Chapter 56: Will You Come?

Blue Maple stared at the Jiangshi King before him. He no longer had the casual expression on his face as he channelled Heavenly Fire through his hands and onto his blade.

He should look a little more serious if he wanted to be more serious.

The Jiangshi King clearly shifted uneasily when Blue Maple started channelling his Heavenly Fire. Even though the Jiangshi King’s eyes didn’t reveal any emotion, its expression seemed to change a little as it roared in frustration.

Heavenly Fire is quite an excellent counter against dark and sinister beings, Blue Maple thought to himself. He felt like he had just learned something interesting about Heavenly Fire, besides the fact that it was fun to play with.

Blue Maple felt like Heavenly Fire was fun to play with before this, but he didn’t think much about how powerful it was…

What’s next is to give this fellow, who almost killed me, its ‘reward’, Blue Maple thought to himself furiously, but his expression didn’t change as he charged forward.

The Jiangshi King was a little afraid of Heavenly Fire, but it wasn’t afraid of Blue Maple, who was almost twenty levels lower than itself. The Jiangshi King concluded that this Level 38 player before it was just some trash, except this trash was still doing a number on it…

The Icy Snow Wolf King had managed to hit Blue Maple back then, and forced Blue Maple to consume health Potions continuously. Blue Maple had to consume two mana Potions to allow continuous mana regeneration in his fight against the Jiangshi King, but he still hadn’t taken any health Potions yet. This wasn’t because of White Cherry’s healing, but because the Jiangshi King couldn’t touch Blue Maple at all…

The Jiangshi King howled furiously as it charged at Blue Maple.

The Jiangshi King had no Skills to use. Devour could be used to consume corpses to regenerate hit points, or it could be used directly against players, except the Jiangshi King had to bite the player first.

Blue Maple knew that Devour allowed the Jiangshi King to regenerate, but he didn’t know that the Jiangshi King could also regenerate if it bit him. Blue Maple hadn’t been bitten or struck before, and wouldn’t be afterwards, either.

A Sweeping Sword Slash that wasn’t charged felt a little wasted against relatively heavier and clumsier Bosses, even if the Boss’ movement speed was a little higher than Blue Maple’s own. However, Blue Maple wasn’t afraid of enemies who had movement speeds far higher than his; all he had to do was charge up more!

“Awh!” The Jiangshi King was already pouncing over, but Blue Maple evaded its attack with a casual sidestep before swinging his sword backward and unleashing a fully-charged Sweeping Sword Slash.

-924, -424, -289, -123!

The bonus damage from Heavenly Fire’s Fire Explosion was impressive, and quite effective against the Jiangshi King!

Blue Maple hacked at the Jiangshi King with a basic attack before backing away. He wasn’t in a hurry to use Instant Chain Strike, as he wanted to test another one of his Heavenly Fire’s capabilities.

One of Flames of Heaven’s effects was that Heavenly Fire could be released to burn Blue Maple’s target. Heavenly Fire could not be dispelled through normal methods when used against physical matter, and would persist until the object had been burned away. Using Heavenly Fire against living beings would deal burn damage according to Blue Maple’s strength, and according to the target’s resistance to fire.

The Jiangshi King is so afraid of Heavenly Fire. Will it be fun if I burn it to a crisp? Blue Maple suddenly felt playful.

Heavenly Fire, burn! Blue Maple sent. A streak of fire appeared on Blue Maple’s blade as he felt something and pointed his blade at the Jiangshi King.

Whoosh!

A beam of bluish Heavenly Fire immediately blasted forth and struck the Jiangshi King ferociously. The flames covered the Jiangshi King’s entire body and scorched its enormous torso!

“Awhooo!” the Jiangshi King immediately bellowed in agony. Blue Maple calmly covered his ears as he watched quietly…

“So unpleasant…” he didn’t forget to murmur under his breath.

The Jiangshi King rolled continuously in the snow, howling in pain as it was burned by the Heavenly Fire in an attempt to extinguish it. Unfortunately, Heavenly Fire wasn’t something that normal ice and snow could extinguish.

Ding! Game Announcement: Your Heavenly Fire is extremely effective against the Jiangshi King, and Flames of Heaven’s burning effects will deal tremendous damage.

