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Every movement of Asskickers United was being closely monitored by all the major guilds. Something as big as their 1,000-man elite expedition team setting out would naturally attract their attention.
Both Angel Corps and the Century Financial Group assumed Asskickers United were going to enter the World’s Edge. They immediately picked up the pace with their own exploration and started making various preparations to thwart Nie Yan and company.
However, what caught them by surprise was that Nie Yan’s expedition team didn’t head to World’s Edge but rather teleported to Calore instead.
Kiln Fire Woods. This was a low level map, only frequented by new players hunting monsters for quests and experience. There was still a thin layer of volcanic ash blanketing the ground, a vestige of the huge battle that previously took place here.
This was where Nie Yan first stepped into the limelight. This was where the world first met Nirvana Flame the invincible. The video of that battle was still up on the forums. Countless players watched this classic to this day. The scene of the crime had become quite famous, too.
The trees that were destroyed in that battle had grown back more lush and vibrant than before.
The 1,000-man expedition team advanced forward, interrupting the serenity of this place. Each member wore top-of-the-line equipment. The low level players levelling in the vicinity dropped what they were doing and gawked in shock. Were these the elites of Asskickers United they’d heard so much about? Those legendary existences they could only watch on stream or video? The onlookers were completely baffled. What were these people doing here of all places? Suddenly, that first video starring Nirvana Flame came to mind. There were two monsters in it. Nie Yan and the Lava Titan! Could this expedition team be here for the Lava Titan!?
Shortly after Nie Yan and his 1,000-man expedition team arrived, Asskickers United’s other forces sealed off the Kiln Fire Woods, driving away all non-guild members. No one dared to challenge their authority. So, they quietly left.
News of Asskickers United challenging the Lava Titan quickly spread, causing an uproar on the forums.
One had to know, the Lava Titan was a Level 200 Lord. Even though it wasn’t a Variant or Demonified Lord, it was still an extremely frightening existence. The memory of it slaughtering tens of thousands of players from Unhindered and Victorious Return was still fresh in everyone’s minds.
Asskickers United was actually taking on the Lava Titan! This left everyone baffled.
Nie Yan and the others scouted the area before finally finding a good spot to take down the Lava Titan.
This place was filled with enormous boulders on an otherwise flat ground. The bigger ones reached over a dozen meters high. Others were only around five to six meters high. By standing on these boulders they could avoid taking damage from the lava. With enough boulders to hold several thousand people, there was ample space.
“I’ll draw the Lava Titan out of the cave and lead it up here first. You guys wait for me,” Nie Yan said. He activated Gale Step and dashed toward the underground cavern below Kiln Fire Woods.
The caverns were pretty much the same as before, a maze of winding tunnels.
After reaching the heart of the caverns, Nie Yan spotted the absolutely stunning beauty Countess Alicia floating above the lava.
Her appearance hadn’t changed at all, looking like a portrait frozen in time.
Luring out the Lava Titan was fairly simple. All Nie Yan had to do was approach Countess Alicia, and it would detect his presence.
Nie Yan gazed at large stalactites hanging from the chamber ceiling. He leaped onto one of them before activating the Crawler skill, sticking to the rocky surface like a lizard. After he made his way to the area right above Alicia, he shot out a web line and slowly lowered himself toward her.
Hanging only one meter above Countess Alicia, Nie Yan could clearly make out her beautiful face as well as sense the formidable fire elemental energy undulating around her.
At this moment, Countess Alicia suddenly erupted with vitality.
This didn’t happen last time!
When Nie Yan was momentarily dazed, Countess Alicia’s eyebrows wriggled as she slowly opened her eyes. Her pupils were like the most beautiful sapphires, sparkling with an azure radiance. She locked eyes with Nie Yan. Her expression was calm and tranquil, almost otherworldly.
Fair skin and a picturesque face, Countess Alicia didn’t contain the slightest hint of anger. She didn’t look of this world. She was even prettier than Xie Yao, a flawless creation made by the system. Nie Yan had seen many virtual beauties before, but he never felt anything for them. No matter how beautiful they were, he knew they were fake.
Countess Alicia’s awakening caught Nie Yan completely off guard. Her bright eyes seemed to be trying to tell him something, but she couldn’t speak.
Suddenly, the entire chamber started shaking violently. Cracks started spreading all over the walls as the stalactites broke off and dropped into the lava below.
The lava started roiling and bubbling as pockets of hot air rose up.
An enormous creature slowly emerged while Countess Alicia sunk into the lava.
The Lava Titan!
Nie Yan hurriedly retreated. However, he didn’t lose his head in fear like last time. He took out his Cavalry Crossbow and shot out a volley of bolts.
The chamber started quickly filling with lava. Nie Yan swiftly retreated. He outran the lava.
Put put put! Five bolts struck the Lava Titan.
