Chapter 611 - Five Versus Five
Asskickers United’s line-up of top players was truly enviable. Qin Han and Cao Xu had employed all sorts of methods in an attempt to lure them over, including offering ludicrous sums of money, only to be met with failure after failure. Their loyalty to Nie Yan was too deep, leaving Qin Han and Cao Xu feeling helpless. With devoted members like these, Asskickers United would never fall.
Many of the top players from Asskickers United were elites of society in real life and were incredibly wealthy. They only entered the game to add some excitement into their daily lives. They felt a strong sense of belonging to Asskickers United. Having settled down, they generally weren’t willing to move anywhere else. So, Cao Xu and Qin Han were only able to successfully poached the second-rate players, many of whom transferred solely because they were drowning in debt.
Dark, Ardent, and the other three from Bloodfiends were already standing on the stage. They were a well-oiled machine. Their individual strength might not be anything, but when they worked together, the battle prowess they could display was astonishing. Azure Windchime had lost in every team battle against them so far.
“How come Lofty Shadow and Monochrome still aren’t here?” Undying Scoundrel knitted his brows.
“They’re still on the way,” Painted Muslin replied. Without Lofty Shadow and Monochrome, the only players among them who could go up on stage were her, Undying Scoundrel, Natural Fiend, and Lustboy. Four Mages against five Thieves was not a favourable match-up by any means. They would surely lose.
“Let’s keep waiting then,” Undying Scoundrel said. With four Mages against five Thieves, the odds were stacked heavily against them. Even if they found a second-rate Warrior to substitute, they probably wouldn’t last more than a few seconds against Dark, Ardent, and the other three.
Bloodfiends waited and waited. However, Azure Windchime showed no signs of going up.
“Don’t tell me you guys suddenly got scared? What a bunch of chickens!” Ardent mocked.
“Tsk, I guess those from Azure Windchime are all bark and no bite.”
After losing so many matches, Bloodfiends felt like they had lost all face. So, they badly wanted to win back some of their honour through the team battle.
“Sons of bitches!” Undying Scoundrel cursed. “Their shit-eating grins really piss me off.”
“Why are Lofty Shadow and Monochrome so slow?” Natural Fiend said in a gloomy tone.
“I think they encountered some kind of side quest. They have to head to Karodiya to turn it in, or else the quest will expire. Let’s keep delaying.” Painted Muslin had just received an update from Lofty Shadow and Monochrome.
“Are we going to fight or not!? You’re wasting everybody’s time. If you’re too chicken, just say so!”
“Hehe, not so tough now, huh, Azure Windchime? Where’s all that talk from before?”
The players from Bloodfiends chattered and jabbered on. Undying Scoundrel, Natural Fiend, and the others fumed with anger.
“Screw it! We can beat them with just the four of us!” Natural Fiend gripped his staff. He looked full of confidence.
Painted Muslin and Undying Scoundrel had a better understanding of the strength of Dark, Ardent, and the other three. The four of them wasn’t enough.
However, with so many people watching, Azure Windchime would probably become an object of ridicule if they kept delaying while Dark and the others were throwing out insults at them. If Lofty Shadow and Monochrome didn’t arrive soon, they would definitely be labeled as cowards.
“Let’s just go up.” Lustboy gritted his teeth. He couldn’t hold back any longer and got up on the stage.
Xie Yao watched on as everything happened. She tugged at Nie Yan’s sleeve and asked, “They’re missing a person. They might lose. What should we do?”
“If worst comes to worst, I’ll have to reveal myself,” Nie Yan muttered. He predicted as soon as he entered the stage, the five from Bloodfiends were doomed. His strength had improved dramatically since last time. He could probably take on the five of them all by himself. If he had the help of Undying Scoundrel, Lustboy, and the others, it would be over in a heartbeat. But at that time, this team battle would also lose all meaning.
Nie Yan stood up, ready to reveal himself, when a figure jumped down from the spectator stands across from him. He gently landed on the ground and walked over to Azure Windchime’s side.
Nie Yan sat back down. It appeared he wouldn’t need to take action this time.
The new arrival was Mistaken Smile, who had joined Asskickers United not long ago. Having only recently signed the contract, he hadn’t truly entered the guild’s core membership just yet, nor had he had a chance to establish his fame. No one really knew his name. If you brought up the Thieves of Asskickers United, people would think of Nie Yan, Sun, King of the World, and One Strike Vow. If you mentioned Mistaken Smile, they would give you odd looks. Who was that? However, he was on par with Sun and King of the World. Though his equipment might not be as good as theirs, nor did he have as many powerful skills, both of these issues could be easily resolved.
Nie Yan felt reassured. If Mistaken Smile, Painted Muslin, Undying Scoundrel, Natural Fiend, and Lustboy worked together, even he would have a tough time dealing with them, let alone the five from Bloodfiends.
