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Chapter 278 – Summoning the Golden Dragon

During the evening, Nie Yan logged back into the game and started sifting through the updates sent over by Guo Huai.

The Credit Exchange had officially gone live! All kinds of items were being listed for sale, and an unprecedented spike in the trading of in-game gold and equipment occurred. But with both buyers and sellers deciding their own exchange rates, creating volatility in the market, it was temporarily impossible to get a firm grasp of things.

Several new types of establishments were introduced into the game. However, they couldn’t be built yet. Some of them like virtual bars and inns could directly take real-world credits. After all, Conviction was simply a platform for them to provide a service. Others allowed the customer to receive their purchase in reality shortly after paying for it in the virtual world. This experience was somewhat similar to online shopping, but it was so much more! The customer could evaluate a perfect replica of a product in the virtual world, searching for defects and so on, before confirming their purchase.

Only a certain type of venue could host these businesses—strongholds!

Guilds would have to scramble for the next stronghold in order to establish a special district, where they could rent out the land and collect taxes. It was tantamount to moving the various businesses from reality into the virtual world.

This was a major innovation. People could assess the quality of a product before deciding on a purchase without having to step a foot outside the comfort of their homes.

The ingenuity and worth of a stronghold were on display for the world to see and enjoy.

In the previous timeline, a Basic Stronghold generated hundreds of thousands of credits and up to 1,000 gold in taxes every day. The gold was used to fund guild wars, while the credits would generally be distributed among loyal members who contributed to the guild’s growth. The profit from a single stronghold was incapable of sustaining the expenditure of a guild war. However, as the number of strongholds under their control grew, the financial resources at a guild’s disposal would rise exponentially. At the later stages of the game, the income of the guild would become quite substantial.

If Asskickers United genuinely wanted to expand, capturing a stronghold was crucial.

After the opening of the Currency Exchange, all 13 strongholds in Calore were released: 1 Super Stronghold, 1 Advanced Stronghold, 1 Intermediate Stronghold, and 10 Basic Strongholds. All of them were guarded by a great number of creatures of darkness. The respective strongholds would belong to whoever cleared out all these monsters. There was only one stronghold that wasn’t under the control of creatures of darkness. In a couple of days, Radiant Sacred Flame and Holy Empire would engage in war to decide who may lay claim on this stronghold.

Victorious Return and Radiant Sacred Flame quieted down since their defeat in Sinful Gorge. Asskickers United, Holy Empire, and Sapphire Shrine didn’t wish to continue wasting resources and manpower fighting them either. They were all recovering in preparation to clear the new strongholds. Otherwise, if the other guilds snatched away those strongholds, their own growth would start lagging far behind.

When the battle for strongholds broke out, Bloodlust Blades, Alliance of Mages, and Divine Protectors would be the biggest threats to Asskickers United! Victorious Return and Radiant Sacred Flame were currently slowly being pushed out of the ranks of the first-rate guilds.

Nie Yan looked over his recent gains. The three auction houses he had acquired were already beginning operations and business was flourishing. At this rate, they would generate around 1,000 gold of income every day. Nie Yan’s daily gross profit for his other business ventures were staggering. The 11 branches of the Starry Night Potion Shop brought in around 700 gold, and his other businesses like the Alchemist Shop raked in roughly 200 gold. Finally, after he finished renting out the remaining 33 plots of land he owned across the various cities in the Viridian Empire, they would generate at least 300 gold.

These were merely conservative revenue projections. In the future, the money earned would only be more, not less.

The profit Nie Yan would receive in the future would be quite substantial.

At the moment, Nie Yan had a surplus of around 1,200 gold. He used some of it to restock the guild treasury, while another part was used to socket the equipment of some of his guild members with gems. All in all, it cost quite a pretty penny.

However, Nie Yan understood these were necessary investments if he wished to see his guild members ascend to the highest stage of the game.

After these guild members received their upgraded gear back from Nie Yan, they all went to level. The stronger they were, the higher the odds of clearing the strongholds.

Nie Yan walked into an empty workshop in the Starry Night Potion Shop and took out the Golden Dragon Horn from his bag. He drew blood on his finger with his dagger, then dripped the blood onto the Golden Dragon Horn.

Do you wish to summon the Golden Dragon? The summoned creature will be permanently bound to you.


The Golden Dragon Horn immediately emitted a dazzling radiance, flooding the room with light. The magical energy in the room fluctuated violently while a powerful force emerged, causing space to tremble.

After a long time, the Golden Dragon Horn slowly dimmed before finally becoming completely inert.

Reading the system notification, it would take roughly 30 seconds to summon or unsummon a pet.

After Nie Yan finished the summon, a Golden Dragon appeared before him. It resembled a miniature of the one they faced off against in Sinful Gorge, and was only about the size of a penguin. The golden scales that covered its body emitted a dark lustre. Its belly was big and round, forcing the Golden Dragon to waddle as it moved around, while the wings on its back were practically non-existent.

