“How could it be him…?” Nie Yan muttered to himself. Though he had no dealings with Resplendent Bladelight, he still recognized this name because it was quite influential in his past life.
Bladelight held impressive renown as he stood amongst the top three Fighters in the game. That said, the rankings were an inadequate indicator of their strength due to the minuscule gap between him and his two rivals. This made it near impossible for others to determine who truly reigned supreme; therefore, despite not being the absolute strongest, Bladelight was still a celebrity Nie Yan had heard of.
Now that Nie Yan thought about it, he seemed to recall there was a story surrounding Resplendent Bladelight. It was about one of his friends, an Elementalist named Hei Zhuo (Black Amazing). The two, who jointly established a guild named Unhindered, were considered the closest of friends. However, Bladelight didn’t care much for managing Unhindered, so full authority over the guild eventually fell to Hei Zhuo. Later on, Bladelight found out his girlfriend was having an affair with Hei Zhuo while he, of course, had absolutely no clue this had been occurring. He was a proud and arrogant person, so how could he bear this sort of humiliation? In retaliation, he brought many of his brothers away and left the guild. From then on, Unhindered separated into two factions with irreconcilable differences. As for what happened after… Bladelight could be considered a hero of sorts—he kept to his promises, valued loyalty, and was well respected among other players. Moreover, no one disputed his position as one of the top three Fighters in the game. Hence, without Bladelight, Unhindered went on a continual decline and eventually degenerated into a second-rate guild.
As Bladelight resisted the three Lions, he felt a cold chill run down his spine and a peculiar sensation arose in his heart. He steadily retreated as he fought, occasionally glancing behind to look around, yet he saw nothing but empty space.
However, his instincts would never betray him. He knew this odd feeling came from the gaze of a Thief.
Even with six points in Awareness, he was still unable to locate the other party’s position. This isn’t an ordinary Thief!
“Brother, since you’re already here, why don’t you show yourself? My name is Resplendent Bladelight. If you’ve decided to attack, I won’t attempt to struggle since I’m done for in any case. However, if you’re willing to save me, you’ll have my thanks. In addition, I’ll even swear on my name that I’ll remember this favour.” Bladelight spoke in a clear tone. At the same moment, the Lion that had been left behind recovered from its crippled state and joined back with its two companions. All three pounced forward and intensified their assault.
Hoh? I didn’t think he’d be able to notice me. Nie Yan pondered for a short while. He would only obtain a single piece of equipment if he killed Bladelight. The equipment he’d acquire wasn’t for his profession and its value wasn’t something he highly regarded. In contrast, being owed a favour by a first-class Fighter held much greater appeal than a single piece of equipment. Moreover, from his previous life, he knew Bladelight was known for being a trustworthy person.
The lights and shadows in the background blurred, followed by a figure emerging into sight roughly three meters from Bladelight. Nie Yan had emerged! He lowered his body and swiftly struck one of the Lions with a sweeping kick.
The blade of his daggers flashed with a cold glint. Among the three Lions, the one he struck with Concussive Strike was low on health. Nie Yan chained his prior attack with Assassinate followed by Vital Strike and instantly killed the Lion, whereupon he drew back immediately and pulled out a crossbow.「Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!」Three bolts shot out of the crossbow and pierced the air.「Put! Put! Put!」
Nie Yan’s attacks caused the two remaining Lions to switch aggro. They turned around and pounced on him.
Bladelight knew that this moment, his best course of action was to support Nie Yan. His taunt came at just the right time. The Lions stiffened mid-pounce and the aggro switched back to him.
「Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!」Nie Yan fired his crossbow once more and three bolts shot through the air.「Put! Put! Put!」The Lion that was already low on health from being struck earlier died after the second round of bolts.
Nie Yan withdrew his crossbow and pounced toward the remaining Lion.
Bladelight leapt high into the air and struck the remaining Lion. The attack ensured its attention was fixated fully on him while Nie Yan circled round its back and released a flurry of attacks.
