Undead Swordsman Suren laughed at me while swinging his bony arms. “Young undead, your growth has truly been an eye-opener to me. Who would’ve thought that you would become a Bone Lord in less than two months? This is great news, the Night Creatures shall be joined by a powerful warrior very soon!”
Then, Suren’s eyes turned serious as he continued, “However, a threat from the distant lands is approaching us, and our enemies are everywhere on this continent! Young undead, we must grab our weapons and kill them if we wish to survive in this world. We will pave a path of blood and usher a new age! But for now, a group of evil undeads has recently occupied a ridge to the south called Crow Ridge. An old friend of mine lives there, and he asked me for help in a letter I got two days ago. Head to Crow Ridge immediately and investigate the situation over there.”
System Notice: Do you accept the quest [Crow Ridge]? (Quest Rank: C)
I instinctively shivered with anticipation. Another C rank quest? This is perfect. This is what I need to boost my level!
I accepted the quest and put Frost Mound Camp behind me. Then, I opened the world map and searched for Crow Ridge. This eerie-sounding leveling zone was situated not far away to the south of Floating Ice City, and on the map the entire area was dyed in red color. Clearly it wasn’t an area that was meant to be crossed, and most players heeded the warning because the Greedy Wolves outside of Crow Ridge alone were already Level 40 or higher. As of now, an average player had no hope of beating something that strong.
Beneath the moonlight, a small skeleton fitted himself with a powerful set of equipment. He wore a dark Cyanfire Cloak on his shoulders, Soul Turmoil Armor around his upper body, and Beast-faced Turmoil Helmet on his head. He held a sharp blade that glowed like fire regardless of the time, and the arm holding the blade was covered with a crimson metal wristguard, making it look like it had been dyed with blood. It was none other than Blood Shadow Bracers the little skeleton had obtained not long ago.
Buzzing, my Dark Wasp flew up, down, left, right and diagonal again and again until I felt like killing it with a flyswatter. I had changed its name from “Wind Fantasy” to “F-22” after Lin Yixin’s strong protest, but later on I thought it sounded too imperialistic. So, I changed its name again to “Little White Rabbit”, a good name that allowed the imagination to roam.
I ran across the dangerous Wild Bear Forest. I encountered many players from Floating Ice City while I was making way toward Crow Ridge, and quite a couple of them looked tempted to PK me for my equipment. In the wild, my blood-red ID marked me as a killable target, and anyone with a pair of discerning eyes could tell that my items were rarities with stat bonuses at minimum.
Beside the road, a trio of players who were busy killing a bear suddenly stopped moving and stared at my equipment. They were Level 27 and haven’t undergone their second class promotion, the meaning behind their intent gazes as clear as day.
I sneered. Man, everyone wants a piece of me these days.
I openly revealed my full ID.
Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand LV-42 Bronze Undead Swordsman.
Hmph hmph, I welcome anyone who has a death wish!
I propped the Weeping Fire Blade on my shoulders and walked past them with a smile on my face. As I thought, no one dared to lift a finger against me. I was the number three pro on the Heavenly Ranking, and at this point I was pretty famous in Floating Ice City thanks to the legendary feats I had committed. For example, I had worked together with the Fruit Knife Goddess, Wind Fantasy, to snatch a boss from right under Mad Dragon’s nose. I had also single-handedly defeated several top-tier pros of the Domination Clan, including the leader himself, Dominating Heaven Blade.
When I neared the outer edge of Crow Ridge, a couple of Level 41 and 42 Greedy Wolves showed up, as expected. However, with my Dark Wasp, these mobs were no longer any threat to me; I could just one-shot them. Unfortunately, I would still wear down my weapon and lose durability… not that it stopped me at all.
After clearing out the Greedy Wolves, I stepped into Crow Ridge.
A vast sea of morning fog covered my sight. It was almost impossible to see anything that was two or three steps away clearly. As I and my Dark Wasp felt our way carefully, soft, ghastly wails would occasionally make their way to our ears. Crow Ridge was definitely an ominous place.
Suddenly, my Dark Wasp flapped its small wings and and hissed violently toward a certain direction. It must’ve sensed a powerful opponent.
I raised my eyebrows and ordered, “Take ‘em out, Little White Rabbit!”
My Dark Wasp immediately charged forward and plunged its sting into something that I couldn’t see behind the fog. When I raised my sword and charged into the fog myself, I discovered that the enemy was a monstrous woman with a translucent body and very messy hair. It looked like it was sculpted from a block of crystal, and it screamed like a wraith as it wrestled against my pet.
Introduction: Once a female human, her soul was possessed by the devil. These vengeful ghosts who can’t enter the cycle of reincarnation are doomed to roam the wilderness forever. Eventually, they become incredibly violent and destructive.
Level 45? It’s just the mob I was looking for!
I raised my sword and charged forward to support my Dark Wasp. I successfully dealt massive damage with a lightning-quick Pardon + Slayer Slash combo and elicited a bloodcurdling scream from the Night Banshee!
