Chapter 159 (Click to show "spoiler" title)
Chapter 159 – Godly Video
Save for the occasional chirp of insects among the trees, shrubbery, or foliage laden earth, all was quiet in the forest where a gloomy bleakness permeated the atmosphere. Here, signs of player activity were almost nonexistent, and for now, this wouldn’t change since almost no one dared to venture forth into this region. When Nie Yan levelled here in his past life, he would often see parties of twos and threes forming teams to grind mobs, among which there was no lack of players with red names. Once in a while, when an Elite or Sub-Elite spawned, the players nearby would frantically fight over it, often resulting in chaotic clashes that littered the place with countless bodies.
In fact, even though levelling in Conviction was rather difficult, if a player focused solely on levelling, they would be able to hit Level 180 in three years’ time while the faster ones might even reach Level 200. Though, for many players, between PvPing, exploring new dungeons, taking on bosses above their level, besieging strongholds, and so on, dying was no different than eating breakfast. As such, making any net progress in level was quite challenging. But it was precisely these numerous setbacks that allowed them to grow into genuine experts. In the later stages of the game, it was fairly common for a high-level player who was carried by their good equipment to be easily defeated by a lower-level player who outskilled them.
After traversing vast stretches of forest, Nie Yan and company finally heard croaking sounds in the distance, signaling they had arrived at the depths where the Scaled Frogs spawned.
“What’s your mana at now? Also, how many potions did you bring along?” Nie Yan turned to Tang Yao and asked. Without the Arcane Fairy, running out of mana mid-fight became a serious concern.
“Including the few Sun brought over, I have 30 Mana Recovery Potions and 10 Junior Mana Potions,” Tang Yao answered. Although it seemed to be quite a bit at first glance, if they encountered an Elite, it would be far from enough. Mana Potions had set cooldowns, so he wouldn’t be able to chug them down continuously. If he had to stop for even a moment to recover his mana when fighting an Elite, then his mobbing speed would slow down significantly.
Suddenly thinking of a solution, Nie Yan turned to Yao Yao and asked, “Have you learned Mana Transfer?” It was a Holy Mage spell that allowed the caster to transfer a portion of their own mana to a target. Regrettably, with a transfer rate of around 50%–60%, it proved to be rather inefficient.
“Yes, I’ve learned it.” Yao Yao nodded. As a Holy Mage who often ran dungeons with her team, Mana Transfer was an indispensable spell. When the situation called for it, she had to be ready to transfer over some of her mana to a Priest. Even though Holy Mages usually possessed the most raw damage in a team, surpassing even Elementalists and Arcane Mages, to the extent that mobbing would slow down noticeably if they stopped attacking, a large dip in damage in exchange for everyone’s survival was generally well-worth the trade.
“Nice, that makes things a lot more convenient. Later on, when you see Young Sparrow Hawk running low on mana, you can just transfer some of yours over to him,” Nie Yan stated. Mana Transfer’s cooldown was around two minutes, while without it being interrupted, it could transfer up to 200 mana. If that was the case, they would no longer have to worry about Tang Yao running out of mana. With the support of Yao Yao and the mana replenishing items, so long as he didn’t cast any especially mana intensive spells such as Meteor, maintaining a consistent damage output wouldn’t be a problem.
“You don’t need me to attack?” Yao Yao asked in a confused manner.
Shaking his head, Nie Yan replied, “No, your level isn’t high enough, so you won’t be able to deal any damage to these Scaled Frogs.”
“How long do you think it’ll take us to take down an Elite Scaled Frog now?” Tang Yao asked.
“I’d say at least an hour. If it’s a Sub-Elite, then probably around half an hour.”
Seeing Tang Yao droop his shoulders in response, Nie Yan patted him on the shoulders and said, “Pull yourself together, we need to level up quickly; otherwise, we’ll be overtaken by Heaven Breaker on the leaderboards. Victorious Return is keeping a watchful eye on us. Even now, our guild members don’t dare to openly wear their guild emblems when they’re out levelling for fear of getting stopped. All because we aren’t powerful enough. If we grow stronger, then we won’t have to fear them or anyone else!”
He was even more profoundly aware that the only reason Victorious Return was willing to take such bold actions against them today was because they knew their targets lacked the strength to retaliate. If Asskickers United possessed formidable might, would they have still dared to act so brazen without the slightest hesitation?
Hearing these words, Tang Yao’s expression flickered with deep determination. All of the grievances that he suffered today… he would make sure to pay them back to Heaven Breaker manyfold!
He was finally out of his state of dejection. Shaking his head vigorously, he gave himself a couple of hard slaps to the face, then howled, “Fuck your mother, Heaven Breaker!”
If Tang Yao had stayed depressed, then the guild might have really started to suffer. So, seeing him reignite his fighting will, Nie Yan breathed a sigh of relief.
Some time later, the party arrived at the spawn point of their first Sub-Elite. After Nie Yan set down the Smoke Powder, Tang Yao began bombarding the Scaled Frog with spells.
“It’s that easy?” Both Yao Yao and Sun were stunned. They never expected Nie Yan and Tang Yao to be employing this kind of method to take down mobs far above their levels.
For ordinary players, challenging a monster above their level was an extremely risky affair. They would never dare to engage any monster above them in level that was Leader-class or higher simply because it was just too dangerous. Yet right now, Tang Yao was effortlessly killing a Level 30 Sub-Elite-class Scaled Frog without even receiving so much as a scratch. The scene unfolding right before their eyes went against all common sense!
