“I feel like I have messed up here somehow…” (Souma)
It had been so long since I have had an actual fight, so I got a bit heated up there and forgot my original objective.
It was only recently that I went ‘eh, now that I think about it, my job was to buy time’.
There’s already not a single enemy from the main enemy force.
I once again looked carefully around, but there’s no sight of enemies around.
I even deluded myself into thinking that the enemies were running away from me, but that wasn’t the case.
I felt that way simply because the enemies were decreasing in numbers.
I ended up wiping them out, but will Mitsuki get angry at me later?
Normally, you would think it is impossible to get scolded for having defeated the most enemies, but because of our conversation beforehand, I am a bit unsure about it.
But frankly speaking, the plan of pulling the enemies and running away had completely slipped my mind the moment I got through the enemy backline.
However, if I were to tell them honestly that I got way too into fighting, they might label me as being like Mitsuki and that’s scary.
I am different from the people of the Mitsuki household. I simply got a bit too into fighting thinking how to fight efficiently.
This is also of course because I wanted to fight and get back my past battle senses, but that’s a natural desire as a gamer.
If I were to get lumped together with those battle junkies just because of that, I would go crazy.
(…Oh well, let’s leave that aside for now.) (Souma)
I just have to think about it when that happens.
I will leave the getting too into it as a matter to reflect on later. For now, the result is a favorable one.
Right now I should be finishing this invasion event as fast as possible.
I looked around the battlefield and carefully observed where I should be assisting.
The backline unit doesn’t seem to be an issue.
I may not see Mitsuki, but I can tell that the number of enemies are decreasing smoothly.
I don’t want to deal with mages because of compatibility issues, and I don’t think Mitsuki would lose.
It should be fine to ignore that side.
As for Ringo, there’s even less room to get involved.
From my brief observation, she seems to be defeating the enemies in the sky without issues even if her pace is slower than that of Mitsuki.
In the first place, I currently have no effective means to attack airborne enemies.
It is not like it is impossible for me though. I could use movement skills and spells, but it would be a pretty painful battle against monsters that freely soar in all directions.
(…In that case…) (Souma)
There’s only one option remaining.
I face the city gates where the battle still continues and…
([Step][High Step], [Ground Compression]!) (Souma)
With all that in consideration, what worries me is the safety of Maki.
When I look up, the only Lightning Strikes I see shining in the sky come from one direction.
There’s no Lightning Strikes coming from the capital’s side.
Thinking about it normally, she either can’t use Lightning Strikes, or she isn’t participating in this battle in the first place.
I tried to check that stuff before the battle started, but Mitsuki’s Explorer Ring apparently can only be used on people she knows, so it didn’t work.
Was Mitsuki not acquainted with Princess Shermia, or was she not acquainted with Maki?
Anyways, if we can’t use the Explorer Ring, there isn’t much I can do.
I at least did one thing and left Maki in a corner of my mind.
The reason why I desperately tried to pull the main force of the enemy was also for the sake of Maki’s safety.
The situation may change depending on what adventurers are there, but they should have enough power to push aside the enemy vanguard.
I may believe this, but I still can’t shake off the uneasiness.
Maki is quite the troublemaker, so there’s the chance she has brought unnecessary danger to herself.
I continued activating my movement skills at full power.
(It is slowly coming into sight.) (Souma)
I slowly began to see the camp on the city side as I approached the city.
I was expecting this, but the battle array is pretty much the same as the one in the game.
They are forming a defense formation in a V shape as if covering the city’s gate.
Both sides of the V formation had different types of people.
From my point of view, the right-wing is formed of the Knight Order and nobles; the left-wing seems to be formed of adventurers.
Where should I head first?
I hesitated for an instant, but in the end, I went in the direction of the right side, to where the Knight Order is at.
On the adventurer side, I can see effects of stuff like fire and intense skills, but they seem to be doing well. In contrast to that, the Knight Order’s side seems to be getting pushed by the enemy.
(Maki might be there!) (Souma)
If she is there, she should be close to the Knight Order.
If she doesn’t have Lightning Strike, she can’t fight, but it is hard to believe she is just staying still in this situation.
I was thinking that while advancing, and I am beginning to see the knights fighting the monsters.
The Knight Order is fighting with an organized style, efficiently handling the monsters.
In terms of level, they should be having a hard time fighting those monsters, but they are properly coordinating to fight the monsters on somewhat even grounds.
You could say it is the polar opposite of the battle style of Nekomimi Neko players, but there’s certainly a perfected art there.
But it still doesn’t shake off the fact that they are having a hard battle here.
It doesn’t seem like there’s anyone who has tapped out, but that’s also lowering their damage.
