One could call Myu party's base camp 'hell', and they wouldn't be exaggerating
A pillar of fire rose in the centre, the players who tried escaping from it were swallowed in the sea of flames. Why did something like this happen, neither I nor the three with me knew, we were all taken aback.
"Come on... no matter how much they wanted a campfire, isn't is still daytime?"
"It's not time for jokes! It's obviously an abnormal situation... let's join up with Lucato and the others. Contact them first."
I knew that Myu's was joking. But unlike when she normally joked, her face was tensed, strained. It must have shocked her that much.
Usually, as not to upset my little sister any further my heart cools down instead, I observed the surroundings.
The flame spread to the utensils like tents that were spread around, the camp's functionalities were devastated.
A blessing in disguise was the fact that tents had quite a distance between each other and they didn't block the road ahead of us.
"I contacted Luka-chan! Currently, she's leading the people!"
"Got it! We're going to act together for now. Let's find a place where we can share our parties' maps. Toutobi, I leave navigation to you."
The two nodded with stiff expressions. The truth was that if they escape, they will be spared from annihilation, but since they had a strong will to rush and help their comrades in a crisis I couldn't say so.
I recalled what skills I had, it was better than nothing. I cast MIND and DEF enchants on everyone as we went against the flow of people.
"Was there any sign of this happening?"
"...not at all! Like this we can't even confirm whether its a magic attack or a mob at all! In the first place, it's impossible for mobs to invade a safety area!"
Even Toutobi who usually spoke calmly was shaken.
"I think an unique item can be the cause. Maybe someone has a cheat weapon or something."
"Hino-chan, you're reading too many webnovels! In real games there's no such thing as cheats, if there were then people would stop playing!"
I don't want to hear that from you, realcheater, the voice of the three hearts other than Myu's were in sync. But the next moment, we could no longer afford such chats.
"Flame attack! Defences!"
I raised a voice and, everyone solidified on spot. I took out a Clay Shield's Magic Gem from the inventory and pounded it into the ground.
"—— 《Clay Shield》！"
The approaching flame strike clashed with wall of earth. The flame scattered on the mud wall and we were exposed to hot air.
I looked slightly from behind the wall, although I saw the flame on the other side, it was still raging and didn't calm down at all.
"...like this we won't proceed."
We weren't far from the location we wanted to reach, but passing through this flame would be difficult.
"Onee-chan, Luka-chan and the others won't come to us. 'Right now, we're devoting ourselves to protecting players that were left behind', she says!"
"Fine fine, it means we need to rescue them. We don't know the cause... I wonder if we can do it?"
Said Hino, the three were anxious. The defence won't be able to withstand waves of attacks from a flame like this even if they devoted themselves to defending. Everyone assumed that the worst lies ahead.
Shit, just when I was about to spat out a curse, something touched my right hand.
"...Ryui... sorry, you're anxious too aren't you."
Ryui snuggled up to my right hand and stared at me.
"The flame has weakened a little. A bit more and we'll be able to go."
There was a sign of flames weakening, it seemed like it came in cycles with an interval, we seem like we'll be able to proceed. And then my shoulder was poked, Myu had me turn around to her.
"Luka-chan wants to talk with you. Soon there will come a friend call."
"Oh, got it."
Immediately after that, communication came from Lucato. Currently, I wanted to know all I could about the situation in the field.
"Let's spare greetings for later, we'll try to get you out. I'll ask a few questions try to answer them, what's the cause?"
『"...a young beast."』
I recalled the young Kamaitachi we've been attacked by yesterday and frowned. Were the mobs made that way?
"Is there anything else? Something that might be the cause."
『"That young animal was brought by a player... no, rather abducted and forced to come, that would be more appropriate way to describe it."』
Abducted, not really too gentle a way to do it. In other words, it was brought forcibly. That's how it was.
『"On the first day there were a lot of players who kidnapped them the same way and brought young beasts over to the base camp, it happened yesterday too. As a result, the young beasts have went out of control, tearing up tents and places, destroying things and fled. Although we waited to see if this one will go violent the same way, but soon enough flames started to rise and spout out of it."』
"...a cause? Why did that happen?"
『"From a distance I can't tell. But it seems to have something shiny. It seems to me like a strange bracelet."』
Hearing that, I've found a strange connection between this incident and the Kamaitachi from yesterday.
Although there was no conclusive evidence, this young beast's and Kamaitachi's cases are one and the same.
Rather than appraise an item on a player, it was tested on a young beast resulting with it running out of control. An Item with demerits like the accessory I picked up yesterday, there's a possibility that a young beast has one equipped.
Geez, I want to kick ass of the fool who's causing so much trouble to others.
"Thank you. I've got a grasp on the situation. We'll head over immediately. Don't be reckless."
『"Yes. Thank you very much."』
With perfect timing, the flame weakened at the same timing as the friend call with Lucato finished, we proceeded deeper.
As we proceeded towards the centre of the flame my skin started to sting being roasted.
The centre wasn't that far away, but the way was blocked by the hot air and occasional flame bullets, heat haze was hung over the field of view, even with 【Hawk Eye】 I was unable to look far into it.
How do I find a weakness in something like that. The moment I smiled wryly, there was a response in the edge of my field of view.
