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We traded blows with the boss again and again. I juggled his aggro, canceled his spells with Magic Piercing Punch, healed everyone with the Xuanyuan Art, increased my aggro by tanking its damage with Battle Astral Wind and reduced damage received with Cyan Dragon Scale. Long story short, I did everything in our power to fight against the Level 305 Archean Immortal Rank boss. Ornos’s Magic Attack was just too high, and the few times he did crit when using Blade of Shield Breaking had nearly one-shot me. Thankfully, his 3% chance to trigger an instant kill never happened again after the first time. It was probably because our luck was turning around for the better.
Blades shredded the old mage’s robes and left ugly, fiery marks on his pale white rib bones. It took us fifteen minutes, but we finally managed to drop Ornos’s HP to 25%. It would take another five minutes tops for us to take out this super boss.
In the air, He Yi was riding the Snow Crystal Dragon and attacking the boss from range. She said excitedly, "I wonder if a Level 305 Archean Immortal Rank boss can drop one of the Twelve Divine Armaments or the Seventy-two Ghost Armaments…"
Lian Xin chuckled. "Keep your expectations low so that you’ll be most pleasantly surprised if it actually does…"
Lin Yixin said quietly while gripping her Dragonfrost, "I just hope he will drop a sword-type weapon that’s at least Immortal-grade and Level 200. The Seven Star Veluriyam Sword’s Attack is so low that I’m forced to fight using my dagger all the time, meaning that I’m missing out on my class’s 25% attack bonus for sword-type weapons…"
I nodded. "Don’t worry, you will have the sword if it drops!"
Suddenly, Beiming Xue’s eyes widened with caution. "It looks like things won’t go as smoothly as we hope. A group of less than 10 players is coming toward us from the north, but their levels are really high, and I can sense the power of Domain from them. One or more of them is an Ancient Divine Skill owner!"
I ran a few steps forward and turned my back toward the north so that I would be the first line of defense in case that engagement was inevitable. At the same time, I turned Dark Pupils on and off to refresh my detection. A couple of red dots immediately spawned on my map screen, and they were swiftly approaching our location. I immediately summoned the Phantom Wolf King and sent it toward the enemy to scout out their movement. Goddammit, of all the times they could’ve shown up, they just had to choose the most inappropriate one!
I flipped back and forth between my vision and the Phantom Wolf King’s while still drawing Ornos’s attacks. Stealthed, the Phantom Wolf King ran toward a dim corner where only a ray of dim light was shining through a small gap on the wall. There, the debris on the ground was being moved or crushed unnaturally—a clear sign that someone was stepping over them—but the Phantom Wolf King couldn’t see anyone. Clearly, the invisible walker was a stealthed assassin, and following right behind them was Red Maple clad in fiery-red battle armor and wielding a crimson-black sword. I also saw Cyan Frost, Red Hot Vortex and more JGL Hall of Famers. As expected, it was the experts of Purple Grape City who had come to attack us.
While tanking a Fireball with the Cyan Dragon Shield—and still losing 340k damage in spite of it—this damned boss—I said in the party channel, "There are 9 of them in total. I see Red Maple, Cyan Frost, Red Hot Vortex, a magic knight I don’t recognize, Purple Thunder, an archer, a mage, a bard and a priest. They’re about 200 meters away from us, and they’re going to reach our spot in a minute or so. What do we do? Do we force this, or do we abandon the boss for now and come back later?"
He Yi blinked. "There’s no need to force this!"
Lin Yixin nodded in agreement. "Yes. If we try to force this, there is a good chance we’ll wipe here. Ornos still has over 20% HP anyway, so it’s not like they can kill it immediately. I suggest that we retreat while Little Cheat uses his apparition to delay the boss. Then, we’ll strike the Japanese when they least expect it. That is the safest and most surefire way."
"Alright. Withdraw now!"
I summoned my apparition but continued to tank the boss until the girls had run about 200 meters to the back. Then, I used Thunderous Charge toward an empty spot myself before performing Earth Escape to hide in the ground. Now that I had lost the boss's aggro, the apparition was the only unit left to bear his fury. It was destroyed in almost no time at all.
A short while later, Red Maple arrived on his mount and scanned the surroundings for a bit. He then smiled and said, "The boss is here! It only has 20% HP, so clearly someone was fighting it until they noticed us and ran away. They’re most likely hiding somewhere nearby. Purple Thunder, scout out the area and find those people. We’re not aggroing the boss until they’re all dead!"
Cyan Frost turned her beautiful face toward Red Maple and asked, "Who do you think was fighting the boss, Red Maple?"
Red Maple’s visage darkened. "Who else? There is not a single body on the ground, and there are only a handful of parties in the China server who could delete 80% of a Level 305 boss's HP without losing a single player. This is clearly the work of Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand and Wind Fantasy’s party."
Cyan Frost gripped her fists tightly. "They are our sworn enemies. We must remove them no matter what!"
Red Maple smiled. "Patience. Our outer-land friends will accomplish that for us. Hehe, Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand is also called the Little Heavenly King of the China server, right? Well, that won’t be the case after today. We’ll ensure that he finally lives up to his nickname!"
