Shatei Kyokufuri – 143

Data.135 – Old Bowman, Those That Stand On Top

Using a skill to escape was simple.
Nord was likely very much aware that I would try and use a skill to escape.
The important thing was to make an opening.
If it was three against one, I should be able to make one for a few seconds…

“Quickdraw…Bolt Net Shot!”

An electric net was unleashed at Anne and Garbow.
He had fired it while barely even moving, and it was impossible to dodge.
While Anne swung the iron ball in an attempt to cancel the attack, the electricity just traveled through the ball and chain and hit her.
Garbow also tried to destroy the net with Missile Pod, but even when scattered, the net continued to be electric, and so it touched Ocean Sphere and went through the water.

…But, I ignored all of this!

“Meteor Bow!”

“What!?”

If my opponent is strong and smart, then I should just be relentlessly stupid.
After saying that you would fight 3 vs 1, you would not usually use a combination charge attack that would mean dismissing your Unison right away.
And so…I would do just that!
And since he had just fired, I had an opening, as small as it was!

Furthermore, I would use the characteristics of the Ghost Float.
Here, the ground was soft and you could easily make holes in it.
And so while aiming at Nord with Meteor Bow, I could get rid of parts of the ground and limit his movement.
Nord wasn’t actually flying, but using the power of the wind to hover.
And so he wouldn’t be able to move as much if there was no ground for the wind to hit against.

“Blackhole Bullet!”

“What…!?”

Nord unleashed a whirl of blackness.
And the red glowing arrows from Meteor Bow started to get sucked into it…!
It really was a blackhole that even sucked up light!
Not only that, the blackhole had a strong gravitational pull.
So I could feel it pulling my body, which made it difficult to move…!

However, it seemed to be the same for Nord as well.
He wasn’t moving, and he didn’t shoot.
So the blackhole sucked in everything equally.

“Anne! Can you move?”

“While I still feel numb, I should be able to manage…”

“Alright. Open a big hole in the ground. Over here!”

“What!? I thought you were going to do it over there!?”

“No. The iron ball will get sucked into the blackhole, and the chain will pull you in as well. Right now, here and there are separated by a wall of super gravity.”

“I-I understand! Giant Star!”

Anne’s iron ball opened a big hole in the ground, and we were thrown into the air.
That was fine. I could not resist the pull of the blackhole’s gravity when I was standing on the ground, but when the force of the fall was added, I could move downward.

“Floating Cloud Herd!”

After I had fallen enough, I activated the skill.
The clouds then caught me and Anne.
I could just use Windcloud Blast to escape, but in the end, I needed to use a certain skill in order to be able to return to the Ghost Float.
And so I would use it before Nord could launch a followup attack…!

“Anne. We’ll escape with Stardust Arrow. I’ll need you to cover me.”

“Understood!”

In the Bone-ted Mansion, I had held Anne and used I’m Arrow, but this time I would use Stardust Arrow, which was the result of fusing it with Indra’s Arrow.
By fusing two charge attacks together, I rotated, and Anne too swung around her charge attack.
It was not possible for a single player to break through this violent hitbox!

“Stardust Arrow!”

“Saint Cross Star!”

We turned into stardust of holy judgement. And like that, from below, we broke through the ground of the Ghost Float and rose high into the air.

◆ ◆ ◆

“While I did say that he could run away, I didn’t expect him to do it so boldly…”

Nord held his guns as he watched the star rise into the sky.

“Miracle Effect, Dark Matter… No, it won’t hit them at this distance.”

“Ahhh… So you let him get away, Nordy!”

“…Gullinkambi.”

A man appeared from the bushes as Nord put away his guns.
He had a triangular bandage on his head, wore an apron, and held a hammer. And while he was on the good-looking side, there was something cheap about him.
He looked like a university student who enjoyed DIY and playing during his days off. He then put an arm around Nord’s shoulder with a familiar air.

“So, do you know how strong he is?”

“Well, I saw a glimpse.”

“Huh. So you failed? But that was his most famous charge attack wasn’t it? The one he used to beat Charin? Why didn’t you have a countermeasure ready?”

“Because I didn’t need one. That move is just self-destruction when used on this Ghost Float. And I thought that Kyuji would know it…”

“Hmmm? Why is it self-destruction?”

“You fall back down after flying up. And when you do, you do incredible damage to whatever you hit…”

“Ah, I see! So he’ll tear through the ground of the Ghost Float and fall to the land below!”

“Exactly. Though, he would still be able to recover if it was just that. The worst case scenario would be if the game doesn’t recognize it as a landing, and he goes right through the Ghost Float and is forced into a plummet towards the surface. That charge attack is always doing damage, even when he’s not falling.”

“…What do you mean?”

“During my fight with Kyuji, his Exploding Sky Tear hit scratched my cheek. That fused charge attack is supposed to explode when it hits something. But it didn’t… In other words, there is a clear difference between a hit and a scratch. So, with something as powerful as Stardust Arrow, hitting the brittle ground of the Ghost Float might be recognized as a scratch.”

