Chapter 1 - Myu and High-Speed Leveling
An armour of bristles, warped backwards tusks, my nemesis standing on the ground using its muscular limbs——the Big Boar.
I received the opponent's attack time after time again. And, when there was a chance I continued to deal damage with my sword.
And, this time too——
"This match! Is minee!"
The Big Boar shook its head, swinging its warped tusks as to restrain me.
Rousing itself with a shout, it repeatedly assaulted me from the front. I received that attack several times from the front and counter-attacked... that was the plan.
I had no idea what happened.
The actual fact was, that the sword broke, the broken-off portion was blown upwards and the sword spilled out of my hands, becoming particles of light.
The next moment, the wild boar's tusks approached——
Since I was small I loved games, I love them even now.
Old games, new games, arcade games for home use.
Role-play, action, shooting, adventure, fighting games, sound games, quizzes... since Onee-chan's and Onii-chan's friend also loves games, he brought various ones and we played them. Since Onii-chan wasn't too good at them we chose ones where he can enjoy himself and played together the four of us, in order to win I secretly played alone to polish my skills in game.
I played various games forgetting about time completely. From time to time, I felt like entering the game world with my entire body to feel it all. I've had thoughts like that.
But, that's absolutely impossible. I mean, no matter how much I overlap the game character with myself, I can't become the game's character. I want a character that's only my own, I want to play a game in which I can become an unique character.
That dream I expected to be impossible, had soon approached.
"...【Only Sense Online】?"
"That's right. There's recruitment for that VR game's β testers. In that, Shizuka-san will part——"I'll do it!"——I thought you would."
I passed through the lottery for a VRMMO β tester into which I was invited by Onii-chan's best friend, Takumi-san, and played my fill in the β test.
Before I realized, I have become a player called 【Silver Paladin】.
The β version lasted for three months. During that time, I don't know how many efficient players capable of raising their levels high were there.
Leaving all but memories of it, almost everything was reset.
Levels, items, equipment. All of it was gone, I had to start again from scratch.
I made a promise with acquainted players to reunite after the opening of the official version, and with that the β test had come to an end.
And, during coming summer vacations 【Only Sense Online】 is coming back with its official version. It's all reset, but I'm thinking of becoming the 【Silver Paladin】 once again.
——This time, I'll become a paladin even faster.
"Well then, Onii-chan! I'll be going ahead!"
On the day of 【OSO】's official opening, at the same time I've heard that the server was opened I put on the VR Gear that was the VR equipment and lay down on the bed.
Since Onii-chan was cleaning up after lunch and planned to log in later, I have met up with Shizuka-oneechan.
"——I have returned!"
I yelled with an excited voice. The place I have descended upon was the first town's centre——the intersection of the main streets going from east to west and north to south.
The medieval Europe town surrounded by a huge outer wall in the fantasy world of swords and magic, the houses were mainly built with brick and cobblestone, here and there I could see windows made of glamorous wood and glass.
After going into a single back alley, there was the residential and relaxation area inside of which NPCs have gathered and were speaking with each other.
The players logging in one after another were overwhelmed by this town. Some of them were people who have started moving while looking around the town.
"How tasteless. Oops, I shouldn't say that, I was walking around the town in β as well."
Back then, there was a limited number of players, since there was no choice but to seek information by walking around on their own feet, I have memorized the entire town's map into my head.
As compared to the β in which I moved around for a little bit, there were some additional elements added and I had fun looking around for changes.
"Well then, first, acquiring Senses and Shizuka-oneechan. No, since it's a game it should be meeting up with Sei-oneechan."
I opened the menu and acquired the Senses from the window.
In 【Only Sense Online】's game system, these Senses were the basis of everything and most important thing.
The players equipped Senses into ten of their frames and were also able to replaced them to fit their own play styles.
People who want to wield a sword take 【Sword】 Sense. If it's a spear, then 【Spear】 Sense, if they want to use magic they need to acquire several Senses required for it. In addition to combat system Senses, there were crafting Senses, stat-rising type Senses, auxiliary Senses and various hobby-type Senses.
Choosing Senses to one's liking was all right, preparing a challenging Sense build was all right, choosing crafting, hobby or Senses for beating new challenges was all right.
——Saying your playstyle was the "only" one, wasn't unfounded.
And, the Senses I have chosen were these.
【Sword Lv1】 【Armour Lv1】 【Physical Attack Increase Lv1】 【Physical Defence Increase Lv1】 【Magic Power Lv1】 【Magic Talent Lv1】 【Magic Recovery Lv1】 【Light Element Talent Lv1】 【Recovery Lv1】 【Fighting Spirit Lv1】
The first acquired Senses, were these ten. While conscious of my playstyle during the β version, I took Senses to play efficiently. Among some of these Senses I planned to withdraw some, but it didn't mean I wouldn't use them again.
If I were to make a basic explanation of each Sense, the 【Sword】 Sense makes it possible to deal damage with any weapons classified as swords and grants a damage bonus. The 【Armour】 Sense granted additional defence when equipped with an armour. These are called weapon Senses or battle Senses. Next was the【Physical Attack Increase】 and 【Physical Defence Increase】. While with weapon and armour Senses I could equip items, and use 【Skills】 and 【Arts】——that's right, special moves! These didn't give me any of these, but instead gave me a positive correction to ATK stat that was tied to physical attacks and DEF stat that increased physical defence.
These were called stat-rising type Senses.
Next, the three Senses that were the basis for the magic 【Magic Power】, 【Magic Talent】 and magic attribute.
The 【Magic Power】 Sense gave a player MP, which was required for activation of the earlier mentioned 【Skills】 and 【Arts】. That's why there were people who didn't use magic yet had the 【Magic Power】 Sense.
The 【Magic Talent】 Sense had no effect on its own, but with 【Magic Power】,【Magic Talent】 and magic attribute the effect could be exerted. My chosen attributes were 【Light Element Talent】 and 【Recovery】.
Among magic attributes there were six basic elements, fire, water, wind, earth, light and darkness, it was also possible to obtain resistance to magic and skills corresponding to each element.
And the 【Recovery】 was a general use Sense that was an auxiliary magic of this system.
The last ones, 【Magic Recovery】 and 【Fighting Spirit】 had passive effects——in other words they were auxiliary Senses that had various automatic effects. This was my Sense build status.
"First aim, status from β test! Paladin's return!"
"Myu-chan, you seem to be having fun."
When I looked around, there stood a gentle-looking woman with light blue hair. This beauty with a beauty mark under her eye as her charm point was unmistakable. It was Sei-oneechan's character I've seen often in the β era.
Without any hesitation I dove in her chest embracing her.
"Onee-chan! It's been a while!"
"Yes, Myu-chan, it's really been a while."
I enjoyed the softness of Onee-chan's boobs gently wrapping around me.
Boing, boing. When I pressed my face in, there was a soft rebound. I felt a line of sight and when I looked to the surroundings, other players' had their gazes nailed to Onee-chan's boobs.
"Stop looking at Onee-chan as you like!"
"Myu-chan. What happened all of a sudden?"
Sei-oneechan didn't notice, but several players were admiring her captivating boobs, surprised by my words they have fled in a hurry.
Sei-oneechan's boobs are mine! I declared in my mind.
"So, where's Shun-chan?"
"Onii-chan said he'll come after cleaning up. Onee-chan, did you get your Senses yet?"
"Yes, I received the beginner's equipment as well."
With that said, she raised the initial weapon given after choosing a weapon Sense. Onee-chan has acquired a 【Staff】 Sense and received a Beginner's Staff. I have a Sword Sense so I received a Beginner's Sword.
"Want to finish shopping together before Onii-chan comes?"
"We can do that. That way, we can carry on smoother when explaining things to Shun-chan."
After receiving Onee-chan's consent, striking the iron when it's hot I pulled Onee-chan's hand, walking through the town.
The stores we stopped by were NPC weapon and general stores.
In the weapon store, there were NPC weapons and armour. In the general store there were recovery items and consumables required for adventure.
Their effects were lower than those made by crafters, but they were things to equip at the early stage of the game.
"Welcome. What would you like?"
"Excuse me! I want to trade this in for a new weapon, also, give me a light armour!"
"I want to trade this staff in and also, different equipment."
We sold our beginner's weapons and used the money retained from β version, by paying gold I bought multiple iron-made sword with the highest attack power and the lightest shoulder armour made of leather.
The leather shoulder protector was equipped in order to get a defence bonus from the 【Armour】 Sense.
"All right! My shopping's over!"
"Myu-chan. You bough so many swords, is that for ingots?"
Sei-oneechan already bought her Oak Staff and held it in an embrace with her both hands.
Since Sei-oneechan asked why did I buy several pieces of the same equipment, I gave an ambiguous answer.
"I guess that's half correct? Also, for using too, since they break."
Iron Swords purchased this time were mainly a substitute for ore.
"I want a crafter to make me a weapon and gathering ore takes time, on initial level it can't be gathered. I need to ensure the materials for it right now."
It was more expensive than ore, but a single Iron Sword could be conveniently remade into an ingot. I've had money left over from the β era so I bought a lot of them.
Also, weapons made by NPCs have low durability, since they were easily replaced they were useful in other manners as well.
"Myu-chan, are you going to buy consumables?"
"Hmm. Let's see..."
Since I already thought of what I need, together with Sei-oneechan I bought the recovery items, 30 Beginner's Potions and 10 Potions, then returned to the square.
"It's about time Onii-chan logged in I think."
When I looked at the surroundings, I could see players continuously log in. This many players gathering during the β version was only when there was an event, I recalled and chuckled.
As we travelled and overlooked that, in the friend list's menu I was able to confirm Onii-chan has logged in.
I selected the line that changed from grey colour and connected the chat with Onii-chan.
"Ah, Onii-chan. Did you connect?"
『"What. It's Miu huh. You surprised me."』
Was Onii-chan impressed with the fantasy world too? Maybe it's too fast, I reflected and decided the meeting place.
A place that had become a landmark during the β era. A square that had a woman's statue built on it, like Hachiko statue, it had become a meeting spot in OSO.
"There's too many people here so we can't find each other. Onee-chan and I arrived at the cathedral on the north. We'll wait for you there."
『"Got it, I'm going there now."』
While saying so, Onee-chan and I headed to the meeting location.
Meanwhile the chat remained opened, I arbitrarily shared the connection with Sei-oneechan. Each time he let out a voice of admiration like "uwahh" or "howaa", we wondered if we were like that too. Recalling it, the two of us giggled.
"Hey Onii-chan, have you arrived yet?"
『"Yeah, I did but... where are you?"』
I called out to him worried, but apparently he was probably able to reach it. However, there were many other players who used this place for meeting up and we weren't using our own noticeable equipment.
"Under the church's statue. White hair. Onee-chan has light blue hair."
After waiting for a while, I stared at an unfamiliar girl pushing through the crowd coming straight towards us.
In the game in which fantasy colours were popular, she had black hair. Speaking of which, since Onii-chan won't tinker with colour schemes, he'll have black hair too, right. While thinking that, the person I stared at has come in front of us.
Looking at her from up close, she was a shockingly cute girl.
I wonder, who is this slender-type beautiful girl? Together with Sei-oneechan we tilted our heads aligned. I felt the girl had a familiar atmosphere, but I couldn't recall immediately.
"You're Miu right?"
"Eh, yes. I'm Myu, but... who are you?"
"It's me. Your brother, Shun."
She knew me. However, she wasn't an acquaintance from β era. With the her next words, taken over by surprise I was dyed white.
"Umm? Shun-chan? Onee-chan hasn't met you for a while so she doesn't know, but when did you change your gender?"
"No, Onee-chan, that didn't happen! That's not the problem here! Why did Onii-chan turn into Onee-chan?!"
My yell echoed in the square.
To conclude, Onii-chan has become Onee-chan.
Apparently the cause was the camera's misrecognition during the character edit. Well, it's cute so I forgive it. The problems start here! Yun-oniichan's inefficient Sense build and his cowardly way of fighting!
"——And here I wanted us to adventure together!"
After that, in order to accustom Onii-chan who got soaked in mishappen Senses to the world of OSO, we had him go through a simple tutorial.
"Now then, the special moves——【Arts】. Perfect, my 【Sword】 just leveled up to 5..."
My weapon Sense was now level 5 and art could be used, I approached the closest Herbivorous Beast.
Unless I myself attack, the passive mob won't attack me. I took the optimal position for deciding it with a single strike.
I recalled the art I used many times in β version, I gripped the Iron Sword in my hands and set it up.
The sword was clad in silver light and a triple attack drawing a triangle was released.
With every slash having additional correction from the art, the damage was dealt and scrapped the mob's HP in two hits, the third cut the light particles in the air.
After that, together with Sei-oneechan we gave him several advices, but he Onii-chan was still surprised by 《Delta Slash》 and his reaction was dull, giving us a half-hearted reply.
Will he really be all right alone. I wondered, but on the other hand I thought he needs time to think alone, this is where we quietly disbanded.
After completing the tutorial with Onii-chan, I separated with Sei-oneechan and continued to hunt Herbivorous Beasts in the plains.
"I've separated from Onii-chan and others, but there's still time right."
Just once earlier, I checked my Sense status increase after combat during Onii-chan's tutorial.
【Sword Lv5】 【Armour Lv3】 【Physical Attack Increase Lv3】 【Physical Defence Increase Lv3】 【Magic Power Lv3】 【Magic Talent Lv3】 【Magic Recovery Lv2】 【Light Element Talent Lv3】 【Recovery Lv3】 【Fighting Spirit Lv2】
"Grr, my levels aren't going up at all."
I pouted as I stared at my Sense status.
Senses level increases when actions appropriate for each Sense are taken. For example, the 【Sword】 Sense's experience is gained when the enemy is attacked with a sword and its level raises. Earlier during the tutorial battle, I received some attacks in order to raise my defence-type Senses, but it still hasn't reached satisfactory level.
"Hmmgrr, what to do. Even if I raise levels from now on... oh ,a friend call?"
I operated the icon blinking at the edge of my field of view, after checking the name of the caller I connected immediately.
『"Hi. Myu-chan, it's been a while〜."』
"Hino-chan! Been healthy?"
『"Yup, I'm fine. Want to meet up?"』
"Sure. Then, let's meet up at——"
A meet up with an acquaintance from β. We decided on the meeting spot together.
I who was outside the town have passed by the gate, entering the town I aimed at the meeting spot.
There, I found my acquaintance's figure.
"Yahoo, been a while."
"Hino-chan, it's been a while! Were you well?"
"Yup, I'm always energetic!"
A female player and a member of my party back from the β, Hino-chan.
She was slightly shorter than me, as for her character's pupils, she had mismatched eyes, her right eye was deep blue and her left one was red. The petite girl's another feature was that when she laughed her long canines showed.
A precious friends back from β's party and a dependable attacker in the party.
"Yesterday I was looking forward to it so much, so enthusiastic I overslept."
Ahaha, as she laughed a glimpse of her charm point, long canines glimpsed from her mouth.
"Hino-chan, what will you do now? Want to party up and go hunt?"
I immediately invited Hino-chan to the party. I was still worried about Yun-oniichan who wasn't familiar with the game, but Hino-chan was a comrade who traveled various areas with me in the β version. Even though her level was lower, she had skills to make up for it.
That Hino-chan has put a finger on her chin and made a practice swing.
"I logged in just earlier so I didn't procure any equipment or items. Also, I want to order some weapons from a crafter I've been taken care of during the β times, so it might take a little bit of time."
Today there were a lot of people so moving alone is nimbler. After saying that, Hino-chan had gone off to do various preparations.
I'd like to go together with Hino-chan, but the crafter who made weapons and armour for me in the β was a different person than the one who made them for Hino-chan, going together was meaningless.
"Then, how about meeting again later? How long will your errands take, Hino-chan?"
"Hmm. It probably won't take an entire hour. About thirty minutes?"
"In that case until then, let's act separately, for meeting again, how about at this fountain?"
"Let's see. Yup, let's do that! Ehehe, I look forward to partying with Myu-chan."
Hino-chan's cheek happily loosened and, well then, I'll hurry to finish it up. And she ran off.
I saw off Hino-chan who was so petite she has immediately mixed among the opening day's crowd, after hearing a friend's voice after so long, my excitement increased.
There was still some time until meet-up with Hino-chan. Thinking about what to do in the meantime, I put my index finger on my chin.
"Hmm. As I thought, leveling it is. Well, let's go easy on it!"
As to loosen my body I stretched, then started walking outside the town.
Basically, since the trip won't take even five minutes, even considering the trip back and forth there was enough time secured for leveling.
As I proceeded taking steps on the ground making crispy sound, a new enemy crawled out from the grass.
"An immediate encounter! Let's twist you up slightly!"
It wasn't the mobs I aimed for, but the slime consisting of a blue jelly-like body and a nucleus had appeared. Also, what else appeared was a classic fantasy Goblin of height like that of a child, green skin and small horns on its head.
I released the beginner skill of light magic 《Light Shot》 towards the slime and received the Goblin's club with the sword set up in one hand, pushing him back. When I did, the large-headed Goblin lost his balance and felt on its butt. I used that timing to defeat it.
The slime had its HP took down to 80% by the magic attack from earlier.
"Ohhh! It's been a while, but I as I thought, it feels different!"
With β era stats, she killed slimes with a single hit and was able to cut the Goblin's club in half.
"On more time——《Light Shot》!"
After firing light magic multiple times hitting the slime's nucleus, the slime's volume was reduced by the exposed area.
And, after four rounds of light magic, it hit the nucleus the powerless slime had spread out and turned into particles of light, disappearing.
Hearing the sound of battle in which she had defeated the Goblin and slime, next enemy appeared in front of her.
"Oh, next is your turn isn't it."
I have lightly received the Goblin's attack who had jumped out from grass swinging his club vertically, deflected, avoided and parried, checking my player's skills.
I swung down and thrust, did a sideways slash. When I tried attack movements and actions from eight directions, I've slashed the enemy one time after another.
"...it's a bit different. As I thought, it's like this."
I felt inconsistency between the movements now and the ones I remembered from back during the β times.
It was an effect that's come from the initial equipment and status, as well as a blank of several months.
"And this goes like that, haa!"
The swung sword shook the prairie's grass, it danced assaulted by the air pressure. Feeling satisfied with the handling, recalling the swordsmanship for one-handed sword.
My original battle-style was that of a magic swordsman using a combination of sword and magic, one-handed sword in my left hand and using both light and recovery magic with my right.
In order to smoothly be able to do that, I repeatedly hunted the Goblins and slimes.
"As I thought, even if I assume Goblin is a PvP opponent, it's still bland. Well then, let's end this."
With that said, I cut the Goblin's body, the neck that was humanoid mobs' weakness, chest and his head, making his HP to 0.
"Well, after I level some more that's how it'll turn. They're within the range of what I can deal with knowing attack patterns and characteristics."
However, as I endlessly hunted the Goblin's, my level's increase was slowing down.
Then what should I do, I thought, there was no choice but to seek stronger mobs. If possible a mob stronger than I am.
"As I thought, leveling has to be done on strong mobs."
Deciding that, I immediately took action.
I cleaved slimes and Goblins on my journey, then entered the forest beyond the boundary of the plains.
Sprinting, jumping lightly, I further confirmed movements required for combat as I proceeded deeper into the forest.
There were some openings in the lush forest, but there were also many places with blind spots so playing solo one had to be careful here.
"Get outta my way, weaklings!"
As I walked around looking for the mob I aimed for, attracted to me were large grey rats and Mill Birds with a piercing voice sweeping at and attacking me from the sky.
It wasn't a mob to attack from a distance with magic, but when I came closer they became active and approached, there was no end to the weak mobs coming at me one after another.
"Grr, in a party my blind spots would be filled, but it's even more annoying to walk without auxiliary Senses."
With an auxiliary Sense like 【Discovery】 that would allow me to find the enemy in advanced or like 【Sixth Sense】 that would warn me, it would be easy to avoid weak mobs.
But since I didn't chose either of them, I had to proceed vigilantly, quite unable to find the mob I was looking for.
I defeated Grey Rats by swinging my sword as if to scoop them up, as for the Mill Birds aiming from the sky, I shot them with magic. If they approached me, I avoided lightly then countered, delivering damage.
As I proceeded dealing with them mechanically, I eventually found a single animal in the back of the forest.
"Finally found him."
There, covered in fur, lying down was a large boar mob with warped tusks, a Big Boar.
The opponent I have been looking for leveling sake. After defeating every enemy I found on the way, I checked my Sense status.
【Sword Lv8】 【Armour Lv4】 【Physical Attack Increase Lv6】 【Physical Defence Increase Lv4】 【Magic Power Lv6】 【Magic Talent Lv6】 【Magic Recovery Lv4】 【Light Element Talent Lv5】 【Recovery Lv4】 【Fighting Spirit Lv4】
Since I was avoiding attacks, my Senses other than the attack-oriented ones haven't raised their levels. The opponent for leveling, Big Boar will be quite hard to face.
When I have resolved myself to fight and took a step forward, the Big Boar swiftly got up and started scrapping the ground with its hind legs.
The mob, said to be the first barrier for the beginner's was quite strong even among the small fry category, in party it was an opponent for level 15s. For solo, it was an opponent for a level 20.
Although I defeated slimes, Goblins, Grey Rats, Mill Birds on the way here and my level has risen, the average level of my Senses was still 5.
Confronting it solo was reckless. Normally, that is...
"Now, it's time for high-speed leveling."
The hind legs that were scrapping the ground firmly stepped on it, and he started running. The charge of a large bulk of flesh and splendid bent tusks mowed all the players on its way.
I poised my one-handed sword's blade to the side in a parrying posture, then avoided to the side. Rather than stop the assault from the front, I stood beside hitting the mob lightly with the sword to parry him.
Shock had spread through the blade to my body, spreading inside my body. It was reflected in a form of damage.
"Khh! As I thought, the level difference is big."
Due to too large level difference, even during the short moment of contact during the charge I received a lot of damage.
The shock cut down 50% of my HP. If the contact lasted one second longer, I would have surely died and returned to town.
"Maybe I should have raised my level more and prepared myself better. But, I won't lose——《Heal》"
Using beginner's recovery magic I restored my HP. Meanwhile, the Big Boar ran through a dozen of metres, changed his direction and rushed in my direciton again.
I felt like a Spanish matador.
"C'mon! Come at me!"
I touched the next assault from the side as well, earning the damage.
If others were to see it, they would see my behaviour strange. I discarded any attacking and only parried with the sword. The longer I touched the mob during the charge, the more of my HP was momentarily cut down. Assessing the limit of how much I can last, I parried the attacks.
During this act of uninterrupted tension, the corners of my lips naturally raised up.
"That's right, this is it! This is what's fun! ——《Heal》!"
I withstood and endured. I repeatedly used Heal and when HP recovery wasn't enough I avoided Big Boar's next attack, creating opportunity for recovery. Sometimes I did emergency avoidance and used Beginner's Potions.
When I didn't have enough MP, I read the Big Boar's movements and continued to avoid his next nearly-linear attacks, buying time for MP's natural recovery to work.
That, continued for a long time was something tiring mentally. Moreover, since I felt my body become dull after receiving powerful impacts, I have focused even further.
"Next one, come!"
The moment my sword touched the mob as if to pat it, the NPC-made Iron Sword had cracked like a piece of glass and a crack appeared in the middle of it.
The moment I saw that, I back-stepped, threw away the sword and took distance from the Big Boar.
"Haa, haa, haa... nhh, my weapon's gone, let's take a break here!"
I slowly retreated backwards, starting to withdraw.
When I avoided the incoming Big Boar who chased me, if I avoided too early it would suddenly change his charge's direction and come assault me or bite. I continued to escape while avoiding with optimal timing to the left or the right.
"If I'm not wrong, it should be somewhere here!"
Although the Big Boar chased me as I escaped in zig-zag, when I exceeded a certain line in the woods the Big Boar's movement stopped just before it. To be precise, the giant body's charge raised a sand cloud from beneath its legs, leaving a large trail of its hoofs it stopped.
The Big Boar, frustrated by me escaping had suddenly lost interest in me and in a hurry returned to his own place.
"Pheeew, as expected, that was too reckless. But, fun too!"
I've rest my back on the tree nearby, taking a break.
My HP was returned to full by recovery magic, but my MP was very low. But more importantly, I concentrated too hard and was a little tired.
"I'm glad the mob's activity range didn't change from β days〜. I was almost caught up to."
While saying so, I checked my Sense status.
【Sword Lv8】 【Armour Lv8】 【Physical Attack Increase Lv6】 【Physical Defence Increase Lv9】 【Magic Power Lv6】 【Magic Talent Lv6】 【Magic Recovery Lv4】 【Light Element Talent Lv5】 【Recovery Lv4】 【Fighting Spirit Lv9】
Confirming the results of high-speed leveling have properly appeared, I desperately suppressed a grin.
Even though enemy wasn't defeated, levels increased over a short period of time. The trick to that lies in OSO's system.
"There's experience bonus for defeating enemy, but experience is also gained from any actions. That too, is important."
When a mob is defeated, experience gained is corresponding to the actions taken to defeat it. Normally, players repeatedly battle mobs gaining experience to raise their Sense levels.
However, there were other ways to raise levels other than combat.
For example, weapon Senses, starting with 【Sword】 Sense received experience from practice swings, even though the efficiency was bad. Crafting Senses earned experience by crafting, rather than combat.
This time's leveling method's concept was one that aimed to gain experience in combat against an enemy mob of a higher level than myself.
By battling a mob of higher rating than myself, I aimed to gain a considerable amount of experience in battle. That gave me a bonus experience beyond that I would gain fighting mobs of an equal level.
Although Senses had various types of actions required for leveling, it was possible to raise the ones that were similar all at once.
"Specific equipment, the original concept, an efficient way to go about leveling."
During this time, by receiving damage the 【Armour】, 【Physical Defence Increase】 and 【Fighting Spirit】, the three defence-related Senses have gained experience.
First stage of leveling——earning damage from the target.