"It looks like they're safe! We should go as well!"
We approached them and confirmed, they have endured in the wake of attacks.
In the pillar of fire there was a small shadow present, it faced towards the girls clearly knowing where they were despite the intense flames and started radiate flame waves and shot flames. Among them there were two mages Kohaku and Rirei who protected the remaining players, they withstood by casting defensive magic alternating between each other.
However, the density of the attacks was on different level from the ones that we have avoided. Just the two of them will be overwhelmed. That's what I felt.
"Na good! I'm outta MP!"
"Even if you say that, we have no MP Potions... ah."
The defence magic deployed by Kohaku and Rirei was being taken down, Rirei's defensive magic has been extinguished earlier, and all the load was applied on Kohaku's defence magic and it started to crack like glass, there was a countdown before collapse.
"Make it in time!——《Clay Shield》."
I took out a handful of Clay Shield's Magic Gems and threw it between Lucato and the young beast.
The flame hit the wall of earth made up from four pieces that was erected between the two, after that, that magic defence was extinguished as Kohaku ran out of MP.
"We came to help! Luka-chan, everyone."
Lucato, Kohaku and Rirei, as well as five members party that was led by them. A total of twelve of us has deployed a defence in here.
The guys that seemed completely out of MP didn't look like they would recover in time, I silently used MP Potions.
"Thank you very much, Yun-san."
"Leave thanks for later, before that, can you escape immediately?"
I confirmed using the least amount of words, her confused expression didn't make me happy though.
In the meantime, I didn't know how long will the earthen walls keep the attack at bay.
"Is it impossible?"
"Yes, since we're the target, as soon as we turn our backs to it we'll be assaulted. As we run away someone has to buy time... no, let's not speak ambiguously. We need to sacrifice someone."
Hearing those words, I've had an impression that I've stuck my neck into something really troublesome. So that's it. Retiring without making dinner tonight won't be forgiven will it. No, I absolutely can't die.
"There's one more way, to defeat that animal."
That was reasonable. It wasn't an adult mob. It's overall stats should be low. It was possible to win with the twelve people that were in here.
"Everyone, do you have no objections to defeating the young beast?"
Hearing those words, everyone nodded. All right, then we need to think of a strategy. Just when I thought that, I've been hit from behind.
As I staggered and looked back, I saw that Ryui headbutted me. And many, many times too.
"Hey, it's not time to play now. You know that right."
Even so, it continued to hit me again and again, I've felt suspicious and crouched to look into its eyes.
"What is it."
Without any words, not everything could be relayed to me. However, the emotion that was in Ryui's eyes which stared right at me. That was——a plea.
I thought of a reason why would the partner I met recently make such an expression.
It was the same as with the Kamaitachi yesterday. Ryui didn't want its brethren to die in front of it, it wanted to help them. Geez, it's just a speculation. But I was convinced that was the case and thought of doing everything to fulfil that wish.
Moreover, I would have difficulties with facing myself after this otherwise. Fulfilling the wishes of their partner, is a man's duty.
"I apologize, I took some time."
"It's nothing, what happened?"
Lucato asked me anxiously, I tried to answer brightly.
"Sorry! I'm against defeating it!"
While looking at everyone's dumbfounded expressions, I jumped out from behind the clay wall along with Ryui.
"Now, can we do what we need to do by ourselves? Partner?"
One person and one animal confronted the great flame. I wasn't really a top level player, but I had prospects for victory.
Ryui and I observed calmly while avoiding flames emitted from the pillar of fire.
I increased my speed further by using an enchant.
While Ryui avoided the fire by making full use of the illusions it specialized in, I was hell-bent on making sure I don't look inferior.
I cast the curse towards the young animal in the flames, the momentum of the flames has weakened.
This flame is magic. It was expected that it'll be dependent on the INT stat. If it didn't work, I would lower its ATK.
I applied enchant on us after a moment. The type I selected was enchant adding magical defence. The reason for waiting before casting another enchant was there to eliminate the large gap effect caused by the effects expiring at the same time and not to have it all consume MP at the same time.
Although it was a simple technique, the survival rate went up with this.
In addition to yellow light, a green one spilled from our bodies. Although we reinforced out defence like this, it didn't mean we had a surplus yet.
For about two minutes I continued to avoid the attacks from inferno, the flame from the pillar was interrupted.
Once again I started measuring time from the beginning and continued to run it around in my head.
1, 2, 3, 4...
I've heard voices of Myu and the others in the distance but I concentrated on the pillar of fire that was in front of me. Right now, I did a complete reconfiguration of Senses for combat, among them, I included Craftsmanship Sense.
11, 12, 13, 14...
Using the sound of my heartbeat I engraved the number of seconds that have elapsed. I focused as not to lose its initial motion as it starts once again.
21, 22, 23, 24...
It was currently impossible to look at the state of the young beast from behind the roar and shimmer of the flame. First of all I need to quell the flames otherwise I won't be able to observe it directly.
31, 32... it moved.
I avoided the flames that were spewed and licked the ground, the two minute test of endurance began once again.
Although I ignored how my body felt since it wouldn't even sweat, very tense, I heard myself leaking air from my mouth with a hoarse sound.
