Chapter 227 – Killing Intent!
The enmity between Aqua Smoke Stub and Clear Sky started when several members of Azure Falling Sky wanted to transfer over to a different gaming organization. To Smoke Stub, this request couldn’t be any simpler. Moving between organizations was common in the industry. Everyone would part without any hard feelings, and things would be less awkward if they crossed paths again in the future. However, Clear Sky evidently didn’t share these feelings. He ruthlessly swore at those who wished to leave and threatened to break their legs. Even so, they still chose to withdraw from Azure Falling Sky, with Smoke Stub receiving information later on revealing that they really did end up coming to bodily harm.
This matter resulted in Smoke Stub feeling that Clear Sky was too ruthless. No longer wishing to be associated with a person like this, he led his brothers out of Azure Falling Sky and created Withered Leaf. However, the establishment of his own gaming organization was filled with numerous twists and turns. Many of the people under him were hounded and assaulted; one even had their leg broken and ended up hospitalized for nearly half a year. All of this was orchestrated by Azure Falling Sky.
Only then did Withered Leaf and Azure Falling Sky become irreconcilable enemies. For a long time, Withered Leaf couldn’t run their operations smoothly because of the constant meddling of Azure Falling Sky. It wasn’t until Withered Leaf accepted the investment of the Tuoba Family Financial Group that Azure Falling Sky backed off, fearing the influence of this backer. However, such protection came at a heavy price, as every last member of Withered Leaf entered what basically amounted to a slave contract with the Tuoba Family.
The amount of effort Smoke Stub and his brothers poured into the gaming organization all this time was nothing short of remarkable. It was the only reason Withered Leaf had achieved its current successes, carrying a slew of impressive accomplishments.
The struggle between Withered Leaf and Azure Falling Sky never ceased. Both gaming organizations were generally evenly matched across the various virtual reality games they fought in. However, the reason Withered Leaf currently found itself at a disadvantage laid in the fact that it didn’t establish a guild immediately upon entering Conviction, though that was through no fault of Smoke Stub. After all, Azure Falling Sky was an autonomous entity, while Withered Leaf was subsidiary of the Tuoba Family.
As Smoke Stub recalled the brother who had his leg broken, his expression turned ferocious like a vicious beast, wishing for nothing more than to tear Clear Sky apart.
“Tuoba Family dog, today, I’m going to have you die in front of me! I bet losing your cherished War God’s Doctrine Set will pain you dearly!” Clear Sky sinisterly chuckled.
“A debt of blood will be repaid in blood! Today’s hatred won’t be forgotten!” Smoke Stub gritted his teeth as he tightly gripped his greatswords. He calmly calculated the likelihood of killing Clear Sky if he were to rush up and attempt to behead him right now, only to discover to his disappointment it was basically impossible unless Clear Sky remained motionless, letting him move and act as he wished.
“Hmph! Before worrying about revenge, you better start thinking about how you’re going to explain yourself to the Tuoba Family. If they find out you lost the War God’s Doctrine Set, they might really drive you away. You’ll truly become a stray mongrel!”
「Cold Peak, Wood Grace, cover me!」Smoke Stub commanded through the voice chat in a heavy tone. He was preparing to take on Clear Sky!
「Boss, don’t be rash. I just received word that Asskickers United is rushing over to back us up.」 Cold Peak put his hand over Smoke Stub’s arm, making him lower his sword.
Asskickers United? What are they coming here for? Smoke Stub knitted his brows. From the perspective of a guild leader, in the best interest of the guild, it absolutely wasn’t necessary for Nie Yan to help out Withered Leaf. After all, their relationship was purely that of contractor and contractee, and the duration of the contract was only one month. Withered Leaf joining Asskickers United temporarily was merely for the sake of obtaining a prince title in the Union of Assassins, and to scout out the true strength of the guild.
Was it worthwhile making an enemy out of Azure Falling Sky for a collaborative partner like them? No, it wasn’t! You could even say it was needlessly reckless!