Cyan Frost smirked. "You’re going to use that?"
Red Maple caressed the wristguard covering his arm. A dark red draconic pattern ran along its surface. "The creator of Eternal Moon’s core AI is a Chinese old man. He is the one who designed the greatest Divine Armament in the game to be a Chinese mythological weapon Xuanyuan Sword, and the Chill of the Nine Provinces is its incomplete form. This is fine though. In fact, this is perfect. It will be worth everything if I can steal their national symbol from them."
Cyan Frost smiled. "Yeah. Let’s do our best. Just give me the signal when you need me."
"Mn. He’s dead the moment his HP falls to 30% or so!"
I frowned after hearing all this through the Phantom Wolf King. I asked, "Eve, Yiyi, can you guys search through the latest information regarding Purple Grape City and check if Red Maple has gotten some new Divine or Ghost Armament or something? More specifically, I want you to check if he got something that can steal another player’s equipment. The way this bastard is speaking makes me think that he’s plotting something. Also, Beiming Xue, can you move farther to the back and keep an eye on our rear? There’s a possibility that Blood Alliance may ambush us."
The girls nodded and got to work.
Almost two minutes later, Lin Yixin let out an exclamation of surprise, "I found it! 9 days ago, Red Maple got one of the Seventy-two Ghost Armaments, a wristguard called the Crimson Dragon Arm. We don’t know about it because there isn’t a ranking for the Seventy-two Ghost Armaments on the official website. The only reason I even found this was because a member of God’s Domain himself leaked the information about 13 hours ago!"
I asked, "What is this Crimson Dragon Arm?"
Lin Yixin hummed for a moment before answering, "It’s a wristguard with a property called ‘Crimson Dragon Devour’. It allows its user to land a certain critical hit on the target, and if it kills, there’s a 70% chance it may steal the previously-chosen piece of equipment…"
I clenched my fists. "No wonder Red Maple’s acting so arrogant. He’s planning to steal my Chill of the Nine Provinces…"
He Yi looked worried. Chill of the Nine Provinces is your symbol. You cannot let Red Maple take it from you. Just to be safe, you should let Yiyi and I be the main tanks for this fight. You just focus on killing them from the dark."
However, I shook my head and said, "There’s no need. Red Maple is one of the China server’s greatest enemies, and I will never hide before a man like him. He wants my Chill of the Nine Provinces? Well, I want his Crimson Dragon Arm too. For this fight, I will be the main attacker, and you two will take out Cyan Frost and Purple Thunder so I can fight Red Maple solo. I have a 70% chance at least to kick his ass, and more importantly he doesn’t know that I have the Song of Freedom. He levels like crazy, right? Then I’ll do him a favor and help trim some of his levels…"
Lin Yixin snorted. "Very well, I’ll support you! I love it when you refuse to surrender no matter what!"
Lian Xin looked at Lin Yixin. "Does that count as a public confession?"
Lin Yixin blushed as red as an apple. She wasn’t able to say a word for a while.
Murong Mingyue rolled her eyes before saying, "Let’s leave the sweet nothings for offline, okay? We have a pending PK battle. What is Red Maple doing anyway? Why isn’t he engaging the boss yet?"
"He’s waiting!" I answered.
"Waiting for what?"
"He said he was waiting for his outer-land friends…" I pondered for a moment before answering, "It’s most likely Blood Alliance. As you all know, Blood Alliance is an honorless guild who’ll accept any kind of work as long as they’re getting paid. God’s Domain must’ve come to a business agreement with them. Red Maple’s 9-man party may not be able to wipe us, but they definitely have a chance if Blood Alliance manages to stab us in the back."
"It’s fine, we have an advantage they don’t…" Lin Yixin said with a smile.
"Oh? And what is this advantage?" I asked with a smile as well.
She tilted her head and pointed at Ornos. "It’s our old friend over there, of course. We’ve learned his habits, and we know that his Blade of Shield Breaking is strong enough to delete half of even Little Cheat’s HP, much less the average cavalryman. I don’t need to tell you which skill to use to trigger it, do I?"
I smiled. She was correct. There was one skill that triggered Blade of Shield Breaking 100% of the time, and it was—Frightening Slash!
Frightening Slash was one of the fighter’s greatest skills against mages. One hit was all it took to delete their MP to zero or near useless, and not even Ornos, a boss, was an exception to the rule. That was why Ornos was programmed to use Blade of Shield Breaking every time I used Frightening Slash. As Lin Yixin said, we definitely could exploit this to our advantage.
It was at this moment Beiming Xue said in the party channel, "Blood Alliance is here, big bro! I count at least 50 stealthing assassins! What do I do?"
I replied, "Use Skypiercer and Spiraling Arrow Blade to break their stealth and force them to use up their fluorescent powder to reenter stealth. The next time they’re revealed, they’ll be forced to wait 15 seconds before they can enter it again. During this time, Lian Xin should use Dimensional Storm and God Devil Break to destroy them. After all, not everyone is a Farewell Song with bullsh*t OP assassin equipment. It’s about time we taught these self-seeking bastards a lesson!"
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