And, the second stage was using 《Heal》 for gaining experience and leveling the four magic Senses 【Magic Talent】, 【Magic Power】, 【Recovery】 and 【Magic Recovery】.
"Well then, let's go with the second round!"
After resting enough and recovering entire MP, I slapped my cheeks charging myself with fighting spirit.
I rose up vigorously and took out a new Iron Sword of the stock in the inventory.
The stock of Iron Swords I had numbered twenty in all.
During high-speed leveling, in exchange for reduced time the money and items were spent, it was a risky method.
"I've got enough swords in stock! Will my abilities surpass that of Big Boar's first or will I fall to my own mistakes first, I wonder."
The "one-shot and I'm out" situation continues. That's what's fun. The best thrill.
As I confronted the Big Boar, the length of the parry gradually extended.
I compensated for HP with recovery magic, recovering the spent MP with 【Magic Recovery】. I could feel the thrill and growth of leveling under limited circumstances. And then, finally——
"...no damage, so parrying succeeded."
The timing of the parry performed with her player's skill was perfect. However, even though it was perfect, she received damage because of the difference in stats.
The difference in stats has finally decreased.
Once again, I parried to make sure it wasn't a fluke, then changed the stance from one for parrying charges to one for receiving attack from the front.
"Fuuu, high-speed leveling's final stage! Start!"
Resolving myself, I received the Big Boar's charge from the front with my sword.
*wham*, I endured an impact that seemed like it'll blown me backwards, as I was pushed back my feet scrapped the ground.
In the seemingly long, yet short instant, the Big Boar's momentum had weakened, my defence withstood the Big Boar's attack. I left a trace on the ground five metres away from the point in which I received the attack.
I lost 40% of my HP to that blow, but from here on I attack.
"This is payback! Eat this!!"
I moved to the side of the Big Boar that was still confused by the fact he was blocked and slashed with the Iron Sword. The body covered in thick fat and bristle had received a thin cut from the attack to the side, no damage was dealt.
"Khh, so the attacks won't go through after alll."
In response to my attack, the Big Boar attacked by biting, kicked with hind legs, hit with hooves and even tried to crush me with his giant bulk. As he continued to rampage I took a step back and continuously using recovery magic, I refilled my HP.
"I know all your behaviour patterns! From now on I'm serious, so——《Light Shot》"
Until now I spent MP only on recovery, but now I started using attack magic with MP.
The light bullet had hit the Big Boar's side and the damage went through. Thinking that for now the magic was more effective than the slashes, I started running and confronted the Big Boar who changed his direction and was coming at me.
The subjugation of the Big Boar was the final stage of leveling. Raising defence-oriented Senses in the first stage, raising magic-type Senses in the second stage. And at the end, raising the attack-oriented Senses by attacking the Big Boar. My Sense build was configured with this in mind.
It was a leveling configuration considering synergies made in order to reach the Senses I aimed for in the shortest amount of time possible.
"——《Light Shot》! 《Light Shot》!"
Although two light bullets hit the Big Boar charging from the front, one of the two was repelled by his hard skull and the other one was charged in the middle of the fast rush.
"As I thought, my aim with magic isn't good yet! Ghhh!!"
I raised an uncute shout despite being a girl, then once again I received the Big Boar's assault from the front and endured it.
Even if my stats increased with my levels, if I were to receive the Big Boar's assault defenceless there was a high probability of losing.
I received the assault, attacked when the enemy started rampaging, then fell back all at once.
I endlessly repeated the attacks like a machine, my sword started to injure the Big Boar's body deeply and there was evidence of my magical attacks gradually growing stronger.
"Now, 20% left!"
After repeatedly receiving attacks, the NPC-made sword's lifespans had extra shortened and only five of them have remained.
Still, according to my calculations I should be able to defeat it before using them all up.
"This match! Is minee!"
Yet another one charge together with a loud outcry. Receiving it once again, I focused all my bodily strength on the moment of impact.
However, this time was different.
At first, I didn't know what happened.
The Big Boar suddenly stopped. Just before his assault hit me, putting all his strength into his legs he forcibly stopped in front of me. And, while I was dumbounfed he lowered his head diving under the sword protruded in sideways, his two splendid fangs and his head have caught it from below, he swung his head upwards with great strength.
"Wha?!! No way, he aimed for the weapon!"
I stared in slow motion as the Iron Sword abruptly broke.
The difference between β and the official version has appeared.
The mob's behaviour pattern changed. Until now the Big Boar rampaged desperately and didn't take this action, most likely because there was a certain condition. For example, when it falls below a certain percentage of HP.
And while I lost my weapon, the Big Boar's fangs approached me. With my weapon destroyed my posture collapsed, exposing my defenceless body. If I received this attack and the fang pierced through my body, it would take my entire HP in one hit.
However, I discarded that possibility. I instantaneously operated the menu, calling forth a new Iron Sword.
As the fang approached, I avoided it by twisting my body and crawled under his chin.
The Big Boar that swung its head above me had exposed his weakness, his throat.
Receiving the single slash, cutting through, his body bent backwards.
In order not to miss this opportunity, I held the one-handed sword with my both hands and released my strongest attack.
A triple attack delivered with all strength in my both hands. My 【Sword】 and 【Physical Attack Increase】 Senses that have grown as I cut the Big Boar countless times.
The knowledge of the enemy's weaknesses.
And last, luck allowing me to grasp the victory.
The attack that applied all of these had cut down the remaining 10% of HP. The Big Boar raised its front legs and powerlessly fell to the side.
I succeeded in defeating a Big Boar alone.
My shoulders raised up and down as I breathed roughly, restraining myself. It wasn't that my breathing was distorted by the harsh movement. I was breathing deeply in order to calm my excitement after the battle.
I shut my eyes strongly, checking the feel of the sword with my both hands I cried out.
"YESSsss! I WONnn!!"
My voice echoed in the forest.
I was successful in defeating the Big Boar who, at the moment, was ranked higher than me. The difficulties so far, pain and other stuff were blown off, I felt satisfied with sense of superiority and fulfilment.
"I won. I managed to win, I wasn't wrong after all!"
I was able to verify the leveling method I have thought of endlessly since β version up until the official release.
The invested fund, was 100kG.
The used items were, Beginner's Potion x 17, Iron Sword x 20, Leather Armour.
Physical defence leveling, magic leveling and the following attack leveling were all successful.
"At first I was anxious, but I did it. I really did it!"
It wasn't something anyone could do it. It required quite a few items and money. It was high-speed leveling that required a high player skill in parrying and receiving attacks. No, it was power leveling. And that was over now.
And the Sense status that was the outcome of it——
【Sword Lv15】 【Armour Lv16】 【Physical Attack Increase Lv10】 【Physical Defence Increase Lv15】 【Magic Power Lv10】 【Magic Talent Lv10】 【Magic Recovery Lv8】 【Light Element Talent Lv7】 【Recovery Lv10】 【Fighting Spirit Lv15】
Parrying, recovery and attacking, the result of high-speed leveling that used the synergy of those three, was that the Sword's Sense had grown to level 15.
I'll raise my levels stably when we go in a party to fight Big Boars.
Since my attacks work properly now, I should be able to take one down without pointlessly reducing the weapon's durability, I thought.
As I grinned and laughed while checking my Sense status, a friend call's ringtone had sounded in my ears and I hurriedly connected the call.
"Y-yesh?! Myu hier!!"
I immediately operated the menu, then bit my tongue while speaking. Feeling the dull pain, tears welled up in my eyes.
"H-Hino-chan. Whash ish it?"
I spoke with my tongue still in pain and my way of talking turned lisp.
『"Myu-chan. Where are you now?! The time for meet-up passed long ago!"』
Surprised by Hino-chan's words, I confirmed and it was 20 minutes past the time for the meet-up.
"I'm sorry! I'll head over there now!"
I forgot the afterglow from winning against the Big Boar and rushed towards the town.
"Uuu, when I hurry it feels slow... I know! I'll acquire a new Sense!"
For every 10 levels Senses are raised, one SP, a Sense Point is acquired. With this I was able to acquire new Senses or when I satisfy conditions like reaching a certain level, I will be able to grow or derive Senses.
I used the SP I gained through leveling to acquire 【Speed Increase】 Sense.
"Uwaa, I really turned faster!"
My running speed increased, running and cutting through the wind was fun.
I avoided the mobs I defeated earlier, Mill Birds, kicked the Grey Rats and jumped high by stepping on Goblin's heads, I ran at speed slimes couldn't keep up with.
The weakling mobs unable to keep up with my speed gave up after chasing me for a few metres.
And when I arrived at the meet-up location, finding me, was waiting a cute, angry, pouting girl.
"Myu-chan! You're late!"
"Sorry. Really, I'm sorry, Hino-chan!"
I apologized, lowering my head as much as I could. Her charm point, long canines were currently hidden in her mouth as it formed a へ shape.
"Why were you late to meet-up?"
She puffed up her cheeks, I'm angry. As entirety of Hino-chan's body seemed to express that, I responded truthfully.
"I thought there's still time until meet-up so I went to do some leveling, thus was late. That's why, sorry."
To be precise, I lowered my head cutely and apologized looking up at her.
Hino-chan gently put her both hands on my cheeks——and pulled.
"Owsh, owwsh, owwssh..."
"After I was done shopping, I waited for Myu-chan without going to hunt! That's why, my level still remains at 1, going to raise your level alone isn't fair!"
*munyo〜n*, my cheeks were pinched by Hino-chan who had tears in her eyes. I continued to apologize. I felt dull pain in my cheeks. It might've been more painful than taking on the Big Boar's charge from the front.
Hino-chan continued to pull on my cheeks until satisfied, then let go with a small sigh.
"Really, Myu-chan, you're too free-spirited."
"I'm sorry. But you see! I made a great discovery!"
As Hino-chan stared at me intently, I taught her of my discovery with a smug expression.
"A new behavioural pattern was added to Big Boars."
"Being told that with a smug face, kinda makes me angry."
Once again my cheeks were pinched, *munyuu〜*, Hino-chan pulled on them.
After being punished by having my cheek pulled for the second time, Hino-chan released them, heaved a sigh and decided the punishment for my being late.
"For being late for the meet-up, you'll accompany me in leveling won't you."
"But of course! Let's do high-speed leveling!"
"By the way, what kind of leveling did you do on Big Boar?"
Hino-chan stared intently at me and listened as I spoke about my nearly 30 minutes-long desperate struggle. Then, pfft, she burst out, held her belly and started laughing.
"Ahahaha, I knew it already, but you're too reckless after all, Myu-chan. Taking down a Big Boar all alone at low level... did you do a time attack too?"
"Grr, you don't have to laugh so much! Hino-chan is mean!"
"Sorry sorry. That said, when you were late I pretended to be angry a little, I'm not all that angry."
"That's great〜. I wondered what would I do if I was hated by Hino-chan."
As Hino-chan returned her expression to one smiling, her long canines peeking out, I was relieved.
"I wouldn't hate Myu-chan. If anything, I like you."
Of course, as a friend that is, Hino-chan laughed triumphantly. Being told that from the front was embarrassing after all.
"Well then. Once again, take care of me, Myu-chan."
"Yup, me too, take care of me! Hino-chan."
We shook hands, greeting each other again.
"Still 'power' leveling, that's too reckless."
"You've got caught up in my words a little, how about we go to defeat Big Boars later? I'll demonstrate it, the high-speed leveling."
"Give up. It would be a suicide for me to challenge it on level 1. I'll break in my body and do some leveling with mobs appropriate for my level first, let's do it later."
While saying so, Hino-chan showed me the Senses she just acquired.
【Hammer Lv1】 【Spear Lv1】 【Armour Lv1】 【Magic Power Lv1】 【HP Increase Lv1】 【Physical Attack Increase Lv1】 【Physical Defence Increase Lv1】 【Throw Lv1】 【Heavy Blows Lv1】 【Warrior's Knowledge Lv1】
"Hino-chan's Sense build didn't change too much, has it."
"Yup, well, on the other hand, with two weapon types I'll be spending more."
While saying so, she effortlessly juggled between Iron Spear and a heavy Sledgehammer.
Hino-chan was a power fighter who fought using two types of middle-range weapons, her style didn't change from the β.
"Myu-chan too didn't change, right."
"Oh well. Aim, for paladin!"
Well then, I'll accompany Hino-chan in hunting Herbivorous Beasts until you reach your leveling goal. Is what I wanted to say, but Hino-chan placed her index finger on her chin and came up with a proposal.
"While at it, how about we search for a stray party?"
A stray party. In the β era I constantly partnered with and made party with acquaintances like Hino-chan, Taku-san and Sei-oneechan, unlike back then, it meant forming a party with players we were unacquainted with.
Since there wasn't a big difference between players' levels right after opening, it was easy to assemble one.
"Nice! New meetings! A circle of player companions! Yup, sound fun!"
"Well then, Myu-chan, let's separate and gather party members! Seeking members to girl-only party! Beginners are welcome! With that kind of feeling!"
"Well then, let's compete who can gather them up sooner!"
"Fufun. I won't lose."
I separated from Hino-chan who had a confident expression, then started looking for people to form a temporary party with.
"I wonder what kind of players will I meet. I can't wait!"
I was unable to stop my face from grinning as I started to walk through the First Town. At that time, suddenly I recalled Onii-chan's appearance.
"...what I said to Yun-oniichan was quite horrible wasn't it? He must be depressed."
Certainly, he made a build with Senses that were called mishappen, but if he replaces a few of them he should be able to manage as an ordinary player.
Until then, it might be a good idea to look after him.
"Yup, also, Hino-chan said the party's limited to girls, but now he's onee-chan, isn't he."
Nishishi, a mischievous devil inside of me whispered, telling me to introduce Yun-oniichan as onee-chan.
I wonder, where's Onii-chan〜. And as I searched for players for the stray party, I found rare in fantasy world, Yun-oniichan's long, black hair.
He sat down at the edge of the square, although he seemed still discouraged, a familiar person had approached him.
"It's Taku-san. I wonder if he's going somewhere with Onii-chan."
I was beat to a punch, I thought, but Yun-oniichan and Taku-san joked around with each other, his expressions changed one after another. From observing their appearance, Onii-chan and Taku-san didn't seem like they intended to form a party, then they broke up on spot.
"Then, let's do it now..."
And call out to him. I thought and took a step, but compared to before meeting Taku-san, Yun-oniichan had a refreshingly nice expression on his face.
Let's do it, he seemed full of motivation like that. I can't disturb him when he's like this. Thinking so, I saw him off.
His destination seemed to be the western gate, I sent him off as he mixed among the crowd. I gave up on getting Yun-oniichan to join the party.
"Uh-huh, Taku-san did well to motivate Onii-chan. Well then, I have to recruit."
Aren't there any good players here〜, I wondered while looking around and suddenly, I found a player with the same hair colour as Onii-chan.
It was a girl with long black hair swaying on her back.
Looking up at the streets of the fantasy world, were her eyes reminiscent of a beautiful citrine.
I didn't consider whether she was strong, weak, good or bad.
The moment I noticed her, I took immediate action.
"Eh, yes. Hello."
"If you don't mind, how about forming a party with us?"
Probably surprised by sudden invitation to a party, the girl opened her eyes wide. I politely explained to her.
"We're thinking of gathering unacquainted people for a temporary party. By the way, the members for now are just me and my friend, the two of us!"
The girl lowered her eyebrows at my explanation and asked with an anxious expression.
"Um, is it really all right to invite me? Today is my first time to play."
"It's okay! Both me and my friend did well in the β, we're strong! Well, our levels were reset though."
Although I tried to appeal by showing off my biceps, it didn't seem all that strong when I bent my arm. Finding it funny, the girl chuckled, her expression softened and she stared straight back at me.
"Well then, please take care of me. Umm..."
"It's Myu! I'm Myu! Nice to meet you."
"I'm Lucato. Nice to meet you too."
Chapter 2 - Lucato and Golem-sensei
"It's Myu! I'm Myu! Nice to meet you."
"I'm Lucato. Nice to meet you too."
And like that, I have managed to call out to Lucato, no, to Luka-chan.
"Your Sense build could be changed around a little, but first goes buying a weapon and potions. You start with 1000G, you need to use it on both."
Luka-chan was a beginner starting today, so I explained to her about Senses and equipment as I looked around for temporary party's members.
"A weapon? I received a weapon upon picking Senses..."
She touched the hilt of a beginner's sword she had by her waist. I already have one, why would I buy another. That's the kind of question she had on her face.
"It has its advantages and disadvantages, by buying a new weapon your attack power increases. On the other hand, if you use the initial weapon, it won't break."
"So weapons do break, after all."
"That's right. But, unless you use them recklessly, it won't be a problem."
Luka-chan put a hand on her chin. And, it seemed like she decided what to do.
"I think, I'd like to prioritize armour rather than weapon."
"Yeah. I think that's all right.'
While talking about various thing with Luka-chan, I walked through the town. About potions having the recovery amount limited by levels and the story about my fails because of it, I spoke of interesting things. Listening to it, Luka-chan seriously worried how much should she purchase.
Teaching Lucato bit by bit was so much fun I had forgot about time completely, meanwhile I found a single female player.
"Hey, hey, come join our party." "C'mon, it's more fun in a group right. Also, we're strong." "And, you can feel safer with men, too." "See, come with us."
I frowned seeing something unpleasant.
Four men have surrounded a single girl and solicited her into their party.
The girl was older than me, but their solicitation looked like they were just hitting on her. This is a game, I wonder if they're misunderstanding something here. I got angry just by looking.
"Luka-chan, I'll go help her out."
"You're Lucato, so, Luka-chan."
When I declared that, confused, Luka-chan chased after me.
The people in surroundings were scared of the well-built men and wouldn't get involved in it. Hmm, let's do it in a classic way.
"Sorry! I'm late, did you wait?"
I barged in between the men and stood in front the girl.
Since the girl was terrified and froze stiff in surprise, I thought the situation would turn worse were she to speak so I grabbed her by hand and tried to forcibly pull her after me.
I sent Luka-chan a glance saying to go along with this act and received a nod in response.
"Indeed. It's all because Myu-chan's been shopping at the store endlessly, the time to hunt will run out. Let's go."
Luka-chan made a gentle and dignified smile, inducing the girl from among the men. The girl noticed our intention and shook her head so strongly it looked like it would come off.
"Hey, wait. What, you've got some girl as friends. How about forming a party with us then."
"Haa? Are you an idiot?"
I spoke in a voice so cold I surprised myself.
Because the men were clearly looking down on younger girls, my face cramped up and I wove words with a single breath.
"There's four of you. Three of us. How do you want to form a party like this? Party's maximum is six people."
She spoke implying, don't you know the system?
"No, um... c'mon, hey you, leave party this time."
"Err, no way!"
"See, now there's three of us, let's make a party——"Yes, unfortunately we already have a party of six girls so there's no space. Farewell."——"
Interrupting him, I was about to say "laters" and slip out, but the moment I turned my back to them one of men stretched his hand.
"Don't screw with me!"
Luka-chan and the girl squeezed out a scream, but it was no problem.
*shh*, I dodged to the side and the man plunged forward.
I've been leveling until a moment ago. Unlike those guys who try to hit on girls without raising their levels first.
"What? You can't even touch me and you call yourself strong? Really."
I left the girl to Luka-chan and confronted the four male players. Ready for a fight, I avoided the hands extending to catch me with ease. Naive, compared to PvP it looks like they're barely moving. A cooperative attack of four goblins looks better than this.
The male players tried to catch me and I endlessly avoided them. Confronting them as to show off to onlookers, I spoke loudly.
"Aren't you mistaking real with the game? People strong in fights in real aren't necessarily strong in game."
Having that pointed out the male players have turned red. The people in the surroundings counted on someone stopping this. But——
"Ohh, it's here."
I waited until a certain system works. And, its effect had come into being before long.
The mens' bodies turned into particles and gradually faded.
"Damn! What's this!"
"A special move against sexual harassment——【GM Call】. See you."
【GM Call】 is a way for solving problems players can't deal with, you call a game master who is the administrator of the game in order to solve the problems.
When you use the 【GM Call】 the game master is notified of violations such as harassment, as well as receives bug reports for bugs found in game, and will deal with them. This time, the content of report was VR specific harassment. The situation where men are chasing after a girl has been judged as attempted sexual harassment, one of the onlookers must have waited so that they can use the 【GM Call】. Since everything went as planned, I smiled.
After confirming the men disappeared, I returned to Luka-chan.
"I"m back, Luka-chan."
"It's not 'I'm back'! What kind of reckless thing are you doing!"
And even though I came back in splendour, Luka-chan got angry. Her eyebrows were gently raised. Not good, she's as scary as Yun-oniichan when he's angry. Though, that's a rare occurence.
"Really, I'm relieved."
Just when I thought she's angry, now she makes a tearful expression. I'm really sorry!
"Luka-chan, I'm sorry. But, I'm quite accustomed to this kind of thing."
As I seriously apologized, Luka-chan made a surprised look.
It seemed like she was surprised with me being accustomed to this, but the fact that I knew how to deal with it made it easier.
"Rather than that, did they do anything weird to you?"
"N-no! I'm all right."
The girl hiding behind Luka-chan responded nervously, calm down a bit. I thought.
"Thank you very much for helping me."
"No. It's fine, it's fine. We've acted of our own interest too."
The girl who had twitched in response to my words was cute, like a little animal. While I thought so, Luka-chan spoke to her to calm her down.
"It's all right. Myu-chan is a good person. Probably."
I guess Luka-chan can't assert it completely as we don't know each other for long. I smiled wryly and told the girl my request.
"Now then, won't you form a temporary party with us?"
"Eh? Yes, please."
"Um... is it fine to decide so easily? You might not want to join a party."
Unsatisfied by the girl's response for invitation to the stray party Luka-chan asked, but the girl responded more calmly than she had before.
"With those people, I wouldn't be able to calm down. Also, it's just girl's, isn't it. Actually, I look forward to it."
Please take care of me. The girl lowered her head as she said that, I proudly responded with "leave it to me".
After rejoining Hino-chan everything went smoothly. Both Hino-chan and I have invited two players each to the stray party.
"Well then, let's introduce ourselves. I'm Myu. My style is magic swordsman. I use light and recovery magic."
"And I'm Hino. For weapons I use a hammer and spear depending on situation, I'm a physical attacker. In combat I fight from middle range as main."
Take care of me, said Hino-chan. From here on it's the stray party's members introduction.
"I'm Lucato. I choose sword as my main."
"Umm, I'm Rossy. I chose fire magic."
The girl I solicited and together with Luka-chan saved, mage Rossy. She looked fearful and not dependable yet, if she get's used to the game she should get strong... probably.
"I'm called Nekoya. A scout with stealth, specializing in weapons like that of a thief or a bandit, throwing knives and claws."
"I'm Milizam. My weapon is this hand axe and the shield."
The people Hino-chan brought were close to being supporters, Nekoya and Lizam were full of confidence.
Milizam looked somewhat forceful. The word "rebound" would fit her really well, she was uncoordinated but seemed like the type that would rush in energetically.
Such players constructed their Sense builds and way of fighting for explosive strength, at the same time they tended to be picky with their party members.
Hino-chan and I would have no problems matching her, but I'm worried Luka-chan and Rossy, as well as Nekoya might not be able to match the pace.
"Now then, how about we head to hunt immediately?"
"Hey, wait a moment!"
I stopped Milizam who was about to suddenly head to combat.
"No, we've got some people who just equipped Senses and are still with initial equipment, we need to buy potions as well!"
"Haa? You're goin' to heal so it's ain't necessary."
Certainly, I said I use recovery magic, but my position is that of a magic swordsman. Did she really get it?
"Haa, I get it. I'll be the rear."
In that case Luka-chan as swordsman and Hino-chan in the vanguard, and tank Milizam.
For the rearguard the setup will be me and Rossy. Nekoya, naturally will be a hit and run.
Thinking about balance it wasn't too bad, but how about you consult with us more! Even if the result would be the same, consulting it is part of the party's thrill!
"Um, certainly Myu-san can use recovery magic, but by having both magic and items you can use advantages of each fully. So..."
Ohh, Rossy has gathered courage and spoke her opinion towards Milizam.
"No, um... I'm sorry."
I beg you don't go all useless here! I felt like screaming that.
Hino-chan lowered her shoulders as well, but the god of salvation hasn't abandoned me.
"Well well, don't use such threatening tone. Well prepared means no worries. We can just go and buy them right?"
Milizam agreed unhappily. Nekoya said what Rossy wanted to say, and so we were able to replenish consumables in NPC's store.
Other than that, we had a conversation about whether some should sell beginner's weapons and buy NPC equipment or retain beginner's equipment and save money, the opinions differed between members.
Rossy and Nekoya decided to keep using their weapons and save money, Milizam changed her axe and shield.
"Hmnggh... there's not enough money. Choose whether you want attack or defence."
Milizam pondered for a while. Well, I don't hate that kind of thing and I just talked with others as we waited. During this time, Luka-chan, Rossy and Nekoya could speak frankly with each other.
"All right! I decided on an axe!"
"Now then, let's head out for hunt. Once you reach a certain level Hino-chan and I will teach you about movements and characteristics of enemies!"
Let's start by leaving through the closest, eastern gate. With that said, everyone started moving.
After leaving the eastern gate, there were plains. On it, appeared Herbivorous Beasts which were said to be a tutorial for beginner's, on the vicinity of the boundary between plains and the forests appeared a little bit stronger mobs like Blue Slimes and Goblins.
And on the field——players waited for mobs to appear.
"Heyhey, there's no enemy to beat."
"Whoops〜, We're late. Myu-chan, what do we do?"
"Even if you ask me, this is troubling Hino-chan."
In β era the player population wasn't that big so the hunting grounds weren't monopolized, but with the official version coming out one could expect a large number of people logging in on the first day.
As the mobs were replaced, the party of six looked at the players crushing them right away and felt something very awkward.
"It's different from the fantasy I dreamed of."
"This is the tough life in game world."
