Chapter 188: In Jeopardy
"Ding! The sixth wave of monsters surging forward from Tukula Fortress!"
The system was not kind enough to provide sufficient time for the players to prepare for next wave of monsters. The interval between waves was fixed. If the players could not kill all the monsters from the previous wave in time, they would be further assaulted by the next wave of monsters!
This time the monsters were Demon Manticores, the size of the normal variation was similar to normal lions except for their powerful, long scorpion tails. The monster"s body was maroon in color, as if it had been drenched in fresh blood. The elite variation were similar to the normal Demon Manticores other than having heads that swelled up to seven or eight times larger than normal.
[Bloodthirsty Demon Manticore] (Normal, Demon)
[Bloodthirsty Demon Manticore King] (Elite, Demon)
These Demon Manticores rushed out from the fortress like a wave red sea towards the player, threatening to wash them away!
Except for a few strong guilds that still kept their NPC army, the rest of the defense lines" were no longer accompanied by their NPCs, thus, those guilds had started to move closer to each other. In this way, they could enhance their strength as well as use each other as meat-shields.
The Dominators, led by Humbly Gentleman, positioned themselves at the back of Zhang Yang"s defense line, hiding behind the NPC army.
Hundred Shots shouted angrily, "Humbly Gentleman, haven"t all the guild masters agreed that all guilds stick to your own defense lines? What are you doing here?!"
Humbly Gentleman put on his royal princeling face, waving a hand lackadaisically. One of his followers immediately replied, "F*cking shit, this battlefield is not owned by your guild, who are you to tell us where to stand? We are kind enough to assist you in fighting against the monsters, but you even dare blame us?!"
The follower spoke like a true Dominator. The whole lot of them were self-entitled pricks, acting as if they were a blessing to the world! They knew that Zhang Yang"s defense line still had an ample amount of NPCs to fight against the enemy and they wanted to reap the rewards without sowing, as they could rely on the enemy to reduce the strength of Lone Desert Smoke and Crimson Rage. The Dominators would be able to earn the title of the master of the city in the coming contest!
Zhang Yang pondered upon it for a moment, before switching to the open channel and announcing, "Everybody, our NPC armies are almost depleted, and our numbers aren"t looking too good either, if we insist on fighting alone, we will not survive the tenth wave! Those who are willing, please come to my side immediately. I have Lone Desert Smoke, Crimson Rage, Lost Paradise and The Dominators here! Brothers and sisters, unity is strength, let"s fight together so that we can claim victory together!"
Those lost and weak players were wandering at their spots uneasily. Zhang Yang"s announcement calmed their mind and emotions, and they immediately came to Zhang Yang"s side. Everyone knew that Lone Desert Smoke, Crimson Rage and The Dominators were the strong guilds in White Jade Castle. Lost Paradise was another guild that was quite capable. With all of these guilds allied, they could be depended upon. The lost and weak players could rest safe, knowing that they were in good hands!
The rest of the weak guilds hesitated for a while before coming to Zhang Yang"s side one after another. Instantly, Zhang Yang"s defense line increased from 20,000 players to more than 700,000 players. In fact, it was almost two-thirds of the surviving players!
Humbly Gentleman never thought that Zhang Yang would use them as an excuse to recruit more players to join his defense line. Besides, this also made Zhang Yang more heroic and messianic, even! A savior that appeared in desperate times to liberate the weakened minds! Humbly Gentleman suddenly became furious, but who told him to do what he did in the first place?
Zhang Yang commanded the crowd to move backwards and use the remaining NPC army as defense.
The Demon Manticores already rushed towards them and fought with the NPC army. These monsters had many kinds of attacks, from their claws that clubbed and slashed, to their fangs that bit and crunched, and their tails that lashed about and stung. Their attacks were overwhelming, tearing up an opening among the NPC army. The Demon Manticores fought straight ahead toward players" defense line.
The melee attackers fought against these monsters, and another bloody war broke out.
"Move back, back!" Zhang Yang shouted repeatedly and led the players until the rear forces had their backs against the invisible wall at top of the hillside while fighting against the monsters. By moving backwards to the air wall, the monsters would be unable to flank them and they would only need to fight against the monsters from the front!
Facing the endless attacks from the monsters, the remaining NPC army was now all defeated. However, their sacrifices were not wasted as they withstood a full 20 minutes of insane onslaught from the monsters, greatly reducing the pressure on the players.
With NPC army was all dead, their last buffer was gone, and the players were forced to fight against the monsters themselves. The boss appeared when they had fought for 50 minutes. The number of players remaining was 750,000!
