Chapter 83 – Expressing Goodwill
Skeleton Executioner (Sub-Elite): Level 13
These Skeleton Executioners had even more health than Dark Gladiator, not to mention they were quite numerous as well.
However, the caveat was once they were killed, they would never respawn again. Although he had visited Sulgata in the original timeline, these Skeleton Executioners had long been exterminated. Presumably, they were placed there for the sole purpose of guarding and preventing intruders from stealing the piece of Sulgata’s Shadow. Even though he knew a group of players had retrieved the piece from this city in the past, he wasn’t aware of the price they had to pay to do so.
He could imagine the bitter struggles those players must have gone through as he observed the Skeleton Executioners roaming this area.
“I didn’t expect there to be so many Sub-Elites…” Nie Yan muttered under his breath as his brows furrowed. However, thinking it over, it made sense that a Legendary-grade item such as Sulgata’s Shadow would have the protection of many strong monsters, even if just a single piece.
He calmly observed the area’s topography to determine if it was possible to make a detour. Unfortunately, the area was too open, meaning he would be spotted as soon as he showed himself. As for any cover he could make use of, he spotted a lone pillar standing in the distance—something far from being adequate.
Another possible method was to have Dark Gladiator lead the Skeleton Executioners away, giving him an opportunity to sneak in; however, he felt uneasy facing the hidden dangers that might lurk within the pyramid with no help accompanying him. Sacrificing Dark Gladiator simply wasn’t worth the risk.
He retreated for now and pondered over the matter while farming the weaker undead mobs in the vicinity.
Is it possible to turn the Skeleton Executioners into servants?
Nie Yan ordered Dark Gladiator to retreat inside the outer district and remain on standby. He jumped onto the outer district’s border walls and retrieved the Crossbow of Blood from his inventory, then aligned the sight on the Skeleton Executioners.
“Fifty-two meters, too far… Fifty meters, still too far…” Just as he was about to leave to find a more suitable position, a lone Skeleton Executioner started moving towards him, drawing progressively close.
Perfect! Nie Yan pulled the trigger.「Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!」Three bolts pierced the air and successively struck their target.
The cyan flames in the Skeleton Executioner’s eye sockets flickered as it tilted its head and locked its gaze onto the aggressor positioned atop the wall. It immediately brandished its gigantic axe and charged at Nie Yan.
The Skeleton Executioner emitted an odd roar that resembled the grinding of a bulldozer, swinging its axe wildly as it lumbered over.
The commotion also caused the nearby thirty-plus Skeleton Executioners to come forward.
Seeing the Skeleton Executioner about to smash the wall with its gigantic axe, Nie Yan jumped off the wall and withdrew at the last possible moment.
「Boom!」The large axe struck the eroded wall, breaking it as if it were rotten wood and bringing down large chunks of stone.「Boom! Boom! Boom!」Several dozen thunderous strikes followed the first, and the walls rapidly collapsed, allowing the Skeleton Executioners to enter the outer district.
Nie Yan ran backwards, his eyes remaining fixed on the crumbling wall as he avoided the flying debris. He found a suitable opening and cast Undead Rite, which took away thirty percent of his health in an instant.
A wisp of light struck a Skeleton Executioner and entered its body.
Its movements momentarily froze; however, in the next moment, the Skeleton Executioner broke free of the spell’s bindings and charged towards Nie Yan with its axe raised.
“Dammit, it failed…” He promptly rolled out of the way, dodging the oncoming axe. He then dashed toward a nearby wall, scaled over it, and hopped off on the other side. In this fashion, he traversed through the labyrinth-like outer district with the Skeleton Executioners in tow.
After destroying several walls without finding Nie Yan, the Skeleton Executioners finally gave up and returned to the pyramid.
