Chapter 81 - Dark Gladiator
Dark Gladiator relentlessly attacked the other skeletal dragon and flung it across the underground dungeon, smashing it heavily into the walls.
「Boom! Boom! Boom!」The sound of thunderous strikes reverberated through the air as the skeletal dragon was battered left and right across the dungeon. Amidst the relentless assault, the skeletal dragon found an opening and retaliated, whipping its tail at Dark Gladiator’s chest!「Boom!」The force of the attack forced Dark Gladiator several steps back. However, Dark Gladiator seemed virtually unaffected as it resumed its assault and rushed at the skeletal dragon again.
As the fighting intensified, Dark Gladiator and the Undead Dragon resembled two ancient behemoths in a life-and-death struggle.
While the two dragons fought, Nie Yan retrieved his Crossbow of Blood from his inventory and adeptly loaded it with the Blackgold Bolts that dealt on-hit true damage. Propping the crossbow to his chest, he aligned the sights on his target and fired.「Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!」The bolts struck the skeletal dragon causing three damage values to rise above its head. Although the damage wasn’t ludicrously high, it was still significant. At the minimum, the bolts dealt thirty to forty points in combined damage. In one instance, an armor-break occurred, and Nie Yan was able to deal upwards of a hundred damage.
The two dragons were engaged in an all-out brawl, and despite the hectic battle, Nie Yan was still able to fire at the other skeletal dragon with pinpoint accuracy.
Nie Yan felt it was quite unfortunate that it took him four attempts to control one of the skeletal dragons using Undead Rite. Moreover, in order to cast it the fourth time, he had been forced to use all of his recovery items to replenish his depleted health as quickly as possible.
He glanced at his remaining health—not even sufficient to cast another Undead Rite. Although he felt uncomfortable with his health being so low, he could do nothing about it since his Combat Bandages and other health recovery items were still on cooldown.
Dark Gladiator’s relentless attacks and Nie Yan’s continuous fire eventually brought the skeletal dragon down to critical health.
He originally planned to turn this remaining skeletal dragon into his servant as well, but looking at the current situation, such an idea was no longer possible since Dark Gladiator didn’t have much health remaining either. If he allowed the battle to drag on and purposefully delayed dealing the killing blow, Dark Gladiator would certainly end up being killed by the other skeletal dragon. After spending so much health obtaining one skeletal dragon, he wasn’t willing to let it die without serving him to its full potential.
At the twenty-second mark since the battle began, Dark Gladiator lashed out with its claws and struck the other skeletal dragon in the chest, simultaneously alleviating the opponent of its remaining health. Following the other skeleton dragon’s death, a ghastly ball of flame emerged from its chest and floated upward before gradually disappearing in the air. The skeleton, now a shell without an owner, shattered and loudly crashed to the floor.
「Jingle! Jingle!」As soon as the dragon collapsed, a melodious tune rang out as a bright radiance emerged from Nie Yan’s body. He had finally levelled up to Level 6.
He gained a sizable amount of experience for killing the Level 10 Undead Dragon Gladiator. Due to it being five levels above him, he received seventeen-fold of its base experience value.
Nie Yan walked toward the bone pile and collected the items that dropped from the Undead Dragon. The item was surprisingly a pair of Gold-grade shoulder guards: 57–62 defense, Strength +13, and Resilience +17. It was definitely a good piece of equipment. He reckoned he could sell it for quite a bit in the auction house.
Let alone one that gave bonuses in Strength and Resilience, even if a pair of Gold-grade shoulder guards had undesirable properties, based on the raw defense they provided alone, they would still sell for a decent price. The value of this piece of equipment was only slightly lower than the Lion King’s Shield he planned to sell to Bladelight.
No buyer should even think of taking these shoulder guards off his hands if they didn’t offer at least twenty silvers. Naturally, this didn’t apply to acquaintances or friends who wanted to purchase them. In that case, it would depend on how friendly he was with the person.
After killing the Undead Dragon Gladiator and reaching Level 6, his experience bar filled by thirteen percent. When he checked the player ladder, the current top rank player was a Level 8. Moreover, they were a Mage. In Conviction, no matter how fast a Thief could kill monsters, they would still never compare to a Mage. Some powerful Mages were even able to easily kill monsters above their levels by kiting, taking advantage of terrain, or casting high-level spells. Skilled Mages could even solo-kill certain bosses without taking damage, an incredibly difficult task for melee professions. Of course, these norms didn’t apply to an extreme outlier such as him.
