TNG Vol. 20 Chapter 3 Part 12

(Did they make it in time?)

Schnee gritted her teeth as the rising ground reached the edge of her vision.

The most troublesome attack she knew of was the creation of an earthen wall by the fake Cain. Initially, that wasn’t a combat skill, but a production skill. Even so, it was stronger than a mud wall made with poor earth magic skills.

This proved that production skills could shine in battle when combined with the status of a High Human in a particular job.

Filma and Shibaid moved to intercept the fake Cook, fake Cashmere, and fake Reed, who had moved on, as she could tell by their presence. Tiera should be fine since Sety and Kagerou were with her.

Schnee pulled out 『Blue Moon』 from the half-cut staff, then jumped away from the scene.

A bullet of wind passed through the place where she had been a moment ago.

It was almost colorless and silent. When used by an ordinary player, this magic skill was only powerful enough to slow down a player, but when used by a High Human, it had enough power to injure and kill. The low-power setting also allowed for continuous fire, which was difficult for Schnee to handle at the moment.

However, Schnee was able to dodge the wind bullets. It was not so difficult for the elf to perceive magic other than by sight. She had spent a long time perfecting it. She had honed her skills and other elements to respond to any enemy that came her way.

(Magic activation is a bit slower than the real thing.)

She knew this because she had seen the real thing.

Chantless magic was a threat, but its slight slowness was an opportunity to be exploited.

Schnee approached the fake Cain while dodging the wind bullets. As she ran, she threw the throwing knife that materialized from her Item Box, taking advantage of the slight pause in the fake Hecate’s magic.

Of course, the fake Cain would not remain silent either.

The moment the fake Cain sensed Schnee approaching, he stabbed his walking stick into the ground and threw the knives that had appeared in both his hands.

Schnee’s figure disappeared before the swarm of knives that changed trajectories in the air.

What appeared instead was a throwing knife that Schnee threw at the fake Hecate, which was deflected by her staff.

In response to Schnee’s sudden appearance, the fake Hecate swung her staff.

Schnee parried it with one hand, spinning gently like a leaf dancing in the wind, and adding momentum to the 『Blue Moon』.

What Schnee used was a non-system skill Change Ring. It was a skill used as a short-range teleportation, and its effect was to swap the position of an object that could fit in one hand with the thrower. Schnee used her skill to replace the knife she threw at the fake Hecate. She was able to dodge the fake Cain’s attack and, at the same time, surprise attack the fake Hecate.

At almost the same time as Schnee disappeared, the fake Cain also changed positions with the knife.

Simultaneously attacking with knives that changed trajectories in mid-air was one of the attacks the real Cain excelled at.

Schnee knew this, and when she saw the fake Cain holding a knife as she approached, she thought about teleporting herself in the same way.

The fake Hecate caught the accelerating 『Blue Moon』 with her left arm, which had no staff.  Unable to dodge her attacks, she discarded one of her arms to avoid lethal damage.

The blade of 『Blue Moon』 was covered in a white, cloudy effect.

Combined with the momentum of the rotation and the enhanced sharpness of 『Blue Moon』, the fake Hecate’s arm couldn’t handle it.

When the fake Hecate’s arm flew into the air, her remaining arm and half her body instantly froze.

The fake Hecate lost her balance.

Schnee, however, jumped back from the spot without making a follow-up attack.

Almost at the same time, an earthen wall grew. Had she stayed where she was, she would have been pinned to the wall.

Schnee threw 『Blue Moon』 at the fake Cain who had created the wall. At the same time, she released a magical lightning bolt.

The lightning bolt landed earlier.

However, this was a High Human. The power of the lightning was reduced, though not as much as the real one.

The fake Cain, who probably thought that the lightning strike was just a bluff and that 『Blue Moon』 was the real target, braced himself while exposing himself to the electric shocks.

However, 『Blue Moon』 changed its trajectory toward the ground without reaching the fake Cain.

『Blue Moon』 pierced the ground, leaving behind a pale effect that was different from when it attacked the fake Hecate.

At that moment, the ground instantly froze. The web of cold air caught the fake Cain before he could jump back, freezing him from the waist down. It didn’t dissipate like the lightning strike, but tightly encircled his body.

The lightning strike was a bluff. She deliberately lowered the power of the strike to make the opponent believe that it was only that powerful.

Trick Throw, which changed the trajectory of the projectile, and Icicle Pain, which gave the weapon the effect of freezing everything it touched.

Stacking multiple skills on the same weapon was impossible in the game. But in the current world, it was possible. If you could overcome the most challenging hurdle, which was the difficulty of mastering the skill, the range of choices would increase dramatically.

The fake Cain, who could not move, and the fake Hecate, whose vision was limited by the earthen wall and whose movement was restricted by the ice.

Seeing this as a perfect opportunity, Schnee stepped forward.

