Chapter 226 – Berserk Power
As the sun set, Twilight Forest would go through a long period of twilight during which a large number of Level 80 ghosts would spawn. At this point in the game, these ghosts were completely undefeatable. Because of their power, no one ever dared to linger in Twilight Forest when the sun was down, giving it its name.
Despite the dangers lurking in Twilight Forest at night, it was very safe when the sun stood high in the sky. During the day, only Level 25 monsters would spawn.
A crowd of over five hundred Azure Falling Sky players were actively farming mobs in Twilight Forest. Most of them were around Level 25 and could be considered the elites of their guild. They were not even among the hundred strongest here today; those spots were taken by members of the Azure Falling Sky Gaming Organization. Such a large force of players theoretically grind mobs in complete safety, as only the major guilds could put together a strong enough group to defeat them.
Unfortunately, over five hundred Withered Leaf Gaming Organization players clad in full sets of Gold equipment were heading their way to show them what a massacre was. Like a massive metal monster, their group slammed into the mob of Azure Falling Sky players with incredible momentum and instantly took out almost a hundred enemies before proceeding to viciously slaughter the remaining enemies.
The remaining four hundred players, led by the professional gamers, fought back back against Aqua Smoke Stub’s force. Both sides suffered casualties left and right, but Azure Falling Sky had over ten times more losses than Withered Leaf.
The people of Withered Leaf demonstrated near perfect coordinated teamwork. A squad of Thieves circled behind enemy forces unnoticed and took out the Priests in an ambush. At the same time, the Warriors at the front line charged with renewed ferocity as they were bathed in the holy light of Indomitable Will. Despite the best efforts of the enemy, the Azure Falling Sky players were pushed back into retreat.
According to Smoke Stub’s plans, their first move would be to quickly wipe out this group of five hundred players before retreating from Twilight Forest. They would find a place to clear their red names and regroup, then find another opportunity to take Azure Falling Sky by surprise and unleash even more damage.
However, just as they had killed around two hundred players, something outside of Smoke Stub’s expectations occurred. The moment he heard the news, Azure Falling Sky’s leader Clear Sky had immediately notified his nearby subordinates to rush over in a rescue mission. He had been lucky. There were over a thousand players grinding mobs in the area, all of them close enough to come to the rescue.
These people had originally been scattered in small teams ranging from five to fifteen players each. When Withered Leaf’s scouts first probed the area, they had ignored these small teams of players. After all, each group was just a small team and they couldn’t possibly go through the entire forest with a fine-tooth comb. However, even though they were split into small teams, there was a great number of Azure Falling Sky players spread across the map, and they kept flooding in to reinforce the group under siege. As almost a thousand people amassed in the area, they were eventually able to hold off Smoke Stub’s attack, stopping his momentum and completely foiling his original plans.
More Azure Falling Sky players kept joining the battle with every passing second, which caused Smoke Stub to become increasingly anxious about the situation.
“Boss, there’s more and more of them! We’ve killed over five hundred of them but lost fifty of our own as well,” Cold Peak Absolute Blade said as he repelled an incoming Azure Falling Sky player with a well-placed Cleave. His powerful blow sent the Berserker flying.
Smoke Stub calculated the time passed since their initial engagement. If they stuck around too long, Azure Falling Sky’s main forces would arrive. Even though their strike force consisted solely of elites who could take out multiple Azure Falling Sky players, they still weren’t enough to eliminate an unending tide of thousands of players on their own.
“We’re moving out! Everyone, keep up!” Smoke Stub roared. He slammed his shoulder into two enemies and knocked them flying with Charge. He took out a second two-handed greatsword and activated Berserk Power. With his strength boosted and a greatsword in each hand, he fought the enemy.
He swung the two swords horizontally at the eight Berserkers surrounding him, slashing away over 500 health from each of them.
The Berserkers stood in shock, their eyes filled with horror, as they watched the terrifying damage dealt to them.
Smoke Stub stood tall, clad in an intimidating suit of spiked armour. Like a steel giant, he wielded the fearsome greatswords in his hands like one-handed swords, sending an opponent flying with each strike.
Berserk Power increased Smoke Stub’s strength several times over. This skill was a set bonus from his War God’s Doctrine Set. Some time ago, Smoke Stub was part of a group of 500 players who went to explore the Level 30 Temple of the Dark God map. This expedition ended in failure for almost everyone. Only Smoke Stub came out alive, clad in the powerful armour set he was rewarded. This set, which could be worn at Level 25, boasted incredible properties. Berserk Power by itself made the set incredibly powerful. This skill drastically increased Smoke Stub’s strength, allowing him to wield two-handed swords with a single hand as well as shortening the cooldowns on all his other skills. In exchange, he would have his maximum health and defense decreased by 30% while the skill was active. It lasted for five minutes and had a cooldown of two days.
The effects of this skill were scandalous. A greatsword often had around 60% higher stats than a one-handed sword of the same level. As a warrior, he could add 50% of his secondary weapon’s attack to the weapon in his primary hand.
The greatsword held in your dominant hand already possessed massive attack. Once the 50% boost from an auxiliary weapon with similarly high attack was added to it, the primary weapon would rise to absurd heights. No one could withstand such a ferocious attack!
Activating another Whirlwind Slash, sharp sword-lights shot out in a circle, decimating another group of Berserkers and Fighters.
There were already no Priests left in the back of Azure Falling Sky’s forces, and the scattered Priests who were still flooding in were nowhere near enough.
After taking down the Warriors in the front, Smoke Stub moved on to the Mages behind. Cutting his opponents down as if he were a merciless meat grinder, the Berserker looked to be invincible.
