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Chapter 456 - Darkwing Dragon

Nie Yan planned to have many famous crafters collaborate together. Every city had mercenary style organizations. Players in the crafters guild could register, receive, and complete tasks for free and keep the rewards obtained for themselves. The crafters guild could issue out various odd job requests and not collect an intermediary fee.

The first step was to unify the crafters in Asskickers United and have them integrate into the larger community of crafters. Eventually word would get around about how great their benefits were, incentivizing crafters all around the Viridian Empire to start flocking to Asskickers United.

Asskickers United was already known to treat crafters generously, so much so that ordinary crafters were tripping over each other trying to join. However, those with actual ability were few and far between. It was precisely these players that Nie Yan wanted to lure in using the juicy benefits of the crafters guild! Of course, for now this was only in theory. The nitty gritty would be left to Guo Huai and his administrative team to iron out.

Nie Yan rang up Guo Huai and explained his idea.

「Not a bad idea. I can definitely see it paying off, especially since we'll be the first.」

「How many high rank crafters do we have in the guild right now?」Nie Yan asked. He only had a rough understanding of the guild's situation. He couldn't be bothered to pay attention to the small details. That was left to Guo Huai.

「We have 39 Advanced Alchemists, 15 Advanced Tinkerers, 31 Advanced Engineers, 6 Advanced Enchanters… Tallying everyone up, we have around 200 or so Advanced Crafters,」Guo Huai replied after pulling up the data.

Every profession improved at different rates, with Enchanters and Runemasters being the slowest and Alchemists coming in at a close second. Of the 36 Advanced Alchemists in the whole of Calore, 21 belonged to the Starry Night Potion Shop, with 18 more being recruited from other cities. 

About 200 Advanced Crafters, this number was merely a drop in the bucket compared to all the crafters in the Viridian Empire.

「Has there been anyone that reached the Master rank yet?」Nie Yan asked. Master rank was a major watershed. Later on, Advanced crafters could be found everywhere. However, very few would succeed in becoming Masters, less than 1 in 1,000. If you became an Advanced crafter, you would be accepted into any guild and find decent work. If you became a Master crafter, your fame would reach far and wide.

「Not yet, but six people in the Starry Night Potion Shop are showing good promise. It's looking like Quiet Nannan is going to be the first among them to succeed after learning the Everwinter Potion Recipe you picked up. I predict he'll rank up sometime in the next 10 or so days. As for the others, It'll probably take another month or longer if I were to give a conservative estimate,」Guo Huai said. Becoming a Master was an incredibly difficult hurdle.

Nie Yan recalled it wasn't much different in the previous timeline.「When Quiet Nannan becomes a Master Alchemist, announce it publicly and use the momentum to promote the crafters guild.」

「Understood.」Guo Huai nodded.

Nie Yan stayed in the Hilton Stronghold for the whole day. He rented out a room in the inn to let the three kids wash up and bought them new clothes. Afterwards, he noticed their loyalty for him had increased even further.

On the second day, Nie Yan received word that Great General Breakspear had returned. He passed through the bustling streets and headed for the Great General's residence.

Nie Yan spotted many groups of soldiers along the way. They were fully equipped, all clad in the same sets of army regulated armour.

The atmosphere in the Hilton Stronghold was a lot heavier than before. It appeared Ignatius had passed on his words to the administrator. Like this, Nie Yan had one less thing to worry about. If in five days monsters swarmed out of the Underworld like he predicted, it would count as a successful prophecy.

As for whether the Hilton Stronghold could advert this disaster, that was still up in the air.

Great General Breakspear's residence was a two-story white stone house. It looked quite elegant, surrounding by thick walls and a lush garden in the front filled with all sorts of plants. Nie Yan approached the gate.

After declaring his identity, Nie Yan was escorted by a servant to the livingroom to meet Great General Breakspear. He was a burly man around a head taller than Nie Yan. He was bulging with muscles and resembled a giant.

He was a Level 220 Legendary Warrior. Just like War God Kelo, he was a barbarian!

Great General Breakspear wasn't wearing his armour, instead opting for a more comfortable large robe.

