Dusk. Together with Myu, we have arrived in front of the Road Dungeon, one of the five dungeons created outside of the First Town’s walls.
I took a few Mega Potions and MP Pots from 【Atelier】, but I’d like to avoid using them if possible.
We joined up with Lucato and the others in front of the dungeon.
“Sorry, it took time to persuade Yun-oneechan!"
“I don’t remember being persuaded, really. Also, Myu, was there really any need to hurry so much?"
After coming here at an unusually high pace, I was a little out of breath. I took a deep breath several times to calm myself, and then asked this question——
“Nope! But let’s say that there was!"
“Geez, you’re absurd."
While I sighed in amazement, Lucato and the others all smiled bitterly as they stood behind Myu.
“Good evening, Yun-san. Thank you for coming with us today."
“Don’t mind it, everyone. It’s not like there’s any risk, and I’m curious about the reward for having all five dungeons cleared."
I said, and then had a chat with Lucato and the others. Meanwhile, Myu had lined up among the players waiting to enter the dungeon, securing our place.
“Heey! Everyone, this waaay!"
“Ugh, I’m suddenly feeling nervous."
When Myu called for us and we all looked her way, I got nervous as I recalled that although I’m going in as a support, we’re going to be entering battle right away.
“There’s nothing to get nervous about, let’s take it easy!"
We lined up where Myu had secured place for us. When I put a hand on my chest and took a deep breath to calm down, Myu lightly tapped my shoulder in order to relieve my tension.
It felt like it worked since I was able to relax a little.
And as the queue to enter the dungeon advanced, our turn came.
“Looks like it’s our turn, shall we go in?"
“Yup. Yun-oneechan, after we enter, there will be a grace period before the fight starts, but don’t let your guard down."
I nodded in response to Myu’s reminder and entered the dungeon together with the party members.
There was a white haze in the back of the gate that had opened, and I entered it as i made sure to keep from getting separated from Myu and others. Then, the ground beneath us suddenly disappeared, leaving us with a feeling of floating.
Along with the feeling of missing a step on the stairs, the clearing of my vision that was accompanied by a small impact made me realize that there was a snowy course in front of me.
“This place is…"
Slightly further ahead of me was Myu, Hino and Toutobi. Lucato, Kohaku and Rirei were behind me. All of them were on top of an one-person sled.
“Heey! Everyone all right?!"
“We’re here, all okeey!"
There were empty sleds sliding downhill in our surroundings, players were appearing from nowhere and falling inside them one after another.
I checked below me again and saw that, just like the other players, I was on top of a fairly large sled that was rushing through the snow at a high speed.
“This sled looks quite sturdy. And… the view is pretty."
The snow powder that rose into the air due to the sleds rushing down the hill distracted me as it reflected the light, and the scenery stole my attention. Meanwhile I tried to maintain balance on top of the sled——
“——Wait, why am I acting all impressed! This thing is damn FAST!!"
I held the sled’s reins and squatted down to lower my center of gravity, and then I simply endured.
Although the sled was spacious, it was still scary because of the high speed.
If I tilted my body to the right, the sled would move to the right, and the same thing happened if I tilted it to the left. Leaning forward caused me to accelerate, and I would decelerate if I leaned backwards. I was able to learn the basics by trying different postures, but I didn’t have a complete grasp on the controls yet. I was only able to slightly move the sled in the direction I wanted.
On the other hand——
“Yahooooo! TAKIN’ THE LEAD!"
Myu opened her legs wide as if she was snowboarding and measured her sword’s range as she swung it to the sides to balance herself. Moreover, she made a big jump by accelerating and pulling the front of the sled… heck, she’s never gone snowboarding in real, yet she’s going berserk in here!
“Myu-san! The battle hasn’t started yet! Don’t do anything dangerous!"
“It’s still just the second time, but my Sense’s support is amazing! When I got used to it, I became able to move thanks to 【Action Restriction Release】!"
She showed off some jumps where she rotated in mid-air, but I was really anxious that she might fail.
Since it was their second time as well, the party members other than Myu had also become used to handling the sleds, and their driving was stable.
The sight of Lucato using one hand to swing her bastard sword while on top of a sled was impactful.
Hino had her long spear resting on her shoulder as she slid her hand over it to adjust her reach.
The rearguard Kohaku and Rirei were also holding their fan and staff as they followed behind the rest of the party.
In the meantime, nearly all the sleds were filled with players, and the boss fight was about to begin.
“Luka-chan, Yun-oneechan, how are you doing?"
“No problems here, Myu-san."
“I still haven’t gotten used to it…"
Aiming with a bow while on top of this unstable sled wasn’t something I could do right away.
Meanwhile, Myu, who was rushing right to the front, stabbed her sword into the snowy road and used it as a brake to decelerate so that she could match Toutobi and Hino’s speed.
“Don’t force yourself too much, Yun-oneechan!"
You’re the one who brought me here, I thought as I took a look around and saw one player’s sled slide unstably.
And the next moment——
“Lucato, watch out!"
A player that was sliding in front of Lucato was thrown out because of his driving mistake, and the sled without a rider flew straight for Lucato and others.
“Kohaku and Rirei, stay behind me! HAA——《Shock Impact》!"
With Lucato as the lead, Kohaku and Rirei lined up behind her one after another, and then Lucato used an Art towards the sled that was closing in on them.
She swung her bastard sword that was emitting yellow light at the sled diagonally from below, and after clashing for an instant, the sled bounced up.
