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Chapter 272 – Sealed Off

「Victorious Return and Radiant Sacred Flame finally wisened up. Heaven Breaker and Nightbreak Trickster kept information under tight lock. None of our moles caught wind of them mobilizing their forces in other maps near Sinful Gorge. Many were even directly booted!」Guo Huai informed. It was too late by the time he noticed any movements.

It appeared Victorious Return and Radiant Sacred Flame were staking everything on this ambush. With such a large force flooding into Sinful Gorge, no matter how strong the players of Asskickers United were, they would still be smothered to death just the same!

Nightbreak Trickster and Heaven Breaker were finally pushed past their breaking points. After being surpressed and surpassed by the likes of Asskickers United, and to a lesser degree Holy Empire and Sapphire Shrine, they couldn’t sit back any longer. Today, they bared their teeth in an attempt to reverse their fortunes!

「How many of their players are entering Sinful Gorge?」Nie Yan inquired.

「Around 30,000, and even more will be arriving in a few minutes!」Guo Huai replied, a tinge of remorse in his tone. If only his information network were better, he could’ve given Nie Yan ample time to prepare.

Nie Yan scanned over the crowd of guild members. “Sparrow Hawk, Scoundrel, Monochrome, Edgeless, Young Seven, Painted Muslin, Black Heaven… I want all of you to follow me!”

A total of 30 followed Nie Yan as he dashed toward the sole passageway in Sinful Gorge.

“Players from Victorious Return and Radiant Sacred Flame are arriving at Sinful Gorge in droves. What do we do?” Sleepy Fox muttered somewhat anxiously. Like Guo Huai, he didn’t receive word from his spies until it was far too late.

Sleepy Fox was puzzled when he spotted Nie Yan leading a small group of players towards the passageway. What were they planning? That was where the enemy forces were located.

He never imagined Victorious Return and Radiant Sacred Flame would be so efficient in mobilizing all their players towards Sinful Gorge. It was clear they had been planning this out for a long time.

「How many players do you and Fa Lan have left?」Nie Yan asked Sleepy Fox through voice chat.

Victorious Return and Radiant Sacred Flame had stationed close to 50,000 players in the maps neighbouring Sinful Gorge, while another 100,000 were on standby in various locations. Since each group received direct orders from their respective guild leader, all information channels were isolated. Heaven Breaker and Nightbreak Trickster had planned and prepared meticulously for a long time, employing all sorts of measures to prevent leaks. Thanks to this, they bought themselves a 10 odd minute window where their actions would go unnoticed. Many things could be done in the game during that time. Almost 30,000 players were making their way through the passageway, while a large crowd had gathered outside the entrance. In a little over 20 minutes, more than 200,000 players would be crammed into the map. At that time, the only path leading outside would be sealed, along with the fates of the elites from Asskickers United, Holy Empire, and Sapphire Shrine.

Nie Yan’s initial plan was to seal off the passageway from the other side before the enemy could reach the valley. That way, the players in the passageway would be trapped, while those outside would be helpless to provide to aid. At that time, Asskickers United, Holy Empire, and Sapphire Shrine could slowly chip away at the forces of Victorious Return and Radiant Sacred Flame, no matter how great their numbers.

But even a wise sage could make mistakes! He never expected the enemy to move so quickly! From his perspective, it was as though 30,000 players had emerged out of thin air!

「I still have about 8,000 players while Fa Lan has a little over 6,000,」Sleepy Fox replied. Both Holy Empire and Sapphire Shrine were sending reinforcements to Sinful Gorge right this moment.

They were preparing to clash against the forces of Victorious Return and Radiant Sacred Flame.

Nie Yan thought for a moment. Altogether they had roughly 15,000 players, all of whom were elites. Taking this into consideration, they still stood a fighting chance. At the very least, the enemy would have to pay a hefty price in order to take them all down.

He led the group to a concealed cave close to the mouth of the passageway. It was pitch black inside, leading to who knew where, while a damp chill permeated the air.

“Boss, where are we going?” Undying Scoundrel asked.

“You’ll know in a moment,” Nie Yan replied. He knew the secret cave system in Sinful Gorge like the back of his hand.

The group traversed through many winding and twisting tunnels, advancing ever deeper into the cave, before arriving at a steep incline which they started to ascend. No one knew where Nie Yan was guiding them, but they had full faith in him and so didn’t raise any doubts.

In these narrow tunnels the group walked in pairs of two as they followed a passage that led to a cliff ledge. From there, they could get a clear view of the beautiful landscape of Sinful Gorge. It was a popular sightseeing destination in the previous timeline.

After traveling for a while, Nie Yan and the others finally saw light up ahead.

The brilliant rays pierced through the darkness of the cave.

When the group walked out of the cave, they were greeted by a wide open view of the valley down below. They stood about 10 meters off the ground. Nearby were several similar cave exits, each with ledges that could fit around a dozen or so people.

