Black Panther King
While completing the quest of collecting 200 Iron Ores, the hidden quest could be triggered if there were more than 10 Refined Iron Ores in the inventory!
Refined Iron Ores were rarely found in Iron Veins, and the chances of harvesting it was very low. The probability was so low that when luck was bad, a single piece of Refined Iron Ore could not even be obtained after mining 1000 pieces of Iron Ores.
Naturally, that was not the case with Refined Iron Veins but they were rare and there would always be tough monsters protecting them.
With such low probability, this Warrior class’ hidden quest was never triggered by any player until the third year since the game’s launch. There was a mining fanatic who did nothing but mining whenever he logged on to the game. He had even stayed at the Beginner Village for half a year!
Coincidentally, this man had chosen Warrior as his class!
And so, this player who had 100 Refined Iron Ores in his inventory had successfully triggered the hidden quest. He then stumbled on his way, finally completing the quest to score an ‘Average’ and obtained 1 Skill Point as well as a <Horizontal Sweep> Skill Book.
Just the reward of a single Skill Point was enough to make people jealous, but when he had posted the skill description of <Horizontal Sweep> on the forum, all the Warrior players were close to tears.
[Horizontal Sweep]: Attacks all nearby enemies, 100% melee damage to every target. Cost: 20 Rage. Cooldown time: 10 seconds. Requirement: Melee Weapon.
Such a powerful skill with AoE damage had fallen into the hands of a player who only mined every day – what a tragedy it was!
Soon, however, players realized that even with an ‘Average’ score, one had been rewarded so handsomely. What if ‘Excellent’ or even ‘Perfect’ scores were achieved? How attractive would the reward be? Unfortunately, hidden quests have one drawback, that there would never be a second quest of the same kind once it was completed.
There were 4 types of quest score – Bad, Average, Excellent and Perfect. Only quests with S-difficulty, however, had this quest scoring system.
Zhang Yang first went to the Alchemist Shop and sold all the junk items in his inventory. The amount of money he possessed consequently increased to 23 Silver Coins. Scrolling through the item tab of the Alchemist Shop, he found a Beginner Healing Potion commonly known as Red Pot and the Experimental Poison that was Beginner Village exclusive and could only be bought once per player.
[Beginner Healing Potion] (White, Consumable)
Use: Instantly restore 100 HP.
[Experimental Poison] (White, Consumable)
Use: Apply it on a weapon, lasts 60 minutes. Attacks have 30% chance to poison a target, causing 3 HP damage each second for 15 seconds. Can be stacked up to 5 times.
A Red Bottle cost 1 Silver Coin each while the Experimental Poison was more expensive, each costing 10 Silver Coins. Zhang Yang splurged and bought 10 Beginner Healing Potions and 1 Experimental Poison in one go. He then left the Beginner Village and moved towards the mountain region north of the village.
He remembered that there was a Refined Iron Vein spawn point somewhere in a corner of the mountains which refreshed every hour. Each harvesting could result up to 2 or 3 Refined Iron Ores. That was the only Refined Iron Vein spawn point in the entire Beginner Village and it so happened to also be the lair of the Black Panther King!
This was indeed the so called high risk high reward!
The journey was long. Zhang Yang spent more than half an hour to reach a valley surrounded by oddly-shaped rocks.
In the deepest pit of the valley, a mine vein glimmering with a bright silver glow had grabbed Zhang Yang’s attention. That was exactly the only Refined Iron Vein spawn point that would be refreshed in the entire Beginner Village. Lying next to it, though, was a 2-men-tall and 6-men-long giant black panther!
This was the strongest boss in the Beginner Village – the Black Panther King!
[Black Panther King] (Black-Steel Boss)
That frightening HP!
Zhang Yang took out the Experimental Poison and smeared it on the Beginner Sword. The rusty iron immediately shone with an emerald glow.
Poisons were supposed to be a unique attribute only available to players with the Thief class but the game producers had wanted to let other players experience the charm of Poison and so had placed a limited amount of Experimental Poison in Beginner Village. As each player could only purchase one bottle, it would not affect the balance of the game.
This had become the key factor for Zhang Yang to slay the boss!
Zhang Yang adjusted himself before charging directly towards the Black Panther King.
Stunned (from <Charge>)!
Zhang Yang swung his sword and slashed the Black Panther King.
Due to the great level gap and extremely high defense of the boss-level monster, even when Zhang Yang had 36-38 points of basic damage, he had only inflicted a pathetic 6-point damage on the boss. Moreover, with the low damage output, only 3 Rage Points were obtained. Even with the addition of 10 Rage Points from the <Charge> attack, he was still far from casting a <Force Strike>!
