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“Boss! Zhang Yang has finally left the city!”
44 Bandits spoke in the Sword and Fire Mercenary party channel.
“About damn time! That bastard sure took his sweet time hanging around there!” Dominating Blade spat on his blade. “And here I thought that this guy was gonna stay in there forever!”
“That’s right, we’ve received the contract on the first of the month and he’s been camping inside for several days now! How do we kill this guy?”
“I thought he might know that we’re waiting for him outside, that’s why he’s been hiding in there since forever!”
Dominating Blade crossed his arms, staring at 44 Bandits.
“Where did he go?”
“No idea, boss! He was taking the Gryphon service. Could be far!” 44 Bandit replied nonchalantly.
Dominating Blade acknowledged in a deep voice, “Hmm, I see. Let those guys in the guild find out his destination. I want to know where he is right now!”
“Roger that, boss!” 44 Bandits nodded.
Anyone in the guild could have access to other members’ basic information like character level, class, race, and also the region of their current location. However, the character’s region location would only provide a general information; for example, 44 Bandits and Dominating Blade were at the White Jade Castle region, and it would not reveal the exact coordinate.
For some time, Lone Desert Smoke had been trampling on the other guilds to reach to the top. Their extraordinary feat was not something the other guilds would let go easily without a proper fight. Guilds from other major cities were powerless in doing anything, but the guilds in White Jade Castle managed to insert spies into Zhang Yang’s guild. Since the Mercenary group were only a small party, they could not send anyone out to be a spy; but their benefactor, The Dominators had been helping them by pulling a few strings inside Lone Desert Smoke itself. Their spies would observe every single thing Zhang Yang did and report it all back.
As soon as Zhang Yang left the city, the undercover player immediately informed the mercenary group.
“44, I know you failed a contract one to kill Zhang Yang. How could you lose? Was he really that strong?”
44 Bandits sighed. “I guess… he was kinda strong. His controls were superb, and he could even detect me when I was in stealth! Ever since I was killed, my equipment has been kinda sheetty! But I think I can kill him this time!”
“Stupid! Killing anyone should be an easy job! Guarding the body is the hard part! How about this? Go and kill Zhang Yang with Floating Up, Beauty Healer, Broken Uranus, and All Wounded. Make sure you kill him as many times as you can. Each kill is worth 10,000 gold coins!” Dominating Blade patted 44 Bandit’s back.
“Boss! I’m good with just Beauty Healer. I could definitely kill him as many times as I want to if I had a healer with me!” 44 Bandit was confident. He was still holding a grudge for being killed in the previous encounter.
Dominating Blade laughed. “Just do your job; guard the body and maybe grind some level for a bit. You can also kill some bosses and get some equipment to sell them for more money! Ah, money does make the world go round!”
“Alright, now that’s settled, fan out and find that guy! Get more people! The more players you have, the faster we can chop off his head!”
The Misty Valley, where the mist had been lingering around for almost a year, showed no signs of dissipating. It gave off a creepy feeling, especially with having poor visibility range once a player enters.
“Young man, stop!” The voice of an old man could be heard, and at the entrance of the valley stood an NPC; a soldier. The 40-year old had a muscular body frame and he carried a stoic facial expression. An old rusty sword was hung on the side of his waist and a normal iron shield was on his back. All that he had and wore were worn out, showing signs of previous wars and battles that he had been through.
[Veteran Soldier Baylor] (Normal)
Zhang Yang stopped when he was close enough to talk to the NPC. “Respected warrior, why would stop an adventurer?”
“Young man, it’s far too dangerous ahead. If you value your life, turn back and never return!” Though his was fierce, Zhang Yang could hear a tone of despair from his warning as well.
“Why should I? Is there anything up ahead?” Zhang Yang casually asked. The developers did a good job in making the characters as realistic as possible, but that meant that he could not accept the quest immediately and had to have a conversation with the NPC.
“Herein lies the souls of the restless spirits of a thousand heroes of the past. Even death could not quench their thirst for battle!” Baylor sighed sadly. “They’ve all turned into spectres! Young man, heed my warning. Do not disturb the dead!”
“O, respected warrior! You meant to allow anger and rage, letting them roam free in their corpses? Is that how you want them to properly rest in peace?!”
Baylor, wavering, said, “You… you meant to give them peace? You want them to have eternal rest?”
“Yes, I would do that, respected warrior!”
“In that case, I shall take your word for it. Here, take this bottle of [Holy Water]. You will need to kill all the vengeance spirits that have taken over my departed comrades. Once you have defeated them, you’ll need to sprinkle the [Holy Water] on their skeletal remains. Only then will they have peace!”
‘Ding! You have accepted the quest: Peace!’
‘Ding! You have obtained an item: Holy Water!’
[Peace] (Difficulty Level: C)
Quest description: Kill the vengeful spirits that roam around the Misty Valley! Pour the [Holy Water] over their skeletal remains and allow them to rest in peace.
Progress: Calmed Vengeances 0/40
[A bottle of Holy Water] (Quest Item)
Use: Allow the dead to rest in peace! The blessing of the gods beseech protection on your soul.
Zhang Yang summoned the Skeletal War Horse and rode into the Misty Valley.
After riding for about 40 to 50 meters, he still did not find any monsters around. It was not normal. Zhang Yang frowned. Was there another player here?
Ding! Tang! Clang!