The mob was almost within one-shot range after my Dark Wasp attacked it with 3-hit Flurry. One quick basic attack later, the Night Banshee took 445 damage and died!
The Night Banshee faded way, turning into a stream of light that flew into me, boosting my experience. It also dropped a 55 Quality Big Magic Stone. Tsk tsk, how shoddy. I would be lucky if it managed to fetch a price of 10 silver.
I opened my palm and shouted, “Death Plunder!”
System Notice: You have obtained Ragged Cloth!
A rotten piece of cloth appeared in my hands, and I threw it away like the rubbish it was. The cloth landed beautifully atop of the Dark Wasp’s head, causing it to struggle like its very life depended on it. By the time it finally tore the cloth to shreds and broke free, I had already absorbed the Night Banshee’s soul spark and left to search for my next target.
I wandered around Crow Ridge for about an hour or so before the blazing hot sun finally dispelled the fog completely. It was a barren and rather uninteresting place with human skeletons littering the ground and rows of crows standing atop wilted tree branches. I spotted a couple of dilapidated houses atop a distant mound. They were literally wobbling due to the harsh wind that was blowing against their walls.
Hmm, if I have to guess, Suren’s old friend probably lives in one of those houses!
I nodded confidently to myself before fighting my way toward the house with my pet. Hordes of Level 45 banshees or Level 45 skeleton mooks stood in my way, but their end was one and the same—death, and their undead sparks taken by yours truly.
I kicked open the wooden door of the rightmost house and looked inside. Manners? I’m a Night Creature, not a gentleman.
The little house was completely empty. This probably meant that my target was in the next building.
I went to the second house and gave its rotten door a gentle push. To my surprise, it fell inward and split in half on the floor!
Damn, the door had crumbled at the slightest touch. Does it mean I’m a jinx or something?
A terrible stench assaulted my nose the moment I entered the building. I even heard a strange swallowing noise coming from inside. What I saw stunned me into silence—
A corpse that barely qualified as an undead was tied to a long table. The reason I said this was because the corpse was struggling quite visibly against its binds. Its stomach was covered in stitches, and its face was that of a middle-aged man. Its eyes were completely rolled to the back of its skull, and it was screaming with a face filled with pain. A test tube filled with some sort of green liquid was secured right above his chest.
Working beside the corpse was an old man with white hair and a rosy complexion. He was shaking the green liquid inside his gooseneck flask, and the line of text floating above his head read “Court Alchemist, Shuy”.
Shuy turned purple when he saw my arrival. He murmured, “Are… are you a high-rank Night Creature? How… how did you find this place?”
“You seem quite afraid of Night Creatures?” I asked.
Shuy uttered through gritted teeth, “Those damn monsters are responsible for turning the living into the living dead! I would burn their bodies and scatter their ashes in the abyss if I could!”
I replied, “Relax, I’m not a Night Creature. I’m just an aimless undead searching for the courage to live on despite having lost my living body.”
Shuy finally relaxed and nodded. “Alright, young undead. How did you find this place?”
“My teacher, the Undead Swordsman Suren asked me to come over and help you out.”
“Aha, that old fellow? Now that I think about it, he’s been dead for over 50 years, hasn’t he? I didn’t think he would still remember me. In that case, student of Suren, I have a very difficult quest that I would like you to accomplish for me!”
“Mn. Tell me.”
Shuy put down the flask he was holding and pointed at the undead on the table. “As you can see, I’m performing an experiment. Night Creatures have the ability to transform humans into destructive beings that are neither living nor dead. Hmph! In that case, I, the Court Alchemist, will attempt the opposite and return a Night Creature to the realm of living!
“Is that so?”
I put my hand over the undead’s nose to see if he was well and truly dead. But to my surprise, the damn thing tried to take a bite from my hand!
However, the metal covering my hands was more than adequate protection against the sudden attack. Instead of biting off my fingers, the undead lost two of its incisors instead.
I looked at Shuy and asked, “Esteemed master, is this the result of your research?”
Shuy scratched his head and laughed. “This is just a minor accident, young man. Although a Night Creature’s bite can cause a human to catch the plague and transform into a Night Creature, you were already dead in the first place. Naturally, you have nothing to worry about.”
I nodded. “What should I do?”
Shuy let out a cough before declaring, “At a small town approximately 500 meters to the south of Crow Ridge, a group of vile Night Creatures has built a giant stove to cook the bodies of the dead and spread the plague. You will head there immediately, kill them all and fill this flask with the venom in their stove! If you can accomplish this without dying even once, I will bestow a generous reward upon you. Now, make haste, young undead!”
System Notice: You have accepted the quest [Night Creatures’ Venom]! (Quest Rank: C)
Description: Head to the town to the south of Crow Ridge. Kill 1000 Vile Imps and collect one Night Creature Venom Sample for Court Alchemist Shuy. Be careful, imps boast great numbers and offensive power. They can tear you to pieces!
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