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Chapter 358 - Legend of the Assassin

Nie Yan was just about to set off when Guo Huai brought him some exciting news! Five players in the guild had successfully class advanced: Sun, Smoke Stub, Sunny South, Summer Bug, and Lustboy.

Sun had become a Great Tempest Thief, Smoke Stub a Great Berserker, Sunny South a Great Holy Mage, and Summer Bug a Great Arcanist.

The four of them were within his expectations. However, he didn't recognise the name Lustboy, nor had he ever heard of it in his past life. This player seemed to have popped out of nowhere!

「Who's Lustboy?」Nie Yan asked. Given how large Asskickers United was, for one or two players to suddenly shoot up in the ranks was nothing out of the ordinary.

「I'm not too sure either. Bladelight's group brought him with them on their recent dungeon runs and gave him a few pointers. Who knew he would be such a quick study? He's even better than some veteran members,」Guo Huai replied. Asskickers United encouraged the older members to guide newer recruits. Only like this could the guild grow stronger as a whole.

This was also a butterfly effect produced by Nie Yan. Bladelight, Smoke Stub, Young Seven… in his past life, these experts were seldom ever in the same place, and no one could ever imagine the results of them working together. Their rate of advancement was much faster than their previous timeline counterparts. Any casual piece of advice they gave out was of immense value to the ordinary members of the guild.

Players unfamiliar to Nie Yan in his past life like Paladin of the Elegy and Tyrannical were starting to garner attention in recent times. Among them Lustboy was the most remarkable. They were nameless in the previous timeline. But after Asskickers United provided them a suitable platform to grow, they were quickly blossoming into dazzling figures! Paladin of the Elegy, Tyrannical, and more were also tackling the barrier of the first class advancement!

Right now, Asskickers United was a nebula of shining stars! Especially the brightest ones like Lustboy left Nie Yan feeling gratified.

「Is Lustboy contracted to the guild?」Nie Yan asked. As long as a player showed potential, he wouldn't hesitate to offer them a generous contract.

「We still don't have the funds for that. We're currently in the middle of negotiations. However, Lustboy has already agreed to sign, saying he wouldn't have gotten to where he is today without the guild giving him a place to grow or the guidance of Smoke Stub and Bladelight. He didn't seem to particularly care about the terms of the contract, but I plan to give him the best treatment. I just wanted to get your opinion first.」

「Go ahead. You have my approval. Also, make an announcement saying the guild won't hesitate to give those who show potential the best treatment!」Nie Yan said. In any case, gold was no longer an issue. The guild members would see a rise in their benefits, especially those who contributed greatly to the guild; they were the pillars of the guild. He couldn't allow them to feel like they were losing out by staying.

If it wasn't for the recent war with Bloodlust Blades, Asskickers United would've already had more than a hundred Adept Class players. Thankfully, the guild's foundation was still intact. When the situation calmed down, the number of players class advancing would quickly rise.

Nie Yan chatted with Guo Huai for a bit longer before hanging up.

Nie Yan glanced at his character bar. He was only Level 40. It was pathetically low given his status as the guild leader of Asskickers United. Reaching Level 50 and class advancing to a Great Thief was priority number one. He racked his brain for a suitable levelling spot.

The Death Wave Scroll was one of the few magical items that dealt fixed damage regardless of resistances and defense, but it was only effective on living creatures. Nie Yan had to find relatively low health monsters that gave ample experience. It was also best if they were slow, so he had sufficient time to activate the scrolls.

Nie Yan departed from Calore and found a secluded place, where he summoned the Faulkner Warhorse and galloped away into the wilderness.

Nie Yan just happened to encounter a group of a hundred players on their way to a high-level map in his path. Based on their numbers, they were probably going to hunt a Lord-class monster. Most of them were solo players, but he saw various guild emblems scattered among them.

Nie Yan recalled participating in these sorts of expeditions in his past life. They were usually organized by one or two individuals who kept the drops from killing the Lord. However, they would compensate the players that took part with gold or credits.

These sorts of expedition teams were quite common. Back when Nie Yan was broke and penniless, he frequently joined them to make some quick cash. If the organizer was a high roller, he could earn up to 600 credits in a single expedition, which was enough to last him for a while.

Nie Yan started reminiscing after seeing this group of players. However, he quickly snapped back to reality. There was no point in sulking over the past events of a different world. He sped away on his Faulkner Warhorse.

Seeing Nie Yan's silhouette, a commotion broke out among this group of players.

