Chapter 453 - Great Prophecy
The residents of the Hilton Stronghold talked about topics related to Mt. Anfrit every day. Even this nugget of Dark Crimson Gold came from that volcano.
After thinking back to what just happened, Nie Yan started becoming suspicious. Only a moment ago he had clearly seen Collins was only a Level 20 NPC. How could such a weak boy traverse so many dangerous maps to reach Mt. Anfrit? This appeared to be a mystery he would never get to the bottom of.
Even though Collins appeared to only be a child, his eyes reflected a strong determination to survive.
"Mt. Anfrit, Mt. Anfrit…" Nie Yan muttered to himself. What in the world did he forget?
Nie Yan's thoughts were a mess right now. He simply couldn't shake off the feeling he was forgetting something important. However, nothing came to mind.
Nie Yan tried hard to recall all he knew about the Hilton Stronghold. He suddenly remembered that back when players first started arriving, after the invasion of monsters from the Underworld and the drastic decline of the NPC population, they received a system notification asking them to participate in the defense of the stronghold.
「A fiery inferno spews out from deep below the earth, heralding the beginning of a disaster. Hordes of monsters pour out from the Underworld and overrun the surface. The Hilton Stronghold, a once grand bastion of the Viridian Empire, stands in desolate ruin. Brave adventurers, drive off the invaders and reclaim this holy land of heroes! May the fallen souls find peace. May their wills never be forgotten…」
A fiery inferno, the beginning of a disaster... Right! A disaster! A light bulb lit up in Nie Yan's head as forgotten memories resurfaced once more. The fiery inferno was referring to the eruption of Mt. Anfrit, which sent monsters fleeing their homes in the Underworld as lava flooded everywhere. After arriving on the surface, they immediately swarmed the Hilton Stronghold. This assault was much fiercer than the ones in the past. The ensuing battle lasted for five days and resulted in catastrophic losses. If it weren't for reinforcements from the rest of the Viridian Empire arriving in time, the stronghold would have completely fallen.
Mt. Anfrit's eruption was the omen of a coming disaster!
If the Hilton Stronghold was warned in advance, many lives could be saved!
Nie Yan was a Grand Scholar. In the history of the Viridian and Satreen Empires, those with this title were regarded as people with great knowledge, wisdom, and foresight. Having received the blessing of God, they possessed special powers outside the realm of an ordinary person's imagination. They were exalted existences. Even above them were Great Prophets. If a Grand Scholar helped the Viridian or Satreen Empires successfully avert disaster three times, they would ascend and become a Great Prophet!
A Great Prophet was even more eminent than a Grand Scholar. Their status in the temples of the Viridian and Satreen Empires was second only to legendary existences like Karsi.
Nie Yan would be untouchable in both the Viridian and Satreen Empires if he became a Great Prophet!
He already owned the title of Grand Scholar. As long as he made three successful prophecies, he could become a Great Prophet!
For his first prophecy, Nie Yan could predict the disaster that would befall the Hilton Stronghold!
Nie Yan wasn't actually predicting anything. He already knew many of the major events that would come to pass. All he had to do was warn the leader of the Hilton Stronghold before then.
This prediction was guaranteed to be accurate!
Nie Yan glanced through his skill window and found the Great Prophecy skill. Ducking into a secluded alleyway, he prepared to divine the future!
He wanted to use Great Prophecy to confirm his guess!
A ball of light slowly formed in the palms of his hands, becoming ever brighter.
A pillar of light descended from the sky, linking heaven and earth. While bathed in the radiance, Nie Yan received a system notification.
A fiery inferno dyes the sky crimson. Disaster will arrive in five days.
The pillar of light could even be seen all the way over in Calore. Everyone started excitedly chatting about this strange phenomenon.
After receiving the divination, Nie Yan left his spot and disappeared into the alleyway.
Such a vague divination would normally be impossible for him to declare. But given the information he already knew, it confirmed his suspicions! The Hilton Stronghold would be besieged by monsters from the Underworld in five days!
Nie Yan had to inform the administrator of the Hilton Stronghold about this looming threat.
The administrator of the Hilton Stronghold was a Great General who rarely showed himself. Getting in touch with him required a special method. Nie Yan suddenly had an idea. He could try asking Great General Breakspear.
