after making, everyone will craft it. Ours won't sell, will it. That's why, at least until we recover the material costs and research expanses, we're going to refrain from publishing it."
Seeming satisfied with the answer, Cloude nodded. I also nodded in the same way, but if I were to describe it somehow, it would be because I was impressed by the two. The two stared at me intently wondering why am I nodding.
"Haa, Yun-kun is really unaware. Well, fine. The second reason is because it's joint project with Yun-kun. It has to pass through Yun-kun first."
"I see, then, once the time comes we're willing to pay both Yun's and 【Material Merchant】 for the recipe."
Other than that, if we think about the level required and the costs of synthesising the recipe it seems like there will be a variety of problems. But, thinking of all that, it's difficult. Is what Emily-san was saying.
As the conversation was interrupted for a moment, I put the tea on the counter.
"Speaking of which, why did you come to the 【Atelier】, Cloude?"
Cloude own store, the 【Commonest Café & Clothier】 did sell potions in consignment with the 【Atelier】, but there was no need to come over. It was unusual, so I asked.
"Right. I came to tell you about the next tea party's preparations and to buy 【Revival Medicine】."
"Oh, I see. Right, that one isn't sold in consignment."
The 【Revival Medicine】 for which the main material were the petals that could be collected from the 【Wisteria Peach Seedling】, a reward for the raid quest, was still circulating in very few number. Also, compared to the other 【Revival Medicines】 mine was highly effective. That's why, it was poorly distributed as not to drive away other crafters from the market, the 【Atelier】 sold them quietly and in limited number.
"So, sell me three 【Revival Medicines】. Also, I came to buy some MP Potions. Oh right, have some of the sweet bean jelly we're selling for take-away."
The food for take-away he showed was glossy sweet bean jelly. Seeing it, I thought that I should have put out green tea instead of black. I'd like if he showed it a little bit earlier.
"Got it. I'll take care of these sweets on depos——"Sweets! Did you say 'sweets'?!" "
Cloude opened his eyes wide in surprise, movements of mine and Emily-san's froze. When we looked towards the voice, only a head had peeked out from Zakuro's twin tails, the Mischievous Fairy locked onto the jelly I had in my hand. She already had droll in the edge of her mouth.
On the other hand, Cloude stared at the Mischievous Fairy very seriously.
"Hm? What? What is it? Did I do something?'
Unable to understand, the Mischievous Fairy tilted her head in puzzlement. Cloude moved his gaze away from the fairy and onto me.
"Umm, what is it?"
"That's a fairy, isn't it."
"Yeah, so it is. Cuz' we started the limited quest."
I responded Cloude blandly, but inside, the cold sweat wouldn't stop flowing. Having a bad premonition I took step backwards, when I did, Cloude put his hands on my shoulders sealing my movements.
"If you accompany those who received the Fairy Quest, you can obtain a fairy! So, share it with me."
"Scary! You're being really scary!"
There was a shadow on Cloude's face as he looked at me from close, he was clad in mysterious fighting spirit.
"I want to find mine and only mine fairy, and I'll dress her up freely! No, it's a waste to only dress up one of them. I want to make lots of costumes suiting fairies' personalities and make them wear them! For the sake of my ambitions shagh——?!"
Pressed on to by Cloude's enthusiasm I was taken aback, when tears were about to appear in my eyes, something fell from above and Cloude's movements stopped.
Emily-san sitting next to us had shut Cloude up by striking his head with the sword's sheath. Socks who rode on Cloude's shoulders also had ground its paws into his cheeks.
As Cloude withstood the attack with the sheath from overhead and the paw strikes, Emily-san spoke, appalled.
"What are you doing. Yun-kun will sue you for sexual harassment."
Certainly, if it went too far it would be sexual harassment, but being treated like a woman put me into a bad mood.
"I got too excited. My bad, don't hit me so hard."
Socks delivered a series of cat punches to Cloude's cheeks. Emily-san too, once again swung the sheath, but Cloude responded with "wait" and protected his head with his hands.
"But, Yun. It's a time-limited quest. Players who don't have luck to find a fairy on their own can only rely on others to share it with them."
"Well, I know that much."
Weak me has this time proceeded to the back of the Mine Dungeon in a party with Emily-san, the two of us. And, by advancing the quest by one stage I met a fairy.
"Just this time. I'll put an effort to spreading the fairies around so there won't be any burden on you, Yun."
Certainly, it seemed like it would be troublesome if the few parties that received the quest did it alone and didn't spread it. Also, I myself have received the quest from Emily-san, so I have to at least spread to one more person in exchange.
"Haa, I get it. Then——"All right, let's hurry and go now!"——ehhh?!!"
Cloude jumped out of the 【Atelier】 pulling me after him. Ryui and Zakuro chased after me. And, before I realized the Mischievous fairy took a mouthful of sweet bean jelly and ate while riding on my shoulder.
"Now, fairy! Where are you comrades!"
"Hmm. The monster's presence can be felt from that way, I guess?"
"Let's go there then!"
Emily-san had seen me off as I was being dragged away.
"I'll proceed with the research using 【Synthesis】. Do your best."
No, Emily-san, you also have a Water Fairy who had come back and is now right next to you, so help us as well! I wanted to shout, but I was seen off unable to say anything.
"Now, Fairy. Where's the enemy?"
Continuously circling over my head time again, hmm, the Mischievous Fairy growled.
Currently, we left the first town together with Cloude and were looking for the next Thorn Token in the plains.
To think that I'll have to fight with two of them in a single day, at least let me rest a little.
"What are you saying. For a time-limited quest, it's the basic of basics to advance as much as possible while you can. There's always a possibility of an emergency where you won't be able to find time to complete it."
When Cloude said so, the Mischievous Fairy seemed to have felt something as she pointed towards a certain location.
"I can feel a strong monster subordinate's presence from there!"
"Let's go then."
Without motivation, I held Zakuro in my hands and stroked Ryui's neck who tagged along with me as I followed Cloude.
As the two of us walked in silence, the Mischievous Fairy's humming resounded strangely.
While Cloude was relatively good at socializing, it might have been the first time for us to make a party just the two of us. The crafters hardly go out to adventure in the first place.
"What is it? Yun."
Unable to stand the silence I asked, but I had no idea what to talk about so I started to think of a topic.
"Um——"It's boooring!" "
The Mischievous Fairy suddenly yelled loudly. My words were interrupted as she started throwing a wild tantrum in mid-air.
"Mmgh, it's not interesting! Let's make it this, dah! Eii!"
She generated a small wind and lured in non-active mobs in the plains. Herbivorous Beasts, Slimes as well as Hobgoblins have began gathering one after another.
"Yun, they started to gather."
"You're being too calm! Hey, wait! You Mischievous Wind Fairy! Stop attacking!"
"It's not attacking! It's a prank!"
I stretched my arm trying to catch her, but my hand just passed through the air and the Mischievous Fairy had puffed her chest in the mid-air. Higher than my hands could reach it, she had blown wind towards all the mobs within her range.
"Just as she said, it's quite amusing."
"It's not amusing at all! Geez.'
The mobs that gathered were all small and weak. Just their numbers were high and each could be beaten with a single hit. I cut them down with the kitchen knife in my hand and Cloude had hit them with his staff.
It were fighting styles unlike that of an archer and a mage, but we decided to fight with physical close combat attacks in order not to waste arrows and MP.
"What a hassle."
"Isn't it fine. It's a light warm-up. Also, it's good to know what Wind Fairy is capable of."
"The basic elements the fairies that stick to players have are fire, water, wind, earth, light and darkness, these six. And, for personalities they apparently have a countless number of patterns prepared."
"Not much time has passed since the update, but you sure know a lot."
We continued to talk as we worked through the enemy in front of us.
"Having just half a day, you can gather information regarding the quest to some extent. Also, although the fairies provide light support, their element and personality as well as the kind of assistance they offer differs between each fairy."
Cloude and I glanced at the Mischievous Wind Fairy. Being stared at, she had returned a blank expression at us.
"What is it? Did I do something?'
"No, it's nothing."
She arbitrarily started to attack the enemy mobs indiscriminately and lure them in. It didn't seem like support to me.
With my mood turned worse all at once I pierced the slime in front of me with the kitchen knife.
The gathered mobs were wiped out in matter of minutes, there was no longer any trace of mobs in our surroundings.
The Mischievous Fairy that was flying overhead had finally come down and rode on top of my head.
"Ahh, that was fun! Now, now! Let's go!"
"Good grief, you sure are energetic. Next time don't do whatever you want."
I advised the Mischievous Fairy, but seeing her ignore me, I drooped my shoulders dejected.
"Speaking of which, Yun, how much do you know about the Fairy Quest?"
"Hm? From the overview I know it's time-limited quest and that the person accompanying the player who received it can also obtain a fairy and advance with the quest. Also, you need to defeat four Thorn Tokens, right?"
"If you'd like, I'll tell you all the information I have gathered from the players who came to my store."
I responded with "sure" and started to listen attentively to the information Cloude possessed regarding the quest.
"Let's see. First, the quest has players to defeat monster's subordinates——Thorn Tokens. Also, Thorn Tokens' behaviour patterns vary depending on the mob they parasaitize upon."
"Yeah. I fought against Arachne Thorn Token so I somewhat get it."
"Then next. The range of the mobs that can become a Thorn Token is dependant on a condition that the player must have defeated the type of mob in the past, or so we think."
"I see. With that condition, there won't be any cases where someone will be beaten upon first meeting with the mob."
Since the behaviour patterns are similar, its something like a simple strengthening in case of the Arachne or so it feels. However, the base mob in addition to its own attack patterns becomes able to attack with thorns. There was also the HP absorption attack and the manipulation of the body using the thorns.
"Well, that's pretty much everything I heard. Also, if there's good compatibility with the mob parasitised by Thorn Token, it seems like they become quite strong."
Although the full information wasn't available yet, it was still good to re-confirm what we already know. Thinking of that, I realized that being able to gather information within just a few days, and then share it with me, Taku's and Myu's ability when it comes to that was abnormal.
"Also——oh right. It's not related to the Fairy Quest, but there's information about a wandering mob added with the update."
"Oh, something like new mobs?"
"There are those too. Among the Big Boars and Forest Bears, there's quite probability that you'll meet the young beast versions of them."
Cloude operated his menu and displayed a screenshot.
On the screenshot there was a characteristic striped wild boar's piglet, there were screenshots of it sleeping and cuddling up to people. For the Forest Bear young beast there was a screenshot of one clinging to its parent's back.
"Woaa, what's this! That's super cute! I want to touch them!"
The moment I said so, Ryui started head-butting me lightly. Of course, I love both Ryui and Zakuro, too.
"Although there were people who could tame young beasts during the event, the other players didn't have a chance at getting young beasts, which we believe is the reason for their addition. Although they won't turn into fighting force, it must have been requested very often."
While saying so he closed the image, ahh, I let out a voice full of regret.
"Also, there's information about a wandering-type unique boss but——if you encounter it, you die with certainty."
He spoke so unhesitatingly, I ended up responding with a weird voice.
"Its name is Grim Reaper. A humanoid using a scythe for a weapon. A certain front-lines party seems to have met it and was wiped out."
"By Grim Reaper, you mean like, Death? C'mon, what's with that calamitous boss."
"It does look like Death itself. If you meet him, run for your life."
"Um... is there anything like, omens?"
"Right. It seems like a purple mist hangs over the surroundings and cold air starts drifting around."
"Purple mist and cold air——hyaa?!!"
While I muttered absent-mindedly a chilly wind had flowed by my legs. Feeling something pass by my neck I immediately turned around.
I braced myself and touched my neck to confirm, but there was nothing there. Was it just my imagination? I thought, but then laughter came from above my head.
"AHAHAHA, so funnyy! So startled by mere wind."
Although the fairy laughed, I didn't have any strength to even get angry at her and just fell down on spot.
"You okay? Yun."
"I'm bad with ghost stories and such, so I was just relieved. I'm fine."
"Well, even though it's a Grim Reaper, rather than like a creepy ghost it has a cool design so it doesn't strike fear into people. If anything, it's a design that makes you feel awe the moment it takes you down."
"Still, it's scary in its own right."
Design amazing enough to make you respect it the moment it kills you. I wonder how is it.
"Really, at least spare me from pranks using ghost motifs."
Although the Mischievous Fairy looked disgruntled, when I asked kindly she agreed. So if I ask kindly there'll be an effect?
In the meantime, we have approached the place the second Thorn Token was.
"Hey, isn't this the Wetlands?"
Ahead of where the Mischievous Fairy pointed to, there were the Wetlands spreading south of the First Town. This area had a lot of enemies who attacked from surprise.
"Yup yup, it's just a little bit in!"
"Can't help it. I'll walk in front and ensure our safety."
For now, I put down Zakuro whom I was holding and clenched the bow.
I avoided the Treants and Moor Frogs hiding in the Wetland, from time to time we also entered combat as we walked towards a certain location.
After proceeding in the direction Mischievous Fairy had pointed to, trying to avoid enemy mobs and places with bad footing, at certain location there was an instruction to stop.
"It's coming! Also, do your best."
Immediately after these words, a thick thorn penetrated the Wetlands' ground and extended, it attempted to erode a Moor Frog that was hiding behind the leaves of the plants that are floating on top of the Wetlands.
The Moor Frog's body expanded to the size of a human's body in no time and roses bloomed on both of its eyes just like it happened with Arachne, using its long tongue and inherent jumping ability it aimed its attacks at us.
"Hmm. For now, let's withdraw to take a good look!"
"Agreed on the safety measures!"
Taking Cloude's suggestion, I took distance from the Thorn Token as fast as possible. And, once we moved away quite a bit——
"It's not chasing us. Or rather..."
"It can't. The thorns are in the way."
Thorn Token was a mob that was the result of thorns extending from the ground and parasitising a mob on the surface. And, since the base of the thorns is only in one place, the mob's movement range seems pre-determined.
The parasitised huge frog tried to jump and crush us underneath, hit us with it's extending tongue and use water magic to shoot Water Bullets at us, but neither of the attacks reached.
"Can this be, a chance?"
"I like that pattern."
Both Cloude and I made expressions as if we were scheming an evil plan.
For Arachne Thorn Token it wasn't possible since we were in a closed space of the mine, but it was possible now.
Cloude one-sidedly assaulted the frog with darkness magic.
"Hahahahaha, now, dance, dance for me! ——《Shadow Bolt》!"
Laughing loudly Cloude shot an arrow of darkness that had high penetration. While watching it I ascertained the aim with 【Sky Eyes】 and raised my bow high.
"《Enchant》——Attack. Now, go!"
The arrow shot into the sky drew an arc and pierced the frog's back. It was called high-angle deviation shooting. Although impossible to use in closed space, it was possible to shoot one arrow after another having them draw a three-dimensional trajectory.
"How disgraceful. Even a toy frog would entertain me more!"
"Ahh, speaking of which, I wondered what is it similar to, so that was it."
What Cloude meant, was a rubber toy that used a pump to sent it into the air. The air was pumped into it from below and the frog's legs would extend, making the toy jump. Since its attacks didn't reach us, the appearance of this frog rampaging was very similar to that.
"Tch, just its durability is high. I ran out of the jokes to make and the strength to laugh."
"No, you better start moving your hands before joking around."
The frog's body was large and easy to target, but it didn't want to fall.
It was different from attacking with the knife considering I could attack however I wanted, but what else was different was the sensation between the attacks with an arrow and how the kitchen knife had pierced over the rose mark on Arachne's chest.
"Did it's defence power increase?"
"Doesn't that differ between each parasitised mob?"
"Hmm. Does it?"
Feeling some discomfort, I shot an arrow.
And, Cloude's shadow arrow and my own strike pierced the roses that bloomed on the Moor Frog's eyes, it was a decisive blow which finished the battle with the second Thorn Token.
Once again the thorns abandoned the parasitised mob and dove into the ground, while looking as the thorns ran away, we carefully approached the defeated Moor Frog's body.
"What is it? Why are you so jumpy?"
"No, um——the flu"Don't tell him!"——?!!"
Suddenly, the Mischievous Fairy appeared and blocked my mouth. As I wondered where was she until now, she closed my mouth using her entire body and then whispered into my ear.
("At this rate, when my comrade wet with mucus jumps out, it'll be interesting.")
"What's up, Yun? You wanted to say something?"
"N-no, it's nothing."
I decided to keep quiet. After being covered in mysterious mucus I won't show any mercy. At least I'll bring down Cloude together with me. As such dark thoughts crossed my mind, Cloude received what had popped out from the Moor Frog's body.
Immediately after that, the mob's body disappeared turning into particles of light and Cloude raised a sleek, jet-black egg.
"What? This isn't a fairy?"
It was a moist sphere, but by no means it was an egg dripping in mucus.
"Heeey, how long do you intend to sleep? Wake upp!"
Beside me, the Mischievous Fairy called out towards the egg. As if in response, the jet-black shell turned phosphorescent and then, floating on Cloude's palm, rubbing her eyes sleepily, was a darkness-coloured fairy.
"Did you save me? I'm Darkness Fairy."
After saying just that, she had intruded on Cloude's pocket.
"She's not... covered... in mucus?"
"Ahahaha, it's a failure!"
The fairy beside me had burst into laughter, then I noticed something.
"Hey, can you turn into an egg as well?"
"I can. You see, it's a protective wall for a fairy's emergency escape〜."
"Then, why on earth were you dripping wet with mucus when I met you?"
"What?! Yun, I'd like to hear more about the case of dripping wet with mucus!"
"Don't come over here! And, don't ask! Don't remind me!"
As Cloude took a step forward, I took a step backwards.
Geez, how did it turn out like this.
I blatantly changed the topic back to the drowsy Darkness Fairy that was in Cloude's pocket.
"S-speaking of which, my Mischievous Fairy was able to read the flow of wind and lead us to the cave's exit, what does that fairy specialize in?"
"Hmm, so Wind Fairies had that kind of power."
I was relieved that I was able to divert the topic from the mucus. The aforementioned Mischievous Fairy had puffed her chest proudly and answered.
"That's right! I'm Mischievous Wind Fairy! Using wind is my forte! Especially when it comes to getting in others' way, I'm better than anyone!"
Hmph, while she snorted proudly, on the other hand the unmotivated Darkness Fairy had showed her face out of the pocket and muttered a response sleepily.
"See, I'm a Darkness Fairy. I prefer quiet over noisy——like this."
Eii, letting a voice out without any intonation, she turned her fingertip towards the Mischievous Fairy. The loud fairy that continued to repeat "praise me praise me" had fell silent immediately and started swaying in the air, seeming likely to fall down.
I caught her on my outstretched hands in a hurry, the Mischievous Fairy was sleeping with a slovenly facial expression.
"Bad status induction. In particular, I'm good with using sleep. Also, I'm sleepy."
After saying so, she dug deeply into Cloude's pocket.
"Well, it seems like the two fell asleep, we defeated the Thorn Token too, let's go back."
"You're right. But to think that the fairies required for finding another target would fall asleep."
Fuu, Cloude let out a heavy sigh, so he wanted to continue fighting I stared at him thinking so. Just today I fought with Arachne and Moor Frog Thorn Tokens. I want to rest a little. I thought.
"While taking a break, let's hear more about that mucus! What, let's take our time talking in Commonest while eating some cake and drinking tea."
*pam*, when I turned around after Cloude put his hand on my shoulder, although he had a refreshing smile, the look in his eyes said "I won't let you run away".
There's no escape from the demon lord.
Chapter 3 - The Wild Boar's Piglet and the Fibre Material
A few days have passed since defeating Thorn Token together with Cloude. He continued to persistently inquire about the mucus issue but I dodged the topic every time.
Also, the information on the Thorn Tokens had been gradually gathered.
There wasn't much difference between the parasitised weak mobs and boss mobs as Thorn Tokens. However, some Thorn Tokens that parasitised mobs with certain characteristics were very strong.
"Yeah, they aren't something you can battle one after another. Haa, the inside of the store is wonderful."
"Isn't it. Here, tea."
"Thank you, Kyouko-san.
After being through a lot I ran out of energy and didn't leave the 【Atelier】 for even a step and was mixing potions, as well as crafting accessories.
"Hey, hey! Make me something too! I'm bored you know!"
"Eeeh, it can't be helped then..."
After such exchange, I have made a composite bracelet out of leftover leather and melted down iron equipment, but rather than of the size for a fairy's wrist, it had turned into something that was worn like a belt.
Some other time, when I frantically swung the hammer in front of the furnace, the sight of the Mischievous Fairy who had brought the snacks in and was crunching them soundly, had annoyed me greatly.
"Heyy, don't you have some other sweets〜? I'm tired of these〜."
"Certainly, no wonder you got tired of butter cookies, but your demands are too luxurious. Geez."
Ryui and Zakuro aren't complaining at all, I thought, when I turned towards the two, they looked away slightly. No way, so they were tired of them.
"Haa, let's stop eating butter cookies for now then. But, I'm not making anything else."
"Why! I was looking forward to human snacks!"
"No, today there's a tea party with Cloude and the others, so you can eat some in there, there's no need for me to make any."
"What! Then, fine!"
When I said so, the Mischievous Fairy went "pyuu" and bolted out through the window towards the field. Seeing that, Kyouko-san the NPC chuckled cutely, but personally, I'd like more peace to calm down in.
"Hello, Yun-kun. It seems quite fun."
"Emily-san. Since you've come, it's about Metallic Thread, right?"
"Yes, so it is. Well, let's talk talk about it leisurely, Yun-kun, how are you?"
The Water Fairy riding on Emily-san's shoulder took off in order to take a look at the plants on the field, Emily-san saw her off with a smile.
"How nice. Emily-san's Water Fairy is so quiet. Mine is complaining all the time 'I'm bored', 'I want this' 'I want that', like a kid."
"Mine isn't so. 'It's dark', 'dull', 'I want more plants'. She says."
Emily-san received a cup of tea from Kyouko-san, took a sip and heaved a sigh.
Since the conversation seemed like a talk of two mothers, I burst into laughter quietly.
"So it's like that on your side too."
"Everyone in the surroundings is at mercy of the fairies. They try to match them, understanding them better is constructive."
"Mmm, it feels like it's too late for me to do that. I've been quite cold to her."
"If Yun-kun is being cold to her, then most of the players would have treated her much worse."
"That's right. If you really was to be hated, she would respond to you mechanically without any expressions, like a noh mask. Compared to that, I think your Mischievous Fairy is really expressive."
When I looked outside the window, the Mischievous Fairy created a breeze which swayed the herbs in the field and formed waves in small grass. Emily-san's Water Fairy had moistened the ground by spreading water mist in the air, which resulted with a rainbow.
The Wisteria Peach Tree in the back of the field and the rainbow, as I watched the two fairies dance in that scenery a smile had naturally spilled on my mouth.
"The flowers are beautiful aren't they. It's worth clearing that hard raid quest."
"Yeah. It's great to spend time leisurely by that tree, brushing Ryui and Zakuro."
"Since my own Wisteria Peach Tree won't grow to this size in the plant pot I got from Yun-kun, I'm envious."
Saying so, she sipped the tea again and to her mouth, she raised one of the butter cookies the Mischievous Fairy was tired of.
A brisk crispy sound reached my ears accompanied by pleasant silence.
