Itai no wa Iya nanode Bōgyo-Ryoku ni Kyokufuri Shitai to Omoimasu 382
Defense Specialization and Heavenly Light 2
When they opened the door to the guild home, they found that the other team members were already there waiting for them.
“Ah, everyone’s here!”
“We were curious. You’re quick to produce results, you two.”
“I’m looking forward to seeing something interesting.”
“Let’s go to the training center. I’m assuming this is still a secret to other guilds, right?”
“Yeah. If we keep it a secret, I’m sure those opponents who see it for the first time will be caught off guard. Besides, even without the skill, Maple won’t be a hindrance in battle.”
“Makes sense. So it’s some really scary skill, isn’t it?”
“What kind of skill is it…?”
“Don’t think so. It’s Maple, after all.”
If someone didn’t know what she normally had, anything new wouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
“Haha, you’ll know when you see it!”
The eight of them entered the training center and waited for Maple to activate her new skill.
“Ah, wait a second~! Umm, before that, let me… okay, ‘Quick Change’!”
By switching to her white armor, Maple recovered her increased Max HP.
“Okay, here I go! ‘Afterglow of Salvation’!”
As Maple activated her skill, the ground around her started to shine, four wings sprouted from her back, and a shinier-than-ever angel’s halo appeared over her head.
“Whoa! What a beautiful skill.”
“…I’ve been wondering what would happen when you activate it.”
“Look at that, and here I was thinking she’d transform into some kind of huge fish or something.”
The six of them were wondering what kind of absurd transformation Maple would undergo, since she had even started to grow tentacles a while ago, but they seemed relieved to see that Maple’s new skill gave her an amazingly beautiful new appearance.
“If you’re standing within this range, any damage you receive will be reduced, plus you’ll gradually recover HP. It also boosts resistance to abnormal conditions!”
“Since Maple is always using ‘Dedicated Affection’, this effect may not be very useful for her, though.”
Kanade drew the same conclusion as Sally. With ‘Dedicated Affection’, those other than Maple would already be protected from damage and abnormal conditions, so there wasn’t really much of a point having a wide-range version of the essentially the same thing.
“But Maple seems happy to have earned some new wings, right?”
“…Ah, that’s right. Then there’s some merit to it.”
After explaining the skill’s effect, she asked everyone to gather around her.
“Wait, there’s more?”
“That’s not all you have to show us, right?”
“Look forward to what’s coming next! It’s perfectly safe!”
Everyone did as Maple said, and after confirming that they were all within the range of ‘Afterglow of Salvation’, she activated her next skill.
The light that was shining from the ground became stronger, and after a few seconds, the bright light enveloped everyone, and they started to float in midair.
“Oh, interesting! You can make us float now. I wonder if it’s like when you make Syrup levitate?”
After they were all floating in the air, a large amount of water came crashing down directly below them with tremendous force, filling the training center up. As the training center’s dummies were swept away, the light surrounding the eight people became stronger and everything before them became pure white.
Immediately after that, just as they were starting to feel that they had been floating in midair for a while, the water was gone, and the eight of them returned to the ground. But instead of returning to the place where each of them were standing, they had moved next to the wall of the training center.
Then, Maple’s wings and halo disappeared, and all other changes were reverted.
“Looks like it worked.”
“Yeah, I’m really looking forward to using it when we’re all fighting together!”
Maple then explained the skills effect in detail. “Ark” could only be used while “Afterglow of Salvation” is active. After casting for 5 seconds, everyone affected by “Afterglow of Salvation” is lifted from the ground before attacking the area with a tidal wave of water. However, the attack itself was just a bonus, since what interested Maple the most was to use it to move. After the attack is over, the user and all affected allies will be moved to any place within the range of “Afterglow of Salvation”, which is approximately 20 meters.
Using “Ark” cancels the effect of “Afterglow of Salvation” afterwards, but that wasn’t a problem for Maple.
“I see… With a casting speed of 5 seconds, I doubt anyone without Maple’s defense would be able to safely use that skill, though.”
“You can use it to jump from cover to make a surprise attack, you can also use the water as a distraction to get the jump on your enemy during a battle… You can even use it to escape from a battle as well!”
Sadly, this wouldn’t help improve Maple’s ability to move because it had a slow casting time. Still, it was nice to have more options in combat.
Having a large amount of water drawing their attention while a party member uses that chance to make a surprise attack was a strategy that had a high chance of taking opponents off guard, provided they hadn’t seen it before somewhere else.
“I’m sure we’ll have plenty of chances to use this well if we keep it under wraps. Those who see it for the first time will surely be confused by it.”
“The water deals quite a bit of damage too!”
“Look at those poor training dummies…”
Maple saw the water attack as a bonus, since she was more interested in the moving effect, but the raging wave of water was by no means something that should be disregarded. It was powerful enough to damage the training dummies quite a bit, so it would be quite the threat to opponents with low defense.
“I have another skill to show you, just a moment! ‘Reversal Rebirth’!”
Maple changed one of her skills into another skill and asked everyone to move away.
Everyone could guess that the skill Maple would be changing with her “Reversal Rebirth” would be “Afterglow of Salvation”, so they all took a few steps back. Although the effect on Maple would be small, her change in appearance made it apparent that it corresponded to the skill that was going to be changed. If so, then the skill it was going to be turned into would be appropriate for that change as well.
“Everyone, please get out of range~!”
“Out of range!? That far away?”
Chrome’s surprise was understandable. The range of “Afterglow of Salvation” was about as wide as that of “Dedicated Affection”, and if something were to happen within that range that called for them to get out of that range, it would probably be something significantly dangerous.
