Chapter 134 – Red Name
Nie Yan glanced at his status bar and was disappointed to find his name branded red. Though, now that he thought back to earlier, he was indeed the one who had drawn first blood. However, the circumstances at that time were very tense. He had no time to thoroughly consider the consequences of his actions. After all, if Night Shadow got the first attack in while he still held the Zombie King’s aggro, then he would be sandwiched between two enemies and it would without a doubt mark his death.
Sadly, there was nothing he could do about this since the system rules for player interaction were as such. Truthfully, the act of PKing, or player killing, was a form of recreation unto itself. To effortlessly dispose of an opponent while staying within the boundaries set by the game, now that was the highest level of play very few could achieve.
In his earlier predicament, it was impossible for him to yield the first attack to the enemy. As for cutting his losses and leaving, that was even more of an impossibility! However, he had to admit he did have such an urge at the back of his mind, but in those circumstances, who would possibly submit to such humiliation!?
Though, after killing those three players, his name had been branded in a deep crimson red.
Nonetheless, it wasn’t anything so alarming that it would make him worry. In his past life, he had been branded red at least several dozen times over. In especially chaotic battles, being branded red two or three times in a single day was a fairly regular occurrence. Even though his name was branded red, based on his current gear, if other players wished to kill him, it would be as difficult as ascending the heavens. If he wanted to escape, there was no one who would be able to bar his way! This was why he wasn’t feeling the least bit anxious.
However, based on his current Influence in Calore, while his name was still branded red, he would immediately be attacked by the guards upon being spotted.
Nie Yan suddenly recalled, if his name was red, he could simply hunt Scaled Frogs!
They were especially great monsters for reducing the PKer status effect. Not to mention they gave increased experience and higher drop rates while under a red name. Sometimes, if a player was lucky, they would drop a special present known as the Killer’s Demonic Medallion!
Perhaps there’s still some good that can come out of this.
His battle with Tangerine, Night Shadow, and Hidden Blade was a wake-up call. The two chapters from the Book of Order and the fragment of Sulgata’s Shadow were items that would benefit him greatly in the future. After all, he would receive four more stat points than the average player every five levels. However, since he had spent so much time gathering them, the rest of his gear became lacking as a result, a reminder that he needed to be faster with levelling and collecting better equipment; otherwise, he might not be so lucky in his next encounter.
After reaffirming his resolve, he examined the Level 10 Arcane Mage Staff in his hands.Blackwind Staff (Gold)
Properties: Magic Power 62–68, +30 Explosion Damage, +30% damage against Beast-type monsters
Restrictions: Arcane Mage; can only be equipped by members of the Righteous Guardians of Order.
It turns out that woman actually had this sort of weapon! No wonder she dealt so much damage. No matter how high my defense was, it would have still been useless… I should give this staff to Tang Yao, just in time too since he’s about to hit Level 10. Then, after switching his gear, we can leave to do the quest. But without Sacrificial Gambit, I’m not sure we can still succeed. I ought to get him some better spells to increase our chances.
Nie Yan proceeded to examine the equipment the two other players dropped. Night Shadow dropped the Blackwing Cloak. Since it could only be equipped by Battle Thieves, there was nothing Nie Yan could do about it. Meanwhile, Hidden Blade dropped a piece of Warrior armour.
Finally, he moved on to the item the Zombie King dropped which gave him a pleasant surprise.Zombie King’s Leather Leg Guards (Gold)
Properties: Defense: 29–35, Resilience +12, Movement Speed +16
Restrictions: Thief; can be equipped by all factions.
「How are things on your side?」Nie Yan popped Tang Yao a message.
「I just hit Level 10, so I’m about to head back to Calore. Are we going to do the quest next?」Tang Yao asked. Now that he had a Rank 3 Arcane Fairy by his side, he really wanted to test it out against some stronger mobs.
