Shatei Kyokufuri – 28

Data.25 – Old Bowman, the Lonely Struggle

“Tsk…! If this continues, our fighting force will just get smaller!”
“We have to get rid of those golems first!”
“And that archer is obnoxious… Someone needs to crush him!”
“We should send out a team to charge into the fortress!’
“Sorry, Mister Buckler! But we’re going out there!”

The time had arrived.
The enemy were afraid of the cannon fire, and they had gathered closely around Buckler.
However, once they decided that he was not enough to protect them all, some of them started to charge on ahead.

This decision…was probably the right one.
As long as the cannons were shooting at a long distance, there would be a time lag before they hit the ground.
And the enemy were also able to see where they were targeting.
And so they could quickly move out of the way.
That wasn’t difficult for players who were used to the game.

The only reason that many of them hadn’t done this sooner, was because there were so many players.
This wasn’t exclusive to MMOs. When you played with strangers as part of a team, people hated it when you charged out alone and died.
And since so many of their comrades were dying around them, it would take a lot of courage to move forward.
They wouldn’t do it unless they were hard pressed and felt that it was necessary.

“Windcloud Blast! Whirlwind! Floating Cloud!”

I jumped on top and took up position on the cloud.
As the enemy were both brave and making the right decision, I had to crush them.
Even if it meant using my most powerful moves…

“Bow Shower!”

Arrows fell down like rain over the charging players.
At the same time, I gave the order for the fortress cannons to fire.
I even had the Guardian Golems, who were waiting as the vanguard, move forward and join in the attack.

It’s not that I was trying to provoke them with some overkill.
I wanted them to know what would happen if they ‘moved away from Buckler.’ That way, the remaining players would continue to walk slowly with their general.
What would be the most scary for me was…

“Spread out to the sides! Surround the fortress and attack!”

Buckler’s voice sounded.
And the enemy army began to spread out to the right and left.

“Tsk…! So they realized…!”

In the end, it was just me who was here.
And if they surrounded the fortress, I would not be able to deal with all of them.
It was such a big weakness, but I had thought that the enemy wouldn’t realize…
But why now? Was it a guess?

No, it’s not…!
Buckler was just wary of an ambush.
After all, it made no sense.
Why would the fortress be protected by one guy and some golems….!
No one would think that it was possible.

He must have assumed that we were trying to make the fortress look like it was empty in order to lure them in. And then our forces would come out from behind them and attack.
But he would be able to protect his comrades as long as they were close by…
And so Buckler had not ordered them to spread out at first.

He was a famous player, and capable of making calm and clear decisions.
Surely he would not have assumed that everyone here would have fled and abandoned the fortress just because they heard his name.
Unfortunately, that was exactly what had happened…

No. There was no point in thinking about those who ran away now.
It had been my own decision to stay here and fight.

Now, how should I deal with the enemy that was moving to the sides?
This fortress only had cannons at the front.
I had opted to make a small number of them and upgrade them instead.

And I still stood by that decision.
There would be no point in wasting the points on golems and cannons.

The golems moved quickly when I gave the order, but they became slow when the AI controlled them.
The AI seemed to always be the part in any game that let players down.
Their timing when attacking was too slow, or they would target the wrong enemies and were unreliable in their decision making.

However, it was also not possible for me to control all of them.
The enemy was no longer concentrated in one place, and I would not be able to hit them without giving out precise orders.
Besides, I had to concentrate on shooting. It was too much to think about.
And so while it wasn’t ideal, I had to rely on the AI here.

Still, the only enemy that they could stop were the ones that charged head on.
The ones that were trying to go around were too far from the fortress.
And so I had to stop them with my bow…!

Should I make some of the golems advance?
Perhaps their cannonfire would be within range then.
However, the AI was so slow that the enemy would get close very quickly…
What should I do…!

“Mister Kyuji!”

“Huh!?”

My name was called out of nowhere, and I turned around to see a few dozen of my comrades.
Most of them were the beginners who I had helped during the hunt. But a few were also 2nds like me.

“To be honest, I don’t think we can win. And we really did run away for a while!”
“I want to enjoy the event longer, and hate the idea of being killed off quickly…”
“But after hearing the sounds of the cannons, I realized that you really were fighting. And thought that we should help you.”
“Is there anything that we beginners can do?’

I was so grateful for those words.
Of course, there was something.

“…Yes! Too much, in fact!”

“Uh, but don’t make us go and face Buckler, okay!?”

“I know. I’ll deal with him.”

“What!? Can you beat him!?”

“Well, maybe. I have a plan. I want you guys to take care of the enemies that are going around to the sides. You don’t have to defeat them all. Just try and keep them away from the fortress. I want to be able to focus on my fight with Buckler.”

“We can do that!”

I would leave the other enemies to them. They could also control most of the golems and cannons.
While we were still at a disadvantage, there was a ray of hope.
Now I could take on Buckler.

He was a 3rd.
I had only seen one skill as he walked, but I was sure that he could do so much more.
However, the same could be said about me.
I had had high expectations for Black Smog, which ended up being a misfire, but I still had my trump card.

This was also for the comrades that had come back to help me. I would make it happen. Giant killing…!

Next Chapter

Shatei Kyokufuri Yumi-Ojisan

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