Chapter 236 – Dark Immortal
The ruined altars and other desolate structures of the Moonlit Woodland gave off a mysterious, ancient feeling.
The white elves who belonged to the Satreen Empire were allies of mankind. However, conflict broke out between the Viridian Empire and Satreen Empire over territorial rights. A peace treaty was signed, and the branch of white elves residing in the Moonlit Woodland were forced to vacate their homeland for the distant Satreen.
Since white elves hadn’t appeared in this land for over hundreds of years, they were but a distant legend to the people of the Viridian Empire.
Around the time Nie Yan advanced to a Great Thief—not long after the release of the Buried History expansion—white elves and beastmen began popping up in Calore, though not very many. After all, the cost of teleporting between the Viridian Empire and Satreen Empire was exorbitant. Only the executives of large guilds were capable of making a round trip. On the day before Nie Yan assassinated Cao Xu, the Viridian Empire started to sell griffons to the players, who could ride these mounts to travel between the two empires. However, it was something that Nie Yan never got a chance to experience.
This was the development path of Conviction. The area between major cities was extremely vast, so players started out the game being restricted to only the maps around their starting city. After the release of land mounts, players could travel much more easily between cities. However, it was only after the release of flying mounts that players could truly travel the world.
Every empire had different governing rules, classes, religions, social customs, and cultures. The system gradually revealed this beautiful world to the players, piece by piece, captivating them as they exclaimed in admiration.
Although Nie Yan was still restricted to the territory around Calore, but from the ruins left behind in various maps by the white elves, dark elves, and beastmen in the past, he could peek a bit into their long history.
Nie Yan suspected that if he completed the first volume of the Book of Order, the release of the Buried History expansion would probably have to be shifted to an earlier date. He didn’t know whether this was good or bad, but he could be sure of one thing. He would benefit greatly far into the future after obtaining this Legendary-grade item.
After passing through a dense patch of thickets, Nie Yan approached a clearing where he spotted six Moon Bears roaming around aimlessly. They were much larger than the average Moon Bear. There were also ruined walls surrounding the area. Carved on their surface were ancient designs and Elven characters. This place was where the white elves made offerings to the goddess of the moon.
These Moon Bears look like Elite monsters. Nie Yan stealthily crept behind a wall, then activated Transcendent Insight.Rocky Moon Bear (Elite): Level 35
These Rocky Moon Bears were unmatched existences to melee-class players. Without the support of a priest, no one under Level 40 would dare to attack them.
However, Nie Yan’s path forward was blocked by these Rocky Moon Bears.
Nie Yan observed the movement paths of these Rocky Moon Bears for a while before taking out a Haste Scroll. Crushing the scroll in his hand he activated Shadow Waltz, then blurred into motion as he rapidly approached them.
One of the Rocky Moon Bears discovered Nie Yan through stealth. It let out a deep roar and swatted at him with an enormous paw.
Nie Yan accelerated. With a twist of his body, he brushed past the Rocky Moon Bear while dodging the oncoming paw by a hair’s breadth.
With its sweeping attack hitting nothing but air, the Rocky Moon Bear staggered several steps before regaining balance. When it turned around to search for its target, Nie Yan was already several meters away.
It was almost effortless for him to avoid the attack of the Rocky Moon Bear by relying on the techniques of a Shadow Dancer.
After Nie Yan outfoxed the first Rocky Moon Bear, the other five charged at him. It looked like he wasn’t going to be left with a complete corpse in the next second. One of the Rocky Moon Bears stood tall on its hind legs, then heavily struck down with a Seismic Slam.
「BOOM!」Nie Yan sped back several paces. A large depression formed on the ground where he previously stood.
Nie Yan nimbly avoided the attacks of the Rocky Moon Bears, performing all sorts of acrobatic feats as he slipped through the gaps between them.
Nie Yan let loose as his speed reached the pinnacle.
Just as these Rocky Moon Bears attempted to charge over, Nie Yan threw out a pouch of Flash Powder.「Poof!」It exploded into a blinding flash of light.
The Rocky Moon Bears were all blinded. Letting out furious roars, they chaotically rammed into their surroundings. Nie Yan took advantage of the opportunity to escape, hopping over a nearby wall before disappearing into the trees. When they finally regained their vision, he was nowhere to be found.
Because this region was still unexplored, there was an alarming number of Rocky Moon Bears roaming around. Nonetheless, Nie Yan was slowly able to make his way to the depths of the Moonlit Woodland by relying on his superior evasive techniques.
Getting Bladelight to explore this region when he reaches Level 35 doesn’t sound like a bad idea. With his tankiness and Young Seven’s support, leading a team here shouldn’t be a problem, Nie Yan thought.
Nie Yan was pleasantly surprised when he encountered two gold chests and several silver chests while searching for the Chapter of Virtue. One of the gold chests even contained a Junior Magic Conduit Potion Recipe.
The Magic Conduit Potion was one of the highest quality potions. It was divided into four ranks: Junior, Intermediate, Advanced, and Specialist. Although the alchemy ingredients required to concoct it were fairly common, its recipe was extremely rare. In the previous timeline, the Intermediate version of this recipe was auctioned off for even more than the price of Sub-Legendary equipment. He had never seen the Advanced or Specialist versions before. It was almost impossible to estimate the value of a Junior Magic Conduit Potion Recipe at this stage of the game, when the player base was nowhere near Level 50.Magic Conduit Potion: Advanced Magic Damage +20%, Advanced Magic Cast Time -10%, Talisman Inscribing Speed +20%
The effects of the Magic Conduit Potion were truly rarely seen.
