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Itai no wa Iya nanode Bōgyo-Ryoku ni Kyokufuri Shitai to Omoimasu 380

 

Defense Specialization and Hints

 

 

After going on for a while, several other monsters appeared apart from those slimes. However, they were birds, beasts, all of which made little sense to be found underwater. A trait shared by all of them was that they had a blue gel-like body like the slimes they had come across earlier, probably so that they could stay submerged.

 

“Some of these monsters look like others we have seen before coming to the 8th Layer as well!”

 

“Saying that they look like other monsters we have seen so far might not be the best way to describe them, but… They do look like they have been put down here for some reason.”

 

These monsters could move underwater and attack through the use of water magic, but they couldn’t swim as quickly as a fish in order to get closer to Maple and Sally quickly enough.

 

Each of those monsters looked like their abilities would be more suitable for fighting above ground, so they were an odd match underwater.

 

“At least they don’t seem to be able to move so well underwater.”

 

“That gives me more time to react as well!”

 

“Yeah.”

 

Compared to Maple, Sally can move extremely fast. It was no wonder that she could swim around underwater faster than the monsters in the 8th Layer.

 

Partly because of that, the two were able to advance without having to struggle too much. The monsters were able to use a wide range of powerful water-based magical attacks , but they were rendered completely useless simply because Maple was there, and the monsters themselves were fragile enough for Sally to be able to defeat on her own without having to worry about getting hit.

 

“I’m glad I didn’t end up coming here alone… I would be in great trouble if I had come all the way here and not be able to defeat any of these monsters without your help.”

 

“Originally, a shield user would shine the most when tagging along someone else who can deal lots of damage. That’s why solo players tend to have a harder time than those who work together in a party.”

 

“Ehehe! I do have a bit of confidence in my own attacks, though!”

 

“Yeah, you’ve mastered quite a few useful skills along the road.”

 

There was no doubt that scattering poison, summoning monsters, and overrunning enemies with a large amount of weapons wasn’t really part of the description of the Great Shield User class.

 

The fact that Maple was able to deal damage was good for the party, but it would be better to be able to fight without having to resort to that.

 

“Monsters of a different type may come out as we go through this place, so I’ll be counting on you!”

 

“Sure thing! I have enough ammo for anything!”

 

“That’s good to know.”

 

Unlike Maple, Sally’s battle style wasn’t centered around skills that have a limited number of uses, so even after exploring for a while, their battle resources hadn’t decreased at all.

 

If a boss with a normal body were to appear, then they would mercilessly use all of the skills they had saved up so far against it.

 

After walking down the underwater passage for a while, they came across a wide room that branched into several roads. Although they were extra careful when entering the room, there were no signs of anything that looked like a mid-boss, and it seemed to be more like an easy-to-understand crossroads. Since it seemed that there was still a long way off ahead, Sally thought about checking Maple’s current status.

 

“How’s your oxygen?”

 

“I’m good! …?”

 

“Maple?”

 

Maple was hitting the chest area in her diving suit as if she was feeling uncomfortable about something.

 

“What is it? There doesn’t seem to be a problem with how much oxygen you have left…”

 

“It feels a bit warm around here…?”

 

“…Huh? Doesn’t look like it is any kind of status condition, though…”

 

After a bit of thought, Sally shared a possible explanation for Maple’s condition.

 

“I was wondering, if you have no particular damage or status condition, and there’s no sign of a monster, what could it be, then? I’m not feeling anything, so it may be a reaction to one of your skills or items, Maple. Something like a hint.”

 

“Oh~ That could be it!”

 

“However… I don’t know if that is a good or bad hint.”

 

“…?”

 

“It could be telling you the location of a dangerous room filled with powerful monsters so you can avoid it, or it could be telling you the location of a good item so you can go pick it up.”

 

They didn’t know if approaching whatever that thing that just happened to Maple was pointing to was a good idea. All they knew for sure was that this was something that had never happened to Maple before.

 

“What do you think, Maple?”

 

“Hmm, since this is a hint like you said, if it’s telling us to go check some place out, why don’t we follow it?”

 

“Even if there are some really strong monsters waiting for us there?”

 

“The two of us can take on anything!”

 

Though Sally was impressed to see Maple declare that so adamantly and with a smiling face, she laughed it off a bit and put a confident expression on her face.

 

“That’s right. We can defeat anything if we’re together, Maple!”

 

“Besides, I don’t think it’s going to be such a bad thing to follow this hint. After all, it doesn’t feel that unpleasant to begin with…”

 

“Is that so? I wonder if your intuition is right on the money…”

 

Then, they started swimming once again, trying to head wherever Maple’s reaction would have even the slightest change.

 

First of all, they needed to decide which among the many paths that spread before them to follow.

 

“Well, let’s try each of them one by one. We may get some kind of reaction from one of them.”

 

“Got it!”

 

After being prompted by Sally, Maple headed through one of the passages for a short while before coming to a stop, shaking her head as if saying that she didn’t feel anything particularly different about going that way.

 

“I don’t feel any different here!”

 

“Then let’s try the next one.”

 

Then, as they shuffled through more passages, Maple suddenly stopped in front of one of the tunnels next to a wall and tilted her head to the side.

 

“How is it?”

 

“Hmm… I think it feels a little warmer?”

 

“Really?”

 

“Maybe?”

 

“Should we try again? How about you go to the passage right next to this one and come back here to see what happens?”

 

“Ah! That’s a good idea!”

 

Maple went to the other passage and then came back to the first passage.

 

“So?”

 

“There’s a change!”

 

“Okay. So we should go this way.”

 

Whenever Maple felt a change in her reaction, she would also feel that there’s something ahead that isn’t found anywhere else.

