The Twin-Headed Ogre closed in on Nie Yan and smashed down with its spiked club.
Seeing Nie Yan about to be smashed into a meat patty, Suyo and Ronin closed their eyes and turned their heads away in reflex.
Everyone thought Nie Yan was a goner for sure.
As the club came down on him, Nie Yan raised his head, his eyes flashing with a cold light.
BOOOM! The club dug into the earth. However, Nie Yan was nowhere to be found. The Twin-Headed Ogre appeared visibly confused.
Before the Twin-Headed Ogre could lift its club back up, a silhouette appeared right under it. BANG! Nie Yan ruthlessly elbowed it in the abdomen.
“GROAAARG!” The Twin-Headed Ogre staggered back several steps.
Nie Yan braced his hands on the ground in a handstand, then launched himself up in the air. He struck the Twin-Headed Ogre’s jaws with a powerful sweeping kick.
BANG! The Twin-Headed Ogre was sent reeling back.
As the Twin-Headed Ogre crashed to the ground, Nie Yan dropped back down with a brutal knee strike to the groin.
Nie Yan glanced at the combo count in the corner of his eye—3 hits.
Nie Yan was only getting started. Since he had shed some of his Legendary equipment, his stats had fallen to more reasonable levels. However, he was still dealing damage in the tens of thousands. Under his chain of attacks, the Twin-Headed Ogre’s health fell bit by bit.
Watching the fight from the sidelines, Suyo, Ronin, and the other’s jaws dropped. They couldn’t believe what they were seeing.
Nie Yan’s movements were too fast. He was only a blur. All they saw was the Twin-Headed Ogre getting pummelled left and right.
This kind of smooth linking of attacks was breathtaking.
Even though they couldn’t see Nie Yan clearly, something about the series of after-images he left behind was strangely captivating.
Suyo and Ronin glanced at each other. “Shadow Dancer!” the two both muttered at the same time. They couldn’t suppress the shock in their hearts. They didn’t expect to bump into a Shadow Dancer here of all places!
Everyone here was at least somewhat knowledgeable. Seeing Nie Yan’s movements, they all recognized he was a Shadow Dancer.
Violet Night had a blank look on his face. His eyes somewhat glazed over. He believed Nie Yan was merely an ordinary human Thief. The thought that Nie Yan might be a Shadow Dancer never even crossed his mind. Everything he’d said, including mocking Nie Yan for not being able to draw aggro, didn’t it all seem like a complete joke now? Nie Yan didn’t need to go through all that trouble. He could simply solo the Twin-Headed Ogre!
“Is this guy even human!?” the two orc Warriors beside Ronin gasped in amazement.
“Can anyone investigate his background? The Viridian Empire only has a few Shadow Dancers. What hole did this guy crawl out from!?”
“He doesn’t look like Nirvana Flame, King of the World, Mistaken Smile, or Sun. Everyone knows their faces.”
None of them knew about the Disguise Elixir. Ordinary Disguise Potions only lasted 20–30 minutes at most. They had already been in contact with Nie Yan for more than half an hour!
Nie Yan’s identity was no longer important. What mattered was his title of Shadow Dancer. Like this, they might really have a shot at reaching the treasure trove!
The minutes and seconds passed. Suyo checked the time. It took Nie Yan less than five minutes to down the Twin-Headed Ogre!
This was simply too cheat-like!
Nie Yan collected the loot off the ground. One of the items was a piece of Level 180 Gold-grade equipment–in other words, complete garbage. He normally couldn’t be bothered to spare something like this a glance. There was also a golden key fragment about the size of a thumb. This was precisely the thing they were looking for.
Checking his notification bar, Nie Yan found he’d achieved a 17-hit combo, whereas the Twin-Headed Ogre failed to land a single blow on him. He was pretty satisfied with his performance. Especially his grasp over his skills made him happy. He linked them together much smoother than before. Of course, it’d been a lot easier to take this ogre down if he had his real equipment on. It’d probably take him less than half the time he spend now.
Ronin, Suyo, and the others all walked over.
Nie Yan tossed over the piece of Gold-grade equipment to Ronin. “Come on, let’s go. We’re tight on time, right?”
Suyo carefully scrutinized Nie Yan’s face before she eventually gave up. She couldn’t find a single giveaway. He was truly a mysterious person.
“Y-yeah, let’s go.” Ronin nodded. He then turned to face the rest of the party. “I’m stepping down as party leader. From now on, Sky Origin will lead us. Listen to him, guys.”
