Chapter 18 – It’s a Small World
In the mountain valley, I stood on top of the warm corpse of a huge wolf.
Opening the [Alchemy] menu, I selected the Seven Star Pill’s recipe. The recipe required 3 Seven Star Herbs, 3 bottles of Refined Water and finally an Alchemy Furnace. Since I had all the materials necessary, all that was left was for me to confirm the refinement.
System Notification: You have succeeded in refining a【Seven Star Pill】. Your [Alchemy] proficiency has increased by 1. Because you are the first player to refine a Seven Star Pill, you are rewarded with an extra point in charm.
Great! I earned a point in my charm stat. Although I still didn’t know what the charm stat did, surely it was something useful. Also, since I wouldn’t be the first player to reach level 20, or the first to have a level 3 attack combo, I could only strive to be number one in [Alchemy]. At least for now, I was unrivaled in the art of [Alchemy] which was heartwarming.
Putting away the Seven Star Pills and taking hold of my Bramble Thorn sword, I kept moving forward. Along the way, I killed the attacking wolves and gathered the scattered Seven-Star Herbs that didn’t appear as often as I would have liked them to appear. While my efficiency wasn’t at its maximum, the gains from the grinding were quite welcoming.
After nearly 2 hours, I had gathered over 112 batches of Seven-Star Herbs. But if I wanted to achieve level 4 in [Alchemy], I would need to refine 1000 Seven-Star Pills. The materials that went behind refining 1000 Seven-Star Pills were staggering. I would need 3000 batches of Seven-Star Herbs, in addition to 1000 Alchemy Furnaces and another 3000 bottles of Refined water. This was one of the reasons as to why top guilds were able to have first class production players. The casual player simply couldn’t afford to compete with such harsh resource requirements.
While being in a guild had its advantages, my own advantages were also quite significant. I could fight monsters and heal myself at the same time. The only consumables that I required were mana pills which I produced myself. So, I was basically a self sufficient production line. In addition, after selling the Silver-Feathered Bird, I gained 20 Gold Coins, an incredible amount of wealth, which would be my fund for the materials that were vital in my level raising in [Alchemy].
Continuing forward, I reached the center of the Seven-Star Valley. At the center, the grass that was abundant before, became scarce. In addition, I heard waves of howling from in front of me. When I climbed on top a short hill to locate the source of howling, the scene in front completely shocked me. At least 100 level 18 wolves were proudly howling towards the sky. In the middle of the howling wolves, there was a wolf that had golden fur covering its body. Undoubtedly, that was the Wolf King, a level 20 Gold-ranked boss, sitting there arrogantly. Behind it, there was a large cave. Without a doubt, that cave was the Wolf King’s nest.
I licked my lips, and thought if the Wolf King had this many underlings guarding it, then I shouldn’t even think about fighting the Wolf King. But on the other hand, the Wolf King’s nest could be worth investigating. Who knew, maybe there would be some special herbs inside? But if I just strolled on in, I would be the next meal for the wolves in front of the cave. Maybe I should see if I could enter through an alternative “entrance” above the cave?
Scaling the mossy rocks, I discovered that the Seven-Star Herbs grew more and more densely as I got closer to the Wolf King’s cave. Careful not to let a single herb go to waste, within 10 minutes, I had picked over 100 batches of Seven-Starred Herbs!
I carefully wedged my Bramble Thorn Sword into the surrounding rocks, and gently excavated the Seven-Star Herbs as if the herbs were my own children.
As I pulled up the roots of a Seven-Star Herb, suddenly the grass and dirt around it slid down. They all slid into beyond my sight with a Sha sha sound. Did I dig through the cave?
With utmost caution and a trembling heart, I knelt down and peeked into the hole that I had made. Faintly, a string of light appeared within the remaining sediment. Could it be that this hole connected to the Wolf King’s nest? There might be a chance for me to go into its nest! Wouldn’t the nest of a level 20 Gold-ranked boss have tons of precious treasures?
My heart was pumping like there was no tomorrow… Hehe, my chance had come!
I took my Bramble Thorn Sword, and I started digging my way towards the cave. The small hole that I peeked through was becoming bigger and bigger, and before long, the dirt started to drop down by its own, and a small hole appeared.
The tip of the sword struck a rock; instantly, a Peng sound rang and a soccer-sized rock fell down and hit one of the Wild Wolves in the cave. At the same time, the entire hill trembled, making me hang on to the hole I made with bone-white hands. After carefully examining the cave, the cave seemed just like the weak Lego castles that children made. A bit of shaking, another hole, and I feared that the whole cave might collapse on its own. I didn’t want to see that happen.
Suddenly, I heard unnatural sounds. It was almost as if… players! The noise was made by players!
I quickly hid behind some rocks, and peeked out. Coming out the forest was a group of players, and just not any group, it was the Tyrant of Western Chu’s group! Finally, they had killed the surrounding Wolves, and advanced towards the Wolf King. In fact, Tyrant of Western Chu was at level 20! A swordsman at level 20, I wouldn’t want to mess with him!
Looked like this party wanted to clear a way to kill the Wolf King.
Their team composition was very well balanced. Within the party, there were two level 19 Monks with high HP and high Defense who would act as the front line, two Magicians that provided DPS, two elf archers, two healers, Piggy with a gun, and the leader as well. For this party, killing this level 20 Gold-ranked boss wouldn’t be too hard for them.
