Chapter 196 – Yu Long
“Are you sure they’ll come?” Hei Zhuo turned to the three players who were sent over from Victorious Return to act as supervisors.
All the preparations were set. If the forces of Asskickers United emerged, regardless of whether they arrived in thousands or tens of thousands, they would find themselves immediately surrounded and ambushed by a force that dwarfed them by at least several-fold.
If Asskickers United ignored the provocations, Victorious Return would spread word of their cowardice to all facets of the internet so that they’d never be able to raise their heads out in public again. Inversely, if they tried to retaliate, no matter how many players they sent, Kiln Fire Woods would become their burial place. In either scenario, their reputation would still suffer a heavy blow.
Asskickers United had nowhere left to retreat!
The group from Victorious Return was led by a Paladin called Yu Long. Clad in the Level 25 Holy Knight Radiance Set, he emanated the aura of a soldier. His face was calm and tranquil, making it difficult for anyone to ever know what he was thinking.
Even Hei Zhuo, the guild leader of Unhindered, didn’t dare to slight him.
He was the second-in-command in all of Victorious Return. He was originally the leader of the Dragon Drive gaming organization. However, after some financial investments, Heaven Breaker eventually brought them under his banner, and Yu Long himself benefited by gaining a 20% share of Victorious Return. It was precisely because of the elite members of Dragon Drive propping up the entire guild that Victorious Return was able to reach the apex. Even Heaven Breaker treated Yu Long with an air of politeness.
In terms of skill, Heaven Breaker was somewhat inferior to Yu Long, though that was par for the course considering he wasn’t a professional player. In fact, much of his game knowledge actually came from Yu Long. In order to preserve his prestige in the guild, it was necessary for him to be higher than Yu Long on the level leaderboards. Yu Long naturally knew his own position, which was why he always lagged behind Heaven Breaker by a step. Even Heaven Breaker didn’t know Yu Long’s true strength. Every time they sparred, Yu Long would purposefully hold back, letting him win. Of course, Heaven Breaker understood the meaning of such a gesture, so he never questioned it. The two men maintained an extremely delicate balance. In the eyes of the guild members and the outside world, however, Yu Long was much less well-known than Heaven Breaker.
“Does it matter?” Yu Long faintly smiled. “However, I don’t believe they’ll just sit and do nothing. If they don’t come, they’ll be mocked as weaklings. If they come, even though they’ll be annihilated by our combined forces, they can still preserve their honour. If I belonged to the higher-ups of Asskickers United, I’d choose the latter option.”
Hei Zhuo naturally understood this logic. But at present, Asskickers United hadn’t shown any signs of movement. He truly couldn’t tell what exactly they were intending to do.
“Just wait patiently. They won’t be able to last past today. Even if their higher-ups can stick it out, I’m afraid the lower ranking members aren’t nearly as steadfast. It’s only a matter of time before they riot. When that moment comes, I want to see exactly how they’ll clean up the mess!” Yu Long said. The situation developed as planned. Everything was under full control.
There was a reason why they were targeting Asskickers United in such a way. Their growth surpassed all expectations. It was starting to become a huge cause for concern for both Yu Long and Heaven Breaker. At the rate things were developing, if they didn’t suppress them now, Victorious Return would soon be overtaken by them. Furthermore, the relationship between Asskickers United and Holy Empire was far too close for comfort. Add Sapphire Shrine and Battle Crazed Alliance into the mix, and even the joint forces of Victorious Return, Radiant Sacred Flame, and the several other guilds they were secretly allied with could only play second fiddle.
However, Asskickers United was truly too low-key, to the extent that it was incredibly difficult to find any information that could be used against them. Even the members of the guild never wore their guild emblems when going out to level. It gave Victorious Return a feeling of not knowing what to do. Now, they’d finally found an opportunity, and they weren’t going to let it go. After meticulously laying out a trap, they succeeded in forcing the enemy into a position where they were unable to advance or retreat. The next step was to see how they were going to respond.
Yu Long was slightly curious about the guild leader of Asskickers United, Young Sparrow Hawk. Just what was it that allowed his guild to soar so quickly to prominence? Victorious Return had fought for dominance in every popular virtual reality game. Only after six years of development were they able to reach their current level of achievement, possess a foundation that would make others sigh with admiration, and become an undisputed powerhouse. Yet Asskickers United, despite the fact that no one had ever heard their name before, somehow attracted enough experts to establish an elite team. One that could clear over a dozen of the main scenario dungeons in a single day. Did this occur just because their guild leader had risen to the top spot on the level leaderboards?
Yu Long shook his head. It would never be that simple. He had a premonition that Asskickers United would become Victorious Return’s greatest obstacle on the road to dominance.
While Nie Yan and the other players in his group travelled through the dark tunnels of the lava cavern, they found themselves besieged by hordes of Viper Flies lunging at them from every nook and cranny. These creatures hidden in the darkness were the perfect ambush predators!
The cave was densely packed with such monsters.
“So many monsters!” Undying Scoundrel cried out in alarm.
The team got into a defensive formation, ready to fight off these Viper Flies, when Nie Yan suddenly made his move.
After Nie Yan activated the skill, the Viper Flies quickly retreated one after the other, opening up a path forward, no longer daring to approach his group.
