Chapter 368 - Underground Dungeon
Nie Yan's assortment of special items could practically fill a museum exhibit by this point. These accessories didn't need to be worn all the time, so he could just leave them in his bag until he needed them. He certainly wasn't short on inventory space!
Radiant Gems were special materials used to craft or upgrade special items. Some of Nie Yan's special items were due for an upgrade, but he would first need to find a suitable Jewelcrafter.
After quietly looting everything in the chest, Nie Yan snuck out of the hole and proceeded toward the throne.
Pygmy Transformation lasted an hour. He still had ample time.
He stuck close to the wall while slowly making his way towards the throne.
When Nie Yan saw the Bloodthirsty Thief walking over in his direction, he immediately halted his footsteps and ducked into a corner, not daring to make even the slightest movement. The Bloodthirsty Thief swept through the surroundings with an ominous gaze, then turned around and walked further and further away.
Seeing the receding figure of the Bloodthirsty Thief, Nie Yan took advantage of the opportunity to rush to the back of the throne. There he saw a hole with a staircase leading downwards.
Descending down the stairs a damp coldness suffused the air along with the foul stench of blood.
The dungeon was dark and gloomy.You have discovered the Underground Dungeon.
The floor of the dungeon was a mess with hay bails scattered about. A narrow passageway ran down the center, surrounded on both sides by rows of prison cells. Guarding them were Evil Hounds, Level 70 Elites that could spit out Soul Fire.
Every cell was filled with commoners and nobles. Their clothing albeit dirty and unkempt was made out of high-quality materials.
Saving all the hostages via the normal method—taking down the Evil Hounds one by one while coping with their Soul Fire—would take a minimal of 12 hours to upwards of several days. But none of that was necessary with Pygmy Transformation still active.
Nie Yan easily snuck into one of the prison cells by slipping through a gap between the bars. He saw a commoner in tattered clothes anxiously pacing back and forth. He tossed an Instant Transfer Scroll onto the floor.
When the commoner happened to look down during a sad sigh, he noticed the Instant Transfer Scroll beside his feet. A joyous expression appeared on his face. He cautiously surveyed his surroundings but saw no one around. He activated the scroll and teleported to safety with a flash of light.
Nie Yan took advantage of his small size to slip past the Evil Hounds and deliver Instant Transfer Scrolls to every cell.
The hostages quickly teleported away after receiving an Instant Transfer Scroll.
A while later Nie Yan checked his quest progress.Rescued Hostages: 56/100
Nie Yan was steadily approaching his goal. His movements were light and agile as he bypassed the Evil Hounds undetected. With their low intelligence, they had no idea how the hostages in the prisons cells were mysteriously disappearing.
Saving one person after another, Nie Yan finally reached the end of the dungeon. His quest progress was at 99 out of 100 hostages rescued, missing only a single person. However, he couldn't find them even after scouring the entire place.
After searching around some more, he eventually discovered a damp tunnel with a staircase which led deeper underground.
Just when he was about to descend the stairs, his body started growing until he returned to his original size.
The hour is up. Nothing I can do except continue exploring… Nie Yan gradually proceeded deeper into the narrow tunnel, with nothing in his vision save for darkness and mud walls.
He had no idea where this tunnel led to.
Nie Yan thought back to the Ashen Punisher Set. He believed the only way to obtain the remaining three pieces was by clearing out all the Dusk Thieves in the throne room. But it was impossible for him to accomplish this by himself.
An expedition team composed of Bladelight and his team would have no problem clearing out those Dusk Thieves. It would prove troublesome to deal with the Dusk Thieves using conventional tactics, but Nie Yan had thought of a suitable plan. By using a combination of vines and ice walls to guard the entrance of the throne room, they could freely bombard the enemy with area-of-effect spells.
Asskickers United currently had 17 Mages capable of casting Advanced Magic. Nuking these Dusk Thieves to oblivion would be easy. As for the likely sole survivor, the Bloodthirsty Thief patrolling around the throne, he would figure out a way to deal with it when the time came.
Given the gear quality of Bladelight and the others, Nie Yan was confident they could handle a Level 70 Lord.
Generally, a Fighter with average gear could tank an equal-level Lord, a Fighter with somewhat decent gear could tank a Lord up to 10 levels above them, and a Fighter with top-quality gear could tank a Lord as much as 30 levels above them. This was why outstanding expedition teams could regularly hunt down much higher level Lords. Furthermore, all the top Priests in Asskickers United could cast Junior Revive, and three of their Paladins had learned Protect, a skill which allowed the Priests to leave the combat zone without attracting any aggro. Like this they could avoid wipes. Of course they would still suffer some losses.
