Chapter 1957 - Experts Close to the Peak

Starstreak and his team had set up camp on one of Blue Wave Rock's barren hillsides. They had excellent visibility, which allowed them to scout their surroundings. Unfortunately, the monsters in the area had short respawn times and constantly need to be cleared out.

Currently, Starstreak's team fought dozens of Level 62 Cliffside Gargoyles.

"Boss, Deep Trace's team has been attacked by Zero Wing and is requesting immediate backup!" a Level 57 Ranger reported.

"Zero Wing has taken the initiative to attack?" Starstreak, who commanded the battle against the Gargoyles, could not help but chuckle. "It seems they haven't learned from the previous lessons. Send the nearby teams to reinforce Deep Trace immediately. Tell the other teams to head towards their location, as well. Do not allow Zero Wing to escape!"

The Level 57 Ranger immediately relayed the command to the various teams. Fortunately, the closest team was only three minutes away from Deep Trace, and once the two teams grouped up, they should have no problems pinning down Zero Wing long enough for the other two nearby teams, which were about ten minutes away, to arrive. Once the four teams surrounded Zero Wing's members, the latter would have no chance to flee.

Starstreak then led his team as they withdrew from the battle, ignoring the provoked the Cliffside Gargoyles and heading straight for Zero Wing.

Shredded Soul had given him this mission personally, and he had no choice but to take it seriously. Although Starstreak felt that four teams should be enough to defeat Zero Wing's 100-man team, he decided to head there personally as a precaution.

Elsewhere, Fierce Snake's 20-man party fought with more vigor as time passed. On the other hand, fear overwhelmed the Tier 2 Elementalist that led Miracle's team as he watched his teammates die, one after another.

What is this... Just what is going on!? The Elementalist couldn't believe his eyes as he watched Fierce Snake and his comrades cut down Miracle's players.

At first, Zero Wing's defense had contained many weak points, but as the battle progressed, these weaknesses had vanished. Zero Wing's fighters had also reduced their excess movements.

It was as if Fierce Snake and his players had obtained a new body and adapted as they fought His Spells had been, more or less, able to interrupt Fierce Snake's strikes at the beginning of this fight, but the Berserker now chased him while dodging or blocking his Spells without issue.

While the Tier 2 Elementalist was awed by Fierce Snake's improvements, the Berserker continued to tighten his control. Now, he completely abandoned defense and utilized the Basic Combat Technique, Windshadow Footwork, for the first time in this battle. Like a light breeze, Fierce Snake weaved his way through the incoming Spells.

In two breaths, Fierce Snake dodged the spells and reached the Elementalist. He then swung down with his battle axe.


Tier 2 Skill, Thundering Impact!

The battle axe descended on the Tier 2 Elementalist like a lightning bolt. The enemy player had no way of coping with the attack's speed or Strength.

Boom!

When the lightning bolt landed, the blast carved out a massive crater beneath the Elementalist. The caster, who had only had one-third of his HP remaining, vanished from the forest with his shattered Magic Shield. Only a robe remained of the player.

When Miracle's members saw this, they despaired.

The Tier 2 Elementalist had been their leader and a bona fide Refinement Realm expert. He could hold off several non- Refinement Realm, Tier 2 experts by himself during their sparring sessions. Now that even their powerful leader had died, how were they supposed to face Fierce Snake and the others?

"Run away!" One of Miracle's members instinctively shouted before turning and fleeing the battlefield.

"Run away? Can you, though?" Fierce Snake ran after the fleeing player before snatching up the robe his prior prey had dropped.

When the Basic Combat Device increased his and his teammates' Life Ratings, their Basic Attributes had received a significant boost. The improvement was akin to activating a miniature Berserk Skill. Their HP, in particular, had doubled. At the same time, their Movement Speed had risen considerably. Fierce Snake was even confident of defeating an excellently- equipped, Tier 2 Assassin with his current Movement Speed.

