Chapter 451 - Hilton Stronghold
「Smoke Stub and Bladelight are running Baneful Swamp right now. I estimate they won't be out for another two or three hours. Those two from Angel Corps are pretty skilled. I don't think Smoke Stub and Bladelight can necessarily beat them,」Guo Huai said. Mad God and Depraved stood at the top of the pyramid in the Satreen Empire, so they were in no way inferior to Bladelight and Smoke Stub. It could easily go either way.
「They're already running Baneful Swamp? Not bad,」Nie Yan remarked with a hint of surprise. Baneful Swamp was the hardest Level 60 dungeon. But it had great drops to match the difficulty, especially if you were looking for equipment with high poison resistance.「When Bladelight and Smoke Stub get out, make them go up. As for who'll come out on top, we'll know when the time comes. They shouldn't be any weaker than those two.」
Nie Yan refused to believe Bladelight, Smoke Stub, and the others were any weaker than those two players from Angel Corps. Most recently, the top players from Asskickers United were dilligently leveling and improving the quality of their gear. The location list of Sub Legendary and Legendary-grade equipment Nie Yan had provided them was an excellent motivator. None of them dared to dally, for fear of missing out.
After class advancing, players could start building towards their end game set. The higher the level, the more difficult it was to level up. Outstanding equipment, however, could reduce the amount of work needed. Asskickers United could only truly grow strong when their members improved both their level and the quality of their gear.
Of course, Bladelight and Smoke Stub had better things to do than enter a pissing contest with Mad God and Depraved. However, since the other party had come knocking on their door, Asskickers United's reputation would be besmirched if they didn't answer the challenge.
Mad God and Depraved would definitely be sent back with their faces beaten black and blue!
「Those two fools won't be kicking up a fuss for much longer.」Nie Yan continued riding on towards the Hilton Stronghold.
Calore Central Square.
Mad God and Depraved setting up a makeshift arena had stirred up huge waves. Asskickers United was the representative guild of Calore, and had a good majority of the populace's support. When outsiders from the Satreen Empire came here looking to pick a fight, it wasn't just an affront to Asskickers United but to the whole of Calore.
Every player in the city, not just those belonging to Asskickers United, was rushing over to defend Calore's honour. Such blatant disrespect would not be tolerated!
Players started gathering in droves after the announcement was posted up on the forums. A large crowd reaching to far beyond the square formed around the makeshift arena.
A few high level players who were confident in their skills approached the makeshift arena.
"If you want to challenge the Mad Rogue, you'll have to beat us first! Our guild leader doesn't have the luxury to play around with any random fool that wants to pick a fight!" a player from Asskickers United said in a disdainful tone.
"Right! You'll have to beat us first!" the others echoed.
Mad God glanced at the crowd, then turned to Depraved. "What do you say? Shall we kill some time by taking on these guys?"
"Of course, or else the Mad Rogue might not come out." Depraved nodded, an indifferent expression on his face.
"Me or you first?" Mad God asked. It looked like he was itching for a fight. He loved nothing more in the world than beating weaklings. It was even better if they all came at him at once.
"I'll let you go first." Depraved had no interest in these players. No matter how many of them came, the result would be the same. PvPing them was a waste of time.
"Alright then, I could use a warm up!"
Mad God walked up to the middle of the arena stage and started setting up the rules. There was no penalty for dying. Every participant would have to pay a 20 gold entry fee, and anyone that beat him would win 200 gold.
After seeing the prize for winning, many players were eager to give it a try. This was a 1000% return on investment! The crowd started discussing excitedly.
"This Mad God is pretty famous in the Satreen Empire. I advise those under Level 55 not to go up. You'll just be throwing your gold away," a person in the crowd warned.
There were at least 10 in the crowd above Level 55. More experts would probably be arriving soon.
Mad God unsheathed his two greatswords and pointed at the crowd with a cocky smirk on his face. "So, which one of you wants to come up and get their ass kicked first?"
Some players were immediately enraged, wishing for nothing more than to rush up the stage and give him a good beating. Others remained calm and continued to observe.
A Great Warrior called Lofty Sky Sword leaped up on the stage. Still riding the high of having recently class advanced, he felt like he could beat anybody.
"Fuck, he's way too arrogant!"
"Boss Sky Sword, kill him!"