From there, it flew far above me before falling further behind us, where it was then left in the back as it pierced into the snowy road.
When I looked away from the pierced-in-sled towards Lucato with a dumbfounded expression on my face and my mouth wide open, she made an embarrassed expression and smiled amiably.
“Nice thinking there, Luka-chan! GOOD JOB!"
Myu showered Lucato with praise for her calm response.
Though, on the other hand, the snow that was thrown into the air had flowed towards Hino and she plunged right into the cloud of it.
“Kyaahh?! Oh, come on!"
Hino passed through the snow and had her posture broken because of the surprise attack. She had snow covering her nose as she pursed her lips with a displeased expression on her face.
“H-Hino-chan, are you okay?"
“Um… I’m sorry, Hino-san."
“Nhn… that opened holes in my winter clothes’ tights! Damn you, dungeon boss! I won’t let you off for this!"
Other than that happening, there were several players who, despite not being used to controlling the sleds, made some unreasonable movements and ended up dropping out before the battle even began. Meanwhile, a red-nosed eight-legged Devil Reindeer with thick and flat horns appeared, pulling a sleigh behind it that was carrying a devil that looked like a young boy. There were also other eight-legged Devil Reindeer who looked like the boss’ underlings, each with a different colored nose.
It was the boss who stole the sleigh from Santa Claus——the 【Devil Brat】.
『"What’s up? You came to take back the Saint’s treasure? I don’t mind! How-ev-er——you need to beat me in this place first!"』
He spoke in a childish and innocent voice, but there was also roar coming from behind us… Wait! BEHIND us?!
『"Go now, my Devil Reindeers!"』
Myu and Lucato who were nearby, called out to me.
“Yun-oneechan, please cast enchants and support us as necessary! C’mon, Tobi-chan, Hino-chan. Let’s go!"
“Well then, we’re off! Don’t force yourself, Yun-san!"
I nodded towards the two and followed everyone while concentrating on controlling the sled in the back behind them.
“《Enchant》——Attack, Defence… WOOAH?!"
When I cast a physical attack enchant and was about to add a physical defence one on top of it, something flew at me from ahead, so I avoided it in a hurry.
It was a chunk of snow.
And looking closely at the snowy road, I saw that there were holes in some places which could make the sled lose balance if we rode over them.
Moreover, those holes were made by the Devil Reindeers.
“Now that I look again, they sure have a horrible design."
The Devil Reindeer ran on eight legs with an evil look in their eyes. They also attacked with low level elemental magic that matched the color of their nose. As for their eight legs, four of them were used to maintain their high speed, while the remaining four were used to kick snow backwards at us.
They also used their flat horns like a scoop to powerfully scoop up the snow and throw it backwards in a parabolic trajectory.
Other than that, the Devil Reindeer would sometimes physically attack the players by tackling them, so their attacks were really diverse.
Although I wasn’t being targeted by the enemy since I was in the last sled, even one randomly-dropped lump of snow could be the death of me.
“What’s with this barrage of snow..."
“Yun-oneechan, do your best, but don’t overdo it! Whoops, that was a close one."
“Same to you! I’m all right!"
I said that and made Myu focus on combat, but I didn’t have the leisure to cast any enchants, and the sled was too unstable for me to participate in the battle with my bow.
In the meantime, Myu and the others, who had started to get into their combat pace, were skillfully manipulating their sleds as they fought back against the Devil Reindeers.
“Well then, here I go! ——《Delta Slash》!"
With Myu’s attack as the opener, Toutobi and Hino followed her into combat.
They dispersed to avoid charging Devil Reindeers’ attacks, and then immediately counter-attacked.
Myu released a fast triple-slash Art, which was then followed by Toutobi dulling the enemy’s movements by slashing them with a dagger Art that causes paralysis.
Lastly, Hino sped up her sled to approach the enemy from behind, before breaking the reindeer’s balance by using her long spear to attack his legs.
The Devil Reindeer, which was running at high speed, lost his balance, rolled, and then bounced on the ground, before eventually being left behind by the players who were moving on their sleds.
Finally, the Reindeer was caught up in the collapse of the snowy road behind us and disappeared along with a growl.
Amen. I secretly thought as I saw that scene.
That was seriously no joke...
“Isn’t this enough already? It’s not just the snow attacks that are coming from the front, but there’s also the snowy road’s collapse that’s chasing us from behind. On top of all that, there’s also the Devil Reindeers themselves."
The Devil Reindeer that had disappeared in the collapse reappeared once more as it ran down from the sky just like when it had first appeared, before returning to the snowy road. It was the cyan-nosed Devil Reindeer.
However, the snowy road’s collapse and the combined attacks of Myu and the others reduced his HP to 60%.
Then, the Devil Reindeer’s nose suddenly started shining——
“WooAAH, no waaay!"
Riding on top of the unfamiliar sled, I tilted myself to the right in order to avoid the ice magic bullet.
Immediately after that, the ice bullet landed beside my sled, raising a cloud of snow.
Following that, the next two ice bullets flew over my head and hit the ground. I moved the sled further in order to avoid the snow cloud in my way.
What do I do, try attacking with the bow? Or maybe do a reckless attack with a knife…?
Apparently, in the 【Devil Brat】’s dungeon, one of the methods to come back into the game after losing a sled was to use a tamed mob like Ryui. However, I can’t rely on him this early.
