Shatei Kyokufuri – 130

Data.122 – Old Bowman, Serpent Tunnel

“Still, that kappa sure was cute! I once tried to catch a kappa by attaching a cucumber to a fishing rod and hanging it over a lake!”

“That’s…amazing.”

Anne’s stories were amazing in more ways than one. And so I listened to her as we made our way to the 3rd terror spot, the Snake and Scorpion Tunnel.
There were considerably fewer player killers now.
If you had not unlocked fast travel, then you would not be able to return to the Ghost Float after dying, and even if you could, you would be weakened as part of the penalty, so they had no chance of beating us.
So the more we killed, the safer we could travel.
That meant we could concentrate on preparing for the terror ahead.

Just a short while ago, a ‘road’ had appeared at my feet.
It was a concrete road that cars would drive over.
And it was connected to the tunnel up ahead.

The Snake and Scorpion Tunnel… That was carved above the entrance. It was wider than I was expecting, and looked quite modern.
The one that I had been imagining was just wide enough for a single car to go through, and was old and no longer in use. And so this was a little surprising.
There were even white lines still visible on the road.
And so I could tell that there were two lanes.

The inside was illuminated with orange light.
It reflected on the dirty concrete walls, creating an atmosphere of danger.
While it was more modern than I expected, it wasn’t a new tunnel.
These days, the walls and lights are white.

And as I expected, we could not see the other side of the tunnel from the entrance.
Pitch black darkness stretched out ahead.
This tunnel…was very long.
So, where was the stamp, anyway?
Surely there were players who entered from the other side as well? So was the stamp in the middle?

I had other questions, but there was nothing to do but go on ahead now.
That was NSO. Just keep going and you will find the answer.

“Hehe… Even though I know that it’s just a game, these kinds of tunnels are so exciting! Because you don’t see places like these very much these days! They don’t even exist in the cities!”

“Around the time that these full dive VR games entered the market, the whole country began redevelopment. Well, even if that wasn’t the case, I wouldn’t go anywhere near a place like this… But you’re perfectly fine, Anne?”

“Yes! I like dark and cramped places!”

She was brave and didn’t fear anything…
I couldn’t wait to get away from this tunnel.
First of all, it felt odd, walking in the middle of the road.
Perhaps it was because it was so realistic, but it felt like we were doing something wrong…

Also, I wondered if cars would appear behind us.
Surely there wouldn’t be any cars in NSO. But I couldn’t help but look behind me every now and then.
…But nothing appeared.
Not just cars, but monsters as well.
Goooo… It was just the wind rushing through the tunnel.

However, once we were about 200 meters in, the air suddenly changed, and the entrance to the tunnel looked like it was far away.
The entrance then closed up, and the lights began to flicker…
This was likely similar to the mansion. We had entered a separate area…!

Anne and I stood back to back and waited for the enemy to appear.
The enemy came…from the direction of the entrance.
It was a black giant snake that slithered towards us from the shadows…!
It looked a lot like the lizards I had fought in the Windcloud hidden settlement.
In the blackness, two red eyes glowed ominously.

“Explosive Sky Tear!”

The unleashed arrow slammed into a red eye.
The snake let out an angry hiss, and stopped moving for a few seconds, but then it started to slither towards us again.
Its eye was already healed…!
I couldn’t see an HP gauge, so it must be a special enemy!

“Anne! This…might be one of those invincible enemies!”

“What!? What should we do!?”

“For now…we should run!”

Enemies that you could do nothing but run away from. They were the kind I hated the most…!
Not only that, but this one was quite fast!
I hadn’t experienced anything like this since meeting the Bloody Mary in the mirror world.
How had I managed to escape back then…

“Spider Shooter Cloud! Gatling Web Cloud Arrow!”

I kept shooting the sticky nets.
It should be a good combination with a snake that slithered on the ground…!
However, when the black snake touched the net, it began to burn and then disappear.
Was the black fog around it actually fire…!?
Let me check…

“Letter Arrow!”

Shhaaaa!!

This time it unleashed a black breath.
And Letter Arrow burned up before it could reach it.
The arrow had a special effect if it could hit its target, but it dealt no damage at all.
And so it could be easily erased with another skill.
This really wasn’t an enemy that you could fight without thinking…

“Gatling Letter Arrow!”

Shaaaaaa!!

Hmm. While there were more arrows, it didn’t matter if they had no attack ability.
I needed to think harder.
Besides, there wasn’t much time left. The snake was getting closer!

“Saint Cross Star!”

The seven iron balls that Anne unleashed went through the black breath and smashed into the snake.
The snake staggered, giving us a big opening.
So the more damage you did, the bigger the opening.
It was big and had great healing ability, so I couldn’t deal much damage with Explosive Sky Tear, as it wasn’t a wide area attack, but Anne’s charge attacks were not only effective against devils and ghosts, but were already very powerful.

“Thanks, Anne!”

“Not at all! While I may have power and durability, my speed is lackluster, and so I have to slow down the snake, or I’d be in trouble!”

As she wore armor and wielded a heavy iron ball, her moving speed was slow.
In the first place, my archer job was built for speed, and I was wearing the Windcloud set, which allowed me to move lightly and freely like the clouds.
So there was bound to be a big difference if we ran side by side.

“Mr. Kyuji! Could you pick me up and fly, like you did at the mansion!?”

“I see! That’s a great idea!”

While the snake was still staggered, I picked up Anne and dismissed Garbow.

“I’m Arrow!”

I flew straight through the tunnel!
As always, my vision spun around me, and I couldn’t tell what was going on. But as long as we were moving towards the right direction, that was fine.

Rip…riiiip…!

What…?
The sound of something being ripped…
And then I felt something hitting my body.
However, I’m Arrow couldn’t be canceled after being activated, and we were still moving just fine…

Gan…! Kiiii…!!

We had hit something that was too hard to break…!
And with a loud clang, I’m Arrow’s momentum began to weaken.

“…Woah!”

The effect was deactivated, and I could see again.
What we had hit…was the wall of the tunnel.
We were not able to turn a corner and crashed into the wall. So that’s what that sound was from…

I suppose because it was a tunnel with snakes, it had to curve a lot.
There would be so many accidents if cars drove through here.
That meant that even when the cool down was finished, I may not be able to use I’m Arrow again…

Shhhhaaaa…

I could hear the distant hissing.
While we were far away now, it would catch up soon enough if we stayed still.

“Anne, let’s go!”

“Yes! Ah…!”

Numerous black hands stretched out of the ground.
So that’s what had ripped when we were flying…!
I had heard stories about people driving through mysterious tunnels, only to see unfamiliar handprints on their car after coming out the other side. But it seemed like these hands would do more than that…
Besides, the arms were rather…muscular…!

“I’ll open a path! You just concentrate on running!”

“Understood!”

I had just acquired a skill that was perfect for this situation.
Up until now, I had to rely on charge attacks for wide area attacks.
However, with this…

“Demonbane Attack Blade!”

It was the 2nd Exorcism Bow Arts. Two arrows were unleashed, and there was a glowing thread between them.
This tight thread was what acted as a sharp blade.
While there were limits, if the two arrows were far apart and at the right angle, you could create a very large blade.

And so the dark hands were sliced up and then disappeared.
It really was a demon killing blade…and very powerful!
Instead of being a singular point, it was a line. And that should be useful in future fights!

“Let’s go before we’re swallowed up by the darkness…!”

As the hissing sounds of the snake echoed behind us, we started to run.

Next Chapter

Shatei Kyokufuri Yumi-Ojisan

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