Chapter 30 – Search for the Chapter of Courage
The Book of Order truly was an item of immense temptation. And now, in his new life, Nie Yan had the chance to gather all six chapters of the first volume. There was only one problem, he didn’t know if he could.
Nie Yan knew the whereabouts of the six chapters in the first volume quite clearly. As for the other thirty chapters that were scattered across the world, he roughly knew most of their locations! The one he was currently searching for was the third chapter of the Book of Order—the Chapter of Courage.
“What are we going to do when we get further in?”
“Just follow me to the end of the cave. After that you can head back and continue training. The place I’m planning to go to is somewhere you’re not capable of reaching,” Nie Yan replied. His destination would be somewhat difficult to reach even for a Thief like himself. Thus, there was no need to consider an Arcane Mage like Tang Yao.
“Is it dangerous?” Tang Yao curiously asked.
“Yes, very.” Nie Yan nodded and replied.
“If it’s that dangerous, then why do you want to go there?” Tang Yao asked while deep in confusion.
“There’s a certain item there I want to retrieve.” Nie Yan laughed as he responded. The game had just recently come out, and players like Tang Yao wouldn’t know just how alluring a single chapter from the Book of Order was.
“I see.” Tang Yao slowly nodded his head. He still didn’t understand why Nie Yan wanted to go despite being aware of the danger. However, it seemed Nie Yan already had a plan, so he didn’t inquire any further.
After finishing their conversation, the two headed deeper into the cave. The passages were extremely narrow, which massively reduced Meteor’s effectiveness. As a result, the two had to resort to using ordinary methods to clear the way as they slowly advanced.
Rock Spiders fell one after another. Under Nie Yan’s guidance, Tang Yao felt his skills improve significantly.
“You’re making rapid progress. Keep practicing like this and you’ll find yourself becoming an expert in no time. Oh yeah, since we’ll be heading to a dungeon tomorrow, let me give you a rundown on a few of the basics. The key aspects are aggro management and positioning. The dungeon we’re running tomorrow is going to be a bit difficult, so it’s best that you take caution, especially since we’re dealing with the Treant King,” Nie Yan said while facing Tang Yao. He went on and passed down all his knowledge regarding Arcane Mages and dungeoneering to Tang Yao. From time to time, he would also explain a few of the key parts of Treant Forest.
Tang Yao keenly listened to every word he said. Before meeting Nie Yan, he could’ve been considered an average player. Neither his skills nor his equipment would’ve been considered anything special. In the end, he could only continue lagging behind others in the lower levels. But right now he was wearing the Fire Chaser Set, which meant that his equipment was among the very best. Not only did this great success make him feel self-conscious, but it also put an immense pressure on him. In order to live up to his own expectations, Tang Yao began to work as hard as an actual expert would. In truth, Tang Yao’s aptitude was pretty decent. Though it couldn’t be considered at the apex, he would still be considered quite skilled. After receiving Ni Yan’s pointers, however, he completely transformed. Even if he wasn’t regarded as an expert, in respect to his skills, it was evident that he knew how to improve.
“What else do I have to take note of?”
“The most important stats for an Arcane Mage are Intelligence, Awareness, and Focus. Among these three, Intelligence is the primary stat and undoubtedly the most important. Now this leaves the remaining two, Awareness and Focus, which are auxiliary stats. Awareness improves your survivability when confronting enemies that are able to stealth, whereas Focus makes it harder for your spells to be interrupted. Hence these two stats are extremely important as well. You can’t improve auxiliary stats by leveling up, thus you must rely on passive skills to improve them. So if you want to keep up with others, make sure to possess the relevant passive skills. By the way, if you see any suitable skill books in the future and want to buy them but lack the money, let me know. I’ll help you pay for them,” Nie Yan said.
“Money isn’t something I’m lacking, so you don’t have to do that. I’ll just need to hang around the auction house some more in the future, that’s all,” Tang Yao said as he shook his head. He took all of Nie Yan’s advice to heart.
As the pair neared the end of the cave, the faint sound of running water could be heard.
“Well, now that we’ve reached our destination you should head back. There are three Leader-class Rock Spiders up ahead, and I’m afraid you won’t be able to make it past them,” Nie Yan suggested. In his past life, he had seen a video online about how the Chapter of Courage was found. From this video, he had completely memorized the path to the chapter.
