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“What. The. F*ck. Look at those elite monsters!” 44 Bandits scratched his head in frustration. He could not hold in his surprised and cursed as he saw the ridiculous number of monsters cramped up together at the end of the stairs.
Floating Up frowned with frustration. If they were to enter a regular dungeon instead; even if there were a lot more elite monsters around, the party could take their own sweet time to kill them off since no one else would be competing. But things were not the same with a field boss. Every second counted. They had already gained a huge advantage when they were the first to arrive here, but if they were to start clearing all these monsters here and now, they would lose their advantageous stance.
“Where’s Zhan Yu?” Beauty Healer asked. “Based on the information we got, Zhan Yu should be ahead of us. But from the looks of it, I don’t think he could be in the tower.”
All Wounded replied, “The system explained that the monster spawn rate was increased by 1,000%. Could it be that the monsters he killed already respawned?”
“Impossible!” Floating Up shook his head and explained. “As the official data explained before, monsters outside of the beginner village would respawn every 3 hours. Elite monsters would take 5 hours. Even if the spawn rate had been increased to 1,000%, it would take at least half an hour to fully respawn them all! The system made the announcement only about 20 minutes ago, yet here we can see that none of the monsters were taken out!”
“Perhaps he was under stealth mode?” Broken Uranus joked.
44 Bandits shook his head. “That wouldn’t work. The monsters here have <True Sight>. I saw the <True Sight> icon on the monster’s head when I sneaked in earlier.
Monsters with <True Sight> were naturally born to counter stealth users; Thieves in general. Phantom Assassins, especially, loathed these type of monsters.
“Could it be…that he actually hasn’t arrived yet?” Floating Up muttered alone.
“Who cares about him? Let’s just go ahead and kill the monsters! If that guy hasn’t arrived, so be it! If he does, we’ll kill him. End of story!” said 44 Bandits with a strong killing intent. He was killed 3 times consecutively by Zhang Yang. Even though he did say it was all for business and nothing personal, he could not say it willingly as he was made a fool by everyone else in the Mercenary.
Floating Up kept quiet for a while before he spoke. “So be it. Let’s go. Follow the path on the side, we have to attract as few monsters as we can.”
The connecting path from the first floor to the second floor was a long and winding staircase. Zhang Yang walked around at least 7 to 8 circles before he was at the bottom.
Similarly, the second floor was another huge field filled with the same Skeletal Guards. However, the number of monsters drastically dropped. He estimated that there were only less than 10% of the monsters from the first floor!
Did it just get easier?
It didn’t make any sense! Instead of getting happy, Zhang Yang frowned worriedly. It was once said that peace was just the calm before a storm. The game developers could not have been that generous enough to lower the difficulty when they had just placed that many monsters in the first floor!
Zhang Yang observed carefully again before he proceed further, and he noticed something different. The tiling on the ground were made up of black and white stones; like a chess board to be precise, but there were slightly more black tiles than the white ones. The monsters were gathered around only on the black tiles.
Zhang Yang tried to walked towards the edge of the platform and stepped on one of the black tile.
… Nothing happened.
He switched and moved on a little and stepped one foot on the white tile.
A pillar of fire burst out from the white tiles and damaged Zhang Yang.
Hmph! As expected! No wonder there were lesser monsters, there are traps everywhere here! One wrong step and I’ll be cooked for sure!
Zhang Yang continued to observe. Not far from where he stood, a new Skeleton Guard spawned out on top of a white tile. The trap was sprung and it dealt 2,000 damage to the monster. The monster then moved away from the tile and stood on a black tile instead.
Elite monster’s AI system was just simple programming. The monster must have been set to patrol around the area. That was why even though a trap was there, it would still walk over it without any consideration.
As it continuously walked over the white tiles, it took damage each time. 50,000 HP seemed plenty but no matter how strong it was, it would still die from constantly taking too much damage. After a minute or so, the monster was defeated. Zhang Yang turned around and saw many monsters spawning and dying in the same manner. It was no wonder that the number of monsters around here was that many. The traps laid around here was set to damage even their own soldiers. Talk about realistic friendly fire… The remaining monsters were only roaming around the large black tiled area.
Now that Zhang Yang understood the concept of this floor, he worked a plan and walked on bravely. He stepped on a black tile and followed the path onwards without stepping on any traps. There were still times where he had to jump around as if he was in a gymnastics competition, unwillingly drawing the attention of the monsters around.
It did not take long for one of the Skeleton Guard to notice him and charged at him. Zhang Yang scanned the area quickly, forming a battle plan and withdrew 7 steps back.
The monster approached towards him with its sword swinging in the air.
‘-224!’ <Block> reflect damage.
The trap that the monster just triggered was part of Zhang Yang’s plan. He wanted the monster to step on it to take the trap’s damage. Two seconds later, the pillar of fire burst out again and dealt another 2,000 damage.