"That's Nirvana Flame! I've watched so many of his videos, there's no way I'd mistake him! That mount he's riding... isn't that a Faulkner Warhorse!?" 

"Should we chase after him? I heard Bloodlust Blades put up an 8,000 gold bounty on him, not to mention any piece of equipment that drops from him is guaranteed to be worth at least several thousand gold."

"We could earn at least 10,000 gold by killing him!"

"We definitely stand a good chance. Just look at our numbers. How about we give it a shot?"

"Going after Nirvana Flame? Were you people dropped on the head as kids? Let's set aside how we'd be hunted down like dogs by Asskickers United for now. Several thousand of the top players in Bloodlust Blades couldn't even catch him. Do you really believe our little group will be enough?" 

The several players who suggested going after Nie Yan immediately lowered their heads in shame and shut their mouths. They were so blinded by greed that they had forgotten their target was an existence that couldn't be provoked. Killing ordinary members was fine. After all, practically every expert in Calore had dabbled in this feud. It was impossible for Asskickers United to retaliate against everyone. But anyone who attempted to go after their guild leader shouldn't even think about setting foot anywhere near Calore again. Although they were powerless to stop the masses, dealing with a handful of players was a fairly simple matter. 

When the players looked back, Nie Yan had disappeared into the horizon.

Nie Yan continued galloping south, passing through a vast stretch of prairie. He had spent a total of 20 minutes. It would've taken an ordinary player more than an hour and a half to cover the same distance. 

Nie Yan passed through a Level 50 map, a Level 60 map, and even a Level 70 map. However, he showed no signs of stopping. He passed by numerous different giant monsters as the scenery blurred past him.

During this time, Nie Yan checked his quest log. He still had to do the quest related to the Tyrant Abak Set. This quest had a 10 day time limit. He had received it just before his trip to the Underworld, so he had about 5 days left to finish it.

Nie Yan knew he would trigger a major questline by meeting Earl Kelfide, so it was best if he raised his level first.

Nie Yan also took a look at the Union of Assassins. A staggering 250,000 gold had been paid out for the bounty he put on Bloodlust Blades. They had killed a total of 128,382 players.

This was a terrifying figure, especially given that Bloodlust Blades only had around 360,000 players in total.

Nie Yan glanced at the top participants.

Rank 1: King of the World
Kill Count: 1,328

Rank 2: Hapless Frog
Kill Count: 1,021

There were also 60 others with kill counts ranging from 700 to 800.

Nie Yan wasn't surprised the top two participants were Thieves. After all, the class was most suited for assassination.

King of the World… Nie Yan suddenly recalled such a person in his past life. He was rumoured to be a former soldier. No one knew for sure, but he was undoubtedly a famous Thief. He guild hopped from Dark Hero to Holy Empire and then finally Victorious Return, where during that time his reputation surpased even that of Sun and Shadow. Later on, he had a falling out with them and left the guild. Victorious Return didn't respond to this well and placed a bounty on his head. However, he was unfazed, killing anyone who came after him by relying on his remarkable assassination skills. Over the course of this event, he racked up a headcount of more than 1,000 players, causing Victorious Return to lose a great deal of face. For whatever reason, all news of him disappeared after that.

It was rumoured King of the World was betrayed, his identity in real life leaked to Heaven Breaker, who then sent foreign hitmen after his life. Several of his close brothers ended up dying during the attempt, with only him escaping.

However, things didn't end just there. Later on, Heaven Breaker and a person nicknamed Night Cat were found dead in their villas. There were no signs of damage on their bodies except for a bloody hole in their necks, which were determined to be puncture wounds created by a sharp object, presumably a dagger. The murderer was thought to have had special assassination training of some sort. When the authorities went to review the satellite data, they discovered it had been hacked, with the surveillance video of everything near the two murder scenes being wiped clean. The culprit was never found. Many people had a good idea of who was behind these two murders. But no one had proof. From then on, control of Victorious Return was handed over to Heaven Breaker's son, and King of the World never appeared again.

This was one of the most contentious and sensational developments that had occurred since the release of Conviction. So of course the media had reported on it extensively.

Heaven Breaker and Cao Xu were in the same boat, so Nie Yan had naturally paid close attention to this news. After the disappearance of King of the World, many players felt great sorrow at the loss of this legendary Thief who stood side by side with figures like Sun and Shadow Killer. If King of the World hadn't shown up in the Union of Assassins, Nie Yan would've completely forgotten about him.

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