These were somewhat philosophical words from Nekoya-san because of which, Rossy was struck with reality.
"Heyhey, what do we do. Like this there's no point in forming party."
"Well well, calm down."
Luka-chan appeased agitated Milizam.
In that case...
"Hmm. Either we wait until the hunting grounds open up, or we go to slightly stronger mobs where's less people, I guess?"
"Then, we should aim for a place away from the town? Or one adjacent to this place."
"What. So there's a good place. Let's go there then."
"Wait a moment, listen to everyone's opinions!"
As Milizam tried to move on alone I started persuading her, she responded defiantly but listened to me.
"What Myu-chan said is ultimately just one possibility, we can head out to the west area to take a look and try hunting mobs gradually moving onto stronger ones. That's one method. I myself, would go to the west I guess. The experience gained isn't that good, but mobs relatively easy to defeat appear there."
East had Herbivorous Beasts, Blue Slimes and Goblins.
The mobs that appeared in the west were Wild Dogs, Bats and Forest Bears. Forest Bears appeared in a fairly narrow area in the southwest, so aside from that the enemies are weak.
"Umm, this time Hino-chan and I are proposing this as support, you can decide it with a majority vote of the four of you."
"East or west, is it."
Luka-chan started thinking over the question deeply, Milizam and Nekoya decided quickly.
"Moving is a pain so east's fine."
"Hmm. Even though it's risky, we can raise our levels faster in the east, I guess."
"So, how about you?"
Milizam asked Rossy for opinion.
"Um, I don't want to suddenly go where strong mobs are so wes... no, I don't mind either."
"Alright! It's decided! One person abstained and two for the east. No matter how you struggle it won't be west, let's go!"
Bringing Nekoya with her, Milizam immediately headed towards the eastern gate. Rossy looked with concern at Lucato who hasn't spoke her mind yet, but Luka-chan only smiled wryly as if to say it can't be helped.
"Luka-chan, where did you want to go?"
"Me? It was already decided by majority vote."
"And that's why. You need to properly voice your opinion."
"Fufu, you're right. There's still many things I don't know, so I wanted to go west."
But, I look forward to the east side. She said with a soft smile.
And then, we looked for a place with a few people, walking through the border of the eastern forest we found a suitable area.
"Here, far away from other people we can start hunting."
The location was on the south, quite near the Wetlands area. There were fewer people here because it was distant from the town.
"Let's beat them right away!"
"Wait for us."
Milizam assaulted a Herbivorous Beast nearby. And, Nekoya pounced on another one.
Just, Nekoya seemed to struggle somewhat because of her low stats.
"C'mon Rossy. He can't move now, you can aim now."
A fireball produced from the staff's swing landed right on the Herbivorous Beast and dealt damage.
Looking at that, seeing it's far from a proper party play Hino-chan made a wry smile and Luka-chan wondered when should she enter.
"I'll pair up with Milizam, also support Nekoya and Rossy."
"Then, I'll pair up with Luka-chan."
With that said, while being taught about the Sense builds and enemies' features, Luka-chan strove towards leveling.
In the vicinity of the area's boundary in addition to Herbivorous Beasts, mixed in were also Slimes.
"C'monc'mon! Eat this!"
"Try managing your HP a little. ——《Heal》"
One person hit the enemy with the shield and swung the axe, completely ignoring defence. I used recovery magic on Milizam.
Not just the Herbivorous Beasts that could be fought simply, she attacked the slimes from above as well. Seeing that, Rossy and Nekoya were motivated and switched to slimes which were easy to beat.
"They're coming from behind!"
"I know. Ah, my HP is low again! Hurry and heal me!"
I defeated the slime that had its attention focus on Milizam by using 《Light Shot》 and healed her.
Inadvedrently, I looked towards Hino-chan and Luka-chan.
"The slime's nucleus is it's weakness. That's why, slashing the nucleus with the sword is most affective. In my case it would be smashing onto that area with my hammer."
"Like, point, line and area attacks?"
"That's right. Each mob has different characteristics like movements and weaknesses, if you know them you can fight them even despite level difference."
"That'll be helpful."
Luka-chan listened to Hino-chan seriously. And, as I looked towards the two reflecting on combat, their movements were quickly getting better.
I recalled at how at first I didn't know how to fight mobs and beat them up together with Hino-chan.
"Alright! 【Axe】's level went up to 6!"
"That's fast. I'm still at 4."
"I-I'm 4 too."
Defeating each appearing mob, raising her level Milizam quickly went up to level 6. Nekoya and Rossy also steadily raised their levels.
"This feels great! Let's beat Goblins next!"
"Umm, I'm still level 3, I would like to stay here for a little longer."
Luka-chan declared timidly. In response Milizam——
"In that case, the support can just focus on looking over the weaklings right? I want to level up faster."
Saying so, she didn't intend to match the party's pace.
Luka-chan's level was still low, but she focused herself on learning the player skills. It meant she wasn't weak.. Hino-chan too had low level, but with her player skills she could take on Goblins.
"...what do we do, Luka-chan."
I asked Luka-chan. The reason Hino-chan and I have formed a stray party was in order to enjoy the atmosphere, there was no need to continue a party that didn't care about that.
Expecting her answer——
"I understand. Let's go further. However, let's take them down safely one by one."
"Then, let's have a split of three each and follow up on each other. How about that? Me, Myu-chan and Luka-chan for one team, Milizam, Nekoya and Rossy for the other."
Since the balance wasn't bad, Hino-chan's draft was easily passed.
"Well then, let's go!"
Pulling Nekoya and Rossy, Milizam proceeded forward. We have proceeded after those girls.
Confronting a Goblin, Milizam's group defeated it while cooperating clumsily and each time they defeated one, they would use potions.
"Tch, somehow it's not going too well. Support, recovery!"
They defeated one Goblin, Rossy delivered the first attack, and then Milizam with Nekoya surrounded and defeated it. With Milizam assaulting, it felt like Rossy was unable to get a grasp on the timing to use magic.
Although she requested recovery, before I could heal her she had already started battle with the next mob, her pace completely chaotic.
On the other hand, in our case——
"Goblin's weaknesses are it's neck and left of its chest. If you focus on those, they are easy to defeat."
After saying so, Hino-chan hold down the Goblin with her spear's movements and Luka-chan took a strong lunge forward doing a thrust with the sword.
With every blow aiming for the vitals, the time required to take down one Goblin decreased. Once used to it, one would naturally aim for those points or near them.
Thanks to that, the difference between Milizam who just swung her weapon and Luka-chan who aimed for vitals had finally started appearing. And, once Milizam started having a hard time, she did something unexpected.
"Meh! Taking them one by one feels sluggish! ——《Hate Bind》"
"You shouldn't do that here!"
We have decided to take them one by one, haven't we. And yet, Milizam used 【Shield】 Sense's taunt-type skill.
An action that gathers hate from the mobs in the surroundings. Non-active mob change into active ons, a taunt that makes mobs from a wide range in the surroundings come attacking. And, in the south-east there was——
"We're running, Luka-chan."
"It's fine! We need to secure an escape route!"
Hino-chan brought Luka-chan and begun the retreat. In the middle of it we defeated the mobs coming at us.
I had Nekoya and Rossy go ahead and took their place.
And, Grey Rats and Mill Birds aimed for Milizam. She noticed them and with a creepy smile she had started swinging her axe.
"Milizam! You won't make it unless you run!"
"What! You scared?"
"That's not it! This isn't the right place!"
"If you're scared, just continue staying in support!"
My persuasion didn't get through to Milizam. Even as she received damage, she continued to take down the incoming Grey Rats and Mill Birds with her axe.
Seeing that, Rossy used her magic that improved with levels raised to defeat a Grey Rat that was away from Milizam.
"Myu-chan. Why are you panicking?"
"Because we're so far south, mobs from the south are mixed in. Mobs from the Wetlands should have been pulled in——here they are!"
Attracted from the surroundings by the taunt skill, they jumped out from between the trees. It were the Moor Frogs, frog-type mobs.
The moment I saw that, I moved.
"You two, run!"
I told Rossy and Nekoya to run, and in the end I applied recovery magic to Milizam. With this, her HP was recovered to full. And yet——
"What, a new enemy huh——"
Unable to finish speaking, Milizam was taken down with a single blow. Attacked by Moor Frog's tongue, her freshly recovered full HP was scrapped off.
Seeing Milizam quickly fall despite the resistance, finally Nekoya and Rossy developed a sense of crisis, starting to run.
I stood in spot and prepared for Moor Frog's pursuit.
Now that Milizam who had gathered the most hate was down, the party had become the target instead.
I took on the Moor Frog's pursuit with a light magic's wall, deflecting it. However, all I could is to deal with the Moor Frog, as for the remaining attacks of Grey Rats and Mill Birds I just endured it as I retreated.
"Myu-san. This——《Fire wall》!"
Rossy used her defensive magic and made a wall of fire between me and the enemies to hide me. Aiming for that timing I ran through all at once.
"There's the area's border!"
As Hino-chan and Luka-chan defeated mobs on escape route, I just single-mindedly ran.
"Moor Frogs alone went back!"
"Then, let's defeat the rest. Hino-chan."
After passing through its area, Moor Frog had returned into the depths of the forest. As the single mob who could wipe us out was no longer here, we started bullying the remaining mobs.
"Let's go. ——《Light Web》!"
"Blow away. ——《Smash》!"
I shoot an area attack I learned as my light magic leveled up, Hino-chan used her large hammer to hit the ground and cause a shockwave that damaged all the enemies on the ground.
Hino-chan and I were able to defeat the mobs that approached us. However, because of magic's and art's delay time, we couldn't repeat the same action immediately.
"Then, let's take them one by one! HAa!"
"How nostalgic! Playing reckless with Myu-chan!"
Together with Hino-chan we cut down the mobs as to protect each other's blind spots.
Immediately judging which enemy attacks first, giving them an order we took them down. In order to seize initiative in the battle we crushed the enemy's initiative.
Still, there was too much mobs for us to suppress, they have passed by towards Luka-chan and others.
"Luka-chan, Nekoya! Hold them down!"
In response to my voice, a shout along with a slash resounded.
Using the short sword Luka-chan accurately tore through enemy's weaknesses, finishing them in a single blow. Also, in order to obtain initiative just like we did, she prioritized the mobs near her that have entered an attacking motion, defeating them in a good order.
Responding to Rossy's support attack, Luka-chan sprung away from the spot.
The fire bullet pierced through the dense group of mobs and took down a lot of them.
Earlier when cooperating with Milizam, she would only deliver the first attack as they were wary of each other. Also she would shoot at mobs in the peripheries with her magic, Rossy herself looked surprised at the difference on how easy it is to find a spot to aim at.
"Amazing. She's in the vanguard yet she has grasp on everything."
Hino-chan didn't stop her hammer even as she watched Luka-chan's movements. Seeing Luka-chan's qualities I also spoke.
"Want. No, I'd like her to join our party."
I ended up saying "want" treating her like an object, but I have to definitely bring her in to our party. It was already decided.
Meanwhile, Luka-chan also grasped Nekoya's movements, defeated the prioritized mobs and pulled back, allowing magic to strike the mobs.
And she repeated that cycle consistently, she displayed high concentration without a sign of disruption.
"This will be it! 《Light Web》!"
The remaining mobs were wiped out with my area effect magic, then everyone sat down on spot.
"No way, to think someone we partied with would try MPK'ing us. Moreover, she self-destructed."
MPK - Monster Player Kill, an act of killing other players by using mobs.
Even without Moor Frogs, with bad enough luck we would be taken down anyway. Thinking of that I felt like complaining, but no one had strength to do so.
"For now, let's return."
Since Luka-chan proposed that, we stood up and returned to the town.
"Because of you guys I received death penalty!!"
"Acting selfishly, were you trying to MPK us?!"
After returning to the town, we met up with Milizam who returned after dying and spoke to each other. Milizam and I argued, it turned into a quarrel farewell. When leaving, she said something horrible.
"It's all right, it's all right! Rather than that, how about we rest and then go hunt again? Earlier we have defeated lots of them so let's use that money to replenish items, this time let's go west!"
After that, with the party still enveloped in slightly dark atmosphere, I tried speaking brightly.
Adventure wasn't just defeating enemy, there were also stories and tricks useful for adventure, as we gathered certain items in an area and taught others, the atmosphere improved a little.
And, the time to part has come.
"Um, I'm sorry it turned weird in the middle."
"N-no. We were helped and have learned about importance of cooperation!"
"That's right. We learned a lot. Earlier, during the break I talked with Rossy, we decided to form a party together."
It seemed like Rossy and Nekoya intended to form a party and adventure together from now on. They realized their player skill difference with ours and decided to catch up to us one day. So they said enthusiastically.
"Thank you very much for today."
"No, I had lots of fun today too! But, sorry. I was the one who brought Milizam."
"That's not Hino-san's fault."
"Indeed. And, um... Luka-chan, if you don't mind, would you party with us again? Could you?"
As I asked her giving her up-from-under look, she responded with a smile.
"Understood. Then, how about tomorrow morning?"
"Yup! It's a promise!"
Great, got an appointment! I made a guts pose inside and today's stray party was disbanded.
I thought about what happened today and about talking with Onii-chan, and about tomorrow as I entered the bath.
"Mgrr, how do I invite her."
The ability to grasp the whole party, calm judgement unfazed by the surrounding enemies. I wanted her as the party's commander no matter what.
"Oh right. Let's ask her to try being commander!"
I stood up from the bath, ignoring the hot water flowing down my body I got out of the bath.
"Miu. Dry your hair so that you don't catch a cold."
While listening to Onii-chan's concerns, I hurriedly dove into my room and sent Hino-chan a mail.
"Strategy planning. Let's teach Luka-chan how fun is commanding, there."
From there on we had a strategy meeting over mails, in the evening Hino-chan did high-speed leveling on a boar, preparing herself.
"Myu-san, Hino-san, is it really here?"
"Yup! Today, there's something I want Luka-chan to learn! OSO's real thrill!"
Last night, after contacting Hino-chan, I consulted her on how to add Luka-chan into the party and as a result, we decided to do 【Golem-sensei】.
"Where we're heading now, is the quarry area in the west. Also, the aim is the Golem, a boss mob."
"Umm, I think I heard a disturbing word. Boss. Don't tell me we're going to defeat it now."
"Wrong, wrong. The goal is leveling on Golem. We'll have Luka-chan use arts on it 100 times."
High-speed leveling by fighting Golem. The reason we decided on 100 times for arts, was still a secret.
"I think Luka-chan has an aptitude to be a commander in a party. That's why, give us orders."
"Order Myu-san and Hino-san? You two have more experience, and it's impossible to hit something 100 times with arts."
It was the case with fighting Golem as well, but hearing about 100 arts Luka-chan shrunk.
"It's okay. We don't have to beat it. I said 100 arts, but you can just give us orders to make opening and attack then."
"However, if we lose because of my instructions..."
"Oh, we're not ones to complain about such a thing."
"I mean, if we move however we want, that's not being a party. It's a collection of soloers. That's why, we fight while putting absolute trust into commander. For the sake of the goal. So, it's for that sake! 100 hits with arts is the goal we aim for!"
When successful, together with sense of accomplishment you get nice drops. I smiled while saying that, in response she made a puzzled expression, full of motivation.
"I understand. I don't know if I can respond to your expectations, but I'll do it. First, I want to know what's Myu-san's and Hino-san's level and position. I'm thinking of confirming the roles."
With that said, we have displayed out statuses to each other.
【Sword Lv15】 【Armour Lv16】 【Physical Attack Increase Lv11】 【Physical Defence Increase Lv15】 【Speed Increase Lv3】 【Magic Talent Lv11】 【Magic Power Lv11】 【Light Element Talent Lv8】 【Recovery Lv11】 【Fighting Spirit Lv15】
【Magic Recovery Lv9】
【Hammer Lv12】 【Spear Lv7】 【Armour Lv10】 【Magic Power Lv10】 【HP Increase Lv13】 【Physical Attack Increase Lv13】 【Physical Defence Increase Lv10】 【Throw Lv3】 【Heavy Blows Lv11】 【Warrior's Knowledge Lv7】
【Sword Lv6】 【Armour Lv4】 【Magic Power Lv3】 【HP Increase Lv3】 【Physical Attack Increase Lv4】 【Physical Defence Increase Lv4】 【Stamina Recovery Lv2】 【Speed Increase Lv3】 【Party Lv2】 【Warrior's Knowledge Lv3】
Last night, Hino-chan leveled up with a sudden pitch and got up to a level recommended in order not to be taken down by the Golem with a single blow. However, with Golem that has a physical focus, Hino-chan's attacks will hardly work.
In the party the one who could effectively strike the Golem was me and my light magic.
"Myu-chan will attract it from the front. Hino-san will break its posture from behind. Can you please do that?"
"Got it, Luka-chan, I'll do it."
"In the β I beat up Golem with a hammer, so no prob!"
She swung her sledgehammer lightly, showing her motivation.
"And, I will hit it with arts when its posture is broken."
Luka-chan said, is this way of doing this all right? But I thought there's no problem.
"Now, let's begin! ——《Light Shot》!"
A bullet of light was emitted and headed towards the Golem's head, I rushed out towards the front.
"Come, I'm here!"
In order to attract the Golem I used light magic several times in order to gather more hate, then avoided the swung fist.
The wind caused by the swung fist sprinkled cold sweat off me, avoiding it my feet didn't stop even for a moment.
And, with specific timing after the fist was swung up a several times, Hino-chan started running.
Lowering her petite body, she approached the Golem's legs from behind. She did a full swing on its legs when it tilted its upper body to swing down its fist.
There was a dull sound, but in contrast to that, there was no damage dealt to the Golem. Still, the knockback effect scooped it up from below and it fell on its back.
Hino-chan ran through as not to be caught under the falling Golem, and as we passed by each other we did a high-five, doing something that roundabout we took distance and disengaged from the Golem.
"I'm going in!"
Luka-chan approached the fallen Golem. She stretched her back, concentrated while holding the short sword and released the art.
With a step-in she let out a triple attack, but there was almost no damage, it left only a shallow scar on the muscle made of rock.
Even though she showed disappointment for a moment, Luka-chan immediately recalled her original purpose and took distance from the Golem. Together with Hino-chan she chose timing for the next attack at her own discretion.
"Myu-san, was it all right?"
"Perfect! Let's go again!"
With that said, once again I let out a barrage of 《Light Shots》.
This time the Golem tried to crush me with its leg, the moment it raised its leg Hino-chan rushed out and hit its pivot leg with a hammer.
The Golem collapsed to the side raising a cloud of sand and Luka-chan let out an art again.
The fact the scar left by 《Delta Slash》 had become thicker than before meant the leveling was effective.
While combat became a simple task, Luka-chan had always taken a firm action.
"Myu-san! Please retreat! It's movements are slightly off!"
"Got it! Hino-chan, we're withdrawing!"
Probably, it will be decided with Luka-chan releasing out arts around 30 times. I avoided the attacks and repeatedly gathered hate with light magic.
Although it wasn't the Golem's decisive blow, I felt like we were fighting while making sure to maintain MP's safety margin, and then Luka-chan made a signal for withdrawal.
We have withdrew from the battle with the Golem and returned to safety area.
"Myu-san, are you all right?"
My feet tangled and Luka-chan supported me immediately.
"Sorry. Looks like I'm a bit tired."
While I didn't notice, it seems like I've hoarded up quite the mental fatigue. The continued oppressive feeling from the bodily disparity, nervousness continued for a long time, exhausting my concentration.
"Myu-san, please rest. Hino-san and I will continue alone."
"Well then, we'll be going."
Hino-chan switched her weapon from a hammer to a long spear and confronted the Golem.
Because we have left combat once, the Golem had completely recovered. Hino-chan repeatedly attacked it from medium range with a spear to restrain it and gather hate.
"HAa! ——《Delta Slash》!"
Looking for opportunity as Hino-chan attracts the Golem's attention to her, Luka-chan waited for the delay time to pass and when she could, she used the 《Delta Slash》.
"Luka-chan. Hate shifted your way!"
"Understood! I'll focus on avoiding."
A long spear didn't deal much damage, so after Luka-chan used arts several times, the Golem's target changed to her.
With the target changed from her, Hino-chan changed the weapon from the spear to hammer and attacked the Golem's back.
The hammer swung up from above delivered the impact to the Golem's insides.
If 《Impact》 is a simple physical attack art, 《Break Hammer》 is an art that has an effect of decreasing enemy's defence.
"You won't be able to ignore me with this. ——《Impact》!"
In response to the strong attack after having its defence decreased, Golem plunged forward. After this series of actions, the target returned to being Hino-chan.
"If I attack immediately the target will change back to me, please bear it!"
"Well then, I'll switch back to spear and adjust the damage."
Once again she switched the weapon from a hammer to long spear and pulled the boss to herself and Luka-chan decided to use arts. I don't know how many times she used arts, but Luka-chan's movements have gotten quite good.
"Hino-san. About time we took a break."
Since we started with Golem leveling quite a long time has passed. As expected, both Hino-chan and Luka-chan were tired.
"You should've used arts about 50 times?"
"Just earlier was the 61st time. Also, my level rose extremely fast."
Luka-chan dutifully counted them, and then she showed her stats which grew with leveling.
【Sword Lv11】 【Armour Lv4】 【Magic Power Lv8】 【HP Increase Lv3】 【Physical Attack Increase Lv10】 【Physical Defence Increase Lv4】 【Stamina Recovery Lv2】 【Speed Increase Lv7】 【Party Lv8】 【Warrior's Knowledge Lv9】
Since she didn't receive any attacks, rather than 【Physical Defence Increase】 and 【Armour】 that are defence-type Senses didn't raise and since she didn't receive any damage neither have the 【HP Increase】 nor 【Stamina Recovery】.
It was speed-leveling made to meet specific conditions, the speed itself was quite slow compared to confronting a Big Boar alone and it was very extreme.
And, after a break we challenged the second part of the battle in perfect state.
"Myu-san, Hino-san, why are you playing this game?"
During the break in Golem's leveling, Luka-chan asked.
"Because I wanted to meet Onee-chan, I guess."
"Onee-san, is it?"
"That's right, I can meet Onee-chan who lives far away. Also, I love games."
"I love games as well!"
Hino-chan and I hit it off as kindred spirits who love games.
"And, why did you start playing OSO Luka-chan?"
When I asked in response, she embarrassedly faced down and replied in hoarse voice.
"I, ——love it."
"What do you love?"
"I mean, I love fantasy."
"I love it as well, fantasy RPGs."
When I asked her why is she so embarrassed, she said it's something else.
"What I love, are fantasy novels."
"Like, light novels? I read them sometimes as well."
Just like Hino-chan, I read manga and stories based on games as well as walkthroughs, but other than that I didn't read too many books. I see, that's certainly different. I was convinced.
"No, if I were classify them, I'd say they're fantasy literature."
Given examples, like ones that were turned into films like story about the famous ring or about the magical boy, I finally understood.
"And, um. For a long time I read things like that and about mythology, then I wanted to try it myself and started playing."
Probably embarrassed, she faced down lower and lower to hide her face.
What's this, dignified Luka-chan turned super cute when embarrassed. I felt like instinctively embracing her.
I want to pull more of her story out and enjoy her embarrassed appearance.
"Hey, Luka-chan, which parts do you like?"
"No, um, like a hero boldly attacking the enemy's large army or dragon extermination and such."
When I moved in the direction she was lowering her head down, she blushed even further and looked opposite direction.
It was surprising that Luka-chan who was growing smaller right now had a desire to become a hero. Just when I thought of moving again to look at her face, Hino-chan stopped me.
"Myu-chan, don't tease her too much."
"But, her reaction was so cute I ended up... sorry."
It seems like Luka-chan calmed down a bit as she replied normally. However, her face was still a little bit red.
"Then, was the world of OSO like you expected, Luka-chan?"
"Yes, just like I expected it to be. No, even more fun than that."
Luka-chan made a broad smile in response to my question. Yeah, she's enjoying it. Thinking so, I got motivated as well.
"Alright! Now then, break's over! Let's have another battle with Golem!"
Matching my momentum Hino-chan raised her fist, Luka-chan smiled bitterly.
Again, we returned to where Golem was. At first we'd partner up in the same manner but——
"Myu-san, rearguard. Hino-san, will break its posture with hit and run attacks. I'll stand in front."
"...got it. We'll follow Luka-chan, the commander. However, if Luka-chan falls, we'll follow right after."
Hino-chan froze not moving an inch, but I thought that Luka-chan wants to stand in the front. Possibly, seeing us stand in front of the Golem as we fought it, we might have looked like fantasy heroes to her.
"Now then, let's go. ——《Delta Slash》!"
Luka-chan let out art on the Golem's left leg. And, with the first attack the Golem's target was directed towards her.
In a position near the Golem's left leg, Luka-chan avoided Golem's attack by moving counter-clockwise.
"HAa! ——《Delta Slash》!"
Luka-chan who continued to look at us as we confronted the Golem had firmly analysed our movement patterns.
The Golem's timings for swinging his arms up and around, as well as leg's attacks were grasped perfectly by her. That's why, whenever she saw the attack she was able to position herself on the left side and use arts after avoiding attack.
"Roger! Myu-chan, match me!"
As Luka-chan leaped away, Hino-chan approached the Golem all at once as it did a large swing. I matched the intense swing scooping Golem's feet and shot magic towards the Golem's head.
The Golem fell sideways. Luka-chan who took distance, leaped back in this time, approaching all at once and let out an art towards the head part of the Golem.
"——《Delta Slash》! ...?!!"
Three times, even as she let out arts, the Golem slowly stood up.
It wasn't all that damaged by our onslaught.
The Golem who got up turned towards Luka-chan and swung its right arm sideways.
There would be no time to avoid counter-clockwise after the set amount of time an art used. Looking as the Golem's arm approached Luka-chan, Hino-chan screamed, but I believed in her.
"HAA! ——《Delta Slash》!"
"Another one, she's got guts."
