Prologue - Revival Medicine and Black Insects
"Yun, can you really make a Revival Medicine?"
"The recipe isn't complete. Since we gathered materials, I can experiment. Right."
"And what if mixing fails?"
"We'll go gather them again."
"There ain't time."
I invited Taku to 【Atelier】's workshop and received 【Wisteria Peach Petals】 from him. As the item provider, Taku watched me from the side.
I haven't told Taku about it, but for mixing the Revival Medicine, there were other materials than 【Wisteria Peach Petals】.
Herbs that are the base of every potion, the Spirit Grass that's used for MP Potions. Also, the 【Water of Life】 that's used in various ways in crafting.
After knowing the combination of the materials, there was a possibility of reproducing the recipe from that. That's why I didn't tell Taku any details and have proceeded with the preparations alone.
With this, no matter the procedure I'll be able to make the Revival Medicine. The work from now on is to explore it blindly.
"Well, I'll just try like usual."
"Sure, it's in your hands."
First, I mixed the same amount of Potion, MP Potion and Water of Life together. With that, I created a pale green liquid inside of which I mixed in the peach-coloured petals. The petals have dissolved in the light green liquid over time and in the end, the liquid changed its colour to pink.
Degraded Revival Medicine 【Consumable】
Revival 【HP +1%】
I heaved a sigh at the result. In order to determine what was wrong I considered what effect each material granted the potion and wrote a crafting procedure I thought of on a note.
・The effect difference between the basic Potion's that was made with a skill and a high-quality Potion made manually.
・The effect difference between Potion, High Potion and a Concentrated Potion.
・The effect difference depending on the Potion and MP Potion ratio.
・What happens when Water of Life is used on a Potion.
・In case it was subjected to concentration, the difference depending on when was it done.
First, I changed ratio of each medicine to create a different mixture, on each try there was a difference in the shade of green.
I dropped a petal into a beaker with each mixture one by one and mixed it in, dissolving it.
Meanwhile, Taku looked around the 【Atelier】 interested, glaring at the tools he doesn't normally see.
Starting with concentrator and grinding machine, through multiple Synthesis Kit magic circles, the furnishings and to the Making Box. In the corner of the workshop part, were hanging herbs for drying and a portable furnace in the corner.
As I stared sideways towards Taku who acted like that, I summarized the results I got from each mixture in the notebook.
Depending on the mixture, some liquids have reacted by turning vividly pink immediately and there were ones that have turned pale over time as the petal dissolved. There were also ones that completely lost their colour.
The pale ones have shown themselves to be complete as 【Degraded Revival Medicine】, the ones that turned vivid were complete Revival Medicine.
Judging by these results, thinking of the impact it has on the mixing——
"For highly effective Revival Medicine——the high quality potions are not essential. 【Water of Life】's usage is mandatory. If the potion already uses 【Water of Life】, there is no need to add it during the mixture's production. For highly effective ratio I need three High Potions to one MP Potion. The concentration is to be done after mixing the solution. ...something like that."
"Yun, you can tell that much?"
"It's the ratio I've gotten as a result but only in case the conditions are the same as with everything else. Still, most likely a more detailed ratio might be possible."
After saying so, I started making a mixture under the best conditions I knew with the remaining petals.
I carefully measured the quantity, since I was using the potions I have prepared beforehand there was no strange failures.
But, in this case what was quite painful, was making the concentrated potion. Or rather, making the concentrated mixture.
I put the mixture of the High Potions and MP Potions into the concentrator, concentrating it down ten times which increased the costs tenfold. Moreover, the mixture's name was Concentrated High Potion, it had no MP recovery effect and its HP recovery effect was inferior as compared to the one before concentration. It was a mere intermediate product in a complete recipe.
Then, I dropped a petal into that vivid dark green concentrated mixture. The petal melted the moment it touched the liquid and a pink colour spread throughout it. Then I slowly refilled the potion bottle, before showing it to Taku.
Revival Medicine 【Consumable】
Revival 【HP +10%】
"It's complete now. Next I'll use the remaining petals to make Revival Medicines."
"Ohh?!! Finally, a Revival Medicine! A complete Revival Medicine was made!"
"The ones I made earlier are mostly failures or Degraded Revival Medicine. I made one more, but it has quite low amount recovered."
Looking sideways as Taku rejoiced staring at the Revival Medicine, I prepared the rest of the medicine.
"From the ten petals used to search for the Revival Medicine recipe, two are complete for now. Four more have become Degraded Revival Medicine and the rest was failures."
"Thanks, Yun. With this my preparations for crafter's PVP event are complete. Come to think of it, we haven't talked about the payment, have we."
Eh? Didn't we? I recalled the conversation I had with Taku and while certainly I was asked to prepare Revival Medicine, we didn't talk about payment. Well, I was able to do some 【Mixing】 with expensive materials, so I got a big reward in the Sense experience. Moreover, getting multiple 【Mixing】 recipes for 【Revival Medicine】 was a reward by itself. That's why I didn't think of asking for anything else.
"I don't mind, the experience I got is good enough as payment..."
"That'd be working for free. While it might be a reason for a discount, it's not a reason not to get any payment. That's why——"
While saying so, Taku passed about half of the Revival Medicine to me and forced 500kG on me by using the item trade function.
One high quality Revival Medicine, one normal Revival Medicine and four Degraded Revival Medicines.
"That's shrewd. You took the highly effective ones for yourself, leaving the failures and ones with weak effect to me. Do you really need six highly-effective Revival Medicines?"
"I'm in the vanguard so I need the ones with high recovery amount, otherwise I'd retire immediately after revival if I receive any damage."
In that respect, I'm a rearguard, an archer. It was convincing considering the fact I don't take much damage. Moreover, as my childhood friend Taku knew I wouldn't agree on taking any more.
"Speaking of which, it seems like there was a declaration of 【Guild Solicitation Discontinuation】, aren't you going to go outside now?"
"Even if it stopped it doesn't mean I have to immediately go outside. I've got enough of what I need."
After finishing Taku's request, I took out tea cups and started preparing tea. We moved from the workshop part to the store part and started drinking tea, sitting face to face.
The uproar caused by the price crash of the Guild Emblem——
As a result of the inexpensive Guild Emblems appearing on the market in large amounts, there was a flood of new guilds. The small guilds wanted to grow in power by doing aggressive guild solicitation.
Among them, there were guilds that behaved maliciously. Starting with me, a part of the players have performed a 【Disappearance】, no longer appearing in the town and popular areas.
"Well, I'm glad the whole fuss is over."
"You're right. 【Atelier】 without Yun behind the counter feels lonely."
"As I thought, this place is calming me the most."
Magi-san was eager to finish it before the Crafting Guild-sponsored event begins, but it seemed to have ended sooner than expected.
Well, speaking of what was done, as a protest the crafters have ceased to sell anything to them. The fact I have banned maliciously-soliciting guilds from entering 【Atelier】 has sparked the other crafters to do the same.
A number of guilds was unable to secure weapon maintenance and consumables, dissolving naturally or have lowered their heads apologizing. Is what I heard.
Cloude spread information and had spread the fear of turning the crafters into enemies.
There were a few stronger guilds and guilds that have crafters remaining, but they aren't in the best state and no longer perform any solicitation.
It seemed like they also had players targeting the consumables in dungeon treasure chests.
In a time like this the resale guilds would be able to earn a lot, but like a ship sinking, they felt it wasn't enough and have come into an agreement with Cloude behind the scenes.
"Well, it seems like lots is going on that's unrelated to me, they're doing their best."
"Yun, you talk as if it was not your business... you're the one who pulled the trigger."
I know nothing. Sooner or later it would have become a problem anyway. I held out freshly prepared tea to Taku and drank my own from the cup.
"That's right! How about we go and eat something to celebrate the ending of your disappearance and completion of the Revival Medicine?"
"Then it's your treat, Taku. It'll be additional payment for the Revival Medicine."
"Roger that. So, where do we go?"
I've said that as a joke, but he easily agreed on it. What should I extort out of Taku who's pretty rich in the game... I pondered.
"How about we go to Cloude's 【Commonest Café & Clothier】? I want to eat some cake."
"Let's go right away!"
With that said, Taku drank all the prepared tea at once and stood up. There's no need to hurry so much, while thinking so I drank the tea to match Taku's pace and ended up burning my tongue.
I left the 【Atelier】 and spoke as I walked.
"You've gathered the Revival Medicine for PVP, right? Taku, you're going to win that?"'
I asked what I was curious about, Revival Medicine gave the user a big advantage. I wondered how far could he get if he used that. When I asked wondering about that, he shook his head slightly.
"I wonder about that. I might retire early."
"...then, isn't it meaningless for me to prepare the Revival Medicine?"
"It can't be helped, victory depends on the luck of the day. When I stand up, there's a possibility of receiving a barrage of hits. Well, it's just one of measures for survival."
That's really a blunt way to approach it, I thought, but it was true. Certainly, normal tournament would take too much time so they gave up and decided on a battle royale. In that case, everyone around would be enemies... I feel chills just by imagining it.
"Yun, what cake you're going to ask for in the café?"
"Let's see. I've tried the chocolate-based ones before. I'll try cheese-based ones this time. Also, I'll pick some sweets for Zakuro and Ryui to eat after I go back."
"Heyy. 【Commonest Café & Clothier】's pâtissier is someone who specializes in sweets and the food has stat-raising effect, the price is ten times higher than that of normal cooking. Moderate yourself a little."
"You were stingy with reward so you can pay this much."
When I stared intently at Taku who walked beside me. It can't be helped, he said and heaved a sigh.
That's when, a slight distance away——"A date in a café. Damn it!" "The hell ya flirt in the public, ya wanna make us cry tears of blood or something?!!" "Go croak." "I'm so angry and envious I feel like dying." "Hey, he said PVP earlier. I'll participate. As long as I can get a hit on him." "Good idea. We can get rid of the riajuu players at the same time, take initiative and crush them." "All right, that's decided. There's no time! Let's begin!"——I've heard male voices say that.
I didn't hear it too well, but they seemed to enjoy themselves. I didn't think about the fact their gazes were directed towards us, the thoughts of the café's menu have prevailed.
We have arrived at Cloude's store, the 【Commonest Café & Clothier】 and peeked inside. The seats by the counter were all filled and the only ones open were those at the terrace.
"I'll go and reserve some seats for us outside."
"Then I'll go pick some cakes and tea. Taku, what you want to drink?"
"Same thing as you."
How about refreshing lemon tea today, I wondered. Since there was a lemon-flavoured cheese cake, I picked a lemon-based combination. At the same time, for Zakuro and Ryui I ordered some cream puffs for take-away.
Before taking the cake set for eating in the store, I took the cream puffs for take-away and then I carried the cake and tea on a tray towards Taku.
"Welcome back, but Yun... shouldn't a clerk carry it here?"
"Hm? It seemed busy so I carried it myself. This way's faster, right?"
The Commonest's clerk and waitress players hesitated a little, but since I was Cloude's acquaintance my suggestion was passed.
"Well then, let's eat. A lemon cake set. Here we g——"
My bliss was only temporary, as if to break it something black has suddenly come jumping.
Five insect-type mobs broke through the wall of 【Lyly's Woodworking Store】 that was across the street.
Momentarily, the open terrace was surrounded by five black insect mobs.
There were some players trying to cut them with swords and block them with shields, but because of multiple parties fighting in joint struggle penalty, they couldn't quite defeat them.
At first, we have stood up while still clutching our forks and froze, but one of the mobs that wasn't defeated had come flying at us on the open terrace.
"Hey, you serious?!"
"Get back, Yun!"
Taku strongly pushed me away at the same time touching my chest, making me fall back. Hey, where are you touching.
And Taku who had pulled out two long swords, retracted them and then swung in order to take on the insect mob.
The two swords have shone in matching yellow light, creating a huge vacuum wave, smacking the flying mob directly.
The insect-type mob couldn't escape in mid-air and was subjected to large damage from the front, it hit the table and its body changed into particles of light, disappearing.
In this situation where the insect mob was suddenly defeated, I fell on my butt and was looking upwards.
"You okay, Yun?"
I wanted to take Taku's outstretched hand, but realized I still had fork in my own. Feeling awkward I outstretched my left hand and was pulled up by Taku.
And what has come into my sight, was the miserable state——of my cake.
Seeing the crushed and scattered on the table cake and lemon tea, my spirit has plummeted.
"Ahh, it's gone to waste."
Fortunately, the cream puffs in the inventory weren't damaged, but I was really looking forward to the cake.
At that time, a loud clattering footsteps have approached the café from the other side of the road.
"What's this, what happened. It seems like part of the terrace is broken..."
"Kurocchi, sorry! An item went off! Did anyone take damage?!"
The woodworker Lyly had come flying from the 【Lyly's Woodworking Store】 on the other side of the street. He was holding knives in both his hands, his appearance suggested he was fighting a moment ago.
"...let's prioritize the damage first."
The owner of the café and a tailor, Cloude had checked on the damage dealt by the black insect-type mobs.
"Ohh, this time it's something going berserk in quiet Lyly's store." "Speaking of which, there was a guy who tried to make bombs and his store had become a sea of fire." "Ahahaha, crafting sure is a risky job." "It's a battlefield different from ours." "No problem. We took down all that have come out."
The bystanders didn't seem to be particularly bothered by it. Speaking of damage, it was limited to part of the store's terrace and tables being destroyed. Lyly should be able to repair it as a woodcrafter.
"Aah, Yuncchi. Um, sorry."
"...haa, don't make such sorrowful face. Choose whatever cake you like. This time it's an event-related accident. Crafting guild's gonna pay for it."
"Come, order a new cake. Ahh, fine, eat as much cake as you like!"
Cloude and Lyly started to make a fuss around me, who was dispirited. Still, I've had a lingering attachment to the fallen cake.
"Uuu, it won't come back, my lemon cheese cake..."
"It's part of the payment for work you asked for, don't hold back."
Seeing me depressed, Taku called out to me. Then, he pulled me by hand, taking me in front of the store's showcase.
Unfortunately, lemon-flavoured cheese cake was sold out, so I chose kiwi and cream roll cake.
I combined it with sweet milk tea, I ate while sipping the tea for taste.
It was delicious, but I still had tears in my eyes out of the lingering attachment to the dropped cake.
"That's right, Lyly. Explain, how did the accident occur?"
While I ate the cake in the middle of sadness, Lyly provided an explanation for the accident.
"Um, I was performing an experiment at my place before the event starts, by using the 【Insect Repelling Incense】 Yuncchi made. I failed to confirm the range and they escaped..."
"Haa, that sounds unlucky, but I get it. I'll be going back to the back of the store."
Understanding the situation, Cloude drank the coffee that was just served and stood up. Then, as if he recalled something, he called out.
"The preparations for the Crafting Guild-sponsored event are mostly complete. Look forward to it."
Seeing Cloude's wink as he was leaving made me half expectant and half anxious considering the accidental outburst earlier.
The event will be carried out during the two days of this weekend.
I don't know how do Taku and Myu with others plan to spend it, but I intend to spend it relaxedly.
Chapter 1 - Event and Stalls
School after classes were over. Numerous students were leaving back home with just some remaining behind because of cleaning duty or for their clubs, people who had various affairs to deal with. Among them, I walked right next to a single female student.
"Endo-san, I'll help you carry half."
"Thank you, that's a great help."
Endo-san from the class committee collected notes submitted from entire class, but after it was all gathered it had become quite heavy. Since she was someone I managed to get a step closer among our classmates, I somehow got worried and offered to help.
"It's easy when Shun-kun helps out. How about you do some work for the class committee like this?"
"I hate work like this. It's tedious."
"Should you really call it tedious in front of me?"
In response Endo-san chuckled and said "it's a joke".
"Since you're taking initiative to help with work you hate, don't you have something you want to talk about then? Something about me you don't want Takumi-kun to hear."
I was seen through, I thought. Then I nodded confirming Endo-san's words.
My connection with Endo-san was that of fellow OSO players. Endo-san knew that Takumi and I were playing OSO. I had no idea that she was playing it as well and learned it just recently.
At first, she hid her identity from me as well, but now she interacts with me openly. Though, it seemed like she was still hiding it from Takumi.
"So, what you want to ask, is it about those two?"
"Yeah, I've left it all to Endo-san so, I wondered how was it going."
The two in question was about Lyna and Al, after whom Endo-san was looking after recently. When asked by me, Endo-san raised a slightly worried voice and gave her evaluation.
"Let's see. To a certain extent they seem to understand their Senses, so there's no problems. Level-wise, if they work hard for a little bit longer they'll leave the newbie zone. Also, if they join some party they should be able to hunt Big Boars. Still, they're not good enough to hunt them solo yet."
"I see. So no problems."
I was relieved hearing Endo-san's evaluation.
By chance, together with Endo-san we have encountered and saved the twin novice players from a strong mob, a Treant. With that as a trigger, we have made a connection with them, I was relieved to hear they are steadily growing.
"Since they are about to leave beginner levels, I wonder if we should give them a present as senior players."
"In that case, let's decide on it before the weekend's event. You're participating too, aren't you, Shun-kun?"
"Yeah, let's decide on it then."
The participation Endo-san was talking about referred to the Crafting Guild-sponsored event.
There, the crafters will provide a richer assortment than usual in their stalls and stores, there will be also stage shows and PVP events.
While I originally came to talk with Endo-san to ask about the novice players duo Lyna and Al, while at it, I decided to consult her about gifts.
"What should I give them? I'm not too knowledgeable on what items are in fashion."
"How about you pay for something they like on the day itself? Rather, I don't think there's a need to concern yourself that much."
As Endo-san smiled wryly, I thought it was the most reliable method. Convinced.
While talking about how much should we spend on it, we passed the class notes to the teacher in charge and returned to the classroom.
"Shun. Where did you go?"
"Takumi, you were waiting? I helped out Endo-san. The notes seemed heavy."
"Thank you. See you."
When Takumi had shown his face, to avoid being found out that she was an OSO player, Endo-san returned back to her seat.
Takumi squinted seeing our exchange of words, starting intently.
"W-what is it with that look."
"No, I just wondered when did you become friends."
Damn you, aren't you strangely sharp with weird stuff like this. Still, it was Takumi. It would be seen through were I to spit out a strange lie.
"We just met during the shopping and chatted for a while. She recommended me some sweets... well, lots of stuff."
"Hmm. Oh well. By the way, want to walk around the event together on this weekend? Or are you with Miu-chan and Shizuka-san?"
"Umm... I've got a prior engagement. I guess Miu and Sei-nee are doing something separately from me? But, probably, we'll pass through by each other."
"Well, there are also times like this. Got it."
Probably convinced by my answer, he grasped the bag and saying "I'll be going" Takumi went home.
What, so he just wanted to know my plans for the weekend. I heaved a sigh and looked towards Endo-san.
"Cheers for good work."
"Well, it's just the usual. Rather than that, let's go home.
I prompted Endo-san and the two of us went to the exit, leaving to the outside.
From how low the sun was and the falling temperature, I felt the autumn come day by day. Talking about silly things we have headed towards the school gate to go home.
On the other side of the school gate I found a familiar back and called out to it.
"Miu. You going back now?"
"Eh? Onii-chan. Yup, I was on cleaning duty. And... a friend?"
"Hello. I'm Shun-kun's classmate, Endo."
"Okay. There's no need to speak politely. I'm the little sister from middle school, Miu. So, what's your relationship with my Onii-chan?"
What rude questions you're suddenly spouting, geez. When I squinted and stared at Miu, she said "it's a joke" and took a step back.
"Let's see. A classmate and a friend, I guess."
"Endo-san, you don't need to answer her seriously."
"Then, Miu-san, won't you become my friend?"
When Miu made a broad smile, Endo-san also smiled and the two walked side by side.
Naturally, I moved slightly behind the two and listened in to the conversation but... sorry. What, just what is this parade of unknown terminology.
Was it about games? I think it was, but to me the two's conversation sounded like casting spells. Something about avoiding, attack timing, game-making staff's previous works, field type increases, move variations based on colours, mutants and abnormal species, download content... I understand nothing.
As they spoke about it, Miu made a sparkly and joyful expression that had resonated with Endo-san's. So Endo-san is a gamer on Miu's level, huh. I pondered.
"Onii-chan! It's amazing! Endo-senpai really knows a lot of stuff!"
"Is that so. Good for you."
The brother who couldn't keep up with their conversation had started speaking monotonously out of loneliness.
"Are you sulking because I took lil' sister? I wonder."
As Endo-san started giggling, I said that's not it. I was just overwhelmed by you two, I relayed with my gaze but it wasn't noticed at all.
"In the end, I just have knowledge. Certainly I love games, but out of all of it I enjoy reading the walkthroughs, configurations and other information. I'm someone who enjoys staring at data."
"Ehh, I wanted to play a game with Endo-senpai..."
"I'm sorry. Probably, I'm not that good at games."
Can you really say that? I stared at Endo-san with half-opened eyes, but I was ignored.
"All right, this is as far as I go. See you, Shun-kun. Lil' Sister too, thank you for the time spent fun."
We've seen off Endo-san who went in her own direction. As compared to the first time where Endo-san called Miu per "Miu-san", imperceptibly it had become a familiar "Lil' Sister".
Miu called her "senpai" too, so their relationship wasn't too bad.
"To think there was one more person who loves games so much! She was very knowledgeable, it was fun to talk to her."
"Yup! Still, it's a pity she's more of a hidden gamer than one that moves aggressively. But..."
"I feel like I've seen her somewhere before."
...as usual, this little sister of mine has a good intuition. But, this is where I divert the topic.
"Want to buy a cake before going home?"
"Eh?!! Can we?"
"Once in a while, it's fine."
Honestly, part of this proposal was because of the lemon cheese cake I couldn't forget, but let's not mind it. Diverting the main topic, diverting Miu's thinking, I exhaled.
Endo-san, it's probably just a matter of time until you're found out to be an OSO player.
Thirty minutes before the start of the event, I confirmed the cleaning and laundry was finished, deciding to log in early. Thinking of that, I headed to my own room.
I put on the VR Gear, lied on the bed and like usual, my consciousness submerged.
The place I appeared in, was the 【Atelier】's workshop that was set as the login point. Myu was already logged in and should be somewhere in the town.
Curious about the outside, I opened the door to the store part. When I looked outside from the store's entrance, I immediately heard a cheerful music and the front was bustling.
I could see more people than usual in the town. The only times during which this many people gather, was when the OSO officially started and during the official events.
"That's a lot of people. With so many gathered, it feels like it's going to start already instead of waiting for the official opening."
I smiled wryly alone, returned to the counter seat, then summoned Ryui and Zakuro.
As the 【Atelier】 was the meeting place and Emily-san will bring Lyna and Al, I waited for them leisurely.
Although there were several major meeting points in the town, on a day like this there weren't many we could use considering the amount of people out there, so it ended up being my store.
As I brushed Ryui's and Zakuro's fur, a shadow had appeared at the entrance to the store and certain people have peeked inside, interested.
"Welcome. Well, that's a little strange to say. You're just on time."
"I brought the two."
Today, Emily-san had a mask and a voice changer on, moreover she was wearing the equipment for changing her name to Emilio.
"Emily-san. Why that appearance again?"
"There's Taku-kun and Lil' Sister right? If possible, I don't want them to see my face."
Convinced by what she said, I invited Lyna and Al into the store.
The interest of Lyna who had entered the store was directed towards the transparent shallow pot with synthetic mob of three different colours inside. Al looked towards the MP Potions, Enchant Stones and items useful for mages like Boost Tablets.
"Hee, so there are items like this too. Look at this, Lyn-chan."
"...hey, won't this squishy thing escape? Like that fox or unicorn."
Al was analysing the 【Atelier】 and Lyna was seriously staring at the gels with a serious expression.
With part of their bodies inside the pot, the gels were confirming the situation around them.
The two are really distracted. Both Emily-san and I thought, making wry smiles.
"It's fine to touch them."
"Eh?! Really?! Waii! The blue one's cool! The red one's warm, and this one, is moist!"
Seeing Lyna excited about something like that, Al had calmed down.
"Come on, it's time for the opening."
It was the time and I urged the two. Together with Emily-san we went to the city's centre and looked up at the sky above the guild hall.
There, spread a dense black fog, just that part of the sky looked as if it was in the middle of the night.
"It's all right. That's darkness magic's 《Smog》. It's a smokescreen that doesn't deal damage."
Emily explained to surprised Lyna.
In darkness element magic, there's an auxiliary magic like that of earth element's 《Mud Pool》, the smokescreen magic 《Smog》. Normally, it's used for blinding the enemy and escaping which is its main use, but it was easily cleared out with light from magic or torches, a disappointing magic.
"But, this time that's not the purpose for it."
Something was thrown into the fog from the guild hall below and——burst.
Along with a dry sound of explosion, the gunpowder inside it had become a colourful ball of fire and on the black 《Smog》's background the fireworks bloomed.
"Woah... That's the 【Gunpowder】 Yun-san was making earlier, right?!"
"That's right. Though, I only passed the gunpowder balls and left the design to them."
It wasn't like I made all of it. Other crafters participated in it and I shared the information on the way to craft them.
After that, the black had been stretched in the sky to produce an effect of the night sky for the exploding fireworks, causing cheers to erupt in various places in the town.
This staging was made so that people could see beautiful fireworks in the daytime, thought of by 【Darkness Element Talent】 users centred on Cloude. In the end, the ones that were most flashy were the attack magic's illusions that cut through the darkness magic's fog.
A diffused voice had spread throughout the town.
『"Thank you for coming to the event planned by us for today! How was the opening ceremony?! There are various events hosted so please look forward to it! Well then——I declare the event's opening!"』
"That voice's Magi-san's, huh. Since it begun in the earnest, we should go too."
"Indeed. Well, let's hang around the stalls buy something, eat something and ask for prices."
The two behind me and Emily-san made somewhat lonely expressions.
"What is it? You two."
At the same time I noticed, Emily-san asked. Even despite the fact the upper half of her face was hidden behind a mask, I could tell she was worried from her soft tone of voice.
"We're beginners, we don't have money. I wonder if we have enough money even despite selling the items that dropped from mobs."
"And we can't splurge because we're gathering money for new equipment..."
When I looked towards Emily-san, it seemed like she didn't talk with them about the equipment presents. I guess it's fine to tell them beforehand, but they'd be happier with a surprise present.
"Umm, let's say that for today's goal, in addition to buying and eating from the stalls, there's one more. We want to give you some equipment as a gift."
"Somehow, since you were with us the entire time you ended up still being in beginner's equipment, right? That's why after talking with Yun-kun we decided to pay for the equipment you two purchase, is how it ended up. Of course, there's a limit to how much we'll pay."
So that's that, Emily-san had supplemented my words. We planned 200kG for the two together. What we can find in that price range is a 60kG weapon and 40kG armour piece. However, embarrassment had welled up from my belly and I couldn't put it that way.
"W-well, that's why it's fine if you use the money you earned as planned. Yup."
Because of embarrassment I ended up talking sloppily. Still, even as I thought that, the two's gazes felt itchy so I looked away from them.
"Um, that's, I don't know what to say. Thank you very much."
"Uh, in order to answer your expectations we shall devote ourselves from now on as well."
"You two sure are dutiful. It's a game so it's fine to play as you want."
Even though Emily-san said that, as if they didn't heard it at all, they directed sparkly and pure gazes towards us.
"It's something my little sister said, but at first it seems like someone's expecting something of you. But don't think about it so deeply. Also, if you two get stronger, you'll just purchase consumables in my store. If that happens, I'll get it back. You must lose a fly to catch a trout."
With that said, the conversation on the topic ended. Then, I took Zakuro and Ryui and walked forward as if to run away.
Behind me and Emily-san who walked by my side, Lyna and Al discussed something happily. While watching the two with a sidelong glance, Emily-san whispered quietly to me.
"Yun-kun, you sure aren't honest. To say you'll get it back if they get strong."
"W-what is it."
"If you were a person like that, you wouldn't set a limit on the prices so low that you don't break the market and didn't put a purchase limit in the shop."
"Geez... all right, I'm just not honest, okay."
I was completely seen through by Emily-san and pouted displeased.
In order to calm myself, I pat the two tails of Zakuro who had entered my hood, healing myself. Because I brushed it, there was a very smooth feel to it.
Little by little I calmed myself and corrected Emily-san's misunderstanding.
"But, even with that price I've got enough methods of making profit."
"Yeah, because I grow materials on the field beside the 【Atelier】, the costs are smaller than those of other players."
When I said that, she asked "You prepared it yourself?". I told her that story items can be used to do some gardening even in a planter inside of a small room. However, the efficiency was lower than that of a field and seeds were also required. Since Emily-san had the 【Alchemy】 Sense, it wasn't a problem.
And then, we headed towards the stalls. Since they were supported by Emily-san and me without entering the town, Lyna and Al looked at everything as if it was unusual, distracted by one thing after another.
What was ahead of their line of sight, was a food stall.
It was a stall that sold both things for eating and ones that shouldn't be eaten.
"Welcome! It's Mill Bird's meat with poison removed! It' delicious! The effect it gives is ATK increase!" "How about a kebab from a Big Boar! It's tasty!" "Here, we're selling fresh (laughs) vegetable sticks straight from the second town!"
I've heard lively voices like that and on the opposite side, I've heard jokes targeted at gamers.
"Come, it's Russian roulette! One out of six has poison inside! It's a trial of luck for the parties. While at it, we also sell antidotes!" "It tastes bad, but you can increase experience with bad statuses! It's weak enough not to make you vomit, you can easily level up!" "The material's taste remains as is, certainly an uniquely strange taste! Now, let's start the party, the poison cuisine this way!"
Poison cuisine aimed at people leveling up the poison resistance-type senses. A Russian roulette play for the party lined up together with that. In order not to let beginners try it out of curiosity, the price was high enough to make them think it over twice.
Despite of that, those who have purchased it influenced by the atmosphere continued to suicide in front of the store.
"Well, let's find a normal stall."
Hearing my words, the other three nodded repeatedly and we resumed our tour at the stalls.
We got dizzy just looking for a stall with something delicious. Then suddenly, one section of the street had vacated itself.
