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Defense Specialization and Risk

With a bang, the black mass crashed into the ground, and it rolled vigorously while scattering some fragments. Amidst the wreckage, the mass finally lost its momentum and eventually came to a stop while raising a cloud of sand.

“We have arrived!”

“Somehow, I’m much more tired than during the surprise attack.”

“Well, at the very least, we got home safely.”

The identity of the black mass was ample. As a matter of course, Maple—who traveled across the sky as an explosion—had no pursuers. Afterwards, they managed to crash into the vicinity of their own royal castle.

“I doubt they’ll be able to follow us.”

“Me too.”

“Should we go back?”

“Yes, that’s my plan. Someday, I’d like to fight together with Maple again—and if possible, with Frederica, too…”

“I’m never going home using this kind of method again.”

“But wasn’t Frederica the one who wanted something flashy?”

“Well, I’ve learned that sometimes, simple is best.”

Frederica nodded to herself, deciding to do it peacefully next time. After all, if not for that high-risk flashy battle, where the enemy could easily find them, they’d have returned home peacefully with Syrup.

“Then, let’s head back! It’d be troublesome if they managed to catch up with us!”

“That’s right. Never let your guard down.”

The three rushed into town. Maple’s self-destruction skill had also improved in a way that she could now fall near the destination. As a result, it didn’t take long for them to get into town.

“Phew… Good job. It was nice to be able to soar that high. I wonder if Knots can grow bigger.”

“I don’t think so.”

“I can’t imagine it.”

“I usually have Ray take me for a ride, so that's fine. When you want to fight more seriously, let me know. I'll give you as many buffs as you want.”

“Of course!”

“I’ll be in line with the [Congregation of Holy Sword] at that time, right?”

“That’s right. That makes it easier for me too.”

The three of them walked towards the royal castle while confirming whether or not there was any unidentified object in the sky.

After all, there was no saying the enemy wouldn’t attempt what they did.

It’d already been confirmed that Velvet, Hinata, Lily, Wilbert, Mii and Marx had flight abilities. As such, there was a chance that they’d be attacked from above.

At the same time, even if there was only a few of them, those players could deal a lot of damage over a wide area. Therefore, it wasn’t a matter of whether or not they’d attack from overhead, but about how to intercept it without panicking.

“Maybe they’ll attack us later during the night.”

“It’d be easy if that’s all it takes.”

“I can’t say for sure. Velvet is the type that can charge at any time.”

The battle continued during the day. At night, the number of resting players increased. If they didn’t do anything to each other and focus on the defense while remaining in the city, the situation wouldn’t change much.

However, if there was a guild that noticed the fatigue, low morale, and a decrease in the number of players, then a big battle might occur once again.

“If that happens, providing support would be difficult due to the limited vision.”

“You have a point…”

“Even so, if they set us up, then we have no choice but to fight. Maple, we should prepare ourselves.”

“Yes, I understand!”

If they got set up, they’d have no choice but to fight back. Otherwise, it’d be a one-sided massacre.

“If so, I’d like to come up with a hypothetical scenario so we can find a way to overcome it. For example, we managed to pull off the previous surprise attack because we had the upper hand, didn’t we?”

“Yes, yes.”

“Because of that, I can see why Wilbert is dangerous.”

“Not only that, I’m sure he’s somewhere around here.”

“We have to find a way to defeat him.”

Wilbert was still out there. The pressure was intense. Frederica and others would be killed in an instant if they failed to notice him.

“Can we pull it off…?”

“I don’t think the defense is that strong, so we should just narrow our distance.”

“That’s easier said than done.”

Apparently, the enemy’s search ability wasn’t only abnormally wide, but also didn’t have any down time. With that kind of ability, the enemy could easily make the first move, or notice their strategy and withdraw.

“I’ll try to come up with something. We need a realistic approach.”

“Hmm…”

“I’m counting on you, Sally!”

“Leave it to me.”

Did Frederica come up with at least one idea? However, from the way Sally responded, it must be a high-risk strategy, hence why she hesitated to carry it out. Maple let it go, thinking that there was no need to dwell on it.

“If you have a good idea, let me know. Let’s see, something with 80% win rate?”

“Isn’t that too much…”

“Really?”

“But if it works out, I’ll be happy!”

While encouraging them to do their best, Maple walked a little faster next to them.

“Hmm… Is there a surefire way to win..?”

As Sally walked, she pondered.

Of course there was none. Just like how the opponent didn’t know the extent of Sally’s illusion skill, there’d be a skill they didn’t understand, either.

Hence why there was no surefire way to win.

In the first place, in order to lead them to their death, the opponent mustn’t retreat and accompany them in battle until the end.

To do so, taking risk was inevitable. At the same time, baiting the enemy into thinking that they’d gain an advantage by fighting now should suffice.

It seemed that Sally had something in mind. Nevertheless, she was still hesitating.

“Well, I’ll think about it, so please give me some time, Maple.”

After saying that to Maple, Sally gazed at the wall behind her once again.

—the target that the enemy wanted to eliminate the most; and who should be targeted.

Maple without [Indomitable Guardian].

Their best option would be to stay safe until daylight.

No matter how strong a player was, they couldn’t breach into the castle.

Conversely, even if it was the other way around, Sally couldn’t use Maple as a decoy to carry out a risky strategy.

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