"Michael… the Hollow Thunder…"
Lin Yixin murmured while staring at the undead expert who had probably been dead for thousands and thousands of years, "Why do I feel like I’ve heard this name before? Do I know him from somewhere?"
Beiming Xue and Guanyue looked completely confused. "Who is this guy?"
I clenched my fists. "Do you even need to ask? Anyone who’s played the latter half of Spirit of Grief would remember that Michael the Hollow Thunder was one of the new ten greatest bosses of Spirit of Grief. He once escaped the pursuit of over 200000 players at Fire Dragon City and commanded countless undead cavalrymen to raid the human main cities. He was called the master strategist of bosses, and he was one of the few bosses who survived until Spirit of Grief was shut down. Michael was the most loyal servant of Mingyu the Deathly Abyss. You can read all these in the giant lorebook Eternal Moon has created if you want to."
He Yi asked, "What should we do now? Michael’s appearance in Dragon Domain could only mean that something big is about to happen!"
Lin Yixin nodded. "Oh, definitely!"
I cautiously moved the Ancient Divine Dragon closer to Michael before pointing my sword at him. "Hey you! That war bear is our kill! How dare you take what is rightfully ours!"
Michael let out a sinister laugh that stretched his withered skin. "Who do you think you are to talk to me like that, boy? Don’t you know who I am? Even if I ate this bear whole, who are you to make me spit out my food? Anyway, get out of my sight while I’m still in a good mood. Otherwise, your fate will be the same as this bear’s!"
Michael had deleted almost 20% of the bear’s HP in one hit, so he absolutely had the power to kill me. On the other hand, I didn’t believe that the fight would go as easy as he imagined. After passing into oblivion for nearly a hundred thousand years, he had obviously declined from a Divine Rank boss to just an Ancient Immortal Rank super boss with a really high level. At the very least, he was weaker than the likes of Coldblade or Annie. Long story short, his best days were already behind him.
Of course, there was the saying "a dead camel is still bigger than a horse", and Michael was far from being dead. There was every chance he could one-shot me if I was careless.
I snuck a glance at my experience bar. Huh. Although Michael was the one who took out the bear, the experience had been split evenly among the 7 of us. In fact, there was a pile of loot where the bear was killed. It looked like Michael had killed the boss so quickly that the system had failed to determine its new owner. That was why the boss was still considered our kill.
Suddenly, a weird buzzing noise mingled with the crisp cries of a dragon broke out from somewhere deep within Dragon Domain. It looked like something was happening, whatever it was.
Michael shuddered visibly from head to toe, and the bloody claw gripping the bear’s head continued to shiver after that. Tattered cloak flapping weakly in midair, he turned toward the source of the noise and said in a trembling voice, "Did… did I just hear a dragon knight calling out for its mount? Will the dragon knights return to Dragon Domain once more? Hahaha! That is wonderful! Devouring a dragon knight’s spirit will surely restore Lord Mingyu’s strength faster and push the date of his revival ever closer! Wait for me, Lord Mingyu! I will make you the world’s one and only Dark God Dragon Speaker, and no one—not the dragon knights, and not even Binglan herself—can stop me!"
There was a sonic boom, and before we knew it Michael had shot toward the horizon and left behind only streams of powerful, messy wind. The ancient expert might have been weakened, but he was still very scary.
Lin Yixin sighed and pressed a hand to her chest in an attempt to calm herself. She then said, "I was afraid that Little Cheat would lose control and attack him. This Michael is a Level 290 Ancient Immortal Rank boss and far, far more powerful than even the Nine-headed Fire Hydra. I don’t think it’d be wise to lose levels against him when we could be exploring Dragon Domain and seeking out the Dragonslaying Sword instead!"
I nodded. "Yes, that is why I ultimately didn’t attack him. We are here to complete an SSS Rank main quest after all. Of course, we can decide if we want to engage him after we’ve found the Dragonslaying Sword."
Beiming Xue blinked once before looking to the distance. "By the way, do you know what that Michael is talking about, big brother? What did he mean by ‘will the dragon knights return to Dragon Domain’? Last I remember, it’s mentioned in the expansion pack that Dragon Domain is a barren, lifeless wasteland, and that the giant dragons are gone as well. How can there be dragon knights if that’s the case?"
I thought for a moment before answering, "Do you remember that undead expert with 17 chains on his person after we killed the Nine-headed Fire Hydra? Michael probably sensed him. He is the Dragon Knight Captain Callan, one of the Dragon Speaker Binglan’s best subordinates in the past. He had spent a hundred thousand years keeping the Nine-headed Fire Hydra trapped, but now that he’s free, he’s decided to return to Dragon Domain to awaken his guardian dragons."
He Yi nodded. "Yes. Currently, most of the dragon knights of this continent are serving various empires and have become the symbol of royal authority. Until Callan showed up, very, very few dragon knights who still aim to protect all the living on this continent still exist, if at all."
Lian Xin then asked a very important question, "Can Callan defeat Michael?"