Smoke Stub didn’t expect Nie Yan to bring all of Asskickers United with him on his arrival, so much so that he didn’t hesitate to offend Azure Falling Sky. His heart was filled with complicated emotions, as a few subordinates shared the declaration Nie Yan made in the guild chat, as well as the outcry of support from the players of Asskickers United demanding that the guild help Withered Leaf.
Smoke Stub sighed. He never thought the players of Asskickers United would truly come to view Withered Leaf as brothers who they were willing to rescue no matter the cost!
It was like if you didn’t even consider a person a friend, but they treated you like a sworn brother!
Smoke Stub couldn’t help but feel ashamed.「Everyone, defend! Try to stay alive while our brothers from Asskickers United make their way over! Even though we’ve only been in the guild for several days, they’re willing to offend Azure Falling Sky to rescue us! We can’t let their efforts go to waste! From this day onward, all the players of Asskickers United are brothers of our Withered Leaf, and we’ll never do anything to make them enemies. If this oath is ever violated, may the heavens strike us down!」
「Yes!」The players of Withered Leaf roared in unison.
The over three hundred surviving players of Withered Leaf formed a wide circle as they resolutely defended against the barrage of attacks from Azure Falling Sky.
As more enemies gathered in the area, the shower of spells raining down from the sky intensified, causing the players of Withered Leaf to gradually fall one after the other.
“Boss, forces from Asskickers United are moving in our direction. There’s at least ten thousand of them!” a subordinate whispered into Clear Sky’s ear.
Clear Sky’s expression darkened. Wasn’t Withered Leaf simply hire labour for Asskickers United? Why were they willing to help them out? Could it be that the information he received was wrong?
The Tuoba Family declared long ago that Withered Leaf joining Asskickers United was business, and that Withered Leaf wouldn’t be participating in any guild wars!
Clear Sky swept his gaze over Smoke Stub and the other surviving Withered Leaf players. They had already formed a tight, defensive circle. They would definitely be able to hold out for a while.
If they dallied any longer, Asskickers United’s forces would arrive. If he let Smoke Stub go now, it would be next to impossible to get another chance as good as this in the future.
Clear Sky hardened his resolve, then shouted to the elites beside him, “Everyone, break their defensive formation. Annihilate Withered Leaf!”
Just as his voice fell, everyone felt a violent fluctuation of magical energy in the distance before spotting scorching, red clouds congregating in the sky. Before long, raging flames began raining down, battering the numerous players from Azure Falling Sky.
Even though it wasn’t advanced magic, the spell still dealt astonishing damage. Soon, an empty section of space opened in the middle of the crowd of Azure Falling Sky players. Everything there was burned away!
Hordes of Asskickers United players rushed over from every direction. Several Warriors clad in full sets of Gold equipment charged straight out of the forest.
“Kill!” The players from Asskickers United let out thunderous battle cries. Resplendent Bladelight led the vanguard, enduring the impact of several hundred spells as he charged into the crowd of Mages. While his health fell bit by bit, a gentle radiance descended on him, restoring it back to full.
All the Mages from Azure Falling Sky paled with fright. Just where did such a perverse Fighter come from?
Bladelight attracted the attention of a great number of Mages. The Warriors behind him finally caught up, as they charged forward, sweeping away the enemy Mages.
Undying Scoundrel, Summer Bug, Miracle Dancer, and the other Mages from Asskickers United rained down a dense torrent of spells.「Bang! Bang! Bang!」Explosions rang out across the Warriors from Azure Falling Sky. A blanket of damage numbers with sky high values rose up into the air, as enemy players began toppling to the ground.
Undying Scoundrel rubbed his nose with a cheerful smile. “Such a lively gathering, how could we be left out?”
The elites of Asskickers United carried out a one-sided slaughter on Azure Falling Sky. Swaths of enemy players were annihilated without the ability to resist in the slightest. In terms of cooperation and judgement, the players from Azure Falling Sky simply couldn’t hold a candle to the Asskickers United players who were as brave as tigers!
