Itai no wa Iya nanode Bōgyo-Ryoku ni Kyokufuri Shitai to Omoimasu 428
Defense Specialization and Overcharge
While they were making good progress, after a little while, Wilbert asked the rest of the party to stop walking.
“Velvet… you’re up.”
That meant that there was a powerful enemy ahead, one that stood out from other players.
“I’ll keep pressing on like always. Please make sure to jump in when the time is right.”
A single one of Velvet’s attacks as follow-up should be enough to do away with any enemy bulky enough to survive one of Wilbert’s arrows.
Wilbert took up a position on a nearby high-ground location so that there was nothing in the middle of his line of fire. At the same time, Velvet went on ahead, getting as close to the enemy without being noticed as possible.
The players that Wilbert sensed up ahead were hiding behind a thick pillar among the ruins of some collapsed buildings. They were Dred and Drag, who were exploring the area while being as vigilant of their surroundings as ever.
“I hope Frederica is doing well over there.”
“She’s the type of girl who can really get things done when she gives it her all, so I don’t think we should be too worried about her. I’m sure we can get a lot of firepower out if each of us goes full-throttle, her over there and us here.”
“Yeah, you’re right…?”
“I… I’m not sure. But I feel like we’re being watched.”
It was just a hunch with nothing to back it up at the moment. However, Dred’s senses had saved the “Congregation of the Holy Swords” many times, so it was well worth following that hunch.
“Frederica’s Skill is very valuable, but… We should cut it off.”
“Yeah. Let’s be careful about it.”
“Shadow, ‘Chase Prey’.”
Several wolf-shaped shadows appeared one after another from under the feet of Shadow, who was standing next to Dread, and immediately started running.
Though this Skill had a long cooldown, it was still worth using since it allowed Dred to safely search for enemies in a wide area.
Shortly after being deployed, one of the shadowy wolves started howling.
“‘Second Coming of the Thunder God’! ‘Field of Lightning’!”
Immediately after that, the area was struck by a large amount of lightning bolts, and the enemy that was hidden revealed herself.
“Hah… How troublesome…”
“Tch, it’s that nasty girl.”
There was only one player in the entire game capable of doing something like that, and that player was Velvet.
“Shadow informed me that there are at least two people within range. So it has to be that other girl that always hangs out with Velvet, that… Hinata. Though all she can do is debuff us.”
“I’ll let the others know. Well, what do we do now? It doesn’t look like she’s gonna throw herself at us just yet.”
Although her lightning bolts had been quite flashy, Velvet didn’t seem anywhere near breaking into a dash towards them, and while recognizing that they too weren’t going to approach her just yet due to her warning shots, Dred and Drag briefly pondered what to do next.
“…Should we try to corral her? Though it seems risky.”
“No, that sounds good! That’s what I was thinking from the beginning. After all, we’ve got ourselves a fine catch!”
“Huh… Alright then. Make sure to get Earth ready to go as well.”
Heeding Dred’s advice, Drag made his preparations before both he and Dred jumped out from behind the pillar.
At that very moment, an arrow came at full speed towards them. It pierced Drag’s body in the blink of an eye, not sparing even a fraction of a second to allow him to have any kind of reaction to it.
And at the same time. Earth, who had been right next to him, was sent flying, and his HP went all the way down to 1.
“…Ah, so you’ve come as well, huh?”
“‘Earth Breaker’! Earth, ‘Rock Dome’ ‘Barricade’ ‘ Repair’!”
Drag interrupted Velvet’s approach with his knockback Skill before having Earth create a large rock wall which would cut off the line of fire.
“Haha, you were right as usual, Dred!”
“…Though I wanted to go away from this place.”
Due to having used “Substitute” on Earth, the monster companion was able to take that attack without much of an issue. And although his Skill to survive a lethal hit with 1 HP had been used up in the process, it was much better than dying on the spot.
“He’s on that hill to the left.. I can’t reach him there… Let’s stick to the walls.”
There was some distance between Wilbert and them. Fortunately for Dred and Drag, there were several ruined buildings all around them. Therefore, the plan was to continue to advance using those as barricades in order to deal with their two enemies.
“You were really quick to respond to that… Amazing! I couldn’t burst in at all!”
“That’s right! Now let us return the favor! ‘Berserk’!”
After buffing himself, Drag charged forward with his greataxe in one hand. The reach of this weapon was overwhelmingly superior. The plan was to use this in order to inflict as much damage as possible before “Rapid Shot” could make their next move.
“’Center of the Storm’!”
An electric shock generated around Velvet, sending forth a series of lightning bolts forward to attack the approaching Drag.
“Earth, ‘Lightning Rod’!”
“Shadow, ‘Shadow Pack’!”
However, of course, he wasn’t going to throw himself carelessly at the enemy, nor would he be alone in his charge. The rock pillar created by Earth’s Skill would draw in any incoming ranged attacks, and the pack of wolves called forth by Dred advanced along Drag.
The “Lightning Rod” would be quickly destroyed by Velvet’s powerful lightning, but it would still buy Drag enough time.
However, just before Velvet was within Drag’s greataxe attacking range…
An intense cold blew through, covering the ground with ice, which caught their enemies’ feet, restricting their movement.
Then, after Hinata used another debuff to reduce their opponent’s defense to almost zero, Velvet started running.
“‘Roar of Thunder’!”
The column of lightning that then generated around Velvet engulfed Drag and the wolves, and illuminated the sky.
This light eventually subsided and Velvet faced forward.
