A sound of hard metal being struck had spread inside the workshop, sparks scattered at the same time as the hammer was swung down.
I poured the metal that melted in the furnace into the mould, then adjusted the metal in the mould by hitting it with a hammer as it cooled down.
I made ordinary Iron Ingots, Fine Iron Ingots and up to Silver Ingots.
"Phew... I thought it would go easy once I set up a Magical Furnace, but my level was lower than I had imagined."
【Bow Lv44】 【Longbow Lv18】 【Sky Eyes Lv11】 【Swiftness Lv5】 【See-Through Lv19】 【Sorcery Lv4】 【Enchant Arts Lv33】 【Earth Element Talent Lv24】 【Dosing Lv35】 【Cook Lv6】
【Alchemy Lv37】 【Synthesis Lv38】 【Crafting Knowledge Lv39】 【Taming Lv12】 【Engraving Lv12】 【Swimming Lv13】 【Linguistics Lv23】 【Climbing Lv11】
Even 【Craftsmanship】's higher Sense, 【Engraving】 was raised higher all at once when I did a large amount of work changing ore into ingots.
At first, I tried changing Black Iron Ore into ingots, but because of my low level and insufficient DEX which was related to crafting it had failed continuously. Therefore, I slowly accumulated experience by working steadily.
"I've got 12 of ordinary iron, 10 of fine iron, 18 of silver. Well, I guess it's enough. Still, it's hot."
Saying so, I put away the ore into item box for materials and moved away from the newly-installed magical furnace.
Although there was a magic barrier, there was hot air hanging over the surroundings of the furnace. I took one step away from the barrier and entering the cold part of the workshop I exhaled.
"Ahh, so cool. I got tired because it's so hot in front of the furnace."
I wiped off the sweat and put the cup with cold tea I had prepared beforehand to my forehead and neck before gulping the tea down all at once.
Phew, once I have calmed down I stared at the mountains of ore illuminated in the light coming from the Magical Furnace that still was blazing with powerful flames nourished with MP.
Most of the remaining ore was Black Iron Ore and Blurite Ore I couldn't process.
"These are really stubborn."
Earlier, I said something horrible to Taku and then started to swing the hammer to forget self-loathing, but before I realized I forgot about Taku and have absorbed myself in work to change the ingots.
"Black Iron Ore is too hard and I winded up purchasing new hammers again and again. And Blurite Ore failed either because of my level being too low, stats being too low or the lack of firepower."
I tried making it with the hammer sold by NPC, but Black Iron Ore had exhausted the hammer's durability because of its incredible hardness. Blurite Ore didn't melt sufficiently despite the fact I poured MP into the furnace to the limit.
"I could use items for increasing the temperature in the furnace, but first I need to change this fragile Iron Hammer to another one."
Although I did think of several points to work on, currently the person I could ask for it, Magi-san, should be concentrating on making Blurite Ore into ingots.
"Geez, Magi-san really is dependable."
I heaved a sigh as the Blurite Ore had tinged with blue when I changed the angle I looked at it.
Since I was unable to turn it into an ingot at the moment, it was useless to me.
"Let's pass the remaining Blurite Ore to Magi-san later."
After muttering quietly I looked at the watch in the menu.
It was nearly two o'clock in the afternoon, I don't want to go, I said and heaved a sigh.
"What kind of face should I make when we search just the two of us."
Thinking of it now, it wasn't something to get that angry about. Still, it was a fact that being shown off the difference in our manliness had worsened my mood.
"Haa, why did I get so angry."
Feeling that to be a puny reason, I felt like the regret and self-loathing had become a weight on my back.
"It can't be helped. Let's go!"
Slapped my own cheeks with both hands and using the mini-portal set up in the workshop I started the transition to the registered portal at the highlands area.
The destination I transferred to was the portal ahead of the cliff in the north we have climbed earlier.
This time, I was scheduled to meet up with Taku in there, but there was also another person waiting aside from Taku.
"Take care of me today, Yun-kun."
"E-Emily-san?! Why are you here?! Rather, how did you make it this far?!"
This was the portal on top of the cliff. Since we have steadily acquired and learned the 【Climbing】 Sense, I was surprised that Emily-san had climbed up the cliff and arrived in here.
"Yun, you've come."
"Why is Emily-san here?"
"Is there a problem if she's here?"
"No... there's none but, you could have said a word that you're coming."
