Shatei Kyokufuri – 102

Data.95 – Old Bowman, Season of Scorching Heat

I went through the dungeon, defeated the boss, and had a flower bloom on my head.
So, how do I get back… As I wondered this, a warp circle appeared in the center of the boss floor.
Management was merciful, and so you could return in a second.
And so I stepped on the warp panel gratefully, and returned to the central floor.

Next was the green Summer door. But there was one problem.
As I had used the combination charge attack, Garbow was currently in cool down.
While I should be fine in the dungeon even if I was alone, I was a little worried about facing a boss without Garbow.

The Spring dungeon’s boss was one of the four horsemen from Revelations, so it would make sense for the other three to be the same as well. Like war, famine, and death.
In terms of combat ability, they sounded like they would be stronger.

Not only that, but I had to protect the flower on my head, which would make Garbow even more important as an advance guard.
That being said, I didn’t like the idea of waiting on the central floor for a full hour either…
1 hour was nothing when you were absorbed in a game, but 1 hour of doing nothing was painful.

It would be reckless to take on the boss without Garbow. But I couldn’t wait an hour.
Then, maybe I should just tackle the dungeon first?
I would still be relatively safe, and didn’t have to waste time.

As this was similar to a roguelike, the paths were mapped automatically.
If I mapped out the routes to each boss room, then I could smoothly take on the bosses once Garbow returned.
This seemed like a brilliant idea!

I had planned to clear them in the proper order, but something unexpected had happened.
However, being able to adapt to different situations was the mature way to play games.
Though, I didn’t really like when that was expected of me at work. I wasn’t always able to adapt to surprises…
Ah, but I was doing pretty well in this game so far, and it has been full of surprises.
NSO was strengthening me in a way.

It was with such thoughts that I opened the Summer door.

◆ ◆ ◆

“Ah, it’s hot…”

It was the Summer dungeon, after all…
It reminded me of that summer day…
No, I have honestly never experienced a day that was this hot…
Even if it is VR, I would rather avoid unrealistic experiences in this vein.

However, realizing that the sweat wasn’t real made it less uncomfortable.

On the other hand, there was one thing here that I couldn’t stand, even though I knew that I was just in a game…

Miiiin-min-min-miiin! Miiin-min-min-miiin!

The sound of the cicadas was so loud!
In the first place, I hated the bugs due to how disgusting they looked. But they became unbearable when you added all the noise.
And I had a feeling that they weren’t even this loud in real life.
I didn’t know what it was like in the past, but these days, they are also able to control the number of bugs through technology.

Leaving that aside, the concept for this dungeon seemed to be an exaggerated summer.
Now that I think about it, there had been an excessive amount of cherry blossom petals in the previous one, which made it like an exaggerated spring.
However, more petals than usual was just pretty. It didn’t bother me.
Well, it would suck for whoever had to clean it up in real life, but it was nothing but a picturesque scene within a game.

But this exaggerated summer meant blistering heat, loud cicadas, and…giant bug monsters!

“Ca-calm down…! They won’t come to you as long as you move slowly…!”

I wouldn’t have minded rhinoceros beetles and the like. But these monsters were based on bees and centipedes…!
While their designs were stylized, the instinctive fears were still awakened…!
I had to search for enemies with every step. And eliminate them on sight.
Search and destroy…!

But the bug monsters were quick. It seemed like they had 2 actions while I only had 1.
And there were so many of them. If I didn’t deal with them quickly, I would get surrounded.
I didn’t want to think about getting killed in a swarm of bugs…!
In any case, I couldn’t move without thinking.
With every action, I had to pause and think of what was the best move to take next.

One step, one step, attack, attack, one step, one step, warp panel…

To be honest, the enemies were actually quite weak.
Most of them would go down in one hit if I used an arrow skill.
However, I just really hated bugs.
And Garbow, who usually fought in the front or protected my back, wasn’t here.
And then there was a flower on my head that I had to protect…
All of these elements were making me more nervous.

