MMORPG: The Elementalist Chapter 589

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Chapter 589: Mythical Mirage

Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation  Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation

White lightning, like the forked branches of a tree, lanced out suddenly from heavy stormclouds, las.h.i.+ng down across the horizon. Although it appeared to be happening far off in the distance, but for his first time in the Mythical Mirage, that startling thunderclap and flare made Qin Ruo’s breath catch in his throat!

Looking out with trepidation across the landscape as the last traces of lightning faded away, he was overwhelmed by the vastness of it all.

Another peal of thunder rolled across the heavens, like a rumbling volley of cannon fire, and set Qin Ruo’s heart racing. It was so loud that it felt like lightning might erupt right next to him at any moment, causing him to break out all over in cold sweat. He couldn’t decide if the thunderstorm was welcoming his arrival, or a warning against his intrusion.

Well, whichever one it was, it had put Qin Ruo on full alert.

Taking a deep breath, Qin Ruo dismissed the innocent curiosity he’d brought with him into this new world. His expression became serious as he brought up his Frost Barrier and Darkfrost s.h.i.+eld.

He’d come across some reports on the game forums: In the Mythical Mirage, besides all sorts of monsters, there were also various hazards which the first Tier 5 explorers had already fallen victim to. For all he knew, the very lightning itself was a part of the dangers of this place.

“Got to be careful,” Qin Ruo quietly reminded himself. The forces of nature were far beyond any Tier 4 or Tier 5 lightning magic.

In the first stage of the Mythical Mirage, players would arrive in different locations, and have to survive all manner of harsh conditions as they made their way toward their goals.

It looked as though Qin Ruo had landed in a particularly bad situation. Dense stormclouds stretched across the sky in all directions, smothering the land, with not the slightest break amongst them. Lightning appeared and vanished without warning, an intermittent reminder of infinite power.

And, beneath the clouds…

Rolling hills were covered with scorch marks and huge craters, smoke still rising off some of them in faint, curling trails. It looked like the aftermath of a saturated bombing run, with traces of smoke lingering everywhere. Qin Ruo was now standing atop one of many hills.

“Good lord.” Qin Ruo looked up in awe at the stormclouds that seemed much too close, and an especially terrifying thought occurred to him:

Could it be that this ravaged, forsaken wasteland was the result of the thunderstorm overhead?

As though sensing Qin Ruo’s unspoken accusations, a bolt of lightning cut down through the air, striking the top of a little hill not fifty meters away from his ashen-white face—that is, if a mound just over sixty meters high could be called a hill.

The force of the thunderbolt shook the earth with a momentary tremor, throwing up a shower of dirt, such that the shockwave even reached Qin Ruo where he stood.

“d.a.m.n!” Qin Ruo was teetering on the edge of hysterical panic.

That last lightning bolt had struck just within the radius of his Elemental Perception. For an instant, he had clearly sensed every profound detail of a new crater being gouged out of the hillside, before the unimaginable energy of the lightning overloaded his Elemental Perception, blinding him.

It was a Tier 5 areattack spell!

Qin Ruo swallowed hard. The power of that spell had to be Tier 5 or greater, and the damage it dealt was at least a match for an areeffect spell from a Tier 6 Megaboss!

This was ridiculous! Was it like this for everyone during the first stage of the Mythical Mirage; or was it something to do with his individual power level, so that the System had singled him out for special treatment again?

Not daring to linger for even a moment longer, Qin Ruo pelted downhill. Height was no advantage during a lightning storm, and he had no interest in tempting the wrath of the G.o.ds!

When he reached the valley between hills, several more bolts of lightning struck the surrounding hilltops, including the one Qin Ruo had only just been standing upon. Amid the deafening thunderclaps which once again shut down his AquElemental Perception, Qin Ruo felt thankful that he’d managed to get away in time.

Having witnessed firsthand the might of this thunderstorm, Qin Ruo called up his Quest Journal. The objectives he had to achieve, as well as the destination he had to reach, were detailed within.

