Prev
Next

Defense Specialization and the Decisive Battle

“[Multi-Acceleration]!”

After combining Iz’s items with Frederica’s buffs and raising the movement speed, they started moving as a group.

The purpose was to prevent the arrival of the [Kingdom of Flame Emperor].

For that reason, some sacrifices were acceptable.

“Do your best.”

Looking from afar at the battlefield where lightning fell, everyone continued to move while praying for Maple and Sally’s victory.

The rapid detection of the enemy reinforcement by a widely dispersed reconnaissance force allowed them to take a preemptive position to block their path.

“We have to do our best, too.”

“Yes, let’s stick to the plan.”

Even though they were traveling long distances, only a limited number of players accompanied them. It was difficult to say if they’d prepared enough numbers to intercept the [Kingdom of Flame Emperor].

Still, it didn’t mean that all was lost. After all, [Maple Tree] had an ultimate weapon that could turn the tide of battle.

“Are you ready?”

““Yes!””

Mai and Yui rode on Tsukimi and Yukimi’s backs, each equipped with six large hammers.

They were none other than the ultimate weapon.

“We’ll be sure to support you. No matter what happens to us, you don’t have to worry.”

“Leave it to us!”

With Mai and Yui, they didn’t need to reduce their HP. It’d been proven in the daytime group fight that the best strategy would be for everyone to cover the two.

“Yes, don’t worry about anything, we leave the offense to you.”

“I’ll take care of it!”

“I’ll do my best…!”

The two were the core of the operation. The lack of numbers was offset by their godly damage output.

“Can you help me set up the defense?”

“Okay, hurry up. They’re almost here. Hey, help me out.”

“Understood!”

If they didn’t assume a proper position, they’d only be swallowed by Mii’s flame and the wave of the army.

That said, even if they set up a perfect defense and waited inside the wall that Iz had prepared, they’d just pass by.

According to the plan, they couldn’t afford to let the [Kingdom of Flame Emperor] pass by. In that case, they had no choice but to fight to the death.

Even if they were annihilated, as long as the damage was enough to stop the enemy advances, it’d suffice. Of course, if they could win, that’d be the best.

“You two should aim for Mii. Even if things get dangerous, don’t stop attacking.”

““Got it!””

“It’s alright, today, I’ll use my full power to protect you.”

The bookshelf behind Kanade was stacked with magic tomes.

“Thank you.”

“Let’s go on a rampage!”

“Of course, do your best.”

They installed the necessary shield and prepared for the decisive battle. Mai and Yui were at the top. Then, the members of the [Congregation of the Holy Swords] were placed next to them for their safety. Iz, Kanade, and Frederica were at the back. In addition, the rearguard members and the large shield users to protect them had also taken position.

“What about [Daybreak]?”

“Hm, I guess there’s nothing we can do about that…”

“What about dodging before it could hit us? Okay, that sounds difficult…”

“It looks like a skill that takes time to prepare, let’s do our best to protect the two.”

Back then, Mii unleashed a skill that ignored even invincibility on them. If she’d used it, it’d be difficult to protect Mai and Yui, who’d be charging at the front line.

If so, they had no choice but to prevent Mii from using [Daybreak].

A while later, in the darkness of night, lights began to appear.

They came from both skill effects and lanterns. The number of enemies was obviously larger than them. Not to mention, the army consisted of members from [Thunderstorm], [Rapid Fire], and [Kingdom of the Flame Emperor].

However, instead of being intimidated by the number, they chose to believe in their strategy.

“Okay, everyone, let’s do it! [Multi-Hardening]!”

After Frederica had enhanced their defense power, everyone charged all at once. They didn’t fuss over the trivialities. Instead, they tried to provide the maximum opportunity for the two to go on a rampage.

Within the darkness, the enemy would quickly notice their presence, and a barrage of magic spells would fly all at once. A blade of wind, a bullet of ifire. And then, a flurry of arrows cascaded from the sky.

“[Multi-Barriers]! Knots, [Round Chorus]!”

“[Multi-Cover]!”