"I wonder what's that. Just there alone people aren't lined up for the stall, instead they gathered... is it a performance? Let's go look!'
"Ah, Lyn-chan. Wait!"
Lyna broke into a run and Al had followed her. I heaved a sigh and looked at the unnatural corner of the street with stalls.
"Did something happen?"
"We'll learn once we go there."
The two of us chased after Lyna and Al in normal walking pace, moving through between people. And, what we saw after making it to the scene was——
"Excuse me. Please give me all the food in the stall."
"P-please spare me! Letia-chan! There won't be any food for anyone else!"
The players who were the owners of the three stalls lined up together and lowered their heads so desperately, it seemed like they would prostrate any time.
"It can't be helped then. Give me ten servings for a take-away."
Since it seemed like the storekeepers would scream hearing these words, I took a step forward.
"What are you doing, Letia."
"Oh, Yun-san? Hello."
"Yun-kun, your acquaintance?"
"Well, you can tell just by looking, but she has 【Taming】 Sense just like me."
Currently, while Letia should have had two tamed mobs which are the herbivorous animal Haru and Mill Bird Natsu, but now there were two other with her. One of them was a Will-O'-Wisp, a ball of fire that appears in the wetlands at the south. The other, was a Fairy Panther that appears on the road to Horia Cave.
"It's the first time Yun-san sees them, right? The wisp is Aki and the Fairy Panther is Fuyu. Since there's a lot of people today, that with conjunction with the consumption of MP made it impossible for Mutsu to be here, so it's just us four."
As Letia introduced them, the four tamed beasts have come closer to them acting like spoiled children. As Lyna's eyes sparkled seeing that, Letia allowed her to touch them saying it's no problem.
Since they received food from people as they walked through the city, the four animals were more accustomed to humans than Ryui and Zakuro and didn't show any reluctance at all when touched.
"Hee, tamed mobs huh. A different type of mob-user from me."
"Umm... this person is?"
"My acquaintance, Emily-san."
When I said "Emily-san" I felt a chill, but it was too late to rephrase. Since I already said it, I looked away to escape from Emily-san's cold smile.
I recalled that now, with mask and impersonation equipment she was Emilio.
"Nice to meet you. I'm Emily, I use mobs made with 【Synthesis】 and 【Alchemy】."
"I see. Emily? Or is it Emilio?"
Since she identified herself as Emily yet the character's name was disguised as Emilio, Letia made a puzzled expression.
"Then, since it's Emily and Emilio...let's make it 'Lio'..."
Certainly, it was all right as a nickname, but since it was very different from Emily-san's original name, the person herself made a difficult expression.
"Um... if possible, use Emily."
"...? Understood. Then, Emily. Since I use 【Taming】 to tame mobs, I think it's quite different. How about we talk as we eat?"
"You're right... I really look forward to it."
Feeling something connecting them, Emily-san and Letia started happily talk with each other.
Lyna and Al were having fun feeding food bought at nearby stall to Letia's tamed mobs. I alone felt a little bit alienated.
"Heey. Let's go and buy Lyna's and Al's weapo——"They're doing a stage show there! Let's go!"..."
After coming here, Lyna had thoughtlessly descended away again. While I was accustomed to it with Miu, it reminded me of the first time I met Lyna and Al. I sighed lightly and followed them with Emily-san and Letia.
The outdoor stage was several floors high and currently, distinctive players made a show utilizing their Senses.
"Woaa! What! Is! That! Can such a thing really be done?!"
Currently, a martial arts-focused player did pseudo-walking in the air with continuous use of arts. The same type of a fighter as Gantz had a very short delay time for the arts. Once again, he used a shortened waiting time for arts to do a pseudo-uppercut, continuing to walk in the air.
But, with that said——
"He's moving forward, but only one step at a time."
It was more like with each usage of art he rose vertically until he reached high enough to receive damage after fall.
Then, distracted by something he failed the timing and falling to the bottom he made a hole in the stage.
He seemed to be alive, waving his hand from the hole but soon enough he was dragged out from under the stage. The hole was closed with a wooden plate and without any problems, the show was moved to the next performer.
"What to say. There's lots of stuff here."
A dance performance of sword enthusiasts where they slashed on the venue excitedly, a throwing knives performance with apples placed on the collaborator's head and beautifully hit right on target. Moreover, the apple was turned into apple juice using the grip of a petite ATK specialized player who performed. The staff member drank it with gusto.
"Haa, I'm satisfied."
"That's great. Well then, let's go to the next place."
"Looking for equipment, right."
"I-I didn't forget."
After that, Lyna and Al enjoyed the stage performance, but we headed to achieve one of today's goals which was purchasing weapon and armour for the two.
On the way we have joined together with Letia to watch performance, but it was about the time to go buy it.
"Look! There's a lot of people gathered there! Surely they must be selling amazing weapons!"
To hide the fact she forgot, Lyna had assaulted the stall at which people had gathered.
"Such powerful weapons would be sold at the auction. Or rather, I don't think you can buy that with just 200kG."
"If possible, I'd like to buy it at the store of an acquaintance crafter."
"Lyn-chan won't listen any more."
Hearing mine and Emily-san's words, Al bowed.
And before anyone noticed, Letia disappeared and on top of Ryui's head stood the Mill Bird Haru.
"Where did Letia go?"
"Earlier she said she's going to buy more food at the stalls. It seems she left Mill Bird to act as a mark."
"Haa, Letia's a free spirit too."
I held my temple and spat out a sigh. However, we had to chase after Lyna now.
We moved through the crowd chasing after Lyna and approached a stall not knowing what was being sold there.
After approaching I felt the scent of familiar plants, consumables like potions and pills. The person at the stall was a crafter with 【Mixing】 Sense.
"What I have prepared today is a 【Revival Medicine】 that allows resurrecting a dead player! One of them for 4mG! Other than that I have highly-effective potions!"
"A 【Revival Medicine】 huh..."
I already knew that other players made Revival Medicine before me. That's why I moved closer to Lyna to see Revival Medicine made by someone else.
"Revival Medicine, where is it..."
"What is it, Yun-kun?"
After catching up to Lyna, I saw the colour of the 【Revival Medicine】 made by the male player and was disappointed.
As pale pink as possible——it was a 【Degraded Revival Medicine】.
Suddenly, I sighed inside my mind. The owner, looked towards me. Why me?
"Isn't it the 【Nanny】, Yun-san over there!"
"I don't like that nickname."
I furrowed my eyebrows slightly as the 【Mixing】 owner had called me 【Nanny】.
Hearing his loud dramatic voice, I got annoyed.
"Yun-san's the owner of the famous 【Atelier】 that sells highly-effective potions! How is it! My Revival Medicine!"
"Eh, yeah, yup. It's fine, I guess?"
It was clearly different from the Revival Medicine I completed, a degraded product, but it was still usable.
"Is that so, is that so! With this it can be said that I might be OSO's best 【Mixing】 user, right! How is it! My potion!"
With that said, asking 4mG for a Degraded Revival Medicine wasn't a fitting price. Unless he goes down with the price, no one will buy it.
"What's with this potion. The effect is much lower than what Yun-san makes. Acting all important with just this much."
"Stop it Lyna. Come on, let's go."
"Is it really fine?! He's saying whatever he wants! Aren't you frustrated by that?!"
Honestly speaking, I couldn't care less. I wasn't really interested in the title of the best crafter.
"And he put on an impossible price like that! It's strange!"
"But, just this time that's not a strange price."
Saying so, Emily explained to Lyna. Probably, he was trying to make up for the cost of failures.
"When selling crafted items, the crafter should profit, right?"
"Even so, that's profiteering."
"It seems like he continued to purchase 【Wisteria Peach Petals】 that's material for Revival Medicine from others and researched them, making that."
Just as Emily-san said, if the study is prolonged, the maker has to cover the development cost by selling the potion high.
In my case, although I did an initial investment into the field, by mixing manually I was able to decrease the costs and make high quality potions.
It wasn't that the potions at this stall had the effect and price unbalanced. He was a skilled crafter, but he must have been thinking about recovering the development cost of Revival Medicine.
In this case, that's the result of accumulated development costs.
When explained that, Lyna went silent slightly frustrated.
"What's with it. It's unfair. Even if he fails, that's way too high a price to put on."
"Having a high price doesn't mean it'll sell. If someone makes one cheaper than that, it won't sell. Like that the price is going to go down naturally."
"Somehow, hearing that I feel Yun-san who can make it cheap is an amazing player. I didn't understand what you're doing at first though. You have an image of a person versed in survival."
"Al. I'm not amazing, but I do feel like cross-examining your recognition of me for the next hour."
Being able to change the topic immediately was Lyna's strong point. I was able to escape well, heaved a sigh and smiled wryly.
Imperceptibly, we have rejoined with Letia who held a large amount of food. Eating while walking we arrived at Emily-san's acquaintance's store.
"Oh, miss 【Material Merchant】! What's up?"
"We thought of giving some equipment as a present to beginners we were looking after."
The people Emily-san had called out to was a slim woman, a tall girl and a plump man's trio of crafters.
Each of them had items made with a different crafting beside them, selling them on the stall.
"That's a lot of joke weapons."
"Right?! Missy over there."
The plump man in his latter twenties gave a thumbs up and raised some food from the paper bag in his hand. Letia returned the same gesture with her empty hand.
The lined up items had no sense of unity, but after being told the budget and the rough fighting style, the Male storekeeper started to consult with Lyna and Al to decide.
"It seems like this stall will take some time. I'll pass 100kG ahead of time then."
"Yeah, it might be difficult for Yun-kun."
Most likely implying, the girls' shopping takes long. Certainly, my little sister Myu and Sei-nee always took time to try things, but thanks to that I had free time meanwhile.
And when I looked at the items at the stall, it seemed like half of them were based on owner's hobbies.
"These sure are wonderful weapons."
"Is that so? No matter how you look at it..."
It looked like a bar. There was a lot of convenient weapons whose application was beating to death, stabbing and hanging, but because of their strange length and curvature they seemed hard to use. Also, they were strangely graphic as their tips were covered in red paint.
Other than that there was a things like a yellow helmet, it was packed with broken fantasy equipment.
While that was the male player's hobby, the slim woman and the tall girl were dealing with normal items. And in the corner of the store, there were Emily-san's materials lined up and sold in consignment.
In there, were six stones——Elemental Stones.
They were consumable items that temporarily increased magic power of the corresponding element, but I had another application for them.
The skill capable of enchanting a weapon or armour with a corresponding element, 【Element Enchant】. There were still many unknowns about it and I used it in combat only once.
"Excuse me. Can you sell me 20 of each Elemental Stones?"
I said, purchasing them.
"Sure. Grade 5 Elemental Stones 20 each. Here you go."
When I bartered with Emily-san before, it must have been Grade 4 stones, Grade 5 were considerably cheaper than that.
It must have been able to use 【Alchemy】's 《Higher Matter Conversion》 to make them into Grade 4. Or maybe, to use 《Lower Matter Conversion》 to examine the original materials. While I pondered about it, I noticed Letia's stare as she was continuing to eat fruits.
" "...staaare." "
"...w-what is it, Letia."
"No, it seems like the two's equipment was already decided on."
Letia pointed her finger in another direction, I turned around and saw Lyna make a happy expression and a wryly smiling Al.
They have completed registering the crafter as their friend.
Their equipments changed into new one and the impression they gave off was largely different. From uncool beginners, they seemed to have transformed into competent adventurers.
"You two, your equipment changed a lot. It looks quite splendid."
"Hmph, isn't it! Yun-san and Emily-san paid for us, but the missing money we have recompensed with what we diligently gathered!"
Saying so, Lyna happily pat the buckler attached to her arm. Her weapon was replaced with a short spear good for manoeuvring, for defence, she was wearing leather armour dyed in indigo colour. Design-wise it was somewhat clunky, but with the functionality as a priority the person herself was satisfied.
As for Al, he completely postponed purchase of the armour, equipping a staff made of aged wood and INT correction-type accessories.
It seemed like the combination of a light-armoured vanguard with spear and a standard mage was devised based on the two's cooperation and sense of distance.
"You can't call us beginners any more with this."
"Lyn-chan, you're getting full of yourself again."
Again, Al smiled wryly. But, it did seem like he too was agitated wanting to try the equipment of his own.
And then the two's eyes sparkled when they heard a voice echoing throughout the entire town.
『"Now, to start the secret plan for those participating in today's event! We will now release mobs into the town, make sure to hunt them down——start the hunt!"』
It was Lyly's voice that had resounded. So the event Lyly was planning and proceeded with in secret was this, I realized.
Chapter 2 - The Secret Plan and the Emergency Quest
『"The subjugation of the mobs is the highlight of the event's first day, to start we shall summon a certain amount of mobs we have prepared! The parties that defeat a certain amount or more are going to be awarded with an accessory as a prize. The location is in front of east and west gates outside the city! You can participate in it freely. In this area, we have the joint struggle penalty cancelled. However, the condition is that only those who have stats appropriate for reaching second or third town can participate, do your best!"』
From Lyly's words I could feel that a certain amount of strength was required.
It didn't seem like the mobs were as strong as the ones that ran berserk at 【Lyly's Woodworking Store】, but as expected they were unable to adjust the strength of the mobs that are called in.
"Accessories! Then we have to participate. Let's go, Al!"
"You're right Lyn-chan! We need to test our improved equipment!"
"Hey! You two!"
I grasped the collars of the two who tried to break into a run, retaining them on spot.
"Give up this time. Your levels aren't high enough."
"Yun-kun? How do you know?"
Well, that's because I was involved in it. Once they have appeared, I was able to immediately get a grasp on the situation.
While not defying the flow of gathering people, the participating players moved in front of the city gates on the east and west. Among them, the players mainly watched the screen displayed on the sky.
In the space prepared in front of the east and west city gates, "certain things" were placed at regular intervals and on the outside of it, these things were put fire to.
There were some who have scowled not accustomed to incense's smell, I who knew what was it spoke its name.
"—— 【Insect Repelling Incense】, huh. As I thought, it's those bugs."
"What's a 【Insect Repelling Incense】?"
Since Letia didn't know, she tilted her head in puzzlement. Emily-san knew I made them, but she probably didn't think it would be used like this.
"The called in mobs are limited to insect-type, by putting the incense arranged at regular intervals an area inhospitable to insects was created, making it possible to keep down the mobs in a specific place."
No way, to think items for avoiding encounters with mobs could be used in this manner, it was a concept reversal.
"It was said that the mobs called in are about the strength of people who reached second or third town. The location in which you can get the item is the dungeon in the 【Maze Town】 . That's why, it's reckless for the two to go now."
So for this time, just watch. When I said that, the two were convinced and came apologizing.
"Um, thank you for stopping us from charging in again. And sorry."
"I was careless too. I should have properly stopped Lyn-chan. I'm sorry."
The two lowered their heads looking apologetically, so I accepted their apologies.
"This time, let's just buy some juice and watch it. It's my treat."
"Is that so? Then, for me five mega bucket mix juices."
"You... hold back yourself. Letia."
Seeing my exchange with the hungry elf, Emily-san chuckled which in turn induced Lyna and Al to laugh as well.
Like I said, I treated everyone to juice and put out the sweets I had in my inventory, as not to get in people's way we moved to the corner and looked up at the screen displayed in the air.
In the centre between the 【Insect Repelling Incenses】, the 【Black Lustrous Spheres】 piled up like a mountain, looking like nothing else but black cobblestone.
When magic was used beside them, the black cobblestone immediately changed into black insect-type mobs at once.
Previously when Lyly had them outburst into the town I was unable to observe them leisurely, but the insect mobs heads were tear-shaped and on it was a highly-transparent crystal that looked like jewellery. While it's body was hidden behind a large head, it was covered with a large shell and at its tip it brandished large vertical pair of scissors. They used their six legs to firmly thread on the ground, moving their tails and scissors in an intimidating manner.
They have appeared one after another, cramming themselves into a narrow space.
"Somehow, seeing so many of them gather is gross. I feel it's a good thing we didn't go."
"How do you take that on? Conversely, won't they be easily wiped out with magic if they're so dense?"
"It hasn't begun yet. Probably, the effect of the 【Insect Repelling Incense】 will be turned off inside and the insect mobs will spread more?"
The two seemed to enjoy the fact that I assumed the explaining role this time.
However, with the following event the town had become dead calm.
——An emergency quest 【Town Assault】 has been started in the town. A number of bosses have been arranged in the town and the joint struggle penalty is cancelled until the quest ends. The level required is suitable for all players. After subjugating a number of monsters you'll become a winner eligible for a reward. In addition, limited edition items have been prepared for the winners——
This, was the announcement of an official event from the management. The content was an emergency quest for all participating players. Hearing this, I've felt a vague fear the crafter's event and the official emergency quest might complicate things.
Still, despite that, the players who couldn't participate in the event earlier stood excited, holding their weapons.
It was because the official emergency quest had no level restriction.
With everyone holding a weapon, they waited for the emergency quest mobs.
"Hey, this time we can participate, right. We'll do what we can."
"Y-yeah, with appropriate level there's no problems."
With that said, the twins have happily swung their newly-bought weapons. However, I was still anxious about whether it was all right for them to participate in something this unexpected.
"How about we form a party and back each other up?"
Hearing Al's question, I thought he's right, Emily-san and I just have to support them as much as possible. I noticed.
"Like usual, Yun-kun and I will cover you. We won't meddle in too much and just support you so that you don't die."
"Well then, Letia will you——"I'll fight together with you"——participate?"
She nodded energetically. Since we didn't know what fighting style Letia used, I was worried if we're able to cooperate all of a sudden.
"Okay, I understand that Letia' will fight. Well then, let's drop the talk and go."
Despite my anxiety, Letia and Emily-san spoke about the order for the emergency quest, so I too supplemented it with ideas for cooperation.
No enchant support for Lyna and Al. No recovery from recovery items. We'll defeat the mobs coming from the side, but we won't help with the ones the two are targeting.
When we told that to them, they suddenly got motivated.
"Well then, let's do it!"
Lyna moved the buckler on the arm forward and made a stance with half of her body, Al squeezed the staff with both his hands.
And as the countdown for the emergency quest had begun, on the screen displayed in the air the secret plan's group of black insects have started to gradually spread.
A certain voice. The person speaking must have thought that the secret planning and emergency quest were started jointly. At first I thought of the same.
However, it was actually different in reality.
『"3, 2, 1..."』
As the countdown progressed, the amount of black insect mobs projected on the screen had increased. The density had thickened within the predetermined range and as it started to rapidly form a shape I started feeling vague anxiety.
——This is bad, this is bad, this is bad. There's no evidence for cooperation with the emergency quest."
Reflected on the screen, as the crafters executing the event greatly panicked, finally the time had come and——
"The insects ran away."
Multiple medium-sized boss mobs from the emergency quest appeared everywhere in the town and next, small fry mobs have appeared surrounding them.
The appearance of the group of black insects from earlier, emergency quest bosses and small fry mobs had overlapped, turning everything into chaos.
"Players who don't fight run away to the centre! Fighting players, to the front! The mobs started moving!"
Someone's roar had echoed.
Originally, the horde of black insect mobs wouldn't leave the area created with 【Insect Repelling Incense】. The personnel was placed so as to not let the lit incense be destroyed. However, a wide variety of mobs have appeared in the town due to the emergency quest without receiving the effect of the 【Insect Repelling Incense】 and destroyed part of the incenses, allowing the freed insects to rush out.
And there, the strong and weak jumbled together have entered large-sized close combat battle.
The town in which there was a large number of people. In addition, with the stalls and booths the passages were narrow, where the players movement was inhibited a horde of insect mobs had attacked.
When someone incapable of defeating had encountered the black insect mobs they were revived in the town square, then continued to deal with the mobs coming one after another despite the death penalty.
"It's just like β version's Zombie Attack."
"That's right. During the town defence event in β version, defeated players continued to rush in despite death penalty. Revived, they continued their assault. And, bit by bit they delivered a little bit of damage to the enemy."
Hearing Emily-san's explanation, I recalled a fragment of a story I heard before. If I'm not wrong, it was about the actions of 【Bow】 users who have ran out of arrows. Because of that story the 【Bow】 had started receiving treatment as a trash Sense.
In this situation there was a localized battle like that as well.
『"All the crafters! Will you allow the event to break down because of such a thing?! We too sortie and go out there!"』
『" " "UOOOOOO——!" " "』
Projected by chance on the screen were the crafters from the 【Crafting Guild】 who organized the event. Called out to by Magi-san who held the position of the guild master, they continued to defeat the monsters the town was overflowing with.
"So what should we do? Just stand firm and protect?"
"Letia, let's see..."
I downcast my eyes slightly.
Magi-san and the others are fighting too. Other players are fighting right now. As if I'd let such an occurrence screw up the event. That's why I——
"——We'll support Lyna and Al so that we can defeat as many mobs as we can. Let's not have this confusion spread any further."
"Got it. With that said though, with a confusing battle like this I can't use my synthetic mobs because it'll end in friendly fire."
"In that case, since they can't add on to combat potential it's bad to leave Ryui and Zakuro summoned. ——《Dismissal》 !"
"Then rather on the main road, it would be better to meet them where they enter a side road."
In that case, it'll work. I thought.
The enemy mobs have spread out in the town, although a lot of mobs were running on the broadest streets leading to in south and north, east and west, there was just as many players there. We entered a side street and selected mobs to defeat immediately after.
"Well take care of just the small fries. Let's go, Al."
When Al nodded in response to Lyna, she had yelled raising her fighting spirit and rushed at the closest weakling mob to pierce it with the short spear, then slash it.
Not to lose to her, Al activated magic in the narrow side street without anywhere to escape, delivering damage.
"Natsu and Aki, scout and restrain the enemy. Fuyu, attack as soon as you find black insects. Haru, please stop the enemies that get in the way."
Letia instructed the four tamed mobs.
The Herbivorous Beast Haru took on the enemies and using its elastic hair, absorbed the attack's impact. While the enemy was stopped, the Fairy Panther kicked off the wall and spread fairy wings, gliding in the air, then crushing the enemy from above.
The Mill Bird Natsu and the Wisp Aki drew an 8 in the sky, restraining the enemy with fire and blades of wind.
"All right! There!"
I aimed with the bow and fired. When the black insect walking on top of the building was pierced, it fell on the street, turned into particles of light and disappeared.
In the same manner, I shot an arrow towards an insects that clung to the wall and made clunky sounds with their scissors and tails, piercing them. One of them kicked off the wall it clung to and headed towards Lyna and Al.
"Emily-san, I leave it to you!"
She drew the connecting sword and when she swung up the extended metal pieces and the wire core entwined around the black insect, dropping it to the ground.
"It's bound, devour it!"
When she twisted the handle of the connecting sword a sound of wind could be heard and the wire tightly crept on the body's surface, metal pieces tore the black insect to shreds.
There was damage from tightening and the damage from being slashed by metal pieces, in particular they were biting into the insect's soft parts tearing it apart. Finally, it had changed into particles of light.
"That was splendid. Emily-san."
"It's the first time we group up, but you're not bad, Letia."
"It's fine to compliment yourselves, but don't forget to support the twins."
Letia and Emily-san complimented each other's actions. I chided it while continuing to shoot arrows, continuing to aid the twins.
Still, even though the twins weren't familiar with fighting while watching the surroundings, level and stat-wise they were enough to overwhelm small fry mobs. However, since they immediately attacked the enemy in front of them, they were surrounded by weak mobs.
"Let's thin them out leaving some for Lyna and Al."
"Well, let's do our best."
When I saw black insects mingle among the growing flock of mobs I heaved a sigh, Emily-san smiled wryly and Letia instructed her four tamed mobs.
How many did we defeat, how much time has elapsed. We arrived in an open plaza slightly away from the town centre and stopped our legs.
In the centre of the square Lyna and Al have reached by chasing after an enemy in the side street, there was a boss mob.
Along with Lyna's voice, Al gasped.
It was a medium-sized mob that had previously attacked Lyna. However, its size was greater than 3 metres, it had claws and the fur's colour was red. In other words, it was a sub-species of a Forest Bear.
While the Forest Bear wasn't that strong for an emergency quest boss, because of their memories they were unable to take a single step.
"Seeing enemy lie in ambush like this, it reminds me of the early game bosses. In any game there's lots of these weak small fry bosses."
"To me, seeing as its hair colour is different, it seems as if they're cutting corners and just change colour scheme to increase the number of enemies. Certainly... if it's a boss whose colour is clearly different stats and movement patterns are enhanced, it might actually fulfil the role of a boss?"
"If we defeat that, we'll get materials for bear pot, right?"
Each of us three had thought whatever we liked. By the way, it was spoken in the order from the right, starting with me, Emily-san and Letia.
With just an enemy of this level, we didn't feel any threat.
"Why are you so lacking in tension!"
"No, Al. You see..."
Why would we be scared of a boss we'll probably defeat with ease. We have directed our gazes saying that towards Al.
"Enemy's moving, Yun-kun."
"Follow them up! Lyna and Al, which one you're aiming for?!"
"Of course, the boss! We'll defeat it!"
Lyna showed her motivation and Al screamed from behind her. Well, being at mercy of the sister is the destiny of a brother, accept it. I already accepted it.
In my mind I cheered for Al, then shot arrow from the bow piercing through the black insects on the wall.
Letia cooperated with her four tamed mobs in close proximity as not to let Lyna and Al be attacked from behind by the black insects.
Emily-san freely manipulated the connecting sword, just attacking the enemies that assaulted Lyna and Al from the sides. She sometimes let them go through allowing the two to take them on.
"Geez, you're pretty Spartan aren't you, Emily-san."
"But spoiling them too much isn't good either!"
Having a reasonable ordeal was important. And as Lyna and Al rushed to the boss in front, Emily-san and I stood back-to-back raising our weapons.
"Normally, this would be quite a pinch, but I don't feel any sense of crisis at all."
While saying so, I nocked the arrows as fast as possible and reduced their number in blink of an eye——
"Were I to describe it, it feels as if I'm playing a Musou game. You know, manipulating the warlords."
After saying that, Emily-san returned the connecting sword to long sword state and cut down a black insect with it.
Although the enemy numbers were gradually decreasing, we still couldn't see the end of it. In order to clean up the secret plan and the emergency quest, we had to dispose of all the black insects and boss mobs that appeared in the town.
"Well, let's increase the pace a little 《Rapid Fire Bow - Second Form》!"
I aimed at two mobs that came jumping at me and nocked arrows. The art that fired two arrows in a row further changed as the level increased.
Both the delay time and the time the art itself took had shortened, in an instant two arrows were fired.
Enhanced by the art I fired continuously, delivering a powerful barrage.
If there was a drawback, that would be the fact arrow had to be replenished once they expired and that MP was consumed by continuous use of art. These two weren't a problem as I had the + correction arrows and plenty MP to spare.
The drawback that couldn't be covered by items or level, was that due to the art recoil the angle I could move the aim was limited. However, at the moment Emily-san was protecting my back.
"I'll do it too——《Cracking》!"
The connecting sword was swung up far overhead, bent strongly and was swung down.
The sword like had slammed into the cobblestone like a whip, creating a shockwave which damaged enemies radially from that point.
It had a paralysis effect and damaged with sound. Originally it was an art from the 【Whip】 Sense, but it could be used with the weapon that was derived from and had both of 【Whip】's and 【Sword】's properties.
The metal pieces tore through returning to the long sword shape. Cutting with Whip's arts, it showed a variety of attack methods.
As Letia's voice resounded, above me and Emily-san there was a black shadow.
I reflexively looked up and saw a black insect jump in. Spreading its six legs, it tried to crush us .
Normally it would be easy to avoid it or shoot it down, but I couldn't move because of the recoil from continuous use of arts and I could move my aim as the angle was restricted.
"Leave it to me! HAAaaa!!"
Emily-san swung the connecting sword overhead, tangling the insect in the wire and metal pieces.
And like that, she held the sword's hilt with both hands swinging it vertically. The metal pieces bit into the insect's body, launching it.
The black insect was pulled down with the swing and slammed into the stone pavement, taking large damage.
However, there were more black insects over our heads. They brandished the tips of their legs. The attack with the claws increased the attack power together with the falling momentum.
I still couldn't move because of art's rebound.
Emily-san brought down the one insect but it wasn't defeated yet. If she solved the restraint it would move towards Lyna and Al so she couldn't move.
Since Letia was defeating the enemy mobs that got in the way of Lyna and Al, she couldn't help.
"Geez... well, gotta let myself get hit."
Rebuilding the posture after being hit takes time so it's a pain. While thinking so, I resigned myself and got hit by the scissors attack——that didn't happen.
"——《Sol Ray》! One more discovered!"
A white shadow contrasting with the black insects that moved from building to building jumped over our heads.
It had emitted a laser beam from its fingertip which pierced the black insect from the side, then it kicked off the wall changing direction to cut down the black insects escaping on the walls.
"The boss is already taken, but there's a lot of untouched mobs. Now, become my nourishment for the sake of defeating that big pup!"
"...Myu-san. I defeated the enemies on the roof. Let's go!"
"Roger. Let's move around for a little longer before merging with Luka-chan and others. ——《Light Wave》!"
Myu landed on the ground and spoke with Toutobi who stood on top of the building. From there, she triggered a wide-range attack magic to the narrow alley and rushed in.
"What was that... just now."
"As usual, Yun-kun's Lil' Sister is being energetic."
Emily-san and I looked at where Myu had ran to for just a moment.
And then, once again we saw Myu pop out from between the buildings, using 【Action Restriction Release】 she kicked off the walls moving in three-dimensional manner all over the town. I somehow understood.
Surely, looking from above was more efficient. She thought. Toutobi too nonchalantly jumped from one building to another.
"Somehow, I've got a headache."
"Don't escape reality. The boss is still remaining!"
"Oh, right! Lyna and Al!"
When I looked back at the boss from the Forest Bear subspecies, I saw Lyna extend the buckler on her wrist to the front and endure.
While she emphasized on the defence, Al was now the cornerstone of their attack steadily shaving off the boss' HP. They fought carefully managing their HP and MP.
