Data.105 – Old Bowman, Examine

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First, while there were a number of differences between me and Macoco, there was no point dwelling on gaps when it came to physical ability and combat sensibilities.
It was plain to see that her power was the result of hard work.
Her movements were so smooth.
It was like the virtual world was a second home to her.
That was not something you could gain overnight.

Besides, there were other things for me to examine.
Macoco was constantly pushing ‘decisions’ onto her opponent.
The most obvious was through the ‘Dummy Boomerang.’ When this one skill was thrown, her opponent had to decide whether it was real or fake.
And then several other skills were added on top of this.
She increased the number of boomerangs in unexpected ways so that the enemy was forced to deal with the infinite amount of decisions she could create.
That was her strength.

My brain would burst if faced with all of that, but Charin was an AI that could get by with processing power.
However, the problem was that she just focused on getting by, and not launching a counterattack.
They say that offense is the best defense for a reason.

When I think back, I was the one constantly being forced to make decisions while fighting Charin.
Ever since Burning Arrow Storm was bounced back at me.
As Charin’s weapons continued to increase, I had to move while thinking about how I was going to deal with them.
And so Charin was able to see my reaction and change her weapon before attacking me.
And even towards the end, it was only because Charin had become frustrated and lost her cool that she didn’t just finish me off with a ranged attack instead of coming up close.
With that fight, Charin was in the lead at all times.

So, knowing all of that now, what could I do to take the lead?
…I have no idea.
The only thing I had was range.
However, if Garbow was all I had in the advance guard, then there was no way to maintain my distance from the enemy.
For that fight, it seemed that I really didn’t have a choice but to follow along and react to her attacks until I found an opening.

That was why I had come to the conclusion that I needed to take her on with some friends.

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But that was a rather boring conclusion.
And so I tried to think of something that would have allowed me to win even if I was solo.

If I am stronger while solo, then I will also be stronger in a party.
If I could look after myself, then I would be able to pay attention to others.
And that might lead to prompt cooperation and good strategies.

Now, what did I need in order to become stronger as a solo player?
Obviously, since the scariest thing for me was allowing the enemy to get close, I needed a skill that would keep them away.
As Web Cloud Arrow was just shooting a web that was essentially an arrow, it could be erased if hit with projectiles or magic.
And in Charin’s case, she could shoot them down with her gun or cannon, or even burn them with electricity through her whip.
As the web was made of cloud and spider’s web, they were weak to heat…

Was there a simpler way to keep them away from me… Like a barrier or wall?
It would be very useful if there was a barrier that I could shoot through, but would stop their attacks.
Simply creating a high wall might not be a bad idea either.
I had seen how effective high walls were during the turf war.

So, even if such skills did exist, how would I go about acquiring them?
Well…playing a word association game and praying, I suppose.
For instance, if you want barrier skills, hunt monsters that have those skills…
If you want to build a wall, then perhaps Golems or other rock-type monsters…
Find them, fight, defeat, and gather items.
That’s what it would boil down to.

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Up until now, I had thought that I had been able to acquire great skills at the right time, but perhaps it still wasn’t enough.
Having more skills meant more options.
In the future, when adventuring normally, outside of events, it might be a good idea to choose destinations based on what ability I wanted.

It was a good thing.
There was still so much to do in this game that I had grown fond of!
No, stuff that I actually wanted to do…
There were plenty of games that had a lot to do, but they were just boring.
And so it was great that this was something that I couldn’t wait to do.

However, I found no answer to the problem of getting through the upcoming fight with Charin.
There was no way that a little adventuring in the next 2 days would lead me to an amazing skill that would allow me to beat Charin.
Right now, I couldn’t think of any plan other than leaving the advance guard to the other two.

“…I’ll go to sleep then!”

I had used my head more than usual today, and so I was tired…
As someone who understood the joy of being able to sleep when you wanted to sleep, I abandoned everything and slept.
The future me would surely work it out!

◆ ◆ ◆

Me from 2 days ago…I failed…
I groaned as I stood in front of the workshop in the morning, right as the repairs would be finished.
I had put on some random armor on my head and torso and gone out exploring in the field.
However, I had not found anything in particular.

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It seemed like they would fall into my lap when I wasn’t thinking, but then become scarce once I start looking.
Was this what they called a greed sensor…?
Well, that could be part of it, but the event was clearly the main reason.
I had gotten used to this system of acquiring something useful after finishing a trial, and so I felt empty when I didn’t get anything during ordinary exploration.
I was being trained…by Charin.

My last hope was this ‘Judgement’ item then…
And it was now time to go and get it.
With a feeling of determination, I entered the workshop and accepted the item.
I wouldn’t demand that it be something that would allow me to win.
But I did want it to be something that was useful…!

“Please be good, Arrow of Judgement!”

‘Judgement Lightning,’ ‘Wings of Judgement,’ and ‘Blade of Judgement.’
The thing that resulted from combining the 3 items was an arrow that unleashed lightning.
Wings of Judgement had been the item that was the most strange to me, but now I saw that it was in the shape of an arrow without an arrowhead.
So if you added the blade and the thunder, you would get the ‘Arrow of Judgement.’

In any case, it wasn’t an equippable item.
Was it a usable item? Or a material…

“I can use it! And on myself…!”

I had a feeling that it would give me a new skill…!
And so I selected ‘Use.’

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—Beep! You have acquired the new charge attack ‘Indra’s Arrow.’

It-it was a…charge attack!?
Not only that, but it had an impressive sounding name…
So, god has not forsaken me after all.
I would try using it then!

[Indra’s Arrow]
A single arrow will rise high into the heavens and be struck by powerful thunder before falling to the ground, causing an explosion of electricity over a wide area.
While it will shoot higher, have greater force and a wider area the longer your Range, the activation time will also increase.
Cooldown: 10 minutes.

So you didn’t shoot directly, but made a mountain-like arch…
It seemed like shooting it would be rather tricky, but thankfully, the explosive nature meant that precision wouldn’t be too necessary.
Range affecting power was a welcome effect, but I couldn’t forget that this also meant that it would take longer to come back down.
If it took too long, then it would be easy for enemies to move out of the area of effect.
And while the explosions would cover a wider area, there was still a limit to how far it would go.

So this charge attack would require some thinking to use, but it was still promising.
And at least I had a new option in terms of attacks.
I was just happy that I had acquired a new power before our rematch with Charin.
While we were going as a party, I felt that Charin would be disappointed if I showed up with the exact same equipment and skills.

“I guess I should go to the first town now.”

The time for the battle was approaching.
And I wanted the Ghost Guild’s first battle to be a victorious one!

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