Chapter 213 – Honour
Nie Yan decided it was best to first have Guo Huai thoroughly investigate Wei Kai and understand his circumstances before making a decision. Wei Kai was like a ferocious tiger cub. When carefully groomed, he would prove to be a highly useful helper. However, if they weren’t careful, he might come back to bite them in the ass. Nie Yan had to hold enough over Wei Kai to ensure absolute loyalty. He left Guo Huai in charge of this matter.
Looking at the time, he saw that it was almost time to log in. He put on his game helmet, then entered the game.
Yao Yao, Sun, and the others were already online.
“Mornin’, Nirvana Flame.”
“Good morning, Big Brother!”
“Boss Nirvana Flame, Morning.”
After greeting them, Nie Yan suggested, “Let’s continue farming Elites.” With the new day, all the Elites and Sub Elites in the area had respawned. For this group of people, killing Elite Scaled Frogs was an easy task. Taking care of all of them only took half an hour, after which the group split up to go farm ordinary Scaled Frogs on their own.
After killing a Scaled Frog, Nie Yan’s head suddenly snapped up to look around the forest. He had felt something looking at him for a while now, and the feeling had gotten stronger after the group split up. However, despite scanning the forest multiple times, he hadn’t seen anything of note.
He understood that he was being targeted. He had both a good sense for danger and a high Awareness stat, which allowed him to vaguely feel the other party watching him.
Since he hadn’t seen anything, the other person was probably in stealth. It might be a Thief!
Nie Yan’s left hand subconsciously touched the hilt of his dagger as he delved deeper into the woods, further and further from the rest of his team.
Nie Yan guessed that whoever it was probably was afraid to appear if his teammates were nearby. Therefore, he left the group to try and lure the snake out of its hole.
Looking down at his skills, he made sure they were all off cooldown.
As he made his way through the forest, he eventually wandered a few thousand meters from the rest of his team.
Save for some croaking, the forest was silent. The morning mist drifted slowly, adding a graceful feeling to the tranquil woods. A cold morning breeze blew gently, gradually clearing the fog.
Seeing a Scaled Frog in front of him, Nie Yan snuck up behind it and attacked, but refrained from using his skills. He absentmindedly fought the frog as his focus remained on the tree line, scouring for movement.
Their stealth is rather high. Even with my high Awareness, I still haven’t been able to locate them.
After a while, the Scaled Frog fell to Nie Yan’s ordinary attacks and weapon bleed damage, collapsing onto the ground.
Still not going to act?
Nie Yan headed toward another Scaled Frog. The stalker still refused to attack, despite Nie Yan leaving some false openings on purpose. They just kept following behind him, unshakeable but also not doing anything.
Their patience is amazing. They’re probably going to be a strong opponent.
As Nie Yan searched for more Scaled Frogs, he suddenly became alert. The presence behind him was gone.
Could he have left already?
Nie Yan told his suspicions to his teammates, instructing them to be careful and reminding the red named players not to move about on their own. Additionally, he told Guo Huai about this development and asked him to keep watch on Victorious Return’s forces. They had to be prepared well in advance in case Victorious Return sent people to the Scaled Frog spawn zone.
However, according to the current average level of Victorious Return’s troops, they probably wouldn’t take the risk of coming to this Level 30 area.
Nie Yan also might’ve simply come across a random player.
Thinking that his stalker might’ve gone away, Nie Yan loosened up a bit. Shifting his thoughts, he once more went through the motions of trying to send Black Hell a message. He hadn’t expected it to actually go through this time.
「Hello,」Nie Yan sent.
「Hello,」Black Hell sent back, secretly thinking that Nie Yan was obviously after his Chapter of Harmony.
Black Hell had a rather deep voice. Nie Yan took his age to be around thirty years old.
「I want to purchase the Chapter of Harmony from you. What do you think is a reasonable price?」Nie Yan got straight to the point. Having played the game for a while, everyone could be considered to have come to a common understanding. Instead of exchanging pleasantries, it was better to just cut to the chase.
「I refuse to even consider selling the Chapter of Harmony unless you can beat me in battle.」Even with Nie Yan’s background as the guild leader of Asskickers United, Black Hell didn’t even consider the trade.
From his words, Nie Yan realized what kind of person Black Hell was. He seemed to be one of those conceited types.
Beat him in battle, is it? Nie Yan toyed with the dagger in his hand for a bit, his eyes glinting coldly.
「I don’t want to sour our relationship too much. Gaining a friend is better than making an enemy.」As the guild leader, strength was a prerequisite, but he couldn’t make too many enemies either. This was especially important for a fledgling guild like Asskickers United. He still had thoughts of recruiting both Black Heaven and Black Hell. After all, Black Heaven would become an Archbishop with equal fame to Leader Young Seven in the future! He had no choice but to consider things from the guild’s perspective.
