Chapter 9 – Fishmen
The Berserker jumped high into the air. Borrowing the force of gravity, he sent his sword cleaving towards Nie Yan.
By the time Nie Yan saw the Berserker’s Bastard Sword whistling through the wind, it had already neared his forehead.
Nie Yan leaned his body to the side as the sword brushed past.
Within Conviction, long range attacks would automatically lock onto their target—who could only roll to dodge. As for melee combat, one could sidestep to avoid certain attacks.
The most important requirement while sidestepping to dodge head-on attacks was to have good reaction speed. The timing had to be extremely precise. In his previous life, Nie Yan had already trained this ability to an extremely proficient level. After he dodged the Berserker’s attack, he made a mad dash towards the lake.
As his sword slashed through empty space, the Berserker stared out blankly with a look of shock. That guy’s reaction speed is quick, being able to even dodge an attack like that…
By the time he turned his head, the Berserker had discovered that Nie Yan had already run out a far distance. Seeing this, he held his sword out and gave chase.
“Third Brother, what’s going on with you? You can’t even stop a single person from running away!” To his side, a Fighter came running over and voiced out his complaints.
“That Thief’s movements were too quick. I wasn’t able to stop him at all!”
The Fighter quickly glanced over at Elementalist Zi Huo’s (Violet Flame’s) corpse. Zi Huo was an extremely reclusive fellow, however, his skills were definitely not weak. Yet he still died by the hands of that Thief. Looking back, it appeared that the Thief was not as simple as he first appeared.
“Everyone! Gather up and bar his way forward!”
Both the Fighter and Berserker accelerated their pace.
As he drew increasingly closer to the lake’s surface—at about five or six meters away—Nie Yan fished out the Basic Underwater Breathing Pill he had bought prior and popped it into his mouth.
“He wants to dive into the lake to escape!”
“Don’t let him get to the water!”
In a moment of mutual understanding, both the Berserker and Fighter simultaneously leapt forward. The Fighter and Berserker were both professions of the Warrior class. Their attacks after borrowing the momentum of their leaps were much more fierce and quick compared to other melee professions.
The Fighter brandished his sword and charged forward, quickly advancing towards Nie Yan.
As the Berserker cleaved downwards, his sword ignited and became enveloped in raging flames.
Nie Yan and the two were still a bit of a distance apart. As he turned his head to look back at them, he immediately felt his face assaulted by the flames of the sword stroke. Suddenly, from the corners of his mouth, he revealed a strange smile and then leapt backwards… His back entered the waters first, as he plunged deeply into Lake Rando.
Right after, concentric ripples began slowly dispersing through the surface of the tranquil lake waters.
The Fighter and Berserker rushed over, finally stopping at the lakeside. The Berserker prepared to jump into the lake waters, but the Fighter pulled him back and stopped him. “Forget it… there’s no need to chase after a cornered enemy. Besides, none of us have any Underwater Breathing Pills.” The Fighter thought back to the strange smile Nie Yan had shown just moment prior. This was the root cause of his unwillingness to enter the lake’s waters—for fear that Nie Yan could possibly have some sort of malicious plan for them in the waters below. Ultimately, he was fearful that it would cause them to be left buried under the lakebed.
“Forget it… just like that?” the Berserker replied in an extremely depressed tone.
“Just consider it Zi Huo’s bad luck. Who let him think he was so invincible that he could just separate himself from the team like that? Anyway, we’ll let this be a lesson for him—there are still many experts besides him.”
Several players from Victorious Return ran up to them breathlessly, most of whom were Mages, Priests, and so on. Their movement speeds weren’t as quick compared to the Warriors. Hence, they were left far behind.
“How’d it go? Where’d that guy run off to?” one of the Mages asked.
The Fighter shook his head and replied, “We didn’t catch him. He ended up diving into the lake.”
