Chapter 40: Bait
Iron Bloodline, Copper Body, Silver Dignity, Golden Will, Respected Legend, World Saint, Immortal Myth, Indestructible SemiGod, the names of these power levels tell a lot.
Iron Bloodline is demarcated as LV1 to LV20 in the system. In this period, a large portion of people would have just gotten their job and most of the power they possess now originates from their bloodline. But, it is during this phase that the route they are going to walk on are decided.
Sounds a little difficult to understand? Then let’s use the system’s interface to explain.
Below, there are 3 most commonly seen close-range job of different tribes.
“Standard Beastman Berserker Model /Strength: 15 Agility: 12 Stamina: 12 /Main Attribute: Strength /Race Talent: Berserk”
“Standard Dark Elf Assassin Model /Strength: 12 Agility: 14 Stamina: 9 /Main Attribute: Agility /Race Talent: Magic Immunity Skin”
“Standard Human Warrior Model /Strength: 12 Agility: 8 Stamina: 10 /Main Attribute: Strength/ Race Talent: …None”
Strength is the total fighting power that a physical body possesses. Agility is the sum of reaction speed and balance. Stamina is the measurement of the health. These are all the most important attributes for close-combat jobs.
In the Iron stage, the rookies of different races will work hard towards their ideal physique and through training, they will grow stronger. The supposed ‘god strength’ just probably means that they are born with 2 additional strength stat. As a result of their hard work, they will grow closer to their ideal physique and when their basic stats reaches a certain mark, they will be able to break through to the next rank.
Why, you are complaining that it is unfair? The Beastman and Dark Elf’s summation of all 3 stats are 35 but for the human, it is only 30, and there is no race talent? I’m sorry but the world is never fair. The stats and talents of different races are simply unfair, otherwise why would there be so many arguments and discrimination.
If 2 people work hard together, the difference in talent will instead cause their strength to be pulled apart. This is just like comparing a foot soldier to a cavalry. If they are given equal time, the cavalry would have ran much further than the foot soldier.
For example, if a normal Beastman’s strength growth rate is around 0.1 per level, by LV20, their strength would have increased by 2. But, if a Human Warrior is able to get 1 point growth in strength by LV20, they can already be called a good bud for a strength-type Warrior.
Furthermore, this is not taking into account of their race talents. The race talents of strong tribes tend to be quite frightening.
It is a common knowledge for the strength of Warriors that are equal-rank but of different race to be greatly different. But in exchange, the humans with the worst potential tends to grow the fastest. The stronger a race is, the slower their growth would be. The Dragon tribe require at least a century before they can be considered a teenager and the Elves take 200 years to become an adult. For a human, 70 to 80 years is sufficient for them to reach their pinnacle.
If we were to use the analogy of a game, the weaker a race is, the less experience it requires to level up. Using myself as an example, comparing with another Legend-rank, the experience bar of Lich is roughly 3 times of that of a human Mage, so retraining is actually quite a pain.
However, as the breakthrough for every stage is too difficult, so this advantage actually isn’t that great for top-tier experts. But, the advantage of humans in mass creation of low-level Warriors (otherwise known as cannon fodder) as a mortal race is apparent. Elves of the Silver Race is adept at creating a large army of middle-class experts and while the population of the Dragons of the Golden Race may be pathetic, but no one dares to underestimate them.
If the Iron-rank is considered to be the start of the journey and their main goal is to follow on the route that their seniors paved, then for Warriors that have reached the stage of Bronze Body, they are trying to discover their own talents to improve themselves and forge the perfect body for fighting.
To put it in easy-to-understand gaming terms, trying the best to learn skills, maximise your talents and improve your stats…
Silver Dignity, at this stage, the physical body has almost reached the limit of mortals, so practitioners start to forge their will and learn battling techniques. By combining both the strength of the spirit and the will, they create their personal battle styles.
In gaming terms, the character has started to take shape but growth of attribute stats is much slower, so relying on growth in stats to become stronger is too difficult. So, they start learning a few big skills to show off.
Golden Will, experts at this stage start to combine their talents to search for a path suited for them. If they are able to get themselves a fixed high-tier job and inheritance, then their growth would be even faster.
In gaming terms, it means choosing a route for job advancement, step into a new level and start afresh from the very basics.
