Translator: Kell | Editor: Ryunakama
I Was Up Against a Swarm of Enemies
The next morning.
After a night’s stay at an inn, I walked around town to purchase a new sword.
Weapons are important. Even if you’re accustomed to fighting or can land critical hits, if your stats are low, you can’t take down an enemy.
I was only able to defeat every enemy I’ve encountered so far with one shot because they were weak. Unlike in BBO, you can’t see stats in this world, but it doesn’t change the fact that stats are important.
If the Lesser Wolf’s defense was twice that of a Wolf, my critical blow could’ve been countered and I probably wouldn’t be here right now. That’s how crucial stats are.
As I was pondering that, I arrived at an equipment shop located near the guild. According to the guard I asked, this was the only equipment shop in town. And the owner doesn’t make the goods, but rather he purchases them.
「Welcome. What are you looking for, Sir?」
「A somewhat shorter sword that’s just right for my build.」
「A shorter sword… In that case, please follow me.」
He led me to a section of the shop where a large quantity of brand-new swords were displayed. They all cost 30,000 gils, a somewhat affordable price.
But they seemed to lack offensive power. They were better than the sword I had right now, but I didn’t feel like I could entrust my life to them either.
「Do you have anything better?」
「I’ll show you the best sword I got here. It’s a bit more expensive, though.」
He guided me further back into the shop to show me a sword with 150,000 gils written on its price tag. It was just the right length.
「Can I try a few swings?」
I took the 150,000 gil-sword in my hand and swung it around lightly.
It’s a great sword. It didn’t have any extreme capabilities, but it was carefully crafted. With this I can fight without worrying about it getting smashed to bits. If I bought it, that would be most of my money gone. I’ll take it anyway.
After all, Novices have awful stats. I wanted to at least up my offense with a weapon.
「I’ll take this.」
I handed the shopkeeper 150,000 gils and received my brand-new sword.
「Would you like some armor to go with that as well? I’ll give you a discount!」
Armor, huh? Wearing one would certainly increase my durability, but I didn’t need it right now. With a Novice’s basic defense, armor of this grade wouldn’t make much difference. Instead, it would only slow me down, therefore increasing the chances of me getting hit—a huge drawback. If he had armor with a special effect that made me move faster, then I want it. But it looked like he had nothing extraordinary like that. Well, even if he did, I didn’t have the money anyway.
「Nah. I’m good.」
All right. I’m pretty much out of money. I have to go make some more.
「Is there a request to kill Lesser Wolves today?」
「Yes! We still have 32 left in the kill quest limit.」
「Kill quest limit?」
「The maximum number of monsters you can kill that’ll give you a reward. You can kill more than that, but you won’t get any money. Also, there’s only so many of them out there so when you get closer to the limit, the encounter rate decreases. Experienced adventurers would avoid taking kill quests with less than five targets left.」
I see. That basically meant going over the limit was inefficient.
「Got it. I’ll look for another request, then.」
「Pardon? There’s still 32 left for the Lesser Wolves kill quest.」
「That’ll only take less than two hours. Rather than coming back here to get another request, I’ll just take another one and do both in one go.」I said as I started looking for another request.
I don’t want to stay a Novice for long. To change job classes sooner, I need to save money to get to the royal capital.
「Thirty-two in just two hours…?」
「You heard me. Wolf-type monsters have higher scouting abilities and tend to group up, so taking down a lot is easier.」
Plus I didn’t have to find them. They’d spot me first and come charging at me. Of course, getting pincer attacked by two or more groups would be dangerous, but high-level players in BBO knew how to avoid running into such a situation.
I could kill the wolves in one blow. It was the ideal job for someone like me with combat experience but awful stats. Unfortunately, there was nothing I could do if I could only kill so many. I had to look for another request.
So I went over the requests. Teresa would most likely just give me something stronger than Lesser Wolves if I asked for her help. If I wanted something with just the right level of difficulty, I had to look for one myself.
Right now, I would rank my abilities at high E. I did manage to take down a Wolf which was rank C, but it was alone. I don’t think I can win against a pack of those so taking a C rank request right now was out of the question. There was a huge difference between just “winning” and “winning slowly but surely”.
So I’m going to stay away from requests that required taking down anything stronger than Lesser Wolves. The reward reflected the level of difficulty. Since the lesser wolves gave 7,000 gils, I just had to look for requests with rewards lower than that.
Then I found the perfect request.
Spear Mouse kill quest. Rank E.
Reward: 4,000 gils per mouse.
Kill count limit is 546.
The reward wasn’t too high with lots of kills to go before the limit was reached. Now I can make money safely with this request.
「I wanna take this one.」
「The Spear Mouse kill quest, correct? I think that’s an excellent choice! It’s perfect for you, Eld-san!」
It sounds like she supports my choice. It was a lower-ranked request but perhaps she realized that this was reasonable.
A few hours later.
After taking care of the Lesser Wolves request, I headed for the Spear Mouse hunting grounds.
Incidentally, after asking for the location from Teresa, I confirmed it with the town’s guard as well so there was no chance of me getting tricked this time. Humans are creatures that learn.
