Itai no wa Iya nanode Bōgyo-Ryoku ni Kyokufuri Shitai to OmoimasuChapter 433
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Defense Specialization and the Big Battle (3)
In the center of this overflowing deformity, aside from Maple standing alone in the darkness that was spreading from her like mud, Sally left the place while carrying a screaming Frederica in her arms.
"Sally! This is really bad for my heart, you know~?”
"Sorry, sorry. But we managed to make it in time, didn't we?"
They had been able to avoid the enemy’s devastating joint attack because Sally managed to match the transfer timing of her “Ark” with the moment Mii and Velvet unleashed said attack.
The description of Sally’s “Reversal of Lies”, which transformed illusions into reality, also mentioned that Skills that cannot deal damage will deal damage, but checking the other factors that could be involved proved to be very fortunate.
Sally’s “Ark” has the ability to attack with water. When she copied the power of “Machine God” with her “Reversal of Lies”, it not only replicated the laser that Maple fired, but also materialized a gun barrel at her side.
Sally was responsible for the vanguard evacuation that was impossible for Maple to do on her own.
“Maple managed to do that the moment Mii and Velvet launched their attacks!”
"That was a surprise to me too. That’s probably thanks to Payne’s instructions… Anyway, like I said before, if an ally touches that thing for a certain period of time, they’re out. There will be nothing they can do about it.”
“That thing” was the mud-like darkness that spread from Maple. During the last quest they took before the event, Maple was able to obtain the “Darkness of Rebirth” Skill from a forbidden book despite her other Skills being sealed. This new Skill indiscriminately swallows any being that had become an ally of the user before being reborn as devilish monstrosities.
This not can not only affect monsters summoned by Skills, but also tamed monsters, and even players.
"That thing is still coming out of her… Did anyone else get swallowed by it?”
"I-I don't know. Didn’t someone say something about remaking the weakened monsters that were evacuating the area?”
"Huh… How does that work?”
The picture painted by this operation, which called into question the sense of ethics, was absolutely terrifying, but its effect was powerful and reassuring. As Maple was rendered unreachable after she activated her new Skill, she was left behind, and the allied forces were able to rebuild their front line with the newly recreated monsters, who had plenty of energy to spare.
At the edge of darkness that Maple had spread, a large number of players were bringing their damaged tamed monsters and placed them over the mud-like darkness.
Each of these tamed monsters sunk into this substance, and after a brief moment, an evil-looking creature emerged from the spot they had sunk into.
"This feels like we’re dealing with a really dangerous thing…”
"T-This is the best we can do right now."
Convincing themselves that it was necessary to win this battle, the allied players continued to use this mysterious darkness to transform all monsters.
Since the area had many fire and thunder attribute monsters, some of the monsters barely survived. As long as they were able to close their eyes to the dubious ethics of this operation, every one of these damaged monsters made for suitable fodder for Maple’s Skill.
"Alright, keep’em coming!”
Although the evasive maneuver using “Ark” went well, since many of the monsters in the area hadn’t been tamed yet, “Ark” couldn’t affect them, so the majority of them were severely injured.
"Whoa!? T-That was close…!”
"Get off me, stupid thing! Don’t touch me!”
Occasionally, a player would inadvertently touch Maple's unfolding mud-like darkness, and it would try to drag them in without question.
The darkness will gradually disappear from their bodies if they break off this contact quickly, but it was still a terrifying moment for them.
"It’s just taking anything and anyone in without asking any questions!”"
“Didn’t you see those first guys that got swallowed up by mistake a moment ago!?”
"Whoa, thanks, it almost got me…”
Several people were swallowed as the mud-like darkness spread out and were decomposed by it before being remade into those evil-looking monsters, who would then go on to attacking other players. It didn’t matter if any of them had Skills that would help them negate damage or anything like that. Maple’s Skill was essentially an insta-kill effect that only affects allies, the entire decomposition and rebuilding process could not be avoided by any other means than breaking off contact with the substance.
It was even more dangerous than an attack from the enemy.
As the players behind Maple continued to supply her with monsters, she kept on producing more of those creatures as she kept on walking forward.
Unlike the wild monsters found in the enemy’s territory, these creatures born from Maple’s Skill were powerful. They were able to throw out flames much like Maple herself would be whenever she was under the effects of “Atrocity”, which would tear and consume player and monster alike.
"Please watch your step and keep going!"
Maple called out to those around her. The swarm of monsters she had created was powerful, but since they essentially summoned monsters, they could not be issued detailed instructions. Even so, compared to wild monsters that move basically however they wanted, these creatures could be controlled to some degree, so they were more convenient.
By obtaining a large number of monsters with this Skill, the players on the front line had more leeway, and they gradually started to press forward.
The group of monsters that suddenly appeared was visible even from behind the enemy camp.
"Some strange creatures are heading this way…!?”
"Haha, this has to be a joke, right? What the hell is that?"
Marx and Shin, who were observing the front from the top of the “Night Castle”, reported the current situation to Mii and Misery. Using one of his cameras, Marx had Mii and Misery check the battle situation from the monitor inside the castle. They were doing it like this because, like Maple's “Dedicated Affection”, they too could use Skills that affected the surroundings with them in the center, allowing them to participate in the battle even from inside of the castle’s walls.
