Prologue - The Inside Body Dungeon and Parasitic Insects
"Blech, the walls are all soft and flabby."
"Ohh, it really looks like we're inside a body!"
In contrast to Taku and others, I proceeded on the flabby floor of the inside body dungeon very fearfully.
It was the dungeon existing inside the super-dreadnought mob, Grand Rock.
Various mobs attacked us after coming out of the walls of the dungeon.
White and boggy blood-sucking leeches appeared from there.
Mobs similar to pin worms crawled and along the meat walls of the inside body dungeon's and came down from the ceiling.
There were also mobs that looked like parasites who drilled through the meat wall.
All those mobs splattered colourful mucus upon their defeat which caused bad statuses.
At this stage, the amount of my SAN points was shaved down quite a bit.
Also, the inside body dungeon had other gimmicks aside from mobs that were waiting to take away my SAN points.
"Oh, there's a passage leading downwards!"
"Gantz, wait. I have a bad feeling about this."
"A bad feeling? Are your Senses reacting?"
"No, um, they do but, it's like my 【See-Through】 Sense is too low and I'm not entire surely what it's reacting to I guess?"
Actually, I had level 20 of my 【See-Through】 Sense upon entering the Grand Rock's inside body dungeon, but I couldn't tell despite that.
"Hmm. Is there a trap in there, or maybe it's reacting to enemy mobs in the back... not knowing that makes it hard."
"Still, we can't afford to have any one of the party to go in there and investigate."
Taku and Kei thought about it seriously, their arms folded. Meanwhile another party entered the passage leading downwards and——
The players were snatched away into the depths of the passage with terrifying momentum.
Then once the passage entrance's mimicry solved, the head and eyes of a degenerated organism appeared.
"No way, it wasn't a passage leading downwards..."
"It was the mouth of an organism, which means that they fell into——"
Minute and Mami-san were girls so they didn't feel completing the sentences, but it was clear enough to cause my hair stand up with dread.
" " "UWAaahhhh——" " "
Hearing the screams of the players captured inside the organism that was mimicking the passage, my face changed its colour from pale to pure white.
"What's with this horror space. So intense."
"As expected, Yun won't be any good here. It can't be helped, let's go back for no..."
"Taku? What happened?"
I looked away from what I rather not look at, but because Taku suddenly stopped speaking I raised my head and saw him look at a certain point.
"Aa-aah, while I feel sorry for Yun, it doesn't seem like we're going back."
When I looked after his line of sight when he said that, I saw that the meat wall that formed the passage we came through had squeezed itself in and closed the passage.
On the other hand, another passage opened up elsewhere.
"I'm fine. Probably, I'll somehow endure using willpower."
I already put on a brave expression and suppressing the urge to leave this grotesque horror space, I forced myself to act rationally.
"The road leading back is gone. What do you think, Kei?"
"It must be a timed structure change of the dungeon. If that's the case, the way leading to boss and the exit must be open somewhere.We have no choice but to move on carefully, I think? Shall we go ahead and look for an exit for Yun's sake?"
"I guess. Let's do that."
Then, although we wandered around looking for the dungeon's exit, we were completely unable to understand the dungeon's structure.
I did actually map the dungeon as we searched, but because the dungeon's structure changed it was impossible to find regularities and certain routes so the map wasn't reliable. Then as a result of wandering aimlessly——
"Uwaa, it's swallowing me! My leg fell into a meat pitfall!"
"Yun?! We'll pull you out right away!"
"Hey, enemy's coming! Protect Yun!"
When I thought I slightly sank into the flabby meat floor, it was my left leg that was swallowed and I had become unable to move.
Matching that moment, a variety of mobs broke through the walls of meat and pounced on everyone.
While I couldn't move with my leg caught, I tried to assist others with enchants and the bow, but that's when the inside of the pitfall had become hollow and something wriggled inside.
"Hyah?! T-there's something inside! Ah! It touched me!"
"Yun-san, please hold out! We'll help you soon!"
"UWAaaahhh, hurry, hurry up, it's disgusting!"
In television programs I often saw games where people put their hand inside a box not knowing what's inside, but I didn't think I would taste that fear.
I didn't think that the fear of having something unknown touch me was this horrifying, because of that I was unable to assist others and could only wail.
As Mami-san encouraged me, I clung to her seeking help.
With everyone focusing on defeating enemies and no one capable of helping me I felt like crying, I single-mindedly focused on enduring this horrible sensation. Meanwhile the enemy mobs were wiped out and then I was helped to pull out my leg from the meat pitfall.
Wrapped around my legs were creatures similar to loaches.
When I saw them swim in the water that accumulated in the meat pitfall, I was astonished that I was scared of such a thing, at the same time my energy was slowly consumed.
I mean, why even make this kind of thing, I thought depressed.
After that, when searching for the exit I ended up catching a blood-sucking leech in my hand, I felt goose bumps all over my body from the boggy sensation. I threw it away in a hurry and it ended up flying towards Minute, who responded with a scream.
At other time, a parasite mob appeared from inside a wall and covered Gantz with mysterious liquid, he received poison and paralysis bad statuses as well as slip damage. Seeing Gantz suddenly covered with mucus Mami screamed and her legs gave out, trembling, she sat down on the meat floor wet with mucus.
The worst ones were gel-like organisms which looked like giant single-celled 【Fresh Bacteria】.
Upon receiving an attack their HP was halved and they split up in two, their tackles had an effect of HP absorption. Not only we struggled with growth in numbers every time we attacked, Kei who had high HP was surrounded by a group of cells and focused on.
"Kei! We'll save you now!"
"Don't mind me! Just hurry and beat them!"
As we were surrounded by a group of cells absorbing HP, this turned into a long battle.
We felt fear as the army of cells approached us, vanity as we continued to beat them without any effect. Burning through the consumables, feeling impatient as their number decreased we somehow rescued Kei, then had Minute and Mami-san eliminate the 【Fresh Bacteria】 with area of effect magic. From then on, whenever we saw those bacteria we avoided it however it was possible.
And, walking with the mindset of wanting to escape from the dungeon even if a second faster——
"Why the heck did we have to arrive at Grand Rock's heart chamber! Moreover, there's a boss mob who took this place over!"
The Grand Rock's heart chamber was a boss room, waiting inside was a boss with countless tentacles who looked like a sea anemone, the 【Electric Parasitic Insect】.
Beyond the tentacles there were electrical orbs, it used them both for protecting itself from attacks as well as attacking enemies. The electric attacks also caused a 【Paralysis】 bad status.
For the way of beating it, there was no other choice but to steadily cut off its tentacles, destroy them before we are captured by the electric orbs.
"...cut down tentacles, destroy orbs. Cut down tentacles, destroy orbs."
During the battle with slimy, disgusting enemy mob at some point I started to program movements onto myself and just execute them like a robot.
And when we finally noticed, what we were looking at wasn't a heart infested by a sea anemone-type boss, but a huge heart with dark engravings caused by boss mob's erosion, at the same time we received strengthening materials dropped by 【Electric Parasitic Insect】, the 【Parasite Pacemaker】.
Then part of the boss room's wall opened and stairs leading to the top appeared. Moreover, the menu announced the start of a new time-limited quest.
——Emergency Quest: Heal Grand Rock's heart. (72 hours remaining)
With the 【Electric Parasitic Insect】 defeated the heartbeat weakens.
Use this time to use either recovery magic or recovery items to heal the heart. If the deadline expires, the 【Electric Parasitic Insect】's eggs will hatch and start parasitizing it again.
"Ooohh?!! A time-limited quest huh. This stimulates my curiosity. Also, this quest is suitable for our party set-up."
Saying so Taku looked towards Minute who looked a little tired after the battle with the boss and me, whose heart was at brink of death.
I wanted to sit down on spot, but sitting on the meaty floor would be unpleasant so I forced myself to stand with willpower.
"Well then, I'll start first. ——《Large Heal》!"
The recovery magic Minute cast enveloped the Grand Rock's Heart.
And then new information was added to the quest menu.
——The 『 1/10000 』 numbers.
"Uwah, do I have to use magic ten thousand times?"
Minute said so and tried various magic and methods. Magic recovering from bad statuses had no effect, the weakest magic didn't appear to have an effect, but we assumed that it worked but wasn't strong enough to increase the count by entire number.
"Hmm. 《High Heal》 gives one point. Area of effect 《Round Heal》 gives two. The highest magic, 《Mega Heal》 gives four points. That's haarsh."
Already in lethargy I took out potions form my inventory and left them to Taku and others.
Handmade highly-effective Potions, default Potions with basic effect, Revival Medicine. The result of using a variety of different potions was——
That they had effect similar to that of recovery magic. Potions added below one point, High Potions added one point.
However, the Blue Potions added two points despite being quite inexpensive. The one who had the highest effect was the Revival Medicine that added five points each.
The Blue Potions seemed to have some correction and were the most cost-efficient.
"Hmm. Using ten thousand High Potions sounds toughh."
I checked up on the amount of potions I had, but it was obviously not enough to achieve the quest conditions.
"Also, since you can't deal damage to the heart it means that it's not treated as a mob but as an object. It can't be helped, let's round this up for now!"
We can finally escape! The moment I thought so I grabbed Taku's arm and dragged him outside of the dungeon.
Everyone else was shocked, even though I cast an enchant on myself, they didn't think I would manage to pull Taku with my stats.
After I rushed at full power up the stairs provided towards the outlet, the floor made of flabby meat slowly changed to a hard one made of rock, giving me some sense of security.
"We're finally out...."
We came back to the safety area we were in before entering.
It was already evening, moonlight entered through the holes in the ceiling and bathed itself in the fountain with the 【Water of Life】.
The moonlight reflected in the waving water surface reflected light at the ceiling and the walls of the cave, creating fantastic atmosphere.
Gantz and others who followed joined me as I submerged myself in the fountain's atmosphere, then I sat down on spot.
With just the dungeon search I went over my willpower capacity and exhausted all energy I had.
Just, I was a little reluctant, wondering if it's really all right to leave the Grand Rock like this.
"Ah?! W-what is it? Why have you all gathered up?"
Ever since the we completed the Grand Rock's quest I often found myself lost in thoughts. Even now, I didn't even realize Myu and the others have gathered up.
"Yun-oneechan! You're dazing out too much recently!"
After exhausting my energy in meat and mucus of inside-body dungeon, that evening I shut myself in the 【Atelier】 to recharge.
Right now in here there was worried Myu and Taku, but what was more unusual was that even Sei-nee had come.
"I can understand that Myu and Taku come, but why is Sei-nee here?"
It wasn't rare for Myu and Taku to come since they frequently came to the 【Atelier】 for shopping, but Sei-nee was mainly using items made by her guild's crafters so she didn't come too often.
"I came to Yun-chan with a request from 【Eight Million Gods】."
I bet she'll give me some impossible challenge, I thought for a moment, but seeing my expression Sei-nee explained, solving my misunderstanding.
"Mikadzuchi is organising a tasting party of liquor we had made from fruit-type items and she wants players with 【Cooking】 Sense to evaluate them, the request this time is an invitation to that tasting party."
Saying so she passed to me a folded bronze-coloured invitation, it seemed to be an item for inviting outsiders into the guild. It seems to have been used up.
"Hmmm. Tasting party, huh. Still, we're minors so we can't drink liquor can we."
"That's all right. We also have prepared the juice we made the liquor with, the liquor was also used for cooking so there's no problem."
Which means the alcohol was burned off I guess. Depending on the type of liquor there would be various dishes, while I imagined that I voiced one concern.
"Hey, Sei-nee. Will there be any insistent solicitation or something like that when I go to your guild?"
"Pft, nope. The truth behind this tasting session is that it's just a pretext for Mikadzuchi to drink."
Well, it's mainly a casual party rather than a solicitation, on personal basis some might try some light invitations or speak up about your party, quests and schedules. Sei-nee predicted lightly.
"Also, I don't know why but Yun-oneechan has been dazed for last few days! So let's go for a change of pace! Staying in here all alone isn't good for your mental health!"
It seemed like Myu wanted to participate in the tasting session, or rather, the drinking party as well.
When I turned my line of sight towards Taku——
"I won't participate because I have a prior engagement. Also... well, sorry for forcing you along last time."
Taku scratched his head and apologized with difficulty. If he is to apologize for forcing me into the inside-body dungeon, he should think earlier that I don't have tolerance for that kind of thing. Next time, he just needs to give it some thought beforehand.
And what more importantly I want to ask is——
"Aren't you going to clear that quest?"
"There's no real need to clear it right away, is there. Let's take our time preparing, there's a possibility the prerequesites are very different from what we have. So it's wait and see for now. Rather, Yun, if you make potions in such state you'll fail."
"Uh, it's as you say."
I had it pointed out by Taku too, but it was true, the misses I made because of being absent-minded when making potions stood out.
"If you want to complete the Grand Rock again, invite me. By the next time we'll prepare tactics for clearing it in shortest amount of time and there's less burden on you, Yun."
"DAHH! What are you happily chatting about in middle of conversation!"
"Woah?!! Myu, don't ride on my back, really..."
I peeled off Myu who jumped on my back and clung to me.
"Then looks like it's decided! Let's go play in 【Eight Million Gods'】 home right away!"
"Agreed, let's go. For a change of pace, you'll have some fun other than staying muffled in the store."
"Okay, let's go!"
Myu pointed at the entrance energetically and as if to say "strike while the iron is hot", she pulled my hand trying to bring me out of the 【Atelier】.
Midway, I saw my partners the unicorn Ryui and the black fox Zakuro stare at me worried through the door of the store part so I pat them to calm them down same as usual.
"Sorry. It doesn't seem like I'll be back to normal right away, but should be all right."
When I said that, both of them rubbed their necks on me.
And in the end Taku said this——
"【Eight Million Gods'】 is OSO's largest guild. You'll probably learn a lot. Have fun!"
"Ah, yeah. Got it."
I said just that, and brought outside by Myu and Sei-nee I left the 【Atelier】.
We moved on the main street heading from South to North then to the northernmost part of the first town.
It was an area with various buildings lined up with most of them being for sale tobe used as guild homes.
It was easier and cheaper to purchase one like this rather than purchase a land and make a building from scratch like the 【Atelier】.
The 【Eight Million Gods'】 home was located just the opposite of 【Atelier】 which was located in the South side so I wasn't very familiar with the exact placement. Then, we stood in front of the building that stood out the most.
"Yun-chan, we've arrived."
The guild was standing in the location that allowed for gathering players together the best.
It was an European-style building with white walls and roof painted in red.
However, it wasn't only an European-style building. Next to the main building there was an expansion that looked like a Japanese-style mansion which looking from the front, had a wide garden full of gravel.
On the opposite, left side, there was bare ground which was used as training grounds for players to do PvP and such.
Sei-nee stood in front of the gate and opened it with natural movements and we entered.
"Welcome, this is 【Eight Million Gods】 guild's home. We did a lot of remodelling inside, enjoy yourselves."
Saying so she invited me and Myu, then entered inside the home from the front.
After following her, we were overwhelmed and agape, we stared up at the ceiling.
The moment we entered we saw atrium hall with several sets of tables and sofas, there were counters on both sides, as well as several parties in middle of a discussion.
"Amazing, Onee-chan! So that's how the guilds are!"
"Fufufu, it's surprising since the guild's facilities were extended beyond how it looks from outside. How about Myu-chan's party also participate in the taste-testing session together with us?"
"Really?! Ah, but they can't participate today because they have things to do."
"Then they can come to play on another time."
I could only let out a voice of admiration. Inside this home which had the space extended beyond its appearance, I had no way of knowing just how many rooms are there.
"It's so spacious I can't calm down."
"Just gotta get used to it. When the guild members and guests gather, even this turns crowdy."
Being spoken to from behind I turned around and there, saw a woman with wine red-coloured hair.
"Heyy, Missy. Finally feel like joining the guild?"
"I came for the tasting party rather than to join. Well, I look forward to that liquor. Also, don't call me 'missy'."
I reflexively talked back to the guild master, Mikadzuchi who was there when I turned around.
"To me, just having you Missy come to the guild is a step forward."
"Are you soliciting to guild like that?"
Personally, I always thought that Mikadzuchi's solicitation was something like a greeting or a joke, but it seems like she was actually serious.
I wonder what's so good about me. My Sense build had gathered several trash Senses and completely ignores balance, there's nothing special about it worth mentioning.
While I can understand why would Myu be recruited, I have no idea why am I.
"Well, you can consider whether you enter the guild or not meanwhile. For now, once again——"
Standing straight in front of us Mikadzuchi spoke in serious voice to Myu and me.
"——Welcome to 【Eight Million Gods】 guild home. Well, make yourself at home with the intention of a change of pace."
With her words as a start, other guild members who were sneakily stealing peeks at us have started to come one after another to welcome us.
It was a little embarrassing but not unpleasant, made me feel a little shy.
Since it looked like there were many interesting things inside the OSO's largest guild, I thought it might be fun.
Chapter 1 - 【Eight Million Gods】 and Tasting Party
It might be fun... I want to punch my past self who thought so.
"Now! Start preparations for tasting party!"
Since I heard it will be tasting of fruit-based drinks, I thought they would be poured from wine bottles into glasses and it'll be an elegant buffet party, but what was prepared at the venue were entire barrels.
Starting with the 【Eight Million Gods】 members and 【Cooking】 Sense holders slowly gathering, through small feasting, it grew to huge sizes and became nothing but a "party".
Unable to slip out Myu and I held grape juice squeezed out of 【Cold Crimson Glory Vine】 in one hand and sitting, we looked around.
Other than us, the adult players were drinking the prepared red wine like it was water.
Myu allowed herself to be swept by the atmosphere and undertook the dancing and singing role. Sei-nee was acting as a stopper for Mikadzuchi who started drinking with overly lightness, so she remained by her side.
"So, what do I do now?"
As I sat alone with nothing to do, by my sides there were Ryui and Zakuro whom I called out to relieve my anxiety and snuggled up to me.
Since it was forbidden to touch the two, by having them by my sides no one approached me so I ended up being isolated and standing out in a bad way.
"What should I do... this might be a little uncomfortable."
"Hey, got a moment?"
"Hyah——?! W-what is it?!"
I didn't think someone would speak to me, so having a hand placed on my shoulder I ended up letting out a strange sound. Ignoring the fact that I ended up attracting further attention I turned around and saw a boy's face in front of me.
The player who spoke to me was a boy who wore a spacious brown and white kimono. He stared straight at me with his sleepily-looking half-open eyes.
"There's still time until the party starts, you look bored so I'll show you around the guild."
"Party you say. Um, is that fine?"
When I asked him, he responded saying that he got the permission from the guild master. I looked towards Sei-nee, who said "have fun" and saw me off.
"Well then, could you?"
"Yup. Let's go then."
With that said, guided by the boy with sleepy eyes I slipped away from the hall and we started walking around with the first floor.
"This guild home has two floors up and one underground floor, and an expansion. The first floor has meeting rooms for combat players and private rooms, as well as various others like rooms with NPCs the crafters can ask for things."
"Hee, the guild management must be hard."
"Yeah. Every month there's a quite high maintenance cost so that's collected from the guild members."
"Isn't that too kinda harsh?"
I wasn't knowledgeable about details on guilds, but even in the 【Atelier】 the cost of employing Kyouko-san the NPC is several tens of thousands. From what I saw there was more than ten NPCs here, which would make the cost ten times that.
"I don't think it is. If the guild maintenance costs were covered only by some of the members, other probably wouldn't feel attachment to the guild, right? Also, every month the cost of maintenance is shared over a lot of people so it's not that high."
"Also, people who don't know how to earn money for maintenance costs are helped out by other guild members to find a method. For combat players it's helping out with hunting and leveling. For crafters it's selling items to players with money. Of course, with in-guild price it's made and sold quite cheaply."
So he said, by fulfilling minimal amount of obligations they were able to play freely, I was convinced.
The boy moving ahead of me went up the stairs to the second floor, then stood in front of the doors leading to one of the rooms.
"This is the room with guild crafters' facilities including craftsmen's rooms. It's where we, the guild's crafters gather. People who don't like the parties below come here."
When I entered the room prompted by him, I saw miscellaneous rooms with variety of crafting equipment installed in them.
Since it was a shared space, crafters took turns using unmovable crafting facilities. In the back, it seemed like there were also private rooms available.
The players who gather here do their work in front of their crafting facilities and sometimes chat with crafters from other specialities.
"Hey, you're late, what happened? And Otonashi, who's that behind you?"
"I'm showing a participant around while escaping the party myself. She'll be out soon."
"I see. I'm Langley. Nice to meet ya."
"I'm Yun. Nice to meet you, I guess?"
I made an amiable smile as I exchanged greetings with Langley.
"By the way, what crafting speciality did you take?"
I checked up my Sense status.
【Bow Lv46】 【Longbow Lv20】 【Sky Eyes Lv12】 【Swiftness Lv10】 【See-Through Lv20】 【Sorcery Lv11】 【Enchant Arts Lv36】 【Earth Element Talent Lv27】 【Dosing Lv42】 【Cook Lv11】
【Alchemy Lv40】 【Synthesis Lv41】 【Crafting Knowledge Lv42】 【Taming Lv14】 【Engraving Lv23】 【Swimming Lv13】 【Linguistics Lv24】 【Climbing Lv21】
"【Dosing】, 【Engraving】, 【Alchemy】, 【Synthesis】 and 【Cooking】."
"Seriously? To take five professions, eh... wait, are you Yun the 【Nanny】?!"
My mood turned grumpy hearing that nickname. Noticing that I don't really like that way of calling me, the man in front of me panicked.
"Sorry sorry. I didn't mean bad. Oh, you're also an engraver aren't you. Then let me teach you how to make some minor accessories and forgive me with that."
Langley apologized and smiled bitterly. Despite looking flashy, he didn't seem like a bad person. Also, I was indeed interested in making of accessories.
"Well, I am a little interested in that."
Since I came to 【Eight Million Gods】 for a change of pace, it might be a good chance to try putting some effort into 【Engraving】.
"I'll bring some accessories to show you."
After saying so, Langley brought things from the work space, they all looked like small parts.
At first glance I couldn't tell what materials were they made of, but bigger and smaller parts were made of the same material.
"What material is this? It's light and hard. Also, a little warm."
"These are accessories made of goblin-type mobs' horns. They're bone accessories, a different type from metal ones."
Saying that, Langley took out a chisel, drill and a file from the 【Engraving】 crafting kit.
"These are the tools mainly used. You carve them roughly with a chisel, finish up with a file and then drill holes for passing thread through them. Unlike rings which is made in one part, this is made of multiple and connected with a thread, so it can be made little by little over longer periods of time."
Continuing, he passed a thread through variously-sized parts of goblin horns.
"Well, it doesn't look all that good, but it has it's own roleplay flavour."
"You're right. Unlike metal and jewellery that are cold, these feel warm."
Also, the atmosphere also was somewhat oriental as if made by some tribe. I could feel the depth of these accessories.
"So you get it! Horns and fangs, bones, also wood rings made by cutting out hard wood. There's a lot of applications."
"Hee, what, that sounds interesting. Can you make bead accessories?"
"Nice! I'll use that idea! In that case, we'll have to look into the materials that can be used... and gather up samples."
It should have been him teaching me how to make bone accessories, but before we realized it had evolved into a discourse between crafters.
"Then I guess we can try right away? Though, I have no materials..."
The only materials at hand were those prepared by Langley, and I put everything I'm not using in the item box at the 【Atelier】.
We can't make items without materials.
Reminded of crafters' disadvantages I felt it's a shame, but that's when Otonashi who was quiet by our side had pulled on my and Langley's clothes.
"Hey, if you go to the basement you'll find materials."
"Basement, basement rooms huh... well, certainly you'll find them there but..."
Langley spoke uncomfortably. Unable to understand, I asked puzzled.
"Hey, so are there materials in that basement?"
"Yeah, well I guess there are. Someone stored materials that can't be put in store or are sold for cheap change to NPCs in there, and then it started turning into a yard for unwanted items. So, I guess it's something like a garbage dump for entire guild."
Since Langley and other crafters asked guild members to gather required materials, it was a place they almost never used.
Other than a few people who look for items on bargain through that disorganised mess, there were few people going in there.
"Yun is an outsider, but if she has a permission I think it should be fine. I will go pick some up."
"Well, there should be some materials on level of making bone accessories and woodcraft, go on."
Then, Otonashi left the room to go to basement to pick materials and returned after a while.
"You should be able to use these for various things. In addition to Goblin Horns there are Lizardmen's Scales and Hound-type mobs' fangs."
"Ohhh, that's a lot of materials."
I had fun just looking at the materials Otonashi brought, but I wanted to learn making bone accessories as quick as possible.
I tried to take one of the materials in my hand, but was stopped by Langley.
"Wait a sec. It's way softer compared to metal y'know. Give up on starting with those, and try this one first."
The material he took out as he said that, was featureless piece of wood.
A five centimetre-large cube was placed on my palm.
"Try making a wood ring first. It's cheap and hard to break. If you get used to these, it should dramatically decrease the chance of failure when making bone accessories."
"Oh, got it."
Accepting Langley's advice, I started making a wooden ring.
When I looked at the wood and chisel in my hands, steps different from those for making ingots appeared in my head.
It was the 【Engraving】 Sense's assistance, but it wasn't as strong as upon making a ring out of ingot. Only vaguely a blueprint of a wooden ring appeared in my head.
I could tell where and how much should I scrape off by intuitively comparing the image I had in my head with what I held in my hand.
First, I tried to carefully scrape out the inside with a chisel, but it was too hard and wouldn't go well.
"It's a bit hard."
"It's easy once you get used to controlling your strength."
Langley said that with a smile, I responded silently with a nod and returned to work.
"——?!! I cut off too much again."
"You're too tensed. Have some tea and sweets."
Otonashi who was looking after me had brought tea and sweets made by 【Cooking】-type crafters.
"Thank you. Haa, it's difficult."
In my hand I had several pieces of wood that I have failed with.
At first I took a lot of time to cut out the five centimetre-big wooden cube and failed, but after I repeated it several times I found out that it had characteristics different from that of metal.
Wood's softness and annual rings, hardness of various parts. If I don't confirm them by touch I will end up failing to adjust my strength and cut off too much.
Even now when I tried to shape up the outside cracks appeared because there was too much cut off. Still, it was within range of what can be fixed, so I just cut off the part containing the cracks and rehsaped it as a C-shaped ring.
I completed the form while drinking tea, then in the end I used a file to polish up the surface and then varnished it.
Wooden Ring 【Ornament】 (Weight: 1)
It looked like a kid's toy, but I might kind of like the warmth it has.
"...it's difficult, but fun."
"Then you might have affinity for this. This kind of work goes on and on, so there are many who are bad at it."
Because I was too absorbed in making the Wooden Ring I didn't notice what Langley was doing, while I was working with mine he made several bone accessories.
Also, he made a Wooden Ring as well, but his was made as thick as it was possible and had elaborate relief engraved on it, the difference with what I made was clear.
Honestly, I was made realize the difference in experience we have.
"I guess you understood while working with it, Yun, wood has different peculiarities from a lump of metal, right?"
"It has quirks when using a chisel on it. Also when you put in too much strength it breaks easily, right."
"That's it. Wood isn't too soft nor too hard, also, it has quirks. That's why it's good for getting used to various materials. Well, I had a beginner like you work with it, but wood has higher degree of difficulty than Goblin Horns and monster fangs."
He said so and laughed as if it was nothing, but I looked at the pieces of wood I broke so far and grimaced. I didn't think it was Spartan training of all things.
"Don't make that face. Next is the second and last step. Try actually making one, that is."
And I was told to use the materials prepared by Otonashi.
What was left to do, was to work using my Senses and my sense.
Langley went back to challenging creation of bead accessories, Otonashi didn't just stand there looking either and had taken out some materials he started to examine.
On the other hand, I started making my first bone accessory.
"First, what kind of design should I give it."
For now, I picked up a Goblin Horn a hemp twine and small pebbles.
"Let's make a simple one to start with."
I used a cutting tool to separate the Goblin Horn into three pieces at regular intervals. Then split up each again and together with small pebbles I started to polish their surfaces.
Once I eliminated the roughness on the surfaces, I gave the pieces oval shape.
Then once twenty glossy parts of different sizes were finished I drilled them one by one to pass a hemp twine through them.
The largest oval piece was in the middle and the smaller ones were on the sides, between parts of the horn I placed small polished stones, in the end I cut off the excess hemp twine and connected the two ends lightly.
The design was very common and it was too large for a necklace. But it should be good to use as a bracelet if I wrapped it around my wrist twice. I tried that and put it on my wrist.
The status of the finished item was——
Little Demon's Bracelet 【Ornament】 (Weight: 2)
ATK+1, DEF+2 Additional effect: 【Demon-Type Bonus (Small)】
The performance wasn't too high and it was a bit heavy. I might have made it slightly heavier by using pebbles as a material. Looks like there's still room for improvement.
I quietly took off the bone accessory and looked at Langley and others.
Langley put in sparkling, irregularly reflecting light sand into furnace and dissolved it into a mushy mass.
When that cooled down it started to turn into a rod-shaped transparent material. Langley again heated that up and cut into small grains, increasing the number of same thing.
At a different furnace than the one Langley used, Otonashi cut small grains from a metal ingot and continued making things of the same size one after another.
He used gold, silver and copper ingots to make small beads and also pendant top of his own making.
I wouldn't mind making another bone accessory, but I also had interest in the bead accessories.
"Still, I shouldn't bother them."
When I muttered quietly, my eyes stopped at little, rough gems that were brought in together with materials.
Most likely they were too small to be used for placing on accessories' pedestal, but I still polished them.
"Well, it's better to do what I'm used I guess."
I continued to polish them in silence in order to make jewels to minimal size required for beads. As expected of the OSO's largest guild, the amount and types of gemstones was abundant.
Peridots, lapis lazuli, jades, crystals, amethysts, aquamarines, tiger eyes, rubies...
Just polished and gathered together the gems were pretty.
"Okay... this should be enough for bead accessory prototype. Eh, hey Yun, what are you doing?"
"I finished making a bone accessory and since I'm interested in bead accessories I'm polishing gems for using as material for those."
When saying so I divided the small-sized polished gems by the type, both Otonashi and Langley looked at me with amazement.
"These are just the gemstones that were brought at random from the basement, right. Because they're so small they are prone to cracking, it must have been tough to polish this many, right?"
"Very small ones are good for beads and it's easy to get enough of them. Yeah, glass-based, metal-based and gemstone-based make for three kinds of beads."
