Nie Yan hadn’t given out the order to mobilize. Rather, all these elites had proactively gathered before him.
During Nie Yan’s absence, Asskickers United was in a state of chaos mostly due to Angud’s constant harassment. It wasn’t enough to shake their foundation. Even so, everyone still looked to Nie Yan. If he were to submit to this humiliation and not launch an all-out counterattack, it would be difficult for the guild members not to become disillusioned.
Nie Yan carried the hopes of Asskickers United on his shoulders.
The guild members only saw what they could see. Their guild was winning wars, and more gold was flowing in than they could ever dream of spending, all of this gave them a false sense of stability. However, Nie Yan understood the current situation better than anyone else. Asskickers United might be the overlord of the Viridian Empire, but they still needed time to consolidate their territories and strengthen their foundation. This was not the time to start a war against Angel Corps and the Century Financial group, enemies far different from the ones they’d faced before. It would be a long and bitter war against their several million members and hundreds of strongholds. Swallowing them up would be unimaginably difficult!
However, with the bow string already drawn, Nie Yan had no choice but to fire!
Angel Corps’ forces had already entered the Abernathy Great Grasslands. This was his fiefdom and Asskickers United’s main base. This blatant encroachment could not be tolerated!
Bladelight and the others also arrived, as did the various guild leaders in the alliance—Kill Love, Nightbreak Trickster, Fa Lan, and Sleepy Fox.
“Long time no see!” Sleepy Fox greeted with a bright smile, patting Nie Yan on the shoulder.
“It really has been.” Nie Yan chuckled. He glanced at Sleepy Fox’s equipment. “You’ve got yourself some pretty decent gear, my friend!”
“Three Legendary pieces and six Sub Legendary. It took me quite a bit of effort to get these items,” Sleepy Fox said proudly. “Of course, I can’t compare to you.”
All the big shots were present.
Holy Empire, Sapphire Shrine, Battle Crazed Alliance, the War God Tribe, and Radiant Sacred Flame had all been busy these last six months. They’d expanded their territories, each occupying a city and controlling dozens of strongholds.
Nie Yan glanced over the data Guo Huai provided him:
Radiant Sacred Flame: 220,000
Holy Empire: 270,000
Sapphire Shrine: 310,000
War God Tribe: 360,000
Battle Crazed Alliance: 600,000
All together, they were looking at around 1,760,000 members in total. Even though these players were on average a notch weaker than those in Asskickers United, they still weren’t a force to be looked down on. Not to mention these were only their main guild members. When war broke out, they could mobilize even more members from their multiple branch guilds.
As for Asskickers United, they counted over 500,000 members in the main guild, with an additional 1,000,000 members spread out over their five branch guilds.
Nie Yan felt even more appreciation for Guo Huai. He could hardly imagine how difficult it was to keep such a large machine running smoothly during times of peace, to say nothing of when they were in the middle of a conflict.
A guild couldn’t be compared to a military. In general, players were nowhere near as easy to manage as soldiers, nor were they as obedient. When their membership grew to this size, even basic communication became extremely convoluted. However, Nie Yan only had to say the word and millions of players would sweep through everything in his path like a swarm of locusts.
Nie Yan understood moral was crucial in the good but especially in the bad times. Even a force composed of millions of players could collapse in on itself if morale hit rock bottom.
“So long as you give the word, we will all help you sweep through the entire Satreen Empire!” Sleepy Fox declared with much gusto.
Nie Yan patted Sleepy Fox on the shoulder with a smile. “When we go to war, you guys will be the first ones I call up!”
“Good. Just what I’d like to hear.” Sleepy Fox laughed heartily.
Nie Yan turned to Guo Huai. “Explain our current situation to everyone.” He could tell everyone in the alliance from top to bottom was itching for war. Since that’s what they desired, he would give it to them. However, they would first have to make careful preparations. Angel Corps and the Century Financial Group weren’t easy prey.
Guo Huai pulled open a map of the Atlanta continent on the screen behind him. It was quite detailed, showing all the different environments and terrains of the various regions.
“According to our intelligence, Angel Corps has over 1,700,000 players in their main guild and an additional 1,200,000 players spread between their branch guilds. That said, only about a million from those forces can contend with us.
“Another factor is the coalition of the twenty guilds under the Century Financial Group, which has a combined strength of approximately 1,900,000 players.
“We should also keep in mind that it’s virtually guaranteed that both the Angel Corps and the Century Financial Group have hidden forces that we are not aware of.
“Both major powers have rooted themselves deeply into the Satreen Empire. In terms of territory, they control a total of 236 strongholds, all of which are linked through transfer points.
“We’ll be entering a long and bitter struggle once the horns of war sound. Don’t think it’ll be a one and done thing. Let’s make sure we come out of this victorious,” Guo Huai said.
