After that, they continued exploring the 59th floor. Tsutomu would occasionally shout ‘Breath!’ during the exploration or battles to test their movements.
Tsutomu suddenly shouted the word while he was using Fly to explore the floor. The two put up a defense at about the same speed as Tsutomu. Tsutomu rallied himself as he put on a dry smile while still floating in the air.
“We have probably grown accustomed to it. It feels good.”
“…I don’t think it’s necessary to do this until we get into the real battle.”
“To put it bluntly, it seems that we do the practice only for fun, don’t you think so?”
“Uh, that was only a joke, alright?”
Tsutomu hurriedly replied to Garm, who looked at him with a straight face. Camille, who looked over them from behind, made a broad grin.
“Oh, there are orcs here. Six of them. It seems that one uses a bow, three uses canes, and two uses swords.”
Tsutomu checked the weapon compositions with the binoculars. By peeping through it, the orcs were visible from a distance. The three approached the orcs from the sky. When the orcs noticed them, their pigs-like snout quivered, creating an audacious voice as they raised their weapons.
“I’ll throw the radiating bottle now!”
Meanwhile, Garm and Camille closed their eyes in response to Tsutomu’s voice. Tsutomu shook the bottle with all his strength while closing one of his eyes, then threw it at the orcs.
While being thrown, faint light began to come out of the bottle. In an instant, it gradually shone brighter until the whole place was covered in white. Even though Tsutomu had closed his eyes, the amount of light was blinding. The orcs, which were being exposed defenselessly to the dazzling light, made a bewildered voice and covered their face with one hand.
Seizing the opportunity, Garm and Camille raised their weapons to the six orcs. The orcs, which have temporarily lost their sight, can’t keep up with the two and immediately turned into magic stones.
Tsutomu gathered the magic stones. Two of them were transparent, small magic stones, and the other four were medium ones. Their qualities weren’t that good, but the total amount should be around 30000 gold. A radiating bottle cost 200000 gold each. Given that, he lost 170000 gold. But since Tsutomu treated it as a necessary expense, he looked at the broken bottle calmly.
[Right. We got enough time to attack before it exploded. Seems like I need not hurry.]
How much should it be stimulated until the Bursting Insect exploded? After confirming about how long it took to explode upon using six bottles of radiating bottles, Tsutomu instilled that intuition of timing he had made into his mind as he put the magic stones into the Magic Bag.
After that, the trio drifted away before another monster was lured by the radiating bottle’s light. A short while upon taking their leave by flying at low-altitude, Tsutomu checked his pocket watch. Evening will soon come, so the trio went back to the first Black Gate and returned to the guild.
The three appeared at the other side of the Black Gate in front of the guild and immediately lined up at the reception desk to submit their saliva. Garm was level 63. Camille was 69. Tsutomu’s level had risen to 35. Garm’s vitality changed from B+ to A-. Meanwhile, Tsutomu had nothing but his luck levelled up.
Tsutomu also learned new skills, Air Blaze and Barrier. The offensive skill, Air Blaze, was an upgrade of Air Blade. It has the power to cut through the wind just like Air Blade, but its effectiveness and range was much higher and wider.
As the name implied, Barrier was a skill that allowed the user to set up an invisible barrier, which was an essential for a white mage in the game. The standard move was to attach Barrier to a Tank, which would grant the ally a barrier that could withstand a number of attacks according to the amount of mana applied to the spell.
However, in this world, barriers were often used as a wall rather than attaching it to people. Judging from the way others used Barrier on the monitor, it was often casted in a dome shape for his allies to rest.
Tsutomu wanted to try covering Garm’s whole body with it just like what he did in the game, but not a single person has done it before. Tsutomu was quite enthusiastic about trying out the final adjustments tomorrow, but it was time for the three to disperse and return.
“Tsutomu-san. May I take some of your time?”
The vice-captain of the guild, a middle-aged man with visible dark circles under his eyes, called out to Tsutomu from behind. His kind-looking face clearly seemed exhausted.
“Sure. I’m free right now, after all. …Are you alright, though?”
“Ah, I’m sorry. I was taking a nap some time ago, so my face might look a bit weird. Well, I have something to discuss with you. Please come this way.”
“Alright. Oh, should I also bring Garm and Camille along?”
“…If possible, only Tsutomu-san alone, please.”
The vice-captain made a troubled face upon taking a glance at Garm. After Tsutomu said goodbye to Garm and Camille, he went back to the back of the reception desk with the vice-captain.
After showing him into the parlor, the vice-captain invited him to sit on the sofa. Tsutomu sat on the soft sofa after gazing at the decorative plant, which was being casted with rays of faint light.
The vice-captain of the guild sat on the sofa quietly and gazed at Tsutomu with a serious look.
“I wanted to discuss with you about Amy.”
“About Amy-san? Has anything happened? Ah, thank you.”
A beautiful reception woman came into the parlor after knocking on the door, then she arranged teacups for them. Tsutomu moved the tea cup to the right side of the table and bowed his head slightly to the reception woman.
