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Chapter 677 - General?

Lei Su’s appearance averted a potential disaster. The players from Asskickers United managed to repel the skeletons once more.

Nie Yan looked over the current statistics of the battle. So far, Asskickers United had lost 60 players. Once the casualties exceeded 100, he would probably call for a full retreat. Losing the Shoro Stronghold wasn’t too terrible of a loss. After all, his main goal was to shave away at the strength of Qin Han’s skeleton army. Once the walls fell, there was no need to fight until the bitter end.

Nie Yan’s basic strategy was to cull the enemy’s numbers while minimizing casualties on his side as much as possible. He would make Qin Han pay a heavy price for every stronghold taken. Until finally the skeleton army was weakened enough, at which time he would deal the fatal blow.

As the holder of the Great Prophet title, Nie Yan could mobilize the troops stationed in any of the cities in the Viridian Empire. However, it would be foolish to think that the 8,000 NPC soldiers stationed in Calore could defeat a skeleton army 8,000,000 strong. So, he could only rely on his current turtling tactic.

Even by offering a nice reward for players willfully turning into skeletons and razing any NPC village or town he could find, it still wasn’t enough. The large majority of the playerbase heeded Nie Yan’s warning to stay as far away from the skeletons as possible. Qin Han was enraged. His skeleton army was slowly dwindling in size. He became all the more determined to destroy the Shoro Stronghold. To that end, he had his troops launch an even fiercer assault.

After another afternoon of non-stop fighting, Asskickers United had wiped out a further 150,000 skeletons. However, they were gradually being overwhelmed. The Shoro Stronghold likely wouldn’t hold for much longer. They received an order from Nie Yan. Under no circumstances were they to engage the skeletons if the situation looked unfavourable. Losses had to be kept to the absolute minimum.

Even if the skeletons flooded into the stronghold, the Asskickers United players weren’t to tangle with them.

“Boss, we can’t hold out much longer! The walls are already overrun with skeletons!”

“Everyone, we’re making a full retreat! Evacuate through the transfer point. Warriors, bring up the rear, but don’t recklessly throw your lives away. Don’t panic! Squad #1 retreat first, then Squad #2, Squad #3, and so on!” Nie Yan ordered. As soon as the words left his mouth, the players began an orderly withdrawal.

“Boss, what do we do about the catapults?”

“Have the catapults continue firing for three more minutes, then destroy them beyond repair. Don’t leave a single one for the enemy!” Nie Yan said in a deep voice. Even though his heart ached at the thought of losing 70 Armoured Ice Catapults, he had no other choice. If they weren’t destroyed, they would fall into Qin Han’s hands. Besides, Asskickers United still had another 500 catapults and trebuchets. This loss was bearable.

The players from Asskickers United withdrew from the Shoro Stronghold en masse. With a flash of light, they teleported away.

The skeletons flooded into the Shoro Stronghold and overflowed into the streets and alleys. But no matter how fast they ran, they were still slower than the fleeing players.

When more than half of the players had evacuated through the transfer point, a series of explosions rang out. The Armoured Ice Catapults lined up in the center of the stronghold were all blown up.

“Go, go, go!” Nie Yan ushered the players through the transfer point. When the last one teleported away, he destroyed it.

At this moment, Qin Han arrived at the top of the Shoro Stronghold’s walls. Gazing inside, it was deserted. There wasn’t a trace of any players!

Asskickers United’s forces had long since withdrawn. What was left behind was an abandoned stronghold.

Qin Han stomped his feet and let out a torrent of curses. Nie Yan was too treacherous! He had lost close to 500,000 skeletons, and all he had to show for it was a deserted stronghold. The enemy’s casualties didn’t even exceed double digits. Even though the destruction of 70 catapults was significant, for a rich magnate like Asskickers United, it could easily be recovered from. 

Qin Han gradually understood Nie Yan’s plan. If he had to sacrifice 500,000 skeletons every time he laid siege to a stronghold, it wouldn’t be long before his skeleton army was wiped out completely.

Qin Han might be ruthless, but Nie Yan was even more so!

There were two other strongholds situated close to the Shoro Stronghold. Nie Yan was in the middle of fortifying them. Their locations weren’t as good. So, he set up relatively fewer defenses. He would be lucky to shave away even 200,000 skeletons from Qin Han’s army.

Nie Yan and the others stood on top of the walls of the Veisor Stronghold, gazing into the distance.

“If I were Qin Han right now, I’d probably be driven mad with anger. He spent so much effort to conquer the Shoro Stronghold, only to find it completely deserted.” Lei Su chuckled.

Nie Yan smiled. He could picture Qin Han’s face right about now. His eyes flashed with a cold light. Defeating you couldn’t be any easier. Don’t think you’re invincible just because you have that little skeleton army. Even if it was bigger, I’d still take you to the cleaners!