「We’re having a slight change of plans. I’m branded with a red name…」Nie Yan let out a forced smile as he helplessly replied.
Tang Yao was momentarily left speechless. After pulling himself together, he exclaimed,「R-red name? Did you just PK someone!?」
「Three, actually. Members of Victorious Return, they tried kill stealing an Elite from me. In the end, I finished them off.」
「Holy crap! You’re amazing! You were actually able to take on all three of them at once? What level were they? 」Tang Yao didn’t seem disappointed at all by the fact that Nie Yan was branded with a red name and had to delay their plans. On the contrary, it was actually quite the opposite; he was elated—not because Nie Yan had to delay their plans or because he was branded as a PKer, but because he had single-handedly fought three opponents at once… and won! That was an incredible accomplishment!
「They were all Level 10.」
「Dear Lord…! Level 10!? And here I thought they were all low-level trash!」Tang Yao was given quite a shock. He knew exactly what a Level 10 player in a major guild signified. It meant they were the elites of the guild, members of the main dungeon running team, and certainly not someone like him who had relied on grinding mobs endlessly in a single area to level up! Yet this brother of his had actually managed to deal with—not one, but three such frightening existences! At a time where the vast majority of players were still levelling in low-level zones, this sort of achievement was simply inconceivable!
A lone player had PKed three members of Victorious Return’s elite team… Such a fact was still hard for him to accept.
After a moment of silence as he processed this information, he finally spoke.「Alright… I understand! Tell me where you are, and I’ll meet you there. Don’t get killed by other players in the meantime. If you do, you’ll end up dropping all your gear.」This matter was Tang Yao’s sole worry. Though, after giving it a second thought, he believed he might have been overthinking things. With Nie Yan’s ability, the fact that he wasn’t purposefully causing trouble for other players was already a godsend for the entire community. If other players wanted to kill his brother, then they better start reconsidering their own life choices!
「I’m at Black Gold Mines. I’ve thought of a good way to remove my PKer status, but I’ll need you to help me prepare a few things first. Head back to Calore and talk to Bird Leaves No Eggs at the Starry Night Potion Shop. He’ll give you some money. After buying all the consumables I need in the city, I want you to teleport over to Tasoyi Village in Plague Canyons and help me buy some Smoke Powder, 」Nie Yan instructed before he began explaining his relation with the Starry Night Potion Shop. By the end of it all, Tang Yao couldn’t be more amazed if he wanted to. The business that made such a huge uproar all over Calore was actually opened by Nie Yan? Though, after thinking over these matters some more, he became thoroughly convinced. Who knew just how many more secrets this brother of his was keeping? However, one thing was certain; he would do his utmost to keep the ones that Nie Yan shared with him.
「Smoke Powder? What kind of item is that?」Tang Yao asked in bewilderment.
「You’ll find out when you get there. By the way, bring some extra money with you. They sell for five gold a batch over there, and there’s twenty in a batch. I’ll tell Bird to give you six gold.」
「The hell, what kind of item is that expensive!? And five gold can only buy twenty of them? That’s way too much! Are they trying to rob people blind!?」Tang Yao sucked in a breath of cold air.
「Don’t ask so many questions. I’ll explain everything when you get back.」
「Alright, I’ll get it done as quickly as possible.」
「Good, I’ll be grinding some mobs. When you’re almost done, just pop me a message,」Nie Yan said. For the time being, he could only hunt some of the ordinary Zombie Miners in the area and do his best to reduce his PKer status albeit if only slightly.
And so, while following Nie Yan’s instructions, Tang Yao urgently purchased all of the items he requested from the NPC shops, including the batch of Smoke Powder that could only be purchased exclusively in Tasoyi Village. Just like that, five gold went down the drain. Tang Yao’s heart ached sorely, as if it were being stabbed by a thousand daggers, when he thought about the money that had been spent. Five gold, if were to turn all that into Health Potions he would have enough to last him three entire months. If he were to use it to buy equipment, then he would be able to put on an entire set of Gold-grade gear. Yet in Nie Yan’s hands, it became twenty strange pouches of powder that he still knew nothing about! Gaaah, what a waste!
