Chapter 17 – Lacerate
As Nie Yan opened up his textbook, various equations ranging from complex mathematics to theoretical physics appeared in front of his eyes. He managed to quickly solve all of them in a surprisingly short amount of time. In light of this development, he noticed that his cognitive abilities had vastly improved since his reincarnation. Though it hadn’t reached the point where he developed photographic memory, his memory had still improved quite significantly. Moreover, he sensed that his mind had become sharper as well. For example, he had finished twice the amount of work in half the time when he was studying.
In addition, there was an even more astonishing discovery. He felt neither the slightest bit of fatigue nor weariness despite having intensely exercised for quite a long period of time. In fact, after every training session, he felt his strength increasing in small yet noticeable increments.
Nie Yan was quite satisfied with his current body. As long as he received the proper amount of nourishment, it would rapidly transform and rise in stature— similar to how it had in the past during his senior year of high school. However, there was only one complication: the nutritional supplements he required were simply too expensive. At present, the expenses weren’t something he could handle. In fact, the lowest quality nutritional supplements had a price tag of around five hundred dollars, while medium quality ones could cost upwards of several thousand. Sadly, his household carried only two portions; one of which he had already used earlier in the morning.
Finally, at five o’clock in the afternoon, Nie Yan entered the game once more.
Upon reconnecting, he discovered a nearly endless swarm of Water Spiders skittering around him in all directions. It appeared that every single monster in the vicinity had respawned.
Fortunately, players were invulnerable for the first thirty seconds upon reconnecting. They would appear in an ethereal state as if they were a spirit. In this state, they would not only be unable to attack, but monsters would be unable to attack them as well. Nie Yan took a detour around these Water Spiders and swam away from the area where he had concealed himself.
After thirty seconds had passed, he began farming the spiders in the surrounding area once more. Currently, he had already gathered 25 Fine Silks and five Rare Fine Silks which came from the Water Spider Leader the day prior.
With his current hunting speed, Nie Yan estimated that it would take around three more hours for him to complete this quest.
When I return to town, I’ll definitely have to make more money. That way, when I come across another gathering quest like this one, I can just buy the needed materials from the market instead. With this plan, Nie Yan would have no need to go through the tedious labour of gathering the materials himself.
Another hour passed by, and Nie Yan received a notification—it was from Yao Yao.
「Nie Yan (Nirvana Flame), where are you right now?」
「I’m still farming Water Spiders. Why, you need something?」He didn’t stop killing Water Spiders, even while he chatted with Yao Yao. After activating Assassinate with his right hand, he stabbed a nearby Water Spider with his dagger. As it died, it miserably flipped over and curled up.
「My friends and I went to the Treant Forest earlier this morning.」
「Huh, you’re not going to ask how it went?」
「There’s no need for me to ask.」Regarding this Treant Forest, Nie Yan already understood this instance quite well. In the past, it had taken him and his friends five attempts to pass the instance. If the party didn’t have Warriors with at least sixty defense and two hundred and 20 health, they wouldn’t stand a chance. Therefore, it would be impossible for them to clear the instance.
「Alright, it was just like you said. Our party was completely wiped. We didn’t even manage to get to the Treant King. But nevermind that, one of my friends wants to meet you. We’re gonna try and clear the forest again tomorrow. So… can you join us then?」
「Come back when your Fighters upgrade their defense, then we’ll talk. I’ll see if I have the time by then. However, make sure you tell your friend this: In exchange for joining you guys in the Treant Forest, I want to act as the party leader. Furthermore, every single Thief item that drops will go to me.」There was a rather decent Thief cloak that dropped from the monsters within the Treant Forest, one that Nie Yan wanted.
「You want to be the party leader? Why?」
「I don’t trust anyone else with leading a team.」
「This… I’ll have to ask. Giving every Thief drop to you is going to be a bit difficult. After all, we have a Thief in our party as well…」Yao Yao’s party was set so that drops were distributed equally among their members.
「If your team captain doesn’t agree to it, then so be it.」Nie Yan really didn’t want to make things awkward and difficult for Yao Yao on purpose. However, in Nie Yan’s eyes, this thief in Yao Yao’s party was especially unpleasant.
「I’ll go ask our captain…」Nie Yan’s harsh demands lowered Yao Yao’s impression of him by quite a bit.
The team captain Yao Yao spoke of was a woman named Yu Lan (Blue Feather); a Berserker. Nie Yan’s first impression of this woman was her large pair of breasts. Her Berserker armour, which was tightly fitted around her body, accentuated her curves particularly in the chest area. Moreover, the gap in her armour also exposed an extreme amount of cleavage. When he recalled this memory of her, he couldn’t help but slightly tremble.