“I see… Well, you be careful then.”
Nie Yan nodded his head. “I’ll call you before heading over to the dungeon tomorrow, so go train and level for now.”
“I’ll be leaving then.” Tang Yao took out the Return Scroll, unravelled it and read it out loud. After twenty seconds, he became a streak of white light and teleported away.
Nie Yan watched as Tang Yao was spirited away, then headed further into the cave.
Originally, he had planned to wait until his level was higher before retrieving any chapters from the Book of Order. At his current level, retrieving the Chapter of Courage would be quite troublesome. Since he was already here, however, he decided that he might as well try it out. After all, if he was successful in obtaining the Chapter of Courage, then it would certainly make it much easier for him to level in the future.
Nie Yan travelled deeper into the cave, where the secret area was located, and hid among the shadows.
After walking for three minutes, he found himself in an open space. Off in the distance, he could see three giant Leader-class Rock Spiders patrolling the area. Even further back, beyond the Rock Spiders, he could see an area entirely composed of water—roughly around two hundred square meters. The water circulated from a narrow channel which eventually led underground. This was the source of running water that he had heard from before.
Three Leader-class Rock Spiders blocked his path to the pond. They frequently moved about in the open space, only stopping in place to scratch their heads with their legs every once in awhile. Nie Yan carefully observed them. He estimated that roughly ten meters lied between him and the water’s edge.
For non-Thief professions, it was absolutely impossible to pass through this area without alerting the Leader-class Rock Spiders. Other professions would have to resort to killing them if they wanted to make it through the area.
I guess there’s no choice but to go in regardless!
Nie Yan understood the risky nature of such a tactic, but he had overcome situations that were several times more dangerous than this one before.
The most alluring characteristic of the Thief profession was the sheer excitement it provided. Thieves did what no other professions dared to do, and in doing so, they experienced the feeling of dancing between life and death.
Perhaps his own nature was one that welcomed risks and dangers.
What mattered most was that Nie Yan enjoyed this feeling. He strived to achieve the impossible and overcome dangerous situations one after another because it was proof of his own ability.
After some quick calculations, he estimated that two and a half meters was the closest he could get to one of the spiders without alerting it.
As long as I’m not within two and a half meters, I should be safe.
Nie Yan entered stealth and began making his way forward.
The three Leader-class Rock Spiders continued to move about the area, their large eyes constantly reflecting images of their surroundings. Within the area, not a single thing was overlooked under their vigilant watch.
In his past life, a player once calculated the statistics of the various types of monsters. They discovered that among animal type monsters, spider types were ranked number seven when it came to Awareness. To put this into perspective, the number of animal type monsters in the game amounted to approximately six thousand. This alone proved just how high the Awareness of spiders was.
Nie Yan carefully maintained the distance between himself and the Leader-class Rock Spiders. He gradually moved towards the water’s edge while simultaneously controlling his breathing.
Using clock position, the locations of all three spiders were respectively three and a half meters at nine o’clock, five meters at twelve o’clock, and six meters at eleven o’ clock. His body resembled a gecko as he stuck himself to the cave wall and gradually shuffled his way forward.
Every action was made with meticulous care. From the loose stones near the cave wall to the scattered gravel underneath his feet, they were all variables that he had to take into consideration.
Caution was a ship that sailed for ten thousand years; Nie Yan felt he could never be too careful. The six years of experience he had gained in his past life granted him a deep understanding of this kind of reasoning. It was something he truly learned only after experiencing countless bitter lessons. In total, he had died over three hundred times outside of instances. Needless to say, the times he died while in them was even more. An expert who had never experienced death was never an expert to begin with.
If one wanted to be looked upon as an expert, then it was absolutely essential to take risks and gain experience in PvP. It was because experience could only be gained in such dangerous situations that death was unavoidable. In the eyes of an expert, players who had never experienced death or only grinded monsters to reach Level 100 were still considered beginners.
It was truly only because of his numerous experiences with death that Nie Yan became a somewhat well-known Great Thief and was only a hair’s breadth away from obtaining the title of Shadow Dancer. The difference between Shadow Dancer and an average Thief was only a single title. At that time, however, only six other people within the entire Atlanta continent held the title of Shadow Dancer.