"Haha, I've got lots of prolonged battles today, first the tuna, now the pillar of flame. What an unlucky day!"
I snorted and continued to avoid.
Because the time between bombardments was the same and monotone, timing the evasion was easy.
I endured two minutes for the second time. On the edge of my field of view I saw Myu come out from behind the earth wall, but I glared at her sharply making her go back.
If you come out now, you'll just get in the way, that's what I relayed to her with my glare.
I didn't have a cool ability that would allow me to save everyone in a cool manner. I could only do my best. While thinking so, two minutes have passed and the flame has stopped. Waiting for this moment, I took out a Magic Gem from my inventory.
I threw two Magic Gems with a sidearm throw to left and right side of the pillar, scattering the flame with blasts.
The impact of earth and fire magic created a blank zone around the hypocentre.
The young beast was exposed from the pillar of fire, clad in flames it counterattacked after what just happened, it displayed its anger.
However, I didn't respond to its line of sight, I was appraised the thing that interested me and was exposed as flames dispersed.
The Sense that was related to accessories, 【Craftsmanship】 was used in conjunction with Hawk Eyes' capacity to see the equipment stats.
Dead Soldier's Bracelet 【Ornament】 Weight : 5
ATK+50 INT+50 DEF-50 MIND-50 Additional Effect : 【Ultra HP ・MP Recovery】 【Release at Death】 【Berserk】 【Curse 3】 【Resistance to Dispel Curse】
I was stunned by the completely broken performance of the accessory.
The raised stats and reduced stats were extremes, but the additional effects themselves were abnormal too.
It was a super attack-specialized accessory which discarded all defence. And yet, it was an impossible to control item that had a curse which disallowed taking it off.
Ultra HP ・MP Recovery. In other words, the thirty seconds during the attacks cease is the period during which these stats recover.
Release at Death, it must mean that the equipment is released when it dies. That's the kind of item. Otherwise, this berserk state would continue indefinitely.
Also, berserk and Curse 3. I tried to find out what was the meaning of it.
The last one, Resistance to Dispel Curse——going only by the name, it means that it has an increased chance at resisting dispelling the curses...
I've expected this, but really seeing it was the worst. The management killing off players.
Meanwhile, the amount of flames the young beast was clad in increased, and the pillar of fire was restored.
The interval after that was five seconds.
I decided on a strategy. Avoid for two minutes, disperse the flames with the Bomb Magic Gem during the 30 seconds it stopped and during the 5 seconds interval I want to release one curse with a Curse Dispel Potion.
"I've got only eight Bomb's Magic Gems remaining. The chances aren't all that high."
Once again, I devoted myself to avoiding. It seemed like there was no problem with Ryui's stamina either.
During the third round of endurance Ryui was the one dominant, I've avoided the flames dangerously close. Occasionally flames licked the edge of my clothes, although there was damage to my HP, it wasn't on a level of a fatal wound.
I reapplied enchants and recovered the lowered HP and MP without sparing potions. I somehow endured the third round.
The flames stopped, it was the moment of counter-attack. I threw two gems with my hand at the same time and broke into a run towards the pillar of fire.
I was too close and received some damage from the Bomb's blast, but compared to multiple blasts at ultra close range it was practically nothing.
I moved closer to the cub at a stretch, quickly removed a Curse Dispel Potion and hit it with my arm.
The bottle with liquid broke and it spilled. As soon as I confirmed it I rotated my body and escaped from the pillar of fire.
The flame loomed approaching me from behind. For a moment I felt pain and heat on my back as I was too late to escape, but I didn't have time to groan, I fled.
"That was... a direct hit in the back."
I could only see the end of the outerwear near my neck, but it was slightly charred. Pain ran down my back, I frowned. A large area on my back had been roasted, the skin on my back that was exposed was darkened.
During a moment of interval I took out a potion and attempted to recover, but it didn't heal me up completely. The effect of recovery was thinner and my MP decreased gradually. As I checked my own status, there was 【Curse】 written.
"Ouchh... it can't be, is this a chicken race with abnormal states. There's not enough potions."
I couldn't use Curse Dispel Potions on myself. What was the cause of this 【Curse】 in the first place. Was it propagation of the curse from accessory, or maybe the cub's own characteristic?
As I spaced out, Ryui immediately ran up to me and after producing water and after turning it into a ball of water, Ryui gently wrapped my back with the water.
The pain was subsided as if it was dissolved in the water. What was left behind after the water disappeared, was my clean back with no scratches on it, the abnormal status was also gone.
"In addition to illusion, you can do Healing Arts. Thanks! You saved me."
There were 20 seconds left of the interval, alongside Ryui we overlooked the pillar of fire.
The pillar of fire was red at first, the temperature was now raised and it changed into blue.
"Geez, on top of abnormal status it has resistance to curse dispels... I see, its additional effects' abilities raise whenever dispel succeeds. That's nasty."
That guys flame got stronger by a stage. If it was to be like this, I should have made Myu and the others should escape, I don't know what will be the aftermath of it.
"You guys! Use this chance to run away! I've no idea what's going to happen next!"
"What are you saying! We can't leave Yun-san behind!"
The moment I raised my voice, the attack from the young beast was resumed. I continued to avoid the flames which had increased power and tried to convince Lucato and the others.