However, Nie Yan would never dare to provoke Yu Lan. Normally, she was quite friendly and amiable; however, if someone were to irritate her, then her fiery temper would become as large as her breasts. He remembered that there was a time when another player decided to tease her. Yu Lan ended up chasing and killing that player until he dropped five levels.
It was because of such things that this beauty could only be gazed at from afar. She could neither be toyed with nor treated with disrespect. Otherwise, one would most likely find himself being the one toyed with instead.
「Also, there’s one other thing… Other than the Thief equipment, I also want the jewel that the Treant King drops when it dies.」Nie Yan said without a hint of politeness or restraint.
「We all just want to try and run the dungeon together… But you…! How can you act in such a selfish way!?」Yao Yao stomped her feet and ended the call. She was furious and frustrated to the point where glistening tears began to flow from her eyes. After fighting and completing their quests together yesterday, she noticed that they actually matched each other quite well. Because of this, she felt that Nie Yan was a rather decent person and even wanted to get to know him better and befriend him. Yet she never thought that, again and again, Nie Yan would continuously crush her good impression of him that she held deep within her heart.
Nie Yan indifferently smiled. Sometimes attempting to explain was superfluous.
Yao Yao hung up the call in anger.
「Ha…」Nie Yan sighed softly. If they were to run an instance together, then it would be better to make some things clear at the start. Otherwise, when the time came, disputes would certainly arise.
At the Tellak Town transfer point, Yu Lan’s team had assembled together in the area. In total, there were nineteen individuals gathered together. Among them, the most conspicuous were Yu Lan, who was wearing blue armour, and Yao Yao, who was wearing a White coloured mage-robe while standing in the center.
Like the stars gathering around the moon, everyone there had gathered around, placing these two beauties at the center. Naturally, the team had other decent looking women as well. However, compared to the two beauties in the center, they could only entirely serve as the background.
With her tall curvaceous figure and long slender legs that were almost too alluring, Yu Lan had grown up to be quite a beauty. Her looks could be rated at the highest quality. Despite appearing to be only in her 20s, she gave off the full charm of an adult woman. Though the main reason for this was her large voluptuous chest that easily attracted one’s eyes.
On the other hand, Yao Yao was another sort of beauty. With her whole body covered by a white robe, along with her delicate oval-shaped face, and her hair that was tied in a ponytail, she looked pure and beautiful. Anyone who looked at her would’ve been moved by her charm.
“Yao Yao, what’d he say?” Yu Lan asked when she saw that Yao Yao had disconnected her voice chat.
“He said that if we’re gonna go together, then he wants to be the party leader, get all the Thief equipment drops, and he also wants the jewel that drops from the Treant King!” Yao Yao’s face was nearly red from anger. Originally she had been quite excited about having Nie Yan as a good friend, and introducing him to Yu Lan. Never did she expect that Nie Yan was actually that kind of person.
“Yao Yao, you’re just really too naive. These kinds of people are everywhere. He’s definitely just a weak liar who’s trying to cheat us out of our drops,” said a Thief by her side. He was Chen Bo, a rather handsome man who appeared to be around 20 years old.
Yao Yao wanted to refute those words on Nie Yan’s behalf, but after giving it a second thought, she realised that she was too angry to bother. She didn’t know why, but for some reason, she still somewhat sided with Nie Yan in her heart. After all, he was actually quite strong. Not to mention that, unlike Chen Bo, she truly didn’t think he was trying to scam them for equipment or anything that intolerable.
“That’s not necessarily true. He already knows that the Treant King drops a jewel, which means that he’s definitely gone to the Treant Forest before. Not only that but cleared it as well. The fact that he was able to make it through the instance with a party of his own, is more than enough to prove his ability to work in a team. Moreover, he’s significantly more experienced than us. So it wasn’t that excessive for him to request to act as party leader, nor was it excessive for him to receive both the Thief drops and the jewel. Since he bluntly stated his demands to Yao Yao, it shows that he did so with a clear conscience.” Yu Lan patted Yao Yao’s shoulders. “Yao Yao, you don’t need to mind it.”
After listening to Yu Lan’s words, Yao Yao revealed a relieved smile. Though she was still a little angry at Nie Yan, in her heart she was already feeling significantly better.
Seeing the beautiful smiling expression on her face, Chen Bo felt his heart sink. He didn’t know why, but the sudden appearance of this Nie Yan gave him a sense of foreboding.
“We’ll rent a piece of Bronze-grade Fighter equipment for tomorrow. Oh yeah, make sure to tell him that we’re running the instance tomorrow and that he’s invited to join us,” Yu Lan said. She had already begun her arrangements.
“Hmph, I’m still gonna ignore him for the rest of the morning. I’ll talk to him again in the afternoon.” Yao Yao pouted.
“Alright, you can contact him again in the afternoon.” Yu Lan nodded while smiling.
