Shatei Kyokufuri – 34

Data.31 – Old Bowman, March Forth

It was the third day, right before dawn.
I started the march towards the neighboring Blue Deer fortress.
The fighting force accompanying me included all of the AI warriors and all of the Rapid Golems.

Speed was the most important in this plan.
And so I didn’t bring the Cannon or Guardian Golems, who were still slow even with buffs.
However, I did bring Buckler, who was not very fast.
But I had him ride on the Triceratops’s back.

In a way, this was the dinosaur’s special ability.
It could carry heavy things without being slowed down.

The Aero Raptors were fast, but they were small. And so they would not be able to move if you put something heavy on top of them.
And so I made them carry light players and buffed their speed with the special ability ‘Wild Air.’

And with the Meganewashi, I scouted out the fortress that we would attack.
Their attack on us, the main battle in the center, the attack from the cat girl…
All of those factored into its current state. Its defenses were light.

However, that didn’t mean there was no one there at all.
There were watchers on the walls who immediately told the people inside that they were under attack.
And so I started the assault without hesitation.

First, I rained down magic and projectiles over the dome-shaped barrier that covered the fortress.
It had not been buffed much at all, and so it broke easily.
Next, I cast Black Smog into the fortress.
The black, odorous fumes filled the inner walls, and frantic players started to run outside.

After that, I just had to kill them.
Though, there were some admirable players who braved the stench and remained inside.
But I dealt with them by sending the shocking pair that was Buckler and the Triceratops into the fortress.
The whole thing ended in just a few minutes.

I didn’t go out to the front. Instead, I fought while staying with a group of AI warriors who were 1sts.
In this army, Buckler and the Triceratops drew the most attention.
And then it was the AI 2nds who rode the raptors.
The rest looked like leftovers and would be seen as the least dangerous.
And so I pretended to be an AI and hide among them.

Of course, I was the only one shooting at such a far distance, so they would eventually notice that I was different.
As soon as I died, this army would not be able to operate.
And so I had to do this in order to live as long as possible.

“There’s no time to waste. To the next one…!”

When you take a fortress, you also receive all of their points.
However, this one had used up almost all of it. And there were no Golems.
They had likely used everything for the frontline.

And so we had just defeated a few players, and I could not strengthen my fighting force much at all.
You needed to kill more than one enemy in order to create a single AI warrior.
And so I just used the points to restock on healing items. My fighting force maintained its previous state as we continued onward.

◆ ◆ ◆

The next fortress we would be attacking was closer to the center of enemy territory.
If we could get past this one, we would have access to the main base.
However, as this was a key point, the defenses were much stronger than the last fortress.

Not only that, but this region had a lot of good hunting places for gathering points.
So it was also an important ‘attack zone,’ where they hunted and created a fighting force that they could send to battle.

And so the battle was long and hard.
The only saving grace was that there were no 3rds present.
But there was a bird-type monster that went flying off during battle, and I was unable to stop it.
It had been quite small and with eye-catching colors… The monster had likely been based on a parrot.

It was no surprise that other people were taming monsters as well.
The parrots were probably going to send messages and requests for reinforcements.
If we got attacked from both sides, we’d be done for.
Especially if there was a 3rd among them. There was no way that we could win.
We didn’t have a fortress or much points here.

I hid behind the great shield that was Buckler and the Triceratops and continued to unleash arrows.
After I had taken their numbers down to a degree, the enemy started to retreat.
But it wasn’t that they were admitting defeat.
As they knew they were getting reinforcements, they were probably going to return to their main base and prepare for a counter attack.

Just as I had expected, when I entered the empty shell that was their fortress, there were no points left and only a few player memories to be found.
While it was understandable that the points would be going to the battlefield, the retreating players would have had to go around and gather all of the memories.
That meant once again, I was unable to strengthen my fighting force.
And if reinforcements were coming, we would not be able to hold this fort.
After all, we didn’t have the necessary Guardian and Cannon Golems.

“Well, I knew that this was a possibility from the start. I just have to keep fighting.”

And so I took our remaining fighting force and marched on towards Blue Deer’s main base.
But what awaited us in our path, were the soldiers who had retreated and the soldiers who were already there before.
To be honest, I had thought that the fortresses deeper in would be less protected.
After all, the real important battle that would determine the overall outcome was happening in the center of the map. So surely there wouldn’t be much point in stationing fighters here.

But I had forgotten something important.
This event was all about points.
You hunted for points in the back where it was safe, create your fighting force, and send them to the frontlines.
The fortresses in the back had a very important role.

And even though they were being left behind to get points, they could easily fight defensively if necessary.
So that’s why there were so many players in the last fortress.
That would mean that the main base would have even more…

Still, I would fight until the very end.
I had decided this already. But when I arrived at the main base…it was surprisingly undermanned.

“Well, this…I think we’ll be able to get through them after all…”

Wa-was this for real?
The last fortress had been so strongly protected, and so it was unthinkable that there would be so few at the main base.
There must be some reason for it. But I couldn’t understand what it was.
And yet here I was. Invading the fortress…

There was no need to wipe out everyone inside of the base. You just had to destroy the ‘Core Crystal’ that was deep within.
And once I did that, all of Blue Deers bases would belong to Red Boar. The balance of power would collapse.
In other words, it would practically be the end of the event.

Would Blue Deer really allow that…?
I felt that it would not be difficult to reach the Core Crystal now.
It was like they were asking me to put an end to the event…

And so it was with conflicting emotions that I reached the blue crystal.
Who would have guessed that this would happen…
And why did I feel like this as I aimed with my bow…

Kiririri…shu! Kiiin!

There was a high-pitched ring as the arrow pierced the crystal.
Well, I suppose one shot wasn’t going to destroy it…
My hands were shaking.
I had never felt so nervous during a game before…

I-I would finish this…!
The event was supposed to go on for a week, but I would end it in three days…!
But there was a small voice inside saying, ‘don’t do it’ as well.
However, most of me was screaming to take hold of this victory.

The rest didn’t matter. If shining victory was right in front of you, you reached out for it.
Like a moth to the flame… I could not resist the fires of triumph…!

Kiriri…shu! Crack!

The crystal shattered and my vision was filled with white.
And when I could see again, the crystal was gone.

It was finished.
A lot of things had finished.
Well, I actually felt quite good about it.
Victory… Well, it wasn’t confirmed just yet, but it might as well be.
And I had brought us closer to it with my own hands. So of course, I felt good.

However, it still bothered me how unprotected the base was.
It just didn’t feel like something that was possible.

“Oh? If it isn’t that dandy old man! So you’re alive!?”

A man who had the answer to my question had suddenly appeared.
Someone I had forgotten about.

“You…Mister Hatake! I’m surprised to see you alive as well.”

“Of course, I am. It was just a strategic withdrawal…!”

Hatake had lost heart when he heard Buckler was coming, and he had run away.
He was a 3rd Flag Magician who was good with buffs.
But, why was he here…?

Next Chapter


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