Chapter 263 – Sinful Gorge
Nie Yan sank into deep thought. With Century Financial Group withdrawing their presence from Calore, he felt some slight concern toward the uncertain future. But beyond that, he couldn’t help but wonder what would change. Where would Cao Xu inject his capital? Which guilds would he end up buying? Would he still continue setting his eyes on Asskickers United and the War God Tribe?
But regardless of what unfolded, raising his strength was the top priority. So long as Asskickers United reached a certain level of power in the game, there would be no reason to fear Century Financial Group.
Nie Yan no longer lingered on this thought, turning his attention on dealing with Victorious Return and Radiant Sacred Flame.
“I’m going to head over to Sinful Gorge. You guys stay safe. Don’t move without my word,” Nie Yan ordered. Like this, they wouldn’t fall into any ambushes the enemy set up ahead.
Nie Yan was the first to leave town. He summoned the Faulkner Warhorse and rode off, leaving behind a trail of dust.
The players stared at his departing figure in shock.
Nie Yan was riding a mount?
None of them had ever seen a mount before, let alone see a player ride one! Those found in NPC stables sold for at least 50 gold, some for even as much as several hundred gold. And they weren’t even that great! Nie Yan’s horse clearly belonged to a superior breed.
Clad in silver plate armour, Nie Yan’s Faulkner Warhorse was gallant and brimming with power. It was fast enough to frighten players walking along the road. Just what was the movement speed bonus on that mount?
“Oh shit, the boss has a mount! Why did he never mention this before?”
“That horse looks pretty awesome! I wonder where he got it? Did he buy it?”
“No way! Even if he bankrupted the guild, I still doubt he’d have the gold to afford a mount like that.” Undying Scoundrel shook his head. “He must’ve gotten it from a quest.”
Even the most affordable mounts which increased movement speed by only 50% were currently beyond the reach of an average player. Those with movement speed bonuses of 100% cost upwards of several hundred gold, while the faster ones at 200% or higher were worth several thousand gold. As for the Faulkner Warhorse? Its movement speed bonus was clearly much higher than 200%! Nie Yan would have to empty out the entire guild treasury if he wished to purchase such a mount!
The envy in the atmosphere was palpable. Not only did Nie Yan have all sorts of amazing equipment, but he also owned such a kickass mount!
Nie Yan galloped along the main road as the surrounding scenery blurred past him. Before long, he arrived at the outskirts of Sinful Gorge. He scouted around and discovered the presence of players from Victorious Return and Radiant Sacred Flame as well as Holy Empire and Sapphire Shrine. They were keeping watch.
Just as Nie Yan was passing through a patch of forest, he spotted a Thief from Victorious Return walking out onto the trail from some trees up ahead.
The Thief’s eyes widened in astonishment.
Fuck! Why is my luck so shit!? Why is the Mad Rogue here of all places? He’s even riding a goddamn mount! What a guy!
Even from over ten meters away, the Thief still recognized Nie Yan at a glance. His appearance was familiar to countless players.
At this moment, a shadowy figure jumped out from between the trees and dashed toward the Thief with blinding speed.
The Thief was about to raise his dagger to defend when he was struck in the back of the head. He felt sharp pain piercing through his back, followed by a cold blade sliding past his throat. The last thing he saw was his blood splattered across the dirt before blacking out.
The new arrival bent down over the corpse and picked up his spoils of battle.
Nie Yan stopped the Faulkner Warhorse to observe the battle. Not bad, I wonder which guild he belongs to. This mysterious Thief seemed to be around Level 23 or 24. Besides the dagger, the rest of his equipment was mediocre, perhaps Silver-grade at best.
On closer look this Thief was a member of Asskickers United! His name was Tyrannical, which sounded vaguely familiar to Nie Yan.
“Hello Boss!” Tyrannical greeted. He never expected Nie Yan to show up in this place.
“Mhmm.” Nie Yan nodded. He glanced at the corpse on the ground. “Good technique.”
The assassination of that Victorious Return player was well-executed.
“I’ve been reviewing your videos recently and practicing your moves. It’s been pretty effective!” Tyrannical was absolutely gushing over Nie Yan’s praise. It was a seal of approval from the Mad Rogue himself. This would be a lasting memory he would reflect on with pride!
“You’re levelling right now?” Nie Yan asked. Why was Tyrannical near the outskirts of Sinful Gorge?
To ensure the safety of Nie Yan’s group, Guo Huai had dispatched members of the Hundred Thieves to scout ahead. Apart from surveying the neighbouring areas, they were given another task, taking out enemy scouts! They had cut down quite a few of so far.
“If you’re from the Hundred Thieves, what’s the deal with your equipment?” Nie Yan asked in bewilderment. Why was an obviously skilled player wearing such garbage gear? Guo Huai had spared no expenses with the Hundred Thieves, giving them access to the best equipment the guild had to offer. There should be no reason for Tyrannical to appear so wretched.
