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Vermillion – Chapter 16 Bahasa Indonesia

[PART 1] Fairness

The sound of the babbling brook was calming. Gentle rays of the early afternoon sun danced beautifully on the water’s surface.

The wind carried the sound of rustling leaves as it blew through the grove of trees.

Kei sat with his back against a tree with his helmet off and gave a small sigh.

It had already been a few hours since they left Tahfu.

Kei and Aileen took into consideration the excessive weight that Sasuke carried and took a short break in the grove.

Sasuke thrust his mouth into the water, drinking in large gulps before he lifted his head and took a huge breath of air with a puhaa!

Kei rustled through his backpack and began to munch on the hard biscuit he pulled out after unwrapping the paper that covered it. He sighed, “Riding for three… four hours sure is tough~”

Aileen was sitting on the root of another tree next to him, sighing loudly as she cracked her neck. “Yeah, I guess so… I do feel tired.”

With a disheartened expression Kei washed the biscuit down with water from his canteen. His words only received a half-hearted response from the listless Aileen.

Nothing had happened since they left Tahfu.

They followed the brook a few hours east. On their right was the forest, and on their left were grassy fields. The whole way had been so peaceful that it was surprising.

Usually, the most travelers would see was a rabbit in the fields or an animal in the forest. It was uncommon to run into passersby or merchant caravans. Once, they saw a village that was even smaller than Tahfu, but the villagers looked suspicious as they waved. They didn’t go close enough to speak with them.

The way was so calm that they started to yawn.

However, even in this situation Kei wouldn’t let his guard down.

No matter how peaceful it seemed, a ferocious monster could jump out of the woods at any time. A highwayman or a robber could be lurking in a thicket or in the tall grass.

Not knowing when or where an enemy could appear, Kei held his bow, ready to nock an arrow immediately.

It was the same in the game, to always be vigilant when traveling in small numbers. However, no matter how far you traveled in the game it would be an hour at the worst. Kei had been on high alert for over three hours now. Aileen sat behind him so she lessened his burden by watching their rear, but sensing bloodlust still fell into Kei’s territory. At any rate, it was necessary to watch all angles. What’s more, they felt the heavy pressure of their lives on the line.

It was inevitable that they would lose focus.

The break they took was as much for Sasuke as it was for Kei. Even now, while he ate his biscuit, he stayed vigilant. However taking note of the terrain as they moved and staying alert in a single spot were completely different mentally.

—I guess we’ll start off in another ten minutes or so, Kei thought to himself. Even as he spaced out, staring into the crystal clear water, he sensed Aileen stand up.

“Are you okay, Kei?” Aileen looked worried as she brought her face up close to Kei’s, as if trying to look into his thoughts.

“I’m fine… I’m just a little tired from focusing constantly.”

“Haha… Alright then,” she muttered to herself before she sat down on the root again, her expression still dull.

They sat in silence for a while, trying to figure out how the other felt.

Kei tried to dodge the awkward atmosphere that built up by letting his gaze wander and smoothing over the white bandana over his face. His old one wasn’t fit to use after the battle with the bandits, so before they left Cynthia gave him this one as a replacement. It was plain white with a single red patterned stripe. Apparently she was good at sewing. On the left side, where it came to his cheek, she embroidered cute flowers with a red thread.

She said, ‘This will make you look cute.’ The embroidery was done very well and it did look very cute. However, it taught him something about her peculiar taste; she put a charming decoration on a bandana he would wear into battle.

From Mandel’s advice, when the time came for Kei to wear the bandana most of the time it would be for a fight, but—

Kei sighed lightly and shook his head. He glanced to the side and patted the bandage on his cheek, the ointment had dried up.

Aileen sat on the root, squinting up at sunlight coming through the trees and stretched her toes. Her cloak shielded her, but her ponytail and scarf blew in the wind. She wore black leather bracers, a leather vest, and below her beige tunic her slender legs were wrapped up in the black cloth and the shin guards of a ninja.

Save for her bracers, shin guards, and the saber on her back, she looked like she could be a slightly dressed up village girl.

“Hey… Aileen.”

“Hm? What’s up?”

“Are you sure you don’t want to wear chainmail?” He jangled the chainmail between the gaps in his leather armor.

—She was too unprotected.

Right now, the thing Kei was worried about the most was how poor her defenses seemed.

Except for the leather, she didn’t even wear light armor. He felt that it was too defenseless of her to stay in just her normal clothes.

Aileen’s expression changed subtly as she replied, “No… It’s heavy, it doesn’t fit right, it’s heavy, and it’s heavy…”

“Yeah, but what if you get hit by another arrow like before…?”

“I let my guard down that time! I could dodge it or deflect it now!”




“What’s with that look!? Okay, I know I don’t sound convincing, but still!”

