Chapter 33 – The Boss Emerges: Guardian of Order
Alarms rang out in Nie Yan’s mind. He understood well what this announcement signified: he was currently in a sealed region. How could the game allow him to get the Chapter of Courage so easily?
It was reasonable to assume that the chapter would have a guardian protecting it, which was a boss known as the Guardian of Order. However, up until now, why had it still not made an appearance?
In the past, Nie Yan had merely skimmed through the video regarding the chapter. There was one thing, however, that remained deeply engraved in his mind: the imposing figure of the Guardian of Order.
As Nie Yan thought about this, the ground beneath his feet began to violently tremble and crack. It was as though something below was attempting to force its way up. Nie Yan glanced at the path he took to get here, but found it had been obstructed by falling boulders.
Shit… I have to make a run for it! He looked around but there wasn’t even a single exit anywhere in sight. With no other options left, he began heading towards the mountain.
Upon arrival, he found a slope that didn’t seem too steep and began nimbly climbing his way up.
Many trees grew atop the mountain slope, giving him plenty of handholds.
While climbing, Nie Yan suddenly recalled something, Oh right, the Silk Spinner Ring! Up until now, he still hadn’t found an opportunity to appraise the ring. However now, with Transcendent Insight, appraising it would be a cinch. He took the ring out from his knapsack and appraised it.
Silk Spinner Ring (Bronze): Unique Accessory
Requirements: Level 0
Properties: Release a thread of silk that can adhere to certain surfaces. The thread can extend up to five meters in length and has a tensile strength of two hundred pounds. (Cooldown: 20 seconds)
Weight: 0.05 lb
Restrictions: Can be equipped by all factions.
After equipping the Silk Spinner Ring, he wanted to appraise Assassin’s Decree as well. At that very moment, however, a powerful gust of heat was expelled from the valley below as the ground shattered into countless pieces. Like a volcanic eruption, countless boulders and rock fragments were sent flying into the air. Many of the trees in the valley had been uprooted and were strewn across the area, while others had spontaneously combusted—a scene of utter and absolute destruction.
At the very centre of the valley, a horrifying crater of lava emerged and swallowed up everything within its reach.
A dormant giant, awoken from its slumber, pulled itself up from deep beneath the ground. It was the servant of God and possessed the power to bestow divine judgement.
I don’t have much time… The suddenness of it all prevented Nie Yan from appraising the dagger, as he had to divert his attention back to scaling the mountain. The burst of heat had caught him off guard and he nearly slipped and fell back down to the valley below.
Standing atop one of the many trees growing horizontally on the mountainside, Nie Yan glanced upwards, looking for the next handhold. After spotting one about two meters away, he leapt high up into the air and grabbed onto a protruding rock, then clambered up. With this, he had made some more progress scaling the mountain.
Meanwhile, back at the valley, a giant head emerged from the cracks in the earth, followed by immense arms, a torso, and legs.
From head to toe, the giant was roughly sixty meters in height. Two wings covered in pitch black feathers sprouted from its back. In its hand was a thirty-meter-long crystal scepter. When it emerged from the earth, its entire body ignited with a blazing red aura, causing a whirlwind of scorching heat to rise and form at the centre of the valley.
With Transcendent Insight, Nie Yan could see the giant’s stats.
Guardian of Order (Low-level Intelligence): Level 100
The giant spoke with a bellowing voice that stretched far into the valley. Though whatever he was saying sounded like gibberish, it was actually the language of the Dragons. His words roughly translated to “Light and darkness alternate in cycles. I am the protector of God’s will and guard his Order. If there is a sinful person who desires to purloin the chapter from the Book of Order, then they shall receive divine judgement!”
Legends say that the Guardians were birthed from the merging of giant and dragon. Viewed as freaks of nature, they were banished into the deep wilderness where they eventually received God’s baptism. Entrusted with a task from God, they protect the various chapters scattered across the world.
The Guardian’s gaze swept across its surroundings, finally coming to rest on a figure that had almost climbed to the mountain’s peak. With a single beat of its massive wings, the giant’s immense body rapidly rose up into the air.
The giant bellowed, “Black Flame Tempest!”
As if answering the giant’s call, a scorching black cloud of flame emerged out of thin air and began rapidly congealing into a sphere. Afterwards, the ball of black flame shot towards Nie Yan. 「BOOM!」The Black Flame Tempest exploded on the mountainside, scattering pitch black fireballs in every direction and setting the entire area ablaze.
Not far from Levin Hills, in a small forest town by the name of Link, the earth violently shook and trembled. Players who had gathered at the town were left frightened and anxious due to the sudden commotion.
“What’s going on!?”
“Look over there, where the mountains are!”
The entirety of the mountain’s peak had been engulfed in a cloud of black flame. And within those black flames emerged the immense silhouette of a figure hovering in the air. It was as though an apostle of destruction had arrived from the gates of hell itself.
