Chapter 43 – Prior to Departure
“Since that’s the case, I’ll start handing out orders now. If anyone’s dissatisfied with me, they put can forward their own suggestions. As long as it’s within reason, I’ll be happy to oblige,” Nie Yan said. Since his previous speech was effective, and Yu Lan’s leadership could still be considered competent, he shouldn’t have any problems leading this group of players through the dungeon.
“I’d like everyone to announce their names and character information, starting from the Fighter over there,” Nie Yan announced. If the most basic stat requirements weren’t met, even if the team possessed a strong expert, it would be incredibly difficult for them to clear the dungeon. In other words, even if he knew how to pass through the dungeon, he’d first need each member of his team to meet the basic stat requirements to even attempt it.
“Bai Kaishui (Plain Boiled Water), Fighter, sixty-one defense, two hundred and thirty health, and twenty-seven attack,” Bai Kaishui replied. He was the one who had spoken up for Nie Yan earlier. He had the appearance of a slightly rugged man in his late twenties and a robust body that resembled an ox. He was the team’s main tank. With a single glance, you knew he was made to be a Warrior.
“Steamed Dumpling (Feishui Zhujiaozi), calling me Dumpling is fine. I’m a Fighter, fifty-one defense, one hundred and sixty health, and twenty-eight attack.”
“Blaze, Elementalist, thirty-two magic damage.”
“Bai Kaishui, I want you to go and buy a Basic Haste Scroll. Pumpkin (Nan Gua), I want you to go and buy a Basic Strength Scroll…” Nie Yan issued orders after they were all accounted for.
Many of the players within the team looked at each other with embarrassed expressions. Among the average player, they were considered relatively strong experts with deep pockets, but in reality, the total wealth they had on hand absolutely didn’t exceed one silver. Items like Basic Haste Scrolls, Basic Strength Scrolls, Basic Intellect Scrolls, etc., easily cost upwards of twenty coppers. Wasn’t this kind of expenditure rather extreme? Even if they cleared Treant Forest, they were still unsure of the profit they’d receive.
“Hmph! Buying so many scrolls… If I was the leader and had so many scrolls, we’d be able to clear the dungeon too,” Chen Bo muttered to himself.
Chen Bo was repeatedly making things difficult for Nie Yan. Tang Yao, who had witnessed all of this on the side, was put in quite a foul mood.
“Could it be that you can’t afford it? If you don’t have the money to buy something as cheap as a scroll, I can always lend you a bit first,” Tang Yao provoked, staring at Chen Bo with a disdainful gaze.
“Twenty coppers is nothing. It’s not like this young master here can’t afford it. However, this guy here clearly has selfish motives. Why isn’t he making you buy Basic Intellect Scrolls, and instead making us spend all the money?” Chen Bo retorted without holding back any accusations.
Chen Bo’s accusations gave rise to doubts among the crowd as they stared suspiciously at Nie Yan. They were all in a team together. However, if Nie Yan clearly favoured his own people and deliberately made their side spend more money, then that would simply be an extremely callous and deceptive behavior—one that they could not tolerate.
During the whole ordeal, Tang Yao wasn’t able to give the reason why. The corner of Chen Bo’s mouth curved into a sneer and he said, “What? You don’t have anything to say now?”
The surrounding crowd waited for Nie Yan’s reply. If he didn’t give them a suitable explanation, the crowd most likely wouldn’t let him off so easily.
“You figured something out? You haven’t figured out piss. My brother is wearing the full Fire Chaser set. His magic damage is already over fifty. Does he need to buy Basic Intellect Scrolls then? He already has a hard enough time controlling his damage as it is. Does he need a Basic Intellect Scroll to increase his magic damage further? Do you want the boss to switch aggro and split him in half?” Nie Yan ruthlessly rebuked.
Nie Yan’s words held another implication: With the equipment Tang Yao possessed, the elite teams from large guilds would be more than happy to have him if he wanted to run a dungeon with them. Accompanying Yu Lan’s team into the dungeon was the same as using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut; it was simply a waste of his talents! It was already a show of respect by showing up here, yet they still wanted to make more demands and even threw out accusations?
