Itai no wa Iya nanode Bōgyo-Ryoku ni Kyokufuri Shitai to Omoimasu 392
Defense Specialization and the Tunnel
After going back the same road they came from, Maple and the others arrived at the front of the large building. It was bigger than a large guild’s Guild House, so it shouldn’t be a problem even if a lot of players were to gather inside to get the quest.
“We’re coming in~!”
Maple opened the door, and the party could see the inside of the building. The inside was just as spacious as it seemed to be from the outside, and there were several bulletin boards with paste-it-like request forms and some reception counters with NPCs behind them.
Chairs and tables were also set there so players could relax before heading for a counter, and there was a signboard on one of the walls at the back of the room indicating the dishes and potions that were being sold.
There were stairs leading up to the second and third floors, making it look like a huge Guild Home made for all players.
“Ooh~! It’s huge~!”
“The shops at the back look like they’ll take in a lot of traffic, so we should be okay as long as we stick to moving around the center of the room.”
“We’ve got to check out what they’re selling later too.”
“Yeah. Each new Layer comes with new items as well, after all.”
“And what about the quests that we can take here…?”
Since there are so many players, they could choose to take quests from either the reception counters and the bulletin boards to avoid getting each of those areas too crowded. Maple and the others decided to check the quests they could accept at the moment.
The moment they went to one of the bulletin boards, a blue panel appeared in front of them that displayed the names of all available quests. More details about each quest would be displayed by tapping on each of the quests’ names.
“Whoa~ There’s a lot of them!”
“With this many quests, I’m sure everyone can choose the type of quest that best suits them. Combat, gathering… There are even quests for transporting supplies.”
“The main quest that has led us to the castle only mentions taking a quest here, so I’m assuming that it doesn’t matter what kind of quest we actually take, right?”
“Right. I’m sure that’s why there are so many different types of quests.”
“Just to confirm that, each of us should take a different type of quest. Since we’re so many, it should help understand more about the quest and its progress. Especially since there may be more quests like these to take on the neighboring region.”
“Let’s try taking one of these quests then.”
“So, which ones of these can we complete…?”
“Have you found anything, sis?”
After checking the contents of each quest, they singled out the ones that seemed achievable for them and accepted them accordingly.
“Alright, should we try taking on these quests until something changes?”
“Looks like these quests can be shared, so if we all take one of these quests, one of us can get it cleared for everyone else.”
“Let’s do our best then~!”
Thus, each of them headed for the location indicated by their respective quests.
Maple and Sally –who accepted the same quest– came to a high mountain a little away from the town. The mountain was steep, most of the trees had been cut down, and shapes made out of water and ice floated in mid-air against the force of gravity and were connected to each other, forming strange footholds. There were also large holes that each made a path leading to the center of the mountain.
Each of them seemed to be some kind of mining tunnel, as they could see several NPCs roaming around and digging out glittering crystals from within.
“The 9th Layer seems to be particularly filled with NPCs.”
“Yeah, up until now, we wouldn’t see any NPCs outside of towns!”
There were structures built even outside of the town’s walls. These tunnels were an example of that. Then, as the NPCs moved around restlessly, Maple and Sally noticed that there was an indication of quest progress floating above a big, muscular man that was wearing work clothes and giving instructions to the other NPCs.
“Should we ask that guy?”
As they approached the big man, he turned around to meet them.
“Oh! You’re the ones who accepted our request, right? Thank you very much. Come this way.”
Then the man had them follow him along the mountain surface for a brief while before stopping, looking up, and pointing at some of the tunnels.
“Some monsters have settled down in this area. We can’t work properly because there are so many of those ridiculous things. Are you confident in your skills? I’d like you to do something about this.”
“The ones inside these tunnels attack with cold air. Be careful not to get yourselves frozen solid.”
With Maple’s cheerful reply, the big man When Maple replies cheerfully, the big man went back to his original place. It seemed that there were no NPCs around here since there were monsters inside, and the only sounds of work that could be heard were the echoes of distant mining.
“Well, they seem to be in here, but how should we go about doing this?”
“How about we have Syrup take each of us over there at a time?”
“Yeah, good plan. I’m already used to floating around anyway.”
Maple called Syrup and used her “Psychokinesis” to have him carry each of them towards the entrance of one of the tunnels.
“Thank you, Syrup~”
Once both of them arrived at the tunnel’s entrance, Maple recalled Syrup back into her ring. The tunnel wasn’t wide enough for the huge syrup to fit through it.
“It doesn’t feel like a dungeon, huh?”
“Yeah. And it’s so narrow in here… Fighting here won’t be so easy.”
Walking inside the tunnel was rough as well since the terrain was uneven, forcing them to walk side by side. This, in turn, made it so Sally wouldn’t be able to make the most of her fighting style, which benefited from wide spacious areas where her great agility would shine at its brightest.
“Well, I guess it’s my time to shine then!”
“Yeah. You got it.”
“Leave it to me!”
This quest was simple. All they had to do was defeat a certain number of monsters inside the tunnel, and once they had defeated enough, the quest would be cleared.
“’Dedicated Affection’ ‘Deploy Barrels!”
Maple walked forward with a number of muzzles pointing ahead. Since the narrow passage obstructed Sally’s dodging capabilities, she also activated her “Dedicated Affection”, so she was completely ready to attack and defend.
They continued walking through the tunnel like this for a while, but they encountered no monsters during this time.
“There don’t seem to be any particular signs of monsters around here.”
“Yeah, and I have my eyes set straight ahead! So we’ll be fiiii –waaaah!?”
Though Maple was on guard as she proceeded through the tunnel, she still stumbled and fell in the most spectacular way right before Sally’s eyes. Still, the fall wasn’t hard enough to destroy her deployed barrels, so Maple quickly took Sally’s hand and got back on her feet before looking around to see what had happened.
“…Looks like I have to be careful not only about what’s ahead of us, but below us as well.”
“…? Ah! It’s frozen!”
When she touched the ground at her feet, she felt almost no friction at all, and when seen from an angle, she could see the ground also reflected light to some extent. It was as if they had been walking over a frozen lake.
“We have to be careful not to slip and fall during battle, or we’ll be done for!”
“Yeah! That got me by surprise… I thought I was being attacked from some hidden spot around here.”
Having agreed to be especially wary of the ground at their feet during battle, Maple and Sally continued their exploration of the tunnel, searching for the monsters they were supposed to defeat.