Chapter 674 - Enemies on a Narrow Path
As the spectators scattered, Lei Su received several team invites from within the guild. Though these teams were mostly composed of second-rate players, he gladly accepted and agreed to run a dungeon or two with them.
What surprised Nie Yan was that 50 other fairly skilled, first-rate players entered Asskickers United alongside Lei Su. They were his followers who often joined him in running dungeons. Several of them had strength that was only one step below him. With a team of experts like this supporting him and his powerful background, for him to reach his current heights was only to be expected.
With more than 50 skilled experts joining Asskickers United, Nie Yan felt like a meat pie had dropped from the sky. If he had to gather these players the normal way, he would have to spend a lot of time and effort. Luckily, they had delivered themselves right up to his doorstep. Though they were still Lei Su’s subordinates, if anything major happened in the future, they would follow him in helping the guild.
After settling all his affairs on this side, Nie Yan planned to resume hunting skeletons with Xie Yao and Tang Yao. When the three of them met up in the transfer area, they received news that Qin Han had crossed the borders of Calore’s territory from the south with a large army of skeletons. Furthermore, hordes of skeletons had appeared in Nisode and Colt. Qin Han had already mobilized his troops in attacking the strongholds in Colt. Attacking the weakest point, he planned to seize control of the strongholds while slaughtering his way forward and expanding his forces at the same time.
Nie Yan could no longer continue to leisurely hunt skeletons. He hurriedly mobilized Asskickers United’s troops to face Qin Han and his skeleton army.
The Rabeet Stronghold was in a state of emergency!
The Aranson Stronghold was in a state of emergency!
The two small strongholds in Colt were the first to be attacked. They were surrounded on all sides by an endless sea of skeletons.
Guo Huai had received a report from his moles in God Executioner Sword. The number of skeletons had already surpassed 2,000,000, 8,000 of which were Lords! This kind of militarial strength was truly frightening.
The Shoro Stronghold, this was the most important stronghold connecting Colt to Calore. Asskickers United had already discovered skeletons showing up in its vicinity.
Nie Yan glanced at the map. Qin Han’s next move was probably to take down the Shoro Stronghold. Like this, Calore would be isolated from Colt and Nisode. It was divide and conquer. Nie Yan pondered for a long time. The Shoro Stronghold was an extremely important strategic location. As long as he could hold onto it, he could freely move around his catapult legion, steamrolling everything in his path. The land surrounding Colt was basically all flatlands and plains. With the Shoro Stronghold as a foothold, they could freely advance to attack and retreat to defend. The skeleton army’s campaign would be put to a stop here!
Nie Yan started mobilizing a large number of catapults towards the Shoro Stronghold. At the same time, he had many high level players hurry over as well.
Since a transfer point hadn’t been set up there yet, Asskickers United could only teleport to the closest town and rush over to the Shoro Stronghold by mounts. It was about a 15-minute journey.
Nie Yan, Xie Yao, and Tang Yao rushed over to the Shoro Stronghold on their flying mounts. In the previous battle, the Shoro Stronghold had been razed to the ground by Asskickers United’s catapults. However, after reconstruction efforts, it looked even grander than before.
After arriving over the Shoro Stronghold, Nie Yan and the other two jumped off their flying mounts and landed on the walls. The perfect vantage point. They surveyed the surroundings, spotting a few skeletons roaming around here and there. These were only reconnaissance units. The main army had yet to arrive.
Nie Yan started setting up defenses in preparation for the battle, both inside and in the vicinity of the stronghold. This job was delegated to only the most trusted members of Asskickers United.
Before long, around 70 catapults had been transported to the Shoro Stronghold. They were set up on top of the walls. With the elevation bonus, they had a range of about 500 meters.
After making sure everything was ready and in order, Nie Yan had Guo Huai provide the 60,000 players guarding the stronghold with a bunch of items for dealing with the skeletons, including Holy Judgement Scrolls, Twisting Vines Scrolls, and so on.
The Shoro Stronghold had been transformed into an impenetrable bastion by Nie Yan.
In the next few hours, Nie Yan received several reports. The Rabeet and Aranson Strongholds had both already fallen. The skeleton army continued to move with sweeping momentum toward the Baget Stronghold, destroying all villages and towns in its path like an unstoppable torrent.
Nie Yan stayed near the Shoro Stronghold for several days. On the third day, he received word that Bladelight and Sun had completed their class advancement quests. This news came as no surprise to him. It was only natural they succeeded. Even though he was happy for them, what Asskickers United required right now were Magisters and Archbishops. These classes had much more of an impact in large scale conflicts.