Climbing up the ladder, there is the Soul Imprint of Legends and Soul World of the Saints, but as I have touched on them before, so I will skip them for now. At this point, I guess there would be someone who have already figured out why Annie is unable to beat Elisa no matter what.
Annie is a human. What is remarkable about her is that she has a portion of Phoenix blood in her, making her a mixed-blood human. At Gold pinnacle, despite having no race talent, her main attribute, strength, has already reached 19, a step into the boundaries of a Legend-rank Warrior, which is pretty amazing. (Different from other games in foreign worlds, it is hard for the basic stats to grow in this world but in late game, the difference in all 4 or 5 stats would be exceptionally huge)
But her opponent is Elisa, whose race is ‘Half-Demon blessed by the Abyss’, and her race talent is Calling of the Abyss. As long as she is willing to return the calling and demonify, she can receive massive increases in her stats. At her current stage, she is already ‘Demonification Intermediate Stage, Strength +12 Agility +12 Stamina +12 Intelligence +12 Charm +6 Will -6’.
Just solely by these additions, Annie is unable to defeat Elisa.
As a demon progeny, Elisa’s basic strength is 12, and adding another 12 onto that… A Mage with enough strength to suppress a Warrior is born. If we factor in agility and stamina, she would have an advantage in all aspects. Just like how it is a joke for a monkey to defeat a dinosaur with its martial arts, no matter how powerful are the techniques that one possesses, basic stats are still the primary factor to determine one’s strength. That’s why Elisa could grab the God Sword with her hands.
In addition to those messy martial arts that I imparted her and the close-quarter combat that she invented involving martial arts with ice magic, not mentioning a Gold pinnacle like Annie, even a Legend-rank like Xueti might not be able to win against her… As my prided student, as a close-combat Mage, Elisa has, undoubtedly, surpassed her master.
This is unfair, but compared to Xiao Hong’s ‘Ancient Red Dragon’s Perfect Body. Complete immunity to Poison, Plague and Fire. All stats are raised by 30’, Elisa’s ‘Demonification Intermediate Stage’ is already considered quite fair. I reckon that even if she were to demonify completely, all of her stats would only be increased by a total of 20 with a massive fall in her will.
Of course, there is no such thing as a free lunch in the world. The strength of the Abyss of Chaos isn’t that easy to take.
A massive fall in will means that it would become more and more difficult for her to resist the callings and demonification. Eventually, she would turn into a demon completely and this is the main reason why I banned her from using her ‘Call of the Abyss’ race talent.
Fortunately, by using the Contract Magic that Devils invented, I wrote this line into the work contract between Elisa and me. Before all of her wages are settled, her physical body is banned from using its demonification power instinctively.
The Devils and Demons originate from the River Styx and the two of them are indubitably, mortal enemies. This could be said to be using the power of the River Styx to deal with the callings of the River Styx, it is the only solution I could derive from a problem that has no solution.
TL: The entire phrase is ‘Thinking of a solution when there’s no solution, finding an exit when there is no exit.’ Magic Contracts originate from Devils.
Maybe, there will be one day when Elisa, like the other demon progenies, would be unable to resist the Calling of the Abyss from her blood and just like my dumb brother, she will walk into the gates of the Abyss and Hell, turning completely into a resident of the underworld. But, I hope that with me in the path, that day could be extended indefinitely or at least, I would prevent it from happening as long as I am here.
Anyway, benefits and detriments always come hand-in-hand in this world. Just by relying on this ‘Half-Demon’ race advantage, Elisa’s actual fighting prowess would not lose to any of the other underground city lord’s prided Legend-rank fighting prowess.
Elisa is indeed powerful. As a human, Annie is slightly weaker than her. After all, she is just a 19-year old young lady, albeit possessing the strength of the Golden pinnacle that overwhelms most human. However, Adam and I are still unsatisfied. In this underground world where experts could be found everywhere, the underground city lords can only be considered of average standard.
Right now, Elisa and Annie are still at Golden pinnacle, stuck on the step of forging their Soul Imprints…
It is hard for outsiders to help them here as Soul Imprints require them to slowly grind it into shape. No matter whether it is from fighting or from life, they need to suffer setbacks and failures to discover their inadequacies, obtaining victories after a tough fights to rediscover their talents and confidence. They would require every experience that plays a crucial role in life and while the both of them have exceptional talent, their basics being knocked into place by Adam and me, but what they mainly lack is experience.
