Chapter 18 – Briar Skeletons
Translated by: Erza
Edited By: Erza, Surjit
TLC By: Shiroyukineko
Frozen Mound had always looked like an eerie forest from the past. Bronze pillars engraved with figures of demons decorated the gates. The sharp end of the bronze pillars were decorated with skulls drenched in blood; there were human skulls, beastfolk skulls, and also the demon-folk skulls. The demons were a race that was born beauties, and everyone in that race was of the female gender. This was also the reason that only female players could choose the demon race in this game.
I raised my sword and entered Frozen Mound.I approached the Sentinel Skeleton Leader Falk, and engaged him in a conversation. This mighty, rough Skeleton Warrior raised his arm and laughed loudly: “Little skeleton, your growth really makes me look at you in admiration. Looks like you are already very strong. Well then, I will give to you a very arduous quest!”
I nodded my head: “Come on! Tell me!”
Falk said: “A couple of days ago, an undead knight arrived from Frozen Mound . He was once a noble human knight. But now he has invaded our territory. Little skeleton, I hope you can kill him. Of course, that undead knight was very powerful. The strongest fencing master Su Lun in camp, will accompany you. Go, you must collect 40 Briar Skeleton fingers and give it to Su Lun. Only then, will he agree to go with you to kill the Undead Knight – Cyan Rain!”
System announcement: Accept the task 【Undead Knight•Cyan Rain】! (Level: E)
Quest Description: Go deep into Frozen Mound, and kill 200 Briar Skeletons and collect 40 Briar Skeleton Fingers to give to Undead Swordmaster Su Lun. He will then agree to help you and accompany you to kill the powerful Undead Knight•Cyan Rain. After completing the task, you will receive very rich rewards!
I was excited and couldn’t wait. Hehe, a Level E, middle level quest. This quest’s level was very high. It’s very likely that this was the highest level quest that has appeared so far in game. Looks like I’m going to make a fortune!
Entering Frozen Mound’s cemetery, I bought some potions from an NPC repaired my equipments. After preparing everything, off I go!
Walking along the cemetery path, I could see Ghost Valley killing monsters from afar. He was very efficient while killing monsters. He lured the monsters and then used his weapons to finish them off in 2 or 3 strikes, whilst also using some skills to receive extra experience.
It didn’t bother me and I continued to advance further into the depths of the cemetery. Sha sha, after walking for nearly a full 10 minutes, the surrounding suddenly turned darker and more putrid as the cemetery’s monsters finally appeared in front of me.
Inside the forest, the figures of the skeleton flickered. I swept a glance at the surrounding and saw a skeleton soldier that I had never seen before. It’s whole skeleton bones had already mutated, with rows of sharp barbs sticking out of the bones. The barbs glowed green, piercing a cold chill into people’s hearts. How are these level 21 Skeletons going to be different from the normal ones?
Don’t think too much, let’s go!
Rushing forward with my Green Forest Blade, I swung down the sharp blade on the shoulder of the Briar Skeletons. “Ka-cha” in one movement, my sharp blades entered into the Briar Skeletons with a deafening sound.
My attack was still high like before, cutting off a large portion of the monster’s health with just one strike. But my body also began hurting all over; I had actually lost 8 HP!
Battle Status: You have dealt 170 damage to the Briar Skeleton. However, his thorns caused a rebound effect, -8 HP. You have been hurt!
What! So it was a damage rebound effect?
Fortunately, it was only 5% of the total damage. I could still withstand it. If it was a bit higher, about 20%, then it would have been an altogether different scenario. I decided to go offline to wash up and rest for a bit.
This monster’s level was too high, the Green Forest Blade’s attack was indeed too weak. I spent a full half minute on one level 21 Briar Skeleton. This leveling efficiency was somewhat slow for me.
However, the experience gained from killing a single level 21 monster was indeed quite a lot. A single Briar Skeleton could cause my exp bar to increase an amount that naked eyes could see. At this pace I should be able to hit level 20 by the end of this quest. It was one step closer to level 30!
After beheading three Briar Skeletons in a row, I finally found the first quest item: Briar Skeleton Fingers. It was only the length of bone, a quest item, nothing more.
I walked around the forest looking for a lone Briar Skeleton. Their attack power was strangely high; even with my 37 points of defense, the damage dealt was high. Normally, after killing 3 of these skeletons, I would need to drink a health potion to recover. This pace of consumption was truly scary. Though luckily, I had enough silver to support my spending and the spawn rate was not bad!
Following the death of a skeleton, a stone was dropped. My eyes suddenly widened – a Large Magic Stone! Yes, it really was a Large Magic Stone. I never thought that these ordinary monsters could drop them. Previously, the Large Magic Stone with 77 quality I received was sold for 15 silvers. The stone in front of me had a quality of 51. Calculating according to proportion, I could get at least 10 silvers, I’m rich! Ha ha!
