Chapter 12: Ironback Bear

There is a saying—“He who comes surely bears ill will”. I had no doubt that this Gui Guzi was gunning for me.

Seeing no reason to avoid him at all, I crushed a thorny bush beneath my feet and rustled into his view. I eyeballed him just as coldly before smiling savagely. “What exactly do you mean, brother?”

“Tch! I’m not your brother!”

Gui Guzi stared at me coldly and arrogantly before saying, “Tsk tsk, Level 14 and you’re leveling here? I guess you’re not too bad!”

I spread my arms open. “I’m just average.”

“Says the third strongest player in Floating Ice City?” Gui Guzi sneered.

I took his provocation in stride. “You said it, not me. That being said, I’m definitely not going to be satisfied with just the third place.”

“You’re an arrogant one alright!”

Gui Guzi lifted his spear and shouted at me, “There can only be one undead player at Frost Mound! Now duel me! Whoever loses will pack their belongings and leave!”

I shook my head and replied, “My time is precious, and I’ve got none to waste on PK.”

“What did you say?” Gui Guzi said aggressively. “This isn’t how a pro should act! I guess you’re just a noob after all! You don’t even have the courage to duel someone!”

I immediately raised my eyebrows and retorted coldly, “Is that so? Come at me then. I’ll take you out in one minute!”

“Haha, it’ll be hilarious if your bark is worse than your bite!”

Gui Guzi let out a loud laugh and charged, the blade of his spear glowing red. It was Magic Knight’s basic skill, Flame Thrust!

Rustle rustle...

I moved half an arc away from my original position, causing Gui Guzi to miss his attack. The beautiful “MISS” that appeared in the air stunned him completely.

“Fuck…” Gui Guzi’s mouth gaped. “You dodged that? How… how is that possible?”

Instead of replying, I brought my Forest Green Blade down on his head—

“Slayer Slash!”

The powerful attack sent Gui Guzi stumbling backwards. His HP also dropped drastically.

184!

He was lucky that his class was famed for its vast HP pool, or this attack alone would have taken his life.

“There’s no way I’ll lose!”

Gui Guzi was obviously a stubborn man because he charged me again. This time, he swung his spear horizontally, aimed for my side. Dodging it would be incredibly difficult!

My mind was delayed by 0.7 seconds, and normal attacks had no charge-up at all. Since it was impossible for me to dodge the attack, I had no choice but to endure it.

Of course, I was no gentleman. I immediately retaliated with a swing of my own weapon!

95!

179!

The two of us exchanged a blow each, but it was clear that Gui Guzi was in a far more disadvantageous position. His chest armor seemed to be of Common-grade, with no additional stat bonuses, so his overall defense couldn’t be higher than 7 points.

“Ugh…” Gui Guzi gasped repeatedly as he stared at his health bar. He had less than 10 HP left. He shot me a look of disbelief and said, “How… how is this possible?”

I smiled at him and took action.

“You can stay in Frost Mound. This place is big enough to fit two people. But provoke me again, and the only answer you’ll get is death!”

  ……

The Forest Green Blade flashed across Gui Guzi’s neck, his eyes growing wide. His body slowly slumped to the ground as the last vestiges of his soul left it.

He dropped two small potions after dying. I picked them up and stared at his corpse calmly. Inevitably, all words and actions have their consequences. The price of Gui Guzi’s show of arrogance was death.

I went back to leveling and killed another four Cyan Skeletons, which finally dropped me the last Cyan Skeleton Finger I needed to turn in my quest!

Happy, I was just about to leave when Gui Guzi climbed back to his feet. He came back to life after his soul returned to his body, but now he was only Level 17.

Gui Guzi clearly looked unconvinced by his own defeat. “Next time, victory will be mine!”

I nodded back at him with a smile. “Feel free to challenge me anytime you wish. Oh right, I live at B1, Frost Mound Outer Graveyard No. 1. Pay me a visit when you’re free!”

Gui Guzi replied astonishedly, “I live at B2…”

Hah, we’re neighbors?

I couldn’t help but smile. “Let’s learn from each other from here on out!”

“Mn!”

Gui Guzi nodded. By now I noticed that Gui Guzi was proud, aloof, but not unreasonable. In fact, I could even call him talented based on the fact that he hadn’t stopped leveling since the beginning of the game. His patience and courage was what made him one of the Top 3 players of Floating Ice City!

Of course, crazy levelers were present in every game, and I had played too many virtual reality games to be surprised by this.

I returned to Frost Mound and turned in 20 Cyan Skeleton Fingers to Sentinel Leader Fark. He slapped my shoulder and laughed loudly. “Hahaha, very good, little skeleton! You’ve proven your courage and strength yet again. Here, take your rightful reward!”

Ding~!

System Notice: Congratulations, you have completed the quest [Cyan Skeleton]. You have gained 2200 EXP and 21 Reputation. You have obtained the quest reward: "Bony Cyan Fan"!

