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 Some stalls had withdrawn prematurely after losing items to sell.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.