There were hidden dangers lurking everywhere within the forest such as the traps regularly encountered along the pathway. Chen Bo himself had narrowly escaped death by barely avoiding a fall into a spike pit. Fortunately, he was attentive enough to notice the pit before stepping in. Otherwise, he would have embarrassed himself further by dying to such a simple trap. After that incident, he changed his mind. He no longer went searching for traps along unexplored paths. Instead, he switched to areas Nie Yan had already scoured through and made himself look preoccupied, by pretending to search for any traps Nie Yan may have overlooked.
Even after ten minutes, no further mishaps occurred to Chen Bo; not because he was more attentive, but because every trap had already been disarmed in the areas he passed through.
Chen Bo pretended to examine a nearby area while he made his way over to a small clearing just ahead since he had just seen Nie Yan walk through it. As he arrived at the centre of the clearing, he noticed the ground beneath his feet was a little soft; however, he paid it no heed and negligently strode forward.
「Crash!」The ground trembled and a giant hole opened up underneath him, whereupon he fell into a pit of sludge. Chen Bo’s entire body was covered in filth. Moreover, since this filth was a mix of toxic sludge and mud, he was inflicted with the poison status which caused him to lose two health per second. With a disgruntled expression, he raised his head to gauge how far of a distance he had fallen. The dirt walls surrounding him were roughly three meters in height. Since this pitfall was so deep, climbing out would require him to expend quite a bit of effort.
Having walked over to the pitfall, Nie Yan stuck his head over the hole and said, “Ah? Brother Chen Bo, how did you manage to fall into another trap? Didn’t I warn you earlier? As a Thief, you must always be wary of your surroundings. How could you just stride forward and step right into one again?”
“You bastard! I clearly saw you walking past this area without any problems! You intentionally set me up!” Chen Bo angrily cursed. He might be an idiot but he still managed to figure out what had happened.
“You stepped in there yourself. I never pushed you in, so how is it my fault? You were simply careless, that’s all. I also have another piece of advice for you: Just because I passed through an area safely, it doesn’t mean you will as well. Not all men are created equal.” Nie Yan gazed at Chen Bo disdainfully before shaking his head. “You’re too useless!” Even before he reincarnated into the past, Nie Yan had long understood what type of personality Chen Bo possessed: petty, vindictive, and unable to tolerate any kind of offense. If he held a grudge towards someone, he would simply carry out that grudge to the bitter end. Since this was the case, whatever schemes he had planned in his head, Nie Yan was ready to receive them all!
“Nie Yan, you son of a bitch, I’ll remember this! Fuck your ancestors down to the eighteenth generation! I’ll kick your ass if you’ve got the guts to fight me!” Chen Bo was foaming at the mouth with anger.
“You’d be useless in that aspect as well. Maybe you should bring a few people with you too; otherwise, it’d be too boring.” Nie Yan was unfazed by Chen Bo’s outburst. He turned around and called out to Dumpling and his group. “Come pull him up. We still need to continue the run.”
As Dusk, Tang Yao, and the others glanced over, they felt Nie Yan had tormented Chen Bo into quite a miserable state.
「System: Player Chen Bo has withdrawn from the team.」
Chen Bo felt too embarrassed to stay any longer, so he gave himself an out by leaving the team.
“Good! Since that annoying fellow has left, let’s continue with the run. We’re better off without him anyway.” Nie Yan felt Chen Bo acted rather tactful by leaving when he knew he was unwelcome.
“Aren’t you going a little too far?” Yu Lan said while knitting her brows. Although she somewhat loathed Chen Bo as well, he was still a member of her team. She felt rather displeased when Nie Yan drove him away.
“You all saw what happened earlier as well. I wasn’t the one who had him foolishly walk into a slumbering Treant, nor was I the one who made him carelessly walk into traps. His actions were his own, and their consequences were due to his incompetence. I barely said more than a few sentences to him before he quit in a fit of anger. You really can’t blame those things on me, can you?” Nie Yan turned to face Yao Yao and innocently asked, “Am I in the wrong here?”
Seeing Nie Yan’s appearance, Yao Yao was already on the verge of bursting into laughter. This guy had already got what he wanted, but he still wanted to act as if he was being wronged.
