“But if we didn’t use Scorching Meteor, the team would have definitely been wiped. How else are we supposed to deal with so many Manticores at once?” Sleepy Fox asked. He didn’t quite believe Nie Yan could clear such a large den of Manticores without the use of large-scale magic.
“We could’ve cleared it without wasting Scorching Meteor, but my method requires an extremely skilled Thief,” Nie Yan replied. Since he dared to bring them into a Specialist dungeon, naturally, it meant he knew how to clear the dens. Spells like Scorching Meteor were only one-offs since they couldn’t be repeatedly cast during a run.
Sleepy Fox didn’t reply; instead, he stayed taciturn and sunk into deep thought. If Nie Yan really could clear such a large den of Manticores by relying solely on skill and this current group of players, wouldn’t that mean Nie Yan was more capable of leading the team than him, their captain and guild leader?
“Alright, then let’s try your way out,” conceded Sleepy Fox, finally breaking his silence. He wasn’t a narrow-minded person who only cared about his reputation. If there was someone more capable, he would readily submit. He admired those who possessed ability and talent. And in Holy Empire, players who were more talented than him in one aspect or another could be found everywhere, yet he still remained as the guild leader!
“Captain! A piece of Gold equipment dropped!” one of the members called out in a pleasantly surprised tone.
“What kind of equipment? Come here and show me,” Sleepy Fox replied.
Sleepy Fox, Nie Yan, and the others examined the piece of equipment. It belonged to the Priest’s Divine Blessing set.
“Don’t get too excited yet. Out of all the current dungeons, Agmota Muddy Wetlands on Specialist has the highest drop rate for top-quality equipment, so one dropping here isn’t all that strange. Just wait a bit, you’ll be seeing much more equipment of this quality or higher the further we get into the run,” Nie Yan said. He was quite accustomed to seeing equipment of this quality. After all, in comparison to Legendary equipment, they were no different from other ordinary drops.
As for how the team would decide who this piece of equipment went to had nothing to do with him, since by the end of the run, he would receive his promised share regardless.
Beside being knowledgeable and experienced, Sleepy Fox sensed Nie Yan was also quite self-reliant. These types of people were the most difficult to recruit as subordinates since they didn’t like being ordered around. It seemed roping Nie Yan into Holy Empire wasn’t going to be as easy as he initially thought.
Sleepy Fox gave the set item to one of the stronger Priests, and with that, they then set out for the next area.
Not much time passed before they encountered another den. This one was roughly the same size as the one from earlier which contained seventeen Manticores.
Sleepy Fox turned to Nie Yan and said, “Let’s see your method now.”
Nie Yan nodded and scanned the surrounding terrain for a suitable location. Under his command, he and the other Thieves in the team, numbered from one to three, set out to their specified positions.
These four soon arrived in their designated positions and took up a square formation. Then, Nie Yan proceeded to explain in detail what role each member would have.
The Manticores lazily roamed the area around their den, completely oblivious to the players who were lurking nearby and eying them like prey.
「Remember, don’t tangle with them. Run away as soon as you see them aggro onto you. Don’t dally either. They’re too fast for you. If you’re even a second too slow, you won’t be able to get away,」Nie Yan carefully reminded.
After listening to these instructions, Sleepy Fox suddenly had a flash of insight. It seemed Nie Yan planned on splitting the Manticores into more manageable groups. The only problem was the other Thieves in the team were simply too slow. Pulling these Manticores exceeded their abilities.
Although these Thieves were able to evade the Manticores for a period of time, they definitely couldn’t do it forever, and even then, it wouldn’t be for that long. Eventually, they would get overtaken, and then they would be screwed.
When the other Thieves finished their preparations, Nie Yan announced through the intercom,「Once we begin, don’t stray from my commands.」
The three Thieves were completely focused. All of them took a deep breath when they saw Nie Yan take out his crossbow and aim at the Alpha Manticore.
Eh…? They’re not all attacking together? Sleepy Fox was a bit taken by surprise.
As Nie Yan peered through the sight, he lined up the target and fired.「Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!」Three bolts flew through the air before striking the Alpha Manticore. Immediately, after being attacked, the Manticore discovered the location of its assailant. It roared in indignation then pounced toward him.
The numerous common Manticores also followed closely from behind. Upon seeing this, Nie Yan turned tail and fled.
He actually dared to take on all the aggro by himself? How courageous, Sleepy Fox thought. If Nie Yan didn’t have complete confidence in his ability, there was no way he would even attempt to take on such a difficult task that was tantamount to throwing his life away.
「Number Three, attack the three Manticores at the rear!」Nie Yan yelled through the intercom. Number Three didn’t dare to idle any longer and immediately drew the string back on his short bow and shot out three arrows.「Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!」The arrows whistled in the air and hit their respective targets, one manticore each.
Upon being attacked, the three Manticores in the rear diverted their aggro, separated from the group, and began pursuing the Thief with the short bow instead.
The Thief hastily retreated to the forces waiting at the sidelines and pulled the Manticores along with him.
Nie Yan was madly dashing through the bog, inwardly counting the seconds as they passed. Three… Two… One…「Number Two, go for the next three!」
Number Two didn’t delay and shot three arrows at the three rearmost Manticores. Thus, another three were peeled off from the main group.
Since the Thieves would only pull three at a time, the frontliners didn’t feel too much pressure and were able to easily hold them off. Therefore, the Mages could freely fire their spells, requiring only three rounds to kill the Manticores.
Nie Yan ran like the wind as he continuously evaded the pursuit of the Manticores. Thanks to his speed and agility making him as slippery as a loach, their attacks would always fail to hit their target. It appeared even if they were given all the time in the world, these Manticores still wouldn’t be able to touch a single hair on his head.
While Nie Yan was distracting the main group, the three Thieves took turns in aggroing a few Manticores at a time. As they pulled three Manticores off of the main group with each rotation, they gradually shaved down what was once a formidable pride.
Spells fell like rain as the Manticores dropped like flies. Nie Yan’s method was undoubtedly a success. However, it could only be accomplished by a Thief with excellent fleeing abilities and spatial awareness. If someone else were to attempt this strategy, they definitely wouldn’t have the ability to pull it off and would only end up as food for the Manticores.
“Damn, he’s really fast!” Sleepy Fox couldn’t help but exclaim. He watched as Nie Yan made fools out of these Manticores while running circles around them.
“Guild Leader, who the hell is this guy!?”
The members in the team couldn’t help but wonder. Just where did their guild leader find such an obscenely overpowered Thief?
“Shut up! Stop slacking!” Sleepy Fox shouted.
The chattering immediately stopped, and they immediately focused their attention back onto the incoming Manticores, not daring to utter a single additional word. After several rounds, another wave was annihilated.
“Shit! I’m out of mana.”
“Use a Mana Potion!”
On the third wave, Sleepy Fox was shocked to discover that each time they had finished one wave, another Thief would arrive with three Manticores in tow. In neither a slow nor rushed pace, the next wave would always arrive in a timely manner.
Sleepy Fox was left speechless by Nie Yan’s impeccable timing.
None of the players here were fools. They all understood how challenging of a task it was to evade such a large group of Manticores. Their hearts were only filled with admiration, and they no longer dared to look down on him like they did when he arrived.
Initially, none of the members were convinced Nie Yan would be able to guide them through Agmota Muddy Wetlands. Now, however, they were convinced of his ability.