Chapter 509 - Mana Key
With the elites of Asskickers United sufferring ambushes, Alliance of Mages, Divine Protectors, and Angel Corps were prime suspects. However, that didn't mean the perpetrator wasn't someone else. Other guilds would love nothing more than to see major powers like Asskickers United and Alliance of Mages ripping each other apart, since this meant they could swoop in from the sidelines and reap all the benefits for themselves.
Even if their elites were being killed left and right, Asskickers United could only try their best to endure, and maintain their vigilance while they investigated why the Bloodfiends were targeting them.
After thinking it over, Nie Yan decided to have Sun track the players of Bloodfiends and see if he could find any clues as to their whereabouts. Given Sun's skills, no matter what kind of situation he encountered, escaping would never be an issue.
There was no point in rushing into action based on presumptions. Nie Yan knew nothing good would come out of entering a war with Alliance of Mages and Divine Protectors right now. It was better to wait until Asskickers United grew stronger.
Though the size of Asskickers United remained consistent at 60,000 members, the five branch guilds had all grown past 100,000 members. The top elites in the branch guilds would be given a chance to enter the main guild. Similarly, those who weren't cutting it anymore in the main guild would be in danger of being demoted to the branch guilds. Like this, the quality of players in Asskickers United would only grow higher and higher, far surpassing that of their counterparts in Alliance of Mages and Divine Protectors.
The might of those in Asskickers United was already well known. If you were to pit 10 players from Asskickers United against 10 from Alliance of Mages on an equal playing field, the players from Asskickers United would almost always come out on top. Sometimes, other guilds would vastly outnumber Asskickers United, but they would still end up beaten black and blue just the same. 1v2, 1v3, and 1v4 situations were as common as eating rice for the players of Asskickers United. If an Asskickers United member couldn't at least hold their own against two equal levelled opponents, they wouldn't have the face to show themselves again. This was the difference in quality!
Nie Yan could clearly perceive that Asskickers United would one day completely eclipse guilds like Alliance of Mages. There was no need to be impatient.
「You need to stay on guard too. I received word that the Bloodfiends are planning to take action against you too,」Guo Huai warned. He had full faith in Nie Yan's skills. However, being surrounded and attacked by eight top ranked Thieves was still a terrifying prospect.
「Don't worry about me. They have another thing coming if they think they can kill me so easily,」Nie Yan chuckled. This wasn't him being conceited. With his excellent skills and equipment, even if he couldn't defeat them, escaping wouldn't be a problem. If he wanted to run, no one in the world could stop him!「Oh, right! How are Zhai Hao, Liu Xiuchen, and Li Rui doing these days?」
「They're pretty hard working. After running dungeons with Sesame Cake and his men for a while, they've greatly improved their skills. Their gear is much better too. Recently, I've been having them tag along behind Bladelight. He's taking care of them. I doubt they'll become peak experts, but at least they'll be far more skilled than before. Zhai Hao has a chance of entering the top 200. I also see Liu Xiuchen making the top 500. As for Li Rui… I can't promise anything; he just isn't as talented. I'd put him around the top 3,000,」Guo Huai said.
Nie Yan felt reassured after knowing the situation of Zhai Hao and the others. He would let them continue advancing on their own. Even if Li Rui was a bit lacking, there were still plenty of merits in becoming a squad captain.
「On another note, the Hilton Stronghold opened. Other guilds have already dispatched expedition teams. I heard the item drops from killing the demon beasts there are even better than from farming Elites and Lords elsewhere, 」Guo Huai changed the subject. With the other major guilds heading to the Hilton Stronghold, they definitely had to go too, lest their equipment started lagging behind.
Nie Yan thought for a moment. After grinding Dillons for a few more levels, the levelling speed would start slowing down. So, why not make a trip to the Hilton Stronghold? That would also give him the opportunity to collect the reward for his successful prophecy.
「What about Bladelight and the others? Do they want to go to the Hilton Stronghold?」Nie Yan asked. These guildmates definitely had their own views.
「Bladelight says he definitely wants to visit the Hilton Stronghold. The Glory rewards from killing demon beasts can be used to purchase Glory Sets, which have much better PvP stats than ordinary equipment. Alliance of Mages and Divine Protectors are already there. So, of course we should go too. The only problem is that it'll be hard to avoid trouble if we go. All our enemies are there. It'll only be a matter of time before a fight breaks out.」
「Have Bladelight and the others go on ahead first. I'm going to grind a few more levels. I'll be heading to the Hilton Stronghold tomorrow or the day after.」
「Alright, I'll pass on the word.」
Generally, an expedition team setting out for the Hilton Stronghold needed to be at least 1,000 players in size, or else it would be easy to meet with misfortune.