"They'll defeat it eventually, but before that we're going to run out of mobs around us."
"It can't be helped. In order to shorten the combat time let's give them some aid. Lyna! Al! We're gonna give you support!"
"Please make it minimal!"
When I called out, I was responded to by Lyna who burned with desire to take revenge on the Forest Bear. She sure hates to lose, I felt so. If possible, we didn't want to butt in directly, but we couldn't afford to prolong it either.
Well, I won't directly intervene in the twins' battle.
"Let's go! 《Enchant》——Attack, defence, speed!"
I put on physical enchants on Lyna, raising her stats.
Then after a few seconds of delay time, I put different enchants on Al.
"《Enchant》——Intelligence, speed! The last one is a bonus. 《Element Enchant》——Weapon!"
On Al, I put on magic attack increase and speed enchants. Also, I crushed the Elemental Stone for the element I wanted to use, strengthening the corresponding element.
"Me too! ——《Charge Lance》!"
Al released two large fireballs and Lyna hid in their shade, rushing in with the short spear in her hands.
The fireball hit the Forest Bear's body and spread throughout it, delivering damage. The Forest Bear swung its thick arm to scatter the flames, but with low posture hiding behind the fire Lyna had stabbed in with the spear.
The furious charge pierced Forest Bear's belly, breaking its posture. Retaining the momentum Lyna ran through behind it and pierced the Forest Bear's outstretched neck, then twisted the handle gouging it.
It had become a decisive factor, the Forest Bear sank in and turned into particles of light.
"All right! Boss is defeated!"
"Not yet, the town assault isn't over yet! Let's go to the next one."
"A break before that. You need to recover HP and MP."
I stopped Al who spoke happily and joyful Lyna before the two rushed to the next enemy in sight.
"Despite the boss being defeated, the Bear's Paw didn't drop. I expected that considering it was a subspecies..."
"Letia. Don't make such a sad face. Come on, I'll give you some of the sweets I made earlier."
"Yes. Yun-san, I love you for giving me so many things."
Matching her Letia's tamed mobs cried out. Since the Wisp couldn't speak, he relayed it by changing the flame's colour.
"Yun-kun, getting closer by feeding, huh."
"That wasn't my intention..."
With appetite Letia had begun munching on the pound cake.
The large screen visible from anywhere in the town that was still being projected in the air had displayed a quite changed battle situation.
Since the black insects have mixed together with the weak bosses spread out all over the town, and subjugation of the weak enemies in this labyrinth did not go as I thought it would. On the other hand, the excessive forces on the major roads in the east and west, south and north already finished cleaning up the enemies. The organization of the teams for fixing the stalls and the sweeping teams for the alleys were ongoing.
In the centre of it was Mikadzuchi and Sei-nee from the guild 【Eight Million Gods】. The 【Crafting Guild】 members capable of combat moved, starting with Magi-san.
Talented parties like Taku's have scattered in various places, engaging in the encounter battles.
"Hey, we've rested enough we want to go on!"
"You're right. Then, how about we go south where's less people and defeat what we find?"
As Emily-san proposed, no one objected and have nodded.
"Now, let's go!"
I put on a wry smile seeing Lyna raise the spear again and close on the enemy in front of her. We chased after her.
Possibly because they defeated the Forest Bear subspecies boss earlier the twins' level increased. The rate at which enemy was being exterminated and the combat efficiency had increased.
"At this rate, soon enough they'll be able to join a party to defeat Big Boar and Blade Lizard."
"You're right. When that happens, they'll be out of our hands."
While both of us took down the black insects, Emily-san and I muttered.
And then, we continued to fight until a sound had rang out thirty minutes later, signalling the end of emergency quest.
"Take that!! Haa! Aaa..."
——Emergency Quest complete. Cheers for the good work. The summary of the results are ready, please wait for a moment.
Lyna released a full body thrust, scratching the mob that had disappeared and her movements stopped retaining the posture as she missed.
And since she continued to concentrate on fighting until now, tired, she calmed her breathing and sat on spot.
"Lyn-chan. Are you okay?"
"I'm fine. I just need to rest a little. Rather than that Al, look at the status. In this short time it's gone up 5 levels."
Her breathing was still rough, but I looked at her with a smile as she said so happily.
I too checked my own Sense status.
【Bow Lv37】 【Longbow Lv10】 【Hawk Eyes Lv48】 【Speed Increase Lv28】 【See-Through Lv13】 【Magic Talent Lv44】 【Magic Power Lv48】 【Enchant Arts Lv22】 【Dosing Lv28】 【Earth Element Talent Lv19】
【Alchemy Lv32】 【Synthesis Lv33】 【Engraving Lv2】 【Swimming Lv13】 【Crafting Knowledge Lv34】【Taming Lv8】 【Linguistics Lv18】 【Cooking Lv26】
Considering the strength of the mobs we took on, it seemed like my level barely increased at all making me heave a light sigh. It can't be helped. I smiled wryly.
The result must have been similar for Emily-san as she made a subtle smile.
"Yun-kun, cheers for good work."
"You too, Emily-san."
Both of us took out drinks from inventory and put it up to our mouths.
When we sat in the side street from which we could view at the main street, we saw that even after the assault quest, the residual black insect sweeping program and the preparations of stall were over, everyone was running around and the town was bustling.
"Yun-saan, Emily-saaan. Please look at thiiis."
"What is it, Letia. Hey, haa?!!"
Letia had hailed to us, when we turned around, there, we saw the black insect gnawing on the Herbivorous Beast who seemed completely fine as well as the Mill Bird Natsu and Aki restraining the insect with magic. In addition, in case the insect were to turn violent the Fairy Panther Fuyu was there to protect Letia.
"What are you doing! It's dangerous, isn't it!"
"No, somehow I wondered if I could make it a comrade."
Lyna and Al raised their tired bodies and set up their weapons, but Letia entered between them not letting them fight.
While ignoring them, Letia approached the black insect and touched the crystal on its forehead.
"Let's go then. ——《Taming》"
She muttered quietly, a pale ripple spread from Letia's hand.
As that was sucked into the black insect's forehead, it's mouth inside gnawing on the Herbivorous Beast's fur had relaxed. It's eyes glowing red changed into blue and the black insect moved away from Haru.
"It succeeded. So the mob's name is Runner Bug, huh. Your name is Kisaragi. So, your nickname is Ragi. Best regards."
Saying so, she pat the Runner Bug Kisaragi, it let out a clattery sweet sound and morphed into a summoning stone.
"If I call you out now you might get attacked by mistake, see you later. Ragi."
Letia muttered to the summoning stone in her hand, then tired, she fell down into the Herbivorous Beast Haru, sticking her face in its fur.
"Hey, you okay?"
Her stomach let out a loud sound and she stretched her hand in my direction. I responded with "good grief" and went to buy food in the restored stall to pass it to her.
With that for the time being she secured enough physical strength to move and had begun to actively go eat on her own.
The problem with Letia was over, we looked towards Lyna and Al again and seeing them make a difficult expressions despite raising their levels, Emily-san and I smiled wryly slightly troubled.
"It's fine that our levels increased, but the amount recovered by the potions used so far has decreased. MP Potion didn't change. How about you, Al?"
"Me? Nothing changed."
"Congratulations. That means the amount recovered was reduced as your level increased. Right now you're using Beginner's Potions, right? Then next ones you use will be Potions and High Potions."
"But I still have lots of them left. It's a waste. Just earlier we bought equipment, and we have to spend again..."
I calmed down Lyna and Al who lowered their heads and shoulders dejected.
"Then, how about you make them into Blue Potions that have the same effect as Potions? With just a little bit of adjustment to the Beginner's Potions, they can be changed into Bluepots."
Hearing my proposal Lyna and Al raised their faces and tilted their heads.
If one used 【Synthesis】 on multiple Beginner's Potions with each other, it was possible to make a different potion. If there one mixed in the material Blue Jelly, one could make the Blue Potions instantly.
Originally, I would have boiled herbs then concentrated it to make highly effective potions, but it would be too excessive to give that to the two right from the start.
"The effect will be just a little higher than that of a potion, how about it?"
"With that we might suppress the costs. Lyn-chan, how about we go hunt some slimes later?"
By the time the two consented, Letia had come back holding enough food she had to protrude her hands to hold them.
Looking as she had divided it between the twins and the tamed mobs, Emily-san lined up next to me and spoke.
"Yun-kun and Blue Potions sounds nostalgic. Miss 【Mysterious Bluepot Vendor】."
"It's not like I named myself that though."
Recalling the way I was once referred to feeling nostalgic myself and smiled wryly. I thought it was a better nickname than current 【Nanny】.
"Certainly, with the basic recipe their effect is on the level of a Potion, but with the recipe adjustments it can be comparable to High Potions. Since there's no potion recovery amount limit, the two might use them for really long."
"I didn't really think of that."
Understanding Emily-san's grin even despite the mask, I returned a similar grin.
At that time, information had reached us through the party menu which we checked through.
【"——Congratulations on winning Emergency Quest 【Town Assault】's prize. The commemorative prize had been placed in your inventory."】
"Al! Look! Really?! We got it?!"
"We did! It's not a dream!"
The summary of the emergency quest results had ended and we have won a prize. For our result of defeating 80 small fry mobs and a single boss we received a prize. Comparing it to others' results, we have barely made it, but for novice players it was a really good result.
"We did it! Also, with new accessories we'll get even stronger!"
What the two had equipped on their arms were bracelets shining in brownish colour with a missing portion that made it easy to put on. A red gem was fitted into their centres, it was an unique product with a relief engraved on it.
Emily-san and I, as well as Letia have received the same equipment and checked the information on the items.
Scramble Hero 【Accessory】(Weight: 3)
ATK+3 DEF+3 INT+3 MIND+3 Additional Effect: HP+3%
It raised four stats and its additional effect increased HP limit by 3%, the effect should be more than enough for Lyna and Al.
For the two who haven't yet established a clear fighting style for themselves, this type of accessory that raises their base stats will come in handy. However, for me, Emily-san and Letia they were quite lacking. When they get far enough in the game like we did, they'll want to choose accessories that match their Senses, combat styles and weapons.
In that meaning, for the high-level players it was a medal and for the low-level players it had a worth as a reward. It could be said it was a balanced prize.
For accomplishments, not only ones for the emergency quest had come but also ones for the summoned Runner Bugs interception had come, but our party was unable to make it.
"What, even though we defeated a lot of them."
"The ones who defeated them were Yun-san, Emily-san and Letia-san."
Well, since the event required players to have stats high enough to reach second or third town, the accessories prepared were for people like that. Voices of joy have rose up in various places in the town, for this moment Magi-san must have worked hard. The accessories must have been a great treat.
"But the ones who did the most were senior players, wasn't it. We were being saved the entire time."
"What are you saying? You're the event's heroes."
Letia caught Lyna and Al, and with her head between theirs she continued.
"It's fine for you to stand out."
She responded the twins with a nod. Lyna and Al turned around to look at us, so we smiled and nodded to them.
"Let's march through under the banner of bracelet-wearing arm. A victory parade."
With that said, Letia walked to the widest location in the main street.
Since we realized what she wanted to do, we helped to clean out the surroundings of people, then watched over Letia's actions.
"Let's go, Mutsuki——《Summon》!"
Letia had called out the elephant young beast, Ganesha Mutsuki. Despite being a cub that huge body had emitted an overwhelming aura.
I was accustomed to it because it was my second time seeing it, Emily-san standing next to me looked up slightly agape.
"Now, let's go."
She had nimbly climbed on Mutsuki's raised front leg to its back, then reached out to Lyna, Al was raised up by Mutsuki's long nose and put on its back.
After confirming the two are safely riding on Mutsuki's back, Letia called out to us.
"How about Yun-san and Emily-san?"
"I'll pass, I don't like standing out."
"Well. I'll refrain myself as well. I want to talk with Yun-kun."
"Is that so. We'll be going then. Mutsu, please."
When she instructed Mutsuki from its back, Mutsuki started parading through the main street with the twins on its back showing their brown bracelets. They were surrounded by Letia's four tamed mobs, Haru, Natsu, Aki and Fuyu flying about tagging along them. We could hear cheers from surroundings celebrating the prizes.
"Well then, what to do next."
"Let's see. Actually, I've found something I'd like to ask Yun-kun..."
"Something to ask me?"
"The skill you used during emergency quest, 《Element Enchant》 was it? The item used by that, was it Elemental Stone?"
I was surprised that she saw me when I used that skill just once on Al, but I didn't really have any intention of hiding it.
"Yeah. When we were bartering, that skill was added."
"When you took it out at first I thought you're going to use attack magic, but the stone's element was fire. What Yun-kun uses should be just earth, so it surprised me."
"Was it that surprising?"
"It meant there was a method to use them I didn't know of."
Even despite the mask I could tell Emily-san made a joyful expression.
"I've got a proposal, can we verify the effect of the skill? I want to know as many methods of using the material I sell as possible."
"I don't mind, but now?"
"No. I need to do my own preparations. Let's see. When the preparations are over I'll contact you through friend chat."
"Then I'll log out for now. I need to prepare lunch."
Because of the event battle somehow the time for lunch had passed. Myu was still logged in, but I had to prepare it.
"Well then, see you later."
Emily-san and I both logged out to take a break.
Chapter 3 - 《Killing Edge》 Skill and PK
As the water had soundly boiled in the pot, Miu came down from the second floor while stretching. It was 2 p.m. which was really late to eat lunch.
"Onii-chan, I'm hungry."
"I'm making it now so wait while drinking tea. What kind of taste do you want?"
What I was making today, was ramen.
Boiled vegetables and boiled eggs sliced in half, thinly sliced pork, it was ramen in which I used canned corn. Since there was no time, this was easier, but since dinner will also probably be disordered maybe I should prepare something ahead. I wondered as I drained hot water from the noodles.
"Here, it's done."
"Yay! Thank you for the food!"
As Miu happily started eating the noodles made by me, I asked why was she late for lunch.
"So Miu, are you still excited after the event?"
"Of course! It has to be enjoyed after all!"
She said so and with a broad smile, she reported their achievements.
"See, we won double prize! A hundred small fries and two bosses, also thirty black insects, great victory!"
"Amazin', that's more than we have."
No way, to think they won double prize. When she came down from the building she disappeared like the wind, it seemed like she was quite emphasizing one efficiency then. At that time, Lucato and others might have fought in a different location.
"Also, see. Shizuka-oneechan's and Takumi-san's parties defeated 50 black insects each and were on top of the main event! Amazing, right?"
"So Shizuka-nee and Takumi aimed for strong enemies, huh."
"And you know. When it ended a parade had started into which we got mixed in and couldn't escape. Some newbie players also got a prize, we can expect a lot from them! We won't lose either!"
I don't think it's a bad thing to be motivated, but the more Miu, Takumi and Shizuka-nee do their best the more newcomers targeting them fall behind. But I couldn't just tell them to hold back.
"Then, was the entire event able to safely recover?"
"Hmm. Some stalls had withdrawn prematurely after losing items to sell. Instead, they helped with things like fixing the stages or went out to hunt for ingredients to make food to sell tomorrow. That's why, there won't be another secret plan again. Is what they said."
"In that case, tomorrow it'll be mainly stage plays and PVP tournament, huh."
Then for the remaining time today, we'll work with Endo-san on verification of the 《Element Enchant》.
While I assembled the plan in my head, Miu already ate and made a satisfied expression.
"Haa, I've eaten well. Now then, game again."
"Your digestion will be poor so wait for thirty minutes first."
"Grr, then I'll talk with Takumi-san. We'll prepare a strategy for defeating that raid quest's big puppy after the event is over!"
No, the raid quest's boss is a giant wolf and not a dog. Is what I wanted to say, but before I could Miu already went back to her room on the second floor.
It can't be helped, I heaved a sigh and finished eating late lunch before preparing a light dinner.
I mixed cooked rice with sugar and vinegar, making vinegared rice, added a small amount of sesame and mixed evenly. Then I put it into deep-fried tofu, formed it completing inari sushi. I cleanly prepared them in a short amount of time, then put the servings on platters and put them in the refrigerator.
If I add miso soup and vegetables to it later, it should have good nutritional balance. Thinking that, I checked on the time.
Three o'clock was quite late, I checked things in the house then returned to my room and took the VR gear in hand.
I put it on the head and lied on the bed, logging into OSO again.
"Emily-san, did you wait?"
『"I logged in a while ago myself. Were you able to get a break, Yun-kun?"』
Together with Emily-san we confirmed both of us logged in before merging.
After rejoining, Emily-san guided me to the location in which we will verify the 《Element Enchant》 skill.
A small workshop in a narrow back alley between two buildings. There was a store with a simple plate sign saying 【Material Merchant】.
Since it was an always dim place, it gave an atmosphere of researching location indeed, it was a similarily calming dark workshop atmosphere like that of 【Atelier】's workshop part.
"So this is Emily-san's store..."
"With that said, people don't come here. In the first place, I sell the made materials directly to the crafters, the sales mainly come from the material requests. So, I wonder if a research lab wouldn't be a better term."
While saying so, she took off the mask and hat indoors, then removed disguise accessories before sitting face to face with me.
"Well then. Let's first ascertain what we're both aware of at the moment."
"Ascertain. You mean, usage of Elemental Stones and 《Element Enchant》?"
"That's right. I can be the first to start."
After saying that, Emily-san took out sample of several items to explain.
"First, for me myself the Elemental Stones are used as materials for synthesis. Well, I'll omit the combinations, but I think it could be said they add an element to a non-elemental attribute?"
I confirmed the items Emily-san took out and squinted.
Iron Ingot of Earth (minimal) 【Material】
An ingot tinged with earth element.
Iron Sword of Earth 【Weapon】
ATK+13 Additional Effect: ATK Bonus, Earth Element Bonus (minimal)
Glove of Earth 【Armour】
DEF+7, MIND+3 Additional Effect: DEF Bonus, Earth Element Resistance (minimal)
Necklace of Earth 【Ornament】
DEF+3, INT+1, MIND+3 Additional Effect: Earth Element Increase (minimal)
The presented accessories all seemed to have been synthesized with Elemental Stone and after forging the difference was the added effect.
"This is an additional effect obtained by combining it with Elemental Stone of fifth grade, when raised to fourth or third grade, the additional effect is also strengthened."
"So it's the same system as that of gem size's, huh. How does the resulting effect look like?"
"For weapons, an elemental bonus is added to the attack. For armour, there's a resistance to the added element. For ornaments it adds damage and bonus and damage shielding effects, all of it by a few %."
Well, that's the effect for the fifth grade, if the grade raises the result gets stronger and can't be made fun of. Emily-san said.
"This was made by processing already-synthesized material, the made weapons can be further improved with reinforcing material if you use 【Synthesis】, 【Smithing】 or 【Craftsmanship】. However, if the weapon is turned back to an ingot, the Elemental Stone's effect disappears."
"I see. So putting it on after the item was already made is impossible."
In fact, that's slightly wrong. She said.
"If combined with material beforehand, it retains a high grade effect, if it's put on a ready item the effect decreases by one grade."
That reminds me of something... oh right. It's like the two grade decrease when synthesizing arrows with toxic potions. It's same as that.
"I think it's different from that. Also, the magic power's correction is roughly the same."
I listened to information provided by Emily-san and organized it in my head.
I wonder if these weapons and armours' effect overlaps with my 《Element Enchant》, if they do an instantaneous explosive power would be born. I considered.
"Well then, Yun-kun's turn."
"You're right. My 《Element Enchant》 consumes an Elemental Stone and temporarily enchants weapon or armour with the element."
"Can you try it now?"
I received Elemental Stones of fire and earth from Emily-san and put the enchants on the iron sword and glove that were put out as samples.
"《Element Enchant》——Weapon, armour."
I put the fire element on the iron sword and earth element on the glove respectively, releasing pale light. Since we were verifying it in a calm place, the delay time before next use and MP consumption seemed longer.
"I see. 《Element Enchant》's effect is temporary, but it seems to have the same effect grade as that of the consumed Elemental Stone."
"So no matter the use, the result is the same huh. Also, being temporary it has a poor efficiency."
In that case, I felt like semi-permanent additional effect was more efficient.
"Not really. Unlike the additional effect, in case of 【Enchant】 it can hold two elements. Also, the effect applied to the armour had duplicated temporarily raising the additional effect by one grade."
In other words, it was possible to use the same element twice and two different elements. It was much easier than preparing equipment for each situation.
"Also, there's one more thing I want to try. Can you enchant my sword?"
"Hm? Got it. 《Element Enchant》——Weapon."
I used grade four elemental stone passed to me by Emily-san and put a water elemental enchantment on the connecting sword. Emily-san stared at it seriously, her gaze was directed at the connecting sword's stats.
"I see. So both of them have their own merits."
"Merits? Other than the overlapping effects?"
"Yun-kun, you have 【Engraving】 Sense so you should know about the upper limit of additional effects in the equipment."
I nodded in response to Emily-san's words. It was information similar to the hidden stats. The equipment had a limit until which additional effects could be granted, if surpassed the equipment would self-destruct. That's why own items effects are chosen for the user's senses and fighting style.
In my case, when I use 【Enchant Arts】's 《Item Enchant》 I can use cursed additional effects to balance out the plus and minus effects.
On a side note, the long bow I have obtained during the summer camp event, in exchange for the weapons basic stats being low, it could have up to fifteen additional effects from magical strengthening material attached and was indestructible as an unique item.
"This connecting sword has additional effects put into it to the limit."
"Hee...eh, ehhh?! No matter the experiment don't use your main weapon! What if it was destroyed!"
"In that case, repairs. Well, that aside——it succeeded."
She hurriedly interrupted me saying so.
"It successfully enchanted the item. Concluding, we found out that it temporarily increases the weapon's upper power limit."
"I see. It's great that it doesn't break."
"Oh come on, it's a part of the enchant's new capability to be happy over."
Emily-san smiled wryly, but to me, if I were to enchant someone's weapon with an element enemy was weak to and the weapon would collapsed, the person would be left with bare hands. Knowing no such thing would happen, I was relieved.
"I guess we have briefly examined the information we have?"
"It's fine if we examine it again if we find something, right? Oh right. Can I do some preparations for the raid quest in here? The Elemental Stones will be also needed."
"Sure. What do you need? Since I claim myself to be 【Material Merchant】 I do have quite a collection of materials."
Since the material I ordered was immediately prepared, I purchased it in bulk. I purchased various Elemental Stones of grade four in exchange for certain items.
I exchanged my silver ore for silver ingots Emily-san had and paid the charge for processing them.
"Why do you need silver ingots? You should be able to process them with 【Engraving】 Sense."
"My level and furnace is too low to process it, so I can't make them myself."
Because there was no immediate need for me to make iron ingots I was unable to raise my 【Engraving】 Sense that high.
If possible, I swear that next time I'll come up with refining technique of ingots with 【Engraving】.
In order to prepare it as one of the trump cards for the raid quest's boss battle, I synthesized items with silver ingots.
Silver ingot, tree branch and a bird's feather, the three were synthesized to make Silver Arrows.
Silver Arrow 【Consumable】
These Silver Arrows were literally disposable since there was no automatic return correction on them from combining a number of them. The cost-performance was poor so I was slightly regretful feeling it's a waste.
However, against an undead-type boss, weapons made from silver were required.
The silver-based materials have special damage increase against the undead. Moreover, while I don't know if it'll be needed, I synthesized a number of bad status arrows to prepare myself.
"This will be last one——《Synthesis》"
"You sure made a lot. Still, I didn't think you'd secure that many bad status agents."
"Well, everyday effort I guess. I grow the materials on the field for times like these."
While answering like that I moved my head left and right stretching myself. Maybe worried about me, Emily-san made a proposal.
"Let's take a break and buy something at the stalls. There might be some stalls remaining out there."
"You're right. Let's go."
Emily-san once again put on the mask and the hat, then we left the back alley together.
When I looked up the sky was red, but the alley had become quite dark in the shade of the buildings. As I walked through the place that felt like a labyrinth, thinking that there are still places in the town I don't know, together with Emily-san we moved towards the main street.
On the main street there was still a sparse amount of stalls and it bustled with players. However, their state was somehow shadowed, it seemed like there were disturbing signs making Emily-san and me look at this atmosphere puzzled.
"Yeah, something might have happened. I'll try asking."
I ordered drinks for two people in a stall in the vicinity and asked the player in front of me what happened.
"It's really bustling here, did something happen?"
"A large amount of PKs appeared near the town."
"Indeed——it's PKs involved with two guilds, 【Fosch Hound】 and 【Flame Prison Corps】. From a number of our comrades who went to hunt Big Boars to secure food for the stalls tomorrow, some haven't come back yet."
"Emily-san, I have a bad feeling."
I have met PKs from 【Fosch Hound】 several times. Emily-san also knew the story about malicious solicitation.
"Emily-san, let's check the friend list."
I opened the friend list and checked who is online. Among categories divided "in combat", "area" and "town", there were two names labelled as "in combat".
"Just Lyna and Al are continuously in combat. Letia didn't seem to be with them."
Since we separated after logging out we had no idea what happened with them afterwards, I immediately called Letia with the friend chat.
"Letia, there's something I want to ask. What's happening with Lyna and Al?"
『"What's this all of a sudden? If it's the two, they have temporarily formed a party with people of the same level range and went to the area nearby. They went to gather materials for Blue Potions and to hunt Big Boars."』
Some bad information had come one after another. Isn't that exactly the area PKs are in now.
"I see... sorry."
『"Yun-san? What is it? Did something happen?"』
"It's just my guess but..."
I explained what's happening in town to Letia. Then I asked Emily-san for the confirmed information on points in which the PKs attacked indiscriminately, then relayed it to Letia.
『"...I understand. I'll head there immediately as well"』
"We also intend to look for Lyna and Al. Then, let's meet at 【Crafting Guild】's guild hall. We'll start gathering information."
"Let's go, Yun-kun."
After hearing Letia say she'll meet us later, I turned off the friend chat and aimed at the intersection of main street.
There stood a remarkably prominent building, the 【Crafting Guild】's guild hall into which we entered.
The sub-space had extended the hall's size several times its appearance suggested, at the moment there was a huge traffic as people sought information and it was hard to find people I knew.
"Found you! Lyly! Are you gathering information on what's happening by the town?!"
From the side I approached Lyly whom I found by chance and asked him on the topic.
When I did, he looked towards me and Emily-san, his eyes turned so big it seemed like they'll spill and his expression had tightened.
"I understand. We can't speak calmly here so I'll guide you to the second floor."
After we were guided by Lyly and passed into a space on the second floor that looked like a meeting room, Cloude was about to instruct players sitting inside.
"Move in groups of at least three people! Organise yourself as to do surprise attacks and scout. After you form parties, sortie. Also, don't act unreasonably and don't overdo it. If you're taken down by enemy players, you'll turn into their experience. Make sure that doesn't happen! ——Report your locations!"
In response to Cloude's voice, the players responsible for acting as liaisons have conveyed information in unison and organized incoming information.
"Yun, huh. The information started getting complicated. When the night comes we'll get lots of uncertain extra info. Sorry, but help us organize information."
I wanted know whether Lyna and Al are safe, but as Cloude said that without even looking my way I felt trying to get it out of him was impossible. Also, it didn't have to mean they still remained where PK are.
"Got it, pass information to me. Emily-san, Letia will come here so take care of her."
"Leave it to me."
Cloude noticed Emily-san's and mine exchange and raised his face, surprised similarly to how Lyly was, but then immediately returned to organizing information in the menu.
I started organizing information sent to me by Cloude.
The content of the sent information were PK party's configurations, used skills, objective behaviour patterns, the reports of the damage received by the parties that met them and a list of players that haven't returned.
By operating touch panels of the multiple translucent menu's floating in the air I sorted it.
For the PKs met in the forest I have made a list of sighting points and synchronized it by inputting that on the map.
By continuing to correct base information with the updated one, I organized it. Then I sent back the organized information synchronized with the map to Cloude.
"I've finished organizing it, Cloude."
"I could check the information I wanted to know so I got serious."
I was able to check the list of players remaining in the forest, but couldn't find Lyna's and Al's names there. I hoped the information will be added later so I continued to organize the information.
"Next are positions of players driven back by PKs and the positions occupied by PKs. After that, put positions of the vanguard who went to eliminate the PKs and the points in which they intercepted them."
"As expected of you. You'll become a good, beautiful secretary."
I couldn't afford getting along with Cloude's jokes. This place was dominated by tension and everyone rushed to understand the information. That alone was a proof they loved this game, this world of OSO.
I too, for this world I love and friends did what I could.
My eyes followed the information and my hands sorted it, I continued to handle multiple things in parallel in my head.
In middle of doing that my eyes and thinking stopped for a moment.
『"——Two more who were late to escape. Player names are: Lynard, Alphard. The last point they were witnessed is east-northeast forest area."』
The moment I saw it, I felt an illusion as if a cold water was poured down my back.
"——"...found them."——Players who entered the forest to counter the PKs pretended to be normal players allies before PKing them. It's almost like a trojan horse... what happened?"
"Acquaintance was late to escape. I'll be going."
"Hey, calm down. Wait a——"Yun-kun, the two are headed for the forest on the east side."——haa..."
As Cloude tried to halt me, Emily-san had rushed inside with Letia and covered his voice relaying information to me.
"Letia heard that from the players the two were in party with so it's certain."
"Information had come here as well just now. I'll put the location on the map."
"Let's go then."
"I said, calm down!"
After hearing Letia's words the three of tried to rush out of the room, but Cloude stopped us.
"No going in with just you three. There might be PKs disguised as people who were late to escape or pretending to be allies. It's difficult to determine friend from foe."
"...I get it. But——"
We didn't have a long lasting nor special relation with those twins. They were someone who became my comrades on a whim, but if acquaintances are caught in midst of troublesome events, I want to help them.
How strange, it's just a game yet here I'm getting serious. I mocked myself in order to start thinking calmly, but it was impossible anyhow. It had nothing to do with whether this was a game or real.
"We're just going to pick up acquaintances, that's all."
"Indeed. We'll just retire the guys who try to interfere. These children are Yun-kun's and mine acquaintances."