Nie Yan glanced at Dark Gladiator who lumbered over to his side. Its enormous body was covered with scratches and deep cut marks. However, they were healing at a pace even visible to the naked eye, and it wasn’t a simple recovery either. Rather than restoring to their original state, razor-sharp talons resembling blades began forming on the skeletal dragon’s claws, and its appearance became much more terrifying. The ghastly, pale cyan flames in its eye sockets flickered, radiating a deathly cold energy that made others not dare to stare at it straight-on.
Despite its imposing appearance, Dark Gladiator lowered its enormous skull as it kneeled in front of him.
As a controlled monster, it was now completely subservient to him, answering his every beck and call!
Hence, he was free to command it as he pleased.
Nie Yan tilted his head upward and peered at the opening of the pitfall. I should be able to escape from here now.
He stepped onto the palm of Dark Gladiator’s bony claws and ordered it to raise him higher. As he was elevated to a suitable height, he leaped out of its claws and returned to the surface. Dark Gladiator followed soon after and leaped out of the pitfall as well, the weight of its skeletal frame shaking the ground upon landing.
With this super meat-shield at his side, he would no longer have to fear those common skeletons.
Nie Yan would be under Dark Gladiator’s protection for roughly three hours, so he would definitely make use of the time by retrieving Sulgata’s Shadow.
Having escaped the underground dungeon, Nie Yan strode forward and headed for Sulgata’s center. Following behind was the enormous Dark Gladiator who dwarfed him and the surrounding ruins in size.
As soon as Nie Yan arrived in a new area, waves of skeletons would surge towards his position; however, like autumn leaves, they would be smashed apart by Dark Gladiator’s sweeping tail. In such a way, his experience bar steadily rose while he advanced toward his destination.
Every so often, after letting Dark Gladiator clean up most of the skeletons, he would find a suitable time to cast Undead Rite on the remaining Skeleton Mages. Hence, in this fashion, he soon formed a party of six consisting of Dark Gladiator, four Skeleton Mages, and him. Two of the Skeleton Mages specialized in ice magic, one in fire, and the other in lightning. All four guarded his side.
As he travelled through the intricate paths of the outer district, he thought back to the fragmented memories of the time he spent levelling here and seeking out the entrance to the inner district.
Levelling here is pretty fast. Nie Yan glanced at his experience bar. In the span of a few dozen minutes, it had already risen by eight percent. In the wake of his monstrous clearing speed, the surrounding undead in the vicinity couldn’t respawn fast enough.
Just as he finished clearing the mobs in an area, he heard sounds of activity at his back. Nie Yan furrowed his brows since it didn’t resemble the sounds made by the undead. Voices? There are players here?
“Levelling here is pretty good but there’s just too many skeletons. We almost lost our lives there. How about we go back and call another Priest over? Two isn’t enough. We’ll need three if we want to continue training here.”
“Having too many Priests is inconvenient. How about we call a Holy Mage? They deal double damage to undead, so our mobbing speed will increase.”
“You’re right. Let’s go back and recruit a Holy Mage.”
“There’s a Leader-class Skeleton Mage near the end of this path. We’ll need to circle around it first?”
The voices of several players coming from behind startled Nie Yan. Just as he spun around, he happened to see eight players facing him in the distance after they turned the corner at the end of the path.
In the same instant, the voices of the chattering players immediately came to a halt.
“Huh? Why did you guys stop talking? Did you all go stupid?” an Arcane Mage among them asked in a puzzled tone. He then followed his companions’ gazes, he immediately lost his voice as well.
There, at the end of the path, stood a player dressed in a Thief’s attire. They could tell with a single glance that his gear, especially the pair of daggers in his hands, was completely out of the ordinary. Why did this Thief suddenly appear out of nowhere? What was even more shocking, however, was the enormous bone dragon standing at this player’s side. As they stared at its dark metallic red bones, towering body, immense spiked tail, and razor sharp claws, they could instantly tell it was a tier higher than the common undead roaming around this area.
Besides the skeletal dragon, four Skeleton Mages guarded the Thief as they loosely gathered by his side. The flickering flames in their eye sockets stared back at the group of players that had just recently emerged.
The existence of the enormous bone dragon alone made this Thief seem all the more mysterious.