Seeing the prepared gems Langley was enthusiastic, but when he took out a thick thread used for bone accessories it looked to be too large for small glass, metal and gem beads.
"Langley, that won't pass. You'll have to use some material similar to wire. Hey, don't you have some material used with sewing?"
Another crafter from the guild who was looking at our attempts from the distance lent us some tools and materials.
Using a needle for sewing to pass the yarn through beads made it easier, but a normal thread wasn't strong enough and there was a possibility it will get torn off if you pulled on too strongly.
Otonashi and Langley continued to ponder as to what could be a suitable material for bead accessories, but I came up with one.
"I want to borrow a private room and there's material I want to use, so could you bring some from the basement?"
Hearing my request Otonashi tilted his head puzzled and Langley inquired as to the material I want to use.
"Still, we can't provide you with materials and location if we don't know what you want to make."
"That would be..."
It was just as Langley pointed out.
There was a possibility I would list items not actually required and take them. It was even more suspicious since I asked for using a private room.
I could understand the need for vigilance like that. But I too had a reason because of which I couldn't tell them the materials I would use. Thinking so I fell silent.
"Langley, you're being too threatening. She fell silent."
"No, it's not like I suspect her. Well, being careful like this is normal, right."
Langley responded to Otonashi who poked at his side lightly. I answered saying as much as I could.
"What I want to make is 【Metallic Thread】. And the method for making it is, well, secret."
The 【Metallic Thread】's recipe I co-produce with Emily-san was still a secret.
"Ah, that. I heard it's a sewing material, but since it's strong it might be suitable for maing bead accessories. Also considering that the distribution is limited it's clear that the recipe is a secret... got it. For now let's go get a permission from Mikadzuchi-san."
I honestly thanked him.
And, when we consulted with Mikadzuchi who was on the first floor and in the middle of preparations for tasting party——
"Sounds interesting so you have permission! Also, once it's done come over here!"
"Your reasons are way too light!"
Is that really okay? Guild master. I retorted.
I took the items I was looking for from the basement – the 【Iron Ore】 and 【Silver Ore】, as well as a 【Magical Silk Scraps】. I had 【Water of Life】 I used for potions in my inventory, so I used that.
Then I borrowed a private room and used 【Synthesis】 and 【Alchemy】 Senses to remake the materials.
"Now, let's begin. First——《Alchemy》!"
I remade the 【Magical Silk Scraps】 with Alchemy's Higher Conversion as part of preparation. Then, I used lower conversion to change it into a bundle of yarn.
"And last is——《Synthesis》!"
From there I used the ore items, 【Bundle of Magical Silk's Thread】 and Water of Life to perform a three items synthesis.
"——Done. It's 【Iron Metallic Thread】 and 【Silver Metallic Thread】."
Then after making several metallic threads that had the strength of metal and flexibility of a fibre I exit the private room and passed them to Langley and Otonashi.
"So this is Metallic Thread. Certainly, it looks strong enough."
"You made quite a few."
I passed the Metallic Thread through the sewing needle and then passed the thread through the beads one after another.
"Whoa?! That's easy. Let's make simple beads accessories right away."
At Langley's suggestion, everyone took up the Metallic Thread and had it pass through the borrowed sewing needles, then everyone sat down and we started working with the beads we selected.
Langley sat in front of the transparent glass balls he himself made, Otonashi in front of the polished gem beads. And I started making an accessory using metal beads.
"Looks interesting. Can I get some of the Metallic Thread and beads?"
"The materials come from the guild's basement and the tools are also borrowed, sure go on."
The Sewing Sense-using crafter who lent us the tools asked me and then also started working with beads.
I finished making a simple accessory made of silver beads and Silver Metallic Thread.
Silver Bead Bracelet 【Ornament】
Just like with the bone accessory, it was good enough for the first one.
The bead accessories Otonashi and Langley were working on looked great when finished.
"Ohh, this is quite stylish!"
"Is that so?"
"That suits Otonashi."
The one Otonashi chose were small jades.
Once he passed the Metallic Thread through a number of small jade grains, then added a few big jades he polished himself and gave a comma shape to creating an accent.
Langley didn't seem satisfied with the transparent glass balls so he used the 《Colouring》 skill to try various colour schemes on them.
"I might have failed I guess."
"Did you? I think it's good enough."
"I also think making it like that is good."
When Otonashi and I looked in Langley's hands he made a bitter expression.
"I tried using the 【Crystal Sand】 I got my hands on just recently as a base, but with how it's transparent it narrows the design you can make. Also when you use 《Colouring》 it looks like cheap plastic beads so it's difficult to make something good with it."
Still, continuing to devise he finished a choker made with alternating beads and metal parts.
While we worked on prototypes, one of the tailors let out a cry of joy after finishing something.
When I looked towards that voice, I saw a mannequin wearing a sparkling and beautiful dark blue dress and him, repeating hurrays in front of it.
The dress' skirt's hem was made of lace was made with use of Silver Metallic Thread, Silver Beads in a way it didn't stand out, the usage of lace made it look three-dimensional.
There were colourful gems embedded in the cloth.
And with a conspicuously large topaz necklace on the chest, I could see a certain scene.
"Indeed! The dark blue dress is likened to night sky and the lace expresses the river! The jewels embedded in cloth represent stars shining in the sky! Rivers and stars of the Milky Way! And the oversized topaz glowing on the chest represents the moon!"
Milky way, the heaven's river, huh.
Otonashi and I were quite taken aback by the creator tailor's high tension, and Langley was appalled.
"And so, to spread the new crafting and decoration technique, let's go look for a model!"
"Take care out there. We'll stay here and drink tea in peace."
"I don't feel like going down there either..."
"Onee-chan! Isn't it about time to end the touring? Preparations below are over so let's go!"
As if to suppress headache I pressed lightly on my temple with my fingers.
Couldn't she enter while making less noise? When I thought that, Myu quickly approached and took my hand.
"Onee-chan, let's go?"
"Haa, good grief... it can't be helped huh."
With Myu tilting her head just slightly and looking up at me, as her brother I was unable to refuse.
Also, her face was slightly reddish, even though she didn't drink any liquor she might have gotten slightly drunk with the atmosphere so I shouldn't leave her alone.
When I reluctantly agreed, satisfied, Myu made a sloppy smile. That's when she noticed the dress that was placed behind us.
"Oh? That's a wonderful dress, it's all sparkly."
"I just finished making it, want to try being a model for it?"
The tailor entered the conversation.
"Is that okay? Yaay! Like a princess! But I'm a paladin, so more like a princess knight?"
She said so and changed her equipment from the usual white and silver armour to the dark blue dress. Drunk with atmosphere she didn't mind being the model at all, after thinking for a moment I also lightly let it pass.
After we also put some matching accessories on Myu, she pulled on my hand and we went down to the first floor.
Gazes of many participants of the tasting party gathered on her as she descended the stairs, in response to which Myu continued to walk with pride.
On the contrary, I felt embarrassed so I lowered the hood on deeply on my eyes, trying to avoid everyone's gazes.
"Sei-oneechan! I brought Yun-oneechan! And, see? I was given a dress to wear!"
"Oh my, that's a wonderful dress. You turned mature all at once, Myu-chan."
Moving in front of Sei-nee, Myu put on a happy but embarrassed smile.
I took a look around and saw groups happily eating and drinking, compared to the quiet crafters' room I was in earlier this was so bright and dazzling I could only squint.
"C'mon, Myu-chan, go show off your dress to more people. Missy, come beside me and Sei."
"Okaaay! Well then, I'm off!"
"Don't call me 'missy'. Geez... fine."
Though the only thing that had become mature was her appearance, thinking that her inside didn't change at all I sat down on the chair near Sei-nee.
And, seeing side dishes for eating with liquor in front of me, I grimaced.
"Hey, Mikadzuchi. What is this...?"
"What, you ask, its party's food. It serves for recovering satiety after we come back from adventure."
Even though the party still hasn't started, Mikadzuchi snatched away cheese, salami, peanuts, dried squid and such and ate it together with the liquor she had in a glass.
What about the players with 【Cooking】 Sense who were called to the party?
When I looked at the cuisine on other tables it looked like the few Cooking Sense owners did well, but their numbers were nowhere near enough.
One of the reasons for that was because they were a bit too enthusiastic and obsessed over details to make make the best food there is and ended up taking profusely long time.
"Haa, geez... can I get some of the materials and side dishes?"
"What, you'll make something?"
"Just a little..."
I called out to the Cooking Sense owner who was nearby and was given some ingredients.
The players who acquired the 【Cooking】 Sense during the camp event mostly remembered each other, so acquiring some materials and side dishes went smoothly. I also had some seasoning and tools in my inventory at all times.
"Well, let's make some standard things."
"Something that goes well with liquor please!"
"Are you an old man or something? Mikadzuchi."
"Ahahaha... but it has been a while since I ate Yun-chan's cooking so I'm happy.
Told so by Sei-nee who went to university far away I felt a little glad, but made food without saying anything.
I peeled the potatoes, cut into appropriate size, cut sausages, added olive oil and garlic, seasoned with salt and pepper then put on fire——making German Potato ready for serving.
Continuing, this time I sliced potatoes and spread them on the vessel instead of pizza dough then from the top I put on tomato sauce, onion, green pepper salami, topped it with sliced cheese and fried it——and completed the Potato Pizza.
Other than that, I made smoked squid, cucumber salad and potato salad.
All of these were food recipes that could be made quickly, something like home cooking for large numbers of people.
"Ohhh, those plain side dishes were reborn into something glamorous!"
"It's great. The taste is deeper and drinking goes better!"
People started to eat the cooking that was done first.
"Ahh, I want one. A 【Nanny】 in my house."
"【Nanny】's cooking is delicious! The best!"
The people who were eating the food I made spoke as they ate.
"Yes yes. Also, don't call me 【Nanny】. But, it's still not enough."
I watched as the food I made disappears, then thankful for how convenient it is that in OSO cookware cleans itself over time I started making basic fried food.
At first I added some water to flour and together with cheese and fried cheese I started making rolls and then——
"I want to eat fried chicken." "Then kakiage for me." "I want to eat some fried vegetables" "We have squids for frying so make squid rings!" "I want fried shrimp!"
While I was slightly annoyed at everyone talking whatever they like, I retorted to them that I don't have ingredients to make what they want.
"Bring me ingredients if you want to eat! Even crafters can't make stuff from thin air!"
I was sure that it was a good counter-attack. But the next moment I realized that I lost.
The reason for that, was because everyone started to pull out ingredients.
"Can you make fried chicken from Mill Bird's meat?" "I have vegetables that drop from plant-type mobs." "I have something from mobs that are similar to shrimps, is that okay?"
Why do you even have those. I felt like saying, but only spit out a sigh and started to cook using their ingredients.
After preparing appetizers I continued to make fried food without time to rest.
When the ingredients were exhausted I was finally released from cooking and went back to Sei-nee.
"Haa〜, I'm tired."
"There you go, Yun-chan. Plum juice made from 【Shiyu Fruits】."
"Thanks, Sei-nee. ——Pwah, makes me come back alive."
The juice I drank tasted more delicious than usual. When I looked around feeling a pleasant fatigue, Mikadzuchi approached me.
"Was it a good change of pace for you?"
"Mikadzuchi, well, I realized how broad the 【Craftsmanship】 Sense is."
"That's great. Don't tense yourself up too much. Sometimes your efficiency improves after you do something different from usual."
I raised the cup with juice up to my mouth again then pat Ryui who nestled himself up to my side as well as Zakuro who rode on top of my head.
"The guild helps out with leveling various Senses. Is there anything you'd like to acquire?"
"Even if you ask me..."
I wonder if there was anything like that and remembered there was one thing I wanted to acquire but couldn't really level.
"I do actually..."
Sei-nee who heard my conversation with Mikadzuchi joined in and spoke.
"Yun-chan, will you undertake the guild-hosted high speed leveling?"
"Hey, what?! Onee-chan will be taking new Sense? What kind of Sense is it?!"
"Sei-nee, Myu. Well, with Mikadzuchi recommending it to me I thought I might try..."
Sei-nee just finished giving out instructions for party's preparations, Myu finished enjoying the milky way dress and returned to her usual equipment, then they both joined in conversation.
"So, so then?! What Senses will you take?"
"Um... well——I thought of taking bad status resistance Senses."
It seemed like Myu expected some eccentric Sense and since that wasn't the case, she made a disappointed look. On the other hand Sei-nee and Mikadzuchi asked for the reason with joyful expression.
"So, why do you want that?"
"The mobs in the dungeon inside the Grand Rock's body spread a bad status-inducing liquid around upon dying, also there's a possibility I receive bad status when working with 【Dosing】 Sense..."
For completing the Grand Rock's quest and for myself, after explaining that I realized I wasn't able to change my mood completely yet.
"Actually just a while ago I mixed in materials I shouldn't have used and..."
I ended up dropping dried poisonous and bad status plants and mob drops of various types into a large pot by mistake.
As a result I breathed in various bad statuses raising up from the pot and fell down on the cold floor of the 【Atelier】's workshop.
Back then Ryui realized there was danger and used 【Purification】's light to envelop the entire workshop part, but I don't want that to happen again.
"That's why, I want the resistance Senses as an insurance, kinda..."
"How do I say it, that's stranger than I thought but it's very much like you, Yun-chan. Actually I also have a bad status resistance I want to take."
"Then, you can get it together with Missy."
Sei-nee smiled wryly, Mikadzuchi grinned widely. On the other hand, a little frustrated that she can't join in the conversation, Myu lowered her face and spoke.
"I'll take resistance Sense too!"
"Myu-chan? You have 【Recovery】 you can use instead of resistance, right? Also accessories with resistance."
"But it's not fair for just Yun-oneechan and Sei-oneechan to have fun!"
"No, is leveling really fun? Also, since its resistance this will mean we'll continue receiving the bad statuses so I think that will be kinda harsh?"
"Kukuku, isn't it fine. Myu-chan, you can also invite your party members. We'll show you the 【Eight Million Gods'】 special bad status resistance acquisition boot camp."
While I remained there puzzled, Mikadzuchi said "it's getting interesting!" and agreed on it.
Is it really okay? I worried, but Mikadzuchi said that it was fine and lightly pat my shoulder.
Then once she calmed down a little she spoke again.
"Now, it's how we do things in the guild, but could you help us out procuring and preparing necessary items?"
"Yeah, no problem."
"With that decided, I'll give these to the two of you."
Mikadzuchi passed silver invitations to the two outsiders, Myu and me.
"These are time-limited invites to 【Eight Million Gods】. With these you'll be able to enter 【Eight Million Gods】 freely for the entire month."
"Aren't these cards for joining the guild temporarily?"
I asked and Mikadzuchi responded with a throaty laughter.
"If you noticed that it means you're slightly back to yourself, that's great. Now, let's start the party!"
"Mikadzuchi, are you an old man?"
Between the minors Myu, Sei-nee and me, Mikadzuchi raised up her cup with wine. Since minors were poured juice, we did the same out of consideration.
"Well then, let's begin! ——Cheers!"
The voices of the party participants resounded throughout the guild hall, a commotion full of drinking and eating has started.
Among them there were people who were going with the flow of the party and after forming parties left to adventure as well as players who finished their adventuring and came to participate.
Since food ran out in the middle I cooked more again, Myu danced and sang enjoying the noise.
Sei-nee sat down by the wall in the hall's wall and enjoyed the food I made. Mikadzuchi went around chatting and interacting with the guild members' before returning to Sei-nee and enjoying liquor.
This kind of noisy atmosphere didn't fit me, but I thought it wasn't all that bad once in a while.
Meanwhile, several players approached Sei-nee and Mikadzuchi. They held bundles of paper in their hands and explained things with hand gestures, I looked at that without paying any special attention.
Sei-nee and Mikadzuchi either agreed seeming to have fun and responded occasionally. However, because of the party's commotion I had no idea what was it about.
Then, Mikadzuchi looked towards me and grinned broadly.
Is something happening? I thought for a moment, but Mikadzuchi averted her eyes and finished speaking with the player who brought the papers.
The players who were carrying paper bundles seemed in great spirits because of the result and returned to partying. Sei-nee and Mikadzuchi also returned to feasting.
Since my curiosity was a little stimulated by that, holding food and drinks I approached Sei-nee and Mikadzuchi.
"Want a refill of food and drinks?"
"Ohh, how attentive. Sure."
I poured drink to Mikadzuchi's cup and asked casually about the people earlier.
"You were speaking with someone just earlier. What was that about?"
"Mmm, ah, that..."
I might have stepped in where I shouldn't, I thought with regret. If it was related to the guild, it was not a nice thing to pry as an outsider.
Then, Sei-nee's and Mikadzuchi's answer was——
"...preparations for something fun, I'll say?"
"Kukuku, yeah, preparations for a fun and enjoyable trip——"
A trip inside this OSO's world, that was quite unusual. Travelling in this game world where you can use portal object to transition anywhere it sounded like a riddle.
Puzzled, I was unable to understand what exactly the two were talking about.
Chapter 2 - Resistance Senses and Leveling
"Yun-chan! Some light food and a drink!"
"Some meaty food for us please!"
"Yeeess! Coming right up. ...heck, what the hell am I doing."
Haa, I heaved a sigh quietly. Wearing black slacks and white shirt, dressed like a waiter I walked back and forth 【Eight Million Gods'】 guild hall.
I took out cooking previously made and stored in an item box and carried it to respective tables.
While I thought 【Eight Million Gods】 guild's bad status resistance Senses leveling will start shortly, but apparently preparations were required and I was told to freely spend time in the guild home until then.
But I didn't know what should I be doing and considered making potions as usual, however, since it was a rare opportunity to visit I decided to kill some time by hanging out at the guild hall.
From time to time I went to the crafting room Langley and Otonashi were in and researched bead accessories. Organised unnecessary items in the basement and helped out the guild's 【Cooking】 Sense owners to put out snacks.
"Here. A light sandwich and plentiful teriyaki chicken meal set."
"Thanks. Uhaa! Looks delicious, Yun-chan's handmade cooking."
"Unfortunately, today's menu is leftover from yesterday. The ones I helped with will appear tomorrow."
The members expecting my own cooking slumped with disappointment, but still complimented the food for being delicious as they ate.
The reason why I did such pseudo-serving, was because I could enjoy the same thing I did over the 【Atelier】's counter.
"And y'see, then I said.—— "We're too long in this dungeon already, let's go back"—— and y'know, this guy said "I can still go on! I'm fine!", can you imagine that?"
"You weren't against it either were you, you're guilty as well."
"After that we encountered two strong mobs wandering around the area. Two at the same time. That's when we prepared ourselves to return to town by dying."
"So, what happened then?"
Dressed as a waiter I listened to various players' adventure stories.
The adventures players coming to 【Atelier】 spoke of were exciting, but in 【Eight Million Gods】 which was OSO's top guild, players had even more of various experiences. Even stories from the same areas differed from each other.
"——And then, I used this guy as a shield and somehow defeated on of them and we somehow escaped from the other one."
"Right. Back then despite the horrible situation your HP didn't go down at all. What kind of swordsman are you. More like a scout or a ninja."
The story the swordsman who ate the sandwich and his partner's who ate the chicken set was quite interesting.
"Yun-san. Sei-san is calling so please come for a moment."
"Ah, yes. I'll be going. Well then, take your time."
I headed to a place hard to see from the hall where the cooking equipment was installed in.
"Yun-chan, cheers for good work. How do you feel?"
"Well, I guess it's good for a chance of pace? And, what do you think about these clothes? I chose them myself but..."
The black slacks, black vest and white shirt with a black bow tie I had tailored for serving were quiite simple and I liked them a lot.
And, Sei-nee's reaction was——
"Mm. It's very cute. It looks like you're about to serve champagne in some restaurant at night."
"C-cute? Not cool?"
"Yup. Like a smartly-dressed capable woma... no. A capable person."
Sei-nee. Just now, were you about to say "woman"? Which means that even wearing slacks, I look like a woman...
Noticing the fact I slumped disappointed.
"? What is it, Yun-chan? Why are you hanging your head down like that..."
"N-no, it's nothing. So, what did you call me for?"
"Mm, I want you to help me to look for items required for your bad status resistance leveling."
That's what Sei-nee answered when I asked her for a reason.
"Got it. I'll change equipment right away."
I switched from the serving clothes to the Ochre Creator I usually have equipped and then together with Sei-nee we used a mini-portal installed in the guild to jump to the Second Town.
From there on we entered the forest and aimed at the deeper part of it.
"Yun-chan, sorry to make you help out."
"It's okay. Rather, I'm happy that you rely on me."
Also, the one who asked for resistance leveling was me. I'll gladly help out with preparations.
"So, Sei-nee? What are the items we're looking for?"
"Um, we're looking for 【Crazy Water Lily】, but I don't know what kind of item is it. Do you know of it?"
While saying so Sei-nee confirmed the required item's name in the menu's memo.
I happened to know about that item.
【Crazy Water Lily】——its appearance was the same as that of a water lily and the flowers didn't cause any bad statuses in particular.
However, if you purify the extract from the flowers, it turns out to be intensely poisonous flower you could make 【Sleep】 and 【Confusion】 bad state drugs.
"I do. Or rather, I have memories of failure when using it."
"Just a while ago I made extracts of various flowers to add scent to the 【Element Cream】 I made."
Previously I mixed materials from various mobs in with the 【Element Cream】 to verify, and I also added the flower extracts for the scent.
That's when the 【Crazy Water Lily】 who didn't have any bad statuses before extracting had turned out to cause splendid bad statuses.
So recalling that, I frowned a little.
"But why do you need the 【Crazy Water Lilies】?"
While it was a powerful poison, it was a little hard to use the poison purified from the 【Crazy Water Lilies】.
The purified drug can cause both 【Sleep】 and 【Confusion】 bad statuses. However, since 【Sleep】 makes players unable to move it was a poor to combine with 【Confusion】, it was treated as an unstable bad status inducing drug.
When lucky enough it stops enemy movements and if enemy goes berserk their movements turn monotonous so that's also fine. It was an item that had an element of gambling to it.
The difficulty of mixing a drug out of it was quite high and the demand was low so the material was rarely gathered.
"We'll use it for your leveling Yun-chan, but I also wanted to resupply 【Eight Million Gods'】 stock because we ran out of those."
"But not knowing where to find them, you asked me."
"Ahahaha, it can't be helped. The place is hard to find."
I laughed forgiving her and proceeded while brush away bushes in the forest. In fact the collection point for 【Crazy Water Lilies】 is not just hard to find, but there's also a trick to entering it.
"Sei-nee, we arrived at the place we can collect lilies in."
After saying so I called Sei-nee to the other side of the bush and we entered an open area devoid of trees that had a pretty stream flowing into a pond.
In it, there were pale red and blue as well as white water lilies blooming on the water.
"It's pretty, Yun-chan. It's here?"
"Yes, 【Crazy Water Lilies】 collection point. This is actually a safe area so there's no need to worry about enemies coming."
I said so, took off my shoes and coat then entered the pond.
"Like this you can break the stems in the water and pick the lilies.
To demonstrate I entered the water until it reached above my knees and put my hands in the water, I lightly broke off the water lily's stem and collected it by raising it up.
Sei-nee looked my way and probably thought she can do it, then entered the pond but——
"Kyah?! It's cold."
"Sorry, I forgot to note that it's pretty cold. Are you okay?"
"It's all right. I was just surprised."
And Sei-nee moved deeper into the pond, but I stopped her before she entered where water reaches up to her knees.
"Sei-nee, stop! Your mantle is getting wet. Also, it'll turn real bad if you crouch in that miniskirt!"
In a hurry, I drove her back to the edge of the pond.
"Yun-chan? Ah, you're right. You have short sleeves and short pants, but it'll be troubling if my equipment gets wet."
Sei-nee fidgeted holding down her miniskirt. Even if there is a correction making it so the inside of the skirt isn't shown, she must have felt embarrassed imagining herself take a bold pose.
Because she usually used water elemental magic she must have ignored the fact she might get wet. Then, she asked me.
"Yun-chan, what should I do?"
"Sei-nee, do you have any clothing suitable for collecting in here? Some equipment that'll be fine when wet."
"Um, well, I do have one but..."
Although she said that hesitantly, I judged that there's no problem if she had one and thrust my hands into the water to collect the water lilies.
As I broke off the stems and collected the flowers, meanwhile, Sei-nee seemed to have finished her preparations.
"Yun-chan, I changed equipment."
"Well then, you should join i... heck, what's with that equipment?!"
"I-is it strange? It's a swimsuit..."
She asked me with unease in response to which I held my head and groaned.
While it was indeed suitable for activity in water, Sei-nee's appearance was quite bold.
When she leaned forward to pick flowers her large breasts were emphasized and the form of her pretty butt's could be seen clearly.
The moment I thought that I swore to protect Sei-nee with all Senses I had.
"——《Zone Clay Shield》!"
I created earthen walls in the periphery of the pond, blocking the visibility from the surroundings.
But since I was unable to cover everything with ten walls I made, I used an MP Potion and created the walls two times more.
"Sei-nee! Now you can be at ease. Now, let's quickly gather up flowers."
"Y-yes. So it's fine to gather them in these clothes."
"...it's fine for now. But next time when you're working in water you should wear something with a little more cloth."
Normally she's a reliable elder sister, but she worries me sometimes with how defenceless she was in some aspects.
After that, nervous because of Sei-nee's swimsuit appearance caused me to work slightly clumsy. I desperately gathered the required number of flowers.
Before going home we took a break at the edge of the pond and our legs inside it, drinking tea. I was at peace of mind thanks to the fact Sei-nee had returned to her normal appearance.
"Sei-nee, why did you have a swimsuit with you?"
"Umm... that is, I wondered if there will be an opportunity to play in water with you and Myu-chan, you see? And then I had it made for me."
In the end, there was no opportunity to use it, she said with a bitter smile.
I felt somewhat happy that she was thinking about us. For a while I enjoyed myself talking together with Sei-nee, our legs in the cold water, Ryui and Zakuro forcibly appeared from the summoning stones in my inventory.
"Woah?! Ryui, Zakuro?! I didn't forget about you, but sorry to have fun without you two."
Ryui and Zakuro rubbed their heads against me. Then, Sei-nee reached out to Ryui.
"Fufufu, your Ryui is so comfortable in touch. I might get addicted."
Ryui who normally doesn't let people touch him allowed Sei-nee to, Zakuro too was stroked under his chin and narrowed his eyes comfortably. Maybe because they remembered the events from the camp event and accepted her.
"Now, it's time to go back."
"You're right. I need to make poison from the 【Crazy Water Lilies】 once we're back."
"You don't have to worry about it, Yun-chan. Leave it to others and do your best with resistance Senses leveling."
I was shocked by what Sei-nee said.
Despite coming to 【Eight Million Gods】 for a change of pace my thinking had turned towards 【Mixing】 again.
Not just Sei-nee, even Ryui and Zakuro stared at me intently.
"Yup. I'll take it easy once we're back."
"There are players with 【Mixing】 in the guild so let's leave it to them."
Sei-nee's expression softened and a smile spilled on her face.
With resistance Senses leveling preparation finished, aside from me, Myu and her party members also gathered in the training field outside the 【Eight Million Gods】 guild's home.
While we were waiting, Myu somehow ended up patting Ryui and Zakuro.
Already used to it, the two seemed to let out an aura saying they want it to end as soon as possible.
"I look forward to it, Onee-chan. What kind of method do they have for leveling, I wonder?"
"They'll induce bad statuses with potions and such, I guess? But using potions like that makes you feel sick so I'm not good with it. Speaking of which, Lucato and others have come here to pick resistance Senses too, right?"
When I asked, Myu's party member confirmed.
"Yes. We were interested in the inner-works of 【Eight Million Gods】 guild so we decided to experience it by joining Yun-san's resistance Sense leveling."
"We too are unaffiliated with any guild, but it's not like we aren't interested. We're actually touring just like you, Yun-san."
Adding on top of what Lucato said, Hino explained further.
On the other hand, Kohaku, Toutobi and Rirei were discussing as to what Senses they are taking.
"What Sense are you taking? 'm gonna pick 【Curse Resistance】."
"...you are a mage so losing MP must hurt. I think I will take 【Poison Resistance】. After all, I have acquired the Sense already but haven't leveled it at all."
"Fufufu, what shall I do then. Honestly, I don't mind picking any of them but let's make it 【Curse Resistance】. I'll cover the rest with equipment."
I listened to what the three were talking about and it seemed like they didn't intend on taking all eight Senses like I do.
That's when Mikadzuchi and Sei-nee who were to help us with leveling resistance Senses have come.
"So everyone's gathered. Well then, I'll explain a few things before we begin the 【Eight Million Gods】-style resistance Senses acquisition boot camp."
"Well, it's nothing stuffy. Just the methodology for leveling resistance Senses and explanation of advantages, disadvantages it has."
"And after hearing it, think well what Senses you take, okay?"
Sei-nee followed up after Mikadzuchi, then after confirming no one had any questions Mikadzuchi started explaining.
"Well then, first, for the method of leveling resistance type Senses, speaking simply – we're using strong poisons right from the start."
"Before we explain details, let's talk about advantages and disadvantages. For advantages, you will be able to level the resistance Senses you want in a short amount of time. Multiple members of our guild acquired their Senses like this. On the other hand, for disadvantages, if you take multiple resistance Senses the amount of SP acquired increases. If your overall acquired SP increases too much, the amount of HP recovered by potions will be limited."
Sei-nee looked my way as she said so. Certainly, just like the amount of HP recovered by Beginner's Potions is decreased upon reaching certain total of SP acquired, there was a similar limit to Potions and High Potions.
In fact, the guild's verification and leveling maniacs haphazardly acquired Senses and as a result of increasing the amount of their SP, ended up having to use limitless Blue Potions.
So, either prepare yourself for the risk and acquire multiple resistance Senses or in consideration of the future select Senses carefully. We had to pick one of the methods.
Myu and others seemed to know that already and have acquired one or two Senses, then cover the rest with equipment, items and recovery magic.
"Yes yeees! I thought of picking up 【Charm Resistance】!"
Myu raised her hand and said so.
"Then you'll be together with Sei. I'll give you two powerful bad status drugs so slowly raise your levels together."
"Then Yun-chan, what about you?"
"I will... pick all of them after all."
"Kukuku, so you're onto the harsh course Missy. Fine. Then pick up the Senses. I'll explain the method for leveling them after you equip them."
