Carrying 600 Armored Rhino Hearts in my bag, I eventually walked out of the small but incredibly thorny needle-leaved forest and arrived at a mountain path. As expected, Jon the Windchaser, the beautiful assassin, and two NPC swordsmen were guarding the place, too afraid to leave. Their reaction said everything that needed to be said about Lord Arthas’s tyranny—or perhaps their loyalty to Princess Karinshan.
I walked up to them and dropped all the Armored Rhino Hearts I gathered on the ground. Then, I asked, "Here’s everything I gathered thus far. How many do you need?"
Jon the Windchaser stared at me in shocked disbelief while trembling. "Young warrior, did you kill all these Armored Rhinos yourself?"
I nodded. "Is there a problem?"
"N-no…" The Windchaser collected the Armored Rhino Hearts while muttering to himself, "What a powerful adventurer, I almost couldn’t believe he had taken out all these Armored Rhinos single-handedly…"
The beautiful assassin nodded before sneaking a glance at me. Then, she whispered, "You’re right, Grandfather Jon. He’s definitely stronger than those ignorant and incompetent nobles in the capital. Silver Moon Alliance wouldn’t be in the state it was in if we had a couple more adventurers like him…"
The Windchaser agreed verbally before looking at me. He laughed candidly and declared, "Young man, you have performed your quest beyond my greatest expectation. Come and receive your rightful reward!"
System Notice: You have completed the quest [Hearts of the Armored Rhinos]. You have gained 1 million EXP, 15000 gold, 4500 Reputation and the quest reward: Ring of Windchasing!
Ring of Windchasing?
Quivering to attention, I hurriedly opened my bag and found a dark gold–colored ring sitting quietly at a corner. It looked like my decision to surrender an additional 500 Armored Rhino Hearts was absolutely the right decision. The 1 million EXP alone was several times what you would expect from a normal S Rank quest, boosting my experience bar from 0.1% all the way to 27.4%. If every quest was this rewarding, I was certain that I could hit Level 100 and become the first fourth-promotion player in China in two days!
Hmm, I want to check the Ring of Windchasing’s stats first before doing anything else. It’s a Dark Gold–grade item, so it should be pretty good, right? I waved my hand across the equipment and caused a semi-transparent screen to leap into view. I was immediately petrified on the spot.
Ring of Windchasing (Dark Gold–grade, Outstanding★★)
Passive: Increases user’s close-ranged physical attack by 12%
Passive: Increases user’s max HP by 1500
Outstanding Properties: Increases user’s attack speed by 10%
Level Requirement: 95
God damn, what an amazingly super ring! I never thought that something this amazing would come out of a quest like this. My good karma must be off the charts today!
The ring was deserving of its grade and outstanding stars, giving its user a total of 70 stats. Besides that, it added 12% physical attack power and 1500 max HP. The first passive was good enough, but the second one was exactly what I needed right now. I was a pure offensive warrior who dropped all my stat points into Strength, so my HP was pitifully small compared to other warriors. For example, Gui Guzi’s health pool would be double of mine if he leveled up a couple more times and caught up to me.
As for the plus 10% attack speed, that was an Outstanding Property. Together with my Bloodlust, it should boost my attack speed to a total of 45% or so! High attack speed was always welcomed, be it in PvE or PvP battles!
I immediately took off my original gear, the Gold-grade Abyssal Ring and put on the Ring of Windchasing. My power immediately rose to new heights.
ID: Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand (Title: Purgatory Thunder)
Class: Undead Swordsman (Silver Swordsman)
Magic Resist: 1180
Nice. My max attack was 1445, but if I were to account for the boosts I got from my equipment—+17% Attack from the Purgatory Sword, +3% Attack from the Purgatory Legguard, +7% Attack from the Paralysis Ring and now +12% Attack from the Ring of Windchasing—my real Attack stat should be 2008. And this was without taking my Undead Energy IX, which boosted my damage to living targets by another 45%, into account. This was why I could deal over 5000 damage with a casual strike. My attack power was so, so, so much stronger than most other players out there that 99% of their jaws would hit the floor if they saw me hitting any random mob or player.
Besides that, the ring had increased my max HP to 7340, setting me on the path of becoming an iron fortress. 1350 Defense didn’t seem like much, but in reality I had +7% Defense from the Explosion Necklace, +3% Defense from my helmet, +14% Defense from the Obsidian Dragonscale Armor, +3% Defense from my cloak, and +5% Defense from my wristguard, totalling up to 32% increase and putting me at 1782 effective Defense.
1782 Defense was a lot, but it was nowhere enough to block my Attack. For example, if I were to attack myself, I would suffer a ton of damage. This was why the saying "offense is the best defense" was an unchanging truth since time immemorial.
Long story short, my power was growing rapidly thanks to the improvement in equipment. It was to the point where even the mobs that terrified the NPCs were nothing to me.
That wasn’t all. Usually, the passive of a Dark Gold–grade equipment boosted a player’s stats between 3% to 7% only. However, the same equipment with an Outstanding property could have a passive that was over 10% or more. This meant that the importance and necessity of Outstanding equipment was only going to grow as the game progressed. Even when top players began wearing items of Spirit, Immortal or even Divine–grade, Outstanding property was still the deciding factor whether an equipment was amazing or not!
