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Chapter 312 – Great Thief Skill Book

Two nations represented the Evil Faction in the Underworld. When Righteous Faction players entered their domain, they would suffer from heavy stat penalties. Not only this, but they would also be attacked on sight by players of the Evil Faction.

The two factions were constantly at war. All sorts of magical trinkets and baubles from the Underworld would appear in the Hilton Stronghold every year.

Aside from the Hilton Stronghold, players could also reach the territory of the Evil Faction through the numerous tunnels leading to the Underworld.

Many of the high reward quests issued in Calore required travelling to the Underworld.

One could imagine the difficulty of completing a quest in the territory of the Evil Faction as a player from the Righteous Faction. Apart from being pursued by hordes of Evil Faction players, you would also have to be wary of crossing paths with an Evil Faction NPC, some of whom could kill you in an instant.

But with the Necklace of Deception, that all changed. Nie Yan could use it to disguise himself as part of the Evil Faction.

Of course the Necklace of Deception could be seen through with skills such as Eye of Truth.

The Necklace of Deception was similar to the Jewel of Disguise. But its duration was much longer which made it more practical for questing in the territory of the Evil Faction.

The Necklace of Deception might be of little use to ordinary players. But Nie Yan knew many quests that required him to travel to the Underworld.

Nie Yan would definitely be travelling there often in the future. He never thought a Necklace of Deception would drop here. What luck!

Nie Yan looked at the other group members. “Does anyone need this?” Even though he had use for the Necklace of Deception, as their guild leader, he couldn’t simply take it without saying anything.

“No, I don’t think any of us can use it.” Tang Yao shook his head. He almost felt a headache coming on after looking at the complicated description of the Necklace of Deception. It might allow the player to switch factions, but it didn’t give any stats. In fact, it actually reduced them! Who would have any use for such an item?

Nie Yan shifted his attention to Smoke Stub, Bladelight, and the others.

Smoke Stub shook his head. “We don’t have any use for this item right now. We’ll just borrow it from you if we ever do.”

Although they could see the use of the Necklace of Deception, opportunities to travel to the territory of the Evil Faction didn’t just drop from the sky. They might not necessarily be able to use this item effectively either.

“Alright, I’ll be taking this Necklace of Deception then. If you guys ever need it, just let me know.” Nie Yan was about to compensate the group members with guild merit points when he was interrupted.

“No need.” Smoke Stub stopped Nie Yan. What need would contracted members like them have for guild merit points? Their equipment was directly given to them by the guild, even their mounts were.

At the strong refusal from the group members, Nie Yan gave up trying to compensate them.

“What’s the last thing that dropped?” Bladelight asked. Aside from the Arcane Mage accessory and Necklace of Deception, there was one final item left!

Nie Yan picked up the item. It was a ruined journal page with a few things written on it.

I am deeply in love with Empress Finas. Her face is deeply imprinted into my mind… She’s so compassionate… Her flawless angelic body appears to be carved out of the most brilliant crystal… It’s a pity she’s an empress while I’m just a lowly slave, a Moleman… Even the wretched can still feel love…

Nie Yan was especially touched by the last line. Wasn’t he also a wretch in his past life? Back then, he deeply clung onto his love for Xie Yao. Only after reincarnating did he break out of his cocoon and emerge as a dazzling butterfly.

Nie Yan roughly gathered a few clues from this journal page. It appeared the plot of the story revolved around Molelord Bennett and Empress Finas. As for what happened next, he would have to look for the remaining journal pages to find out. He wondered how this quest concluded.

“Do you think we can handle a Lord-class Crystalline Moleman?” Bladelight asked. If they almost wiped against Elites, what did this say about their chances when facing a Lord?

“We’ll cross that bridge when we get there. If we wipe, so be it. Just make sure we don’t drop all our equipment,” Nie Yan replied. They could only give it their best shot, even if it meant facing the possibility of wiping at the final stretch.

“I guess that’s all we can do.” Bladelight nodded.

“You guys keep advancing. I’m going to explore further ahead.” Nie Yan wanted to scout out the Molelord’s position, so they would have some time to prepare. The consequences would be dire if they ended up unwittingly bumping into it.

“Will you be fine all by yourself?” Bladelight asked.

After all, this was a Level 50 Map! Everyone’s attention was focused on Nie Yan.

