From their last fight, everyone knew that the HP of the Puppet Chained Assassins was around 200,000 give or take. At least, that's what it should be. However, the two NPCs entered into an enraged state which was usually something monsters did at the 10% HP mark. But, there were some exceptions when monsters that had yet to reach the 10% HP mark were still able to enter into an enraged state.
When Halls attacked the Puppet Chained Assassins at the beginning of their new battle, the two NPCs were back to full HP! Fighting against an enraged NPC elite from the 100% HP mark was suicide! There was no way he would be able to absorb the constantly increasingly damage from both NPCs.
Even with his Rebounding Aura active and negating 60% of the total damage and along with his natural defenses and block damage reduction, Halls was still taking over 1,000 damage! That meant that the damage behind these attacks was more than 7,000 points per hit without any defenses standing in its way.
There were two Puppet Chained Assassins, therefore, it should be multiplied by two all the way to 14,000 points of damage!
If another member of the party got struck by the Puppet Chained Assassins, then the end results would be clear for them. That's why it was important that Halls made sure to properly hold aggro despite the increasing risk.
Halls also felt that the gaps in time between Luna's heals were increasing. This was a bad sign. Halls knew that meant Luna was running low on mana and was attempting to stretch her heals as far as possible to buy even one more second for the cooldown on her mana potion.
Luna was completely focused and tuned out all outside interference. If she slipped up even once and mistimed her heal, then everything would be derailed and it could very well cost everyone their lives.
This fight made one thing clear to everyone present. They learned that fighting against NPCs and monsters was like night and day. If these two had been level 40 elite monsters, then they would have never struggled this hard just to simply survive. In fact, they were confident that they could face two level 40 elite monsters without any issue, even with Izroth's absence.
"We should retreat back into the mist and regroup." Zi Yi yelled as she fired off two shots from her bow that pierced through the bodies of the Puppet Chained Assassins.
"Retreat? Do you want to just abandon everyone here?!" Halls said in a voice full of disbelief and slight anger as he listened to what Zi Yi suggested. How could they just leave Izroth, Guan Yu, and Mariposa behind and run away with their tail tucked between their legs? She wanted him to abandon his brothers! Would he be able to face them if he ran away now?
Zi Yi scowled, "I'm not saying to completely leave. We just need to find a way to get these two off our backs so that we can come up with a proper plan. At this rate, Luna will run out of mana, you will run out of HP, and all of us will die! How can we help anyone if we're dead?!"
One could hear the clear frustration in Zi Yi's voice. Did she want to just leave everyone here? Of course not! However, she knew that this was a time to think with her head, not her heart and emotions. She would not simply abandon Izroth and the others. Right now, she just needed some time to think so that she could come up with a feasible plan.
"Luna, would you talk some sense into her?!" Halls said as he released a grunt after the chain of the Puppet Chained Assassin crashed into his shield and send him sliding back a couple of meters from the impact.
"Twenty seconds." Luna said right after she finished drinking a mana potion. She did not waste words and only spoke when absolutely necessary.
Zi Yi's facial expression darkened. Twenty seconds? That did not leave them with much time at all! In certain intervals, Luna would announce the amount of time left until she would run out of mana. Therefore, when Luna said twenty seconds, what she meant was that after that time passed, she would no longer have any mana remaining to heal anyone!
If there were going to retreat, then they had to do so fast, otherwise, there would be no chance for them to do so after Luna's mana ran out.
The time limit on Halls' Rebounding Aura finally came to an end and the damage of the Puppet Chained Assassin soared!
Luna used a Cure on Halls infused with some Essence in order to increase its overall effectiveness. Although it could still not compare to using Heal, it was still better than the base heal of Cure. However, her Essence that was at 51 points had fallen drastically down to 29 points. She felt that if she were to continue going at this rate, she would eventually experience Soul Weakness.
If that happened, it would be a disaster. But, what choice did she have at this point? She had to push her Essence to its utmost limits in this situation. Though, a part of her wished that she had Izroth's massive amount of Essence right about now.
"What now?!" Halls said as he saw a black aura encompass one of the Puppet Chained Assassin. Was it powering up even more or getting ready to launch some kind of devastating attack? Whatever it was, Halls was not looking forward to it! However, he almost did not believe his eyes when he observed what happened to the elite NPC.
The space around one of the Puppet Chained Assassins swirled and distorted. It was twisting and pulling in the body of the Pupped Chained Assassin. In the next moment, the elite NPC had vanished into thin air! It was gone just like that!
"You've brought me some valuable time." A lovely voice floated by and sounded from around ten meters away from the fight. Everyone knew who this voice belonged to the moment they heard it!
"Sis!" Zi Yi was stunned when she saw Mariposa heading in their direction. But, how was that possible?
A few moments ago just as the Puppet Chained Assassin came back to life...
The chain of the Puppet Chained Assassin that was lying on the ground and thought to defeated, shot towards Mariposa at an incredible speed.
Just before the chain struck Mariposa's body, she felt the space behind her distort ever so slightly. Without giving it a second thought, she instantly cast a skill called Spatial Displacement along with Mana Shield!