Committing the coordinates in his Quest Journal to memory, Qin Ruo looked up his current position, swiftly determined the proper heading, and made an estimate of the distance to his goal.

Not too far away, perhaps a kilometer or so.

There was a slight problem, however. Earlier, on the hilltop, Qin Ruo had taken in the lay of the land: The whole ground was pocked with craters and ruts, and sloped incessantly this way and that. If he wanted to stay on course, he’d have to crest a number of hills…

… which meant exposing himself to a lightning strike!

Worse, Qin Ruo had a feeling that the thunderstorm had been holding back for him when he’d first arrived here—otherwise, with a semi-conductor like himself standing in any kind of a high place, the first arc of lightning would hardly have struck anywhere else.

Furthermore, a lone person moving through a barren place like this, without any form of vegetation to provide cover… even if he kept to low ground, there was a substantial chance of getting hit anyway!

And if he set foot on high ground, the chances of getting hit by lightning during this storm should be roughly equal to the chance of getting hit by a waterdrop in the rain.

Placed in such conditions, no matter how much faith Qin Ruo had held in his own abilities, there was nothing for it now but to give it everything he had! It appeared that the first stage of the Mythical Mirage wouldn’t be any easier than the Underworld—if anything, it seemed even more daunting!

“I wonder how many people are getting something like this…”

Qin Ruo put a call through to Violet Orchid, hoping to find out what kind of stuff the people in her League had to deal with in the Mythical Mirage. He’d occasionally heard a little bit before, but he hadn’t paid much attention at the time.

“What?” Qin Ruo was aghast at her response, and he couldn’t help sputtering, “You actually died during the first stage? How come you never told me about that?”

“Even that strumpet Moonwaltz Rimbo made it past the first stage. If word got around of my failure, I wouldn’t be able to show my face in public! Thank goodness things were easier the second time around…”

This rare admission of weakness by Violet Orchid left Qin Ruo in despair. The first stage of the Mythical Mirage for him seemed like far too much to deal with.

Violet Orchid was considered above average as Field Commanders go, high adaptable and formidable in battle. If even someone like her could fall during the first stage, while unremarkable Tier 4 and Tier 5 players could make it through alright—it was a horrifying thought.

“Speaking of which, Ruo: You’re not allowed to repeat what I just told you,” Violet Orchid whispered cautiously.

As the second-in-command of the Fallen Angels League, if this secret got out, her image would be ruined, not least because there were any number of other players in their League who’d gotten through on their first try, and successfully qualified for the next stage.

“Tell me what it was like, your first time,” Qin Ruo asked, finding it difficult to draw breath.

Violet Orchid hesitated. “Why do you ask? Haven’t you done it yourself yet?”

“I’m just about to. Earlier I was down in the Buried City, saying a quick h.e.l.lo to Savior, so that took up some of my time. Anyway, time is short, so hurry up and fill me in: Your first time in the Mythical Mirage—how bad was it?”

“Um…” Violet Orchid sounded startled. “How did you know?”

“What?” Morosely, Qin Ruo looked up at the rolling stormclouds overhead, and gave a long sigh. “I just can’t imagine how your first time could possibly have been any worse than this.”

Violet Orchid finally understood what he’d called her for.

When Violet Orchid described what she’d encountered, Qin Ruo found something that was basically like what he’d expected.

Elite Tier 5 players wouldn’t be allowed to treat the first stage of the Mythical Mirage as a simple game.

This was probably meant to provide Tier 5 players with the same sense of challenge as players of other levels, so some additional elements had been introduced to the first stage.

In the forest, Violet Orchid had encountered pitfalls and death traps, making her experience similar to what Qin Ruo was going through at the moment. It seemed specifically tailored to do in those players who weren’t taking this first stage very seriously.