However, in the middle of it, just for a moment a shadow appeared on Emily-san's face.
"I kind of feel a gaze on us, don't you?"
"Hm? Not really."
"You see. Ever since I put down the plant pot with Wisteria Peach Tree I've been feeling a line of sight on me. It wasn't the malicious kind, the Water Fairy too, said that it's a good gaze, that a good kid has come."
"Hmm. I wonder what is it? A guardian spirit? A fantastical existence?"
I tilted my head, wondering, but from what I could recall I hardly felt any gazes on me before.
Even when there were, at most it were people peeking in through the 【Atelier】's and checking up how's the store.
When I told that to Emily-san, "Yun-kun, whether about the gazes or your own evaluation you're really dense", she told me something horrible. Incomprehensible.
"It's just your imagination, doesn't that happen too? Or maybe it's not imagination but 'tree's spirit' or something." (Note: 気のせい (ki no sei) for one's imagination and 樹の精 (ki no sei) for tree's spirit)
"Oh my, quite a pun it turned to. Well, let's leave the small talk at this and get down to main topic."
I didn't intend to make a pun at all, but it turned into one contrary to my intentions. With these words a smile returned to Emily-san's face and then, her expression turned into 【Material Merchant】's serious one.
"First, to report. The three types of textile materials, 【Arachne's Silk Bag】, 【Bamboo Fibre】 and 【Magical Silk】 have failed when synthesizing them normally."
"I see, so they were all misses."
Although I was disappointed, Emily-san's facial expression was full of confidence and in contrast to me, she just tilted her head.
"I said 'synthesizing them normally', right? So, I tried synthesizing some additional materials with them I had information on to see how it goes."
"Yes. The result is this."
While saying so, she placed a few bundles of Metallic Thread, the same Letia had previously showed me.
"The recipe is, an ore-type item and 【Water of Life】. And, this time the thread-type items that succeeded were 【Arachne's Silk Bag】 or 【Magical Silk】, it was 【Synthesis】 of those three."
"Great! We did it!"
"If I'm not wrong, the Runner Bug that spits out Metallic Thread comes from the 【Town's Dungeon】 of the Maze Town right? So, I tried to combining all three materials from the Town's Dungeon, like this the 【Water of Life】 was added to the recipe."
"I see. In the cave dungeon where you can get the 【Water of Life】 you can also get the item for summoning the Runner Bug, can't you."
"Also, I talked to the crafters who use 【Sewing】, apparently when they use 【Water of Life】 when producing thread or yarn, its quality improves."
Other than that, it can be used for 【Smithing】's cooling water and for 【Woodworking】's dissolving of varnish. I remember Magi-san and the others mention this before.
"Haa, I didn't notice it at all. I would have been able to make it immediately with the materials on hand."
Even without going to gather 【Arachne's Silk Bag】, I've had 【Magical Silk】's scraps, ore and the 【Water of Life】 in the 【Atelier】.
"This kind of thing can't be found without knowing the laws ruling it and experience. I just have a larger database than others do."
After saying so, Emily-san took out the materials left-over after crafting Metallic Thread.
"In the end, a third of it had disappeared as failures. The other third was changed to Metallic Thread. So, for surplus materials we'll divide it between myself and Yun-kun. Well, there's only lots of 【Bamboo Fibre】 left behind."
Even though I have carefully burned the bamboo to make them they weren't used, but thinking that there might be another opportunity to use them, I received my share.
"Can I try the recipe for the Metallic Thread right away?"
"Sure, go on."
I took out a sheet for synthesising three types of items, and on top of it I put 【Magical Silk】, 【Water of Life】 and Silver Ore.
Light ran through the synthesis circle, it surrounded the three materials and gathered them together at the centre, overlapping them. And, the light gathered at the centre burst——
"It's——not done? A failure, huh. Even though I have quite high 【Synthesis】 level."
I picked up a worn-out thread-like material and heaved a sigh. Then, once again I confirmed my Sense status.
【Bow Lv41】 【Longbow Lv15】 【Sky Eyes Lv7】 【Magic Talent Lv46】 【Magic Power Lv49】 【Enchant Arts Lv27】 【Alchemy Lv32】 【Synthesis Lv33】 【Crafting Knowledge Lv34】 【Taming Lv8】
【Speed Increase Lv28】 【See-Through Lv15】 【Dosing Lv29】 【Cooking Lv27】 【Engraving Lv3】 【Swimming Lv13】 【Earth Element Talent Lv19】 【Linguistics Lv18】
My 【Synthesis】 level was 33, but it still failed, huh.
"Speaking of which, we haven't looked into the success rate by level. I wonder what would be the recommended level for the recipe."
"One more time——《Synthesis》! Oh, this time it succeeded."
When I changed the type of ore used in synthesis from Silver Ore to Iron Ore, I was able to synthesize it. It seemed that the success rate mainly depended on the type of synthesized ore, the only one I could synthesize in a stable manner at my level was up to Iron Metallic Thread.
"Well, since I know the recipe, I'll gather some materials and raise my level at least to the point where I can synthesize Silver Ore."
"That's a good idea. Also, can I try synthesizing something else while at it?"
Saying so, Emily-san took out some materials.
The materials she had put on top of a four-materials synthesis circle were a High Potion, MP Potion, 【Water of Life】 and 【Wisteria Peach Petal】. It can't be, I thought.
"Now, let's go. ——《Synthesis》"
With her quiet murmur, the four materials emitted pale pink light and turned into a single form.
"...it's 【Revival Medicine】. It's amazing, Emily-san! So 【Revival Medicine】 can be made with 【Synthesis】 too!"
"So it's not 【Mixing】 Sense's exclusive, the price might drop then. Still, the recovered amount is just the default one."
Emily-san shrugged as she said that.
Really, the methods of using the Senses are very wide. There's not just one route, I was made aware once again that there's many routes to crafting.
And then, I proposed something to Emily-san.
"Emily-san, do you have time after this?"
"What is it?"
"Won't you participate in the tea party with Magi-san and the others?"
The tea party was an opportunity for exchanging information between the crafters. Well, at times we're just eating sweets and chatting away.
However, Emily-san responded immediately.
"I'll refrain myself. I'm not interested in that kind of thing."
"As I thought."
"I don't like standing out. I don't feel like getting mixed in together with the top crafters."
Saying so, she drank the remaining tea and stood up.
"If there's something I want to relay to that place, I'll have you mention it."
"Got it. It's a shame, but I can understand not wanting to stand out."
Emily-san's Water Fairy who was frolicking in the herb field has come back and sat on her shoulder, then with Ryui, Zakuro and the Mischievous Fairy we've seen them off.
"Haa, refused huh."
I already suspected it so I wasn't that dejected. Still, I'm glad I was able to talk about crafting with her before the tea party. I thought.
"Hey, how long until that tea party?"
"Let's see. It's about time so we can go already. This time it's at Cloude's 【Commonest Café & Clothier】."
We left the 【Atelier】 a little early and started walking towards the location the tea party will be held in.
This time the tea party was in Cloude's 【Commonest Café & Clothier】. It was carried out by the table prepared in the corner of the store's workshop.
During this tea party there were more conversations than ever.
That's because in addition to the usual members, there were a lot of guests.
"Wow, human sweets." "Nomnom" "Keh, you got no pride as a fairy, do you?" "Shoop"
"So Magi-san and the others managed to get fairies attached to them."
"Yup. Perfectly so!"
When I said so, Magi-san and Lyly responded with smiles and then called out towards the fairies I have seen for the first time.
"C'mon, you need to do a self-introduction."
"Why do I have to introduce myself to some human..."
The male fairy with brown skin who complained seemed to have been the fairy who attached himself to Magi-san.
"Hmm. It seems like the 'Single Bite Sweets Series' sold in 【Commonest Café & Clothier】 is quite popular with the fairies."
"True. I like them too."
"I might love candies tooo."
Lyly and the Wind Fairy attached to him happily ate the single bite-sized sweets that Cloude had provided to go with tea.
Right now, aside from the bite-sized sweets that were already sold in the café, there were some trial products, something you couldn't taste yet as a customer.
Personally, I'd like to buy some baby castella and take it home.
"Haa, now that the crafting event is over, the 【Crafting Guild】 is back on track. Since I'm in the position of guild's figurehead guild master, I'm glad that I can return to normal crafting activities〜."
Magi-san and I drank the tea and rejoiced at the decreased workload.
The two of us drank black tea, Lyly drank green tea and Cloude's drink of choice was black coffee.
"Hey, Cloude. Recently, there's been talk about a material called Metallic Thread circulating, you know anything?"
"Right, the sewing-type crafter Kurocchi should know."
The information concerning Metallic Thread reached Magi-san and Lyly too. On the other hand Cloude conveyed the information that was open to public and passed the rest of the explanation towards me who worked on it with Emily-san.
"——And so, since I haven't managed to acquire any samples of Metallic Thread, I didn't make anything yet. In that case, wouldn't Yun be better-informed?"
"I figured you'd pass the baton to me. We have managed to confirm a method separate from using a tamed mob, we were able to craft it using 【Synthesis】 Sense."
While saying so, I took out a stack of Metallic Threads we made just earlier. There were silver, iron, and copper types.
I kept silent about the method of creation, but I told them Emily-san was the one who made it, and advertised that if necessary, they should ask her to make it.
"Hmmm. So that 【Material Merchant】 girl made it. I could use this material for reinforcing ring mail for example."
"Hmm. In my case I could tie the staff's core with it or something, I guess there's lots of uses? Next time I'll order some of it to try."
"Magi-san and Lyly, did the two of you discover anything new?"
I asked the two who held the Metallic Thread in their hands with serious expressions, but they denied energetically shaking their heads to the sides.
"Recently, there's nothing new you see. So, I was just wondering if something could be done with this Metallic Thread."
"Same the right side〜."
"Same here. By the way, Yun, how far did you proceed with deciphering that book?"
"Eh, well, there's still lots left I guess? I'm reading through bit by bit."
The book Cloude spoke about was the raid quest's reward I received which had 【Mixing】 recipes. Inside, there was the recipe for the Revival Medicine, but for the others, I was still in the middle of deciphering it using 【Linguistics】 Sense.
In regards to deciphering, I think that Cloude has gone further than I have as his 【Linguistics】 level was higher.
"Then, I'll pass this memo to you. The recipes I was able to decipher are written down on it."
When I peeled open the piece of paper he passed to me while saying so, I saw the recipe and the page numbers written down carefully. To think he'd pass me something this valuable. I put on a bitter smile.
"Thanks, Cloude. I'll use it well."
"What, don't mind it. It's a thanks for help with advancing the Fairy Quest."
Saying so, he sipped the pitch black coffee.
Since there were no other topics coming from Magi-san and Lyly, the tea party had immediately turned towards a normal chat and the fairies that turned to be our comrades have become its centre.
"Still, it's great that the Fairy Quest has spread from Yun-kun to Cloude and to us."
As she said that, Magi-san held out a bite-size sponge cake to the Fire Fairy, the Fire Fairy puffed up his cheeks and wouldn't receive it. But, just the sight of the castella chasing after him was cute.
My Mischievous Wind Fairy, together with the same Wind Fairy that had come with Lyly ate the sweets, getting along well. Just, I wondered where did those amounts of food go in, the huge amounts of sweets swelled their bellies to improbable sizes. I convinced myself that it was just a fantastical scene.
"So, Cloude. Sleeping over there is your fairy from last time, right."
"Yeah, the Darkness Fairy that has come to me."
I said and glanced at the fairy who put her head on a tiny cushion made for fairy-use by Cloude. The Darkness Fairy moved her mouth, mumbling as she slept leaning on the kitten, Socks.
"Somehow, it feels like she's wearing different clothes than I saw her in last time. The other fairies also look more colourful, something like that."
"Yun-kun, you too have passed a splendid belt to yours haven't you."
"Well, that's true."
Being told it's splendid by Magi-san, I felt a little embarrassed. The Mischievous Fairy noticed that she's the topic, but wouldn't let go of the sweets no matter what.
Magi-san and I only gave ours small ornaments, but Cloude's efforts were different.
The Darkness Fairy should have been wearing a simple black one-piece, but now, she was wearing a black-themed gothic lolita costume with plenty of lace.
"Fufufu, you don't know how long it took me to make this piece. Just how much material I have used up making it."
Cloude put on a fearless smile. Lyly and his fairy stared at Cloude's masterpiece with great interest.
"I'm envious. With my crafting speciality there's nothing I can make for a fairy."
"Indeed. I think so too. Since he's cute I'd like to make something for him."
While saying so, Magi-san pat the head of the Fire Fairy with her fingertips.
And, the Fire Fairy whose head was pat, responded to her words.
"What, are you dissatisfied with me?"
"No, not at all. Thanks for powering the furnace for me."
She said something interesting, Lyly and I tilted out heads in wonder.
"Magi-san, by 'powering' you mean?"
"Ah, speaking of which I haven't told you. When I do 【Smithing】 with him, he raises the temperature in the furnace so it's easier to process the metal."
Like that, Magi-san boasted of the Fire Fairy that was on top of her palm. The fairy himself folded his arms and said it's nothing, but seemed to fidget happily.
"Is that so. Then Lyly and Cloude, are yours doing anything?"
"Hmm. Nothing in particular, I guess? Just, she uses the wind to clean up the shaved-off wooden chips."
"I'm fine as long as she wears the clothes I make."
As Cloude answered, both Magi-san and I stared at him intently, so he cleared his thought and added that she's good at putting sleep bad status on enemies.
Since we spoke about the relationships with the fairies one after another, this time all the faces turned towards me.
"And, Yun-kun's fairy is..."
"Pheww, I sure ate lots!"
The Mischievous Fairy who, until this very moment continued to eat sweets. Although a few days passed since she attached herself to me, all she did was to sleep, eat and invite me to play around. Such things. Also, she did some minor pranks like changing arrangement of sorted items.
"Nothing in particular."
"What! You're speaking of me, right! I'm Mischievous Wind Fairy! I can do amazing mischief!"
"Like shifting objects by few centimetres."
"Stop mocking me! Mischief magic! ——《Take This》!"
Yes yes. Not paying any attention to her I finished pouring more tea for myself and put in a small amount of sugar, then sipped it.
"Geez, they're just little pranks. ——?!! Phuaa?!"
"Yun-kun, are you okay?!"
"Ynucchi, what happened?"
I suddenly spat out the tea, surprising Magi-san and Lyly. I myself didn't understand why, but seeing the Mischievous Fairy hold her belly as she laughed in mid-air, I understood I was pranked.
"Y-you,, what did yo do?"
"Ahahaha, that's for mocking me! What a funny face!"
A little of tea entered my nose so it hurt. Since I spat it to the side I didn't dirty the table, but since my mouth was dirty I wiped my face with a towel.
Cloude poured himself more coffee, took some sugar from the bowl and after dissolving it in the coffee, he sipped it.
"I see. Salted coffee. For next sweets let's try to ask for some salted ones."
Surprised, I picked some of the crystals and licked. The content of the sugar bowl changed into salt.
"Let's go with more! Theere, there!"
The Mischievous Fairy fluttered in the air as if dancing, with a swing of her arm tea changed into a different drink and one of the table's legs broke off. Cloude and I hurriedly supported it as it sloped.
"More, more, go go! Theere!"
A whirlwind raised Cloude's mantle and wrapped around his face. If I stopped supporting the table to stop the Mischievous Fairy, it would have fell down.
"Magi-san, Lyly! Catch her!"
As expected, Magi-san and Lyly also thought it's gone too far and rose from their chairs and reached towards the Mischievous Fairy.
"Hehen, you won't catch me!"
"Wai... stop moving!"
The Mischievous Fairy escaped slipping away from their hands. The fairy was flying around in the air freely having us at her mercy.
"That's right. Wait... w-woahh?!"
Magi-san and Lyly reached out at the same time to stop the Mischievous Fairy's movements. However, she wasn't at an open spot, instead was was flying over chairs and table so that they got in the way. The fairy moved the chair with the wind and made Lyly stumble.
Although Magi-san immediately tried to catch Lyly, since Mischievous Fairy pressed on his back to make sure he falls over, the two fell down together.
"What! What happened?!"
With the mantle still wrapped around his face, Cloude had no grasp on what's happening.
"No, it's fine as long as you aren't hurt."
I blushed seeing the two's posture. Falling over, Lyly's face pressed against Magi-san's chest.
Understanding the situation, Lyly tried to move back in panic, but he failed because of the hurry, somewhat unable to slip out from Magi-san's chest.
"Lyly. Calm down a little. C'mon, breathe in, breathe out."
"Suu, haa, suu, haa. Okay, I'm fine."
"Now, stand up slowly."
Magi-san herself spoke to Lyly as if nothing happened, telling him to breathe to calm himself. After calming down Lyly slowly stood up, moving away from Magi-san.
"Lyly, were you hurt?"
Lyly's face turned beet red and he hung his head down. Magi-san put on a smile like that of a Cheshire Cat.
"Lyly, was it embarrassing? Even though a child, you're still a boy aren't you."
"Ahahaha, sorry. You were just too cute.'
Magi-san and Lyly spoke cheerfully, but I was quite furious inside.
I somehow was able to fit in the leg of the table back in and moved away.
"Hey, didn't you go too far with pranks?"
I caught the Mischievous Fairy with a steel grip as she continued to laugh seeing her mischief a great success and asked seriously.
"Let go! I'm a Mischievous Fairy! What's wrong with pranks!"
"It is wrong! If it's so important to you, then limit it to just me!"
"What's with you! Whatever I doesn't concern you!"
"If you don't apologize——I'll bottle you up!"
Bottling, hearing that words all the fairies in the room tensed up.
To be precise, the fairies' expressions cramped up and the next moment, they started crying.
" " "NOOOOOO, not bottling——!" " "
Just the Darkness Fairy who was sleeping woke up and was looking in the surroundings, but including the fairy in my hand they all started to cry.
Magi-san who was teasing Lyly and Cloude who somehow managed to return his mantle to original have stared both at me and the fairies, wondering what happened.
"Eh, ah, as long as you don't do bad things I won't bottle you! I won't do it, so don't cry!"
I put down the Mischievous Fairy I caught on top of the table and comforted her.
"Really? You won't bottle me? Ever since long ago, bad fairies were put in bottles and used as Revival Medicine."
Bottled Fairies, is this the game with hero in green clothes?! I retorted to myself in my mind and continued to soothe her.
"I won't bottle you. But, going too far with pranks is dangerous."
"But, I'm Mischievous Fairy."
"If you're doing it, then do one that makes others happy. Also, since you troubled others, apologize."
"...I got too carried away. I'm sorry."
The Mischievous Fairy bowed her head obediently. The other fairies who were crying were also calmed down by Magi-san and Lyly.
"I don't really mind. Well, I was a little surprised, but there was no substantial damage."
"Same here. If you're to do pranks, then how about you let out some whirlwinds on the main stree——Magi, lower your fist."
Cloude spoke jokingly, but since he mentioned mischief that involved flipping skirts, with a smiley face Magi-san raised her clenched fist in front of his face.
Lyly who received the most damage was facing downwards in embarrassment.
"I'm sorry. I went too far."
"I-I'm fine. Um, I was a bit... surprised but..."
He took a glance at Magi-san and let out a groan. Magi-san herself wasn't really conscious of it since she treated Lyly like a little brother.
Seeing everyone get over the prank, I breathed out with relief.
"Kukuku, still, it was a brilliant response to those prank. As expected of 【Nanny】 I'd say."
"Grr. Cloude, don't say that. I don't like that name."
Told so, I looked around for a second and the overly-free actions of those fairies overlapped with the sight of kindergarten children.
As I made an unpleasant frown, Lyly diverted the topic away.
"But, that was amazing. Changing the contents of the sugar bowl, removing legs of a table and such."
"Hehen! 'Cause, I'm a Mischievous Fairy you see. I'm good at restraining others and making them fall over!"
"Getting carried away again I see. Some time ago you gathered a bunch of enemy mobs at us, haven't you."
Diverting her body sideways to us, the Mischievous Fairy bragged, I gave her a frank advice but it seemed like it didn't reach her. Then, Magi-san seemed to have noticed something.
"Hey, my Fire Fairy can support crafting, but, isn't this Mischievous Fairy a battle support? Just like Cloude's Darkness Fairy who can put bad statuses on enemy."
"I see. It might be so. Holding up enemy and pulling their attention away is quite splendid combat potential."
"Then, what can my Wind Fairy do?"
Lyly asked. We started to seriously think about the abilities of the fairies attached to us.
Until now I thought of mine as annoying and didn't face her seriously.
I was told so by Emily-san too, but it seems like I might have to face my fairy once.
Certainly, since I hardly engage in combat I didn't think of her supportive ability for combat.
Staring at the Mischievous Fairy I muttered quietly.
"Maybe we need to grow a bit closer. No, let's get closer."
Grasping resolve in my chest I raised tea to my mouth, and spat out salty tea again.
I forgot there's still the salt tea left behind.
After that tea party, the pranks have relatively settled down. Yes, relatively.
"Ahahaha! Forward! Forward!"
The Mischievous Fairy sitting on Zakuro's back seemed to have fun just riding on him as he walked around the store. Flying around would be faster, I thought while looking at it sideways and continued my preparations for adventure.
Over the last few days, I choose potion recipes I could create as of now from the memo Cloude gave me and compared the deciphered recipe with the undeciphered 【Mixing】 recipes book.
By using the decrypted recipe, the speed of my decrypting with 【Linguistics】 increased. While referencing to the decrypted material names and procedures I continued to develop new ones.
And, today, I headed outside the town to gather the materials I was capable of gathering by myself.
"Ryui, Zakuro, also Fairy. We're going outside the town."
"What, what?! A picnic?!"
"Unfortunately, we're gathering materials today. Also, we'll be done soon enough."
When I said so in response, Ryui and Zakuro lowered their heads dejected. However, the Mischievous Fairy who rarely leaves to the outside still seemed happy.
"Then, then! For our sake let's defeat the monster's subordinate and release the Fairy Village!"
"As long as there's an enemy's reaction outside town and nearby."
"Grr! You have no motivation! Bring some out! You never know when the enemy will come!"
"Yes yes, we're going."
The Mischievous Fairy riding on my shoulder prompted me to proceed with the Fairy Quest, but I simply ignored it, taking Ryui and Zakuro I left the town.
The place I headed to this time was the interior of the Wetland southeast of the first town.
I knew how to walk in the wetlands and as I proceeded while avoiding enemies as much as possible, between muddy ground and trees growing in the Wetlands I found a certain space.
A decaying cemetery's fence surrounded it. And, hidden in the back of it between two overlapping tomb stones there were stairs leading underground. It was an entrance leading to one of many small dungeons scattered around OSO's world.
Suitable to an underground dungeon of a cemetery, most of the mobs were of the undead-type.
"Ohhh! A staircase leading to the bottom of an ominous tomb! I can feel adventure! I can feel adventure!"
"No, we're not going in."
It wasn't scheduled this time and I was bad with ghosts in the first place.
My aim were the plants growing near the tombstone. As I looked around it intently I could see plant mobs sway occasionally.
I took out the kitchen knife I had by my belt and while pressing down the leaves I impaled the mob's roots while gouging the soil.
