A Group of Enemies
It was full of hustle and bustle, filled with mountains of adventurer-folk. The bulk of this crowd circled the BOSS spawning area.
In the centre of this circle, a huge amethyst Mutated Slime King was slaughtering players left and right. The surrounding players tried their best to escape – but there was no escaping the Mutated Slime King. Every move it made killed a group of players.
Though there were many opponents, players who could cause harm to the Mutated Slime King were few. Even when players in their last moments tried desperately to damage it, the result of their efforts was pathetically small.
Other than the spot of trouble from the group of well-equipped pro players from last time, the Mutated Slime King was practically invincible.
“Big bro, this BOSS is tough.”
Amongst the crowd, Wang Xu turned to the young man beside him with a grave expression.
If Chen Mo were there, he would have recognized the young man. Though he had only met him once or twice, the young man had left quite an impression on him.
He was Wang Xu’s real life older brother, Wang Wen. 26/27-year old Wang Wen was the opposite of his brother, Wang Xu, and had a serious, reserved air.
“Hm. That’s not unusual. It’s a mutated BOSS after all so one team is not enough to kill it. Any ideas, Brother Lil’ Building?” Wang Wen did not express his opinion but directed a question to the young, cultured mage next to him. His game ID was Lil’ Building of Storms.
Lil’ Building of Storms smiled faintly. “We kill it, of course. We lost too much in this transaction already. Since we have a Mutated BOSS, we have to kill it. Relax, I’ve contacted all the members of Glacier Game Club who haven’t left the beginner village. Now, add those hired pro players and killing the BOSS will be no problem at all. We suffered a defeat the last time but we are prepared now. Just so long as we do not let the BOSS clone itself, it’ll be a piece of cake to kill it.”
The clone of the Mutated Slime King was not as powerful as the original but it was still more than players could handle comfortably.
The party had a fighter and a priest – with the fighter to tank and the priest to heal, they would have been able to withstand the BOSS’s attacks. However, a clone meant that they would suffer crushing defeat.
“Stop the BOSS from cloning itself? How?” Wang Xu wrinkled his brow and asked quizzically.
“Aren’t Cold Flow and his friends over there? Their equipment has the Silencing skill.” Lil’ Building of Storms looked at the other party and saw that they too had their gazes on them.
Cold Flow walked over, all smiles. “Brother Lil’ Building, I’ve long wanted to meet you! I heard that you’ve joined Glacier Game Club. Congrats, congrats!”
Lil’ Building of Storms was a semi-famous competitive pro gamer in the Chinese servers, outstanding in his gameplay. He did not have any real contact with game studios like Cold Flow’s but when Cold Flow was not busy, he would provide Elo boosting* services – expensive services for the higher ranks. While doing his job, he ran into Lil’ House of Storm a few times and was always bullied by him. Their encounters resulted in him not getting the job done. Furthermore, this guy was named “Building (lou)” while he was “Flow (liu)” – just one letter was different. How could he not remember him?
* MMR Boosting (Match Making Rating, also known as Elo Boosting) is an act where a player (The Booster) logs into another player’s account (The Boostee) to play a ranked game.
Lil’ Building of Storms smiled wryly to himself at Cold Flow’s words. Glacier Game Club had yet to make its debut and it had already failed in its first big battle. Whether it could continue operations was a problem and even if it did it would not have much support ever again. Cold Flow was congratulating him but anyone could see that he was rejoicing at Glacier Game Club’s misfortune.
But with a BOSS to kill, Lil’ Building of Storms did not find it worth his time to bicker with this treacherous, narrow-minded fellow. He nodded and went straight to the point. “Boss Cold Flow, I know you have a piece of equipment that can silence BOSS skills. Since neither your team nor mine can defeat it, how about we work together this once?”
Cold Flow was a professional too; at the mention of business, he put his pettiness aside. He had approached them with the same goal in mind. After a bit of muttering under his breath, Cold Flow asked, “Sure, we can work together. How do we split the BOSS loot?”
“Our two parties aren’t enough to kill the BOSS. I’ve called Glacier Game Club members and some other pro players to assist so there will be quite a few people sharing the loot. I can promise you, though, that you will get to choose one of the top three items of the highest value from the BOSS loot.”
“Okay. Then, who gets to choose first?” Cold Flow agreed without much thought.
Though it was a mutated BOSS, it dropped just 10-plus items. Being able to choose from mid to top range of items dropped was already a good deal.
However, the most valuable three also had great price differences so the order in which one gets to choose became a problem.
“Everyone will choose from the top three. If there are no objections, then you can just take it. If anyone opposes your choice, we draw lots and the winner can have it.”
Lil’ Building of Storms had already sorted out the loot split. Cold Flow found his plan fair and nodded in compliance.
Both teams started their preparations.
In the distance, the Mutated Slime King was still slaughtering players. Many knew that they did not stand a chance but they could not help wanting to test the waters.
Since there were so many people – pros from the Flaming Three-Headed Wolf campaign included – the BOSS was bound to die. If they could get a piece of equipment when it died then they would’ve struck it rich.
“Those pros are making their move!”
The moment the leeches had been waiting for had finally arrived.
There were eight parties in total and they numbered less than 50 but once they rallied and started their attack, the Mutated Slime King’s HP decreased quickly.
“Fighters, focus on defence! Priests, heal!” Lil’ Building of Storms hollered.
The first wave of attacks hit the BOSS hard but they were unable to hold back the BOSS’s counterattack, which was an instant team wipe-out.
They were mostly pros so they did not need Lil’ Building of Storms to remind them to put their all into withstanding the BOSS’s attack.
Not taking the other attacks into account, the move where the Mutated Slime King released purple balls in an area of effect attack was not something a few fighters could block. It was most probable that some party members would be killed.
Lil’ Building of Storms had a plan to counter this move, of course.
They would move towards the surrounding players while attacking and wait for the BOSS to release the purple balls, then hide in the crowd to avoid the balls.
With their skill, they could easily make use of the surrounding players to avoid the purple balls. Once the balls were gone, they would rally again and continue their assault.
“Shit! That bastard!”
After two rounds, the surrounding players realized Lil’ Building of Storms’ intent. He, however, did not care.
So what? 70% of you guys wanted to kill-steal! If not for the system not allowing players to attack each other in the beginning villages, Lil’ Building of Storms was sure that these people would kill them once the BOSS was almost dead. He was not going to be soft-hearted about making these players into the BOSS’ target practice.
“Phew, I made it.”
At that moment, Chen Mo finally arrived.
Looking at the BOSS’s HP, which had dropped to about half, Chen Mo knew he had time.
“Wang Xu? Wang Wen?” Chen Mo recognized the brothers right away when he observed the group fighting the BOSS.
The brothers had made some changes to their appearance but in a crowd of strangers, the two familiar figures were easy to pick out.
“This Wang Wen is just as calm as in real life! Nice.” Chen Mo had met Wang Wen twice and did not know what he did for a living but Wang Wen was quite eye-catching in the game.
“These guys are here too. What a small world.” Chen Mo recognized Cold Flow and Cold Belle.
“Glacier Group, Wang brothers and the potty-mouthed boobs girl. Ha! I must steal this BOSS now!”
There was no rule against kill-stealing but if there was no reason to do so, stealing some strangers’ BOSS would make him feel guilty. This group, on the other hand, would not only be guilt-free… it would feel so freaking awesome!