Liu Hau sighed in response. He couldn’t refute what Cheng Yang said even if he was concerned about his friend’s safety. After all, the world they lived in was filled with danger, so if he wanted Phoenix Village to remain powerful and safe, everyone would need to keep taking risks.
“Who said this tiger doesn’t look strong? What idiot would call it weak!” Liu Hau vented his pent up emotions to erase the helpless feeling in his heart.
While they were talking, civilians brought over a dish of roast meat with rice gruel. In the past, meat was seen as luxurious, but now everyone was sick of it. Although no one complained in front of him, Cheng Yang knew the people missed eating grains, so he released some from storage the day before. So far, Cheng Yang had managed to avoid buying any food from the Grocery, which lightened the burden on the territory’s finances.
Unfortunately, there was a limit to how long scavenged food would last. For the tens of thousands of citizens in Cheng Yang’s villages, their current food stores would last them at most four months. And the only reason it would last until then was because Yu Kai stumbled onto the remains of a granary. Now Cheng Yang could only wait for the gods to create the Farmer Profession, but even after they did, it would be months before the first harvest.
“My Lord, are you sure you want to clear the Nightmare Difficulty? We won’t have the Imperial Guard to help us.” Liu Hau said after they finished eating.
“We won’t die, but there’s only an eighty percent chance we’ll clear the instance.” Cheng Yang said, “That will be much higher if we got a Standard-Grade Priest.”
“There’s a couple in the village, and out best can heal seventy points of damage thanks to his equipment.” Liu Hau responded.
“Seventy points? It’s not as high as I would like, but that should be enough.”
“You’ve got such high standards, my Lord.” Liu Hau complained, “Where are you going to find someone better at healing than that?”
“No one else knows yet, but my Liu Wei leveled up today and is now a High-Grade Priest. With her power, it’s not a problem to heal a hundred and twenty points of damage.” Cheng Yang said while laughing.
“So she became a Governor as well?” Liu Hau clicked his tongue. “She was already an overpowered glitch, but now she’s probably unstoppable.”
Liu Hau summoned the Priest he was talking about, a man named Zong Qiu. He was one of the first people to become a Priest, so he was very experienced, and his Healing Light skill was nearly at the High-Grade level. In that regard, he was a better healer than Liu Wei.
“My Lord, are you sure it will be enough with just the four of us?” Liu Hau asked after they arrived at the entrance to the instance dungeon.
“No one else is necessary. Aside from the Boss, no one can threaten us, and, apart from its Health, the Boss is at most as powerful as Enlai. As long as we keep Zong Qiu alive, we’ll be fine.”
After that, the team directly entered the Abandoned Citadel.
The first three floors of the instance dungeon were cleared in a bloody whirlwind. With Enlai’s strength, no one else was necessary so they could enjoy the scenery while the white tiger worked.
Once they reached the roof, Cheng Yang ordered Enlai to attack the Boss immediately. Unlike the other monsters, the gnome Boss wasn’t unilaterally crushed. Both sides fought tooth and nail, but Enali gained an advantage thanks to his Vorpal attacks.
Cheng Yang wasn’t idle during this time. While Enlai kept the Boss restrained, Cheng Yang pelted it with Icicle Blasts. Although the gnome had an absurd amount of Health, it wouldn’t last long under the combined assault.
Chunks of flesh were continuously ripped from the gnome’s body by Enali’s powerful attacks. Of course, the Boss wasn’t a punching bag. Enlai never managed to land a fatal blow and took several severe injuries himself. Fortunately, Zong Qiu was there to reverse all of the Boss’s efforts.
If this were a fight with a human, they would undoubtedly try to kill Zong Qiu at all costs. However, since the gnome was nothing but a monster, it’s attention was held by Enlai, who it viewed as the biggest threat.
Once the Boss dropped below half Health, it shrieked and fired its bow into the ground. At that time, black clouds billowed out from where the arrow struck, blinding everyone on the roof.
Cheng Yang was the last to hit the Boss, so it rushed him while Enlai was unable to stop it.
Unable to hit the monster or try to dodge, Cheng Yang felt his Ice Aegis shatter. Then, he felt an arrow rip through his stomach, carried him backward, and nailed him to the parapet.
Luckily, Zong Qui had an astounding combat intuition. As soon as he saw the black clouds, he focused on Cheng Yang’s location. When he heard the sound of shattering ice, he cast Healing Light despite the blindness effect, healing all the damage Cheng Yang took. Despite that, Cheng Yang remained pinned since the arrow was stuck in his stomach.
Cheng Yang wanted to attack the Boss, but, as the black clouds cleared, he saw an arrow heading straight towards his forehead.
He didn’t dare to waste to take the attack head-on. If the Boss had a unique attack property, he might die there and then.
Using all of his strength, he kicked off the ground. The arrow pinning him to the parapet snapped and further lacerated his organs. The pain was unbearable. However, it paled in comparison to the pain of having an arrow pierce through his lower mouth into his neck. The force dislocated his jaw and would have torn it off entirely if it wasn’t embedded in the parapet.
Once more, Zong Qiu cast Healing Light. This time, his stomach healed completely as the broken arrow was forced out.
Three more attacks hit Cheng Yang in rapid succession, outpacing Zong Qiu’s treatment. The situation was torture for Cheng Yang. Every time he was injured, he was healed. He was forced to hang onto his life even if he wanted to collapse.
At this point, the gnome’s aggro switched back to Enlai, who had been attacking it since the black clouds dissipated.
Liu Hau helped Cheng Yang pull out the Boss’s arrows, then, the Boss was one-sidedly attacked once more.
As the Boss’s Health neared ten percent, Cheng Yang grew increasingly nervous. He was worried that the gnome had another trick up its sleeve. Thankfully, it didn’t. The Boss obediently died a few seconds later.
The Nightmare Difficulty was cleared, and all Cheng Yang had left to do was collect his rewards.
In addition to a piece of Red Gold and four pieces of Purple Silver equipment, Cheng Yang obtained a Ranger Statue Lifting Stone. Of that equipment, the only useful one was a Purple Silver necklace that increased his damage.
After that, the group left the instance dungeon.
Cheng Yang’s original plan was to wait until midnight before clearing the Abandoned Citadel again, but it was only nine-thirty. So, he decided to visit Cloud City.
Since he had the chance, he wanted to obtain the first clear reward for the Hard Difficulty of The Forgotten Grave. With Liu Hau and a few capable Priest, it was definitely possible. Since he had the ability, there was no need to wait.
It was definitely something related to his subclass. He didn’t know what it was, but there was no way it wasn’t valuable.