Jon the Windchaser shot me a long look before saying, "We’re going to travel to Fort Iron Bull and meet up with the royal army. Would you like to come with us? Lord Arthas is a fickle man, it’s not impossible that he may want to meet you…"
I turned apprehensive. This could only mean one thing: there was a continuation to this quest. Since I was mostly free right now, I decided to go with them.
I nodded. "Okay. Let’s travel to Fort Iron Bull together!"
I followed the four-man NPC party down the mountain together. No harm came to them thanks to me and my pet. This was especially true for the Sky Obsidian Greedy Wolf, whose stats were absolutely overwhelming after killing an innumerable amount of Armored Rhinos and gaining a ton of levels. It was now Level 94 and almost as tall as my shoulder. It had grown more mature than before, and it looked like a wolf king when it bared its fangs, looked at the sky with its cold-blooded eyes and howled. If I were to release this bastard to the forest, I was sure that it would be able to conquer a huge territory on its own. But by my side, it might just have a shot at conquering the entire continent!
I opened its stat screen to take a look only to be caught completely off-guard by what I saw.
Sky Obsidian Greed Wolf (Epic Rank Boss)
Skills: Flurry Dance, Greedy Wolf Howl
As predicted, the Sky Obsidian Greedy Wolf was absolutely OP after it gained enough levels. It had almost 1900 Attack, and it had much higher Defense and HP than me. Besides that, it also had two powerful skills, Flurry Dance and Greedy Wolf Howl, making it a powerful offensive and defensive unit. I could probably throw it into a group of mobs and not worry about it most of the time.
As we were walking down the mountain, I suddenly received a message from Beiming Xue: "Big bro, it’s time to log out for dinner!"
I gave it the invitation some thought, but ultimately decided that the quest was more important. So I replied, "I don’t think I’m joining you two for dinner this time. Just bring me something when you return…"
"What do you want to eat?"
"I want a bowl of Pickled Hot and Sour Fish. Tell sis to carry it home herself…"
It wasn’t long before Murong Mingyue sent me a message: "Are you seriously going to make me run across the streets while carrying a bowl of fish soup? Alright, just you wait, I promise you’ll get the meal you ordered!"
Murong Mingyue logged off immediately after sending the message. Aw, is she really going to buy me that dish? How nice!
I smiled a little before turning my attention back to the quest. I probably would be stuck inside the game until 10 pm at least, so anything she brought me would be completely cold by the time I was done.
The good news was that the NPCs were moving fairly quickly. After we got off Dragonbone Mountain Range, we made a beeline for Fort Iron Bull, a location that was highly contested between the three major factions—the Night Creatures, Sky City, and Floating Ice City—and the locals.
I could hear animals howling from inside the forest when I stepped on a grassy plain. We were inside the territory of Fort Iron Bull right now!
System Notice: Please be informed that you have entered a new map, Fort Iron Bull!
Map Details: When the continent fell into chaos, the Night Creatures had enslaved the beastmen tribes and turned ten of their heroic chiefs into frontline commanders. However, a group of stubborn beastmen managed to escape the Night Creatures’ clutches for freedom and a better life, and one of them was the excellent Tauren tribe. After many years of harsh battles, these brutal beastmen eventually regained their wild nature and built a fort in a grassy valley called Fort Iron Bull. All humans, elves, dwarves, succubi, barbarians or Night Creatures who intrude the land of Fort Iron Bull will be smashed without exception!
That was about as threatening as a background introduction could get. I had no doubt that Fort Iron Bull was crawling with danger!
It was at this moment Jon the Windchaser pointed toward the south and said, "Princess Karinshan’s camp is set on that hill, and to the north of that hill lies the camp of Lord Arthas. He’s holed up in there with two one-hundred-thousand-strong imperial legions, but he refuses to go into battle because he’s supposedly ill. Because of this, Princess Karinshan had no choice but to delay her attack on Fort Iron Bull."
I nodded. "Let’s go then. Let’s meet Karinshan first before we do anything else!"
Accompanied by the Windchaser and the beautiful assassin, I entered the commander’s tent and found Princess Karinshan sitting on a sofa and resting her hand on the armrest. She was clad in her martial attire, and she was propping her chin up with one hand and wearing an annoyed look on her face. In that moment, she looked more like a troubled girl than the princess of an empire or the commander of an army.
"Your Highness, we’ve returned!" The Windchaser walked up with his staff in tow.
"Oh, you’re back…" Karinshan didn’t even look up to see them. Pulling out her sword and drawing a mark on the sofa, she asked, "How goes your quest?"
The Windchaser answered seriously, "We’ve carried out your orders as requested, and we’ve brought back an extremely powerful adventurer from Sky City that you must have an audience with!"
Karinshan finally looked up. Her eyes lit up immediately when she saw me. Stepping on the sofa and pushing herself off, a smile spread across her lips. "You’re finally here!"Previous Chapter Next Chapter