A few days have passed since we started receiving guidance on 【Climbing】 Sense from Ivan. Every day we went in front of the cliff and stayed there for a little until evening, Taku and I slowly learned to do new things.
As a result, we were able to climb twenty metres alone and then climb down practically perfectly.
While my 【Climbing】 Sense raised to level 7, I faced a certain problem.
"Hmm. This pickaxe can't be used on that cliff after all."
What I took out was a sturdy steel pickaxe. It was handy to dig ore with by using EX Skill 【Mining】.
However, since it was heavy enough that it has to be held in two hands, it couldn't be used satisfactorily on unstable cliff and bluff scaffolds, so at this rate it would be impossible for me to obtain ore from the mining points spreading all over the cliff.
"Can't help it. Let's go and look for a pickaxe I can hold with one hand."
And, I'll probably get a small pickaxe in the Third Town, I thought, but was able to buy it in a surprising place.
"Mm? You want a small pickaxe? I have one used for ploughing hard soil."
I was able to successfully purchase it from the NPC – Farmer who managed trade with farmland in the south of the First Town.
At first I went to the Third Town and asked where is the NPC selling small pickaxes, but was taught about the farmer NPC and returned back to the First Town.
"Then, I'll buy three small pickaxes including spares."
"Here you go, watch out, they're heavy."
I received three small pickaxes for 5kG each from NPC – Farmer who dealt with land, farm tools and NPC employment mediation and after putting them in the inventory, I headed towards the northern gate.
"Took me some time to buy a pickaxe. Taku seems to have went ahead."
When I told Taku that I'll be late, I received a message from him saying that he'll be going ahead. That's why, I ran straight for the cliff in the north while avoiding the Rafflesians and Mad Seeds that appear in the area north of the First Town.
And, what I saw there was——
"Taku and old man Ivan, what are you two doing?"
Hooking a rope to a thick branch of a tree, wearing a harness and a lifeline each, the two were hanging on the ropes.
Hanging loosely with their spread limbs, it seemed like they were trying to maintain balance, then they raised their upper bodies before relaxing and turning loose again.
Since Taku wasn't used to raising his upper body he turned to the sides, but somehow managed to stop rotating and tried to raise his upper body again. On the other hand, Ivan was accustomed to it so he was able to raise his upper body smoothly, took out a telescopic stock, stretched it to half the length and did a practice swing in that state.
"Oh, Missy. You came."
"Well, I did come but... what's this?"
Some training? I asked, and it seemed like it was a simulation training for climbing.
It seemed to be a training for fighting when you're entrusting your body to a lifeline rope on unstable scaffolding.
"Yun, this is quite hard, but fun."
"No, um, it seems a little embarrassing."
There was no doubt that the optimized methods of training and leveling the 【Climbing】 Senses were effective, but I'd like to refrain from being seen by others hanging on a rope.
On contrary to reluctant me, they raised their upper bodies using their abdominal muscles, relaxed their bodies holding out their hands and arching their bodies backwards like a shrimp, then moved their heads up and down taking balance. However, I'd like it if they stopped with what seemed to be them playing around, as they groaned loudly showing whites of their eyes, it was scary.
"Missy's shy after all. It can't be helped, we'll go do light climbing training with Lad here so try doing balance training alone."
"Well then, I'll switch with Yun. I'll be going with old man Ivan for a while."
Saying so, the two quickly untied their ropes and came down.
Since the way of tying a knot with a rope was part of the training, my survival skills have risen as well.
And, I have seen off Ivan and Taku, when they were no longer visible I started balance training.
"...if I stop before the two are back, I won't be seen right."
I was embarrassed, but since it was the lifeline I entrusted my body to, there was a need of getting used to handling it. Telling myself it's for the sake of leveling up the 【Climbing】 Sense, I equipped the climbing harness that was climbing's auxiliary item, gradually adjusted the rope and knot and I hung my body.
When my legs moved off the ground I let go of the rope and tried to take balance. I tried putting strength in my various muscles and my body began to tremble, somehow I was able to keep my upper body raised up for about five minutes.
"I can... somehow! Do it! Uwoah?!"
The moment I relaxed, the force that has been supporting me until then has changed into a force that moves me and turned my entire body so that I could see upside-down. Since my body was being swung around and I couldn't control it, I gave up on using my muscles and relaxed, waiting for the motion to stop.
"Uuhh, I feel sick from this spinning. If I relax and face upwards I'll be able to stabilize."