“There it is! So that’s the Skill for diving into the ground I’d heard about, huh?”
“…Hah, this is tough. She’s incredibly strong.”
“Nice, Dred! Though that’s one use down, right?”
“Yeah, that’s right.”
Even if Drag himself couldn’t move, he would be able to avoid Velvet’s attack by simply making him sink into the ground. Then, all that would be left to do was to move away as soon as “Cocytus” wore off.
“That restraining Skill is very strong after all. I’m guessing it has a long cooldown as well, huh? I’ll make you spit it all out.”
“…I won’t lose.”
Taking into account the cooldown of their enemies’ Skills, as well as their own, Drag and Dred switched places and started to move forward.
“A rain of arrows is coming!”
Drag started remaking his rock walls while calling out to Dred, but the latter had already started running.
“It’s no big deal.”
Since he used a dagger, Dred had to get really close to Velvet in order to deal any kind of damage to her. Hinata’s defense-reduction debuff was unavoidable, so if he were to get hit, he would die instantly, but that was always the case for Dred. Although he wasn’t as strong as Sally, it was still safe to assume that he wouldn’t get hit easily.
“I wouldn’t have even bothered to start fighting if I didn’t think I would be able to handle this much…!”
Dred dodged both the rain of arrows and Velvet’s barrage of lightning bolts.
There was a very brief indication of where each lightning would crash onto the ground before they did, so while Dred knew he couldn’t just dash forward and run past everything, he was also confident that he would be able to dodge them all if he gave it his all.
He simply had to run faster, or he would never catch up with the enemy.
After a sudden burst of acceleration, Dred saw an opening and took a bold step forward.
“Then all you gotta do is step away.”
Dred activated his Skill and quickly fled out of the range of the enemies’ own Skills. It would have been all over for him once his movements were restrained, so he figured his best bet was to try to bait Hinata’s response and force it to go into cooldown.
“Hmph, that was clever!”
“Thanks. I’m a dagger user, so my dodging has to be top-notch if I don’t want to get killed by literally anything.”
Drag and Dred were both incredibly skilled players. Hinata and Velvet, on the other hand, had incredibly strong Skills. Though things were going relatively well for both parties, everyone felt like they had been walking on a tightrope.
“Then… let’s raise it even higher!”
Velvet breathed in and straightened her posture.
The yellow jewel on Velvet’s chest suddenly started to generate a strong electric shock. Unusually thick lightning bolts started to rain down on the field, with an increasingly expanding area of effect. The coiling sparks started to become more furious, turning into a bluish-white color and reducing the surroundings to a crisp even more violently than before.
“With that range, it’s gonna be really hard to dodge those lighting bolts, huh?”
Dread decides to withdraw after seeing the incredible power and density of Velvet’s newly created lightning bolts, which looked more like thick pillars made out of sheer electric power that were endlessly falling from the sky.
Being a very skilled player wasn’t going to be good enough on its own to deal with such an incredibly violent Skill. This new wide-ranged Skill that Velvet had kept secret up until now was a very poor match for Drag and Dred, who mainly focused on melee combat.
“Drag, let’s regroup! Shadow, ‘Shadow World’!”
Since there was a risk that Hinata would use her restraining Skill once again in order to prevent Drag’s advance, he dove into the shadows created by Dred’s monster companion so as to quickly put himself away from danger.
“We’re gonna need Maple to do something about that.”
“Yeah. Those pillars of light are still coming after us, though.”
It seemed that there was no way to avoid getting hit by Velvet’s new Skill, simply because it was impossible to move around safely while within range. And when it comes to dealing with Velvet, all they really needed to do was to push through and close the distance until they could get her within their attacking range.
“If they come after us, we’ll corral them as planned. We’ve bought enough time already.”
Learning about the enemy’s new Skills had been good enough for them. Drag and Dred quickly withdrew from the battle so that they wouldn’t fall within the range of Hinata’s restraint Skill, and before ‘Rapid Shot’ came down from their hideout.
After chasing them for a while, Velvet canceled her Skill the moment she lost sight of them.
“I wish I had eyes like Wilbert’s…”
“Let’s reunite with Lily-san and the others for now. It’s too dangerous for both of us to keep chasing after them any further.”
The two returned the way they came and joined Lily and Wilbert.
“They managed to get away.”
“It’s unfortunate, but it can’t be helped. They were being very careful about this fight from the very beginning.”
“It doesn’t look like it was some kind of Skill, but… it seemed that they could somehow tell that even us two were around, despite us being very far away.”
“Maybe it’s a matter of experience. Their attacks were amazing as well. The fact that they retreated tells me that they felt that they were at a disadvantage.”
Wilbert’s presence had posed a threat too big for Drag and Dred to deal with, and made trying to defeat Velvet and Hinata a very difficult endeavor. Therefore, they had decided that it was best to withdraw for the time being.
“I hope it’s not so easy for them to retreat the next time we fight.”
“I’ll have my lightning ready by then! I want to defeat that monster…”
“I see. Will, what about this place?”
“I think there’s a better place a little further to the east from here.”
Velvet’s “Overcharge” wasn’t a Skill that could be used at any time. As the name suggests, it had to be charged up first.
“We’re gonna need that Skill. It’s our biggest threat to the enemy right now.”
That Skill had shown to have the power to force even two of the strongest members of “Congregation of the Holy Swords” to withdraw from the battle, so they needed to have it ready for the next time they fought. The four of them headed east so that Velvet could start storing the electricity she needed.