Chapter 640 - Towering Mountain
Nie Yan appeared from stealth in front of Fu Guangtao and the others with a cold smile on his face. He wanted to see what kind of expressions they would make after finding out he was Nirvana Flame.
Everyone’s eyes fell on Nie Yan. His appearance couldn’t be any more familiar to them.
He had a hand in almost every major event in the Viridian Empire. They had watched videos of his exploits more times than they cared to remember.
“Mad Rogue Nirvana Flame!”
“N-no way! It’s really him!”
Fu Guangtao and the others gasped. Xu Yan’s group was dumbstruck. They never expected Nirvana Flame to appear here of all places. What an unbelievable turn of events! But after thinking about it, apart from Nie Yan, which other Thief could slaughter so many people with such ease?
Nie Yan’s expression back then and Nirvana Flame’s appearance right now bore an uncanny resemblance to each other. He stared at Fu Guangtao like he was watching a clown, clear mockery in his eyes.
“Nirvana Flame… Nie Yan… N-no, it’s impossible!” Fu Guangtao’s face alternated between shades of violet and red. It was a marvelous sight. Not even in his wildest dreams could he have imagined that he would provoke the one person in the entire Viridian Empire no one should ever provoke. His heart swelled with indescribable bitterness.
“The Mad Rogue is Nie Yan...” Fu Guangtao muttered in despair.
“W-wait, what did you say?!”
The eyes of the players around him all widened in shock.
“Fu Guangtao… y-you’re joking, right?” Zhao Shiyu asked in a trembling tone. She already suspected this after Nie Yan, or rather Nirvana Flame, materialized before them. But she didn’t dare to confirm it.
“I’m not. He’s the Nie Yan in our class.”
Zhao Shiyu and the others’ faces turned ashen.
A gust of wind howled by as a large shadow blotted out the sun. Looking up at the sky, a dragon was making a rapid descent toward the ground.
The Darkwing Dragon flapped its wings, kicking up small twisters as it alighted next to Nie Yan. A large, six-meter high frame covered in dark ashen scales, it resembled a frightening beast from antiquity. All in its presence would cower under its domineering aura.
When the Darkwing Dragon appeared, Fu Guangtao’s group lost the will to fight. They gave up all hope and simply awaited Nie Yan’s judgement.
Seeing the fear, dismay, and despair in their eyes, Nie Yan sneered. They were going to pay a heavy price for their own foolishness.
A deadly silence hung in the air. No one dared to even breathe loudly. Everyone felt immense pressure. The name of the Mad Rogue was an absolute deterrent. Add this to the huge Darkwing Dragon standing by his side, and not even the most arrogant of fools would dare to challenge his authority.
「N-nie Yan is the Mad Rogue? He’s Nirvana Flame?」Chu Chenghao turned to Xu Yan, fearing he had misheard. He nervously waited for a reply.
Xu Yan nodded.
Chu Chenghao’s mouth opened and closed like a goldfish, not knowing what to say. He had a look of disbelief on his face. Never in his wildest dreams did he expect Nirvana Flame to be a fellow classmate. This news was too shocking.
「Nie Yan really kept himself well-hidden. So, the equipment you three are wearing, it was gifted to you by him?」Chu Cheng asked.
「Yeah,」Fei Zhe answered.
「I see… it all makes sense now. Who else but Nirvana Flame can gift such amazing equipment sets without batting an eye?」Che Chenghao wore a complicated expression on his face.
Having not divulged his identity for so long, Nie Yan was quite low key. Thinking back to how Fu Guangtao ridiculed him in the past, that expression on his face was actually one of deep disdain. He couldn’t be bothered to compare level and equipment with such a nobody. Funniest of all, Fu Guangtao had remained completely oblivious until the end, after having already thoroughly offended Nie Yan.
Fu Guangtao, Zhao Shiyu, and Bai Jun felt like they had been thrown into the deepest pits of despair. If their enemy wasn’t Nirvana Flame, they would still have hope of a future by simply hiding away in some desolated corner. But they had offended the most powerful person in the entire Viridian Empire, someone who could gather clouds with a flip of a palm and call down the rains with the other. If he wanted to deal with them, he wouldn’t even have to do anything himself. Just a single word from him could make their lives absolute hell.
“Since I’ve revealed myself, I trust you all have no more complaints?” Nie Yan said in an ice-cold voice.
Fu Guangtao’s face turned deathly pale.
Zhao Shiyu, Bai Jun, and the others all wanted to say something, but they kept their mouths shut for fear of annoying Nie Yan any further. If he passed down the order to Asskickers United, he could easily have them killed back to Level 0. Then all the painstaking effort they put into levelling up their accounts would go up in smoke. They could only tremble in fear as they awaited judgement.
Nie Yan coldly glanced at Fu Guangtao, Zhao Shiyu, Bai Jun, and their group. He couldn’t be bothered to spare them any more words. He vanished into stealth and sent them all to the grave.