Aileen grabbed the hilt of her saber, asking him to test her.

Kei groaned a “No, no,” in an attempt to placate her.

With Aileen’s skill she could definitely react to an arrow flying at her if it was within her field of vision without much of a problem. He knew that from when she was still ‘Andrei’. Even though she wasn’t good with Passive Sense, she could still sense a blatant attack. Once she saw it, she had the reflexes to dodge it or deal with it. Like a web, Kei’s sense reached out in all directions, whereas Aileen had to focus on just one direction. If it weren’t for some circumstances, Kei thought that she would be on equal ground with him.

He thought, but…

“Hmm, I still feel nervous though…”

“I get how you feel…but if you take away my mobility, I don’t have anything, do I? Now that I have a woman’s body it feels like I have even less strength, too. But it feels like I’ve gotten lighter; moving around feels better.”

Aileen still looked listless as she stood up slowly, but she bent her knees and jumped. She grabbed a branch above her and swung herself up, landing on top of it, almost as if gravity had no effect on her.

The branch was too thin for Kei, it would have broken if he’d tried it. However, Aileen barely shook the leaves on it. The secret behind her physical finesse was in her lightness. Her body was unexpectedly light for how strong her muscles were.

During her character creation she chose the slender forest people. One of her three crests was a minor decrease in body weight, while the other two focused on strengthening her muscles and body to guarantee her some boosted power. She also spent all of her mastery points on increasing her mobility.

And so the utmost mobile fighter, ‘Andrei the Ninja’, was created. Her defenses were paper thin, but no one surpassed her in terms of mobility. She was the embodiment of the ninjas you usually read about in stories.

In the game, she was considered a typical glass cannon, capable of devastating damage. However, it was a different story now that it was reality.

“If your arm was shot off with an arrow you could still move in the game… But it won’t be like that here.”

“Yeah, I know that. For argument’s sake, let’s say that the armor saves my life. But, I can’t run away fast enough because it’s too heavy, so they catch me. I’d rather not become their plaything, you know?”

“Well…yeah. It’s a difficult situation…” Kei scratched his head and looked troubled. The ‘plaything’ made him suddenly think.

—If they were attacked by a highwayman or a robber, at a glance wouldn’t they be more likely to attack Kei rather than the beautiful girl?

Then he remembered, even when they were attacked on their first day, the first arrow the bandits shot was aimed at him.

If the first attack won’t be targeted at Aileen, then maybe having more mobility would be better…

As long as they made it through the first moments of an ambush, she would be able to escape or circle around for a counter-attack with her mobility. If Kei continued to wear the chain mail their chances of living were higher.

“You’re right… It’d be better if you stayed nimble.”

“Yep, that’s what I thought.” She nodded with her arms folded, still on the branch, and sighed lightly as she looked into the distance. “I wish I had my Dragon Scale…”

‘Dragon Scale Mail’—It was armor made with the scales of a flying dragon. Among the armor that Aileen could wear, it was probably the best. The base of it was cloth to prevent any restriction of movement, and the scales were as light as a feather, but still tougher than iron. Its light weight made it the best armor that a mobile fighter could ask for.

The scales were exceedingly valuable. ‘Andrei’ wasn’t able to acquire a large quantity of them, and so she only had enough to cover from her chest to her stomach. Even so, its performance was second to none. No matter how much it covered, it was an item that made mobile fighters salivate.

In the game, she took great care to keep it in the bank for fear of losing it. She only took it out for tournaments that didn’t allow you to drop your items, or for special events.

Kei thought about how much more reliable it would be in this situation. “No one could’ve guessed that this would happen. There’s nothing we can do about it.”

“I suppose so. You’re lucky in that regard… You have such a good bow.”

“That’s right. How about we go hunt a flying dragon for some scales?” Kei lifted his bow as he asked.

Aileen dryly smiled and laughed, “You’re kidding. We can’t do it… If we had a hundred more of you and fifty more of me then I’d think about it. I’d also want at least five catapults and ballistae each.”

“And a pure water magician, too.”

“Oh yeah, we would need magic, too, huh…”

It was impossible. They both stared off at nothing in particular.

Flying Dragons were mountains of treasure that flew through the skies.

Their bones and scales for armor.

Their claws and fangs for weapons.

Their eyeballs for high level catalysts.

Their entrails for potions and medicines.

Even drinking their blood would provide a strength buff that lasted until the player died. Craftsmen and fighters alike would never stop wanting it.

However, during the three years that 『Demondal』had been around, only five had been killed.

During the second year anniversary of the game’s release the large clans formed an alliance and slayed three in an event. The other two were slain during the third year anniversary event.

As to why so few had been killed, there were several reasons, but the first one was just that they were too strong.

They’re huge, they fly, and they breathe fire.

