Data.99 – Old Bowman, Night Before the Final Battle

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‘Judgement Lightning,’ ‘Wings of Judgement,’ and ‘Blade of Judgement’…
Just as I suspected, the way to use these three items was to combine them.
Once I learned this at Yu’s workshop, I quickly requested that he do it.

It would take 24 hours to complete.
In other words, the items that would be created would be just as rare as the Windcloud set.
However…I still didn’t know what it would be used for.

The item wasn’t equipment, and there was no description of how to use it.
Was it something that allowed you to learn a skill, or a material that would evolve your equipment.
Or something else…
What I did know was that it wasn’t a recovery item.
Such items always told you what kind of effect they had.

For instance, like the ‘Aura Jerky’ I had just received at the workshop.
It was an odd health recovery item that had been made through combining the special reward from the Taurus trial, the Aura Beef, with some herb-type materials.

◆ Aura Jerky.
HP will recover slowly every second for 3 minutes.
Can use the item again after 5 minutes.

In other words, it added a HP regen effect to the player.
Not only that, but it could be used repeatedly.
Kind of like how beef jerky could be chewed many times and still be tasty.

If it worked for 3 minutes and could be used every 5 minutes, that meant that it would only not be in effect for 2 minutes.
I didn’t know how much it actually healed you yet, but it seemed like it would allow me a broader range of strategies in battle?

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Though my playstyle did not involve taking a lot of damage, there were times when I thought it would be a waste to use healing items after a scratch.
However, it would be even worse if I lost because I hadn’t bothered to heal after a little damage.

If I used the Aura Jerky in such cases, I wouldn’t have to worry about minimal damage for at least 3 minutes.
It wasn’t a huge upgrade, but did solve one small problem.

However, it also took a long time to complete.
Perhaps because it was dried meat, it took even longer than rare equipment.
I suppose it was during times like these where you were supposed to use the Peaches of Immortality.
However, I couldn’t say that I wanted the Aura Jerky so bad that I cared about how long it took…

Anyway, I have finished my business here, so I should log out… Is what I thought, but then decided to check out the first town.
I wanted to see the area right underneath the Serpent Palace that was floating in the sky.

◆ ◆ ◆

Traveling between towns was instantaneous, thanks to fast travel.
Still, the town really was crowded.
I wasn’t sure if it was because there were more new players recently, or it was just a popular spot, but it was great to see that it was so lively.
In any case, I would use the less crowded back alleys and head towards the Serpent Palace.
I was scouting today, and did not want to stick out.

And so I weaved through the narrow and hidden streets.
The town was brimming with details, and there were many streets that players could walk through.
A lot of them would be easily missed if you were just playing normally.
But I was rather good at finding such things.

As I continued on my way, I got a good grasp on the general location of the Serpent Palace.

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It was floating above the fountain plaza near the center of the town.
This place was used as a meeting point for party members, and there were a lot of players gathered there.
Though, it was much more crowded now, since it was part of an event…

“There are so many people…”

The plaza had been modified to suit the event, and there were now large windows facing outwards from all sides of the fountain.
As for what was being displayed there…it was a battle!
Someone was fighting someone… But once my mind registered this, the screen went blank.

And then something shot down from the Serpent Palace like a meteor.
There were four of them…

“T-that’s a player…!”

Players who were damaged in both body and equipment were falling from the battle stage…!
And one of them looked familiar!


He was perhaps the strongest of the players that I knew, and yet he and his party were unable to beat Charin!?
He was part of a famous guild called the Straight Knights, and so his comrades would not have been weak…

“Tsk! That girl… She’s really done it now!”

Buckler got to his feet and looked up at the Serpent Palace with a laugh.
Not because he was confident, but because there was nothing he could do but laugh.
As for his other party members, they just lay on the ground with their arms and legs spread out and did not get up.

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It wasn’t so much despair, but confusion that covered their faces.
I suppose their pride as the top NSO players did not allow them to accept the results.

Even I could hardly believe what I was seeing.
I had assumed that they would be among the handful of players that had cleared it.

“Is that you… Archer Kyuji?”

Buckler’s eyes widened.
I had thought that I was hidden in the crowd, but he still found me…
And since he was pointing, I had no choice but to go out…

“It’s been awhile.
I think it was during the Taurus trial.”

“That’s right… I didn’t think that our next meeting would be while I was thoroughly embarrassing myself! Hahaha!”

Buckler laughed.
He wasn’t as intimidating as before.
As I wondered what to say to him, he spoke first.
And it was something very important.

“Kyuji! This is not someone you can beat solo! Not this time!”

“It…looks like it.”

“Ah, so you’re a 3rd now… Well, I’m sure you’ve been one for a while.
However, that is like the minimum requirement! If you’re a top player!”

Being a special 3rd was the standard.
A top player would be expected to go even higher…
Apparently, this battle was a lot more harsh than I had thought.

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Well, I had actually been thinking about it, deep down.
Even if the others couldn’t do it.
I could still do it…
The title of MVP had been alarming to me at first, but it had made me confident.

Was I delusional then…? I wanted to find out.
Of course, I understood the situation.
4 players who were special 3rds and had more experience than me, had worked together and still lost.
So there was no way that Garbo and I could win.

But I still wanted to challenge her!
I wanted to know how far I could go with my own style!

“…Hahaha! Perhaps I shouldn’t be giving you advice, seeing as you beat me! Well, forget what I said then! Do whatever you want as long as you follow the rules! That’s how you enjoy a game!”

“Buckler… Thanks.
I’ll remember that.”

But I told you to forget it… Ah, well! When you do fight, thrust both of your hands up towards the sky!”

And so I did as he said.
And just like that, the 12 medals flew out of my item box and began to spin around me.
Then my body floated up and started ascending rapidly towards the Serpent Palace.
Like a meteor shooting through the sky.

This was supposed to be the night before the battle.
My items at the workshop weren’t even complete.
However, it was best to fight when you wanted to.
And so now, the decisive battle would begin!

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