Black wings appeared on Maple’s back, and a dark red colored halo appeared over her head. A black light changed even the color of her white armor to black. Dark red sparks crackled, and the ground under her feet turned black as a dark light started to shine from it. From the skill’s name and visual effect, it was evident that nothing good would come to those within its area of effect.
“Maple! What does it do?”
“Umm, anyone who enters this field will take damage, become more susceptible to abnormal conditions, and suffer from reduced recovery effects!”
According to Maple, “Reversal Rebirth” was a skill that changed a skill into another skill that had the exact opposite effect. But the thing that worried Maple the most was that it would affect everyone within range.
“When you say ‘anyone’, do you mean teammates as well?”
“Yeah… That’s what it looks like.”
If Sally, Mai, or Yui were to enter the field, they would die instantly. Kanade and Izu would fall to it mere moments later.
“…But it would be nice to see how much damage it actually does. We’re at the training center, after all… Okay, I think I’ll step inside the field.”
“You’re right. If we can see how much damage this does to Chrome, we can estimate how useful it will be in combat.”
Chrome was a top class Great Shield user, so there was no way he would be killed instantly upon entering the field. Since they were already trying the skill out, it would be a good idea to try that as well.
“Okay, I’m going in!”
The moment Chrome entered the field, he was engulfed by the dark light, and his HP decreased.
“The damage it deals doesn’t seem to be influenced by Maple’s attack power, but I can take it no problem…”
However, since the field dealt continuous damage and hindered passive recovery, Chrome’s HP was still decreasing as he spoke.
“…I can’t stay here forever, though. It hurts quite a bit.”
“If it can hurt even Chrome, then we can use it in battles. Just activating the skill will make mages and such stay away.”
“Ah, Chrome, there’s something else I’d like to try!”
“Hmm? Oh, sure.”
“Okay, ‘Dedicated Affection’!”
Two white wings grew among Maple’s existing four black wings, and a new field was deployed on the ground. The dark red sparks were now joined by a soothing light, and Maple once again asked Chrome to enter the field.
“I wonder if this will work…?”
When Chrome reentered the field, the dark red light tried to engulf him once more, but it was intercepted by Maple’s “Dedicated Affection”.
Thanks to that, the damage that was supposed to be dealt to Chrome was redirected at Maple, and since her defense was way higher than Chrome’s, that damage was reduced to zero, effectively protecting her teammate from her own skill.
Using those two skills in conjunction, Maple could potentially damage everything around her while protecting her friends from harm.
“Oh, now we’re talking! I bet any of us could enter the field now without being hurt.”
“We’ll need to incorporate this into our strategy. If we can put Maple in the middle of an enemy team’s row of mages, this could do a lot of damage.”
“I bet getting all of your mages down in one fell swoop is a really scary experience.”
“Yeah, it’s definitely going to be quite a shock.”
Expecting the future growth of Maple, who now had more potential for indiscriminate massacre than ever before, they all decided to keep exploring, looking for more skills as powerful as that in anticipation of their next eventual PvP battle.
Meanwhile, in the real world… Kaede was still walking towards school on a still relatively cool morning, all while feeling the strong sunlight of the summer.
“Ah, good morning, Risa.”
“Morning, Kaede. It’s getting warmer, huh~”
“Ahaha, it’s already summer after all~”
Time certainly goes by quickly. It’s been a year and a half since they started playing the game.
As they went down the road to school while talking, the topic gradually shifted to the usual one: the game.
“Now we have to do the same for the ‘Lost Legacy’, huh?”
“Yeah… I wonder where we’re supposed to go…”
We have no other choice but to look for it patiently, but we’re ahead of other people simply because we’ve got the required item. If we hadn’t come across those items, we might have just carried on without ever learning of their existence.
Based on the name “Lost Legacy” the two of them had guessed that it would have something to do with ancient machinery, but those who didn’t have the item to begin with wouldn’t be able to know where to even begin to search.
“I got it at a 7th Layer event, though…”
“I still think it’s meant to be used in the 8th Layer. I feel as if the 7th Layer’s last event was somehow related to the 8th Layer.”
“Yeah, it really yelled ‘water’ all over the place, right?”
“I’m glad the 8th Layer is such a cool and refreshing place, it’s very summery, you know?”
“The fact that we have 8th Layers is also cool~”
“Yeah… 8th Layers already!”
“The game has come a long way, huh?”
“Events are being added to the older Layers at the same time as the new Layer, so it would be nice to go back and check those out as well.”
Events were often added on previous Layers as well, just like the one where Kasumi found in the 4th Layer that would allow her to earn her own monster companion.
Of course, most of the new content would be related to the latest Layer, but there would also be several completely new events on the older Layers with each update as well.
“There are so many things that haven’t been found yet, and there are so many places to explore… no matter how much time you have in your hands, it never seems to be enough to experience it all.”
You really needed every second you could get to explore while leveling up. Each Layer was huge, so it was easy to expect many more events to come in the future for each of them.
“It’s amazing to have so much to do~! Phew… I wonder if we’ll have enough time next year as well.”
“Next year… yeah.”
Both of them were still students, and they would have to pay special attention to their studies next year. Kaede had a point, and Risa knew that they would both be expected to study hard, even if their grades don’t drop.
“…Oh well, we have plenty of time before we have to worry about things like that.”
It was still summer. It was still a bit too early to be thinking about next year.
“Besides, you’ve been studying hard already, right Kaede? So you’ll be fine.”
“I think so… Are you going to be fine as well, Risa?”
“I’ve been doing great so far. All I have to do is keep this up.”
“Oh~! Then there’s nothing to worry about!”
“Hehe, see? We can give our undivided attention to the game now.”
The two of them eventually arrived at school while absorbed in their conversation. They entered the classroom, Kaede cheerfully thinking what kind of event they would encounter next, and Risa looking at Kaede while thinking about the future.