Chapter 29: Zhao Yang and the Sudden Cutscene
Yue Qiang used his fastest speed to activate the Run skill, then leaped madly to the sides to dodge out of the way. There might not be any changes to be seen on the screen, but he knew that the bolt must be travelling at high speed right now. If he could not see it even with this game’s super high FPS, that meant that the bolt’s travelling speed must have reached an unbelievable rate!
Yue Qiang ran sideways for a little while longer until he felt that it was safe. Only then he turned back to look.
The Zhao Sergeant had been nailed on a tree trunk by the crossbow bolt!
The giant body of the bolt had pierced through him from the left side of his chest and out of his back, causing a huge, bowl-shaped wound. The crossbow bolt stayed inside his body. The arrowhead was deeply embedded into the tree trunk, and only the tail portion of the long arrow was exposed on the outside. Moreover, the bolt did not shudder in the slightest.
This meant that the crossbow bolt was extremely tough, and nailed its target very firmly.
The mini boss still had more than 400 HP left, and yet it was taken down to barely a sliver of health left after suffering a direct hit from the bolt!
It was just a single shot, and yet it contained such terrifying power that it was able to achieve such an effect, even from such a distance. Moreover, he remembered Gongshu Shaoyang’s words that this particular shot was only half of the giant crossbow’s full power.
It was practically an OP existence.
Yue Qiang walked beside the Zhao Sergeant and easily took his life; dealing the final blow.
Before he died, he said, “Damn it, to think that the general had sent us to attack Yue Village, but there is only a Ring of Earth or something. If we are to attack the Muo Family’s Great Camp, then perhaps we may have had a chance to avoid death. How regretful…”
The Zhao Sergeant didn’t manage to finish his sentence before he dropped dead. His vital point was pierced by a huge crossbow bolt and he had received defense ignoring damage. Although the man was dead, blood continued to pour non-stop in large amounts from the wound.
Suddenly, Yue Qiang felt a little frightened.
There were just too much blood.
He wore a blood spattered military uniform. Since the ground was jagged, the pouring blood formed many little blood pools on the floor.
Normally in an MMORPG, once an enemy died and looted, it would turn invisible and disappear. Even if there was a bit of bleeding effect it would stop where it’s appropriate.
Meanwhile, the death effects on this Zhao Sergeant – although similar – had definitely outdone those foreign R-rated war films. The degree of blood and violence was even more realistic than those films. Even though he knew that it was fake, it still made Yue Qiang very uncomfortable.
Never mind that the other effects were given more attention to detail, but do they have to make the death effects this realistic as well? Sigh.
He didn’t know why, but suddenly a thought entered his head: What if the same thing happens if I die?
The moment he thought this, his entire body reaching to loot the body began to shake.
Wait a second, his last words seem to be similar to the two Zhao Soldiers I killed earlier. They both said that, ‘if we had attacked the Muo Family’s Great Camp and not Yue Village’ they would blah blah blah. In fact, this guy had given out even more information.
A chance to avoid death?
Is this the hint to the implied hidden quest has given to me?
Yue Qiang felt that his mind was much more refreshed. There was no longer any doubt. He was almost certain that this was a quest. Otherwise, there was no way that the final dialogue of a grunt or a mini boss would have the same key word, ‘Muo Family’s Great Camp’.
He made up his mind to seek out more information about this quest later on. This game was too difficult, and there were just too many mysteries to be solved.
If only there was something like a game manual, or an official game website. That would be great.
The many thoughts aside, he should still check out the mini boss’ rewards. He right clicked the Zhao Sergeant’s body and clicked to loot the body. He swept a brief glance and noticed that there were three items, but before he could check out exactly what they were, his attention was drawn by a line of system message at the bottom of the screen.
System Message: The Zhao Army General ‘Zhao Yan’ has arrived on the battlefield!
The line of text was displayed with shiny fonts. Its font was extra bright, extra thick, extra large and very, very striking.
This wasn’t the only system message either. A message quickly followed after it, and then another. They were all in shiny font.
The Zhao Army General ‘Zhao Yan’ has appeared at the edge of the battlefield 4000 feet away from you!
The Zhao Army General ‘Zhao Yan’ has appeared on the battlefield 2500 feet away from you!
The Zhao Army General ‘Zhao Yan’ has appeared on the battlefield 1500 feet away from you!
At this moment, Yue Qiang was just hovering his mouse over the Zhao Sergeant’s weapon to check what its stats were.
In the blink of an eye, this Zhao Yan had covered more than half the distance on the battlefield, and judging from the system message, his target, was him!
Yue Qiang had not forgotten the name ‘Zhao Yan’.
The first time he saw this name, it was from the letter to demand surrender that he had seized from ‘The Injured Zhao Soldier’. Zhao Yan’s signature was on it, and the letter had even triggered a ‘letter delivery’ quest. At the time, he had already guessed that this guy was probably a Boss level quest on this battlefield.
Now, the boss had appeared, and he could very accurately estimate his speed judging from the line after line of blinking system messages.
