Chapter 624 - Advanced Devil Slayer
Nie Yan could feel himself improving in the Ancient World every day as he familiarized himself with this new style of combat. The more he comprehended, the greater his shock. He felt an even deeper sense of appreciation as well as awe for the people who created not just the world but also the various systems that operated seamlessly together in Conviction.
After figuring out the combo system, Nie Yan began practicing combo techniques on the Rank 2 monsters he hunted. He immediately saw a sharp increase in mobbing efficiency. Before long, he was already 56% of the way through Path of the Luminous Dancer 2. He estimated it would only take him two and half more days at most to finish the quest.
In the middle of grinding mobs, a notification jingle rang out. Nie Yan checked it. One of his titles had ranked up!
After killing so many demonic and undead monsters, Nie Yan’s Devil Slayer title had finally risen from Intermediate to Advanced!
Advanced Devil Slayer increased Nie Yan’s health by another 10%. The colour of the title changed from viridian to scarlet.
Scarlet represented a high ranking title. Advanced Devil Slayer was already on par with Grand Scholar.
“Hmm… it can still rank up,” Nie Yan noted after seeing a progress bar below the title. He was eager to see what came after Advanced Devil Slayer. It would definitely be an extraordinary title.
Another day quickly flew by.
Come morning, Nie Yan and Xie Yao headed to school together.
In the command faculty classroom, Xu Yan, Xia Tianyu, and Fei Zhe were anxiously waiting for Nie Yan to arrive. They sat impatiently at their desks, their eyes on the door.
“Why isn’t he here yet?”
When the three were starting to get worried, a figure finally walked into the classroom.
Nie Yan sat down on his seat, then turned to his three friends. “So, how do you guys like your new equipment?”
“It’s absolutely amazing, way better than what we originally expected. Thank you, Nie Yan!” Fei Zhe said.
“I’ve never seen a Dark Gold set with such incredible stats in my life! I’m mowing through Level 90 monsters like it’s nothing!” Xu Yan exclaimed, his face flushed red with excitement.
“Nie Yan, we want to know. Who are you in Conviction?” Xia Tianyu asked in an serious tone.
“Nirvana Flame...?” Xu Yan asked probingly, his eyes sparkling with expectation.
“Well, even if you guys have guessed it by now, I hope you’ll keep it a secret. It’ll save me a lot of unnecessary headaches.” Nie Yan wryly smiled.
“Our lips are sealed.” Fei Zhe nodded.
Xu Yan and Xia Tianyu glanced at each other before nodding as well. “Don’t worry. We won’t tell a soul. Your secret is safe with us.”
Xu Yan, Xia Tianyu, and Fei Zhe had already guessed Nie Yan was Nirvana Flame. However, they had zero plans of revealing this to anyone. Simply knowing was good enough. Out of the three of them, Xu Yan was the most excited. The person he revered the most inside Conviction was Nirvana Flame. Never in his wildest dreams could he have imagined that the deskmate he'd been chatting with for the past few weeks would be that very person in the flesh! How could he not be thrilled?
“Hey, Nie Yan. I’ve been thinking of leaving God Executioner Sword for a while now. I don’t really feel like I belong, and I never get brought along on any dungeon runs. Can I join Asskickers United? I think it should be pretty easy for me to pass the entrance test. I fulfill all the requirements,” Xia Tianyu said. As long as Nie Yan permitted, entering Asskickers United would be no issue.
A classmate and friend like this, whose background and loyalties were clear, was fairly trustworthy. Nie Yan had no qualms about letting Xia Tianyu join Asskickers United. But he had an even better idea at this moment.
“How long have you been in God Executioner Sword?” Nie Yan asked.
“Well, God Executioner Sword was originally an online gaming org. The professional players working for them come from all over the country. The only thing they have in common with a regular studio is that they have similar rules and regulations. I ended up moonlighting there back in high school. So, I’ve been with them since before they even entered Conviction. If I think about it, I guess it’s been about three years by now? But I’m just a nobody there. Only a second-rate player at best. Their first-rate players are all too full of themselves and treat the rest of us like trash. That’s also why I don’t care much for the guild,” Xia Tianyu replied in a frank manner. He believed Nie Yan was inquiring about his circumstances to decide whether or not he was qualified to enter Asskickers United.
“Let me ask you something else. Do they know your identity in real life?” Nie Yan asked. This point was especially crucial.
“Nope, none of them. We aren’t required to report our real life identities. I guess that’s one of the perks of being in God Executioner Sword. But as a result, it’s filled with all sorts of characters both good and bad. I even know some with extensive criminal records. Obviously, those kinds of people don’t want anything leaking out,” Xia Tianyu replied. He found Nie Yan’s question very strange.
Nie Yan’s eyes flickered with an odd light. A plan gradually took form in his mind. If he wanted to get information on God Executioner Sword, Xia Tianyu was the most suitable candidate.
“As a friend and fellow classmate, I have full trust in you. I’d be more than happy to have you join Asskickers United. But I have a more important task for you first,” Nie Yan said. He looked around and made sure no one was eavesdropping.