“Damn, I love this place!” Zhang Yang was overjoyed. He was happily activating <Block> and since the skill only had a 1 second cooldown, he did not need to reserve it.
The monster’s attack rate seemed to be one swing every 2 seconds, and it did not have any special skills that Zhang Yang had to pay special attention to as well. He could basically lose his weapon and solely use his shield to bash the hell out of them, not to mention making use of the traps all over the field to help him! With Zhang Yang strong attacks, the monster was defeated under 30 seconds and granted him a luxurious amount of experience points.
It was all because of the OP skill <Block> that Zhang Yang could be so relaxed! 1 second cooldown? No problem man! With the monsters’ long attack interval, they could not break his defense, let alone even trying to leave a scratch mark on him!
No wonder the skill <Block> had to be nerfed! This skill is just too OP that every Guardian could be so relaxed even in an intense situation!
A single monster alone granted him 50,000 experience points, and he only took 30 seconds to defeat one. Talk about super grinding speed! Zhang Yang could not help but to scream out in ecstasy!
Zhang Yang looted the corpse and carried on. One by one he killed the monsters with much ease. As he had already gotten used to the mechanics of this field, he took the trap and used it to his advantage instead. It was like a walk in the park! He arrived at the next floor entrance in no time at all!
“Hmm… the first floor was all about the number of players. If there were not enough manpower, it was instant death! The second floor required the party to limit the number of players! If they were to bring in their entire fleet, this place would burn them all extra crispy style! What an interesting battle ground. I wonder how would it be for the third floor?” Zhang Yang talked to himself.
He has never encountered a place like this before in his previous life. The entire game map was just too large! Just Level 30 training grounds would have exceeded around 11 maps. Previously, when he just entered the game, most of the players already left the low-level maps. Almost all low-level training grounds were filled with a small number of players. Since there were more monsters than players around, just one map alone was sufficient to train from Level 30 to Level 40!
However, after reaching Level 50 and above, things got a little slower. Since the eight major cities in the China server did not have their own respective training grounds for players above Level 50, players beyond that would have to share the training ground, and things got a little rowdy after that; especially after Level 100. The entire world, all 8 servers including China, had 64 major cities’ players come together to fight in their respective level map, and the situation got worse. There were even fights and little skirmishes happening every day!
Zhang Yang walked down the stairs and arrived to the third floor.
There was another overly large field again, but this time the monsters were magic attack types. Instead of wielding swords, the same Skeletal monsters were wearing robes, and the number of monsters around had also dropped once more. There were at least 10 meters of distance between each monster.
[Tower Dark Sorcerer] (Elite)
They had the same level and elite tier, but these monsters were 20,000 HP lesser than the previous floor’s monsters. Magic-based monsters were naturally built with low defense. However, Zhang Yang could not lower his guard against them since Guardians were only strong against physical attack types. <Block> would not be as effective against them!
Oh well, since the bridge was there, he had to cross it. Time for another killing spree!
Zhang Yang raised the sword in his hand and charge forward. Without delay, one of the monsters quickly noticed him and raised its staff to cast a magic spell.
This is… <Shadow Arrow>!
Zhang Yang was happy for a moment. He then quickly took a [Beginner Anti-Shadow Potion] and ran into the effective range to cast <Charge> and stunned the monster. The monster’s spell was cancelled before it could finish.
‘-742!’ Normal attack.
‘-3022!’ Critical strike! <Horizontal Sweep>.
The Sorcerer quickly recovered from the stun. Zhang Yang could not tell what expression it made since its face was completely made out of a human skull. However, he knew that the monster began to chant another spell when the boney jaw started to clatter. The <Shadow Arrow> progress bar continued as it chanted.
1 second, 2 seconds, 3 seconds!
A <Shadow Arrow> flew across the field and damaged Zhang Yang with 700 damage.
Zhang Yang’s Rage rose to 62 points. He first started off with <Cripple Defense> to drop its Defense down to 0 with his passive skill, <Eagle Eye>.
<Destructive Smash>! <Force Strike>! <Horizontal Sweep>!
Zhang Yang prioritized to cast <Destructive Smash> and <Horizontal Sweep> first before the Defense reduction effect wore off before casting <Force Strike> to deplete his Rage.
20 seconds into the battle, Zhang Yang had taken 6 of the <Shadow Arrow> and had his HP reduced down to 550 HP. He quickly consumed a healing potion and healed 1,000 HP. He took another 6 of the <Shadow Arrow> in just 6 seconds!
By then, Zhang Yang only had 150 HP remaining while the Sorcerer had more than 10,000 HP left.
“Damn, I have to rely on my other skills to fight!” Zhang Yang sighed and activated <Berserker’s Heal> and fully recovered his HP.
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