Nie Yan closely monitored the progress of Painted Muslin, Black Hell, Black Heaven, and the others’ class advancement quests. However, it looked like it would take them on average another 15 days to finish. Meanwhile, the situation at the Shoro Stronghold was getting more urgent. After sweeping through more than a dozen strongholds in Colt, Qin Han’s skeleton army was already converging on it.
Around 400,000 skeletons had gathered in an area several kilometers away from the Shoro Stronghold. Faced against such an enormous force, Nie Yan definitely wouldn’t dare to dispatch players to deal with them. As soon as they ventured into the wilderness outside the safety of the stronghold walls, they would become prey for the skeletons.
The large skeleton army was slowly gathering around the Shoro Stronghold. The fighting could break out at any moment.
While standing atop the walls of the stronghold, Nie Yan had a mysterious smile on his face. He held a scout report in his hands. “It’s finally time.”
Standing in the middle of the skeleton army, Qin Han in his black robes was staring at the stronghold’s walls in the distance. He had just received word that Nie Yan had already set up defenses in the Shoro Stronghold and was waiting for him to arrive. Qin Han’s lips curved into a disdainful smile. You want to stop my skeleton army with just these measly defenses and troops? You really are underestimating me too much!
The great skeleton army was unstoppable, razing every village and town it came across. Any players or guilds in their way were slaughtered into submission and left trembling in fear. This caused Qin Han’s ambitions and confidence to swell to astronomical levels. With millions of skeletons at his command, he naturally wouldn’t put the tiny Shoro Stronghold in his eyes. After taking down the Shoro Stronghold and passing through a ravine, he would sweep through all of Calore! He would uproot all of Asskickers United from the ground!
Qin Han recalled how Nie Yan had sniped him from afar. How could he forget? It was his single most humiliating defeat since entering the game. He would absolutely pay it back tenfold!
A powerful psychic wave erupted out from Qin Han and spread out in every direction. This was him passing down his command.
The skeleton army slowly advanced toward the Shoro Stronghold like a surging tide.
Standing atop the stronghold walls, Nie Yan gazed into the distance. Stretching out as far as the eye could see was a vast sea of skeletons. No wonder the NPCs described these skeletons as locusts. That was exactly what they looked like, a swarm of locusts!
Gradually, the skeleton army drew closer and closer. They were about 1,000 meters away from the walls. The skeletons at the front triggered the traps Asskickers United had set up around the perimeter of the stronghold. Explosions and pillars of flames erupted into the air, transforming the thickets in the vicinity into a sea of fire. Under the raging inferno, numerous skeletons rattled their jaws and collapsed into pieces. Even so, it was far from enough to stop the army’s advance.
The fire continued to burn for 15 minutes before gradually settling down. Afterwards, the skeleton army encountered all sorts of traps, from pitfalls to spike traps, explosive traps, and so on. At least 50,000 skeletons were wiped out.
After failing to make any headway due to all the traps, Qin Han became increasingly infuriated. Under his command, the skeleton army forcefully pushed forward. They advanced even more franticially than before. It was like a sea bones. No matter how many skeletons at the front were killed, those at the back would step over their bones and continue forward.
800 meters, 700 meters, 600 meters...
The skeletons were getting closer and closer, causing the players guarding the Shoro Stronghold to feel more and more pressure weighing down on them.
“Boss, they’re almost here. Shouldn’t we bombard them now?”
“You idiot! Look at where they are. That’s easily more than 500 meters. Way out of range! The catapults won’t hit!”
As the skeletons drew closer, the atmosphere in the Shoro Stronghold grew more tense. If they were facing another guild, they definitely wouldn’t be afraid. But what they were facing was a mindless horde of skeletons. Many among them had fought these skeletons before. They were like unkillable cockroaches, always gathering in large groups and swarming forward without fear of death. The players who were killed by them would also join their ranks. Anyone would feel helpless facing this kind of enemy, to say nothing of the fact that what they were up against right now was a skeleton army several hundred thousand strong!
“Don’t be afraid, guys. With such high walls, these skeletons can climb up only by piling up on top of one another. All the Mages and Priests have to do is blast them with magic. We’ll kill as many as we can. Even if they do breach through our defenses, the stronghold might fall, but we’ll still have our lives, or are you saying we can’t outrun a bunch of slow-moving skeletons? As for those who can’t get away fast enough, I can only recommend you work more on your cardio!” Nie Yan faintly smiled.
The players broke out in laughter. The tension in the air eased up by a lot.