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Chapter 381 - Magic Tower

    Chapter 381 - Magic Tower

    Bladelight and Yi Yan worked together to lock down the Black Mammoth. It bellowed furiously but all of its struggling was futile.

    Since the Fighters were coordinating perfectly and the Priests had no trouble keeping up with the healing, the Mages could let loose without worry. Tang Yao in particular was firing out spells like a gatling gun and dealing an astonishing amount of damage.

    Nie Yan was thoroughly impressed. This sort of team was practically unrivalled. He couldn't help but recall his experiences in the previous timeline, where Fighters would fail to properly secure the boss' aggro, Mages would carelessly generate too much aggro, and Priests would fail to keep up the healing when the boss went berserk. All of these scenarios would lead to a wipe. It would take five or six attempts to defeat a Lord-class boss on a good day.

    However, this team was making it look like child's play!

    About half a minute later, the Black Mammoth bellowed out mournfully before crashing down to the ground.

    Flawless!

    Nie Yan gazed at the 11 corpses scattered on the ground, all of which were Warriors and Thieves who had been instantly killed by the Black Mammoth.

    "Priests, start reviving the fallen. Everyone else, rest up!" Nie Yan ordered as he walked toward the Black Mammoth's corpse.

    Bladelight picked up a total of five pieces of equipment. It was a huge harvest.

    "Find anything good?" Nie Yan asked. He was looking forward to seeing what kind of loot the Black Mammoth dropped since the drop rates were much higher than normal when capturing a stronghold.

    "Yeah, take a look," Bladelight replied with a smile, then shared the drops in chat.

    As Nie Yan scanned through the pieces of loot, a greatshield caught his eye. It was rectangular in shape and covered in mysterious runes.

    Mammoth Greatshield (Sub Legendary)

    Requirements: 520 Strength

    Properties: Defense 1293-1392, 57% Block Rate, Shield Bash Level +2, Demoralizing Shout Level +1, Damage -10%, Magic Resist +50

    Greatshield Bash: Bash the enemy with your greatshield for 120% damage, and generates additional aggro. Cooldown: 60 seconds.

    Restrictions: Fighter

    This Mammoth Greatshield was worth well over 10,000 gold. No one expected such a superb shield to drop from the Level 50 Lord-class Black Mammoth. The supplementary skill, Greatshield Bash, was especially useful for Fighters whose main role was to secure aggro. It could greatly reduce the risk of wiping to a boss.

    The Mammoth Greatshield was undoubtedly a piece of top-quality Fighter equipment. It would naturally be given to the best Fighter in the guild.

    "Are you satisfied with the shield you have right now?" Nie Yan asked. He recalled Bladelight was using a Dark Gold-grade shield.

    "Although my current shield is a bit worse than the Mammoth Greatshield, it's part of the Everlasting Dark Gold Set. I'll lose out on some important set bonuses if I switch it out, so I don't think the trade-off is worth it," Bladelight considered. "Give the Mammoth Greatshield to Lofty Shadow. He just so happens to be lacking a good shield. It'll put him roughly on par with me in terms of tankiness."

    Needless to say the competition between Fighters in any guild was fierce. The position of Main Tank was especially coveted since they received priority on Fighter equipment. It wasn't strange for Fighters to end up bruised and battered striving for this goal. Some of them for the sake of hindering their rivals would even go so far as to snatch away equipment they didn't need. However, Bladelight wasn't blinded by greed and selflessly gave the Mammoth Greatshield to Lofty Shadow.

    "This Mammoth Greatshield is too important. There's no way I can accept!" Lofty Shadow hurriedly refused. He was deeply moved by Bladelight's kind gesture. This was a Sub Legendary greatshield, the only one of its kind in Asskickers United!

    Lofty Shadow was an outstanding Fighter, and only second to Bladelight in terms of importance to Asskickers United. During the battle with the Black Mammoth he had saved everyone from a potential crisis when Bladelight was sent flying back.

    "Don't be modest, Shadow. You've definitely earned it," Nie Yan said. After giving it some thought, he believed Lofty Shadow was indeed the most suitable candidate to receive the Mammoth Greatshield.

    Fighters generally didn't get a final say on what equipment they wore, so Lofty Shadow had no choice but to accept the Mammoth Greatshield for the benefit of the guild.

    The other four pieces of equipment were all Dark Gold-grade.

