Data.87 – Old Bowman, Cancer Trial

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‘Can-can-cancer! Welcome to the Cancer trial-nyon!’

The port town of Tonami by the south sea that I had visited a short while ago.
The place of the trial was at a close by beach.

Here, Charin’s appearance was rather extreme in its simplicity.
She wore headgear that was shaped like a crab, and gloves that looked like red pincers.
I suppose the only reason she wasn’t wearing a red body suit was because management had mercy or it was her own pride…
In any case, she was able to maintain her dignity as a popular idol…!

‘The rules are very simple! You just have to defeat the huge boss-nyon! There is no dungeon, so it’s just fighting-nyon! And since the battle will take place in another dimension, you won’t have to wait in line-nyon!’

If the whole trial was just a boss fight, then the Cancer elements will have to be in the boss.
So that suggested the boss would be a giant crab.
It was also likely to have the water attribute, so using Trident Arrow effectively might help give me an advantage.

We were also allowed to use Unisons during this trial.
For Garbow, the sea was his homeground, and so he would have ample opportunity to go wild.

‘Obviously, the requirement for acquiring a medal is to defeat the boss! And the requirement for the special rewards…will be told to you after you are warped to the battlefield-nyon! We want to surprise you all-nyon!’

Charin was being rather stingy with information now.
And so we knew nothing other than the fact that it was a huge boss fight.
That being said, with NSO, hearing that management wanted to surprise us now filled me with dread.
Did that mean everything else wasn’t meant to be surprising…?

While I was a little concerned, I warped over to the battlefield.
The place was an inclosed bay, like a ring of sand around the water.
This meant that I could attack the enemy from different sides…

“…Oh, hello.”

As my eyes met the player next to me, I said hello.
Apparently, this trial was a raid boss…!
Aside from this player, there were numerous others standing around the beach.

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There were roughly a 100 of them!
Some were as surprised as I was, while others were calm, as if they knew what was happening.

‘Ta-da! Are you surprised-nyon? 100 players have been selected at random and will now have to work together to take down the boss-nyon!’

Charin had appeared in the air.
Yes, I would say that I was surprised.
But not that surprised.
Unless, there was more in store…

‘While the requirement for the medal is defeating the boss, you have to be alive when the boss is defeated-nyon! Also, the requirement for the special reward is… Hah!’

Charin snapped her fingers and a gauge appeared in front of us.
Right now, it was empty.

‘This is the contribution gauge-nyon! Your contributions during the fight will be calculated and be reflected in this gauge! Those who are able to fill up their gauge will receive the special reward-nyon! In other words, people who let others do the work in defeating the boss will not receive it-nyon!’

I see.
With these rules, you could still win without doing much work.
And so the requirement for the special reward had to take that into account.

‘Ah, yes, yes! There is no penalty for dying, so please don’t hate your teammates if you lose! Now, do your best-nyon!’

Charin disappeared and then the water’s surface started to bubble.
As expected, a giant crab, Karkinos, appeared.
It was the name of the grab from the Cancer myth.

Karkinos was a rather wretched crab.
And when Hydra, who lived in the same swamp, was being defeated by Hercules, it had tried to come out in support but was crushed to death.
With the Cancer constellation, the weak impression wasn’t due to works that came later that were based on it, but it had already been there with the original mythology.
While being part of the 12 constellations made it important, why had the people of ancient times given it such a story?
I doubted this mystery would ever be solved…

Well, that was enough thoughts for the crab.
It was time to fight.
Karkinos was huge.
So big that it didn’t look like bullying when 100 players were fighting it.
I decided to stay out of the way of other players and shoot at a distance.

But right as I was about to unleash my arrows, I noticed that the surface of the water was bubbling.

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Surely there wasn’t going to be a second crab?
Unlike Gemini, there was only one crab in the constellation…


What emerged from the water was the nine-headed monster, Hydra.
Oh, in the myth, it was Karkinos who came out to help Hydra, but this time it was the other way around.
It definitely was a surprise that we had to fight a giant crab and a giant snake.
Was this what Charin was talking about?
The difficulty would rise significantly if there were two bosses.
But we still had 100 players…


This time, something huge fell out of the sky and into the sea.
It rose from its knees and then pointed at the players with its bow and arrows.
Could it be… Hercules?
Wait, wasn’t he supposed to be their enemy?
Had they completely misinterpreted the myth?