There were just too many of them, which made it quite difficult to find a suitable opportunity to cast Undead Rite. Not to mention the low success rate, even if he succeeded by some lucky fluke, his new servant would be hacked to pieces by the other Skeleton Executioners almost immediately. Although there’d be one less to deal with, he could only imagine how tedious and inefficient it would be to use this method to enter the pyramid. At the very minimum, it would take him two to three days to clear the area of Skeleton Executioners.
Retrieving that piece of Sulgata’s Shadow is going to be more problematic than I initially thought…
In the end, Nie Yan had no choice but to helplessly linger around the outer district, allowing Dark Gladiator to clean up the surrounding mobs. Fortunately, the levelling speed was quite fast, which could count as a small consolation.
Before three hours were fully up, Nie Yan had cast Undead Rite three more times but made zero headway in recruiting a Skeleton Executioner. In a mere half hour or so, Dark Gladiator would disappear.
Don’t tell me… I have to just forget about it and try again later? However, if he decided to give up today, he might not be as lucky next time in finding an amazing servant like Dark Gladiator again. In addition, there was no guarantee another player wouldn’t snatch the piece of Sulgata’s Shadow before he returned.
Just as he was racking his brain over this problem, he heard the voices of nearby players enter his ear.
“It’s these guys again…” Nie Yan wrinkled his brows. Since the last time he met them, those players had finally explored their way here. With the presence of outsiders, he wouldn’t be able to execute his plans without a hitch. Before he retrieved the piece of Sulgata’s Shadow, he didn’t want to allow any others to become aware of its existence. However, he realized that even if they arrived here, once they saw how many Skeleton Executioners there were in the vicinity, they wouldn’t even dare to take half a step forward, let alone have any thoughts of entering the pyramid.
Unless they were all over Level 10 and brought a much larger group of players along with them, it would be impossible to clear the opening of all the Skeleton Executioners. Nie Yan still had ample time to retrieve Sulgata’s Shadow.
In the same moment, six players entered Nie Yan’s view.
The players were greeted by the sight of an enormous skeleton dragon standing by Nie Yan’s side like a dutiful guardian; the ghostly flames in its eye sockets seemed to follow their every move. Meanwhile, beside the Thief also stood three Skeleton Mages with their staffs brandished, ready to attack at any time, not letting their guards down in the slightest.
While within the safety of a city or a town, players maintained amiable attitudes and often befriended others. As soon as they stepped into the wilderness, however, their demeanors would completely reverse. Any stranger could become a potential enemy since everyone feared being plotted against or being ambushed by other players. Often times, even simple misunderstandings could lead to an endless bloodbath.
So even though Nie Yan had Dark Gladiator at his side, if those six players simultaneously attacked him, he’d still end up dying in a short amount of time. Thus, he had no choice but to keep his guard up against them at all times.
Leader Young Seven, Forgotten, and the others also noticed Nie Yan’s presence at the same time and halted.
“Greetings, we mean no harm!” Forgotten was the first one to speak up. Their group of six were also extremely cautious. After all, their life and death lay in how Nie Yan viewed them.
“Whether your intentions are bad or not makes no difference to me,” Nie Yan indifferently replied, taking the initiative to establish which side held dominance.
Young Seven and the others glanced at Dark Gladiator that stood by Nie Yan’s side. In truth, his statement was absolutely correct. With such a terrifying servant under his command, it really didn’t matter if they had come to provoke him or not.
“We came here simply because we wanted to befriend you. Besides, I believe there haven’t been any cases where we’ve offended you in the past,” Young Seven answered as he calmly took a step forward and gazed at Nie Yan.
Although they appeared to be at a complete disadvantage, Young Seven’s bearing was neither servile nor overbearing.
Pretty courageous… He was certainly worthy of being called one of the most outstanding players in his original timeline. Seemingly disregarding life and death, he staked his life in order to move one step closer toward Nie Yan.
Nie Yan had a change of heart. Since he hadn’t found a way of entering the pyramid on his own, Young Seven and his team might be able to help.