Besides, <Force Strike> could not inflict much damage. The only way to kill this high level and high defense boss was to rely on the power of Poison.
After 2 seconds, the Black Panther King recovered from the momentary stun and waved its claws towards Zhang Yang, enraged.
Zhang Yang calmly dodged and evaded the monster’s attack. At the same time, he made another swing of his sword and landed it on the Black Panther King’s body.
“Ding! Your attack has caused Black Panther King to be affected by Experimental Poison (1 stack), losing 3 HP every second!”
Poisons were categorized as magic damage and the damage could only be reduced by magic resistance!
Zhang Yang showed a hint of joy. Although the effect of the poison was not too strong, as long as he could inflict another stack within 15 seconds from the first stack, he could slowly accumulate a total of 5 stacks and gain the full effect of the Poison!
The Black Panther King got more furious as its strike missed while in turn, was damaged numerous times by its enemy. It clawed fiercely towards Zhang Yang again.
Zhang Yang performed like a professional player, evading attacks by constantly moving and changing his position. He did not waste any chances to attack, slashing continuously as more damage was inflicted on the boss.
“Ding! Your attack has caused Black Panther King to be affected by Experimental Poison (2 stack), losing 6 HP every second!”
“Ding! Your attack…”
In no time at all, the Experimental Poison’s effect had stacked up to 5 times, causing the Black Panther King to lose 15 HP with each passing second. Although this was ridiculously slow compared to its long HP bar, the boss would eventually die from the poison after 50 minutes if Zhang Yang maintained his game.
Zhang Yang dared not be careless! His feeble HP could not afford even a light hit from the boss. It would have been a confirmed kill if he got hit even once.
1 minute, 2 minutes, 3 minutes… 45 minutes!
The HP of the Black Panther King decreased to around 10% and suddenly the creature flashed a blood-red glow. Its originally huge size now grew even larger gaining faster Attack Speed and higher frequency of attacks!
This was what players commonly identified as Berserk – a state where only strong monsters would enter whenever they were near death.
Zhang Yang’s nerves were high-strung, fully unleashing his athleticism to dodge the Black Panther King’s attacks again and again. At this moment, a character’s Movement Speed would obviously be unable to keep up with his reflexes. Only by distributing more Attributes Points on Dexterity would it be possible for him to utilize his advantage to his best ability.
From this point-of-view, Zhang Yang would be more suited to play as a Thief!
Of course, towards the latter part of the game, along with the improvement of equipment quality, the character attributes would become less important and could eventually be ignored. A good equipment would be the better way to properly enhance one’s capability.
The damage numbers kept appearing above the Black Panther King’s head, Zhang Yang finally managed to drained its HP. As the last “-15” damage from the Experimental Poison flashed, a moan was heard from the Black Panther King as it fell on the ground, died and turned into a white light.
Finally, it was over. Zhang Yang let out a sigh of relief. He felt exhausted after nearly an hour of fighting in this intense battle.
“Ding! You have killed the Black Panther King. Gained 90,000 Experience Points (Double Reward for Exceed Level Kill)!”
“Ding! Congratulations! You are the first player to kill a Black-Steel boss. Your glorious achievement will be recorded in history! Do you wish to announce your name so that the world can praise your might?”
Zhang Yang was surprised. Due to the fact that he had joined the game later than anyone else previously, he had missed all the first kill chances thus never encountering an event like this.
His immediate reaction was naturally picking “Yes”. Spreading his name across the server and be admired by all, was this not the sole intention of every online gamer?
Moreover, it would ease his process in creating his guild, attracting more players to join him.
Then another thought came to his mind. He had nothing right now. Besides Fatty Han whom he was still not able to contact, he was completely alone! What if within this period a strong guild had their eyes on him? He was powerless to reject had they sent an invitation. Once he had refused their recruitment, endless harassment and ganking1 would await him!
This needed no doubt! Zhang Yang remembered that there was a tanker called Endless Starlight previously, whose skills were fairly average. Although he was in a small guild, his dungeon achievements were qualified enough to challenge other large guilds! At first, some of those guilds sent their invitations to Endless Starlight in requests of a guild transfer. Endless Starlight had liked his guild so much that he had rejected all the invitations.
As a result, 3 big guilds had joined in alliance to attack Endless Starlight and his guild. Within 10 days, hi guild members could not continue any longer and had chosen to quit the guild, thus leading to the disbandment of the small guild. Endless Starlight was extremely depressed and had opted to delete his account and protested in the official forum.
