Chapter 1237: Braving the Dragon’s Lair

I opened my palm and used God Binding Art. A burst of divine energy locked onto one of the boss's heads and dropped four divine arms around it, shackling it for a short time.

"Roar roar…"

While the shackled hydra’s head was roaring furiously, another fired an icicle at me and forced me to roll out of the way. Right as I cast Battle Astral Wind and rose back to my feet, two fireballs and one wind blast struck me above my torso!

MISS!

MISS!

MISS!

The spells didn’t damage me, but Battle Astral Wind lost 30% of its durability just like that. Even more surprising was the fact that God Binding Art could only shackle one head, meaning that the remaining eight heads of the Nine-headed Fire Hydra were free to continue wrecking us. This wasn’t a DPS any single player was equipped to endure.

……

The nine heads waved across the sky like tentacles, bursting out of the earth and attacking us from all sides at every opportunity. Its body was also following us underground like a shadow. This was one incredibly annoying lizard for sure!

He Yi asked while running, "How on earth are we going to fight this?"

Lin Yixin chewed her lips before replying, "We need to stand our ground, or Little Cheat will die quickly without Sister Mingyue. Little Cheat will aggro 4 of the heads, Sister He Yi 3, and I 2. Sister Mingyue, please drop Pool of Life beneath our feet so we can all catch some healing. As for crowd control, Beiming should stun one of the heads with Shock Arrow, and Little Cheat another with God Binding Art. If all goes well, we may just be able to defeat this boss. Finally, Beauty Guanyue should focus on healing us as well!"

"Got it!"

We all accepted Lin Yixin’s plan without hesitation. This was a boss battle where multiple tanks were absolutely necessary, or there was no way we could beat this for sure.

I abruptly skidded to a stop and fired my Burning Blade Slash to catch 5 heads at once and draw their aggro toward me. They immediately turned around, opened their bloody maws and attempted to swallow me whole. Metallic sparks flew off the blade of the Chill of the Nine Provinces again and again.

I heard the sound of hooves. It was He Yi and Lin Yixin charging toward the boss from two different directions. Both girls activated the Heavenly River Transformation, swung their Veluriyam Sword and Veluriyam Spear at nearly the same time and executed their signature moves such as Ice Flame Slash and Purgatory of Ice and Magma. It worked. Soon, He Yi was tanking three heads, Lin Yixin two, and me four, exactly as planned.

Pa pa!

We backed up until our backs were almost touching one another. It didn’t look like the boss had an AoE skill—at least not until it entered a berserk state or something—so this wasn’t an impossible fight.

Swhoosh!

Murong Mingyue cast her Pool of Life beneath our feet, but it was slow to heal our rapidly vanishing HP. I shouted, "Lian Xin, sis, use your Ancient Divine Skills alternately! Both Sigh of the Heroine and Seduction lower attack power, right? That’ll ensure that we can last longer!"

They nodded. Murong Mingyue activated her Heavenly River Transformation first and used the Seduction. The combat log informed me that the boss had lost 37% of its physical attack power for 120 seconds. It was perfect!

All three of us felt as if a huge burden was lifted off of our shoulders. After the Nine-headed Fire Hydra had lost 37% of physical attack power, it could only damage me for 100k+ per hit, making tanking four or even five hydra heads at once a manageable task. The same went for He Yi and Lin Yixin. We could find opportunities to launch our counterattack now.

The Chill of the Nine Provinces turned frigid as I stabbed one of the heads beneath its neck and injected a stream of purple frost into its body. The boss immediately lost 29% of its Defense. Beiming Xue’s Bone Eroding Arrow struck next, and this time it dropped a whopping 39% Defense.

Finally, Lin Yixin pulled out her dagger and used Extreme Break. At this point, the boss barely had any Defense left.

I took the opportunity to launch a devastating assault. After moving into position and finding a good angle where all nine hydra heads happened along a single line, I activated Heavenly River Transformation to boost my Attack and executed Burning Blade Slash + Universe Break combo. Immediately, the hydra heads shuddered like crazy and lost a ton of HP. Nine heads gave it nine times the DPS a normal boss would have, but it also opened itself to nine times the attacks—

358767!

401882!

480927!

512724!

……

Beiming Xue couldn’t help but cheer when she saw the damage numbers, "Well done, big brother! At this rate, we’ll finish the boss off in 20 minutes at most!"

The boss's movement speed and attack speed—at least the heads that had entered my domain—fell drastically. I could capture every action it was attempting to take, and do a million more things that I couldn’t have done until a moment ago. The abrupt slowdown also severely impeded its attack patterns and movements. So, I shouted, "I think I’m going to maintain Heavenly River Transformation! Eve and Yiyi should stick to Great Earth Transformation though! Anyway, I’m going to start grabbing the aggro now!"

"Okay!"

Seven heads tried to swallow me at the same time, but all I needed to do was to zigzag backward in leisure. After I danced past Eve and Yiyi, I cast all my available skills such as Thousand Ice Slash and Myriad Swords Obliteration before ending with Rise of the Guardian Dragon that struck all nine heads. It felt absolutely amazing.

The boss started losing HP rapidly. After Murong Mingyue’s Seduction had passed, Lian Xin immediately used her Sigh of the Heroine and reduced the boss's Attack by around 17%. 17% might not seem much, but for us tanks, even one percent of damage reduction was a huge burden off our shoulders. The fact was the boss was nearly untankable in its perfect state.

