Chapter 265 – However Many Arrive, However Many Die
With so many Thieves pouncing on him, Sleepy Fox was hard-pressed to resist no matter how much of a heaven-defying figure he was. A pair of fists was no match for four hands!1
When Sleepy Fox sent the Thieves flying away with Shockwave, Jack the Ripper took advantage of the opportunity to stun him with Smothering Strike.
A nearby group of Warriors from Holy Empire rushed forwards in an attempt to rescue Sleepy Fox, but they were intercepted by several dozen Thieves from Radiant Sacred Flame.
Sleepy Fox endured the combined assault from five Thieves. As a tanky Warrior clad in heavy armour, he wouldn’t go down too easily.
“Kill him, quickly!” Jack the Ripper shouted somberly. Time was short. He circled to back to the front, stunning Sleepy Fox once again with a Concussive Blow.
Before he could follow up with another attack, his pupils constricted as he spotted the unmistakable sheen of a dagger stabbing toward his forehead. This attack was incomparably domineering, sharp and executed with pinpoint precision, resembling the strike of a viper! He cancelled his attack mid-animation, activated Swift Retreat, and rapidly pulled back.
What a fast attack! Jack the Ripper inwardly remarked, raising his dagger to block as a metallic ‘klang’ rang out. After retreating several meters, he felt cold sweat wash over him as he recalled the sensation of the dagger barely grazing his forehead. This was fear in its most primal form. He didn’t dare imagine the consequences if that attack landed.
Jack the Ripper focused on his opponent only to see a translucent silhouette dart past at a speed too fast for even his eyes to follow.
The Thieves ganging up on Sleepy Fox were flabbergasted. Why did their leader pull back all of a sudden? Before they could register what happened, a dagger materialised across the neck of one of their companions. It was a phantom blade appearing without warning, the very scythe of the Grim Reaper!
Splitting Edge was covered in sawtooth serrations, a queer design meant to inspire fear and intimidate.
Within the span of a breath, Splitting Edge effortlessly cut through the vulnerable flesh on the Thief’s neck as a spray of blood blossomed out like a bewitching rose.
It was an instant kill!
That Thief’s health bar emptied out, and he collapsed to the ground.
Everything happened too quickly, no one could react in time. While they were still reeling in shock, Sleepy Fox finally regained control of his body. Spinning Slash! He swung his greatsword in a wide arc, unleashing a sword beam that radiated outward in every direction.
The Thieves were knocked back several steps. When the figure supporting Sleepy Fox revealed itself, they looked as though they had seen a ghost.
After killing the Thief, Nie Yan’s stealth wore off.
The Mad Rogue Nirvana Flame!
The Thieves sucked in a collective gasp, forgetting they were in the middle of combat. When Nie Yan emerged, one Thief was forced to retreat, another died a miserable death, and the remaining four were scared out of their wits.
Sleepy Fox breathed out a sigh of relief after drinking an Intermediate Health Potion. “Thanks, you saved my life just in the nick of time. A few seconds slower and I would’ve died.” He was down to only 39% health before Nie Yan arrived. The attacks of those Thieves really packed quite a punch.
“No problem. Since when haven’t I been timely?” Nie Yan smiled. He coolly surveyed his opponents before settling his gaze on Jack the Ripper who had retreated far away. Out of all the Thieves present, perhaps only this player was barely a match for him.
Radiant Sacred Flame’s ambush was a disaster. The Warriors from Holy Empire finally broke through the blockade; the Thieves tasked with holding them back were all killed.
“Boss, we’re here!” A Fighter clad in a full set of Gold equipment led the group of Warriors as they charged at the four Thieves surrounding Sleepy Fox and Nie Yan.
The group of 60 Thieves from Holy Empire suffered a catastrophic defeat. Determining that the situation could no longer be salvaged, Jack the Ripper activated Stealth and turned to escape.
He knew the title of ‘Mad Rogue’ was not just for show!
Although the exchange between them was brief, maybe a few seconds at most, Jack the Ripper could clearly sense the gap in skill between him and Nie Yan. It was like the difference between a pebble and Mt. Tai! Simply recalling that awe-inspiring attack sent shivers down his spine.
Nie Yan’s eyes flashed with a cold light when he noticed Jack the Ripper attempting to flee. You want to run? It won’t be that easy!
Eye of Truth! Nie Yan’s eyes turned bloodshot while the veins near his temples bulged out. He instantly located the fleeing silhouette of Jack the Ripper.
Shadow Waltz! Nie Yan disappeared.
