Chapter 144 (Click to show "spoiler" title)
Chapter 144 – Lord-class Scaled Frog
Nie Yan left Calore and sprinted back toward the Scaled Frog zone. Those Elites should have respawned.
「Be careful, don’t get yourself accidently killed while I’m not around,」Nie Yan cautioned. Tang Yao being all alone was extremely dangerous.
「Don’t worry. I haven’t seen any monsters nearby. I’m perfectly safe.」
「Give me your coordinates.」
Heading for these coordinates, Nie Yan eventually met back with Tang Yao in the forest.
“Did you buy more Smoke Powder?” Tang Yao asked. After using so many pouches yesterday, there probably wasn’t much left.
“Yeah, I did,” Nie Yan replied.
“Hah, killing Level 30 Elites is pretty costly.” Tang Yao sighed in sorrow at the thought of how much gold was spent solely on Smoke Powder.
“Well, we can make it back by killing them. Remember those recipes that dropped yesterday? After giving them to the Alchemists on the second floor, they’re earning the Starry Night Potion Shop at least several gold a day. It’d be even better if we could find some top-quality gear that we can equip.”
“Your shop really makes that much?” Tang Yao asked in an amazed tone. Could a few recipes really bring in so much gold?
“We should find some more recipes then! We’ll be rolling in money!” Tang Yao exclaimed in excitement. Elites already had a pretty high drop rate, not to mention Beast-type monsters like Scaled Frogs were the most likely to drop Alchemy Recipes. He did some calculations. If they spent the whole day farming Elites and Sub-Elites, then they would be able to obtain at least three recipes.
The pair headed to the nearest Elite. After arriving at their destination, they still used the same method from yesterday. Nie Yan laid down the Smoke Powder, and then, Tang Yao would barrage the Scaled Frog with magic from a distance.
Thirty minutes later, the Scaled Frog collapsed to ground.
“How far are you from levelling up?” Nie Yan asked. He was surprised to see Tang Yao not immediately levelling up after killing the Elite.
“I’m still 1% away,” Tang Yao said after glancing at his experience bar.
“Ah good, then you’re not far off. Come on, let’s go find the next one,” Nie Yan nodded and said. Tang Yao reaching Level 15 would be a heavy blow to Heaven Breaker. At the very least, it would signify to the rest of the playerbase that Tang Yao had the ability to overthrow Heaven Breaker from his throne. With this happening, Guo Huai and the others would have a much easier time recruiting members for the guild.
Nie Yan had cautioned Guo Huai and the others that they had to be very selective of who they recruited into their guild. Otherwise, they would run a much higher risk of being infiltrated by moles. It would be quite a pain if their internal movements were being monitored and reported back to the major guilds, especially since they were still in the initial stages of establishing themselves. When they actually had the ability to defend themselves, only then would it be okay to fully open the doors for new members.
As they travelled through the gaps between the trees and headed for the next Elite, they were suddenly brought to a halt by a strong gust of wind that came from deep within the forest.
「Croak! Croak!」The deep sound reverberated through the air. This was the call of a Scaled Frog, but it wasn’t from an Elite. It was possibly even higher!
“W-what was that?” Tang Yao asked with a shocked expression.
Nie Yan attempted to recall where he had heard this sound before. A brief moment later, his face suddenly lit up with joy and he exclaimed, “It’s a Lord-class Scaled Frog!
A Lord-class Scaled Frog did exist in this zone, but its spawn location wasn’t predetermined, so encountering it was a matter of luck. However, it could be found roaming around the central region of the forest near either mountain. If it was slain, it would only respawn after three days.
“A Level 30 Lord!?” Tang Yao’s face turned a few shades paler. Just a day ago, he thought a Level 30 Elite was far out of his reach. Yet, now, they had actually encountered a Level 30 Lord! The only Lord-class monster he ever faced was the Treant King. Even then, it was simply a Level 5 dungeon boss.
