The Water Demons! They were here!
Nie Yan impatiently stared at the progress bar. It was already at 78%. If he were interrupted here, all that work would be for naught!
After discovering Nie Yan, the Water Demons let out shrill screams which sounded like grass scraping. This was apparently how they alerted the others. Water Demons swam in from all around, soon more than a dozen moving to surround Nie Yan.
Nie Yan was only eight seconds from opening the chest! This was the critical juncture.
The Waters Demons were like flies who caught a whiff of rotting meat. They made a beeline for Nie Yan.
Shit! Nie Yan was about to give up on the chest and return to the surface, when he heard a loud explosion.
The boat happened to be crossing directly over Nie Yan. Noticing he was in danger, Xie Yao shot a ball of light into the water.
The ball of light was dazzling beyond compare, illuminating the entire lakebed.
Bathed in the holy light, the Water Demons let out mournful screams and retreated back.
Nie Yan breathed a sigh of relief. He seized the opportunity to continue opening the chest.
BANG! The ball of light exploded, transforming the surroundings into a world of white.
This was the Radiance Explosion spell of a Holy Mage!
The dazzling brilliance completely disoriented the Water Demons.
Nie Yan was also blinded. But he didn’t need his eyes to pick the lock, only to hold it in his hands and keep the skill activated.
CLICK! The lid of the chest popped open. Nie Yan’s face lit up with joy. He stuck his hand in and grabbed onto a round object and something that felt like a necklace. In a hurry, he tossed them into his bag, whatever they were.
Nie Yan quickly swam back up to the surface. The light from Xie Yao’s spell gradually faded away. He could sense the demons rapidly closing in on him as he felt the cold water rushing past his face.
It looked like avoiding a fight with these Water Demons was impossible now.
Come! Nie Yan clenched the Bloody Dagger, ready to meet the enemy head-on.
The ghost captain still calmly rowed the boat, oblivious to the things happening underwater. He had zero consciousness. He was nothing more than a mindless spirit damned to row this boat across the lake for eternity. Xie Yao attempted to stop him, but nothing worked. Even the slightest nudge could cause his health to fall to zero and make him disappear, which would cause her to get stuck on her quest.
The boat was quickly leaving Nie Yan behind, Xie Yao anxiously looking back at him.
“Nie Yan, quickly, or else it will be too late!” Xie Yao cried out.
The fog was starting to obscure her vision of him.
Any longer, and Nie Yan would have no way of finding the boat, even from above the water’s surface. Worst comes to worst. She would have to kill the ghost, then turn the boat back to rescue him. As for what would happen after, she had no idea.
Come on! Come on! Xie Yao prayed.
Nie Yan felt his situation quickly turning south. Sensing a Water Demon closing in, he swung around and ruthlessly slashed its neck as they crossed each other in the water. A blood-curdling shriek rang out, causing his ears to ring in pain. His vision became hazy.
A mind attack! Nie Yan’s heart trembled. He quickly used Mind Immune as his head instantly cleared up.
A wave of energy swept out, causing the Water Demons to retreat back. Nie Yan turned back around and swam to the surface. He had to hurry, or the boat would leave him behind!
The Water Demons didn’t back down after the Extreme Deterrence. They followed closely behind Nie Yan, looking like they would pounce on him at any moment now.
Almost there! Nie Yan tried to swim even faster. SPLASH! He broke out of the water’s surface. The boat! Where was the boat!? Where was it…?
“T-the boat’s gone,” Nie Yan sputtered. He knew the risk, and he knew the danger of missing the boat; death.
Nie Yan didn’t realize underwater, but he finally noticed the water had a paralyzing effect. His four limbs were starting to feel numb.
The water wasn’t fatal poison. Rather, it slowly made the player lose sense of their body!
Nie Yan hurriedly drank a high rank Antidote. He immediately had some feelings return to his limbs. But this wouldn’t last for long. The only way out of this was to get back on the boat! The boat was his only hope for survival.
「Nie Yan, are you alright!?」Xie Yao whispered.「Do you want me to kill the ghost and steer the boat back?」
「No, don’t. Cast Illuminate!」Nie Yan said. Even in this perilous situation, he still maintained a calm mind.
Xie Yao waved her staff and sent a ball of light into the air. BANG! It exploded with a dazzling radiance.
