"Um... thank you very much for coming to help us. As I thought it was impossible challenge for beginners. Ah, I'm called Alphard. Feel free to call me Al."
"...I'm the older sister, Lynard. Lyna is fine."
The saved duo calmed down, they turned towards the 【Material Merchant】 and introduced themselves.
Lyna, the older sister had trimmed short ash-blonde hair, only her hair on the sides in the front was long. Her slightly slanted eyes and a grumpy expression gave a strong-willed impression.
Even now, it was unknown whether she was grateful for being saved or just acting rebellious, she introduced herself with just a few words.
Al, the little brother had more grey than black short hair and slightly drooping eyes and was surrounded by a calm atmosphere. He lightly apologized for Lyna's cold attitude, he might have been bossed around by her. I could somewhat sympathize with having to go along a sisters' whims.
"I'd like you to call me Emilio."
The 【Material Merchant】 and I briefly introduced ourselves and delved into the main subject.
"So, you two, why were you in such a place?"
"Come on Lyn-chan. I'll talk."
Al started to explain in place of Lyna who defiantly kept silent.
"Just by taking a look at us you can tell, but this is our first day in OSO."
Lyna and Al knew about OSO since the β and seemed to have applied to become testers.
They were unable to obtain VR Gear from the first batch produced, but this time they were able to get it from the second batch and were finally able to start playing the game.
"Is that so. So that makes you late starters."
"Yes, I actually think that we should enjoy it steadily but... there's also Lyn-chan."
"What, I just chose a risky method to become stronger. I can do it."
Lyna was shaken by what Al said and angrily raised her shoulders.
There's lot's to puberty isn't there. I thought so and sent Al a gaze, then spoke to encourage him to talk.
"Lyn-chan wanted to keep up with OSO and checked various walkthroughs on the net, looked around lots of places and watches lots of videos, thinking about it... and, um..."
"Found a method of leveling she thought she'll be able to use?"
When 【Material Merchant】 spoke with a mechanical voice Al shook his head vertically.
"It was a video called 【Low level solo Moor Frog leveling】."
"...haa? What are you talking about."
【Bow Lv33】【Longbow Lv4】【Hawk Eyes Lv43】 【Speed Increase Lv25】 【See-Through Lv6】 【Magic Talent Lv43】【Magic Power Lv46】 【Enchant Arts Lv19】 【Dosing Lv24】 【Earth Element Talent Lv16】
【Alchemy Lv30】 【Synthesis Lv30】 【Engraving Lv1】 【Swimming Lv13】 【Crafting Knowledge Lv32】 【Taming Lv7】 【Linguistics Lv16】【Cooking Lv23】
I checked my Senses just now, but the average level of my Senses was about 26. How can you do it when you're even lower leveled.
"Ohh, that video. It uses a specific approach, tactic and utilizes prepared equipment. Also, quite high skill is required from the player."
"But in that video it worked!"
"I said, it's too reckless. In the making of that video there were collaborators who prevented unwanted mobs from joining in. Do you even have anyone who can do that?"
Lyna closed her mouth in response to 【Material Merchant】 Emilio's somewhat cold tone of voice and just argument.
"As I thought. We should listen to what experienced people have to say, Lyn-chan."
"Even so! I want to become strong!"
"Rather than get a death penalty for being reckless, it's better to do what's within the range of your abilities right? Are you really fine with involving your little brother with that?"
She said she wants to get strong, but having me point that out Lyna fell silent and chagrined. Younger brother Al said "I don't mind" but Lyna realized that she was too impatient and blinded by that, receiving a shock.
"Then that'll be it. I myself was saved by 【Material Merchant】 Emilio so it might sound like I'm acting self-important, but today was just a whim. That's why we'll be going already."
Leaving that behind I tried to leave with Ryui and Zakuro, but Al raised his voice to stop me from going.
"Please make me, no, please make me and Lyn-chan strong! Please!"
"Wait, Al! What are you saying?!"
"I mean, look, it's the person who saved us! We don't have anyone to rely on here! It's because Lyn-chan's attitude is so bad!"
"Al! You've some guts to disparage your older sister in public! A mere little brother, mere twin brother shouldn't try acting like he's better than his sister!"
Right in front of me the siblings went "gyaa gyaa!" and "wah-wah!" noisily quarrelling. Those two, they aren't fighting for real are they, I could somehow tell. In particular, some of Lyna's gestures and wording reminded me of Myu.
However, I wasn't strong enough to think of helping them, and couldn't show them the way.
"Then, since it seems like it'll take time I'll be goi——"
"I won't let you get away! Guild solicitation is horrible now so there's no one to rely on! I can't let such a good and caring person get away!"
"...I don't think that has anything to do with it."
Al who grabbed mine and the 【Material Merchant】's hands was willing to detain us even as he was being dragged along, and I was unable to shake him off.
Also, there was a term I was concerned with, the thing called 'guild solicitation'. Somehow, several patterns have appeared in my head and my feet stopped.
"Will you help?"
"Well, it can't be helped this time can it?"
Possibly, I might have been part of the reason for that.
