Chapter 26: The Hunter Tu Xu
Yue Qiang was very surprised, because he could not actually see the Zhao Sergeant’s status.
This was the first time he encountered this situation. He once thought that every character’s status in this game could be viewed, and those that could not would be marked with question marks. Now that he looked at it, it was either that the sergeant had a special skill that allowed him to hide his own status, or that his stats were just too high. He would not be able to check his status due to the rank difference between them.
The one Yue Qiang was worried about was the latter situation, because this Zhao Sergeant’s HP bar was just way too long. It was more than three times the length of the HP bars of the two dead Zhao Soldiers.
Did this mean that his Vitality was over 50 points?
Vitality represented the amount of health one had. For example, he currently had 15 points in Vitality, and so his health was at 150 points. Besides that, Yue Qiang also had a stamina gauge. Both his skills required stamina to unleash, and the value of his stamina gauge was also 150 points. Yue Qiang did not find a stamina gauge on any other NPCs, so it was likely that it was something only a player had.
He remembered Luqiu Duanyi reminding him before that once a human body had broken through 4 times, it would’ve reached its true limits.
Could it be that this enemy’s power had already reached such a level?
It was at this moment a battle message had appeared at the corner of the screen.
Battlefield Message: The Zhao Army’s siege against Yue Village has officially begun!
Battlefield Message: The Zhao Army has set fire to the mountain, and all information regarding the wooden traps that were pre-laid in Yue Village has been invalidated!
There were more battlefield messages after that. Yue Qiang browsed through them roughly, and in summary, they stated that the Zhao Army’s attack was incredibly fierce, and the small squads including the hunter Tu Xu and the doctor Ming Que had withdrawn from their ambush locations in advance. The situation wasn’t optimistic at all for Yue Village.
Yue Qiang looked at the enemy before him again. This abandoned mountain path he was guarding was only part of the battlefield. He might have taken care of two enemies over here, but his situation was still not looking good. There were only tens of people in the entire Yue Village; the NPCs would definitely not be able to send reinforcements to aid him.
Remembering that this quest difficulty was dark red, Yue Qiang immediately turned very cautious. His middle finger hovered above the hotkey for ‘Run LVL 2’, ready to dodge skills at a moment’s notice. Then, his index finger pressed down on another skill hotkey as he threw out a ‘Break Fist – Killing Style, One’.
Let’s test out his powers first.
Because his mind wasn’t stable, he had missed the Fuxi Hexagram’s pointer by two pixels.
Shit, I missed. Moreover, this mini boss’ defense seemed to be slightly higher than a normal soldier’s. Yue Qiang controlled his character to rush forwards, and just as his cooldown had finished he unleashed yet another ‘Break Fist – Killing Style, One’. Since he was close up with the enemy this time it was easier to aim, and the mouse cursor happened to caught onto the moving pointer.
As the skill activated, Yue Qiang’s character threw out eight swift punches at the enemy. The order of the eight punches wasn’t the order he had practiced before, but the order the system had rearranged according to the enemy’s weak points and had unleashed as appropriate. A series of banging sounds later, a huge number leaped out.
If this damage had fallen onto a normal Zhao soldier, it would be enough to take off more than half their HP. But the Zhao Sergeant before him had only lost a fifth of his health.
Is his Vitality above 50 points?
Yue Qiang calculated in his mind, but he did not dare to use his big move any longer.
The cooldown of ‘Break Fist – Killing Style, One’ wasn’t long, but its skill accuracy rate was a huge problem. With Yue Qiang’s eyesight and hand speed, he could only guarantee about half the hit rate.
Moreover, he needed to conserve some stamina to unleash Run LVL 2 as well.
He would rather suffer one or two skills if it meant keeping his stamina at a slightly higher level. He had prepared himself for a long term battle and to grind down the boss slowly.
Yue Qiang realized that this game didn’t seem to have the concept of mana. This stamina gauge derived from his Vitality stat was somewhat similar to MP, except that he could not drink potions to recover stamina. He could only wait for his body to regenerate it bit by bit.
The Zhao Sergeant was also beginning to counter attack at this time. His weapon was also a Zhao Army’s Standard Halberd, and his combat skills were almost the same as a Zhao Soldier’s. Yue Qiang had more combat experience now. He would reserve his Run skill and use it to dodge out of the way only when the enemy had activated the ‘Vertical Strike’ skill. He could dodge the normal attacks just by relying on the arrow keys and jump, crouch, sidestep, slide and so on.
He had only suffered a single normal attack and lost 28 HP after fighting him for a short while.
If he hadn’t learned the Run skill, then he would probably die after taking just one ‘Vertical Strike’ skill. If he hadn’t learned ‘Break Fist – Killing Style, One’, then it would be a dream to take down this enemy before him with his pitiful attack power and Strength value. But now, he could actually grind down this guy slowly while waiting for his stamina to regenerate.
It looked like he should put more points into Vitality in the future. The sum of this stamina gauge was just too important.
Although he would be able to kill this boss with difficulty through various skill combinations, Yue Qiang was still not satisfied. His goal was to complete the quest perfectly and so obtain the two additional points of refined energy from the teacher Chen Zi Han.
It was just too difficult to increase one’s stats. He needed to grasp onto every opportunity.
It was at this moment new battlefield messages had appeared again below the screen.
The hunter Tu Xu is struggling!
The doctor Ming Que is struggling!
When he saw the two messages, Yue Qiang suddenly recalled the famous hack-and-slash game ‘Dynasty Warriors’. The biggest headache he encountered when playing Dynasty Warriors at the highest difficulty was that his friendly NPCs had perished first before him and thus causing the mission to fail. He was now facing a similar situation.
As long as he slowly grinded this Zhao Sergeant to death with his skills, he would be able to complete this quest. But he wanted to complete this quest perfectly, then he could not lose a single man.
In the end, Yue Qiang decided that he would try to save the village NPCs. There was another reason other than his original wish to acquire the additional reward of a perfect quest completion.
These NPCs were just too much like real people. Each one of these NPCs had good stats and incredibly complex skillsets. The balance design and skill complexity had far exceeded most online games. In other words, if the NPCs in this village were to be placed into an online game in the real world, they would all be pretty awesome players.
Their combat capabilities were not the only thing. These NPCs also had a rich expression system and comical dialogue system. Everyone had their own personalities and character settings. He was even more familiar with say, the girl from the Gongshu family or the decadent doctor, Ming Que, who was covered in dog plasters, than his own classmates.
Yue Qiang had the feeling that, if he was to allow these NPCs to die just like that, it would be… not right.
He couldn’t tell exactly what was wrong either, but it was wrong nonetheless.
The fire in the forest was growing fiercer and fiercer. Yue Qiang retreated as he fought and slowly grinded down the Zhao Sergeant’s health while preserving his own. At the same time, he carefully searched at every corner of his screen. Suddenly, he saw the hunter Tu Xu’s figure.
The robust man was standing beside a river embankment and pushing against a huge rock with all of his strength.
Yue Qiang saw it clearly, and felt a little bitter on the inside.
The hunter’s back was already lit up by the forest fire, and a very tall flame was burning from it.
Through the game’s excellent sound effects he could even hear the hissing sound of his flesh burning.
The river was right beside him, and yet he did not jump down to extinguish the flames behind his back.
His attention was put completely on the huge rock before him. He was using every bit of his strength in the attempt to push the huge rock away.
What exactly was he trying to do?