The guild headquarters in the center of the Clemenci Stronghold. The conference hall covered a 10 by 10 meter area. Only the core members of Angel Corps were allowed entrance here.
The furnishings were simple and clean. Wearing azure leather armour and carrying a longbow on his back, Soaring Angel walked into the room. He turned to Stone Splitter beside him and asked, “How goes it? Have you made any progress in mastering your Master class skills?”
“I have, but it’s not enough. After watching the video of the fight between Lei Su and Bladelight, I feel like I’m still lacking,” Stone Splitter said in a somewhat ashamed tone. Asskickers United’s players were far ahead of them in terms of comprehending the mysteries of their respective Master classes.
“Do we have no way of digging up more information about Master classes from them?” Soaring Angel knitted his brows. Knowledge about Master-class skills and the locations of Sub Legendary and Legendary-grade equipment were the most strictly controlled secrets of Asskickers United. It was pretty much impossible to obtain this information, unless one of their top rank players defected. However, no matter what kind of tactics Angel Corps employed, they failed to lure over any of Asskickers United’s top experts. Though they had successfully poached away quite a few second-rate players, these players were precisely that–second rate! Why would anyone entrust them with important information?
Stone Splitter shook his head.
“Is Sark back yet?” Soaring Angel asked.
“He just finished his quest. He’s on his way right now,” Stone Splitter replied.
Before long, a player walked into the hall. He was about 170 cm tall with a slim build. His appearance was very different from the ordinary youthful-looking elves. The wrinkles on his face showed his old age.
This old man was the famed Butcher Sark!
Sark earned the nickname the butcher because he would slaughter any and all players that got in the way of something he set his sights on. For example, he’d once wiped out a team of 100 players for attempting to kill steal a boss he was hunting.
Sark was already over 50 years old, but his gait was still firm and stable. Though as an elf player his appearance was made to look more youthful, his skin was still covered in wrinkles. His hands were slim and bony but seemed to brim with strength like the talons of an eagle. His eyes were slightly sunken into their sockets with noticeable crow’s feet around them. However, his pupils shone with a clear vigor unusual for a man his age.
“Sark, you’re back. How did the quest go?” Soaring Angel greeted with a warm smile.
“It’s finished.” Sark lightly nodded, not caring in the slightest for the friendly airs Soaring Angel was trying to put on. If not for the generous benefits, he would’ve never joined Angel Corps, let alone stick around. He preferred to act as a lone wolf. However, joining a guild did have its merits, allowing him to advance much more smoothly. After all, no matter how strong a person was, they couldn’t compare to the might of a guild.
“I heard it was a legendary quest? The reward must’ve been pretty good, no?”
“Yes. I became a Spectral Dancer,” Sark replied.
Hearing Sark’s words, Soaring Angel’s heart trembled. Sark’s cold attitude always rubbed him the wrong way, but right now what mattered the most was finding out more about this quest. Still all smiles, he asked, “Spectral Dancer? Is that the next class advancement after a Shadow Dancer?”
“No, it’s more like a higher rank title. Like how Nirvana Flame is a Luminous Dancer and Mistaken Smile a Shadow Strifer. These titles are all roughly on the same level.”
Soaring Angel’s eyes widened in surprise. “This information… that Nirvana Flame is a Luminous Dancer and Mistaken Smile is a Shadow Strifer, where did you hear about it? I’m pretty sure Asskickers United hasn’t revealed anything about this.”
“Some NPC mentioned it,” Sark replied. Soaring Angel didn’t even know this much? Angel Corps’ intelligence network was too lacking.
Soaring Angel’s heart sunk. He had no idea how to deal with Asskickers United’s Shadow Dancers. Just Sark alone wasn’t enough. He had carried out a recruitment campaign that spanned the entire Satreen Empire, offering extremely generous treatment to any top expert willing to join. However, the results were less than satisfactory. Although he had managed to pull in someone like Sark, Angel Corps’ lineup of Masters still paled in comparison to that of Asskickers United.
“Boss, Drifting and Cruel Edge are here.”
At this moment, two players walked into the hall.
Cruel Edge was a Tauren Shaman. He ranked in the top three of Angel Corps, right up there with Sark and Soaring Angel. In PvP, he held an 80% win record versus Soaring Angel and a 30% win record against Sark. However, it had to be said that his record against Sark came mostly down to class differences.
Naturally, Cruel Edge’s position in Angel Corps was only second to Soaring Angel. Soaring Angel had once asked him to become the vice guild leader, but he declined, citing that he didn’t want to deal with guild affairs. He was the fourth Master in Angel Corps. However, the class advancement quest for Shamans was much more difficult than other classes. They had their own unique system.
“All five of our Masters are finally here,” Stone Splitter exclaimed.