It feels as if they would crumble with one blunder.
“That’s…Queen Meliaruda?” (Souma)
The support pillar for this is the queen of the Rihito Kingdom, the existence of Meliaruda.
She is a master of healing and buff magic.
She uses close to bottomless MP, and supports the whole front by casting healing and buffing magic on the whole Knight Order without holding anything back.
And then, at her side is obviously the king of Rihito Kingdom, Fulfill, slicing the monsters approaching in two.
That stability they provide is perfect. With the two together, I could feel relief that they wouldn’t be losing to monsters of this level.
(I don’t see Maki.) (Souma)
I don’t see the princess who should be by the side of the king and queen.
I thought all the royalty would be showing up here, but maybe she is staying at home?
Or she might be fighting together with the bodyguards a bit deeper in?
(Whichever the case, I will know once I settle things here.) (Souma)
Enemies are finally close.
Most of the monsters have their aggro on the knights in front of them and have not noticed me.
Then, let’s do a preemptive strike as a greeting.
([Step][Side-Slash], [Step][Side-Slash], [Step][High Step][Jump][Side-Slash]!) (Souma)
It would be bad if I were to hit the knights.
I ambush the enemy from behind with large AOEs while maintaining good enough distance.
These enemies also avoid well.
The monsters here are the ones with high speed.
I only managed to defeat around half of the enemies I was aiming for mostly because I prioritized not hitting the knights deeper in.
But even with that, I successfully managed to cause unrest in the enemies.
For some reason, I feel like unrest spread around not only with the monsters, but with the Knight Order as well, but I move into close combat.
([Step][Slash], [Step][Slash], [Step][Slash], [Step][Side-Slash].) (Souma)
I try to control the Side-Slash which has a wide aoe, and decrease the number of enemies with certainty using Slash.
Slash is weaker compared to Side-Slash, but there’s no problem against speedy enemies.
If it hits, I can definitely defeat them.
While I was lowering the number of enemies in that fashion, I heard a scream.
When I looked there, I saw a female knight that had fallen on her butt.
If I remember correctly, she is supposed to be an event character and greenhorn knight, Jessica.
Going ‘kya’ on a battlefield is questionable for a knight, but there’s no doubt she is in danger.
I instinctively use Step to get closer and…
I noticed that I got way too close.
There’s 2 monsters approaching Jessica.
I won’t be able to kill them all with a Slash, but if I use Side-Slash, I would hit Jessica.
I decide on the moment…
([Wide Slash]!) (Souma)
I Cancel the Step and use Wide Slash.
Because this skill is a sword skill, it doesn’t have much power and doesn’t have as much aoe as Side Slash, but that low aoe is instead serving as a pro here.
The slashing effect cut both the body of the monsters and Jessica, but the aoe is actually smaller than the visual effect.
There’s no actual harm in the visual effect that passed the body of Jessica, and it sliced the monsters in the front accurately.
“Are you okay?” (Souma)
It would be bad to leave her behind, so I stop my feet for a moment and speak to her.
“Hiih! S-Spare me…!” (Jessica)
The fear of monsters attacking must still remain in her.
I was thinking about speaking to her again, but time’s up.
My body was suddenly pushed to the side and Jessica got further away.
The Air Hammer I had set to Time Activate had gone off, and moved my body.
Jessica screamed once again.
She screamed just because a person was moving. I think she really isn’t suited to be a knight.
But an environment that is easier for me to fight in was made around that point.
Maybe the knights have somewhat read that it would be harder for me to fight if they were to step to the front, the Knight Order seemed to be moving back.
There were of course monsters who were moving to the front matching that, but half of them had turned back and were heading towards me.
I take the offer of the Knight Order without hesitation, and wipe out the enemies efficiently with a chain combo formed mainly around Side Slash.
Because the aggro is being divided between me and the Knight Order, my kill rate is not the same as when I fought the main force, but the monsters in the vanguard are far less than that of the main force.
I eliminate the enemies while not minding the missed ones, and I advance while slowly moving from the right-wing to the left one.
I observe the knights while advancing, but I really don’t see Maki.
(That person is not here either.) (Souma)
I can’t find the person that I thought I would be encountering here.
While I was doing that, I had arrived at the end of the right-wing.
Just in case, I get away from the right-wing and check the state of the left-wing.
This side is mainly composed of adventurers, but…
“This is horrible.” (Souma)
They were so disorganized it made me say that.
The people in this place look like they have a higher level, but there’s practically no coordination. It is truly the polar opposite of the Knight Order.
The ones who are especially bad are the groups in the middle.
There’s a team with a whole ton of characters I am familiar with.