I made a quick decision. I was not going to meddle with their affairs. I would enter the Wolf King’s nest first, since I could see there were plenty of Seven-Star Herbs in there. After all, my main responsibility right now was to increase my proficiency in [Alchemy]. Everything else came second. The main purpose of my trip to this valley was to collect Seven-Star Herbs, and not to interrupt Tyrant of Western Chu’s plans. I gained nothing by doing so. Besides, I was not the type of person to hold a grudge for a long time. Even though Western Tyrant had harmed me before, why should I care about his lowly life now? Hmph, just wait until I created a SSS level attack .. then I would have a showdown with him…
I jumped down, and landed gently inside the cave. A Wild Wolf near me quickly rushed up to kill me, sorry, rushing to its death was what I meant. With my Bramble Thorn Sword, I killed it with 4 strikes. Afterwards, I looked around, but unfortunately, my sight wasn’t adjusted to the darkness. After about half a minute, my eyes finally adjusted, and when I looked more carefully, I saw that the cave had a few more Wild Wolves. More importantly though, the walls had enough Seven-Star Herbs to make me drool! I better quickly collect them!
5 minutes later, I killed 10 or so Wild Wolves, and even though their attack damage was very high, as long as I kept proper HP management, it would be very hard for them to kill me. I could both heal and attack at the same time. I was the Unbeatable Healer Swordsman!
After finishing off the Wild Wolves, I took out my shovel, and carefully collected the Seven-Star Herbs littered in the Wolf King’s nest. After nearly an hour, I completely wiped out the population of Seven-Star Herbs within the cave, collecting nearly 2000 batches of the herb. My picking efficiency was godly! Just a bit more and I would be able to raise my [Alchemy] level to 4, but sadly I didn’t have enough. The supply of Seven-Star Herbs had been exhausted by me.
Continuing deeper in the cave, there seemed to be no treasure within the cave. At least that was what the bones on Wolf King’s resting place, and some smelly feces told me… As a member of the royalty, why would you put the toilet next to the bedroom!?
I spun around and prepared to leave. My mission was complete!
At the same time, I could hear a really intense battle happening outside the cave. Pinning myself against the cave wall, I took a peek outside. Woah, the Wolf underlings, about a hundred, had all been killed, and now Tyrant of Western Chu’s group had just started to battle the boss. The Monk who was holding a wooden rod got a “X” scratch on his face. Seeing the considerable damage from that attack, the two healers clumsily hurried to heal him. At the same time, the magicians kept launching their fireballs, dwindling the Wolf King’s health. Currently, the Wolf King’s health was around 10000, and was slowly but surely decreasing. I guessed that in about 5 minutes, the Wolf King would lose his life.
Standing at the entrance of the cave, I thought about my situation. If I dashed out now, I was certain I would be seen, then I would die very painfully because of Tyrant of Western Chu’s hatred for me. But if I let them kill the Wolf King, the chances were that they would leave after defeating it. So I just needed to wait a bit longer…
I heard the angry cry of the Wolf King. Obviously it was enraged, with its claws flying left and right taking the monk’s HP to about 20% or so, but the healers, clumsy but reliable, quickly recoverd his health before he took another hit from the Wolf King. On the other side, the Wolf King who didn’t have any healers, had its health reduced to about 10%, 1000 HP.
Piggy smiled when he saw the end in sight: “Haha, good job guys! Let’s finish this up!”
“I expect some Gold-tier equipment from killing this boss!” Tyrant of Western Chu was also quite excited.
“Don’t joke around boss, the first Silver-tier equipment hasn’t come out yet, and even the first Bronze-tier equipment hasn’t come out yet, the best equipment in Ba-Huang City are Green-tier equipments, and you’re thinking about Gold-tier?”
“Ha! Let’s kill it then we’ll know!”
But at this time, the Golden Wolf King growled with anger and its body started to emit a blood-red glow!
“Wha.. The boss is in a frenzy?!”Tyrant of Western Chu, readied his weapon, preparing for the vicious assault of the Wolf King.
Who would have guessed… The Wolf King spun around and went straight into the cave!
“It’s not going into a frenzy, it’s escaping! Hurry and chase it!”
I was shocked as well. The Wolf King flashed straight past me and went into the depths of the cave. Such a coward… When you couldn’t win, you just go into the cave and hide?
Tyrant of Western Chu came chasing after the Wolf King, and when he saw me, his whole face became livid with anger.
“The Xiao Yao bastard is here! Kill him!!”
With his sword arm shaking from his anger, a golden hexagram started to form at the edge of his sword! The attack was coming!
The skill finished in an instant, and while Tyrant of Western Chu’s attack was very powerful, in the split second before it came down, I understood its path and dodged with my quick feet. A huge “MISS” popped up at my previous position. I successfully dodged the first strike! This was the instinct that I had gained from these few days from trying to read the movements of the wolves. Subconsciously, I was forming a dodging skill!
Unfortunately, I could only dodge one of the two strike from his combo. The sword mercilessly hit, and my soul nearly broke. Tyrant of Western Chu’s damage was a bit too high wasn’t it? If he landed that combo, I would have already been dead!
The unsteady ground in the cave sank slightly from our weight. Unlike Tyrant of Western Chu, whose eyes hadn’t gotten used to the darkness, I could see the two Wild Wolves approaching Tyrant of Western Chu! My chance had come!