Chapter 940 - Back into the Thick of Things

News of Plenty’s ascension to the Chairman of the Dark Council spread like wildfire, from the underworld to every corner of the surface. Before long, it was known to everyone in both great factions.

Asskickers United’s guild chat. A group of people were chatting.

What kind of title is Chairman of the Dark Council? I wonder what’ll happen now,」a Warrior said.

「It’s similar to the Supreme Pontiff of the Righteous Faction. So, you tell me,」a Priest replied.

The Warrior dropped his jaw in shock.「So, you’re telling me that even Bladelight’s Judge of the End, Smoke Stub’s Will of Kawasi, and Sparrow Hawk’s Adjudicator of Light titles can’t compare?

Those three titles are roughly on par with the old boss’ Great Prophet title. They’re far inferior to Chairman of the Dark Council. If the old boss were still here, he’d probably already be the Supreme Pontiff of the Temple of Light. He’d shut those guys in the underworld up.

When the topic shifted to Nie Yan, everyone became sad. The guild chat became quiet.

Without Nie Yan around, when did you guys all become so useless? It’s just a title, nothing more. What’s there to be amazed about? You should worry about levelling instead. There are plenty of high rank titles, Will of God Nirta, Will of the Radiant God, Undying King, I could go on. Any one of those are better than Chairman of the Dark Council!」Guo Huai berated in voice chat.

Executive Guild Leader, those are impossible to get,」a player quietly muttered. Titles like Chairman of the Dark Council and Supreme Pontiff required you to complete the Book of Chaos or Book of Order respectively. As for titles like Will of God Nirta, Will of the Radiant God, and Undying King, those were even more difficult to obtain.

Either way, Fallen Angel still has no way of threatening us. After all, our Righteous Faction has so many Legendary NPCs. If the Evil Faction wanted to siege our cities and strongholds, they’ll be in for a rude awakening. When we have our first Legendary players, they’ll have even less of a chance,」Bladelight said.

Discussion about the Chairman of the Dark Council title continued for a long time. It was highly unlikely anyone would obtain a title that could rival it anytime soon. The top experts in the guild all felt under pressure. Right now, Asskickers United and Fallen Angel were roughly equal in strength. So, Fallen Angel wouldn’t try anything. However, if they started falling behind in strength, that might change in the future. The Chairman of the Dark Council could mobilize a large number of undead forces. If a war broke out, the consequences would be hard to imagine.

We have no choice but to be careful, not just in the game but outside in the real world too. You guys know that World Bloc and the Brutus Capital Group each basically rule half the world now. If a conflict breaks out between the two of them, it will most definitely begin in Conviction. Fallen Angel will start by launching an attack on Asskickers United. Three years ago, Plenty said that as long as Nie Yan was in Asskickers United, he wouldn’t touch us. However, Nie Yan has since left us. Even if he makes a return now, he’ll only be at Level 150, and the only title he still has of note is Great Prophet. His equipment is still pretty strong, but it’s far too weak compared to that of the current top players. Now, all the best equipment is found in the Chaos Temple and Sword of the War God. Ordinary equipment has no way of competing,」Guo Huai said. The fact that Nie Yan’s equipment of three years ago still allowed him to enter the ranks of experts was a testament to his strength back then. However, his glory days were long over. Even if he logged back on now, it wouldn’t make much of a difference. After three years, the average skill level of the playerbase had seen tremendous growth. Sun, King of the World, and the others had caught up to Nie Yan and surpassed him. In all fairness, Nie Yan had laid out the groundwork for them. They didn’t need to do much of anything.

The guild chat eventually shifted to another topic.

A player in a gray cloak was walking through the streets of Calore. The hood over his head covered his face, hiding his appearance from view. Seeing the discussion in the guild chat, his expression was filled with shock. Plenty had actually become the Chairman of the Dark Council!

The Supreme Pontiff of the Temple of Light, huh…? He let out a deep sigh. That was a long and distant memory. If he hadn’t been shot in the heart, he probably would’ve already ascended to that position two years ago.

Sun and the others had helped him find most of the chapters from the Book of Order. If he went back to collect them, he’d only be missing four chapters. Becoming the Supreme Pontiff wasn’t that far off.

