Chapter 294 – Faded
Nie Yan installed about 10 Lookouts on top of the walls. When the Siege Machine Factory was up and running, the Lookouts could be mounted with Crossbow Turrets. A Tier 1 Lookout could be fitted with more than a dozen of them, and since they could be operated by anyone, it was ideal to man them with low-level players. They were a formidable line of defense.
As the primary stronghold of Asskickers United, United City’s strategic benefit far outweighed anything else. So long as it remained standing, Asskickers United would never fall.
Nie Yan estimated he had spent roughly 6,000 gold on remodeling United City. Luckily, he had just received another payment from the Dragonsoar Financial Group, which was enough to cover these costs.
“We’ll leave the handling of the business district to Yu Rui. I want to open up a Starry Night Potion Shop branch here as well. Also, start leasing out the empty shops,” Nie Yan instructed. For United City to grow, a thriving commerce was necessary. As a guild grew more powerful, so did investor confidence, making it easier to attract prospective businesses to set up shop in their strongholds. Considering Asskickers United’s prestige and rallying power in Calore, it would be a piece of cake to develop the stronghold.
With the real-world business district being handed over to them, the Dragonsoar Financial Group had received their first return on investment from Asskickers United.
“I’ll get right on to it. I’ve already appointed 15 supervisors to oversee the economy of this stronghold. Furthermore, I want you to go over our contingency plan. In case of emergency, who will arrive to defend the stronghold, how many will come, all of that needs to be decided beforehand. We only have 100 Tier 1 Barracks, so if war breaks out, we can only accommodate 5,000 players at most. I estimate with our construction of the walls, and the Lookouts on top of them, we’ll have roughly 30 minutes to get reinforcements into place,” Guo Huai said as he handed over some plans to Nie Yan.
Nie Yan skimmed through them, then asked, “How many of the Mages assigned to defending the stronghold can cast Advanced Magic?”
“We have five in total: Summer Bug, Undying Scoundrel, Sunny South, Beginner Student, and Nimbus,” Guo Huai replied. It was evident they sorely lacked Mages who could cast Advanced Magic.
Nie Yan wondered how Yao Yao was doing with the Karsi’s Blessing quest right now. If she could learn Templar Magic, Asskickers United would gain yet another Mage who could cast Advanced Magic. Summer Bug, Undying Scoundrel, Sunny South, Beginner Student, and Nimbus were the cream of the crop. In future guild wars, highly-skilled experts, especially Mages, would be crucial.
“We’ll need to up that number. I’ve installed some concealed defensive points on top of the walls. We must take advantage of every Advanced Magic at our disposal,” Nie Yan noted. Advanced Magic was highly effective at repelling invaders.
With the contingency plan set in place, Nie Yan chit-chatted some more with Smoke Stub and Bladelight, while Painted Muslin, Young Seven, Yi Yan, and the others walked over.
Tang Yao was hurrying over to the guild headquarters as well.
This was a gathering of the top-ranking members of Asskickers United.
While everyone chatted about the guild’s future, Nie Yan received a notification.
Faded has obtained the third chapter from Volume V of the Book of Order, Chapter of Compassion. You will be notified of the player’s location once every hour.
Coordinates: Glory City, 23535.23532.36582
Laidback has obtained the the sixth chapter from Volume V of the Book of Order, Chapter of Tolerance. You will be notified of the player’s location once every hour.
Coordinates: Glory City, 23535.2532.36582
On top of receiving updated coordinates hourly, as a Grand Scholar, Nie Yan also possessed the ability to predict an opponent’s position once every day.
Nie Yan was surprised by how quickly the chapters were being found. Over the last five days, they had changed hands multiple times, with Faded in possession of two and and Laidback in possession of one.
Most notably, two players were in the same location! Nie Yan’s imagination ran wild. Were they trying to snatch each other’s chapters? Were they working together?
Out of all the chapters of the Book of Order, the first six in the Glimpse of Darkness were the most important. The remaining chapters were slightly inferior, but they were still amazing nonetheless.
Nie Yan turned to Guo Huai and asked, “About that player I asked you to investigate the other day, Faded, what did you dig up on him?”
“He’s the best Fighter in Bloodlust Blades and part of their core elite. Their group of 10 regularly hunts Elites together. I’ve dispatched our Hundred Thieves to ambush them with the coordinates you’ve provided, but they’ve repelled all of our attacks so far, killing many of our members in the process. Not only is he incredibly strong, but he’s also on high alert. We’re being closely monitored, so our forces can’t make any large movements; otherwise, we might fall into a trap,” Guo Huai replied. After all, the Hundred Thieves were a core force of Asskickers United. It would be disastrous if they were wiped.
