Itai no wa Iya 409

Defense Specialization and Symbiosis 2


While she was being feared in such a way, Maple herself was frantically headed towards Izu.

Obviously, the quest that was started by force was related to something that was sealed in that book that entered her body, and the negative effects from that something was too strong.

As her MP was being absorbed from within her body, it constantly remained at 0 without recovering, and any skills that were used through declaring the skill names, as well as ones attached to equipment were now impossible to use.

Like this, the tamed monster that was called out through triggering the Awakening skill would not come out.


At the current time, the only attack skill that Maple had that activated automatically while not being affected was Bizarre Eater. But in general, there were no attack skills whose effect activated without a declaration.


“Ms. Izu!”

As she flew into the guild home and called Izu’s name, Izu, who was in her workshop as always, came out to see what had happened.


“What is it? …Oh, that face…”

About half of Maple’s face had turned black, and it was clear that something had happened to her. Izu recognized it immediately and asked her what should be done.


“Since you came to see me, is it related to an item? I could give you a lot of things that remove status effects.”

As Izu was able to craft them at a faster speed than they could be consumed during battle or through transactions with other players, she had plenty of consumables stocked up in her inventory.


“I should be fine without them, but… Uh, could you take a look at this?”

Maple said as she showed Izu her current accepted quest and the amount of progress she had made.


“Consumes equipment… I’ve never seen this quest before. Is it different from the quests where you have to deliver them somewhere?”


“There is a part here where the frame is a different color, and I think you’re supposed to put them there.”

Maple opened her inventory and showed the part that she was talking about to Izu. As she explained, there was a black frame near the bottom of her inventory, and by putting items inside, the amount of progress you made would increase, or that’s what she guessed based on the quest description.


“Then I’ll try giving you something. I have plenty of stuff that I don’t use.”

Izu had a great quantity of equipment that she made stored in her inventory. Things that she was not satisfied with in terms of design, or things that she made a long time ago, and were no longer used because they did not perform at the level that was needed at the front lines these days. There were also things she bought from stores as references, and also things she had been given.

And so Maple put the equipment from Izu into the designated part of her inventory, and then a window popped up and asked if she would absorb them.




“I think it’s fine to choose ‘yes’?”

And so Maple tapped the panel and then the equipment she got from Izu disappeared from her inventory completely. And instead, the quest progression rose a little.


“It seems like we weren’t wrong about it, but… It’s only moved maybe 1%?”

Under the quest name, there was a yellow bar to make it visually easier to see your progress, but it had moved so slightly that it almost seemed like a mistake.


“Perhaps it will move more if you use better equipment?”

Izu then started to take out equipment from her inventory so that Maple could test them.

And her guess turned out to be correct, as high-quality equipment with skills, or equipment that had been strengthened with the Blacksmith skill made the progress bar move more than before.


“Well, it absorbs them after all. So of course it would want to absorb something that is better.”

And so Izu looked through her inventory for the next piece of good equipment to use.


“But…are you sure about this? After all, you’ll lose them…”


“It’s fine. This is all stuff that I wouldn’t have used anyway. Besides, surely it will be too much for you to do all alone, Maple?”

Judging by how things were going, who knew how much store-bought equipment she would need to use?

And so there would be nothing more reassuring than Isu’s cooperation.


“I wanted to go to the dungeons to search for equipment, but the trouble is that I can’t use MP or skills. Only my defense ability was fine.”


“Is that so? Then we must solve this issue quickly. But even if that wasn’t the case, I intended to help you until the end.”

“You did?”


“Yes, of course. Because I think you’ll end up with at least one new skill before the event. And it helps me when you get stronger, Maple.”



This unknown skill that Maple had the possibility of acquiring was worth more than a hundred pieces of equipment in Izu’s inventory. So instead of letting them rot without being used, it was more important to add another skill to their ultimate weapon.


“Since that’s how things are, you can take as many as you need!”


“Thank you!”

And so she continued to absorb the equipment that Izu took out from her inventory.


“But, while it said that it’s absorbing it, where does it get absorbed?”


“I think that some strange person is inside of my body…and they are eating it!”


“Are-are you alright?”

If Maple was right in her expression, and there was something that was eating it, then it had an even stranger diet than Maple, who ate monsters.


“And while you say that there is someone inside of you, are you fine outside of not being able to use your skills?”

“Everything else seems to be fine!”

When she thought about it, this notion that something mysterious was inside of her was rather horrifying, but Maple didn’t seem to mind as much as Izu thought she would.


“That’s fine then. So we can continue to make it absorb things until the quest is completed.”


If they wanted to end it, it was best to do it now instead of drawing it out. Their strategy during the event would be affected by what she acquired from it. And if it was a skill, then Maple would need some time to learn how to use it, and so they wanted to secure that extra time for her.