Ding! Game Announcement: Heavenly Fire will burn the Jiangshi King for fifteen seconds continuously; every second will deal between 700 and 800 damage.

That’s a lot of damage. Blue Maple was a little surprised when he received the game announcement.

Fire Explosion typically granted 300 to 400 bonus damage. This burn damage would deal more than 10,000 damage points, and if hit point regeneration was accounted for, Blue Maple could burn his target for approximately forty ticks to kill it off.

I should have burned it with fire if I had known this earlier. Blue Maple felt a little regretful. He had been working too hard to play with his target before this…

The Jiangshi King only had about 150,000 hit points remaining, and Blue Maple would take another large chunk of its hit points away through burning it.

However, Blue Maple’s Flames of Heaven couldn’t be used so casually. It was different from simply releasing Heavenly Fire. Flames of Heaven consumed the flames stored within his body, even though it had a relatively quick cooldown time of one minute.

However, it consumed too much compared to simply activating Fire Explosion on his blade. Blue Maple could consistently attack with Fire Explosion’s bonus for an hour. Blue Maple managed to add Fire Explosion to Red Tea and her entire team a few days ago, and could maintain that for ten minutes.

Blue Maple could only unleash Flames of Heaven about a dozen times, which meant that Heavenly Fire would be completely consumed in ten minutes, and he would need to spend quite some time replenishing his Heavenly Fire.

Heavenly Fire wasn’t mana, after all, which could be regenerated through drinking potions. However, an ocean of fire around him could be considered an unlimited source.

If Blue Maple hadn’t been concerned about his Heavenly Fire’s total volume and chose to burn his target, he would have easily defeated his enemy with another few hacks and slashes. However, Blue Maple would definitely not do that.

That was because… Blue Maple didn’t buy the teleportation scroll back to Gong Liang City, and had to use Heavenly Fire’s spatial ability to return…

The teleportation scroll back to Blue Maple’s original city was useless because it was too far away. But if the distance wasn’t too great, Blue Maple could still use his teleportation scroll together with Heavenly Fire to increase the teleportation distance to return.

That wasn’t going to work this time. The Teleportation Portal’s price was increased manyfold, and he didn’t know how far he had gone. The quest only said he was travelling to a peripheral city…

Blue Maple was a lot more serious with the subsequent fight. His blade was boosted with Heavenly Fire’s Fire Explosion, and he didn’t want the fight to be too easy as he used Flames of Heaven occasionally. Before too long, the Jiangshi King fell to the ground unwillingly.

Blue Maple wasn’t in a hurry to see what items were dropped when the Jiangshi King was slain. Instead, he proceeded to remove the circle of fire around White Cherry. Blue Maple hadn’t protected her with a layer of Heavenly Fire, after all, and she would be burned if she tried to come out by herself.

“It’s over,” Blue Maple said plainly as he withdrew his Heavenly Fire, not revealing any other emotions.

“Thank you.” White Cherry smiled faintly to Blue Maple she watched his Heavenly Fire disappear from around her.

Blue Maple responded, “What is there to be thankful about?” His response shocked her, and she didn’t know what to say.

Yes, what is there to be thankful about? That he protected me so that I wasn’t hurt? Blue Maple did mean to do that to a certain extent, but his main reason was so that White Cherry couldn’t possibly be a target, and he wouldn’t be distracted during his fight.

Furthermore, White Cherry helped Blue Maple dispel a crucial negative status during the fight. That could be considered helping each other out, so there was nothing much to be thankful for.

“It’s okay to thank me, but don’t let that become a habit,” Blue Maple responded plainly before he turned back to the Jiangshi King’s corpse.

Japanese people’s habit of thanking and apologizing were almost like catchphrases. Blue Maple was a man of few words, and wasn’t very comfortable with such formalities.

“Yes.” White Cherry was shocked again when she heard Blue Maple’s words, and nodded and answered with a look on her face that seemed like she understood. She followed Blue Maple forward to take a look at the dropped equipment and items.

There’s quite some loot. Blue Maple was a little surprised as he looked at the four items on the ground.