Thieves dealt thirty percent more damage when attacking an enemy from behind. A brief moment later, the Lion went limp and collapsed to the ground.
Bladelight felt a mix of shock and relief when he saw Nie Yan’s nimble movements and high damage. What a strong Thief! Just a moment ago, if he had decided to attack me instead, I’d have zero chance of survival.
Nie Yan walked up to the three Lion Corpses and searched around. To his disappointment, nothing had dropped.
“Well, that’s settled. Too bad nothing dropped. Anyway, if you plan on keeping your promise, this means you owe me one now. My name is Nie Yan (Nirvana Flame),” Nie Yan said, examining Bladelight. He appeared to be near his mid-twenties. He also looked mature and rugged, giving off the impression of someone who could be relied on and trusted.
“I, Resplendent Bladelight, am a man of my word. I’ll remember this favour. In the future, just call if you need me. As long as it’s within my capabilities, I’ll do my best to lend a helping hand,” Bladelight replied in a straightforward manner. He wasn’t the type of person who backed out on his promises.
Bladelight then glanced at Nie Yan’s face and was shocked at his immature appearance. He never thought this Thief would be so young. He only looked to be eighteen or nineteen years old. Moreover, he didn’t think Nie Yan would appear in this area for no rhyme or reason. Presumably, the player he had seen earlier, suspended over the cliff face and shooting the Lion King, was Nie Yan.
“Why did you come here all by yourself?’ Nie Yan asked. It was quite dangerous for a lone Fighter to burst into a high-level monster area. Thieves might not have a problem coming here but that was only because they could avoid danger by activating Stealth.
“I entered this area in a party with my friends but we got separated when we met a large group of Lions. I’m the only one remaining; everyone else died. I was constantly fending off those Lions and there was never a chance for me to use a Return Scroll. If it weren’t for my high health and defense, I would’ve likely died as well,” Bladelight replied in a calm manner; however, Nie Yan could imagine how bitter and desperate of a situation he had been in.
“I guess you’re lucky then.”
“You’re right. I am pretty lucky for being able to somehow survive. How about we add each other as friends? Resplendent Bladelight is too much of a mouthful. You can just call me Bladelight.”
Nie Yan accepted Bladelight’s friend request. His new friend was a powerful Fighter, which was worth being happy over. At least from now on, he’d no longer have to worry about finding a good tank when running a dungeon.
“This isn’t a safe place for you to idle around. It’s best for you to hurry up and return to town,” Nie Yan suggested. If a pride of Lions were to catch sight of them, he could still easily escape, but Bladelight was different. He had no way to hide himself. Moreover, with his large build and bulky equipment, he’d likely become a free meal for the Lions in this area.
For Bladelight, these words weren’t pleasant to the ears but he had no means to refute them. Besides the fact Nie Yan seemed to be much stronger than him, Fighters couldn’t compete with Thieves when it came down to survivability.
“Alright then, I’ll leave. I owe you a favour, so if you ever need me just send a message. As long as it’s within my capabilities, I’ll try my best to help!” Bladelight nodded his head and retrieved a Return Scroll from his bag. It really wasn’t safe for him to stay here for too long.
“Wait a second!” Nie Yan shouted, stopping Bladelight just when he prepared to activate the scroll. His impression of Bladelight was quite good.
“What’s the matter?”
“I have a shield that you might want. I don’t mind selling it to you if you can give me a decent price,” Nie Yan said. It would be too much of a pity selling this shield through the auction house. If an acquaintance could afford it, he might as well sell it to that acquaintance instead. Either way, by selling the shield, he’d have more money to do other things.
“Huh? Let me take a look at it.” Bladelight seemed quite interested. Nie Yan was the person who suspended himself over the cliff face to kill the Lion King. To be able to use such an ingenious method of hunting a boss, he was certain to have good equipment.