Translator: SaltyTank Editor: SaltyTank
It took Soran over half an hour just to advance ten meters. The problem with traps was not disarming them, but finding where they were hidden. Especially with lethal traps like the acid trap, one might accidentally trigger it when trying to find out its hidden location. Due to the dangers, most people with advanced professions would prefer stable and safe jobs rather than risking their lives in unexplored caves and ruins.
With 15 Wisdom and his past experiences, Soran was quite attuned to danger. He carefully removed an irregular rock on the wall, revealing a complicated device. There should also be a trigger device nearby, which would trigger the trap when a person stepped on it, shooting multiple crossbow bolts at the intruder.
“That’s one, two, three, four, five, six…!”
Soran wiped the cold sweat off his forehead; it was a multi-shot crossbow trap, which could turn him into a hedgehog in no time. Thankfully, he was playing safe the entire time, but the powerful trap still startled him a bit. This type of crossbow bolt could deal roughly 12 damage each, and Soran would stand no chance even if the bolts struck non-vital areas. People wearing heavy armor could probably withstand the shots, but a Rogue player had no reason to wear such protection gear, as the focus of the profession was on agility.
_Click!_ Soran held the trigger in place with his finger, then laid prone on the ground and struck the lever with his dagger. The traps were made with a special type of steel that had been enchanted by simple magic during the production process and would only start rusting after several decades. Some underground ruins had traps that were completely enchanted by advanced magic, and these could function for up to a century or two.
_Thud, thud, thud!_ Six crossbow bolts simultaneously shot out from the trap and embedded themselves into the opposite wall. Without caring about his face full of dust, Soran pried the firing device out from the wall and went on to remove the other components of the trap.
A trigger device and a firing device, as well as a modified crossbow.
“Alright, good stuff!”
Soran smiled as he disassembled the devices. No matter how skilled a rogue he was, even he could not make traps if the materials and components were unavailable. Materials for making such a powerful crossbow trap would cost at least 40 Gold Derahls if bought from the black market—this was a device which could instantly kill a warrior who was Level 4 or below after all.
Familiar rows of data appeared in front of Soran:
“Successfully disarmed a trap!”
“Your Rogue skills have improved, earning 210 Profession EXP.”
As the requirements for disarming an advanced trap were high, it also gave a lot of experience points when successfully disarmed.
He made a makeshift sack out of the dead adventurers’ clothing, then stowed all the parts except for the components for the modified crossbow. Instead, Soran reassembled the crossbow, which was in the shape of a box. He pulled out the bolts from the wall and reloaded the weapon. He now had a six-shot crossbow at his disposal. The downside of this device was that it could only fire when it was loaded with all six bolts, and it could only fire all six shots at once.
It could not be helped; it was originally a trap, not a handheld weapon.
After removing the trap, Soran continued his exploration. It seemed that the only other trap present was the acid trap, but it was no longer a threat, as someone had already triggered it before. Just as a reference, acid traps cost around a hundred or so Gold Derahls, as they might use magic trigger devices.
The tunnel was rough and twisted here and there, yet Soran felt relieved as setting traps in such terrain was quite difficult, and swarms of mice residing there might accidentally trigger the traps. Considering such, the possibility of traps being laid in the tunnel was low, but he still remained vigilant nonetheless.
He carefully continued his way in until an inconspicuous stone door could be seen.
After confirming there were no traps, Soran slowly pushed open the stone door.
An eerie breeze blew past Soran as he suddenly felt a creeping chill over his back. Without hesitating, he turned backwards and slashed at the enemy, but all that was present was a shady mist floating in mid-air. The ghost showed a creepy smile and screeched as it disappeared into thin air.
Soran leaned against the wall as he swiftly pulled out a bottle of holy water. Ghosts were spiritual beings without a physical body, thus unenchanted weapons could not deal any damage to them. No matter how many times Soran slashed at them with his dagger, he would not be able to harm them. For this very reason, he brought bottles of holy water into the treasure cave.
Along with its blood-curdling laughs, the ghost reappeared. The loud shrieks were the effects of one of its innate skills, the low-ranked skill Death Growl, which was similar to the spell Fear. People who lacked courage would be stunned and could only shiver in fear, but Soran was obviously not one of them—his eardrums hurt a little, but that was all.
Soran tossed the bottle of holy water at the floating ghost, and it was extremely effective. The bottle broke, and holy water splattered all over the ghost. As it shouted its last cries, the ghost’s body dissolved into dark mist and disappeared one last time.
“Fortunately, I was prepared.”
Soran proceeded to pick up the small piece of black spirit shard on the ground while wiping off the cold sweat. Spirit shards may be formed when spiritual beings lost their lives and scattered into oblivion, and these shards were popular power sources for necromancers. Due to their high demand, even a small shard could be sold for 15 Gold Derahls.
The ghost was rated as Level 5, but that did not really matter if the challengers did not possess holy water or enchanted swords, as ghosts were immune to physical damage. However, this trait was a double-edged sword; everyone who had holy water could easily defeat ghosts. In a sense, ghosts were both easy and hard to defeat.