While I was only able to remain silent with downcast eyes, Emily-san put a hand on my shoulder and Letia held my hand, I looked towards them and felt their words spread inside my chest.
"...the day's already over. It's dark, do you think you can find them in a forest where you're susceptible to surprise attacks? We should begin cleaning up the PKs with a larger amount of people."
"Unfortunately, I'm not calm enough person to wait for that!"
"If you're going to go that far, first defeat me——"Cloude. It's your loss."——Khh, Magi, don't stop me!"
As Cloude took out his staff and we glared at each other, imperceptibly Magi-san had entered between us.
"With Yun's information organizing ability we can organize a team to counter PKs really fast. That's connected with Yun's and others goal. You know that, Magi."
"Still, how is that a reason to bully three cute girls."
"Umm... I'm a man thoug——"I'm not bullying them!"——At least let me say it."
As I lowered my shoulders dejected, Emily pat my shoulder twice. Somehow, her line of sight seemed filled with pity and it really hurt.
"You. Look around you and you'll notice. If you don't want to become a villain, pull back."
When Magi-san pointed at the surroundings, the players acting as liaisons have looked at Cloude anxiously.
"...haa, I get it. To think even 【Material Merchant】 would back Yun so much. I've heard she didn't come in contact with anyone, just when did you become friends."
Cloude made a somewhat fatigued sigh, but then he fixed his expression and stared directly at us.
"Make sure you come back safe! I won't forgive you if you become PKs' experience!"
Saying so, we rushed out of the meeting room
We knew where the twins' have separated from their temporary party. Also, we know that they were in combat during the day. We worked on a strategy as we moved.
"There's a possibility we'll be found by the enemy. Let's avoid using any light sources."
"I'll lead then. With my 【Hawk Eyes】 I can move even in the dark."
And then, we proceeded through the forest relying on 【Hawk Eyes】 night vision capability.
With Mill Bird Natsu released to the sky, we proceeded as to avoid encountering mobs and players if possible.
Art and skill effects' light is easy to spot, that's why for the mobs we couldn't avoid we took them on with normal attacks.
Even the Big Boars that took me a lot of effort to defeat in the past had majority of its HP shaved off when hit in the vital points by an arrow and were defeated with Emily-san's subsequent attack.
In my heart, there were just two concerns.
First one was the fact that we had no details on Lyna and Al who were late to escape and remained in combat the entire time.
The other one, was that PK's existence.
The PK we have met in the 【Maze Town】 who was on entirely different level, Flein. Also, the mysterious skill that Flein had used——《Killing Edge》. Although I didn't know its effect, but back then it had cut Mikadzuchi's weapon in two. It was a considerably dangerous skill.
In case a player having that was there, what should we do, how to proceed not allowing them to use it. How much damage can we deliver with the first attack.
I thought of it, but before I could settle it we found the people we searched for.
I glanced from behind a tree to check on the situation.
I confirmed that Lyna, Al and a fainted male player were surrounded by PKs, then with my eyes I signalled Emily-san and Letia to draw back.
The PKs occasionally delivered a light attack to Lyna and Al and the healer recovered their HP. Meanwhile, the twins did not move and had eyes closed.
"Is that 【Sleep】 status? What do we do? The goal is to take Lyna and Al back, but my conscience wouldn't let me leave that sleeping player behind."
"You're right. The PKs are too dense there for defeating one by one."
"Still, there's no need to kill each one of them. A surprise attack and rescue using a decoy. How about that?"
Emily-san showed us several types of stones.
These were not 【Taming】 Sense's summoning stones... were they. Probably synthesized mobs Nucleus Stones.
"The strategy has two points. A mixed force of my and Emily-san's mobs will hit from the front. During that opportunity Yun-san and Emily-san will rush in."
"In that case, the mobs I'll lend you out are disposable so instruct them as to crush the enemy."
The three of us continued to make up a plan. Since Emily-san intended to use her mobs until they're useless, I added another idea as to reinforce the strategy.
"Then mixed force of mobs will hit from the front, Emily-san and I will prioritize crushing the healer and rescuing the twins. At the same time we complete objective we withdraw. Is that all right?"
All three of us nodded and we started acting.
A small vacancy in the forest. In there the PKs put the lantern lights and remained wary of their surroundings.
In order to do a pincer attack on them Emily-san and I concealed our breathing and waited for Letia's movement.
And soon enough, the PKs line of sight was turned towards the darkness on the opposite side we stood at.
"Come out of there! So you came after all."
"Could you give back the people sleeping there? They're my acquaintances."
With a somewhat carefree tone of voice Letia spoke and stood on the edge of the forest's darkness. In the vicinity of her shoulder was the Wisp thought to be a source of light, it retained the distance not moving away.
"You sure screw around! You're all alone! A sucker just asking for it ain't you! Come and become our experience!"
A single PK lunged, approaching Letia.
In response to that, without any fighting spirit Letia just raised her right hand and then lowered it forward. That moment, a shadow had jumped out of the forest's darkness.
The Herbivorous Beast had hit the PK approaching Letia with its body and the Fairy Panther had bit into his throat.
From behind her, what appeared one after another——was a group of live human-sized wooden dolls with spherical joints. Their heads were like leopards, bodies had stiff dog hair on it and hands had conspicuous sharp scales and claws, the tail had a sharp needle like that of a bee's——the Chimera's.
What appeared last, with moonlight shining from between the trees being reflected on its smooth surface notifying the PKs of its large bulk——was a Bronze Golem.
All of it had rushed at the PK who had strayed away and attacked him until he got stuck.
"I'll return you to town then."
"C-counter-attack! She's manipulating the mobs. Aim for her alone!"
The sudden surprise attack had the other members get ready to run away, to rouse the others one of the PKs had moved forward.
"Wood Doll corps, forward——"
As the dolls with rough, spherical joints sluggishly approached them, the PKs took them down with their weapons, but the Wood Doll soldier corps have proceeded with assault with no fear catching three PKs immediately. Still, since the Wood Dolls were originally weak, they didn't deal any damage and were brought down by PKs recklessly swinging their weapons.
"Second batch, charge."
A part of the Doll Corps that was on standby gripped something in their palms and assaulted.
And, the moment they have embraced the PKs, Letia spoke the keyword.
A flash had flared up and a sound of explosion rang out.
The Magic Gems with Bomb magic inserted into them had triggered in Wood Dolls' palms and burst out at PKs in close range.
PKs aside which was natural, the multiple bombing of Magic Gems had also engulfed and sent flying the Wood Dolls. It was a result of combining conventional use of Emily-san's Wood Dolls and aiming for chain damage.
As a result, the PKs were dealt a large amount of damage, they had just a little bit of HP remaining.
"G-got it——《Round He..."
Aiming for that moment, I shot an arrow.
The recovery magic's skill didn't make it to activation. The healer was unable to understand why did the magic not activate, why did he receive impact from behind and why was there an arrow in his chest. That's how he looked like.
And, together with Emily-san we have pounced at the healer from behind.
Emily-san had released Connecting Sword's art from the sword's point, tying the healer's body.
Then I activated auxiliary skill, switched the weapon from a bow to knife and thrust it towards the back of the man's head that was his vital point.
Not fully defeating him with the knife's blow piercing his neck I pulled the knife out and this time, I pierced the weakness marker on his back, defeating the healer as a target of highest priority.
"Letia! He's down!"
"Well then, all troops, clean them up."
As she instructed with a lax tone of voice, the Chimeras and Letia's tamed mobs raised a roar, also the Bronze Golem had acknowledged the order by loudly creaking.
After that, it was an one-sided overrun.
Four PKs have sustained a large amount of damage from the suicide attack during which the Wood Dolls were used. The healer whom they requested for recovery was defeated so they were slowly brought down by the assault.
"Damn it! You again! 【Atelier】's Yun!"
"You... who are you again?"
"I won't let you say you forgot us! We're 【Fosch Hound】's——"Ah, you're the PKs beat up to a pulp by Mikadzuchi."——let me finish!"
Despite being sandwiched by mobs, the PK spoke.
I couldn't care less about the PKs. They weren't at the level where they could use that Flein's 《Killing Edge》 skill, we also have already secured Lyna and Al.
"How many times will you get in our way before you're satisfied!"
"No, I've no clue. The ones who came in breaking my peaceful game life were you guys, right. Coming to threaten me to join your guild."
Hearing my rebuttal, Emily-san in her mask and Letia have stared intently at the PKs, but the people in question desperately tried to handle the attack so they haven't noticed.
"Any more than this and we'll get death penalty! Remember this! Withdraw!"
And when two PKs fell, they signalled withdrawal.
Letia had decided from the start it she won't chase after them, it was because she didn't want to receive an unexpected counter-attack.
Then, we have ascertained the state of Lyna and Al.
"Multiple bad states, huh. In order to stop them from moving they used 【Sleep】, 【Paralysis】 and 【Charm】."
I confirmed what bad status did they have on them, then immediately sprinkled them with potions for recovery.
There was an immediate effect and the two slowly opened their eyes.
"We've come for you. Lyna, Al."
"...Y-Yun-san? Also, Emily-san and Letia-san? Why?"
"Rather than that, what is this situation?"
Why are we here? Unable to understand that Al shook his head with a tired expression.
"Well, we'll talk later. Now then, let's help this person who fell over here."
When I said that, the player stood up on his own slightly after Lyna and Al. Did the bad status expire since the PKs moved away? I turned towards him and called out.
"Are you all right? We cleaned up the PKs for the time being."
"...umm, thank you very much."
"How did you end up like this?"
"Me? They strongly recommended me to join their guild and when I refused, I ended up like that."
His talking mannerisms were like that of an athlete, he made a grin devoid of tension.
"For now, you should log out to return to the town. That'll be safer. There should be lots of PKs remaining around here."
"I understand. Thanks for advice. Ah, speaking of which, they said something interesting. Something about a PK Sense..."
To think we'd get information in time of need. We wanted info for measures against Flein no matter what.
Have the PKs obtained something other than gold? The characteristics of it are? The reason why PKs dislike death penalties and details of that skill. I'd like even a single information out of these.
"Um, if I'm not wrong, something about special PK-related skill to be obtained, during this turmoil they seem to want as many people as possible satisfy conditions for it. The skill's, well, something like this! ——《Killing Edge》!"
In front of unsuspecting me, the man's attitude suddenly changed.
The man downcast his eyes for a moment, his relaxed tone changed and he cast the skill in an instant.
The dagger he held in reverse hold emitted a dark red effect and as if it was sucked in to it, he swung it towards my neck.
Unable to avoid my body collapsed with the event, in front of my eyes the dagger had hit cut my artery splashing blood-like phosphorescent effect.
"...so it can even block that skill."
What I received was just the attacks impact. I raised my collapsed body.
At the hard sound like that of a breaking glass the man's expression stretched. He swung the knife to attack again but I avoided it immediately.
As the man took distance with a back step, Emily-san's connecting sword crawled towards the man's feet to capture him, Letia had the synthetic mobs advance but the man flung throwing knives at their attacks simply preventing them.
"Ohhh, amazin'. Perfect co-op. Also, I'm really curious as for how did you avoid that sure-kill skill."
Despite the unfavourable situation of three versus one, the man squinted nonchalantly.
"Stop with that gross manner of speaking."
"Ah, then I'll speak normally. I got into a role of a small fry for catching enemy off guard, did it not suit me?"
As the man spoke alone, the three of us remained vigilant as not to miss any move of his.
"There's something I don't get, you attacked with suicide bombing. Then you aimed directly for the healer, attacking his weakness. But, when I thought I'd be able to take you down as you wouldn't expect the player you saved to attack you, it was still blocked. How did you do that? Heck, how do you know of 《Killing Edge》?"
"I've seen it once before. A guy called Flein used it."
"Flein-san... hey, so you're that Yun girl! So that's why Flein-san's interested in you! Somehow, I thought it was just a farce to make 【Fosch Hound】's members see his skills, thinking it's a miss I withdrew. But he seems to have had an interesting encounter there."
The man in front of us ignored our vigilance and continued to rattle on. Hearing some of it I couldn't let it go without commenting.
"...is that really something you should say?"
"Hmm? I wonder about that? We 【Flame Prison Corps】 and 【Fosch Hound】 aren't one thing, they lost and ran away, right? I'm not obliged to help them."
As the man spoke coldly, I felt the relation between 【Flame Prison Corps】 and 【Fosch Hound】 was very sparse.
"Well then, let's continue from earlier. This time you'll become my food."
"Hey, there's something I'd like to ask you first, can we let the two log out first?"
As Emily-san proposed, the PK glimpsed at Lyna and Al who have lined up next to Letia.
"Hmm, let's see. You've come this far to save them, might as well use them as your weakness——《Killing Edge》!"
He held a throwing knives with the dark red effect between fingers of his left hand and threw them towards Lyna and Al.
Emily-san and I moved to protect the twins shooting down the knives, but from among them one hit my belly, triggering sure-kill effect.
"Yun-san... just now..."
Lyna and Al. I wonder which one was it who said it. This time I fell over, but I also moved my lips articulating "it's all right".
"Ohhh, this time she fell. Good! That Yun girl prevented it just once. Then... next, let's defeat that girl with a strange weapon."
"Try if you think you can! Golem! Return the master authority! Take him down!"
After recovering management rights that were passed to Letia, Emily-san left dealing with PK to the Golem.
However, the number of Wood Dolls has reduced during the previous fight and the Chimeras were cut apart lightly by the PK's dagger.
Avoiding the heavy Golem, PK moved in front of Emily-san.
She took on the swung dagger with the connecting sword, the two crossed blades.
"Come on come on! If you don't protect them, I'll rush at your juniors behind you!"
"What a horrible person! Saying such things to distract me!"
He should have been at a disadvantage with a dagger, but his blows were heavy.
"You, with the mask. You're plenty strong, but somethin' is missing."
"Of course. Yun-kun and I are crafters. Combat isn't our main."
The two spoke while they pushed against one another in a contest of strength.
And as her hand has become numb with repeated clashes and her grip has lessened Emily-san dropped her sword.
The man in front of her stepped in deeply. Unable to move the mobs effectively in close combat, suffering damage herself Emily-san had fallen into a situation where she can't land a valid attack herself.
"Well then, it's over. ——《Killing Edge》!"
Receiving the skill, Emily-san's HP was lost all at once. The 【Mask of Pain Receiving】 took over some damage of the armour and cracks have entered it, turning into light particles it had disappeared, revealing her real face.
As Emily-san fell over, the deployed subordinate mobs all around faded away.
"Uh-huh, I've used up my share of skill for today. Well, I'll somehow manage with the rest."
"You, you should have received 《Killing Edge》 and was defeated earlier."
The PK turned around, his eyes grew large from shock. Surely, this man didn't think his skill could be blocked twice.
The first time was nullified by the unique accessory I possessed, the 【Substitute Gem's Ring】's effect. This equipment allowed to withstand a number of any attacks dependant on the inserted gem's size. A medium-sized gem should have withstood two attacks, but when I took down the healer the tip of his wand hit me which was judged as an attack, leaving only one use of the ring's effect. Since it "nullified any attacks" it meant it could be consumed and wasted by even weak attacks.
And for the second time——
"Letia. Use that on Emily-san!"
"......! Got it."
I threw a potion bottle to Letia who used it on Emily-san without hesitation.
"...*cough* *cough*, thank you. Any longer and I'd return to the town all alone."
"Then, I'll use a potion for full recovery too."
Seeing as Letia took out a High Potion and recovered Emily-san's HP to full, the PK muttered.
"...a Revival Medicine, huh. Haa, you're like our natural enemy, aren't you."
The second method. To be precise, I have returned by using a Revival Medicine.
It was a valuable item, but it would be meaningless not to use it at times like these. I used them instead of sparing.
"Now, we're back to three versus one again."
"Oh-hoh, this is troublesome. But, I don't mind taking you on for a little longer!"
He shouted, threw knives and approached all at once. There was no need to be scared of throwing knives without 《Killing Edge》 skill.
I stood in front of Lyna and Al, parried the knives aiming for my vital points and took on the rest.
As only I received damage the PK had changed the target and has come at me with thrusting motion.
As he thrust I moved further forward, receiving his stab into my body. I've heard screams behind my back, they probably saw dagger pierce my belly.
"Stop being reckless!"
As the pierced-in dagger continued to scrape off my HP, with the dagger still buried in my body I grasped the handle, not letting it go.
"Damn it! Tch."
Letting go of the dagger, the PK kicked off me taking a distance.
The last kick had become the decisive factor, my HP was cut down again. In front of me a choice for "Revive?" was displayed, for which I responded with "YES".
"Geez, that's the second time."
I pulled out the weapon suck in me and recovered myself with a potion.
I've had a knife stuck in my body but I didn't feel bad at all. There was nothing but a slight sense of emptiness in my pierced body, I felt that this is a game after all.
"Haa〜, to think I'd snatch the enemy's weapon."
"Yun-kun, stop being reckless."
"That's right. There's no need for you to risk yourself."
Emily-san and Letia were worried about me, but I was all right.
"Well then, your skill is used up and your weapon taken. What will you do? Still going?"
"Haa, this is a checkmate huh. Then, it should be fine to end this——"
Thinking he still had a trump card other than 《Killing Edge》 skill, I put enchants on myself in rapid succession and prepared Clay Shield's Magic Gem.
The PK used some kind of skill. A black haze drifted around him and rapidly reduced his HP. We could hear a slightly pained moan, but he continued to speak to us as if nothing.
"I'll tell you one thing. PK death penalty is only received when they're killed by others. In other words, if we self-destruct ourselves, we receive a normal death penalty! See you."
And the man who continued to give his HP to the black mist fell down quietly.
Chapter 4 - PvP Tournament and Battle Royale
"What was that just now?"
Hearing Lyna's question, Emily-san looked at the PK's body turning into particles of light and answered.
"If I'm not wrong, it should have been magic of darkness element. I don't remember the details, but 《Sacrifice Counter》 shouldn't have been a self-destructing skill."
Emily-san muttered in low voice.
As she pondered about it alone, Lyna and Al raised their voices.
"W-what is it?"
"It's not 'what is it'! Those clothes! Your navel is in full view!"
"Yun-san, does your body feel strange? Are you all right?"
"My belly? Ah, damn..."
After receiving a number of attacks from the PK, in the end the last thrust I received had cut my armour vertically damaging it. Normally I wouldn't mind it because of the 【Auto Repair】 additional effect, but a big enough hole has been opened not even the effect was capable of recovering.
"Haa, let's go back for now. You two, it'd be better if you logged out for today and rested."
"Worry about yourself before others."
"Belly button, peeking out."
Lyna heaved a sigh and for some reason, Letia gave a thumbs up.
Still, excited Lyna and Al without logging out have started reluctantly walking towards the town. Meanwhile, the PKs who were in the forest seemed to have retreated, unconcerned by the parties looking for PKs in the forest we successfully returned to the town.
"Emily-san and I have somewhere to go for a bit, when you calm down you should log out."
"Yun-san, it's all right. I'll look after them and calm them down."
Letia volunteered to take care of the two. Sorry and thank you. I told her my thanks.
"Um... Yun-san, Emily-san. I'm sorry for today."
"Don't mind it. We decided to do it ourselves."
"But, for our sake you used a lot of valuable items like Revival Medicine... I'm sorry."
Good grief, Lyna and Al just continued to apologize and faced downwards.
As they lowered their heads to a perfect height, I pat them to calm them down.
The two who acted panicked at first have gradually looked more and more embarrassed, Emily-san chuckled seeing them like that, which caused Lyna to glare with a blush on her face.
"Yun-kun, it's about time we go."
"Yeah, got it. Well then, see you tomorrow."
The event lasted 2 days. Even if today was the worst, possibly it'll end nicely.
For that sake, I had to visit the meeting room in the guild hall and report.
"Yun-kun! You're back! Are you okay? Weren't you too reckless?"
"Uwahh?! M-Magi-san?! What all of a sudden?!"
When we came back to the meeting room, at the same time the door was opened Magi-san had come to embrace me worried.
"That's how much you made us worry. Also, Magi let her go, we can't proceed."
At Cloude's voice Magi-san reluctantly released me. Since she cooperated in sending me off and worried about me, I had to be grateful to her.
"I'm back. Cheers for the good work here too."
Cloude and Magi, as well as Lyly looked at us who came back together all making harsh expressions.
"There's a lot I want to retort to, but beside you that's 【Material Merchant】, isn't it."
"Hello. Well, I guess Emilio state's image is quite strong. Wait a moment, I'll take the disguise off."
Her mask broke, but Emily-san's character name impersonation and voice changer were still remaining, she took them off and spoke again.
"I'm Emily, the 【Material Merchant】 dealing with Alchemy and Synthesis. Well, you've bought materials from me before and met me as Emilio."
"Here I was wondering what did Yun do when she was hiding, but here she appears with 【Material Merchant】, what's the meaning of this."
Cloude stared intently at me, but well, I've had lots to hide.
Since the conversation wouldn't proceed if that continued, Cloude recommended Emily-san and me to sit, then begun speaking the prelude to conversation.
"Hmm. The uproar this time seemed to be centred on the PK guilds 【Fosch Hound】 and 【Flame Prison Corps】, as well as medium-sized guilds 【Green Fall】 and 【Mutual Aid Army】. Other than that there were some independent solo players. I don't know their numbers in detail, but there was at least two hundred of them this time."
"That's quite a number."
Agreeing with my words, Magi-san took over explanation after Cloude.
"There seem to be several reasons for that, but one of them is that the backlash of us crafters opposing their malicious solicitation had finally exploded. Probably. The medium-sized guilds must have joined the activities to protest that. But, there must be a real goal too."
"Real goal? Speaking of which, when we came back the PKs disappeared without trace."
"Let's see. Then... a decoy?"
In response to my words Emily-san muttered.
"Correct. In order to monopolize a certain area, the PKs have taken a noticeable action in order to blind us. With that said though, the only ones who executed it were the two PK guilds while others were just used."
After Cloude answered indifferently, Lyly continued after him.
"The monopolized area is apparently guarded by PKs rotating every certain amount of time. There's quite a number of them and since they're strong in PvP we could lose to them if we rush in poorly."
"Also, while its an area unreachable for new players, it hurts quite a bit since it's a highly important place."
Judging by the fact Magi-san had an annoyed expression, I could tell it was an important area.
"And where is that area?"
Emily-san asked what I wanted to know before me.
"The occupied area is——the surroundings of the Wisteria Peach Tree. Not just the place where the Revival Medicine materials are collected but also the starting point of raid quest. Since it hasn't been completed yet, it's very important."
Since as of now there was no alternative materials or alternative recipes for Revival Medicine, new Revival Medicine couldn't be made.
Moreover, if they occupy the area for a long time and monopolize the raid quest, they'll be able to bite into various parts of the game economy, affecting it badly.
"If it goes too far, there are measures like having their accounts deleted by the management, which would be a passive method of countering it. The most ideal, would be eliminating the reason for them to stick to that area."
Cloude had finished reporting for the time being and it was our turn to make a report.
A lot happened in the forest that could be spoken about, but we mainly focused on the objective things that were the skill the male PK had used, the 《Killing Edge》 and the magic called 《Sacrifice Counter》.
"A sure-kill skill with limited number of uses, huh."
"One time, it was blocked by Substitute Gem's Ring. Also, I was able to return by using 【Revival Medicine】. Is all I can say."
"Still, 《Sacrifice Counter》 huh."
"You know of it Cloude?"
"Well, I am a mage using darkness element. That magic, so to speak, is using HP as a cost and depending on the amount dedicated, it reflects equal amount of damage to the opponent."
"And, what does that mean?"
As Lyly and I who weren't too familiar with magic tilted our heads, Cloude explained what was the main use of 《Sacrifice Counter》.
"Let's see. For example, were this magic put on a player, the attack from his opponent would reflect the damage back to the attacker."
"Does that block damage?"
"It doesn't block damage like defensive magic, but damages the enemy. Well, it's like eye for an eye. It's a magic for simple parties."
The rare drop from the Blade Lizard's, Stone Bladescales had a similar additional effect. Reflecting damage when hit could be used in various ways.
"Used in PvP, it consumes users HP when he rushes at the enemy, making the enemy hesitate. A method like that."
For example, if you use 《Sacrifice Counter》 when the opponent has more HP, in long term combat it'll gradually make you disadvantageous. That's why it was mainly used for psychological tactics in PvP...
"Well, in this case it was used as a self-destruction technique for avoiding the disadvantages that come with PK sense. Also, to use 《Sacrifice Counter》 when the opponent has an upper hand to safely self-destruct, the opponent was a PvP specialist."
Cloude muttered seeming impressed, I also agreed with him. We managed to remove him somehow, but I can't remember dealing any proper damage to him.
"Still, Yuncchi was way too reckless. Also, your armour is broken. We were really worried."
"That's right, Yun-kun, Emily-chan. Onee-san was worried."
At Magi-san's and Lyly's words, I'm sorry, we honestly apologized and asked the three to perform a check on our weapons and armour. As a result, including Emily-san's the equipment have been diagnosed to require a maintenance.
"I'll ask an acquaintance crafter. What about you, Yun-kun?"
"It seems busy so I don't mind the repairs being later."
There's an event tomorrow, they'll be busy. I muttered in my mind.
"So, will today's happenings have any effect on tomorrow's events?"
"Well, PKs won't move immediately and it's hasn't gone far enough to abort the event. However, the ingredient procurement for food stalls didn't proceed. Some events will be shrunk, we'll be considering prioritizing the success of the PvP event."
At Cloude's words, I heaved a sigh of relief. Emily-san and I intended to leisurely sit among the audience.
"Oh right. The talk about PvP reminds me, we need to give Yun a punishment for being reckless. For the time being, let's have you perform tomorrow's PvP event's opening show."
It seemed like something flashed through Cloude's mind as he made a scheming expression, making me want to immediately argue, but nobody backed me up.
"Unfortunately, I have to agree with Cloude this time. If you're reflecting on the fact you made us worry, show it with your actions. Oh right! Adorn tomorrow's PvP opening in a cute outfit! You know, like a race queen!"
"In that case, how about something that suits Yun's personality better? Something with modest exposure."
As Magi-san mercilessly took Cloude's side, I looked towards Lyly but...
"Yuncchi, do your best!"
While thinking on how to refuse, I also thought of under what conditions should I ask Cloude to repair my armour.
"Well then, let's add Lyly's participation. He needs to make amends for failure of this time's highlight plan."
And, my thoughts were directed towards standing on the stage.
"Well, as long as I'm not alone."
"No way, I'm forced to participate too?! Kurocchi! That wasn't my fault!"
Although Lyly appealed with tears in his eyes, I didn't back him up. I feel bad for Lyly, but I'll have him accompany me.
"What to say. Yun-kun, you're pretty easy aren't you."
"Emily-san?! I-I'm not easy!"
I raised my voice in protest, but my hand was grasped by Cloude and together with Lyly we were taken away to the room in the back.
Emily-san seemed to have logged out ahead to prepare for tomorrow, but Lyly and I were made to change into various clothes by Cloude before logging out exhausted.
The second day of the event's highlight, the PvP tournament wasn't carried out in town, but in an arena temporarily placed outside the town .
The arena was assembled near the west gate where normally PvP training is being carried out. From the stage, I looked as the spectating players have slowly gathered to watch PvP.
"Yuncchi, calm down."
"Uuu... there's still quite some time until the start, and yet... I'm so nervous..."
Lyly and I who were suddenly have been made to acts as the hosts for the PvP tournament's opening show changed into costumes in the space behind the stage, as we waited Emily-san had come to check up on us before the start.
"Emily-san, you came."
"Hello there, Emilicchi!"
By talking with an acquaintance before the opening show loosened my nervousness slightly, but with Emily-san's next words it was blown away completely.
"As I thought Yun-kun, your desire for transforming..."
"No, I've none. And what's up with "as I thought". This is a costume for the stage show."
Emily-san who had a mask on her face said something misleading, so I strongly denied.
"Emilicchi, have fun today!"
"Yes, I look forward to it. That costume of yours is cute as well."
As Emily-san praised Lyly's costume, he blushed and laughed shyly.
"Yuncchi, what happened?"
"Nothing, I was just thinking about the costumes."
Back then, the costumes chosen by Cloude had a design completely ignoring our fighting styles.
"Now, equip this inste..."I refuse!" then this!"
The first protruded costume was a pink-coloured sailor uniform. The next one that was taken out were light blue robes with a bold slit, then a pure white long and loose dress with pure white feathers attached, an angel costume. In addition to that, there were body suit-type costumes that revealed the body line.
Lyly rejected another one presented to him, in the end Lyly and I have chosen costumes that looked like a good compromise.
The costume I chose was a remodelled clerical robe.
The simple pure black robe had a turtle-neck that didn't expose my nape or collarbone.
There were detailed decorations all over the clothes, a cross embroidered with silver thread on the chest and it was quite loose making it comfortable as it raised up and down. However, since the waist was tied with a string, my body line stood out making it hard to wear comfortably.
While the body exposure was small, since the robe was sleeveless, to hide my skin I was wearing long gloves going over my elbows. The amount exposed was extremely low and no matter how one looked at it, I looked just like a girl.
"And so, I chose it as a last resort but..."
"So, what Yun-kun is wearing seems just like a nun's clothing. It's somewhat erotic."
"How did it come to that."
"It can't be helped. A nice outfit has to be worn on the stage."
Although Lyly tried to encourage me as I was discouraged, you too have a modest costume, I thought and clenched an improvised mace close in front of my body.
"It's the same for you Lyly! No, rather, you're getting too much along it! You're a man!"
"Well, it can be done only at times like these."
The brown hood with white and green plants on it made in the image of a village girl. Pants and a see-through fluttering round skirt with pumpkin design.
Rather than a girly boy's costume, it was more like a Halloween-type magical girl's one. Above all, the long stick with a decorative pumpkin spoke for itself.
Emily stared at it with a complex expression.
"Yun-kun's slender waist and flowing hip line as well as curves are well expressed by the low exposure. As for Lyly-kun, there's an androgynous cuteness since your secondary sexual characteristics still haven't developed. Both of your figures are tinged with overall roundness. And so, this is my simple analysis."
