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22 Gate Guardian

 Before the bandits can even recover from the assault of the [Earth Fissure], I was able to get into a close range. Although killing them would always ensure a good amount of reward, capturing them is much better as it yields higher rewards, a title when a certain number of bandits are captured and fame from NPCs which leads to cheaper goods when buying items.

To avoid killing them, I changed my Flaming Magic Sword into a Brass Knuckle that is usually used by Fighter Class and engaged them into a fist fight while still stunned from the attack earlier. With a swift move, I released a punch to the diaphragm of all bandits causing them to fall over and fall down, incapacitated.

"Lina! Give me a rope to tie them down!"

Lina nodded and took a few meters long rope and gave it to me. With that said, I tied up the five bandits one by one and load them to the cart. Lily and her kids were surprised to see the bandits being loaded.

"You are not killing them?"Lily asked.

"Nah, they should pay the price of doing crimes from the guards. I am not an executioner so let the guards handle them," I said. Of course, the real objective in my mind is to hand them and collect a much better amount of reward. Why kill for a hefty amount of reward if there is a better alternative?

The journey is a bit safe and it didn't even live up to the Hard Difficulty on the quest but I know that it won't be too long before the real danger appears. The ground rumbles and the cart has to stop or else the cart will stumble down. The horses were also frightened if not for Lina calming them down.

I was certain that the Hard mission comes in this part. The mission never fails to say the danger level unless you are someone who can still unleash your prowess despite the difficulty.

"Boy, what is going on? Is it an earthquake?" Lily hugged her children due to the tremors.

"No, I don't think so, the shaking is only occurring here. We are almost in the capital and they should have rung the bell if it is. That means something else produced this disturbance!" I said calmly.

I have known what caused this disturbance but telling them is not something I have to do anyway. This is just a game. The tremors slowly stopped, allowing us to continue. But then, just as we are nearing the very end of the trail, reaching the gates of the capital, an enormous boulder blocks the way.

"A boulder? This isn't present last time!" Lina said as she stares at the boulder with a frown on her face.

"Did it fell during the tremors earlier? How long before it will get removed?" Lily stares at the boulder with a worried look.

I unsheathed my Versatile Weapon in the form of a Hammer and looks at the NPCs.

"Please step back! This isn't a boulder!"

Before the cart can move away, the place shook again. This time the 'boulder' moved and extract out a big arm made of rock and waved it to our direction. I didn't waste my time and changed the Hammer to Shield and Spear from the Paladin weapon repertoire and tried blocking the arm. Of course, with the massive arm attacking, the damage is tremendous even when I was defending.

-350!

Half of my health were chipped off immediately. If I was a bit slow and received the damage head on without any weapon, I had died already, squashed in its rock fist. And since I survived, the quest log updated.

Quest Updated! [Moving Out Part 3] activated!

[Moving Out Part 3] Quest 3 out of 3

Type: Hidden Quest

Info: You managed to successfully defend the cart from attacks but the Guardian of the Gate that has been slumbering for many years has awaken. Defeat the Gate Guardian and protect the cart.

Cart's Durability: 1,000/1,000

Difficulty: Hard

Recommended levels: 9-10

Rewards: ???

The recommended levels also rose! From level 8 to 9 turned to 9 to 10! I am not going to take this one easily. I am aware of the Gate Guardian's prowess as I faced this guy in the past timeline, which is everyone's requirement to enter the Capital. Of course, I am not excepted in this task. The only thing is that this Gate Guardian is a bit weaker than the usual Gate Guardian faced by many players to enter.

Gate Guardian[Mini-Boss]

Level 10

HP: 30,000/30,000

Attribute: Earth, Humanoid

When I say that early access to the Gate Guardian battle, this is what I am talking about. To trigger the battle and to successfully awaken the guardian, players facing it must be around level 15 above to trigger its awakening. If you are lower leveled than that, you can't trigger its awakening at all and will continue to become a rock. This only applies on players who have yet to step foot on the capital. Once a player already challenged and defeated the Gate Guardian, you can come and go in this road without any obstruction from any rock.

This time, I was challenging a weaker version of the Gate Guardian. The original health of the Gate Guardian at level 15 is 50,000 HP which is a bit higher than now. But I did not try to let my own guard down. This Gate Guardian is still strong and I don't dare to take it lightly, and besides, I have to protect the Cart with the others too. That is the reason its in Hard difficulty.

"Lina! Steer the cart away from it before it attacks the cart! I will defeat it as soon as possible!" I shouted on Lina.

"But what about you?!" Lina panicked. From the looks on her face, she had never faced a single monster this big.

"I will be fine! [Heal]!" I raised my arm and shouted [Heal], causing me to get enveloped into a green light and my HP recovered with 100 HP. The Gate Guardian slowly rose above as the 'boulder' form earlier slowly became a big rock golem. Its a tall one around 8 to 9 feet tall and since a person with a height like me who is only around 5'9, I am practically an ant figure on it.

I didn't bother changing my weapon and charge using my spear while the shield is raised. Although I know it won't do much, at least my defense is a bit high. [Heal] magic's cooldown is done so I cast it again to recover my lost health. I only need 150 HP left to recover to return to my usual HP.

When I got closer, I changed my weapon again into a Hammer and swings it hard into its leg. I didn't forget to aim my arm and release a magic.

"[Basic Fireball]!"

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-121

-99

The damage are pitiful but its alright. Battles against the Gate Guardians are considered long and hard especially when you are in a solo battle therefore, its normal to have small damages. At least, my hammer deals a decent amount of damage.

The Gate Guardian swings its arm around. Despite its size, its very agile and quickly gave a punch to my direction. I quickly rolled away and aimed my arm to the arm of the Gate Guardian.

"[Ice Prison]!"

The arm of the Gate Guardian immediately got covered into the ice but it didn't take too much effort for the Gate Guardian to break free from the ice.

BANG!

It raised its free arm and hits its ice covered arm, breaking it off. Well, I don't expect it to hold off the Gate Guardian. I was just using it for buying time.

I changed my weapon into a Hook Chain and throw it to the same spot where I hit the Gate Guardian earlier.

-125

The damage rose a bit which made me grin. The strategy is still the same and it didn't even changed at all. The Gate Guardian rushes towards my location again while its arms raised in the air. I changed my weapon back into a hammer again and slide off from the Gate Guardian, avoiding the attack that the Gate Guardian aimed on me. Of course, the same spot in its leg where I hit it is open, which allowed me to hit it again with another swing.

BANG!

-200!

The damage rose exponentially, and before I left the area of its legs, I raised my arm again and hit it with magic.

"[Basic Fireball]!"

-200

As soon as the magic hit, I saw a glimpse of its rock get cracked on the same spot that I hit with. My attacks are working! But before I can even give another attack, Lina attacks using a crossbow on the Gate Guardian, causing the attention of that guy to shift on Lina and the cart.

"Idiot!" I gritted my teeth. She took the agrro which I built up to avoid the cart from being targeted.

Lina was also stunned by the turned of events. She quickly steers the car away but before she can go far, the Gate Guardian slammed its fist into the ground and a massive rock formation covers the whole place, enclosing the cart back without being able to escape.

"Lina! I told you steer away the cart! Not participate in the battle! Now you all are in danger! Dammit, don't attack it again! Let me grab the aggro and whenever the Gate Guardian attacks, steer away!"

I gritted my teeth in agitation. My plans are ruined but I have to do this. I changed my weapon again and decided to try that technique again that I have done in the past timeline. Maybe this will work on the Gate Guardian. But it is unsure whether it will be effective. I will just have to get close enough.