““[Heal]!””

The large number of barriers that Frederica deployed with Knots absorbed most of them, while the tanks covered them from the remaining attacks while being healed.

The stats raised by Iz and Frederica’s buffs allowed them to prevail against the stray magic.

While firmly protecting Mai and Yui, who couldn’t be grazed by anything, they advanced. Perhaps due to the acceleration from the buff, the distance between the two armies quickly closed.

—But then, a phoenix soared into the night sky, blowing red flames from within the crowd.

“[Scorching Blaze]!”

Mii unleashed a wave of intense flames to obstruct the march.

Even so, Mai and Yui didn’t let it stop them. They knew everyone got their backs.

“[Distort]”

After Kanade opened the magic tome, there was a crack in the dimension, and Mii’s flame was swallowed. Even though his skill was single-use only, the number of skills that could be said to be Kanade’s trump card was incomparable to other players.

The attack was easily nullified, and Mai and Yui swung their sledgehammers while still riding on their respective summon before counterattacking.

““[Aerial Attack]””

Taking advantage of the momentum, they came flying at the enemy, creating a high-speed shock wave.

Like a balloon pricked with a needle, it annihilated the players it hit.

“Dodge or cast invincibility!”

The enemy players began to scatter to keep some distance from Mai and Yui.

At the same time, they amplified their defense, while also reducing the amount of damage taken.

Nevertheless, it meant next to nothing to the pair wielding multiple sledgehammers.

“[Inferno]!”

Mii’s flame approached once again—this time aiming straight for Mai and Yui. Pillars of flame rose from the ground, trying to swallow the two.

“[Blessing of the Water God]!”

Kanade quickly responded and the two were engulfed in a film of water. With the protection that negated the flame, the two went on the offense.

“[Double Strike]!”

“[Light of the Spirit]—Huh!?”

“[Protective Shine]—Really!?”

The players who attempted to nullify the damage were blown away, bringing the rearguards down with them—and they were considered the lucky ones. God knows where the players who flew into the sky ended up to.

““[Super Acceleration]!””

However, there were those who avoided it by accelerating, and charged towards the two. It didn’t matter if it didn’t hit.

““[Cover]!””

The [Congregation of the Holy Swords] were able to defend them in time, and Mai and Yui continued their attacks.

“We have to keep these two safe!”

“Let me protect you!”

“I see…!”

Not only did the [Congregation of the Holy Swords] nipped their strategy at the bud, Kanade was also readying his skill. If they didn’t regain their distance, they’d be crushed by a sledgehammer. In the end, they gave up and pulled back

The bizarre difference in offensive power made close combat offense and defense impossible.

Mii gave instructions to Ignis, avoided the magic that came flying from the ground around Frederica, and switched targets.

“[Great Flame]!”

The hellfire that lit up the night sky swallowed the magic aimed at Mii with its overwhelming firepower and rained down on the backline.

“[Multi-Barriers]!”

“Fei, [Item Enhancement]!”

In line with Frederica’s deployment of the barrier, Iz created a defensive wall with items to further strengthen the defense. The [Congregations of the Holy Swords] also added barriers to prevent Mii’s flames.

“What a formidable defense…”

While avoiding the magic, Mii temporarily withdrew. At first, she intended to burn down all the rearguards and destroy the formation, but as expected of the [Congregation of the Holy Swords], their formation was truly balanced. Even without the help of Kanade’s skill, it’d take considerable effort to break that defense.

If so, it couldn’t be helped. Thus, Mii took an aim at Mai and Yui, who were the main damage dealer, and shot.

“[Flame Emperor]! [Flame Spear]!”

“[Increase Target]! [Light of the Spirit]!”

The two flaming balls shot at Mai and Yui, as well as a gigantic flame spear, were blocked by Kanade’s damage nullification. Unlike other players, Kanade was troublesome because no one knew how many skills he had. Even so, if Kanade was protected by a large number of barriers conjured by Frederica, it’d be better to target Mai and Yui, who could only be protected with a limited number of skills.

—Or…

“From Marx?”

