This marks the first exploration since Til joined our party. This time, we entered the a prairie-type dungeon. I want to observe how good Til’s shooting ability actually is. This dungeon would be more appropriate for that since a rocky mountain as well as a jungle would make firing a bow difficult. Thus, it is ideal to choose an open field like a prairie where there are few obstacle.
I’ll like to see it. The ability to hit any target within 200 metres.
In reality, the biggest hurdle for every archer would be to accurately hit a target. The status may increase, and the equipment may become increasingly effective, raising the power of each shot. However, all of these are redundant if the arrow doesn’t land. Unlike the sword and the spear, the bow user requires practice and accuracy for the bow to be effective. It would be impossible for a new archer to accurately hit a target at 200 metres away unless it was a massive monster.
It takes a new bow user at least five years minimum before he can become a first-class archer. There are several first-class bow users that are well-known through the world, however almost all of them specialize in the crossbow. There aren’t many people who would spend years of their life to master a bow when they could simply use a crossbow which was easier to use. Even if the crossbow sacrifices power and range, it was still effective as a range weapon.
Mastering the bow was avoided mainly due to the commitment required to merely utilise effectively. However, once mastered, it is one of the most powerful weapons. Bowmen could easily let loose waves of arrows down upon swordsmen and spearmen with a force close to a sword strike. It is a weapon that can be the strongest if mastered, and the weakest when unprepared.
[Luna, can you search for enemies nearby?] (Youya)
[Uhn. I’ll try to.] (Luna)
Luna began to search for enemies using Presence Detection. Presence Detection is a convenient ability to have as it allows us to search in a radius of 150 metres around us, increasing our hunting efficiency as well as preventing surprise attacks.
[Found it. Youya. Til. In this direction, there is a rabbit monster hiding in the grass 140 metres away.] (Luna)
In the direction that Luna pointed, the grass that grew to knee level, could be seen moving unnaturally as if there was something inside. It would have easily been dismissed as the wind if we didn’t have Luna’s Presence Detection. After listening to Luna’s directions, Til’s expression changed. The atmosphere around her changed from an energetic young girl to a seasoned hunter as she generated an arrow.
[Til. Can you see it?] (Youya)
[Yeah. The eyes of an elf is special. Especially the eyes that belong to an Ether Lance. I can see the rabbit in the grass as clear as day.] (Til)
Looking closely, her jade-coloured eyes were shining with a jade glow.
Thinking back, I’ve heard about the eyes inherited by her family. Among the elves, there are families who have a stronger connection to their ancestor’s blood as compared to a normal elf. This gave them the ability to see long distances, fluoroscopic ability, dynamic vision that far surpasses a human’s ability and even the ability to predict several seconds into the future. This was an ability that every bowmen desperately wanted as it was an ability that raises their combat effectiveness beyond their status.
Til released her hand and arrows flew through the air. It wasn’t just one arrow but three arrows. She released three arrows in a single breath with such refined movement that even an amateur could understand. The arrows weren’t flying directly at the target, but rather drawing a huge arc as it rode the strong winds blowing in the plains. When shooting a target a hundred metres away, even without exposure to strong winds, it would be impossible to predict where the arrows would land. However, the arrows that Til released flew through the plains as if it was one with the wind.
The scream of the monster could be heard in the distance, and the sensation of power welling up from within could be felt. It is the sensation a person feels when they are gaining experience points.
[Uhn. That was amazing. All three shots landed.] (Luna)
[Your aim is as good as Phil’s.] (Youya)
[Because we have the same teacher. After she left, I was always the best in the competition! I can hit my target about 200 metres away with about 70% accuracy! If it’s three hundred.. Maa I’ll manage somehow!] (Til)
That is a reliable accuracy. With this range, we can perform a one-sided hunt with arrows form a distance. There is no safer way to hunt monsters than to hunt a monster even further than the range of Presence Detection. In addition, it can be used for luring.
[I understand that your archery skills are top-notch now. Did you allocate all of your skill points properly?] (Youya)
[Yeah. I did as you told me to and put three points into Arrow generation.] (Til)
[Good. It will be an important skill for you in the future. As it is now, a quiver of arrows won’t last very long in the dungeon. Using the skill will allow you to produce arrows using your mana. In addition, the quality of the arrows corresponds with your status, meaning that the arrows will become stronger as you level up. Eventually, it will be stronger than any commercially available arrows sold in stores everywhere.] (Youya)
[hee. That sounds pretty amazing. I did feel that the arrows I made earlier was pretty bad, so they will become better in the future.] (Til)
[I guarantee it. What about the other two points?] (Youya)
[I properly placed them in the other skill.] (Til)
[Good girl.] (Youya)
That skill was necessary to unlock the strongest benefit of a Spirit Archer.
Well then, time to continue the hunt.
Afterwards, the hunt progressed smoothly. Til was able to spot enemies from a distance thanks to her superior vision. That vision itself was a powerful weapon for battles. Monsters that were hidden from her vision was revealed by Luna’s Presence Detection. If there were any monsters who were approaching us, we would defeat them with ranged attacks. From this, I could tell that Til’s accuracy wasn’t the only thing noteworthy. Her rate of fire and power were exceptional as well.
Til’s level is raising steadily as well. She is currently level 3, and the skill points were immediately used. At the moment, her skills were sufficient. It’s about time for us to venture deeper into the plains. Generally, the deeper you enter in a dungeon, the stronger the monsters.
[Youya, something big is approaching us quickly from the ground! (Luna)
Finally, it’s here.
The enemies that we hunted earlier were far too weak to display Til’s full power, but with this monster, it should be possible.
