Chapter 26 – Locked Chest
“Why wouldn’t I be able to?” Nie Yan chuckled as he sent Tang Yao a trade request. After the latter accepted, he placed the Fire Chaser set and a single Return Scroll inside the trade window.
“Y-you’re giving all of this to me?” Tang Yao stared out with a blank face. He never thought the Fire Chaser set would have such high property bonuses.
“I got these off of Dian Cang when they dropped from his corpse. There was a staff among those items as well, but it’s not suited for you. Anyways, take this Fire Chaser set with you. As for the Return Scroll… don’t use it just yet, I want you to stay here with me for a bit,” Nie Yan replied. He and Tang Yao were brothers who had known each other since childhood. To put it simply, compared to their friendship, this Fire Chaser set didn’t amount to much.
“Mhmm… alright. I guess I can’t refuse.” A hint of anticipation flashed through Tang Yao’s eyes.
After donning the Fire Chaser set, Tang Yao’s outer appearance improved significantly. If he were to go out now, he would undoubtedly attract many women.
“What’s your magic damage at now?” Nie Yan asked.
“Fifty.” To Tang Yao, this amount was something he couldn’t even imagine reaching in the past.
“Not bad, you should be able to run some of the harder dungeons and quests with that much. Though it seems your current weapon is still a bit lacking. You should try and find yourself a better one when you return to town,” Nie Yan suggested. Tang Yao receiving this Fire Chaser set for free so suddenly was tantamount to Nie Yan helping him reach the Heavens with a single step. The path he would need to walk in the future had become a lot shorter.
Tang Yao kept gazing at the current equipment he was wearing, seemingly unable to stop himself from admiring it.
“Let’s stay here and train for a bit. There’s a silver treasure chest up ahead and I want you to tag along and help me retrieve it. Here, I’ll make the party.” With how high Tang Yao’s damage was now, killing Rock Spiders in this cave would be a piece of cake.
There was a treasure chest just waiting to be opened. If he didn’t retrieve whatever was inside today, then he wouldn’t be able to sleep soundly at night.
“Silver chest, where!?” Tang Yao began burning with excitement. Up until now, he had only ever managed to find and open a single chest, not to mention, it was only a common white one. He had never even seen a silver chest before, let alone open one.
“Let’s clear out those Rock Spiders back at that intersection first,” Nie Yan replied. Now, with Tang Yao’s assistance, there would be a lot less pressure on him when dealing with two Rock Spiders. Three Rock Spiders might not even pose a challenge.
After arriving at the intersection, Nie Yan took out his crossbow and loaded it. Then he took aim at a nearby spider and fired, sending three bolts flying out of the crossbow in quick succession.
「Pa! Pa! Pa!」He ended up aggroing two Rock Spiders with his attack—the one that was hit and its companion in tow. Nie Yan positioned himself in the front while Tang Yao brandished his staff and released an Arcane Fireball and Arcane Blaze from the rear. Every spell he launched would deal over thirty or so damage. Occasionally, he would even score a critical hit, causing two fifties to appear.
“They’re two levels above me, yet I’m able to deal this kind of damage…?” Tang Yao exclaimed while seemingly in a daze. His own damage output had shocked him.
Under the combined efforts of their attacks, the two spiders collapsed on the ground by the time Nie Yan’s health had fallen to around fifty percent.
Afterward, the two victors took the time to rest up. While Nie Yan sat down and recovered his health, Tang Yao took out some Spring Water and used it to replenish his mana.
“What’s your experience at?” Nie Yan asked as he stood up, his health having fully recovered.
“Level 3, 56%. How about you?” Tang Yao replied. He had played for over a week to get to this level.
“Level 3, 9%.” Leveling in Conviction was extremely difficult. Each level required an insane amount of experience to level up. Considering that he had just started playing a few days ago, his leveling speed was fast enough to frighten someone. Not even two days had passed and he was already Level 3. If word were to get out, it would definitely frighten many people.
While they chatted, Nie Yan used his crossbow to lure out another two spiders and killed them. Repeating this tactic, the entire area was soon completely cleared of monsters.
Nie Yan bent down and picked up an item that had dropped from the last Rock Spider. It was a Charge skill book for Warriors. Hmm… The market price for a Charge skill book should be around twenty some coppers right now.
Indeed, the drop rate in a Level 5 area is much higher compared to the low-level ones.
“What’d it drop?”
“A Charge skill book.”
Tang Yao waved his hands and said, “I’m pretty satisfied with just this Fire Chaser set, so you can take all the drops. Besides, I won’t need to start looking for new equipment until I reach Level 5.”
To Nie Yan, however, a single skill book wasn’t of much value either. In the end, he didn’t even try to argue with Tang Yao and threw the Charge skill book into his knapsack.
Since the two of them were in a party, they had to share the experience gained through combat. Thanks to Tang Yao’s high damage, however, their pace had sped up significantly. Therefore they were gaining experience at a much faster rate than when they were by themselves, which made up for the fact that it was being shared.
With the spiders all cleared out, Nie Yan walked over to where he had spotted the chest earlier.
As he neared its location, he discovered many strange engravings and patterns etched into the top of the chest. These designs were extremely elaborate. In addition, there was a lock on this chest that kept it firmly sealed.
“Damn, I haven’t learned Lockpicking yet.” Lockpicking was a skill that could only be learned after reaching Level 5. Not to mention, the skill book that taught it was extremely expensive as well. And since this was a Level 5 map, a locked chest appearing wouldn’t be unexpected.
