289 The Orchard
The Agile Nibblers were pulled towards this vortex unwillingly. Right after they had come out of their stun, hoping to tear Draco to shreds for his insolence, they were all brought into this spinning force that ripped at their very bodies.
-3,000! -2,500! -2,300!
Every second spent within the throes of this force damaged them heavily, even slightly more than a hit by Sonic Wave. What was special about this new Bow Skill was that it was a continuous cast, and it dealt 12,000 damage in the span of a second.
This was twice the base damage of Draco's shots! Combined with the Sonic Wave passive, his ability to deal damage was greatly boosted.
But was this the end? No. It was just the beginning. Draco had only just leveled up the technique, so he was now acclimating himself to the increased proficiency it brought him.
After the Phoenix Cry Arrow returned to his quiver instantly, he took it out and fired the Vortex technique again. He did this repeatedly over the course of the next minute, removing the remaining HP of the Agile Nibblers around.
Ever since Draco reached level 50, the stat suppression had become non-existent. After all, the level difference between him and them was at most 20 or so levels, meaning that the maximum suppression amount was 25%.
The Heart of the Woods gave him a 30% increase in stats, which was a great boon. After the calculation, he still benefited from a 5% or so stat bonus, so his damage was more optimal.
What was truly overpowered about the Vortex technique was that enemies were forcibly pulled in, making it the perfect counter for the Agile Nibblers.
It didn't matter how swift they could be if they were unable to resist the pull. As such, they were quickly dispatched, leaving Draco to deal with the Wild Chompers who had now surrounded him.
Before one of their mandibles could clamp him into half, he blinked away. He then smiled and used the Vortex on the Wild Chompers.
However, the effect was not as strong. The Wild Chompers were heavier than the Agile Nibblers and their legs had clamps that held them firm into the ground, which was a natural trait of ant-like species.
Still, the force dealt them damage and kept them from moving, as they had to put in their all to resist being uprooted from their ground and tossed about.
Draco was beginning to love this new Bow Skill. It was truly the perfect skill for dealing with crowds of monsters, especially those that were small, nimble and light.
Against a monster like the Large Stomper, this technique would be a joke. However, this was fine. He created the Bow Skill in response to his desire to deal with the Agile Nibblers.
He was confident that he could fashion something for the Large Stompers when he was done with the Wild Chompers. Speaking of them, their numbers were also quickly dwindling under the barrage of the Vortex's damage, and they were cleared out in just over a minute and twenty seconds.
Draco then held the Hawkeye bow and the Phoenix Cry arrow together, observing both of them. He found that his affinity for the bow had greatly increased after comprehending the second level of the Stat Shot Technique.
He paused to get a feel for what the Star Shot Technique was like and what benefits it brought. While fighting, he was too busy trying to defeat his enemies, but now that he cleared out his side, he could do so.
As for Qiong Qi who was being stomped to death and Clarent who was suffering under endless bombardment? They would be fine... probably. Draco would just save them later.
The second level of the Star Shot Technique enabled him to create Bow Skills, but its base effect was also greater. The first level had allowed him to have pinpoint accuracy thanks to his Void of Perfection, as well as extreme force with his Body of Godliness' optimal force distribution.
In RPG terms, it gave him a percentage boost to his accuracy and his arrow's speed, as well as his fire rate. The second level went a step further though.
He could now affect his arrow's trajectory slightly after it had been shot despite its speed. This would have been dangerous before, like grabbing onto a speeding car from the sidewalk, only with his mind.
Now, he could make slight shifts. Not enough to make the arrow into a heat-seeking missile, but it could swerve slight obstacles and divert to attack enemies who dodged by a slight margin.
Apart from that, the speed of his arrows had been practically doubled, as well as his base fire rate. He could now shoot 6 arrows in the span of a second, which would tear through the atmosphere twice as fast.
When added to his Dexterity stat, this was a great increase. What made Draco happiest out of all this though, was that since he could begin making Bow Skills, he could gain a new set of techniques to turn into skillbooks and raise his Scrivener level.
Vortex was only so strong because Draco's stats and physique was off the charts. On its own, it would be a strong Common technique, as a rotating arrow was one of the most basic bow techniques in the world.
Draco then receded from his inspection and felt ready to continue. After all, the battle was still ongoing, so he couldn't ogle his techniques forever.
He blinked towards Qiong Qi and stared at the Large Stompers, pondering how to deal with them. With their size, trapping skills were useless, and their hides were also thick, with a lot of fat.
What he needed was something with a strong penetrative effect, so how could he manipulate his arrow to possess such a trait? There was only one way to do so, but it would take a few tries to get it right.
Draco nocked the Phoenix Cry arrow and twirled the bowstring around its fletching. His mind became a void of thoughts and he used his Void of Perfection to lock onto a Large Stomper's eye.