Prompted by Mikadzuchi I acquired eight resistance Senses and equipped them.
【Dosing Lv42】 【Cook Lv11】 【Poison Resistance Lv1】 【Paralysis Resistance Lv1】 【Sleep Resistance Lv1】【Curse Resistance Lv1】【Charm Resistance Lv1】【Confusion Resistance Lv1】 【Stun Resistance Lv1】【Anger Resistance Lv1】
【Bow Lv46】 【Longbow Lv20】 【Sky Eyes Lv12】 【Swiftness Lv10】 【See-Through Lv20】 【Sorcery Lv11】 【Enchant Arts Lv36】 【Earth Element Talent Lv27】 【Alchemy Lv40】 【Synthesis Lv41】 【Crafting Knowledge Lv42】 【Taming Lv14】 【Engraving Lv23】 【Swimming Lv13】 【Linguistics Lv24】 【Climbing Lv21】
"Then I'll explain the process of receiving bad statuses, when you receive a bad status attack you gain experience corresponding to its heaviness when you recover. Base stats give resistance to bad status depending on the type, it's DEF for body types, MIND for mental types. If your stats are high you can weaken or avoid them."
Through logic, if you have high enough DEF and MIND you don't need resistance Senses, said Mikadzuchi. As if to protest against that declaration, Sei-nee put on a bitter smile.
"The role of those resistance Senses' role was to increase DEF and MIND against those bad statuses to invalidate them, the higher level of the Sense the harder it is to level them and you recover faster. But this part is unnecessary for this time's leveling so we'll ditch it."
"Oh right. Like I said earlier, we're using strong poisons. To be precise, you gain far more experience when recovering from 【Poison 5】 rather than recovering from 【Poison 1】. Because of that we're going to use 5's right from the start, then reapply it continuously to gain experience faster."
For that sake, Mikadzuchi and Sei-nee will be the ones managing the bad statuses.
"Well, these are the basics of leveling, we'll postpone the ones that affect player's will and actions 【Charm】, 【Confusion】 and 【Anger】 for now."
"Well then, we'll lend you out tools for corresponding Senses."
With that said I started moving towards Sei-nee and Myu to join them, but I was stopped by Mikadzuchi.
"Whoops, Missy, you're with me."
"Not with Myu and others?"
"Missy, you're going through special course for taking all eight at the same time. First, we'll start with 【Poison】, 【Paralysis】 and 【Curse】, then 【Sleep】 and 【Stun】. The last one will be 【Charm】, 【Confusion】 and 【Anger】. Three-stage leveling."
And, the accessories passed to me looked quite familiar.
"These are... accessories inducing bad statuses, right. And this many, too..."
What Mikadzuchi took out were accessories acquirable during the summer camp event, it was unique cursed equipment that induced bad statuses on the players.
I also had all eight types, but because they had such powerful bad status effects I only used them as reference for design and decorations rather than using them.
"These are 【Poison】, 【Paralysis】 and 【Curse】 inducing rings. Once you equip them you'll receive high level bad statuses.And, every time you level up their effect will weaken."
Other than these, we'll be using bad status poisons prepared by guild for the leveling. She added.
Nearby, Myu and others already started leveling their selected resistance Senses, to join them I equipped nine bad status rings on fingers of my both hands.
I feel like a nouveau riche, I thought and drank poisons Mikadzuchi passed me, one bottle after another.
"Bear with it, it's for leveling's sake."
The poison had a harsh taste, like vinegar. Then, I drank the paralysis drug which numbed my tongue and I was unable to tell taste of anything else.
Because my body was paralysed and I couldn't move my arm well, I was unable to swallow the 【Curse】-inducing drug.
"Shongue, rumb, kant, shalk. Fvelz howwibre."
"Kukuku, just lie down. It might be painful because of poison and paralysis, but as you level up it'll get more comfortable."
While staring at the poison's effect burning up my HP I laid down on top of a sheet spread on the training field.
The strength of the bad statuses I received from poison and paralysis drug were 3, but together with the rings' effect it increased to 5.
More specifically, it felt like I was struck down with a cold.
"My mouth is no longer numb, but that only made me feel even worse."
"Your HP is decreasing nicely, here, a High Potion for recovery."
Lying down on the side I somehow managed to hold the potion's bottle and carry it to my mouth. The tip of my tongue wouldn't move well so a little of the potion spilled onto my chin, but I had no time to bother with that.
This isn't as bad as to call it unbearable, I thought and repeated breathing shallowly, my eyes closed tight.
Seeing me lie down Ryui and Zakuro snuggled up to me, worried.
Haa, it feel really warm. Thinking so I hugged Zakuro. Ryui sat down behind my back and warmed it up.
Although normally Ryui would use Purification to cleanse the bad status, since this time the bad status was used for leveling he only used healing to recover my HP.
"...oh right, what about Myu and others?"
I moved my head and saw others also seemed abnormal.
Toutobi who was leveling 【Poison】 resistance looked the worst and was sitting down. Well, her symptoms still seemed lighter than mine...
The ones with the lightest symptoms were Kohaku and Rirei who chose 【Curse】 resistance. Only a little languid, they worried about other members.
"And those two are sleeping."
On the other side, Lucato and Hino were lying down and asleep.
"That's leveling for 【Sleep】 and 【Stun】. Both of them immobilize you, but it's also safest leveling. Once their level goes up the bad statuses won't work any more and they'll just wake up."
After explaining Mikadzuchi added "You'll be doing that later too, Missy", hearing that I felt like switching to that leveling as soon as possible.
Then, Rirei walked up to where Lucato and Hino were to look at sleeping faces.
"Fufufu, defenceless pretty girls exposing their faces as they sleep. Haa, haa, this is great. And over there, Yun-san looks as if she had a cold, the way she endures the nausea makes her look so bewitching."
"They look comfortable as they sleep, don't disturb them."
"Rirei, don't ya dare lay a hand on 'dem. Got 't?"
Myu, who still hasn't started her resistance leveling and Kohaku had took on the role of Rirei-stoppers.
Sei-nee was watching over everyone so there should be no problems happening. I thought and closed my eyes again, focusing on repeated shallow breathing.
Hurry up and go up, my levels. While I continued to wish so, the bad statuses and recovery were reapplied multiple times.
In the middle of that I felt someone move beside me, when I quietly opened my eyes I saw Mikadzuchi's appearance. She was holding her hand out in my direction.
Seeing a sparkle in her eyes and a mischievous smile I felt an indescribable anxiety.
I tried twisting my body to escape from her but I still had 【Paralysis】 applied on me and it wouldn't move as I wanted it to, moreover I felt nauseous and feverish because of 【Poison】 and 【Curse】. I shook my head slightly to stop her.
Seeking help I looked towards Sei-nee, but she didn't notice anything. Moreover, she also seemed strange.
Mikadzuchi extended her hand to my right leg, imagining what is she trying to do I paled.
I couldn't even scream because of the paralysis.
I felt agony as my numb body was tickled.
Excited like a little kid Mikadzuchi moved her hand to touch my sides. Seeing this, Rirei made an ecstatic expression.
That's when Mikadzuchi's movements stopped, the temperature in the surroundings had gone down all at once.
"Looks like you're having fun, Mikadzuchi."
Sei-nee's voice spread out loud and clear over the field, her appearance spreading cold air all over the place. Moving like a rusted machine, Mikadzuchi turned around towards her.
"T-this... I was just a little curious. Don't get so angry."
"Is that so. See, my body feels really hot now. It's so hot I can't bear it."
Cold wind spread in Sei-nee's surroundings as she said that and the earth's surface gradually froze.
"Ah, no fair Onee-chan! Me too! I'm itching to do something so hard I can't bear it! I wonder what's this strange mood." Myu also pulled out her weapon, the longsword and raised it up.
Judging from the way the two breathed shallowly, it didn't seem like they were completely sane. Their faces were reddish and they smiled bewitchingly.
"Haa, haa... M-Mikadzuchi, what's up with Myu and Sei-nee?"
"Don't ask me, I have no clu... hm?"
Mikadzuchi herself was confused seeing the two like that.
I turned towards other Myu party's members, before I realized Toutobi had moved to where Lucato and Hino were sleeping. In there, there was chaos. Kohaku who looked like she was in bad condition was desperately trying to stop Rirei from going berserk.
And seeing a bottle beneath their feet, Mikadzuchi seemed to have been struck by headache.
"I might have mistaken some liquor for bad status drugs and gave them that."
"I'm saying that I thought I passed 【Charm】 drugs to Sei, but it must have been the cocktail with 【Charm】 drug mixed into it."
"What happens once you drink that?"
"In case of players who are over twenty it works like a normal food item. Unless you drink too much there won't be any problem... but if minors drink that they receive 【Drunkenness】, a special bad status."
It seemed that aside from 【Charm】, Sei-nee and Myu also had 【Drunkenness】 applied on them.
While 【Drunkenness'】 effect seems like a bad status no different from 【Confusion】, 【Charm】, 【Sleep】, 【Stun】 and 【Anger】, it's something completely different.
Moreover, it seems that combined with 【Charm】 status it turns really troublesome.
As I listened to Mikadzuchi's description the bad status on me started to fade and I finally could tell that my resistance Senses' level had increased.
Clad in absolute zero-cold air, Sei-nee approached me.
"Yun-chan, Myu-chan and I are going to play with Mikadzuchi for a little bit so just rest here for now."
She said so with a cheerful smile and then, the ring on my fingers were all removed to be replaced with different ones.
The new rings' effect activated immediately, due to 【Sleep】 and 【Stun】 states my consciousness had gradually faded.
The last thing I saw was Myu's and Sei's figures clashing in PvP against Mikadzuchi.
Once 【Sleep】 and 【Stun】 leveling had completed I stared blankly at the scene spreading in front of me.
A gouged-up and frozen-over training ground. Also, Lucato and others who have finished their leveling before me, staring at it.
The ground was scarred by Myu's and Sei-nee's battle against Mikadzuchi.
"Phew, well, I guess I'll forgive you with this? Why did you pass us liquor for resistance leveling, really."
"Sorry, it was my bad. Still, Sei! You sobered up in the middle of combat but you didn't stop attacking!"
"Once my sanity returned, I continued to punish you for giving us that cocktail and for playing with Yun-chan. Look, Yun-chan woke up, go apologize now."
"I get it."
Mikadzuchi seemed quite roughened-up compared to how she was before I lost consciousness, her PvP with Myu and Sei-nee was over and she had approached me.
"Sorry. I felt a little mischievous when I tickled you, forgive me."
"Haa, it's all right. It seems like it's over already."
I spoke carelessly and looked away from Mikadzuchi to overlook the surroundings.
This devastation wasn't strange considering Myu and Sei-nee were the ones behind it. But, unable to tell how specifically was the field devastated I asked Mikadzuchi.
"Hey, what really happened here?"
"No, um, well. Nothing you need to worry about, Missy."
"How did you fight for this to happen...?"
"Sei and Myu were just rampaging because of 【Drunkenness】. More importantly, meanwhile you had 【Sleep】 and 【Stun】 rings on you for leveling, check on your Senses now."
With no intention to explain any further, Mikadzuchi fell silent.
I tried looking around to find an explanation, but there was none.
Despite feeling a little anxious I opened my Sense Status window to confirm the leveling's results.
【Dosing Lv42】 【Cook Lv11】 【Poison Resistance Lv31】 【Paralysis Resistance Lv31】 【Sleep Resistance Lv34】【Curse Resistance Lv30】【Charm Resistance Lv1】【Confusion Resistance Lv1】 【Stun Resistance Lv32】【Anger Resistance Lv1】
【Bow Lv46】 【Longbow Lv20】 【Sky Eyes Lv12】 【Swiftness Lv10】 【See-Through Lv20】 【Sorcery Lv11】 【Enchant Arts Lv36】 【Earth Element Talent Lv27】 【Alchemy Lv40】 【Synthesis Lv41】 【Crafting Knowledge Lv42】 【Taming Lv14】 【Engraving Lv23】 【Swimming Lv13】 【Linguistics Lv24】 【Climbing Lv21】
Five resistance Senses have grown at once and I also acquired 15 SP.
With that I approached the limit of Potion recovery limit, but since my total SP still hasn't reached 100, High Potions can be used the same as usual.
Although there isn't any higher Sense for resistance Senses at level 30, but if you have 【Poison】, 【Paralysis】, 【Sleep】 and 【Stun】 Sense resistances at level 30, you can merge them into one 【Bodily Resistance】 Sense.
I could either continue leveling all the Senses or decrease the amount of SP I acquire in the future in order to delay the time I reach the High Potions recovery limit.
"Take the possibility of higher Sense, or take the merged Sense... all right!"
I wondered for a few moments before using 3 SP and acquiring 【Bodily Resistance】.
At the same time the four Senses integrated into one, the four appeared on the list of Senses I could acquire.
"——Oh right, Missy. I forgot one thing, this boot camp's goal is raising resistance Senses until they are practical in use, make sure not to take 【Bodily Resistance】 or 【Spiritual Resistance】. They aren't dead Senses when it comes to usability, but there aren't many merits in taking them."
Mikadzuchi told me that right after I took 【Bodily Resistance】 Sense.
"Well, it's a Sense that integrates the four."
I responded with a trembling voice.
"Don't be fooled by the description. Certainly it does integrate the Senses and reduces the space they take but the resistance it gives isn't any higher than before. If anything, it's lower because the level goes down."
"You're kidding, right? I go through all this nausea to have it level down again."
"Also, it's quite slow in leveling. Roughly calculating, it takes about eight times as much time for it to return back to practical level. Well, all four bad statuses give you experience so you can level it with the easy one but..."
Because of the shock I felt Mikadzuchi word's hardly reached me.
Thinking about the time it would take me to get 【Bodily Resistance】 to level 30, I was astounded.
"What is it, suddenly falling silent... did you pick it up? You didn't, did you?"
"Ahahaha... kinda did."
"W-well, I guess you can take the resistance Senses again? The effect seems to overlap."
Said Mikadzuchi and averted her eyes.
"Hey, why are you looking away?"
"But if you take those four Senses again and increase the amount of SP, the amount of HP recovered from potions will decrease."
"Haa, it can't be helped. I can only continue leveling the 【Bodily Resistance】 Sense to practical level. But before that..."
"What is it?"
"It feels bad to have the spirit-type resistance Senses on low level so help me level them until they're merged into 【Spiritual Resistance】."
"Haa, what a hassle. After Sei and Myu-chan, this time it's Missy. And, if you level too many Senses at once you'll end up reaching recovery limit."
"Mikadzuchi, it's your fault in the first place, you forgot to explain the merged Sense. If you had time to tickle me, you also had time to explain."
I pursed my lips not even hiding my bad mood and blamed Mikadzuchi.
Having that pointed out and unable to argue, Mikadzuchi roughly ruffled her head and stood up.
"It can't be helped. I'll help you out for a little."
Mikadzuchi shouldered the hexagonal stick that was her weapon and we moved to the devastated field's centre, then she greeted me with a smile like that of a mischievous child.
"Welcome to 【Eight Million Gods'】 eight-resistance Sense leveling boot camp's annual practice, Mikadzuchi's PvP dōjō. For now, once bad statuses are applied you're free to attack me all you want. This is a competition where we compare how much we can hit the opponent until the leveling is complete."
After saying so, Mikadzuchi send me an invitation——for PvP: Hit Count Battle.
While overwhelmed by her as she held the stick in a stance I took a step forward.
Sei-nee approached me and changed the rings from 【Sleep】 and 【Stun】 to 【Charm】, 【Confusion】 and 【Anger】.
With the three bad statuses applied to me I was unable to use any skills because of 【Confusion】's effect, but thanks to 【Anger】 my attack-type stats increased.
"Well then, let's have a good match."
After saying just that, I surrendered my body to the bad statuses.
Right after the PvP started the three bad statuses struggled for initiative. I didn't try resisting them and only focused on Mikadzuchi's movements.
Mikadzuchi's reach with the stick is long, but I can take more distance with the bow.
My body moving in auto-mode held up the bow, pulled an arrow from the quiver and shot.
I shot three arrows with ATK increased by the 【Anger】, but Mikadzuchi struck them down with the stick.
"Hmmm. Well, you can do continuous shooting with the bow, but the control isn't too good. Also, with bad status on you you can't use feints, so even if your stats are higher..."
She said and took a step to the left, leaning in heavily as if to fall.
My body predicted ahead of time where she will be and shot an arrow, but Mikadzuchi's movement was a feint and she avoided all the arrows immediately by moving to the right.
"If you want to catch me you need to shoot at least ten arrows!"
I continued to shoot arrows mechanically, but all of them were either avoided or brushed away with the stick.
And in meantime, the quiver was emptied.
There were many arrows struck down by Mikadzuchi and no longer usable so the arrow's automatic recovery wasn't working.
With my arrows running out faster than usual, I was forced to change my action pattern.
I stowed the bow in the inventory and took out two kitchen knives.
In my right hand I held the Dismantling Knife – Blue Dancer that was reminiscent of a Japanese sword. In my left, I held the Meat Cleaver – Heavy Black, that was like a hatchet made of thick Black Iron.
After raising them my body charged right at Mikadzuchi and I slashed with the dismantling knife.
"This time you switch to close combat, huh. It's good to have multiple means of fighting, but your movements are monotone."
Mikadzuchi twisted her body lightly as she said so, avoiding the dismantling knife and attacked my chin with the stick.
Receiving an attack from below onto my jaw I fell on my back, but the struggling bad statuses caused me to bounce back up immediately and I assaulted Mikadzuchi again.
After avoiding my roundhouse slashes with dismantling knife and the meat cleaver, Mikadzuchi countered with a stick thrust and a cleave.
This PvP mode was not limited by amount of HP players had and the victory or defeat was decided by the amount of hits received. The number "32" had already floated above my head in contrast to Mikadzuchi's "0".
It was hardly a proper match, but as we continued to fight my resistance Senses must have slowly leveled up since the deprived control of my body had partially returned. With that said, it was just that during attacks I was able to move the point of my knives to shift timing of Mikadzuchi's attacks.
Seeing the change, she furrowed her brows for a second.
"It's still awkward, but there's a change in your movements. Resistance levels must have gone up, huh."
She analysed the change and once again struck my side with the stick, forcing me on my knees.
I tried standing up like a zombie, but my shoulder was mercilessly hit with the stick and I fell on my back.
Then, aiming at my head on the ground as if it was a golf ball, Mikadzuchi swung her stick.
——This is bad!
Instinctively sensing danger the 【Sky Eyes】 triggered automatically and the time I experienced had stretched out.
As the perceived time stretched out with 【Sky Eyes】 I avoided the incoming stick with movements like that of a beast.
"Ohh, so you avoided that. Your character's specs are so-so, your avoidance skills are high. However, without combat-type Senses' support or past experience your movement's are downright amateur."
Mikadzuchi said and attacked.
I slashed with the meat cleaver in my hand many times, but the stick changing like a snake had blew it out of my hands.
And, the stick had struck my arms, legs, belly, shoulder and head time after time again. However, my body dominated with bad status didn't stop attacking Mikadzuchi.
After that, as the time passed I regained the control of my body and the speed at which I swung the dismantling knife I held in my both hands had increased.
But I only continued to receive hits from Mikadzuchi, not even one attack of mine hit her.
Then with a little longer until the match's time limit ended I completely recovered the control of my body from the bad status and swung the dismantling knife upwards.
In addition to that I used a magic skill that was sealed until now with 【Confusion】 for a surprise attack.
I aimed the 《Bomb》 at Mikadzuchi's coordinates and swung the dismantling knife at the same time to attack her with everything I had. But——
"Both your aim and grip are naive. ——《Kidoukon》"
Mikadzuchi shifted her body sideways, then cladding the stick with the Art she flicked the 《Bomb》 magic overhead away.
At the same time as she negated the 《Bomb》 that was to explode imminently she struck the dismantling knife's handle forcing it out of my hand.
She hit my head appalled increasing the count over my head and at the same time, the buzzer announcing the time limit had sounded in my head.
The signal ending the PvP, and match ended with Mikadzuchi's victory by a landslide, "91" to "0".
I literally couldn't do a thing against her. I pulled off the bad status rings and sprawled out on the ground.
"Haa〜, I lost! Completely lost!"
"Cheers for hard work. But it looks like your bad status leveling went well."
Just as Mikadzuchi said, the three bad status Senses exceeded level 30 and I was able to merge the four spirit-type resistance Senses into 【Spiritual Resistance】. I was able to but...
"The surprise magic attack was avoided and even my last attack sealed off."
"You see, I'm a guild master of a few dozens of members. There's been lots of them doing the same thing as you, and I trained with them countless times. C'mon, the boot camp is over, let's do the clean-up."
"Yeah, got it."
I stood up in response. I recovered the meat cleaver that was blown away and when I returned to where Myu and others were, I was greeted by everyone.
"Welcome back, Onee-chan. Still, it's a shame you couldn't get a single hit in."
"Uhhh, it feels horrible to see my little sisters has so low expectations of me."
"I mean, the opponent was Mikadzuchi-san. Especially that when Sei-oneechan and I attacked her when under 【Drunkenness】 state she fended off even more severe attacks. There's no comparison."
I didn't see it, but it seems their PvP under the 【Drunkenness】 state was amazing.
"Now, even if you can't die in PvP your HP was reduced to half. I'll heal you up. ——《High Heal》!"
"Myu, I'll heal up the rest myself. Still, there's only this few left so Potion will be enough."
Normally I would use a High Potion or a Blue Potion, but considering the small amount required I thought a Potion would be enough.
"Eh? It didn't heal me completely. Or rather, the amount recovered went down?"
The potion's item status was normal but the potion didn't work as usual, the remaining 10% of HP wasn't all recovered.
I used another one to try, but the recovered amount had clearly lowered.
"Ohh, congratulations. You reached the Potion's recovery limit."
"I mean, your level went up by that much, didn't it? Also, there's no problem for you Onee-chan since you were using High Potions in the first place."
Told so by Myu, I guess so, I thought.
Leaving the investigation of the lowered recovery amount for later, I decided to rest a little.
Chapter 3 - The Expedition and Volcanic Area
A few days after receiving 【Eight Million Gods】 style resistance leveling from Mikadzuchi I examined the effects of the recovery amount limitation caused by the acquisition of large amounts of SP. To do so I used the potions and other healing items I had on hand.
As a result, I found out that the recovery amount was lowered for one type of potion and pill each. Moreover, there was no change to pill derivations such as the strengthening Boost Tablets.
Although the amount of HP recovered by Blue Potions didn't decrease because of the SP's recovery limit, the amount they recovered was at most as much as a Degraded High Potion.
And so, by the time I reach High Potion's recovery limit I need to make a Blue Potion that's as good as a High Potion. Deciding that I borrowed 【Eight Million Gods'】 crafting room but...
"I knew it, it's no different from the usual high quality bluepots."
"How about you give it up already? It's good enough as is. Let's have some tea instead, okay?"
While saying that, Otonashi passed a needle through beads he was working with.
"I'll be drinking coffee, what about you two? Is black tea fine?"
Langley stretched his back and his arm, then drank the cold tea beside him all at once before brewing a new one.
"Black tea then. With the recipes I have on me, there's nothing I can make to replace highpots."
I've started deciphering the 【Folk Medicine Encyclopaedia】 that I received as a raid quest's reward, but there it wasn't there.
"Then, how about aiming for higher version of basic potion?"
"Well, let's see. The potion above High Potion huh. I would have to start by looking for the recipe, then create prototype, stabilize the effect and then devise how to supply it at low cost. It's a long road."
Haa, I sighed. Let's start by collecting information first. I thought and started sipped the tea I received from Langley.
Since it brewed for a little too long it was bitter, which reminded me of the tea in Cloude's 【Commonest Café & Clothier】.
"All right, I'll be going to the library for a while."
"Yap, hope you find something good."
I brought Ryui and Zakuro with me and left 【Eight Million Gods'】 guild home and headed to the library.
Still, since I was unable to bring them inside I had them wait in the space behind library and started searching for a book that could have the higher level potion I wanted.
"So there's nothing after all. I quickly looked through these, but if there's nothing in here it means I have to either acquire information from a quest, or continue trying in blind."
It might have been a bad idea to search for the higher level potion without knowing it's name in the first place, but that couldn't be helped.
"Haa, let's give up for now and do some accessory adjustment instead."
I was currently in the middle of crafting accessories for Myu, and for Sei-nee who has invited us to have a change of pace in 【Eight Million Gods'】.
The plan was to pass the previously made 【Blue and Silver Mystic Ring】 to Sei-nee after adjustment. And I wanted to give Myu bead accessory for which I was in middle of researching, with trial and error method.
Beads accessories could be made anywhere as long as you had beads, Metallic Thread and a needle so today, I decided to work leisurely on the bench in the resting place behind the library, together with Ryui and Zakuro.
"Now, let's continue where we left off."
I took out a special case with beads while making sure they don't spill out, inside there were milky glass and silver beads.
While staying in the 【Eight Million Gods】 guild I researched making bead accessories together with Otonashi and Langley. We confirmed that the glass beads change hue depending on the material added to the 【Crystal Sand】.
Even the shade could be changed accordingly to the metal powder's amount and type added. These milky beads were made by mixing 【Phosphorous Soul Ore】 from Will o' Wisps and 【Crystal Sand】.
In the centre of the bracelet there was a conspicuously large pedestal. And, by matching small beads I made the large part by using several of them.
The bracelet wasn't one that inhibited movements by jingling around but rather a strong one with a relatively simple design.
On the inner line I put the milky white beads and on the outer lines I put the silver beads.
I continued to work on it fully focused, then finally for the last part I tied hooks with metal thread so that it doesn't come off. After adding the hook part that made the bracelet easy to remove I fitted a polished aquamarine jewel on the pedestal, completing it for the time being.
Snow White Bracelet 【Accessory】 (Weight:1)
The finished accessory was meant for Myu.
Both of them were prototypes and since I found out that I could attach three additional effects to them I've been looking into choosing those...
"I don't have any good strengthening materials."
"What is it that you don't have?"
"Woah?!! That surprised me! Heck, it's Cloude?!"
As I nearly slide off the bench I held down Zakuro who was sitting on my knees.
When I looked back I saw Cloude, he had his Lucky Cat partner, Socks on his shoulders and was looking at my hands. I didn't notice him at all.
"It's been a while."
"You're right. I did meet with Magi-san, but there was no opportunity to meet you and Lyly. Is he doing okay?"
"We often go for a hunt together and do crafting lectures. Lyly is also worried that you don't show yourself around."
"Um, sorry about that."
These days I've been mostly hanging around in the 【Eight Million Gods】 guild home. I only picked up the minimum of necessary materials from the 【Atelier】 and supplemented the merchandise in the store and for consignment.
"There's something going on right?"
I looked downwards and pat Zakuro who was on top of my knees.
Matching that I also rubbed Cloude's Socks who jumped off his shoulder and onto the bench, in response he let out a purr.
After a moment of silence I explained to Cloude that I'm under 【Eight Million Gods'】 care for some time.
"Mm. So since you've exhausted your spirit you're trying a different stimulus to get back motivation, huh."
"Sorry to make you worry."
"Well, as long as you're doing all right. Still, to think there was an inside-body dungeon in the highlands area's giant mob. Anyway, it seems like you didn't disappear like you did before because you found involving yourself with others a bother so it's all right. Moreover, you found something to stimulate you, too."
Saying so, Cloude squat down on the ground and picked something up.
It was a single bead that spilled out of the case when I nearly fell off the bench.
"I've been looking, it seems like you're working with beads. Isn't bead and Metallic Thread combination give poor sensation on the skin? If you sew on the more flexible and tough [Silky Spider's Thread] it will feel better and it would be a good accent."
As a top tailor, Cloude came up with a method of handling beads immediately. In addition to having an idea much better than those of 【Eight Million Gods'】 tailors, he even presented a method of improving it.
"You showed me something good today."
With that said, Socks climbed back onto Cloude's shoulder and they headed home. I've seen them off until they disappeared.
After that on another day, I saw masterpieces decorated with beads arranged in the showcase at 【Commonest Café & Clothier】 and was astounded, but that's a story for another time.
"Now then, let's go back."
I said and started walking towards 【Eight Million Gods'】 home.
And when I opened the guild hall's door, an atmosphere different from the usual had come into my sight.
"C'mon, outta way! Gather together as parties not to be a hindrance." "Bring back souvenirs, kaay." "Got it. We'll gather some materials there, I leave the rest to you." "It's my first time going there, is that okay?" "I've been there together with the advance team, it's an interesting place. Well, you're going now so look forward to it."
The noisy roster of players gathered were the core of the 【Eight Million Gods】, top and medium-leveled players as well as some crafters mixed in between them.
What on earth is happening for this many people to gather at the same time, I wondered surprised but the commotion had continued regardless. That's when Sei-nee had started giving out instructions to several guild members.
"Mm. So preparations are complete. Well then, once Mikadzuchi gives instructions you just move through the portal. Also, for people who can't use the portal – Mikadzuchi and I will cooperate to help you reach and register it."
She seemed busy so it's better that I don't disturb her now. I thought and took step backwards, bumping into someone.
"Woops, I'm sorry. Ah, Mikadzuchi?"
"What about you, Missy, if you don't prepare quickly we'll leave you behind y'know?"
"Leave me behind? What do you mean, are you going somewhere?"
Not understanding the situation I was told to go into another place by Mikadzuchi, in there I saw Myu's party, Otonashi and Langley gathered together.
"Onee-chan! Really, we were waiting!"
"My-Myu, I can't breathe..."
After spotting me Myu embraced my neck tightly and Lucato with the rest of the party stared at it, used to this happening. Also, keeping moderate distance from everyone were Otonashi and Langley.
"Right, tell me, what's this gathering?"
"Eh? Didn't you hear about it from Sei-oneechan and Mikadzuchi?"
"No, nothing at all..."
I didn't speak with Sei-nee and in Mikadzuchi's case, she either forgot or possibly thought it would be more interesting not to tell me.
And, Mikadzuchi in question had raised her voice from the stairs that were in the centre of the hall.
"The guild's elite! Well done gathering here today! Starting today, just as planned, we are going to thoroughly complete the content on the frontline area as we have been planning for some time, let us depart! For a week from now on we are going to uncover the front lines at our full power! Well then——expedition, head out!"
Expedition, I muttered and at the same time Mikadzuchi's speech ended. The guild hall was filled with cheers and everyone started moving, one after another.
