This dark elf settlement was flourishing despite its location in enemy territory. Dark elf guard squads patrolled the streets. They comprised up to 100 troops of different classes, and were fully armed, wielding various weapons.
Nie Yan scanned his eyes over the faces of these dark elves. Their appearances were similar to that of ordinary white elves, except for their dark skin and silver hair. They all had black moons engraved on their armour.
In Conviction’s lore, dark elves were traitors who abandoned their faith in the moon goddess and became devout followers of the demons. In the battle for the world tree, they were defeated and banished from the surface world. Some fled to the underworld. Others hid in remote corners of the Atlanta continent, continuously hunted down by the white elves.
Nie Yan evaded the sights of the guard squads and headed deeper into the settlement.
Before long, he could make out a square in the distance. A large silhouette wandered around in the center. It was likely the boss.
Nie Yan was too far away to get a good look. The creature was about six meters tall. He could also faintly make out a pair of wings on its back. Each step it took shook the ground.
A demon! Nie Yan’s heart trembled.
Thanks to the combined efforts of the Viridian Empire and Satreen Empire, very few demons appeared in the Atlanta continent.
There were many types of demons. High demons were existences that could rival archangels. They were extremely intelligent. If a high demon appeared, the entire Atlanta continent would be in danger. Even legendary NPCs wouldn’t dare to face them. The demon in the square was most likely a lesser servant.
Let’s get a closer look first. Nie Yan dashed forward and arrived on the edge of the square. At about 100 meters from the demon, he could finally get a good look at its appearance.
Flames wrapped around the demon’s blood red body. It wore a sinister and frightening expression. The bat-like wings, which spread out several meters, slowly flapped up and down. In its hand, it held a large greatsword shrouded in green flames which it could only lift due to it massive, gorilla-like arms! It wandered around, sometimes taking to the air and floating a few meters above the ground.
Sensing something, the demon looked around.
Nie Yan held his breath. Employing some of the buildings in the square as cover, he slowly made his way forward and inspected the demon with Transcendent Insight.
It was a Demonified Lord!
Nie Yan felt his heart sink to the pit of his stomach. At this stage of the game, players might not exactly know the strength of Demonified Lords, but they knew that anywhere one roamed was a forbidden death zone.
For reference, even if he called Tang Yao, Xie Yao, and all the other Masters over as well as a thousand-man expedition team, their odds of beating a Level 130 Demonified Lord were still next to none. With Bladelight’s defense, he would have no problem tanking a Level 130 Variant Lord, but he would be torn to shreds by an equal level Demonified Lord.
Even though he was still relatively far away, Nie Yan could feel the scorching hot flames coming off of the Demon Slaughterer. He was assailed by its frightening aura. Demons were propagators of fear and death.
Nie Yan noticed the Demon Slaughterer was patrolling around a platform. Looking at the shape, it was likely an altar.
The treasure trove!
「Sky Origin, what’s the situation?」Ronin asked after not hearing back from Nie Yan for a while.
Nie Yan bitterly chuckled.「It’s impossible. We might as well pack up our bags and go home.」
「H-huh, why?」Ronin asked. Not just him, everyone was confused. They had spent a month trying to get here. Why would they give up now?
「The treasure is being guarded by a Level 130 Demonified Lord. If you guys feel like giving it a shot, go ahead.」
Everyone was dumbstruck. They had long since heard of the frightening reputation of Demonified Lords, but they had never seen one before in the flesh. They were rumoured to be powerful beyond compare. As to what extent, Ronin and the others had no clue. A Level 130 Lord was already an unreachable existence to them, to say nothing of a Level 130 Demonified Lord.
「How strong exactly is a Demonified Lord?」
「Even 50 equal level Lords wouldn’t be its match,」Nie Yan replied. He also wasn’t too sure. He had never beaten a Demonified Lord before. In the previous timeline, when he met one, he would either flee for his life or be killed before he had the chance to.
In the previous timeline, Victorious Return had dispatched a 500-man expedition team of Level 100+ top elites to deal with a Level 60 Demonified Lord. They had wiped a total of five times before successfully killing it. The Level 60 Divine weapon it dropped was on par with a Level 100 Legendary. At that time, this was a huge piece of news.
A Level 130 Demonified Lord could single-handedly take down a stronghold.
「Is there really no chance? Can we try luring it away?」Suyo asked.