The flood of new guilds appearing stems from the competition between the 【Crafting Guild】 and the 【Resale Guild】.
During the start-up of the 【Crafting Guild】 we planned to purchase 【Guild Emblem】 from the market to establish it, but the 【Resale Guild】 bought them out to lift the price.
That's why we obtained the 【Guild Emblem】 directly by doing the guild founding quest and established the 【Crafting Guild】.
Because of that the 【Guild Emblems】 became a dead stock and a large amount of them was sold at low price, players purchased it and a flood of guild establishment has come.
In the end, it might have been just me blaming myself, but felt there was a connection.
"You're right, it's something Yun's acquaintance, Taku caused after all."
"Yeah... hey, haa?! What does Taku have to do with this!"
"The one who defeated a Moor Frog on level 8 in the video mentioned earlier was your acquaintance, Taku. I took a look at that video and confirmed it."
Hearing that and coming to a realization that Taku and I are acquainted Al and Lyna stared at me respectfully with a glitter in their eyes. However, Taku and I were two different people and even if we know each other, it's not something that compliments me nor am I a maniac gamer! Don't look at me so expectantly!
"...Taku, I'll definitely punch you!"
I secretly swore in my mind. Still wearing a mask, Emilio looked towards me with pity.
"It can't be helped. I'll join too. Well, you might not want to stay with a suspicious person that wears a mask on her head though."
"Thank you very much!"
Al happily lowered his head, but Lyna seemed not to acknowledge Emilio and put on a cold attitude. It made Al panic, but Emilio wasn't offended in particular, instead she just smiled wryly.
"Well, I won't continue doing it forever, maybe until I reach second or third town. Until then, I'll teach you some things."
"Then, I'll make some items from the materials I have with me. Also, I want some help collecting materials, I guess?"
The two of us gave them some conditions, but neither mine nor 【Material Merchant】's were harsh, we lent them a hand in leveling in quite a gentle manner.
For some reason I felt that I didn't disappear at all, but forming a party of four people who aren't affiliated with any guild wasn't that bad.
The consultation was over and we were about to leave the location but——
"W-what?! My body's strength is..."
"I can't stand up either. I have no strength. Enemy?"
Lyna and Al raised their voices. Apparently they received a penalty due to the decrease of satiety. Seeing that, the 【Material Merchant】 decided what to teach them first.
"Then, first thing we'll teach you is the management of your status."
In response to Emilio's declaration, I passed some of the 【Atelier】's sandwiches to the two and calmed them down.
"Nomnomnom... I absolutely won't forget this humiliation! Seconds please!"
"Lyn-chan, you're saying such things again. Ah, me too!"
"You two... don't you have any restraint, geez."
Each sandwich recovers 20% of satiety, and when hands extended for their sixth, Emilio strictly stopped them.
"Just because there are items that doesn't mean you have to use them all. Set at least one aside and keep it in your inventory."
"What, this is mine! I won't be taking any orders from you."
"No, they're my sandwiches in the first place."
Emilio spat out a tired sigh in response to Lyna's aggressive attitude.
"Well, fine. I guess the little brother will properly listen to my advice right?"
She tilted her head lightly, and with the face hidden behind the mask she made a smile that only extended to her mouth. Scared by that expression, Al acknowledged by nodding time after time.
"I see. Now that you stuffed yourself until bulging, let's start collecting items."
"Haa?! Why. It's leveling first right?"
"That's fine by me but... do you have consumables to use to continue fighting?"
"I don't need that."
"Maybe. Lyna using a spear might have no problems, but what about Al who's a mage? Once he's out of MP he'll just be beaten up you know? You need to think about using time to recover, so fighting mobs while looking for items is the most efficient way. It's critical for a party to match their pace."
Hearing Emilio's logic Lyna went silent. Seeing that I thought that's decided and proceeded with preparations by setting up base in the field.
The place we're in currently, was one of the safety areas to the west of the first town. Although mob encounter rate is low in here, I have had something to do here that's why I specified this place.
"First, an outdoor crafting base and a portable furnace. I'll need Mixing tools as well. Ah, and a table. I've got the ones Lyly made so I'll take it out... there we go."
Speaking loudly to myself I pulled out two long wooden tables in the safety area and lined up side by side. On top of it I prepared required crafting tools, gradually giving it a proper form.
Seeing that the two siblings were dumbfounded, Emilio advised them amazed.
"Well, that's cause she's a tough player when it comes to survival. This player you're seeing here."
"W-what? Is it weird?"
"Wait wait wait! It's not just weird! Why do you have such things prepared! Are there really players who suddenly build bases in fantasy RPG's?!"
"Is that so? At first I picked up items and continued crafting in a safety area, how nostalgic."
With a distant look in my eyes I saw myself pick up herbs in the forest to craft potions, collect materials for arrows, the times when I had to do my best because of a low cost-performance ratio Senses.
"Don't worry, I won't tell you to imitate me."
"There's no way I would could do that!"
Somehow, it seemed like a connection appeared between Lyna and Emilio, maybe they became friends just a little bit.
They looked at each other with strange expressions and were talking about something in low voice. I thought it's good that they aren't fighting, meanwhile Zakuro left the hood and got on top of Ryui who was lying down at the base of a nearby tree.
