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Chapter 202 – Grimmar Soul Staff!

Nie Yan appraised the red pearl between his fingers. It was precisely what he had been searching for all along, a Kiln Fire Heart!

The legendary Elementalist, Countess Alicia, created ten Kiln Fire Hearts out of the lava from the world’s core. A Kiln Fire Heart wasn’t an inherently magical item, but it did provide some useful effects such as enhancing the player’s Fire Resistance. It was a rare, special item.

In the distant past, Countess Alicia utilized the Kiln Fire Hearts as catalysts to summon a powerful Lava Titan to kill several tens of thousands of invaders from the Underworld, writing down an eternal legend in Kiln Fire Woods. However, since the Lava Titan was nigh impossible to control, she herself ended up being devoured as well, buried deep beneath the earth where the lava flowed.

Kiln Fire Heart (Special Item)

Kiln Fire: Allows the player to possess the strength of the Kiln Fire, becoming immune to all fire damage for 30 seconds. The player can survive in lava.

Restriction: Cannot be used by creatures of darkness.

The Kiln Fire Heart was an accessory, and so it had to be equipped in an accessory slot to take effect. Although it was best on Elementalists and Arcane Mages, it was also a useful treasure that was hard to come by for Nie Yan. Whether in PvE or PvP, becoming immune to fire damage would give him a huge advantage. Almost a third of all Elementalist spells were Fire Magic, and many relied on Fire Magic as their primary source of damage. If Nie Yan activated Kiln Fire while battling an Elementalist, a third of the opponent’s spells would instantly become useless. Such an advantage grew even more pronounced against Arcane Mages. More than half of all spells at an Arcane Mage’s disposal dealt fire damage. He would essentially be cutting down the opponent’s offensive power by over fifty percent.

The boost in Fire Resistance was also considerable. It signified that Nie Yan could travel to any map below Level 50 that had requirements for Fire Resistance, and he would gain an advantage when hunting fire-type monsters.

The Fire Magic Amplification property, however, was pretty much useless to Nie Yan. He was a Thief, not a Mage.

Nie Yan examined the skill book.

Skill Book: Cut Throat

Description: Slash open the throat of a target from behind with an increased chance of a critical hit. Chance of dealing a fatal blow if the target is lower levelled than the user. Only effective against humanoid creatures.

Cooldown: 30 seconds
Restriction: Thief; can be learned by any faction.

Cut Throat was a rare, advanced skill with high damage multipliers.

Nie Yan still wasn’t at a high enough level to learn Cut Throat. He stored away the skill book in his bag, then equipped the Kiln Fire Heart, whereupon his Fire Resistance increased by a large margin. He no longer needed to be afraid of taking heat damage. He continued travelling deeper down. Two to three minutes later, he arrived beside a sweltering pool of lava.

A scalding heat rose up from the pool which covered about 30×30 meters. As Nie Yan looked toward the center, he saw a woman floating motionlessly in the lava. She wore a fiery red robe. Clasped in her hand was a staff with a fist-sized, flame-red ruby embedded at the top. It was the famed, sealed Grimmar Soul Staff. Her face was above the surface of the lava. She had smooth, delicate feature with skin as white as jade. She was so beautiful it was almost stifling.

This woman was Countess Alicia, the legendary Elementalist.

She was only sleeping, not dead. The Lava Titan didn’t kill her. It was said that the Lava Titan she summoned grew sentient. It possessed at least some capacity for thought, albeit not much. The simple-minded creature deeply loved the countess. It only wanted to embrace her closely, protecting her within its own body, and not allow anyone else to touch her.

And so, Countess Alicia had been lying dormant ever since. She would only awaken if the Lava Titan was killed. Most notably, on the body of the countess was a quest related to the Sealed Grimmar Soul Staff.

Its final reward was a Legendary set!

At the peak of its glory in the previous timeline, Holy Empire once formed a 3,000 man force consisting of only players over Level 100 to take down the Lava Titan. They had a Thief lure the creature above ground to the Kiln Fire Woods where they slew it. However, Holy Empire suffered one of its heaviest losses in that battle. Of the 170 teams, over a third were wiped out. Victorious Return took advantage of the opportunity to lay siege to the strongholds of Holy Empire, forcing them to withdraw from Kiln Fire Woods. Afterward, Radiant Sacred Flame swooped in and snatched the reward away for themselves. However, even though Radiant Sacred Flame received the quest line from Countess Alicia, they were never able to finish it. Not a single member of the 1,000 man force they sent to a city in the Underworld came back alive.

It subsequently became known as one of the most difficult Legendary quest lines to complete.

