Chapter 2: The Quest
The next morning, Jun and Eri were at the top of a small hill very close to town.
From there, they had an unbroken view of the stone wall surrounding the town. On the right side, there was a forest. Across from that, past the grass plains, was the southern tip of the island. Because Altaria Island was on the 8th and lowest island ring, there was no lower end of the world in view. Falling off would surely lead to death.
Kasumi, as she was told to, was killing weak monsters nearby to collect a certain amount of their drops. She would not come back for quite some time.
“Say, isn’t there something you need to say to me?”
“Hmm, this seems like a nice place to confess one’s love. Could it be that you’ve fallen in love with me?”
“Eri Inui, can you respond seriously?”
“Humph, you refer to Kasumi with ‘san’. But not me.”
Her hands on her waist, Eri looked up at Jun.
“Well, fine. …Thanks… for helping Kasumi.”
“I just wanted an apology from you.”
“I refuse to do such a thing.”
Jun glared at her scornfully, and she ultimately shrugged her shoulders, saying, “Okay, okay. Fine.”
“Sorry, Jun. I used you.”
“You’re pretty mean, huh.”
“I know. I really feel terrible about having used you and Kasumi, especially how I took advantage of Kasumi’s innocence and naïveté. That really was nasty of me.”
That morning, Eri, along with Kasumi, showed up in front of the inn. The first thing that came out of her mouth was, “We quit the guild!”
“I thought that Shiroko would soon find out about the thing between you and Kasumi. Because she seemed so mean-spirited towards Kasumi, we made the our move and left.”
At that time, Eri seemed really happy. She was laughing her heart out.
However, Kasumi seemed a bit upset. She was, no doubt, immensely shocked by the sudden change of character of the guild leader who had treated her so nicely up to then.
“So you quit with her… Well done.”
“I feel really bad for her. I don’t think that girl’s ever been hurt so much before.”
Hearing Eri refer to a girl two years her senior as “that girl,” Jun unconsciously smiled bitterly.
“Is something funny?”
“Nah, I was just thinking about how you two make an interesting combination.”
“Really, huh? …Well, OK, I’m pretty awkward, ya know?”
“If you know that about yourself, why don’t you at least try to show some sincerity.”
Jun glared at her again, and Eri puffed out her face.
“You already manipulated Kasumi-san with your words. Putting that aside for now, don’t ever betray her.”
“I know, I know.”
“Stay with her until the end.”
“Yeah, yeah. But if you abandon her…”
Eri stared at Jun.
“Jun, did you decide to help her just because of what happened earlier?”
“I took that into account too. Like Kasumi, you too want to leave this island, right? Your white magician healing abilities are very valuable in combat, and the same can be said of your familiarity with this area. There are some quests that I’m not sure how to get. I’d like you to help me find them.”
“Oh, leave that to me. I’ll help you as much as I can.”
“So, what do you know about the raid level monster that’s guarding the personal airship?”
“Hm. Honestly, we only discovered it recently. It’s a huge golem in front of a hidden cave on a mountain.”
“Personal airships must really be rare, huh.”
“It’s different from other quest items. If somebody takes one, nobody else can ever get that specific one again. At least, that’s how it was said to work back when Sky World was still just an online game.”
“How did you find out about that golem?”
“Some of us were fascinated by the golem, and we had a group looking around temples for it. However, when found the personal airship in the innermost hall of one of them, the golem teleported right in front of the group we had sent. Many of them died. Retrieving their equipment was really troublesome.”
“Compared to the Sphinx from yesterday, how is that golem’s strength?”
“The golem is far, far stronger.”
Well, Jun already figured that would be the case. The Dread Sphinx already had him at the limit of his ability. That could have been Eri’s test to see if he could possibly take on the Golem.
“Honestly, I don’t think even you, Jun, would have a chance on your own. Take for instance the trump card you pulled yesterday. You wouldn’t be able to dodge its attacks nearly as well, nor deal much damage on it, as its health is more than two times greater than that of the Dread Sphinx. It even has incredible regeneration abilities.”
“Do you actually think we, together, would be able to do it?”
“It’s up to you to come up with a plan.”
Jun glared at Eri. That sounded a bit absurd.
“Well, anyways, in the other games I played, I never really joined any raiding guilds. Whenever I did do raids though, I always looked up guides online.”
“Well, isn’t that what normal players do?”
“Are you not a normal player?”
“Well, I was one of the people writing those online guides.”
“Wow. You’re such an online game addict.”
“That aside, can you tell me about Kasumi’s online gaming background?”
“She grew up in a strict household, so she could never watch TV, let alone play games online. She said that when she started high school, she began to live alone, but she was already extremely busy with her studies and so could not get any hobbies. She only tried Sky World because one of her close friends strongly recommended it to her.”
“She really lived such a sheltered life, huh.”
“She wants to get off of this island as soon as possible so she won’t worry her.”
“I wonder how much that ‘close friend’ of hers actually is worrying about her…”
“We haven’t really considered that yet.”
“Anyways, I don’t have much spare time either. I only have two weeks. If we can’t accomplish our goal within those two weeks, I’ll have to leave the island myself. Is that okay?”
“Well, I won’t stop you. If that happens, I’ll wait with Kasumi for the next regular service airship to come. Don’t worry about us. I’ll keep a close watch on Kasumi’s tablet battery. I’ll never allow it to get to a dangerously low level.”
Luckily, she already knew his biggest concern.
“Yeah, Jun, you’re not a bad person. You won’t need to worry about Kasumi or me.”
“But, haven’t I created a rift between you two and the guild? You’ll still have to deal with the remnants of that.”
“I’ll make sure I keep Kasumi alert.”
“You really are the worst type of person, huh.”
“I acknowledge that in myself.”
Eri looked offended, and scowled.
“You’re pretty bad tempered.”
“Call me a tsundere . Call me moe . I’m fine with either.”
However, it’s likely that she was just trying to hide her real anger. Jun really thought that girl was good at manipulation.
 – A character that seems to be hostile early on, but gradually becomes friendlier
 – A quality of a character characterized by her “cuteness”