Shatei Kyokufuri – 53

Data.48 – Old Bowman, Battle Line Cooperation

It’s done often in movies and comics, but fighting indoors is actually quite tough…!
After all, it’s so cramped, and enemies will often stand in your way when you try to move.
It was all the worse due to my own fighting style…

Kiiiiiiiii!!

A rabbit type monster attacked me. It was the same as the one that bit my neck a long time ago.
I suppose they wanted to put rabbits here because of the Alice theme. But weren’t they also used during the turf wars?
They sure got around… Though these ones were at least wearing clothes so they looked a little different.

“Gar! Gar!”

Garbow took down any enemy that got too close.
And Nekoko killed the enemies up ahead and made a clear path.
As for me…

“Web Arrow!”

I focused on slowing down the Bloody Mary.
That being said, she had powered up and could not tear apart the webs with ease.
It was a different kind of scary now. She was just scary as a powerful enemy…!

“The stairs are up ahead! Don’t trip and fall!”

I couldn’t shoot arrows while going down stairs.
And so I lowered the bow and dashed down the stairs.
Then the scenery which had been looping around us suddenly changed.
I could see the entrance now.
While it was closed and I doubted we could just leave, this was clearly the first floor.

However, the card was still pulling towards the ground.
So our destination really was the underground.

“The stairs to the underground are over there! Hurry! Hurry!”

Nekoko was just too fast…!
It was no wonder, as I’m sure she put a lot of points into speed, but I was in danger of being left behind.
She skipped multiple steps when running.

“Gar! Gar!”

Garbow would also not be able to keep up with Nekoko unless Ocean Sphere was activated.
But considering the cooldown time, I decided to save it.
It was just a feeling, but I didn’t think we would be able to just reach the exit and leave immediately.

“We arrived! But now the card is being pulled to the side…”

As this mirror world was a giant mansion, the basement was also huge…
And so we followed the direction that the card was leading.
There was no need to go on a detour and look for treasure.
Because all of the doors here were locked.
If our pursuers followed us down here, there would be nowhere to hide…

“Ah! It’s here! This door opens!”

As Nekoko slowly opened the door, I stood behind her and raised my bow.
…But nothing attacked us. Maybe we would be able to just leave?
We entered the room and closed the door.
I heard footsteps coming from outside… So our pursuers hadn’t given up.

“A mirror. There’s a huge mirror here.”

It looked like we were in a storage room, and it was very dusty.
However, there was a single full-length mirror that was a head taller than me and was squeaky clean.
If a mirror brought us here, then perhaps a mirror would take us out.
A fitting, happy ending if you ask me… Is what I thought, but then I saw two shadows standing in front of us.

The shadows were of…me and Nekoko.
So these shadows were this world’s boss.

“Sky Tear!”

I…shot Nekoko’s shadow.
If she could turn invisible while running, I would take her down before she could run.
That was all.

“Oh? So you do know what you’re doing, old man!”

Nekoko was slashing at the neck of my shadow.
As if to recreate a certain past scene.

“I’ve done it before, so it’s easy. Haa… If only I could defeat that invincible woman with such ease…”

She was still going on about that.
I was both exasperated and amused as I smiled. And then, the great mirror began to shine.
And just like that, our vision became completely white.

◆ ◆ ◆

When my vision returned to normal, we were back in the Mirrorstone Cave.
As for the Mirror Ghost that was the reason we had gotten lost in the mirror world, it floated in the air as if to confirm that we had returned, and then it vanished.
So it was more of a gimmick than an enemy monster.
A device to take players to the mirror world after they finished exploring the cave, and an exit when they returned.

“Phew… Being chased by that invincible woman… I thought it was going to be a lot of effort for nothing, but it seems like it wasn’t the case!”

Nekoko had opened her status window and was looking through it.
People who were used to games would always check their status and items when something happened.
In my case, I was just satisfied with clearing an event or quest, and often didn’t check the rewards until later.
Well, that was my style, and I was fine with it.

“Yes! I have a new Grow Card…! Uh, but why is it a Bloody Mary card!?”

It was normal to get cards that were related to their location, but in her case, it wasn’t very desirable.
As for me…

“I got a Grow Card as well. Uhh… Mirror Alice Reflection.”

The card had two blonde girls depicted on it.
I immediately checked to see what effect they had.

◆ Mirror Alice Reflection
Creates a clone of the player.
You can order it to move or perform simple actions, but it has no attack ability.
Disappears upon taking damage or when you create a new clone.

Th-this is a decoy skill…!
You would look like a real professional if you could use this kind of skill.
And since I was a sniper who would normally want to hide his location, I could make good use of it.
I’ll equip and test it right away then.

“Decoy. Come out!”

And then a clone that looked just like me appeared.
The face and equipment were modeled after you on the moment you activated the skill.
So if you changed your equipment afterward, it would not be reflected on the decoy.

As for actions, it could aim with the bow, raise both arms, wave its hand, crouch, etcetera. It was very simple stuff.
You could also make it walk or dash, but it would get stuck on obstacles.
And it could not do anything so complicated as move out of the way.

Hmmm. Now that I thought about it…using a decoy might be a bad idea for me.
For better or worse, too many people knew my face.
So if I let my decoy walk around, people will know that I am in the area, and will be on their guard for ranged attacks.
Currently, the best way to use it would be…to confuse the enemy only once I’ve been discovered.
It could be effective if I made it run in the opposite direction that I wanted to run away in.

Heh…hehehe…

It wasn’t the sound of Alice laughing…
It was Nekoko.

“You’re looking at the effects of your new equipment right in front of me. Aren’t you afraid of being exposed?”

“Well, I was just too curious.”

“It’s not a bad trait. And I admire players that stubbornly persist in their playstyle… You remind me of this older lady who I respect so much. I guess you really are a ‘gamer.’”

“A gamer… I never really thought about it.”

But considering how much I had been playing after quitting my job, society would likely call me a gamer.
Or perhaps they would call me something much worse…
As grim thoughts entered my mind, I received something from Nekoko.

“A friend request…?”

“Just so you don’t misunderstand me, this doesn’t mean we’re going to be buddies and form a party. If anything, it’s a…a suggestion that might help us continue to be free and stick to our styles…”

Hmm…I don’t understand.
But it sounded nice enough.
And so I would react accordingly.

“I’m listening…”

I said in a low, hard-boiled voice… But she ignored me.
Well, perhaps it wasn’t surprising, given her age…
And so I decided to listen to her normally.

Next Chapter

Shatei Kyokufuri Yumi-Ojisan

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