Using high-speed movement in conjunction with Ground Shrink, she brought the fake Cain into deadly range before he could break free of his ice restraints.


The fake Cain’s face distorted.

Schnee didn’t give him a chance to forcefully change her position with the Change Ring. Without slowing down, she charged at the fake Cain, who was holding a cane with a cut in it.

The fake Cain then waved his cane to ward off Schnee. The trajectory effect was probably due to some kind of skill.

However, the cane passed by Schnee. To be more precise, it was an illusion she created.

The fake Cain’s cane suddenly accelerated and followed the original trajectory.

The strategy of using the illusion as a decoy to rush in with a time lag was a common one, but very effective.

Unless the opponent was very strong, it was more than effective against both players and monsters that relied on sight. Therefore, it was natural for players to anticipate it and either activate their skills or prepare themselves to respond. The fake Cain was no exception to this rule and he seemed to have taken countermeasures.

However, there was no Schnee in his line of sight. There would be no follow-up attack after the illusion.

The fake Cain’s body swayed.

A cut ran through his neck, and the culprit was above the fake Cain’s head. 

Schnee used the illusion as a decoy to distract the fake Cain for a moment, then instantly disappeared and jumped. She then launched an attack from above the unguarded fake Cain’s head.


Only for a short time after she taking down the fake Cain, Schnee activated her Flying Shadow and kicked the sky. She barely dodged the flying blue-white lightning ball. 

Even though the fake Hecate was blocked by an earthen wall and half frozen, she still unleashed magic toward Schnee.

The High Human also has a wealth of support skills such as Through Sight and Magic Perception. Schnee had expected the fake Hecate to at least shoot magic at her through the earthen wall.

During the attack and defense with the fake Cain, Schnee had noticed that the fake Hecate was about to release magic behind her, but Schnee was still determined not to miss this opportunity, so she attacked with the determination to do some damage.

Before she landed, Schnee unleashed magic that canceled out the continuous magic raining down on her.

There were so many lightning balls that it was difficult to get out of range or dodge them. 

The real Hecate’s specialty was to use her superior number of magic spells to control the entire battlefield.

Even if it was a fake, the amount was overwhelming.

However, if it were one-on-one, Schnee wouldn’t lose either.

If she combined her status, which had been strengthened by her travels with Shin, with the techniques she had spent many years training, she would not be outmatched by a fake that was no more capable than the real thing.

Then, a deafening sound, like the explosion of a bomb, echoed.

It was Filma who put an end to the fake Hecate, falling on the other side of the earthen wall where she stood.

Literally, like a meteor falling from the sky, she plummeted in a straight line.

The magic stopped, and Filma appeared from behind the earthen wall, giving a thumbs up.

“I thought it might be a trap if the fake Hecate was so defenseless, but she seemed desperate so I cut her in half.”

“That’s unreasonable, but thank you for your help.”

Schnee smiled bitterly at Filma who gave a somewhat disturbing report. She defeated the fake Cook and rushed in right away.

“That’s all for now, right?”

“It looks like Shibaid and the others are finished, so there should be no enemies left.”

She confirmed that the fake Cain’s body had disappeared as if it had melted away. There was no response from Shibaid and the others.

This should allow us to move on to the next area. Schnee and Filma, who had thought so, turned their heads in response to a new presence that suddenly appeared.

There was nothing in their line of sight. But they could tell that something powerful was there, or had been there.

“Let’s meet up with Shibaid and others.”


They couldn’t make out what the presence was so Schnee and Filma joined up with Shibaid and the others who were on their way.

“Master, what is this presence?”

Tiera asked anxiously.

“I don’t know. But I don’t think it’s going to let us pass by quietly.”

Since it didn’t materialize, Schnee had no choice but to walk past and head for the door, but she had the feeling that the other entity was watching them.

She couldn’t imagine going to the next area without incident. Besides, there was no guarantee that the door would open.

“The presence has become stronger.”

At Shibaid’s words, Schnee and the others turned their attention to the presence.

Something like a white mist was gathering in the area where they could sense the presence.

The mist was concentrated in a place about 3 mel above the ground, and it seemed to be absorbing the ribbon-shaped mist.

“Hey, there’s no need to wait around, right?”

“…That’s true too.”

Filma nodded at Sety’s suggestion. Shin and the others were supposed to be with Hades, so it was unlikely that the other party here was Hades.

Considering the layout of the area, this was probably the area where the original humanoid had appeared. If they could take the initiative and turn the situation to their advantage, it would be better.


Along with Sety’s call, a sharp flame like a spear pierced through the mass of mist.

The flame magic skill Flare Lance was a very powerful magic that concentrated its power in one point. Multiple shots were fired, all of them hitting the target, and after a brief flash of light, an explosion occurred. 

However, a humanoid emerged from the explosion.