“The Dark Elves won’t be easy to deal with but with Magaret and Adam, 2 SemiGods, as your backing, they won’t dare to directly touch you all. Good luck, we don’t have much time left… Even with this butterfly causing chaos about, the day which the underground world forming an Underground Alliance to invade the surface won’t be too far away.”
Alright, let’s stop with those serious words here.
What I am going to do now, if I were to dump it on them, it wouldn’t be accumulating experience but outright murder.
As I walk solemnly towards Vance City’s Platinum Order Auction, the sound of chatters could be heard from all locations. But from the moment I walked in, all sound disappeared.
Everyone’s gaze is directed towards the figure at the entrance… because, he is simply too bright!
The Silver Light of Order and Light of Law ripples around the robe. The SemiGod Mask brings about the stern demeanor as though everything was being judged. A bulky yellow-covered book hanging by the waist was shining with the Lines of Rule (of the world) that was exclusive to God Equipment. The worn-out gavel on the other side was also bursting with the radiance of the Power of Law. It is apparent that the gavel is, at the very least, a SemiGod Equipment.
A God Equipment and 3 SemiGod Equipment, even a true God would be tempted. It would be unfathomable if one doesn’t get robbed going out like that. In the worst case scenario, the entire underground world might even be involved in the robbery.
“Hmph, my goal is to blind you all anyway.”
But even a fool would know that those who are capable of bringing these kind of equipment out would have extremely hard bones.
However, there are always fellows who want to try their luck. In the next instant, 2 thieves who were forced out by their superiors appeared from the shadow and tried to approach me.
“Incantation of Law: Judgement.” My luck wasn’t bad, this unlucky fellow must have did atrocities to be shine red to the point that it was turning black. Thus…
“Incantation of Law: Capital Punishment – Hanging!” Under a 6-circle death penalty verdict, an intangible rope hangs him in midair and what is left is the time for the sinner to regret his actions before his legs go limp…
Facing this 6-circle Incantation of Law (Gold-rank) of the Power of Law which targets criminals, this pitiful Silver-rank Thief didn’t even have the time to cry in agony and walks into the embrace of death directly.
Looking at the corpse in front of him, the other unlucky fellow fell limp to the floor, scared to the point he couldn’t stop trembling. After all, before he can even react, his old partner has already died somehow in front of him. On top of that, it was quite a brutal death.
Everyone was prepared for the little soldiers who was testing the waters to die, but no one expected them to die in such an eerie matter. The emptiness that represents the unknown is always the color which everyone is most wary of.
Ignoring the lucky fellow who survived due to not committing any crime in the last few hours, I walked to the front desk of the auction like it was nobody’s business and the path that I walk through splits apart like how Moses splits the ocean then.
“I, am here to auction something. A God Equipment.”
Everyone’s eyes are on me. The moment that my word rang out, a tsunami seems to have crashed down. The Auction Hall which was bizarrely quiet a moment ago immediately gets drowned in discussions and shouts of shock could be heard from every corner.
Of course they would be shocked and stunned. Putting aside God Equipments, a SemiGod Equipment or even Epic Equipment in an auction could already cause a fearsome storm that would be etched in history. As for auctioning a God Equipment, it is destined to make history.
“AHHH… Auction? Fine, fine, you want to auction God Equipment? God Equipment? GOD EQUIPMENT?! YOU SURE!!!”
The poor centaur lady’s eyes saw stars and started shouting about with a look which says that she was unable to accept reality and an expression that was broken.
“Un, God Equipment. Congratulations to your auction house, this should be first auction for a God Equipment in the underground world. Your Platinum Order Auction House is destined to leave its name in history.”
That Centaur lady couldn’t care less whether her name would be left in history. When she heard that a God Equipment was really going to be auctioned, her eyes flipped and she immediately fell flat on the floor.
“God Equipment = Worth a lot of money = Many people will snatch for it = If you were to accidentally break it, you can’t pay for it in your whole life = Get captured to work as a slave = Get sold in the slave market by some demon with special interests = Forced to do all sorts of things that makes one embarrassed…” This is the train of thoughts that floated in Centaur Anya’s mind…
“I don’t want to be slave and XXXX.” Then, this lass who is rich in imagination immediately faints from her head overheating.
