Chapter 31 – Assassin’s Decree
As Nie Yan moved forward, he gradually came within roughly three meters of one of the nearby Leader-class Rock Spiders. The spider suddenly trembled and turned its gaze towards Nie Yan’s location.
Fortunately, Nie Yan was completely immersed within the darkness of the cave. The shadows here provided him an excellent environment to conceal himself.
Even so, the Rock Spider’s gaze was so intense that it actually appeared to be capable of piercing through the darkness.
The tenseness in his heart reached an extreme as he held his breath and stuck as close to the cave wall as possible.
The spider trembled as it saw a distinct silhouette gradually come into view.「Scritch! Scritch!」It let out a cry and rushed towards its newfound opponent.
Dammit, I’ve been discovered. Nie Yan’s heart sank as he activated a Speed Scroll and sped towards the spring as fast he could.
In that same moment, the two other spiders also took action and attempted to flank Nie Yan.
They blocked off his path while the previous spider attempted to ram him.
Nie Yan bent his knees to their limit and then leapt out of the way of the attacking spider.
His character’s weight load was currently light, thus he had a maximum jumping distance of three meters and jump height of half a meter. In a flash, he leapt out of the Rock Spider’s attack range.
「Boom!」The spider’s immense body rammed into the wall. The impact fractured the wall, sending rubble falling to the ground.
Meanwhile, the other two spiders simultaneously pounced at him from the front and left flank.
However, Nie Yan’s senses were sharp. He quickly went into a roll after landing, avoiding the oncoming charge of both spiders.「Bang!」The two spiders collided with each other, and as a result, they flipped over and sprawled out on their backs.
The three Leader-class Rock Spiders had nearly blocked off all paths of escape with their massive bodies alone.
Nie Yan successfully escaped their encirclement by passing through a small gap between the three spiders, after which he continued running forward. Upon reaching the five-meter mark, he increased his pace even more as he bolted towards the spring.
One of the spiders managed to recover faster than the others and pounced towards Nie Yan. Seeing this, Nie Yan leaped into the air, and with a splash, dove head first into the spring.
The three Rock Spiders hovered around when they arrived at the water’s edge. However, in the end, none of them dared to enter.
It was yet another narrow escape. As Nie Yan dove deeper, he activated the Water Aversion Pearl’s ability.
There was even less light underwater, which meant that his view distance was extremely limited. Meanwhile, the underlying currents posed a huge challenge as they pushed him every which way, making it more difficult to swim. At times they would even forcefully push or pull him away from his destination.
Nie Yan stabilized himself and carefully observed his surroundings. After reclaiming his bearings, he swam forth once more.
There shouldn’t be any monsters here, Nie Yan thought to himself. He swam for another ten minutes before seeing gentle pillars of light shine down through the waters above him.
I remember this place! There’s a treasure chest near this location! Nie Yan thought as he swam through the dark waters at the bottom of the lake. In his previous life, every inch of this area had been thoroughly searched by others. Even the hidden nooks and crannies weren’t exempt from this search. It was because of this that Nie Yan knew there was someone who had found a treasure chest in this location before.
Aside from the water far above, the surrounding region was pitch black. Therefore, Nie Yan could only rely on his sense of touch as he navigated through the area. He felt a slight pain as his feet hit the ground and he came into contact with several protruding rocks; he had reached the lakebed.
Ignoring the pain, Nie Yan continued to fumble his way through the rocks on the lakebed.
He reached his hands into the soft, delicate sand below and searched around. His hands soon came into contact with an object seemingly hidden underneath the lakebed. Immediately he began digging his way through layers upon layers of sand until a faint golden shimmer entered his eyes, causing his pupils to sharply contract.
I struck it rich! It’s a gold treasure chest!
The golden treasure chest emitted a brilliant luster within the darkness of the lakebed. Every inch of its surface was covered with delicate carvings. Although these engravings seemed somewhat worn and aged, it didn’t affect the overall aesthetic of the chest. On the contrary, it gave off the appeal of an artifact with historical value.
What was even more remarkable was a certain symbol on the chest that caught Nie Yan’s eye: a delicate engraving of a wolf. The engraving was roughly the size of an adult’s fist. When Nie Yan looked closely, he could even make out each individual hair on this extremely detailed engraving.
