Once we ran over together with Lyly to 【Commonest Café & Clothier】 and entered it, I could smell the aroma of coffee and black tea inside and there were male and female players wearing serving clothes who have greeted us.
"Welcome, and welcome back. I was surprised when you have suddenly dashed out of here, Lyly-kun."
"Calian, leave it at that. Cloude-san and others are waiting."
The female player who came to greet us wearing a classically-coloured maid uniform matching the shop's atmosphere was Calian-san.
And, the young man wearing a waiter's clothing of a matching shade with hers who also rebuked her was Ratem-san.
The two were working in the café part of 【Commonest Café & Clothier】, and were somewhat unique players.
Both of them started OSO to try running a café, and were neither combat-players nor crafters. Other than them, there was also Fior-san, a female player who hopes to become a patissière and worked behind the scenes in the café.
I'm quite acquainted with Calian-san and Ratem-san from when I occasionally come to the store.
Their clothes today were different from before, they had long sleeves and skirt, it seemed like they wore those to protect themselves from the cold air.
"I see your clothes changed today."
"It's cause we felt cold when we logged in today. And then we quickly went to take out winter uniforms Cloude-san made before. I thought that he's just pointlessly increasing the number of cosplay outfits, but I'm grateful for that just this once."
While saying so, Calian-san stroked the arm wrapped in a long sleeve and muttered "it's so nice and warm".
Then, the place Lyly and I were guided to by her was the room we usually held a tea party in.
When we arrived in it, we saw the tailor Cloude and blacksmith Magi-san, who were crafters just like us.
Cloude elegantly drank coffee and Magi-san seemed cold as she rubbed her thigh while she drank tea.
"Sorry to call you out, Yun."
"Hello, heck, Magi-san you're really pale!"
Magi-san who shivered likely out of cold had the most revealing clothes out of us all, so it was no wonder the cold had gotten to her.
Even drinking something warm and holding Cloude's tamed mob, Socks the Lucky Cat, she was unable to mitigate the cold.
Heck, because she was embracing adult Socks, her breasts looked even larger than usual.
"I guess I should say congratulations on your Socks' Adult Form."
"Thank you. He turned adult just like Lyly's Neshias, but since he was a support-type tamed mob in the first place, there wasn't much of a change."
After saying so he interrupted to moisten his throat with tea and spoke to Magi.
"Now then, it must be harsh to stay in that equipment isn't it, Magi. I prepared new equipment, how about you try it? Also, give Socks back to me."
"Considering it's your choice of clothes I bet it's some cosplay, so I don't want to."
Magi-san answered in a feeble voice and hugged Socks strongly as to her emphasize on her refusal.
"Wait a moment, Magi-san."
I summoned the synthetic Heat Gel from the 【Heat Gel's Nucleus Stone】 I have made for countering the cold.
When I passed it to her, Magi-san hugged it strongly against her belly.
Then for another thing, I took out the 【Element Cream】 that temporarily granted water element resistance and smeared it on Magi-san's arm.
"Ohh?! It feels like the cold is getting weaker. Thanks, Yun-kun."
It seemed like it had an effect that Magi-san could immediately feel.
Smiling broadly she released Socks and thanked me.
Previously when I have worked on blacksmithing work together with Magi-san and when I went to the volcanic area I received 【Heat Damage】 and now, I recalled at that time I could ease the effect by increasing fire resistance.
Applying that this time I was able to decrease the amount of 【Cold Damage】 Magi-san receives by increasing her resistance to water element.
"Magi-san, even if this is a game, a woman shouldn't allow her body to get too cold."
"Umm, but putting on Cloude's weird clothes is a little..."
"What 'weird clothes'!"
I lowered my tone of voice as I called her name. With just that, Magi-san faltered.
"I mean, cosplaying all alone is embarrassing."
"Then I'll change together with you. C'mon, let's wear something warmer."
When I said that gently to Magi-san, Cloude stood up flapping his cloak.
"Well said! Now, since you two have decided I'll gift you the finest warmth and cuteness!"
He said and taking out clothes from inventory he protruded them in front of us.
"Kukuku, did you forget who made your armour? The armour bearing the name of CS was made with assumption of a variety of situations and is available in multiple patterns and designs. These are the winter clothes versions!"
Magi-san and I took the equipment in our hands and checked it up.
The black innerwear had covered the body up to the neck, a white outerwear coat had extended up to my knees in the back and shortened obliquely towards the front. When looked from the front it looked kind of like a miniskirt.
Furthermore, on the coat's hood there was a black fluffy part that looked very warm.
Other than that, there were knee-high socks in order not to expose bare feet to the cold if possible, and for protecting the hands there were wool gloves with an archer thimble. All of this made the winter version of the Ochre Creator.
