Chapter 403 - Lava Sea
Nie Yan reappeared in Calore. It was the start of a new day in Conviction. He saw players bustling around the streets, discussing yesterday’s events, especially about how the sound of explosions rocked the surrounding several dozen towns and villages.
“I heard Asskickers United found a large cache of Black Gunpowder yesterday, but they were destroyed after Bloodlust Blades ambushed them.”
“What are you talking about? I have a friend who personally saw Asskickers United transporting at least a dozen jars of Black Gunpowder into United City.”
“Then what about those explosions yesterday?”
The players were guessing wildly, while Asskickers United stayed quiet on the matter. Nie Yan felt yesterday’s events were a failure on his part. Even though they only lost five jars, he felt ashamed his negligence allowed for the ambush to happen at all. Bloodlust Blades also kept radio silent. Not only had they failed to achieve their goal, but even their guild leader was killed in the battle. It was too shameful.
Like this, the matter was suppressed. Even if a few bits and pieces of information got out, there was no one to give them credence. So, players believed they were only rumours.
Nie Yan naturally didn’t pay any attention to these rumours. He was satisfied knowing the manufacturing of the Goblin Magi Cannons was fully underway.
Looking over the guild matters for the day, Nie Yan ordered Guo Huai to dispatch some elites to assist the War God Tribe in capturing strongholds. The more strongholds under the War God Tribe’s control, the faster the Nie Family could expand their business.
Asskickers United’s daily expenditures were staggeringly high. Fortunately, the several auction houses, Starry Night Potion Shop, and other shops were profitable enough to offset these costs. But if these establishments didn’t expand quickly enough, they would fail to keep up with the ever growing demand of the market. Upgrading a property, especially at the higher tiers, was extremely expensive. But a lot of the surplus profit was being sucked up by the guild. Although this might not be a problem in the short term, eventually the lack of gold would negatively impact business.
In short, Nie Yan needed to make more money, and do so quickly. The most lucrative method was undoubtedly by smuggling equipment between the two factions.
Several hours from now, Nie Yan could open the Dark Portal again.
With Bloodlust Blades eating such a heavy loss, Nie Yan feared they might make a last ditch effort for a comeback. However, he had no choice but to leave for the Underworld. This was the only way he could earn enough gold to resolve Asskickers United’s problem. No one else could go in his place either, since Bennett’s Journal was bound to him.
Nie Yan pondered for a moment. Asskickers United had operated as the leading guild in Calore for so long, not to mention they had the support of Sapphire Shrine, Holy Empire, Radiant Sacred Flame, and five auxiliary guilds. If they were really taken out by the enemy in just five days, they didn’t deserve to have a future!
Besides, even if Nie Yan was in the Underworld, he could still direct the guild remotely!
「I’m heading back to the Underworld soon. Did you prepare the equipment I asked you for?」Nie Yan sent Guo Huai a message.
「Yeah, around 300 pieces altogether. I’ll deposit everything into your personal storage,」Guo Huai replied. He had spent a great deal of effort gathering this equipment, having his subordinates scour through every auction house in the Viridian Empire. Nie Yan’s requirements were extremely strict. All the equipment had to be Level 45 or higher, could be equipped by any faction, and be of high quality with properties uncommon in the Underworld. There were probably only 100 or so items fitting these criteria in circulation on any given day.
It was just as troublesome for Plenty to collect equipment in the Underworld. If it weren’t for him meeting Nie Yan, this sort of trade deal probably wouldn’t be worth the trouble.
After a while, 300 pieces of equipment arrived in Nie Yan’s personal storage. He only had 270 slots of bagspace, so he picked out the best ones and left the rest behind for the next trip. He also filled his Soul Pendant with various potions and other consumables.
Nie Yan didn’t know where in the Underworld the Dark Portal would take him. But he could be certain the soul residing in Bennett’s Journal would guide him to another quest item related to Empress Finas.
Nie Yan’s eyes fell on a tattered piece of parchment sitting in the corner of his personal storage, Lich King Saul’s Treasure Map!
Normally, players would have to be at least Level 100 to pass through the long tunnel separating the surface from the Underworld. Even then, the chances of survival were extremely low. Nie Yan truly was an oddity since he could teleport to the Underworld with the Dark Portal. Lich King Saul’s treasure was buried in a fairly remote and dangerous region. Trying to find it at his current level was suicidal. He would wait until he was at least Level 70–80.
This trip to the Underworld would likely net Nie Yan in the excess of 1,000,000 gold. According to his agreement with Plenty, he would receive a 30% cut of the profits from the Righteous Faction equipment. He had done some research on the market in the Underworld and concluded it should come out to be around 300,000 gold. Back on the surface where he would sell the Evil Faction equipment, he would make another killing.