「I’m there, tell me your coordinates,」Tang Yao messaged.
「I’m at 23838.23828.」Nie Yan sent over his coordinates to Tang Yao.
「I’m near the area. I’ll be there in a bit.」
After a while, a fatty could be seen approaching from the distance, panting for air as he ran. Sticking close by was a ball of blue light following from behind.
“Ha… ha… ha… I’m so tired, give me a second to catch my breath…” A brief moment later, Tang Yao looked up and got a better inspection of Nie Yan’s name. “Ahh, why is it so red!?” he gasped in shock.
“Go find three players to kill, and yours will be just as red too,” Nie Yan bitterly replied.
“Well, aren’t you fierce?” Tang Yao chuckled.
“Alright, stop standing there and poking fun at another’s misfortune. Help me bring these things back to the city. I’ll give you access to my personal storage, so deposit them in there,” Nie Yan said.
“Eh, I have to run there and back again!?” Tang Yao exclaimed in a dejected tone.
“My bag is packed to the brim with items. Or are you telling me you’d rather have me throw them all away? I guess you won’t be needing the Gold-grade staff that’s inside there then.”
“Gold-grade staff? Show me!” Hearing a Gold-grade weapon being mentioned, Tang Yao’s eyes lit up with a hint of greed.
“Here,” Nie Yan sent Tang Yao a trade request. Then, he opened up the trade window and placed the Blackwind Staff inside.
“Awesome! If you had a Gold-grade staff for me, why didn’t you just say so earlier?” After examining the staff’s properties, his face immediately lit up, and without raising any further complaints, he said, “Good sir, I am wholeheartedly at your service. I promise I’ll have these items inside your storage within three minutes and be back here in twenty at most.”
“Then go already!” Nie Yan jokingly scolded before giving him the rest of the items.
Tang Yao teleported back to the city with a Return Scroll before hurrying back to Nie Yan’s side after depositing the items.
“So, what are we doing next?”
“We’re going to hunt Scaled Frogs. I’ll send you the party invite.”Young Sparrow Hawk has joined your party.
With their party formed, the pair set out to the area that spawned Scaled Frogs.
After exiting Black Gold Mines, they continued south until they arrived in a large of forest lush with greenery. Occasionally, between the gaps in the trees, they would be able to spot a few cowlike monsters grazing on the grass while passing by.
“Whatever you do, stay hidden. If we encounter any monsters, just circle around them, and absolutely do not draw any of their aggro.” Nie Yan gave Tang Yao a reminder.
“Where are we going? Why do I get the feeling that we’re in a very dangerous area?” Tang Yao whispered back.
“We’re in a Level 30 area, so we need to be a bit careful. Thankfully, the monsters here are pretty docile. As long as we don’t get within five meters of them, they won’t aggro onto us.”
“Level 30 area!?” Tang Yao was so shocked his eyes nearly popped out of their sockets. Coming to a Level 30 zone at their level, weren’t they just seeking death? Though, after considering things over, he voiced no further complaints. Several days ago, Nie Yan had brought him over to the Level 25 zone, Hems Wasteland. With that being the case, what difference was there in going a little higher?
After traversing the dense thickets for some time, they would occasionally come across one or two cowlike monsters. They were big and robust, possessing long, sharp horns and thick hides covered in pure black coats. Their appearances were quite daunting.
Tang Yao in particular was left especially panic-stricken by their presence. Unlike Thieves who had a good chance of escaping whatever dangers they encountered, he was a slow, cloth-armoured Mage. If he were to be targeted by any of the monsters in this area, he would undoubtedly meet his demise.
After passing through the cow monster zone, Nie Yan and Tang Yao finally arrived at the Scaled Frog area.