Chapter 141 – Asskickers United
Fortunately, the surprise Tang Yao had given them before acted as a cushion now; otherwise, the shock Hao Cheng, Zhao Li, and Guo Huai received would’ve been much more severe. Evidently, Nie Yan’s level was a result of him levelling together with Tang Yao.
Today was quite eventful. Hao Cheng, Zhao Li, and Guo Huai were able to meet two experts that ranked at the very top of the leaderboards. Not only that, but these experts were also fellow students from the same school. Most surprising of all was that one of them was Nie Yan, a kid who had been mediocre at everything but studying. To their surprise, in the time that they didn’t see him, he had transformed into such an outstanding person. They could barely wrap their heads around this fact.
“Back in middle school, we always knew you liked to keep a low-profile. Even when we took tests, you would usually be around tenth or eleventh place, but after the final exams, you suddenly shot up to the top three. It really is in your style to do this kind of stuff. I should’ve known it was you earlier when Tang Yao said he was just following someone around. Still, we never really thought of you as a gamer, and rightfully so since you never played any in the past. Who could’ve known that, as soon as you got your hands on one, you’d be so good at it. Yet, even when you can place in the top three, you still choose to stay hidden. I guess compared to you, we brothers just aren’t as restrained or skilled,” Guo Huai shook his head and said in a dry manner.
Guo Huai himself was pretty low-key as well. That was why, out of all his schoolmates, only his four best friends—Nie Yan, Tang Yao, Zhao Li, and Hao Cheng—knew that his family was wealthy. Normally, he was considered the most unassuming out of the bunch, but now, it seemed that title belonged to Nie Yan.
“Since it’s like this, I guess the five of us are pretty strong. So what do you say, shall we make a guild?” Hao Chen eagerly asked. His old man ran a martial arts center that plenty of patrons frequented, meaning if they were to start a guild, he would be able to pull in quite a few people.
“I’m up for it. How about we give it a try? I can probably recruit most of my classmates,” Zhao Li said. Although he didn’t have much to offer, he was a natural smoothtalker. There was almost no one he didn’t have a good relation with, particularly with those of the opposite gender.
“If we’re making a guild, then we’ll have to do it properly. At the very least, we need to make a big splash in the game’s community. As for having a stake in the ownership of the guild, you guys can discuss among yourselves and come to me with a proposal,” Nie Yan said after thinking for a while. If he shared the burden of management with his brothers, he would no longer have to worry about being overwhelmed by guild affairs, leaving him free to focus on his own matters. Guo Huai, Hao Cheng, and Zhao Li all showed promising potential. They were young and full of drive, not to mention they had all chosen the same starting point. Their first step was to bring all of their friends and schoolmates into the guild, since there would be a sense of familiarity if everyone already knew each other. And even though it would be impossible to prevent moles from infiltrating their guild, this would at least ensure that their ranks would remain pure for a little while. Besides, as youths in their prime, they were generally better at playing video games than older adults.
Zhao Li quickly waved his hands and said, “No, it’s fine. I don’t want any stakes in ownership. I’m okay with just helping out. We’re all brothers here anyway, right?”
Rebuking Zhao Li’s statement, Guo Huai shook his head and said, “It’s exactly because we’re brothers that we’re all deciding these things now.” Since his own family owned a large business chain, he himself had seen too many situations where entire families fell apart because shares weren’t properly divided up, siblings becoming sworn enemies, feuds lasting for decades…
“Guo Huai, tell us. How should we divide up the guild?” Nie Yan asked. In the field of business, Guo Huai seemed a tad bit more knowledgeable.
“I’ve thought this over for a bit. Since we’re relying on your and Tang Yao’s popularity to establish the guild, the both of you combined should hold 85% of the shares while the three of us receive 5% each. When the official in-game currency exchange begins, I can then invest some funds into the guild… but probably not too much. If this whole thing ends up dead in the water, then you won’t have to worry about paying me back. If it does succeed, you can pay me back through the return on investment,” Guo Huai explained. He wasn’t asking for much and was content with only a 5% stake in the guild.
