Nie Yan’s mind rang out in alarm. He understood what the announcement signified. This location was a sealed region. How could the game allow him to get the Chapter of Courage so easily?
It was reasonable to believe the chapter would have a guardian protecting it, which was precisely a boss known as the Guardian of Order. However, right to this moment, why had it still not made an appearance?
In the past Nie Yan had merely skimmed through the video regarding the chapter. However, one thing that remained deeply engraved in his mind was the imposing figure of the Guardian of Order.
While thinking this, the ground began to violently tremble and the earth beneath him began to crack. It appeared as if something were attempting to force its way up from below. Nie Yan glanced at the path he took to get here, but found it had been obstructed by falling boulders.
Shit… I have to make a run for it! He glanced around but there wasn’t an exit anywhere in sight. With no other options left, he began heading towards the mountain.
He found a slope that didn’t seem too steep and began nimbly climbing his way up.
The mountain slope had many trees growing on top of it and gave him many points to grip onto.
Then in the same moment Nie Yan suddenly recalled something, Oh right, the Ring of Woven Silk! Up until now, he still hadn’t found an opportunity to appraise the ring. However now, with Transcendent Insight, appraising it would be a cinch. He took out the ring from his knapsack and appraised it.
Ring of Woven Silk (Bronze): Unique Accessory Level Requirement: Level 0 Properties: Release a thread of silk that can adhere to certain surfaces. The thread can extend to five meters in length and has a tensile strength of two hundred pounds. (Cooldown: 20 seconds) Weight: 1 lb User Restriction: Can be equipped by any faction.
After equipping the Ring of Woven Silk, he wanted to appraise Assassin’s Decree as well. However, at that moment, a powerful gust of heat radiated from beneath the valley below, and the earth shattered into countless pieces. Like a volcanic eruption, countless boulders and rock fragments were sent flying into the air. Many trees were uprooted and lay flattened on the ground, strewn across the area, while others spontaneously combusted—a scene of utter and absolute destruction.
A horrifying crater of lava emerged from the center of the valley, swallowing everything in the vicinity within its reach.
The dormant giant, awoken from its slumber, pulled itself up from deep beneath the ground. It was the servant of God, and possessed the power to bestow divine judgement.
I don’t have much time… Nie Yan was now too preoccupied to appraise the dagger and continued scaling the mountain. The burst of heat had caught him off guard, causing him to slip and nearly fall back to the valley below.
Standing atop one of the many trees growing horizontally on the mountainside, Nie Yan glanced upwards, looking for the next point he could climb up on. The next point was roughly two meters away. He leapt up high in the air and gripped onto a protruding rock, where he lightly struggled his way up. With this, he had now made some more progress while scaling the mountain.
A giant head emerged from the cracks in the valley, followed by immense arms, a torso, and legs.
From head to toe the giant was roughly sixty meters in height. Two wings covered in pitch black feathers sprouted from its back, while in its hand was a thirty-meter-long crystal scepter. In the same moment it emerged, its entire body ignited with a blazing red aura, causing a whirlwind of scorching heat to rise and form at the center of the valley.
With Transcendent Insight, Nie Yan could see the giant’s stats.
Guardian of Order (Low-level Intelligence): Level 100 Health: 200,000/200,000
The giant spoke in what sounded like gibberish, his voice bellowing out and stretching far into the valley. The gibberish was actually the dragon language. His words roughly translated into: “Light and darkness alternate in cycles. I am the protector of God’s will and guard His Order. If there is a sinful person who desires to purloin the chapter from the Book of Order, they shall receive divine judgement!”
Legends say the Guardians were birthed from the merging of giant and dragon. Viewed as freaks of nature, they were banished into the deep wilderness where they eventually received God’s baptism. Entrusted with a task from God, they protect the various chapters scattered across the world.
The Guardian’s gaze swept all around the area before it finally lifted its head and locked onto a figure that had almost climbed to the mountain’s peak. With a single beat of its wings, the giant’s immense body rapidly rose into the air. The giant bellowed, “Black Flame Tempest!”
A scorching black cloud of flame emerged out of thin air and began rapidly congealing into a sphere. Afterwards, the ball of black flame shot towards Nie Yan. 「BOOM!」The Black Flame Tempest exploded on the mountainside, scattering pitch black fireballs in every direction and set the entire area ablaze.
In the small forest town of Link not far from Levin Hills, the earth violently shook and trembled. The sudden commotion left the players who had gathered at the town frightened and anxious.
“What’s going on!?”
“Look over there, where the mountains are!”
A cloud of black flame had engulfed the entire peak of the mountain. Within those black flames emerged the immense silhouette of a figure hovering in the air, as if the apostle of destruction had arrived from the gates of hell itself.