Magi-san's equipment was a combination of a leather jumpsuit and a leather jacket made from snake leather. The hard leather emphasizing her chest and the leather gloves made it seem like a rider suit.
Lyly's clothes didn't have a particularly big change, he wore a woolen hat, gloves, as well as white tights.
"This is so well-made it makes me feel stupid for acting stubborn, how frustrating."
"Woah, it's fluffy and waarm."
"Somehow my equipment looks like it has a skirt. Also, why high-knee socks? Why not just pants?"
As we said that and immediately checked the armour in our hands Cloude had informed us of one more fact.
"Ah, and let me say this, this equipment aside from Lyly's is insufficient to protect you against cold."
"Then why the hell are you passing it to us!"
"I have made the designs alone quite a while ago, but I don't have enough materials for making equipment protecting from cold."
"So, why are you making us wear unfinished armour?"
Magi's question was natural, Lyly and I nodded in agreement.
Responding, Cloude had indifferently explained it.
"Actually the reason I called you guys this time is in order to complete these armours made as countermeasures against 【Cold Damage】."
There, Cloude fell silent for a moment.
"Normally I would slowly gather the materials to make it, but the update's date was decided already and we need to hurry. That's why I'll have you guys gather materials."
"Hmm. Well, I understand. So, what are we supposed to gather?"
"It's written down on this list."
Once we looked at the note Cloude took out, saw the materials and locations they are collected we all furrowed our eyebrows.
"These collection areas wonderfully scattered all over. I have some of these items so I'll have Kyouko-san bring them later."
"Yup. I think I had several types of these at my place so I'll provide them the same way."
"At my place I have only one item type of these. The leather I just bought to use for reinforcement of armour."
After we excluded the materials we had in stock from the list, in the end just two materials were missing.
"Well then, let's split the collection fo those materials between us four."
The two materials remaining on paper were 【Silky Spider's Thread】 and 【Cloud Fluff】.
"The place you can gather these are..."
I recalled the places they could be collected in.
The first material, 【Silky Spider's Thread】 was a normal drop from the Arachne boss mob that appeared in the Mine Dungeon. To complete Magi-san's armour we needed twelve of them.
And the 【Cloud Fluff】 was an item that drops from a normal enemy mob that appears in the back of the forest near the Second Town, in order to enter that area it was neccessary to fight a boss guarding the passage at least once.
In the end, to collect either materials there was no choice but to fight with a boss.
"I'll go get the 【Silky Spider's Thread】. Since it's a mine, I can mine some ore as I pass by. I also wanted to beat some Archeni and Arachne in order to go to the Volcano Area.
"By all means I want to see the 【Fire-Rat's Leather Robe】 in the Volcano Area dungeon's lottery stall so just like Magi, I'd like to go get 【Silky Spider's Thread】."
If Magi-san and Cloude are going to the Mine Dungeon, it means Lyly and I will be going to collect the remaining 【Cloud Fluff】.
"No objection here. It's a good opportunity to go to a new forest area and I want to see what wood materials are there."
"No problem here either."
With this the split for collecting materials has been decided, as a finishing touch Cloude had raised his voice.
"Well then, put on the winter clothes I gave you."
"Put on you say, but aren't these unfinished?"
"The protection against cold is insufficient, but it's still warmer than what you have equipped. If you do your activities in those clothes you'll worry less about the cold than you do now. Also, lend me the armour you're wearing now for a moment."
Told so, we passed our current armours to Cloude who subjected them to emergency process for improving protection against cold then returned them.
"Once you're done changing I'll explain the winter clothes' new function."
Magi-san and I received our winter clothes and went to the locker room in the back of the store to change.
I tried on my Ochre Creator.
Since I had exposed arms and legs until now, once I wore the winter clothes, I felt warmth of the innerwear and knee-high socks wrapping tightly around my skin. At the same time I felt attentiveness from how there was a place on the belt of the long coat where I could put in potions securely.
"Certainly this is great equipment, but the long coat looks like a skirt. It's warm, but I'm really bothered by the knee-high socks."
I stroked my chest and my arm over the innerwear with my right hand, and with my left I pressed down the mini-skirtish coat so that it doesn't roll up.
Even if I was wearing hot pants inside the coat, what bothers you, bothers you.
"That's how the design is. By likening the hem of the coat to a skirt it emphasizes the zettai ryōiki between the skirt and the knee-high socks."
"I have no need for such concept!"
Following my voice of protest Magi-san had also come out from the dressing room once she finished changing her clothes. As expected, it looked like a rider suit. Although it was unfinished and lacking in details and decorations, the suit had fit very tightly and emphasized her chest making me unable to focus my gaze.
"You're cute, Yun-kun."
"Uuu, rather than cute I want to be called cool."
While averting my gaze from Magi-san, I sighed lightly.
Lyly had changed clothes ahead of time and seemed to have been waiting for as he had sweets with tea.