"...I’ve got no choice here. Let’s force my way with consumables!"
I resolved myself and took out some Magic Gems from my inventory.
Then, while taking the gems’ activation time into consideration, I measured the distance between me and the Devil Reindeer, chanted the keywords, and threw the gems behind me.
The two types of magic that the gems carried were activated with the gems themselves as the starting point.
As a result, an earthen wall appeared in front of the Devil Reindeer and multiple explosions occurred.
However, the rushing reindeer broke through the wall, charged through the snow that rose into the air due to the explosions, and reappeared once again. Still, he didn’t get through that unscathed, and had less than 50% of his HP remaining.
The damage I dealt was small when compared to the coordinated attack of Myu and the others, but still, seeing that I actually dealt substantial damage to it, I made a guts pose.
“All right! I can do this… wait, ehhhh?!"
I saw two Devil Reindeers that had been attacked by the frontline players and were now bouncing on the snowy road towards the rear.
I had a bad feeling about this, so I took a look backwards and…
“I KNEW ITTTTT!!"
In addition to the first reindeer, there were now three of them chasing me, the furthest one in the back.
“Stay awaaaaaaay!! ——【Bomb】!"
This time, I scattered three times as many Magic Gems from my sled.
The Devil Reindeers were assaulted by even more explosions than before.
Out of the three, two of them were blown away towards the collapsing snowy road, while the third one received a large amount of damage on the spot.
“Ohh! Yun-san’s havin’ fun, eh."
“Kohaku! This isn’t fun at all!"
“Fufufu, then how about we steal the best part."
Kohaku and Rirei, who were being protected from the front by Lucato, had turned their attention towards the rear.
The reindeer that had been blown away reappeared by running down from the sky. Kohaku and Rirei released their magic at them.
The two’s magic passed over my head and took down the reindeer’s’ remaining HP, turning them into particles of light.
“Ooooh! Yun-oneechan’s having fun!"
Just what part of my panicking looks like I’m having fun, is what I wanted to ask Myu, but before that I decided to confirm the situation we were in.
The Devil Reindeers were being eliminated one by one by the other players.
In addition, the most eerie thing about it was that the 【Devil Brat】 left all of the fighting to his subordinate Devil Reindeers as he single-mindedly drove the sleigh. The 【Road Dungeon】’s boss battle was slowly heading for the middle stage.
The number of Demon Reindeers gradually decreased, and the number of attacks that roughened the snowy road decreased along with them.
At this rate, the players will be able to focus on the boss once all eight reindeer have been defeated.
While I was thinking such an optimistic thing, a group of players that appeared to be part of the same party approached the 【Devil Brat】 and attacked him.
While making sure not to clash with one another, Myu and the other players exchanged places as they attacked the 【Devil Brat】 on top of the sleigh that’s being pulled by the red-nosed Devil Reindeer.
“Looks like the front is quite safe. I should make sure I won’t get assaulted from behind."
Every Devil Reindeers that has collapsed after receiving attacks from the players has rolled back into the snowy road’s collapse and then reappeared to attack the players again.
Many players have already retired because they were attacked from behind, so we couldn’t afford to leave those reindeer alone.
Remaining in the very back, I started to get used to controlling the sled and manipulated the reins with one hand while holding a bottle containing a bad status drug in the other.
While controlling the sled so that I could avoid the Devil Reindeer that was heading straight for me, I threw the potion towards the location I was just at a moment earlier.
The potion rotated in the air and was shattered by the rushing reindeer’s horns, spilling the liquid that was inside.
As a result, the Devil Reindeer was covered in the potion’s contents, and having lost strength in his legs, it smashed its head into the snow road. Unable to move, it was swallowed by the collapsing snowy road soon after that.
“Great, bad statuses work on them."
The Devil Reindeers in the back were charging forward in an attempt to reunite with their comrades in the front, and while the 【Paralysis】, 【Sleep】 and 【Stun】 bad statuses were effective, they didn’t deal any damage. However, because the enemy would become unable to move due to these effects, it could be expected that they would receive damage when they got caught up in the snowy road’s collapse.
“Yun-san, you sure are usin’ some nasty attacks there."
“Fufufu, you were letting out such cute screams just a moment ago, but you’ve already gotten used to it. And here I wanted to hear some more of them."
Kohaku and Rirei, who were close by, threw such words my way from a little in front of me.
Meanwhile, they continued to cast spells without end over the players’ heads.
In addition to that, Lucato protected the two from all of the attacks coming from the front.
With all that going on, I continued to use Magic Gems and bad status potions to prevent the attacks coming from the Devil Reindeers behind us.
The four of us made a diamond formation, with Lucato in front, Kohaku and Rirei in middle to the left and right, and me in the back. Each of us protected the others from the attacking Devil Reindeers on our respective sides.
Then, one of the reindeer was paralysed by a bad status drug once again, and after being caught up in the road’s collapse, turned into particles of light and disappeared.
As the number of Devil Reindeers decreased to three, the 【Devil Brat】 finally showed a new reaction.
『"——You damn lowly humans!! Fine, I’ll use the power I stole from the Saint to get rid of you all!"』
Making a complete change from his child-like appearance and way of speaking, the 【Devil Brat】’s face distorted in an ugly manner and shockwaves started emanating from his body.
Players who were trying to deliver attacks at that moment were pushed back by the shockwaves. Seeing them somehow manage to maintain their balance on top of their sleds and avoid falling off, I sighed with relief.
