Apart from the Dragon King Fruit, Nie Yan also discovered a dragon egg among the rubble. It was oval shaped and about the size of a washbowl. Black spirals ran across the white shell, creating strange markings.
Nie Yan had seen his fair share of dragon eggs by now, but this was his first time seeing one with such a unique appearance.
“Hmm… A flying mount or a regular pet?” Nie Yan knitted his brows. He collected the dragon egg and put it away in his bag. He would have it appraised first before making any decisions.
With no more loot to pick up, Nie Yan summoned the Darkwing Dragon.
The Darkwing Dragon immediately stared at the Dragon King Fruit in Nie Yan’s palm, impatience in its bearing.
Everyone looked full of expectancy. The time had come. What kind of change would occur in the Darkwing Dragon?
Nie Yan tossed the Dragon King Fruit in the air. The Darkwing Dragon’s eyes lit up in joy. It jumped up and gobbled it down. The fruit melted into a stream of energy, which flowed down into its stomach.
A dark radiance started circling around the Darkwing Dragon’s body as a powerful aura overflowed from it.
The overwhelming pressure threatened to crush those in the shrine to a pulp. They quickly retreated far back, from where they observed the Darkwing Dragon’s transformation.
“What powerful dragon might!”
The Darkwing Dragon’s scales started falling off, only to be replaced by brand new ones which gave off a faint violet sheen. Their colour gradually deepenened, changing from a simple black to a rich obsidian.
These new, sparkling scales looked completely indestructible.
The changes didn’t stop here. The Darkwing Dragon’s aura kept climbing as it grew in size. Nie Yan could sense the barrier impeding its advance crumbing away in the face of the Dragon King Fruit’s limitless energy.
BOOOOM! The Darkwing Dragon’s body ignited with raging black flames, which wrapped around its body like a phoenix experiencing rebirth. A roiling darkness overflowed into the surroundings.
Nie Yan opened the Darkwing Dragon’s status page. It finally broke through to Rank 9!
Bladelight and the others looked at the Darkwing Dragon from afar. It had grown to over nine meters tall with a wingspan of more than a dozen meters, while its scales burned with an inextinguishable black flame. It exuded a domineering pressure nothing the like they’d experienced before.
This was an existence that stood at the very apex!
“So this is a Rank 9 flying mount? Amazing!”
“The strongest flying mounts Angel Corps have are only Rank 7, and there are only about 20 of them at most. You won’t even have to care about their other flying mounts, they can’t leave a scratch on the Darkwing Dragon now. It’s pretty much invincible!”
Bladelight, Undying Scoundrel, and the others couldn’t help but sigh in admiration. A Rank 9 flying mount under Nie Yan’s control would certainly display mindblowing battle prowess. Thinking about the upcoming aerial battle with Angel Corps, they couldn’t help but feel their blood boiling. This would definitely be a turning point in the war!
With a wave of his hand, Nie Yan recalled the Darkwing Dragon back into his pet space.
“If we all leave, Angel Corps will only have to see if the dungeon is closed to tell that we’ve obtained the Dragon King Fruit. We can’t let them start preparing countermeasures. Who here is willing to stay behind? As long as one of us stays here, the dungeon won’t close, and Soaring Angel will think we’re stuck inside,” Nie Yan said.
“I’ll do it,” Undying Scoundrel said.
Nie Yan nodded. “That’s fine. You stay here on standby. Pay close attention to the battle. The moment I appear with my Darkwing Dragon, you can leave.”
“Got it, Boss!” Undying Scoundrel said. This was necessary to fool Angel Corps.
“Let’s go, guys. Put on your cloaks and follow me. Make sure no one notices us leaving!” Nie Yan said.
Everyone save for Undying Scoundrel departed. They secretly snuck out through a side entrance. 29 people left the shrine, but since one player was still inside, the dungeon didn’t close. The scouts in the vicinity would think Nie Yan and the others were still inside. By the time they realized their mistake, it would already be too late!
Subterfuge at its finest!
The deadline of the battle was fast approaching. The Asskickers United players in the World’s End Bar were starting to get extremely anxious.
“Why isn’t the boss back yet?”
“We only have 10 minutes left! If he doesn’t return soon and we don’t show up, we’ll be seen as cowards!”
“C’mon, Boss! Be back in time!”
