Chapter 173: Chapter 172: The Dark Caster Raid, Part II
It was now Team 1’s turn. The other sixteen party members and the rest of the two thousand Shire Guild devas looked on expectantly.
“Since that team’s got two of our best DPS and Jacob, they should get a few seconds over four minutes, right?”
“I guess so. Even if that team didn’t have the dealers, and if even 50% of Lee Jiwon’s rumored strength is true, it’s possible. No, I’m sure they will.”
All eyes were focused on Team 1, including the mercenary from Karaviki, Devram. Soon, just like the teams before them, the scouts lured in seventeen monsters, who charged at Team 1.
It didn’t take Team 1 long to defeat all of the monsters. They had finished so quickly that the onlookers were left in shocked silence.
They had expected Team 1 to exhibit a higher proficiency than the other teams, but this was way too fast. Teams 4 and 5 took a little over five minutes, Teams 2 and 3 took a little under five minutes, so Team 1 should have taken a little over four. This was a high-grade dungeon, after all!
“How… long did they take?”
“I… don’t know.”
“Didn’t you start the timer?”
“Yeah, I did, but I was so shocked that I forgot to stop it.”
“You idiot! Why didn’t you press it?”
“Would you have remembered to?”
“…” The Shire Guild member didn’t reply to his guild mate. He was just as surprised, too. However, he had an inkling that Team 1 had taken around only two minutes.
“Mana Conversion – Fire. Warrior’s Brave Spirit.”
==[Mana Conversion – Fire Level 2 has been activated.]==
==[Warrior’s Brave Spirit has been activated.]==
I stepped out front like a good tank and gripped my Harrier tightly. “Judge’s Gavel.” The cooldown on Judge’s Gavel lasted only one hour. We had days ahead of us until we arrived at the boss room, meaning I could use it as much as I wanted to. I slammed my spear into the very front monster, killing it in a single blow.
“Number 1, number 2, number 3!”
A good tank needs to be able to withstand heavy attacks, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s his only role. The real role of a good tank is to shift the attention of monsters away from his team towards himself. That’s why tanks have to learn skills like Provoke or Threaten.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have skills like that, nor did I need them. I probably wouldn’t need them in the future, either, since my attack power can actually do the same thing as Provoke. My attack power is so high that not even monsters can ignore me.
Before our turn, I told my team to focus their attacks on one monster at time in the order I called out.
“Focus the three targets! Hurricane Prison!”
“Transform – Arrow of Hellfire.”
“I form the Earth to my will; release the Spring of Energy. Earth of Rejuvenation!”
==[You are in the Area of Effect of Earth of Rejuvenation. Your HP will automatically be restored.
Restore 3% of lost HP.
All undead monsters within the Area of Effect of Earth of Rejuvenation will lose 3% HP.]==
My job wasn’t to clear all of the monsters, but rather to use Judge’s Gavel and make sure all eyes were on me. Instead of attacking one monster until it died, I weakened one severely before moving on to another, leaving the previous one to my teammates. I wasn’t hunting solo right now.
This method allowed us to clean up the monsters just as fast as I would alone, though. Even though Samuel’s and Jayden’s attacks were strong, they weren’t enough to distract the monsters away from me, allowing us to work in decent cohesion.
Sure, I could have dealt with all of them by myself. I had plenty of experience hunting high-grade dungeon monsters on my own, after all. But our, my, main target was the boss monster. We needed to get used to this attack pattern as soon as possible, and so I continued my role as tank as Samuel and Jayden made quick work of the monsters.
It took the four of us a little more than two minutes to clear them all.
After Team 1’s test…
Silence enveloped the Shire Guild. Team 1’s battle was like watching an adult play around with a child.
Just then, a single voice broke through the silence, “Jacob! I thought I said healers aren’t allowed to attack the monsters!”
“What do you mean? I was healing my teammates, which so happened to damage the monsters. I can’t do that, either?”
“…” Algred couldn’t come up with anything to say back. He realized what he said could be taken as not allowing the healer to do anything at all.
“That spell only affects those within its range, so I’ll be using it against the Dark Caster. Besides, who was the one who told me to use it, since it’s my best skill?” Jacob said while laughing, putting an end to the issue.
“Ahem! You’ve all done well. We’ll rest here for one hour. Dismissed!”
Team 1’s test came to a close, but the events still lingered in the air.
“So that King-Emperor’s Dignity that affected all of the monsters is Lee Jiwon’s, right?”
“Obviously. Who else would it belong to?”
Samuel, Jacob, and Jayden were all guild mates of many years. The three were also the strongest of the Shire Guild, but none of them had ever seen a debuff like that. It had to be Lee Jiwon.
“He didn’t even use a Provoke skill, and yet he still managed to attract all of the monsters to him.”
