Chapter 204 – Birth of the Mad Rogue!
Nie Yan was like a specter walking among the shadows. He left his pursuers unable to discover his whereabouts; they had lost all sight of him.
Eyes of the Divine!
Eyes of the Divine!
Five Paladins from Victorious Return activated Eyes of the Divine at the same time, releasing rays of holy light into the area. But even after activating the skill, they were unable to spot even a trace of Nie Yan. Logically, their Eyes of the Divine should be able to see through Nie Yan’s stealth, or at the very least reveal a hint of his silhouette—unless his stealthing capability was above the range where they could detect him.
As they searched in the direction they thought Nie Yan had gone, a sound came from behind. Their minds trembled. Did Nie Yan already circle behind them?
“He’s behind us!” cried out a Paladin who spotted Nie Yan after turning towards the source of the sound.
Meanwhile, Nie Yan judged the distance and headed for Hei Zhuo and Yu Long, his body light and his silhouette blurry as he swept past.
What incredible movement speed! In just under five seconds, Nie Yan’s elusive figure moved over fifty meters! These players, who had not seen such speed in the game before, couldn’t wrap their heads around it.
There were still over seventy Mages alive after Lava Roar. They wanted to bombard Nie Yan with spells, but as they began chanting, they found their magic disappear before it could even take shape. The magical energy in the area was too unstable! There was no way for them to gather enough for a spell.
The Warriors didn’t stand idly by as they led the charge, only to find that they couldn’t keep up with Nie Yan. He was just too fast! With his astounding base speed boosted by Shadow Dance and a Haste Scroll, he could even outrun Warriors that used Charge.
Even with so many players trying to stop him, Nie Yan thought nothing of the blockade. To him they might as well not be there.
It wasn’t long before he stood in front of the two leaders. The only thing standing between him and Hei Zhuo now was the Paladin, Yu Long!
Yu Long activated Eyes of the Divine, locking on to Nie Yan and firmly blocking the way to Hei Zhuo.
“Nie Yan, is it? Come, let me see just how skilled you are!” Yu Long roared. Because the magical energy in the air was so unstable, he couldn’t activate any Holy Magic or buff himself with blessings. Radiating an imposing aura, Yu Long fiercely chopped at Nie Yan with Radiant Slash.
Meanwhile, Hei Zhuo hadn’t expected Nie Yan to arrive so quickly. He tried to cast a spell but found that the magical energy in the area was still too chaotic. He felt powerless. There was nothing he could do but place his hopes on Yu Long, praying that the Paladin could cut down Nie Yan.
Yu Long saw his strike easily dodged by Nie Yan who stabbed a dagger at his forehead in response. To him, Nie Yan was just a flashing silhouette as his strike hit nothing but air. His mind trembled. My attack missed? What incredible speed!
Yu Long’s eyes were blinded by the cold glimmer of Nie Yan’s dagger as it rapidly neared. He expected this frontal attack to be a Concussive Blow, so he quickly entered a defensive stance and moved his sword to block. Since he couldn’t activate Indomitable Will, he didn’t dare to take such a blow from Nie Yan head on. After he took only a single step back, Nie Yan disappeared from his line of sight. His heart clenched in worry.
Not good! Hei Zhuo!
With an elegant twist of his body, Nie Yan brushed past Yu Long. His speed reached the peak!
It was as if he had become one with a deity.
He was using footwork that could rival a professional dancer. It was on the level of a Shadow Dancer!
Nie Yan thought back to when he was a Level 180 Great Thief, recalling the feelings of unrivalled speed and life and death in his grasp.
In that moment, the experiences of two lifetimes merged into a whole!
The resonance formed by the collision of both lives brought together through space and time allowed Nie Yan to enter a deep trance of self-reflection. The shackles which prevented him from breaking through to a Shadow Dancer in the previous timeline finally melted away. Only after a sudden flash of insight did he finally realize what he was lacking. It was that graceful agility, that preeminent tenacity, and that relentless momentum!
This was a Shadow Dancer!
Nie Yan’s thoughts were very clear. He completely ignored Yu Long, as though the Paladin didn’t exist. No one could block his movements, not the Paladin in front of him nor anyone else!
As Yu Long felt Nie Yan brush past him in a blur, a feeling of humiliation arose within him. With a horizontal sweep he tried to redeem himself but was only presented with another miss.
Nie Yan was like a shadow, intangible and uncatchable.
A sense of frustration flooded through Yu Long. Even though the inability to cast Holy Magic was a major handicap to him, Yu Long wasn’t confident in his ability to stop Nie Yan even without a disadvantage. Nie Yan was just too fast and agile to catch up to.
Hei Zhuo noticed Nie Yan rushing towards him and hurriedly tried to retreat. However, the dagger aimed at him was like a grim reaper wielding his scythe, creating a looming sense of despair.
It was undodgeable!
Hei Zhuo’s mind went blank as the dagger pierced his forehead. In the blink of an eye, Nie Yan circled around to his back and landed a Backstab and Eviscerate. His actions were crisp and controlled, showing no signs of sloppiness.
As his eyes dimmed, Hei Zhuo fell to the ground with a thud.
After dealing the final blow to Hei Zhuo, Nie Yan finally stood still, creating a visual contrast with his speed-blurred form from before.