If Qin Ruo did what Violet Orchid had done on her first time through, casually slaying monsters as she rushed towards the objective, he was likely to meet with the same end, blundering to his doom beneath a fatal torrent of lightning.

“So that’s how it is.”

With Violet Orchid’s perspective helping him to understand the inordinate risks inherent within the Mythical Mirage, Qin Ruo felt the knots in his heart loosening, his doubts cleared away, to be replaced by a watchful eye towards his surroundings.

“What’s it like over there?”

“The worst,” Qin Ruo concluded in summary.

Violet Orchid was forced to brave a field of traps hidden beneath the surface, invisible to the naked eye. As for him… black clouds crowded down on him, crackling with lightning, ready to strike him down at any moment.

Now that he knew the area was filled with traps that could prove fatal even for an elite Tier 5 player, more and more he was getting the feeling that crossing this zone of sudden-death-by-lightning was the greatest challenge he’d ever been faced with!

And the worst thing about it all: In every instance of the Mythical Mirage, the main theme was always the monsters.

However, when he had been looking around from atop the hill earlier, the whole place had appeared bleak and barren. Never mind monsters, there hadn’t even been a scraggly little bush in sight.

When she’d heard Qin Ruo’s simplified description of his circ.u.mstances, Violet Orchid’s tone became grim. “That’s not good. If there are no monsters in sight, there are two possible reasons why: Either all the monsters in your area are Bandit-types, specialized at Stealth and Ambush…”

“That certainly doesn’t sound good.” Qin Ruo grimaced.

High-level monsters using Stealth were typically invisible to Elemental Perception. If the area really was filled with such monsters, he’d be dealing with more than just these stormclouds, but also countless monsters he wouldn’t be able to detect.

But Violet Orchid huffed in exasperation. “You might as well hope that it’s just a bunch of Bandit-type monsters. The other possibility is worse!

“Ms. Orchid here is of the opinion, Lil Ruo, that you definitely would not be pleased to have to tangle with a swarm of flying, Lightning-elemental monsters right now. After all, only Lightning-elemental monsters could survive those conditions.”

Chapter 589: Mythical Mirage

Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation  Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation

White lightning, like the forked branches of a tree, lanced out suddenly from heavy stormclouds, las.h.i.+ng down across the horizon. Although it appeared to be happening far off in the distance, but for his first time in the Mythical Mirage, that startling thunderclap and flare made Qin Ruo’s breath catch in his throat!

Looking out with trepidation across the landscape as the last traces of lightning faded away, he was overwhelmed by the vastness of it all.

Another peal of thunder rolled across the heavens, like a rumbling volley of cannon fire, and set Qin Ruo’s heart racing. It was so loud that it felt like lightning might erupt right next to him at any moment, causing him to break out all over in cold sweat. He couldn’t decide if the thunderstorm was welcoming his arrival, or a warning against his intrusion.

Well, whichever one it was, it had put Qin Ruo on full alert.

Taking a deep breath, Qin Ruo dismissed the innocent curiosity he’d brought with him into this new world. His expression became serious as he brought up his Frost Barrier and Darkfrost s.h.i.+eld.

He’d come across some reports on the game forums: In the Mythical Mirage, besides all sorts of monsters, there were also various hazards which the first Tier 5 explorers had already fallen victim to. For all he knew, the very lightning itself was a part of the dangers of this place.

“Got to be careful,” Qin Ruo quietly reminded himself. The forces of nature were far beyond any Tier 4 or Tier 5 lightning magic.

In the first stage of the Mythical Mirage, players would arrive in different locations, and have to survive all manner of harsh conditions as they made their way toward their goals.

It looked as though Qin Ruo had landed in a particularly bad situation. Dense stormclouds stretched across the sky in all directions, smothering the land, with not the slightest break amongst them. Lightning appeared and vanished without warning, an intermittent reminder of infinite power.

And, beneath the clouds…

Rolling hills were covered with scorch marks and huge craters, smoke still rising off some of them in faint, curling trails. It looked like the aftermath of a saturated bombing run, with traces of smoke lingering everywhere. Qin Ruo was now standing atop one of many hills.

