Chapter 279 - Shadow Slaughter

Chapter 279 - Shadow Slaughter

Everlasting City. Some of the richer members of Asskickers United were starting to show up. By pooling together their funds, they could afford enough Magic Bombs for a brief power-levelling session in the outer district. Due to the sky-high costs, levelling there for any extended period of time was impractical.

As the average level of the player base rose, the existence of Everlasting City would inevitably be revealed to the public. With this being the case, it was in the best interest of Asskickers United to take advantage of their monopoly while they still could.

Nie Yan found a relatively secluded area and summoned Lil' Gold. He jumped into the settings and diverted all incoming experience to his pet. Afterwards, he fed it some steak and ordered it to stay put. 

Dashing away, Nie Yan used his Cavalry Crossbow to aggro the several hundred Mechanical Golems in the vicinity. After he built up a large enough wave behind him, he began sweeping through with Magic Bombs.

「Boom! Boom! Boom!」A magical blaze enveloped the area. 

Magic Bombs arced through the sky, one after the other, before falling to the ground and exploding as a blanket of damage values rose up into the air.

Swaths of Mechanical Golems collapsed to the ground.

Nie Yan saw Lil' Gold's experience skyrocket as the special effect for levelling up played over and over again. 

Lil' Gold directly ascended to Level 9. His health rose to 260 and his attack and magic power rose to 63–67, while all his other stats also rose considerably. His growth rate was truly frightening. If he kept growing in this fashion, his stats would far surpass Nie Yan’s by the time it reached Level 23.

Lil' Gold had also acquired his first skill.

Dragon Breath (Junior): Spray out Dragon Breath, dealing (20 + Magic Power) Fire Damage in a 5-meter cone. Cooldown: 3 minutes. Ranks up at Level 20.

Dragon Breath was an outstanding area of effect skill. It was only Junior-rank for now, but it could already deal so much damage. If he raised Lil' Gold's level, clearing mobs would definitely become much easier. One Dragon Breath could scorch an entire area down to ashes.

Let’s level here for now. I’ll find a better place some other time.

Not just Lil' Gold, but Nie Yan also needed to level up. After the release of the Buried History expansion, the levels of players were skyrocketing. If he didn’t quickly start levelling, he would soon be left behind. It would be ideal if he found a map with evil creatures. Like this, he could level up while also unlocking some of the skills in his Glimpse of Darkness.

Nie Yan looked over the skills in Glimpse of Darkness before focusing his attention on a single one—Shadow Slaughter. To unlock this skill, he only needed to kill a single monster. But looks could be deceiving, as the monster he had to kill was a Level 50 Lord that was an evil creature.

Shadow Slaughter: While active, deal 30% splash damage to up to 10 targets in a 10 meter radius. Duration: 2 minutes. Cooldown: 2 days.

This was a skill any Thief would drool over. 

Area-of-effect Thief skills were extremely rare. Even if one showed up in the marketplace, its price would be staggering.

What Nie Yan currently lacked was precisely this type of skill. With such a skill in his arsenal, whether in PvP or PvE, it would be extremely useful. The only downside was its fairly long cooldown.

An increasing number of players obtained new high level skills every day. If Nie Yan wanted to maintain his superiority, it was imperative for him to raise the quality of his skills.

Nie Yan had his sights set on a new goal. He glanced at Lil' Gold beside him. I’ll get this guy up to at least Level 20 first.

Nie Yan noticed Lil' Gold had grown quite a bit and now reached up to his waist. He wondered how big Lil' Gold would get in the future. Would he grow as large as the one in Sinful Gorge? If that happened, it would be too frightening.

Nie Yan dashed off to aggro another 500 Mechanical Golems. After rounding them up, he cleared them away with Magic Bombs.

Another wave of Mechanical Golems collapsed to the ground, and the Lil' Gold levelled up to Level 13. The higher its level, the more experience it needed to level up.

Nie Yan did some calculations. Lil' Gold required at least three times as much experience to level up compared to him. If he wanted raise Lil' Gold to a truly high level, it would be no simple matter. If he wished to keep Lil' Gold's level close to his own, he would be forced to put endlessly more effort into levelling than the average player.

Far off in a secluded corner, Lil' Gold was wriggling about, bored to death.

Because Nie Yan ordered it to stay put, it couldn’t leave.

At its current level, there was no way it could handle the Mechanical Golems.

As Nie Yan started collecting the loot, an ash-gray skill book beside the corpse of a Mechanical Golem caught his eye. He bent down and picked it up.

Skill books dropping wasn’t all that rare, so Nie Yan wasn’t too surprised. But after reading the name, a flash of joy crossed his face.