"No, I'm not sure what was it about, but it seemed like I've made you angry, Yun. Whenever I tried to speak with you, I was avoided so there was no opportunity to talk about it."
Sorry about that, he said, but I was completely at fault here.
Haa〜, I heaved a long sigh. Just how rude was I to Taku, once again I felt that I caused him trouble.
"It was my bad. I was frustrated and ended up venting my anger on you. Sorry."
"Naw, I don't really mind. Anyway, let's go!"
Taku made a refreshing smile to me, who has endlessly distressed myself with self-loathing and started walking towards the highland.
Although I reconciled with Taku using the momentum, I didn't forget Emily-san's existence.
"I get it that there was no opportunity to talk, but how did you come up here, Emily-san? Did you simply pick up 【Climbing】 Sense and climb?"
"Wrong. I rode a flying synthetic mob to raise up here."
"Uuuh, sounds unfair."
"Certainly it's easy to climb this way, but they're disposable. Also, it's not like I get a permanent Sense either."
"It might be so, but..."
"And... I wanted to see how you two are doing, so I forced myself in."
Although she didn't want to get involved too much in game with people whom she knows in real, but she realized we are acting strange and had forcibly joined our adventure today.
"Well, my worries were unfounded though."
"Thank you, Emily-san. For worrying about us, that is."
"Looks like your usual expression is back, Yun-kun."
Emily-san had smiled with relief, but since I couldn't tell what kind of expression I had, I groped my face all over to check.
"Yun, Emily, what are you two talking about?"
"About how it's unfair that I climbed up here from below using a flying synthetic mob."
Taku made a knowing expression and entered the conversation.
"You should charge the players who want to get here as fast as possible 100kG each and earn money that way."
"Carrying those fifty players gathered under the cliff is a pain so I'll pass."
"But, at some point there will be someone who'll start bussiness by transporting players up here. This is probably the only time you can earn anything, Emily."
"I'm not doing it. My main is being 【Material Merchant】. If I can't profit with that, what I'm going to do is to find a way by raising my 【Synthesis】 and 【Alchemy】 Senses' levels."
Taku's and Emily-san's dialogue was quite interesting and a smile spilled on my face.
"I thought you two don't get along that well, but it doesn't seem like it was true."
"It's not like I dislike Emily, it's just that we rarely get in contact."
"I don't try actively to get involved either. I mean, it's a hassle to do that with someone you know in real."
In the meantime, we have arrived in the highlands area.
The scenery was unlike during the dawn's morning mist and it was now possible to overlook the highlands.
There was a small hill ahead on the highlands and in the deepest part on top of the hill, lying down, there were horses several times Ryui's size.
Other than that, there were cattle-type mobs scattered, as well as a herd of goat-type mobs with atrociously twisted horns. Near the rocky mountain that was in the middle of the plain, there were plump and fat chicken-type mobs flying in the sky.
Seeing the clearly toy-like chicken figures fly in the sky while ignoring the laws oh physics, I burst out into quiet laughter.
"Fantasy, isn't it. This scene that is."
"You're right. Well then, let's defeat some mobs to check their strength and drop items."
With Taku in the front, we approached enemy that caught our attention and started combat.
The cattle mob, Steel Cow who instead of underdeveloped horns had its head covered in plate armour which had extended to to the back, charged at us alone.
Although the cow's attack was similar to that of a Big Boar, the part where she was capable of changing direction as she ran was different. Therefore, it was necessary for someone to attract her attention in order to fight back.
The cow rushing at Taku and Emily-san who were the vanguard, seeing them split up in different directions, had aimed for Taku without any hesitation.
Although she ran straight at Taku, he was better at predicting the opponent's course.
When I used an enchant from the rearguard raising Taku's speed he shook off the cow's pursuit and suddenly struck back on her flank with an Art.
"Take this! ——《Power Buster》!"
The strongly swung two swords cut the cow's side, dealing large amount of damage. After receiving damage she had tried to charge at Taku again, but something had entangled around her hind legs and she fell forward.
Emily-san's connecting sword had restrained the cow's hind legs and I, using my earth magic and cow's weight, had her rooted in the mud.
"One more time! ——《Power Buster》!"
The Art Taku used again had settled on the cow's flank, making her let out a loud cry and fall on the side.
After confirming the cow had turned into particles of light and disappeared, everyone lowered their weapons.
"Well, I guess it's possible to take them down with brute force approach."