Shortly after sensing a pair of eyes lock onto him, Jack the Ripper felt a cold nip behind his neck. It’s the Mad Rogue! No one else could catch up this quickly! A suffocating pressure bore down on him the moment this thought crossed his mind, causing his breathing to turn ragged.
The name ‘Mad Rogue’ alone was enough to give the vast majority of players goosebumps. Add this sort of mental pressure to Nie Yan’s absolutely domineering combat style, and most of his opponents would be defeated long before he touched them!
Not only was this title Nie Yan’s glory, but also a form of deterrence.
Dance of Death! Nie Yan slowed down somewhat as his footwork grew more complex. He started leaving behind a trail of after-images. Afterwards, he vanished; all traces of him disappeared with the wind.
Those who had never performed the Dance of Death would forever be unable to grasp this phenomenon.
Jack the Ripper was fleeing with all his might, but he could still sense Nie Yan hot on his tracks as though the footsteps of the reaper were approaching ever closer. But that sensation faded away all of a sudden, and he could no longer detect the slightest presence. His mind was filled with doubt. Why did he disappear? Did he give up…?
No! He’s still here!
The deadly premonition in his heart grew even more intense. He swung around to face the enemy head-on, only to be met with a serrated dagger stabbing toward his forehead; the ghastly aura surrounding the blade froze his blood and very soul.
Just as Jack the Ripper attempted to parry the attack, the dagger disappeared. A split second later, he realized he couldn’t move, as though his body was nailed down in place.
This was the effect of the Intimidate skill!
Nie Yan emerged behind Jack the Ripper and struck him in the back of the head with Smothering Strike.
Jack the Ripper fell into a stunned state. Nie Yan’s attack was simply too fast. He had no chance to resist.
Nie Yan followed up with a Backstab and Eviscerate. As three damage values floated up into the air, Jack the Ripper’s corpse collapsed to the ground.
“I say, Nirvana Flame, why haven’t the players from your guild arrived yet?” Sleepy Fox turned around only to discover the person he was talking to had disappeared. He blanked for a moment, then spotted Nie Yan cutting down Jack the Ripper some 20 meters away. “Shit! Isn’t he way too fast?”
Sleepy Fox only turned his back for ten or so seconds at most. But during that time, Nie Yan had killed a Thief more than 20 meters away!
“Hey, who’s that Thief lying on the ground over there?” Sleepy Fox asked. He felt the player Nie Yan had just killed looked very familiar.
“I-I-I think that’s Jack the Ripper, the top Thief in Radiant Sacred Flame!” a Holy Empire player stuttered.
“Oh…” Sleepy Fox nodded his head listlessly. A moment later, he finally processed what happened. Just what kind of person was Jack the Ripper? He was extremely difficult to deal with! Holy Empire had suffered many times at his hands. Yet he was killed by Nie Yan just like that? What kind of preposterous turn of events was this!?
“Holy shit! When did that guy become such a demon?” Sleepy Fox couldn’t help but exclaim in exasperation. Was this person still even human? Just how did he train?
Jack the Ripper dropped two items. One was a Dark Gold leather chestpiece. Although its properties weren’t bad, it couldn’t compare to the Darkbright Chestpiece. The other was a somewhat damaged, ancient parchment scroll.Cahill’s Parchment Scroll (Damaged): Seeker’s Memories, 1/3.
Many lines of eccentric characters were written on this old, sheepskin scroll.
Cahill was a legendary Thief. She was a Treasure Hunter who loved exploring. It was rumoured she discovered a peerless treasure buried deep in a region in the remote underworld. However, she later vanished after being pursued by the demons of the underworld, only leaving behind a few clues.
These sorts of items were difficult to find. Despite there being so many fragments in the previous timeline, very few players actually restored a Legendary-grade item. The same was true for treasure maps.
After tossing the scroll in his bag, Nie Yan walked back to Holy Empire’s forces. He gazed at Radiant Sacred Flame’s side in the distance where he was met with the icy cold gaze of Nightbreak Trickster. About a hundred meters separated both groups.
Nie Yan’s emergence shook the hearts of all the leaders from the other guilds present within Sinful Gorge. He was perhaps the only player with such a powerful deterring effect.
“You really are a piece of work. Even Jack the Ripper couldn’t escape your dagger. I bet Nightbreak Trickster is boiling over with anger right now.” Sleepy Fox chuckled. None of the 60 Thieves dispatched by Radiant Sacred Flame had survived. The previous battle was quite thrilling. If Nie Yan hadn’t arrived in time, he would’ve died for sure.
Nie Yan revealed a calm smile. It was a trivial effort for him to deal with the players of the present by relying on the techniques of a Shadow Dancer. It would be quite a while before they started posing a real challenge.
