Chapter 139: The Bad Weather
Translator: Wolfy Editor: Wolfy
I'm still recovering from my rolling when the monster cat attacked me again. I can't avoid this one!
I crossed my arms to brace against the attack. The arms of my Dark Dragon lord armor are most protected. The arm shields are also there, so there should be no problem taking a hit.
As I hoped, the cat knocked straight into my shield. Most impact force was absorbed by the spring mechanism behind the shield, but I'm still slammed away.
I transformed into werewolf in mid-air and clawed at the ground to change my pose into a series of backflips. I stabled myself after some distance, though my feet still left two lines of gashes on the dirt. That was some serious power. I was well prepared for the attack and still get pushed away like a punching bag!
I slowly approached the cat in werewolf form. I'm planning to capture it so I didn't summon any helpers, since it's too easy for them to accidentally kill the cat instead.
Again, the cat attacked me first with a lightning-speed claw swipe, which almost fractured my arms I used to parry. I bounced back again using the great force to stay away. The cat's too fast for me, which means I can't win this by close combat.
I aimed my crossbow at it and shot a bolt. For some reason the wooden bolt I used became a vibrating and whistling shot in the air which looks pretty awesome. However, the cat ducked the attack with ease.
It jumped towards a rock nearby and sprung straight at me with great speed. I avoided it with a dog-roll, but the cat's fangs approached me before I can stand up! I can't win the fight by dodging all the time either, so I quickly jumped up and took out my lance.
My best-shot skill worked. The cat took my hit to the face and tumbled to the side.
I then dropped my lance on the ground. That skill will shot the lance's tip into the enemy and I don't have time to retrieve them. I used Phantom's [Blink] to quickly teleport to the cat. When I appeared on its side the cat's still looking at my original position.
I knocked the cat away by a right-hook punch to the stomach. Then I dashed to its landing point, claw blades ready, and opened up 9 bleeding cuts on the cat by three quick slashes.
The injured cat became infuriated now. It showed its claws while still in the air, and bounced at me the second it reached ground. I wasn't expecting it to move again so fast and I only managed to give it a straight punch.
I didn't hit anything though--the hasty punch only caused my right arm to reach into the cat's opened mouth entirely. The cat instantly bit down on my arm. But I'm already moving again--I pressed my right hand downward while using my other hand to get ahold of the cat's jaw, prying it open. Somewhat barely.
Cats are good at using their front limbs too. Now I only controlled its biting attack, the cat tried reaching me using both claws.
My arms are still stuck between the jaws, if I don't do something quick those claws will flatten me!
I lifted my legs off the ground and kicked at those exposed fangs. The force of the kick helped me jump away and avoid the claws just in time. Phew.
Felix poked his head behind a stone with the look of worry. "Need help??"
"Not now! I'm not getting defeated by some cat!"
Since the cat hasn't done any real damage to me yet, I can tell that the monster's not really deadly. It's just too fast so it can always make the first move. I'm confident that I can knock it out if I can find some way to force it into trading hits with me without dodging all the time.
The cat is already running to me again. I rolled away from its running path, kicked at the ground and jumped onto its back. I held the cat's neck with my left arm to stable myself, raised my right arm and punched at its head with all strength I have. The suddenly pain caused the cat to lose balance and fell. I can't afford to stop and give the monster any chance to recover, so I rained down my punches as fast as I can. Now the cat is hopping and struggling in place trying to shake me off.
It never succeeded. After somewhere like 300 punches, the cat finally exhausted itself and slumped down. I quickly seized the chance and used [Capture] at it. The system announced my victory after only several tries. The cat vanished in a bright light and became a shimmering ball, which fell into my hands. Ta-da, a companion egg.
"Hey Felix! Take it."
I threw the egg at Felix but my aim is a little off. Felix jumped from his hiding spot in panic to try to catch the egg. He did catch it but he tripped on something and hit his face on the dirt.
"*Cough* Watch it boss. This thing costs a fortune!" He crawled back up and brought the egg to me.
"What are you doing?"
"Here, your egg." He didn't realize what I'm trying to do.
I took out the evolution bead. "I'll keep this. The cat's yours. You're almost level 500 and you have no companions at all."
"But you fought the cat all by yourself right? Besides I don't feel like taking a Japanese cat with me."
