Chapter 634 - Cardinal!
Nie Yan dashed through the forest. After about 30 minutes, he finally spotted a Rank 4 monster.
It was a Sanguine Silver Wolf, a large wolf with silver white fur and eyes as red as blood. The beast roamed around between the trees.
Nie Yan slowly closed in on the Sanguine Silver Wolf from behind until he was only about five meters away. It was still completely oblivious to his presence.
Suddenly, Nie Yan shot forward and pounced toward the Sanguine Silver Wolf with his dagger raised. He was as graceful as the wind.
The blade of Zennarde’s Sword flashed with a sharp, dazzling light, as it drew a strange almost illusory arc through the air.
Sniffing out a threat in the air, the Sanguine Silver Wolf leaped out of the way. Evading Nie Yan’s attack, it swung around and pounced at him.
The Sanguine Silver Wolf’s reflexes and reaction speed were insane, and its movements were just as fast.
Nie Yan still wasn’t used to the sharp increase in stats after advancing to a Luminous Dancer. So, his movements were a bit clumsy.
Faced with a powerful enemy, Nie Yan felt a strange sensation overcome him. As his joints stirred, every muscle fibre and tendon in his body brimmed with explosive power. The Sanguine Silver Wolf’s movements slowed to a complete crawl in his eyes, as though he were viewing it in slow motion, allowing him to easily spot its weaknesses. This feeling became increasingly clear. He instantly knew how best to respond in this situation.
Nie Yan leaned to the side, avoiding the pounce by a hair. As the Sanguine Silver Wolf’s forelimbs flew past his shoulders, he twisted his torso and delivered an elbow strike squarely to its forehead. BANG! It let out a loud whimper as it was sent tumbling backwards.
“So, this is a Luminous Dancer... It’s incredible! I’ve never felt so free in my entire life!” Nie Yan’s face lit up with excitement.
Nie Yan hadn’t felt anything different when fighting with his mirror image previously because it was significantly stronger than him. Now that he was faced with a more suitable opponent to gauge himself against, he finally understood the strength that came with becoming a Luminous Dancer.
Nie Yan’s movement speed was far higher than that of the Rank 4 Sanguine Silver Wolf. In comparison, it really was as slow as a snail.
He completely dominated the battle.
After crashing into the ground, the Sanguine Silver Wolf struggled back to its feet. It let out a deep howl and swiftly circled around Nie Yan before pouncing in.
Nie Yan’s senses rapidly spread out. Just like a moment ago, the Sanguine Silver Wolf appeared to be moving at the speed of molasses.
As the Sanguine Silver Wolf closed in, Nie Yan raised his leg up high and then brought his foot down with the fury of a thunder god. BANG! He executed a ruthless axe kick, spiking the beast’s head into the ground and violently rattling its brain.
Nie Yan’s timing and execution were flawless.
The might of a Shadow Dancer was on full display!
When one’s stats reached a certain level, low rank monsters like the Sanguine Silver Wolf were nothing!
The Sanguine Silver Wolf kept struggling back to its feet and attempting to pounce on Nie Yan. But no matter how much it endeavoured, no matter which angle it came in from, its attacks were easily neutralized and countered. About half-minute later, its health finally fell to zero, and it collapsed on the ground.
“So this is a Shadow Dancer?” Nie Yan muttered. “No wonder I got crushed so badly back then, even though I was Level 160 and he was Level 120...”
After killing the Sanguine Silver Wolf, Nie Yan found even stronger monsters to challenge. Those at Rank 6 and below were fairly easy for him to deal with, and though he struggled a bit against Rank 7’s, he could maintain his absolute safety. Even if he were faced with a Rank 8 monster, he could still easily escape with his life.
Nie Yan continued to stay in the Ancient World, harvesting materials and training his artisan skills. Even though it was tedious and boring, he understood he would never get a chance like this again. When he returned to the outside world, that would be his time to shine.
Another half-month flew by.
As Nie Yan fought and fought and fought, leaving a trail of corpses behind him, his combat techniques became increasingly refined. Glancing at his inventory, there were rows of potions, medicinal plants, ores, and other items—at least a few hundred different kinds. With 20 making a full stack, he had 560 stacks altogether, completely filling his bags.
The value of these items was difficult to estimate. Most of them couldn’t be sold since their market demand was still limited. So, he would set them aside for his own people.
Nie Yan’s artisan skills had all reached at least Master. Alchemy, Tinkering, and Engineering were already Grandmaster. These three skills in particular would have a lot of supplementary use to him in combat.
Nie Yan checked the level leaderboards. He really had stayed in the Ancient World for too long. More and more players were reaching Level 100. He received word from Guo Huai that Sun, King of the World, Xie Yao, Tang Yao, and 32 other top experts of Asskickers United were already tackling their class advancement quests, which would take them at least a month each. The faster players like Sun, King of the World, and Xie Yao were already a week or two in while the slower ones had only just started.
