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66 Village Protection Ques

 As Edward and the party were going to dispose of Joe's corpse, they all received a system notification at the same time.

[Ding! Unlocked chain sidequest-Frogman Guardian ①]

[Quest description: After testing the frogman tribe's battle power, the Society of the Secret Eye has planned to siege the village and destroy it in one strike! Heroes, help the frogman village to protect their village against this attack!]

[Quest rewards: EXP, Game coins (proportional to enemies slain), Randomized Elite Equipment Coupon, and anything you can find in the frogman village.]

[Note: Success of this quest will unlock the next quest-Frogman Guardian ②]

Suddenly, Edward's expression became serious. \"Oh no!\"

\"What is it?\" Gou Dan was confused.

\"According to the system's habits, for it to activate such a mission means that the enemy is already on their way!\"

After he said so, he looked around to see where the frogmen had hidden their equipment.

At this time, Vela walked out of the conch house with a serious expression.

\"Did you guys get that quest too?\" She asked the party, to which everyone nodded back at the same time.

\"Did you tell the frogmen?\"

\"Vaguely, but they don't seem to have put what I've said in mind.\"

Even though it was hard to trust their combat power from their weapons (all their weapons including Croakatoa's spear were common, White equipment), and were the type of items that even the refugees didn't want. That being said, it was still extremely important to be prepared.

If they could withstand an attack for one to two hours prepared, it would be a fluke to even be able to protect themselves for half an hour if they were taken off guard.

\"What do we do now?\" Gou Dan asked worriedly.

\"Let's go get our equipment first.\" Edward was silent in thought for a while, before turning over to Eleena who was silently eating candy at a side. \"Revive Joe, we need a warrior to tank damage and attract aggro of the enemies in battles of this scale.\"

Eleena nodded and stuck a lollipop into her mouth. Her hands that had become porcelain pale after becoming the saintess in-training waved in the air to create a golden magic circle.

After that, the magic circle shattered like glass, turning into sparkling dust and flowing over to Joe's corpse.

Joe twitched a few times before coming back to life.

\"What happened? Did we succeed?\" The first thing Joe did upon waking up was open his quest list, checking on the 'Work Together with the Frogmen' quest that they had accepted from Angora, and found that it had already been marked as completed.

After he happily accepted the quest rewards, he realized that everyone's expression was strange.

\"Did something happen?\" Joe asked carefully.

The others looked at each other, before their gazes all fell on Gou Dan who had the best relations with Joe.

Gou Dan furrowed his brow, before telling Joe everything.

Joe had been quite happy for clearing a quest, but upon hearing the news his expression became troubled.

\"So you're saying...\" Joe looked at the other players in the party with a bitter expression. \"Not only did I miss a sidequest because I was dead, but I have to risk my life to help you block the enemies' attacks?\"

\"You're the only one who has class-changed, so you can tank the most hits.\" Edward patted Joe's firm shoulder and continued, \"After the quest is complete, we'll give you half the game coins as compensation.\"

\"Don't worry, those people from the Society of the Secret Eye can't even beat these frogmen, so they're probably weak!\" Gou Dan mirrored Edward's actions.

Joe was about to say something, but Eleena suddenly spoke up, \"Careful, the frog is coming out.\"

Everyone took a while to react, and the quickest was Vela who immediately struck Joe's chest with her elbow, making him fall back onto the ground, half of his face covered with seawater.

After quite some time of conversation within the village elder and Croakatoa, the frogman came out from the conch house at this moment.

Seeing everyone crouching on the ground, Croakatoa croaked in confusion.

\"Why are you all here?\"

After that, his gaze shifted to Joe's body. \"I think I saw him move, is he...\"

\"You were just seeing things!\" Vela took out a spiky conch from nowhere and used it to impale Joe's kidneys. \"Look! Would he be completely unresponsive if he were still alive?\"

Seeing a bright red critical hit number pop out of Joe's head, the other players slowly inched away.

\"I-I see...\" Croakatoa was intimidated by Vela's cold-blooded actions too. \"We frogmen twitch sometimes after we die too...\"

\"Putting that aside...\" Vela pulled out the spiky conch again (which made another red number pop out of Joe's head) and threw it aside. \"Where are our weapons?\"

\"Why are you all so concerned about your weapons? We, the wet-skinned, aren't that greedy!\" Croakatoa seemed offended.

\"We just want to be prepared if an enemy appears! Making all precautions for every accident is our motto as adventurers!\" Edward made up a reason on the spot.

\"Is that so...\" Croakatoa was still a little dubious, his expression still filled with contempt towards the players. \"Hmph, I don't know why the village elder agreed to work together with you dry-skinned, but I, the great Croakatoa, do not trust you! As a warrior of the wet-skinned, I would sooner drown in the sea, before accepting your help!\"

After he said so, he walked away, leaving the players looking at each other in confusion.

\"What are you standing there for, don't you want your weapons?\" After waddling a few steps, Croakatoa turned around and asked the party.

The party finally realized why the frogman had walked away mid-conversation, and followed behind him to get back their weapons.

No matter what, they would need their weapons to stand their ground against the Society of the Secret Eye.

After walking a few steps, Gou Dan felt something was wrong, before realizing that everyone forgot Joe on the seawater-flooded ground, then, he walked back and tried to bring Joe who was faking his death together with them.

That being said, Gou Dan was quite lithe and lean while Joe was bulky, so Gou Dan couldn't carry him princess-style nor on his back, so he could only drag his friend by his feet.

And so, he dragged Joe into the distance by his feet, leaving behind a long trail of blood in the seawater that looked exceptionally desolate...