Data.37 – Old Bowman, Sea Bow Art Trial
And so I took my fishing rod and headed to the pier.
There were other players there who were enjoying themselves fishing.
Their fishing lines were in the water, and they waited quietly for something to bite.
Yes, the fishing in this game wasn’t some kind of simplified minigame.
…It was real.
There wouldn’t be a reaction within a few seconds, and then all you had to do was press a button to catch a great fish.
There would be a lot of waiting. And there was no assurance that you would catch anything.
But it wasn’t too bad.
Of course, some might ask what value there was in having realistic fishing in a game. But there was a market for games that had greater realism.
Besides, fishing in the real world had even more hurdles.
You might have to travel, buy fishing gear, and there was the issue of what to do afterward.
I wouldn’t be chopping them up and eating the fish. I suppose you could just release them…
But I had memories of going fishing with my father, and it was fun even if we didn’t catch anything.
As an adult, you thought about too many other things, and it sapped all the fun out of it.
However, I am different now.
And I had all the time in the world.
I am ready to stare vacantly into space for the whole day…!
And so I threw the fishing rod so that the hook flew far out.
…It went a little farther than I had intended.
Could it be that my status was affecting it?
Well, perhaps I would be able to catch something bigger farther out. So it wasn’t a bad thing.
I just needed to catch something that was over a meter long, and then I would complete the trial.
“Still, this fishing rod…is kind of weird.”
The rod, line, and reel were all very modern. It didn’t really fit into a fantasy world.
Furthermore, there was a rope attached to it that went around my waist…
“Excuse me. You wouldn’t happen to be…Mister Kyuji?”
The player next to me asked me hesitantly.
He had a character that was older, just like me.
“I’ve heard all about you.”
“Thanks. Did you want to take a photo?”
“No, not really…”
“Sorry, it’s just that people are always asking me… It’s getting to my head.”
“No, no. I’m sorry that I gave you that impression!”
The trouble with talking to other older men was that we were too polite.
“So, uh, what did you want?”
“Ah, that’s right. I saw that you threw the line so very far away. But from what I heard, doing that will result in catching something too big to reel in. And you will get dragged into the…”
It really was important to get to the point immediately.
I was already dragged into the sea.
To be honest, I had predicted that this would happen the moment I tied the rope around my waist.
And now it had happened, so calm down…!
I could breathe underwater, so there was no need to panic.
It’s not like I would encounter the Blue Sea Dragon here.
Apparently, that dragon usually swam far out in the sea, and rarely came this close to the shore.
In other words, I was incredibly lucky or unlucky to have met it…
In any case, I gripped the fishing rod again and started to reel myself in.
I would pull myself towards whatever it was that had taken the bait.
“Woah, it’s huge…”
It was a sunfish.
But much larger than the normal ones.
I remember being so impressed when I saw them swimming at an aquarium once.
It was very different seeing such living creatures in person.
But seeing them close up also made me feel a little scared.
Why did they look like this…?
They did not look like something from planet earth.
…Hmm, I seem to be basking in old memories a little too much lately.
And I wasn’t even the type to become sentimental when visiting the sea.
“It’s time to use my Sea Bow Art…!”
It wasn’t like I couldn’t use the Zero form at all.
It was a special form and an exception.
“Sea Bow Art – Zero form…Harpoon!”
The arrow transformed into a harpoon.
That was the primary weapon in games when you were underwater.
Usually, it would be a gun of some sort, but since I used a bow, the arrow just turned into the harpoon.
This way, I could avoid the decrease in range and power that affected my other skills underwater.
“I’ll weaken the sunfish with this.”
And so I shot three harpoons at it.
They all struck the sunfish, and it stopped moving around.
It’s quite weak…this sunfish.
Then I just left the hook in its mouth and pulled it back to the surface.
And since I couldn’t drag it all the way to the shore, I deactivated Harpoon and then shot a Warp Arrow at the beach.
Like that, I could appear on the sand with my sunfish in the blink of an eye.
There was quite a stir around me, but I ignored them and went to the sage to make a report.
“I caught it.”
“Indeed! I can already tell that it is several meters long. What a wonderful sunfish! You have passed the first trial!”
To be honest, it didn’t really feel like fishing. But if he was satisfied, then that was fine.
Besides, it had still been hooked.
“Now, will you accept the second trial? Of course, it’s still early, and so it is not very difficult!”
“I’ll do it.”
If it’s an easy one, better to finish it off quickly.
◆ ◆ ◆
The second trial was ‘Turtle Jet.’
This was also a type of common mini game.
You rode on top of a big turtle and moved forward by shifting your center of gravity.
And if you gathered enough rings of light that floated above the water, you would clear the stage.
While it wasn’t particularly hard, it was all about getting the best time.
The sage’s requirement was that I complete Turtle Jet on normal difficulty in under a minute.
There were players who had already done it in 30 seconds.
So it should be easy… That’s what I thought.
My feet slipped and I fell into the sea.
Just standing on top of the turtle was difficult…
The shell was so slippery, and Turtle Jet wasn’t about riding waves like a surfer. A living turtle was using its flippers to propel itself forward like a jet ski.
And there was a lot of vibration…
Still, the other players seemed to be doing well, and having fun.
Turtle Jet…it really was something.
Ultimately, while I had started in the afternoon, I didn’t clear it until the evening.
The sunset beach looked quite romantic, but I was too exhausted to enjoy it at all.
Well, I did feel that I had improved. And that was a good feeling.
“Now you have cleared the second trial! Well done! It will be getting dark soon. So you should do the third trial on a different day.”
“But, what is…the next trial?”
“Hitting targets underwater. You will be using the Zero form to shoot at targets that are set under the water.”
“Ah, in that case, I think that I can finish it now.”
This was a mini game where you tried to hit as many targets within a limited time, and rack up the highest score.
There were moving targets, vanishing targets, and targets that would deduct points if you hit them.
However, they were not nearly as fast as actual enemies you fought.
And so I just shot at them like I always did, and was able to get the necessary score with ease.
However, I also hit a few of the targets that I wasn’t supposed to.
I had developed a habit of just hitting everything that entered my vision.
It was the result of being in so many fights where letting your guard down for a second could result in your death, and so it couldn’t be helped.
“Now I’ve passed the third trial.”
“Aye…indeed. I thought you were a clumsy man, but it seems that you are not. Humans are rather mysterious, aren’t they? Well, that is all for today.”
The sea was starting to get dark.
There was something scary about the sea at night. It looked like it would swallow you up, and you would never return.
I didn’t want to go into it either.
“From the 4th trial on, combat will always be involved. So be ready.”
And then the sage left.
I stared at the dark sea for a while.
Yes, it was frightful how it seemed to pull you in. But there was also a beauty that made it hard to look away.
There were fires on the beach, and I could see people enjoying some night fishing.
As for me, I would log out and get some sleep…
Just as I was about to look away, I saw something like a red shooting star pass through the water.
Was it the reflection of a shooting star in the night sky?
No, it had been too bright a light for that.
“I-is there a monster in the sea…?”
It felt as if something was looking at me from the water, and so I quickly moved away from the beach.