Horny Black Bull nearly jumped up in fright. Originally, the slash was definitely going to kill him, but it unexpectedly altered course at the very last moment. It just happened to miss him by a hair’s breadth, killing his nearby teammates and leaving only him alive!
Perfect! Nie Yan smirked.
Nie Yan already had full mastery over Annihilation Slash. This level of control was hard to fathom for ordinary players.
11 players were killed in the blink of an eye.
The two Masters in the team were among the survivors.
Only Stone Splitter and Drifting were qualified to contend against Nie Yan. The rest were all cannon fodder.
“You bastard!” Stone Splitter bellowed. He looked at Swift Maple’s corpse who’d sacrificed himself to save him. His eyes became bloodshot like an enraged bull as he charged at Nie Yan.
Stone Splitter seemed to transform into diamond as his aura coated his body.
Sensing something off, Drifting raised his staff, ready to help Stone Splitter. He never stopped blinking around, not allowing Nie Yan to grasp his position. This was one of the reasons why it was so difficult to deal with Magisters. They could blink around indefinitely so long as they had the mana.
「We’ll hold off Nirvana Flame. The rest of you, escape with Unknown Transfer Scrolls!」Drifting ordered in a grim tone. He waved his staff, sending a shower of raging flames raining down towards Nie Yan.
Nie Yan leaped out of the way, dodging left and right. The flames failed to touch a single hair on his body.
Locking onto a nearby Shaman, Nie Yan shot forward like a lightning bolt. His speed far surpassed the realm of a human!
Seeing Nie Yan closing in on him, the Shaman hurriedly crushed his Unknown Transfer Scroll. With a flash of light, he disappeared.
The rest didn’t dare to collect the equipment of their fallen comrades. There was no time! They all teleported away with Unknown Transfer Scrolls.
“Die!” Stone Splitter roared. He leaped into the air and cleaved down with his greatsword.
BOOOM! Stone Splitter watched his sword beam cleave Nie Yan’s figure in half. However, after the dust settled, a corpse was nowhere to be found. It was only an after-image.
「Stone Splitter, cool your head! We’re retreating! Now!」Drifting shouted.
Nie Yan suddenly appeared behind Stone Splitter and slashed down with Zennarde’s Sword.
Sensing death fast approaching, Stone Splitter swung out his sword with a Whirlwind Slash.
Nie Yan hurriedly leaped out of the way.
Hearing Drifting’s anxious cry, Stone Splitter inwardly cursed. After this short exchange, he understood the harsh reality. Even with the two of them, they weren’t Nie Yan’s match. In fact, if they were the least bit careless, they’d end up dying at his hands. Even though he was unwilling, he still crushed his Unknown Transfer Scroll.
With a flash of light, Stone Splitter escaped.
At this moment, Drifting also crushed his own Unknown Transfer Scroll.
All enemies were either dead or had run away. Nie Yan’s lips cracked into a faint smile. Honestly speaking, he could’ve killed Stone Splitter. However, there was merit in letting him live. Like this, he’d appreciate Swift Maple’s sacrifice more. So, he spared Stone Splitter’s life.
Even though he only killed 11 of them, Nie Yan was satisfied. He’d gotten what he came here for.
Nie Yan collected the equipment off the ground. Combined with the two pieces from before, he acquired 11 pieces altogether. Three were Sub Legendary-grade while one was Legendary. All of them had pretty good properties. The players in Asskickers United would definitely be interested.
Nie Yan dashed back to Branston Town, disappearing into the blowing sands.
News of Nie Yan appearing in the Satreen Empire spread like wildfire. It only took a small rumour for such news to take off. Not to mention his first appearance resulted in the massacre of Angel Corps’ elite team. There was plenty to talk about.
Many people found it hard to believe a single player really annihilated Angel Corps’ elite team. After all, they were by no means weaklings.
Angel Corps was radio silent while Nie Yan didn’t share the video of the events online either. Everyone was curious to see how the fight played out, but they had no way of finding out.
In the main hall of Angel Corps’ guild headquarters, Soaring Angel and the other higher ups watched the footage Stone Splitter’s team had brought back from the battle.
“He really is ruthless. A single slash instantly killed nine of us,” Stone Splitter muttered, fear lingering in his heart now that he had cooled his head.
The Annihilation Slash was deeply engraved into the minds of everyone watching.
“How did you end up being ambushed by Nirvana Flame?” Soaring Angel asked in a dark tone.
Stone Splitter and the others trembled.
“No one apart from the 20 of us knew where we were going. There’s no way he would know our position, unless… unless someone leaked it out!” Drifting said.
“It must be a mole! There’s no way in hell that was all a coincidence!” Stone Splitter slammed his fist into the table. “If I find out who sold us out, I’ll rip them to shreds!”
Swift Maple watched on with cool eyes, not butting in.
“Back in Branston Town, we spotted a cloaked player. We thought it was just a random solo player. So, we didn’t think much of it. How could we’ve known that was Nirvana Flame?” Drifting said regretfully. None of them could have ever imagined Nie Yan was already in the Satreen Empire. The possibility that someone might try to ambush them never even crossed their minds.
