Data.77 – Old Bowman, Child of the Clouds
The next day, I logged in like always and warped to the sky town.
This was to find out if the Magic Fish Fossil from the Pisces trial could be used as some kind of material.
I didn’t see Satomi in the town.
He was either out exploring the mountains or he had logged out or gone some place else…
Well, players were constantly moving around busily.
And so I didn’t think much about it as I entered Mister Yu’s workshop.
If you wanted to know how to use a certain material, you just needed to ask the heavenly maiden at the front desk.
If it could be used for something, then a window would open up.
As for the Magic Fish Fossil…it had quite a lot of uses.
Apparently, it was used to craft equipment that was based on fish.
But none of them seemed particularly good…
As I scrolled through the page, the category changed from player equipment to Unison equipment.
Perhaps it would be good to create something new for Garbow.
While all of Garbow’s equipment slots were currently full, ‘Seabow Arts – Form 7’ had not been getting much use.
As the area around Garbow was sea once he activated Ocean Sphere, activating a sea exclusive art was not really a problem. However, the actual sphere was quite small.
The Form 2 Jellyfish floated inside of the sphere of water, which worked well because it poisoned any enemies that got too close to Ocean Sphere, but the others were all just normal ranged attacks, meaning they disappeared once they left the water.
This would be fine in close quarters combat, but in that case, the charge type skills and firing skills like Red Flash would be more than enough.
And so I wanted to find something completely different and equip it.
Something to increase Garbow’s movement patterns that wasn’t an attack.
Once I decided on this, I narrowed down the list to items that could be equipped by a fish and machine type Unison.
And I quickly found what I wanted.
It wasn’t something especially rare, but to us, it was perhaps even more valuable than any rare equipment out there.
And so I asked the heavenly maiden to craft it.
While waiting for its completion, I went around the sky town and bought recovery items and enjoyed the view from high places.
And then I returned to the workshop just as it was finished.
It was called, ‘Garra Rufa Pod’!
The name sounded more like some kind of spell than equipment.
However, one look at the weapon skills would tell you what it was used for.
◆ Garra Rufa Pod
Type: Fish Unison
Magic Attack: 40
Weapon Skill: Doctor Fish
Unleashes a pod that contains a magic fish with healing abilities. Replenishes target’s HP.
Yes, this equipment had a healing skill.
Up until now, I had been relying on healing items during combat, but while I could heal myself and Garbow, Garbow could not heal me.
But now, if there was ever a time where I couldn’t do it, I could rely on Garbow to do the healing.
Furthermore, Garbow would now be able to heal himself, which meant he would be able to fight on his own for much longer.
There will be less instances of him fighting at a distance and coming back all messed up.
Of course, there were some concerns.
First was that the amount of HP recovery depended on your magic magic attack status.
And with Garbow, magic attack and defense had been ignored in favor of attack and speed.
So the amount of HP recovery would not be high. However, my own HP was quite low to begin with, so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
That being said, taking time to heal meant taking away time from attacking.
Though, since it was a skill and not a charge attack, you could use it repeatedly.
Well, as long as your MP lasted, anyway.
I wanted Garbow to be a well-rounded Unison, but he was the best at attacking due to his stats.
So healing stuff was more like insurance, and so I would continue to have him prioritize attacking.
If I changed his order to be more balanced, he would probably just start using support skills and charge into the enemy less.
That was because Garbow could do so much more now.
Anyway, it was time to check Garbow’s status after equipping the Garra Rufa Pod.
Also, a Garra Rufa was the real name of a doctor fish.
They were known to eat dead skin off of people, but I had never experienced it.
◆ Unison Status
Magic Attack: 110(+40)
Magic Defense: 80
Poison Residence V, Machine Body
Straight Darts, Red Flash
Holy Splash, Caltrop
Energy Shield, Magic Jamming
◆ Charge Attack
Red Meteor, Ocean Sphere
◆ Combination Charge Attack
I: Suckfish Shooter
II: E Generator
III: Expansion Energy Tank
IV: Missile Pod
V: Garra Rufa Pod
And I equipped Seabow Arts Form 7 on myself.