“Ahahaha! Eat this! The attack of a hero!!”
The one who is swinging his sword while laughing is the strongest hero, Alex!
A shockwave blade was created from his swung sword. The monsters and the adventurer that was close to that were blown away by it.
“Revolting evil that is sealed within mine right arm…devour these vengeful apparitions! Manifest, [Darkness Flame]! …Fuuuh, curse the day you stood before me.”
The one doing a long monologue while shooting out magic is the genius idiotic mage, Sazan!
Fire was surging from their held up right arm, and the monsters as well as the adventurer closeby were engulfed in fire.
The adventurer that has been getting caught in the attacks of Alex and Sazan is Raiden.
On top of that, there’s even a burly macho martial artist, Baccarat.
“What’s with that displeasing dream team…?” (Souma)
If we only consider their combat power, it is a gathering of top class people, but if there were a ranking of parties you wouldn’t want to be in, there’s no doubt this would be in the top ten.
I don’t know if it is the result of his Horse Hit activating, but Raiden is crazy for entering a team like that.
This ain’t on the level of meeting strong people, but on the level where it makes me think he is a masochist.
It is certainly true that the monsters are decreasing thanks to them, but their allies are also running around.
After watching the adventurer side, rather than fighting the monsters, it is mostly them scattering to not get caught in friendly fire.
Honestly speaking, I don’t want to jump into that either.
Thinking I might as well head to assist Ringo or Mitsuki, I looked back, but it seems like Mitsuki is mostly done on her side.
It is probably already on a countdown to end.
I then look at Ringo.
Ringo had defeated most of the enemies in the sky, but the ghost type monsters with high resistance against physical attacks remain.
Moreover, the one in the middle of it is the…
“Lich Ghost, huh.” (Souma)
The level 170 boss monster, Lich Ghost.
This guy is a monster with an appearance like that of a black robe made of mist, and not only is it a Lich on top of being a ghost, it is an undead high above, so normal physical attacks have no effect on it at all.
Not only that, it has resistances in all 4 main elements and it obviously absorbs darkness.
Moreover, maybe because it is a boss, it is even immune to healing magic which is supposed to be the weakness of undead. Most attacks aside from the light element won’t work. A really tough enemy.
On top of that, because it has a nasty special attack, if you fight him for the first time with no countermeasures, there tends to be a lot of casualties. You could call it a super pain in the ass monster.
It would be terrible if an enemy like that were to attack Ringo.
Ringo’s Lightning Strike is a physical attack.
If she were to get attacked by the Lich Ghost, she would have no means to defend against it.
(And yet, is Ringo even getting targeted?) (Souma)
Even if it is an ineffective attack, it should create some aggro if it hits.
It seems like it has deemed Ringo as an enemy because the Lightning Strike hit it.
I turned up my speed and headed to the place of Ringo, but…
A rock flew towards the Lich Ghost and hit it.
The thrown rock is obviously a physical attack, so there’s no damage, but the attack target switched to that person.
(Just who…?) (Souma)
Thinking this, I search for the person who threw the rock, and there’s an adventurer girl who is dealing with several monsters at once with her mace.
Her physical stats must be abnormally high, she was showing inhuman physical feats without even using skills as she overwhelmed the monsters. Any monster that showed an opening, she would mawl it to death with her mace.
(Speaking of which…) (Souma)
The greengrocer Oba-chan told me about the rumor of a mace girl before.
I ignored it since there was no such adventurer in the game, but she must be the one.
When I strain my eyes further to get a better look at her…
At her side, there’s a familiar yellow shadow.
Actually, I had asked the Bear a request before the battle started.
I was thinking about having it wait at a separate location together with Ringo, but the Bear seems to be strangely scared of Ringo lately, so I gave it a special order and had it act separately.
My order was to ‘find the princess and pass her my letter’.
It would be rough for the Bear to participate in battle alone, and I couldn’t let go of this moment where there’s a high chance the princess has gone outside.
I stressed that it shouldn’t push itself, and gave it a bag that had self-defense items and my letter.
I was worried that it might get mistaken by a monster and get attacked, but it looks like it managed to infiltrate the city side without issues.
Or rather, the fact that Bear is here must mean…
I once again look at that adventurer girl with that in mind, and she does seem somewhat similar to her.
The adventurer-like men that were fighting by her side look like famous knights that appear often in Knight Order events.
The final nail was the weapon the girl was holding.
I thought for sure she was hitting the enemies with a mace, but…
(Isn’t that the initial staff of Princess Shermia!) (Souma)
It is completely the same as the staff she used in the Attack on the Capital when shooting Lightning Strikes.
There’s already no doubt about it.