Because of this, Izu and Maple were determined to finish the quest right here and now while they still had time.

True to her word, Izu continued to take out powerful equipment from her inventory. While there was no one to use them, they were still much better than what was sold in stores.

However, whatever it was that was inside of Maple, ate anything they gave to it, and in the end, it swallowed up more than a hundred pieces of equipment. Still, it was not endless, and the progression bar was now nearing 100%.


“You really needed a huge quantity. I was shocked.”


“I’m sorry…”


“Well, you always give me materials. We help each other when in trouble.”

After Maple had absorbed the last piece of equipment, the quest completion notice popped up, and a new quest was displayed.




“So it still continues.”

The two checked to see what the quest was about now, and saw that you had to defeat monsters while solo, which would be very difficult for Maple in her current state.


“If it’s solo,, then I won’t be able to go with you or help you…”

While the first quest was meant to take a long time to complete, thanks to Izu, she had been able to finish it at a great speed. As for this quest, it would not be that difficult for the average player, but Maple was different.

Maple’s body did not allow her to do basic combat, such as swinging a weapon and dealing damage.

It would be one thing if they were monsters with no defense ability, like the ones on the first layer, but against the 9th layer monsters, which had enhanced basic ability and minimum defense ability, she would not be able to damage them at all even if she swung her short sword a hundred times.


“I can’t call Syrup… And I can’t use Savagery…”


“It was quite abnormal that you were able to attack at all up until now, but it is troublesome when things are like this.”

While there had been previous cases where skills were sealed, they had never heard of anything happening on this scale. Izu had also heard of areas that sealed magic, much to the distress of magic users, but it was much worse when it was skills that were affected.


“In any case, I’ll give you some items. Don’t worry! Even I use these to fight all of the time!”

So saying, Izu then handed her some bombs that she crafted, as well as various attack items from her inventory.

All of the items had incredible power, so that one might start wondering if Izu was a damage dealer.


With these, she would be able to defeat enemies even without attack power. Of course, compared to Izu, who could increase the effects with item scaling, they would be slightly less effective when Maple used them, but that problem was solved due to Maple’s high defense ability, which allowed her more time to use as many items as possible.


“Hehe. This is how much I am expecting a good skill! Besides, I think this quest will continue for a while.”


“Yes! I’ll finish it before the event!”


“Yes, that’s the spirit!”

Lastly, Izu told her to come back to replenish her items if she ran out, and then she watched as Maple flew out of the guild home.




After leaving the town, Maple walked through the field. As she could not ride on Syrup or use Savagery, it would take her a long time to get anywhere, but this could not be helped. Like this, Maple headed towards a flatland where numerous monsters lived. Here, there were several areas that were particularly dense with monsters, which made it a favorite of players who wanted to level up.

According to Sally’s research, there were no monsters that were especially strong, as most of them were animal-types that were swift. And there were none that had defense piercing attacks.


No defense-piercing attacks. This was incredibly important for Maple. Currently, she could not even use Pierce Guard, and had no skills that would allow a counter attack, and so she could not fight against anything that would ignore her strength, which was high defense ability.

Of course, since there were other players using this area to level up, when Maple walked past them, they reacted in different ways, such as noting how unusual it was to see Maple walking, or saying she was in her humanoid mode now. However, when these players finally noticed the change that had come over her, they were shocked.


“There’s something on her face…see.”


“Up until now, her eyes or hair sometimes changed color, but that… What is that curse-like thing?”

At a glance, it looked like something very bad indeed. And so the players watched as if they expected something to happen. However, none of the horrible things that they imagined occured, and after a while, Maple took her spot in a corner that was secluded from the other players, and there, she quietly opened up her inventory.


“This and this…”

First, Maple took out a small vial of pink liquid, and then she opened it and scattered the contents around her.

And then the monsters that were nearby immediately went into an aggressive stance and started to attack Maple.


“Woah! It’s so effective!”

This was an item that Izu made, and it attracted any monsters that were in the area. Just like during the 8th event, if it was too much trouble to approach monsters yourself, then it was best to have them come towards you. Because there were a lot of large bear and wolf-type monsters, she would not be able to stand, and was knocked onto the ground whenever they pounced on her. However, since they had no piercing attacks, she did not take any damage.


“Also, this one!”

After being mobbed, the last item that Maple took out was a large pot.

Since there were monsters running around wildly, such a thing would be shattered immediately. However, that was her aim.

By having it shatter, the liquid inside was scattered extravagantly.

The slippery substance was a kind of oil that raised the effects of items.


Now that she was ready, Maple crushed the two crystals she had been holding in both hands, and activated them.

The flames in her left hand and the thunder in her right hand exploded, and the flames burned through the oil and spread out all at once. The thunder shot out around her like a spider’s web.

