Chapter 217 – Defeat of Holy Empire
“If we clear out the Mechanical Golems in the area, we might be able to cobble together an entire Everlasting Set. The drop rates are higher when exploring new maps,” Nie Yan encouraged the team. Although the pieces of the Everlasting Silver Set were rare, their drop rate wasn’t outrageous. Adding onto this was the fact they were the first to clear this map, so there was a definite hope of them collecting all the pieces of the set.
If Asskickers United had an extremely powerful Fighter, the entire guild would be able to obtain equipment an entire tier better than what they had now. The main team’s gear was already lagging behind their level at this point.
With the knowledge that the Everlasting Set could drop from this area, everyone worked even harder. Sun and the Warriors ran deeper into the city, luring wave after wave of Mechanical Golems over to the square.
Nie Yan just sat there, launching one Basic Magic Bomb after another almost non-stop. Mechanical Golem corpses piled up almost as fast as they disappeared.
The group’s levels continued to soar.
Nie Yan glanced at the level leaderboards. Asskickers United occupied the first, third, fifth, sixth, and seventh spots. Of course, there were also the players like Nie Yan who kept their levels hidden from the leaderboards. To have a single guild occupy half of the top 10 was already shocking enough. Taking up the entire top ten would truly be too brash.
The playerbase was going wild. Asskickers United was too powerful. Almost the entire upper half of the level leaderboards belonged to them.
Countless players flooded toward the Asskickers United headquarters, even more frenzied than before. Many of the new applicants held thoughts of freeloading in their minds. Perhaps, Nie Yan would be in a good mood one day and decide to take everyone on a group power-leveling session, allowing them to instantly level up several times over without having to grind. Guo Huai continued to raise the bar for new applicants, even requiring them to pass a series of tests now. For every hundred players wanting to join Asskickers United, perhaps only a mere five or six of them would actually get the chance to join.
There had never been such a guild before. One that imposed harsh requirements on potential members and still had skilled players lining up to join. The ones that didn’t make the cut weren’t just sent on their way. For them, Guo Huai established two branch guilds, Mages’ Division and Warriors’ Division, which absorbed members from the crowd of rejected players. Despite being branch guilds, they shared a collective treasury with Asskickers United.
Asskickers United had a slow and controlled growth, as each and every member could be considered amongst the elites of an ordinary guild. The sheer concentration of experts would leave any onlooker utterly speechless.
At first, the players who joined Asskickers United early on sighed in relief. Many of them had no confidence in passing the entrance test. However, Guo Huai quickly made their hearts sink to rock-bottom with the announcement of mandatory testing for all members a week later. Those who could not pass would be relegated to a branch division. They would have to work hard and pass the test if they wanted to rejoin the main guild. On the other side of the coin, those that did pass the test would receive far greater benefits than before. With both harsh penalties and abundant rewards on the line, all members desperately tried to improve themselves in preparation.
Additionally, the in-game currency collection was a spectacular success. In order to wear strong gear at Level 30, the members of Asskickers United donated a large sum of money to the guild. The average guild member could find over a dozen Silver to spare, while the richest players donated up to one or even two Gold. It was only now that Guo Huai realized just how filthy rich the members of Asskickers United were. Even the poorest of them scraped together enough Silver to take advantage of the good merit point exchange rate, redeeming their points for various pieces of equipment.
There was already 1,200 Gold in the guild’s treasury, but the frenzied donations had only just begun.
「You’re certainly impressive. I was wondering why so many players came all at once to our headquarters to apply to the guild. I took a break and checked the leaderboards… like half of it is ours! It took us until now to handle this wave of applicants,」Guo Huai messaged. Asskickers United had such a spectacular lineup on the level leaderboards!
「How much Gold has the guild collected so far?」Nie Yan inquired.
「We’re already at 1200 Gold, and it’s still going up. I predict we’ll have two to three thousand Gold by tomorrow.」
Nie Yan sank into thought. Even Guo Huai’s higher estimate of three thousand Gold might not be enough for the auction house at the center of Calore. He needed to prepare some extra money from other sources. Fortunately, the Starry Night Potion Shop had also accumulated quite a bit of profit.
「There’s something important I have to tell you about. Radiant Sacred Flame and Holy Empire both just upgraded to Level 5 guilds, and fought a major guild war,」Guo Huai informed. He received this information only moments ago.
Nie Yan responded in surprise,「Wow, they’re fast. They’re even a step ahead of Victorious Return on that front.」
「Victorious Return really took a hit during your escapade at Kiln Fire Woods. They fell flat on their faces, losing more than half of their elites. It’ll take them some time and effort to catch back up before they can push for Level 5.」
「How did the war between Radiant Sacred Flame and Holy Empire go?」Nie Yan urgently inquired. Asskickers United agreed to an alliance with Holy Empire not long ago, while Radiant Sacred Flame was affiliated with Victorious Return. The outcome of this conflict would directly affect the interests of Asskickers United.
「Holy Empire lost–miserably. They sent an army of fifty thousand to the battlefield, only to have two-thirds of them die. Radiant Sacred Flame barely lost ten thousand people.」Guo Huai sighed deeply. If Holy Empire was dealt a fatal blow, Asskickers United would lose a trustworthy ally.
