Chapter 600 - Conspiracy
In the middle of the battlefield, several guilds were keeping each other in check. They all glared at each other with hostility. However, none of them made a move. With Phantom Princess Ina still alive, there was no benefit in them fighting amongst each other. Not to mention they were all roughly equal in strength. If a fight broke out, everyone would incur heavy losses.
Winter Darkness’ guild leader was an Elementalist called Ice Age. He was a man in his 30s with a slim build and average features, the sort that would easily blend into a crowd. However, his azure robes were far from ordinary. He had three pieces of Sub Legendary-grade equipment on his body while the rest were Dark Gold-grade. He was far better geared than most of his counterparts.
“Fighters! Stand your ground! Don’t let Phantom Princess Ina come over to our side!” Ice Age hollered.
The Fighters of Winter Darkness planted their greatshields into the ground and formed a shield wall.
It was clear Ice Age had properly trained the players under him.
Ice Age opened his chat. He created a private group with the guild leaders of Death Descent and Sky Siever—Reaper’s Breath and Skynet.
「Skynet, Reaper, have you guys thought about it? Are we doing this or what? Give me a reply. A simple yes or no is fine.」
Reaper’s Breath gritted his teeth.「Damn it! Fine, I’m in. Tell me what you want us to do.」
「Good, that’s what I like to hear. We’ve all suffered at the hands of Splendid Temple. Recently, they snatched away two mines my people found. You guys have probably encountered similar situations before, no? I recall just a few days ago Splendid Temple’s forces wiped out two 100-man expedition teams from Sky Siever. Anyway, I know they have a slight connection with Asskickers United, but that’s simply because they’re a bit stronger than us. I’m sure once we take them down a notch, Asskickers United will toss them aside like a dirty rag. So, Skynet, can we count you in?」
「Alright, I’m in...」Skynet replied after thinking it over.
Unbeknownst to Splendid Star, while his forces were focused on dealing with Phantom Princess Ina and preparing to snatch the loot, Winter Darkness, Death Descent, and Sky Siever were plotting against him.
「I’ve also recruited the help of Bloodfiends. With 30 top Thieves acting together, none of the Priests from Splendid Temple should even think about surviving!」Ice Age chuckled.
「How did you manage to invite Bloodfiends?」Reaper’s Breath was surprised. There was no way second-rate guilds like them could afford the astronomical fees charged by Bloodfiends.
The income of second-rate guilds was limited. Aside from membership dues, their only other sources of income came from hunting bosses, grinding mobs, and excavating mines. Since they weren’t strong enough to monopolize higher level maps, they could only pick up the leftovers of more powerful guilds. No financial groups were willing to invest in them, and the guild leaders couldn’t keep paying out of their own pockets. So, funding for guild activities was fairly strained.
「I found a backer. He’s willing to invest in Winter Darkness. Bloodfiends is also under his control. With extra funding, we can finally start recruiting more people,」Ice Age said in a gloating tone.
「Who would be willing to invest in second-rate guilds like us. You’re pulling our legs, aren’t you?」Reaper’s Breath bitterly smiled. He couldn’t help but feel helpless at their current situation.
「I agree. Only a blind person or someone with nothing better to do would bother investing in prospectless guilds like ours,」Skynet chimed in.
「Well, that’s where you guys are wrong. Sure, Asskickers United might be strong. But they aren’t invincible. We have more than 20 second-rate guilds, 40 third-rate guilds, and even more smaller guild with at least 10,000 members in Calore. If all of them were gathered together, could you imagine how powerful of a force that would be? It would outnumber Asskickers United by at least six to one!」Ice Age said.
「That’s true, but these guilds are like grains of sand floating in the wind. Who could possibly gather them all together? Challenging Asskickers United in Calore, that’s ridiculous. Even in the entirety of the Viridian Empire, there isn’t a guild that can match them!」
Seeing that Reaper’s Breath and Skynet weren’t convinced, Ice Age continued,「It doesn’t matter if you guys believe me or not. You’ll find out soon enough. The Century Financial Group recently struck a deal with another financial group, and agreed to transfer over all their assets in the Viridian Empire. As for the name of this financial group, I won’t say. They’re operating in the shadows for the time being. All the former elites of the now defunct Victorious Return, Bloodlust Blades, and Alliance of Mages have been recruited by them. Divine Protectors, God Executioner Sword, Penumbra Empire, and 50 other guilds both large and small are also under their control; naturally, Winter Darkness too. I estimate it won’t be long before their people get in touch with you guys too.」Ice Age felt smug being privy to knowledge Reaper’s Breath and Skynet weren’t aware of first. Winter Darkness’ position in the alliance would surely be higher than that of Death Descent and Sky Siever.