Gale Step (Junior): Become invincible for the first 3 seconds after entering stealth. Movement Speed +20%. Stealth Effect -60%. Cooldown: 3 minutes. Requirement: Level 20. Ranks up at 500 Dexterity.

Gale Step was an essential skill for all Thieves. The boost to movement speed while in stealth, and especially the 3 seconds of invincibility, would allow the player to evade many dangers. It was a rare skill book that was highly sought after. The only downside was that the player’s ability to stealth would be greatly reduced, allowing enemies to more easily spot them.

If the player reached 500 Dexterity, it would upgrade to Intermediate-rank, and its effects would be greatly enhanced.

Since Gale Step was an essential skill, it could be found in any map above Level 20. However, its drop rate was extremely low. It was still pretty rare in Level 30–40 maps and only started to become more common in maps over Level 60.

In the previous timeline, Gale Step was one of Nie Yan’s bread and butter skills. Having gone without it until now truly felt a bit uncomfortable.

Nie Yan was filled with incomparable joy now that he had Gale Step back at hand. Although Shadow Waltz was a decent skill, it just wasn’t Gale Step.

Nie Yan learned Gale Step as a new skill icon popped into his skill bar. This sort of feeling was indescribable. It was as though a missing piece of his soul had been restored. He could easily use this skill with the highest mastery.

Apart from the skill book, Nie Yan also accumulated a giant pile of equipment, all of which were Level 40. However, since the Mechanical Golems were all ordinary mobs, their quality wasn’t that great, averaging around White and Bronze-grade.

Nevertheless, even though he didn’t need this equipment, the guild was in dire need of it. The ordinary members generally couldn’t afford to wear high quality equipment right after breaking a level milestone, so they could only settle for White and Bronze-grade equipment as they transitioned.

Nie Yan did a breakdown of all the loot. He noticed he had two pieces of equipment from the Everlasting Silver Set. His luck wasn’t bad. If he sold a full Everlasting Silver Set for 700 gold, it would almost completely cover his expenditure. The Everlasting Silver Set Sleepy Fox bought had already been delivered by Guo Huai, causing Sapphire Shrine to feel like they had been left behind. So they also asked to purchase an Everlasting Silver Set. If he sold two, that would be an easy 1,400 gold.

The number of Asskickers United players levelling in Everlasting City had increased substantially, so naturally the number of Everlasting Silver Set pieces dropping rose as well. They currently had a total of seven sets in their guild. Bladelight wore the Everlasting Dark Gold Set, both Yi Han and Lofty Shadow had an Everlasting Gold Set, and the remaining four Everlasting Silver Sets were given to relatively outstanding Fighters. So far, Asskickers United had 7 Fighters that made up an impregnable wall!

The number of quality Fighters in a guild was closely connected to its future!

Nie Yan placed the two pieces of equipment into his bag. Let’s see if I can get a few more to drop.

Lil' Gold had finally levelled up to level 20 after 2 hours of grinding. He was already as tall as Nie Yan. He had 550 health and 380–393 attack and magic power. His other stats also saw substantial growth.

Lil' Gold's stat growth every level up wasn’t fixed. The higher his level, the more stats he would gain. At his current level, he could already fend for himself.

Lil' Gold had also learned two new skills:

Haste Aura (Junior): Increase the movement speed of allies within a 20 meter radius by 5%. Ranks up at Level 30.

Sharp Scales (Junior): Reflect 5% of all physical damage received back at the enemy. Ranks up at Level 30.

Haste Aura was a passive skill. It was always active and didn’t expend any mana. It was an amazing skill, especially at the higher ranks. Even though the speed bonus was small, it was still significant considering it affected all allies within the aura’s influence. 

Nie Yan recalled a player who obtained a pet with a high-ranking thorns skill in the previous timeline. They started crazily increasing the pet’s tankiness, using all sorts of methods to raise its health and defense. The end result was a valiant, walking fortress. It was a Level 180 pet with over 80,000 health. Anyone who attacked it would die miserably from having their attacks reflected back at them. It also excelled at PvE as monster corpses would pile up from where it stood as they killed themselves attacking it. During group battles, no melee-based class would be crazy enough to attack it.

All thorns skills when brought up to a high rank would be terrifying.

Finally, Dragon Breath had advanced to Intermediate-rank.

Dragon Breath (Intermediate): Spray out Dragon Breath, dealing (100 + Magic Power) Fire Damage in a 5-meter cone. Cooldown: 2 minutes. Ranks up at Level 60.

After rising to Intermediate-rank, Dragon Breath was greatly enhanced.

Nie Yan could feel Lil' Gold's rapid growth. At its current state, it could take on 2 or 3 Level 26 monsters at once without a problem.

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