Chapter 154 - Dispute
The Succubus Den was a large Level 15 map. The administrator of Calore had issued a large-scale guild quest to investigate this place in search of “The Amnesiac's Brain.” Generally, 2,000 Level 15 players was the recommended number to attempt this quest, but with great difficulty also came great rewards as the guild’s grade would be promoted upon completion. If Holy Empire became a Grade 2 guild, their status in Calore would increase, and even more guild quests would become available to them in the future. Furthermore, they would also attract more expert players to their ranks, allowing their strength to rise to another level.
Holy Empire was constantly suppressed by Victorious Return, but if they were able to complete this quest, they would leap over them and take the position of top dog in Calore which they could then attempt to gradually consolidate.
However, all of this was only possible under the assumption that they were able to amass enough Cure Charm Potions.
A trip to the Succubus Den needed at least thirty bottles, but naturally, since that was only the minimum requirement, a guild would generally prepare a little more. The Cure Charm Potion Recipe was an Intermediate Alchemy Recipe. Even when working together, it would take two Intermediate Alchemists at least an entire day to concoct that many potions.
Since Intermediate Alchemists were such a scarce resource at the current stage of the game, Sleepy Fox could only turn to Nie Yan for help.
Him not hesitating to save Nie Yan and risk a potential falling out with Victorious Return was also potentially due to this reason.
As Holy Empire’s guild leader, Sleepy Fox would always act based on the guild’s interests. If it didn’t benefit the guild, then he absolutely wouldn’t do it!
“Do you have a Cure Charm Potion Recipe?” Nie Yan asked. If Sleepy Fox didn’t even have the recipe, then he was powerless to help.
“We have two Cure Charm Potion Recipes, and we can also provide the ingredients required to concoct the potions. I’d like to request a batch of fifty potions. Afterward, we can pay you 3 gold in labour fees,” Sleepy Fox replied. The price he offered was fairly generous, an indication of just how important this quest was to him. After the batch of potions was ready and their other preparations were completed, they should also have enough players at the right level to attempt this quest.
Nie Yan gave it some thought. If it was like this, then his two Intermediate Alchemists would make quite a killing. With recipes and ingredients already provided for, they’d get to improve their proficiency in Alchemy while also receiving a cut of the 3 gold in commision. This was already quite generous. At the same time, him helping Holy Empire was basically the same as helping himself because when Holy Empire toppled Victorious Return, the latter would definitely focus all their energy on taking back their position. In this way, Asskickers United could freely expand their own influence.
Nie Yan stood in silence, pondering over the matter. While facing him on the other side, Sleepy Fox actually believed he was contacting the Starry Night Potion Shop.
“Then the deal is set. Just send the recipes, ingredients, and whatever else to the Starry Night Potion Shop,” Nie Yan finally said to Sleepy Fox.
With the deal being finalized, Sleepy Fox couldn’t help but feel a little excited. After all, the project he had been planning for so long could finally start being carried out. He faced Nie Yan and said, “Then our next step is seeing you guys off. You all have red names, so you can’t return to town, and this area is filled with Victorious Return players. So if you guys try to leave by yourselves, you’ll definitely get surrounded again.”
“Alright, then we’ll be troubling you guys.”
“While you guys are hunting mobs in the wilderness to clear your red names, message me if you need any supplies. I’ll immediately send a person over to your coordinates,” Sleepy Fox said. All in all, he was being quite considerate.
Nie Yan and Sleepy Fox had to consider their own interests above all else, so it was unavoidable that they also schemed against each other. Perhaps if the both had some free time and were free of their commitments, then they could become good friends in private.
Nie Yan turned around and called Tang Yao and the others over, “We’re leaving. Let’s get rid of our red names first, then think about what we’ll do after.”
Guo Huai and the other survivors would be returning to the city first. Guo Huai walked up to Nie Yan and said with a mysterious smile, “There’ll be a nice surprise waiting for you guys tomorrow.”
Nie Yan also specifically instructed Guo Huai that the over two hundred players that had come to rescue him and Tang Yao, regardless of their intentions, whether it be loyalty or for their own benefit, would be given ample rewards. This would let all the members of their guild know that as long as they exerted themselves for the guild, the guild would generously reward them for their efforts. He had Tang Yao give all of the reinforcements 50 merit points each. For those that reached Level 10, they could even earn an additional 100 merit points.
The players had already done the calculations. In Asskickers United, 50 merit points was the equivalent of 2 and a half silver. This was already quite an amazing reward. 2 and a half silver could purchase several pieces of first-rate Bronze-grade equipment. It could even purchase one or two pieces of slightly inferior Silver-grade equipment. For the average Level 7–8 player, if they tallied up all their money, it would already be amazing for them to come up with 1 or 2 silver, considering many of them were usually in debt. Of course, 50 merit points wasn’t the only reward. Guo Huai had already recorded down the names of all the players that participated in the rescue mission. In the future, when the guild was giving out benefits, they would be the lucky ones to receive additional rewards.
Those that had died in the battle all received a message that the guild leader, Young Sparrow Hawk, had rewarded them with 50 Guild Contribution Points. And when they glimpsed at the level leaderboard, they noticed Tang Yao was still at the very top of the standings, leaving all of them stunned as to how he managed to stay alive through the seemingly fatal entrapment. This feat only built on their existing admiration of Tang Yao, which was further intensified when they recalled him gibbing Victorious Return players each time he fired off a spell. It was simply amazing.
