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Nie Yan’s group arrived back at the Cripps Stronghold. After learning they had returned victorious, Asskickers United’s chat exploded with excitement.
「Divine Protectors had the floor wiped with them! Let’s see them try to act arrogant again in the future!」
「Right! Remember when Divine Protectors joined up with Bloodlust Blades, Alliance of Mages, and Angel Corps in attacking us at the Cripps Stronghold? They killed so many of our brothers. Now they’ve gotten a taste of their own medicine! Just thinking about it is so damn satisfying!」
The battle in the Karukes Stronghold greatly boosted morale. Even though several strongholds were under siege by Qin Han’s skeleton army, the players from Asskickers United weren’t disheartened. They would surely achieve victory!
Divine Protectors suffered a huge setback. With the Karukes Stronghold being trampled over, their prestige hit rock bottom. Many players no longer had the face to continue wearing the guild emblem. In a short five days, more than 60,000 withdrew. This was great news for Asskickers United.
Nie Yan was coordinating all the various guilds in the alliance in repelling the skeleton army, when he suddenly received a report from Guo Huai. Penumbra Empire had leaked out that Qin Han was in the middle of building a large siege force. Qin Han had hired thousands of production class players from various places, dividing them up into several dozen teams. They were frantically rushing out siege engines. Something big was about to happen.
「How many siege weapons can they produce on a daily base?」
「I estimate about seven or eight,」Guo Huai replied. The Monet Financial Group’s production output definitely couldn’t compare with Asskickers United’s. In the time the Monet Financial Group produced 10 catapults, Asskickers United would have produced more than 30.
「I see. Let’s compete with them. We’ll also pick up the pace. Focus all our resources on building catapults and magic cannons!」
「Understood. But we’re still lacking resources.」
「Stock up on more from the marketplace. As for gold, I’ll think of a way. Just to confirm, this leak was from Penumbra Empire?」Nie Yan asked.
「Yes, Eternal Sin told us directly. He’s providing us some really good intel lately. I’m guessing he wants to defect from Qin Han’s side,」Guo Huai said.
Nie Yan sank into deep thought. Eternal Sin’s intentions were unclear. If he could get Penumbra Empire to defect, the Monet Financial Group would take a heavy blow. He suddenly had an idea.「Have Tang Yao, Xie Yao, Lustboy, and the others pay a visit to the strongholds of Divine Protectors and God Executioner Sword. Tell them to go in, accomplish their assignments, and get out. We can’t have them get caught. Apart from Penumbra Empire’s all the strongholds under the guilds affiliated with the Monet Financial Group are fair game.」
Hearing Nie Yan’s words, Guo Huai knitted his brow. However, he suddenly realized something, and his expression relaxed. He faintly smiled.「I understand. I’ll let them know immediately!」
Nie Yan’s plan was clear. He would have his people continually harass the strongholds of the guilds under the Monet Financial Group, save for Penumbra Empire. He would also spread a rumour that he and Eternal Sin shared a bit of friendship. Like this, before long Qin Han would have a hard time not suspecting Eternal Sin.
After receiving Nie Yan’s orders, Tang Yao, Lustboy, and the others excitedly set out. They were happy to carry out this kind of work.
Over the next few days, the guilds under the Monet Financial Group received attacks from everywhere. Tang Yao, Lustboy, and the others would break into a stronghold, wreak havoc and destruction, then quickly get out before the Monet Financial Group’s elites could arrive. The Monet Financial Group and all its subsidiary guilds suffered heavy losses, with the exception of Penumbra Empire. For some reason, they were never targeted.
Nie Yan had already planted the seeds of doubt. Before long, they would sprout.
Over the next several days, Asskickers United lost another 10 strongholds. However, they didn’t go down cheaply. Qin Han lost more than 1,300,000 skeletons in the process.
As time passed on, Nie Yan gradually sensed the moment for a full-out counterattack was approaching.
Nie Yan made ample preparations. On the seventh day, he received a notification.
Great Prophet, after an emergency meeting between the Satreen Empire and Viridian Empire, you have been granted the Abernathy Great Grasslands to the north of the Morogo Mountains. Your territory is under protection for three months. Anyone that attacks it will become an enemy of both empires. Please report to the Elder Council within the next 10 days to receive your fiefdom.After receiving this notification, Nie Yan was dumbstruck. When he first received the Great Prophet title, Jebiah the Great didn’t mention anything about a fiefdom. Not to mention, he was previously convinced that players couldn’t receive a territory. That the rumours about it were just that, rumours. Who would’ve thought it was actually real!
It turned out land was only rewarded after both empires had come to an agreement.
Nie Yan was unfamiliar with the Abernathy Great Grasslands. He searched it up online.