“Big Sister, Chen Bo’s attitude earlier was quite bad as well. Even if Nie Yan was a little excessive, all of the mishaps that occurred during this run really was due to Chen Bo’s own carelessness. Besides, he shouldn’t have been shirking off his own duties and pushing them onto Nie Yan.” Yao Yao didn’t have a favourable impression of Chen Bo either. Therefore, she spoke on Nie Yan’s behalf as soon as she opened her mouth.
“Ah, never mind. Let’s focus on the dungeon run first. We’ll discuss this after the run,” Yu Lan said, shaking her head.
“In any case, my cooperation with your team ends after this run. As long as Chen Bo remains on your team, even if you invite me to another run, I won’t come. As they say, what the eye doesn’t see, the heart won’t grieve over. Since these circumstances will never occur again, you no longer have a reason to get further upset. It will have nothing to do with your team even if he comes to me looking for trouble in the future,” Nie Yan added. Were it not for Yao Yao’s invitation, he would have never considered running a dungeon with Yu Lan’s team. Chen Bo was too much of an eyesore; so what if he drove him away? Even Buddha could be angered to some degree. He’d have been a weakling with no backbone if he let Chen Bo walk all over him like that.
“Nie Yan, I’m really sorry…” Yao Yao said apologetically. Nie Yan had suffered because of her invitation.
Yao Yao really was too much of a sweetheart. This incident had been Chen Bo’s fault, yet she still directed the blame towards herself.
“It isn’t your fault. I’m just that sort of a person. If there’s someone I’m not on good terms with, I’ll keep looking for trouble. I’ve already gotten used to being a solo player and staying as one is fine too. If I enter a team, who knows what sort of restrictions they’ll put on me. In the future, it’ll be fine and dandy to just make my own team if I want to run a dungeon.” Nie Yan laughed in a carefree manner.
He had played down the incident and skirted around the issue. From Yao Yao’s perspective, Nie Yan appeared quite easy-going and unworried. Her impression of him somewhat changed once again.
“Right! After some time, we’ll find our own people to make a team with!” Tang Yao enthusiastically added.
Nie Yan believed if he were going to invite people to create a team, at the very minimum, the members needed to be super experts if they wanted to join.
“If you guys make your own team, I’m afraid I can’t join you,” Yao Yao apologetically said. She was already in a fixed team. Although she loathed Chen Bo, Yu Lan was in the team as well. She would never betray Yu Lan to join another person’s team, even if it was Nie Yan’s.
“Haha! Don’t worry. I already know. Alright everyone, let’s switch our focus back to the dungeon run. Let’s not give Brother Chen Bo something to mock at by getting wiped during the run,” Nie Yan smiled and said.
“Brother Nie, well done,” Dusk said with a smile. He felt Nie Yan was quite an interesting person.
Deeper within the eerie forest near an opening between the trees, a community of Treants were sauntering around, blocking the path ahead. Nie Yan drew closer to these enemies and counted their numbers—eighteen Treants in total. They possessed thirty percent more health than their Normal difficulty counterparts and gained noticeable bonuses in stats as well. Furthermore, there was also Bind—a crowd control skill—and Lash—a skill that increased their damage—to be wary of. Their team could only handle three Treants at once. Any more, and things could get a little dangerous. If they were unlucky enough to encounter more than five at once, they were guaranteed to be wiped. Since the game was still new, most Priests still didn’t have a healing or resurrection skill. In fact, the main purpose of coming to the Treant Forest for most teams was to get a hold of a Lesser Heal skill book.
“There’s eighteen of them up ahead. I want you guys to stay where you are for now,” Nie Yan ordered. He examined the terrain of the nearby area and began to formulate a plan.
“There’s no way we can deal with so many Treants,” Yu Lan said. Frankly, the moment she found out they had entered this dungeon on Specialist difficulty, she had already begun feeling a little restless. If they were wiped again, several of their members were going to drop a level, and climbing back to their previous levels would take quite a long time.
“Don’t worry. I’m not stupid enough to have you guys deal with so many of them at once.” Nie Yan began gauging their distance. The nearest Treants were roughly ten meters away. He raised his head and surveyed the forest canopy. It was quite fortunate there was a tall tree right next to him, and there was a branch that could support a person. He could get a better vantage point from a higher elevation. As he extended his hand, he shot out a line of webbing from his Ring of Woven Silk, which adhered to the thick branch of the tree above. After making sure the line was secure, he nimbly scaled the tree.
“What is he going to do?” Yao Yao asked puzzledly as she looked to her side at Yu Lan and the others.