"Run away immediately when it runs out of MP! If I'm stuck protecting here the situation will deteriorate!"
"If Yun-san can fight alone, then we too can fight!"
"Then listen! 【Curse Dispel】 has to be used on that guy's equipment! If you can't do it then stay back!"
I've seen Lucato's frustrated expression. However, sorry. If it was just defeating it then using a powerful magic or barrage of attacks it would end it. But the battle this time was my and Ryui's selfishness.
"I can use it! In the Recovery magic there's 《Dispel》 magic!"
The one who raised her voice was Myu. Other than her, Lucato showed up to attract the flame barrage and protect us.
"Geez.. you guys, we aren't beating it but dispelling its equipment, it's a huge hassle."
"It's fine. We just want to help Yun-san."
Lucato responded with a nice smile on her face. As I looked around, I found Toutobi in the flames, she probably used movement-type Senses and moved around leaving only an afterimage as she played around with the young beast.
In addition, Hino and Lucato paired up with the mages, Kohaku and Rirei participating in the defence and playing around with the beast.
Ryui attached itself to Myu who was a cornerstone, Ryui produced a shield of water and offset the flames protecting her.
The momentum of the flames increased, but so did the amount of people attracting them. The burden on me has certainly decreased. Let's do the final stretch from here on.
"I know. ——《Sidestep》!"
Toutobi and I used Senses which allowed us high speed movement and the Senses which allowed us to perceive the crisis to circumvent the flame.
Myu was just quietly waiting for her role to come, beside her Ryui created a shield of water which had a perfect affinity to receive the flame attacks.
"I can't hold the magic wall for long alone!"
"It's all right. The timing's good, please cancel it!"
Rirei and Lucato, Kohaku and Hino combinations didn't move to avoid the attacks, instead they brushed them away. However, exposed to the flames with increased firepower they weren't able to get out of it unscathed.
"Let's go! ...3, 2, 1——"
Along with Lucato's countdown cracks appeared on the magic wall's surface. It was erased when the countdown finished and the flame bullets approached them.
Lucato met the incoming flame and slammed into it with the sword she held in both of her hands. The arts was accentuated with a yellow light and accepted the flame, *gkinn*, a dull metallic sound rang out and like that, it leaked into the sky.
"I'll do it now! ——《Magic Strike》!"
In the same way, Hino swung her sledgehammer and flicked away the flame.
They endured by using magical defence, and when the wall's durability was gone they used Arts to send the magic back. And after that, they hid behind the magic wall to wait until they can reuse Arts once again.
Although they seemed to intersect easily, to hit the magic and send it back with Arts required a high skill from a player and a perfect timing.
Moreover, in order not to burden the weapon too much, it couldn't be used too often. It's what might become a folly of this 'one week survival' in such environment. It was difficult to repair the brand-new weapons.
And yet, everyone helped out with my selfishness. I need to respond to those girl's best efforts.
"Not yet, not yet is it."
While avoiding the flames that sprouted, I was running out of patience while waiting.
The moment the sword and flames clashed once again, Lucato's sword shattered. At that moment, Lucato lost any way to protect herself. I thought, 'come faster' and waited for the opportunity to counterattack and finish this.
I didn't know how much Magic Gems I needed to break through the blue flame that had increased thickness so I increased the number to four and threw them at the same time and broke into a run towards the flame.
My upper body shook from the blast which was stronger from before, I was about to fall but I raised my waist and rushed to the blank area where the blast happened.
Behind me, Myu was casting a white divine magic while being protected by Ryui.
When I entered the area where the flames where, Myu's Curse Dispel hit the cub's bracelet and the count on the skull dropped down to 『1』. Along with it, the blue flame intensified even further and changed into dark red flames.
As if closing up the wound, the black flames rushed to the blank space I was in.
In the distance I've heard a scream, but I could no longer run away. In the first place, if I intended to run away I wouldn't dive right in.
With Lucato's sword broken, prolonging the fight was no longer a valid choice.
The thing that would be most helpful in dealing with the strengthened flames until the I dispel curse, as well as the thing that would be in the biggest risk are my own muscles.
I triggered my own spell - 《Bomb》. Unlike the Magic Gem which needed some time before it activated, I could detonate the skill right after activation at close range.
The blast and shock engulfed my body, a ton of my HP was shaved off. The black flames were blown away, momentarily paving me a way to the cub.
Under the effect of the explosion and the flames my body had wounds all over. I didn't have time to recover with a potion, I tackled the young beast.
"To finish it off!"
I raised my voice and squeezed the potion to pour the dispel liquid. The black flames momentarily expanded. And that moment I——died. I looked at the situation around and realized.
The flames changed into white colour and bulged out. I didn't know why I moved like that, but embraced the cub to protect it despite the fact it was still clad in flames.
I closed my eyes tightly, and in the middle of the roar that shook my eardrums violently I waited for the end. Surely, when open my eyes next time, I'll be in the town square of the First Town.
I thought so and waited ten, twenty seconds. But let alone hustle and bustle of the town, I didn't hear anything at all.
When I fearfully reopened my eyes, I was still in the same place.
"...I'm... alive. That's great〜."
