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Chapter 500 - Smoke Screen

The conflict between Asskickers United and Eternal attracted the attention of many players. The forums immediately became heated with discussion regarding this topic.

This was the first time Asskickers United wasn't considered the underdog. Their target was Eternal's three strongholds. If they didn't take down one or two, this campaign would hold no meaning. Many players were waiting in anticipation to see how this war would play out.

Perhaps this matter could still be resolved peacefully if Eternal simply bowed their heads and apologized. However, if they yielded before any fighting even began, they would lose all face in Kavodin. So, they had no choice but to butt heads with Asskickers United. After the first skirmish, they could then apologize without losing too much face.

Skyfire Wild Dragon couldn't help but feel Asskickers United was being too arrogant, thinking they could massacre Eternal with only 3,000 players. 

Neither Asskickers United or Eternal had made any posts on the forums. Alliance of Mages and Divine Protectors were closely monitoring the situation. They dispatched an additional 6,000 players to Kavodin. These players started to roam the streets and make their presence known to everyone, especially Asskickers United, while the higher-ups waited for the inevitable cry for help from Eternal.

An eerie calmness overtook Kavodin. Eternal's allies stayed silent, not showing their position. If it looked like Asskickers United was going to lose, they would rush to Eternal's aid in a show of support. If it looked like Eternal was going to lose, they definitely wouldn't extend a helping hand. This was the nature of their so-called alliance.

Every major power had deployed their forces, looking to see the outcome of this war. If Asskickers United was defeated, Alliance of Mages and Divine Protectors definitely wouldn't let them off easy.

Magic Prison Stronghold.

This was Eternal's second largest stronghold. It was protected by thick walls that stood over 30 meters tall. Numerous arrow towers were erected behind the walls. Since a battle could break out at any moment, with the 3,000 players from Asskickers United having already arrived in Kavodin, the stronghold was under lockdown. The top of the walls were heavily guarded, with sentries posted up every few meters. They were armed to the teeth and ready to defend the stronghold at a moment's notice.

Without a siege weapon like a catapult, it would be difficult for Asskickers United to break through these walls.

Asskickers United's 3,000 players were still in Kavodin, not showing any sign of movement. No one knew what they were up to. As a result, the players defending the Magic Prison Stronghold relaxed their guard if ever so slightly.

Surrounding the Magic Prison Stronghold was a vast wasteland. This place was once an ancient battlefield. 

A cold wind blew through the wasteland. The sparse plant life growing here gently swayed back and forth. This was an especially desolate scene.

On top of the stronghold walls, several players were chatting with each other.

"Say, which stronghold do you think Asskickers United is going to attack first?"

"I'm not too sure."

"Probably our main one, the Keloyi Stronghold. If it falls, we'll be forced out of Kavodin. Given the strength of Asskickers United, they'll definitely aim for the heart."

"Speaking strategically, I don't think Asskickers United will hit the Keloyi Stronghold."

"Why is that?"

"If the Keloyi Stronghold falls, our guild will be done for. But how will that benefit Asskickers United? Many of the major powers in Kavodin are eyeing our guild right now. If we're wiped out, someone else will swoop in and reap all the rewards. Asskickers United would essentially be doing all the hard work for someone else. If I was Nirvana Flame, I wouldn't do such a stupid thing. That's why I think Asskickers United will either target the Magic Prison Stronghold or Spirit Garrison Stronghold."

"I suppose that makes sense. Too bad you're not Nirvana Flame. How would you know what a guy like that is thinking?"

At this moment, three silhouettes emerged outside the Magic Prison Stronghold. Using some boulders as cover, they approached the walls. No one noticed them.

These three players were the most famous Thieves in Asskickers United, Nirvana Flame, King of the World, and Sun. One Strike Vow was busy carrying out a different mission.

Nie Yan gestured toward King of the World and Sun. The three moved along the perimeter of the walls for about 100 meters. Nie Yan looked up. He waited for a group of patrolling players to pass by.

「We'll go up from here,」Nie Yan said. Activating his Crawler Ring, he stuck to the wall like a spider and started swiftly climbing upwards. His movements were nimble and quick. His body gradually blended in with the background of the wall.

Sun took out a crossbow. It was similar in size to Nie Yan's Dullahan Cavalry Crossbow. However, it shot out a grappling hook instead of regular bolts. He pulled the trigger and fired off the grappling hook at the top of the 30-meter-high wall. After making sure it was firmly secured, he quickly scaled the wall.