Then Mikadzuchi and Sei-nee joined us where we gathered...
"All right, we should be going too!"
"No, wait, what 'going', it's my first time hearing about it. And what's that expedition..."
"Fufufu, you see, we're expeditioning to the summit of the Volcanic Area!"
Sei-nee smiled seeming to have fun but personally, I was disappointed hearing it's mountains again.
"Well then, go on, have fun——"You're going too, Missy."——So that was it."
"It's all right Missy, there's a place you'll definitely like. ...but actually, it's part of a dangerous zone though."
"Wait, Mikadzuchi. What did you say for the second part?!"
I've heard that. What "dangerous zone", where the hell are you bringing me. I wanted to say in protest, but before I could I was dragged away by Myu who was still clinging onto me and Mikadzuchi.
Ryui and Zakuro followed right after us.
"This group still hasn't registered the portal in the Volcanic Area so we'll head there quickly to catch up to the group preceding us."
"Haa, fine, whatever happens, happens."
I sighed deeply and decided to accompany Mikadzuchi and others in conquering the frontline Volcanic Area.
Although apparently there is a place to my liking there, it was a frontline Volcanic Area. If possible I would like to avoid entering an area where I'll kick the bucket from a mere scratch, thinking like that I didn't enter it before.
Not too long after that we have reached the entrance to the Volcanic Area.
"Ha ha ha, that was a quick arrival."
As the dry laughter spilled beside me, a reddish-brown mountain with cracked surface has spread out in front of us.
On the ground there were black spots flashing with red repeatedly because of lava and volcanic gases blowing out from the below to turn into pillars of fire.
"Now, let's go."
"Seriously? Let me rest a moment."
"C'mon Onee-chan, do your best!"
Having my back slapped lightly by Myu I raised my sight from the ground below us.
We walked quite a distance to reach here.
Once we passed through the Mine Dungeon nearby the Third Town and slipped by the place half-spider Arachne mobs spawned, we ended up in this Volcanic Area.
At the entrance to the Volcanic Area there was the portal's safety area where the preceding guild members have been taking a break.
Passing beside those guild members, with Mikadzuchi in the front our succeeding group has proceeded forward after her to the top of the mountain.
"Go forth. ——《Ice Lance》"
"I won't lose, Sei-oneechan! ——《Fifth Breaker》!"
"Aren't you energetic, haa!"
"No, you're all too energetic."
Enemy mobs have climbed up and attacked us in groups.
Since they were active mobs, any mobs that could perceive us have come rushing at us for no reason. Myu, Sei-nee, Mikadzuchi and others have dealt with them one after another.
With every party fighting separately and positioning themselves there were no problems with joint struggle penalty and we smoothly climbed upwards.
"Aaa-ah, I have so few chances to enter combat that I feel bad for it. Feels like I'm being escorted."
"You're a crafter so this is normal. ——《Aqua Bullet》"
"If you're free then gather items! We're investigating all the resources in the area!"
Sei-nee fired water bullets and ice lances one after another, Mikadzuchi yelled as she beat down the incoming enemies with the stick.
A bear-type mob with lava on its back who spits out flames, the Magma Bear.
A moth-type mob who spread out metal powder and sparks to generate dust explosions, the Dust Moth. The group mob that had multiple caterpillar bodies with mottled patterns, Dust Eater.
Taking those on we moved forward.
"They're really something to cope with those attacks."
"Isn't it just the case of getting used to it?"
Lucato responded to my question. Ahead of our lines of sight there was Myu and Mikadzuchi swinging their weapons in the vanguard.
Faced with the Magma Bear, Mikadzuchi didn't move back even a single step as she continued to exchange blows with it. Myu avoided dust explosions occurring one after another in mid-air and at the same time, she cut down Dust Eaters below with her sword and shot down Dust Moths with light magic.
Just as told to by Mikadzuchi, I did my best recovering items together with the crafters from the same group.
Otonashi and Langley gathered and dug up with a pickaxe the few collecting points there were in the barren earth, I also swung my Black Iron Pickaxe on the hard mining points.
And by the time we have finished gathering up the ore, and rough gemstones from the mining points, the enemy mobs around us were nearly wiped out.
"We're done here. Yun-oneechan, how is it over there?"
"About done now. Rather, I don't know anything about this area, could you explain properly for once?"
After combat and item gathering was over I asked Mikadzuchi as we climbed a mountain path of the Volcanic Area.
"Let's see. This is one of the frontline areas, the Volcanic Area. The Highlands Area you found Missy is the unexplored frontline area to the North. Other than that there are mountain and forest area's to the East and a wasteland area to the south."
Considering the peaky strength Lightning Horse from the northern highlands area has, it could be said that it's the Northern frontline.
"So, what kind of thing are here in this Volcanic Area?"
"Hmm. According to the advance party there's a secret door here."
"Ohh, sounds interesting! Let's head straight there! We'll get there faster and we won't have to climb this convoluted mountain road!"
Saying so, Myu was about to break into a run but Sei-nee and I held her shoulders stopping her. Following that, Mikadzuchi said why is she hesitant to climb directly.
"You can try taking the direct route, but it's a slope with footing of gravel and pebbles that make it easy to slip. Also, you'll have to avoid heat traps and volcanic gas traps that are around there as you combat fire-resistant enemy mobs. So, how about it?"
"All right! Let's get over with this mountain road!"
This time, Myu rushed up the mountain road and Lucato with others have started chasing after her.
"Then, what are special characteristics of this area?"
"Let's see. There are multiple man-made facilities around here. Also, look, a stone egg landmark over there."
Ahead of where Mikadzuchi pointed there was a rock on a pedestal that was twice as tall as a human. Myu ran up on top of it and seemed to have been looking around from above.
"Ohh, so high!"
"Myu-san! It's dangerous so please come down!
"Ahahaha, that's just like you Myu-chan. I'll climb on it later too!"
Lucato panicked all alone. Beside the rock Toutobi wondered what's the meaning of that object, there was also Rirei and Kohaku there.
And, Sei-nee explained regarding that meaning.
"There should be a key in there. To enter the dungeon at the eight station you need a key item called 【Demonfolk Gatekeeper's Key】, they exist scattered around this Volcanic Area, but it seems not here.."
After listening to Sei-nee's explanation Myu jumped off the stone egg to look into a gap between the stone egg and the pedestal.
"When the key item 【Demonfolk Gatekeeper's Key】 is either used or carried outside the area in someone's possession it will disappear and reappear in its original location."
"Hee, that sounds interesting. It might be my first time encountering a locked dungeon."
Once we caught up I looked sideways into the cavity the key was in.
Sei-nee's commentary had tickled my fancy a little. For a while after we proceeded through empty space, but the further up we went the air had grown hotter and several of us have started feeling discomfort.
"Soo hooot. Yun-oneechan, are you okay?"
"I'm fine, but what about you, Myu?"
"Hmm. It's a little too harsh. Ah, Onee-chan's Ryui is so cool."
The volcano's heat, the high temperatures had been dealing environment damage to players bit by bit starting with the players with lowest DEF and fire resistance.
As for me, I could withstand this heat thanks to accustoming myself to it when I was working on accessories with 【Craftsmanship】.
My partner Zakuro had a high compatibility with fire element since he used fox fire and seemed to be doing all right. As for Ryui, since he could use water element his body let out a cool air and he seemed totally calm.
And, around him——
"Haa, such refreshing air coming from Ryui——"
"Certainly, it's cool."
"Oasis in the middle of a desert."
The players with no resistance gathered, cooled off and moved away. Although a little irritated by that, Ryui walked beside me with Zakuro on top of him.
Once we neared to a depression we have seen for a while, Mikadzuchi pointed with her finger.
"This is the fourth station's* 【Sweltering Oil Pond】!"
Beside the mountain road there was a gouge in the mountain, a liquid accumulated inside it.
The flashing red light from the blinking ground had been reflected on the highly transparent oil surface.
When I approached, a pebble from under my feet fell into the pond and sunk in the a way specific to viscous oil.
"Hee, so there are things like these too."
I approached the 【Sweltering Oil Pond】 then using scoop and funnel for collecting I poured the oil into a container.
After acquiring several bottles of 【Volcanic Zone's Sweltering Oil】 I moved away from the reservoir in order to check up on the material.
"Hmm, it's different from edible oil, I guess it's mineral oil. In which case, it can't be used for 【Cooking】 or 【Mixing】. Maybe I can use it as quenching agent instead of water for 【Craftsmanship】. For silver equipment that doesn't require hardness and sharpness, especially when it's for use with magic it might be better to cool it off with the oil rather than 【Water of Life】..."
I muttered to myself as I investigated the materials in my hands, and when I raised my head I saw everyone stare at me with lukewarm gazes.
"W-what is it? Is there anything on my head?"
"No, you sure are a crafter, is what we thought."
Told so by Mikadzuchi I looked at others and saw Otonashi and Langley hold bottles of 【Volcanic Zone's Sweltering Oil】 in the same way as me.
Both of them were studying it just like I did.
"Ahh, well um, sorry."
"It's just a crafter's nature. Anyway, we've come this far, how about a small sideshow."
"Yep, a little lesson to make sure you don't end up forget yourself and about security and take things lightly."
I furrowed my eyebrows puzzled, but Myu's eyes shone with curiosity.
Seeing our reactions Mikadzuchi grinned fearlessly and fired a long-range art at a Magma Bear that just respawned, pulling it.
It was a bear who let out flames from his back. And, there was a pool with oil nearby.
This combination gave me a really, really bad feeling.
"Yes yes. Everyone get back, okay? ——《Ice Shield》"
A highly transparent wall of ice has separated us from the oil pond.
And, on the other side of it there was Mikadzuchi, fending off Magma Bear's attacks. She let out a knock-back art to push the Magma Bear into the oil pond behind it.
Immediately after that, the Magma Bear's fire had crawled over the surface of the oil pond.
In a split second the Magma Bear was enveloped by a fire lake, burned by inferno more intense than the fire he was burned in he struggled.
"And so, be careful so that this doesn't happen to you, don't approach the oil pond carelessly.
"Woahh! Truly a sea of flames. He got ultra-well done!"
Myu looked at it completely careless, and in contrast to that, I lost my voice.
Every time the Magma Bear flailed its limbs struggling in the oil pond, oil turned-fireballs scattered in all direction.
If not for Sei-nee's wall of ice, it would be a dangerous situation.
The Magma Bear's gradually sunk into the flames, his body scorched, in the end only his foreleg reached out from the oil pond and towards the heaven.
That's when someone nearby said "I'll be back", I didn't miss hearing that.
Mikadzuchi called out to us, who were looking at this scene agape.
"Next time you're getting close to it make sure to do a safety check. Also, there's a 【Demonfolk Gatekeeper's Key】 in that oil pond but 【Eight Million Gods】 members seem to have collected it earlier."
"Hey hey. What about that flame? Will it continue to burn like that?"
Myu pointed at the oil pond that was still in flames.
"It's all right, it'll stop after a while. Well, if you handle collection poorly it turns into a trap, I wanted to show you that as soon as possible."
"Um, Yun-chan, are you all right?"
"Yeah, just a little surprised and at loss for words."
"Was that too much a shock?"
"No, I'm just glad that I was careful when I was collecting it."
I answered so to Sei-nee and Mikadzuchi who looked worried, but it didn't seem like I could move right away.
I covered my face with my hands and massaged it to fix my stiff expression.
Meanwhile, Ryui and Zakuro snuggled up to me and looked at me worried, I enjoyed their fluffiness to recover my energy.
"I'm all right now."
"I see. Well, a little further and we'll be in safety area. We'll rest there."
And so, we have continued to climb up.
Once we approached the vicinity of the Volcanic Area's sixth station we noticed white smoke coming from the mountain.
A strange space has been built on the blazing volcano.
Mainly, because there was an exemplary relaxation facility in it.
In the safety area on the middle of the mountain there was a gigantic rock buried in the ground, roughly cut out in it there was a basin.
Stored inside of it there was hot water being blown out from the mountain's slope——turning into hot springs.
Beside it, in the back of the hot spring's basin there was a building. It felt like a true private hot spring in a volcanic region.
"Wow, it's pure white with steam. Is this really a hot spring?"
"It's a rest area made in a form of a hot spring. If you use it you will receive SPEED bonus for a certain amount of time. Inside the building in the back there are open-air baths for men and women, feel free to go in."
"Looks like a great reward for getting this far."
I said and walked towards the men's bath entrance marked with blue curtain.
『"——Entering prohibited. You do not have authority to enter."』
"Hey hey, Missy. That's men's bath. The one beside it is for women."
Mikadzuchi pointed at the red curtain marking women's bath...
As if I'd enter women's bathh!! Heck! Why the hell can't I enter men's?! I'm a man!
While I screamed inside my mind, Lucato and others commented happily as they entered the women's bath. Gradually the number of people outside has decreased.
"Not going to enter, Missy?"
"Ah, eh, um..."
Just a moment earlier I was eager to enter, I need a reason to refuse... I thought and my gaze wandered to Ryui and Zakuro.
"I-I have the young beasts, Ryui and Zakuro, right?! I mean, since we can't go in together we'll just have a footbath in there."
I said and pointed at the hot spring cut out in stone.
"That so? Well, I won't force you."
"Well then, Yun-oneechan. We'll be going in the hot spring inside!"
"Yun-chan, see you later."
Saying so, the women group entered the dressing room.
The remaining male players were...
"I'm not really interested in hot springs so I"ll be going to hunt some mobs meanwhile." "In that case, we'll go do some gathering outside." "We leave escorting us to you. And, we'll be back after a while."
Saying things like that, other than a small number of male players who entered the men's hot spring everyone had started searching the surroundings without taking a break.
Nestled together with the two young beasts in front of the hot spring I've seen them off and put my hand in the cloudy water from the hot spring's edge.
"Hmm, the temperature is a little too high I guess."
I said, then took off my boots and jacket, stowing them in the inventory. I sat down on the edge of the basin and slowly sank my legs inside the hot spring.
"Ahh, it's not so deep which makes it great for a footbath. I love this scenery with this kind of charm."
As I muttered, Zakuro who was by my side had jumped into the hot water.
The Fur on his entire body absorbed hot water, he put his head on the edge of the basin and squinted comfortably, his body floating on the water.
Seeing his normally fluffy body turn slim I broke into laughter.
On the other hand, Ryui drank the hot spring water with composure.
Is it all right to drink it? I worried, but it didn't seem like there's any problem.
"Phew, it feels great."
I lightly moved my feet inside the footbath to mix the hot water.
The movement of my feet had caused small waves that caused Zakuro's submerged body to sway in the water.
"Come to think of it, I've acquired a lot of eggs lately. I wonder if I can make hot spring eggs."
The crack from which the hot spring is blowing out is steaming strongly and looks like the water has high temperature.
"Woah! It should work well for making hot spring eggs."
I took out a large basket from inventory and inside I put in Cockatrice Eggs I acquired in the Highlands Area, then sank it where the spring water was falling into.
To make it easier to recover I tied a rope I can use to pull it out later.
While I was doing that my feet have cooled down a little so I returned to where Ryui and Zakuro were and once again sank my feet into the footbath.
"Haa, I look forward to those hot spring eggs. I'll share some of them with Myu and others since there's too many for me to eat."
My voice echoed in the surroundings as I muttered, but it was drown out in the sound of water flowing into the hot spring. And once it quietened down I recalled.
"...Myu, Sei-nee and others are inside the hot spring."
I couldn't hear anything from inside the dressing room and the open-air bath in the back, probably it was made so that no sound leaks out to prevent peeping and eavesdropping, but inside that building——or to be precise in the open-air bath on the other side, everyone must have taken off their equipment and were immersing themselves in the hot spring.
"...do they go in naked?"
It was too quiet, which instead made me imagine it.
Myu, Lucato and others, also Sei-nee, Mikadzuchi and their 【Eight Million Gods】 female members must be completely defenceless inside there, I imagined and... didn't get aroused in the least.
"Eh? That's strange. I'm a healthy male, I should be more excited by this..."
Holding inner corners of my eyes and started thinking, but I could only image how Myu and Hino are playing around in the bath, Rirei is trying to touch other women's bodies with Kohaku stopping her. Lucato and Sei-nee look at it with troubled expressions and Toutobi is acting flustered. Meanwhile I imagined a scene with Mikadzuchi bringing liquor to the bathtub. It was a noisy scene without a speckle of eroticism.
The time passed as I was thinking and then I heard sound of footsteps coming from the hot spring's dressing room direction.
"Phew, the water was great. What about you, Sei-oneechan?"
"It was a bit too rowdy, I'm sure it would be great around midnight with less people in it."
"We kept you waiting, Missy!"
I turned around with my legs still immersed in the footbath and saw Myu and others come out of the dressing room.
Their hair was still moist and it seemed like they felt it was too hot as they slightly loosened clothing near their chests. Since it was completely different from how they usually wore their clothes it looked sexy, making me avert my gaze in panic.
"I-I see. So, how was it inside?"
"It was wide and comfortable. You should have come in with us."
"D-dumbass! As if I would!"
Myu clung onto my back and whispered into my ear so I answered reflexively. I don't know if it was because of the hot spring or embarrassment, but my face burned hot.
"Ahahaha, Onee-chan's blushing! It's all right, you can wear swimsuits inside. And if you don't have one, you're forcibly equipped with a bath towel. What, did you imagine something perverted?"
"W-w-w-wha...! You were teasing me?!"
"Kyaa, Yun-oneechan got angry!"
Nifufufu, Myu teased me making me respond angrily. However, Myu escaped and ran over to Lucato and others who were leaving the hot spring's dressing room.
Haa, good grief... I heaved a sigh and pulled out my feet from the hot water with one strong move, standing up.
"You took a break at hot springs but you didn't recover satiety, have you. I made something while you were in the bath, everyone have some."
I pulled out the basket with hot spring eggs I had hung earlier, took out enough eggs for myself, Ryui and Zakuro then passed the rest to Mikadzuchi and others.
Once the heat has faded a little I split one egg open to check, white part was firm and the yolk was soft-boiled, it could be said it had a passing mark.
Cockatrice Hot Spring Egg 【Cuisine】
Satiety+20% Additional Effect: ATK+8/60min
I looked at the item's status as I peeled eggs from the shell and passed them to Ryui and Zakuro.
"Hey, Sei. Isn't Missy's girl power higher than ours? She's attentive, good at cooking and caring for others. No wonder she's called 【Nanny】."
"That's true, Yun-chan's skilled with housework and is caring, so girl power-wise... well, it's high I guess?"
"For me, it's attack power over girl power! And once I eat these eggs my ATK will go up! I'll also SPEED up with hot spring's effect! My preparations for battle are truly complete!"
I could hear Sei-nee and Mikadzuchi talk behind me.
Myu also raised her voice holding a hot spring egg in her hand.
I don't like being called 【Nanny】, I thought, meanwhile Zakuro who was eating an egg with his chin on the edge of the hot spring had slipped off and carried away by the water flowing from the crack.
Zakuro had just eaten a warm egg and let himself get carried away by the flow looking comfortable, floating on top of water.
"Geez, Zakuro was carried away. I'll go get him."
I entered the hot water and waded forward through it, because of that new waves appeared on the surface and carried Zakuro even further to the opposite side.
"Ah, Yun-chan, there's..."
"What is it? Sei-nee——"
And, as I chased after Zakuro who arrived at the hot spring's centre I fell into the water, my words being interrupted halfway.
With the hot spring suddenly turning deep I was immersed completely including my head and my vision was taken by the cloudy, hot water.
There was a strongly tilted wall beside me, I could tell how suddenly has the hot spring deepened because of that and I also could feel myself touching something with the soles of my feet.
I squat down in the water and picked it up, then by holding onto the slanted walls I pulled myself out of the hole.
"PWAH! Haa, what's this?"
"Onee-chan! Are you okay?!" "Yun-chan, are you all right?!" "Missy seems to be safe."
Everyone was worried about me and leaned from the edge of the hot spring, looking in my direction.
I moved to the shallow part and sat down, my lower body being immersed in water.
Oh right, Zakuro... I looked around and saw Zakuro who was floating on water being caught by his neck and pulled out by Ryui. Then he shook his body on the edge of the spring to dry his fur.
Foxes are canines, right. I recalled something pointless and sighed with relief seeing him safe.
Immediately after that I felt a chill on my back despite the fact I was submerged in the hot spring.
"Haa, haaa, a pretty girl in water all wet, her clothes showing through..."
"Rirei, how 'bout ya look away?"
When I turned around I saw Kohaku hold Rirei's head and forcibly take her somewhere else. The chills stopped at the same time.
Pheeew, I sighed. I shook off my long black hair sticking to my face with a hand and tried to squeeze out the moisture from them, but then I remembered I picked up something at the bottom of the hole.
Once I opened the tightly-squeezed hand——
"Eh? Yun-oneechan, why are you holding a key?"
"Isn't what Yun-chan holding the 【Demonfolk Gatekeeper's Key】?"
"Key? You mean the key item?"
I tried looking at the clunky copper key I held in my hand from various angles.
"Actually we had the advance team examine the Volcanic Area, but it seems like they didn't find everything. Luckily we found it, we can enter the gate any time now."
Mikadzuchi who thought we'll have to spend some time searching for a key made a radiant expression, but I couldn't move out right away with my whole body drenched.
Since all stains disappear over time I could wait until it does but...
"After several minutes it will dry naturally which makes this game really convenient. Still, Zakuro, could you?"
When I turned towards where Ryui carried Zakuro and asked, he seemed to have realized what I meant and created several small flames.
Flames created at regular intervals have been floating around me and Zakuro, drying us.
After a moment Zakuro and I dried completely, I re-equipped the boots and jacket I put away before soaking my feet in and was ready for leaving right away.
Seeing my clothes dry Rirei, who was released by Kohaku looked really disappointed, but I ignored that.
"Zakuro, thank you for drying me. Ryui, thanks for watching over Zakuro."
As I pat the two like usual getting along with them, I heard Lucato and others talk quietly.
"I feel like I have seen a very luxurious way of using tamed mobs."
"...well, that's how Yun-san is."
"Right. That's how she is."
For some reason they convinced themselves that this kind of thing is normal for me.
After that, as we waited for people who have gone out to gather materials nearby to come back I used that time to make more of hot spring eggs.
We departed from the sixth station's spring and before long we arrived at the gate at the eight station.
"So this is the Demonfolk Gate."
"Indeed. It's the gate leading to the frontline dungeon. Now, the key."
Prompted, I stood in front of the gate and looked up at it.
I inserted the 【Demonfolk Gatekeeper's Key】 into the mouth of the demon face carved in the gate and turned it around. The key had turned into particles of light and disappeared, then the huge gate opened with a loud noise.
The light that overflowed from the inside dazzled me and my vision was dyed white for a moment.
Frontline area's dungeon. Surely there are mobs with vicious mechanics inside. I prepared myself and looked inside——
There were stalls and shops at the passages, people walking around doing bussiness, soldiers patrolling the streets. The dungeon with the shape of a town had somewhat Japanese-styled atmosphere and looked very cosy.
While the facilities were mostly the same as that of an ordinary town, there was also a different element there. The residents of this place weren't NPCs but mobs.
Goblin merchants looking tidy and proper were running stores, Hobgoblin soldiers with unified equipment were patrolling the streets. Also, tall humanoid Ogres marched between the stores.
Apparently, it was completely different from what I imagined the dungeon to be like.
"C'mon folks! For a week from now on we can play to our content in this frontline 【Demonfolk Resort】!"
With Mikadzuchi's shout as the signal, all the parties have surged into the gate.
They strove to be the first ones to find interesting things and to locate the enemies.
I found myself still unable to understand the situation and left behind at the entrance.
"Well then, Yun-oneechan! I'm going to tour everything with Luka-chan and others!"
"And so, excuse us."
Although taking me into consideration, Myu chased after the 【Eight Million Gods】 members.
Sei-nee and Mikadzuchi remained in the end and pulled the confused me.
"All right, welcome to the 【Demonfolk Resort】."
"Let's have fun, Yun-chan."
Dragged in by the two I entered inside.
And there, spread out an outlandish demonfolk town.
*Station: Refers to Mt. Fuji's stations that are on its climbing trail.
Chapter 4 - Demonfolk Resort and Lottery Tickets
"Haa, this tea is delicious."
Greeting the second day of the 【Eight Million Gods】 expedition to the frontline Volcanic Area, I was resting in a tea house in the corner of the 【Demonfolk Resort】 dungeon.
I was sitting down in a tea house that seemed like it came out of a historical drama, sipping green tea and eating three-coloured dumplings, acting laid-back I looked at the dungeon's scenery.
"Still, to think there would be a town inside a dungeon. I guess anything is possible."
There was also a mob that had a dungeon inside it. It's not all that strange for a town to be inside a dungeon, I started thinking probably because I adapted to this world of OSO.
"Moreover, I didn't think we'd enter combat right after arriving."
Pheew, I exhaled and sipped the tea, then recalled what happened immediately after we rushed into the dungeon.
The first thing we did together with Sei-nee and Mikadzuchi after entering this dungeon, was opening up a portal.
In the process, we ended up fighting twin boss mobs that protected the 【Demonfolk Resort】's back gate.
I hadn't imagined that after entering the dungeon, we would arrive straight at the boss battle without fighting anything on the way to it.
Well, we have stopped by the extended stalls on the way though.
And, speaking of the boss battle——
"Now, come at me!"
The two humanoid mobs roared and rushed at Mikadzuchi.
The mobs protecting the back gate were called Red Ogre and Blue Ogre, it was a twin pair of bosses who shared HP and MP.
One of them was a demon with red skin and a single horn, the other had blue skin and two horns. They were two-metre tall and good-looking demons.
Facing them, Mikadzuchi boldly attacked them all alone. In the rear there was me and Sei-nee providing support and attacking with magic, using various means to make sure Mikadzuchi doesn't fall.
"Let's go! 《Enchant》——Attack, defence, speed! 《Cursed》——Defence, mind!"
I applied an Enchant on Mikadzuchi and at the same time weakened the enemy with Cursed, then shot arrows at the enemy to deal damage from a distance.
Although the twin bosses resisted Cursed's weakening, I retried casting it and successfully surpassed their resistance.
"——《Aqua Bullet》《Ice Lance》!"
Sei-nee fired magic in quick succession at the Red Ogre who had his magic defence decreased with Cursed and dealt a large amount of damage to the bosses.
Mikadzuchi in the vanguard scuffled with the two Ogres, then at one point having her hexagonal stick parried she moved away from them and sighed.
"Sei! If you hit them too strong the target will switch to rearguard!"
"Actually, I've been minding that as I attacked. Still, it seems like I gathered quite some hate so I'll switch from attacking to healing."
Sei-nee ceased the attack on the Red Ogre that had water element as his weakness and switched to act as Mikadzuchi's healer.
And I further strengthened Mikadzuchi.
"Mikadzuchi, I'll put this on your equipment so you don't get pushed away again! 《Element Enchant》——Weapon, armor!"
The Ogres remaining HP was still at 70%. Holding Fire Elemental Stones in both hands I applied enchant on Mikadzuchi's equipment.
Her weapon shone with faint red colour and had started to leave an afterglow after every swing.
Also her armour began emitting similar colour, increasing her elemental defence.
With Sei-nee recovering Mikadzuchi's HP and the reduced amount of fire elemental damage she receives, Mikadzuchi could defend against Red Ogre's attack in more stable manner.
And, she has focused on the Blue Ogre whose weakness was the fire element.
The two Ogres whose Mind stats were decreased already have been further weakened.
Unable to resist my continuous application of Cursed the two Ogres had their attack and defence lowered, thanks to which the momentum of Mikadzuchi's attack on them increased.
"In their state it might be easy for bad status arrows to work."
I shot bad status arrows at the weakened Ogres and succeeded in putting bad statuses on them thanks to their low resistance.
Still, 【Paralysis】, 【Sleep】 and 【Stun】 stopped their movements only for an instant. The 【Poison】's slip damage had shorter duration than usual and the Ogres recovered fast.
When the shared HP of the two Ogres decreased below 50%, the MP that wasn't used so far has been used for the first time.
The metal club the Red Ogre was wielding was clad with fire and the moment it smashed into the ground, Mikadzuchi was hit by a shockwave.
"Khhh?!! It's real harsh even with elemental defence!"
"——《High Heal》! Mikadzuchi, are you all right?!"
While Sei-nee immediately proceeded to heal Mikadzuchi, my 【See-Through】 Sense didn't miss the Blue Ogre's movements.
The Blue Ogre's metal club was covered with frost and let out freezing air, but before it could smash into the ground I cast my own magic.
An earthen wall appeared between Mikadzuchi and the Blue Ogre which prevented the blue-tinted wind that started swirling from the Ogre's feet.
The places on the earthen wall touched by the wind have been scrapped away and the wall was destroyed within few seconds, turning into particles of light.
However, thanks to those few seconds Mikadzuchi was able to escape from the Blue Ogre's range.
"What was that?"
"From what I'm hearing, the Ogres attack skills."
"Mikadzuchi, you'll receive 【Stun】 if you get hit consecutively."
"Oh that, when one of their skills stops the other comes smashing at you, right. If you go down Sei-nee and I will have to fight in the front."
"Don't worry, in that case I'll revive with 【Revival Medicine】. Still, it's important not to die. For the time being I'll fight with avoidance as the focus."
As we shortly counselled with Mikadzuchi the Ogres special attack cooldown must have ended as the two started moving.
"Let's attack with Sei's magic as the focus. Also, the moment I shout 'switch' you change from attack to healing. That's when I'll attack."
"I understand. Then let's do it."
"Hey, what about me?"
"Missy, you move as you like."
"That's too vague..."
Having my own movements left all to myself by Mikadzuchi, I focus on stable cooperation with Sei-nee.
Mikadzuchi as the vanguard has parried the attack of the two Ogres using all the defensive techniques she had and when their stance was broken, Sei-nee fired magic at Red Ogre who was weak against her element, efficiently dealing large amount of damage.
"——《Icicle Lock》 《High Heal》"
At the same time Mikadzuchi made the signal, Sei-nee changed to the heal and support role.
Meanwhile, Mikadzuchi who was emphasizing on defence and parrying started to beat the Blue Ogre with her fire element-clad hexagonal stick.
To support her, Sei-nee sealed the Red Ogre's movement by freezing his feet and healed Mikadzuchi allowing her to beat each other up with the Blue Ogre.
