When the Midnight Tea Party's members noticed the hoof prints, their expressions grew tense.
The Crying Ghost Ridge was a Level 60 to Level 75 map. To current players, this place was a forbidden land. If not for their interest in the Fallen Ark inside the Ridge, they would not have bothered coming here at all. Even if they were trying to avoid contact with large Guilds, they would only level and quest in Level 55 or so maps.
Why wouldn't they be surprised to find hoof prints from other mounted players?
Breeze Wine, the Midnight Tea Party's leader, turned to t a delicate, pretty Assassin in white clothes and ordered, "Wave, scout ahead and see how many people they have and how far ahead they are."
The Assassin class was not only skilled in the art of assassination. These players were also talented trackers. If an Assassin's Tracking Skill were a high enough level, they could even determine general information of the other party through their footprints. For example, the white-clothed Assassin had leveled her Tracking to Tier 1, Level 9. At this stage of the game, an Assassin with the Skill at Tier 1, Level 2 was already impressive. After all, it was not a commonly used Skill.
"Leave it to me."
The pretty Assassin called Netherworld Wave nodded. She then jumped off her massive avian Mount and checked the hoof prints. As for the rest of the team, they also dismounted and sat to rest.
Although they had ridden their Mounts the whole way here, several hours of riding was a burden on their Stamina. By sitting to rest, they could recover some of the lost Stamina.
"There are twenty sets of prints. It should be a team of Level 40 and above players. The prints are less than half an hour old. However, the team's trail disappears after reaching the path's entrance," Netherworld Wave reported. Even after searching for other clues, she could not find a reason for the sudden disappearance.
Normally, only invisibility-type Skills such as Stealth produced such effects. However, why would a group of twenty Assassins venture to the Crying Ghost Ridge?
"Although we don't know why these players are here, we should be careful. As a neutral map, there are plenty of foreign races in Crying Ghost Ridge. If the natives discover us, kill them immediately. If we can't kill them, run. Do not engage in a drawn-out battle!" Breeze Wine instructed. "Low-ranking Mounts cannot hide their tracks. And my Beastmaster's Breath is only effective against low intelligence monsters. It won't be nearly as effective against the races here. From this point on, we'll advance on foot."
Following which, the Midnight Tea Party stealthily entered the Crying Ghost Ridge.
However, as the team traveled down the narrow mountain path leading into the Crying Ghost Ridge, they discovered a bewildering scene.
The area, which had originally been covered with gravel, now looked like the surface of the moon. Craters and corpses of various races littered the ground. There were at least 300 dead scattered in the rubble.
It looked like some great war's forlorn battlefield.
"What happened here?" The female Cleric Cloud Yarn's jaw dropped, shock filling her gaze as she stared at three Ogre corpses that were over ten meters tall, their bodies bisected. Surrounding these three were hundreds of three- and five-meter tall Ogres.
[Ogre Gladiator] (High Lord)
[Ogre Warrior] (Special Elite)
[Ogre Shaman] (Chieftain)
"Leader, these Ogres seem to have been here to ambush players. However, from the looks of it, the players who passed by earlier must have killed them," Netherworld Wave said as she handed some simple traps she had picked up to Breeze Wine.
In God's Domain, players weren't the only ones capable of setting traps. Monsters could do so as well. As for foreign races that had higher intelligence than monsters, setting traps was common. Though, there were differences between the traps the various races set. For example, simple-minded races like Ogres were only capable of setting very primitive traps. Perceptive players could easily avoid them.
"Just who are those players?" Breeze Wine could not help his joy when he saw the Ogre corpses.
Among the hundreds of Ogres, there were three Level 62 Ogre Gladiators and over 30 Ogre Shamans, which were healers. Even their adventurer team would suffer casualties if they fought such a powerful force. However, he could not find a single trace of a player's resurrection on the battlefield.
"Thank goodness we arrived after those people. Otherwise, we would've had a hard battle," Cloud Yarn said, sighing in relief.