After less than a minute since the battle had begun, all of Miracle's 100 elite and expert players were dead. In contrast, Fierce Snake's team of 20 had suffered zero casualties.

"Boss Fierce, Miracle's other teams are heading your way," one of the scouting Assassins reported in the team chat. "The nearest team should arrive in about two minutes."

"Two minutes?" After giving the matter some thought, Fierce Snake looked at the teammates around him and asked, "We should have enough time. Brothers, what do you think? Will you be ready for round two after a short break?"

"Don't be insulting, Boss. That fight was barely a warm-up."

"That's right! Boss, you're so sneaky! You fought the enemy leader by yourself and only left the small fries for us! We barely got a chance to test any new combat techniques!"

Every player in the 20-man party agreed with Fierce Snake's conclusion. In fact, they brimmed with fighting spirit. They had discovered how powerful the Basic Combat Devices were in their previous battle, and due to their new Life Ratings, they could finally execute the combat techniques that had given them too much trouble before. This was a great opportunity to grasp these techniques fully.

Of course, they still couldn't use these combat techniques casually since it was such a burden on their Stamina. By using combat techniques they had yet to master, they lost Stamina even faster than usual. Hence, they only used the techniques when they fought powerful enemies. Tier 1 experts simply weren't worth the effort.

"Good! I'll leave the big ones to you in the next battle!" Fierce Snake said, laughing.

After resting for a short time, another team from Miracle stumbled on Fierce Snake's party. However, before the new arrivals could get a grasp of the situation, Fierce Snake and his players charged toward them.

Fierce Snake's party had already adapted to the Basic Combat Device's effects, so they eliminated the second Miracle team with far more efficiency. Once their enemies were dead, they retreated from the battlefield. By the time the third and fourth Miracle teams arrived, only an empty battlefield was there to greet them.

"What did you say? Zero Wing killed two teams with just 20 people?" Starstreak paled when he heard his subordinate's report. After calming his burning rage, he continued coldly, "Send me the battle videos! From now on, I want all teams to move in pairs!"

Starstreak examined the battle videos he had received after disconnecting the call.

"How is this possible? Since when has Zero Wing had so many powerful experts?" Starstreak's anger vanished when he saw the fight between his Guildmates and Fierce Snake's group, his expression hardening.

Originally, he had refused to believe that Zero Wing had slaughtered two 100-man teams with only 20 players, even accomplishing this feat before reinforcements could arrive. They shouldn't be able to wipe out two teams so quickly even if Fierce Snake and his party were all Tier 2 players, but after watching the videos, he understood how it had happened.

Although Fierce Snake and the others had not reached the Refinement Realm, their combat power nearly rivaled that of peak experts due to their Attributes, extraordinary perception and reaction time, and combat techniques. Even Starstreak would need some time to take Fierce Snake down by himself.

If he had to face two or three experts of this caliber, even he'd be forced to retreat, and every member of Zero Wing's 20- man party wielded the same combat power. Even his 100-man team might lose against such a monstrous party, much less the other teams patrolling Blue Wave Rock.

"Starstreak, what's happened?" a Level 58, Tier 2 Ranger asked when he noticed Starstreak's twisted expression.

"It's nothing," Starstreak said, shaking his head. "Inform all teams to give up the search for Zero Wing immediately."

"Give up?! But we have orders from Vice Guild Leader Shredded!" The Ranger stared at Starstreak in astonishment.

"I understand. I'll report the situation to the Vice Guild Leader personally," Starstreak said, nodding.

"Even so, shouldn't you give us a reason?" the Ranger asked.

"A reason?" Smiling bitterly, Starstreak responded, "What if I tell you that the 20-man team we're chasing consists of experts with the combat power to rival peak experts? Is that enough of a reason?"

What a joke!

If their remaining 3,000 members worked together to fight Zero Wing's 20-man party head-on, it might be a different story, but trying to catch 20 peak experts in this forest was impossible. Even though Blue Wave Rock's forest wasn't particularly large, they'd still need ten times their current manpower to accomplish such a feat!

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