Chapter 4 – Higher Ranked Enemy
“I’m sorry for the late introduction. My name is Ares. I came from a village situated in the countryside, but I left since I’ve been wanting to become an adventurer for a while now. All of this happened because I got impatient, you see… I wanted to find a party I could join at Level 1, but… it seems that the party I asked were originally acquaintances, so they told me that if I can’t at least become Level 3 on my own, they couldn’t trust me. You really saved my ass there.. Once again, I would like to thank you for saving me, and if there’s anything you want me to do, don’t hesitate to tell me!”
“Ares, huh… I’m Elma Ed—no, just call me Elma.”
Damn, almost slipped. My sh*tty father told me not to mention their family name outside, so I guess I’ll have to introduce myself this way..
“You don’t have to think about it too much. I was able to raise my level a lot, so I guess we’re even. I’ll take all the mana stones, though.”
“So, you’re Elma! Say, there’s a chance I could get into a party of two once we’re done here so, why don’t you join as well, Elma? Seeing you here hunting alone means that no one wanted to put you into their party as well, right? I know that defense-oriented classes are quite unpopular with low-leveled adventurers, but I think you’re an amazing guy, Elma! I will definitely convince the other guys! I have to do this as a way of paying you the debt for saving me, after all!”
Ares made a victory pose as he tightly clenched his hands while enthusiastically saying those words.
“Nah. Not happening.”
“But, why!? Based on the fight just now, your class is defense-oriented, right? You won’t level up for the rest of your life if you go for a solo play, you know? Don’t be so stubborn now..”
“You’ve seen what I can do, right? Pretty sure I can fight on my own.”
“Guh.. You’re right…”
Well… He had a point, though.
Because, in general, the true values of defense-oriented classes can only be demonstrated when fighting in a group by attracting enemy attacks and shielding its allies.
However, it’s not how I wanted to level up. If I had allies around me everywhere I go, instead of gaining delicious experience points, it will be distributed to everyone, which is not ideal for me. I also doubt that the others would listen to my words.
Furthermore, I wanted to acquire items, skills, and titles, and having many people with me would only hinder my movements.
Still, if I really wanted to have allies, it would be better if they were an exploration-oriented class or an all-purpose utility type mage that can do a lot of things.
However, since there were few opportunities for both types to fight pleasantly, the number of users in <Magic World> were low, which resulted in the demand becoming terrifyingly high.
But, as expected, getting them on board with me wouldn’t be that easy.
“Still, just listen to me! If you keep on doing things like that, it would be impossible in the long run! Once you get past being a low-leveled adventurer, there’s no way a lone defense-oriented class like you could take on opponents by himself!”
“Well… I know it’ll all work out depending on what I choose to do.”
Skill trees that are not class-specific can also be newly acquired using items and clergy-like skills.
And even if I discard <Novice Swordsmanship> and <Increased Defense>, as soon as I get the skill tree that I needed, I can sufficiently make up for my offensive performance.
Having this high level of freedom was also the reason why <Magic World> was so popular.
However, many players stopped playing because they failed to construct their skills properly. After all, once you’ve spent your skill points, it can’t be reversed.
“I’m saying all of these for your sake, Elma! I know that you’re an amazing guy! That’s why I can’t just let you die somewhere out there knowing that you tried to continue hunting solo while doing things inefficiently! You can’t just hunt Laanas all the time, can you? Don’t be so stubborn and aim higher together with me!”
The moment Ares finished spouting nonsense, a demon suddenly fell in front of us with a thud.
It was a giant spider.
Its whole body was covered with deep red hair, and was over two meters in length.
What you can see on it’s red-haired head though, was an eight-eyed monkey with a large creepy mouth.
The Alanda Ape opened its huge mouth lined up with sharp fangs and screamed.
“A-are you freaking kidding me!?”
Ares shouted in a voice that clearly showed his despair.
I quickly appraised the demon using <Status>.
Demon: Alanda Ape
Damn, it’s a demon with a double-digit level.
Even though I only went to shallow areas in the forest to avoid meeting such monstrous demons…
Alanda apes are demons that are swift and spit poison that hinders movement. It even has a high offensive power and a skill that erases its presence called <Stealth Step>.
Apparently, Ares had also aggroed this demon while being chased by the Laanas earlier.
After all, Alanda apes are belligerent and fast.
My skill <Rampart Return> are only effective against low-leveled demons, and are almost powerless against high-leveled ones.
Unless I meet the condition of completely blocking off a direct hit from this monster, I won’t be able to activate it.
And in order to do so, I need to have a defensive power twice the opponent’s attack strength.
Which means, it is not a skill that can be used against opponents of this level.
In addition, Alanda apes has the skill <Blazing Claws> which increases the speed of its arm while simultaneously doubling its attack power. If you got attacked by this skill, you’re as good as dead.
“W-well.. I-I can’t really push this guy on you, now, can I? You’ve saved me after all! I-I w-will attract its a-attention! I-In the meantime, you r-run away from here!” Ares suggested to me.
Contrary to the brave words that came out from Ares’ mouth, his legs were shaking so much that it looked like he regretted what he just said.
“..Nah. I’ll take this guy on. Just leave it to me.”
All of the accumulated knowledge I had in my previous life from playing <Magic World> started mobilizing inside my head.
Even if it’s only a little information, if I just know what the Alanda ape’s level is, I would be able to determine its other stats.
I’ve been racking up my brain for a while now, and I have arrived at a conclusion.
This ugly bastard.. he’s not unbeatable.
“I-It’s useless no matter how you look at it! Alanda apes are not demons beginners can defeat! I understand that you are someone amazing, but looking at it physically, you can’t possibly do something about a demon that huge, and one that is [Level: 16]!”
Ares yelled as his face turned deathly pale.
Certainly. I can’t exactly blame him for thinking like that.
If there is such a difference in level, my attacks couldn’t possibly penetrate the demon, while on the contrary, its attacks would be fatal.
However, I had the data of hundreds of battles in my time of playing <Magic World>.
I opened my status as I moved forward while I tweaked the stats I had in my skill tree screen.
I still have the 7 skill points I had obtained earlier.
[Remaining Skill Points: 0]
<Vow of the Heavy Armor[12/100] [+7]
Of course, I will pour it all in <Vow of the Heavy Armor>!
[<Vow of the Heavy Armor> has been increased to [10/100]. Normal Skill <Disarm> has been acquired.]
It was the skill that I needed in order to beat the Alanda Ape right now.
<Disarm> [Normal Skill]
Reduces the attack power of an opponent that has been slashed by one level for a short period of time.
It is a skill that, when you’ve successfully landed an attack on the opponent, it temporarily reduces its attack power.
To be precise, it reduces it by [20％] for exactly one minute.
“Come, spider-monkey! I’ll be your opponent!”
I shouted, trying to taunt the Alanda ape.
Its eight eyes turned and glared at me. It looked very creepy.
High risk, high return..
If you wanted to raise your level higher in Magic World, you had to face and hunt down opponents that are higher-leveled than you.
And I’m sure that it’s pretty much the same in this world.
“It’s during times like these that my soul burns with excitement the most!”