“GROAGH!” the Lava Titan bellowed and started pursuing Nie Yan.
One big one small, two silhouettes quickly traversed the caverns.
Meanwhile above ground.
“I wonder how the boss is doing right now,” Undying Scoundrel muttered. They’d been waiting for quite some time already. They were starting to get anxious.
“Don’t worry. It’s Nie Yan. The Lava Titan can’t threaten him!” Bladelight said confidently.
While they were in the middle of chatting, the ground started violently quaking, causing them to almost lose their balance.
Their expressions changed. “The Lava Titan is coming!”
Looking in the distance, a silhouette came darting out of a cave followed by another. It was Nie Yan with an enormous monster in tow—the Lava Titan! A wave of lava surged out from it like a tidal wave and swept out toward the surroundings. As more and more of its surroundings burned up, it quickly grew in size, becoming a 50-meter tall giant.
The Lava Titan was a defensive type boss. Its body was covered in a thick armour of rock and lava, causing its defense to reach an astonishing degree. Even though it only had 30,000,000 health, it was tougher than some bosses with over 100,000,000 health. Not to mention it possessed several extremely frightening skills, which made it one of several bosses no one dared to provoke.
Seeing the Lava Titan appear, the expedition team members started stirring, itching to start the battle.
“The Lava Titan is finally here!”
Under Bladelight and Smoke Stub’s command, the team members started getting into position.
The Lava Titan let out a deep roar and smashed the ground with its mallet-like fists.
Nie Yan soared several dozens meters through the air. BOOOM! A large six-meter wide crater appeared on the ground as rubble went flying everywhere.
The Lava Titan’s might was frightening beyond compare. Nie Yan’s heart trembled. He definitely couldn’t allow it to approach the expedition team members, or the consequences would be disastrous.
The lava on the ground was like a red carpet. It slowly spread out, engulfing all the green vegetation on the ground.
This was the Lava Domain skill of the Lava Titan! This lava was similar to a magic domain. Any player that entered its influence would take continuous damage. Those with low fire resistance would instantly die.
Nie Yan glanced at his stats. With his current fire resistance, there probably wouldn’t be a problem. He entered the lava as a fearsome heat assaulted him.
A string of damage values floated up above Nie Yan’s head.
In the previous battle, this lava was fatal. Those with below 120 fire resistance were instantly swallowed up while those with over 120 fire resistance took serious continuous damage. Now, Nie Yan’s defense, health, fire resistance, and so on were far higher. He didn’t have to fear this lava anymore. That wasn’t to say losing 2,000 health every second wasn’t frightening.
A few seconds later, Young Seven waved his staff and cast a Radiant Heal on Nie Yan.
Nie Yan shot toward the Lava Titan and slashed down with his dagger. DING! His blade struck the thick, rocky flesh and barely cut an inch deep.
What high defense!
Nie Yan knitted his eyebrows. If even he was only hitting for 2,000—3,000 damage, that was bad news for the rest of the expedition team.
Bladelight and Lofty Shadow leapt down from a boulder and charged toward the Lava Titan.
KLANG! KLANG! Bladelight and Lofty Shadow both dealt around 250 damage, a huge difference compared to Nie Yan.
BANG! BANG! BANG! The casters in the backline bombarded the Lava Titan with a dense shower of spells. Xie Yao and the other Magisters were hitting for around 3,000 damage. Meanwhile, the ordinary Mages were hitting for up to 300 damage.
Though it didn’t seem like much, it was enough.
It looked like the Lava Titan’s physical defense was pretty high, but its magic resistance was fairly mediocre.
The Lava Titan’s aggro immediately shifted to the Mages. It was about to charge toward them, when Bladelight bellowed out with a Taunt. BAM! THWACK! KLANG! He struck it several times with his sword and shield before drawing its attention back.
The Lava Titan’s aggro slowly shifted back to Bladelight. It raised its fists and slammed down on him.
Bladelight raised his shield to block. The defensive capabilities of Drakuru’s Tower Shield were unsurpassed. He could actually tank the Lava Titan’s attacks. It was only dealing around 20,000 damage a hit, with some of its attacks being completely blocked every now and then. Like this, he could endure more than half a dozen hits without receiving a heal!
Gentle rays of light fell over Bladelight’s body.
The battle entered a deadlock. The Lava Titan’s health was slowly being chipped away. The expedition team barely overcome its health regeneration with their damage.
Seeing the towering Lava Titan in front of him, Nie Yan started unleashing a flurry of attacks, from kicks to elbows and various other skills. When his combo count reached five, he dealt over 30,000 damage.
After executing a Backbreaker, Nie Yan was about to follow up with a kick, when the Lava Titan bellowed out and smashed down with its fist toward him. The enormous arm instantly ignited with blazing flames.
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