Chapter 232 – Fleeing After Making a Killing
Victorious Return and Radiant Sacred Flame suffered over 8,000 casualities, while Asskickers United only lost around 2,000. Just based on the number of losses, it was crystal clear which was the superior force.
Victorious Return and Radiant Sacred Flame were progressively beaten back. Several of their players attempted to cast advanced magic, but all of them were interrupted mid-cast. In this sort of chaotic clash, unless the person was protected by numerous powerful individuals, it truly wasn’t easy to use spells with such long cast-times.
So long as Nie Yan remained on the battlefield, no Mage from Victorious Return or Radiant Sacred Flame would be allowed to cast advanced magic. Before they could finish chanting a set of syllables, he would’ve already materialized behind them. After all, the fluctuation of magical energy given off by advanced magic being cast was extremely distinct. Unless the caster possessed something like a Legendary-grade Illusion Ring, these fluctuations were nigh impossible to conceal. Combined with the fact that all advanced magic had base cast times of at least 20–30 seconds—requiring two to three sets of incantation syllables and gestures or more—he had ample time to stop them from being cast.
This was one of the reasons why Magisters were so afraid of Shadow Dancers in the previous timeline. These players who could vanish and reappear unpredictably would frequently interrupt them while in the middle of casting advanced magic. No matter how many Warriors, Paladins, and Priests a Magister had by their side, Shadow Dancers were impossible to defend against assuredly. Not only this, but after a Shadow Dancer got off an ambush, they could immediately retreat, and no one could stop them. Just like that, a Magic Talisman which took an hour or more to inscribe would completely go to waste.
Under the leadership of Nie Yan and the others, the players from Asskickers United were bursting with morale. With unstoppable momentum, they routed the forces of Radiant Sacred Flame and Victorious Return, causing the spectating Holy Empire players to be left speechless. Asskickers United’s advancing speed was too frightening. They were like bulldozers plowing through enemy lines.
As long as an army was well-coordinated, even defeating a rival army several times their size wouldn’t be anything difficult. Whether in terms of individual player strength or synergy between players, Victorious Return and Radiant Sacred Flame fell far short of Asskickers United.
“Damn! Are these guys on steroids!?” a Holy Empire player exclaimed. He could only use these sort of words to describe how he felt right now. The players from Asskickers United were valiant beyond compare. This fighting spirit was too overwhelming!
Seeing that Radiant Sacred Flame and Victorious Return were retreating, Asskickers United’s players displayed even more might and mettle as they ruthlessly pursued the enemy.
Half an hour later, Victorious Return and Radiant Sacred Flame lost over 10,000 players, while Asskickers United only lost around 4,000. Even Heaven Breaker and Nightbreak Trickster couldn’t help but gasp in alarm at the frightening fighting strength of their opponent.
「Boss! We can’t hold them off any longer!」
「We can’t either!」
「What the hell are you all shaking in your boots for!? In ten minutes, 100,000 players will arrive to reinforce us! Do you really think we’ll lose to these bastards?」Heaven Breaker loudly berated.
Both Heaven Breaker and Nightbreak Trickster found themselves being overwhelmed by the players of Asskickers United, so they had no choice but to call in reinforcements from the outside. The two major guilds could rally an earthshaking force.
「You guys sure are fierce. The 30,000 players of your guild are beating 60,000 players from Radiant Sacred Flame and Victorious Return so badly they can barely fight back,」Sleepy Fox whispered to Nie Yan through chat. If the people under him were even half as valiant as the players from Asskickers United, he would be satisfied.
「Over 100,000 players from Victorious Return and Radiant Sacred Flame have set out toward our location. What do we do?」Nie Yan had just received word from Guo Huai. Only Victorious Return and Radiant Sacred Flame could mobilize so many people.
「I just summoned over 30,000 players from my side, and Sapphire Shrine is arriving with over 50,000 players. What’s there to be afraid of!? They want to duke it out? We’ll duke it out with them!」Sleepy Fox was full of hot blooded vigour. Looking at the current progress of the battle, he believed they had a good chance of obtaining a complete victory over Radiant Sacred Flame and Victorious Return.
「Are you sure Sapphire Shrine will help us?」Nie Yan asked. He remained cool-headed. If Sapphire Shrine continued to be indecisive, it would have a huge impact on the outcome of this battle.
「With a cunning old fox like Fa Lan, it really is hard to say. Knowing him, he won’t enter a conflict so easily.」Sleepy Fox calmed down somewhat. Sapphire Shrine was most likely just putting on a show of force in an attempt to deter Radiant Sacred Flame and Victorious Return. Fa Lan’s position was still unclear. If a full-blown war broke out and Sapphire Shrine remained on the sidelines, the final outcome for Holy Empire and Asskickers United would be disastrous.
「I say we forget it this time. There’s too much risk involved. We should engineer a plan to have Sapphire Shrine fall out with Victorious Return and Radiant Sacred Flame some other time. Make it so that old fox will have no choice but to stand on our side,」Nie Yan said. He couldn’t help but act with caution. At least for now, Fa Lan wasn’t a reliable ally because they had nothing important enough to fully bind Sapphire Shrine to their side.
Listening to these words, Sleepy Fox could only stay silent. Nie Yan was too sinister. However, that really was the best method to deal with a cunning old fox like Fa Lan.
「What do we do now?」
「Wait for us to finish off this final batch of players. We’ll retreat into Twilight Forest,」Nie Yan said. So long as Asskickers United retreated into the forest, the outcome of this battle would no longer be settled just because the other side possessed more numbers.
