Data.64 – Old Bowman, Beast Trial
Hidden constellation? Beast Trial…?
I thought there were only 12 labyrinths that were based on the zodiac?
In the first place, what is the Lupus constellation?
‘It’s a constellation that is close to the Libra constellation-nyon! And so the labyrinth is also close-nyon!’
I see. So that was why I was able to find it while wandering off in the wrong direction when I was supposed to be heading towards the Virgo labyrinth.
I suppose walking while doing something else wasn’t always a bad idea. Except in real life. That was dangerous.
“This trial… What is it exactly?”
I had too many questions to ask, and ended up asking something vague.
‘The Lupus constellation isn’t part of the zodiac-nyon! And so this is a hidden labyrinth-nyon! It’s completely optional and there are no medals-nyon! It will have no effect on the last trial, which is a battle against me in the Serpent Palace-nyon!’
There was no Lupus medal then…
But that would have been so cool.
‘Ahh! You look so disappointed-nyon! I understand how you feel, but this is just a little bonus content-nyon. You can’t expect it to be the same as the main 12 labyrinths-nyon.’
Indeed, this area looked very plain compared to the other labyrinths.
They were pyramids and firing ranges or dungeons with a lot of detail. But there was nothing but a blackened crater where I was standing.
It really was just a small bonus.
Besides, if it so happened that one of the main labyrinths was subpar, then people would say it was because they wasted resources on this hidden one.
Why are you putting so much effort into that one…? Or they will say that the Lupus labyrinth was the ‘real’ 12th labyrinth etcetera…
Eventually, they’ll start ranking the labyrinths based on how bad they are, creating a new constellation caste system.
The ones at the bottom will be the new bullied kids at school… Well, I didn’t think there were many kids playing NSO, so I wasn’t worried there.
But things would get heated on the message boards. And the adults on those boards acted no different from children.
Well, the actual labyrinths seemed to be well-made, and I hadn’t heard of any complaints yet.
But the people making them would have no idea how they would be received while making them, and it could be difficult.
‘However! There is still a special reward-nyon! You will receive two presents that are even rarer than what you get in the normal labyrinths-nyon!’
“Two of them!?”
‘It’s to make up for the medal-nyon! You will receive one item for finishing the trial! And then another one if you fulfill certain requirements-nyon!’
So you got an item instead of a medal.
While the medals looked cool, they were just like getting a stamp in a stamp rally.
It was nice to collect them, but they didn’t do anything.
But an item was different. Even if you didn’t know what they were used for, they were in the game, which meant that they had some purpose.
If you wanted to get stronger, then a labyrinth that gave you more items was better.
“So, what kind of trial is this?”
‘I will tell you once you accept the trial-nyon! This one is very difficult-nyon. If you fail and die, you will be penalized-nyon.’
Up until now, Charin would always explain the trial to me before I accepted it.
And that allowed me to move strategically…
“I suppose you won’t tell me…how hard it is?”
‘Hmmm. You might be able to finish it-nyon. But the boss is incredibly strong… I don’t know if you’ll be able to do it in time…’
Charin muttered while glancing at me.
I suppose this was her idea of a hint.
My guess was…a survival battle with a time limit.
If she thought I could finish it, but wasn’t sure if I could defeat the boss, then beating the boss wasn’t the requirement for clearing the trial.
There would be a strong boss, and running away and surviving was enough to win. But if you did defeat the boss, then you got a reward.
Obviously, in this case, failure would mean death, and so there would be a penalty.
“Well, I was lucky enough to find this hidden labyrinth, and it would be against my principles to run away without trying. Besides, this is a long event. I don’t mind getting the penalty at least once. I’ll accept this Beast Trial. Is that alright?”
‘Of course-nyon! I was just giving you a warning. We actually want you to play this shoddy…slightly simpler trial-nyon! Now, you will be warped to the place!’
In the previous trials, we might have entered dungeons, but there was no warping…
As I thought of such things, I was warped away to a huge grassy field.
I had plenty of experience fighting in grass fields, but the atmosphere here was different from usual.
I don’t know. It sort of felt like a place where two samurais would fight a decisive battle as the wind blew through the grass.
The sky was covered by clouds, and lightning would occasionally strike down.
The air smelled damp…like it might rain soon.
This battlefield had a clear dangerous atmosphere, but what I noticed more than anything, was that there were numerous dogs walking around.
There were at least fifty of them close by. Were they friendly…?
‘The Lupis constellation is based on Lycaon, who earned the wrath of the omniscient and omnipotent Zeus, and was turned into a wolf-nyon. Though, there are also stories that say his family was destroyed and that Lycaon was turned into a wolf as he tried to escape-nyon.’
“Huh… I didn’t know that.”
Mythology was very useful when making games.
You could almost say that they were indispensable.
Just thinking about the number of characters that have been made who were based on gods and historical figures…
One must always be thankful to those who came before.
If you were respectful, then they might even forgive you for turning them into girls… Maybe.
‘I only know because I looked it up for this event-nyon. There are so many myths and it’s all so complicated-nyon!’
“I agree whole-heartedly.”
‘Now! You have earned the wrath of Zeus and have been turned into a wolf, and he is trying to kill you-nyon!’
“That’s a lot of suffering…”
As I mused on this, my head started to feel itchy.
And when I touched it…there were dog ears there!?
My arms and legs…good. They are the same.
Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to use my bow.
Though a gorilla’s were fine, as they were more dexterous…
‘You will now fight against Zeus-nyon! And you will pass the trial if you can survive for 15 minutes! Defeat Zeus, and you will receive a special reward-nyon! While the difficulty is adjusted for solo players, it still won’t be an easy battle-nyon!’
I had been expecting a strong enemy, but not the greatest god with the power to control lightning…
I guess the burnt crater was supposed to be where the lightning had crashed.
While it seemed lazy, it was actually a hint as to what the trial would be like.
I had fought against a monster called Poseidon, and it had also been very strong.
And so while this one had been made weaker for solo players, it was still an enemy where I had to consider the fact that I would likely die…
‘By the way, the dogs were put here to represent Lycaon’s 50 children, even though he was the only one who was turned into a wolf-nyon! They misinterpreted it! But it’s such mistakes that increase the scope of myths as they get passed on-nyon!’
You often hear about how new and mysterious monsters are born through misunderstandings.
A lot of people didn’t care too much about facts.
‘In any case! These dogs are your friends-nyon! They will fight on their own, so you can use them as decoys! Now, let the Beast Trial begin!’
As Charin disappeared, the ground started to shake so much that I was thrown into the air.
I immediately learned what had caused it.
A giant god had come down from the sky.
“Uh…this might be too big…”
He was so big that I couldn’t see his face, as the clouds were covering it.
How was I supposed to defeat that… By myself, in 15 minutes…!
That’s right. I had Garbow with me.
I wasn’t alone. And there were the dogs…
Bark! Bark! Bark!
The dogs started to run towards Zeus’s feet.
He was so big that it was the only part of him they could attack.
But this was a god. And those feet wouldn’t stay still.
One after another, the dogs were kicked into the air before disappearing.
So this is where people use the word ‘stunned.’
I was a little wiser now.
Yes. Gar was with me
But he was a fish and a machine. Surely he wouldn’t like electricity…
“…Are you alright? Can you beat it?”
Garbow could not talk. And Charin would not give me any more advice.
And so I had to answer the question myself.
…Can we do it?
With renewed motivation, I drew my bow at the god.