Chapter 174: Sandworm Swarm

“A Level 70 mob with a max Attack of 550!”

A chill came over my heart as I turned around to face the girls. “Mage, priest, watch out. An Attack this high can more or less one-shot you if you’re not careful. Shields up, and keep an eye on your surroundings!”

Murong Mingyue and Moonlight Stone nodded while He Yi said, “Lu Chen, draw the aggro and let’s go!”

“Got it!”

Together with the Dark Wasp, I locked onto the Myriad Poison Sandworm and charged it like a lightning bolt!

Swhoosh!

It was a successful stun. At Level 67, I was strong enough that my skills had a very low miss rate, even when facing a mob of a higher level.

Ice Ray! Slayer Slash!

875!

904!

The sandworm lost a chunk of HP as my sword plunged into its flesh. On the other side, my Dark Wasp executed its Flurry and landed four hits in a row!

703!

696!

721!

742!

Awesome. Having a Dark Wasp with Flurry was like having a divine weapon!

The others weren’t idle either. Beauty Moonlight Stone cast her Ice Dragon Howl, and Beiming Xue fired seven or eight arrows using her Evil Spirit Volley, blasting the hell out of the Myriad Sandworm. Five arrows struck true and deleted most of its HP in the blink of an eye!

Murong Mingyue’s mouth fell open. “Holy shit, this DPS is a bit much, isn’t it?”

Meanwhile, the Myriad Poison Sandworm finally broke free from the stun and swung its claws across my chest armor!

398!

Tsk tsk, its Attack really was nothing to scoff at!

But that wasn’t all. The sinister-looking killer worm suddenly opened its mouth and spat a jet of greenish fluid at my head. I was poisoned!

Beep!

Combat Log: Myriad Poison Sandworm used “Poison Spit”. You have been poisoned, and will lose 10% of your current HP over 6 seconds!

…...

WTF? 10% HP in 6 seconds? This is a lot deadlier than the Dark Wasp’s venom. The only difference was that it damages its target faster because it had a shorter period!

“Beiming Xue, heal Lu Chen! Wait I mean, Moonlight Stone, heal Lu Chen! Wait that’s still not right, I mean, Mingyue, heal Lu Chen!” He Yi finally got it right on the third try.

Even without He Yi’s order, Murong Mingyue herself had cast an instantaneous heal on me almost reactively. The number “+578” appeared above my head and instantly filled my HP to full. Murong Mingyue was undoubtedly one of the best healers in Floating Ice City, and it was a pleasure to be able to grind levels with her. She always had a copious amount of milk at the ready, literally or figuratively.

Swhoosh!

Beiming Xue fired a Devil Piercing Arrow that struck the Myriad Poison Sandworm’s head perfectly. A series of dying hisses later, the first Myriad Poison Sandworm we’d ever fought finally died and dropped a bunch of loot!

Pop!

The mob dropped two Big Magic Stones and even a green dagger. We were off to a good start to get equipment from the very first common mob we killed!

He Yi glanced at it once before smiling. “Lu Chen, you’re the party leader here, so you decide how we split up the loot.”

“Okay…”

I walked up to the dagger and picked it up from the ground. I then brought up the stat screen so that everyone could take a look at it.

 

Poisoned Blade (Dark Steel–grade)

Attack: 65~120

Agility: +24

Passive: Increases user’s Agility by 11

Level Requirement: 60

…...

Hey, it’s not a bad dagger at all!

I turned around and checked their opinion. “So, a Dark Steel–grade dagger with a max Attack of 120. It’s not bad, and we can probably sell it for around 500 RMB on the market. What do you girls think?”

He Yi pressed her lips together for a moment before smiling. “None of us is an assassin, so it’ll be a waste to keep it. Why don’t we sell it cheaply to our guild members when we’re done with this map?”

I nodded. “Okay!”

The dagger might not be particularly impressive—it was way weaker than the Silver-grade dagger Lin Yixin was using—but it was still good enough to transform a common assassin into a good one. Selling it within the guild would improve the interaction between our members and improve our strength, so there were no downsides here.

Murong Mingyue said, “For fairness’ sake, we’ll split the money we get from the sale in five. This way, everyone gets a share of the pie.”

Beauty Moonlight Stone and Beiming Xue had no more objections to offer after Murong Mingyue said that. In fact, the only one here we needed to worry about was Moonlight Stone because Beiming Xue was part of my crew. She always followed my lead, and the chances that she would commit something despicable were next to nil.

I threw the dagger into my bag and put it to the back of my mind. Barring some exceptionally bad luck, this wouldn’t be the first and only equipment we got. There were no Jonahs in our party, and we were clearing a map that was considered difficult even for our level and skill. It would be ridiculous if we didn’t get any OP equipment from this trip.

We stepped across the wet ground and continued deeper into the cave. The ground was covered in poisonous grass, and poisonous gas was everywhere in the air. Everyone was losing 10 HP every second, and the only thing standing between us and death was Murong Mingyue. She hadn’t stopped healing us with minor healing spells since we entered this cave, and she probably had it the hardest out of all of us thus far.

“This isn’t looking good, I don’t think I have enough Magic Consumables to last us the whole trip,” Murong Mingyue said before shooting He Yi a worried look. “Eve, how many Magic Consumables did you bring for me again?”

He Yi checked her bag before replying, “I’ve brought 10 stacks of Rank 5 Magic Consumables. Is that enough?”

