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Over the next few days, Nie Yan hunted bosses non-stop. He levelled up multiple times and obtained high quality Level 150-160 equipment.
Nie Yan quickly reached Level 115. Where at first he only had to kill a single or maybe two Level 150-160 Lords for a level up, he now needed to kill at least a dozen!
Nie Yan provided Okoron’s NPC guards with high level equipment. From only a little over 120 people at the start, his personal army had grown to 2,600; and there were still more NPCs applying every hour!
Nie Yan originally believed he would be lucky to get 1,000 troops. His army’s growth far exceeded his expectations!
These Level 130-140 NPCs could only be counted as average among the soldiers of the Viridian Empire. Most of them were too weak to enter the armies of other cities. However, Nie Yan didn’t mind this. As long as they were Level 130-140 Elites, he would welcome them with open arms. His plan was to use these NPCs to deal with the skeleton army. The strength of a Level 130-140 Elite might not amount to much in the grand scheme of things, but it couldn’t be looked down on either. As long as they weren’t completely surrounded, killing several dozen up to a hundred skeletons wouldn’t be a problem. A disciplined army of NPC troops was definitely far superior to those walking piles of bones!
News of Nie Yan’s recruitment campaign spread far and wide. From a small village in a remote area in the Viridian Empire to the capital of the Satreen Empire, NPCs flocked from all over toward Okoron.
These NPCs were mercenaries. Most were Warriors and Thieves with relatively fewer Paladins, Priests, and Mages.
As Nie Yan’s army expanded, the cost of upkeeping it increased too. He now had to pay around 60,000 gold a day.
Of course, with the wealth of the Starry Night Potion Shop, this sum was still far from Nie Yan’s limit.
At this rate, Nie Yan might even build his army to 10,000 strong!
Nie Yan had great expectations for the future of Okoron. At this moment, Guo Huai anxiously contacted him with a report. Karsi and Vorderman’s battle had ended. Karsi had returned to Calore after sustaining injuries, while Vorderman and his Bone Dragon were nowhere to be found. Meanwhile, Qin Han’s skeleton army started an all-out assault on all of Asskickers United’s strongholds.
Nie Yan knitted his brows. His regressing into the past had created a series of butterfly effects. This wasn’t the first time history deviated from course, and it likely wouldn’t be the last.
Vorderman didn’t die like Nie Yan expected. Instead, he wounded Karsi and escaped with his life.
Nie Yan instantly felt a headache coming on. Vorderman’s existence was becoming a huge source of worry.
Unfortunately, Nie Yan didn’t have the time to ponder over these matters. Asskickers United’s strongholds were under assault. He had to hurry back!
Asskickers United guild chat, the members were giving one urgent report after another.
「Boss, the Abrahams Stronghold is under attack!」
「The Ileine Stronghold is under attack!」
「Boss, a large army of skeletons was spotted outside the Birrings Stronghold!」
Nie Yan read through all the reports. Qin Han was launching an all out attack. Over 20 strongholds were under attack at the same time, including the Cripps Stronghold. Qin Han had made a long trek around several strongholds and finally reached the Cripps Stronghold, completely surrounding it with an ocean of skeletons.
While Karsi and Vorderman were duking it out, Qin Han had employed all sorts of different methods to maintain his skeleton army at around 6,000,000. One could imagine the might of such a large force attacking all at once.
Asskickers United had limited manpower. They had to spread themselves extremely thin to defend all their strongholds. Furthermore, Qin Han had added God Executioner Sword’s catapults to his forces. Skeletons didn’t understand friend from enemy, only flesh from bones. So, he would first have the catapults lay siege to the strongholds. Only after the walls were breached, would he have his skeleton army move in.
There were roughly a hundred or so catapults garrisoned in the Cripps Stronghold. As for the rest, the players from Asskickers United had no idea. All they knew was that Nie Yan had hidden them somewhere. The other strongholds only had some magic cannons which could exchange fire with the catapults of God Executioner Sword. With this battle tactic, it didn’t take long for the first two strongholds to fall. However, Asskickers United’s casualties weren’t high. If they couldn’t win, they would make a full retreat.
「Boss, the Monet Financial Group is holding nothing back. God Executioner Sword, Divine Protectors, and Penumbra Empire’s forces have all started moving. They number 900,000 players in total.」
In front of them was a 6,000,000 strong skeleton army. Further back were 900,000 players ready for battle. Ever player in Asskickers United felt enormous pressure. Even with their five branch guilds, they only had 700,000 players in total.
「The Monet Financial Group is about to take away all we’ve worked so hard for! Boss, we can’t sit still any longer!」
「Right, Boss! Let’s end this once and for all!」
The commotion in the guild chat was getting bigger and bigger. Over the past several weeks, they had been harassed by Qin Han’s skeleton army non-stop. They’d already lost more than 50 strongholds in total. Yet all their boss had them do was hide behind the walls and run when they were breached. If only they could fight! They felt an indescribable unpleasant feeling stirring in their hearts. But without Nie Yan’s command, they didn’t dare to act.