Because there were quite a lot of occasions in this game where I had to do something with water.
It had been the case in the cloud sea as well. Garbow was strong in the water.
And so I equipped the Seabow Art Form 7 as a kind of lucky charm, as I would be the one whose main skill would be sealed in the water.
Now, I would be fine even if there was a trial where I was suddenly pushing into the sea…!
“Alright, time to go to my next destination.”
I had done what I came to do here, and I knew what to do next.
I would take on the Aries labyrinth, as it was the closest to the Pisces one.
While fishing, I had learned that it wasn’t a combat trial.
A player had been muttering next to me, saying that maybe they should do that one first, since the Pisces one was proving to be difficult.
But I had been so focused on my fishing that I didn’t really remember any details. I just knew that it was ‘against other players, but it was not combat.’
That was the one thing I knew.
Also there was something about sheeps and racing…
Well, I would have to go and find out.
◆ ◆ ◆
Ultimately, it was just as the information suggested.
It was against other players but not in combat. And there were sheeps and racing…it had all of that.
However, it wasn’t exactly what I had imagined.
First, there weren’t as many players here compared to the other trials.
And these players were staring at something intently…it was a huge electric billboard.
On the screen, you could see players riding on flying sheep as they raced through the sky.
“Oh, here they come!”
As the players pointed, a group of sheep flying at a great speed appeared in the sky.
They flew low, barely staying off of the ground, and then disappeared into the forest.
‘This trial is the Cloud Sheep Race! You will ride on the backs of the sheep-type monsters known as Cloud Sheep, that are fluffy like clouds. And then race through the sky, mountains and forests-nyon!’
Here, Charin was dressed like a pit babe.
It was the exact opposite of the more manly fisherman style, and showed a generous amount of her curvaceous form.
The only thing that was related to sheep were the patterns on her clothes and the horns on her head.
The horns were quite long and curled.
And so you could at least tell that she was the Aries Charin at a glance.
‘Up to 12 people can participate in one race! They will take place in a separate dimension, so don’t worry about things getting crowded-nyon! You will receive a medal if you are in the top 6! And people in the top 3 will receive a special reward-nyon!’
So that’s why there were fewer people here.
Upon hearing her explain further, I learned that if you did well in the race, you could acquire a rating based on points that built up.
The group of sheep riders we had seen earlier were the top 12 in the ratings.
They alone had the special privilege of being able to race on the field that we usually explored.
That was the only real bonus to the rating, but people like to draw attention, and so there were players who had become obsessed with the races and forgot all about the other trials.
I would be satisfied as long as I got the special reward, but I was a little worried about having to race against other players.
I had a decent amount of experience with racing games, but not in VR.
Though, it did seem fun to be able to experience such speed without the fear of injury… That was about all I could say.
Still, a lot of these really did have anything to do with how you normally played NSO.
Management would want to attract new players, and so this event was probably created as something they could enjoy.
But in a VR race, all of the equipment and levels I had gained meant nothing.
Depending on the situation, a total newcomer might beat a veteran.
That would be quite fun and a reason to continue playing the game.
Though, the veteran would not find it amusing at all…
Well, I would still try to enter the races.
“I will enter the race!”
I said. And the words ‘matching’ appeared in front of me. Now I just had to wait.
To be honest, I was quite excited to experience a VR race for the first time…!
I would stop thinking about medals and rewards for once.
The whole point of games was to have fun.
It didn’t matter if it was a race or fishing.
–Beep! Matching complete!
Now, the race will begin…
—Choose your Cloud Sheep!
There was a row of interesting looking sheep in front of me.
But not only were they different in appearance, but also ability…!?
“This is…surprisingly deep.”
With limited time, I began the process of selecting my Cloud Sheep for the race.
And then it hit me.
I…sure rode on clouds a lot…