The root rampaged struggling in the soil and the plant's leaves shook vigorously, suppressed they slowly grown weaker and turned increasingly quiet.
"Eh, it can't be, a Mandragora?!"
"Correct. The drop is... 【Male Mandragora】 huh. Well, 【Female Mandragora】 is rare drop."
With that said, I took out the freshly dropped Mandragora out of the inventory and showed it to the Mischievous Fairy. Hiiii, she responded with a shriek.
Although Mandragora's face was distorted in a torturous expression like The Scream painting, to me it seemed like nothing but a radish with a human face carved on it, so I wasn't afraid.
"T-that! Isn't it much more dangerous than a ghost?!"
"Mandragoras can't be grown on a field so I come all the way to this cemetery to pick them up. Haa, I wish I could grow them on the field."
There were no seeds, since it was treated as a mob, I couldn't cultivate it. I hoped that I might be able to do it with 【Taming】 Sense, but there was no reaction.
"Quit it! It's dangerous! It's a plant whose cry destroys the surroundings."
"I know that, that's why I defeat it while it's still in the ground."
Mandragora was a very weak type of mob. I could beat it one-sidedly, but for those who don't know how to fight it, it's a very nasty opponent.
First, the player who doesn't know it gets close. Once close enough, it waits for them to pick its herbs.
Then once its pulled, combat begins, jumping out of the ground it lets out a loud cry that puts 【Curse】, 【Charm】, 【Confusion】 and 【Anger】, mental-type bad statuses on player and has an ability to call in other mobs.
As such, the method I chose to use was a pre-emptive attack while pressing onto it so that it doesn't come out of the ground.
"Now now, let's do our best to gather materials for a potion."
"H-hiiii! Treating a Mandragora that's treated as super dangerous organism in the Fairy Village like a mere weed, and with a smile at that!"
While casting sceptical gazes at the fairy trembling inside Ryui's mane, I recovered all the Mandragora around the entrance to the tomb. The ratio of male to female Mandragora was four to one. Although it was enough this time, I need to come again to pick some Female Mandragoras.
"Well then, that's it for harvesting in here. Let's go back."
"Let's go there then! There's a short-cut!"
The direction Mischievous Fairy pointed to, was north.
When we came here, we first moved to the south and then to east, by going straight north we would get out to the road leading to the Second Town. It's been a while so I can go buy some food ingredients like vegetables in there, I thought.
"Got it. Guide us then."
"Leave it to me!"
And, as I slowly followed the Mischievous Fairy, the muddy Wetlands' ground changed into a forest's soft soil, after proceeding for a while, I found something.
"Isn't that a Big Boar's young beast?"
After moving from south-eastern area to the eastern area, one of the aspects was that the enemies radically changed, in the middle of all that, I saw a sight of a small shadow running around the field that had a non-active, sleeping Big Boar.
The appearance that had white stripes on it and body of elliptic shape without any tusks by its mouth was that of a wild boar's piglet.
I didn't think that I would encounter one of the additional elements added by the update, a young beast.
It cried out and moved closer. The piglet that was of the same size as Zakuro had fixed its aim putting a lot of strength into its hind legs, then started to run towards Zakuro.
"Y-you guys, calm down."
Suddenly, Zakuro an the piglet started playing tag. The two animals ran around my feet in circles.
Since they kept running around me, I couldn't move and could only watch it, confused.
"Interesting! Go! Faster! Overtake!"
"What overtake, is this horse racing?! Stop this already!"
I had no idea why was it that they ran around me. Although it wasn't a hostile mob and the piglet only played around by chasing Zakuro, it seemed like Zakuro himself was escaping seriously.
Meanwhile, Zakuro jumped on Ryui's back and the piglet started wandering under Ryui's feet not sure what to do so I caught it.
Although its hair was slightly harder than Zakuro's, it was soft compared to Big Boar's.
"Hey, don't chase Zakuro around."
"Geez, so you understand."
I heaved a sigh and looked straight into piglet's eyes as I lifted it up with both hands. Wide open eyes, twitching nose and little ears, its weak cry seemed like it would drain me of strength.
"——Hey, hey. What do we do?!"
"Yeah, well, I don't feel like increasing the amount of my tamed beasts, so we can only let it go back to its comrade——"
"Not that! The third monster's subordinate is nearby and coming here!"
"Until now we were the ones who were looking for them, so this time it came by itself, huh."
Spitting a curse I put down the piglet on the ground and looked in the direction the fairy was pointing.
I nodded silently and ordered Ryui to protect Zakuro and hide themselves with an illusion.
I headed in the direction the fairy was pointed to, behind the bushes and trees.
The Ochre Archer's additional effect 【Recognition Inhibition】 was sufficiently demonstrated as I was able to watch the third Thorn Token while hiding in the vicinity.
"Seriously, this time it's a Blade Lizard, huh."
The boss mob that was blocking the way to the Second Town, Blade Lizard.
It's appearance eroded by thorns had its scales ruffled, limbs entangled by thorns and the hard nails extended with thorns. The roses that were the weakness of Arachne and Moor Frog's could be seen at its left eye and the tail.
Even though the Blade Lizard was a boss, right now it was an easy enemy to beat. However, I didn't know how much was it strengthened with the thorns.
Since Thorn Token would take action to defeat the mobs nearby, I waited for it to do so to confirm how strong it is approximately and to confirm a way to attack it.
"Let's watch for now——"Buu, buu"—— No way."
When I looked towards the voice, I saw the piglet walk my way. It looked around restlessly as if searching for something.
As if it had come searching us.
"Hey, look, if we leave it be it'll go to where the monster is."
Right now, the Blade Lizard Thorn Token was attacking the mobs around it at random. Big Boars, Mill Birds and Rats, it took down the mobs using its claws and fangs.
Looking for us, the piglet continued to raise a cry. Because of the 【Recognition Inhibition】 it had passed by overlooking us, I continued to observe the Blade Lizard Thorn Token.
"AAahh?!! It was found."
With the piglet appearing in front of it, the Blade Lizard let out a hoarse, intimidating voice.
"Bu, buu, buu!"
Despite being frightened, the piglet tried to intimidate the Blade Lizard as it continued to look for us.
And, the Blade Lizard swung up one of its legs.
"Ahh damn it! ——《Clay Shield》!"
I discarded my own advantage of 【Recognition Inhibition】 and created an earthen wall between the piglet and the Blade Lizard.
Hindering the attack of the swung thorn-claws, I earned a little bit of time and ran the distance separating me from the piglet all at once. Scooping it up I ran through, forward.
"Geez, if I decided to save you earlier, it wouldn't have turned into a troublesome situation like this., I'm so stupid."
"Still, better than forsaking it!"
The Mischievous Fairy that entered my hood had peeked out and responded into my ear.
Seeing us appear all of a sudden, the Blade Lizard had opened its mouth and started intimidating us. With its sharp scales erect, it pierced the ground with its hardened thorn-nails and thrust all four of its limbs taking a stance.
"Can we win a battle against it without enough information?"
"I'll help so we'll definitely win!"
Encouraged by the Mischievous Fairy, I found motivation to fight. However, the piglet seemed to be happy finding us and was rubbing the tip of its nose against my arm.
"Good grief, with one arm I can't avoid or shoot any arrows. 《Enchant》——Attack, Defence."
I further applied double enchant of physical attack and defence on top of the speed enchant against the Blade Lizard whose attacks were all physical. And, immediately after that I avoided the large claws swung at us to the side.
After avoiding, a tail with bristled blade scales had passed right in front of me, it was correct to avoid it with a spare, I thought.
I stepped backwards taking distance and threw Magic Gems at the Blade Lizard.
"Take this. ——【Bomb】!"
The Magic Gem bombs exploded grandly. They had about the same power as the ones I have previously used against a Blade Lizard. No, since my earth magic level increased since then, they were more powerful.
As I thought, both its defence and attack power were enhanced.
After it turned into a Thorn Token, half-assed attacks wouldn't work. When damaging Moor Frog and Arachne there was no response either.
"This guy, isn't he stronger than the other were?"
"Most likely. The monster doesn't want us to get close to the Fairy Village so it focuses on strengthening its subordinates."
"Then, the next Thorn Token is going to be even stronger, huh. First time hearing that."
"Yup. 'Cause it's the first time I said it."
She didn't have to confess the shocking truth in the middle of combat. I felt like sighing at the sky, but I couldn't let my sight off the enemy.
I slowly took distance trying to reach the position from which an attack won't reach the piglet, but as I took a step backwards, a green wall had appeared behind me.
"No way, a wall of thorns!"
"This, it cut off our retreat completely. What do we do?"
The wall of thorns that surrounded mine and the Blade Lizard's battlefield was like a wire mesh of a wrestling deathmatch.
I couldn't escape while holding the piglet.
"No choice but to fight, huh."
Holding the piglet in my left arm, I raised the kitchen knife with my right. However, since the bristled scales of the Blade Lizard were longer than my kitchen knife, unless I target firmly it won't go through to damage the body.
I manoeuvred as to prevent being squished between the Blade Lizard in the front and the wall of thorns.
The thorny deathmatch stage was too small to move in as a party. Perhaps, it was made for a solo player. Either a barrier to prevent one-sided attacks from the distance or a jail to prevent stand-away attacks.
The swung claws, swayed tail, the bite of its fangs, the scales standing on its entire body. Using my entire body I continued to avoid Blade Lizard's attacks and observed it.
"As I thought, my eyes have gotten better."
I was now clearly aware of the capability I felt during the fight with Arachne.
Only for a moment as enemy's attacks approached, the movement of the world around me appeared slow. Still, it wasn't that I moved like I usually did. Just, all the movements including my own felt like a playback in slow motion during that time.
"If I have time to think, then I'll chose optimal course of action! ——《Ingredients Knowledge》!"
Using the slow-motion during the moment of attack, I predicted enemy's attack and avoided it with minimum of movement, deciding the measures of the next action.
One of them was analysing enemy's weak points with 《Ingredients Knowledge》.
While avoiding the attacks I found the roses that were enemy's weak points and fought back, aiming at them.
I held out the kitchen knife in a slight counter against the tail's cleave. The rose blooming on the tail scattered its petals and the Blade Lizard trashed around.
The roses commonly blooming on the Thorn Token, as the 《Ingredients Knowledge》 marker reacted to them, I aimed at that point.
"Yes! My attac——!!"
My attack went through. There was no time to rejoice over that, the thick thorn connecting with Blade Lizard had assaulted me.
I forgot that the enemy wasn't just the parasitised Blade Lizard, but also the thorny vines stretching from the ground. The thorns have grown restless in response to the sight of writhing Blade Lizard and have approached me.
As even using the time to think I got from the 【Sky Eyes】 I couldn't find a timing to avoid nor find a safety zone, I started to get impatient.
("What do I do, where do I run, where do I dodge to——")
Unable to find a way, I took a defensive posture.
With a posture as to have the thorns hit my shoulder, I held the piglet as to protect it.
The thorns thick like a log hit my shoulder, blowing me away with the impact.
I endured only for a moment as the impact bit into my shoulder and was thrown in to the wall of thorns behind me.
Thorns stuck to my shoulder and the back, 40% of my HP was scrapped away and I fell on my knees.
The Mischievous Fairy fled into the sky before the thorns' attack, the piglet I held in my arms was also safe. However, as I was unable to completely block the impact, the piglet received slight damage.
"I'll heal you now."
Before my own recovery, I prioritized putting down the piglet that let out feeble cries in my arms and using a High Potion on it.
"Hurry up and stand, avoid it!"
I raised my head hearing Mischievous Fairy's voice, the Blade Lizard brandishing its thick tail was approaching from the front.
"——?!! I leave it to you!"
I realized that I cannot avoid it and tossed the piglet high into the sky. Immediately after that, the tail drew a curve and like a hook, captured the side of my head.
While my HP had decreased, I saw the Mischievous Fairy firmly catch the flying piglet and carry it outside the wall of thorns.
Outside the wall there was Ryui and Zakuro so I could be at peace of mind. As I thought so, at the same time as my HP went down to zero my field of vision turned black.
And, a choice had appeared in the middle of my dimmed vision——as to whether I use a Revival Medicine or not, I selected 『YES』 without any hesitation.
"Now, let's refocus myself."
I slowly stood up and once again faced the Blade Lizard.
I used the High Potion I took out earlier, but it wasn't enough so I used one more to recover my HP fully.
"Are you okay? You were done-in weren't you."
"I'm fine! Rather did y——"I properly carried it outside the thorns."——Well done."
"So, I must put you up to it but let me ask, our chances?"
"I have no confidence. But, we've got to do it, right."
While saying so, I changed my weapon from a kitchen knife to Black Maiden's Longbow.
"And, what should I do?"
"The battle will last just an instant. I'll aim for the vital point. So draw the enemy's attention however you can."
"Simple plans and easy to understand plans are the best!"
The Mischievous Fairy took off from my shoulder while saying that. She created a whirlwind in front of the Blade Lizard and attacked with it. Although it was for using as mischief and had no offensive power, since whirlwind continuously remained where the Blade Lizard's face was, it tried to swing its claws and tail at it. Also, it tried jumping at the Mischievous Fairy in the sky, but with the thorn in the ground acting like shackles, Blade Lizard couldn't reach her.
"Hehen. There's more!"
In meantime, I proceeded with preparations.
Since I have returned using Revival Medicine, the strengthening effects of the enchants have disappeared, so I reapplied them.
"《Enchant》——Attack, defence, speed. 《Cursed》——Defence."
I have strengthened myself with enchants and weakened the Blade Lizard's defence.
And, I swallowed ATK enhancement Boost Tablet, assisting myself with an item.
"The effective time is three minutes. ATK+8 for maximum attack power."
However, it wasn't over.
What else I took out was a fire Elemental Stone and an arrow synthesised with bad status poison drug.
I applied a fire enchant to the Black Maiden's Longbow and nocked a poison arrow. I aimed at enemy's weak point while adding attack correction from Art.
"I'll decide it now. ——《Bow Skill - Arrow Stitching》!"
An attack I was most used to. The shot I released as if being sucked into it, had pierced through the Blade Lizard's eye while Mischievous Fairy attracted its attention.
Following the first one on the tail, the rose on the Blade Lizard's eye scattered, but it had glared at me with its remaining eye.
In addition to the accumulated damage, this blow had further delivered damage with poison, the 20% of enemy's remaining HP was decaying with slip damage.
Unable to defeat it with a single blow and seeing as it wasn't defeated with just 【Poison 3】's slip damage, the Blade Lizard turned its target back to me and charged at me again.
As it opened its big mouth, I could see numerous thin thorns inside.
Recalling what the Arachne did when I was crushed, I got goose bumps.
"So it wants to absorb my HP!"
Although the Blade Lizard jumped as to pressure me, I activated a Magic Gem to counter.
I shouted and pressed the gem onto the ground.
With the gem as the starting point a wall of soil was raised from the ground, it struck the Blade Lizard's jaw, forcibly closing it.
And then I jumped at it, straddling Blade Lizard's head.
"I'll sew your mouth with this!"
I wound a several layers of Iron Metallic Thread I took out of the inventory around its mouth, unable to open it the Blade Lizard continued to shake its head violently. Unable to stand that I was shook off, but rolled on the ground and immediately stood up and raised the bow towards the sky.
"Leave it to me!"
I listened to Mischievous Fairy's proud answer and shot an arrow towards the sky.
And, as I looked towards the Blade Lizard who rampaged unable to get the Metallic Thread off, this is bad, I muttered. The several layers of Metallic Thread were unable to withstand it and started creaking loudly.
"Stay quiet for a little longer! ——【Clay Shield】!"
The Blade Lizard received a push-up by the mud wall again, its head shook and its movements dulled. In that moment I jumped on its head again, I wrapped the Metallic Thread around my hands and tightened the Blade Lizard mouth's binding more strongly.
In order to prevent it from using HP absorption by biting, I tied up its mouth with Metallic Thread.
In order to recover the HP that decreased, the Thorn Token tried to shake me off and bite me.
It rampaged with all its strength, rolled on the ground to shake me off.
Unable to defend, just by the Blade Lizard's attempt to shake me off by charging at the wall of thorns, 60% of my HP disappeared. Still, I endured it clenching my teeth without releasing the Metallic Thread.
And, as the rampaging Blade Lizard once again charged into the wall, my death through the collision's damage was decided.
My visibility dimmed, although my strength in my limbs loosened for a moment I immediately brought myself back with Revival Medicine and again, tightened the thread.
As the Blade Lizard repeatedly hit the wall with its body, I revived myself from death each time.
After I revived myself six times, it abruptly fell down.
The Blade Lizard Thorn Token had bent backwards and from a small gap in its closed mouth had protruded a tongue with thin thorns, letting out hoarse breath it fell to the side.
The Thorn Token couldn't be defeated with just slip damage.
And, the one who decided it with the last attack was—— the Mischievous Fairy.
"I'm the best! Guiding in was perfect!"
The arrow shot into the air was manipulated with her wind and had brilliantly pierced through the last rose on the back of the Blade Lizard.
"Thanks. If not for you I wouldn't have won."
"Fufun. You can praise me more!"
"You're getting carried away."
To heal my wounded body and to fix the broken armour I used a High Potions and MP Potion. My HP was recovered and the armour would recover its durability by absorbing my MP through the effect of 【Auto Repair】.
"Still, I'm fed up with fighting in such disadvantageous conditions. Next time, I'm fighting with overwhelming advantage."
I spoke as if swearing to myself.
The wall of thorns stretched in the surroundings also went loose and dove into the ground, on the other side Ryui and Zakuro, as well as piglet were waiting.
"I'm back. Sorry to worry you."
I gently pat the animals one by one and then leaning on a tree nearby, I let out a large sigh.
If not for that last blow my Revival Medicine might have ran out before enemy died.
The third Thorn Token had the rose weakness in three places. This time it was one eye, tail, and between the scales on the back.
I shot the arrow into the air and had the Mischievous Fairy guide it after which I tied the Blade Lizard's mouth with Metallic Thread, and the arrow had pierced through the rose weakness.
Through putting my body on the line I bought time, and thus we won.
If the guided arrow missed or if my restraint was broken off resulting in my HP being absorbed, or my Revival Medicine was exhausted, I would have died and had to return to town.
There was a lot to reflect upon. But, now I was really tired.
Unable to think immediately after fight, I took a moment of rest in the shade and the gentle wind.
Chapter 4 - The Age-Faking Medicine and the Demon
I rested for a while and performed a check on the equipment and situation.
The third Thorn Token, Blade Lizard was clearly stronger than the Arachne that was the first and Moor Frog that was the second. And, above all it used a wall of thorns making sure it won't go favourably for the players.
Meanwhile, the Mischievous Fairy had shown a big reaction as if she had noticed something.
"Ah!! There's a presence of the fourth nearby!"
"I'm going back. Why do I have to fight a series of battles."
"Ehhh, our cooperation was the strongest! Let's go, come on, let's!"
The Mischievous Fairy shook my shoulder with her small body.
After the splendid victory against the Blade Lizard the Mischievous Fairy got carried away and tried to lead me towards where the last Thorn Token was.
I also prompted, raised my heavy hips and we started walking. As we approached the border of the area, the piglet began to squeal.
"Oh? What is it?"
"This kind can't go out of here, so it seems that's as far as it'll come with us."
The piglet stood still on the boundary of the area. Although I forgot since we were moving together with Ryui and Zakuro, but the Big Boar's young beast wasn't my tamed mob.
I didn't add it to become my comrade, but I still felt some regret despite the short time. However, I couldn't afford to continue staying in this place.
"Sorry. But, will you play with us next time we come?"
The piglet let out an energetic voice and started running towards the depths of the forest. The Mischievous Fairy sitting on my shoulder had responded "I'll look forward to it" in the piglet's place.
Well then, let's come back here sometime soon. As I decided so, at the same time I was surprised by the fact that Mischievous Fairy can translate the young beast's speech. Aren't her simple specs a bit too high?
While the mystery of the fairies had grown deeper, ahead of where I was guided too by the preceding, triumphant Mischievous Fairy——
"...i-it seems... like some kind of horribly dangerous existence stands in front of us."
"Yup. It's an absolutely worst guy. I can't do anything about it either."
"H-heck! He's spitting something from his mouth!"
Steam spouted from its mouth and a heat haze flickered in between his sharp fangs.
The opponent seemed like a Thorn Token parasitising on a Hobgoblin.
As a result, his body turned huge and changed into that of a muscular Demon. Between the two horns there were twisted thorns that let out white and black electrical discharges. His ominous silhouette was burned into my eyelids.
"The number of roses is four, huh."
On one of his completely white eyes there was one blooming rose, two more on right shoulder and the neck, last one at its left breast.
The club that Hobgoblin had originally was integrated into the change and turned into a green thorned bat.
"Weeell, that's some bad luck. If the order we beat them in was different, it might have been easier."
"This is the worst. I wanted to enjoy clearing the quest more."
"Anyway, just think of it as of bad luck and go try it!"
In other words, it was the strongest type of Thorn Token and I have to face it when it's in the strongest possible state.
No, not yet, I can still do it. From the battles so far I found out that their weakness are their flowers. I'll beat it here and now!
"Do your best!"
I raised the bow and aimed it at the rose weakness in the eye.
The shot I released from the from headed straight for the Demon Thorn Token, but a wall of thorns that appeared from under the ground had blocked it.
*pshh*, the hindered arrow fell to the ground. And, the Demon that noticed my attack had slowly opened up the wall of thorns and started walking my way. In meantime, the arrow that was stepped on broke like a twig.
"AAhhh! I could still use that arrow if I recovered it!"
"Is that what worried you the most? Hey, it's coming! It's here!"
Opening his white eyes, the Demon roared. As it proceeded a single step the ground was crushed under his feet and then, what appeared was mountain of something that looked like walnuts, bigger than the Demon's fist.
The Demon grasped it with one hand and then swung the green barbed bat, striking it.
From the sound, it actually seemed like something like a fruit inside a hard shell.
"Haa? HAAaAAa?! A long-distance attack?!"
"Avoid! Avoid it!"
Immediately after he punched the walnut with the bat, it flew straight towards the sky. However, the shell exploded in the air after a few seconds and small grains poured at me like a shotgun.
Unable to even avoid it, I received the storm of the small pieces with my body.
Before I realized, I was lying on my back.
"Khh, oww. What the hell. So it has ranged attacks?"
It was a greater range than that from which I was shooting at the Moor Frog. I intended to fight by attacking safely from a distance, but it was within the enemy's range as well.
"Meh, I need to refocus myse——"
That's when I noticed, the identity of the small seeds I have received with my body. They rapidly sprouted and grew, small thorns tied up my hands and legs, pressing me down onto the ground.
"You need to hurry and run! That Thorn Token is coming!"
"I know! Khh, 《Enchant》 ——Attack!"
As expected, they didn't erode my body, but with abnormal growth rate they restrained my body. I pulled out the knife from the belt at my waist and tried to cut them apart, but their number wouldn't decrease.
"Damn, all right, they're off!"
While I cut apart the thorns with one hand, from my waist and below was covered by green thorns. And, as I raised my head seeing a shadow over me, I met the Demon's white eyes.
