Chapter 90 – Holy Empire’s Elite Team
“What’s the quality of that shield?” Young Seven hesitantly asked. The brilliance coming from the Lion King’s Shield could be described as dazzling. If this really was a Gold-grade shield, he could scarcely imagine the sort of price it would fetch if it was put on the auction house.
“Gold-grade. Nie Yan sold it to me,” Bladelight replied.
“For how much?”
“Not much. He gave me a friend discount, so it was only twenty silver,” answered Bladelight. Speaking of which, aside from the shield, he probably owed Nie Yan a few favours now.
Young Seven was slightly envious; Bladelight definitely received a great bargain. If a shield of that quality were to appear on the marketplace, it wouldn’t be sold for anything less than thirty silver, quite possibly even more. Although players sold items to friends below market price, such a deep discount was certainly on the rare side. Unless Nie Yan’s pockets were overflowing with money, no one would give away such a great shield for that low of a price. Yet in retrospect, this was most likely the case. Could a person who casually gave away Gold-grade equipment like they were stickers really be lacking in money?
From the way Nie Yan normally acted, handled affairs, and treated his friends, they could tell he wasn’t stingy when it came to his own people.
After Nie Yan’s departure, Young Seven and company continued chatting with Bladelight.
“You guys wanna come level with me?” Bladelight offered.
“Sure, we’d love to!”
“But before that… You know the shield you switched out? Would it be possible for you to sell it to us?”
“Sure, I don’t have any use for it anymore anyway. Since you’re Nie Yan’s friends, I’d feel embarrassed taking too much. Let’s see… How does five silver sound? I had to take out a few loans from friends in order to buy that shield, and I still have to pay them back, so that’s the best I can do,” Bladelight replied. This was practically factory price. The Leo Shield he switched out absolutely wasn’t worth only this much. The sole reason he gave them such a bargain was out of respect for Nie Yan.
“Deal!” Young Seven exclaimed in an excited manner. When he gazed at the Leo Shield’s properties, he knew he got it for considerably cheap. And just like that, their party obtained a rather decent shield.
When Nie Yan arrived in the general area, he saw Sleepy Fox and over a dozen others, totalling almost twenty players, already gathered and waiting at the transport point.
The equipment on their bodies was quite extravagant. The Arcane Mages were all suited in the Dark Winter set, and Priests, the Radiant Prayer set. The gear of the Warriors was out of the ordinary as well. For such a gaudy assembly to not attract attention while gathered around the transport point was nigh impossible
The players in the vicinity were awestruck and were making inquires about the identities of these elites.
“Which guild does that team belong to?”
“What? How you could not recognize them? They’re from Holy Empire. The player wearing the silver-white armour, that’s their leader, Sleepy Fox!”
The Holy Empire players felt their hearts well with pride but even more so with arrogance as these passing murmurs entered their ears. Each of them was an elite carefully selected by the top brass of their guild. Even in the previous VRMMOs before Conviction, they had all been members of Holy Empire.
Sleepy Fox glanced at the stream of players entering from the main street and happened to spot Nie Yan walking amidst the crowd.
“He’s here,” Sleepy Fox declared to his teammates.
Without exception, every member of the team turned their gaze toward Nie Yan. None of them understood why their captain, Sleepy Fox, held this Thief in such high esteem. Who among them wasn’t a handpicked veteran elite? They were thoroughly unconvinced by this stranger.
Many of these members were unfamiliar with Nie Yan, some even expressing misgivings, but regardless of their opinion, all eyes were focused on him. However, even while under the scrutiny of their gazes, Nie Yan remained quite collected as he directly made his way to Sleepy Fox.
As soon as they made eye contact, Sleepy Fox acknowledged him with a slight nod. He could tell how much ability a person had from the way they carried themselves. Only by having self-confidence could a person achieve success.
“Expert, you’ve arrived!” Stone was the first one to step out and greet him.
“Mhm…” Nie Yan acknowledged Stone’s greeting, then turned to face Sleepy Fox. “We meet again.”
“Indeed,” answered Sleepy Fox.
Dusk was also there amongst the group. After running Treant Forest together, the two could be considered well acquainted, so he also stepped forward and greeted Nie Yan with a smile.
While the four chatted, the surrounding members were surprised to discover that, despite their captain being the prestigious guild leader of Holy Empire, Nie Yan’s presence was not the least bit inferior, as he spoke in neither a subservient nor overbearing tone. Not only this, but at many points in the conversation, he was the one taking the leading role. After witnessing such a scene unfold, the identity of this Thief once more became shrouded in a veil of mystery.
“I hear he’s some expert who’s already cleared Agmota Muddy Swamplands, and this time around, he’s only here to guide us through the dungeon.”
“How is that possible? In the entire server, there are only several dozen teams who’ve cleared Agmota Muddy Swamplands. Are you sure?”
“It should be, right..?” The person who spoke had never personally confirmed this fact, so his confident tone immediately faltered.
The members behind Sleepy Fox quietly discussed amongst themselves, occasionally stealing glances at the equipment on Nie Yan’s body in order to determine whether he had really cleared Agmota Muddy Swamplands only to quickly find themselves disappointed. He didn’t have a single piece of equipment on him that came from that dungeon, but that didn’t mean his equipment was ordinary either. In fact, it was quite extraordinary—this was undeniable.
“Brother Nie, will you be leading us through the dungeon this time around?” asked Sleepy Fox. He fixedly stared at Nie Yan as if he was trying to figure something out from the other party’s expression while even making conjectures about his background. Then, he lowered his gaze and glanced at the dagger by Nie Yan’s hip. He could discern that its quality was of at least Gold-grade.
Sleepy Fox’s words immediately attracted the attention of the members around him.
“It doesn’t matter to me. If you wish to lead, I’ll simply follow your pace. However, if you want me to guide all of you, beside first dibs on all Thief drops, I also want the Unknown Transfer Scroll that drops from the Manticore King,” Nie Yan calmly replied. It’s not as if he didn’t know Sleepy Fox was trying to probe him. He figured Sleepy Fox also wouldn’t be so rash as to easily hand over the leadership of this run to him.
What kind of arrogant tone is that? The members behind Sleepy Fox couldn’t help having this thought. Each and every one of them was filled with indignation. Just who the hell does this guy think he is?
Nie Yan acted as if he didn’t notice the uproar he caused and simply stared at Sleepy Fox while awaiting his response. If Sleepy Fox couldn’t make up his mind, he’d simply withdraw from this dungeon run and enter later with his own team.
Though, truthfully, the Unknown Transfer Scroll was an extremely attractive item that he’d like to obtain early on. Although it was just another consumable, to Nie Yan, it held incredible value!
Even though many of the members of the team doubted Nie Yan’s abilities, Dusk and Stone held their belief in him firm, and they quickly intervened to pacify their enraged teammates.
At this point in time, Sleepy Fox finally took notice of Nie Yan’s level. His heart shook in surprise, and he couldn’t help but recall what Stone had told him. When Stone first met him, Nie Yan had been a complete beginner, fresh at Level 0. Yet now, only several days later, Nie Yan had already reached Level 6 and caught up right to his footsteps. Wasn’t his levelling speed a bit too monstrous? When Nie Yan had informed them that he deleted his old character and restarted, he hadn’t really been convinced. However, the evidence in front of him clearly stated otherwise. Not to mention, if he didn’t delete and start over, how could he be so informed. How else would he be able to reach Level 6 in such a short period of time?
Perhaps Nie Yan really did have some ability.