…This kind of matter of important people is hard on a young lady who is obsessed with dimension-travelling novels and just left her farming village 3 months ago.
“Slave? Who? I am not Beifeng, I won’t have an interest in you.”
Even I didn’t expect to meet such a situation. What is wrong with this lady, why did is her expression so rich with everything appearing in an instant, and she even shouted such a perverted line…
But now that the auctioneer has fainted, what should I do? Should I just return?
“Lord, Lord. I… Please hand it over to me. I am the manager here, Carlos. Here is my name card.”
A Gnome who is well-dressed rushed out, but looking at his bloodshot eyes and messy clothes, it was apparent that he just received the news and rushed here.
“The item that you would like to auction, is it this book?”
Looks like, as the manager of this auction house, Carlos is still pretty good at valuing items to know that the God Equipment would be surrounded by the Lines of Rule representing it.
But I shook my head and ‘pah‘ I snapped my finger.
A Skeleton Soldier walks out from my back with a black-colored wooden box in its hand.
Then, the box is opened…
The next second, the entire hall is radiated with starlight. Carlos even thought that the box contains a star that was just plucked from the sky until the radiance finally scatters…
It is a black scepter and its body is dull without any trace of extravagance, full of the dust of history. There is even marks from being burnt and frozen. The God Equipment’s power seem to be hidden internally, the only thing shining on it is silver-colored gems on it.
Starlight seems to be jumping from gem to gem that the light also has its own tempo, as though as it is a living being of its own.
Compared the star-like shine of these gems, the expensive inextinguishable lamps lighted with Mermaid Oil in the auction house feels just like the shabby and worthless candles of the Kobolds in comparison.
“God Equipment, it is definitely a God Equipment. Are these star light its Lines of Rule… Wait, it is a scepter!! A SCEPTER!!” Suddenly, Carlos’s face steels and the sharp piercing scream of a Gnome resounds in the entire hall.
Looks like my primary objective has been achieved. As an existence who brings about 3 SemiGod Equipment and a God Equipment with him, if I were to take out another God Equipment, most people would subconsciously think that it is real too.
“Yong… YONGYE!!!!! …” He forcefully swallows back the rest of his words. He knows how precious the auction item in front of him is, that is at least the worth of an Empire! He is already starting to envy that rookie who faints, and was tempted to faint himself and end it all there and then.
“Yes, Yongye Scepter.” I heartlessly broke the final hope that he has as I looked playfully at the face of despair of the Gnome.
“… Yongye Scepter?”
My voice isn’t very loud but with everyone on the field looking at us, this level of voice is sufficient. Very quickly, the news about Yongye Scepter reappearing in the world spreads across the entire hall.
A large portion of people were stunned, then they expressed the glee of greediness before turning into fear…
“Call everyone to gather and leave, something big is going to happen here!”
“Hurry up and leave. Kai isn’t willing to go? Fine, then let’s go by ourselves, just leave this fool to die here.”
Even if you manage to gain possession of God Equipment, you would need to be alive to utilise it. Going by the rules of the underground world, a fool who possesses a precious treasure without the strength to match up to it would end up dead sooner or later. When the news that the Scepter has reappeared spreads out, many top-tier powers will all crowd in. At that time, it would be too late to leave.
Of course, there would be fools and those who are willing to give their life for wealth. Many people chose to leave but there are also a few who remained. But, they were still frightened by how the Thief died eerily then, so they were afraid of charging head on.
Towards those who were eyeing for it but lack the courage to, I ignored them totally and instead, I smiled at the Gnome who was holding up the scepter, his hands trembling.
“I only have 2 requests for the auction. The first is that the auction should be held 30 days later, 3 in the afternoon. Every individual and power are allowed to attend. Second, if the auction item disappears, I want you all to compensate me 20 top-tier underground cities that includes ‘Miheu Oasis’, ‘Cloud Water Box’, ‘Flying Dragon City’ in its midst.”
“What… Pay, pay… you underground cities? I… don’t have undergound cities… Miheu, I get it, Lion King!!! You are aiming for the Lion King!”