“Well, what are we going to do then?” Tang Yao asked. This was the first time he had ever come across a silver chest, and it was going to end with this kind of outcome?
“Let’s leave it for now and try to get to Level 5 as quickly as possible. Who knows? By that time, that chest might still be here,” Nie Yan helplessly replied.
Just as Nie Yan and Tang Yao were preparing to leave and go back to training, a nearby boulder suddenly began trembling.
“W-what’s that?” Tang Yao asked after being startled.
The trembling boulder was quite large, roughly twice the size of an ordinary Rock Spider, and had a hard and coarse surface. Had it not been trembling, it would’ve perfectly blended in with the numerous other boulders that were strewn about the area.
Abruptly, eight legs extended out of this ‘boulder’ as it stood up. Once it was fully upright, it gradually opened its eyes, revealing eight mossy green lights.「Scritch! Scritch!」It let out a shrill cry. The boulder was actually a Rock Spider!
“It’s a Leader-class Rock Spider!” Nie Yan’s heart tightened. He immediately entered stealth and made his way around it, positioning himself behind its back.
Elite Rock Spider: Level 5
The spider glanced at its surroundings and quickly locked its gaze onto Tang Yao’s position.
Tang Yao looked back at the spider and saw his own image being reflected in its eyes. This, combined with the spider’s sinister appearance, was especially terrifying to him. He immediately turned back and began to retreat.
“What are we gonna do!? This is a Level 5 Leader-class Rock Spider!” Tang Yao nervously exclaimed. The strongest mob he’d ever encountered up until now was a measly Level 3 Leader-class. Not to mention, this was his first time entering a Level 5 area and unexpectedly, he had already come across such a powerful opponent.
“Kill it! Blast it with magic!” Nie Yan answered back. It was far more dangerous to try and run instead of fighting it. They would definitely die while trying to escape. In addition, there was also the possibility of aggroing other spiders while on the run. As for escaping with a Return Scroll, it required twenty seconds to activate and would cancel upon being hit, which meant that it was out of the question as well. Under these circumstances, they were better off fighting it.
Would the two of them even be able to kill a Level 5 Leader-class monster? Tang Yao was skeptical.
“Make sure you get far away from it, at least twenty meters. Then find a narrow tunnel and bunker down inside. Don’t run too far in, though, otherwise you might aggro some more spiders!” Nie Yan warned. Tang Yao was still a novice and entrusting him with such a dangerous task would be difficult.
In this situation, Nie Yan was perfectly safe and could escape at any time. As for Tang Yao, however, Nie Yan couldn’t guarantee his survival if he were to fight.
Thus, they could only resign themselves to fate.
「Scritch! Scritch!」The Rock Spider furiously cried out as it charged towards Tang Yao.
“Oh… for f*cks sake!” Tang Yao hurriedly sped up his pace. While running, he followed Nie Yan’s advice and fired an Arcane Fireball at it.
「Bang!」The fireball exploded when it crashed into the spider’s body and dealt eighteen damage, causing a damage value to float above its head.
Its defense was absurd! Fire magic was supposed to deal bonus damage to Rock Spiders, but even so, the damage was still just too low!
However, this was to be expected. It was a Leader-class monster after all, so the damage was still alright. There’s my chance! Nie Yan’s eyes lit up as he struck the back of the Rock Spider with a Smothering Strike.
The spider trembled and stopped in place.
It’s only going to be stunned three seconds!
Normally, Smothering Strike would daze an enemy for six seconds, but this Rock Spider was a Leader-class monster! It had a certain resistance to crowd control effects. Thus, Nie Yan’s control skills were only half as effective against it. Regardless, these three seconds were still more than enough!
“Hit it! Don’t just stand there and watch!” Nie Yan shouted.
Upon hearing Nie Yan, Tang Yao immediately cast Arcane Blaze.「Boom!」The fiery blaze exploded when it hit the spider’s body.
When the spider woke from its dazed state, Nie Yan took the initiative and struck out with Assassinate. After using his dagger to stab into its fleshy abdomen, he followed through with Lacerate and slashed outward.
His attack opened up a gaping hole on the spider’s underside where a thick green liquid began oozing out.
Even though Nie Yan had begun attacking, the spider was still aggroed onto Tang Yao. After coming out of its dazed state, it continued its pursuit.
Seeing this, Tang Yao rapidly retreated into a narrow passage.「Bam!」The spider’s immense body rammed itself into the opening of the passage, but couldn’t make it in. The surrounding walls trembled from this, causing several rocks to break from the ceiling and come crashing down to the ground.
「Scritch! Scritch!」The spider cried out furiously as it tried to squeeze its massive body into the passage.
“Come and see how this elder will take care of you!” After realizing the spider couldn’t enter, Tang Yao suddenly became much more courageous. He brandished his staff and fired off an Arcane Missile, then followed up with an Arcane Fireball. “Dammit! Arcane Missile is only dealing half as much damage as an Arcane Fireball.”
The cooldown for Arcane Missile was very short because it was a regular spell. The casting time was quite short as well, requiring only a single second. Meanwhile, Arcane Fireball had a ten-second cooldown and required three seconds to cast. So it was impossible for him to continuously cast Arcane Fireball.
As Tang Yao fired off spells, the Rock Spider continued to unceasingly ram itself into the entrance of the passageway, causing the walls on both sides to shake. Soon cracks began emerging in the walls, and the ceiling of the passageway gradually began to show signs of a possible collapse.