"Still, not being told what to do is also a pain. Well, let's just imitate Sei-nee. ——《Mud Pool》"
Instructed to move freely, I decided to take action to reduce the burden on Mikadzuchi and Sei-nee.
First, I decided to match Sei-nee and created a 《Mud Pool》 beneath the Red Ogre, inhibiting his movement.
Next, I nocked 【Curse】 bad status arrows and shot them at the Ogres. 【Curse】's effect was MP decrease and if lucky enough, an additional random negative effect.
While it was some plain support, without MP the Ogres couldn't activate their skills.
It was worth doing so as by the time their HP decreased by 20%, the two mobs MP was drained completely.
Once Mikadzuchi realized the opponents were unable to activate their skills, the fight was decided in a moment.
"UOOoOohh! ——《Six Rotations Smash》!"
In an instant Mikadzuchi released a powerful six-rotation attack at the Blue Ogre's chest blowing him away and scattering enchant's light in the process.
"Freeze everything. ——《Diamond Dust》"
The magic Sei-nee unleashed had sprung from the ground and in an instant wrapped around the Red Ogre, reshaping his surroundings into an icy world.
When the crystals of the cold air touched the Red Ogre's body, the ice spread throughout his entire body delivering damage.
Mikadzuchi's and Sei-nee's big moves concluded the battle, the two Ogres fell on their knees and then on the ground at the same time.
"All right! Back gate's open. Once we register with the portal we won't have to descend the mountain to return and if we want to come here, we won't need to look for the key. Good to have it easy."
Nihihi, Mikadzuchi laughed and passed through the gate that opened with a heavy sound, then registered herself with the portal's transition object that was right outside the gate.
"Sei, Missy. How was it?"
"Actually, the boss was quite easy? Or rather, you and Sei-nee are too strong."
"That's strange. If I'm not wrong, I heard the advance team struggled quite hard."
Sei-nee and I were both puzzled.
Normally a boss guarding a place like this would be a bit stronger, right? I ended up thinking, but Mikadzuchi has come up with her own explanation.
"The advance team is organized with members having high searching ability and survivability. This time, we have a fighter like me, as well as Missy's enchants to buff and debuff which allowed us to suppress them with brute force, right?"
"Now that you mention it, that is the case. A normal party would focus on blocking attacks and slowly fight back."
"No, personally I think this battle was fierce enough..."
Although the two made such evaluation, I could imagine that the advance team wasn't that weak. Still...
I looked towards where Mikadzuchi fought with the two demons and saw the ground was dented in strongly proving how powerful the two bosses were.
The wind pressure from the swayed metal clubs was really terrifying and I'd like to express my respect to the advance team that fought against the Ogres without any prior information.
"Now, we registered ourselves with the portal so let's do the usual drop check."
"You're right. My drop is 【Blue Demon's Horn】. How about you, Yun-chan?"
"I have 【Red Demon's Hard Leather】. "
"I got 【Red Demon's Horn】. Which means the drops are red and blue demon's horns and hard leather, right."
Taking out the 【Red Demon's Hard Leather】 that dropped from the boss and ascertained, it wasn't a strengthening material but a normal one.
Mikadzuchi and Sei-nee also showed theirs, but none of them seemed like rare drops.
"Matching this with the info from the advance team, it seems like there are four items dropping. That's many, but none of them are particularly conspicuous... okay! Let's have a few rounds with the bosses to gather several of these!"
"C'mon Missy, hang out with us for today!"
Saying so Mikadzuchi held my arm and headed back for the back gate.
Afterwards, when we challenged the respawning bosses three more times in total, every time we changed out fighting style seeking a more efficient method to fight the boss.
Sometimes I became a decoy and ended up running around, at other time I attacked with my bow as the main, or together with Sei-nee focused on fighting with magic.
Then for the entire day we kept challenging the bosses for collecting drops doing what's commonly known as boss farming.
"——And this is the result, huh."
Returning to reality from recalling that, I muttered.
Looking at my Senses after the battles that turned out to be unexpectedly high speed leveling I sipped the tea.
【Bow Lv48】 【Longbow Lv26】 【Sky Eyes Lv12】 【Swiftness Lv16】 【See-Through Lv20】 【Sorcery Lv15】 【Enchant Arts Lv37】 【Earth Element Talent Lv28】 【Dosing Lv42】 【Cook Lv11】
【Alchemy Lv42】 【Synthesis Lv42】 【Crafting Knowledge Lv44】 【Taming Lv16】 【Engraving Lv25】 【Swimming Lv15】 【Linguistics Lv24】 【Climbing Lv21】 【Bodily Resistance Lv1】 【Spiritual Resistance Lv1】
My combat Senses have leveled up.
The 【Longbow】 and 【Earth Element Talent】 I used for restraining the enemy have increased, and since I used magic together with Sei-nee my magic-related Senses also leveled up.
When Mikadzuchi lured the Ogre onto me on purpose I ran away at full power to avoid him, thanks to that my 【Swiftness】 leveled up.
And when we fought the bosses directly I used Enchants and items to increase our stats, resulting in 【Enchant Arts】 increase.
Thinking back to the day——
"We left most of fighting to Mikadzuchi and even though we were only three, it wasn't as hard as usual."
Usually I focus on selecting optimal enchants for the entire party and apply them in rapid succession as they wear off, but this time I only continued to apply enchants on Mikadzuchi.
Also, humanoid mobs have few unpredictable movements and their appearance isn't disgusting, which allowed me to remain composed.
"Anyway, this dungeon is too cosy. Excuse me, can I get a refill of tea and steamed buns? De-skewered three-coloured ones."
When I heard a reply from the female Hobgoblin, a Goblina waitress who was clad in kimono, sash and apron had come out from inside bringing a cup of tea and steamed buns.
The Goblin had pale green skin and short horns, as well as jagged teeth as her special features, but otherwise was no different from an ordinary NPC.
Ryui and Zakuro ate the three-coloured steamed buns, looking puzzled at their sticky texture. Looking at the two I could calm down well.
The mobs in this dungeon communicated with the players only with gestures, but they made rich expressions in response.
I muttered the same words for the second time today and took a mouthful of a modestly-sweet steamed bun. That's when I realized.
"No no no. I'm getting too used to this. What a terrifying dungeon."
My original goal was to play as much as possible in the frontline area's dungeon, I recalled.
I shook my head and with extreme reluctance I asked Goblina for the bill.
"Excuse me! I'd like some buns for take-away and the bill."
Once I paid the bill along with the buns I received a mysterious green piece of paper, then started wandering around the dungeon without a particular goal.
As I walked around I split the buns for take-away and ate them together with Ryui and Zakuro, at the same time looking for anything interesting.
For the dungeon structure, there was a broad main street leading from the front to the back gate and three narrow ones spread in parallel to the left and right.
Also every street had a single passage so the whole dungeon looked from above has the shape of a vertically-laid ladder.
Seven passages deployed on this 【Demonfolk Resort】's ladder were numbered in order from the right as viewed from the front and each had a different role.
The street to the furthest right had Japanese-style buildings lined up, homes for sale and for rental to players. Position-wise it would be something like this dungeon's residential area.
Since there were few players here now, it was a place giving off a quiet impression.
In contrast, the sixth and seventh streets to the left were the ones with mobs in this dungeon so it was a place to battle in.
The two dimly lit streets seemed somewhat like back alleys, unlike the streets from the first to fifth where items were sold, there were thug Goblins, armed Hobgoblins and Ogres attacking people.
By the way, the sign for combat to start is eye contact with them. Told so at first I wondered if they're delinquents or something, but it was more like the sixth and seventh streets were home of outlaws of this monster town.
And, currently I was walking down the fourth street.
"I wish I could find something good. If possible I'd like to get some strengthening materials for the accessories I'm going to give Sei-nee and Myu."
I muttered as I searched the stalls, but rather than strengthening materials, most of what they were selling were handicrafts and souvenirs.
"Oh, a meat bun set. Might be good for a souvenir for Letia. And there, a store selling minerals, I wonder if there's ore that's mined on this mountain."
I took the food items as souvenirs for Letia and the ore from the Volcanic Area as a souvenir for Magi-san. Other than that, I purchased some material items for both Lyly and Emily-san.
"The materials are a little expensive, well, probably because collecting materials outside is kinda harsh."
Normally I would have collected ore-based items outside on my own, but since the environment outside of the dungeon was too tough for me alone I decided to buy a number of items in the stores.
In the end, I found a souvenir for Cloude. Wooden carved figurines like those sold at sightseeing spots.
"This wooden carving of Magma Bear looks strangely dynamic... I'm gonna buy one for myself as well."
As a result, I purchased two 【Wooden-Carved Figurines】 and started walking around in search for materials again.
Just one of the stores had been dealing with very few items, some of the items being the same as ones sold in other stores, but with strange difference in prices.
Among the items I found one that interested me.
"Oh, they're selling items acquired in the Volcanic Area."
Impressed by the fact there actually were plants growing in this barren Volcanic Area I stared at the item.
"This 【Karukoko Fruit】 is still dirty with soil though..."
The 【Karukoko Fruit】 had an appearance of a red potato and seemed to be grown in the ground the same way potatoes are.
To try it I purchased 【Karukoko Fruit】 and selected 【Alchemy】 Sense's 《Lower Matter Conversion》, but there was no item to change it into.
Since there was a bud like a potato's, it might grow like one when planted in the 【Atelier】's field.
I acquired several of them, it seemed like there was a need to ask the Farmer NPC to learn the cultivation method.
Other than that there were other plant-based items such as the 【Vitality Tree Fruit】 I've had planted in the 【Atelier】's field. Seeing the materials I recognized filled me with sense of security.
"I'm buying this for 100kG!"
"Hm? Is this Myu's voice?"
I looked around hearing a familiar-sounding voice on this crowdy street and a little bit away I found Myu engaged in something with a Goblin NPC merchant.
"I'm buying this for 130kG!"
A neat-bodied Goblin merchant with cloth on his head and a hook nose displayed denial by shaking his head.
"Then 140k! No, 150k!"
Myu continued to pile up more and more of blue paper in front of her, but no matter how much she raised the price the Goblin merchant shook his head sideways and showed a big "no" with his arms.
Seeing the neat and comical movements of a Goblin like one of those that normally fought on plains, coupled with his comical movements, I thought he's ugly but adorable.
"Uuuhhh! Why can't I buy it?!"
As I silently observed Myu and others, I saw Myu start stomp her feet in frustration as she was unable to buy the item she wanted.
"Myu, ya move fer a bit. I'll try."
That's when Kohaku put a hand on Myu's shoulder and moved in front of her.
"C'mon, let's start barterin'. Point wit' yer finger which items ya wanna exchange for."
Said Kohaku and starting with mob drops, ore, potions and such she confirmed the exchange rate of items she placed.
The exchange rate at which I peeped from the distance using 【Sky Eyes】 seemed to be dependant on the location where the item was acquired. The further the location the higher rate.
Even materials that are normally priced the same at the NPCs differ in rate depending on how far from Volcanic Area were they acquired.
And as for Kohaku——
"Well then, the thing Myu want'd, also 'dis and 'dis. Also 'dis, to make 'da exchange even, how'bout it?"
The Goblin merchant nodded in agreement, establishing the deal.
"You did itt! Thank you, Kohaku!"
"Myu, yer too impatient. Lookie, there's a barter drawin' on da billboard."
I didn't notice because it was behind Myu and others, but ahead of where Kohaku pointed to there was a blackboard with a picture of meat and vegetables on left and right as well as two-way arrows in the middle representing exchange.
"Ehehehe... but why did you exchange for things you don't need as well?"
"Uh, it look'd useful so... mm? If it ain't Yun-san."
Once the barter ended, Kohaku raised her head and noticed me.
I intended to peek in secret but it couldn't be helped now that I've been found, so I approached Myu and others.
"Onee-chan? Since when did you look?"
"Umm, since around when you said '100kG' I guess? I did think you wouldn't want that to be seen but, well, sorry."
"You should have come out quicker! I don't mind at all!"
Myu and Kohaku discussed where to go next as they received the items they got from barter.
Everyone held some kind of food in their hands, I could tell from their appearance as they walked around while eating that they enjoyed themselves.
"Hey Onee-chan, how about walking around with us? Next we're thinking of going to the second street! Everyone's okay with that, right?!"
"I don't mind."
Starting with Lucato, everyone said there's no problem with that.
I still haven't gone to the second street so I thought it's a good opportunity and decided to accept Myu's invitation.
"Then, I'll take you up on the offer."
"Yess! Okay Onee-chan, let's go there right away!"
"Indeed! Let's take Yun-san with us and go! We'll get divine favour from having a lucky person!"
"Actually I'm not that lucky. Rather, what are you talking about?"
Ignoring what I said Myu and Hino took one of my hands each and pulled me.
Help me, I looked towards Ryui and Zakuro, Lucato and the others but they all stared at it with smile.
I muttered that more of a habit because I wasn't all that against it. Pulled by Myu and Hino I headed for the second street.
"Hey, Myu. I haven't gone to the second street yet, could you tell me what's there?"
"The main thing in the second street is, actually——lottery stall! Onee-chan, did you get any green papers in the dungeon?"
"Yeah, a few of them. You mean these?"
I took out a the pieces of mysterious green paper I received every time I did shopping inside the dungeon.
"Yup, that's it. You can play lottery once for every three of these you collect."
"Hee, is that so. ...hm? Speaking of which, what was the paper you had the Goblin merchant sell you earlier?"
"Ah, that's a gift voucher that can be used only inside this dungeon. Wait a second."
Said Myu and took out red, blue and green pieces of paper.
"Red papers are arena challenge tickets, blue papers are gift vouchers and green papers are lottery tickets."
"I didn't see any of red and blue paper, where do you get those?"
"They drop from the thugs on the seventh street."
"Eh?! No way..."
"Aww, yesterday we've entered the seventh street by mistake as we were shopping y'know. Suddenly they've come at us so we fought back and instead of drops, we got three random pieces of paper. Still, it's dangerous so you shouldn't get anywhere close, Onee-chan!"
"I definitely won't go there in that case. Heck, those gift vouchers from earlier..."
"Welll, after learning they drop tickets after we beat them we've gone around picking up a fight with all the Goblins there!"
"You better stop that! I feel sorry for them!"
Seeing Myu say that with a smug look on her face, I imagined the thugs having roles turned on them and being mugged off items.
It's fine it's fine, Myu tried to appease me but I still didn't feel convinced. Meanwhile I counted the number of lottery tickets I had.
And, Myu once again explained the use of each paper again.
"I'll explain then, okay. The red arena challenge tickets allow for challenging the arena on the fifth street after you collect ten of them. However, their drop rate is low so we haven't acquired enough yet."
It should take about a week to gather them, Myu muttered. Taking over after Myu Hino explained the blue papers.
"The blue paper are gift vouchers. Well, I guess you get it already, but limited to this dungeon, the paper can be used instead of money for the amount written on it. Although, it seems it can't be used for barter shops like the one from earlier."
Finally, Kohaku explained about the green paper.
"Just like Myu explain'd earlier, when ya go to the lottery store 't da second street ya can play lottery once for three of 'em. As a result, ya get items. Since we've gathered lots when shoppin' let's go try it, is what we were thinkin' just earlier."
If it's three pieces for one try, I could challenge it four times.
"Well, if you're getting items for free, then why not go take a look."
"Right? You can also get some rare items too, exciting right?!"
I'll draw a loss anyway, while I thought deeply in my mind, the lottery on the second street has come into view.
The lottery stall had a conspicuous signboard in the shape of a octagonal lottery machine raised high and several lottery machines themselves placed in it.
Depending on the colour of the ball that comes out from the lottery machine the prize seemed to change.
With the prize items displayed as decoration, even despite knowing I won't hit any of them, it made me excited about it just by looking.
The special prize was one of the summer camp events' rewards for winning, the 【Special Home's Expansion Rights】. Below it, there were first prize and second prize equipment.
The first prize equipment was 【Evil-Rending Sword – The Rending King】, a big sword classified as a Greatsword.
For the second prize equipment there was a weapon series with 【Sin】 in the name and apparently rewarded weapons matching the Senses of the winner. Although their attack power was higher than those of the first prize sword's, they also had disadvantageous additional effect.
That additional effect had a bit of a chuuni name 【The One Piling Up Sins】. For every enemy beaten with that weapon decreased 【Experience Gained】 by 1%.
Actually, the probability of acquiring each prize has been displayed, but the probability of the first two grand prizes was really small, special prize had 0,01% and the first and second prize equipment had 0,1% chance.
"Getting the special prize requires 30000 lottery tickets on average, is this really all right?"
"Aren't you rushing it a bit? The first and the second prize are more affordable."
"Indeed! It's easier than beating low level mobs for a 1% probability drop!"
Is it? I wondered, puzzled. I think either of those are a torture.
The first and second prize altogether have 0,2% probability of winning which means 1250 lottery tickets are required.
However, it's precisely because the probability was so low that everyone stared at the display with greed in their eyes.
"UOAAHHH! I've collected the tickets from acquaintances and put myself in debt already, but I still didn't get ittttt!"
"DAMNNn! Friggin' RNG! If I move the thing without any wasteful motion it'll definitely make it easier to get it!"
"I bet there isn't any in this lottery machine. Then, the one beside it, no, let's go to that one."
At another lottery machine there were players aiming for high level prizes. The players were screaming or on their knees in front of the lottery apparatus, showing off strange dances or wandering from one machine to another. Their actions were a complete mystery to me.
"What is that...?"
"Ah, don't mind that. More importantly, Onee-chan, let's play lottery ourselves."
With my hand pulled by Myu, I moved in front of the closest lottery machine.
"The lottery has a special prize and nine prizes of other prizes, huh. How many times can you try, everyone?"
When I turned around and asked, everyone showed the number with their fingers.
Myu could try five times, Lucato and Toutobi three times, Hino, Kohaku and Rirei four times.
"Well then, I'll go first. And, so that I can get something good with Yun-oneechan's divine faavour."
"What? What do you mean my divine favour. Heck, don't cling to me!"
"I mean, Yun-oneechan, in the end you've always got great luck."
"If I have any luck that'd be bad luck!"
I said to Myu who embraced me but she ignored that, then next Myu had hugged Ryui along with Zakuro on top of him.
"Now, I've charged Yun-oneechan's power to max, let's go!"
"Yes yes. Just go on already."
Filled with fighting spirit Myu started turning the lottery machine. Everyone watched that holding their breath, and the first ball that came out was——
Once we confirmed the colour with the board in the back of the lottery stall, we found it was the ninth prize, a candy. It was pretty much the same as tissues given out in real.
"Mgrr! One more time!"
"Don't get too worked up."
Although I warned her, she turned the machine with strong momentum again. The second and the third times it was white again, the fourth time it was black – the eight prize – an MP Potion.
"UGHhgrrr! Last one!"
"Myu-san, do your best!'
"It's okay, you can do it!"
"Can you even do your best at lottery?"
I wondered as I watched Myu try the fifth try at lottery——?
"——This isn't gold, it's yellow! I've mistaken them! How confusing!"
"But yellow is the fourth prize, it's not too bad is it?"
Since the colours were similar Myu mistook it for the special prize and was disappointed when realized it's yellow, but she came back to herself right away.
"Hmm. Well, it's better than average, looking at the probability displayed I guess I did have Onee-chan's divine favour..."
"Myu, since you're done pulling you need to go get your items."
"Ha?!! Oh, that's right!"
Myu immediately moved away from the lottery machine and received the items from the lottery stall's Hobgoblin. The ninth and the eight prizes were decided, but the fourth prize allowed choosing from several kinds of items so while Myu was pondering what to take, Lucato and others started to line up.
"So... why pray to me?"
"Eh, um, Myu-chan got the one with 3% probability so I wanted to receive some of the divine favour as well."
"I didn't think Myu-chan would get the fourth, you see. This kind of thing has really low probability so I'd like to increase it even if just by a little."
"...and I, um, somehow..."
Lucato smiled wryly, Hino laughed as if to cover something up and Toutobi averted her gaze away. I stared at them intently for a moment, bu then "good grief" I heaved a sigh and forgave them like usual.
"Fufufu, to have Yun-san's divine favour fill every part of my body just a hug isn't enough."
"Come'eere, Rirei. Start turnin' the lottery. No botherin' Yun-san."
As Rirei started stretching her hands my way suspiciously Kohaku had dragged her away to in front of the lottery machine.
And, as a result of all five turning the lottery machine one after another, everyone mostly got the ninth, eight and seventh prizes. Kohaku got a sixth and Rirei got fifth.
"What, the sixth allows ya to select one of da three ticket types, wat a moodbreaker. In 'dat case even eight's better."
"Kohaku, if you're to choose, isn't it best to take one with the lowest drop rate – the arena ticket? Well, I don't even know what does my fifth prize's 【Hobgoblin's Silver Coin】 do."
Saying so, Rirei repeatedly did coin catching with the silver coin that had Hobgoblin carved on it.
It seems one random coin is given out of several types.
Personally, I did feel like gathering all types and putting them in a case as decoration so I was a little envious.
"So Myu, how was it?"
"Hoeh? Waht wash?"
"You got to licking the candy right away... speaking of which, what did you get for the fourth prize?"
In order to answer my question Myu put the candy in her mouth and crushed it to pieces with her teeth.
"You choose from three types of material! I chose material called 【Cyclops' Tatara Tamahagane1】. It's a little rarer usual."
Saying so she showed me a lump of metal with small holes as if bubbles burst out on the surface.
Other two types were 【Fire-Rat's Leather Robe2】 and 【Jewelled Branch of Hōrai3】, they were materials that could be obtained only here.
"C'mon Yun-oneechan, you're last! You need to pull out better than everyone!"
"Don't be absurd!"
Having my back pushed by Myu I stood in front of the lottery machine. I passed twelve lottery tickets to the Hobgoblin shopkeeper in front of me, and when I tried to turn the handle Ryui and Zakuro stood beside me.
"...want to try once each?"
Ryui and Zakuro both nodded at the same time, I decided to let the two go ahead of me. Still, since it didn't seem like Zakuro could turn the handle with his small body I embraced him and positioned him as to turn the handle with his leg.
Then, as I slowly lowered his leg the octagonal lottery machine started to turn and immediately the ball came out with a rattle.
"White huh. A miss. ...next is, Ryui... heck, you too..."
Ryui pressed the horn he prided himself in against the handle to turn it, but it had immediately spit out a white ball. Still, as a result the two seemed satisfied. Ryui and Zakuro received the ninth prize's candies from the Hobgoblin and immediately put it in their mouths, they started licking them contentedly.
"Good grief, your appetite gets priority huh. So, two left."
I had two more tries at the lottery. I won't get anything anyway, I thought as I turned the handle.
*klatter* *klatter* *klatter*, I listened to the balls intermingle inside the lottery machine and without expectations, I looked at the ball that was discharged.
"Umm, the colour is... blue, huh."
The moment I muttered that, the lottery stall's Hobgoblin made a smile on his rugged face and shook an iron bell.
*di-ding* *di-ding*. My body twitched in response tot he sound of the bell, moreover, everyone in the surroundings had looked my way surprised by it, making me feel embarrassed.
"Mgrrr, you got the third prize! I'm so envious!"
"The third prize is the 【Precious Magic Crystal】. The description of prize's additional effect is written there."
When I turned around in response to Myu's and Lucato's voice, I saw everyone look my way with envy. Since I felt a little uncomfortable I turned the wheel for the fourth time. No way, is she gonna get another good prize? The surroundings strangely paid attention to me so I felt a sense of relief when a white ball had come out.
And, the third prize I received from the Hobgoblin was a crystal ball that repeatedly blinked with red as if it was full of lava.
The additional effect of the strengthening material 【Precious Magic Crystal】 was【Magic Increase (small)】. It was another version of 【Magic Increase】 Sense's effect, having an effect of increasing magic-type stats.
"Nice, really nice. It's a rare material. Onee-chan, I'm so envioous."
"You got a rare material too, Myu."
"I can make at most a small knife with this! To make one-handed sword I need two!"
"In that case, there's a long road ahead of you."
I muttered and stowed away the third prize's strengthening material 【Precious Magic Crystal】 in the inventory.
Thinking that it might be good to use that strengthening material on the gift accessory for Sei-nee or Myu, I put the ninth prize's candy in my mouth; a coarse taste and gentle sweetness spread inside of it.
When I turned around to Lucato and others after finishing my four tries with lottery, "so the divine favour exists" someone said and I was worshipped by everyone.
And, I want to do it again! Myu raised her voice, gathered the extra tickets from everyone and decided to try lottery again.
I passed two of mine to Myu, and it all amounted to three tries total. It was decided that Myu, Rirei and Kohaku who had luck earlier will try one each.
"All riiight, this time let's aim higher!"
"I dun' think it'll go 'dat easy, but well, if we win we profit."
"Said Kohaku, but she was secretly hoping for a good prize. Fufufu."
"Rirei, stop addin' strange narration!"
Since it seemed like their playing lottery will take some time I moved away and watched over the three from a distance, that's when Lucato spoke to me.
"Was that all right? To give up two lottery tickets, that is. Just one more and you could try again."
"I don't really mind. I mean, I can't do anything with two and I'd forget about them anyway."
When I said that and waved my hand, I felt someone standing behind me and turned around.
"Well, if that isn't something to envy. If we'd come earlier maybe we'd get some too."
"Mikadzuchi, and Sei-nee."
After turning around I saw Mikadzuchi and Sei-nee.
"We heard the sound of bell earlier. Seems like you got the third prize, Missy. You got the best item out of the ones having realistic probability, what amazing luck you have. Now then, let's use these lottery tickets we've hoarded!"
When Mikadzuchi slapped a bunch of lottery tickets in front of the lottery's hobgoblin, he started to count the number of the tickets in a hurry.
"Aren't you going to try, Sei-nee?"
"I, um, don't have luck, since candies is all I'm going to get I thought that I'd give all my tickets to Mikadzuchi."
Saying so, Sei-nee made a sorrowful look.
No, it's not like she doesn't have luck, but that she doesn't get the things she actually wants. You actually have a lot of rares right, I encouraged her in my mind.
"It's fine. Half of the lottery tickets Mikadzuchi has are mine, we decided that everything other than what Mikadzuchi wants will be shared."
"So, the thing Mikadzuchi wants is——"
Noticing that the atmosphere at the lottery stall changed I turned around and saw the Hobgoblin had finished counting tickets. Mikadzuchi had clenched the lottery machine's handle to turn it.
Her expression changed into a serious one and I could almost see an aura come out of her back.
And, Mikadzuchi started turning the handle with great fighting spirit.
"——The aim is, seventh prize! Come!"
Her aspirations are quite low, I thought as I watched the lottery machine spit out balls.
Mikadzuchi's appearance could truly be called that of a demon of many trials.
I'll keep turning until I get the item I want, is the atmosphere she was exuding, there was a different kind of tension than that of lottery's excitement.
And, once Mikadzuchi finished trying for her own and Sei-nee's worth of tickets, the result was——
"Five seventh prizes out of thirty-three turns huh. Well, so-so I guess? But it's actually good that I got some of aerna tickets from sixth prize since we didn't gather too many."
Said Mikadzuchi and holding a bag full of candies, eight prize's MP Potions, several of the fifth prize's coins as well as two of fourth prize's crafting materials she returned to where Sei-nee was.
"Here Sei, take all of these."
"Eh? Is this okay? Didn't we split in half?"
"It's fine. Also, you wanted these right? The fourth prize's 【Jewelled Branch of Hōrai】."
"Yup. But two aren't enough to make a staff. I need one more to have a staff made... well, I'll try winning at lottery myself later."
Mikadzuchi passed the majority of the items she got to Sei-nee and rid of the weight she turned towards me.
"Now, it's great that Missy's right here. Let's go elsewhere and talk a little."
"Um, being told 'let's talk a little' by Mikadzuchi feels kinda scary... what do you want from me?"
Moreover, she said that with a smile in order not to make me too wary, but to me she looked like a lion baring his fangs.
Feeling danger I took a step back.
"No need to get so scared is there? You made me want to bully you a little."
For a moment she made a black smile making me squeeze out scream.
And, a voice smashing this situation had rang out from behind me.
"Mikadzuchi-san! Wait right theeeeereee!"
Myu had come and as if tackling me, she embraced my right arm. Although usually I did reprimand her, in this case I was relieved how she disturbed the atmosphere.
"Yun-oneechan is now ours, no taking her away without permission!"
"Myu, I'm not anyone's possession!"
Embracing me more strongly, I'm not giving her away, she expressed with her entire body but...
"Ohh, I got one extra arena ticket I don't need after exchanging the lottery tickets earlier. I already have ten tickets to challenge the arena, I wonder, what should I do with this one?"
Seeing Mikadzuchi flutter around the red paper she held between her fingers, Myu pressed on my back and walked towards Mikadzuchi.
"Yes, here! Please have Yun-oneechan! And, do whatever you want with her!"
"That was fast! Heck, I was bought?!"
Then, when Mikadzuchi embraced my shoulder so that I don't run away my body had stiffened from nervousness. Sei-nee raised her eyebrows saying "sorry" and together with Myu and others we were guided to a café with Japanese sweets.
"Missy, Myu-chan and everyone, order whatever you like! I'll pay for all of it with my gift vouchers!"
"Yayy! Mikadzuchi-san, that's big of you4!"
"Myu-san, that kind of wording is rude towards a woman."
Lucato whispered quietly to Myu, but Mikadzuchi laughed saying "I heard that", causing Myu's party to tense up and then laugh dryly.
In order to dispel this strange atmosphere we ordered our sweets and I sat facing Mikadzuchi and Sei-nee. I braced myself wondering what kind of hassle is going to befall me.
"Don't get so vigilant. I just want to make a request for Missy as a crafter."
"If you want to ask me to do something, then stop calling me 'missy'. So, what do you want me to do?"
Mikadzuchi placed a certain item on the table. It was an item she acquired in the lottery earlier.
"——The lottery stall's seventh prize 【Yellow Potion】. I want you to make this, and within few days too."
2A reference to the mythological robe of the China's fire-rat featured in The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, a 10th century Japanese prose
4A double meaning I can't exactly translate too well. "太っ腹" means literally "generous" or "lavish", but the kanji themselves are... "太" can mean "fat" and "腹" means "belly" or "stomach". Well, you see where this is going right? That's why don't use this phrase on women, ever. Unless you don't value your lives.
Chapter 5 - Yellow Potion and Arena
"Suddenly telling me 'make it', and during the expedition too. Well, I actually intended to go to the guild in order to examine the materials I acquired..."