"No, that would be only you, Taku. I think mine and Emily-san's attacks are short on power for that."
When I spoke, Emily-san had nodded in agreement.
Steel Cows who had high strength and endurance would be difficult to fight against while solo at the moment.
The goat mobs we fought against next, Mage Goats, were groups of goats who used magic.
Their magic was limited to fire elemental magic, but they mainly used magic which caused sleep and stun bad statuses. The entire herd showered us with barrage of magic, but they were vulnerable against physical attacks so Taku and Emily-san had entered between them and took them down one after another.
For the last, the roundish bird mob, Cockatrice——
"This one seems more compatible with Yun."
"You're right. Yun-kun is the only one who can attack from a distance, after all."
The attack method of Cockatrices was surprise attack from the sky in a group.
And, their normal attacks had a low probability of causing a paralysis bad status, also, although weak, they were capable of using restraining magic of the wind.
However, I kept shooting them down one Cockatrice after after another from an overwhelming range using my long bow.
"Yup. Looks like we took down most of the enemies in this area. What's left, is the horse-type mob on top of that hill."
After confirming that there's no Cockatrices in the surroundings with my 【Sky Eyes】, I directed my gaze towards the top of the hill.
"The boss' name is Lightning Horse, huh. I wonder if we can beat him."
"Enemies in this area are quite tough, so the boss will be correspondingly strong, right."
"True. Let's give up on fighting him without a plan."
Responding to my mutter, it seemed like Taku and Emily-san were being careful about fighting him.
Since it was a boss no one has fought against before, his strength was an unknown.
"Well, there's no use thinking about it. Let's go around and get some drops and collect some items."
Emily-san and I agreed with Taku, we went around the highlands defeating mobs that caught our attention and getting some drop items.
Steel Cows dropped Steel Cow's Hard Leather and Beef Tenderloin.
Mage Goats dropped Mage Goat's Horn and Milk.
Cockatrices dropped Cockatrice Feathers and Blood.
From among these, Steel Cow's Hard Leather could be used to make a leather armour, Beef Tenderloin and Mage Goat's Milk could be used in cooking. Also, Mage Goat's horn was hard enough so that it could be used for a spear's tip once processed.
And, the usage method of Cockatrice Feathers was——
"Feathers can be used for making arrows using Synthesis, and I guess blood can be used for making potions?"
"As for me, I can use blood as a source of information for making a synthetic mob. Also, I wonder if it could be remade into another material using Alchemy."
After taking out the materials we acquired, Emily-san and I considered the material's methods of usage.
"You two, we're in the middle of the field so leave thinking for later."
"Sorry. We were just curious."
I tried to cover it up with a smile, but Taku had heaved a sigh.
"Well, since you'll only continue to miss if you fight in that state, let's take a break."
"Is that fine? We still haven't examined that rocky mountain."
"Right now that would be dangerous, considering you're distracted. Once break's over we'll go to that mountain and I'll have you do some mining."
"Leave it to me. I need ore myself, too."
Emily-san answered him proudly. For the time being, we decided to return to the nearby safety area.
Still, I wondered if it was my imagination that the highlands were too wide an area for so few enemy mobs. Maybe their number was small to make it appropriate for the small number of players who arrived in here in the first place.
Once I returned to to the safety area, I took out a mixing kit for using Mixing in the field, then crushed Mage Goat's Horn to make it easy for making a potion with it.
On the other hand, Emily-san had used 【Alchemy】's Higher Conversion on the select materials or used 【Synthesis】 using various material combinations, but I was the first one to get any results.
"Emily-san, how are results on your side?"
"Let's see. Using 【Alchemy】 on Steel Cow's Hard Leather makes it a Large Hard Leather. As for others, well, both Synthesis and Alchemy are all misses. Other than the leather, I guess there's no choice but to use them for synthetic mob nuclei. And what are you doing, Yun-kun?"
"I crushed Mage Goat's Horn so that it dissolved in base cream easily."
Just when I managed to grind down the horn, I put the powder in the water where it melted, colouring water red.
And for the remaining powder, I took out the container with small portion of base cream I made the other day and put mixed the powder in it. I added it gradually and it firmly dissolved as I continued to mix it in with a whisk.
"Yun. Is that the one you made the other day?"