As the players passed down their recollections of the event to each other, they practically elevated Tang Yao to the status of a god. At the same time, among the ones that didn’t go, upon hearing the stories and seeing the 50 merit points that were given as a reward, they couldn’t help but feel a sense of regret. To those many Level 7–8 players, even if they died and dropped a level and a piece of equipment, they would probably only be losing about 1 silver at most.
Currently, some players had already accumulated enough contribution and took out Silver-grade equipment from the guild treasury to wear. The vast majority of players were wearing White-grade equipment, having Bronze-grade equipment was decent, and owning even a single piece of Silver-grade equipment was enough to make many players endlessly envious.
Under Guo Huai and Hao Cheng’s leadership, their clash with Victorious Return didn’t have too much of a negative influence on their guild members. Add on the fact that Tang Yao didn’t die, still holding firmly onto the number one spot on the leaderboards, many of the members were actually in admiration of them. Against three hundred Victorious Return elites, they were able to wipe out nearly all of the enemies and still manage to escape unscathed from the battlefield. Tang Yao was practically a god! Earlier, the players joining the guild were mostly lower levelled, but now, some of the high-level players were also starting to apply. They were flocking over after hearing of Tang Yao’s feats.
Guo Huai had also already edited together all the videos from different perspectives of Tang Yao recklessly massacring the players of Victorious Return, and then, he shared it on the official forums. Thanks to this, many eye-catching titles popped up such as: “Killing a Hundred Players, Featuring God Sparrow Hawk!”, “1 vs. 100, God Sparrow Hawk Still Didn’t Lose!”, “Asskickers United and Victorious Return’s Elites Battle!”, and so on. Very rapidly, it garnered a ton of player interest. Probably by tomorrow, the forum moderators would be overwhelmed by the flood of discussions. This video basically pushed Tang Yao’s popularity to an all new peak. It could even be said that it had helped Asskickers United as a whole to become even more famous.
Since they had already been targeted by Victorious Return, Asskickers United could no longer sit idly by and continue slowly developing on the sidelines. Otherwise, they would inevitably end up crushed by their enemy. So they needed to implement an extreme method to give them a huge boost in their expansion!
Just when Sleepy Fox and his troops were about to escort Nie Yan, Tang Yao, and the others away, a player who had been placed on look-out duty suddenly sent a message,「Boss, I’ve spotted a massive group of Victorious Return players coming from the east.」
「How many are there?」Sleepy Fox asked while furrowing his brows.
「At least five thousand.」
“Did something happen?” Nie Yan asked after seeing Sleepy Fox’s grave expression.
“Another group of Victorious Return players are marching over here. They really do seem to think highly of you. They’ve brought at least five thousand members this time,” Sleepy Fox glanced at Nie Yan and replied. He felt a bit puzzled. Just what could Nie Yan and Tang Yao have done for Victorious Return to go to such lengths?
As Sleepy Fox brooded over this question, he suddenly figured it out, and his expression instantly turned into a sneer. With how the situation had developed so far, Heaven Breaker probably wasn’t merely leading these five thousand troops to take care of Nie Yan and Tang Yao, it was also for the sake of teaching him a lesson!
“Five thousand players? That’s going to be a little tough to handle. You guys only have around six hundred,” Nie Yan said with a faint smile.
“We only landed in this difficult situation because we came here to save you. Yet here you are gloating over our misfortune.”
“Well, with so many Victorious Return players appearing, I’m afraid this time they aren’t here to simply deal with Young Sparrow Hawk and I.”
“You know, it really is unpleasant sometimes, chatting with someone who’s too smart for their own good,” Sleepy Fox replied with a wry smile.
“So, what are you planning to do about this?”
If Sleepy Fox handed them over now, then Holy Empire’s reputation would suffer a huge blow. Whether it was for the sake of preserving face or their future cooperation, he definitely had to protect Nie Yan and Tang Yao!
“Ying Gangbai, call for reinforcements!” Sleepy Fox then sent a message through the guild chat, calling for all members Level 10 and higher to come to Black Flame Forest near Tanbeto Town.
In Solanto Ravine, a group of over thirty Level 10–11 players were in the middle of grinding mobs when they suddenly received the order to mobilize from Sleepy Fox.
“The Boss is about to battle Victorious Return. Wrap everything up, we’re going!”
“Damn, it’s those Victorious Return bastards!”
“The Boss is finally going to teach those brats from Victorious Return a lesson. Let’s massacre them till they need barrels and suspenders to get around!”
None of the players in the group voiced any objections. They all retrieved their Return Scrolls, and after teleporting back to the city, they hurried through the transfer point to Tanbeto Town.
Violetdream Forest, Gloom Gull, Vast Prairie, Holy Empire members from everywhere, after receiving Sleepy Fox’s call to arms, immediately took out their Return Scrolls and returned to the city. Seemingly all of them were heading in the same destination as more and more emerged out of Tanbeto Town’s transfer point, causing the whole area to be crowded with Holy Empire players. The number of players gathered here didn’t merely amount to five thousand. Sleepy Fox wasn’t willing to back down and look weaker, so he had called over even more players than Heaven Breaker had!
“What’s going on? Why are there so many Holy Empire players gathering at Tanbeto Town?”
“Apparently, Victorious Return and Holy Empire are having a dispute. Heaven Breaker brought a large group of players to surround Sleepy Fox. In response, Sleepy Fox summoned almost all of Holy Empire’s main force. This time a good show is about to play out!”
Victorious Return was the top dog in Calore while Holy Empire was right behind them. If both sides had a frontal clash, the outcome would truly be hard to predict.