Soon, a disaster warning was issued in Link.
「Warning: A monster of the Dragon race has emerged south of Link. We advise all nearby players to depart the area immediately!」
After a few brief moments, a flash of brilliant light was emitted from the transfer point in Link. A group of fully armed NPC soldiers wearing bright silver armour had arrived in town. On the chest of each of these soldiers was a medal engraved with the insignia of the Holy Crusaders. The soldiers rapidly assembled in the public square, their numbers reaching an excess of several hundred.
Within the Viridian Empire, there existed two elite armies which were considered to be the empire’s most powerful fighting forces. The first belonged to the Imperial Church and were known as the Holy Crusaders. This army was composed of over five hundred thousand troops and their Commander-in-chief was the Holy Mage, Jebiah the Great. They were tasked with the duty of protecting the entire empire. The second army was the Guardian Legion of the Temple of Light, known as the Temple Guards. They numbered less, at around fifty thousand strong. Unlike the Holy Crusaders, however, their sole duty was to safeguard the Temple of Light and uphold the religion of the entire empire.
These several hundred soldiers who had arrived to guard the town belonged to the Holy Crusaders.
“No wonder, it was a monster from the Dragon race!”
The players vigorously chatted amongst themselves while gazing at the Guardian of Order who was hovering in the sky.
The Dragon race: an existence that was both powerful and distant to mankind. During the Dark Era (−2678–230), dragons had reigned supreme and established a mighty empire on the continent, which enslaved all other races. Eventually, their rule was toppled by the combined alliance of Giants, Humans, Dwarves, Elves, and Beastmen. To prevent facing retaliation from the dragons in the future, the alliance enacted a mass genocide of all dragons throughout the continent. Thus, the former glory of the Dragon race was no more; however, they didn’t simply fade from existence. There were still many dragons scattered across the continent, hidden away in their secluded abodes.
The Viridian Empire had classified the Guardian of Order as a member of the Dragon race. Although they were technically wrong, at least in regards to exterior appearances, there were only minute differences between the two.
With the appearance of the NPCs, the minds of players began working. A monster of the Dragon race had emerged, along with a large number of NPC soldiers. In such a scenario, the two parties were most certainly going to clash, which left the players wondering what sort of profits they could fish out from this spectacle.
Soon the information became widespread, and with it, guilds began appearing one after another through the transfer point at Link . The three most prominent guilds were Splendid Temple, Dark Massacre, and Holy Empire. Each of which had sent anywhere from a thousand to over several thousand players.
The equipment the dragon might drop truly represented an irresistible enticement for these guilds.
In just a short period of time, Link had suddenly become armed to the teeth. Even the ballistae in the guard towers were being loaded and prepped.
A few moments earlier…
Nie Yan lifted his head and gazed at the immense figure hovering in the sky. The pair of wings on its back were large enough to blot out the entire sun. When the Guardian displayed its might by casting Black Flame Tempest, clouds of black flame emerged and covered the sky, before congealing into a dense fireball. As if it were a meteor, the dense ball of black flame crashed towards Nie Yan, engulfing everything in its path.
The large black fireball exploded upon colliding with the mountain, sending several smaller fireballs scattering across the surroundings. On impact, they smashed boulders to rubble, created deep craters everywhere, and charred the earth black.
Even when faced with such a situation, Nie Yan still didn’t panic. Instead, by relying on his experience, eyesight, and judgement, he remained cool-headed and found a safe place to hide after calculating the fireball’s trajectory. Fortunately, the fireballs weren’t concentrated in a single area, but the explosive power of each individual fireball was still quite a terrifying sight to behold.
Shit… he’s coming down. Nie Yan tilted his head and gazed upward. He saw the Guardian of Order’s immense body descending towards his general location like a hawk swooping down to catch its prey. This creature, which looked like it had come from the deepest layers of hell, definitely wasn’t something he was currently capable of contending with.
Compared to the Guardian, Nie Yan was such a frail existence that even so much as a slight touch from the Guardian of Order could end his life.
Nie Yan didn’t spare a single second as he began rapidly descending down the mountain. He made it about half-way before stopping at a steep cliff. As he peered downwards, he noticed it was roughly an eighty- to ninety-meter drop.Taking a quick glance behind, he saw the Guardian fast approaching his location. Without a second thought, he made a leap of faith and jumped off the cliff.
「BOOM!」The Guardian of Order descended onto the cliff where Nie Yan had just been standing moments ago. The impact of his landing shattered the surrounding rocks and boulders.
As Nie Yan fell from the mountain, his speed rapidly increased. He could feel the vegetation growing on the cliffside sweeping past his ear. Occasionally, one or two branches would briefly break his fall, only to immediately snap after bearing the full force of his impact.
−7, −9, −5…
Each collision caused damage values to appear above his head one after another.