Chapter 563 - Skill Proficiency
Nie Yan finally arrived on the correct island.
Following the beautiful sound of a song, Nie Yan headed toward Venita.
After a while, Nie Yan arrived at the eastern beach and saw a figure facing the sea in the distance. She looked no different from an ordinary human girl. She wore a white muslin sundress which fluttered with the wind and had long flowing golden locks which curled up at the end like the waves in the sea.
The official website's information page described Venita as an exceptional beauty. Even though she was already more than 1,000 years old, there wasn't the smallest wrinkle on her face. She could freely transform from human to dragon.
Dragons were a mysterious existence. Although many still appeared on the continent today, they were no longer the invincible tyrants of a millenia ago. They would either be hunted to death or become someone's pet. Venita was an outlier. Due to her relationship with the Ten Holy Paladins, the Viridian Empire's army didn't trouble her.
Nie Yan equipped the Medal of the Ten Holy Paladins and approached Venita.
"Hello, Lady Venita," Nie Yan greeted.
Venita turned around and stared at Nie Yan.
Seeing Venita's appearance, Nie Yan was left short of breath. She could be best described as a fair haired and blue-eyed maiden, resembling a goddess from Greek mythology.
Noticing the Medal of the Ten Holy Paladins on Nie Yan's chest, Venita's eyes trembled with emotion.
"Sir Nirvana Flame, may I ask how you obtained that medal?"
Nie Yan nodded, then explained how he obtained the medal. He told her everything, from how he helped Kavana's spirit ascend to heaven to how he was pursued by Brewin and more.
Hearing how Nie Yan escaped Brewin's pursuit, a trace of shock flashed across Venita's face.
"Sir Kavana is a good person. I made a pact with the human empire's Jebiah long ago. Unless a human attacks me first, I shall not attack them. Otherwise, I would've already killed that damned Brewin!" Venita said in a tone filled with hatred.
"Lady Venita, I wonder if you know the location of the other eight Paladins?" Nie Yan asked. This was the objective of the quest. He had to learn the location of the other eight Paladins, so he could go and rescue them.
"I do." Venita nodded affirmatively. She stared at Nie Yan for a moment, then continued, "I can tell you where they're being imprisoned. However, they're being guarded by the hellhound Cerberus. With your strength alone, it will be impossible for you to rescue them."
"Rest assured, lady Venita. I'll do my best to grow stronger until one day I can rescue their souls from their fiery torment!" Nie Yan declared in a resolute tone. He was inwardly cringing with shame. But for the sake of the quest, he could only try his best and put on a show.
Venita gazed at Nie Yan. He didn't turn away his gaze. Her eyes were like sapphires, sparkling and translucent without the slightest blemish.
"Youngster, I admire your determination. I will pass on a few things to you. I hope they'll be useful on your journey." Venita's eyes blossomed with enigmatic radiance. As though something was beckoning him, her gaze seemed to attract Nie Yan's soul like a magnet.
Nie Yan felt a wave of sleepiness wash over him as his eyelids grew heavy. He couldn't prevent himself from falling asleep, no matter how hard he struggled.
This was mind magic!Do you wish to participate in Venita's Trial?
Nie Yan guessed this was a part of the quest. He hesitated for a moment. Asskickers United was still at war with Alliance of Mages. Would it be alright for him to enter this special instance? He considered the matter carefully. In the guild, he served more as a spiritual leader and someone who acted behind the scenes. He left commanding the troops to Guo Huai, Bladelight, and several others. So, even if he wasn't there, nothing would really change. If he declined Venita's quest, he didn't know if he would have the opportunity to enter this special instance again in the future. The Ten Holy Paladins quest was an extremely high difficulty one. When Asskickers United's players reached Level 100, he could have everyone kill Cerberus together, rescue the eight Paladins, and then have Karsi become his servant. This would have an fate-altering impact on the future of the guild, far more than the outcome of this war.
After all, Karsi was a legendary Mage!
Thinking to this point, Nie Yan hit accept.
The drowsiness overtook him, and he fell asleep.
After who knows how long, Nie Yan gradually regained consciousness. He could feel a cool breeze blowing in his face. As he opened his eyes, he was greeted by a gray sky. He found himself lying down in a prairie. The dense grass reached up to his knees.
Nie Yan stood up and opened the map. Its name was somewhat peculiar.Venita's Land of Dreams: Special Map
The exit to this map appeared once a day. After you left, this map would disappear completely, and you could no longer enter it again.
