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Chapter 378 - Foreign Players

On top of dealing 321 damage, Nie Yan’s Phantom Assassination also inflicted the Phantom Swordsman with continuous poison and bleed damage.

Nie Yan only attempted Phantom Assassination and Reverse Grip Backstab to get a feel for these two Freedom Skills which were unfamiliar to him. Even at his peak during the previous timeline, he had only learned three Freedom Skills in total.

Back then, Nie Yan had holed himself up in one spot for two months practicing non-stop just to gain a basic mastery of a Freedom Skill. This was a gradual process that took time and dedication.

To execute a Freedom Skill without any prior experience was incredibly difficult.

Thanks to his comprehension of Shadow Dancer techniques, along with his many years of experience, Nie Yan figured out the basic principle behind Phantom Assassination on his first attempt. Although he had barely gotten his foot in the door, this first step was crucial. From this point forward, he could slowly familiarize himself with the skill until he was fully proficient.

The Phantom Swordsman rushed at Nie Yan with Charge, a skill that stunned the enemy upon collision. It was extremely deadly when paired with something like Cleave.

Just as the Phantom Swordsman’s blade hacked down, Nie Yan evaded with Shadow Waltz. He dashed forward and slashed the enemy’s chest with Zennarde’s Sword.

Nie Yan brushed past the Phantom Swordsman and continued running.

At this moment, the Phantom Swordsman let out a deep and low roar. It was Demoralizing Shout, a skill that briefly immobilized all surrounding enemies.

Sensing something off when the Phantom Swordsman didn’t immediately give chase, Nie Yan activated Death Exemption.

A heavy sound wave swept through Nie Yan, but all that happened was a Miss floating up above his head.

Death Exemption was a skill granted that made him immune to the effects of Demoralizing Shout.

Nie Yan glanced at the Phantom Swordsman. He had already shaved away 70% of its health bar. Perhaps he was the only player who could solo a Level 50 Elite.

The Phantom Swordsman’s combat ability was too powerful. It had too many crowd control skills at its disposal. Even a party of peak players would have a tough time dealing with it.

The Phantom Swordsman brandished its sword once more and pursued the quickly retreating Nie Yan.

As Nie Yan continued kiting the Phantom Swordsman, his health fell to 22%. He quickly drank an Intermediate Health Potion.

Nie Yan refused to directly tangle with the Phantom Swordsman. He would immediately retreat every time he landed a successful attack, letting the bleed and poison damage do all the work. The opponent’s attacks were sharp and overbearing, putting him under heavy pressure.

Slowly but surely, the Phantom Swordsman’s health fell to 20%, with roughly 7,000 health remaining.

The Phantom Swordsman lost its mind and fell into a berserk state, an ominous aura overflowing from its body. Its muscles bulged outwards and its speed increased dramatically. 

Nie Yan rapidly pulled back. Looking at his remaining 13% health, he wrapped himself with an Advanced Combat Bandage.


Gale Step happened to come off cooldown right at this moment.


Decimating Blow!

The Phantom Swordsman chopped down on Nie Yan with a mighty sword of raging flames.

Gale Step! Nie Yan blocked the Decimating Blow, then slashed the Phantom Swordsman’s throat with Zennarde’s Sword.

 Cut Throat!

−1,735! Blood sprayed out into the air as a frightening damage value floated up above the Phantom Swordsman’s head.

It was a critical hit!

The Phantom Swordsman let out a deep roar, slamming its sword into the ground and sending out a powerful shock wave that engulfed everything within a two-meter radius. 

However, Nie Yan had already opened a distance of several meters thanks to the speed boost granted by Gale Step.

All the while Nie Yan’s health continued to rise. Advanced Combat Bandages were potent healing items.

The Phantom Swordsman swung around. It had already fallen to around 2,000 health. However, that didn’t stop it from madly charging at Nie Yan yet again.


The ticks of bleed and poison damage slowly stacked up, leaving the Phantom Swordsman with only 600 health.

Nie Yan quickly retreated, seeing the Phantom Swordsman getting closer and closer. As its large sword slashed down on him, his pupils suddenly shrunk. 

Phantom Assassination!

Nie Yan’s body blurred into many different illusory figures. He brushed past the Phantom Swordsman’s blade and stabbed it in the neck with Zennarde’s Sword.

Phantom Assassination: 39% Completion, 63% damage, 0 Combo

−568 The Phantom Swordsman staggered unsteadily before collapsing on the ground and disappearing into motes of light.

This was the effect of purification.

The Phantom Swordsman dropped two pieces of loot. The first was a piece of Level 50 Gold-grade Berserker equipment. Its properties weren’t bad, but such an item naturally wouldn’t hold Nie Yan’s interest. The other was an Alchemy Recipe.

