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Chapter 102 – It’s an emergency

 

While the disagreements within the event seem to have calmed down, the battle for the Shadow Tears has heated up considerably.

In fact, its price rose so high, that selling three of them gives you enough money to buy one piece of steel gear.

And it’s still selling, so one can see how serious the top people at the event rankings are… And well, one of those top players is lying down on the desk right in front of me.

“Ugh… My money… My money…” Mika groaned.

“Yeah yeah, it’s a bit bothersome when you behave like that, so stop it.” I replied.

“But, you know!” Mika complained.

Right now, Mika is being troubled by the soaring prices of the Shadow Tears, but she can’t maintain her ranking without buying them.

Of course, she participates whenever a raid battle occurs, but there is still a limit to how many she can obtain through those.

It honestly seems pretty tough for a student to maintain a high rank in this kind of online game event… Though at the same time, students have a huge advantage during vacations, so it’s not all bad.

In any case, the blow on her finances has been huge, so it’s no wonder that she is complaining about it while paying the rent for the Sealed Dark Mysterious Sword and the Dark Short Sword.

Seems like Hime’s sermon is still in effect, as Mika is paying it up regularly now.

Moreover, she is paying a fair amount of money each time, so she is almost done paying it off. At that point the item will be purchased instead of rented, so it will be a happy sunny land for Mika.

It was honestly faster than I expected, but I suppose it can’t be helped when her funds have been greatly increased by the improved fighting power letting her fight stronger mobs that give more profitable loot. Not to mention the event drops that are also fairly profitable.

Though well, this same event is what is draining her money now. If it wasn’t for the huge increase in price of the Shadow Tears, she might have just finished paying off her swords right now.

“Oh! A raid! I’m going!” Mika suddenly exclaimed.

“Yes, yes, have fun.” I told her.

She had been groaning until just now, but this simple call for a raid threw her bad mood away and she was now jumping away from her seat and rushing to the door.

Well, that’s Mika alright.

Then, let’s go earn some more event points with the materials I bought from her as she paid her rental.

I still don’t have enough to get all Minicots, but I’m certainly earning a good amount at a pretty steady pace, so it might be possible to achieve this goal by the end of the event.

******

“Yes? What’s up?” I replied to the call I received.

“It’s an emergency.” Hime told me.

She called me while I was in the middle of crafting some event items.

It’s not uncommon for Hime to call me, but the reason is not usually ‘an emergency’…

“What happened?” I asked.

“Invasion at Mizuri.” She replied.

“Eeeeeh!?” I exclaimed.

After asking for more details, she told me that the only area where agriculture is safely practiced by player Pioneers, Mizuri Village, is now under attack by Demon Trees.

At Frontiers we don’t need to just cut down the Demon Trees and unlock new areas, because after some time passes, the Demon Trees resume their invasion and try to take over the areas that were already cleared.

Both player and NPC Pioneers are well aware of that. It’s a key point of the story told by the Goddess at the beginning of the game.

However, we don’t know the specific amount of time until a re-invasion occurs, or what is the ideal method to avoid that, so we don’t have much choice other than collecting information within the game and paying attention to how close the surrounding Demon Trees are.

“Okay, what should I do then?” I asked.

“Magical Formations. Fire-based ones.” Hime told me.

“I have plenty of those on stock at the store!” I replied.

“My Clanmates will go by them.” Hime told me.

“Got it! I’ll have them ready for you!” I exclaimed.

Hime should already have a stock of Magical Formations with her, but I guess the re-invasion is big and can’t be handled by what she currently owns.

Since it’s an emergency, I wouldn’t mind giving those away for free, but it’s Hime that we’re talking about here, so I guess she is going to purchase them properly.

After all, she got pretty angry at Mika for not paying the rent properly, so there is no way Hime would be willing to get the items she needs for free.

In any case, from what I have seen on the forums, it seems to be possible to prevent re-invasions to some extent by cutting down nearby Demon Trees.

Currently speaking though, the number of people engaged with farming has increased, which can point towards a reduction on the number of people woodcutting.

Pair that up with the current event that pushes people towards fighting and crafting mainly, so we probably have way less people doing woodcutting than usual… The Demon Trees probably got close enough to the Mizuri Village due to a lack of maintenance caused by a smaller amount of woodcutting being done.

Moreover, if the defense of the area fails, then we’ll completely lose a previously unlocked region, which can be incredibly painful for something as wonderful as a safe area with agriculture bonus.

After all, most of the ingredients currently used at cooking in Capital Sabrina come from the Mizuri Village, as ingredients harvested with the Agriculture skill paired together with the region bonus ends up leading to large amounts of high-rank materials.

