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Now and Forever’s back was cut off by rocks and amethyst spikes. I had chosen a tricky angle to unleash the Xuanyuan Slash from not only to keep him from escaping, but also to ensure that my skill would sweep dozens of Dark Mercenaries and Blood Alliance players. It would be devaluing for my SSS Rank Ancient Divine Skill to hit only one player.
Nearly the whole third floor of Bloodthirsty Castle was shaking. The white sword aura easily tore Now and Forever’s body to shreds. Mages were naturally fragile, and at this stage of the game even the hardiest of them only had 500k HP. Assuming that they had full buffs and a total damage reduction of 50%, it still wasn’t enough to survive my Xuanyuan Slash. The Xuanyuan Slash ignored Defense and dealt between 1.6 million to 1.8 million fixed damage no matter what armor the enemy was wearing. Therefore, the only way a player could survive a hit was to have at least 800k HP and 50% damage reduction. Otherwise, they would die. It was that simple.
Currently, there was no cloth-armor player who could survive an SSS Rank Ancient Divine Skill. For leather armor, peak experts like Beiming Xue, Farewell Song, Moonkiss, Ling Xueshang and a handful others could survive if they buffed their HP to 1 million with cards and wore a set of equipment that reduced damage by 40% at least. For metal armor, well, there were countless players who could survive my SSS Rank Ancient Divine Skill… that was how the late game worked though. One-shotting another player—especially a tanky cavalryman—became increasingly impossible as the game progressed.
Even so, the power of the Xuanyuan Slash was something no enemy could ignore. After all, the number of players who could collect a damage-reduction set with 50% damage reduction were few and far between. Monetary-wise, a full set of damage-reduction equipment was worth at least a million RMB, something only the big shots like Warsky and Farewell Song could afford to buy. Even Lin Yixin and I hadn’t tried to make such a set yet, although I supposed we really should begin to do so. Otherwise, it would be a pain dealing with say Candlelight Shadow’s Pangu’s Axe or Tear Stain’s Yemaek Slash.
Anyway, back to the present. As Now and Forever slowly collapsed to the ground, the Chains of Freedom around his neck began to shine brightly and ominously. When players died, there was a lull between the death blow and the actual death, which was why the Onmyouji had just enough time to widen his eyes and curse, "What the fuck is this?"
I replied carelessly, "None of your business. Rest in peace!"
Swhoosh swhoosh swhoosh…
Ten rays of light flew out of Now and Forever’s body in a row. It was his 10 levels leaving him. Then, he scattered into dust and dropped a pile of equipment and a ton of potions. Even better, three of the pieces of equipment Now and Forever was wearing on his person were at the top of the pile—
Hand of Rocks: Scepter, Level 210 Archean Immortal-grade, 5-star Outstanding.
Armor Breaking Ring: Ring, Level 200 Immortal-grade, 6-star Outstanding, damage against heavy-armor players increased by 30%.
Wristguards of Mental Storm: Wristguards, Level 210 Archean Immortal-grade, 6-star Outstanding, Mental Storm: increases magic damage by 20%.
After dumping all of the equipment in my bag, I turned around and killed another dozen or so enemies before throwing the Armor Breaking Ring and Wristguards of Mental Storm into Lian Xin’s hands. "Here, Little Xin. You probably can use these…"
Lian Xin blinked from behind the Telekinetic Shield. "Were these dropped by Now and Forever, big bro?"
"Yep. Not bad at all, right? They’re probably the best equipment on his person…"
"Heehee, thanks! This Armor Breaking Ring is amazing, so I’ll wear it. These Wristguards of Mental Storm though aren’t as good as my current wristguards, so I’m just going to sell them and share the spoils with you later, okay?"
"Sure! Do whatever you like!"
Meanwhile, He Yi had triggered the Flame Dance effect of her Suppressing Fire Sword and was burning down a group of archers in the sky. However, her assault was interrupted when a couple of magic knights successfully hit her with their Trapping Nets and dropped both her and her dragon to the ground. Although He Yi had improved by leaps and bounds since we’ve been reunited, she was still a long ways away from reaching Beauty Lin’s level…
That wasn’t to say she didn’t have her own tricks, however. The Snow Crystal Dragon suddenly let out a mighty roar, and He Yi shouted right after the swing of a blade, "Who dares to fight me!?"
The intimidation attempt worked, and Dark Mercenaries’ players were actually too scared to get close to her.
After Lin Yixin descended back to the ground, and the Crimson Crystal Dragon transformed into a draconic rune on her arm, she smiled at me and said, "The Song of Freedom’s special skill is awesome as it appears, it seems! Not only did Now and Forever drop 10 levels in a row, he even lost 3 of his equipped items. He probably won’t be coming back anytime soon. Make sure you use the Song of Freedom well, okay? Earn us a ton of money and if possible, find a good excuse to drop Warsky’s Immortal Blade as well!"
I nodded. "Yes, let’s get rich together…"
Chiang chiang chiang…
While we were making idle chat, Beiming Xue was leaping out of the shadows and parrying a Blood Alliance assassin’s attack with her own dagger. While sliding across the ground, she notched an arrow and fired a super-close-range Explosive Arrow to her attacker’s face, exploding it in a shower of fire, blood and brains. Another assassin struck her Xuanming Bow with his daggers repeatedly while snarling, "Give me your Xuanming Bow, Beiming Xue! I promise I’ll keep it nice and safe for you!"