===

[Dagger of Decay] (Rank 48 Gold)

Attack: 607-777

Strength: +46

Agility: +61

Special Effect: Attacking a target causes decay, and the decaying target will suffer an additional 10% physical damage.

===

[Corpse King Armour] (Rank 47 Gold) (Heavy Armour)

Defense: 397-546

Strength: +28

Endurance: +60

Toughness: +60

HP: +500

===

[Carrion Should Guards] (Rank 47 Gold) (Heavy Armor)

Defense: 231-297

Strength: +30

Endurance: +18

Toughness: +32

HP: +200

===

[Skeletal War Boots] (Rank 47 Gold) (Light Armor)

Defense: 224-286

Agility: +45

Endurance: +12

Toughness: +13

Special Effect: Attacks using the player’s legs increases damage by 50%.

==

The dagger is not bad. Its decaying effect can amplify a player’s teammates’ attack damage, so parties and teams should want this. Heavy armor is purely for Defense, so they’re not very interesting. But the boots are quite interesting. Blue Maple analyzed his loot, and figured that the boots were rather fascinating in the end.

These boots amplify kicking damage by 50%. These boots are covered with skeletal spikes, so kicking someone with them must hurt. However, kicking damage isn’t very high, because an additional 50% would be otherworldly otherwise. I wonder if these boots are comfortable…

“Doesn’t seem like there’s anything that you can use.” Blue Maple turned around toward White Cherry as he spoke, but there didn’t seem like there was any lament or regret in his voice.

“No, no. I won’t take any even if there are.” White Cherry shook her head as she replied. Her voice was calm and tempered, but Blue Maple could hear the determination in her voice that she wouldn’t take a single piece.

“Alright, then I’m leaving,” Blue Maple continued plainly. He sounded like two partners in a team didn’t need any farewells when they were about to split.

But Blue Maple always disappeared without a trace, and it was so with Blue Snow, and with Red Tea and the others.

“Leave?” White Cherry was stunned by Blue Maple’s words, like she didn’t seem to understand what the word meant.

“You want to return to where you came from?” White Cherry realized what Blue Maple meant, and her voice was conspicuously more frantic. Her voice wasn’t just frantic, even her expression became a little unnatural. Was she nervous? Perhaps she was afraid...

“Yes. The Japanese region doesn’t suit me,” Blue Maple responded frankly. He was still more used to life in China. After all, the Chaotic Region was once part of ancient China, so life and tradition were inclined toward Chinese ways in general.

Blue Maple spent a lot of time strolling around cities across the world, and nobody knew what he was doing…

“Are you coming back?” White Cherry bit down on her tender lower lip as she stared at Blue Maple with her almond-like eyes, and she clasped her white and petite hands together unnaturally.

“I don’t know, maybe.” Blue Maple wasn’t looking at her when he answered, and turned his head to one side instead. Nobody knew if he just didn’t dare to gaze into White Cherry’s eyes, which were filled with hope and yearning.

Silence filled the air.

“The cherry blossoms are beautiful when they bloom in spring in the Japanese regions. There is a small gazebo by Jiushi Bridge, and I think it’s a great place to admire the cherry blossoms.” White Cherry paused after she said those words, and took a small breath like she was trying to muster some courage.

“The game mentioned that 23rd of March is when the cherry flowers are in full blossom. When that day arrives… will you come?”

This time, White Cherry was the one who didn’t dare to look at Blue Maple as she lowered her head and fiddled with her little fingers.

I should have left earlier, like I did the previous two times. Blue Maple regretted a little as he thought to himself, but…

“Cherry blossoms in full bloom must be beautiful.”

Blue Maple didn’t look at her when he answered, but White Cherry immediately flashed a radiant smile when she heard Blue Maple’s answer.

White Cherry’s smile appeared like it could melt the ice and snow around them. Perhaps, her smile was enough to let them feel some sunlight in this dark and dreary place…

Blue Maple couldn’t completely ignore her alluring smile, no matter how cold he was. However, Blue Maple still chose to brush it aside.

If Blue Maple’s personality wasn’t like that, perhaps he wouldn’t have left without a trace in the two previous episodes…

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