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144 Ill Be Back!

 "Jessica, I recall you have a dancer outfit, right?"

Edward turned to the cleric who was quietly keeping up behind everyone.

"Yes, I do have it..." Jessica was startled since she never expected that Edward would talk to her, but she quickly answered all the same. "But that's basically a collector's item to fill my collection page, and it has no stat buffs."

"That dancer outfit, does it look nice?" Edward asked directly.

"Eeeeeh?" The girl couldn't quite keep up with Edward's train of thought, and could only answer with a red-face. "Well... it's not a matter of nice, there's just too little cloth... I-It's not something you wear for others to see!"

As a matter of fact, the reason Jessica completed that collection quest alone was because she heard that other female Players mentioning that the outfit seemed to delight their partners, doing it out of curiosity and the naïve hopefulness of a pubescent mind.

In the end, when she had finished the quest and saw the revealing, breezy bikini-like attire over the upper half, the demure village girl had almost died from embarrassment.

She did not even dare to place the risqué dress in her room as she had thought that she must not let anyone see it. As such, she could only stuff the whole outfit underneath her bag (the dress has scarcely any cloth and therefore takes a lot less space)-but despite her reluctance to ever wear it out of embarrassment, the item itself was very beautiful and she quite liked it.

On another note, male Players had a 'prince outfit' as a counterpart of the dancer outfit in the collection page. It looked nice too, but it weighed six kilograms including all the attached decorations and jewelry to make it as bulky as heavy armor, which made it a self-debuff item like the unpopular Fishman Helm.


"Wonderful!" Edward looked delighted.

His reaction left Jessica even more stunned, and she felt a little fainting as blood rushed up to her brain, and her heart was thumping restlessly...

Could it be that Edward-

"Give the outfit to Joe," Edward said then.

The girl felt her heart stop.

'What???' Jessica thought.

'What???' Joe thought as well.

"If I'm not wrong..." Edward did not notice Jessica's perplexed look, and was instead smiling as if he had everything under control. "The fishmen probably prefer a mouthful of... I mean, they prefer fatter prey. That is why the others couldn't lure them out, but Joe could!"

Jessica glanced at Joe's robust chest and looked down to clap her hand over her own.

A crisp jingle tingled.

[System: Jessica was checking her own chest only to find nothing.]

She looked at once repenting and regretting.


Around ten minutes later.

When Gou Dan returned to his party's temporary hideout after checking out the fishfolk's movement, he found a stranger amongst them.

His dress seemed to be weaved out of skyglow, half-transparent and unbelievably light. It was a divinely short skirt sewn from dreamlike colors, but it's also clearly a full dress, not to mention that it was even more revealing than the girls vying for customers in the red-light districts of Lancaster.

In fact, no, the upper part of the dress could not even be called clothing-there were only two pieces of triangular clothes covering the important parts, tied to very thin threads.

And then there was the chest hair over those huge pectoral muscles that danced in the wind.

The tiara over the stranger's head was even more dazzling than the most expensive crown: all the gems embedded on it reflected nothing, but were shining their own blindingly enchantingly radiance, with the gem at the center even holding the profoundness of an entire universe. Just looking at it would leave anyone mesmerized, but the platinum tiara was also so dainty that it felt a little cute.

And then there were the sideburns and beard on his highly pronounced face that doesn't match his age.

Over the stranger's body were colors that kept changing amidst light and shadow. It was like the clouds above, light, delicate, illusory and beautiful, the dresses of goddesses in myths with long, silk bands that flowed in the air behind the wearer. There was clearly no skirt holding them, but they were maintaining a puffy impression as they hung, split on two different sides of the dress that the gaze could not help but linger upon.

And then there were the leg hairs beneath that wafted amidst the wind.

"Aaaaaaaaaaaaah-! Eyes!" Gou Dan fell to the ground, clutching his eyes and screaming. "My eyes!"

Joe, in the dancer outfit was fuming in embarrassment from Gou Dan's reacting and kicked him (causing a -1 sign to appear over Gou Dan's head). "Doggone it, don't think I don't know you have your pain level adjusted to 10%!"

Gou Dan was roaring with laughter even as he danced away. "We can't have me blinded by myself! I'm going to upload this image on the forums!"

"You dare?! You're dying right here!" Turning pale in shock, Joe promptly whipped out his sword and swung it at Gou Dan who guffawed even as he proficiently dodged the blows.

At a corner, Jessica had turned gray-white completely, holding her knees and looking like she had no more attachments in life even as she mumbled away quietly. "...I don't want that dress anymore... I'm just a moving closet anyway..."