That was the typical description for a Flying Dragon. However, their power was on such a different level that calling them ‘brutal’ wasn’t enough.

For starters, they were the size of an average Green Salamander, which was already a lethal weapon itself. Their bodies were clad in the best defense, dragon scales. The only spots considered to be weak points would be places not covered like their mouths, eyes, or nostrils.

In addition to that, they could fly and use Fire Breath.

Rarely did they ever come to the ground during a battle. They preferred to keep their advantage by circling above their prey and raining down Fire Breath until their prey died or they ran out of the combustible mucus stored in their stomach.

In other words, unless they were brought down from the sky, their Fire Breath would destroy their enemy. It wouldn’t even be considered a ‘battle’.

That was where siege weapons such as the ballista and catapult became necessary. The general strategy was to have one person shoot the Flying Dragon to lure it in, then nets or ropes would be launched from the siege weapons to bind its wings, and once it hit the ground, the rest would beat it to death. This tactic was particularly effective because the Flying Dragon would take a large amount of damage from the fall. Apparently, there was even a clan that brought one down, breaking its neck in the fall, which killed it instantly.

However, attempting to hit a target midair with primitive weaponry was not easy, and even if they managed that, there was no guarantee that it would bind the wings. It was common for the weapons to misfire, forcing the players to retreat because everything would be burned to ash before they could finish reloading.

Even if a Flying Dragon were brought down and its wings bound, a dragon was still a dragon. The firepower of its breath attack was still more than enough for a battle on land. Without the protection of a water magician, everyone would be thoroughly turned to ash.

A good player to lure the Flying Dragon.

Enough siege weapons to launch a barrage.

The manpower to utilize the siege weapons.

Brawler-type fighters for once it was brought down.

A water magician with enough magic power to resist the Fire Breath.

The financial capacity and organizational capability to fuel the fight.

Once all of these were in place, it was finally the starting line.

Without a chat function or teleportation magic, even gathering the players was difficult. Even after everyone gathered together, hunting a peaceful Flying Dragon would incite opposition or harassment from other organizations. They could run into other monsters like the Green Salamander or Giant Bear, or bandit NPCs. In any case, it was far from straightforward.

The players who could actually plan to hunt a Flying Dragon were few and far between.

On top of all those challenges, as exploration and mapping progressed, the places that old Flying Dragons went to die were discovered. They were called the Abysses, and were located beyond forests and tall mountains. Rather than mobilizing the forces necessary to hunt Flying Dragons, it was more cost effective to send search parties to an Abyss, so the number of clans that hunted them had fallen recently.

To digress, the materials for Kei’s ‘Dragon Stinger’ came from the hunt during the third year anniversary event.

The real thrill of the event was that it brought together clans that quarreled and even the hated PKers in order to battle the Flying Dragons. They left the past behind and fought together as soldiers; even as equals in a sense, on the same battlefield. It was one of the original points of online games. To fight together and excel with other players. The sense of teamwork was there.

—Until the dragon was slain.

As soon as the dragon drew its last breath, the fissures appeared. That was the kind of event this was.

Playtime was over. The PKers began attacking and launched shells from the catapults and ballistae at the mass of players that rushed to drink the dragon’s blood. Opposing organizations unleashed magic, arrows fell like rain, and senseless players climbed the dragon to scream war cries before dying to a thrown hatchet.

Amongst all the chaos, Kei drank the blood, removed some of the tendon from the wing, killed a nearby player for the wing membrane he had, picked up Andrei’s corpse, since she’d died somewhere along the way, and escaped.

That was ten days ago. Luckily, Kei hadn’t died since. Based on his usage of his Dragon Stinger it felt like he still had the effects of the dragon’s blood in this world.

Aileen was right, I am seriously lucky…

With his original strength he couldn’t possibly hope to use his Dragon Stinger like a short bow in actual combat. The effects of the dragon’s blood lasted until death, but in this world where respawns were not an option, that was more than he could ask for.

I was lucky enough… We can’t ask for more, I guess.

Kei nodded once, deciding that for now, he would do his best.

Now that Kei and Aileen had plenty of rest, they departed once again.

Kei glanced backward as he swayed atop Sasuke. “Oh yeah, Aileen. Let’s buy a shield in the next town.”

“A shield? What are you going to use it for?”

“It’s for you, of course. It’ll be a thrown weapon.”


He smiled bitterly, hearing the plain reluctance in her voice as he focused ahead.

“I don’t want one… it’ll be heavy…”

“Just throw it when it gets in the way.”


“Let’s also get you some leather armor. At least some to cover your chest. I hope they have some that’ll fit your bust size.”

“Hm, I can just use one for a smaller man… I don’t need one of those!!”

Kei held his bow tight and laughed heartily as Aileen lightly hit his back repeatedly with her fists.

[PART 2]



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