A Change of Heart
Almost all of the boss’ normal attacks were deflected by <Block>. With that fast attack speed and frequency, Zhang Yang could not spare any single <Block> to waste. At the same time, the <Brave> set-equipment constantly restored his health. Slowly yet steadily, many green texts of ‘+100’ popped over his head.
The DoT effect had inflicted 1,920 damage to Zhang Yang in 10 seconds, but at the same time, the <Brave> set-equipment effect had healed Zhang Yang by over 500 HP. After removing the second DoT skill, he healed another 500 HP again.
‘Ding! You have been afflicted with Spectre’s Decay (1 stack). Receive 800 Natural damage every 3 seconds for 30 seconds!’
‘Ding! You have been afflicted with Spectre’s Decay (2 stack). Receive 1600 Natural damage every 3 seconds for 30 seconds!’
20 seconds later, the boss inflicted another DoT Poison.
Zhang Yang immediately removed the first layer, and the second layer after 10 seconds.
The boss was not like a player that could think and act unpredictably. Their attacks were all fixed with a rotational cycle. For example, some skills would be activated after a fixed duration, other skills would be activated after dropping to a certain level of health, others when losing a certain amount of health within a certain period of time, and many other fixed conditions.
After being inflicted with poison twice by the boss, Zhang Yang learned that the boss would cast the DoT skill once in roughly every 20 seconds! If Zhang Yang had not possessed any [Level 1 Poison Antidote], he would have accumulated over 5 layers of [Spectral Decay] in just 40 seconds! Even though he had the 20% damage reduction passive skill, he would still receive at least 3,200 damage every tick! <Shield Wall>, <Berserker’s Heal> and the <Lifesteal> effect of the sword would have only prolonged his struggle for another 10 or 20 seconds!
No… could it be that the developers purposely designed the monsters on the upper floor to have the bandage recipe? If they had not done so, even a tank with a healer would not be able to hold for long against this boss!
Zhang Yang was the only oddball in the game that had maximized his <Block> skill level. The [Level 1 Antidote Bandage] required the player to have the First Aid skill mastery raised to Advance-tier to be able to use it. Majority of players around would be estimated to be only around Amateur-tier currently. There could also be players who were unwilling to invest in raising their mastery level, and could be at the lowest rank, Beginner First Aid. Even if they managed to get their hands on the recipe, they could do nothing but stare at it in agony.
With that in mind, Zhang Yang could be the only person in the game with the ability to fight the boss alone!
Zhang Yang started to calculate. If he could nullify every single physical attack from the boss and only receive the poison damage, he would lose, on average, 1,920 HP every 20 seconds. With the help of the set-equipment healing effect, he would heal at least 1,000 HP. This brought down the loss to 46 HP every second! He had <Berserker’s Heal>, <Lifesteal> effect of the sword, and also the occasional healing potion consumption, he would last for a long, long time in battle!
There was hope!
Zhang Yang gathered his wits, before stacking 5 layers of <Cripple Defense>, and began his onslaught.
With the cooldown of <Block> reduced down to 1 second, the efficiency of <Shield Bash> grew more significant as it contributed to the total damage over time! Under 5 stacks of <Cripple Defense> and <Eagle Eye>, the <Block> damage reflect could exceed 250 damage and <Shield Bash> could deal at least 530 damage!
That meant that, by only activating <Block> and <Shield Bash> alone, at least 800 damage was dealt per second!
This was definitely a major upgrade, since a 2-second <Block> cooldown could only deal 400 damage, 3-second cooldown could deal 266 damage while a 4-second cooldown would only deal 200 damage!
Of course that could only be applied to bosses with fast attacking speed. If the boss attacked every 2 seconds or even once in every 3 seconds, the combined damage of both <Block> and <Shield Bash> would be reduced tremendously.
Watching how he had managed to pull it off smoothly, Zhang Yang could not help but feel a little prideful of his feat. He sighed again to know that this godly <Block> would be nerfed in the future! If it remains unchanged, Guardians would definitely obtain the highest in the damage statistics against all fast attacking bosses!
After a minute into the battle, Zhang Yang’s HP had dropped down to 1,990 HP while the boss still had roughly around 320,000 HP! He immediately consumed a heath potion and restored his health back up to 2,990 HP. Another minute went by and Zhang Yang was left only with 230 HP while the boss’s HP had dropped down to 250,000 HP! That was 100,000 HP worth of damage in over 1 minute!
Just as the health potion cooldown was done, Zhang Yang quickly consumed a bottle and brought up his HP back to 1,230 HP. However, this little bit of HP recovery could only last him for about 20 seconds! His HP continued dropping like a roller coaster down the slope!
