Itai no wa Iya nanode Bōgyo-Ryoku ni Kyokufuri Shitai to Omoimasu 446
Defense Specialization and Restlessness
Somewhat further beyond the outer wall, Ray slowly lowered its altitude.
“Since Hinata can shoot down flying enemies, we must be cautious.”
“If we fall from this height, our movement will be greatly hindered.”
When the two descended to the ground and looked around, only the wasteland spread endlessly beyond their field of vision. While there were sizable boulders here and there to hide, there was no sign of enemies.
“…It doesn’t seem like they’re trying to ambush us.”
“—And here I was expecting an arrow or two…”
Considering the possibility of [Rapid Fire], Payne and Sally vigilantly checked their surroundings.
In exchange for the range of their skills, Velvet and Hinata had flashy effects. If the two charged at them, it’d be apparent from the get go.
If anything, they should be wary of Wilbert. Due to his search ability, he was adept at surprise attacks. In fact, it wouldn’t be strange if he’d detected them already.
While keeping an eye on her surroundings, Sally casted [Icicle] at the direction of the enemy’s camp to block their line of fire. After that lightning, everything reverted to normal.
“…There’s no one here.”
“It might be a small group of players.”
“They might be lurking somewhere. Still, I don’t think we should advance any further.”
“I agree. Let’s check the surroundings of the town before heading back… I have a bad feeling about this.”
Nevertheless, it wasn’t like they could head for the enemy camp to assess the situation. At the very least, they’d confirmed that the town wasn’t besieged by a large group of army.
“What do you think?”
“I think they’re lurking somewhere. Although, I doubt it’d lead to any confrontation…”
Then, was it a payback for what Maple, Frederica, and Sally did? Or were they setting up some kind of trap just like when Iz was dispatched to plant a bomb?
Regardless, without a proof, it was only a speculation.
“There’s also the possibility that they deliberately conjured that lightning for us to see. Perhaps, they’re planning to launch a surprise attack.”
“That sounds more likely.”
In this environment, thunder and lightning weren’t something that one should be particularly cautious about. Even more so if the players were indoor and only heard the sounds.
“Just in case, I’ll stay alert for a while. I’ll contact the guild members and take turns to see how things are going.”
Even if they were close to their base, staying in the enemy’s territory for a long time could be risky. Not only that, there was also an issue with fatigue.
Thus, they decided to wait for a while and rest if nothing happened.
Since the town was close by, they could easily divide the number of people.
“I’ll contact them as well. It’s better to assemble everyone.”
“That helps. I can’t predict the enemy’s movements.”
After giving instructions to their guild member, the two left the place with vigilance to avoid sneak attack.
Around that time, a message reached the royal castle.
“Uhm, this is…”
“This is quite alarming…”
After sitting around a large table and eating Iz’s meal, the [Maple Tree]—who was in the middle of a break—received a message from Sally.
“Sally sure was keen. If it was me, I’d have missed the signs.”
“Is that so?”
“What should we do next?”
“If the enemy is on the way…”
“We can’t just rely on Payne and the others all the time… That’s right! Let’s join them!”
“Alright, If Maple says so, I have no objections. But we should decide who will go.”
Coming from Chrome, it was quite unusual, so Maple decided to hear him out.
“I’ll go. I don’t want Maple to force herself. If I’m lucky, it won’t matter how many times I make a blunder.”
Unlike Maple, Chrome couldn’t rush to the front line in case of emergency.
Which one should be on the battlefield when a battle occurs? The answer was obvious.
“Then, I’ll go with you. When it comes to one vs many, Mai and Yui are unlikely to survive without Chrome. Even more so if it’s dark, besides…”
Kasumi smiled wryly as she glanced at the faces of the members around her.
“—The others are simply irreplaceable.”
Neither Iz’s items nor Kanade’s magic book could be imitated by other players4. Maple’s masterful armament set was even more so.
“Our goal is to win as a team. In that case, leave this dangerous role to me. Even if you get captured, you won’t die easily, right?”
“If it gets dangerous, I’ll borrow your strength. First of all, let’s see how it goes.”
“…I understand, I leave it to you! Please be careful!”
Maple placed her trust in Chrome and Kasumi. Upon sensing it from her words, the two departed from the castle; fully aware of the risk.