Chapter 508 - Bloodfiends
While Nie Yan remained fairly calm these past few days, Guo Huai had been anxiously monitoring every little change in the market. He could faintly tell that another huge upheaval was about to come.
Alliance of Mages spending 2,000,000 gold to acquire gems was the final straw that broke the camel's back. Noticing something was wrong with the market, more and more players began greedily amassing gems. The prices shot through the roof.
The higher the prices rose, the more people started buying. This was how the market operated.
「Nie Yan, t-t-the prices! The prices of gems are starting to spike!」Guo Huai's voice cracked with excitement. These last five days had been incomparably nerve-wracking for him. With the prices of gems finally going up again, how could he not be thrilled?
「Calm down. Let's wait a little longer,」Nie Yan chuckled. In the next few days, the prices of gems would only continue to rise. All they had to do was sit back, relax, and watch the gold start pouring in.
Only by waiting until the prices peaked could they maximize their profits. Nie Yan was like a hunte, patiently waiting for his prey.
「I know, I know, but I still can't help myself from getting excited!」Guo Huai laughed. He also had a good eye for the market. However, this was 20,000,000 gold they were talking about! Very few people could keep calm when faced with such a vast sum of money!
Nie Yan naturally understood that money was only a means to an end. He had lived, died, and come back again. There were very few things that could still get him excited. This 20,000,000 gold was only the beginning.
Every player in the Viridian and Satreen Empires was closely watching the gem market. The recent volatility these past few days was surrounded by a veil of mystery. Many players couldn't tell what was going on. Some of them firmly held onto the belief that the secret shop existed, and that everything happening right now was a ploy by troublemakers to convince them to buy gems. They opted to keep waiting until prices fell to their desired range. Those with a bit of insight, on the other hand. started frantically buying up gems, which drove prices even higher. However, the average players took the wait and see approach. They could only watch on nervously as the prices of gems gradually rose higher and higher.
At present, no one could say whose judgement was correct.
"The price of Poison Resistance Gems dropped from 1,200 to 300 gold just a few days ago. Now it's back to 1,000 gold and it's still rising! What the hell!?" a Warrior gloomily said.
"It's not just the Poison Resistance Gems, others have shot up in price too, especially Fire Resistance Gems. They've practically doubled in price!"
"Luckily, I bought six gems when prices were low. I spent around 600 gold at that time. I bet I'll get 3,000 gold if I sell them now."
In this world, where there were winners, there also had to be losers.
Nie Yan casually browsed the auction house listings. There were clearly fewer gems up for sale than before. He estimated before long a drought would emerge in the gem market. When he passed through Calore's central square, he noticed a significant increase in the number of players teaming up to farm gems. Given the current volatility of the market, many people didn't dare to make a purchase. So, they decided to farm the gems they needed for themselves. However, their success was limited. A team grinding a specific map for five to six days straight would only see about three to four gems drop at most. Not to mention the type of gem that dropped was random. After divvying up the spoils, the exercise was hardly worth the effort.
「Oh by the way, how many Magic Runestones did you manage to get your hands on?」Nie Yan asked.
「Over 10,000! As for how many complete seven-element sets, around 500 or so,」Guo Huai replied. At present, the majority of player attention was on gems. Relatively few people were buying runestones. Furthermore, since the prices were so low, he managed to acquire a lot.
「500 sets?」Nie Yan was taken aback. He didn't expect Guo Huai to collect so many. In the previous timeline, a complete set of Magic Runestones cost an arm and a leg. Yet Guo Huai managed to gather more than 500 of these sets! One could imagine how much experience that would translate to!
Nie Yan planned to take advantage of the experience bonus from killing Dillons while he was still low-level to level up a few more times. Then when the levelling speed was no longer as efficient, he would turn in the Magic Runestones to Clemmy the Wise.
Nie Yan took his Javelin Launcher and returned to grinding mobs.
Everything was relatively peaceful over on the side of Asskickers United. Bladelight, Smoke Stub, and the others started forming 1,000-man expedition teams to hunt famous high level monsters, such as the Level 80 Flaming Drake Lord and the Level 85 Mani Python Lord. At the same time, the lower ranking players followed suit by hunting weaker Elites and Lords.
The presence of Asskickers United could be felt all over the Level 60-80 maps around Calore. When first clearing maps, they occasionally had some lucky encounters, such as finding a warehouse full of gunpowder and a huge deposit of sulfur. All of these spoils were transported back to the guild headquarters.
