Chapter 123 – 130 Strength!
Disappear was an exceptional life-saving skill. In his previous timeline, it enabled Quiet Life to turn the tide of battle or escape the grasp of death unscathed on multiple occasions. As such, one could imagine just how vital this skill was to the success of both him and Victorious Return. As for Sacrificial Gambit, Nie Yan already possessed 360 health—30% of that would be around 100. In other words, once the skill was activated, he had a 50% chance of dealing 200 damage, 20% chance of dealing 300 damage, or 10% chance of dealing 500 damage. Although there was a 20% chance of missing, in terms of potential single-target damage output, it was still an extremely, terrifying skill.
In that respect, Sacrificial Gambit classified as an advanced Thief skill. Although a two-day cooldown might seem a little excessive, such a powerful skill naturally demanded some restrictions in place, much like Elemental Palace Magic and Templar Magic which had similar drawbacks. Not to mention, there was also Adjudicator of God, the skill from the Chapter of Courage, which required ten full days before it could be used again. To this date, the skill had still yet to come off cooldown! Even if used efficiently, he would only be able to cast such a skill thirty-six times a year at most!
With Adjudicator of God, Disappear, and Sacrificial Gambit, Nie Yan reckoned he was pretty close to tackling another chapter from the Book of Order, but now wasn’t the right time.
Checking his stats, he confirmed that his Strength had risen to 83. If he used the five passive skill books he had requested from Sleepy Fox, then figured out a way to raise his Strength by a few more points, he would finally be able to equip Sulgata’s Boots.
「How’s things on your side?」Nie Yan sent a message to Tang Yao.
「Not bad, I’m still grinding on the skeletons. My Arcane Fairy is only at 67% though. Hell, why is it so hard to rank it up? I’ve been at it for two days already. I swear I’m about to die from boredom! If I took the experience for myself instead, I would have already been Level 10!」Tang Yao complained in a gloomy and dissatisfied tone.
「Well, I don’t really know what to say… Arcane Fairies are just difficult to raise. Hold out for another day or two, alright?」Nie Yan chuckled. In truth, this sort of monotonous grinding was like a form of torture for someone as restless as Tang Yao. Then again, his brother’s temperament could use a bit of grinding and tempering…
「Sigh… I understand,」Tang Yao replied dejectedly. Rather than one or two days, he would be here for at least three more. After all, if he stayed here to train for another two days after raising his fairy’s rank, he would easily be able to reach Level 10 or higher. Naturally, he didn’t want to let such an opportunity slip by, since if he wanted to come back here, he would need to fork over another twenty silver for the transfer fee. Not to mention, without the Skeleton Kodos’ protection, he would have no way of reaching these sandy dunes.
「Well, you should keep levelling. I’ll be returning to the city first, but before that, did you bring a Return Scroll with you? I can give you one if you didn’t.」
「No worries, I brought one. I’ll be fine on my own.」
「Ah, alright. I’ll be leaving then. Catch you later.」
Nie Yan found a spacious and empty area before he began channeling a Return Scroll. After a brilliant flash of light, he was teleported back to Calore.
「Have you found the skill books for Backstab and Eviscerate yet?」Nie Yan sent Sleepy Fox a message as he leisurely strolled toward the auction house.
「We’ve found them. Where are you right now? I’ll have someone deliver them to you.」
「Calore. I’ll be beside the Auction House entrance.」
「Gotcha, someone’ll be there in five minutes tops!」
Nie Yan patiently waited at the auction house entrance. Soon, a player from Holy Empire found him and initiated a trade, placing seven skill books in the trade window.
「Here are the items our guild leader asked me to give you.」
「Here’s the thirty silver as payment.」He placed the money in the trade window.
After receiving the payment, the Holy Empire player said goodbye before departing.
Nie Yan scanned over these skill books. Backstab and Eviscerate were both active skills that dealt decent damage. This left him quite satisfied since he was currently lacking such skills, hence why he had asked Sleepy Fox to search for a few. Afterwards, he glanced over at the five remaining skill books.
Power of the Barbarian, Primal Strength, Strength Amplification, Strength of the Restless, and Power of the Warlock increased Strength by 6, 5, 5, 5, and 6 respectively.
Despite being uncommon, skill books such as these were fairly inexpensive. Although their efficiency was limited and Thieves didn’t place much importance on Strength, once they entered Nie Yan’s hands, it became an entirely different matter. After learning the five passive skills, his Strength rose to 110. Now, he was only 20 points away from his target of 130.
This gap could be easily remedied. He proceeded into the auction house and sat down in a corner.
After purchasing all equipment and consumables that protected against petrification, he opened up the gem section in the auction house’s catalogue, whereupon a dazzling display of glittering jewels was presented before his eyes. After searching for Strength Gems, hundreds of results were immediately projected on the display.
The Strength Gems were all of the lowest quality—Strength +3. If he wished to socket them, then he would need to bring them over to a Jewelsmith and pay a fee of three silver. In ordinary circumstances, most players would never part with such a sum After all, equipment was swapped out too often at this stage of the game. If socketed on a good piece of equipment, there was the fear that the piece of equipment would be wasted. If socketed on a mediocre piece of equipment, then it was a waste of money. Therefore, player demand for Strength Gems greatly declined, which was why their price was somewhat on the low side, costing only three silver.
Nie Yan spent twenty-four silver to purchase eight Strength Gems. Afterwards, he headed over to a Jewelsmith and socketed two gems each into his gloves, shoulder guards, leg guards, and leather chest-armour.