Sky Sword couldn't help but become smug after hearing the cheers from the crowd.
Orc Warriors could either class advance into Orc Great Berserkers or Orc Great Fighters. Mad God had chosen the latter. His class trait bonus gave him a boost to Strength and increased the size of his physique. He was clearly larger than Sky Sword.
The trait bonus of a human Great Warrior was more well-rounded—providing increases to Balance, Focus, and other stats, along with a Tendon Break Mastery which increased the effects of the skill. It was roughly on par with that of an Orc Great Berserker.
Just as Sky Sword wanted to say something, Mad God cut him off. "Let's just get this over with, so I can get to the next guy."
"Y-y-you!" Sky Sword let out a roar and charged at Mad God.
"Hmph!" Mad God raised his two greatswords and greeted the assault head-on.
Players could tell on the first exchange which side held the advantage. Mad God rained down a torrent of slashes, immediately forcing Sky Sword on the back foot. Sky Sword tried his best to counter with a skill, but was interrupted every time. In a matter of seconds, Mad God sent him flying back and crashing into the ground.
Mad God's domineering display shook the hearts of many in the crowd as they broke out in a cold sweat. He hadn't used any important skills, only simple slashes and kicks, yet thoroughly crushed Sky Sword.
"Next," Mad God said after looking over the crowd.
After reviving, Mad God's face was dark as he left the stage in dejection.
Many more class advanced players stepped up to the challenge. However, all of them were defeated without any synapse and sent walking off the stage in shame. The difference in strength was simply too great. In all of Calore, very few players could go toe-to-toe with Mad God. No matter how many players went up, they would only serve as fodder.
After defeating several dozen players in a row, Mad God grew even more arrogant. "Are the players of Calore really this weak? Come on, there has to be someone stronger out there, or else it really is a waste of my time!"
This only served to further infuriate the crowd. An uproar erupted on the forums.
At this moment, every player in Calore was looking to Asskickers United. If they didn't rise up to the challenge, their reputation would definitely be tarnished.
They waited and waited and waited, but there was still no movement from Asskickers United.
「Why hasn't Asskickers United shown up yet?」
「Could it really be they're too afraid to accept the challenge?」
「I'm not sure, but I heard Nirvana Flame and the other top players are busy running dungeons or questing. We'll probably have to wait until they're done.」
Rumours were springing up everywhere in Calore. The players from Asskickers United not showing up wasn't an issue for the time being. But as minutes turned into hours, their absence would become hard to defend. After all, Mad God and Depraved weren't prattling buffoons that could be ignored. Following several dozen consecutive victories, they had shown everyone their skill!
Mad God had been the one fighting on the stage this whole time. After defeating 26 people in a row, Depraved still hadn't taken action. No one knew how strong he was, but he probably wasn't any weaker than his partner. The two definitely proved they had the strength to challenge Nirvana Flame!
Among the defeated were even some of the most famous Calore-based players. Mad God garnered quite a bit of limelight.
Nie Yan was constantly monitoring the situation over in Calore. From the videos, he could roughly gauge the strength of Mad God and Depraved. He just wasn't sure what tricks they had up their sleeves. Since they had come all the way over from the Satreen Empire to challenge him, they definitely had something special prepared. After all, they represented Angel Corps. Their defeat would also be a loss of face for their guild.
In any case, everything would be eventually revealed in an hour or two, when Smoke Stub, Bladelight, and the others returned to Calore. Then, those two wouldn't be acting so high and mighty anymore.
Nie Yan arrived outside the Hilton Stronghold. Looking up, he was in awe of the more than 20-meter-high walls. They appeared impenetrable, able to repel any assault. A long row of giant magic cannons were placed at the top of the walls. They were much bigger than the ones back at the Cripps Stronghold. Those ones were only Rank 1, with a range of 1,000 meters, and were relatively weak in power. However, the cannons here were Rank 16, with a range of 10,000 meters, and had frightening destructive power. An enormous gap separated the two.
Nie Yan recalled his Faulkner Warhorse. He then entered the Hilton Stronghold from the main gates and headed straight for the center.
The Hilton Stronghold looked much like a city. Buildings and shops everywhere, connected by somewhat narrow streets paved with white stone, and bustling with activity. The people walking to and fro were mostly NPCs, since at this stage of the game few players would visit here.