“Good lord.” Qin Ruo looked up in awe at the stormclouds that seemed much too close, and an especially terrifying thought occurred to him:

Could it be that this ravaged, forsaken wasteland was the result of the thunderstorm overhead?

As though sensing Qin Ruo’s unspoken accusations, a bolt of lightning cut down through the air, striking the top of a little hill not fifty meters away from his ashen-white face—that is, if a mound just over sixty meters high could be called a hill.

The force of the thunderbolt shook the earth with a momentary tremor, throwing up a shower of dirt, such that the shockwave even reached Qin Ruo where he stood.

“d.a.m.n!” Qin Ruo was teetering on the edge of hysterical panic.

That last lightning bolt had struck just within the radius of his Elemental Perception. For an instant, he had clearly sensed every profound detail of a new crater being gouged out of the hillside, before the unimaginable energy of the lightning overloaded his Elemental Perception, blinding him.

It was a Tier 5 areattack spell!

Qin Ruo swallowed hard. The power of that spell had to be Tier 5 or greater, and the damage it dealt was at least a match for an areeffect spell from a Tier 6 Megaboss!

This was ridiculous! Was it like this for everyone during the first stage of the Mythical Mirage; or was it something to do with his individual power level, so that the System had singled him out for special treatment again?

Not daring to linger for even a moment longer, Qin Ruo pelted downhill. Height was no advantage during a lightning storm, and he had no interest in tempting the wrath of the G.o.ds!

When he reached the valley between hills, several more bolts of lightning struck the surrounding hilltops, including the one Qin Ruo had only just been standing upon. Amid the deafening thunderclaps which once again shut down his AquElemental Perception, Qin Ruo felt thankful that he’d managed to get away in time.

Having witnessed firsthand the might of this thunderstorm, Qin Ruo called up his Quest Journal. The objectives he had to achieve, as well as the destination he had to reach, were detailed within.

Committing the coordinates in his Quest Journal to memory, Qin Ruo looked up his current position, swiftly determined the proper heading, and made an estimate of the distance to his goal.

Not too far away, perhaps a kilometer or so.

There was a slight problem, however. Earlier, on the hilltop, Qin Ruo had taken in the lay of the land: The whole ground was pocked with craters and ruts, and sloped incessantly this way and that. If he wanted to stay on course, he’d have to crest a number of hills…

… which meant exposing himself to a lightning strike!

Worse, Qin Ruo had a feeling that the thunderstorm had been holding back for him when he’d first arrived here—otherwise, with a semi-conductor like himself standing in any kind of a high place, the first arc of lightning would hardly have struck anywhere else.

Furthermore, a lone person moving through a barren place like this, without any form of vegetation to provide cover… even if he kept to low ground, there was a substantial chance of getting hit anyway!

And if he set foot on high ground, the chances of getting hit by lightning during this storm should be roughly equal to the chance of getting hit by a waterdrop in the rain.

Placed in such conditions, no matter how much faith Qin Ruo had held in his own abilities, there was nothing for it now but to give it everything he had! It appeared that the first stage of the Mythical Mirage wouldn’t be any easier than the Underworld—if anything, it seemed even more daunting!

“I wonder how many people are getting something like this…”

Qin Ruo put a call through to Violet Orchid, hoping to find out what kind of stuff the people in her League had to deal with in the Mythical Mirage. He’d occasionally heard a little bit before, but he hadn’t paid much attention at the time.

“What?” Qin Ruo was aghast at her response, and he couldn’t help sputtering, “You actually died during the first stage? How come you never told me about that?”

“Even that strumpet Moonwaltz Rimbo made it past the first stage. If word got around of my failure, I wouldn’t be able to show my face in public! Thank goodness things were easier the second time around…”

This rare admission of weakness by Violet Orchid left Qin Ruo in despair. The first stage of the Mythical Mirage for him seemed like far too much to deal with.

