Chapter 310 – Molelord
Nie Yan had failed the Great Thief class advancement quest numerous times in the previous timeline, so much so that he memorized it by heart. He was confident in passing it at Level 50 this time around, especially with his recent breakthroughs on the path of a Shadow Dancer.
A class advanced player was worlds apart from ordinary players with great changes in both stats and skills, and could kill them with ease. This sort of suppressing effect was clear as day. The moment players reached Level 50, the battlefields would belong to class advanced players. It would take as many as eight ordinary players to deal with a single equal-levelled class-advanced player.
Nie Yan organized the information related to class advancement in his mind. When the elites of the guild were ready to class advance, he would pass it onto them. This way, he could greatly increase their chances of succeeding.
The future was ruled by players who class advanced. So long as they successfully broke through this hurdle, they would be taking their first steps towards becoming genuine elites.
Nie Yan originally intended to retrieve the next fragment of Sulgata’s Shadow after snatching away Faded’s chapters from the Book of Order. But he never expected for such a large mishap to occur. It appeared he would have to put this off for another time, most likely some time after reaching Level 50.
Asskickers United currenly wasn’t powerful enough. It was too dangerous for them to enter the territory of Bloodlust Blades.
Glory City was Bloodlust Blade’s base of operations. How could they allow players from other guilds to act unbridled in their territory?
Nie Yan also felt conflicted. He knew there was only so much he could accomplish alone, but a large force would make a prime target for Bloodlust Blades to surround. Even a mighty dragon couldn’t repress a snake in its burrow.
The transport fees between cities was too expensive at 1 gold per player. Otherwise, Nie Yan wouldn’t mind bringing Asskickers United’s forces to duke it out with them.
Their losses this time around couldn’t be considered too bad. They had only lost 5 members despite being chased down a rabbit’s hole. Even then, they had more than made up for it by slaughtering hundreds of enemies! Although nearly all the group members were prevented from returning to Calore due to their red names, they were relatively safe hiding in the Crystal Caverns.
Naturally, this didn’t mean they could lower their vigilance. In order to avoid Bloodlust Blades from catching up to them, they had to keep travelling deeper into the Crystal Caverns. Only like this could they ensure their safety.
For the next couple of days, they would be confined to these caverns as they were clearing their red names. Only afterwards could they return to Calore.
Nie Yan approached the Crystalline Moleguards and took aim with his Cavalry Crossbow.「Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!」Five bolts flew out and struck one of them.
The seven Crystalline Moleguards were immediately alerted of Nie Yan’s presence and charged toward him.
「Fiend, use Shadow Arrow!」Nie Yan ordered through voice chat.
Nie Yan had barely finished speaking when a black bolt shot out from Natural Fiend’s hand, smashing into a Crystalline Moleguard with a soft pop. Its aggro shifted to Natural Fiend, and it charged toward him. As planned, the other monsters’ aggro remained on Nie Yan so they continued their chase.
Now that a Crystalline Moleguard had split from the group, Bladelight charged forward to intercept it with a Shield Bash. The monster thrust its pike at him, dealing over 800 damage with a single crushing blow. Even though Bladelight had close to 2,000 health, such high damage was still extremely dangerous to him.
Cold Peak and Lofty Shadow also jumped into the fray. The three Fighters firmly blocked the Crystalline Moleguard from advancing.
The Crystalline Moleguard sent Bladelight, Lofty Shadow, and Yi Yan staggering several meters back while also stunning them. Young Seven and Painted Muslin quickly cast Heal, restoring their health bars back to full.
After breaking free from the encirclement, the Crystalline Moleguard charged toward the players in the backline.
The Crystalline Moleguard was a tough nut to crack. It barely took any damage from the Warriors, only around 50 damage. Its aggro shifted to the Priests who were healing.
Smoke Stub forced the Crystalline Moleguard to target him. He rammed into its large frame with a Charge, causing it to stagger several steps back. At this moment, Bladelight and the others regained control of their bodies and immediately moved to surround it again.
The Crystalline Moleguard stabbed out with its pike and struck Smoke Stub for over 1,000 damage.
After losing almost two-thirds of his health, Smoke Stub quickly fled for safety.
Just as the Crystalline Moleguard waved its pike and was about to give chase, Bladelight intercepted it and roared.
