Chapter 354: Freezing Heat

“Teleport now!” I growled.

“It’s too late!”

Lin Yixin’s eyes turned steely when she suddenly took half a step backward, barely dodging a light blue arc of energy that appeared out of nowhere. It was none other than the Assassin’s offensive skill, Cold Blade!

Shit, we got ambushed!

Lin Yixin and I entered the battle phase at the same time as three assassins appeared all around us. They were all high-level assassins from Hegemon Palace, and the fact that their IDs read very similar to each other meant that they were probably a group of friends—The Little Mushroom Who Plucks Girls, The Little Girl Who Sells Matches, and The Little Ponytail Who Wears Girls!

The resemblance didn’t just stop at their IDs. All three assassins were around Level 90 or so, and in Sky City Level 90 assassins were incredibly rare. The fact that three of them currently resided in Hegemon Palace meant that Pillar of the Nation must have splashed a lot of money to get them!

Little Mushroom retreated immediately and used Fluorescent Powder after missing his attack. Behind him, the other two assassins also jumped backward and entered stealth mode again!

“Hmph!”

Lin Yixin moved lithely across the snow before swinging her Ice Flame Slash horizontally, “Show yourself!”

Boom!

As expected, the assassin called The Little Ponytail Who Wears Girls was knocked out of his stealth. However, his body was glowing with the light of Priest’s Spell Shield, and it canceled most of the Ice Flame Slash’s damage. Thanks to that, he lost almost 2000 HP but survived the attack.

But Lin Yixin wasn’t alone. I rushed toward The Little Ponytail Who Wears Girls and pressed my blade against his chest. His eyes flashed with shock, but there was nothing he could do about it. My sword easily pierced through his back and dealt 3764 damage to him, killing him on the spot!

However, Lin Yixin suddenly let out a snort behind me and fell still. At the same time, a stun icon appeared above her head. Little Mushroom had stunned her!

The assassin immediately executed two skills in a row: Cruel Blade, Evil Will!

Lin Yixin shuddered as the dagger sank twice into her flesh and deleted a huge chunk of her HP—

1120!

1345!

Fuck, these assassins are quite powerful! They managed to pierce even Lin Yixin’s Defense!

I ran toward her like crazy while the Sky Obsidian Greedy Wolf pounced toward her attacker. Before Little Mushroom could swing his dagger a third time and end Lin Yixin’s life, it let out a howl and executed the devastating Flurry Dance!

But Little Mushroom reacted with uncanny speed and spun 45 degrees to the right on one foot. The second he was facing the wolf, he slammed his dagger—now glowing with a different blue energy—into my pet’s body and stunned it for 3 seconds! It was the skill “Bloodgush”!

What an incredible assassin!

My eyes turned steely, but I didn’t lose my cool. The grass on the ground shook unnaturally for a bit when the third assassin finally showed himself!

Swhoosh!

I arrived at Lin Yixin’s side just in time to parry away Bloodgush aimed at her neck. Then, I stomped the ground with my foot and used War Crush!

The Little Girl Who Sells Matches looked stunned as War Crush hit him three times in a row. Another assassin was one-shot just like that!

Lin Yixin finally recovered from her stun and downed a health potion. Then, she activated Charge, stunned the assassin that was fighting the wolf and pulled out her own dagger. Moon Gaze covered her pupils, and Extreme Break drew an arc in the air. The last assassin dropped to the ground and turned into a cold, dead corpse as well.

……

“Phew…”

I sucked in a deep breath. These three Level 90 assassins had caused quite the panic even for me and Lin Yixin. Thankfully, Lin Yixin sensed them first before they could sneak up on her, and their coordination was disrupted just enough for us to turn the situation around. Had they tried to chain-stun Lin Yixin from the start, their plan to take her out first might very well have succeeded!

Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to escape before Pillar of the Nation and his three heavy-armor players reached us. Staring at us with scorn and disdain, he said, “It looks like Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand and Wind Fantasy are grinding here. Pathetic. Are Snowy Cathaya and Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls so weak that they cannot conquer Dragonbone Mountain Range alone?”

I walked toward him with my sword at the ready. “What is the meaning of this, Wang Dongliang?”

Pillar of the Nation chuckled. “Just taking revenge for the loss at War Holy Temple, that’s all. Hegemon Palace will be testing the mettle of the best experts of Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls and Snowy Cathaya today!”

“Test our mettle?” The corner of Lin Yixin’s lips turned up slightly. “And who among you are enough to challenge us?”

“He is!”

Pillar of the Nation pointed behind him. It was none other than the Level 95 Cold Wind Swordsman, Little Piglet. He was a handsome youngster who wore a careless smile on his face. Pulling out the deep cyan broadsword behind his back, he said, “Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand, Wind Fantasy. I’ve been wanting to challenge you two for a long time now, but I haven’t been able to find a chance to do so until now. Please don’t hold back, you two!”

I glanced at him once before smiling. “I thought that you were an independent player since you refused all the guild invitations you received, so I’m surprised to find you the vice leader of Hegemon Palace now. What on earth did Wang Dongliang offer you to tempt you out of independence?”