Ice Age’s words rang like claps of thunder in the ears of Reaper’s Breath and Skynet.
「My god! What kind of financial group has that much money?」Reaper’s Breath exclaimed in shock. If what Ice Age was saying was true, there would be another huge shakeup in the power balance of the Viridian Empire.
「The Century Financial Group has already abandoned Alliance of Mages and Divine Protectors? Why didn’t we hear about this?」Skynet asked.
「It would be strange if you did. Just wait, in a few months, Calore will no longer belong to Asskickers United!」Ice Age declared.
「Really…?」Reaper’s Breath and Skynet were filled with doubts. If a financial group had really gathered such a large force, it would be hard to say if Asskickers United could maintian their dominance. However, why hadn’t they heard of anything until now? Ice Age wasn’t trying to hoodwink them, right?
Dark, Ardent, Shadow, Night, and Seal chatted as they carefully avoided Phantom Princess Ina’s attacks.
“Phantom Princess Ina doesn’t have much health left. Prepare to scramble for the loot!” Dark reminded. He was the oldest in the group, and so his words held the most sway.
“Watch out for the players in the back casting AoE magic,” Ardent warned.
“Don’t worry. I have something that will protect me. When the time comes, leave everything to me,” Dark said. He had recently obtained an Advanced Skill that would make him immune to magic for five seconds, more than enough time for him to snatch the loot and make a quick getaway.
All preparations were complete. When Phantom Princess Ina died, they would take action.
At this moment, Dark received a message. He turned to Ardent and the others, “Winter Darkness wants to take action against Splendid Temple.”
“What did the boss say?”
“The boss approved it?”
Since the boss approved, they had no choice but to comply with the request.
The plot to deal with Splendid Temple was beginning.
Nie Yan inched closer to Dark and the others. These five Thieves were truly inseparable. There was no more than two meters between them at any time, leaving no opportunity for an ambush. Looking elsewhere, he noticed Winter Darkness, Death Descent, and Sky Siever slowly but surely closing in on Splendid Temple. He immediately sensed something wrong.
“We’re almost there! Phantom Princess Ina only has 2% health left. Imp, you scramble for the loot. We’ll cover you!” Splendid Star shouted.
“Boss, Winter Darkness is attacking us!”
“Boss, Death Descent is attacking us!”
“Boss, Sky Siever is closing in on us! Do we attack?”
“What!?” Splendid Star cried out in alarm. Looking back, he saw red clouds form in the sky. Before long, fireballs started pouring down, wiping out his players in droves.
Several dozen Thieves snuck into the backline and started massacring the Priests of Splendid Temple.
“Boss, their Thieves are too strong. We’ve already lost 30 Priests!”
“Ice Age, Reaper, Skynet, you scheming sons of bitches! I’ll remember this! Just wait, I’ll make you assholes pay for this!” Splendid Star boiled with rage. His players were being slaughtered left and right.
“Boss, what do we do?”
“Give up on Phantom Princess Ina! Retreat! Fucking bastards, if they want a fight, we’ll give it to them! Warriors, charge!” Splendid Star roared. He led several dozen Warriors toward the forces of Winter Darkness.
Splendid Temple was attacked from all sides. They had lost around 600 players, over a quarter of their original force. It looked like they were going to suffer a disastrous defeat.
Winter Darkness, Death Descent, and Sky Siever had conspired together to deal with Splendid Temple. They outnumbered Splendid Temple two to one. Thanks to the ambush, they seized the initiative and were dictating the flow of battle. Furthermore, with the interference of the Thieves from Bloodfiends, Splendid Temple instantly lost the support from their Priests in the rear. Their casualties were quickly accumulating.
“Those motherfuckers!” Splendid Star cursed. He was normally friendly and amiable, rarely ever having such angry outbursts. “If it wasn’t for this ambush, we definitely wouldn’t have suffered this many casualties!”
Splendid Star and his several dozen Warriors clashed with the frontline of Winter Darkness. However, lacking support from their Priests in the rear, they were at a clear disadvantage. They were fighting an uphill battle.
Nie Yan knitted his brows. He still shared some friendship with Splendid Star. Their two guilds also had a cooperative relationship. Seeing Splendid Temple suffer such heavy losses, he couldn’t sit around and do nothing.
“Hmm… The Darkwing Dragon is too distinct. They’ll instantly know it’s me. I should just summon Lafus.” Nie Yan opened the window for Divine Recruitment.Do you wish to summon Paladin Lafus?
With a flash of light, Paladin Lafus emerged on the battlefield.