“Is there anything we still need to do?” Dusk asked.
“Return the flute to Einpat,” Nie Yan replied. He glanced at Bai Kaisui (Plain Boiled Water) and said, “Hand the flute to me.”
At the end of the day the flute was a quest item and never belonged to him in the first place. Bai Kaisui inwardly sighed and handed the flute back to Nie Yan.
Nie Yan eyed the forest thickets and spotted a decrepit old man walking unsteadily towards them.
“Respected Senior, we’ve punished those despicable Dark Elves and retrieved your flute.”
“Good! Yes, this is indeed my flute! Thank you, brave adventurers. There’ll be no need to navigate the winding and twisting paths on your return. I’ll send you all to the exit myself. May the Divine bless you!”
Had Nie Yan and the others tried to keep the flute, they would have incurred Einpat’s wrath and likely found themselves in a perilous situation. Ultimately the Treant Forest would have become a resting place for their bones.
「System: Side quest “Einpat’s Missing Flute” has been completed. You have received 28,596 experience points.」
Shortly after Nie Yan received this notification, a thick fog emerged and enveloped the team; the elderly Einpat disappeared as well. When the fog finally dissipated and everyone could see clearly again, they discovered they had been returned to the entrance of the forest.
“We can still collect another reward by going to the commander in Calore!” Nie Yan glanced at his experience bar. Among his teammates, he received the largest share of the experience because he had contributed the most during Einpat’s quest. Moreover, after gaining the experience from the side quest, his experience bar rose to seventy-three percent.
Everyone was in high spirits. It truly felt great following Nie Yan into a dungeon. After receiving the reward, their experience bars once again rose by a large chunk.
After travelling back to Tellak town, the entire team took the transport point to Calore.
Upon arriving, Nie Yan headed directly for the barracks.
Their destination was to the southwest of the city. When they arrived at the outer perimeter of the barracks, they saw tall walls with many sentries posted atop. Overall, it appeared the defenses and security of this place were fairly tight. Nie Yan and his group didn’t enter the barracks but rather the lofty white tower that stood beside. This was the building where Commander Kavrote was stationed.
As they entered, the group could see there weren’t many NPCs within the building. However, a tall middle-aged man with a face full of scars and wore the military uniform of the Viridian Empire still walked over to greet them.
Nie Yan used Transcendent Insight to examine this NPC—Commander Kavrote.
“Youngsters, what business do you have coming to this place?”
“Lord Commander, we caught two Dark Elves lurking inside Treant Forest. After interrogating them, we received some information that concerns the safety of Hilton Stronghold. Here are the heads of the two Dark Elves we caught.”
Commander Kavrote followed up with a few more questions while Nie Yan answered accordingly in the formal manner which was standard in player-to-NPC interaction. Afterward, he handed the Dark Elf heads over to Commander Kavrote.
「System: Side quest “Deliver the Information” has been completed.」
「System: Your Influence in Hilton Stronghold has increased by 11.」
「System: Your Influence in Calore has increased by 11.」
「System: You have received 32,320 experience points.」
「System: You have learned Fighting from Commander Kavrote.」
「System: You have gained +2 Strength.」
「System: You have received 2 silvers.」
Some hidden quests gave additional stats as quest rewards. Nie Yan never expected this quest was one of them or to be so lucky as to receive two additional points in Strength.
Each member of the team received decent experience and money as rewards. Meanwhile, Nie Yan’s experience bar rose to ninety-seven percent. As for the two silvers he also received as a reward, they simply didn’t count for much considering the amount of wealth he already possessed.
Rather than grinding mobs, it seemed much easier to level up by doing quests. However, quests were divided into different levels. The higher the difficulty of the quest, the more experience points it would give. For example, relatively simple quests such as gathering animal furs would give very little experience as a reward. While in team quests, the rewards each individual received would be based on their own contribution in the quest. In the case of this quest as well as Einpat’s, Nie Yan had contributed the most, thus he received the most experience, while the other members received much less in comparison.
“Well we’ve handed in the quest so I should probably get going now,” Nie Yan said to Yao Yao (Dark Mystery) and the others.