While dangling I turned my face upwards, my head slowly lowered itself, I pulled my jaw backwards and naturally used the strength in my abdominal muscles to raise my upper body.
Supported by the waist harness, I remained for some time in a relaxed posture looking up at the sky.
"Aah, the sky's so bluee."
The scattered clouds and blue sky. At the end of this view there was the towering cliff and flying in the sky snakes and flocks of bees.
Relaxed in this way, looking up at the sky was actually fun.
"A journey to find sceneries in OSO sounds like it would be interesting. Finding your own special spot."
"You're right. Want to go to some unexplored area then?"
"Even if we party up, you'll bring me to battle some boss anyway, right?"
No way, I don't want healing I need to go through carnage for. When I said that and received "what a shame" in response I noticed I've been spoken to from the side.
Eh? Why am I having a normal conversation here? And so I turned my face towards the voice and saw Taku and Ivan with their arms folded, smiling in my direction.
"Hey, since when are you here!"
"You noticed really late. We've been here for a few minutes. We were looking at you as you space out alone."
Uwahh, I've been seen as I laze around on balance training.
I somehow tried to excuse myself and hurriedly moved my hands but because of that my body's centre of gravity was disturbed and I started to rotate.
"Hya-wawaah! S-stop it!"
"Aa-aah. What are you doing really, Yun."
"Missy, since balance training means maintaining one state it seems like you have progressed, but you're lacking composure."
Ivan also turned towards me as I panicked and made a cool assessment, but I couldn't afford to bother with it.
As I went st〜oop〜it〜, Taku had held down my head with both hands. Although I was grateful to Taku I was looking upside-down at, but why head?
"Want help getting down?"
"No, I can get down myself so it's fine. Let go of my head. Don't hold it so firmly."
Taku quietly let go of my head with his hands and made sure I maintained my attitude. I slowly raised my upper body, grasped the rope, loosened the knot and put my feet on the ground.
Feeling a great sense of security when my feet touched the ground, I let out a breath of relief.
"Missy's improving fast, too."
"S-so, how was it on your side?"
Although I was embarrassed showing myself in unsightly manner, I asked the two as if nothing happened.
"We beat some Aero Snakes up there. Ivan's amazing! He climbed without any tools!"
"Cause rope being here gets in the way. Also, even if there's the lifeline I'm not used to handling weapons so there's less accidents if I use my bare hands and blunt weapons."
"That's somehow convincing."
Since old man Ivan wasn't used to the game, rather than swing a sword around it was better for him to perform a lariat on someone with those arms or swing a stick on someone, judging from his looks the impact would be huge. And, it would easily break opponent's bones.
"But, after climbing up what I learned is that the footing is unstable and it's hard to put any strength into an attack."
"Seems impossible for me. My weapon is a bow used with both hands. If there's anything I can use, it would be a kitchen knife in place of a dagger."
I didn't know if it was possible to aim properly with the bow while leaving my body to the rope, it seemed like it would be hard to control the recoil.
"Taku, you better protect me."
"Yun, aren't you relying others your for your own gain here?"
"The right person in the right place. I'll take care of recovery with potions and mining the ore."
"Gahahaha, Lad, you're being relied on by Missy so protect her well!"
Ivan hit Taku's back with his thick arm, to which Taku responded with a voice of protest feeling a big impact and pain. I was slightly concerned with the nuance to what Ivan said, but I still chuckled seeing them act like that.
"Then come Missy, we'll climb up and pick up ore where's shallow, I'll try to pick up some too within my sight's range."
"If Yun's going on the cliff, I'll go to the forest and fight some mobs and collect items."
Saying so, the two started moving. Geez, those two are acting too free, I've seen them off with a smile and with a delay, started preparing to climb the cliff.
Just as I've been taught by Ivan, I secured my body with equipment and using the rope and stakes for safety I slowly climbed up.
I climbed up for a while and when I arrived in front of a mining point in middle of the cliff, I took out the small pickaxe and struck the point.
Since I couldn't swing using my entire body like usual, I carefully broke the rocks little by little before catching one breaking off ore that spilled out before I dug again.
Although the amount of ore that can be found in the mining points at the cliff-side in each point was smaller than normal, the amount of points themselves was large.
Going back and forth on the very edge of entering the places patrolled by mobs, I was able to collect a decent amount of ore.
"Phew, I got quite a lot. But, If I'm careless and drop them it seems I could injure someone."
I need to be careful as not to drop them when I'm mining, when I carved these words in my mind Ivan had returned.
"You've really started looking the part, missy. Like this, you should be able to get to the cave together with the Lad."