About 10 minutes after putting the Large Magic Stone into my inventory, another skeleton dropped a Large Magic Stone, with a quality of 67. It was worth even more silver!
After that, not even a single Large Magic Stone was dropped for two hours. But 4 Small Magic Stones were dropped. Though Small Magic Stones couldn’t be considered valuable, even a mosquito leg, as small as it is, was still meat. The money was especially tight in the early games phases and there was still no real currency exchange function. The only way to get silver was offline transactions, but we were all currently still beginners. How many people in the game would be able to boast having a full gold coin like me?
It was already late at night. I checked the ranking charts while slaying monsters. Floating Ice City was one of China’s nine main cities, where talented gamers from Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang were gathered. If I were to one day be on the Floating Ice City’s experts’ list, then I must better understand those players in the rankings.
Flipping the page, a row of IDs greeted me. It’s the Floating Ice City’s latest top ten rankings——
1. Wind Fantasy lvl 25 Occupation: Radiant Ranger
2. Domineering Mage lvl 23 Occupation: Mage
3. Domineering Knight lvl 23 Occupation: Magic Knight
4. Domineering Archer lvl 23 Occupation: Archer
5. Domineering Warrior lvl 23 Occupation: Warrior
6. Blazing Sun lvl 22 Occupation: Warrior
7. Ghost Valley lvl 22 Occupation: Death Knight
8. Descent of the Dragon lvl 21 Occupation: Magic Knight
9. Clearwater lvl 21 Occupation: Archer
10. Cloudy Milky Way lvl 21 Occupation: Mage
Ah! I looked dumbstruck at Floating Ice City’s current rankings. The top ten actually had similar names, were they related? Looks like this dominating family wanted to monopolise the top ten rankings.
Of course, the mountain would not show the water within.
(TLN: Chinese idiom saying people with real skills would not show off but keep it to themselves)
Ghost Valley, this leveling maniac. Almost everyday, his sleeping time was compressed to three hours. This guy was killed by me N times, yet here he was, ranked in the top ten. He was truly worthy of the title of a leveling maniac.
As for me, the person who grabbed my attention the most was Wind Fantasy, the Ranger. This ranger’s profession was not an ordinary one, but a Radiant Ranger. Also his level was the the highest, far surpassing those below him. Definitely a peak-level master, whose reputation in the official forums skyrocketed. Wind Fantasy’s rank was first not only in Floating Ice City; he could even contend for the top three in China and all of its nine cities!
This person was truly worthy of attention.He also had a high possibility of becoming the most dominant force in Floating Ice City; Ancient Sword Dream’s biggest obstruction!
In the Ranking Board, amongst the Ancient Sword Dream’s Four elders, Sun Moon Star Dust, Xu Yang the Blazing Sun was the highest leveled, placed at 6th place of the Ranking Board. This brat seemed to be playing with his life to level up!
My impression towards Xu Yang, Mu Rong Ming Yue and the last member of the four elders were not very good. About half a year ago, during He Yi’s birthday, the three of them had agreed with me to send a “Hap-py Birth-day” for He Yi, each of us sending one syllable. I was supposed to send a “day”, but in the end, those three didn’t even send the rest.
You can imagine how He Yi looked at me strangely the next day.
This task’s requirement of killing of 200 skeletons was not really that much, but surprisingly the difficult part was collecting the skeleton fingers. After a full 7-8 hours of killing and into the next day, I was still short by 3 skeleton fingers.
All the Briar Skeleton in the cemetery’s surroundings were completely annihilated by me. But on a pile of bones stood a mighty Undead Knight, hand on his sword, proud and upright, standing at the center. This must be the Undead Knight, Cyan Rain! The quest’s final target!
Right now, I didn’t dare to kill him alone. I had already risen to level 20 and entered the top 100 of Floating Ice City again finally. After spending another half an hour, two skeleton fingers were dropped. Only one more to go until I could get reinforcements; my mentor, the Undead Swordmaster Su Lun would help me kill the BOSS together!
Looking at the time, it’s 10:30 am. I felt no trace of weariness, so I decided to continue killing!
Shanghai, in the bustling commercial district. A conference room in a unique high-rise office building.
About 7-8 elite people were sitting around the table discussing business matters. Sitting at the very end was a young woman, dressed in a brown suit with a badge saying: “He Yi”.
“Eve? It’s your turn. What is your view?” Urged a middle aged man to the beauty.
Unfortunately, He Yi was lost in thought, staring out the window at the sky, a hint of sadness in her eyes.
“EVE, what do you think about this month’s decreasing performance? ”
As the group of directors watched , He Yi’s long eyelashes slowly lowered. A line of tears trickled down her tired snow white face. With her eyes closed, her mouth trembled out: “But Lu Chen……..Lu Chen he…..”