Since the recipe was so hard to find, the price of a single potion was as high as several dozen gold. Most Mages could only afford to use such an expensive potion after they advanced to Great Mages.
The manufacturing cost of a Magic Conduit Potion was relatively cheap, around 50 silver per bottle. It required over 30 different types of alchemy ingredients which fortunately were fairly common. The only slight drawback was that it took an Intermediate Alchemist 10 minutes to concoct a Junior Magic Conduit Potion with a 30% success rate, so the average production time of a single potion was around 35–40 minutes.
Every minute of an Intermediate Alchemist’s time was precious.
However, the effects of a Magic Conduit Potion were exceedingly valuable to a Great Mage or even a Magister casting advanced magic. The advanced magic at the later stages of the game, although unrivalled in power, would require Magic Talismans that took over almost two hours, sometimes even up to four hours, to inscribe. A Magic Conduit Potion could help them save a lot of time. It was effectively trading an Intermediate Alchemist’s time for the time of a Great Mage or Magister, a clearly exceedingly worthwhile trade. At the same time, drinking a Magic Conduit Potion significantly reduced the cast time of advanced magic, which was exceptionally useful on the battlefield where every second was crucial.
“I’ve struck it rich!” Nie Yan excitedly exclaimed. Only now did he realize why large guilds always wanted to be the first to explore a map no matter the cost.
Nie Yan couldn’t help but think that he lost out big time for not participating in any pioneering expeditions in the previous timeline. When he returned to the guild headquarters, he would have Guo Huai organize pioneering expeditions to various large, high-level maps.
「Nie Yan, where are you right now?」Just at this moment, Guo Huai gave him a ring.
「I’m in the Sonia Moonlit Woodland. Why, what’s up?」Nie Yan asked. For him to be contacted at this time, Guo Huai definitely wanted to inform him about something important.
「Azure Falling Sky has been absorbed by Radiant Sacred Flame.」
「Oh.」Nie Yan nodded.
「Aren’t you worried?」Guo Huai didn’t think Nie Yan’s reaction would be so calm. After all, Azure Falling Sky was a guild with over 20,000 players!
「What’s there to be worried about? I already figured this would happen. If it wasn’t Victorious Return, it would be Radiant Sacred Flame,」Nie Yan replied. Although he had never once regretted the decision of helping out Withered Leaf, he imagined the hatred Clear Sky bore for him definitely wasn’t shallow. It was inevitable that Azure Falling Sky would side with the enemy.
「Since it seems you have some countermeasures in mind, I won’t say anymore. There’s also one other thing I need to inform you about. Victorious Return recently hired someone from the Dark Immortal gaming organization. I heard they’re going after you, so be careful,」Guo Huai said. Dark Immortal was the number one gaming organization in the nation.
「Shadow Killer?」Nie Yan muttered in a surprised tone. It seemed history had deviated from the previous timeline. He never expected Heaven Breaker would hire the services of the Dark Immortal gaming organization to deal with him. Just what sort of price was offered to tempt that person into agreeing to help Victorious Return?
In the previous timeline, there were two legendary characters in the world of Shadow Dancers. One was Sun, a young boy who matured at a startling pace to become an unrivalled genius that was absolutely dazzling as his namesake. And the other was Shadow Killer, a mysterious figure who rarely appeared out in the public. He didn’t even take part in the Shadow Dancer competition. Everything about him was a riddle. However, before Sun was ever known, he was already famous. As the boss of the largest gaming organization in the country, Dark Immortal, his name had long since rang like thunder in the ears of players. However, the vast majority of people only knew the name, not the person.
Shadow Killer generally only took on assassination requests, and his services were always excessively expensive, to the extent that almost no one could afford them. A person like him only killed the most difficult targets, as though he was only doing it for the thrill. He never once slipped up. In the previous timeline, the list of people he successfully assassinated included figures like the guild leader of Victorious Return, Heaven Breaker; the guild leader of Radiant Sacred Flame, Nightbreak Trickster; and the guild leader of Battle Crazed Alliance, Kill Love. He was a person who didn’t care about sides, only moving for money. He would only take on a request if you gave him a tempting enough offer. Back when Victorious Return was at the peak of its might in the Viridian Empire, Heaven Breaker, who was presumed to be untouchable at the time, still ended up dying at his hands.
「Yes, him,」Guo Huai said in a somewhat heavy tone. In every popular virtual reality game that came before Conviction, Shadow Killer was always an existence that countless people could never hope to reach for.
「Have you dug up any recent news about him?」
「No, only that the Dark Immortal gaming organization joined Victorious Return, and Heaven Breaker and Nightbreak Trickster have met up with him.」
「Are you sure his target is me?」
「I’m 90% certain, so that’s why I’m warning you to be careful.」
「To be a target of Shadow Killer’s assassination request, I truly feel honoured.」Nie Yan revealed a calm smile. He wasn’t the slightest bit worried.