Itai no wa Iya nanode Bōgyo-Ryoku ni Kyokufuri Shitai to Omoimasu 393
Defense Specialization and the Tunnel – 2
As Maple and Sally proceeded through the tunnel, not only the ground at their feet continued to be frozen, but some icicles began to hang from the ceiling.
“Something has to come out soon, right?”
“Keep your eyes peeled. And don’t stop paying attention to the ground.”
As they proceeded ahead with caution so as to not slip and fall, a lump of ice that floated in the air appeared before them. There was a HP bar directly above it and a small gust of icy and snowy wind swirled around it, making it look like it was carrying its own pocket snowstorm around. It seemed to have a will of its own, making it look less like an inanimate lump of ice and more like a spirit or a sprite. The intensifying cold air was also causing the icicles that hang from the ceiling to grow, and Maple and Sally concluded that it had to be one of the monsters they were supposed to defeat.
“Here it comes!”
At the same time, the monster seemed to notice them as well, as the wind swirling around it became stronger and covered a wider area. The wind enveloped the icicles on the ceiling, which got hit repeatedly with the wind’s icy shards until they broke off, and then the monster flung them at Maple and Sally.
“Block them with your shield!”
Maple ought to avoid taking attacks from sharp and pointy objects directly with her body as much as possible. There were many skills and special attacks that had armor piercing effects, which could often be identified for their skill names and the means used to perform such attacks.
After swallowing the icicles with her “Evil Eater”, Maple was ready to unleash her counterattack.
“‘Deploy All Weapons’! ‘Commence Attack’!”
Maple deployed a large number of weapons and pointed their muzzles at the Ice Spirit. However, the weapons did not react to her subsequent declaration to open fire, and no attack actually commenced.
“Huh? …Ah! They’re frozen!”
The weapons’ surface was partially frozen white, and the barrels themselves had been covered on small icicles. They had a skill sealing effect, which prevented Maple’s attack from being executed.
“In that case, I’ll try something before my ‘Evil Eater’ runs out. It moves around slowly… Or rather, it seems like it doesn’t move at all.”
Carefully walking on the frozen ground, Maple got close to the monster before it could attack them with the new icicles that had already started to grow from the ceiling.
“If you’re not going to move… Take this!”
Maple took up her shield and tackled the Ice Spirit with it. Since “Evil Eater” was still active and it allowed her to swallow even monsters up to a certain size in one gulp, the Ice Spirit vanished instantly into the shield.
Even though they were in the 9th Layer, this monster was defeated in the same way as the one in Maple’s first quest ever.
“Nice~ It worked. It would’ve been too risky to let it react and attack us again with those icicles.”
“Yeah! It worked out just fine!”
“I should be able to avoid those icicles. I’ve already gotten used to this slippery frozen floor, so if they keep using that same attack over and over, I should be fine.”
The monster had only thrown icicles at them, which had been easily disposed of with a single attack. The foothold was poor, but the monster couldn’t unleash its attacks in quick succession, so even if it succeeded in sealing Maple’s weapons, it made no difference to them at all. Since “Dedicated Affection” hadn’t been sealed, they were able to carry on without much of a struggle since their defensive capabilities weren’t hampered by the monster’s attacks.
“Looks like we have to defeat 9 more of these.”
“Where could we find more?”
“The tunnel seems to be a straight road ahead, so we should be able to find some more if we just keep on walking further ahead.”
“Alright! Let’s go~!
After successfully defeating the first monster, Maple and Sally went deeper into the tunnel, hoping to clear their quest.
As expected, since it was their first quest in the area, they were able to advance through it without much struggle.
Though her weapons had been sealed, the monsters’ icy wind attacks wouldn’t work on Maple, and she could easily block any incoming icicles with her shield. Then, all she needed to do was to get closer to the monsters and just lightly touch them with the shield to get rid of them.
Though this strategy wasn’t always as easily applicable as it had been when they defeated the first monster, the goal was simply to defeat 10 of these Ice Spirits, and so the last few of them were easily defeated by Sally’s attacks.
“Phew, that takes care of it.”
Sally stabbed the final Ice Spirit with her dagger, and it fell to the floor where it crumbled on the spot.
“We’ve cleared the quest, Sally!”
“It’s still the first quest of this area… I wonder if all of them are going to be this easy?”
“Well, that works for us!”
“This wasn’t a hidden quest or anything. It seems that it was made so that anyone could clear it easily, so they were pulling a few punches with these monsters.”
“Imagine if each one of these monsters had been as strong as a boss… Like that event at the top floor of that tower…”
“That would have been really rough.”
As they progressed through the game, they would face an increasing level of challenge from the monsters they encountered.
But before getting to the actual challenge, they would need to clear these initial quests.
“Let’s get out of here. We should get some sort of progress once we exit this tunnel.”
After turning back while remaining cautious not to slip and fall, they finally reached the exit of the mining tunnel, where they once again rode Syrup back to ground level.
The big man that had escorted them to the entrance of the tunnel was there waiting for them, and greeted them after seeing that they had returned safely.
“Oh! It looks like you’ve done it! Now we can resume our work up there. Go to the request counter in the castle town to receive your reward. The people in town have been working restlessly for quite some time now, so it would be nice if you could lend them a hand as well!”
“Let’s go back to town then. Some of the others may have already finished with their own quests.”
Considering the difficulty level of this quest. it was possible that the other six members of “Maple Tree” had already finished their chosen quests without too much of a trouble either. Maple and Sally quickly left the mining area, thinking that the others could even be back at the Guild Home waiting for them already.