His speed definitely far exceeded his own!
There was no longer any time to hesitate.
While cursing under his breath that this game’s difficulty was insane, Yue Qiang swept the three items into his item window at his top speed and without even glancing at them, activated Run LVL 2 immediately. He began running madly towards the village literally with his life depending on it.
Judging from Zhao Yan’s displayed speed, it was absolutely impossible for him to solo this Boss. His only hope was the village’s giant crossbow. This was the only entrenched weapon that was powerful enough to have a chance at damaging the Boss.
Yue Qiang ran while aiming an eye at the system messages at the corner.
Zhao Yan was still closing in on him rapidly. 1000 feet, 700 feet, 400 feet…
He could already see the clouds of dust flying swiftly towards him from afar.
The second the distance indicated by the system message had turned zero, the second the Boss had arrived in front of him, he would die even if it was a careless normal attack. He did not doubt this in the slightest.
At the same time, the whisper that he had been waiting for all this time had arrived.
Gongshu Shaoyang whispered to you: The preparation for the full powered Giant Crossbow Log House’s crossbow bolt is complete. Young Sir Yue, when I give the command, dodge to the side and avoid the line of fire.
Yue Qiang quickly typed, “Got it.”
Gongshu Shaoyang began to count down:
Yue Qiang knew that, other than indicating the relative positions on Bagua, the words also represented numbers. If he was to convert them to modern terms, then it would be the same as the countdown of the launching of a rocket; ‘Three’, ‘Two’, and ‘One’.
Obviously, Gongshu Shaoyang had purposely counted three times so he would have the time to dodge beforehand. The moment she said ‘Heaven’, Yue Qiang immediately controlled his character and made an abrupt turn to the side!
When the final command had been unleashed, Yue Qiang felt as if his heart was at the back of his throat. He could not help but turn around, hoping to see the full power version of the bolt, and even better know if the bolt would be enough to take down the Boss.
The instant he turned around, Yue Qiang saw a black screen.
He immediately froze on the spot.
Excluding the joke possibility that his computer had gone down, the only other possibility was… Am I dead?
Yue Qiang remembered the pool of blood so big that it was a little scary, when the Zhao Sergeant died. He remembered the way the game had entered his computer, remembered everything and anything, and finally remembered at the end his own assumption regarding the game’s ‘death penalty’.
He could feel his palms covered in cold sweat.
He closed his eyes tightly, then opened them again once more. Forcefully pushing away the thought to restart the game, he stared carefully at the computer monitor in attempt to seek out other possibilities.
He was not disappointed.
A change gradually happened on the monitor.
The top and bottom part of the screen were covered with two rectangular-shaped, black boxes, whereas the middle part had gradually brightened. It looked incredibly similar to the opening scene of a movie.
Could it be – is this –
Yue Qiang wiped the cold sweat in his palms and stared with wide open eyes.
That’s right. This was a cutscene!
And he, was present inside the cutscene!
The scene playing out on the screen was exactly the part where the Zhao Army General was riding a horse and brandishing his spear, ready to take his life.
In the cutscene, Yue Qiang had dodged unceremoniously into the bush beside him. The warhorse General Zhao Yan had ridden on arrived as swift as the wind, and as quick as lightning. He raised a huge sword singlehandedly high up in the sky. He simply needed to drop it lightly, and he would be able to end Yue Qiang’s life.
At this moment, Gongshu Shaoyang’s bolt had also arrived. In an instant the scene was slowed down an infinite time. The sweat flowing down the warhorse and its flying mane was nearly completely still in slow motion. However, that crossbow bolt continued to travel extremely quickly.
This powerful contrast between stillness and action had demonstrated the crossbow bolt’s incredible speed even more.
The bolt had arrived in front of Zhao Yan. It would seem that this Zhao Army General would be killed by the arrow.
Zhao Yan’s every motion was perfectly clear in slow motion. There was a gleam at the corner of his eyes, and he captured the trace of the bolt that was about to disappear in the blink in an eye. It was at this moment he lifted slightly the other hand that he hung down at the side. The tip of his fingers was blocking directly in the path of the bolt’s aim, that was the center of his chest.
The crossbow bolt was extremely quick, and his fingers were extremely slow. However, amidst the twisting animation effects his fingers had pinched the centermost area of the crossbow bolt; the arrowhead and also the sharpest end of the bolt.
The cutscene had came to a complete still at this moment. The calm Zhao Army General, the bolt floating three inches away from his body but could not proceed any further, and Yue Qiang in front of the horse. Together, they formed an incredibly impactful scene.
Then, the scene regained its normal speed. Zhao Yan continued to maintain his one-handed, bolt pinching posture without moving, but the warhorse beneath him had bore the powerful impact of the crossbow bolt completely. It retreated hundreds of feet before it finally absorbed the crossbolt bolt’s impact entirely.
At the end of the cutscene, there were deep and long horse hoof marks etched on the ground. After that, everything returned to darkness following a fade-out effect.