"Now, I'll explain the new function. With that said, there isn't much to say. It's just 【Equipment Consolidation】."
When hearing the unfamiliar term I tilted my head in puzzlement, Cloude explained.
"The 【Equipment Consolidation】 is a setting where two or more equipments can share the same additional effects. Well, it could be said it's a function allowing you to change just your appearance and retain the same reinforcement material effects."
Because of its nature, the unique equipment and drop equipment cannot be used with 【Equipment Consolidation】 and it was limited to player-made items.
That function was mainly a short-cut allowing switching of equipments and the benefit from it was that you didn't need to prepare same additional effects for multiple pieces of equipment.
But of course, there was also a disadvantage. It seemed like it was more difficult to repair and recover the armours durability.
"From other differences, the performance changes to that of a base armour's. Although the winter clothes originally had the same amount of defence, since part of performance was allocated to protection against cold, the defence had dropped down to about 90%. Any other crafter would made it drop down to about 70% in the process."
"Plain boasting, huh. Heck, is 【Equipment Consolidation】 ever being used?"
"Hardly. Even if it's used it would be only by players who are acting as net idols, dancing and singing so that they can change clothes in a blink of an eye. Also by people who want to act as superheroes and transform, purge armour."
I imagined magical girls, heroes of justice on a motorbike and a golden knight purging his armour until nothing's left.
"But as long as we have summer and winter clothes, there's no need of 【Equipment Consolidation】, right?"
"True. In the warm areas I'll use just the clothes I've been using until now and in the cold ones I can just change them."
When Magi-san and Lyly said so, Cloude's smile turned deeper.
"Personally I would prefer if you wore various clothes."
"You say 'various clothes', do you have that many ideas?"
"I have an infinite number of ideas. But let's leave that for the another opportunity."
Personally, I'd rather if I didn't hear it, ever.
Since today we were unable to head straight out to collect items because of lack of time, and so I made an appointment with Lyly to do it at later date.
Lyly alone had his winter clothes completed, Magi-san and I have had Cloude remove 【Equipment Consolidation】 from winter clothes and returned them to Cloude.
Once we gather the materials and winter clothes are complete, we planned to receive them again properly.
Also, once we were leaving Cloude told me to gather as many tailoring materials as possible since there might be some other players who'd require treatment against cold.
At a later date, Lyly and I met up in front of the Second Town's portal.
We both prepared ourselves for materials collection and aimed for the area in which 【Fluff Cloud】 mob emerged in order to collect its drop, 【Cloud Fluff】 we were asked for by Cloude.
"Lyly, is your equipment all right?"
"Yup, perfect. How about you, Yuncchi? You aren't wearing winter clothes."
"The cold damage hasn't been implemented yet so there shouldn't be any problem. Just, I guess I'm a little worried about how will combat go. What about our cooperation?"
"Hmm. It might be difficult for us to suddenly cooperate well with each other, so I guess we should do our best not to get in each others way, how about it?"
I made sure the grip on my weapon, 【Black Maiden's Longbow】 is good and made final adjustments to my knives at my belt.
To confirm the grip on his weapon in the winter equipment's woolen gloves, Lyly held the pair of his knives in reverse grip and did some practice swings.
"As for enemies on the way, we'll mainly ignore them and head straight to where the boss is. After that, we'll register with that area's portal and go gather the materials."
"Understood. Also Yuncchi, can I propose something?"
Lyly looked up at me.
"What is it, so suddenly."
"How about we have a race who reaches the boss first?"
"What childish things are you——"Ready, go!"——woah, fast! Hey, Lyly!"
I tried to refuse, but before I could do that Lyly had one-sidedly announced the start and rushed out.
Not letting me to decide he started to dash into the woods.
I followed after him in a hurry and ended up concerning myself with the race's result.
"Yuncchi! If you don't hurry I'll beat the boss all alone!"
Since while being a crafter Lyly had a scout-type Sense build his SPEED stat was very high so he ran through the woods very quickly.
"Geez. Fine by me! I won't lose! 《Enchant》——Speed!"
In order to catch up to Lyly I put a speed increase enchant on myself.
Seeing the distance he opened between us with his surprise dash Lyly had screamed "I need to ruuun!" and started speeding up even more while laughing.
"He's fast! Hey, enemies are gathering."
Because we moved using the shortest route to where the boss is, naturally we started gathering enemy mobs along the way.
I pulled out a knife from the belt and cut down the mobs jumping out from between the trees at me, sometimes also avoiding them.
A giant locust jumped out as if aiming to block my way——was a 【Bullet Locust】.
A giant catterpillar that had fallen from the tree in an attempt to crush Lyly under it——was a 【Paralyze Caterpillar】.
Equipped with hard shell, toppling trees as it rushed and spat out venom——was a 【Bull Beetle】.