Mii looked over the message she received.

“I’m buying us time. Our fighting strength is gradually diminishing, so even if it takes time, I want Mii to make a decision.”

Thus, she started chanting [Daybreak]. It was the countdown to the end of battle. Even Kanade’s defensive skill was no match for this one.

Afterwards, she could just regroup with Velvet and Hinata.

Mii gave instructions to Ignis and descended to Marx’s side.

“Mii, are you sure…?”

“I am.”

“I’ll support you in the meantime and take care of those two.”

“Okay.”

Marx activated the [Night Castle] installed at his feet, and while covering for Mii, he confirmed that the preparations for [Daybreak] had begun and went forward with it.

“[Installation: Flower Cavalry] [Installation: Water Cavalry]”

Marx summons a vine cavalryman and a water cavalryman to fend off any approaching players.

“I can’t let you do as you please.”

“I won’t stop—!”

“I won’t let you!”

“[Remote Installation: Wind Blade]! [Remote Installation: Flame Blade]!”

The weak points of Mai, Yui, and Kanade were that they had to watch out for the slightest attack. After all, compared to Maple’s [Dedicated Affection], they had a gap.

“Clear [Vanish]!”

A blade of wind and a blade of fire generated from Marx’s trap disappeared along with the cavalrymen.

For some reason, a spear made of ivy suddenly pierced the shoulder of a [Congregation of the Holy Swords] large shield user. He stopped moving for a moment, and a damage effect popped out.

“…!”

“Get down!”

““Yes!””

—It was [Invisible], a simple and straightforward skill that concealed an object until it touched something. Nevertheless, the escorts of Mai and Yui had difficulty evading them.

“I didn’t just spend my time doing nothing! [Activate All Traps]!”

Ground. Air. Soldiers composed of various substances sprung up from here and there. All of them were enemies that Mai and Yui couldn’t ignore.

“Clear [Colorless World].”

All the various soldiers summoned by Marx lost their colors and became one with the air. Mai and Yui were forced to retreat at the center while the large shield users were being skewered. By standing between them and becoming a wall, they could protect the two from the attack.

Marx’s skill had put Mai and Yui under pressure, and it seemed that the tide would turn—

—Or so they thought.

Suddenly, a multitude of magic circles appeared, from which a barrage of laser beams resembling that of Maple’s [Machine God] hit the transparent soldiers, causing them to materialize one after another.

“Uh, those are…?”

If Marx had time to prepare, so was Iz.

If allowed to make some preparation, Iz would be able to demonstrate power unthinkable for a logistic support.

“Eh… What’s with those items? They’re almost on the same level as mine!”

“Good thing I have time to prepare!”

“You’re a great help, but…”

“I know…”

Marx was holding back. He was trying to keep Mai and Yui busy, perhaps to create an opportunity for Mii.

Seemingly aware of his intention, the members of [Thunderstorm] and [Rapid Fire] were doing their best to the point of putting their lives on the line.

“Mai, Yui!”

Kanade called out to the two as they mowed down the enemy.

“Kanade!”

“Most likely, they are planning to—”

—it was too late.

Before he could finish his words, the sun appeared in the night sky.

Mii was at the center of it. With the time Marcus earned, the fire was ready to scorch everything.

“[Daybreak]!”

A glowing white flame enveloped Mii, waiting for the moment of liberation that’d soon arrive.

As everyone else scrambled to escape, Marx reached out to Mai and Yui, who were on the frontline.

“I won’t let you get away! [Sacred Chain]!”

A chain extending from the white magic circle restrained Mai and Yui on the spot. The duration was only 3 seconds—

—but as long as they couldn’t run away from Mii’s flames, that alone would suffice.

“[Inferno]!”

Approaching was a huge wave of flame that created a damage zone on the ground. As their vision were covered in red, Mai and Yui turned to Kanade and nodded as if they’d made up their minds.

“[Flight]!”

Kanade saw it and evacuated to the sky. He believed in their decision.

When Mai and Yui were freed from the chains, the flames were already upon them.

Even so, they knew it was inevitable.