Nie Yan was free to cooperate with anyone for this deal, while Fallen Angel could only look for him. So, it was only natural for him to receive the larger share. This was the value of the Dark Portal!
After finishing all preparations, Nie Yan went into an empty workshop in the Starry Night Potion Shop. When the time arrived, he activated the Dark Portal from Bennett’s Journal.
Nie Yan stepped into the portal as the scenery around him twisted and warped. When he opened his eyes again, he had already arrived in the Underworld.
A scorching hot gust of wind blew past Nie Yan’s face. He didn’t know where he was. Looking into the distance, all he saw was a vast sea of roiling lava and a crimson sky.
|You have discovered the Lava Sea.|
It was rumoured the Lava Sea was to the far north of the Underworld. Every year lava would overflow to the south, wreaking havoc on the level of an apocalyptic disaster. This was why the residents of this place wanted to return to the surface, which in turn led to the yearly wars with the Righteous Faction.
This region was still in the Undead Empire. Fortunately, the Dark Portal didn’t bring him to the territory of the Demon Tribe. Otherwise, it would’ve been much harder for the players of Fallen Angel to make contact with him.
Bennett’s Soul once more floated out of the journal. It danced around Nie Yan for a bit before trying to guide him to a certain location.
However, Nie Yan had no plans of doing Empress Finas’ quest right now. His first priority was to complete the trade with Fallen Angel.
Nie Yan summoned the Faulkner Warhorse and galloped south. He unfurled a map as he tried to gather his bearings. Only then could the players from Fallen Angel know where to find him.
He quickly found a landmark, a stone tower that had long since fallen into disrepair at the border of the Lava Sea. There used to be a village located here, but it was destroyed by who knew what. All that remained was the tower.
With this kind of landmark, Nie Yan could inform Fallen Angel of his location.
Nie Yan disconnected from Conviction.
|Disconnecting from the game, progress: 3%... 8%...|
Players couldn’t disconnect from the game during combat or in the middle of a guild war. Logging off took roughly 30 seconds. If the player was attacked during that time, it would be interrupted. If there was an emergency in real life, the player could simply take off the game helmet. However, their in-game character would still remain, unable to retaliate if attacked and only disappearing when the servers shut down.
Nie Yan took off his game helmet, then dialed the number Plenty gave him. When the call connected, the person to answer wasn’t Plenty himself but a subordinate. Nie Yan reported his rough location.
This person would pass on the information to Plenty.
Nie Yan returned to the game and did a bit of exploring around the area. After thinking it over, he recalled the Faulkner Warhorse and paced around the stone tower.
For the sake of this trade going smoothly, for the sake of 1,000,000 gold, waiting a few hours was no big deal.
After a while, an Undead Thief in black leather armour appeared in Nie Yan’s vision. When he discovered Nie Yan, he waved his hand and began walking over to him.
Nie Yan walked toward the Undead Thief, only to discover that person hadn’t switched his alignment to the Righteous Faction.
“Our Boss…” the Undead Thief opened his mouth and was about to inquire.
At this time, Nie Yan exploded into action and dashed toward the Undead Thief.
The Undead Thief froze in place with an alarmed look on his face. Nie Yan struck him in forehead with Concussive Blow.
Nie Yan’s movements were too quick. The Undead Thief never expected Nie Yan to suddenly take action against him, so he was caught off guard. He had zero time to react.
Nie Yan’s dagger slashed the Undead Thief’s throat as blood sprayed out. After which he slashed down once more and finished the opponent off.
The Undead Thief’s corpse lay unmoving on the ground. He hadn't switched his faction. If Nie Yan had made contact with him or handed over the equipment, the consequences would’ve been extremely severe. For the sake of ensuring his safety and preventing any mishaps from occuring, he dashed forward and directly killed the Undead Thief! Nie Yan knitted his brows. There was no way Plenty could’ve forgotten their agreement, right? Logically speaking, the leader of a top guild like Fallen Angel shouldn’t commit such a low-level mistake! A mishap probably occurred in the middle, or perhaps this Undead Thief was simply too careless, not realizing the importance of his task. It was highly unlikely that Plenty would want to break their alliance.
There couldn’t be any mishaps in the trade between Nie Yan and Plenty. All precautions had to be taken, or there would be severe consequences for the both of them!
Prudence guides a ship for 10,000 years. Nie Yan definitely didn’t want the Calore authorities on his back.
Thinking for a moment, Nie Yan ducked back in his corner. If Fallen Angel wanted to continue their relationship, they would definitely dispatch another person. If no one appeared within the next half hour, he could only find a new business partner.
1. Lich King Saul’s Treasure Map is first discovered in Chapter 283.
Our apologies for missing the last regular chapter last week. We'll make up for it this week.