"Leader, I found the team's tracks. It seems like they're heading towards the Fallen Ark as well," Dark War, a Ranger wielding a short bow, said as he pointed towards the dead forest ahead of them.
"This is interesting." Endless Scars smiled faintly as she examined the sword marks on the Ogre Gladiators. "Leader, let's move out. If we waste too much time here, the monsters might respawn."
"Alright, let's go," Breeze Wind said as he gestured with a hand. The team then followed the tracks.
Meanwhile, deep in the Crying Ghost Ridge's dead forest, Shi Feng and the others faced-off against an army of Trolls. Wave after wave assaulted the team. Meanwhile, the Troll Shamans standing in the rear continuously healed the Troll Warriors and Chieftain fighting on the frontlines.
[Troll Warrior] (Elite)
[Troll Chieftain] (Great Lord)
[Troll Shaman] (Chieftain)
"Guild Leader, if they continue calling for reinforcements, we won't be able to hold them back!" Cola, who held back the Troll Chieftain, shouted. The pressure was intense as he fought the Great Lord.
He was only Level 43. With a 20-level gap, even though he had an Epic shield and the Support Skills of the Demonic Flame Tiger, he felt as if his life were on a rollercoaster. Every one of the Troll Chieftain's normal attacks dealt over -19,000 damage, while a Skill would deal over -26,000. Meanwhile, he only had slightly over 35,000 HP. If not for the Clerics' Truth Shield and Oracles' Protection on him, the Great Lord's Skills would have killed him instantly.
"Wait a little longer. Turtledove and Wumian, try to lure as many Troll Warriors away from the Chieftain as possible," Shi Feng unhurriedly instructed.
"Guild Leader, there are too many Trolls here. If any more join the fray, I'm afraid that we won't be able to deal with them." Gentle Snow felt her chest tighten as she watched more Troll Warriors join the battle.
They could deal with their foes if the monsters were simply Level 40-plus Elites. However, these were Level 60-plus Elite monsters. Furthermore, aside from the abundant EXP, killing these monsters wasn't particularly profitable; They Elite and Chieftain ranked Trolls they had already killed had only dropped Silver Coins and some materials. They hadn't even dropped a piece of Mysterious-Iron Equipment.
"Almost. Just hold on for a little while longer." Shi Feng did not bother to explain.
God's Domain's neutral maps were home to various foreign races.
Unlike humans, foreign races were very talented. Some were good with magic, some possessed unmeasured strength, some had acute five senses, and some were natural-born warriors. To put it simply, foreign races were much stronger than humans.
During ancient times, humans had consistently ranked at the very bottom among the races in God's Domain. Humans did not have an edge in combat. However, humans' intelligence was unmatched. The human race had only achieved the prosperity it enjoyed today by accumulating and passing on their knowledge from one generation to the next.
Although humans were still no match for Archaic Species, they had become the to race on the continent of God's Domain and occupied most of the continent's territories.
There were two foreign races in Ghost Crying Ridge: Ogres and Trolls. While Ogres wielded boundless strength, they lacked the intelligence to produce weapons that could maximize that strength. Trolls, on the other hand, were very smart. Normally, they would gather wood and stone to forge weapons for battle.
Green Ebony was among the wood these Trolls harvested. Hence, when killing these Trolls, there was a chance that Green Ebony would drop.
Of course, players could also search the Crying Ghost Ridge for harvestable Green Ebony. However, the process was troublesome. Moreover, to Shi Feng and the others, Crying Ghost Ridge was still too dangerous to explore casually. There were many places that they couldn't reach yet. Thus, Shi Fent settled on killing Trolls for the wood.
In fact, he was specifically waiting for the Troll Chieftain to call for reinforcements so that he would have more Troll Warriors to kill. Troll Warriors were only Elite monsters. Their chances of dropping a rare material like Green Ebony were quite low. At the very least, they needed to kill Chieftain ranked Trolls for a decent chance of obtaining Green Ebony.
"Guild Leader, more Trolls have arrived!" Minor Wind reported, his expression twisting.
Among the newcomers were three Lord ranked Trolls!