Foosh! His HP was restored back to full health!
40 seconds later, the health potion cooldown was done and Zhang Yang took another bottle and his HP was back up to 3,910 HP. The boss still had around 180,000 HP left!
GAH! What an awesome feeling! It’s been ages since Zhang Yang had a solo boss fight!
<Block> and the <Brave> set-equipment effect was just too OP! He could literally just depend on <Block> alone to kill the Gray-Silver boss!
After another minute, Zhang Yang consumed the fourth bottle of health potion and restored his health to 2,250 HP. The boss was only left 100,000 HP!
40 seconds later, Zhang Yang activated the sword’s <Lifesteal> effect. Slash! Slash! Slash! He sliced the boss 3 times and stole more than 3,000 HP from the boss! He had healed his HP back to the maximum amount!
20 seconds later, his health potion cooldown was done. At the same time, his <Berserker’s Heal> was ready to be used. Zhang Yang remained front of the boss like an annoying cockroach, taking all the hits without even budging from his place!
With this, the defeat of the first boss would be imminent! It was not even a challenge at all!
Zhang Yang could not help but to feel a little sympathetic. A thought came into his mind. If some other party tried to fight this boss, the <Spectral Decay> effect would have easily stacked up to 5 layers which would ultimately reach a super high damage value and could easily kill 90% of any tank out there! In this case, it was not about the other tanks being weak, it was Zhang Yang’s excellent exploitation of the game’s bugs1!
The boss wailed in despair as it turned into a pillar of light and fell defeated, dropping its battle loot all over the floor.
“Aww yiss!” Zhang Yang clapped his hands. He was extremely excited! To have the ability to solo a boss was every single player’s ambition, including Zhang Yang’s! But ever since he had defeated the Black Panther King at the beginner village, he had been so preoccupied with raiding dungeons, forming a party, managing a guild, and making potions like there was no tomorrow, that he had been completely drawn into the idea of making money!
Ever since he was reborn, he had always been carrying an emotional baggage. To prevent the misery from occurring again, he increased the load on his bag. The game was supposed to be a tool of entertainment, but Zhang Yang did not see it that way. To him, the game was a tool for him to make a fortune!
At this moment however, Zhang Yang finally had a taste of the game’s true purpose! He had experienced the fun from killing a boss! He finally felt the rush of battle! The feeling of victory! Money was important, but so was having fun in the game!
However, he could not ever forgive the man who had cause him despair in his past. Liu Wei and his guild Myth must pay the price! But a man must not live with only vengeance in his heart. If a heart remained wrecked with poison and twisted with nefarious intent, one cannot be his true self.
With a sudden epiphany, Zhang Yang had felt that the future was not as heavy a burden as he thought it would be. The weight on his shoulders was now lighter than before. He smiled. For the first time after a long while, he smiled, both physically and mentally.
“Time for the loots! Loots!” Zhang Yang laughed as he tried to imitate Wei Yan Er screaming every time they finished a boss fight.
[Blade of the Abyss] (Gray-Silver, Dagger)
Weapon Attack: 125-187
Attack Interval: 1.3 seconds.
<Level 1 Socket>
<Level 1 Socket>
Equip Effect: After a successful attack on a target, there will be a chance to inflict <Darkness Decay>. Target will have 5% increase in all Natural damage. Last for 10 seconds.
Level requirement: 30
Poison was a Natural damage. A dagger was meant for Thieves, especially the Phantom Assassin. This weapon was the best weapon by far in the game!
Zhang Yang sent a private message to Sun Xin Yu containing the description of the weapon. He then call her on the voice messenger.
“Do you need this?” He asked nonchalantly.
“Yes.” She replied coldly.
“Do you really need it!?” He said a little louder.
“Yes! I need it!” Her tone raised evenly.
“Are you sure…?” Zhang Yang played with her a little longer.
“YES! I NEED IT!” She finally screamed.
“…I don’t feel the spirit there. Let me start over again. Do you need this?”
“What the hell are you doing!?” Sun Xin Yu finally got angry. Is he playing with a dog?
“Haha! I was just playing with you! You need to speak up more! Don’t always wander off alone like that! Get along with us a little more!” Zhang Yang laughed. After he had managed to arrange his thoughts, he was now a little relaxed.
“There… There’s something different about you.” A woman was always sharp with these subtle changes, especially since it was The Ice Queen Sun Xin Yu.
“Is that a good thing? Or a bad thing?” Zhang Yang asked.
“Who cares about that? I’m going to grind my level now! Leave me alone!”
Sun Xin Yu hung up.