"You--" I suppressed the urge to hit his head. "Don't be so stubborn! What's wrong with a Japanese cat? You can hate the players all you want but that doesn't mean we can't use their stuff." I pushed the egg back into his arms. "Besides, doesn't it feel good to use their own cat to bite their own asses?"
"...No." He pushed it back again. "It's your reward. I can't take it."
"For the--why does it matter?? Look, if you don't take it I'll just smash the egg and make an omelette. My slots are full anyway." I looked around to find a suitable rock.
"Ugh, nonono. Fine, I'll take it." He finally agreed when he saw me picking up a stone for real.
"That's more like it." I tossed the stone away.
The stone went into a bush and...the bush yelled? I hit someone by accident. We're in Japan, so...Japanese player?! Someone found us out!
"What's that for??"
It's a young girl's voice, followed by a female player coming out of the bush.
"I'm sorry. That was an accident!"
I'm trying to lay low for now, so better be polite. This is only a young girl standing in front of us, but she can cause us big trouble if she go alert Matsumoto.
Felix whispered into my ears:"She could have heard everything we were talking about. Should we just...?" He wiped his own neck using a hand.
"Come on this is a game! She'll be back in the city in 2 minutes if we do that." I pushed him away and inspected the player carefully.
I can't recognize her class by her looks. She's wearing strange cloth clothes like those maidens in Chinese fairy tales. At least this means she's caster, or something similar to it.
"Are you two from China?" She asked in our own language, though the accent is strange.
"You're not from Japan?" I tried. You don't find many Japanese people learning Chinese ever since the war between the two nations. This girl should be around 15-16 years old which makes this a pretty rare sight.
She nodded first, and quickly shook her head. She tried to organize her words for a while and finally spoke:"I'm a Chinese laborer!"
"What is a laborer?" Never heard of that.
"Well, during the second world war, Japanese soldiers captured a lot of our people and sent them to Japan as laborers. Some of them are returned to China after the war, but a lot more didn't make it because of different reasons so they had to settle here. The officials call these people volunteers to help working in Japan but that's not the case. We're always treated badly so we make our own community here and avoid talking to the Japanese when we can."
"But, no one will stop you from going back to China now right?"
"Laborers are all poor people. It basically means migration for us and we can't afford it."
"Why not ask our embassy for help?" Felix spoke.
I pushed him away. "Do you ever read the news? We don't have an embassy in Japan for years! After the Nanjing bombardment the embassy was brought down to a small agency. And even that was long gone when Japan tried to interfere with our plan to subdue Taiwan. Now we only speak to each other using guns."
"I see. Yeah...I don't read the news much. But I know a bunch of companies still doing business in Japan. How is that possible with all the tension?"
He's true. Dragon Fate kept its trading record with Japan. The difference is that we can only transport our goods from Singapore now.
"Sigh. Traders only see profit. They don't care what the politicians are playing on their table as long as they can sell their goods to make money."
"Woah. Are you a professor or something, Ziri?"
"Cut it. Not now." I turned back to the girl. "What's your name?"
"Hope. Javen Hope."
"I mean, your character name."
"I use my real name in the game too!"
"I see. I'm Ziri, and this is Felix, Ou-yang Felix. We can call you Hope, right?"
"So why were you following us?"
"I wasn't! I logged off from that spot yesterday. I saw you two talking in Chinese when I got back so I wanted to find out who you are."
"Say, you want to return to China right?" A good idea popped up in my mind. I can use the girl to gain some advantage, and it will also benefit her.
"Yes! Everyone does! Our employers are mean, they pay us less money and ask us to do more work! It only gets worse when the nation relation grows bad."
"Good. Listen, I need your help for something. If you can get it done, I'll get you AND your family back to China."
Creating several legal identities is not hard job for Dragon Fate. The government would like this idea too since they saved civilians and can make a good name for themselves.
"Of course! Anything!!"
Woah shit. She looks ready to sell her body.
"Calm down. It's nothing big. I only need you to be my translator and tour guide. You know, we can't read Japanese map here so you can tell us where we are. And our accent easily gives us away. If you can speak for us, we'll just remain silent so no one will find us out."
We three began to move up Fuji mountain. The monsters are becoming stronger the higher we go, so we need to hide ourselves carefully so as not to getting overwhelmed by both the monsters and Matsumoto's team.
The Fuji mountain area is huge, and whoever told Felix about the information doesn't know the exact location of our objective. So we can only find a vantage point and check for movements down the hill. Matsumoto asked all elite players in Japan to join the operation which means it should be easy to find such a crowd.