The ground was littered with corpses. All that remained was Nie Yan and Xu Yan’s group.
One of the Priests in Xu Yan’s team was still alive and began reviving their fallen comrades.
“Boss!” Xu Yan giddily greeted. He was the most comfortable using this form of address inside the game.
“Umm… hi? I didn’t know you were Nirvana Flame,” Chu Chenghao awkwardly greeted. He didn’t know how he should interact with Nie Yan. After all, this was his first time meeting this kind of legendary figure face-to-face. He was extremely nervous.
“Haha, don’t be nervous. We’re all classmates here, right? Lighten up a little.” Nie Yan smiled warmly. In stark contrast to the frigid manner in which he treated Fu Guangtao’s group, he appeared quite easygoing and amiable right now.
Chu Chenghao rubbed his head and chuckled foolishly. “I-I’m not really that good with words. Thank you. If you hadn’t come, we would all be dead right now.”
Seeing Che Chenghao bumbling over himself, Nie Yan laughed. He could tell Chu Chenghao was a fairly straightforward and honest person.
“Go, collect all the equipment. Don’t let it go to waste,” Nie Yan said. With a hundred corpses scattered over the battlefield, there was a pile of equipment for them to gather.
“Got it.” Xu Yan nodded. “We’ll have all this equipment delivered to the guild treasury when we return to the city.”
“No need. If you see anything you like, just take it for yourselves. As for the rest, you can trade it in for some merit points, then help our classmates get fitted with some better gear. We can’t have our command faculty being weaker than the combat faculty now, can we?” Nie Yan smiled. This equipment didn’t amount to much in his eyes, but it meant the world to Chu Chenghao and his other classmates.
Xu Yan, Xia Tianyu, and Fei Zhe excitedly chatted with Nie Yan. They badgered him to show off his gear until he finally relented. After which they were completely dumbstruck. He had a total of four pieces of Legendary-grade equipment while the rest were Sub Legendary-grade.
“Boss, what do you plan to do with Fu Guangtao and them?” Xu Yan asked.
“Are you going to have them killed back to Level 0?” Fei Zhe chimed in.
Nie Yan shook his head with a smile. “They’re not worth my time. I’ll let them agonize over themselves for a few days, then let them off with a warning. I’m sure they’ll choose to do the smart thing.” People like Fu Guangtao and Zhao Shiyu posed no threat to him. There was no need for him to waste his time and effort on them.
Seeing Xu Yan, Xia Tianyu, and Fei Zhe talking to Nie Yan with such familiarity, the others also came over and spoke a few words. After exchanging a few forced pleasantries, they found out he was rather easy to get along with and they quickly started opening up.
“Wow, I never imagined you were Nirvana Flame. No wonder I thought your name sounded so familiar back in school!”
“You’re my idol!”
Everyone chimed in one after another. They all deeply admired Nie Yan. After all, for a single person to achieve what he did inside the game was incredibly difficult. At the same time, being able to talk face to face with Nirvana Flame was an experience they would never forget. They were really moved by his attitude toward them.
At Nie Yan’s request, his fellow classmates promised not to divulge his identity. From his perspective, if he could remain low key and keep his peaceful school life for another day, he would. If the entire school knew he was Nirvana Flame, things would become extremely troublesome. As for Fu Guangtao and them, they were most likely far too embarrassed to ever talk about this day ever again. Besides, if they knew what was good for them, they would keep their lips sealed.
“I’ll be taking my leave first. I still have some matters to attend to,” Nie Yan said. His time was short. He bid farewell to Xu Yan and the others.
Xu Yan and others understood that Nie Yan had already done a lot by coming all the way over here to personally rescue them. They knew a person like him was always busy and rarely, if ever, had any free time.
Nie Yan hopped on the Darkwing Dragon, then took off into the air, instantly ascending more than several dozen meter. It flapped its wings and shot off into the distance, disappearing over the horizon.
“Wow, the boss’ equipment really is amazing. He even has that Darkwing Dragon on top of that.”
“The Darkwing Dragon is awesome. I wonder when we’ll get a flying mount like that,” a Warrior dreamed as he gazed at the horizon.
“Yeah. It would be amazing if we could get a powerful flying mount like that.”
“Pffft! You’d have an easier time climbing Mt. Everest. Obtaining a regular flying mount is already near impossible for most players, let alone one like the Darkwing Dragon. You guys should give up on the thought.” Xu Yan poured a bucket of ice-cold water over their dreams. These people had to wake up to reality.
The surrounding players let out deep sighs. Generally, obtaining a flying mount required a several thousand-man expedition team exploring the Griffon Woodlands for an entire day. In their eyes, perhaps only the leaders of powerful guilds were qualified to obtain a high rank flying mount.
When they looked at Nie Yan, it was as though they were gazing up at a towering mountain.