Chapter 924 - Prelude to the Final Battle

The Shadow Demon Wolf gazed at Nie Yan with a fearful expression. It couldn’t display anywhere close to its full strength due to this suffocating pressure coming from that hateful human. It felt another heavy blow landing in its side, its paws losing touch with the ground.

It wasn’t that the Shadow Demon Wolf was weak, but rather that the suppressive aura coming from Nie Yan was closely tied to God, whose authority couldn’t be blasphemed. 

Not just the five Thieves, Tyrannical too was in shock as he looked on in bewilderment. Even though Nie Yan was strong, absurdly so, he certainly wasn’t on the level to manhandle a Level 180 Demonified Lord.

Tyrannical pondered for a moment before realizing what was going on. This was likely the effect of the Wolf King skill, allowing the Great Prophet to obtain a mount they were more satisfied with. 

If he claimed he wasn’t envious, that would be a lie. Tyrannical couldn't help but think how wonderful it would be if he could gain the Great Prophet title as well. However, this was only a wishful dream. In the entire Righteous Faction, only Nie Yan had this title. One could imagine how hard it was to get.

The Shadow Demon Wolf stubbornly resisted the pressure, only to be continuously beaten down by Nie Yan. No matter how it tried, it failed to touch a single hair on Nie Yan’s body, let alone land an attack.

The Shadow Demon Wolf whimpered pitifully, and tried to hide from Nie Yan. However, its legs were paralyzed from fear.

Tyrannical’s group deeply engraved this scene into their hearts. 

The Shadow Demon Wolf finally lied down belly flat against the ground, lowering its head as if begging for mercy. Nie Yan calmly walked over and placed his hand over its head. A white radiance emerged from his palm and slowly entered its body.

Roughly 10 seconds later, a notification rang out.

You have turned the Shadow Demon Wolf into your mount.


Nie Yan glanced at the Shadow Demon Wolf’s status page. A Level 180 Demonified Lord’s stats were truly frightening! Moreover, the effects of his Wolf King skill boosted its stats by 30%.

Nie Yan was quite satisfied. Though he couldn’t have the Shadow Demon Wolf help him hunt monsters since anything it killed wouldn’t give him any experience or loot, it would still be a great asset against players in the upcoming battle. It would almost certainly be a killing machine on the battlefield.

The Shadow Demon Wolf stood back up. Its black fur gave off a bright lustre. Paired with its large size, it appeared especially domineering once again.

Nie Yan turned to Tyrannical’s group. “You guys can go back now.”

“Alright.” Tyrannical nodded.

“The boss actually turned that Shadow Demon Wolf into his mount! Amazing!” The Thieves gawked at the giant wolf, their hearts racing with excitement.

“What we saw today has to be kept absolutely confidential! Got it?” Tyrannical said, sweeping his eyes over the group.

“Understood!” the five Thieves cried out in unison. They naturally understood the sensitivity of the matter and that leaking this information out was equivalent to betraying the guild. They didn’t dare to wade into this minefield.

Nie Yan recalled the Shadow Demon Wolf into his pet space. With this super powerful mount, his Falkner Warhorse was now basically obsolete. After which he summoned his Darkwing Dragon and took off.

“Let’s head back as well,” Tyrannical said to his team. They took out their Return Scrolls.

Apart from these six Thieves and Nie Yan, no one knew what happened here today.

...

While Nie Yan was capturing the Shadow Demon Wolf, Asskickers United clashed with Angel Corps and the Century Financial Group’s forces several times. They were small skirmishes between smaller forces, with both sides getting a few wins. Before their armies fully assembled, an all-out battle was unlikely to break out.

Even though both sides were on a tense stand-off, no major battles broke out over these past few days. 

Nie Yan divided Asskickers United’s army into 10 legions, one of which was their main force composed of 100,000 players. He also had the surrounding mountains, rivers, forests, and other terrains completely mapped out. As for the side of Angel Corps and the Century Financial Group, apart from setting up tight defenses, they also dug out deep trenches in the plain. All preparations pointed to a long and drawn out war.

...

Back in the Clemenci Stronghold, Cao Xu, Soaring Angel, and the other highers ups of Angel Corps and the Century Financial Group were holding a meeting. The atmosphere in the conference room was heavy.

A large screen was affixed to the wall. It played a video showing surveillance footage of Asskickers United’s army, which one of their scouts had brought back.

“Fan, my boy. I’ll be troubling you this time around. You’ll be commanding the troops from the front lines,” Cao Xu said. Though they were once fierce rivals, they had found a common threat in Nie Yan. Only by fighting against him as a united front did they stand a chance.

“What is there to trouble me about? It’s only natural that I go. I’ll be relying on you to oversee the overall situation from here, Brother Cao. If anything unexpected happens, please guide us.” Soaring Angel had to admit that Cao Xu was a far superior commander. His knowledge on everything Conviction-related was impeccable. His ability to direct an army was not the slightest bit inferior to Asskickers United’s. The only area he was lacking was that he never actually played the game. Even up until now, he was still only Level 0. He had no way of garnering the respect of countless players with his astonishing strength, like Nie Yan.

