Chapter 258 – Goblin Cannoneer
Karsi was a powerful Holy Mage who led the Templar Crusaders. Nie Yan never thought Yao Yao would receive his quest, let alone get through half of it all by herself. It was the first of a series of quests related to the Holy Shrine, each exponentially more difficult than the last. The reward for completing the first quest was a Rank 1 Templar Magic skill book, while the reward for completing the fifth and final quest was a Legendary set. However, even in the previous timeline, the furthest anyone progressed was the third quest. So in the eyes of the players, obtaining this set was nothing more than a pipe dream.
Karsi’s Blessing had harsh requirements which very few could meet.
Asskickers United sorely lacked players who could cast advanced magic. It didn’t help that between the recent guild war, expedition, and stronghold battle, none of the members had any time to acquire them. Add this to the fact that this process was rather rigorous, and the only few in the guild that knew advanced magic were the likes of Undying Scoundrel and Black Heaven.
If Nie Yan helped Yao Yao complete the quest, it was tantamount to Asskickers United having another player who could cast advanced magic.
As Nie Yan’s friendship with Yao Yao gradually deepened, he couldn’t help but remember the erotic night they spent together in that secret chamber beneath Fenarte City. His mind was bewitched as those seductive scenes flashed before him. Although Yao Yao was not as voluptuous as Yu Lan, her flawless and elegant beauty was the forbidden fruit that filled his heart with an unquenchable ardor. Her figure was exquisite–not a hint of excess fat on her body; a pair of soft, perfectly round mounds; and jade-white skin without the slightest blemish.
Nie Yan’s heart raced in his chest. When he recalled Yao Yao was still untainted at that time, he felt even more guilt about pushing her away in this life. But there was nothing else he could do, for he knew himself all too well; if he were to spend time together with her, temptation would overcome him.
Nie Yan bitterly smiled. No matter how strong-willed a person was, some desires couldn’t be outrun. He was only a man, after all. Knowing he could never get rid of the carnal urges buried deep inside his heart, he chose to distance himself from Yao Yao.
During the darkest moments in Nie Yan’s past life, it was Yao Yao’s tenderness that pulled him out of that deep quagmire of gray. With her asking him for help, how could he be so heartless as to refuse?
Nie Yan felt very conflicted deep inside. He truly didn’t wish to hurt Yao Yao.
Seeing Nie Yan’s distant expression, Xie Yao’s heart welled up with a sense of loss. She felt a deep sense of sadness. She could tell he was only helping her out of a sense of obligation.
Staring at the outline of Nie Yan’s cheeks, Xie Yao also sunk into deep thought. Just what kind of person was Nie Yan? He was at times low-key, at others reserved, and still others fearless. He dealt with most matters calmly. But when the members of Asskickers United were killed, he would explode with rage as well, calling for the slaughter of Victorious Return and Radiant Sacred Flame. What left the deepest impression on people, though, was when he killed Hei Zhuo under the eyes of almost a thousand enemies. His icy-cold gaze and arrogant smile shook the hearts of all players.
From a sense of familiarity in the beginning to deep admiration later on, Xie Yao was always paying attention to the things happening around Nie Yan. She wanted to know everything about him, partially from her delight at his success but also because she wanted to find out why he was so distant with her.
“Nirvana Flame, since you’ve agreed, you better not go back on it.” Yao Yao revealed a brilliant smile akin to warm sunshine on a cold winter’s day.
Yao Yao wore pure white Mage robes with her hair tied in a ponytail. Her charming appearance dazed all the surrounding players for a while.
“Mhmm, I won’t.” Nie Yan nodded. Helping Yao Yao out with this quest counted as repaying the kindness from his past life. It didn’t violate any of his principles. Besides, the happiness on her face was heart-warming.
Every minute, fewer golems roamed the streets of Everlasting City. After defeating four Lords in a row, all that remained was the final Lord, the Goblin Cannoneer. It was the strongest boss in Everlasting City. Even when the player base averaged Level 40 in the previous timeline, very few people were able to beat it.
The heart of Everlasting City was a wide open space enveloped by a curtain of light with a towering spire at the very center. At the top of this lofty structure hovered an enormous spherical crystal which emitted a faint glow. It was this crystal that powered Everlasting City.
An eight-meter-tall golem clad in a gold metal carapace roamed around at the base of the spire. What stood out the most was the cannon that sat on top of its shoulder. It was a Magic Cannon, a weapon that rarely saw use outside of siege warfare. Thankfully this one was a smaller model. Were it full-sized like those seen on top of city walls, Nie Yan’s group would have no hope of surviving.
The Goblin Cannoneer radiated a dazzling golden radiance. It was a metallic giant. Every step it took shook the ground.
Nie Yan cautiously approached the Goblin Cannoneer after entering stealth. Taking cover behind a nearby bunker, he got within three meters of it and activated Transcendent Insight.