Immediately after that, I received a blow from a straight swing of the thorned bat and my body fell apart.
My vision darkened and the menu displayed an option of using a Revival Medicine.
Even if I revived myself, I would be still tied up by thorns and the Demon was nearby. In that case I would have been taken down immediately, so I obediently chose to return after dying. My body had gradually turned into particles of light.
"...hey, what do we do?"
"What do you mean by what do we do?"
The two of us sat down on the floor of the dimly-lit 【Atelier】's workshop and started thinking.
No matter what I try, I don't feel like I have a chance of winning against that Thorn Token.
In that case, there were three methods that could be used.
First, gathering comrades to fight it. A party battle.
Second, strengthening equipment and increasing damage efficiency.
Third, self-improvement through leveling.
"Then the one we can do right away is to gather a party! Let's find someone immediately!"
"Before that... my bow's string snapped so it's impossible."
While saying so, I showed the string on the Black Maiden's Longbow to the Mischievous Fairy.
After consecutive battles and that last attack, the first thing that broke was the string.
"Well, I will have to show this to Lyly."
"Mgrr, what. And here I wanted to free the Fairy Village as soon as possible."
"It can't be helped, right? Eh, let's just do what we can."
I raised my hips heavily and immediately contacted Lyly. He was actually in the store at the moment, so I got an appointment with him.
"Now then, I need to follow up with Ryui and Zakuro."
I re-summoned Ryui and Zakuro who were forcibly dismissed at the moment of my death and return.
Most likely worried about me as I returned after death, the first thing Zakuro did was to jump towards my chest and squealed repeatedly, meanwhile Ryui had continued to head-butt me in dissatisfaction. And, for some reason Mischievous Fairy looked in our direction with a huge grin.
"What is it."
"No, I just though you sure are loved."
Hearing that, "it's not so bad to be worried about" I thought and after calming down the two, we went to visit 【Lyly's Woodworking Shop】.
"Welcome, Yuncchi. You said the string snapped, but, could you show it to me immediately?"
"Yeah, its like this..."
Lyly continued examining the outstretched bow for a while and immediately derived what was the reason for the damage.
"It looks like the endurance of the bow itself dropped. Just putting a new string on it might not suffice. Did you receive an attack in close combat or something?"
"Uhh, well, yes. A several times."
Several times I received attacks strong enough to make me use revival Medicine. But I can't tell him that.
"Ehh, even though we're almost in the Fairy Village..."
I held down the Mischievous Fairy's mouth, silencing her. Don't hurry him like that, I wanted to rebuke her, but Lyly already concentrated on his work and didn't hear what she said.
After taking out materials for a string Lyly growled and then stared at me.
"Hey, Yuncchi. If I'm not wrong you have Metallic Thread and Bamboo Fibre, don't you."
"Yep, I have some of the ones I made with 【Synthesis】 and materials for synthesis."
Certainly, I did have the Metallic Thread I made using 【Synthesis】 with Emily-san and the Bamboo Fibre I made out of Magical Bamboo.
"Could you pass some of it to me? I want to try to see whether to use the same string or one of those."
"Then I'll give you what I have now."
With that said, I took out the copper, iron and silver Metallic Thread, as well as Bamboo Fibre and gave them up.
Lyly aligned a few dozen of them, raised up to make sure they aren't spreading out and then made a string.
And then, with a serious expression he put the string on the bow for me to try and passed it to me.
I pulled the string once. With a string made out of Copper Metallic Thread on, I felt like the previous one was better.
As neither I nor Lyly were satisfied with it, we tried once again after replacing the string.
We have repeated that several times and once we went through the strings made out of expensive Metallic Thread, for the last one I pulled the string made out of Bamboo Fibre.
"Yup, this is it. Sound and everything is different."
The Silver Metallic Thread wasn't bad either. But, compared to the powerful sound and tension of the Bamboo Fibre, it was several levels below.
"I'll re-tension it immediately, carefully this time."
After saying that, Lyly re-tensioned the Bamboo Fibre string on the Black Maiden's Longbow.
"So the difference is that big. Bamboo Fibre is a hassle to make, but it isn't an expensive material. I guess it has great compatibility with bows."
"You're right. Metallic Thread is too strong so it'll make the bow's durability decrease faster instead, so it's not suitable for a Longbow or a Strongbow. For those it might be best to use something like a fibre made of a large mob's tendon."
After saying so, Lyly adjusted the string to my level and removed it again.
"I'll adjust the main part of the bow carefully later. Also, I don't know what did you lose against, but don't be too reckless."
"Yeah, I got it. I'll try leveling a bit, forming a party and then challenging it."
I paid Lyly for replacing the string and left the store.
Sitting on top of my head, she peeked into the same pot. On the side, I had a book open.
"Hey, aren't you going to get stronger?"
"I'll get stronger with this."
"Normally, doesn't getting stronger mean defeating enemies and fighting?"
"Heey, say something. Respond to my question〜."
After moving to my shoulder, the fairy started slapping my cheek with her small hands.
Since I remained silent she got bored of it and flew towards Ryui and Zakuro who were lying on a cool part of the workshop, then entered between Zakuro's tails.
In the first place, with death penalty after dying and returning there was no way I could do any proper hunting, so I calmly did crafting in the 【Atelier】.
Finally the noise subsided. I heaved a sigh of relief and looked towards the recipe book.
"Myurel Change Grass, Vitality Tree's Fruit, the male and female Mandragoras to become a catalyst, now——"
I traced the recipe in the book with my finger, checking the materials.
This recipe was one of the ones included in the book from the raid quest's reward that was called 【Private Pharmacopoeia】, one of the few for making a story potion.
The story in the book said that it was a magical medicine for treating baldness, and there was a recipe for making 【Hair-Growth Medicine】 and a 【Hair-Shortening Medicine】.
The Myurel Change Grass was one of the materials I received from the Making Box I got during the summer camp event and its random delivery, after many failures of replication I increased the material's number.
The Vitality Tree's Fruit grew on my field. And, the male and female Mandragora was a drop from Mandragora and served as a magic catalyst.
Other than this, there were a lot of recipes that used a large number of existing materials.
Although I picked it because of the appropriate degree of difficulty, there was also another reason for which I had to make this one.
"In order to stop people from treating me as a woman I need to shorten my hair."
Saying so, I lightly scooped up my long black hair.
Since I received bodily correction making me more feminine, I was mistaken for a woman time after time again. In order to become more manly, even if just a little, I'm going to shorten my hair.
"I'll definitely complete 【Hair-Shortening Medicine】."
Actually, 【Hair-Shortening Medicine】 was just a bonus recipe, but I needed it.
【Hair-Growth Medicine】 used Male Mandragora and 【Hair-Shortening Medicine】 used Female Mandragora, but the procedure was almost the same.
First the male or female Mandragora was shredded, grated and crushed.
After crushing it with the pulverizer, I further decreased the size using a mortar. And, once I finished the time-consuming creation of the catalyst, I put it aside.
The next part of work, was mixing a fixed ratio of High Potion and MP Potion and warm it up and boil carefully as not to let it dry out.
"Until it boils from slow heating up, I need to process Myurel Change Grass."
I need to grind the Myurel Change Grass and mix it with juice taken from Vitality Tree's Fruit.
I cut it into a several dozen pieces loosely with a kitchen knife and ground it on the mortar until juice had come out, after that, I added Vitality Tree Fruit's juice, turning it yellow.
The Myurel Change Grass had changed into a paste in the mortar. I will put and mix it with the liquid boiling on low heat, once combined, I will add the catalyst I prepared in advance and scoop up the supernatant.
"To make this a mountain of herbs was used and what comes out is just several bottles, so it's not profitable."
It was one of the reasons I couldn't try this recipe before. If I were to use the same amount of materials, I should just create a different potion. But now, I favoured experience over the efficiency, so I made this potion.
"Now, I'll put the mixture of Myurel Change Grass and Vitality Tree Fruit's juice in two kettles, once I put in male and a female Mandragora's catalyst they'll both be complete. There."
In two small kettles, I slowly boiled a 【Hair-Growth Medicine】 and a 【Hair-Shortening Medicine】. I mixed them carefully, once the liquid had thickened a little big bubbles started forming and burst.
"It'll take more than twenty minutes until I put the catalyst in. In meantime, let's replenish the items I used up."
The arrows I used in the combat, the Highpots and MP Potions, as well as Revival Medicine need to be replenished or I won't be able to participate in combat next time.
I had to take my eyes off the potion for a while, but on my higher-level equipment that had a function preventing from drying, so there was no problem.
"First, I need to make some Revival Medicine. After that, synthesising arrows. Also, stat-increasing Boost Tablets."
I listed up potions to make and immediately prepared the materials for mixing. Since Revival Medicines had a chance of failure when using a skill, I created them manually. For the rest of items, I crafted them by using crafting skills and MP.
Since I had the intermediate materials for the Revival Medicine prepared, I only mixed the optimal amounts and there were no problems in particular. Rather, I checked up on the 【Hair-Growth Medicine】 and 【Hair-Shortening Medicine】 and there was still time remaining.
"Hmm. Let's organise the items then."
I muttered in the workshop.
I organised the materials I have recently acquired and frequently-used items. Also, I sorted the equipment I have acquired during the quests and in dungeons.
"This is the 【Dark Wolf's Armour】, huh. There's nowhere to put it in the 【Atelier】. Maybe I should sell it next time. But, it would be a waste."
I took out the unique whole-body equipment 【Dark Wolf's Armour】 and checked it. Other than that, there were Iron Swords and Knives, maybe I should turn them into ingots or sell them straight to NPC. Lining up the selected equipment side by side I growled.
As I did that, there was an existence moving which attracted my gaze.
"Ushishishi, there's no way I can give up on mischief in such a fun situation."
The Mischievous Fairy peeked out from between Zakuro's tails, her line of sight was directed towards the automatic anti-burning kettles and the recipe book beside it.
"Oh-ho, Myurel Change Grass and Vitality Tree's juice. Then... the Antidote Potion I sneaked out, a Dried Mushroom, after that the confusion-inducing 【Confusion Grass】 and charm-inducing 【Charm Weed】 one each, and finally my 【Fairy's Scales】 to all of that."
The Mischievous Fairy had secretly put in the pot various items she sneaked out or just moved around from another spot, in the end, making her wings tremble slightly she spilled a powder from her wings which merged with the 【Hair-Shortening Medicine】.
"And last, the female Mandragora's catalyst——"Hey, the heck are you doing!"——dang it, I was found! But it's too late now!"
While I let my eyes off it, the Mischievous Fairy put a Mandragora catalyst into each kettle.
With an iron cage in my hands I hurried over to the kettles.
The catalysts were already put in and the firepower under the kettle increased all at once, powered by the Mischievous Fairy's wind.
The viscous content of the bottle had let out a nasty scent as it started to boil intensely and the fluid inside the kettle changed into bright orange, a colour different from the one described by the recipe.
"What, this i——"
Before I could finish speaking, the contents of the kettle exploded.
*puffun*, I received a direct hit from a very comical explosion and fell on my butt on the floor. My entire body was bathed in the orange liquid as well as red and pink smoke.
Reacting to the explosion in the workshop Ryui and Zakuro hurriedly stood up and took distance from the kettle.
"*cough*, *cough*... damn, I forgot about the Mischievous Fairy. There goes my precious Hair-Shortening Potion."
I coughed several times and looked at the orange liquid boiling over. I knew that something else was made from what I originally intended. With the explosion the origin of fire disappeared and the boiling in the two kettles subsided.
"Geez, the pricey materials are all ruined...hmmm?!"
What do I do to clean this up, I tried scratching my head and realized. No, it can't be, I thought, but I stood up.
"Up we go. Somehow, my line of sight is low, or rather, my limbs shortened..."
I realized something I didn't want to realize and my face paled.
"W-WHAT THE HELLLLLL?!!"
That's when the culprit, the Mischievous Fairy showed up in front of me.
"Fufufu! How's it! The effect of the secret elixir handed down among the Mischievous Fairies."
"Yes, everyone thought of it at least once. 'I don't want to become an adult', 'I want to be a kid forever'. This is the Elixir of Neverland that fulfils those thoughts! This is the 【Age-Faking Medicine】!"
"W-what did you saaay!"
I confirmed it by touching my body all over. Height-wise I returned to about ten years old, my features also seemed considerably younger.
If only the hair had shortened together with it, but it remained long.
"Hey! Is there a way to turn back?! Is there one?!"
I clasped the fairy who had a smug expression on her face with my small hands and tried to force her to tell me a way of returning back to normal.
"Sto〜oo〜op, it feels horriblee〜."
Because I was agitated, I shook the Mischievous Fairy strongly. Her eyes turned spun and she went limp on my palm.
"You'll go back to normal once the medicine's effect wears off, just put up with it until then."
"Is it really all right? Or maybe there's a recipe to turn me back——"
When I opened the menu and checked the recipes, certainly there was an addition of 【Age-Faking Medicine】, but there was no recipe for one with opposite effect.
"I want the reverse recipe! A recipe to turn adult!"
"There is one, but you don't have enough Myurel Change Grass do you?"
Told so, I confirmed the material stored in a box. Although there was some remaining, there wasn't enough to recreate the potion again.
"...I'm out of ideas."
As I sat down on the floor depressed, Zakuro had come up to me and licked my fingertips as to cheer me up as to console me.
After dazedly looking around, I recalled that I need to clean up after the explosion and slowly stood up.
The supernatant liquid remaining in the kettle——originally it should have been 【Hair-Shortening Medicine】, had changed into red 【Age-Faking Medicine】. On the other hand, the 【Hair-Growth Medicine】 that used Male Mandragora as a catalyst wasn't dabbled with, so despite spilling, it was completed.
In the end, I had three potions of red 【Age-Faking Medicine】 and five 【Hair-Growth Medicine】 potions.
After I finished the clean up, I heaved a sigh and noticed.
Even after the death penalty time had passed, probably because I turned into a child all of my stats were lowered, my limbs were shortened, my line of sight was lower and I sometimes stumbled.
As I have become powerless, there was nothing for me to do.
"What do I do? What should I do?"
"Yun-oneechan! I've come, are you here?"
I timidly opened the door connecting with the store slightly and confirmed what's happening.
"Myu-san, you'll cause trouble if you speak so loudly."
"Hey, I'mma with Rirei replenishin' MP Potions, what'cha gonna buy, Hino, Toutobi?"
"Hmm, I'll buy High Potions and sandwiches. Also, Boost Tablets and Enchant Stones."
"Righ', decided eh."
Myu's party was visiting and everyone bought whatever they needed from Kyouko-san the NPC.
I imagined what would happen were I to be found now and decided to pretend not to be here.
"It's fine. As long as I stay silent they'll lea"Yeah, I'm here! Just come in."..."
I looked towards where the voice had come from. The Mischievous Fairy had a huge grin on her face seeing her mischief succeed. She manipulated the wind to imitate my voice, calling Myu over.
Why, she's clearly high-spec, so why does she use it for pranks! This damn fairy!
"All right! We got permission from Onee-chan! Let's go!"
"Really, Myu-san you're..."
"This is bad, really bad! I don't know what she'll do to me if she finds me!"
I caught the fairy as not to let her do any other pranks and closed her mouth with my hand.
Ryui noticed that Myu and others are coming in and hid himself with an illusion, Zakuro along with the Mischievous Fairy had entered my arms.
"I need to hide somewhere! Somewhere to hide!"
In the organised workshop, there was no space to hide other than that under the table.
"I'll escape through the window! Heck, it's a bit too high?!"
Since I shrunk, I couldn't escape through the window for lighting and ventilation, it was too late to escape using a chair or a table.
"Isn't there something, something... there is!"
I used the thing that caught my attention to hide.
Immediately after I finished hiding, Myu opened the door and entered the workshop. It seems like I barely made it in time to hide.
"Eh? Straange. I'm sure I heard Onee-chan's voice."
"Yes, I heard it as well."
Myu tilted her head, puzzled, and looked towards Lucato.
Then, Kohaku and Rirei with the others peeked inside the workshop.
"What eh, Yun-san ain't here? Maybe she turned back to real or summat?"
"Fufufu, then won't she come back if we wait a little?"
As Rirei made that remark, "that's true" others agreed and sat down inside.
Since stopping by a crafter's workshop was unusual, everyone looked around with great interest.
I continued to hide while praying they leave the workshop as soon as possible.
Although the Mischievous Fairy tried to shake her head and escape from my hands, but if I let her do that I would have been exposed.
Then, Myu and the others who looked at everything in the workshop without touching, had slowly approached where I was.
"So the equipment is put down here."
"...you're right. Since Yun-san doesn't have 【Smithing】 Sense, it must be all drops from adventures."
"Isn't it just prepared for turning into ingots? Also, some might be for decorating the store. This one is the raid quest's unique equipment after all."
While saying so, Myu stared intently at the place I hid in.
The place I hid in, was inside the armour I took out for organising. I took Zakuro and the Mischievous Fairy inside, covering my shrunken body with it to hide.
"Hmm. Seems like Onee-chan isn't coming back, let's leave for today then."
Myu said that and started walking towards the workshop's door. Yess, I wasn't found. The moment I thought so——*kshun*. A sound could be heard.
In this important moment, to think Zakuro would sneeze. An improbable ambush from a different existence blanked my thinking.
Myu had accurately pin-pointed the source of the voice and moved in front of the armour, then removed the armour's clasp.
Someone muttered that. No, it might have actually been me. The moment my eyes met Myu's, I gave up on escaping.
"Kyahhhhhh! Onee-chan, what's up with that appearance?!"
Staring Myu let out a shrill voice and hugged me strongly from the front. She crushed Zakuro and the Mischievous Fairy between us, she had quickly noticed they were in pain and moved away slightly, but the hands placed on my shoulders wouldn't let go no matter what.
"Why?! Why is it! Why is it that you turned so small?! So cute! Yun-oneechan!"
Agitated all alone, Myu put her hands on my sides and lightly lifted my shrunken body, pulling me out of the mountain of armour. Even with my body shrunken the basic equipment automatically adjusted itself to the body size, so I didn't have to worry about my pants slipping down, but being lifted up was very, very scary.
"Myu-san, Yun-san is troubled."
"Haa, oh right! Why did you try to hide something this interesting?! Onee-chan!"
"You're the reason!"
I cried out, refuting.
After that, Myu and the others wanted a detailed explanation, so I was sat down in the chair where my legs didn't reach the floor.
At the same time Myu hugged me from behind, completely treating me like a child.
The Mischievous Fairy was released and she sat down on the table, flailing her feet freely and Zakuro was nestled in my arms. He stiffened with tension seeing this many people. And Ryui was still using an illusion to hide.
Surely, looking from the front, Myu, me and Zakuro must have been seen as an arrangement of big, medium and small.
"Hawahhhh, this comfortable hugginess. This springy, specific to children skin, sweet milky scent, smooth hair. Why are you charming me so, Onee-chan! No, Yun-chan!"
"Why did you rephrase it? Rather, I'm not charming you! Let go, Myu!"
"No! How cute you are. I'm the youngest child so I wanted a younger brother or sister, you see〜. Such squishy cheeks, spreading 【Charm】 bad status all over, what a bad girl!"
"Stop screwing around already!"
I tried to push away Myu's face, and although I resisted, everyone looked at me as if my defiant expression must have been treated as tantrum of a cheeky little girl.
Still, possibly because of the huge difference in physique and stats, I couldn't even resist properly.
"Umm... so it's Yun-san after all. It seems so judging from the clothes, but, why did this happen?"
"It's genuinely me. My Mischievous Fairy had changed the potion I was creating into something else for a prank."
Hearing Lucato's words I sighed and stared at my own long black hair. Normally, by now I should have had my hair shortened with 【Hair-Shortening Medicine】. The culprit, Mischievous Fairy was now flying around, laughing.
"Yun-oneechan, you turned so cute."
"I'm not cute!"
I tried to twist my body to escape Myu who was patting my head, but since her hand was embracing me over my belly, I couldn't escape. Seeing as I couldn't strongly reject her as she looked at me with a slovenly smile, I realized I was really spoiling my little sister.
"This is no good. Truly no good."
Rirei muttered quietly. She was trembling in anger aimed towards the girl who were calm in face of my turning into a little girl. Seeing her words of pity towards me in this situation, I felt like crying in defeat.
"Certainly, Yun-san is a beauty. Therefore, these clothes suited her, but now she's a cute little girl! In which case, she doesn't look good in dark clothes, thus, change."
"You, what'cha saying upon others' misfortune. Still, 'dat does feel inappropriate. We puttin' a ribbon on?"
Kohaku retorted amazed, but had casually joined her, taking out a white ribbon and a brush. Myu who received it had started fiddling with my hair happily.
"Haa, do whatever you want."
"Then, I'll take you up on those words."
When I looked up, she had started changing my hairstyle into various ones with a great smile.
A ponytail, braids, buns, a comb-up, weave with braid. Putting my hair on my forehead, tying a ribbon on top of my head, changing position my hair stopped in. She enjoyed herself with my black hair in any way she came up with. Meanwhile, my spirit was shaved away and I got fed up with it.
As I couldn't hide my grumpy mood, Myu had come up with a demand.
"Don't get so angry. Like this, make a smile."
"Haa, just release me already."
"Ehh〜, ain't it fine. Just a for a little bit."
I heaved a sigh, lowered my face once and calmed myself.
And, when I raised my head back up, I put on a perfect smile and tilted my head as a bonus.
Then, after a moment of silence that descended——
Suddenly, Rirei had collapsed and Kohaku had supported her in a hurry.
"Fufufu, hitting on me? Or maybe inviting me? Having a big smile of an innocent girl aimed at me is a great reward, isn't it."
Supported by Kohaku, Rirei made an ecstatic expression.
"Aww, as I thought, Yun-oneechan. I'll be taking you home like this!"
I stopped smiling and together with Zakuro in my arms, we protested. Since Rirei and Myu broke the mood in the place, the atmosphere felt a bit awkward.
In order to change that, I diverted the topic.
"Hey, speaking of which, why did everyone come to the 【Atelier】?"
"Eh, ohh, that's right."
At first unable to understand the meaning of my words, mystified, Lucato panicked. I thought it was a bit cute, at the same time I confirmed that she forgot all about it in this situation.
"We're just replenishing items in the middle of Fairy Quest."
At this surprisingly ordinary answer, I lacked words to respond with.
That's right. A skilled party won't be one-sidedly massacred like I was. I muttered in my mind and patted Zakuro in my arms.
"All of them are weak and boringg! I want to fight a stronger opponent! I wonder if someone got one like that."
"...it's all right to proceed with the quest easily, but it does feel like a slight let-down."
Said Myu, who languid put her chin on top of my head, and Lucato who wished to get a firmer challenge during the quest.
"Well, I'm fine with them being easy. Although the mobs get much stronger, because their compatibility is normal, they aren't all that strong."
Hino alone felt glad it was easy and spoke while stretching her body.
"In that case, I sure would like it if you helped out with mine."
"How far did you progress, Onee-chan?"
"I'm at fourth token, a Hobgoblin."
When I responded, the colour in Myu's party eyes changed.
"Onee-chan! We'll help! The stronger the enemy, the better experience! I want a formidable enemy!"
Myu swung her fist as she said so.
