Itai no wa Iya nanode Bōgyo-Ryoku ni Kyokufuri Shitai to Omoimasu 421

 

Defense Specialization and the Second March

 

 

Meanwhile, the “Congregation of Holy Swords” was progressing through the deep forest, steadily defeating enemy players and chipping away at their forces.

 

“Knots, ‘Sonar’… They’re not too many. Six on the left, three on the right.”

 

“Let’s start with those six then. Approach quickly and quietly.”

 

Frederica ran another search on her own using her companion Knots’ skill.

Once she had pinpointed their precise location, all that awaited those six was a sudden, dreadful magic attack released from the shadows. The attack had been extremely effective and efficient, as the six players were completely crushed in an instant.

Even those who barely managed to survive were quickly plucked off Payne, Dred, and Drag, who had been already blocking all escape routes.

There were fewer players than expected out there, which was probably thanks to Sally’s strategy, and so Payne and the others were able to defeat them all with plenty of time to spare.

 

“Looks like they’re really going over there. It’s like the players are all scattered about.”

 

“They’re gathering somewhere other than here. It’ll be troublesome if they come back. Let’s hurry up and take down as many as we can.”

 

“Wait a little longer. I’m still casting a spell to shorten Knots’ cooldown.”

 

Every time Knots’ Skill went up, there would be no signs of other players within range. Things were going well, but maybe a little too well.

 

“I warned those on the other side to be very vigilant, but… I’m still a little worried.”

 

The fact that they hadn’t encountered many enemies so far meant that the enemy side had moved more people to the other side where the “Congregation of Holy Swords” was said to have been seen.

If so, that other side would be at a considerable disadvantage.

 

“We have no choice but to go on like this. If we go back now, this progress would have been for nothing.”

 

“Right. Besides, “Maple Tree” is close to the town as well. They won’t get through them that easily.”

 

“…That’s right. Let’s generate as much advantage as we can on this side.”

 

“Knots’ skill is up~”

 

Hearing this, Payne and the others started marching again to find their next target.

However, Payne had one thing in mind. Even if the enemy had sent people to fight the fake “Congregation of Holy Swords” set up by Sally, the number of players on this side was still way too small.

 

“Could it be that they’re moving a large unit somewhere…?”

 

Their opponents had to be planning something. Since there was no way either side could win unless they attacked, the enemy too would probably turn to the offensive at some point.

 

“Frederica. During the battle, give us only the bare minimum buffs. Please prioritize contacting the remaining guild members instead.”

 

“…! OK~”

 

“On top of that, we’re not going back yet. The moment we get informed that the enemy has been seen, we’re going to launch an all-out offensive.”

 

“…Ah, so we’re going to make them wonder if they should leave this side unattended, huh?”

 

“Okay. Let’s keep them guessing.”

 

“Let’s stay until the last minute and then withdraw. I want to deal as much damage as possible.”

 

Everyone nodded at Payne’s instructions. Thus, the “Congregation of Holy Swords” remained focused and continued their advance.

 

 

 

After Iz’s items were all set up, the result was a large number of cannons and barricades lined up along the defense line in front of the outer wall.

 

“Thanks for your help, everyone. I made this so that it won’t disappear unless it’s destroyed, so it should be active until the end of the event.”

 

“That’s amazing. So how do we use this?”

 

“Uhuhu, well, we don’t need to wait nearby, and surprisingly enough, there’s no need for cannonballs. It will shoot automatically whenever an enemy enters its range.”

 

It was basically automatic artillery. The more intense the attack, the better. It was reassuring to know that there were a large number of artillery batteries right in front of the town, which would instantly intercept any enemy that dared approach the town.

 

“But if the enemy gets this far, then it means that we’re not looking so good. So it would be best if we don’t end up having to use this.”

 

If the situation becomes a battle in front of the outer wall, then any enemy player that isn’t stopped right then and there could eventually invade the town. And besides that, there was also the possibility of the enemy flying over both the wall and the barricade’s range in the midst of the confusion during battle.