After taking down the Shoro Stronghold, Qin Han’s next target would definitely be the Cripps Stronghold. It was the main headquarters of Asskickers United. It couldn’t be allowed to fall. It was surrounded by five other strongholds, which would provide a decent buffer. While the skeleton army was making their way through them, Nie Yan would make his preparations for the final decisive battle.

Nie Yan started mobilizing all the forces available to him, which included Asskickers United’s players, the elites of other guilds, Calore’s NPC soldiers, and so on. 

In the meantime, Qin Han’s skeleton army had halted their advance.

Qin Han realized he couldn’t continue on like this, or he would eventually be forced into the passive. So, he decided to hold back his troops to recuperate and adjust their tactics.

After receiving a report from his scouts, Guo Huai sent Nie Yan a message,「Nie Yan, Qin Han’s skeleton army has stopped moving. What do we do?」

「That’s good news. We need all the time we can get. Quickly gather the materials and produce more catapults!」Nie Yan said. In the previous battle, he had witnessed the impact of the Armoured Ice Catapults first-hand. They were unrivalled weapons of destruction!

「Understood!」Guo Huai nodded.

「What’s our production output like?」Nie Yan asked.

「Hmmm. With our output at max, we can probably manufacture 20 catapults a day. The only issue is the lack of crafting materials. It’s simply not sustainable. We’d only last three days at most,」Guo Huai replied.

Wars were fought with production ability, and Asskickers United was unrivalled in this aspect. Other guilds might only produce two or three catapults a day, whereas they could produce 20!

「Have Holy Empire, Sapphire Shrine, Radiant Sacred Flame, and the rest help us gather crafting materials. We’re focusing all our efforts into production!」Nie Yan said. At this moment, they had to pump out as many catapults as possible!

「I’ll get to it right away!」

Even though Asskickers United had lost 70 catapults at the Shoro Stronghold, they still had another 350 catapults and 159 trebuchets remaining, all of which had been accumulated over the past couple of weeks. On top of that, they could produce 20 catapults a day. There was nothing to worry about. Even if they suffered some losses, they could quickly be replenished.

By the time Nie Yan finished arranging everything, the servers were about to shut down. Nie Yan and Xie Yao logged out of the game.

Nie Yan sent Lei Su a text message. Before long, he received a reply.

「Head to the second conference hall in the Top Military Academy. Come quick. Someone wants to meet you.」

Nie Yan gazed at Xie Yao. He decided not to inform her about Heavenly Kings for the time being. He didn’t want her to get anxious. A secretive club like Heavenly Kings would certainly evoke a sense of fear. They were simply too powerful and influential. They could easily decide a person’s fate.

Seeing Xie Yao’s bright smile, Nie Yan felt it was better the less she knew about some things. He wanted to protect her happiness forever.

I’m finally about to meet with Heavenly Kings. Nie Yan clenched his fist. No matter what, he had to enter this club. It would give him the backing he needed to deal with the Monet Financial Group and Century Financial Group.

The Monet Financial Group and Century Financial Group were like swords hanging over his neck. The moment he slipped up, he would lose everything.

So, Nie Yan frantically seeked more power.

Nie Yan and Xie Yao ate breakfast together, then headed off to the Top Military Academy. After the two parted, he made his way toward the second conference hall.

In the mind of both students and teachers, the second conference hall was an extremely special existence. This was a place Heavenly Kings had secured for themselves with their influence. They would occasionally gather there for meetings. There were several such conference halls on the premises of the Top Military Academy that didn’t permit ordinary students to enter.

Nie Yan arrived at the entrance of the second conference hall. A student walked up to greet him.

“You’re Nie Yan? Nice to meet you. I’m Luo Lin, an external member of Heavenly Kings. Please follow me,” Luo Lin said politely.

“Alright.” Nie Yan nodded, following behind Luo Lin.

From Luo Lin’s steady footsteps, Nie Yan could tell his physique was fairly good. Even an excellent person like this was only an external member in Heavenly Kings.

Nie Yan’s heart was filled with doubt. Why would Heavenly Kings pick him of all people?

The Top Military Academy had the smartest and brightest students of the entire country. On top of that, wherever you looked you would find people with deeper backgrounds than Nie Yan. World Bloc couldn’t possibly be the reason. They hadn’t grown large enough yet to be worthy of Heavenly King’s attention. Could it be something about him personally? However, just what did he have that would make them view him so highly? 

Lost in thoughts, Nie Yan walked inside. After passing through a long corridor, the two arrived in front of a sealed door.

“Please enter. The general and the others are all waiting for you,” Luo Lin said.

General? Nie Yan knitted his brows. Probably someone’s code name or something. It naturally didn’t occur to him that the person in question was actually a part of the military. As for what the members of Heavenly Kings were like, he had no idea. The things he knew about them was only scratching the tip of the iceberg. Their immense influence was enough to make large financial groups and other major powers tremble in fear.

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