Chapter 186 - Holy Priest, Shadow Priest
A certain problem weighed on Nie Yan’s mind; he had never heard of a player called Black Hell before, not even in his past life. He was completely in the dark regarding the opponent’s strengths and weaknesses, and that would pose a risk to him if they ever clashed.
The Chapter of Harmony was reportedly meant for Priests. It substantially boosted the effects of all healing skills, something which was particularly useful for Holy Priests. As for Shadow Priests, it enhanced the effects of curses. Before being found, it was hidden in the Level 25 map, Murky Quagmire.
The Murky Quagmire was an extremely inhospitable map. It was the perfect breeding ground for Sludge Slimes—living beings made out of toxic goop, highly resistant to physical attacks, and reeked of an awful stench. It was also filled with poisonous gases, so players would take constant damage as soon as they entered. The only reliable method of preventing yourself from getting inflicted with the poisoned status was to regularly receive blessings from a Priest. Antidotes would work as well, but their preventive effect only lasted so long, not to mention the cost. As such, a party of five levelling here would generally consist of at least two Priests. Paladins could explore the map by themselves with some difficulty, but it was impossible for other classes.
On top of all that, the Chapter of Harmony was said to be hidden in the heart of the Murky Quagmire, the region where the poisonous gases were thickest. Even Nie Yan didn’t know what lurked in there.
It wasn’t the sort of place a group could explore at the current stage of the game, unless half of its members consisted of Priests. But if that was the case, who would deal all the damage?
Even if someone organized an expedition to explore the map, the group size couldn’t exceed five players. At least two of the members had to be Priests while the stat requirements for everyone were very high.
The person who retrieved the Chapter of Harmony ultimately belonged to one of the following classes: Holy Priest, Shadow Priest, or Paladin. The chances of Black Hell being a Paladin weren’t very high. After all, the Chapter of Harmony didn’t have much of an effect on classes aside from the Priest, while only the Chapter of Justice corresponded to the Paladin class. So it was much more plausible that they played a Holy Priest or Shadow Priest
With the scope narrowed down by a large margin, Nie Yan tried hard to recall the properties of the Chapter of Harmony. Just in case it possessed some formidable abilities, he would be somewhat better prepared.
The first skill of the Chapter of Harmony was called Circle of Healing. It could instantly replenish the health of all team members in a certain range, and naturally, it was extremely useful in group battles. The second skill was called Empower Status Magic. It would bolster the effects of all blessings, while all curses would transform into something much more terrifying.
Therefore, the Chapter of Harmony was also known as Trial of Light and Darkness.
The Chapter of Harmony was fully deserving of being called one of the best items for Priests.
Nie Yan remembered that the owner of the Chapter of Harmony in the previous timeline was a Priest called Black Heaven, one of the Seven Archbishops. He was said to have joined Sapphire Shrine later on, becoming their Chief Priest.
Black Hell, Black Heaven…? These names are pretty close. Are they related to each other?
It seemed the opposing side didn’t consist of just one person. The situation had become a lot more complicated. A powerful Priest could easily influence a bunch of people to join them. Those who were good at socializing would usually find themselves with many friends the moment they entered the game.
Nie Yan rubbed his temples. The only reason he had put off retrieving the Chapter of Harmony for so long was that he had no way of setting foot into the Murky Quagmire. He hadn’t even been there in his past life, so he was completely unfamiliar with the map. Even if he wanted to go, he’d still have to bring a top-notch Priest like Leader Young Seven along with him. However, this undoubtedly entailed its own risks. A single Priest entering a Level 25 map... who knows what sort of trouble might pop up?
Any Priest that could reach that rank of Archbishop was an extremely rare talent! In the stronghold sieges several years from now, an Archbishop would transform into a support machine of war. A single blessing could sharply increase the stats of a crowd of players. A single group heal could restore a crowd of low-health players back to full again. They grew even more perverse after learning the Divine Resurrection skill. It could revive a player without any restrictions or penalties!
Although the normal Revive skill could also bring a fallen comrade back to life, it wasn’t free from drawbacks. Some players would lose experience. Others would revive in a weakened state. However, Divine Resurrection could bring players back from the dead to full fighting strength! Of course, the skill also had its own limits, such as a three-day cooldown for example. Even the fastest variations still needed a full day to come off cooldown.
At this point in the timeline, Black Heaven hadn’t joined Sapphire Shrine yet. He should still be in the Dark Hero guild. If Nie Yan could pull Black Heaven over to his side, it would be largely beneficial to Asskickers United. However, with the emergence of the Chapter of Harmony, both sides were destined to stand at opposite ends.
Nie Yan couldn’t help but let out a dejected sigh. Ahh, an Archbishop... what a pity!
Which camps would the Seven Archbishops belong to? Leader Young Seven was already in Nie Yan’s camp, and Black Heaven might still join Sapphire Shrine later on. As for the five others, he heard that Guo Huai had been in talks with one, but he didn’t know if they came to an agreement or not.
In the previous timeline, one of the Seven Archbishops had joined Sapphire Shrine, another was in Bloodthirst Blades, and three more were in the gaming organization, Azure Falling Sky. The remaining two were solo players. Even Victorious Return and Holy Empire didn’t have a single Archbishop. It was regrettable, but naturally, they had plenty of Bishops.
