Following my experiment with the bow that Tubrock had made me, I couldn’t help but be deeply satisfied. Sure, it didn’t have as many special options as Accalia’s bow, and it wasn’t as versatile as Irena’s pen. However, it had everything that I needed in this particular bow. I could think of a more unique divine artifact to go with my own domains later.
For now, there was just the matter of enchanting this bow with the divine ability that I intended to give it. I had long since made up my mind on what this bow would be able to do, and so I allowed my divinity to be infused to the golden structure. Gradually, the appearance of the bow began to shift, losing its luster as the material changed to simple wood.
Similarly, a string appeared on the bow where one previously didn’t exist. These two aspects together made it look like any common bow that a beginning archer would use. Finally, the true effect of the enchantment that I gave it was applied when I pulled the string once again. Despite me using my ki to create an arrow, what appeared was a common wooden arrow with an iron head.
Nodding my head, I let the arrow fly, making sure that it didn’t change back until it had struck its target. Next to me, Ryone smiled softly. “You want your enemies to be unable to tell what sort of arrow you’re using, by disguising them all as the most basic arrow?” She asked curiously, to which I nodded.
“I’m not sure entirely how much it will help. After all, anyone with half a brain cell would know to do their best to avoid a Keeper’s every attack. Even a casual punch from me could kill most people if I’m not careful. However, with this I can hide special effects in my arrows that they won’t know to watch for.” I explained as I looked at the bow in satisfaction.
Ryone gave a small nod at that. “Like you said, they’ll avoid any attack that they can. However, if you are able to launch numerous attacks in succession to force them to choose which to dodge, at least they won’t know which ones are truly dangerous.”
That was the general idea with my bow, at least. My primary usage for this item was assassination, however. Using the techniques that Tsubaki had written out, I could target an enemy and attack them with a seemingly ordinary arrow. This illusion hid the radiating energy from an attack, and would thus allow even a powerful strike to slip past all but the most trained senses.
Part of me was curious to see what would happen if I used a full power Ki arrow that consumed all eight million of my ki at once. How powerful would the blast be from that, especially if fired out of the secondary effect of my bow? It would be an interesting experiment, but I knew I couldn’t do such a thing in an inhabited area… or an inhabited planet for that matter. Although the risk wasn’t high, there was a chance that I could cause extreme damage to a planet with such a powerful strike.
“Well, I think I’ll go check on Leowynn, then.” Ryone said with a smile. “If you need anything else, don’t hesitate to let me know.” After she said that, her body faded away, leaving me alone with my thoughts and training.
“Well… I guess it’s time to get started.” I muttered, beginning the training that I was preparing for when Oldbeard contacted me. Deploying my World Sight, I carefully adjusted the energies that I released, once more beginning to train myself in basic archery techniques.
Petra kept herself low to the ground as she prowled through the deep forest of Fyor’s twenty-seventh floor. She and Thelsa had long since found the gate leading to the next floor, but they had yet to explore it. After all, they had only been on this floor for a relatively short period, and wanted to enjoy having a playing field in which they could truly shine.
You’re sure it’s just up ahead? She asked her shadow, receiving a confirmation from one of the scouts that had been in charge of exploring her shadow world. Petra was currently tackling a standing quest from the guild, which was to find the level orb on this new floor. With the help of the Guild’s new professional guide, they had managed to locate the orb on the previous floor with some difficulty.
However, it seemed as if that same trick wasn’t going to work so easily this time. The fact that the guide was unable to track the orb on this new floor seemed to indicate that either no such orb existed, or that there were special qualities on this floor that restrained his tracking energy. Perhaps the plants were capable of devouring the energy much in the same way that they devoured the mana from the central spire.
Ever since the researcher of Deckan came in to clear the major threats away from this level of Fyor, the day and night cycle had begun to shift. Where previously, the day period lasted only an hour, that time was now doubled. It was hard to tell if it would keep increasing, but Petra was confident that it would not turn into another situation where her powers become utterly helpless.
Three meters beneath the surface. It’s being hugged by a tangle of roots. The shadow informed her as she reached an unassuming patch of land within the forest. Her body seemed to be resting atop a pile of vines, but she knew better than to assume that anything was simply safe here.
With every movement Petra made, she checked her minimap for any signs of hostile activity. If anything so much as twitched wrong, she was prepared to blast it with enough power to reduce a large portion of this forest to ruins.
Petra took a deep breath, and began carefully moving aside the vines beneath her, pushing the roots of the great trees with considerable strength for her small frame. Within the shadow world, there were no monsters. This meant that their scouts could explore in peace. However, it also meant that the results they found did not always match up perfectly with what was found in the main world.