I cut down the Bullet Locust that was in my way and offset the Paralyse Caterpillar's free fall attack by using Bomb magic.
Normally I would ignore the opponents I can easily defeat, but since it would turn into a monster train like this, there was a need to reduce the number of monsters that gathered by a bit.
We could ignore the slow Paralyse Caterpillars.
As for the Bullet Locusts and Bull Beetles that chased us relentlessly, I turned around and shot a bow Art.
"——《Bow Skill – Gust of Wind》!"
An arrow pulling a green tail behind it had penetrated the group of insect type mobs.
The arrow hasn't pierced a single mob and has passed by them, but a green wind pressure had spread and damaged the group of insect mobs.
Relatively weak Bullet Locusts have died at once, the remaining Bull Beetles continued to chase, but once we took some distance from them, they gave up.
When I looked forward again, I saw Lyly cut the attacking mobs with knives as he passed by and continue rushing towards the boss' location.
Then in front of the boss, Lyly had decreased the speed of his run.
"Arriiived! And it's my win!"
"Haa, haa, Lyly, you're fast. Still, if we include the start dash into this we were about the same."
"Yup. But if I didn't go first we wouldn't have gotten here this fast so it's my win!"
"Yeah, that's fine."
In fact, the locusts that jumped halfway and the caterpillar's adhesive yarn were all cut through by Lyly who was preceding me, I wasn't able to do the same.
"But thanks to Yuncchi dealing with the mobs chasing from behind I could go ahead with peace of mind. Thanks."
Being thanked so straightforwardly I scratched my head a little embarrassed.
"Ah, it's no time to be standing and talking. There's nowhere near enough time for gathering materials."
There might be some other useful items other than the materials we were asked for by Cloude, there's no way we wouldn't gather those.
"You're right. Well then, let's fight the boss."
We stepped in to the location the boss was waiting in.
In an open space with lush trees blocking the light of the day, in the centre there was the boss.
The mob with elongated limbs and torso that mimicked the colour of dead branches of the surrounding trees——the 【Killer Mantis】 was waiting.
"First move for the win! Yuncchi, I'll be going in!"
Lyly slashed at the waiting boss.
He jumped high with his petite body and swung the knife at the mantis' inverted triangle head.
The Killer Mantis received that attack with the right sickle and counter-attacked with his left.
Lyly intercepted the incoming slash with the other knife he held in his left hand.
Rebounding from that, he moved away from the mantis and after twisting his body in the air he landed.
"Woah, that was dangerous!"
"What are you doing, going in without preparation!《Enchant》——Attack, defence, speed!"
Feeling chills, I put on triple enchants on Lyly and myself.
Starting the fight anew, we stared at the Killer Mantis' inorganic eyes.
When I nocked an arrow Lyly held the two knives in reverse grip, aware of the blinds spots he had because and crouched, lowering his body.
After we glared at each other for a while, Lyly was the first one to move.
With power output increased by the enchants he was faster than earlier as he approached the Killer Mantis and dealt a powerful blow, but it was received by the right sickle.
The Killer Mantis once again counter-attacked at Lyly with the left sickle, but Lyly had moved away from its trajectory before he got hit.
Following that, he dealt two quick blows and retreated. Like that, Lyly continued hit and run attacks.
However, the enemy's compound insect eyes were able to react to Lyly's attacks from any angle.
Moreover, whenever he used his increased speed to force a blow through, it didn't deal too much damage to the mantis thin yet high defence.
When Lyly was moving away the enemy took advantage of that and skimmed his shoulder, but in exchange received a painful counter-attack.
"——So the blind spots are covered thanks to the compound eyes and it has high physical defence, huh. Lyly, use a potion."
I passed a potion to Lyly by throwing it, he received and used it all at once.
Compared to the weakling mobs from the Second Town's forest, the Killer Mantis had highly unbalanced level of difficulty.
But according to Cloude, the irregular party of me and Lyly had more than enough chance of winning.
"In that case, this is how I'll get at him. 《Cursed》——Defence, mind!"
At the same time I placed the cursed on the Killer Mantis I released my arrow.
Although I applied two types of weakening on the Killer Mantis, he has cut down my flying arrow with his sickle.
However, the arrow I shot was just a decoy, Lyly who lowered his body and closed onto enemy had used the reverse grip on the knife and swung it at Killer Mantis' abdomen.
"All right! This works!"
"You're right! Let's smash him!"
Feeling a proper response to a hit from the boss, Lyly and I continued to attack.
Since Lyly has repeatedly continued his hit and run attacks he gathered a lot of hate, Killer Mantis was naturally attracted to him.
"Let's go! —— 《Rapid Fire Bow - Second Form》!"
After I confirmed Lyly has gathered enough hate, I fired two arrows in rapid succession.