Little Piglet put his broadsword on his shoulder before answering, “Lu Chen, right? You can save the provocation. It’s quite simple. I’m not a member of Hegemon Palace, I’m just the mercenary he hired for three months’ time. I belong to Hegemon Palace during this time, and I will fight anyone who harms their interest.”

“Oh? Three months? How much is your pay then?” I smiled.

Little Piglet licked his lips. “1.5 million, so 500k per month. Not bad, right?”

“Yeah, it’s pretty good. Just to clarify but, we’re definitely enemies now, aren’t we?”

“That’s right!”

……

Clang!

I pulled out the Purgatory Sword and crossed it before my chest, smiling. “Come at me then, Cold Wind Swordsman. I’m curious to know the strength of the mysterious guy who claimed a spot on the Heavenly Ranking myself. Don’t disappoint me, hehe!”

Little Piglet nodded confidently. “Ever since Dark Shadow Drifter, Paralyzing Wind and Sorrow, A Dust, and Dawning Wind Waning Moon entered retirement, there were no worthy pros in all of China. Otherwise, second-rate players like Blue Sky Scar and Tempest Shadow would never be able to enter the CGL Hall of Fame. Speaking of which, you were the 12th rank in the CGL Hall of Fame, weren’t you? Let’s see how you fare against this rankless player!”

Not far away, Pillar of the Nation yelled, “Little Piglet, there’s no need to chit-chat with this fool. Take out Lu Chen first and kill Wind Fantasy later! I’ve turned on the recording already. If you win, I’ll treat you to dinner, pay you an extra 100k, and you can grab another 100k from Warsky, hahahaha!”

His words caused a wave of discomfort in me. I frowned at him and asked, “Did I offend you or something, Pillar of the Nation? Must you butt heads with Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls? Don’t tell me you’re doing all this because of He Yi?”

“That’s exactly right!”

Wang Dongliang’s mouth curled into a disdainful sneer. “You’re just a child who’s good at games! You don’t deserve Eve, you hear me?”

I smiled. “There’s nothing left to be said then. I don’t mind even if all four of you attack me together!”

“Such big words!”

Little Piglet’s eyes suddenly turned steely and murderous. He growled, “Beat me first before making such bold claims, Falling Dust. If you think you’re invincible just because you’re a CGL Hall of Famer, I’m sorry to say you’re sorely mistaken. My goal is to kill rankers like you, and you’re going to be my first victim, Little Heavenly King!”

……

Little Piglet activated Charge right after he said this. The battle had already begun!

Swhoosh!

Charge was fast, but all I did was jump two steps backward. That was all it took to dodge his stun completely, or it was supposed to. However, I noticed that Little Piglet was dragging the ground with his broadsword to control the direction of his Charge! He was as good as I suspected him to be!

“Heh!”

Little Piglet chuckled before pulling his sword out of the ground. Even before his Charge ended, he was spinning around and swinging his sword at me like a whirlwind. His form was almost perfect!

I paid close attention to the trajectory of his blade before parrying it with my own. Although the powerful strike knocked me back a couple of steps, I didn’t forget to lift my leg into a kick!

But Little Piglet’s reaction was as quick as mine. He blocked my powerful kick with his elbow, and we both retreated a couple of steps from each other. When he noticed that the attack had deleted 984 HP from his health bar, he couldn’t help but cry out in surprise, “What a powerful strike!”

I was already retaliating before he could finish his exclamation. My sword dropped down from the sky like a meteor!

Little Piglet raised his own weapon and activated Guard!

I immediately changed my attack to a Crushing Blow!

MISS!

Little Piglet had canceled his Guard just in time to dodge it, but he wasn’t expecting the Ice Ray to his chest!

Pu!

2403!

A sheen of ice covered his metal armor, but Little Piglet’s smile only grew wider. Suddenly, his power grew as icicles grew beneath his feet. It looked like a buff of sorts, and when I looked at the combat log I was surprised by what I saw—

Beep!

Combat Log: Player “Little Piglet” used “Freezing Heat”, increasing his attack speed and movement speed by 40% for 15 seconds!

……

What an amazing skill. His options just grew a lot broader thanks to the 40% extra attack speed and movement speed. The brief exchange of blows had revealed to me that Little Piglet’s skill was absolutely super-tier, and almost at the pinnacle. Now that his attack speed was increased, he could put a lot more pressure on me!

That wasn’t even the worst thing to happen yet. A layer of icy energy covered Little Piglet’s blade, and three icicles suddenly flew out of the weapon straight toward me! All three looked exactly the same as Ice Ray!

Beep!

Combat Log: Player “Little Piglet” used “Ice Ray Flurry”, dealing 1432, 1379, and 1490 damage! Your movement speed is reduced by 25%!

……

I used the knockback from his skill to put some distance between myself and him. Then, I fired a Dragon Slaying Slash!

Bang!

3764!

The powerful attack caught Little Piglet by surprise. He hurriedly drank a health potion and snorted in his head. “Shit, that is some attack power and attack speed. Falling Dust is definitely much stronger than Tempest Shadow…”

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