After a moment of silence, Black Hell proposed,「How about we make a bet?」 He wasn’t afraid of Nie Yan, but he just wanted to quietly play the game. Having to fend off wave after wave of Asskickers United players would make that impossible. That would completely defeat the point.
「What kind of bet?」Nie Yan asked.
「I think the winner of our duel should get the chapters. Afterwards, we wouldn’t be allowed to find each other about this matter,」Black Hell suggested. He believed this to be the best solution: if they couldn’t come to an agreement, just have a bet! With the system overseeing the bet and forcibly enforcing the terms, there wouldn’t be any worries about the other side refusing to pay up afterwards.
Nie Yan chuckled,「Yeah, right. Don’t you think that such a simple bet is unfair when there’s four chapters in my hands and only one in yours? Plus, you’ve restricted me from using my guild while not limiting yourself in any way.」Their strengths were not equal. Nie Yan could potentially send Asskickers United players to look for Black Hell afterwards and retake the chapters, but Black Hell wouldn’t be giving up anything. This bet was clearly not balanced.
「You tell me what you think is fair, then.」Black Hell wanted to hear what Nie Yan wanted out of a bet. If this matter could be settled with a gamble, all the better. If not, then he wouldn’t hesitate to fight. He never feared anyone!
「Do you have a companion called Black Heaven?」Nie Yan inquired. Black Heaven and Black Hell would theoretically be together.
Black Hell’s heart turned cold. In a chilly voice, he demanded, 「How did you know?」He and Black Heaven had been extremely discreet, with almost no one knowing their habits. Even most of their fellow guildmates had no idea who they were. For Nie Yan to be able to investigate them was truly no easy feat.
「I naturally have my own sources.」Nie Yan was very satisfied with the effect he had created. 「How about we change up the stakes a bit. If I win, the two of you have to quit Dark Hero and join Asskickers United as well as hand over the Chapter of Harmony. In return, if you win, I will give you all four of the chapters I hold. Additionally, I won’t use my guild to get them back, and will even help you complete Volume I in the future. This should be fair for both of us.」
Although he felt that Nie Yan’s offer was already pretty generous, Black Hell still refused, 「Leaving Dark Hero is unacceptable.」
「Dark Hero has long since been declining. With your skills, is staying there even worth it?」Nie Yan was puzzled as to why Black Hell was so adamant about staying in his guild.
「It’s not a question of worthiness,」Black Hell answered.「Although I refuse to leave Dark Hero, I can agree on behalf of Black Heaven to have him join your guild as part of this bet.」
Nie Yan considered the counter-offer for a bit before deciding that Black Heaven was enough. Black Hell might have some kind of trouble that prevented him from leaving Dark Hero. Plus, he had never heard of Black Hell in the previous timeline. In contrast, Black Heaven’s name rang like thunder with his status as one of the Seven Archbishops. For the latter to join Asskickers United was enough.
An Archbishop! That was a character with utmost power in the game, someone who could single-handedly change the course of a battle. Nie Yan had to recruit Black Heaven no matter the cost!
If Black Hell is able to decide for Black Heaven, does that mean that, of the two, Black Hell is more powerful?
But even if Black Hell was stronger, he was still just a Shadow Priest. In terms of what he could do for the guild as a whole, a Shadow Priest couldn’t hold a candle to a Holy Priest.
「I accept.」Although he would only get Black Heaven, that was enough for him. This ought to be amusing: putting an Archbishop and five chapters of the Book of Order on the line in a single PvP duel.
Nie Yan sent over a copy of the betting contract, and both parties signed the agreement. Since they had signed a system-enforced contract, both sides were at ease and didn’t need to worry about the other party reneging.
「I’ll go find you. I’ll be there within twenty minutes,」Black Hell said as he cut off the call.
Within twenty minutes? It seems like he’s already in the area. Nie Yan continued to wander the forest, killing a Scaled Frog every so often as he waited for Black Hell to arrive.
Deep in the forest, a Shadow Priest and a Holy Priest were currently in the midst of a conversation.
“Big Brother, if you lose, will I really have to join Asskickers United?” Black Heaven asked. His heart was filled with sadness as he understood that Black Hell agreed to do this in order to not hinder his future progress.
“Remember this: no matter where you go, you must be a person who keeps his word. The current Dark Hero is no longer the guild we remember. Those who left are all wretched bastards. Every single one of them! Alas, back then, I should never have left Dark Hero to Murky Gray1,” Black Hell lamented.
Black Heaven sighed lightly. He understood how Black Hell truly felt about Dark Hero as it was right now. However, within Dark Hero there was still a certain someone. Although she was already a married woman now, Black Hell had still sworn to protect her for a lifetime.
Whether it was the promise or just his emotions was already a moot question.
“Little Brother, you deserve more room to grow, like a dragon soaring into the heavens. You shouldn’t limit yourself by just following me around,” Black Hell encouraged as he patted Black Heaven’s shoulder. However, his lonely voice just sounded bleak.