Volume 1: Chapter 21 – Elite Skeleton
The common Swamp Monster kept spawning up from the swamp, with numbers reaching up to 500 as of now. They were coming in all directions, chasing after the group of 5. Even though their speed was slow, they could still utilise their acid bomb in attacking. But because of the lack of spirit, the moment their target was of a distance away, the acid bomb’s accuracy would be totally off, causing large amounts of acid bombs to miss their target.
“Do not stop, hide within the jungle ahead!”
Zhang Mu rushed into the jungle, yet many acid bomb balls still kept coming his way. Some of them hit the trees, while others landed on the ground. Some were even corroding the bushes in the jungle, boring holes and emitting a pungent smelling smoke. The Swamp Monsters’ speed was too slow, and they could not catch up with the group. It was only after the five of them tunnelled deeper into the jungle that the Swamp Monster lost their target focus, leading them to wander aimlessly, before dissipating into the swamp once again.
Even though they were temporarily free from danger, the five of them did not dare to lower their vigilance, rushing madly for 20 minutes before finally deciding to stop.
Zhang Mu took a mild respite, and said, “We’re quite far away. I don’t think the Swamp Monsters can survive within the jungle. They won’t chase us all the way in.”
Fatty had been successively hit by the acid bombs, making some of flesh from his thigh and chest to rot away. These affected areas were still bleeding profusely from the acid bombs. Zhang Mu and Sun Bing both had been hit only once, both suffering about the same degree of damage. As for Chen Ling and Leng Yun, they had been affected mildly by the acid, and had not sustained any heavy injuries.
Leng Yun still had a little mana left. Even though she could not cast the full healing hand, she could at the very least patch up some of the others’ injuries, reducing the pain caused by the acid bombs.
After receiving minor care for his wounds, Fatty immediately laughed joyfully, “Hahahaha, this time, everyone must envy this brother Fatty’s luck. I have actually gotten a skill book just now!”
“Ordinary monsters can also drop Skill Books?” Zhang Mu was shocked. The probability of such low grade monsters dropping skill books was so small that it was hard to find one skill book after killing thousands of monsters. It was similar to winning the lottery, yet Fatty had actually gotten one. “Quick, let’s see what book it is.”
Fatty took out the book, reading one through before saying, “Acid Bomb spell? Damn, isn’t this those Swamp Monsters’ technique?”
Zhang Mu nodded, “You are so unfortunate. This book is meant for mages.”
Acid Bomb spell did not belong to any category of the Elements. Fundamentally, any classes of mage: Elemental Mage, Necromancer, Priest, Cleric, and even Summoners could learn this spell. This was a common-use spell for mages. Still, as Fatty was not a mage, he could only give up the skill book in Leng Yun’s favor.
【Acid Bomb Spell LV1】, F grade spell, Highest possible LV3, Attacking distance: 30 metres, 50% chance of affecting spirit, continuous damage for 5 seconds, chance of incurring corroding effect or decreasing durability of equipment, mana consumption: 3 mana, cooldown 10 seconds.
The total damage of a spell was usually determined by its fixed damage, plus the magic power of one’s equipment and spirit attribute.
Acid bomb spells, however, belonged to another kind – with the fixed damage influenced only by one’s spirit attribute, and none of the magic power of one’s equipment. A mage with 50 points of spirit attribute could cause 25 damage with the acid bomb spell. Even this could sound great, 25 spell damage was actually very weak. After all, with 25 spell damage, unless the target’s magic defence is 0, it was very rare for the target to have 25 health points reduced. However, in reality, a monster with 0 magic defence didn’t exist.
Leng Yun’s spirit attribute had not even reached 30 points. Against a monster of same level, using the Acid Bomb against a common-grade monster would at most cause 10+ damage. As for using it against an elite monster, an incurred damage of 5-8 was already quite good. Compared to her Ice Arrow, its attacking power was not even a third. Even though the damage of Acid Bomb was low, in reality, its usability was not too bad. It had a small cooldown and reduced mana consumption, allowing one to use it frequently in order to corrode the opponent’s equipment, and consequently, its defence. For a team, this kind of ability was extremely suitable for support.