If Asskickers United had one Archbishop in the future, then they would hold a significant advantage over others. But what if they had two…? Well, one could only imagine.
In any case, if Nie Yan could afford not to offend Black Heaven or Black Hell, then he would try as much as possible to do so. If he could take out something to trade—or purchase the Chapter of Harmony—then that would be the best outcome.
Nie Yan sent Black Hell a message.
The receiver has blocked all incoming messages outside of team or party chat.
During specific moments when a player didn’t want to be interrupted or to avoid harassment, they might close off their chat or create a blacklist, so they wouldn’t receive messages from others.
Black Hell had closed off his chat. It seemed Nie Yan’s plan of negotiating with the opposition had gone up in smoke.
If they ended up meeting in battle, then there was nothing he could do about it.
Link was one of the most prosperous towns around Calore. The area near the transport point was particularly thriving. Thanks to there being quite a few high-level maps in the vicinity of the town, many professional players opened up shops there.
The land wasn’t expensive as it was in Calore. A player only needed to spend 10 silver to purchase a small plot. Opening a shop didn’t cost much money either. It was entirely possible for a few people to scrounge up some money and open one together. A good deal of players set up their shops in Link, so the town’s commerce prospered in an unprecedented manner.
The streets flowed with a steady stream of players. As two Priests—Black Heaven and Black Hell—strolled around the town, they were frequently approached by other players looking to form a party, but they would always bluntly refuse.
Black Heaven was a Holy Priest with the somewhat immature appearance of youth just reaching adulthood. He wore a pure white robe with a golden falcon stitched to the side of his collar. This was the symbol of the Temple of Light. It signified that he had learned Templar Magic for his class. A Priest of this sort was greatly sought after by the large guilds.
As for Black Hell, he was a twenty-six to twenty-seven-year-old man. He wore an ash-grey robe with the symbol of a viper embroidered to his cuffs using dark golden silk, clearly indicating his status as a Shadow Priest!
Shadow Priests were the least played class in the Viridian Empire. They were proficient in curses and crowd control magic on top of being able to heal. However, a Shadow Priest’s healing ability was noticeably lacklustre in comparison to their purely support-focused counterpart. Their damage output was decent but was no match for that of a Mage. A skilled Shadow Priest could still be a very frightening thing. It was just that the learning curve was too high. On top of contributing curses, crowd control, and healing, they were also responsible for dealing damage. A player needed to have over several dozen skills in their skill bar, and the ability to use them smoothly and skillfully, or else they would find it very hard to contend against other classes. This difficult, rarely-picked class was the class of choice for Black Hell.
“Big Brother, who do you think that Nirvana Flame is? He was actually able to get a hold of three chapters from the Book of Order…” Black Heaven asked. While the two of them were training in the Murky Quagmire, they had accidentally stumbled into the centermost region. They were unable to use Return Scrolls there. Only after narrowly escaping death numerous times in a row were they able to retrieve the Chapter of Harmony. He had been instantly killed and sent back, while Black Hell was luckily able to get away because he had happened to obtain a Potion of Nothingness previously from running a dungeon on Specialist.
Yet that Nirvana Flame was surprisingly in possession of three chapters!
After obtaining the Chapter of Harmony, Black Hell suddenly found that three chapters from the Book of Order were actually held by a Thief called Nirvana Flame! He had to admit that the prospect possessed an irresistible attraction. If he could kill Nirvana Flame, he would be able to get another three chapters at once!
“From what I could dig up, he seems to be part of Asskickers United. He’s pretty famous as well. He definitely also knows our location.” Black Hell frowned. Although he could be considered a veteran in Dark Hero, the guild had already declined considerably. Even when organizing a team for dungeon runs, he was forced to recruit players from outside the guild. How could such a guild contend against the newly emerged powerhouse, Asskickers United? Whether they could even protect their own chapter was another problem to consider. In a one versus one, he feared absolutely no one. However, if Asskickers United sent a squadron of Thieves to surround and snatch the Chapter of Harmony from him, there was nothing he could really do to resist.
“So he’s one of the bosses of that guild? That’s going to be a little troublesome...” Black Heaven said worriedly. If Nirvana Flame sent a group of Thieves to watch them every day, they would definitely collapse under the pressure. Against the might of a guild, they were undoubtedly vulnerable. “I hear they have a feud with Victorious Return?”
“What about it? Are you suggesting we seek asylum from Victorious Return?” Black Hell raised his eyebrow. Although he had received invitations from multiple guilds, he had never once entertained the thought of leaving Dark Hero.
Seeing Black Hell’s sharp eyes gaze over at him, Black Heaven hurriedly lowered his head.
“We absolutely cannot let anyone know that we have the Chapter of Harmony. Our only option is to find and kill him, then take away the three chapters from his corpse. That way he’ll have no way of locating us anymore. If worst comes to worst, we’ll pool together 2 gold and use it to run away to another city; then we’ll figure out what to do from there,” Black Hell said. If they could intercept Nirvana Flame in the wilderness, he had absolute confidence in taking him down in a one versus one situation.
“But he’s in the Light Monastery,” Black Heaven said. That was a Level 30 area. Only large expedition groups would go to such a place.
“We’ll just have to wait until after he comes out,” Black Hell replied. They could only patiently wait for an opportunity. Before then, they couldn’t stay in the same spot for too long. Otherwise, they’d be surrounded by Asskickers United players.