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Chapter 112 – Blood Pact +7

Nie Yan was far from being satisfied with just a single upgrade.

He placed Blood Pact back into Pandora’s Box along with another Fortune Gem and tried to upgrade it again. If the game time was on an even cycle, then his success rate would be increased to around eighty percent.

「System: Upgrade successful! Blood Pact +1 → Blood Pact +2」

Nie Yan examined Blood Pact’s new properties.

Blood Pact +2 (Dark Gold)

Properties: Attack 43–46, Dexterity +11, Critical +12, Lifesteal 3%

Weight: 3lb
Restrictions: Thief, can be equipped by all factions.

Even with this, Nie Yan still wasn’t completely satisfied. He retrieved another Fortune Gem, placed it inside Pandora’s Box, and continued upgrading. After clicking confirm, the gem began radiating brighter and brighter until…「Poof!」The gem burst into ashes. He felt his heart sink. The probability of failing was only twenty percent, yet he had just failed on only his second attempt. It seemed even Pandora’s Box couldn’t help him with his innately poor luck.

「System: Upgrade failed! Blood Pact +2 → Blood Pact +1」

However, he wouldn’t allow this setback to discourage him. The price of a Fortune Gem alone might be enough to frighten most players, but Nie Yan wasn’t most players. Such a trivial sum wouldn’t be able to affect him. Failing this time meant losing ten silver, a loss he was entirely willing to bear.

「System: Upgrade successful! Blood Pact +1 → Blood Pact +2」

「System: Upgrade successful! Blood Pact +2 → Blood Pact +3」

「System: Upgrade successful! Blood Pact +3 → Blood Pact +4」

「System: Upgrade failed! Blood Pact +4 → Blood Pact +3」

Even with an eighty percent success rate, he still ended up failing two times before finally reaching his initial target. Lady Luck just didn’t seem to be on his side.

In total, it took him nine gems to advance Blood Pact to the fifth stage. As he took it out of the box to examine, he noticed a slight change in its appearance. It seemed to shine more brilliantly than before.

Blood Pact +5 (Dark Gold)

Properties: Attack 73–76, Dexterity +11, Critical +12, Lifesteal 3%

Weight: 3lb
Restrictions: Thief, can be equipped by all factions.

Blood Pact at its fifth stage already possessed an attack that was far beyond the vast majority of weapons in the game, even surpassing Level 10 Dark Gold weapons by a good margin. He still had eight Fortune Gems remaining in his inventory, so getting Blood Pact to the sixth stage probably wouldn’t be too much of a problem. According to how the upgrade system worked, getting the dagger to the seventh stage would be worthwhile. It was only when upgrading to the eighth or ninth stage that the stakes began to rise, as a single failure from stage six and onwards would drop the weapon back to the fifth stage. As for getting a piece of equipment to stage ten or higher, only those who possessed incredibly good luck or were filthy rich would dare to make the attempt.

Nie Yan placed Blood Pact back into Pandora’s Box along with another Fortune Gem. His chances of upgrading the dagger to the sixth stage was seventy percent. This could already be considered fairly high, since, without the aid of the box, it was usually fifty percent. In the game’s current state, a stage seven piece of equipment was as rare as a qilin horn or phoenix feather.

As Blood Pact emitted a bright red aura from inside Pandora’s Box, Nie Yan found it difficult to calm his nerves. After all, this might be the creation of the game’s first stage six or seven weapon. He couldn’t help but be nervous.

With a seventy percent success rate, I might as well give it a shot!

Nie Yan clenched his teeth and hit confirm.

The gem began shining brilliantly. Then, with a final flash of light, its essence was transferred to the dagger. Nie Yan felt as if an explosion had gone off in his mind as he watched this occur before his very eyes. The upgrade was a success!

After the golden radiance slowly dispersed, only the dagger remained in Pandora’s Box. A bedeviling crimson aura spread out as if to bask the world in its glorious presence.

A stage six dagger… Awesome!

The next step was to get the dagger to stage seven, a task which made even Nie Yan quiver under the pressure. A seventy percent chance of success was indeed quite high, but that still meant there was a thirty percent chance of failure. It was precisely this fact that made him extremely tense.

After careful deliberation, he decided to give it a shot and placed another Fortune Gem inside Pandora’s Box.