If so, they had to decide.

“Please, Older Sister!”

“[Giant’s Work]!”

Mai swung five sledgehammers and slammed them into the wave of flames. If the STR exceeded the power of the enemy’s attack, the damage would be nullified and bounced back. As such, what’d happen if it hit a skill that only ignored damage immunity due to [Daybreak]?

It was a last-ditch counter.

Fire that swallowed everything. A part of it was pushed back around Mai, and the surge of flame was reversed.

“First of all, Clear [Erase Existence]!”

Just like Oboro’s [Shadow Clone], Marx slipped through the wave of flames by disappearing from the spot.

Beyond the blazing fire that Marx saw—the flame shimmered and danced in the burning field, obliterating many players who couldn’t escape in time.

Most of them were incinerated, and only some of the rearguards survived.

But.

“Seriously?”

Mai and Yui, who were familiar with the raid boss, counterattacked.

However, the figures of the two could no longer be seen beyond the wave of flames.

In other words, they’d sacrificed their lives for that one, final counter.

The counter that resulted in tremendous damage.

Although only a part of the damage was reflected, it was still a wide-ranging and unexpected event.

Evacuation was delayed, and the formation was collapsing.

When Marx looked ahead, Kanade, who’d soared into the air, had just landed on top of a huge rock that’d been generated in order to avoid the charred ground.

“You still want to fight…?”

Marx was in disbelief. Even if they had suffered a lot of casualties, [Maple Tree] still suffered the most damage. As such, they shouldn’t stand a chance.

After concluding her attack, Mii also rejoined Marx.

“Mii, thank you.”

“…Is Kanade the leader?”

“I think so.”

When the flames on the ground had subsided, Kanade flipped through the magic tome. Mercilessly, Mii ignited flames from her hands.

“[Black Smoke].”

Black Smoke spread all around.

It wasn’t a debuff, but a mere distraction.

“[Tornado]!”

Wind magic shot from somewhere quickly swept away the smoke.

Kanade had put up a smoke screen and fled—that was what everyone expected. After the smoke subsided, Kanade created a foothold with thick vines in the air, before closing in on Mii and Marx.

““…!””

At the unexpected move, the two of them turned their gazes to Kanade.

“Above!”

Someone shouted.

By the time Mii looked up, the white figure was already approaching.

Yui, holding a sledgehammer, was descending towards them.

“[Blue Flame]!”

“[Giant’s Work]!”

Yui reflected the blue flames.

Mai was the one who countered [Inferno] using five sledgehammers. Afterwards, she used the remaining ones to launch Yui into the sky.

Because they could do the same thing, they entrusted themselves to each other.

Yui was better at playing boldly like Maple.

While surrounded by the reflected flames, Mii rolled over and somehow managed to leave the spot.

“[Unbreakable Shield]!”

There was only one reason why Kanade remained and came forward—it was to ensure Yui’s landing.

“Hyaaa—!”

With a booming sound, Mai landed on the ground and swung her sledgehammer at Mii.

—This distance, the broken formation…

Mii could no longer avoid it. No one could help her anymore.

Marx, who stood next to her, saw it coming and threw a piece of paper at Mii.

“[Change]!”

At the same time as the water robe unfolded from the paper enveloped Mii, Marx switched the positions of the two traps with his skill. The trap that wrapped Mii transferred her to the safety zone.

“…I leave the rest to you.”

However, the cooldown was 1 minute.

The devastating blow of the giant sledgehammer—there was no way Marx could survive the attack.

It happened in an instant.

A deadly blow that didn’t even let him utter a single word reduced Marx into light particles.

At the same time, Kanade opened the magic tome—

“[Flash Flood]! Run away, Yui!”

“Okay!”

Kanade caught Yui, who was swept away by the water, and quickly escaped. For times like this, they increased their [AGI].

“I hope the battle on the other side is over…!”

They suffered significant damage here. With no more magic tomes to protect Yui, it became difficult to support her. Worried about the rest of the battlefield, Kanade rushed to Iz and Frederica.

Prev
Next

Comments