Hercules unleashed a fiery arrow.
Players went up in flames and dropped like flies.
So there was no mistaking it.
He was our enemy.
In this trial, we had to defeat 3 giant bosses…!
Now this was a surprise.

Hercules aimed with his bow again.
But I couldn’t allow him to continue to chip away at our numbers…!

“Burning Arrow Storm!”

Countless exploding arrows hit Hercules’s giant body.
The fused charge attack was effective even on someone who was half god, and he fell to his knee on the sand.
However, he was still not defeated yet.
The other players took advantage of the opportunity and focused their attacks on him.
If we could only decrease the number of enemies…


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The Hydra had spat its poison.
As it was very large, its aim was not great.
So I was able to dodge it.
But I still wished it would stop attacking people in the rear guard.
While I was thinking this, Karkinos started to blow bubbles at me.
It seemed like I was being targeted a lot, in spite of being the farthest away…

Could it be that all of their hate was directed at me?
Perhaps they were made to target the player who inflicted the most damage.
If that was the case, then this was very bad…
I had to isolate myself from the other players in order to make use of my Range.
And so there was no one here to defend me.
If I used Warp Arrow to go back to the others, they would also get hit by the attacks.

For now, I would just run from the attacks and once the others could start focusing on their attacks, there would be more players who could deal heavier damage than me.
And the enemies’ target would change to them.
And so I used my skills to run around.
A combination of Warp Arrow, Floating Cloud Herd and Intimidates Eyes was enough.

However, even then, escaping from the attacks of three giant bosses was a difficult task.
Little by little, I was being pushed to the brink.
Were the others not attacking enough…!?
It seemed like I was the only one being attacked…


Then came the biggest surprise of the day.
Our numbers had gone down dramatically!
Well, even as the bosses targeted me, they would be thrashing out at players and kicking them.
Is that how they died?
It seemed a little too simple, but I had an idea of why that might have happened.

It was because there was no penalty for dying in this trial.
In other words, if you weren’t doing well, or were unsatisfied with your comrades, you could lose on purpose.
And they could even take off their armor before getting hit, so it wouldn’t be damaged when they died.
They could simply decide to lose over small things, like the hope of teaming up with better people or the boss patterns being less harsh.

Well, even with that considered, it still seemed like our numbers had dropped too much… Why was that?

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Could it be my fault…?
Because I was far away and antagonising them with high firepower attacks, the bosses were ignoring the vanguard players and trying to move forward.
As tank players were supposed to be the ones in the front and distract the enemy, you could say that I was messing things up.
In a way, I was the kind of clueless player that veterans of online games tended to hate.

After all, I wasn’t the type to look up information on trials.
So while I didn’t know, I did feel a little bad…
That being said, there were still players who were fighting seriously.
And so I would also continue to fight without giving up…!
Even if it wasn’t the most efficient way to fight…!

Just then, the three bosses unleashed their ranged attacks at the same time, which meant that I was targeted from three different directions.
I could use Burning Arrow Storm, as the cool down had ended.
I could even use Meteor Bow, though it would mean that Garbow wouldn’t be with me after that.
However, that would still not be enough to deal with all three.
And I had just used Warp Arrow, which would usually allow me to dodge them.
Even if my gear was good, my own defense stats were bad.
And since I had already taken damage, just two of those attacks would be enough to kill me.

Then there was only one thing to do.

“Meteor Bow!”

The arrow that resembled a red meteor shot passed the three attacks and slammed into Hercules.
His health had dropped quite low, thanks to everyone’s work, and so he was defeated.
Now there were only two bosses left.
Yes, this didn’t do much for me, but I wanted to at least help those who could still fight…

Karkinos’s bubbles and Hydra’s poison breath hit me, and I died.
And then I was sent back to the field… Or so I thought.
But my body and consciousness was still on the battlefield.
I suppose since I had allies, I wouldn’t disappear, as they might resurrect me.

Well, surely that wouldn’t happen at this distance…
I will run out of time and disappear regardless…

‘You have fulfilled the requirements for a special class change.
You can now change to a special 3rd class.’

I couldn’t move my body.
However, I had definitely heard that voice.

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