Although they hadn't really tried it against the fishmen, this party composed entirely of elite players had been teetering over the edge of a partywide-wipeout.

"Is this really going to work?" Eleena asked Edward in curiosity, being too young to understand the level of devastation of Joe crossdressing in the dancer outfit.

The whole party's reaction had actually shaken Edward's brimming confidence too. "I-it should ..."

In the end, Edward decided to give it a try.

Joe had already crossdressed anyway, and stopping now would feel like they were just fooling around with him instead.


The fishfolk had caught a marine iguana from somewhere, but when they were just about to tear it apart to devour it, a voice suddenly caught their attention.


Nearby, the burly crossdressing Joe was clumsily twerking as he did his best to flirt and reveal his huge chest muscles as Edward told him too. In fact, he even added a little condiment, casting his taunt skill when all the fishmen turned towards him.

However, unlike his usual bellow at the top of his lungs, he was muffling his voice, using a weirdly sweet high-pitch tone. "Come~~to daddy~~"

In another spot, Gou Dan was sprawled over the ground and unable to move with a look that said 'oh no, I'm going to laugh myself to death' while trying all he could to stifle his voice.

Then, just when Joe believed that the plan had failed and the fishmen wasn't paying him any attention, the whole lot of them leapt up and surged like a wave towards him. From a quick glance, one would think that a third of the entire fishfolk population on the central plateau were in pursuit!

"Oh sh*t!" Joe only had the time to scream once before he turned to run.

Soon, right after Joe and the fishmen in pursuit had vanished from sight on the plateau, Gou Dan who finally recovered his ability to move gave Edward a thumbs up before sneakily chasing after the horde.

Since the dancer outfit has no speed buffs and the Spirit Swordsman class did not grant much agility, Joe would not last long. Gou Dan's task was therefore simple-after Joe kicked the bucket, he would do he can to stop the fishmen from returning up the plateau. If push comes to shove, he would have to keep killing the closer fishmen to weaken their forces.

At the same time, with one-third of the fishmen gone from Joe's beating, the creatures were spread rather thin and their perimeter a whole chunk smaller, which allowed Edward and the others to get within striking distance to the Fishman High Priest that was being shielded in the middle!

"Eleena, now!"

As their primary source of damage, Eleena charged her golden spear and launched her attack at the Fishman High Priest!

"Spear of Victory!"

The golden divine spear shot towards its target like lightning!

In the first place, Edwards's party was still too far from the Fishman High Priest even if Joe had lured away a sizeable horde of fishmen, with neither Edward's spells nor Goud Dan's arrows could reach it. Only Eleena, the Saintess-in-training whose skills were buffed by his class could! In fact, that was why the fishmen would have sent out every available force from their nest when she startled them before!

However, the Fishman High Priest was another user of divine skill and therefore easily detected the charging of divine powers-the moment Eleena charged her spear, the creature had already spread out a light-blue semi-circle divine shield.

That was the same shield that had blocked Eleena's previous ambush.

Despite the shorter distance and the quicker speed, the Fishman High Priest had suitably shrunk the size of the shield in exchange for a quicker casting, and it still would be protected. For the creature, it mattered not if it had to sacrifice every other fishman-its survival alone was victory!

The less-than-a-second advantage naturally did not break the Fishman High Priest's shield-when the golden spear struck it, the spear itself broke like a fragile object made of glass, exploding into countless dazzling specks.

At the same time, the Fishman High Priest had already commanded every other fishman to attack the two ambushes.

Even so, in the cover of those countless fragments of light, the creature did not notice that Eleena had hidden a small red-white ball in the divine spear she fired!

The ball bypassed the shield that the Fishman High Priest casted to parry Eleena's divine skill, bursting into a puff of white smoke the moment it dropped to the ground!

Every fishman nearby was stunned, unable to react immediately.

Then, in the next split second, Croakatoa the frogman had sprung away from the smoke, holding the Sea Sapphire he had stolen from the Fishman High Priest in his mouth!

"Joe is already dead!" Edward, who could keep watch of his party's condition at all times quickly yelled at Eleena who was still flailing her meteor hammer (bible). "Retreat!"

"Croakatoa, return!" Eleena shouted at the frogman.

Even so, Croakatoa was already heavily surrounded by fishmen, and Eleena couldn't directly recover him because he was out of the retrieval distance.

The colors of determination flashed through Croakatoa's eyes when he saw that. No longer in a rush to run away, he promptly stuffed the Sea Sapphire down his own throat, titling his head to the skies as he gulped it down with a loud thud.


In the next split second, he was already drowned by the wild horde of fishmen, but he raised his hand high over them to make a thumbs-up sign even as he did...