Chapter 1235: Treasure Map

"I would probably win that bet, to be honest…"

I curled my lips as I replied, "I’ve read up on the branches and classifications of the dragon race before. In descending order, a dragon’s power level can be differentiated into Holy Giant Dragons, Gem Dragons, Metal Dragons, Winged Dragons and finally, Pseudo-dragons. Of the five, Pseudo-dragons are not only the weakest the bunch, they aren’t even considered true dragons. They are just a race that has strayed too far from their origins to the point of being unrecognizable. Now that you know this, look at the ‘dragons’ in Fire Dragon Canyon again. They are mostly earth dragons and lizard dragons, which all fall under the category of pseudo-dragons. These poor bastards…"

Beiming Xue giggled. "You’re so bad, big brother!"

Lin Yixin rolled her eyes at me. "Are you done teasing Beiming Xue? If you are, let’s discuss what we should do with this map. Are we going around Fire Dragon Canyon, or are we passing through it?"

"Are you kidding me? How long do you think it’ll take to go around this whole map? Of course we’re passing through it…"

"What if we get party-wiped by the pseudo-dragons?"

"Then we reset and try again, duh!"

"Hmm. Well, let’s go!"

……

The Ancient Divine Dragon flew down the mountain slope, and we were in the burning canyon before we even knew it.

Whoosh!

On the way, a jet of lava erupted out of nowhere and struck my poor dragon directly in the abdomen. The good news was that I was covered in top-tier equipment from head to toe, and I only lost around 40k HP from the hit. The bad news was that the girls, especially cloth-armor and leather-armor types like Beiming Xue and Lian Xin couldn’t claim the same level of tankiness. I estimated that the lava would hit them for 100k damage at least, an amount that would one-shot a slightly below average leather-armor player.

"Take care not to get hit by the lava eruption, Beiming…" I advised.

While zigzagging through the lava field, Beiming Xue shot me a confident smile and declared, "Don’t worry, big brother! I may not be as good as you, but I’m not that unskilled."

In fact, I did have full confidence in Beiming Xue’s skill. The reason I got hit was because I got careless.

Following closely beside me, He Yi said, "Lu Chen, I’m pretty sure these aren’t the only dangers we’ll face in Fire Dragon Canyon. Remember what Icy Edge said? It almost sounded like Fire Dragon Canyon was an off-limits map for Frostsword City. These lava eruptions are dangerous, but they’re nowhere strong enough to form that level of opinion."

"I know. We’ll get our answer eventually if we keep going forward."

Pure Love looked a bit worried. "Should we circle around the map after all? If this map terrifies even the players of Frostsword City, can we really handle the hidden dangers of this map by ourselves?"

I laughed. "Let me put it this way: if we can’t even deal with one Fire Dragon Canyon, then we may as well give up on our quest right now. I guarantee you that the ruins of Dragon Domain are a league or two above this map."

"That’s true, I guess."

We continued forward. It wasn’t long before we ran into a couple of flame-wreathed earth dragons. They looked as big or bigger than a rhino, and their bodies were covered in scaly armor. They also had sharp horns on their ugly-looking faces.

I captured their stats with Dark Pupils and shared them with the party. I also passed the party leader position to Lin Yixin so she could buff everyone’s stats by 80%. It was the safest way to fight these mobs. Also, the 80% boost to HP would put Beiming Xue at almost 500k HP. Barring exceptional circumstances, nothing should be able to one-shot her.

 

Fire Earth Dragon (Fiend)

Level: 270

Attack: 27200~38000

Defense: 24000

HP: 1500000

Skills: Rend, Flame Spear, Wild Roar

Introduction: The Fire Earth Dragon is a kind of pseudo-dragon with an incomplete evolution. Habitually, it possesses all the characteristics of an earth dragon. Physically, it is much heavier, strong, and possesses sharp teeth that can break metallic weapons with ease. As the guardian of the Fire Dragon Canyon, they are cruel, violent, and want nothing else but to kill all living things that enter the canyon.

……

I set Murong Mingyue on the ground before moving toward the Fire Earth Dragon. I said with a smile, "Alright, let’s see how deadly this Level 270 fiend-rank mob really is. There must be a reason why they terrify the players of Frostsword City that much."

The girls giggled at that jab.

I activated Fusion Armor and rushed toward the nearest Fire Earth Dragon. After I stabbed its head with Purple Frost Concentration and lowered its Defense, I executed Burning Blade Slash and dealt an incredible amount of damage—

246778!

297767!

346763!

The mob instantly lost 50% of its HP. Behind me, Beiming Xue giggled. "Big brother’s damage is insane! He can definitely kill this earth dragon solo!"

Before she could finish her sentence though, the earth dragon launched its counterattack in anger. A cone of spiraling energy appeared around its horn, and it attempted to spike me with it. I let it. The attack went through my Dragon God Shield as I thought it would, and a damage number rose above my head—

50987!

A basic attack followed next, but this time, my Battle Astral Wind caused it to miss. It looked like Flame Spear was a special skill that ignored shields. While backing away, I shouted, "Sis, Little Xin, Guanyue [1], don’t get close to these mobs no matter what! Flame Spear can pierce shields, and if they land a crit on you it’s GG!"

