[Divine Soul (Passive)]: Your heart and soul is filled with faith and devotion. All spells and skill costs are reduced by 75%.
Zhang Yang’s mind went blank the moment he saw the skill description.
A 75% spell cost reduction! She could now deal 4 times the amount of healing! What an OP skill!
His voice shaking in uncontrollable excitement, Zhang Yang said, “Honestly, I had never held such high hopes for us to clear the Level 30 dungeon. But now that you have this passive skill, our chances to clear the dungeon has now increased 5-fold!”
The ideal 6-man party for this dungeon was supposed to be comprised of 2 tanks, 2 healers, and 6 attackers. In his case, Zhang Yang alone could take the place of both tanks. Now that Han Yin Xue gained the passive skill, she could also take the role of both healers as well! On the other hand, Zhang Yang himself was a unique tank with strong offensive powers! That would mean that their 6-man team could match the strength of a 10-man party!
Zhang Yang had a sudden change of mind. He had wanted to search for another 4 players to fill in the empty slot to make it a whole 10-man party anyway, but to have that many players in the party would increase the chances of them making mistakes as well! One must not fear the godly strength of the enemy more than the useless imbeciles and incompetent partners in battle! Since his team could now ignore the shortage of 4 other players, he would rather proceed with this group of trustworthy six than adding unnecessary risks into his party. Without any further ado, he initiated the raid of the Shadowmoon Castle.
The most crippling factor in a dungeon raid was not the mistake of a party as a whole; it was the mistake he as the vanguard would make alone that could start a domino effect, leading to the fall of the entire team!
Zhang Yang spent his time making more of the [Beginner Anti-Shadow Potion] while waiting for the rest of the remaining party member to complete their class quests. If they could complete it before sunset, the success rate of clearing the dungeon would be even higher!
However, it was a pity that even after dinner time, the remaining 3 party members were still struggling to compete the quest. Zhang Yang could not help but admire Han Yin Xue. She was truly born to be a healer!
She had just only gotten her hands on the game and yet she could perform professionally. In contrast, Zhang Yang already had acquired, rather unfairly, 5 years worth of experience prior to his rebirth, and it was only by that advantage that enabled him to successfully clear the S-level difficulty!
Han Yin Xue and her wonderful healing! The one true goddess of healing!
After they had their dinner, Zhang Yang gathered everyone and started their journey to the castle.
According to the lore, long before anyone had known, there was a village that worshipped the Wolf God. Every year, they would hold a ceremony and offered many valuables to him. Because of that, they were all blessed by the Wolf God and were able to borrow his powers to obtain incredible strength. There was no battle that they could not win. However, intoxicated by countless victories, these people started to forget about their benefactor and lost faith in the Wolf God.
Enraged by their betrayal, the God cursed the entire village, turning its inhabitants into mindless werewolves. Unable to revert back to their human forms, the villagers secluded themselves from all civilization and hid themselves far in the wilds. They created their own sanctuary, a lair known as the Shadowmoon Castle.
This castle had two dungeons; the Garden, and the Castle, and both were built for 10-man parties and both had 5 bosses each. These dungeons contained by far the most bosses in a dungeon.
The entrance of the dungeon did not require any prerequisite quest. Any party could just enter the dungeon as they wished. However, only Level 30 players and above were eligible to raid the Garden, while the Castle dungeon would require Level 40 players.
The party took the Gryphon service and flew across mountains before needing to take a hike on foot, to the top of the mountain, where the Castle was.
Just as the party got off the Gryphon, Zhang Yang saw there were other players around. It was a team of 10-men that belonged to the The Dominators!
There was a saying, the more you hate someone, the more you will meet him in the street!
Humbly Gentleman walked out among the crowd with a smile on his face. “Oh! Look here, it’s the famous guild master Zhan Yu! Eh? What’s wrong? Lone Desert Smoke could only dispatch this many members? Hahaha, with the 6 of you only, you guys might as well just farm at Marzerway’s Lair!”
Humbly Gentleman would actually dare to act “Humbly” in front of so many people…
No wonder Sky Shaman would always call him a hypocrite.
