Fate tended to operate in an unfathomable way. It could grant a person a short respite during their time of suffering, only to send them straight to eternal damnation afterwards.
Life, or death? Nobody knew for certain what fate had in store for them.
If he wasn’t willing to take on the risks, he wouldn’t have crushed the skull in the first place.
Nie Yan forcefully calmed his mind and extended his hand over the die. A bountiful reward, or a malignant curse, the final result of his gamble would remain shrouded in mystery until this final die came to a stop.
The Fate Die began to spin and tumble in the air as his unknown fate beckoned to him.
Seeing the die rotating at a dizzying speed, he broke out in a cold sweat. Please… Please don’t let it be a curse!
“Stop!” He felt like his heart was going to explode out of his chest.
The die immediately halted, and the strange demonic character revealed before his eyes was shockingly… a five! Another five! Perhaps five was his lucky number!
The surprising result of the final roll left Nie Yan feeling an indescribable amount of bliss. His only hope was that he wouldn’t roll another curse. He never actually thought that he would receive a reward, much less what the reward might be.
After all, rolling three Fate Dice wasn’t something an ordinary player could afford. This extremely dangerous gamble made him feel as though his heart had been constricted from all the stress.
「System: You’ve received Pandora’s Box.」
Pandora’s Box (Fate Item)
What the hell! Another Fate Item!? The first one had already given him enough of a headache, yet he was given a second one! If this one was just like the first and could cause him to be cursed, then he’d rather have it disappear. After experiencing the fickle nature of the Fate Dice, he vowed to never partake in such a terrifying gamble again.
Partaking in a dangerous gamble like that just once was more than enough, so he wouldn’t regret letting the second chance disappear.
Pandora’s Box was a perfectly shaped, silver-gray cube. On each face was a different carving depicting various things such as a sinister skull, a fiendish devil, an angel, and so on. Not only were the carvings both vivid and lifelike, they were also meticulously detailed.
In addition, these carvings seemed to be imbued with a peculiar energy.
Nie Yan examined Pandora’s Box a bit more closely. Fortunately for him, it didn’t fall under the same category as the Cursed Skull. In fact, it was actually quite the treasure!
Pandora’s Box (Fate Item)
➢Insert three pieces of equipment of equal grade into Pandora’s Box for a 10% chance of obtaining a piece of equipment of a higher grade. All pieces of equipment are destroyed upon failure.
➢Insert a piece of equipment and a Fortune Gem for a chance of raising its grade by one. Upon failure, the piece of equipment is demoted by a grade.
➢Counter (cycle = 3 seconds) begins when activated. If cycle number is even, Luck +5. If cycle is odd, Luck −5.
User Restriction: Can be used by all factions.
This item was actually quite a rarity. Although he had heard of such an item in the past, Nie Yan had never actually come across one himself. In addition, it didn’t lose out one bit to Legendary-grade equipment in value. He could put three pieces of Gold equipment inside Pandora’s Box for a ten percent chance of getting a piece of Dark Gold equipment in return. Of course, there was a ninety percent chance of failure as well, which meant the loss of all the items he had inserted, but the potential return was well worth the risk. For example, if he inserted three pieces of Dark Gold equipment into the box, he had a chance of obtaining a piece of Legendary equipment! The slight caveat was that very few players would actually dare to stake three pieces of Dark Gold equipment on such a gamble. After all, equipment of that rarity was extremely expensive and hard to obtain.
The second method allowed the player to raise the grade of their equipment by using Fortune Gems. These gems were expensive items created by Jewelcrafters that increased the success rate of inserting gems into equipment sockets. Usually their market price averaged around five silvers, but the real challenge was actually finding them being listed up for sale. Moreover, most of those who bought these gems couldn’t bear to actually use them.
The item’s ability to affect Luck was also very useful. It could influence the drop rate, crafting success rate, etc… Five points might not sound like much, but it was actually quite a significant amount of Luck. It could increase the drop rate when killing monsters by two hundred percent, crafting success rate by one-fifth, and so on. As for the inverse when the player’s Luck was reduced by five points… Let’s just say that, at that point, anything that could go wrong, was guaranteed to go wrong.
