This old fogey had always been one to treat his customers in a cold and indifferent fashion, an attitude that hadn’t changed one bit since Nie Yan had first met him in the previous timeline. When he stumbled upon this shop by accident back then, his level was already in the thirties. The items sold there were low-level and overpriced, so he only shopped there once or twice to buy a few things. As a result, he only vaguely remembered the location of the shop.
Very few players were willing to put in the time and effort to explore this area due to its remoteness, meaning even fewer were aware of this old man’s existence. Perhaps aside from Nie Yan, no other players had yet to discover this shop, but this would change in the future. The slums of the northern district would be demolished and redeveloped into a new area for commerce. Despite that, Trembling Milo’s House would somehow persist through this process and remain in business. The new commercial area would bring in players which finally led to the public uncovering him. However, the new exposure didn’t stop this old man from continuing to price gouge his customers; thus, only well-off beginners would frequent the shop.
Nie Yan scanned over the merchandise listed in the window. The items he currently sought were two different scrolls and a particular pouch of dust: Web Scroll, Sheep Transformation Scroll, and Flash Powder.
He purchased ten pouches of Flash Powder for fifty coppers each, three Web Scrolls, and two Sheep Transformation Scrolls.
Milo was probably a Mage since he often created scrolls out of basic spells and offered them for sale. The scrolls Nie Yan bought contained Web and Sheep Transformation. Web was a spell that provided decent crowd control and could only be learned by Mages once they reached Level 10. The Web Scroll, however, could be activated by any player as soon as they hit Level 5. As for the Sheep Transformation spell, it couldn’t be learned until Level 20. Correspondingly, the requirements of the spell were also lowered in scroll form. The caveat being these scrolls came at a hefty price, costing two and three silvers respectively.
The prices of the scrolls increased accordingly with the usefulness of the spells they contained.
These items were so costly that even Nie Yan, who was filthy rich, would feel a slight ache in his heart when employing them. Thus, they would only be used sparingly; otherwise, he’d be spending more money than he earned. Outside of the major guilds, perhaps no other players were willing to purchase these things.
When Nie Yan thought back to the previous timeline, he remembered he had been penniless at this level. If he had been able to, he would have broken copper coins in half just to save a little money, so how would he have been willing to use such items? Fortunately, his present circumstances were substantially different, so much so that he could be described as rich and imposing.
After purchasing the items, he left Trembling Milo’s House and headed for the transfer point.
「We’ve gathered the skill books, and we’re all ready to set off. We’ll all need to hurry, though, since the servers go down in two hours,」Sleepy Fox messaged.
「I’ll be there shortly,」Nie Yan replied.
The return trip was much quicker, and he soon arrived at the transfer point.
“You’re here. Did you get what you needed?” Sleepy Fox greeted. He was quite curious. Just what did Nie Yan buy for him to take so long to return?
“Yeah, I got it.” Nie Yan nodded.
However, since Nie Yan didn’t bother explaining, he wouldn’t make any further inquiries.
With no other issues delaying them, everyone was ready to set off. Soon, the members of the team began stepping into the transfer point. Their destination was a small town called Nate, which meant “marshland settlement” in the Ancient Common language. Since the town was situated in a remote area, the price of the transfer was ten coppers per player.
Built in the middle of the marsh, Nate was besieged by poisonous beasts almost daily. This environment tempered the residents of the settlement into strong hunters, as evidenced by the ones who regularly passed through the town entrance, carrying crossbows along with the day’s hunt. The town’s main source of income came from selling these animal products, so the goods that could be purchased from the shops were mostly claws, fur pelts, and other items along these lines. In addition, materials of much higher quality would spring up for sale every once in a while, making this place a paradise for players who focused on a crafting profession such as Tailoring.
After arriving in the town, Nie Yan and company didn’t dally, promptly heading to the quest giver.
Unlike in Calore, the players on the street didn’t seem too surprised by the emergence of Nie Yan, Sleepy Fox, and the rest. Since many major guilds passed through this town en route to Agmota Muddy Wetlands, such a strong entourage of players was no strange sight to them.