Zhang Yang laughed back. “Hahaha. You jest! Humbly Gentleman guild master, would you like to buy more of the [Beginner Anti-Shadow Potion]?”
Humbly Gentleman’s suddenly changed his expression. He was busy in his conceited world of self-entitlement back then, but was tricked by Zhang Yang instead. The scam humiliated him most shamefully! Now that Zhang Yang was rubbing salt on his still open wound, Humbly Gentleman got angry. His eyes were burning with the flames of rage and intense killing intent. He was actually close to attacking there and then, with Zhang Yang’s party being outnumbered!
However, Humbly Gentleman was a calculative man. He did not just jump into action without having everything well thought out. 10 versus 6. Humbly Gentleman was clearly having the upper hand in numbers, but Zhang Yang’s team was extremely strong. They would put up a good fight which would be a huge disadvantage to The Dominators.
Humbly Gentleman’s guild was not in a position where he could suffer any losses! Lose just one man and his entire party could not raid Shadowmoon Castle! Humbly Gentleman had placed high hopes to conquer this dungeon before anyone else could claim the First Clear Achievement.
If only Lone Desert Smoke and The Dominators were the only two guilds fighting for fame and glory, Humbly Gentleman would not mind having any random skirmish! But in White Jade Castle alone, he had to contend with Crimson Rage and Sky High as well! To have this fight with Zhang Yang would only bring nothing but disadvantage to him, and benefit the third parties. This was not a wise course of action! There were also other 8 major cities in the entire China server, with at least 20 other guilds that were at the same level as him! With the battle for the top being so intense, how could he do anything that would lead the guild to suffer?
Obviously, Humbly Gentleman decided to just let this off for now. Since he was not some hot-head brat, he deduced that he was in no position to make a move now!
He stared at Zhang Yang viciously and said, “I would really love to see how the 6 of you take on a 10-man party dungeon!”
With that, he waved his hands and led the party up the mountain towards the castle. Time waited for no man, every second counted. The fastest guild was Sky High that had already started the raid 30 minutes ago. Crimson Rage might catch up with them anytime soon!
“Let’s go!” said Zhang Yang as he led his team up the mountain.
Soon, the party arrived at the top, there stood a large emerald stone castle. The castle door was opened wide and there were two teleportation doors on the left and right. One led to the Gardena and other led to the Castle Interior.
“Zhan Yu, which one should we enter?” Han Yin Xue asked.
“We could choose either one. The left door would be the Garden and the right one would be the Castle Inte…F*ck! You made me mess up! The Castle Interior dungeon is the Level 40 dungeon! We cannot enter that!” Zhang Yang cried.
“Stupid Zhang Yang! Who do you want to f*ck with!?” Han Yin Xue placed both her hands on her waist. She wanted to pose like she was mad but no matter how she adjusted, her facial features looked like they could never produce anything remotely angry. Rather, she looked like she was flirting instead of being angry. There were no traces of any anger within her, only seduction.
Wei Yan Er wanted to play along and somehow managed to have Sun Xin Yu to joined her. All 3 ladies of the party were staring madly at him. One carried a form of noble scorn, one was innocently mad, and the last one was ice cold. Each of them had their own trademark style. It was really sight to enjoy, rather.
“Alright! Alright! Let’s not waste anymore time shall we? Let’s raid!”
Battles for the best guild were always intense, older guilds (from other games) knew each other by name and performed with consistency. Newer guilds were also holding their ground! Just like Zhang Yang’s previous life, One Sword Stroke of Imperial Sky, China’s number 1 tank had led his guild to glory by taking many dungeon’s First Clear Achievements. His strength was not something that anyone could rival. On the other hand, the Sword and Fire Mercenary was the strongest among all 5-man party and 10-man party, they were incredibly strong in their own right.
Still, Zhang Yang was confident of his own godly “Blocking” skill!