    Nie Yan's group slowly recuperated. The fallen comrades were being revived, and the others were recovering their health.

    The other groups were still busy clearing away the Phantom Swordsmen on their streets.

    While Nie Yan sat to the side waiting for everyone to finish resting, he received word from Guo Huai that several players from Angel Corps had arrived in Calore. They were probably doing a quest since they were spotted talking to several NPCs.

    「Keep an eye on them. Find out what quest they're doing,」Nie Yan said. These five players were probably doing an extremely important quest; otherwise, they wouldn't have come all the way to Calore. The cost of teleporting from the Satreen Empire to the Viridian Empire was 500 gold per person. A round trip for five players would instantly eat up 5,000 gold, so the reward to whatever quest they were doing had to be worth at least this much.

    「I've already dispatched people to monitor them. They probably understand Calore is our domain. Trying to be sneaky under our watch is impossible,」Guo Huai said. He had everything under control.

    Given only five players had come, they could at most make some discreet inquiries. There was nothing for Asskickers United to fear.

    「One other thing, Radiant Sacred Flame has agreed to a buyout. This is the contract we drafted up after our talks. Take a look and let me know if you want to change anything.」

    Radiant Sacred Flame had agreed to transfering over a 60% stake of their guild. This was good news.

    「We don't have any surplus funds to invest into Radiant Sacred Flame right now,」Nie Yan said. He couldn't afford to squander his gold, or else it would be troublesome if they found themselves short on funds again.

    「They've  agreed to putting off the gold investment until the matter with Bloodlust Blades has concluded. As for the money investment, we can start right away. They've requested a subsidy of ¥5,000 a month per player for up to 500 players.」

    「That's fine with me,」Nie Yan replied. After all, Radiant Sacred Flame was in control of two Basic Strongholds. He could receive the funds for the investment by selling the real world business districts to the Dragonsoar Financial Group, or he could just hand them over to the War God Tribe and let Ah Chen send people over to handle the matter. Then, the money he earned wouldn't be limited to only this.

    Nie Yan looked over the contract. It was pretty much identical to the one with Holy Empire and Sapphire Shrine. After confirming there were no issues, he signed his name.

    Before long, a 60% stake of Radiant Sacred Flames was transferred over to him by the system. With no one the wiser, Radiant Sacred Flame had switched sides.

    Like this, the hostile relationship between Radiant Sacred Flame and Asskickers United finally came to an end. In the best interests of everyone, all past grievances vanished like a wisp of smoke.

    Nie Yan's train of thought didn't end here. To the outside world Radiant Sacred Flame and Asskickers United are still sworn enemies. I wonder if I can make use of this somehow...

    Nie Yan's lips curved into a faint smile.「Tell Radiant Sacred Flame not to announce they've been acquired by us! This information has to be kept under tight lock! It'll be as if nothing has changed!」

    「Huh? Why?」Guo Huai asked in confusion before a light bulb suddenly lit up in his head.「Alright, I understand. Don't worry, I'll make sure nothing gets out.」

    Radiant Sacred Flame was an enemy of Asskickers United. An enemy of an enemy was a friend. Guilds like Alliance of Mages and Divine Protectors might try to recruit them in the future. At that time, Radiant Sacred Flame could display their worth!

    Were it not for Nie Yan, Guo Huai would've never thought of this!

    At the behest of Guo Huai, Nightbreak Trickster didn't announce the alliance between Radiant Sacred Flame and Asskickers United. As for the guild members receiving salaries, he simply told them he was paying out of his own pocket. To the outside world nothing had changed.

    The pitfall was set. Now all that remained was to see who would fall into it.

    For the time being all of Asskickers United's energy was focused on clearing the Cripps Stronghold.

    The group members finally started getting up one after another, their health fully recovered.

    "Alright, let's continue advancing to the center of the stronghold!" Nie Yan said.

    The players quickly found their companions and reorganized back into their respective squads before setting off.

    Many ancient and mysterious buildings lined both sides of the main street. Nie Yan's gaze fell on a stone tower poking into the sky up ahead. Standing almost 60 meters tall with six floors, it was in much better shape than the surrounding buildings. A rainbow-coloured radiance swirled around the top floor and brought an even greater sense of awe to those who caught sight of it.

    This was a Magic Tower, a place where Mages could study advanced magical knowledge. It was rumoured that each one was protected by a powerful guardian.
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