Chapter 183 – Ash Cloaked Heretics
The crowd of players stepped through the entrance, promptly arranging themselves in an orderly fashion within the courtyard. They were an entourage of Warriors, all armed to the teeth, with an awe-inspiring appearance. The person at the center was the tallest among them, as well as the owner of the voice who had called out earlier. This was Aqua Smoke Stub, a brawny man in his thirties. He was clad in dark golden armour with a horned helmet over his head. He radiated an imposing aura which made people feel a heavy, oppressive pressure.
If the guild members of Asskickers United encountered one or two people in full sets of Gold-grade armour walking down the streets of Calore, they usually wouldn’t feel particularly amazed, aside from the slight gaze of envy. After all, anyone who could wear a full-set of Gold-grade armour was a top-tier player in the game.
But now, several dozen such players had appeared right on their doorstep! How could they not be surprised?
“Excuse me, may I ask why you’re looking for Watchful Snail…?” Zhao Li stepped out to receive them. He couldn’t help but feel a little apprehensive. He had never seen such a large band of formidable players before. A crowd of players showing up in full sets of Gold-grade equipment… this was practically telling everyone that they were here to pick a fight!
The guild members around Zhao Li also felt nervous. They whispered among each other, trying to guess the purpose of the other party’s visit.
Who knew where this mysterious group of players had cropped up from?
“Hey, Boss. Where do you think these guys came from…?” a guild member beside Zhao Li whispered into his ear in a nervous tone.
Zhao Li shook his head in response. “Your guess is as good as mine.”
“We’re here to join your guild. Tell him to hurry up and come out,” Smoke Stub announced.
As if a single stone had triggered a thousand waves, his words created a huge disturbance among the guild members in the area.
Heavens! This intimidating lot of players had actually come here to join the guild? The guild members closest to Smoke Stub’s group stared on in shock. The armour they wore was so dazzling, it made everyone feel a little faint.
“Please wait a moment. He’ll be with you shortly,” Zhao Li said after finally calming down.
“The commanding leader is here.”
Guo Huai arrived less than a minute later, having rushed over to the guild headquarters from elsewhere in Calore.
“I’m really sorry for not arriving here sooner. I was busy applying for a guild quest,” Guo Huai said apologetically to Smoke Stub.
“It’s fine. You can start adding us to the guild now,” Smoke Stub replied, waving his hand.
“Alright.” Before Guo Huai got to work, he turned to the surrounding guild members and shouted, “What are you all standing around for? Go off and level!”
The crowd of spectating guild members quickly dispersed. Some of them were given yet another shock when they walked out of the guild headquarters, only to see several hundred players on standby in the plaza outside. There were players of every class, all arranged in neat, orderly ranks. The equipment they wore was bright and colourful. Although they couldn’t compare to those people inside, anyone could tell with a glance that they weren’t run-of-the-mill players. Evidently, they were all part of the same group.
What was going on today? Why were so many strong players suddenly joining their guild?
It was as if an exhibition of high-quality equipment was being held in the plaza. As the ordinary guild members squeezed out of the headquarters to check out what was going on, they were all filled with an indescribable sense of joy and amazement.
After a while, notices began popping up in the guild chat.Aqua Smoke Stub has joined the guild.
Withered Leaf Fashionable has joined the guild.
Before long, notices flooded the entire screen. These new people were all assigned to a sub-group called Withered Leaf. After putting two and two together, some of the more knowledgeable guild members immediately recognized them. Surprisingly, the third-ranked person on the professional player rankings, Aqua Smoke Stub, had decided to join Asskickers United with all of his subordinates in Withered Leaf! This was quite an unexpected development since the reputation of their organization alone was more than enough to establish a formidable guild themselves.
The guild members all began wondering just what sort of background their guild leader possessed. For him to recruit all of Withered Leaf into the guild… this wasn’t something that could be accomplished merely with wealth!
Withered Leaf joining caused a huge stir in the guild. From the moment they entered, they could sense the explosive pace of the guild’s development. As for whether it would grow to rival a goliath like Victorious Return in the future, not only them but every player in the guild was waiting to find out.
After entering the guild, Smoke Stub was surprised to see the treasury filled with so many pieces of Level 30 Silver and Gold-grade equipment. He didn’t expect them to have collected so much high-level equipment.
“Your treasury is pretty well-stocked,” Smoke Stub praised. He didn’t think a fledgling like Asskickers United could establish a treasury that impressed even the likes of him. From his point of view, the quality of this treasury didn’t differ much from those of some larger guilds.
Thanks to the great effort put in by the guild members, along with the continued support from the Starry Night Potion Shop, Guo Huai could hardly imagine the resources and manpower that had to be spent to get the treasury to where it was now. It was full of all types of equipment, with no less than two thousand pieces in total, and at least another three thousand were currently being used by the players in the guild.
“Nirvana Flame told me he would buy all of the equipment you don’t need at market price to bolster our guild treasury,” Guo Huai said. Withered Leaf and Asskickers United were only temporarily collaborating. With the formidable financial backing of the Starry Night Potion Shop, he spoke in a tone full of confidence.
