Chapter 641 – Encounter In the Skies
In a deep basin surrounded by mountain ranges, located between the borders of the two empires, was a vast stretch of woodland about one fifth the size of the Viridian Empire. It was shrouded in a dense fog all year round, making it hard to see further than a few meters in any direction. Only by clearing up this fog, with something such as a Dispel Fog Scroll, could players more easily explore this land.
Griffon Woodlands was a diverse ecosystem, home to many different kinds of monsters, including flying mounts like Griffons, Wind Serpents, and Dragonflies. From time to time, even dragons would appear.
Asskickers United had around 5,000 players active in Griffon Woodlands at any given time. They were divided into 10 teams and exploring the map for unhatched flying mount eggs every day. Of course, the work was dangerous. They had to be ready for an attack anywhere and anytime, from the monsters native to this place as well as forces from rival guilds.
Griffon Woodlands had many graveyards, allowing players to run to their corpses and revive quickly. As a result, when opposing guilds clashed, they would enter long and bitter struggles. However, Asskickers United rarely suffered any losses. Angel Corps had at least 100,000 players scouring the map for flying mounts at any time, outnumbering Asskickers United by more than 20 to one. Guilds like Divine Protectors, God Executioner Sword, and Penumbra Empire had also dispatched teams to explore this map. Asskickers United was at a pretty big disadvantage in terms of numbers, but their individual strength was fairly high. Even if they encountered danger, they could rely on their superb coordination and fast response times to escape.
In reality, Asskickers United could also dispatch a larger force of 50,000 players to Griffon Woodlands. But the impact on their strength would be too great. Weaker players entering this map were liable to encounter danger. So, Nie Yan had specifically instructed Guo Huai to only send 5,000 players at most. The rest should focus on levelling and class advancing as quickly as possible. As for flying mounts, they could always be caught at a later date.
After soaring through the skies, passing forests, plains, and rivers, Nie Yan found himself above a vast ocean of low-hanging clouds with the occasional flying monster passing by. He couldn’t help but be vigilant. Even though his Rank 7 Darkwing Dragon was already pretty powerful, if it encountered an even higher rank flying monster or large flock of low rank flying monsters, it would still be in danger.
Nie Yan had received the coordinates of the Asskickers United teams in Griffon Woodlands. But with the fog blocking his view, it was impossible to pinpoint their exact locations without going down to the ground.
「Everyone, gather at the southeast part of Griffon Woodlands. Coordinates: 385.288.386!」Nie Yan passed down an order to all the team leaders.
In a remote patch of forest, Paladin of the Elegy and his team had just cleared a Wind Serpent nest and obtained a flying mount egg. While recuperating, he received a message.
Seeing that the sender was Nie Yan, Paladin quickly read through it. After which he issued out a command, “The boss is here! He wants us all to gather in the southeast. Everyone, get into formation. We’re setting out!”
After hearing Nie Yan had personally come, the players grew excited and broke out in lively discussion.
“Elegy, you aren’t joking, right? He’s really here?”
“Of course it’s true. I said so.”
The players quickly gathered together and set out for the southeast.
One after another, the Asskickers United teams in Griffon Woodlands organized their ranks and headed out from all over toward the coordinates Nie Yan sent them.
Nie Yan was just about to head down and get a rough idea of the situation inside Griffon Woodlands, when several dozen black dots appeared in the air off in the distance.
“A flock of flying monsters…?” Nie Yan’s heart trembled.
Faced with a flock of flying monsters, it was best to stay out of the way. If you were to accidentally irritate one of their members, you would end up surrounded and attacked. Not to mention they would call even more friends and wouldn’t stop until you were dead.
By the time Nie Yan was preparing to descend with the Darkwing Dragon, the black dots were already approaching fast in his direction. There were more than 20 flying monsters, a ragtag bunch composed of Wind Serpents, Dragon Flies, Griffons, and so on. They had players riding on their backs.
It was a team of players!
At present, there were few powers in possession of 20 or more flying mounts. Nie Yan didn’t know which guild the other side belonged to but it had to be one of the larger ones.
Since it was only players, Nie Yan wasn’t too worried. These squadrons composed of different flying mounts generally couldn’t coordinate very well together in aerial combat. So, they were easy to pick off. Even when the Darkwing Dragon was only Rank 6, he had annihilated Alliance of Mages’ aerial force. Now that it had advanced to Rank 7, he had even less to fear.
Hunting Fox was a first-rate player of Angel Corps. Though he ranked in the low 30s on their internal leaderboards, his Void Ray was one of the few Rank 5 flying mounts in the guild. It had an extremely powerful ability which had already helped them capture five other flying mounts. It was their secret weapon.