"I said, stop calling me 'missy'. Also, show me the ore you picked up, I'll give them a look."
Since I had the 【Craftsmanship】 Sense, I used its effect to appraise the ore.
I sorted the ore I received from Ivan, but since some fell to the ground their quality and number wasn't all that good.
"There are 5 Fine Iron Ore and twenty of 20 of normal Iron Ore, also 13 Silver Ore. The rest are normal stones, what about them?"
"I can use them for throwing so leave them for me."
After appraising his, I proceeded to appraise my own ore.
Apparently the gems didn't appear in the northern area. Like this I won't be able to secure the material for Magic Gems. Thinking so, I appraised them one after another.
"I need iron and silver for making arrows so I'm happy to get that. Also, for making accessories, too."
"Oh, what kind of accessories do you sell, missy?"
"I'm not selling any. It's purely a hobby of mine."
Since my main is polishing for making Magic Gems and Enchant Stones, at most I can make accessories for killing time, I answered and continued to appraise the many ore I picked up.
What I dug up were 12 pieces of Fine Iron Ore, 34 of normal Iron Ore and 21 pieces of Silver ore, I had a higher ore rate than Ivan.
120 pieces of iron. 97 pieces of silver. 55 pieces of blurite. 35 pieces of black iron. Oh, another one, 36th piece of black iron. And, it turned out that all I have picked up from mining was ore.
"——Black Iron Ore is very tough from what I heard, but it's my first time hearing about Blurite Ore."
Since I could only work with iron using my furnace, it was an ore I haven't worked with at all.
How is hit handled, I wondered but, let's consult with Magi-san next time, I concluded and stowed the ore in the inventory.
"Yun, I'm back, how was it?"
"Welcome back, Taku. I got quite a lot of ore."
Taku returned after hunting mobs in the forest. He looked as if he has been smashing mobs with all he had as he returned the sword to the sheeth on his back.
"If you've got some ore, how about exchanging some with the herbs I picked up?"
"Sure. Let me take a look."
When Taku listed up the herbs he had collected in the trade menu, I have put in ore on the displayed menu in the same way and the two of us have exchanged for the materials we wanted.
Although the ore prices were higher than those of herb-type materials, since I received the materials I needed I coloured up the deal a little.
"Yun, is that okay? To trade that Blurite Ore ones and Black Iron ores for this."
"It's fine. Rather, I quite need those herbs."
With that said I executed the trade and took out the items Taku gathered.
There was a bunch of fruit-type food ingredients called 【Cold Crimson Glory Vine】 and the item itself felt like it.
Compared to the grapes available on the market, there were very few fruits in each bunch but each one was big and had beautiful shape.
I picked a single piece from the bunch and put it in my mouth, it was a sweet fruit of which skin could be eaten as well.
"Mm! It's sweet!"
"Well, glad you like it."
"This is an ingredient temporarily increasing resistance to confusion and anger. But, as an ingredient, the effect seems weak."
Also, unfortunately the 【Cold Crimson Glory Vine】 didn't have seeds, so I couldn't grow them in the 【Atelier】's field.
Taku picked a single piece and threw in his mouth, but finding the grape's sweetness too strong, he scowled. It seemed like it wasn't to his taste.
"Hey, old man Ivan. We should be able to climb up to the cave up there, right."
Hearing Taku's question, Ivan affirmed it.
"Well then, Yun and I want to go to the cave in the middle of that cliff but, won't you join the party and guide us?"
"I don't mind. Then for the time, it might be good to do it at night."
"At night? Why is that?"
"From what I know, the visibility during the night is poor and it's not too suitable for work. So people concentrate on doing dungeons that don't require a light source but——"
"You see, the activity of the enemies that appear on this cliff changes at night. During the day there's many Bunker Bees, at night, a lot of Aero Snakes appear. And, the amount of Aero Snakes appearing still isn't all that large."
"In other words, if all you're doing is climbing, doing it at night is more appropriate."
That's how it is. Ivan confirmed.
"Also, if missy climbs up while gathering ore, it's better to do it when there's fewer enemies, right?"
"C-certainly, overlooking found ore would be a waste but..."
I could easily imagine myself regretting it if I miss ore as I climb. Since there were less enemies, it might be better to take my time gathering.
"Well, speaking of my real intentions, I want you to learn how fun it is to climb at night."
Gahahaha, he laughed heartily.
I thought it would be something like that. I heaved a sigh and smiled bitterly.