Nie Yan confidently smiled. “Don’t worry. I have quite a few tricks left. If I end up meeting danger, I’ll have no problem escaping.”

These words contained no arrogance. On top of owning all sorts of escape skills, he still had the Unknown Transfer Scroll! No one was better than him at staying alive!

The group members also realized this. Since the founding of Asskickers United, Nie Yan had survived dangerous situations numerous times by relying on his outstanding skills.

By now, the fallen teammates were revived. They sat down to recover their health and mana.

“Alright, just be careful,” Bladelight said. They had faith in Nie Yan, so they didn’t try to stop him.

“Mhm, let me know if anything happens.” Nie Yan bid everyone farewell, then disappeared into stealth.

Nie Yan departed from the group. He planned to open up the path ahead and search for more clues related to the quest. The Crystal Caverns was a huge map. It was filled with winding and twisting paths that connected with each other. Crystalline Molemen were everywhere, roaming every passageway and chamber.

Nie Yan snuck past numerous Crystalline Molemen along the path. His Cloaking and Stealth were very high, allowing him to completely ignore these Crystalline Molemen. He travelled through the snaking tunnels and headed deeper down.

When Nie Yan turned back, he could no longer see the others.

This area was full of crystal ores. Nie Yan guessed that in his previous life this was a prime mining site.

The vast majority of players would learn one or two gathering skills. They would earn a decent profit by selling the materials they collected in the marketplace.

Nie Yan had learned the Mining skill in the previous timeline. He knew the feeling of holing himself up in a mining site and digging day in, day out. He understood the type of soul-sucking loneliness that seeped into a person’s marrow! Back then, he had no family and could only patiently endure. His hatred was the only thing that kept him going. This was a sorrowful memory. But the tragedy of his past life was what tempered his heart. In this life, no matter how much suffering and hardship he faced, he would definitely become a dragon amongst men!

Nie Yan arrived at a fork in the path. One tunnel was a bit more spacious than the other. He reckoned the former led to Molelord Bennett.

Based on Nie Yan’s experience, the other tunnel led to a branching line in the quest.

Nie Yan entered the narrow tunnel and saw eight Crystalline Moleguards up ahead. However, there were many environmental obstacles in the vicinity. This group was much easier to deal with than the previous one.

These Crystalline Moleguards completely blocked off the path forward. Nie Yan surveyed the surroundings. Getting past this area won’t be that difficult. He activated the Crawler Ring and started climbing up the wall to the ceiling and made his way forward.

Before long, Nie Yan got past the Crystalline Moleguards. He let go of the ceiling and landed back on the ground.

After walking through the narrow tunnel for a while, Nie Yan’s eyes locked onto a shimmering treasure chest in the distance. It was carved from translucent dark crystal and was covered in all sorts of runic designs.

It was a Dark Gold Chest!

A Level 50 Dark Gold Chest! Nie Yan’s heart skipped a beat. He quickly walked over, bent down, and started opening it.

Opening Treasure Chest… Estimated Completion: 3%… 5%… 3%… 7%…

The chest was opening at a snail’s pace. As the seconds turned into minutes passed, a Crystalline Moleman wandered over to Nie Yan’s area, forcing him to move away from the treasure chest. He circled behind the Moleman and stunned it with Smothering Strike, then finished it off with several quick attacks.

Nie Yan walked back and continued trying to open the chest. Crystalline Molemen would often pass through this area. Many times he was forced to stop and deal with them.

But eventually, the chest opened with a click.

A crisp system notification popped up.

Lockpicking Specialist has ranked up to Advanced.

Lockpicking Specialist ranked up? Nie Yan remembered Lockpicking Specialist was still a ways off from ranking up. It shouldn’t have reached Advanced this quickly. He checked his system messages. It appeared successfully opening the Dark Gold Chest gave his Lockpicking Specialist 35 mastery points, allowing it to instantly reach Advanced.

Nie Yan rummaged through the chest before fishing out a thick skill book.

The skill book was lettered in gold. It was covered in peculiar runes. Nie Yan’s eyebrows jumped. This was an Adept Skill Book! But on second thought, he was already in a Level 50 map, not to mention he opened a Dark Gold Chest. Finding an Adept Skill Book wasn’t all that strange.

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