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The quest submission NPC was an Elf Thief, hidden in the shadows at the dungeon entrance. She’s barely noticeable even if you stood beside her! One by one, the party members submitted their quests, and the NPC finally gave responses.
“Heroes of the Union! Behold the sight! Those devil-succumbed Spellcasters! Look at what they did to this place! Snow Sprite City was once a marvelous and beautiful city; but the wicked Dark Magicians left this place devastated! Now, he sits on the throne in the center of the Main Wing! You must save this city! You must destroy him!”
“But beware, adventurers. If you want to defeat Marzerway himself, you must first defeat four of his underlings and get past the Front Wing and Middle Wing! Heed my warning! These four underlings were created by Marzerway himself through the use of Dark Arts, made from the essences of the elementals! These elementals are not to be treated lightly!”
‘Ding! You have received a quest from Ranger Xue Wei: Get Rid of the Claws. Will you accept it?’
Zhang Yang accepted the quest.
[Get Rid of the Claws] (Quest Difficulty: A)
Quest description: For the Union! Brave adventures, conquer the Front Wing and Middle Wing to make a path to the Main Wing! Kill Marzerway and save the Snow Sprite City!
Water Spirit Wattland 0/1 Earth Spirit Oz 0/1 Fire Spirit Farr 0/1 Air Spirit Ains 0/1
Quest Reward: Access to the Main Wing, Marzerway’s Lair entrance qualification.
Zhang Yang set the difficulty to Hardcore and commanded the party, “So let’s go!”
Everyone followed and stood before the castle door. The courtyard was in ruins and everything else was either old or destroyed which caused the scenery to be extremely dull and gloomy. Not too far away, two water spirits were patrolling the area. Their transparent and liquefied figures flowed with a kind of liquid, wielding a shield on their left and a spear on the right.
“Little Yang, why didn’t we start from Normal Mode?”
“Fatty, Normal Mode would only drop Level 10 Black-Steel equipment while Hard Mode gives Level 20 Black-Steel equipment. That’s almost on the same level as Level 10 Green-Copper equipment, which is what most of us are wearing now. It’d be meaningless to even start with Hard Mode!”
“Alright then, let’s get things going!” Drizzler took out her spear and entered her battle stance.
“Hold up! Let me explain before you get us all wiped out!”
From the bottom of his heart, Zhang Yang was deeply worried that this dumb and childish brat would just charge straight on without thinking.
“Killing is pretty straightforward. The main problem is after the monster is dead, a debuff will be casted on every nearby player. If two players get the debuff near to each other, it will cause a 30-meter explosion that deals 2,500 damage to every player in the blast radius!” Zhang Yang then pointed at Drizzler.
“That is why when you see the monster’s HP almost gone, run as far away as possible! The two hunters must also stow away their pets!”
“Yeah, yeah. I get it. You’re not even that old and you’re already lecturing like an old gramp!” Drizzler looked like she had had enough.
“Fine, let’s get going then!” Ignoring her, Zhang Yang waved his hands, signaling the team to strike. He used <Charge> on one of the elemental spirits and marked it with a star tag.
“Hit the tagged monster!”
[Demonized Water Spirit] (Elite)
The blood-boiling Drizzler let loose a battle cry and used <Charge> to dash forward. With the spear in her hand, she caused a significant amount of damage. Hundred Shots and Fatty Han did not hold back either and drew their bows to attack.
The team’s equipment was decent enough to contribute to the damage pool. The star-marked monster was quickly defeated.
“Little brat! Withdraw now!” Zhang Yang screamed at the top of his lungs as he saw the monster was about to drop. Drizzler on the other hand, did not notice his screams and continued slashing wildly.
‘Ding! Demonized Water Spirit has casted <Mark of Doom> on death!’
‘Ding! Player Zhan Yu has the effect of <Mark of Doom>!’
‘Ding! Player Drizzler has the effect of <Mark of Doom>!’