“She had been released from the guards this noon.”
“Ah, is that so. That was quick, huh.”
Tsutomu responded to the vice-captain’s words while seeing the reception woman off, who left the room with a cheerful smile. Then, Tsutomu lowered his head, wearing a look like he was holding his heart.
“This incident caused by the Solitt Company has blotted your reputation again. I have told Amy to refrain from doing such careless acts. Once again, please accept my sincerest apologies.”
“No, no, you’ve apologized too many times already, it’s alright already. Moreover, I suppose Amy-san launched an attack in the morning right after the morning newspaper was out, right? She did it impulsively, so no one would be able to stop her for doing so.”
“I’m responsible for the carelessness of my guild members. I haven’t given her enough coaching.”
The vice-captain remonstrated against what Tsutomu had said and bowed his head again.
“Well, I could question Amy-san about that later when I talk to her next time. Uh, besides, it’s not a big deal if you want to say that this problem is troubling you. Things had been really bad since the start, so I believe it couldn’t get any worse.”
Solitt Company had proclaimed that from now on, there wouldn’t be any more articles about the incidents of Amy’s attack. But Tsutomu, who had originally gained the nickname Lucky Boy thanks to their cooked up report, didn’t care about the certainty of the articles they’ll publish later anymore.
As he sipped the tea, Tsutomu smiled at the vice-captain, who lifted his head while wearing a sorrowful expression.
“I can see that you’ve worked your fingers to the bone just to support me. I’m the one who should apologize instead. To begin with, this wouldn’t have happened if Amy-san apologized to the guild.”
“No, no! This whole dispute happened because of the guild’s carelessness. Amy received favorable treatment because she has excellent skills. Because I’m not that strong, I was unable to coach her. Moreover, regarding the commotion about Lucky Boy, it happened because people were spreading rumors about the Black Cane’s origin. I’m really sorry for causing so much trouble to Tsutomu-san.”
The vice-captain bowed his head in a servile manner again and again. Seeing him doing so, Tsutomu got the feeling of talking to a Japanese person again after a long time and felt a bit relieved. Incidentally, Tsutomu thought that the vice-captain might have experienced the same thing as himself (getting summoned into the game), so he tried to say a few particularly Japanese words, but the vice-captain didn’t show any reaction.
Sure enough, just like what the vice-captain said, the consequence was unsavory. So far from having Solitt Company to correct the article, the situation turned even worse instead. But then, rather than lacking guidance, it was Amy’s irresistible impulses to make the company correct the article that caused this clamor. Thus, Tsutomu felt that the vice-captain wasn’t at fault.
“It’s alright. I have considered several things regarding Solitt Company. If I could put up with it for two or three more days, it’d be easier to negotiate.”
“…Thank you very much. But still, I’ll certainly clear your name once Amy’s case is settled. I don’t believe it myself…”
“I’m looking forward to it. I’ve heard from Camille that your negotiations skills are amazing.”
“…Thank you for your thoughtfulness.”
Despite not believing Tsutomu’s words, the vice-captain expressed his gratitude with a slightly lowered voice. After they finished talking, Tsutomu left the parlor.
Next day after the discussion with the vice-captain of the guild was over. They held a meeting in Garm’s room for a little while. The three were preparing the final adjustment before invading the fire dragon on the 59th floor tomorrow morning.
Tsutomu struggled to learn the newly acquired support skill and how to handle Barrier.
In order to use the Barrier like in the game, Tsutomu had to consciously deploy the barrier so that it could exactly fit Garm’s body. Once attached, it could maintain its shape until it broke. But Tsutomu didn’t exactly know how to dispel the barrier. He only knew how to apply it on Garm.
[This is no good.]
It took about three minutes for Tsutomu to cast Barrier and for it to directly come in contact with the ally. It was nearly impossible for the current Tsutomu to skip that process.
If the skill came in contact with the ally’s body and they stood still, Barrier could be applied for three minutes just like in the game. However, Tsutomu thought about how it might not be useful to invade the fire dragon. Even if it was applied before they pass through the Black Gate, all types of skills will be removed when they pass through it. So it was inevitable that the skills had to be applied after they went through the Black Gate.
It was approximately only one minute before the fire dragon would make its appearance. Even if it appeared late, he still wouldn’t have enough time. Because of that, Tsutomu decided to use the Barrier as a resting place just like any other white mages. Tsutomu breathed a heavy sigh when he thought about how the barrier was originally going to be included as a battle strategy.
“I have no idea where to stay after this. How about you, Tsutomu? I had a thought of wanting to learn from other major clans.”
“Oh well, since this is the major clan we’re talking about, I understand that I would seldom get into reckless troubles if I join one. But when the number of people increased, it meant more troubles arose, too…”
Tsutomu recalled the time when he was a clan leader back then in the game. He was able to manage a lot of things while there were only a few people and enjoyed his days as a part of the clan. But as soon as the number increased by just one more, a problem child had stepped into the clan.
