Chapter 0015—Blazing Cave

Drako Yau then added, ‘You’re the ones who attacked us first, yet you guys aren’t good enough and ended up dropping your equipment. Are you in a position to talk about trading fairly? I know you’ve sent your underlings out to look for me. This is your last chance, if you don’t accept it, I’ll keep the gauntlet and kill your guild members the moment they are separated from the group.’

‘Are you threatening me!’ Zephyrwolf flared up.

‘It’s not a threat, I’m just stating facts. You’ve tasted my strength first-hand, you know I can do it.’ Drako Yau’s text messages were void of any emotions.

Zephyrwolf was still shilly-shallying about the proposition so he didn’t respond. Drako Yau didn’t urge him either, for he knew he needed time to think about it.

After a long while, Zephyrwolf finally said, ‘What’s your condition? There’s no such thing as a free lunch.’

‘Smart. My condition is to never bother me again.’

‘Ha! So you finally know what fear is!’ Zephyrwolf was delighted. For teaching the monster what fear was, he felt a sense of achievement.

‘Yes, I’m afraid. I don’t have the time to play hide and seek with you all. Even if I kill all of you till Level 0, I gain nothing out of it. That’s why I’m trading your gauntlets for a Level 5 gauntlet and my freedom. It’s a fair trade.’

Zephyrwolf nodded inwardly. He loathed the man’s words, but at least he was very blunt and straightforward. The members of the five-man party that had fought Dragonspear were the top elites in the guild, yet they still fell victim to his spear. He knew about the quality of his guild members; unless over ten of them caught Dragonspear together, they would only be losing their levels in vain.

‘I’ll trust you just this once.’ Zephyrwolf made his decision. ‘I’ll send you the gauntlet in an hour. If you don’t return mine, we’ll chase you to the depths of hell.’

‘Fair enough.’

‘Dragonspear has left the chat room.’

Drako Yau closed the chat room after sending two simple words, leaving behind Zephyrwolf who had a bitter look.

***

The Mask of the Hidden Dragon really overhauled Drako Yau’s original plans. At first, he intended to keep the Bear Hide Gauntlet so he could use it when he reached Level 10, which was why his current equipment only consisted of a helmet, body armour, leg armour, and boots, leaving the gauntlet slot empty.

After purchasing the mask though, he had to thoroughly clear his name of Dragonspear and turn it into an ordinary player whom no one paid attention to. In the future, if he encountered some sort of inescapable situation which spelled death for him, he could still transform into a random passerby by taking off his mask and changing his equipment. At least that was his idea.

He was different from other players. They could enjoy the game in their own ways, and whenever they died, they would resurrect in 18 years1… no, in a few seconds, at the resurrection altar in cities and start anew again.

But he couldn’t, which was why he had to make plans for the future and leave himself with a way out of dangerous situations. He had a feeling that his path in this world would not be a smooth one, and it was destined to be full of thorns and blood.

Drako Yau had no time to waste. Since the old geezer had told him to become stronger in order to escape from this world, he would do just that.

The forest where goblin warriors spawned was the best place for him to level up, but because of his feud with Howl of the Tempest Wolves, he didn’t dare to take the risk of farming there. Other popular spots for levelling up were full of players, so going to those places would only hinder his progress.

In that case, he only had one option—dungeons.

‘Dungeon’ was a gaming term that referred to an independent and isolated area in the game. Whenever a party entered a dungeon, they would enter a map specific to the party. Different parties couldn’t see nor could they provide support for each other. However, it was precisely because of this feature that dungeon rewards were given independently.

Generally speaking, monsters in dungeons were stronger than wild monsters, and it was more difficult than fighting in the wilderness. Given their increased difficulty, dungeons gave better rewards and experience.

As such, there was usually a limit to how many times a player could challenge a dungeon. This was to prevent players from only farming dungeons and neglecting everything else in the game.

