Chapter 22 – Deer Chief
「Arcane Mages only have so many skills. So all you need to do is put on that Fire Chaser set, practice your skills for a bit, and you’ll find yourself improving in no time.」
「There are over twenty people. How do you plan on dealing with all of them?」Tang Yao asked. No matter how strong Nie Yan was, he was still just a single person.
「This is the difference between Thieves and other professions. Thieves don’t necessarily have to attack head on!」
The expertise of a Thief lay in their ability to set ambushes.
Tang Yao somewhat understood when he heard these words. Nie Yan was preparing to mount a sneak attack, catch them off guard and take them out one by one. However, this wasn’t going to be easy to pull off. If he wasn’t careful and ended up getting caught, then he would most likely end up dead. Tang Yao couldn’t help but think that perhaps Nie Yan was being a bit too confident.
Small hilltops stretched out as far as the eye could see. They were covered in dense thickets of trees and strangely shaped boulders that towered over the landscape. Small streams flowed at the base of each hillside, where dense amounts of stone and rubble could be seen littering the nearby area. The terrain of this place was quite complicated. It was no wonder that Tang Yao could hide in this area for so long without anyone discovering him.
Off in the distance, a few indistinct figures could be seen at the top of one of these hillsides. Nie Yan sprinted off in that direction.
Tang Yao was hiding within a cave on that exact hilltop.
This group of scoundrels was rather unrelenting. They seemed to be fine wasting their time trying to completely exterminate Tang Yao’s party, simply because a minor conflict had arisen between the two of them. They were truly too vicious, and the only reason they dared to act in such a way was because they noticed that Tang Yao’s group didn’t have a guild backing them up. Therefore, even if Tang Yao and his friends were killed off, they would have no one to bring up their grievances to. Today the Radiant Sacred Flame members were killing Tang Yao’s group in order to make them drop a level. They did this with the intent of impeding their progress. This was to prevent Tang Yao and his party from becoming more troublesome when they leveled up in the future.
Nie Yan traveled through the dense thickets. He was only around a hundred meters away from the cave that Tang Yao was hiding in.
「I’m not too far away from you. For now, it’s best you don’t come out, so just keep hiding.」
「Be careful, they aren’t weak.」Tang Yao knew what Nie Yan wanted to do, and couldn’t help but worry a little.
「No worries. With their levels, I’ll be able to easily toy with them to death.」Nie Yan’s bag was full of potions, his gear was Bronze-grade, and he had learned many new skills. Furthermore, he possessed the immensely overpowered Intermediate Combat Medic skill. Killing one or two of them wouldn’t be a problem for him at all.
Tang Yao felt that Nie Yan had changed a great deal. In fact, he had changed so much that Tang Yao didn’t even recognize him anymore. The cowardly Nie Yan of the past wouldn’t dare to say such words.
Nie Yan had become a lot more confident compared to his past self. Not only that, but he also gave off the feeling that you could firmly place your trust in him.
While Nie Yan and Tang Yao were talking, a slight rustling noise could be heard off in the distance.
「They’re here.」Nie Yan’s eyebrows raised as he took cover behind a tree.
A party of five was moving through the nearby thickets.
Nie Yan observed the composition of their party: an Elementalist, a Holy Mage, a Berserker, a Fighter, and a Paladin. The frontliners took the lead while the two casters followed from behind. This was a rather standard formation. Their equipment didn’t look like anything special either. Within the current player base, those who could wear Bronze-grade or Silver-grade equipment were few in number.
The dense thickets were full of branches that grew without restraint and got in the way. These branches made it very difficult for the group of five to move forward, as they had no choice but to duck their heads and travel through small gaps between the trees. The Berserker even had to use his sword to chop down the occasional thick branch that would obstruct their path.
“Captain Dian Cang was killed,” the Fighter said as he looked at the team chat.
“How’s that possible? With the Captain’s strength, there are very few people capable of beating him,” the Paladin replied in a surprised tone. Dian Cang’s strength was publicly recognized amongst all of them. With the Fire Chaser set, his damage was at least within the top ten in the entire guild. Not to mention his skill in combat wasn’t bad either.
“The Captain’s name was still marked red. Which means that all that equipment on his body…?” the Elementalist raised his head to look at everyone and discovered the gloomy expressions on each of their faces. None of them dared to ask what happened next.
“Everything dropped,” the Fighter gloomily exclaimed. They truly were unlucky today.
“Who did it?
“They must have had a lot of people, right?” the Elementalist questioned. In his mind, there should have been no other way. Whoever killed Dian Cang must’ve brought many people in order to do so. “Which team was it, or was it perhaps the work of a guild? We’ll exterminate them!”