Smoke Stub sent Guo Huai a trade request, then said, “We only have one hundred and sixty pieces of Silver and Gold-grade equipment for now.” He estimated that the value of the equipment should at least be 30 gold. Very few guilds at this time were able to take out such a sum at once. He was trying to probe out the other side’s financial resources.
“According to the market price, the total comes to 32 gold,” Guo Huai replied. He was startled by the quality of each piece of equipment. The strength of Withered Leaf really couldn’t be looked down on.
Smoke Stub nodded. The price Guo Huai gave could be considered fair.
Guo Huai put in 32 gold in the trade window, and the two people hit confirm on the trade.
Afterwards, Guo Huai stored all the equipment in the treasury. These pieces of high-quality equipment, ranging from Level 15–20, would surely ignite the enthusiasm of the guild members.
Seeing them take out 32 gold at once, and only for the sake of padding the treasury, Smoke Stub gained a newfound awareness of the financial ability of Asskickers United. At least in terms of wealth, he had to concede that Withered Leaf was far behind them.
It seemed that he had seriously underestimated Asskickers United before. Maybe they really did have the potential to rival Victorious Return.
Guo Huai began the process of adding all the Withered Leaf players to the guild. This kept him busy all the way until afternoon, whereupon he notified Nie Yan with a message.
Withered Leaf didn’t let joining Asskickers United affect their business. They only stayed in the guild headquarters for a short while before returning to their own matters. Aside from running dungeons, there was still a lot of other work that needed to be attended to.
With how efficiently Withered Leaf ran dungeons, Asskickers United was sure to be promoted to a Level 3 guild in no time.
Nie Yan was advancing deeper into the Light Monastery with Tuoba and Forthright when he suddenly received the update from Guo Huai. He faintly smiled. With the addition of Withered Leaf, the strength of Asskickers United would rise up another stage, directly closing in on Victorious Return. Although there was the possibility of Withered Leaf leaving after the month was over, when that time arrived, he would naturally have many more methods to keep them around.
“I didn’t think you’d actually pull Withered Leaf into your guild. Impressive!” Tuoba had gotten the information from his contacts in Withered Leaf. He was very surprised because he understood the principles of the organization very well. So them joining Asskickers United was completely outside of his expectations.
“The only goal of Withered Leaf is making a profit. They only joined the guild because I struck a deal with them,” Nie Yan vaguely explained. His involvement with the Union of Assassins had to be kept a secret. “As for what kind of deal, sorry, but I can’t divulge that to you guys,” he said with an apologetic smile.
“It’s fine, we understand,” Tuoba said, nodding his head. As a person who came from the long-standing Tuoba Family Financial Group, he understood that some secrets couldn’t be told to even the closest of friends. As for what kind of closed-door deals Withered Leaf were making, he had no right to be privy to such information, unless his old man was willing to tell him.
The three had cleared out almost a thousand Red Cloaked Heretics on their path. Forthright and Tuoba acted as the core of the group, tanking most of the damage and killing the most monsters. As for Nie Yan, other than killing mobs, he occasionally used Steal on them—earning himself a little extra income. Money aside, he also managed to find a few interesting trinkets.Green Crystal Fragments
Nie Yan recalled that Green Crystals were used in the production of weapons and Tinkerer items. The level of the material was very high. It could only be used at around Level 50 or 60. Green Crystal Quartz was quite valuable, so he had kept all of these Green Crystal Fragments. Checking his bag, he had collected a little over twenty so far. They could be fused to create two Green Crystal Quartz. But he had to find an Advanced Blacksmith in order to do so. He had to pay quite a bit for the processing fee as well.
The three had killed their way to the winding entrance hall which led to the central hall of the Light Monastery. They saw three Ash Cloaked Heretics up ahead. These were Mage-type monsters. Their appearances were concealed under ash-gray robes, so that none could see what they truly looked like. They had crooked spines, and held both hands out in front of them like beggars. But instead of emptiness, their palms were home to hovering orbs of ghastly red flame.
These Ash Cloaked Heretics were high-level monsters.
“They look like Elites. Let me take a look,” Nie Yan said. He was the only person capable of identifying these Ash Cloaked Heretics.
Nie Yan showed a calm smile. He remembered that these Ash Cloaked Heretics were Level 32 Elites. This was probably as far as Forthright and Tuoba could go, but he had a way to narrowly slip past them and explore deeper into the Light Monastery.
Nie Yan took cover behind a nearby pillar. He carefully snuck over, concealing his figure. He was roughly twenty meters away from the nearest Ash Cloaked Heretic.
Faintly sensing his presence, the Ash Cloaked Heretics grew a little restless.
Nie Yan activated Disappear, making himself much harder to detect.
The three Ash Cloaked Heretics, no longer sensing an intruder, reverted back to a passive state.
Nie Yan inspected them with Transcendent Insight.Ash Cloaked Heretic (Elite): Level 32
They didn’t have much health in comparison to other Elites, but as Mage-type monsters, their damage was extremely frightening.