"Okay!"

Lian Xin nodded and hit the Fire Earth Dragon I was attacking with Touch of the Dragonkiss + Ice Spiral Matrix combo, killing it instantly. Obviously, these earth dragons were no match for our firepower.

Pop!

The earth dragon dropped a beautiful red card when it died. I picked it up, and it was better than I expected—

Fire Earth Dragon Card: Increases user’s fire-based attack power by 150%. Level Requirement: 200. Duration: 120 minutes.

……

I tossed the card to Lian Xin and teased her, "You can pretend you’re a fire mage now, Lian Xin! This thing increases fire-based Magic Attack by 150%!"

Lian Xin giggled. "Yeah, fire magic is the most brutal magic of them all! I love fire magic!"

When we attacked the second Fire Earth Dragon, Lian Xin kicked off the battle with a Fire Dragon Spell + Exploding Flame Spell combo. She wasn’t joking, and the simple combo alone dealt over 300k damage. Long story short, the Fire Earth Dragon’s 1.5 million HP was as fragile as paper before our firepower.

After killing dozens of Fire Earth Dragons, Beiming Xue suddenly came to a stop and pointed at the giant rock directly ahead of us. "Big brother, I sense someone behind this rock!"

"Oh!?"

I rushed forward. The moment I moved past the rock, a fiery blade immediately swung down on my head. The good news was that I was in Fusion Armor mode, so I was able to turn around in time and parry the attack. It was at that moment I saw that my attacker was an NPC thief in black leather armor.

"Not bad!"

The thief let out a laugh before looking at me seriously. "Why have you come to this death-filled domain, traveler?"

I glanced around. Behind the thief was a bonfire, and surrounding the bonfire was a couple of sorry-looking NPCs in ragged clothing. In fact, I saw a female assassin with a thickly bandaged arm leaning against a warrior’s chest and moaning non-stop.

I lowered my weapon and responded with a question of my own, "I’m the one who should be asking you that. You don’t look like soldiers of the empire."

The thief actually let out a chuckle and declared proudly, "That’s right, we are not the idiots who sold their lives for the nobles. We are proud people who fight for our own happiness and no one else’s. As you may have noticed, we belong to a thief group called the Fire Thieves. Half a year ago, we came here to hunt for the fiery horns of the Fire Earth Dragons."

……

It was at this moment Lin Yixin walked up to us and commented, "Well, it sure doesn’t look like you’ve achieved much. Unless I’m mistaken, I see only two Fire Earth Dragon Horns in your camp. Were the monsters that hard for you to defeat?"

Embarrassment flashed across the thief’s face for an instant. "Well… truth be told, we came here as a 70-man group during the first month. However, the Fire Earth Dragons proved fiercer than we expected, and we lost nearly half of our members in the first month. After half a year of wind-feeding and rain-drinking, we managed to collect two Fire Earth Dragon Horns, but our numbers have also dwindled to just 7."

I smiled politely. "What do you want with these Fire Earth Dragon Horns anyway?"

The thief answered honestly, "Fire Earth Dragon Horns are rare materials that can be used to forge flame-type daggers. Three years ago, the infamous leader of the Sword Hero Thieves wielded a dagger called Night Flame. It was forged using the Fire Earth Dragon Horns. However, it takes the energy of 100 Fire Earth Dragon Horns to forge the weapon, so our leader ordered us to gather 100 of them within a year’s time. It looks like we’re going to fail our mission, however."

I spread my arms. "That’s fine! As you can see, we are a party of very powerful adventurers. We may be able to gather the materials you need."

The thief’s eyes immediately lit up. "Really?"

However, He Yi elbowed me lightly before whispering, "Aren’t we going to Dragon Domain?"

I explained, "Grinding is grinding no matter where we are, right? We might as well complete this quest before resuming our way. Don’t worry, our quest at Dragon Domain is an SSS Rank main quest. Literally no one besides us has the power to complete it…"

He Yi smiled a little. "Okay then!"

……

The thief looked like he had found his savior, however. More accurately, he looked like he had found a useful prey. A cunning glint flashed across his eyes before he began, "Young brave adventurers, if you truly can gather 100 Fire Earth Dragon Horns for us, I promise to give you a rare treasure that will make you the richest and strongest person in the entire world!"

"Oh? What is it?" I asked.

This time, Lin Yixin was the one who grabbed my arm and whispered, "You don’t actually believe him, do you?"

I hid a snicker. "Of course not. If this thief truly possessed a treasure like that, he wouldn’t be struggling with these Fire Earth Dragons. Dude’s a weakling through and through…"

"OMG. What are you planning then?"

"Ever heard of the saying ‘you can’t catch tiger cubs without entering a tiger’s lair’?"

It was at this moment the thief took out a parchment with the utmost care before saying, "This is a treasure map. It marks the location of the greatest treasure in Fire Dragon Canyon. If you manage to collect 100 Fire Earth Dragon Horns, I’ll give you this one and only treasure map as my thanks!"


1. T/N: Pure Love’s true name for those who forgot

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