Data.121 – Old Bowman, the Search for a Plate

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“A ruffian…”
“I won’t forgive you…”

The mansion really was a nest for evil spirits.
And since it was a samurai residence, many of the ghosts were warriors… Well, they looked like deserters.
They appeared out of nowhere, swinging their swords and muttering something.
It was all very surreal, but they also had characteristics that were very dangerous.

First, they appeared ‘close’ to me.
If you heard the painful groan, you knew they were coming.
And within a few seconds, they would appear within sight.
And since this mansion was not particularly large, unless you were in a long hallway, they would appear very close by.

But since I had acquired the skill Quickdraw, I was able to deal with them approaching suddenly.
However, that was where their next characteristic, ‘physical attack resistance’ troubled me.
Physical attacks were rarely effective against these barely visible ghosts without bodies.
While Anne’s iron ball was a physical object, it was fine because she had effective skills.
And so did Garbow.

But I didn’t have any… Well, not exactly.
I had acquired Exorcism Barrier through stamping the Grow Card.
Like the arrow type skills, it created arrows with a special effect.
But this arrow wasn’t just to shoot, but it could also be used by throwing it on the ground!

“Exorcism Barrier!”

And then a dome-shaped barrier appeared around the arrow at my feet.
It was semi-transparent and glowed with a blue light.
It allowed attacks from within to go through, while blocking attacks from the outside.
In other words, as long as the barrier was up, you could unleash one-sided attacks!
It was especially durable against the ghost attacks, as you might expect from something called Exorcism Barrier.
It was a safe space within a horror game, and felt as comforting as a save point.

However, it also looked quite thin, and so I wasn’t sure how it would hold up against players or more powerful monsters…
I had a feeling that it would shatter loudly like glass.
As it was a skill and not a charge attack, I didn’t have to think too much before using it, but I decided to assume that it would generally not be enough to block enemy charge attacks.
Also, I could only make one barrier at a time.

“The exploration is going smoothly thanks to the barrier!”

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“That’s true…!”

If I had the barrier up as we searched for the plate with the ‘+’ mark, then I wouldn’t have to worry about my back.
That was the scariest thing, after all…turning around.
It did occur to me that I was ruining the horror atmosphere…but I didn’t care.
Recent games had invincible modes for people who aren’t good at fighting.
And so why shouldn’t horror games have a similar mode for people who just want to enjoy the story…!

“In any case, it’s been a while, but we still haven’t found the plate yet…”

“But we’ve found a lot of other plates…”

Red, blue, yellow… We had gathered 7 other colorful plates.
As you could put these plates away in your inventory, they must have some kind of use… I thought as we continued to explore.
And then I found a stand that was clearly supposed to be a display for the plates.

“But what order should we line them in?”

“…Well, they seem to be the colors of the rainbow.
So let’s start with red.”

Ultimately, that was correct.
From the left, we lined them in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and purple.
Then the mansion began to shake loudly.
Some contraption somewhere was moving…

Such mysterious contraptions were common in horror games.
And so we decided to search for the place where it had moved.
From the foyer, you could now see that the wall at the far back of the hallway had disappeared, and there was now a long staircase that led underground.
Hmm… Underground…
I didn’t want to go down there, but it would likely lead to the plate that we needed.
And so we went down the stairs with Anne in the lead.

Now, what horrible thing would be waiting for us…
A prison? A mysterious ceremonial altar? A research facility?
The answer…was none of them.

“This place…is a dojo?”

Was this well-worn wooden floor that of a kendo hall?
It wasn’t too odd, since this was a samurai residence…but would there really be a plate here?

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Any plate that was here was bound to be shattered immediately…

Just then, the dojo suddenly grew brighter.
I didn’t know what the lightsource was, but it just grew brighter.
And I then noticed that ‘something’ was sitting in the back that I hadn’t been able to see before with just the torch light.

While it was wearing armor and a helmet and a sword was resting at its side, it was not human.
It had green skin, webbed hands and feet, and a beak…
It was a kappa…! A warrior kappa…!
Ah! Is that what she meant by plate…!?

