Chapter 67: Coldmoon Rose

A bolt of lightning tore the sky and black clouds roiled, both signs that a downpour was about to descend.

The Weeping Fire Blade in hand, I swiftly bore my way through the little road in the forest with my Dark Wasp. Players around Level 30 could be seen on both sides of the path, teaming up to kill the monsters there. There was no hesitation in their actions even though a storm was approaching. Their determination to level up could not be shaken by unfavorable weather conditions.

I checked my experience. I was Level 40 at 24%. I had to get to Level 50 as soon as possible. Only at Level 50 could my skills reach Rank 5, which would let me challenge Level 60 bosses. Otherwise, I could forget about getting a Hero’s Token. Bloody Mercenaries couldn’t just operate with us three forever. We could only attract long range attackers like archers, mages, and support players like priests, tacticians, and bards after establishing a guild.

A strong guild should have good, balanced composition of classes.

Beep~!

Du Thirteen sent me a message: “Lu Chen, I feel that our Bloody Mercenaries should have a priest. We’re all a bunch of melee damage dealers that need to be healed. Not having our own exclusive priest sucks.”

I replied, “You have someone in mind?”

“Not at the moment. But I’m asking for your opinion right now. Should we pick a girl or boy for our priest?”

“Is there a difference?”

“Yes! I was planning on recruiting two people. A female priest and a female mage, or a female archer. If we do that, our workshop won’t have any problems leveling or killing bosses.”

I thought for a while, then replied. “If we can, we should try to recruit a male priest and a male archer. With women, trouble would start too easily. We are a proper gaming workshop, we don’t need to deal with these messy things. I really want our workshop to become one of the best.”

Du Thirteen did not respond until several minutes later. “Yes, you’re right. I’ll go look around first. If I really can’t find guys, then I can only reluctantly pick girls. Haha…”

I was a bit speechless. It may be hard to find three-legged toads nowadays, but two-legged men were everywhere on the streets!

In fact, this was all because of me. There was an intangible resistance in me that was against girls joining our Bloody Mercenaries workshop, though I myself did not know why this was so.

……

Reflection Hills was an extremely vast zone within a mountainous forest. Wild animals were everywhere and evil spirits ran amok. This was a grinding paradise for high-level players, and hell for newbies.

Connecting the faraway canyon to the rest of the world was a long path stretching through the wilderness. I trekked forward with my Dark Wasp, spotting a few players grinding on both sides of the road. But as time went by, the number of players I encountered lessened and once I arrived at the borders of the Reflection Hills, I barely saw anyone here.

I saw a succubus archer girl wielding a longbow jumping out of the shrubbery in the forest. She was Level 34, and as a succubus, she enjoyed an innate advantage—5% boost to accuracy, perception and detection abilities. Furthermore, succubi were petite and very nimble. They were the best choice for archers. Lin Yixin was also a succubus but she chose to be the close-range type, becoming a legendary female battle god.

Even though this succubus archer wasn’t as beautiful as Lin Yixin, she won in the mature charm department. Leather armor hugged her lustrous body, revealing her curves. The graceful way she walked on the path while carrying her longbow would invoke a deep impression in any man’s mind.

Coldmoon Rose LV-34, Bronze Archer. 

Her level is pretty high. Well, at least high enough to run about this high-level map.

“Hey, don’t continue onward! Hey, handsome!” the archer girl shouted, with heavy emphasis on the words “handsome” too.

I turned around, my terrifying face concealed by my cloak smiling. “Why, pretty girl?”

Coldmoon Rose was stunned, then answered right after, “A really dangerous map is up ahead, Reflection Hills. The mobs there are already Level 45, so if you go any deeper, nine out of ten times, you’ll die. How about we team up and kill some Forest Leopards? I have a quest to kill them, I can share it with you.”

I couldn’t help but smile. After a brief exchange, she seemed more like a little girl who wanted to drag me along to grind.

I shook my head and said apologetically, “Sorry but I’m not here to do quests. I’m here to forage. You should see that I’m a forager.”

The archer girl nodded with a smile. “Alright then, since you’re going in despite knowing the dangers, good luck!”

When I was turning back around, I accidentally saw a vicious glint flash in her eyes. I faintly sensed that something was wrong but I didn’t know what was amiss so I just continued onward with my Weeping Fire Blade.

Who cares what she was scheming. With my pet and I together, who in Floating Ice City could stop us?!

……

Not too long after, a burst of mountain wind erupted in the forest, followed by the howl of a wolf. Two cyan-colored giant wolves then appeared before me. They were just like the succubus girl had described.

Hill Wolf LV-45

I took a deep breath when I saw the two Level 45 mobs advance. I shouldn’t be too pressured by these two!

I commanded my Dark Wasp to attack the wolf on the left while I lifted my longsword and aimed at the Hill Wolf on the right. I ran and then slid toward it, back ramrod straight, two attacks immediately landing on its head!

MISS!

1792!

Pardon and Slayer Slash were so strong that even a Level 45 monster would instantly lose half its HP.

“Argrrr!”

The Hill Wolf snarled then swept its claws down. I quickly retreated but was still hit by its claws. My chest instantly warmed as a chunk of my HP fell.

184!