“I also noticed that while he was in range of my heal spell, I just kept getting a notification that he was already at full HP.”
“That’s not the important part here.”
“Then what is?”
“We all know that Sam and Jayden have the highest attack power in our entire guild. But don’t you think that it was over way too fast?”
“Yeah, I think so too. Two minutes is just… those were supposed to be monsters from a high-grade dungeon.”
“That was way faster than the last three times we came here.”
“Then who do you think is responsible?”
“Jiwon Lee, right?”
“Exactly. It can only be him.”
The entire Shire Guild couldn’t help but focus on him, including Devram.
“Bro! You are awesome!” Jacob came up to me and gave me a thumbs up. “I know for a fact that I’m pretty good out of all of Shire, and I party up with Sam and Jayden a lot. So I also know that even though they’re pretty good, they can’t do the same as you. You and that Dignity of yours are something special, man!”
Jacob really had a refreshing personality. And he talked up a storm…
“You were just critting left and right. How high is your Crit rate? Actually, before that, how high is your HP? You had to have gotten hit at least a couple times, but you don’t even have a scratch on you.”
“I’m sure that’s because of your regen spell.”
“Hey, come on~ you can take it easy with me around!”
Jacob reminded me of Do Sunghoon, especially because of their similar personalities.
As Jacob and I talked about this and that, Samuel and Jayden walked over to us.
“I knew we made the right choice,” Samuel said in awe.
“It wasn’t much.”
To be honest, their reaction was unfamiliar, especially when high-grade dungeons were pretty normal to me. I couldn’t help but laugh to myself when I realized that. I really had come a long ways. I could even confidently bet that all of my items and equips were better than the entire Shire Guild’s.
After the break, the Shire Guild set out once more, only this time with more confidence. There really was a chance they could succeed now. The raid party continued to work on its teamwork and perfect its battle plans against the Dark Caster before we all arrived at the elite monster room. It only took us sixteen days.
“Clear the elite monsters as fast as possible!”
At Daniel Miller’s order, the two thousand devas charged into the room.
“The raid team will stand by.” The raid party was more or less prepared for the raid. There was no need for them to tire themselves out fighting the elite monsters.
About an hour later, the Shire Guild cleared the elite monster room, allowing the raid party, Daniel Miller, and his officers to take refuge in front of the door to the boss room.
“We have four days left until the date we negotiated with the Spencer Guild. But I believe we’ve sharpened our blades long enough. We’ll rest here for the night and the raid party will enter the boss room first thing tomorrow.”
The rest of the Shire Guild went off to rest while Daniel Miller turned to the twenty party members and addressed them. “Don’t be nervous. You are all the best this world has to offer. I know you’ll successfully clear the raid, but it’ll be alright if you fail. If this party fails, then there is no way anyone else can even dare to challenge this dungeon boss. I know for a fact that this is the best raid party out there and doubt I could ever put together another one as fine as you all.” Daniel then turned to look at each member in the eye, as if granting them a last minute boost of courage.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Shire Guild began to set up beds and shower stalls in the safe room. Others unpacked meat, vegetables, and a few bottles of liquor.
“You’ve all done well coming this far and testing yourselves in front of two thousand people. Take the rest of the night off and I’ll see you all tomorrow.”
And with that, Daniel Miller led his officers and the rest of the Shire Guild out, leaving the raid party alone in the safe room with his faith, trust, and a looming sense of burden.
-Geez. Talk about high expectations.-
Daniel Miller and the others left us with a safe room filled with silence. I completely understood how my party members were feeling. Except for me and Devram, it was their fourth time here. Of course they would be nervous, especially since this was the Shire’s, no, Daniel’s, last attempt.
“Okay! Like the boss said, we don’t need to be nervous about anything. I also believe that this is the best party that could ever be put together. All we need to do is our job and if we fail, we fail. It just means that it wasn’t meant to be. So don’t have success as your goal, but rather, do your best tomorrow! We can worry about winning or losing after,” Samuel said after getting up.
“Leave it to Sammy! He’s such a smooth talker, just like Daddy!” Jacob’s joke lightened the mood in the room a lot. “Come on, guys! Today is today and tomorrow is tomorrow. Jiwon, come on and join us.” Jacob grabbed my left arm and pulled me over to the barbecue grill.
The next day…
We finalized our preparations, and the twenty of us entered the boss room, knowing that Daniel Miller and the entire Shire Guild were watching us.
We had decided last night over dinner to appoint one of us as captain. Even though we were split into five teams, we needed someone to make sure each team was in the right position. The party had appointed me instead of Samuel. Samuel himself had even asked me to be captain, and I couldn’t turn him down.
I walked in first to the boss room, with my other nineteen party members right behind me.