"Really, when you came to help us you were holding a dagger, but now you're equipped with a bow and yet you used magic! Also, you have a horse and a fox accompany you, as well as some kind of weird tools! Just what on earth are you!"
"Ahh, I can't put it in a word. All you said is true though. Also, it's not a dagger but a kitchen knife, I use it for cooking."
"I didn't ask about that!"
Grahhhh! Lyna was frustrated over her capacity and started to roar and Al calmed her down.
"Well, I'm a little of everything. Also, I'm weak in combat. You could call me a jack of all trades I guess?"
"Mm, you could also classify me as a crafter for the time being, most likely."
"Hee, so you were a crafter as well."
"My field is 【Alchemy】 and 【Synthesis】 so it's quite different from normal crafting."
"So 【Material Merchant】 comes from combining materials into better ones?"
"Indeed. Depending on combination a variety of items can be made."
"Is that so! I also have 【Alchemy】 and 【Synthesis】 but I only use it in a specific manner. Does that mean the golem from earlier is a synthetic mob?"
"That's——"Hey! Don't ignore us!"——Sorry about that."
When Emilio and I started a discourse on the crafting Senses, Lyna sensed it might take a while and decided to meddle in.
Since I was forgetting about my surroundings, I thought it's good that she stopped us. When I turned my gaze towards Ryui, I saw it stand up and stare at me intently.
"Ahahaha, sorry Ryui."
Hmph, Ryui snorted and lied down again. If I continued to talk like that, I would've probably been headbutted. I imagined it with ease.
"Okay then, I'll go with these children."
"I'll leisurely wait here. I leave gathering to you."
I sent the three off with that.
Now then, let's try a few things as I wait. Even without any material gathering I can make some sweets as I wait.
"I made a simple one, but will it work?"
I peeked into the small window of the 【Oven Stove】 I obtained during the camp event to see how the pound cake grows.
As I made the sweets made with the use of 【Sweets Factory】's mould that also dropped from the mob in the camp event, a sweet scent has started to quietly spread throughout the forest.
"Look! It's stopped with 【Parry】. Al, hit it now!"
"Just because your MP ran out, to hit it directly with the staff is..."
Lyna held a wooden shield reinforced with leather and metal rivets and held a spear in the other hand. She thrust the spear at the mobs and hit them with the shield.
When the enemy movements stopped, Al used the staff like a stick and hit the enemy time after time with it.
Emilio stood a step behind them with her arms folded and evaluated them.
Bluntly speaking, their cooperation felt nothing but chaotic.
In the first place, as β testers Myu, Sei-nee and Taku as well as their companions were familiar with the game right from the beginning.
So that's how it looks like at the beginning. I wondered, deep in thoughts.
"Even though I saw so many videos and did so much image training! Why won't it work!"
"Lyn-chan, your moves are still amazing."
In response to Lyna's tired yell, Al retorted while sitting down on the ground and out of breath.
"It's fine if you slowly learn to cooperate. Everybody is like that at first."
"Khhh, how frustrating!"
Lyna and Al explored for about 30 minutes. Emilio accompanied them and safely collected items.
"Yun, choose some of the items you need and make the two something."
"Roger. I'll make some potions for them from these herbs."
While the pound cakes were being baked in the oven I started to make potions instantaneously.
I continued to process herbs with hand movements I was familiar with and extracted potions.
As I hummed while making potions, on the side I asked Ryui to create some water and boiled it to prepare tea.
"Uuu, here I'm completely tired and uncool, why is there someone doing such feminine stuff right here... I want to look cool and cute as well."
"Before you start talking about that put these potions in your inventory."
With such remark I passed the two Beginner's Potions.
They're just Beginner's Potions, but I guess they'll change to normal Potions before long.
The two took them reluctantly, but Emilio who saw the potions' effect from the side approached me and asked in undertone.
"Is it fine to give them those? They're Beginner's Potions, but the amount recovered is comparable to normal Potions."
"It's fine. If they raise their level the amount recovered will decrease anyway. In the end, they can't use potions for attacking anyway."
The potions had a recovery amount restrictions. The Beginner's Potions I passed to Lyna and Al had the amount they recover greatly reduced after the user's total SP surpasses 10. In the same manner, Potion that's one rank higher has its recovery amount reduced after SP surpasses 30.
As for the High Potions, the recovery limit is not yet known. However, Blue Potions unlike normal potions were not restricted by a limit. Instead, their effect was very weak and required use of many materials, so they had their merits and demerits.
When I fell silent thinking about potions, I suddenly felt a stare.
Depressed Lyna raised her face and her gaze focused in a single place.
"...hey, can I touch those two animals? I think I'll feel better afterwards."
Lyna who raised her face after drooping down directed her gaze towards the tree under which Ryui and Zakuro were resting.
"They hardly let others touch it. But you're free to try——"
I told her that they aren't accustomed to people, fell silent and poured the made potion into a pot.
"Eh, so it's okay! Then, I won't hold back..."