As I was surprised by this revelation, the kappa stood up and unsheathed the sword.
It was the same height as a human.
Humanoid enemies tended to be intelligent and move quickly.
I would have to be careful…!

“Letter Arrow!”

I had to acquire information on the enemy first… Is what I thought, but the kappa cut Letter Arrow down with a swipe.
This guy…was good!

“Daybreak Star!”

Without a moment’s delay, Anne unleashed her charge attack.
The kappa blocked it with a thick wall of water.
The iron ball quickly lost its momentum after hitting it.
Furthermore, the kappa continued to create more and more water.
And like that, the dojo began to flood…!

“Exorcism Barrier!”

Alright, now the barrier would block the water!
While the dojo had flooded, it was safe within the barrier.
Since it was possible to breathe underwater in NSO, I wouldn’t have died.
But I didn’t want to fight a kappa in the water…!


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A crack appeared in the barrier.
The kappa was swimming in the water at a great speed and slamming itself into the barrier, damaging it with every hit.
However, I too had a buddy who was stronger in the water!


“Gar! Gar!”

Garbow began to swim so fast that it was difficult to follow him with my eyes.
And so began the high-speed battle.
The kappa was strong, and it used its sword to parry Garbow’s attacks.
However, it had clearly slowed down as well.
Now I would be able to shoot at it…!

“Seabow Arts…Form 4, Swordfish!”

I would use it here, my Seabow Arts!
They were special skills that showed their true worth in the water.
You could use them by equipping the Grow Card, but since I hadn’t fought in the water for a long time, it was off duty for a while.
I did not expect to bring it back in the underground dojo of a samurai residence!

Swordfish had the simple effect of raising piercing ability and speed.
And so I shot it several times at the kappa who was fighting Garbow.
The kappa then started to swim faster again in order to avoid being hit, but it was too late.

“Form 5 – Shark!”

Shark was a homing arrow that targeted enemies that you had damaged.
You could avoid it by escaping my range or hitting it with an equal attack, but it was not easy to escape my range, and if it tried to cancel it out, then Garbow would have an opening to attack.
This was perfect cooperation…
Garbow really was strong in the water!

“The final blow, Garbow! Red Meteor!”

“Gar! Gar!”

Just as it was bitten by Shark and its movement stopped, the charge attack slammed into it directly.
Perhaps due to being able to flood the battle arena, which would be a huge disadvantage to the player, the specs of the kappa were not that high.

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And so Garbow and I were able to cut down its HP gauge and destroy it!


Muttered the kappa as it turned into light and disappeared.
The water that had filled the dojo now vanished, and the drop items went into my inventory.
Among them was the plate with the ‘+’ mark on it.

“That was amazing! Both you and little Garbow! The water killed the momentum of my iron ball.
I really don’t like fighting in the water…”

“Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses.
I too would not have been able to do anything with the help of Garbow and my Seabow Arts.
Well, I’m just glad that I didn’t embarrass myself.
You did all of the work last time.”

In any case, it meant that all of my adventures had been worth it.
It was a good thing that I had Seabow Arts!
Now that the boss was dead, the regular enemies stopped spawning, and so we left the mansion and went back to the well and handed the plate to Okiku.

“Ah…thank you… I’m sorry… I did know that this isn’t really a plate…”

Yes, she did.
But I just thanked her and accepted the stamp.
And then a lid appeared over the well, which would be a good table for stamping the card.

“Now that’s two!”

The stamp that I pressed depicted the mansion, the well and a faded Okiku.
Now (Exorcism Bow Art – 1 mark) became (Exorcism Bow Art – 2 marks)
And I acquired the new skill, ‘Demonbane Attack Blade.’
This also didn’t sound like it was related to arrows…
I just hoped that it was like Exorcism Barrier, and allowed me more strategic variety.

“Now, the next terror spot is the Snake and Scorpion Tunnel! Let’s go!”

Cramped, dark and lonely.
You can only see ahead and would be instilled with fear over what world you would be connected to on the other side…
The fact that you would be trapped if the back and front were closed off also made me feel claustrophobic.

However, in the end, you just had to make it out the other side.
The rules were bound to be simple, so maybe we could just run through without thinking too much…?

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