That's where mainly Taku and Ivan started to plan the climbing. They set up the climbing order and formation as well as matched the time to climb.
Just, since old man Ivan and Taku couldn't find a time convenient for all of us, it turned out that the start time was pushed to late at night.
"Well, if it's just lad and missy, it shouldn't take as long as until the morning to climb it."
"Looking at it from another perspective, if we continue until the morning..."
Probably they were predicting a pattern where I'll take time mining ore, but, watching sunrise as you climb is one of the mountain's pleasures, Ivan said. He seemed to have a really positive personality.
"So, I guess we're disbanding until night comes? Yun, is all fine on your side?"
"An all-nighter today, huh. Fortunately we've got tomorrow off, so if I prepare dinner now it should be okay, I guess?"
And if I include a nap time into that... as I grumbled under my nose, looks like you'll be fine, said Taku.
Since usually I watch out for my health, playing all night was a rare experience and I a little excited.
After that I logged out and predicting that I won't be able to make tomorrow's breakfast, I prepared food that could be shared between this evening and tomorrow morning.
"OHH?! There's curry today! What meat is there?"
"Today there's beef curry. Also, tomorrow there'll be bread and curry for breakfast, as well as yoghurt."
If it was just baking toasts and warming up a serving of curry, I didn't have to worry about Miu.
"Fresh curry on the first day and ripe one on the second day! Yayy!"
"Yes yes. Also, can I take a bath first today?"
"Don't speak with a spoon in your mouth."
Miu calmly drank some water and asked again.
"That's unusual. Why?"
"I was invited by Takumi to play over the night a little. So I want to enter the bath as soon as possible and take a nap before we start."
"That's really unusual of Onii-chan. You always lead an orderly life so... then, this curry is..."
"Sorry. Tomorrow morning I might not be able prepare anything, so it's an insurance."
When I said that apologetically, I don't really mind, she responded.
"I see, Onii-chan going together with Takumi-san, huh. Today, I have an appointment to go into a dungeon with Sei-oneechan and Mikadzuchi-san, too."
"And Lucato with the others?"
When I asked about Lucato and others who are usually with Miu, she smiled wryly.
"Everyone seems busy. Well, there are times like this too. Also, since it overlaps with the test period in their schools they can't log in. Being under parent's watch sure is tough."
"No, Miu, you study too. Even if our school's test period's over, you shouldn't slack off."
I stared intently at Miu, but she only responded with "help me out if I'm in a pinch", causing me to heave a sigh.
I'll probably have to help her, along with Taku, I felt a vague premonition as the time for dinner had come.
And after I finished preparations for playing over night, in the end I didn't take a nap so I resolved myself to sleep tomorrow in the morning as I logged into OSO.
"Yoo, seems like Yun arrived on time."
"You two are early, Taku and old man Ivan."
"A male high-schooler's night is long!"
"A single man's night is long too!"
No, you don't have to act all cool folding your arms. Also, it makes me feel lonely so stop that.
As for the time, it was about the middle of the night, looking into the sky with 【Sky Eyes】 I couldn't see any of the numerous Bunker Bees flying around during the day, but instead saw some figures of Aero Snakes.
"Their number really decreased."
"Well then, let's go. I'll go first, then missy. For the last one, Taku. Protect missy well!"
Saying so Ivan hit Taku's back and went up leading us on the route.
Since our 【Climbing】 Sense's level was relatively low, Ivan went up slowly.
With just ropes Ivan prepared as a lifeline, we climbed until we reached a ledge on the cliff and when our arms felt tired and out of stamina, we left our bodies to the rope and rested our arms a little.
The 【Climbing】 Sense's support had visible markers appear even at night, they had a different colour than mining points visible with 【Sky Eyes】 and 【See-Through】.
From time to time we moved accordingly to Ivan's instructions and dug mining points that were nearby. So that he doesn't get hit by the falling ore Taku overtook me and I mined alone.
We climbed, rested, then climbed again. From time to time I mined ore. As we repeated that our levels increased and the progress speed had slowly increased.
And, at a point in the middle——
"If we climb any higher, enemy will attack us. So, we'll resume climbing after a short break."
After saying so Ivan sat down in a break space in the cliff, resting his limbs.
"I see. So you've dropped down from up there, old man."
"Although you can't see below because it's dark, it's already quite the height from here too."
I looked down from the cliff and Taku had looked above us.
Hearing my words and Taku's, Ivan made a bitter expression, but continued to prepare in the moonlight.
He removed a magic burner on the large break space in the cliff, placed a kettle on it and boiled water. Then while the water was heating up, he put instant coffee powder in three metal cups.
