Translator: Kell | Editor: Ryunakama
The Path Leads to Death
Adventurers of this world may be awful and inefficient at fighting compared to the ones in BBO, but still there has to be a reason for the high death rate. We should keep our guards up, carefully examine our surrounding while moving onward.
As I was exiting the guild, I heard the adventurers inside gossiping.
「The two of them are going to the Forest of Death. Who’s that guy anyway?」
「I haven’t seen him before. I don’t know of an adventurer with an alias named Eld.」
「If there was a new adventurer with an alias, the whole guild will be talking about it. Since that’s not the case, this Eld guy must not have an alias at all.」
「She’s going to the Forest of Death with a guy like that? I don’t know the circumstances behind this decision, but I guess this is the end for the Flame Spear…」
Wow, they sure can talk. I wonder how they’d react if they found out I’m rank E. There’s no reason for me to tell them that, though.
「Don’t pay them any mind. If we bring back materials from the forest, that should clear any doubts.」
「Yeah. But if things look bad, we’re getting the hell out of there.」
「Sounds good. There’d be no point to all this if we’re dead.」
We drew closer to the Forest of Death as we were talking. The closer we got, the more the air changed. The atmosphere was different, the kind that’s unique to high-level maps packed with magic power. I’ve felt something like this in BBO too, but the density of the air here was completely different.
If Mylia fought properly, she could easily take care of B-ranked monsters. Still, I couldn’t help but feel anxious.
Every fifty meters, I used Magic Search to get a good grasp of our surrounding while moving forward. It was the best way to avoid danger.
If there was a monster that’s quick on its feet, as long as I’m able to detect it with my Skill and make a run for it, it shouldn’t catch up that easily. It’s a safety method that a Sage can utilize because of their wide-range enemy detection.
「It’s only about a kilometer to the forest.」
「A kilometer… Hold up. Are you seriously just heading straight like this?」
The road we were taking seemed to lead straight to the middle of the forest. How a road formed in such a dangerous place was beyond me. The problem was how the road was constructed. It seemed to just go straight and cut through the forest.
If we took the path, it’ll be easy for us to get attacked from both sides. If areas where monsters show up are taken into account, a much safer path can be created. Actually the path before us was as bad as it could get.
「The plan was to just follow the path straight ahead. But it’s better if we don’t go in too deep. If we do, there’s very high chance that we don’t make it back out alive.」
「…1.3 kilometers into the forest. It’ll start getting too dangerous from around there.」
Mylia looked dumbfounded.
「H-How’d you know that? It’s such a specific number and even among the ones with aliases, only a few are privy to that information.」
「I mean, it’s clearly dangerous around that part. There are plenty of areas nearby that are swarming with monsters, plus the unobstructed view. Heading straight there is the same as telling the monsters to come attack you.」
「Can you really tell just from looking?」
「I checked with my Magic Search. Though you need experience to tell at a glance which area is dangerous.」
Now I know why the Forest of Death’s death rate is too high. The path itself leads to sure death. If people take this route, that explains the high death rate.
If people find out about the danger, they’ll fight near the path instead, thinking it’s safe when in fact, that area is the most dangerous. And that’s how they got the ninety percent death rate.
I’m glad I found out why they called the place dangerous before going in. We still can’t let our guard down, but I can fight with less worry now.
「What now? Should we fight near the entrance?」
「It’s not safe there either. There’s the risk of being flanked. The survival rate around the entrance is not that high, is it?」
「Most of the adventurers that made it out alive turned back just before the 1.3km mark, but still they say the survival rate is about thirty percent.」
That sounds about right. Even around the forest’s entrance there’s a chance of getting flanked from two sides. The chances of not getting pincer-attacked during hours of fighting is about thirty percent.
My guess is they go in with a party that can deal with enemies from the front, but then they get attacked from behind and get wiped. It’s a common fate of parties with no enemy detection.
「What’s the survival rate of those who just went in without using the path?」
「Let’s see… There’s not a lot of reckless fools that stray off the path. I think there were five people that did so and four of them made it back out alive. The reckless sure are lucky.」
「No, it’s not luck. Following the path is actually the most risky thing to do. The safe route is… Magic Search.」
Once again, I surveyed the surroundings.
「All the way left from here just beside a cliff.」
「Beside a cliff? We won’t have any place to run.」
「If we have to run, we’ll just retreat straight back. It’s much more terrifying when the forest is behind you. Monsters won’t show up from a cliff, but they will from the woods. And if we fight next to the cliff, we won’t have to worry about getting attacked from behind. We’d need twice as many people in our party if we want to guard both sides.」
「I’ve never heard of anyone suggesting fighting next to a cliff.」
It was difficult to come up with this kind of strategy in this world because you only get one life. In BBO, it’s okay if you die, so reckless strategies were devised one after another.
Countless tactics were devised, tested, and only the best ones stuck around. In this world, a hundred years won’t be enough to test all the strategies that players came up with in BBO.
But I can’t force a party member to fight a dangerous battle if they don’t feel up to it. We may have strategies that have been refined throughout the history of BBO, but battles always come with risks.
「Do you want to go with it? We can hunt monsters that wander off near the entrance instead. Though it’ll be less efficient and there’s no guarantee it’ll be safe.」
「I’d love to say no, but I know from that fight with the Raging Ape that your tactics are superb. I thought they were a hundred years too advanced. I’ll trust your tactics more than my instincts.」
She inferred that from that fight alone? That’s the world’s strongest adventurer for you, I guess. She knows what proper battle tactics look like.
If I taught her how to fight properly and configure her Skills, she might become a formidable force to reckon with. After all, she’s high-levelled and hasn’t learned any advanced Skill. Which means there’s plenty of ways to configure her Skills just yet.