Fatty felt this was unfair and said, depressingly, “So unlucky. I thought I could use it!”
Zhang Mu replied, “There are as many as 20 different classes. Even though some skills can be used by all of them, the majority are specialised, and the drops from the monsters aren’t catered to one’s class at all. But precisely because of this, there is an even greater need to form a team. Let’s go. We should find a place where to pass the night.”
Only one hour was left before the skies would turn dark, and they had to find a place to stay through the night.
As they spent an hour searching through the jungle, they actually stumbled upon a cave. Its entrance was approximately 3 meters high, and a tad bit narrow in width, allowing only a person to cross through at once. The entrance was covered with large amounts of vines, so if one did not look attentively, it wouldn’t be seen at all.
Zhang Mu used his sword to cut down the plants blocking the entrance of the cave, and looked inside before saying, “This place looks quite old. Let’s stay here in the cave.”
Seeing the pitch-black cave, Chen Ling felt fear creeping in her heart, “Captain, are you really sure there’s nothing inside?”
“Judging by the looks of the entrance, these plants did not have any signs of being broken through, the vines were growing densely intertwined. No monsters have come out from this cave for 1-2 years, at the very least.” Zhang Mu took out a torchlight from his waist and switched it on to have a better look. “We’ll find out whether there is anything inside once we enter. You guys keep up with me!”
They entered the cave through the narrow opening. Inside it was so dark that the torchlight’s beam could not reach far enough. According to Zhang Mu’s initial thoughts, as long as the cave had an area of a few square meters, the five of them could stay through the night. However, as they went deeper into the cave, instead of shrinking, the surrounding width of rocks actually became wider, before reaching a width where two people could walk shoulder by shoulder.
“Be careful.” Zhang Mu frowned, softly saying, “This cave seems to be more than what meets the eye.”
The group moved creeped for over 20 meters before seeing something white underneath the rock ahead of them, which brought chills down everyone’s spines.
Chen Ling gasped, her voice shaking, “C… Captain, why is there a skeleton there!”
Inside the cave lay a skeleton that seemed to be a human’s, though it was larger than usual. Seemingly awoken by the group, a blue-coloured ghost flame suddenly ignited within the holes where the eyes would have been. With a ‘kaka’ sound, it rose to stand up.
【Skeleton soldier】(Black iron Elite), Level 5, 200 Health Points, 100 mana, description: Initially an elite soldier in its past life, it became an undead after being infected by the underworld’s breath.
Chen Ling was so shocked that she screamed.
Leng Yun’s expression turned pallid as she stood behind Zhang Mu. Sun Bing was feeling a tingling on his scalp as well.
Only Fatty was unafraid of this. He laughingly said, “Haha, just a level 5 Black Iron Elite monster? It looks so weak!”
The skeleton soldier raised its long rusty sword and came charging towards the five of them without saying anything. Even though it was a skeleton, its speed was quite fast. Fatty used his Brutal Charge, knocking against the Skeleton soldier, and reducing its health points by 18%. But being an undead, the skeleton was immune against daze effects, so he immediately reacted with a slash.
Fatty brandished his two-handed great sword, slashing the skeleton’s waist and pushing it back a few steps. However, due to its hardness, only a few bones broke off. Seeing that this elite monster’s capability was only this much, his confidence got a great boost, and Fatty raised his great sword for another attack.
Ge ge ge!
The skeleton suddenly brandished its sword explosively, stabbing into Fatty’s chest, cutting through his leather armour and reducing 23% of his health. After getting injured, he immediately retreated. A weak glow suddenly appeared on the Skeleton soldier’s longsword, before flying towards Fatty as a sword light. Sun Bing took this chance to step out, defending against that sword light with his shield. Without hesitation, he bashed his shield against the head of the skeleton, making it step backwards several times.