What I was asked to do while being treated to sweets by Mikadzuchi, was item crafting.
Confused by the suddenness I ordered cold tea to cool off myself, but now that I think about it, since Mikadzuchi was treating us I should have asked for anmitsu. Feeling slightly regretful I heaved a sigh.
"Still, a 【Yellow Potion】 huh."
I recalled Mikadzuchi's request.
"——The lottery stall's seventh prize 【Yellow Potion】, I want you to make this and within few days too."
The item she took out as she said that was a potion bottle containing a yellow liquid.
"It's the 【Yellow Potion】 that can be purchased in the drugstore inside the 【Demonfolk Resort】 or be acquired as a seventh prize from the lottery stall."
I picked up the 【Yellow Potion】 placed on the table to check its stats.
The 【Yellow Potion】 was the higher version of the 【Blue Potion】 and its recovery amount was nearly equal to the High Potion's.
I myself have investigated 【Potions】 and 【Pills】 after the bad status resistance leveling the other day in concern with the recovery limit. To prepare for the time I will reach the recovery limit I wanted to make a higher level of recovery items, but I didn't think I would receive a request from Mikadzuchi for crafting one.
"But why do you need it? High Potions have sufficient recovery amount. There's no need for me to go out of my way to make the 【Yellow Potion】, is there..."
"Actually. Mikadzuchi got full of herself and continued to beat the Red and Blue Ogres right? Back then she levelled up and went over the highpot's recovery limit. That's why she needs a High Potion's equivalent that doesn't have the recovery limit, which is the 【Yellow Potion】."
"In order to do this dungeon arena's continuous battle challenge I need stable means of recovery."
Told so, I roughly grasped what's the situation. However, it wasn't like I could make it right away just because of that.
"Anyway, bringing me the finished product and tell me to make the same thing is kinda troubling. I don't have any hints on what materials to use."
When I said that, a single lithograph had been placed in front of me.
"This is a Goblin healer's recipe I bought in the antique shop. It's damaged in some places but should be enough for a hint! Good luck with the rest!"
The thick and heavy lithograph had letters and pictures carved on it, but in some places it had crumbled off and was chipped. So she found a lithograph like this, while I thought so amazed, the lithograph was forced on me and she had entrusted the making of the potion to me with the last line.
After that, heaving a sigh I started to decipher the damaged lithograph in the 【Eight Million Gods】 guild's crafters room.
"Still, it doesn't require that high 【Linguistics】 Sense."
While recalling my conversation with Mikadzuchi I copied the contents of the lithograph and made notes of what I understood with my 【Linguistics】 Sense level, then heaved a sigh.
The content of the lithograph were two recipes, one was for the 【Yellow Potion】 and the other was for 【Demon's Wonder Pill】 that was something like a High Potion's pill version.
However, since the middle part of the lithograph where 【Yellow Potion】's recipe was, was damaged, I had difficulties identifying the combination of materials.
"Haa, seriously what am I doing."
Sighing time after time, thanks to borrowing the guild's private crafter room I could line up materials on top of the table.
I have reproduced the 【Demon's Wonder Pill】 recipe using the same method of making pills as always, as for the materials I used High Potions material that was Medicinal Spirit Grass and the 【Magma Bear's Liver】. I Mixed those together, added water little by little and moulded. It was a relatively simple pill recipe.
It was also described in the 【Folk Medicine's Encyclopaedia】 I received as a reward from the raid quest.
Because it was relatively simple I could immediately make improvements.
And, another of the results was——the content of a large barrel.
"Really, what am I doing."
After I deciphered the 【Yellow Potion】's recipe I looked at the lithograph that lost its purpose, and felt an impulse saying that I could use it for making pickled vegetables.
Since I could make those in a relatively short amount of time I simply put fresh vegetables and an appropriate amount of salt inside a barrel and placed the lithograph on top of it to act as a lid. I gave priority to making the pickles.
"The original goal, making of the 【Yellow Potion】 doesn't proceed at all."
I looked at the deciphered recipe once again.
The materials to use I knew for the time being were the 【Karukoko Fruit】 and the 【Vitality Tree's Fruit】 and the rest of the lithograph was indecipherable.
"Meh, I have no clue about the rest of the materials."
There were two places missing on the lithograph, from a very small piece remaining I was able to tell that one of the materials was herb-based.
I thought that one more material was necessary, but the remaining location was scrapped off and I couldn't tell at all what was written there.
"Actually I did try making it using the materials I have, but the 【Karukoko Fruit】 is a material with very strong tendencies."
Using the information I have acquired I tried coming up with combinations using the materials I knew of, but I couldn't make even a low quality potion.
The reason for that was the red potato 【Karukoko Fruit】 I was holding in my hand. I continued to fail until now because 【Karukoko Fruit】 still had poison in it and everything that was made was poisoned.
"Haa, first I need to remove poison."
To start with I washed the 【Karukoko Fruits】 I had clean, removed the skin and the sprouts leaving only the red part inside.
Once all the skin was peeled off I cut it into pieces and put the pieces of 【Karukoko Fruits】 inside a large pot with boiling water I prepared in advance.
"Here starts the important part."
I equipped myself with 【Bodily Resistance】 Sense and waited for a change to happen inside the pot.
When I started stirring the 【Karukoko Fruits】 that were bobbing up and down, a pale red and purple colour started to mix in together with white steam.
"It started. I need to bear it now."
Karukoko's red fruit turned into a muddy, mushy heavy mass inside the pot as I mixed it. The white steam coming out of it had become progressively darker with red and purple colours, quickly growing more toxic.
I held my breath but it had grown painful and when I ended up inhaling the hot, purple steam from the pot I received the 【Poison】 bad status I suffered from the specific symptoms such as my field of vision being narrowed.
"As I thought, with 【Bodily Resistance】 level 1 you don't feel any effect."
If that's how it is, I should have left it as 【Poison Resistance】. I thought and continued to mix the increasingly thickening mass at constant speed.
After some time my arm started to hurt a little so I raised my stats by applying an ATK enchant on myself, stabilizing the rate at which I mixed the content.
Since I was continuously under the 【Poison】 bad status HP recovery was essential so I worked while having 【High Potions】 placed beside me I kept drinking.
Using 【High Potions】 in order to make 【Yellow Potions】 is quite the contradiction, I thought as I kept mixing the insides of the pot for another twenty minutes until a change in the steam's colouring had appeared.
The purplish-red colour started to fade and gradually the steam had returned to its original white colour.
When the poison completely disappeared from the steam I lowered the fire under the pot and allowed it to cool naturally.
Once it had cooled down to a certain extent peeked inside the pot and saw a white mass settled on the bottom.
"I guess I succeeded in removing the poison?"
What was left, was to drain the remaining water and use a clean cloth to squeeze out the remaining water, drying the material.
"【Karukoko Fruits】 changed into 【Karukoko Starch】 huh, it's almost like Blue Gelatin."
It reminded me of the Blue Slime's drop 【Blue Gelatin】 that was a cooking ingredient which was combined with herbs to make a potion. The starch this time was also classified as an ingredient.
I wonder why. Are coloured potions all related to food?
While saying so I stored the detoxicated 【Karukoko Starch】 away and took a little rest.
What was left, was to prepare the 【Vitality Tree's Fruits】, the herb-based item and to look for the last material by mixing at random.
"Good work there. How are you feeling?"
"We bought some of the delicious green tea from the 【Demonfolk Resort】, want some?"
"Eh, Langley and Otonashi? Why are you two here?"
"Why, you ask. This is the 【Eight Million Gods】 guild so it's no wonder we're here. Also, we wanted to talk up to you but when we opened the door a purplish-red poisonous fog had started to spout out of the room. We've been waiting for it to settle down."
"Oh, sorry for the inconvenience then."
I lowered my head deeply. I didn't think the poisonous steam would leak out from the private room. However, it seemed like it leaked out because Langley opened the door a little to call me, so the poison didn't affect others as he closed the door immediately.
While Otonashi prepared the green tea, I took out the freshly pickled vegetables to have them as snacks with tea.
"Green tea with snacks, how nice."
"You're right. We can have a meal while at it. Still, aren't those pickles kinda strange? I see some strange patterns and drawings on their surface."
"Don't mind it, it's nothing. So, did you need anything?"
Eating the pickled vegetables with a loud crunchy sound, Langley started speaking about what they came for.
"I was asked by Mikadzuchi-san to check up on how you're doing. Although from the standpoint of the one asking to it was more like she forced it on me, but she herself is busy exploring the dungeon and the Volcanic Area."
"And I've come with him. Actually I got some materials in the dungeon so I wanted to try making some weapons and accessories."
"In other words, to remind me about the 【Yellow Potion】. As much as I'd like to help Mikadzuchi, it's not finished yet."
When I said that, Langley furrowed his eyebrows and immediately denied what I said.
"Just the opposite. You came to 【Eight Million Gods】 for a change of pace so she told me to make sure you don't overwork yourself. Mikadzuchi made the same request to the guild-affiliated crafters too. You don't have to force yourself too much."
"She's really exaggerating."
Actually the time I holed myself up in for so far is no big, I said and smiled bitterly.
"Well, Langley and I are also crafters so it's not like we don't understand that. So, how is it?"
"Ahh, yeah. Well, it's gonna turn haphazard here."
From decoding the lithograph I only learned the order of mixing the materials to a certain extent, just enough to narrow the mixing patterns.
"It looks harsh, are you all right? If needed we'll ask some of the mixing crafters from the guild to help out?"
"It's fine, really. It's not that hard."
I explained simply to the two.
From here on what I'm going to do is making a reagent from the 【Yellow Potion】 materials and looking for a material by randomly dissolving things into the made reagent.
While doing so I might find the correct mixing pattern, it's work requiring patience.
And, once I find it I will adjust the amount blended in as well as seek the changes depending on various factors such as the temperature and heating time.
"That's why, it's monotonous work that can be done by anyone."
As I explained how I make my own recipes for a change of pace, I slowly regained motivation.
"Eh? The way of making recipes we know is nowhere as precise..."
"Or rather, you're more like a researcher. Trying haphazardly feels really overwhelming. Well, I get it. All right, just don't force yourself."
Acting like a good-natured elder Langley worried about me.
"Thanks for worrying, but it's all right, I'm used to this."
"Well be going back to our crafting too. Ah, also, can I have some pickles? I want to eat them with everyone."
Since Otonashi seemed like he really wanted some pickles I passed a number of them to him in a small container which he happily received.
After this the two will probably make new items from their own crafting speciality by using the materials they acquired. I need to do my best as not to lose to them.
"All right, let's do this!"
Once again, in order to try making the 【Yellow Potion】 I made liquid samples.
I added the dried 【Karukoko Starch】 into the 【Vitality Tree Fruit's Juice】 to make the liquid, then into two separate containers I added the juices of the 【High Potion】's material's, the 【Medicinal Spirit Grass】 and MP Potion's material's, the 【Magical Spirit Grass】 and diluted them with 【Water of Life】 instead of distilled water to make a pale green reagent solution.
I poured small portions of that into small test tubes, then I inserted different materials in to each of them to find out the material for the 【Yellow Potion】.
"First, let's try using Volcanic Area's materials. Then we'll move on to a wider range of materials. Last, I'll try the potions I have on hand. If none works, it means it's impossible."
I muttered in order to instil fighting spirit in myself and started looking for the material by using various powdered reagents I brought from the 【Atelier】.
When I did, quite quickly I found the reagent react by changing the colour, but it was a different one from the one I was looking for.
"It's blue, and very clear blue at that."
When I inserted the Magma Bear's drop, 【Magma Bear's Liver】 one of the two reagents, the one with 【Magical Spirit Grass】 responded. I wrote down the data concerning its mixing so far in a notepad.
Although the reagent was made quite diluted, I recorded that the recovery effect was quite considerable despite that as I searched for the 【Yellow Potion】 yellow reaction.
Even if not as deeply yellow as the 【Yellow Potion】 Mikadzuchi showed me, I expected it to have quite a distinct yellow colour. I added one material after another looking for the optimal combination.
And, by using the powder reagents I brought from the 【Atelier】 I found a reaction, although a very pale, then by combining associated materials on priority basis I was able to find a correct combination.
"Ahahaha, it took a while. Still, I didn't think that this potion would be the last material."
When I finished checking about half of the materials, when I mixed in the 【Blue Powder】 obtained by processing Blue Jelly the reagent showed a yellow reaction.
Then, when I tried Blue Jelly-related items, the 【Blue Potion】 itself showed the strongest yellow colour.
"I see. I wonder if the coloured potions are all the type that use the previous potion as the material? In that case, the next potion might use this 【Yellow Potion】 as one of its materials."
I muttered to myself and noted down the required materials for the 【Yellow Potion】, and tried making a potion by using the combination with 【Magma Bear's Liver】 that reacted first.
"Let's start by making one normally, then look into making a potion with high recovery amount."
The basic method was to mix 【Karukoko Starch】 with 【Vitality Tree Fruit's Juice】, then adding mashed Medicinal Spirit Weed and add 【Blue Potion】 before cooking it in a small pot.
As I heated it the hue immediately changed, turning yellow. When the colour change stopped as it started to boil I took it off the heat when it grew hazy, removed the refuse and poured it into a potion bottle.
Yellow Potion 【Consumable】
A very low quality Yellow Potion was completed.
It was as similar to the deteriorated version of the 【High Potion】 and its recovery amount was worse than that of high quality 【Blue Potion】.
"It's a complete substitute of a potion, huh. Well, let's try changing the way I make it."
Actually I didn't just review on the making of the 【Yellow Potion】, feeling that improvement of the 【Blue Potion】 might be necessary I tried another combination.
The potion combination with 【Magical Spirit Weed】 and 【Magma Bear's Liver】 that responded with blue had reacted faster than the 【Yellow Potion】, moreover the reaction was finished before it started boiling and a pale blue potion was made.
Holy Mountain's Magic Water 【Consumable】
Recovery 【HP+10%, MP+10%】
I was stunned seeing the created potion.
Of all things I made a potion that simultaneously recovers HP and MP. It was an item many crafters dealing with 【Mixing】 were searching for and could not be made by just mixing Potions and MP Potions.
So the day has finally come, I thought, but the effect itself was quite low.
I wondered how high quality of a 【Yellow Potion】 requested by Mikadzuchi can I make in these few days. Moreover, I also wondered how far into practical level can I take the potion recovering HPMP simultaneously. Thanks to that I started to feel a little bit of excitement.
However, the menu's timer function started to ring, informing me that it's time to log out.
I've gotten so fired up that I forgot the time, so I decided to give it up for today.
I raised my body from the bed in my room, removed the VR Gear I wore on my head and lied down on the bed again. Until I fell asleep I wondered what mixing combinations would increase the recovery amount and why was the crafted potion low quality.
The 【Eight Million Gods】 guild's expedition's fifth day.
When I arrived in the 【Eight Million Gods】 guild home Myu and others were already gone, seeming to have gone to the dungeon.
"Today is the day Sei-nee and Mikadzuchi challenge the arena, right. There's still time."
Since the two were challenging the arena without any prior information they made elaborate preparations over the last two days.
On the third and the fourth days I continued to improve the 【Yellow Potion】 and was somehow able to complete it.
"I need to pass them to Sei-nee and Mikadzuchi before they challenge the arena."
I entered the guild's private room I borrowed and started making 【Yellow Potions】 using the improved recipe I made with all of the time I spent logged in yesterday.
The method for making the 【Yellow Potion】 was mixing the 【Karukoko Starch】 and 【Vitality Tree Fruit's Juice】 ahead of time, then heating it along with addition of little water. At this time I mixed it at temperature from 60 to 70 degrees Celsius until there's a reaction.
When the 【Karukoko Starch】 melts completely and everything turns into a smooth liquid I add the 【Medicinal Spirit Grass】.
At this point, the raw materials are more effective.
And when I get a green liquid I maintain it at boiling temperature.
In the end, I pour a 【Blue Potion】 into the green liquid at 1:1 ratio, making it change colours to yellow.
All that was left was to allow the created 【Yellow Potion】 to cool off naturally.
Yellow Potion 【Consumable】
Making a 【Yellow Potion】 equivalent of the highest quality 【High Potion】 I could make, I was satisfied.
Still, I wonder why a green liquid with the 【Blue Potion】 gives a bright yellow. I guess it's because it's a fantasy game?
While giving priority to crafting the 【Yellow Potion】, I used extra time to craft another potion which was the 【Holy Mountain's Magic Water】.
The crafting method of 【Holy Mountain's Magic Water】 was similar to that of the 【Yellow Potion】 but the reaction's temperature was from 35 to 45 degrees Celsius and it was necessary to maintain temperature of lukewarm water.
Because of that, I didn't mix it on open flame but rather by placing a pot inside boiling water instead.
After receiving a reddish-brown muddy liquid I diluted it with water and heated it up to human skin's temperature. Until this point I only used the【Water of Life】.
When I was looking for the material I used 【Water of Life】 as a material in order to broaden the conditions, luckily I didn't use distilled water, if I did I wouldn't have found this combination.
In the end I added 【Magical Spirit Weed】 when the reddish-brown liquid turned transparent and warmed it, maintaining constant temperature of human skin, which resulted in completion of a clear blue potion.
Holy Mountain's Magic Water 【Consumable】
Recovery 【HP+35%, MP+35%】
It had both the effect of a high quality Potion and MP Potion.
With the battle situation changing rapidly in combat, it might be advantageous to recover both HP and MP at the same time.
Still, I felt that the recovered amount was a little low, but one of its features was that the recovery amounts wasn't limited by the acquired SP's recovery limit.
I was able to make 50 of 【Yellow Potion】 and 20 of 【Holy Mountain's Magic Water】 within the time schedule.
"Now, I need to call Sei-nee."
I opened the friend chat from the menu and called her.
"Sei-nee, got time now?"
『"Wait a moment, I'll finish combat now——《Aqua Bullet》"』
Apparently I had bad timing and ended up interrupting a battle. From time to time I could hear her voice activating magic.
『"Since you're calling, it means it's about the potion right?"』
"Actually I was able to finish the 【Yellow Potion】 you asked for, did I make it?"
『"Thank you, Yun-chan. Mikadzuchi, Yun-chan seems to have finished the yepot, where will you receive it?"』
Sei-nee had spoken to Mikadzuchi to consult her. After exchanging words a few times they seem to have decided.
『"Yun-chan, can you bring it to the arena at the 【Demonfolk Resort】's sixth street? After receiving the potions we'll challenge the arena."』
"Got it, I'll head over there right away."
I placed the two types of completed potion in the inventory and moved out from the private room in the guild heading towards the guild's entrance where the mini-portal was installed so that I could transition to the 【Demonfolk Resort】's back gate, but then I noticed a lot of noise at the entrance.
"Arrr! You shall not pass! We won't let players without invitation pass!" "We finally have a chance of getting a pretty girl, as if we'd let it slideee!" "She'll provide us cosy space. For that sake, we must get rid of all elements that might make her decline joining the guild!"
It seemed like combat had started in front of the guild's gate, clash of metal had echoed outside. When I peeked out I saw an acquaintance surrounded by multiple 【Eight Million Gods】 members.
"Hey?!! Taku?! What the hell are you doing!"
"Oh, Yun! I came to check on how you're doing. I spoke to these guys asking if I could meet you, but for some reason it turned into PvP."
Taku laughed happily as he said that, but he himself had received damage as he was attacked by an entire group. Moreover, it seemed like he didn't fight back as the guild members didn't receive any damage.
And yet, for some reason they bit their lips in chagrin and gnashed their teeth, having expressions as if they were to shed tears at any moment.
"He's speaking to her as if it's nothing, and just because he's her childhood friendd." "And all we can do with our communication disorders is to look from afar..." "I'm envious, jealous, he's acquainted with the three pretty sisters, ain't he a winner both in real and the game, seriously."
I think some misunderstanding turned into a personal grudge here, what to do about this? I asked Taku with my gaze. There isn't any real damage so there's no problem, he responded in the same way.
When we made an exchange with just our gazes, the guild members who assaulted have for some reason fell on their knees. What a mystery.
"If all you want is to meet up and talk, you could do that in school."
"I only came to meet you today, I'll talk to you about the rest in real. But, I didn't think I would receive damage just by coming to meet you. And right now the highpot's recovery amount is decreased for me, too. Well, it'll recover over the time."
"Geez... don't move."
I used the lowest quality 【Yellow Potion】 I made on Taku to heal the damage he received.
The quality was too embarrassingly low for me to deliver it to Sei-nee and Mikadzuchi, but actually it was good for recovering little damage like this.
"Ooh? A new potion?"
"A failure of one. It's not of quality for selling but well, think of it as of a degraded highpot."
"Could you give me some?"
"Ahh, so your recovery amount was limited because your level went up. Once I stabilize the quality I plan to sell them in the 【Atelier】 so buy them properly."
I passed the 【Yellow Potions】 with varying performance to Taku.
"Well then, I'll be going back. I'm relieved you're looking all right."
"That's fast. Well, I do have plans now so that's fine."
Right after I said that, Taku left.
I need to hurry to meet up with Sei-nee.
Using 【Eight Million Gods】 mini-portal to transition to the portal nearby the 【Demonfolk Resort】's back gate I aimed for the designated place in the dungeon.
While I was choosing relatively calm places to explore like the streets from second to fourth, the fifth street had NPC merchants with weapons and armour, accessories and quests. The seventh street had the rogue humanoid mobs that attacked players. The arena was on the sixth street sandwiched between fifth and the seventh.
"Oh, Missy! Over here!"
"Yun-chan, cheers for good work making those potions."
Mikadzuchi noticed me first and waved to me showing herself.
As I approached Sei-nee said her thanks, I felt like my hard work until now was rewarded, even if by a little.
"Well, I've been collecting yepo's little by little from the drugstore NPC and did quests to get lottery ticket sub-rewards, but you saved me since I couldn't gather enough."
"Indeed. The arena allows every participant to use up to 30 recovery items, thanks to you we have enough now."
"I made 50 of them, did I make too much?"
"Not at all. This time I'm gonna use about half, but they can be used outside of the arena as well."
"I see, that's great. Well, then I'll pass them to you."
I passed the two kinds of potions and the recipes for them to Mikadzuchi.
The lithograph thanks to which I got the hints for the material was passed to me by Sei-nee and Mikadzuchi, so this was the consideration for being able to study that.
If they spread the recipe in the guild they'll be able to make it in a stable manner from now on.
I passed it out of consideration, but Mikadzuchi frowned, making a questioning look.
"What is it?"
"There are some other potions aside from 【Yellow Potions】 but... rather than that, what is this paper?"
Mikadzuchi fluttered around the piece of paper she received in trade through the menu. Is it just me or does she look grumpy?
"Actually I made it with yours and Sei-nee's support, so I'm giving you the potions and the recipe instead of a report?"
When I answered puzzled, Mikadzuchi beckoned me to come closer.
"Haa, yep. Missy, come 'ere."
I took two steps wondering what is it, and then Mikadzuchi caught my head in a steel grip with one hand.
She started pushing from above as if to crush me, forcing a voice of protest out of me.
"OWWwww! Hey, my spine! You're crushing it!"
"Crafters don't give out recipes just like that! And don't look down at our guild's freaky crafters! How many people do you think I requested the same thing as you! They'll find it on their own at some point! It's a waste of your concern!"
Hmph, she let go of my head and pushed the recipe alone back on me.
I was surprised seeing Mikadzuchi seriously get angry at me for the first time.
Normally she either teases me or drinks liquor, but this time I felt her kinda scary and different from her usual bright and charismatic side.
Seeing me react like that, Sei-nee on the side chuckled.
"Mikadzuchi is worried about you, Yun-chan."
"Certainly, we do trust our guild's crafters, but you're too careless so she warned you out of worry."
Mikadzuchi's bad mood didn't change, but she started fidgeting a little, embarrassed.
Seeing that appearance of hers, Sei-nee's shoulders further shook as she suppressed her laughter.
Whenever I make new items or show them off to acquaintances such as Magi-san and Emily-san, they advise me.
I recalled that I'm being protected by various players I'm acquainted with.
"Mikadzuchi, um, thank you for worrying about me."
"Ahh, damn, as long as you get it! All right?!"
Mikadzuchi scratched her head strongly and put on the usual expression.
"Still, well done making 【Yellow Potions】 in such a short time. Again, thanks for that."
Told so right up from the front made me feel kinda embarrassed, so this time I looked away.
"Also, the effect is higher than the default, moreover you made a new type of potion. Let's share them with Sei right off."
"Let's see. Normal highpots are enough for me, so I'll have a generous amount of 【Holy Mountain's Magic Water】."
Somehow, whenever I show people new items they are either surprised or appalled, those two patterns. However, Sei-nee and Mikadzuchi accepted it all normally.
"What is it? You're making a strange face."
"No, I thought you'd be more surprised, kinda..."
"Hmm. I'm plenty surprised. But it's about you, Yun-chan."
"Well, that's how it is with Missy."
Why did me being myself turn into a reason for accepting everything?!
"Now, let's raid the arena! The bunch from the guild is tired of waiting!"
"The bunch from the guild?"
When I asked puzzled, Sei-nee explained.
"Actually, you can watch it from the audience. Myu and others have taken seats already."
Thinking of it now, I did feel like there were few people in the guild's home, and the reason Myu who logged in early wasn't there was because she gathered with others at the audience.
"Arena is a place where you fight a series of matches, right. Mikadzuchi, Sei-nee, are you going to challenge it just the two of you?"
"Yeah, for now. It's hard to allocate the prizes if there's too many people."
Saying so she looked towards the entrance to the arena where the prizes were exhibited.
There were ten prizes total with each one being unusual and suitable item.
I got unusually interested in one of them.
"【Crystal of Exorcism】?"
It was a big cluster-like crystal.
Although the crystal had white cracks inside, they diffused light passing through it making it like beautiful, fresh snow.
"Ah, the prize for the sixth round."
Noticing what I look at Sei-nee explained.
The strengthening material 【Crystal of Exorcism】's description said the additional effect was——【Recovery Effect (small)】.
This effect raised the recovery effect of recovery magic and items used.
If I used it together with the strengthening materials I have on hand and the 【Precious Magic Crystal】 I got from the lottery I could make some pretty nice accessories.
"...wish I had one..."
Knowing it's a strengthening material I unconsciously muttered this, and Mikadzuchi ended up hearing it.
"Ohh, Missy's aiming for the strengthening material. Well, I don't mind passing it to you. My aim are the third and the seventh prizes."
"And I'm aiming for the eight prize."
"The tenth prize is split between the entire party. If it's just the two of us up we'll have one extra once we reach the ninth prize. In that case let's add Missy to the party and split it evenly between us three. All right!"
While I was still confused by Mikadzuchi's and Sei-nee's conversation, an invitation to join the party was sent to me.
"C'mon, let's form the party."
"No, I have no intentions of joining..."
"Let's challenge the arena."
"Eh, ah, yes."
Somehow I lost to Mikadzuchi's impetus and joined the party.
"Great! Let's go to the arena! With the three of us!"
Mikadzuchi put an arm around my shoulder and firmly held it as we walked to the arena, at the entrance to the arena she passed ten of the challenge tickets, and then I was brought inside.
"Why did this happen..."
After passing through the arena's reception and entering inside we have walked downstairs and inside the basement.
Once we passed through a passage only dimly lit with torches, spread ahead there was a circular arena.
The audience were one stage higher, on the right there were Goblins and Goblinas, as well as other humanoid mobs like Hobgoblins. On the left hand there were 【Eight Million Gods】 members mixed together with humanoid mobs, the players started cheering loudly once we appeared.
"If you want something you need to take appropriate risk to get it. Now, resolve yourself!"
"I wish you told me about this earlier though..."
Haa, I sighed and got comforted by Sei-nee.
"Eh? Yun-oneechan's taking part too?! Do your beeest!"
And, I heard Myu yell from the audience.
"Look, Yun-chan. Myu-chan is watching so it's a good chance to show dignity as her elder."
"Uhhh, in this case I have to get the prize even if I end up completely covered in dirt!"
When I finally found motivation, the arena's consecutive battle began.
The first opponents appeared from the doorway on the opposite side.
What appeared, were ten Goblin thugs with weapons. Looking well, compared to the sleazy Goblins, they were looking neat and their weapon were well-maintained.
"So Goblins are first, huhh. Well, I guess even I can do something against Goblins."
"Yun-chan, don't let your guard down. Their level should be higher than that of normal Goblins. There are three with sword, two with axes, two with spears, two with bows and one with staff."
"So, the quota is at least three each. Everyone ready?"
In response to Mikadzuchi's voice I gripped my weapon, the longbow, pulled an arrow from the quiver and waited for the signal starting the battle.
The Hobgoblin referee stood in front of the gong and struck its centre strongly.
At the same time the metallic sound echoed throughout the arena, the Goblin vanguard had rushed at us.
"——《Rapid Fire Bow - Second Form》!"
I invoked art and shot between the incoming Goblins in order to do a pre-emptive attack against the Goblins in the rearguard.
Two arrows were released from the tense string and drawing sharp trajectory, they captured two rearguard Goblins.
Receiving a pin-point attack in the humanoid mobs' weak points, the Goblins were unable to react to the sudden happening, fell on their back and disappeared turning into particles of light.
As I muttered quietly, Mikadzuchi slowly walked out in front of the two of us.
She thrust her hexagonal stick at the vanguard's Goblins forehead, neck and chest.
The light and fast thrusts have blown four Goblins away in an instant, they hit the ground and when they tried to get up, they turned into particles of light.
"They're really fragile, hardly any different from the ones in the seventh street."
After releasing contrarily heavy blows with very light movements Mikadzuchi turned to the remaining Goblins.
"What's left are two spears and a bow——ah, it's over already."
Mikadzuchi repelled the arrow shot by the bow-equipped Goblin and turned to Sei-nee to ask which Goblin should she take down, but they were all defeated by the two of us before she could.
Sei-nee created ice spears that pierced the axe and spear Goblins' abdomen, and I pierced through the forehead of the bow-equipped Goblin before he could shoot the next arrow.
"Oh, Missy. You were so reluctant at first, but you're unexpectedly fired up to it."
"I hate pain and I'm scared of receiving damage. But, if I'm doing it, I'm going to do it at full power."
Mikadzuchi placed an arm around my shoulder applying pressure and started poking my cheek with her fingertip. How cumbersome.
As if to run away, I looked towards Sei-nee seeking help.
"Look, next opponent has come out."
