Chapter 137 – Leaderboards
Since Tang Yao had contributed the most to slaying the Scaled Frog, he received a much larger share of the experience. As such, the generous amount of experience granted by a Level 30 Elite caused him to immediately level up.
In an effort to encourage people to challenge themselves, players would receive more experience if they killed a monster above their level. Depending on how high the monster’s level was, the experience they would receive could be as much as several times or higher. However, at the same time, the higher the monster’s level, the more difficult it was to hunt due to the level penalties. Players like Nie Yan, who relied on special methods to hunt higher level monsters, were especially rare. So even if he didn’t focus all his energy into training, he would still be able to gradually overtake the vast majority of players in level.
“Holy crap, amazing! I levelled up!” Tang Yao exclaimed. He had never seen such a huge jump in experience before. Even though he had just recently reached Level 10, with just one kill, his experience bar had gone from 1% all the way up to 100%—resulting in him levelling up to Level 11 with 7% already filled! If he kept levelling at this speed, then even attaining the top position on the leaderboards wouldn’t be a problem!
Nie Yan leisurely walked up to the Scaled Frog’s corpse.
“Let’s see what it dropped.” Saying that, he bent down and picked up the drops from the ground: 26 silver, a Fortune Gem, and Thief Leg Guards.Shadow Wind Leg Guards (Gold)
Properties: Defense 133–135, Balance +12, Jump +15, Resilience +23
Restrictions: Thief; can be equipped by all factions.
The Shadow Wind Set, one of the better Level 30 Thief sets, consisted of three pieces of gear: leg guards, shoulder guards, and bracers. When a player equipped all three pieces, they would gain a set bonus of +30% Movement Speed and the Annihilating Edge skill. As he wasn’t Level 30, he still couldn’t equip it yet. Although he might’ve already gone off and found something better by the time he did reach Level 30, he planned to hold on to these leg guards nonetheless. Just in case he didn’t find anything, the Shadow Wind Set would serve as a decent stand-in.
“A piece of Thief equipment dropped along with 26 silver and a Fortune Gem,” Nie Yan looked back over his shoulder and informed Tang Yao.
“Huh…? Oh! Well, let me know if any Mage equipment drops. You can take everything else.” Still in amazement, Tang Yao was a little slow to respond.
Just as the pair was about to move on, an important announcement appeared in the chat.System Notice
Victorious Return has placed a 50-silver bounty on the head of player Nirvana Flame. The amount will be paid out each time to whoever kills the designated player and forces them to drop a level. To claim the reward, provide sufficient evidence at Victorious Return’s guild headquarters.
Tang Yao, stunned by the announcement, turned to Nie Yan and asked, “Why did Victorious Return put out a bounty on your head? Was it because of those three players you killed?” Just who in the world did Nie Yan piss off for Victorious Return to go after him in such a way?
Even Nie Yan himself didn’t expect Victorious Return to place such a large bounty on his head. This meant he would need to be a bit more careful when setting foot outside of the city in the future. He smiled at Tang Yao and said, “Ah, it doesn’t matter. It’s just a bounty. They’d have to kill me for it to mean anything. Besides, I’m a Thief. What’s so scary about having a bounty on my head?”
Nie Yan’s carefree and relaxed appearance was a stark contrast to Tang Yao’s anxious and brooding expression. The latter recalled the words of the former, about forming their own guild and how a single person’s power was meaningless in the face of a larger enemy. Taking these things into consideration, it seemed obvious his brother’s true feelings weren’t as laid-back as he made them out to be on the surface.
A lone player going up against an entire guild, surely the pressure they’d be facing would be immense…
“If you’re seriously planning to face them alone, I guarantee you’ll be the one coming out of it on the losing end. Come on, let’s establish a guild together and fight them head-on. It’s better than being chased around everywhere and hiding for your life,” Tang Yao suddenly declared in a resolute tone.
“Hoh… Didn’t you say earlier that you were only interested in leisurely training and chasing girls?” Nie Yan chuckled in response. “Don’t worry, they won’t be able to do anything to me, at least not for the time being.”
