Shatei Kyokufuri – 59

Data.53 – Old Bowman, Capricorn Trial

The Capricorn Labyrinth was in a mountainous area with jagged cliffs.
It seemed that they were staying on theme by having the labyrinth in a place where goats would live.
However, it was very troublesome for players who had to head there.
We had to move along cliff sides that were so steep that you would plummet straight down without anything to grab on if you happened to fall off.

It was scary in a completely different way than being up in the clouds.
Both I and the other players were getting cold feet…

With a sidelong glance at such players, the goats that lived on the mountain would put their feet on the smallest protrusions in the cliff as they hopped upwards.
Well, as this was a game, they were more goat-type monsters. But wild goats were known to have similarly amazing physical ability as they climbed mountains.
Goats were often portrayed as ignorant characters, but they were quite impressive.

‘Now, now! The Capricorn Labyrinth is this way-nyon!’

A chill had run down my spine after seeing a few other players fall. But the real trial started here.
Charin was dressed like a girl from the Alps who happened to have a goat head. And behind her, we could see an ancient ruin carved into the mountain.

‘Welcome to the Capricorn Labyrinth-nyon! As it is a labyrinth, this time you will have to go through an actual dungeon-nyon!’

While the Aquarias trial had been different, this one seemed to be a traditional trial.
As for me, I preferred it this way.

‘However! This is an event dungeon! So there are several rules that set it apart from normal dungeons! The first! Is that only 2 players can enter it at a time-nyon!’

They were limiting the number of people…?
In the first place, dungeons existed in separate spaces so that each party was in a different dungeon.
And so you would not encounter other parties once inside.
One of the reasons that this system was used was to ensure that dungeons didn’t become too crowded.

But what was the point in bringing it down to just two players?
How small is this dungeon?

‘Rule 2! Every player must take one white goat with them-nyon!’

“…What?”

According to Charin’s explanation, this trial had a story.
Like the nursery songs, the white goat would eat any letters that arrived, and so we had to go directly to the black goat that lives in the dungeon in order to meet it.
Players would have to protect the white goat from danger and deliver it safely.

Leaving aside the strangeness of a goat that lives in such a place, I now understood why they limited the number of players.
The white goat was treated as a player.
Or to be more precise, they were like a guest Unison.

In this dungeon, a Unison was considered a player.
A party could be up to 4 players.
And since each player needed to escort a white goat, a party of 2 players plus 2 goats would automatically become a party of 4.

‘The trial is about bringing the white goat to the black goat. So obviously, if the white goat is killed, you fail the trial! And you will be warped out of the dungeon-nyon! But there is no penalty for failure, so you can try as many times as you want-nyon!’

No penalty…huh.
I felt like making you start from the beginning was a penalty in itself, but I didn’t say it.

Still, if Unisons were treated as players, that meant that Garbow would use up one slot.
So if I teamed up with another player, I wouldn’t be able to use Garbow, and there would be 2 goats with us.

‘By the way, the requirement for a reward is a SECRET-nyon! Well, I think you’ll figure it out when the time comes-nyon!’

Charin finished her explanation and the players started to enter the dungeon.
Apparently, you would meet your white goat once inside.
I had a bad feeling about this…

“Mehh.”

I met it as soon as I entered the dungeon.
In the first great hall where there were still no monsters. The white goat was waiting there.

“Mehh.”

It really was just an ordinary white goat…!
The kind that immediately came to mind when you thought of goats. It wasn’t an unusual foreign breed or a monster.
And now I had to protect it while making my way through the dungeon.

“Mehh.”

“…I guess I have no choice.”

I couldn’t even check the white goat’s status.
However, there was an HP gauge right above its name, which was ‘Mister White Goat.’
If that gauge went to 0, then I would fail.
And I would have to start again.

There was no point in standing around, so I started walking.
Mister White Goat had a collar with a bell that rang as it followed me.
It was pretty fast on its feet. Like it would have no trouble keeping up even if I ran at my fastest. It was probably faster than Garbow was on land.
Well, it was a goat, after all.

“Oh, enemies…”

I couldn’t keep my eyes on the white goat the whole time.
As this was an ancient ruin made of stone, the enemies seemed to be mostly Golems and other stone related creatures.
I knew a lot about Golems.
They were slow but incredibly durable and powerful.
No good for close quarters combat. And so I had Garbow focus on shooting while I used Burning Arrow to cause explosions…

Ding-ding-ding…

It was the sound of a bell.
Speaking of bells…

“M-mister White Goat…!?”

The goat was charging into the Golem!?
Why!?
Ma-maybe…it had just enough attack skills that made it react to the enemy…?

My guess was right.
In spite of looking very weak, the white goat rammed its body into the Golem.
Of course, it did no damage at all.
And then the thick, stony arm came swinging down over my white goat.

“Garbow! Red Flash! And I’ll do… Sky Tear!”

A red beam that had high piercing ability shot out from Garbow’s mouth.
I also used something with good piercing ability, Sky Tear, and shot through the Golem’s core.
It stopped moving after that. Then it turned into light and disappeared.

The white goat was fine.
No, it had lost some of its HP.
Was it a repercussion from the charge…?

These were one of the most annoying types of missions in games. ‘Protect an NPC character that you have no control over.’
They were especially common in simulation RPGs.
The NPCs were always so weak and died easily. And if not, they were so strong that they killed all the enemies, robbing you of experience and items.
On top of that, your rating would change depending on whether they survived or not. It could be really difficult.

Thankfully, this was a VRMMO RPG, and wasn’t too bad.
I had good range. And so I could usually kill enemies before the goat could even start to ram into them.
Also, I could order Garbow to stick close to the white goat.
So even if it managed to charge, Garbow could act as a shield.

This dungeon had a lot of rock-type enemies, and they tended to use physical attacks instead of magic.
And Garbow had high physical resistance, so there was no need to worry even if he was hit.

“Mehhhh!”

Bleated Mister White Goat, as if to show his enthusiasm.
That wasn’t good news for me. But he wouldn’t understand if I tried to explain.
And so I took the goat and the fish and continued my exploration of the Capricorn Labyrinth.

Next Chapter

Shatei Kyokufuri Yumi-Ojisan

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