“Is the Mad Dragon guild that popular?” Lin Yixin’s long eyelashes fluttered as she voiced the same question that was bothering me.
“I don’t know,” I answered while digging into my rice, “but we don’t need to care about them. Those who only care about attaching themselves to a powerful guild with no regard for anything else can only be cowards and weaklings anyway. I don’t think either of us needs someone like that, do we?”
Lin Yixin nodded with a smile. “Fair enough. Anyway, after lunch, we should head back to the Ancient Thunder Temple. In fact, let’s eat a bit more and skip dinner later. With luck, we may just be able to clear out the entire zone in 24 hours. What do you think?”
“No problem! Waiter, another bowl of rice please!”
One hour later, I reached the workshop and logged back into Heavenblessed!
In a flash, I appeared on the second floor of the Ancient Thunder Temple. Some distance away, a couple of Blade Demons had already respawned. The respawn rate of these monsters was between 2 to 4 hours, so I estimated that the zone could fit around 400 players or so. Right now though, the whole place was mine and Lin Yixin’s.
I climbed out of the tent as it disappeared behind me. Lin Yixin’s name was darkened in the party list, so she probably hadn’t come online yet. Girls were troublesome like this. I couldn’t be sure, but it was entirely possible that, just like Beiming Xue, she had to put on some light makeup before logging into the game. Did she seriously think it would give her some endurance aura or increase her stats?
I pulled back the flap to Lin Yixin’s tent and watched her. She was curled up peacefully in her sleep, and her face seemed to glow with a holy radiance due to the moonlight shining from the temple’s window. Her battle dress dangled from her shoulders, and her long legs were leaning against the Snow Shadow Sword. Right now, she looked like a beautiful and indolent cat.
I swallowed. To say that her sleeping posture was irresistible would be a massive understatement. She was the goddess in every male Chinese player’s heart, and her captivating appearance was right in front of me. As her teammate, all I could do was not allow my instincts to overcome me.
It was at this moment Lin Yixin let out a lazy moan and opened her eyes. The second her purple eyes landed on me, she froze.
“What are you trying to do?” She glared at me warily.
I replied as calm as a millpond, “Just making sure a Hellhound hasn’t kidnapped you…”
Lin Yixin snorted but didn’t question my obvious lie. Instead, she voiced her concerns in puzzlement. “Strange. If I remember correctly, a tent is supposed to be invulnerable and inaccessible after the player has gone inside and logged out of the game.”
“You must’ve missed the second passage then.” I reminded kindly, “The tent is accessible by another player if your amity with them has reached 100 points.”
Lin Yixin’s mouth fell open after she heard my explanation. She blinked her eyes and said, “I guess I should avoid partying with you too frequently from now on. What should I do if you ambush me in my sleep?”
“What are you talking about…” I extended a hand to her. “Stop dilly-dallying and come out already! It’s time we tackle the third floor of this temple!”
Lin Yixin gave me a smile before slapping my hand away. Then, she crawled out of her tent while holding the hem of her cape. Unlike mine, her tent was reusable, so she put it in her bag for future use.
I looked around us before asking, “A couple of Blade Demons have respawned on the second floor. Should we clear them out before heading to the third floor?”
But Lin Yixin shook her head. “We can decide that after we take out the boss. Right now, our first priority is to enter the third floor as soon as we can. This moment someone finds this place, it won’t be our secret leveling ground anymore. What if someone overtakes us and defeats the boss because we had wasted too much time? It would be the regret of a lifetime.”
“Yeah, you’re right. To the third floor then!”
I rushed up the third floor as a cold wind blew past me. Unlike last time, I was ready for the ambush and let my Dark Wasp lead the way. This way, I wouldn’t be killed by the mobs as soon as I entered the third floor.
As expected, the Dark Wasp suddenly got hit out of nowhere and lost over 500 HP, the sheer force behind the attack throwing it a couple meters backward. Then, two shadows gripping a long blade each showed up and charged toward it.
“What incredible attack power!” I exclaimed in surprise before waving a hand at Lin Yixin. “Time to go, Beauty Yi! I don’t want to lose my pet to these mobs!”
We split up and took on a mob each. I attacked the mob on the right, while Lin Yixin and her Fire Blade attacked the mob on the left.
When I got close, I finally got a clear look of the mob that had attacked my Dark Wasp. It was an undead type monster with a rotting face and disheveled hair. It wielded a rusted blade, and it kept screaming on top of its lungs as it whaled away at my pet. Its attack speed was incredibly high, and my Dark Wasp lost nearly half its HP in less than 10 seconds.
Thunder Blade Guard
Introduction: These mighty warriors who once served under the Thunder General had transformed into territorial ghosts who repel all who try to invade their territory. Having lost all their conscience and humanity, these once loyal podao soldiers are now nothing but slaves to the forces of evil.
Their levels were so high that I couldn’t even identify their stats, but I could be sure that they were high—especially their Attack!
I channeled Slayer Slash after shooting an Ice Ray through the Thunder Blade Guard’s chest. Then, I cut through its undead body for 762 HP.
Six seconds later, I unleashed my strongest combo, Pardon + Desperate Gambit, and left the Thunder Blade Guard with less than half HP.
On the other side, Lin Yixin was dancing around her target like a jade butterfly and scoring strike after strike. Somehow, she was able to maximize her damage output and avoid all enemy attacks using her pet. Besides that, Lin Yixin’s Snow Shadow Sword was glowing with silvery holy energy. While my unique power was mostly useless on the third floor, it was the exact opposite for Lin Yixin.