The pair moved toward the source of the sound. Eventually, after nearing an opening in the forest, an enormous crimson Scaled Frog entered their sight. Covered in giant warts and emitting a faint red aura, it dwarfed even the Elite Scaled Frogs in size.
In his past life, Scaled Frogs were notorious for their poison damage among the players levelling in this zone. Even a Level 30 Fighter with over 2000 health would eventually succumb to the poison if they didn’t drink an Intermediate Antidote quickly enough after being inflicted. The poison of a Lord-class Scaled Frog would presumably be even more potent.
Like its weaker counterparts, the Lord-class Scaled Frog was also lazy and slow in a passive state. After moving around a little, it would stay in place for quite a while.
Nie Yan activated Transcendent Insight. With his level being higher than the day before, he was now able to fully inspect them.Scaled Frog (Lord): Level 30
What a frightening amount of health!
“Can we still deal with it the same way?” Tang Yao asked. If the Smoke Powder was still effective, regardless of whether it was an Elite or Lord, it would still be a stationary target.
“It’ll be difficult. It has a Sight of about 50. Even if we reduce that to 35 with the Smoke Powder, your cast range still won’t be enough.” Nie Yan shook his head. If Tang Yao attacked the Lord-class Scaled Frog, it would immediately aggro onto him.
“I have a necklace that increases my cast range by 10%,” Tang Yao said, pointing to the necklace on his neck.
“Hmm, still a bit short. That only increases your cast range to 33 meters.” Nie Yan shook his head again. Still, he never expected Tang Yao to be carrying such an item.
“Is there no other way?” Tang Yao asked, sounding rather disappointed. He used to believe that a one or two-meter difference in cast range was negligible, but who could have thought that this difference would play such an important role now?
Sinking into deep thought, Nie Yan finally replied, “It’s not impossible, but it’s going to be a little difficult. We’re gonna need to find some suitable terrain to pull it off.”
“Say it, I’m willing to give it a try.”
“We’ll have to lure it near the base of a hill. You’ll be attacking it from the top of that hill. When there’s a difference in elevation between caster and target, your spells will gain an additional 10 to 50% range depending on that difference,” Nie Yan replied.
“Oh, that’s all? And here I thought we were gonna do something crazy. We’re in a mountain area right now. Finding a hill should be easy,” Tang Yao said with a relieved expression.
“You’re oversimplifying things too much. It’s not going to be that easy. If the hill isn’t high enough, you’ll only get a 10% increase in cast range. That’s 36 meters while the Elite Scaled Frog’s range of vision is 35 meters. Under that circumstance, can you guarantee you won’t accidentally get too close… and what if it suddenly moved? You only have a one-meter margin for error. Even I can’t say with full confidence that I could pull it off. In order to minimize the risk of you getting aggroed onto, we need to find a hill that will give you a cast range bonus of at least 20%.”
Tang Yao nodded after listening to Nie Yan’s explanation. He did indeed lack the skill to pull something like that off. If he got too close, he would be discovered. If he was too far and his spells failed to reach their target, then he would be giving time for the Scaled Frog to regenerate its health. Such a small margin for error made hunting it too difficult. Best case scenario, they would eventually succeed in slaying it, but who knows how much time they would waste. Worst case scenario, they would end up dying mid-way into wearing down its health.
“You keep an eye on it for now. I’ll go look for some suitable terrain nearby,” Nie Yan said. Since they encountered a Lord-class monster, they absolutely couldn’t let it get away. Aside from the experience, it would also drop 10 gold or more in money and items.
“Here, take this Intermediate Flash Powder. If you come across danger, you can use the Flash Powder to run away.”
Nie Yan activated a haste scroll and sprinted into the forest before disappearing among the trees. Even though this mountainous area had plenty of slopes, the location he was going to select couldn’t be too far away; otherwise, they ran a much higher risk of dying while luring the Lord-class Scaled Frog over there.
Sweeping through the twisting and winding mountain paths, Nie Yan found several hills, but because either their incline was too gentle or their size was too small, he directly ruled them out.
