Crafting the Antidote
The second quest was also an easy feat. However, the problem in this case was the spawn rate. Weak Zombies were simply too scarce. They spent too much time hunting for them one at a time. It was lucky that the game had a shared party kill system. As long as the party members did not stray too far away from each other, any Weak Zombie that Zhang Yang killed will also be counted as a kill for the rest of the team. The same went for anyone else. Still, they had to spend an hour to be able to kill a total of 20 Weak Zombies.
“This pisses me off!” Drizzler was a temperamental girl. She could not endure any form of slow progress that required patience. “Argh! I don’t care how sad or pitiful the girl is. If she gives out another quest that requires me to run around again, I’d smack her upside down!”
10 minutes later.
“Waa…haa…” Drizzler broke down. “Argh…why couldn’t I steel my resolve…waa waa…I just can’t help it! Look at her! She is so sad! Now I am sad!” Drizzler failed at her attempt to be stern.
“Haha! It can’t be helped! Let’s continue on!”
[A Test of Strength (3)] (Difficulty level: C)
Quest description: Emmy requires you to further prove your strength! Kill 50 Obese Ghouls to prove it. You can find this monster in the Desolated Ghostly Flatlands north of the village.
Progress: Killed Obese Ghoul 0/50
Luckily the third quest was also a kill quest. Even though the kill count increased, the time taken to complete this quest was much faster than the previous one! Unlike the low spawn rate of Weak Zombies or the low drop rate of the [Bone Finger], the Obese Ghouls’ spawn rate was so high that they managed to finish the quest in no time.
“I swear that this time! I will just dump this quest if Emmy issues another quest like this! Hmph! I will definitely walk the talk!” said Drizzler on their way back to the NPC.
Zhang Yang snickered. “Drizzler, you’re a pot calling the kettle black!”
“Huh? Black? I’m not racist!”
“No Drizzler. It’s means that you’re the epitome of irony.”
“Noob tank! I curse you to love guys instead of girls!”
“Woah there! Little brat! You really hate me don’t you!”
“They see me rollin’ they hatin’…” Fatty Han started to sing the song that was viral on the internet.
When they arrived at the village, they killed themselves again to talk with Emmy.
“Big brothers, elder sisters. Emmy has faith in your strength! You indeed have the strength to help us!” said the girl with her reddish eyes. “About 7 days ago, a Necromancer visited our village. With just a wave of his hand, he casted a greenish cloud of poison and engulfed the entire village, killing every single one of us!”
“Big brothers, elder sisters, this Necromancer is evil! Not only has he taken our bodies, he even dragged our souls! Emmy’s parents, grandparents, and all of the villagers; he has taken the souls of everyone! Please, Emmy begs you! Please save them! Please save their souls!”
Her sob was the only sound in the silent village.
“W-Would you *hick* help Emmy?”
With her puppy eyes, she begged the party.
“Woo…” Drizzler cried like a baby. Her cries were at first soft and appropriate, even, but eventually turned downright outrageous. “Waaah…that’s so sad! She’s so sad! Waaaah!”
Zhang Yang sighed.
“Emmy has to warn you! The Necromancer is very strong! You will have to make necessary preparations. You will need to gather ingredients to make an antidote for the Necromancer’s poison! Without it, you won’t stand a chance against him!”
‘Ding! Emmy has a quest for you: To Craft an Antidote. Will you accept it?’
[To Craft an Antidote] (Difficultly level: A)
Quest description: To resist the Necromancer’s poison, you would have to craft an antidote to dispel the poison mist he releases! Moon Orchids can be found in the Mossy Forest. Zombie Mushrooms can be found in the Desolated Ghostly Flatlands. The Frog King can be found in the Misty Swamp.
Progress: Collected Moon Orchid 0/10 Zombie Mushroom 0/10 Frog King’s Blood 0/1
After putting in some thought, Zhang Yang decided to split the team to search for the ingredients.