"Khh, even though I'm a man."
"Well well, after coming this far, give up. Also, the stage has already begun."
"Eh?!! No way!"
"Well then, I'll go look from the audience seats."
Emily-san shook her hand in a fluttery manner and left. Left behind, I thought it can't be helped and resolved myself.
"It can't be helped. Prepared?"
"Perfectly! Let's go, Yuncchi."
Taken by hand by Lyly, we ran up from the side of the stage.
There were players who faced towards the stage prepared on the PvP arena, waiting for the opening show.
『"Everyoone, feelin' good today?"』
"Hey, it's a witch girl. No, a trap?" "And Nanny too." "No, it's a sister!" "Then, a holy mother? A female saint?" "Make it holy nanny." "That's ittt!"
Despite smiling wryly, I waved my hand appealing to the surroundings.
Lyly winked at me to proceed, and I raised my voice. I spoke loudly with chat opened to a wide area.
『"The second day's planned highlight. The battle of the strongest you were waiting for! PvP tournament's opening!"』
『"This PvP will be carried out in two stages of qualifiers and the finals, in the battle royale mode."』
『"The rules for the qualifiers is prohibition of recovery magic and recovery items. The usage of MP potions and MP recovery is limited to ten times. Consumable items useful for battle are all banned. Fight believing in your wisdom and courage, weapons and Senses!"』
『"The first stage has been organized in order to filter out participants, you'll be fighting until the amount of participants is equal or lower than a certain number."』
『"The players who win and advance to the next round will have the restriction on recovery items usage released. That's where we'll determine the true champion!"』
This is where Lyly and I spoke together giving a signal to start.
『" "——Now, strong ones who have gathered to fight! Respond to everyone's expectations and fight with all you have!" "』
We made the pose Cloude thought of and I have have practised overnight with Lyly.
As to intersect the wand and the mace, we have stood back to back bumping out legs and shoulders protruding the weapons forward.
『" "——Well then, raise the curtain of the battle!" "』
After coming this far, it had started to become fun, Lyly and I vigorously swung up our crossed weapons and with the same timing, pre-arranged, numerous magic has been launched over their heads.
As magic rose up, cheers rose up the venue towards me and Lyly who were raising the weapons.
At that time my robe had fluttered up and down due to the wind pressure of the magic's aftermath and the wind pressure from the swung up weapons, or to be precise, from the wind produced by Lyly's large pumpkin stick.
Under the robe I was wearing spats, still, it didn't mean I wasn't embarrassed being seen.
My legs in full view, my stomach and waist were revealed, the black fabric had come down softly.
My face burned up from embarrassment, after it was already over I held down my clothes with the hand I was holding the mace in.
The entire arena started listening as I tried to say something. My voice resounded in the wide-chat mode.
And just like that, I escaped to the side of the stage.
『"Ah, Yuncchi wait!"』
Lyly had come chasing after me in a hurry, but during the fuss Cloude took over after the curtains were pulled and continued the explanation with a confused tone of voice.
『"The battle royale will be held soon after this. You're free to jump in to participate. Join the players who have signed up for participation. In each case a penalty will be decided. Of course, for the winner we have prepared prizes."』
Cloude's words have wrapped it up and as the preparations have started on the first round's stage, I went behind it then called Ryui and Zakuro then sank my face into Ryui's fur.
"...I've had enough."
"It's fine. It didn't roll up during the practice, there's a different cause of all this."
I wiped the tears that pooled in the corners of my eyes and made a complex smile towards Lyly. His usual bright expression will be riddled with guilt, I can't continue with low spirits. That's kind of feelings that welled up in me.
"Ah, damn! I'll stop thinking, completely!"
"This time, it's all Cloude's fault! Making me stand on the opening show's stage, yup! It's Cloude's fault."
"That's right, Cloude's fault."
"You're right. It's Kurocchi's fault!"
We repeated that several times, for some strange reason I didn't understand myself, Lyly and I have started laughing.
"Haa, well then, I'll be going towards the audience."
"Ah, I'll go as well. I want to recruit some people from the audience to jump in."
When I entered the audience together with Lyly, the nearby players looked in our direction.
"Earlier, that was divine wind." "Yeah, it's a pity they were spats, but I'm fine just seeing that innocent reaction." "A small-breasted sister's shyness is more than enough." "Conversely, not seeing any charm in perverted women makes us perverted gentlemen." """I totally agree."""
When I stared at them intently, they have looked away pretending nothing happened or used classical theatrical methods to cover it up like whistling. As if I'd be deceived by that, while thinking so I headed towards where Emily-san was in the audience.
"Cheers for good work Yun-kun. Also... that sure was unfortunate."
"Yeah, indeed. So, what about Lyna and Al?"
"It doesn't seem like they came yet."
I sat next to Emily-san, Zakuro sat down on top of my knees and Ryui behind me. We took quite a lot space, but for some reason there were very few people around us.
"Well then Yuncchi, I'll go look for unofficial participants."
While saying so, Lyly took out a picket sign from the inventory and started parading among the audience.
Passing beside him was Lyna and Al. Also, behind them there was Letia who held a bucket popcorn.
Last night we have left the twins to Letia, said goodbyes and separated but it seems like the two managed to properly calm down.
"Were you all right yesterday?"
"We're okay. Come on, Lyn-chan too."
"Umm, uhh. Once again, thank you very much for yesterday."
Although she was still acting stiff, pressed onto by Al she spoke.
"As not to get involved with something like that, together with Al we'll become stronger!"
"No, I don't think there's a need to worry about it."
"Also! I'll aim to become a cool and cute woman like Yun-san and Emily-san!"
*crackle*, the air inside me froze.
——I, am a man.
In the strange silence Lyna got confused and the sound of Letia chewing popcorn echoed.
With Myu suddenly hugging me from behind I bent over forward.
When I turned around, I saw Myu's party members Lucato, Toutobi, Hino, Kohaku and Rirei.
In addition to that, there was Minute and Mami who were Taku's party members.
"You all, why are you here..."
"No, everyone's either looking for seats at the audience or nourish their spirits before fight——"
"That's why you came jumping at me?"
Ehehehe, Myu laughed as to deceive me. Good grief, I peeled her off me.
"Ryui and Zakuro cheer for me too!"
Myu attracted the two animals' necks towards her and hugged them tightly, behind her stood Lucato with a troubled expression.
"Yun-san, it's about to start. I'm sorry for making so much noise."
"I don't mind, but others are..."
When I looked towards Emily-san, she said she doesn't mind.
"It will be more enjoyable together, right? Also, it's a waste to take so much space."
"Thank you, Emily-san."
One after another nearly half of the seats behind and in front of us that were vacant have filled.
"So, Myu and others are participating in PvP? How about Kei and Gantz?"
When I asked Myu who started exchanging sweets with Letia in the back, she answered me while munching on a stick candy.
"The ones participating is just me, Luka-chan and Tobi-chan. Also, since Taku-san, Kei-san and Gantz-san are also participating we invited Minute-san and Mami-san. Also, from the acquaintances Sei-oneechan and Mikadzuchi-san also plan to participate."
Do your best Lucato, Toutobi. When I cheered for them, that moment the site started to get filled with participating players.
"Ah, it's Sei-oneechan! Onee-chan!"
"Heyy! Don't jump from the audience seats!"
Alone, throwing her feet behind the handrail Myu jumped in the competition field. Lucato and Toutobi ran to the regular entrance in a hurry, chasing after Myu.
"Oneeee-chaaan! I'll do my beest!"
Unsheathing her sword Myu waved it around. That's dangerous, stop, you're a nuisance to your surroundings.
"Good grief, what a noisy little sister."
The people who remained lowered their heads, so I heart-warmingly told them not to mind it.
The person in question had clung to Sei-nee.
When I cheered on Lucato and Toutobi who appeared late from the audience seats, they waved a hand in return.
As for us who remained in the audience, the people who met for the first time did a light self-introduction, then we searched for acquaintances among the participant.
"I wonder where are the others."
"Ah, there's Kei."
"You're right, Taku and Gantz are there too."
Sharply sighting them, Mami-san and Minute pointed at the acquaintances. Silent lead-coloured warrior Kei, martial artist Gantz and my best friend, Taku. The three did a pre-match meeting and started taking distance from each other.
"Come on, if you don't cheer now the game's gonna start."
Mami-san was too shy to cheer, but encouraged by Minute and strongly squeezing the Wind Gel synthetic mob she cheered.
"Kei! D-do your best——!"
Seems like her voice reached him as Kei waved towards Mami in the audience. Mami-san happily smiled at that, seeing that fluffy sight made me smile.
"Keh, this guy's a riajuu." "Yeah, he's our enemy." "Let's crush him first." "I won't allow a popular bastard like that to stand out. I'll definitely crush him." "ERADICATEEE!!"
Kei's surroundings have momentarily become frenzied and despite the combat hasn't started, it had turned into a quite savage atmosphere.
『"The countdown starts. 3, 2, 1——battle start!"』
Tilting her head cutely, Mami-san seemed puzzled, but the heartless battle had begun.
" " "Riajuus shall be purged with death!" " "
Letting out a voice that seemed as if it had come from the bottom of hell the male players clenched their weapons so hard it seemed like they'll claw and bite, then all at once assaulted Kei, beating him up.
Seeing that Minute went "oops, I might have failed the timing for the cheer". She put a hand on her forehead and shook solidified Mami, returning her to sanity.
Just like that, the PvP tournament's battle had started.
"Aaa?!! Kei was swallowed by a group of men?!"
"He couldn't withstand the wave of jealousy. Other than him, a guy rumoured to have found a lover in the game was also done in."
"The world is heartless, isn't it."
Minute and Letia have commented like that, Mami-san ran out to comfort Kei who had retired early at the start and was no longer here.
The intensive attacks fuelled by jealousy have gradually calmed down and the show had turned into a decent battle royale.
『"The qualifiers are a battle royale that'll last until participants are reduced to a certain number, leaving the winners! There's a limit on the recovery items, if you can survive you'll make it to battle royale finals where the champion will be decided!"』
While listening to Cloude's commentary, my eyes followed acquaintances.
"Woahh, amazing. That person's way of using magic is really skilful."
"The one stretching out that barrage o' magic is 【Still Water's Witch】——a player called Sei-san. She's Yun-kun's olda sister and embodie' the perfect mage damage dealer's fightin' style."
"No, dealing with that is impossible. Stalling for time with continuous magic and casting more advanced magic——"
Al said it's impossible for him to exceed or do something like that by himself in response to seeing the barrage of water magic. However, there was one that had passed through the barrage diving in and approaching Sei-nee.
At the tip of the staff held towards the player a water blade was projected and a slash was released.
"——Like you just saw, even if someone passes through her stick-fightin' skills ar' quite good, they be thrust at with the staff and frozen wit' magic."
Speaking towards Al who carefully observed Sei-nee, Kohaku took the commentary role. Rirei who was beside her continuously sidled up to me with excited movements from the seat behind.
"That round butt and modest chest. Inside that sisterly clothing the faith called entire world's delusions has gathered. A maiden having both such a cute and dignified aspects to her sitting defenceless——"Rirei! Yer to concentrate on cheerin' now!"——Well, at next opportunity. Do your best!"
Without even looking at her Kohaku in charge of Rirei has grasped the nape of her neck, I've already started to get used to it.
"Ah, it's Mikadzuchi-san."
Next, Hino had described Mikadzuchi to Lyna.
Hino and Lyna were no different in age and history as a player, regardless of levels they have easily befriended each other.
"Mikadzuchi-san's main is stick-fighting, but since her weapon is long there's a lot I can use as a reference. Since a stick and a spear are different I need to pay attention as she PvP's."
Hino was a power type using large hammers and a long spear. Lyna was quite different since she used a short spear and a shield, but there were things she could learn from looking.
Despite the fact it was a battle royale, Mikadzuchi was surrounded by three players. To raise their chances to win even a little, people improvised cooperation with eye contact to take down the strong ones.
"Amazin'. So there are things like that too."
Even with an improvised cooperation, the players have released attacks an average player wouldn't be able to avoid. As Mikadzuchi parried and counter-attacked against that, a voice of admiration for Mikadzuchi's skills had leaked out.
Her body didn't waver and she accurately aimed her sharp thrusts at the armour's seams.
Just, compared to the time where she duelled with Flein it was slightly slower, so it was clear she was holding back.
"Look, Yun-kun. Your little sister is doing her best."
"Oh, you're right. Or rather, how did it turn into such situation?"
Although they have started scattered, imperceptibly Myu and Lucato rejoined each other and held a sword back to back.
Surrounding her were players fighting in united front.
They wanted to take down strong players first, but were they swing their swords at the two they would receive a counter-attack, so they stood stiff.
"That's incredible. As expected of people who normally form a party together. Their breathing's perfectly matched."
"You're right. But, I don't think fighting together as acquaintances is too welcome."
I thought of that too.
In the battle royale PvP elements like improvised cooperation is also one of the elements to enjoy. That's why players who don't know each other team up and with their numbers they attack stronger opponents, proceeding through battle advantageously.
But among that, if two people who normally cooperate in a party partner up with each other, there's a possibility of the battle turning one-sided. That, for the event was pretty bad.
However, the two raised their hands stopping people in their surroundings, slowly took distance from each other——
"Yes, Myu-san. No holding back."
After such a short exchange, the two with backs against each other have suddenly faced each other and clashed swords.
They showed a great cooperation so far, why do that all of a sudden, the audience was greatly surprised.
In addition to that, there were people who saw an opportunity in that and narrowed the siege that had loosened, but when they slashed at the two, both have started cooperating as to cover each other's blind spots.
"A bait?" "Or acting." "But that slashing at each other looks serious."
In the middle of such mutters I could hear from the participants, beside me Hino and Kohaku said "as I thought" and both sighed.
"What is it? Hino, Kohaku."
"No... from the start, the two must have looked forward to that happening. I thought."
"Because we're always in a party together, in a place like this they feel like going at each other seriously, I guess?"
As I listened to Hino's and Kohaku's interpretation, the two's fight had grown more intense.
After clashing together for ten, twenty times Myu's and Lucato's speed increased.
A fierce battle in which both exerted their skills against each other. Myu's diversified combination of magic and slashing was seen through by Lucato who projected her sword spoiling Myu's enthusiasm.
Lucato didn't use the bastard sword that was unsuitable for a sword fight with Myu, instead she held a long sword in both her hands. She prevented the opponent to step in and released a blow where Myu was disturbed.
Myu too attacked violently. She cancelled her actions and did feints, taking initiative of the battle instead.
Perceiving Myu's triggering of magic, Lucato prevented it. However, using the magic as a decoy Myu retaliated with a sword.
Behind the intense slashes the two have waged a short yet dense mind battle. And, the end result of it was——
"There! ——《Fifth Brea..."
Myu's long sword had caught Lucato's long sword and parrying, blown it away leaving Lucato empty-handed. She had raised her sword above her to deliver a decisive blow with her entire body.
"Not yet! ——《Grand Slash》!"
Pulling the bastard sword out from her back, Lucato matched Myu's art. Confident of her victory Myu tried to push on with force, aiming for the time where she triggered art and was unmoving, Lucato pushed onto Myu blowing her away.
For just an instant Myu was upset and too late to lower her sword again, the last blow was aimed for that chance. Being cut Myu lost her HP and was forced out of the field to the outside.
Seeing the two's fight go back and forth was enough to make spectators' hands sweat. The passionate gazes focused on the two until the end have changed into cheers with the conclusion of the match.
The PvP was still continuing, but Lucato somehow already had a satisfied expression.
As her breathing turned longer, retired Myu had jumped out to the front row of the audience.
In the audience, just by the entrance stood Myu with whom Lucato was fighting just a moment ago.
"You won against me! Keep on winning!"
"Yes! Please watch me!"
While saying so, Lucato raised he sword towards Myu. To that, Myu responded with a smile.
After a series of exchanges with the discouraged, uncouth bunch in surroundings she crushed them as if they never been there and the battle continued to change.
Gantz did put up a good fight alone, but he struggled quite a lot because of a martial artist's low reach.
Toutobi took advantage of her speed and aimed for vital points, getting close and cutting the enemy soundlessly, she ran past. The slashed opponent mistook it for an attack by the player next to him and caused a confused fight which continued to evolve into carnage.
"Toutobi's doing really good. In a battle royale she preserved quite a lot of HP."
As many players cut down each other's HP, Toutobi's way of fighting where she retains a margin of HP was efficient. In addition to causing confusion, she aggressively aimed at players with low HP remaining.
"And compared to that, Taku-kun."
Ahead of Emily-san's sight, who sat next to me, was Taku.
Directed towards Taku was an attack of a group like the one that assaulted Kei at first... and currently, he was on the run.
"Heeey! Yun! Myu-chan!"
"That guy, is he taunting them on purpose? Or is he seriously running away?"
"Taku-saaan! Do your beeest!"
While brilliantly avoiding attacks and magic coming from people with menacing expressions behind him, Taku waved towards us.
That had further fuelled the flames of jealousy with which the unpopular players have gone mad, enraging them even more.
"Definitely gonna crushh youuu!!" "Having three beautiful sisters as childhood friends, just disappearrrrrrr!!" "Lose unsightly! Lose hideously! Beg for your lifeeeee!!" "I won't forgive you even if you beg! I'll give you overwhelming defeat!"
I don't care about winning, but, I just can't forgive that guy. As crisis had approached him from players thinking that, Taku continued to escape like the wind. Occasionally, he pressed the players chasing against him onto groups of fighting players, depleting them.
"T-that's stingy! His avoiding and parrying skills are high, but his overall combat strategy is stingy..."
"Well, it looks like it would be a fruitless fight."
Kei was already suffocated by people driven crazy with jealousy and Gantz was about to lose normally. Ah, he lost.
The battle had slowly changed from the mid-stage into the second half, a lot of players continued to fight despite the consumption.
From acquaintances, the ones still inside were Taku, Sei-nee, Lucato, Toutobi and Mikadzuchi.
Such veterans have remained qualifying. Suddenly the part of the audience had stirred, a single player in the centre stood still, calmly, smiling fiercely towards the PvP's participants.
"——It's 【Flame Prison Corps'】 Flein."
The moment someone said that, Flein who had looked down at the battlefield from the audience until now had put his foot on the handrail and jumped off to the field.
Spreading bustle inside like ripples on the surface of water, the person himself had unsheathed his weapon, a long black and thin sword, then approached the PvP players.
Knowing just the image of him as of a villainous leader of a PK guild which had preceded him, fear had spread in the arena.
"I want to enter and participate!"
I looked for the audience seats to Cloude who sat on the seat for moderator.
『"Interesting, we'll allow participation as a special case. PK is also PvP in a broad sense. However! For the penalty you'll have stats cut to 70%, consumable items are banned and HP is limited to 50%!"』
"Ha, 50% is more than enough."
Muttering just that, Flein tried to cut the nearest player. Despite the fact he had a penalty on him, unable to respond to his speed the player was taken down by continous attacks of the thin sword.
"Hurry yerself up and come at me! If not, ya can put on more handicap!"
In response to his provocation, the anger in the players roused. In addition, the audience who harboured hard feelings towards the PKs for the yesterday's uproar have started jeering at him.
"Yeah! I'm a PK. Doing whatever I please is my way of playing!"
The person himself swung his sword looking pleased, repeatedly provoking. No matter how you look at him, a villain.
However, I felt discomfort in that attitude of his.
Flein was without a doubt a battle-crazed villain, but I didn't think he himself had a bad personality.
Meanwhile, a single player had appeared heading towards Flein.
Lyna's and Al's eyes sparkled as they watched Taku confront Flein. Until now he only continued to escape from the players behind him, no, even now he continued to pull players behind him as he headed towards Flein.
"To think there's someone who'd come at me! Nice! I'll take you on!"
"Well then, I'll take you up on your words——"
The moment Taku had entered the range of Flein's thin black sword, he pulled out a long sword and parried the thin sword to the right, then Taku ran past Flein's side.
"——And let you take care of handling the guys behind me!"
"Uwahh, that guy's downright rude."
Lyna and Al who watched Taku's videos and looked up to him made shocked expressions. Moreover, the ones sitting beside them, Hino, Kohaku and Rirei looked at it with pity.
Flein who had people pushed down on him had directed his killing intent to the group chasing Taku rather than Taku himself, cutting them down as if welcoming them with open arms.
The gazes concentrated on a player who shouted loudly while heading towards the centre of the confused battle Flein was in.
With a roar, it was Mikadzuchi heading towards Flein.
She ignored the players who opened her a path, smacked down the players who stood in her way and even when she was hurt by a counter-attack she continued to rush in.
And when she arrived in front of Flein, there was a wall of players surrounding him, standing in her way but——
Mikadzuchi pierced the ground with her stick, then used it to do a pole jump twice as high as a person's stature, then poised the stick to swing it down.
"HA! Bring it on!"
Flein received the blow that had the momentum of Mikadzuchi's fall and body weight added on top of it by using his thin sword, his feet sank few centimetres into the ground along with the impact and cracks ran in his surroundings.
"It's the second time isn't it. Mikadzuchi! Before, it was a draw, but this time I'll win overwhelmingly in your own playing field!"
"Ha! You specially came to get done in! Also, last one wasn't a draw, Flein. It wasn't settled since you ran away! This time we'll decide it!"
Pressing their weapons against one another, the two glared at each other from close range.
"You bunch! Flein is my prey! Don't interfere!"
"Nee-san!" "Anego!" "Leave Anego alone then!"
It must have been players who admired Mikadzuchi. They looked at her with worry as she confronted Flein, but they didn't interfere.
"Damn it! Don't let anyone interfere with Nee-san's duel! Eliminate everyone in the surroundings!"
" "Yeah!!" "
"That's amazin', in more way than one."
Moreover, as not to let anyone interfere with Mikadzuchi, the players she was acquainted with started to eliminate the surrounding players, the situation heated up by the end of battle royale.
In Flein's and Mikadzuchi's battle both of them were handicapped, but they haven't directly clash again like Mikadzuchi's first blow using her body weight.
In silence they exchanged blows, feints and avoided. As their attacks loudly cut through the air, Flein's sword grazed Mikadzuchi's bangs and Mikadzuchi's stick caught Flein's clothes.
Knowing each other's skills, they fought aware of the fact its over the moment they receive a hit because of how few HP they had left.
As the two fought without crossing their weapons the audience had gradually heated up.
"Flein, hurry up and lose!" "Go lose! Hurry up and lose!"
They jeered at Flein, it wasn't very pleasant for those listening, but the person himself took it as natural, like a breeze.
On the other hand, Mikadzuchi reacted. For just an instant she stopped moving in response to the voices. Flein didn't miss it, in that moment he released the fastest thrust at Mikadzuchi.
The quiet battle had quietly headed for the end.
『"——Qualifications are over! The number of the players has decreased to the set number! The PvP Finals will start in an hour!"』
The voice of the host, Cloude had echoed.
As the thin black sword stopped right before Mikadzuchi's forehead, anyone could tell it was Mikadzuchi's defeat.
"Tch, you narrowly escaped death."
"Shut up. This is a draw."
Seeing Mikadzuchi frustrated Flein shrugged, then he moved to the centre of the field with a determined step.
『"All of you listen! I'm 【Flame Prison Corps'】 Flein! I know well you bastards are frustrated losers!"』
At these words that sounded right after the PvP qualifiers ended, many players opened their eyes wide.
『"We have occupied the surroundings of the 【Wisteria Peach Tree】. No matter how much you deny you lost to us PKs, it's a fact you lost! If you want to win against me, come there and dare try it! Coming alone is fine! Coming in a group is fine! If you kill a PK, his level drops! On the other hand, if you're killed by us PKs, we get stronger! Now, if you got any complaints come at us and let's settle this! Well, that is if you reach us... of course."
Just once Flein paused in middle of sentence. Then, acting provocatively he left the place.
To Flein victory in PvP didn't seem to have any worth and he came just for the sake of publicity.
As he was leaving he found me at the audience seats and made a fearless smile in my direction, I'd like to think it was just my imagination.
Chapter 5 - The Final and the Sky Eyes
The finals will start again after everyone refocuses. Flein's suddenly stormed in and made a declaration of an area's occupation, after which he provoked all the players and left.
Flein himself saw no value in the PvP's victory and just seemed to just gathered the players in the area to serve as his prey. That's how I judged it based on my meetings with PKs so far. However, the atmosphere in which 【Fosch Hound】 and 【Flame Prison Corps】 were clad in seemed different. Possibly, the declaration was that of 【Flame Prison Corps】, or Flein alone. I wondered.
"Hey, I'd like to eat those sweets too, can I?"
"Then, in exchange..."
"Hmm. So your aim is the dark horse after all? Or maybe we should make a steady bet of 10kG?"
"That be seven thousand fold increase eh?"
As we waited for the finals to start, everyone did whatever they pleased. Running to the stalls to buy sweets and food, exchanging juice. Also, though there was too many people to do it in the qualifiers, betting on players was permitted by the 【Crafting Guild】 for the finals.
Even now, the names of finalists were displayed on a huge screen with the amounts of money bet on them.
Taku, Sei-nee, Lucato, Toutobi, Mikadzuchi. Among these five acquaintances remaining, the vanguards Taku, Lucato and Mikadzuchi were favourites. The rearguard Sei-nee and guerrilla Toutobi were believed to be short on defence and attack, not included among the candidates for winning.
"Yun-san, Emily-san, don't make such dark expression!"
"That's right. Let's make predictions together."
Lyna and Al have already accustomed themselves to this space. They induced me and Emily-san to make our own bets.
We were trying to escape reality though...
"It can't be helped. But, I don't intend to bet too much."
"I'm not interested but..."
"Then! J-just your predictions! What are your predictions?!"
The two have quickly turned towards the screen with bets.
On the betting screen, there were various bets. From standard betting on who will be on the first place up to third place, but also ones where you chose five players who will enter the first five places, there was a lot of options.
The odds depended on the rumour's about players and their reputation, but there were also people choosing stable bets and those with low odds, people investing as congratulatory prizes for their relatives and acquaintances cheering them on by betting small amounts on them.
Also, they bet big amounts or split the risk by betting on multiple players...
"I'll bet on Sei-nee. Also, for the dark horse I'll bet everyone loses."
"Betting on a relative huh. Well, I guess it's reasonable? Still, everyone loses option was prepared as a joke, isn't that the one with seven thousand fold multiplication."
Well, for a relative it was a congratulatory prize, but I also think everyone losing isn't impossible either. There were few mages overall, but if a mage used a spell for wide-area annihilation, they can be hit by a cross-counter and collateral damage, also being taken down.
"Oh my, aren't you going to congratulate your childhood friend Taku?"
"Ugh, Minute. Also, Hino, Kohaku and Rirei. Haa, it can't be helped. Then, Lucato and Toutobi, Mikadzuchi as well as Taku, for the congratulatory prizes."
"Mufufu, Yun-san sure isn't honest."
"By betting on everyone, you hide the fact you're cheering for Taku-san. Still, you won't fool my eyes."
No, your eyes are knotholes. I stared intently in response to Kohaku's and Hino's words.
Ahahaha, unable to bear my gaze the three laughed dryly. I heaved a sigh.
『"Now, for the finals' moderator's baton is passed from Cloude to me, Magi!"』
The preparations for PvP finals must have been complete as Magi-san stood on top of the stage and once again, she described the finals' rules to the gathered people once again.
『"For the rules, although the usage of recovery items was prohibited in the qualifiers to prevent from making them tedious, from here on there's a partial release of recovery items! Still, you don't have to worry! If you see a player use a recovery item, you can of course prevent them! As for recovery items that can be used, regardless of type you can use up to 10. MP Potions are counted separately! Whether you use potions with high recovery amounts, pills that are hard to prevent from being ingested, it's all up to you!"』
Magi-san finished a simple explanation, then started the countdown.
『"Countdown, 3, 2, 1——battle start!"』
At the same time she swung her hand up, the players who have won their ways to the finals started running all at once.
The thirty remaining players begun to fight with weapons in their hands.
Sei-nee started battling with a fire-type mage, the aftermath of their magic clashing spread to the surroundings, creating a situation where no one could approach them.
Taku and Toutobi have entered a duel by themselves. They bustled about on the field, Toutobi tried to suppress him with speed and number of moves and Taku had continued to counter while protecting himself.
Even though he was slow compared to Toutobi, Taku continued to avoid thanks to his skills and combat Senses, persistently surviving.
Only protecting his vital points Taku accumulated small amounts of damage, Toutobi who had low amount of defence and covered it up with avoiding. Myu and the others cheered for them both.
In the battle of the two, they were tied evenly.
Toutobi moved horizontally like a ninja to escape from Taku's sight. Unable to lay a hit on Toutobi Taku had released a sharp stab with the long sword in his right hand, she had avoided it by twisting her body and had entered below him using the opportunity to counter-attack.
Taku blocked Toutobi's attack with the sword in his left hand and pushed her back by force.
Using the sword in his right hand he attacked and the one in his left hand to defend, he stopped Toutobi's dagger using the difference between their reach.
Occasionally, there were players entering the two's fight, but were unable to keep up with their advanced offence and defence. They were also high-level players, but the two were stronger by several stages.
"...then, let's raise the speed even further. ——【Attack】, 【Speed】"
"In that case, I'll use borrowed strength to win as well. ——【Attack】, 【Speed】"
Toutobi and Taku squeezed something and used it. I was familiar with that item which changed into particles right after using.
"The two used Enchant Stones."
"So there are people among Yun-kun's acquaintances who use that."
The stones put on sale in the 【Atelier】——Enchant Stones. The two with enchants on further increased their speed and power.
In the battle that was in stalemate, a slight difference in their stats was born.
Along with a shout, both of them started running.
Capturing Toutobi who never stood in one place and emphasized on speed was difficult, with his power enhanced Taku's single blow pulverized the ground.
Taku continued to defend himself, but the blade's point often grazed his body and the damage accumulated.
Taku and Toutobi continued their battle interchanging themselves in rapid offence in defence. They have moved up to the brim of a certain location and their movement stopped.
"Tobi-chan! That place is...!"
