The fallen expedition team members were revived. They sat down on the boulders and recovered their health and mana.
After distributing merit points to everyone, Nie Yan recuperated for a while. He planned to head back to the underground cavern to rescue Countess Alicia.
Rested and ready to go, Nie Yan got up and walked toward the cavern, only to see someone else walking out. As the dark silhouette stepped into the light, the most beautiful girl to have ever graced this world entered his eyes. He would recognize her anywhere, Countess Alicia!
“Brave adventurer, thank you for rescuing me and freeing me from that prison,” Countess Alicia said.
“The pleasure was all mine, my lady,” Nie Yan replied humbly.
Countess Alicia giggled. Her beautiful smile was like a blossoming rose, captivating everyone. Her gaze fell on the Necklace of Grimmar in Nie Yan’s hand. “The Necklace of Grimmar and Grimmar Soulstaff are extremely powerful items. But you’ll have to complete the set if you want to wield truly powerful elemental energy. As a sign of my gratitude, I’ll help your remove their seals. The Robes of Grimmar and Ring of Grimmar are both located in the distant underworld. The staff and necklace will guide you.”
Nie Yan checked his inventory. The seals on the Grimmar Soulstaff and Necklace of Grimmar were both removed.
“Thank you, my lady,” Nie Yan said. He then asked a few more questions about the Ring of Grimmar and Robes of Grimmar and recorded the information down.
“I have been gone from this world for too long. There is much I have to do. I’ll be taking my leave now. May the Light be with you.” Countess Alicia placed her right hand over her chest and gave a deep bow.
Countess Alicia was at a lower rank than Nie Yan who held a position equivalent to a Duke. So, she spoke to him with courtesy. This was an astonishing sight for ordinary players. When they were doing quests, they had to be extremely careful with every word and little action because the NPCs they encountered were above them in status. If they made the slightest mistake, an NPC might stop talking to them, and the quest would come to a screeching halt. It was nothing like for Nie Yan, who made most NPCs tremble in fear with his presence alone. Any one of his titles could crush them to death. A bit of courtesy from him was like a supreme grace in their eyes. They’d be more than happy to share every little detail regarding a quest, something other players could only dream about. So, he also had a far easier time questing than most.
Countess Alicia turned around and departed, her figure disappearing into the forest.
「Any of you interested in the Grimmar Set?」Nie Yan asked. After the seals on the Grimmar Soulstaff and Necklace of Grimmar were removed, their powerful properties could move the hearts of any Elementalist. As for the remaining two pieces of the set, those would have to wait. They didn’t have any time to head to the underworld for now.
Undying Scoundrel, Street Vulture, and Lustboy were all Elementalists.
「I think I’ll pass. I’m only a piece away from completing my Sub Legendary-grade set. The Grimmar Set will take too long to complete,」Street Vulture said.
「Give it to Undying Scoundrel,」Lustboy said.
「I’m also wearing part of a Sub Legendary-grade set. I think I’ll take my time slowly completing it. As for the Grimmar Set, I’ll pass. Give it to Lustboy.」Undying Scoundrel shook his head.
Lustboy wanted to refuse. After all, the Grimmar Set was an asset of the guild. He didn’t feel right taking it for himself.
「Just take it,」Nie Yan said. He handed over the Grimmar Soulstaff and Necklace of Grimmar as well as the quest clues to Lustboy.
Lustboy’s eyes lit up with excitement. Truthfully, the Grimmar Set was a midge worse than the Tyrant Abak Set, but it was still a genuine Legendary-grade set. If he managed to complete it, it would greatly boost his strength.
Lustboy rubbed his chin. Since he had accepted the two pieces of the Grimmar Set from Nie Yan, he decided that when he got back in town, he would contribute some items to the guild treasury.
After everything was taken care of, Nie Yan set off with the expedition team toward the next target. The bosses they challenged were all Level 120–130 Variant Lords or Demonified Lords. The drops from monsters like this were all Sub Legendary or Legendary-grade. Everyone saw their equipment quality increase.
Over the next five months, Asskickers United’s elites ventured everywhere. Traces of them could be found all throughout both the Viridian Empire and Satreen Empire.
Nie Yan reached Level 153. The other expedition team members also rose in levels, with their average level being 140.
During this period, the conflict between Asskickers United and Angel Corps grew increasingly intense with clashes happening all over the continent. More than 700 larger scale battles had been fought, with the small skirmishes being too many to count. Asskickers United and their allies suffered 900,000 casualties. The count for Angel Corps had already reached 2,300,000.
