Chapter 70 – Natlan Marsh
Going by foot is too slow. How long will it take for me to start riding a horse? It’d be so much faster and more comfortable. However, Nie Yan knew it would actually take over two months for horses to become commonplace as a method of transportation. They were simply too expensive. At present, even the lousiest of breeds still cost upwards of ten gold. It just wasn’t worth it.
He retrieved a Basic Haste Scroll from his bag and crumpled it in his hand, activating it, before sprinting off towards Sulgata.
If there were players nearby, they would see a silhouette dashing across the open field and soon disappearing into the distance.
Half an hour later, he encountered a new area as the surroundings transitioned into a dark marshland. This location was far from town so very few players could be seen hunting here. Almost no one actively sought out this strange place inherently filled with danger. However, every so often, a rare bunch would decide to explore this marsh. Many of them were thrillseekers who happened to be high-level experts as well. On his journey here, he had encountered many such players travelling in groups.
Short stubby bushes flourished all over. A dense fog lingered in the air and blocked the sunlight from above. Once in a while, a cold wind blew past. The marsh left an eerie impression on those who came across it.
The earth was muddied and filled with basins of festering waters, where one would occasionally discover the corpse of some unlucky animal rotting inside. A slight rustle or movement periodically came from the shrubs as a few snake-type monsters slithered by. All sorts of hidden dangers lurked inside this dark marsh.
「System: You’ve discovered Natlan Marsh!」
I’m finally here. He examined the everlasting fog of the Natlan Marsh. Passing through this area will take a bit of effort.
He cautiously moved between the bushes, wary of the potential monsters lurking nearby. He did his best to evade their sights. However, after passing through a dense patch of shrubbery, his high Awareness warned him of impending danger.
「Rustle! Rustle! Rustle!」A large silhouette charged past the shrubs and pounced at him.
He instinctively dodge rolled and avoided the sudden attack, but not before getting a good look at the enemy’s appearance. It was a Marsh Monitor, a species of large lizards that roamed this map. The one that appeared was over two meters in length, and black speckled its dark green skin. Sharp protrusions grew from its head and tail; these protrusions along with its claws were covered in a viscous green poison which caused paralysis, and those unlucky enough to be struck by this poison would be unable to move for three seconds. It was the Marsh Monitor’s most dangerous weapon.
Ah, it’s these guys. He felt a bit apprehensive. Although these lizards had relatively low health and were quite frail, the consequences of being struck by their attacks were fatal.
In his previous life, an expert had once left some words of advice: Under no circumstances should you underestimate a monster, since even the weakest of Marsh Monitors were still capable of killing you.
At the lower levels, these lizards were the nemesis of all Mages and Thieves as these classes relied on their mobility to survive. In the event a Thief or Mage became paralyzed, these Marsh Monitors could freely rip them to shreds. Even heavy-armoured Fighters were susceptible to being killed by these lizards if they were careless.
Marsh Monitor: Level 6
The Marsh Monitor’s attack struck nothing but air as it fell back to the ground.「Crash!」Its heavyset body sent mud and water flying.
At the end of the roll, Nie Yan retrieved his dagger and wielded it in his right hand in a reverse grip. He returned with Concussive Blow, Assassinate, and Vital Strike.
Then he finished with a flurry of attacks before Concussive Blow’s stun duration timed out. The Marsh Monitor trembled and collapsed.
These lizards truly were frail. As long as the player wasn’t hit, they were extremely easy to kill.
Under Nie Yan’s assault, the Marsh Monitor hadn’t been given the slightest bit of leeway and was killed in their first exchange.
After switching over to Level 5 equipment, his Attack rose to over sixty points. Honestly, to the present player base, such a high attack was simply unimaginable on a Thief. Coupled with his class’ innately fast attacks, his damage per second rose to an unprecedented degree. Apart from the leaders of the major guilds, very few players wore equipment of his quality. Even if they did, he still possessed the Chapter of Courage.
Even though he had fought and killed the Marsh Monitor, which was above his level, he didn’t feel the slightest bit of tension, as he held complete control over the entire battle. This was the result of his high Willpower and Awareness, overbearing attack power, extreme maneuverability, and fast attack speed.
He killed several more Marsh Monitors along the way. Due to his agility and speed, not a single one was able to reach him with their attacks.
The further he travelled into the marsh, the denser the fog became which obscured his vision even more. This forced him to vastly raise his guard and attentiveness with every step forward. Although he could easily kill these Marsh Monitors, if he were struck even once, they could do the same to him.
The dense fog rolled and drifted in the air. From time to time, he would see strange shadows appearing and disappearing within it.
These illusions were the remnants of a forgotten battlefield. The sounds of soldiers roaring and cavalry charging into battle could be faintly heard in his ears. However, as soon as the cold wind blew again, these desolate illusions of a distant play would drift away with it.
Suddenly, he heard the sound of approaching footsteps. They were heavy but amidst the other sounds, he couldn’t distinguish if they were real.
He didn’t notice anything unusual until he felt the ground begin to shake. Only then did he realize his disastrous situation. He swept his gaze towards the footsteps and saw a lizard crawling out of a nearby brush. The moment he saw its scarlet red tongue flicking out of its mouth, a strong fishy smell assaulted his nose.
This lizard was five meters in length. It was supported by four powerful limbs and a thick, long tail that was covered in spikes. Its entire body was shrouded in ash-black scales save for a patch of white which formed a strange pattern on its neck.
Even for the native inhabitants of Natlan Marsh, this lizard was a horrifying existence. The white pattern on its neck represented an old mystery as well as death.
This lizard was clearly different from the others he had met.
The giant lizard noticed his presence and charged. Its tail twisted and turned as it ran in an awkward gait. Though odd as it may be, its speed was not to be trifled with. In reality, this unique gait was the reason it could move so quickly. In merely a brief few seconds, it had already come up to Nie Yan.
He activated Swift Retreat to build up some distance while simultaneously examining it with Transcendent Insight.
Serpentine Lizard (Sub-Elite): Level 7
Shock washed over his heart when he read its name. Why the hell did I end up meeting this guy!?
These lizards only roamed around the Natlan Marsh and were Sub-Elite monsters. At his current level, let alone a Level 7 Sub-Elite, even if he met a Leader-class monster at his own level, he’d still have no choice but to flee. The only reason he was able to take on Gato the Lion King and the Ogre Devourer was because they spawned in areas with exploitable terrain. However, in this marshland, there was no such terrain to speak of, and it was impossible for him to face it head-on. These lizards were the true overlords of this map.
Although the Serpentine Lizard didn’t have very much health compared to other Sub-Elites of the same level, it compensated with an exceedingly high attack. It could also release its poison into the mud and spread it through a mist. Level 10 or lower players were simply no match for this monster in a one-on-one fight. Only a party of five or more Level 10 players would dare to take on this overgrown lizard. In his original timeline, since many players ended up dying at their hands while training in this area, it was nicknamed the Killer of the Marsh.
The Serpentine Lizard closed the distance in an instant and spewed out poisonous mist. The green mist rapidly dispersed into the surroundings upon leaving its mouth.
Only a slight whiff within this mist was sufficient to cause one to become confused and dazed.