With Calore firmly secured, Asskickers United began expanding their influence by establishing a branch in Kavodin. Sapphire Shrine, Holy Empire, and Radiant Sacred Flame also started establishing branches in other cities, all of which had yet to be united by a single power. They carried out mass recruitment campaigns and slowly started amassing strength. When the time was ripe, they'd seize these cities for themselves.
While Nie Yan was busy raising his level, Guo Huai contacted him with an urgent report.
「Some Thieves have been running around all over the place assassinating our players. What do we do!?」Guo Huai knitted his brows as he looked over the various reports.
「Who are the players that were killed?」Nie Yan asked. Sneak attacks and ambushes weren't all that uncommon. He had also dispatched Thieves to assassinate the players of Alliance of Mages, Divine Protectors, and Angel Corps. The players from Asskickers United were generally capable of fending off any attacks.
「The enemy seems to have 50 to 60 people on their side. They have around seven to eight Thieves a squad. They rarely slip up when carrying out their assassinations. Their targets are our elites. Their intel is extremely accurate too. I believe there are people on our side leaking information to them. Undying Scoundrel, Summer Bug, Monochrome... all of them have been killed. Our losses are pretty heavy. Bladelight was ambushed too. He managed to kill two of them and almost lost his life, but luckily our reinforcements arrived in time.」Guo Huai's information showed that more than 20 important members had been assassinated.
「Do you know who's behind all this?」Nie Yan frowned, a grim look on his face. These members were the pillars of the Asskickers United. Each of their deaths represented a huge blow to guild morale.
「They call themselves the Bloodfiends, but I have no way of confirming this,」Guo Huai replied.「I believe Alliance of Mages, Divine Protectors, and Angel Corps are behind this. Only those three are willing to put in so much effort to deal with us.」
"Bloodfiends…?" Nie Yan muttered to himself. This was a famous Thief organization in the previous timeline that operated both in the Viridian and Satreen Empires. They were composed of 100 members, all of whom were unscrupulous professional players who would do anything, steal, assassinate, murder... so long as there was a profit to be made. They had many experts in their ranks. Back then, five of them had succeeded in becoming Shadow Dancers. The rest also weren't to be looked down on. Players generally didn't dare to provoke them. They were extremely mysterious. Every member had their own unique code name and corresponding code word. None of their whereabouts were known to the outside. This organization was extremely strict. They never recruited members requesting to join from the outside, making it impossible for players or guilds to infiltrate them.
It was precisely this 100-member organization that had slaughtered three 10,000-member guilds in the previous timeline. The number of people that had died at their hands were too many to count. However, no one ever managed to pinpoint their locations, nor did anyone ever see them for more than a moment or two. There was simply no catching these Thieves.
One could imagine just how frightening this kind of organization was!
「Since it's the Bloodfiends, this will be a problem.」Nie Yan knitted his brows. He guessed his old adversaries had hired these players from Bloodfiends.
「Gah, these bastards from Alliance of Mages, Divine Protectors, and Angel Corps won't rest till I kick the bucket from stress! Being targeted by an organization like the Bloodfiends definitely isn't a pleasant thing,」Guo Huai said. Unless you were extremely skilled and had high Awareness, very few players could survive getting ganged up on by eight top ranked Thieves.
「Our top priority is finding out the identity of the traitors in our ranks. We'll do a thorough inspection. I refuse to believe they can hide from us. Besides this, tell our players to be careful when setting off for the wilderness. It's best if they stick in groups. Don't give the enemy the opportunity to catch them alone,」Nie Yan said. Information about the Bloodfiends assassinating players of Asskickers United hadn't been revealed to the public, nor did any guild admit to being behind this. Since it was like this, he would let this information remain buried.
Without knowing who did it, Nie Yan wouldn't take any retaliatory action. But that didn't mean he wouldn't in the future.
「I'm already looking for the traitors. It likely isn't just one person.」Guo Huai let out a deep sigh. No guild could prevent traitors from popping up in their ranks, including Asskickers United. However, Asskickers United also had moles hidden within the ranks of Alliance of Mages, Divine Protractors, and Angel Corps. Doing the work of a mole paid dozens of times more than being a regular member. With such a lucrative reward, there would always be people who were willing to take the risk.
「If you find the traitors, don't expose them, and don't let them know they've been found out. I'll have a use for them later,」Nie Yan said. He already had a plan in mind.
Guo Huai was surprised but immediately understood what Nie Yan wanted to do. He smiled.「Understood, you can be sure they won't notice a thing.」
If the traitors were identified, they could become Asskickers United's mouthpieces. With these fellows there, they could be put to good use during crucial moments.