“What kind of man would I be if I still had the leisure to train and chase girls after hearing my brother is being hunted down?” Tang Yao spat on the ground. “God dammit! What’s so amazing about them? You only killed three of theirs, yet they’re sending the entire gang after you! Let’s form a guild and tear them a new one! When we get back, I’ll immediately start recruiting!”
“Are you certain about this?” Nie Yan asked.
“What? Would you be better off if I wasn’t?” Tang Yao replied. He never was someone who cared for something useless to him like power. Him establishing a guild was purely for the sake of helping Nie Yan out of this pickle.
Nie Yan stayed silent for a brief while. Establishing a guild was going to be a little difficult, but what kind of task wasn’t when starting completely from scratch? Even the tallest skyscrapers were built from the ground up. He was planning to establish a guild anyway, so now was as good a time as any. It was still too early for him to be stepping foot onto the stage, but thankfully Tang Yao was going to take his place. With him personally guiding things from behind the scenes, what heights wouldn’t they be able to achieve?
After some deep contemplation, he finally came to an answer, stored all the drops in his bag, and then said, “Let’s go, we’re heading to the next target.”
“There’s more Elites in this zone?”
“This zone is pretty large. It covers two entire mountains. Thanks to that, there are still two more areas where we can find Elites. After we’re done with them, we can go hunt the Sub-Elites.”
“Awesome, let’s go then!” Tang Yao felt invigorated after seeing all the experience he gained from the Elite Scaled Frog. After hearing there were two more, he couldn’t help but get a little excited.
Meanwhile, Nie Yan continued to ponder some more. If he wished to rally the support of the playerbase and get others to join their guild, then fame would be extremely crucial. After all, who would join the guild of some nobody they’ve never even heard of? And what better way to gain fame than through the level leaderboards? Toppling Heaven Breaker from his number one position would deal a heavy blow to Victorious Return. Moreover, with enough fame and prestige, players would blindly flock over to their side. As long as there was an initial push, the number of people applying to their guild would snowball as they became progressively more popular. Regardless of what the future had in store for them, they would still need to take the first step to make anything happen.
As the pair ventured forth, Nie Yan suddenly received a call from Sleepy Fox.
「How did you end up butting heads with Victorious Return?」Sleepy Fox asked. He was flabbergasted when he read that Victorious Return had placed a bounty on Nie Yan’s head. An entire guild going after a single person—this was definitely a first.
「I killed four of their players.」
「Who were they?」
「I think they were all members of their elite team.」
Sleepy Fox didn’t respond immediately, instead he pondered in silence for quite a while before finally replying.「You really are amazing, you know that? Being hunted down by an entire guild isn’t something you can lightly brush off. Right now you’re completely outnumbered, and if you get caught, you’re done for. With how high of a bounty they put on your head, I bet many players will be seeking to claim the reward. If you ever encounter trouble, you can always come find me. Holy Empire might not be as big as Victorious Return, but we still have tens of thousands of members.」
「Thanks, I’ll keep that in mind.」Nie Yan expressed his gratitude, but he had no intention of taking Sleepy Fox up on his offer. In the most crucial moment, he didn’t believe for a second that Sleepy Fox would be willing to have a falling out with Victorious Return for his sake. After all, as the leader, he had an obligation to consider the wellbeing of his own guild over personal feelings. Nonetheless, Nie Yan still appreciated the sentiment.
After he finished chatting with Sleepy Fox, he received a whole slew of messages from his other acquaintances: Shenfa Wangxi (Past Destroying God)1, Resplendent Bladelight2, Leader Young Seven3, and so on.
「Nie Yan, how did you get a bounty placed on your head? You’ll have to be more careful when going out of the city,」Yao Yao anxiously warned.
「Brother, there’s a bounty on you! That mean’s you’ve become famous now. Next time we meet, please give me an autograph, haha! I hate those rotten bastards from Victorious Return. If you ever plan to take them on again, please bring me along!」Shenfa Wanxi informed. In both this life and the last, he had always despised the likes of Victorious Return.