To put it plain and simple, Yao Yao and Sun were only here to leech experience. The former’s only role was to act as an auto-refilling mana potion for Tang Yao while the latter was simply a delivery mule that collected anything that dropped. Meanwhile, Nie Yan made use of his time by scouting the vicinity for more Elites and Sub-Elites. After confirming their location, he arrived back in time to receive experience just before the monster was killed. In this way, they maximized efficiency.
Roughly half an hour later, the Sub-Elite Scaled Frog collapsed to the ground, whereupon the generous amount of experience caused Sun to level up twice, going from Level 7 directly to Level 9. As for Yao Yao, she went from Level 10 to Level 11. Nie Yan and Tang Yao, however, didn’t level up, but their experience bars did fill up by a good margin.
“Wow, levelling here is so quick! I actually levelled up twice!” Sun exclaimed in pleasant surprise. He still found the situation a little hard to wrap his head around. Before dropping several levels, it had taken him nearly two days of mindless grinding to get from Level 7 to Level 9. Yet now, it had been compressed down to the span of half an hour!
Yao Yao was also amazed by this levelling speed. So it turned out Nie Yan and Tang Yao were actually levelling like this. No wonder Tang Yao was able to rise up to the number one position on the leaderboards so quickly. There was no way the levelling speed of others could compare to them!
“Nie Yan, how did you come up with such a way to level up?” Yao Yao looked inquisitively at Nie Yan as her sharp-witted eyes brimmed with suspicion.
“The library contains detailed bestiaries on all sorts of monsters. It’s pretty easy to find their weak points. Sun, what did it drop?” Nie Yan could only reply with his go-to excuse before quickly changing the subject.
“A piece of battle armour and a Paladin’s hammer. They’re both unappraised.”
“Hand them over to me, I’ll appraise them.”
After receiving the items, Nie Yan appraised them with Transcendent Insight. The armour was Silver-grade while the hammer was Gold-grade, both with decent properties, but they could only be equipped at Level 30. Since no one could use them for the time being, they would be stored in the treasury to await the day when a player took their fancy.
A guild member was required to pay 1000 merit points to withdraw a piece of Level 30 Silver-grade equipment out of the treasury, while a piece of Level 30 Gold-grade equipment would cost at least 3000 merit points. Hence, for now, they were certain to be left untouched, but for the members of the guild, the simple knowledge of so many pieces of high-level equipment being available was enough to boost their morale considerably.
After putting away the drops, Nie Yan and the group set off for the location of their next target.
“Nie Yan, why do you think that Killer’s Demonic Medallion still hasn’t dropped?” Tang Yao asked in frustration. Logically speaking, shouldn’t the severity of their red names have already long met the requirements?
“I’m not sure. The medallion’s drop rate is pretty low. Let’s keep trying. It would be great if it dropped, but if doesn’t, then so be it,” Nie Yan answered. The Killer’s Demonic Medallion had amazing properties that made it the best accessory in the early levels of the game. In his past life, the value of one was equivalent to a Sub-Legendary item. Back then, it had long since attracted the eyes of all players. So it was only natural that such a godly accessory couldn’t be obtained so easily.
“Alright, let’s keep searching then.”
The conclusion of the standoff between Victorious Return and Holy Empire became a topic of discussion among players. However, there was another matter currently attracting their attention, and that was a clip being shared en masse on the Viridian Empire’s forums. Several threads discussing it were at the top of the board, overshadowing even Tang Yao’s popularity.
Nie Yan and the others casually glanced at the titles of these threads.
「What a Godly Player!」
「Who is this God?!」
「Look at this Awesome Thief!」
After seeing the titles of these threads, Nie Yan and Tang Yao couldn’t help but smile. Fortunately, when Guo Huai released the video of the battle, he had edited out the portions that directly showed Nie Yan. So all that could be seen of him was his silhouette successively slaughtering quite a few Victorious Return players in the background. Even then, how could anyone not notice such an amazing scene. As a result, many were inquiring about this matchless Thief who was cutting down Victorious Return players like chopping spring onions. However, their questions remained unanswered. Victorious Return wouldn’t divulge it, Holy Empire didn’t reveal it, and Asskickers United was radio silent as well. Thus, Nie Yan’s identity remained a riddle. In this way, he kept true to his style of always staying low-key. However, all members of Asskickers United now knew that aside from their valiant, unparalleled guild leader, Young Sparrow Hawk… there was also another supreme figure among their ranks, and he was a Thief! Sadly, he had yet to appear to them in public, so he was shrouded in mystery.
The battle between 20 Asskickers United players versus 300 Victorious Return elites was quickly becoming a legend among players. There were even many elite players that decided to apply to Asskickers United after watching the video, causing the guild to rapidly expand. Consequently, after enlisting so many elites, their numbers finally broke through the ten thousand mark. Although they still couldn’t compare with those major guilds, they could already be considered somewhat famous among the second-rate guilds. If Heaven Breaker wished to trample over them again, he wouldn’t find it so easy as last time. Furthermore, due to the video being released, Victorious Return’s prestige had suffered a serious blow. Along with so many things piling up because of upcoming events, they had even less time to pay attention to Asskickers United. At this moment, their elite team was frantically levelling, resulting in Heaven Breaker finally breaking through to Level 16 as he attempted to reclaim his spot on top of the leaderboards from Tang Yao. At the same time, he had also dispatched numerous Thieves to track down Nie Yan and Tang Yao in the hopes of inconveniencing them while they trained. However, all of his efforts were futile as none of the players he sent out would ever think to search in a Level 30 zone.