When he reached Level 30, the system awarded him with 3 skill points, plus the addition of 4 skill points he had obtained from 4 dungeons’ First Clear Achievements, an additional skill point from the hidden quest reward, as well as the shield bonus attribute that raised the level by 1. Altogether, Zhang Yang’s had reached Level 9. The skill’s cool down was reduced to 2 seconds only!
Technically, Zhang Yang could depend on this skill alone to fight any physical attack type boss with brute force! No matter how OP that this may have seemed, this jubilant period would not last forever. 5 months later, the release of the game’s first patch, this skill was severely nerfed1. The initial cool down of the skill was prolonged to 15 seconds, causing many Guardian players to be deprived of their endless spamming2. A 1 second cooldown was considered to be over powered. It was so strong to the point where practically all physical attack type bosses were rendered useless in the face of this attack nullifying skill! During the revising of the game bosses and character classes, the game developers finally dropped the hammer of justice on the head of all Guardians!
Since the hammer has yet to fall onto his head, Zhang Yang’s 2 second cooldown was enough to render most of the physically attacking bosses useless!
‘Ding! You have entered the Shadowmoon Castle: Garden (Hardcore Mode)!’
Zhang Yang and his team arrived at a huge garden. There was a huge courtyard and in the center of it, a water fountain. Beside the fountain, stood an old man dressed up rather lavishly like a butler from a noble family.
There were 5 pathways that were leading out of the Garden and Zhang Yang’s party was standing on one of them. The pathway they were standing on led to the exit of the dungeon. They would automatically forfeit the dungeon raid once they withdraw.
Everyone could not help but look at the butler since he was standing out.
[Chief Butler Mack] (Gray-Silver)
HP: 3 million
“What an easy dungeon! There is already a boss waiting for us right where we go in! Erhm…don’t you think that his HP is a little too much?” Wei Yan Er raised her hammer and walked towards it to try and fight.
“Hey! Stop! If we fight him now, it will be the death of all of us!” Zhang Yang screamed.
Wei Yan Er jumped to her feet and walked back obediently. “Why?” she asked immediately. This was one of Wei Yan Er’s good points, she would immediately try to clear her doubts rather than feign awareness.
“This dungeon has 5 bosses, and Chief Butler Mack is the last one!”
“If he is the last boss to fight, why would he appear at the beginning of the dungeon?” Wei Yan Er asked again.
“The system set is this way to trick players!” Zhang Yang shook his head. In his previous life, many parties were completely wiped out because of this setting. The first thing they saw was this butler, and they did not hesitate to kill it! In the end, they were all wiped out! Zhang Yang elaborated. “Inside the dungeon, every boss we kill will reduce this Chief Butler’s HP by 50% and attack power by 25%. If we were to fight him right now, we would most definitely be reduced to ashes. However if we do fight now and we manage to win, we can get an achievement called “I am the strongest!”
“So…should we go around?” Fatty Han asked.
“Yeah. This entire garden is a huge circle. We are standing right in the middle of it. All 4 other bosses are spread all over the edge of this circle. It does not matter which path we take or which boss we fight first!”
Zhang Yang led the team to the rightmost pathway.
“Please be careful. Walk at the far edge of the pathway. This old fart may be old but his eyesight is still strong as ever!”
The party walked in a straight file towards the far right of the courtyard. Everyone was walking very carefully, not wanting to trigger the boss and when they finally managed to get past him, everyone sighed heavily
“That was scary…” said Wei Yan Er.
Right then, there were 2 NPCs dressed up like maids, with each of them holding broomsticks, sweeping the floor.
[Diligent Maid] (Elite)
1Nerf – This is the verb to used when a skill or a character is weakened by the official developer. Sometimes when a character’s skill is too strong and may cause imbalances within the game, the developers would make changes to anything in the game, Eg. reducing the attack power of Thief or increasing the Mana cost for healers since their skills were too potent in a way that it may cause other players to feel unfairly treated.
2Spamming- Spam or Spamming is the verb to describe an act of repeated action. For example, a player could spam the party channel with insults. Here, spamming would refer to the repeated posting. Spamming skills would means the act of casting a skill repeatedly without stopping.