Chapter 120 – Grace of the Civet
Those Skeleton Warriors seemed to have a fear of Abraham’s Tomb as they didn’t dare to approach it.
Nie Yan sat above the tomb’s entrance while his health gradually recovered. Moments later, his low health was once more restored to full.
No longer in danger of dying, his mind felt much more at ease. Turning around, he jumped off the beam, and after a graceful landing, he walked through the entrance before descending down the flight of stairs.
All of the steps had become smooth and flat due to erosion from the elements while their surfaces were covered in the ancient characters of the undead. Down below was an endless darkness where the silence would infinitely magnify even the softest of sounds. The silence was so palpable that he was even able to hear his heartbeat and breathing.
It was almost as if he was walking toward the gates of death.
The sinister smell of death and decay drifted upward from the deepest abyss of the tomb.
Nie Yan’s footsteps were light, sticking close to the wall as he made his way down.
Although he had traversed this place once upon a time, by the time he reached this area, it was already long explored by Victorious Return. The difficulty of exploring a new map and the difficulty of exploring a new dungeon was quite comparable in the sense that many Sub-Elites and Elites would emerge. However, with the former, once they were killed, they would never respawn, just like the Skeleton Executioners guarding the pyramid entrance in the Ancient City of Sulgata.
Not to mention, this was a Level 10 player challenging a Level 20 map. Perhaps in the entire server, Nie Yan was the only one who would dare to make such a crazy attempt.
Nonetheless, the Chapter of Freedom’s allure was too hard to resist.
Relying on his limited vision, Nie Yan fumbled his way down until he reached the bottom of the stairs where he was able to see a few dim rays shining from up ahead, making his surroundings much brighter as he approached.
Embedded into the walls on either side of him was a line of Night Pearls. The pale hazy light they emitted added to the gloomy and enigmatic atmosphere of the tomb.
After entering, a sense of nostalgia arose within him as the familiar surroundings began stirring up his old memories. He had come here quite often to level in the past, so he had long explored every part of this place.
Up ahead shadows appeared to dance and flicker about, presumably due to monster activity in the area, sending Nie Yan on high alert. When he explored this place in the past, he had never encountered monsters around here. In fact, the area where monsters spawned was still quite a ways away.
Nie Yan slowly turned illusory until he completely blended into the background. Hidden within the shadows, he inched his way across the wall with his hands guiding him.
Eventually, he came across a wide open room about four hundred square meters in size with a ten meter high ceiling. There were candles everywhere, emitting flickering flames as shadowy figures wandered about.
In this dim lighting, he was finally able to make out the appearance of one of these monsters. It was a pale-skinned figure in a black chang pao, a Vampire! After examining their numbers, he counted over thirty of them, all blocking the path forward.
He activated Transcendent Insight.
Vampire Baron (Elite): Level 25
They were actually Vampire Barons! Nie Yan sucked in a cold breath as he suddenly recalled a certain piece of information. Vampire Barons were the hardest Level 20–30 Elites to deal with. Their health wasn’t all that high, but they were incredibly fast and possessed high damage. At the same time, they were also able to siphon health with their attacks, thus making them very difficult opponents. Even when he was Level 27, he had fallen victim to one of these monsters in another map.
Undead were very sensitive to the breath of the living. If any living being approached within seven or eight meters of them, they would instantly be able to detect that being’s exact position.
As such, a Thief’s ability to stealth wouldn’t be as effective!
There were over thirty of them and they were all grouped around the passage forward! He had no chance of sneaking past them!
He would already be hard-pressed to deal with a single Vampire Baron, let alone such a large group!
How am I going to get through here? He thought for a moment then looked up toward the ceiling entirely constructed out of stone. Various ancient designs covered the surface, forming an enormous, dark red maelstrom with a deathly pale skull depicted at its center, in which pale cyan flames calmly flickered in its eye sockets. The piece of artwork left a surreal impression, and as if staring at a god overlooking the world down below, the observer would be unable to look away.
The unidentified skull and the flickering flames made the atmosphere exceptionally mysterious.
As he examined the smoothness of the stone, the corner of Nie Yan’s mouth exposed a smile. He activated the Silk Spinner Ring’s ability and shot out a web-line which adhered to the wall. Borrowing the tension of the line, he flung himself upward.
While still in mid-air, he activated his Crawler Ring’s ability, whereupon both of his hands emitted an attractive force that enabled him to firmly latch on upon making contact with the wall.
Like a spider, he made his way up the wall toward the ceiling and then began crawling to the other side.
He was able to sense the Vampire Barons below him growing restless, presumably because they sensed the breath of the living. However, never would they suspect that he was actually right above them this whole time, and even if they did, they would have no way of attacking him.
He nimbly crawled under the ceiling and eventually neared its center. He was drawing progressively closer to the skull, and when he drew within five meters of it, he felt a strong sense of crisis growing in the back of his mind.
There’s something odd about this skull…
After coming to a realization, he immediately came to a halt before making a large detour around the skull.
It’s an explosive trap!
His sharp intuition had once again saved his life!