Without waiting until I finish explaining Lyna approached them, but with her presence alone Zakuro climbed on my back and hid in the hood. It's two tails wound around my neck, making me feel sweltering hot.
Ryui quietly stood up and took distance from her.
"What a shame. It seems like they ran away from you."
As Lyna stood with an extended hand and in shock, I could hear Al mutter "Again her bad habits come out".
"Zakuro... the black fox is shy and has a fear of strangers. As for the white horse, it won't let anyone but people close to it touch it."
"Even though it's so fluffy and looks so pleasant to touch, it won't let me touch it... one more time!"
Lyna charged at Ryui who took distance from her, but it was naive. Not even Myu managed to catch it so a beginner stands no chance. The moment she approached its body, she was lightly avoided.
Feeling defiant Lyna didn't want to lose and thought of making a clumsy feint with her legs, but it was all seen through and continuously avoided. Clearly having it easy with her, Ryui produced situations where she was just a step away from touching it.
And like that, they slipped out of the safety area. One human and one animal ran around throughout the forest.
"Yun-san, Emilio-san, is it fine to leave them like that?"
"Isn't it fine? They'll come back after they're tired."
"There's no need to worry about our Ryui. Sweets are more important than that."
As Al worried about elsewhere, I poured improvised tea for Emilio.
While enjoying the scent of tea that came from the pot, I waited for the pound cakes to grow in the oven.
"Ohh, a little bit longer and they'll be baked."
"No way, to think he'd fulfil the promise so fast..."
"Emilio? Did you say something?"
She seemed to have muttered something, but I couldn't catch it. After that she returned "it's nothing", causing me to tilt my head.
For a while Al fidgeted anxiously, waiting for Lyna to come back, but that didn't happen for a while.
Ryui came back after about ten minutes making its way through the forest.
"Ryui?! What happened! Isn't Lyna with you?!"
Leaping, Ryui rushed towards me and biting on my clothes it pulled me with it.
"Did something happen to Lyna?!"
"That how it looks like. I'll go as well."
Together with Al and Emilio who stood up, led by Ryui we headed towards where Lyna was.
In the west, if one doesn't overdo it they won't meet any strong mobs, but I advanced through the forest together with Ryui.
"Time is precious. I'll put on some speed support! 《Enchant》 ——Speed!"
We were running as to match Al's speed, but since it was too slow I put on a speed enchant on him and we sped up all at once.
After proceeding in the south-western direction and going deep enough we arrived at an area I haven't been in before.
"There! It's Lyna!"
I was the one who raised my voice first. After confirming Lyna's appearance in between trees with 【Hawk Eyes】 Sense, I set up my bow.
She was surrounded by a flock of wild dogs. I aimed at the one that looked like it'll jump at her any moment and set course directly at them.
The arrow shot in a manner preventing the animal to avoid it pierced the dog's head. It's body was blown away, it turned into particles and disappeared.
"Al! Yun-san?! And masked woman?!"
Lyna turned in the direction the arrow came from, but since a bat has attacked her from overhead I shoot again in rapid succession.
"Lyn-chan! You okay?!"
"I'm fine! Rather than that, let's take them down!"
She recklessly brandished her spear, Al properly attacked with magic. Normally, they would prioritize targets, but since they were unable to do so yet I supported them from the distance and Emilio followed up from close range.
As the number of enemies gradually decreased, I saw a creature appear from between the trees and froze.
A massive figure snuck up behind spear-wielding Lyna.
"Lyna! Behind you!"
Swinging her spear with a strong momentum Lyna turned around and looked up at the creature behind her.
More than three metres big, black mob with sharp claws, a Forest Bear swung up both of its arms and roared as if to announce its presence.
"Khh, 《Enchant》 ——Defence!"
I determined that I can't take it down with the bow and cast defence enchant on Lyna. Although the bear swung down its claw at Lyna, the attack was parried by her shield. Following that, as she was looking up at the Forest Bear, Lyna was attacked by its left arm, but a shadow has barged in between them.
Although Emilio tried to block it with her straight sword, its blade has fallen apart and received a hit in the head.
However, a player whose level was higher than Lyna and Al, no, even higher than me wouldn't go down in a single hit. Emilio's mask shattered and she stopped after swaying for a moment.
"That's enough, you're a nuisance! Fine, I'll take you on! 《Summon》 ——Bronze Golem, Flame Beast, Ice Beast!"
She threw three stones high up into the sky. Although they seemed like Zakuro's and Ryui's summoning stones, they were slightly different.
From them, came power that one-sidedly crushed the bear.
The Bronze Golem easily beat down the Forest Bear which was much weaker than the Treant and the two beasts of flame and ice drew away a large number of wild dogs. In addition to that, the pieces from Emilio's broken sword danced in the sky, slicing the bats apart.
The amount of strength she possessed despite being solo was unprecedented. Alone she held strength comparable to a party and using it, she eradicated the enemy.
I knew a player similar to her, but the impression that came from the mobs used here was very mechanical in comparison.
"It's over, huh. Are you okay? ...ah...ehh?"
The rampaging mobs have ran out of enemies to defeat and after standing still for a moment were dismissed by Emilio. I watched it as I stood by the three, and saw something unbelievable that made me doubt my eyes.
