While chatting with Young Seven and the others, Nie Yan abruptly received a call.
「You’re in the city? I’ve already got the twenty silvers. Tell me where you are, and I’ll head over there shortly.」
The person on the other end of the call was Resplendent Bladelight.
「I’m just outside the auction house.」
「Alright, wait for me. I’ll be there soon.」
“It was one of my acquaintances. He’s coming here to meet me,” Nie Yan informed Young Seven and the others.
“Ah, no problem. We aren’t exactly in a hurry to do anything right now, so we can continue chatting for a while longer,” Young Seven replied. After finding out that Nie Yan was interested in forming a team, he began to weigh his options. Should he proceed with his original plan, or should he follow Nie Yan? He had always liked the idea of forming his own team, but after realizing that he lacked skilled players, he decided, albeit reluctantly, to stall this pursuit for a later date. Even so, he still couldn’t help but feel a little unenthusiastic about the prospect of joining another person’s team.
Bladelight soon arrived in the area and began heading towards the auction house. On the way there, he spotted Nie Yan chatting with a few others near the entrance and promptly headed over.
“Hello,” Bladelight greeted Nie Yan.
Young Seven and the others were inwardly shocked by Bladelight’s appearance as they gazed at his equipment in awe. He was clad in silver-white armour and was holding an extravagant, golden shield in his left hand. Be it the armour or shield, from the design of the equipment and the runes engraved on their surface, they could immediately discern that his equipment was certainly out of the ordinary.
That’s some amazing equipment! Young Seven, Forgotten, and the rest couldn’t help but have this first impression in their collective mind.
Bladelight wasn’t in a particularly a good mood as a hint of dejection could be seen on his face. Seemingly, the matter Nie Yan warned him about had likely already occurred, and this was reinforced by the fact that the guild emblem he previously wore on his chest was now gone.
“You left the guild? Nie Yan asked.
“It was a trash guild. I wouldn’t have been happy staying there any longer,” Bladelight replied in a riled up manner.
Nie Yan figured Bladelight must’ve had a falling out with Hei Zhuo (Black Amazing) after hearing his response, and considering the lack of a guild emblem on his chest, arriving at such a conclusion was par for the course. Regardless of who it was, no one would be in the right frame of mind after finding out their lover and best friend were having an affair together behind their back, hence Bladelight’s departure from his guild. Speaking of which, the sole reason the guild Bladelight and Hei Zhuo founded together, Unhindered, had reached such soaring heights in his previous life was because of Bladelight’s prestige. It wasn’t until later, when their expansion stabilized, that his influence waned due to the hidden machinations Hei Zhuo employed to seize full control of the guild. However, at present, Nie Yan’s actions had unwittingly left Unhindered teetering on the brink of collapse right in the midst of their growth!
“It’s just a guild. Nothing to get down over,” said Nie Yan as he attempted to comfort him. Although Bladelight could be somewhat overbearing, his overall character wasn’t bad; otherwise, he wouldn’t have gone out of his way to warn Bladelight about Hei Zhuo.
“Haha, no worries! I’m not taking things too hard.” Bladelight forced a smile. Though he wore an uncaring expression, his inner feelings were anything but. He was the only one who truly knew his own feelings regarding the matter; however, he would never share these thoughts in public. He had already thrown away enough face in front of this person.
If he didn’t wish to bring this topic up, then Nie Yan had no reason to rub salt in an open wound.
“Well, since you’ve left your guild, have you found a new team by any chance?” Nie Yan asked. In his previous life, Bladelight was ranked as one of the top three Fighters in the game. Without a team supporting him, would he still be able to reach such heights?
“No, I still haven’t. Why, you decided to form one?”
“Yeah, I’ve been thinking about it.”
“Well, if you’re able to establish a fixed team, I wouldn’t mind joining. However, let me say this in advance. If I don’t see any signs of this team being successful in the future, I’ll probably leave,” replied Bladelight in a rather frank manner. Although it was somewhat unpleasant to the ear, at least he was speaking truthfully, which was much better than those hypocrites who put on a facade of friendliness.