「Hey, I was just reminded. Are you still planning on forming a team? If you are, then hurry up. The Level 10 dungeons have already opened,」Resplendent Bladelight said. It seemed he didn’t care much for Victorious Return’s influence.
「Be careful when you step outside of the city. If things get tough, you can always come to us,」Leader Young Seven said. He didn’t belong to any guild, but as a professional player, he still had his own circle of trusted contacts. Even though Victorious Return was powerful and overbearing, his group still didn’t hold them in high regard.
Nie Yan had met all these players by coincidence. Shenfa Wanxi, Resplendent Bladelight, Leader Young and his group in particular were all people that he thought could be potential teammates down the road, which was why he set his mind on recruiting them. Truthfully, when Victorious Return announced the bounty on his head, he expected them to avoid him so as to avoid getting dragged into this mess. After all, their friendship wasn’t all that deep.
A person’s nature was as such. Whenever trouble came knocking at the door, only then would their true selves be revealed. It was an opportunity to judge whether they were people worth associating with. If they had chosen to shun him instead, then whatever mutual friendship they held prior would have all but vanished. In any case, he had no interest in fraternizing with people who would abandon him at the drop of a dime.
However, this time around, their stances were clear proof that they still held a sense of comradery.
Nie Yan replied to everyone and informed them that he was still alive.
Soon, the pair arrived at their destination and began to hunt the second Elite Scaled Frog.
Once the Smoke Powder was laid down, the Scaled Frog became no different from a practice dummy for Tang Yao to bombard with wave after wave of magic.
“We should get you some better spells. Pretty much every elite Mage from the major guilds have a high-level spell,” Nie Yan said to Tang Yao who was still firing spells at the Scaled Frog. Right now, Tang Yao’s most powerful spell was Meteor, and none of his other spells came even close to comparing with it in regards to area-of-effect damage.
“I heard some of the Arcane Mages there have Obscurus Magic. I wonder where we can find that kind of magic since it seems pretty rare.”
“Obscurus Magic can be obtained after completing a quest from the Arcane Shrines. Naturally, the difficulty for such a quest is pretty high, but you should be able to do it now. Why don’t you head over there when you have some free time? As for ordinary area-of-effect spells, we probably won’t be able to find any in the marketplace. Even so, there are a few we can get by running dungeons, so we’ll do that next time we get a chance,” Nie Yan explained. All of the best items seemed to be found inside of dungeons, so they would have to embark on a few expeditions if they wanted to obtain them.
Once they finished all their business, he ought to set about gathering a team to run a dungeon. Conveniently, this would also give Tang Yao some time to establish a guild.
Tang Yao unloaded an unending stream of magic at the Scaled Frog. As his spells exploded upon impact with its body, the Scaled Frog’s health was gradually chipped away. Thirty minutes later, it finally collapsed to the ground.
Afterward, both Tang Yao and Nie Yan levelled up.You’ve reached Level 12. Do you wish to enter the leaderboards?
At present, Nie Yan didn’t plan on joining the leaderboards. Tang Yao, on the other hand, was wild with joy as he chose to join, causing both his name and level to appear at the tenth position.
“Are we gonna continue levelling?” Tang Yao asked. He was slightly worried that he was levelling a bit too quickly.
“If you want to establish a guild, then we keep levelling. Though if you’ve had a change of heart, then we can just go back,” Nie Yan replied. The faster Tang Yao levelled, the more famous he would become. In other words, when the time came for him to establish a guild, if he was a high level, then even more players would flock over to join.
“Of course I’m establishing the guild!” Tang Yao firmly exclaimed. “What’s so good about Victorious Return anyways? I’m going to enjoy slaughtering all of them! Even if I’m killed in retaliation, I can easily gain my level back. With such amazing levelling speeds, what do I have to fear? I’m basically an undying cockroach!”