“If he had that kind of ability, why didn’t he just throw the players off right from the start?"
“Yun-san, what horrendous things yer’ sayin’."
“Yun-san, that would be nonsensical."
Kohaku and Lucato retorted after apparently hearing what I muttered.
Meanwhile, Myu used a converged light beam in an attempt to attack the 【Devil Brat】 while he was protected by the shockwaves, but even that simply bent away from the boss.
The 【Devil Brat】 raised his right hand and started reciting a chant that resonated within the space, while at the same time continuing to emanate shockwaves.
『"——Twist, twist, pierce, break. None of you shall walk in my space. I order you in my evil’s name!"』
In response to these words, a change occurred to the straight snowy road.
“Hahaha, and here I had started getting used to controlling this sled…"
Seeing the scenery change, I squeezed out a trembling voice.
The snowy road that led into the distance started to undulate ahead of us and turn into a course with many turns.
How do we even catch up to the enemy on a curvy race course like this? Moreover, the snowy road’s collapse behind us has increased in speed and is approaching us along with a loud roar.
I bent slightly forward to increase my speed and maintain a fixed distance from the chasing collapse, but there were many among the players who were participating in the battle from the rear position like me that were unable to cope with the collapse’s increased speed, and while they weren’t immediately caught in it, they eventually lost control of their sleds and ended up crashing somewhere. There were also some players who were simply caught up in the collapse, and their screams remained in my ears for a while.
However, along with the course’s change, the 【Devil Brat】’s shockwaves disappeared. Noticing that before anyone else, Myu raised her voice.
“It’s a chance! Onee-chan! Speed buff and fire element!"
“Oh c’mon! 《Enchant》——Speed! 《Element Enchant》——Weapon!"
Responding to Myu’s request, I cast a speed enchant on her, and then crushed a fire element stone and cast fire element enchant on her sword.
“Making a curvy road won’t let you run away from me! ——《Nine Sword Slash》!"
“Woaah?! S-she flew?!"
Here I thought she would ride on the side of the tunnel to approach the 【Devil Brat】 as soon as possible, but she simply jumped out of the course.
She had the sled bounce right before falling out of the course, and then glided using the momentum before landing after the bulge of the curve, allowing her to take a bold shortcut.
Along with the momentum of her jump, she approached the 【Devil Brat】 and attacked his back with an 【Art】’s chain attack that had been imbued with a fire enchant.
However, not only had her control of the sled become weak because of the big jump and landing she performed, but she had also become unable to act because of the large attack she had unleashed on the 【Devil Brat】. As a result, she ended up sliding sideways out of the course.
At that moment, the 【Devil Brat】 turned towards Myu and cast an ice spear at her, but luckily she was able to avoid it by piercing her sword into the road with one hand and using it to decelerate.
Seeing her like that caused me powerfully grip the sled’s reins as I completely froze up inside from anxiety.
Just a small mistake and she would have ended up heading straight off the course and been forced to retire, yet she still went and did something that reckless.
“Wooah… that was close."
“Myu-san! Stop acting reckless!"
Lucato raised her voice as she spoke to Myu from far away. In response to it, Myu raised her hand and waved at her, causing me to let out an appalled sigh.
“Fufufu, we should try as well——《Lava Cannon》!"
"We should do our share of work so that Myu doesn’t have ta’ overdo it! 《Aero Cannon》!"
A bullet of burning lava created by Rirei flew along the snowy road towards the devil.
If the lava bullet flew as it normally would, the 【Devil Brat】 would have avoided it. However, Kohaku’s Aero Cannon gave the lava bullet a burst of acceleration while it was in mid-air.
The accelerated lava bullet entered the straight course towards the boss, but since the Devil Reindeer attempted to avoid it, the lava bullet exploded in mid-air and bathed the 【Devil Brat】 and the reindeer in flames like an incendiary bomb.
“Great! The big attack succeeded!"
“Everything’s going well. We might have overdone it a little, though."
The boss, who appeared from a cloud of snow that rose due to Kohaku and Rirei’s combo attack, had received the biggest damage so far.
Seeing that, they drove next to one another and gave each other a high five.
Not wanting to lose, the other players took sharp turns and rode on the inner side of each curve in order to chase after the 【Devil Brat】 and assault him.
Receiving these charging attacks from several players, the boss’ HP was gradually reduced.
And then, just like when the snowy road became curved, the 【Devil Brat】 started releasing shockwaves and players became unable to approach him.
『"You damn inferior species!! Here I am, going out of my way to play with you, and you get all conceited! You’ve made me get serious!"』
The shockwaves that were being released by the boss stopped after the curvy course had disappeared and the straight snowy road returned.
And at the same time, the speed of the snowy road’s collapse became even faster. The approaching roar created a sense of tension among the players.
Other than the red-nosed one that was pulling the 【Devil Brat】’s sleigh, the other Devil Reindeer were unable to overcome the collapse’s speed, and together with a low reverberating growl, were caught up in it one after the other. After that, hundreds of ice spears appeared one after another above the red-nosed reindeer that was pulling the boss’ sleigh.
“Hey hey, I can’t keep up with this."
『"——Pierce in from the sky, Icicle Cage!"』
Driving the sled in the very back, I watched the trajectory of the ice spears from a distance. It didn’t look like they were aimed at the players, but were shot at the snowy road in front of us instead.
They ended up randomly piercing the road, forming ice pillar-like obstacles.