「If Sapphire Shrine, Holy Empire, Radiant Sacred Flame, the War God Tribe, and Battle Crazed Alliance want to come too, have them tag along with us. The more, the merrier,」Nie Yan said.
The players in Asskickers United immediately got busy. They were making their preparations to set off for the Hilton Stronghold.
Bladelight and Smoke Stub were the leaders of the expedition team. They led a force of 2,000 strong. It comprised 1,000 players from Asskickers United and 1,000 of the strongest from Holy Empire, Sapphire Shrine, and the other allied guilds.
「Anything we should know before we set off?」Bladelight asked.
「Be careful on the way there,」Nie Yan replied. These simple words carried many meanings.
「Understood. Don't worry. Unless Alliance of Mages, Divine Protectors, and Angel Corps bring out their entire force, they won't be able to do anything to us,」Bladelight said with a faint smile.
Not only the journey but their time at the Hilton Stronghold was also guaranteed to be riddled with trouble. However, with Bladelight and Smoke Stub in command, Nie Yan left the team in capable hands. He decided to trust in them and stop worrying.
「Guo Huai, how many people from Alliance of Mages and Divine Protectors are stationed in the Hilton Stronghold?」Nie Yan asked.
「Around 5,000-6,000 of their best. However, our forces should be more than enough to handle them,」Guo Huai said. The individual strength of the players from Asskickers United wasn't something any other guild could compare with. Every war they had been in so far was clear proof of this.
Nie Yan farmed Dillons for another two days, reaching Level 88. Finally, on the second day, he obtained the Mana Key. It looked exactly the same as the screenshots he saw on the forums from his past life. This key was about the size of a thumb. It was crystalline black and emitted a powerful magical aura.Mana Key (Legendary): Special
Item Description: The rotating wheel of destiny. A key used by the Legendary Thief Clooney. Can be equipped into an accessory slot.
Properties: Luck +3, has a certain chance of unlocking any chest.
Restrictions: Nirvana Flame
Note: This item cannot be dropped or traded.
The properties of the Mana Key didn't seem that amazing at a glance, but only someone like Nie Yan who had experienced the previous timeline knew just how precious it was. From Nie Yan's view, it was a godly item. The Luck +3 could significantly increase the success rate when crafting, or the chance of good items dropping when out hunting monsters in the wilderness. Besides this, there were also many other hidden uses. In fact, the Luck bonus was only secondary. It was the other property that was the most valuable. It allowed the player to open any chest, even ones that they didn't meet the requirements for.
Perhaps the most important point was that players gained bonus proficiency when opening chests with the Mana Key. It was absolutely the best item to train the Lockpicking skill with. In the previous timeline, someone had used the Mana Key to raise their Lockpicking Skill to Grandmaster.
Grandmaster Lockpicking was extremely rare. In the previous timeline, those who had raised their Lockpicking to this rank didn't exceed five. Many people would seek their services, but the few Thieves with Grandmaster Lockpicking charged exorbitant commission fees. This was because they could open rare chests ordinary players couldn't. An ordinary team had no way of affording one. Back then, Nie Yan had spent six months treasure hunting non-stop for the sake of raising his Lockpicking to Master, but he had only raised his proficiency by 35%. From this, one could just imagine how difficult it was to reach Grandmaster.
Nie Yan's luck wasn't bad. He had finally obtained the most valuable item that dropped from Dillons.
With the restrictions, Nie Yan was the only one who could use this Mana Key. He put away the key in his bag. In the near future, he would put this item to good use.
Nie Yan checked his bag. He only had around 300 javelins remaining. He would keep them for now. Perhaps he would have a use for them later.
After finishing his levelling session, Nie Yan wondered how many more levels he would go up by turning in the Magic Runestones.
Nie Yan returned to Calore. Guo Huai told him the runestones they collected were all in his personal storage. Taking a look at his personal storage, he found rows upon rows of runestones on the last page. It was a spectacular sight. After counting them all, there were more than 600 sets of runestones. It appeared Guo Huai hadn't stopped gathering these past few days.
There were 600 sets in total. Guo Huai had probably spent at least 300,000 gold to buy them all. A few months from now, the value of these runestones would probably appreciate to over 1,000,000 gold. However, for Nie Yan, levels were far more important than gold. He would gladly throw this 1,000,000 gold aside if it meant going up a few levels right now.
Nie Yan transferred all the runestones to his bag, then made his way to Clemmy the Wise.