Luka-chan was unable to avoid the right arm cleave coming counter-clockwise, but she properly found a safe area. She slid below Golem's legs and moved behind its back, after that she let out arts on its left leg and moved to the Golem's left side.
"That was dangerous."
"C'mon, I was about to get a heart attack."
Hino-chan stroked her own chest. I too felt sweat in my clenched fist. In case she didn't make it I prepared the magic 《Light Shield》, but it was wasted.
After that, Luka-chan continued to attack in a stable manner from the left side——
"This'll be the 100th time——《Delta Slash》!"
The triple attack was engraved on the Golem's leg. At first, it were just thin scars, but now there was damage, although quite small.
And, Luka-chan's expression changed from confused one, through surprise, to joy.
"You two are so sly. Presenting such a surprise gift."
"Then, for the last thing, use it on the Golem!"
"I'll make the opening."
This will be the last part. Luka-chan who achieved the goal of using arts 100 times held the sword aligned with her eyes and choose the timing of the attack at her own discretion.
"One more. ——《Impact》!"
HIno-chan delivered a nasty blow to the back of the Golem's knee and it fell diagonally on its knees. And, Luka-chan let out an art towards the looming, gigantic rock arm.
"HAAaa! ——《Shock Impact》!"
The sword held in both hands blew away the Golem's huge arm.
Just like that, the Golem fell on its back. However, we weren't able to cut down even 10% of its HP in total.
The reason I presented Luka-chan the target of 100 arts uses. It was a method of obtaining new arts, it was a way to raise the level and fulfil the specific conditions!
The condition of hitting the Golem with arts 100 times was——
【Hit an enemy with high defence 100 times using arts】——《Shock Impact》
【Use Delta Slash 100 times】——《Fifth Breaker》
Suitable for fulfilling the conditions for those two arts.
She would eventually received 《Fifth Breaker》 as she leveled up, but it was an easy-to-use art. 《Shock Impact》 was a sword-type art that had a strong blunt attribute, it was effective against enemies with high physical defence like Golem and against weak enemies.
In the β era, there was a way to get arts by using Golem and since the conditions for acquiring the arts was similar, it was an arts teaching course by using Golem-sensei. That was the reason behind the nickname 【Golem-sensei】.
And in the end, we revealed the story to Luka-chan.
"——And so, Luka-chan was able to get two arts. Congrats."
As I congratulated her with Hino-chan, Luka-chan made a happy, embarrassing smile.
"Thank you very much. Myu-san, Hino-san."
"And, one more thing——"
It had to be said with this timing. We nodded at each other with Hino-chan and spoke together.
" "——Luka-chan, please form a party with us!" "
Hino-chan and I asked while lowering our heads. After a moment of silence, a quiet laughter could be heard and we slowly raised our heads.
"Really, it makes me want to take revenge on you two."
"I'm still inexperienced, but please do take care of me."
Luka-chan stretched her back and deeply lowered her head. She consented on joining our party.
"However, even after so many hits with arts, we only took down 10% of the Golem's HP."
She muttered slightly disappointed.
"Should we take measures against that immediately? In order to take down the Golem."
As to encourage Luka-chan, Hino-chan clenched her small fist and tried to decide what to do from now on.
"What we're lacking are level's right, also equipment."
I'll raise what I'm lacking and confirm how the others are looking. With store-sold equipment it would be difficult to damage the Golem. And, as for Luka-chan who joined starting from official version——
"I'm sorry, I have no money."
"Then, first let's do some leveling and securing money."
Since we decided, let's hurry and go! While compensating defence that was ignored in the extreme training with Golem-sensei, let's look for a way to get money!
"Golem! Wash your neck and wait! We'll definitely take you down after we get stronger!"
I declared while pointing my finger at it. Together with Luka-chan and Hino-chan we'll get stronger.
However, securing money comes first! In order to acquire new equipment!
Chapter 3 - Toutobi and Fashion
A few days have passed since Luka-chan officially joined our party.
Hino-chan, Luka-chan and I, the three of us actively did quests not just for leveling, but also focusing on collecting money.
"Hmm. We do quests to earn money during the day, but also brief high speed leveling in the evening so our levels are quite high."
While growling I glared at my Sense status.
【One-Handed Sword Lv4】 【Armour Lv20】 【Physical Attack Increase Lv25】 【Physical Defence Increase Lv22】 【Speed Increase Lv7】 【Magic Talent Lv18】【Magic Power Lv18】 【Light Element Talent Lv15】 【Recovery Lv15】 【Magic Recovery Lv10】
【Sword Lv30】 【Fighting Spirit Lv17】
Through repeated leveling, my 【Sword】 Sense reached level 30 and derivation Senses appeared, so I took 【One-Handed Sword】 Sense I used in the β era.
But, I still haven't reached my goal.
To be precise, it wasn't the level that was required to reach the goal, but total acquisition of SP.
Once the total acquired SP reaches 20, there will be new basic Senses I'll be able to pick up, so I'd like to get 8 more SP.
"Still, it can't be helped even if I hurry. First I need to receive the equipment I ordered."
I muttered to myself in the town and headed in the direction of a certain store.
I entered 【Open Sesame】, a store built at the intersection of the First Town's main streets and said a greeting at the same time.
"Hello! Is Magi-san in?"
"Myu-chan, welcome. Did you come for the equipment?"
A brown-skinned woman dripping with sweat holding a hammer in one hand——Magi-san the top smith appeared from the back of ths store.
"There's that too, but I came to congratulate you opening your store!"
"With that said, the store is still in middle of preparations for opening. To be precise, I guide acquaintances from the beta to the store and spend half of the time by the stall."
When I congratulated her, Magi-san smiled in a bashful manner. She's cute and has great style, this destructive power is amazing. I'm envious.
"The reason I was able to make a crafting base so early was thanks to regulars from the beta like Myu-chan."
"No such thing, it's all because Magi-san's weapons are great!"
After we relaxed ourselves with conversation, Magi-san said "now then" to go back to the topic.
"For the ordered equipment, you're fine with the same one you had in beta, right?"
"Yes! My goal is to be an armour-clad paladin who cuts down enemies with a sword!"
As I showed my biceps to her, Magi-san smiled broadly with elbows on the counter.
Somehow, I turned embarrassed, ehehe, I laughed to cover it up.
"As I thought, seeing an energetic girl like you makes me energetic too. Therefore, a little service from Onee-san."
She said so and took out silvery equipment my eyes were glued to.
"Ohhh?! The equipment's stats are quite high!"
"Fufufu, you sure know your stuff Myu-chan. That's right! It's not just iron! It's made from Fine Iron!"
Although I responded jokingly, it was quite amazing. The Iron Ingots and the 【Fine Iron Ingots】 that was treated as a different material for crafting had the same properties, but the equipment crafted from Fine Iron had better performance in every aspect. At the same time the difficulty to craft something from it also increased but...
"I-is it really okay?! But, eh?!! I mean...!"
I entered a slight state of panic and couldn't speak up properly.
Even though her service barely started, it seemed like she put a tremendous effort to make all of my equipment from Fine Iron.
One Fine Iron Ingot was made from five Fine Iron Ores. So, for a single one-handed sword and four pieces of body armour one would need to use thirty pieces of ore.
"I know what you want to say, Myu-chan. Something like 'how many Golems did you have to hunt to get enough of ore', right?"
Indeed, to get it early in the game one would need to defeat boss mob Golem we haven't been able to defeat yet and get it as a normal drop. For example, one would need to repeat the fight fifty times with a full party of six people.
"Just when, and just how many Golems did you beat?!"
"Unfortunately, the Fine Iron was obtained with a method different from hunting Golems. Well, a way to obtain it cheaply was found, think of it like that. Still, a lot more iron is used so I'm purchasing much more of it than usual."
Bring all the equipment to my place, she said and winked.
"Understood. I'll do my best and cut down the enemies to steal equipment from them!"
"Yup, please do. Well then, let's decide on the additional effect bonuses."
When I agreed, Magi-san started setting up the additional effects in the equipment.
For iron equipment there were only two types, but with Fine Iron there were more additional effects available. Since currently I didn't have any reinforcement materials of choice with me, the 【Smithing】's bonus would be the only one.
'Then, 【ATK Bonus】 in the sword and 【DEF Bonus】 in the armour pieces please."
"Same as it was before, eh? Roger."
She said and moved the equipment lined up on the table to the bench beside the counter and one by one added additional effects.
Meanwhile I had nothing to do, so I looked around the store.
On the shelves decorated with various weapons and accessories, lined up were mainly versatile equipment pieces. Specialized weapons with super high performance and unpopular pieces of equipment were Magi-san's own hobby.
There was also a small amount of consumables like potions and pills placed on the shelf.
"Magi-san, did you pick up 【Mixing】?"
"Ah, that. No, it's a corner with consignment. I'm purchasing them from an acquaintance crafter and re-selling them."
"This is quite cheap."
Just recently, the resale guilds have been very active with re-selling potions, so the price of the potions was temporarily inflated. Although the prices had settled down, these potions had very reasonable price when compared to their recovery amount.
"I'm selling in consignment so I still bumped the price a little."
"This is more than enough if you are purchasing some while coming for equipment maintenance."
Rather than go around several stalls to find potions, one could kill a few mobs during that time to get money back. In other words, that also combined into the cost.
"I'll buy some! Magi-san, give me 10 Potions and 5 Antidotes."
"Okay. Then I'll round down the price of the equipment and potions to 400kG."
"I'll pay all at once!"
I paid the money and received both equipment and potions from Magi-san. With high-speed leveling expanses and current equipment's price almost all the money I had from the β was exhausted. What's left is just enough for maintenance and few consumables.
It seems like I'll have to focus on securing money rather than leveling for a while.
"So Myu-chan, are you going to change?"
"Nope. Actually the girls from my party are going to buy equipment so we're gonna do an unveiling at the same time. Or so we thought of it!"
"I see. Then if you need something else, don't hesitate to come."
"Thank you very much!"
She returned to the back of the store and I could hear the sound of metal being hit with a hammer. While listening to the constant rhythm of the hammer I left the 【Open Sesame】."
"Hino-chan, did you wait?"
"Not at all, this time you were on time!"
"Grr, you're horrible!"
After picking up equipment in Magi-san's store I headed to the place I decided to meet with Luka-chan and Hino-chan in."
Hino-chan who had come first had teased me about my being late before. When I puffed up my cheeks, she apologized lightly.
I wasn't angry in the first place, we were just getting along.
"And what about Luka-chan?"
"Just earlier she called me and said that she'll come after taking a look at the stalls."
"I wonder if she's looking for equipment then?"
Recently we've focused on hunting same specific mobs all the time getting a hourly rate of money so there wasn't much stimulation. But thanks to that we have gathered enough money for expensive weapon or armour.
"Hino-chan, did you buy equipment?'
"Yup! A moment ago I picked up the equipment I asked for. How about you, Myu-chan?"
The two of us thought of the same thing. Rather than putting on equipment in here, it's better to wait for Luka-chan to buy new equipment and change then, surprising her.
Since Hino-chan and I knew each other's appearance from the β, we consulted each other on the timing to change, preparing a surprise.
"Myu-san, Hino-san. Hello."
While we were speaking with each other, Luka-chan had come to the meeting spot. However, her expression was somewhat dark, there was a shadow on it.
"Hey, Luka-chan, what is it? Did something happen?"
"N-no! It's nothing! I'm fine?"
"If you'd like, we'll listen."
"A, uu... that's..."
As we peeked into Luka-chan's face, worried, she blushed slightly embarrassed and explained the reason for why does she look so discouraged.
"Um... there was a weapon I've had my eyes on for a long time. About the same size as the one-handed sword I'm using now."
According to Luka-chan the weapon's stats were slightly higher than those of iron-made ones, the sword with ATK bonus and critical hit correction was apparently set quite cheap.
She took the money she had for the armour price's initial deposit and thought she'll be able to buy it once she gathers just a little more, but once she headed to that stall...
"I couldn't find the stall anywhere."
"Oh my, but there'll be another chance!"
"I've had similar experiences. When I went to bargain items were sold out or the player and their stall wasn't there as they moved somewhere."
Downhearted Luka-chan was cute as she lowered her eyebrows, but to cheer her up I made a suggestion.
"Then today, how about we go look for temporary equipment for Luka-chan?"
"We'll aim for randomly generated weapons that drop from treasure boxes and enemy mobs. If we're lucky, we'll get equipment for Luka-chan and even if we don't get any, we can sell equipment to a 【Smithing】 crafter to get money."
Also, Magi-san would greatly appreciate any iron brought in. This was a good opportunity to go defeat enemies dropping iron equipment in order to earn money.
"Um, please don't worry about me. It's fine to do the usual efficient earning."
"I agree with Myu-chan's proposal. I also have my initial deposit for armour so I want to gather money as soon as possible."
"Is, that so. I understand."
"All right! Let's go to the dungeon with Living Armours!"
As Hino-chan and I raised our fists energetically, Luka-chan also raised hers, albeit embarrassedly.
We headed to one of small dungeons nearby.
"Full physical! Let's have a hunting spree for one of golem-type mobs, Living Armours!"
"Still, I don't see any enemies."
"I wonder if there will be any ahead of here."
Indeed. There was only one Living Armour on the first floor. Moreover, it was one that just respawned. It wasn't empty of just enemies, but also of treasure chests on the entire floor.
"What do we do? Go do some quest?"
"You're right. If there's someone who entered before us, it seems better to give it some time."
"This is——a competition! A fight deciding who will be the first one to recover the treasure chest in the deepest part!"
We can't just go back dejected without any results! Also, the player who had annihilated all the mobs in the first level so fast must be really skilled. I want to see their face.
"Plan change! We're breaking through the shortest route to the deepest part!"
"Well, it's a shallow dungeon so let's go along with it."
"I'll go ahead then!"
Hino-chan considered the manoeuvrability in the dungeon, put her sledgehammer on her shoulder and rushed forward.
Matching her, I have followed with Luka-chan.
Since Hino-chan and I were in this dungeon together in the β era, we remembered the shortest route.
Before long we located the stairs to the second floor, once we went down them we didn't see any enemies in there either.
"There's no one here either, we'll be going to the deepest floor then!"
"Myu-san, what enemies are there in the lowest floor?!"
Luka-chan running beside me asked about information on the enemy.
"It's all Living Armours! Just, their weapons change from copper ones to iron so their attack power increases a little!"
"Other than that, when there are multiple ones at once, they cooperate with each other."
"Ah, I forgot about that!"
When Hino-chan supplemented information I recalled how I was surrounded by a group of Living Armours armed with spears. Back then they were configured in an unlucky manner and it was difficult to pierce through the gaps, I was able to escape by breaking out of the siege in a corner thanks to magic.
"Also, their movements are slow but they're gonna chase you endlessly on the floor, well, there's lots of stuff. Ah, I can see the stairs to the last floor!"
We ran through the second floor and arrived at the stairs leading to the lowest floor.
On the other side of the stairs we saw Living Armours crowding in the hallway.
"Prepare for combat! There's lots of them!"
I picked up the weapon I had put away and slashed the Living Armour intending to cut it apart.
Hino-chan smashed the armour in the head with her sledgehammer. The head was blown away and slammed into the dungeon's wall letting a dull, echoing sound in the dungeon.
Luka-chan held a short sword and thrust into the gaps in the armour's joints, while suppressing the weapon's durability consumption she slowly damaged the enemy.
"Myu-san! What is on earth is this?!"
"Probably a monster house or something?"
It seems like for some reason mobs have concentrated in one place. If we left them be they would scatter which wasn't time-efficient. While thinking positively——
"Saves us trouble looking for enemy! Let's wipe them out and add them to our experience! ——《Fifth Breaker》!"
I used the Art I obtained in the same manner as Luka-chan to slash the passage full of Living Armours.
Five continuous sword attacks have repelled one Living Armour each, opening distance between me and them.
"Gather them up and send them flying!"
That's where Hino-chan popped out, swung her sledgehammer low and gathering the nearby armours she defeated them.
While the Living Armours could be defeated by dealing damage to certain specific parts such as limbs, Luka-chan aimed for joints between the legs and arms in order to decrease the mobility and attack power of the Living Armours.
I fired a bullet of light by the side of their vanguard to strike an individual that tried to thrust with its spear, cancelling the attack.
At the same time, as grazes have accumulated damage dealt to Hino-chan and Luka-chan, I used recovery magic on them.
If Hino-chan and I knew it would turn out like this, we would have worn the equipment we received earlier and made it easier for ourselves. While thinking so I continued to annihilate Living Armours near the stairs.
After that, since wandering Living Armour appeared from the corner on the left side, the three of us focused our attacks to defeat it.
"Hey, I said earlier it's a 'monster house', it seems like they're overflowing from the room in the left."
"Does that mean the Living Armours have gathered on the left side?"
Just as Hino-chan said, the left side was a large, empty room. And if one would come straight to the deepest part to pick up the treasure chest, there was a possibility of it turning into a monster house but——
"How about we wait, and if there's nothing coming out, we'll just go to pick up treasure chest?"
"If there's a player in here, there's a high probability they are in trouble."
Hearing Luka-chan's words, "got it" Hino-chan answered with a smile and entered the passage on the left side.
The three of us cooperated quickly taking care of Living Armour in groups less dense than the one earlier. And, as we approached the large room we heard the sound of sword strikes.
"There's someone here after all. Should we up the pace a little?"
"Agreed! I'll open the way so let's rush in all at once!"
Hino-chan swung the hammer both left and right blowing away the Living Armours that blocked the path to the sides. In order to stop them from chasing after us Luka-chan cut the legs of the armours, destroying specific parts. On the other hand, I fired light bullets from behind the two.
"I can see them!"
When we have entered the large room, it was packed with Living Armours. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that all the enemies on the lowest layer were inside. And, in the back, there was a player who wore a cloak and light clothing and fought back standing with their back to the corner of the dungeon.
"We'll assist that person!"
"Let's go then!"
Luka-chan and Hino-chan aimed for the Living Armours that the player with their back against the wall didn't engage and took them down one after another.
While avoiding joint struggle penalty you get when attacking another party's mobs, we burned through this monster house.
I used rapid fire of light bullets to attack the armours the two weren't able to reach.
And, we approached the player clad in the cloak.
The player was driven into the corner of the room, but continued to narrowly to avoid the attacks with minimum of movements. Because the player's weapon was a short dagger, they had no way to counter-attack.
Seeing the player's HP slowly decreasing, I used recovery magic.
"Hold out a little longer with this! ——《Heal》!"
When I cast a stray heal on the player with a cloak who wasn't in party, the player cut down the Living Armour in front of their eyes.
Surprised by my behaviour, the player with the hood low on her eyes tried to say something, but seemed to have gave up on that.
"HAa——《Shock Impact》! Ah!! It broke. However!"
Luka-chan hit the Living Armour in front of her with her weapon. The armour fell down backwards because of the impact, but the durability of the weapon purchased from NPC went over the limit and broke.
"If I don't have weapon, I just have to take away enemy's weapon and use it! HAa!"
She took out the biggest sword from the ones that dropped out of Living Armours and found their way to her inventory and wielded it with both hands.
"Ohh?! A power type weapon! I won't lose either! 《Impact》, 《Giant Swing》!"
Hino-chan who swung the sledgehammer before now held it in her right hand and a long spear in her left, then spun like a top.
The sledgehammer swung at the full force had dented the armour in and the long spear mowed enemies down.
In no time the amount of Living Armours that had dropped down to half as compared to when they first entered into the room.
And since the distance between the Living Armours opened, the player in a cloak started to move.
The cloak fluttered and the player rushed between the Living Armours attacking them both while passing by. Moreover, both attacks aimed for joints and clasps destroying the parts of armour. From time to time the player thrust at the enemy delivering critical damage and defeating the Living Armours.
"We can leave half of them to that person! Let's clean up the remaining half of the enemies!"
"All ri...?!! ——Myu-chan avoid it!"
When I turned around in response to Hino-chan's voice, an axe had been throws at me from the front.
A Living Armour that had one arm cut off had picked it up and threw it at me.
I hurriedly tried parrying it with a sword, but I realized I can't avoid incoming axe and only prayed that the hit isn't critical.
That moment, a dagger was swung right in front of me. The cloaked figure had received the axe. However, because of the difference in weapon's weight she couldn't deflect it and it struck the player deep in the shoulder.
Since the player's defence was weak in the first place, they lost majority of their HP and fell onto their knees.
"You took the hit for me?! ——《Heal》!"
I used recovery magic in a hurry. However, a single 《Heal》 wasn't enough to fully recover them and waiting for the skill's cooldown was frustrating.
"At times like this, a potion!'
I used the potion I purchased before we came to this dungeon, sprinkling it over the cloaked player.
With a single recovery magic usage and a single potion, I recovered her completely.
While I healed her, Luka-chan took down the Living Armour which threw the axe and Hino-chan delivered the last blow to remaining enemies.
"Are you okay?"
The mouth visible from under the hood moved lightly, but soon enough the person's lips closed tightly, an they nodded instead.
The cloak-clad player facing down had moved away from me and headed to get rid of the remaining Living Armours.
Since the axe's blow when she received it for me had torn her cloak on the shoulder, I could see the clothe equipment inside.
And after a while we were able to defeat all the Living Armours gathered in the room.
"It was different from the original plan, but Living Armours' drops, get!"
"Uhee. There's a spear drop, but this sledgehammer is already done for. Next time I"ll use my usual large hammer."
Hino-chan put away the sledgehammer that started clattering. And, Luka-chan did practice swings with the great sword in silence, when she noticed my line of sight she panicked a little.
"What is it, Luka-chan?"
"Eh?! Ah, I was unexpectedly familiar with the great sword I used instead of the broken one and..."
While saying so, she exchanged the broken sword by her waist with a short sword by and put the great sword into the inventory.
"Does it really feel familiar?"
"Actually, I feel that if it was a little smaller it would be easier to manage. In the dungeon's passages it can't be used well, so I'll use this one instead."
She said and stroked the short sword by her waist.
"Then, a weapon that can be used with both two hands and one hand?"
Since Luka-chan was able to skilfully use swords in both ways, I looked through my drops for a surplus weapon that fitted the description and was able to find one.
Knight Sword 【Two-Handed／One-Handed Sword】
ATK+10 DEF+4 Additional Effect: DEF+3
It wasn't very good, but it wasn't a bad drop either. The sword status had an unusual additional effect for a drop, but because it only slightly increased defence, it's evaluation as equipment was lower.
Were it 【ATK+3】 the evaluation would be slightly higher. However, for a player who doesn't have money for equipment it had enough performance as a bridging equipment.
"Luka-chan, try holding this."
"This, it's slightly smaller than the great sword."
She poised the sword she received from me with both swords, did a practice swing, then a swing using one hand, confirming how it feels in her hands.
"Compared to the one I saw on the stall the stats are lower but... it's easy to handle."
Next time I'll look for a weapon based on this one, she said and put away the Knight Sword in the inventory.
Luka-chan was slightly happy to have a replacement equipment, on the other hand Hino-chan looked through her inventory for a replacement spear, but unable to find one she puffed her cheeks.
Meanwhile as the cloaked player tried to leave this large room, I called out to stop them.
Startled by me calling out, the player's shoulders twitched. The silent person without showing their real face, had turned in my direction.
"Um... thank you for helping me!"
After I said so, the player bowed and left the room.
"A strange person, wasn't it."
"You're right. And we weren't able to speak either."
Hino-chan spoke, Luka-chan nodded in agreement and watched the cloaked player disappear in a dark passage.
If it was a silent cool-type or role-playing player, we shouldn't force them to speak up.
It was by chance that we helped that person, possibly our only bond with that player in this world of OSO will be this event.
"Now! Since we've come to the deepest part we need to get some money from the treasure chest!"
I strongly emphasized on our original purpose and headed to the back of the dungeon.
"Ah, aaaAAAAAHHHH——! T-the treasureee!"
And in the deepest part we arrived in soon, I cried out.
"Not here, it's not here! There's nothing inside!"
"Um... probably that person from earlier beat us to a punch."
Luka-chan put on a troubled smile, "it can't be helped", Hino-chan gave up.
That's right, in this game at times you cooperate with others, at others you compete with them.
This time we have cooperated in getting rid of the monster house, but originally we were rivals seeking the treasure box.
"What do we do, Myu-chan? Go around defeating Living Armours on the bottom floor until the treasure respawns?'
"Uu, uuu. ...it can't be helped, let's go back."
Hino-chan called out to me, who was discouraged. Because the treasure box's respawn time was longer than that for mobs, I gave up on it this time.
"Myu-san, it's all right. Actually I secured enough money for purchasing armour."
"But, it's still frustrating!"
Oozing with reluctance, I left this small dungeon together with others.
After returning from the dungeon, we dropped by Magi-san's store, 【Open Sesame】, and sold the equipment that dropped from the Living Armours.
It seemed that currently Magi-san was working in the workshop, so a male NPC bought the equipment from us in her place.
While the NPC managed the purchase, we looked at the equipment decorating the shop. That's when Luka-chan found a single one-handed sword placed among products.
"Uuh, this is the one-handed sword from that stall! I want it."
"Your money for purchasing armour will be gone, right?"
Grrr, Luka-chan troubled herself over it raising her eyebrows, in the end, she gave up and returned the sword to the container.
But, I want to have a weapon made for me at all costs, a quiet mutter had reached my ears.
Next time, let's try consulting with Magi-san on Luka-chan's topic, I took a note in my mind.
"Okay, we're here! A store that sells armour!"
Ta-dah, together with Hino-chan we spread out arms. Ahead of where we guided Luka-chan, there was a single store.
Although it looked like a normal shop with clothes, as we stood in the entrance, the size of the store inside was beyond a person's imagination.
In the back, it was decorated with stifling armour-types, but there were also a some of others as well as weapons, but it was basically a store specializing in armours.
"Um... what kind of store is this?"
"You see, it's a store that gathers armours and sells them instead of crafters!"
Since Hino-chan explained it roughly, I answered with more details.