“Lu Chen, if your pet doesn’t have enough HP then block the enemy’s attack yourself. I brought a lot of health pots with me, so go all out and don’t hold back! I’ll trade them to you later!”
“Oh? Do they come with a price tag?”
“Hmph! All you care about is money!”
Death Plunder didn’t yield any loot after we took out the two Thunder Blade Guards, but their undead soul sparks were quite bountiful. I absorbed them all for my own use.
Now that the battle was temporarily over, Lin Yixin walked up to me and brought up the trade window. “Here, these are for you. No need to hold back!”
She gave me 50, or 5 whole stacks of, Rank 4 Health Potions, the kind that restored 800 HP in one go. With these, there was absolutely nothing in this Ancient Thunder Temple that could threaten us besides the boss!
I was stunned by her generosity. “This is too much. I…”
Lin Yixin smiled. “It’s fine, I brought 20 stacks of Rank 4 Health Potions with me today. Hmph, I refuse to believe this isn’t enough to last through the entire temple!”
“I suppose it’s only right I repay this favor properly…”
I thought for a moment before trading 20 stacks of Rank 5 Braised Chickens to Lin Yixin. “Here, have some Magic Consumables. Use them as you wish!”
Surprised by my gesture, Lin Yixin burst into laughter. “Huh… how did you know I use a lot of MP? Moon Gaze costs me 3 MP per usage, and Extreme Break 5 MP per usage. If I activate my Killer Wind Swordplay, then it’s 1 MP for every attack. Honestly, it’s crazy how much MP I use in battle…”
“Is that so? I was just repaying the favor. I didn’t think you would actually need them…”
“Hehe. Let’s continue then. I actually brought 50 Rank 2 Glutinous Rice Balls with me, but why would I use them when I can eat Rank 5 Magic Consumables instead?”
“Haha. In the future, you supply the HP pots while I supply the MP consumables every time we grind together.”
Lin Yixin suddenly gave me a push and took a step backward herself. Right after that, a thunderbolt cut across the sky and struck the ground we were standing on just a moment ago. Cold sweat poured out of my head for a moment. That was too close!
Lin Yixin pursed her lips in dissatisfaction when she noticed my stunned expression. “What’s wrong with you? It’s not like you to forget something this basic.”
I stared at her exquisite face for a moment before shaking my head. I thought to myself. You’re the reason I got so distracted I missed the warning, you little minx.
I gave her an embarrassed smile before replying, “Well, what can I do if she lightly veils the moon like clouds…”
Lin Yixin rolled her eyes at me. “And floats about like snowflakes blown by the wind? That’s your excuse for being distracted? Really?”
We exchanged a knowing smile with each other before going back to the grind.
Although the Thunder Blade Guards were pretty strong, Lin Yixin and I were no slouches ourselves. Moreover, our equipment, skills, and even our pets were among the best of the best, so grinding in this location wasn’t impossible. The battle plan went like this: First, we lured a straggling guard over. Then, we worked together to kill it in half a minute while our pets took turns tanking the brunt of the damage. In general, the rewards were well worth the cost.
Although Lin Yixin’s Fire Blade was no offensive powerhouse, it had pretty good Defense and HP. It was also several levels higher than my Dark Wasp, so it functioned wonderfully as a tank!
Some time later, one of the Thunder Blade Guards we killed dropped an item, to our surprise. It was a roundish leather helmet that rolled back and forth on the ground for some reason.
I picked it up and inspected its stats.
Burning Leather Cap (Steel-grade)
Passive: Increases user’s HP by 100
Level Requirement: 50
“Not bad. It’s top-tier among other Level 50 leather armor pieces, and it even gives 100 HP. This is a treasure for all assassins and archers!” I praised.
Lin Yixin nodded in agreement. “You’re right. Keep it, we can sell it at the auction and split the money after we get back.”
I threw the Burning Leather Cap into my bag and went back to work!
The Thunder Blade Guards were higher level and yielded more experience. Naturally, the pleasure of killing them was greater as well.
Three hours passed in the blink of an eye. Lin Yixin and I had almost cleared out the entire third floor except the final stretch. If our guess was correct, the boss of the third floor was waiting for us behind the corridor leading toward a patch of darkness.
The long corridor was the entrance to the fourth floor of the Ancient Thunder Temple, so the boss of the third floor had to be the gatekeeper; it was impossible to enter the fourth floor without killing it first.
As we entered the corridor carefully, the world before us suddenly grew a lot brighter. We saw about 50 Thunder Blade Guards surrounding what seemed to be a giant cage at the center. The cage was covered in seals, and a giant shadow seemed to be trapped inside it. It looked like a devil waiting to be set loose so that it could destroy the world!
“That’s the boss!” Lin Yixin exclaimed excitedly.
I nodded in acknowledgment. “We need to be careful. Let’s clear out the mobs first before we attack the boss. It’d be suicide to attempt it now.”
“Yeah. Let me be the lure!”
I was confident enough in Lin Yixin’s abilities to entrust her to this delicate task. Someone of Lin Yixin’s caliber would never make a mistake like a certain Du Thirteen. I remembered that one time he somehow taunted an entire lair of mobs to attack us...
Eyes wide open, Lin Yixin carefully approached the boss area. But before she could do anything, a series of rustling noises and a loud voice boomed from the entrance of the third floor—
“Gahaha. Finally, we made it to the third floor!”
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