Chapter 24 – Rock Spider Cave
Nie Yan hung up the call. Gradually his body became more and more transparent until he completely blended in with the dense green thickets that surrounded him. He carefully observed the players who were constantly passing by.
Several of these players ran straight past Nie Yan, yet not a single one noticed his presence.
“I couldn’t find him. Where the hell could he have gone?”
“Forget about it. He’s probably already escaped by now,” the Berserker named Lei Zi suggested. A slight fear still lingered in his mind, urging him to leave. After all, ever since Nie Yan had appeared they were always the ones being attacked, never the ones attacking. By now the number of dead on their side totalled five people, yet they weren’t even able to touch a single hair on their opponent’s body. He was an extremely dangerous individual, and it definitely wasn’t worth the risk to continue chasing him down like this. What if they were unable to catch him and were killed instead?
“What about that Arcane Mage, Yao Zi?”
“We chased him into the Rock Spider Cavern. When that Thief Nie Yan appeared we were called over to help catch him, so we couldn’t chase that Arcane Mage any longer. But don’t worry, I aggroed a bunch of Rock Spiders and lured them near the passage, so I reckon he won’t be getting out anytime soon.”
“Hang on, I think we should continue searching for that Thief. His Stealth should be coming to an end soon, and he’s definitely still in this area!” the Fighter said, unwilling to give up the search. How could he just allow Nie Yan to escape?
Nie Yan locked his gaze on the Berserker who only had forty-five percent health remaining. As the Berserker had just been in combat, he didn’t have the time to sit down and recover his health. In addition, the system still considered him to be in a state of combat, which meant that his natural health recovery would be slowed considerably. Though his nearby guildmates gave him a sense of relief, he still kept a tight grip on the Basic Health Potion he was hiding in his left hand .
Yet there was one other reason why nobody was restoring their health: the Fighter wouldn’t allow it. He was hoping that their low health would lure Nie Yan out into the open.
Even though they couldn’t see Nie Yan, his mere existence forced them to remain cautious.
The Berserker also had a Silencing Paladin at full health by his side. The two of them began walking in Nie Yan’s direction.
Steadily, they drew closer and closer to where Nie Yan was hiding, yet they still didn’t discover him. It was starting to look like the two would walk right into him.
If an enemy were to make contact with a Thief under the effects of Stealth, the skill would immediately come to an end.
Nie Yan focused his eyes on the Berserker’s throat, waited for the right moment, and then pounced. Vital Strike! The dagger slashed across the Berserker’s neck, sending blood gushing out.
“He’s here!” the Berserker cried out in alarm. He quickly retreated back and drank the Basic Health Potion that he had in his hand.
However, how could Nie Yan let this Berserker get away? He lunged forward and stabbed his dagger into the Berserker’s chest, then followed up with Lacerate. His dagger ruthlessly cut into his opponent’s flesh. The Berserker’s health, which just been replenished, was once again depleted.
Now the Berserker was at low health and suffering from the bleed effect of Lacerate.
“You’re courting death!” Nie Yan’s movements were so quick that the nearby Paladin had only now reacted. He charged towards Nie Yan and slashed down with his sword, which was burning with a radiant splendor.
Nie Yan had planned on continuing to pursue the Berserker, but the Paladin coming up from behind forced him to change his plans.
Nie Yan’s max health wasn’t very high, so he didn’t dare neglect the oncoming attack. Without a further thought, he dodged to the side, avoiding the blow.
The Paladin quickly put himself between Nie Yan and the Berserker, saving his teammate’s life.
“Where is he!?”
“He’s over there!”
All of the ten or so members of the Radiant Sacred Flame guild who were in the surrounding area came rushing over. Several of them shot spells in Nie Yan’s direction.
When Nie Yan looked at his current situation, he had no choice but to forget about killing the Berserker. Instead of continuing his pursuit, he rolled to the side and dodged the incoming spells. By the time he stood up, the Berserker had already run away.
「Bang! Bang! Bang!」Nie Yan’s location was bombarded with spells. Most of them missed their target and harmlessly exploded off the surrounding trees.
However one of them managed to hit Nie Yan.
With the nimbleness of a hare, Nie Yan madly dashed through the thickets and quickly put more than twenty meters between himself and the Mages behind. He would soon be out of their attack range.
At this moment, the Berserker who thought he was a safe distance away from the combat was actually not all that safe.