All the tension was unravelled and any extra strength left my body. The widespread flames were all gone, it was tranquil as if that flame was just an illusion. However, certainly there was something burning and brown on the ground, it was a testimony of the tragedy from earlier.
It was the same for me, I wasn't an exception. I've been engulfed in flames many times, caught up in my own explosions, and even though I could recover HP, the cloth armour which protected me was completely worn out.
The inner and outerwear had a huge hole on the back, the belt was sooty, and the pants had a slit torn in them.
Although part of it would repair itself automatically by absorbing my MP, but asking to have this one repaired was way too fast considering I just got it.
"Haa〜, at least the saving grace is the fact that the damage is not critical."
I let out a tired sigh like that... in order to have items repaired, I need to remove it first. When it comes to that, I don't have spare clothes.
"Onee-chan! You okay?!"
Myu and the others ran over in a hurry. Ahh, I must have worried them by diving into the flames alone.
"I'm fine... not really. I'm all ragged out. Mainly my armour, that is."
"Y-yeah... I'm having trouble focusing my eyes."
Lucato looked away poorly. No, don't look away or I'll get embarrassed instead.
"You all were really reckless. Sorry. So what's up with other people?"
"They went ahead, it seems like they'll join up with others."
"I see... now then, what do we do? About this one."
We no longer had any problems. And looked towards what has been the centre of the problem earlier.
It had black hair which looked really soft, red hair ran through it from the top till bottom. The young fox let out a characteristic regular noise from its nose.
"What do we do about the cub that was the main culprit."
"What... do you mean by that?"
"No, we can't just leave it behind like this. Rather, admittedly, I want to take it back with me but... in addition to Ryui there's three more animals back there, the young beasts that is."
"T-three more?! Yun-san, just how much do the young beasts love you!?"
Other members said something similar. Well, the other three already left my hands...
"Now, let's try contacting them."
I connected the chat with Magi-san.
"Do you have time now?"
『"Yup, I dooo. What is it?"』
"I've met some trouble on the road, my armour is broken and I'm bringing back more young animals."
『"EH?! Yun-kun you involved yourself with some trouble again?! You should have come with us after all... I get it. Bring them. Also, I'll ask Cloude to prepare spare clothes."』
"Ah, one more thing, can I bring my little sister's party with me? To have a dinner together with us, that is."
『"Got that. Then, hurry up and come back. We've got lots of achievements to share too."』
It was just a short conversation with Magi-san. However, I've started hearing some grumpy voices.
"There's a permission for everyone to come, let's talk on the way back."
I looked at everyone for permission and saddled the young fox carefully. Ryui moved right next to me.
There was something I needed to tell Lucato and the others.
"Um, I'm sorry. You went along with my recklessness. Also, the reason Lucato's sword broke is because of me."
"That's right. It's my only weapon, that's troubling. Please reimburse me."
"Luka, normally you wouldn't min'. Ain't dat' throwin' a tempa'?"
Kohaku stared at her, but I too wanted to compensate for it. With only good intentions, one won't survive this event.
"Kohaku and Rirei have weapons they don't use to hit the enemy directly, but Luka and I were brushing away that flame. The durability on the weapons decreased quite a lot. I still have a spear so I have a leeway but..."
"...the worst, I might equip a blunt sword we found in a dungeon, but it's possible that there'll be a curse on it."
Hino and Toutobi spoke next. I'm really sorry.
"Oh well. It couldn't have been helped it's become like this. Speaking of which, what happened with the accessory which made it go out of control?"
Before I realized, I found an accessory in my inventory and then materialized it, it rolled on my hand.
"That's exaggerated. If not for the disadvantageous effects, it would be a completely broken piece of equipment."
I retrieved a bracelet made out of black metal. On its surface there was an elaborate grim reaper and a man who looked like he was in anguish. Honestly, I wouldn't be able to bring myself to use such tasteless equipment.
"Uwaa, that's beautiful equipment. Onee-chan, it's amazing."
"Indeed. A wonderful piece of art."
Hoo, all the girls leaked a sigh of admiration at once. Eh, they mean this accessory?
"Isn't it tasteless, absolutely ugly."
" " " " " "Eh??" " " " " "
There's no way my little sister and the others have such a horrible aesthetic taste... no, that's definitely not it.
"Hey, how does it look to you?"
"Umm... a white bracelet with a female angel praying... isn't this bracelet like that?"
"...haa〜, how exaggerateddd."
Without an appraisal, someone would misrecognize it on a glance. It had a divine design, but in fact——that's the pattern it followed.
However, this must have went around as idiots experimented with using it and in the end they started to try it on young beasts. Well, maybe beast's potential was higher, or they were more compatible with the equipment, resulting in such a disaster.
"After appraisal, this accessory in fact turns out to have a design in bad taste. Everyone, if you recover any non-appraised items, I think it would be best if you appraised them first."
"Umm... thank you very much for advice?"
Lucato spoke seeming to fee a bit lost and confused. Well, we're tired and there was the tension there, I'll overlook it.
And then we advanced towards the camp in which Magi-san and the others were, along the way gave a lecture on herbs and food so we harvested them on the way, so it took slightly longer.
And although Rirei was more quiet than expected, I've felt her hot stare on my back.