"Then I'll pull out of the party this time. Is that fine?"
Since parties had an upper limit of six people, to help me with the quest this time mean that one person had to leave Myu's party. This time, Hino volunteered to do so.
"See, if I attack the enemy I'll gather too much hate so it would be hard to control it. So, I'll just watch from behind."
"Roger! Then that's it for talking!"
Myu and the others ignored me and progressed with the talk.
Immediately after, I received an invitation to party from Myu and at the same time I accepted she brought me out of the 【Atelier】 while saying "This is it!".
"Myu! Wait until the medicine's effect expires!"
"I won't! Now, let's go! Yun-oneechan's fairy, guide us."
"Leave it to me! This way!"
"Y-you traitor! H-hey, uwahh?! Stop, put me down!"
I was made to ride on Myu's shoulders.
I tried to struggle and get away somehow, but my thighs were firmly pressed down. I could only move my knees and below, I also tried to resist by hitting Myu's back with one of my hands, but she wouldn't budge because of my lowered stats.
"Put me down! People are looking! Don't carry me like this!"
"Haa haa, this sight of a little girl flailing her arms and legs."
"Cut it. We goin' to be fightin' a Thorn Tokn' classified as strong."
Rirei was warned by Kohaku. But rather than that I'd like her to do something about Myu carrying me in such embarrassing manner.
"...it's kind of... cute."
"How do I say it, it's a pleasant sight."
O' Toutobi and Lucato. This is only pleasant to the people looking, the person itself has to endure the same in the presence of an entire company here!
I held Zakuro even stronger and faced downwards.
I wonder if it was that interesting, as all of Myu party's fairies have shown up at once.
In a party full of girls, one of them was happily carrying me. In the surroundings, one could see fairies dance happily.
The spreading of this happening and the upsurge of the pervert gentlemen on a certain message board, is a story for another time.
In the end, the 【Age-Faking Medicine】's didn't show any signs of expiring and with me still looking like a little girl we have arrived where the Hobgoblin Thorn Token was.
"Are you ready?"
"Not at all. I didn't bring anything with me."
As Lucato spoke to me to confirm, I could only respond with that.
The weapon I used when I fought him a few hours ago was left with Lyly and been repaired. I had no means of attacking, so in order to escape anxiety I went into the back together with Ryui and Zakuro.
"Oohhhh, so that's a Hobgoblin changed into a super mob. Looks strong."
Ahead of our line of sight, the Demon stood up in high spirits. As expected, no wonder he'll notice us if we come at it from the front.
"Well then, Luka-chan, Tobi-chan! Let's go!"
"Yes. Leave the front to me."
"Let's decide it with a swift attack."
Scatter! With that instruction of Lucato's, Myu and Toutobi headed to the left and right, leaving Lucato in the front raising her bastard sword.
The Demon's thorned bat and the bastard sword clashed, then using the recoil of their attacks they followed up with another attack.
A roundhouse slash. Instead of resisting the recoil, Lucato used it to deliver continuous attacks by slashing as she pivoted on her feet and twisted her body.
It was an action that left her open in PVP, but it was effective means of fighting against a sluggish mob.
As she forcibly modified the trajectory over which the Demon's thorn bat travelled, Myu and Toutobi alternated coming close to the mob and dealt small amounts of damage.
"It's the last Thorn Token so it has considerably high defence."
"Yer' right. Well, the weaknesses are kinda high so it's gonna be hard to get 'em."
Kohaku agreed with my murmur.
And the remaining rear guard——
"Haa, haa, fufufu, together with a little girl. With a little girl."
As Rirei slowly closed on me, Hino who was outside of the party this time had held her down by the nape of her neck.
I felt like a real crisis was coming and prayed it ends quickly and Myu comes back as soon as possible.
"Then, let's do it to end this fast. 《Zone Enchant》——Attack!"
By combining the enchant with 【Sky Eyes】 zone-type skill I put down a zone enchant on three people at the same time.
"For the sake of flirting with a little girl after this——《Fire Shot》!"
"O'well, I'll try aimin' as well. ——《Quick Blast》!"
Along with the disturbing words, even though Rirei's fire magic and Kohaku's wind magic aimed over Lucato's head, a wall of thorns appeared separating the vanguard from the rearguard which blocked the magic.
"As I thought, the enemy is strengthened even more with each stage. In various ways, too."
Unsurprised by the appearance of the wall of thorns, indifferently releasing magic, Kohaku adjusted the position of her glasses.
Since they constantly fired magic without a moment of pause, Rirei and Kohaku's MP was rapidly reduced, so I replenished their MP with a potion as they continued to destroy the wall.
"Fairies, it's yer turn! 'Dat wall, do somethin' 'bout it!"
" " "Everyone, chaaarge!!" " "
In response to Kohaku's words, Myu's and the others' fairies appeared all at once and started attacking as to overlap and add onto Rirei's and Kohaku's attacks.
Compared to my Mischievous Fairy these fairies had fairly offensive attacks, the attack power was strong enough to make me think it would defeat a weak Thorn Token, it had all continued to break the wall of thorns.
And, finally we were able to see the vanguard through the wall of thorns, but there was no significant damage dealt to the Demon.
The two sides——were at a stalemate.
"Hey, Kohaku? If I'm not wrong Myu and Toutobi hit him with their attacks. But, the enemy hardly received any damage."
"Yer right. After a wall of thorns, it's auto-recovery. My, Myu's gonna have fun with this."
Why the heck are you carefree. I swallowed those words and looked towards the front, the damage Myu and others dealt to the Thorn Token, even with the attack enchant, was all recovered by the auto-recovery ability.
"Isn't this getting worse instead?"
Although the Bastard Sword had blown away the thorn bat, shock transmitted through the sword had gradually scraped away Lucato's HP.
"Luka-chan, I'll heal you now. ——《Large Heal》!"
Myu withdrew far into the back and restored Lucato's HP. At this rate, the entire place would turn into a stalemate. Then, the demon could be seen making his move.
Raising a roar, inflating his muscles the Demon made the black and white electric shock between his warped horns to sparkle violently, painting our vision white.
"Damn!! My eyes..."
"Rirei, defence. ——《Wind Seal》"
"Fufufu, I know——《Flame Wall》"
The strong point of my 【Sky Eyes】, the great eyesight had caused a disaster, causing me unable to see after the dazzle. Also, feeling dull pain I squat down on spot, but someone had supported me from behind.
"Yun-chan, are you okay?"
"This voice? Hino? What's the situation? Heck, don't casually add -chan in there!"
Tehee, I heard Hino's laughter, but then she explained to me, who was currently blinded.
"Right now, Rirei and Kohaku, as well as Ryui are defending from an attack."
Rirei's fire wall and Kohaku's protection. Also, apparently Ryui's round water shield had protected us, the rearguards.
As I tried to look towards the front with my hazy sight, the Demons thorn bat's shotgun seed attack rained down on us, the three of them had protected us from it perfectly.
I have gradually recovered my vision, and among the seeds that rained down I saw Myu's and Lucato's appearance.
"Yun-san, as expected, continuous triggering of defence magic is harsh on MP, potions please."
Once again I used MP Potions on Kohaku and Rirei, then looked around broadly.
Lucato stood in front, Myu used magic from the back.
Although Myu's light barrier blocked the seeds, since some of them broke through the barrier at times, Lucato blocked them with her bastard sword.
While Myu and Lucato minimized the damage as much as possible, I couldn't see Toutobi's appearance.
"No way, was she taken down?"
Possibly, while I was blinded, Toutobi might have received a shotgun attack from close range or a direct blow from the thorn bat and was defeated. Then, I need to locate her figure as soon as possible and use a Revival Medicine. While such thoughts crossed my mind, Myu yelled.
"We have all the information on this strong mob! We got countermeasures for this attack too! Tobi-chan!"
"...I'm going! ——《Shadow Dive》 release!"
During the break in the seeds avalanche Myu gave a sign and then Toutobi's voice had echoed.
I looked around to find her, she was hiding in an unexpected place.
Suddenly, Toutobi who appeared behind the Demon slashed, scattering the rose at the Demon's neck. Receiving damage after being hit in the weakness, the demon turned around and swung the thorned bat at Toutobi, in response she——
The swung-down thorn bat grazed Toutobi's side and in an instant, she had moved behind the Demon. She cut the back of the Demon's knees with the dagger, making it fall on its knees.
"Fufufu, tie him up——《Flare Band》"
A band of flames created by Rirei wrapped around the Demon. Although he tried escaping from the band of loosely-wrapped flames, the more he tried to move the more it burned him and gradually bound him tightly.
"First, let's cut off those horns that get in the way! ——《Shock Impact》!"
Lucato's slash hit the Demon's horns while it was constrained and broke off both.
Although the Demon roared having his horn broken off, but the more he had rampaged the more band of flame had tightened. And while the band of flame restrained his motions, the comrades had continued attacking the Demon.
"I'll give you a return gift as well. ——《Sol Ray》!"
Myu who was stretching out defensive magic from behind Lucato released a converged beam of light, which pierced through the Demon's right shoulder and the rose on it, hollowing it out.
By destroying the weaknesses and characteristic parts, the damage dealt to the Demon increased all at once.
"Kohaku, it's about time my restraint expires."
"Then, leave it t' me! Yun-chan, enchant."
"Kohaku's adding -chan too?! 《Enchant》——Intelligence!"
Even though I retorted, I applied a magic-attack raising enchant on Kohaku.
Receiving an INT enchant Kohaku nodded with a smile, I couldn't tell whether it was to thank me for responding to her joke or for the enchant.
"Imma smash yer face as strong as I can! ——《Aero Canon》!"
Kohaku spread her fan, and as if fanning away, she fired an invisible shell.
At the same time Rirei's restraint disappeared it had landed straight on the Demon's face.
The muscular, tall Demon's body bent backwards and fell down, he received substantial damage to his face and head. The rose on the Demon's left eye had scattered when hit by the invisible shell. And for the last rose blooming on his left chest——
"...this is the end. ——《Heart Piercer》!"
Toutobi stood on top of the fallen Demon's upper body and triggered an Art at almost zero distance, striking his left chest.
Her wrist rotated as she thrust as if to gouge it, in response the rose on the Demon's chest scattered and the heart located behind it was pierced and broke down.
That blow had become the decisive factor, the Demon's body had stiffened for a moment, then warped and run out of strength.
And, at the same time as the fourth Thorn Token fell, the fairies raised a cry of joy.
"You did it! We're now one step closer to the Fairy Village!"
The Mischievous Fairy had clung onto my face, but there was something I was curious about and distracted me.
"So you're still adding -chan. Just stop it already. And more importantly, why was Toutobi unscathed?"
I wanted to know why, in the middle of a shotgun attack that was incredibly difficult to avoid, she appeared behind the Demon completely intact.
"Ah, that. Hmm, Toutobi? Will you explain to Yun-chan?"
Most likely, it's one of her trump cards. Kohaku can't explain what was it without permission, so she asked Toutobi once she returned.
"...since it's Yun-san, you won't spead information. That's the effect of my 【Concealment】 Sense's emergency avoidance skill, 《Shadow Dive》."
"《Shadow Dive》? You say you're diving in the shadow?!"
A skill allowing to enter a shadow space must have had a high versatility not limited to just avoidance.
"...certainly it's powerful, but it has limitations. While in 《Shadow Dive》 a large amount of MP is consumed. And, above all, it cannot be used in a place without a shadow."
Normally, the shadows are mostly available in caves and forests, as well as under large-sized mobs, there was also a combination with darkness magic.
This time she hid in the shadow of the demon the moment he had let out that strong flash of light and stayed concealed.
"Hee, there's still lots of skills I don't know."
Other than that, the skill that made the thorned bat go off its aim, 《Misdirection》 was an avoidance skill shifting the target of enemy's attack. 《Neck Hunt》 and 《Heart Piercer》 are dagger-type Arts that receive a high damage correction and critical rate when used on the specified locations.
In a build that uses various skills and arts, the combos were their real charm.
"As I thought, I should examine the characteristics of various skills and arts, huh."
For the typical Arts and skills, I read about them as I leveled up my 【Linguistics】 Sense from the books that were in the library, but for the higher Senses, it's all information I can learn from people who are using it.
"Fufufu, then, shall I teach you? I'll do it slowly, patiently."
"No! I'm fine!"
Before I realized Rirei stood behind me and whispered in a sticky voice, I took distance and refused at full power.
However, in the direction I moved to, Myu was waiting prepared and caught me.
"Hey, Yun-oneechan. We've helped you with the quest, so we'd like a reward."
"Haa, w-what do you want..."
"Let's seee, what would be good?"
With sparkle in her eyes, Myu wondered what to request of me.
Meanwhile, my body held in Myu's arms had began to spew out white smoke.
"Eh?!! This is..."
"Yess, I'm back to normal."
The effect of the 【Age-Faking Medicine】 that was applied on me disappeared and I returned to my original appearance. I confirmed by checking my face and limbs, and it seems like I was properly back to normal.
"That's great. I'm properly back."
"Tcheeh, and here I wanted you to wear cute clothes for a little girl."
Myu pursed her lips and complained. She casually tried to make a horrible request. It's really, really good that I returned back to normal, I was relieved from the bottom of my heart.
"Well, this time we could do some leveling with this strong mob, so let's just say you owe us one?"
Since Myu had no request for me in particular, it was decided that the matter of reward was to be postponed, all the members of her party have consented with that.
If it was known that some of the 【Age-Faking Medicine】 remained, I could imagine being forced to use it and played around with, so I kept silent about the amount left over and the existing recipe.
——【Limited Quest: Save The Fairy Village 2／4】——
Pass through the Fairy Circle and head to the Fairy Village.
Finally I have finally reached the stage where I can enter the Fairy Village.
When I thought that there's a strong boss mob even more powerful than Thorn Tokens, I felt it's absolutely impossible alone.
Chapter 5 - The Half-Beast Plant and the Fairy Queen
"Taku, it's impossible alone."
"Then gather comrades."
Even though I confided with him the unease I felt, my best friend who replenished his potions and Revival Medicine, Taku had responded bluntly.
"I told you it's impossible! Although I asked some of the store's regulars, either they already are in a party, or refused saying they're uneasy taking a crafter because of lacking battle strength."
"Yun, are your stats that low? Let me take a look."
Told so by Taku, I visualised my own Sense Status.
【Bow Lv41】 【Longbow Lv15】 【Sky Eyes Lv9】 【Speed Increase Lv30】 【See-Through Lv17】 【Magic Talent Lv46】 【Magic Power Lv50】 【Enchant Arts Lv28】 【Dosing Lv31】 【Cooking Lv27】
【Alchemy Lv33】 【Synthesis Lv34】 【Crafting Knowledge Lv35】 【Taming Lv9】【Engraving Lv3】 【Earth Element Talent Lv20】 【Swimming Lv13】 【Linguistics Lv20】
"With this you could somehow make it alone."
"What's your basis for saying that?"
After I stared at Taku, he explained his rationale.
"The quest boss' strength depends on the strength of the participating players, it seems like beginners can easily defeat it. On the other hand, with strong players participating apparently there's heaps of additional mechanics added."
"Then, in my case the boss will be weak?"
"There's a high possibility it may be so, but it might be just the opposite. Also, if there's few people, there's a possibility of matching you with others player in order to reduce the burden on the server, In which case you'll have to participate with other parties."
"What does that mean?"
"For example, if you go with a party of six, the boss battle will begin when another party joins in. The enemy's strength will be raised to match the participants. Is what it means."
After hearing Taku's explanation, I started puzzling over it.
If I join some party, I'll end up being carried, if I go alone I'll have to do a quest jointly with players I don't know and possibly hold them back.
Uhh, aaah, as I started growling out of worry, Taku heaved a grand sigh.
"Yun. Want to do the quest with our party?"
"Is that fine? Taku. Won't I be a burden to you?'
"You say that now."
"That was casually horrible of you."
That would mean that to Taku, I've been classified as a weakling, huh. Although I was tempted to protest, it was a fact, I couldn't refute since I was weak.
"Also, we've just received the quest too. If you miss this chance you'll have to look for a party again."
"G-got it. I'll get ready immediately!"
I rushed to the workshop part of the 【Atelier】 and hurriedly prepared my equipment.
Since I was going to face a quest boss this time, Ryui and Zakuro were staying home. Together with the Mischievous Fairy I performed a check on the equipment and consumables.
Although I prepared them after defeating the fourth Thorn Token, there was no party who would take me in for the quest and all of it was saved up until now. I took them out of the storage and moved them to my inventory.
"All right, preparations complete."
By the time I returned to the store part, Taku had just finished speaking with someone through friend call.
"Just got acknowledgement for your joining the party. We're going to meet up with Gantz and others now and have the fairies guide us afterwards."
"Leave it to me! I'll guide you to the Fairy Village's entrance——the Fairy Circle."
As she said so puffing up her chest, Taku smiled wryly at the Mischievous Fairy.
"Your Mischievous Fairy sure is energetic, Yun."
"Exactly, all she does is to drag me around."
When I said so with a shrug, Taku's fairy showed up. It was a male fairy, but it was pleasing to watch his figure dancing in the air together with the Mischievous Fairy as Taku guided me to a certain workshop.
"Sup'! Suddenly I hear that Yun-chan's participating, the party sure turns glamorous as the amount of girls in party increases."
"Gantz, stop ogling. But I am happy to see Yun-chan in the party again."
As we met, Gantz exuded "welcome" atmosphere at full force and Minute was appalled at his attitude. However, Minute also seemed positive about my sudden inclusion in the party.
"So, how is it?"
"How is what?"
Minute drew her face really close to mine, making me bend backwards a bit.
"I'm asking how did it happen that you're participating! What did you talk about?!"
With eyes full of expectations she prompted me to answer. That was a response which seemed like that of a girl wanting to listen to a love story, but unfortunately it wasn't anything that fun. In the first place, I'm a man.
"Just, as I was unable to find a party, Taku asked me if I want to come to yours and forced me to make a quick decision..."
"Kyaaa, Taku is quite the forceful type isn't he!"
No, really, how did she convert it in her brain to come up with that. It was just that I'll have to continue looking if I miss this opportunity.
"Minute, what are you doing?"
I had no idea how to respond to Minute who continued to talk excitedly, as I started to cringe Mami had joined us.
When I looked in her direction, there was Mami-san the mage in her mantle and Kei who asked a crafter to adjust his armour.
"Look, look Yun-chan has come!"
"Um, take care of me today."
"Hello, Yun-san. I'm taking good care of this kid here."
As Minute pressed onto my shoulders as I stood in front of Mami-san, she thanked me for the synthetic mob I previously made. Feeling grateful for her treasuring it, a smile had naturally spilled on my face.
"Kei too, take care of me today."
"Sorry about this, talking to you with such unsightly appearance."
"Since Kei is always clad in armour, it's more like stifling rather than unsightly."
"Shut up Gantz!"
As Gantz teased him with his cackling laughter, Kei had heaved a sigh calming down. Like this they unloaded the tension and enhanced their concentration, I guess the party's balance was good.
After a while Kei's armour adjustment was completed and he stood up.
"Well then, let's now have the fairies guide us to the Fairy Circle. Guide us, fairies."
" " "Leave it to us!" " "
With that said, the fairies preceded us flying in moderate distance away.
The location we were guided to was the forest on the west. As we advanced after the fairies, the scenery suddenly changed and we entered a small open space.
In the short grass, there was a space with grass squashed in a form of a circle——there was the Fairy Circle.
"Everyone, enter this circle! And then we'll go to Fairy Village!"
"Reminds you of the transition during the camp event, doesn't it."
Taku happily entered the circle as the first one. After that when everyone entered as if chasing after him, we understood that there was just enough space inside as to accomodate a party without having members bump into each other.
"Okay then, let's go. ——【Transfer】!"
" " "——【Transfer】!" " "
As the same time the fairies shouted, a white light had shone from the circle under our feet. It gradually grew stronger, at one point it was too dazzling to look at and we covered our eyes with our hands and closed our eyes.
Rather than the light-headedness of the transition, I couldn't feel anything for a while. And, once someone pat my shoulder, I fearfully opened my eyes.
What I saw, was the same circle we saw before and a forest with slightly overcast atmosphere.
——【Limited Quest: Save The Fairy Village 3／ 4】——
Head to the centre of the Fairy Village to save the Fairy Queen.
I checked the menu and judging we have arrived in the Fairy Village, I stepped out of the circle.
"This is Fairy Village? Looks different than I imagined it."
"After the monster came our Fairy Village turned harsh. That's why, we'll drive away the monster and retrieve our home!"
The Mischievous Fairy spoke vigorously, the other fairies also said they'll do their best and defeat the monster.
"Let's go with our cooperation like usual——"
Since the quest wouldn't proceed if we remained by the Fairy Circles forever, Taku had prompted us to move ahead, and that's when a Fairy Circle next to ours had started emitting light.
Looking at it from the outside, only a pillar of light has rose up and the glare couldn't be felt. Then, human figures appeared in the pillar of light, after which the light gradually subsided.
Inside of there——
"Fairy Village, we've arriiiived! ...hey, eh? It's Yun-oneechan and Taku-san!"
The party that had transferred to the Fairy Circle next to ours, was Myu's party.
"So we got matched because we entered the Fairy Circles at similar time?"
"Which means we'll do the quest jointly with Taku-san! Seeing the difficulty rise further makes me all thrilled!"
"Right? With a strong enemy it's easier to raise our levels!"
As Myu and Taku got fired up having the same opinion, I who was particularly weak in the group, would rather ask for the difficulty not to be further increased.
"Take care of us during today's joint quest."
"Yeah, same here. Let's have some good cooperation as vanguards."
Lucato and Kei exchanged brief greetings and they confirmed their movements as tanks. Also, Hino and Mami-san joined in, extending the talk of cooperation to the rear guard as well.
The number of people increased, the amount of patterns for coordination has also increased. Since the amount of new mechanics added to the quest was quite low, I could see some hope.
"...Yun-san, are you all right?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. I feel out of place as the only crafter, but I'm okay, probably."
That's right, I prepared enough High Potions and MP Potions to make sure I won't run out of them. I also replenished Revival Medicine so there shouldn't be any problems.
I closed my eys, it's all right, I said to myself calming my heart and opened my eyes again.
"HYAHOOOoo! The girl's ratio among participants went uppp!"
"Gantz, shut up! You're unpopular because you say things like that."
As Gantz made a guts pose, Minute lightly swung her mace at the back of his head.
Meanwhile, Rirei had drew close to Minute.
"Fufufu, let's get along today."
"Yes, take care of me."
"Also, once the quest is over, would you like to rest together somewhere? We'll take it slowly, carefully."
"Ahahaha, not just Yun-chan, but you're targeting me as well are you."
Rirei stared at Minute feverishly. As Minute's gaze wandered about, Gantz started to make noise with "it's hereeeeeee!".
"Rirei! You, troubling others again!"
In middle of this chaos Kohaku had made her entry and brought it to an end, somehow my nervousness before the start of the quest was blown away.
"I kinda feel my worries were silly."
"...well, it might be so."
I looked towards Toutobi who put on an embarrassed, wry smile and smiled in the same way.
It'll somehow work out, when I felt that, the next moment my 【See-Through】 Sense reacted.