“Dammit, I’m bleeding!” the Berserker gloomily cursed. His Basic Health Potion was still on cooldown, so he had to resort to drinking a Basic Recovery Potion. However not even the healing from the potion could overcome the constant damage from bleeding.
−5, +3, −5, +3, −5
In the end, his struggle was futile. Five seconds after drinking the potion, the Berserker’s health fell to zero and he died.
With his death, Nie Yan had taken out yet another one of the Radiant Sacred Flame guild’s members!
However the Berserker suffered a bit of injustice in his death. Unlike the others who died in combat, he just watched as his own health bled out until he died.
The Fighter felt a slight chill run down his spine. This Thief by the name of Nie Yan (Nirvana Flame) truly was just too terrifying! They had no way of restraining him. The Fighter picked up the equipment that the Berserker dropped—a Bronze-grade piece of armour. Thankfully for them, it didn’t end up in Nie Yan’s hands.
Though Nie Yan had taken out one of his opponents he wasn’t out of danger just yet. Up ahead, a Battle Thief and a Paladin blocked his way forward.
Meanwhile, several spells were being launched at him from behind.
Seeing this, Nie Yan hurriedly applied a bandage to himself. +20, +20, +20
「Bang! Bang! Bang!」−23, −22, −20 A bombardment of spells smashed into Nie Yan, interrupting the healing from his bandages.
Nie Yan lowered his head and glanced at his health bar—seventeen health remaining. While doing this he also sucked in his stomach and made some slight maneuvers, causing two attacks to pass through empty air. The Paladin’s greatsword had just barely grazed Nie Yan’s cheek as it streaked by, and the Battle Thief’s dagger had harmlessly cut into the air where his stomach had been moments prior.
What mattered most in a direct confrontation such as this one was who had sharper eyes and quicker hands.
This was because these confrontations would finish in mere seconds.
Though in this confrontation, it was evident that Nie Yan’s skills were much higher.
He broke through the blockade that the Battle Thief and Paladin had formed and disappeared into the thickets. In doing so he had put even more space between himself and his opponents.
“Damn, this bastard’s fast!”
“Fuck! We let him escape again!”
They had been unable to gain any sort of advantage against Nie Yan, even when engaging him in close combat. In the end he escaped after taking the Berserker’s life, putting the total number of dead to six. One after another, the members of the Radiant Sacred Flame guild were being killed off by Nie Yan.
“Forget it. Let’s just head back,” the Fighter suggested. Unexpectedly, he no longer wished to pursue such an abnormal person like Nie Yan any further.
Everyone who heard this looked at each other with gloomy expressions.
A hint of helplessness could be heard in their tone. Nie Yan had already successfully escaped, so what else could they do?
Thus, the players from the Radiant Sacred Flame guild gathered into groups and departed. While leaving they didn’t dare move more than two meters away from their teammates, as they were still fearful that Nie Yan might suddenly emerge from hiding again.
「I killed another one of their members; a Berserker this time. Also their group has just left,」Nie Yan informed Tang Yao.
Despite being encircled by over ten people, Nie Yan was still able to kill one of their members and then successfully escape. What kind of unimaginably impressive feat was this? Tang Yao burned with excitement as he thought about it. He felt it was a pity that he had chosen to be an Arcane Mage instead of a Thief.
「Brother! You should continue taking care of me in the future!」Tang Yao laughed happily. The tree that he could rely on for shade was truly refreshing.
「No problem,」Nie Yan replied straightforwardly. Just as distance determined the stamina of a horse, time would also reveal a person’s true nature. When Nie Yan was at his lowest in his past life, he watched as people deserted him left and right. It was then that he finally understood what it truly meant to have a brother. Brothers would always put each other first. Naturally, he would do the same for Tang Yao.
After the players from the Radiant Sacred Flame guild left, Nie Yan made his way over to the cliff face where the Rock Spider Cave was located.
The cave entrance was well hidden and emanated a serene darkness. Who knew where it would lead to? Inside, long strands of silk hung from the cave walls and stalagmites above. This silk resembled a veil of vines as it hid the interior of the cave from view.
This was a Level 5 area. The number of players who were able to train in this area were few.
“Rock Spider Cave huh… this place is pretty good,” Nie Yan muttered to himself as he recollected all the information from his past life regarding the cave.