“It’s not going to be that easy, is it?”

Schnee said with heightened alertness.

After the smoke cleared, she saw a humanoid figure that looked exactly like Shin.

“Does that mean that a fake Shin has appeared?”

“There’s no way he’s the same as the other humanoids.”

Filma and Shibaid were also prepared for the encounter.

Not only was the way it appearance different, but it also seemed to absorb power from its surroundings. The feeling of intimidation it radiated was also clearly different from the fake one from earlier.

That fake Shin lowered himself.


As if the frame skipped, the fake Shin’s figure appeared in front of Shibaid.

This speed was the same as Shin’s movements during the game era.

It was a perfect reproduction of his status. Schnee and her group’s minds were filled with such thoughts. But there was no time to think about it. Shibaid quickly held up his shield, and the fake Shin hit him with his left palm.


Despite the light tapping gesture, the shield jumped up.

Shibaid still didn’t let go of the shield, but in return, the shield nearly flew away, pulling his body with it and causing him to lose his position.

Before Schnee and Filma could take cover, five fireballs appeared around the fake Shin. They exploded almost simultaneously.

Flames and shock hit everyone present. Furthermore, a huge amount of black smoke spread out, which was impossible considering the size of the explosion.

Due to the distance and the fact that a floating shield attached to her armor protected Tiera, she was unharmed. However, her vision was obscured by the flames of the explosion and the smoke.

Some of the smoke suddenly changed its flow. By the time she noticed, the fake Shin was already in front of Tiera. As if cutting between the floating shields, the blade ran just above the ground. 

The floating shields also had the function of forming a simple barrier, and by stacking them up, they prevented irregularly shaped attacks, such as flames and smoke, from passing through the gaps. However, the slash that bounced off from the ground approached Tiera as if there were no barriers.


Outside the floating shield, there was nothing but smoke. Tiera could not react to the blade that seemed to emerge from the black smoke suddenly.

Instead, it was Schnee, who immediately jumped toward the rear guard and blocked the slash.

Schnee, a Kunoichi, a job that also allowed her to scout, knew how to fight even when she could not see. Combining her skills, she was able to catch up to the fake Shin, who had lagged slightly behind, by using the explosive flame he had created himself.

Blue Moon intercepted the blade aimed at Tiera, and sparks flew.

“Get down! Stay close to Sety!”

Even as she said this, Schnee never took her eyes off the fake Shin.

All the fakes had copied the fighting style of the former Rokuten.

It was the same with the fake Cain, who divided them with earthen walls, and the fake Cashmere, who released a large number of summoned beasts.

But it was for another reason that Schnee realized what the fake Shin was trying to do.

She remembered. She saw the dark expression on the fake Shin’s face. That was when Shin was called the Death God.

“(A near suicide attack is coming! Don’t let your guard down until the final blow is delivered!)”

She gritted her teeth as she shouted in 【Mind Chat】.

Even though her stats and her equipment had improved since reuniting with Shin, it wasn’t easy to push back the fake Shin’s blade.

The fake Shin’s gaze turned from Tiera to Schnee. It seemed that the cold eyes she once saw – the madness where he would not even consider his own life in order to defeat the enemy – had been recreated.


The fake Shin did not miss the moment when she was distracted.

The blade that pushed back Blue Moon lost its power and slid down. Then, a poisonous colored sphere appeared in the fake Shin’s hand.

Schnee reflexively activated her magic. The sphere exploded, and the strong wind swirled almost simultaneously.

The swirling wind sucked in a different type of smoke than the black smoke that was trying to spread.

It was probably the result of an abnormal state skill that engulfed both friend and foe alike.

Schnee and her group should not be affected by the abnormalities due to the power of their equipment, but since she was the one who was using it, she could not let her guard down, so Schnee took measures to deal with the new smoke. However, simply collecting the smoke in one place would not eliminate the effect. 

It would be safer to surround the area with water skills and freeze it. 

The strategy of forcing the opponent to use multiple coping skills was also the same as Shin’s in the past. He would force his opponents to deal with a lot of things with a small number of moves.

However, Schnee and her group did not challenge the fake Shin alone.

While Schnee was responding to the smoke, a bolt of lightning flashed through the air.

Sety’s lightning magic skill Thunder Line bypassed Schnee and Tiera and flew toward the fake Shin.

The thunderbolt reached the target in the blink of an eye. However, at the point of impact, the fake Shin was already gone. He had vanished as if melting into a puff of black smoke.

His presence was too tenuous to be detected. Even so, Schnee’s keen senses detected that the fake Shin’s presence was moving away. She issued a warning in 【Mind Chat】.

“(Filma, Shibaid!)”

“(It’s not me. It’s Filma!)”

Shibaid replied with 【Mind Chat】.

Filma’s side produced a metallic sound instead of a reply.


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