"The crafters are making equipment and selling it, right? The places where they do it is on the street stalls, in their own stores if they own them, but people who think it's cumbersome to hire NPCs and to manage stores and stalls leave it here for selling in exchange for profit division."
To describe it simpler, it was an armour store that sold equipment in consignment.
"Let's find armour to Luka-chan's liking in here and buy it. After that, let's have the crafter introduced for equipment's grading-up!"
And so, sorry to distuurb, as we entered the store a clerk had come to greet us.
"My, welcome. What cute customers had come."
"M-M-Myu-san! T-this person is...?!"
The person who had come to greet us was the store's owner.
Deep facial features and crew cut. Languid corners of the eyes...
"What is this! What's with this person, her arms are super thick and muscular, she looks sturdy like a rock!"
"My, how rude. Despite everything, I'm loved by everyone."
"Ahahaha, isn't it more like everyone is terrified by you?"
As Hino-chan retorted with a smile, "My, how severe", she responded. She was a tall onee-style woman, people are scared of her at first, but she was a person of great character.
"Although she looks like this, she's a veteran player from the β era, Kitty-san."
"Also known as Kitei-san (鬼体). It's a nickname she got for catching a goblin with bare hands and swinging him around."
"Nyaaw. Don't mention stories from so long ago. Right now I'm only mastering techniques to make bad brats submit."
As Kitty-san wiggled on spot, Luka-chan's face convulsed.
Kitty-san was in real an onee-style person, but in order not to be judged by her gender she had purposefully added mascuile correction to her body.
Normally it would be something to be disappointed with, but the character she made looked interesting like a story character, so the person herself was regarded positively.
By the way, for the players who occasionally mocked her being onee-style, she chased them to the ends of the earth calling them with her hoarse voice and to them she had become synonymous with fear, currently they have become gentlemen who don't do any sexual harassment.
"Kitty-san is a really good person. She takes the initiative in gathering information on items and mobs, helping others out."
"She's an amazing person who had mediated in my party when there was trouble!"
We described what kind of a personality Kitty-san has, but because the initial shock was too strong, Luka-chan's face was still cramped up and convulsing.
"Today, you've come to buy equipment for this girl, right? Take your pick."
" "Thank you very much!" "
"Aren't you two going to buy any?"
"No, we've already bought ours."
"Is it fine for us to change into different equipment in here?"
Although we weren't dissatisfied with our main equipment, as girls we would like to enjoy wearing different equipment as fashion. Therefore, we wanted to be able to freely wear various armours.
"Then enjoy yourself as you like. It's girls' nature to dress up."
Kitty-san winked and returned into the back of the store.
"Um, what a deep person."
As if tired with just a short moment of contact, Luka-chan let out a long sigh.
"Then, let's look for equipment Luka-chan will like in the back!"
"Oh right, I forgot."
Because of the overwhelming shock she forgot the original purpose, so Hino-chan and I guided her to the back.
"Try on the armours here and pick one you like."
Ahead of where we guided her, there were a lot of armours lined up. The full-body armours were only a part of the equipment made by crafters, there was also lots of joke and cosplay equipment made at full power.
"I understand. But, before that I need to remove this equipment, right."
Luka-chan said so and operating the menu, she removed leather armour, thanks to which we could see her size well.
"Even bigger than I imagined."
Her boobs were bigger than Hino-chan and I thought. Rather, they were big enough to make me think that it might have been painful to have the leather armour suppress them.
Quietly, I put my hands on my own chest. Yup, I'm still in my growth phase so there's hope... probably. Not to be as big as Sei-oneechan, but I want to grow a bit!
"Myu-san, Hino-san, how about you try choosing some good looking armour?"
"Got that. Let's go, Myu-chan."
Hino-chan didn't seem concerned with her breasts, but I was a little worried. Not knowing how I feel, together with Luka-chan we started looking for suitable equipment.
And, we have picked up armours that had a design which would look good on us or Luka-chan.
"Luka-chan, what's your favourite colour?"
"Favourite colour? Let's see, I guess it would be reds."
Luka-chan's hands stopped and she turned towards Hino-chan, thinking seriously about the question. Seeing her defenceless from behind, mischief welled up in my mind and I slowly crept at her from behind.
"So, a knightly armour after all?"
"I guess so. Thyaaa——?!"
"Ohhh! As I thought, amazing shape!"
"Nhh?! Myu-san, what are you doing?!"
Although Luka-chan twisted her body while blushing strongly, I embraced her from behind checking up her boobs so she couldn't really get away.
"No, um, skinship? These are some great boobs."
I'm so envious. When I thought so, my hands were shaken off. Ah, I wanted to enjoy them a little longer.
"Why are you looking so disappointed! Also Hino-san, please help me next time!"
"No, I can slightly understand Myu-chan's feelings. I mean look, we're like this."
Hino-chan and I looked at our chests, there were mounds, but only small ones.
"With our breasts mature-looking equipment doesn't fit us, so we're yearning you see."
"Indeed. I'm often told I'm childish."
As the two of us spat out heavy sighs, Luka-chan was all flustered. As I thought, wearing lots of various things is fun.
Then, we searched for armour that would fit Luka-chan but——
"Hmm. I can't really decide."
"That said, we've only looked through some of them."
Although she tried seriously, Luka-chan couldn't decide. She was bad with things like these, so it might be better to leave it up to Kitty-san's judgement. When I thought so I saw Kitty-san talk with someone at the store's entrance.
"You're cute, so why don't you take off that cloak and wear some cute clothes?"
The husky voice seemed to be that of a girl's. It was quite cute so I got interested and turned in her direction.
"You should be more confident."
"...I'm, not cute."
When I took a peek at the player facing downwards, I saw her clad in a cloak that covered her entire figure. And, a diagonal cut on the shoulder looked familiar to me.
"A-Aahhhhhhh! The person from the dungeon!"
She twitched strongly and stiffened, because of that the hood she was wearing slipped and her face was exposed. It was a girl who hid her eyes behind her purple hair's bangs. Her hidden, clear eyes gave an impression of beautiful clear ocean's.
"My, Myu-chan's acquaintance?"
"Just earlier, she saved me in the dungeon."
When I explained clearly, "Oh, is that so. The world sure is small", Kitty-san put a hand on her cheek and muttered.
Luka-chan and Hino-chan who came to take a look have recognized the solo player from the dungeon and were surprised.
"This girl, she has a habit of choosing her words very carefully, so she has trouble inviting people to form a party."
C'mon, introduce yourself. The girl was had her back pressed and took a step forward, then blushing with embarrassment she slowly introduced herself.
"...nice to meet you, I'm Toutobi."
"I'm Hino, likewise!"
Although shyly, Toutobi-chan introduced herself without faltering.
"My, it seems like you're all right with Myu-chan and others. Then, for practice in socializing go choose some armours."
"...eh, that means..."
Toutobi-chan panicked hearing Kitty-san's proposal, but I grasped her with my both hands without regard to that.
"Then let's go choose! Let's go in the back!"
"...eh, ah, eeh?"
I pulled Toutobi-chan's hand, returning to others.
"All right, what kind of armours do you like? You plan to buy heavy or light armour?"
"Myu-chan, calm down."
Interrupting my asking in rapid succession, Hino-chan put a stop to it.
"Look, Toutobi-san is confused. Ask questions one by one."
Thanks to Hino-chan and Luka-chan stopping me, Toutobi-chan breathed out with relief and made a bitter smile.
"Well then——right, if you don't take off that cloak we won't be able to choose."
The playstyle of the player was important, but the suitable equipment also depends on the body type.
"...do I have to take it off?"
Although she was embarrassed, in response to our gazes she shrunk. Unable to withstand it any longer, she quietly removed the cloak——
"As I thought, so big. Far bigger than me."
"I lost, again."
Her boobs previously hidden by the cloak were about the same size as Luka-chan's.
"Grr, I'm envious."
"...um, I'm sorry."
"Boastingg?! Agrr, gonna touch!"
As I reached out to her boobs from the front, Toutobi-chan reflexively hit my hands away. Even though I announced it loudly, she perfectly responded to my surprise attack.
I didn't want to lose so I entered full offensive, but every time my hands were repelled.
As I looked at her from the front, I could see her eyes narrow, not a speck of embarrassment could be seen in them. As if her switch for combat was pressed.
(I see. So she's the type who switches over during combat)
While evaluating her in my mind, I can't lose, I thought then improved pace as well as added feints adding more intensity to my attacks.
Possibly an adverse effect of playing solo, but she didn't have any PvP skill and before long I was able to grab her from the front.
"Ohhh?! They might be one size larger than Luka-chan's——"What are you doing!" "
I touched them only for a few seconds, but Luka-chan immediately peeled me off.
"Myu-san, it was too sudden and you startled Toutobi-san!"
"Are you okay? C'mon, Myu-chan, you're too free."
Luka-chan and Hino-chan got angry, sorry, I apologized but Luka-chan still stared at me intently. Sorry, I won't do it anymore without permission.
"Then as apology, want to touch my chest? Luka-chan can touch it too."
"How did you come up with——"...then, excuse me."——hey, Toutobi-san, you're touching?!"
For a while now, Luka-chan's expressions from one interesting one to other, on the other hand Toutobi-chan gently touched my boobs for a payback.
"...modest breasts aren't they."
"Uuu, I'm in my growth phase! They'll get bigger!"
"...somehow, it feels like a conversation between friends, it's fun."
"What are you saying? Tobi-chan and I are friends already."
In response to my words, Tobi-chan made astonished expression and thought about their meaning.
And, she responded with a question.
"Yup! Toutobi, so Tobi-chan. Also, Lucato, so Luka-chan!"
Can it be that Tobi-chan didn't like it? I tilted my head and looked up at her, but her expression that was stiff until now had loosened and her mouth arced upwards happily.
"...I'm glad, it's the first time I received a nickname."
She made a soft smile, making me unconsciously cling to her.
"Tobi-chan, you're so cute! A smile definitely fits you so much more!"
"...no way, I'm, not cute."
Possibly not used to being called cute, Tobi-chan panicked. If that's the case, we need to choose equipment that will make everyone think she's cute!
"Luka-chan! Hino-chan! Let's look for armour fitting Tobi-chan! And so. As a result of selection for mature-looking Luka-chan and Tobi-chan——"
"Wh?! What is that equipment?!"
"...uu, too embarrassing."
*bshh*, when Hino-chan outstretched the picked equipment in front of them, Luka-chan and Tobi-chan blushed.
The armour outstretched to Luka-chan was a so-called bikini armour.
Dyed red, it only hid girls' important parts, exposing everything else, a female swordsman-style.
And, the armour proffered to Tobi-chan, was a black bunny girl suit. In set there were fishnet stockings, a band with bunny ears and a bow tie, everything in playboy-style.
Both of them had high exposure and were already on the level of joke items.
"Such equipment is too embarrassing for me to wear!"
"Then, a cloak on top of it."
"That makes it more erotic instead, right! Tobi-chan!"
"I said, I'm not wearing it!"
In high spirits, I tried adding a black cloak on top of the bikini armour I took out, but a strong rejection had come from Luka-chan.
Tobi-chan was embarrassed because of the armour she was shown, but her stare was fixed on it.
Still, this equipment was reminiscent of one used in a certain dragon RPG, so I also felt like picking one matching it.
"If Luka-chan wears that, I guess I'll take this and this?"
I took two types of equipment and raised in front of myself.
One was equipment of a royal road's protagonist. A circlet with blue orb in it, yellow tights and blue one-piece dress. Hero-style with a sword and shield.
The other one was blue and yellow-toned robe with full body orange tights underneath and a hat with a cross embroidered on it, it was priest-style equipment.
"Ohhh! Party cosplay?! Then I'll take this!"
After saying so Hino-chan equipped a martial artist's equipment. Green-coloured dougi had "dragon" embroidered on it, although it was similar to the priest's robe, instead of a cloth it had a belt wound around the waist.
"This is fun in a way!"
"I'm not doing it! I'll be embarrassed to do it alone!"
Luka-chan strongly denied and puffing up her cheeks she returned the bikini armour to its original location, then started looking for equipment of her choice.
Tobi-chan hurriedly put away the bunny girl armour she was concentrated on and started looking for armour for herself.
"I played around for a bit too much, sorry."
"Hmph, really you..."
As Luka-chan got cutely angry, I once again apologized, and while apologizing this time I started properly looking for equipment for the two.
For Luka-chan, red and a warrior-style. For Tobi-chan, dark colours near black would suit her, I took one armour after another in my hands, but I was somewhat unable to find one that would suit the two's image.
On the other hand, both Luka-chan and Tobi-chan took armour each in their hands and raised them high.
"This, it would suit Toutobi-san."
"...and for Lucato, this one would be good."
The armour Luka-chan raised was one of a western-style assassin. It was a body-fitting equipment for both top and bottom and a crimson muffler. It was a slightly bold, dark sleeveless piece revealing sides.
The armour Tobi-chan was raising, was a red and black-toned light armour. The chest plate in a shape of breasts protected the chest and the design emphasised on breasts' shape.
Neither of the two were joke nor cosplay equipment, but they were both slightly risqué.
"Nicey! Try them on, you two!"
"I want to see how the two of you look in it."
"Well, I don't mind trying it on, will it fit me?"
"...it's a little embarrassing being looked at, let's go to the changing room."
The two exchanged the equipment they held in their hands and entered the set-up changing room.
Probably when they confirmed their appearance in the changing room's mirror, we could hear slightly embarrassed voices leak out.
"Luka-chan, Tobi-chan. Is it fine yet?"
"A little longer, to prepare my heart..."
Hino-chan and I opened the curtains of the changing rooms.
Inside, there were Luka-chan and Tobi-chan exposing their white limbs.
Although Luka-chan said she needs to prepare herself, she had great style and it fit her well. Dignified and worried about the short skirt as she was in a standing posture, she shown herself to us.
"Um, how is it?"
"It super suits you! Kinda, like, as if you were about to say——"All forces, charge!"——or something!"
"Ah, I'd like to try that."
Once again, Luka-chan confirmed her own appearance in the mirror, but seeing bare legs and arms, she made a regretful expression.
"Maybe I should order additional arms and leg armour from the same crafter."
Luka-chan smiled a bit shyly.
On the other hand, Tobi-chan curled up in the corner of the small dressing room.
Although her long bangs looked assassin-like but as she wound the muffler around her neck and hid her mouth, rather like an assassin, she looked just like a little animal.
"C'mon Tobi-chan, stand up, stand up."
Once Hino-chan and I helped Toutobi-chan to stand up, she faced Luka-chan.
"It's very cute, I'm surprised. It looks great on you."
Tobi-chan faced downwards embarrassedly.
Together with Luka-chan, they seemed to like that equipment.
"Well then, shall we change our equipment too?"
"You're right. It made me feel like changing into mine as well."
Hino-chan and I switched our equipment on spot.
I changed from the leather armour I was using so far into a silvery-white armour made by Magi-san.
Hino-chan wore a leather jacket, a breastplate and a blue tiara. On top of that she wore a gauntlet disproportionate to her small body on only her right arm.
"Ta-dah! How is it, our appearance!"
"This is how we looked in the β!"
When I said so and puffed my hardly-existent chest, the two smiled.
"It suits you two."
Luka-chan praised us and Tobi-chan standing beside her had nodded several times.
"Thanks, you two! Well then, Kitty-san! We're purchasing equipment!"
"Yes yees, I'll check the price now. ——My my, it turned into quite a cute party."
The onee-style giant peeking at us smiled happily as she saw us.
"...I-I'm, not cute."
"Oh c'mon, for saying things like that, take this!"
I found a hair clip accessory on the shelf nearby and held it in my hand.
Before she could say anything, I used the hair clip to hold down her bangs. With just that the impression she gave off changed.
"Look, now you're cute! As I thought, it's much better than with your bangs down."
Seeing her own appearance in the mirror, Tobi-chan swallowed the phrase "I'm not cute".
Tobi-chan clenched her fist tightly and stared in our faces with a serious expression.
"...um, please let me enter your party!"
Since we heard that Tobi-chan was unable to enter any party, so I could tell she summoned courage to ask. Also, there was no reason to refuse.
"I think it's all right as well. I want to adventure together with Toutobi-san."
"I already thought of her as of new member of our party."
It was so natural, I didn't notice until now. Hino-chan said with a smile.
"Now, since we have a new party member Tobi-chan and new equipment, let's go adventure!"
Yeahh, as Hino-chan and I raised our fists high, Luka-chan smiled wryly. Induced by our enthusiasm, Tobi-chan embarrassedly, weakly raised her fist.
"And so, please give us the bill, Kitty-san!"
"Oh my my, since it calls for celebration, I'll make Toutobi-chan's hair accessory a free extra."
Cost of three pieces of Luka-chan's armour, General Rouge, was 180kG.
Tobi-chan's armour, assassin suit 【Assassinoid】and muffler 【Invincible】, cost 150kG in total.
The two received contact information of the crafters who made the equipment they purchased and then we left the store.
"We've added Toutobi-san in but, where shall we go?"
Hearing Luka-chan's question, I suggested a quest I wanted to do for a while already.
"I know! ——Let's go do the women-only quest 【Investigation of Crystal Cave's Interior】 ——"DENIED."——Hino-chan, you're horrible!"
Being immediately refused I fell into a slump, Hino-chan explained to the two who made clueless expressions.
That it's a quest for a pair of women, and when they heard that the emerging mobs are centipedes, the two shook their heads at full power.
"The quest reward and experience isn't that good, and I don't want to see any bugs."
As Hino-chan hugged her own small body, it won't work, I thought and gave up.
"In that case, let's defeat enemies nearby and improve the party's cooperation, then gradually increase the opponents' difficulty. How about that?"
Everyone agreed with Luka-chan's proposal.
"Well then, once again, take care of us, Tobi-chan!"
"...yes, please take care of me."
Together with Tobi-chan who replied with a cheerful smile, we moved on the road full of pedestrian traffic. While having fun chatting, we headed out for an adventure.
Chapter 4 - Kohaku and Rirei
Inside the forest filled with singing of the birds, in the centre of the forest's opening a giant lizard with sharp scales had hugged his tail with his eyes closed.
Since there was nowhere to hide in the surroundings we pounced at him all at once.
As I jumped in first slashing at the giant lizard——the Blade Lizard, he avoided by rolling on the ground and started his counter-attack on our party's members.
"Myu-chan! I know you didn't get to fight in front lately, but you're overdoing it!"
Even while she spoke worriedly, Hino-chan held the large hammer in her hands and without letting her guard down, swung it with all her strength aiming for Blade Lizard's head.
The Blade Lizard who was durable enough to withstand such a heavy blow was appropriate for a boss mob.
"Next, he went Luka-chan's way!"
"Tobi-san! Please match me!"
Dressed in brand-new crimson armour, equipped with an one-handed sword and a shield Luka-chan protruded the shield to block the Blade Lizard's rush.
As her entire body was pushed towards the ground by Blade Lizard's tackle, she subsequently parried a tail swing with her shield.
Facing against the Blade Lizard who was a mob difficult for beginners to deal with, Luka-chan slashed him with all the fighting spirit she had, matching that, Tobi-chan approached in that moment and thrust her dagger aiming for the gap between scales.
In order to prevent us from chasing it the Blade Lizard bristled his scales and rolled on the ground to the side, moving away from us.
In the meantime we verified our cooperation.
"How is it, Luka-chan? The 【Shield】 Sense you newly picked-up?"
"Hmm, it's slightly different from what I imagined. But, it works well balancing out the weapon I use now so I'd like to try it for a little longer."
"Rather than that, what about you, Myu-chan? To think you'd miss first strike, I'm more concerned with that one."
"Ahaha... so you noticed after all?"
When Hino-chan pointed that out, "yes indeed" said and nodded Tobi-chan, who was freshly recruited to the party.
Until yesterday we have practiced cooperation in party of four. After fighting weak mobs and Big Boars who are appropriate to our levels, we scheduled to defeat a boss mob, Blade Lizard today.
"Um... actually, I succeeded in defeating a Blade Lizard all alone last night."
"Myu-chan, you're rushing ahead all alone again."
Hino-chan muttered appalled.
Meanwhile, the Blade Lizard who rolled around warily had recovered and stretching out his limbs, he took a stance for a rush.
"Myu-san! We're going to talk about this properly later!"
"Got it! Let's do our best to take down the rest of his HP then!"
Told so by Luka-chan I once again raised my one-handed sword and circled around the Blade Lizard from the right side.
Luka-chan stood in front of the Blade Lizard, Hino-chan on the left, Tobi-chan stood in a position from which she could support us anywhere.
This time's subjugation of the boss mob, Blade Lizard, was a test for the roles in the party we have come up with.
Luka-chan alone didn't use her usual fighting style, but using a 【Shield】 Sense she safely practised how to grasp the timing for parrying with a sword and avoiding attacks. The shield and the sword she was using were remaining drops from the Living Armours, if there isn't enough of them, we can always go and get more.
Like that, we have become a party of three ultra-physical vanguards and one assassin-type.
"These days we're all vanguards, let's go pound him down!"
"In that case, I'll attack properly so that Myu-chan can fight!"
Matching me as I ran towards the Blade Lizard, Hino-chan also ran while carrying her hammer on her shoulder.
The Blade Lizard felt my approach and twisted his body, swinging the tail full of bristled sharp scales. The moment I noticed the initial motions of his attack I thrust my heels onto the ground to reduce my speed and averted my upper body.
Although I felt the wind pressure from Blade Lizard's tail swing that passed right in front of me, I succeeded in avoiding.
It was an attack pattern I have experienced many times both in the β version and just recently when I challenged it multiple times before going to bed. I avoided it by hair's breadth and moved a step in.
If I fought alone I would have delivered two light attacks and escaped, but now I stepped in.
"I won't let you get her! HAAa!!"
Hino-chan struck a heavy blow to the Blade Lizard's side from the left and stopped his movements for a moment.
By cooperating we could do things we can't do alone. A combination attack starting with one person's attack, then stopping enemy's movements to make an opening for using Arts.
"I'll join in as well. ——《Shock Impact》!"
I was able to deliver a large amount of damage with five consecutive slashes by using an Art, but I was exposed to attacks. However, the strong blow Luka-chan added on top of it had prevented the enemy from counter-attacking. Then, Tobi-chan thrust her dagger continuously at the Blade Lizard whose movements were stopped, delaying his recovery.
And, together with Luka-chan right after we were released from the Arts' fixed movements——
At the same the commander, Luka-chan spoke everyone focused on avoiding a large tail swing of the counter-attacking Blade Lizard.
In our party we didn't concentrate hate on one person, all of us avoided attacks.
Instead of having one person gain high amounts of enemy's hate, so to speak, we used tactics where everyone attacked and acted as a decoy at the same time, with high emphasis on avoidance. Therefore, the one who has become the target now was——
Involuntarily, a happy laughter leaked out of my mouth.
"Luka-chan, everyone, match the timing!"
"Understood! Don't get hit by an attack, okay?"
I told Luka-chan to match my timing for a simultaneous attack, but she worried about me getting attacked instead. In fact, even though we emphasized on avoidance with our tactics our stats weren't as low as to be defeated with a single blow. Also, we did take bad status received from the enemy into account. What's left, is to enjoy the avoidance's thrill and to draw the enemy to myself!
"Now now, this way!"
To attract the Blade Lizard so that he charges at me I didn't move too close in or too far out. I avoided attacks from his claws and tail as well as jagged fangs as I approached the location I aimed for, then started running at full speed behind the Blade Lizard.
Responding to my sudden action the Blade Lizard turned around and rushed at my back. However, I kicked off the ground and ran vertically up a trunk of the only tree that was in the surroundings.
The Blade Lizard put its front limbs on the tree trying to chase me as I climbed on top of it. Using his hind legs and tail dexterously he leaned on the tree with his huge body and reached up to where I was.
"What a shame! See ya."
I kicked off the tree's trunk and jumped into the air. Doing a backflip I passed right next to the Blade Lizard's claw.
For a parting gift, in the middle of a backflip I fired a light bullet at the Blade Lizard's back.
I dealt damage to his back, but that wasn't the end of attack.
"Myu-chan, nice decoy! ——《Smash》!"
Hino-chan's crushing blow was hammered into the Blade Lizard's back and sandwiched between the hammer and the tree trunk, the boss was stunned.
"What was that movement just now?! I'm curious, but for now let's strike him down. ——《Fifth Breaker》!"
Since the Blade Lizard tried to stand up Luka-chan cut the left leg and the tail supporting his body, meanwhile Tobi-chan crept up from behind the boss and slashed the right leg's tendon.
With that, the boss lost support and separating from the tree trunk, leaned backwards then fell on his back.
At this stage the Blade Lizard had 30% HP remaining and was stunned, lying down on the ground he exposed his abdomen - the only place not covered in sharp scales. There were only a few seconds left until he recovers, but I didn't miss the chance.
I kicked off the ground jumping high up and thrust downwards piercing the Blade Lizard's chest.
"It's still a boss mob, huh! So hard. But——!"
I leaned on the half-way pierced in one-handed sword to push it deeper in. It seemed like the stun status expired with that as the boss started flailing his limbs and tail to escape, but I ignored that and pressed my palm onto him at zero distance and——
"——《Light Shot》《Light Shot》《Light Shot》!"
Dealt damage with light magic.
In order to prevent the boss from failing its limbs and standing up, Luka-chan with others delivered damage to his head, limbs and tail.
I clenched the sword pierced deeply into the boss, by holding it I prevented myself from falling off the violently shaking body and continued to fire light bullets at him, finally able to decrease his HP to zero.
Finally, along with feeble cries the Blade Lizard had turned into particles of light and disappeared.
Were Yun-oniichan to see this one-sided battle——he'd say something like "Stop that! He's way too pitiful!", thinking so I chuckled.
Whether he's defeated or defeats the enemy, Yun-oniichan is gentle even in this dead-or-alive game world.
Certainly, once I stood up after defeating the boss, I saw my comrades look my way seemingly used to it, they might have felt quite some guilt during combat this time, but were already used to it.
