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—Ilphy, The Second City
“So, are you the brother of Tsugumi?”
After the hunt, we went to the second city as it was close by.
Then, while I was in the middle of splitting up today’s bounty, Shouko interjected with a ‘Perhaps, are you…’ about me and Tsugumi.
It’s obvious, eh? Our names, I mean.
“Ah, yeah. She wasn’t a bother or anything to you, was she?”
“Not at all. She is a spirited and wonderful girl. We might not have been able to unlock the city without her help in the fight. I cannot thank her enough.”
“Oh, I’m glad then. When Tsugumi games, she can get a little carried away. We might meet her some time again, so don’t take it to heart if she rubs you the wrong way.”
I thought they just had fought together as allies, but apparently, they’re acquaintances. Shouko had seen her hunting quite a few times before, so maybe Tsugumi might know of Shouko as well.
Anyway, back to the items.
If there’s no need or greed system in an MMO, then obviously, someone has to distribute the wealth to the party.
There are even some games that randomly gives the items to each party member. Dimension Wave uses a system that I’m familiar with.
But unfortunately, we didn’t get any rare items, so I just send her half of the bounty through the trade window.
“I apologize for putting you through all this trouble.”
“Whatcha talkin’ about? I was totally relying on you in combat. This ain’t nothin’ in comparison.”
“Well, then, you have my grat.i.tude. This small fortune is all thanks to you.”
“It’s worth partying up just to hear that from you.”
Thank you, gutting weapons.
Speaking of which, as promised earlier, we decided to never mention anything about how the gutting weapons work. You never know who’s listening in.
Still, for any other MMO, there would be strategy guides for FAQs online, so I’m sure it’s available somewhere already.
But, don’t forget the “second life” aspect of Dimension Wave.
“Whatcha gonna do now, Shouko?”
“Let me see. It has been two hours since, so I shall allocate my Mana then go out again. Would you care to join me?”
I had forgotten about it until she mentioned it.
I always forget to spend my Mana.
Lemme take a good look at my status since I so rarely open it up. Not to mention, Energy and Mana are both so important to us Spirits.
“Hmm… the sun’s setting soon, so is there a particular reason why you’re going?”
“There is a place that is only available from eight—rather, from 20:00 till the morning. It is tremendously efficient, Energy-wise.”
“I see… if you’re alright with me holding you back, then I’ll take up your offer.”
“It would be my pleasure to go together.”
After a short break, we headed out for another hunt.
Before I forget, I open up my status screen.
It’d be a pain if I forget to use my Mana.
Skills/ Energy Production VIII, Mana Production V, Fishing Mastery IV, Gutting Mastery III, Trans.m.u.tation I
Unlocked Skills/ Energy Production IX, Mana Production VI, Fishing Mastery V, Night Vision I, Helmsmanship I, Naval Combat I, Cleaver I, Speed Gutting I
I’ve got seven skills that I haven’t acquired yet.
Helmsmanship and Naval Combat isn’t even worth my time looking at it.
Night Vision does exactly what it says on the tin. It would be useful for fighting in the dark. I needed to be active for more than 24 hours at night to unlock it.
The remaining two weren’t there yesterday, which means I unlocked them today.
Let’s see what they do…
The basic offensive skill for gutting-type weapons.
Deal additional damage when severing bones or joints.
Consumes 50 Energy per use.
Costs 200 Mana to acquire.
Unlock requirement: Defeat 100 or more enemies with gutting-type weapons.
Upgrade requirement: Defeat 500 or more enemies with gutting-type weapons.
Speed Gutting I
A self-buff to gutting-type weapons.
For a set duration, grants a self-buff to shorten the required time for gutting.
Consumes 100 Energy per use.
Costs 300 Mana to acquire.
Unlock requirement: Gut 100 or more enemies with gutting-type weapons.
Upgrade requirement: Gut 500 or more enemies with gutting-type weapons.
Looks like they’re both skills to be used in combat or out in action.
Cleaver is obviously a combat skill and I could even say it’s necessary for battle.
It’s always been Shouko activating offensive skills and using her Energy up.
Gotta thank her for that later.
Back on topic, I need Speed Gutting too, don’t I?
The biggest problem of today’s hunt was the downtime when I’m gutting.
Shouko has no choice but to just loiter around.
I’ve got no choice to do it considering the money we make from the items, so this skill will help us out, even if only a little. Of course, it’d be useful for solo play too since it would suck to get attacked in the middle of gutting. Yeah, this is necessary.
I acquire the two skills without any hesitation.
Luckily, I don’t need to worry about getting both skills since they expend Energy each time they’re activated instead of being a constant Energy drain.
It costed me a bit of Mana, but I don’t have enough for any other skills that I want right now anyway.
Still, having Energy taking on the role of MP—like it says so in the manual—is pretty great.
I can use my skills as long as I have enough Energy.
Having that said though, the less Energy I have, the less effective I would be. It’d be best to avoid recklessly burn my skills.
We Spirits really do have to be cautious when in combat.
