The strength of Cheng Yang’s party was incomparable to a typical group. Without even considering their levels, every member had a full set of Black Iron equipment and one or two pieces of Green Bronze equipment. If the Imperial Guard were able to leave Phoenix Village, Cheng Yang had absolute confidence that his current party would be able to raze Cloud City.
“Get rid of the other Mephits first. Then we can make a plan for the Boss.” Cheng Yang ordered.
No one objected since the strongest monsters in the area – Pinnacle-Grade Immature monsters – didn’t pose a challenge for them. When they were still High-Grade Apprentices, they were able to defeat monsters at that level on their own.
The ensuing battles confirmed that fact. Cheng Yang’s group efficiently resolved each fight. Even Pinnacle-Grade monsters were killed in a single round of attacks.
In less than ten minutes, they cleared all of the courtyards. Along the way, they picked up two pieces of Purple Silver equipment.
First clears were the best for loot, and the Nightmare Difficulty was no exception.
Necklace of the Unknown Sage
The sage sat quietly as the world burned around her, her knowledge useless and dry. Even up until the moment she was murdered, the sage remained silent.
Grade: Purple Silver
Requirements: Low Grade Apprentice
Effect: Increase Magic Attack by 4
The bow of a Wood Elf assassin. It was designed to fire off powerful arrows one after another into a target’s back.
Grade: Purple Silver
Requirements: Low Grade Apprentice
Effect: Increase Physical Attack by 6
Naturally, Cheng Yang took the Necklace of the Unknown Sage so that he could increase his damage by two points. As for the bow, it went to Hayashi Airi, the only Ranger in the group. The bonus it granted was three points better than her Black Iron equipment, so it was a powerful piece of equipment.
Cheng Yang gazed up at the cathedral in front of him and felt his heart freeze.
In his previous life, Cheng Yang had the opportunity to enter the Nightmare Difficulty. Although he was just a helper at the time, he fully understood the power of a Mature Greater Mephit. What’s more, the Greater Mephit was a Boss.
“Xue Yu, will you be able to withstand the Boss’s attacks?” Cheng Yang asked quietly.
“I have a base Physical Defense of twenty-nine, and when Zheng Yue uses Shield of Faith, it will raise to thirty points five. If I add in my armor, my Physical Defense is thirty-two point five, so the Boss can deal a maximum of forty-eight point five damage with each attack. With my Health, I’ll be able to tank twelve attacks, but that’s only when I get hit. Even though the Boss is a Mature monster, with my fighting skills, it’ll be hard for it to get past my shield. So, if we also consider our healing options, I’ll be fine.” Xue Yu said.
Cheng Yang listened and nodded his head. If Xue Yu said so, he trusted her.
Alright, in that case, after Ahn Sumin lures the Boss out with his dire wolf, use Shield Bash to stun it. I’ll keep Hibernation Chill in reserve in case something happens. This is going to be a hard battle.” Cheng Yang commanded, “Ahn Sumin, summon your wolf now and then wait for the skill’s cooldown to finish. Only then should we start the fight.”
Ahn Sumin nodded, then swung his staff into the air, summoning a dire wolf. The powerful Pinnacle-Grade beast appeared out of thin air. It was bigger than the wolves other Summoners had.
At the same time, Zheng Yue cast Angelic Inspiration on Ahn Sumin. As for Cheng Yang and the others, Zheng Yue buffed them in previous battles. Since the spell lasted for ten minutes, there was still some time left before the effects expired.
A minute after the dire wolf was summoned, Ahn Sumin directed it to open the door of the cathedral. Once it did, a furious cry could be heard from within as tremors shook the area.
“Get ready to fight!” Cheng Yang shouted. As he said that, a three meter tall Greater Mephit charged out of the cathedral.
Xue Yu dashed forwards, lifted her shield above her head, and hurtled towards the Boss like a meteor.
Although the Greater Mephit was formidable, it couldn’t react to Xue Yu’s boosted speed and was bashed. It’s powerful movements dulled as if it had fallen into a deep sleep.
Everyone sprang into action, including the dire wolf that was bait, and attacked the Boss. At the same time, a glowing yellow film covered Xue Yu as Zheng Yue cast Shield of Faith.