Natural Fiend and Tyrannical smiled bitterly. They tried their best to reassure their fellow guild members, but there was only so much they could do. If Nie Yan and the others didn’t return soon, it would be a huge blow to morale.
Natural Fiend was about to send a whisper to Nie Yan asking what was going on, when he received a message. His eyes flashed with an imperceptible light. Without batting an eyelid, he turned to the Asskickers United players in the bar and calmly announced, “I just got an update from the boss. Something came up in the dungeon. So, they’ll be stuck there for a while longer. He trusts we will win this battle for him.”
All around the bar the anxiousness started to show as faces paled.
“H-how are we supposed to fight without the boss?”
“Right! It’s impossible! Without the boss and the others, we only have three Rank 7 flying mounts on our side!”
“What!? I didn’t know you were all a bunch of useless tools! Get yourselves together! The boss and the others hit a temporary snag. They will come to help us when they can. But even if it takes him a little longer, we still need to show Angel Corps that we are not so easy to provoke! We will teach them a lesson they will never forget!” Tyrannical said.
Though this speech helped to calm everyone down and stop them from panicking, their hearts were still filled with doubts. Did they really stand a chance when their strongest members were all away in a dungeon?
“Remember! In this battle, don’t engage directly with the enemy! Fight only if you can win. If you can’t, retreat and kite back. Stall for as much time as possible until Fallen Angel’s reinforcements arrive. They’re almost here!” Natural Fiend said.
Everyone gathered into their ranks under Natural Fiend and Tyrannical’s orders. After stepping out of the World’s End Bar, they all summoned their flying mounts. Nearly a thousand players took off into the sky.
Fighting was also prohibited in the several hundred meters wide garden surrounding the World’s End Bar. So, they didn’t have to worry about being ambushed.
Natural Fiend and Tyrannical looked over toward the northern district of the City of Sin. Angel Corps’ aerial force was already fully assembled. They looked like a dark cloud blotting out the sky.
Guilds and teams from all over had come flocking over to the City of Sin. Many were here to watch the battle as well as to scramble over any Life Cores that dropped. Rank 5 or higher Life Cores were extremely valuable. Selling one could allow an ordinary player to transform into an expert like a carp jumping over the dragon gate. Many second-rate players from Asskickers United and Angel Corps were also on the ground. They naturally couldn’t allow their fertile waters to flow into another’s fields.
These bystanders started stirring when Asskickers United’s aerial force showed up. Nearly 80% of Asskickers United and Angel Corps’ aerial strength was concentrated here. This was the precursor to a spectacular battle!
“Who do you think will win?”
“I’m not sure, but I’d probably hedge my bets on Angel Corps. They’ve got the number advantage over Asskickers United at 1,500 to 1,000. Plus, Asskickers United hasn’t nearly put in as much effort into raising their aerial strength. Everyone knows that.”
“Sure, that might be true. But let me ask you this, have you ever seen Angel Corps claim a clear victory over Asskickers United? The battles between both sides so far have been fairly even. This can clearly be attributed to one man, Nirvana Flame!”
“Yeah, but do you see him? I don’t. I heard he and Asskickers United’s other top elites are stuck in a dungeon.”
“What the hell? Why are they running a dungeon at such an important time?”
“I have a feeling he’ll show up.”
“Angel Corps has always held the advantage in the skies, but the final outcome today is hard to predict. It’s not like Asskickers United is a stranger to being the underdog. If Nirvana Flame dared to accept Soaring Angel’s challenge, that means he has to have something up his sleeve.”
The bystanders discussed with each other fervently as they looked up in the air, where countless flying mounts blotted out the sky as they flew past.
This would definitely be the most breathtaking aerial battle to take place since the release of the game!
“Everyone, listen to my commands! Split into two groups. Remember, divide and conquer! Don’t tangle with the enemy for too long!” Natural Fiend said. Glancing at the earlier message, he understood Nie Yan wanted to lure out the Vermillion Garudas. Their flame nets truly posed a great threat. Only after they were dealt with would he feel at ease. Natural Fiend guessed Nie Yan and the others were already hiding in a corner, waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike!
The two aerial forces came face to face. Everyone could feel the tension in the air.
Natural Fiend looked over at the enemy’s ranks and spotted Soaring Angel standing on top of a silver dragon. His pupils shrunk. Soaring Angel had managed to acquire a dragon flying mount as well!