In the previous timeline, coming within two meters of Countess Alicia or touching any part of her body would cause the Lava Titan to emerge. However, this posed a bit of a problem to Nie Yan because the countess was more than ten meters away from him. If he tried leaping over, thirty seconds was enough time for him to swim there and back, but it was still very dangerous.

If he was still in the lava when Kiln Fire’s duration ended, he would be instantly incinerated into ashes.

Nie Yan looked up, noticing the large columns of rock hanging down from the ceiling. The nearest one was only three meters away from Countess Alicia. A brilliant idea popped up into his mind. Activating the ability of the Crawler Ring, he leaped off the edge of the pool and clung onto the ceiling. He nimbly crawled toward the column closest to the countess where he slowly slid down until he reached the end.

Countess Alicia held her magnificent staff in the center of the pool. Her eyes were tightly closed, a sign that she was in a deep sleep, black hair floating just above the surface, gently drifting along the gradual currents. She was truly a nation-toppling beauty. No wonder even the creature she summoned ended up being entranced by her good looks.

The staff in her hands was crafted out of blue crystal which emitted a reserved glow. It was engraved with all sorts of mysterious, runic patterns, and embedded at the top was a fist-sized translucent orb with a ball of scarlet-red flame burning within.

The Grimmar Soul Staff possessed powerful fire magic. Even though it was sealed, it still possessed unrivalled power. It was fully deserving of being called a godly weapon!

The Grimmar Soul Staff was only one part of a Legendary set. But even as only one part, it was still frighteningly powerful!

Such an item was now right within reach.

Nie Yan shot out a line of webbing from his Silk Spinner Ring which stuck to the Grimmar Soul Staff. With a jerk of the line, he flung the staff out of Countess Alicia’s hands and caught it.

A powerful wave of uncontrollable elemental energy surged up Nie Yan’s arm, causing him to almost drop the staff. He didn’t dare to waste any time appraising the staff. Storing it away in his bag, he crawled to the top of the column where he leaped off and landed safely on the ground next to the pool of lava.

The entire place began shaking violently. The lava in the pool rose up like a tornado, rapidly condensing before taking the form of a titan. Its lower half was steeped in lava while its upper body was large and intimidating. It was composed entirely of lava and emitted a terrifying heat.

Nie Yan rushed out of the lava caverns. In one or two minutes, the Lava Titan would bring the entire place down.

The Lava Titan discovered someone had stolen Countess Alicia’s Grimmar Soul Staff. It let out an enraged roar as the walls of the lava caverns cracked and started collapsing. All the rock surrounding the Lava Titan rapidly melted before being absorbed into its body. It continuously grew in size as it charged toward the surface.

Almost twenty minutes had passed since Yu Long last received any information about Nie Yan. His subordinates scoured through every area Nie Yan had passed through, but they hadn’t found a single trace of him. A sense of dread gradually seeped its way into his heart.

「Boss, we found a cave over here. It’s an entrance to the lava caverns.」

Yu Long furrowed his brows. Could Nie Yan have already escaped from Kiln Fire Woods through the lava caverns? What was the point of them staying here to search for him, then?

As Yu Long brooded over the matter, the earth beneath him started shaking violently as cracks began opening up. His complexion paled. What was going on!?

About a minute earlier, the several hundred players gathered around the entrance saw a figure rushing out of the lava caverns at top speed.

“It’s that Thief! Stop him!” some players shouted, only to see Nie Yan disappear from sight. He flitted past several of them while in stealth.

Several dozen orbs of light flew up into the air from Illuminate. Under the penetrating radiance, Nie Yan’s figure was revealed.

「Bang! Bang! Bang!」A shower of spells bombarded Nie Yan. He activated Swift Retreat, increasing his movement speed by 30% while escaping. He tightly clutched an Unknown Transfer Scroll in his hand. In case anything went wrong, he would teleport away immediately. No matter how much health he had, he still wouldn’t be able to endure such a concentrated barrage from so many Mages.

Seeing that his health was running low, Nie Yan chugged an Intermediate Health Potion, restoring it back to full.

He still had many life-saving measures on him such as the Chapter of Courage which would make him temporarily immune to all magic or the Unknown Transfer Scroll which would teleport him away. However, unless he was backed into a corner, he wouldn’t rashly use them.

At this moment, the ground suddenly started fiercely trembling. The group of players from Victorious Return turned ashen with fright as they saw red-hot molten rock surging towards them from the lava caverns. With unstoppable momentum, a dozen-meter wave threatened to swallow them whole.

“It’s lava! Run!”

“Shit! Everybody, run!

The entire group fled for their lives. Reflected in their eyes was the torrent of lava, framed by their horror as they watched it come towards them. In the next moment, they were all engulfed.

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