Chapter 233 – Snatching Food from the Tiger’s Den
“Now, having finally seen what Asskickers United is capable of,” Sleepy Fox admitted, “I really did underestimate your guild. I’m sure that Victorious Return and Radiant Sacred Flame have realized that too, but it’s too late for anything now.”
Videos of today’s battle would spread far and wide, marking the start of Asskickers United’s path to the top. The rankings of the major guilds would begin to reorder itself as this battle brought Asskickers United to new heights.
Contrary to expectations, however, Nie Yan didn’t appear to be quite that excited. He replied simply, “Asskickers United merely took a tiny step forward. For entities the size of Victorious Return and Radiant Sacred Flame, they can just dismiss these losses with a shrug.” Asskickers United’s victory in this battle would also greatly influence Azure Falling Sky to ally with those two massive guilds, adding one more sizable opponent to his list of enemies. Due to that, there was a certain downside to this victory as well.
“From this day onwards, we’ll be in the same boat. I hope the best for our future,” said Sleepy Fox, his arm extended. The fates of Holy Empire and Asskickers United were now intertwined—any glory would be shared, and similarly, any adversities would be weathered through together.
“Likewise.” Nie Yan reached for Sleepy Fox’s hand and shook on it. Holy Empire had expressed their sincere wish for cooperation by genuinely following through with the mutual defense pact. They alone had held off Victorious Return and Radiant Sacred Flame long enough for Asskickers United to demolish Azure Falling Sky. It now went without saying that Nie Yan had to return the favour—he would help Holy Empire in taking down the stronghold, and by then, both guilds would have truly shared both adversities, and glory.
“Well, I’ve gotta go and take care of some guild matters. Unlike you, I can’t just sit back and relax as guild leader,” said Sleepy Fox, his eyes narrowed slightly.
“Take care.” Nie Yan smiled.
Sleepy Fox finished up with Nie Yan and left to arrange plans to deal with the remnants of the guild battle. The aftermath left him with many red-named guild members, so the first order of business was to clear those. As for the players that had died, they, too, would require some sort of reimbursement. The crowd could only be appeased with absolute fairness in treatment.
「First, let’s get our red-named brothers cleaned up, then we’ll head back and discuss contributions,」 Nie Yan said in the voice chat. There was certainly no shortage of rewards after this battle.
The chat exploded in cheers; they had undoubtedly long awaited that announcement and now, they were calculating how many merit points they would each receive. By the guild’s set of agreements, each kill in a guild battle would net the player 30 to 300 merit points, determined by their class. For instance, Priests received 200 merit points on the spot, and more depending on the part they played in the battle. There was also compensation for those who had died in battle, as it would have resulted in a loss in level and gear. The ones in the top earnings bracket could even receive several thousand merit points!
Nie Yan formed a few groups of guild members without red names, and had them escort their red-named brethren over to hunting zones suitable for clearing red names. The rest returned to the city.
Nie Yan threw all the equipment taken from the players of Azure Falling Sky, Victorious Return, and Radiant Sacred Flame into the guild treasury, then had Guo Huai distribute merit points. Several million points were soon appropriately allocated to the players, who began divvying up the equipment in the treasury based on what they needed. Before long, over 15,000 pieces of equipment were swept clean from the treasury and equipped by the players, significantly boosting the quality of their gear.
Not only had Asskickers United avoided enormous damage in this battle, it had even brought tremendous growth for itself. The practice of increasing battle strength by undergoing battle had been extremely effective this time around.
“Profit!” Tang Yao exclaimed. This time, all members of Asskickers United experienced the sweet taste of victory. Although the battle was long over, the entire guild was still in a state of ecstasy.
“Have them quiet down a bit and stay alert,” Nie Yan said to Guo Huai, knitting his brows. It was very dangerous if the entire guild submerged itself in an overly conceited atmosphere; after all, the battle was far from over.
There were many guild matters that had to be taken care of. Nie Yan handed off as much work as he could to others to deal with, but even if internal guild affairs were completely dealt with, he still had plenty of matters to attend to: bringing some guild members to level in Everlasting City, searching for the Chapter of Virtue, and completing the quest that required the Steal skill.
“Nie Yan, I’ve heard that the bidding for a bunch of places like NPC potion shops and auction houses has already started online. Here, take a look,” Guo Huai said. Unfortunately, he was just a bit over Level 10, so he wasn’t able to help much during the battle and could only worry on the sidelines. When Nie Yan and his army behind returned in full victory, he breathed a huge sigh of relief and went straight to work. The spoils of this battle also resolved the guild treasury’s desperate empty state: save for a few pieces of Level 30 equipment held for raising funds, the treasury was bare of any low-level equipment.
“The auction started a few days earlier than I expected. How much gold do we have?” Nie Yan asked. He hadn’t been paying too much attention to the guild’s treasury, and it did seem to be about that time when the auction began to put up virtual assets for sale. He needed enough gold to have a chance of purchasing the auction house in the heart of Calore!
