Chapter 32: Forest Python

I made over 200 Glutinous Rice Balls and sold them for 10 silver each, or 1 gold per stack. The price tag we put up was honestly on the expensive side, but because the demand was greater than supply we were able to sell everything and make a killing in just half an hour!

Floating Ice City was crawling with pros, and there were plenty of guilds and gaming workshops who planned to amaze the world with a brilliant feat. Supplies like these were absolutely critical in securing an early game advantage, but most players either couldn’t find the source of the ingredients or couldn’t win against the mobs that controlled the locations such as the Pheasants at Wild Pheasant Ridge. That was why people who possessed both the strength and the business acumen like me were able to lay claim to this opportunity before anyone else.

I checked my bag and counted 34 gold in total. I probably qualified to challenge Floating Ice City’s richest people ranking right now. I passed 10 gold to Du Thirteen and smiled. “Take this and go learn your class skills!”

“This is a lot!” Du Thirteen looked shocked.

“It’s fine, just spend the rest on potions.”

“Okay.”

After Du Thirteen had stocked up on potions, he formed a team with someone else and left to grind. I left the city myself to choose the location I would make my push to Level 30!

In Heavenblessed, Level 30 was undoubtedly a power spike point. Once a player reached it, they would be able to learn more skills and own up to three pets. Pets made battles a lot less time-consuming and troublesome than they were currently.

Before doing that though, I opened Floating Ice City’s Heavenly Ranking to take a look. I noticed that the placements had changed drastically again.

 

Name
Level
Class
Dominating Heaven Blade
29
Warrior
Inconstant
29
Magic Knight
Iron Pardon
29
Warrior
Dominating Knight God
28
Magic Knight
Dominating Archer God
28
Archer
Wind Fantasy
28
Light Wanderer
Dominating Mage God
28
Mage
Dominating Warrior God
28
Warrior
Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand
27
Undead Swordsman
Clear Perfume
27
Archer

 

I was barely hanging on to the 9th place, and even Lin Yixin was only at 6th because we killed the hell out of each other earlier. Meanwhile, Dominating Heaven Blade had claimed the top spot. As expected, he was no slouch in this game. Someone who could reach Level 29 in such a short time couldn’t be average.

Besides that, there were 4 other people from the Domination Clan on the Heavenly Ranking, meaning that half of its spots were taken by Domination Clan. Their sphere of influence must be through the roof right now!

I also needed to watch out for the two newcomers, Inconstant and Iron Pardon. They had surpassed their predecessors and broken into the Heavenly Ranking, so there had to be something special about them as well!

I was just about to take my leave when a beep suddenly entered my ears.

System Notice: Player “Iron Pardon” has sent you a friend request. Do you accept?

The notice caught me slightly off-guard. Iron Pardon was looking for me?

I confirmed the request and waited for a few seconds. A message soon appeared before me. “Hey there, Broken Halberd. Has your Cooking skill reached Rank 3?”

“Yes. What is it?” I didn’t try to hide my skill rank.

“It’s like this, I’d like to buy 50 Rank 3 Consumables from you, the kind that add 300 MP in 60 seconds. You can set the price, but I need them within 24 hours. Think you can manage?”

I mulled over the offer for a moment. It would be foolish to turn down a client, and so far this Iron Pardon seemed like a guy worth knowing.

I replied, “Alright, I’ll come to you in 24 hours. Fifty Rank 3 Consumables, 50 silver each. Is that okay with you?”

Iron Pardon didn’t reply for almost two minutes straight. If I had to guess, he was stunned by the exorbitant demand. Right now there were many players who didn’t even have 10 silver in their pockets, and here I was demanding 50 silver for Rank 3 Consumables. I didn’t think that I was being unreasonable, however. At this stage, the only reason someone would need this many Rank 3 Consumables was to prepare for a boss fight. Priests’ Rank 2 healing skills cost a lot of MP, and without Rank 3 Consumables, they were simply not sustainable. If a priest ran out of mana and the entire team lost their source of heals, they would lose far more than some gold and Rank 3 Consumables. Therefore, rather than an expenditure, it was more of an investment to prevent a bigger loss down the road.

As I expected, Iron Pardon replied after a few minutes, “Okay, 50 silver it is. The more, the better. We’ll take however many you’ll have by then!”

“Alright, that’s settled then. See you later!”

“See you later!”

I mulled over my plans for a moment before deciding to hunt for ingredients and experience at the same time. Yesterday, Du Thirteen told me that he only had a couple hundred RMB left in his pockets, so if we didn’t get any income soon, we would both starve.

I opened the skill window of my Cooking skill and checked the recipes for Rank 3 Consumables.

Green Pepper Meatball. Requires: Green Peppers x10, Glutinous Rice x20, Chicken Meat x10, Salt x15. Restores 300 MP.

I had plenty of Glutinous Rice, Chicken Meat and Salt in reserve, so the only ingredient I was missing was Green Pepper. Green Pepper was a Rank 4 ingredient, so it could only be harvested when the player’s Foraging skill had reached Rank 4. Coincidentally, after sweeping through almost the entire Glutinous Rice valley at Wildfire Plains, my Foraging skill had reached Rank 4 as early as half a day ago!

I wasn’t the player with the highest Foraging skill, but I was definitely the highest-level player out of all the foragers, and the player with the highest Foraging skill among all of the high-level players. They call people like me “masters of both the pen and the sword”, haha!