During all this, Nie Yan continued to kill Water Spiders. His luck wasn’t bad at all, considering that three Fine Silks had dropped in succession. Looking in his bag, he already had 29 of them. Only one more was needed to finish his quest.
Nevertheless, it appeared that hunting monsters early in the morning had its own benefits. For one, the drop rate for various items was comparatively higher.
After killing another Water Spider, Nie Yan reached out with his right hand to collect the loot. What’d I get? As he held up the item to get a closer look, he realized that it was a Thief skill book.
Skill Book: Lacerate
Description: Thieves can use their daggers to slice into an enemy, causing them to bleed profusely. Targets hit by this attack will take bleed damage every second.
Requirements: Action (requires weapon)
Properties: Cuts into a target creating an open wound. Attack +1. Causes five points of bleeding every second for six seconds.
Cooldown: 30 seconds
Restrictions: Thief, Warrior, Paladin; can be learned by any faction.
Lacerate was a Basic Skill that synergized well with Assassinate. It could be used to follow up after Assassinate, causing additional lacerations that would make an enemy bleed for five health every second for six seconds.
However, as for it’s killing power… the damage from Lacerate, even including its additional bleed damage, was slightly weaker than Vital Strike. Even so, it was still a considerably decent skill.
Presently, this exact skill was what Nie Yan lacked the most.
After learning the skill, Nie Yan turned to face another a Water Spider. Suddenly he received another notification from his voice chat. This little girl… she’s sending another call request.
Nie Yan answered the call. However, there was an awkward silence between the two that lingered on for what seemed like an eternity.
「You know… I originally planned to ignore you and never talk to you again. But… I’m an adult who’s willing to be magnanimous, so I won’t bother stooping to your level and arguing with you. My party is going to run the Treant Forest tomorrow. So are you going to come or not?」
Nie Yan couldn’t help but reveal a knowing smile after imagining Yao Yao’s adorable pouting expression.
「No need to explain yourself if you’ve other business to attend to tomorrow. Just tell me whether you’re coming or not. Yes or no?」
Nie Yan was interrupted by Yao Yao just as he was about to speak.
「Alright. Just tell me the time for tomorrow, and I’ll definitely be there.」 Nie Yan smiled helplessly. When it came to this little missus, he had already thoroughly given up.
「Hmm… now that sounds better. Good! We’ll call you over tomorrow morning. What, are you going to be busy?」Yao Yao was quite pleased with Nie Yan’s reply. She immediately hung up, not even giving him a chance to speak further.
Hmph! Little boy, we’ll see if I can’t discipline you, Yao Yao thought proudly to herself. When she imagined the distressed look on Nie Yan’s face, she couldn’t help but giggle to herself.
「Doot! Doot!」Upon hearing the sound of the call ending, Nie Yan could only smile bitterly. It seems that tomorrow I’ll have to go for a run in the Treant Forest. With the distraction gone, Nie Yan continued to kill Water Spiders while steadily speeding up his pace.
After receiving the Lacerate skill, a significant increase in his hunting speed could be seen. By attacking with Assassinate and then following up with Lacerate, he was able to effortlessly kill a Water Spider.
「Ding!」A melodious jingle could be heard as a system notification rang out. Nie Yan had risen to Level 3.
After a while, he finished collecting the thirty Fine Silks.
I’m finally done. Nie Yan swam back towards the island to hand in his quest.
「System: Player Flying Stone has deposited one silver into your personal storage.」
「Expert, the strategy you provided us with was really useful! Thanks to it, we’ve managed clear the Fallen Shaman Camp. As such, the other silver has already been deposited into your storage.」Stone informed Nie Yan in excitement.
「I’ve received it. Is there anything else you need?」With the two silvers from Stone plus his recent earnings, he had almost three silvers. With this, he could be considered to have some capital.
「One of my friends said that they’re gonna form a party to hunt in the Agmota Muddy Wetlands the day after tomorrow. Do you wanna come?」Stone asked with a hint of expectation.
「I’m going to be busy the day after tomorrow.」The Agmota Muddy Wetlands was a somewhat difficult instance. Though seeing as Stone’s party was able to clear the Fallen Shaman Camp, it seemed like their strength wasn’t too bad.
「Ah… nevermind then. Expert, would you happen to have a guide for the Agmota Muddy Wetlands as well…?」
「Ahhh…!? Do you think I’m some kind of god? Agmota Muddy Wetlands is the most difficult Level 3 instance. You think I’m able to make up a guide for it so quickly?」He couldn’t keep offering to sell guides for dungeon instances. Otherwise, he’d end up attracting too much suspicion from others. Besides, it would be better for him to wait for a good offer, which would inevitably come after Stone and his team were wiped during their first few attempts.
「Ah. I’m sorry. I was just thinking out of habit… haha.」Stone laughed in embarrassment.