“The enemy was only a single Thief,” the Fighter replied. When he had heard the news himself, he too felt that it was inconceivable.
“Wait, weren’t there two other people with the Captain?”
“Indeed. However, that one Thief managed to kill all three of them.”
What? How is that possible!?
“What level was the Thief?”
A single Level 3 Thief managed to kill Dian Cang and his party. This was simply too crazy! Everyone felt that such a thing was simply outrageous.
“Are you sure you aren’t mistaken?”
“This piece of information came straight from the mouth of the Captain himself.”
The information couldn’t be false. After all, a single Level 3 had wiped out his entire party. For Dian Cang, this definitely wasn’t something he was proud of. If the information wasn’t true, then he wouldn’t be proclaiming it everywhere.
“What was that Thief’s name?” the Elementalist asked. Currently, the level difference among the player base wasn’t high. Being able to fight one versus two was already a huge accomplishment, but being able to win one versus three… this person must have had some kind of god level combat ability.
“He’s called Nie Yan (Nirvana Flame), and the guild’s put out a hit order on him. The reward for killing him once is five silvers. In the future, if anyone encounters this player, they are to remain vigilant. Captain Dian Cang said that person has a lot of skills. Unless your party is over three members, it’s best not to seek him out with the intent of provoking him,” the Fighter announced. Although the reward for killing Nie Yan was luxurious, they were still required to put their lives on the line to do it. Dian Cang was unable to defeat him, let alone them.
“Five silvers is a lot of money!” the Elementalist and the others exclaimed in amazement. Five silvers was more than enough for them to buy several pieces of Bronze-grade equipment.
While these people were deep in discussion, Nie Yan had stealthily made his way over to them.
A kill order from the Radiant Sacred Flame Guild? Interesting… I’d like to see how you intend to do that. Nie Yan smiled disdainfully as he approached from behind and confirmed the positions of the five people.
The closest one to him was the Holy Mage at about three meters away. The next was the Elementalist at about five meters. The furthest away were the Berserker, Fighter, and Paladin, who were clearing the way ahead.
Occasionally, one or two Level 3 Deer would appear in this area. However, they would be swiftly killed by these five people. Three powerful members who could fight in close combat, along with two Mages who had high magic damage made killing monsters especially quick.
Nie Yan was waiting for the right opportunity as he leisurely followed them from behind.
The Holy Mage seemed to have sensed something and turned his head back to look around.
Nie Yan hurriedly hid behind a nearby tree. He hadn’t activated Stealth yet, instead, he was relying entirely on his own awareness. As he ducked away from this Holy Mage’s line of sight, the shade from the tree concealed his body. The Thief’s innate concealing abilities would automatically reveal its effects.
Everything was serene. The Holy Mage didn’t discover anything strange. Could it have just been my imagination?
“There are monsters ahead. Hurry up and catch up with us,” the Elementalist turned his head and said to the Holy Mage who was lagging behind.
“Oh, alright,” the Holy Mage replied, and quickened his pace to catch up.
Hearing the conversation between those two people, Nie Yan’s heartbeat jumped. His opportunity had arrived. He entered stealth and slightly accelerated his pace.
“There’s a Leader-class Deer. Everyone be careful!” the Fighter yelled out as he raised his round wooden shield and slowly proceeded forward.
“We’re not searching for that Arcane Mage anymore?”
“We have no idea where that brat ran off to. In any case, the situation has turned out like this. Let’s kill this Deer Chief first, then we’ll discuss it afterward.
As it was five of them versus a single Deer Chief, they expected an easy fight.
A huge Deer emerged from the thickets ahead. It had a build similar to that of a Bison, and its entire body was covered in white spots. Immense antlers that resembled overgrown coral sprouted from its head. The deer lowered its head, its antlers reaching down past its knees, and prepared to charge.
The moment the Deer Chief moved, the muscles in its forelimbs incessantly trembled, brimming with an explosive power.
The moment it saw the Fighter approaching, it lowered its antlers and issued a warning cry, then slowly began moving forward.
Deer Chief (Leader): Level 3
“Are you guys ready?” the Fighter nervously shouted back to his allies. His Wooden Round Shield and the Deer’s antlers were only a few meters apart, yet he was still able to feel the powerful and imposing pressure that emanated from this Deer Chief’s robust body.
“We have to kill this Deer Chief before Fei Zha, Xia Ku, and the others arrive,” the Fighter instructed. If the five of them killed this Deer Chief now, then the loot would be distributed evenly amongst the five of them. However, if the others were to arrive, then they wouldn’t receive much after distributing it evenly.
The Berserker and Paladin were flanking from both sides, while the Holy Mage and Elementalist took their positions away from the front.