Cao Xu offered his hand. “This concerns both our futures. Let us gentlemen work together to defeat Asskickers United and bring about our glory!”

Soaring Angel accepted Cao Xu’s handshake. He knew they were tied to the same ship. If they still had reservations with each other, what awaited them was only death.

Soaring Angel led the top experts of Angel Corps and the Century Financial Group toward the frontlines. As for Cao Xu, he stayed behind in the Clemenci Stronghold with 500 members of the command group to direct the army.

Cao Xu wore his usual ash gray robes. He stood with his back straight as he stared at the screen. His gaze looked distant as he thought back to the past. He never expected that a brat who had gotten some fame early on in the game would force him to this kind of state. At first, Asskickers United was only a small guild of a few hundred players, not worthy of his attention. Though their guild leader Sparrow Hawk was far ahead of the pack on the level leaderboards, it wasn’t enough to threaten him. At that time, the Century Financial Group was a major financial powerhouse, with several dozen guilds scrambling over each other to be acquired by him. Hegemony was only a matter of time. However, now it seemed that he might be defeated at the hands of a single player.

Thinking about Nie Yan’s rise to power, Cao Xu felt a chill run down his spine. It wasn’t because of Nie Yan’s astonishing strength. No matter how strong a player was, it wouldn’t cause him to feel any sense of danger. An individual’s strength was limited. No, it was something else. Ever since he started looking deeper into Nie Yan’s actions, he discovered that since the start of the game, Nie Yan had the uncanny ability to buy all the right properties, invest in the right items, and rally countless powerful experts to his side. This all culminated into him growing powerful enough to unite the entire Viridian Empire. Every business venture Nie Yan went into netted a profit. Every shop and property he bought became prime real estate sooner or later. Even the people he recruited, like Bladelight, Smoke Stub, Sun, and the others were genuine peak experts that couldn’t be bought with money alone. It was almost as if he could predict the future.

Cao Xu’s intuition told him that Nie Yan had been gunning for him from the start, as if the two were fated to become sworn enemies. Every action Nie Yan took had thoroughly foiled his plans, causing him to suffer repeated setbacks. He’d contemplated sending people to take out Nie Yan several times, but he never dared to in the end. One reason was Heavenly Kings. If he assassinated Nie Yan, he would also have to do something about them. World Bloc had the Dragonsoar and Glory Financial Groups as backers as well. Another reason was that even if he sent assassins after Nie Yan, they wouldn’t necessarily succeed. Leaving aside that the person in question was already pretty strong themselves, Nie Yan also had a top expert in Bayonet by his side. And Shadow Killer too since recently. Even though he’d never appeared, Cao Xu knew Shadow Killer was guarding Nie Yan. This phantom-like hitman caused him to feel a deep sense of fear. If either one of these two world-class assassins were to come after his life, they would probably succeed. If the two worked together, his fate would be sealed. If he failed at assassinating Nie Yan, the consequences would be unimaginable.

With so many variables to consider, even though Nie Yan had been a constant thorn at his side, Cao Xu never dared to take action. From what he knew, Soaring Angel had once tried sending people to assassinate Nie Yan. However, they were taken out by Bayonet and Shadow Killer, including the number two ranked assassin in the world Blood Moon. It appeared everyone had underestimated Bayonet’s strength. Since even Blood Moon failed, there was no point in sending anyone else.

As for World Bloc, back when it was just a small upstart, Cao Xu could’ve nipped them in the bud. However, they’d already grown too powerful. They weren’t a publicly listed company either, with the Nie Family controlling 100% of the equity. Unless some problems arose in their businesses, it would be extremely difficult to find an opportunity to take action against them. They were closely tied to the Dragonsoar and Glory Financial Groups, and at the same time, they’d partnered with several dozen other companies. Because of their connection with Mo Yuntian, many long-established names didn’t dare to slight them. Plus, with how rapidly they were growing in the virtual reality industry, it was impossible for any problems to occur! The amount of capital they controlled was astronomical!

Cao Xu had recently discovered something that caused his heart to shiver. World Bloc had already acquired 7% of the Century Financial Group’s shares. This piece of information was far more frightening than anything else. He hadn’t had a good night’s rest since he learned of it. Just what were they planning to do?

Cao Xu felt a profound sense of helplessness against Nie Yan and World Bloc. The more he realized they were his destined enemies, the more he wanted to spare no costs to thoroughly defeat them so that they could never rise back up again. However, reality was often disappointing. Any advantage or influence the Century Financial Group had in the past was already neutralized by Nie Yan. He genuinely felt like he was slowly sliding deeper and deeper into an abyss. As a result, he became more and more desperate with his actions.

As for the war at hand, thanks to his meticulous preparations, he felt confident they at least had a 50% chance of victory. He wanted to see who would win in the end. Throwing one last glance at the footage of Asskickers United’s two-million strong army, he turned around.

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Translator: LittleShanks (Follow me on Twitter)
Editor: Sietse