“Woah! What kind of skill is that!? It’s so miraculous!” Blue Yarn Thread, Blowhard Summer Bug, and the others stared at Nie Yan in shock. It seemed like he was a never-ending box of surprises, always bringing out one amazing thing after the other.
“Deterrence, it’s a supplementary skill from the Demon Hunter title,” Nie Yan replied.
They hadn’t yet obtained even the lowest-ranking of titles, let alone some flashy, advanced one like Demon Hunter.
“Not just Young Sparrow Hawk, but your level is also super high! The two of you level way too quickly! After all of this is over, you should take us levelling with you!”
“Yeah!” Edgeless and the others in the group echoed off one another.
Edgeless was a fairly quiet person for someone who played a Berserker. He normally wasn’t fond of talking, but even he gradually opened up to everyone in the group. In the previous timeline, his distinguished name rang like thunder in the ears of all players. He was one of the strongest Sword Saints!
Not just him, all the players here were going to be the pillars of strength for the guild in the future!
Nie Yan thought for a moment, then said, “After we settle this matter, I, your selfless boss, will take a big hit by helping each of you reach Level 30! Afterwards, you’ll be on your own.”
“Yay! Long live the boss!” cheered the crowd.
If they trained together with Nie Yan and Tang Yao, it wouldn’t merely be experience grinding but rather all-out power-levelling! No one would believe that you could go from Level 26 to Level 28 in only half an hour. But Nie Yan and Tang Yao accomplished such a feat!
As the group of players fraternized more and more, Nie Yan gradually found himself becoming their beloved and respected leader. Towards their almost fanatical gazes of reverence, Nie Yan truly felt a little flattered. After all, they were future Shadow Dancers, Guardians, Sword Saints, Magisters, and so on.
These dazzling titles signified the apex of their respective class, something an ordinary player could never hope to reach!
Nie Yan suddenly had an idea. What if he brought these elite players with him to level in Everlasting City? That way Tang Yao could gather 100 Energized Crystal Fragments in no time! What’s more, the top of the level leaderboards would be overrun with players from Asskickers United! How spectacular of a sight would that be?
These contracted players were closely tied to the interests of Asskickers United. They were very reliable. So long as he had them sworn to secrecy, it was unlikely that they would leak any information about Everlasting City.
However, there was a slight problem. Even if Nie Yan withdrew everything from the Starry Night Potion Shop down to the last copper, he still wouldn’t have enough money to afford the Magic Bombs needed to get all these players to Level 30. He could only let them think of a way themselves. Several of them could form a party, sharing the burden equally. If they sold whatever they found, they could just barely scrounge up enough gold to make do.
He only feared that by the time they got their levels up, they would’ve already become poor wretches saddled with unseemly amounts of debt. That was exactly why this would remain an idea for the time being. His main priority was dealing with the current matter at hand.
Nie Yan and company finally reached the exit. Stepping out of the cavern, they hid themselves behind some boulders.
There was a lot of player activity in the distance. Presumably, they belonged to Unhindered.
“Sun and I will scout ahead!” Nie Yan said. Naturally, the task of finding a safe path would go to the two Thieves.
“Boss, be careful. You too, Sun.”
Nie Yan nodded. While his body gradually turned illusory, he gave a faint smile before departing.
Sun set out in a different direction.
The woods were dead silent. The Unhindered players hadn’t the slightest inkling that a group from Asskickers United had silently arrived. The way they saw it, this was the hinterlands of the Kiln Fire Woods. If a fight broke out with Assskickers United, the first signs of activity would surely be near the borders of the map. They felt completely safe.
However, at present, Nie Yan’s group noiselessly appeared among them.
There were at least two hundred Unhindered players in the vicinity, divided into three groups. All of them were located in different locations, clearing out mobs in their respective areas. One group was one hundred members in size, while the other two were fifty each.
Nie Yan and Sun scouted further ahead. About seventeen minutes later, they had a clear picture of the surroundings. Even if they alerted Unhindered’s forces by attacking one of the groups, it would still take the nearest groups at least five minutes to reinforce them.
Simply put, they had to finish the fight and retreat all within five minutes!
Nie Yan and Sun regrouped with the others.
“Boss, how’d it go?”
“Prepare to move out. We’re going to take down the hundred-man group in the east first! We’ll have to make it quick!” Nie Yan said. They were outnumbered ten to one. It might be a little challenging, but it definitely wasn’t impossible. The ten players who arrived were the elites of the elites. Meanwhile, the players on the opposing side were nothing more than ordinary players. He estimated that even the strongest players among them didn’t surpass Level 20!
But even so, Nie Yan’s group still had to properly plan things out. It was essential for the area-of-effect spells of the two Mages to cover the as many targets as possible for the battle to quickly end.
“Are you guys prepared to be branded as PKers?” Nie Yan asked, sweeping his gaze over the faces of the group members. Some were still juvenile. Others were mature. However, all of them showed firm resolve.
“It’s just a red name. With you supporting us, we have nothing to be afraid of!” Edgeless said in a straightforward manner.
“Yeah! We’re already eating your food and drinking your wine, so what’s there to fear?” Undying Scoundrel’s words made the rest of the group burst out in laughter.
“I guess it’s settled then. Let’s go get some exercise, stretch our legs, and cut down some fools!” Nie Yan revealed a cold, murderous smile. “Anyone who offends our guild… dies!”