“If they’re fine with 5%, so am I. Just please, for the love of all that is holy, don’t make me manage the guild affairs,” Tang Yao said. He was inherently a very lazy person, and the mere thought of all the work that came with managing a guild nearly scared him half to death.
After pondering for a moment, Nie Yan finally spoke up. “Alright, guild management will be handed over to Guo Huai while Hao Cheng and Zhao Li can provide assistance. Tang Yao and I will be responsible for creating the guild’s main dungeon running team.” Guo Huai and the others had no way of knowing just how much their 5% would be worth in the future. Moreover, there were still many areas where he would need to rely on them, and only by having a personal stake in the project would they strive to give it their full effort. Considering how much he interacted with them in his past life, he had long since fully understood each of their natures. Most important of all, compared to two lifetimes of friendship, a 5% stake in the guild was nothing.
“I’m fine with this.” Tang Yao nodded in approval.
“Then, this is what we’ve all agreed upon? Alright. Our first focus is to quickly raise our levels, especially Tang Yao’s. So long as he firmly holds onto his position at the top of the leaderboards, there’ll be a constant stream of players looking to join us. So, Tang Yao, for now, all you need to do is focus on levelling,” Guo Huai said. This point was extremely crucial; otherwise, the rest of their plans would end up falling through.
“Don’t worry. When the servers reopen later, I’ll climb even higher in the leaderboards and knock Heaven Breaker out of first place,” Tang Yao confidently said.
“Really? That quickly?” Hao Cheng asked, sounding a little startled.
“Just where the hell are you grinding?!” Hao Cheng, Zhao Li, and Guo Huai were quite puzzled.
“Now that, you’ll have to ask Nie Yan to find out. Don’t worry though, after this whole guild thing has settled down, I promise I’ll take you guys levelling with me. I guarantee all of you will be able to reach Level 15 in one day,” Tang Yao confidently boasted while patting his chest. He then turned to look at Nie Yan who didn’t seem to oppose his idea.
“Alright, these are your words, not mine!”
“Don’t break your promise. If it’s like this, I won’t have to worry about raising my level. I’ll start recruiting first thing when I log back on!” Hao Cheng excitedly exclaimed.
“You all can go recruit members. After Tang Yao and I finish levelling, I’ll set up the guild treasury,” Nie Yan said. After establishing a guild, having a proper treasury was very important.
The guild treasury was a symbol of a guild’s might. Containing hundreds if not thousands of pieces of gear for every class and level, skill books, and other items, it would be open to any member of the guild. After accumulating a certain amount of contribution, these members could redeem their merit points for these items. When they eventually outgrew their current set of gear, they could simply return the pieces to the treasury and exchange them for higher level replacements. However, if a piece was lost, then a certain amount of merit points would be deducted. At the same time, donating to the guild treasury would increase a member’s contribution to the guild.
Whether the treasury was overflowing or desolate would directly impact the growth of the guild. As a consequence, every guild leader would need to pour in an immense amount of resources when establishing it; otherwise, if the treasury wasn’t up to snuff, a mass exodus of members was very likely to occur. On the other end of the spectrum, the larger the treasury and the better the quality of items within it, the easier it would be to convince new recruits to stay. When these new recruits spent a certain amount of time in the guild, they would start developing a sense of belonging. After which they themselves would start donating to the treasury to increase their contribution within the guild. At the end of the day, everything in the treasury belonged to the guild, and it was simply loaned out to its members.
Whether a guild would prosper or die was heavily dependant on the state of its treasury.
“You have the resources to set up the treasury right now?” Guo Huai asked in surprise.
“Pretty much. Bronze and Silver-grade equipment aren’t particularly expensive, so I should be able to gather plenty.” If the guild had several thousand pieces of Bronze-grade equipment and several hundred pieces of Silver-grade equipment, then it should be enough to incentivize most of their members to increase their contribution within the guild.