A dense crowd of players were flooding into the valley. It was similar to watching a travelling colony of ants. The sheer number of people gathered in one place formed a spectacular sight to behold. A virtually endless sea of people filled the passageway from one side to the other.

Almost 60,000 players from Victorious Return and Radiant Sacred Flame were crowding into Sinful Gorge!

With such a large force arriving, the red-named players from Asskickers United, Holy Empire, and Sapphire Shrine trapped in Sinful Gorge were faced with a calamity! Nie Yan had made a drastic oversight by underestimating how quickly the enemy could mobilize their forces. Had he been aware of this before, he would’ve stationed people to watch the passageway!

Nie Yan got careless after putting too much trust in Guo Huai’s information network. He knew Victorious Return and Radiant Sacred Flame were eyeing an opportunity to get back at them, and he also knew Sinful Gorge was the perfect place for them to enact their revenge!

Nie Yan reflected on his lapse in judgement. He was still new to leading a guild, so some blunders were bound to occur eventually. The crucial part was not to repeat them, especially ones that were so elementary.

After reprimanding himself, he hardened himself for the upcoming battle. Even if he was defeated today, he would still try his hardest to take Victorious Return and Radiant Sacred Flame to the cleaners!

“Boss, let’s ambush them!” Undying Scoundrel exclaimed. If they cast an area-of-effect spell over the large crowd, they could instantly take out 300 players at minimum. This sort of thrill was impossible to match!

“Scoundrel, cast Hellfire!” Nie Yan ordered. He was going to cut down a large swath of players in one go!

Undying Scoundrel waved his staff and started chanting the syllables for Hellfire, causing the magical energy in the atmosphere to stir. Red clouds rapidly condensed in the sky above the cliff ledge while a stifling pressure descended on the valley.

“Huh? Someone’s casting magic?”

“What the hell? Who’s casting, where?”

The players from Radiant Sacred Flame and Victorious Return were in an uproar as chaos spread through their ranks. They searched for a long time, only to discover no one among them was casting a spell!

“Over there!” someone pointed to a cliff ledge above them. There, they spotted the silhouettes of a few people. Just how did they get all the way up there?

It was some 10 meters above the ground. How were they supposed to climb up?

The players could only look on helplessly as Undying Scoundrel cast Hellfire. After he finished chanting the last syllable, the blazing cloud trembled before flames rained down from the sky like a torrential downpour.

Numerous fireballs smashed into the cliff wall, sending debris and embers flying out in every direction. The valley was instantly transformed into a sea of flames. A blanket of damage values rose up into the sky as the raging inferno cleared out a large area, killing over 300 players.

The crowd was in shambles. A portion of them escaped into Sinful Gorge while the rest were cut off by the flames.

After a while, the flames slowly died down, leaving behind heaps of scorched corpses scattered all over the ground.

“Mages stay here. The rest of you, follow me. We’re going to drive those bastards away from Sinful Gorge!” Nie Yan said before jumping down the ledge. Monochrome, Edgeless, and the others followed after him.

The five Mages stayed on the cliff ledge. If any of the players who entered Sinful Gorge tried to escape, they would be obliterated by area-of-effect spells.

Nie Yan immediately dashed toward the mouth of the passageway upon landing on the ground. As the blade of his dagger fell, he cut down several players in quick succession. They were all low-level cannon fodder, their equipment subpar, so he mowed through them with ease.

Closely behind him, Monochrome, Edgeless, and the others also charged into the fray.

Monochrome let out a deep battle cry and sent a Victorious Return player flying with a Heroic Strike. He plowed through another six players in quick succession with Charge, then took out eight more with a Whirling Slash. He left behind a trail of bodies in his wake.

Edgeless also went all out, cutting down player after player.

On another part of the battlefield, an unfamiliar Fighter was also performing remarkably. He was called Aloof Shadow, a newly recruited member of Asskickers United. He quickly rose up the ranks of the guild, distinguishing himself as a top talent. He used his heavy shield to steamroll through the players of Radiant Sacred Flame and Victorious Return.

Based on his actions, he wasn’t the least bit inferior to Yi Yan while he was only slightly behind Bladelight in terms of skill.

Nie Yan felt gratified that some of the promising players were also showing growth! Asskickers United had gained another powerful Fighter!

Bladelight and the other Warriors fiercely pressed forward. Bolstered by the support of Young Seven, Painted Muslin, and the others who were supporting them from behind, they had no need to pay attention to their health. They advanced single-mindedly, overrunning the enemy at a frightening pace.

No one could stop them!

The Mages who stayed behind on the cliff ledge were worry-free since the only way to reach them was through the narrow tunnels. When facing an equal number of opponents, they were invincible!

Back in the passageway, Bladelight was especially eye-catching. No matter how many spells struck him, since they were only hitting in the single digits, his enormous health bar was barely getting scratched. It was like picking a hair from nine oxen. This was excluding the fact he had Priests constantly healing him from the rear. Clad in the Everlasting Dark Gold Set, he was an unstoppable killing machine.

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