“Little Snow and the brat, you guys go collect the Moon Orchid at the Mossy Forest. Fatty, Hundred Shot, and myself will go to the Desolated Ghostly Flatlands for the Zombie Mushrooms. Please rendezvous at this spot once everyone had gathered the ingredient. We will take on the Frog King together!”
Everyone began heading out in their assigned direction but Fatty Han had some reservations. He insisted that he should be in the same party as Little Snow and Drizzler. After a little struggle, he was forcefully kicked back to Zhang Yang’s side by the girls. Reluctantly, Fatty Han rejoined and headed to the Desolated Ghostly Flatland.
The Desolated Ghostly Flatland was a training ground for players above Level 20. As many of the monsters here were higher than Level 25, their aggro range was much wider. Zhang Yang and the other 2 Hunters quickly found themselves caught up in huge mobs after just a few steps.
Zombie Mushrooms could be found growing in the earth, hidden and buried on the side of a copse. The mushrooms were dark in color and if you did not pay attention, you could easily walk pass them! The 3 of them made very slow progress as they were preoccupied in battles most of the time. On the other side of the village, Drizzler had an equally hard time finding the Moon Orchid. She had been complaining continuously in the party channel.
After wasting a whole 2 hours of killing and plucking, they successfully gathered 50 of each ingredient. Once they completed their gathering, they met back at the village. After a quick stat rep, they headed to the Misty Swamp, to fight the highly anticipated Frog King!
The Misty Swamp was located at the other side of the Mossy Forest, which was considered to be a Level 20 to 30 training ground. Since most casual players were still at around Level 15, this training ground was completely empty. With the absence of any being, this place was made to be more cool and creepy. Bubbles formed constantly within the mud of the swamp, releasing an extremely foul smell when the black-gooey globes burst.
“Urgh…it smells…” Drizzler voice was muffled as both Little Snow and she covered their mouths and pinched their noses. Her cheeks were puffed up and she looked like she was going to be sick at any moment.
“Go to the main setting window and open the Realism tab. There, you can adjust the Smell Setting to your liking. You could even turn it off if you want to. That way, you can remove the stinking smell!” Zhang Yang turned around after giving the advice. He had bigger things to worry about. Right now, Zhang Yang was stressed out. The entire swamp is so big, where is the Frog King exactly? Even if he was a man from the future that came back with valuable information, he was still a human; and an imperfect one at that!
“Looks like I have no choice. I’ll sweep the area a la old fashion!” Zhang Yang sighed heavily and walked deeper into the swamp. Usually, the boss would spawn at an area’s highest peak, or the center of the area, or even at the deepest floor. The mini-map would have an indicator that represented the quest monster. However, it would only appear in the map when you’re at a close proximity.
There was a pathway in the swamp, but the pathway was small and narrow. You could slip and fall into the mud and receive a certain amount of damage. The monsters in this area were mostly hidden in the mud. It would only jump put and attack when a player entered its aggro range.
Some of the monsters available here were Steel-Skinned Frogs, Greyback Crocodile, and also the Dark Piranha. Every single monster here was in no shortage in terms of revolting, repulsive and disgusting appearances. Little Snow and Drizzler were constantly complaining about the designing ability of the developers.
As they fought their way further into the swamp, they arrived at a huge muddy plain. In the center of the thick fog, they could see a large object crouched over, it’s back silhouetted like a tiny hill.
Everyone was alerted of its presence and they checked their mini map to make sure. They found it! A yellow blinking dot appeared!
They slowly approached the object and as they were close enough, they could clearly identify it.
There, sitting in the center of the muddy plain, with its glowing pair of dark gleaming eyes, was a 10 meter tall blood red giant frog. Its presence gave off a mystical magical evil aura! The gigantic frog opened its mouth and croaked as loud as thunder!
[Venomous Frog King] (Green-Copper)
“Hah! It is a boss!” Fatty Han was delighted. “We can get equipment!”
