TNG Vol. 20 Chapter 2 Part 4

“Should we intercept them?”

“No, it’s too much trouble to deal with zombies in the city, and we don’t know why they suddenly sprang up. Our goal is to meet Hades. Ignore them and move on.”

There were no zombies in the game event. There seemed to be a lot of unknowns, but their priority was not to exterminate the zombies.

As for the speed of movement, the zombies moved slower than a person running at full speed, so it was unlikely that they would catch up to them.

“Do you know which way to go?”

“I’m going straight down this main road for now. If not, we’ll take the one without the zombies.”

Shin answered Milt’s question as he did not know the way himself. The map may be functioning, but that didn’t mean he could see what lay ahead. He decided to ignore the zombies, and leave it up to luck to see if there was a door to the next area ahead of him.

If he couldn’t find it, he would probably have to burn this place down.

“Isn’t this is the part where you say, ‘I’ll take care of it?’”

“You know that knowledge of the game doesn’t apply here. Don’t be absurd. Or do you recognize this thing?”

“No, I have no idea. My grandma says I’m not supposed to do horror quests!”

It seemed that Milt was not good at horror genres. Such players were not uncommon, regardless of gender. 

However, that didn’t mean that Shin was okay with being chased by zombies either.

“I saw a door. It seems to be closed.”

Schnee told him that she could see a door at the end of the main road.

It seemed that part of the outer wall covering the city was a gate.

Shin could see only a slight difference from the outer wall, but Schnee could already see it clearly enough to be certain.

“In real life, it would be difficult for me to go about my daily life without glasses, so I’m a little jealous.”

With Shin’s real body, he could see a distance of 30 centimeters blurry without glasses.

“Oh, so you’re a boy with glasses.”

“Is that what you’re reacting to? I’m sure it’s not uncommon.”

Even though he was having a meaningless conversation with Milt, Shin did not slow down his running speed. He wasn’t in a situation where he had to panic, where he was being chased by zombies. There was still some distance between them.

When they arrived in front of the gate, Shin pushed the door with all his might. This time, it opened quietly without any gimmicks.

“There are a lot of them, aren’t there?”

Shin heard Filma’s voice as he passed through the gate and turned around. Ahead of him, he saw the horde of zombies that filled the main street running after him.

But there was still some distance to go, so it would be impossible for the zombies to reach them before the gate closed.

Without hesitation, Shin closed the gate. 

“Sorry, but we have nothing to do with you.”

The gate led to what looked like an arena.

“Is this according to my knowledge of the game?”

In the center of the square, seven lights glowed. They changed shape and became humanoids.

In each of their hands was a curved sword similar to a katana, a dagger, a great sword, a halberd, a battleax, a bow, and a staff. Depending on the weapon, the physique of the humanoids and the shape of their armor also differed.

To classify them, the types with the great sword and the halberd were large. They had great strength and high HP. They were either attackers or defenders.

The types with the curved sword or the dagger were medium-sized. They did not have outstanding abilities, but they were balanced types with no weaknesses.

The types with the bow and the  staff were small. Depending on the weapon, they often specialized in either speed or magic.

“If I remember correctly, they appear in the same number as the members who have entered, right? However, there doesn’t seem to be any sign of a shadow opponent for Yuzuha or Kagerou.”

“In the case of tamers and summoners, the player and the follower are counted as one unit.”

The great sword wielder, halberd wielder, and battle ax wielder stepped forward, and the others took their positions behind them.

It was a typical battle formation where the durable power types served as a defensive wall, and the rear guard and guerrilla attack dealt damage.

The halberd wielder seemed to be modeled after Shibaid and also carried a shield. The formation was also centered around this individual.

“Hoh, they know what they’re doing, placing an individual that imitates me in the middle.”

“It would have been annoying if they had also copied the abilities of our equipment.”

Filma sighed beside Shibaid, who was impressed.

Since she often relied on his back as a fellow vanguard, she seemed to have learned how troublesome it could be when he became an enemy.

“But isn’t it strange? The humanoids are supposed to be the last to show up, right?”

Milt said, suspicious of the humanoids’ movements. Surely, according to the events of the game, the monsters should appear at the end of the dungeon.

Shin also had his doubts about the sudden appearance of a dungeon boss class enemy.