"Ding! The boss of the sixth wave monsters, Demonic Manticore King, Hooke has joined the battle!"
Suddenly, a giant Demonic Manticore, about 60 to 70 meters tall, more than a hundred meters in length, swathed in black flames, appeared on the battlefield.
[Demonic Manticore King, Hooke] (Gray-Silver, Demon)
All of the players focused on Hooke and were surprised to find out that Hooke had an Aura Effect!
[Aura Effect]: Causes 1,000 fire damage every second to targets within range. Aura range: 30 meters radius around the caster.
Zhang Yang immediately spoke in the open channel, "Hooke has an Aura Effect, melee attackers do not approach Hooke, otherwise, you will be dead! All ranged attackers who have more than 800 basic damage points, come forward and attack Hooke while standing 30 meters away from him, if your HP is not enough, move back and make sure you get it full! Players who do not have good equipment, stay at the back, otherwise, you will waste the healers" MP and take up important spots! For the pride of all the players in White Jade Castle, everyone, please cooperate!"
Zhang Yang spoke again in his party channel, "Demon Snow, follow me when I dash! Hundred Shots, look for 100 ranged attackers with good equipment and fight with us! Daffodil Daydream, look for 200 healers with good equipment, pair up two healers to focus on one attacker each and do not let anyone die!"
"Yes!" Hundred Shots and Daffodil Daydream accepted to the command and complied.
Zhang Yang summoned his war horse and dashed towards Hooke. Hooke had an Aura Effect so Zhang Yang must not allow it to go near to the crowd, thus, Zhang Yang had to pull Hooke further away from the crowd!
On the other side, Crimson Rage, The Dominators and Sky High also sent their attackers to join the battle, while those small and medium guilds simply stood aside, observing the battle as they could not afford to fight anymore.
Zhang Yang dashed towards Hooke, immediately using <Charge>. Because of Hooke"s gigantic body size, Zhang Yang was like an ant bouncing off a building!
Although this ant was small, its damage was high, thus, Hooke screamed with pain and lifted his gigantic paw, attacking Zhang Yang.
Zhang Yang raised his shield and blocked against Hooke"s paw attack. However, Hooke"s Aura Effect could not be evaded, so "-350" damage text appeared above Zhang Yang"s head every second!
Luckily it was Zhang Yang, if it had been someone else without the equipment which absorbing a total of 450 damage, it would have been 800 damage points every second! Defenders had high magic resistance but even they would still receive 750 damage points!
Han Ying Xue immediately casted <Regeneration> on Zhang Yang, followed by <Mending Prayers>. She kept <Holy Shield> in reserve, it was to be used in emergency situations!
Tanks from the rest of the guilds rushed toward Hooke, but they did not come over to help Zhang Yang take damage from Hooke, simply waiting for the loots from Hooke!
After Zhang Yang applied the five stacks of <Cripple Defense> on Hooke, and the damage from the Hunters instantly increased! This round, the Pyromancers" were unable to contribute much. Although Hooke was not fully immune to fire damage, but being a firey beast itself, it had extremely high flame resistance. 1,000 Points of <Fireball> were turned into a measly 100 points when it came to Hooke!
Zhang Yang"s strategy was a two plus one tactic, with ranged attackers taking 1,000 fire damage every second and two healers to keep them alive. The rest of the guilds followed this tactic and some even used a three plus one variation that actually wasted MP.
"Ding! Demonic Manticore King, Hooke used <Charge>!"
Hooke suddenly dashed towards the surrounding crowd, the gigantic body steamrolling over them like a giant meteorite. Targets who were hit were sent flying, with "-5,000" damage texts appearing on their heads. Hooke instantly killed a large number of players!
Hooke dashed in another direction, repeating the action seven times, instantly killing at least 200 to 300 players. After that, Hooke dashed towards Zhang Yang as the aggro value had already been established!
Whenever Zhang Yang pulled a monster, nobody could possibly OT. However the <Charge> skill was used at random, this outcome was inevitable!
Open world bosses usually took several lives as they go down!
At the cost of 3,000 players" lives, the Demonic Manticore King, Hooke was finally killed. The gigantic corpse crashed onto the ground, dropping a lot of loot. The tanks who surrounded Hooke"s corpse quickly reached out and looted the equipment as much as could possibly take.
Although Zhang Yang had fast hands, there were too many people around, so he could only loot a Gray-Silver cloth armor and a skill book. The equipment was immediately put up for auction in guild"s warehouse. A Spellcaster named "Midsummer Fruit" won it, she was the main Spellcaster in the second team. Overjoyed, she had thanked him repeatedly for it in the guild chat.