That round of attack reduced the Boss’s Health by over two hundred points.
Once the stun effect was lifted, the Boss was furious. Ignoring the other targets around it, it raised its spear to skewer Xue Yu.
Xue Yu was ready for the blow and thrust her shield forwards at an angle. Once the spear made contact, she swayed, peculiarly rolling her shield. With a grating screech, Xue Yu deflected the spear into the ground while keeping her stance firm.
What she did wasn’t a skill. It was a pure combat technique. The future of shields in combat revolved around dispersing the force behind an enemy’s blows. Without that technique, it would be impossible to tank for a party. Unskilled Warriors would end up flying through the air if powerful attacks hit them. A Warrior like that was useless in a fight.
After it failed to hit Xue Yu, the Boss lifted the spear in its other hand and thrust it towards Xue Yu’s other shoulder. It would seem that Xue Yu’s Shield Bash had angered the Boss since it even ignored the aggro ability of the summoned dire wolf. As for the ones doing damage, the Boss completely ignored them.
Xue Yu was slower than the Boss, and her shield didn’t entirely cover her shoulder. Although the attack looked easy to block, Xue Yu’s current stance didn’t allow her arm to move correctly. She was powerless to escape the spear’s tip.
Xue Yu grit her teeth in pain as the spear pierced her flesh. Although the spear was wickedly sharp, the god’s rules prevented Xue Yu’s arm from breaking.
At the same time, the rest of the group’s attacks hit the Boss. Xue Yu also counterattacked despite the pain, snaking her sword under the Boss’s ribcage. This four-way pincer attack dealt almost three hundred damage.
Hitting Xue Yu appeased the Boss’s anger, so its next set of attacks rained down on Ahn Sumin’s dire wolf.
Taking advantage of the opening, Zheng Yue healed Xue Yu then spent his time re-applying Angelic Inspiration on the rest of the party.
At the same time that the party reduced the Boss’s Heath by a quarter, it’s furious flurry of attacks killed the dire wolf. With the summon’s death, the Boss switched to target the next highest source of aggro: Cheng Yang.
Xue Yu’s combat experience allowed her to notice the Boss’s intention the moment it looked at Cheng Yang. Dashed in front of the Boss, she drew a bloody line across its waist with her sword.
Even after suffering that attack, the Boss’s intention didn’t change. Leaning forward, it prepared to bypass Xue Yu and attack Cheng Yang.
How could Xue Yu just let the Boss run past her? As someone summoned from the Imperial Guard Pavilion, she was naturally a combat prodigy. Every time the Greater Mephit tried to move forward, she would block it with her body and sword.
Taking advantage of her brilliant entanglement, Cheng Yang and the others attacked.
Unable to escape Xue Yu, the Boss understood one thing: “Unless I deal with this tenacious bastard, I won’t be able to deal with those annoying flies in the back.”
This time, when it lifted its spear, it seemed to gain an indescribable amount of weight and was covered with a golden sheen. It silently shot forwards, ready to split Xue Yu’s forehead.
As soon as Xue Yu saw the attack, she realized the Boss was using a skill, and although she wanted to dodge it completely, she was too deeply intertwined with the Boss to do so. All she could do was use her shield to cover her head and prepare to receive the blow.
When the spear met the shield, it rang out with the sound of a majestic gong that rang in the party’s ears for a long time.
At the same time, Xue Yu’s muscles froze up, and her eyes glazed over. The Boss’s attack was a special one that carried a stun effect!
The Greater Mephit sneered down at Xue Yu. Then, it used its other spear to bat her across the pavilion, as if it were sweeping away garbage.
Without Xue Yu holding the line, the Boss would be able to leave the restrictive doorway to the cathedral. The collapse of their defensive line didn’t mean they were defeated, but it would be much harder to stop the Boss from attacking the squishier members of the party.
It was at that moment that Cheng Yang finished casting a spell. With a chilling crack, the Boss was enveloped in an ice-cold blast of air; it’s sneer freezing onto its face.
During those two precious seconds when the Boss was frozen, every member of the party used their most lethal attacks.
Xue Yu woke up and used Shield Bash to reach the Boss before it was able to wake up. Although she wasn’t close enough to land the skill, she reestablished the defensive line.