Blazing Cave was the first ever dungeon in Real World.

It was suitable for a wide range of levels, allowing players from Level 5 to 15 to farm equipment and levels there. Beyond Level 15, players could still enter the dungeon, but the experience gained was on the lower end.

This was why the dungeon had three difficulties: Easy, Normal, and Hard. They were designed so that players of different levels could enter the corresponding difficulty for their level. However, Drako Yau knew there existed a Hell difficulty above Hard. Naturally, it could only be unlocked after clearing the Hard difficulty.

Hell was a tier or two more difficult to clear than Hard. Of course, the rewards were more ample as well. The most expensive Level 10 and 15 epic items on the market right now were said to be drops obtained by top players through farming the dungeon in Hell difficulty.

Monsters in dungeons were nowhere as weak as normal monsters on the map. Their health, damage, and defence were all a lot higher than their normal counterparts, which was why people formed parties.

‘Casually blaze through the Blazing Cave, Easy difficulty, looking for girls.’

‘Hard difficulty, Tank needed, 1500 Health or above…’

Plenty of people were recruiting other players into their parties, the sight dazzling his eyes. Drako Yau had no plans on forming a party because he intended to solo farm the dungeon. He wasn’t a rash person, so he chose the Easy difficulty to test the waters.

The lore behind the Blazing Cave was that it had originally been a simple, empty cave, until surveyors arrived and detected that there was a powerful source of energy residing in it. Greedy humans immediately started excavating the place to obtain valuable fire crystals. As they dug deeper and deeper into the cave, they awakened the Fire Crystal Giant tribe residing in the depths of the cave.

They slaughtered all the humans who had dared to trespass their territory, turning it into a forbidden land, and that land was the Blazing Cave. And now, the tens of thousands of players would play the role of greedy humans who sought treasure and experience by entering the fire crystal giants’ territory and killing them.

***

Drako Yau looked at the roaring fire crystal giant charging at him with gusto. He naturally knew everything about the dungeon; after all, it was the first dungeon, one that he had spent plenty of effort on designing.

A punch, then another. With how sluggish the punches were, how could the giant even dream of hitting Drako Yau who was well-versed in martial arts? In no time, the fire crystal giant lay dead next to his feet, turning into a puff of smoke and leaving behind several gold coins.

‘Easy… It’s way too easy.’

Drako Yau breezed through the cave with unstoppable momentum and easily arrived at where the fire crystal giant tribe elder awaited.

‘Roar!’ The elder greeted him with an angry roar, then swung its fist at him.

Drako Yau took a step to the side, the fist flying past him.

‘So damn hot!’ A burnt smell drifted into his nose—his hair was burnt by the scorching heat. Irated, he thrusted his spear. ‘You dare burn my hair… Quite gutsy aren’t you…’

The Easy difficulty was meant for players between Level 5 and 7. With his full set of uncommon equipment, he was on a different level compared to typical players, not to mention his skills in martial arts. To him, the monsters were as slow as old men doing Tai-chi in parks, so sluggish that he could evade every attack with his eyes closed. It wasn’t quite an unbelievable feat for him to solo the dungeon in Easy difficulty when considering such.

‘Argh!’ The fire crystal giant elder made a final howl and tumbled to the ground.

At the same time, several system notifications popped up in his vision.

‘This is your first time solo clearing a dungeon. Obtained title: Lone Phantom.’

‘You have solo cleared the Blazing Cave. Obtained title: Lone Wolf of Blazing Cave.’

‘New record for solo clearing Blazing Cave (Easy). Do you wish to make your name public?’

Drako Yau naturally clicked ‘No’. The last thing he wanted was to gain attention.


TOC


  1. The ancient Chinese held the belief that people reincarnated after death. They believed it took 1 year to reincarnate, 1 year in the mother’s womb, and 16 years to reach maturity after birth, making it 18 years for a full reincarnation cycle into a grown up person.