Data.17 Old Bowman, Standing in the Clouds

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My-my vision is filled with white…
Did I lose…?

“Uh… Am I still…on top of the clouds!?”

I held my bow ready and searched for the dragon.
It’s not finished yet!
Was that light earlier a new type of attack!?

“…No, maybe it is finished.”

All of the clouds, except for the one I was standing on, had disappeared.
Only the clear blue sky spread out before me.
It was as if the sky was confirming my victory.
Even the wind was calm and peaceful.

I tried to stretch my back then, but realized that my legs wouldn’t move.
The decapitation was still in effect.
I needed to return to the town and heal as soon as possible.
While healing on the field required rare potions, it could be done cheaply if you returned to the town.

“So…where is the town?”

Clouds moved.
And when I looked down, the scenery was completely unfamiliar to me.
Even when I opened the map, nothing was displayed.
The first town and the surrounding area would not appear on the map unless certain requirements were fulfilled.
Some RPGs allowed you to see maps of places that you were visiting for the first time, but this game seemed to be a little more retro.

So now I had no idea where I should descend.

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And I had been so preoccupied with the battle that I hadn’t noticed that the sun was coming down.
I did not want to have to search through this vast land in the dark, with the hope of finding a village or town.
Besides, I couldn’t control the trajectory of this cloud.
And unless the town below was in range of my warp, I wouldn’t be able to get down.

I did consider that taking the penalty and dying would be the fastest way to return, but I had just survived a powerful enemy.
I wanted to continue on until the end.
However, perhaps it was too much to ask when I couldn’t even use my legs…
Uh…but falling to my death was also a frightening idea…

As I continued to argue with myself, the cloud continued to drift.
And then, as if it was being led, it reached a certain area.

“Are those…mountains?”

They were tall, circular mountains that looked like pillars that supported the sky.
They reminded me of oil drums.
The cloud I was on was being pulled towards them.
The mountains connected to the ground at a right angle, and it would surely be impossible to climb them.
So perhaps you were supposed to approach them on clouds, just like I was doing?

Eventually, the cloud hovered over the strange mountains.
And when I looked down, I could see lights coming from houses.

“Woah…there’s a town in such a high-up and remote place?”

Well, it looked like I really was supposed to get down from here.
It was as if the cloud was telling me this.
And so I aimed with my bow and unleashed ‘Warp Arrow’ into the ground.
In the next instant, I had warped close to the mysterious town.

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That was fine and all…but then I remembered that I couldn’t use my legs.
At this point, I had no more MP and used up all of my recovery items.
And if I couldn’t use Warp Arrow, I had no choice but to crawl.
Well, the town wasn’t too far.
I should be able to make it.

“Ohh! A guest from the sky! How unusual! Hmm, but you are injured! Let me help you!”

And so as I got closer, a kind NPC picked me up and carried me to an inn.
While a beginner like me could hardly tell the difference, the NPCs in this game were supposed to be rather unimpressive.
They had a very limited range of dialogue and actions.
And so this NPC would have been programmed in advance to come and help wounded players.

“Where am I?”

“Where are you? Why, this is the ‘Hidden Windcloud Settlement’! It’s rather out of the way, but you’d be surprised at how comfortable life is here! There is even a way to descend from the Windcloud Mountain, and we actively trade with other towns.”

You could have a proper conversation if they had answers to your questions.
Otherwise, it was just short replies.

Furthermore, you could not attack NPCs.
In the first place, outside of parks, you couldn’t even use skills within a town.
I heard that this included using your fists to attack people as well.
In other words, it would be quite difficult to cause mischief.

Though, I did hear about people looking underneath NPC’s skirts.
This involved crawling on the floor and looking up.
Obviously, such behavior was a good way to anger female players.
Furthermore, management might intervene if you blocked people’s path as well.

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Well, it wasn’t surprising.
Most boys seemed to look when there was a 3D model in front of them.
Perhaps it was some kind of instinct…

In any case, this was not time to be thinking about that.
I had learned that this town was called the ‘Hidden Windcloud Settlement’ and that the mountains were the Windcloud Mountains.
The problem was getting back to the original town.

As this was also a town, I could just make it my new base and go on adventures and participate in events from here.
However, I was a little lonely…
There were no other players here.
And so I missed the lively town that I started in…

In MMOs, it wasn’t just about parties, guilds, and friends.
Part of the fun was in seeing the outfits of other players, listening to conversations, and other casual interactions.
It reminded you that you weren’t alone in this world.
I had learned that this was what made online games interesting.

However, it was also exciting to go adventuring to places that were undiscovered.
It was time to organize my thoughts.

It was possible to fast travel between towns.
In other words, warping.
However, there were requirements that needed to be fulfilled in order for this ability to be unlocked.
As the first town was already unlocked, I just needed to fulfill the requirements for this one, and then I would be able to move freely between towns.
And so I would try and finish that before logging out for the day.

But I felt as if I was forgetting something…

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“Ah!? I didn’t check my rewards for hunting the dragon!”

I had been so desperate for new equipment that I even clung onto information that turned out to be false.
And yet I forget when I finally acquire it…
I was either going senile or the joy of winning had erased my memory.
Indeed, there was no reward greater than the emotion you felt.

That being said, one did want something that lasted.
They say that you usually get a full set after killing a rare monster, so what could I have acquired?

“Let’s see… ‘Proof of the Windcloud Dragon’?”

It looked like some kind of emblem.
The dragon I just defeated was on it.
Was it categorised as an accessory?
Or was it just an item…

“Aaahhh!? Is that…the Proof of the Windcloud Dragon?”


The NPC had dialogue related to this emblem!?
Now that I thought about it, this was the ‘Hidden Windcloud Settlement.’
It must be related to the dragon then.

“So-someone! Go and call the elder! The person with the proof of the Great Windcloud Dragon has appeared!!”

He said as he went off somewhere.
Great Windcloud Dragon…huh.
Was that dragon venerated here?
But I…killed it.

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