Haa haaa, a beautiful white back, a wonderful nape, white thighs visible from under the torn trousers. Each time I've heard such dangerous remarks, Kohaku has retorted to her. I've felt like retorting would mean losing so I tried to ignore it.
We arrived at our base camp when it started to darken. When we reached it, I've reacted with 'finally arrived' and strength left my body. The young fox still sleeping peacefully in my arms.
"I'm back, Magi-san."
"Welcome back Yun-kun. Trouble has been haunting you since yesterday, don't make me so worried."
When I greeted Magi-san in a slightly tired manner, she gently embraced me and I couldn't pull us apart immediately. Myu and the others looked at the scene while grinning for some reason.
"Leave it at that Magi. Even so, for you to be able to damage the armour this much in such a short amount of time. How do you use it to have it turn like that. I'll raise its grade so that it doesn't end up like this again and repair it. Here, spare clothes."
Cloude pulled away Magi-san who attached herself to me in embrace and passed me new equipment in a trade screen. I received it.
Seems like both I and Magi-san needed a little bit of time to calm down, I quietly entered the log house.
Lyly wasn't here, I wonder why. While considering that, I replaced the equipment...
It was a white one-piece dress which covered only about half of the back. In the end, there were short pants in consideration for me, who hated skirts, but the hem of the dress was so long it was completely hidden.
"Hey, Cloude! What's the meaning of this!"
"Uwaa! Yun-kun 's made-over!"
Vitality returned to Magi-san's worried expression, Myu and the others' pupils were sparkling.
"Hm, it looks good on you. Yun."
Dat ain't ittt! I didn't look at the clothes since they were passed to me in trade, and the moment I was getting dressed was like a hero transformation. But come on!
"I don't want to wear such fluttery clothes!"
"What are you saying! Your slender-type body. Beautiful black hair, black eyes. I cannot leave a raw gemstone like that unpolished!"
Somehow, Cloude further emphasized it in response! I blocked my ears as not to listen any further and crouched.
"A pure white one-piece has a beauty reminiscent of simple maidens running through the gardens of summer. You have black hair. Although black and white contrast, both of them represent purity. There is not many things that are so compatible. I know you hate skirts, therefore there are shorts. Even if your skirt were to be lifted up there would be no vulgarity at all. Dare to imagine, your dress is rolled up by the wind, and while protecting your purity you can show your sex appeal as its rolled up, it won't show any excessive eros! The pursuit of beauty is not only eros!"
This person, what is he emphasizing here in front of the girls?! My little sister is here!
Moreover, for some reason he had an expression of someone who was in middle of work, what do you intend to do about this atmosphere.
The cries in my heart resulted in a single continuous sound.
It was clapping applause, Rirei alone looked towards Cloude with a mysterious look of respect.
"Indeed. Beautiful women should be indeed like that. While in front they should protect their chastity, but at the same time they must want to act a bit dirty. Wonderful idea, and that mental attitude, you deserve to be called my comrade."
"Seeing there is someone who understands, I too am pleased. How about we exchange our views to our heart's content?"
"Fufufu. Yes, by all means. How about going with gothic lolita as the theme next time?"
No, those two, why are they getting fired up? Kohaku-san, it's no good without the retorting role. Please function properly.
"Oops, I forgot."
"What is it."
Fed up with it, I glared at Cloude.
"Pass me the armour. I'll raise the grade while repairing. Also, this."
I've sent armour in the trade, on the other hand I've been given items which materialized.
"When you're cooking, by all means, equip it."
It was a simple apron. At the ends there were cute chicks made from felt sewn into it.
"Cut this out already!"
At the same time as I cried out, my fist had pounded into Cloude's belly.
In response to my body blow with a twist Cloude fell in place. His partner started to deliver cat punches to his head, healing his heart. Of course, I've saved that majestic figure in a screenshot.
Then, I introduced my party members to my little sister's party.
"Umm, this woman is Magi-san. She's a blacksmith, I've been always delivering potions to her. Hey, were you buying Bluepots at Magi-san's shop?"
"I'm blacksmith Magi. Nice to meet you. This is my partner, puppy Ricœur. Even though I say that, there are some familiar faces here."
The women were deprived of their line of sight by the sight of lovely Ricœur who was raised up in front of their faces, Magi-san smiled wryly.
"Next... well, I don't want to introduce him but... Cloude. The weaver who specializes in cloth and leather armour. Also, his partner Socks."
"My introduction is sloppy."
Cloude rose up as if nothing happened. I should have put a considerable amount of strength behind that, to make sure he doesn't get up I need to pack more strength in it next time.
"Of course. A guy who goes out of control in front of my little sister deserves no consideration."
By hooking its claws deftly into Cloude's cloak, Socks reached up to his shoulder by climbing vertically. Everyone looked at the lovely white and black cat that was introduced to them.
"Also, there's Lyly the woodcrafter. Magi-san, where's Lyly?"
"When we got a report from Yun-kun I asked Lyly to find some more ingredients... but it seems like he's back."
Lyly left the woods on the opposite side from where we came from, a small round reddish chick rode on his shoulder skilfully.
Lucato leaked out a voice.
"Magi, Cloude, Lyly... the top crafters. It's the first time I see all three gathered in one place."
"Well, it's not like we're always together, we've got our own shops. Lucato-chan."