Seeing this, the hundreds of players still alive stared blankly at Nie Yan and the corpse of Hei Zhuo. Many of them even forgot to keep moving.
Hei Zhuo… died?
From the time they first noticed Nie Yan to the time Hei Zhuo died, only fifteen seconds had passed. It had passed by in just a flash!
Nie Yan truly performed an unimaginable deed. Under the noses of nearly five hundred players, he had slain Hei Zhuo!
By the time Yu Long turned around, Hei Zhuo was already dead. It was far out of his expectations for Hei Zhuo to drop so quickly. This speed left a person without time to even think, much less react!
For a brief moment Yu Long and Nie Yan faced off, staring straight in each other’s eyes. Lifting the greatsword in his hands, Yu Long issued a challenge, “I’m next. Let’s see you finish me off!”
Nie Yan faintly smirked in reply before vanishing into thin air.
He couldn’t be found anywhere.
What did the smirk signify? Disdain? Contempt? Or something else completely?
Nie Yan’s final actions deeply struck at Yu Long’s soul.
Yu Long suddenly felt the strength drain from his body. He felt cold sweat on his back as he realized that he had lost, completely and utterly. He was cowed by Nie Yan’s immense speed. If the two of them crossed blades again, would he even be able to last more than a few seconds?
Nie Yan had used a single stunning blow, as if to tell the world he was unmatched!
“Boss, he left.” A Paladin walked up to Yu Long. He looked at Nie Yan’s silhouette dashing in the distance before disappearing among the trees.
No one tried to pursue him because they knew it’d be futile.
They finally learned just what a Thief truly was today. In the face of a massive army, they could effortlessly behead the general and the soldiers would scatter. Even though this saying was normally used to describe valiant generals of the past, it was quite befitting of Nie Yan.
“Huh?” Yu Long awoke from his stupor.
“What do we do next?” the Paladin asked.
His voice had barely faded before the blazing Lava Titan appeared behind them. It roared angrily, giving off an aura of intense power. With a wave of its arm, massive waves of lava rushed forth. It had used Lava Breaker to cover Yu Long’s remaining forces.
With a crashing boom, the lava swallowed everything in its path, including the five-hundred-plus players who had survived the first Lava Roar.
Over several thousand meters away, Nie Yan looked back at the angrily roaring Lava Titan. No one caught within its lava skills would be able to escape its merciless wrath. As he looked in the distance, he saw that surrounding the Lava Titan was a sea of lava. Only a few lonely boulders poked out like islands above the water.
If he activated an Unknown Transfer Scroll here, he might end up being teleported back into the lava. To avoid this, Nie Yan jumped on a boulder to wait. Lava Roar’s silencing effect still had around twenty seconds to go before it expired.
As the ground beneath him was covered by the surging lava, Nie Yan quietly sat on his boulder waiting for time to pass. Watching the roiling waves of molten rock flowing beneath him and the monster raging in the distance made Nie Yan sink into deep thought.
He believed the achievements of today would become a legend, retold countless times in the future.
Kiln Fire Woods had turned into a sea of lava, with all the trees burning up and falling in.
Just how many corpses were buried under the lava?
Nie Yan didn’t have any way of knowing. He figured only Unhindered and Victorious Return would have access to these statistics. Of course, they would never reveal it to the public.
But was there really a need to know?
After a while, Nie Yan stood up and lazily stretched his body. He had a pure smile on his face and muttered in a pleased tone, “I did pretty good.”
If Yu Long saw Nie Yan’s expression right now, he would definitely be taken aback. It was vastly different from the cruel smile Nie Yan had shown atop the slope.
Above the roiling lava, Nie Yan activated a Return Scroll. With a flash of radiance, he disappeared from the area.
A video was published on the official forums, titled: ‘The Destruction of Unhindered and Victorious Return!’ In the second round of the battle, both Victorious Return and Unhindered were defeated. Looking back at Asskickers United, aside from all ten members of the strike force being branded with red names, they didn’t suffer a single casualty.
A picture was released as well. It was the group photo of Nie Yan and the others. The image would forever be preserved in the minds of all players. Because of the demise of over 20,000 players from Unhindered and Victorious Return who transformed into brilliant rays of light, the players on the forums would remember the ten faces in the picture. These ten people had created a legend!
From now on, Asskickers United would rise to even greater heights, becoming a mighty entity that none would dare to offend!
All players in the Viridian Empire would know the name of Asskickers United.
The Viridian Empire discussion board of the official forums saw more and more of the events as new videos kept emerging. Players were able to watch through the entire course of events. The emergence of the frightening Lava Titan left everyone breathless. However, what truly captivated them was that unrivalled, graceful strike by Nie Yan. They were thoroughly shocked by such a godly person.
「Godly Thief, Nirvana Flame!」
「Viridian Empire’s Number One Thief, Nirvana Flame!」
「Mad Rogue, Nirvana Flame」
Maybe the final nickname was just a bit more resounding, maybe the arrogant cutthroat gesture Nie Yan made toward Hei Zhuo left a deep impression players, or maybe everyone just felt that Nie Yan was completely out of his mind for daring to charge into a crowd of five hundred players for a single kill. Whatever the case, the name stuck and spread like a wildfire across the forums.
The name of the Mad Rogue would become the glory of Asskickers United.
Chapter 204 Teaser