While Lyly occupied enemy's front, my arrows aimed at the enemy from the side. One of the arrows was cut down by the Killer Mantis' left sickle and the other one was repelled by the body.
"So my arrows won't pierce him."
"Yeah. We don't have enough firepower like this, Yuncchi, use an Art with more power!"
While Lyly attracted the enemy delivering attacks without stopping and gathered hate, I shot an high-powered Art when the delay time was over.
"I'll pierce that hard defence! ——《Bow Skill - Arrow Stitching》!"
I released the string I pulled very strongly, shooting an arrow at the Killer Mantis from the front.
The Killer Mantis crossed its both sickles to receive the power of the arrow enhanced by Art, but along with a loud sound the mantis' body was pushed backwards.
While the boss took a defensive posture, Lyly jumped below him and raised his knives.
The knives in Lyly's hands let out a pale glow as he let out continuous attacks, his steps resembling that of a dance.
"Yuncchi, we just have to repeat this enough times!"
"You'll get hit by enemy's attacks! Your endurance isn't that high!"
"It's okay! Evasion is my speciality... woahh?! That was dangerous!"
"Geez. Don't scare me too much. I'll shoot another one in a moment!"
"Okay. Safety first then."
Right after using the Art Lyly had some time of inflexibility and was nearly hit by Killer Mantis' scythe, but managed to withdraw somehow.
I reapplied enchants on Lyly then waited for the opportunity to attack again.
"This time I'll go first! ——《Sword Dance》!"
Right from the front, he released the sword dance of continuous attacks at the Killer Mantis.
"Second shot! Let's go——《Bow Skill - Arrow Stitching》!"
I aimed at the boss who couldn't take a defensive posture because of Lyly's continuous attacks and released an Art.
The arrow flew again and the mantis tried to block it by moving the sickle to the right, but because he didn't make it in time the arrow hit the arm joint.
Although I aimed at the vital point on its head, I delivered some damage to the arm.
With this, the boss remaining HP was 70%.
After finding a stable attack pattern that worked on enemy mob, what was left was manoeuvring as not to make a mistake.
As Lyly continued to avoid attacks in the vanguard there were some moments that scared the hell out of me, but afterwards all that was left was to repeat the same pattern.
After I shot more than ten 《Bow Skill - Arrow Stitching》 and Killer Mantis' HP fell below 10%, we could finally see the end of it.
However, by the end the enemy's action patterns changed.
Lyly's 《Sword Dance》 attacks were avoided and my arts hit the enemy in succession. Because of that I have gathered more hate than Lyly and the target changed to me.
With low HP remaining the Killer Mantis opened up the wings on his back and along with vibrations he floated.
Then using wings' propulsion the mantis charged at me so I created an earthen wall between me and him.
Still, the Killer Mantis tore through the wall with the sickle arms and tried closing onto me. At that time——
Lyly let out the last attack, cutting down the boss' remaining HP.
He pounced from behind the Killer Mantis and deeply pierced the knife in his left hand into the weakly protected part hidden below thin wings.
That attack was decisive, the boss twisted his body in the air and fell to the ground.
Retaining the momentum it had when he charged at me he slid on the ground and stopped on a tree. Lyly let go of his knife and landed.
After that, the Killer Mantis turned into particles of light and when I saw Lyly's pierced knife only remain after it, I finally realized we were able to defeat the boss.
"Phew, that was tiring. As I thought, with just the two of us we had low attack power and it turned into a long battle."
"True. But personally, it felt quite simple to me."
"Is that so?"
"Yup! My 【Woodworking】 type crafting requires me to concentrate real hard to finish a single item so compared to that, the combat just now was much easier."
"Woah, crafters are amazing..."
"You're a crafter too, Yuncchi. Also, you're amazing too. You can attack, heal and support by yourself all at once. I can only focus really hard on one thing so that's impossible for me."
I wonder if that's really the case. It's just that I don't move much and I have a wide field of view from behind. I self-evaluated myself like that.
"Well, for now let's move ahead. The area we're aiming for is right there."
"Right! We defeated the Killer Mantis boss without receiving much damage so it should be all right!"
I smiled wryly and said "I guess", agreeing with Lyly.
In the back of the road that was blocked by the Killer Mantis there was an even denser forest.
We proceeded through the forest that didn't have much light even during the day.
Inside the forest that had grown dense we started walking relaxedly, as if going on a picnic.
"No sight of the Fluff Cloud we're looking for. Ah, a branch I can use for a staff!"
"You're right, can't find it. Well, this is the area's boundary so there's few mobs overall. Oh, there are some berry ingredients here."
Lyly and I collected the materials we were attracted to.
"It feels like we could overlook these it this darkness, but if I leave it to Yuncchi it'll be easy."
"Yeah. With that said though, trees are your speciality so focus on that."
