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172 Boss Doesn’t Want to Hear You Joke; Boss Used Body Slam

 It wasn't just Marni-even Xi Wei couldn't sit by and watch in his divine kingdom.

He was unable to do much lately due to his lacking divine energy, and simply watched as the Players ran off to farm swamp fishmen. There was nothing he needed them to do anyway once he thought about it: things were normal at Fishmen Island, and the Ocean Goddess certainly wouldn't suddenly pop up at Lancaster several hundred miles away to stir trouble, right?

Therefore, the rampage of the swamp fishmen had to be a natural phenomenon. Creatures of this world would often suddenly breed in wild numbers due to the climate or some sudden factor, but though things could prove problematic afterwards it at least wouldn't hurt the balance of ecosystems-one way or another, nature's cycles and conditioning could be observed.

Hence, Xi Wei decided to break out his popcorn and enjoy the show when he confirmed that it had nothing to do with the Ocean Goddess' trial.

After all, not even he would want to visit the Players in their dreams after they had left, catching them by their collars and telling them 'stop going out on adventures, stay home and play games instead!' to earn divine energy.

Still, as his popcorn boxes piled, he eventually couldn't act as if he was uninvolved.

Xi Wei certainly knew early on that the believers of certain gods were some freakish creatures, but he did not expect that the swamp fishmen would so boldly betray the Ocean Goddess to worship an unidentified evil god instead.

And from the grotesque appearance of those human-faced fish that was ugly enough to destroy entire cityscapes, they clearly weren't the creation of some orthodox deities to disgust themselves...

"But what authority could modify those creatures to such degree?" Xi Wei stroked himself at a spot that could be his chin. "Life? Bestial? Doesn't feel like those."

As a matter of fact, Xi Wei himself had the authority to modify living beings-given that none of the Bosses in the game looked human. After all, even Frieza had a third form that was neither human nor monster...

Be that as it may, his authority only alters 'individuals', and he couldn't create a collective of its own existence like the human-faced fish out of thin air.

He couldn't make any hypothesis with the severe lack of information, and so it seemed he must rely on the Players to keep stirring trouble at the swarm to attempt learning more.

At that thought, Xi Wei focused his Divine Eye down at them and started peeking.

***

At the moment, the Players had already grouped up under Marni's directions, and were too preoccupied with fighting with team spirit against the hundreds of swamp fishmen and the newly born human-faced fish.

"That said, the Players' fighting capabilities appear quite formidable now..."

Watching as the Players calmly drove a wedge between the enemy lines to encircle and wipe them out with crossfire tactics despite their terrible disadvantage in terms of numbers, Xi Wei suddenly noticed that his crazy believers actually had some fight in them.

While Xi Wei was alone as the peak fighting force and the stronger fighters were a mere handful, most veteran Players were at the level of an army's main force, and actually had a decent chance of winning even when they fought alone.

If Xi Wei wanted them to, he could mobilize the Players for an uprising to claim power in small counties such as Cromwell.

Such small cities had not many churches, and even less Holy Corps garrisoned.

In fact, they might even take a city the size of Lancaster if they made preparations and could attack without any nasty surprises.

Though it would be hard to say how long they could hold on to it.

Meanwhile, the hundreds of swamp fishmen and dozens of human-faced fish monsters that could wipe out the entire garrison of a city had been completely wiped out by the Players, converted to their EXP.

Xi Wei also found something resembling a map on the swamp fishman high priest's corpse, and hence left it on the other side as an item drop while also throwing in a few rare-purple items. The rewards certainly delighted the Players, who in turn threw themselves on the ground, stuck out their bottoms and started to throwing some dices they were carrying with them...

Xi Wei: "..."

How did these fools come up with a gacha roll system without being taught?

Finding himself rather apathetic about the Players just then, Xi Wei decided to keep an even closer eye on the Players' private lives.

Soon, after dividing the loot, the Players continued forward along the winding and crooked swamp fishmen map, ending up at the banks of a massive lake deep within the marshes.

Winter had just passed recently but there were no signs of the lake having frozen over, with many aquatic plants growing beneath the crystalline surface.

Several Aquatic Angels summoned their familiars to have them help scout the lake, but they were sea creatures unaccustomed to freshwater, and fled ashore soon enough.

Eventually, the ever-sinister Marni made the suggestion to have the Aquatic Angels summon some rotted mackerels, stingrays, and seals (which also begs the question of why those things were labeled as sea monsters and were in the list of summonses) and dump them all into the lake.

In no time at all, a jet of water shot out into the skies from the lake as a colossal figure breached the surface.

But although Xi Wei had expected that the Final Boss the Players had run into was something like a Swamp Hydra, he didn't expect that the king of the lake was a Marsh Drake!

And it was utterly infuriated by the Players' littering into its lake, firing a jet of water that swept across the entire lake!

"Get down!" Marni promptly yelled.

Aside from several Players who had substantial HP and high defense, every other Player who could not react in time were all insta-killed by the Marsh Drake's display of power.

Then, as Marni looked up to find that he was still alive, he could not stop himself from beaming. "Hoho! I'm finally not the first to die!"

Nonetheless, the Marsh Drake seemed to take the look on his face as a provocation, and insta-killed him as well with a mouthful of spit.

While the flustered Clerics tried to resurrect the insta-killed Players, the others mounted a tentative assault on the Marsh Drake. The long distance, however, meant that there was almost no damage dealt at all.

"Dare you come ashore!?"

The well-rounded Terrosche taunted the Marsh Drake, before turning towards his bro beside him. "Quick, you have to taunt it to come ashore!"

"Should I... tell a joke?" Silva asked slowly after hesitating for half a beat.

The Marsh Drake clearly didn't-it simply dove into the water, and in just a split second its massive body shot out of at the lake banks like a torpedo!

"I've been waiting for you!"

Terrorsche was delighted instead of stunned, spreading his arms as he cried out sonorously. "Suplex!"

And yet, his infallible grappling technique failed-the Marsh Drake's gigantic body simply crushed him as it moved along, flattening Terrosche into a cookie.

"Tsk! How could we fight it if it stays invulnerable?!" Silva exclaimed just before the beast swallowed him whole.

Meanwhile, in his divine kingdom, the surface of Xi Wei ball had wrinkled.

Unlike the Players, he already realized that it wasn't invulnerability, but a divinity aspect which resisted all Rule of Skills to a certain extent!

The Marsh Drake actually had the divine attribute!