“Faded…” Nie Yan muttered to himself. He wasn’t too knowledgeable about players outside of Calore in his past life. Save for some extremely famous figures, the rest were completely unfamiliar to him, so the name Faded didn’t ring a bell. Back then, he would sell a large heap of gold and equipment every few days for cash. He was dirt poor. Teleporting to another city cost 1 gold at minimum. Unless it was absolutely necessary, he would never be willing to agree to such a lavish expense, so he rarely travelled to other cities.
Seeing Nie Yan racking his brain over this matter, Smoke Stub interjected. “I know a little about Faded. He’s rank 30-something on the professional player leaderboards. In the past, he wasn’t affiliated with any group. But recently, he joined Bloodlust Blades after they gave him an offer he couldn’t refuse.”
“How would you rate him?” Nie Yan asked. A large force was too eye-catching, and would easily be noticed by Bloodlust Blades. If it came down to it, he would have to make the trip down to Glory City and take action himself. He was confident the enemy had no way of holding him down.
“Pretty highly, he’s a Fighter who excels at PvP,” Smoke Stub replied honestly.
“Oh…? Who would win in a duel, him or Bladelight?” Nie Yan asked half-jokingly. After all, Bladelight was a top 3 Fighter in his past life. There was no way he could lose.
“Hard to say. If we’re just talking solely about who’s better at tanking, I’d give the win over to Bladelight. Faded is more of a bandit-like fellow. He wears equipment geared toward PvP. His favourite pastime is picking random fights with players in the wilderness and extorting them out of their gold and equipment. His name is almost always branded red. He’s pretty infamous in our circle,” Smoke Stub answered. He was quite familiar with the matters of the professional gaming world.
“Well, I guess it’s up to me to deal with him then,” Nie Yan concluded. Even if he failed his assassination attempt, he could simply slip away with stealth. If he wished to flee, very few people could stop him.
Besides, it was about time he tested out the might of Zennarde’s Sword!
“Be careful. Don’t let them turn the tables on you.” Smoke Stub chuckled. Even though Faded was a top-notch expert, he could only blame his own misfortune for encountering a freak like Nie Yan.
Nie Yan turned to Guo Huai and asked, “Do we have any Unknown Transfer Scrolls in the treasury?”
“Around 10 or so,” Guo Huai replied. Thanks to the hard work of the lower-ranking guild members, the treasury was well-stocked with such items.
“Get me three,” Nie Yan ordered. He would keep them with him in case of emergency.
“We initially planned on inviting you to run dungeons with us today, but it seems that’s gone up in smoke now. We’re still lacking a Thief,” Bladelight helplessly remarked. He had pretty much gathered everyone. The only person missing was Nie Yan.
“What about One Strike Vow? I don’t see why she can’t fill my spot.” Nie Yan chuckled. Any person with a discerning eye could tell the relationship between Bladelight and One Strike Vow was not shallow.
When Nie Yan presented him with such an obvious solution, a rarely-seen embarrassed smile surfaced on Bladelight’s face.
Following the activation of the transfer point which connected United City to Calore, more and more Asskickers United members arrived. All of them went up to greet Nie Yan.
“Long time no see!”
Nie Yan swept his eyes over these players as one familiar face after another entered his gaze. Undying Scoundrel, Summer Bug, Natural Fiend… all of them arrived
“You’re running dungeons together, right? Why don’t I see Black Heaven with you guys?” Nie Yan asked. He naturally didn’t want to see Black Heaven, someone who would become an Archbishop, being isolated from the group.
“We tried, but that kid is too damn anti-social! We’ve already tried inviting him to level with us a couple of times, but he always declines,” Undying Scoundrel gloomily replied.
“You guys are the elites of the guild! It’s important you all get along with each other.” Nie Yan solemnly said. He wasn’t joking. A guild was only as strong as the cohesiveness and unity of its members!
“We know. Back in Twilight Forest, that kid’s Templar Magic Blessing was amazing. It was like we gained several hundred more Bladelights. A Priest like that, we could hardly wait to get closer to him,” Summer Bug explained on Undying Scoundrel’s behalf.
The others also nodded in agreement. Black Heaven’s Templar Magic had left a deep impression in their minds.
These players also understood the importance of bonding with fellow guildmates. It was probably due to a personal reason that Black Heaven didn’t wish to play together with them. However, it would still be good if they could become a close-knit group. Black Heaven and Black Hell were people who kept their promises, so Nie Yan wasn’t worried about the possibility of Black Heaven leaving the guild.
Guo Huai read over a recent reconnaissance report, then turned to Nie Yan and said, “The Hundred Thieves scouted out the coordinates you just provided. They’ve spotted Faded!”
“Good.” Nie Yan narrowed his eyes. This time, he was going to duke it out with Bloodlust Blades.
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