I shivered. "I don’t know, but we should enter Dragon Domain as soon as possible. With luck, we may be able to run into Michael or Callan a second time. If they fight each other, we can lend Callan our aid. Michael wants to revive Mingyu and destroy the existing order. Callan just wants to protect Dragon Domain. No matter how you look at it, we have every reason to help Callan."
Lin Yixin pointed at the bear corpse on the ground. "Before that, let’s take care of the loot first, shall we?"
I walked up to the bear and checked its corpse. To our surprise, the mere Immortal Rank boss dropped quite a lot of good equipment—
Skull Breaking Ring (Immortal-grade, Outstanding★★★★★): Strength +1850, Stamina +1800, Intelligence +1740. Increases user's max HP by 20000. Outstanding Property: Skull Break. Damage dealt to weak points is increased by 33%.
Iron Arm Wristguards (Immortal-grade, Outstanding★★★★★★): Agility +1800, Stamina +1780, Intelligence +1740. Increases user's ranged attack power by 37%. Outstanding Property: Iron Arm. Increases the hit rate of bow-type skills by 25%.
Graceful Mage Boots (Heaven-grade, Outstanding★★★★★★): Intelligence +1820, Stamina +1700, Strength +1640 . Increased bard buff effects by 7%. Increases movement speed by 70%. Outstanding Property: Dance Pose, increases movement speed by 100%.
Skull Breaking Ring only boosted three attributes, but it boosted one very important attribute, Intelligence. For a metal-armor player, 1740 Intelligence was a huge boost to their resistance toward God Devil Break, not to mention the 20k increase to base HP. After a short discussion, we decided to give Lin Yixin the ring because my resistance was already pretty amazing, and He Yi’s HP was fairly good as well. Out of the three of us, the Fruit Knife Goddess was the only one who needed the extra survivability.
The Iron Arm Wristguards went to Beiming Xue as a matter of course. The increase in skill hit rate meant that all the arrows she loosed would automatically home in on her target like laser-guided missiles. It also reduced the chances of her opponent dodging her skill via good technique. In an ideal scenario, if an archer could somehow increase their skill hit rate to 500% or so, then even I with my level of skill wouldn’t be able to dodge it. It would be brutal to say the least.
Finally, we gave the Graceful Mage Boots to Pure Love because they increased the effectiveness of her buff skills by 7%. It might not seem like much, but on a monster like me, 7% was a lot of stats.
Finally, we split the gems and magic stones among ourselves before continuing on our journey to conquer Dragon Domain.
An hour passed smoothly since our encounter with Michael. On the way, we took out a ton of monsters—they were mostly fiend-rank—and beast-type minibosses. The closer we got to the mysterious map that was Dragon Domain, the less mobs below the fiend rank we encountered.
According to the map screen, the magnificent mountain range in front of us was the last thing standing between us and the canyon that was Dragon Domain. The map that had slumbered for a hundred thousand years was finally going to show itself to us.
I continued acting as the point and escorted the girls up the mountain. When we finally reached the peak, we were stunned by what we saw—
The canyon that used to be Dragon Domain was covered in thick, impenetrable mist and violent auras. Although there were no living things on this map, there were a lot of undead roaming the ruins. Using Dark Pupils to increase my vision range and penetration, I could see two gigantic shadows—the carcasses of what used to be two thunder dragons, one of the highest-ranked Holy Giant Dragons there were—flying through the misted sky. Not only did the poor things fail to earn the eternal rest they deserved, they were transformed into undead puppets that threatened everything that lived on this continent. It was impossible to know which evil undead mage had brought them back to life.
I opened the map screen in hopes of getting quest coordinates that would point us to the Dragonslaying Sword, but there were none. Feeling a bit miffed, I said, "The quest still isn’t showing us the Dragonslaying Sword’s coordinates. I guess that means that we must venture into Dragon Domain ourselves and search for it on our own. Hopefully, we’ll run into it in just three to five days…"
Beiming Xue pointed to the distance. "Big brother, look! Those Bone Dragons all have their own names, and they’re all Immortal Rank bosses! Are you sure you want to enter Dragon Domain? I bet 100 RMB that we would party-wipe if we got attacked by 3 or 4 of those monsters at once!"
I shot her a reassuring smile. "Calm down. No one said that we must engage them. The righteous way is sometimes the cowardly one, you know…"
Lin Yixin giggled. "Only you can say such a shameless thing without turning red. Anyway, let’s head inside already. The ruins of Dragon Domain, huh? I’m so excited…"
We all turned to stare at her for a moment, startling her and causing her to cover her mouth with her hand. "What? Did I say something wrong?"
"Nothing. Anyway, let’s go! I’ll be the tank, so please keep an eye on our surroundings so I can move into position in time. Dragon Domain is an unknown map, and whether we’ll walk away a winner is up to our ingenuity!"
I buffed myself with a Ghost Chariot Card and spurred the Ancient Divine Dragon to the forefront. Murong Mingyue was riding with me because she was our only priest and our key to fighting a protracted battle on this map. Naturally, she must be protected by our greatest tank, me.
Chilling screeches came from within the mist from time to time.
"Damn, what an evil atmosphere…"
I grimaced and stopped in my tracks.
Previous Chapter Next Chapter