Chapter 209 – Skill of a Shadow Dancer
“You guys should stay here a while longer to clear your red names. When we’re all good, I’ll take everyone to go levelling with me,” Nie Yan said. He could only wait until they were no longer branded as PKers to bring them to Everlasting City; otherwise, they would be besieged by guards as soon as they set foot in Calore.
There weren’t enough Sub-Elite and Elite Scaled Frogs to go around, so most were left hunting ordinary Scaled Frogs.
“Boss, your name is also red. How come you can enter the city without being attacked?” Summer Bug voiced out his doubts.
“When your Influence in Calore reaches 30 points, you can walk around freely with a red name,” Nie Yan replied. A player had to complete many high-difficulty quests to accumulate that much Influence. He felt such an undertaking was too difficult for the vast majority of player base at the current stage of the game.
“It’s that difficult…? My Influence in Calore is only at 2 points. I got them from helping an NPC in a quest, but completing that damned thing nearly drove me mad!” Undying Scoundrel couldn’t help but lament, rolling his eyes back in shock.
The others also felt exasperated at Nie Yan’s revelation. Unless they encountered some sort of quest with amazing rewards, getting 30 Influence was temporarily out of the scope of their ability.
“Keep farming Scaled Frogs. We’ll set off when you’ve all cleared your red names,” Nie Yan said. He specifically bought 1,000 Magic Bombs to power level them directly to Level 30. It was enough to let them level up to their heart’s content.
Most of the group dispersed to continue grinding Scaled Frogs, leaving behind Nie Yan, Yao Yao, Yu Lan, and Bai Kaishui.
Nie Yan chatted with them for a while about the previous incident outside of Black Flame Forest. Back then, they fought side by side, killing many enemy players. Yu Lan wasn’t able to make it to the end, however, dropping several levels and losing all her gear. The guild was able to provide her with a new set of equipment, and she was now Level 23 thanks to the efforts of Yao Yao. With this, the strength of the Blue Feather Team also slowly recovered.
“I still haven’t personally thanked you for last time,” Nie Yan said to Yu Lan and Bai Kaishui.
“It’s nothing, Boss. The incident last time only happened because a member of our team sold you out. Even though that person is gone, it was still our fault to some degree,” Bai Kaishui said in a serious tone.
Yu Lan nodded in agreement. The calamity that befell her team—especially the betrayal—caused her to be deeply aggrieved. Fortunately, her team had fully recovered by now, and with the backing of Asskickers United, they achieved even more success than before. Joining Nie Yan’s guild could also be considered a good outcome birthed from a setback.
“Alright, let’s not linger on unpleasant matters.” Nie Yan laughed. He glanced at the surroundings, then turned to Yao Yao and asked, “Why didn’t I see Sun?”
“He went scouting for Sub-Elites and Elites. I’ll send him a whisper,” Yao Yao replied. Only now did she realize that she hadn’t seen him in quite a while.
“It’s fine. Let’s go hunt Scaled Frogs for the time being,” Nie Yan said. He wanted to see if he could get a Slaughter Fiend Medallion to drop.
The group of players scattered around the map to hunt monsters. With their strength, they were picking off the ordinary Scaled Frogs like it was child’s play. However, this was only to be expected. After all, the quality of their equipment wasn’t any bit inferior to that of the top players from the large guilds!
Nie Yan found a corner where he holed himself up in to fight Scaled Frogs. After comprehending the mysteries of a Shadow Dancer, he started applying some of the techniques he remembered from his past life in combat.
Under the frightening onslaught of Nie Yan’s attacks, Scaled Frogs collapsed to the ground one after another. He was simply too fast, leaving behind only after-images whenever he attacked. None of them could even get close, let alone land a hit on him.
After downing his sixteenth Scaled Frog, Nie Yan moved toward a clearing up ahead where he discovered five Scaled Frogs gathered in close proximity. He pondered for a moment before revealing a fearless smirk. With a flick of the wrist, he switched to a forward grip with the dagger, then dashed toward them.