“Mind if I join in?” Mistaken Smile asked with a grin. He was an alumni of the Top Military Academy, having graduated six years ago. He just happened to be in the area, when he received the notice for the gathering. So, he decided to check it out. He didn’t expect to bump into Painted Muslin, Undying Scoundrel, and the others here. Seeing they were short a person, he decided to lend a helping hand.
“Of course, we don’t mind. We just happened to have one spot left.” Painted Muslin smiled brilliantly.
Asskickers United’s elites often compared notes with each other. Painted Muslin, Undying Scoundrel, and the others naturally had an understanding of Mistaken Smile’s strength.
“With Smile here, this will be a cinch. We’ll wipe the floor with Bloodfiends!” Undying Scoundrel declared.
“First enter Azure Windchime. That way, people won’t say we cheated by asking help from an outsider.”
“Sure.” Mistaken Smile nodded. He accepted the invite to Azure Windchime.
“Our club has another amazing member!”
The several of them hopped on the stage which was shaped like a 100 by 100 meters square grid. It was perfect for team battles.
Mistaken Smile’s appearance attracted the gazes of the spectators.
“That Thief is also from Asskickers United? How come I’ve never seen him before?”
“Considering Lofty Shadow and Monochrome still haven’t shown up, I think they just added a random member to fill the spot.”
The crowd discussed fervently. Since Mistaken Smile liked to stay low-key, having remained a hermit for the longest time, no one knew him. Everyone was curious. Judging from the way he interacted with his teammates, they appeared to be on friendly terms. Not only that, but Painted Muslin’s group even looked quite excited. Could this Thief also be an expert?
“Aside from Sun, King of the World, One Strike Vow, Hapless Frog, and Tyrannical, the other Thieves in Asskickers United shouldn’t be a match for the main five from Bloodfiends, right?”
“Even though Bloodfiends got crushed in the singles match, you have to admit that they’re famous for their teamwork. Without Lofty Shadow and Monochrome here, if Azure Windchime just substituted a random player, they’ll definitely lose.”
Both sides stood on the arena stage. Dark, Ardent, and the other three swept their gazes over Mistaken Smile, obvious disdain in their eyes. Having this kind of nobody go up, Azure Windchime was looking down on them too much! The main five from Bloodfiends were extremely prideful. In their eyes, the only Thieves worthy of their attention in Asskickers United were Nie Yan, Sun, King of the World, and maybe a few others.
The battle was about to begin.
At this moment, Lofty Shadow and Monochrome along with the rest of their team finally arrived.
The two were clad in flashy armour, immediately attracting the gazes of the crowd.
“It’s Lofty Shadow and Monochrome. They’re here!”
“I bet Azure Windchime will ask to switch people out now.”
Lofty Shadow gave Painted Muslin an apologetic smile. “Sorry, we’re late.” His gaze happened to fall on Mistaken Smile. Stunned for a moment, he gave Mistaken Smile a slight nod.
“I didn’t expect to see you here.” Lofty Shadow laughed.
“Since you two are here, I’ll switch out,” Mistaken Smile said, preparing to get off the stage.
Lofty Shadow quickly stopped him. “It’s fine. You’re already up there. No point in going down now. Monochrome and I will enjoy the show from the sidelines.”
Everyone was baffled when Azure Windchime didn’t request to switch out a member. They started reconsidering their opinion of Mistaken Smile’s strength.
Dark, Ardent, and the others also raised their vigilance.
All the spectators focused their attention on the arena’s central stage.
“What sort of background does that Thief have?” Qin Han asked.
“I don’t know. I’ve never seen him before. He’s probably an alumni who graduated more than a few years ago. He’s never participated in these gatherings before,” Fang Rujie replied. Mistaken Smile was extremely low-key. Many of his old schoolmates didn’t even know he was playing the game.
Nie Yan liked to stay low-key because he didn’t want to deal with unnecessary annoyances. However, Mistaken Smile tendency to remain low-key was an intrinsic part of his nature. if Azure Windchime wasn’t in a pinch today, he would’ve never revealed himself. In the previous timeline, he had only entered the public eye after advancing to a Luminous Dancer. One could imagine how private he was.
All the spectators knew nothing about Mistaken Smile. Like this, he seemed all the more mysterious to them.
With countless eyes watching, the battle finally started. Dark, Ardent, and the other three immediately entered stealth. Mistaken Smile’s eyes glowed with a crimson light, and he also disappeared into stealth.
Painted Muslin, Undying Scoundrel, Natural Fiend, and Lustboy spread out. Each of them had their own ways of dealing with Thieves.
Painted Muslin waved her staff. An orb of light flew up in the sky, flooding the stage below with a dazzling radiance.
Shortly after, several silhouettes could be seen dashing on the stage. Three Thieves were rapidly closing in on Painted Muslin.
“Die!” Dark’s killing intent flared. He pivoted to the side as his dagger drew a wide arc and stabbed toward the back of Painted Muslin’s head.