Data.111 – Old Bowman, Night Field
“It’s completely dark now…”
The sun in the world of NSO had sunk.
Only the light of the moon and stars illuminated the area around…
Ever since that morning after the final battle, where I had fallen into a deep sleep after becoming more tired than usual, my daily rhythm shifted slightly.
I wouldn’t say that day and night had been reversed.
However, I did wake up later than I did while I was still working, and I also went to bed at a later time.
It was probably not a good thing, from a health perspective, however, the desire to play the game was stronger than the desire to sleep.
Even if I used an alarm clock like I used to, I would always just fall right back to sleep.
Similarly, I would have trouble falling asleep if I tried to go to bed early.
I meant to fix it if it got any worse, but I suppose this much of a shift was not really a problem.
After all, thanks to this shift, I would likely be able to see parts of NSO that I had not seen before.
Such as…the night.
I had always logged in during the morning and logged out at night, and so I didn’t know what NSO was like at night.
There was information out there about how monsters were stronger and appeared in larger numbers at night, but I had never experienced it.
After all, the shadows of night were the mortal enemy of archers.
Apparently, I had a knack for using bows. And so I didn’t have much trouble with shooting enemies that I could see.
However, when it came to shooting enemies that lurked in the dark…that was another matter.
I didn’t have eyes that could see through the dark like some nocturnal animal, or supersonic waves that told me the location of something, like a bat.
Not being able to see far meant that my Range was useless.
You couldn’t shoot what you couldn’t see.
And so I had been avoiding the night.
Also, while it was a little embarrassing, I just did not like the darkness.
I didn’t even like the night in the real world.
Seeing the darkness just made me feel depressed.
That’s why I didn’t like horror games…
I did like looking in the dark setting or backstories, but when it came to actually playing it…
Just knowing that I would see something horrifying if I continued was enough to kill my motivation…
So, the night just wasn’t a good fit for me or the way I fought.
Then why was I currently in the middle of a dark field at night?
…It was all a mistake.
While I had finished it, the zodiac event was still continuing.
More people were taking on the final boss now. The difficulty had dropped, and multiple parties could now fight simultaneously. However, the number of winners was still low.
Even now…it felt surprising that we had made it.
Who knows what would happen if we fought again.
It had been a really close call…
No, nevermind that.
It wasn’t the time to think of such things.
I had taken Charin’s advice and decided to run through the fields and search for the hidden labyrinths.
However, this was no easy task.
And so I thought that they must be in a more hidden location, and so I entered a cave that I found by accident.
The result was…nothing.
It was a long cave, but there was nothing inside.
In online games, they sometimes created maps that would be used for events or quests in the future.
And so it probably meant that the cave would be used for something eventually.
But as there were normal monsters inside, it ended up taking a long time to get through… It was with such thoughts that I stepped out of the cave, only to see that the sky was dark.
Not only that, but unluckily, this was an area where I hadn’t gotten the map yet, so it was all black.
And so I didn’t know how to get to the main roads, which were relatively safe, even during the night.
And since you could only fast travel from town to town, I could not warp out of the field.
So, what should I do…
If I wanted to log out, I should search for the road, which would hopefully lead me to a village.
While villages only had the bare minimum facilities, it was possible to log out and fast travel to a town.
On the other hand, you couldn’t warp to a village from a town, but villages were really just a small relief measure that allowed players far away from a town to heal, buy items and log out.
It wasn’t actually impossible to log out when not in a town.
However, if you did, your body would remain there without a conscious, so would likely become prey to some monster.
But I had only just repaired my equipment after the Charin fight, and so that wasn’t an option for me.
And so I would try and find a village while relying on my memory.
I heard the growl of a beast.
Multiple beasts. And they weren’t too far away.
While Garbow lived in the deep sea, he did not have night vision abilities.
So it was no wonder that he didn’t let out his usual hostile cry.
It was a good thing that I had bought a torch, just in case.
An expensive torch that was known for being extra bright!
And so I took it out of the item box and selected ‘Use.’
And then a flame that almost looked white began to burn up.
It seemed so much hotter than the torch I used during the trials…!
And it was also a lot brighter!
That’s when I saw the wolves.
The black fur and the glimmering red eyes… The bodies were large and muscular.
It was like their eyes were telling me that they were stronger than the wolves that appeared during the day.
“Let’s go, Garbow.”
With Garbow in front of me, I fought with my back facing the cave.
While monsters had been in the cave as well, I had killed most of them. So they shouldn’t appear for a while.
As my back was safe, I just had to focus on what was in front of me.
As a solo player, I could not allow myself to be attacked from all sides.
The arrows were unleashed one after another.
I had stabbed the ground with the torch.
If I could see the enemy, the rest was easy.
While the enemy was fast, they weren’t nearly as fast as Charin.
But, these guys are tough…!
They wouldn’t go down in one hit, even if I shot them in the head.
Wolves were supposed to be fast, but have weak defense.
So this was how different night monsters were…!
“You can’t walk out here half-heartedly.”
I finally killed all of them and caught my breath.
While I wouldn’t lose, had I been fighting in a less ideal place, I would have had a difficult time.
And if they were a bear or gorilla type monsters… Well, while the thought was scary, I actually wanted to fight them. Was I becoming obsessed with fighting?
In any case, for now, I would just try and reach a village.
I needed to be prepared if I was going to go hunting.
Like I said before, going out half-heartedly could have disastrous results.
“Ah, I can’t forget the torch in the ground!”
I had thought that it was strangely bright, and realized that I had forgotten to put away the torch.
As it was expensive, it would be a big waste to only use it once and then lose it.
It was still bright, even after putting the torch away.
There was a light in the sky…
I had no words.
There was an airship flying overhead.
I could see vague, glowing figures in the craft that flew with a patchwork envelope filled with gas, like some kind of ghost ship…
A ghost airship…!