“What is it? I’ll do my best to carry it out!” Xia Tianyu said. He was overjoyed after hearing that Nie Yan was willing to accept him.
“Good. Don’t leave God Executioner Sword,” Nie Yan said.
“Huh, why?” Xia Tianyu asked with a confused look.
Nie Yan stared directly into Xia Tianyu’s eyes. “Are you really willing to abandon God Executioner Sword to join Asskickers United?”
“Yes.” Xia Tianyu nodded with determination. “I don’t have any attachment to God Executioner Sword. All they do is take and exploit my work. They’ve never done anything for me in return. I’ve already thought this over for a long time. If it wasn’t for the fact that I haven’t found anywhere better yet, I would’ve left long ago.”
Xia Tianyu was feeling a bit depressed. He really didn’t want to be in God Executioner Sword any longer. He couldn’t help but wonder why Nie Yan wanted him to stay. The two guilds, Asskickers United and God Executioner Sword, were enemies after all.
“If you want to follow me—help me, then I’d like you to continue remaining in God Executioner Sword. I’ll provide you with gold and equipment regularly. What I want you to do is rope in as many people to your side as possible, climb your way up their ranks, and become one of their core members. One more thing. It’s fine for now. But later on, you and Xu Yan can’t have any contact inside the game anymore in order to avoid raising suspicion,” Nie Yan said, sharing his true plan. Given Xia Tianyu was a veteran member of God Executioner Sword, no one would suspect a thing.
“I see!” Xia Tianyu exclaimed. Everything suddenly clicked in his mind. “Hmm… Alright, I think I can pull it off. You can put your faith in me!” If Nie Yan wanted someone to infiltrate God Executioner Sword’s core, he really would be the most suitable candidate. After all, as a long-standing member of the guild, he was the least likely to arouse suspicion.
The best way to destroy a guild was from within! Even though God Executioner Sword was far from being a match for Asskickers United, Nie Yan sensed worrying undercurrents stirring beneath the surface. He had to start making preparations now!
“How about me? What can I do to help?” Fei Zhe asked, not wanting to be excluded. As a citizen of the Satreen Empire, he couldn’t join Asskickers United.
“Hmm… It would be really great if you could get into Angel Corps, but I won’t blame you if you fail,” Nie Yan replied. He would certainly benefit from having someone reliable inside Angel Corps.
“Huh, that should be pretty easy. I heard Angel Corps’ recruitment policies are pretty lax. I know a few of their recruiters. As long as you give them something to grease the wheels, they’ll immediately let you in. The hard part will be climbing their ranks,” Fei Zhe said.
Nie Yan pondered for a moment. “Alright, I’ll have some people get in touch with you two inside the game. Later on, if you need anything, you can ask them.”
Guo Huai had quite a few moles planted in Angel Corps. If Fei Zhe found a way to ascend their core ranks, Asskickers United could provide him with resources to ensure his success.
Nie Yan reminded Xia Tianyu and Fei Zhe of a few things to take note of. Afterwards, he called up Guo Huai and left the matter to him. He made sure Guo Huai provided them ample resources. Asskickers United didn’t lack gold. As long as Xia Tianyu and Fei Zhe succeeded, the payoff would be more than worth it.
As for Xu Yan, he was already a part of Asskickers United to begin with. There was nothing for him to do.
“There’s a gathering for first years tomorrow. Nie Yan, we plan to teach Fu Guangtao, Zhao Shiyu, and their lot a lesson. That’s fine with you, right?” Xu Yan hoped Nie Yan would give his approval.
“Haha, you don’t need my approval for something like that. You guys can decide for yourselves.” Nie Yan smiled. He was also getting tired of Fu Guangtao and Zhao Shiyu’s little schemes and provocations. Having Xu Yan, Xia Tianyu, and Fei Zhe take them down a notch or two would get these buzzing flies to shut up.
After receiving Nie Yan’s approval, Xu Yan’s eyes lit up in excitement. He clenched his fists and gritted his teeth. “Finally, I get a chance to wipe that smug smile off Fu Guangtao’s face. I’m definitely going to make this a lesson he’ll never forget!”
A day of classes flew by in the blink of an eye. Even though they were a bit dry and dull, Nie Yan still earnestly paid attention. He didn’t want to experience the hardships of his past life again, where he went day by day barely eking out an existence. He would never forego a chance to better himself. That included his studies.
There was a mock test in the afternoon. Nie Yan easily took first place, beating out second place by more than 20%. Jealous of his achievements, Fu Guangtao, Zhao Shiyu, Bai Jun, and their lot secretly spread rumours that Nie Yan was a complete study freak who knew nothing besides fighting and reading books, and that he was a low level trash in Conviction. They were too afraid to confront him directly, so they could only talk behind his back. There were a few people who believed them.
A fellow classmate informed Xu Yan, Xia Tianyu, and Fei Zhe about the rumours. The three couldn’t hold it in anymore. They got up from their seats and walked over to Fu Guangtao’s group.
1. Just a reminder that Nie Yan and Nirvana Flame are pronounced the same in Chinese.