「That’s fine, but hurry up. Radiant Sacred Flame and Victorious Return’s reinforcements are about to arrive. Be careful when you’re retreating and—」Just as Sleepy Fox wanted to warn Nie Yan not to let the enemy take advantage of them while they retreated, something unimaginable occurred before his eyes.
The Warriors from Asskickers United halted their pursuit and started retreating, leaving the players from Radiant Sacred Flame and Victorious Return stunned and wondering why their enemy suddenly stopped the chase. Before any of them could react to what just transpired, countless area-of-effect spells rained down from the sky between the two forces. After which the players from Asskickers United retreated to the forest like a rapidly receding tide.
Coming and going like the wind!
Some players from Radiant Sacred Flame and Victorious Return wanted to pursue. But none of them dared to approach the curtain of destructive magic; to go up meant facing certain death. Not to mention many of them were cowed after receiving such a severe beating. They were fleeing with all their might just a moment ago. Who among them were willing to give chase knowing full well they would only be throwing their lives away?
They just stood there with vacant looks on their faces. By the time the shower of area-of-effect magic subsided, the players from Asskickers United had already retreated over 20 meters away.
「Chase them!」Heaven Breaker shouted through the voice chat. If he allowed Asskickers United to get away just like that, wouldn’t all of his efforts have gone to waste, to say nothing of the over 100,000 players already on the way here? So long as he stalled them until reinforcements arrived, they would definitely be crushed beneath his feat!
The players from Victorious Return and Radiant Sacred Flame rushed forward, but the enemy had already long retreated into the forest. The members of Asskickers United weren’t disorganized like those from other guilds. Under the coordination of every squad leader, they were completely in sync.
They set up solid defensive lines along the forest edge in preparation to repel the forces of Victorious Return and Radiant Sacred Flame, while the remaining players dispersed into the forest.
Heaven Breaker was fuming with anger. They suffered such a great loss at the hands of Asskickers United. Because their frontlines were constantly forced back throughout the battle, they weren’t able to retrieve any of the equipment dropped; the enemy pocketed every last piece of it! Now, after not suffering any real damage, they retreated just like that? How could he not feel infuriated!?
Nightbreak Trickster quickly prevented Heaven Breaker from doing anything rash. “If we chase after them in the forest, we definitely won’t be their match!” He noticed early on that the players on the opposing side were far stronger than his own. The stark difference in ability left him shocked. Just where did Asskickers United find so many talented individuals? He knew when to advance, and when to retreat. If they entered the forest, they would assuredly suffer even more severe losses!
“We’re going to let them go…? Just like that?” Heaven Breaker sounded a little unwilling. He experienced the bitter taste of defeat yet again at the hands of Asskickers United.
“What else can we do? Do you want us to charge into Twilight Forest?” Nightbreak Trickster rebuked. He was clearly aware of the immense risks of such a foolish act. Who knew how many more men they would lose?
After cooling his head, Heaven Breaker also understood such a charge would end up disastrously. If they had successfully held up Asskickers United until reinforcements arrived, there was a good chance of defeating them by relying on the superiority in numbers. However, now that they had retreated into the forest, let alone defeating them, even catching them would be as hard as scaling the heavens. Do not rashly enter the forest for there are hidden dangers lurking everywhere.1 He still understood this most basic reasoning.
“Holy Empire and Sapphire Shrine have gathered almost 80,000 players. If we enter the forest, those forces will move to surround us,” Nightbreak Trickers said. If Sapphire Shrine entered this conflict, the outcome would be hard to predict. If they won, they would gain success overnight. If they lost, they would be pushed to the brink of hopelessness. No one would dare to brave such risk. It was better to just forget it, take the loss, and withdraw for the time being.
“Sapphire Shrine hasn’t joined their side, has it?” Heaven Breaker knitted his brows and asked in a gloomy tone.
“That’s hard to say. After all, that old bastard Fa Lan did interfere during the incident outside of Black Flame Forest.”
Heaven Breaker angrily gnashed his teeth. He could only silently accept Nightbreak Tricker’s decision as he ordered his forces to withdraw.
“Victorious Return and Radiant Sacred Flame are leaving,” Sleepy Fox said as the tense look on his face finally relaxed. He never expected Asskickers United to be able to get away so cleanly from such a chaotic melee. Using the cover of magic to quickly withdraw from a battle, this method was worth borrowing for himself. However, this sort of thing could only be pulled off when your own side held the advantage; otherwise, if your frontline was constantly being pushed back, the Mages in your backline would never get the opportunity to cast their area-of-effect spells.
Nie Yan also heaved a sigh of relief. This time, they had lost over 5,000 players but killed over 18,000 players from Radiant Sacred Flame and Victorious Return. All the dropped equipment also went to his side. He dealt the enemy a small blow while also earning a significant profit. Most importantly, though, this conflict greatly boosted the morale of his guild. Many guild brothers were still stirring with excitement from their most recent victory.
“How come they’re retreating so quickly? I still want to kill more of them!”
“Right! We got to kill those Radiant Sacred Flame and Victorious Return bastards to our heart’s content. Many of them didn’t even dare to fight back. All they did was run. I killed six of them!”
“I killed three. The Warriors on the frontlines killed the most. Some people even broke past a hundred!”
These players discussed with great fervour. Listening to their conversations, Nie Yan couldn’t help but smile. When they were fighting it out with Radiant Sacred Flame and Victorious Return, he’d held a bit of worry in his heart. However, after they won, that worry completely disappeared.