This is particularly important for chefs, because cooking is crafting. And just like any other form of crafting, it gets better with high-rank materials.

Not to mention that the ingredients from Mizuri Village are very delicious. Many of them are used in Kuuruu’s restaurant for one.

Therefore, it would be a huge loss if the Mizuri Village disappeared now.

Unsurprisingly, this led to a lot of people suddenly panicking on the forums.

However, thanks to the increase of combat-focused player Pioneers who became used to fighting with large groups of people in raid battles, it seems like the people involved in the defense battle are currently gaining the upper hand.

Also, the members of Kikoridottokoru aren’t holding back at all in using all the fire Magical Formations that they bought from me. They bought my entire stock and are going all-out in guaranteeing the victory!

Demon Trees are also trees, after all, so fire is very effective.

Well, more or less. They seem to actually be quite resistant to fire once they settle down, but Demon Trees that are trying to invade an area seem to have a much smaller resistance, so they can be burned while still being saplings and before they have any time to grow and gain their full resistance.

******

It was the first defensive battle, but it seems like the defense was successful due to a quick response and a large number of people participating.

I did think that it was going to be okay, but this is still a relief.

On the forums, discussions started to appear regarding maintenance work of other areas that have been unlocked.

It’s pretty important to cut down the surrounding Demon Trees to avoid this kind of attack again, so some people are already organizing themselves to negotiate with the Guild to get proper quests issued for the maintenance of those areas.

However, the regular quests to cut down Demon Trees aren’t issued by the Guild, but by the Zabrina Kingdom.

Player Pioneers can’t directly appeal to the country though, so the best option is to negotiate with the Guild, who can serve as an intermediary for negotiations with the country itself.

Of course, people can voluntarily cut down Demon Trees for the sake of maintenance work, but there is no way people will keep on doing such volunteer activities forever, so it’s better to start negotiating with the Guild now.

After all, once a re-invasion starts, the defensive battle may end up taking quite some time depending on how fast the reaction is and on how many people gather.

This time it was finished about three hours after Hime called me. The first defensive battle took around three hours while having a huge number of people participating.

If a re-invasion occurs and people don’t gather fast enough, then the defense forces might actually fail and lose the area that took everyone so much effort to unlock.

Moreover, even if the Demon Trees in that location are cleared afterwards, nothing guarantees that the same area that was there before reappears. In fact, it’s possible to never find that area again.

Therefore, a consensus was reached on the forums that no currently obtained area can be lost to the Demon Trees.

However, as we keep on unlocking new areas, it’s quite likely that the defense will eventually fail due to the players being too spread out, so at the very least, maintenance should be done in all high-value locations.

I hope everyone can at least keep the places where we can get high-rank materials safe, because… Well, I can’t fight nor can I cut trees.

My contribution is done by providing items that help out the fighters, but I can’t be there on the right time and place when it is needed, so I need to rely on everyone else to do that for me.

However… It seems like there is nothing to be gained in defensive battles, like… Sure, you do get Magic Stones from cutting down the invading Demon Trees, but you already get that in normal woodcutting.

And as this is not part of an event, you also don’t gain any event points or anything like it.

Not to mention that it is quite time-consuming to participate in a defensive battle, but… If the defense fails, then the area will be lost.

It is certainly a necessary battle, but I think the number of people willing to participate on those fights will steadily decrease if there isn’t any sort of reward to be gained for participating on defensive battles.

Many people on the forums seem to be talking about this, saying that they’d like some rewards from defensive battles and saying what they’d like to gain if the development team implemented something.

There is a problem though. If the reward is too good, then people will intentionally avoid doing maintenance of unlocked areas in order to increase the chance of invasions and gain the rewards that come from defensive battles… Still, most people do seem to want some kind of reward from this, so it’s a bit troublesome.

That said, even if a defensive battle is successful, the Demon Trees are still able to deal damage to the attacked area, which just makes things more troublesome.

On the Mizuri Village, it seems like some of the areas that had agriculture being done on them were now destroyed, together with all the vegetables that were being grown there.

Some buildings were also damaged, and none of those came back even with the success of the defensive forces… Seems like it’s impossible to get a complete victory once an attack is initiated.

Well, it was the first defensive battle, so I guess this can be considered a good-enough success, even if the player and NPC Pioneers who were affected might have suffered quite a bit of damage.

… Though I’d feel terrible if my workshop was damaged in this kind of invasion. What if my advanced facility was broken down? I’d cry at that.

But well, if the Demon Trees were able to invade Capital Sabrina, then I think that would be the end of Frontiers.

Or maybe not, I mean… The current event did start with an attack within the city area, so we should be careful.

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