Soon, a disaster warning was issued in Link.
「Warning: A monster of the dragon race has emerged south of Link. We advise all nearby players to depart the area immediately!」
After a brief moment, a flash of brilliant light shone from the transport point in Link. A group of fully armed NPC soldiers wearing bright silver armour had arrived in town, while on the chests of each soldier was a medal engraved with the insignia of the Holy Crusaders. With a quick look, their numbers appeared to have reached in the excess of several hundred as they rapidly assembled in the public square.
There existed two elite armies within the Viridian Empire, which were the empire’s most powerful fighting strength. The first belonged to the Imperial Church and were known as the Holy Crusaders. The army was composed of over five hundred thousand troops and their Commander-in-chief was the Holy Mage, Jebiah the Great. They were tasked with the duty of protecting the entire empire. The second army was the Guardian Legion of the Temple of Light known as the Temple Guards. Their numbers were less, at around fifty thousand. However, unlike the Holy Crusaders, their sole duty was to safeguard the Temple of Light, the religion of the entire empire.
These several hundred soldiers belonged to the Holy Crusaders and they had arrived to guard the town.
“No wonder, it was a monster of the dragon race!”
The players discussed vigorously while gazing at the Guardian of Order hovering in the sky.
The Dragon race: they were an existence that was both powerful and distant to mankind. During the Dark Era (−2678–230), dragons had reigned supreme and established a mighty empire within the continent, which enslaved all other races. Eventually, their rule was toppled by the combined alliance of giants, humans, dwarves, elves, and beastmen. To prevent retaliation from the dragons in the future, the alliance enacted a mass genocide of all dragons throughout the continent. Thus, the former glory of the dragon race was no more; however, they didn’t simply fade from existence. There were still many dragons scattered across the continent, hidden away in their secluded abodes.
The Viridian Empire designated the Guardian of Order as belonging to the dragon race. Although they were technically wrong, in regards to exterior appearances, there were only minute differences between the two.
With the appearance of the NPCs, the minds of the players began working. A monster of the dragon race had emerged and a large number of NPC soldiers had arrived as well. In such a scenario, the two parties were most certainly going to clash, which left the players wondering what sort of benefits they could fish out from this spectacle.
When the information travelled around, guilds appeared one after another through the transport point of Link. The guilds Splendid Temple, Dark Massacre, and Holy Empire all sent members ranging from a thousand to over several thousand players.
The equipment the dragon might drop truly represented an irresistible enticement for these guilds.
The entirety of Link suddenly became armed to the teeth, while every ballista in the guard towers were being loaded and prepped.
A few moments before…
Nie Yan lifted his head to gaze the immense figure hovering in the sky. The pair of wings on its back were large enough to blot out the entire sun. When the Guardian displayed its might by casting Black Flame Tempest, clouds of black flame emerged, covering the sky before congealing into a dense fireball. As if it were a meteor, the dense ball of black flame fell towards Nie Yan and began engulfing everything within range.
The large black fireball exploded into several smaller balls which scattered around the mountainside. On impact, they smashed boulders to rubble, created deep craters everywhere, and charred the entire earth black.
Nie Yan didn’t panic in such a situation. Instead, by relying on his experienced eyesight and judgement, he remained cool-headed and found a hiding space after calculating the fireball’s trajectory. Fortunately, the fireballs weren’t concentrated in a single area, but the explosive power of each fireball was still quite a terrifying sight to behold.
Shit… he’s coming down. Nie Yan tilted his head and gazed upward. He saw the Guardian of Order’s immense body descending towards his general area like a hawk hunting its prey. This creature that looked like it had come from the deepest layers of hell definitely wasn’t something the current him could contend against.
Compared to the Guardian, Nie Yan was such a frail existence that even so much as a slight touch from the Guardian of Order could end his life.
Nie Yan made a rapid descent down the mountain. He made it about half-way before stopping at a steep cliff. As he peered downwards, he noticed it was roughly an eighty- to ninety-meter drop. Then he turned his head and glanced back; the Guardian of Order was fast approaching from behind. Without a second thought, he made a leap of faith and jumped off the cliff.
「BOOM!」The Guardian of Order descended onto the cliff where Nie Yan had just been standing moments ago. The impact of his landing shattered the surrounding rocks and boulders.
Nie Yan was still falling off the mountains, his speed rapidly increasing as he made his descent. He could feel the vegetation growing on the cliffside sweeping past his ear. Occasionally, one or two branches would briefly break his fall, only to immediately snap when bearing the weight of his impact.
−7, −9, −5…
Each collision caused damage values to appear above his head one after another.