That Mage had an astonished expression as he gazed at the Fighter and Berserker. These two, Zi Yan (Violet Cliff) and Zi Ming (Violet Underworld), could be considered the top two Warriors within the guild. First, that Thief killed Zi Huo, and then he managed to escape even after being surrounded by Zi Yan and Zi Ming… Where the hell did that Thief come from?
“I wonder… what was that Thief’s name? Go ask Zi Huo. He should have already revived at the graveyard.” The Mage spoke in a curious tone.
“Zi Huo just said the Thief’s name is Nirvana Flame,” Zi Ming replied and firmly kept this name within his mind.
In a concerned tone, the Mage commanded, “From now on, have the people under you stay cautious. If they encounter this Nirvana Flame, have them report back immediately.” When the several of them came across Nie Yan, they were unable to gain any sort of advantage. As for the outcome, if ordinary members of the guild were to encounter him, one could well imagine the consequences.
After Nie Yan dived into the lake, he began swimming about. The waters of Lake Rando were extraordinarily clear. The sun’s rays penetrated through the water. As the light refracted through the water’s surface, it formed brightly coloured pillars. The lake’s vegetation drifted about gently—slowly dancing with the waves. It formed an exceptionally beautiful and mesmerizing piece of scenery.
As Nie Yan was submerged near the lake floor, shuttling himself between the lake’s vegetation, he suddenly recalled that there was another chest within Lake Rando’s waters as well. However, he was a little unsure of its exact location as his memory was still a bit hazy.
It should definitely be near this area. That chest should contain the skill book of a supportive skill called Gatherer. Even though Gatherer is not some kind of rare skill book, it’s still pretty scarce, considering the average level of the current player base. After a player learned the Gatherer skill, they could increase their income by quite a bit. Every team required at least one member to have this skill, and every solo player definitely required the Gatherer skill as well. The market demand for the skill book was huge, however, the supply was few. This caused the relationship between supply and demand to become unbalanced. In turn, it caused the price of the Gatherer skill book to soar to great heights.
If I’m able to find the treasure chest, it would be very good. One of the characteristics of Thieves is that they’re able to reach many locations that other professions would be incapable of reaching. By acquiring the Gatherer skill I can make it display even more of its usefulness.
Basic Underwater Breathing Pills can only last for fifteen minutes. If I had known earlier that I was going to be underwater searching for a treasure chest, I would’ve definitely bought a few more. Nie Yan felt a considerable bit of regret.
In the far distance, a figure slowly submerged itself into the water and began swimming over. After being illuminated by the sun’s rays. Nie Yan could, at last, see the figure distinctly. It was indeed a Level 3 Fishman. It had the body of a fish, its four limbs continuously moving to and fro. The speed of its movement underwater was unusually quick. In addition, it held a trident which was grasped firmly in its hand.
Nie Yan hurriedly concealed himself within the thickets of the underwater vegetation.
If it were one versus one, Nie Yan could effortlessly kill this Fishman. However, Fishmen very much loathed fighting one on one. In a situation where they were attacked, they would produce a howl so intense that it draws all the Fishmen within the immediate vicinity over to its location.
For the purpose of staying safe, Nie Yan definitely did not dare to provoke these troublesome fellows.
The Fishman was in an area not far from Nie Yan and was swimming over. Pushing apart the underwater vegetation, it made its way through.
While the Fishman was brushing past the underwater plants, Nie Yan’s eyes peered through the thickets of vegetation, discovering an object faintly concealed within.
Glancing at the Fishman who had swum a far distance away, Nie Yan carefully swam past. This was an area heavily surrounded by Fishmen activity. If he were discovered, it would become dangerous very quickly.
Nie Yan brushed past the vegetation. After searching for a while, he finally found a small wooden crate within the vegetation. It was the lowest level of treasure chests—White grade. However, he was unsure if it was the one from his memories that he was looking for.
After opening the wooden crate, Nie Yan went about digging through it. Surprisingly, the sensation he felt in his hands when he touched the object in the chest wasn’t that of a skill book, but rather that of a smooth pearl.