“We’ve accumulated over 3,000 gold.”
“We got more than I expected,” Nie Yan said. With over 3,000 gold, securing the auction house at the heart of Calore wouldn’t be a problem. He opened up the page of the official Conviction website. The bids for virtual properties in various major cities began showing up.
Nie Yan looked over the list of properties available for auction in Calore—around 30 or so altogether. They included the auction house at the center of Calore, the Mercenary Auction House, the auction house at the south side of the city, the Kelis Potion Shop, the Ever Grand Smithy, and so on. Players were already making their bids. The most expensive property listed was the auction house at the center of Calore. Its current bid was already just over 1,200 gold. The minimum increment a bid could be raised by was 100 gold. If no one bid on a property for five hours, it would go to the highest bidder. The duration of the virtual property auction was three days.
With virtual properties starting to go up for auction, the major guilds and large gaming organizations would immediately be interested. They would quickly begin to amass money to fight for the various properties. However, trying to collect money on such short notice would obviously be less effective. Because of the sky-high prices, no matter how much money they gathered, it still wouldn’t be enough.
In the previous timeline, the auction house at the center of Calore was sold for 2,300 gold. The bidding had lasted all the way to the final second of the auction. According to rumours, many large financial groups had amassed large funds to snatch the auction house at the center of Calore. However, 2,300 gold truly wasn’t a small sum. Even if you sold all the belongings of every single player in a major guild, you would barely be able to scrape up that amount.
Nie Yan considered his options, thinking that if he greatly increased the bid right now, even the richest players wouldn’t be able to gather so much money within five hours and would just give up on Calore’s main auction house.
“1,700 gold!” Nie Yan raised the bid. His extremely fierce bidding gave many people a huge fright. The bid for the auction house at the center of Calore skyrocketed! This new development caused several financial groups to give up on the bidding for the auction house, setting their sights elsewhere.
Nie Yan hoped that no other financial groups would raise the bid within the next five hours.
He checked the other properties. Most of the other auction houses had a current bid of 700–800 gold. Several had their bids break past 1,000 gold. Because auction houses were guaranteed to be the most profitable industry in the future, many people wanted to snatch one up so they could have a share of the pie.
After this auction ended, the several tycoons of the Viridian Empire would be determined. The first was Cao Xu. In the previous timeline, he had gathered up funds from five large guilds, wantonly converted real life money to gold, and bought several dozen virtual properties to cement his position as an overlord in the game.
The Tuoba Family Financial Group was another. Outside of Withered Leaf, they pooled together gold from the three large guilds they controlled to purchase six golden properties in Brightmoon City, Nisode City, and so on.
There had also been over a dozen financial bigwigs dividing the properties between themselves. By the time they were done, smaller groups could only fight for their leftovers. For example, people like Sleepy Fox, Kill Love, and Fa Lan would be lucky just to get a property or two.
The circumstances in this timeline were a little different from the previous one. Since Victorious Return and Radiant Sacred Flame had suffered some heavy setbacks, they would have to spend a lot of gold to compensate the losses of their players. Most likely in the short term, they wouldn’t be able to raise much money.
As for Nie Yan, he would definitely snatch up one or two properties in this auction, particularly the auction house at the center of Calore. This was the most profitable auction house in the entire Viridian Empire! He had to have it!
He contemplated for a moment. He might just be able to snatch another property with the leftover gold from buying the auction house at the center of Calore, the gold from the Starry Night Potion Shop, and the gold from the Union of Assassins.
Nie Yan walked to the Starry Night Potion Shop to check how much gold had accumulated. Bird Leaves No Eggs, according to Nie Yan’s instructions, had saved up the profits from the last few days. Seeing over 1,600 gold in the till, Nie Yan was surprised at how much there was. Added to the several hundred he could retrieve from the Union of Assassins, this would be enough to purchase a second property.
Nie Yan had his eyes set on another auction house in Calore, the Mercenary Auction House! In the future, it would also be a gold mine, one of the most popular auction houses in Calore. In the previous timeline, it had auctioned off for 1,900 gold. If he could successfully purchase it, he would be extremely content.
Nie Yan withdrew all the gold from the Starry Night Potion Shop and the Union of Assassins and deposited it into his personal storage. He paid close attention to any changes in the current bids of the various virtual properties up for auction online, with him mostly eying the auction house at center of Calore and the Mercenary Auction House. For the time being, no one came out to compete with him.
With the virtual property auction pushed forward unexpectedly, Nie Yan could only postpone his previous plan to take people powerleveling in Everlasting City. At this time, every bit of gold could mean the difference between success and failure in the auction. He couldn’t afford to use any right now.
Thinking things over, Nie Yan decided the guild didn’t really need him, with Guo Huai in charge. Radiant Sacred Flame and Victorious Return were unlikely to make any big movements right now. He should set his sights on the Chapter of Virtue first and complete Volume I of the Book of Order. If he got that over with, he wouldn’t need to worry about his chapters dropping if he died in a guild war.
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