Before Myu's voice could reach, fire and ice clashed in the location in which Taku and Toutobi were in, swallowing the two.
The advanced attack magic engulfed not only Taku and Toutobi, but also a few other players.
"Imperceptibly they entered the location where the mages were clashing. A shame."
The simultaneous defeat of Taku and Toutobi was because they were too heated up to notice they entered the attack range of the mages. Even though I felt it's a shame for the two's battle, I turned towards Sei-nee's battle with the other mage.
"Now is the time! Let's fight with the seat of strongest mage on the line!"
"I'm not really interested in things like seat of strongest, though."
With a troubled look on her face Sei-nee raised her staff, creating multiple water bullets and ice lances.
The opponent held a large book in their hand, activating magic in the same manner.
In their surroundings from which people have retracted unfolded fierce barrages of fire and ice.
Magic of both of them have cancelled themselves out and the aftermath had swept on the field. They used defensive magic, interference and feints. Both of them were familiar with the localization and timing, continuing to wage an advanced game of magic as long as MP allowed them to.
However, Sei-nee had gradually gained advantage.
The amount of MP remaining, number of magic waiting on standby, magic power granted by external source of an enchant, as well as the number of high-level magic cast.
In each one of these, she was just slightly higher and when it all stacked up it had come to a level where it couldn't be ignored.
And, the end had come to the two's game of magic. Sei-nee's magic had passed through one after one, then the rest of her magic flooded the opponent delivering a large amount of chain damage.
Originally, the mages had a weak defence and their firepower was an overkill. The compensation for waging a high-level battle between mages was high.
MP depletion and delay time until activation of another magic skill. The surrounding players confronted with the firepower of a high-level mage moved as to prevent her recovery with an item. Sei-nee entered an uphill battle.
"...I have returned."
"Welcome back, Tobi-chan! That was close! Still, to think you'd become so enthusiastic as to let out such a loud voice!"
Everyone spoke words of praise to her, but I couldn't see Taku's figure who should have lost together with her.
"...he wasn't with me. But, we were done in at the same time."
For an instant Toutobi made a frustrated expression, pausing, then said.
"...it wasn't decisive, but his movements seemed to have aimed for directing me to that place together with him. By the end, Taku-san managed to respond to my speed..."
When Toutobi muttered that, I opened my eyes wide. And at the same time, Taku who had surely fallen was displayed on the giant screen.
Taku's and Lucato's conversation could be heard from the screen.
"You were in the middle of the magic clash together with Tobi-san, weren't you."
"Yeah, I was. But, I have prepared some recovery items for today and was able to continue the battle."
"Haa, that's sly. You've made Yun-san your ally and acquired 【Revival Medicine】 haven't you."
While Lucato and Taku set up their weapons against each other, the words that leaked out caused an uproar in the audience.
And, for some reasons put up on the screen were us, sitting in the audience. Hey——ehh?!!
『"H-heyy! Why are you showing me on the screen! I have nothing to do with it!"』
『"Here's appears Yun-kun, the new creator of Revival Medicine who had also adorned the opening ceremonyy!!"』
As my voice had resounded twice, Magi-san's had overlapped it.
In order not to be noticed I lowered my head, but Myu, Minute and the others who were also reflected on the screen have waved appealing to people.
"Please, stop it already."
After a while it had ended and once again the scenery on the screen had changed to Taku and Lucato.
The two who didn't have anything to talk about in particular closed the distance in an instant.
The passage of arms between Taku and Lucato had intensified. However, Taku who got used to Toutobi's speed easily parried Lucato's attack and dealt damage.
Taku wielding two long swords and bastard sword-wielding Lucato. So far Lucato seemed dominant, but since the timing of her attack's impact was off, it was a negligible difference. Taku's speed was higher. As the two didn't use any arts the difference in skill between them could be seen clearly, meanwhile, Myu waited for something with a broad smile.
"It's okay. Luka-chan is strong."
In that instant Taku released his fastest blow to finish the match. Lucato avoided continuous attacks from the cross-wielded long swords by a narrow margin and in the same manner she slashed the fastest she could.
"Yes!! It's decided with Luka-chan's counte——?!"
Just like Myu I thought it was over with the counter, but Taku surpassed it.
He let go of his sword then re-gripped the handle in mid-air with a reverse grip. With an acrobatic feat and the reverse grip on the sword he parried Lucato's attack, then continuing to move as if to tackle her he thrust the long sword held in reverse grip at her shoulder.
That blow had decided Lucato's elimination. The remaining ones in the battle was Sei-nee who had endured but was in a pinch because of MP depletion and cast time delay, locked in a showdown between members of 【Eight Million Gods】 with Mikadzuchi who still had surplus strength.
Sei-nee used all of her remaining MP to create a barrage of water and ice, releasing it with a strong momentum at approaching Mikadzuchi.
"Sei! Ain't you quite strained! ——《Kidoukon》!"
In response, Mikadzuchi triggered an art prepared, hitting the necessary minimum of magic.
However, the magic that was blown away was sent towards Taku who was taking a break until the two settle their fight.
"Nice! Sei-nee! Take Taku down!"
"Hey, Sei. Is Missy cheering on you? Or does she have a grudge on that Taku boy?"
"That is, hiding embarrassment."
The two had a short exchange of words, then again focused on fighting.
If Sei-nee doesn't let Mikadzuchi get close by using barrage of magic, she wins. Conversely, if Mikadzuchi gets close to Sei-nee, she wins. That's the situation they were in.
Sei-nee fired barrage of magic and Mikadzuchi blown it away.
Mikadzuchi could be seen accumulating small amounts of damage when hit during a small gap in defence after activating art, Sei-nee suffered a heavy MP consumption.
The two's battle had settled during a very short moment of stiffness after art activation. Not missing it, Sei-nee used an advanced magic that was on standby making a situation in which Mikadzuchi couldn't defend herself.
The only ones remaining, were Sei-nee and Taku.
All other participating players have retired.
"Hey, Taku-kun. Won't you already give up the win?"
"What are you saying, after much trouble I've preserved myself in various ways for this."
As Taku said that while running all around, I realized that his behaviour focused on avoidance was an unshaken strategy for the victory.
And to the audience who wanted to see a PvP battle, it was more than enough a reason to jeer him.
From all over the audience came taunting voices saying things like "That's dirty! Fight fair and square!" as well suppressed laughter. In response to that Taku——
"Who cares as long as I win."
Suppressing his laughter just like the audience, he answered. No, it would be better if he said without looking as if he's about to laugh. It's ruining the atmosphere in the area.
Other than that, "Riajuu go explode!" "To have three beautiful sisters as childhood friends, seriously, just lose already!" taunts filled with jealousy have also sounded in his direction. Wait a second, I'm a man.
Taku received the jeers containing jealousy laughing and with a smile. On the other hand, the cheers going in Sei-nee's direction were mainly positive.
"Do your beest!" "As a disadvantaged mage, aim for victory!" "Become our hope!"
And among such heart-warming cheers——
"Umm, please let me off!"
" " "Thank you very much!" " "
The guys who made such remarks were immediately beat up senseless by surrounding players. Incidentally, Myu too started rotating her shoulder doing warm-up.
I'll be right back, hey where are you going?! I caught her with my hand to stop her. Hino, Kohaku and the others also appeased her.
In the end, it took a while until those cheers quietened down.
Meanwhile, Sei-nee recovered her HP and MP to full with items and Taku had changed his equipment.
"Taku-kun, couldn't you attack aiming for the moment I'm recovering?"
"That wouldn't satisfy the audience, right? I've been running around until now. This is where I show off. Still, Sei-san, with two seconds you're able to form a barrage of minor magic aren't you?"
With that said, Taku laughed fearlessly.
"As I thought, it's best to win fair and square, isn't it."
Rather than his usual long swords, Taku used two iron blue long swords this time.
The one who made his move first, was Taku. He took a large leap, reducing the distance between them. However, reacting to it immediately Sei-nee fired magic.
Sei-nee was a mage damage dealer, just like with Mikadzuchi she had no intention to fight him in close combat.
Just like Mikadzuchi, Taku aimed to block the magic with skills. It did seem like a repeat of the previous scene but——
"...he cut down the magic."
He cut apart the ice lance with the sword in his right hand and dispersed a water bullet with the sword in his left.
I didn't know what happened, but Myu and other mage acquaintances stared at it with bitter expressions.
"Taku-san, that's too much. Not only 【Revival Medicine】, he also prepared such meta equipment."
"M-meta? What's that?"
When I asked, Myu stared explaining not looking away from Taku.
I listened to it seriously along with Lyna and Al.
Meta——a specific type of configuration prepared for a virtual enemy, chosen as to have advantage in a fight. In a nutshell, if enemy is weak to fire element, it would be a weapon of fire element. If enemy is using wind element, that would be an armour with wind element resistance.
Moreover, in case of going against mobs which have a fixed routine actions, it would be acting, planning and general strategic measures to fight against them. It was called meta measures.
Just recently, what the guild master of PK guild 【Flame Prison Corps】 used, 《Killing Edge》 could be called anti-player meta.
In other words, currently Taku had prepared equipment against mages, in particular he was equipped against mages using water element.
"What Taku-san is using, probably are weapons with 【Seal Magic (Water)】 and its higher version 【Seal Magic (Ice)】. It's an effect that disables magic of the corresponding effect when slashed, but..."
"It's incredibly difficult to obtain. Also, when used its durability drops significantly, not only it can be used against one element but also can be used only for a short amount of time. It's literally a meta equipment."
To have prepared two of these, what else did he prepare. Myu muttered appalled.
Possibly, aside from my 【Revival Medicine】, he had also prepared other meta equipment he didn't use this time.
Sei-nee had to take special measures against such an opponent, she was surprised for a moment but learning that low-level magic won't work' she cancelled it.
"I'm surprised. I didn't think you'd find such a precise countermeasure."
"That just shows how high I evaluate Sei-san, you see. Even I can't find countermeasures for all the participants."
"Well, let's keep it at that. ——《Aqua Wall》!"
Three sheets of water wall have surrounded Taku in a triangle pattern. It was a defence magic, but was used to narrow enemy's line of sight instead allowing Sei-nee to use a high-level magic in its shade.
"This is pointless! But, is that so!"
He cut the wall of water with the long sword in his left hand, but was repelled by the wall of ice behind it.
When he cut down the dummy wall of water his sword was repelled by the wall of ice. Taku pulled back the sword in his left hand in a hurry and pierced the ice wall with the sword in his right hand, making it shatter and make it turn into small fragments.
"...no. That's also a feint."
We who sat at the audience have seen everything.
Sei-nee created a siege of water walls, behind which there were ice walls and even further behind there were five icicles.
She was dealing with two elements of water and ice. Basically, water and ice were of the same group and among the meta equipment's additional effect 【Seal Magic】, one weapon included the derivation.
That's why Sei-nee tried to make the long sword in Taku's left hand meaningless by narrowing the used magic to ice. Moreover, if she makes it hit a mass of ice instead of water, there was a possibility of lowering the weapon's durability and destroying it for free. That's how she must have calculated it.
"Well then, let's go!"
"?!! ——《Shock Impact》!"
Just like Mikadzuchi, Taku had clad his weapon with an anti-magic skill and tore apart a number of magic coming at him.
For the icicles difficult to avoid he had reliably destroyed them with the sword in the right hand and the minimal amount of magic was blown away back towards Sei-nee with the sword in his left.
Sei-nee's concentration had to be broken to deflect the approaching ice blocks that were hit back at her, because of that her control over magic aimed at Taku had weakened.
Taku judged the attacks with ice have weakened and the damage was minimal, still, Sei-nee's attack didn't end.
"I'm sorry. Even if it's Taku-kun I can't hold back, I assume you already prepared countermeasures."
While saying so, this time she swung her staff sideways. One of the icicles that waited for activation has broken and a large size fist-sized pieces have assaulted Taku.
All at once several dozens of pieces of ice rushed at Taku, hitting his body and stopping his movements. Aiming for that moment, the remaining ice had approached him at once.
He pulled out an Enchant Stone for magic defence from the inventory then used it, giving up on avoidance and interception Taku had defended himself by crossing his arm.
"No way?!! You withstood that?!"
Taku raised his magic defence, smashed the ice chasing him with the longsword in his right hand and assaulted Sei-nee while raising his voice loudly.
A little bit more and he would reach Sei-nee.
"But, you're one step late. ——《Maelstrom》!"
Taku was caught in a vortex generated beneath his feet. Rotated by something like a deep blue, large washing machine, Taku was washed away.
That seems nauseous. Rather, after rotating that much Taku will surely get dirty. An out of place thought had crossed my mind.
The match is over. I thought.
Taku powerlessly rotated in the vortex, he regained strength only for a moment and held the sword inside the water.
After rebuilding his posture in middle of spin, Taku swung the long sword in his left hand, tearing the vortex apart before jumping out.
"HAAaaa! ——《Power Buster》!"
Momentarily, Sei-nee tried to intercept it with the magic waiting behind her, but before she could Taku swung both his long swords. Taku twisted his body rotating to the right while falling down, retaining the momentum and swung his right longsword, slashing Sei-nee diagonally from the shoulder.
However, neither of them moved. And——
『"Draw! It's a draw! All players are wiped out, a draw without a winner!"』
Magi-san's commentary has sounded on the site and at the same time, Taku and Sei-nee were ejected outside the field.
Together with Magi-san's voice who had forgot to do live commentary, the audience had boiled with excitement. A wipe out of all things. As for those of the audience who didn't know what happened, a commentary had immediately come together with an edited video.
『"It seems like the competitor Taku had in the end attacked with a full body blow and 《Power Buster》 art. On the other hand, the competitor Sei had delivered a pincer attack with the blocks of ice hovering up until that moment, which caused a simultaneous knock-down. It was truly a wonderful fight."』
With this the most significant event was over and the audience immersed itself in the after-taste.
The previous battle had left various impressions on the people in the location, exciting many.
Taku specialized himself in particular type of defence and took corresponding measures in consideration to the risk on his life. And Sei-nee, who has countered him by using a variety of magic. The audience was gradually overwhelmed by the two's greatness.
After the PvP had ended, the players had gradually moved to locations chosen by themselves. The place into which the two locked in a fierce battle just a moment earlier have come, had naturally attracted a lot of attention.
"No way, I didn't think you would have come out from inside the vortex. You have surprised me, Taku-kun. I should have crushed you with ice cubes while you were restrained by the vortex."
"As for me, I regret not throwing my weapons instead of attacking directly after getting out. No, I reflect on not doing it."
Hearing Sei-nee and my childhood friend Taku talk about methods of finishing each other off in a relaxed mood I was horrified and greet the two.
"Sei-oneechan, Taku-san. Cheers for good work! We have sweets prepared here!"
Myu had called Sei-nee and Taku from part of the audience seats, joined them and then everyone started an big evaluation meeting.
The light gamers, me, Lyna and Al couldn't keep up with their conversation so we diverted our consciousness towards the sweets. Emily-san who didn't want to talk with Taku and indifferent Letia had also gathered by the sweets. Also, Taku hasn't realized Emily-san's identity.
"Ohh, they're talking in some mysterious language."
"Well, let's talk about something else ourselves. Speaking of which, Yun-kun, you didn't forget have you?"
"Forgot, about what?"
"Yun-san, you have bet on 'everyone loses' haven't you."
Lyna stared at me intently, did you forget? In response to that cold gaze I went "ah", recalling while letting out a miserable voice.
"The lowest possible bet was 100G, if I'm not wrong it was multiplied by seven thousand fold... so 700kG."
As I muttered that quietly, Lyna and Al's eyes shone. Well, for me it was just some lucky extra income. It wasn't something to think about deeply. Had I to say something——
"Well, it's just some more savings."
When I muttered that, Lyna and Al directed a gaze towards me that said "you have no dreams" making me falter.
"W-what's with that look——"
"No, let's say it's just like Yun-kun. How do I say it..."
Emily-san said something ambiguous. Say it clearly! I wanted to protest loudly, but I directed my gaze towards one player approaching from the audience seats.
"Ah... it's Mikadzuchi."
"Good job in PvP. The big event is over now."
Approaching, Mikadzuchi spoke a light greeting and headed towards Sei-nee.
"Mikadzuchi, where were you until now?"
"Naw, I was called over by others. In the end, there were a lot of people who moved straight over there after being provoked by Flein so it took time to get them under control."
Mikadzuchi must have gotten through to everyone, seeing as she smiled broadly.
"All right! The after-event's festival night! We're going to hunt PKs and complete the raid quest so start preparing!"
"Hey, wait a second!"
"By the way, Missy, forced participation!"
"You have already planned to ignore my will?!"
Is there a need to hurry so much? I thought, but Mikadzuchi had explained it to me.
"Right now, the 【Fosch Hound】 and 【Flame Prison Corps】 are occupying that area. They won't let us pass through smoothly. That's why, we need to gather a number of people to compete with them. We can gather the most right after Flein's declaration."
After saying one of the prerequisite she paused.
"Next, as for the disadvantages of having that area occupied, you must have already heard from that Kuro character."
"Yeah, if I'm not wrong then it's monopolizing the materials for 【Revival Medicine】 and the raid quest, which would be disadvantageous in a long term."
"That's why, gathering people and settling it tonight would be the best."
"I get it. Still, that's no reason for me to participate."
When I said that disgruntled and pouted, did you forget? She responded with a sigh.
"Missy, you have the 【Linguistics】 Sense that's a key to triggering the raid quest right? Without a player who meets the quest's conditions the plan won't start. Kuro character who has learned the same Sense is busy with post-processing of the event. And above all, it won't do if one of people who discovered the quest isn't there."
With that said, Mikadzuchi had decided my participation. Actually, I have done preparations with the intention of undertaking it one day, but I was confused seeing it be so sudden.
I have turned my line of sight to Emily-san as to seeking help, she had showed just a slightly concerned attitude and nodded.
The time is running out. We need to hurry and start preparing.
"Emily-san, help us out with the quest. You might not like being with Taku but, please."
"Am I really okay?"
I didn't know what kind of expression did she make under the mask, but surely she must've been concerned.
And. Why are you asking in a manner weaker than that of a girl, I can't refuse like this. That quiet complaint didn't reach my ears, the one asking.
"Combat potential-wise, you can bring Letia as well can't you?"
"No, the person herself isn't interested. Also, she's taking care of the twins..."
Lyna and Al couldn't undertake the raid quest and they themselves were aware of that, so they didn't even try saying they want to participate. Letia had taken them saying "let's enjoy the rest of the event" and went away with her expression unchanged, fist raised high.
I think it was Letia's concern, so I felt apologetic.
"You might not like being with Taku, but could you?"
"This once, I'll undertake it since I am also interested. With acquaintances there I'll be at peace as well. However, don't expect me to be too much of use with my strength."
"It's all right. I don't count as a fighting force at all."
"What's with that thinking of yours."
Hearing my self-evaluation Emily-san stared intently at me, but she stopped it soon and said "let's do our best".
I was relieved seeing as Emily-san had undertaken it.
"So, there's no time right? What are you doing for preparations?"
"For equipment, Cloude and Lyly should make it in time. Also, for consumables I'll just take some from the 【Atelier】 but——"
I checked my Senses and rearranged them for combat.
【Bow Lv38】 【Longbow Lv11】 【Hawk Eyes Lv50】 【Speed Increase Lv28】 【See-Through Lv13】 【Magic Talent Lv44】 【Magic Power Lv48】 【Enchant Arts Lv22】 【Dosing Lv28】 【Linguistics Lv18】
【Alchemy Lv32】 【Synthesis Lv33】 【Engraving Lv2】 【Swimming Lv13】 【Crafting Knowledge Lv34】 【Taming Lv8】 【Earth Element Talent Lv19】 【Cooking Lv26】
It seems like because of the yesterday's battle at night with PKs, the 【Hawk Eyes】 had reached the level required for growth and a target Sense had appeared.
The 【Hawk Eyes】 Sense specialized in targeting and night vision capabilities. And the growth target that could be selected was 【Sky Eyes】.
It was the highest level Sense among the ones I possessed. My stats increased with its level, but were it be grown the 【Sky Eyes】 would turn level 1 and the stat increase would disappear.
Considering just the stats, it would be best to challenge the quest as is.
Considering the Sense's skills and passives, it would be best to grow the skill.
"What is it? Suddenly growling."
"No, um... I've got a Sense that can grow and I wondered what to do."
I consulted Emily-san, but maybe it was a difficult question since she fell silent.
If this was a derived Sense, I would have acquired it without hesitation and would equip it double like with 【Bow】 and 【Longbow】, a method like that would exist.
"Then, Yun-kun. What's the description of the target Sense? Generally, the higher Senses are compatible with the previous ones, so it depends on the handling of the new performance and skills."
"Let's see, 【Hawk Eyes】 growth target and is named 【Sky Eyes】."
Sky Eyes can be obtained by consuming 3SP, it allows expanding the targeting ability within the visible range
There was just one point, a special skill called 【Zone】 would be added.
It could be triggered alone and had an effect when combined with other skills.
It's description said that when triggered, it expands the single effect skills and magic range.
"But, whether its usability is good or not is something we won't know unless we actually use it."
Even though it seems like its usability is good based on the skill description, it happens often that it actually is a miss.
"Uoohh! In that case, man's guts!"
By consuming the SP, I have grown 【Hawk Eyes】 into 【Sky Eyes】.
"I haven't heard any info on the 【Sky Eyes】 Sense. It's either a Sense no one reached so far, or the information on it hasn't been published, so there's no one to ask. What will you do?"
"Emily-san, help me out checking the Sense until it's time..."
Where did your man's guts go. Emily-san had heaved a sigh as I weakly appealed for her help.
"First, try using it in a basic manner and what else you can think of."
"G-got it. 《Zone Enchant》——Attack!"
While looking at Emily-san, I used the attack increasing Zone Enchant.
The enchants were applied at the same time, the effects were the same as that of a normal enchant.
The problems, were the delay time that was longer than that of a normal enchant and much bigger MP consumption.
After repeating it several times, I told Emily-san what I found.
"Umm, whether I'm alone or with Emily-san, the MP consumption doesn't change I guess? It did increase considerably though."
"In that case, won't the overall consumption decrease if you use that for putting enchants on the party members?"
"I guess. Also, it can be used only once a while because of the delay time so it's limited to one type. I'd like to learn some more. Emily-san."
"I get it. These little ones should be a good target. ——《Summon》"
While saying so, Emily-san threw Nucleus Stones, summoning 59 synthetic mobs I saw last night, the Wood Dolls. After that, she summoned 5 slime-type mobs.
While thinking it's a good way to use mobs that don't consume MP and are disposable, I used enchant on the mobs Emily-san had prepared.
Emily-san and I stared towards the summoned synthetic mobs. The number specified for targeting were six parties, approximately the number we'll challenge the raid quest with.
But, nothing happened?
All my MP was drained and the enchant did not go off.
"With a misfire I've ran out of MP..."
"In that case, let's examine it in detail."
I confirmed again that the effect of the enchant had expired and used the enchant again.
As a result, we found out several things.
"The MP consumption increases beyond 6 targets."
"But, the fact that the delay time for reuse doesn't change with the number of people is an advantageous point."
Is she trying to console me? I tilted my head strongly.
With the base skill's consumption increasing ten times, the consumption rose beyond a certain point. In enchant's case, ten people was the current limit with a full MP tank.
Anything beyond that ended up with a misfire.
Moreover, it was the same with attack magic.
Eight rounds of the 《Bomb》 magic was the limit, even with simultaneous bombing, in the end it was just a lowest level magic.
"It's good enough against one opponent at a time, but it pales in comparison with Sei-san's barrage."
"Right? As I thought."
It was incredibly bad considering MP consumption efficiency. In bomb's case the MP potions could be used during the delay time before re-use, but the potions would go like water and it was inefficient.
Casting bomb on each target. In that case, Sei-nee's simultaneous sweep using multiple stocked magic which used 【Delay】 Sense had good efficiency and high attack power. Even though 【Delay】 consumed MP to withhold the magic, my efficiency was bad even when compared to that.
It could be fired at the same time and considerably dense, allowing to add some chain damage, but it was too restrictive.
"In that case, it might be better to just operate with 【Sky Eyes】 during the raid quest."
"Also, since the delay time is shorter than that of the time enchant takes to expire, I probably can put on two or three normal enchants in the meanwhile."
"Certainly. It takes a fairly short wait time to use a single-target enchants."
Right now my 【Sky Eyes】 level is still low, but if it goes up and somewhat improves, there's a possibility I'll be able to afford more.
"In the end, I'm not suited for attacking. Well, with the remaining time let's raise 【Sky Eyes】 level as much as possible."
"Understood. Then, I'll put myself in sleep state and take a short break. Meanwhile, you can use the synthetic mobs as the target."
"Thank you, Emily-san."
After I said that, consciousness had disappeared from Emily-san's body. It seems she was able to safely log out.
The Wood Dolls that were arranged as if to protect her and Slimes have lined up themselves in front of me.
During the time I waited for Emily-san who logged out, I have summoned Ryui and Zakuro whom I couldn't call out during the PvP event and yesterday's mess, relaxing myself.
Having my maximum MP reduced by summoning the two, the maximum number of targets for 《Zone Enchant》 was reduced to 8, but it didn't matter. Having the two's company during the long skill re-use delay, I continued to repeat enchanting.
Since it was low level it grew easily and the efficiency of the Enchant had raised just slightly. Specifically speaking, there was a slight decrease in MP consumption and delay time. Feeling it was better than nothing, I waited for Emily-san to come back.
Me and a part of the mobs were clad in red, blue and yellow enchant auras at the same time, looking like a strange spectacle. Somehow, for some reason I feel like I'm seeing a deja vu.
After a while, when my head had gone empty, suddenly words had leaked out.
"Hey, Ryui, Zakuro. Can I really do the raid quest?"
Ryui had put its head on my knees and closed its eyes, Zakuro tilted its head mystified. Well, it wasn't like I'd be heard by anyone, so I just felt like saying so.
"Mikadzuchi said it's the best timing and that I was needed by everyone, but that was probably because they needed someone with 【Linguistics】."
*Kyuu*, I tickled Zakuro's throat as it let out a lovely cry, it had twisted its body and rolled around. Seeing that, my smile spilled naturally.
"Myu aimed to raise her levels for the sake of revenge. Taku too had thought of various measures."
It wasn't just Myu and Taku. Sei-nee, Lucato, Toutobi, Mikadzuchi, they all aimed for leveling and polishing their skills as players in PvP.
In addition to that, Magi-san, Cloude and Lyly did their best to calm the PK uproar that occurred at the same time.
"I want to be useful with more than just 【Enchant Arts】 and 【Linguistics】."
Haa, I heaved a sigh. Good grief, as I look up I see no end. I muttered. When I looked away, suddenly Ryui who slept on my lap and Zakuro have quickly moved away from me. What is it? And, a shadow had enveloped around me...
"Yun-oneechan. No, Onii-chan. Pull yourself together!"
I got hit in the back strongly, then let out a strange voice.
When I got up on the knees and turned around, Myu had caught my face in both hands and moved her face close enough to have our foreheads touch, staring straight at me.
" 'She's doing something interesting!' I heard, but when I come to look here you are acting all-weak."
"No, I had no intention of doing anything interesting..."
Eh? Was it my quirky handling of 《Zone Enchant》 for leveling up my 【Sky Eyes】?
"My Onii-chan is certainly weak alone! Weak-kneed and quick to run!"
"Hey, can I cry? Or should I get angry here?"
"When we're acting reckless you come to help us! You always wait for us, encourage us! Come to help us! That's why——"
She smiled at me. Her confident smile.
"We leave our back to you and only face forward to fight. That's why I believe Yun-oniichan will definitely support us from behind."
The ones fighting in front cover each other's backs. But to support them, was my role.
Geez, why is someone with character whose main is support getting all-weak here!
I already knew well I had no attack power.
That's why, I'll just do what I can.
"Thanks, Myu. I'll do what I can do."
"Also, Mikadzuchi-san said this! When the raid quest is over and the feast starts, without Yun-oneechan we'll run out of fish."
"You ruined it!"
"Pu-kukuku... Yun-kun's being pinned down."
"E-ehh?!! Since when were you here?!"
When Myu moved away from me energetically, before I realized Emily-san who was in the sleep state had come back.
"When I logged in, I heard Yun-kun complain so I stayed silent. I've seen something unusual."
I glared at Emily-san who wore a mask and the voice changer, but since she said "I'm sorry", apologizing, I couldn't get angry at her.
"Well then, I'll take Yun-oneechan for a break, let's meet later for the quest!"
"Sure. Make sure to gather enough strength before coming."
Pulled by Myu, I was made leave Emily-san's location and made log out.
I've spent time until the set time for the quest participation calming myself.
Chapter 6 - The Ghost Wolf and the Raid Quest
The meeting place was the town's centre where the portal was installed. There, when I have appeared together with Myu after logging in, most of the players participating in raid quest were already waiting.
Players with whom I was acquainted with spoke with those I didn't know. The few players that didn't know each other have done final confirmations and comparisons of methodology and items.
I also checked on my Senses, the 【Sky Eyes】 only changed by an insignificant, single level, making me heave a sigh.
"Yun-oneechan, why are you sighing! It's all from now on! The future!"
"Yeah, I'm all right."
"Now then, I'll go greet everyone!"
With that said, Myu moved away from me and jumped into the gathering of players. As I felt lightly envious of her activeness, it seemed like I was being watched from somewhere afar.
The players participating in the raid quest were——
The party of six. Myu, Lucato, Toutobi, Hino, Rirei and Kohaku.
The party of five. Taku, Gantz, Kei, Minute, Mami.
Sei-nee and Mikadzuchi, as well as twelve elite members of 【Eight Million Gods】, making up two parties.
The reserve troops consisted of solo players picked in case-by-case manner depending on the type needed.
And finally, me and Emily-san.
——A total of thirty people. Five parties participated in the raid quest this time.
As for the configuration, there were mages as the main damage dealers, tanks and quite a few healers.
Speaking of tanks, my acquaintance Kei had mainly PvP equipment on and wasn't really active, but now he had switched to his defence-oriented large shield and short sword.