Nie Yan examined this object’s properties.
Murloc Water Aversion Pearl: Special Item
Additional effect: Allows the user to breathe underwater. Once activated, allows the user to breathe underwater for thirty minutes.
Cooldown: Twelve Hours.
It was the most basic of special items. Although the item wasn’t anything particularly great, it would allow Nie Yan to save on a few Basic Underwater Breathing pills. So, he would still be able to use them in the future.
It seems this place doesn’t contain only a single chest. After thinking about it, it should be right. Within such a large lake, the developers definitely wouldn’t place only a single treasure chest. Nie Yan continued his search through the thick plant growth, traveling back and forth. After finding the Water Aversion Pearl, he spent quite an ample amount of time searching for treasure chests underwater.
There were some movements in one of the thickets not far from him, causing Nie Yan’s heart to jump with fright. Hurriedly, he ducked into the undergrowth next to him and concealed himself.
A single Fishman appeared swimming through the vegetation, not far from Nie Yan. It leisurely swam past the gaps between the aquatic plant life.
In the next moment, another Fishman came swimming towards Nie Yan’s location.
A single Fishman appeared swimming through the vegetation. Not far from Nie Yan, it leisurely swam past the gaps between the aquatic plant life.
In the next moment, another Fishman came swimming towards Nie Yan’s location.
Then another Fishman appeared and another one…
The Fishmen were appearing with increasing frequency.
Dammit, did I end up stumbling upon a Fishmen lair…? Or maybe it’s just my luck that I ended up coming across a school of Fishmen swimming by.
One of the Fishmen neared him; the distance between them became increasingly shorter. Nie Yan felt a lump in his throat—his mind full of anxiousness and urgency. He firmly grasped onto the dagger in his hand. Hiding seems like it’s going to be impossible now. I can only hope for an opportunity to escape. Only, my swimming speed can’t be compared to that of a Fishmen. I’m not confident that I can really escape…
The number of Fishmen within the vicinity were simply too many. If all of them came over, the only path Nie Yan would have left to take was death.
If I were to blame someone I can only blame myself for getting too greedy. For the sake of finding treasure, I completely forgot about the dangers.
One of the Fishmen arrived in the area about three meters away from him. It seemed to have noticed something. Halting in place, it raised up the trident in its hand.
「Kieeh! Croak!」The Fishmen opened its mouth and produced a bizarre call.
Nie Yan gazed at his surroundings. At least ten or so Fishmen emerged, surrounding the area he had hidden himself in. The Trident, which was as bright as snow, had already completely sealed off his escape route.
He was finished. There was no way he could beat these Fishmen. The speed at which they moved underwater was unusually quick. Furthermore, once their sharp teeth bit into their target, they wouldn’t release their jaws until they tore their target to shreds.
Escaping is absolutely impossible. It’s also impossible to win, even if I try forcefully facing off against them.
In his mind, Nie Yan was prepared to die. He quickly glanced at the body of the Fishmen directly opposite of him. They had a soft red patch surrounding their abdomens—that area was their weak spot. Even if I die, I’ll at least take one out with me!
Just at that moment, the intense sound of a horn rang out from the distant direction of the lakeside. The quick tempo was filled with urgency, as the loud and clear sound continuously resonated into the far distance.
This was the warning signal. The Fishmen tribe was being attacked!
The ten or so surrounding Fishmen near Nie Yan all stopped their movements at the same time.「Gurgle, Croak!」Shifting their heads to listen carefully, they opened their mouths and spoke in a strange language. Right after, they all simultaneously swam towards the direction of the lakeside at a great speed.
These ten Fishmen swam away, becoming increasingly distant. Over a hundred Fishmen rushed over from all directions, converging together towards a single point as if they were a shoal of fish.
The Fishmen gradually disappeared from Nie Yan’s view.
Nie Yan still felt apprehension in his heart. By some stroke of luck, the outcome of those subsequent events was surprising. However, they were still within his expectations.