Before the imposing five-meter tall Seres Tothe, Dark Gladiator appeared to be naught but a feeble house gecko.
The golden armoured lord, who resembled a titan that had resurrected from antiquity, emanated an incredibly oppressive aura.
Things would dangerous if Seres Tothe was allowed to get within striking range!
Upon receiving Nie Yan’s command, Dark Gladiator suddenly soared into the air and then, after reaching an optimal height, plummeted towards the earth in an attempt to dive-bomb its opponent.
Seeing Dark Gladiator closing in on him, the pale cyan flames in Seres Tothe’s eyes pulsated. He gazed over the frail skeleton dragon, his eyes showing utter disdain, and raised his arm up towards it. With a single flick of the wrist, he sent it crashing into the ground before it even had a chance to reach him.
「BOOM!」Dark Gladiator fell to the ground and tumbled along until finally colliding with one of the tomb walls.
Seres Tothe’s damage output was truly terrifying. Even Dark Gladiator, who possessed a formidable defense, instantly lost over twenty percent of its health in a single strike.
Regardless, Dark Gladiator still stumbled back to its feet and charged at Seres Tothe once more.
If Dark Gladiator couldn’t hold off the boss, then Nie Yan would have no hope of escaping.
It was truly an unfortunate situation, as a servant like Dark Gladiator was hard to come by. However, in a life or death plight such as this, he didn’t really have any other choice. Besides, there wasn’t much time left on Undead Rite.
Once Dark Gladiator drew near, it pounced on Seres Tothe and latched onto his waist, firmly refusing to loosen its grasp. In response, however, Seres Tothe simply raised his golden longsword.「Slash!」A streak of light cleaved through Dark Gladiator’s shoulder and cleanly lopped off its arm. Then, he followed with an elbow strike, which knocked aside the frail bone dragon like a ragdoll.
Like most undead, Seres Tothe’s actions were extremely clumsy and stiff. Because of this, Dark Gladiator was just barely able to avoid a fatal blow.
However, the undead dragon was only hanging on by a thread. With merely twenty-one percent of its health left, it wouldn’t be able to withstand another one of Seres Tothe’s attacks.
Now, with Dark Gladiator nearly out of commision, Nie Yan felt as though his heart would burst from anxiety. Although Dark Gladiator had slightly hindered Seres Tothe’s movements, it still failed at holding him back.
Twelve seconds… Fourteen seconds… Fifteen seconds…
The plan had failed, Seres Tothe couldn’t be stopped. Presently, the golden armoured lord was standing before him with his massive body ominously looming over Nie Yan. Seres Tothe’s sword flickered with a sharp glint as he gradually raised it high above his head. Nie Yan knew only one thing was certain, he’d die if he allowed that sword to hit him!
Staring at the sword, Nie Yan couldn’t help but imagine himself being chopped in half. He quickly glanced over at Dark Gladiator who was still struggling to get up. C’mon! C’mon! Hurry up!
Dark Gladiator crawled back to its feet. Though it still appeared to be somewhat unsteady, it charged at Seres Tothe once again.
「Bang!」Just as Seres Tothe’s sword was about to come down on Nie Yan and cleave him in half, Dark Gladiator rammed its skeletal frame into Seres Tothe and caused him to stumble. Seemingly infuriated that a lower being had caused him to stagger, Seres Tothe brandished his longsword and attacked in retaliation.
A cold arc of light followed his sword as it slashed across Dark Gladiator’s skeletal frame, splitting it in half. The bone dragon’s halves collapsed to the ground and shattered.
After turning Dark Gladiator into a pile of bone fragments, Seres Tothe turned its attention back to the other pest that he had been too preoccupied to deal with.
Eighteen… Nineteen… Twenty!
Luckily, by then, the Return Scroll had already finished channeling. A bright radiance shone from the teleportation circle beneath Nie Yan’s feet as he disappeared from the tomb.
The scenery in front of Nie Yan changed as he emerged from Calore’s transfer point. Yet, despite his successful escape, his heart was still racing. I finally got away from that bastard. It’s unfortunate I ended up losing Dark Gladiator in the process though…
Ah, whatever. There was nothing else I could’ve done. Even if I didn’t sacrifice him, he would’ve disappeared soon anyway.
Nevertheless, he had still accomplished his objective, which of course was retrieving Sulgata’s Boots. Now he just needed to figure out how he could equip them as quickly as possible.