Emilio's real face that was behind the shattered mask. Her hair colour and clothes as well as her voice were different, but her face was spitting image of Endo-san's from my class.
"What is it? Yun."
When I recognized her as Emilio I didn't feel any discomfort even as she called me without a honorific, but after recognizing her as Endo-san I felt was full of it when referred to without one.
I was at a loss of words faced with Endo-san who tilted her head in a wondering manner
I connected with Emilio directly through a private friend chat.
『"Umm... can it be Endo...-san?"』
Hearing me say that inaudibly, she touched her own face, let out a sigh and crouched on spot.
Lyna and Al looked at it anxiously, but soon enough Endo-san raised her face and returned the greeting with a smiling expression.
『"Yes, Shun-kun. Hello."』
In the same manner she replied through friend chat without letting out a sound outside of it.
『"Let's talk about this later."』
『"Got it. Um... there's a lot I want to ask."』
The friend call was disconnected, and Endo-san has already recovered from having her mask broken.
"Um... are you okay?"
"Yes, I'm all right. Thanks for worrying about me, Lyna."
After she said that, Lyna blushed.
Since Endo-san was hiding her face behind a mask the entire time, seeing her face from the front properly surprised Lyna and made her recall how she was saved. She got embarrassed about her rude behaviour earlier and fell silent, is how it looked like.
"Since my face was already seen, I don't need this any longer."
After saying so, Endo-san operated the menu to switch equipment. She took off earrings and a bracelet.
Immediately after that, the equipments effect was reversed and noise ran through the name 【Emilio】 as it changed into 【Emily】. Her voice also changed from a mechanical one into her usual one.
——Endo Emily. If I'm not wrong, that's Endo-san's name in real.
There was a lot I wanted to ask Emilio, rev. Emily-san, but I was told to do so afterwards through friend chat.
"Still, Lyna, why were you surrounded by mobs?"
Lyna raised a slightly panicked voice. She was probably nervous because Emily-san called out to her. Seeing the change in Lyna, Emily-san laughed quietly.
"Just explain slowly as we walk."
"That's... I chased after the white horse, before I realized I jumped into a group of mobs. There was a lot of them, I was unable to deal with them or run away and their numbers increased fast."
Since Lyna faced down feeling bad about it, I admonished her with a gentle tone of voice.
"This time, since Emily-san and I were here it wasn't a problem, but if you encountered other players it would've turned into MPK you know?"
"Be careful so that it doesn't happen again. Still, you did well to endure against that many. That's amazing, Lyna."
When I honestly praised her, Lyna made a wondering, blank expression which turned into a sloppy one before long.
"I-is that so. Ehehe... true. Certainly, I might be amazing for not giving up there."
"Oh Lyn-chan, you're acting full of yourself again."
Al frankly warned her, but it didn't reach her ears as she was now. I realized that she'll probably blunder again. And as I thought so, Emily-san lightly poked my shoulder.
"Isn't the reason she held out because of Yun-kun's potions? They probably had an excessive amount of recovery for beginners, didn't they."
"Probably. But saying that now would be tasteless, right?"
"Yun-kun's methods won't really pay off. Still, I don't hate that kind of thing."
Good grief, it might be so. I laughed at myself as we returned to the camp made by me.
What I noticed then, was a nasty smell.
Realizing that, as everyone furrowed their eyebrows I yelled alone.
In a hurry I opened the oven I left alone and what I saw in the mould I pulled out was a pitch black burnt mass.
After much trouble I managed to prepare pound cakes in a satisfying manner, and now they've been burned down.
Harbouring a slight hope I scraped off the surface, but it's been firmly burnt and inedible.
As I fell down on my knees and thrust my hands on the ground dejected, Ryui and Zakuro snuggled up to me to comfort me. Emily-san and others felt awkward, not knowing if they should call out to me.
"Ahahaha, I-I just have to make it again, yeah. Yup."
I raised my head and the words I muttered echoed in the space between the trees.
"So, why did Endo-san... no, Emily-san do such a thing? What is the meaning behind that equipment?"
『"Do I have to answer that? I have a few tricks up my sleeve..."』
"You don't have to if you don't want to."
Currently, I was talking with Emily-san through the friend chat.
Why was she wearing a mask.
Why has she falsified her name.
Why did she change her voice
There was a lot I wanted to ask, but I didn't intend to inquire deeply.
"Ohh, there it is. I found some crafting materials on the way back."
『"Really, for Yun-kun anything that isn't crafting material doesn't matter, does it."』
"Ahahaha, sorry. But this is very important to me."
On the way back after helping Lyna, I actually found one of the materials I was looking for, but since we focused on escaping to a safe place I wasn't able to collect it and have obtained it now.
It was a material for the 【Insect Repelling Incense】 Cloude has asked me for, the 【Bark of the Fragrant Moss Wood】. Moss propagated on the fallen wood, but the material was the bark along with the moss.
I collected a several dozen of it by peeling it off.
The dried bark was a base material for the incense, it was mixed with 【Pyrethrum】 flower that was also dried. After making a clay-like consistence it's been shaped into a bar shape and dried at the same time thus completing 【Insect Repelling Incense】.