"Yeah. I mixed the base cream I made from 【Double Camellia】's oil, 【Water of Life】 and Beeswax with material dropped from mob, and the result is a cream that gives elemental resistance——【Element Cream】.
"So it wasn't just a cosmetic item."
Lightly ignoring Taku's mutter. If I mixed powder in all at once, the emulsified and stable cream would have returned into a liquid state so I mixed it carefully by adding powder little by little.
After a while, when the milky white base cream had changed into pale red I stopped mixing and returned it back to its original container.
"All right, its complete."
I looked at the created item's stats and confirmed completion for the time being.
Resistance Cream 【Consumable】
【Fire Element Resistance (small)】
"Hmm. As expected, the effect is low because I didn't use the equipment in my workshop to make it."
"Yun-kun, what kind of item is this?"
Emily-san spoke to me while I was lost in thoughts. Speaking of which, I haven't explained the effect of this item yet.
"This is a cream that grants resistance to elemental damage. I guess Mage Goat's Horn grants resistance to fire element."
After saying so, I lined up the container with completed creams. There was light blue, brown, pale green, milky white and grey-brown creams one next to another.
"I mixed water element's 【Blue Gelatin】 in this one, the brown one is earth element made with 【Goblin's Horn】, the green one is wind element made with 【Aero Snake's Scales】, milky white one corresponds to light element and was made with powder made out of 【Phosphorous Soul Crystal】, the grey-brown one is for darkness element and was made with 【Magical Organism's Catalyst Metal】 which drops from Darkman."
And the one I just made using powder from Mage Goat's Horn, was pale red cream which corresponded to fire element.
With this, it's all six types, I said and displayed them, which resulted in an impressed response.
"Hee, an item increasing defence against elements. But, these materials are all quite rare, so it's not all that sweet."
Certainly, although 【Blue Gelatin】 and 【Goblin's Horn】 drop from slime and goblin enemies, so getting them is easy enough.
And, the 【Phosphorous Soul Crystal】 Wisps dropped was also relatively easy to obtain using a slightly special method. Then there was the boss mob Darkman.
"Can't you make it with cheaper materials?"
Taku did have a point. But, there was a reason for this.
"In fact, I tried using Mold Slime's Strongly Acidic Jelly, powdered dried stomach of a Moor Frog, Bat's Poison Blood, Acid Dozer's Acid Fluids and such, but the result was——"
"——There were ones that had bad status effects and things that deliver continuous damage to the user, so they can't be used."
When I answered so, I see, Taku and Emily-san said and made complex expressions.
"Also, the resistance effect is correspondingly higher the rarer the material. Although, Aero Snake's Scales seem to be on the same rank as Cockatrice's Blood."
I mixed in Cockatrice's Blood into Beeswax base cream, completing a green cream this way. For red blood to change into green wind element, this sure is fantasy.
Taku stared at the 【Element Cream】 as if he tried to judge the value of it and Emily-san squirmed with curiosity as a player who loves verifying things.
"Then, Yun-kun. Can duplicate of this effect be used? What would happen if your 《Element Enchant》 was used or the armour itself had resistance to an element?"
"In that case, it's whether resistance against a single element can be strengthened and whether a resistance to another element can be put on."
Taku joined the conversation and the field had changed into where we verified 【Element Cream】's effect.
"First, let's check if the same element's effects will overlap. I'll use the cream, and then Yun will use 《Element Enchant》, is that all right?"
After saying so, Taku lightly coated his arm with water resistance cream.
"Oh, the effect properly appeared in the status. Yun, I'm ready."
"Got it. Well then, I'm starting. 《Element Enchant》——Armour."
I took out Grade 4 Water Element Stone and using it, I applied water element enchant on Taku's armour.
Currently, Taku had water resistance cream's 【Water Resistance (minimal)】 on him, but how would 【Water Resistance (small)】 affect him, I wondered. And the result was——
"It changed now. The effect was overwritten and turned to 【Water Resistance (small)】."
"In other words, Yun-kun's 《Element Enchant》 and 【Element Cream】 have the same effect. That's why the effect was overwritten."
Continuing, when we tried a different element's cream, the result was that the temporary element resistance was overwritten.
"Now, what's left is to see whether it can overlap with equipment that has permanent resistance effect."
Saying so, Taku took out equipment and accessories which had resistance effect and checked his status.
"Oh, it worked."
"Your 'it worked' sounds really light."
"Isn't it great that the effects overlap?"