「Where are you guys?」Nie Yan messaged Young Seven and his crew.
「We’ve already returned to Calore. We’re at the alchemy shop right now,」Young Seven replied. They had actually returned pretty early on to restock. Since there were simply too many mobs in Sulgata, they ended up burning through their supply of consumables fairly quickly.
「Alright, meet me at the auction house.」
「No problem. See ya there.」
After some time, Young Seven and his team arrived at the auction house and spotted Nie Yan waiting just outside.
“Nice to see you,” Nie Yan greeted and nodded his head in acknowledgement. If it weren’t for their help back in Sulgata, he wouldn’t have been able to to find those gems or retrieve Sulgata’s Boots.
“Likewise,” Young Seven replied, followed by Forgotten and the others who joined in.
“Did you complete your quest?” Forgotten asked. He didn’t bother to pry any further than that though, as the contents of Nie Yan’s quest were his business and his alone.
“I completed it.” Nie Yan nodded in reply. “According to my original offer, I owe you all a Gold-grade piece of equipment.”
“It’s fine. You don’t need to compensate us,” Young Seven replied.
“Two of your members ended up dying. I can’t just leave you empty-handed! How would I be able to live with myself?” Nie Yan insisted as he sent Young Seven a trade request. He held a favourable impression of Young Seven and his team. They were sincere and kept to their word, so he’d be sure to keep in contact with them in the future.
Urged on by Nie Yan, Young Seven finally hit accept, which brought up a trade window in front of him. However, when he saw the item that appeared in the window, his eyes widened in surprise.
It was a pair of shoulder guards for Fighters! Although it could only be equipped at Level 10, it didn’t detract from the fact that it was definitely a good piece of equipment! Strength +13, and Resilience +17… This sort of item would definitely sell for at least thirty silvers or higher on the marketplace!
Young Seven initially thought Nie Yan would simply give them some random piece of Gold-grade equipment. After all, even the most average pieces of Gold-grade equipment were still quite expensive since their base properties were innately higher. He could never have imagined that Nie Yan would actually give him something of such high quality. Thinking of how beneficial it would be for them, he no longer had any plans of refusing Nie Yan’s kindness. Otherwise, he’d be failing his responsibility as a leader to his team considering that a Fighter’s defense played an incredibly significant role in most teams.
“Since you insist, refusing would be impolite. Brother Nie Yan, if anything comes up and you need our help, please don’t hesitate to ask. We’ll definitely do our best to lend a helping hand!” Young Seven replied in a truly sincere manner, unlike earlier when he was putting on a pretense of being polite.
Truthfully, Nie Yan did in fact plan to give them an ordinary Gold-grade item in his bag. However, when he saw them giving an earnest effort to help him, to the point of even losing two of their members in the process, he changed his mind. He couldn’t possibly let them suffer a loss. Besides, he didn’t mind giving it away since it wasn’t an item he could equip. As for the money he could have potentially received from selling it, he couldn’t care less for an amount he considered pocket change.
Nie Yan would have ended up disliking Young Seven if he had continued refusing out of politeness. He preferred people who were straightforward with their actions and didn’t mince their words. These kinds of people were easier to interact with; plus, they weren’t hypocrites. He glanced at Young Seven, then at the members in the back. “If I need any help in the future, I’ll keep you guys in mind. I might even ask you to form a team with me.”
“We’d gladly oblige!” Forgotten interrupted from the side. They never had a set team in the first place, and though they liked the idea of forming one, they always lacked the time. Nie Yan’s willingness to form a team with them was exactly what they were looking for. When they had met him near the pyramid earlier, they actually came with the intention of recruiting him. In retrospect, however, that didn’t seem all too likely because, after witnessing his prowess, they realized their little temple was much too small to host a deity like Nie Yan.
With the game servers having only been open for approximately two weeks, the number of players capable of forming a team wasn’t very high. For Nie Yan to have won over so many exceptional players during this short period was without a doubt an extremely good opportunity. It wasn’t like his current circumstances were all that bad either, though. He was able to frequently collect good items, farm high-level monsters, and occasionally join with other teams in dungeon runs.
With the transaction complete, Nie Yan continued chatting with Young Seven, Forgotten, and the others a little longer, which caused his impression of them to grow even more favourable. In the end, he had ended up adding all of them to his friends list so it would be easier to contact each other in the future.