Chapter 549 - Doppelganger Necklace
Only an hour after the meeting finished did Nie Yan receive word from Guo Huai that Cao Xu had come to Moonlight City. The Century Financial Group had granted Alliance of Mages and Divine Protectors more than 5,000,000 gold in war funds, split into three separate deposits. Nie Yan couldn't help but sigh. The Century Financial really lived up to their reputation, putting forth such a large sum right off the bat. It appeared he still underestimated their financial resources.
Many of the Century Financial Group's investments were hidden from the public. Perhaps the only person who knew how many shops and properties the Century Financial Group owned in the Viridian and Satreen Empires was Cao Xu himself.
Apart from this information, Guo Huai also found out that about a hundred of Cao Xu's confidantes had secretly infiltrated Calore. Though what they were planning to do remained a mystery.
A trace of unease sprouted in Nie Yan's heart. He immediately ordered Guo Huai to find out the aim of Cao Xu's confidantes!
Calore was Asskickers United's base of operations. It couldn't be allowed to fall!
Nie Yan also received word that Shadow Killer was in the Edgarton Stronghold.
Should I make a little trip to the Edgarton Stronghold and pay him a visit? Nie Yan mused, recalling the previous bet he made with Shadow Killer.
Crazy Magic and Divine Flame's lives were far too calm and easy these days. Those two could do with a bit more excitement and danger.
In all of Asskickers United, perhaps only five people could sneak into the Edgarton Stronghold without being noticed: Sun, King of the World, One Strike Vow, Hapless Frog, and of course Nie Yan.
Nie Yan pondered for a moment. Should he bring King of the World, Sun, and the other two as well? With more people, more could be accomplished. Thinking to this point, he got in touch with the other four.
「You guys interested in making a trip to the Edgarton Stronghold with me?」
Sun immediately became excited. Nie Yan was going to take action against Alliance of Mages. How could he possibly miss out on the action?
「Big Bro, count me in!」
King of the World was more cool-headed. The Edgarton Stronghold was completely different from the Victorious Return strongholds they infiltrated in the past. On top of the tight security, more than 200,000 players passed through the stronghold every day. Evading that many eyes wouldn't be easy.
「I think only a few of us should go. Too many people will make it easier for us to be discovered,」King of the World voiced his concerns.
「It'll only be the five of us,」Nie Yan replied.「I don't think it'll be an issue for us to infiltrate the Edgarton Stronghold. Even if we're discovered, assuming we're not so unlucky as to get locked down by Shackles of Strife, we can always escape with Unknown Transfer Scrolls.」
「Who's your target?」King of the World asked. He assumed Nie Yan wanted to assassinate someone.
「Shadow Killer, Crazy Magic, and Divine Flame. Any one of them will do.」Regardless of which one was assassinated, it would be an explosive piece of news.
Shadow Killer, Crazy Magic, or Divine Flame, none of them were simple targets. However, Nie Yan had a plan. This operation would be difficult to pull off relying on conventional means, but he was a master at thinking outside the box!
After all, Nie Yan was once an assassin himself! Some real life assassination methods could also be implemented by using the tools inside the game.
「Since you already have a goal in mind, count me in too,」King of the World agreed. He couldn't be missing from this kind of activity anyway. He was still Nie Yan's bodyguard, even if his master didn't need his protection inside the game.
Shortly after, Hapless Frog and One Strike Vow also agreed to participate.
Nie Yan had Guo Huai retrieve a few special tools, particularly rare ones at that. But to him, obtaining these kinds of items was fairly simple. After all, Asskickers United had so many players. No one would object to him borrowing them.
After a while, Guo Huai entered the guest room where Nie Yan and the other four were. "I've brought the items you asked for, two Silk Spinner Rings borrowed from Young Sparrow Hawk and Lofty Shadow, one Lightning Ring, one Levitation Ring, one Doppelganger Necklace..." Guo Huai took out one item after another, explaining in detail the uses of each one. Most of these Special Items were borrowed from their fellow guildmates. The rest were collecting dust in the treasury.
Nie Yan turned to King of the World and the others. "Everyone take a few. These items will come in handy during the mission."
King of the World, Sun, and the others each took up to six Special Items. Since Nie Yan already had quite a few himself, he only picked a Doppelganger Necklace and a Lightning Ring.
The Doppelganger Necklace granted the user the ability to mimic another player's appearance with 98% accuracy as well as conceal their character information. It had a duration of 15 minutes and a cooldown of two hours.
The Lightning Ring summoned a lightning sword. Anyone struck would be inflicted with the paralysis debuff. It had a cooldown of one hour.