「Anyone that can survive the pursued of a Level 130 Demonified Lord for five minutes, I’ll pay respects to them as my master,」Nie Yan replied.
「Really, it’s not even possible for you?」Suyo asked. After seeing Nie Yan solo those Level 180 Elites like it was nothing, she’d started to think he was invincible.
「Nope. Not even close. But for the sake of argument, even if I can last five minutes, can you guys guarantee you access the the treasure inside the altar in that time? Even if you somehow retrieve the treasure, you’ll still have to escape the pursuit of the Demonified Lord. If you’re killed, it’ll take back the treasures and hide it somewhere else,」Nie Yan said. He estimated three, maybe even four minutes was his limit. Apart from them, no players had reached this square yet. If it were to be known that a Demonified Lord resided in the heart of the dark elf tribe, this area would definitely be classified as a forbidden zone.
Ronin’s party had no idea where exactly the treasure was located, nor what steps had to be taken to open it. If they failed, Nie Yan would die for nothing. Not to mention they hadn’t even investigated the altar. Demonified Lords were generally very intelligent. If they were tricked by something once, they wouldn’t easily be tricked by the same thing again.
Everyone became silent. A feeling of failure welled up in their hearts. The Demonified Lord was like an unscalable mountain.
Nie Yan withdrew from the settlement and regrouped with Ronin’s party.
“We can only give up for now. If you come up with a good plan, let me know,” Nie Yan said. This encounter with the Level 130 Demonified Lord made him realize he was still far too weak. Conviction had so many powerful existences. This was proof that players still had much more room to grow.
Ronin’s party was silent. With the addition of Nie Yan, they believed they finally had a chance to obtain the treasure. They didn’t expect all their hopes and efforts to be dashed away like this. They thought of this, they thought of that, but nothing they could think of would help them defeat or even distract the Level 130 Demonified Lord.
“So be it. We can always try again in the future,” Ronin said with a clear smile. He was someone who could take failure in stride.
Nie Yan chuckled, patting Ronin on the shoulder. He couldn’t help but admire this fellow’s temperament.
“What are you planning to do next?” Suyo asked after noticing Nie Yan was about to take his leave. “Do you want come level with us?”
“Sorry, I still have other quests to do,” Nie Yan replied, politely declining Suyo’s invite.
Everyone deeply sighed. They all understood they and Nie Yan lived in different worlds. Getting him to stay with them was only an extravagant hope. He was destined to be a legend, while they could probably never escape the mediocrity of an ordinary player.
As Nie Yan and Ronin’s group were about to leave, an expedition team of 1,000 players walked out from the forest. 40 heavily armoured Fighters stood at the front with players from all classes following behind. They moved in formation and seemed well-organized.
Nie Yan swept his eyes over these players. After seeing the quality of their equipment, he narrowed his eyes. In the entire Viridian Empire, perhaps only the expedition teams from Asskickers United could rival them.
“Angel Corps,” Ronin whispered.
“They’re probably here to explore the map.”
Angel Corps, huh. No wonder, Nie Yan thought. These players all looked unfamiliar. The few faces he would recognize, like Stone Splitter, weren’t present.
Seeing Ronin’s party, a dozen players immediately ran over.
“Come on. Let’s go,” Ronin said in a serious tone. Angel Corps wasn’t an existence to be provoked.
Suyo knitted her brows. She couldn’t stand how the players from Angel Corps lorded over everyone, but she also understood it was best not to cause trouble right now.
Nie Yan followed behind Ronin and the others. Quietly leaving without giving the players from Angel Corps his regards wasn’t his style. However, he didn’t want to implicate unrelated people into his matters. I’ll just come back later.
The dozen or so Warriors arrived and quickly surrounded Nie Yan, Ronin, and the rest of the party.
“Oh? Suyo, what a coincidence. Didn’t expect to see you here,” one of the Warriors stepped out and greeted. He was a Fighter who looked to be in his thirties. He gave of somewhat of a slimy, vulgar impression.
Nie Yan inspected this player with Transcendent Insight. Great White Shark. He thought for a moment. This was a name that did slightly ring a bell. If he recalled correctly, he was one of Angel Corps’ top five Fighters.
“You know him?” Nie Yan asked, glancing at Suyo.
“Yeah, he’s a scumbag. We used to be in a team together.” Suyo replied with an expression full of loathing.
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