I had the 【Sky Eyes】 that allowed me to see far into the distance and gave night vision, in combination with 【See-Through】 it allowed me to find hidden things and see through enemy's actions. I used that to find materials in the woods.
I carefully picked up strawberry and blueberry-like berries, when I thought of using them as materials for making a cake an overjoyed expression appeared on my face.
Lyly had used his petite body to climb on top of a tree and cut off branches with a saw, also picking up fruits from the trees while at it.
"Look, Yuncchi! There's a fruit that looks like kiwi!"
"Oh, you're right. If we gather those and pass them to Cloude, he'll have various sweets made from those."
"Then let's do our best and gather them."
At this moment, the goal inside our minds was changed from searching for the enemy mobs into collecting materials.
Moving slowly we proceeded into the back of the woods.
"Yuncchi, I'll be cutting down this tree, could you watch the surroundings for enemy?"
I moved away from the tree specified by Lyly and watched if there are any enemy mobs coming to attack.
Lyly took out an axe for woodcutting and swung it at the base of the tree.
As I admired how he looks the part despite his small body, after the tree was cut a little deep Lyly had started swinging the axe from the opposite side.
"Yuncchi! It's gonna fall so be careful!"
"Yeah, got it!"
When along a sign, Lyly had finished the last swing the tree let a sound of snapping and started to fall.
While I was overwhelmed by the sight, Lyly immediately took out a hatchet and started cutting off branches.
After a short while, the branches that couldn't be used for staffs have been scattered all around and the thick logs were put into Lyly's inventory.
"All right, it's over! Hm? What is it?"
"Mm, no, I just wondered if I can take those branches."
I picked up a branch Lyly had cut off and raised it up. He didn't need those, but I could use them as materials.
"I don't mind. Small ones are useless unless you do parquetry with them, but since the parquet materials have low durability they aren't used often."
The arrows used for 【Bow】 Senses are made by synthesizing three types of materials, a tree branch, a bird's feather and a material for arrowhead.
Arrows were consumable items and had poor cost-to-performance ratio, so I did my best to provide them for myself. That's why collecting materials was important.
"To me, these logs are more important. I intend to chop down two more."
"What are you going to do with so much wood?"
"Wood has different characteristics depending on the area, you see. These ones for making sticks, staffs, also bows like yours Yuncchi. When building houses and furniture, ships and such it's better to use the logs made from the trees I had grown."
The drop from enemy mob, 【Treant Wood】 and the material for crafting Revival Medicine, the 【Wisteria Peach Petal】, the material that was a prize in the Volcano Area's lottery, the 【Jewelled Branch of Hōrai】. There was a variety of materials such as those, but the items they were suitable for crafting with have also varied.
"I need to gather various pieces of wood and confirm their properties, then make suitable items with them. Also, it's fun to gather aged and very dry wood that has an antiqueish look."
While saying so, Lyly started cutting down the second tree.
"As I thought, there are big differences between crafting fields."
"Yeah. The particularly rare materials are ones that have 【Old】 added to the 【Tree Name】."
It's probably a classification similar to my ore and herb-based items' 【Fine】 classification, I thought upon hearing it.
"All right, the second one acquired. I'm tireed〜."
"Cheers for good work."
As Lyly sat down on the stump of a tree he cut down with the axe, I took out a cup of tea from my inventory, intending to take some rest.
"Lyly, want some tea?"
Each of us took a cup of tea in our hands. Since we have gotten cold because of the 【Cold Damage】's implementation, the hot tea had warmed us up as we drank it little by little.
"Still no sight of Fluff Cloud, is there."
"Yeah. Once we finish drinking let's expand our search range a litt... hey, there it is."
Between the trees there was a cloud-type mob, it had a fluffy main body and arms that looked like long bags. We found a Fluff Cloud.
Why is it that we couldn't find it when we were looking around and it appeared when we're taking a break, I thought and the term "greed sensor" crossed my head.
Lyly and I drank the remaining tea all at once without letting the Fluff Cloud out of our sights.
"Yuncchi, I burned my tongue because it was hot."
"Geez, what are you doing at a time like this."
It buurns, he said as he extended his tongue a little. While I thought about what do I do about him, the Fluff Cloud had gradually floated away into the back of the forest.
"Ah, it ran! Yuncchi, we have to chase it!"
"Is your tongue okay? 《Enchant》——Speed!"
I applied a speed increase enchant on Lyly and myself then chased after the Fluff Cloud that drifted through the dim forest.
Although it moved by quietly floating in the air, it was moving surprisingly fast, but we still were faster.
"Just a little more."
When we were about to catch up to the Fluff Cloud my view has turned upside down.
Or to be exact, something like a tree's vine that hanged over my head had suddenly wrapped around my ankle and hung me upside down.