"All right! We've downed the boss, Blade Lizard! We did it!"
I turned towards everyone else cheerfully, but they were looking at me with a strange look on their faces.
Hino-chan was once again appalled.
Luka-chan furrowed her eyebrows angrily and put a hand on her hip, that look of hers reminded me of Yun-oniichan when he turns quiet and scary.
I couldn't see Tobi-chan's expression since her mouth was hidden behind the muffler, but she was fidgeting as if she wanted to ask something.
"W-what is it, everyone...?"
"There is a few things we'd like to ask. This time, why did you miss the first attack, about how you defeated the boss alone, and what were those nonsensical movements!"
"Luka-chan, they aren't nonsensical... Uh, Tobi-chan is nodding."
I wanted to protest, but as everyone stared at me I could only say the reason for that.
"Um, you see. First, the reason I missed with the first strike is because I acquired new Senses upon leveling up and I've got them equipped..."
I responded while timidly looking up Luka-chan's expression .
A player's stats change depending on the level of equipped Senses. Even if higher Senses are equipped, if they're level 1, there will be a temporary weakening.
And so, when I equipped new Senses before the boss battle, my first attack missed because my stats were too low. Still, the only thing that decreased was my speed and other Senses didn't change that much... probably.
As to defeating the boss alone, it's simple.
I challenged the boss mob every night before going to bed prepared for death penalty, using my stats and skills I faced him all alone. Normally one would defeat the boss in a stable manner cooperating in a party and it was difficult to do it all alone, but in exchange the amount of experience gained was large.
By the way, it was then that I leveled-up and acquired the new Senses I spoke of earlier.
"So, what Senses did you get?"
"Umm... 【Equipment Weight Reduction】 and 【Action Restriction Release】 Senses."
As a result my light-class equipment had become even lighter and together with 【Action Restriction Release】 Sense, it made possible for me to move as lightly as a feather.
Using that enabled me to use three-dimensional acrobatics for combat. However, the Sense levels were still a bit low so I felt only a little lighter.
"And you see! Even using a sword and armour I can do things like this!"
As I continued my explanation about the Senses to Luka-chan and others I started growing more passionate, then started speaking enthusiastically. In the end I started showing off continuous backflips and twisting motions in the air, in response to which Luka-chan and Hino-chan made shocked expressions.
"...Myu-san, what are you aiming to be?"
After seeing the series of my movements, Tobi-chan asked anxiously.
I'm a swordsman and I use light magic. An universal magic warrior who can also use recovery magic. And what I aimed to be by adding wondrous acrobatic ability is——
"Of course, a paladin! A holy knight y'know, holy knight!"
When I answered her confidently, Hino-chan who was silent up until now started laughing, her shoulders shaking violently.
"Ahahahaha!! As I thought, Myu-chan. This surprises practically everyone! It shocked me plenty in the β version as well!"
As Hino-chan held her stomach and started laughing, Luka-chan and Tobi-chan tilted their heads puzzled and dumbfounded.
Hino-chan and I knew each other since the β. I recalled her surprise back then when I took the same Senses.
"But, I'm still far from that. I need to move as lightly as a feather."
Although Hino-chan used her fingertips to wipe the tears that gathered in the corners of her eyes, I still wasn't satisfied. I nearly reached my main Sense build I used during the β version.
"...shall we proceed to the Second Town from here?"
Tobi-chan put on hold our conversation about my Senses and prompted us to move on.
"You're right. We defeated the boss mob, Blade Lizard, let's proceed onwards."
Luka-chan agreed with her and we decided to move on ahead of the defeated Blade Lizard.
Spreading out beyond the east exit of the forest, was a town different from the First Town we landed in when we first logged into OSO.
While the First Town looked like a medieval European town surrounded by walls, the Second Town was a small town with idyllic atmosphere which was surrounded by wooden fence.
"The town gives off a good feeling. Kind of like countryside."
When Luka-chan looked around curiously her gaze was caught by a nearby water wheel.
A small river flowing through the town moved the water wheel, powering it.
The sound of wheat being ground had come out of the hut regularly and the water splashing from the wheel looked very refreshing.
"...what kind of town is this?"
"Hmm, you see. I guess you could call it a town dealing mainly with food, wood and tailoring items?"
Inside the town there were NPCs in the small fields who carried backpacks into which they harvested vegetables.
I preferred the lively atmosphere of the First Town, but there were people in the β version who immersed themselves in the atmosphere in here and in the surroundings.
"What shall we do? Some leveling on the enemies nearby? Or maybe take some quest?"
While asking that I touched the transition object of the portal installed in the Second Town. By registering with it, from now on I will be able to transition to here from the first town.
"Um... I'd like to walk around this town for a little longer."
"... I-I'd like to take a look around here."
Luka-chan proposed timidly and still new member, Tobi-chan responded in a stiff manner. It was the first time coming to this town for the two.
"Sure! We'll then, the two of us who have learned everything there is about this town will guide you! What kind of place do you want to see?"
"Let's see. Then, one with a pretty scenery?"
"That would be the boundary with the forest, I guess? It's decided, let's go!"
I raised my first and started walking in the front.
In the vicinity of the Second Town there was a forest spreading along the road, once one entered the forest area enemy mobs immediately appeared.
But what we were looking at now, was the boundary with that area.
"This is nice, very pleasant."
"Right?! After hunting in the forest everyone comes here to rest!"
I boasted about it as we stood near the small stream flowing from the forest into the town.
Compared to the well-maintained stream inside the town there were rugged rocks in the stream here, one could sit down and put bare feet in the water then enjoy the townscape leisurely.
Multiple big and small streams passed by the Second Town, since there were very few buildings in it, it was possible to overlook it all at once.
Watching the routine work of the NPCs and the rare passage of players, I fluttered my legs in the water.
"...this sure is relaxing."
"Well, lately we've been acting really busy y'know."
"Aaa-ah, I'll be going for a nap here and now!"
Tobi-chan, Luka-chan and Hino-chan, in this order everyone was possessed by this place's charm.
"Since we've picked this place, how about we go into the forest once we finish walking around?"
"Eeh, but mobs that appear in the forest are troublesome. How about we recruit some mages to our party first?"
The enemy mobs appearing in this forest were physically strong Bull Beetles and fast, numerous Bullet Crosts. Certainly, it might be difficult without a mage.
"Grr, I get it. Then I too will rest today."
I said so, fell on my back and looked up at the sky.
And just like that, when I relaxed my body and closed my eyes I heard people's voices coming from between the trees further away.
"You! Why did'ya do 'dat at a time like 'dat!"
"Fufu, um. She was defenceless I just..."
"Because of yer 'just' making a pass on her we got kick'd outta party!"
I could hear girls quarrelling over something.
One of them seemed angry and the other ignored it lightly, not paying attention.
"Aa-aah, wat'do we do! We ain't have vanguards!"
"Fufufu, we just have to find a new party. Next time I'll only look at them as not to get kicked out."
"Yes ya do that, seriously. ...hey Rirei, where're ya lookin'."
"Fufufu, give me a moment."
When I opened my eyes and raised my upper body, I saw the two girls to whom the voices belonged.
"Fufufu, girls, are you free?"
The one who called out to us with a smile was a girl wearing a two-forked hat. Behind her, with an appalled expression there was a girl with shaved eyebrows and small, round glasses. The girl with shaved eyebrows was wearing an eye-catching kimono-like clothing, rarely seen in the OSO's world.
"Yes, we were taking a break, do you need something?"
"No, I just wondered if I could ask you a question. But first, self-introductions. I'm Rirei."
Luka-chan cordially responded to the girl with two-forked hat's question. On the other hand, Rirei spoke with a smile.
"Do you perhaps need mages in your party?"
"Why do you think so?"
"Hey, Rirei! Dun' be rude, suddenly askin' that! 'm sorry! I'll be takin' her right away!"
Although the girl behind Rirei suddenly grasped her clothes and tried to drag her away, we stopped that since we were curious about Rirei.
"Wait a moment! It's not rude at all! Tell us why do you think we need mages!"
When I said that loudly the girl with shaved eyebrows let go of Rirei's clothes and stopped her legs.
Ahh, they got interest'd, the girl muttered while looking up at the sky. Did something happen?
"Fufufu, then forgive my insolence. I felt that's the case because, first, since you're in the Second Town, means you're skilled players."
Rirei raised one finger and explained her thinking.
"And, because most of the players with high enough levels who can reach this town are physical fighters. Therefore, you got no mages. Either that or you have someone who serves both as a warrior and a mage."
"That's correct. But we might be waiting here for someone to join us y'know?"
"If you did, you wouldn't have made the meeting spot this place, far away from the Second Town's portal. This too, is simple reasoning."
"...amazing. It all matches."
Tobi-chan muttered quietly.
"So, Rirei and... your name?"
"Oh, didn't make self-introduction yet, eh. I'm Kohaku. Nice to meet you."
I recalled the conversation Rirei and Kohaku had earlier, it seemed like they were kicked out of the party. Also, thinking of their equipment which didn't look like that of warrior-types——
"So, what do you want, Rirei, Kohaku?"
"Fufufu——to market ourselves."
So that was it, I thought. I regarded this as a good chance.
"Kohaku and I are both mages. If you include us in your party your attack power will grow all at once."
"Rirei, there's no way sum'one will take us into their party with such 'marketin'——"Okay, that's fine."——Hey, 's fine?!"
Hearing Kohaku's skilful retort Hino-chan and Tobi-chan gave her light applause.
"Y'serious? Ya real serious? I mean, I'd be happy t' join a party but..."
"We actually wanted some mages, so there's no problem."
"Just as Luka-chan says! We need mages, you need vanguards to protect you. Isn't it fine to form a party based on aligned self-interests?"
When Luka-chan and I responded so, Kohaku opened her eyes wide and blinked several times.
"Fufufu, negotiations established. Please take care of us."
"Aa-aah, once again Rirei's gonna sink her poisonous fangs into girls..."
While we exchanged handshakes with Rirei who reached her right hand to us, Kohaku muttered holding her head.
"We have to introduce ourselves too, right! I'm Myu. I use sword and light magic. Also, I use recovery magic in combat."
"I'm Lucato. My role is that of a vanguard swordsman and I'm commander-in-training."
"I'm Hino. I use large hammers and spears, a multi-weapon vanguard."
"...Toutobi. A scout."
Once we simply described our fighting styles, this time Rirei and Kohaku spoke.
"Fufufu, how polite. Once again, I'm Rirei. For magic I use only fire element, but my Sense build emphasizes on firepower."
"Kohaku here. I use wind and water magic. But, to balance out Rirei's ridiculous firepower I focus on barrages of attacks and restraining the enemy."
After speaking of each of ours specialities, we started rebuilding our party.
Not like this. Not like that. As we slowly consulted party members' movements in details with each other, we slowly formed basic movements. In meantime I felt like the distance between Rirei and us was really small, but thinking of the sense of distance between me and Sei-oneechan this wasn't all that out of ordinary.
"Maybe we can go take down the Golem with this setup?"
"With our firepower Golem'll be easy. You probably'd beat it without mages, too?"
Hearing Hino-chan's mutter, Kohaku calmly added her opinion. Certainly, even without mages we could beat it with a prolonged battle...
"Ahahaha... it would take too long and we'd get completely bored."
"Ahh, there's 'dat too."
After the game started we did go to challenge the Golem to do 【Golem-sensei】 leveling, but recently there were many players who raised their levels and challenged the Golem.
Among them, there was a single party who challenged the Golem with a bad setup and the battle lasted for a long time, inconveniencing other parties. Taking that into the account we didn't challenge the Golem yet.
But, as there's very few players playing at night I could take my time challenging and subjugating Blade Lizard alone without inconveniencing anyone.
"Then, how about we go to where Golem is right away?"
"First, how about we take on some medium-level mobs in the First Town to confirm everyone's cooperation in the party? Discussing it and actually trying it makes a huge difference."
In party combat the more people there is in the party, the more people bring own individuality movements making cooperation more difficult.
That's when I was reminded of something I was told by Taku-san.
Speaking of which, didn't Taku-san and Yun-oniichan say they did play in a party for a bit?
Although I did eat dinner together with Yun-oniichan every evening I didn't ask him for any details, but Taku-san did tell me about his activities and his playstyle in the party.
From what Taku-san said, he just gathers trash Senses and plays at his own pace, but his player skills aren't too bad.
In particular, his ability to cooperate with party members he met for the first time was incredibly high. Without any practice his movements in the party were perfect.
It was true that Yun-oniichan was never that good at games, but his ability to cooperate and assist allies to bring out their skills was always strangely high.
While that's impossible for me, it's possible to refine party's cooperation through repeated battles.
Yup, I nodded to myself in my mind and decided to practice cooperation in this party of six as soon as possible.
"Myu-san, what happened? You suddenly fell silent."
"Are you okay? Is something worrying you?"
Before I realized I lowered my head and fell silent, making everyone worry.
"I'm okay! It's nothing! Also, Hino-chan, Tobi-chan, don't leave me behind!"
I hurried after Hino-chan and Tobi-chan who moved quickly and clung onto them upon catching up.
"...mhh, Myu-san, you're heavy."
"Ahh, you're horrible, Tobi-chan! I'm not heavy!"
It seemed like Tobi-chan was embarrassed when I clung onto her and tried to move away from me, when seeing that I clung onto her even harder, her gaze wandered around, troubled.
"Fufufu, a sight for sore eyes."
"Rirei, control yerself."
On the other hand, we didn't notice the quiet exchange between Rirei and Kohaku.
Everyone transitioned from the Second Town to the portal in the First Town, then we headed towards the forest in the west.
In the west there was the forest area full of weak mobs such as Wild Dogs and Bats, as well as Forest Bears which were relatively strong, medium-sized mobs. Beyond the forest there was the quarry which had Sandmen and the Golem. Focusing mainly on Sandmen we battled with various mobs repeatedly.
Currently, we were in the middle of confirming our party's cooperation on Forest Bear-type mob taller than we are.
A battle has began, Luka-chan parried a Forest Bear's blow to the side using her sword and shield, then Hino-chan thrust at the bear with her spear from outside his attack range.
Tobi-chan and I continued to attack the forest bear's side and back alternately, from time to time we took away hate from Luka-chan and using the moment Forest Bear's target changed we overlapped our attacks on it.
"Le's go! ——《Quick Blast》 《Aqua Bullet》!"
Because the Forest Bear was very tall, it was Kohaku who used low-level wind and water intermittently to attack the places high up such as his head.
"Fufufu, preparations complete."
As Luka-chan commanded, everyone moved away from the Forest Bear and immediately after that, Rirei fired a fire elemental magic 《Flame Burn》, a blazing pillar enveloped the bear's body.
"We did it! Ain't that good 'nough cooperation?"
When Rirei's high-powered magic exploded Kohaku was convinced the Forest Bear was defeated and smiled broadly. Enticed by that, Luka-chan, Tobi-chan and Rirei lowered their weapons.
I guess this is the difference in experience with β testers' experience, I thought and immediately dealt with the Forest Bear that appeared from the pillar of flames.
I kicked off a tree in the forest and ran upwards in front of the Forest Bear. The claw swing coming my way in response was parried away by Hino-chan's spear and the Forest Bear ended up in a posture with his big head averted.
I slashed with my sword vertically straight at the bear's brain, then rotating in the air through the momentum I landed behind him.
"Really, while magic is very powerful you shouldn't get careless the moment enemy disappears from your sight!"
While I turned around and warned them, the Forest Bear's huge body fell forward onto the ground causing it to shake strongly. Just like that it had turned into particles of light and disappeared and behind it, I saw four people look at me dumbfounded.
"...y-yer right. I'll take care from now on. Heck, no wait! That ain't it! What was 'tat! Just now!"
The way Kohaku first responded in level-headed manner just to switch onto a retort was really interesting.
"Ehh, it's just 【Action Restriction Release】's three dimensional movement."
"Bein' able to do such impossible moves, dat's a real cheat. Are ya receivin' astronaut trainin' or 'wat?"
When I did a second demonstration today, starting with light steps just to do somersaults, kick off trees and walls, everyone looked at me with amazement.
"Fufufu, she's so cute being all energetic like that."
"Aa-aah, she's completely become Rirei's target."
Although Kohaku and Rirei were muttering something, I ignored it and started searching for the next Forest Bear instead.
"Didn't our cooperation improve quite a bit?"
"You're right. It looks good for a hurriedly formed party."
I agreed with Hino-chan's evaluation and felt grateful for Kohaku and Rirei's entering the party.
"Fufufu, thank you very much for taking us into your party at such short notice."
"No, we did need mages ourselves so there's no problem."
Luka-chan smiled and politely thanked Rirei. On the other hand, Rirei squinted and started swaying back and forth suspiciously.
Feeling a slight change in Rirei's state, Luka-chan tried to move a step away——
"Fufufu, in that case, can I get something as thanks?"
Then Rirei moved even closer to Luka-chan and breathed into her ear.
"Hyah?! Ww-what are you doing?!"
"Fufufu, that was an even cuter voice than I imagined."
"Rirei! Wat' da heck ya doin'!"
Rirei who moved away from Luka-chan upon hearing her cute squeal licked her lips in bewitching manner and broke into a run towards her next target. Everyone froze up at this sudden happening, meanwhile Rirei circled around her target and——
"You have a very shapely butt, don't you. Fufufu..."
She whispered in Tobi-chan's ear and gently stroked her butt so that it could be clearly felt even through the armour. Tobi-chan reacted to it in overly-sensitive manner and rolled forward.
"Rirei! Cut 't out!"
Kohaku yelled trying to stop her, but because she was calming down Luka-chan and Tobi-chan she couldn't make it to help me.
And I, who have become the next target——
"Ear, butt. And now, a modest chest, I'll be digging i——"
She tried to thrust her hand into the side of the silvery white chest armour, but I reflexively caught her hand and jumped.
Holding Rirei's arm I jumped into the air using my physical abilities heightened by 【Action Restriction Release】 and held her neck down with both of my legs. Just like that I had her fall on her back and performed an armbar on her.
"...eh, AHH?! Sorry. I did that on reflex!"
"No, I don't think there's any civilian who moves like that on reflex.
Although I suppressed Rirei with acrobatic movements, she looks okay, I thought as I looked at her face.
"Fufufu, this sensation, a beautiful girl's thighs on my arm. I can't get enough of it. Ah, oww, owww..."
Since she didn't seem to feel remorseful I slightly increased the strength I put into the armbar, causing her to start complain. Martial arts don't deal damage unless you have 【Throw】 or 【Fist】-type Senses, but there is pain.
"Myu! Keep 'er like 'dat! I'll tie 'er down!"
"Kohaku, where did you take that rope out of?"
The only person who didn't suffer any harm, Hino-chan retorted, but Kohaku wound the rope around Rirei and her had sit in seiza as she faces in our direction.
"I'm very sorry, I didn't keep this retard's reins firmly enough because of which you suffered something as unpleasant as that!"
The two prostrated with Kohaku pressing down Rirei's head onto the ground. While Hino-chan and I felt impressed by this splendidly performed prostration, Luka-chan and Tobi-chan who received some damage took distance from them, using us as a shield.
"W-why did she do such a thing?"
Certainly, although it all happened all of a sudden and I got confused completely, I was indeed curious as to why did she assault Luka-chan and Tobi-chan.
"Uhh, y'see. Er, how do I say't."
Speaking with difficulty Kohaku averted her gaze. After a moment she seemed to have determined herself as she let out a grand sigh and explained.
"Rirei is, uh... she loves yuri."
"By yuri you mean, between girls and such?"
"Exactly. She's satisfied by lookin' at girls gettin' along with each other, but from time t' time she's can't endure it and ends up sexually harassin' others, just like this time."
Kohaku muttered resigned.
"The reason we approached ya, too, is 'cause she harassed a girl in similar way in front of our previous party. Y'see, the party leader was a boy who had hots for that girl. He kick'd us outta party because we were in da way."
Well, whatever happens now, Kohaku exposed everything.
That's when Tobi-chan, blushing, timidly asked.
"...then, you two, um... are in relationship?"
"No way. Dat's impossibru."
"That's right. Even I have the right to chose the girl I go out with."
"Somehow being rejected like that with a straight face pisses me off to no end."
Hearing Rirei wrapped around with rope reject her strongly, a blue vein appeared on Kohaku's temple and she started to poke Rirei. While Rirei was unable to fight back, for some reason she was smiling relaxedly.
"Then why are you two together? Couldn't Kohaku remain in your previous party?"
When I asked that Kohaku stopped poking Rirei and and started thinking, puzzled.
"I guess it's because I just can't leave her alone. Despite everything, Rirei's a good girl and even if she's going complicating everything, I can hold her reigns firmly."
Kohaku smiled self-depreciatingly. Seeing her expression I could tell that Rirei isn't that bad of a girl.
"Hmm. Myu-chan, Luka-chan, Tobi-chan, can I consult you with something?"
"It's 'bout our treatment, right. I get it."
"It's okay, Kohaku. Don't get so depressed."
"Whose fault is this y'think! WHOSE?!"
We'll probably get kicked out huh, said Kohaku resigned, in contrast to that Rirei acted care-freely. Hearing the two's exchange Hino-chan burst into a quiet laughter.
"They are kinda interesting, those two. I like that kind of thing."
Looking at Kohaku and Rirei sitting in seiza, Hino-chan was quite positive. On the other hand, Luka-chan and Tobi-chan had bitter expressions.
"Certainly, they are fun people, but having someone breathe into my ear was surprising."
"...me too, um, having my butt... touched by someone else was a first time so I was surprised."
Luka-chan who was breathed into her ear was still anxious and restless, Tobi-chan blushed deeply after the bodily experience she had.
Certainly, it was sudden and surprising. I too, had my modest boobies nearly touched. That's right, my still-developing boobies!
"Myu-san, how about you? You're also a victim aren't you?"
"Hmm. It's just as you say Luka-chan, but it's not all that different from the skinship I have with my sisters..."
I put a finger on my chin, thinking of all the mischief and skinship I had with Sei-oneechan and Yun-oniichan, it seemed quite normal to me. Also, I think it's normal for girls who get along well to touch each other's bodies.
"What if this time's physical contact had come from a girl you are getting along well with?"
"That's... I would probably forgive her."
"...um, I don't have that kind of experience."
Although I did get consent from Luka-chan, Tobi-chan blushed with embarrassment.
"Ahahaha, sorry about that."
When I was glared at intently by Hino-chan I laughed dryly as to cover it up, Tobi-chan raised her voice in panic.
"...u-um, that's not it. Now I'm friends with Myu-san and others, I would be surprised by such skinship with you, but I admire that kind of thing."
Red up to her ears, Tobi-chan raised her muffler high to try escaping out gazes.
"This time Rirei failed to measure the sense of distance between us, but if we get along better I think we'll be able to party together."
"I think so too."
"I, uh, would like to take my time getting along with her."
Luka-chan and Tobi-chan who suffered this time were willing to overlook it, but that's where Hino-chan interjected.
"Letting this go by unconditionally this time is too much, at least for me."
"Mhhm, that's true. But, what are we going to do?"
We might have to set up some kind of condition, but I couldn't think of any. Though, it seemed like Hino-chan thought of it properly.
"That's simple. You see——"
Hearing the details, all of us agreed.
"We are prepared for being kicked from the party! Still, leaving a party is a bit painful."
"Stop going all weak-willed after acting so harsh to me."
"It's yer fault we're gettin' kick'd!"
We stood in front of the two who as usual, engaged in acting as a boke and tsukkomi. Seeing that our consultation had ended and we returned, Kohaku and Rirei tensed up and waited for us to speak.
"We finished conferring, for the result——we are going to decide based on the results of the temporary party for subjugating the Golem."
Kohaku blinked repeatedly in response to my words, thinking them over.
"We will form a party to subjugate the Golem, then judge you based on your combat skills and other stuff, by the end of the party we will decide whether we want to continue playing in party with you. How about it?"
"No need to ask, we're not in position to complain! We're getting a chance, Rirei, get serious already and stop making problems that'd make us hated!"
At the same time as she spoke to Rirei, Kohaku cut the rope and released her.
"Well then, let's go beat the Golem boss!"
When I raised my first up and yelled, only Hino-chan joined and matched me.
Luka-chan smiled bitterly and Tobi-chan stood in place embarrassed not knowing whether she should raise her hand or not.
Kohaku took our conditions seriously and focused on challenging the Golem, on the other hand, Rirei looked at us with a blush on her face but didn't try to get into needless contact with anyone.
After moving for a while we arrived at the location of the west side's boss, the Golem.
"Now, battle start! Go go!"
Everyone promptly moved to their positions as instructed to by Luka-chan.
"Once everyone arrives in their positions Kohaku-san will start with a pre-emptive attack, from there on we continue as practised."
In accordance to her instructions, the vanguard surrounded the Golem, the rear guards, Kohaku and Rirei stood in the back and in front of them – Luka-chan. These positions are subject to change in case of irregular happenings, but this was the base formation.
"A'ight, startin' up! ——《Quick Blast》, simultaneous firing!"
Three accumulated shots of invisible gust of wind rushed forward and struck the Golems upper body. The big body difficult to shake up with physical attacks stood firmly, rebuilding its posture.
"Let's go! HAa!"
"I'll do my best too!"
Tobi-chan and I took the advantage of our mobility to attack sporadically and stop the Golem's movements by the back of its knees and leg joints.
Hino-chan swung around her sledgehammer which was a blunt weapon and also relatively effective on the Golem. She aimed at the torso and sides to deal damage.
When we gained hate and the target changed from the front to us, Luka-chan moved in front of the Golem and parried its attacks, then struck it with a counter. Also, the open spot was filled by one of us who was nearest to protect the rear guard.
Meanwhile, Kohaku fired her magic in quick succession at the Golem's head, constantly shaving off its HP.
"Fufufu, preparations complete!"
"Everyone, spread out!"
Hearing Rirei's report Luka-chan instructed briefly!