Many of the team members after hearing Nie Yan’s words held faces full of shame. Their expressions greatly changed as they gazed at the equipment on Tang Yao’s body. This was, in fact, the Fire Chaser set. It was a symbol of honour. It was a sign that a player had conquered Blackflame Forest! If Tang Yao had already cleared Blackflame Forest, it meant he had long since gotten everything he needed from a lower level dungeon like Treant Forest. Yet, he had still come back here to run this dungeon with them. This alone meant he was giving their team a tremendous amount of face.
Seeing the changed expressions of the surrounding crowd, Tang Yao subconsciously straightened his back. Being adored and respected by the crowd made him feel rather satisfied. Thus, Tang Yao inwardly confirmed his resolve. If I’m going to wear this kind of equipment, I shouldn’t lose any face. At the very least, I’ve got to show the bearing of an expert.
Chen Bo was momentarily left speechless. Nie Yan had ruthlessly suppressed him, and he simply had no means to retort.
Yu Lan glanced at Tang Yao and carefully examined the equipment on his body. Even I couldn’t recognize it at first… This wretched fatty is actually an expert!
“I want everyone who was called out to go and buy their respective scrolls,” Yu Lan ordered. However, she was left wondering… Even if they cleared Treant Forest, would they still be able to gain a positive return after buying so many scrolls?
The members whose names were mentioned left to purchase scrolls. They had already bought all the consumables they needed beforehand, so making a return trip to the stores wouldn’t waste too much time.
“Nie Yan, do we really need so many scrolls to clear Treant Forest?” Yao Yao asked while her elegant eyes stared fixedly at Nie Yan. From her memory, the larger teams she knew didn’t use this many scrolls when they cleared Treant Forest.
“You’ll know when the time comes. I am absolutely not wasting money by making them buy these scrolls,” Nie Yan replied. Even if it were the elite teams from the large guilds, he reckoned they only cleared the Normal difficulty Treant Forest. However, the difficulty he was aiming for was the hardest one—Specialist!¹ It was impossible for them to clear the run without these scrolls.
“En.” Yao Yao blinked and nodded her head. Despite only knowing Nie Yan for several days, she was certain of one little thing: He was definitely someone who was capable and in no way would do something for no reason.
After a short while, the people who were called out returned with their scrolls purchased.
Nie Yan did roll call. All nineteen people—including him—were present and accounted for.
“Is there anyone here who can invite a strong Mage to join us? I’d be more reassured if there was another high damage Mage with us,” Nie Yan asked Yu Lan and her team.
“That’s going to be a little hard to do…” Yu Lan replied in a somewhat awkward tone. For the most part, Mages who had high damage were already in fixed teams, so where could they go looking for one?
“I can find one. I have a classmate who belongs in Radiant Sacred Flame guild’s elite team. Their team has recently been preparing for Blackflame Forest, but by chance, my classmate has some free time today,” Yao Yao interjected.
“Male or female? How’s their skill?” Yu Lan asked.
“He’s a male and really strong too,” Yao Yao replied.
“Radiant Sacred Flame guild? Forget it then,” Nie Yan shook his head and said.
“Why?” Yao Yao inquisitively asked.
“I’ve already killed several of their guild members. Right now, they have a hit order on me,” Nie Yan straightforwardly replied without holding anything back. Even if the Radiant Sacred Flame guild knew he was here, what could they do about it?
“Last time, everyone in my party except for me was wiped out by the Radiant Sacred Flame guild. My brother here singlehandedly killed seven or eight of them to save me.” Tang Yao proudly flaunted Nie Yan’s accomplishments. He couldn’t help but show off to everyone present that he and Nie Yan were brothers.
“They were a weak group. All their players were full of beginners,” Nie Yan didn’t feel it was anything significant.
“I say, you only killed off a few noobs and you think you’re so terrific? I’ve killed entire teams before!” Chen Bo suddenly interrupted. A sneer was on his face, and his expression was full of ridicule.
Chen Bo’s words infuriated Tang Yao by no small amount. The players Nie Yan killed were by no means beginners. Among them, there was even a player with the full Fire Chaser set! He was just about to retort, but Nie Yan held him back. Thus he could only suppress his anger in silence.
Yu Lan crossed her arms across her chest and examined Nie Yan. Since he wasn’t a brash person who liked to flaunt his accomplishments, it appeared Tang Yao’s words were most likely true. After all, those who were able to corner an expert level figure like Tang Yao definitely couldn’t be simple. It seemed Nie Yan wasn’t only skillful in dungeons, but in player versus player situations as well.