Myu and Hino rushed past the ice pillars that they approached by using their weapons to break them. However, as the pillars shattered, they ended up dealing damage to the players that attacked them.
Toutobi chose to avoid the obstacles instead, so she didn’t receive any damage. However, as a result, she was unable to travel fast enough to catch up to the 【Devil Brat】.
Speaking of those of us in the back, it’s not like we were safe either.
The ice spears regularly thrown by the boss continued to create obstacles, and there were players who bumped into the icicles and fell out of their sleds, or had them turn over. As they rolled on the ground, they ended up attacking us in the rear.
“——They’re coming our way!"
One of the sleds that lost control after failing to avoid the icy obstacles was rotating at high speed as it approached us.
Lucato swung her bastard sword and repelled the sled, but at the same time that was happening, an icy spear pierced into the snowy road in front of Kohaku.
As a result, Kohaku was thrown out of her sled and sent flying through the air.
They had to use their sword and magic to intercept the incoming ice spears, so neither Lucato nor Rirei were able to react to the instantaneous event and recover Kohaku.
At this rate, Kohaku would fall into the snowy road and it would become difficult to help her. In addition, I was the only one in the back who was able to catch her.
However, if I changed course to do so, I would hit an obstacle.
If I avoided to the left, I could safely dodge it——
"?!! Oh, damn it! Gotta show a man’s guts!"
I tilted my body to the right and charged right into an ice pillar. If I can’t escape to safety, then I might as well resolve myself to plunge into danger.
“——《Clay Shield》! Kohaku, hold on!"
I created a diagonal wall of earth and sped up as I rushed up the self-made jumping platform.
And then, after using it to launch myself high into the air, I flew over the ice pillar and caught Kohaku in mid-air.
Although the jumping platform’s angle wasn’t that high, we maintained the momentum that I jumped with as we hit the ground and charged straight into an ice pillar. Pierced by the shattered fragments, Kohaku and I received damage.
I managed to catch Kohaku in the air, but this resulted in me becoming unable to control the accelerated sled.
“Yun-san, I’m grateful fer help, but... at this rate we’re out!"
“I know! But don’t expect me to have good enough reflexes to freely control the sled!"
“Why the confident response?!"
The sled continued to move at a speed that I couldn’t control. At this rate, we would end up outside of the snowy road’s course.
I felt a little guilty after imagining what would happen afterwards, but there was nothing I wouldn’t do so that the two of us would survive.
“Well then, let’s fly!"
“Heeh? Fly… wakyaa?!!"
While holding Kohaku in my arms, I jumped off the sled that continued to accelerate and leave the course.
From there, I immediately summoned Ryui, who I had left in reserve until now.
“Come, Ryui! ——《Summon》!"
The moment I jumped off the sled, adult Ryui appeared below me and started running with us on his back.
Meanwhile, the sled we were riding on left the course and disappeared into empty space.
“Woah!! So fast! So high, Yun-san!’
“Kohaku, don’t talk. You’ll bite your tongue."
Held in my arms from behind and riding together with me, Kohaku appeared really moved she could ride Ryui and was in really high spirits.
On the other hand I held Ryui’s reins in my left hand and skillfully... well, I didn’t control Ryui, and just left everything to him as he ran down the snowy road.
Weaving his way in the gaps between the icicle obstacles, Ryui was able to soon rejoin Myu and others. His abilities really were far beyond what I deserved.
“Nice assist there, Onee-chan!"
"...I can’t save anyone again now."
And don’t call me “onee-chan", are the words I swallowed, leaving it a short answer.
I took a look around and other than Myu’s party members, I saw quite fewer players, but the 【Devil Brat】 boss had lost quite a lot of HP and appeared driven into a corner.
However, because of attacks from ice spears and ice pillar obstacles, we were somewhat unable to deliver a decisive attack towards the boss.
The obstacles that broke but delivered damage to the one who broke them, were quite plain but atrocious.
I felt the damage received from one by myself when I earlier charged into one when saving Kohaku, hitting an ice pillar once was all right, but if it repeated the amount of damage would accumulate quickly and it would take large amount of HP, plus it affected the sled’s control.
“You received quite some damage, Onee-chan, Kohaku."
“Yeah. And I used some magic so my MP decreased, guess I should use a potion."
I used one of the few Mega Potions and MP Pots I had on Kohaku and myself, rapidly recovering us. Kohaku made a surprised expression at the amount of HP/MP recovered, but let’s not touch on the subject for now.
Well, what do we do next? I wondered as I rode Ryui. Beside me Myu rode on her sled.
Now that all of Myu’s party have come together again, we moved while having Lucato and Hino eliminate all the ice pillars in the way to ensure ourselves safety.
Behind them were me, Kohaku and Myu, and following behind us were Toutobi and Rirei.
“Since there are obstacles in the way, Hino-san and I will secure the route. Myu and Toutobi-san will slash at the boss, Rirei, Kohaku and Yun-san provide support from the back. Agreed?"
“No objections! How’s everyone?"
Myu energetically agreed with Lucato’s proposal and as I took a look around, everyone nodded, so I also consented to the plan.
Lucato and Hino immediately accelerated their sleds and started destroying obstacles one after another with their Arts.
“Outta way! ——《Large Swing》!"
Lucato swung her bastard sword, Hino swung around her long spear and the two crushed icicles one after another, leaving behind a sparkly diamond dust on the snowy road.
However, at the same time the two also received damage.