Both equipment and objects within the Atlanta continent were filled with a strong historical value from all eras. Each and every sculpture, painting, handiwork, and weapon carried the historical characteristics of their respective era. Therefore, no matter what the decade, century, or era, there would always be relevant research on that certain time period.
With ten full years of experience with this game, Nie Yan had a meticulous understanding of the history behind these engravings, paintings, and so on.
This particular engraving was the symbol of an infamous pirate group that roamed the Sinse Sea Region during the Era of Shared Governance (873–1235). They were an endless headache for the Republic until their legislative body finally decided to act. The Republic dispatched their most elite naval forces to exterminate the pirates. The allied navy formed by the coalition of Humans, Giants, Elves, and Beastmen forced these pirates to flee for their lives. In the end, these pirates were eventually defeated. However, rumors have it that, before the war between the pirates and the Republic broke out, the pirates hid their treasures and scattered them in various locations throughout the continent. In response, the Republic decreed that ownership of the lost treasures would go to whomever finds them. As a result, countless treasure hunting groups were formed in hopes of finding lost treasure. Indeed, many of these lost treasures ended up being found during this time period. However, many remained hidden, lost within the Atlanta continent for centuries.
This golden chest was one such relic left behind from the Era of Shared Governance. The historical value of this ancient chest alone would make historians lose their minds.
Nie Yan only knew that someone from his past life had found a chest in this area. He thought that the treasure chest would just be an ordinary one. Never did he expect that it was actually a golden treasure chest left behind from the Era of Shared Governance. Whoever found the chest must’ve meticulously and deliberately hid the chest’s rank because of this.
Nie Yan opened the chest and reached inside. After feeling around for a bit, he grabbed onto what appeared to be a dagger. When he felt the dagger in his palm, Nie Yan couldn’t suppress the fierce excitement within his heart.
He hastily took the dagger out from the chest and gazed at its properties.
Assassin’s Decree (Dagger)
As the dagger needed to be appraised, he couldn’t tell what its properties were yet. However, despite having been worn down after sitting here for centuries, the cold glint reflecting off the blade’s edge showed that it was still sharp. This dagger had a unique design, vastly different from a common dagger. The handle was embroidered with various multicoloured jewels, which made it look extremely beautiful. There was also a blood groove on the flat side of the blade, which made the dagger look streamlined and sleek. The tip was not unlike a barb with the blade curving inwards. This dagger looked like it could easily cut through flesh.
Assassin’s Decree? Nie Yan tried to recall of any information related to this dagger, but nothing surfaced. He had never come across this dagger before, and thus he was unable to guess its properties. Despite this, he was still able to discern from the design of the dagger alone that it was at least a Gold-grade piece of equipment.
Nie Yan understood just how significant owning a Gold-grade piece of equipment this early in the game’s existence would be. He would have many opportunities in the future which wouldn’t have presented themselves had he not obtained this dagger.
Knowing this, Nie Yan was filled with endless excitement as he stored the dagger into his knapsack. Even if he failed to retrieve the Chapter of Courage this time, this dagger alone would’ve made the trip worthwhile.
According to how the game was designed, it was highly unlikely that two chests of the same quality would appear in the same area. The chances for such a situation to occur were slim to none. Thus Nie Yan didn’t bother searching the lakebed anymore and instead began swimming up towards the surface where rays of light gently shone down into the water. As he neared the surface, the light became increasingly intense.「Splash!」When Nie Yan’s head broke through the surface of the water, he found himself in an extremely small spring.
He surveyed his surroundings and discovered a beautiful valley. The clear spring he found himself in flowed down the valley gulch and into a flourishing forest below. An abundance of grass grew freely in the rest of the valley, resembling a thick green carpet which covered everything aside from the forest itself. Various kinds of wild flowers were littered across the area. These flowers gave off a delicate fragrance which wafted throughout the region.
Surrounding the valley were steep green mountains that acted as a natural barrier from the outside world. These mountains were home to a diverse range of vegetation, which meant this area was most likely sealed off from the rest of the world.
A short while later, Nie Yan was now walking through the deeper parts of the forest below. The dense foliage blocked off most of the sunlight from above, however, some light still managed to pass through the tender green leaves and shine down upon the earth below. It was because of this that the forest was not dark, but instead tinted a shade of viridian which gave off a mysterious yet warming sensation.
As Nie Yan walked through the forest, the surroundings made it seem as though he had entered a completely different world.