I don't know what does Cloude, no, Lyly need a 【Insect Repelling Incense】 for the event he's planning, but I have gathered the required materials for 【Fireworks】 and 【Insect Repelling Incense】.
I made a pleased expression as I explored the forest in the west. I have left Lyna and Al with Emily-san and together with Ryui and Zakuro went to gather materials for their potions.
『"You're completely different than you are at school and do things are your own pace, don't you."』
"Mm? Is that so?"
『"Well, that's because you're living a life there conforming to rules... so it doesn't stand out, but you're quite free here aren't you."』
Just now, Emily-san interrupted in the middle to look after Lyna and Al, interrupting in the middle probably meant she had to deal with something. Not minding in particular, I listened to what she had to say.
『"Fine already. The reason I disguised myself, let's see. I did it so that I'm not found by acquaintances."』
"Haa, and why is that?"
『"Because it's awkward! An uninteresting class president type of person like me playing games! Moreover, playing a fashionable VR game to top it off, it doesn't suit me at all, right?"』
"I wonder? At first I was surprised, but Sei-nee is also very serious and yet she plays games."
There's no need to mind it that much, speaking of which, I'm the same. I responded.
『"At first, I disguised to avoid Yun-kun and others, but with the recent guild solicitation I put more effort into disguising. The mask is a normal item, but the two other ones are unique, probably joke items."』
As for the mask, it was sold in sets of ten at some stall and had an additional effect 【Receive Pain】 that took over part of the damage dealt to armour. That's why it was fragile, which was also the reason it was used as a method to measure armour durability.
The name and voice changing items were joke items that dropped during the summer camp event. I remember well how Sei-nee's and Mikadzuchi's 【Eight Million Gods】 guild's members showed off the joke items and tricks during a party back then.
"As I thought, guild solicitation is ongoing everywhere. I escaped from malicious solicitation as well."
『"In a sense, at least on the surface it can be said that we're both victims of guild solicitation. Although it wasn't that severe in my case. Also, sorry for calling you without honorific."』
"There's no need to worry. I also referred to you without honorific, well at least your pseudonym."
『"Also... you've had a desire to transform yourself after all."』
"I didn't! This is a bug! Character edit's body correction misidentification! Heck, what's up with 'after all'! C'mon, what is it?!"
When I grandly retorted in inaudible voice in the middle of the empty forest, from the other side of the friend call I've heard a strange, quiet laughter.
『"I didn't think you would deny that strongly. Still, it suits you."』
"That doesn't make me happy at all."
After saying that I fell silent as not to let my bad mood show.
The call with Emily-san wasn't disconnected, we just fell silent for a moment. And then, I asked Emily-san something I suddenly recalled.
"There's something I'd like to ask... is the reason why you stare at Taku, explore how to talk to him and know about videos with him because——you like Taku?"
『"Haa?! No such thing! Absolutely not."』
Even though she inquired so meaningfully earlier... so it was my misunderstanding.
『"The reason I was bothered is because I didn't want to meet him. It'll be troublesome if I'm found out to be a player right? It has nothing to do with love!"』
After hearing Emily-san deny strongly, I let out a sigh of relief.
"Is that so."
I muttered and it turned silence. Afterwards, I spoke from my side again.
"Um, let's end this topic. For some reason it feels like I'm bringing trouble on myself."
『"You're right. I won't touch the subject of Yun-kun being of different sex in OSO in relation to Taku-kun."』
Both of us were convinced, "let's change the topic" said Emily-san.
『"Then, let me ask this time. Why were you on the south of the wetlands, Yun-kun?"』
"Ah, acquaintance crafter asked me to craft an item and I was collecting materials for it."
『"In that case, do you have any of the items called 【Magical Organism's Catalyst Metal】? If possible I'd like you to give it to me."』
"Ah, if it's that then I have a few, I got some when I was hunting with my little sister and others."
That's great, I wasn't able to defeat it. Her happy voice resounded.
"So the reason Emily-san was there was..."
『"That's right. But alone I don't have enough forces to take down Darkman."』
Hearing her say 'forces' rather than 'strength' I felt like her strength came from the summoned mobs rather than from herself.
Well, fighting off Darkman would be easy, but Emily might have been incompatible with defeating it.
While talking with her like that on the move, I came back to the safety area and tried arranging the materials I already had and materials I obtained to try making 【Fireworks】.
If I want to do it properly I'll calmly do it in the workshop, but if the strength of the effect doesn't matter it's fine to do it outside with a portable crafting kit.
"Now then, see you later Emily-san."
『"Sure, I'll gather some materials while leveling with the two for a while."』
Try not to overdo it, I thought as the call was disconnected and confirmed the material in front of me. To make 【Fireworks】 I needed to craft intermediate materials first.
First one was a Damage Potion. To make it I needed to use Frog's Stomach that dropped from Moor Frogs and Strongly Acidic Jelly that dropped from the Mold Slimes.
I minced the stomach, added a little bit of distilled water and ground it well. Then I added Strongly Acidic Jelly and filtered it.