I checked the forums and typed “green pepper” into the search box. Public database had already gotten an entry about it. There was only one map in the entire region around Floating Ice City that boasted Green Pepper, and it was Cold Wind Canyon!

Cold Wind Canyon was situated very close to the borders at the far south of Frost Forest. It was one and a half hours away from Floating Ice City, and the road to it was riddled with deadly encounters with a variety of monsters. For casual players, this place might as well not exist. They would be killed long before they reached it anyway.

That being said, nothing ventured, nothing gained. After making up my mind, I traveled back to Floating Ice City and spent 2 gold on a return scroll. Dammit, that was an entire gold more than it was worth!

Right now, return scrolls were a luxury only the wealthy could buy. Those who played this game casually couldn’t afford it at all.

After that, I exited Floating Ice City and traveled to Cold Wind Canyon, all the while killing everything that stood in my way.

On the way, I encountered Level 30 goblins, Level 32 slimes, Level 27 wolves and Level 31 kobolds. None of them were a match for me, and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that I left a trail of bodies stretching all the way from Floating Ice City to Cold Wind Canyon. At first, I occasionally encountered a team or two who were going the same direction I was. But the further I traveled, the less frequent the encounters became, and eventually I was the only one left still trekking through the forest.

The metal of the Weeping Fire Blade faintly glowed orange. For obvious reasons, a Bronze-grade weapon with 40 Attack was an object of much envy, but my ID was enough to keep any would-be robbers at bay. I am Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand, a ranker from the Heavenly Ranking of Floating Ice City. Where would you find someone foolish enough to provoke my wrath?

I opened the world map and checked my location. I wasn’t far away from Cold Wind Canyon now. At most, it would take me ten minutes to reach my destination.

However, the scenery in front of me suddenly changed into a pitch-black forest. I could even hear ghastly cries from the trees from time to time. It looked like I had reached a high-level grinding zone!

For a moment, I felt conflicted and unsure. On one hand, this area was clearly not for a Level 27 player like me. On the other hand, coming this far and going back empty-handed left a bad taste in my mouth. In the end, I decided to take the risk and continued toward Cold Wind Canyon. I had to be brave, for riches and bitches!

Ding~!

System Notice: You’ve entered the neutral zone, Black Forest!

It was just as I thought!

I cautiously proceeded further into the forest while gripping the Weeping Fire Blade when I suddenly whiffed in a heavy tang of blood. Something’s attacking me!

“Ssss…”

Thanks to the moonlight, I was able to see a python clinging to a tree branch above me. It had an insanely long tongue, and it was looking at me with cold, brown eyes. I could feel my stomach churning underneath its gaze.

 

Forest Python (Common)

Level: 35

Attack: ???

Defense: ???

HP: ???

 

Its stats weren’t showing, and its level was way higher than mine! It was too late to run away, so I had no choice but to attack it first!

Crash!

I ran down the straight path and swung my sword down toward its head. The impact actually caused a shower of sparks and a loud clang before a number rose from its head—146!

Fuck! That hit didn’t even take away 10% of its HP!

The Forest Python hissed loudly before zooming in for a bite. It was too fast for me to dodge!

Crack!

I felt like my shoulder was being torn apart. Shit, I got hit

Beep!

Combat Log: Forest Python hit you, dealing 217 damage!

Not good, this monster’s defense was at least as strong as some bosses’!

I hastily took a few steps back and poured a health potion down my throat. The Forest Python was covered in green, scaly armor from head to toe, but its weak points were glowing faintly in silver!

To effectively wound a snake, you have to attack it at its weak points. And this python’s weak points are right… there!

I charged the python again before my health regenerated completely. Slayer Slash covered the Weeping Fire Blade in a greenish hue, tearing through the air!

414!

The Forest Python let out a terrible cry and lost a huge chunk of its HP.

Very good, now we’re talking!

I moved quickly and ran many perfect arcs around the Forest Python’s head. The Forest Python needed to lock on to its target before it could attack a target, but it couldn’t turn its head around too quickly. This meant that I could juke it again and again.

Thwack thwack!

224!

219!

The python hit me another two times during the fight, and I was very close to dying. However, I was able to strike the Forest Python’s weak point four times and kill it!

Pop!

I got two items for my effort. The first one was a 79 Quality Big Magic Stone. The second was a small, green bag that didn’t seem very useful to me at first glance.

 

Forest Python Sac: Rank 3. Contains poison.

 

It looked like a special ingredient used to create certain potions. At any rate it was useless to me, so I tossed it into my bag and decided to sell it when I got a chance to do so.

I then extended my hand toward the python’s dead body and used Death Plunder!

Ding! A pitch black object appeared in my hands. To my surprise, it was a spear, and a pretty good one to boot!

 

Forest Spear (Iron-grade)

Attack: 15~24

Strength: +3

Level Requirement: 24

 

I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw this. I wasn’t expecting to get this with my looting skill because so far, I had never gotten an equipment drop from Death Plunder on a monster!

I threw the Forest Spear into my bag and planned to sell it when I returned to Floating Ice City. The spear’s attack power was pretty good, so I might be able to sell it for a good price!

After I calmed down, I looked at the forest in front of me again. If there were Level 35 monsters already at the edge of Black Forest, then the ones deeper inside could only be more powerful.

Now I understood why no one had successfully created a Rank 3 Consumable yet. How could anyone pass through this forest and get to the key ingredients behind it?

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