This item would basically divide the player’s time into two periods: one where they would be the luckiest man in the world, and one where they would be the most unfortunate soul in existence.
Nie Yan pondered for a moment. It wasn’t necessarily a lucky item, but he could try his best to trigger events when the timer was on an even cycle. Even though three seconds passed by in the blink of an eye, he was confident he would be able to gauge the timing properly.
This blessing had arrived so abruptly that he had yet to figure out what item grade Pandora’s Box belonged to. This was quite the conundrum, one he’d certainly need to slowly research lest he miss any details. But that was a task for the future, right now he needed to get moving. After standing up, Nie Yan stored Pandora’s Box away in his bag. It seemed that in this gamble, the risks had brought more reward than punishment.
Realizing that he was one step closer to understanding one of the many mysteries of fate, Nie Yan felt his heart beat fluctuate.
As soon as the Fate Dice disappeared, time in the area seemed to start moving again. The frozen skeletons in the distance resumed their movements and once again began closing in with the intent of surrounding him.
Many skeletons who had seen Nie Yan while patrolling the area attempted to get closer to him, but upon drawing near, they simply stopped in their tracks. It wasn’t until the Fate Dice disappeared that they finally resumed their pursuit. Because of this, a large mob of skeletons had gradually built up nearby. When Nie Yan looked over, he saw them packed tighter than sardines in a tin can.
“So many skeletons!” Nie Yan didn’t dare stay here any longer and hastily fled towards a nearby wall.
The outer district of Sulgata resembled an immense labyrinth. He didn’t even know his own location. He was simply relying on his own judgement as he moved towards the gigantic pyramid that stood at the center of the city.
While navigating the city, the distant pyramid made for a convenient landmark.
The skeletons didn’t stop their pursuit. As soon as the Skeleton Mages got within range, they raised their staffs and rained magic down upon his location.
Nie Yan leaped into the air, and just as he set foot on top of the wall…
「Boom! Boom! Boom!」The volley of spells battered the wall and sent a large amount of debris flying everywhere.
₋21, ₋27, ₋25…
Numerous damage values rose above Nie Yan’s head, bringing his health down to a third after only a single round of spells. There were just too many Skeleton Mages below him.
After drinking a Health Potion, he jumped down to the other side.
His landing was graceful, but that didn’t mean he was out of danger yet. The only way Nie Yan saw to shake off the skeletons was to deviate from his current path, which would bring him further and further from the pyramid at the center. However, he had no other choice. He had to lose the skeletons that were pursuing him.
Nie Yan eventually came across an opening that seemed to lead to one of the city’s public squares. Even further off in the distance, he was able to make out a colosseum. It must’ve surely been an imposing sight back in its prime, but now it was nothing more than ruins—surely the work of several centuries of erosion. Even though it was now in ruins, when Nie Yan stared at the dilapidated relic from a long gone era, he was still able to imagine how it would’ve looked in the past.
「System: You’ve discovered Sulgata Colosseum!」
So it was the city’s colosseum. Nie Yan had been through this area in the past, but he never actually took the time to look around and explore this colosseum.
While making his way through the plaza, Nie Yan suddenly felt something give underneath his foot. It’s a pitfall! He had been too distracted by the imposing sight of the colosseum in the distance, and didn’t bother to examine the area for traps. Thus, in his carelessness, he ended up stepping right into a trap.
Nie Yan suddenly leapt forward in an attempt to jump away before the ground beneath him completely collapsed. To his shock, however, he discovered that the pitfall trap he had stumbled into was gigantic. It spanned over twenty meters wide. How could he possibly leap that far away?
Before he could get away, the ground collapsed, sending Nie Yan into a free fall.
He didn’t know how deep the pitfall was, so he readied his Featherfall Gem. If the pitfall was too high, he’d have no choice but to use it to prevent himself from dying from fall damage.
「Thud!」However, those worries seemed to be unnecessary as he landed on the ground and only a twenty-six rose above his head. It seemed the pitfall wasn’t too deep, only around ten meters at most.