He clenched his teeth and hit upgrade. It has to succeed!

Although it wouldn’t be too much of a loss to him if he failed, he was still losing money!

「System: Do you wish to upgrade Blood Pact +6?」


He steeled himself and hit confirm on the system prompt. The visual effects started playing, ending once more with a flash of golden light. It was a success! A wave of relief and happiness washed over Nie Yan. Apparently all of his bad luck had been used up in the previous two failures, as the dagger was successfully upgraded to the seventh stage without a hitch.

My luck’s pretty good! He examined the properties of the improved Blood Pact.

Blood Pact +7 (Dark Gold)

Properties: Attack 93–96, Dexterity +11, Critical +12, Lifesteal 3%

Weight: 3lb
Restrictions: Thief, can be equipped by all factions.

He had been relatively lucky this time around. With this, Blood Pact now possessed almost one hundred attack, nearly rivaling even some Level 15 weapons.

A Fortune Gem was quite a costly thing. There were very few, if any, players who would be as crazy as Nie Yan and attempt to upgrade a piece of equipment to the seventh stage. Even the leaders of the largest guilds wouldn’t dare to test their luck. At the very least, they would be extremely prudent by taking their equipment to a Jewelcrafter for the upgrade. In the entire game, there was probably no one else who had such a high success rate in upgrading equipment like Nie Yan.

Any other player would likely need to spend, at the very least, twice as many Fortune Gems to upgrade a piece of equipment to the seventh stage.

Blood Pact was now as brilliant as a ruby and surrounded by a pulsing, blood red aura that seemed to emit a murderous intent. Even if he hid the visual effects on the dagger, anyone could see with just a glance that it was out of the ordinary.

Attempting to upgrade the dagger to the eighth stage would be slightly risky. This was because if he failed, it would fall back to stage five.

Aside from Blood Pact, Nie Yan also used two Fortune Gems to upgrade his other dagger, Assassin’s Decree, to stage two, raising its attack by twenty.

Assassin’s Decree (Gold): Secondary Weapon

Properties: Attack 46–49, Strength +16, Accuracy +12

Weight: 3 lb
Restrictions: Can be equipped by all factions.

Assassin’s Decree was merely a Gold-grade weapon, so its stats weren’t that great in comparison. He was only using it for now until he found a suitable replacement, which would be pretty soon, so it wasn’t worthwhile to upgrade it any further.

Nie Yan checked his status page. While wielding these two top-tier daggers, his attack leapt to one hundred and seventy-six. Most of the Thieves who were currently Level 7 had an attack of around a hundred, so this was already terrific. In fact, it was practically blasphemous for a player to have such stats! At this point in the game, the quality of his gear would most likely make any honest, hard-working player froth at the mouth from rage.

Having finished buying properties and upgrading his gear, Nie Yan returned to the auction house and listed another batch of raw materials and Black Phenol for sale. Then, he opened the auction house’s catalogue and searched for equippable gear that boosted Intelligence.

However, it seemed there were fairly few pieces of equipment that matched such criteria in the market, though this was unsurprising. After all, what would a Thief do with Intelligence? The players who obtained such equipment would probably throw it in a recycler to be broken down into raw materials.

After searching for what seemed like half a day, he felt exasperated. He still wasn’t able to find a single piece of equipment. If I can’t find any here, don’t tell me I have to go farming for them myself…? Just how many years will that take!?

Thunderbolt Blaze was an intermediate scroll that required thirty Intelligence to cast. An intermediate scroll was still rather rare among the current playerbase, but after everyone raised their levels, just about any average joe would have one or two of these scrolls for emergency use. So, if he sat on the scroll for too long, its usefulness would diminish. Unfortunately, even the rarest of items today would become common commodities over time.

He wanted to make use of the Thunderbolt Blaze scroll, but he didn’t have sufficient Intelligence nor could he find the equipment to alleviate this issue. Just what was he going to do?

While wracking his brains over this problem, Sleepy Fox suddenly popped into his mind. Nie Yan didn’t know if Sleepy Fox had any equipment that increased Intelligence, but it was possible that he had some lying around. After all, for a guild as large as Holy Empire, picking up one or two pieces of Thief equipment that increased Intelligence was quite common. Even those pieces of equipment that no one would use wouldn’t be so easily discarded. Any sensible guild would use these items to pad the treasury. Just in case it actually did have some use, it could be easily retrieved when needed.

