The sound of movement came from the distance. Nie Yan and Xie Yao hurriedly put back on their equipment as a Flame Giant walked by.
Nie Yan glanced at his side. Xie Yao's beautiful eyes had an indescribable charm and allure to them.
Nie Yan felt a fire ignite inside him. After going through the previous affair, their relationship had advanced another step forward.
A little while later, Nie Yan started aggroing Flame Giants again. The two acted the same as before, killing and levelling up.
The seconds turned into minutes, and the minutes into hours.
About 20 minutes away from the Flame Cavern, a 300-man expedition team was making their way toward the deepest parts of the Leso Ravine. They were preparing to hunt the Level 90 Lord, Thunder Ape.
These 300 players were precisely the forces of Asskickers United led by Bladelight and Smoke Stub.
They were the only expedition team in the Leso Ravine. At this time, they were the only team capable of taking on Level 90 Lords.
A Thunder Ape emerged in the open space up ahead. It looked like a gigantic gorilla with bronze fur which sparked and crackled with electricity. It was a formidable existence that could freely control lightning and thunder.
After discovering Bladelight's group inside its territory, the Thunder Ape let out a deep roar that shook the entire ravine.
The players quickly spread out in a coordinated fashion. Bladelight raised his Level 100 greatshield and charged toward the Thunder Ape.
Bladelight rammed his shield into the Thunder Ape.
The Thunder Ape let out a pained roar. It raised its gigantic arms and slammed down on Bladelight with the might of a raging thunder god.
Bladelight raised his shield to block. With a loud klang, he was pushed several steps back. However, he immediately regained his balance and rushed back up.
Thanks to Nie Yan's efforts, Bladelight was decked out in full Level 100 Dark Golde-grade equipment with the level requirements lowered. His defense was unparalleled, making him akin to a walking fortress. The Thunder Ape could only deal around 1,000 damage to him while he had more than 6,000 health in total. He had no trouble tanking the Thunder Ape. If it were another equal level Fighter, even if they had the same amount of health, they would still die in a single hit.
A gentle light enveloped Bladelight as the Priests in the rear restored his health back to full. Since he wasn't taking much damage, their job was fairly relaxed.
With Bladelight securing the Thunder Ape's aggro, the other Fighters rushed forward and surrounded it. The Paladins and Berserkers also got into position.
At this moment, all 170 Mages raised their staffs and ruthlessly bombarded the Thunder Ape with spells.
Lightning, ice, and fire magic arced toward the Thunder Ape from all directions.
Among the Mages, the most eye catching was without a doubt Tang Yao in his crimson red robes. Even a random Arcane Fireball from him dealt more damage than anyone else could. Due to his damage being too high, he had to pause between casting, or risk shifting the aggro.
The Thunder Ape furiously roared, unleashing an onslaught of lightning imbued attacks. However, it was barely doing any damage to Bladelight. His health bar never fell below half.
"Bladelight is invincible. Nothing can scratch him!" a Priest in the rear sighed in amazement. Bladelight's defense was sky high. With Young Seven and Painted Muslin in charge of the healing, there wasn't much for them to do. Apart from buffing their teammates with blessings every now and then, they were basically lounging around.
"The guild leader helped him obtain all his current gear. I heard his defense is already over 8,000."
This number caused all the players in the surroundings to suck in a breath of cold air. This amount of defense was unimaginable at this stage of the game. It was rumoured that the main tanks of Alliance of Mages and Divine Protectors only had roughly 5,000 defense. They were nowhere close to being on the same level as Bladelight.
While Bladelight and the others focused on killing the Thunder Ape, a group of 30 Thieves from Alliance of Mages and Divine Protectors tracked them down into the Leso Ravine.
These Thieves were the most elite among their peers in Alliance of Mages and Divine Protectors. They represented the best the two guilds had to offer.
They lay in ambush, closely eyeing the players of Asskickers United.
The leader of their group was a Thief called Broken Bone Blade. He was the number one Thief in Alliance of Mages. His skills were top notch, only falling somewhat behind the likes of Sun and King of the World.
They were hidden in a patch of thickets several hundred meters away from the fighting, observing every move of Bladelight and the others.
"Damn, what's up with that Fighter's defense? He can even tank a Level 90 Lord, so easily too," a Thief beside Broken Bone Blade whispered.