Brushing away the webs outside, Nie Yan made his way into the cave. As he went deeper, the floor became slightly muddy and the main entrance began branching off into numerous narrow pathways.
Every single one of the Rock Spiders in this area were Level 5 monsters. If he were to face them one on one, then perhaps he would be able to handle them. However, in the event that he encountered more than one, he could only flee for his life.
「Scritch! Scritch!」Sharp cries could be heard reverberating from the depths of the cave until they finally faded away.
All that remained was an eerie chill from the occasional gust of cold wind that blew in from the depths of the cave.
「Tell me your coordinates,」Nie Yan said through the voice call.
「352.238.235. Be careful though, there’s over ten Rock Spiders blocking the way here. Are you sure you can reach me?」
「I won’t know if I don’t try.」Nie Yan glanced at his current coordinates and found that he wasn’t far from Tang Yao. After finishing his conversation, he continued to carefully move through the tunnels.
「Scritch! Scritch!」Nie Yan heard a sharp cry echo out from just an earshot away. A nearby Rock Spider had climbed down from the walls and pounced at him.
Nie Yan hurriedly moved backwards after noticing that the spider had launched itself at him. After avoiding the pounce, Nie Yan then stepped forward and retaliated with Concussive Strike.
The Rock Spider sunk into a dazed state.
Rock Spider: Level 5
Using the momentum from his previous attack, Nie Yan followed up with several more strikes. In addition, he also used Assassinate, Lacerate, and Vital Strike.
The Rock Spider continuously threw itself at Nie Yan and attacked. It was two levels higher than him, and thus its damage was fairly high. Every attack that hit dealt at least thirty damage to him.
Nie Yan started falling back while still keeping the Rock Spider within his attack range. As he retreated, he would repeatedly stab his dagger into the spider. After twenty seconds of fighting like this, the spider collapsed on the ground and let out a miserable shriek.
Nie Yan used this short respite to glance at his health bar. He only had around twenty percent remaining. It appeared even a single Rock Spider was still a danger to him. However there was one upside to fighting them: Rock Spiders granted a great deal of experience upon death. Each spider gave two hundred and eighty experience. The amount alone was quite generous.
The only downside was that no useful drops came from these Rock Spiders.
Nie Yan sat down to rest and then ate some bread. Slowly but surely, his health recovered to full and all his skills came off cooldown.
With his health recovered and skills once again ready for use, Nie Yan stood up and continued advancing into the darkness of the cave. Up ahead, he noticed three Rock Spiders moving about. After observing the location of each spider, Nie Yan took out his crossbow. He moved close to the nearby wall and aimed at the closest Rock Spider.
「Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!」A line of bolts pierced through the air as they shot out towards their target.
−5, −3, −5
Three damage values floated upward above the spider’s head.
After taking the hits, the spider rushed over to where Nie Yan was hiding.「Scritch! Scritch!」It let out a furious shriek as it pounced towards the one who had injured it.
With this, Nie Yan had succeeded in drawing out a single Rock Spider without alerting its companions. When the spider neared his location, he drew his dagger and rushed out to greet it. The two engaged in close combat, with Nie Yan dishing out consecutive attacks. As they fought, numerous damage values appeared one after another above the spider’s head.
Within twenty seconds, the Rock Spider was dead. Surprisingly, this spider had dropped something. Nie Yan walked over and picked up the loot: a single copper…
After waiting for his health to recover, Nie Yan used his crossbow to draw out the other spiders and kill them one by one, just as he had earlier.
Using this tactic, he continued to make his way forward. By the time he finally arrived at Tang Yao’s coordinates, several more spiders had died by his hands. Up ahead there was a wide area where many tunnels intersected. In that area no less than ten Rock Spiders could be seen wandering around.
Nie Yan didn’t immediately rush in; instead he just observed the surroundings. It seemed as though passing through this area safely would be quite difficult. Especially considering that he might draw out more than one spider if he were to use his crossbow like before.
Two of them, huh… Can’t say for sure if I’ll be able to deal with them, Nie Yan thought to himself. He did have one plan in mind, but it required the use of one of his bandages. There was a problem with this plan though: he didn’t have many bandages left. Not to mention that a single Intermediate Combat Bandage would cost him upwards of twenty coppers in materials. An average person would be hard-pressed to use even a single one due to the high cost.