As a Grand Scholar, his word held a lot of weight. As long as the administrator of the Hilton Stronghold believed him, this would count as a successful prophecy!
Thinking to this point, Nie Yan was filled with confidence.
Before long, Nie Yan arrived in the south side of the Hilton Stronghold. Here, there were rows of large tents enclosed by high walls. Just outside the barracks across the main street sat a large white building. This was the hospital.
Nie Yan entered the white building. He passed by room after room, each filled with a large number of wounded and sick and the medical staff treating them, until he spotted a familiar face. It was Physician Blevins, the old man he met back at Lake Rando!
Blevins was bandaging a wounded patient. After seeing Nie Yan, his eyes widened in surprise. "Sir, welcome to our humble little hospital."
During their first meeting, Nie Yan was nothing more than an ordinary low level player without any status. Who would've expected things to be so different the next time they met? A Great Thief, Grand Scholar, and Devil Slayer, Nie Yan's status was now far above his own. Physician Blevins didn't dare to show the slightest hint of disrespect.
"Hello, I'm really happy we can meet again," Nie Yan greeted with a smile. The circumstances of their meeting this time was very different from the past, so his language was less formal.
"How can I help you?" Blevins asked.
"Just a few things. Do you know where in the Hilton Stronghold I can find hides and Tailor Blueprints? I need to buy some, preferably of high quality and rare," Nie Yan said. Physician Blevins didn't have a very high position, but he was still a native to the Hilton Stronghold. It was likely he knew the location of the secret shop.
Blevins thought for a moment, then said, "The Hilton Stronghold has over 50 shops that deal exclusively in hides and other similar materials. I can narrow down three which sell the highest quality goods. As for rare monster hides and high rank blueprints… might you be looking for the Ignatius Fur Shop?
"The Ignatius Fur Shop?"
"Yes, Ignatius is an eccentric old man. However, his status here is quite high. Many Great Generals like to sell their spoils from battle to him. His shop is in a secluded location normal people won't easily find. You also need a referral from a native resident of the Hilton Stronghold to purchase goods from his shop."
"Yes, that's the shop I'm looking for." Nie Yan nodded. Even though he had never been to the Hilton Stronghold before, he had heard rumours that the owner of the secret shop was a short old man with an eccentric personality.
"The hospital is very busy, so I can't leave right now. What I can do is draw you a map to the place. As for the referral, I can help with that too, since I'm a native resident here," Blevins said. He was more than willing to help, partially because Nie Yan had helped him out in the past, and partially because of the Devil Slayer and Grand Scholar titles.
Blevins took out a pen and some paper from a drawer, then started drawing a map for Nie Yan. He also wrote a letter of referral.
Nie Yan glanced at the map drawn by Blevins. The Ignatius Fur Shop was actually located in a corner on the southeast side of the Hilton Stronghold. That place was extremely secluded. Normal players rarely passed around there, and even if they found the place, they couldn't buy anything without a referral.
Nie Yan at last knew the location of the Ignatius Fur Shop.
"Thank you, Physician Blevins."
"No problem. It's the duty of every resident of the Hilton Stronghold to help adventurers. Do you need anything else?" Blevins asked.
"I'd also like to know where the slave market is."
"Those filthy slave traders…" Blevins' expression flashed with loathing and disgust. He quickly composed himself and looked at Nie Yan apologetically. "Sorry, I got a little riled up."
Nie Yan nodded. "I can understand. Often times we don't have the power to prevent these ugly aspects of society from rearing their heads. You're a kind soul, Physician Blevins."
"I admit, you're correct. The slave market is in the west side of the Hilton Stronghold. You'll see a black tower there. The slave market is right beside it." Blevins deeply sighed.
"Thank you for all your help," Nie Yan said. He had finally obtained the location of these two places. He had even received a referral letter for the Ignatius Fur Shop.
"No need. May the Light be with you."
After bidding Blevins farewell, Nie Yan sprinted off toward the Ignatius Fur Shop. He wanted to get everything out of the way before meeting with Great General Breakspear. Then after he received his reward for slaying the Legendary Necromancer Nadago, he could immediately return to Calore.