These two items would prove quite helpful if used correctly.
Guo Huai also provided Nie Yan and the other four with Advanced Health/Mana Potions and other consumables. Nie Yan also prepared several Advanced Combat Bandages beforehand.
"I'll be responsible for assassinating Shadow Killer. King of the World will be responsible for assassinating Crazy Magic. Sun will be responsible for assassinating Divine Flame." Nie Yan turned to Hapless Frog and One Strike Vow. "You two will be providing support. We all move separately." It didn't matter if they were setting out of Moonlight City or infiltrating the Edgarton Stronghold, the five of them moving together was too conspicuous.
"Alright," One Strike Vow nodded.
Hapless Frog also expressed no objections. After being in Asskickers United for so long, this was his first time participating in such an important mission. He was called here today not simply due to his skills but also because Nie Yan placed great trust in him. He was deeply moved. Most professional players who joined guilds would have a difficult time becoming a core member. After all, they were people who pursued money and benefits. Guild leaders generally wouldn't trust them unconditionally. But Nie Yan was different!
After delivering the special items, Guo Huai returned to his other duties. He still had many matters to take care of, such as directing Asskickers United's movements, selling the gems, and much more.
Nie Yan and the other four each set out in different directions. Avoiding the detection of Alliance of Mages and Divine Protectors, they quietly left Moonlight City and headed for the Edgarton Stronghold.
Crazy Magic, Divine Flame, or Shadow Killer, news of any one of them being assassinated within the walls of the Edgarton Stronghold would shake the entire Viridian Empire and create a huge stir. The might and prestige of Alliance of Mages and Divine Protectors would take a fatal blow! As such, this trip to the Edgarton Stronghold would definitely be worthwhile for Asskickers United.
After leaving Moonlight City, Nie Yan activated Gale Step and sprinted off toward the Edgarton Stronghold. He made certain no player spotted him. No matter what happened, he couldn't expose his location. After all, he couldn't have Alliance of Mages and Divine Protectors figuring out what he was up to.
Along the way, Nie Yan encountered Alliance of Mages players pursuing some of his guildmates. Although he really wanted to help them, he held himself back and continued forward.
About 20 minutes later, a grand stronghold appeared before Nie Yan's eyes. The Edgarton Stronghold was just like the Cripps Stronghold. Both were Intermediate rank. Within the borders of Moonlight City's territory, there only existed this one. It was located in quite a good location. Transportation was convenient, and there were many Level 60-70 and Level 80-90 maps nearby.
Alliance of Mages transformed the Edgarton Stronghold to resemble an iron fortress, reinforcing the 30-meter tall walls, building a five-meter wide moat around the perimeter, and erecting a large number of archer towers. Even though they still hadn't gotten their hands on magic cannon blueprints yet, they had prepared cannon holes for future use.
This towering citadel seemed impenetrable. Bringing down the walls of the Edgarton Stronghold with catapults alone would prove quite the challenge.
Since Alliance of Mages was invincible in Moonlight City, all the maps around the Edgarton Stronghold only contained their players or players of allied guilds. Other players rarely came here. Alliance of Mages was too tyrannical. Even over small arguments, Alliance of Mages would make sure the other party would eat a loss. No one dared to compete with Alliance of Mages players for monsters. This vicinity belonged solely to them.
Almost all the players Nie Yan encountered on the road belonged to Alliance of Mages. With so many eyes watching, ascending the Edgarton Stronghold's walls and sneaking inside was as difficult as scaling the heavens. His only option was to walk in through the front gate without being noticed!
Nie Yan headed toward the Edgarton Stronghold's main entrance. He was only about a hundred meters away.
Most recently, due to the clashes with Asskickers United in other maps, the players from Alliance of Mages were all operating around the Edgarton Stronghold, so they could hunt monsters safely and peacefully. As a result, the stronghold was much more lively than usual, with a 50% increase in player activity.
There was only one entrance into the Edgarton Stronghold. Players were streaming in and out of the gate constantly.
Seeing this situation, Nie Yan knitted his brows. With so many players cramming into the entrance, he had no way of sneaking in with stealth. He was bound to bump into someone.
Nie Yan pondered for a moment before a light bulb lit up in his head. Why didn't he steal someone's appearance? Equipping the necklace, the Doppelganger skill appeared in his skill bar.
Nie Yan gazed into the distance. Scanning through the crowd of Alliance of Mages players, he locked onto a Thief with roughly the same build as him. His eyes lit up with excitement. "Perfect!"