Data.38 – Old Bowman, to the Deep Sea
“Now, the 4th trial begins!”
The 4th trial began early the next morning.
According to the sage, I was to kill two ‘Mach Tuna’.
This monster was not particularly rare, and could be found easily if you went offshore a little.
However, they will start swimming at a tremendous speed once you attack them.
And they didn’t just run away, but they would attack you by charging.
The attacks weren’t that powerful, but any attack can be dangerous if you get hit enough times.
So, how to deal with an enemy that is constantly moving as it attacks you… That was the issue. And it was easy enough.
When charging, the tuna had to swim straight towards me.
That meant it was easy for me to hit them with Harpoon.
Their defenses would be at their lowest right before an attack.
And so I succeeded in hunting the two Mach Tuna, and reported to the sage.
He looked surprised.
“It seems that you are quite good at these sorts of trials…”
◆ ◆ ◆
The 5th trial was also a battle with a sea monster.
It was called a Devil Starfish, and true to its name, it was a giant starfish with a poisonous color.
It would attack me from every side, trying to get the coral at my feet.
Yes, it was a defense mission.
I had to protect the coral from the starfish for 10 minutes.
And I already knew that being a dedicated archer was a good fit for defending.
And so I shot the starfish down, one after another as they attacked.
“Well, it would be a waste not to use my new Sea Bow Arts as well.”
I would have no problem if I just used Harpoon, but since there were 7 forms, I thought that I should use them. After all, someone had gone through the trouble of creating them.
“Form two. Jellyfish!”
The arrow that was unleashed was slow.
It moved in the water like some kind of jellyfish.
But that wasn’t the only reason that it was called that.
There were thin, long streaks of light that stretched from the back of the arrow.
They were like tentacles, and poisoned anything that they touched.
Not only that, but the length of the tentacles was affected by the player’s range.
That meant that if ‘Immobile Sniping Stance’ was activated, a kilometer long tentacle would be floating in the water.
So it was much like setting a trap.
However, there were clear disadvantages as well.
First, it was weak. And easily pushed away by the current.
If you used it against players, they could easily deal with it by using skills.
Still, it would be valuable against monsters like this one, who just charged at you.
And so the Devil Starfish continued to get poisoned, and their HP carved away.
“Because of their color, I had wondered if they would have high poison resistance… But I’m glad that they didn’t.”
While it was powerful, there were other monsters who did have resistance.
And so I would need to be careful with how I used it.
In any case, I killed off the weakened Devil Starfish and finished the 5th trial.
I learned later that there really were starfish that ate coral…
Which was surprising, as I just assumed that they just lay around on the ocean floor with their arms stretched out.
◆ ◆ ◆
The 6th trial was also a battle with monsters.
This time, I was supposed to steal an egg from the nest of ‘Axehead Sharks.’ Just the name made me want to stay far away.
And unlike the previous fight, I would be the one who was moving around.
Just as the name implied, these sharks had heads that were shaped like an axe.
And the heads were very hard. It acted both as a protection for the rest of the head, and also a weapon to defeat enemies.
And there were several of them circling the nest.
“I guess I should pick them off from far away first…”
If I charged into them now, they would shred me into pieces.
I had to get close in order to steal the egg, but I could kill the enemy from a distance.
This is where my range came in handy.
“Form Four. Marlin!”
The skill was based on the marlin. A large, carnivorous fish with a sharp and extended upper jaw. It was decently powerful and fast. But most importantly, easy to use.
And with it, I smashed the tough Axehead Sharks’ heads.
The sharks recognized me as an enemy, and moved towards me at once.
Unsurprisingly, they could swim very fast. And I wouldn’t be able to kill them all before they reached me.
“Form One. Thousand Needles!”
This one was based on a type of puffer fish.
It allowed you to shoot small arrows in every direction at once.
However, each one only did a little damage. And like In Fight Arrow, its range was also short.
It was just something to stagger enemies that were coming closer, and not something used to kill.
However, it became much more when combined with Form Five.
“Form Five. Shark!”
This skill was combined with the king of the sea.
And it homed in on any enemy that I had damaged.
This was its way of mimicking the way that sharks could smell blood and were lured towards it.
But the homing effect ended if 30 seconds had passed since you damaged the enemy.
Furthermore, the homing effect wasn’t activated by damage dealt by the sharks. Otherwise, it would never end.
I would have to use a new method to deal damage.
And so the arrows that had turned into sharks attacked the enemy that had been hit by ‘Puffer Fish.’
Of course, this skill was named after sharks, and was suitably powerful.
Still, there were some that managed to survive. And as they tried to bite me, I killed them with Harpoon. After that, I succeeded in taking their eggs from the nest.
Now there was only one trial left…!
◆ ◆ ◆
“Now it’s finally the last trial. You will have to acquire the ‘Sea God Stone’ from the bottom of the ocean trench.”
“The bottom of the ocean trench…that sounds very deep.”
“Bah, the monsters there aren’t too impressive. However…it’s very dark. And some people can’t handle that. You would do best to go with some friends.”
Were there other people doing the Sea Bow Arts trials now…? But the sage quickly continued as if he knew what I was thinking.
“The Sea God Stone is a material you will need in order to have a certain person create a map. Apparently, it can be crushed and melted in a special liquid in order to make ink. And yes, others are diving into the sea trench as well. In order to fill in the map. If you wish to fill in the map as well, you should use the Sea God Stone that you acquire. After all, you only need to show it to me to pass the trial.”
I didn’t expect him to tell me how to fill in the map as well..
This sage really was helpful.
And so I bowed and then headed for the sea trench.
Like he said, there were indeed a lot of other players gathered nearby.
But it was rather strange once I thought about it.
The Sea God Stone was at the bottom of the sea trench.
So there was no point in gathering around here…
“Ah…so that’s why.”
The sea trench didn’t become deeper gradually. It was like a tear that ran across the ground.
And while it was under water, it took some courage, like jumping off of a cliff.
You couldn’t even see the bottom. It was completely black.
Even I was intimidated by it.
The other players were the same, and those who were solo wasted no time in joining parties.
While each player could only pick up 1 Sea God Stone, you were able to take the stones from fallen comrades. In other words, if you were in a party of four and three of your comrades died, then you would get 4 stones.
As long as that person survived and returned to town, then the stones could be given to the other players, and they could all complete the quest.
No one would want to dive down here multiple times, and so joining a party seemed like the best idea.
And so I agreed to join the three players who saw me and immediately asked me to join.
They were all 2nds and had aquatic equipment.
It seemed likely that they would be saving me most of the time.
“Now, let’s go.”
And so the four of us dove down in the shadows.
Then I and the other players were surrounded by glowing jellyfish.
They were bright enough that we could see each other’s faces.
“I never expected to be in a party with the famous Kyuji!”
“I don’t like fighting, so I’m counting on you!”
“I’m good at fighting in the water, so I can protect your back!”
I really had become famous.
While remaining humble, I thanked them.
But it was so dark down here. If I couldn’t see the enemy, then my arrows wouldn’t…
There was a red shooting star in the darkness.
It was the same one I had seen last night…!
Not only that, but it appeared multiple times.
“Everyone. Be care…”
…Perhaps this was fate after all.
There was no one around me now.