“Successfully hit the ghost with holy water, dealing 60 damage.”
“Extracting soul energy from target… Received 120 Slaughter Experience Points.”
Soran had enough experience points to level up his Rogue profession, but he chose not to for now because Slaughter EXP was hard to obtain. Due to its rarity, this type of experience point was mostly used on levelling up advanced and sub-professions. There was no need to use it to level up his Rogue profession, as he would level up after disarming a trap or two anyway, and it might be better to save up some experience points for his future sub-professions.
_Creak…_ Soran opened the stone door again , revealing the chamber behind it, and set down his makeshift sack as he looked around.
Various things were scattered around and covered in dust, with spider webs dangling everywhere. The corners of the room all had holes that seemed to be mice lairs as well. On the bookshelves, some completely damaged books could be seen.
It was obvious that the place had been deserted for a long time already. There was a stone desk in the front section of the chamber, and on it were miscellaneous items, such as unknown skulls, cracked finger bones, and a dried bat corpse, as well as a black wooden box.
“No rare weapons, no magic items…”
Soran could not help but feel slightly disappointed. Except for the wooden box, everything else seemed rather worthless. He lightly knocked on the box and, after confirming there were no traps, carefully picked it up.
“It’s made out of… Japanese Hophornbeam?”
Soran looked around to make sure he was alone in the chamber, then held the box as far away as possible and opened the lid with his dagger. A low-level treasure cave like this one would not have so many traps, but it did not hurt to be more vigilant anyway.
_Clank!_ Soran pried open the box, revealing three cards inside.
Contrary to the surroundings, the three cards looked delicate and had exquisite designs. There were mithril laces on the sides, along with tiny pieces of diamond embedded into the card, and there was a magical pattern in the center that was like a whirlpool, drawing attention from everyone who placed their eyes on the card. The cards were something that could not be produced by the people of the current era—even the divine badges of the shrines were lacking in details when compared to the cards.
Soran showed both surprise and anxiety on his face, as he felt rather complicated right now. He recognized the cards in his hands; Legendary-grade magic tools, cards from the Deck of Many Things.
The deck of cards was something left behind from the age of the Arcane Empire. According to rumors and legends, it was something created by a great sorcerer on a whim. There was a total of 108 cards, each containing a special magic which could either grant you unimaginably good things or bring about catastrophic disaster.
There was once a man who almost drowned from the 10,000 Arcane Gold Coins that appeared out of nowhere, while there were also those who were struck by a bolt of lightning and died immediately after activating the card.
In short, no one knew what would happen.
“Item Appraisal!” Soran tried something he had not attempted in a while, but it seemed to have worked, as floating words appeared in his vision shortly afterwards.
“Card of the Deck of Many Things 【Legendary Item】 x3: A plaything left behind from the age of the Arcane Empire, but it is also a product made with the most advanced alchemy skills of the previous age. When activated, something unimaginable will happen. (It is said that the Ace cards can grant unparalleled power.)”
“Should I activate the cards…?”
After considering for a while, Soran clenched his teeth and picked up a card, then pricked his finger to activate the card with a drop of blood.
The cards were identical on both sides and could only be activated with fresh blood. Before the cards were activated, even a Legendary Wizard could not foresee what the effects would be.
A faint glow of light radiated from the card after absorbing Soran’s blood. Like a ripple on the water’s surface, the pattern expanded and began to show an animated picture in the center. A treasure vault filled with countless gold coins, jewels, and equipment appeared, which made Soran quite excited as he might have activated the Treasure card.
A sneaky shadow holding a sack appeared in front of the vault and was busy filling the sack with the treasure inside the vault.
Soran’s face paled as he finally knew what he got—Godly Theft.
The activated card gave off a burst of light as the sneaky shadow turned around to reveal a greedy smile. The animated thief clapped his hands together, and ancient alchemy runes went flying out of his hands. In the blink of an eye, everything on Soran was snatched away. Except for the three cards in his hands, nothing remained; not even his clothes.
A chilling breeze blew out of nowhere.
Soran shuddered as he held three cards in his hands while being completely naked.
Weapons, clothes, money, holy water, tools, everything—everything on him was gone. The black box holding the three cards disappeared as well. Soran was now stuck in the treasure cave holding nothing but three cards from the Deck of Many Things.
Another breeze blew into the chamber.
His butt was freezing.
*[advantage]: by having their erection in contact with her
*[ cent bills]: China has cents in bills called jiao
*[Guoshu]: Guo here means country and shu means technique
*[ 190 centimeters]: Over 6ft tall
*[Lake Cui]: Cui Hu, also means Green Lake
*[hundred dyuan bills]: 100yuan is their biggest bill
*[Daoist Fierce Tiger]: The author of this novel
*[Noodles]: made of wheat
*[Rice Noodles]: made of rice
*[Zhang Tian Tian]: Tian means sweet
*[Bajiquan]: Also known as Eight Extremities Fist, but Bajiquan sounds nicer to me
*[Long Taos]: side characters in Chinese operas who perform acrobatics and fight scenes
*[12.47 to 13.07]: don’t ask me about the tree sap