Data.68 – Old Bowman, The Foggy Mountain Range

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“Here, here.
Over here, Mister Panda!”

While I was excited to explore some uncharted territory, I ended up accepting a certain quest first.
It was a quest that would unlock fast travel for this town of Dapan.
Well, isn’t that a good thing? Some might wonder.
Indeed, it was.
There was no reason that I shouldn’t unlock it.

However, it wasn’t really something that I needed either.
Even if I was killed in the mountains, I would just be sent back to Dapan town.
It would be like how I was sent to the beach of the port town after the Bluesea Dragon killed me.
You would be forced to return to the last town you were in.
It would be a massive time waster if I were sent back to the first town, but if it was Dapan, then I could take on the mountain again, which was a short distance away.

But unlocking it meant having an instant route to the first town from Dapan, so I had accepted the quest thinking that it was a good idea…

“M-mister Panda… It’s a bamboo leaf…”

This quest was about finding and bringing back a woman’s lost panda after it had escaped.
The town was filled with pandas, but this one had a heart pattern on its back.
And so I had to find it and bring it back to the woman’s house.
But as many of the pandas were lying on their backs or leaning against walls, it was difficult to even see if they had a pattern.

I managed to find it after spending a lot of time searching, but the panda was so big and round that I couldn’t pick it up.
I wonder…if I had put all my points into Attack, would I have been strong enough to lift it?
Unfortunately, I had no such power, and so I had to buy the item, ‘Bamboo Leaf’ and try and lure the panda back to its home.

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However, this was very hard.
While it had shown interest and followed me at first, it soon became satisfied with eating the leaves that were growing throughout the town.
Even then, it would eventually become interested in the leaf I was holding again, but after some time, it became tired and lay on the ground.
Still, it was hard to become angry when they looked like that.
It was so cute that it was no wonder they were used in diplomacy.

That being said, I was still reaching my limit in terms of patience, and so I used my trump card.
I would use Garbow, who was specialized in attack and had power to push it.
Besides, Garbow had a somewhat intimidating appearance at first glance.
He was a fish that was so sharp it could pierce a human, and was also a mechanical weapon.
And while he looked cute to me now, even I had been scared when I first met him as an enemy.

With a light prick from Garbow, surely even the panda would start moving again.
Well, a light prick from Garbow might actually still hurt.
So I would use its cry to try and scare it first.

“Gar! Gar!”

The panda was alarmed at the sudden appearance of a crying fish, and started to walk again.
After that, I was able to take it back to its owner without having to poke it.
And in spite of the fact that it had not been eager at all to return, it immediately fawned on her when they reunited.
They really were mysterious creatures.
Well, humans could be like that too.

Now that I had finished the quest, I could now fast travel to this town full of pandas.
At the same time, the area around Dapan was filled in on my map.

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Yes, just like Windcloud Mountain, it was just the surrounding area.
It was different from the port town of Tonami.

This was something I had realized recently.
There were quests that filled in a wide area of your map, and quests that merely unlocked fast travel.

With Tonami, it had filled in a lot of the southern land, and fast travel was unlocked as well.
It was because of this, that I had been able to find the ‘Mirrorstone Cave’ near the top, and my adventure there led to an encounter with Necoco.
Finishing a quest that filled in a large part of the map gave you information about places you’ve never been to, which expands the places you could adventure in.

In cases like this, where it was the opposite, the town appeared on the map as a symbol where you could fast travel.
It would be no good if you unlocked fast travel to a town, but it was surrounded in black because the rest of the map wasn’t filled in.
You would be like, ‘what town was it?’ and it would be simply inconvenient.

The Hidden Windcloud Settlement was also in an area where the map wasn’t finished, and so it looked like a tall mountain was in the center of black terrain.
However, you could still tell at a glance where it was and what kind of place it was.

As it’s a little confusing, in short…
Large towns had NPCs who would fill in a large part of the map.
And you also get to unlock fast travel as a bonus.
Small towns and villages allowed you to unlock fast travel, and as a bonus, filled in a small part of the surrounding area on your map.

In fact, the area this time was very small.
There was barely any information once you reached the foot of the mountain range.
So, I would really have to go on this adventure without any information.
Well…from tomorrow.

That panda…took up so much time.
But it was so cute.
And so I didn’t really care if it felt like a waste of time.

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That being said, I had finished the Libra trial, fought Zeus, been advised by Charin, and came all the way to this town in a day.
Had I not been distracted by the pandas, I might have entered the mountains and it would have been night time.
So in a way, it was likely a good thing.

“You should never rush.
I have plenty of time.”

I muttered to myself.
I would take on the mountain in the morning.

◆ ◆ ◆

Early the next morning, I made good on my word, and started my climb of the mountain.
At first, it was just an ordinary mountain path.
Actually, why was there a path if it was uncharted land…?

Well, I knew the answer to that question already.
But I hadn’t thought about it until I saw a sign near a cliff.
The sign read:

When visiting my workshop, climb up this cliff.
—Yu Shanyu.

That’s right.
While he only accepted jobs from people who came up the mountain, it would not do if no one came at all.
He could not make money without any work.
Realizing this obvious fact, I started to climb up the cliff as directed.

It might have been easier to use skills like Warp Arrow or Floating Cloud, but from where I was, I couldn’t see the top of the cliff.
And so I would just climb as much as I could, and use a skill to cover the final stretch.

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I didn’t have fancy hobbies like bouldering, so I was a complete amateur.
However, it was doable with the average player’s physical abilities.

However, Cloudpiercer Archer’s Gloves were not very flexible.
And weren’t really good for movement outside of drawing a bow.
Since I was in the mountains, I suppose it would be best to switch to the gorilla’s Fists of the Forest Sage.
Yes, these were much better.
And they were very furry, which helped keep my fingers warm.

“Very nice.
Those gorilla gloves.
I think you wore them during the battle royale as well.”

“Uh, yeah… Huh!?”

Before I knew it, there was a monkey-type monster right next to me.
Not only that, but it was carrying a silver-haired boy with damaged armor on its back.
The boy was completely still, almost as if he was dead.

This was all so unexpected that my brain almost stopped working.
Which nearly made me fall off, but I somehow managed to regain my posture.

“I suppose this isn’t a good place to talk.
We’ll do that once we reach the top of the mountain.”

And then the monkey went ahead of me and climbed up the cliff.
Monkeys sure are fast… Wait, this is not time to be impressed!
What was even happening here… And how cruel to make me wait until I reached the top.
No, I would catch up with that guy and get an explanation for all of this…!

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