The vanguard who were attacking the Golem from close distance all leaped away, making distance accordingly.
A large pillar of fire sprouted from beneath the Golem, but it flailed its arms trying to extinguish the flames.
While receiving damage from magic, the Golem counter-attacked. Normally when it did a large swing I would pass beneath it or flee from the swung arm around it, but I couldn't escape like that now that there was magic raging in its surroundings. It was correct to open safe distance from it.
"HAa! ——《Fifth Breaker》!"
Each of us used an effective Art to deal damage. At this point the Golem had 70% HP remaining. The efficiency was far greater than when we fought against it with Hino-chan and Luka-chan, mainly using physical attacks.
"Fufufu, I prepared the next spell!"
Enveloped by the flames for the second time the Golem waved its arms, tearing through the pillar of fire.
Hearing Kohaku's mutter I thought that if we didn't see the boss' HP, it would seem as if our attacks didn't work on it, I agreed with her in this respect.
The Golem who swung his arms had passed the pillar of flames and took a step towards Kohaku and Rirei in the rear guard.
"The target changed to the rearguard with last attack! I'll move to protect them."
"Then we'll focus on stopping him!"
I started running at full speed and swung my one-handed sword at the back of the Golem's knee. Matching me, Hino-chan swung her sledgehammer at its shoulder to try toppling it backwards, but the Golem withstood that.
However, matching that a magic burst beneath the Golem's feet and caused him to lose his footing. The boss fell on its back.
"Ohhh! Nice timing!"
"Y'can use magic in other ways than striking the enemy directly y'know. But, with this I'm out of MP, need to wait until it recovers!"
In response to Kohaku's words I said it's enough and used the chance she created to move close to the Golem all at once, then fired magic from up close.
"——《Light Shot》 《Light Shot》. And one more 《Light Shot》!"
I used the time it took the Golem to stand up to fire magic at him. Hino-chan too, focused on attacking its shoulders and arms in order to slow its rising. Tobi-chan got on top of Golem's head and quickly thrust at the crystals on the head with the tip of her dagger.
It seemed like we overdid it seeing the chance to attack. The Golem's arm swing was fast and incongruous with its appearance.
"Hino-chan?! Kh, kha!"
Although Tobi-chan leaped away quickly and avoided the attack, Hino-chan and I were blown away by the strongly swung rocky arm.
Since Hino-chan used the hammer as a shield, she fell on her butt while still holding her weapon. In contrast, I was blown away and just like that I made full use of 【Action Restriction Release】 to rebuild my posture and connect it to the next action.
"...everyone! Are you safe?!"
"More importantly Luka-chan, we'll help you out right away!"
"I'm all right. HAa!"
She parried the Golem's right fist with the side of the sword, then she avoided the following blow by moving away half a step. By parrying and avoiding she stranded the Golem.
After that, we closed onto the Golem once again and healed up the entire party's HP with recovery magic, then waited for Kohaku to recover her MP.
Once we cut down the Golem's HP to 30%——
"Fufufu, let's go with a big one!"
"I recover'd half of my MP! I'll match Rirei!"
As the two reported we waited for Luka-chan's signal.
In that moment everyone moved away from the Golem. This time magic caused an even more powerful blaze to manifest.
Fire and wind magic wrapped around the Golem, increasing each other's power with a synergistic effect.
Although by chaining magic normally one could increase the damage they dealt, for two different players to deliberately chain their attacks together was a proof of their high player skills.
"Amazing!! Can it be, possibly..."
I muttered quietly, expecting a lot of the two's skill. Meanwhile the torrent of flames wrapped around the Golem, then before long the black shadow standing in flames collapsed and disappeared.
After magic was released this time everyone remained vigilant, once the flames disappeared and we confirmed the Golem disappeared everyone relaxed their limbs.
"...is it over?"
"So that it is. A victory you can't complain about!"
Tobi-chan asked still not sure and Hino-chan answered her.
It seemed like Luka-chan was quite tense because the last time we came here for Golem leveling she emphasized on avoidance, and this time she had to parry enemy attacks in order to protect the rear guard, but now she was smiling a little bit tired.
While the four of us were happy to have defeated the Golem, Kohaku and Rirei still made tensed, stiff expressions.
"So, what 'bout us?"
They felt our decision to be more important than the fact we defeated the Golem.
And, my answer was——
"Hm? What do you mean?"
"Kohaku, calm down. There, there."
I ain't no horse! Kohaku yelled at Rirei. Seeing her riled up I apologized lightly.
"Aw, sorry about that. You were too serious so I wanted to relax first."
"So, the result is?"
Since Kohaku went all limp, Rirei asked for her. I told them they passed.
"Personally, by all means I'd like you to join. To think we'd meet such a hidden gem."
Luka-chan and others didn't seem to have any problems with that after seeing them in combat.
"But, suddenly touching people is too surprising, so overtly physical contact is prohibited."
While Kohaku looked very pleased hearing that they passed, with the following words Rirei slumped heavily turning into a shadow.
"W'at a shame, Rirei. But doing that's bad. Next time we'll get kick'd out."
"Fufufu, but considering the environment, being able to look really pretty girls from up close, this isn't too bad."
*slurp*, Rirei wiped off the drool dripping down from her mouth, causing Kohaku to stare at her.
"Let's refocus and go to the Third Town! Also, we need to celebrate completing a party of six!"
"You're right. At first it was just me and Myu-chan, it's great to have gathered everyone up."
While Hino-chan acted earnestly, Luka-chan recalled how she was scouted and put on a light smile.
Tobi-chan thought that the three of us were together from the start and was surprised. Kohaku and Rirei too, have thought that all of us were together from the beginning.
From an objective point of view, it means that we're very compatible.
"Now that we completed building a party we need to hurry and conquer the areas and mobs we haven't yet! We can't let ourselves be left behind by my sisters!"
Having fierce competition such as Sei-oneechan and Taku-san with the others on the frontlines was really thrilling.
"Fufufu, so Myu-san has sisters. I look forward to meeting them. After all, there's the kind of people who gather around beauties and pretty girls. I really look forward to it."
"...Rirei, from time to time I envy your positiveness."
Then, we have arrived at the Third Town that was in the vicinity of the iron and soil mine and immediately completed registration with the transition portal.
Chapter 5 - Dungeon and Time Attack
Finally we gathered up party members.
The party's commander, highly flexible swordsman Lucato.
A petite power attacker using a long spear and large hammers, Hino.
Fast and with numerous moves, Toutobi who had variety skills required in dungeons and on adventures.
A mage with deadly high powered and wide area of effect spells, Rirei.
Assisting her with the deadly big attacks and having her own magic of wind and water, focusing on high speed casting and timing was Kohaku.
Together with these talented party members I——
"HAa! —— 《Fifth Breaker》!"
In the middle of the forest at night I raised a ball of light above me and swung my sword with the surroundings as bright as if it was daytime.
One after another I continued locating enemy mobs and challenged them solo.
And, for some time I repeated search & destroy battles wiping enemy mobs to finally stop at the area's boundary.
After the battles I confirmed my own Sense status, but the levels hardly changed since I started. I breathed in deeply and spoke towards the sky.
"——UWAHHH!! I'm nowhere near strong enough!"
Once I shouted in loud voice, it echoed in the surroundings. I let out a prolonged sigh and turned around, there were several balls of 《Light》 magic floating and within the range of their effect, I could see the aftermath of the battles.
Several Big Boars and a boss mob - Blade Lizard turned into particles of light and disappeared.
It was all the result of my solo leveling.
"Haa, I'm still really weak after all. —— 《High Heal》!"
Were Yun-oniichan to hear it he would say "you must be joking" or "you're plenty strong already", but under my own criteria, I was really weak.
Onii-chan's Sense build was a hopeless case in the first place, but my build using both sword and magic required expert use.
With the pre-determined amount of resources, to achieve proficiency with both the sword and magic one required considerable ingenuity.
I had to think of the Sense combinations and their allocation. Physical Senses as the base and magic as sub, but the reverse was also common. What I aimed for was perfect balance between the two.
Because of that I could easily end up being a jack of all trades but master of none. To make up for that, I had to polish my player skils.
"To think I would receive damage from a low level boss, I'm still weak."
I muttered so and decided to do my best as not to lose to players who specialized themselves in one direction.
A jack of all trades like magic swordsman had multiple moves to use which was the build's advantage, if I could compensate for the weak points and gain some decisive blows, I would acquire unstoppable strength.
"That's why I was called 【Silver Paladin】. I need to do my best so that they call me that again."
It was my nickname in the β version.
I want to gain the strength to live up to that name once again. This time I want to obtain it not with Sei-oneechan and Taku-san, but with our party.
That had become my goal.
"All right! Another round!"
I got my motivation back! I set up my beloved sword again. This time I thought of rushing through the forest using the way back, but that's when I received a friend call.
"Oh c'mon, and here I got my motivation back, who is it——eh, it's from Sei-oneechan!"
Although I fell into a grumpy mood for a moment because someone disturbed my leveling, after checking the name displayed on the menu my mood changed back 180°.
『"Good evening, Myu-chan."』
"Sei-oneechan, it's been a while! I'm doing fine! Though, we do contact each other in real so I guess you know."
In real, Sei-oneechan is living in a boarding house far away in order to go to college, we keep in touch via phone or mail so we know we're both healthy, but it feels like it's been a while since we spoke ingame.
『"Yup. I've heard from Yun-chan about your lifestyle during summer vacations so it's all right."』
『"Are you doing your homework properly? You can't just play games, you have to work with your assignments too."』
No way, to think that I'd be warned by Sei-oneechan about that. Let's start doing my homework properly from tomorrow on, I'll ask Onii-chan about the things I don't know.
"S-so, why the friend call, Onee-chan?"
When I asked back to divert the topic from my activities during summer vacations and homework, Sei-oneechan went "hmmm", stretching out her voice before she answered.
『"I wanted to know how are you doing, you see. There's a limit to what I can learn from talking with Yun-chan on phone."』
In other words, she wants to ask me how I'm doing in OSO.
So I told Sei-oneechan what happened recently one thing after another.
That I formed a party with Hino-chan continuing from the β version.
How I met with Luka-chan in a stray party and about the unpleasant thing that happened.
About how cute Tobi-chan is and how we played around choosing clothes.
About how the strange duo of Kohaku and Rirei approached us and then joined our party.
When I spoke of my things I experienced so far, Sei-oneechan responded positively over the friend chat.
『"Is that so〜."』
"And, and! With Kohaku's and Rirei's power we beat the Golem and reached the Third Town!"
『"Looks like you've made new friends, Myu-chan."』
Ehehehe. Somehow, I felt like I was being praised so I ended up laughing happily.
『"Speaking of which, do you meet with Yun-chan? I didn't hear anything about how he's doing."』
"Yun-oniichan huh. I invited him for the Crystal Cave's quest, he ended up screaming at the sight of centipedes."
When I recalled what happened back then and spoke of it to Sei-oneechan, she muttered "My condolences, Yun-chan" in undertone. What is that about?
"That's about all I know. I don't know what he's been doing after that. Apparently he's either partying together with Taku-san's party or going around the nearby areas to gather materials."
『"...I see. Was I wrong after all? About the 'Mysterious Bluepot Vendor's' identity."』
I tilted my head puzzled hearing Sei-oneechan mutter that quietly. I wonder if she's been thinking about something.
"No, it's all right. Rather, how is it on Onee-chan's side?"
『"Me? I'm currently preparing for establishing a guild, I guess."』
The guild Sei-oneechan mentioned was a managed organization or a group around which players have gather.
Players who have the same goal, hobbies or preferences gather and are helping each other, enjoying things together is one of the unique ways to play multiplayer games.
Depending on the type of players that gathered, the activities differ. If the core of the guild was made of the combat players, it had become an active battling guild, but there were even guilds where players only gathered to talk with each other and hang around.
"I seee. So Sei-oneechan's doing a lot of stuff too."
『"Yup, that's right. Also, since about half of the crafters from the β version have become combat-based players, I've been helping out with training of the new crafters."』
Really, I didn't think there would be a shortage of potions, *boo-hoo*, Sei-oneechan muttered. Still, I wasn't influenced that much by the sky-rocketing prices of potions and their shortage.
"I have the 【Recovery】 Sense so potions are only insurance for me, but it must be tough."
『"So that it is. Although the prices settled down for now, there's few crafters who make potions with high recovery amount, there's a fierce competition for those that are at reasonable prices."』
It's harsh. Sei-oneechan further spoke about the recent events and hardships.
『"Sorry, Myu-chan. I ended up having you listen to my complaints."』
"It's fine, there's no problem! I'm glad to speak with Sei-oneechan, even through the friend call. Next time I'd like to meet up for the first time in a while."
『"Fufu, I'd like to meet you directly as well. Also, your new friends."』
"Yep! I want to introduce them to Onee-chan! Also, I want to introduce my Onee-chan I'm proud of to everyone!"
Hearing my words, it's somewhat embarrassing, Sei-oneechan said. Although she was on the other side of the friend call, I could easily imagine her put a hand on her cheek and smiled in a troubled manner.
『"In that case, since you can go to the Third Town now how about we go try our luck in there?"』
"Try our luck? Eh, you mean that dungeon?!"
『"Yup. A test of luck to tell your party's fortune."』
As Sei-oneechan said so, I understood she meant a certain dungeon that was there in the β version.
"Sounds interesting! I'll ask everyone else then!"
『"I'll look for a party as well. Let's contact each other later to consult the time convenient for us both."』
"Sure, I look forward to it."
I said so and ended the friend call.
First, I need to ask everyone's schedule in the party.
I thought so and after asking Luka-chan and others about it getting and "okay", I smoothly scheduled it with Sei-oneechan.
Seems like everyone's got lots of spare time during vacations, I thought and started looking forward to the day I meet up with Sei-oneechan. After some time, the day had come.
And, in the location of the meet-up——
*tap tap tap*, I ran over dry ground and kicked off it, leaping.
When I headed with Luka-chan and others from the party to the meet-up place on appointed time, a party already stood in front of the dungeon's entrance.
Among them I found a blue-haired silhouette turned with her back to us and rushed over to her.
Sei-oneechan noticed my voice and turned around, but that's when I leaped and clung onto her so she screamed in surprise.
"Really, Myu-chan. It was so sudden it startled me."
"Sorry, or maybe 'it's been a while'?"
Despite surprise, Sei-oneechan admonished me gently. I looked up at her and apologized, but at the same time I pressed my face against her big boobs, enjoying her broad-mindedness.
"Haa, haa... sisters' beautiful embrace. That chest must spoil people rotten. Ahh, I want to be spoiled like that."
"Rirei. Heeeya, Rirei. Ah damn, she's tripped."
Kohaku tried to bring back Rirei to sanity, as she couldn't take off her line of sight from Sei-oneechan's boobs and smiled suspiciously, but there was absolutely no effect so she gave up.
"Myu-chan, could we start introductions?"
"Got it! These girls are my party members!"
I moved away from Sei-oneechan and introduced everyone in order.
"I'm Lucato. Myu-san calls me 'Luka'."
"A serious girl, aren't you. Please take care of Myu from now on."
"...I'm, Toutobi. Um, nice to meet you."
"A bit of a shy girl, eh? Nice to meet you."
Sei-oneechan spoke to Luka-chan and Tobi-chan one by one, greeting them.
"Next, Kohaku and Rirei!"
"Why'da heck ya introducing us as a set!"
"To save time?"
"Dat's needless consideration! ...ehem, I'm called Kohaku. Best regards."
Kohaku bowed in her kimono-based equipment, smiling broadly. Next to her, Rirei who was also introduced——
"Fufufu, Myu's beautiful big-breasted older sister. Would you please become my onee-sama?"
As Rirei made a disturbing remark, her head was smacked strongly with a folding fan Kohaku held in her hand.
That thing was equipment having the same effect as a wand, but to think it also worked for a slapstick, I wondered.
Sei-oneechan looked at the two's reactions and with a hand on her cheek she lowered her eyebrows as if troubled.
"Oh my, Myu-chan's new friends are quite some unique girls."
"Somehow, Myu's sister's concern and gentleness strangely enters my heart. Especially 'dat she didn't call us weirdos, but unique..."
"Fufufu, isn't she quite a fun Onee-sama. I wonder who was the 'uniqueness' joke about?"
"Dat was you, YOU"
I was used already to Kohaku's and Rirei's noisiness, so I ignored it lightly.
The last one to introduce herself was Hino-chan, who was with me since β version.
"So that it did, Hino-chan. Been healthy?"
"Way too healthy and having lots of fun!"
Hino-chan answered with a big smile. Because of the difference in height they only looked like a neighbourhood onee-san and an elementary schooler, so the atmosphere turned really calm.
Next, Sei-oneechan introduced her party members.
Her party had two men and four women but it didn't seem like the male members had any ulterior motives and the atmosphere was harmonious.
Their relationship seemed good and based on their equipment and stance, they were gamers. Sei-oneechan's members predicted our Sense builds based on our equipment.
It was the same thing here. Luka-chan and Tobi-chan who still weren't used to these kind of things were kindly told about it by Sei-oneechan. Hino-chan, Kohaku and I properly checked up on their equipment by ourselves.
And it seemed like Rirei took a look to check them up just to ignore them later.
"Looks like the party structure is quite irregular with only two vanguards."
"To me it looks like they've got two tanks, three damage dealers and a healer. Also, one of them has a full Red Lizard equipment."
"Speaking of which, Sei-oneechan said that potion prices went up because some crafters changed profession to combat positions, it might be the same for drop equipment."
It seemed like the other party heard us whisper among each other.
"Sei's little sister and her friends."
"Y-yes! Sorry for prying without permission!"
"It's fine, really. As you can see, we're pouring our savings into potions and use drop equipment. Also, I got this equipment by pure luck."
"I'm really sorry."
The female warrior, Mikadzuchi-san who spoke to us said she didn't mind it, but I thought that some of them might have so I apologized once again.
"If I make Sei's little sister apologize I feel like it's gonna get scary later, so please stop."
"Hm? What do you mean by that?"
"That's, well, uh..."
Sei-oneechan came back after speaking with Hino-chan and others and drew closer to Mikadzuchi-san with whom I was talking. Isn't there a way to get out of this situation? Mikadzuchi-san said and her gaze wandered. Then, she seemed to have come up with something good and smiled.
"That's it. Sei's little sister, if you're feeling remorseful, how about a gamer's match against us?"
"Hey, don't think you can get away."
"Well, it's fine Sei-san. It seems like it's going to get interesting."
As if to following up after Mikadzuchi-san, the healer tried to calm down Sei-oneechan. Even without saying it aloud, I could tell what Mikadzuchi-san wanted to say.
"A match in completing this dungeon. As for the criteria... right, how about time attack? Let's see which party can recover the treasure deep in the dungeon first."
Raising her thumb, she pointed at the glossy black stone gate in the back.
"Although I said 'rule' it was just an indicator. If you clear the dungeon before us, it's little sister's team win. Even if you lose the time attack, it will be motivation for completing the dungeon. Of course, we'll aim to complete is as quickly as possible."
How about it? She proposed. During the time attack one didn't just battle against mobs and the dungeon structure, but also against themselves.
Today we planned to enter the dungeon to test our luck. I looked towards Luka-chan and others. Since there were no disadvantages in it and it was merely a test of our strength, they agreed.
"We'll take on that time attack."
"Well then, let's begin immediate..."First let's confirm our party setups and share information we have on the dungeon."——I get it."
Mikadzuchi-san tried to cheerfully head for the stone gate but was stopped by Sei-oneechan.
Seeing that, we faced each other again and started to share the information we had about the dungeon.
This time, the goal was dungeon completion. And the dungeon in question is the 【Mysterious Dungeon】.
The dungeon was constructed to have five levels——the 【Knight Troop's Trial】 was a dungeon that changed randomly every time players entered.
That's why you can't encounter other players inside. Also, there were more characteristics to this dungeon.
First one is that each level of the dungeon randomly changed its structure and the type of mobs that appear.
Second one is that once you complete the challenge presented at each level, you are given a choice whether you leave the dungeon or proceed further.
Depending on this 【Mysterious Dungeon】's random generation and difficulty of the challenges, the time attack's difficulty also changes.
"Then isn't that disadvantageous for us? I mean, Mikadzuchi-san, Sei-san and others have challenged various dungeons before."
"Certainly that would be the case if we competed in a normal dungeon, but the random element here is strong and it's more of 'the luckier one wins'. Isn't it perfect for verifying our skills?"
Although hearing about the match Luka-chan looked our way with a serious expression, but I was quite carefree. My goal today was to have good enough luck so that strong mobs appear on the levels and I can do some leveling.
And that has changed from leveling to time attack.
"Well then, everyone prepared?"
Everyone nodded in response to my question.
"If you guys are fine let's start. First Myu-chan's party will enter, after five minutes our party will enter. If we go in together we won't be able to fit through the narrow gate."
Saying so, Mikadzuchi-san started the usually rarely used timer function from the menu to measure the time.
"Well then, we're going. Ready, go!"
When I said that and the timer's numbers started moving, our party entered the black gate and was blown away to a location with completely different tone.
There were brown brick walls. Also, we saw green-skinned goblins in the distance.
"So this is inside of a dungeon——"
"C'mon Luka-chan, don't doze off. We already started the time attack."
Hino-chan light pat everyone's back, bringing them back then confirmed the conditions for succeding in the menu.
——『Defeat 20 Goblin-type mobs. Remaining 0/20』
"Right off the bat?!"
Immediately after confirming the conditions I fired a light beam, a magic I learned just recently at the Goblins within my range of sight. I defeated two Goblins at once so the count increased by two.
"The first level's difficulty is low, but this one's the type that takes time so let's hurry it up!"
While I said so and took a step forward, Tobi-chan leaped ahead of me.
"...I'll check for traps and scout, leave searching to me."
"Ohhh?! Then please, Tobi-chan."
"Let's take the right passage."
After saying so we left guiding to Tobi-chan and progressed forward.
First we found five, six Goblins and defeated them one after another.
Kohaku and Rirei started by reducing their numbers, then Luka-chan, Tobi-chan, Hino-chan and I beat them all at once.
Among Goblin-type mobs there were the strongest sub-type, Hobgoblins and their subspecies Cave Goblins, but since there was no significant difference in their strength we quickly defeated them.
And, once we fulfilled the condition of taking down 20 Goblins, the brick floor in front of us opened soundly as stairs leading lower appeared.
"It's a time attack so we can't dawdle! Let's go for the next one, c'mon!"
"Just now was... six minutes and a bit. Ain't that quite a good pace."
Kohaku checked the menu for time and announced before we moved onto the next level.
Next, it seemed like the next level had wandering mobs which were something like a degraded version of the Golem called Clay Dolls who also had high resistance to physical attacks.
The condition here was to get five rare drops from Clay Dolls.
For this, Kohaku and Rirei defeated the Clay Dolls one after another. The speed at which we wiped them out was high, but the droprate was normal, so far we were in the dungeon for a little longer than twelve minutes.
Then, the next level had Goblins again.
"The mob allocation's good, the condition is——ahh c'mon, no luck here!"
The condition for the third level was to get an item from a treasure box.
A time-consuming condition in combination with weak mobs, we have no luck, I though depressed. We split up to find the treasure box as soon as possible.
If there was a problem, it would be that it's time-consuming to remove the trap from the treasure box, if it's the type that explodes and destroys the item we would have to search again so I prayed so that we can rely on Tobi-chan for this.
"...I opened the treasure box."
"Yay! I love you Tobi-chan!"
Extremely happy I clung to her, but I moved away right away. Not good, losing time is strictly prohibited during time attack, I thought.
Watching us, Rirei started breathing roughly through her nose but Kohaku wordlessly dragged her down to the fourth level.
We passed the third level at astoundingly short time of three minutes, amounting to a total of sixteen minutes. At this rate we would easily beat the record for a time attack, but I had a hunch that the next level's configuration will bring us back to reality.
"Ahhhh! It's the ten minutes course!"
In front of us rather than a dungeon-like structure, there was just a tall brick wall.
Contrasting with the locations we've been in this dungeon so far, it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say this is a boss stage. Waiting in there were a beast clad in flames, a beast with claws of ice, a beast with electricity running through its body and a rock beast, four types in total.
"Four coloured beasts and the condition is——『Defeat all mobs』. All right, let's beat them even if a second faster!"
"Myu-chan, waitt! Without a plan it'll be difficult, let's split so that they can't cooperate and take them down. Let's have each of us pick an opponent we're compatible with."
"But won't that negate the strengths of our party? Kohaku and I can't really take those on our own."
Hearing Hino-chan's proposal, Rirei furrowed her eyebrows and asked.
While I reflected on our choice of words which only was understood by me and Hino-chan who played in the β, Hino-chan politely explained.
"Four-coloured beasts attack in cooperation just like players so we need to separate them and defeat. That's the reason for this plan."
If we can separate and defeat one, we can move to help others. On the other hand, there was danger that one of us doesn't manage their status well and is beaten.
Also, the other reason Hino-chan recommended a split attack was not only to prevent enemy from cooperating, but also to prevent us from getting caught up in her attacks.
With that as a basis, we had to decide whether to fight as a party or separate. And, what everyone chose was——
"If it's better to split, then how about we do that?"
"...if that's the reason for it, I have no objections."
"Yer' right. Still, I'd like sumone stick wit' us, mages."
"Fufufu, in that case we need to choose a compatible target. For me, I guess it'd be Lightning Beast."
After getting everyone's approval, we decided the distribution.
For the Flame Beast, Luka-chan and Kohaku who can use water magic. For the Ice Beast, Tobi-chan. Rirei and I took on the Lightning Beast. And, Hino-chan was in charge of the Stone Beast.
"If you can't continue attacking, focus on defence and wait for everyone else to support you. Okay?"
"Well then, let's go!"
Since the talk was over I dived in.
The four beasts who were lying down immediately stood up warily. We released out first attacks all at once on the beasts we were in charge of.