When Taku had lightly announced the result, I unconsciously retorted to him and Emily-san followed up with a wry smile.
"Well then, the conclusion is that if you use a temporary effect that's duplicate of a permanent one, you receive a decent amount of elemental resistance."
"My normal enchant and resistance cream don't overlap. So, I guess I'll sell cream as a set with Enchant Stones."
Although we have summarized the results of 【Element Cream】's verification, there was still some dissatisfaction within me.
"Somehow, I feel that I won't really be using 【Element Cream】 since my 《Element Enchant》 overlaps with it."
"But that can't be helped, right? Although I can't affirm it yet, but there might be difference in the duration of the effect and such."
"I guess. Also, there's the issue of whether I'll be able to craft cream of all elements in a stable manner."
While in the 【Atelier】 I had easily usable items provided at low cost, I did sell highly-effective items, so having a variation in item performance made me feel bad.
"I wonder if I can get some items that provide stable amount of resistance."
"...hey, Yun-kun. If 《Element Enchant》 and 【Element Cream】 have the same strengthening effect, won't Element Stones work? They're graded from Grade 5 so it's easy to divide it accordingly to effectiveness."
"...I see. I didn't think of that."
I immediately tried what Emily-san had pointed out.
After crushing an earth element's Grade 4 Element Stone, I mixed it in the base cream, crafting 【Element Cream】.
Resistance Cream 【Consumable】
【Earth Element Resistance (small)】
"Thank you, Emily-san. It succeeded."
"You're welcome. With this, the demand for Element Stones will further increase."
As she smiled merrily, she sure has commerce in her blood, I thought with a bitter smile.
"Well then, now that you two's anxiety has cleared up, should we continue our search and verification?"
For the search, Taku meant confirming what items can be mined from the huge rocky mountain in this highlands area. And by verification, he meant confirming the differences between 《Element Enchant》 and 【Element Cream】.
Doing both at once had its advantages.
"Taku will use fire resistance cream. On Emily-san, I will put down a fire element resistance enchant."
"Let's start. 《Element Enchant》——Armour."
I passed the cream I made from Mage Goat's Horn to Taku and used Grade 4 Element Stone to put fire element resistance enchant on Emily-san.
Both had the same 【Fire Element Resistance (small)】 effect, but for how long would it last, I wonder.
"All right! Let's resume the search! We'll head for that rocky mountain."
Taku started walking ahead, aiming for the mountain.
We approached it while passing by the enemies we encountered on the way. Since in the middle of it we found a colony of herbs, our progression had slowed down a little.
Although I couldn't tell its exact size from a distance, as we approached the mountain, on top of it I saw what looked like a Cockatrice nest from which chubby chicken took off occasionally.
"Chickens, cattle and goats make the atmosphere pastoral."
"Since all enemies we met are active upon encounter, we enter combat every time and don't get time to rest, making it quite hard."
Emily-san and I felt disappointed by that part as we aimed for the mountain.
And, Taku had noticed abnormality in the rocky mountain early.
"Yun, Emily. Something's strange. Raise your weapons."
"There's no time. Hurry!"
"Hurry you say, kyahh?!"
While we stood confused, the abnormality Taku felt had manifested in form of shaking. Although Emily-san and I had trouble standing, Taku alone pulled out his two long swords and looked up at the huge, rocky mountain.
"——The mountain is moving!"
Looking from the side, it seemed like Taku's face convulsed and the mountain ahead of his sight has began to vibrate.
When it did, limbs with short and thick claws have appeared at the bottom of the mountain, as well as a short, hard tail and a turtle head with a pointed chin.
Surprised by the fact the rocky mountain was a mob, I looked upwards.
It was big enough to overshadow the large bosses we have defeated previously, such as th Great Eater of Mythical Beasts, Garm Phantom and Cannibal Plant.
Truly, an existence akin to a mountain.
"Superdreadnought-class land tortoise mob——Grand Rock, huh."
I heard Taku's mutter and the next moment, Grand Rock roared.
As the air trembled, I held down my ears to bear the roar and at the same time, the surrounding mobs have started an uproar.
All the mobs in the highlands have received 【Anger】 bad status.
"This is bad. Let's escape for now!"
"Taku! Escape, but where?!"
"Doesn't matter, run! At this rate we'll be surrounded and crushed!"
Mobs I have seen have started rampaging around the highland indiscriminately, leaving themselves to 【Anger】.
