Chapter 266 – Golden Dragon’s Massacre!
Each major conflict was a significant financial test imposed on all participating guilds, particularly so for Victorious Return and Radiant Sacred Flame whose repeated defeats and catastrophic losses, combined with the ceased investments from Century Financial Group, marked the end one of their reign in the game. Their finances continued to be hammered away by Asskickers United, with each strike driving these two guilds further and further down into the abyss.
Even if it took all of their available capital, Nie Yan would continue to whittle down Radiant Sacred Flame. After all, Asskickers United could afford the price!
Victorious Return was in a slightly better position. They weren’t under as much pressure as Radiant Sacred Flame, whose war with Holy Empire never settled down. Thousands of conflicts both minor and major had occurred between the two guilds, with casualties reaching in the excess of hundreds of thousands according to various reported battlefield statistics. Radiant Sacred Flame had long since emptied their treasury, accruing heavy debt for their extended survival. The basis for this struggling lay in a single hope: the upcoming stronghold battle! As long as they were victorious, they would outlast this crisis—maybe even renew enough confidence to receive resumed funding from Century Financial Group. The stronghold was their last hope. If they failed, their guild was destined to collapse.
The conflict in Sinful Gorge would be the last before the upcoming stronghold battle. If Victorious Return and Radiant Sacred Flame wiped out the elites of Asskickers United and Holy Empire, it would be a decisive moment in reversing their declining fortunes!
It was a solid plan to use the Golden Dragon as bait to deal a heavy blow to the forces of Asskickers United, Holy Empire, and Sapphire Shrine. However, Nie Yan wasn’t some helpless fool who resigned himself to fate.
If these 2,000 players from Asskickers United could slaughter their worth in gold, it wouldn’t be a bad trade-off.
Falling down to a quarter health remaining, the Golden Dragon bellowed out a series of words chanted in the dragon language and summoned a blazing black meteor which crashed down from the sky. It exploded in an ocean of flames which engulfed the several hundred players within the impact zone, causing them to vanish into motes of light as their equipment dropped to the ground.
The destructive power of the black meteor was even greater than that of advanced magic. Yet at the same time, its cast time was clearly much shorter.
The havoc wreaked by the Golden Dragon caused many people to go pale.
Nie Yan raised an eyebrow in surprise. In the previous timeline, he had never been in this sort of situation before. Such spectacles were rare. This was his first time experiencing the might of a Golden Dragon. He wondered how powerful the pet summoned from the Golden Dragon’s Horn would be. Higher-rank creatures would generally possess special innate abilities.
Nie Yan initially hadn’t been all that concerned with the Golden Dragon’s Horn, but his interest was piqued after this attack.
Even if the summoned Golden Dragon was inferior to the current one, Nie Yan had an Evolution Crystal1 in his bag, an item that vastly increased a pet’s stats!
Thinking to this point, Nie Yan’t couldn’t help but get excited. Having a Golden Dragon as a pet does sound like a pretty good idea…
The crater created by the impact remained wreathed in flames for a while longer before eventually extinguishing.
With a whole region cleared by the dragon’s spell, Mages from all over the place swarmed back in and resumed attacking.
They were not willing to give up when the Golden Dragon was so close to death!
As the Dragon Breaths started increasing in frequency, players never seemed to stop evaporating into motes of light in the face of the blazing attacks.
The Golden Dragon’s corrupted scales which were covered in strange vein-like patterns reflected a dark luster. Its massive body brimmed with unrivalled power as it wildly massacred the players surrounding it.
Since nearly all the damage it received was from spells, the Golden Dragon would spew out a mouthful of Dragon Breath in the direction of any Mage that attracted too much aggro, clearing out a wide area, and then move on to the next target. Outside of turning around every once in a while, it generally stayed in the same place.
Subjected to the relentless barrage of spells, the Golden Dragon’s health pool dipped below 15%.
“Everyone, keep it up! We’re at the final stretch! Prepare to fight for the loot the Golden Dragon drops!” Sleepy Fox shouted. As he turned around to speak to Nie Yan, he noticed the person had disappeared yet again. Just where did that guy run off to now? As he pondered over this, a certain name crossed his mind. Nightbreak Trickster! He waited with baited breath for the spectacle that was about to play out.
Seeing the Golden Dragon’s health falling lower and lower, Nie Yan decided it was time to act. He activated stealth and disappeared from everyone’s sight.
Nie Yan avoided being spotted as he made his way toward Radiant Sacred Flame’s forces.
Nightbreak Trickster anxiously directed the Mages under his command. He was still brooding over his failed ambush, especially since the Thieves he had dispatched were so close to succeeding. And they would’ve too were it not for Nie Yan’s intervention. So he was one of the first to notice when the target of his hatred had suddenly disappeared from the battlefield.
“Priests, cast Illuminate!”
Dazzling orbs of light flew up into the sky, illuminating the ground below. However, no trace of Nie Yan was to be found.
“Shit, where’s that bastard!?” Nightbreak Trickster cursed. Out of nowhere, five bolts tore through the air, shining with a frightening glint, straight towards the Golden Dragon.
Those bolts had been fired behind Radiant Sacred Flame’s forces, and all of them struck the Golden Dragon square on, dealing over 20 or so damage each.
