A Surprise Attack
The [Exterminate the Ogres] quest was a simple quest in every respect: it could be started at any time convenient, and all players involved could be directly transported to the quest location. All of Heart’s Dream agreed to complete a quest and fight together, as only then would they have a real sense of belonging.
The 5 girls decided that the leader would not be Yun Meng Xin, but rather the only man present, Ling Tian.
“Is this really a good idea?” Ling Chen gently fidgeted as he spoke. “Yun Meng Xin is the founder and figurehead of our group, so it’s only natural that she should be the leader here.”
“You’re the only man here, so you should take responsibility and take care of all of us. Also, you’re Ling Tian – the most powerful player! If you take up as leader, then we’ll all feel more secure!” Xiao Qi retorted.
“Agreed.” Su’er nodded.
“The most suitable person for captain is you, not me,” Yun Meng Xin said with a smile. “Although I created Heart’s Dream, the person at the centre of all this should most definitely be you.” No matter where he went, Ling Chen’s strength, fame, actions – even his gender – made him an easily trustworthy and dependable character, a figurehead in any situation.
“Well if everyone’s agreed to this idea, then I too, will give my full support,” Ling Shui Ruo said as she raised her hand, smiling.
“Alright then.” Ling Chen had a look of helplessness on his face, but quickly sprang into action. He created a party between the 6 of them, opened the Quest Page, and selected the [Exterminate the Ogres] quest. “Okay then, let the first party quest for Heart’s Dream… Begin! Get ready, we’re heading in!”
“[DING] You have arrived in the quest area, Dark Craggy Hill.”
“[DING] Please note, the allocated time for this quest is 60 minutes. You will be allowed to leave upon completion of the quest, [Exterminate the Ogres]. However, if you fail to complete the quest within the allocated time, you will be removed and sent back to Azure Dragon City.”
“[DING] Please exercise caution in any encounter with an Ogre – their overall strength is significantly higher than any other creature of the same level. Please be especially careful should you encounter a Giant Ogre. Withdrawal is recommended in the event of a Giant Ogre encounter.”
Upon hearing the announcements, the nature of Ling Chen’s environment became clear.
The sky was grey, and the landscape before him was dark. It felt as if the sun had just set, but the night had not yet fallen. At first glance, there were a few weeds growing around, but the distribution of flora was quite sparse – the ground was mostly composed of various sized rocks with an eerily dark colour.
“Is this really the quest area? It feels more like a haunted ground meant for scaring people.” The wind brought a slight chill down Xiao Qi’s spine.
“Different parties are separated to different parts of the quest area, so you don’t have to worry about meeting other parties,” Yun Meng Xin said. “There are a particularly large number of loose rocks around. The larger ones can block a large line of sight, so everyone be careful – there could be an Ogre hiding behind any of them.”
“What Meng Xin said is right, the large rocks around us are will obstruct the view and divert attention. Everyone stay on high alert, the Ogres are going to cause some trouble,” Ling Chen said. Standing ahead of the party, he looked around at his surroundings. Not a single Ogre in sight. He grabbed Ling Shui Ruo’s hand and started to move ahead. Although it was an entirely subconscious action, to him, nothing was more important than Shui Ruo’s safety. And as she also closely depended on him, she was the least afraid of the 6 of them.
After they walked ahead for about 10m, all they saw was still a wide range of irregular rocks, and all they heard was the sounds of their own footsteps and the sound of the wind.
“Why isn’t there even a single Ogre? Did they all run away to their dens or something?” Xiao Qi had her staff ready, and looked around nervously but excitedly.
Ling Chen, who walked the furthest ahead, stopped. Shui Ruo stopped behind him. She raised her head and looked at him.
“It’s too quiet…” Ling Chen thought. It was eerily quiet. With his heightened perception, he should have been able to at least feel a monster’s presence nearby. But then, a thought came to him: if the Ogres were demons, which have a dark attribute, then they might have been able to hide under the atmosphere, which was filled with a similarly thick and dark spirit. If that were to be true, then they would be nearly impossible to detect, even if they were standing right behind him.
“Everyone be careful,” Ling Chen reminded once again.
He heard two screams behind him.In the moment he heard the screams reach his ears, Ling Chen’s body reacted like an arrow. He didn’t see anything, but immediately rushed towards the source of the sound. Two large shadows suddenly arose from 2 boulders, pouncing on Xiao Qi and Su’Er who were completely helpless. The two shadowy figures were about 2m tall, their whole bodies completely black. They had a humanoid face, but it possessed an inhuman expression. Both Xiao Qi and Su’Er were petrified at the sight of such a creature appearing from the rear. It was too late to escape now, let alone attack.