“Right, getting Bronze and Silver-grade equipment is a good start. Right now, most players are still wearing White or Bronze-grade equipment while Silver-grade equipment is rare. How much can you gather?” Guo Huai asked.
Everyone focussed their attention on Nie Yan because his following words would determine the future of the entire guild.
“I’m willing to spend 20 gold on purchasing equipment. I also have several hundred pieces of Silver-grade equipment and a few dozen pieces of Gold-grade equipment in my storage that I plan to add to the treasury. That’s the best I can do,” Nie Yan said. He had the potion shop as a steady source of income. As for the equipment, it was everything that he had accumulated from hunting Leaders, Sub-Elites, and Elites, and it was safe to say that many more such items would keep coming in.
Hearing Nie Yan say 20 gold, even Tang Yao was taken by surprise. They all sucked in a breath of cold air. They knew Nie Yan was amazing, but they never expected him to be this amazing. Even if it was a large guild, they still wouldn’t be able to bring out that kind of money, let alone so many pieces of Silver and Gold-grade equipment. Nie Yan’s resources were truly profound.
“Awesome! With that kind of money, you can buy plenty of high-quality Silver-grade equipment. If our treasury is filled with high-quality items, it’ll be much easier to convince our members to contribute to the guild. If the first batch of recruits stay, we’ll be able to attract even more player interest. Then, once we form the main dungeon running team and the secondary teams, we’ll be able to get a steady stream of items into the treasury. We’ll use the items the main team collects to develop the secondary teams, then the items the secondary teams collect will develop the rest of the guild members,” Guo Huai said. He had already researched many things pertaining to managing a guild, so he was extremely knowledgeable about these things.
“It seems we’re going to have a better start than expected.” Hao Cheng took a deep breath, feeling slightly overwhelmed. He originally believed they were going to start off dirt poor. Never did he expect that Nie Yan was actually filthy rich.
“Alright, now we have to decide the guild’s name,” Guo Huai said.
“Leave that to me, I’m pretty good at naming! How does Phoenix Bathed in Fire sound?” Tang Yao suggested in high spirits.
“Won’t do. That name’s probably already taken.”
“Shameless! How could some scoundrel steal the guild name I thought up!”
“Ha,” Zhao Li snorted. “You’re calling them shameless?”
“Well, let’s keep thinking.”
The four scratched their ears, not knowing what to name the guild.
“Let’s call it Unhindered Through the Heavens!” Tang Yao suggested.
“That’s already been taken.”
“How about Asskickers United? Anyone who joins our guild can kick ass! When we sweep through Calore, and then the entire Viridian Empire, we’ll really kick ass!” Tang Yao said in excitement. “I don’t believe for a second that this name has already been taken!”
“That sounds a bit tacky, but I guess that’s fine too,” Guo Huai said.
“At least it’ll make us stand out.” Hao Chen was in favour of it but wasn’t completely convinced.
Hearing their discussion, Nie Yan raised an eyebrow in surprise. In his past life, his father had also made a guild, the War God Tribe, and now, Tang Yao had come up with Asskickers United. Like with his father’s guild, the name was overbearing, but it was definitely suitable considering Tang Yao’s personality.
“We’ll call it Asskickers United then,” Nie Yan decided.
“Alright, I guess that’ll be our guild name then.” Guo Huai supported the decision.
In a time where many firms were hungrily eyeing for opportunities to expand, on a table in a restaurant, five unassuming youths were enthusiastically discussing their plans for the future. They all came from the same impoverished backgrounds, having absolutely nothing and starting from scratch. However, after several years apart, they had gathered once again. Their days of gloom would soon be coming to an end. The stillness in their lives would wash away. Experiencing meteoric success, they would be able to laugh proudly under the heavens.
Even though everything was so average and mundane and many people were the same, what the future had in store for them would be quite eventful.