The Ghost Deity Armor surfaced yet again, as if I was protected by a ghost. If it weren’t for this skill, I’m afraid a swipe from this giant wolf would have shred at least 250 of my HP; that would be dangerous. The Hill Wolf’s attack speed far surpassed the Blood Skeleton’s and its attack power also wasn’t too bad either. Overall, its DPS was around 2 times higher. Since I didn’t have a priest with me, I had to be extra careful against such a high-damage monster. Things could get ugly otherwise.

My sword swept again and landed two more hits on the Hill Wolf’s head. I arced around its left side, evading its attack. After waiting for my basic attack cooldown, I once more brandished my sword to chop at it twice while chugging a small health potion.

“Wuuu…”

The Hill Wolf collapsed with a miserable howl, killed by six lightning-quick strikes, but my HP had also fallen by a third. The Hill Wolf’s damage was way too scary.

A health potion along with Regeneration of the Undead quickly restored my HP back to full. My Weeping Fire Blade risen high, I charged at the Hill Wolf occupied by my Dark Wasp. It didn’t even take me a minute before two Level 45 mobs have fallen under my blade!

The Dark Wasp’s health regen was really fast, faster than mine at the very least. As long as it was continuously killing monsters, it didn’t need to be healed. After all, its HP and Defense were both pretty high.

I spread my fingers and shouted at the Hill Wolf corpse, “Death Plunder!”

The skill flew and a cyan colored wolf skin appeared in my hands—

Hill Wolf Skin: Rank 4 pelt.

Very nice, I’m about to get rich again. Rank 4 pelt was a required item used to craft Level 30–40 Iron and Bronze–grade leather armor. Tailors at this stage of the game were at high ranks already, so it wouldn’t take long for the market to be saturated with Rank 4 pelts and hides. I had to seize the chance to make a profit before that!

I loved Death Plunder to death. It was simply the number one skill for me to get rich!

After I put away the two pieces of Hill Wolf Skin, I continued on my way. The surrounding forest was a field of dusk, the ground littered with multiple animal footprints. Some of them were even larger than mine!

I raised my head and my eyes brightened. A simple and crude Night Creature camp was not too far ahead of me. There were five NPCs standing there, blankly looking around.

I quickly walked over with vigorous strides, filled with energy. Good thing that I was already a Bone Lord. Even though I was a neutral creature, in the eyes of ordinary Night Creatures, I was one of them, so they would be relatively close with me!

“Oh, esteemed lord, you have actually deigned to come to this wild land…”

When I came close, a Night Creature assassin holding a dagger walked over and knelt on one knee. “Your presence here has allowed us to believe that Queen Sophia has not abandoned us pitiful undead. She must have sent you over to tell us about our victory, right?”

I nodded, then said some random nonsense, “Queen Sophia ordered me to tell you that our empire will soon rise again!”

“Hahaha…”

The few skeletons in the camp danced in joy, every one of them excited beyond compare. Only the long-bearded undead prophet inside the tent remained silent.

I glanced over and discovered that this undead elder was this temporary camp’s highest authority. A series of words floated above his head—Hill Commander. He tottered over with his magic staff and said with a quivering voice, “Esteemed lord, you’ve seen it too. We’ve been besieged by the wild beasts here for almost a half a year. Many of our undead have been torn into pieces. We must eradicate the wolves in this wilderness or else our Night Creature camp will fall apart!”

Ding~!

System Notice: Do you accept the quest [Kill the Hill Wolves]? (Quest Rank: D)

Description: Patrol the surroundings and kill at least 200 Hill Wolves. Collect 40 Hill Wolf Fangs and give them to the Hill Commander for a very generous reward!

……

I accepted the quest and left to kill Hill Wolves. These kinds of Level 45 monsters weren’t just good for grinding. I could also plunder Rank 4 pelts and complete a quest. Three birds in one stone, that was efficient grinding!

Bringing along my Dark Wasp and Weeping Fire Blade, I meandered along the border of the hills in the forest, killing every wild wolf I encountered. If I was lucky, they would drop a Big Magic Stone. If I wasn’t lucky, I could still plunder a Rank 4 fur. This way of grinding made me very happy.

Around two hours passed in the blink of an eye. At least 300 Hill Wolves had died beneath my blade because there were 312 pelts in my bag, along with 14 Big Magic Stones and 40 Hill Wolf Fangs. The quest was complete and the surrounding Hill Wolves had almost all been eliminated by me. They were no longer a worrisome threat to the camp.

I returned to the temporary base of Night Creatures and turned in the Hill Wolf Fangs. The old skeleton was so excited that he nearly fell apart. Quest items in hand, he said emotionally, “These inhumane wild beasts have at last been served justice! Honorable undead, you shall receive a generous reward!”

Ding~!

System Notice: You have completed the quest [Kill the Hill Wolves]. You have gained 8400 EXP and 240 Reputation!

……

Swoosh!

A golden pillar of light washed over me and I reached Level 41. I clawed my way up to the fourth place of the Heavenly Ranking in just short four hours. Continue, continue, let’s climb to third place!

After I completed my quest, the old skeleton’s face was still clouded with worry. He said in a low voice, “A cruel massacre is currently happening in Reflection Hills. Those ruthless undead had forgotten Queen Sophia’s decree and went to slaughter civilians in the hills. Young Night Creature, I hope that you can enter the canyon, kill 100 Blood Shadow Skeletons and bring me their fingers!”

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