Alright, that pitiful Gnome’s eyes immediately flipped white and follows in the footsteps of his subordinates.
He did point out my goal correctly. Of course I came here for Shou. If I want to start an auction in this city, how can it do without sufficient backing. The backing for this auction house is the Beastman Sovereign Shou.Nuya and the underground cities that I said are all his properties.
Hearing the name of the Underground Autarch, a few of the ‘audience’ suddenly regain their rational thinking and their instinctive fear and chose to leave. At times, knowing too much may also result in death.
“Aiyo, fainting again. Is there anyone else who can take charge?”
All of the workers who meet my gaze either avoid my gaze or just fall down directly, faking their deaths.
“Haha, isn’t this Wumianzhe? It has been long since we last met. You are here to auction something? Fine, we will accept your deal.”
A gruff and grand figure walks through the entrance accompanied by resounding laughter. Before the figure even walks in, the sound is already echoing throughout the hall.
Exactly the same as how I saw him outside Liu Huang Mountain City, the single-eyed old Lion has thick hair and his muscles over his body is, unexpectedly, not very exaggerated. The scorpion tail at the back of his head drags on the floor and that seemingly average black-colored leather armor he wears is actually a Legend-tier armor that is hard to buy with just money itself.
At this point, the old Scorpion-tailed Lion is laughing cheerfully on his domain, seeming to not bother at all about the loss of his soldiers in his overwhelming defeat then.
“Aiyo, old thing, you are still alive. As expected as man who uses his own soldier as his shield. It must be your thick-skin that saved your life. To think you still dare to appear in front of me, aren’t you afraid of me killing you directly?”
Don’t reveal one’s secret when beating someone, but I deliberately want to aim for all of his weak spots. Instantly, the old lion’s face scrunches.
TL: Saying goes like this ‘Don’t aim for the face when beating someone up, don’t aim for the weak spots when you are scolding someone’ simply means don’t go too far.
War is an extension of governance. All of the influential figures care about their image and under normal situations, no matter how intense the secret fights between underground city lords were, but if they were to be seated together in public, they would still spare the other party some face and interact politely. But, meeting an opponent that doesn’t spare him any face, it is probably the first time he is seeing someone like that and his face steels immediately.
This might be true under normal circumstances… But why should I spare this bastard any face!!
The old lion tightens his grip on the sword behind his back but the next instant, he was blinded by my body of God Equipment.
Shou remembers that Forbidden Spell that involves the entire city. That formless and majestic eye of the sky, as though as it was prepared to judge everything. Even the Beastman Sovereign felt some fear and couldn’t bring up the determination to go all out with me.
“Lord!! The Vance city has a pact against fighting!”
Realising the hesitation of his master, a fox Beastman dressed in a Mage’s robe steps forward, as though reminding his master about this city’s rules. In reality, he was giving space for his own boss to step down.
With someone persuading him, Shou’s face gradually relaxes and he releases his grip on the sword’s handle.
Of course, a neutral city bans fighting but there are coliseums that allow one to resolve personal grudges. Furthermore, when did these domineering Underground Autarchs start to follow rules.
But the next moment, the surrounding people exclaims in shock. They dare not believe that the invincible Beastman Sovereign would actually take this lying. It can’t be that the rumor that the Beastman Sovereign had led an army on an expedition but ended up getting wiped clean in a faraway land is true?
Following Shou’s style of doing things, to not act up facing other people’s ill comments is sufficient to testify the authenticity of the rumors, causing heavy damage to the reputation of this Beastman Sovereign.
But, the single eye that gazes at the surrounding made all of the restless people stop in their tracks… Even if this news is false, there is a high possibility of it getting out. If Shou were to mistake them as the one who spread it out, then wouldn’t they die wronged
The single-eyed Beastman Sovereign suppresses his anger, but it was impossible for him to continue interacting with this ‘rogue’ in front of him. Thus, the fox Beastman, after a meaningful gaze, steps up.
“Basics in doing business, everyone that comes knocking is a customer, so we should accept them with smiles on our face, even if the customer is rude, don’t you agree, Lord Wumianzhe?” This message doesn’t put themselves down, nor does it anger other people. At the same time it is a verbal attack, yet it is humorous. It is a very apt message. I laughed in reply, getting us past the vicious words I shot out just now.