While walking through the town, Nie Yan and the others arrived at the entrance of an imposing manor. Not only was this the most luxurious home in town, possessing a style that befitted a residence constructed in the marshland, it also stood atop a small hill, filled with vibrant, lush willows and other plant life as it overlooked the rest of the town. A small path cut across the hill; despite its winds and curves, it lead directly to the manor.
All of the team members halted their steps and gazed at Nie Yan.
“I’ll go receive the quest,” Nie Yan announced to the team and then walked over to the entrance gates.
After pushing open the metal gate, he proceeded along the path and shortly arrived at the manor’s doors. Then, he entered the building and walked straight past a luxurious looking living room, through a long a winding hallway, and into a dusky bedroom. Upon reaching his destination, he found an old man lying in bed, surrounded by numerous servants and townsfolk who stared at him with worried expressions. His complexion was sickly, and it looked like he was on his last breath.
“Mayor Monda was inflicted with the King Manticore’s poison. If we don’t find an antidote soon, he’ll…”
“Ross! Stop speaking drivel!”
“Sigh… It’s fine. At this point, the only thing that can save the mayor’s life is the King Manticore’s eye.”
「System: You’ve arrived at Mayor Monda’s residence and accidently overheard some discussion. The mayor has been poisoned by the King Manticore. The vile creatures of the marsh have taken many innocent lives.」
「System: Are you willing to save Mayor Monda by slaying the King Manticore and retrieving its eye?」
「System: You speak out and agree to save the mayor’s life. The townsfolk and servants cast a grateful gaze. You’ve received their respect. Your Influence in Nate has increased by 3.」
Players received three Influence when accepting the Agmota Muddy Wetlands quest for the first time. Subsequent attempts would garner no further benefits.
「System: Explore the Agmota Muddy Wetlands in search of the King Manticore. Please select a difficulty. (Easy, Normal, Hard, Expert, Specialist)」
「System: You’ve selected Specialist. All members will have their stats increased by 10%. Withdrawing from this instance is not possible.」
Once the quest was accepted, the team was not allowed to get into conflict with other players. In return, they received the protection of the town. So, if they were provoked by other players, the guards would come forward in their aid.
After receiving the quest, Nie Yan walked out of Mayor Monda’s manor. If they completed the quest, they could return here to receive a certain reward.
Seeing Nie Yan come out of the gates, Sleepy Fox walked forward to greet him. “Specialist? Are you confident we can beat it?”
“It should be fine,” Nie Yan replied. More accurately, it should be fine as long as no accidents occurred.
As usual, Nie Yan’s habit of not explaining things gave Sleepy Fox a headache. He simply couldn’t understand this person’s way of thinking. In comparison, Dusk was much more confident about this run. Although Agmota Muddy Wetlands was several tiers higher than Treant Forest in terms of difficulty, he still held absolute faith in Nie Yan’s skills.
The teammates who were unaware of the circumstances also felt shocked. Why was it Specialist? They all believed this had to be some sort of mistake. They had already run Agmota Muddy Wetlands three times but failed to clear it even once. In one of the runs, they had managed to reach the King Manticore, only to be defeated miserably shortly after. Their main tank possessed over one hundred and thirty defense and over three hundred and sixty health. Although these stats couldn’t be considered the best, they were still top-tier. In spite of this, the King Manticore demolished their frontline in a matter of seconds. Even now, the only reason they were willing to make another attempt was because their Priests had recently learned Radiant Protection, a spell that could shield an ally from incoming damage.
Yet Nie Yan, in all his overbearing arrogance, had actually decided to pick Specialist. How could they not be incensed? It was fine if he wanted to court death, but why did he have to drag them along with him!?
Despite this, they had no choice but to swallow their indignation. The quest difficulty had already been selected, and there was no way to withdraw. Moreover, their guild leader, Sleepy Fox, hadn’t voiced his opinion on the matter. Thus, they could only wait and see how this situation developed.