After spending close to fifty silver, his Strength had finally reached 130. Having finished this long and arduous journey, he attained a level of Strength that was hard if not impossible to reach for an average Thief of his level.
And so, Nie Yan was able to equip Sulgata’s Boots without any problems. Thanks to this amazing piece of equipment, his stats were greatly increased once more. Not to mention, with the Shadow Dance skill, his ability to survive was enormously improved.
He happily admired the boots on his feet. With their sleek design and the elegant yet unassuming runes etched into them, they emitted a beautiful glow that didn’t appear too ostentatious, further adding to the mysteriousness of this fragmented Legendary-grade item.
Afterwards, he turned off the visual effects and began strutting around as he broke them in, feeling extremely satisfied while doing so.
A Level 10 Thief wearing such good equipment… from an ordinary player’s perspective, this was an unimaginable occurrence.
“Sigh, how long will it be till I can wear a complete Legendary-grade item? Now that would be really awesome…” Nie Yan muttered under his breath. However, Legendary-grade items were simply too rare and unimaginably difficult to obtain. In his past life, around when he was Level 120, Conviction’s game developers had released some statistics. In all of Atlanta, there was a total of over fifty thousand pieces of Legendary-grade equipment scattered across the continent. In the Viridian Empire, there existed roughly ten thousand. Yet the number that fell into players’ hands didn’t exceed twenty. Many players owned fragments, but very few were able to collect all of the pieces to make a whole. As for the so-called godly equipment that players liked to brag about, they were no more than Sub-Legendary or fragments of a larger whole.
Nie Yan walked toward the eastern district to check up on his potion shop since he was unaware of how the situation had developed over the past several days.
A few minutes later, he arrived at the shop where he occasionally saw one or two players walk in and out. All of them wore relatively good equipment. Presumably, they were errand runners belonging to the major guilds.
“Welcome back, Milord!” Insei Rais hastily greeted after noticing his arrival.
Nie Yan slightly nodded in reply before reviewing the shop’s earnings: twenty-eight gold. Following the opening of the new dungeon, the major guilds would shift their attentions away from Sosil Valley, meaning the demand for Black Phenol would gradually diminish. At that point, he would sell for whatever he could get. Thus, it was imperative that he emptied his stock as quickly as possible.
“Milord, yesterday and the day before, Mr. Quiet Nannan, Mr. Still Grieving, and many others who saw your hiring sign came inquiring about your presence, but I was unable to reach you.” Insei Rais handed over a large list of names containing in the excess of sixty to seventy individuals. They were all Alchemists that had come to apply for the advertised position.
Even though the Starry Night Potion Shop only sold one type of product and had just opened, the Black Phenol stir had left many players shaken and wondering about the connections and financial resources of the shop owner. So when this mysterious figure began hiring, many Alchemists flocked over in the hopes of gaining benefits.
I didn’t think there would be so many people. Nie Yan couldn’t help but feel a little shaken as he skimmed through the list of names.
|Name: Still Grieving
Occupation: Junior Alchemist
|Name: Quiet Nannan
Occupation: Junior Alchemist
After going through all of them, he counted sixty-seven individuals. Surprisingly, there were twelve who were already Junior Alchemists. Among them, he found several familiar names that were fairly famous in his past life, such as Quiet Nannan and Still Grieving whom’s net worths were over one hundred million. Although they weren’t as famous as say someone like Bird Leaves No Eggs, they were still top figures in the Alchemist circle. Since the game had only recently opened, they likely hadn’t found masters yet… As for the others on the list, they were also notable Alchemists that had no lack of fame.
If he personally interviewed these Alchemists, then naturally his connection to the Starry Night Potion Shop would be exposed. Among the potential hires, there were certainly a few who came harboring hidden motives. However, if he insisted on hiding his identity, he wouldn’t be able to get any business done. After pondering for a moment, he called Bird over to the shop. Out of the people by his side, Bird could at least be considered trustworthy, so having him manage the shop shouldn’t pose any problems. By placing him in the foreground, he would still be able to act from behind the scenes as the mysterious shop owner.
Nie Yan rejected the applicants who didn’t have a good reputation in his previous lifetime before sending a message to the rest, telling them to come over to the Starry Night Potion Shop for an interview.
Altogether, ten Junior Alchemists and twenty-six Apprentice Alchemists received a request to be interviewed. Even if he were restricted to only employing half of them, that would still be good enough.
As for Quiet Nannan and Still Grieving, who were famous Alchemists in his past life, he would spare no expense in hiring them!
Nie Yan went into deep thought. If he were to spend five gold, he would be able to upgrade the shop from tier one to tier two. The benefits received from this included increased floorspace and a second-story expansion, which he had already set out plans for. On that floor, the hired Alchemists would each receive their own personal workshop. Furthermore, they would be barred from carrying any of the shop’s medicinal ingredients outside, making for easy supervision while preventing people from stuffing their own pockets.
In this fashion, even if he invited a few unscrupulous individuals, he would have nothing to fear.
He eventually came to a decision. If he seized the moment by developing the shop right now, it would eventually become a golden goose that would provide him with a steady source of income. Besides, from his perspective, five gold was an investment he was willing to undertake.
「System: Are you certain you wish to upgrade Starry Night Potion Shop to a Tier 2 Shop? The upgrade will cost 5 gold.」
The Starry Night Potion Shop transformed into a structure of even greater splendor, appearing all the more conspicuous in this slum of short, run-down buildings. Presently, in the entirety of Calore, no other such shop existed!