Upon closer inspection, the shape of the humanoids looked a bit rough. When he looked at them as a whole, they did not look too strange, but when he looked at them more closely, he felt that they looked a bit cheap.

“The level…I can’t see it.”

Similar to 【Far Sight】, skills related to the eyes could not be used.

It was a battle against an opponent for whom he had no prior information, something he had rarely had since arriving here.

“Here too, with Shibaid in the middle, Filma and I on the left and right. Milt will be the link to the rear guard. Yuzuha and Kagerou, attack if you see an opening. We will take advantage of our numbers.”

Even at the time of the game, in the abandoned city of Arkhan, those in positions that allowed them to increase their numbers, such as tamers and summoners, were valued. Since there were only as many humanoids as there were players, in the worst case scenario, if you could stop each of them from moving, you could win by the difference in followers.

Shin and the humanoids clash. The vanguards with the same weapons clashed violently, and sparks flew.

It was the humanoids who were pushed back.

The halberd wielder was sent flying backwards. Although he did not let go of his weapon, his shield shattered and his arm was broken.

At almost the same time, the great sword wielder and battle ax wielder were also blown away along with their weapons. The curved sword wielder who was positioned behind the halberd wielder was caught up in the blown away vanguard.

Judging from the way they rolled around in a flashy manner, there was no doubt that they did not have the fighting power of the individuals that appeared in the final stage.

“Kuh…”

As Shin felt relieved after seeing such a simple enemy, an oversized fireball and lightning strike landed on the fallen humanoids. After a spectacular explosion, only scorched and shattered ground remained.

“Yuzuha, and Kagerou too. It’s too much.”

Shin knew they were motivated by the fact that they were being relied upon, but even so, it was still too much.

Even though he didn’t deliver the finishing blow, he was being cautious because he wanted to test a little to see how it differed from his own game knowledge.

“It’s just a shadow. There’s no point in looking into it.”

Yuzuha said, swinging her tail.

The reason why her tone was not in the childish mode was because she was excited for the big day or maybe because Shin was relying on her. Either way, if she knew what it was, he would like to know.

“He looked a little different then the ones I know, you know? And he was weak.”

“The deeper you go into this dungeon, the stronger the Magic Essence* is. And the stronger the shadows become.” (TLN: Previously translated as Demon Essence)

“Wilhelm also said that. Come to think of it, what is Magic Essence? Isn’t it magic power?”

Shin had previously seen an undead monster desiccate after its magic essence was absorbed by Skull Face Lord.

In other words, he believed that magic essence existed as some kind of substance. Like the companions of atoms and molecules.

“Magic Essence is one of the substances that make up a monster’s body. It’s like air. The more incorporeal and far from life it is, the higher the proportion of it is. Creatures in this world more or less inhale the magic essence from the atmosphere.”

“Is that okay?”

When he heard that it was one of the components of a monster, he felt that he should not leave it unattended.

“It has almost no effect on living things, so it’s okay. This dungeon has a lot of magic, but even if you spend ten years here without ever going outside, it won’t affect you at all.”

“Is that so?”

“That’s what it is.”

Yuzuha, who had been walking on the ground, ran up to Shin’s body and dexterously stepped on both of his shoulders with her hind legs and laid her head on top of Shin’s head.

“What’s wrong with you all of a sudden?”

“I have a premonition that we should stick together.”

“What kind of hunch do you have…”

Shin didn’t really understand Yuzuha’s premonition, but she wasn’t going to get in the way of the battle, so he let her do whatever she wanted.

Even in this state, Yuzuha’s magic was very precise.

While they were talking about this, Shin and the others came to the door to enter the next stage.

“Nothing on the door this time.”

There was nothing particularly unusual about it, and Filma looked disappointed.

“No, that’s normal. The previous door was strange.”

She didn’t want things like that to be normal.

“It has a similar vibe to the town we saw earlier.”

“I don’t want to be chased by zombies again.”

Schnee’s comment probably reminded Milt of the zombies rushing to the gate, and she shivered.

Shin also braced himself for a continuation of the earlier events when he entered the area, but after waiting for a while, there was no change.

“I don’t feel that strange feeling like before.”

Tiera said she would know if she felt it because it was a unique presence.

“If you feel it, tell me immediately. There was a time lag before. Speaking of which, did you see anything other than zombies?”


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