Nie Yan passed down his coordinates to Guo Huai. Bladelight and the others were currently hunting a different Lord, so they would come over a little later.
The players of Asskickers United were still too weak. When they were a bit higher level, Nie Yan planned to take them to hunt a Level 100 Lord.
「How's your class advancement quest going?」Guo Huai asked. He knew beforehand Nie Yan had chosen to do his class advancement on Expert. He couldn't help but admire the courage Nie Yan displayed. Most players didn't even dare to do their class advancement on Normal, let alone Hard or Expert.
「I'm one hostage away from finishing it,」Nie Yan replied.
「Already?」Guo Huai blurted out in surprise. Most players took at least several days to complete their class advancement quest.
In fact, Nie Yan's class advancement quest would take other players more than two weeks to finish, if not longer. Finding the hidden entrance behind the throne alone was already difficult, requiring players to blindly search around the Nilan Colosseum for at least 5 days.
「Mhmm. Has there been any movements on the side of Bloodlust Blades?」Nie Yan asked.
「I heard the Century Financial Group handed over another 700,000 gold to them, so they've started paying out compensation to their players too. They also made an announcement saying if we were willing to admit defeat, they would let bygones be bygones.」Guo Huai chuckled.「Although I do believe the Century Financial Group gave them some gold, I don't think it's anywhere near that much. I refuse to believe the Century Financial Group has 700,000 gold just lying around!」
「They definitely won't last much longer. Reply on the forums saying as long as Bloodlust Blades stands, Asskickers United will never take down the bounty on them!」Nie Yan said. Bloodlust Blades was already running on fumes. This was the perfect opportunity to take them down; otherwise, they would cause endless trouble in the future after fully recovering from this war.
「You sure are ruthless!」Guo Huai remarked「I bet the players from Bloodlust Blades will despair after seeing this announcement, and any remaining thoughts of staying in the guild will vanish. It'll be Bloodlust Blade's largest mass exodus of players to date!」
「Be careful of Bloodlust Blades making a final desperate attempt at a reversal. Pay attention to their every movement. If they come to Calore, immediately report back to me. After all, we need to show our guests some proper hospitality!」Nie Yan's lips curved into a faint smile. If an intercity war broke out, Bloodlust Blades would be at a huge disadvantage. Asskickers United's position in Calore was unshakable. Even if they encountered trouble, they still had Holy Empire, Sapphire Shrine, Radiant Sacred Flame, War God Tribe, and Battle Crazed Alliance to back them up!
「Understood!」Guai nodded. He wasn't worried at all about Bloodlust Blades coming to Calore.
Nie Yan continued chatting with Guo Huai for a bit before hanging up.
Guo Huai posted up Nie Yan's announcement on the forums.
「As long as Bloodblust Blades stands, Asskickers United will never take the bounty down!」
All the players on the forums sucked in a breath of cold air. Asskickers United had basically cut off all paths of retreat. How ruthless! Everyone could sense the absolute confidence in these words. Could Bloodlust Blades withstand this fierce counter from Asskickers United?
At this time, everybody was reminded of Bloodlust Mad Blade's words: Whoever backed down first was the other's grandson!
Bloodlust Blades was stuck between a rock and a hard place. Were they really going to continue competing with Asskickers United? The number of players hunting them had recently increased dramatically. Over 6,000 players had died in just 2 days. This was a huge blow to the moral. At this rate, more and more people would withdraw from the guild. Add Nie Yan's announcement to the mix, and their situation was becoming exceedingly grave.
Nie Yan felt relaxed. After the guild's funding issue was resolved, they no longer had to worry about paying out the rewards for the bounty. He had the free time to complete several quests. In a few days, he would return to the Underworld. The profits from the second round of trades with Fallen Angel would completely transform Asskickers United!
As he traversed the dark tunnels, Nie Yan began noticing a distant rhythm that seemed like breathing. Waves of searing-hot wind flowed through the tunnel in sync with the rhythm, bringing wisps of white steam out of the depths.
As this heatwave brushed over Nie Yan's skin, he felt a scalding heat. Thankfully he had the Kilnfire Heart which greatly increased his Fire Resistance and could even make him immune to fire damage for a certain time.