Data.79 – Old Bowman, at Full Speed
I read the descriptions for all of the sheep, and used all of them in a race.
It is difficult to describe features fully in a game.
And so there would be times when the description is not at all like what you experience when using them yourself.
The sheep were the same, and I knew that actually controlling them would allow me to understand their strengths and weaknesses.
As there were eight sheep, that meant running eight races.
To be honest, the idea that I would clear the trial before riding all of them…was definitely in the corner of my mind.
However, that did not happen.
While there would be beginners like me in the races, there were a surprisingly large number of players who had been racing for a while.
Though, the fact that they got matched with me suggested that their rating hadn’t gone up much at all. But they were still fast compared to the beginner players who barely knew what they were doing.
They were more than enough to raise the hurdle for completion.
In any case, I had memorised the features of each sheep.
They were all unique, so once you got used to controlling one, it became uncomfortable to move onto the next.
I definitely thought that it was best to stick to one sheep and practice.
After riding them, the one I thought was the most difficult was the Bomb-bomb Sheep.
Charge Attack: Superbound
Disturbance Resistance: High
Characteristics: Slow but sturdy
The skill involves shooting exploding balls of wool, while the charge attack blows away rivals that you touch. You will recover quickly even after being hit.
It had orange fur and a round body.
And since its disturbance resistance was high, being scratched by skills and charge attacks meant its gauge wouldn’t be affected, and it wouldn’t easily spin off course.
But if it did spin, it recovered quickly.
Its weakness was something fatal in a racing game, as it was slow speed.
If you just ran normally, you would definitely lose.
You needed to use the skill and charge attack to accelerate.
Make use of the high resistance to use the explosive wind created by your own bombs to accelerate.
The charge attack involved the wool growing so much that it turned into a rounder form.
And if it bumped into rivals in this state, they would be thrown into the air.
Depending on the direction they flew, you could knock them out of the course. But the best way to use it is to accelerate by using obstacles.
Your rivals could be blown away because they moved, but the obstacles in the course were a different matter.
Instead, you would be blown away. And you could control which direction you went in order to advance…
But this was all very difficult for me.
I was mostly just watching others and looking surprised at the creative ways they used the skills. I hadn’t been able to use the technique yet.
Besides, due to my first sheep being one built for speed, I felt stressed having to ride a slower one.
It was due to such reasons that I also did not take to the Vulcano Sheep, which was also one of the larger ones.
Skill: Fire Smoke
Charge Attack: Magma Rock
Disturbance Resistance: High
Characteristics: Good at disturbing.
Magma Rock stays on the course for a fixed amount of time. Very effective when placed on narrow roads. But as the sheep itself is wide, be wary of self-destruction.
While it did little damage, Fire Smoke robbed others of their vision, while Magma Rock hurled a meteor-like rock at your rivals up ahead, blocking their path. This was a sheep specialized in disturbing others.
That being said, there were no roads narrow enough to be completely blocked by Magma Rock.
But it did deal damage, so you would start spinning if you go close to it when trying to pass it.
Especially if you were a large sheep with a large hitbox…
And so in spite of the warning, I self-destructed.
In that case, perhaps a small sheep with better handling would work for me?
Thinking this, I tried the Ghost Sheep.
Skill: Clear Body
Charge Attack: Invincible
Disturbance Resistance: Low
Characteristics: Good at dodging.
Can dodge attacks with its small form and Clear Body. Invincible allows it to ignore some of the terrain while running.
Clear Body made the sheep invisible as long as your gauge wasn’t empty. During this time, you were immune to attacks.
Invincible was self explanatory.
The disturbances had no effect and you could even run through trees in the forest.
It would be easier to catch up with rivals if you weren’t dodging attacks.
The speed was also quite high and it was easy to handle. However, the skill and charge attack were too defensive for my liking.
As you had to decide the timing for activating Clear Body, you would have to observe the enemy and be able to read their moves.
If you can’t read it and just stay invisible, then you’d be wasting your gauge.
And running while constantly observing the enemy was hard.
Though, if you were good, then you could get through all attacks and run freely…
In that case, what about the all-rounder who could attack and defend, the Aurora Sheep?
Skill: Ice Shoot
Charge Attack: Aurora Barrier
Disturbance Resistance: Moderate
Characteristics: Balanced type.
Has Ice Shoot, which slows down enemies, and Aurora Barrier which protects you from attacks. No obvious weaknesses.
As the gauge depleted quickly, you could not use the skill many times, but Ice Shoot could slow down enemies if you could hit them.
Aurora Barrier was a barrier that covered the sheep’s back, and for a short time, reflected any skills or attacks that hit it.
It was powerful, but not effective for attacks that came from the front.
Next was the rather interesting Electro Sheep, who had caused much pain on my first race.
Charge Attack: Magnet Power
Disturbance Resistance: Moderate
Characteristics: Strong during chaotic moments
Has a skill that electrocutes those around it, and a charge attack that pulls rivals towards it. But you must be careful, as that includes people behind you.
I had experienced this effect first hand.