Everyone sucked in a cold breath of air. The scope of this war was beyond their comprehension.
“Why not go straight for their main stronghold? Kill Love asked.
“The Clemenci Stronghold is too heavily fortified. Its defenses can only be described as a porcupine, covered in sharp quills. Not to mention it’s located in a narrow valley on top of a high slope. We’ll be at a severe disadvantage. Directly attacking the Clemenci Stronghold will only lead to heavy losses. As for the Century Financial Group, with over 20 guilds under them, there is not one main stronghold. Even if we take down the main strongholds of a few of their guilds, it wouldn’t make any difference,” Guo Huai replied. One had to know, they were facing the overlord of the Satreen Empire. Plus, this was a long distance war spanning the entire continent!
Only now did everyone begin to realize that a war with Angel Corps wouldn’t be as simple as they initially thought.
“We can only take things one step at a time and slowly chip away at Angel Corps’ strength. How long do you think it’ll take for the war to end?” Nie Yan asked. He was particularly concerned about this matter.
“Best case scenario, three months, and that’s only if everything works in our favour. Otherwise, it’s hard to say how long this war will drag on. Truthfully speaking, that’s the easy part. Even if we kill every last member of Angel Corps and the Century Financial Group, Soaring Angel and Cao Xu will never accept defeat. The population of the Satreen Empire might not either. We’re the invaders, the bad guys, to them, after all. They’ll resist our attempt at unifying the continent. It’ll take us at least a year to slowly clear away the dregs of the Angel Corps and the Century Financial Group’s influence,” Guo Huai said.
Guo Huai’s considerations were fairly thorough. All of Asskickers United’s prior wars had been fought in the Viridian Empire against other human powers. So, the race issue was irrelevant. This time, that’d be different. Since Angel Corps’ presence was everywhere in the Satreen Empire, it was impossible for Asskickers United to assimilate players from the Satreen Empire on a large scale. Not to mention the players of the Satreen Empire wouldn’t necessarily be happy about having people from a foreign nation rule over their heads. It was like an empire attempting to colonize another nation. Keeping colonized people obedient was no easy task.
“What are your thoughts?” Nie Yan swept his eyes over Sleepy Fox and the others.
Sleepy Fox, Kill Love, and the others all glanced at each other.
“That’s your choice to make. We’ll support you the best we can,” Sleepy Fox said, throwing all the responsibility back to Nie Yan.
“Don’t misunderstand me. We will go to war with them. The question is when,” Nie Yan said. No matter how difficult it was, war was inevitable.
“If we do go to war, we have advantages on three fronts. The first is in terms of potion consumption. Needless to say, there’s no way Angel Corps or the Century Financial Group can compare with us in this respect. The second is in terms of unity and morale. After all, none of us are strangers to long and drawn-out conflicts,” Guo Huai said.
“Of course. What’s the third?” Kill Love asked.
“The third is capital!” Guo Huai said. After seeing Nie Yan give a nod of approval, he continued, “in terms of capital, we have the overwhelming advantage. Angel Corps probably only has 8,000,000 gold in circulation at most, and that’s a generous number. Even if they start selling off their assets, they would still only be able to scrounge together a few million more. On the other hand, we…” Guo Huai paused.
Sleepy Fox, Kill Love, and the others all stared at Guo Huai in confusion, wondering why he suddenly stopped. It seemed like he was struggling with something.
“We have more than 300,000,000 gold accumulated so far, and that number is still increasing every day. It should definitely be enough to sustain our war efforts!”
Several loud coughs sounded out in the room, people who had choked on their water in shock.
“You know, I’ve always known Asskickers United was loaded. But I never imagined it was to this magnitude!”
Everyone couldn’t help but feel their heart race. 300,000,000 gold! Just how did Nie Yan get this much!? This was simply unimaginable!
“My **ing god. With 300,000,000 gold, why bother with a war? Just buy out Angel Corps and the Century Financial Group!”
Sleepy Fox, Kill Love, and the others couldn’t contain the shock in their hearts. With player salaries to be paid out and strongholds to maintain, Asskickers United’s daily expenditures had to be immense. Only breaking even would already be impressive for them. Yet they had actually accumulated so much gold!
“Is all this gold a result of monopolizing the potion market?”
“The revenue from the strongholds should probably be enough to meet the guild’s daily expenditures, right?”
“The Starry Night Potion Shop plays a huge part, but there are also some auction houses and a few other business,” Nie Yan explained. The only reason he allowed Guo Huai to reveal their financial situation was to bolster confidence. That way, they could go into this war with one less worry.
“If they want a war of attrition, they can get one! If we somehow mess this up, we might as well ram our heads into a wall!”
The overwhelming capital would be their warchest! Nie Yan could sense that everyone felt much more confident than before.
1. Mad Snail is convinced these numbers add up to nearly 1,200,000