Thanks to the Editor for pointing out issues
Defense Specialization and Derailment
Maple was enjoying her aerial stroll when she suddenly heard the sound of her message alert ringing.
“Hmm…? Who could it be?”
She checked to see who the sender was and saw that three messages in total had arrived.
They were from Chrome, Kasumi, and Izu respectively.
The contents were all similar as if this had been planned.
All of them were basically about how they would do their best in the event.
“I’m killing every cow that I find…but I guess I don’t have enough speed.”
Maple replied to each one, saying she would do her best as well, and then continued to fly in the air.
“They’re supposed to be around areas other than the plains as well, maybe I’ll check out those mountains over there.”
Maple started in the direction of some far away mountains.
The reason that the three had sent messages to Maple, was because they had realized something.
It was that they had left Maple to her own devices.
And so they had warned her not to stick her head into anything strange, and to do her best for this current event.
They knew that something would happen the moment they took their eyes off her.
And not necessarily something good.
And so the three had wanted to restrain her in this roundabout way.
After flying for a while, Maple finally reached the mountains.
“Seems like no one is around here.”
It was a steep mountain covered with trees, with only a few cows.
Like management had said, while the cows would spawn, they were still limited to certain spaces.
As it were, it would not be very efficient even if no other players showed up.
However, Maple had already been topped by competing players and had the worst efficiency to begin with, so this was a step up.
“Fighting alone in this area might just be the perfect thing for me.”
She returned Syrup to her ring and started to climb the mountain alone, all the while killing any cows she spotted.
Maple was also wearing her sheep’s wool gear, so she was in a much better condition than other players who didn’t have that gear.
“I wonder if Kasumi and Sally will be in the top players?”
Those two had the highest mobility among the members of Maple Tree.
Both of them even had the sheep’s wool gear, so they should easily be able to hunt two or three times faster than Maple.
“I’ll just take my time. I’m sure it’ll be in time for the skill anyway!”
As she said this, the rock under Maple’s foot moved.
Maple completely lost her balance and only barely grabbed onto a tree.
“Ah… Oh, no…”
However, that only lasted for a few seconds.
In that instant, Maple tried to think of something she could do but was not quick enough as she rolled down the steep slope.
Maple’s body hit into something and she stopped.
“It’s a good thing I put so much into ‘VIT’… I need to be more careful…”
Had she not put so much into VIT, then she would probably have been forcefully sent back to town right about now.
However, she had lost ‘Bizzare Eater’ when she was rolling.
“Ah… Oh, well. I think I’ll hunt just a little more and then go home…hm?”
Maple stood up and looked at her surrounding, she then realized that she crashed into a huge tree.
“Woah… It’s big….ah.”
Maple realized something as she inspected the large tree.
At the base of the tree was a huge hole that was in the shape of her great shield.
It was clear that it had become a victim of the last ‘Bizzare Eater.’
“I-I’m so sorry!”
Maple looked inside of the hole and saw that there was a smaller hole separate from the one that she had made inside. It was just large enough for her to fit her head through, and inside of it Maple found one rusted cogwheel.
She looked upwards inside of the hole and saw a faint light.
There was a long, narrow hole going through the inside of the tree. The gear must have come through it and fallen down here.
Maple picked up the gear.
“Item name… ‘Forgotten Dream’?”
It had no skills and was not equippable.
There was no effect or description either.
Maple could not think of any use for it aside from a decoration for the guild home.
“I’ll just take it back with me for now. Also…maybe I can heal this tree?”
Maple switched to her white gear and drank a potion to restore her HP.
“Good! “Light of Affection’!”
An intense damage effect danced around Maple.
In the same instant, light poured out from Maple’s hands and enveloped the huge tree.
“…It’s no use. And this was my best method of healing.”
There were several healing skills among the skills contained in ‘Dedicated Affection.’
But none of those skills had the ability to heal yourself.
“Truly…I am so sorry!”
Maple lowered her head again before leaving the scene.
And so, ultimately, the messages from Chrome and the others had ended up with little to no meaning.
“First, I need to get out of this forest and ride Syrup back home.”
Mapple returned her gear back to normal and started to walk.
After that, she encountered several cows, which she quickly dispatched with her short sword as she exited the forest.
During this time, Chrome was also walking around and killing cows, when he suddenly stopped in his tracks.
“…I had a bad feeling just now.”
Chrome’s sixth sense had detected something.
He was on the alert, his great shield and Japanese hatchet were held ready, but nothing attacked him.
“…Was it just me?”
It wasn’t just him, but Chrome did not realize that he had sensed something that had happened in a far-off location.