−20… −20… −20…
What a strong corrosive poison!
Nie Yan didn’t dare to meet the Serpentine Lizard head-on. He rolled out of the poisonous mist, slipping past its head, and landed right next to it. In fact, he was so close he see each ashen black scale.
The Serpentine Lizard immediately swept its thick and powerful tail at him in response.
The tail resembled a whip as it whistled through the air at a ridiculous velocity.
He’d be done for if the lizard’s attack were to land. Even if he was lucky enough to survive, he’d still end up losing the greater half of his health!
His movement speed explosively increased by thirty percent. Even then, it barely allowed him to keep up with the Serpentine Lizard. He quickly pulled away and evaded the attack by a hair’s breadth. Then, he turned tail and leapt over a large patch of shrubbery whereupon he gracefully landed back on the ground and fled for his life.
The Serpentine Lizard shifted its massive five-meter body and went in immediate pursuit.
Two silhouettes, one large and the other small, rapidly traversed the marshes.
Nie Yan glanced back from the corner of his eye and noticed the Serpentine Lizard shortening the distance by every second. He activated a Basic Haste Scroll and bolstered his speed by another twenty percent.
Although its target had been pulled further away, the Serpentine Lizard didn’t falter and continued to give chase. They were known as the most difficult monster to deal with in the marsh. The moment they set their sights on their prey, as long as it was still within the boundaries of the marsh, they would be unrelenting in their pursuit.
Nie Yan’s mind was in turmoil. He knew Swift Retreat’s duration wouldn’t last long, and when the timer ran out, the Serpentine Lizard would close the distance and catch up.
His eyes frantically swept over the surroundings as he searched for some way to live. Although he knew it would be incredibly difficult to survive this encounter, he didn’t want to sit and wait for death.
When all seemed lost, a surge of electricity emerged amidst the gaps of some distant thickets. His pupils contracted as his heart rapidly beat with excitement. He immediately moved towards the source of this magic.
Though a forbidden zone for low-level players, the Natlan Marsh was a wonderland for experts, a statement which held especially true for elite teams. Many of them came here for no other reason than to retrieve a certain item that could be found in this marsh—the Revive skill book!
The Marsh Monitors had a one in ten thousand chance of dropping this skill book. Despite its low drop rate, it was heavily sought after because of its incredible value in a team, so much that its importance far outstripped everything else. A Priest who learned the skill could revive a fallen teammate. Such an effect was a substantial buffer against potential losses in a run. At times, it could even save the team from being completely wiped!
Other than the Revive skill book, players could find decent equipment such as the Moon Chaser Staff, which gave Lightning Damage +9 and Intelligence +5, and the Sacred Wind Mallet, which gave Holy Shield +8 and Resilience +5. The common mobs in the marsh did drop Silver- or Gold-grade equipment but like the Revive book, their drop rates were quite low.
The equipment that came out of this map were of good quality. Moreover, since a team had recently found the Revive skill book while training here, increasingly more players flocked to this map in search of it. Therefore, the number of experts in the marsh weren’t all that few.
Elsewhere at an earlier time.
“Why hasn’t Candy returned yet?” asked a dark-faced man in crimson bone armour. His name was Dark Eternal Sin. He could be considered a well-known figure, though his fame lay outside the game. Before Conviction’s release, there were several other famous Virtual Reality Games such as Kings Tree and Purgatory. Dark Eternal Sin was the guild leader of Dark Empire and a powerful overlord in these games. However, to the surprise of others, he had chosen not to re-establish his guild when he entered Conviction, and instead he had only formed a team with his close friends. Nonetheless, he and his team were not to be underestimated. In fact, they were quite amazing. His Death’s Sacrifice +2 armour set was proof of this. It belonged to a Level 5 Gold-grade equipment set, and he had successfully upgraded it twice with Fortune Gems. Its properties could be rated as one of the highest among similar equipment.
Dark Eternal Sin chose Berserker as his profession. He had a tall stature, a fairly tan skin tone, and a ferocious appearance. Wherever he stood, he seemed like an immovable iron tower. At the centre of his bone armour was a giant skull that radiated a crimson glow. His weapon of choice was a black greatsword which he currently held in his hands. It was excessively broad, over two meters in length, and permeated with destructive power.