“We’re still a far ways off from equalling Asskickers United. I recently heard that Painted Muslin and One Strike Vow completely their class advancement quests, becoming their 19th and 20th Masters. That means Asskickers United has four times as many Masters as we do,” Cruel Edge said.
Soaring Angle felt his head ache. It was extremely difficult for them just to gain even one more Master. There were plenty of members ready to undertake their class advancement quests, and many did. However, the failure rate was over 99%. Even after so long, they’d only gained a few Masters. On the other hand, they were hearing about so and so becoming Masters in Asskickers United all the time. The gap was getting wider and wider.
Catching up to Asskickers United seemed nigh impossible. Soaring Angel couldn’t help but feel dejected.
“Even if they have more Masters than us, if they want to take down the Clemenci Stronghold, it won’t be so simple. I already have a way of dealing with them. Holding the stronghold absolutely won’t be a problem!” Soaring Angel proclaimed.
“The mega cannon is complete?” Cruel Edge asked in surprise.
“It’s already in the final stages. But what I’m talking about isn’t the mega cannon,” Soaring Angel said.
Cruel Edge was curious. Just what did Soaring Angel have that could deal with Masters? After becoming Masters themselves, they came to realize all the more how powerful Masters were. Asskickers United had so many Magisters. How was the Clemenci Stronghold supposed to defend against their destructive power?
“Since all five of us are here, I’m planning to organize an expedition team and set out for Fengris. Let’s get ready.”
Cruel Edge, Drifting, Sark, and Stone Splitter nodded.
Soaring Angel passed down an order. Before long, all the elites of the guild started gathering towards the Clemenci Stronghold.
Nie Yan rode on the Darkwing Dragon through the sky. As he examined its wounds, he noticed the vast majority of them had already recovered, with new scales growing over the fresh flesh. He was surprised to discover the colour of these scales was even deeper and more pure than before.
The Darkwing Dragon had also grown noticeably in size, and its muscles seemed to be firmer.
Even though the Darkwing Dragon emanated a powerful darkness aura, Nie Yan could also sense a hint of death energy mixed within it. This was a type of corrosive power. The energy was faint and covered up by the darkness energy. But as the owner of the Darkwing Dragon, he could sense these minute changes.
Nie Yan didn’t expect the Darkwing Dragon to undergo such a transformation.
It was probably because Necromancer Vorderman’s death energy and the Darkwing Dragon’s darkness aura shared a common origin. This was why the Darkwing Dragon could survive in Necromancer Vorderman’s death energy. In fact, it had grown stronger from the encounter.
Though the Darkwing Dragon was still suffering from the injuries sustained in the battle with Vorderman, it had also gained a lot from that fight. It even started showing faint signs of ranking up. A rank 8 flying mount! Nie Yan’s eyes lit up with expectation. In the previous timeline, the strongest flying mount was Heaven Breaker’s Rank 9 griffon. One had to know there was an unsurpassable gap between a griffon and dragon. Dragons were high rank existences while griffons were ordinary mounts.
Nie Yan was only two to three minutes away from the Clemenci Stronghold. For the sake of not being discovered by Angel Corps’ players, he recalled his Darkwing Dragon and dropped down from the sky.
Nie Yan didn’t dare to imitate Bladelight, Lei Su, and Smoke Stub and land in the middle of enemy territory at full speed. Seconds before reaching the ground, he activated the Featherfall ability and slowed his descent to a crawl.
After landing on the ground, Nie Yan activated Gale Step and sprinted off toward the Clemenci Stronghold.
「Nie Yan, are you alright? I just received word that all the elites of Angel Corps are gathering towards the Clemenci Stronghold,」Guo Huai anxiously messaged. He thought Nie Yan was already in the Clemenci Stronghold and had been discovered.
「I’m not even in the Clemenci Stronghold yet. What’s Soaring Angel planning?」Nie Yan knitted his brows. It seemed he had come at a bad time.
「Swift Maple still hasn’t reported anything back. Soaring Angel hasn’t told them anything. They’re probably going to run a dungeon or explore a map,」Guo Huai said. After hearing Nie Yan wasn’t in the Clemenci Stronghold, he breathed a sigh of relief.「Since there are so many experts gathered, I think you should hold off for now and go there some other time.」
Nie Yan rubbed his chin.「Since I’ve already come all the way here, I can’t just leave without giving them my greetings, can I?」
Guo Huai knew he couldn’t dissuade Nie Yan. He could only have Swift Maple pay close attention to the situation in the Clemenci Stronghold. He didn’t know why, but an uneasy feeling crept up on him.
Nie Yan dashed through the forest before arriving in a ravine. Looking up in the distance, the Clemenci Stronghold’s towering walls were already in view.
1. Sark reminds me of the protagonist of this manga: The Best Assassin, Incarnated Into a Different World’s Aristocrat.