A breeze blew across the eastern bridge and caused tiny ripples on the river flowing beneath it. Three beautiful women—a fully armored knight, a dark archer with a war bow, and an elegant-looking priest—were standing atop the clean white stones of the bridge and waiting for someone. They were the girls of the Frost Cloud workshop, and even He Yi had made an appearance today.
I walked up to them with a smile and greeted them, "I’m here!"
"Alright, let’s go!"
"Where are we going?" I asked.
Beiming Xue answered me, "There’s a new map in the desert area beyond Sky Forest called Fire Desert. I heard that there are elite mobs or even shadow-rank mobs between Level 100 to 120 on that map, which is perfect for players between Level 95 to 110. Since it only appeared at 12 am last night, I don’t think it’s crowded yet."
He Yi smiled. "It doesn’t matter even if it is crowded. From what I learned, Fire Desert is almost half as big as the Sky Forest, so there are plenty of leveling grounds for everyone to share."
I looked at He Yi, and she returned the look. Her eyes were smiling at me.
"Eve, it’s almost 7 pm in New York right now, isn’t it? Aren’t you going to sleep tonight?"
He Yi replied with a smile, "Actually, no. I just finished my business in New York, and I’m going to fly to India tomorrow. So, my plan is to spend the whole night grinding and catch my sleep on the plane later. I don’t want to fall too far behind in levels, not to mention that I haven’t hatched my Level 100 mount yet…"
Now that I thought about it, He Yi did get a mount pet egg from the siege of Skull Castle, but it could only be hatched when she was at Level 100. The fight for dominance in Sky City was growing hotter each day, and as the guild leader of Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls, it was her responsibility to catch up in levels as soon as possible.
"Alright then, let’s head to Fire Desert right away!"
I summoned the Sky Obsidian Greedy Wolf and took the point of the party. Then, I turned back and checked everyone’s levels. Beiming Xue was sitting at Level 97, and Murong Mingyue 96. He Yi was the weakest player in our group sitting at only Level 93. She had also dropped out of the Heavenly Ranking of Sky City a while ago. In that case, let’s take back everything she lost at Fire Desert today!
We ran through Sky Forest. There were animals everywhere, and they were respawning at an incredible rate. However, there were just as many players in parties of five or ten in the area as well.
"Let’s give Lu Chen party leader." He Yi suggested. "His Famous General Skill is way stronger than our normal Encourage~"
After Beiming Xue passed the party leader to me, I activated my stratagem and stunned the girls to speechlessness—
Party Notice: Your party leader "Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand" has used the Famous General Skill "Martial God”. All allied units gain 40% attack power. Since the player has 89 Tactics, the buff has been increased to 75.6% attack power!
"OMG, this is so OP…" Beiming Xue stared at me and stuck out her tongue to properly express her shock. "Big bro, do you know that the average Level 90 Tactician with Encourage III can only buff everyone’s attack power by 30% or so? Your Martial God is seriously…"
He Yi giggled. "But of course. Your big bro’s stratagem is a Famous General Skill. It would be terrible if it was outdone by an Encourage III, right?"
Murong Mingyue also echoed in agreement, "That’s right. Don’t forget that there are only two Famous Generals in the entire China server right now, and one of those players is right here with us. When we were partying up with a Tactician yesterday, a 31% Encourage already made our lives a lot easier than normal. I can only imagine how much stronger your Evil Spirit Volley will become now that your attack power is increased by 75%, Lil Beiming. I can’t wait to reach the Fire Desert already!"
The girls were happy, and I was just as satisfied. There was nothing more enjoyable than being able to protect and support your companions when playing a game.
Speaking of which, I had kept my ID hidden to avoid attracting the attention of my enemies. However, He Yi, Murong Mingyue, and Beiming Xue did no such thing, so countless players were shooting us looks anyway—
"Wah! Look at them! They’re the famous beauties of Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls, aren’t they?"
"Yeah, you’re right! The knight at the front is From Water, the guild leader of Ancient Sword! The archer with the round butt is Beiming Xue! And holy shit, that priest with ridiculously large breasts has to be Murong Mingyue!"
"Fuck! In that case, that swordsman wielding a high-grade sword has to be the legendary protector of Ancient Sword—Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand, right?"
"That’s right. Who else has an aura like his? And look at him, he’s surrounded by three super beauties, but he isn’t even staring at them at all..."
"Bullshit, he’s staring at his guild leader’s breasts right now…"
"Fuck, you’re right! Look, he’s looking at Beiming Xue’s breasts now. I want to be him so badly…"
I had to let out a cough and defend myself. "Ahem, I’m not staring, really…"
He Yi shot me a glance before replying expressionlessly, "It’s not like I care if you’re staring or not. So? Who has the bigger breasts, Beiming Xue or me?"
"Yours are slightly bigger. Beiming Xue still has some ways to go…" I let slip the truth and regretted it immediately.
He Yi turned redder, but she seemed to be happy.
