Chapter 158 - Master
For fear of others surpassing them, a person might try to stifle their peers out of jealousy. Such behaviour was foolish. If a person truly wished to make progress, then they must adopt the attitude of always striving to better themselves, just like Sun when he had released the videos of his duels to announce that he was seeking new opponents. He had endlessly challenged stronger people while stubbornly pursuing the goal of improving himself even further. Only then was he gradually acknowledged for his talent by the rest of the player base.
Even geniuses had to take a step at a time if they wished to reach the apex.
By exchanging pointers with Sun, Nie Yan might find the flaws in his own techniques while also learning many new ones and slowly progress.
Whatever the case, he definitely had to keep Sun in his guild, but at the same time, he also had to give him enough space to grow so that he could walk a similar path as his counterpart in the previous timeline.
There was one more point to consider. Beside being incredibly skilled in his past life, Sun also possessed unrivalled popularity to the extent that he could gather tens of thousands with just a single call. A simple wave of his hand was enough for Innumerable expert Thief players to rally to his cause. It was hard to imagine the benefits a guild would receive if a player like this were to emerge in their ranks.
Asskickers United would require the efforts of countless talents to forge its path to glory!
“Nirvana Flame, sir... please let me become your disciple and teach me how to play the Thief class,” after what seemed like half a day, Sun finally drummed up enough courage to ask as he looked at Nie Yan with an expression filled with hope. Compared to his current self, Nie Yan and Tang Yao’s levels were frighteningly high. Furthermore, he had been able to personally witness their prowess as they rampaged through the battlefield, slaying a foe every ten steps. To him, Nie Yan was practically a deity-like figure who was set up on a high pedestal and exceedingly far out of reach. Take, for example, today, when they exchanged blows for the first time, he had felt utterly powerless against him and was swiftly incapacitated. Taking all these points into consideration, it was quite clear why he wished to take Nie Yan on as his master. However, he felt somewhat nervous, and he was already mentally preparing himself for refusal. After all, why would such a lofty figure bother wasting their time on a nobody like him?
Nie Yan never thought Sun would make this kind of request. The unparalleled genius Thief in his past life wanted to make him their master… Honestly speaking, he couldn’t help but feel a little underqualified because, in his mind, it wasn’t him who was placed on the pedestal, no, it was the Sun in his memories who took that spot.
“I know this is a very big request, but I promise you that I’ll try my hardest. I definitely won’t tarnish your name! Master, please accept this lowly one as your disciple!” Sun stared at Nie Yan as he begged in a sincere tone.
Nie Yan saw an intense desire to learn coming from Sun’s eyes as well as an unyielding resolve that welcomed any and all challenges. Aside from his natural talent, Sun also possessed an intrinsic quality about him that an ordinary person would find difficult to reach.
Was he worried that Sun would tarnish his reputation? Of course not! As he looked at Sun who still appeared visibly immature with his boyish looks, he recalled that Sun was actually said to be quite a sentimental person. In the previous timeline when his friend had been unjustly killed, he snuck into the offending guild’s stronghold all by himself and murdered several dozen players before escaping unscathed. This event was also one of his many brilliant feats. Although gaining a genius’ loyalty through material benefits was incredibly difficult, just like any other person, they were bound to their sentiments. It was very possible that he could start fostering a relationship with Sun right now. And in the future, if Sun really did come to recognize him as master, then that would be perfect.
But was he really qualified to be Sun’s master?
At least within the next three years, it absolutely wouldn’t pose a problem. After all, for a Thief to truly attain the level of a Great Thief or higher, apart from talent, they were also required to have perseverance and willpower that surpassed all others. Even a legendary player like Sun would require at least three years to reach that level. As for his own growth, now that would depend on his talent. Within the next three years, if he found more skilled experts to compare notes with, then it was unlikely that he would stagnate. Perhaps, with some difficulty, he would even be able to extend the time that he was superior to five or six years. After that, if Sun really grew to an inhumane realm, then wasn’t it only natural for a student to eventually surpass their master? However, if he was able to comprehend the essence of what it meant to be a Shadow Dancer, allowing him to maintain his superiority, then that would be the most ideal.
Sun felt anxious when Nie Yan didn’t give an immediate reply.
“Master, please accept me as your disciple!” Sun begged once more.
“Accepting you isn’t impossible… but I don’t want you calling me Master. I’m not that much older than you. From now on, just call me Big Bro,” Nie Yan answered with a light smile. Accepting Sun as his disciple… if anyone from his past life heard of this, they would be shocked out of their minds.
“Yes!” Sun exclaimed in joy. He still had the temperament of a child. Seeing him unable to hold back his excitement, Nie Yan couldn’t help but break into a smile.
“Before we do anything, hand over the items I asked for first. Then, I want you to deliver a few things back to Watchful Snail, so he can deposit them in the treasury. Afterward, hurry back here. I plan to take you levelling with us,” Nie Yan said. He could use this trip as a pretext to do some master-disciple bonding with Sun. At the same time, it also solved the problem of their group lacking a courier who could bring drops back to the city or deliver potions, pills, and whatever else they needed back to them. With how severe their PKer statuses were, he didn’t know how long it would take for them to finally clear their red names… three or four days if they were fast and probably twice as long for Tang Yao.
Previously, he had been awaiting the time when Adjudicator of God and Sacrificial Gambit would both be off cooldown so he could do the quest that required Steal. In fact, if things had gone according to plan, then he would’ve been able to set off the moment the servers reopened tomorrow. Unfortunately, after getting caught up in Heaven Breaker’s trap, his plans had gone awry.
