286 The Orchard 3
While Clarent dealt with the Silent Spinners, Qiong Qi also unleashed his rage upon the Lithe Stalkers and the Killer Boars. They had drawn the short end of the stick with more potent debuffs like \u003cWeakened\u003e and \u003cDecaying\u003e, which allowed Qiong Qi to go wild.
Of course, not all of them had this, only about 20% of the encirclement. The rest had varying debuffs, some useful in the situation and some useless, like \u003cThirsty\u003e or \u003cHungry\u003e.
However, it was enough for Qiong Qi. He quickly slapped away the stronger ones of the lot and pounced on those with the \u003cWeakened\u003e and \u003cDecaying\u003e status.
The fact that they had been successfully weakened meant that their stat and damage/defense suppression was useless on him. He was able to deal upwards of 10,000 damage per swipe now!
Qiong Qi was a muscular lion and was significantly larger than the sleek panther-like Lithe Stalkers as well as the Killer Boars. As such, he bit into a Lithe Stalker's back and raised it off the ground, tossing it left and right in his mouth.
Its skin was broken through and its flesh was ripped apart by Qiong Qi's brutal assault. It was one of those with the \u003cWeakened\u003e status, so it couldn't fight off this grapple.
Every toss took away 30,000 HP of the Lithe Stalkers life, and in less than half a minute, it was killed and tossed away like rubbish. Qiong Qi smiled widely and captured another one in a similar manner, repeating his act.
This time, he multitasked by leaving the stalker in his mouth and using his claws to attack the others. Even though he wasn't swinging his head about, his sharp movements as he attacked the other monsters was good enough.
In essence, he was dealing 30,000 damage to the Lithe Stalker in his grip while dealing 10,000 to the various Killer Boars and Lithe Stalkers with his claws.
This was efficiency in its truest form.
Draco saw that his skill had given his allies breathing room, so he could focus on his own quarry. They too had been struck by the debilitating debuff, so their power how dropped.
The Ferocious Chargers also suffered greatly, and their numbers began to drop further. The Long Snappers, however, were even worse off, with the still present bloodline suppression and the debuffs that were unblockable.
Draco had much more breathing room now, so he could check his progress. He had gained 12,985% experience from the Ferocious Chargers he had killed so far, as well as the remainder from those Qiong Qi killed.
Unlike players or NPCs, mounts and combat pets did not gain levels. They had static stats and skills per Rank, and they only grew with their owner Ranked up.
So, whatever they killed would be counted as their master's kill, only that it would be slashed by 70% unless they had a Beast Tamer class.
Draco was initially happy with this experience until he saw it get filtered down by his class, then he sighed with pain. 12,985% experience became 1,298%, which was a huge drop.
The amount was still great, but not if one accounted for the fact that Draco was currently fighting above his Rank. The few Rank 2 monsters he had killed had given him so much only for it to be taken away.
Even worse, those Qiong Qi and Clarent had killed were even lower than those he killed himself, making it almost negligible. This Divine Class was determined to stunt his growth no matter what.
Draco went from level 23, 45% to level 36, 43%. He gained 39 stat points this time, of which he put 11 into Strength to bring to 100, 20 in to Dexterity to bring it to 100 as well, and the last 8 points he put into Endurance, bringing it to 88.
With his two key stats being brought to 100, Draco instantly felt the difference in his whole body. He felt like his form had grown by three times the size with three times more muscles, and that his legs and arms had become three times more agile than before.
Both were just illusions of power, as no real changes occurred externally. However, his damage out and his speed had changed immensely.
Dexterity decided one's ranged damage as well as one's movement and attack speed. With it being brought to 100, Draco benefitted from a 2x effect on his stats output instead of the 1.5x he had gained after reaching 50 points.
It seemed like a small boost, but small boosts in an RPG with wuxia-like combat could make all the difference. The damage of Sonic Wave hadn't increased and neither had its range, but the raw damage when the arrow struck his foes went up to 3,000!
Alas they were Rank 2 enemies, so his damage and defense were lowered by 30% while theirs was increased by 30%. Otherwise, he could be dealing 12,000 or more damage, but the Rank suppression, as well as their natural steel like armor, reduced that greatly. He still had a significant stat suppression due to the level difference, but his increased level managed to shorten the gap.
Now, with his passive skill from the Heart of the Woods that boosted his stats by 30%, he was suppressed by only 10%. Draco was now able to fight somewhat competently instead of having to pull out various means.
Draco was not limited by this alone though. He also activated subjective magic and manually infused his arrows with a fire effect. So instead of relying on the active skill, Draco could fire out flame arrows with every shot.
The Worldly Energy required for this was minuscule, but with the amount of shots he fired per second, it would have drained his Willpower completely in 3 minutes had he not gained the Devil's Guile passive.