“I see! It won’t be recognized as ground because it’s too weak. So it won’t break his fall at all… Yes, if the effect ends at the ground of the Ghost Float, he will still be able to use Floating Cloud or Warp Arrow to return, even if he makes a hole… In other words, you won, Nordy!”

“But this wasn’t about winning or losing for me. I just wanted to fight him once now, for the future. I planned to stop the fight once I had seen enough. And considering his Grow Card, I do feel a little bad for him. Well, if he really does fall all of the way back down, that is.”

“Then you should have just told him from the beginning that you wouldn’t kill him!”

“Kyuji shows his true worth when he’s desperate. It was the same during the turf war and the Charin fight. There is no point if I can’t draw that out of him. Well, simple provocation was not enough to do that, especially when he had the Grow Card…”

“People with the same job and age are usually affected when you provoke them… But I guess it’s different when the person is just an old guy who wants to enjoy a game… Are they just more mature?”

“He doesn’t have as much pride and doesn’t fixate on things. Such people have a wider view of the world… I have to say that he could be the next big threat after Macoco. He is completely different compared to the Kyuji that I first met. Back then, he was just a player that would nod at any playing advice that I would give.”

“Ah, that thing you do whenever you start a new game. You join a beginner party and bully the new players. Why do you do things that make people hate you?”

“Because once in a while there are people who improve like that. And I invite such people to come and join us. The best personnel are in places where you have to really look for them. Kyuji was like that, but I missed it. The result is that he now stands in our way as a threat.”

“Well, it looks like you have your own way of thinking, Nord. But I think that if you said things a little less insultingly, people would hate our guild a little less…”

“If you want to be the best, then you have to be prepared to be hated. Besides, pretending to be a good person only means it’s harder to recover if you ever end up in a scandal. Pro gamers with an online presence should always be taking a little heat.”

“Is that so? But people coudn’t like me any more than they do now. I’m especially popular with women and children. They say that I’m the moral compass of VRHAR.”

“Perhaps I should leak information about how you’re dating three fans at the same time.”

“I’m sorry. Don’t do that. Please.”

“Well, it’s not like you haven’t been exposed about five times already. I have no idea why anyone still gives you a chance.”

“Because it’s like a lottery! They sell because everyone thinks that they will be the exception and win. In other words, they think they’ll be the one who can make me loyal. And if it turns out to be true, they not only get someone as awesome as me, but can prove that they were better than all their rivals. So it’s worth a shot, I think.”

“…A surprisingly thought out response… Well, I think that’s enough pointless talk for now. Let’s go back to town.”

“Yes, I need to edit the footage of the fight!”

“We won’t be posting this fight.”

“What!? Then why did you even fight!?”

“I already told you. It was to test Kyuji’s power. Uploading a video will only spoil the real fight. It will ruin things.”

“The real fight… Was that leak real? Other pro gamers seem to be making preparations as if it is…”

“I think that it’s very likely. The timing is also perfect. The zodiac event was so long, so people that finished it quickly are becoming bored. That being said, if they released information about it too soon, then it would affect the concept of the zodiac event, which is to play slowly at your own pace. Because everyone would be frantic if they knew about the next event…”

“Of course! Because you can win actual money! And each winner will receive 2.5 million! That means a party of four could make 10 million! This really is the great age of VR! The gaming dream! A crazy battle is going to begin!”

“And so they leaked it in a way that only people who are addicted to finding new information will find out. Of course, rumors will still spread quickly. I’m sure there will be an official announcement eventually. About this tournament to decide the strongest party in NSO…”

“And we have to win, don’t we?”

“Obviously. If we can’t show our best during this fight, then we have no right to call ourselves pro gamers. That’s why I’m gathering information now.”

“But you’re especially cautious about Macoco and Kyuji.”

“Compared to other players, yes… Leaving Macoco aside for now, I have to say that there is still a large gap between us and Kyuji.”

“Is it his playing?”

“The opposite. He’s grown so much as a player. He can even aim better than me. But his weapons and skill are not at the same level… His equipment is just a plain Windcloud set. And his Unison hasn’t reached its 3rd evolution. He has little variation when it comes to charge attacks, and few of them have evolved.”

“Hmmm. You noticed all that during a short fight, eh?”

“Also, he doesn’t seem to have much information. Most of the skills I used were the same ones I used during the Charin fight. And yet he reacted as if he’d never seen them before. It seems like he doesn’t watch our videos.”

“That annoys me a little! We beat her faster than anyone, so he could at least watch it! But maybe he’ll do just that, now that you fought him? And he might see what it is that he lacks? Perhaps this fight will result in further growth for Mr. Kyuji…”

“That all depends on him. I myself have gained something through the fight. Now, let’s return and tell the other members.”

“Got it!”

Gullinkambi pulled some materials out of nowhere and crafted a large tent.
When it was finished, he and Nord went inside and shouted.

“Fast Travel! First town!”

And then they and the tent vanished.

Next Chapter

Shatei Kyokufuri Yumi-Ojisan

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