Itai no wa Iya nanode Bōgyo-Ryoku ni Kyokufuri Shitai to Omoimasu 417
Defense Specialization and Camouflage
Cloaked in robes, the three of them left the town and headed towards the edge of the field and into the densely covered forest so as to avoid walking out in the open.
Although this would put them at risk of being attacked by surprise by the enemy, it also granted them the ability to do the surprise-attacking themselves.
In that case, it would be more convenient for Sally and the others, who were acting as a three-man party, to do things this way rather than throwing themselves into the front lines, where they could expect to be facing too many enemies at once.
Additionally, since the risk of a surprise attack would be much higher for both sides, whether this position was advantageous or not for Sally’s party would be determined by their ability to detect enemies.
And Sally, who was used to searching for enemies at a level that surpassed anything on par with her own experience level, would make clever use of her skill effects and silent signs to allow for surprise attacks that would be nearly impossible for their enemies to detect.
Chrome and Kasumi trusted her ability, so even if such a dense forest would otherwise seem like a dangerous place for either of them to be wandering through, they still moved forward with confidence.
Besides, even if they were the ones being ambushed by the enemy, they had already devised a strategy for that moment.
“…Someone’s here. Be careful.”
Neither Chrome nor Kasumi could sense anything yet, but if Sally said so, they would go along without making any noise.
After a little while, they noticed five players from the enemy side marching in between the rows of trees.
There were only five of them precisely because they were at the very edge of the map. The enemy was aware that this place would not be the main battlefield as well.
Although they were superior in number, they would still be able to take them down in one fell swoop.
However, a closer examination of the enemy’s lineup brought a slightly grim expression to Sally’s face.
“Their defense is tight…”
The five members of the enemy scout team consisted of two Dagger users and three Great Shielders. The latter were holding up their shields covering the former as they marched while being vigilant.
Approaching them without being noticed already seemed to be very difficult, let alone managing to launch a preemptive attack in order to defeat them.
“What should we do? It’s not that I think we can’t beat them, but…”
“Yeah. I should be able to protect you all from the five of them, though…”
“…Let’s keep moving ahead as planned. The enemy seems to be very vigilant as well, and we don’t know if there are more enemies following them at a distance.”
“Got it. Then stay behind me.”
“Okay, let’s keep going without getting ourselves found.”
The three of them closed the distance to a more suitable position while trying not to make any noise.
The group of five, who hadn’t yet noticed Sally’s party approaching like that, continued to move forward while looking around. Even from their point of view, this forest could no longer be considered to be part of their own territory, and the tension built up as they found themselves in a situation where they could expect an enemy ambush to happen at any time.
Since they had solidified their defenses with their large shields, they were more worried about getting approached by the enemy, since their formation alone already prevented any long-distance magic attacks from posing any danger to them.
A quiet forest with no enemy players on sight still felt considerably tense. Then, the silence was suddenly broken by a voice from the side.
“‘Holy Sword of Conviction’!”
Startled by the sudden shout, the five of them turned towards its source, scared by the name of the skill it announced. A torrent of light suddenly approached from far away. Even the Great Shielders chose to evade it in a hurry, and fortunately for them, the skill’s aim had been slightly off, so all five of them managed to avoid any damage.
After the light subsided, they could see a group of four people wearing robes in the distance.
One of them was swinging down a large blue decorated sword, and it was clear that he had attacked from a position that far exceeded the range of any of the five of them.
“Oh no, that sword…! That Skill!”
Before the trembling five could decide whether to withdraw from this battle or not, one of the four robed figures leaned forward as if about to break into a run.
As they saw that robed figure disappear right they said that, the party of five were finally convinced.
“It’s the ‘Congregation of Holy Swords’! Retreat!”
As expected, the five people quickly withdrew before the four robed figures could close the distance. But these four people did not pursue the five, instead opting to make sure that they had fled the area, and the encounter was put to an end there.
“Phew… I can’t believe that worked.”
“Well, we were pretty far away. And these robes make it difficult for others to see who we are.”
Chrome had a sword that looked just like Payne’s. While being truly impressed with Iz’s technique, Chrome put it away in his inventory.”
“It went pretty well.”
“Yeah, even better than expected. ‘Camouflage’ is really powerful…”
What had passed for Payne’s “Holy Sword of Conviction” had actually been Sally’s “Flash Flood” after making it look like it had a Light attribute. All Chrome had to do was to imitate Payne’s pose after the fake skill was unleashed.
For the extra person, Sally changed the effect of “Shadow Clone” into “Water Wall” and gave it a humanoid shape, and for simulating Dred’s “Shinsoku”, she changed the name of her own “Super Acceleration” while activating Oboro’s “Quick Shadow”.
“Iz’s voice changing machine came in really handy as well. Though if it hadn’t been for the distance and the fact that we took them by surprise, they would have noticed that the voices were a bit off, as well as our height…”
“I don’t think there are many players that don’t know about ‘Holy Sword of Conviction’ and ‘Shinsoku’ at this point in the game.”
Though the party of five could have put their heights and voices into question even though they had been at a distance and covered with robes, those particular Skills were so unique that if anyone saw them being used against them, there would be no more doubts, and they would assume that they were facing none others than Payne and Dred. It was just like Maple’s “Hydra” and Mii’s “Flame Empress”.
Any group of four people, cloaked or not, using such skills, absolutely had to be the “Congregation of Holy Swords”
“This should be enough to make them think that Payne and his guild are in the area.”
“Well then, shall we withdraw before a large number of reinforcements arrive?”
“Let’s get the ‘Congregation of Holy Swords’ to do their best.”
“Onto the other side!”
The enemy was probably going to be much more vigilant in this area now that “Payne’s guild” was seen in the vicinity, so Sally and the others left the area.
Frederica, who had been searching for enemies on the outer wall of the town, was contacted by Sally, and resolved to leave the outer wall.
“Well Maple, I leave this in your capable hands~”
“Yeah! I’ll do my best to protect this place!”
After handing over defense to Maple, Frederica buffed herself and rushed towards the edge of town. There, she met the other members of “Congregation of Holy Swords”, Payne, Drag, and Dred.
“Ah! You’re here, Frederica!”
“Sally contacted me. I don’t know how she did it, though~”
If Sally’s information was correct, they were supposed to be attacking in the opposite direction of their current position.
“Well, since we’re on the same side, there’s no point in lying.”
“But how did she do it? Could it be that Skill? Was it her ‘Shadow Clone’?”
“She hasn’t been able to do that in our previous duel, so it must be a new Skill~.”
They knew about some of Sally’s Skills and what they could do, but they didn’t know everything about them.
“We can’t be wasting time on idle talk here. Let’s march on quickly. The enemy will surely go to the place where we were ‘seen’ soon enough. All we have to do is hit their weakened side while their forces are devoted to a wild goose chase.”
Payne knows how strong he and his guild are and how much of a threat they are to the enemy side. The more the enemy dedicates its forces to try and challenge them, the less forces they would have to defend their base. The more they try to deal with Payne and his guild, the more effective Sally’s trap would be.
“We move in the shadows and proceed as planned. We have to defeat any player we meet along the way. We can’t let them know where we truly are.”
Each of the guild members nodded at Payne’s instructions. While skirmishes continued to happen here and there out in the field, the “Congregation of Holy Swords” left town to take the initiative.