Data.35 – Old Bowman, to the South
“Well, I arrived without anything happening.”
I had not encountered anything related to the new features before arriving in the southern port town of Tonami.
The blue sky and blue sea met at the horizon.
The air here was different compared to the first town and the Windcloud mountains.
It smelled of the sea.
And it was also a little warmer.
In this game, the natural climate changed dramatically depending on where you were.
There were places that were hot and some that were cold.
Surely there are volcanoes and snowy mountains as well.
But I was at the sea now.
There were a lot of things to do in a new town, but I wanted to get a good look at the sea first.
The white sandy beaches were calling me…or so I thought.
“Wh-what is this…!”
Numerous players were lying on the white beach…
And they weren’t doing it in order to get a tan.
They were soaking wet and looked exhausted.
I suppose asking them directly would be the fastest way to solve the mystery.
And so I went down to the beach and approached a player who had just got back up.
The young man looked at me with surprise, but was willing to listen to me.
“What the hell…is happening here?”
I was so stunned that my vocabulary failed me.
And then he gave me a word of advice.
“Try going into the sea.
And go as far as you can.
Then you will get your answer…!”
And then he left without saying another word.
While I had a bad feeling about this, after hearing that, I felt that it would be a little pathetic to keep asking instead of finding out for myself.
Of course, I had been to the beach in real life.
Though, not that many times.
And I could swim just fine.
I used to go to the pool regularly for health reasons.
But that didn’t last too long…
Well…I wasn’t afraid of the sea or water.
That was for certain.
Indeed, the idea of monstrous deepsea fish scared me, but this game provided you with weapons to face such things.
I suppose I will go into the water then, just like the player said.
And so I walked through the beach and into the water.
I paused once the water was up to my shoulders.
And then I dove.
I had already done some research on how water would work in this game.
You should be able to breathe even when underwater.
After all, recreating the sensation of drowning…could have problems…
But as it was something so outlandish, my body would automatically try to hold my breath.
“Calm down…try talking…”
I opened my mouth, but there was no sensation of water entering it.
At this point, my reflexes finally adjusted.
It was the beginning of my little stroll through the sea.
“Now that I think of it, there isn’t an oxygen gauge either.”
I had heard that in most VR games, you could breathe underwater, but there was a time limit.
But I suppose this was one way that NSO was different.
On the other hand, there was tangible resistance from the water, so movement was more tiring than on dry land…
The water was still shallow here, and there were only pretty fish around me.
I was just thankful that there were no monsters.
Now, that young man had told me to go as far as I could.
I suppose that meant I was to head out to the open sea.
I did want to see what beautiful sights the sea had to offer, as well as dive deep where the sunlight didn’t reach.
As buoyancy was rather weak here, I was not pulled upwards to the surface.
I could go forward by just walking down the slope that led out to the sea.
And so I started to walk without thinking too much about it.
There were other players around me who were swimming and having a good time.
But I decided to move away from them.
Perhaps it was my instinct as a solo player.
Once I was deep enough that the surface felt like it was far away…I encountered it.
My first sea monster…!
“I see… No wonder that player had guided me here…!”
The enemy monster looked like an eel.
When it slithered out of a gap between two boulders on the ocean floor, I shouted in surprise.
But I didn’t have the same disgust for fish that I had for bugs.
I was just a little surprised, and quickly pulled out my bow and started to attack.
And then I noticed the ‘difference.’
The usual sounds of the bow, ‘kiriri…’ and the arrow cutting through the air as it flew, ‘shu!’ were gone.
It’s not like they didn’t fly at all.
But their force was definitely weakened, and the range was also shortened.
I was sure that the other weapons were the same.
You could not swing around a sword as easily, and if your magic wasn’t related to water, then….
Even this high speed arrow that cut through winds and clouds was no exception, but it seemed to be less affected compared to the other skills.
This was likely due to its shape, which reduced resistance in the water as well.
However, at least I knew why there were so many players being washed up on the beach now.
They had all gotten over-confident and dove too deep.
And then they were killed by some fish monsters.
It seemed that if you were killed in the sea, then you respawned on the beach.
I would…rather not follow in their footsteps.
I knew now that fighting in the water like this would be a bad idea, and so I decided to retreat before being sent to a watery grave.
Besides, it was likely that the port town held the secret of fighting underwater.
Making wind underwater caused lots of bubbles to rise.
I guess both the wind and clouds were weakened in the sea…
But it was enough for what I needed.
The bubbles were blocked by the haori and I was pushed up to the surface.
Once my head was out of the water, I would use Warp Arrow to teleport back to the beach.
The waves suddenly became faster.
And just as I was about to break out from the surface, a current caught me and I was dragged back down.
Is this the beginning of a Scramble?
Indeed, I had wanted to encounter one, but not in the water.
Of course, you weren’t forced to do them, so I could run away.
In that case…
No, this wasn’t a Scramble.
It was definitely a state of emergency, but the thing that came towards me now was…
And not a western one, but a Chinese dragon.
The way that its long body twisted in the water reminded me of how the Windcloud Dragon had flown in the air.
This one was likely just as strong, if not stronger…!
There was no way that I could win in the water.
I struggled in order to escape, but the dragon glared at me, and then it unleashed a terrible tidal breath.
While the Windcloud Dragon ignored me until I attacked, this one was different…
In the first place, it had a much more violent aura about it.
And unlike the other time, I didn’t feel like I had even the slightest chance of winning.
What was it with these dragons?
Was there so big a difference between each type?
Unable to do anything, I was enveloped in its breath, and my vision went black.
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