The more Chen Mo learnt, the less confident he felt about passing. There were only 300 forest crystals and players may use some to revive their part mates. Factor in the crystals exchanged for tools by others and… even if he killed everyone else, he wasn’t sure if he would end up with half the number of crystals available.
Three minutes of safety passed and the trial began.
Chen Mo was in no hurry. He unequipped all his equipment, asked Itsy Bitsy Fighter to stand still, and attacked her.
30+ damage floated up above Itsy Bitsy Fighter’s head while she looked unconcerned.
“Did you get a system prompt when I attacked you?” Chen Mo asked.
“Nope.” Itsy Bitsy Fighter did not understand what he was doing but she answered honestly.
“Very good.” Chen Mo nodded.
Rule One said that players could attack each other and this included not just enemies but your own party members. However, Chen Mo was testing another theory.
Outside the borders of town, a system prompt would ping if other players attacked you, informing you of a malicious attack and enabling you to defend yourself. If you get killed by the other person, a system prompt would inform you of the identity of your killer.
If you were a Red-name player, on the other hand, you would get no system prompts if you were attacked or killed.
Itsy Bitsy Fighter had received no system prompts when he attacked her, so this meant that if he killed other players in this map, they wouldn’t know who killed them.
Chen Mo summoned his minion, Fatso, with a wave of his hand.
“Wah~ It’s soo cuuute! You caught this, big brother?”
Itsy Bitsy Fighter’s eyes got all sparkly and she lunged at Fatso to envelop it in a hug.
Fatso’s adorably large eyes and round little amethyst body were irresistibly loveable.
“Enough. We don’t have much time. You can play with Fatso after we’re done here.” Chen Mo pulled Itsy Bitsy Fighter off Fatso.
“Okay.” Itsy Bitsy Fighter snapped to attention at the mention of their quest.
“Be careful. Stay behind me.”
Chen Mo equipped his best equipment and led the way, with Itsy Bitsy Fighter following cautiously.
She had no equipment on and was very vulnerable. Elite monsters could kill her in two hits.
“Big brother Silence, why is Fatso so far behind us?” Itsy Bitsy Fighter asked, puzzled.
After summoning Fatso, Chen Mo made it stay far behind himself – so far that Itsy Bitsy Fighter could barely see it.
“I’ll get it to come forward when we run into monsters. We’ve nothing to worry about now.” Chen Mo did not explain why he kept it at a distance.
“Mm-hm.” Itsy Bitsy Fighter felt it awkward to press the issue and just nodded.
A black shadow measuring two metres high appeared and Itsy Bitsy Fighter sprang behind Chen Mo.
The monster was a two-metre tall Black Bear with a large aggro range. They were still over 20m away when it roared and begun its furious rush to attack.
“Stay back! Don’t get caught up in the attack.”
Chen Mo did not dare to underestimate the monster. He called Fatso to the front to fight and made Itsy Bitsy Fighter move to safety.
“Slime King’s Call!”
With the Black Bear almost upon them, Chen Mo summoned a fire-red mutated slime.
Fatso had 100,000HP but its HP regeneration was not as quick as a real BOSS’. Chen Mo planned to use the skill to summon a slime every five minutes to act as a shield buffer for Fatso.
Fatso was quick – it caught up just as Chen Mo and the Black Bear were about to cross swords.
Once he engaged the Black Bear in combat, Chen Mo knew it was an Elite monster. Its HP and attack power were high. Its seemed to have about 30,000HP and its defence was not low either. Chen Mo’s high attack power could only deal about 200 damage – if it were other players, they would only do a few tens of damage.
However, Chen Mo’s equipment had an additional poison damage. The stacked effects, coupled with Fatso’s attacks, dealt over a thousand damage per second to the Black Bear.
Itsy Bitsy Fighter had stepped closer, used a skill unexpectedly, then retreated immediately.
Chen Mo had read about Battle Rage on the forums. It was a status skill fighters could learn after reaching Level 15. Novice level Battle Rage increased the fighter and fighter’s party mates’ attack power and attack speed by 10% and was the most popular fighter skill. Chen Mo was surprised that Itsy Bitsy Fighter had learnt it at Level 10. Looks like she didn’t do all those quests for nothing.
With Battle Rage, the Black Bear’s HP dropped faster.
As an Elite monster, and one in the Hell Trial, the Black Bear was definitely not easy to kill but Chen Mo’s power far surpassed it and it had no chance of fighting back at all.
Most of its attacks landed on the mutated slime and Fatso did not receive much damage. Chen Mo was quick to dodge and had two summoned minions to block attacks for him so he was untouched by the Black Bear’s attacks.
In under two minutes, the Black Bear was on the verge of death.
“You’ll not succeed! You will surely fail!”
The Black Bear’s HP went down to zero and it fell dead but in the throes of death, the Black Bear looked almost human for a moment and let out a roar. Chen Mo and Itsy Bitsy Fighter were taken by surprise.
“This monster can speak!”
Chen Mo recovered quickly but Itsy Bitsy Fighter was shaken badly. She looked like she had seen a ghost.
“Ignore it. Let’s move on.”
The Black Bear had dropped a green crystal after death. Chen Mo picked it up – it was the forest crystal.
Forest Crystal: Quest item. Cannot be traded. Dropped upon death. Will disappear after leaving the Forest Hunter map.
They moved forward and ran into a yellow Fierce Tiger after a short walk.
There didn’t seem to be any normal monsters in the map. The Fierce Tiger they met was also an Elite monster. It had 30,000HP and a higher attack power than the Black Bear but lower defence.
Chen Mo’s attributes and two minions made him an invincible opponent to the map’s Elite monsters.
Two minutes later, the Fierce Tiger’s HP went down to zero and it keeled over.
“You’ll not succeed! You will surely fail!”
In its final moments, the Fierce Tiger roared, just like the Black Bear had.
Two Elite monsters in a row had roared the same line in death. Chen Mo could not ignore it now.
Not succeed? What will not succeed?
Were these monsters saying they wouldn’t pass the map?
Chen Mo frowned.
If this were other maps, there would be a whole bunch of possibilities. But in this map, they had only one goal and that was to pass the map to finish the Hell Trial.
It sounded like a cursing roar that monsters made when they died but Chen Mo was sure it was not just a simple roar.
This was the Hell Trial, and if every monster said the same line then these words were not to be taken as something uttered in vain.
It was not just Chen Mo but the other pro players like Lil’ Building of Storms, who were scattered throughout the map, also heard the same line from the mouths of the dying monsters after expanding effort to kill them.
As time went by and the Elite monsters were killed one by one, the same line was repeated over and over again. All the players in the map begun to feel like this map must be even more difficult to pass than they’d thought!