Chapter 14: It Is Dark Red Difficulty
In light of the quest message provided by the blacksmith Tan Xiong, Yue Qiang arrived at the village’s ice shop. Apparently, here lays the strongest weapon the village relied upon to resist the enemy – the Giant Crossbow.
While Yue Qiang didn’t see even the glimpse of a crossbow, he did see, as expected, the little lady Gongshu Shaoyang at the ice shop. He said, “Would you happen to know where the Giant Crossbow mentioned in the entrusted quest is? And what do I need to do to assist in the defense of Yue village?”
“Actually, this house is the Giant Crossbow. It’s just that I added some furniture on it since I normally live here. Just take a closer look and you’ll figure it out. See, this is where the bolt is fixed.”
When he paid it a closer attention, he realized that this house was a giant crossbow. It’s just that there were many little parts added on top of it, and it was nigh unidentifiable without prior warning. An arrow and crossbow this big must be incredibly lethal. No wonder Tan Xiong had said that this was a cornerstone in the village’s defense. Gongshu Shaoyang continued to explain,
“This giant crossbow is situated at the edge of the village, and it can defend a large arc towards the front. As long as the Zhao soldiers attacked from the front, they would be within its attack range. The giant crossbow covers a wide range and is extremely powerful. Its only weakness is that its rate of fire is incredibly slow, and there will always be enemies who would slip through the net. Therefore someone has to go out of the village and clean up the remaining enemies. This is also what you need to do in order to complete your quest.
The person who’s completing this task outside right now is the hunter Tu Su, but he hasn’t been back for two days already. You should make haste and assist him.”
Yue Qiang affirmed and went out of the village’s fence gate.
Outside the village was a gorge slanting downwards, and it happened to be an easily defendable terrain. There were no enemies to be seen anywhere, and the ground was littered with the dead bodies of Zhao soldiers. Enormous wounds inflicted by giant bolts could be seen on their bodies, and yet there were no bolts to be found anywhere on the ground. They must have been picked up by the village’s patrols.
While he was thinking, an odd noise came from the woods behind him. Yue Qiang was using the first person point of view and thus could not see the scenery behind him, but the game’s surround sound was so good that he could detect the anomaly behind him just by listening.
And Yue Qiang knew that the enemy had probably appeared.
Relying on his rich gaming experience, he did not turn his character around and instead acted to dash forwards. It took time to turn around, whereas a forward dash could mitigate incoming damage.
And yet he was still too slow. The borders of the computer screen displayed a touch of blood red color to display that he had been attacked from behind. A big red number popped up.
Yue Qiang took a glance at the life gauge at the top left corner. He had lost a quarter of his health with this one hit. His total health added up to only 130 points.
He hadn’t even seen his enemy’s face.
Yue Qiang was even more afraid to look back now. He controlled his character and dashed forwards continuously, and while he was moving he did not forget to shake his mouse repeatedly from side to side. The game’s stereo was incredibly good and he could hear the sound of his enemy pursuing from behind and the sound of a weapon breaking through the air. It seemed that every hit had just barely missed the back of his head.
He did not look back until he heard the sound of the weapon striking against the ground before finally slowing down his footsteps and turned around. It was only now that he finally saw clearly the enemy’s appearance. It was an averagely built Zhao soldier holding a broken halberd in his hand and with a terrifying penetrating trauma on his left shoulder; though the wound was dressed up already. A name was displayed above his head.
An Injured Zhao Soldier.
The name was in gray color.
According to gaming conventions (T/N: not to be confused with ‘gaming convention’; a conference/meeting about games), a gray name meant that the enemy was very weak.
Yue Qiang bit his lips. His power is definitely ‘very weak’ alright; for him to take a quarter of my health with a single swing. This quest sure deserves its dark red color.
Even the most common among common soldier level mob – an injured one no less – had this much attack power. What kind of difficulty is this?
While swearing a string of filthy words in his heart, Yue Qiang’s cursor swayed to the top of the injured Zhao soldier. Instinctively he clicked, and a character profile actually appeared at the right side of the window.
I didn’t think I can observe the enemy’s stats directly.
He began reading as he backed away from the enemy’s attacks.
Character Name: An Injured Zhao Soldier
Strength: 16 (11 + 5)
Vitality: 15 (11 + 4)
?? : ??
?? : ??
Vertical Strike LVL 2: Military combat skill. Striking downwards with the halberd from a fixed angle. Does 4 times Strength damage against a single enemy. Has a chance of triggering ‘Cripple’ effect.
Wide Sweep LVL 1: Military combat skill. Swinging the halberd from a fixed angle. Does minor damage to surrounding enemies. Has a chance of triggering ‘Knockback’ effect.
Well Trained LVL 3: Received good military training. Strength + 4, Vitality + 4,?? + 4.
Fighting Spirit LVL 1: Affected deeply by combat mobilization and will not be cowered by bloodshed. Increase Strength based on lost Stamina points. The lesser the Stamina, the higher the Strength.
No wonder. This Zhao soldier’s basic stats isn’t even higher than mine, but his skill bonuses are just way too OP. These military skills have practically doubled his combat abilities. That one attack that had taken 37 points of my health should be the result of his first skill after deducting defense.
Luckily the game’s combat skills could not auto lock on to the target. Relying on his good controls, he managed to dodge the soldier’s next few attacks.
After missing a few cleaves in a row, the injured soldier grew furious. He no longer used the Vertical Strike skill and instead whirled his halberd about. But Yue Qiang could not dodge this kind of 360 degrees no dead angle attack.
A ‘- 19’ number immediately popped up from his body.
He didn’t lose as much health as last time, but his character’s movement speed had suddenly slowed down. So a character’s movement speed would slow down for a short time after inflicted with a ‘Knockback’ effect.
Now he could no longer rely on his control to dodge.
The moment the soldier saw that his skill’s special effect had activated, he closed their distance in a few steps and did yet another vertical strike.
The border of his computer screen had turned a blood red color. His remaining one third health just now had bottomed in an instant!
Am I going to die?
The thought flashed across Yue Qiang’s mind, but his hands never stopped executing all sorts of evasive actions. His micro (T/N: slang for micromanagement in games) experience was rich and he had dodged most of the incoming attacks. But in the end, a few blows still landed on his character’s body.
The injured Zhao solder’s normal attacks were weak. A few ‘-7s’ and ‘-8s’ popped up, and instantly Yue Qiang’s health turned into an empty bar with barely a sliver of dark red color left.
Am I really going to die?
He suddenly recalled that the game did not have a save system. In that case, what would happen after he died? Even if he supposed this was an online game with real time save, he hadn’t seen the trace of any other players at all.
Suddenly, Yue Qiang felt a powerful feeling inside his heart: It was probable that his in-game character could not be allowed to die. If he did, then an unimaginable consequence would happen!
The situation was extremely critical, and it was at this moment Yue Qiang increased his APM (T/N: action per minute) rapidly. All manners of keys such as WSAD, Up Down Left Right, Space bar plus X number of jumps and squats were crackled across the keyboard by Yue Qiang. His APM had long since exceeded his average playing either King of Fighters or O2Jam, and with the mouse in his right hand he continuously fine-tuned angles and did his absolute best to minimize damage.
His controls had exceeded its limit, and yet his HP continued to decrease slowly.
Suddenly, the system sent him a quick message:
System Message: Your health has fallen below 10% in combat, but your control remains calm and adept. Automatically learned the skill: Pure Heart LVL 1.