He had come to realize one of the small truths of life. Even if he was given a second chance at his past, no matter how perfectly he planned the road ahead, something outside his control would come along and mess it up. When that happened, he had no other choice but to rely on his own efforts as well as all that he had accumulated up to that point to keep moving step by step regardless of how much things went off course. Then, as long as he advanced with unwavering confidence, everything would eventually fall back into place.
“Big Bro, you’re going to take me levelling with you? Awesome!” Sun jumped up in excitement. “Wait for me, I’ll be back in no time!”
On the side of temperament, Nie Yan had a really hard time linking Sun to the unequalled Thief that could call forth the winds and summon the rain. As a result, he subconsciously overlooked the matters of his past life and treated Sun as he would any other boy at that age.
“This kid’s pretty amusing,” Yao Yao walked up to Nie Yan and commented. She initially believed that Nie Yan was going to coldly reject him. Who knew that he would actually take him on. Perhaps, he really did have a soft heart.
Aside from being a peerless Thief in the previous timeline, his personality was also another factor for why Nie Yan was willing to take him on. If he had been the type of treacherous person who forgot favours and repaid kindness with enmity, then no matter how talented he was, Nie Yan would have still told him to scram.
Sun began shoving all the pieces of equipment that Nie Yan wanted to send back into his bag. Due to him being overly excited, he even dropped a couple of pieces as he haphazardly stuffed his bag full. Hastily picking them back up, he then sorted his bag to make space, and with an embarrassed laugh, he took out a Return Scroll and teleported back to the city.
Beneath the exterior of this up-and-coming genius, it seemed he was also a cheeky little imp.
After Sun left, a thought suddenly crossed Nie Yan's mind. Not knowing how long it would take to clear his red name, in his present circumstances, he would be unable to return to the city for the next few days. During that time, wouldn’t the money in the Starry Night Potion Shop start to accumulate? At the very least, there would be several dozen gold just sitting there. If it wasn’t invested into something soon, then it would be too much of a waste because the value of gold depreciated with each passing day!
Nie Yan quickly thought up a solution. He could instruct Guo Huai to occasionally withdraw some gold from the Starry Night Potion Shop and visit Moonlight City and other major cities to purchase a few properties with high-return potential in his place, then have all of them transferred over to his name. Like this, he would no longer have to worry about his money losing its value. At this point in time, investing in real-estate was a stable way to make a guaranteed profit.
When Guo Huai heard that Nie Yan wanted him to go to other cities to purchase land, he couldn’t help but ask in a completely flabbergasted manner,「Why don’t you just buy land in Calore? Aside from the expensive travelling fees, you also have to pay an extra tax when buying properties in other cities! That’s just too wasteful! 」
「Who says I haven’t bought land in Calore yet? No need to worry, just follow my instructions. In the future, we’ll have to expand to other cities anyway. It’ll be more convenient if we already own land there,」Nie Yan rebuked with a faint smile. He had already purchased twenty-two plots of land in Calore. Not only that, but twelve of them were guaranteed to spike immensely in value in the future while the remaining ten would also appreciate considerably. The only reason he had so much money was mainly due to his foresight, like prior, when he had bought large quantities of items that would appreciate and then sold them at a suitable time, earning him vast profits. Outsiders estimated the daily income of the Starry Night Potion Shop at roughly 20 gold, but in reality, Nie Yan’s capital was far from limited to being only that. As for how much money it truly made, he would have to wait to find out when Bird calculated it at the end of the week.
Guo Huai was quite taken aback after listening to these words. So it turned out that Nie Yan had already long since purchased property in Calore. Although he didn’t know the exact number of properties Nie Yan owned, he was sure that with Nie Yan’s backing, their guild would receive even more opportunities to expand, and most of the work for this major undertaking was happening right now.
After talking to Guo Huai, Nie Yan also contacted Bird. Now was about the right time to gather the market’s Tinkerers, but it wouldn’t be a mass recruitment. It would be best if he recruited a few covertly first. He handed over a list of players to scout for to Bird. With actual targets, the task would become a lot simpler. Even though the major guilds were also fostering Tinkerers, they weren’t attaching much importance to them yet, so they weren’t as restricted as Alchemists. Even then, it would be quite strange if these Tinkerers could resist the temptation of the Starry Night Potion Shop’s offer. After all, the shop's name was being mentioned left and right. With the promise of benefits, many Tinkerers would definitely be willing to abandon their guilds to join them.
After recruiting enough Tinkerers, when the items they produced actually began having value in the marketplace, he would open another shop that specialized in selling them. If this happened, then he was certain to reap large profits. The amount of money he would earn would be no less than what he made from the Starry Night Potion Shop.
A while later, Sun finally returned. Gasping for breath, he announced, “I’m back.”
With all members accounted for, Nie Yan said, “Alright, let’s set off. Let’s take full advantage of the time left before the servers shut down and clear up our red names a bit.”
The group of four passed through zone after zone as they set out for a distant forested mountain region where the Scaled Frogs spawned. As they passed through higher and higher level zones, Sun became increasingly excited. Were they really heading to a Level 30 zone to train? Wasn’t that dangerous? However, this type of risk made him even more eager.
Perhaps every player that chose to play the Thief class had a bit of a thrill-seeking side inside of them.