Dark Eternal Sin had brought over six of his members to train here. Excluding him, there were three Mages, one Priest, and one Thief. The person he had previously mentioned was the team’s Thief.
“There are probably no more monsters left for her to aggro,” the Holy Mage replied. She wore a pure-white robe that emitted a faint glow. Her staff appeared to radiate light as well, specifically from the clear crystal embedded at the end.
Her appearance was beautiful, and she held a faint seductive charm. Her figure wasn’t bad either. She was relatively tall, and her cleavage was full of allure. When paired with her Dancing Light Gown, she became quite enchanting.
“You’re probably right. There aren’t many monsters in this spot anymore. If she doesn’t go a bit farther, she won’t be able to pull any over.” Eternal Sin nodded his head in agreement.
At the same moment, a Thief appeared within their sights. She could be seen leading roughly a dozen Marsh Monitors towards their location.
Her appearance was exceptionally delicate and pretty. Her skin was fair and worthy of making any woman feel jealous. However, for some reason, she gave off a dark, murderous aura that couldn’t be put into words.
She was quite agile; she gracefully dodged the Marsh Monitors’ attacks while bringing them over.
In the former Dark Empire guild, she was absolutely someone who shouldn’t be overlooked—she was known as the deadliest member of their roster. The type of professions she previously played in other games were always Assassins, Thieves, and the like. During her run in these older games, numerous experts ended up dying by her hands. Her reputation was so terrifying that expressions would change into horror upon the mention of her name.
“Su Yan (White Smoke), prepare your magic!” Eternal Sin commanded. He prepared himself for Candy’s approach alongside the monsters in tow by grasping both hands on his greatsword firmly. The spot they chose to station at held advantageous terrain.
Su Yan and the two other Mages, an Elementalist and an Arcane Mage, brandished their staffs and began casting their spells. Soon, magical energy rapidly gathered in the air.
However, the one that brought the most attention among the three seemed to be the Elementalist. The air above him flashed and surged with electricity. As he held his staff with one hand, the other was raised in the air with his palms facing the sky. The electricity slowly began condensing above his palm and transformed into a massive sphere.
Yet the Elementalist continued to chant his magic. It seemed like a high-level spell that required more than one set of syllables to cast. As he persisted with his incantation, the magical symbols appeared like tadpoles swimming in the air, dissipating as they rose into the sky.
Eternal Sin observed the ten or so Marsh Monitors charging closer. In the next moment, he brandished his greatsword and ran up to meet them. He let out a roar and used Whirlwind Slash, clashing with three of them in close distance.
At the same time, a brilliant beam of light and an Arcane Fireball fell over the group of Marsh Monitors.
「Boom! Boom!」The two spells exploded on impact. Even after their spells landed, the Elementalist named Lei Fa (Lightning Magic) was still in the middle of casting.
Meanwhile, on the frontline, Eternal Sin was chugging an Anti-Paralysis Potion. After he finished drinking it, he violently cleaved at a nearby Marsh Monitor that was low-health and killed it. “Dammit! Elemental Temple Magic is too inconvenient. It’s been so long yet it still hasn’t been cast!”
Just as he spoke, a giant of ball of lightning whistled past his head and flew towards the group of Marsh Monitors ahead.「Boom!」The sphere of lightning exploded like fireworks. Electric sparks crackled and scattered in an explosion. In a single flash, the spell had annihilated six Marsh Monitors.
−360, −360, −360…
A cluster of damage numbers rose above the group of lizards.
There was a wide crater left in the earth from the impact of the spell. Marsh Monitor corpses were littered everywhere while the ones that weren’t directly hit suffered heavy damage nonetheless.
“Though its destructive power is pretty good…” Eternal Sin swept his gaze over the scene. This spell was extremely powerful, but it was only good for mobbing. A spell that took such a long time to cast was completely worthless in PvP situations.
After casting the spell, the Elementalist’s mana bar was completely drained. He sat to the side cross-legged and drank a flask of Spring Water to replenish mana.