The losses on both sides were astonishing. As the conflict continued to drag on, Angel Corps’ finances entered a precarious state. With so many players dying, equipment being lost, and compensation being paid out, they were scrambling for money to pay the bills. On the other hand, Asskickers United’s powerful financial ability was showing its use in this important time. They paid their fallen more than three times what Angel Corps did to help them get back on their feet. Not to mention, Nie Yan also offered a 20 gold bounty reward for every Angel Corps player over Level 130 that was killed.
In this five-month period, Asskickers United war costs had totalled to over 90,000,000 gold, but they didn’t show any signs of their finances getting tight. In fact, they still had 80,000,000 gold in the bank. Meanwhile, Angel Corps was already reaching a breaking point. Soaring Angel and Cao Xu had no choice but to spend a fortune to buy gold to support their war efforts.
This kind of difference was stark.
Angel Corps and the Century Financial Group were different from the enemies Asskickers United had faced before. They were extremely powerful with a deep foundation in the Satreen Empire. That was why Nie Yan had opted to fight a war of attrition before ending it all with a final battle.
Apart from Asskickers United, Fallen Angel dispatched their troops to attack Angel Corps’ strongholds. They had already razed 10 strongholds to the ground, which dealt a heavy blow to Angel Corps.
Soaring Angel and Cao Xu were probably feeling the pressure weighing heavily down on them.
While Nie Yan’s expedition team was hunting bosses non-stop, Angel Corps had made enormous progress in World’s Edge. The items that dropped from this dungeon included various high rank flying mounts, building blueprints, siege weapon blueprints, equipment, gems, and crafting materials.
Angel Corps used these blueprints to fortify the defenses of their strongholds. In terms of technology, they now held the advantage.
With this kind of technology advantage, Angel Corps started eyeing the Abernathy Great Grasslands like a predator eyeing its prey. They’d already tried to invade it several times, only to be beaten back by Okoron’s army.
Nie Yan checked out the expedition team. After these five months of hard work, most of them had several pieces of Sub Legendary-grade or higher equipment. A portion of them even had Level 120–130 Legendary-grade equipment.
The expedition team’s way of hunting bosses was fairly unique. Nie Yan would go into stealth and make his way to the target alone. Afterwards, everyone else would teleport to his location with the combination of the Hyperlink Rings and Group Teleport Scrolls. Like this, they wouldn’t have to waste time on the small fry.
Adding everything up, Nie Yan’s expedition team had killed over 1,200 Level 120–130 Variant Lords and Demonified Lords so far. All the maps where players had discovered theses bosses were cleared out. The tens of thousands of Group Teleport Scrolls that Asskickers United had spent an enormous sum on to acquire had nearly run out. As for their usage of other consumables, that was perhaps even more shocking. One could imagine how great of an undertaking this was. In the previous timeline, there had never been a guild that carried out such a large-scale clearing of Variant Lords and Demonified Lords.
The quality of the equipment of this 1,000-man expedition team had already reached a frightening degree.
After seeing that everyone’s gear quality had reached a satisfactory level, only then did Nie Yan set his sight on World’s Edge. With the current strength of these 1,000 players, as long they didn’t encounter an extremely high level super boss, no one would be their match. Their objective was the heart of the map. He would have Bladelight lead the expedition team at first, and only join later when the more difficult bosses started showing themselves.
Nie Yan analyzed the current situation. Even though Asskickers United had somewhat fallen behind on the technology front, after Bladelight and the others started exploring World’s Edge, they would quickly catch back up. The war with Angel Corps and the Century Financial Group was only just beginning. Who would come out on top in the end was still up in the air. He wanted to keep chipping away continuously at their strength. However, he wouldn’t destroy them just yet. He would let them transfer even more of their real life capital into the game, sinking more and more money into this bottomless black hole. Like a frog slowly being boiled alive, by the time they realized something was wrong, it would already be far too late. Of course, he would also take countermeasures against anything they might try in their death throes.
While the expedition team entered World’s Edge, Nie Yan planned to find a place to hunt dark-type monsters and obtain the Holy Spirit Heart so that he could rescue War God Kelo. The three-year deadline Kelo gave him was rapidly approaching. If he failed this quest, it would be a huge loss to him.
Where would be a good place to hunt dark-type monsters?
Nie Yan checked his quest window. He still hadn’t had an opportunity to search for Lich King Insar’s secret treasure or the Occult Talisman of Empress Finas. If he had the talisman, he would have another trump card up his sleeve in the war with Angel Corps!
A single thought popped into Nie Yan’s head. To the underworld!Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translator: LittleShanks (Follow me on Twitter)
Hey guys, Mad Snail decided to retcon the amount of time Nie Yan had to obtain the Holy Spirit Heart from six months to three years. Please forgive him!