The Golden Dragon spoke gibberish in the dragon language, somewhat resembling a whining child, causing Nie Yan to be baffled. Even though he was fluent in the dragon language, he didn’t understand a word of what it was saying.

Before Nie Yan could move a single step, the Golden Dragon waddled toward him. As soon as he stopped moving, it would stop, too. After letting it remain motionless awhile longer, it used its stubby arms to hold its head and sat down. Nie Yan watched the Golden Dragon scratch its head, then randomly roll around the floor.

This chubby and funny miniature Golden Dragon was Nie Yan’s pet.

Nie Yan checked the Golden Dragon’s stats.

Golden Dragon
Level: 0
Experience: 0/3,000
Health: 100/100
Loyalty: 60/100
Attack/Magic Power: 32–33
Defense: 30
Strength: 30
Dexterity: 20
Intelligence: 2
Movement Speed: 22
Attack Speed: 21
Growth Rate: 15
Innate Skill: Has a chance to learn Dragon Magic on every level up.
Skills: None.

If the Golden Dragon died, it could only be summoned again after 10 days, and furthermore, it would lose experience and its loyalty would drop. Loyalty could slowly be raised by regularly feeding it. Pet food could be bought at an NPC store.

The Golden Dragon was currently very weak. However, in the future, its strength would reach astonishing heights. The caveat was that levelling it up was very difficult. The experience required after every level increased exponentially. Getting the Golden Dragon to a high level was truly no simple matter.

Fortunately, the player could divert all the experience they obtained to their pet. Like this, levelling would become much faster.

Nie Yan took out the Evolution Crystal from his bag. He was going to use it to raise the Golden Dragon’s strength. This type of item was best used when the summoned pet was still an infant to bring out the greatest effect.

“Kuu! Kuu!” The Golden Dragon’s big round eyes stared intently at the Evolution Crystal in Nie Yan’s hands. Its gaze followed wherever he moved his hands.

Nie Yan placed the Evolution Crystal on the Golden Dragon’s head. Am I supposed to insert it in or something?

The Golden Dragon was so small that its head was roughly the same size as the Evolution Crystal.

Nie Yan felt helpless. He had never done something like this before. He had to admit he was a little reluctant.

He squatted down and gazed at the Golden Dragon, then teased, “Hey, Little Guy. What do we do? Am I going to insert this Evolution Crystal into your head, or are you going to swallow it?”

Nie Yan thought for a moment. If he couldn’t figure out how to use the Evolution Crystal, so be it. He didn’t want to end up accidently killing his first pet.

Nie Yan gazed at the helpless look in the Golden Dragon’s eyes. He found its pitiful appearance slightly amusing. Even though a pet didn’t possess higher intelligence like a human, the system would still give it a basic level of comprehension.

The Golden Dragon suddenly opened its mouth wide and swallowed the Evolution Crystal. Nie Yan only saw a giant lump go down its throat, and with a gulping sound, it had swallowed the entire thing whole.

“Shit! You actually swallowed it!” Nie Yan blurted out. He never thought the Golden Dragon would move so quickly. By the time he reacted, it was already too late. He glared at the little glutton.

The Golden Dragon sat down on the ground to rest as its full belly started making gurgling noises. It gently patted its belly and let out a satisfied burp. Before long, it had digested the Evolution Crystal and the little horn on its snout began to grow. Surprisingly, it was translucent like a crystal and emitted a bright radiance.

The Golden Dragon’s dark golden scales gained a brilliant luster.

Nie Yan could clearly see that the Golden Dragon had grown by a stage. This was probably how the Evolution Crystal was used. Even though it was an accident, it was still a success!

Nie Yan looked over the Golden Dragon’s new stats.

Golden Dragon
Level: 0
Experience: 0/3,000
Health: 120/120
Loyalty: 60/100
Attack/Magic Power: 38–43
Defense: 37
Strength: 33
Dexterity: 22
Intelligence: 5
Movement Speed: 32
Attack Speed: 26
Growth Rate: 20
Innate Skill: Has a chance to learn Dragon Magic on every level up.
Skills: None.

There was already a change in the Golden Dragon’s stats. Most noticeable of all was the change in its Growth Rate. This was the most important part! Sacrificing a rare Evolution Crystal to create a one-of-a-kind pet was absolutely worth it!

A Growth Rate of 20, this was unheard of!

Although pets were introduced with the release of the Buried History expansion, not many players actually had them. In a group of tens of thousands of players, you would be lucky to find one with a pet. Furthermore, most of these pets had trash Growth Rates, and were incomparable to Nie Yan’s Golden Dragon.

Golden Dragons didn’t only appear around Calore. They would also spawn near other cities. This meant the guild leaders of other guilds would probably also obtain something similar.

However, even they most likely wouldn’t have a pet enhanced by an Evolution Crystal.

No other pet in-game could hold a candle to Nie Yan’s Golden Dragon!

Nie Yan unsummoned the Golden Dragon. He would attract too much attention by allowing it to walk beside him in the streets.

First things first. Let’s find a place to level this little fellow up.

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