"50 times skill proficiency!" Nie Yan cried out in shock. Increasing skill proficiency was one of the things players hated doing the most. For an ordinary skill like Backstab, it would take a month of non-stop grinding to increase it to Rank 7 and another five months to increase it to Rank 10. All skills would become fairly powerful after reaching Rank 5. If you could train a skill to Rank 8, even the most ordinary skills would become incredibly powerful, allowing players to achieve twice the effect with half the effort while levelling. If you could train a skill to Rank 10, it would become heaven-defying. That wasn't the end, though. Rank 16 was. Training non-stop, it would probably take at least two years, if not longer.
Most players wouldn't spend months raising their skill rank. Skill proficiency was usually gained through ordinary combat. So, the rank of the average player's skills was fairly low. Just having a few Rank 5 skills was already pretty good.
If Nie Yan could raise a few of his skills to Rank 5 or even higher in this map, it would greatly help him in the future.
The fact that this map would disappear after he left it turned Nie Yan's mood somewhat sour. Asskickers United was at war with Alliance of Mages right now. He didn't have much time to raise his skill proficiency. He immediately used external communications to get in touch with Guo Huai and explain his situation.
「It's fine. Feel free to raise your skill proficiency. I'll make sure to report on the state of the war to you regularly. With Bladelight, Smoke Stub, and the others overseeing things, there shouldn't be any issues. Paladin of the Elegy is also pretty good at commanding the troops,」Guo Huai said. Given the scope of this war, with hundreds of thousands of players fighting, the amount of impact Nie Yan as an individual could make was minimal. What was most important was how the troops were commanded and how best to utilize the might of the Armoured Ice Catapults.
「If anything comes up, contact me,」Nie Yan said. With Bladelight, Smoke Stub, and the others there, he could rest easy.
Time was limited. Nie Yan decided to focus on only raising the rank of a few of his skills. He could gain 50x skill proficiency. He definitely couldn't let this go to waste. He pulled up the skill window which contained several dozen skills.
"Hmm… which ones should I choose? I should probably go with my Great Thief skills first." Nie Yan still hadn't fully grasped the several Freedom Skills he learned, which included Reverse Grip Backstab, Phantom Assassination, Counter, Flicker Strike, and Backbreaker. For an ordinary Thief, five Freedom Skills was already a lot.
Nie Yan learned Reverse Grip Backstab and Phantom Assassination first, so his execution rate for them was already over 70%. He only acquired Counter, Flicker Strike, and Backbreaker at a later date and could only get them to 50% at most.
If he could master the use of these skills and raise them to Rank 5 or higher, he would have no trouble taking on equal level Elites. He could even challenge equal level Lords!
Nie Yan understood how important a powerful skill was for a Thief.
Nie Yan rearranged these skills to a more convenient space. He then advanced forward. Gazing at the vast prairie, numerous humanoid figures moving around entered his sight. They were warriors clad in ashen armour. Their helmets were wrapped in crimson scarfs which fluttered in the wind. These warriors were taller than him by a head. They were extremely muscular and wielded large hatchets.
Nie Yan got close to one of the warriors and activated Transcendent Insight.Barbarian Warrior: Level 100
Nie Yan furrowed his brows. These Barbarian Warriors weren't Lords or even Elites. They were only ordinary monsters. Why did they have so much health?
Even for a Level 100 monster, this was too much!
Nie Yan snuck up behind one of the Barbarian Warriors. When he was about 3 meters away, he shot forth like an arrow, pouncing towards it.
Nie Yan struck the Barbarian Warrior directly in the spine. With a muffled klang, the warrior's movements halted. A damage value of only 1,200 rose up above its head.
What high defense!
Nie Yan checked his notificationsBackbreaker executed successfully. 52% completion, 80% damage. You have obtained 50 skill proficiency.
Backbreaker's skill proficiency rose by quite a bit. Amazing! Normally, it would take a couple of hours to make this kind of progress!
The Barbarian Warrior entered a crippled state. Nie Yan immediately followed up with Flicker Strike.
The Barbarian Warrior slowly turned around and hacked at Nie Yan with its hatchet. Nie Yan quickly retreated several steps to avoid the attack. Noticing the attack speed of the Barbarian Warrior was fairly slow, he became excited. There was no better enemy to raise skill proficiency with, almost as if it was specially made for this! Since the Barbarian Warrior's attack speed was slow, Nie Yan could easily dodge its attacks. Add on the fact that it had so much health, he was free to use all his skills on it. Every Barbarian Warrior would allow him to train quite a few of his skills!
Checking his skill window, Nie Yan discovered Backbreaker and Flicker Strike were already one fifth of the way off cooldown. These several Freedom Skills had fairly long cooldowns, all taking at least a few minutes if not more. Why did it seem like they were much shorter right now?
Could it be that skill cooldowns were reduced in this map? Coming to this realization, Nie Yan was beyond ecstatic. This map was absolutely amazing for raising the rank of skills!