I removed impurities and heated up the yellowish liquid, it concentrated and thickened.
If I used the 【Atelier】's condenser it would be faster, still, by carefully decreasing the moisture and bottling it, Damage Potion was completed.
Damage Potion 【Consumable】
HP Damage【-30 (± 5】
It was quite poorly made, but in the end it's only a intermediate material and a prototype at that. I wasn't really bothered with the amount of damage. However, assuming a failure I made a larger amount of the damage potion before turning off the fire in the surroundings.
Next, I made another intermediate material, a bomb——or to be precise, I wanted to create the first step to it, an explosive ball.
What I prepared was Phosphorous Soul Crystal I got from the Wisp and Black Exploding Stone I dug up from the ground. Neither of them had any effect by itself, but after mixing them it turned dangerous.
"Ignition checked. Let's do this."
Normally I would grind them in the machine for grinding ore in the workshop, but this time I did steadily.
As the Phosphorous Soul Crystal was soundly crushed and broken down it turned into a silky powder that diffused light like glass.
On the other hand Black Exploding Stone changed into a clay-like moist black powder akin to soil.
For the real thing I would be mixing it as to maximize bomb's damage, but since I was making a explosive ball for the fireworks, I used a slightly larger amount of Phosphorous Soul Crystal. I did fine adjustments weighting the two before mixing, and then shaped a single clay-like mass into a ball.
Explosive Clay 【Consumable】
While it still wasn't complete, I cut off part of the explosive ball and stowed the rest in the inventory.
"Oh? Yun-san. What are you doing?"
"Mm? I'm making explosives."
When I responded to Al's question, both his and Lyna's movements stopped in the middle of coming towards me.
Although the two came back from hunting together with Emily-san, only Emily-san approached as if nothing.
"That's an item I haven't heard of. What kind of thing it is?"
"You could call it a joke item or role-playing one. Wait a second."
I took the bottled Damage Potion and poured it into the container once again and put in a single piece of metal. The metal dissolved inside of the potion.
When I soaked the Explosive Clay piece I cut off in the damage potion that had melted a piece of metal, the yellowish colour of the liquid gradually weakened.
After a while I pulled out the wet Explosive Clay from Damage Potion that turned colourless and transparent, dried it and reformed it into an Explosive Ball.
If I used Rapid Drying skill of skill of 【Dosing】 as a finishing touch, I would complete explosive ball from Damage Potion and Explosive Clay.
After collecting all the stuff and putting it together, it has become a Fireworks' Explosive Ball.
"I'll do a small experiment so get away! Zakuro! Help me out!"
In response to my words Zakuro who stayed in a remote location ran up to my shoulder. I showed the Explosive Ball I had between my fingers to Zakuro and instructed.
"I'll throw it into the sky, put it on fire when it's high up, okay?"
"Kyuu!" After hearing a short and clear response I pat Zakuro with my free hand and said "let's go".
I strongly threw the Explosive Ball into the sky like I usually do with Potions and Magic Gems and Zakuro lit it up with fox fire.
The minimal amount of fireworks that went up towards the sky in the bright daylight bloomed in the open space between trees.
It didn't show up as a clear cyan colour, but it has certainly flowered in colour on the sky before disappearing.
"Ohh, it was properly coloured. But the colour was still pale. Is it because Damage Potion was too strong and colouring dissolved, or maybe because too much metal was put in? Also, by changing the type of metal I can change colours. Well, I need to talk about the request with the client about this. In some cases even explosives made from Explosive Ball can be enough."
As I muttered to myself, Lyna and Al in front of me froze after seeing what happened. Emily-san smile wryly and said "the sight might have been too much for beginners".
"Did you finish your work?"
"About half of it, I guess? I think I'll do the rest later."
"Is that so. Then, can I get what we talked about earlier? How about some barter trade for materials I have with me? As 【Material Merchant】 dealing with 【Alchemy】 and 【Synthesis】 I can provide enough materials for that."
Seeing Emily-san wink I saw she was in a good mood and I took out 【Magical Organism's Catalyst Metal】 from the inventory.
"You sure managed to get lots from a single hunt. I got a piece here and there off the market, but since it mainly flows to the players with 【Smithing】 it wasn't enough. It'll be finished with these."
Certainly, if one gathered up 【Magical Organism's Catalyst Metal】 and made it into ingots it would become a random different metal ingot. That's why players with 【Smithing】 and 【Workmanship】 were gathering them.
From what I heard, I've heard it was possible to get a Mithril Ingot and such.
"Are you satisfied with this?"
"Hmm, yeah. In that case, choose 30 pieces of the material I took out in exchange. Anything is fine."
Interested, Lyna and Al also took a look at the materials taken out by Emily-san, but having no idea about their applications they lost their interest soon enough.
I checked on them one after another and considered if I'm able to use them. Among them, there were some like Fine Iron Ore and Hobgoblin's Horn I knew how to create.
Since there were few of herb-based materials I gave up on them and took a different one in my hand. And then when I picked up an item called Element Stone, info about skill acquisition has appeared in front of me.
