“Brave Adventurers, have you come to vanquish the villainous Ancient Tree Spirit?”
Itsy Bitsy Fighter picked up the five crystals and they both walked out of the forest to the lake.
An elderly NPC was seated on a rock beside an old, small wooden hut, his head bent while chopping wood.
The old man raised his head to see Chen Mo and Itsy Bitsy Fighter, and he asked his question with bright eyes.
“Yes, Mr. Moorcher, but we have searched in the forest for quite some time and haven’t found it. Do you happen to know where it is hiding now? We will be able to vanquish it if we know its whereabouts!”
The NPC’s name was Moorcher. Chen Mo sent a whisper to Itsy Bitsy Fighter, instructing her not to speak and let him handle it. He stepped forward and spoke to Moorcher respectfully.
“I do not know. That Ancient Tree Spirit became a spirit a long time ago and is very crafty. It does not stay in one place and it can camouflage itself to look no different from other trees. It is impossible to find it among all the trees in the forest unless it shows itself.” Moorcher shook his head.
“Adventurers, you are powerful but if you approach the Ancient Tree Spirit rashly, you may not be a match for it. That Ancient Tree Spirit has astonishingly high defense and normal attacks deal no damage to it. From what I see, those who approach it without a proper understanding of its abilities get killed by it.” Moorcher looked at Chen Mo and added.
“Then, Mr. Moorcher, how can we kill that Ancient Tree Spirit?” Chen Mo could tell that the old man was about to get to the main point and he kept asking questions.
“You’ve asked the right man.” Moorcher smiled. “I have lived in this forest for tens of years. Nobody knows it better than I do. I know all of its weak points and I have crafted some potions that can be used against it. If you have need of these potions, you can have some if you pay the right price!”
A shop interface appeared in front of Chen Mo, displaying three items.
Corrosive Solution: Apply it on your weapon to enable it to easily cut through the Ancient Tree Spirit’s defence. Effects last 5 minutes.
– Cost: 5 Forest Crystals
Flaming Blade: Lends your weapon attributes of fire. Increases damage to the Ancient Tree Spirit by 50%. Effects last 5 minutes.
– Cost: 5 Forest Crystals
Mutation Suppressant: When the Ancient Tree Spirit’s HP drops to a certain amount, it will mutate. This potion stops the mutation from occurring for 5 minutes.
– Cost: 15 Forest Crystals
Chen Mo looked quietly at the items.
It was as he’d thought – there were multiple items. However, all three items were effective when killing the Ancient Tree Spirit, especially Corrosive Solution and Mutation Suppressant.
“Brave Adventurers, if you truly wish to kill that Ancient Tree Spirit, do not hesitate. Without these items, the Ancient Tree Spirit is undefeatable.” Moorcher smiled.
“I thank you for your warning, Mr. Moorcher. It is too bad but we do not have enough Forest Crystals. We shall return when we have more.” Chen Mo said regretfully.
“That’s all right. I will wait here for your return. Be careful on your way – this forest floor is uneven.”
Moorcher nodded kindly.
“Oh, right, Mr. Moorcher, are there any other humans in this forest besides yourself?”
Chen Mo suddenly turned back to ask after walking just two steps.
Moorcher paused before answering, “I cannot say for sure. People come to brave the dangers of the forest once in a while.”
Chen Mo nodded and didn’t ask further. He brought Itsy Bitsy Fighter a distance away from Moorcher.
“Big brother Silence, it looks like we just have to buy the old man NPC’s potions, kill the BOSS and we’ll pass the map. It doesn’t seem so difficult.”
After walking for a bit, Itsy Bitsy Fighter couldn’t help but to say what she thought.
“It’s not that simple.” Chen Mo shook his head.
He’d planned on doing what Bobcat and his party were doing – stay close to the lake and take the spoils. However, after seeing the three items, he changed his mind.
Of the three items, Corrosive Solution and Mutation Suppressant were necessary to kill the Ancient Tree Spirit.
If a party of six were to go all out, they would need at least one bottle of Mutant Suppressant and six bottles of Corrosive Solution, which cost 45 Forest Crystals in all.
The effects last five minutes but was five minutes enough to kill the Ancient Tree Spirit?
Nobody could know without first using the items and fighting with the Ancient Tree Spirit.
The best way was for one party member to use Corrosive Solution after the Ancient Tree Spirit appeared to get data and calculate the damage output and monster’s HP, then return to Moorcher and purchase potions.
It was great if the Ancient Tree Spirit could be killed in five minutes but a six-man party would still need one Mutation Suppressant and seven Corrosive Solutions, which cost 50 crystals.
To pass, they would need 60 Forest Crystals. If a party of six wanted to pass, they would need at least 110 Forest Crystals!
However, this was the Hell Trial. Nobody had passed it yet! If you think about it, the chance of a party passing the trial with these two items and killing the Ancient Tree Spirit in five minutes was very low indeed!
A party would have several options when killing the Ancient Tree Spirit in five minutes.
Option one: Use Flaming Blade to increase damage dealt to the monster. Six people would need 30 Forest Crystals.
Option two: Recruit four more people and increase the damage. However, you would need more Forest Crystals.
Option three: All six members purchase one Corrosive Solution and one Mutation Suppressant each.
All three options cost about 140 to 170 Forest Crystals – and that was about half of the 300 available.
Getting half of the 300 Forest Crystals was not easy but if you managed to kill all other players in the map, leaving your own party, or whittle the numbers down to ten people, you can get roughly 250 Forest Crystals.
If you could manage all that, you stand a good chance of killing the Ancient Tree Spirit.
This probability applied to not just Chen Mo, but all the other players in the map.
So why were the monsters screaming that line in death?
Chen Mo believed that the monsters’ screaming was not just for show. If he proceeded normally, getting the items and killing the Ancient Tree Spirit, he would not be able to pass the map!
But the passing requirements for the trial were clear. Have at least ten Forest Crystals in your possession and kill the map defender.
If you failed, it meant you either did not have enough crystals or failed to kill the map defender.
Getting ten Forest Crystals was easy so it must be about the map defender!
The Ancient Tree Spirit was not the map defender!
Moorcher did say that the Ancient Tree Spirit would not show itself willingly but he never said that it was the map defender!
If the Ancient Tree Spirit was not the map defender, it was someone else.
The real map defender would appear if a player used 100 Forest Crystals or there were 10 players left, and that would expose the truth.
Does this mean that the game system was trying to fool the players with a fake map defender to get them to squander their Forest Crystals… so when the real map defender appeared, players would fail because they did not have enough Forest Crystals…?
Chen Mo did not think it likely that this group of players would use all their crystals from the get-go on items from Moorcher.
The only way to know for sure was to use 100 crystals or kill others till 10 were left to confirm the identity of the real map defender.
If this assumption was true… Chen Mo had an idea.
… … …
Itsy Bitsy Fighter was puzzled. For the past half an hour, Big brother Silence had brought her to walk in circles around the lake, and whenever he saw big or strangely shaped trees, he would shoot a bolt into it.
Chen Mo’s bolt thudded loudly into an ancient-looking tree, startling Itsy Bitsy Fighter.
This ancient-looking tree moved!
“I knew it!”
Chen Mo looked at the tree and smirked.
He understood fairly well what was going on in this map now!