Although many of them ended up being caught in Marx's traps, the army of monsters surged like a wave with its overwhelming numbers.
As they withdrew from this chaotic battlefield, two shadows jumped down from the ice stairs that reached into the sky, decelerating against gravity in the air and landing right next to Marx.
"Where’s Mii…?" 𝑓𝒓e𝑒w𝑒𝒃𝑛𝒐𝘃ℯ𝙡. c𝚘m
"…Huh? Ah, yeah. She’s inside."
“Oh, an emergency strategy meeting, huh?”
Velvet and Hinata then rushed into the castle.
As they went inside, they found Misery, who was using her Recovery Spells one right after another, and Mii, who was about to go outside.
"Mii! This looks a bit bad, doesn’t it?”
"Yeah, I know. It seems that Maple is the one behind this.”
Mii didn't know exactly how it was done, but she could see that it was due to a Skill that summoned a large number of powerful monsters.
While Mii and Velvet were talking, Lily and Wilbert arrived as well, riding on their flying machine.
"Oh, you’re here too, Velvet. Looks like we’re all thinking the same thing.”
"It looks like we need to think about dealing with those summoned monsters."
Using his search ability, Wilbert confirmed that Mii and Velvet's combination attack did not yield the expected results.
“The enemy seems to have retaliated with a pretty big move, but I don’t know how long of a cooldown that Skill has. What I do know is that a lot of readings disappeared for a short while before reappearing again.”
“And Velvet has discharged completely… So her lightning attacks will be out of the equation for a while.”
Velvet’s “Thor’s Hammer” boasted an attack range that surpassed that of Mii, but it wasn’t something that could be unleashed at no cost. And whenever Velvet were to temporarily lose her ability to produce electricity after having completely discharged, her threat level would instantly drop as a result.
“People seem to be panicking a lot after seeing those dreadful monsters. If we can’t get enough of a margin to calm ourselves down, we’ll be at a bit of a disadvantage.”
Even with Misery’s Recovery Spells, there was a huge difference in value between a disposable, easily replaceable summoned monster and a dead player.
The more the fight dragged on, the worse the situation would get.
"I can’t use my ‘Daybreak’ for a while either. Of course, we have other powerful Skills, but the enemy isn’t going to just stay put that easily.”
"That's right. Without the strength to defeat that horde of summoned monsters, even if we’re gradually recovering, the situation will only get worse from here on…”
With “Congregation of the Holy Swords” and “Maple Tree” at the top of the list, there were still plenty of powerful players who still had strength to spare.
“I want to know what the other Guilds think. If the majority of them think that we’d better withdraw, then we’ll have no choice but to accept the fact that the enemy was well prepared to repel our offensive and retreat.”
Velvet and Mii’s attacks had been so powerful that they alone could have decided the outcome of the entire event on their own. But now that they had been used up, and the enemy had found a way to not only endure them but also strike back, the tables had turned. Therefore, Mii and the others had to get enough people to fight off the seemingly endless army of summoned monsters. And if they were to determine that they wouldn’t be able to get that much manpower, then their only option would be to try to keep the enemy at bay and retreat.
“Marx. Be prepared to retreat at a moment’s notice, focusing on Misery and Shin. If we do have to retreat, it would be best to do it while fighting back as much as possible.”
Not all of their allies were on this battlefield. If they could keep on fighting while retreating towards their royal castle, Mii’s side would have the advantage, as their reinforcements would arrive before Maple and the others if they can’t keep up with them.
"Lily, Hinata. I’m gonna need your help.”
"You got this, Hinata!”
"I’m counting on you, Lily.”
Leaving both Velvet, who now had limited combat abilities, and Wilbert, who specialized in one-on-one combat, Mii, Lily and Hinata left the “Night Castle”.
The idea was not only to be able to march to the battlefield with more suitable members, but to reduce the damage they would suffer as a whole if things were to go wrong. If all of them were to head out to battle and even one of them made the slightest mistake, they could all end up being annihilated, leaving their faction at an irreversible disadvantage. The eight of them understood that the enemy had access to a power that was explosive enough to make something like that happen.
As they kept the worst case scenario in mind, the three of them rode on Ignis’ back and looked at the battlefield from the sky. Summoned monsters crawled out of the circular-shaped, black-stained ground. And behind it, players were throwing monsters into the darkness one after another.
As expected, the three of them managed to grasp a rough idea of how this summoning Skill worked from what they had seen.
"I see! Hahaha, so that's how it works…"
"T-That’s simply amazing…”
“So, this will be difficult to stop unless we defeat Maple, then.”
Maple’s Skill also had a very shocking appearance, and the three were also able to see that the formation of their own forces was collapsing and the players were already retreating, most likely because they were already losing their fighting spirit.
Having seen all that, the three concluded that it would be better to retreat rather than do everything in their power to rebuild their formation.
"Hinata, are you ready?"
"Yes, I’m good to go. All you have to do is get me closer."
"We will defend you against any incoming attacks. Don't worry."
After giving instructions to Ignis, Mii and the others hurried to the front line, where Maple’s summoned monsters were still rampaging.
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