Also, Steel Cows who previously walked around alone started running in a herd. Mage Goat herds further increased in numbers.
Cattle, goat and chicken mobs started to appear on the highlands, coming from the distant forest and mobs have started to gradually grow denser in the broad highland area.
"Certainly, this looks bad. Taku-kun, any idea where to run?"
"We can only either run outside of the area or get so close to Grand Rock that the mobs won't approach us!"
The place we were in was nearly halfway between the area's exit and the Grand Rock. We didn't have time to think whether we go back and move on forward.
"Look, a herd of cows is coming our way!"
The cows have charged straight at us. In front, there was one with a remarkable physique and body of deep red colour, but it wasn't the time to be bothered about that.
Together with Taku and Emily-san, we somehow avoided that group and started running outside of the area.
Compared to the direction Grand Rock was in, the cattle herds moved in straight lines, but they were like a tsunami, be engulfed once and there's no saving you.
"If you're avoiding them, move to the side! Absolutely don't escape in the same direction they're running to!"
"I know! This time they're coming from the left!"
As I dodged the incoming attack from the herd of cows, the moment I used 【Sky Eyes】 to avoid, I looked at the red cow mob once again.
It was a completely different mob from Steel Cows and I confirmed it was a boss mob called Iron Cow.
I checked the surroundings as I ran and in the distance, I saw a Mage Goat with large and round horns and a Cockatrice on top of the Grand Rock who was ten times larger than a normal one.
"What the hell's going on!"
"Yun! More cows are coming!"
As I ran looking at the surroundings while spitting curses, before I realized distance opened between me and the other two. Although I jumped to the opposite side of where a herd of cows had emerged and was able to avoid being engulfed, I was separated from Taku and Emily-san.
"Yun, escape for now! Climb on the Grand Rock!"
"Taku-kun, a herd of Mage Goats! Yun-kun, if you're safe afterwards, let's meet up in front of the portal later!"
The moment Emily-san spoke a warning, a huge wall of flames appeared between me and them.
I couldn't remain in one place in the middle of the mobs' onslaught forever.
I started running towards the Grand Rock who was in the opposite direction of where Taku and Emily-san was aiming to reach, beyond that wall of flames.
——Climb on the Grand Rock.
I believed Taku's words and ran towards the gigantic land tortoise.
However, as if to prevent me from doing so, enemy attacked from the distance, both from the sky and the ground.
Increasing my speed with an enchant, I confirmed the barrage of magic released at me by Mage Goats from a distance.
I continued to avoid in the time extended by 【Sky Eyes】, but receiving an attack from a wind sickle released by Cockatrice behind me, I was blown forward by the impact. Right after that, I saw Mage Goat's fire magic appear where I was a moment earlier.
"Oww, that was close. Couldn't really avoid that one."
As I ran at constant speed, Steel Cows whose movements have turned monotonous in state of Anger have charged in my direction.
"Mobs of this level predict movements before attacking, don't they."
In that case, I thought, and intentionally slowed down slightly.
And continuing to avoid monotonously, I narrowed down enemy's predictions, making enemy concentrate their attacks on one point.
"...keep the pace, then accelerate at once!"
As if chanting, I maintained seventy percent of my maximum speed and observed the enemy movements with 【Sky Eyes】.
When enemy entered a motion for attacking, in conjunction with the experienced time extension of 【Sky Eyes】 I entered my top speed and moved through when the enemy was unguarded.
Once I slipped through Mage Goats' attacks, next I found a herd of Steel Cows.
Steel Cows rushed at me with even more ferocity than normally. I didn't have the confidence to shake them off as they came at me with considerable speed and if I'm stranded in place, Cockatrices and Mage Goats I left behind would catch up.
"If you add the mobs behind into this, I don't think I'll be able to escape."
Even now, the amount of enemies I could take on was the limit for me alone. Of course, assuming survival as a goal rather than defeating them.
It was clear that if I avoid the Steel Cow's charge poorly, I'll be stifled immediately.
"And so, running away is winning!"
Steel Cows have come from the right side as if to block my path. Unless I slip by, I won't reach Grand Rock. I had to break through no matter what.
Since I was regulating my pace, I recovered my speed and swallowed a speed-increasing Boost Tablet, held Magic Gems in both hands and started running at maximum speed.
I ran through before a herd of Steel Cows could block my way, but since I couldn't make it in time I decided to jump forward at full speed.