"...?! Why do you know my name?"
Lucato was startled, and Magi-san smiled like a child whose prank succeeded.
"Well, I remember the regular customers who come to my shop to a degree. In particular, I've heard a lot about you from Myu-chan."
As Magi-san spoke matter-of-factly, Lucato glared lightly at Myu, it seemed like she was a bit impatient.
"B-but, girls like chatting with each other right? If it's Luka-chan then you'll understand right?"
"You want the best order-made, but you don't have enough money. I know it all."
Something that embarrassing was exposed and while blushing Lucato strongly protested to Myu. Seeing that Magi-san changed the topic in a hurry.
"So... how about 'involved-in-trouble' Yun-kun introduces the young animals she's brought."
Magi-san had an smile on her face, but somehow her tone of voice seemed to have anger in it. As my face was cramped up, the young unicorn beside me took a step forward.
"Umm, this is a young Unicorn, its name is Ryui. In fact, even though it joined me yesterday... it didn't appear in public and I haven't decided on a name. And this cub of a black fox was protected in the place there was trouble. I'm sorry for everything."
I showed them the young fox. It was in deep sleep and there was no signs of waking.
"Now then, let's take a small break and chat with each other for a bit."
We sat by a simple table, and I finally was able to spit out a sigh.
Myu and the others who haven't participated in describing what happened were struggling to find places for themselves to sleep. Their tents were burned in flames today. There was a spare tent that dropped from unique mob, I've heard that Lucato will be using it.
I didn't know what should I say, so I slowly started talking in a low voice.
From yesterday until today. I told them everything that happened yesterday and I haven't spoken about yet. My own point of view was mixed in with the story. I spoke about things that happened despite not organising them in my own head yet.
Cloude and Lyly who were listening to the story prepared a bed for the young fox in meanwhile. When my story ended, there was a slightly long silence, Magi-san exhaled with a grim look on her face and finally spoke.
"In such a short time you've had really thick experiences, Yun-kun. I'm interested in the cursed accessory, but let me say first——stop being so reckless."
"Yes. I'm sorry."
"Oh, that's right. On the board 『Fire Outbreak』 is treated like a joke, to think you stuck your neck into that incident. Yuncchi's 'reckless' appears first class. But... I'm really glad."
Magi-san and Lyly released the accumulated strength, they were happy that I was safe, I had a tearful expression. Even though I had a party which worried about me, I've been so reckless, I'm sorry.
"Yun. The cub in question seems to have woken up."
Maybe in response to our voices, but Cloude noticed a faint reaction from it and signalled us. The black fox's young that's been sleeping up until now was awake.
Maybe because of a difference between the place it has fallen and this, or maybe fearing the place it didn't know, but the young fox put some strength in its small body and was increasingly wary as it woke up.
It stood up with trembling limbs and while raising its tail and fur it tried intimidation.
No matter how you look at it, that poor figure could only be called a bluff.
"Eh? That child woke up. Hey, Onee-chan. Somehow, it's wariness is at MAX."
"I know. Everyone, don't stimulate it too much. You'll scare it."
As Myu called out to me after finishing preparation of her tent, the young fox was startled and took some distance.
This little one must have started severely distrusting people because of how those guys treated it... hey, the latest AI is way too amazing. Being wary of humans because of a self-learning function. This game is pursuing reality too much.
If someone tried approaching it, the young fox was visibly scared. At the same time as I thought it was quite a shock, I stroked Ryui's head as it snuggled to my waist and reminded myself.
"Just watch over it for now. That should be fine."
We met Ricœur and the others in completely different circumstances, let's look over it and see if its state improves. As expected, even Myu wouldn't forcibly touch a young fox whose feelings are mix of being frightened and intimidation. If anything, she was the one who was mostly bewildered seeing that appearance.
"Now then, we can't do anything even if we look over the young fox. Isn't it about time we decide on a reward for the party who saved Yun?"
With what Cloude said cutting in as a trigger, everyone's line of sight moved away from the young fox. With the gazes focused on it disappearing, the thread of tension it felt vanished and the young fox collapsed on the bed. After confirming it, I focused on the discussion again.
"Now then, what you probably need is to recover durability of weapons and armour, replacing Lucato-chan's broken weapon, potion-type items, and food, is that all right with you?"
I called out to Lucato who was relaxing after placing her tent.
"Yes. I don't mind. Or rather, I feel like I'm given too much..."
"Don't mind it so much, we just did what we wanted to do."
Lucato didn't feel like she could take it. I thought it was appropriate. It could have ended up with everyone being burned in flames and retired, it feels quite cheap considering that. However, Lucato was absolutely not convinced.
"Hmm. Then, how about this. Instead of replacing Luka-chan's weapon, I'll make you one made-to-order. I'll make it perfect for you later. What I can make for you now is a steel sword, how about it?"
"Ehh?! I said already, that's too much!"
"In exchange... how about we trade items. How about it? It's give-and-take."
"...Hmm. Is everyone fine with that?"
Lucato asked other party members including Myu, everyone gave a positive reply.
"All right, should I make it immediately?"
"Magi. There's still something we haven't done. We need to appraise the rare weapons Yun found."
"That's right, forgetting is no good."