"I'm all right! Anyway, Fluff Cloud is attacking!"
The Fluff Cloud that has been moving to the back of the forest had turned towards Lyly and after creating a pale blue sphere it attacked him with it.
Lyly immediately avoided it, but the pale blue sphere passed by my side as I hung upside down and hit the trunk of a nearby tree. A cold air had passed by me, stroking my cheek.
"T-that was dangerous. I better do something and quick."
I shook myself and using the momentum I raised my upper body, took out a knife tied to the belt at my waist and cut off the vine wrapping around my foot.
At the same time I twisted my body thrown in the air and somehow managed to land on all fours...
"Seriously? It's not just a trap but an actual mob?"
I didn't notice because my 【See-Through】 Sense didn't perceive a trap or a mob, but what tangled around my leg was a plant-type mob.
The cut-off barbed vine rose up, regenerated turning as if it was brand new and aimed the tip at me.
Not perceiving a mob that was only a little bit different from one that appeared during an event, a 【Thorn Plant】, was my mistake.
"Lyly! I'll take care of this one!"
"G-got it, be careful!"
Lyly seemed like he'd be fine even if he got hit by the cold blue ball, but despite the fact the Fluff Cloud's attacks were weak, he was forced to defend.
On the other hand, I watched the plant-type mob, the Thorn Plant stretch its vines from on top of a tree.
Since enemy's body was too thin to attack it with a bow, it turned out that I have to deal with it by using a kitchen knife.
"Let's hurry up and get rid of them and pick up materials from Fluff Cloud——nhh, coldd?!"
When I raised my kitchen knife and tried to cut the Thorn Plant, I received a light shock to my head and a cold air had spread throughout my whole body making me involuntarily shudder.
Feeling cold as if someone threw a snowball at me I wondered what was it, after I looked in the direction the cold had come from I saw one more fluffy existence other than the one we chased.
"Damn!! A new one, in that case——hyihh?!"
Just when I was about to use Earth Element Magic to defeat the new enemy, an impact hit me from behind and surprised by the cold like ice attack I fell forward.
"W-wait a sec! This is strange! This amount of damage is damn strange!"
I protested loudly. It was the same mob Lyly was dealing with and used the same attacks. And there shouldn't be much difference between mine and Lyly's magic defence.
And yet, it felt like I received far more damage than him when the ball of cold air hit me.
"Argh! I'll take down Fluff Cloud first——heyy, oww! An attack from there, too?!"
The Thorn Plant swung its vine-like body and attacked me from the front, from the left and right Fluff Clouds attacked me with balls of cold air.
That's when another Fluff Cloud had appeared and before I realized I was consecutively attacked by three Fluff Clouds and a Thorn Plant.
I intercepted the hurled spheres of cold air with my knife, but every time I cut them apart cold caused my arms to grow numb and I received a lot of damage from cold itself.
"Uuu, cold. The 【Cold Damage】 is seriously horrible."
The update this time was implementing environmental 【Cold Damage】. I was already aware of the 【Cold Damage】 caused by magic like Sei-nee's ice magic, but it was now that I realized how horrifying it actually is.
Since cold made my limbs grow more and more numb like slip damage, my attacks started to delay. The Fluff Cloud's movement inhibition was really annoying, making me frustrated.
"Hey, you were surrounded too, Lyly?"
Lyly who fought against just one opponent at first was now surrounded by six Fluff Clouds and desperately avoided a barrage of cold air.
Since I was equipped with armour that was processed to improve resistance against cold I could afford getting hit by 【Cold Damage】 a few times, but I was overwhelmed by numbers.
I tried to counter-attack with everything I had, but since I wasn't as good at avoiding as Lyly my body grew numb as I received attacks.
"Cut it out dammit! ——《Zone Bomb》!"
I captured all enemy mobs within the range in my sight, that was including the Fluff Clouds Lyly was fighting with, and targeted them all.
The activated bomb magic simultaneously blew up enemy targets. Although Fluff Clouds didn't fall with a single blow, in places enemies were grouped up they received damage from multiple bombs and thanks to chain damage bonus the mobs disappeared.
"They're thinned out now. I should fix my position right noooo——"
Most of the Fluff Clouds disappeared after being hit by bombs. However, while I was distracted by explosions the Thorn Plant snuck up under my feet and hung me upside down again.
"Ngh?! This time the thorns pierced in!!"
The vines have tied my legs together and hardened, then grew thorns.
Those hardened vines couldn't be easily cut, the thorns bit in and slowly delivered damage along dull pain.
And, once again Fluff Clouds started gathering to fire balls of cold air at me as I was hanging.
"Hyah! Not my neck! My arms and legs are bare so they're cold too!"
I received 【Cold Damage】 and shivered from the cold. If I knew this would happen, I would have taken even the incomplete winter clothes from Cloude.