「Is this the Spear Mouse Forest?」
Not long after I started running, I arrived at the forest. It felt a lot farther than where Teresa said it would be but a 30-minute difference was within margin of error. This place was most likely the Spear Mouse Forest. I think.
There weren’t any mouse-type monsters in BBO so this would be my first time fighting one. It’s best to get the experience now so when I do face off against stronger mouse-type monsters, I’ll know how to fight them.
I explored the inside of the forest then spotted a large mouse with a pointed head that resembled a spear. I say “large” but only relative to its normal size. It was only about forty centimeters tall.
I guess I’ll try taking one down. I headed straight for the Spear Mouse. When I was about thirty meters away, it turned toward me. It looks like it noticed me.
「Scouting range is about thirty meters…」
When facing a monster for the first time, gathering information is more crucial than killing them.
All right, what will it do now? I inched closer while watching the Spear Mouse’s movements. Its next move was completely unexpected.
It cried out to the skies. This only meant one thing: it was calling for its friends.
After a few more squeals, similar cries rang out from all directions.
…There won’t be just ten or twenty of them. At the very least, it’ll be in the hundreds.
「This is bad…」
If it was only a smaller swarm, I could try making it so I fought one at a time over and over again. But when they numbered at least ten, I couldn’t do that.
My only saving grace was that they were ranked E. If the guild were not mistaken in designating their rank, they were only as dangerous as the Lesser Wolves. In fact, the Lesser Wolves were among the strongest E rank monsters, so there was a high possibility that these Spear Mice were safer to deal with.
Not that it mattered how strong they were. Right now, I still have to fight them.
I ceased surveying the situation and charged a nearby Spear Mouse with my sword. I didn’t bother trying to land a critical hit; it was important to just land a blow as soon as possible. But that was enough to kill it in one attack.
They’re weak, all right—a lot weaker than Lesser Wolves. They were most likely recognized as E rank only because they attack in swarms.
However, these Spear Mice were the worst match for me. Right now, my stats were close to being the lowest and I was making up for it with skill, allowing me to just barely fight.
You can, after all, compensate the difference in stats with skill. Case in point: I haven’t actually been hit since I got to this world.
But a close-range royal rumble against a lot of monsters is a different story. No matter how good I am at combat, I will definitely get hit. Dodging the attacks of a few dozen monsters is physically impossible.
So I assessed my current situation. Judging by the cries, there were at most 300 of the Spear Mice.
Their offensive ability is what matters, but I can’t tell at the moment. Overall, however, their individual stats should be quite low. I should be able to beat them.
「…No other choice but to fight.」
I charged at a nearby Spear Mouse with my sword. What you should focus on in situations like this is to decrease the opponent’s numbers. The fewer the enemies, the lesser chance of getting hit and the higher chances of winning.
As I took down one, more and more started gathering and they rushed at me one after another.
「Argh, that hurts!」
But I could endure the pain. The injuries weren’t serious. As I suspected, they weren’t all that powerful. Taking into consideration the damage I was receiving plus the number of enemies, I analyzed my situation for a moment and came to a conclusion: I can win.
I swung my sword, slaying one Spear Mouse after another, all the while enduring the pain. Even against multiple enemies, you can still use your own skills and techniques, not just swing your sword recklessly. Continuously taking down as many monsters as possible in the most efficient manner—that counts as a skill. And the most important thing to consider is…
…the timing of your heals. Novices have extremely low MP. Self Cure may only require a low amount of MP to use, but people don’t have an unlimited mana pool. The number of times you can use the skill was therefore limited.
If you were too slow on your healing, it could be too late. On the other hand, if you cast it prematurely and you still had a lot of health, your heal will be wasted. I paid attention to the amount of heal I needed and adjusted the timing on when to use it accordingly, while fighting continuously.
I just needed to stay composed and be a machine with only one goal: kill the enemies. So I simply focused on swinging my sword while continuing to use Self Cure to recover stamina. By the time I was dangerously low on MP, I’ve taken care of all the Spear Mice.
「…I somehow managed to do it.」
It was a gruelling battle. They were a lot more troublesome than the Lesser Wolves which were considered to be among the strongest E rank monsters.
「Who the heck thought this was an E rank request?」I complained as I gathered the pointed part of the Spear Mice’s heads. They called this the『Spear Mouse’s Spearhead』.
I had no idea what they used them for, but bringing these to the guild will apparently prove that I indeed killed the Spear Mice. It was a drag to collect all these materials after that arduous battle, but when I thought about how each one of them will fund my trip to the capital, I felt motivated. After a while, I finished gathering all of them.
The spearheads totalled 276. The reward from the request alone will give me more than 1,100,000 gils. Plus the amount I will get from selling these…
Now that’s the dream! What I could do with all that money! I thought as I made my way back to Elia.
「Two hundred seventy-six?!」
Teresa’s voice echoed in the quiet guild. When I reported that I killed 276 Spear Mice, she was dumbfounded.
Oh come on, stop pretending. You’re the one who said this request was perfect for me.
「I spotted one and before long a lot more emerged. That’s how the Spear Mice behave, right?」
「No, it’s not!」