“What are you gonna do now after handing in the quest?” Yao Yao asked. She was somewhat reluctant to part.
“Killing monsters and levelling up. However, where I’m going you guys are certainly unable to follow,” Nie Yan replied. Since he now had both the Featherfall Jewel and Ring of Woven Silk, there were many places he could try going to.
“Since he’s busy, let’s make our team and level up,” Dusk suggested. With so many high damage Mages on this team, it would be too much of waste if they separated now.
“Fatty over here has the Meteor spell. It’s got good area of effect and is decent at mobbing groups of monsters, so you probably won’t be levelling slowly with him on the team,” Nie Yan suggested. He was planning to have Tang Yao familiarize himself with the others so he would no longer have to worry about not being able to find a team. After receiving numerous pointers from Nie Yan over such a long period of time, Tang Yao’s had skills soared in proficiency. Though he still couldn’t be called an expert, he would have absolutely no problems assisting this team. After all, low-level dungeons and killing mobs generally weren’t too challenging for an Arcane Mage.
“Meteor!?” Everyone was surprised. At this point in the game, Mages who knew offensive area of effect spells could best be described as being as rare as a phoenix feather.
“Why didn’t we see you use it earlier in the dungeon?” Bai Kaisui asked.
“Using that skill in the dungeon? Do you think I’m looking to die!?” Before entering, Nie Yan specifically warned him not to cast Meteor while in the dungeon. Tang Yao had taken this warning very seriously. Therefore he sounded quite blunt and forceful in his reply.
“Oh right. Haha…” Bai Kaisui awkwardly smiled and scratched his head. Casting large area of effect spells would frequently alert many mobs and build up a lot of aggro at the same time. In such a case, the frontliners wouldn’t be able to keep the monsters from getting to the backline.
“So it turns out he actually he had Meteor! Why are we still wasting our time here?” Dusk rubbed his hands together. He was getting a little impatient to see the might of the rare Meteor spell for himself.
“I’ll be taking my leave first then,” Nie Yan said goodbye to everyone. Though after seeing Yao Yao’s unhappy appearance, he laughed and said, “Next time, I’ll kill monsters with you guys. How about it?”
“Remember those words because you’re not allowed go back on them!” Yao Yao widened her eyes, sounding pleasantly surprised. Her bright and colourful smile was as dazzling as the sun. She didn’t know why but she felt like she had known Nie Yan for a very long time despite them only being acquainted for a few days. They seemed to have a sort of unusually familiarity and understanding with each other.
Nie Yan laughed and said, “Sure.”
After leaving the group, Nie Yan began walking over to Calore’s auction house.
Meanwhile, the others in the group gazed at Nie Yan’s departing back. Only when his figure disappeared into the crowded streets did they finally regain their senses.
“C’mon, let’s go and train.”
When Dusk saw Nie Yan disappear into the crowd, he turned around and said, “Yeah, let’s head out.” As they departed the area, he sent a message to Sleepy Fox.
「Captain, take a look at this video.」
「What kind of video?」
「Just watch it, and you’ll know.」
In the Lesser Werewolf spawn area near Tellak town, a group of players was in the middle of combat. At the front of the group amongst those players was Sleepy Fox. He turned to the Warrior nearby and said, “Hold the line for a moment!” before retreating from the fight.
As he retreated, several spells whizzed past him and blasted the Lesser Werewolves behind him.
He was currently in the middle of levelling. For Dusk to dare disturb him at this point in time, it would definitely be an important matter. He opened up the video and pressed play and was surprised to discover the person in this video was Nie Yan. His interest was now piqued; thus, he continued to watch. While he observed Nie Yan and the others killing the mobs, he furrowed his brows. This is Treant Forest, right? Why do the Treants have such high health? He was quite knowledgeable in the game. With but a glance, he was easily able to spot something strange about this video.
They’re running the dungeon on Specialist!
「Treant Forest on Specialist… Did you guys actually clear it?」Sleepy Fox sent a message to Dusk. He was shocked; however, he soon regained his wits. Such crappy equipment and their team still dare to enter a Specialist dungeon? Quite a rare sight indeed…