The monsters that were lured towards her took damage from it, but they continued to try to defeat Maple. But all she had to do was wait, and so she lay on the ground in a relaxed position.

The players who were watching from far away were not able to see that Maple had used items to create fire and thunder, and so they buzzed with excitement.


“Hey, she did something!”


“That’s nasty…”


“It’s just as horrifying as the poison…”

As none of the players could accurately understand what Maple was doing, they tied it in with the phenomenon of the blackened face, and so it was recognized as some kind of new skill.

Since this was Maple, everyone thought that it would not be strange for her to have acquired a new skill. That and the fact that the area was related to fire and thunder, and that it was a time when people were more sensitive to the skills of others, encouraged this train of thought.


“But it doesn’t seem to be that powerful…?”


“Perhaps there is an added effect.”

In fact, they were just normal items, and Maple herself did not know if she would use them in future battles. However, even if it didn’t result in a painful and undodgeable counter attack once you stepped inside, what made the biggest impression was that it would be a way for Maple to protect herself from piercing attacks.

After that, Maple continued to roll around on the ground and let the power of the items burn away the monsters. In this state, one part of the flatlands was constantly burning, and while the flames blocked the view, some players heard that it was Maple, and after observing her, they went on their way while carrying this information.

But Maple remained completely oblivious to this, and just waited for the quest to be completed.


“Hmm. I really have no choice but to do it like this.”

She would occasionally toss some bombs into the mix in order to raise the number of kills. As long as her only method of attack was items, it was difficult to increase the damage output, and so in general, she just had to wait there leisurely. Still, the strength of Izu’s crafted items greatly reduced the amount of time it would have taken Maple to accomplish it by herself.


“I’ll do a little bit more today!”

As Izu had said before, she wanted to finish the quest before the event. However, it was also unknown how much more there was to do. But if she could hurry, then it was best to do so.




While Maple was defeating monsters by herself, as if switching places with her, Chrome and Kasumi entered the guild house.


“Oh, Izu. Are you taking a break from crafting today?”


“Chrome. I was just talking with Maple a moment ago.”


“With Maple? Oh, I’ve been hearing some rumors about her. Was Maple wearing some kind of face paint when you saw her?”


“Ah, so you already know? That’s what she came to talk to me about.”


“Did something happen? I haven’t heard those details yet.”


“Skill or equipment… I wasn’t able to predict what she would acquire in the end…but she turned like that because she accepted a quest with multiple stages.”


“Ohh! So that’s why! She really does live up to our expectations!”


“That’s a strange way to put it, but…she really does seem to find such things.”


“But this one seems quite difficult. According to what I heard from Maple, something got inside of her body, and she can no longer use any skills outside of the passive ones.”


“Oh… Is it like a curse? That sounds pretty bad.”


“And with Maple’s status, she probably can’t do anything. That’s a terrible restriction for those that put a lot of weight into skills.”


“Well, I helped her, and so the first step is finished.”


“Oh. So it wasn’t combat then.”

“Yes. It was similar to a quest where you just deliver items. The being inside of her body ate a hundred pieces of equipment as if absorbing them. Not only that, but it differentiated between strong and weak equipment. It was quite a picky eater.”


“A hundred, eh? In that case, we should be able to expect a good reward.”

“Yes. It’s easy to forget, because Izu can produce so many items, but that would require quite a lot of resources. So, did she then go onto the next step?”


“The next one was a solo monster hunt, so I just handed her some items. After all, she lost her methods of attack.”


“And we can’t help her if it’s solo… In that case, what about gathering materials for the items?”


“That would be helpful. Judging by how things are going, we will probably need a lot. And the event is coming right up, so I want to make sure that we won’t run out.”


“In that case, I will help with that. And I’ll tell Maple that she can rely on me if something happens.”


“Indeed. So, can I count on you then?”

“Yes! If Maple gets one more thing to strengthen her, we’ll have a rock solid foundation!”


“And things are going well with learning the map. So the biggest priority now is for Maple to finish the quest.”


“I’ll explain the current situation to the other four as well. Everyone has their own strength, and it would be best to rely on the right person.”

If they knew of the situation beforehand, it would be easier to move. And now that Maple was being forced to fight solo, it was time to send such messages to the others.

Finally, as had been their aim, Maple had succeeded in finding something, and so it was time to back her up with everything they had.


“Then I will go at once.”


“Let me go as well. It will be more efficient if we ride on Haku.”


“Good luck. I don’t care about the type, but just gather anything that you can find. No matter what it is, it can be turned into money and converated.”


“You have a skill that can do that, right…? Okay. I’ll gather what I can.”


“Thank you.”

And like that, the two went out into the field in order to help Izu and Maple.

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