Merry Christmas! Post with all chapters here
Volume 3: Let’s Make a Clan!
Chapter 24: The Three Cards
「That was absurd! There was a crazy scramble whenever a Lizardman spawned you know!? Could you believe it!? I’m jealous of the Lizardmen for being so popular!」
「…… I understand so you don’t have to go shouting it」
They were atop a hill that had a clear view of Crescendo’s coastline. A soothing ocean breeze drifted through the air, and mixed in with that aroma… was the anger-filled voice of Megu.
The reason behind Megu’s rage was within Edgar’s expectations; the competition over Lizardmen and Crab Scissors had evolved into a full-blown disaster──
From this hill that overlooked the coastline, you could easily see the players forming a giant black cluster. The sea-shore was filled to its maximum capacity.
「But anyways, why did Yoshii hafta to do all this to us?」(Andou)
「To get in our way by using money… that sorta thing really suits his pighead personality」(Yamabuki)
With their noses flaring up, Andou and Yamabuki expressed their anger just like Megu did.
According to Yamabuki, Yoshii’s family is pretty wealthy, so he was able to boost his level with a ton of cash shop items.
If he’s loaded with real world money, then it isn’t strange that he turned to using RMT.
「An’ so, what will we do? At this rate, Suzu’s gonna be taken away by that lan-tard! Do something, Ed!」
「It’s all right, Megu. I… I will never make a clan with Yoshii-kun」
Suzu spoke in a decisive tone.
But, Andou didn’t look too happy when he heard that.
「No, even if you say that…… If we break our promise then we’ll become the bad guys, right? If that happens…」
「……Yes, that is true, but……」
Suzu was unable to come up with a response to Andou.
What Andou said was true, but the whole story wasn’t that simple.
Because of his nasty personality, Yoshii was able to come up with this evil plan to sabotage us. If we ended up discarding our promise, then rumors filled with half-truths will surely spread both in this world and in the real world. The pressure from our surroundings will likely drive us into a corner.
If that were to happen then even if we reported Yoshii to the admins for Harassment and using RMT, then we’ll only be subjected to bad rumors and people would talk about us behind our back.
「Andou, how many ingredients did end up with from the Mob hunting?」(Edgar)
「After we came back from resupplying our items we didn’t get to hunt a single Mob you know? All we have right now are 10『Lizard Skins』 and 14『Crab Claws』」
「…… So the amount of Animal Hair and Leather Straps we have is 0. And we only have 40 minutes left, huh…」
While confirming their current situation, Edgar began collecting his thoughts.
The money we have amounts to about 5,000 manila in total. There are players gathered in the plaza who are willing to sell the items we need because Yoshii put out a notice for them, but it will be very difficult get those players to sell to us instead.
The material stores don’t reset until after the 40 minutes are up, so the only place to buy the ingredients would be the auction. However, considering that the prices are currently inflated, it’s almost impossible for us to buy all the ingredients we need.
And then there’s Mob hunting.
Considering that the coast is flooded with players blinded by the prospect of money, there is a high probability that there are also a lot of players at the Rabasta Woodlands where Mobs dropped Animal Hair.
In order to break this deadlock, we either need a considerable amount of money, or we need a highly organized combat strategy so we can defeat Mobs before other players got the chance to.
The way things are, I guess I have no choice but to log into Aran when I get the opportunity.
It was many times easier to hunt as Aran; plus he has plenty of in-game money as well.
It will be troublesome having to come up with an excuse for Suzu and the others though.
「Hey, Edgar. How about we try asking the rest of the class if they can help with ingredients? It seems like quite a few of them are logged in already, so they might have the items we need if we manage to contact them, right?」
Thus, while Edgar was deep in thought, yet another unexpected plan came from Andou of all people.
「OOH! That just might work!」
「I see… Friends, huh」
Yamabuki followed up, and Edgar also gave a nod.
If we asked random players for their ingredients then they probably wouldn’t help out.
But, if they were Friends…… Or rather, if they were classmates of ours then it might work out.
「Alright then. Andou and Yamabuki, can I ask you two to get in touch with our classmates? As for me…… I’ll try something else」
Because he was a loner, Edgar couldn’t help in that regard.
However, after hearing what Andou had to say, Edgar realized that he had a few「Cards」 he could rely on.