However, it had been three years. In the eyes of an expert, this was an incredibly long time. His level had fallen behind, and his skills were rusty. Given the three-year gap, catching back up to the top experts would be tough to say the least. Not to mention the long revalidation process after undergoing a heart transplant. Though he was physically in great shape again, his game senses had thoroughly deteriorated. Making a comeback would be incredibly difficult. Add on the fact that more and more powerful equipment and skills had been added to the game, along with there being many new combat styles that he hadn’t encountered before, if he were to go against a top expert, he wouldn’t even have a 1% chance of winning.

If he were to reveal himself to the guild members in this state, they would probably be sorely disappointed. Nie Yan thought for a bit before deciding that he’d cross that bridge when he came to it. Right now, he was in appear offline. After the release of the Chaos Temple, Conviction introduced this new function. It could hide his online presence from everyone, including friends and guild members. His level, pet information, and various other stats wouldn’t update on the leaderboards, and if someone were to record footage of him, it would show him as a hazy silhouette. This lasted all the way up to until he left this state.

This new status mode was extremely useful. Even if Nie Yan couldn’t climb back to the peak, sneaking back into the game as a casual player was fine too. Like this, he could still enjoy the entertainment of the game. With Cao Xu death and World Bloc thriving, Asskickers United found itself in an incredibly stable position. He only wanted to get back into the game to kill some time.

Nie Yan walked into the Starry Night Potion Shop, then found his way to a counter in the backroom.

Even though Nie Yan’s appearance was hidden by a cloak, the guild emblem on his chest still proved he was a member of Asskickers United.

“How can I help you, sir?” the clerk greeted politely. He looked to be around 30 years old. He gazed at Nie Yan curiously. After all, it wasn’t everyday that a member of Asskickers United acted so mysteriously in the backroom of the Starry Night Potion Shop. However, on second thought, Asskickers United was huge. For there to be one or two weirdos was pretty normal.

“I’d like 50 Disguise Potions, 120 Health Potions, 10 Poison Resistance Potions, 10 Ice Resistance Potions… all of them at your highest grade,” Nie Yan said in a purposefully hoarse voice.

“S-sir?” The clerk’s eyes widened in shock. “You do realize the highest rank potions we offer here are Sage-rank, right? You surely know about the restriction. Only core members can buy these potions. Please show me your membership badge.”

Nie Yan took out his membership badge. It was crescent shaped.

“M-magicite?” The clerk’s face paled. He immediately became a lot more respectful. “Please hold on a moment. We will get you your potions as soon as possible, two minutes at most.”

Asskickers United’s membership badges were divided into several types: bronze, silver, gold, and magicite. The higher the rank, the higher the member’s position in the guild. In all of Asskickers United, only 30 members held a magicite badge. Anything under 2,000,000 gold could be withdrawn for free every month. All they had to do was record their names.

The clerk wondered what sort of big shot stood before him right now. He gazed at Nie Yan curiously, finding his silhouette somewhat familiar.

Before long, the potions Nie Yan requested were delivered and placed on the counter.

“Sir, here are all the potions you asked for. Please collect them. The total price is 670,000 gold. Just sign your name here,” the clerk said.

“No need, I’ll just pay directly.” Nie Yan shook his head, handing over 670,000 gold.

After completing the transaction, Nie Yan put away the potions in his bag, then turned around and left.

The clerk stared at Nie Yan’s departing back, finding it all the more familiar. Soon, a certain person flashed in his mind. However, when he was about to look more closely, Nie Yan had already disappeared behind the door. He smacked his head. Did he see wrong?

Nie Yan walked out of the Starry Night Potion Shop. He drank a Specialist Disguise Potion and changed his appearance to look more average and less handsome. Looking a bit uglier was not a problem. He was just here kill time anyway.

Bird and the others’ skills had improved immensely over these past three years. These Specialist Disguise Potions had a duration of two days. Like this, he wouldn’t have to keep drinking potions every few hours.

As Nie Yan strolled through the streets, he pulled up the official website. It was filled with many different videos. Searching for Thief related ones and filtering for most viewed and highest rated ones, videos of Sun, King of the World, Mistaken Smile, Shadow Killer, and the others came up at the very top.

It looked like none of them had slacked off since his disappearance.

Nie Yan smiled and started watching the videos. They would help him recover his skills quicker.

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