Itai no wa Iya nanode Bōgyo-Ryoku ni Kyokufuri Shitai to Omoimasu 398
Defense Specialization and the Blazing Forest
For some time after that, Maple continued to be hit by two types of breath to an extent that there was almost no unfrozen ground around her. Still, no matter how many times she was hit, it didn’t change the fact that she was merely being covered in ice.
And while it did take some time, it was Maple’s strength that she could create battle situations where there was no way that she could lose.
And so Maple gathered all of the required leaves as she blocked every attack with her body, until finally, with much satisfaction, she was able to leave the frozen forest behind her.
“Phew. That was tough… But now I can clear it!”
Defeating the dragon was not a requirement for clearing the quest. Apparently, it always appeared in that forest, and so she might have to face it again in a future quest. But she could ignore it for now.
After exiting the forest, Maple turned around once in order to say goodbye and that she may visit it again.
But what Maple then witnessed, was not ice and water breath within a freezing forest, but the moment that it all erupted into a violent blaze that spread out.
After a moment, the fires died down, and Maple was surprised to see that the ice surrounding the trees had not melted, but remained.
“Is there another one here…?”
Maple had only encountered the freezing dragon, but it would not be strange if there was also a fire-breathing one here as well. In the first place, the majority of dragons she had encountered up until now had breathed fire. So types like this one, which breathed ice and water, were quite rare.
That being said, it was also true that Sally and Izu had given her no information about such a dragon being here.
“Maybe it’s something rare!”
Since they had told her that she can explore freely, no one would fault her even if she turned around and went straight back into an area where she had just finished a quest.
And like that, Maple entered the forest in order to find out what had caused the fire.
It had spread out for just a brief moment, but on such a great scale. Maple walked around as she wondered what it could have been. But she discovered a player before discovering any monster.
“Maple! If you’re here too, does that mean you’re on a quest?”
“Yes! Well, I already finished it. But then I saw some amazing fire and came back, thinking it might be something unusual…”
“Ahaha! That was me.”
“I should have known. I thought it was some kind of fire breathing dragon.”
The more powerful a player’s skills were, the more likely it was for them to be able to create phenomenons that were on a scale close to what monsters could achieve. Maple herself was often mistaken for a monster. Though, that was partially because her appearance was exactly that of a monster.
“As you can see, my firepower has gone up. I think that even in Maple Tree, there isn’t anyone who can hit such a wide area with just one skill?”
“Well, I don’t know all the skills the others have… But I’ve never seen anything like this!”
Izu’s wide area bomb attacks took a lot of time for preparation, and while she would not have been surprised if Kanade had a magic book or two like that, they were generally single-use only.
This skill had damage that exceeded Maple’s Machine God, and was an area attack that burned a wide area instead of a single spot. There could be no better skill when it came to making use of her own strength.
“So did you already defeat the dragon?”
“Not yet. It ran away after we attacked each other for a while. I guess I didn’t defeat it but forced it to retreat.”
But thanks to that, she was able to continue the quest freely, and so Mi showed Maple the leaves she had gathered.
“That’s impressive… I thought defeating it was too much a hassle, and so I left it.”
“Isn’t leaving it more of a hassle?”
“Well, it did freeze me occasionally, but then I would be freed again, so I was able to explore!”
“Now that’s impressive…”
If Mi tried to copy her, there was no doubt that she would be forcefully sent back to the town.
It was best for each person to choose the style that suited them.
“What are you going to do now, Maple? Since it seems like you finished the quest.”
“I accepted a few others, so I’m thinking about going to one of them!”
“Oh? Which one?”
And then Maple told Mi about the quests she was currently accepting. In the first place, the type of quests were limited, and since anyone could accept them easily, it was no surprise that there were some that both Mi and Maple had accepted.
“If you don’t mind, Maple, maybe we can clear a few of them together? I think it will be easier if we’re together.”
“All right, then it’s decided! I’ll bring Ignis out, so you can ride on top.”
And like that, the two flew through the sky towards their next quest.
“It really is fast!”
“Unlike Syrup, Ignis was set to have the flight ability from the beginning.”
Ignis was a phoenix, and could already fly, unlike Syrup, who had to rely on Maple’s skill in order to float in the air. And since Syrup used such an unorthodox method of flying, it was not possible to fly at this speed.
“It seems like there are a lot of players who tamed flying monsters. There was even someone in my guild who wouldn’t settle for anything but a flying monster, and so they hadn’t tamed any until very recently.”
“Being able to fly really is amazing.”
“When it comes to battle, having the high ground is quite an advantage, and you have so much more mobility when you can ignore the terrain… So I can understand why they are popular.”
“Besides, you can’t fly around so freely like this back in the real world!”
“Ahaha. That’s true. That would also be part of the appeal.”
Much time had passed since the time it was just Maple alone who flew through the skies. And now, the sky was completely open to the range of activities of the players.
“Also, if you’re attacking a castle, then being able to fly over the walls will be a great advantage, won’t it?”
People like the Kingdom of the Flame Emperor guild member, who finally tamed a monster, had probably been waiting so they could have an advantage during times like these.
Indeed, if you could fly in the sky, then the high walls that surrounded the town wouldn’t mean anything. Compared to those who mainly fought on the ground, there were fewer players and monsters who had the ability to fly. That meant they could attack in places that were not tightly guarded. And that alone made them a threat.
“Still, it must have taken a lot of patience. After all, there was one event and eight layers in between.”
“I just hope that it was worth it.”
The two continued to fill each other in on recent events as they made their way to the next destination.
“Is all of Maple Tree here now?”
“I think so? Though, there may be some people checking out the other side.”
“Yes, you’d want to see both sides at least once.”
“What about you, Mi?”
“We still haven’t decided yet. Besides, it seems like this time, guild members will be able to split up.”
“Yes. Of course, it’s not confirmed until there is an announcement. But you remember? Every player gets a crest when entering the country?”
“If it stays like that, we might be able to be on opposing sides in spite of being in the same guild.”
Mi said that she wanted to allow the guild members to do as they pleased.
“Of course, I won’t go easy on them if we do become enemies! I’m still the guild master, and will do my best so that I don’t lose.”
“There’s no worry of that, with how strong you are, Mi.”
“Well, everyone in the guild is strong as well. So I can’t let my guard down… But I suppose Maple Tree will want to stick together?”
“We haven’t even discussed that yet, but I think that’s what will happen!”
“Well, you do make up one perfect party. And you have great teamwork.”
They had advance guards and rear guards, everyone had their own acute abilities and fitted in so that they made up for the deficiencies of others.
It was hard to think of any merits in splitting up.
“I wonder which guilds we’ll be teaming up with.”
“We won’t know until it starts.”
“I hope we’ll be on the same side as you, Mi!”
“Hehe. Well, you better guess which one I’ll go to then.”
“I’ll do my best!”
“You do that. Oh, we’re almost there! Hold on tight!”
Mi signaled, and then Ignis slowly descended in a spiral towards the ground.