The author published 16 new chapters the past couple of days after a month of inactivity https://ncode.syosetu.com/n0358dh/ Happy New Year
337 Part 1
Itai no wa Iya nanode Bōgyo-Ryoku ni Kyokufuri Shitai to Omoimasu 337
Defense Specialization and Looking Back
Several days had passed after they went dungeon crawling with Lily and Willbert. Maple was walking alone through the 4th layers’s town at night. While she had registered the pair as friends, she had not met them since. They had split up right after defeating the boss, and had not really had any time to talk after that.
“The next event, huh…”
Ultimately, they had crushed the boss with the summoning skills. After seeing that, Sally declared that there was no way they could wing it in a fight against them, and so she used the information they had acquired to try and think of countermeasures. This was all for a future event that hadn’t even been announced yet.
But as she was sure that it would be useful one day, Sally wanted to get a head start.
“They are all so amazing… Hmm…if I had to fight them, it would definitely be with Sally.”
With the two pairs they had met recently, strength during battle came through a synergistic effect. While Sally was just as strong as them, it would be difficult for them to win without this kind of synergy.
“I have to see if I can get any good skills with the medals!”
While Maple’s stance had never been about winning no matter what, she always wanted to do her best. And she just happened to never lose.
That being said, she was not going to use all of her time in order to beat other players. And so her goal for today was to come to a new cat cafe that had been built on the 4th layer.
“If it’s any good, I’ll take Sally with me next time!”
Maple thought as she opened the door to the cafe. She saw that towards the back, there was a girl with blue clothes and blue hair who was playing with the cats.
That was what spilled out of the mouths of Maple and the girl with blue hair, who was Mi, once their eyes met.
Maple stepped inside and made sure that there were no other players around before approaching her.
“I didn’t know you were here, Mi.”
“Yeah. I heard about this new place. But I didn’t think we’d visit it at the same time.”
While it was just a coincidence, the two started to talk about recent events while they played with the cats.
“‘Rapid Fire’ and ‘thunder storm,’ huh… We’re very cautious of them at our guild too.”
“Well, we were able to meet the top two of both guilds. And they were so strong!”
“Their guild masters have the kind of power to push back, even when you surround them with greater numbers. I bet they will do very well in the upcoming event.”
There hadn’t been a ranked event in quite a while, so they should fight especially hard during the next one.
“Yes. They really were strong. I also think they’ll be at the top.”
“…You don’t seem to really care about those kinds of things, Maple.”
“Huh? Hmm… I don’t mind as long as it’s fun.”
“Hehehe. If that’s the case, you didn’t have to attack me during the 4th event.”
“Oh, but that time we had all decided to get into the top ten!”
Maple was a little puzzled at her own contradiction, and she wondered why it had been different. She then decided that she must have tried her hardest to reach the top that time, because she wanted to enjoy seeing the others enjoy themselves. And so she did it all for them.
“It’s so fun being able to fight alongside the others!”
“That’s nice. So you’ll go all out during the next event, like you’re supposed to, huh? Well, it is a bit like a festival.”
That being said, as the Guild Master of Flame Emperors, she could not lose to Maple. The others in the guild were also waiting for their chance to get revenge.
“Things won’t go your way next time! We’ll be the ones to defeat you.”
“Uh, go easy on me…”
“I wish that I could.”
“Hmph. Well, then I’ll fight back with my newly acquired skills!”
“What!? Y-you found something new again?”
“I promised Sally that I wouldn’t show anyone…but, yes! I found something weird!”
“Haha… Uh, take it easy on us?”
“Hehehe. I wish that I could.”
“Ahaha… Well, I still won’t lose.”
“I guess you’re also my rival, Mi. And now there’s Lily, Velvet and the others.”
“You can call me if you want to cooperate. It will be easier for me to win if I’m with you.”
“Yes! I hope we get to fight together again!”
Like this, they continued to talk while petting the cats.
“Oh, that’s right. Velvet was acting. Just like you, Mi.”
“Huh? Really? I heard about her fighting style, but I’ve never talked to her in person.”
“Though, her reason was a little different than yours…”
“I-I’d think so… No one is like me…”
Unlike Mi, who had gone too far to be able to go back now, it didn’t really matter if people found out that Velvet was acting.
“When I first met her, she was very ladylike… But she changed when fighting. I was so surprised.”
Maple talked about her experience fighting alongside Velvet, and the reason that she was acting. Mi nodded understandingly.
“I see. But I think I get how she feels. You know, sometimes you feel like you’re being pulled along by your equipment. I don’t know what I would be like now if I had gotten different equipment or skills.”
You could say that acquiring the ‘Flame Emperor’ skill and having to get equipment that suited it, had defined what Mi was after that. You weren’t moving a character on screen. When it was you who was fighting, your equipment and skills had a great impact on you.
“I’m sure that even if you don’t act, you often think certain equipment is better for what you’re doing?”
There were several times where she wore something just because it matched a skill visually, or fitted the atmosphere of her destination. Perhaps putting on an act was just an extension of that.
“This is a virtual space, so I think that it’s worth doing. Of course…you might regret it…if you go too far. Uhh.”
In Mi’s case, there would likely never be a day that she could reveal it. And so she seemed like she was a little jealous of Velvet.