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Chapter 445 - The Enraged Shadowmist Assassin

 There shouldn't be any issues triggering the enrage mechanics, right? Ye Xiaowu was still a little worried as he pondered over this. This was the solution he had come up with in a hurry; he originally wanted to modify the drop rate of the BOSS the moment before the Shadowmist Assassin's HP depleted, but he was worried that somebody would coincidentally be standing behind him.

Opportunity waited for no man. Ye Xiaowu had to seize this opportunity when nobody was looking to act, yet he did not dare to open the program for too long. Thus, his final option was to modify the condition to enrage the BOSS.

Nobody should be able to notice what I just did. Ye Xiaowu was rather confident of this. The members of the monitoring team were only problem-solvers when someone sent a report of an issue to them; they were unfamiliar with the data metrics of the game. All they saw was the enrage mechanic being triggered, which was nothing elaborate so it should not draw anyone's suspicions.

Ye Xiaowu thought about this even as he continued to sneak glances at those people watching the battle. The BOSS was in an enraged state, but not one of them appeared to be suspicious and was, instead, all the more excited now as if they were all injected with stimulants. Even those people who were originally not too interested in the attempt could not help but head over and look. Ye Xiaowu felt as if he was a director that had just successfully created the climax for this show.

These men from the monitoring were aware that the BOSS was enraged, but Gu Fei and the others in game had no clue.

The enraged Shadowmist Assassin had just been activated after that last wave of attack, and its style of combat was not in the least bit altered after being enraged. As per usual, the Shadowmist Assassin continued to hide itself back in the fog after its attack. In order for the players to know that a BOSS was enraged and make the necessary preparations, it would usually undergo a process of change. At the moment, the Shadowmist Assassin was already visibly changing - its skin turning red, eyes becoming bloodshot, and its hair standing up on its ends - but due to the environment in Xiawu City, as well as the unique characteristic of the Shadowmist Assassin, Gu Fei and the others were still in the dark about this.

When the Shadowmist Assassin next appeared, it was still targeting Gu Fei's back. The first one to spot it this time was Brother Assist, and he quickly alerted the others of the incoming figure in the fog.

Gu Fei calmly turned around but, instead, discovered that the BOSS was already before him.

He was not the only one taken aback by this. Everybody else had also received quite the fright when they saw the speed at which the BOSS had suddenly appeared. However, they were not directly threatened in the least and were still able to make adjustment, accordingly. Gu Fei, who was due to be taking the BOSS's attack, turned to face the BOSS that now had bloodshot eyes and seemed to be about to spew fire.

Shocked, Gu Fei figured that it would be too late for him to block with his sword like before, so all he could do was to extend his left hand to stop it. He was very precise, and this extension of his hand latched onto the wrist of the Shadowmist Assassin, but how was that enough to stop its ensuing impact? Upon impact, Gu Fei was sent spiraling up the sky like a kite.

Meanwhile, the Shadowmist Assassin skidded smoothly and did an about turn. Propping itself on the ground with one hand and gripping its dagger in reverse with another, it looked as if it were about to leap, just like a predator pouncing on its prey.

The skin, eyes, and hair... These changes were too obvious, and anyone could tell from a glance. Adding up the increased speed and the force of impact, these experienced MMO experts all exclaimed, "ENRAGE!"

The enrage mechanic was a common sight in MMOs and was not particularly worth making a fuss about, but the issue was that the Shadowmist Assassin before them was already difficult to deal with previously. Now that its enrage was triggered, the situation had once more turned grim.

Gu Fei took a tumble in the air and landed heavily on the ground. Given his skill, he would always be able to make some adjustment while in mid-air whenever he lost his balance. Even if he had no choice but to collapse to the ground, he would always make sure to leave himself in a position that allowed him to recover in the fastest time. However, at this moment, Gu Fei had actually fallen flat on the ground and was unable to immediately get himself on his feet. This was entirely due to the fact that he had sustained a heavy injury from that last attack, so much so that the system somewhat restricted his movement.