After five or six minutes of searching, he finally arrived at the base of a rocky hill. Its incline was reasonably steep, and it was around nine meters tall. If Tang Yao stood at the very top, he would for certain gain at least an additional 30% in cast range.
「I found a suitable location. Hurry over to these coordinates: 23228.23375.285.」
「Alright, I’ll be there as soon as possible,」Tang Yao answered. After arriving at the coordinates and meeting up with Nie Yan, he stared blankly at the rocky hill in front of him. “This is the place?”
“How am I gonna get up there?”
Nie Yan unequipped his Crawler Ring and tossed it over to Tang Yao.
“Put this on.”
Tang Yao caught the ring and eyed it with a curious expression. After checking its properties, he emotionally exclaimed, “This ring is amazing! I can easily cross over any obstacle with it like it’s nothing!”
“Start climbing. I’m gonna lure it this way. When I bring it to those trees over there, I’ll lay down the Smoke Powder, and then, you can start attacking,” Nie Yan said before sprinting back to the Lord-class Scaled Frog.
After he left, Tang Yao activated the Crawler Ring’s ability. Immediately, a strange attractive force emerged on the palms of his hands. As soon as he placed them on the rock wall, they firmly stuck on.
“Sweet!” He began climbing up. After reaching the top, he pulled himself up and began surveying around. At such a high elevation, he could take in much more of the surroundings.
Meanwhile, Nie Yan found the Lord-class Scaled Frog, and after getting into range, he retrieved his crossbow and fired off a round of bolts.「Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!」Even though they all firmly struck their target, due to the large level discrepancy, they were unable to deal any damage, and instead, they all showed as a miss. He wasn’t like Tang Yao who had an Arcane Fairy to help him overcome the level difference and deal damage.
Even though they all missed, the Scaled Frog still got agitated by them and subsequently noticed him. It let out a deep croak before bounding toward him like an arrow released from a bow.
He activated Swift Retreat and fled for his life.
Even though the skill was suitable for fleeing while in combat, it would likely reduce the amount of aggro on the player, so it was best not to use it while pulling mobs.
However, Nie Yan had no choice in the matter. A Level 30 Lord-class monster was simply too fast. If he didn’t activate it, it would basically be impossible for him to get away.
After the Scaled Frog’s leaping strike failed to hit its target, it opened its mouth and spat out a jet of scarlet sludge at him.
He quickly activated the Silk Spinner Ring’s ability as a line of webbing shot from his left hand onto a nearby tree. With a hard tug, he was pulled away to safety.
The sludge flew past his previous location and landed on the trunk of a tree. Almost immediately, upon making contact with the wood, it began sizzling and emitting white smoke.
Nie Yan dashed through the forest with the Scaled Frog in hot pursuit. It would shoot jets of sludge at him non-stop, leaving him with no choice but to duck behind the cover of nearby trees.
Two minutes later, while it was still aggroed onto him, he was finally able to bring it over to the designated location.
The Scaled Frog suddenly leaped high into the air as it hurled itself at him again.
Nie Yan rolled to the side and evaded the attack. Retrieving a pouch of Intermediate Flash Powder from his bag, he then threw it at the Scaled Frog behind him.「Poof!」It exploded into a cloud of blinding light, taking away the Scaled Frog’s sight. As it let out an aggrieved croak from the pain in its eyes, flailing around helplessly, he grabbed the Smoke Powder and laid it down, whereupon a dense cloud of smoke spread outward and enveloped the area.
While the Scaled Frog was still blinded, Nie Yan took advantage of the opportunity to retreat and signalled to Tang Yao who was standing at the top of the hill.
「You can begin.」
After getting the go-ahead from Nie Yan, Tang Yao began casting his magic. The first spell he cast was Meteor and soon, waves of meteors rained down on the Scaled Frog, causing a string of damage values to rise up above its head. He immediately followed it up with his other spells. Arcane Flame Burst! Arcane Fireball! Arcane Missile!「Bang! Bang! Bang!」The Scaled Frog was set alight by the barrage of spells.