"Hee, so you really drink coffee while mountain climbing."
"Well, of course. Still, its taste is inferior compared to full-fledged coffee, but you can enjoy the atmosphere with this."
Saying so, Ivan passed instant coffee to me and Taku. I received the cup with both hands and leaned with my back against the cliff, then sipped some coffee.
"Gahahaha! Well, it's coffee after all! I've got sugar and coffee milk too!"
After putting in stick-packaged sugar and milk I mixed it in, and it turned into something I could drink.
Drinking something warm I felt relieved and exhaled slowly, then looked up at the sky.
I was entranced by the sight of OSO's artificial moon and starry sky.
I slowly sipped the warm coffee as I looked at the cold, mysterious starry sky. It was a sight impossible to see in the urban area in the real.
"Actually it can be seen quite well in midwinter's cold weather. Well, it's good enough for a substitute."
"Are you climbing mountains in the winter too, old man?"
"Yeah, still, it's not full-fledged mountain climbing. I pitch a tent in a camp-ground during the winter and look from there."
Probably as part of a climber's pride, he showed us a screenshot in place of a photo.
It was a photo of starry sky, but there were also a few lines of falling stars in the sky.
"A screenshot of falling stars? Looks pretty."
"So missy likes it. But unfortunately, these aren't falling stars. This is a fixed photo of the star movement made by keeping shutter open. It's a photo of the stars' movement."
Saying so, this is thirty minutes, this one is after an hour, he continued showing us pictures.
From East to West. From bottom to top. The direction the stars moved varied, making it beautiful and interesting.
"In this game you can take a screenshot of a player's view, but you can't take this kind of thing."
As Taku muttered that, Ivan smiled merrily.
"That's why, to me this world is just a high-quality substitute. It's a hobby dependent on weather which uses a lot of physical strength and time, but I still prefer the mountains and the sky of the reality."
Still, I don't intend to reject this game you like, lad and missy. He said.
Ivan who had put everything into his hobby knew ways of enjoying himself kids like us didn't know, honestly, I felt envious.
Well, in my case it was also fun climbing to the top, but I thought climbing like he does was a real thrill.
"I can understand that, but in my case I prefer results."
Taku who continued to repeatedly climb up without experiencing game-like elements was a little tired, but he got his back hit by Ivan.
"Don't worry. Once we go higher, you'll fight enemy even if you don't want to. Of course, in reality you can't fight flying snakes as you climb!"
From here on there's uncharted territory, he said happily and drank the rest of the bitter coffee in the cup as if to incite himself.
"Now, from here on we need to climb with fighting spirit. Lad and missy, time to get serious!"
In front of us, there was the steep cliff. Behind, the darkness of the abyss, there was a struggle in front of us and behind us. I was anxious whether Taku and I could fight under such circumstances.
Since I was unable to attack using my bow even in this darkness, the only way for me to attack was a combination of 【Sky Eyes】 and earth element magic, but I still wondered how will Taku and Ivan fight.
We resumed climbing with Ivan going ahead.
After looking up for a while, we found snakes with dark green wings and red pupils wait for us. With wings like those of a bat, the Aero Snakes looked like a tiny limbless Wyvern.
I used my 【Sky Eyes】 night vision performance to scout.
"Enemy's approaching! Two snakes from upper right. Another two from upper left!"
"I'll drop down a few ahead! Taku lad, protect missy!"
After I said a warning as a scout, Ivan spoke instructions and immediately took posture for interception.
Ivan daringly let go of the rope and with just the one tied to his body and a footing to support him, he took out his weapon.
It wasn't the metal stock attached to his waist, but a claw attached to a rope.
The claw rotated in the dark soundly, quickly increasing its speed.
And when the Aero Snake entered the range of lantern's light, he threw the claw.
The flying metal had its power increased by centrifugal force as it grazed the Aero Snake, the rope following it entangled around the mob and with the claw as a weight, it had collided with the rock wall.
A single snake fell down the cliff and gradually disappeared, but three remaining ones have come attacking. Ivan pulled out the stock from the belt at his waist and expanded it, then as it passed by, he hit one snake. Then, he clenched the rope and hit another one with his fist as if to crush it.
One of the Aero Snakes has slipped by Ivan who had immediately defeated three of them and had approached me baring its fangs but——
"——I won't let you. 《Sonic Edge》!"
Taku who was below me swung his long sword in unstable posture and with a slash, cut off the snake's head and wing.