One example of this was when a small red dot lit up on Petra’s minimap. Her body lunged upwards, gripping onto a low-hanging branch as she kept her wings tucked in. Her eyes trained on the area below, looking at the source of the red dot. There, tucked away beneath the ground, was an unassuming root that seemed to blend in with all of the others.
Petra had caught some subtle movement from this root out of the corner of her eyes, which had alerted her minimap to mark it as a potential threat. However, now that she had made her distance, the root had stopped moving entirely. “It’s a patient predator… maybe even a plant monster.”
Plant monsters were always known for their ability to blend in with their natural surroundings, waiting for months or years at a time until their prey had wandered into their range. The ‘root’ that Petra was looking at could either be one such entity, or perhaps another creature that was merely able to assume the form of a root. For instance, a burrowing snake that could disguise itself.
Either way, she had to be careful. This was the location where the level orb was supposedly being kept, so she needed to make sure not to direct too much of her power downwards. The last thing she wanted was to destroy it and wait for it to respawn before starting her search all over. Anything you can do to help me out here, Thelsa?
You know that my original focus was a rogue, right? Thelsa asked from her shadow, a faint sigh emerging from her lips. The roots are holding it too tight for us to just steal it with our shadow. Let me out, and I’ll see if I can steal it myself. If not, I’ll try one of Sora’s tricks.
Please don’t electrocute me. Petra pleaded, spreading her wings to quietly glide down to the ground. She made sure to give the suspicious root a wide berth to prevent it from attacking the moment that she landed.
Once she was down, the black-haired Thelsa emerged from her shadow, taking a deep breath. Lately, she had been letting herself emerge in the real world less and less, and had to take a moment to adjust before she nodded her head.
“You know, you could always come up with a new identity and form a party with me at the guild.” Petra suggested, earning a soft smile from Thelsa.
“No, you’re the one that deserves the spotlight between us. Don’t worry, it shouldn’t be too much longer before my preparations are complete.” As she said that, she crouched down on the ground, closing her eyes.
“Preparations? You mean you’re finally almost ready to be out full-time again?” Petra asked in excitement, receiving a small nod in return. “How much longer do you need? Is there anything I can do to help?”
Thelsa chuckled softly, shaking her head. “Right now, the biggest obstacle left is to create a history for myself. With the people we’ve spread out in the various layers, I can forge official documents ranging back to my birth. I’ve already decided that the role I’m going to play this time will be a bartender for a tavern on this floor. The long nights just feel more comfortable to me.”
Petra nodded, able to easily understand that. “Will I still be able to visit you?” She asked hopefully.
“Of course, Petra. I expect you to be a regular. Although I won’t be an adventurer this time, I’ll still be free to help you if you ask.” As she said that, her brows furrowed. “Ah… so that’s where the interference is.”
“Did you find something?” Petra asked, leaning in closer. Given that the hole was only dug less than a meter down, she obviously couldn’t see what Thelsa had found.
However, Thelsa still nodded. “There’s a special plant mixed in with these roots. While most of the plants in this floor can absorb mana, this one also absorbs spiritual energy. My guess is that it’s a mutant, and the guild’s guide relies on spiritual energy to some degree for his tracking.”
“Can you still grab it?” Petra chewed her bottom lip nervously, knowing that things would get messier if they had to resort to her alternative plan… which was just to smash everything and hope that the orb wasn’t damaged.
“Easily.” Thelsa smiled, lifting her hand to show the retrieved level orb. “As long as it doesn’t block ki, I can directly grab it. It’s a new trick that they’re teaching the rogues starting in the lower floors. One of our people learned about it and sent it back to us.”
Petra let out a relieved sigh as she saw the orb, reaching over to give Thelsa a big hug. “Thanks! The roots aren’t acting up or anything, are they?”
Thelsa shook her head at that. “It seems like these roots are primarily benign. There were a couple that I noticed were unusual, but neither of them were directly touching the orb.” After saying that, she passed the orb over to Petra. “You should be able to claim your reward once you take that back to the Core.”
Petra nodded her head happily, accepting the orb from Thelsa. “Honestly, the biggest reward I’ll get out of this is being able to train more. I’d like to spend some time training my Druid class a bit more, since these layers are only getting bigger and bigger.”
Thelsa gave an understanding nod when she heard that. A high level druid would be able to control all of the plants within this forest, making it a simple matter to retrieve the orb. Of course, they had a number of other advantages in different terrains as well, so it was simply a good class to train. Given that she had been a high level druid from birth, it was only natural for her to want to pursue that path again.
Sadly, her level could no longer be considered high in that class after more and more floors were unlocked. But, maybe now she would have the chance to fix that.