“The Holy Apostles there have pretty decent drop rates. Have you and your friends gone to the Holy Monastery? Assuming your group cleared that instance, you ought to have more than just the Swift Retreat skill book on you. I’m wondering… do you have the Desperate Strike skill book as well?” Nie Yan asked in a casual tone. Since the other party had Swift Retreat, he might as well try to procure the other skill book he needed.
Hearing Nie Yan mention the Holy Monastery, the Holy Mage was momentarily dazed. He examined Nie Yan from head to toe and shook his head. “No, we’re far from being able to obtain a Desperate Strike skill book. We still haven’t entered because the monsters there are too strong for us. Friend, seeing as your equipment is good, I take it that you’ve cleared dungeons around that level before?”
“No, I’m only slightly knowledgeable. I’ve never gone there myself. Anyway, how much for the skill book?” Although he was disappointed that the other party didn’t have a Desperate Strike skill book, obtaining Swift Retreat wasn’t too bad either.
The Holy Mage felt a little skeptical. Most players who wore such good equipment should have already been through every dungeon at least once. Moreover, as a Thief player, how could Nie Yan have not entered the Holy Monastery? The dungeon was practically brimming with all sorts of Thief items, and it was a location all expert-level Thieves visited at least once.
“I’m looking to trade this skill book for equipment. Elementalist, Holy Mage, or Paladin equipment; any of those are fine,” the Holy Mage replied. He believed that the Swift Retreat skill book was valuable enough for him to exchange for several pieces of equipment.
Nie Yan made an awkward expression. He had already thrown all the equipment he didn’t need into the auction house. The only equipment he had right now was the Staff of Moonlight Worship, but he didn’t know if Yao Yao (Dark Mystery) wanted it or not.
“I can still sell to you directly if you don’t have equipment. Give me an offer my friend! If it’s reasonable, I’ll sell it to you. My name is Shenfa Wanxi (Past Destroying God). First meetings might be distant, but second encounters will bring us closer! Even if our trade fails, I hope we’ll remain on good terms!” After observing Nie Yan’s actions, he noticed the other party’s calm demeanor. He considered his own judgement to be decent; therefore, he felt Nie Yan was definitely an expert.
Shenfa Wanxi…? Of the people he knew, Nie Yan vaguely recalled that he had heard of such a player in the past. Though only slightly famous, Shenfa Wanxi was known for having gotten into a conflict with Victorious Return at some point. He and his friends massacred several hundred members of their guild, only to vanish into thin air afterward. Alas, solo players who didn’t have strong backings were destined to always be met with setbacks if they tried to take on a guild.
Numerous players had suffered at the hands of Victorious Return, Nie Yan himself being one such person. And perhaps because he felt they had experienced similar fates, he now held a more favourable impression of Shenfa Wanxi. At that point in time, Shenfa Wanxi’s fame outstripped his by a great margin. He had chosen to fight, unlike Nie Yan and his friends who had no choice but to hole up in the mountain ravines when they were being hunted by Victorious Return. “I’m Nie Yan (Nirvana Flame). Since you want me to make an offer for the skill book… One silver and fifty coppers; how does that sound?” Nie Yan was a rather wealthy and offered such a high price without batting an eye.
No matter how expensive the Swift Retreat skill book became, it certainly wouldn’t be worth more than one silver and fifty coppers.
“That’s too much, Even this skill book wouldn’t be sold at such a high price. It’s enough for you to just give me one silver.” Shenfa Wanxi didn’t shy away from Nie Yan’s frank and straightforward attitude. Since the other side wanted to befriend him, why shouldn’t he reciprocate? Inside the game, having another friend meant having another option. Be it trading equipment or forming a team for a raid, befriending a few more experts would make all these things much easier.
“How many people are in your group?” Nie Yan asked. Since he needed a team to run dungeons, he’d eventually have to find some members to form one. Perhaps he could follow Shenfa Wanxi and his friends into a dungeon run.