Especially the flower on my head.
Normally, I never wore anything on top of it.
And that little discomfort was surprisingly big in terms of wrecking my focus.

Having to protect meant that I was always on edge.
I had almost never been hit in the head during my adventures up until now, so I only needed to carry on as I always did. But the added pressure made me overthink it.
Thanks to this, by the time I found the warp panel for the boss floor, a lot of time had passed.
Twenty, thirty minutes… No, it might have been closer to forty minutes.

I opened my status window to see how much longer Garbow’s cooldown would last.
…I could summon him already.
In other words, it had taken over one hour to finish this short dungeon…!
I would never forgive those damned bug monsters…!
Still, while it had taken a long time, the sense of relief at having gotten through safely was still stronger.

“Alright, let’s go, Garbow.”

“Gar! Gar!”

I summoned him again and then warped to the boss floor.
It was a grassy field where the even sun shone down with fiery red light.
The heat wasn’t so bad here, and there was even a cool breeze.
The cicadas were still loud, but there was something melancholic about a summer evening.

And in the far back, there was a tree with vibrant green leaves.
Below it, was a knight astride a red horse. And he was carrying a greatsword.
The Red Rider… So he was one of the four horsemen after all.
I felt a mixture of awe and fear. But it was still easier for me to fight someone like this than those bugs.
Those things could damage you mentally by just existing…!

“Letter Arrow!”

◆ Red Rider
Attribute: Angel/Fire
Skill: War Flame Sword, Red Apocalypse
Description:
One of the four horsemen from Revelations that appear at the end of the world.
As the second horseman, the Red Rider is the lord of ‘war.’
The great sword that has the power of fire boasts tremendous force and range in its attacks.

I just glanced through it while preparing for the enemy’s attack.
I would not make the same mistake as last time.
I would use a skill to cancel out its attack!

The Red Rider swung its great sword through the air.
A blade of fire stretched out from it and flew towards us.

“Gar! Gar!”

Garbow activated Holy Splash.
The holy water extinguished the fire blade.
Wide area attacks seemed like they would be difficult to deal with, but they were actually more manageable than high power attacks that were focused on a single spot.
You just need to erase them where you were standing.

“Trident Sky Tear!”

I had been using Burning Arrow a lot, but since it had the fire attribute, I decided to combine Trident Arrow, which I acquired at sea, and Sky Tear.
The highspeed arrow shot through the Red Rider’s head, but it was not enough to take it down.
This was the knight of war. It wouldn’t die that easily.

The Red Rider started its next attack.
He created a giant ball of fire and threw it at us.
Was this Red Apocalypse?
I had a feeling that something insane would happen if it exploded…!

“Garbow! Use Ocean Sphere!”

A ball of water for a ball of fire!
The fire ball hit Garbow, who was enveloped by the sphere of sea water.
The water began to fizzle loudly as they collided. However, it was Garbow who won in the end.

“Red Meteor!”

The Red Knight was illuminated by a red setting sun as the red meteor rushed down.
So much red was bad for the eyes. However, I kept mine open and continued to attack.

“Meteor…”

Ah, no, no…!
I had gotten so carried away that I was about to use a meteor charge attack combo.
But I couldn’t allow Garbow to enter cooldown once again!

“Trident Arrow Storm!”

A trident arrow that was enveloped in a sea-like aura slammed into the red knight.
The Red Knight was a lot tougher than the White Rider, but even he could not withstand a chain of charge attacks. And so he disappeared into light.
And in his place appeared a seasonal flower. A sun flower.

I picked it up and a second flower bloomed on top of my head.
I must look really stupid now.
While I thought that maybe one flower wasn’t too bad, it would be very embarrassing to appear in front of other people with two flowers popping out of your head.
It was a good thing that this was a solo mission.

Now, it was just the Autumn and Winter dungeons.
I was getting very close to acquiring the Virgo medal!

Next Chapter

Shatei Kyokufuri Yumi-Ojisan

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