When one round finished, we were given time to make a choice whether we want to continue or retire and once that time has passed, the arena challenge automatically continued.
The second round's enemies were six of the Goblin Soldiers that walked around the town. Wearing unified equipment they attacked us in a line formation.
"Looks quite fun! Haa!"
Mikadzuchi rushed out to the Goblin Soldiers who matched their pace closely to each other.
Holding shields lined up in a row, Goblins thrust at Mikadzuchi from between the gaps, but Mikadzuchi jumped high over them as if jumping over a vault and struck with her stick from over Goblins heads'.
The Goblins' feet were stuck in mud as they tried to turned around towards Mikadzuchi, furthermore their feet and ankles were frozen by Sei-nee's magic.
"Nice snare! HAa!"
Mikadzuchi assaulted the Goblins unable to turn around and knocked them down one after another.
"It's only simple at first. I guess the next one will be a little harder?"
So far we were able to progress without wasting any potions whose number were restricted.
The second round ended and the third started soon after.
Certainly, even if the opponents are weak, there's no time to catch a breath when they appear one after another.
What appeared in the entrance on the opposite side, was a single Magma Bear.
The colouring and strength didn't seem different from that of the Volcanic Area one, but the various parts of his body such as arms and torso had metal protectors attached. Including the magma-back there were only a few places to deliver effective attacks.
"Great. This is my third prize aim's opponent right. Sei! Missy! I'll fight this one by myself! Rest a little!"
After saying so, Mikadzuchi smashed at the Magma Bear with her stick not waiting for us to consent.
When she struck the Magma Bear's protector with the stick a high sound echoed. The Magma Bear counter-attacked with his claws glowing hot, tearing through the soil.
Although she avoided it, Mikadzuchi had received a little of damage from the heat the claws spread. But she used a 【Yellow Potion】 while striking the gaps in the Magma Bear's armour.
"Go gooo! That's it! Do your best Mikadzuchi-saaan!"
"Sis! Beat him! C'mon!"
"Master! Don't lose! Bring out as much information as possible for when we are fighting it!"
Hearing the cheers from the audience she waved one hand to it while avoiding the attacks at the same time.
"That Mikadzuchi, she really is popular."
"Well, you know, there are some kids who enter the guild just because they look up to Mikadzuchi."
"I see. I can understand that, somehow. Still..."
I was overwhelmed by the fierce cheering Mikadzuchi's fight received.
Although the heat caused by Magma Bear's claw slashes was strong enough to reach us in the rear, receiving the cheers Mikadzuchi continued to show sharper and sharper movements, avoiding direct hits.
"Fuhahahahaa! It's nothing as long as it doesn't hit!"
"No, that's true, but isn't it scary? Getting so close to that."
"It's all experience and training!"
Diving below the Magma Bear's attacks Mikadzuchi kept striking at the enemy's knees and arm joints with the stick.
Still, I wonder why did she say she's gonna fight alone in the third round.
She received damage and used potions whose number is limited, is there any meaning to it?
"It doesn't look like Mikadzuchi has any personal grudge against Magma Bears though..."
"In Mikadzuchi's case it's not about the Magma Bear, but about the third prize she wants. Also, she probably wanted to make sure she has the skill to win the third round all alone, I guess?"
Sei-nee explained her deduction. Right, was the third prize that Mikadzuchi wanted, I recalled, meanwhile there was a change in Mikadzuchi's battle against the Magma Bear.
The Magma Bear let out a short grumble, crouched down and held his nose with both arms.
Overlapping attacks on the wrists and knees accumulated damage in these parts.
As a result the bear's movements dulled and he was unable to guard the vital point that was his nose from attacks, ending up on his knees and in a temporary indisposition to fight.
Meanwhile the Magma Bear squatted down in pain, Mikadzuchi ruthlessly attacked the weakness in the back of the bear's neck with the hexagonal stick.
"——《Six Rotations Smash》!"
Opening eyes widely, Magma Bear fell on his side and started convulsing.
With art released into the weakness in the back of the Magma Bear's neck its HP went down to zero and it disappeared turning into particles of light. Surrounded by cheering voices Mikadzuchi returned to where we stood.
"All riight! If I'm this strong I can beat those in stable manner! And I got my liquor!"
"Geez, don't exhaust yourself all alone. Here, healing."
"I can do that much myself."
I went ahead to recover Mikadzuchi's consumed HP and MP with a potion, but she ended up refusing it.
Seeing Mikadzuchi's attitude as she faced to the side and pursed her lips, Sei-nee suppressed her laughter, her shoulders shaking strongly.
Why laugh? I wondered, but that's when I heard quiet voices come from the audience.
"Treating that Mikadzuchi-san like a kid, Yun-san's amazingg." "Yeah, she really is the 【Nanny】." "Thinking that way and imagining master like a frolicking kid is kinda moe." "So Yun-chan was a 【Nanny】 after all!"
When hearing that I made a displeased expression, Sei-nee was no longer able to bear it and started to laugh quietly.
"C'mon, Sei and Missy, the fourth round is starting."
Told so by Mikadzuchi we immediately focused as we waited for the next opponent.
The fourth round had a group of Goblin's higher mob type, Hobgoblins. There were more of them than in the first round, their equipment was improved and mixed in between them there was a mob that took position of the commander.
"They've got mixed classes. There's a Hobgoblin Knight and multiple Hobgoblin Soldiers."
It would be difficult for three normal players to deal with them. Once it turns into a battle there will be no time to think up a strategy.
As the gong was struck signalling the start, immediately the Hobgoblin Knight instructed the Hobgoblin Soldiers to spread on both wings.
"Encirclement huh. Sei, Missy! They're behind us so be careful!"
Mikadzuchi attacked the soldiers who have come charging at us from the front, but they used their weapons and shields to reduce the damage. The Hobgoblins split in front of Mikadzuchi to the left and right, surrounding her the moment they closed on.
Since the hexagonal stick Mikadzuchi was using as a weapon had long reach, they closed in to reduce her manoeuvrability. Meanwhile the rest of the soldiers have passed by her side.
"Moreover it looks like the Hobgoblin Knight increases his comrades' stats! ——《Aqua Bullet》!"
I shot arrows one after another and Sei-nee fired water bullets, but even though we finished off a few enemies we were unable to dampen the siege's momentum.
In that case we need to aim for the commander, I thought and shot an arrow at the Hobgoblin Knight, but it was blocked by soldiers in the back and the knight himself.
"Keh, we're surrounded. In that case..."
"It can't be helped. Though I'm not too good at close combat——《Gram Sword》"
"I'm also a rearguard so I'm not good at it either. 《Enchant》——Attack, defence, speed."
Completely surrounded I talked frivolously with Sei-nee as we prepared ourselves for intercepting enemy.
Sei-nee clad her weapon, the staff with water making a blade on the tip of it and held it like a spear.
I applied a triple enchant on myself and switched the weapon from the long bow to the kitchen knife I took out of the inventory.
"Really, I'm really glad to have sub weapons."
In my left hand I held the heavy Meat Cleaver – Heavy Black. Making sure of my grip on it I remained on alert looking at the approaching Hobgoblin troop.
At the same time the Goblin Knight spoke a command, the soldiers have swung their weapons at us.
"—— 《Ingredient Knowledge》!"
In response to that I used the support skill 《Ingredient Knowledge》 showing the enemy's weak points and closed on them at once using the speed increased by enchant.
The enemy's simultaneous attack's timing broke as I moved forward and they missed their swings, then I swung the heavy meat cleaver with brute force at the soldier in front of me, leaving everything to brute strength.
Although the soldier tried to block my attack by pulling back his weapon's handle, my attack sped up by the enchant closed onto his neck and with brute force cut through his weak point, chopping off his head.
And then, without even letting out a cry the soldier turned into particles after a single blow.
"So if lucky enough even I can take them down with a single hit."
Even though I dealt critical damage to his weakness, I was still surprised by that.
Meanwhile, the Hobgoblin next to me had swung his long sword at me.
"Yun-chan, don't let you guard down!"
The moment I heard Sei-nee's reprimand, noticing the swung down long sword 【Sky Eyes】 activated naturally.
Inside the extended experienced time I raised my left arm and received the long sword with the side of the meat cleaver.
Next, I used my empty right hand to pull out the normal, everyday kitchen knife from my belt and holding it in reverse grip I moved right under the enemy to pierce the kitchen knife right under his chin, then cut with it.
When I moved away, I took distance from the soldier by kicking his abdomen.
In the middle of the experienced time stretch I saw the blood splash diagonally from the soldier as his body turned into particles of light and disappeared. Looking at that in a daze I turned around towards the next soldier.
The experienced time returned to normal and I looked around to check on the remaining enemies.
And, I received the next opponent's attack with the meat cleaver in my left hand, then counter-attacked with the knife in my right.
For the first two enemies I luckily decided it by dealing critical damage to the weaknesses, but because of the difference in reach and number, as well as because I wasn't skilled nor familiar with close combat it turned into a situation where we shaved off each other's HP.
"Damn! I'm getting quite some damage."
"Yun-chan, I'll use a potion so wait a little longer! I'll clean up the enemies over here right away——《Ice Lance》!"
Sei-nee and the Hobgoblin continued to cut at each other, the bladed staff against the sword. At the same time, Sei-nee fired ice lances to keep the enemies at bay.
Mikadzuchi who was the first to be surrounded had already defeated the soldiers and was about to attack the Goblin Knight and his escort.
"I knew Sei will be all right, but you're holding out nice Missy! In this case I can go for the commander without reserve!"
"Help out beating the weaklings first! Beating adds is one of RPG's basics, right?!"
"Sometimes it's faster to beat the boss first!"
Saying so, Mikadzuchi started combat with Goblin Knight and the adds.
I somehow continued enduring. Fortunately, as I endured and dealt damage to the enemy one of them fell and the number of enemies decreased, allowing me to move more freely.
Also, although there was a limit on the recovery items, having them allowed me to tenaciously continue exchanging blows with the soldiers.
"This guy's the last one!"
What a long muddy battle. With only one enemy remaining I used not only Enchant, but also Cursed to suppress him with brute force.
In the end, I defeated him by doing an overkill, swinging down the meat cleaver right on his brains.
"Haa, haa... it's over. Damn it, the fourth round was quite taxing."
My breathing was rough, my shoulders went up and down, but Sei-nee and Mikadzuchi looked completely fine.
"Well done there. It must've been a good experience for Missy, right?"
"That's true. There was a large burden because we have few people in the party, but it was good practice. Moreover, everyone's been cheering you on as you fought, Yun-chan."
"Haa, haa... you say some Spartan things. Also, I didn't notice the cheering at all."
Feeling fatigue after constantly avoiding attacks and from tension of the battle, I couldn't stabilize my breathing.
I raised my face and saw Myu, Lucato and others cheer. Other than that there was Langley, Otonashi and other guild members cheering and praising me.
"Yun-chan! You did great!" "Do your best next time too! But don't force yourself!" "Thanks for showing another side of your cute self, Yun-chan!"
Somehow it felt like some other stuff was mixed in among cheers, but my participation was received positively.
Although, I think it's weird for an outsider who is not in the guild like me to party up with the guild master Mikadzuchi and participate in the arena in the first place...
"Why is everyone cheering me on?"
"Well, isn't it because you're cute, Yun-chan? And as for another reason——"
When Sei-nee turned towards the audience as she spoke, she received the answer immediately.
"Mikadzuchi-san and Sei-san are too strong, they defeat everyone before we can see all their movement patterns and it's not helpful as a reference." "And as for that, Yun-chan fought quite tenaciously and brought out the enemy's movement patterns." "Also, it's our first time seeing her innocent reactions which is kinda enjoyable."
One after another voices explained, causing me to smile bitterly.
"What's with that? First time seeing someone happy with me being weak."
"Everyone is just being selfish! So don't mind it Onee-chan, just puff up your chest and fight!"
Myu had cheered on me from the arena's audience.
"...yup, I'll try doing my best for a little longer."
"That's the spirit! Let's aim for conquering the arena."
"No, I'm not thinking that far ahead."
As everyone continued to cheer, the arena's fifth round had began.
Chapter 6 - Curse and Hot Springs
The fifth round had the enemy we have fought multiple times already.
"...Red Ogre and Blue Ogre, huh."
We have repeated those so many times. They won't be much of a problem now."
"But if they're the fifth round's opponent, means that the sixth round onward will be harder than the boss. I don't mind retiring after I get the eight round's prize, what do we do?"
"We're going as far as we can! And if that doesn't work, we'll challenge it again!"
"Then I'll continue supporting you two with all I have. 《Enchant》——Attack, defence, speed!"
I applied a triple enchant on Mikadzuchi and have seen her off.
While watching Sei-nee and Mikadzuchi who optimized their movements for fighting the Red Ogre and Blue Ogre at the back gate, I contributed to the battle by attacking with bow and arrow.
At early stage I used 【Curse】 arrows for cover fire to seal enemy's special attacks so we were able to get through the fifth round without any difficulty.
So far the Red and Blue Ogres from the fifth round were the strongest, but since the fourth round's Hobgoblins fought as a group they were even harder to fight against for a small group of people like ours, because there was a limit to how many of them can one person take on at once.
The sixth round, the one that awarded the 【Diffusing Crystal】, the strengthening material I wanted. And the round's opponent was——
What appeared was a nearly two metres tall, huge bake-danuki.
Covered in fluffy hair, he had a kettle-like armour on his torso as if to hide his fatty belly and was holding a spear in his hand, a spear with cross-shaped blade.
Although he had a cute silhouette, just like the "grudge" in his name suggested he glared at us with resentment in his eyes, these eyes butchered all cuteness there was to him.
"Oh-hoh, a new type of mob came out. Let's turn this uncute tanuki into a tanuki soup. Of course, Missy will cook it."
"Enemies in the arena don't drop items, so I can't cook it."
"Yun-chan, so that's what you're retort to, mm? Anyway, it's starting!"
This time, it was Sei-nee who retorted to me.
Right after that, the sound of a gong had started the sixth round.
At the same time it started, the Urami-danuki leaped up high.
Ahead of where we looked, the Urami-danuki let out a comical *bofun* sound and a white smoke spread from his body, hiding it.
"We have no idea what's coming, be careful!"
"This smokescreen can disappear for all I care!——《Bow Skill – Gust of Wind》!"
At the same time Mikadzuchi warned I invoked the art creating strong wind pressure along with an attack.
The arrow pierced through the centre of the white smoke and after scattering it, disappeared in the sky.
"What?!! He's gone!"
"Or rather, he divided? Look, we're surrounded."
Sei-nee silently moved as to protect Mikadzuchi's and my blind spots and as the three of us stared at the enemy standing back-to-back, little Urami-danuki's surrounded us.
There were five Urami-danuki's tall enough to reach my waist, each of them held a spear suiting their physique. They have steadily decreased the distance between us and them.
"Trying to surround us like the Goblins won't work!!"
"Dumbass! Don't attack a new enemy carelessly!"
I switched the weapon from the bow to the meat cleaver and slashed at the Urami-danuki standing in front of me.
At the same time the meat cleaver reached, the Urami-danuki disappeared literally turning into smoke.
Along with that a blow from the cross-spear had come out from the white smoke and grazed my side.
As expected, with a blow delivered at zero distance even by making full use of my 【See-Through】 and 【Sky Eyes】 I was barely able to avoid the spear tip and ended up having my flank torn by the spear's blade.
"Oww! Heck, seems like the attack is also accompanied with 【Curse】."
I could hear a quiet scream from the audience when I received the counter, I just held my cut flank and took a step back.
"So rather than dividing, he made shadow clones, huh. In that case we need to find the real body between the clones."
Mikadzuchi calmly analysed the fact that one of the Urami-danuki disappeared turning into white smoke.
Meanwhile, Sei-nee healed me up, returning me to perfect state.
"Seriously, how do we find it."
Succeeding with an attack on me, the Urami-danuki's mouth distorted turning into a cynical smile.
"We can attack all the shadow clones at once. We can eliminate all those clones and then attack the real body. Also, we can try preventing him from his special attack. That's about all I can think of."
Or, we can try frontal attack on them to try finding the difference between clones and the real body. Mikadzuchi muttered and at the same time she rushed towards the Urami-danuki and thrust with her hexagonal stick.
As the weapons fiercely clashed against each other Mikadzuchi parried Urami-danuki's spear and hit him in the torso. However, just like the first one the enemy disappeared letting out white smoke and another shadow clone appeared, joining others surrounding us.
"Seriously, what do we do about these?!"
Although I desperately avoided the attack from the cross-spear, my HP was cut down by the counter-attack coming from inside the white smoke.
The shadow clones' attacks weren't strong enough to take us down with a single hit, but they put on 【Curse】 bad status, moreover, the spear's shape was troublesome.
The 【Curse】 bad status in addition to reducing MP had caused random negative effects from time to time, so if we continue receiving those attacks there's a chance of receiving a lethal negative effect.
Right now we could recover with items, Sei-nee could also use 【Recovery Magic】 to maintain the margin of safety, but it didn't seem like we could deliver any damage to the enemy.
The cross-spears had broad attack range as their tips had crescent-shaped blade so it was hard to avoid them, unless you avoid them by a large margin you will get caught.
Also, since the spear encirclement narrowed from all sides, defending ourselves had gradually become more difficult.
"Damn it!! ——《Zone Bomb》!"
Desperate, I used the lowest magic in the Earth Element in combination with 【Sky Eyes】.
Focusing on multiple enemies in my range of vision I invoked 《Bomb》 magic all at once.
As a result, four shadow clones of the tanuki were wrapped around by 《Bomb》's yellow explosion and received slight damage, but since they were attacked at the same time four of them thrust at me with their spears.
"Nowah?! T-that was close!"
Abandoning any shame and respectability I avoided by crouching, four enemies' spears have passed over my head. As if crawling, I slipped away from under them.
"Missy, what are you doing?"
"What, you ask. Trial and error!"
"That attack just now was dangerous. Try imagining what would happen if you received that spears' simultaneous attack."
Told so, I thought of a situation where I receive multiple simultaneous attacks from four shadow clones and came to conclusion that there was a high chance I could receive severe 【Curse】.
As well as chain damage from continuous attacks within a short period of time.
"Seems like you understood. But well, it's a good example of a failure. The guild's members will surely take note of that."
Kukuku, Mikadzuchi let out a muffled laughter as she parried an attack of a shadow clone and continued to search for a clue on beating them.
After that, I received several counter-attacks from the Urami-danuki, and while recovering the damage with potions I used 《Bomb》 magic to accumulate damage on a single Urami-danuki.
"Damn, attack with 《Bomb》 don't deal too much damage. I need to think of a more efficient method."
"Missy, can't you find the main body with your 【See-Through】?"
'Not happening. I've been looking at them all for a while now, but I can't seem to find tanuki any different. His 【Concealment】-type Sense must be quite high."
"After coming this far we had a nasty opponent appear. We might get really exhausted if it goes badly. But, what if..."
While Mikadzuchi and I idled fighting against the Urami-danuki, Sei-nee seemed to have found a way out.
White light had appeared on the tip of the staff and the single target heal 《High Heal》 was activated.
Its target wasn't me or Mikadzuchi, but the Urami-danuki's shadow clone.
Although the clone screamed and turned into white smoke, no spear had come as counter-attack.
The other shadow clones of the Urami-danuki returned to the main body and all the damage dealt to them so far had been included.
"I guess it's simple once you realize it?"
"Sei-nee, what do you mean?"
"Urami-danuki is an undead enemy so physical attacks are ineffective I think. Moreover, unless it's specific magic it will have very poor effect."
"I see. It's simple once we know the trick. Missy, give me fire element."
"Roger that. 《Element Enchant》——Weapon!"
The counter-attack was fast once Mikadzuchi and I learned the enemy's weakness.
I used Fire Elemental Stone and applied element enchant on Mikadzuchi's weapon.
From thereon, Mikadzuchi fought Urami-danuki using fire elemental damage, Sei-nee attacked with recovery magic and I continued to deliver damage by using silver arrows that were very effective against undead.
Finally, the Urami-danuki let out his death throes and sprouting white smoke from his body, he collapsed.
"He was quite tough. I used lots of 【Yellow Potions】 there."
"I also hit him quite many times with 《High Heal》 so I don't have much MP Potions left."
Although Sei-nee and Mikadzuchi were in perfect state, they didn't have enough consumables to support that.
"Are you all right? How many 【Yellow Potions】 you have left?"
"Got 10 right now. At current pace it feels like I'll be able to barely reach tenth round."
"Looks like for now, we don't have to think about retiring half-way."
I listened to the two's opinions and though that at this rate we'll get through the seventh round and will likely be able to get the prize for eight round, the one Sei-nee wanted. Possibly, we might see through it to the end.
While I stood there relieved I'll get the strengthening material I wanted, suddenly I received an impact in the back.
The shock was strong enough to crush my naive ideas about the arena challenge.
A purple cross-spear had protruded from my belly.
Sei-nee and Mikadzuchi also were pierced by the same thing and voice like a scream sounded from the audience.
With a loud *whump* I was pierced by a purple spear, but I didn't feel any pain or received damage.
I twisted my body to look behind and saw a purple, semi-transparent Urami-danuki looking at us with resentment. In the end, right before disappearing he put on a cynical smile.
"What was that, just now..."
As I rubbed my abdomen stunned by the lack of pain it was Mikadzuchi's voice that made me return to myself.
"Tch! He got us!"
Mikadzuchi immediately cursed and confirmed her status in the menu.
"In the end he left us a ridiculous 【Curse】! How about you, Sei?"
"It was somewhat reduced since I have 【Curse】 resistance accessories on but..."
When the two looked my way I confirmed my status in the menu.
Seeing the 【Curse】 effects displayed there, I was at loss for words.
"...what the hell is this?"
My status was currently displayed as 【Cursed】 and there was no value that would indicate its intensity.
Moreover, unlike normal 【Curse】 I received a variety of negative effects.
"【Skills Sealed】, 【Healing Skills and Items Disabled】, 【Statistics Decrease】. Also 【HP Decrease】 and 【MP Decrease】? What's with this?"
I was stunned by the overly-strong 【Curse】's effect.
With this I couldn't recover my HP and MP, as well as from the bad status. The HP Decrease wasn't as fast as that of 【Poison】 but it was steadily decreasing.
And it seemed like Mikadzuchi received the same 【Curse】 as me.
"So Missy didn't resist it and got the whole set. And you Sei?"
"Just 【MP Decrease】. But, since my MP is decreasing I won't be able to use much magic in combat."
"Tch, Urami-danuki's final attack huh. Let's get over the retirement choice and rush for the seventh round. In fact, this turns into a battle with time limit."
Final attack is a general term for attack that forcibly activates when mob's HP reaches zero, it's also called 【Attack Upon Death】 and 【Stray Attack】.
During arena battle you cannot pass recovery items to each other.
Right now Mikadzuchi and I cannot use items we have available, the only one who could use items was Sei-nee who mainly picked up MP Potions.
"It was going too easy, I should have been more careful."
Mikadzuchi muttered quietly, her mutter echoed in the completely silent arena. Then, "it was easy for you, Mikadzuchi", a retort had come from the audience.
What we clearly understood now, was that the situation had changed from a comfortable one into one where we are backed into a corner by the Urami-danuki's 【Curse】.
"He appeared, the seventh round's enemy..."
The enemy from the seventh round that was ahead of Sei-nee's line of sight was——Twin-Torso Warrior.
It was two demon warriors' bodies stuck back-to-back as one, they held curved swords in their hands, a two-faced embodiment of four swords-style.
The demon warrior in front wore heavy armour, the demon warrior in the back wore loose kinagashi.
"How does the guy in the back move with those legs? Is what I'd like to inquire, but I guess it's no time for that."
"The guy attached to the back has reverse ankles like those common in robo-games. That thing has an unexpectedly strong jumping ability."
"Yun-chan, Mikadzuchi, we don't have time to talk about that. So, Mikadzuchi, what do we do?"
"Sei, you'll act as a healer just in case. Don't attack and spare MP. Missy, use all items you can. I'll settle this quickly!"
I immediately passed non-recovery items I had in inventory and that could be used to Mikadzuchi.
"Here, Enchant Stones and Boost Tablets. Also, I'll lend you the 【Substitute Gem's Ring】, it can block up to three attacks."
"I know how to use Enchant Stones and Boost Tablets so no problem there, but this ring is your treasure isn't it, Missy?"
The 【Substitute Gem's Ring】 was unique equipment that could completely invalidate the attacks depending on the size of the gem fitted on its pedestal.
For me, who has poor defence this is a very powerful item.
"If you fall, Sei-nee and I behind you won't win this. We can't have you losing, Mikadzuchi. Also, I'm a support character. Since I'm a support, my role is to arrange it so that combat positions fight at their best."
"Missy... I get it. I'll be borrowing it."
After saying so, Mikadzuchi put on the 【Substitute Gem's Ring】 on the index finger of her right hand. Then continuing, she crushed the Boost Tablets between her teeth and said the keyword for the attack, defence and speed Enchant Stones, activating them.
"It feels like the enchants mostly offset stat reduction."
By lightly swinging her arms and stretching, Mikadzuchi checked up on her own body.
Sei-nee and I also used strengthening items to mitigate the stat decrease, readying ourselves beforehand.
Once it was time, the Hobgoblin referee sounded the gong and the seventh round started.
"Well theeen, I'll be going."
"Go on, I'll support you as much as I can."
In order to make it through this battle I did my best to provide cover fire with the bow.
The arrow I shot over running Mikadzuchi's head was cut down by the Twin-Torso Warrior's curved sword, but I continued to shot arrows without rest so the enemy couldn't ignore it.
And, once Mikadzuchi sprung in front of the Twin-Torso Warrior, they started exchanging blows.
She delivered precise blows with her hexagonal stick as she avoided lightly. The Twin-Torso Warrior had continued to let our wide-ranged slashes, cleaving with his curved swords.
Normally after the enemy attacks there's an opportunity to hit them, but enemy's four swords delivered too many attacks covering the openings so Mikadzuchi couldn't hit the Twin Torso Warrior cleanly.
However, having Mikadzuchi strike at him the Twin-Torso Warrior was unable to block my arrows and various places unprotected by armour were pierced.
Actually I did use arrows synthesized with bad status drugs, so the moment arrows have pierced into enemy their effect could be seen.
Although arrows themselves dealt little damage, 【Poison】's slip damage, 【Curse】's random negative effects, 【Paralysis】; 【Sleep】 and 【Stun】 inhibiting actions have blunted Twin-Torso warrior for an instant, allowing us to come out advantageous.
Still, since the Twin-Torso Warrior recovered from bad statuses quicker than Ogres, the effect wasn't too strong.
"He's stronger than the Ogres! This is harsh! This isn't something I'd like to fight against if I was completely weakened!"
Since Mikadzuchi wanted to preserve the 【Substitute Gem's Ring】's protection she continued to avoid the attack of the warrior.
Because of that, Sei-nee who acted as an emergency healer was unable to participate and only watched over us.
As the Twin-Torso Warrior's front and rear heads howled, the warrior in front swung down his curved swords diagonally then took a step forward, that's when the other side swung its swords cleaving from the sides.
Mikadzuchi avoided the attacks and slipped to the side of the Twin-Torso Warrior, but ahead of where she avoided to the rear side had released a thrust. In order to avoid that, Mikadzuchi leaped further to the side.
"Pheew, that was close. Since he has another body on his back he has no blind spots behind him."
This time, Mikadzuchi confronted the demon warrior wearing kinagashi that was on the Twin-Torso Warrior's back.
And, Sei-nee and I have faced the demon warrior wearing an armour in the front. We positioned ourselves as to do a pincer attack from the front and the back with the three of us.
"Um, won't this turn real bad if he ignores Mikadzuchi...?"
"At that time we'll might have to stall for time no matter what."
"You'll think when that happens. HAA——"
Mikadzuchi slowly slid her feet on the ground moving forward, measuring the distance of enemy's curved swords, then with a loud shout she thrust with her weapon.
Matching that attack I shot an arrow at the demon warrior in the front.
That's when the Twin-Torso Warrior showed a move we haven't seen yet.
The demon warrior on Mikadzuchi's side blocked the attack with the swords in his hands, but the demon warrior on our side didn't help with that. Instead, he struck down the arrow that were ignored until now.
"This is... don't the movements of the front and back side have a subtle difference?"
Up until just earlier, all four swords focused on intercepting Mikadzuchi, but now they have been distributed to sides.
And, with just the two swords on the back he was unable to suppress Mikadzuchi's onslaught, allowing Mikadzuchi to approach.
"Blow away! Haa!!"
Filled with fighting spirit she thrust with the stick at the kinagashi-clad warrior., as a result the Twin-Torso Warrior was blown away in our direction.
In order not to let him close onto where Sei-nee and I were, I threw a magic gem in a hurry.
"Make it! ——【Clay Shield】!"
Starting with the location the thrown gem had fallen to, an earthen wall had grown from the ground into which the Twin-Torso Warrior slammed.
After slamming into the wall the warrior fell in that place and sluggishly rose up.
"That's some power. The attack just now took 10% of his HP."
"Looks like you didn't see it from your side, Missy, but half of that came from him slamming into the earthen wall you made."
While saying so, Mikadzuchi shouldered the hexagonal stick, then once again readying the weapon she lowered her waist.
The Twin-Torso Warrior had 70% HP remaining. And, Mikadzuchi's HP was reduced to 60% by the Urami-danuki's 【Curse】.
Since it would be dangerous for her HP to fall below that, Sei-nee who has been on standby has moved.
"Mikadzuchi, healing. ——《High Heal》!"
"Oh, thanks. Well, let's try my best for little longer!"
Sei-nee used recovery magic to heal Mikadzuchi, who resumed combat with the Twin-Torso Warrior.
I continued shooting arrows as I observed the change in enemy HP's decrease.
"Doesn't the Twin-Torso Warrior have slight differences between defence on both sides?"
"So you noticed that too, Yun-chan."
Since I ran out of bad status arrows, I stopped for a moment to take out normal ones. Meanwhile, I listened to Sei-nee's analysis.
"The back is vulnerable to physical attacks. Mikadzuchi must have realized that since she matches the Twin-Torso's movement as it tried to turn with front towards her, and continues to stay behind him."
That's when the demon warrior cleaved broadly and did a half-turn to the left. Along with that movement the front warrior had turned towards Mikadzuchi and swung his curved sword, but Mikadzuchi matched those movements and rolling she avoided it. Once again, Mikadzuchi confronted the demon warrior in the back.