"It's an honour to meet you Great General Breakspear," Nie Yan greeted respectfully. Breakspear was an unapproachable existence to ordinary players. If it weren't for his Devil Slayer and Grand Scholar titles, this meeting would be impossible!

"Likewise," Breakspear greeted back with a kind smile.

Nie Yan's gaze couldn't help but drift to Breakspear's left arm. It looked withered like that of a dried up corpse.

"Are you curious?" Breakspear chuckled.

"Yes." Nie Yan nodded.

"It's a death curse I received from the Legendary Necromancer Nadago. Within time, it'll slowly consume me until I become nothing but a walking corpse," Breakspear explained. His tone was casual as though he were talking about the weather. 

"Is there any way to lift the curse?" Nie Yan asked. He had a feeling Breakspear's curse was somehow related to the broken pieces of Nadago's Staff of Curses in his possession. 

"The only way is to use one of Nadago's belongings, such as his staff, as a medium to lift the curse. However, Nadago hasn't appeared in the world in over 1,000 years," Breakspear replied. 

Nie Yan's mind trembled. Didn't this mean Breakspear was also an existence that lived more than 1,000 years ago?

"I believe I can help you lift the curse," Nie Yan said, taking out Nadago's Staff of Curses from his bag.

Breakspear's eyes widened in rare surprise. His gaze immediately fell on the broken staff in Nie Yan's hands.

"It's Nadago's Staff of Curses! How did you get this?" Breakspear exclaimed in shock. "Why is it broken in half?"

"Nadago was sealed by someone. By a stroke of luck, I managed to slay him in his weakened state. This was a spoil from the battle," Nie Yan explained, purposefully omitting the specific details of the event.

Even so, Breakspear was no stranger to Nadago's frightening might. Even in a sealed state, a simple curse could transform Nie Yan into a corpse.

"You slew Nadago? This makes you a hero of the Viridian Empire! I'll make sure to inform the council of elders about your achievements," Breakspear said. Waving his hand, Nie Yan lit up with a brilliant radiance.

Nie Yan checked his level. He had jumped directly to Level 72! The amount of experience he just received was nothing short of frightening!

Besides the experience reward, Nie Yan's army rank jumped up three levels from 10-Man Commander to 10,000-Man Commander! Further above were only General and Great General.

The reward for slaying Legendary Necromancer Nadago was amazing!

Nie Yan checked his stats. His health already reached over 6,200. His defense, attack power, and other stats had also risen greatly.

The stat bonuses for 10,000-Man Commander were Attack +20%, Defense +25%, and Health +30%.

These stat bonuses would be even greater after becoming a General and Great General. Nie Yan recalled a Level 93 Warrior's health rising to more than 12,000 after becoming a 10,000-Man Commander in the previous timeline. He became tanky beyond belief. Even if he stood still without fighting back, it'd take ages for an equal level Thief to kill him.

Thieves were a squishy class. It was extremely difficult for them to acquire a lot of health. For one to have as much health as Nie Yan was unimaginable!

Level 72… Nie Yan was getting closer and closer to reaching Level 100. At that time, he could accept the class advancement quest to become a Shadow Dancer!

"Nirvana Flame, are you willing to help me lift this curse by giving me the staff?" Breakspear asked.

"Of course I'm willing!" Nie Yan said. He handed over Nadago's Staff of Curses to Breakspear.

Great General Breakspear let out a deep grunt, crushing the staff's skull in pieces and rubbing them on his left arm. The skull transformed into dark energy which permeated into his arm. Gradually, colour returned to his skin. However, his muscles were still atrophied. It would take time for them to recover.

Breakspear breathed out a sigh of relief, then let out a full bellied laugh. "I've finally gotten rid of this damned curse after so long. Thank you, Nirvana Flame."

"It's an honour I could help the lift the  curse that that's bothered you for so long," Nie Yan laughed.

"Words cannot express my gratitude to you. This is the egg of a Darkwing Dragon. I initially planned to hatch and raise it myself. Now I've decided to give it to you." Breakspear took out a black egg roughly the size of a basketball. It was covered in runes and let out an onyx glow that cast a dark tint over the whole room.

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