「How did Holy Empire lose that badly?」Nie Yan was shocked.
「No one expected Radiant Sacred Flame to be so strong. They have a unit of a thousand Berserkers, all armed to the teeth with terrifying equipment. That group alone slaughtered Holy Empire to the point where there was nothing they could even do. Here, I’ll send you a video of the battle,」Guo Huai explained as he forwarded the video to Nie Yan.
At first, Holy Empire and Radiant Sacred Flame fought each other to a standstill. Although casualties were high, neither side suffered meaningful losses. That changed when Radiant Sacred Flame struck out with their thousand Berserker battalion. Like a sharp dagger, it cut through Holy Empire’s front line and began massacring the players in the rear. Holy Empire could only sound a full retreat. Despite using immense efforts to kill the thousand Berserker battalion, they couldn’t. Holy Empire was unable to salvage the situation as over a hundred Berserkers got out unscathed.
Holy Empire was dealt a crippling blow, but Radiant Sacred Flame hadn’t gotten off lightly either. Taking a breather, both sides set up camp and began to recuperate.
Nie Yan understood why the two guilds were in such a bitter conflict. Holy Empire and Radiant Sacred Flame had simultaneously risen to Level 5 guilds. With two guild promoting to Level 5, a small stronghold would open in Calore. The competition to control the stronghold made the guilds’ fight to the death finally make sense.
He predicted that a few days later, both guilds would send out an army of two thousand for another bout. Before the stronghold’s owner was decided, one final battle would erupt.
Both guilds would certainly ask for aid from other parties. Nie Yan expected Holy Empire to come to Asskickers United for help. He also felt certain that Sleepy Fox would also beseech the help of Sapphire Shrine and Battle Crazed Alliance. He might even try to hire some experts from major gaming organizations. Radiant Sacred Flame would definitely be doing the same with its allies.
The war of the guilds was far from over. Before the stronghold had an owner, both guilds were fated to clash. For now, the first round was won by Radiant Sacred Flame, putting Holy Empire at a disadvantage. In the previous timeline, Holy Empire had been able to hold its own despite constantly being inferior to both Radiant Sacred Flame and Victorious Return.
「Give our guild members a heads up, telling them to earn more guild Honour in preparation for our upgrade to Level 4,」Nie Yan instructed. Asskickers United was simply established too late. Because of that, they were far behind Holy Empire, Radiant Sacred Flame, and the other major guilds. Asskickers United needed to pick up its pace. Strongholds were a guild’s true foundation for progress.
「I’m currently arranging it. We’re not far off from Level 4. You gotta return Bladelight and Young Seven to us soon, though.」Resplendent Bladelight and Leader Young Seven were needed because they were the leaders of the guild’s main team.
「They’re almost Level 30, so they’ll head back soon,」Nie Yan said. The people who hit Level 30 had already voluntarily left the party to avoid leeching experience. Even so, Nie Yan’s supply of Basic Magic Bombs dwindled rapidly, and as they did, Bladelight and Young Seven got ever so close to Level 30.
「Another group is here to join the guild.」
「Alright then, you go deal with them,」Nie Yan said. The guild’s affairs came first.
Over the course of killing nearly 3,000 Mechanical Golems, their group found pieces of the Everlasting Set here and there. They actually managed to grab six parts of the set: the Heavy Shield, Chestplate, Gauntlets, Cape, Horned Helmet, and Leg Armour. They even got a spare Cape and Horned Helmet. Their luck was good, and they only lacked two pieces now.
As another batch of Mechanical Golems was blasted into smithereens, Resplendent Bladelight finally reached Level 30. He put five points into Dexterity, which gave him just enough to equip the Everlasting Set. The dark metallic gear flashed with an impressive luster. With it on, Bladelight seemed immoveable and incredibly well-armoured. Mysterious runes shone on the surface, radiating a frigid aura.
“Just gotta grab the Greaves and Shoulder Guards now,” Nie Yan commented. Once they got the final two pieces, the set would be complete. “What are your stats now?”
“I have 1653 Defense, 35% Block Rate, 43% Magic Resistance, and over 1,200 health,” Resplendent Bladelight answered. Fighters already had higher defense and health than other classes, but Bladelight’s current stats were insane. With this set equipped, he could be said to be ridiculously overpowered.
Nie Yan frowned and asked, “What about your attack?”
“Three hundred and seventy,” Bladelight replied. He also felt that something was off here. “My defenses make me an impregnable fortress, but I can’t hold aggro with such low attack. It’s a huge problem if a boss’s aggro doesn’t concentrate on me.”
“Get a bunch of high-aggro skills, I guess. Have Guo Huai find some skill books for you. Next time we do a guild activity, we’ll find a good one-handed sword for you to use,” Nie Yan promised. Just his defense alone made Resplendent Bladelight worthy of being called the number one Fighter in the game. If his stats were leaked to other Fighters, they would probably go crazy with shame and envy.
With such an overpowered Fighter, the guild could do a lot of things that it couldn’t before. Nie Yan suddenly had an idea. After we finish leveling here, we could go look for a Super Variant Lord to test ourselves, and pick up a Sub Legendary item while we’re at it.