I increased the speed even more and as I approached her…
I shouted at the top of my lungs.
That voice reached the girl.
“Eh? This voice…could it be…So—”
She looked back in surprise, but that turned into a decisive opening.
The Lich Ghost that was floating in the air without doing anything suddenly accelerated.
This time around, I raise my voice for a different reason.
But by the time I shouted, the Lich Ghost had already placed a hand on Maki and…
Leaving only those words, Maki’s body was swallowed by the Lich Ghost that had approached.
Blood drained from my face.
“She was…assimilated…?” (Souma)
The special attack of the Lich Ghost: Assimilate.
It is the horrible attack of swallowing the target into its own body.
The two who seemed to be her bodyguards ready their swords to attack the Lich Ghost but…
“You must not attack! You will hit Maki who is inside!!” (Souma)
The tricky part of the Assimilate of the Lich Ghost is that: when the Lich Ghost gets attacked and it has assimilated someone, half of that damage will be dealt to the one assimilated.
When used, it not only halves the damage, you also end up killing your ally inside when attacking.
The only way to undo the assimilation is to defeat the Lich Ghost, so as long as the person inside doesn’t have endurance that’s higher than the Lich Ghost, the person inside will end up dying too.
That said, if you leave it be, they will get their HP sucked by the Lich Ghost and die.
Stuck between a rock and a hard place.
“Bear! The white ball!!” (Souma)
I won’t give up here!
There’s no way I would let my cousin die right in front of me when I finally reunited with her.
The speed of the Lich Ghost lowers when it has assimilated someone.
The white ball thrown by the Bear at close range splendidly hits the Lich Ghost and stops its movement.
“With just that much…!”
The bodyguards shout at the same time.
Even if it is a light element attack, the effect of the ball is small, and I know that damage has reached Maki too.
That’s not my real goal.
“Thanks, Bear!” (Souma)
Saying this, I stand in front of that guy with Air Hammer, chant Power Up, and at the same time, I…
(This is not enough!) (Souma)
I threw away the Golden Sakura in my left hand, and took out a ball from my pouch.
Not the white ball that’s the only one that can deal damage to it, but the black one that heals it.
“Wa?! Impossible, the dark element against it is…!”
The bodyguard knight was saying something, but I held the black ball without caring.
And then, in front of the Lich Ghost that has been stunned from the light element attack…I throw the black ball up…towards myself.
I plead to no one in particular while immediately activating the obvious choice here.
“[Absolute Katana Reversal]!” (Souma)
The strongest counter skill.
(Can I do this? The timing…) (Souma)
If I mess up the timing even a bit, it will end up in a miss.
2 painful seconds.
The irritating preliminary motions ended, the posture was completed, the time for the counter registration came and…
The black colored ball fell, hit my body, and bursted.
Detecting the dark element attack, the counter of Absolute Katana Reversal activated.
(Don’t move. DON’T move!) (Souma)
I abided by the preset skill motions and swing Shiranui.
A replay of the time when I fought the Butcher.
The attack of my Shiranui that had the black ball hit was obviously clad in ominous dark power and…
“Take this!” (Souma)
I caught the Lich Ghost that finally got out from the stun of the white ball!
If I were to simply use a light attack, I would end up killing Maki as well.
But the other elements can’t defeat the Lich Ghost.
…If it were a normal attack, that is.
But right now I have a negative modifier in my dark element attack because of the rings.
Using it normally, it would recover the target.
But against an enemy that would absorb the dark element, it does the opposite!
“Could it be…!”
The knight shouts.
The attack power of the customized Shiranui, the high skill modifier, the effect of Power Up, and the multiplier of the dark element.
This one attack that has all of those things stacked up scattered the Lich Ghost without much suspense and…
The captured Princess was spit out from the inside.
Maki’s body falls.
And the one that arrived faster than me, who was skill stunned, and the knights who were standing there dumbfounded was…
The yellow and capable plushie caught the body of Maki splendidly and…
Even though it was squashed, it managed to protect Maki’s body from the impact.
“…Nice cushion.” (Souma)
I was relieved and said this to the Bear.
Maki wakes up.
Strength leaves my legs from relief.
Her attire may be different, but her unyielding eyes are the same.
Even in a place like this, even in a situation like this, Maki is still Maki.
When Maki saw me in her vision…
She blinked 2…3 times as if she couldn’t believe it, and then, after she finally acknowledged my presence, her eyes opened wide.
“Sou…ma? Are you really…Souma? Did you come to save me?” (Maki)
The moment Maki said this, I suddenly felt embarrassed.
That’s why I faced the other way, and said something cheesy.
“…I have arrived <Ore Sanjou>.” (Souma)