According to Shouko’s experiences, every bit adds up and quickly makes you weaker.
Having a large amount of Energy means a lot of HP, so not only would it be natural that we’d be good at tanking bosses, but also be very versatile because of our endurance and attack.
The bad part is that we can only expend so much of it.
That’s the one bottleneck of the system.
Should you be thrifty with your Energy? Should you be extravagant? Well, that’s really the question, isn’t it?
“Now then, since we’re here at the second city, let’s fish at the river until it’s time.
“Sorry I’m late.”
I b.u.mped into an acquaintance along the way and lost track of time.
Of course, I already let Shouko know I was going to be a little late, but late is late.
“Oh, no problem at all. Did you run into problems?”
“Nah, I ran into an acquaintance is all. I got her use her cooking skills for me though.”
It’s the same girl who I met through Alto. She told me to hit her up when I go fishing. I gave her three fish in exchange for her time cooking.
“A cook, is she?”
“Yeah. Here, as an apology for being late. I’ve got sweetfish and trout, both salt-grilled. Which will it be?”
“I shall have… the trout.”
After a brief moment of contemplation, Shouko received her trout.
Though, sweetfish and trout are in season at fairly different times.
Since this is a game, I guess time of year doesn’t matter when catching your freshwater fish.
Anyway, putting that aside, I asked around for advice since we were going for a night battle.
“I asked around a little earlier, but is there anything we have to prepare for this? I’ve mentioned it already, but I don’t have much experience in fights. That means that I don’t know much about rules and stuff at whatever hunting ground.”
“Right… well, I have brought our light source with me, so we shall be fine on that front. Oh, do you have a coat of some kind, Kizuna? It gets a little chilly at night, so it would not hurt to bring one along.”
While she’s speaking to me, Shouko clasps her hand together to thank me for the trout.
“A coat? No, I don’t have one, I’m afraid.”
“In that case, would you like to use one of my old ones? It is a little worn down however. It does confer bonus resistance to cold and, according to current findings, that means it keeps the wearer warmer for longer.”
“Can I really?”
“Of course. Since I no longer wear it, it has simply been taking up s.p.a.ce.”
Then, Shouko sends over a large kimono-style jacket via the chat window.
It’s named the “Powder Snow Haori”.
It grants a slight cold resistance effect as well as provides defense.
Though it looks light, it’s actually got some heft to it. The coat might make me a little sluggish wearing it. I’ll only equip it when it’s cold then.
“Does it look okay on me, even though I’m wearing rather Western-looking clothes underneath?”
I put on the haori and ask for her thoughts.
As I mentioned, I’m wearing a black dress called a “Geist Dress”.
I chose it because it the simplest thing I could make with the best stats, though it looks quite gothic lolita.
It seems to be exclusive equipment for Spirits as well.
The bonus effect on it lowers Energy damage taken.
You can’t get effects like this with anything other than clothing, so it makes gutting weapons all the worse.
Looking around, you’ll see guys in light armor with a short sword strapped to their hip. I’m sure one of the reasons why not many people use gutting weapons is because they don’t grant much defense.
Well, you’d also likely use gutting weapons for crafting, so there’s another reason why.
“If I dare be frank, it fits you better than I had thought it would have. You have quite a fantastical feel to your style.”
“Better than you’d thought…? But, thanks. I’ll take good care of it.”
Even if I don’t look good in it, the stats are too good to pa.s.s up on.
That much is common in an MMORPG.
“Where are we going anyway? Well, not like I’ve been there before, but we might have a better time fighting if we knew what we’re up against.”
“You have a point. We shall be going to the Forest of Eternal Darkness, somewhere that can only be accessed at night. Our main target shall be Darkness Lizardmen in there—”
To summarize her explanation, we’re going to a Darkness Lizardmen hot spot where we’ll do well farming Energy.
However, the b.a.s.t.a.r.d sword–wielding Darkness Lizardmen are both strong in physical and magical attacks, so they’re not exactly easy either. That’s a reason why rarely do people ever step foot in the forest unless they properly spec their skills for it.
Normally, you’d need someone proficient in shields, but we’ve got high enough Energy levels. As well, not only can her folding fan can attack and defend, but it’s very effective at destroying the Darkness Lizardmen’s weapons. That’s why Shouko has chosen the Forest of Eternal Darkness. It makes for a great spot to farm and it’s even doable solo for her.
“Are you okay with me and my gutting weapons? I’ve been told that they’re not all that useful. I’m afraid I’d just be leeching off of you.”
Well, pretty much leeching off her now already, but still.
I like to think that I do pretty good damage with my gutting weapons though.
“You still have that going for you. There is no way you would not be useful, Kizuna.”
“I see, that, huh?”
Of course, she’s talking about gutting.
Seeing how we’re going to somewhere not many go, the drops from the monsters there should fatten up our wallets a bit. I could even use Trans.m.u.tation on it, so it’s not like I’ve got no choices either.
“Then I’ll be counting on you from here on out.”
“Likewise to you.”
And then right after, in this very conspicuous spot, she bows deeply to me.
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