What high damage!
All the Mages in Sinful Gorge could only hit the Golden Dragon for single digits. Virtually none of them hit in the double digits. So the string of damage values in the low 20s floating up into the sky were extremely conspicuous.
For a crossbow to deal so much damage, this was an inconceivable matter!
Crossbows were generally only used to lure mobs, having no impact when dealing with a boss. However, the damage of this crossbow was way too perverse!
Nightbreak Trickster and the rest of Radiant Sacred Flame’s forces looked back. As a preventative measure, every Mage reserved a meter or two of empty space between one another for free movement and dodging attacks. However, a single person appeared in one of those exact spots: a man with dark leather armour, armed with a double-handed crossbow so big it was half the size of the ones mounted on city walls during sieges. The taut bowstring and five deathly bolts exuded an image so powerful it would remain deeply rooted in their memories.
They were most certainly familiar with this person.
The Mages had never expected Nie Yan to just pop up among them without so much as a peep. They were in utter shock.
Only now did the surrounding Mages react. They all targeted their spells at Nie Yan.
Nie Yan activated the Darkbright Shield as a faint curtain of light enveloped him before over a dozen spells rained down on him.「Bang! Bang! Bang!」He immediately lost 53% of his health.
When Nie Yan noticed Nightbreak Trickster coldly glaring at him, he revealed a strange smile.
Seeing Nie Yan’s expression, Nightbreak Trickster suddenly had an uneasy premonition.
Nie Yan activated Shadow Waltz, disappearing from everyone’s sights.
“Don’t let him escape,” Nightbreak Trickster shouted, ordering all the nearby Priests to cast Illuminate.
Glowing orbs shot up into the sky.
However, Nie Yan’s Shadow Waltz prevented him from being seen through stealth for the first six seconds after its activation. By the time his silhouette was revealed by the piercing light of Illuminate, he had already broken out of their encirclement. It was too late to stop him.
Before anyone had a chance to give chase, a world-shaking roar reverberated through the air. The faces of the players from Radiant Sacred Flame paled from fright. When they turned around, they spotted the Golden Dragon charging toward them. In an instant, they understood this was Nie Yan’s plan all along!
All the Mages were only dealing damage in the single digits. However, Nie Yan’s crossbow had hit in the double digits, not to mention five times in a row. He had instantly attracted the aggro of the Golden Dragon.
The Golden Dragon let out an enraged roar and spewed out a mouthful of Dragon Breath, scorching over 20 players from Radiant Sacred Flame to death in an instant.
However, Nie Yan had long since memorized the attack patterns of the Golden Dragon. He easily avoided the Dragon Breath.
The outcome was the surrounding forces of Radiant Sacred Flame becoming Nie Yan’s scapegoats.
The Golden Dragon had yet to land a single attack on Nie Yan, and its aggro still remained on him. It knew where he was heading to and blasted its breath in that direction.「Bang!」The scorching fire engulfed that patch of ground.
Nie Yan quickly dashed through a group of Radiant Sacred Flame players. His speed was extremely quick. By relying on the footwork of a Shadow Dancer, none of them were able to stop him. He was extremely crafty, running wherever enemy players were most densely concentrated. He was a walking calamity for Radiant Sacred Flame.
The Golden Dragon became increasingly enraged as its attacks failed to land on Nie Yan. It plowed through the forces of Radiant Sacred Flame, spewing out Dragon Breath endlessly.
It was like a scene out of the apocalypse. One Dragon Breath after another cleared out wide swaths of players from Radiant Sacred Flame.
When the Golden Dragon charged through Radiant Sacred Flame’s ranks to get to Nie Yan, it left a path of utter carnage, creating chaos everywhere.
Nie Yan dashed toward a dense group composed of a hundred casters from Radiant Sacred Flame. He wondered if they would be able to survive a blast of Dragon Breath.
Sensing Nie Yan’s approach, a Shadow Priest let out a sharp howl.
Howl of Terror!
In that instant, Nie Yan activated the Mind Immune skill from the Slaughter Fiend Medallion, rendering the Howl of Terror completely ineffective. He closed in on the Shadow Priest and slashed his throat.
Blood sprayed out into the air, and the Shadow Priest collapsed to the ground.
As the nearby Mages in the group were about to rain down a shower of spells on Nie Yan, they discovered their target had disappeared.
At this moment, a blazing black meteor came crashing down on them.「Boom!」The resulting explosion engulfed a 20 meter area, leaving behind a sea of embers that continued to burn away at the earth.
The ground was paved with the corpses of Mages.
Over half of Radiant Sacred Flame’s forces were annihilated, suffering over 3,000 casualties. The remaining were all scattered about. Their combat strength had diminished greatly.
The leaders of the guilds participating in this battle looked at each other as chills went down their spine. Had Nie Yan lured the Golden Dragon to their player formations, they would be the ones being slaughtered by the monster! How many Dragon Breaths and spells could they possibly take on? They came to a silent consensus on one thing: never, ever, make Asskickers United their enemies!
The Golden Dragon’s massacre pained Nightbreak Trickster so much he felt as if his heart were bleeding. These players were Radiant Sacred Flame’s elites!
The 5,000 or so Radiant Sacred Flame players in the vicinity had been mowed down to just over 1,000.