The Abernathy Great Grasslands was on the border between the Viridian Empire and Satreen Empire. This place was an extremely vast grassland, which was home to six tribes. The human and orc tribes each occupied the two largest territories. Occasionally, there was some friction, but the situation was generally peaceful. The region was extremely large, roughly the size of the territory of Calore. There were about 70 village sized tribal settlements dotting it.
As the lord of the territory, Nie Yan could freely construct towns, strongholds, and other settlements. He could also hire the natives there to fight for him and establish his own NPC army. Furthermore, the Abernathy Great Grasslands was rich with minerals, with more than 70 basic ore deposits, 30 intermediate ones, and 10 advanced ones. These ore deposits all belonged to Nie Yan. If other players tried to excavate them, they would be arrested by the NPC guards for theft. He could also freely construct quarries and hire NPC Miners to help him harvest them.
Apart from this, the Abernathy Great Grasslands also became Asskickers United’s bridgehead for attacking Angel Corps since it was only a two-hour’s journey from Angel Corps occupied territory.
Nie Yan still had to report to the Elder Council to receive his land. After receiving it, both empires would support him with getting his feet off the ground by giving him protection for three months. During this time, other guilds weren’t allowed to attack his territory. He would definitely make good use of this time.
Looking over the map of the Abernathy Great Grasslands online, Nie Yan already had a plan in mind. But first, he would have to gather an enormous sum of gold to develop this land and hire a large number of NPCs to build his army. This was a great undertaking.
Nie Yan looked forward to the future growth of his territory.
However, there was no point in rushing. He would have to carefully plan out every next step to prevent any mishaps from happening. Nie Yan checked the clock. There wasn’t much time left in the day. He logged out of the game.
Right now was the middle of a long vacation. Apart from some fourth years, everyone else had holidays. Most students returned home, including Nie Yan and Xie Yao.
Back in Huahai, Xie Yao went to meet her parents. Nie Yan ate breakfast in his villa, then headed for the headquarters of World Bloc.
These days, World Bloc was extremely busy with rapidly expanding their businesses.
World Bloc had already grown threefold. However, Father Nie still refused to go public, choosing to keep the company privately owned. He oversaw the general affairs of the company while Mother Nie was in charge of the finances. The entire company was running smoothly from top to bottom.
World Bloc’s growth astonished Nie Yan. Of course, a lot of this could be attributed to him. Even though Asskickers United had recently suffered a hit, with many strongholds being destroyed by Qin Han’s skeleton army, he had long since made preparations for exactly this. World Bloc’s assets in Conviction had suffered minimal losses. In addition, thanks to the massive profits from the real world districts, they’d saved up a large rainy day fund. When the skeleton army was defeated, they would quickly recover.
Nie Yan drove his car to World Bloc’s headquarters. It had undergone quite some changes. They had acquired the surrounding properties, and the office was currently undergoing reconstruction. The surroundings was filled with construction. In the future, the headquarters would be more than several times larger than before.
Seeing this kind of transformation, Nie Yan was extremely gratified. With World Bloc’s current healthy growth, they likely wouldn’t suffer the tragedy of the previous timeline.
Even if the Century Financial Group tried to take action against World Bloc, they at least wouldn’t crumple after one blow like in the previous timeline.
Nie Yan took the elevator to the top floor. After passing through security, he arrived inside his father’s office.
Father Nie was busy doing some paperwork. Noticing someone walking in, he raised his head. His lips parted into a happy smile after seeing it was Nie Yan.
“That’s a surprise. You actually have the time to come visit your old man. You couldn’t be skipping school, could you?” Father Nie joked, his tone was far less strict than before. He looked Nie Yan up and down and was gratified to see his son had grown taller.
“We’re on holidays. So, I’ll be back home for the next week,” Nie Yan said. His father was a man of few words, but he could tell how much his father genuinely cared for him. Scenes of his past life flashed before his eyes, all the times he’d done his old man wrong. He had too much to pay back.
“I’ll call your mother and have her come up,” Father Nie said. He took out his phone and dialed Mother Nie.
Mother Nie hurried over.
“Mom, I’m back,” Nie Yan said.
“Good, good. Our whole family is back together. Little Yan, you’ve grown up! You look so big and strong!” Mother Nie couldn’t help but become tearful.
Seeing his loving and doting mother, Nie Yan’s heart was touched as his eyes reddened. In the previous timeline, he was an immature brat who only cared for himself. In this life, he also had to move far away for school. He had no time to see his parents. His heart was wracked with guilt.
“Why haven’t you brought Yao Yao for your old mom to see?” Mother Nie asked. She had long since known of the relationship between him and Xie Yao.
“I’ll bring her over tomorrow,” Nie Yan replied in an embarrassed tone.
After going through the tragedies of his past life, Nie Yan especially treasured these kinds of moments.
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