“Hey, Smoke Stub, you really are no fun. With such a lively party going on here, how could you not invite us brothers from Asskickers United?” Almost like a ghost, Nie Yan materialized beside Smoke Stub with a faint smile.
Clear Sky, who was about to charge over, suddenly felt his blood run cold at the sight of Nie Yan. How did this Thief get in here? His forces outside were still engaged in fierce combat. With so many of his subordinates locking down the area, the fact that this player still somehow snuck past them was astonishing!
This appearance… the Mad Rogue, Nirvana Flame!
All of the surrounding Azure Falling Sky players felt like a heavy blow was dealt to their hearts, as their faces tightened with fear.
When the name of the Mad Rogue was mentioned, what almost everyone recalled was that unrivalled strike in Kiln Fire Woods!
Nie Yan’s presence on the battlefield was an immense deterrent. As long as he acted, anyone that he wished dead would almost certainly die. That was what was the most frightening!
With regards to the struggle between Withered Leaf and Azure Falling Sky, Nie Yan was knowledgeable about the history, albeit not by much. However, based on how Smoke Stub and Clear Sky conducted themselves, he could easily distinguish between who was unscrupulous or principled.
Smoke Stub’s group also didn’t expect Nie Yan to appear. He really was like a specter.
Listening to Nie Yan’s teasing words, Smoke Stub replied with an apologetic smile, “I was wrong in this matter. When we get back, I’ll apologize again to our brothers in Asskickers United!”
Brother—what a warm and sentimental way of address! Smoke Stub couldn’t help feel this way.
“Well, it seems things blew up. Victorious Return, Radiant Sacred Flame, and Holy Empire are about to arrive as well. Who knows whether or not more guilds will join in. This matter isn’t simply between Withered Leaf and Azure Falling Sky anymore.” Nie Yan’s gaze fell on a Paladin clad in silver-white armour among the crowd of Azure Falling Sky players. His eyes narrowed, while his lips curved into a thin smile. “That’s Clear Sky, I presume?”
“Right, that’s him.” Smoke Stub nodded. His eyes flashed with a cold light like the tip of a sharp blade.
Nie Yan examined the equipment on Smoke Stub’s body. It’s only been a few days, but this guy’s already got himself a War God’s Doctrine Set. Hmmm? Even dual-wielding greatswords, not bad. Quite valiant, indeed.
“How much time do you have left on Berserk Power?” Nie Yan asked.
“About a minute,” Smoke Stub replied. He was a little confused. Why did Nie Yan suddenly ask such a question?
“That Clear Sky seems pretty full of himself. What say you and I kill him together? He’s quite an eyesore just standing there,” Nie Yan offered in a casual tone as he played with the dagger in his hand.
The Withered Leaf players felt their hearts tremble. Clear Sky was protected by so many people. Perhaps, only Nie Yan would dare to utter such bold words.
“Are you confident?” Smoked Stub stared at Nie Yan, his eyes reflecting the stirred emotions in his heart.
Was the Mad Rogue about to bring about another legend?
Nie Yan waved his hand, then laughed in a helpless manner. “Of course not! We Thieves have very weak attack power. A hit from my dagger will only help a Paladin scratch an itch at best. He’s too tanky!”
Smoke Stub immediately understood the meaning behind these words. Nie Yan wanted his assisstance in killing Clear Sky!
“Help me kill Clear Sky, and from today onward… you, Nirvana Flame, will be my sworn brother!” Smoke Stub declared in a solemn tone.
“Oh? I’m a bit saddened that you don’t already think of me as a brother. Don’t worry, though. I’m the type who’s used to unreciprocated love.”
Smoke Stub knew Nie Yan was simply playing a joke. He let out an embarrassed laugh. Right at this moment, Nie Yan’s figure disappeared, signalling that he was making his move. Smoke Stub tightly gripped the greatswords in his hands, while his eyes beamed with killing intent!