……

"Roar roar!"

Unfortunately, the boss was losing HP a bit too quickly, because all nine of its heads abruptly rose high up in the sky in fury. The next moment, the Earth Seal appeared beneath our feet. Oh man, oh man!

Swhoosh swhoosh swhoosh!

All three of us were frozen in place for 12 seconds. Then, the Nine-headed Fire Hydra started blasting away with Nine Magic Wind and deleted our HP like crazy. Despite Murong Mingyue’s best attempts, she couldn’t outheal the damage the boss was dealing to all of us, especially since some of her spells would require her to step into the Earth Seal. The next moment, Lin Yixin let out a death groan and became the first player to die in this fight!

"Yiyi, come back as quickly as you can!" I said in the party channel.

"I know! Just hang on until I—oh, hi Sister He Yi. Are you here for the corpse run too?"

"Haha, yes. Let’s do this together…"

Murong Mingyue was able to focus all of her spells on me after both of the girls had perished, so I just barely lasted 12 seconds before I backed away and cast Tenacity of the Dead immediately. At the same time, I shouted, "Little Xin!"

Without a word, Lian Xin rushed toward the boss, skidded to a stop and hit the ground with the butt of her scepter. Frozen Domain took effect, and all nine of the hydra’s heads were frozen for 7 seconds. What a life savior this skill was, and the 100% success rate was no joke too!

……

Very soon, He Yi and Lin Yixin revived and rejoined the boss battle. Sword auras and magic spells flew all over the place and left deep, ugly gorges on the ground. Our Great Earth Transformations and Heavenly River Transformations—especially the latter due to its Domain—did a ton of damage to the environment as well.

Ten minutes later, after the boss's HP had dropped to 50% or so, the pressure really started to ramp up massively. The boss started unleashing Earth Seal more frequently, which Lian Xin and I tried our best to interrupt either with her Frozen Domain or my Cold of the Nine Provinces. In the case we both failed, I immediately cast Xuanyuan Art to heal everyone for 50% HP. In the case where Murong Mingyue’s Seduction was in effect, we generally could survive the boss's bombardment for 12 seconds without dying.

The Nine-headed Fire Hydra was far stronger than our imagination, but thanks to a logical strategy, a proper cycle of various Attack and Defense debuffs, and good timing to interrupt the boss's Earth Seal, we were able to suppress it to a manageable state.

After almost 17 minutes of incredibly intense fighting, the Nine-headed Fire Hydra finally dropped to less than 5% HP.

"This is an Ancient Immortal Rank boss, right? I wonder if it’ll drop a Divine Armament," said Lin Yixin with a faint smile on her face. "I’ve been looking to get a new weapon…"

I fired Burning Blade Slash before backpedaling away from the boss, relying on Battle Astral Wind to survive its counterattacks. Then, I replied, "Sure. If the boss drops a melee weapon, you and Eve can roll for it!"

"Okay!"

……

Killing the boss cost a ton of Divine Energy Points. I was max 200 Divine Energy Points when I first started using Heavenly River Transformation, and now I was almost empty after just a dozen or so minutes. After I moved to the back again, I said, "Yiyi, Eve, tank the boss for a couple of seconds while I use Purple Dragon Howl to end this fight. Beiming, use Clear As Flame just in case some assassins are lurking nearby to steal our boss!"

Beiming Xue giggled. "I’ve already turned it on a couple seconds ago. Don’t worry, big brother!"

"Good!"

I abruptly stood still and healed myself to max health and MP. Then, I cast Purple Dragon Howl while Heavenly River Transformation was still active. I stabbed the Chill of the Nine Provinces into the ground and awakened the power of the divine dragon slumbering deep beneath the earth. After a draconic shadow climbed out of the earth and onto the blade of the Chill of the Nine Provinces, I pulled out the weapon and fired a tremendous cyclone of purple energy straight at the boss!

BOOM BOOM BOOM!

A ton of damage numbers rose from the hydra’s heads. Each one was at least 800k or higher. In terms of attack power, Purple Dragon Howl was only second to the Xuanyuan Slash. In terms of continuous damage and DPS though, it was way higher than the Xuanyuan Slash. There was no chance the boss was going to survive this.

……

"Roar roar…"

There was a cacophony of ear-piercing death screams. Then, all nine dragon heads fell from the sky and hit the ground with lifeless thuds. Their scales were stripped, and blood was flowing everywhere. The vile beast that had entrenched itself at Fire Dragon Canyon for god knows how many years had finally been conquered by us adventurers from distant lands, and it was without any sort of cheesing too. Most of all, a boss fight where I had pretty girls to buff, heal and cover for me was absolutely enjoyable.

Swhoosh swhoosh!

Nearly everyone rose a level after the boss was dead. Like that, the experience we lost had been returned to us.

Something wasn’t quite right, however. Where was our loot?!

……

Beiming Xue blinked her eyes and said my heart’s thoughts, "Where’s the loot?"

Lian Xin echoed in agreement, "Yeah. Where is the loot?"

He Yi pointed to the dragon’s lair and said, "They’re probably at where the boss's true body is. Should we head over and grab it now?"

"Of course! Let’s go!"

I grabbed the Chill of the Nine Provinces and strode toward the dragon’s lair without hesitation. For loot, I would brave even the darkest corners of the world!

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