Defense Specialization and Joining an Army
The members of “Congregation of Holy Swords” were the most powerful forces in Maple's faction. After they left the town, the faction’s power to protect the base was greatly reduced.
"Alright, let's do our best to protect this place!"
Maple called out to the nearby members of “Maple Tree” and turned to face the field. Using the high-performance binoculars that Iz gave her, she stared at the flatland in front of her, but she couldn’t see any players from the opposing side.
“Well, as expected, they won’t just come guns blazing at the front gate, right?”
"Yeah. So we’re still going to wait and see how things play out for the time being?"
Just like the players that Sally and the others met out in the forest, no one could afford to make any bold moves, since this event didn’t allow players to die even once.
No one was trying to pa.s.s through the outer walls’ defenses by simply flying over them in order to head straight to the castle. Even if the enemy could avoid the allied players on the ground, with so many lookouts on top of the walls, they would be risking getting shot down before they could reach their goal.
"Unless one of us makes a move, there won't be any large-scale battles.”
"Yeah, you’re right.”
If they continued to wait like this, they could expect the first big battle to take place the moment the “Congregation of Holy Swords” clashed with the enemy faction.
“Though it doesn't look like everyone else is just going to sit around doing nothing."
As Kanade peered over the top of the outer wall, he could see several guilds gathering in the distance, as if they were about to start marching.
"There’s so many people…”
"Looks like we’re going to see more activity from now on…”
Since several guilds have a.s.sembled, the number of players gathered around was much greater than that of the members of the “Congregation of Holy Swords”. Being that many, any sort of covert action would be much more difficult, and it wouldn’t be surprising if any invasion they could launch resulted in a fierce battle where both sides would suffer damage.
"Hmm, Maple. At this point, it might be better if you go with them. I think that would be more effective than waiting here for that number of people to come at us at once."
Kanade's suggestion also made sense. The reason Maple was waiting here was to see what the opponent would do in the early stages, and to become the strongest line of defense in the event of an a.s.sault.
However, since not everyone on this side was working on the same idea, it was also necessary to have some degree of flexibility.
If many players suddenly were to die here, Maple’s side would be at a huge disadvantage.
“Sally also said that it would be good to go to a place with a lot of people and protect it.”
"I wonder if the town will be okay if I go…"
“Haha, don’t worry. I’ve already made some preparations. They should buy enough time for you to fly back here if things go south.”
After saying that, Kanade picked up a book with a black cover from his floating bookshelf and smiled confidently.
"Well, the rest of us will still have to be on guard duty just in case. Mai and Yui are here, so we should be fine.”
“Do your best, Maple!”
"Please be careful…!"
"Go, and don’t worry about this place. This is a good chance for me to show you the power of my items.”
"Okay! Then I’m off!”
After having made up her mind to move to the offensive after being encouraged by her fellow guild members, Maple let out a short sigh and jumped down from the outer wall.
“With this, the ‘Congregation of Holy Swords’ should have an easier time moving around, right?”
If several powerful players of Maple’s side were to be scattered about in multiple places, the more difficult it would be for the opposing side to defend against them.
Switching to an offensive approach had its risks, but it was also true that they wouldn’t be able to win just by defending. And if they were going to attack at some point either way, it would be better for them to be more efficient about it and reduce the number of times they’d take risks.
“Now then, let’s take a look at the equipment that we can use for defending this place, and help Iz set up her items.”
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After coming to the center of the party’s formation as the man –who seemed to be the party leader– had told her, Maple bowed her head and greeted the players around her.
"Thanks for letting me join!”
The rest of the party greeted her back, but they all seemed to be fired up about Maple’s partic.i.p.ation, so they were pretty noisy about it.
"Yeah, we’ve got even more powerful allies now! Let’s march on!”
Several players, who were probably the guild masters of various other guilds, took the lead, raising their weapons to the sky and calling out to the rest of the members of their parties in order to raise morale.
After everyone responded with a war cry of their own, the large army finally began to move…
And, of course, since the large army started to move with a great deal of energy, Maple, who was in the center of their formation and was unable to keep up with their pace, couldn’t avoid being b.u.mped into by those marching behind her. As expected, even though AGI was related to movement speed, not many players were willing to completely ditch it in favor of other stats.
"S-She… she walks really slow, don’t you think?”
“Should we get her into a cart? We’re going to need someone to pull it, but I think it’s worth the effort.”
“Right. Wait here a second, I’ll get one ready.”
"That really helps, thank you…”
Thus a small pull cart was brought to ensure that Maple would march at the same speed as the rest of the army.
"That oughta do it. Be careful not to make her jump too much, okay?”
“Right. We wouldn’t want to just march on recklessly only to later realize we’ve dropped her along the way.”
While keeping Maple’s shortcomings in mind (which had become more clear after becoming their ally), the allied forces continued their march towards the enemy camp.
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