Beiming Xue replied tensely, "No! Die!"
"So, you wanna talk some more, or do you want to save your cute little sister?" Lin Yixin chortled.
I hurriedly ran over to Beiming Xue and dropped Ancient Seal on the spot along her path. After the assassin was struck, he spasmed for a short moment before collapsing to the ground.
Lian Xin’s mouth fell open. "Wow, your Divine General Skill is getting a bit OP, big bro. High Tactics stat is worth something after all, huh?"
I grinned. "But of course!"
Suddenly, a couple of skills erupted from another shadowy corner, and I saw Murong Mingyue’s HP dropping all the way down to red on the party interface. Moon Dew turned gray immediately. I hurriedly ran toward her while shouting, "What happened, sis!?"
Murong Mingyue replied while panting heavily, "It’s an ambush! It’s the goddamned Japanese!"
"What? How are they here?"
I charged toward her as quickly as I could, and Murong Mingyue did the same. However, right as she was about to reach me, a swirl of maple leaves shredded her Spell Shield, and a bolt of lightning engulfed her for an instant. As she collapsed to the ground, she said with a grimace, "There’s just no way a priest can beat a fighter…"
I didn’t hesitate. I leaped over Murong Mingyue’s body and fired Thousand Ice Slash straight into the darkness!
The skill’s light chased away the darkness, and I saw Red Maple himself backing away from me while gripping a sword of pure blackness. He said with a sinister chuckle, "Just you wait, Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand. I have come for my revenge!"
I scanned the surroundings with Dark Pupils and spotted 7 other red dots in the area. They were probably all top-tier experts from Purple Grape City. The reason I said this was because the people I could see with my naked eyes were Red Maple and the stealthed assassin, Purple Thunder.
"Don’t, Little Cheat!" Lin Yixin shouted behind me.
Beiming Xue also cried, "Red Maple isn’t alone, big bro! It’s too dangerous! We’ll all be in danger if you die as well!"
I gritted my teeth but stayed my hand as the girls advised. I replied in an indifferent tone, "We’ll wait until sis and Moon Dew revives. Beiming, keep your Clear As Flame turned on so that they can’t ambush us again!"
After I said that, I waved my hand and slipped into the underground. Now that they couldn’t see me, they were the ones who were feeling the pressure.
As I thought, the red dots on my minimap began retreating away from us. Red Maple had decided to give up on the assault because he knew that further pursuit would only be detrimental to him. Plus, he had already successfully ambushed and killed two of our priests, and that was definitely a win to him.
All in all, we had lost two priests not to Dark Mercenaries or Blood Alliance, but a third party. Murong Mingyue had been killed by Red Maple’s Divine General Skill + Thunder God Ball combo, while Moon Dew had been assassinated by Purple Thunder. Unfortunately, we were not the oriole this time. On the bright side, Dark Mercenaries suffered the worst damage out of all the parties who were involved in this battle. Nearly all of them had been killed by us and the mobs.
He Yi and Lin Yixin were currently fighting the last few undead mages on the battlefield, so I hurried over to help them. After that, the battle was officially over. We had all used up a ton of Health Potions and Magic Consumables, but the result was pretty great. Most of our enemies were dead, and we got a ton of loot and even some experience out of it.
I planted the Chill of the Nine Provinces on the ground and said, "Let’s camp these bastards while we wait here for sis and Moon Dew to revive. Say, I saw all four elders of Blood Alliance just now, but I haven’t seen Assassin’s Creed at all. Does anyone know why?"
Lin Yixin shrugged. "I don’t know either. I haven’t seen him at all…"
Inside the party channel, Murong Mingyue said, "Go about 20 meters into the right passage to find your answer, Lu Chen…"
Surprised, I did as she said with Lin Yixin right next to me. As it turned out, I didn’t even need to walk 20 meters to find Assassin’s Creed—his corpse to be exact—nailed to the wall by a single dagger. His expression looked ugly, and his eyes were full of defiance even in death. Clearly, he hadn’t expected to die a death like this.
"Heavens, who the hell managed to kill Assassin’s Creed like this?" I exclaimed in surprise, "Assassin’s Creed may not be on Farewell Song or Moonkiss’s level, but he’s still a Top 5 Chinese assassin. He’s even stronger than our Cute Little Naughty, so how on earth…"
Murong Mingyue answered, "Oh, it’s simple. He was going to ambush me and Moon Dew, but since the Japanese were right behind him, he unwittingly became our shield instead. It’s not like he has Farewell Song’s Ghost Lake Mirror, and his attackers were Red Maple, Cyan Frost and Purple Thunder, literally the Top 3 experts of the Japan server. Of course he wasn’t going to survive…"
I gripped my fists tightly. "So, Red Maple and the experts of God’s Domain are in Bloodthirsty Castle. This is annoying. All we want is to claim Bloodthirsty Emissary’s head, but stuff just won’t stop happening to us…"
Lin Yixin asked, "So, what is the plan now?"
I looked up with a confident expression on my face. "We’ll take out the Japanese first and Bloodthirsty Emissary later. Once we bring Serena home and grab our Divine Armament reward, we can go to bed, preferably with a cute girl in our arms…"
"Have some shame and shut up…"
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