Goblin Cannoneer (Lord): Level 40
Aside from being the strongest, the loot the Goblin Cannoneer dropped was also the best among the five Lords. In the previous timeline, someone reportedly obtained the Sub Legendary-grade Solas Battle Armour after defeating it. Of course, this was dog** luck.1 Although these Lords had a chance of dropping a piece of Sub Legendary-grade equipment, the drop rate was extremely low. Most players would already be beyond themselves if a Legendary-grade item fragment appeared.
The mini Magic Cannon mounted on the Goblin Cannoneer’s shoulder couldn’t launch projectiles very far. It shot out cannonballs which rolled along the ground, eventually exploding and dealing devastating area-of-effect damage. Squishier classes like Mages would be blasted to smithereens if hit. Its ultimate was firing three cannonballs in quick succession, dealing massive wide-scale damage. It was terrifying. Countless teams were wiped out by this skill in the previous timeline.
The Goblin Cannoneer’s eyes suddenly started glowing red. It let out a low-pitch steaming whistle and aimed the cannon on its shoulder in a certain direction. A scorching-hot iron ball shot out of the cannon and landed on the ground with a thud, then gradually picked up speed as it rolled toward Nie Yan.
The cannon ball was red-hot, as if it had just come out of a furnace!
“Not good!” Nie Yan cried out in alarm. He activated Shadow Waltz and quickly retreated.
「Boom!」 The cannonball exploded after arriving at Nie Yan’s previous position. Flames surged up into sky as shrapnel flew everywhere.
Although they were powerful, these cannonballs had a long detonation time. Coupled with the fact that Nie Yan was fast, he escaped the blast-radius without so much as a scratch. The Goblin Cannoneer lumbered over to the bunker. Not finding any traces of an enemy, it resumed a passive state.
Nie Yan returned to the expedition team.
“My god! That Lord is way too scary! Boss, how are we supposed to fight that thing?” Undying Scoundrel asked. Seeing the power of the cannonball’s explosion, he shuddered in fear.
“The only Fighters in our group who can tank its attacks are Bladelight and Yi Yan. I’m not so sure about the others,” Nie Yan said. Due to the Goblin Cannoneer’s attacks being area-of-effect, everyone within the explosion radius would receive damage. The Mages in the backline definitely wouldn’t survive such a blast. However, the trick to defeating this boss lay in the fact it could only fire its cannon once every ten seconds, and the cannonballs it shot out didn’t explode on collision.
As such, Nie Yan only needed to predict where the Goblin Cannoneer was going to attack and warn the Mages to get out of the way in advance. If everything worked out smoothly, they would eventually defeat the boss.
However, even though this sounded easy in theory, the team would have to make several attempts to finally defeat the Goblin Cannoneer. Needless to say, the prospect of wiping so many times was extremely depressing. If they didn’t succeeded after the third try, they were better off calling it a day. After wiping, it would take about an hour to run back to their corpses This meant it would take at least three hours to defeat the boss.
“Boss, do you have have a special way to beat the Goblin Cannoneer, like you did with the Goblin Eviscerator?” Summer Bug asked. Their battle with the Goblin Eviscerator was extremely pleasant. They had practically suffered no casualties.
Nie Yan’s eyes lit up, realizing he was adhering too rigidly to the standards of the previous timeline. Why couldn’t he just think up a completely new method to defeat the Goblin Cannoneer?
Nie Yan scanned the surroundings, noticing six buildings to the left of him. They were at least a dozen meters tall, and were all constructed out of thick steel. They were extremely sturdy. There were pipes all over the sides and top of the buildings, with plenty of footholds for players to stand. He had a fantastical idea. Since there were so many buildings in the vicinity, why not take advantage of them?
By lending out his Crawler Ring and Silk Spinner Ring, Nie Yan could get all the Mages atop these buildings where they wouldn’t have to worry about getting blasted by the Goblin Cannoneer’s cannonballs.
As for the Fighters, they could simply attract the Goblin Cannoneer’s aggro.
Like this, they could easily defeat the Goblin Cannoneer!
Moreover, the possibility of everyone wiping was nullified by the fact the Goblin Cannoneer’s cannonballs couldn’t affect any targets so high up.
“Boss, what are you doing?” All the guild members were staring at Nie Yan in bewilderment. Why was he constantly staring at the surrounding buildings?
“Sparrow Hawk, get over here!” Nie Yan said. Tang Yao had some experience with this tactic, so he should know what to do.
“What’s up?” Tang Yao asked.
Nie Yan handed over the Crawler Ring to Tang Yao and said, “Climb up on top of that building, then throw the Crawler Ring back down!””
Tang Yao’s mind trembled. He realized what Nie Yan was planning and said in an excited tone, “Damn! Why didn’t I think of that? If we do it this way, we won’t ever wipe!”
The crowd was baffled, not understanding the exchange between Nie Yan and Tang Yao.
Tang Yao ran over to the side of a nearby building. He equipped the Crawler Ring, activated its ability, and started crawling up the wall like a spider. He finally stopped after reaching a spot five meters high with a good vantage point.
All the players widened their eyes in shock. Even this was possible!?
Tang Yao threw the Crawler Ring back down. Nie Yan nimbly caught it in his hand, then turned to the crowd and shouted, “Next!”
1. It’s an idiom for describing someone getting really lucky.