"Mhm." Broken Bone Blade nodded. "However, the most frightening out of this bunch is Nirvana Flame. I wonder how he managed to bring all these people together..." Bladelight, Smoke Stub, Young Seven, and the others were rare talents that belonged in the top 0.001% of all players. Yet Nie Yan had somehow managed to gather them all together. Just what kind of foresight and charisma was required for that!
After hearing Broken Bone Blade's words, the Thief went silent.
Apart from the ongoing battle with the Thunder Ape, the Leso Ravine was fairly peaceful. The surroundings were covered by a faint mist. The sound of birds chirping could be heard in the distant trees. The relaxing atmosphere would cause anyone to lower their guard.
Bladelight was still locked in combat with the Thunder Ape. Its health finally fell below 20%. It wouldn't take more than a few more minutes to finish it off.
Bladelight was about to give the order for the final push, when his voice chat started ringing,
Bladelight furrowed his brows. Why would someone be calling him at this time? He had set up his voice chat so that only a few people could connect to him while he was busy, and those were Guo Huai, Nie Yan, and a few others.
Bladelight checked the caller ID. It was Guo Huai.
They had already reported to Guo Huai before setting out. Guo Huai contacting them now meant that something major had happened. Bladelight immediately answered the call.
「Bladelight, take all of your troops out of the Leso Ravine, now!」Guo Huai anxiously shouted.
「But the Thunder Ape is only at 20% health! It won't take long for us to finish it off!」Bladelight immediately sensed something was wrong after hearing Guo Huai's tone. However, he wasn't willing to just leave with the Thunder Ape at such low health.
「Screw the Thunder Ape! Leave now, or else you're all going to die!」
Bladelight's face paled. He immediately ordered in the team chat,「Everyone, we're pulling out!」
「Yeah, the Thunder Ape is almost dead. Just a few more minutes and we got it!」
「Could it be that we're being ambushed by Alliance of Mages? Didn't we confirm beforehand that their forces were busy hunting Level 80 Lords? Even if they did come, there's no reason for us to back off like this!」
「Enough talk! We're retreating, that's an order!」Bladelight also didn't know what was going on. However, he could confirm that the situation was definitely grim.
「Listen to Bladelight. Everyone, retreat!」Smoke Stub shouted in the team chat.
Both leaders had spoken up. No one dared to dally. The forces of Asskickers United stopped attacking and started beating a quick retreat. Bladelight started leading the Thunder Ape away in the opposite direction, giving everyone an opportunity to disengage safely.
Broken Bone Blade's group, who were watching from a distance, suddenly noticed strange movements from the forces of Asskickers United.
"Boss, they're retreating!"
Broken Bone Blade immediately reported this back to the higher ups in the Hilton Stronghold. Crazy Magic was caught off guard. Asskickers United retreating meant that their movements had been leaked. If they stalled any longer, the enemy would get away!
Crazy Magic immediately gave the order to begin their assault.
At this moment, the players from Alliance of Mages started moving. Apart from them, Divine Protectors had also dispatched a large number of players to provide assistance. Their players disappeared one after the other, brought away by the teleportation magic of Arcane Mages.
Seeing the updates in the guild chat, Bladelight's heart trembled.
All 3,000 of their players, who had separated into smaller groups to hunt the demon beasts around the map, were besieged by the forces Alliance of Mages, Divine Protectors, and Bloodfiends at the same time. Their casualties had already exceeded 800. These players were their elites! The death of any one of them was a major blow!
Alliance of Mages and Divine Protectors had schemed meticulously. Guo Huai's warning came too late. Asskickers United suffered the disastrous losses. The enemy Thieves caught their forces off guard with Twisting Vines Scrolls and Quagmire Scrolls.
「Everyone, escape with Return Scrolls!」Bladelight ordered after sensing the situation taking a turn for the worse. Alliance of Mages and Divine Protectors were definitely eyeing their group as well. After all, they were Asskickers United's top elites. If they didn't retreat immediately, they would certainly encounter trouble.
「Over there, Thieves from Alliance of Mages!」Young Seven called out. He had cast Illuminate and spotted three Thieves in the vicinity.
"Shit! They're here already!" Bladelight's expression darkened.