Chapter 205 – The Hero Returns Triumphant
Nie Yan returned to Calore. Even though such a large commotion occurred in Kiln Fire Woods, the city was tranquil without the slightest ripple. Yet discussion of the recent events in Kiln Fire Woods could occasionally be heard along the bustling streets.
A large crowd of players were gathered around the transfer area. When Nie Yan emerged, they stopped what they were doing and stared at him blankly. His appearance became very familiar to the public after the release of the video. The crowd immediately identified him as the Mad Rogue, Nirvana Flame. Some people subconsciously took a step back. His name was a deep shade of crimson just like in the video, and he was still enveloped in a dense murderous aura. The arrogant gesture he made atop the slope along with his cruel smile were still fresh in the minds of the onlookers.
Seeing the reaction of the crowd, Nie Yan knew he had been recognized.
Under the heavens, who does not know of the King? Nie Yan knew that he could no longer stay low-key even if he wished to do so. With that being the case, he didn’t see the point of trying to hide himself anymore. He confidently unblurred his name, revealing it to the public.
Under the gazes of the players, Nie Yan strolled out of the transfer point area toward the guild headquarters of Asskickers United.
Calore was flourishing as always with players passing by Nie Yan on the streets.
On the way to the guild headquarters, many players cleared the path for Nie Yan when they spotted him. However, they didn’t go away. Instead, they followed a few meters behind him and discussed in hushed tones.
“That’s the Mad Rogue, Nirvana Flame! He’s one of the top executives of Asskickers United!”
“I watched the video. I heard over 20,000 players from Unhindered and Victorious Return died in Kiln Fire Woods!”
The scene of Nie Yan killing Hei Zhuo was deeply engraved in the minds of these players. It was almost impossible to forget.
“What a strong Thief!”
Since the release of the video on the forums, the name of the Mad Rogue had a profound impact on the players of not just Calore but the entire Viridian Empire!
Many people recalled the declaration Nie Yan made on the official forums:「Ten of us are enough to massacre Unhindered!」Who would’ve thought that even Victorious Return would be massacred as well! It was precisely Nie Yan who lured out that frightening Lava Titan!
The trailing onlookers stared at his deep crimson name. Just how many players did he kill? They were filled with even greater reverence.
Nie Yan rubbed his nose. He didn’t expect to gather such a large crowd of admirers.
「I’m almost at the guild headquarters.」Nie Yan sent a message to Guo Huai.
「Huh, so fast? Just wait. We’ll be ready in a moment!」Guo Huai replied in a rushed tone.
「…?」Nie Yan was taken aback. Guo Huai was normally pretty measured in his speech. Why was he so incoherent now?
A long street about five to six meters wide ran parallel to the guild headquarters. It was lively on most days, filled with the voices of players from the guild. Quite a few non-guild players passed through here as well, since the location wasn’t too far away from the Starry Night Potion Shop.
At this moment, the pedestrians dispersed one after another. A procession of players from Asskickers United walked out and sealed the area off.
More and more players emerged, lining themselves up neatly on either side of the street. Between them was a path that led directly to the entrance of the guild headquarters.
Familiar figures began entering Nie Yan’s eyes: Tuoba Time, Very Forthright, Yu Lan, Bai Kaishui, Natural Fiend, Beginner Student, One Strike Vow, and a lot of people from Withered leaf. Many among them signed contracts with the guild. Very Forthright and Tuoba Time could be considered guild members as well. Yu Lan and Bai Kaishui were part of the auxiliary teams. Natural Fiend was a Sword Saint in the previous timeline. He only recently joined the guild. Beginner Student was a Magister in the previous timeline. He was already a long-time member of the guild, joining close to its inception. He was relatively reserved. One Strike Vow was a beautiful female Thief player. She was invited to the guild by Resplendent Bladelight. According to rumours, the two of them were very close. At that time, Nie Yan was given a big shock because One Strike Vow was the sole female Shadow Dancer in the previous timeline. She was a goddess in the hearts of countless players. Who would’ve thought that she and Resplendent Bladelight were actually friends? Nie Yan was more than happy to welcome such a player into the guild.
The first row was composed of a thousand Fighters and Berserkers, all of whom were clad in brilliant sets of Gold or Silver equipment. Grasping greatswords in their hands and covered head to toe in heavy armour, they gave off a powerful, stifling pressure. The rows behind them consisted of Mages and Priests.
They stood in an orderly fashion to welcome Nie Yan’s return. Their dazzling equipment was stunning to behold.
Nie Yan looked on thoughtfully before understanding what was going on. Guo Huai, that sly fox, wanted to take advantage of his return to show off the might of Asskickers United to the public. Since this was all arranged by Guo Huai, he wanted to make sure everything was perfect.
Barely any time had passed since the annihilation of over twenty thousand players from Victorious Return. Such an ostentatious display would almost certainly strike a nerve with them.
Not bad! This was what you called showing off your own might. If Victorious Return wasn’t convinced of their loss, then they were free to bring everything they got!
Nie Yan strolled over, hearing whispers behind his back.
“Damn! They’re all wearing full sets of Gold and Silver equipment! Asskickers United sure is rich!” Some players sighed in admiration. This was their first time seeing so many sets of high-grade equipment.
“They really have top notch equipment!”
“Isn’t that Beginner Student? When did he join Asskickers United? I heard he’s really amazing. He’s ranked third on the Mage leaderboard!”
“That’s One Strike Vow! I’ve seen her before! I saw a video of her wiping out a ten-player party all by herself on the forums. She’s in Asskickers United too!?”