Nie Yan observed the attack patterns of the Golden Dragon, then began setting about the preparations to execute his plan.
“I just received some information. Bloodlust Blades just captured their first stronghold. Alliance of Mages rose to a Level 6 guild. Their numbers have broken through 300,000. Finally, Divine Protectors are about to fight over a stronghold as well. We have to hurry. We can’t fall behind,” Sleepy Fox said as he gazed in the distance. Victorious Return and Radiant Sacred Flame were obstacles in their path. Only by removing them could they thrive. Holy Empire had branches in other cities, so their information network was better than that of Asskickers United.
Nie Yan nodded. After analyzing a bit, he understood why Bloodlust Blades, Alliance of Mages, and Divine Protectors dispatched people over here. Calore was the largest city in the Viridian Empire. If a guild was allowed to expand in this city without any competition, it was easy to imagine what kind of monster would be born. The strongest guild in the city was currently Asskickers United, and the only thing holding them back was Radiant Sacred Flame and Victorious Return. As the big shots in their respective cities, Bloodlust Blades, Alliance of Mages, and Divine Protectors definitely didn’t wish to see a united Calore, so they naturally tried to hinder Asskickers United’s growth.
The only reason Sleepy Fox informed Nie Yan abut this was that Asskickers United appeared much to lax in dealing with Victorious Return and Radiant Sacred Flame. If Asskickers United’s players came out in full force, Holy Empire absolutely wouldn’t be in such a weak position right now, to the extent that he was almost killed.
Nie Yan was aware of the current situation. He turned to Sleepy Fox and replied with a smile, “No worries, I understand what you’re trying to say.”
Sleepy Fox nodded. Since Nie Yan understood, there was no need to say more.
Nie Yan checked back with his forces. The 2,000 players had already arrived in Sinful Gorge, and they were currently making their way towards Holy Empire’s forces. The players from Radiant Sacred Flame and Victorious Return exploded with killing intent and charged toward them.
However, these players were all steamrolled. The domineering display from the players of Asskickers United left the people of Holy Empire and Sapphire Shrine dumbstruck. These 2,000 players were a match for 10,000!
Bathed in the blessings of the Priests, the Warriors of Asskickers United all roared into battle, showing off exceptional valor.
As long as the Priests kept up the healing, these Warriors wouldn’t break a sweat even if they were outnumbered one to ten. Even the quality of the Priests in Asskickers United was much higher than their counterparts in Radiant Sacred Flame and Victorious Return.
「Boss Nightbreak Trickster, Asskickers United’s forces have arrived,」Skinny Dog informed.
「How large is their force?」Nightbreak Trickster asked. His heart was stirred. Their main enemy had finally shown up.
「Around 2,000, all of them are Asskickers United’s elites. They’ve already killed over 3,000 of our players.」
「Only 2,000!?」Nightbreak Trickster was slightly disappointed. But his mood quickly recovered after thinking for a bit. These players were all elites of Asskickers United. If they were all wiped out, it would still deal them a heavy blow.「We’ll proceed with our original plan. Mobilize 20,000 players here. Gear all of them up in novice equipment. When Asskickers United’s players kill them and get branded with red names, we’ll trap them here in Sinful Gorge. Let’s see how they’ll escape then!」
Nightbreak Trickster originally believed Asskickers United would at least send over 10,000 players. If all of these players were trapped in Sinful Gorge after being branded with red names and prevented from teleporting back to the city, they would be like turtles trapped in a jar. It would be easy pickings. Who could’ve imagined Nie Yan would be so prudent, only bringing 2,000 players over. Even so, wiping out 2,000 elites was better than nothing.
A horde of players from Victorious Return and Radiant Sacred Flames swarmed into Sinful Gorge. They were all wearing novice equipment, and their levels weren’t high either, around Level 10 or so, each dispatched with the express purpose of dying to the enemy.
After Nie Yan was informed of this by Guo Huai, he immediately understood what Radiant Sacred Flame and Victorious Return were trying to do.
「What are we going to do?」Guo Huai asked anxiously. If their 2,000 players kept killing the fodder sent by Radiant Sacred Flame and Victorious Return, the kill counts would rise to ludicrous levels and so would their red name penalties for dying. They had fallen directly into the enemy’s trap.
「We let our players kill to their hearts’ content. However many arrive, however many die!」Nie Yan declared as his killing intent soared to the sky. If the heavens were dropping meat pies, why wouldn’t they take a bite? Although these players were all relatively low-level, for them to agree to go on a suicide mission, Victorious Return and Radiant Sacred Flame would’ve definitely had to pay some heavy compensation. He wondered just how many merit points they were forced to dole out.