「Do you think we should rush out of our strongholds and fight them on the open plains? Will that help us achieve victory?」Nie Yan asked.
The entire guild chat went silent. Their enemy was an army of 6,000,000 skeletons and 900,000 players. They were vastly outnumbered. If they lost, Asskickers United would be no more. This was something they couldn’t accept.
Truthfully, they all knew this war was different from any they’d fought before. Their enemy this time was too powerful. If Asskickers United fell, the Viridian Empire would fall into the hands of the Monet Financial Group. They would never be able to rise again.
The players felt sourness in their hearts. They wanted to vent their frustration but couldn’t.
「Boss, even if Asskickers United falls, you’ll still be our boss! As long as you give the word, we’ll fight it out with the Monet Financial Group to the bitter end! We’ll see who has the last laugh!」
「Break the cauldrons and sink the boats! Death over dishonor!」
「We pledge our lives to Asskickers United! Together we rise! Together we fall!」
Nie Yan could feel the grief and frustration in the voices of these guild members. He couldn’t help but ask himself. Would Asskickers United fall here? No! After regressing, he had poured his blood and sweat into building it from the ground up. Defeat was not an option!
「Back when we faced Victorious Return, everyone said it was a hopeless fight. Remember when Bloodlust Blades arrived outside the Cripps Stronghold? Everyone wrote us off; a clean victory for Bloodlust Blades. But did we lose? No! This time won’t be any different. Summon up your fighting spirits! The enemy is just a pile of bones, what are you afraid of!? They’re no match for any of us! Now, prepare for battle! We’re going to teach the Monet Financial Group we’re not to be played with!」Nie Yan declared.
「Boss, d-do you have a plan?」
「Whew, you really are cruel boss! You had us worrying and fidgeting for a moment there!」
The morale in the guild chat shot up. Everyone thought back to Victorious Return, Bloodlust Blades, and more. Every time, even when things looked grim, Nie Yan had always led them to victory!
「It doesn’t matter if I have a plan or not! I want you to give 110% out there. If I catch any of you slacking off, I’ll make you eat Sparrow Hawk’s socks when we get back!」Nie Yan joked. He first allowed the players from Asskickers United to think there was no chance of victory, then brought them back from the pits of despair by giving them hope. Like this, he could stir the fighting spirit in all of them.
「Boss, command us! We aren’t afraid of the Monet Financial Group!」
「Brothers, for Asskickers United’s glory, let’s give it our all!」
The guild chat stirred with passion. Everyone started making their preparations, staking it all on this final decisive battle. Many people went into their personal storages and retrieved the accumulated high level scrolls, potions, and other items they normally couldn’t bear to use. They knew this was a life or death moment for Asskickers United. If they weathered through this storm, they could follow Nie Yan to even greater heights. If they failed, they would become stray dogs without a home.
Asskickers United was gearing up for battle. The players levelling in other cities all rushed back.
The entire Cripps Stronghold became busy. The streets were filled with players. Paladin of the Elegy, Tyrannical, and the others were in charge of mobilizing the troops.
“Lil’ Six, bring the 1st Squad and 2nd Squad to the north wall.”
“Dark Seed, bring the 5th Squad to the south wall!”
One group after another headed toward the walls.
In another half an hour or so, God Executioner Sword’s catapults would be arriving outside the Cripps Stronghold. They were about to meet with a fierce bombarding.
At this moment, outside the Asskickers United guild headquarters in the Cripps Stronghold, two players observed all the people rushing back and forth. One was a Holy Priest, the other a Shadow Priest.
When the passing players saw these two, they respectfully gave their greetings, then went about on their way.
The sight of all these players rushing back and forth in preparation for the final battle caused the two to deeply sigh.
“Big Bro, do you think Asskickers United will win?” the Holy Priest asked. He was Black Heaven. Even though he had failed his class advancement quest, he was still one of the top five Priests in Asskickers United. The person beside him was Black Hell.
“I don’t know.” Black Hell shook his head. Seeing the fervent spirits of these passing players, he was reminded of his past. Even though the guild he created had been destroyed by his own hand, the glory days of Dark Hero was something he would never forget.
“No matter what, I won’t allow Asskickers United to end up like Dark Hero,” Black Heaven declared.
“Ruin is inevitable. No matter how strong a guild is or what heights they reach, they won’t escape this fate. All good things must come to an end,” Black Hell said in insipid tone.
“Even if that day is fated to come, I won’t let it be today!”
1. A Chinese idiom that basically means cutting off your means of retreat and betting everything on one final struggle
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