Is that… the Ogres!?
The two dark Ogres dropped down towards the heads of the two girls. Knowing that they were doomed they instinctively closed their eyes. However, instead of being crushed, they heard two sounds, and two screams. Pa! pa!!
With the Soaring Cloud in his left hand, and the Zephyr Blade in his right, Ling Chen’s hands were fully extended, casting “Ling Tian Slash” with equal strength onto the two Ogres, which were less than a penny’s distance away from the girls.
Ling Tian Slash delivered a powerful hit, knocking the two Ogres’ large bodies onto the ground and leaving them screaming as their HP emptied.
Ling Chen let out a breath. After seeing those two girls shocked, he gave a smile, “Are you two alright?”
“Ah… well… yeah, we’re fine.” Xiao Qi brought her hands to her chest. The scare from before had significantly increased her heart rate. Had she been attacked by a smaller monster, she wouldn’t have panicked as much, but the Ogres looked so terrifying that every fibre of her being quivered in fear. Her fear quickly left as Xiao Qi went to comfort her. “Thanks big brother Ling Tian.”
“I’m fine as well,” Su’Er nodded. As she said that, she took a sneaky glimpse of Ling Chen. Her eyes were in a trance for a moment, but then she quickly looked back down and gripped her silver bow.
When the girls screamed, Yun Meng Xin also quickly turned around and witnessed the entire event. Her eyes flashed in amazement. Not to Ling Chen’s amazing attack power, but to his terrifying reaction speed. She was closer to Xiao Qi and Su’Er than he was, yet when she turned around to their screams he was already at their side, using his hands to perform a dual wield attack as fast as lightning. In addition, Ling Chen’s attack was executed with calculation and extreme precision, hitting the Ogres in the ribs where the force would generate the largest knockback. Witnessing the spectacle, Yun Meng Xin was convinced that no normal player could have ever reacted to attack with that speed and precision. Even Mu Bing Yao, who was by his side sprinting with her short blades, was a step slower… No, several steps slower.
As China’s second most renowned assassin, Mu Bing Yao’s agility was best categorised into a tier of its own – but was still overtaken by the speed of Ling Chen. It wasn’t a surprise then that his physical capacity seemed to be unrivalled. A kind of reaction time and speed that seemed to be the products of pushing beyond the limits of human cognition. How did such a person come to exist?
Upon seeing him in action, Mu Bing Yao sheathed her dagger, her eyes flashing in disbelief of what just happened… Even if he didn’t kill anything for many, many years, he would remain the same – a monster scarier than monsters!
“Be careful! There are probably more Ogres in the area, and they’ll probably come out in groups based on how these 2 appeared here,” Ling Chen said in a quiet, low voice. Another 2 shadowy figures rolled out from the rocks at the front, rushing towards Shui Ruo’s direction.
“You looking to die?!” Ling Chen’s face clouded. Suddenly swinging his left hand, a silver light shot out – Soaring Cloud!
-2414, – 2419
Soaring Cloud knocked both Ogres to the ground simultaneously before they could even come within three steps of Shui Ruo. Then, a roar sounded out from all directions, from behind the boulders all around. More dark figures were appearing – forty, maybe fifty of them – and ran towards the group screaming wildly.
“So… so many!!”
Each Ogre had strength that well exceeded other level 15 monsters; and when confronted by forty to fifty of them at once, it could very well scare off half a party. Then again, the task was not meant to be easy. Facing a scenario as such, a party’s best move would be to escape, and in the process of escaping, take the Ogres down one by one, which was another challenge in itself.
“Big brother, what do we do… there’s so many!” Ling Shui Ruo slipped over to Ling Chen’s side, and anxiously tugged on his clothes as he spoke.
“Hah! We’ll just kill however many come our way! Before they even dared to scare the princess me! Now is the time to have our revenge!” Xiao Qi clenched her fists, her mouth pouting. But her eyes were focused towards Ling Chen. She truly believed that with Ling Tian around, she wouldn’t have to be afraid at all.
If the attack was comprised of just one or two Ogres, all Ling Chen would have done was organise the girls to perform the most efficient attack combos. But with such a large scale attack, none of it mattered anymore. Ling Chen raised his hand, and summoned Xiao Hui and Xi Ling, “Xi Ling, go and burn them all to the ground!”