The skill book was <Crusader Strike> which could only be learned by Templars. Zhang Yang also put it up for auction in guild"s warehouse.
"Silly Yu, the NPCs are all dead now, and we are left with only 748,923 players, it"s going to be difficult for us to survive until the tenth wave!" Han Ying Xue said, her brow furrowed. There were statistics displaying the number of surviving players in the upper right corner of the character interface menu.
Zhang Yang sighed and said, "Let"s just do our best!"
"Do not give up, do not falter!" Fatty Han boldly proclaimed.
"How irresponsible!" Endless Starlight added on for Fatty Han.
Everyone suddenly laughed, their doubts slightly alleviated.
"Ding! The seventh wave of monsters is surging out of Tukula Fortress!"
Another wave of monsters had appeared, they were packs of Cerberuses, much larger in size than the Manticores! Their entire bodies were jet black, as they snarled, white gleaming teeth coated in dribbling saliva snapping shut with deadly intent. Just staring at them alone sent chills down the spines of the players. Elite monsters were even bigger in size than the normal monsters, and they had two heads!
[Cerberus] (Normal, Demon)
[Two-Headed Cerberus] (Elite, Demon)
Without NPCs as their protection, the players would have to face the monsters head-on. The normal attacks from these Cerberuses were not particularly high but they could cast <Mana Burning> skills. <Mana Burning> had no effect on players who did not have MP bars, but players who had MP bars were in grave danger, suffering 1,000 damage points and losing 2,000 MP!
A lot of healers" MP were depleted due to this skill, they could only watch on helplessly as players left and right went down!
Kill! Kill! Kill! KILL!
Upper right corner of the screen showed the number of surviving players reducing drastically!
The players lost 250,000 people to the seventh wave. After the ordeal, those who were left standing were basically elite players. Those who were low leveled or inadequately equipped had gone as far as they could possibly go.
"Ding! The boss of the seventh wave monsters, Three-Headed Cerberus, Ankeda has joined the battle!"
They eliminated all the minions and those healers who had depleted MP immediately sat down and ate cakes to recover their condition. But now, a gigantic Three-Headed Cerberus was coming towards them from the direction from the fortress. The Three-Headed Cerberus was about a hundred meters tall, it was even larger than the Manticore Boss, Hooke!
[Three-Headed Cerberus, Ankeda] (Gray-Silver, Demon)
"Damn, with each level, they gain another 1,000,000 HP!" Endless Starlight muttered.
"We fight as usual!" Zhang Yang summoned his mount and asked Han Ying Xue, "Demon Snow, are you ready?"
"Wait a minute!"
Zhang Yang reined in his war horse and waited for Han Ying Xue. Speaking to Hundred Shots, he gave further instructions. "Reorganize the people that we have left, currently we have less than 6,000 people, team arrangements have to be redone again for balanced job roles! Make sure every party has a healer!"
Zhang Yang had built Lone Desert Smoke with elites, thus, they had only lost less than 40% of their full roster! Strong guilds like Crimson Rage, The Dominators and Sky High had already lost 50% of their guild members. The rest of the guilds were in even worse states. The remaining guilds who had anything above 30% were considered pretty good, as most of the other guilds had been completely wiped out!
"Done!" Han Ying Xue immediately stood up and summoned her [Storm and Gale Direwolf] and said, "Let"s go!"
Zhang Yang nodded, whipped his war horse and dashed towards Ankeda.
The rest of the guilds had already sent attackers to fight against Ankeda, Ankeda"s damage dealing style was revealed; each head of Ankeda had their individual attack intervals, similar to dual-wielding Thieves. It would also cast a much larger variation of the AoE skill, <Mana Burning> every 20 seconds, causing 5,000 damage and burning off 10,000 MP!
Other than players who had Level 40 Gray-Silver equipment, none of the healers" HP were more 5,000, thus, they were all killed in the first round. Those who survived were left with empty tanks and became sitting ducks.
Ankeda was the bane for Spellcasters, healers were either killed instantly or their MP was quickly depleted. The tanks at the defense line died one after another, further increasing player losses.
Zhang Yang thought for a while and said, "Demon Snow, stay back, this boss is the exterminator of Spellcasters!"
"What about you?"
"The damage from this boss to physical attackers is not really high. I will defeat it with sheer number of players!" Zhang Yang spoke in open channel, "Ankeda will not cast AoE damage to players who do not have MP bar but causes high damage to healers! We cannot use regular tactics to fight this boss. All the attackers who do not have MP bars, come forward and fight together, we will defeat this boss with our numbers. If the healers are all killed, it"ll be the end for all of us!"