Zhang Yang did not share the same excitement as Fatty Han. He was on full alert.
Even though this boss did not seem to be any harder than a dungeon boss, he did not possess enough information about this boss to safely fight it! A wild boss was not the same as a dungeon boss. If a dungeon boss was raided as often as possible, players would have extensive information about its skill or ability and they would be able to form a perfect strategy to fight it. However, this was not the case for wild bosses. The rate of encountering a wild boss was so low that the information about it was extremely scarce!
Zhang Yang had never encountered this boss before in his previous life, which was why he did not know a single thing about this boss’s skill.
“We’ll have to go in blind for now. Let’s give it a shot!”
Zhang Yang pulled out his sword.
“Let’s go! Prepare for battle!”
With only two steps forward, Zhang Yang had entered the boss’ aggro range, triggering the boss to croak loudly and turned its enormous body towards Zhang Yang. The boss jumped and tackled Zhang Yang, while at the same moment, Zhang Yang activated <Charge>. Both of their attacks met in the air and both of them fell down. Completely unaffected by Zhang Yang’s stun effect, it opened its wide mouth and attacked Zhang Yang.
Zhang Yang quickly turned to face the Frog King and landed an attack on it.
When the Frog King received Zhang Yang’s attack, it croaked loudly and opened its mouth wide. A foul-smelled liquid came flying out and hit Zhang Yang.
‘Ding! You have received the effect of Foul Poison (1 stack). Receiving 200 Nature Damage every 3 seconds for 15 seconds!”
“Shit! It’s strong!” Zhang Yang had never expected the poison to be so powerful. It inflicted a strong DoT damage with just one stack! Zhang Yang could not imagine what would have happened to him if he received more stacks of the effect!
The rest of the party quickly started their attack while Little Snow instantly casted a <Regeneration> and chanted a healing spell.
Just within a few hits, the Frog King spat another wad of poison, stacking another layer of DoT on Zhang Yang. In just half a minute, Zhang Yang had 5 layers of DoT effect, taking away 800 damage in just one tick.
Luckily the DoT effect was capped at 5 stacks. If it was unlimited stack, Zhang Yang could literally die in just a few seconds.
“Hmph! Such an easy boss! Just a little while more before my finishing strike!” Fatty Han laughed menacingly.
‘Ding! Venomous Frog King has used <Poison Spray>!”
A dark reddish liquid spewed everywhere, hitting every one. Upon contact, their body glowed in a deep red color. Beneath their feet, there was a circle sized red mist measuring approximately 1 meter in diameter. A debuff icon appeared on everyone’s head.
[Contagious Poison]: You have been poisoned. Receiving 100 Nature Damage every 3 seconds for 15 seconds! This poison will spread and infect others. Damage is increased by 300% for every infection.
Zhang Yang understood the gravity of the situation and quickly called out. “Spread out! Don’t group together! Little brat! Go and fight behind the boss! Keep at least 2 meters away from me!”
His call was a little too late. Since Little Snow, Hundred Shots, and Fatty Han are ranged characters, they were all standing close to each other. When the <Poison Spray> landed on them, their poison infected each other, totaling up to 3 times infection and 900% increased damage.
They had received 1000 damage every 3 seconds!
Zhang Yang and Drizzler had infected each other, receiving 2 times infections.
Little Snow then frantically casted <Holy Prayers>, followed by <Regeneration>, <Holy Shield>, and regular healing spell. However, as everyone was losing HP at a tremendous speed, she could not keep up with the healing and died.
‘Ding! Player Slim and Handsome had died!’
‘Ding! Player Hundred Shots had died!’
‘Ding! Player Little Snow had died!’
Once the healer was down, Zhang Yang and Drizzler could not escape their imminent doom. They struggled to hang on for a few more seconds but eventually died after that.
With no players left to attack it, the Frog King resetted, hopping back to its original spot and croaked. Whether it was a victorious warcry or an automated NPC behavioral pattern, no one would ever know.