As the topic went on, the mood turned heavy...
"Right now, Aincrad is only a few more floors away from being cleared."
Kirito and the others couldn't hide the hope and excitement in their eyes when they mentioned this. They don't hate this world but they would like to free themselves from this world as soon as possible.
Aside from Wu Yan who is basically an alien visitor to this world, everyone wanted out!
Who would want to be confined to a game world where dying is equal to dying in real-life as well?...
This included Asuna.
While Asuna liked her married life of bliss and joy with Wu Yan. Deep inside her heart, she wanted to leave this world. She wanted to take the memories she made in this world, including how she found a husband and daughter in this world, back to the real world with her...
In the end, this is just a game world. There is no home here. Wu Yan who travelled worlds got so used to being stuck in a world he's indifferent to it. For normal humans, getting stuck in a foreign world where everything is virtual isn't exactly a paradise. With the threat of death looming overhead, one couldn't be faulted for running towards the exit the moment the chance arises.
Wu Yan can sympathize with their feelings. He's seen the same hope in Kirito's eyes as he did in Asuna's eyes. It slipped his mind that this eagerness to clear the game is the very reason why close to 10% of the clearers died in their reckless bids to take the labyrinths down.
Kirito's expression turned bitter.
"As more and more floors are taken down, the raid members will get more agitated. With three more floors left, all the players can go home after we clear them!"
"As a result, the raid members went a bit berserk whenever they fought in the dungeon. The prospect of returning a day sooner drove some of the players to form private parties of their own to explore the labyrinths without prior approval from other players..."
Wu Yan's face sank when he heard this.
He understood where the raid players came from, anyone would be anxious and do everything they can to speed up the clearing progress. But, reckless abandon will just lead to risk-disproportionate losses...
Kirito affirmed Wu Yan's thought.
"If they stopped at forming private parties to explore the labyrinth, that would have been fine. The problem arose when they went berserk trying to fight against the mobs in the dungeon. Their emotions made them forget about proper formations, support, strategies, synergies, they focused solely on reducing the monsters' HP..."
Kirito didn't continue but everyone could see where that got the players...
This is like how a player would get the instinctive urge to throw everything they've got at the boss when it's low on HP to quickly mop up an otherwise tedious of offense and defense.
Driven by emotions, players typically employed very simplistic approaches in their tactics. For instance, rushing the enemy without regard for defense just to last-hit the enemies.
Diavel died in the original work because he wanted to last-hit the boss when it's low on HP.
If they kept whittling the boss down, victory was all but assured. Taking the risk to go toe to toe with the boss, well, that just boils to who has the highest HP, the player? Or, the boss?
The clearers faced the same issue except it's not the floor boss this time. It's the high concentration of monsters inside the labyrinth. If a player fought using their emotions, trading HP with monsters, can a player really survive against the other monsters that are waiting just around the corner?
Even if they somehow pulled through, how about two or three more waves of this?
If the players outclassed the monster in levels, this reckless behavior would be fine too. However, in the 98th-floor's labyrinth, the monsters prowling here are just as strong as the raid members.
Wu Yan bitterly laughed as he sighed inside himself.
He thought it was Heathcliff pulling the strings behind the scene. He didn't think the players dug graves for themselves...
"Alright, what's the situation with the current raid group?..."
"What do you mean? Of course, they continued charging recklessly into the labyrinth!"
Klein clenched his teeth in frustration.
"Even when players died, even when we warned them, they only saw the blinding light at the end of the tunnel! Some of them resisted but a few of them insisted on blindly running inside the labyrinth like a bunch of fools!"
"The situation is worse..."
There is another group of players who chose to evade battles whenever they could. These players focused on finding the floor boss room. But, they either ended up dying from attracting too many monsters, or their levels fell behind the clearers because they skipped out on battles..."
"To quickly catch up, they threw themselves into the most dangerous part of the labyrinths to quickly level up..."
Souta said as he looked at the sky.
"Basically, that's how we lost 10% of the raid members..."
"What a bunch of dolts..."
Wu Yan commented.
"Why the rush?..."
"Can't help it..."
Kirito said with a serious look.
"The temptation is just too great..."
Wu Yan shook his head and he posted a question.
"What did Heathcliff say about this?"
Kirito, souta, Klein, and Agil shook their head as they sighed.
"He's in trouble too..."
Wu Yan raised an eyebrow.
"What do you mean?"
"Among the raid members, there are players who are just as anxious but they stopped when they saw the number of deaths climbing. Instead, they banded up to lobby Heathcliff!"
Souta continued with a grim tone.
"They demanded the raid group to speed up their current progress and locate the boss room as soon as possible. They wanted out of this world, now!"
"What a bunch of dumbasses!"
"It's clear they are too afraid to dive into the labyrinth by themselves and now they want to drag other people down with them. Would they be happy if all the clearers died with them?..."
"What did Heathcliff say?..."
Wu Yan asked Kirito.
"Delay, he said delay until they can come up with another idea."
"Delaying is the only strategy available to us!"
Wu Yan lowered his head and he waxed thoughtful. He lifted his head and he asked Kirito & co.
"What do you guys think?"
Kirito, Souta, Klein, and Agil froze up.
Wu Yan chuckled as if he expected this from the start.
"You guys didn't think too hard about this and relied on Heathcliff, now you can't do anything without him."
Wu Yan warned them with a grave expression.
"Listen up, I need you four to think about how to proceed with the raids by yourselves!"
"When Heathcliff disappears on you guys, the raid group will disintegrate and chaos will erupt!"
"You can forget about clearing the game then!"
Wu Yan grabbed Yui's hand and he walked towards Asuna and the other girls, leaving the four guys alone with their thoughts.