Chapter 193 – Evolution Crystal
“You can go and look for the loot. I’m going to allocate my points,” Nie Yan said as he surveyed his handiwork. The remnants of the destroyed Mechanical Golems filled the streets, stretching out for almost sixty meters in front him, with all sorts of items scattered out in between.
“Alright,” Tang Yao replied. He flipped over the frames of the Mechanical Golems, picking up the loot that had dropped.
Nie Yan looked over his character page. He had 9 stat points and 5 mastery points to allocate. Without the slightest hesitation, he put all 9 points into Dexterity, bringing it up to 137 points. He only needed another 23 points to reach 160 Dexterity. Soon, he could equip the Scarlet Poison Ring, and then he’d receive another significant boost in attack power.
Socketing a couple of Dexterity Gems should do it.
As for the 3 mastery points, Nie Yan allocated them into Intermediate Cloaking, Advanced Marksman, and Advanced Dual Wielding. The effects of masteries grew more pronounced at higher ranks. Cloaking, for example, weakened the effects of an opponent’s Awareness, making it much harder to detect him. Generally, players with only 20–30 Awareness would be completely incapable of sensing him through stealth. Dual Wielding added 30% of the attack power of his secondary weapon to his primary weapon, allowing him to deal even more damage. Finally, Marksman boosted his attack power by 10% and increased his firing rate with a crossbow or bow.
After allocating his stat and mastery points, Nie Yan joined Tang Yao in picking up the loot from the ground. The two of them were like scavengers as they searched through piles of debris, occasionally bending down to pick something up.
Before long, all of the loot had been collected.
“I found five Energized Crystal Fragments. How about you?” Tang Yao asked. He was noticeably anxious about how many fragments were collected.
“I found two fragments,” Nie Yan replied. The first wave of mobs gave them a total of seven Energized Crystal Fragments.
Nie Yan traded his fragments to Tang Yao. In merely one wave, they had already gathered seven fragments. It was pretty decent progress. However, fragments would become harder to find the more they collected because Blue Armoured Mechanical Golems wouldn’t respawn.
“Nice! We already have seven!” Tang Yao said in excitement; his hope quickly rose.
Nie Yan sorted through the drops. They had made quite the haul, a few Life Gems (2) and Strength Gems (2), several pieces of Level 40 Silver-grade equipment, and so on. He estimated the total worth of all these items to be around 15 or 16 gold.
It cost him about 19 gold’s worth of Magic Bombs to deal with the first wave of Mechanical Golems. All in all, he was down 3 to 4 gold. But then again, spending that much had allowed him and Tang Yao to level up four and two times respectively. It could be considered quite cost efficient.
“Get ready. I’m going to aggro the next wave,” Nie Yan said. Even though the Magic Bombs in his bag would only last him for another four rounds, that was more than good enough for him.
As Nie Yan and Tang Yao frantically levelled, an uproar erupted outside. Young Sparrow Hawk, who had stagnated for a while, had yet again explosively risen in level, leaving Heaven Breaker behind in a trail of dust. However, the community’s reaction was relatively subdued compared to last time. Everyone was already accustomed to Tang Yao’s perverse levelling speed. Even though people were surprised, no one was foolishly running to the official forums to accuse him of cheating on behalf of Heaven Breaker. As for what the other players on the leaderboards thought? Well, that was their own business.
Tang Yao had triggered another levelling frenzy among the top players. The difference this time was that many of them had done their research on how to go about taking down much higher level mobs. Granted, it was costly, but there was also the potential for significant profit. Even some players on the leaderboards began setting their sights on power-levelling through hunting monsters way above their level. The bonus experience was simply too hard to pass up on. With Tang Yao serving as the role model, they were extremely enthusiastic. However, good and bad fortune walked hand in hand. Some died, losing levels and their spots on the level leaderboards, while others soared up high and made their way up the ladder.
As for Nie Yan, all of this went by him; he simply didn’t care. He spent his time mobbing Mechanical Golems with Tang Yao instead.
Nie Yan aggroed four to five hundred Mechanical Golems into an imposing horde behind him. He threw Magic Bombs into the sky, one after the other, before they fell down into the crowd.「Boom! Boom! Boom!」The Mechanical Golems were swept up in the blasts. Like harvesting wheat, they collapsed to the ground, more than a hundred at a time, until none were left standing.
The ample experience caused Nie Yan to soar to Level 26, while Tang Yao reached level 29.
Nie Yan again put all of his free stat points into Dexterity, bringing it up to 146. He was still 14 points short of his goal. However, gaining these last few points didn’t pose much of a challenge to Nie Yan. He merely had to replace a piece of equipment or socket one or two Dexterity Gems.
With the Mechanical Golems disposed of, Nie Yan and Tang Yao searched among the scrap metal once more for loot. They found six fragments from the second wave of Mechanical Golems.
“Hey, Nie Yan! Look over here, what do you think this is?” Tang Yao asked in excitement. He had picked up a brightly glowing blue crystal, about the size of a thumb, from among the remnants of a Mechanical Golem. Because of the Energized Crystal Fragments, he paid special attention to anything that remotely resembled a crystal.