King of the World took out a pair of queer looking daggers. They had sharp biting teeth at the edge of the blades. He plunged the daggers into the wall, then started making his way up purely by relying on arm strength. His muscles swelled and tensed, brimming with incredible strength.

Nie Yan reached the top of the wall in only 19 seconds. Sun and King of the World weren't much slower, at 21 and 23 seconds respectively. The three had successfully infiltrated the Magic Prison Stronghold.

They were in a state of invisibility. The players on the wall had no idea the enemy was already in their midst.

Given the awareness of these players, Nie Yan, King of the World, and Sun would practically have to be breathing down their necks to be noticed.

There were many players patrolling the vicinity. Nie Yan arrived at the other side of the wall unnoticed, then leaped down into the stronghold. A 30-meter drop was nothing for a high level Thief. They wouldn't even take any fall damage.

Nie Yan gently landed on the ground, then ducked into a corner.

「What's your statuses. Are you guys in the stronghold?」Nie Yan asked.

「I'm in,」King of the World replied.

「Me too,」Sun added.

「Alright, let's move on our own!」Nie Yan smiled. This sort of operation was child's play for the likes of them.

The three Thieves set off in different directions, disappearing into the streets.

After scouting the place, Nie Yan, King of the World, and Sun discovered there were roughly 5,000 players defending the Magic Prison Stronghold. Only a fifth of these players were strong enough to last more than a few moves against them.

There was a transfer point located at the center of the Magic Prison Stronghold. If Eternal learned Nie Yan was attacking this stronghold, they could send over 10,000 players within 10 minutes.

This was the advantage of a transfer point. 

It was for this reason that Eternal didn't place more than 5,000 players to defend the Magic Prison Stronghold. They believed that even if they received a surprise attack, holding out for 10 minutes would be no issue.

Little did Eternal know that Nie Yan, King of the World, and Sun had already snuck into the Magic Prison Stronghold, bypassing all the defenses and entering like it was their own home.

Since the Magic Prison Stronghold was in a state of lockdown, all the ordinary players had departed. This stronghold appeared completely barren. Save for a few Eternal players patrolling the streets every now and then, there was no one else.

The stronghold was filled with buildings and numerous winding streets, yet there was scarcely any sign of life. Most of the Eternal players were guarding the walls. The remaining few were stationed in the arrow towers and other defensive buildings. A large stronghold that could easily accommodate 500,000-600,000 only had 5,000 people occupying it. One could imagine how desolate this seemed.

Nie Yan arrived in a fairly secluded spot in the stronghold. Looking around, the buildings here were fairly close to each other. At the center was a large square with several shops in the vicinity. However, all of them were closed. The players from Eternal likely wouldn't visit such a remote corner. This place was only 500 meters away from the stronghold's transfer point. If he moved at top speed, he could arrive there in less than a minute.

「Alright, let's get started,」Nie Yan ordered through the guild chat after making sure the preparations were complete.

At this moment, the Asskickers United players strolling around Kavodin started making their move.

Asskickers United had many of the major powers puzzled. They had gathered in Kavodin, yet they hadn't made a move, as if they were waiting for something. In reality, under the cover of their comrades, one Arcane Mage after another slipped out of sight. They entered the transfer point and teleported to Morondo Town, which was only about a kilometer away from the Magic Prison Stronghold. Since they were fairly low in number, roughly 300 people in total, and they all moved separately, they didn't attract too much of Eternal's attention. These Arcane Mages posed absolutely no threat.

Although Eternal was aware of these Arcane Mages slipping away, they believed that as long as the majority of Asskickers United's forces remained in Kavodin, nothing would happen.

After arriving at Morondo Town, the Arcane Mages entered an NPC inn and rented a few rooms. There were around 20 people in each room.

Some people were tailing these Arcane Mages from behind. They believed the Arcane Mages were going to mount a sneak attack on one of Eternal's strongholds. However, to their surprise, none of these Arcane Mages left Morondo Town, instead renting a few rooms in an inn. Just what was going on? What were these Arcane Mages planning?

No one could understand what Nirvana Flame was plotting!

They were all left baffled, their eyes covered in a screen of smoke.

Inside one of the rooms in the inn, 20 Arcane Mages were standing together. One of them was holding a Group Teleport Scroll and was currently muttering an incantation. After a flash of blinding light, the 20 Arcane Mages disappeared, leaving the room empty.

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