Zhang Yang and Drizzler’s bodies began to glow in a dark light and then…
The entire team was killed.
“You little brat! What did I tell you in the beginning?!”
At the reviving point, a goddess was humming a song in an unknown language, giving a holy-like celestial kind of aura. Meanwhile, Zhang Yang gave out a deadly and furious aura, staring irritably at Drizzler.
“I didn’t understand a thing you said that that time!” Drizzler tried to explain her mistake while giving an innocent face.
“Huh?!” Zhang Yang narrowed his eyes, emitting more killing intent.
“Alright, alright! I got all worked up there. I forgot all about it then!” She shrugged it off as if nothing happened. Zhang Yang sighed heavily.
“Just… just pay attention next time, alright?” Not even he could continue to be mad a cute girl like her.
Five more souls appeared at the revive point and from their name tags, they were all from The Dominators. Humbly Gentleman was a little surprised when he noticed them as well.
The local area channel appeared, “Gah! You guys were wiped out too!”
In death, players were blocked from using “Talk”; no one could hear you speak. Players could only use text and words to chat in the party, guild, and local channel.
Before Zhang Yang could even reply, five more souls appeared. It was the other 5-man party from The Dominators. Not long after, two of the 5-man parties from Sky High arrived as well.
“Haha! Everyone was killed off at the first minion!” Fatty Han typed in the local channel.
Scanning the surrounding to see who was there, Sky Shaman came to the conclusion, “Not everyone.”
“Did they really just fight in Hard Mode?” Humbly Gentleman thought to himself, eyebrows frowning with his thoughts. Minions in the Hard More were surely as fatal as the ones in Hardcore Mode that could kill you off with just a blast.
“Go on! Don’t stop now!” Zhang Yang cried out in the party channel and revived at his body.
As they entered the dungeon with health recovery snacks in their mouth, they noticed that the number of patrolling Water Spirits did not reduce. Being able to defeat only one before they died, the other Water Spirit respawned when the surviving one left its battle state.
“Remember what I told you, little dipsheet! If you cause us to die again, prepare for some spanking!” Zhang Yang said as he gritted his teeth.
“Hmph!” Drizzler turned her head away from Zhang Yang, pouting her lips.
“I’m going in!” Zhang Yang used <Charge> to rush into the monster’s range and after a few attacks, the monsters were defeated. Even though little Drizzler was naughty and playful, she would never pull out at a fight.
“Next one!” The party moved on, clearing waves of minions until they arrived at a small shack with three water elementals inside.
“The f*ck are we going there for? The road is on the other way!” Drizzler pointed to the road on their left.
Zhang Yang giggled. “There’s a treasure chest in here, dummy!”
Drizzler and Little Snow’s eyes glinted simultaneously. “Treasure chest?!”
Zhang Yang first used <Charge> towards one of the elementals, followed by a normal attack and a <Horizontal Sweep>. Now that he had a new skill <Thunder Strike>, his ability to lock in the monster’s aggro was at a whole new level. Zhang Yang quickly activated all his skills and firmly kept the aggro on him.
Under the entire team’s firepower, the monsters were taken down flawlessly. Like a lightning bolt, Drizzler and Little Snow occupied each corner of the treasure chest, caressing it’s golden frames like a new born baby.
“Ah… this sensation! Truly exciting!”
“Hmm… this is marvelous indeed!”
The two ladies were already in their delusional world; misers at their best.
“Alright! Alright! Let go of the chest and open it! Don’t forget, we’re here to claim the ‘First Clear’ achievement!”
Zhang Yang could not hold in his anger anymore; he could no longer endure facing these money-crazed ladies along with those stupid faces they make every time a treasure chest appeared. After reminding them for god knows how long, they decided to play scissor-paper-stone to determine who opens the chest.
Being the winner, Little Snow reached out her hand to open it.