"Tch, he turned with the front again."
"Mikadzuchi, I'll recover your HP. ——《High Heal》"
"And Yun-chan, you also received as 【HP Decrease】, haven't you? ——《High Heal》"
"Thank you, Sei-nee."
Since I'm a rearguard I neglected my own HP, and before I noticed it dropped down to 40%.
I had much lower max HP as compared to Mikadzuchi, so using heal magic on me with the same timing would be a waste of MP, so Sei-nee used heal on me once for every two times she used it on Mikadzuchi.
"My MP is already low so settle it before it runs out."
Hearing Sei-nee's words Mikadzuchi waved her hand and took a step forward.
The battle with the Twin-Torso Warrior was to resume again, but after having his HP cut down by 30% the enemy made a movement completely different from how he moved until now.
"He's taking a step back?"
The Twin-Torso Warrior took a big step back, lowered his body, and leaping forward he cleaved at Mikadzuchi with the curved swords.
"Tch, he's fast!"
The sound of air being cut with strong momentum by the curved swords reached me in the rearguard. Mikadzuchi, averted her upper body avoiding the attack by a hair's breadth, but the Twin-Torso Warrior twisted his body and advanced another step forward.
"Got it! ——【Clay Shield】"
Just in case, I moved together with Sei-nee.
"Tch, he's chasing me?!"
Mikadzuchi lowered herself further avoiding it, but the Twin-Torso Warrior continued rotating, switching front and the back constantly he let out heavy slashes at Mikadzuchi one after another.
The second attack was received by the stick, but Mikadzuchi lost in contest of strength and was parried away, her posture collapsing.
With the third attack she received damage for the first time and the 【Substitute Gem's Ring】 took effect, letting out a quiet sound of breaking. Then the fourth and fifth attacks the Twin-Torso Warrior let out had easily exceeded the damage 【Substitute Gem's Ring】 could receive.
Mikadzuchi was unable to fix her posture as she received the nullified attacks and receiving the sixth cleave, some of her HP was shaved off.
And, when the Twin-Torso Warrior was about to release the seventh attack I threw magic gems at Mikadzuchi's feet, creating earthen walls under her and scooping her up.
Multiple walls were too brittle for the strong attacks of the curved swords and have collapsed, but thanks to the fact walls grew under her feet she was able to escape upwards.
"——《High Heal》, 《High Heal》!"
Sei-nee invoked a heal on Mikadzuchi twice, restoring the received damage worth of HP.
"Sei, Yun. You saved me there."
"...no way. She called me by my name."
"The attacks earlier were really persistent, if not for this thing Missy lent me, your support wouldn't make it in time. One more hit and it would be over for me. Also, Missy, thanks for this ring."
"So, how do we take the rest of his HP?"
Sei-nee used recovery magic in succession so her MP hit the bottom, forcing her to recover it with MP Potion on hand.
Still, because the 【Curse】's effect was reducing it little by little, she sought to settle it early.
"In that case there's no choice but to decide it all at once with all firepower we have."
While saying so, Mikadzuchi took off the 【Substitute Gem's Ring】 that had the gem on its pedestal shatter and returned it to me.
After once used, the 【Substitute Gem's Ring】 had several hours of cooldown applied to it. Good work, I muttered to it and stowed it away in the inventory.
We turned towards the Twin-Torso Warrior, it seemed like he finished his big move and fell on his knees, completely defenceless for about ten seconds.
"I'll give up on avoiding and continue attacking him physically."
"I will use the remaining MP Potions to barrage him with magic."
"I-I'll spread around remaining Magic Gems to blow him up."
"Well, it's decided!"
Mikadzuchi switched from her current fiery red light armour to the unique equipment that had a gloomy, wolfish design, the 【Dark Wolf's Armour】.
The 【Dark Wolf's Armour】 was unique equipment received as a reward from a raid quest, it's negative effect 【Skills Sealed】 had overlapped with the negative effect from the Urami-danuki's 【Curse】 so currently it had no disadvantages. Moreover, it's 【Might】 additional effect increased the user's ATK significantly.
"All right, let's go!"
As if chasing after running Mikadzuchi, I also started to run towards the Twin-Torso Warrior.
Sei-nee created water bullets and ice lances in large amounts, and consuming MP Potions she continued to wait until the moment she can use them all at once.
"Missy, match Sei's magic. Don't get hit until then!"
"I'll do this from a safe place."
I moved to medium distance while shooting with the bow, then started placing 【Bomb】's Magic Gems little by little, throwing them beneath the Twin-Torso Warrior's feet.
Mikadzuchi parried a swung curved sword with armour on her arm and circled around to enemy's side, then using stats increased by 【Might】 she thrust the stick at the demon warrior in the back. When she did, the enemy's body rotated, receiving and mitigating the attack with the armour in front.
"Tch, but... I'll force it through! DARAAahhh!!"
The hexagonal stick thrust into the front demon warrior's belly and strongly dented in his armour.
Along with a loud, dull sound, the Twin-Torso Warrior lost strength in his knees and fell on the ground.
While it was possible to reduce the damage by allowing the impact to flow behind, the enemy was unable to do so and it had spread in his entire body.
The demon warrior in the front pierced the curved swords into the ground and supported himself with both arms and the demon warrior in the back immediately counter-attacked.
Mikadzuchi parried that strike to the side with all her strength, then struck the demon warrior on the back.
"Now. ——《Aqua Bullet》《Ice Lance》, fire at once!"
"Let's do it. ——【Bomb】!"
Sei-nee fired several dozens of magic that was waiting behind her, all straight at the Twin-Torso Warrior.
The water bullets flying at high speed made dents in the front warrior's armour, the ice spears gouged his limbs, water burst out meeting the icy air and froze the Twin-Torso Warrior.
And while the enemy was unable to move, 【Bomb】's Magic Gems activated all at once. The Twin-Torso Warrior was unable to avoid the multiple bombing and as he was swallowed by yellow explosions, the contours of his body were distorted.
"I threw in several dozens of Magic Gems there. This should do."
"Not yet! Mikadzuchi, last hit!"
As the explosion's flash gradually faded, the Twin Torso Warrior appeared to have survived, although his armour in the front and kinagashi in the back were all in tatters.
He stood up despite having less than 10% HP, poising his four swords broken in half he launched a continuous rotation attack on Mikadzuchi.
However, the broken swords had small range and Mikadzuchi easily avoided them, moreover she was able to release the final blow by taking advantage of superior reach.
"Great timing! Blow away!"
Mikadzuchi thrust with all her strength at the enemy's side that was exposed by the rotation.
The rotation added to the attack's strength and the Twin-Torso Warrior's armour was crushed and the strike deeply sank into his flank.
The Twin-Torso Warrior was blown away along with a cry, hit the wall of the arena and slipped to the ground.
In there, his body turned into particles of light, disappearing.
Since we have been fighting with our Arts and skills suppressed ever since the seventh round started and the very end was flashy, the cheers from the audience were the loudest so far.
"All right, let's continue to the eight——"We're retiring."——Sei-nee?!"
The seventh round ended and I felt enthusiastic since next one had the prize Sei-nee aimed for, but she herself had declared we're retiring.
The retirement had been accepted by the system, but I asked Sei-nee in wonder.
"Is that okay? I mean, isn't the next prize what you were aiming for?"
"It can't be helped. Urami-danuki's 【Curse】 still continues. Also, I only have enough MP for one spell and few potions. Mikadzuchi and Yun-chan, even if you can fight with your HP you can't use skills, right?"
"If we force ourselves to challenge it here and lose, we lose all the prizes so far. It's wiser to withdraw here."
While saying so Mikadzuchi put a hand on my head from behind and ruffled my hair strongly. Shaking off her hand, I had to agree with her.
"Yup, you're right. Maybe I wasn't calm enough."
"No, Yun-chan, you were taking me into consideration weren't you. Thank you."
Sei-nee gently pat my head as if to comb my hair, causing me to feel embarrassed.
In the edge of my vision Mikadzuchi's mouth distorted in dissatisfaction that I shook off her hand, but that's because she was too rough.
Mikadzuchi suddenly exhaled, then rose her voice as to let the entire arena hear it.
"Now, we have challenged the arena as the first, how was it? Will that serve as tips?! We have come in without taking any special measures, as a result we retire after the seventh round. Take advantage of this information. Also, look at how other guys challenge the arena and use that to knead your own measures. So yeah, do your best!"
Along with Mikadzuchi's closing declaration a variety of cheers had come from the arena's audience. I smiled wryly seeing that enthusiasm, then left.
After challenging the arena, we have distributed the prizes and as a result——
Each of us picked a single prize out of the prizes for all seven rounds and four prizes remained.
I received the 【Crystal of Exorcism】 first, then Mikadzuchi received the prizes for the third and the seventh round. Since Sei-nee retired before we acquired the item she wanted she had a right to choose the prize out of the remaining four on priority basis.
"I'll...take the fourth and fifth prizes. You're next, Yun-chan."
"Eh? I... then, the second round's prize."
"You're lacking greed. We got the items we wanted so you should take all remaining ones, missy Sei."
Saying so in the end, Mikadzuchi received the remaining prize and the allocation was over. On that day, since all three of us were already exhausted we decided to rest.
Then, the next day, in the evening of the sixth day of expedition.
I was doing the final adjustments of the accessories in the 【Eight Million Gods】 guild's craftsmen room.
Whew, I ended up practically re-crafting the accessories for Sei-nee and Myu again.
I stared at the accessories placed on the table.
For the blue and silver accessory made with Blurite Ore, I first strengthened the ingot itself by synthesizing in a water 【Element Stone】, increasing the water element effect.
As for the bead bracelet, I first made transparent glass beads, but then I thought that the way the 【Crystal of Exorcism】 diffuses light would suit Myu, so I continued to process the beads.
I roasted the glass beads on a frying pan and had it rapidly cool in ice to make cracked glass to match the look of the 【Crystal of Exorcism】.
I was given advices by Otonashi and Langley which I used as reference, finally making an accessory for Myu.
Also, I used a light 【Element Stone】 on this one as well, combining it with the materials at early stage to add additional effect 【Light Element Increase (small)】.
All that was left to do, was using the strengthening material I had on hand on these two.
I took out four strengthening materials.
The Highlands Area's boss mob's King Cockatrice's drop, the 【Chicken King's Crown】
The drop from the sea anemone-like Electric Parasitic Insect boss that was inside the Grand Rock, the 【Parasite Pacemaker】.
And the two strengthening materials I acquired in the Volcanic Area's 【Demonfolk Resort】, the 【Precious Magic Crystal】 and the 【Crystal of Exorcism】. I added the effects to each accessory.
And the result was——
Blue and Silver Mystic Ring 【Ornament】 (weight:1)
DEF+7 INT+3 MIND+12 Additional Effect: 【INT Bonus】【Water Element Increase (medium)】【Magic Increase (small)】
Snow White Bracelet 【Ornament】 (weight:1)
DEF+8 MIND+12 Additional Effect: 【Recovery Increase (small)】【Range Improvement (small)】【Light Element Increase (medium)】
For Sei-nee's 【'Blue and Silver Mystic Ring】 I used the 【Precious Magic Crystal】 in order to add the effect increasing magic-related stats.
As for other effects, there was the 【INT Bonus】 that could be attached by crafter's 【Engraving】 Sense and 【Water Element Increase】 that was an additional effect added by the use of Blurite Ore.
It was an accessory specialized in water element and magic.
Myu's 【Snow White Bracelet】 had used the remaining three strengthening materials and was an accessory that boosted recovery, light magic, and had an auxillary effect.
Thanks to the light 【Element Stone】 and 【Parasite Pacemaker】's overlapping effects the 【Light Element Increase】 effect had strengthened by one stage.
"Sei-nee's magic will grow even more powerful. And since Myu says she wants to be a paladin, I made a general combination of effects for her."
Imagining the two's happy faces I ended up smiling.
I stretched my body and noticed it was already night.
"Ah, it's almost time to sleep... I took a bath already, so all that's left is to go to sleep."
After muttering that, I suddenly remembered.
"The hot spring building in the Volcanic Area, there should be no people there at this time..."
The frontline area was populated with few players. Furthermore it's around midnight so there isn't as many people online, I might be able to enjoy the hot springs without being seen by anyone. Thinking so, I immediately started acting.
I transitioned to the portal at the back gate of a dungeon from one that's out of sight, then headed towards the hot spring.
"...there's no one here. Comin' iiiin."
After making sure there's no one inside or around the building I took off my boots at the grate in the entrance and sneaked inside on tiptoes.
And, the moment I passed through the door to the dressing room——
"OHH?!! My entire equipment was changed huh."
What was my equipment earlier, had forcibly changed into a bath towel wrapped around me.
Apparently if I had a swimsuit I would have been equipped with it instead of a bath towel, but unfortunately I don't have that kind of equipment...
"I'm all naked under this... heck, what am I thinking about!"
I hurriedly shook my head and got rid of needless thought, then headed to the bath.
Holding down the unreliable bath towel with my both hands I walked slowly.
"Woah... so this is how it is inside."
When I entered from the dressing room to the bathroom, I saw an open-air bath made with rugged rocks.
After once again confirming there is no one inside, I a nearby bucket and poured hot water on myself before entering the bath.
"In real you can't have the bath towel get wet, but here it can't be helped since it won't come off."
I held down the unreliable bath towel that won't get off no matter what I immersed my body in the bathtub.
"Haa, this is paradise. 【Demonfolk Resort】 might really be a good match with me. Mmm, I sure spend this week leisurely."
Combat, farming boss and the arena challenge weren't all that tiring. All of that was many times better than mobs in a grotesque dungeon.
"It has an atmosphere like that of an hot spring town, there's a lot of shops with delicious stuff I enjoyed."
Tomorrow is the end of the guild expedition huh, I said and relaxed, I looked towards the night sky seeing off the white steam disappear in it.
Then, after spending some time in daze, my 【See-Through】 Sense perceived signs of life in the dressing room causing me to panic.
"EH?! There's someone else coming in at this time, what do I do?! I'll be seen!"
If it gets out that a man like me entered women's bath it'll be end of my social life. I need to hide somewhere, I thought and started looking around, but other people have already entered the bathroom.
"So you really were here, Missy."
"Good evening, Yun-chan."
Finding out that they're my acquaintances I was relieved, but also thought that I can't stay here and hurriedly rose up from the bath.
The water I have been soaking in up to my shoulder had flowed down my body, the drenched bath towel felt heavy.
Holding down the heavy bath towel with my hand I headed towards the dressing room but——
Just when I thought I passed by Mikadzuchi, she caught the edge of my bath towel and threw me back into the bath.
I fell into the bath along with a loud splash, then rose in a hurry and raised my voice in protest.
"PWAH! That was dangerous! What if my bath towel comes off?!"
"What are you getting all embarrassed for. Also, you just got in so don't leave so early, accompany us for a little bit."
Saying so, Mikadzuchi soaked in the bathtub right next to me.
I tried standing up again but she held my head down and forced me back into the bath.
Unable to resist because of the difference in our stats I gave up, then soaked up to my mouth in the cloudy hot water in order to hide my body.
"Why did you two come here?"
"Mm. We saw Yun-chan run this way and got curious."
"Still, aren't you embarrassed to come after me as far as to the bath...?
"We have swimsuits under this, look."
Sei-nee said that and showed off shoulder straps that were visible despite the bath towel wrapped around her.
At that time her chest was strongly emphasized, causing me to avert my gaze.
"Aahh, fine. I get it already——hya!"
"Kukuku, so innocent. Aren't you cute."
Mikadzuchi lightly stroked my back with her fingertips. I reflexively bent backwards, turned towards her and glared.
"Mikadzuchi! Heck, what the hell are you showing off here!"
Seeing her shift the bath towel to show off the swimsuit just like Sei-nee I immediately averted my eyes from her.
"Why are you overreacting like that? It's too cute, makes me want to bully you."
"What? Do you have a complex over your small breasts? Don't worry, mine aren't too big either."
As if! When I shouted that in my mind and stared at Mikadzuchi, she took out a tray from the inventory and placed it on the edge of the bath.
Then the next thing she took out, was a painted sake cup and a liquor bottle.
"Mikadzuchi, liquor again?"
"It's stylish to drink while looking up at the moon, right?"
She poured the content of the bottle into the sake cup painted red, filling it up.
"And that is?"
"Arena's seventh prize——【Magic Cup】"
And saiyng so she drank little of the liquor from up, then tilted the cup horizontally. When she did, liquid had started coming out of the cup as if springing up from a fountain.
"The liquid poured inside earlier can be reproduced by consuming MP. If you pour a potion in, then a potion, if liquor, then a liquor. Of course, the amount of MP consumed depends on what you pour inside."
"Mikadzuchi is using it differently from how it was intended to. Moreover, she aimed for the third and seventh prizes in the arena just for this, you know?"
Haa, Sei-nee heaved a sigh. The prizes Sei-nee and I have chosen, the second and the fifth one were of two types, big and small tsuzura boxes.
The content of the wicker boxes changed at random, Sei-nee's large box had one large item inside and my small box had three smaller ones.
"My fourth prize is a material called 【Nameless Demon's Horn】. And as for the fifth prize's box, I don't have luck so it'll probably be a item I don't need."
Although we were immersed in a pleasant bath, Sei-nee started letting out a depressing atmosphere, making me panic.
"It's all right, Sei-nee. Um... if you won't need what you get, I'll exchange it with what I get from the box."
"Uuunh, Yun-chan's kindness pierces my heart. But at the same time, it looks like no one expects anything of my luck."
Seeing Sei-nee even more downhearted, in contrast, Mikadzuchi smiled happily.
"Once the expedition is over you should open them in front of everyone. Whether you have luck or not, everyone will get fired up."
"Uuu, Mikadzuchi, you talk as if it had nothing to do with you."
"In fact, it doesn't. Also, missy Yun, come participate in tomorrow's party."
Mikadzuchi called me by my name again. She did that once in the arena before, at the same time I felt a little happy to be called so, I was ashamed to be called that right now and sank into the bathtub up to my mouth again.
"And, it's about the time you decide what will you do, Missy."
"Whether you officially join our 【Eight Million Gods】 guild, or leave."
"...it's all right. I have already decided."
It all felt too cosy I sometimes nearly forgot about it. That's why I have decided right from the start.
Hearing my words, Mikadzuchi responded with "I see, I see." and drank the rest of liquor all at once.
"Well then, I'll be going ahead."
"Sure, good night. Don't be late for tomorrow's party."
"Good night, Yun-chan."
I held down the heavy bath towel with my hand and walked towards the dressing room with sound footsteps.
Behind me, I could hear Sei-nee and Mikadzuchi speak to each other.
"Yun-missy sure is strong."
"You're right. It does seem like Yun-chan goes with the flow, but since long ago whenever she decided on something, she would always carry it through."
Hearing their words I denied that in my mind. I'm not strong or anything, I thought.
Epilogue - A Party and Accessories
"We were able to safely expedition to the Volcanic Area. We used human wave tactics to acquire information on quests, shops, items as well as facilities. This is all thanks to guild members' hard work. ——Cheers!"
Holding a cup with liquor in one hand, Mikadzuchi announced the start of a party ending the guild expedition.
With the people having the 【Cooking】 Sense including me, having preparing food as the centre, the members of 【Eight Million Gods】 were divided in several groups.
A group that boasted of the items they acquired during the expedition, a group that immediately opened auctions for items, and a group that shared stories of their adventures with each other.
Among them, Sei-nee and I stood in a conspicuous place.
"Well then, we will be opening the 【Tsuzura Boxes】!"
Sei-nee took out a large tsuzura, I took out a small one.
We matched our timing as we opened the lids, for just a moment light spilled out from inside and we saw items inside.
"...uu, this is?!"
Inside Sei-nee's large tsuzura box there were three pieces of rare crafting material, 【Jewelled Branch of Hōrai】.
"That's great, Sei-nee. It's the material you wanted."
"I'm glad, my luck wasn't bad this time! In the very end I got the item I wanted. But..."
She smiled happily, but a slight shadow appeared on her face.
"To make the staff I only need three, so I'll have two spare ones."
Since it was a rare material in the first place, it had a limited number of uses.
"Inside my tsuzura there are..."
Inside the small box there were earrings, necklace and a hair clip, these three types of accessories.
"Accessories, and kinda rare-looking?"
The effects of the accessories were things like "halves max HP but increases stats", "increases stats when HP falls below a certain percentage", "increases speed, but constantly consumes MP in exchange". Each of them had peaky effect.
"So Yun-chan got unique accessories."
Since they have effects difficult for me to use they'll probably end up as references for crafting, I thought and heaved a sigh.
However, for people who were watching over me and Sei-nee as we broke the seals on the boxes, the items we got were classified as jackpot, which further motivated everyone to challenge the arena.
"Well then, let's go back to Mikadzuchi."
"You're right. And since there's food prepared, let's eat some on the way."
The two of us have headed to the corner of the hall where Mikadzuchi was.
"Oh, looks like you got some amusing items, you two."
"Welcome back, Yun-oneechan, Sei-oneechan〜."
Mikadzuchi and Myu's party have gone ahead and started eating, and were chatting with each group.
"I'm sooo envious of you two getting rare items. I'll show you I can get rare equipment in the arena too!"
"Kukuku, you sure are energetic, Myu-chan."
Seeming like she already had some alcohol in her blood, Mikadzuchi asked us when we sat down and started eating.
"The guild's expedition is over, Missy and Myu-chan, what will you do? Are you going to officially enter the guild? Or will you leave?"
It was the same thing she asked me last night. I already decided on the answer.
"I will——be going back to the 【Atelier】. I'm sorry, I have been in your guild's care."
"We are going back to our original playstyle as well, is what we decided together. It was a lot of fun this time, so if you're going for another expedition please call us."
Myu's party also decided not to enter the 【Eight Million Gods】.
Hearing our choice, the guild members who heard it have screamed.
"You guys, shut up! Sure, we failed to recruit pretty girls, but you're being too noisy!"
"But...! It's really motivating to have cute girls with us! Also master, although you have charisma, you have zero charm!"
The guild members disappointed by the fact we didn't join the guild were glared at by Mikadzuchi. This isn't good, let's not break the atmosphere, I thought and came to her rescue.
"Ah, Mikadzuchi. Um... I got some acquaintances in the guild so... can I come to play sometimes?"
"""——Of course, you're welcome!"""
I was startled by the energetic reply coming from the entire hall. At the same time, seeing the bad atmosphere change with my words, Mikadzuchi spat out a long sigh.
"Aa-aah, fine, from here on it's adults' time, kids go home. And here we've gone to such lengths to recruit you, guess we gotta drown this in a drink. Also, Sei, see Missy and others off properly."
Mikadzuchi shook her hand saying "go home". Seeing that guild members said "she's being contrarian" or "she's just lonely", it looked like it was lucky guess as Mikadzuchi stood up holding her hexagonal stick.
"Thank you very much. If something interesting happens we'll come running right away!"
What we said in the end was ignored, but seeing as Mikadzuchi's ear were a little red, she must have been embarrassed. As I thought so, I walked together with Sei-nee, Myu and others to the entrance.
While hearing the guild members' voices full of grief behind my back I stopped Myu and Sei-nee for a moment.
"What is it? Yun-oneechan."
"Um... thank you for dragging me out of the workshop."
"Fufufu, so, are we going to get something as thanks? Like, a rare item."
Myu said jokingly, but I immediately responded with "yes" and passed her the bracelet I made for her.
"Eh, you really are?!"
Receiving the white beads bracelet, Myu looked at it happily and also embarrassed hearing a thank you from me.
"I'm happy, but this is kinda sly! I said that as a joke, but you really prepared an item!"
"Uh, I'll take that as thanks. Also, for Sei-nee too."
"My, thank you. I'll properly use it as equipment."
"I-I'll use mine preciously too!"
"Well then, we'll be goin——"
"Yun-chan, Myu-chan, wait a moment."
Sei-nee stopped us as we were about to leave the guild.
"Actually, Mikadzuchi entrusted these to me. So, come to play again."
Before we left, Myu's party and I have received the golden invitation from Sei-nee, it could be said to be the 【Eight Million Guild】's free pass.
I decided to log out after coming back to the 【Atelier】.
Myu and others decided to go off on adventure somewhere after that. Sei-nee had seen us off and returned to 【Eight Million Gods】 guild home.
"Well, let's go back to my own home."
And, I have returned to the 【Atelier】 for the first time in a while.
Since I haven't been in the 【Atelier】 for a while I was a little anxious about how it's doing, but the counter-type shop was the same as usual. I was also relieved seeing Kyouko-san the NPC managing it.
"Welcome back, Yun-san."
"Yup. Kyouko-san, how is the store?"
"Both sales and consignment are as usual. As for things to report, the fruit trees planted in the field have started to bud."
"Understood. I'll check on them later. Also, these are samples of new products and their materials, could you acquire the materials if you see them on the market next time? Also, can 【Karukoko Fruits】 be cultivated in the field?"
I took our the three types of items I created in the 【Eight Million Gods】 guild and started consulting with Kyouko-san to adjust the crafting/sales system.
That's when, the entrance to the 【Atelier】 had suddenly grew noisy, then the next moment the door was opened with impetus and a stream of people have passed through it.
"Welcome back, Yun-kun! I thought you'll never come back〜."
"Yuncchi, how was 【Eight Million Gods】 tour?"
"Hmm, looks like you have new products in stock. Prices are good too. I'll be buying some."
Hearing that I returned to the 【Atelier】, Magi-san and the others have come all at once.
Also the 【Atelier】's regulars who came and had seen me on the counter seat all started saying "it's great that you're back". Confused by the sudden happening I started panicking.
"W-what's happening?! Everyone?!"
"Everyone is happy to see Yun-kun back!"
"E-even Taku's here!"
"Now, I've got work for you right away!"
Saying so, Taku showed off the 【Yellow Potion】 I previously gave him.
"This 【Yellow Potion】 is highly effective for healing the Grand Rock's heart. Sell them to me, quickly!'
"Seriously?! In that case——"Yun-kun, stop right thereee!""
Hearing Taku's words I was surprised that the problem I have been worried about before leaving the 【Atelier】 was so easily resolved and felt like dancing on spot. But that's when Magi-san interrupted us.
"No selling items for which we haven't decided reasonable prices yet! Also, Taku-kun, no monopolizing of Yun-kun, it's not fair!"
"Speaking of which, we have to consult on a fair price. Oh right, this, I brought some souvenirs from the dungeon for everyone."
"Eh, thank you. I wonder what is it."
I passed the items I acquired in the 【Demonfolk Resort】 to Magi-san and others.
Taku looked at those enviously, so I spoke to him.
"There's none for you, Taku. Rather, let's make those 【Yellow Potions】 I gave you, your souvenirs."
"Also on other note, I don't have enough materials for 【Yellow Potions】 so the number I can make now is limited."
Hearing my words Taku drooped down disheartened, but soon enough motivation appeared on his face.
"All right, I'll gather the materials so make them for me with priority!"
Taku jumped outside without even waiting for my answer. Geez, this guy can't be helped, I thought and made a wry smile.
"There's too many things to do. Well, let's do one thing at once."
Charged with motivation after a change of pace in 【Eight Million Gods】 I resumed my interactions with acquaintances and the store's regulars.
For a few days after that, the 【Atelier】 was really busy.
My usual daily life has started again.
Name : Yun
Weapon : Black Maiden's Longbow
Secondary Weapons : Magi-san's Kitchen Knife, Meat Cleaver – Heavy Black, Dismantling Kitchen Knife – Blue Dancer
Armour : CS No.6 Ochre Creator (Outerwear, Underwear, Torso, Waist).
Accessory Equipment Limit 2/10
● Faerie Ring (1)
● Substitute Gem's Ring (1)
【Bow Lv48】 【Longbow Lv27】 【Sky Eyes Lv12】 【Swiftness Lv16】 【See-Through Lv20】 【Sorcery Lv15】 【Enchant Arts Lv37】 【Earth Element Talent Lv28】 【Dosing Lv50】 【Cook Lv11】
【Alchemy Lv43】 【Synthesis Lv43】 【Crafting Knowledge Lv50】 【Taming Lv17】 【Engraving Lv25】 【Swimming Lv15】 【Linguistics Lv24】 【Climbing Lv21】 【Bodily Resistance Lv3】 【Spiritual Resistance Lv1】
● NEW: 【Dosing】 has reached level 50. A higher sense has been unlocked.
● NEW: 【Crafting Knowledge】 has reached level 50. A higher sense has been unlocked.
● The 【Atelier】 has new items in stock: 【Demon's Wonder Pill】, 【Holy Mountain's Magic Water】 and 【Yellow Potion】.
● Returned home with a lot of souvenirs for acquainted players.
Hello to those I meet for the first time and those whom I meet after a while. Aloha Zachou here.
You who have taken this book in your hands, A-san in charge of editing, Yukisan who provided wonderful illustrations for this work, Hani Kuraun-sama who works on the comicalized version, as well as all of you who have seen my work on the net.
The side story that has the protagonist's sister as its protagonist that was serialized in the Dragon Magazine, the "Silver Muse" has come out in paperback format. Also the second volume of the comic version is also on sale, so please support those as well.
For this time's story theme I thought I'd use the "hot spring" Yun and others have enjoyed in OSO.
In the vicinity of my parents' home there are several hot springs.
From the more famous ones, there's a footbath at a train station and few places where geysers were spouting. However, the geysers have stopped spouting because of some local construction there are signs saying these sites used to have geysers.
The locals closely connected to these hot springs pay a membership fee to keep up the co-funded hot spring and are able to use them any time.
When I was small I often immersed myself in the hot water there. However, as time had passed it turned out that I started to mainly use the house's bath and no longer went there.
Since then even more time had passed and it started to feel nostalgic for the first time, which made me go to the hot springs again for a while.
Compared to the time when I was still small, this time I was able to read the poster describing the effect hot springs had, the bath seemed much smaller then when I was small, and I was able to spend more time inside.
The hot spring that felt hot when I was a kid now had a perfect temperature. Moreover, when going in in the morning there was no one there, allowing me to spend time inside extravagantly.
Afterwards I was able to get some good sleep in my bed, that was the trend of how I lived at the time.
Recently I've been feeling it's a hassle and have gone by with just taking a shower, but I've been having a desire to eat something delicious and then spend some time leisurely in a hot spring.
From now on as well please take care of me, Aloha Zachou.
In the end, I'd like to thank you who have taken this book in your hands once again.
I look forward to the day we meet again.
December 2015, Aloha Zachou