Bladelight activated the skills back to back, causing the Crystalline Moleguard’s aggro to shift back onto him.
“Everyone, keep it locked down! Mages, fire away!” Bladelight shouted as he unleashed a flurry of attacks on the Crystalline Moleguard.
The Crystalline Moleguard repeatedly struck Bladelight, causing his health bar to plummet. However, Young Seven and Painted Muslin provided timely healing, bringing him back from the brink of death as a gentle radiance washed over him.
“If an Elite Crystalline Moleguard already hits so hard, what do we do if we meet a Lord?” Smoke Stub asked. The attacks of these Crystalline Moleguards were simply too fierce!
“I have a Rank 8 Shield. I don’t know if it’ll be of any use,” Bladelight said. If he activated the Shield, his survivability would increase several fold, to the extent he could possibly tank a Crystalline Molelord.
However, none of them were completely confident.
Tang Yao and the others bombarded the Crystalline Moleguard with spells. It furiously flailed and thrashed about, but its health rapidly fell.
Nie Yan was also constantly on the brink of death. The six Crystalline Moleguards were hot on his trail, and in such a narrow space it was difficult to keep dodging.
The Crystalline Moleguards surrounded Nie Yan, and it appeared he would be killed at any moment. Sun and the others broke out in a cold sweat. But at this moment, he shot out a webline from his Silk Spinner Ring at a nearby wall and swung away to safety.
As Nie Yan flew over the heads of the Crystalline Moleguards, Natural Fiend struck one of them with a Shadow Arrow, causing its aggro to shift onto him.
Sun and One Strike Vow also seized this opportunity to lure away two Crystalline Moleguards, greatly lessening the burden on Nie Yan. With his Shadow Dance footwork, he could easily avoid the remaining three Crystalline Moleguards. His only worry was accidently colliding with Sun or One Strike Vow. This area was simply too small.
A minute later, the first Crystalline Moleguard finally fell. Natural Fiend immediately used Shadow Arrow to lure another one over to Bladelight and the others, who proceeded to attack without pause. They were all players with exceptional awareness, so their cooperation was extremely smooth with few mistakes. Even when someone did, the others could make up for it.
From their teamwork and synergy, you could easily tell the difference between an ordinary and elite team. Ordinary teams would often wipe with the slightest mistake, while elite teams could quickly adapt to the situation. This didn’t mean elite teams never wiped, just that the chances of it happening were far lower.
“Did the Crystalline Moleguard drop anything good?” Smoke Stub asked Bladelight.
“No.” Bladelight shook his head. “A Level 50 Gold-grade Shadow Priest Robe, two gems, and… I think a quest item?” He shared the item’s information in chat.Crystalline Molelord Bennet’s Journal Page (Quest Item): 1/5
This journal page was extremely tattered. The writing on it was from the Ancient Common Language.The beautiful Empress Finas kissed my forehead on this cold, lonely night. I feel as though I could melt under the warmth of her gentle lips… The cold from the blizzard split open the rock of the Crystal Caverns on the night… Empress Finas draped her warm leather robe over me, something she personally knitted… (Too damaged to continue.)
It was an extract from a tale told on a wintry night of Molelord Bennet and Empress Finas’ love. His words were broken and incomplete without much continuity, but Nie Yan could still feel the general gist of it.
Everyone gazed and turned to look at each other, clear shock in their eyes. What sort of clues did this journal page contain?
They learned a few things.
The Crystal Caverns was probably where Crystalline Molelord Bennet resided. This Molelord wasn’t an ordinary Lord but rather a named one, which was often much tougher to deal with. This most likely meant clearing the Crystal Caverns would be much more difficult than they originally anticipated.
In addition, who was Empress Finas? Why would she be important enough to appear in this journal? The page raised so many questions, but without any further information they could only make simple guesses.
“Let’s just keep it for now. There’ll probably be more clues later on,” Nie Yan decided after quickly reading through the page Bladelight passed him.
Nie Yan tried to recall what he knew about Crystalline Molelord Bennet. But to his disappointment, he didn’t remember anything. The vast majority of things he memorized were related to Calore, to the extent he could recall every nook and cranny. But when it came to Glory City, he was a bit helpless. He knew the general layout of the land because it was still pretty close to Calore, but he had truly been too poorly off in the previous timeline. He knew practically nothing about the lore surrounding Glory City.