After safely circling around the skull, Nie Yan finally relaxed. If he had accidentally triggered that trap a moment ago, in that sort of circumstance, there would have been no way for him to avoid the explosion in time. He would have been reduced to ground meat!
Thieves had a relatively high chance of avoiding damage even if they stepped onto a trap thanks to their Reflex stat. However, many were extremely deadly. They would instantly kill anyone who triggered them, just like that explosive trap in the skull. Luckily, he had been quite prudent and didn’t approach rashly, leaving him enough time to sense the peculiar energy contained inside of it. If he had actually triggered the trap, then the result would have been obvious.
He slowly made his way forward for ten minutes until he was more than twenty meters away from the closest Vampire Baron. Then, he let go of the ceiling and fell back to the floor.
After safely passing through this dangerous region without any mishaps, Nie Yan proceeded deeper into the tomb.
Although the lighting inside the tomb was very dim, he was already very familiar with the path he was walking through. Occasionally, when he encountered an ordinary Vampire, even though he could deal with them, he would still duck away. After all, he hadn’t come here to level.
He had only one goal in mind and that was to retrieve the Chapter of Freedom!
As he stealthily traversed the labyrinth-like passages, he eventually arrived at the second floor of the tomb. During this period, he had come across several locked silver treasure chests. However, since he didn’t have the Lockpicking skill or a suitable key, there was nothing he could do about them. He did have a Silver Key in his bag, but sadly it only worked for silver chests Level 20 and under, while the ones in this map were all at least Level 25 or higher.
After passing through a cell, he discovered an object hidden in a corner. Only when he approached closer did he find that it was actually an old shabby chest. It was a chest that wasn’t locked! He couldn’t help but sigh to himself. This journey had been too trying on his heart, finding so many chests yet being unable to open them, but at last, he had finally encountered one that he was actually able to open!
It had taken him this long to encounter a chest that he could actually open, while/even though the journey had been so difficult.
Nie Yan bent down and opened the chest. After fishing around for a bit, he grabbed hold of what appeared to be a skill book.
He took it out to examine.
Skill Book: Grace of the Civet
Requirement: Level 20
Description: The player will gain a powerful movement ability by harmonizing mind and body.
Properties: Depending on the height, fall damage will be reduced by 10%-50%. Climbing Ability 10%, Balance 10, Reflex 10, Dexterity 10
Restriction: Thief; can be learned by any faction.
So it was actually Grace of the Civet! For a Level 20 player, the properties of this skill were relatively decent, but they weren’t anything amazing. The first two properties, reduce fall damage and climbing ability, weren’t as useful, but for Nie Yan, it was nevertheless a very fitting item. This was because the path that he walked was different from other players.
Ordinary Thieves only cared for Dexterity and Balance. Nie Yan on the other hand focused on Dexterity while simultaneously using special items such as the Silk Spinner Ring, Crawler Ring, Featherfall Jewel, and so on to create his own special way of playing a Thief.
The Thief profession wasn’t limited to being only good at scouting, disarming traps, and assassinating lightly armoured targets. With what he was doing, he was giving this profession an entirely new definition.
In his previous timeline, he had always thought about creating such a Thief but never possessed the strength to do so. The drop rates of the Silk Spinner Ring and Crawler Ring were incredibly low, which meant they were expensive enough that he couldn’t afford them. As for the Featherfall Jewel, he was incapable of getting his hands on that as well. Although he did indeed beat Treant Forest on Specialist and a Featherfall Jewel did drop, when it came time to distribute the items, he never even had a chance of obtaining it himself. In the end, a Mage in the team took away the jewel with the rest of the team receiving three silver each. At that time, he was simply a bystander with no influence.
When he was high level, he already exceeded the level requirements to enter Treant Forest and thus couldn’t go back to obtain this item. Meanwhile, the equipment that had the Featherfall Jewel socketed into them were all expensive beyond reason. So even then, he still couldn’t afford one.
As for Grace of the Civet, it was also an uncommon skill book. If not for him being the first to enter Abraham’s Tomb, this item would have went to someone else!
Although the skill wasn’t extremely important, it would at least be able to aid him in executing his plans more fluidly.
Nie Yan placed Grace of the Civet into his bag. I’ll have to wait until Level 20 before I can use it, so I’ll just keep it for now.
After passing through a long and narrow tunnel, he entered a relatively small room that was about one hundred square meters in size. There, he found three coffins made out of white marble. They appeared fairly ordinary with a simple twisting rune design carved into them. The grooves in these carvings were filled with a bright red paint that resembled the colour of blood.
They were Fate Rune Formations!
These three coffins weren’t actually as simple as they appeared. In fact, they were a very strange type of furnishings. Speaking precisely, they were the Undead race’s Fate Items!
When the player opened these coffins, the Fate Rune Formations would activate, and then a random surprise would emerge.
Once a coffin was opened, it would reset after ten days.
There were stories that told of players obtaining various high quality items such as the Helmet of Death or even a fragment of a Legendary-grade piece of equipment. However, there was also a player who had been unlucky enough to spawn a Vampire Prince, which, as one would expect, killed them in an instant.
The three marble coffins lay there in silence, a sense of enticement luring one forth, yet also the fearful unknown lurking about in the air.