I created an earthen wall beneath myself and using it for footing, I jumped high into the air.
The herd of Steel Cows rushed beneath me, Cockatrices and Mage Goats after me from behind.
Since the distance I flew wasn't enough, I was about to fall into the herd of cows, but holding Magic Gems in my both hands I spoke the keyword.
Receiving the blast of the Magic Gem's explosion behind me, I accelerated in mid-air.
Reproducing the big jump I did once before, I increased the flight distance.
"And, I was able to land safely."
Although I lost my balance and had to support myself with a hand, I somehow managed to keep running.
I took a glance behind and saw the group of Steel Cows who were unable to change direction block the Mage Goats chasing after me.
Looking into the air with the 【Sky Eyes】, I saw a flock of Cockatrices had gathered and was trying to attack again.
"Blow away! ——《Zone Bomb》!"
The magic whose range was expanded with the 【Sky Eyes】 had blown away Cockatrices flying in a formation.
Because of the dense formation they were flying in, they received accumulated chain damage from each magic activated, thanks to which I was able to eliminate anything that could prevent me from climbing Grand Rock.
"All right, succeeded! All that's left is running to where Grand Rock is."
Just a little more and I'd reach the giant tortoise. And that's when mobs who were sporadically attacking me started to withdraw one after another.
"...monsters are backing down?"
While the enemy didn't approach anywhere near the Grand Rock, the huge tortoise dragged a loud sound and sand cloud behind it.
Since I was scared of being crushed by either its legs or tail were I to approach poorly, I took some distance from Grand Rock and observed it first.
At this point, only Cockatrices remained above me, but they weren't interested in me in the least and only returned to their nest on top of the Grand Rock.
Just, I felt like I saw a conspicuously large individual among Cockatrices above, but it had quickly hid behind the cliff.
"Ten times larger than a normal Cockatrice? I saw it earlier from a distance, but it doesn't seem like I was mistaken."
I looked up again, but I couldn't see it no longer. Also, I had to decide on what's in front of me before concerning myself with that.
"What should I do? Should I continue running like this until this is over?"
That's troublesome in itself, I thought and when I raised my head to look up so high my neck started to hurt and saw narrow, spiralling mountain roads on the entire rocky mountain that was Grand Rock's back.
The footing was a little unstable, but it was a safe area.
I resolved myself and jumped on the Grand Rock.
Although it seemed like I would fall as I jumped after running in parallel to it, I somehow managed to cling to Grand Rock and riding on it was surprisingly not so bad.
"Its unexpectedly steady."
I grasped the nearby rock and as not to be shaken off by the vibrations caused by Grand Rock's movements, I slowly climbed up the mountain.
For the time being I equipped 【Climbing】 Sense and safety equipment, driving a wedge into the rocky mountain I proceeded slowly.
When I climbed about ten percent of the mountain's height, a narrow mountain road has spread which had enough space for a party of six to rest.
"I can be at ease if its this wide. Doesn't seem like I'll fall too easily. Still, I wonder what's happening, really."
I pat the rocky surface nearby and looked up to the top of the mountain.
Viewed from afar it looked like a mountain, but it was in fact a superdreadnought-class mob and the mobs on the field started to rampage in conjunction with its movements.
"Good grief, I'd like some info beforehand."
I heaved a sigh while riding on the Grand Rock, but after speaking, another thought appeared in my mind.
Those who are called frontier players or raiders enter new areas without any information, just like this. Thus, it's normal that there's no information about it. It just means its our turn this time.
"Still, how long is this rampage going to continue?"
I overlooked the surroundings with my 【Sky Eyes'】 far-sightedness, but the rampage of the mobs in the highlands showed no signs of subsiding.
Currently, the mobs in the highlands area were rampaging after receiving 【Anger】 bad status.
It was a bad status which decreased the defensive statistics which were DEF and MIND, instead increasing the ATK and INT as well as causing a frenzied mental state.
And there was no signs of the mobs recovering over time.
"Well, no use thinking about it. Let's search this area for a while."
Although we were supposed to examine it together with Taku and Emily-san, I'll do what I can by myself.
"Now, I wonder what I'll get."
I returned the kitchen knife into the sheath at the belt for climbing equipment and took out a pickaxe for mining.
And I started to move on the Grand Rock on what was akin to a rocky mountain road by grasping rocks on its back.