We grew too bored waiting for the enemies so we chatted about ourselves. Of course, we talked about Hope.
She is Human race, Material Manipulator. It's like a psychic who can command objects around her to move. Of course, there are limits to her ability. Her current level allows her to control around a hundred stones to fly about and attack people. That's a lot of stones, but their power seems low. If she concentrates her skill on one object, she can more or less compete with a Warrior several levels lower than her. She says the class has no obvious advantages or disadvantages. Like Battlemages, Material Manipulators can do close combats and they have pretty good strength attribute. They have several weak self-enhance spells which allow them to fight most classes on par.
We finally saw movement down the mountain foot. A huge group of Japan players showed up from a forest, about 2-3 hundred people. They didn't climb but sat down where they are. Must be waiting for more people. They also sent out several small teams to clean the monsters around them.
"Hey, look there." I pointed along the edge of the forest.
"The Black Dragon Force came!" Hope spoke first.
"Yup. Our old friend."
They went to join the first team. Someone from the first team stepped out to greet them. He's wearing...Taoist robe, or so I think. It's definitely not Onmyoji costume.
The strange "Taoist" shook hands with Matsumoto and started chatting, with Tanaka Shota standing beside them.
I pointed to the strange man and asked Hope: "Who's that?"
"The man talking to Matsumoto."
"Oh. That's Ikeda Rikio, master of the Inakawa Union. Don't let him touch you if you're going to fight him."
"Because his best skill is to merge with people. He can sneak into anyone's body by touching them, then he takes control of the victim. For example if you're a Warrior, then he can make you fight your own teammates using the same strength and same skills you have."
"So...if the victim is hit, who takes the damage?"
"Don't know. I never went through that before."
"What's the class called? That sounds a horrible skill." Felix asked.
"I think it's called...Soul Manipulator?"
That surprised me. It's the same class I upgraded my Tamer into!
"So we have the same class??"
"Really?" Hope looked at me in shock. "That's a caster class. Your armor doesn't look anywhere near caster."
"Ah...so you're a wizard, Ziri?" Felix slowly nodded, but he soon shook his head again. "Wait a second. You didn't use any spells when fighting the cat. As she said, casters can't wear heavy armor right?"
"I have two classes. D&P Rider and Soul Manipulator. Speaking of which, how come I don't have that merging skill?"
"Maybe you need more levels? That Ikeda guy only showed his skill lately."
"Yeah...we should be very careful with him. Do you know what's the worse part for a Soul Manipulator?"
"Companions." I summoned Dart and put him onto my shoulder. "We're basically advanced Tamers. Let's hope Ikeda don't have many companions like me, or this can get ugly."
"Um, Ziri?" Felix spoke. "I saw you summon different companions. How many do you have anyway?"
"Ten! But with different levels."
"Ten-ten?" Hope's voice is trembling. "How rich are you? Even if I have that many slots I won't make enough money to buy them my whole life!"
"Well I didn't buy them. My side class is Breeder, I can capture them myself."
"Awesome." She gave me a thumb-up. "And yes, I hope that guy doesn't have so many companions too."
"Now I'm looking forward to learning that strange skill. Hey look, someone else is coming."
Another group emerged from the woods. This time they all wear the same white ninja costume.
Hope answered my doubt without me asking. "Those are the best known ninjas in Japan, the Mist Ninjas. They're second to none when it comes to using dirty weapons and hiding their traces."
"Dirty weapons huh? Well I have my boomerangs."
"They're also not afraid of death. Every time they fight they make sure someone dies. No one dares to mess with them around these parts."
"Who are those?" Felix pointed towards another direction.
"Are those Samurais?" I looked at the new comers.
"Yes. They're traditional Japanese Samurais. They're good at scaring people before a fight and then charge all the way into enemies recklessly. I'd say they're the easiest enemies among these people."
I hear the sound of water drop on my helmet. I lifted my mask and looked at the sky, when another water drop landed on my face.
"What the fuck? Is it raining?"
Felix also spread his arms to catch the rain. "Huh...This is first time I saw rain in this game."
The rain grew heavier as we speak. It's becoming hard to see now.
A system notice suddenly came from near our ears: "Attention, dear players. The game has just adopted the weather system and now we're testing it for the first time. From now on, different weathers will occur in the game and apply different influences to your activities. Please find them out on your own. Now each city and village will be assigned a Weather Forecast NPC, who will tell you the incoming weather for a small service fee. However, the forecast will not be 100% accurate, but is still reliable most of the time. Thank you for your support."