“Do you all know where you made a mistake?” Soaring Angel swept his eyes over Stone Splitter’s group.
“Y-yes… We were careless,” Stone Splitter replied with his head hung low. He knew he was partially at fault.
Stone Splitter believed they were completely invincible in the Satreen Empire. So, they didn’t take the necessary precautions. This was why Nie Yan could ambush them so easily.
Stone Splitter turned to Swift Maple and patted him on the shoulders. “Thank you. If you hadn’t pushed me out of the way, I would’ve died too. I owe you one.”
Swift Maple smiled. “It’s nothing, really. I was just lucky. I initially thought I could get an attack in on Nirvana Flame. I didn’t expect him to suddenly, do that. Since I was already going to die anyway, I decided I should at least try saving you.”
“Last time when you got snubbed by Red Hot and Umbra, I’m sorry,” Stone Splitter said apologetically. He was partially responsible for the incident. During their last dungeon run, when it was time to distribute the loot, he played favourites and gave all the drops that rightfully belonged to Swift Maple to Red Hot and Umbra instead.
“Oh, that? I’ve already put it behind me,” Swift Maple chuckled in a lighthearted manner. But on the inside, he was coldly smiling. In Angel Corps, the number of people who had snubbed him out of his fair share wasn’t limited to just Red Hot and Umbra.
One of the elven Mages watching the video suddenly noticed something fishy. “Do we have any footage of the battle from other angles?”
“I do as well.”
Several people shared their perspectives of the battle and started comparing the footage. They immediately found something suspicious. Normally, this would be difficult to detect. But if you looked over it carefully, you would discover it. The Annihilation Slash should have killed Horny Black Bull as well, but it altered course at the very last moment, barely missing him. This level of control was something that could only be accomplished by Nirvana Flame.
Watching the footage, Swift Maple’s admiration for Nie Yan grew even more. His actions really were flawless, making it look like he purposefully spared Horny Black Bull but not so obvious that it would be noticed at first glance. When Stone Splitter and the others saw this, they would definitely get suspicious. Horny Black Bull was basically plunged into the yellow river with no way of clearing his name. The level of control required for this was hard to fathom.
“Black Bull, when Nirvana Flame was executing that slash, what were you doing?”
“I wasn’t doing anything. Why?” Horny Black Bull asked in a daze. He suddenly noticed the others staring at him with peculiar expressions.
“The slash would have undoubtedly killed you, but Nirvana Flame shifted his aim at the last moment. He let you live. What’s that about? Care to explain?”
“Nirvana Flame purposefully altered the course of his attack to miss you. If we hadn’t looked carefully, we wouldn’t even have noticed it, and you’re saying you don’t know anything? What a joke,” an elven Mage sneered.
“What are you trying to say!?” Horny Black Bull replied with rightful indignation. Even a blockhead like him could realize what was going on.
“Oh, I’m not saying anything. I’m simply reiterating what I saw. Only you know what you did yourself,” the elven Mage coldly replied. His relationship with Horny Black Bull was already bad. After seeing the video, he instantly decided in his mind who the mole was.
“Y-you think I’m the mole? If I’m the mole, let lightning strike me down right now! Fuck! You think I won’t beat the shit out of you right now!?” Horny Black Bull cursed. He wanted to rush up to the elven Mage.
Everyone jumped up and held Horny Black Bull back.
Seeing this spectacle, Swift Maple’s lips curved into an imperceptible smile. He also stood up to calm the situation. He had succeeded in pinning the suspicion on someone else. At this moment, Soaring Angel would have a hard time not suspecting Horny Black Bull.
“Enough!” Soaring Angel’s cold voice reverberated across the hall.
“B-boss!” Horny Black Bull stared at Soaring Angel with an aggrieved expression.
Soaring Angel shot a cold glare at Horny Black Bull, then faced everyone and declared, “This meeting is over. No one is allowed to speak of this matter again. We’ve already lost enough face today because of you guys. Notify everyone in the guild that Nirvana Flame is in the Satreen Empire. Tell them to stay vigilant!”
“Yes!” everyone answered in unison.
Horny Black Bull was dumbstruck, a sullen look on his face. In Soaring Angel’s eyes, he saw a type of iciness. In other words, the boss already suspected him. He hadn’t even done anything! Yet all the blame was being pinned on him. At this rate, what was the point in staying in Angel Corps any longer? He couldn’t help but feel betrayed.
Horny Black Bull’s social network in Angel Corps was pretty good. Three players went up to comfort him.
“Don’t worry, Black Bull. We believe in you!”
Seeing the expressions of his brothers, Horny Black Bull’s nose soured. He patted them on the shoulders and said in a voice choked up with emotion, “Brothers, thank you! That means a lot to me!”
When everyone was suspecting him, Horny Black Bull still had several brothers who unconditionally believed in him. That was enough.
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