With it, he could fire without end, as if he had an infinite amount of fire arrows. When he saw that this was having a cumulative effect on his targets, Draco realized that he found a new foundation for techniques.
This realization tumbled around in his mind fervently on end, combining with his Control to give him a slew of ideas for many bow skills. Unfortunately, he could only create bow skills at level 2 of the Star Shot technique.
However, his progress in the fight, as well as his recent enlightenment, shot him up to 90% completion. Draco was extremely excited by this, as his power with the bow would skyrocket after he could begin forming techniques.
For now though, he continued firing normally while enhancing his damage with the subjective magic effects. He even switched up to ice arrows, wind arrows and earth arrows, which all yielded different effects on collision.
What made Draco unhappy was that trying to add gravity or any pinnacle element magic to his arrows always collapsed. He would need to either raise his Mage God Rank or create an elaborate bow technique with it.
Draco also had to stop 'enchanting' his shots with magic, as for some reason, the durability of the Legendary arrow dropped with every shot. It wasn't much, just 1 point per shot when imbued with magic, but when done a lot, it was beginning to snowball.
He couldn't yet repair Legendary items, so he couldn't afford any mishaps. He would have to reach level 2 of the Star Shot Technique to create techniques with his Control, as well as subjective magic as a foundation for it to hopefully work without damaging the arrow.
Draco had killed many more Ferocious Chargers in this time, almost clearing every single one of them. The Long Snappers were also dealt with occasionally. With his increased stats and the closed level gap, he could now afford to divert his attention to dealing with them as well.
Draco gained another 16,987% for his recent kills and this was cut down to 1,698% experience. His heart was bleeding as it felt like the world was suffocating him.
He had killed more Ferocious Chargers and Long Snappers than before, when he got 12,985%, more than four times the amount in fact. Yet the experience different between each round was so small in terms of growth.
Naturally, this was because his level had increased. A lower level meant you suffered more suppression and were almost never going to be able to kill a higher leveled enemy, but if you did, the experience was great.
However, with every level earned, the amount given per kill dropped so steeply it was heart breaking. If it wasn't for the fact that his enemies were a Rank higher, he might really be stuck earning the same amount as normal players in a dungeon.
This was, of course, before the class's reduced exp gain rate. As such, Draco hit the level cap and had some experience remaining. He was now level 50, with 341% experience in his stockpile.
He gained 42 stat points, which were the last he would be getting at this Rank. He brought Endurance to 100, deducting 12 points from his stash.
He then used the remaining thirty points to increase Luck to 100. He ignored Intelligence, Spirit and Charisma for now. Draco wanted the benefits of high Luck, as it would increase his critical chances as well as the quality of his drops.
Now, Draco had more Luck than even Fitter Cleric. He certainly needed it if he was going to acquire the best loot while in this Unique Quest.
Draco had now broken free from the stat suppression, and he even had some bonus on his side thanks to the Heart of the Woods. Qiong Qi and Clarent had also mopped up a lot of their foes, so the pressure on them was weaker.
With less pressure meant higher efficiency and a faster killing rate, so it snowballed. They had only spent 7 of the 10 minutes in which the debuffs were active, yet victory was on the horizon.
Draco continued killing these Specialist monsters steadily. With the Sonic Wave passive and his accuracy, he was killing more than 1 target at a time, usually many of them at the same time.
He noticed that his experience gain had plummeted so badly that it was less than 100% experience per kill now. Adding on his 10% exp gain rate, he was getting a maximum of 10% experience per kill.
Draco's heart was chilled by this. No wonder his experience gain for the second round was so small. It must have skyrocketed until he hit level 50, then tapered off.
That was why despite killing four times more monsters than when he got 12,000+ experience, he could only get 16,000+ the second time.
The experience from Qiong Qi and Clarent was even worse, so Draco just ignored it for now. What he did was to approach them slowly and let the Sonic Wave arrows' effects batter these monsters as well.
With this compounding effect, they were all slaughtered before the 10 minutes were over. Draco, Qiong Qi and Clarent regrouped, assessed the area to see if any new monsters would appear, and noticed that none did.
They all shared uncertain looks before Draco's eyes suddenly narrowed. He realized that the monsters past a certain range looked at them but didn't bother to come closer.
Suddenly, he had an idea. He put away his bow and arrow, then focused. He channeled his bloodline energy towards his back and sprouted Angelic wings.
However, these wings were black as the night, instead of a pristine white. His bloodline energy was drained steadily, but he could maintain these wings for a suitable amount of time needed to do the task.
He flapped them and went into the sky, going straight up. Draco then stopped when he was high enough to see majority of the Orchard, and then he activated his Eyes of Caelo.
What he saw made him realize something important.