She was someone who filled the clan chat with either about women’s cosmetics or family affairs, acting as a leader of an unauthorized party to those who acted all innocent but actually not, or those who have no manners at all. This created the skillful and unskillful sides inside the clan. Some of the adventurers asked Tsutomu as a clan leader to warn these troublemakers.
Managing and running a clan with a lot of members was a difficult thing to do even in the game. Tsutomu sympathized these major clans with a large number of people in it, thinking about how terrible it would be if what happened in the game became a reality.
Camille began to change the topic upon seeing Tsutomu’s lifeless eyes.
“But it felt amazing when Haste was casted even during my dragonification… I feel like I could easily take down even the fire dragon now.”
“Yeah, it certainly is. It increased your speed greatly. In fact, I think it would make defeating the fire dragon a lot easier.”
Haste was a skill which could raise Camille’s agility in addition to her increased status in dragon form. Camille often boasted about how she could fight even the 80th floor’s boss with that status.
The failure rate of Haste that Tsutomu set-up was decreasing steadily, and now, he almost made no mistake anymore. Although he sometimes made mistakes when dealing with a large number of monsters, Tsutomu had a hunch that he would almost make no mistake here since their opponent was the fire dragon alone.
Camille’s fire power has increased further now that she has grown accustomed to Haste when she was in her dragonification. Instead, Tsutomu muttered to himself. [Her fire power’s condition right now is better so she should be fine by herself, no?]. Lately, he discovered that Medic could cure Camille’s abnormality, and it could also forcibly cancel her dragonification to suppress her fire power.
“Leave it to me. This big sword will send that fire dragon and the like to the ground.”
“It’s pretty reliable, huh?”
After getting used to fighting the wyverns in her dragon form while being applied with Haste, Camille could easily knock enemies down as if they were gnats. That gave her an adequate amount of confidence and even a tiny bit of pride.
Tsutomu took his eyes off Camille and proceeded to shift his gaze on the large shield Garm carried.
“Garm doesn’t seem to have any problem using the shield. It looks like you’re an expert already.”
“Yeah. It had grown quite dull, but looks like it was more or less repaired now.”
Garm used to use a large shield a lot in the early days before he went into the dungeon. But after joining a clan with supreme fire power, he switched to arm shield and longsword. Basically, the fighting style was that he had to avoid monster’s attacks and sustain the damage using the arm shield.
However, after knowing a role called as Tank, he thought that it would be better to equip a large shield to carry out that role, and he had grown accustomed to a large shield from the 50th floor. As a result, the sense of stability in the party increased thanks to him changing into a large shield.
His mobility was reduced compared to when he used an arm shield, but it was coupled with his now A- vitality; an achievement he could boast of. He could also parry some powerful blows that he could only avoid until now. Besides, it was all thanks to Protect that increased his vitality even more. Even if he got injured, Tsutomu will immediately cast Heal, so he could parry the monsters’ attack with relief.
[How should Garm carry out his role as a Tank? He had been trying out various trial and error in training grounds and the dungeon to see if he could attract more powerful enemies to attack him. His control of Combat Cry, a skill which fueled enemies’ hostility, has increased. It is to the point where I don’t need to use that many skills anymore.] Tsutomu thought.
Moreover, Tsutomu was entrusted to bear a great task of being a trustworthy healer. Since Tsutomu was originally an ordinary person, a group of monsters still made him flinch at times. Come to think of it, other adventurers from Garm’s previous party would be surrounded and attacked with this unimaginable amount of monsters since they didn’t have enough grit. But Garm could do it easily and indifferently without showing any fear.
Flying Heal was a skill that could support Protect, another skill which almost never ran out until now. Tsutomu could also cast Air Blade as a support when there were monsters that Garm couldn’t parry. In addition to that, he also gives expensive potions to Garm without any hesitation to use.
Garm began to take pride in his role as Tank that instead of taking damage for his party member, he’ll stop the enemies’ attack. He’ll rely on Tsutomu to back him up and recover his wounds. Garm felt that he could entrust his back to Tsutomu with ease.
Also, Tsutomu had to improve his Fly skill which he used to watch over the battle situation as he flew in the sky and the set-up skill. He had also improved the way he applied the skill when Camille was in her dragon form. He had also practiced with his party to use the anti-heat measures and equipment to fight the fire dragon.
Camille possessed a tremendous amount of fire power because Haste was applied on her dragon form. As for Garm, he felt more stable when Protect took effect since it increased his vitality to A. Tsutomu was convinced that the two of them would be able to bring the fire dragon down safely.
“Well then, let’s return earlier and have a meeting to discuss the battle’s strategies. We’ll challenge the fire dragon tomorrow morning.”
Garm nodded while wearing his usual expression. On the other hand, Camille had excitement written all over her face. Tsutomu felt relieved after seeing their reactions. Then, the three left the 59th floor during daytime.