“A few days ago I got into a fight with a group of seven players from Victorious Return. After killing three of them, I got careless and died, dropping all my equipment. I still haven’t fully geared back up yet. I guess I bit off more than I could chew.” Tyrannical let out an awkward laugh, conveniently forgetting to mention that he was trying to show off in front of a girl.
Tyrannical was currently Level 25. He should have been at least Level 27 before dying, a fairly decent place to be at this stage of the game. The drop in level due to the red name death penalty was indeed quite tragic.
“Go grab some suitable equipment from the treasury. If you don’t have enough merit points, you can pay the difference back later. Let Guo Huai know I told you that,” Nie Yan said. It was a bit of a shame for a such a good player to wear trash gear.
“Be more careful next time. Don’t lose all your equipment again.”
“I won’t…” Tyrannical scratched his head with an embarrassed smile.
“I’ll be off then.” Nie Yan spurred the Faulkner Warhorse towards Sinful Gorge.
“Take care Boss!”
Nie Yan galloped away on the Faulkner Warhorse while muttering, “Tyrannical, Tyrannical, why does this name seem so familiar? I just can’t put my finger on it!” He racked his brains for a while before giving up. After all, it was impossible to remember every face he had come across in the past.
Nie Yan arrived at the entrance of Sinful Gorge. A good place to set up an ambush, he couldn’t help but remark. Before him was a narrow passageway enclosed by two steep cliff walls whose surfaces were remarkably smooth, resembling a clean cut from a blade.
Looking up, he could only see a thin strip of sky above him because of the massive cliffs on either side.
As Nie Yan took in the odd geography, he started to give credence to the ancient rumours claiming this gorge had been hacked open in the distant past. After all, all legends had a basis in fact. Maybe the rumours had been spread by a player who found some source of information? Like how he had learned many lost secrets when he completed the Glimpse of Darkness.
This gash in the earth extended several hundred meters. This was the perfect chokepoint!
Quickly scanning the cliff faces, Nie Yan could already see seven or eight caves leading into the rock. Sinful Gorge had incredibly complex terrain, so there were naturally many caves snaking around.
「Guo Huai, how many Featherfall Jewels do we have in the treasury now?」Nie Yan asked. He had previously mentioned to Guo Huai that the guild should start stocking up on them.
「Only two, It can’t be helped. Treant Forest on Specialist takes fives day to reset after being cleared, and most of our members are too high-level to run that dungeon now. All we can do is organize the low level players in the branch guilds,」Guo Huai replied. What did Nie Yan want with so many Featherfall Jewels?
With only two Featherfall Jewels in hand, Nie Yan’s plan would have to be scrapped.
Nie Yan thought for a moment and formed a new plan on how to deal with Victorious Return and Radiant Sacred Flame.
Nie Yan galloped through the passageway on the Faulkner Warhorse, arriving at the center region of Sinful Gorge where he was greeted by an extremely chaotic battlefield. The players from Victorious Return, Radiant Sacred Flame, Holy Empire, and Sapphire Shrine were duking it out everywhere. Both sides were virtually piling on each other.
「Enter Sinful Gorge!」Nie Yan ordered the Asskickers United players in the rear.
The chaos of the battlefield ignited Nie Yan’s fighting spirit. He unsummoned the Faulkner Warhorse, then jumped into the fray and slaughtered several players from Radiant Sacred Flame and Victorious Return in quick succession
「I’m at Sinful Gorge. Where are you right now?」Nie Yan asked Sleepy Fox.
「Hmmph! So you finally decided to show up? My guild has already lost over 7,000 players!」Sleepy Fox was clearly upset about his losses. If Asskickers United had continued to be absent, he would’ve cussed Nie Yan out even harder.「We’re in the center of Sinful Gorge, at 673. We’ve already started attacking the Golden Dragon. Victorious Return and Radiant Sacred Flame are both here as well.」
From Sleepy Fox’s tone, Nie Yan could roughly imagine how hectic the situation was!
「I’ll be there in a moment,」Nie Yan said after looking at the coordinates. The ‘673’ Sleepy Fox gave weren’t the full coordinates, only the last three digits. But since they were all in the same general vicinity, that much would suffice. As a matter of fact, a single digit was enough to give an exact position in some smaller areas.
Nie Yan immediately rushed toward the location given by Sleepy Fox.
It wasn’t long before Nie Yan spotted a massive figure in the distance. This was a Golden Dragon! A ferocious creature that stood almost ten meters tall, with a bulky abdomen, four thick limbs, razor-sharp claws, menacing teeth, and a gigantic pair of wings. An oppressive aura permeated the air around the dragon.
Nie Yan noticed this Golden Dragon’s wings were corroded. It was clear they wouldn’t generate enough lift for flight.
Golden Dragons were normally completely gold in colour. But there were strange black veiny runic patterns all over this one. Nie Yan’s heart shook in alarm. This was a sign of demonification!
It was a Level 40 Demonified Golden Dragon!