Since there was no mobs attacking me and there was only occasional shaking, I took breaks in moderation as I examined the surroundings of the open space.
Taking a brief look, I found several spiral routes for climbing the Grand Rock and on both the surface and the break spaces away from the road there were some mining points.
"If I climb too high, I'll have trouble returning and I'm scared of getting close to the Cockatrice nest. Let's gather some samples nearby."
I returned to the wide break space and stood in front of a mining point.
There was footing which made mining relatively easy and space to swing a larger pickaxe.
"Okay, let's go. ——?!!"
Although I swung down the pickaxe at the mining point like usual, it had bounced away.
"Damn hard, my hand's gone numb."
Since my hands were trembling all numb, I let go of the pickaxe for a moment and waved them.
And this time carefully as not to break the pickaxe, I swung it strongly to dig up ore.
I acquired fifteen pieces of ore in a very inefficient manner before the pickaxe broke.
"Woah, the Iron Pickaxe broke... and it was the best one sold by NPC, too."
After that, I used up the small pickaxes treated as farm tools and acquired a total of twenty-seven pieces of ore.
In the meantime, the intervals between each vibration of the Grand Rock had gradually increased and the rampage of mobs beneath has slowly subsided.
Mobs who have newly appeared in the highlands area have returned to the woods outside and above me, a white mass of Cockatrices had returned to the nest they had near the summit of the Grand Rock.
That's when a friend call from Taku had come.
『"Yun, you safe?"』
"Yeah, I somehow managed to reach Grand Rock. What about you two?"
『"We managed to safely exit the highlands area. Mobs rampage has subsided so you should come back too, Yun."』
"Got it. I'll return right away."
I descended down Grand Rock's back whose movements have stopped and headed to the portal near the highlands area's entrance.
In there, Taku and Emily-san had waited for me, I increased my pace to ascertain the two are all right.
"It's great that you are okay, you two."
"Sure, I'm all right."
"Rather, what are you saying after enjoying yourself."
Taku had greeted me with a smile, but Emily-san had stared at him intently in response to that. It seemed like something happened while I wasn't with them.
"While I was running away, Yun-kun's fire 《Element Enchant》's duration had expired, but since Taku-kun's Resistance Cream's duration lasted longer he fought mobs on the highland area's peripheries, decreasing their number."
"Because I had fire element resistance I could beat a herd of Mage Goats with ease! I also took down a boss mob, getting both strengthening material and drops!"
"What boss mob! Heck, ain't that dangerous!"
Although he said so proudly, I was appalled at him taking such risk while mobs were rampaging dangerously with 【Anger】 bad status.
"Speaking of boss mobs, there was a cow that had a different name. If I'm not wrong, it was Iron Cow."
"That's right. It might be that the boss mobs appear for a limited amount of time unlike the normal ones. Iron Cow is the boss of the Steel Cow mobs. Warlock Goat is the boss of the Mage Goat mobs. I didn't confirm whether a boss mob of Cockatrices exists, but there should be one."
"If there is a Cockatrice boss mob, it's over there I guess."
Ahead of my line of sight was the Cockatrice nest on top of the unmoving Grand Rock's mountainback. When I approached the Grand Rock, I felt like I've seen a shadow of a large Cockatrice, maybe it wasn't just my imagination.
"So, Yun, did you find something on the mountain?"
"I didn't even climb halfway to the hill, but I found a mountain road and mining points on it. While I did get some ore I don't know, the mining point was so hard my pickaxe broke."
When I said so and showed them a pickaxe with a broken tip, Taku and Emily-san had opened their eyes wide with surprise.
"I guess a normal pickaxe is no longer enough. I'll have to consult with Magi-san on the topic."
"If you're going to 【Open Sesame】 then I'll go with you. I want to know what's the ore you've got. What about youm, Emily?"
"I'll pass. Today made me want a synthetic mob with better flight capacity so I want to research synthesis a little more. If I have a flight capability to get on that mountain, it'll be easier for me to mine ore, you see. Fortunately, I got quite the amount of Cockatrice Feathers and blood."
Emily-san responded happily. They probably met quite a few mobs on their way back.
"It's decided then. Let's take a break and go to the 【Open Sesame】 in the evening."
"I guess. I'll go back to the 【Atelier】 for now."
After saying so we parted with Emily-san, together with Taku returned to the 【Atelier】 and logged out for a break before meeting up in the evening.