——After fulfilling a condition an 【Enchant】 skill has been unlocked. After surpassing level 30 of 【Enchant】 and getting in contact with an item consumable by the skill, 《Element》-type enchant has been unlocked.
I froze, still holding the item.
Immediately I selected the menu with usable skills and selected skills available under 【Enchant Arts】 Sense.
There was the basic 《Enchant》. Weakening 《Cursed》. 《Skill Enchant》 that put a skill inside of the item and 《Item Enchant》 that provided additional effect.
And the new, fifth enchant skill 《Element Enchant》.
It was a type of skill that consumed an item. In a sense, it was similar to how 【Bow】-type Senses consumed arrows.
"What happened, Yun-kun?"
"End... Emily-san. Is that all the Element Stones you have?"
I was so shaken I almost called her 'Endo-san' before restraining myself and asked her as nothing happened. Emily-san looked at me questioningly for a moment before answering.
"That's my exclusive... probably not, but it's one of the recipes I completed. It's a consumable that raises power of the corresponding elemental magic. Can it be that you want the recipe?"
"Truth be told, I want it badly."
"No can do. But I can prepare them so you can purchase them at my place."
It can't be helped then. I let out a sigh and told her that I want 10 each of the elements she had with her.
Fire, water, wind and light, there were four elements, but since I was taking 30 pieces of material in exchange it would exceed trade by 10. It couldn't be helped, I had to raise some funds first and purchase it the other day since I exhausted my money on the Mini Portal.
However, seeing me act reluctantly, Emily-san made a proposal.
"If you want, I'm fine with exchanging them for materials other than 【Magical Organism's Catalyst Metal】. Let's see... do you have bad status inducing drugs? Like poison or paralysis."
"If that's the case, then I do. What will be the balance?"
"As for rate... how about 1 for 1?"
Fine then. I passed five pieces of poison and paralysis drugs each and strength of 3 to Emily-san, in exchange I got a total of forty Element Stones instead.
Emily-san made a satisfied smile as well and she took out a synthesis kit and spread it out.
"Actually I needed it in order to complete an unfinished recipe. Right now I'm synthesising drops of strong poison-type mobs but the success rate is below 1%, I wonder how will pure poison work."
Emily-san selected two-way synthesis, then put on a throwing knife consumable and the poison I passed to her earlier.
It was a simple concept. Put poison even on a poor weapon and you'll be able to defeat the enemy.
A light leaked from the synthesis circle and two items have come together, dissolved and formed a single item.
Poisonous Throwing Knife 【Consumable】
ATK+7 Additional Effect : Poison 1
"As I thought, the success rate is high when a proper poison is used... oh. But 【Poison 1】 is quite weak isn't it."
"Then how about we check the poison strength? I'll take out poison of each level."
"Really? Thank you, Yun-kun."
Emily-san and I talked with each while smiling. In front of us poison and throwing knives were lined up, and together we continued to synthesize the knives and poisons.
"Let's give up. We'll only end up being poisoned."
Lyna and Al said something rude as we amused ourselves with discussion about crafting. This was very important.
Well, putting the two aside, we tried a few times to make a sample, and as we examined the laws behind synthesizing knives and poison I made notes.
A knife synthesized with a bad status Poison 3 drug resulted in Poison 1's Throwing Knife. Based on this, I made two hypotheses.
First, when synthesizing all of the bad statuses end up as strength 1.
Second, toxicity decreases a several times after synthesizing.
To confirm this we synthesized drugs of various strength and checked whether synthesis succeeded or failed.
The result was that synthesis with poison up to 2 failed, and synthesizing of Poison 4 proved that second hypothesis was true and the poison has gotten weaker.
Synthesizing Poison 4 resulted with Poison 2's Throwing Knife.
"Since it's a consumable, that means my arrows can be synthesized with bad status as well."
"That would make Yun-kun really nasty. You'll be able to one-sidedly put bad status on people from a long distance."
Is what she said, but it wasn't that easy.
If the other party has a high DEF and MIND stats or resistance Senses, bad statuses can be resisted or mitigated. That's why strength of level 2 was barely usable in the battle.
Also, potions and arrows or throwing knifes contacted with the target's surface area differently which was a problem as well.
"Emily-san, you know that bad statuses wouldn't make me that superior in the first place right? If it's Emily-san, you'd be able to easily shield yourself by using that golem as a shield."
"Fufu, I guess."
Non-biological and magical-biological mobs like golems were completely immune to bad statuses in the first place.
However, there were few 【Bow】-type Senses users, and while it was very simple concept, only a few people used it. The first impression one would get, is that it would be used for surprise attacks against other players.
Poison was highly effective if thrown from a close range and the effect of poisoned arrows shot from a distance was low. Each of them had their disadvantages, I thought.
'Well then, let's take a break, after that let's go hunt again. This time I'll join as well."
"Y-Yun-san? Can it be that you'll be using those poisoned arrows?"
"Of course? There's lots I won't know until I try using them."
"That's true. Whether I sell it or use myself, I don't want to compromise."
Emily-san also agreed and after synthesizing a number of poison arrows I joined the hunt.
The only thing we learned, was that the enemies in this area are too weak and they die before the bad statuses can be even applied.