Out of the blue, Nie Yan reemerged behind one of the Scaled Frogs. He struck it in the back of the head with Smothering Strike, then followed up with Assassinate and Lacerate. The Scaled Frog let out a miserable croak, as a huge chunk of health was shaved away, before turning around and pouncing on its assailant
Alerted by Nie Yan’s presence, the other four Scaled Frogs sprung on him as well.
Nie Yan’s silhouette was ethereal like a ghost as he passed through the opening between the five Scaled Frogs. With a Vital Strike followed by a combo of stabs and slashes, he took down the already less than half-health Scaled Frog.
“One down!” Nie Yan spun around, dodging the attacks of the four remaining Scaled Frogs in quick succession as he darted forward. Locking onto the next target, he smashed one of them in the forehead with a Concussive Blow. His silhouette blurred into motion, then reappeared behind the stunned Scaled Frog. Backstab! Eviscerate! He sped back a few paces without pause, avoiding the tongue lashes of the other Scaled Frogs.
Despite being surrounded on all four sides, Nie Yan effortlessly evaded the attacks of the Scaled Frogs. His face showed no trace of panic. It was almost as though he were merely taking a leisurely stroll.
The four Scaled Frogs hadn’t landed a single hit on him. He was as slippery as a louch, perfectly taking advantage of every opening between each attack to evade.
The difference between a Shadow Dancer and a Great Thief was that while a Great Thief could display 100% of their ability, a Shadow Dancer could display 200% or even 300%. They were able to utilize every single stat point to its fullest to bring about the greatest effect.
Even with the same speed, level, stats, and gear quality, a Great Thief couldn’t hold a candle against a Shadow Dancer!
Damage values continuously floated up above the Scaled Frog’s head until only a small chunk of health was left. The creature collapsed to the ground as Nie Yan finished it off with a few attacks.
“Two down!” All of Nie Yan’s skills were already on cooldown. He employed simple steps to avoid the attacks of the remaining three Scaled Frogs, simultaneously stabbing and slashing as he left behind several wounds on them before rapidly retreating again.
The three Scaled Frogs continuously lunged at Nie Yan as a string of damage values rose over each of their heads. However, regardless of how hard they tried, they couldn’t touch so much as a single hair on his body. It was like a player with only 10 Accuracy trying to land a hit on an opponent with over 100 Evasion. Even if they pulled out all stops, all they’d end up seeing would be a continuous row of MISS.
Nie Yan finally understood why the Magisters of his past life looked down on Great Thieves but were so deathly afraid of Shadow Dancers. It was simply that the latter belonged on a whole nother plane of skill! He had heard of many cases where a Magister ended up dying to a Shadow Dancer on the battlefield, even under the protection of several hundred players. However, he had never heard of a Great Thief accomplishing a similar feat.
The boundary between a Shadow Dancer and Great Thief was like the difference between heaven and earth!
When the bleed and poison effects wore off, Nie Yan reapplied them by attacking again, causing the three Scaled Frogs to continue losing health every second.
After a while, the Scaled Frogs couldn’t endure the torment any longer. Succumbing to the continuous damage, they dropped dead on the ground.
Yao Yao, Yu Lan, and Bai Kaishui rushed over to Nie Yan’s location. As they reached the clearing, they all stopped dead in their tracks. They arrived just in time to witness the Scaled Frogs collapsing to the ground. Unexpectedly, all three died from being bled out by continuous damage! It was already considered incredible for a Warrior to come out on top after taking on five equal-levelled monsters at the same time. However, a Thief pulling this off? That was basically impossible… unless they possessed some really top-notch equipment.
Yet not only was Nie Yan somehow alive after such a battle, he was still at full health! Did he really only rely on simple sidesteps to evade the attacks of five Scaled Frogs?
