Since the benefits were too good to pass up, Cheng Yang decided that he would at least get those three Experience Gems!
Unfortunately, the Standard-Grade gems were quite far away. Cheng Yang needed to inch towards them, picking up the Low-Grade gems on the way and carefully observing his surroundings.
Although Cheng Yang was on edge, getting ten Experience Fragments every few steps made it bearable.
Even though Cheng Yang was strong, he preferred just picking up stones to killing ten Low-Grade monsters.
Ten minutes later, Cheng Yang picked up one of the Standard-Grade gems and carefully placed it into his bag.
It was hard to explain how Cheng Yang felt right now. Even if someone placed a piece of Red Gold equipment in front of him, he wouldn’t be willing to trade the gems he had picked up. Although, relatively speaking, the equipment was more valuable.
Half an hour later, Cheng Yang finally reached the last Standard-Grade Experience Gem. The whole process had gone very smoothly, and not a single Rotoskr had appeared.
Cheng Yang slowly squatted, grabbed the gem, and stowed it away.
After getting up, Cheng Yang took a regretful look at the dozens of Low-Grade gems in front of him. Even so, he decided to leave them.
Right before turning around, Cheng Yang saw one of the lights on the ground jump. Pausing for a second, he saw the gem tremble and pop of the ground once more.
“This is…” Cheng Yang stopped hesitating and sprinted back towards the cavern. Moments later, a giant head appeared from behind the corner. This time, however, Cheng Yang was ready.
He had a significant enough head start that even though his enemy was a Pinnacle-Grade monster, he was never in any danger. The only downside was that the Rotoskr was able to reduce his Health to twenty before dying.
Cheng Yang felt quite depressed since this meant he would have to use one of his last three Health Recovery Potions. Although he had brought lots of potions, nearly all of them were Mana Recovery Potions.
Cheng Yang checked the countdown timer on his system pane: 3:12:36
Although it would cost him nearly a third of the time he had left, Cheng Yang decided to heal using the Meditation skill. Killing the second Pinnacle-Grade Rotoskr with ease gave him the confidence to try his luck for a little longer, so he wanted to save his potions.
Once he had healed, Cheng Yang got up to explore a little bit further.
Cheng Yang slowly made his way to the point he had reached earlier and when he reached the corner, glanced around it. Not too far away were four more blue gems.
This time, Cheng Yang decided to try out a theory of his. The cave was laid out just like a dungeon in a game, with enemies stationed at predictable locations. If he was right, there was a Pinnacle-Grade Rotoskr around the corner at the end of this tunnel.
Cheng Yang sped up, quickly picking up all of the gems he found. Absorbing the Low-Grade ones and storing the Standard-Grade ones in his backpack.
Once Cheng Yang got close to the corner, he slowed down. He planned to inch forward until the Rotoskr detected him and then attack while running away. Of course, if he could sneak up on the monster that would be even better.
Although his best-case scenario was a good one, it wasn’t to be. Once he was a meter from the corner, Cheng Yang heard the telltale footsteps of a Rotoskr.
“Gotcha.” Cheng Yang created space and launched an Icicle Blast the moment the monster rounded the corner.
As if the gods were looking after him, Cheng Yang’s first attack froze the monster solid. Moreover, this Rotoskr didn’t have an Innate Ability that helped it thaw out early.
By the time it could chase after him, Cheng Yang had retreated to the end of the tunnel and hit it twice with Icicle Blast.
Although the Rotoskr used Acceleration Burst to close the distance, it was already too late for it to even struggle. Cheng Yang was able to kill it before the Rotoskr could land a single hit.
Cheng Yang waltzed over to the corner, proud of himself for figuring out the trick to clearing the Rotoskr nest but when he turned the corner, he couldn’t help but be disappointed. There were only three Standard-Grade gems in this tunnel, and the number of Low-Grade ones had been reduced by one fourth as well.
“Isn’t that too cheap?” Cheng Yang griped as he picked up all the gems.
By now, Cheng Yang’s Experience Fragment balance had exceeded thirteen thousand. Of which, Cheng Yang gathered five thousand by killing monster over the last two days, and the other eight thousand were from absorbing Low-Grade Experience Gems. That wasn’t even counting the eleven Standard-Grade gems in his bag.
Since this was just the tenth day of the apocalypse, this many Experience Fragments was more valuable than any high-quality equipment and almost as valuable as the Imperial Guard Pavilion blueprints he had found earlier! Cheng Yang’s had made so much today that he was somewhat afraid to go to sleep tonight, for fear that he would wake up and realizes it was all a dream.
Once he was ready, Cheng Yang approached the corner to start the next fight.
Cheng Yang stepped within one meter of the corner, listening for the sound of scrabbling paws. When he didn’t hear it, he got right up to the edge and yet, there was still nothing.
Cheng Yang sighed. If there wasn’t a Rotoskr around the corner, that probably meant there wasn’t anything else to loot in the cave.
With a sense of apprehension, Cheng Yang looked around the corner. What he saw amazed him.
Right around the corner was a large cavern bathed in dark blue light. The entire area, which easily covered ten thousand square feet, was blanketed by head-sized deep blue Experience Gems.
Cheng Yang had to stop himself from letting out a yelp of surprise. “This is a siren’s song!”
There was no way those gems weren’t High-Grade Experience Gems! Even a conservative estimate would put the number of gems in this cavern in the thousands! How much would he be able to earn if he mined them all? Ten million? A hundred million? If he were able to obtain this mine, Cheng Yang was confident he could rule the world.
This opportunity was just too huge for anyone to refuse!
Tearing his eyes away from the walls, Cheng Yang checked the floor. In a more or less even distribution, ten of those High-Grade gems were scattered around the room.
If Cheng Yang had found this room a few hours ago, he would have rushed in without hesitation. Now, however, he knew just how dangerous it was to move around freely in the Rotoskr nest. Before making a move, he carefully scanned the cavern in its entirety.
Suddenly, in a far corner, he noticed them. Five Rotoskr sleeping together. Four of them were bear sized Pinnacle-Grade monsters, and the fifth was nearly double their size. Based on the fact that the other four slept in a circle around the big one, it was probably their leader.
What kind of existence would be able to lead a group of Pinnacle-Grade monsters? Clearly that Rotoskr was a Mature monster, one that had reached the second stage of evolution.
When he realized that, Cheng Yang broke out into a cold sweat. Although it was difficult for someone to kill a monster with a higher level than them, it wasn’t impossible. Xue Yu of the Imperial Guard had demonstrated that with the proper equipment and enough potions, that although expensive, it was easy.
However, that was only when both combatants were at the same stage of evolution. This Rotoskr wasn’t just a higher level than him; it had reached a higher plane of existence.
There wasn’t much information about Mature monsters in Cheng Yang’s past life since they had spawned so rarely. However, every single one had power more than double that of a Pinnacle-Grade Immature monster of the same species.
Just like he could insta-kill Standard-Grade monsters, there was a pretty good chance, that Rotoskr could insta-kill him.
Right now, Cheng Yang was even closer to death than when he saw the dragon flying outside.
What should he do? Leave?