There was a strong reaction from beneath my feet, I sprung away from the spot. Toutobi who also possessed 【See-Through】 also noticed it, both of us have looked towards a certain line and that moment——
"——A wall of thorns!"
The wall of thorns that appeared in front of us had rose up from the ground.
As the thorn wall's sudden emergence divided the party in two, the wall of thorns emerged all over the Fairy Village completing a maze.
I approached the wall and touched it. As I received damage upon contact, I pulled my hand away and raised my voice.
"Yun, calm down! We're fine!"
While I was relieved to hear Taku's reply, at the same time I grasped what was the situation.
Left on this side, was Toutobi, Rirei, Kohaku, Gantz, Minute and me, the six of us.
On the other side of the wall, judging by the voices I could hear, there was Taku, Myu, Lucato, Hino, Kei and Mami-san. It seems like we were split evenly into groups of six.
"Onee-chan, get away from it. I'll destroy this wall right away!"
"Haa?! Nono, wait!"
Wait a second. Before I could say it all, intense light had spilled over the wall above me, I hurriedly rolled to the side to avoid.
Immediately after, powerful light magic hit the wall. Other than that, Mami-san, as well as Rirei and Kohaku from our side had matched Myu's timing and attacked the wall of thorns from both sides, but no damage could be seen on it.
"This——it seems like it's treated as indestructible object, huh. Well, we can only meet up at the maze's exit."
Taku's calm analysis had echoed in the field.
"If there's something, let's contact each other by friend call. Is that fine?"
"G-got it! We'll somehow survive and head for the boss! Lucato and Kei, I leave Taku and Myu to you!"
"Hey, Yun-oneechan! What did you mean by that?! Heyy!"
Since I was uneasy leaving the two gamers roam as they please, I left taking care of them to Lucato and Kei who were people with common sense.
As I listened to Myu's voice as she was being dragged away from in front of the wall, I faced the members split onto this side.
"This, I'm the only man on this side! The story of my popularity starts here!"
"Nothing of the sort is starting! Heck, how about you put effort first before talking about being popular!"
"Fufufu, a single man had mixed in. Were it only girls I would have abandoned the quest and made a paradise in here. What a shame."
"Rirei, you sure are unshakable."
Gantz made one of his usual comedic remarks and Minute retorted tiredly.
And, acting as usual was Rirei with her yuri hobbies and Kohaku who sighed in response.
With no clue what to do, Toutobi and I just stood there flustered.
Eh? Is it just me or this side is full of elements that bring unease?
Since the gamers and people with common sense went over to the other side, the only ones that were left were the comedians and two of us, normal people.
"...what shall we do?"
I responded to Toutobi who had asked me.
"Right, Yun-chan! Speaking of things to do first, it would be confirming our forces!"
"Gantz says some good things at times. Then, to supplement it, after confirming the forces let's think about the formation and how do we move through the maze."
Since we weren't players who normally partied with each other I agreed with that and we have sorted the formation.
Toutobi as scout and Gantz who was a martial artist acted as vanguards. In the middle, the mages - Rirei and Kohaku. And, in the rear there was me who could use both bow and the kitchen knife instead of a dagger acting as an all-rounder and Minute the healer.
"Now that we decided the party's formation, next thing to decide is the leader, right?"
As I spoke in a form of a question, everyone nodded. And——
"Fufufu, in that case, let's have Yun-san as leader and have Toutobi as an assistant, how about it?"
"Ohh, 'dat sounds good."
"HAa?! No way, I can't do it!"
"...me too, I can't do it either."
Toutobi and I refused, Gantz and Minute noticed something from how Rirei and Kohaku wanted us to do it and backed them up.
"Isn't this a good opportunity? If anything, it's experience. Yun-chan can look over the whole party from the rear and Tobi-chan can deliver up-to-date information from the vanguard. Yup, it's a good combination."
"True. And, leaving it to Gantz would make us all uneasy."
Toutobi and I, through a majority vote had been decided to be the core of the party.
"Uhhh. Take care of me, Toutobi."
"...yes, please take care of me as well."
Even though it was forced on me, I couldn't abandon the role. The two of us thought of the movement of the party centred on Toutobi and me, and for what we couldn't decide alone we asked the rest of the party before deciding.
"We've got lots of mages and from the pure fighters we've only got Gantz. It would be difficult to fight."
"...you're right. Since we don't have a tank who would attract the mobs, it would be best to avoid combat as much as possible."
"Mainly, let's avoid combat. If we absolutely cannot avoid it, let's hold enemy down then retreat until we can annihilate them with magic, I guess.
Then, with Toutobi in the vanguard and me in the rear, we would proceed through the maze warily making use of 【See-Through】 Sense. In the narrow maze, it was hard to escape but it was easy to hit the enemy with magic.
Once we told everyone how the combat will look in general, each of them had responded with their own impression.
"Fufufu, I have no objections in particular. After all, mages mainly attack from the distance."
"Yer' right. Not like 'lot changed in what we do."
"Still, this way of doing things is very much like you. If it was Gantz preparing tactics, it would all end with a vain assault on the enemy."
"That wouldn't happen... uh, I can't deny it. But well, I'll do my best to hold back the enemy this time. My low kicks will go full burst!"
And then Gantz repeatedly did a few low kicks, the sound of his legs cutting through the air was quite loud.
However, rather than having Gantz stand in front I assumed I would hold back the enemies with my 《Clay Shield》 and bad status arrows, so I don't know if he'll even have a chance to try.
"Now that we've decided, let's go. Mischievous Fairy, can you guide us?"
"Nope, no can do. I have no clue which way to go."
Mm-mm, the Mischievous Fairy raised a groan, unable to grasp the route through the maze. I thought that she should just fly upwards and find out, but as she tried to fly up the thorns would extend and strike her down, making me give up.
"...then, let's just proceed along the wall on the right.
"I guess that's the basics. I'll try to make a map so let's move on."
I took out pen and paper used with 【Linguistics】 and moved through the maze.
Based on the width of the maze, I started drawing a map of what I could see with my 【Sky Eyes】.
I mapped down the traps and treasure boxes either Toutobi or I found with 【See-Through】 and shared the information within the party.
"...Yun-san, there's an opening in the wall of thorns on the left side."
"Aw, did I miss it? I'll add it to the map right away. Toutobi and Gantz, check it for traps and come back after confirming what's there, if enemies appear wipe them with magic. 《Enchant》——Speed."
"We'll be going then."
With the two vanguards preceding for luring out enemies, we proceeded forward. So that we're not attacked from behind, we used a similar mechanic. While defeating as few enemies as possible, when it came down to combat I put down a 《Clay Shield》's wall behind us to prevent a surprise attack.
Weak mobs, Thorn Tokens appeared in the maze, their appearance was like degraded versions of the Thorn Tokens that appeared so far. The army of thorns that mimicked shapes of various organisms was easily beat by simultaneous sweep of magic.
However, if in this narrow maze a large amount of mobs appear from a monster house-like trap right in front of us, we'll suffer lots of damage so we had to act carefully.
Aiming for a large amount of Thorn Tokens overflowing from opened door, Rirei and Kohaku released their magic.
We repeatedly lured them out and examined the emptied monster house after annihilating the enemies.
"In normal dungeons there's a lot of normal and monster traps. The only saving grace is that they don't respawn."
Talking about that were me and Minute who had nothing to do in the rear.
I only focused on mapping or independently lured out mobs from a distance using a bow.
"...let's rest in that room for a while. I'd like to check the map, too."
"You're right. The enemy isn't respawning and there's only one entrance which makes it easy to defend."
I agreed with Toutobi's proposal, we entered the small room to take a break.
"Sorry, Toutobi. I missed some monster houses."
"...no, it's thanks to Yun-san finding the simpler things that I can focus on searching for traps."
Since neither of us had rushed the conversation, we spoke which was quite pleasant. Toutobi chose easy to understand words so that I keep up. If Myu was to be the assistant, she would shower me with gamer terminology and cause my head to burst from confusion.
"Really, I'm very grateful for your assisting."
As I thanked her from the front, she raised her muffler up to her mouth in embarrassment and answered in fading voice. Somehow, with Toutobi facing downwards and blushing, an awkward atmosphere appeared between us.
I lightly scratched my cheek with a finger, wondered if there's something I could do, I took out a certain something.
"Um... if you need to recover satiety... would you like to eat?"
"Aaah! Not fair! I want to eat too!"
"Yes yes. I've got more cookies, but I need to deliver them to people stealing glances this way first."
With that said I passed cookies for Gantz and the others, their own partnered fairy received it and carried it over to them.
"Ahahaha, that was surprising, to think Yun-chan and Toutobi would show us heart-pounding scene."
"What to say. 'Dat made my heart pound as well."
"Fufufu, it felt like a relationship of a girl school's onee-sama and an underclassman. By all means, I want to mix in there."
Even the normally retorting Minute and Kohaku gave up on that and stared at us, their faces red. As for Rirei, while giving cookies to fairies she looked towards us with passionate gaze and ecstatic expression.
"Yun-chan's, a girl's home-made cookies! I'll win with this!"
Gantz alone just held the package with cookies shivering with joy, hurry up and eat.
I too passed a small packaging to the Mischievous Fairy for eating, and then we resumed our search.
Taku and his group where the power-type players have gathered would proceed by blowing away all the enemies, but in our case the goal was to catch up with them quickly but carefully, prioritizing safety.
Along the way, Toutobi opened a found treasure box and the wall of thorns moved changing the structure, but thanks to steady mapping we slowly closed onto the exit——
"We did it. Finally at the goal."
"Yeahh! We can join up with Taku and the others."
Seeing the exit from the thorny maze Minute heaved a sigh of relief, Gantz immediately started running towards the outlet with the fairies charging right after him.
I'd like it more if he didn't act so recklessly, it's not like I'll request of him to act paranoid, but if there are traps or mobs by the exit, it will end up with Minute nagging at him.
Chasing after Gantz, we passed through the maze's exit.
Outside the thorny maze there was——
"Taku and the others aren't here. So we arrived earlier, huh."
Now of all times, I looked around.
The withered flowers spreading under our feet were probably a beautiful flower garden before. And, if this was the Fairy Village's centre——
——【Limited Quest: Save The Fairy Village 4／ 4】——
Defeat the Half-Beast Plant 【Cannibal Plant】 and save the Fairy Queen.
I confirmed in the menu that the quest has progressed and looked for the boss in question.
I moved closer to the centre of the dead flower garden, but as I looked around nothing that resembled a boss could be seen.
"It's not here. Where is——?!"
A piercing response of 【See-Through】 had approached from below.
"The boss is appearing! Everyone prepare!"
Toutobi and I noticed its existence, I picked up the bow and shouted.
With just these words everyone entered battle readiness and waited for the boss' appearance.
What appeared digging through the ground, were multiple thick thorns that entangled together forming a huge tree and bloomed with countless of roses. And, two vine-like whip thorns that protected the roses.
The huge rose tree that looked like the main body 【Cannibal Plant】 and the 【Thorn Whip】 protecting it have appeared in front of us.
"Yun-chan, what do we do?!"
"You're the leader so give us some instructions!"
"At time like this, what would Taku or Myu say..."
I didn't think taking down that huge rose tree would be simple. Moreover, I didn't have experience as a leader. I wasn't strong. Taku and the others weren't here. In this situation where I had nothing, I could only believe in my comrades.
"We don't know the fight so just respond appropriately for now! 《Zone Enchant》——Speed!"
I believed everyone would move optimally and cast a speed enchant on them raising their avoidance abilities.
Gantz from the vanguard immediately proceeded with charging in, basing on the experience so far he launched an attack on the main body's roses.
I overlapped more enchants on Gantz who was the first to get in contact with the enemy. When he extended his palm towards the rose as to crush it, the 【Thorn Whip】 had coiled around his wrist and retaining his momentum threw Gantz into the air to the left.
"Ohh?! Not bad. But——"
Confirming that the main body doesn't attack by itself, Gantz grinned broadly. Immediately after that, Toutobi started running.
Toutobi got through the second 【Thorn Whip】 and momentarily scattered two roses. She entered a location difficult to aim at and ran to the opposite side.
The roses on the main body were numerous, but it didn't mean they were difficult to deal with.
And, our attacks weren't over yet.
It was Rirei's flame and Kohaku's whirlwind they couldn't use to their fullest in the narrow maze. Momentarily, it wrapped around the 【Cannibal Plant】's body and burned off roses all over it.
The flame whirlwind not only burned the 【Cannibal Plant】's roses but also the 【Thorn Whip】, the length of its vines shortened to half of their original.
"——《Rapid Fire Bow - Second Form》!"
I scattered the roses remaining after it was burned. Toutobi and Gantz moved to the opposite side of the maze's exit and took down the roses one after another.
Then, when the last rose was taken down, the rose tree started ringing and more of huge rose flowers had appeared.
"It revived, how cumbersome. This enemy is like that Great Eater of Mythical Beasts. Yun-chan, what do we do about it?"
"Although the rose weaknesses have become bigger, their numbers decreased! If we repeat it, they'll eventually run out, right?"
"Should I join in and attack with light magic?"
"Minute, please focus on healing."
Although she proposed to participate in attacking, I had Minute focus on the healer's role in order to maintain safety margin.
With the second repetition, the amount of 【Thorn Whips】 increased by one and got in our way.
There were fewer chances for Kohaku and Rirei to release their combined magic and they devoted themselves to avoiding, meanwhile they scattered the roses with single target attacks.
The roses grew, but since their number decreased they were easy to aim at. However, the pace of the newly grown 【Thorn Whips】 had increased, interfering with us. When they revived for the third time, the thorns started striking indiscriminately in all directions. Moreover, the interval between its attacks had decreased, turning a storm of lashes.
The power of the barbs was quite low when it was just a single hit, but if you couldn't ignore them and continue receiving attacks.
Minute did her best combining recovery magic and use of potions. In addition to that, Kohaku and Rirei created a safety zone with magic and destroyed the roses slowly, one by one.
"Damn, so I made the wrong choice. Maybe we should have stopped attacking mid-way and just bought time until Taku and the others come."
"...that's not true. Even now the enemy's attacks are gaining momentum so a short-term battle wasn't a wrong choice."
As I once again used the enchants and potions in the safety zone, turning weak-minded, she encouraged me.
Although only provisional, I'm the leader now. I need to stand firm!
"If only Kei was here with his shield we could get closer. It can't be helped, I'll go. Yun-chan, full support please!"
"Got it. 《Enchant》——Attack, defence, speed. And an extra 《Element Enchant》——Weapon!"
I put the full set of enchants on Gantz who went on with a suicide attack on the last rose.
After putting down three types of enchants, I consumed a fire elemental stone to put a fire enchant on Gantz's fists.
"Uohhh! My hands are on flames! Cool! And not hot at all!——"Just go already!"——Sure!"
As Gantz started joking around Minute sent him off by hitting him in the back. Starting with that hit's momentum he began to run from the magic's safety zone quickly and approached the tree drawing an arc.
Countless thrusts of Gantz's open hand carved the way open.
Starting with a single finger, with each nukite he used one more finger, doing four more attacks in succession.
He pierced through the 【Thorn Whips】 in the way and cut open the shortest way to the rose, the third and fourth attack touched the rose and with the flame enchant passing onto it, the roses scattered in middle of flames.
"All right, it's over now!"
Now that all the roses were destroyed, the 【Cannibal Plant】 boss was defeated.
"Unexpectedly, we somehow managed."
The remaining 【Thorn Whips】 rapidly withered and broken up into particles of light.
Although the thorn tree was still remaining in the centre of the flower garden, since there was no more roses blooming, this was probably the end.
"Yun-chan, I did my best so praise me!"
"Yes yes. Good job. Here, a High Potion for healing."
"Oh, how cold."
I threw him a High Potion, Gantz chugged it down recovering the damage he received during the last suicide attack.
Kohaku and Rirei also stopped deployment of their defence magic and unexpectedly taken aback, they spoke unanimously.
"Well, this, if we really defeated it before Taku and the others came they'll surely complain about it."
I smiled bitterly alone, but then a question had remained.
Why was it that the thorn tree didn't disappear even though no more roses were on it?
And, where is the saved Fairy Queen?
As I fell silent thinking of that, the Mischievous Fairy pulled the hem of my clothes.
"That thing is still alive."
What are you saying, I wanted to ask, but there was a change to the thorn tree.
The thorns have untangled and opened up, inside of them one had opened and a large rose emerged from inside.
The flower bud formed of overlapping heavy petals was so large we lost our composure.
Just what were those rose flowers we have destroyed so far, I wondered.
It wasn't a weakness, but pruning. It made it seem like we were pruning them in order to foster the huge rose.
And, as the rose gradually bloomed, the monster appeared.
In the centre of the roses there was a head reminiscent of that of a crocodile, the untangled thorns started to move like limbs. By the crocodile's throat there was a cage of thorns and inside of it, there was a girl with wings similar to that of fairies, she was being held captive.
"So this is the 【Cannibal Plant】's second form."
Immediately after Rirei muttered, the half-beast plant with crocodile head we looked up to has roared.
The roar was powerful enough to make me fall on my knees on top of the fine sand, I held down my ears.
Once the combat was over we relaxed, and since we all stood together, we received the same attack all at once.
Starting with 【Paralysis】 and 【Curse】, various bad statuses were put down on us at random.
The extended roar ceased, luckily I didn't receive behavioural inhibiting bad statuses like 【Sleep】 or 【Stun】 so I pulled out Paralysis Antidote potion, but at that moment two tentacles approached my feet.
"Toutobi! Kh, let go! Khahh!"
Toutobi and I were caught by the outstretched tentacles and lifted up. I tried escaping by twisting my body, but they entangled around my body firmly raising my feet from the ground.
"Let go, let me down! O-oww!"
A gasp of pain leaked out as my body was squeezed tightly. Kohaku and the others who weren't caught still haven't recovered from the bad statuses, so they couldn't move.
Toutobi who, like I did, received 【Paralysis】 let her voice out, but her body remained limp.
"Damn! If I could dispel this..."
Since from 【Paralysis】 and 【Curse】 bad statuses I first removed 【Paralysis】, I couldn't use magic because of the 【Curse】. Since my hands were constrained I couldn't use items and Minute, who was the healer had received the 【Curse】 and 【Stun】 bad statuses.
Gantz had high resistance, but he still received a light 【Paralysis】.
And, both Rirei and Kohaku had 【Sleep】 and 【Stun】 on them so it didn't seem like they would return any time soon.
"Well, isn't this a pinch."
We were in a desperate situation. The thorns bit into my arms and body, accumulating the damage.
And, both Toutobi and I have gradually approached the opened, huge crocodile head.
I wonder if we'll be eaten at this rate. Or maybe we'll be caught in the same way the Fairy Queen at its throat and won't be able to further participate in the battle, or maybe the quest will fail and we will be forced to retire.
Yeah, it's over. I thought and gave up on resistance, that's when——
"Don't ya give up. ——《Sonic Edge》!"
A shockwave tore apart the thorns that caught me and Toutobi, I was caught by someone before I fell to the ground.
"The star is here! First, recovery——《Cure》《Dispel》《Reset》《Cool Down》!"
Bad status recovery magic was used in rapid succession.
While the 《Cure》 was used for 【Poison】 and 【Paralysis】, 《Dispel》 removed 【Curse】 and 【Charm】. 《Reset》 was for 【Sleep】 and 【Stun】. 《Cool Down》 was for 【Anger】 and 【Confusion】, the recovery magic corresponding to two types of bad status each was used.
"Yoo, sorry. We're late."
"Hero is someone who appears late!"
As I looked at the comrades who emerged from the maze's exit, a sigh of relief leaked from my mouth.
With this, all twelve of us were here. From here on the real thing starts.
"The bad status attack doesn't affect everyone, but a specific area! Spread out moderately!"
" " "Roger!" " "
Taku immediately instructed and everyone promptly started moving.
My own abilities as a leader couldn't compare to that of Taku's, I looked up at him in daze.
"Taku-san, how long are you going to hold Onee-chan?"
"Oops, sorry, I forgot."
"Ehh?! Ah!! Hurry up and let go!"
Taku had let me down on the ground and I finally let out a long breath.
Somehow, I felt like we were being looked at with strangely lukewarm gazes, although, even despite that these shrewd players fulfilled their own roles properly.
"Taku, Myu. Um... you've saved us."
I said just that and ran over to the rear, meanwhile I heard "tsundere", "she went dere" "dere indeed" spoken in undertone.
However, as if to quieten down those voices Taku shouted instructions.
"Kei and Lucato-chan, block the attacks from the front! Gantz and Myu-chan, Tobi-chan and Hino-chan, attack from the sides. The rearguard, Mami-san use defence magic. Rirei-chan and Kohaku-chan focus on attacking. Yun, keep the boss in check with bow and assist the rearguard with enchants and MP management. Minute, I leave vanguard's HP management to you!"
In response to Taku's orders, I immediately passed MP potions to others, recovering their MP.
I subjected everyone within my range of sight to an attack enchant and once again stared at the boss having a wide perspective.
The 【Cannibal Plant】 boss, was a monster with a crocodile head inside a huge rose. Until now the boss' HP was synonymous with the amount of roses left on it, but now on the second stage his HP was displayed.
His head let out roars that induced bad statuses and tried to bite, as well as fired air cannon-like attacks from its mouth.
The thorn tentacles that protected the main body that was the crocodile head numbered six in total, on their tips there were rose buds. The attack methods of the tentacles were whip lashes, interference with a wall of thorns and releasing a solution liquids from the buds. The yellow liquid that fell to the ground dissolved it while raising a white smoke.
"You're in the way! ——《Sonic Edge》!"
Although Taku measured the timing of the crocodile head's attacks and attacked from the distance at the right moment, it was perfectly blocked by the thorn tentacles. Therefore, Taku changed the target of his attacks to the tentacles to destroy a part of them.
Even though the tentacles were destroyed by continuous slashes...
"I expected them to regenerate, but this is a bit too fast."
Taku spend some time destroying the tentacles, but they immediately returned to normal. We won't be able to safely attack the main body if we continue trying to destroy the tentacles. And so, before long the vanguard gave up on attacking them.
"Fufufu, so the regeneration speed is faster. Then, we can only focus on attacking the main body. Yun-san!"
"Let's go——《Flame Circle》!"
"Let's match it! ——《Little Tornado》!"
I used a magic attack-increasing enchant on Rirei and Kohaku, they used their combination technique, a flame whirlwind on the 【Cannibal Plant】 in front of us.
The flame whirlwind whose power was increased with stat enchant approached the boss with its power raised by entire level.
Although the wall of thorns blocked the flame whirlwind, only its power was dampened as it passed through and swallowed the rose flower and crocodile's head. We could hear the cry of the crocodile head from the flames.
"That was lots of damage! Let's follow up!"
Although three out of six tentacles disappeared, the 【Cannibal Plant】 brandished the remaining three and extinguished the flames.
Taku and the others from the vanguard rushed in when it was easy to land attack and released Arts one after another.
I also shot an arrow from a long distance together with them, contributing to combat.
Myu, Hino, Toutobi, Gantz and Taku have used their Arts continuously delivering large amounts of damage, including the flame whirlwind the boss lost 30% HP in total.
