I used【Forest Walk】to get through the forest.
Thanks to that spell, I was able to still get through the forest at a decent rate.
But my speed was still nothing compared to how fast Zangetsu could go in the plains.
The forest was getting denser and denser, so it definitely looked like I would have to change my Summon Monster team to match the terrain soon.
There were no roads, not even anything close to a road around me.
I could see some players in the distance from time to time, but it didn’t look like they were in trouble.
Looked like all I had to do was keep heading south.
But… It turned out to be not that simple.
Before I figured it would be a good idea to change my Summon Monsters team, I ran into a monster.
Its figure looked a little like a man’s.
Was it one of those black monkeys?
Killer Ape Lv.5
Monster Enemy Target Active
Battle Position: Ground
Nope, looking up close, it was clearly a gorilla.
There was a tremendous amount of muscle, starting from its head down to its shoulders.
It would definitely have a lot of power to play with.
But on the bright side…
It was just one of them I had to deal with.
Well, the forest would have given the Killer Ape a massive advantage.
But I had Volff on my team.
With Volff using harassment tactics to keep the Killer Ape in place, Nias and me could do all to take it down.
It actually went down after an unexpectedly short time.
But it looked like【Disassembly】was failing at its job of increasing the item drop rate again…
It’s not the first time this is happening… Calm down, me…
The density of the forest was really starting to make things difficult for me.
I felt like it was starting to become a problem for Helix to move around.
And don’t even get me started on Zangetsu…
Every one of Zangetsu’s movements felt cramped.
It definitely looked like I had hit a limit for Zangetsu.
With the battle against the Killer Ape as a firm reminder, I decided to change my Summon Monster team.
Leaving just Volff, I decided to recall all my other Summon Monsters.
I summoned Obsidian, Goki, Ninetails, and Tigris.
It was a team that would be effective in scouting, movement, along with battle.
It was a new map, after all. I had to be careful.
But at the same time, I didn’t want to spoil myself by reading Guren’s report.
How was I going to organise my Summon Monster team?
Of course, I was planning on fighting in the front myself.
But thinking about the rest of my Summon Monster team, there were no real support Summon Monster.
Ninetails was on my shoulders, keeping watch on my surroundings.
Obsidian flew above my head in circles, watching out for any enemies.
Volff led the charge southward.
My Summon Monster team came with a lot of insurance against running into monsters.
Well, on the other hand, I actually did want to fight new monsters, so there was a balance to be struck.
Using Call Monster, figuring out the location of the monsters around me was easy.
It wasn’t like I could use the skill at all times, but I still made sure to use it whenever I could. I couldn’t get overconfident.
It would be good to make use of every opportunity to earn some experience points.
But for the time being, the only monsters I could sense using Call Monster were Killer Apes.
There had to be other monsters I hadn’t spotted yet.
Soon enough, I ran into them.
Well, technically, I ran into another party as they were fighting that new monster.
That monster looked like this:
Cursed Viper Lv.3
Monster Enemy Target Active
Battle Position: Ground Dark Attribute Poison
It was actually a quite familiar monster, a monster I’d seen along with the 12 Heavenly Generals and in the 12 Zodiac Shrines.
It was also one of the possible Class Changes of the Viper Summon Monster.
But that meant that monsters I ran into during boss fights, or at least boss-like fights, wouldn’t appear when I used Call Monster.
Just that one encounter with the Cursed Viper made a lot of things clear.
The party I ran into was just fighting one Cursed Viper but they were still giving it their all, fighting with utmost care.
It was clear that they were wary of the poison.
Two players with shields both slowly inched forward, attempting to corner the Cursed Viper, while the other players in the party accumulated damage on it with a variety of smaller attacks.
They were working together quite well.
It wasn’t a flashy fighting style, but it was solid, and had a high chance of success.
Oops. Almost forgot.
I had no time to admire their fight.
I had to keep going.
But really, a forest, huh…
Walking through the forest somehow felt nostalgic.
The way my vision was being blocked off by trees in every direction made for quite a contrast to the wastelands from earlier.
But there was something new I had to be careful of.
Just using Call Monster all the time was not going to be a foolproof insurance.
And to get past my Summon Monsters, a monster would just have to attack from inside the ground, or from inside one of the many trees surrounding me.
Well, I did have Volff and other Summon Monsters with a special ability to detect danger…
But my movements still naturally became very cautious.
Well, there was no way around that.
The forest in S3 was different to any other forest I had ever seen.
First of all, the trees were big.
As I moved through the forest, I saw a few smaller shrubs, but all in all, the thicket was very dense.
Most of all, the humidity was really starting to get to me.
Besides monsters, there were a lot of random bugs too.
The forest really was overflowing with life.
A long time ago, I used to go into forests to pick up aphids or to collect rhinoceros beetles and stag beetles.
It was a good time… I played a lot back then.
Yep, the rhinoceros beetles I found looked a lot like a beetle I just ran into.
Their sizes were different though.
Shiny Blue Drone Beetle Lv.3
Monster Enemy Target Passive
Battle Position: Air, Ground
It was a giant drone beetle, but it looked a lot like a female rhinoceros beetle.
Wait, it was way too big to be any kind of beetle! And the colour was way off too!
The Drone Beetle looked like it was larger than my head.
It was still an insect, but it looked bigger than Couturier.
It must have been waiting around near the canopy of the forest.
But to think that Volff and all my other Summon Monster passed by such a monster…
Well, maybe the fact that it was Passive was making it more difficult to notice for my Summon Monsters.
The Drone Beetle remained stuck to the trunk of a tree.
Well, I wanted to keep going, and I didn’t have to fight it to do that…
But I decided to fight it anyway.
I could have let Obsidian get the first surprise attack in, but I wanted to get the jump on it with an attack spell.
A direct hit.
The HP bar of the monster was cut down by more than half.
I was worried that the monster was going to run away…
But no, it faced in my direction instead.
Great! I wouldn’t have it any other way!
The Drone Beetle’s flight speed was quite slow, compared to Couturier.
And on top of that, it was flying in a straight line.
With only slight changes in trajectory, it came flying straight at me.
Wait, no, its target Volff, at the very front of my Summon Monster team.
So, what would Volff do?
Volff was able to keep his composure and side-stepped out of the way of the Drone Beetle a moment before it was about to crash into him.
It looked like an effortless dodge.
Wow, you’re amazing, Volff!
I wonder if I could do something like that…?
But where did the Drone Beetle fly off to?
Following Obsidian and Ninetails’s gazes, I spotted the Drone Beetle again.
It was stuck to the trunk of a tree behind me.
It looked like its head was somehow stuck inside the tree though.
Did it really hit the tree so hard that it managed to trap its head inside…? From what I saw, it seemed like that was the case.
I calmly walked up to it and pierced it through the abdomen with my Vajra Sword to finish it off.
It just took one blow to take it down.
My Vajra Sword was set to Lava Magic, so that may have played a part.
The air smelled like something was burning, but I ignored the smell.
There was nothing I could gain by worrying about it, after all.
But wow, what a stench!
I vowed in my heart not to use the Vajra Sword on any more Drone Beetles again.
Speaking of the Drone Beetle…
It strangely dropped a Magic Stone.
Thanks for the treat.