Violet Orchid was considered above average as Field Commanders go, high adaptable and formidable in battle. If even someone like her could fall during the first stage, while unremarkable Tier 4 and Tier 5 players could make it through alright—it was a horrifying thought.

“Speaking of which, Ruo: You’re not allowed to repeat what I just told you,” Violet Orchid whispered cautiously.

As the second-in-command of the Fallen Angels League, if this secret got out, her image would be ruined, not least because there were any number of other players in their League who’d gotten through on their first try, and successfully qualified for the next stage.

“Tell me what it was like, your first time,” Qin Ruo asked, finding it difficult to draw breath.

Violet Orchid hesitated. “Why do you ask? Haven’t you done it yourself yet?”

“I’m just about to. Earlier I was down in the Buried City, saying a quick h.e.l.lo to Savior, so that took up some of my time. Anyway, time is short, so hurry up and fill me in: Your first time in the Mythical Mirage—how bad was it?”

“Um…” Violet Orchid sounded startled. “How did you know?”

“What?” Morosely, Qin Ruo looked up at the rolling stormclouds overhead, and gave a long sigh. “I just can’t imagine how your first time could possibly have been any worse than this.”

Violet Orchid finally understood what he’d called her for.

When Violet Orchid described what she’d encountered, Qin Ruo found something that was basically like what he’d expected.

Elite Tier 5 players wouldn’t be allowed to treat the first stage of the Mythical Mirage as a simple game.

This was probably meant to provide Tier 5 players with the same sense of challenge as players of other levels, so some additional elements had been introduced to the first stage.

In the forest, Violet Orchid had encountered pitfalls and death traps, making her experience similar to what Qin Ruo was going through at the moment. It seemed specifically tailored to do in those players who weren’t taking this first stage very seriously.

If Qin Ruo did what Violet Orchid had done on her first time through, casually slaying monsters as she rushed towards the objective, he was likely to meet with the same end, blundering to his doom beneath a fatal torrent of lightning.

“So that’s how it is.”

With Violet Orchid’s perspective helping him to understand the inordinate risks inherent within the Mythical Mirage, Qin Ruo felt the knots in his heart loosening, his doubts cleared away, to be replaced by a watchful eye towards his surroundings.

“What’s it like over there?”

“The worst,” Qin Ruo concluded in summary.

Violet Orchid was forced to brave a field of traps hidden beneath the surface, invisible to the naked eye. As for him… black clouds crowded down on him, crackling with lightning, ready to strike him down at any moment.

Now that he knew the area was filled with traps that could prove fatal even for an elite Tier 5 player, more and more he was getting the feeling that crossing this zone of sudden-death-by-lightning was the greatest challenge he’d ever been faced with!

And the worst thing about it all: In every instance of the Mythical Mirage, the main theme was always the monsters.

However, when he had been looking around from atop the hill earlier, the whole place had appeared bleak and barren. Never mind monsters, there hadn’t even been a scraggly little bush in sight.

When she’d heard Qin Ruo’s simplified description of his circ.u.mstances, Violet Orchid’s tone became grim. “That’s not good. If there are no monsters in sight, there are two possible reasons why: Either all the monsters in your area are Bandit-types, specialized at Stealth and Ambush…”

“That certainly doesn’t sound good.” Qin Ruo grimaced.

High-level monsters using Stealth were typically invisible to Elemental Perception. If the area really was filled with such monsters, he’d be dealing with more than just these stormclouds, but also countless monsters he wouldn’t be able to detect.

But Violet Orchid huffed in exasperation. “You might as well hope that it’s just a bunch of Bandit-type monsters. The other possibility is worse!

“Ms. Orchid here is of the opinion, Lil Ruo, that you definitely would not be pleased to have to tangle with a swarm of flying, Lightning-elemental monsters right now. After all, only Lightning-elemental monsters could survive those conditions.”