Since he provided an opportunity to alleviate the situation, I might as well take it. Anyway, my goal today is not to fall out with them.
“That is to say, you all are accepting my auction deal?”
“Accept, of course we are accepting.”
“Fine, then let’s sign an agreement using mine.”
That little fox takes the sheepskin agreement and his face turns white in an instant. On it, the language of the Devils of Hell is used instead of the usual common language. This is an agreement belonging to the Devils.
The agreements on it is just like what I have said, number 1, the auction is to be held 30 days later, number 2, if the scepter is lost, 20 cities must be paid to me. The only thing different is that I added another restrictive clause that if none of the 2 terms are fulfilled, then the person who signed the deal will fall into River Styx, unable to redeem themselves.
To humans and Beastman, swearing to the River Styx is no different from swearing to the sun, anyway none of it is effective anyway. But to the Malevolent Gods, Demons and Devils who live in the Underworld, their power and live originate from the River Styx. If they were to go against the promise they made to River Styx, even the Spider Queen Lorci would be reduced to a tiny little spider.
TL: Underground world and Underworld is different (Underworld -> Abyss, Hell etc.)
Of course, my message in taking out this contract is clear, that the Beastman Sovereign is Demon wearing the cloak of a Beastman…
The little fox passes the contract quivering to Shou then, he was sent flying by the enraged Beastman Sovereign.
But as he grasped the contract, he hesitated. The power backing him seems to be extremely interested in this scepter and if he were to let go of it…
“If you don’t accept the deal, then I will head over to the Black Pearl Auction House next door.” I made a timely increase in stakes.
The Black Pearl Auction House is backed by another Underground Autarch Ainsterna Eduar and the power behind him is the Devils. No matter how you see it, from their background or how they were vying to be the leader of the Underground Alliance, Shou and Ainsterna were destined to be archenemies.
“If Ainsterna were to successfully hold the auction and alliance with Liu Huang Mountain City, that would make it a 3V1 situation and Molly isn’t completely reliable yet… No, the worst situation is him successfully unlocking the secrets to Yongye Scepter within the 30 days.”
But then, Shou naturally thought that if Ainsterna could unlock its secret, wouldn’t he be able to do the same too? Even if his Black Shaman subordinates weren’t really skilled in this aspect, but he has Lich underlings as well. If that can’t do too… He can ask for help from the one behind him!
“No… If I really to uncover Lord Yongye’s secret to his strength, I can become the 2nd Lord Yongye, then would I still need his support?”
In the face of treasure, countless thoughts were running through his brain and in the end, they all converged into just one.
“I’ll sign. But before I sign, I want to check the good.”
Thus, I tried my best to hold in my laughter. Why? No matter how those Mages try to phrase their question, those ‘yes’, ‘yes’, ‘true’ is really making me laugh.
TL: One of the yes is in English while the other is in Mandarin
While leaving with the signed contract, I threw a message at him.
“You, might regret it.”
Within my expectations, an angry roar reminiscent of a Lion’s could be heard from my back.
“The Beastman Sovereign never regrets!!”
Fine, let me continue to hold in my laughter…
That night, I heard that the old Lion was confined in his study for an entire night and he casually killed 7 strategists with the little fox included in the mix, 8 Mages and 6 Black Shamans. When he finally steps out, repeated mumbles of him saying ‘although I have heard the sound of the breathing, how do I activate this’ could be heard.
That night, I heard that the old Lion suffered numerous attacks at the auction so he moved to the military barracks. Even so, there were more than 30 attempts at burglary, 5 military mutinies and 4 assaults from other underground city lords…
In that night, it is said that most of the underground city lords began to rush to Vance to prepare for the auction 30 days later. Of course, the ones making the move with them is their army.
That night, it is said that all of the Necromancers and Thieves went mad and the tunnel heading to Vance was filled with all kinds of dangerous personnel. At the same time, someone sent a report that an Undead Lord coming from the surface was spotted.
Rumors has it that in the 2nd day, the old Lion’s hair turned white overnight, and he looked like he has aged 10 years…
As for me, I looked at the sky which was starting to have traces of white as I waited for morning to come.
“The wind has finally started blowing but, this, is only just the beginning.”