“I’ll smash a powerful bullet there——《Lava Cannon》!"
“And I’ll deliver’t wit’ my wind! ——《Aero Cannon》!"
Kohaku whom I was holding while riding Ryui, jumped down onto Rirei’s sled and the two cast magic.
The two magics’ power was raised by the synergistic effect and destroyed the spears of ice flying in the air, cancelling each other out.
“Go on! 《Enchant》——Attack, speed!"
I cast enchants on Myu and Toutobi who accelerated and headed for the 【Devil Brat】, raising their stats.
At the same time the enchants activated, the two approached the boss with a strong momentum.
Other than that, using the opportunity made by Lucato and Hino, other players who have survived started showering the 【Devil Brat】 with attacks.
『"This is why humans are annoying!"』
The 【Devil Brat】 didn’t stay idle as this happened. He whipped the red-nosed Devil Reindeer who was pulling the sled to speed up, and matching the timing of the attacking players he opened the distance with them.
And he counterattacked.
“We might be in a pinch."
"...Myu-san, let’s escape!"
Because of the boss’ speed up, there was space opened between him and Myu and Toutobi, the amount of ice spears coming down also increased to an extent where Kohaku and Rirei were unable destroy them all.
Those attacks were on direct course towards Myu and others, and were launched during the opening made after they attacked, so they couldn’t avoid.
"──《Magic Bow Skill – Phantom Arrow》!"
In order to fill that gap I shot a magical arrow from the back, intercepting the ice spears in mid-air.
In the back, I buffed myself with enchants, crushed a wind element stone to cast a wind enchant on my weapon and also used an arrow with 【Echo Liquid】 dripped on it, like that I could release the fastest attack possible.
Preparations and basic support aside, following up on comrades’ mistakes were also part of support’s job. Although I was unable to use it on an unstable sled, I had no problems using the bow from Ryui’s back.
Myu and Toutobi slowed down the moment I destroyed the ice spears and joined us in the back.
“One more charge! Let’s attack again!"
“Just earlier the boss ran away right before we could attack him. We aren’t fast enough."
“Above all, we couldn’t destroy all the spears with our attacks. We can’t guarantee your safety next time you go in."
Toutobi calmly shared her opinion, then next Kohaku had peeked out from behind Rirei’s back on the same sled and added, making Myu groan.
“Hmm, what do we do then?"
“Just one more attempt. If we don’t finish it this time, the number of players capable of attacking will decrease and we’ll be checkmated."
“Then how about we challenge the boss for as much as possible and use the information on next try?"
Lucato and Hino proposed, but Myu protested loudly.
“I won’t give up! Maybe next time we’ll get a lucky hit, we still haven’t used all the options we have. That’s why I’m going to continue challenging him here!"
Here we thought we’ve driven the boss into the corner, but ended up just the opposite, and yet Myu still enjoyed the game.
Her feelings have been conveyed to everyone in the party.
And I thought that I’d like them to win.
However, catching up to the 【Devil Brat】’s would be difficult.
Although I could destroy the large number of ice spears that are created by using my bow, but I probably couldn’t reach the boss.
It was possible for me to use 【Zone Bomb】 attack method to cause multiple explosions within the range of my vision, but while I could use it to destroy the ice spears, it didn’t have enough power to stop the 【Devil Brat】’s high speed rush.
Isn’t there a method allowing us to safely move near the boss and stop him from moving, even for a moment──I wondered as I looked through the item menu’s column, searching for something that can be used.
And I found the most suitable item for this situation.
“I have two ideas. However, after we do this I won’t be able to fight afterwards. So you’re warned."
“It can’t be, a method where Yun-oneechan sacrifices herself?! I won’t acknowledge a plan like that!"
“That’s not it, don’t worry. Also, it’s not worth calling that a plan. We’ll have Myu get on Ryui’s who’s fast and then I’ll just use an item that comes with quite the backlash."
Hearing that, Myu immediately jumped on Ryui and sat behind me.
Meanwhile, Hino used her long spear to skillfully manipulate Myu’s empty sled, guiding it to a place where it’d be easy for me to get on it.
I fearfully jumped onto the sled, then operated it’s reins while wondering how can everyone else handle these sleds without any hesitation.
“I’ll leave the timing for charging to Myu. Matching that, I’ll use the item, once that happens everyone rush in. Ryui, protect Myu."
I extended my hand from the sled to Ryui who was next to me, and after patting his torso I moved away.
Although I let Myu on top of him without telling him anything beforehand, Ryui obediently followed my orders which I really appreciated.
On the other hand, Myu trembled from excitement caused by the fact she got to ride Ryui, but then immediately braced herself.
I took out the 【Echo Liquid】 magic potion that I made at Pharmacist Obaba’s place.
Although it was a potion used on a weapon like I did earlier, to add an elemental attack to it, I was about to use it in a different way though.
“Onee-chan, so that’s what you’re using! Well, let’s go everyone!"
Matching Myu’s charge, I cast a speed enchant on Ryui.
Just like before, Lucato and Hino plus Toutobi have started cutting the route open, Kohaku and Rirei cast spells to destroy the ice spears created by the 【Devil Brat】.
Other surviving players too, have matched our attack and attacked with both magic and normal attacks, making the 【Devil Brat】 scream in annoyance.
『"You will not catch up to my speed, no matter what you do! Your struggle is in vain, hurry up and fall out!"』
“As if we’d give up. We’re──"
I took a deep breath, opened the lid of 【Echo Liquid】 potion, and drank it all.