The area ten metres ahead of us exploded as something came out of the ground. We had no choice but to let it approach this close as we wouldn’t be able to attack it from a distance when it’s in the ground. What came out of the ground was a bipedal bear that far surpassed my height, Mad Bear, the strongest monster in the dungeon.
It was a powerful monster, albeit not as strong as the Rock Golem, beginners were heavy pressed to defeat this foe. It boasts a high attacking power, with explosive power due to it’s strong muscles and sharp nails along with high defensive power thanks to it’s thick fur, preventing any blade from passing.
[I’ll be the front line. Luna. When you see an opening, push in with your Assassinate. It’s weak spot is it’s sides. Til, stay at the back and support us .
[Leave it to me.] (Luna)
The three of us moved to our respective positions, forming a party formation. With the three of us battling in a formation, makes it feel like an actual party battle. I can feel the adrenaline starting to kick in throughout my body.
The main focus in this fight will be on Til. I ran behind a wall and began my chant for a spell while focusing on the monster’s movements. In the next instant, the Mad Bear swung it’s claws towards my position. Movements at this level is easy to predict. Using my sword as a shield, I received while simultaneously deflecting it’s attack to the side. Realizing it’s attack was easily deflected, the beast became infuriated and continued throwing attacks after attacks. Monotonous attacks like these based on pure rage won’t even land a scratch on me.
[As usual, Til is good with her bow.] (Youya)
Arrows rained over the monster from a distance as Til continued to provide support.
As the front line, focusing on our prey’s movements allows me to avoid attacks while simultaneously throwing out my own. However, to attack a moving target with only an arrow, you will have to predict the prey’s movements a few seconds ahead. The Mad Bear began to scream as both of it’s eyes got pierced by the arrows. From the beginning, Til has been firing arrows from about 30 metres away. She managed to attack the bear’s eyes with pinpoint accuracy at that distance. What unbelievable skill. She seems to have been much more than I imagined. After getting robbed of it’s vision, the bear began to retreat. While it was beginning to retreat, a shadow rushed into it’s large body at a high-speed. Luna found an opening just as the beast began to retreat and rushed in with her full power. It was a rush which was refined by diligently training everyday. Her dagger entered the side of the beast and the sound of a critical hit resonated throughout the plains.
The characteristic of Asssasinate was it’s extremely high damage multiplier that activates only on a critical hit. The beast’s expression began to distort into one of agony. Seems like the battle will be over soon. This whole time, Til has been providing support by releasing waves after waves of arrows. She had been chanting ever since the battle started. Spirit Archers did not have the same restriction as other classes while chanting, allowing them to simultaneously chant while moving, albeit only a single spell at any given time. This gave the Spirit Archers high offensively capabilities as they were also bow users. Even if a magic caster could move while chanting, they were unable to provide support during their chant. That is why spirit archers were effective as a back line attacker, as they were able to perform long ranged attacks with bows while casting spells.
Til finished chanting and began to cast her spell advanced tier magic Thunder.
As her level was still relatively low, the time taken for her to cast a high-ranking spell with high power and wide range was extremely long. In addition, her current mana pool was only capable of one shot, but that one shot was all that was needed. I backed away from the beast as her chant was completed to prevent any friendly fire.
The next moment, the Mad Bear collapsed and turned into blue particles.
[Man, a spirit archer is tough as expected.] (Youya)
The spirit archer’s greatest strength was the ability to simultaneously utilise both physical and magical attacks at range. They could effectively increase the number of hands in the party by shooting arrows from range while they were chanting. This prevented any bow skills from activated but a bow still has a power that is high for a basic attack. Til’s elder sister, Phil had focused her skills on her passive magical skills (abilities that are always invoked) and her bow skills. Spirit archers were inferior to magic casters in the Wind (Lightning) attribute and did not possess the utility that rangers possessed, but their advantages aren’t noticeable to the unaware. Even in our current party, we will be relying on her abilities much more often in the future. It is a style that greatly resembles my own.
As Til fired her bow while chanting, she displayed her ability as an adventurer in the back line, firing arrows while chanting spells, just like a magic knight utilising magic in the front line. This feat is impossible back in the game era as any attack commands recognized by the system would cancel the chant, making this a style that is only feasible because that game has become a reality unbound by any systems.
This is getting exciting. Both me and my party are definitely becoming stronger.
Now that the fight is over, Til and Luna gathered together with me.
[Just as big sis said, Youya’s swordsmenship is amazing. You took the blows from the bear like it was nothing! Luna too! Your thrust looked so simple yet it was so powerful!] (Til)
[Uhn! It was the technique that Youya taught me. But Til is even more amazing. All your arrows hit your target and yet you could still cast magic. That is so amazing!] (Luna)
Luna and Til were complimenting each other.
Looks like their friendship is just beginning to blossom after watching each other’s abilities. They will be getting along well before they even know it.
Looking towards the sky, the sun has begun to fall. It is about time for us to head back, but after looking at how motivated the two of them are..
Let’s stretch the time limit and hunt as much as we can, this way we can improve our coordination and their friendship .
[The two of you, we will continue to hunt untill the last-minute today! The three of us still have much to learn!] (Youya)
[Uhn! Leave it to me! That attack felt good, I want to do it more! Even more assassin!] (Luna)
[I’ll try my best too!] (Til)
We continued to search for our next prey as we ventured deeper into the dungeon. This has been an exciting hunt so far. With this trio, I am sure that we can reach further than I did back in my prime. We can continue to grow together and become stronger. That night, we continued to hunt much longer than we had planned.