「There was a really persistent Player who sort of “forced” me to be her friend, you see. I’ll go ask if that child can help out」
That girl who so shrewdly earned herself a place on Edgar’s Friend List, her response to Edgar’s plea was so instantaneous that you would think she was monitoring their situation this entire time.
『SHISHOOUu~! IT’S TIME, it’s finally timeee! Just leave everything to meee!』
Reading the reply Usa sent, Edgar had a slight headache as he easily imagined her jumping for joy when she saw his message.
The first person who Edgar called for help was Usa.
If Usa was not completely dimwitted then she wouldn’t be at the Saradin Basin again, so she should be somewhere near Crescendo instead.
If we’re lucky, then even if we can’t go hunting in the Rabasta Woodlands because of the other players, we could still making it through with the Animal Hairs that Usa has stockpiled.
If possible I want as much Animal Hair as we can get, and we can sell the surplus to Yoshii and use that money to buy the rest of the ingredients we need.
In the worst case scenario where Yoshii has enough balls to say,「I won’t buy any ingredients from you lot」, then we could just put the Animal Hairs up for auction and I’m sure they will disappear in the blink of an eye.
「”Usa-san”? Is that an old acquaintance?」(Suzu)
「No, she is just a player who I helped out when I was investigating the Samurai Hunter incident」
「Does that mean…… Is Usa-san perhaps, a Girl?」
Suzu was interested in Usa for some reason, and she pressed Edgar for answers about Usa’s true identity.
Even though you showed no interest in the Moon Step?
「She is a female Mohm. Her class is Samurai and apparently she started playing around the same time we did」
「…… Hmm~, that so」
Suzu seemed to have latched on to a particular part of his reply. Above Edgar’s head floated several large Question Marks.
Why are you looking at me like that.
Did I say something that offended you? Did I?
「I-In any case, there is the possibility that the people I and Andou contacted won’t be able to bail us out completely…… We can’t be too optimistic」
Our classmates might be of no use, the Rabasta Woodlands might be filled with players, and we might not be able to hunt Mobs, anything is possible.
That’s why we need 2 or 3 countermeasures.
「So~, What should we do? Do we all go somewhere far out to hunt Mobs?」(Andou)
「No, let’s do something else. Andou and Yamabuki, please go with Megu-san and head for the coast one more time. Suzu-san and I will stay at the auction」
“Will that be alright?” Megu looked apprehensive.
Megu-san is right, the possibility that they will be able to hunt Lizardmen and Crab Scissors is extremely low. And it’s not very likely that we’ll be able to buy any ingredients from the auction either.
No, from a normal standpoint, our chances are nonexistent.
──But, this is necessary for me to play my next “card”.
「Oh. When we have 10 minutes left, I want us all to mean in front of the auction house. From there we will all focus on crafting」
「But then, what will we do if we can’t get enough ingredients?」
「We will have enough. No matter the cost」
Yamabuki timidly asked that question, but Edgar gave a firm response.
I can’t hand over Suzu-san to Yoshii no matter what.
My Second Card is extremely risky, but I will use it. I will even use my “Aran Card” if I have to.
Edgar decided that he would save his「Using Aran to get the ingredients」Card for last.
It’s true that with Aran I will be able to gather the ingredients one way or another. But in order to do that I need to log out of Edgar for a while.
If I log out of Edgar while we’re in such a critical situation I’ll probably be scolded for it later. But, that isn’t the main problem with that plan.
If I log back into Edgar suddenly carrying a large amount of ingredients, then the others will likely grow suspicious of how I got them. And if instead I came back with a ton of money to buy ingredients then the result will be the same.
I can basically only use Aran when all other options are closed. In other words, I have to save it as my Last Card.
「Nothing is for sale, huh」(Suzu)
The atmosphere at the Auction House felt like it was filled with static as players were itching to buy「Lizard Skin」and「Crab Claws」as soon as they were on sale.
Standing among the crowd was Edgar and Suzu who came here a second time.
10 minutes have passed since they arrived here, and yet the auction showed no signs of moving.
The players who were lucky enough to get items from hunting Lizardmen and Crab Scissors by the coast are likely in the plaza where Yoshii is, that was the natural place to be.
