327 Part 1
Itai no wa Iya nanode Bōgyo-Ryoku ni Kyokufuri Shitai to Omoimasu 327
Defense Specialization and the Underground
The next day, Maple and Sally decided to go sightseeing together again. They were currently talking in a cafe that was in a town with stone buildings, located on the second layer.
“Yes! I just happened to be searching for the next place to go, and met them by accident!”
These friends that Maple was talking about were Velvet and Hinata.
“The guild is called ‘thunder storm,’ and she’s the Guild Master there!”
“I’ve heard of that guild. They caused quite a scene during the fourth event. I think I remember seeing someone use thunder magic in the highlight reel.”
“Yeah. There was this incredible pillar of lightning. It became so bright that you couldn’t see any players on screen.”
Velvet was likely in the center of that. And if you couldn’t see anyone’s face, then it was no wonder that Maple didn’t recognize her.
“So she’s that strong. Ah! Also, she was punching down monsters. Just like you Sally!”
Maple made fists and started punching the air.
“Well, my ‘Martial Arts’ skill is related to dodging, and I got it by accident. So it’s a little different.”
“Oh, that’s right.”
Maple looked a little disappointed, realizing that she couldn’t copy it. Sally listened to Maple talk about the skills the pair were using, and she nodded.
“They sound really strong. So, this Hinata kid focuses on casting debuffs, while Velvet deals with the enemy with her incredible firepower…”
Both the high power fists and the lightning with wide range had weaknesses. The former had little range, and the later could be nullified with skills, or the enemy could escape the area of effect.
However, it was a different story when Hinata was next to her.
“It’s easy to hit opponents with skills if they don’t move. Right, Maple?”
“Yes. But I doubt I could hit you, Sally…”
“They’re strong because they can stop someone’s movements completely and hit them.”
“Well, in other words, I’m not a good match for them.”
At the end of the day, Sally mainly focused on close quarters attacks. That meant she would have to step within range of the lightning attacks and debuffs. And so if she were alone, it would be very tough for her to take on Velvet and Hinata.
“Well, you said that she likes facing enemies head on. So maybe I can avoid fighting her if I’m careful.”
“She gave me a completely different impression when I first met her, so I was shocked when I talked to her after the dungeon. Do you want to meet them next time, Sally?”
“Hmm. Yeah, I’m interested. Though, from the sound of it, she’s not the type who likes to go around and gather information. However, information is important.”
There was a limit to how much you could accomplish by dodging attacks and relying on your reflexes alone. It was important to know the attack range of a skill as well.
“Okay, then we’ll go and meet them next time! They’re also a pair, so I want to introduce you!”
“Hehe. Do you mean partners?”
“Yes! That’s right!”
Maple said without hesitation, and Sally couldn’t help but smile. Then she turned to Maple again and answered.
“…In that case, I better not disappoint them, as your partner.”
“Hehehe. I’m counting on you, partner.”
“Yes. Leave it to me, partner.”
After this casual conversation, the two got to the subject for the day. Their plans for seeing the second layer. Compared to the third layer and above, the second layer was not that different from the previous layer. Both the first two were considered to have very orthodox fields. As Maple had left the information gathering to Sally, she looked very excited as she waited for Sally to speak.
“So, I found a place you might be interested in, Maple. That being said, it’s only open for a limited time, so we can head to it at a leisurely pace.”
“Yeah, and it’s kind of far away.”
“Oh, then we should buy some lunch boxes to take with us!”
“Yes, let’s do that.”
Like this, Maple and Sally headed out into the field at night.
The second layer was the same as the first layer, in that there were no enemies that were a threat to them. And so after changing into less recognizable clothing, Sally picked up Maple and ran towards their destination.
“What kind of place do you think it is?”
“Hmm. It’s a place you can only go to at night?”
Maple had experienced a number of events in the past that had specific time frames. During the second event, there would be different monsters at night, and specific events occurred after fighting them. This was similar to that.
“But, you wouldn’t want to go if there were ghosts.”
“…Well, that’s true.”
“I think I have an idea?”
But Sally wouldn’t confirm anything until they arrived, and so the two continued to travel through the field. Eventually, Sally stopped in front of the mouth of a cave. There was no light coming from inside, but they could see that the entrance led to a downward slope. Since there was no mountain behind the cave, that meant they would be traveling underground, unless there was a teleportation circle somewhere.
“Huh? So it’s underground…”
“Hmm? Were you not expecting that?”
“Yes. I thought we were going to look at the night sky. You know, like when we ate that food that changes the color of your hair. It was also night time.”
“Hehehe… Well, let’s go then!”
“I’ll take out a light.”
Sally pulled out a lantern from her inventory in order to light up the cavern as they walked.
“Also, there will be some monsters, so be careful.”
That being said, it didn’t change the fact that they were at a level that they could just ignore them. And so Maple activated Dedicated Affection.
“…Do we even need the lantern now?”
Sally saw that Dedicated Affection caused the ground around them to glow, and so she started to put it away. Maple saw this and thought about it for a moment before making a suggestion.
“…Hey, Sally. What if we didn’t use Dedicated Affection after all?”
“Hmm? Well, considering the monsters in this area, I don’t mind at all.”
However, Sally looked like she wasn’t sure why Maple had made this suggestion.
“You know, our goal this time isn’t to conquer a dungeon, but to find a pretty location. I just thought it kind of ruins the atmosphere!”
“So you want to enjoy it like a real cave explorer?”
“In that case…sure!”
Sally then took out a number of items from her inventory and lined them up in front of Maple.
There was a torch, a helmet with a head light, a rope and pickaxe, a large backpack etcetera. All of them had to do with the theme of exploration.
“I know we don’t need any backpacks since we have inventories, but you know. It’s more atmospheric, right?”
“Yes! Yes! You’re amazing, Sally!”
She had prepared two of everything, so both of them were able to be fully equipped. The backpack was similar to the pouch that Sally sometimes wore, that allowed you to carry items outside of your inventory. Maple put her rope and pickaxe inside, and then she was finished preparing.