Advanced Health Potion Recipe

Requirements: Advanced Alchemist

Nie Yan was pleasantly surprised. From now on, he could use Advanced Health Potions.

Nie Yan tossed the Advanced Health Potion Recipe in his bag. The Starry Night Potion Shop already had five Advanced Alchemists. Giving the recipe to any one of them would be fine.

After putting away the loot, Nie Yan walked over to the gold treasure chest. He bent down and started opening it.

Opening Treasure Chest… Progress: 10%... 30%... 55%....

The chest popped open with a click. Nie Yan dug around and fished out two skill books.

Nie Yan examined the first book which looked somewhat shabby.

Skill Book: Fireball Downpour

Description: Bombard everything within a 20 meter radius of the targeted area with fireballs, dealing 200% magic damage. Cast Time: 10 Seconds. Cooldown: 10 minutes.

Restrictions: Arcane Mage, Elementalist

This was a decent skill for clearing away large numbers of mobs. It would be perfect to hand over to the Arcane Mages and Elementalists in the guild.

Nie Yan turned to look at the other skill book. The edges were gilded with gold, and the workmanship was excellent. It was definitely a valuable item.

Examining the cover, Nie Yan was surprised. It was actually the Thief skill book for Quick Reset.

Quick Reset was an extremely rare skill. In the previous timeline, it would appear in the marketplace once every blue moon. Back then it was something he could only hope for in his dreams.

Skill Book: Quick Reset

Description: Reduce the cooldown of a selected skill (excluding Advanced Skills) to 2 seconds. Cooldown: 15 minutes.

Restrictions: Thief

Nie Yan glanced at his skill bar. It was already completely full. More than 20 of his skill slots were taken up by passive skills that increased Dexterity and Strength. If he wanted to continue learning new skills, he would have to clear out some space.

The passive skills that only added 3 Dexterity or Strength were disposable to Nie Yan.

Nie Yan learned Quick Reset, then continued exploring the stronghold, using any lone mobs he encountered on the way as training dummies to practice Phantom Assassination and Reverse Grip Backstab. These two Freedom Skills were fairly difficult to get the hang of. It would be impossible for him to completely master them any time soon.

All Freedom Skills generally required a long time to fully grasp. Nie Yan was in no rush. 

Nie Yan gradually made his way to the center of the stronghold. He hid atop a 10-meter tall building, peering down at a public square up ahead. It was spacious enough to fit several thousand players, and roaming around in the center was a six meter-tall bear that resembled a small hill.

Nie Yan recalled hearing in the previous timeline that the final boss of the Cripps Stronghold was Level 70.

The expedition team should be arriving right about now, Nie Yan thought after checking the time. He jumped off of the building, gently landing on the ground using the Featherfall Jewel. After which he sprinted off to meet them.

When Nie Yan returned to the entrance of the Cripps Stronghold, he received word from Guo Huai that the expedition team had arrived.

Gazing far into the horizon, Nie Yan saw a large mass of players on horseback riding towards him. They stopped in the field outside the Cripps Stronghold, dismounted from their horses, and started organizing into their ranks. 

Nie Yan issued out orders which were carried out immediately. Bladelight, Lofty Shadow, and the others entered the Cripps Stronghold first and stood at the center of the street. With Bladelight, Lofty Shadow, and Yi Yan tanking at the front while the Priests supported them from the rear, they started warming up by clearing away the first few Phantom Swordsmen in their path.

The other teams followed suit, entering the stronghold one after another.

Asskickers United’s large movements naturally attracted the attention of other guilds, who all received the news they were planning to capture the Cripps Stronghold. Asskickers United was perhaps the only guild right now that dared to take on an Intermediate Stronghold.

Although Victorious Return wanted to interfere, they were powerless against the might of Holy Empire and Sapphire Shrine. Calore no longer belonged to them. Bloodlust Blades was too busy trying to put out the fire on their side, and Divine Protectors and Alliance of Mages were too far away. Dispatching players to Calore was simply suicidal. Asskickers United was basically invincible within Calore. Without several hundred thousand troops, it was impossible to stop them.

Under Nie Yan’s command, the over 5,000 elites from Asskickers United started clearing the Cripps Stronghold.

Calore was exceptionally tranquil, with not a speck of dust being kicked up despite Asskickers United clearing the Cripps Stronghold.

At this moment, five figures stepped out of Calore’s transfer point and immediately attracted the attention of the surrounding players. One of them was tall, green, and rippling with muscles, resembling a ferocious beast. This was an orc from the Satreen Empire. Another had delicate features, jade-like skin, and two long ears. It was an elf!

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