The sound of metal clashing against each other; the sound of battle. Zhang Yang went further in towards the source and found a party of players killing the monsters. However, the ratio was completely off, having 12 to 13 players killing just 4 monsters. They might as well have just gone off and fought alone without a party…
Zhang Yang could not care less about it and rode further into the valley. His riding speed was quite fast and since visibility was already poor, the party disappeared into the mist. He could not even make out anything that just went past him; everything either looked like they were submerged in milk or covered by cotton wool. He preferred to think of cotton wool instead… the atmosphere was already creepy enough and Zhang Yang would not want to have any further negative thoughts.
As he continued forward, he triggered many monsters along the way, and they were all furiously chasing after him. The monsters’ visions were not affected in the mist at all. As he rode on, Zhang Yang “fished” about 80 monsters in his path.
He quickly jumped down and recalled the horse. Finding an excellent position at the edge of the mountain with a wall of dirt behind him, Zhang Yang was prepared to slay any monster that tried to fight him!
[Restless Spirit] (Normal)
The monsters’ movement speed was just too fast. In just a few seconds after they arrived, Zhang Yang drew out his sword.
“Come at me, freaks!”
The battle has begun!
The total of monsters that Zhang Yang lured had exceeded 10, and with the geographical shape of where he was, only 10 monsters could simultaneously attack him, while the rest had to take turns, circling around and waiting for the monsters in front to kill him or be killed.
Zhang Yang’s current <Block> level was just too powerful. He did not even need to calculate the timing and could spam the skill like there was no tomorrow.
<Block!> <Block!> <Block!> <Block!> <Block!> <Block!>
‘-224!’ ‘-224!’ ‘-224!’ ‘-224!’ ‘-224!’ ‘-224!’
10 monsters were attacking together and at least 6 of the attacks were successfully blocked. The reflected damage was normal but when Zhang Yang drew his sword to cast <Horizontal Sweep>, every single monster there popped a ‘-1,400!’ damage text on their heads.
At the same time, he stomped the ground hard and activated <Thunder Strike>.
Even though the damage from <Thunder Strike> could not match with <Horizontal Sweep>, it made up in terms of having higher number of attacked targets. <Horizontal Sweep> was an AoE attack skill but the damage range could not pierce through to the monsters behind. <Thunder Strike>, however, was a skill that could damage anything in a 2x2 meters around the caster, regardless of the number of targets.
As the battle pressed on, Zhang Yang’s [Absolute Defense Ring] activated, increasing his Defense value by 100 points, totaling up to 360 Defense!
The monster count was too much for Zhang Yang to block; he was continuously taking damage. However, having only about 300 attack damage, the monsters could not surpass Zhang Yang’s defense value and could deal only 1 physical damage at a time.
Zhang Yang had the complete “Brave” equipment set, and the 3-equipped set effect allowed him to have 50% chance of recovering 100 HP after receiving an attack. To sum it, Zhang Yang would be able to heal 100 HP after losing only 50 HP! He was healing more than he was losing!
That was why most players would want to have the “Brave” set! A warrior could survive in a sea of monsters without the help of a healer! The grinding efficiency would be increased to a greater speed!
This is, of course, the advantage of only a few well-equipped Guardians. Not many of them could have as much as 260 Defense value such as Zhang Yang! Most Defenders and Guardians would only use the shield that Zhang Yang made, giving only +80 Defense value! Zhang Yang’s [Absolute Defense Ring] was a rare item that could only be found at the field bosses, and it was a greater task getting that than the shield!
In just 10 seconds, Zhang Yang cleared the first wave of monsters around him, and the second wave immediately rushed in for him. After 2 minutes or so, Zhang Yang completely eliminated every single one of them; his killing speed was off the chart!
If he were to face the monsters one by one, he could only kill 4 to 5 monsters in the same 2 minutes. His own method of killing them all at once was 10 times faster!
While others took 3 days to gain a level, Zhang Yang only needed 8 hours to do the same! The monster respawn rate could not cover up his killing speed!
“Boss, there’s no monsters around anymore!”
“He’s right. There was a bunch of monsters not two minutes ago, and there isn’t a single one left!”
“Hey, hold up! I think there’s a monster there!”
“You’re right! Wait, that’s not a monster! F*ck! Look at that shining armor! I think that’s a high-levelled boss!”
Zhang Yang bent over and picked up the items that the monsters dropped. He had not been picking up items ever since he met with Wei Yan Er. At that time, a bunch of players suddenly emerged from the mist, all staring at him.
“Do they think I’m a boss or something?” Zhang Yang laughed in his heart. He had his profile hidden, and the players must have mistaken him for being a boss because of that. However, even a boss would reveal its name! The only two characters that could hide names were either a player or a special NPC.
“Kill the boss! Take his equipment!” No one knew who yelled but they did not care. They charged towards Zhang Yang with their weapons wielded, ready to strike.
Just as Zhang Yang was about to draw his breath to yell at them, he stopped. He saw their name and the guild they belonged to; Rogue Clan!
He squinted his eyes to see them clearer. Isn’t their boss Rogue Bunny?
Still, it was a coincidence! He could not kill them the last time since PK was not allowed in the beginner’s village, but they were all now in the field! Zhang Yang stood there motionless and allowed them to strike him from all directions.
A chain of weak attacks went through, and neither one of them had the attack power to break his defense. These players’ attacks were even weaker than the players themselves! No wonder they had to fight in a large group!
‘Ding! You have been attacked by Rogue Bunny party! You now have 10 minutes to counter attack!’
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