“No problem, do as you wish. I’m just forming one for the fun of it. The only thing I’ll ask of everyone is to gather once in a while to run dungeons together. I don’t plan on restricting the freedom of my members or anything,” Nie Yan replied. He had always been a relaxed person, and he didn’t want to go through the trouble of managing a team. If a team wished to retain their players, especially those who could overcome the challenges of a dungeon, restricting their freedom wasn’t the way to achieve it. Instead, there needed to be a balance of goodwill, loyalty, and enticing prospects in order to encourage members to stay.
Nie Yan’s goal was to have an elite team that surpassed all other elites at his disposal, one that could help him obtain the best equipment. Once he possessed a group of loyal followers, he’d be able to gather them for dungeon runs while giving them helpful pointers and advice. In doing so, he would be able to slowly nurture his forces.
Nonetheless, Nie Yan still preferred to act on his own. Not to mention, his knowledge of the game far exceeded that of any other player. Even if he continued walking the path of a solo player, he’d still be able to become an incredibly powerful Thief.
“That sounds fine too. Just give me call whenever you plan a raid,” Bladelight said.
“It’s still a bit early right now, so I’ll let you know in a few days.”
Meanwhile, Young Seven had been listening in on their conversation from the side and was becoming riled up. If Nie Yan was capable of recruiting a Fighter who already had such amazing equipment, then there definitely wouldn’t be any harm in joining his team. For their hodgepodge group of players, finding a good Fighter had always been an incredibly frustrating task.
“Whenever you’re ready, count us in too!” Young Seven interjected.
“Alright.” Nie Yan nodded. His team now included a Fighter in the top three, one of the Seven Great Priests, and a Thief that had once been on par with him. Tang Yao’s damage was still passable, and he wouldn’t have any problem recruiting a few more Mages with high magic damage either. Then, if he found a few more reliable members, he’d have the makings of an elite team.
Only after a little bit of chatting, Nie Yan received another call. This time it was Stone.
「Expert, are you busy today?」
「Why? What is it?」
「Erm… The game developers released an announcement that a new dungeon called Sosil Valley will be opening tomorrow. Since we want to be one of the first to explore the dungeon, our guild rescheduled the Agmota Muddy Swamplands run to today,」Stone replied. He felt rather embarrassed. Earlier they had discussed with Nie Yan and decided that the run would occur tomorrow, but now they had suddenly moved it to today.
「That’s alright. I don’t have any other plans for today. There should be enough time for a run.」When Sosil Valley opened tomorrow, he would patiently wait until the players burned through the current supply of Black Phenol on the marketplace. Then, once the supply dried up, he would distribute his own stock at a gradual pace. However, that would be left for tomorrow. There wasn’t much time left in the day, so he might as well spend it doing a dungeon run.「I have a few friends with me, so let me say goodbye to them first. Let me know when and where we’re meeting up.」
「In five minutes at the Calore transfer point.」
After ending the call with Stone, Nie Yan turned around to face Bladelight, Young Seven, and the others, and said, “Sorry guys. It seems my friends want me to run Agmota Muddy Swamplands with them. Let’s meet up again some other time.”
“No worries, I was planning to go off and grind some mobs anyway. Let’s get this trade out of the way and then I’ll head off,” replied Bladelight as he nodded his head.
Young Seven, Forgotten, and the rest gazed at Nie Yan with envious expressions. They had yet to form a fixed team and were already having a hard enough time finding players to run even the simplest of dungeons, let alone a high level dungeon like Agmota Muddy Swamplands. This bit of information only firmed the resolve in Young Seven’s mind. Following Nie Yan would definitely be the right choice. Since it seemed other teams frequently invited him to join them in their dungeon runs, they could probably benefit a lot from his guidance.
Nie Yan traded the Lion King’s Shield to Bladelight, making his bag twenty silvers heavier. Afterwards, he said goodbye to all of them and headed for the transport point.
Upon receiving the item, Bladelight impatiently swapped out his current shield with the new one. The Lion King’s Shield was an exceptionally stable tower shield with a brown, metallic hue. Moreover, the entire shield was reinforced by magic and emitted a dazzling, golden aura.