"Good lord. What do we do now?" Felix asked me through the rain with a miserable face.
I just looked at the now waterfall-like shower and shook my head.
"No idea. One thing I know is that we can't follow them in this weather."
I can't see anything past 5 meters! And there's no way to use my cape's invisible skill too. The water will just give me out.
"Let's move closer. Maybe they're waiting for the weather to clear. I won't go for the treasure like this if I were them."
The rain is too big. Dart has been staying on my shoulder and now he feels like a soaked cotton towel. I looked at Felix to notice that he's staring at Hope with big eyes. Oh...the girl's clothes is almost transparent with all the water and is now stuck to her skin. It doesn't seem Hope herself noticed her situation. She's still trying to get a look of the Japan players down below.
I quickly checked inside my bracelet inventory. I looted piles of equipment from the 3,000 dead players last time. It isn't hard to find a random armor for Hope.
I poked her and handed the armor over, when she's still not sure what's going on.
"Well I can't wear this. Or, I can, but they'll only give my debuffs instead."
"Just use it as a raincoat for now!" I pointed to her body.
She finally realized she's semi-naked at the moment. She quickly grabbed the armor from my hands. It seems I held the armor in the rain for too long and there's water in it now. When Hope raised the armor above her head the water washed her from head to toe.
"Aw I hate this weather. Ah-choo!" She rubbed her nose. "What's going on? You can catch cold in this game now?"
"Uh maybe they brought a disease system into the game too?" Felix said.
I brought up the help window to contact the game support...nope, I can't get through. Guess a lot more players and bombarding them with similar questions.
"Game support is busted."
"What do we--ah-chooo! What do we do??"
"Let's head down. See what the Japanese are going to do first."
We didn't go far before the rain just abruptly stopped. Now we're standing on the middle on the mountain without any cover. I immediately hit the floor, Felix and Hope followed my example. Luckily no one spotted us. They're still looking at the sky, cursing the weird system.
We slowly crawled towards a rock and hid behind it. The system notice came alive again before we can discuss the plan.
"As the weather system was brought online for the first time, we need to perform some tests on different weathers. Please log off and rest for a while in the meantime. Of course you can choose to stay and observe the incoming test, but we suggest that players should go back to the cities as no harmful weathers will appear there. Thank you for your cooperation."
As soon as the notice finished, an ice ball the size of a ping-pong dropped in front of me. I picked it up and inspected it.
"...A hail stone."
"That's pretty big one." Felix took it and looked at the unnaturally large object.
I de-summoned Dart first. That one could have killed him if it hit. The rock we are hiding behind has an arc above our heads so we can just hide from the hails too. Now we are hearing the booming noises as the giant hail stones drop around us.
I wonder what the Japanese players are doing. I picked out several shields from my inventory, piled them up and walked out of the shelter with the shields above my head. As soon as I walked to open ground I felt a giant force coming down. I had to transform into werewolf to not get knocked to the ground.
My Star Gaze can help me peek at the Japanese formations, though barely. Everyone not wearing armor are running around madly, arms on their heads. I see Matsumoto and Tanaka doing the same, since Ninjas and Onmyoji don't wear armors. Ninjas still have headbands with metal plates on them, while Onmyoji only wear cloth.
Blue flashes began to appear among the players here and there. Many people are using their scrolls to teleport back or log off. Even the Warriors aren't going to survive for long under this hailstorm.
Some of their casters are already lying motionless on the ground, either dead or unconscious.
I'm wondering if I can install some catapults on Bi-Lin and throw rocks at enemies. That'll do some serious damage.
Eventually, all Japan players are gone back to the cites or logged off. I also moved back under the rock quickly. My arms holding the shields are completely numb now.
When I threw them on the ground I see the top one almost broke to pieces. The other ones are also bent in different degrees. It was a good decision NOT to use my own shield or I'll need extra money to repair it again.
"Are you an Orc?" Hope asked.
"No. It's Divine Demon."
"How can you become a werewolf then?"
"I'm bitten before."
"Oh... Look, it's clear again."
The hailstorm finally stopped. Now the terrible layer of hail stones on the ground almost reached our ankles. Gosh. I wonder how much damage they caused to the game when testing the weathers.