《You have received a system message. Do you want you to read it?》
There was some info from the administrators waiting for me when I logged in.
Isn’t it just the same thing as usual?
《Statistics Update Notice: The service information has been updated based on yesterday’s data.》
So it’s the same thing as usual.
Isn’t that just to keep track of the number of actual players?
A line of data was displayed in a digital window in front of my eyes, and one glance at the number at the bottom was enough to confirm my suspicions.
Looks like the total number of players has reached 54 000.
So it has been steadily increasing.
Good for the developers I guess, but for me it spells nothing but trouble.
It will be bothersome if this place gets any more crowded than it already is.
The places that are currently suffering from the most traffic are the town of Lemut and the city of Legias.
That’s how it currently is.
The Earth Spirit Shrine is filled with a fairly large number of players but compared to the Wind Spirit Village it is not that much.
At least I didn’t feel like I was about to suffocate from all the crowd.
The time is now 6:00 AM.
My MP bar is completely restored.
I summon Bunraku.
After I finished preparing my tent, I left my bag in it and went out.
I had to cook outside, since the air in the Shrine was too stagnant for me.
The Area Portal was so wide in here.
I installed my desk and a chair in a suitable place and started the cooking procedure together with Bunraku.
The main ingredient for today is the Blitz Tendon I got yesterday plus a crapload of ingredients I got from Hannes.
I suppose I can also throw a Blitz Thigh Meat into the mix.
So, what should I prepare today?
While I’m waiting for the meal to be cooked, let’s summon the rest of the team I’ll be using today.
I summon Helix, Obsidian and Heather.
I think I’ll also summon Zuiun since I want to see how is it going to do in battle.
But I guess I’ll have to wait until nightfall, because apparently its full potential can only be realized when it’s dark.
Around me there are also a few players occupied with making breakfasts on their own.
By the looks and the smell of it, most of them opted for a barbecue.
That might be a nice idea.
The scenery of the white mountains around us being illuminated with an orange hue by the light of the rising sun was also a nice, calming touch.
Just looking at it was enough to rejuvenate the soul.
Actually, that’s where I’ll be going today, since I heard that some pretty scary monsters can be encountered there.
All righty, the cooking is now finished. Let’s see what we have here.
【Food】Boiled Blitz Thigh Meat Steak and Tendon
Full Stomach +35% Quality B + Rarity 6 Weight 1
※ Secret Effect
A dish made by boiling the tendon and thigh meat of a Blitz in a soup broth.
Has a rich, delicate texture.
Oh, would you look at that, level 6 rarity, and a secret effect as well?
I ate it all without paying attention to my rather terrible table manners.
Delish as always.
Both the tendon and the thigh meat were exceptionally well made.
I also poured myself some vegetable soup.
I’d like to take my sweet time to fully savior the taste of those dishes, but I’m dying to know what that secret effect is.
I made a lot of it, but my ever-increasing anticipation made me devour the whole thing in no time.
And the information I was waiting for finally appeared before me.
《Support Skill【Acrobatics】acquired！Do you want to activate it？》
I could have sworn that I’ve unlocked that skill earlier, but apparently that was not the case. It took quite a long time for me to get it, now that I think about it.
Since it doesn’t require the usage of any bonus points, might as well go and activate it right now.
After that was done, I called Bunraku back and summoned Ninetails.
The party for today will focus mainly on movement speed.
I strengthen Zangetsu with spells thanks to which her movement speed increases.
Heather also supports her with her own spells, increasing her agility even further.
The weather is so nice today.
Such a good day for hunting.
Of course, the fact that the weather is nice has nothing to do with the fact that we will still encounter monsters during our travels.
This time they were Black Bears and Snow Apes.
They closed in on us with the intent of attacking but gave up their chase immediately after we just went pass them without doing anything to them.
The speed at which Zangetsu is running right now is not even her maximum one, but even so the pursuers were left behind us before we knew it.
Avoiding random encounters in such a way was certainly nice, but it cannot be done with all of them, like the one with that those monsters who jumped in front of us from the top of a nearby tree.
Those were the two Snow Apes.
Helix and Obsidian were the first ones to engage them, I followed suit with attacking with my cane from atop the horseback and Zangetsu kicked them in the heads with her hooves.
We made short work of them, and it was over in a jiffy.
We can’t afford to fight such simple mobs the whole day after all.
When we arrived at a fork in the road, it was well past 9:00 AM.
If we go to the right then we will reach the summit.
And on the left, a vast forest maze was waiting for us.
Out of those two options, of course we ended up choosing the right path.
I decided to switch the team members for a bit.
Heather, Obsidian and Helix stayed with me while Zangetsu and Ninetails were called back.
I summoned Senki and Rig in their steed.
Since from now on we will be scaling up the mountain, let’s equip some winter clothing.
After a while of climbing we reached a small landing, so I used Call Monster to see just what kind of enemy would be detected.
It’s a Sasquatch. One of those things was apparently nearby.
There were also some Blitz and Snow Leopards, but none of them were in the near vicinity.
We should move on while making sure we won’t run into this Sasquatch guy.
There is not enough space for comfort here, and additionally the footing was somewhat poor. This is not an ideal place to do battle on.
We follow further along the ridge.
While we were on a small peak a little bit higher up, in the distance I saw a crater-like depression in the ground. It looked like it was filled with water, but in order to investigate properly we would have to go down again.
We will go back there to check it out if we’ll have the time once we finish our business here.
Then Helix found something up ahead.
I could feel my tension rising. Something was definitely there.
Something like a boulder further ahead on the ridge.
I take a closer look at it from a safe distance.
What I initially took to be a boulder turned out to be an enormous gray furball.
My knowledge of Sasquatchs was fairly limited, but I do know they are mostly white.
I used 【Identify】on this guy to understand what he was exactly.
Monster Target Subjugation Active
Combat Position: Ground Ice Attribute Status: Sleeping
Uhm, so at least I know it’s not a Sasquatch?
I mean its coat is grey, but it gives off the same gorilla-like impression as Sasquatch does.
So what is he doing, sleeping in such a place?
Isn’t it cold?
Oh wait, since it has the Ice Attribute then I guess it’s resistant to coldness.
But even so, this really troubling!
He sleeps in the middle of the road, so we can’t go any further without waking him up, and I’m sure as heck he won’t like that in the slightest!
And my gut feeling is telling me that taking him down won’t be an easy task.
The foothold is still a problem.
Helix, Heather and Obsidian will be fine, but Rig and Senki are the problematic ones here.
And also me.
If we do decide to fight, we won’t be able to escape anywhere.
……. Let’s begin our battle preparations here.
Fighting is the only plausible choice after all.
But it would be nice if we still somehow managed to get past him without disturbing his little naptime.
First I select the right magic for this type of enemy.
Then I strengthen all of us with spells.
And let us not forget about Resist Ice Skill of course.
Senki and I gulp down on some Power Water.
We will power through this obstacle here with all our might!
I cast my spell.