Zhang Yang continued to laugh at Sun Xin Yu’s reaction and continued to delve deeper into the loots.
[Strength Necklace] (Gray-Silver, Necklace)
Equip Effect: All your attacks will have a 5% chance to trigger a buff that grants +50 strength. Effect cannot be stacked. Last for 10 seconds.
Level requirement: 30
Not bad. It was almost time for him to change the necklace he had since Bangar Crypt. After swapping the new necklace, Zhang Yang’s HP rose a little higher, reaching 4,870 HP. It was almost breaking the 5,000 benchmark!
[Will of Defense] (Green-Copper, Shield)
Level requirement: 30
Even though this shield was just a Green-Copper tier, it could still be sold off for a good price because shields in the market were scarce! The best shield so far was [United Elemental Shield], the shield Zhang Yang obtained from the Hardcore Mode of Marzerway’s Lair.
There were not many teams around that could conquer Hardcore Marzerway’s Lair. Furthermore, even if they did manage to kill Marzerway, there was still the drop rate to worry about. Furthermore, the 20-man dungeon would only be available 3 days after the first raid. So far, the number of players in White Jade Castle who would have this shield was no more than 10!
The shield that was one rank below the [United Elemental Shield] was the [Earthen Round Shield], and its recipe could only be found at the Hardcore Mode Hidden boss of the Bangar Crypt. So far, players around Level 30 had turned back to farm the Level 10 dungeon. Since they could easily defeat the dungeon with their level advantage, the recipe had been found by many players and the shield was now obsolete among the top players. Almost every regular Joe or Jane who called themselves tanks out there had the same [Earthen Round Shield] hanging on their backs.
This [Will of Defense] was not as strong as [United Elemental Shield] but it was far stronger than the [Earthen Round Shield]! Zhang Yang continued laughing softly to himself as he kept the shield in his inventory. Zhang Yang reached out his hand to get more items.
There were no other Gray-Silver equipment but there were at least 4 more Green-Copper equipment for him. However, these were all helmets, gloves, boots, and armor type equipment. Since there was already a set-equipment around, these equipment could only be sold for a low price!
Was that all?
Zhang Yang reached out his hand again to make sure. This was the first death of the boss; the drop rate must be high! There had to be some more good stuff!
[Servant: Spectre Assassin] (Silver-tier)
Use: Summons a Spectre Assassin as your servant in battle. Last for 5 minutes. You can only summon one Servant at a time. Summoning any Servant will cause all Servants to be in cooldown.
Cooldown time: 30 minutes.
Level requirement: 30
Binds on obtain.
A Servant! Zhang Yang eyes glinted with joy!
So far, Hunters were the only class in the game that could summon beasts as minions in battle. In the future, during the Inheritance patch update, Spellcasters and Priests would be able to have the “Summoning” Inheritance. They could form a pact with a demon to obtain a demon pet. The only way for the other classes to have a summon would be Servants!
As far as Zhang Yang knew, there were 3 tiers of servants; Copper-tier, Silver-tier, and Gold-tier. Zhang Yang did not know whether or not if there were any other higher tiered summonable Servants available in the game, since the highest-level player in the game in his previous life was only Level 204. It was quite a stretch from reaching the maximum level of 300!
The biggest weakness of a Servant compared to a Hunter’s summoned pet was the duration. Unlike the Hunter’s pet, Servants could not last forever in the field. Furthermore, a Hunter’s pet would follow the owner’s level and gain strength as the owner levelled up. A Servant however, remained the same forever. The drop rates of servants were so rare and limited that only field bosses had a chance of dropping it.
A Copper-tier Servant was the weakest among all. The damage was low and it did not possess any skill. They existed to allow players to have a thrill of becoming a master of a summoned Servant. The benefit of this Copper-tier Servant was that once a player had gotten sick of it, he or she could sell it off to other players. A Silver-tier Servant was much more valuable. It would only be dropped by high level bosses. This Servant’s attack was much stronger and had a set of skills to use. The downside of a Silver-tier Servant was that it would be bound to the player once he or she obtained it. It was untradeable and unsellable.
The strongest among all Servants was the Gold-tier. They would only be dropped by super strong bosses! In his previous life, when he did the Inheritance quest mission to defeat the King-Kong, it was capable of dropping a Gold-tier Servant which was an extremely powerful miniaturized version of itself!
1Bug – Bug is an error in programming in the game which would cause the game to have some functions to go out of the norm. There are some cases where the bug could be taken advantage of, like the ones in the previous chapters. In this case, Zhang Yang was exploiting bugs that allowed him to be capable of performing extraordinary feats that no human could possibly perform.