Real, or Fake Defender?
“Let’s go!” Chen Mo called for Itsy Bitsy Fighter to withdraw.
“Ancient Tree Spirit! Isn’t it the map defender? Aren’t we killing it?” Itsy Bitsy Fighter hurried to Chen Mo but could not help looking over her shoulder at the ancient tree.
A pair of wrinkled eyes and a big mouth had appeared on the tree after Chen Mo shot it, but it just looked at them and did not chase them. It didn’t seem to have any intention of fighting.
“We can’t kill it and we have no need to kill it either.” Chen Mo shook his head.
It was the Ancient Tree Spirit, all right – its defence was so high that Chen Mo’s attack only did 1 damage when he could even deal 4 damage to a Black Slime with his attack power. He could not calculate its HP at this rate. Looks like he wouldn’t be able to defeat the Ancient Tree Spirit without Moorcher’s items.
“Why?” asked Itsy Bitsy Fighter. Being with this hunter big brother made her very confused – there were so many things she didn’t understand.
“It’s not the map defender. The real one should be Moorcher!” Chen Mo grinned.
While Chen Mo was telling Itsy Bitsy Fighter his conjecture, a duo of beauties arrived on the banks of the lake.
Most of the players in the map, however, were not familiar with these two beautiful girls.
They were the last two to sign up and had worn very average equipment when they entered the waiting room and the system had instructed players to form parties right after, so they had not received any party invites though they were very pretty.
But now, standing in front of Moorcher, they had excellent equipment from head to toe. Light reflecting off the lake danced around them; the plain-looking duo were now dazzling in their finery.
Long, raven-haired Golden Phoenix glanced at the three items Moorcher had for exchange and smiled wryly.
“What do you think, Little Demon?” Golden Phoenix smiled as she asked a question of the lovely, petite young girl next to her. She looked to be about Itsy Bitsy Fighter’s age.
“Something’s fishy. The bit of speculation may be right.” Little Demon nodded seriously.
“Haha! Our Little Demon really is the smartest!”
Golden Phoenix hugged Little Demon tightly and squeezed her small face, then looked at Moorcher.
“Mr. Moorcher, could you answer a question of mine?”
“Of course, I will tell you, Adventurer, all that I know!” Moorcher smiled amiably.
“Are you the map defender?”
Golden Phoenix smiled as she asked her question. Moorcher paused, but quickly shook his head. “You jest, Adventurer.”
“Please answer my question. Are you the map defender?” Golden Phoenix was not letting him off.
“Sigh. Young folk sure are suspicious of everything these days. All right, I’ll answer. I am not the map defender.” Moorcher sighed as he shook his head.
Golden Phoenix looked at Little Demon.
“He lied!” Little Demon said with conviction.
“I knew it! Die, old man!” Golden Phoenix raised her fire-red bow and let loose an Arrow of Flame. It flew towards Moorcher with a boom.
A flash of panic flitted across Moorcher’s face!
Moorcher was struck by Arrow of Flame and his HP dropped by 500+ in an instant. Golden Phoenix’s attack was very effective!
Little Demon had her magic staff raised high, ready to do battle, but in the next instant, she and Golden Phoenix’s expressions changed!
A white light suddenly caged them both!
… … …
Announcement: Players ‘Golden Phoenix’ and ‘Little Demon’ intentionally caused harm to map NPC Moorcher and have been removed from the map. The 20 Forest Crystals in their possession have been returned to the system and will be re-distributed in the map.”
Chen Mo’s steps came to a halt.
He was about to explain to Itsy Bitsy Fighter why Moorcher was the map defender but the announcement had taken him by surprise.
What’s going on? Was he wrong?
It was not just Chen Mo – the party with Lil’ Building of Storms, Wang Xu and Wang Wen was also stunned.
If one paid attention to the monsters’ dying words, met Moorcher and thought about it a little more, it was easy to have the suspicion that the map defender was not the Ancient Tree Spirit, especially if you were a pro.
As the only visible NPC in the map, Moorcher was the natural target of suspicion.
However, these were all speculation and no one had acted on it except for Golden Phoenix and Little Demon, who might have been manipulated into believing Moorcher was the map defender and attacking him. Who knew that they would be kicked out of the map by the system?
“What’s going on? According to our analysis, Moorcher was most likely the map defender. Now it looks like Moorcher really is an NPC.” Wang Xu wrinkled his brows.
Their party of six comprised of himself, his brother Wang Wen, Lil’ Building of Storms and other pros. They were quite a powerful party.
“Moorcher has been confirmed by the system as an NPC. Now we have two possibilities. First possibility is that our initial analysis was wrong and the Ancient Tree Spirit is the map defender but it’s too powerful and we can’t kill it. This can explain why the monsters said that we shall not pass. The second possibility is that we fulfil the conditions to make the map defender appear but the map changes or mutates and that makes us fail.” Lil’ Building of Storms analysed.
“It’s no use over-thinking it now since there are too many uncertain elements. It’s more important to collect Forest Crystals.” Wang Wen’s gaze was sharp, and who knew what he was thinking.
“That’s right. If we have enough Forest Crystals we will have an easier time when changes occur.”
The party agreed on a course of action.
However, Chen Mo was still deep in thought.
He had some information nobody else had.
The Ancient Tree Spirit was definitely not the map defender! The rules were very clear – the map defender would only appear if the players fulfilled the conditions. However, the Ancient Tree Spirit had already appeared, so it was not the map defender.
He had reached the conclusion that Moorcher was the map defender based on this information.
Him being able to find the Ancient Tree Spirit close to the lake was not because of luck either.
He had speculated that players would not be able to know for sure if the Ancient Tree Spirit was the real map defender unless the conditions were fulfilled.
How can one know for sure?
Simple – the real map defender was in the same area as the Ancient Tree Spirit. The system would prompt the map defender to appear in a certain area and players would be unable to ascertain if the Ancient Tree Spirit was indeed the map defender.
That was why Chen Mo had gone in circles in the forest around Moorcher, attacking suspicious trees.
Since the Ancient Tree Spirit was not the map defender, it must have existed in the map already. If he could find it nearby, Chen Mo could conclude that Moorcher was the map defender.
Now, after he had arrived at his conclusion with much difficulty, the system announcement threw it out the window. Moorcher was an NPC after all. What the hell was going on?
No, that’s not it!
He’d missed an important part in the rules and requirements!
Shit! Nearly got fucked over!
However, Golden Phoenix and Little Demon’s sad example held Chen Mo in check. If the two of them had not taken action, the ones kicked out could have been Itsy Bitsy Fighter and himself.
“Come on! Let’s kill everyone!” Chen Mo called to Itsy Bitsy Fighter.
“Okay!” Itsy Bitsy Fighter looked excited as she followed Chen Mo. The loli was a bloodthirsty one, too.