「…… If, if we end up going over the time limit, then you don’t have to feel responsible for it, Edgar-kun」
With her gaze set on the Auction Board, Suzu’s quiet voice brushed against Edgar’s ear.
「The one who decided to have a contest with Yoshii-kun was me… so you don’t have to worry about it」
If only… If only I rejected Yoshii-kun clearly, then none of this would have happened.
Suzu was trapped by her feelings of guilt.
But, Edgar shook his head at those words.
「No, that’s not right. I’m the one who urged Suzu-san to accept it. The responsibility lies with me」
However, it doesn’t matter who’s to blame, there’s nothing we can do about it now.
Since the both of them understood that fact, they continued to gaze at the Auction Board that was being swarmed by other players, all the while remaining in silence.
「…… Even, even if I have to make a clan with Yoshii-kun」
As if being weighed down by that heavy silence, Suzu again let out a few quiet words.
「That sort of thing will never happen, so don’t worry」(Suzu)
「…… “that sort of thing”?」
「 I will have to join Yoshii-kun clan because of the promise, right? Even if I am in Yoshii-kun’s clan, I will still play together with Edgar-kun…… With you and everyone else, same as before」
Still staring at the Board, Suzu said those words.
That was Suzu’s true feelings── Her one desire.
In order to show their affection, a male player would invite a female player into his clan, but that had no binding effect from a system’s standpoint.
Other MMO games had systems that implemented「Marriage」, but that sort of thing didn’t exist in Dragon’s Krone. Joining some guy’s clan did not have a lasting effect, it was nothing more than a verbal promise.
That’s why, if perhaps… Even if Suzu made a clan with Yoshii, she would still play together with everyone.
「…… I don’t like it」
「Eh? Don’t like……」
Edgar let out a harsh and heavy voice. Suzu was stunned by his tone.
「Don’t misunderstand. As long as I say things will be all right, Suzu-san will be making a clan with the me and the others…… and we will continue playing together like we always have. You joining Yoshii’s clan, I definitely won’t let Suzu-san experience something horrible like that. Even if you are not bound by the system, I will never allow that to happen」
Those words caused Suzu’s heart to stutter.
However, the one who was most surprised by those words was not Suzu; it was the person who avoided human contact, the popular livestreamer who said he would live in this world by himself. The person most surprised, was Edgar.
In the past I never wanted to play Dragon’s Krone with real life friends.
Human relationships bring nothing but trouble; they only weigh you down.
Even now, Edgar felt that statement still held some truth. But if he were to be honest with himself, those bitter feelings no longer clouded his heart.
「It’s alright. The Second Card, is already set in motion」
The person Edgar had called, was someone who he hesitated to contact even more so than Usa. A Player with a whole different level of “risk” involved.
「…… Card? What “Card”?」
「You’ll know soon enough. A ‘Helper’ other than Usa」
I already put out the bait.
It was「That Guy’s」 favorite. Such alluring bait that only I can cast.
Now, eat it up. Bite on hard.
While continuing to pray, Edgar waited for「That Guy’s」response.
The auction showed no movement. No matter which ingredient, the last one sold was an hour and a half ago.
One minute passed, and yet another minute passed. The time was drew ever closer.
And the Time Limit, was fast approaching.
And, it was then.
In the corner of his eye, a notification popped up; the notice of a message.
Edgar immediately opened it.
When Edgar read the name of the sender, his cheeks curled into a grin.
『「Lizard Skin」and「Crab Claws」,「Animal Hair」and「Leather Straps」, Got it. I’ll bring you everything you need』
That was his reply to Edgar’s message.
「That Guy」ended his reply with only this:
『I will arrive in 20 minutes. In exchange for the ingredients you better prepare my reward, “Aran”. You better be ready to tell me「The Secret Behind Moon Step」』
The name of the sender was「Chrono」──
He was the Leader of the Clan that Aran had joined in the past. The Clan where Strength was Absolute:「The Grave Carpenters」.
TL note: I took some liberties with the translation of “cash shop items”. The original text says Yoshii boosted his level by [going full force with micro-transactions]. Basically he bought a bunch of things such as exp boosts or perhaps even used a paid “gacha” system to get rare items. The specifics aren’t explained but I went with “Cash shop items” because it’s easier to understand.