This attack had dealt a shocking amount of damage that Gu Fei was left with but a sliver of HP. Any normal Mage would have died from this, but thanks to his Windchaser's Blessing, as well as that hand of his that somewhat reduced the force behind the attack, he prevented himself from being insta-killed. Nevertheless, the heavy injury he took was unavoidable, and at the moment, he lay sprawled on the ground, his mind awake yet his body was unable to move.

"What's wrong with Miles?" someone asked aloud.

"Young Master Han sarcastically replied, "Can't you tell just by looking at him now?" With that, he waved his staff.

This time, he did not cast Heal. Heal was used to recover HP, while Gu Fei had sustained a heavy injury right now. This was similar to Dizzy, Weaken, Wound, and other such statuses players would sustain. They required a specific skill or medicine to remove; otherwise, no amount of food or Heal from a Priest would recover any HP.

The skill Young Master Han was currently using was the level 40 skill, Cure, which Light Priests would learn upon Job Class Advancement.

This skill could be considered as a skill that applied a sustained effect. The staff of Young Master Han shone forth a glaring light once he chanted the spell, causing a bright glow to envelope Gu Fei's entire body. He would only fully recover when the glow receded. However, the BOSS had no intentions of giving Gu Fei the chance to cure himself. Getting into position after making that 180 degree turn, it instantly used the same attack he did to dash toward the fallen Gu Fei.

War Without Wounds gave a loud grunt and activated his Charge to collide into the Shadowmist Assassin. These experts might not have the kung fu expertise to supplement their skills, but the other aspects of their skillset, like experience and awareness, were still topnotch. Seeing that Gu Fei had been knocked down and needed protection, War Without Wounds was already upon him to block the BOSS from getting to Gu Fei. When War Without Wounds saw how Gu Fei had survived that BOSS's attack, he reckoned it would be difficult for him to be insta-killed. Thus, he courageously stood before the BOSS to bear the brunt of the incoming attack. He was not expecting to knock the BOSS over with his attack either and was only hoping to buy some time for Young Master Han to cure Gu Fei. Everybody knew clearly who was the lynchpin that would allow them to successfully slay this BOSS.

The Shadowmist Assassin might be a BOSS, but its body was weak. Its muscles and build did not dramatically expand even after it entered a state of enrage, so it was still two sizes smaller than the stocky Warrior War Without Wounds. The Warrior had both his hands gripping the claymore before him as he crossed blades with that slender dagger the Shadowmist Assassin was holding, and the sound made upon collision was earth-shattering.

"WHAT THE F*CK?!" War Without Wounds had not forgotten to curse even at such a time. That huge body of his was also sent flying up in the air, but he did not spiral in the air like Gu Fei had before. He merely sailed upward and landed on his butt, raising a larger cloud of dirt and dust than Gu Fei, but he did not suffer from a heavy injury.

First, a Warrior had plenty of HP thanks to the job class's high rate of growth toward this particular stat. Second, War Without Wounds was fully clad in heavy armor, so the defense it afforded was far higher than that of a robed Mage. Third, War Without Wounds used his skill Charge, and the Verdict for this attack was many times higher than Gu Fei's act of grabbing the BOSS's hand. With all these three reasons stacked together, even though War Without Wounds was sent flying with that attack, the damage he sustained was not as bad as Gu Fei's and was far from getting a heavy injury. Had Gu Fei been in War Without Wounds' shoes, there was no way to tell if he could have landed on his feet.

This one sacrificial charge from War Without Wounds was truly the key in saving Gu Fei. Taking in that impact of the Charge head on, even though the Shadowmist Assassin's advance was not halted, it at least slowed down the BOSS from reaching Gu Fei quickly. This slowing down gave Eternal Dominion an opportunity to attack. Locking his arms around the BOSS's waist, he proceeded to execute a Seismic Toss onto the Shadowmist Assassin and tossed it out.