 

From this point on, it seemed that Maple had to stand in front of a passage and check it before proceeding through it.|

 

 

 

Then, as the two of them walk along the many pathways based on Maple’s sensation, they reach a large room leading to the next set of forked paths. And when Maple tried to feel which way they should go next, something like a crackle or an electric shock of sorts burst in the center of the room.

 

“…!”

 

“Sally, something’s coming!”

 

“Get ready!”

 

When Maple took up her shield and weapons and Sally once again clenched her fists around her two daggers, the violent sound and light subsided, and all that was left there was a cube that was suspended in the water without sinking or floating upwards.

 

As they looked at it, a crack ran through the cube, which appeared to be made of a combination of stones, and it split into several parts, revealing a blue core-like glow within.

 

At the same time, an HP bar was displayed over it, and it started to rotate around its core, probably because it was ready for battle.

 

“It looks a bit like those golems, right?”

 

“Like those from before?”

 

“Yeah, it seems to be made from the material.”

 

Not only it seems to be made of the same kind of stone, but it was also similar in color and in the way it was built, which gave a certain feel of a relationship between the underwater temple and this place. If that was the case, it would be highly possible that Maple and Sally’s goal was further ahead.

 

“We might be on the right track here.”

 

“Really!? Alright~ Let’s give this our best shot then!”

 

“Yeah, this thing has to be protecting something.”

 

It didn’t seem like it was simply going to be standing guard. The way ahead was now blocked by a stone wall, and several magic circles appeared around the enemy.

 

“I’m ready!”

 

“Good!”

 

While making sure to be under the effects of “Dedicated Affection”, they watched the enemy’s next move. The cube began shifting to the left along with its magic circles.

 

“It’s not an attack… There’s no damage!”

 

“But what… Waaaah!?”

 

They hadn’t been hit by a lump of water or anything like that; a much larger change was taking place throughout the entire room. Due to the effect of the magic circles, a water current was being generated according to the cube’s rotation, and Maple and Sally were being swept away by it in a set direction without being able to do much about it.

 

“‘Commence Attack’! Agh! I can’t take aim…!”

 

Although Maple normally attacked with her deployed weapons, she was not familiar with taking aim at enemies while moving since most of her attacks use her defensive power to generate a barrage of bullets while she remains stationary, so she was unable to damage the cube as much.

 

“At least even its core can be damaged. I’ll attack as well, so get as much chip damage as possible, Maple!”

 

“Got it! I’ll do my best!”

 

Because they had encountered nothing but monsters with watery bodies along the way, Sally was glad that there was finally an enemy they could attack properly this time. And since Maple still had plenty of ammunition, she was free to try taking a few shots here and there.

 

“It’s a strong water current, but…!”

 

Instead of trying to go against the flow, Sally used the current and her own acceleration to quickly close the distance between herself and the monster in a circular motion. It responded to this by generating spears made of water from its magic circles, but they didn’t seem to be as quick as Sally’s approach.

 

“‘Triple Slash’!”

 

In an instant, as she dodged the spears, Sally managed to land her skill twice for a total of six deep slashes before using the same water current to safely get out of the way.

 

“Thanks for the ride!”

 

“Amazing, Sally! Alright, now’s my turn…”

 

Since Maple wasn’t that skilled at taking aim, Maple created an oversized muzzle to make it easier for her to hit her target, and pointed it at the center of the core.

 

However, before she could fire a laser from it, several water spears that had been fired at Sally were now approaching Maple, following the water stream.

 

It seemed that they had been made to be able to attack any opponent to some extent in the same water stream, but Maple couldn’t reach Sally’s speed in order to dodge them.

 

“Waah!? Wait, wait!”

 

“Don’t worry, I’ll help you!”

 

Sally quickly got in front of Maple and got her weapons ready to protect her from the water spears.

 

“Phew…!”

 

A blue light flashed as Sally quickly swung her dagger, and all of the water spears that were headed for Maple were repelled as a result.

 

Unlike Maple’s body, her deployed weapons were unable to withstand a direct attack, and it was necessary to protect them.

 

“Thanks, Sally! Okay! ‘Commence Attack’!”

 

Maple unleashed a huge shining red laser towards the core, thinking that a big attack would be able to hit its target even if her aim were to be a bit off. Without being deterred by the water current, the laser burned out half of the cube, passing through it and hitting the wall behind it, creating a huge explosion.

 

“Aw… I was a bit off after all…”

 

“But it worked just fine. Keep shooting like this! I’ll repel anything that comes this way.”

 

“Okay!”

 

Due to how effective Maple’s weapons were, Sally stopped attacking and switched to Maple’s defense.

 

It was imperative to the cube to destroy Maple’s deployed weapon, but it was quite difficult to break through Sally’s defensive network. In addition to repelling attacks with her daggers, she was also able to create a wall such as “Water Wall” with her magic.

 

“Okay… Taking aim!”

 

“This time, leave the defense to me.”

 

“‘Commence Attack’!”

 

As a result, the cube wasn’t able to put a single dent on Maple’s weapon, and was eventually destroyed by a series of crimson lasers.

 

 

 

When the cube disappeared without a trace, the water current that had affected the entire room stopped, and the water was calm once more.

 

“It wasn’t that tough, huh?”

 

“Usually I might have had a harder time, but… yeah, it didn’t seem to be particularly strong.”

 

“Since you protected me, I still have plenty of weapons to use! And I didn’t even have to use my ‘Bizarre Eater’!”

 

Sally’s presence was probably the reason why Maple had been able to press on with her attacks while preserving most of her skills. Thanks to her support, she had been able to continuously attack with her laser without her weapons being destroyed, keeping her weapon generation to a minimum.

 

“Okay, let’s press forward. You’ll be at the front lines from here on, Maple.”

 

“Okay~!”

 

Thus the two of them continued further into the temple.

 

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