Fighting right next to the town carried the risk of being defeated, while fighting far from the town made it more difficult to retreat in case someone would suffer heavy damage.

It was important to find the right in-between spot that would generate the least disadvantages for them.

 

In the meantime, several players were leaving the town. It seemed that every member of the guilds that had marched with Maple earlier would be playing their part, and those who had their most powerful skills in cooldown had retreated to the town to be replaced by those leaving now.

 

“Looks like there’s going to be a second march.”

 

“They’re all pretty much unharmed thanks to Maple’s protection, huh. So they’re pretty much ready to go back to the field.”

 

“Uhh… I might not be able to keep up with them this time.”

 

A single piercing attack would be enough to kill Maple instantly, so she couldn’t just casually go back to the front lines.

 

“Yeah, you should try to avoid fighting as much as possible today, Maple… Huh? A message from Frederica…”

 

As Sally was wondering what to do now after seeing the large army of players march to the field again, she was notified of a new message.

It said that there was a possibility that the enemy faction had started to mobilize a lot of players, and that the “Congregation of Holy Swords” would continue to attack enemy bases until the moment the enemy turned to face them.

 

“Let’s do a quick change of plans. It looks like we can’t just wait and see anymore.”

 

After sharing the content of Frederica’s message, the rest of the party knew what to do.

 

“If the enemy has mobilized a large army, they will only have a few places they can go through to come this way. We may be able to predict these places by looking at the map.”

 

As she said that, Kasumi opened the map she had prepared in advance, enlarged it, and displayed it in mid air.

This field had a variety of terrains, and many of them would make it very difficult for a large army to pass through. Some of these terrains would deal continuous damage to those walking over it, while others were simply too narrow, so a rough estimation of the enemy’s options could already be done, but with this map, “Maple Tree” would be able to make more precise predictions.

 

“So it’s actually easier to just advance through the center, right?”

 

“Yes. It’s a very wide area, and the terrain there has no strange effects.”

 

It seemed that the large unit that set out earlier was also planning to advance through the center of the map. If so, a major battle could be expected to happen.

 

“Should we go with them? Though we wouldn’t want to make any big moves since without Maple…”

 

“We could support the ‘Gathering of Holy Swords’ that had taken up the front line, and even assist anyone who might need us around there as well… “

 

After the party agreed that this was a good idea, they worked on a course of action, and then decided what each member was going to do. The ones with the lowest mobility in “Maple Tree” were Maple, Mai, and Yui. Since they would be resorting to hit-and-run tactics, they needed to be able to avoid being detected as much as possible. To fix their mobility, they could use Syrup, Tsukimi, and Yukimi respectively, and although these companions would have to use “Megamorph” to make it possible for Maple and the others to ride them, making them stand out more in a crowd, it was still better than Maple using her “Atrocity”.

 

“Let’s call Kanade so the five of us can go. Though Iz just sent him to the field a moment ago…”

 

“Got it. I’ll be right behind you, Chrome.”

 

“Yeah, leave the defense to me.”

 

“I’ll send a message to Kanade. He should still be in town.”

 

“Then, Mai, Yui and I will stay to take care of things here!”

 

“Yeah. If anything happens, make sure to rely on nearby allies. Of course, if you really need us, just send us a message and we’ll be back as soon as possible.”

 

“Yeah! Sounds good!”

 

With this, Maple returned to the defense, replacing Kanade who had returned after just having left town a few moments ago.

 

“Okay. Let’s go.”

 

“I hope we can get this done as peacefully as possible… well, maybe that’s just my wishful thinking,huh?”

 

“Eventually, we’ll have no choice but to fight with everything we’ve got.”

 

“Anytime is fine by me. My items are ready.”

 

After making sure they had everything they needed and completing their preparations, Kanade and Sally, who remembered the map as clearly as if they had it in front of them, went after the large force that had left earlier.

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