The thorns supporting the crocodile head bulged and the bulge gradually rose up approaching its mouth.
"Mhh! I won't let you! ——《Fortress》!"
"Same here! HAa! ——《Shock Impact》!"
Kei set up his shield against the air cannon 【Cannibal Plant】 fired. With just the distortion in the air as a clue, he activated defensive art at the moment it landed, instantaneously increasing his defence to offset the attack.
Moreover, Lucato used her Art-clad sword to parry away the solution tentacles emitted.
"Kei, that was awesome. Well done noticing that attack."
As I muttered, Mami-san responded.
"It's because he's been practising it hard. Kei is putting in a lot of effort."
At the moment of the attack he got down on his knees and angled his shield in order to parry the attack to the side. To be able to use such a skill against a practically invisible attack, as I was really impressed, Mami-san standing beside me boasted as if it was about her. Seeing it Minute made a broad, merry grin.
"I see, so it's the result of yours and Kei's practice together."
"EHhh?! T-that's not, true."
Mami-san responded with a somewhat fading voice, but even though she was upset she still maintained a defensive barrier of the wind.
Kei's physical defence and Mami-san's wind barrier. The rear guard was safe protected by the firm wall of the two.
"Now, let's continue attacking"
As Taku raised his voice, another opportunity for attacking appeared. Occasionally the roar placed a bad status on someone, if the person was far away Minute recovered them with magic, if they were close I used a potion. Dividing the role we continued fighting.
Along with the boss' HP decrease the speed of tentacles' regeneration and their amount has further increased and the attacks have grown more intense. But as everyone fulfilled their role properly, we continued to fight in a stable manner.
And, when we finally reduced his HP to 10%.
"All right, one more push! Everyone focus!"
In response to Taku's encouragement, I concentrated on applying enchants as my own attacks no longer passed through the enemy's intense attacks.
With speed increased the vanguard freely ran through the defence and aimed to approach the boss' crocodile head.
The thorn's whipping and the solution liquid. While resisting it the ones who dealt their blows last were Kei and Myu.
"UOOHHhh! Don't look down on shields!"
Holding the shield in front of him, Kei performed an assault with enhanced speed and using the shortest route. It looked as if a lump of steel had been advancing. Hiding behind Kei who blocked all attacks and blew them away with his momentum was Myu, who sprung up at the moment they approached as close as possible.
"Like this, I can decide it with the last blow! ——《Fifth Breaker》!"
Maintaining her posture in mid-air Myu had slashed five times with her sword, then passing by the crocodile head she landed on the ground.
She should have cut down the rest of his HP, but the boss was alive and well. No, his pupils were dyed in red colour and he had turned enraged.
"Heyhey. Even if they added extra mechanics and increased difficulty, you must be joking with this enrage mode at the very end!"
Although he no longer had any HP, the 【Cannibal Plant】 entered enraged mode and wouldn't fall unless he was hit by the finisher and the damage dealt to the vanguards was greater than ever.
"Make it in time——《Round Heal》!"
Thanks to my zone enchant and Minute's area heal we were able to mitigate the damage dealt to the vanguard, but in order to rework our strategy everyone had return to the back as we stretched out defensive magic at full power.
We gathered together and looked at the 【Cannibal Plant】 boss through the smoke caused by the solution liquid he released as we prepared a new strategy.
"...what do we do? How do we deliver the last blow?"
As long as we hit it with one last attack, there'll be no problems. So even with poor attacks given enough tries we would eventually get it, but we still sought a method that would increase the probability even a little bit.
"How can we safely make that last attack enter, huh."
"I'll do it! I want to do it!"
"Gantz. Right now we aren't looking for volunteers, but for the method to deliver it safely."
And, among various opinions spoken over a short amount of time, Myu proposed a certain plan.
"Here, here! I've got an idea!"
"Myu-chan, what kind of plan is that?"
"You see, I think having Onee-chan make a suicide attack is the best approach!"
Startled by the sudden proposal, I listened to Myu's plan. Certainly I could understand why was it, and the plan was adopted.
The strategy was fairly simple, all the attackers would carry me up to the boss or something like that.
"Toutobi, have you finished preparing?
"Yes. I'm all right. Let's go! ——《Shadow Dive》!"
Toutobi entered my shadow and entered standby in subspace.
My role was to safely carry Toutobi close enough to the boss so that she decides it with the last attack. I was chosen because I could use 【Substitute Gem's Ring】 accessory to block a few attacks.
Protected by Taku and others from the vanguard I would get closer to the boss protected by the 【Substitute Gem's Ring】 and carry Toutobi safely.
"Operation start! Don't get in our way!"
Along with Taku's command, Rirei and others from the rearguard switched from defensive magic to attack magic and an exchange had started between their magic and the liquid solution.
"I'll bet everything on this shield and defend with my all! ——《Fortress》"
"I'll also bet on this sword of mine! ——《Shock Impact》!"
The vanguards started running at full power. Taku, Myu, Gantz, Kei and Lucato protected us and were striking down the approaching enemy.
Kei and Lucato held their weapons in front and parried attacks as they moved forward.
"I won't let you get Yun and Toutobi! ——《Sonic Edge》!"
"I won't lose either! ——《Sol Ray》!"
Taku and Myu let out long-range attacks and cut down 【Thorn Whips】.
"I'm not good at precise attacks, but let's do it! ──《Wisdom of the Stream》!"
Gantz hands lit up with pale light and he blew away the attacks that passed by Taku and the others.
However, after Arts' usage there was a moment of stiffness.
Right after parrying an attack, Lucato received an attack from the liquid solution in the blind spot outside of her weapon's protection and fell on the back from the impact.
"Yun, don't stop!"
Reprimanded by Taku, I continued moving although I almost stopped on spot. And, blocking the hole after Lucato fell was Kei who not only used his shield, but also caught attacks with his armour and spread arms.
"I won't let attacks pass! Take care of rest of the thorns now!"
"I know! ——《Sonic Edge》!"
Taku's and Myu's attacks brought down all the 【Thorn Whips】 again.
"Yun, run before they regenerate!"
I passed by Kei's side and closed onto the boss all at once. There were several tens of metres left. As I ran into a position from which Toutobi could attack, new 【Thorn Whips】 appeared from the ground.
"Tch, so there were more of the henchmen. From here I won't make it."
In the back Taku started dealing with another 【Thorn Whip】 that started regenerating. In here, I'll have to survive by myself.
"I'll show you a crafter's potential!"
Seeing the thorns come from both left and right, I received some time to think from 【Sky Eyes】. No matter how much I struggled I wouldn't be able to get out of it safely. Therefore, I rushed in prepared to receive damage.
I pressed Magic Gems I had in my right hand onto the thorn and blew it up. For the attack coming from the left I dived forward receiving a minimal amount of damage.
My own 【Bomb】's Magic Gem and the damage from the thorn were enough to shatter the 【Substitute Gem's Ring】 gem.
There were five metres remaining. At the distance of few steps away, my legs stopped.
"Even though I'm almost there!"
I looked at my feet and saw the thorns which attacked me earlier entangle my ankle.
I could hear Myu's voice. I was currently being raised up by the tentacles holding my ankle tightly. If I fell here caught by thorns and was defeated, Toutobi lurking in my shadow would also be caught.
But I won't give up!
"Myu! Light! As strong as possible!"
"!! Got it. ——《Light》!"
The meaning behind my words was relayed correctly. Myu used her support magic 《Light》, the blinding brightness illuminated the surrounding area. Influenced by it my shadow had grown long extending up to the 【Cannibal Plant】.
"Dash up, Toutobi. ——《Clay Shield》!"
Toutobi who was lurking in the shadow had leaped out of it.
I created an earthen wall that became a scaffolding leading the way to the crocodile head, Toutobi ran up over it. As she leaped from the wall of earth the dagger she held in her hands emitted light and she swung it to pierce the crocodile's throat. The slash drew a big arc cutting the thick crocodile's neck. Just like that, the head alone had disappeared.
The remaining thorns have gradually withered and shrunk, in the end what remained was just a beautiful, giant rose.
And inside of it, a single woman stood up.
"Thank you, people of the Fairy Village for heading to the outside world to seek help. And, thank you, human who have responded to our Fairy Village's inhabitants' plea for help."
The NPC had began to speak in soft and crystal clear voice. As everyone gathered around her, the NPC spread her folded wings, emitting a pale phosphorescent light.
"I'm the Fairy Queen of the Fairy Village. You have my thanks, gratitude for helping us."
We were able to safely clear the time-limited quest 【Save The Fairy Village】.
All the players and their fairy partners that led them to this place have moved close to each other and faced the Fairy Queen. And then, the 【Cannibal Plant】's huge rose withered and was absorbed by the flower garden, which had bloomed with colourful flowers. The fairies hiding in the distant forest had began to gather.
"This Fairy Village received the monster's assault and received severe damage. From here on we intend to join our forces to restore it to its previous state, but right now there's nothing we can offer you as thanks. Therefore——"
It seemed like something was transmitted among the fairies. The Fairy Queen who started speaking quietly and the fairies nodded. Of course, the Mischievous Fairy floating beside me also nodded and moved in front of me.
"Well then, take care of me."
After saying so, she changed into particles of green light and was sucked into a Rugged Iron Ring that was on the finger of my right hand.
Taku's, Myu's and the others' fairies were sucked into either their equipment or bodies in the same manner and disappeared.
Chapter 6 - The Wish and the Grim Reaper
"What kind of a reward is this?"
As I muttered that, the Fairy Queen, an important NPC had answered.
"There's nothing in the Fairy Village I could give you as thanks. Therefore, the fairies accompanying you will take your request, and within the possible range they will fulfil three of your 【Wishes】."
Hearing that I confirmed the Rugged Iron Ring the Mischievous Fairy possessed.
Fairy-Possessed Iron Ring 【Ornament】
DEF+2 Additional Effect: 【Fairy Possession 3/3】
"Oh, an assisting item."
It seemed like the players who don't have an item without additional effects have had a randomly-generated item subjected to 【Fairy Possession】 instead.
Everyone took those items out and looked at them.
"Aha, my fairy turned into an accessory."
"Still, within possible range... what should I wish for, I wonder."
Myu and Lucato started discussing their wishes. Everyone else too, started consulting with each other.
"All right, I'll use it first!"
"Gantz! Don't rush it!"
"Come out, my fairy!"
Ignoring Kei's advice, Gantz raised a bracelet with 【Fairy Possession】 and called out the fairy from the inside.
"Yes yes. Right away, what would like me to do?"
"My wish is——I want the strongest reinforcement material for a weapon!"
Hearing this exaggerated wish all of us were shocked and unable to say anything. Even though it was said that it has to be a probable wish...
"What do you specifically mean by strongest〜?"
"Well, I guess something like a reinforcement material from a Dragon or a Giant!"
"There's no way a single fair is going to fulfil a wish like that, is there."
Saying so, the fairy refused to fulfil the wish.
"Eh, it's no good? T-then, umm, get me a slightly weaker reinforcement material!"
"No way that's happening. Hey, got any other wishes? If you don't, I'll be going back〜."
"10, 9, 8..."
The fairy started a heartless countdown as Gantz panicked. And——
"I don't care what is it, please just get me some reinforcement material!"
"Yup. Time's out. See you."
Gantz didn't make it in time and the fairy returned to the bracelet.
"Hee, so that's how it works."
Wasting the effect of 【Fairy Possession】 with an unclear wish, the amount of wishes Gantz had remaining had dropped down to two. Dejected by that he fell down on all fours, everyone else instead of comforting him had calmly analysed the effect.
"Hmm. This means that it would be better to make a wish that can be easily fulfilled. We need to gather some samples in order to determine the range of possible wishes."
"Thanks to Gantz-san we'll carefully consider our wishes, that's great."
"Gantz, your sacrifice won't go for naught."
"At least try comforting me!"
Taku, Myu and Kei spoke in order causing Gantz to roar.
I smiled bitterly seeing everyone look at Gantz with lukewarm eyes as he acted like usual.
As the exchange had calmed down, the Fairy Queen NPC called out to us.
"Now then, it's about time we returned everyone to the human world. Thank you very much for help."
It seemed like time has come as the same light we've seen on the transition circles had began stretching out from under or feet.
Until the pillar of light was completed, the previously-hidden fairies have seen us off waving their hands.
If possible, I'd like to visit the Fairy Village once it turns beautiful again. As I thought so, we were transferred.
I thought that we would be transferred to the location of the Fairy Circle we used to get in, but the entire party was actually transferred in front of the First Town's portal.
"Now then, quest has been cleared, what next? Shall we gather people to confirm the 【Fairy Possession】's effect?"
"Here, an ideeaa! Let's eat something to celebrate!"
With the quest over, everyone started moving.
The 【Fairy Possession】 confirmation group centred around Taku.
The celebratory party group has centred around Myu.
And, other than that there was a group of people tired who were going to take a break.
"I'll be going back to the 【Atelier】 and log out."
"Ehh, come with us."
"I'm a bit tired."
I said so and pat Myu's head who schemed going around to eat sweets, then moved away from the group.
In the 【Atelier】 Kyouko-san the NPC had come out to greet me. Feeling like I've finally returned, I heaved a long sigh.
"Welcome back, Yun-san."
"I'm back, Kyouko-san. Did anything change in the store?"
"Same as usual, only the regulars have come to buy some potions. Also, I would suggest prioritizing the replenishment of High Potions."
"Got it. I'll confirm it later."
I'm tired, I thought, and in order to be healed by Ryui and Zakuro I called out the two animals.
"I'm tired. Ryui, Zakuro. Heal me a bit."
I leaned on Ryui, held Zakuro on my stomach and sat down on the floor behind the counter.
For a while, I felt Ryui's and Zakuro's warmth in silence, but the two seemed restless. When it started to seem to me that they're looking for something, Zakuro started licking my right hand.
"What is it? Is there something on it?"
I said so and when I started patting Zakuro, I noticed.
What Zakuro was bothered with, was the 【Fairy Possession】 ring rather than my hand.
"I see. Well, you were together the entire time recently. Yeah, the Mischievous Fairy is in here."
I raised the 【Fairy Possession】 ring as to make it visible, and both Ryui's and Zakuro's line of sight gathered on it. Zakuro touched it several times. From time to time he bit my finger lightly, but then tilted his head seeing the difference from the usual noisy Mischievous Fairy.
"I guess it does feel lonely once she disappears."
While she was here in the 【Atelier】 during the quest, I guess we have gotten used to the noisy Mischievous Fairy.
The deadline for the time-limited quest was approaching, one after another the quest information has been gathered and complete. Meanwhile, over the 【Atelier】's counter I listened to the story of a player who visited the store.
And, the one I was talking with was——
"Yun-chan, listen to this〜."
"What, did something happen?'
With tears in her eyes, Sei-nee came to complain.
"Half-way onto the deadline I still couldn't get a fairy, when I finally got one, in the middle of the quest I got assaulted either by the Grim Reaper or PKs and can't really proceed further! And I get the super difficult Thorn Tokens all the time!"
"You've been through lots, really."
I said so and quietly poured her a sweet drink.
When I asked for the full story, it seemed like right after the quest started she was invited to various parties but thought she'll find a fairy on her own and refrained from joining, she also gave priority to other people and couldn't pick one up. In the end she was helped by Mikadzuchi.
Other than that, because Mikadzuchi was there Flein and other PKs have actively assaulted them.
Also, she randomly encountered the new wandering-type, humanoid boss mob, Grim Reaper who was added in the same update as the Fairy Quest. Or she had trouble dealing with powerful Thorn Tokens and defeating them.
"Yun-chan, thank you for listening to my story. I calmed down a bit thanks to that."
"That's great. So, Sei-nee, how far have you progressed with the quest now?"
"Right now, we're doing the last part, entering the Fairy Village. It does seem like we'll be taking a difficult course with lots of mechanics like Yun-chan and the others had."
"I think you'll be all right, Sei-nee."
"If I can't clear the quest, I'll go kill those PKs who have gotten in our way and wring the money out of them to buy 【Fairy Possession】 accessories."
With tears in her eyes Sei-nee said something disturbing. Actually, she's quite wealthy so she doesn't have to aim for the bounty and can just buy the accessory normally.
However, currently the 【Fairy Possession】 items were sold on the street stalls at outrageous premium prices. The lower limit of the price was 1mG. The most expensive ones were 5mG.
"Then, Yun-chan, how about you sell me yours for 2mG?"
"No way! I'm not giving it up."
I clenched the ring on my right hand with my left as if to protect it.
"But Yun-chan, you won't use such a rare item with limited number of uses will you?"
"Uh... that's true."
I groaned hearing her lucky guess. Certainly, reluctance to use such items was something not good in a game. If not used at the right time, one might lose because of that.
"Uhhh, but I won't give it up. It's too precious!"
It's something important connecting me and the Mischievous Fairy, so I won't give it up even to Sei-nee.
"Rather than think of what happens if you fail, I think it would be more constructive to think how to use 【Fairy Possession】 after you clear the quest."
"You're right. I think I teased you a bit too much, Yun-chan."
Sei-nee... I stared at her. Sorry, she responded quietly.
"Let's see. Maybe I should ask three times for reinforcement material."
"Is that so. Well, I've heard people ask for things like temporarily helping them with attacking and such, apparently there are various uses."
Currently, from the methods 【Fairy Possession】 can be used in what was found were asking for items, asking for money, attack support, stat support, resistance support, quest hints, as well as effects like obtaining bonus experience. Each and all of them were minor effects that didn't make much difference.
Honestly speaking, this time's reward wasn't worth the effort.
Personally, the time spent with the fairy seemed more worthwhile.
"Well then Yun-chan, it's about time for me to go."
"Do your best Sei-nee. Here, potions as farewell gift."
As I passed the potions to Sei-nee who was going to enter the Fairy Village, I was suddenly reminded of something that could be used and took out a piece of paper.
"Sei-nee, take this with you as well."
"Yun-chan, what is this?"
"The map of the maze I made when we got separated from our party. I wrote detailed data inside like the types of traps and the contents of treasure boxes."
It wasn't like I filled the entire map and there was a possibility of the maze's structure changing. Still, knowing what kind of traps are there they'll be able to warn themselves off them.
"Thank you, Yun-chan. I'll use it effectively."
Then, Sei-nee left the 【Atelier】 in order to head to finish the quest together with Mikadzuchi and other 【Eight Million Gods】 guild members.
About what happened afterwards, it seemed like the map I passed them was helpful when it came to the releasing traps and the scout-type players have started learning how to map the dungeons on paper.
"Well then, how about we go for a walk as well."
Ryui and Zakuro who sat down on the cold floor quietly when Sei-nee was here have gotten up and headed to the entrance and looked towards me as if to say "hurry, let's go".
"I know. Today we're going to gather some herbs and ore in the east, I guess we'll go as far as the second town."
And then, after deciding the schedule on whim I brought Ryui and Zakuro with me as I walked outside.
I looked at the stalls and stores, sometimes I exchanged light greetings with acquaintance players as I headed outside of the town.
The usage of 【Fairy Possession】 accessories has already become a main topic of the conversations between the players.
"Haa, but I can't decide myself."
I heaved a heavy sigh, Ryui and Zakuro too let out a similar, heavy sigh.
Just like Sei-nee said, I had something like the Elixir Syndrome making me feel it's a waste to use, because of which I haven't decided yet.
"Well, it's not like I'm in a rush, I can just leave it as an item for an emergency."
I muttered to myself, but it was still unclear whether I myself was satisfied with this choice.
"I guess I'm just indecisive."
While saying so I continued to collect herbs from the ground one after another.
Laid-back I walked thoughtlessly under the blue sky, before I noticed I arrived in the eastern forest.
"Ah, so I came this far. Well then, let's take a break somewhere near."
I stopped by the safety area in the eastern forest, took out warm tea from the inventory and sat down using a fallen tree for a chair. I gave Ryui and Zakuro some chilled cucumbers I bought at the stalls on the way here, they nibbled on them with a loud crunching sound. They were just chilled cucumbers, but fresh they were quite tasty. The two immediately ate one and requested more.
"Yes yes. Here you go... hey, something's coming."
I raised the cucumber I took out and waited for the presence I felt from the tall grass.
It didn't feel hostile, but since it was quite small it might have been a Grey Rat. While I remained wary, something small and striped popped out.
"Oh the piglet! Been healthy?"
The Big Boar's young beast had ran up to me looking just as energetic as it was when we first met it.
The piglet's nose pointed towards the chilled cucumbers, when I offered it one, it started gnawing on it without hesitation.
"Ahaha, somehow the mobs around me are mainly drawn to food."
Recently, in the Wetlands on the south the ball of fire mobs, Wisps immediately approach upon seeing me to get herbs. I wonder what's going on, it feels like mobs all over are acting friendly with me.
"What, you already finished eating?"
As I stroked the piglet's slightly stiff hair, I noticed its gaze wandered as if looking for something.
"...as I thought, looking for the Mischievous Fairy, huh."
Just like Ryui and Zakuro, the piglet looked for the Mischievous Fairy who was flying above my shoulders before.
And, probably smelling the scent, it pressed its nose against my right hand, puzzled.
"This time, Mischievous Fairy isn't here. Sorry."
I don't know if the piglet was convinced by my words, it ran over to the grass nearby and dug something up with its head.
I looked at it for a while, then the piglet returned with something in its mouth.
"This is... a fossil, huh. Yup, thanks, I'll take it."
The piglet passed me the unidentified fossil and happily returned to the woods.
It seems like something similar will happen next time I come here. I smiled bitterly, drank some tea and stood up.
"Ryui, Zakuro. The break is over. Let's go to the next place!"
Meeting the piglet again I had entered a merry mood, but as I resumed walking I felt like something was missing.
"I need to hurry and decide on how to use the 【Fairy Possession】."
Even though I muttered so dazedly, the opportunity for that will probably far ahead in the future, I thought. But unexpectedly it came before long.
It happened abruptly as we walked around without any goal in particular.
A dense purple fog hung over the surroundings and the visibility turned poor.
And, cold air welled up from deep in the forest causing me to shiver.
At the same time I was startled by the sudden change in the space around me, all sound disappeared.
The chirping of birds, I couldn't even feel my own footsteps.
Even with my 【Sky Eyes】 and 【See-Through】 combination I couldn't find a single presence in the surroundings.
"What is this. Everything disappeared."
Disappeared... no, just the opposite. I waken into an empty space.
Ryui and Zakuro who were walking together with me have huddled closer. Ryui entered full vigilance, bristling his mane, on the other hand Zakuro had put down his tails low, frightened.
"I can't expose you two to danger. Return——《Dismissal》"
Using 《Dismissal》 skill I returned them back to stones.
Alone, I kept an eye on the space filled with dense purple fog.
The 【See-Through】 Sense indicated something from one point in the surroundings and turned in that directions.
"Is it an enemy?"
What appeared was an existence wearing a plague mask and a wide-brimmed hat, there were crow feathers attached to the jet black cloak it was wearing.
The name displayed floating over his head was 【Death - Grim Reaper】.
"So this is the wandering boss mob added in the update, huh."
I had not the least intention of fighting it solo, I confronted it with intention of escaping.
The Grim Reaper let out a voice similar to a crow's cry and closed the distance between us in an instant.
I leaped to the side avoiding the casual swing of an arm I didn't even see.