Turbulent undercurrents were stirring in the Viridian Empire. Many major powers were starting to grow restless. So, Guo Huai was urging Nie Yan to quickly return and preside over the general situation.
Until Sun, King of the World, and the others completed their class advancement quests, Nie Yan had to be manning the fort, or else things would get troublesome if something happened.
Even though Asskickers United was completely different now, having expanded in size threefold and firmly secured their position in the Viridian Empire, there were still many powers that could pose a threat to them. After weighing his options, Nie Yan arrived in front of the transfer point below the World Heart and stepped inside.
The scenery flashed before him. When Nie Yan opened his eyes again, he was back inside the Temple of Light.
The interior of the temple gave Nie Yan a sense of familiarity. In the hall’s entrance stood a familiar face in Father Anisen. He instantly felt like he had returned to civilization.
Anisen came walking over and bowed deeply. “Your holiness, Battle Angel Kalenna, you grace us with your presence.” He then turned to Nie Yan with a smile, “Welcome back!”
Nie Yan was caught off guard, feeling a bit overwhelmed. Anisen had an extremely lofty position in Calore. His status was at least equal to that of a Great Duke. For him to lower himself to a player was unimaginable.
The Viridian Empire adhered to a strict hierarchy. It was crucial to pay attention to differences in status and position. If a person tried to go against someone with a higher status than them, they would suffer severe punishment. A character like Anisen would generally never take the initiative to greet anyone in Calore.
Nie Yan was extremely curious. Just how esteemed was the Luminous Dancer title for Anisen to be so respectful? Could it be even higher than a Great Duke?
At the same time, Nie Yan also shot a curious glance at Kalenna. Battle Angels held an extremely lofty position among angels.
Kalenna spared Anisen a brief glance. She fluttered her wings, sitting down on Nie Yan’s shoulder, and then returned to playing with a ball of light in her hands.
After searching online, Nie Yan found a short introduction on the Luminous Dancer title. In the secular world, the Luminous Dancer was no different from other Shadow Dancers and had a status equivalent to that of an earl. However, followers of the Temple of Light revered them as Cardinals.
In the hierarchy of the Temple of Light, the lowest ranked members were Deacons, who were divided into third class, second class, and first class. Above them were the Priests, then Bishops, Archbishops, Cardinals, Arch-Cardinals, and finally the Supreme Pontiff. Since the seat of the Supreme Pontiff was empty, the clergy was overseen by the three Arch-Cardinals and the 100 Cardinals. The three Arch-Cardinals rarely ever made an appearance while those conferred the title of Cardinal were generally hidden among the public. So, the temple in Calore was managed by an Archbishop like Anisen.
After reading through the available information on the official website, Nie Yan more-or-less knew where he stood on the totem pole.
Cardinals had the authority to freely command 30 Paladins of the temple to do their bidding. Aside from other Cardinals and Arch-Cardinals, all other members of the clergy would have to respectfully greet him.
These privileges were quite amazing.
“Hello, Father Anisen,” Nie Yan greeted.
“You’ve finally succeeded! Congratulations on becoming a Luminous Dancer. May God’s glory be with you.” Anisen placed his right hand over his chest and saluted.
God’s glory, huh… Nie Yan wanted to say something. Since all the gods had basically killed each other off, he wasn’t sure if the God of Light the temple followed was still alive. However, he refrained from saying something so blasphemous, especially now that he had also entered the clergy.
“Thank you for your blessing, Father Anisen.”
Anisen guided Nie Yan out the temple. As the two walked through a corridor, Anisen began explaining the history of the Temple of Light and informed him of his new status and authority. Nie Yan attentively listened and committed this information to memory. It was roughly the same as he had researched online. He was required to follow some of the rules of the temple, such as if he encountered a civilian in a difficult situation, he would have to lend his aid, or if he encountered someone who had fallen ill, he would have to cure their sickness. Nie Yan couldn’t do these things himself, but it was trivial for Battle Angel Kalenna.
After chatting a bit with Anisen, Nie Yan bid him farewell and walked out of the Temple of Light. The rays of sunlight outside filled his heart with warmth.
Looking up ahead, the streets of Calore were filled with streams of people walking to and fro. It was quite bustling.
Nie Yan suddenly let out a deep sigh. Being holed up in the Ancient World without seeing a trace of another human being for so long, he felt like he would be driven mad. It was truly good to be back.
At present, be it the Viridian or Satreen Empire, undead or demonkin, he was the first player to advance to a Master Class. From now on, his future was infinitely bright! The fish swam in the oceans, and the birds flew unimpeded in the skies! There was nowhere he couldn’t go!
“Oh, that’s right! I’m the first player to become a Shadow Dancer. I can get an additional reward from the Thief Association. I wonder what they’ll give me,” Nie Yan muttered.