As my throat burned from the heat, I squeezed out the air I had in my lungs to make my voice as loud as possible.
My voice got amplified and echoed within this space, attacking the enemy. With just that, all enemy mobs received wind elemental damage and further caused an additional 【Paralysis】 effect.
Before Lucato even called, Ryui rushed through the snow as fast as possible.
The additional effect of 【Echo Liquid】 had caused the 【Devil Brat】’s body to stiffen for a moment and make him unable to counterattack with ice spears, the movement of the red-nosed Devil Reindeer also grew dull.
However, though rotten, he’s still a boss. He must have had high bad status resistance as he immediately recovered from paralysis and started launching ice spears at the approaching players.
On the other hand, Ryui with Myu on his back took the shortest course and thrust into the spears.
Then, Ryui along with Myu who was riding him, had started to become hazy and turned translucent, like that they passed between the ice spears.
The perfect evasion which used Ryui’s transparency. It’s thanks to this ability that he could run to the enemy using the shortest route.
When the 【Devil Brat】 noticed the two’s existence, they were already near him. The boss managed to recover from 【Paralysis】, but the Devil Reindeer’s movement pulling the sleigh were still slow and they couldn’t escape.
Myu entered the attacking motion forcibly cancelling Ryui’s invisibility, but it was too late for the 【Devil Brat】 to escape.
And Myu’s weapon flashed.
The boss’ body collapsed from the sleigh, received attacks from the players who caught up one after another, and rolled on top of the snowy road.
We avoided his body and moved ahead, meanwhile the 【Devil Brat】 rolled further backwards before getting caught up in the snowy road’s collapse and disappeared.
“Yess! We finally beat him!"
Great, we beat him.
Myu expressed her joy with her entire body, Ryui who allowed her to ride him found that annoying so he slowed down, looking irritated.
“Onee-chan, we did it! We won!"
I told you to call me “onii-chan", geez...
When using the 【Echo Liquid】 magic potion in a wrong way, the player who used it can’t say anything for a while after, thus cannot use any magic or Arts. I knew this much beforehand, though.
Because of that I kept quiet and only listened to Myu as she one-sidedly continued to talk.
Before long, the obstacles on the snowy field disappeared and we saw the end of the seemingly-endless snowy course, and the surviving players have jumped into the gate of light one after another.
We followed them, diving into the gate──
──Congratulations. With the boss mob defeated, the Road Dungeon has been cleared. Once the two remaining dungeons, the 【Hearth】 and 【Graveyard】 dungeons are cleared, the special special events’ tasks will be complete.
Listening to the announcement while in the light, we experienced the floating feeling just like when we entered the dungeon.
Eventually, the sled beneath our feet had turned into light particles and disappeared and players were dropped outside the dungeon one after another.
Among them, Myu riding on top of Ryui stood out most of all and combined with the fact the dungeon was just cleared, she has caught attention of many players.
It looked like a new page had been added to my little sister’s legend, I thought and smiled bitterly.
And thus, Myu’s party has been surrounded by many players who came out of the dungeon.
Ryui who had Myu on his back had put her down on the ground, turned invisible, passed through the crowd and returned back to me.
Other players thought that Ryui was 《Dismissed》 and checked their surroundings for him, but he was just hiding himself next to me.
It seemed like it would take some more time for Myu and others to exchange appreciations and the 【Echo Liquid】’s effect still continued so I quietly left the place together with Ryui.
I guess they’ll get angry at me for going off by myself, huh, I thought as I returned to 【Atelier】, after which I quickly logged out.
In the end, as for the Christmas dungeon results, the 【Snowy Field Dungeon】 was cleared by Letia her party and while we were clearing the Road Dungeon, some other party had cleared the 【Giant Tree Dungeon】.
The remaining ones were the 【Hearth】 and 【Graveyard】 dungeons, they were quickly cleared by someone two days later when the quest event’s completion rate increased and the dungeon difficulty decreased.
When all the dungeons were cleared, the tools stolen from Santa Claus NPC have been returned. The Santa Claus returned to the sky once again, we happened to see him leaving towards somewhere while laughing merrily.
Then, an announcement flowed to all players saying that Santa Claus has been saved.
──Congratulations. Santa Claus’ tools have been safely retrieved from the hands of the Devils, as proof of thanks Santa Claus shall deliver everyone a 【Present Box】 on 23rd of December after the event ends.
The special reward 【Present Box】 was an item that could be acquired for 50 Quest Chips, so it was pretty much the same as if every player was given 50 Quest Chips.
Well, some players still said that it would be better to receive 50 Quest Chips rather than an item.
After that announcement was made, I was spending my time in leisure alone inside 【Atelier】.
Taking my time, waiting...
“Yo, I came to play."
“Sorry to intrude there, Missy."
"...Why are you two here, Taku, Mikadzuchi?"
While I resting myself in 【Atelier】, Taku and Mikadzuchi (in a slightly bad mood) came over.
“Hey, listen to this Missy! Sei’s completely heartless!! We finally managed to complete the 【Graveyard】 dungeon with our 【Eight Million Gods】 elite members, but she immediately logged out saying she has no time!"
“Well, there’re preparations for homecoming and it takes time to travel. Myu and I look forward to her coming, too. If she was late because of you..."
Although I didn’t finish the sentence, but what I said appeared threatening enough as Mikadzuchi obediently nodded.
