A/N: Weather last night. And news reports on ransomware, gack.
A few hectic minutes later, Kirito retrieved his throwing pikes. He tucked them away, reminding himself to check them for subtle damage later. Right now, it was time for Salve to clean his wounds, just as Issin and Harry One were doing with the rest of Fuurinkazan. You never knew if undead were carrying Filth Fever. It wasn’t as bad as lycanthropy, but feeling like you wanted to throw your guts up for a week made it very hard to fight.
Calling up his map again, Kirito studied the arc of the Caller’s dead zone. Should be enough. “This only works with territorial monsters. It’s no help with level bosses or random mobs. But….” He touched the curve, opened the Map Extras, transferred the data, calculated the radius, and added another calculation of his own. “There. Stronger monsters hold a larger territory. That should give us a rough idea of how high its level is compared to the rest of this level.”
…Why was everyone staring at him?
If I could go back in time, I’d grab myself in that field and shake me into asking more about how Kirito was really doing with the Black Cats. Damn it. Klein glanced at the setting sun as Fuurinkazan plus one waited by the cracked mausoleum, relieved to see they still had a few minutes. According to the Snow Springs villagers, sunlight was fatal to a Caller. The way he looked, when we asked him to explain how he pulled that equation out of thin air….
What had followed had been a hesitant, downright shy explanation of some of the common algorithms games used to decide mob behavior. And a somewhat more animated story of a few creatures he’d tested his guesses on, complete with one spectacular underestimation of how it might work for Giant Wasps that had left a chagrined Black Swordsman breathing through a reed as he hid in a lake.
Then it’d been back to almost prying words out, as Kirito admitted he hadn’t had good math to base his first equation on. Just a feeling of what might fit right. Further refined by experience since, sure. But just a feeling. Not something you could really rely on. And the territory equation only gave you a rough estimate of power level. It could be off a level or two either way. It was not something you could count on.
You don’t want anyone counting on you, Klein concluded. You could be wrong. And then they could be dead.