Zhang Mu slid rapidly towards the skeleton and assaulted it with a series of fluid attacks. The skeleton’s health finally dropped to zero. Its entire body began crumbling apart, turning into a pile of broken bones, on the cave’s floor.
Everyone’s experience bar increased by a margin. The only disappointment of this battle was that other than 2 gold pieces, nothing had dropped from the skeleton.
“So it was just a monster after all, and not a ghost.” Leng Yun folded her arms in support of her towering breasts, and frowned once again. “Such a pity nothing dropped from the monster. Our luck doesn’t seem to be good this time.”
“No.” Zhang Mu took up the gold piece, before continuing, “This elite monster is different from the elite monsters we’ve previously faced.”
Zhang Mu immediately replied, “Its combat power is much weaker, and it doesn’t seem to be a solo kind of elite monster. This seems to belong more to those elite monsters that bunch up in groups – pack elites.”
Leng Yun’s eyes brighted, “Pack elites? So, this cave should have more such monsters?”
“En. We’ll find out as we advance. Seems like we’ve strayed into a zone of elites.”
Sun Bing scratched his head, asking, “Zone of elites? Meaning an area full of elite monsters?”
“Indeed. The experience given by Elite monsters is several times higher than that given by common monsters. If this was a zone of elites, then its value would be extremely huge, as it would allow us to rapidly boost our levels. Even if the elite monsters belong to the pack category, the drops would be more rewarding than from any common monsters, with higher hopes of finding better items.”
Everyone’s eyes turned hot with fervor.
If it was like this, then it was the best!
Even though Skeleton soldier was a level 5 Black Iron Elite, its strength was far from the Black Bear they had faced in the past, but with similar experience. If they could hunt down 10-20 or more skeletons, then all of them would have hopes of reaching level 6!
“Damn, this is so awesome! What are we waiting for, then?”
Fatty’s wounds stopped bleeding. He immediately turned lively, shouting out his happiness.
Zhang Mu continued, “This cave is definitely very deep. We won’t last, passing through with this torchlight. Let’s retreat and prepare a few fire torches.”
The five of them exited the cave, looking for some easy to kindle pine, which was long-lasting as well. Only after preparing over a dozen torches did they enter the cave once again.
The cave was extremely dark. The fire torch could only brighten up the space around them up to a few meters. After walking for 5-6 minutes, they suddenly heard the sounds of moving bones. 3 skeletons stood up in front of them… 3 Skeleton soldiers, 3 Level 5 Black Iron Elite monsters.
The conjecture had been confirmed!
An ordinary cave was actually a zone of elites!
Compared to other elite monsters, Skeleton soldier was many times weaker. However, compared to common monsters, they were much stronger. Thus, the group could not afford to be careless when fighting against them. Of course, even when facing 2-3 Skeleton soldiers, Zhang Mu wouldn’t feel threatened. The five of them moved forward together, and within 4-5 minutes, they ended the battle, with the 3 skeletons turning into three piles of bones.
On average, one out of several common monsters would drop some gold pieces. As for elite monsters, all of them dropped gold pieces, although not a lot. But still, it was much better than fighting against common monsters. What made everyone surprised, though, was that an equipment item actually dropped from one of the 3 Skeleton soldiers they had just fought.
【White-bone Necklace】(Common Black Iron), Level 5, +4 Physical Attack, +4 Physical defence, Durability 20, Part of the White-bone Accessory set, Currently no set effects.
An equipment set!
Usually, any pieces of equipment belonging to a set would be worth several times that of common equipment. This was because with a set, there would be special effects that added additional properties to the user.
As for an accessory, it was even more rare and precious compared to any normal equipment.
Right now, in front of them there was actually an accessory equipment item belonging to a set!
Zhang Mu became excited as well.
Even though it was just a Level 5 Black Iron grade accessory set equipment, if he could obtain the entire set, then its value would increase tremendously – one could even exchange a greatly demanded FF grade skill book with it!
Still, the most important were its practical uses. If Zhang Mu could own the entire equipment set, then his combat power would raise to another level.