The game had just recently opened, so the number of players who had fixed teams were quite few. As for experts, they needed to carefully choose the right team before entering any instances or dungeons. However, good teams were hard to come by. Thus, many of these players who were looking for teams were likely to group together to form one.
Shenfa Wanxi’s eyes brightened upon hearing Nie Yan’s inquiry. “You want to run a dungeon? I have six people on my side. They’re all classmates from the same university and decently skilled. We have five players who are Level 4 and one that’s Level 6, but he always runs dungeons with other people. However, he’ll definitely come with us if we call him since we’re all classmates. Our group is divided into one Berserker, three Mages, and two Paladins.”
“I might make a team, but I haven’t made any plans for now. Depending on the circumstances, we’ll see when the time comes,” Nie Yan said with a light smile.
“Oh…” Shenfa Wanxi felt slightly disappointed, but Nie Yan’s answer made more sense after thinking about it. Forming a team wasn’t an easy affair. “Our equipment is more than a little lacking. So it’ll be somewhat inconvenient for us to run the lower level dungeons just to improve our gear. Not to mention, with the way our group is composed, we often can’t find a team to join.”
“The equipment isn’t a problem. How about this? When I find some more people in the future, I’ll come looking for you guys, alright?” Nie Yan replied then sent a friend request to Shenfa Wanxi.
“No worries. Just call me whenever you’re ready!” Hearing Nie Yan’s promise, Shenfa Wanxi’s heart was filled with expectation.
If he planned on continuing to develop in the future, it was a must that he secured his own team. While finding the right players was a troublesome matter, randomly picking people off the streets would often lead to mixed results. It would be a tragedy if he ended up recruiting a bottom-feeder who didn’t put in any effort and impeded the team instead. However, this sort of matter should be set aside for after he formed the team. In any case, even if they were bad eggs, all he needed to do was kick them.
Since Shenfa Wanxi insisted, he didn’t argue any further and bought the skill book for one silver. Swift Retreat was an escape skill. In other words, it was a skill used in a situation where a player couldn’t beat an opponent and chose to run, which was fairly common. Swift Retreat increased a Thief’s movement speed by thirty percent for one minute when escaping, enabling them to quickly put some distance between them or even completely escape from the enemy. Occasionally, such skills aided the player in avoiding a calamity.
Nie Yan continued to chat with Shenfa Wanxi. In any case, he wasn’t in a hurry to level because there were plenty of opportunities out there. It would only be a matter of time before he’d catch up with those top ranked players.
“Where did you guys find so many medicinal plants?” Nie Yan asked. He noticed that the majority of items for sale in Shenfa Wanxi’s booth were plants.
“We can’t help it. Three of the members in our five-player group learned the Gatherer skill. We didn’t really train much and picked herbs instead,” Shenfa Wanxi replied and forced out a somewhat helpless smile.
Nie Yan more or less understood what he meant. For players without a guild, if they didn’t improve their Gatherer skill or other side professions, they’d have a difficult time keeping up. Shenfa Wanxi being able to equip Holy Walker and Wind of the Fallen Moon meant he was doing well for himself. His equipment was even better than many players who joined guilds.
Nie Yan pondered for a moment. He thought about the people he could call when he wanted to form his own team. There was Tang Yao, Shenfa Wanxi, and his five friends. As for a good Fighter, he wasn’t confident that Bladelight would come. However, since he was selling the Lion King’s Shield to Bladelight, the latter was certain to reciprocate this favour by giving him face. Perhaps he could call a few others to join as well. After that, he could recruit a few strangers to fill the remaining spots and form a passable team.
“No wonder you set up next to the Alchemist Guild’s doorway!” Nie Yan laughed. Only Alchemists would want so many medicinal ingredients. “You keep on selling your things then. I’ll be taking my leave. We’ll talk some other time!”
“Alright!” Shenfa Wanxi replied.