Nie Yan stared blankly at the crystal between Tang Yao’s fingers for a moment, then suddenly became ecstatic.
Every type of energy crystal was exceedingly uncommon and precious. Often, they had some rather unique applications, like the Energized Crystal Core.
The drop rate of energy crystals was only around one in fifty thousand in the whole of Everlasting City. With tens of thousands of players hunting here, an energy crystal might drop once every few weeks. However, the lucky player that got their hands on it would instantly turn rich. The money they’d earn from selling it was enough to let them purchase a full set of Dark Gold equipment with some change to spare. It was the same as winning ¥5,000,000 in real life!
Energy crystals were classified by colour, red being the lowest grade and the most commonly seen kind. As for blue energy crystals, they were extremely uncommon, valued several times higher than red energy crystals. Above that were purple energy crystals. However, they were even harder to come by than Legendary-grade equipment.
They had only cleared two waves of Mechanical Golems. Who would’ve thought a blue energy crystal would drop?
Nie Yan couldn’t help but let out an appreciative sigh. Being the first to explore a map really brought along many happy surprises.
“Let me see,” Nie Yan said.
Tang Yao handed the energy crystal over. Nie Yan examined its properties.Evolution Crystal (Single Use): Allows a summoned creature to permanently possess evolution energy.
Below was a whole bunch of information pertaining to the crystal, including an explanation on its use.
It was actually an Evolution Crystal! Nie Yan couldn’t help but sigh at his luck. It was one of the rarest types of energy crystals. It could make summoned creatures undergo a qualitative change, granting them low-level intelligence and a persistent summon duration.
For example, feeding an Evolution Crystal to an Arcane Fairy would trigger a transformation, giving the creature an evolved ability which was selected at random. However, using it this way was clearly a waste because an Arcane Fairy already had a persistent summon duration.
If Nie Yan used Undead Rite to take control of an undead monster and fed it the Evolution Crystal, it would become a permanent summon. But since the level of summoned creatures couldn’t be raised, it wasn’t a good idea to use an Evolution Crystal at lower levels. It was best to find a pet that could level up.
In the previous timeline, someone had fed an Evolution Crystal to their mantis-type pet. That catalyzed its evolution into the infamous Phantom Mantis which could stealth and ambush like a Thief. It was a terrifying existence back then.
The price of an Evolution Crystal would remain high, even at the later stages of the game. There was no need to ever worry about it depreciating in value.
“Can this thing revive my Arcane Fairy?” Tang Yao asked with a hint of expectation. He hoped that the Evolution Crystal was the same as the Energized Crystal Core, possessing the ability to revive a summoned creature.
“No.” Nie Yan shook his head.
“Ah, forget it. You can keep it,” Tang Yao said. He wasn’t the least bit interested in the Evolution Crystal, let alone having any thoughts of feeding it to his Arcane Fairy.
Nie Yan wondered if he would get a chance to use the Evolution Crystal in the future. After all, things like pets were too rare. Out of thirty to forty thousand players, maybe one or two of them would own one. He didn’t have any thoughts about using it on a summoned creature for now, since most of them couldn’t be levelled up. Only if he somehow got his hands on an extremely rare summoned creature would he consider using this Evolution Crystal.
Nie Yan stored the Evolution Crystal away in his bag. Even though he had spent 100 gold on this trip, there was nothing to feel regretful about because the value of the Evolution Crystal far surpassed that amount. It was in no way inferior to a Sub Legendary item.
After clearing three more waves of Mechanical Golems, Tang Yao hit Level 30. He allocated his points without much thought. Before reaching Level 60, he would add 4 points into Intelligence and 1 point into Focus.
As for Nie Yan, he just hit Level 29. Because he was responsible for most of the damage, he received a larger share of the experience.
He had completely used up all 200 Magic Bombs. Not a single one remained.
Apart from the Evolution Crystal, the estimated value of all the other stuff they looted was around 80 gold. Of course, it couldn’t all be transformed into money at once.
“Are we going to keep buying Magic Bombs to level up?” Tang Yao asked. This kind of levelling was undoubtedly fast, but it was also very costly!
If they continued this trend of burning through gold to level, the Starry Night Potion Shop would quickly go broke.
“How many fragments do you have now?” Nie Yan asked.
“Thirty-six,” Tang Yao replied after looking in his bag. He was still a long ways off.
“Of course we’re going to keep going. I’m going back to shop. There should be enough money left to support us for today, ” Nie Yan replied. Reviving Tang Yao’s Arcane Fairy was also an important matter. The money spent could always be earned back. In fact, when he included the Evolution Crystal, they had made quite a bit more than they’d spent. As for a potential lack of funds later on, he still had plenty of ways to reap a profit.
Just as the two of them were about to go back to buy more Magic Bombs, they received an urgent message. Something had happened over at the guild headquarters! A feeling of unease unbeknowingly crept into Nie Yan’s heart.