Nie Yan searched around before spotting a few rays of light piercing through the fog. Even though it was quite faint due to the distance, he still spotted it. As fast as he could, he swam in that direction.
Some seconds later, Nie Yan shouted in voice chat,「Cast another!」
Another ball of light flew up into the sky.
Nie Yan was happy to find the light was much brighter than before. This was proof he was getting closer to the boat!
Nie Yan picked up the pace and swam with all his might.
More and more Water Demons gathered behind him, none of them willing to give up their pursuit. They were faster than Nie Yan, only by a little. If it weren’t for Extreme Deterrence, they would’ve long since pounced on him.
Two minutes later, Nie Yan finally saw the outline of the boat. Salvation! He quickly swam toward it.
Xie Yao’s eyes scanned around the lake. When she heard the splashing and found Nie Yan swimming, it felt like her heart was going to erupt from her chest. She waved her arms and shouted, “Over here! Over here!”
Using every last ounce of strength in him, Nie Yan swam even faster.
Xie Yao waved her staff, sending a volley of light orbs in Nie Yan’s direction. They plunged into the water and exploded one after the other. Her gauge of distance was extremely precise. They all missed him, but the Water Demons underwater were blasted away.
Xie Yao knew the Water Demons wouldn’t stop chasing Nie Yan. So, she used Radiance Explosion to help him disperse them.
Since the spells exploded behind Nie Yan, the waves generated by their explosions propelled him forward even faster. After several more minutes, he finally reached the boat and climbed back up.
Xie Yao had gone through a rollercoaster of emotions these last 10 minutes. Seeing Nie Yan safely back on the boat, she tightly hugged him.
Nie Yan was stunned. Looking back at the water, he finally realized that the danger he exposed himself to might be normal to him, but frightening beyond compare to others. With the quest on the verge of failing and him lost in the middle of some lake, completely at its mercy, how could Xie Yao not be moved after seeing him return safe and sound.
Nie Yan was shivering from the cold water. Feeling the warmth of Xie Yao’s body, his mind flashed with a mischievous thought. He rubbed his hands against her butt as a soft and supple feeling was transmitted through his palms. He chuckled. “Don’t worry. Since when can trouble hold me back? I’m here, safe and sound, aren’t I?”
After feeling her butt groped, Xie Yao squealed and shoved him back. She didn’t expect Nie Yan to behave so pervertedly in this situation. There was even a ghost beside them! Even though it was just a mindless monster, she still felt extremely bashful as her cheeks flushed rosy red.
Nie Yan nearly lost his balance, trying his best to not fall back into the water. He bitterly smiled. “What? It was only a small feel. What would you do if I drowned?”
“It would serve you right!” Xie Yao shot him a glare.
The ghost raised its head to stare at Nie Yan, then at Xie Yao. It still had a vacant look in its eyes, unable to understand the actions of these two before it. It lowered its head back down and continued rowing.
Xie Yao reaffirmed the fact that the ghost had no consciousness. Only then did she slightly relax.
Nie Yan could sense that Xie Yao was still quite reserved. Only when the two of them were alone would she lower her guard. If another person were present, she would close up like a clam. Seeing her red all over, he couldn’t help but smile.
“We’re still a long way off.” Xie Yao shifted the topic to hide her embarrassment.
“Aren’t we already at the other shore,” Nie Yan asked in doubt.
The boat slowly approached the shore.
“This isn’t our stop.” Xie Yao shook her head. “We have to stay on the boat longer.”
After reaching the shore, the ghost looked around, almost as if he were waiting for passengers to get on board. Six minutes later on the second, he set off again and slowly sailed back into the fog.
“How do you know this isn’t the right place?” Nie Yan asked.
“From a quest clue. It’s a riddle, but I managed to figure it out. We disembark the third time the ghost reaches the shore,” Xie Yao explained. That riddle was extremely complicated, but she managed to slowly unravel it and figure out its secret.
“Oh, I see.” Nie Yan nodded.
“What did you get from the chest?” Xie Yao asked.
Nie Yan had nearly forgotten about the two items he retrieved from the treasure chest. Back when he pulled them out of the chest, he didn’t have any time to look at them. He took them out. One was a black gem, and the other a silver necklace adorned with a ruby. The necklace gave of a sparkling glint, the kind that captured your attention as soon as you laid eyes on it. As for the gem, its colour was pretty dull, but it barely fit in his palm.