My eyes lit up. An equipment! I hurriedly checked my bag and saw a fan with a cyan glow lying quietly at a corner. After I picked it up, its stats appeared before my eyes—

 

Bony Cyan Fan (Iron-grade)

Attack: 15~24

Stamina: +1

Tactics: +1

Level Requirement: 15

 

I wasn’t sure what to say as I stared at the fan. Fans were a Tactician’s weapon, but this particular fan had ridiculous attack power, even higher than my Forest Green Blade! What a waste!

That being said, the fan added 1 point to both Stamina and Tactics. Now this was useful!

I had studied Heavenblessed’s official data a long time ago and learned that a party leader could activate “stratagems” such as Encourage (increases all party members’ Attack by 5%, Tactics Requirement: 20). Stratagems were also known as General Skills. When players reached a certain level, stratagems would become a major factor on the battlefield. It would be basically mandatory for any powerful party to have a leader with a powerful General Skill.

In Heavenblessed, Tacticians were born to stratagems like fish to water, because they gained a Tactics point every level. This alone made other classes unable to compare. A Level 20 Tactician would naturally have 20 Tactics, meaning that they could execute Stratagems such as Encourage or Iron Wall (increases party member’s Defense by 5%) even without any equipment.

I suppose only a Tactician can bring out the true potential of this Bony Cyan Fan!

I tossed the fan back into my bag and made up my mind to make a trip to Floating Ice City when I was free. I planned to sell this Bony Cyan Fan and buy some potions for that money.

  ……

With that done, I looked to Sentinel Leader Fark. It was clear that he had something to say, again. His expression grew even more stern, his voice turned even deeper. He slapped me on the shoulder and began. “Little skeleton, I need to tell you some bad news. Half a day ago, Frost Mound’s best scout, Shaq, passed away on the Frozen Path. I haven’t seen his body myself, but I heard that he had been killed by the Ironback Bear. I want you to head there, kill that damned bear and bring back its head.”

Ding~!

System Notice: You’ve accepted the quest [Ironback Bear]! (Quest Rank: F+)

Description: Head to the Frozen Path and kill the Ironback Bear. Bring its head back to Sentinel Leader Fark.

Another bounty quest? I happily accepted it.

I opened the map and searched for the Frozen Path, and it just so happened to be the path leading to Floating Ice City. It was a dangerous road because both the Light faction and the Dark faction were fighting for it. I could already foresee the dangers I would have to brave.

I spent 1 silver and repaired my equipment. Damn, it sure is expensive to repair three pieces of Iron-grade equipment at once!

I sold all my magic stones, arranged the contents of my bag for a bit and left Frost Mound through a small path.

A terrible smell entered my nose about ten minutes later. What the hell, a headless skeletal soldier lay on the ground not far ahead!

I walked up and discovered that it was a half-rotten undead soldier, and his name was Scout Shaq. As I thought, he was the unfortunate soul mentioned in the quest. His sternum was completely shattered, and his head was chewed up pretty badly. He also smelled like decay and death. I couldn’t believe that the Ironback Bear would eat someone like him. It was either starving real bad, or it had one hell of a taste.

I stood up and looked around for a bit. I didn’t forget to absorb Scout Shaq’s undead spark. It was weak and tiny, but it was still replenishment for my own undead flame.

“It’s over there!”

My eyes narrowed, and I rushed into the forest beside the road. There was a huge, black bear standing beneath a big tree. It wasn’t a boss, but its level was incredibly high—Thorny Ironback Bear, Level 20!

My heart clenched up as I swore at a certain Frost Mound Sentinel Leader. “Fuck you, Fark!”

I checked my own level and calculated the odds. It would be quite difficult to challenge a monster five levels above me, not to mention that my equipment was well below Level 10. My hard-earned early game advantage was completely irrelevant here.

Still, I had no choice but to fight it. God, please kindly bless this bear with a quick death!

“Hah!”

I rushed toward the bear and appeared behind it in an instant. Then, I swung my sword downward with all I got!

Crack!

To my surprise, sparks appeared where the Forest Green Blade had struck. My weapon had completely failed to reach the soft flesh.

21!

I felt like I was being taunted by the pitiful damage number I dealt. The Ironback Bear immediately turned around, roared and pounced toward me.

For a moment, I was filled with regret. 

What am I doing? Of course the back of the Ironback Bear is as tough as iron! What a fool am I to let my habits pull me by the nose!

I still took a hit despite beating a hasty retreat. It took 107 points off my health bar.

I waited for an opening before thrusting the Forest Green Blade forward like a snake. This time, I aimed at the Ironback Bear’s eyes!

Puchi!

Blood scattered everywhere. Now I definitely broke through its defense!

189!

Tsk tsk, attacking a weak point will never be boring.

I slid smoothly to its right and slashed at the bear’s gaping mouth. Again, my attack drew blood and scored 157 points of damage!

The Ironback Bear’s total HP was only about 1000 or so. Things are definitely looking good for me!

I downed a pot and swiftly moved away from it. Just like the mobs I had fought earlier, this Ironback Bear had insane attack power but poor movement. I could basically kite it to death with superior maneuvering.

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alyschu's Thoughts

Due to miscommunication, we didn't schedule a chapter release yesterday, so here's another chapter. We apologize for the delay.