「You there?」Nie Yan sent Sleepy Fox a message.

「Yeah, I’m there. We’ve already found the skill books for the five passive skills you wanted. As for the two active skills, we’re out of luck for the time being, but we should be able to get them in the afternoon,」Sleepy Fox said apologetically. Thanks to the large quantity of Black Phenol and materials Nie Yan provided them, Holy Empire was able to get an advantage over the other guilds in running Sosil Valley. Although their team had yet to meet the boss, as they were still stuck on fighting the common mobs, the profits were nevertheless astonishing. They were able to obtain quite a few decent pieces of equipment. The experience wasn’t bad either. A single Werewolf provided eight hundred experience, so their levelling was much faster than killing mobs outside. Considering all the benefits Nie Yan provided him, he felt ashamed that they were still unable to fulfill a simple request.

At this time, the skill books Nie Yan was looking for, Backstab and Eviscerate, were fairly rare drops. Even a large guild such as Holy Empire would only be able to obtain a few in a single day. The demand for these skills was simply too high. As for those five passive skills, although relatively uncommon as well, they weren’t expensive or highly sought after by most players. Therefore, they were quite easy to find.

Truthfully, Sleepy Fox was rather puzzled as to why a Thief like Nie Yan would want to learn so many Strength-increasing skills. What was the point of filling up so many skill slots right now? Those skills would eventually be forgotten anyway. Wasn’t he just wasting money at this point? Though, after thinking about it, Sleepy Fox recalled that Nie Yan was perhaps the richest solo player he had met so far, so why would he care about losing some pocket change?

「No worries, there’s no rush. Just hold onto those skill books for now. I actually contacted you for something else. Do you have any skill books or equipment lying around that I can wear, ones that increase Intelligence?」Nie Yan replied.

「Intelligence? For a Thief…?」Sleepy Fox asked in a flabbergasted manner.

「Yep… Thief equipment or skills that increase Intelligence. I’d prefer if it was equipment,」Nie Yan said. If he had to learn a skill for the sake of increasing Intelligence, when he had no more skill slots, he would have no choice but to erase it to make space. At least with equipment, he’d still be able to recoup some of his losses.

「We should have some lying around… I’ll tell one of my subordinates to search through the treasury and check,」Sleepy Fox replied, as he became ever more baffled. While it was somewhat understandable for Thief to want items that raised their Strength, just why in the world would one ever need Intelligence? Was it possible that Nie Yan had picked up a piece of equipment that had an Intelligence requirement?

Nie Yan patiently waited for Sleepy Fox’s reply.

「So… after checking, we’ve got a pair of boots with +7 Intelligence, leather armour with +8 Intelligence, a pair of gloves with +7 Intelligence, and two skill books, Farsight and Comprehension, which raise Intelligence by nine and six respectively. That’s all we found,」Sleepy Fox said.

「It’s enough. Let me borrow the boots, leather armour, and gloves for a while. As for the Comprehension skill book, name a price.」

「No need. It’s not anything valuable, so feel free to take them all,」Sleepy Fox replied. Thief equipment that increased Intelligence wasn’t worth very much. Even if they placed these pieces of equipment in the auction house for a low price, it didn’t mean someone would necessarily buy them. Usually, they would simply sit in the treasury until enough of them piled up to be thrown into the recycler all at once.

「Thanks. I’ll return them later. Just send them through the mail,」Nie Yan said. If all these pieces of equipment were sold in the marketplace, the profit earned still wouldn’t amount to a single silver. The player would be lucky to receive fifty copper. Sleepy Fox would never be willing to collect payment on such items, and Nie Yan didn’t care to force him either.

「Alright,」Sleepy Fox said. He believed Nie Yan definitely had a good reason for borrowing all these pieces of equipment that increased Intelligence. However, since Nie Yan didn’t tell him, he wouldn’t ask too many questions.

After a while, Nie Yan headed to his personal storage and retrieved the items that he had asked for. Altogether there were four items that increased Intelligence, three of which were pieces of equipment while the fourth was a skill book.

On top of his base stats, these four items raised his Intelligence past thirty points, enabling him to meet the requirements to cast the Thunderbolt Blaze Scroll!

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