A barrage of spells rained down on Smoke Stub’s body, splattering around him in a multitude of colors. With both his health and defense decreased, his health points quickly dwindled; he only had a sliver of health left. As the constant damage was about to take his life, a ray of white light shined down on his body and restored his health. His health bar fluctuated heavily as he even fell down to just a couple of health points a few times. However, the Priests were always able to save him and he was able to continue his onslaught.
“Die!” Smoke Stub boomed as he carved a line of blood through Azure Falling Sky’s Mages. The frail magic users fell to the ground one after another under his brutal offense.
Powerful Berserkers and even tanky Fighters couldn’t survive two hits from his greatswords, so how could these cloth-armoured Mages be expected to survive even a single of his strikes?
Corpses piled up like mountains as blood flowed like rivers.
Smoke Stub’s deep crimson name caused all to see it to shiver in fear. Azure Falling Sky players watched in horror wherever he went, some of them unable to even keep their pants dry. Those in his way scattered like flies lest they be cut down like so many before them.
Who could possibly fight this sword-swinging behemoth?
Cold Peak Absolute Blade followed in Smoke Stub’s wake like a third greatsword. Azure Falling Sky’s Mages fell like dominoes under his attacks.
“Boss, there’s even more of them coming! There’s tons of players rushing over from both the East and the South!”
“Charge to the North!” Smoke Stub checked his team roster again, only to see that dozens more of his subordinates had died. Smoke Stub’s heart clenched in pain at the loss. His team today consisted solely of Withered Leaf Gaming Organization’s strongest elites. In a fit of rage, he had ignored the warnings from his managers and brought his best troops here to unleash a slaughter. Now, however, he began to doubt his impromptu decision. Did I make a fatal error?
The gaming organization’s only purpose was to generate a profit for its parent company, not to avenge the deaths of its players. Those who had died due to Azure Falling Sky’s actions outside Bovine Prairie were all brothers he interacted with on a daily basis. They were surrounded and killed by sheer force of numbers, partly because of his carelessness. These men, including the ones he had brought with him today, made a living playing Conviction, so they fed their families with the money they earned from playing the game. Because of him, they would now lose money! How could Smoke Stub possibly swallow his anger?
「Today’s matter was a result of my own reckless actions. I’ve led you guys into a hopeless battle, and let all of you get surrounded. All of the losses of you, my brothers, I, Aqua Smoke Stub, will take sole responsibility for them!」Smoke Stub declared in the voice chat. The savings he had accumulated over the years should be enough to compensate his brothers for the losses incurred.
「Boss, we followed you of our own free will. Don’t feel guilty. Us dying has nothing to do with you!」
「At worst, we’ll lose our bonuses. We dropped a few levels and our equipment, so what?」
Smoke Stub’s dead coworkers spoke out one after another in the Withered Leaf group chat.
「Even if all of us have to die here today, we still have to get the boss out safely! His War God’s Doctrine Set absolutely cannot be dropped!」Cold Peak shouted. With a Berserk Slash, he sent an enemy Berserker flying.
Who among them hadn’t gone through great hardships to obtain the gear they were currently equipped with?
If they died while branded with a red name, they would drop every single piece of equipment on their body. It was tantamount to their efforts being all for naught. If they lost all their equipment now, their earnings in the future would definitely see a large cut.
Smoke Stub regretted his own impulsiveness. He hadn’t gathered the necessary information and considered enough possibilities before taking action. Due to his irrationality, they were surprised by the large amount of Azure Falling Sky players farming in nearby regions.
「Boss, there’s almost 9,000 Azure Falling Sky players headed your way! You better get out of there, fast!」a player who had died and respawned back in town frantically shouted out in the guild chat.
Smoke Stub felt a chill run down his spine. He thought he’d have more time before Azure Falling Sky assembled its forces. Whatever else one could say about him, Clear Sky was undeniably an experienced guild leader.
「Brothers, we’re going to break out of here! Hurry up!」
Smoke Stub swung his greatswords and sent several more Mages from Azure Falling Sky flying. When he looked at the forest edge in the distance, he saw a group of brightly armoured Azure Falling Sky players moving to surround them, completely cutting off all routes of escape!
Leading them was the guild leader of Azure Falling Sky, Clear Sky!
Clear Sky had a tall stature that was not the slightest bit inferior to Smoke Stub. He was a Paladin, clad in bright, silver-white armour which emanated a faint radiance. When he spotted Smoke Stub, his countenance flashed with a hint of sinister cruelty.
The hatred between the two ran very deep.
Smoke Stub was actually one of the founders of Azure Falling Sky. He used to have a 30% stake in the gaming organization. However, something happened that caused the two to part ways. On his way out, Smoke Stub brought with him many members of Azure Falling Sky, and with them, he founded Withered Leaf. This new organization eventually received the financial support of the Tuoba Family.
Later on, because the two gaming organizations were competing rivals in every popular virtual reality game, the animosity between them only further solidified and deepened.
When enemies met face to face, their eyes would blaze with hatred!
The appearance of Clear Sky’s group brought Withered Leaf’s powerful momentum to an abrupt halt.
“Shit! It’s Clear Sky!” Smoke Stub stared at Clear Sky. He was grasping the greatswords in his hands so tightly that the veins in his arms exposed, and his eyes were bloodshot like an enraged lion’s.
“Boss! All of our escape routes have been cut off, and several of our Priests are running low on mana!” Samsara Lord yelled. Azure Falling Sky players were streaming in from all directions.
It couldn’t be much longer before almost 9,000 Azure Falling Sky players would arrive. When that time came, it would be a certain calamity for Withered Leaf!