[Tight Leather Jacket] (Green-Copper, Leather Armor)
Level requirement: 20
“Give it to Hundred Shots. I have full Green-Copper equipment on me. Let him upgrade his own!” Fatty Han humbly rejected the roll and offered them to Hundred Shots. He had only been through two runs of Hardcore Mode of the Bangar Crypt; surely his equipment could not be on pay yet with Fatty Han’s. Hundred Shots did not hold back, he knew that words were just mere words; actions spoke louder.
Little Snow touched the chest again and the second item popped out.
[Smithing Recipe: Level 2 Whetstone] (Smithing Recipe)
Use: Teach you to craft Level 2 Whetstone.
Requirement: Amateur Smithing.
“Good hands!” Zhang Yang smiled. This recipe was one of the methods to raise one’s Smithing level from Amateur to Advance. The recipe was not at all rare; they were in fact easy to farm for.
Zhang Yang rolled for 35 points.
Drizzler rolled for 87 points.
“Haha! It’s mine!” Drizzler smiled from ear to ear. She turned her gaze to Zhang Yang, “Sneaky uncle, if you promise not to treat me so bad, I’ll give you the recipe!”
“Tch! Who would want it!” Zhang Yang shook his head to reject her offer. He knew that the recipe’s drop rate was very high, and could be found in abundance in the auction house at an extremely low price in fact! Why would he need to answer her request?
“Hmph!” Drizzler held her chest up and patted the recipe to learn it.
Zhang Yang commanded and the team complied. As the moved further into the dungeon, they arrived at an entrance to a palace. Standing guard outside were two water elemental spirits, and they looked much bigger than the ones they fought before. These spirits had the same transparent body, but were holding thick and rough swords.
[Water Spirit Guardian] (Elite)
“These two monsters have very high attack power; not to mention they can clear their aggro timely. When that happens, they will use <Charge> towards a ranged player and unleash a skill similar to <Tornado Cleave>. It’s a much stronger skill, and it could last longer than <Tornado Cleave>. Once the battle starts, please maintain a certain distance from one another. Don’t be too close to the next player or you’ll die when <Tornado Cleave> strikes.” Everyone listened closely; their eyes were set on Zhang Yang firmly.
“Here I go!”
Zhang Yang used <Charge> to stun one of the elementals and initiated his attack on the other.
With one of them stunned, the other began to hurl the sword in its hand towards Zhang Yang.
‘-91!’ <Block> reflected damage.
‘-197!’ <Shield Bash>.
‘-701!’ <Horizontal Sweep>.
The stunned monster finally recovered and began attacking Zhang Yang as well.
‘-91!’ <Thunder Strike>.
‘Ding! Water Spirit Guardian has used <Charge>!’
One of the monsters aimed the <Charge> on Hundred Shots, stunning him. It then flipped over his sword and began to spin in circles.
‘Ding! Water Spirit Guardian has used <Dance of the Blade>, causing 300 damage to all nearby targets. Lasts for 5 seconds!’
Zhang Yang quickly directed the team, “Everyone! Get away from that monster!” But what luck, the other monster used <Charge> and targeted Hundred Shots as well.
‘Ding! Water Spirit Guardian has used <Dance of the Blade>, causing 300 damage to all nearby targets. Lasts for 5 seconds!’
With two monsters using their strong AoE skills together, Hundred Shots took a lot of damage.
‘-285!’ and ‘-285!’ kept floating across his head. He was not in time to escape, and Little Snow could not heal his HP quick enough.
‘Ding! Player Hundred Shots has died!’
Zhang Yang would not date to charge ahead. Once that skill has been activated, it will damage its surrounding area for five seconds. <Block> could only nullify one instance of attack and all other remaining attacks depend on his defense. Even if he did have 1,720 HP, he could not hold off the two monsters’ furious attack together!
The skill’s duration ended and the monster returned to their original position to resume their attack on Zhang Yang.
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