"Damn, Fluff Clouds gathered again!"
"Shit. In this case, I'll do it as I am——《Zone Bomb》!"
While hung upside down with reversed vision I once again had the Fluff Clouds explode.
All of the surviving enemy mobs' hate has gathered on me, their target changed from Lyly to me. Unable to avoid their attacks with cold air I endured while rubbing my arms from cold.
But since I received enemy attacks in quick succession, the chain damage and 【Cold Damage】's slip damage had accumulated, eroding my HP.
My HP was completely exhausted, strength left my body and my field of view dimmed. The kitchen knife I held fell from my hands.
What I felt at the same time, was a warm world. Rather than the cold forest, I felt warm and peaceful world of darkness.
Hearing Lyly's voice in the distance I saw a white window appear in my field of vision in the darkness and a choice was displayed.
——『 Use Revival Medicine? YES/NO』
If I am to revive in a place full of swirling cold air, I'd rather return to town after death. I felt a sweet temptation like that, but shook it off.
While I wondered at what timing should I revive, I heard Lyly's voice in the distance.
"I won't let Yuncchi stay dead! Shiacchi──《Summon》!"
Lyly seems to have summoned the immortal bird, Neshias from the summoning stone. Even in the darkened view I could feel the phoenix's light, the vines burning and my back hitting the ground.
As felt horrible pain running through my back, warmth had wrapped around my whole body and my vision had gradually returned as I was scooped up from the darkness.
I felt myself returning from death, as if waking up.
When I raised my body in a hurry, I saw Lyly's tamed mob Neshias fight with a Fluff Cloud.
Apparently, the Thorn Plant was defeated by Neshias' attack and I was brought back with his 【Revival】.
But even with me being revived, Lyly was in a real bad situation.
I did deal damage to several Fluff Clouds with my 《Zone Bomb》, but new ones seemed to have gathered again . The density of the cold air ball attacks had increased and the place Lyly was in turned into a snowstorm.
"Yuncchi, I leave the rest to you..."
Leaving these words behind his HP turned zero as if switching with mine, and he fell inside the mini-snowstorm.
Then, with his summoner, Lyly, defeated Neshias was unable to maintain his presence and turned into particles of light returning to the summoning stone.
"Nono, wait, don't leave it all to me!!"
What am I supposed to do when I'm so outnumbered?! I protested in my mind, but in the end I only had one choice.
"Let's go! ——《Zone Bomb》!"
At the same time as I activated bomb magic on all mobs I could see, I ran over to fallen Lyly held him under my arm.
"Strategical retreat! ——【Clay Shield】! 【Bomb】!"
Holding Lyly to my side I ran towards the exit of the dark forest.
Because I was defeated once and revived, the enchants that were applied on me were all gone. In this situation rather than reapply them, it was better to take action to prevent Fluff Clouds from chasing us, so I scattered Magic Gems as I ran.
"Lyly! Wake up! We're running!"
Lyly must have revived himself with his own Revival Medicine as he woke up when I called him.
"Aa-aah, we lost. But it's fine since we got the 【Cloud Fluff】 from the mobs we defeated earlier, right."
"This is no time to act carefree——hihh! A ball of cold hit my back!"
Although I pulled quite far away from them by scattering Magic Gems behind me, since Fluff Clouds had a long-range attacks their balls of cool air hit me from a distance.
In any case, after escaping outside of the area at full force we ran out of the dark forest and passed through the forest near the Second Town we finally returned to the secure town.
"Whezee... somehow, escaped."
"Yuncchi, are you all warmed up after running so much?"
Certainly, my body had warmed up when I ran but I was attacked from behind and also felt unpleasant after getting covered in cold and normal sweat.
That's when I remembered I escaped while holding Lyly under my arm.
"I forgot. Since you revived halfway I should have stopped and let you down."
If I did, I wouldn't be this tired, I muttered inside my mind.
In the end, I ended up escaping all the way here while holding Lyly, as a result ending up covered with sweat.
I was dragged by Taku and Myu to fight strong enemies before, but this time was completely different.
Every mob here was weak by itself.
Certainly, they were stronger than the mobs appearing in the forest near Second Town, but Lyly and I were more than strong enough.
However, the enemy shot attacks of cold air causing 【Cold Damage】. Each attack didn't deal much damage but they gathered in numbers, their behaviour meshed together well making something like cooperation causing us to easily lose.
When Lyly gathered too many Fluff Clouds and caused a tiny blizzard I got honestly scared.
"Yuncchi, how about we go rest a little at Kurocchi's place?"
"...You're right, let's do that."
I heaved a sigh from fatigue and together with Lyly transitioned from the Second Town's portal to the First Town, then went to Cloude's 【Commonest Café & Clothier】.
On the way, we reflected upon the hunt this time.