Since he still wasn't as familiar with it as Ivan was, he gripped the rope with his left hand, so he could only hold the weapon in his right.
"All right! Missy, are there any other enemies?!"
"Wait a moment... yup, it's all right. There's none approaching!"
I told the two that the surroundings are safe.
Ivan repeatedly beat the enemies efficiently by using equipment adapted to fighting on the cliffs and Taku continued to use long-range Art.
The attacks from Aero Snakes were sporadic and since they weren't all that strong, it was great that the battles weren't too long.
The number of enemies was small, possibly because the respawn timer was long, and even during mining the ore I haven't been attacked a single time thanks to which we were able to climb without missing ore collection.
"Hey, old man Ivan, how did you choose your weapons?"
"What's this, out of the blue."
"It's pure curiosity."
And in the middle of climbing, even though it was necessary to concentrate on climbing I relaxed myself, starting a little chat. It might have been because my 【Climbing】 Sense's level had increased.
"Let's see. Using remodelled tools I'm familiar with was more efficient, and also there's romance in it."
The claw with rope is used for putting up tents, the contracting metal stock can be used instead of a walking stick for hiking, it seemed like there were lots of useful things.
"That sounds similar to me using a kitchen knife instead of a dagger."
"No, aren't you two weird?"
" "Why?" "
Taku had retorted from below us, but neither Ivan and I understood it and were puzzled.
Certainly, having a dagger properly made as a dagger had more stable performance and durability, but since Ivan and I used it for crafting and hobby Senses their performance was secondary, as long as we could use them as weapon, it was fine to us.
"Haa, a gamer like me is too different from a hobbyists to understand them, eh."
Heaving a sigh, Taku gave up.
"Taku. New enemies appeared. This time there are three on the right, two on the left and one in front making six total."
While the morning sun still hasn't shown itself, Ivan and Taku accurately handled the snakes.
As we slowly climbed, I also proceeded collecting ore.
"It's almost time it dawns."
"Eh, is that so?"
When I checked the time in menu, it was still four o'clock.
"Missy, it's not autumn's long night, it's before dawn in OSO. Since the enemy's distribution slowly changed before dawn, we'll be increasing pace as we climb up."
I gave up on gathering ore and focus on climbing.
For a while we have climbed the cliff and then turned towards the ascending sun. After we confirmed the sunrise in OSO, an abnormal noise had reached our ears.
*BZZZ* *BZZZZZZZZ* *BZZzz*——
The bass sound resounding deep in my belly had gradually approached from the bottom.
"What's this soun——"
It was a black mass that appeared to have been blown out of the forest.
The sounds of wings' buzz had approached the cliff in a group.
"Are these Bunker Bees? We can't fight in here!"
"Yun! Light up an 【Insect Repelling Incense】!"
Responding to Taku's instruction I took out an 【Insect Repelling Incense】 and ignited it, then spread smoke all around.
The black mass gathering in our direction had moved away to avoid the white smoke, breaking into two large lumps.
And in the swarm, we saw one remarkably big bee.
The compound eyes of the big bee shone with emerald green colour, the edges of the eyes also shone with beautiful green. As we were projected in its emerald pupils, something had popped out from the bee's butt.
"Yun, you okay?!"
I frowned and looked at the hurting place. My left arm was pierced with a thick black cone. The arm struck with a needle was spitting out purple liquid and spouting smoke from the hurt point. I hurriedly pulled out the needle in the middle of pungent odour that hurt even my eyes, and assaulted by sickness similar to heartburn, I opened the menu to confirm my state.
"Bad status——and it's 【Poison 4】, too."
As 1% of my HP was reduced per second, I sprinkled a highly-effective Antidote Potion on my left arm, then gulped down a High Potion.
When both the bad state and damage dealt went away, I once again turned towards the enemy.
"What's with this one, doesn't look like a normal Bunker Bee.'
"This is Bunker Bee's boss. Queen Bunker Bee."
"Lad, missy! This place isn't good for this! Let's climb while this smell's effect remains!"
Ivan increased the climbing pace he was matching with ours all at once and raised up.
To keep up with him, I moved after his traces and when I turned around to confirm the bees aren't coming closer because of 【Insect Repelling Incense】's scent, a stinger had pierced the cliff right beside my face.
"Yun! More of stingers are coming! Hurry up and climb!"
Hurried by Taku from below, I desperately climbed.
"Missy, you're almost there!"
Ivan who climbed ahead and confirmed the safety of the space in front of the cave had peeked down at us. After climbing desperately for a little longer, I rolled as to avoid a stinger shot by the queen.