“Got it, I don’t want to make enemies out of you two."
“It’s tomorrow that Sei-san’s coming back, right. Yun, can I come over to meet her too? I’ll buy some juice and sweets before coming."
“I prepared appetizers and cake for Christmas so come to eat some. The more people join the party the more fun, it will end up a game tournament anyway. At least four are needed for stuff to get lively."
When we’re playing party games for four people it’s always more fun to fight with the usual four of us. Well, it’s almost certain that I’ll be at the bottom of the ranking, though.
The, while I chatted with Taku and Mikadzuchi, the time finally came.
──Commencing score calculation. None of the actions will be counted into the score from now on. The results shall be announced once calculations are complete. Repeating.
It finally began, the event’s results announcement.
After a while, a menu was displayed in front of me.
──Quest completion rate: 86%. Christmas dungeons: cleared. Possessed number of Quest Chips: 79.
When I completed all magic potion delivery quests at Obaba’s pharmacy I had 76 Quest Chips, then after clearing the 【Road Dungeon】 I did three more errand type quests for 1 Quest Chip each, amounting to total of 79 Quest Chips.
Also, other than the Quest Chips there was the 【Present Box】 reward for clearing the 【Christmas Dungeons】 and a reward for 【Quest Completion Rate】.
“What’s this…? 【As a reward for completing between 80-90% of quests, 7SP will be granted to all the players】 it says."
“7 SP huh, as long as you pick up Senses at normal pace, it’s an amount of extra SP you’ll easily gather."
Mikadzuchi answered Taku while scratching the back of his head, but I had a different opinion.
“Isn’t their goal to give more spare SP to players so that they pick up more, different Senses?"
Hearing my words Mikadzuchi answered “you could also think that way", but then Taku pointed out a different kind of problem.
“But y’know, this means the total amount of SP acquired increased and there will be players who get caught in current potions’ recovery limit, right?"
What he said was reasonable. If SP acquired passes a certain amount, the recovery amount of certain potions decreases. There are certain potions such as Blue Potions and Yellow Potions that avoid it, but the recipes for them are quite troublesome.
In which case, anticipating the trouble it’s better to act beforehand. Thinking so I immediately instructed Kyouko the NPC who was in the store, to purchase the materials for those potions before the price increased.
“Well, leaving that aside. Personally I feel slightly bitter, y’know. If every player received 7 SP for 80-90% quest completion rate, what do you think we would get for over 91% completion rate?"
“True, I’m also curious about what was the top reward."
And then, the two changed the topic towards the 【Present Box】’s exchange item.
“What about you, Yun? Aren’t you going to open your 【Present Box】?"
The 【Present Box】 was an item that gave the player an item the player wanted at the moment.
However, it didn’t gift player high-performance items that would break the game’s balance, and only included joke-like items with average performance.
“Hmm, what should I do..."
“In your case it’d be something like infinite arrows, or plant seeds, or maybe new potion recipe, something like that?"
Mikadzuchi who quickly opened his own item box, had received a small distiller, and asked while looking my way.
And Taku too, had exchanged his Quest Chips and opened his 【Present Box】, then lined up items that he received.
He exchanged 100 Quest Chips for weapon made with magic-remodelled materials, and from the 【Present Box】 he received sheath matching it.
Taku usually used twin long swords, but the weapon from magic-remodelled materials was a single-edged and slightly curved sword──a weapon normally called katana.
The blade’s length wasn’t much different from the swords Taku usually used, but the slashing method was different between a sword and a katana.
And the sheath matching the sword, also seemed to have some feature.
“Taku, and that sheath?"
“It doesn’t feel right to just carry katana around bare. I ordered a sheath without durability setting, like this I can use the katana and the sheath as twin swords, right?"
What are you, a master fencer? I retorted in my mind, but I agreed that every player has his own way to use items.
And, the sheath Taku received was classified as a sword, and an unique item with no durability.
Although it had nearly no attack power, it did possess an additional effect called 【Holding Back】 which made the attacks made with it, not take the enemy’s last 1% of HP.
Next is your turn, the two looked my way with excitement.
However, unfortunately, no matter how much I imagined 【Present Box】’s content, nothing felt like “the thing" to me. Because of that, I had no choice but to betray the two’s expectations.
“I’ll──decorate the store with it?"
"...Well, that’s just like you."
“Yeah, I guess there’s no need to exchange it right away, you can exchange it when something you want comes up."
“Huh? I expected more like “you’re weird!" kind of reaction."
I was surprised at their reaction being completely opposite from what I expected, but the two smiled wryly and answered.
“It’s a valuable item so there’s plenty of players who think it’d be a waste and leave it as is."
“There are some people in my guild, too."
The two said and laughed. Is that so, I thought with relief.
Afterwards I exchanged Quest Chips for items, I used 50 Quest Chips for 【Instant House】 and used the remaining 25 to get 【Random Box (3)】. As for the four remaining Quest Chips, I exchanged them for 4 SP.
“Well then, it’s about time so I’ll take my leave. It’s been a nice event."
“Yeah, good work there too. The winter quest event’s over, coming up next is the new year’s update."
The two muttered and stood up, then after saying farewell to me they left 【Atelier】.
Although I intended to spend some time relaxing for this time’s event, thinking back to it, in the end it turned out to be some busy time instead.
Still, I had lots of fun, so it’s all right.
Thinking so, I decided to log out.