The Shadowmist Assassin had even managed to do a reverse kick right at Eternal Dominion as it was being tossed into the air; another Fighter would have simply taken this hit. According to the rules of the system, any target that had been subjected to a Seismic Toss would be immobile before it landed on the ground, but who knew that the Shadowmist Assassin would be unaffected by this and would even be able to retaliate?

However, this was Eternal Dominion, after all. As a professional kung fu practitioner, he exuded a fighting awareness from head to toe, so there was no way he would be so careless as to let such an attack land. This reverse kick from the Shadowmist Assassin was instantly blocked by Eternal Dominion with his backhand. He was aware of course that a kick from a BOSS would not simply be just that, so he even activated the Chiwave Shield on the said hand.

The Chiwave Shield was destroyed by that kick from the Shadowmist Assassin, causing Eternal Dominion to retreat several steps as his HP lowered. However, the Shadowmist Assassin was unable to entirely shrug off the effect of the Seismic Toss, so it still went flying out. Still, it was able to adjust itself while mid-air and landed upright on the ground.

The Charge and Seismic Toss at least bought enough time for Gu Fei. The spell efficacy of the self-proclaimed Golden Ratio Priest Young Master Han was much stronger than the average Priests, so Gu Fei was already standing upright from that Cure of his.

The Shadowmist Assassin moved once more, as Gu Fei steeled himself for the incoming attack, but who knew that it would actually dash right toward Royal God Call, instead.

All their defense was surrounding Gu Fei, since everybody no longer doubted that the BOSS, which had kept its eyes on Gu Fei all this time, would change target. Nobody had truly expected the BOSS to do something like this at such a crucial moment.

Therefore, none of them was able to assist or provide any sort of cover for Royal God Call in time.

Furthermore, Archers were a ranged job class that possessed the highest Agility. Their Strength was not too shabby, either, but their low HP, which was not even comparable to Mages, was their biggest weakness. While their defense was stronger than that of a Mage, that bit of defense was as good as negligible when faced against a level 60 BOSS.

Adding the fact that the job class possessed zero melee ranged skills, Royal God Call only had one option in mind: RUN!

Flee and buy some time for his comrades to rescue him.

That was what Royal God Call thought as he turned to flee. Help was, indeed, quickly on its way, as Gu Fei raised his sword and chanted, and a crackling Electric Wall appeared right behind Royal God Call just a beat after.

However, the Shadowmist Assassin disregarded this spell in its entirety and ran headfirst into that Electric Wall.

Electricity crackled and a human sized tear appeared on this lightning barricade. The Shadowmist Assassin's entire body was arcing electric current and spark as it continued its way forward, undeterred. In several steps, it caught up to its target and lashed out with its dagger...

Royal God Call's choice of turning around to flee became the flaw that caused his death in this moment.

Electricity was coursing through the Shadowmist Assassin's entire body; meaning, it was still carrying the Paralyze status that came with Lightning spells. The unique effect that came from the Paralysis effect was the restriction of skill usage. Had Royal God Call taken that basic attack from the front, he might not have died. However, turning around to flee had only exposed his back to the enemy.

An attack from the back by an Assassin would deal additional damage - this was the unique characteristic that Assassins had. As a BOSS with the same job class, this particular characteristic was further amplified. Adding the increased Attack Power from being enraged, Royal God Call was easily insta-killed after taking that one stab...

With a loud roar, the Shadowmist Assassin once again shook off the electricity coursing through its body and returned to hide in the fog. A look of confusion could be seen on the remaining six players.

Over on his side, Ye Xiaowu could not help but reveal a devious smile at the moment.

The aggro formula was completely reset once the Shadowmist Assassin was enraged.

Why would an enraged Shadowmist Assassin still retain Assassin's Sangfroid? Do you take us game designers as fools? Ye Xiaowu thought to himself.