Taku pulled himself up on the rope dropped down by Ivan and we all safely arrived in front of the cave.
"That was close! A poison needle hit right beside my face!"
"Calm down, Yun. Fortunately, apart from the first blow the hit rate was quite low."
In response to Taku's words I calmed my still-pounding heart and clearly confirmed the appearance of the bees bathed in the rising sun's light.
The 【Insect Repelling Incense】's effect had disappeared and a flock of Bunker Bees had surrounded the queen.
"Hey, we've got a cave behind us, how about we escape?"
" "No escaping!" "
"Ah, is that so..."
My best friend and the old man joyfully faced the swarm of bees. Both of them had a boyish sparkle in their eyes.
"No way I'm gonna escape from a rare enemy! Let's beat it and get a rare material!"
"This is great fortune to meet them here! I'll have a showdown with the bees that pushed me down off the cliff!"
The gamer and the hobbyist seemed to brim with the will to fight. Escaping alone is no good I guess. I thought with distant look in my eyes.
"So, lad. Defeating those bees one by one to drag out that queen isn't too good an idea, right."
"That kind of mobs turn into a disorderly crowd when the boss is gone. So, we better aim straight at the boss! Yun, buff us and decrease the number of bees in the surroundings!"
"Got that! 《Enchant》——Attack, defence!"
Their speed was too high for confronting them in such a small place, adding an accident factor. I put on double enchants on the two, strengthening them.
If possible I wanted to weaken the queen with Cursed, but my visibility was blocked by the flock of bees and it was impossible for me to see her with 【Sky Eyes】.
Taku and Ivan who were strengthened by enchant have intercepted the incoming adds, protecting me who was in the back.
And, when the queen's poison needle had come from the swarm of bees, at times they avoided it and at other times they parried with their weapons.
As soon as the delay time was over, I shot an Art dispersing the bees.
"——《Bow Skill – Gust of Wind》!"
I shot an arrow with bow's Art that had a large area of effect using wind pressure straight into the centre of the bee swarm. Bees wobbled in the air pushed away by the pressure and fell down the cliff.
The queen hidden in the centre had appeared for an instant, but was soon hidden by bees again.
Although the queen also seemed to have received damage from my Art, but as expected of a rare boss mob, she endured without wobbling in the air.
"Yun, shoot one more time!"
"Shooting now! ——《Bow Skill – Gust of Wind》!"
The arrow accompanied by wind pressure had once again blown away the bee adds.
With that timing, Ivan threw the rope with claw attached and captured the queen's body.
Ivan held out in a tug of war against a bee as big as a child.
The queen desperately resisted, moving her wings at high speed in order not to be dropped down to the ground.
Like a growl from an engine's rotational speed increasing the wings' buzzing had gotten louder, on the other hand Ivan clenched his teeth and pulled the rope with his both hands.
"Old man, hold out a little longer! Yun, continue decreasing the number of bees!"
"Hurry up! I won't hold out long!"
Ivan lowered his waist and desperately endured the tug of war against the queen, she started to slowly drag him down.
I shot one 《Bow Skill – Gust of Wind》 after another, decreasing the number of bees. And, as the amount of hate value towards me increased, they changed their target to me.
Taku stood in front of me and holding two long swords he continued to cut down one after another.
Once their numbers decreased, I could finally see the queen with 【Sky Eyes】.
"GOo! 《Cursed》——Attack, defence, speed!"
I put on cursed for physical attack, physical defence and speed on the queen, weakening her.
The physical attack curse was resisted, but with physical defence and speed reduced, the hum of her wings weakened.
With that the balance in tug of war had inclined towards Ivan, in order not to miss this opportunity he did his best, which made his muscles seem to swell to bursting.
Wrapping the rope on his shoulder and back as, he pulled it all at once.
The queen dragged by the rope in a posture like that of a shoulder throw had fallen in front of us.
"I've been waiting for this moment!"
The bee that crashed in front of us tried to escape using her six legs as she fired the stingers randomly.
Although it seemed like she was aiming at Taku who rushed in, when he avoided it had nearly hit me, but I used 【Sky Eyes】 to stretch experienced time and avoided in an instant.
The series of five attacks delivered by Taku in an instant have damaged the queen's outer shell, giving her significant damage.
The queen's HP was significantly scraped off with every blow, turning to zero with the fourth one. But, as the Art couldn't be stopped after triggering, the fifth slash had delivered an overkill damage.