Receiving my slash as I swung down my one-handed sword at it from above, the Lightning Beast leaped away using the slash's momentum.
Based on how much HP my first attack took, it was stronger than a small fry mob but weaker than a boss.
Starting with my attack, other members and beasts have entered combat, meanwhile the Lightning Beast impatiently watched us. Then, accelerating in an instant the beast clawed at us. I parried it with my sword, then continued to avoid kicks from its hind legs and lightning-clad body, buying time for Rirei. And, when I received a tackle from the Lightning Beast on the sword's side I disengaged.
"Fufufu, I've finished preparations! ——《Flame Pillar》!"
Immediately after that a pillar of flames appeared and swallowed the Lightning Beast. With a look at Rirei I understood she invoked a high-powered spell.
Once I moved to a position from which I could protect Rirei, the beast broke through the flame pillar and rushed in our direction.
In order to protect Rirei I matched the beast's assault and holding out the one-handed sword with my both hands I repelled it. Normally I would continue here and finish it off, but the Lightning Beast's electric shock was transmitted to the sword and I received a 【Paralysis】 bad status.
"——《Cure》! Okay, I can go on!"
Since I was unable to pursue the enemy because of the bad status, Rirei properly finished off the Lightning Beast.
"Fufufu, now, what's next?"
While thinking of Rirei as very reliable considering she defeated the enemy all at once using a high powered spell, I looked at other members' fight against the beasts.
Luka-chan and Kohaku confronted the Flame Beast, Luka-chan restrained the beast's movements while Kohaku attacked it with water magic. It seemed like they would finish it off soon, so they were low priority for supporting.
Next was Tobi-chan who confronted the Ice Beast had low direct attack power and was unable to deliver much damage, but she withdrew after dealing one blow every time so she stacked small amounts of damage at high speed.
And, Hino-chan in charge of the Rock Beast——
Swinging down her sledgehammer she crushed the beast's rocky skin. This way of fighting was different from her usual one and was more suitable for a time attack.
It was a no-guard tactics she would normally never use, completely abandoning defence and just focusing on dealing maximum damage to defeat the enemy efficiently. As the Rock Beast approached her to attack, she received its attack and immediately launched a counter with Art.
This manner of attacking which took limited time and ignored the surroundings was the reason why Hino-chan proposed to split up.
I immediately used recovery magic on Hino-chan.
"Ohhh?! Thanks, Myu-chan!"
"Hino-chan! You're being too reckless!"
"Am I? This is normal during a time attack, but sorry to worry you. Well then, I'll be going to Luka-chan and Kohaku, you two go assist Tobi-chan."
Saying just that, Hino-chan changed weapon from the hammer to a long spear and broke into a run.
I looked at her movements for a moment longer, but it seemed like she took my worrying to herself and used a solid playstyle as she cooperated with the other two to defeat the Flame Beast.
I felt that my worry for Hino-chan was baseless and focused on cooperating with Tobi-chan to defeat the Ice Beast.
Twenty-two minutes passed at this point. Thanks to Hino-chan forcefully beating down the Rock Beast and immediately assisting Luka-chan and Kohaku, we might be able to update the record time for time attack.
With expectations and anxiety I stepped into the fifth level and the moment I saw the condition——I gave up on completing the time attack.
"Aaah, we pulled the Dull Dragon."
"So our challenging ends here."
Uh-huh, as I put a hand on my forehead, Hino-chan gave up leaned against wall and spoke.
Puzzled, Luka-chan and others went down the passage entering the fifth level and their expressions started twitching.
Since we moved down to the fifth level there was no way back already and unless we complete the challenge here, we won't be able to leave.
And, the Dull Dragon we pulled...
"What's that? A dinosaur?"
"...it looks like a Triceratops. It might be kind of cute."
"It might look like a herbivore, but 's name a dragon, must be tough t' beat."
"Fufufu, then shall we take a break here?"
The Dull Dragon was the strongest mob that appears in this 【Knight Troop's Trial】. In this dungeon where anyone can go for a time attack as long as they've got good luck, this was a mob you must absolutely not meet. In terms of strength, it was stronger than boss mobs that appear in this dungeon's vicinity.
"Myu-san, Hino-san, isn't it too early to give up?"
"But, it's a mob above the level appropriate for us. Well, it's not like we should challenge it prepared for losing and death penalty, but being unable to get time attack was kinda shock to us."
"It's not like I think we'll lose, but since we've come here so fast we can take a break. I mean, it's durable, tough and rampages violently in this narrow space. It's difficult to avoid."
The Dull Dragon we peeked at from the passage had his tail right beside his main body which was entirely covered in thick and hard skin. It had three horns on its head. On top of that, it had a dragon-specific area-of-effect breath attack.
Since the hall seemed very narrow, the only salvation was that it moved slowly.
"Isn't there some tactic to beat him?"
"Hmm. Well, he's weak against bad statuses and he can be induced to ram into a wall after which we can deal damage to him."
Well, it's a battle of endurance with this guy.
"What is it? Tobi-san. Are you worried about something?"
Tobi-chan was sitting down just like we did and listening to us, but her expression was serious. Poiunted that out by Rirei, she was slightly agitated.
"...it's nothing big."
"Did you notice some kind of hint for defeating it?"
Tobi-chan had the 【Discovery】 Sense allowing her to find hidden things. Even on the way here it was helpful when it came to scouting and finding simple traps. And the words that have come out of Tobi-chan's mouth were——
"...I wondered how did that Dull Dragon enter here."
I almost fell over. No way, it was something like that, I thought and turned towards her to see how she raised her muffler up on her mouth embarrassedly.
"Ahh, I was curious about that too. I wonder how."
"Hino-chan, not you too!"
I turned towards Hino-chan and others, but Luka-chan placed a hand on her chin and seemed to be in thoughts.
"Certainly, it would have hard time entering this dungeon with that size. We can also consider the theory that it was carried in as an egg and grew in the dungeon."
"Lucato, whatta ya thinkin' bout."
Although Kohaku and I were appalled, we immediately switched our mood. Imagining the story background of this 【Knight Troop's Trial】 was also fun in its own way. Every item and location had its own setting.
If I'm not wrong, the quest associated with this dungeon was part of the guild establishment quest.
"...doesn't this dungeon have a setting which says it was man-made for training knights? Something about artificially made location and placed monsters."
"Fufufu, even if you defeat the forcibly gathered monsters in this subspace, they are revived by something magical allowing you to train safely, or something like that."
"But can normal Knight NPCs catch a Dull Dragon? I think it'd be impossible even if a hundred of them gathered."
"Maybe there are human NPCs who have non-standard strength? That would make sense."
Before I realized, everyone started talking about their idea as for the setting of this dungeon. In the middle of it we concluded that the completion conditions are conditions for knights to finish their training and that the mobs were either captured outside or created by mages, we talked about various stuff.
When everyone got fired up talking about it, finally Kohaku participated in the conversation.
"Lemme mix in this talk! What if that Dull Dragon's a dragon tamed by knights, wouldn't that be interestin'? I mean, it seems more elegant and cuter than mobs that appeared so far!"
"Woah, what's with that setting, sounds fun! Also, it would be awesome to have dragon knights flying in the sky. Poking enemy with a spear from Dull Dragon's back as it charges, like a moving fortress."
"Rite! Glad to see you get it, Myu... ah?!!"
Before long, Kohaku who joined the conversation had calmed down and expanded the fan to hide her mouth, embarrassed.
"Well, 'nough of my fantasies. How'd we defeat that Dull Dragon's what's important."
We've talked like that for a while, but thanks to the conversation about the story background motivation has sprung inside of us.
"All right! I'm full of energy too. For the plan——how about target change?"
Hino-chan presented a strategy. It was a way to fight which normally required two or more tanks, but adventure is never fun when you're prepared for everything. And, with no one capable of proposing a better strategy, everyone agreed to challenge the Dull Dragon with it.
"Everyone, to specified location!"
With the commander's, Luka-chan's instructions we spread in the stage for battling the Dull Dragon.
Our formation was: on the right side of the Dull Dragon there was Hino-chan, Kohaku and I. On the opposite side there was Luka-chan, Tobi-chan and Rirei.
The Dull Dragon charged at players and attacked with breath so standing in front of him was dangerous and it's defence was high there. That's why we spread between the left and right sides to reduce the risk there would be if we gathered in front of it, it was a strategy where we attacked the places with low defence and slowly decreased his HP.
Once we moved to our spots on the sides the Dull Dragon stood up and roared.
"I'll go first!"
And, serving as the first attacker was Hino-chan. Holding a long spear she thrust at the base on the inner side of the Dull Dragon's frill.
Receiving an attack in his weak point, the dragon twisted his body, shook his head in protest. Although he tried to guard the weakness on his right side, emphasizing on safety Tobi-chan threw disposable throwing knives from the opposite side.
"The damage is small, but it goes through to him!"
Not to lose to them, I also slashed with my sword at other weaknesses, relatively weak legs and abdomen. In the same manner Luka-chan used a greatsword to attack the same locations on the opposite side.
The Dull Dragon tried to crush us with its legs and hit us with its tail, but wary of those attacks we were able to successfully avoid them.
Then, after a while of attacking the back of the frills' weakness alternately, we noticed Dull Dragon's preliminary operation of a certain specific attack.
At the same time Luka-chan yelled a command everyone stopped attacking and the vanguard distanced themselves from the dragon.
The Dull Dragon's huge body fell on its right side where our group was.
The entire hall strongly shook, we lowered the centre of our gravity as not to fall over.
The sideways fall causing tremors was an attack on par with the charge and the breath attack. But, right after that attack Luka-chan and othershave immediately attacked the exposed fleshy and soft head.
At the same time tremors have subsided Rirei released the flame spear she had prepared which pierced the dragon's abdomen. The Dull Dragon raised a voice of anguish and stood up again.
His target changed to Rirei and the dragon changed the direction he was facing, but as not to be in front the left group moved.
Protesting against it the Dull Dragon shook his head to sides and orange light leaked from his mouth. At the same time, Hino-chan and I broke into a run.
"Chaarge! After me!'
"In any case, it's a chance to deal the greatest damage!"
When I ran up on the dragon's back I immediately pierced the back of the frill on its head.
The Dull Dragon's breath was an attack that emitted powerful flame in frontal cone.
While the dragon moved his neck as to chase after Rirei and others, the frill on his head blocked the heatwave making his back the best safe zone and his weakness.
"Well then, I'll protect da three of 'em. ——《Water Round》!"
Kohaku matched the dragon's breath and created a water shield, by offsetting the damage from fire by water she reduced the power of the breath assaulting Luka-chan and others. The breath that had passed by the water shield was received on Rirei's flame wall.
"Ah, breath's ending. Retreat, retreat!"
I hurriedly pulled out the pierced-in sword and sprung away from the Dull Dragon's back.
Next, because we gained a lot of hate the target changed to us from Luka-chan and the others, the dragon slowly changed the direction he faced towards us.
Judging by how he was striking the floor of the dungeon with his tail, he seemed fairly angry – this too was a preliminary operation for an attack.
"A charge is coming!"
"Ahh, 'dis makes me nervous. I dun' like havin' to run at last moment."
Seeing the Dull Dragon kick the dungeon's floor with its hind legs Kohaku made a displeased expression.
If we avoid to the left or right immediately after perceiving the preliminary operation, the dragon would come chasing after us. That's why the safest method of avoiding was to move when he started running.
At the same time Hino-chan gave the signal, the Dull Dragon started his charge.
From the front, the frill spreading from his head looked like an overwhelming approaching wall, we induced it for long enough before avoiding to the side.
"Myu-san, everyone, are you safe?"
"We're fine! More importantly, Tobi-chan!"
The rushing Dull Dragon remained the momentum and struck the wall gouging a big hole in it. While a cloud of sand rolled in we confirmed each other's safety. Meanwhile, Tobi-chan approached the dragon silently and climbing on his back she safely arrived by the completely open to attacks frill.
"...starting. ——《Neck Hunt》!"
She activated an Art at the weakness in the back of the frill, spreading a red, blood-like effect.
By overlapping the effect of attacking the weak point of the dragon and using an art that a special effect, Tobi-chan who had the lowest attack power among the vanguards has dealt the largest damage so far.
Tobi-chan immediately leaped away from the dragon's back and returned back to Luka-chan and Rirei to prepare for the next attack.
By damaging the Dull Dragon from the sides we gradually cut down his HP.
Then, with none of us receiving much damage our focus was nearly lost, the events moved rapidly.
"There's 20% HP remaining! Just a little more!"
"Fufufu, then let's decide it here. Kohaku, match my timing!"
"No need to order me, I'll properly finish 't off!"
Kohaku and Rirei spoke to each other from the sides of the dragon, then fired their strongest attacks.
The two's magic gained power from a synergistic effect and swallowed up the Dull Dragon.
Flames fuelled by wind spread hot air through the floor and and walls of the dungeon as well as released dazzling light.
The dragon's roar has come from inside the flames. I lowered the point of my sword thinking it's his death throes, but the next moment the Dull Dragon charged through the flames.
"Damn it!! Kohaku, run!"
I cried out, but the light coming from the flames hid the dragon's preliminary operation and we didn't notice it until he passed through the flames. When I noticed it, the Dull Dragon was already running straight at Kohaku.
Although I ran as to follow the him, I couldn't catch up. That's when Hino-chan leaped in between Kohaku and the dragon.
"I WON'T LET YOUUUuuu! ——《One Point Thrust》!"
Receiving the charge right from the front, using an Art she thrust the spear at the hardest part on the dragon's forehead.
The thrust spear looked as if it was sucked into the dragon's forehead as it emitted a blue effect. The two pushed against each other for a moment, but then the spear's thrust lost and Hino-chan slammed into the wall.
Receiving an attack from the front, the Dull Dragon changed his trajectory deviating to the right and passed by Kohaku's side, then crashed into the corner of the room with its momentum.
"I'm all right. Go protect Kohaku."
Hino-chan who slammed onto the wall rose up while staggering, then took out a potion from inventory.
Blown away, Hino-chan let go of the spear which remained shallowly pierced in the Dull Dragon.
"Haa, I'm a bit worried about the reach, but let's do it."
She took out her other weapon, the sledgehammer and held it up in both hands.
"Well then, seems like there wasn't enough recovery. ——《High Heal》!"
"I'm sorry. We focused too much on finishing it!"
Rirei spoke words of apology, Kohaku who was saved also wanted to but was unable to speak up.
"Kohaku and Rirei——"
Hino-chan interrupted them and said the following words with a big smile.
"——We're having an evaluation later! I'm included in that too, for letting go of my precious weapon."
After saying so, she looked at the Dull Dragon ahead of her.
The dragon had charged into the corner. Whenever we avoided it we were careful as not to direct it into the corner, but it couldn't be helped this time. The corners decreased the amount of blind spots the dragon had and made it impossible to attack it from both sides.
After getting hit by Rirei and Kohaku's chained magic the Dull Dragon had less than 10% HP left. Even with him having so low HP, there was a possibility of us being wiped out.
The battle will be decided with one strike.
He opened his mouth wide and roared, showing the preliminary operation for the breath attack.
At the same time we all broke into a run to strike at him before he release the breath.
"We're all goin' outta dis dungeon safe! ——《Wind Shield》!"
"At times like these I lament my lack of support skills. ——《Fire Shot》!"
In order to reduce the damage from the breath attack, Kohaku put up a barrier of wind in front of us. Rirei squeezed the few remaining MP to fire bullets of light, but they were blocked by the dragon's tough defence.
Then, once the dragon finished its preparations he started to release the breath he hoarded inside his body from the right to left.
"I'll show you I can cut apart even magic and breath. HAAaa——《Shock Impact》!"
Luka-chan's swung her greatsword down from above, creating a shockwave that pushed the back the breath attack. However, the breath continued and pushed back the shockwave, approaching us——and then passed over our heads.
It was Tobi-chan's skill which shifted the enemy mob's target and recognition. Thanks to that we avoided a direct hit with the breath and the aftermath was blocked by Kohaku's shield.
And, the two of us who closed onto the dragon used our Arts.
"I'll break down that defence of yours! ——《Armor Break》!"
I let out a slash that had the effect of lowering enemy's defence which had reduced the dragon's defence power. While the attack itself was blocked, I left the rest to Hino-chan.
The hammer swung without any hesitation was sucked straight towards the Dull Dragon's head. And, it had hit the pierced-in spear's ferrule. The spear pierced through the forehead and following it, the hammer crushed the skull.
A moment of silence. And, after a slight delay the Dull Dragon fell on his side. Following that, when we received a reward for fulfilling condition of the fifth level and for clearing the dungeon we realized we defeated the dragon.
"Yess! Dungeon cleared!"
When we cleared all five levels of the dungeon and left to the outside through the same black gate we entered through, we were greeted by the sunlight.
In the end, the time attack took us more than an hour.
"Welcome back, Myu-chan."
"Sei-oneechan, I'm back. As I thought, we were slooower, ehh〜. It's all that Dull Dragon's faulttt!"
The time attack match was our defeat. I thought, and exhausted I clung onto Sei-oneechan.
My my, Onee-chan pat my head with a smile and I entrusted my body to her, replenishing my Onee-chanium reserves.
"We lost to Onee-chan's party in time attack, but it's been a good experience. Thanks."
When I said that as I clung to Sei-oneechan, she made a troubled expression, then faced Mikadzuchi-san and others.
Kukuku, laughing deep from the throat Mikadzuchi-san corrected our thinking.
"The time attack's Myu-chan party's win."
"Eh? With that time?"
If we excluded the Dull Dragon we would have cleared it in about half an hour, but the result was that it took over an hour. So, what does she mean by saying we won? When I looked towards Sei-oneechan, she spoke with a bitter look.
"Um... just like Myu-chan's party, we got a Dull Dragon on the very first floor."
Ahh, so we weren't the only ones with bad luck, I thought, but it seemed like Sei-oneechan's party had it even worse.
"We somehow managed to reduce the damage to one casualty and moved on, but there was another Dull Dragon waiting on the second level."
"To think we'd get a second Dull Dragon, then upon the very meeting as if to say "Hey, it's been a while. NOW DIE." he attacked us with a breath right from the start."
Although it wasn't impossible with random generation, there was an ultra-super-extremely low probability for that. Just how unlucky do you have to be to get it. While thinking that, I also started considering the fact that we got one Dull Dragon to be lucky, since we also received some delicious amount of experience.
"Uuu, with that opening breath two people retired. Those of us who remained put up a good fight, but we were defeated."
"The time we challenged the time attack for was 27 minutes, then we were defeated by the Dull Dragon. Well, our levels went up during battle so it wasn't all that bad."
"In exchange, we used plenty of consumables like Potions and MP potions so we need to replenish them."
Sei-oneechan put on a troubled smile. It seemed like they were in the middle of chatting as they wait for death penalty to expire.
Meanwhile, Sei-oneechan muttered.
"Still, that's what you call Greed Sensor, right. You look for some item and you get everything but that one. I hope that the Dull Dragon doesn't come out, and here it comes."
"Greed Sensor? Was there an item you wanted?"
Hearing her mutter I asked and got and answer.
"We actually wanted a 【Knight's Emblem】 for the second stage of the guild founding quest ahead of time. Well, we haven't progressed with other related quests yet so I plan to work together with Mikadzuchi without haste to get one."
"Hmm. 【Knight's Emblem】 huh."
I don't remember getting such an item. When I thought so, Tobi-chan timidly raised her hand.
"...u-um, I have that item."
"Eh? Did you get one?"
"...I got it from a treasure box on the third level but I left drop confirmation for later since we were doing a time attack."
"Ahh, since we've finished completing the dungeon let's check our loot. We didn't check what we got from the Dull Dragon either."
Agreeing with Hino-chan's proposal, we did the drop confirmation we have postponed earlier.
Since we progressed with a time attack and minimal amount of combat we didn't get all that many drops. Also, there was nothing eye-catching among the items we got, aside from 【Knight's Emblem】 there was just a normal material that dropped out of the Dull Dragon.
And, as for Sei-oneechan's party——
"That's nice, the strengthening material Sei-oneechan got. Dull Dragon's rare drop, huh."
"Hmm. I'm a mage I won't benefit from the 【Dull Dragon's Tri-Horn】's bonus as much as you imply, Myu-chan."
Sei-oneechan's luck is definitely being used up in a wrong way. She never gets the drops she wants, but she does get the drops others want and get to trade them.
Everyone ends up happy, but whether the process is bad luck or just her luck is strange, its just like Sei-oneechan. And, this time too——
"Then, how about I exchange it for the 【Knight's Emblem】 your party has?"
She tilted her neck and asked.
"Is that fine? I mean, that's a rare."
"I'm a mage so I have no use for it."
Saying so, Sei-oneechan wanted to give up her rare drop so simply. I looked at Luka-chan and others and got "if needed, go on and trade it" in response.
"Got it. Well then, let's trade."
We have traded the 【Knight's Emblem】 for 【Dull Dragon's Tri-Horn】, but I didn't think of what happens afterwards.
While Sei-oneechan's group was pleased to get the item they wanted, we looked at each other wondering who will use this strengthening material.
"This, what do we do about it? If used on weapon it gives 【Physical Attack Increase】 and if used on armour piece it gives 【Physical Defence Increase (small)】 additional effects."
"Fufufu, it's highly versatile. But, it's useless for mages."
"Yer' rite. Then, It's best that one of the vanguards uses it."
Saying so, the pair of mages gave up on the 【Dull Dragon's Tri-Horn】. I too didn't intend on strengthening myself physically since I make a balanced build, and Tobi-chan gave up on it as well.
"Now then, it's me and Luka-chan left, what do we do?"
"I think it's more appropriate for Hino-san than me."
"Is that really okay? You need it too don't you, Luka-chan?"
"I do want it, but the sword I'm using is still a drop item."
Saying so, Luka-chan pat her sword's hilt.
With this the discussion was over and 【Dull Dragon's Tri-Horn】 was passed to Hino-chan.
Receiving it, she blinked several times and made a serious expression.
"We expect a lot of you, Hino-chan."
"If that's the case, then I need to respond to your expectations. I'll sweep away everything with my hammer even harder than I have so far!"
Hino-chan decided to further increase her power she was so proud of to become the party's cornerstone.
And, applause had echoed.
"Really, glad to see such passionate friendship among girls."
"Grr, we aren't a freak show."
"Sorry, my bad."
Seeing Mikadzuchi's reaction Hino-chan puffed up her cheeks and complained.
"While at apologies, how about we get some quest together? I look forward to little sister party's luck."
"Eehh, it feels like we're gonna be used..."
"It won't be anything bad. We'll just do some joint hunting on the frontlines and collection quests."
As Mikadzuchi-san acted flighty, I glanced at Sei-oneechan beside her who lowered her head lightly in apology.
"Sorry, Mikadzuchi is really pushy."
"Hmm. Well, I guess it's fine. It'll probably be some efficient leveling."
From time to time it's also fine to enjoy joint play with people I don't know, I thought, and everyone else looked enthusiastic, too. Although Mikadzuchi-san's and Sei-oneechan's party lost, our members might have wanted to know how strong is the party that fought two Dull Dragons in a row.
"Well, let's go enjoy ourselves."
Along with Mikadzuchi-san's instruction we started moving. I guess the death penalty must have ran out.
And this was the first time we played together with what had later become 【Eight Million Gods】 guild.
Thanks to the results of this time's hunt Sei-oneechan's group advanced the guild-related quest. We gathered specified items for collection-type quests scattered all over the town, then ceded the quest-related items in exchange for drop equipment and strengthening materials.
At that time we rejoiced we got items we can use, but at later date we got completely frustrated hearing what was the total reward for the quests we gathered specified items for. Once again I learned that not sparing time and effort makes that much of a difference.
After some time when I heard that merry but powerful Mikadzuchi-san has founded a guild with Sei-oneechan as her assistant I had a premonition that their guild will be a big thing, but kept that to myself.
To those I meet for the first time, those I meet again after a while, 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 illustration for this work, as well as all of you who read the main work have the great deal of my thanks.
This work was something serialized as a side story in Dragon Magazine and now has been released in paperback format.
Did you enjoy this OSO's spin-off of which the main protagonist's little sister – Myu is the protagonist? I hope you did.
So, how did this OSO spin-off begin? It all started with a single mail of the editor.
In early March, one day when the release date of the fifth volume was moved to May, scheduled to come out together with the comic version and I was preparing cheering comments and SS for it, I received a mail from the editor in charge about the spin-off series they planned to start up.
It was completely unexpected. At one time I did say that I wanted to write some short stories, but at the time I thought of some stories expanding the main story, but to think I would do the story with raging completionist berserk little sister Myu as main protagonist.
I was allowed to write a part of magazine series which was a short story I wrote after the first volume was released and it's been a year since then so I went "How many characters was it again?!" and "How much story and pages does it need for when it's released in paperback?!", in such rocky state of mind I challenged the meetings with editor.
I brought the story plot divided into structure with four parts and modified it through the meetings until it ended up in five chapters, with hundred thousand characters in total decided, I could start writing it confidently.
Like that I started writing it around the volume one's events and "gathering a party" theme, I aimed to make it something like a loose 4-koma manga with just girls in terms of atmosphere.
The parts of the story like that in the Golem battles were taken from places like Dark Soul's boss battles with awareness of safe zones both when attacking and defending.
In addition to that, the idea of dungeon's time attack this time was something I always loved. I think I might have been influenced by my favourite from olden days, the .hack series.
In short, the time attack in .hack series was a competition as to who will reach the deepest part of the tree word area first. What was an important key in there wasn't just the player's ability, but also the distance from the initial point to the dungeon that was based on the combination of three words, the levels and elements like combat count. So when speaking of time attack, what if all elements other than players themselves were random...? That's what the story is about.
Also, since it's a game I added part with cosplay which was popular, so I'd be glad if you enjoyed that loose part as well.
Please take care of me, Aloha Zachou from now on as well.
In the end, I'd like to once again thank you, the readers who have taken this book in your hands.
I look forward to the day I can meet you again.