"Woah. That's really high attack speed."
The Grim Reaper's weapon was a sickle reminiscent of death. In his right hand there was a sickle connected with dozens of chains dangling from the Reaper's sleeves. In his left hand, there was a blade of a sickle so long it was half-buried in the ground. The Reaper casually swung it with just one hand.
And on the back, a huge folded scythe could be seen on the Reaper's back.
The first attack had come from behind, the sickle from the left hand was swung down at me. Even if I saw it with 【Sky Eyes】 it would be too late to avoid but...
"...he's not that scary."
Only his presence itself was abnormal and there were no pressure like one you get when facing a huge mob. If anything, it could be said his presence was weak.
"The moment I thought so——"
Once again he closed the distance instantly and casually swung the huge sickle blade casually with one hand. This time I avoided by leaning my body backwards, but my hair was cut and danced in the air.
This guy's scary after all!
Since his presence was weak, it was difficult to read the initial motions before he moves. Before I realized he was already in front of me.
Simple instantaneous power combined with the weak presence making it seem like he had suddenly appeared in front of me.
I did all I could in order to escape that Grim Reaper.
I subjected myself with double enchant of defence and speed and started running behind the Reaper's back.
Without an idea how to exit the forest covered in the purple fog, I just kept running away.
If I'm caught by the Grim Reaper, I lose. Thus, I had to try to escaping recklessly.
When I looked behind me for an instant, the Grim Reaper had sluggishly turned in my direction. He only faced towards me not moving an inch. Like this, maybe I'll be able to escape. The tiny hope I found was shattered in an instant.
His instantaneous speed and power is high, but his movements other than that are slow was what I expected. In response to the Reaper's linear movements I intended to run in zig-zags, but that thinking of mine was naive.
"I didn't think he could use that sickle on chain like that!"
The sickle hanging on the chains from the right sleeve was swung and with a loud clanging struck a tree growing in the forest. Then, swallowing the chain back into the clothes the Reaper closed the distance between us all at once.
I used the very basic magic at the Grim Reaper standing horizontally on the tree's trunk supporting himself with the kusarigama pierced into it. I knew it wouldn't deal any damage, but I aimed to cause the Reaper some dizziness.
Even though I knew it was mostly meaningless action, I still fired the magic to distract myself from the fear of being chased after and continued to run.
When the cloud of dust from explosion cleared up, the Grim Reaper stood there as if nothing happened, tilting his head.
At this rate I'll be caught up to, thinking so I further increased the pace and rushed.
The Reaper used the chain in order to close the distance between us after which he swung his scythe. While somehow avoiding the deadly attacks in the middle of the fog I searched for the exit from the forest.
From time to time I tried holding him back with 《Bomb》 or 《Clay Shield》 from impatience, but it was meaningless, the Grim Reaper received it all from the front and cut through with the scythe.
"Haa, haa, haa——"
It continued endlessly and in the middle I lost the sight of the Reaper's figure.
I leaned my back on the tree and checked the surroundings.
In order to calm down my roughened breathing, I took deep breath time after time, gradually settling down.
Although the surroundings were still heavily coloured by fog, a single wishful thought crossed my mind.
"No way... did I lose h——?!!"
Did I lose him. That judgement was quickly betrayed.
The kusarigama that jumped up from the ground had tied my back to the tree I was leaning on.
"Damn! He's got me?!"
The chain wound around me several times and the sickle was stuck deeply into the tree's trunk, arresting me.
Because I relaxed for just a moment, I've been caught.
I twisted my body and tried to escape from the chains, but they strongly bit into my body and the only effect was loud sound of the metal rubbing against each other.
Isn't there something to use, my gaze wandered, then I looked ahead of the chain extending from the ground.
I could hear a sound of slow steps on the dead leaves of the forest, slowly the Grim Reaper's figure appeared in the purple fog.
"Get off, get off, get off!"
I tried to take the chains off forcibly, twisted my body trying to slip out, but I was still stuck. Meanwhile the Reaper slowly moved closer to me relying on his chain.
Is there any way——I desperately recalled the list of items I have and thought of a method to get out of this place.
In the meantime I used earth element magic like 《Clay Shield》 and 《Mud Pool》 to slow him down, but the Clay Shield was cut apart and he calmly walked over the Mud Pool.
"What do I do, what to do, what——"
Looking at my restrained hands, I thought of one method.
If I used the 【Fairy Possessed Ring】's effect, I might possibly be able to defeat or fight off the Grim Reaper, or escape. But before I executed that idea a black shadow stood in front of me and my thinking stopped.
The Death standing in front of me looked down at me with his eyes in the mask mimicking a bird.
A carelessly-swung sickle cut my body diagonally from the shoulder. I didn't prepare myself mentally for the attack that reaped my entire HP in an instant. My field of view dimmed and the message displayed was different than normal.
※In case you are defeated by a special mob the Death Penalty you will be subjected to will be different from normal.
The 【Grim Reaper】 mob's penalty extends the status decrease period to 【72 Hours】.
Indeed, this death penalty is no joke. Normal death penalty last for an hour, the period of three days is quite unreasonable.
I would like to avoid receiving a three-days long death penalty from being beeaten by an enemy that appeared out of nowhere.
Without any hesitation I pressed 『"YES"』 upon the Revival Medicine usage choice.
I hope this nightmarish situation is over when I wake up. I wished so and when I revived myself, I saw the Grim Reaper who already retrieved his kusarigama and turned his back to me.
"So it's not over yet. Means I can only escape."
In response to my revival the Reaper tilted his mask curtly. But next, he would probably come to hunt me with his sickle. as if to say "Well, fine. I need to reap him again".
I started to run desperately and on the way, I gulped down a High Potion.
"Haa, haa... what a bad luck."
I thought of meeting the mob that ultimately sends you back after death as bad luck and escaped frantically.
Since the enchants were cancelled upon my death and revival, I re-applied enchants on myself.
Although the Grim Reaper followed me with his high-speed movement using kusarigama, this time I didn't let him out of my sight.
For the sake of avoidance I didn't use neither a bow nor the kitchen knife and continued to escape while watching the enemy's every attack and move.
Still, the enemy was strong. Even if I extended the time to think during the attack using 【Sky Eyes】 I had to receive attacks I was unable to avoid. Each time I revived after death and continued to escape.
As I moved continuously escaping, the purple fog covering the forest gradually grew thin and I thought I might be able to escape at this rate.
There was the exit from the forest, I saw a place where the fog was thinner. If I escape through there, this frantic game of tag will end. When I thought so, I relaxed for a moment, which was directly connected with my death.
I saw the swung sickle and my body fell again.
Without hesitation I selected 『YES』 on the appearing menu. With this I no longer had any Revival Medicine left.
"I'll bet everything on this! ——【Bomb】!"
I scattered a large amount of Bomb's Magic Gems and triggered them, then rushed to the exit all at once. If he turns dizzy because of my magic and is stranded, it'll be my win.
While I thought so I took a step and slipped, falling to the ground.
"Damn, why. Heck, what is this..."
I noticed as I tried to stand up. The kusarigama entangled around my leg. On the other side there was the Reaper who was intact despite the multiple bombing.
As he retracted his hand, the chain was wound back and I fell to the ground again.
"Aghh, I got this far and yet..."
I used the valuable Revival Medicine to run away and yet I couldn't escape in the end... I extended my hand to the outlet wanting to get closer to it even a little, but I lost to the strength pulling the chain and dragging me back on the ground.
Let's use this 【Fairy Possessed】 ring on the finger of my right hand. I thought, but once again water was poured on that idea.
As I knelt the Grim Reaper put the sickle under my neck. Seeing the blade's dull shine I felt fear.
I felt like a sinner waiting for execution.
Restrained like this, sadness and loneliness raged inside my chest.
Then, that sadness and loneliness was bound to the 【Fairy Possessed】 ring reflected in my vision, an out of place thought crossed my mind.
——I wonder, is it lonely inside of that ring?
The moment I thought of that question, my fear of the Reaper disappeared completely.
Not feeling any fear as the sickle approached, I just felt like accepting it. In the end what I was disappointed with, that I couldn't do anything about the Reaper.
Then, the sickle reaped my head and my consciousness fell into darkness completely.
Epilogue - Release and Honey
The place I woke up in, was the 【Atelier】 workshop's cold floor.
It was a crushing defeat. Death - Grim Reaper was a boss that made players feel awe.
"Ahahaha, it's my complete loss."
In the first place, even before fighting I knew I'll lose. However, thinking that I'll be able to escape, it was my complete loss.
"I didn't stand a chance. I didn't even deal any damage to him."
I couldn't do a thing, still, he had a presence I couldn't hate. It was truly a mob that only hunted the players, although it was odd and horrifying, but also an existence to respect strongly.
And, in the middle of the fight with the Grim Reaper I found an answer.
"Hey, Mischievous Fairy, come out!"
I spoke to the ring fitted on my own finger.
The ring of 【Fairy Possession】 allowed for summoning the fairy three times. I have decided on the first wish.
"You call, I come——hey, woahh?! You, why are you so beat up?!"
"How noisy, it's been a while since we met."
"Eh? EH?! You okay? Why did you call me looking like this?!"
The Mischievous Fairy I called was flustered not knowing what's happening. Therefore, I conveyed my feelings to her.
"Well, calm down. As for this, I fought someone earlier and lost."
"What?! Can I blow that guy away?!"
"Nah. Well, listen."
To think I would speak so seriously with an NPC, I'm real strange. As I thought so I spoke of the feelings the Grim Reaper made me aware of.
"You see. I'm troubled as for how to use you. You're way too free and your loving pranks troubles me. Also, you're leaving leftovers after eating sweets."
"Grr, hearing that from you while you're so beat up is..."
"But you see. Doing things with you wasn't so bad. And when the quest was over, you were sucked into my ring and I was told you would grant three of my wishes, but I don't have any."
The Mischievous Fairy listened to this with a perplexed expression on her face. Normally she would say some joke, she's a good girl.
"I've heard of many wishes fairies granted to players. None of them sounded any good to me. Thinking you'd only respond if you're called out, it felt kind of sad and lonely."
I paused for a moment. And in order to convey my wish to the fairy——
"And just earlier, I noticed. I want to be friends with you. That's why——I 【Release】 you."
The 【Fairy Possessed】 ring responded to these words and my bond with Mischievous Fairy disappeared.
Hearing this wish the Mischievous Fairy blinked several times in surprise.
"Release, by release you mean, I'M FREEEEEeeeeee!!"
Suddenly, wind raged inside the workshop part of the 【Atelier】 and the windows opened wide. Flying around the workshop the Mischievous Fairy generated wind, laughing merrily.
"I'm the freedom-loving Mischievous Wind Fairy! The 【Fairy Possession】 where I have to listen to someone's orders didn't fit me! This is feels the bestttttttt!!"
"Ohh, good for you!"
"Yup yup. Then, Yun and I are now on equal footing!"
"Yeah, I guess."
"And so, I'll do whatever I like. See you!"
She said so and flew out of the window.
Eh?!! Isn't this where we deepen our friendship a little, talk a bit? She suddenly went somewhere and once the wind subsided, there was no one left here.
"...pft, good grief. Just how free is she."
Even if I don't meet her again, I was still in somewhat refreshing mood.
"Aa-aah. Well, I'm glad the distressing 【Fairy Possession】's ring is gone."
With that said I lifted to take a look again at the ring on my finger.
And I noticed. The ring had further changed.
Faerie Ring 【Ornament】 (Weight: 1)
DEF+5 Mind +5 Additional Effect: Faerie Blessing
The Rugged Iron Ring changed into Ring of 【Fairy Possession】, and then with the blessing of the Mischievous Fairy it changed into an unique accessory.
The 【Blessing】's effect was slight increase of stats and slight increase of skill success rate. There was also slight rare drop rate increase. It was an aggregation of small yet handy effects.
A smile naturally spilled on my face. This is enough.
And, once I checked the equipment on my beat-up body, the dirt disappeared over time and the damage to the armour recovered absorbing my MP.
Just when I felt it looked good enough to appear in public, a voice had called out from the store part of the 【Atelier】.
"Hello〜. Is Yun-san in?"
"Yeah, wait a moment."
The one who spoke in such slow manner was Letia. When I entered the store part, I found Letia waiting alone.
No, she was together with someone else. On top of her head, there was someone who tilted her head with the same expression as Letia.
"Hey. That fairy on top of your head is?"
"Ah, after I completed the fairy quest I negotiated with her so that she becomes my tamed mob. She's Wind Fairy, Yayoi-chan."
Silently, the Wind Fairy raised her hand in greeting. Although normally I would congratulate Letia honestly, at the time my facial expression cramped up.
"Eh? Yun-san, did something happen?"
"Eh, no, Letia. Actually——"
I told her that the Mischievous Fairy I released earlier left as if nothing happened.
Therefore, seeing such a clear difference between me and Letia, I felt like I failed to raise hidden friendship parameters. Well, I guess our relationship wasn't that good right from the start. She covered me with mucus and I threatened to put her in a bottle.
"Isn't it all right?"
"You see, doesn't 'see you' mean that you'll meet again?"
These words entered straight into my heart.
I guess that even if she freely flies away, she'll also freely come back. I might have worried about it needlessly.
"Thanks, Letia. Want to eat something?"
"I'm in mood for doughnuts."
"Making me make some from scratch, huh."
When I stared at her intently, "You can do it, Yun-san." together with the fairy on top of her head they looked at me with gazes full of expectations.
Good grief, I heaved a sigh and started preparations for making doughnuts. With that said, they weren't shaped doughnuts, for materials I used hot cake mix and deep fried it making doughnuts in shape of a ball.
Then I covered them in powdered sugar, completing them. When I put plenty of them on top of a simple platter, Letia and the fairy started eating them while drooling.
I guess, I should prepare a stock of sweets in case the Mischievous Fairy comes back. I muttered quietly.
After that, the story of Letia using a fairy as a tamed mob spread. Inside OSO, there were various discussions on the topic of 【Fairy Possession】 accessories usage. Among our acquaintances, there were many people who chose the 【Release】 option.
"Well, that's because there's a higher value in their existence itself rather than in items and temporary help in combat. If they are to disappear after using three times, might as well release them right from the start."
Emily-san said so and sipped tea.
I was talking with Emily-san over the counter.
The time-limited Fairy Quest was over, the leisurely everyday life in the game has returned.
From among acquaintances who released fairies, Cloude freely treated his fairy as a dress-up doll. Magi-san's blessed her furnace increasing its firepower and Lyly's was entrusted with the management of the vast, private field.
"Well, it might be so. Cloude, Magi-san and the others are enjoying their company even without them doing anything, you could say they have the role of mascots."
But there were very few fairies who have become tamed mobs and lent people their strength like in Letia's case.
Well, I guess it means that my favourability rating was low.
"I don't think that was the case. She seemed to have plenty of fun."
Saying so, Emily-san and her released Water Fairy comforted me.
"Then, why did you release your fairy, Emily-san?"
"No, you see, the management of an indoor plant is troublesome so I released her and left it to her."
Now that's a luxurious way to use a fairy. I made a bitter smile, but since my Mischievous Fairy was long gone, I was a little envious.
"Well, I guess she'll casually appear sometim——"Yahooo, I was invited by the sweet scent!"——And there she is."
What a good timing she has. Ahead of my line of sight, there was the diving Mischievous Fairy.
"Been a while, were you healthy?!"
"That's my line. You overly-free Mischievous Fairy."
There was no touching reunion. I guess I can't be surprised every time.
"Ehehehe, I returned to the Fairy Village and brought lots of things! Be grateful to me!"
While saying so, the Mischievous Fairy held out a small pot.
Inside, there was a sticky amber-coloured liquid.
"It's the first sweetness after the Fairy Village's revival! Yun's human delicious sweetness and fairy sweetness. If we combine the best taste and sweetness, we'll become invincible!"
Filling the outstretched pot there was honey named 【Fairy Village's Honey Crown】. (Note: Honey Crown here is written as Hani Kuraun)
Good grief, she was really gluttonous. And, the Water Fairy stared at the little pot too.
"I get it. Well then, so that everyone can eat it I'll make some hot cakes with the honey."
"It's not mere honey! It's the king of honey! Honey Crown! It's super delicious!"
As the Mischievous Fairy emphasised using her entire body, yes yes, I responded, put down frying pan on the stove and took out hot cake mix I made the other day.
"Hot cakes huh, I haven't eaten any recently."
"If it's to retain honey's simple taste, I think they will be best."
I said so and made one soft hot cake after another and put them down on platters.
To finish up, I covered three hot cakes from the top with 【Fairy Village's Honey Crown】.
While holding down the fairies, Ryui and Zakuro who were about to leap at the food any moment, I cut the hot cakes into portions for everyone.
Once I uniformly put down the dishes with hot cakes covered in butter and honey on the table, the fairies flocked to them.
"Geez, you're exaggerating."
Emily-san and I smiled wryly seeing Mischievous Fairy's exaggerated reaction.
As I made next hot cakes I cut them into smaller parts with a knife and fork, then divided them between Ryui and Zakuro.
Ready to it, I put them down on one, two, three platters. Eh? One too many?
"Rather, isn't there one animal too many here?"
Somehow, there was one fluffy animal too much. A small, slightly purple wolf was greedily eating hot cakes next to Zakuro.
"Hmm? This kid was here before."
"No, it's my first time seeing him!"
The Mischievous Fairy I asked licked the sticky honey off her hands.
"This kid was watching over that tree."
"Eh, if you mean the Wisteria Peach Tree, that'd make him Garm Phantom, huh."
Suddenly, Emily-san and I grew wary.
I raised my spatula, Emily-san raised her fork and knife, but the figure looking up at us with dropping ears was just dumbfounded.
To think an over ten metres long boss would turn into a doggy who at most reached my knees. The moment I though so, he barked and disappeared like mist.
"What on earth was he doing."
As I looked at the dish from which the hot cake disappeared cleanly and muttered, Emily-san's Water Fairy responded.
"That kid, he's only watching over the tree making sure it's growing well. Also, it seems like there are the same trees in other places so he's touring various places. He often stops by Emily's place."
"Oh, so the line of sight and presence I felt was his."
Convinced, Emily-san made a strange expression and stared at the Wisteria Peach Tree outside the window. Although it wasn't exactly the spirit of the tree, but more of a spiritual guardian of it.
"I wonder if it has any effect."
"No. He only watches over it and doesn't do anything. He only appears sometimes to watch."
"Somehow, I start to feel my store is becoming haunted by more and more things that aren't human..."
Mythical beasts Ryui and Zakuro, three different coloured synthetic Gel mobs, Mischievous Fairy who drops by from time to time and now on top of all that, a wolf from the underworld started to appear.
"Well, there's no harm so isn't it fine?"
If there was any effect, it would be that the amount of hungry fellows in the 【Atelier】 increased.
And afterwards, the released fairies could be seen around specific players and playing in specific places all over the town.
The 【Atelier】 had grown famous as a store where many fairies could be seen playing in.
Name : Yun
Weapon : Black Maiden's Longbow
Secondary Weapon : Magi-san's Kitchen Knife
Armour : CS No.6 Ochre Creator (Outerwear, Underwear, Torso, Waist).
Accessory Equipment Limit 2/10
● Faerie Ring (1)
● Substitute Gem's Ring (1)
【Bow Lv41】 【Longbow Lv15】 【Sky Eyes Lv10】 【Speed Increase Lv31】 【See-Through Lv18】 【Magic Talent Lv47】 【Magic Power Lv50】 【Enchant Arts Lv28】 【Dosing Lv31】 【Cooking Lv27】
【Alchemy Lv33】 【Synthesis Lv34】 【Crafting Knowledge Lv35】 【Taming Lv10】 【Engraving Lv3】 【Earth Element Talent Lv20】 【Swimming Lv13】 【Linguistics Lv20】
Time-Limited Quest's Rewards
● Faerie Ring
● Fairy Delivery (Mischievous Wind Fairy will visit the 【Atelier】 on regular basis bringing faerie-related gifts)
To those whom I'm meeting for the first time and those whom I'm meeting again, hello. I'm Aloha Zachou.
You who have taken this book in your hands, A-san in charge of editing, yukisan-sama who prepared wonderful illustrations, Hani Kuraun-sama whose comicalized version is serialized in the Monthly Dragon Age, as well as the great many people who have seen my work on the internet, I'm really grateful. Currently, serialized in the Dragon Magazine there's a spin-off work of OSO "Silver Goddess" where our protagonist's little sister Myu is the lead, so I would appreciate it if you tried reading it.
This time, it's almost entirely new episode that can't be found in the web novel. I wonder if you enjoyed it, I hope you did enjoy it.
I'm glad that I had an opportunity in the sixth volume to deliver you a story and anecdotes about fairies I put aside before and didn't have the chance to include in the web version of the story.
This time little joke materials have become the motif of the entire volume.
The one with crocodile-head boss was quite a minor one.
The motif had been taken from one of "Godzilla Series" movies, one with the giant monster Biollante.
To me, Biollante was a monster I felt connected to when I was a kid.
It's about something that happened with my older brother when I was very young. The two of us siblings took turns trying gachapon, as kids with shine in our eyes we hoped to get Godzilla the monster of justice as we stood in front of the gachapon. However, among the capsules we got from inside, there was one eerie object.
What came out of the capsule, was a monster with an incomprehensible head, its lower body looked rugged like rock and it had four thin tentacle-like limbs——there were two Biollantes. That's right, a double.
At the time, even as kids who didn't know the story background and didn't see "Godzilla versus Biollante", we brothers fell into the despair in the reality where we have received a duplicate of two creepy objects.
Currently, considering it as a game and manga setting and learning the background story I ended up taking a liking to it, thinking that Biollante's design isn't all that bad. And was able to settle down.
And one more. On the stage of making plot, the reaper had a common design of a skeleton in a robe wielding a scythe. What twisted it around, was once again my brother's appearance.
"I've got free time, got anything interesting? Like jokes or stories that can be used for my book."
『"There is one. Want to watch "Rats Died" song on NicoNico?"』
As a result, I didn't understand it at all.
"Sorry. I've got no clue what is that supposed to convey, I somehow survived listening to it once. The only good thing is the promotion video I guess. What's with that mask, so cool."
『"Apparently it's about the rats that died first and foremost when the plague was spreading. Also, that's a plague mask."』
"Hee, is that so."
『"It seems like that pointy tip using a bird as a motif was made to counter strong odours and as an charm against disease."』
"Wait a second, my brother."
『"What is it? Was it a good story? My brother."』
"If that mask is related to plague, it can be used for Grim Reaper's design. And if the motif is a bird, I can put bird feathers and stuff to his cloak."
『What, scary! In that case, you should add a bird beak's motif to the sickle as well."』
"I'll use this! All right, I got the design."
『"That's great. If something like that appear it would sure scare people."』
That's the true story behind how the Reaper's design was settled. From time to time thanks to interesting conversations with my brother I find such things and we share information. Just recently we've had lots of laughter with "Explosion of MTG box purchased for birthday".
From now on as well, please do take care of me, Aloha Zachou.
In the end I would like once again to thank you, readers who have taken this book in your hands.
I look forward to the day I'll meet you all again.
July 2015, Aloha Zachou