From the inventory I took out a war axe, pair of daggers, magic wand and a long bow. Myu and the others were interested in these weapons and came over to peek, they didn't have corresponding Senses so they couldn't appraise them though.
"Hohoo, they've got an ominous appearance. An axe that flashes red suits my taste well."
"I wonder if these daggers are mine? Magicchi, appraise please. I'll appraise the staff and bow."
While saying so, the two's faces changed as they appraised the weapons and were no longer carefree, they tensed up. But it was a tension coloured with delight rather than the dark tension.
"Hey... Magicchi, how is it on your side?"
"Hmm. They all have the same performance. Geez, management has some nice hobbies."
While saying so, they passed the corresponding weapons to the wielders.
Wolf Commander's Longbow 【Weapon】
A longbow used by a expert sharpshooter of beastmen, Commander Wolf.
Only this? I thought. Cause for some reason it has similar performance to the knife Magi-san made. It was a weapon inferior to one Lyly made.
But I was surprised by a message that started flowing next moment.
【The additional effect of this weapon is that you can add 15 additional effects into it. Also, because this is a unique equipment, it cannot be stolen, it cannot be broken. Although you can delete additional effects freely, if you want to grant them once again you need to have it undergo the same process the second time】
"Kukuku... giving crafters base body that can be customized by crafters. They've got a good sense. The management."
Cloude was happy, and he let out an eerie laughter. No, I understand what you want to say, but the atmosphere is scary.
Next one was Magi-san who said "As expected of OSO. Giving me an opportunity to make only mine weapon", and she stroked the axe with a happy expression.
It was Lyly's turn, "If such cheat-weapons are given out, that denies the existence of crafters", he said.
Certainly, if people who are able weapons were to be given items beyond what they can make in a half-assed manner, that would really be a spoiljoy. In that sense, he was right.
"...right now I have no clear vision on how to customize this, what to do about it?"
I looked at the bow I held once again.
I glanced at the surroundings, Myu was staring with amazing sparkle in her eyes. Well, I know this is something amazing, but if Myu looked so greedily at it, I started to feel anxious for a different reason.
"Listen. That thing, is super rare! A magical weapon you can remodel however you dream of. If possible I'd assault you for it, that's how much I want it."
"That's dangerous. Oi, I don't want to be PK'd."
"Ahh, there's a possibility of being PK'd. Well, even if it can't be taken, it seems like people will do it out of jealousy."
"Magi-san, what are you saying so carefreely now."
As I stared in her eyes, she responded with a 'ahahaha, it's a joke' and waved her hands. However, I didn't feel like it was a joke though.
"Yuncchi, thanks for the best weapon."
"Yeah, the top motivation in the game is to enhance one's equipment, it makes me really glad."
Lyly and Cloude said so looking pleased, I felt an itch on my back.
"Don't worry about it. With that, the story's over right. Also, I'll send Cloude the screenshots from the bottom of the lake by e-mail later. Also, Lucato and the others, potions right. Tell me the types you require and the number. I'll prepare them before tomorrow."
"I'll make Luka-chan's sword. I've searched for ore entire day so I have enough material. Yun-kun, you'll use the gems right?"
We began to move to start doing what we were supposed to do.
Magi-san passed the gems she's found today to me and started crafting the sword for Lucato. Cloude started talking about the current situation while repairing my armour and armours of others, his gaze wandered and he seemed to be looking at the information board. That was quite skilful.
It was the same for Lyly, while performing durability recovery on the staffs he spoke with Kohaku and Rirei, I assume it was probably appraising goods in the biggest part.
"Yun-san, there's a single item as a reward for today."
"This is... Sweets Factory?"
"Yes. It's the drop from Sweets Tree. Also, the book which dropped from Timewasting Scissors. We can't read it."
"Then I won't be able to read it either... I want to read it though. So, where's that book?"
"Umm, Cloude-san has it now. It seems like he'll read it later."
Probably hearing these words, Cloude waved his hand this way.
I was envious that Cloude could read that book casually. Looking at books lined up making a collection, it might be a masterpiece. I wanted to read the book I couldn't read.
Then, I was pulled back to reality by Lucato as I immersed myself in delusion.
"I have high expectations. For sweets that is."
Joyfully, happily, lovely girls smiled to me. Yes, for the sake of sweets, for the sake of snacks.
Since it was impossible to work at night, I cooked and made sweets, I diligently made potions from the materials I gathered. The fruit jelly I managed to make will be left for tomorrow's breakfast.
After finishing my job, I turned my gaze towards the sleeping young fox for a moment.
"Hm? What is it Onee-chan?"
"No, nothing really? I'm tired today so I'll be going to sleep already."
"Ah, nn. Good night."
I called out to everyone in the place and after picking up a box with the young fox I headed for the log house. Although yesterday Lyly was the one who went to sleep earliest yesterday, today I've been assaulted by drowsiness the moment I decided to go to sleep.
While being careful not to curl up the unfamiliar one piece I laid down on the bed.
Gently, as not to wake it up, I put the young fox beside already sleeping Ricœur, Socks and Neshias.
When I closed my eyes tired, my consciousness fell into the darkness immediately.
My last thoughts were, yeah, I'm pretty tired. That kind of impression. We were able to safely survive the third day.