The players began to inquire about how many known experts were in Asskickers United. Some of them even compiled a detailed list of all the powerful players in the guild, then shared it on the forums, so netizens could add anyone that might’ve been overlooked. Slowly but surely, an unprecedented colossus was revealed to the public. It came to light that the apex of Asskickers United far outnumbered that of several major guilds.
The true strength of Asskickers United was slowly uncovered by the general public.
Even now, Asskickers United had no more than 50,000 members while major guilds like Victorious Return were approaching 100,000. It seemed Asskickers United held true to the declaration made on the forums. They wouldn’t rely on an advantage in numbers!
The elites of Asskickers United wouldn’t lose out to their counterparts in any major guild!
The position of Victorious Return in the minds of all players was quietly being lowered as Asskickers United ascended the altar.
As the bystanders looked on, the entire street was lined with Asskickers United players. They displayed discipline and might like a giant military parade!
A Nie Yan passed by, the Warriors held their greatswords to their chests. Their movements were timed perfectly. A martial aura filled the air. This was how the Viridian Empire welcomed the return of a hero!
“We welcome Boss Nirvana Flame on his triumphant return!”
The players of Asskickers United cheered so loudly even the deaf could hear them.
Nie Yan was the hero of Asskickers United. He had singlehandedly brought glory to the guild!
The cheering grew more and more frenzied. The deafening voices fired Nie Yan up.
It was a grand occasion. The guild members all wore stunning equipment. Powerful players appeared one after another, allowing the bystanders to directly experience the strength of the guild. The shock this scene dealt to them was almost comparable to when they first saw the videos on the forums of the group of ten massacring the forces of Unhindered and Victorious Return.
Calore was shaken to the core!
All Asskickers United members proudly displayed the guild emblem on their chests. It was their glory. From now on, they would share the guild’s honour and disgrace.
Seeing Nie Yan approach, Guo Huai and a few others stepped forth.
“So how did I do?” Guo Huai asked. With this display of might, from now on, no one would dare to look down on them!
“You did a great job. It’s too bad Bladelight, Young Seven, and them can’t be here to see this,” Nie Yan said with regret.
“It can’t be helped. They’re barred from entering the city.” Tang Yao sighed.
“It’ll probably take them at least three to four days to clear their red names,” Nie Yan said. Excluding Young Seven, the kill counts of the others were all above fifty.
“Boss Nirvana Flame is formidable!” shouted the guild members on either side of the street after seeing Nie Yan. All of them were quite emotional.
Watching this group of impassioned players, Tang Yao smiled. “It’s better if I hand over the position of guild leader back to you. My so-called title of Number One on the Leaderboards isn’t nearly as resounding as your Mad Rogue.”
Nie Yan’s original intention of letting Tang Yao become the guild leader was so that he could keep a low-profile. However, he was now already known to everyone because of the nickname of the Mad Rogue spreading like wildfire on the official forums. There was no way he could continue working from the shadows.
“I also feel that it’s more appropriate for you to be the guild leader. Your name is already out there, anyway. The name of the Mad Rogue has more rallying power. It’ll be beneficial to the guild’s growth in the future. Besides, it’s all the same no matter which one of us brothers take on the role of guild leader. It’s just a position, nothing more,” urged Guo Huai.
Nie Yan thought for a moment, then nodded his head. “Alright, I’ll be the guild leader.”
Tang Yao transferred over the position to Nie Yan.
When the rest of the guild members discovered that the guild leader changed to Nie Yan, they let out loud cheers.
“Boss Nirvana Flame is formidable! The guild leader is formidable!”
Nie Yan becoming the guild leader was only natural.
The entire course of events of Nie Yan’s welcoming ceremony was recorded and posted online, giving the people on the forums another huge shock. This was Asskickers United flaunting their strength. Truthfully, the formidable strength Asskickers United revealed was stunning!
Netizens started to get into heated discussions about Asskickers United. Their position in the eyes of players already surpassed established major guilds like Victorious Return and Holy Empire. Many experts even expressed their intentions of joining Asskickers United. To them, a guild filled with powerful experts was extremely attractive. There would be plenty strong guildmates to compare notes with, so they could improve themselves. Otherwise, the gap between them and the top ranking players would only grow wider and wider. Even some professional players who had no interest in being tied down by a guild started having thoughts of joining Asskickers United. The people who inquired about entering the guild included relatively famous players like Hapless Frog1 and Aria Sorrow, the sixteenth player on the professional leaderboards.
Guo Huai was responsible for negotiations with these players. Asskickers United had very lax restrictions for players of such caliber, offering them extremely generous terms. Because the guild attracted so many well-known players, thereby bolstering its presence, the recruitment of ordinary players was also progressing smoothly. Due to the number of member slots in the guild being limited, Guo Huai found himself continuously raising the minimum requirements. However, the guild headquarters was still as packed as ever, flooded with an endless stream of new applicants.
Expand! Expand! Expand! After which they would ruthlessly crush Victorious Return!
Asskickers United was growing into a powerful entity no one dared to offend. Meanwhile, their sworn enemy, Victorious Return, was unusually silent. They didn’t release a single statement. In the past, the players from Victorious Return would frequently hurl abuse at those from Asskickers United on the forums. However, now, they had completely disappeared. Even their presence in the game became extremely scarce.
However, beneath this tranquility lay a strong undercurrent ready to surge forth. It was simply the calm before the storm.
Even though Victorious Return had been ruthlessly beaten down, and they wouldn’t do anything for the time being, Nie Yan knew that they wouldn’t let this matter go.
Chapter 205 Teaser