No one dissented. Even Violet Night didn’t voice any retorts. He understood someone like him was nothing more than a pebble on the road to Nie Yan.
Honestly speaking, even without these people, Nie Yan could still complete this quest. However, Ronin’s party possessed the treasure map and had already prepared for over a month. They’d definitely grasped onto many clues, many of which he’d miss on his own. So, they were indispensable, serving as his guide.
After this, Ronin, Suyo, and the others learned the true meaning of the word cheat. Along the way, Nie Yan killed seven more Level 180 Elites. What would normally take them at least 4 hours was accomplished by him in less than 35 minutes.
The last Elite was a Blue Twin-Headed Ogre. It had much higher defense compared to the other ogres and could even cast AoE magic. It was precisely at this stage where Ronin and the others had wiped numerous times. Yet this monster which gave them endless headaches was toyed around with like a child by Nie Yan, and subsequently killed in the short span of three minutes. It didn’t even get a chance to cast magic. Walking past the Blue Twin-Headed Ogre’s corpse, Ronin and the others felt like they were dreaming. Was this really the same monster that had wiped out their party so many times?
However, the proof was right in front of their eyes!
“We did it!” Ronin exclaimed after collecting all eight key fragments.
He brought the key fragments together. As they merged together, they released a dazzling flash of light, causing Nie Yan and the others to shield their eyes.
When they could see again, the eight fragments had already merged into a single key the size of a person’s hand.
This was the first time Nie Yan saw such a large key. He could already imagine the size of the corresponding chest.
Ronin and the others were elated. They had finally obtained the key!
“What’s next?” Nie Yan asked.
“We don’t know.” Ronin bitterly smiled. “We only got as far as the Blue Twin-Headed Ogre. We can only stumble our way forward from here. However, since we managed to acquire the key, the five-hour time limit is gone. We can take our time now.”
“I see. Lead the way,” Nie Yan said. He could tell the strength of Ronin’s party was limited. To be able to reach the Blue Twin-Headed Ogre was already impressive.
Ronin checked his quest progress window, then looked back at the treasure map. “Follow me.”
Ronin led Nie Yan and the others through the forest. Along the way, they encountered several dark elf encampments. Some of them already had players in there fighting. When they saw Nie Yan and the others, they all had guarded expressions. In the wilderness, strangers kill stealing, ambushing, and robbing each other was fairly commonplace. Only after seeing Nie Yan and the others depart did they withdraw their gazes.
After passing through several such encampments, they finally arrived in the main settlement of the dark elf tribe. The monsters here were much stronger than the ones on the outskirts. They were all at least Level 170.
Inside the settlement were endless rows of tents with many interconnecting and winding paths. Dark elves could be seen walking everywhere. Who knew how long it would take to clear this place? Three, four, maybe even five days or more, and that was with the help of an expedition team. But if they didn’t, they had no way of progressing.
Nie Yan could clear these dark elves in a flash if he summoned Paladin Lafus and Lil’ Gold, but that also meant exposing his identity.
“No players are brave enough to come here yet.” Ronin leaped up on top of a large tree, then gazed down at the large square in the center of the settlement. “The map says the treasure is over there.”
This matched up with the information Nie Yan received from Blacksmith Kuru.
“I can call on some friends for help. We’ll form a 500-man expedition team and start clearing out the settlement. It should only take us about three days,” Suyo suggested. She had many high level friends. Ronin and the others also had large social circles.
Nie Yan rubbed his chin. If he separated from Ronin and the others, he would have no problem sneaking into the center of the dark elf tribe and maybe even open the treasure chest. At worst, he would follow through with their agreement and give Ronin’s party their items. The only depressing part was that he had no access to the treasure map. After all, Ronin would still take some precautions against him.
“I’ll sneak in first and scout out the situation inside. You guys can continue planning here,” Nie Yan said.
“You alone?” Suyo blurted out before recalling something. “Oh right. You’re a Shadow Dancer. Infiltrating this settlement should be no problem for you.”
“Be careful. Here, take the key. Maybe you’ll get a chance to open the treasure chest. As for how to open the chest, there’s some clues on the treasure map. But without being there myself, I can’t decipher them,” Ronin said. At this moment, he couldn’t help but be a bit envious of Nie Yan. This was one of the biggest advantages of being a Thief.
Nie Yan nodded. “I’ll be heading off. Let me know if there are any new developments here.”
After bidding farewell to Ronin’s party, Nie Yan entered stealth and headed for the settlement.
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