When the chain slammed into her body, she was sent flying more than ten meters and tumbling across the ground, however, she was still alive and well!
But, instead of wasting time standing to her feet, she stayed on the ground and immediately began to cast a powerful spell with a long casting time of 20 seconds! It was a ridiculously long casting time and could never be used in an actual fight without some serious preparation.
However, given their current set of circumstances, Mariposa knew that she had to prepare this skill if they were to have any kind of fighting chance with two of their damage dealers taken out of the picture.
"Did you miss me already, my adorable little sister?" Mariposa said with a smile on her face as she rejoined the fight. She cast the skill Spatial Rift twice and followed it up with a Spatial Rend on the remaining Puppet Chained Assassin. This would buy them a few seconds to regroup and organize their thoughts.
Things had happened too fast and everyone was immediately locked into a fierce battle with the Puppet Chained Assassins. Therefore, even though they knew Mariposa was still alive, they figured that some kind of effect prevented her from moving. However, they had already considered her as being disabled and unable to participate in this battle.
"What did you do to the other Puppet Chained Assassin?" Zi Yi asked with a dumbfounded expression on her face. She did not believe that Mariposa had a skill that could one shot the Puppet Chained Assassin, and so, she must have done something else to it.
Halls took a moment to catch his breath and consumed a health potion to restore some of his lost HP. The constant barrage of attacks from both Puppet Chained Assassins made it impossible for him to consume any health potions in the middle of the battle.
Luna released a sigh of relief as she no longer had to stay within such a tiring mental state of concentration. It felt as if a large weight had been lifted off her shoulders.
Mariposa explained what happened, as well as, the skill she used to handle the Puppet Chained Assassin who had disappeared.
Skill Name: Banish
Skill Level: 1/4
Skill Rank: S
Mana Cost: 1,500
Cast Time: 20 seconds
Active: Banishes an enemy target to an isolated pocket of space for 30 minutes. During this period of time, the enemy target is unable to act. The duration and cooldown of this skill are doubled against non-player targets. Requires that the enemy target has experienced «Spatial Displacement».
Cooldown: 6 hours
"To think I wasted such a skill this early on in the quest. How unfortunate." Mariposa said with a sigh of disappointment. That skill was one of her major trump cards in case a dire situation occurred, but now, it was useless for another 6 hours! The consecutive casting had also cost her quite a bit of her mana.
"When did you learn an S-ranked skill?" Zi Yi asked with a hint of shock in her voice.
"Even I have some secrets I like to keep, my adorable little sister. I do hope that you all will keep quiet about this as well." Mariposa said charmingly.
Everyone could understand why she would want to keep such a powerful skill quiet. If used properly, or if its casting time was somehow lowered, it would be a deadly trump card that made others miserable in a fight!
After all, everyone knew that the first large scale PVP event would happen once the first territory was discovered within RML. The top guilds knew that it was only a matter of time before someone uncovered it. Once that happened, all hell would break loose.
Having a trump card like Banish during that time could change the entire flow of a battle. For example, imagine Wang Qiang, the main strategist of Cross Haven, being completely removed from the equation for 30 minutes?
While they would still be able to function, their lack of a fearsome strategist such as Wang Qiang would become apparent and leave holes in their defenses that would not have formed had he been there.
"If we only have to face a single Puppet Chained Assassin, then we may be able to pull this off. Luna, focus on regaining your mana. Halls, run." Zi Yi said.
"What? Run?" Halls was confused by what Zi Yi said? Where was he running to?
Zi Yi sighed and felt as if she had to explain every little thing.
"Run around and buy us some time. The aggro of the Puppet Chained Assassin is still attached to you, therefore, it'll chase after you even if you run away. I predict that it'll follow you to anywhere as long as you stay within this village. So hurry up and run!" Zi Yi said.
"Fine, I'll run! I still think this idea is crazy!" Halls said as she ran as fast as possible and created as much distance between himself and the Puppet Chained Assassin as possible.
"Once this attack ends, don't target the Puppet Chained Assassin. If it changes aggro, then we won't be able to survive for long." Zi Yi stated.
A few seconds later, Mariposa's spatial skills ended. Immediately after it was free, the Puppet Chained Assassin sprinted off towards the village in the same direction Halls headed in. Just as Zi Yi predicted, it followed right after Halls since he still held the top aggro on it. With this, Luna would be able to focus on regaining her lost mana back.
Of course, the Puppet Chained Assassin was faster than Halls and so, it would eventually catch up to him before long. After all, he was a plate wearing class and the Puppet Chained Assassin was an agile NPC. It created an amusing sight of Halls running in zigzags trying to shake off the elite NPC.
"We need to do something about that." Zi Yi said as she looked over towards the direction of the black sphere where Guan Yu and Grim were fighting. With Izroth nowhere to be found, they needed to find a way to free Guan Yu from that black sphere.
"I was hoping you would say that. Leave it to me." Mariposa said as she stepped into a spatial rift and disappeared.