The arrow was fired immediately, and it displayed a startling effect. It spun like a spinning top, but not in the powerful and concentrated manner of the Vortex arrow.
This one was all about speed, which made it seem like a power drill. That was exactly what he tried to make, a Drilling Arrow!
However, its speed had taken a hit due to the spinning effect, which was a problem. It showed that he had the foundation for the technique down, but he would need to refine its parameters with practice.
Thankfully, he had some not-so-willing practice dummies to help him do so. The arrow pierced into the eye of the Large Stomper, drilling through its soft tissue to enter its brain, were it spun crazily until, a hole was made there as well.
This had nothing to do with the base damage of his technique or any modifier. This was called fatal damage, which was superior to critical hits. It was something Eva often displayed in her fights as an Assassin.
Fatal Damage was unpredictable, but it was always high. One had to strike a weak point of a species in a way that was extremely debilitating. For any mammalian species, having a hole drilled through your brain certainly counted.
To the Large Stomper which had 1.2 million HP, this was a whole 1/3rd of its life! In fact, it if weren't for the Rank difference between it and Draco, as well as the fact that its brain was really large, this shot might have killed it immediately!
Draco returned the arrow and chuckled. Now that he had the attention of the few surrounding Large Stompers who had taken turns battering Qiong Qi like it was a sport, they trumpeted loudly and rushed at him.
Their movement speed though, was utter crap. It was only the repeated trembling of the earth that could disrupt one's flow, but that wasn't a problem for Draco.
With the distance between them and him, he didn't even need to jump back. He kept using his new and uncompleted technique on them continually, striking eyes, ears and even once sent one into a Large Stomper's mouth.
Out of the five that rushed him, he felled two in the span of five minutes. It couldn't be helped, as their defense and HP were too high. They also learned to guard their soft spots against his shots and focused on closing the distance.
But how could Draco allow this? Once they captured him, they would do more than just stomp him to death, seeing the way pure hatred shone from their eyes.
As such, he spent the next ten minutes in a continuous loop with the Large Stompers. He was truly annoyed by them, as they were far more resilient than the Agile Nibblers or the Wild Chompers.
But then again, that was a given. If the Wild Chompers and Agile Nibblers were counted as damage dealers, then the Large Stompers would be tanks, and they were pure tanks as well!
By this time, Qiong Qi had finally shaken off his dizziness and rushed to assist Clarent. The seeds the Naughty Swingers fired at Qiong Qi dealt no damage and couldn't harm him at all.
With his timely intervention, Clarent was able to break free and fight back. It was hard to attack the Naughty Swingers without damaging the precious tress, so Clarent and Qiong Qi had to resort to melee to take them down.
The Naughty Swingers weren't like the Silent Spinners who could do little in close combat. They used their forked tails to slash Clarent and Qiong Qi, as well as their sharp teeth and claws to rip into them.
Naturally, Clarent and Qiong Qi did same, so it quickly became nothing but a bestial fight where there was no honor or technique, just biting, scratching and roaring.
Draco came over after dealing with the Large Stompers and assisted the duo in clearing out the last monkeys. Draco first warned Qiong Qi and Clarent to attach themselves to something.
Clarent stuck himself to a tree while Qiong Qi lay himself flat on the ground with his claws sunk into the earth. The Naughty Swingers were intelligent enough to realize something was wrong, but it was too late.
Bow Skill 1: Vortex!
They were unable to resist since they were even lighter than the Wild Chompers, around the same size and weight class as the Agile Nibblers. The Naughty Swingers entered the vortex and were ripped apart slowly.
In a matter of a minute or two of continuous vortex attacks, the Naughty Swingers were also dealt with. Clarent had almost been pulled in many times, while Qiong Qi had managed to remain relatively stable in his grip.
Draco had gained 2,342% experience after clearing this zone. 20 levels for half an hour of fighting would be the dream for normal players.
However, this final number indicated that had it not been for his class, he would have gained 23,420 or so! He felt like crying at how sharp this sharp the reduction was, but he could only trudge on and hope for the best.
He placed 2,000% experience into Mjolnir which brought it to 28,000% of 50,000% from 26,000%. As for the 342% remaining, he let it add itself to his stockpiled experience.
Draco stretched himself while Qiong Qi and Clarent came down from the high of the battle. Both of them shared a look and then gazed at Draco with disdain.
How could they not have realized that he had left them hanging purposefully? Last time he had used that skill to weaken all enemies, which allowed them to fight back competently. It's been more than a day since he used it, so it should have been off cooldown!
Such a thin-skinned fellow. We only laughed at you a little, how could you be so petty?
Draco ignored their hateful gazes and pointed to the next zone. "Rest up a bit. After being beaten like helpless dogs, it is normal for you to need 1 year of rest. Just make sure to hurry up since we are on a schedule."
Qiong Qi and Clarent had never wanted to beat someone up so badly in their life before.