Moreover, Kei had become the centre and the leader on the position, he discussed with others the entire formation for the vanguard players and even the timing of attacks of the rearguard.
"Amazing right, that Kei."
"Hm? Ah, Taku. Yeah, I have no clue what's he's on about though."
I just stared at them stunned, but I could feel some kind of a reassuring atmosphere from the tanks.
"Those guys specialize in protecting the rearguard you're included in. Also, since all of them trained cooperation in PvP they look like they have a considerable sense of stability when improvising.
It's something worth seeing. Taku laughed like a child.
"You won't see it as a vanguard, will you. I'll watch firmly from behind instead."
"Yeah, I leave it to you. This time's raid quest challenge is for fulfilling our revenge. I'll go at it with full force as well."
I knew that even without him declaring that, I nodded in silence.
Meanwhile as we roused ourselves the members have gathered on time, leading them from the centre was Mikadzuchi.
"For beating the raid quest this time, we have a joint of multiple parties. There are probably many reasons for joining. The ones who discovered the quest, those who have high expectations of a large-sized quest, those who want to take revenge on the PKs who have occupied the area. This time's quest completion has more meaning than it usually does. There must be some who are anxious as for the quest rewards. Well, it's fine to have expectations for that, but we need to defeat the boss before that."
As Mikadzuchi jokingly declared starting the quest, I put on a bitter smile, but when she paused, everyone made a serious expression.
"There's lots I want to say, but I hate long-winded talks. So——let's go!"
" " "——Yeahh!" " "
The enthusiastic men formed a circle and shouted together.
I thought it looks reliable as I watched them. After being put in a different position from Emily-san, we started to move.
We have transferred to the portal in the Abandoned Village nearby the Wisteria Peach Flower, a few people including me have entered the underground of village chief's house, triggering the quest.
—— 【R Quest: Subjugate Wisteria Peach Tree's Giant Wolf 1／3 】 —— Destroy the cornerstones. —— 0／7
At the same time the quest was activated, the raid quest attendees moved towards the cornerstones, continuing to destroy them one after one.
"We were waiting! For a bunch like you to come!"
"Tch! As I thought, you won't let us undertake the quest so easily. Everyone, fight back!"
The surroundings of the cornerstones were a battle area. There, PKs have gathered and with weapons in their hands they have approached us
Together with Mikadzuchi's shout, the raid quest participants have begun to fight back. From the start we knew they won't let us take the quest so easily.
The elite players have gathered and turned the tables on the enemy. The PKs tried to compete with numbers. They have built up a siege, surrounding us and interfering at full force.
"If you want to pass, you'll have to get killed by us first! Also, leave behind your consumables!"
And, one of them said a line like that of a bandit or a thief.
As for our side, the participants felt no sense of crisis and just striked back at the PKs, feeling them to be cumbersome.
Gradually, the number of PKs defeated had increased and while they had originally a high morale, they had begun to get cold feet. Well, they too had their own risks. There were better ways to earn experience than picking a fight with people they can't win against.
However, the encirclement was still maintained and there was a change to the situation where a part of strong PKs had stood against us.
"Mikadzuchi-neesan! Whilst belated, we have come!"
"Anego! It took time to bring those who haven't registered the portal yet!"
"You guys! ——I'll leave release of this area to you! Go around and eliminate all occupying PKs!"
" " "——Yes sir!!" " "
"Quest participants follow me! We're going to break through at one point!"
As Mikadzuchi shouted, the siege was cut apart all at once and we rushed through. However, there were twelve PKs in front on watch waiting as to prevent it.
Among them there were familiar faces. One of them was 【Flame Prison Corps】 guild master, Flein. Also, there was the shrewd PK we met during the uproar on the first day.
Other than that, there were senior members of the PK guild 【Fosch Hound】.
With curiosity, vigilance, emotions completely different from hostility in his line of sight, Flein had first spoke to Mikadzuchi.
"Yo, did you come to defeat us?"
"No way. We've come to undertake the quest. That's why, don't get in our way, boys."
An exchange of Flein's and Mikadzuchi's.
Hearing Mikadzuchi's provocation there was a bustle among the other PKs, but Flein himself who was talking had only laughed, finding it interesting.
"Then, when your errand's finished, won't you fight me? That'll be the third, concluding match."
"Let's settle it this time, after I get the quest's rare equipment. Prepare yourself to be the first test subject."
"That's interesting. Then, I won't interfere. You're free to go."
Hearing what Flein said, numerous other PKs started bustling.
Let's defeat them here, let's call fellow PKs and we'll have advantage, there's no need to let them through. Is what they were saying. In fact, there was no benefits for the PK guilds in letting us pass here.
However, Flein looked at the other PKs without any emotion in his eyes, as if they were boring.
"Fightin' in such a siege using large numbers brings no benefits to us, 【Flame Prison Corps】."
"That's see. Here on starts——a big brawl!"
"Let's go. Yun!"
Responding to Taku's voice, we have passed by Flein's PKs side.
Becoming a wall behind us, Flein had started fighting with the same PKs.
While leaving, I took a glance at Flein.
What I saw, was the PK guild's guild masters arguing.
"You're the same PK guild's master, why would you point a weapon at me!"
"Obviously! Cuz' I want to fight! Just like you bunch. Even if you have joined hands with small fries, you want to fight strong guys! What I want, is battle with boiling blood and dancing meat!"
"You're mad. To raise PK levels, you have to reduce the risks and only fights against suitable opponents!"
"That's where our opinion differs! 【Flame Prison Corps】 is a collection of battle crazed fools! In the first place, we're annoyed with your way of doing things. That's why, end up being my experience bastards!"
With a ferocious smile, Flein had cut down one of the 【Fosch Hound】's senior members.
Noticing my line of sight, just for a moment our eyes met and Flein tried to convey some words just by moving his lips.
I couldn't read from lips, but wondering what he wanted to say I remembered the movement of his lips as we hurried to the cornerstone, searching for the words.
And, the words I found were——"I'll, wait."
——I'll wait. He wanted Mikadzuchi to strengthen herself, as I thought, he's a battle junkie.
Also, while Mikadzuchi strengthens herself through the raid quest, he will cut down the interfering PKs by himself leveling himself up. I could see through that thinking of his.
And leaving this place to Flein, we have started moving between cornerstones proceeding with quest.
After we have released all the seals and moved closer to the Wisteria Peach Tree, the assaulting PKs and the players confronting them have disappeared from the surroundings and we reached the tree.
The moon was stained red and the pink flowers have strongly presented themselves.
As everyone looked up at the tree towering in front of us, the Skeleton Raiders had emerged from the ground beginning the baptism ceremony.
"The ten tanks, protect the rearguard! Mages, fire from behind the tanks! Healers, make sure to have a safe margin, take care of HP management! Vanguards, follow me!"
"This time, we'll defeat him!"
"Myu-chan, don't overextend too much."
Myu and Taku started running towards their respective Skeleton Raiders. The ones having the same roles in vanguard Gantz, Lucato, Toutobi and Hino fought while cooperating.
Unlike during the previous baptism by the Skeleton Raiders, this battle was a full-on clash with all enemies that appeared.
Matching our numbers, the number of Skeleton Raiders assaulting has changed.
Just like the last time, the normal skeletons with weapons have built up a siege and approached us. However, we didn't let them approach as they wanted. The party's tanks have hampered their invasion by lining up in front of them.
As the tanks have protruded their weapons from the gaps between the shield, the skeletons had change into particles of light. Nevertheless, the skeletons continued to flood in filling the holes.
In addition to that, when an elite Skeleton Raider had bypassed the tanks using the mobility of a wolf raider, Mikadzuchi's vanguard had surrounded it with a number of players and brought it down.
"Let's go as well. ——《Ice Lance》!"
Starting with Sei-nee, Kohaku, Rirei, Mami and other mages have fired magic leaving a trail, piercing through an area dense with skeletons. In order to kill off the Skeleton Magicians whose existence we weren't able to confirm the last time, the mages have fired over the tanks' heads.
And us, the support which has also included the healers——
"So there were skeletons using magic. The magic attack will focus on the tanks. In that case, 《Zone Enchant》——Mind!"
"Kei, please continue maintaining the defence as you are! ——《Round Heal》!"
"I know, Minute! ——《Calling Shield》!"
" " "——《Calling Shield》!" " "
Minute and I put on wide area heals and defence magic enchants. On the other hand the tanks, including Kei have hit their shields letting out a loud sound.
The 【Shield】-type skill 《Calling Shield》 had an effect of increasing the hate value. It allowed the user to attract more enemy to their side.
"Amazing. So this is how multiple parties fight..."
"Yes, a way of fighting in cooperation."
Feeling excitement seeing this way of fighting for the first time, I aimed at enemy's rearguard comprised of Skeleton Magicians and fired an arrow.
Standing near me Emily-san swung her connecting sword, defeating the skeletons that slipped from both left and right.
From the beginning till end we had the initiative during combat with skeletons, overwhelming them. We didn't receive any serious damage.
After defeating a certain number of them, the skeletons have pulled back, splitting to the left and right opening a road leading to the tree.
But, everything until now was just an opening act.
—— 【R Quest: Subjugate Wisteria Peach Tree's Giant Wolf 3／3 】 —— Defeat the Wisteria Peach Tree's Giant Wolf 【Garm Phantom】. Remaining—— 0／1.
The true raid boss, Garm Phantom had appeared.
『"So ye are ones who destroyed my cornerstones..."』
The exactly same words. It was an AI that had a fixed scenario so it couldn't be helped, but it felt like it spoke as if hardly taking a notice of us.
It was my second confrontation with the glaring giant wolf. I swallowed my saliva from tension. Worried that she might recall the shock of losing, I looked away from the giant wolf and to Myu. When I did, I saw her shoulder tremble slightly.
But that trembling wasn't from something negative like fear or agitation. In fact, the will in her pupils was strong as she looked up at the giant wolf, she showed her white teeth and a playful expression making it seem like she would jump in any moment.
It wasn't just Myu. Taku and other people too shook with excitement at their first raid quest, there were several people looking forward to the battle. Loving this game, game-loving fools, is what you'd call them.
I've realized the nervousness was needless. I felt it was silly.
And as we returned our gazes to the raid boss, Garm Phantom, probably because we have reached the default number of people there was a change in the dialogue.
『"Perfect, the Wisteria Peach Tree is lacking nutrients. Also, to re-create the lost cornerstones the number is just right. Feel it an honour, the becoming one of the belov'd tree!"』
That was the trigger to the start of the battle.
Together with Mikadzuchi's voice we have spread like before, making up a formation.
Letting out a roar from his more than ten-metres big body, Garm Phantom had called out a number of skeletons from the ground.
"Missy! First contact! Raise the stats!"
"Roger! 《Zone Enchant》——Defence!"
Just like earlier I put on DEF enchants on the tanks within range and immediately after, they were hit by the preceding Skeleton Raiders, enduring.
Lined up in a row, the tanks they pierced through with the swords and spears from the gap between the shields made of various materials, pushing them back. Compared to the skeleton baptism, the density of enemy attacks was low and there were more chances for counter-attack. As for the enemies they were unable to push back with weapons, they have smashed with their shields.
The series of assault had ended up with a misfire and the Skeleton Riders have made a large arc, circling around the periphery, preparing for a re-offensive.
To fill the gap, Skeleton Magicians have raised their bone staffs in preparation for the rearguard to move out.
"Mages! Defence, after that, attack!"
Directed by Mikadzuchi, the mages have expanded a defence magic in front of the tanks, suppressing the attack. And immediately after the attack was over, flying out from the tank's defensive lines was the vanguard that started running to the front. Over their heads flew colourful attacks of the mages, piercing the Skeleton Magicians.
Before the Skeleton Raiders have gained momentum to go on offensive again, the vanguards have hit them.
"Yun-kun, I'll be going as well. ——《Summon》, Bronze Golem, Flame Beast, Ice Beast, Blood Shadow."
What Emily-san had summoned, was a Bronze Golem and Fire and Ice Chimeras. And, I saw the last one for the first time. However, it was somewhat similar to the boss mob of the wetlands in the south, the Darkman.
An irregular human shape with a smooth surface.
"Using the 【Magical Organism's Catalyst Metal】 I asked Yun-kun for exchange to make a nucleus, I constructed a mob out of bat's poison blood. Now, go forth!"
So that's how she used the items we traded before. Also, she must have used the bat's poison blood she had acquired when we formed a party for leveling Lyna and Al.
Because we emphasized on the defence and there was an empty area because of the lack of workforce, there Emily-san had gathered her mobs.
The Golem had took on the charge of the Skeleton Raiders.
Using their mobility, the Chimeras of fire and ice have bit onto the Skeleton Raider's legs, pulling it down.
In the end, the magical organism Blood Shadow had turned its hand into something like a hammer and smashed with full force.
By dealing with the skeletons that had programmed behaviour patterns, we have gradually reduced their numbers.
I recovered MP used up by 《Zone Enchant》 with an MP Potion and this time, I have performed a wide area INT enchant on the rearguard's mages.
At the early stage the hit and run troops, and the mages have reduced the numbers of Skeleton Raiders surrounding us. The tanks have held enemy down, controlling the hate and not allowing them to be directed towards the rearguard.
At the moment I held the bow, but until the situation changed I was prohibited from attacking.
"Haa, hate management is such a hassle. If we could attack, that much more damage could be done."
"Yun-chan, don't say that. This is one of the important techniques for fighting in large group. During the long-term battles healers and damage dealer are targeted with priority. If that happens, the completion rate of the quests will vary. Even if it takes time, it's important to stably defeat the enemy.
While saying so, Sei-nee continued to release relentless attacks that seemed like carpet bombing towards the Skeleton Magicians.
Other than that, with an attack enchant put on them the main mage troop quickly disposed off the skeletons.
After a while the enemy's numbers have decreased, a road to the giant wolf has opened and Garm Phantom had roared again.
Until now the giant wolf only continued to watch, but now it had started to move by itself.
To match it, Myu, Taku and others from the hit and run troop composed by last-minute participants have approached Garm Phantom and attacked him directly.
"This is the crucial moment! Shields, to the front! Hit and run, to the left and right! I'll command the right side!"
"Left side, over here!"
"The front! You're most likely to die, so pay close attention to HP!"
The troop on the right was commanded by Lucato and Myu's party.
The troop on the left was focused on Taku and was a hybrid party that included Emily-san and Gantz.
Then, the front and us the rearguard, as well as Emily-san's mobs centred on the Golem. Mikadzuchi stood like a flag in front, instructing Sei-nee who was her adjutant.
"Everyone, emphasize on timing! When the target seems like they're going to attack either left or right troop, attack together and take-over the target!"
" " "Yes!" " "
"Also, Yun-chan, after confirming the safety margin when contacting with boss, I'll instruct you."
"Roger. Hey, he's coming! 《Zone Enchant》——Defence!"
As Garm Phantom rushed from the front, I once again applied a wide range enchant on the tanks setting up their shields.
The impact that hit the tanks was incomparable to the assault of Skeleton Raiders, just by receiving it their HP was cut down by 30%.
They either were healed by a healer or a potion, recovering to full. It was part of the strategy "life is important" giving priority to ensuring a safety margin. For that, they used items generously.
In addition to that, the players my enchant was unable to reach have Enchant Stones and self-strenghtening items, raising their base stats.
After we endured a frontal attack from Garm Phantom, the hit and run troops have counter-attacked.
"I couldn't do too much in PvP, but I'll make this a brilliant success! Haa, I'll drill my guts into youuu!! ——《Demon Hunter》!"
Jumping high, Gantz from the left troop had spearheaded the attack, he performed a backflip leaving behind a residual image and releasing a powerful kick.
"Don't get too full of yourself, you'll get hit by the foreleg!"
"Then, one more time before that! ——《Demon Hunter》!"
The characteristic of barehanded fighters like Gantz——was the very short delay time between their arts' activation.
As the combo in mid-air flashed with blue extending the flight time, he continued to deliver kicks and backflip continuously ignoring laws of physics. In addition to that, following Gantz the entire troop had joined in the attack.
However, none of the attacks was decisive, feeling them troublesome the giant wolf twisted its body and swung its front paw to crush Gantz.
Just before he was hit by the Garm Phantom, I made it in time with my DEF enchant. Gantz was blown from the air and slammed into the ground, receiving about of 40% of his HP worth of damage.
Gantz was immediately healed, Minute who served as the healer for the left hit and run troop had used a recovery spell on him.
Of course, it came together with a lecture.
"You, it's because you're getting full of yourself you were slapped down like a fly! Listen, even if you don't suffer instant death, with that much HP lost at once you'll suffer 【Stun】!"
"I-I was just caught off guard a little!"
"Then. Be. On. Guard!"
What's with that conversation devoid of tension. This time I barely managed to cast enchant between the delay times of my 《Zone Enchant》, but with a different timing I wouldn't be able to put on a defence enchant on him.
As the giant wolf twisted his body and turned his attention to the left side, the right troop and the front safely cut him, delivering one blow and withdrew.
And at the same moment adding to it, was numerous magic surging like a waterfall from the front.
The magical attacks have become the main source of damage and succeed in cutting Garm Phantom's HP by 20%.
"All troops! Brace yourselves! It's still the very beginning!"
Mikadzuchi said to tense ourselves. Everyone was immediately wrapped in a reasonable sense of tension.
"Hey, our role is to hold down the enemy with our bodies... right."
"That's right. The impact is harsh but... that's how it is with shields, right?"
"After this is done, I'll settle down and try popularizing shield positions!"
"Hey you, stop that, it's a death flag!"
Some people were talking about silly things, but it was a fairly serious work.
The tanks who had much higher defence than the others received multiple heavy blows and their HP was reliably reduced. The healers behind them have recovered their tanks' HP, maintaining the front. The tanks have safely attacked from behind the shields, steadily delivering damage.
However, a death flag was something like a promise.
"This is bad! A big hit's coming! Left and right, avoid it!"
Together with Mikadzuchi's rushed voice, the giant wolf set up its limps as if to impale the ground.
Since it was the first time beating this boss, there was no information and every of his moves had to be dealt with carefully. Responding to Mikadzuchi's alert, the troops on the left and right spread out, preparing themselves for the possible attack. The tanks in the front formed a dense formation, strengthening the defence.
A rush with more power exerted by the four limbs has approached the tanks.
I've rotated ideas in my head as for what else can be done in addition to defence enchants and chanted.
I used Cursed to decrease its physical attack stat. The giant wolf's rush hit the countless shields. However, the tanks forced down the power and diverted it diagonally, somehow parrying it.
The attempt to reduce the damage seems to have succeeded.
However, the giant wolf's momentum hasn't weakened and it ran by the left side of the wall forcefully. As it continued to run, it had raised a loud howl.
In response to the howl Skeletons have raised up from the ground once again. With the field greatly disturbed, the adds have appeared again. On top of that, unlike how it was at first, Garm Phantom acted freely
Responding to the second assault, the tanks were turned back into perfect state and made a dense formation again.
The moment assault came, the tanks have further increased their defence by cooperating, their bodies and armour let out large creaking. Pushed down by Garm Phantom's momentum they have gouged the ground and their HP was reduced, but by leaning forward and protruding the shield they managed to stop the giant wolf.
"Now! Half of the left and right assault the boss, the rest deal with skeletons!"
The boss' body was sticking to the shields and as it was unable to raise its front legs, it had undergone an assault with arts from the left and right.
Thanks to this chance the mages were able to fire a volley of strong magic in response to which, the giant wolf had retreated making space in the front, also fighting back with its back legs and tail.
Moreover, we have fought back, parrying sporadic attacks of a small number of summoned skeletons.
"I didn't call for small fries! Go back to the ground!"
The giant wolf interchanged biting and claw attacks, but the wall layer built up by tanks was thick, pushing it back as much as possible.
As this situation was maintained, the Garm Phantom's HP was steadily shaved off.
And when his HP was reduced to 70%, the giant wolf retreated and started emitting a translucent, dark coloured shockwave from its body, blowing away the hit and run troops that chased after him.
That shockwave dealt a little bit of damage and had a knockback effect. The mobile troops on the left and right had to refocus themselves. And the Skeleton Raiders have shown up again in response to the giant wolf's howl.
"Damn!! We haven't processed the skeletons that came out earlier and here's more!"
Someone spat a curse as they took down a Skeleton Raider, but the giant wolf was neglected instead.
As the mobile troops temporarily concentrated on the Skeleton Raiders, we had to go to the front and fight and buy time until the adds are defeated.
Also, we had to manage the hate values since there was a risk the few hit and run troops might be attacked directly from behind by Garm Phantom.
It was a difficult battle where switching between the adds and the main target was required. And Mikadzuchi had precisely directed it despite difficulty! "Don't do anything other than gaining hate! Those who can attack, attack the boss! Hate is more important than damage! Earn time until others come back!"
Finally, the declaration of a ban lift on attacks had come from Mikadzuchi.
While managing the enchants, I nocked an arrow.
I took out arrows with various bad statuses while making sure not to disturb others around me and aiming straight at the giant wolf, I shot them.
Poison, Paralysis, Sleep, Stun. Although I shot a several types of arrows, there was no effect. Earlier, the Cursed succeeded in lowering its attack power, but that was pure luck.
Raid boss-class mobs must have had higher stats and resistances. These kind of roundabout methods didn't work well.
Then, I'll change to straightforward attacks.
I took an arrow from the set in the quiver and shot.
The body was big and it was easy to hit it with an arrow. Because of that, a single blow dealt low damage to its HP. However, this arrow pierced deeply into the body composed of gas.
"Silver equipment has a damage compensation when fighting undead due to the material's characteristics. When preparing these, I splurged quite a lot. I'd like it if you enjoyed it thoroughly!"
What I used, were Silver Arrows. The arrows that used silver arrowheads had a damage increase against the undead-type enemies.
Again, I strenghtened the defence, then used MP Potion to recover. During the long delay time after the enchant I shot arrows, slightly contributing to the battle.
And after defeating the adds, when left and right mobile troops returned, I once again devoted myself to casting enchants.
When repeating this pattern we have reduced the giant wolf's HP to 60%, a change in his attacks has appeared.
It was a sign of the middle part of battle starting.
Beyond the middle part, not only the boss but also the skeleton adds' attacks have gradually become fiercer, delivering moderate amounts of damage to the players.
"Yes!! ——《Round Heal》!"
The damage dealt to the tanks in the front had increased as time passed. Somehow the defence managed to maintain safety margin with enchants and heals, but against the Garm Phantom 50% or more HP was required as a safety margin.
Also, when we started fighting him, the giant wolf's pupils were reminiscent of deep darkness, but as he accumulated damage it became increasingly red, currently having purplish-red colour.
A wide-area enchant for the nth time. Not only the boss' attack power was growing, also the interval between summoning of skeleton adds had gradually become shorter, the toll of a long-term battle shown itself.
For one of the measures to overcome that, I have tried to put cursed ATK on Garm Phantom, but the difference between our stats and its resistance resulted with a misfire.
With boss' attack increased, if we loss focus there's a risk of the boss breaking through defence line and damaging us.
"Next time, when we dispose of the adds everyone attack together! We'll cut him down at once!"
After the leader, Mikadzuchi said that Lucato on the right and Taku on the left in charge of their mobile troops have acknowledged in response, acting accordingly.
The parties that included Myu and others have hardened the defence against the Skeleton Raiders that sprung forth, starting to take distance from Garm Phantom.
In addition to that, the party in which Taku and others were also have retreated away from Garm Phantom in the same manner.
As the re-summoning of the skeletons repeated, the left and right mobile troops have optimized their actions, finding an easy way to process the adds in their behaviour patterns.
"Being attacked by small fries all the time sure is a turn-off. I'd like to do something more active like *smash* and *bam*."
"Oh well, to me this is fun, when I swing I hit a few of them at once and they fly like pinball."
It was Myu nonchalantly beating enemy Skeleton Raiders and Hino, swinging the hammer blowing away a number of enemies in the field along with a loud sound of wind being cut.
In the middle of the encirclement, Kohaku and Rirei began preparations for powerful magic, Lucato and Toutobi continued to assist.
"Ahh, come on! With this many there's no choice but to wipe a whole bunch at once! Hino-chan, please buy me some time."
"What? Are you doing something interesting? Sure. But cast recovery on me afterwards."
After saying so, Hino who did large swings with her hammer grasped it very high and started fighting with smaller and sharper swings for manoeuvrability. For the skeletons that have entered too close for the hammer's attack range and couldn't be hit properly, she beat them up with the hammer's handle.
Still, suddenly there was a larger burden on Hino because of which she was subjected to moderate damage, but soon enough Myu's preparations have completed.
"Go! ——《Sunlight Shower》!"
As Myu swung down her raised hand, light poured down in their surroundings.
The sunlight's reflection, as if amplified, the strong light dispelled the darkness of the night illuminating the surroundings.
The skeletons in the range of light were burned by it and decayed.
Most of the individuals who received the damage from light magic more powerful than 《Light Wave》 have disappeared and for those that endured it gradually turned into particles after being hit with just one blow.
While Myu and the others prepared area effect magic, Taku's side had prepared a simultaneous attack, processing enemies quickly.
To an extent where it won't decrease their capability during the simultaneous assault, the rearguard has delivered some damage with magic to the skeletons and the vanguard had reliably finished them off.
Despite the lack of powerful means of attack like Myu's, the enemy number had decreased in a stable manner. Emily-san's summoned mobs played a big role in attacking.
And, we who were protecting the front——
"Sei. When the adds are cleaned up, prepare magic for holding him down."
"I understand. That said, because of its size I can stop one leg at most."
"That's enough. As for Missy, strengthen mages before the attack."
In the tense atmosphere, the number of skeletons was reduced and finally the command had come.
Sei-nee's restraint and my enchant were invoked with almost exact same timing.
While cold has sprung up by the giant wolf's leg entwining it, my enchant had raised the base magic attack power of the mages going full frontal.
In addition to that, when the boss was held up and the aim settled, the left side let out a barrage of magic to earn chain bonus, raising the damage.
The right side's attack was Kohaku's and Rirei's combination magic that exploded dealing large amount of damage.
And the maximum of firepower in the front. As the giant wolf was rooted, the entire group of mages had their damage raised by the enchant and chain damage bonus, including Sei-nee they shoot all magic at once.
I scowled at multiple magic attack effects resonating together.
Fire and ice, storm and light. We have directed our attention to the aftermath and everyone had fixed their positions in preparation for the next attack.
In this place, no one had thought the raid boss was defeated, everyone hardened their defence, healed the damage and replenished MP with items.
However, in such a moment, anyone would like to say this.
" " "Did we get him?" " "
Immediately after the impact from the magic, a shockwave was emitted from Garm Phantom's surroundings.
I can understand wanting to say it, still, there was no need to purposely raise that kind of a flag. Not only that, it was said by multiple people.
"Tch. Everyone, defensive formation! The attack power has increased again!"
Subconsciously, Mikadzuchi clicked her tongue and issued a warning.
Garm Phantom's visible HP was cut down by 30% and his pupils turned from purplish-red to red, shining with atrocious light.
His movement was fast.
The vanguard in the front raised their shields towards him, in order to withstand the attack I applied an enchant on them.
In addition to that, the 【Shield】 Sense holders triggered a defensive arts together in a group, as we focused on defence Garm Phantom's thick front leg was swung along with a purple effect——and a part of the defence broke down.
The giant wolf's attack was caught from the front by the players in perfect formation and state, but it broke through.
——A deadly blow.
Those who endured that blow received damage taking down 60% of their HP, surpassing the safety margin of 50%, unable to withstand the impact their posture broke backwards and their damage was further reduced by 30%.
Some received damage to their armour and others have received a 【Stunned】 bad status.
It was a dangerous situation where they could receive another attack from Garm Phantom.
Although rearguard immediately recovered the vanguard, the giant wolf tried to break through the hole that opened in the defence.
"《Summon》——Everything available, come out!"
Originally, there should be no extra forces to use to fill the hole that opened in the front. However, there was a single player who could generate those forces.
"It's great that I made it in time."
An army of various mobs has confronted Garm Phantom. All of it was summoned by Emily-san, mobs that were made to function as a wall.
A golem made from earth and stones, Chimeras made of multiple beasts. Humanoids, insects, various irregular alchemic mobs, the synthetic mobs have attached themselves to the giant wolf's left front leg buying time.
Sei-nee and I made an eye contact, then used rooting magic at the same time.
Sei-nee's 《Icicle Lock》 was cast on his back left leg and my 《Mud Pool》 has been activated at the front left leg, also engulfing the synthetic mobs in. Garm Phantom's body slanted towards the right side mobile troop.
Garm Phantom held out on just his free legs and tried to forcefully slip out, but the left side's hit and run troop has prevented it.
"Eat this!" "Stab stab stabbb!!" "HAaa!"
His legs big like logs were slashed by Taku's long sword held in both hands and repeatedly thrust at by Gantz and others to prevent him from rising.
"We're going in as well!"
The tanks have restored the front and begun to advance as to crush the boss along with Kei's shout.
Garm Phantom wasn't being one-sidedly done in, rooted up himself he called in the skeleton adds and devoted himself to defence.
The ones to receive the interference on the left side were Emily-san's Golem and Chimeras.
The left troop pulled back like a wave and with used movements they have started to process the Skeleton Raiders.
I drew the bow to the limit and did my best to reduce the number of adds, but it was too late to prevent Garm Phantom's return.
Those who have returned to the line of battle have all glared at the giant wolf. They made a stance like before as not to miss even a smallest attack, as to receive it were it to come again.
"Left side, be careful!"
The giant wolf shook off the mobs clinging to his legs and at the same time he eradicated them, he turned around to the left side.
"Front, full-on attack! Steal the hate! Take distance!"
Together with the instructions, Mikadzuchi immediately rushed to the front. I shot an arrow from behind her. Continuously slashing, piercing, using magic and many other types of attack we still were unable to change the target.
The left mobile troop Taku and others were in charge of took a distance, but their pace wasn't matched and one corner was delayed.
Aiming there, the giant wolf swung its strong leg releasing the purple effect again.