The officials had replied that they do not encourage private fights in ‘God’s Miracle’, thus setting level drops and red titles as penalties. Those with the desire to PK, please go to the arena; those who had the wish to kill their enemies, please go to the battlefield; these would definitely not result in the dropping of levels nor equipment. You would have to pay the price for the grudges you had created.
Regardless of reasons, the officials would not partake in the personal grudges amongst players.
Zhang Yang was not only ‘playing’ the game, he had wanted to use the game to make money, to accumulate enough fortune to fight the Liu Clan and compare to the Lin Clan. He knew the trend of the game, knew when and what material would be valuable, though this item manipulation would require him to be among the leading player’s level.
For example, the hottest sale item among Level 20 players – the Beginner Anti-Dark Medicine. Its formula could only be obtained from a Gray-Silver rarity chest.
In order to get the formula, one must possess the capability of getting the Gray-Silver rarity chest! In addition, the formula must be obtained as early as possible. Otherwise, when the timing had passed and everyone had the formula to make the medicine, they would no longer be in demand.
For now, Zhang Yang needed an unhindered environment until he could set up a guild and possess the power to say “no”.
Eventually, Zhang Yang chose “Reject”!
Immediately, red text that specifically belong to the server announcement began popping up in the world channel.
“Server Announcement: Player (Name Hidden) has successfully killed the Black Panther King, Level 15 Black-Steel Boss (China Server). This achievement will be recorded in the Hall of Fame! Please celebrate and cheer for him!”
“Server Announcement: Player (Name Hidden) has successfully killed the Black Panther King, Level 15 Black-Steel Boss (China Server), obtaining 10 Gold Coins from the System Rewards!”
“Server Announcement: Player (Name Hidden) has successfully killed the Black Panther King, Level 15 Black-Steel Boss (China Server). 500 Reputation Points across all races in the league are awarded!”
A series of red messages filled the screen, the effect was absolutely amazing!
“Ding! You’ve received an extra reward: Luck +1!”
A Luck Attribute reward! Zhang Yang felt quite surprised. Luck was an attribute that could not be upgraded through any equipment, yet remained very important. This attribute could affect a monster’s drop rate as well as the success rate of upgrading equipment and rune weapons, and of course, the proc2 rate of Lucky Strike.
Looking at the 5 server announcements showing repetitively on the screen, even Zhang Yang had felt a little smug. He then averted his gaze from the announcement and looked towards the drops from the Black Panther King.
On the other side, the sudden server announcements had caused an uproar among players in the China region.
“What the f*ck? I’ve been killing monsters for so long only to reach Level 5 and someone had actually killed a Level 15 boss?”
“Is this for real, a solo fight?”
“F*cking server, I got distracted reading the server announcement and got myself killed by a monster!”
“F*ck, it must be a hack. How could anyone perform a solo attack on a Black-Steel grade boss!”
“F*cking GM, come out and face God!”
“Give it up, there is no GM in “God’s Miracle”, the only thing monitoring the server is a super computer. Fair and justified!”
“Fair my ass!”
“Justified my ass!”
“No more asses, speed leveling is more important!”
“How do we level when there are more players than monsters. As a Spellcaster, I haven’t even casted any spells. I’ve been hitting them with my wand the whole time!”
“The one above, let’s shake hands. I’m a Cleric and I don’t even dare cast spells. With a two-second delay, there would be no chance to even kill a monster!”
Soon after, someone posted on the forum saying he had deliberately searched for the Black Panther King and discovered that its HP was a shocking 45000. Only one hit to this person who was a Level 5 player had already inflicted around 230 points of damage. How could anyone initiate a solo fight? He then directed his complaint to the game company questioning them of the existence of hacks or bugs.
Almost immediately, the company replied to the post, “No hack could be used in ‘God’s Miracle’, while the case of bugs could never be completely fixed. Based on the playback data of the game, however, the first player to have killed the Black Panther King did not take advantage of any bug.”
No sooner, the forum had livened up. People were wondering and discussing how the player had killed the Black Panther King!
1 Ganking is a word commonly used in online games and was derived from the phrase ‘ganging up on’. It can be used as a verb or a noun depending on context and sentence. E.g. Let’s gank that idiot. (Verb) // That was a good gank. (Noun)
2 Proc is actually an acronym for a computer programming term, which had became popular through gaming culture. It stands for Programmed Random OCcurrence (the capitalized letters highlighting where proc came from) and is usually used as a replacement for ‘activation’. E.g. “What is the proc rate (activation rate) for your Double Attack?” // “My Legendary Wand of the Almighty Garden has a whopping 99% proc rate to conjure garden shrubs around myself! How amazing is that?”