Defense Specialization and Tryouts – 2

While a large number of attacks rained down from the sky on Payne and the others, Sally and the others were on the main battlefield, going through a similar situation.

"That was close!”

"Still, we’re all in one piece.”

"Yeah, and the ‘Kingdom of the Flame Emperor’ shouldn’t be coming after us either.”

Since the “Kingdom of the Flame Emperor” had to solidify the fortress’ defenses, it would be difficult for them to give chase or retreat to their town. This would only play in their favor in the long run, but for the time being, it was a blessing for Sally and the others.

"There’s only a few people left alive, huh…?”

As they continued to retreat, Sally counted the players that were returning to allied territory.

"I wonder if getting out of here was the correct answer?”

Having seen that “Inferno” Skill, Sally knew that it had created an area that dealt continuous damage.

Luckily for them, Sally’s “Flash Flood” had already swept them all out of the fortress and taken them towards the edge of the battlefield before they could be in any real danger.

The five of them got on Haku to avoid the downpour of raining magic.

"That fireball that wrapped Mii… I’m sure that it has some kind of additional effect."

“Even those who, like me, have a Skill that reduces damage to zero are going to need a healer… It doesn't seem like this many deaths were caused only by that Skill’s high firepower…”

"So what is it? A Skill sealing effect? Or something that increases damage…?”

"Yeah, it’s possible that some other skill was increasing the damage dealt by her ‘Inferno’…”

"Well, it could be anything really, but the important thing is that we don’t let ourselves get hit by that thing, no matter what.”

“If it’s terrain damage, not even Maple will be able to deal with it. I’ll make sure to warn her about it just in case.”

One thing was certain: that Skill had the power to erase everything in its path without question.

Next time they met, Mii would most likely be able to fire that thing off at the precise time. For now, all the surviving players could do was to take this information back home with them.

"This is so frustrating… Is this how we’re going to lose this thing?”

"We need to regain our footing.”

"We have to pay her back twofold.”

"Yes. Iz wasn't able to reach the enemy's camp either… so we should try to trim down their numbers as much as we can whenever we get the chance.”

"Got it. I’m ready to go whenever you guys are.”

Just like Mii had just killed a large number of players with an unknown Skill, “Maple Tree” also had a Skill they hadn’t revealed yet. If they managed to play their cards right, they would be able to obtain great results from it.

While they continued to retreat, every time they found a surviving ally trying to run back to town, Sally and the others would have them hop onto Haku, thus ensuring their safe return to town.

Upon reaching the barricade that Iz and the others had set up in front of the town’s outer wall, they noticed that its durability hadn’t decreased at all, so it didn’t seem like it was attacked while they were out.

Just as they were about to return Haku to Kasumi’s ring after leaving the surviving players they had brought back to safety, they were greeted by Maple, who was being carried by Mai and Yui –since she was still in her Wooly– after having noticed Haku’s enlarged body from afar.

"Welcome back, Sally! There was a lot of magic falling from the sky, are you okay?"

"Well, it could’ve gone much worse. …What happened, Maple?"

"I’ve been carrying everyone to the battlefield!"

All five of them were surprised to hear about how Maple had managed to find a way to send other players quickly to the battlefield, laughing and saying things like “Well, that’s Maple for you.”

“I'm sure our friends weren’t expecting that to be their means of transportation…”

"Uhuhu, it is really hard to expect something like that, don’t you think?”

“With that, we might even be winning somewhere else right now. …Yeah, thanks, Maple. That was a great idea!”

"You think? But it was mostly thanks to Mai and Yui! I wouldn't have been able to fly like that on my own!"

“Thank you both for launching Maple into the sky… Wow, that sounds like a weird thing to thank someone for. Anyway…”

"Y-You’re welcome…?”

“I’m glad that Maple-san was able to land safely!”

After being launched by the twins, it was all up to Maple. A clumsy flight could have led them all straight in the middle of the enemy lines, so in that sense, there had been a bit of luck involved in this plan. But it ended up saving many allies from the sticky situation they had been in.

"You were really doing your best over here Maple… I’m sorry to say that it didn’t go so well for us.”

"Is that so?"

Sally briefly told Maple what happened.

"Hmm, I’ve been in a party with Mii in the past, but I don’t think I’ve seen her do anything like that…”

“That’s right. But you should be careful, Maple. There were some other Great Shielders with us who most certainly still hadn’t used up their own ‘Stout Guardian’ and were still taken down in one shot by Mii’s Skill… So she might have a way to nullify it.”

"Oh no, if I can’t rely on my ‘Stout Guardian’, I’ll be in great trouble!”"

"Precisely. That’s why I think we should strike back while the iron is hot…”

The recent battle had created a difference in the number of players of both factions. The guilds “Kingdom of the Flame Emperor” and “Thunder Storm” seemed to do very well in large-scale teamfights, while “Rapid Shot” excelled at precise sneak attacks. These guilds had been able to make the best use of their strengths during this event so far.

The allied forces had to find a way to match that.

Maple thought for a moment, then nodded as she came up with an answer.

"In the end, it looks like I’ll have to fight too!”

"But what if a piercing attack hits you…?”

Maple's ‘Stout Guardian’ was on cooldown. While she would be a very strong asset to the battlefield, going there now entailed a great risk for her.

"But you can protect me, right, Sally? Look! Just do this thing you do and repel any attacks like you always do!”

Maple swung her arms and pretended to cut through the air with her short sword, just like Sally would.


Sally was taken aback for a moment after seeing Maple so casually placing her absolute trust in her like that, but soon went back to her usual confident expression.

"Okay. Leave it to me. I'll repel them all."

"Yeah! I know you can do it!”

Maple’s final shield was none other than Sally. So she made up her mind. She wouldn’t let anything hurt her friend.

“Then let’s change our approach. Maple, I want to go on the offensive right away.”

"Got it!”

Any event could unfold faster than expected. Fights were taking place here and there, and the general situation of the battlefield wasn’t so calm that Maple and the others could continue to just wait and see.

"Of course we are going too, right?"

"Of course."

"Okay. Uhuhu, we’ll get them this time."

"I won't be falling behind anymore either.”

"That's right. Mai and Yui’s strength will be a great buff to our forces as well.”

“”"I-I'll do my best!"”

"Whenever you’re ready, Sally!"

This time, all of “Maple Tree” would be heading into the fray. There was no doubt that, should they lose this time, the enemy would only become stronger and more difficult to deal with later.

In order to prevent that from happening, all eight of them went over basic strategies and how to respond in case of an emergency so that there was no way they would make a mistake.