Beiming Xue was staring at me unhappily. "Big bro, I’m already 19 years old. I’m not going to grow any bigger than this…"
I hurriedly consoled her. "It’s fine, this kind of stuff is all predestined anyway. Whatever the result might be, it doesn’t matter as long as you know that you’ve given it your all…"
Murong Mingyue: "FFS, what on earth is going on here…"
The Barbaric War Boots of Heaven boosted my movement speed by 15%, so I was faster than all of the girls. Unfortunately, that meant having to run a short distance before stopping again and again to wait so that the girls could catch up to me. Painful 45 minutes later, we finally got out of Sky Forest and entered a fertile field. Nature was everywhere, and there were a lot less players in this area.
There were penta-colored butterflies flying across the field. They were Level 110 elite mobs with incredible attack power and a skill that charmed its target. It was no wonder that no one was grinding at this place. Not everyone could battle a Level 110 elite mob, and in this case it would probably take at least a 5-man party of Level 90 players to grind here safely.
Of course, we didn’t bother with the penta-colored butterflies because fighting them would just be a waste of time. We simply circled around the area and continued toward Fire Desert.
A few minutes later, our surroundings grew more and more desolate. Finally, a heat wave blew against our faces, and a desert of seemingly infinite span appeared directly in front of us. The afternoon sunlight was murderously hot, and the sand could probably burn our skin if we touched it. I was more heat resistant than the others, so I wasn’t too bothered by the terrain. However, He Yi and Murong Mingyue—especially Murong Mingyue, since a priest’s robes had a lot of fabric—were so uncomfortable that they were sticking out their tongues and pulling up their skirts to avoid being cooked alive, unwittingly treating me to a show of their legs. Not everyone was as lucky as I was.
We continued moving forward until we got close to a bright red zone on the map. It was a high-level mob zone!
"Did you guys notice something?" He Yi said suddenly as if she just noticed something.
I turned around and asked, "What’s wrong, Eve?"
"Our Satiety is dropping faster ever since we entered the Fire Desert. I was at 95% Satiety just a short while ago, and it’s 92% already. Even with full Satiety I don’t think we can last more than 3 hours or so..."
I nodded. "Mn, I noticed it as well. But don’t worry, I bought a lot of Beef Patty before we came here. It should be enough to last us the whole grind."
Murong Mingyue also echoed in agreement, "I brought a lot of food with me as well."
"You never drop the ball when it’s something that’s related to food!" He Yi huffed.
Suddenly, Beiming Xue pointed toward the front and said, "Look, there are mobs right in front of us. It looks like a… wolf? But how can there be wolves in the desert?"
I walked closer to the mobs and confirmed Beiming Xue’s suspicion. It was a wolf-like creature with purple fur, and it growled lowly with its head dipped as it walked across the sand.
We went even closer, and its stats screen popped into our vision—
Demon-eyed Wolf (Elite)
Skills: Bite, Demonic Gaze, Wild Roar
Introduction: The wandering spirits of the Fire Desert. The Demon-eyed Wolves are so powerful that no human adventurer had dared to venture into Fire Desert for almost a century.
"A Level 115 elite mob, huh. It shouldn’t be too hard to kill."
I smiled and raised my Heaven-stealing Sword. "Wait here while I test the waters."
The girls didn’t even bother telling me to be careful because they knew that Level 115 elite mobs were just small fries to me now. Every time a player was promoted, they experienced a hidden stat boost. Although the numbers were hidden from the eyes of the players, there was a clear difference in power between a Level 99 third-promotion player and a Level 100 fourth-promotion player, something like a 20% difference in attack power at least. It was more than enough to tip the scales in favor of the fourth-promotion player most of the time.
I ran toward the mobs and zigzagged a couple of times through them. A while later, a dozen or so Demon-eyed Wolves were chasing after me. After glancing behind me and noting that the wolves were clumped up together, I turned around and fired a Thousand Ice Slash I!
The Demon-eyed Wolves howled in pain as sand flew everywhere. Three of them were even frozen in ice for 5 seconds. Mn, Thousand Ice Slash really is an amazing skill!
That one hit dealt around 8000 damage or so to each Demon-eyed Wolf, and the ones at the center were almost dead thanks to the splash damage. I abruptly ran toward them and used War Crush!
"Roar roar roar…"
Seven or eight Demon-eyed Wolves died just like that.
Suddenly, I noticed that one of the Demon-eyed Wolves was glaring at me angrily with lightning in its eyes, literally. The next moment, I found myself paralyzed like I was being electrocuted!
Combat Log: Demon-eyed Wolf used "Demonic Gaze". You have been stunned for 3 seconds!
Interesting. I wasn’t expecting this skill to stun me this easily…
Inside the party channel, I said, "Don’t look at their eyes for longer than 2 seconds, everyone. They’ll stun you with their ‘Demonic Gaze’ otherwise."
"Mn, got it!"
The girls were already running to my aid. Beiming Xue fired an Evil Spirit Volley into the wolves and dealt around 6000 damage or so to each mob. When she noticed how much damage she was doing, her face immediately turned red in happiness, "Wooow, my attack power! I’ve never dealt so much damage in my life…"
Truly, Martial God was an epic stratagem. It definitely deserved its reputation!Previous Chapter Next Chapter