Spark unleashed electricity in the area and Magnet Power pulled other sheep towards you.
What surprised me after using it was that Magnet Power affected all the sheep that were in the course.
So the distance between everyone was forcefully shrunk, which made things more chaotic.
Then there was the Gun Sheep, which was about as easy to understand as the Red Star Sheep.
Charge Attack: Gatling Gun
Disturbance Resistance: Low
Characteristics: S gauge fills quickly
Overall, it’s abilities were average, but you could race aggressively. But since the damage was low, you had to be able to shoot continuously while running.
A sheep with moderate speed and low resistance might sound weak, but the fact that the S gauge filled quickly meant it didn’t have to save its skills.
Vulcan shot bullets rapidly, but the Gatling Gun was even faster.
If two damage inflicting skills collided, then the strength of the rapid fire would win and erase the other.
The sheep that stuck out the most was the Mecha Sheep.
Charge Attack: Laser Beam
Disturbance Resistance: High
Characteristics: Highly capable but difficult to handle.
Good at disturbing and also withstanding attacks. While fast, it’s bad at making sharp turns and the S gauge replenishes slowly.
Its skill was to launch a homing Missile, and Laser Beam was an odd attack that went right through the walls of light around the course and stretched straight out.
In other words, the laser could hit sheep that were way ahead on the course, and screw up the order.
I was hit by it twice.
Their high defense made them difficult to deal with, but when I used it myself, it didn’t feel too strong, which seemed to always be the case.
It was the fact that it reacted slowly to everything that made it hard to use.
Now, as for what sheep I ultimately chose… It was the Red Star Sheep.
The reason was that I could just concentrate on my own running.
At first, I had continued to ride on sheeps with powerful skills.
While racing, the thing that was the most threatening for me was attacks from my rivals. And I thought that I couldn’t win unless I attacked them as well.
However, I realized that doing this meant that I was focusing on trying to attack them to a degree that I was slowing down.
But I was attacking them in order to pass them, so there would be no point if I had to slow down.
It’s much easier to hit a target if you’re not moving.
Just like with a bow, if the enemy was already moving, it would become even harder to hit them if I started moving as well.
And so I would stop.
But that wouldn’t work in a racing game.
In that case, it would be better to just not hit at all.
And so I was determined to ride the Red Star Sheep and rush through the track…!
The signal turned green.
It was the start of the race!
This track was the same as the first one.
One of the reasons that I didn’t get bored was that there were multiple tracks.
And since I was good at this particular one, I was aiming to place 3rd at the very least…!
That being said, I wouldn’t pressure myself.
I would fill up my gauges while grabbing hay rolls and stay in course.
I would drift at curves in order to make sharp turns.
And when the road was straight, I would use Super Dash.
I would use the skill where appropriate and always keep my gauge full enough to use Dash at least once.
This was that I could accelerate and recover what I lost if I was ever hit and ended up spinning.
In the end, I would be doing the same thing even when attacked.
Turn tight to decrease the distance as much as possible and accelerate at the right spot.
Fishing was about silence, and the race was about movement.
The two trials were like the exact opposite.
However, they were both a battle with yourself.
Do not get distracted by others and follow your instincts.
I can do it…!
There were two in front of me and the sheep in the back monitor were small.
At this distance, even Laser Beam and Magnet Power would not allow them to catch up…!
We dashed towards the goal.
The two in the lead got their first, and then I charged through as well.
–You placed 3rd! Congratulations!
While it was close…I had done it!
I finished the trial!
–Here is the bronze medal! You can go to Charin and trade it in for the medal and the reward!
A bronze medal was put around my neck.
…Perhaps it was rude to think this, but compared to gold and silver, bronze didn’t really put you in a celebratory mood.
It was the result of my efforts and a wonderful thing, but when I saw the player in front of me who rejoiced over their gold…I wanted one too.
Was it during the battle royale?
When I started to think that I wouldn’t be satisfied unless I was number one…
Once everyone reached the goal, we were automatically returned to the field.
I just needed to hand Charin the bronze medal and my goal was complete…
“I want to enter the race!”
No, I wouldn’t feel like I cleared it unless I got 1st place!
I would win with my Red Star Sheep!
◆ ◆ ◆
Ultimately, I was able to get 1st place.
As I had already cleared it with the bronze medal, it felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders.
And so I was able to complete a perfect run and win before reaching the double digits in the number of races.
I shouted a little childishly.
Speed really did change people.
After returning to the field, I took pictures with the medal around my neck and even bit it when no one was looking.
Besides, I had never in my life received a gold medal.
Many other people were receiving gold medals, as it was an event, but I was still happy.
Now I was supposed to hand it over to Charin…but it was a little sad to have to part with it right away.
It won’t be coming back either. And so I wanted to hold onto it for a little longer.
I had become too absorbed, and now there were stars shining in the sky.
…I’ll keep the medal for now and log out. Then I’ll give it to her tomorrow.
It’s not like it’ll make a difference, but…
I raised the medal so that it was next to the Aries constellation in the night sky.
I had overcome another trial.
There were now five remaining…!