Its range had reached three people. The mage, healer and Emily-san. If here the left troop breaks apart, we'll have to incorporate them into the front and somehow resist.
While I already started thinking of the future events, my predictions were betrayed.
"As if I'd let you! ——《Shock Impact》!"
As to match the extended front legs and claws of the giant wolf, Taku jumped up attacking with his two long swords.
The claws and long swords have clashed in the air, the aftermath let out a shockwave in the surroundings. The three people originally caught Garm Phantom's range also received damage.
After a moment of clashing, Taku's body was blown away by the impact.
Emily-san and others who originally were supposed to receive the attack have received damage, but were safe.
Dumbfounded they didn't retreat, but we were able to change the target to the front. However, Taku's health on the bar had gradually decreased as he took on the attack instead of three others.
Seeing Taku's figure roll like a doll, I thought it can't be. That kind of feeling welling up inside me. And, Taku had lost all of his HP, fallen over and didn't get up.
"...Ta...ku? It can't be."
I leaked out a dry smile.
Did Taku, who always acted like he had strength to spare fall?
Standing there until the end, acting relaxedly. That kind of a guy was taken down.
Word that welled up from the bottom of my belly was squeezed from the back from my throat, overflowing.
"Oww, aaa-ah, I was blown quite far. And died once."
Taku swiftly rose up, then stood while stretching his neck.
Everyone who saw the moment Taku was blown away stared at him worried when he fell, but he stood up as if nothing happened.
Even though everyone opened eyes wide with surprise, the person in question smiled soon after getting up.
"As I thought, it was impossible to intercept it alone."
"Idiot! What kind of idiotic thing are you doing!"
After the first person said that, the entire left troop started to loudly reprimand Taku for being reckless, maintaining their own roles they made a formation as to protect Taku.
In the middle of the formation, the healer recovered Taku's HP.
After having his HP fully recovered, Taku headed towards Mikadzuchi in the front.
"Even if you have Revival Medicine, don't go doing things like covering for others. Well, thanks to that the rearguard that would have dropped off has survived so it's all right..."
"Yeah, fortunately. The man who survives even death is ready to serve."
As he grinned looking sideways at me, why did I even worry about him. I averted my gaze while thinking that.
Also, I was appalled by my foolishness, forgetting about Revival Medicine's existence until this moment.
"Well then, since Taku-boy came here, it must mean he came up with something?"
"Yeah, whether we will continue to fight Garm Phantom risking collapse in the defence from an attack, or do we bet on defeating him."
Taku said that with a serious tone of voice. That's where we took measures as soon as possible to counter Garm Phantom's powerful blow.
When the Skeleton Raiders were summoned again and then defeated, a restructuring of the troops and players was performed.
The front and the right mobile troop have solidified the defence and behind them, the mages started preparations for large spells.
And the left troop Taku was in charge of had Myu and other ten players capable of using interception skills included in it, I too was positioned with them.
"The strategy is simple. We're aiming at the moment Garm Phantom is intercepted and rooted. In order to increase success rate even a little more, give everyone an attack enchant. ——Let's go."
Along with Taku's words I have subjected the very limit of ten players to zone physical attack enchant, then we all together have turned towards Garm Phantom.
Since we had no tanks, we repeated hit and run tactics, continuing to accumulate damage and hate. I also fired arrows, gaining hate despite my poor abilities.
How long is this going to go on. While thinking that I fired an arrow then withdrew.
Others, the front and the right side troop had the tanks and mages try not to participate in combat as much as possible, attacking passively in order not to have the target change. It was so that by chance they aren't taken down with Garm Phantom's deadly blow and that they could instantly annihilate the adds with the magic they were preparing, patience was at work.
"Incoming! Everyone form a line. Ready for interception!"
The deadly blow had come earlier than expected. The purple effect of the preliminary operation had overflowed. As Taku had judged it to be a powerful blow and called out, I chanted once again.
As soon as I confirmed a physical attack enchant was put on ten people I recovered MP with MP Potion. Unable to recover entire MP with one potion I used the second one.
In that moment, the giant wolf's legs and claws clad in light purple light were swung up.
" " "——《Shock Impact》!!" " "
A dozen of intercepting strikes had overlapped with giant wolf's blow. I protected my face from the shockwave with my arm.
As if time had stopped——an instantaneous event.
As a dozen of interceptions has stood against the attack, a single weapon had crumbled.
《Shock Impact》 was an art that excessively consumed the weapon's endurance, it seemed like a weapon was damaged. Having a premonition of failure cold sweat had flowed down my back.
However, the one person who had their weapon destroyed wasn't blown away like Taku, instead they have landed on the ground directly below after a free-fall.
The scene had unfolded there.
This time during the clash, giant wolf was parried and we were successful in breaking his posture.
At the front of repelled giant wolf was released magic prepared by the front and the troop on the right side. An attack that was repeated many times on this boss. And until the very end, everyone acted precisely not letting their guard down.
Letting out a cry like death throes, Garm Phantom jumped out from the centre of the magic barrage and had come at us with an assault. In the end he wanted to take even one person with him. However, because of that the giant wolf has let his guard down.
"《Element Enchant》——Weapon. 《Enchant》——Intelligence."
From among many players who focused on avoiding, Myu alone had jumped out in front of Garm Phantom.
Brandishing her sword towards the wolf's forehead.
The silvery shining sword was wrapped in light and the blade extended a few centimetres. Also, after Zone Enchant's delay time had ended I further put on strengthening.
I consumed a light Elemental Stone to put an light element enchant and also raised Myu's base magic attack power.
Myu's long sword's shine had increased further, leaving a white afterglow.
Kicking off the ground, as if passing by each other, Myu had moved by the giant wolf's head and slashed his neck. Both their movements have stopped and the sword remained stuck in boss' neck.
The giant wolf swung its leg while Myu was in range of a direct hit. Still, Myu did not let go of the weapon, instead she pushed the sword stuck in the neck further——
Light overflowed from the point of the stabbed-in sword, piercing through the shrunk rays of light have come out on the opposite side of the neck. The giant wolf's movements have stopped completely.
《Magic Sword》 was an art that had contained available magic within itself. It gave the sword a bonus of corresponding element and activated magic contained inside with the keyword 【Release】.
After pulling the sword from giant wolf's neck, Myu had returned sluggishly.
Although her expression looked tired from tension, she looked somewhat satisfied.
"The finishing blow, received."
"Geez, don't do such dangerous stuff. We'd win even without adventuring."
I caught Myu who fell over as if diving in and greeted her while heaving a sigh.
Together with Myu who had turned around we looked at the giant wolf.
After Garm Phantom's HP was exhausted, his pupils were no longer red, instead they have changed into clear blue and he has sat down looking in our direction.
He didn't look like a mob with a beast's intellect, but more like a presence with intellect on the level of a NPC that had a virtual personality.
Epilogue - Mikadzuchi and Flein
As he folded his back legs, I thought the ten metre large sitting giant wolf is cute. It was savage during the fight a moment ago, but it must have unconsciously sought soothing.
Garm Phantom overlooked us from above with his blue, intelligent eyes and the event finishing the quest had begun.
『"No way, to think I would lose to humans of whom I only thought of as sacrifices. I hast come this far thanks to obsession of mine, but it seems yea I hast limit."』
As he made a speech, a monologue, everyone lowered their weapons and looked up at him.
『"Until the person who loves this tree sees its flowers, a mountain of carrion men was swallow'd by the tree. The roots suck'd the flesh and blood and continu'd to blossom. However, it nay longer is possible f'r me to watch ov'r it."』
The body of Garm Phantom, who seemed to be looking somewhere distant, was covered in coloured smoke and started dispersing.
Even as he gradually lost his contours, the wolf spectre had looked at the players for the last time and left these words.
『"I can no longer protect the natural way of things. The young 【Wisteria Peach Tree】 belongs to no one. Hopefully, before he comes back this tree's flowers will cover the entire world——"』
Unable to finish relaying his words, the raid boss disappeared and, at the same time an information update had come.
—— 【R Quest: Subjugate Wisteria Peach Tree's Giant Wolf 3／3 】 ——
Quest Complete——A reward for success, first quest achievement bonus received.
Seeing this information, I felt that it really finished. As for other information, it seemed like we would be forcefully transferred into normal field in three minutes, but that was enough.
"Good grief, both Myu and Taku, you were too reckless. I got nervous just by looking at that. I'd like it if you left it at that."
The moment Taku was blown away and when Myu delivered the final blow were really bad for my heart.
Personally, I would like to refrain myself from participating in such thrilling quests for a while.
"Grr, I have surpassed the raid boss with my own hands! Onee-chan should praise me."
"Yun, Myu-chan. Prepare for the return. We still don't know how it was settled in the normal field outside."
"What. I'm not in the wrong here."
Even though I worried about Taku and Myu, the two regardless of my words were in festive mood over quest completion. At times like these I should put adult response aside, I reflected on it.
"Time's short so let's make it brief. First, about the reward. The normal reward and the bonus for the first completion. Did everyone confirm receiving them?"
Sei-nee spoke in a loud voice on the topic of the quest reward. Prompted by her, I looked inside my inventory for the quest reward.
The reward was a plant's seedling, a lilac full body armour that had a wolf design engraved on it, and a bracelet of multiple layers of ivy wrapped in a circle and seven wisteria petals on it.
The full body armour had all six item slots integrated as one armour piece.
In addition, on the bracelet with wisteria petals, three of the petals were pale pink and reminiscent of Wisteria Peach Petals.
"What kind of items did you get?"
"Armour and seedling, as well as a bracelet accessory." "I got a fang strengthening material, cloak and a book." "I have a seedling, a seedling and a seedling." "So there are duplicates too. Heck, that's too many duplicates lol. I got a bracelet, a shield and..."
The rewards didn't seem to be the same for everyone. From what I heard, there were seven different items. A reward was given randomly from among those. Two items for the first completion, to get them all one would need to complete it at least four times.
I thought that the appeal to a player's gambling heart, making it not possible to complete with just one run is a good method. Well, as long as I get what I want there's no problem.
Since there was no time, Mikadzuchi raised her voice.
Immediately after, the transfer was initiated and I strongly gripped the bow preparing myself mentally so that I could respond to attack right after transferring.
I've felt my feet were floating for a moment, then I was transferred to the same location in the normal space and dropped from a few centimetres. It seemed like feedback announcing this is a different space.
In the place we have come back to, there was Flein sitting cross-legged and PKs standing as to protect the surroundings. Further in the distance surrounding the place were the players who have rushed in as reinforcements shortly before the quest started.
As they have glared at each other, Flein stood up.
"Haha!! I've been waiting. You bunch."
"What, so you're still here. I thought you'd be taken down while we were in middle of the quest."
Flein snorted at Mikadzuchi's provocative response.
"We have cleaned up this side. There's no longer any retards like these 【Fosch Hound】. What's remaining, is just us."
One of the players in the surroundings aimed at Flein all alone and slashed at him. Noticing that, Flein's escort had immediately responded, cutting down his HP in an instant.
There still were some players in the surroundings, but as everyone hesitated to become a decoy themselves and being eliminated, it was a stalemate.
"What? A falling out with comrades of a similar PK guild?"
"Comrades? As if."
Patting his shoulder with his sword in its sheath, Flein started to talk.
"I just used them in order to cut up some strong people. However, growing impudent and making light of crafters was a bad move. Even this sword of mine was made by someone who knew I'm a PK. That's why, before it had become even more cumbersome, I defeated them with my own hands. It was delicious, experience value that is."
As Flein grinned, the PK that had mixed in during the first day's event night sighed and retorted.
"What's are you finding so much fun, really. In the first place, we weren't interested in occupying the area or the quest reward. In addition to that, management had become negligent with a large guild and the uproar had happened because PK quality has decreased. Because 【Fosch Hound】 and 【Flame Prison Corps】 got treated the same, some nasty PKs have mixed among us. Well, on the other hand some battle crazy folks like us got mixed in the 【Fosch Hound】. too."
"Shut up Tobias. Don't say needless stuff. To me, it was interestingly funny, as long as I can have a risky fight with strong folks I'm satisfied."
The PK guild's guild master Flein and sub-master Tobias started talking quite frankly in front of us.
Noticing my dumbfounded line of sight, Flein and Tobias who were talking have smiled and waved in my direction, with a cramped expression I have waved in return.
Somehow, it seemed like treating the PKs as villains was a prejudice and they were more like stylish combat freaks. Seeing how different he was when not going crazy, I felt like I noticed Flein's charisma.
A guild master just like him, overflowing with charisma, Mikadzuchi did a few practice swings with her long weapon as if to warm up. Both of their actions seemed cool every time. These two, really. I muttered in my mind.
"Well then, gotta fulfil my promise. I'll take you on with my rare equipment on."
After a short pause, the equipment wrapping around Mikadzuchi's body changed. The quality cloth and leather armour has changed into lilac full body armour with a wolf design engraved on it.
"Yeah, don't fall over too easily."
"That's my line. 【Flame Prison Corps'】 guild master, Flein. Let's make the third time serious."
Both of them have set up their long weapon and thin sword.
"You bunch! Don't interfere! This is a match between Mikadzuchi and me!"
"After winning the quest, can we lose the match?! No! Whether the quest or match, we'll win! Don't interfere!"
Without any signal, the two instantly closed the distance and drove their weapons at each other.
Each time the stick and the thin sword clashed, a sound impossible to come from their material had resounded.
Mikadzuchi who should have worn a heavy full body armour, contrary to the appearance had parried opponent's attacks with smooth movements and incredible strength.
On the other hands, at this forceful battle-style Flein had determined that he'll lose if he focuses on strength. Like a beast he had let out difficult attacks from a low posture.
Both gave up on minimizing the contact, because of their intense clashes of strength it was clear both had skill rivalling each other.
"Seems like they're having fun, those two."
"What do you want?"
With his line of sight still following the two's fight, Tobias had called out to me. Personally, because I fought him before and couldn't do anything I felt bad at handling him. Emily-san had noticed it and came closer to us, but Tobias spoke ignoring that.
"Today 【Flame Prison Corps】 disbands."
"Haa? You're stopping OSO?"
"No, we're disbanding the guild once then remaking it with the same name. After getting rid of this entire uproar, once again we're recreating with folks who like looking at Flein's selfishness."
"...that so. But, don't be a nuisance to others."
"That'll be difficult. If Flein is selfish then so are we. Once we get bored of it, we'll leave without hesitation. We accept who comes to us, we do not chase the ones who leave. You're free to do whatever you want. We won't deny it nor we will interfere. It seems quite simple but... it's comfortable."
With a distant look in his eyes the PK in front of me spoke of Flein.
Ahead of his line of sight, Flein who was gradually pushed down with force fought, enjoying himself like a child.
——PK. It appeared like a way to play freely unbound by rules in exchange for a high risk, it had left me with impression of yet another way to play the game.
And, everyone watched the two's battle in silence.
Without selecting any method of recovery right from the start, the two continued to fight shaving away each other's HP.
Then, Flein moved.
It finally came! Driven into a corner Flein had triggered sure-kill skill for a one-shot reversal.
A single blow was released with the thin sword after he lowered his waist and posture. A sharp blow approaching the gap between helmet and the armour, Mikadzuchi avoided it with minimal amount of movement and instead reversed it on Flein by kicking him in the abdomen.
After rolling on the ground Flein stood up again, confronting Mikadzuchi.
He did a detailed feint with his legs, betting on one-shot reversal.
Aiming at the moment Mikadzuchi couldn't react, he let out a blow at the gap in the armour. In response to the attack with sure-kill skill, Mikadzuchi's HP received normal damage.
Not missing the moment Flein stopped moving, Mikadzuchi has flattened him with monstrous force. Then, she's gotten on top of Flein mounting him, stopping his movements.
"Now then, your loss is decided. From what I've heard, there's a self-defeating technique that allows avoiding risk. But, let yourself be defeated nice and quiet without self-destructing."
"Of course. Geez, who was it, the guy who avoided risk by self-defeating. Just you wait."
Saying so Flein snorted, relaxing his body.
When I glared at the person who actually used 《Sacrifice Counter》's self-defeating technique to avoid risk, ahahaha, Tobias laughed dryly and averted his gaze.
"You're completely different from the two times before. What did you do."
By pinning down the wrist of the hand holding the sword with her leg and poising her stick at his throat, Mikadzuchi sealed Flein's movement. He requested her to spoil her change.
"That'll be this armour, a quest reward."
One of the items Mikadzuchi has obtained as a reward from the quest. I opened my inventory and checked the equipment's stats.
Dark Wolf's Guardian Armour 【Armour】
DEF+30 Additional Effect: 【Defence Attribute: Immortality】【Might】【Skills Sealed】
The full-body armour with a wolf's design was equipment made with raid boss Garm Phantom as a model, the defence itself was quite low.
However, the additional effects were useful.
"The armour's additional effect is that of an undead, an immortality-type. The damage from slashing done to undead is very low. Also, since they are already dead, sure-kills are meaningless."
"Haa, in that case the way to attack would be blunt attacks, fire or light. Also, recovery-type, was it."
Well, I got this one by chance though. Mikadzuchi shrugged.
Other than that, the additional effect 【Might】 significantly enhanced physical attack power, in synergy with similar physical increase-type Senses it allowed her to surpass Flein's strength.
In the end, 【Skills Sealed】 made it unable to use any skills and arts which was a disadvantage, but in PvP, the usage of 【Arts】 makes opening in defence and their usage is avoided as much as possible, so during this time's battle with Flein it wasn't a disadvantage.
"A combination of burly and muscle-brain huh. This...brute...woman..."
The moment Flein started cursing, Mikadzuchi ruthlessly delivered a blow to Flein's head from above as if to clearly declare the win. The heavy blow broke Flein's head who couldn't escape on the ground, stealing away his remaining HP.
From among everyone watching, Flein's PK comrades who confirmed his loss let out a long sigh, then with light tone of voice "Withdraw〜, well then, sorry for intruding." they tried to leave.
Hearing such careless voice, Mikadzuchi called out to stop them.
"It was fun. How about you people? Having a closing party together now."
"Huh? We're PKs, just a moment ago you were fighting our guild master. What are you saying?"
"I don't mind. Well, you're free to participate."
"No, our top is sleeping here..."
Is that fine? What do we do about this. With that kind of feeling Tobias had loudly scratched his head, troubled.
When he did, with expectation Mikadzuchi's line of sight was directed towards me.
"Haa, geez. I get it."
I said, don't call me "missy". Speaking inside of my mind I stood in front of fallen Flein and used a single potion.
"Heyhey, no way..."
The PKs opened their eyes wide as Flein was revived along with a pink-coloured effect. Well, to use an expensive Revival Medicine on reviving a PK, they must have thought me as of some kind a weirdo.
"That hurt. Even if you're a brute, you don't have to go that far. Seriously."
"Don't call a woman 'brute'. Also, a finishing blow has to be decisive."
As Mikadzuchi replied with a personal grudge mixed in her voice, Flein admitted to losing and no longer challenged her. For now, but...
"Next is a match in drinking. Hey, gather up the folks that are logged in to join the party."
"You serious... aren't you. Well, I'll go along with it. Until I'm bored that is."
Imperceptibly, the quest clearance's after-party had started and involved unrelated people.
Eating, drinking and socializing. With free participation, it had started with people still excited after battle. And, together with PKs the adults have started drinking liquor while snacking. There was also a trading competition with the quest rewards.
"Heeey, are the drinks and fish ready yet〜?"
"I'm bringing them now. Heck, why am I making those!"
I retorted while carrying dishes on a platter to the drunks.
After coming back to the first town, we have gathered the remaining food from the stalls and improvised hors d'oeuvre, then together with people who had 【Cooking】 Sense I made requested dishes.
"Hmm. Looks delicious. Let's try it with wine then."
"Fuhaa! Deep-fried good and shōchū combination really is good."
"Beer for me. But, a cook... hey, a few of you from my guild hurry up and learn 【Cooking】 Sense!"
A set of adult drinkers. Mikadzuchi, PK Flein and completing the peculiar trio after hearing about the party from somewhere, Cloude. They picked their fried food and favourite alcohol.
Well, like usual it was decided that responsible for preparing food for the party will be people with 【Cooking】 Sense.
Some people from among 【Flame Prison Corps】 who wished to acquire the Sense have appeared and used the opportunity to try studying and memorizing the efficient methods for growing the Sense.
"Heey. You can change! I've called in personnel from the Crafting Guild who have 【Cooking】 Sense to prepare food for the closing party."
"Magi-san, thank you very much."
I could finally rest with this. When I made a relieved smile, Magi-san waved her hand telling me not to mind it.
"We just wanted to participate as well. Originally after the event organized by crafters we planned to do a closing party, so we're just taking advantage of this now. Also... everyone loves festivals."
Really, there are all kinds of people here.
Some traded or auctioned the rewards from today's quest, the onlookers continued to gather until it was all settled.
The members of 【Flame Prison Corps】 other than Flein made demonstrations of PvP combat, performing a street fight.
That man who was called Flein's right arm had participated in the street fight, also a different person, a female player with a soft expression has received 【Cooking】 Sense's lesson from us.
"Still, it seems like there's some rare materials gathered here that make me really excited."
Squinting, Magi-san watched one of the raid quest's rewards, Garm's Fang pick up the price on the auction.
The crafters seemed to be interested in the reinforcement materials.
"Oh right〜. By the way Yuncchi. Yuncchi, won't you use the seedling for a bow?"
Sitting next to Magi-san, Lyly tempted me with meat on skewer in hands.
One of the raid quest's rewards, 【Wisteria Peach's Seedling】 was a material and an item for cultivation. Lyly already undertook contracts from several people for crafting staffs with them.
But, my answer was already decided.
"Sorry. I intend to plant it."
"Thought so〜. As I thought, you can get materials for 【Revival Medicine】 in a stable manner. It must be really alluring option for someone with 【Mixing】 Sense."
"Then, Yuncchi. What else did you get? Is there something you can use?"
"Not really, doesn't seem like I'll use it."
The same full body armour Mikadzuchi received and a bracelet accessory.
As for the armour's description, I explained its stats already during Mikadzuchi's and Flein's battle, but it was different for the other reward.
The bracelet accessory had a little interesting effect.
Wisteria Peach Tree's Ivy 【Ornament】 (Weight: 3)
DEF+5 MIND+5 Additional Effect: 【Limited Revival: 3 / 7】
The bracelet that was made with motif of the Wisteria Peach Tree that was the quest's symbol, temporarily granted an effect of a revival skill.
The effect was limited, the revival skill could be used up to a number indicated by amount of pink petals on the bracelet, one petal a day recovered its colour after usage. The number of petals was seven.
Since I had the Wisteria Peach Seedling, I felt won't have many opportunities to use the accessory's revival skill.
"——And, so. I'd rather have the second seedling or the book."
"That's allowance of those who haveee!!"
"Woahh?!! Myu, don't startle me."
Suddenly Myu had yelled from behind me, making me turn around in surprise. Myu furrowed her eyebrows with just a little of tears in her eyes.
"The bracelet was the reward I want... Taku-san got a strengthening material he can use for his weapons, Sei-oneechan got mantle and seedling through trading, she said she's going to enhance her mage equipment!"
Ahh, Taku had unexpectedly good luck. Sei-nee didn't get the items she was aiming for because of her greed sensor, but it seems like she obtained them through trade.
"Well, I don't really mind exchanging with you."
"Really?! Yayy! Onee-chan I love you!"
I said, call me 'brother'. Is what I wanted to say, but I was forcibly pressed an item to through the trading screen.
For the trade's contents, Myu put in the book and I put the bracelet. However, I thought of asking what is she going to do with the bracelet I can't use myself and——
"See, with this I can use limited revival magic! Since revival belongs to recovery magic type, when I use it I get much more experience than from using normal recovery! In other words, it'll be a leveling item!"
As Myu explained excitedly, the three of us crafters responded with "I see", convinced. So there's also that kind of usage, I was impressed.
Agitated so much it seemed like she'll start skipping, Myu returned back to Lucato. Looking at her from behind, I thought that she's still a kid.
Then, arbitrarily stirring up a fuss during the closing party seemed like the second event. The young people escaped early. The adults remained drinking until latter hour.
And as everyone spend time in their own way——
"You... are Endo, aren't you."
"W-w-w-what is this about I wonder? Swordsman Taku."
"No, after I covered for you I saw your entire face under the mask from below. Don't hide it."
Emily-san's shoulder slumped and it seemed like her background had become dark, it seemed like her identity was easily found out by Taku. With this there was no longer any reason for her to hide her identity, right now she sat next to me and looked at the surroundings.
"Somehow, it seems like unrelated people mixed in."
"Everyone loves festivals."
There were quite a lot passer-bys who have mixed in, they ate various things and continued to talk with each other.
Look, there are some even next to us——
"...by the way, Letia, Lyna, Al. What are you doing?"
"*'nomnom*... *gulp*, Yun-san, Emily-san. Welcome back."
"Ah, Yun-san, Emily-san. Cheers for good work."
"Cheers for good work."
The three have collected remaining food and were eating it. Mainly Letia that is.
And then, Al's and Lyna's expression suddenly turned bright and they gave us a report.
"Listen to this! We decided to make a guild!"
"Our own guild! We were fed up with annoying solicitation and after thinking about it, there was no need to enter anywhere!"
Fufun! As Lyna puffed her chest proudly, oh, so that's what happened. I thought.
"You did well to obtain a 【Guild Emblem】."
"That's just something I bought during a walk around the market. It was quite cheap."
She made a classic head tilt, how about it? Want some? Letia had recommended me some fried food, but I refrained myself.
"Our guild is 【Fresh Green Wind】! We haven't decided on doing anything yet, but Letia-san is the guild master and we're the members! Since there's still just three of us, we don't need a sub-master, but one day I'll become stronger and the undisputed sub-master!"
Lyna got fired up, but I think a guild's sub-master isn't just about levels. If you look at Sei-nee or Cloude, it would appear that composure and administrative capacity are required. Well, if she were to become Letia's sub-master, the atmosphere wouldn't go bad I guess.
Together with Emily-san, do your best. We said and logged out.
And, at a later date——
"Hmm. I overdid it but well, no problem."
I renovated the 【Atelier】 using the money I obtained through betting. The price of land increased every time I bought some, there was a sunroof and a wooden deck from which I could overlook the field, I prepared a table and chairs making a small stylish space for a tea party.
On a side note. To build this I didn't have enough money saved up, so I got some more by selling Revival Medicine and such, securing the required money.
And, in the field visible from the wooden deck the Wisteria Peach's Seedling was planted, it grew quickly stretching itself out.
Leaning on the tree's trunk was Ryui and running around its chasing after its own tails was Zakuro. The two animals occasionally looked up at the hanging petals.
A comfortable sound reached my ears as wind swayed the vines and petals.
In the real winter was imminent, but in the game the sunshine was warm enough to sunbath.
"Oh my? Fufu, Yun-kun. I've come to see how are you, and here you are sleeping."
I'm not sleeping. I'm awake, I wanted to say but in contrast to my consciousness, my eyes remained closed.
The one who called out to me as I slept on top of a table on the wooden deck must have been Emily-san.
Her gentle voice made me extra drowsy. If I'm not wrong, if fatigue or some other for sleeping is detected through the brainwaves, the player's awareness is temporarily put to rest, allowing the brain to rest.
However, even though I was sleeping, I felt something warm by my side and on my knees.
Before my consciousness fell, the single cry of a wolf I heard must have been a dream or an illusion.
Name : Yun
Weapon : Black Maiden's Longbow
Secondary Weapon : Magi-san's Kitchen Knife
Armour : CS No.6 Ochre Creator (Outerwear, Underwear, Torso, Waist).
Accessory Equipment Limit 2/10
● Rugged Iron Ring (1)
● Substitute Gem's Ring (1)
【Bow Lv40】 【Longbow Lv14】 【Sky Eyes Lv5】 【Speed Increase Lv28】 【See-Through Lv15】 【Magic Talent Lv46】 【Magic Power Lv49】 【Enchant Arts Lv26】 【Dosing Lv28】 【Linguistics Lv18】
【Alchemy Lv32】 【Synthesis Lv33】 【Engraving Lv2】 【Swimming Lv13】 【Crafting Knowledge Lv34】 【Taming Lv8】 【Earth Element Talent Lv19】 【Cooking Lv27】
Raid Quest Rewards
● Wisteria Peach's Seedling
● Dark Wolf's Guardian Armour
● Mysterious Book (not deciphered)
For those whom I meet for the first time and those whom I meet after a while, hello. I'm Aloha Zachou.
Those who took this book in their hands, A-san in charge of editing, Yukisan-sama who have prepared wonderful illustration for the work, as well as all the people who have read the earlier-published work on the net, you have my thanks. Also, in the Age Premium, Hani Kuraun-sama's comicalization was released simultaneously with this volume 5. In the back of the first volume's cover, there was written new novel material. Watching comical rich expressions of Yun and others as they carry on with their activities has become a treat. By all means, I'd like you to pick it up.
This time's uproar was set up as a small something that had continued in the second volume, I hope you enjoyed it. I'd like you to enjoy it from now on as well.
This time's story, is about the talk with my brother who has read the fourth volume of the book.
『"I read the 4th volume. I'd like to read continuation soon. Also, that Mikadzuchi is amazin'."』
"She has nice illustrations doesn't she. I really like the feel she gives off, like a handsome guy with boobies."
『"There's also that but, in the stats at the end of the book, in weapon's column those four kanji characters, does it refer to a lady or a female president? She's a guild master too. A character that feels like "anego" isn't it. Like a motorcycle gang member or a delinquent?"』
"No, I didn't have such intention. Not at all. Rather, after being told that I can only see her in that manner. What do I do."
『"Eh, really? Then, what was the initial image of hers?"』
"Like a stick-fighting dojo's daughter, an assistant instructor? An excessive Onee-chan who mixed among other adults after practice or training camp to drink sake?"
I realized there was a difference in perception, it was a little bit funny story.
From now on as well, take care of me, Aloha Zachou.
At the end, I would like to once again thank you, the readers who took this book in their hands.
I look forward to the day I can meet you all again.
April 2015, Aloha Zachou