As per usual, Hunting Fox and his teammates were patrolling around in search of flying mounts, when they spotted a black dot in the horizon. Like the trained unit they were, they immediately went in pursuit of it.
26 flying mounts spread out in formation, then closed in on Nie Yan from all directions.
“Leader, it has a player riding on its back,” a Warrior cried out in amazement.
Hunting Fox squinted his eyes and looked more closely. There was indeed a person riding on that flying mount.
“What kind of flying mount is that?” As they approached closer, Hunting Fox felt something was amiss. Then finally, he let out an audible gasp. “It’s the Darkwing Dragon! Nirvana Flame is here!”
The group of players immediately descended into panic. Some pulled back their flying mounts while others continued advancing forward.
“He’s completely alone while there are 26 of us! What are you losing your heads over?! God dammit! Bunch of spineless cowards!” Hunting Fox cursed. The two sides hadn’t even clashed, yet some people were already backing out in fear. Angel Corps had truly lost face.
After being rebuked by Hunting Fox, the faces of his subordinates burned up in embarrassment. At the end of the day, they were still elites of Angel Corps. Yet they had lost themselves to fear at merely the sight of the enemy. This was because Nie Yan’s deterring power was too great, not to mention his Darkwing Dragon’s size and appearance was too shocking.
The Darkwing Dragon had grown much larger after reaching Rank 7. In front of it, their flying mounts looked like little children. Even the largest one among them was only a third of its size.
Seeing such a large flying mount, and knowing it was the famed and dreaded Darkwing Dragon, how could they not panic!?
“Maintain the formation!” Hunting Fox ordered in a deep voice.
These Angel Corps players reined in their flying mounts.
“Leader, according to the reports we received, the Darkwing Dragon is a Rank 6 flying mount. But it shouldn’t be this big. Do you think it ranked up?” a Warrior asked.
Hunting Fox knitted his brows as he weighed the matter in his head. Should he lead his team into surrounding the Darkwing Dragon? If he failed, he would undoubtedly be held responsible. If he succeeded, he would be rewarded handsomely for an outstanding achievement, and his position in the guild would definitely soar; to him, this was extremely tempting.
Nie Yan stood up on the Darkwing Dragon’s back. Due to the distance being too great, he could only make out the basic outlines of the silhouettes in the distance. Based on some of their unique physical traits, they were from the Satreen Empire!
He watched as the other party gradually approached, showing no signs of fear.
If a battle broke out, Nie Yan was confident he would come out on top.
Nie Yan wanted to find out which guild the other side was affiliated with. The Satreen Empire had many powerful guilds, and their relationships with Angel Corps were far from harmonious. He didn’t want to unnecessarily make new enemies. However, no matter how he squinted his eyes, he couldn’t see the guild emblems on their chests.
Nie Yan’s gaze fell on one of the higher rank flying mounts in their group. It looked like a giant ray, except it was flying in the sky. It was ashen black with numerous tendrils growing on its underside that kept rippling back and forth, and a long tail hanging from its back.
It was the Rank 5 Void Ray!
Nie Yan messaged Guo Huai,「Do you know which guilds have a Void Ray?」
「Void Ray? I think Angel Corps, Divine Protectors, and Sapphire Shrine all have one,」Guo Huai replied. After finding out Nie Yan’s situation, he quickly found the information.
“Angel Corps?” Nie Yan’s eyes flashed with a cold light. If he encountered flying mounts from Angel Corps out in the wilderness, he would definitely seize the opportunity to kill a few of them to weaken their strength.
As the two sides were about to meet, a thought popped into Hunting Fox’s head. If Nie Yan attacked them first, then even if they lost, it wouldn’t be his fault. After all, they were only retaliating in self defense. If he succeeded in killing Nie Yan, he’d be winning big. As for how many flying mounts Angel Corps might lose in the process, he didn’t care. Trading a few flying mounts for the death of Nirvana Flame? He believed Soaring Angel definitely wouldn’t have any objections.
Hunting Fox spoke to one of his trusted confidantes, who then moved back to a tall, not very bright looking Mage and whispered something in their ear.
“Old Six, get in touch with the boss! We encountered Nirvana Flame! Have him come over to provide support,” the blockhead Mage shouted at the top of his lungs.
As these words rang out, Nie Yan finally confirmed the identity of the other side. It was Angel Corps! He scanned his surroundings. There were a total of 26 flying mounts in the vicinity.
Nie Yan still hadn’t gotten an opportunity to test out the Darkwing Dragon’s new strength. This would be its debut in battle after reaching Rank 7!