“It will be very challenging…” Murong Mingyue pouted. “What should we do? It’ll take several hours at least just to travel back and forth for supplies. We’ll all be past our bedtime by the time we come back…”

I chose this moment to walk up to her confidently and produce my Rank 6 Steamed Fish Soup. I smiled at her and said, “Take this, sis. And don’t worry about running out of stock. I have more than enough Magic Consumables to last you through the whole thing!”

“Ah?!”

Murong Mingyue’s eyes suddenly lit up. “Rank 6 Magic Consumables? Heavens, Lu Chen. Where on earth did you get this?”

I laughed. “Is that a joke? You should’ve asked around for my nickname. Back in those days everyone hailed me as the ‘God of Cookery’! I brought 40 stacks of Rank 6 Magic Consumables with me this time, so just eat to your heart’s content!”

He Yi giggled a little. “Why do you bring so many with you anyway?”

I explained, “I was only going to bring 5 sets for Beiming Xue, but then I remembered that there are a ton of mages and priests out there who might be desperate for supplies while they’re grinding in the wild. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind me lending them a helping hand even if I upped the price of my Magic Consumables by 50% or even 150%...”

He Yi and Murong Mingyue goggled at me in disbelief before saying in unison, “You’re despicable, Lu Chen!”

“Hahahaha…” I laughed while rubbing my hands together like an evil merchant.

Beiming Xue put a palm to her forehead and sighed. “You see? My life is forfeit now. All I can do is stick to my boss and hope for the best~~”

Moonlight Stone laughed uncontrollably at our antics. It didn’t take long for her to blend into our party completely.

…...

We marched on. As it turned out, the only mobs that existed at the first floor of Myriad Poison Cave were Myriad Poison Sandworms. At first they only appeared in pairs or trios, so we could just lure them to us one by one and kill them all. But the further we went, the greater their numbers became, and soon we arrived at a stretch of open land that was overflowing with Myriad Poison Sandworms. There had to be hundreds of them at the minimum.

“What should we do?” He Yi asked seriously. “We either make a do-or-die charge or return to the city for dinner. Make your choice!”

Murong Mingyue said expressionlessly, “Send Lu Chen in…”

I shook my head immediately. “Hell no! There’re enough of them to kill me with just a spit each…”

It was at this moment Beiming Xue suggested, “Why don’t we find a choke point somewhere, draw them to that location and kill them with our AoE skills? Boss has Thousand Mirage Slash, I have my Evil Spirit Volley, and Sister Moonlight Stone has her Level 30 AoE spell Arctic Rain, am I right? We should be able to slaughter everything that comes our way with ease and level up much faster than before!”

Murong Mingyue mulled over the idea. “It sounds good, but who’s going to draw the mobs in? And where should we set up our choke point?”

“If I remember correctly, Lu Chen is pretty good at this, am I right?” He Yi smiled at me with hope and deep trust in her eyes.

I nodded reassuringly. “We can do this at the corner we just passed through. There is a stalagmite formation over there that’s blocking the corner and providing a lot of cover. All we need to do is to assign one to three people at key locations, and everything should proceed smoothly. I’ll be the main tank, and sis will be my healer. Beiming Xue and Moonlight Stone, give it everything you have while I hold the line.”

“How are you going to draw the mobs in though?”

“It’s easy. My Dark Wasp is a flying pet, and the Myriad Poison Sandworms won’t attack an airborne target if I make it fly above their attack range. It should be able to lure them all over without losing any health. Just leave it to me.”

He Yi nodded. “That’s settled then. But before that, let’s go check the choke point and see if it’s actually usable!”

I smiled reassuringly at her. “Don’t worry, I was watching our surroundings even before we came here. It’ll be perfect, just wait till you see…”

“...”

As I had said, the corner of this map was perfect for our purpose. Almost all games had a “bug” like this that the player could exploit, and even if the game designers actively tried to avoid making them to minimize player exploits, they weren’t infallible gods who could account for everything. Bugs would always exist no matter how many closed betas there were, it was all a matter of putting in the effort to spot them.

I started assigning my party members into various positions. The stalagmites here were crawling with poison ivy, but I still motioned the girls to step into the formation and said, “Sis, Beiming Xue, and Moonlight Stone, stand here. Eve, stand here…”

“Ohh!”

I hadn’t intended for it to happen, but the sight of several curvaceous beauties side by side to one another was magnificent to say the least. Murong Mingyue and He Yi for example, were almost sandwiching each other. He Yi was looking at the mini map when she asked, “Why are there two empty spots still?”

I answered, “That is correct. One of the spots is for the Dark Wasp, and the other one’s mine!”

He Yi smiled at me. “Got it. Now go!”

…...

I made a quick trip back to the front and discovered that there were a lot more Myriad Sandworms that I had initially imagined. There had to be at least 400 of them just loitering about the open ground. Hmph hmph, this should be fun. I couldn’t wait to see my experience bar fill up like a rocket!

The Dark Wasp flapped its wings and flew toward the front. Thanks to my careful control, it hovered just 4 yards above the ground, just close enough to draw aggro, but not so close that the sandworms could attack it. This is how you aggro a sea of mobs without losing even a point of HP!

The Dark Wasp flew around for half a minute before it finally aggroed every single Myriad Poison Sandworm into the corridor. For a second, the swarm of hissing sandworms pouring toward my direction made me feel like I was fighting an invasion of space worms!

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