She had let out a cry of agony that sounded like scraping of metal and the adds scattered all at once hearing it.
Although the queen could certainly be called intimidating, but being beaten down by Taku's excessive attacks, I felt sympathetic to her.
"Phew, as expected, this middle-aged man's body did bear it despite the lost health."
"You okay, old man?"
I called out to Ivan who had sat down, but he only glanced at me and turned towards the bottom of the cliff.
"No worries. Seeing this scenery, my tiredness is being blown away."
Ahead of his line of sight, there was the forest illuminated by the rising sun.
Morning dew had sparkled reflecting the light of the sun overlooking the forest and ahead of it, spread a grassland extending far towards the small town behind the walls.
We climbed the cliff overnight, battled with enemies and received the items we wanted.
Taku stood next to me, exhausted in a state where his thinking nearly stopped he squinted at the scenery in front of him and the warmth of the sun.
"I can't stop climbing because of this kind of pleasures, you see."
Hearing Ivan mutter that, Taku and I nodded in silence. It felt like we understood a little what's so enjoyable in the mountains.
I took a screenshot of this scenery, stood up and turned towards the cave.
Since we've gone through the hassle of climbing here, we need to conquer this cave at least once and find a portal's transition object... I thought, but as I looked carefully there was something I got bothered by.
"Hey, old man Ivan. Isn't this a tunnel rather than a cave?"
"What? Really, Yun?!"
"You're right. I probably didn't notice because every time I came here it was the night."
I was spoke to Ivan, but Taku was the one who reacted more strongly. When Iwan turned around next he realized it seemed like there was light in the back of the dark cave.
"Yun, let's go take a look! Old man, you too hurry up and come!"
"Geez, wait a moment. Don't rush so much."
"Good grief, young ones sure are energetic."
I heaved a sigh as I chased after Taku who charged towards the dark tunnel.
The tunnel's exit had appeared immediately, Taku's legs naturally accelerated.
Ahead of where I chased after Taku, spread a highland. The land was covered in green and there were animal-type mobs. The fresh morning air indeed seemed like that of a highland.
When I checked the animal-type mobs who were far away with my 【Sky Eyes】, I found cattle and sheep as well as chicken.
"Feels like a highland pasture."
Indeed that was the impression this place gave out.
"I see, a highland area. Another area discovered making me really excited."
While Taku had happily looked around the highland zone, I took a look in the surroundings and found a transition portal by the tunnel's side and was relieved I won't have to climb the cliff that often.
"You're both so energetic, lad, missy. Oh, there's a portal."
Ivan who caught up to us with a delay had found the portal and we registered ourselves with the highland area's transition point.
"What are you two going to do now? I'm going to take a look at the highland area now."
Hearing Taku's proposal I shook my head refusing.
"I'm quite tired so I'll log out now and go to sleep."
"Unfortunately, I'm not interested so I'll be going to sleep."
Although he smiled merrily, as expected Ivan couldn't maintain the high spirits from the night and was a little sleepy.
Before logging out there was something I had to consult with the two.
"For the last thing, is equal distribution of ore fine with you?"
Taku and Ivan were with me overnight and thanks to their protection I could gather it. They had the right to getting a share of it.
"I'm fine with that."
"How about Ivan?"
"It's cumbersome, so how about you purchase them from me, missy? I'm not good with the market and I can trust you missy."
"No, we haven't meet too long ago so how can you trust me. Geez."
In response, you probably don't intend to trick me at a time like this do you, Ivan responded pointing it out. Taku too, had laughed in agreement and I glared at the two unable to refute.
"Certainly I can purchase it from you, but since I mined some ore I don't know the price of I'll need time to calculate the price. Also, you'll have to visit my store when I'm there."
"Then keep it as a deposit until you determine the price. Also, since you're telling that to me, it seems like you don't intend to trick me after all. You sure are serious and honest, missy."
"Should I take it as trust towards me, or that you're sloppy. Good grief..."
In that case, I'll need him to come to the 【Atelier】 at a later date. Well, I'll undertake that. I noted down the number of ore and type that was Ivan's part to settle it after consulting.
"Today was fun. Old man, let's party up again if there's opportunity."
"Then bring me some more 【Climbing】 Sense applicants next time. Missy, I'll stop by your store next time!"
"Yeah, I'll wait patiently."
Taku and Ivan did a farewell with their fists and then together with Taku we've seen off Ivan as he logged out.
And then, this time I logged out seen off by Taku, waking up in a bed in the real world I took off the VR Gear and resided in the bed once again.