Yu Lan and the other two could hardly contain their shock. Although Nie Yan was widely renowned as the Mad Rogue, until now they had never personally witnessed him accomplish something so outrageous with their own eyes. The feeling they got was completely different from watching a video.
Employing the techniques of a Shadow Dancer to deal with Level 30 monsters was practically akin to having an adult fight a six-year-old child. There was no challenge at all.
After killing the five Scaled Frogs, Nie Yan bent down to pick up the drops. He saw Yao Yao and the others walking over to him. “What’s the matter? Did something happen?”
“Sun said he accidentally bumped into a Lord-class Scaled Frog while scouting for Elites and Sub-Elites. It chased him for a long time, and he nearly died to it. He barely managed to escape just a moment ago.” Yao Yao was also amazed by what Nie Yan had done, but she was already more or less accustomed to these kinds of occurrences. He was precisely the type of person who achieved the impossible.
Nie Yan’s mind trembled. After so long, they finally found another Lord-class Scaled Frog. He wondered just what kind of good items would drop this time around.
“Where’s the Lord-class Scaled Frog now?”
“238.282.287, Sun is watching over it. He’s telling us to get over there quickly.” Yao Yao paused before asking in an anxious tone, “Do you think we can kill a Lord-class Scaled Frog?”
“Tang Yao and I have killed one before. Let’s go over and take a look,” Nie Yan replied.
They rushed over to Sun’s location.
As for exactly how Nie Yan killed a group of five Scaled Frogs without taking any damage, no one asked. It was a mystery best kept unprofaned, like never asking a Magician to reveal his secrets.
Before long, Nie Yan and the others met up with Sun who was in a very sorry state. With only a sliver of health remaining, he was recovering by eating a bread loaf under the shade of a tree.
Noticing Nie Yan’s arrival, Sun hastily stood up to greet him. “Big Brother, you guys came!”
Nie Yan patted Sun on the shoulder. “You did well. In all of Calore, I can count on one hand the number of players around your level that can survive such an encounter with a Lord-class Scaled Frog.”
“Where is it?” Bai Kaishui asked after looking around.
“Over there.” Sun pointed at a place in the distance.
There, Bai Kaishui and the others spotted an enormous, crimson Scaled Frog towering above the dense forest, even while crouched. Although it looked slightly different from the Lord-class Scaled Frog that he faced before, Nie Yan could confirm that the monster before them was still just a regular Lord. It was only natural to be wary, though. The skills of Variant Lords did differ from their ordinary counterparts to some extent.
“Can we use the Smoke Powder to deal with that Scaled Frog?” Sun asked. He believed they could take down the Lord-class Scaled Frog in a similar fashion to the Sub-Elites and Elites.
Nie Yan shook his head. “The vision range of a Lord-class Scaled Frog is greater than Elite or Sub-Elite.” If they adopted the same strategy he and Tang Yao used before, it would be just as effective. However, he had a different plan in mind. He wanted to kill the Lord-class Scaled Frog by employing the techniques of a Shadow Dancer! It was much slower than him, so he definitely felt this was feasible. So long as he took care to avoid its skills, he would be all right.
“What should we do then? Do we call Big Brother Bladelight over?” Sun asked. In the entire group, only Bladelight was capable of enduring the attacks of the Lord-class Scaled Frog. They were all in the same general vicinity anyway. If everyone fought together, they could definitely kill it.
“No need. Let me give it a shot,” Nie Yan said. After comprehending the mysteries behind a Shadow Dancer, he had the utmost confidence in being able to dispatch this Lord-class Scaled Frog.
“Just you alone?” Sun, Yao Yao, Yu Lan, and Bai Kaishui stared at him in shock.
“Yeah, I’ll be fine by myself.” Nie Yan turned to Sun and said, “Watch my actions closely. It’ll definitely be helpful to you.”
If Nie Yan demonstrated the techniques of a Shadow Dancer in this battle, Sun’s naturally high aptitude for playing the Thief class might allow him to comprehend them to some extent.
Chapter 209 Teaser
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