Chapter 1937 - Rapid Expansion Sea of Death, Kama Island:

The Mental Assistance System has finally activated. As Shi Feng stood on the Death-Energy-saturated beach and stretched, he could feel a tangible change to his virtual body.

Before this update, he had always felt as if he were moving in a body that wasn't his. Now, however, he felt as comfortable in his skin as he was in the real world. It felt as if he had been transported into another world, rather than enter a virtual world via a virtual body.

When the other Zero Wing members logged into God's Domain and similarly immersed themselves in this new sensation, excitement welled within them.

They had felt as if they had been casting Spells and using Skills from a third-person perspective, but now, they felt as if they used their abilities personally. It felt as if they had gained superpowers in the real world.

Looking at the Level 60-plus Demonic Beasts on Kama Island, the team eagerly charged at the monsters to test their new forms.

Although the Mana on Kama Island was very thin, and the corrosive Power of Darkness lingered, with the help of the All- rounded Device and Darkness Resistance Potion, the team remained unaffected by the island's harsh environment.

In just eight minutes or so, the team had killed over a hundred Lord ranked Demonic Beasts.

"Guild Leader, we've just received a report. Due to the system update, many players have begun to learn advanced combat methods from the ancient survivors. As a result, far fewer players are interested in joining Zero Wing," Aqua Rose reported. Then, in a quieter tone, she continued, "Moreover, the various large Guilds have started mass-recruiting members, and they've lowered their recruitment requirements significantly, especially Blackwater. Blackwater has improved the benefits it offers its elite members by a significant margin. Blackwater is now offering nearly 40% more than Zero Wing. Because of this, many of the players that had applied to join our Guild at the Secret Stone Fortress and Silverwing Town have left to join Blackwater."

Blackwater really is vicious. To think it would increase its benefit packages by so much! Aqua Rose's report astonished Shi Feng a little, but once he gave the matter some thought, he wasn't overly surprised.

The 'Return of the Survivors' expansion pack heralded a new area where every major power in the game would seek to recruit elite players.

Currently, the Trial Tower was still used to determine players' combat standards. The higher a player climbed in the tower, the stronger combat standards they'd need to progress. Naturally, the fastest way to improve one's combat standards was by learning combat techniques. If players could grasp a single Basic Combat Technique, they'd be almost guaranteed to reach the Trial Tower's fifth floor, which would mean that the player had reached the realm of experts.


With the ancient survivor's return, players only needed a small amount of money to learn advanced combat methods. Although these advanced combat methods might not be as helpful as a Basic Combat Technique, they were close.

In other words, elite players would have a high probability of reaching the Trial Tower's fifth floor as long as they learned these advanced combat techniques. After all, the various large Guilds' elite members, on average, could reach the fourth floor. The only real between elite players was their progress on the fourth floor.

Oftentimes, a Guild's strength was based on the number of experts it had since high-difficulty Dungeons and quests had very high combat standard requirements. These challenges usually required expert players. Thus, expert players comprised a Guild’s key support pillar.

Now that the 'Return of the Survivors' expansion pack had activated, it was only natural that all of God's Domain had become so frantic.

This expansion pack was particularly beneficial to wealthy Guilds like Blackwater. Recruiting elite-standard players was much cheaper than poaching experts, and now that elite-standard independent players had a much easier time reaching the Trial Tower's fifth floor, it was only natural that Blackwater spared no effort in recruiting them.

"Guild Leader, should we lower our recruitment standards a little? Blackwater might steal the Ore Empire's independent elite players otherwise. If that happens, contesting Blackwater will be quite difficult in the future," Aqua Rose said worriedly.

The Ore Empire wasn't like Star-Moon Kingdom; it had become a hub for multiple kingdoms and empires. A large number of elite and expert players had gathered in the empire, so it was much easier to recruit players there than in other kingdoms and empires.

"Since Blackwater wants to claim the independent elite players, let it have them. Unlike Blackwater, we don't have the funds to play that game. Our recruitment standards will stay the same. Continue to prioritize the development of players with potential. We won't try to contest over the ready-made independent elite players," Shi Feng said, smiling as he shook his head.

While lowering the Guild's recruitment standards would attract many elite players and increase the Guild's overall strength, doing so without sufficient capital would yield the opposite effect.

Most importantly, the standard of expert players would not stay the same forever.

In the short-term, mass-recruiting independent elite players would boost a Guild's expert count, but as more players learned advanced combat methods, the overall standard of God's Domain's players would rise as would the benchmark for expert players.

Nowadays, one was considered an expert as long as they reached the early stage of the Trial Tower's fifth floor, but in the future, they would have to reach the fifth floor's middle stage or beyond. One day, players would have to reach the sixth floor to qualify as an expert.

Rather than targeting the current elite players, Zero Wing would profit by setting its sights on low-level players with great talent. It wouldn't be long before leveling up was no longer a problem for newcomers.

"We're not going to compete with Blackwater?" Aqua Rose was a little disappointed after hearing Shi Feng's reply.

However, when she thought about how Zero Wing had just acquired Ouroboros's main headquarters, which had drastically increased the Guild's expenditures, she realized that Zero Wing didn't have much capital to spare. Hence, she had no choice but to give up on this opportunity and focus on recruiting players with strong potential.

Meanwhile, Zero Wing's lack of action during this chaotic time confused the various powers and players that watched the Guild. None of them understood what Zero Wing intended. The Guild was dismissing such a golden opportunity to grow stronger.

"Are you kidding me? The various large Guilds have clearly lowered their recruitment standards. Why hasn't Zero Wing?

And I thought that I'd finally get to join the Guild. In the end, I still can't meet their recruitment requirements."

"Why do you insist on joining Zero Wing? Blackwater is the best choice right now! Not only does it have full control of the Iron Empire, but the Guild also controls the Crimson Flame Fortress, a vital path to the Ore Capital City. Moreover, Blackwater has announced that it is increasing its internal member count and that it will fill some of the slots with the Guild's elite players. Now is the best time to join Blackwater."

"Sure enough, Zero Wing simply isn't a match for a superpower like Blackwater in terms of capital."

The majority of the Ore Empire's independent players sneered at Zero Wing's lack of response. For a time, applications to join Blackwater flooded the Guild.

However, Zero Wing hadn't fallen too far behind. Due to the increase in Zero Wing's internal member count, the Guild's operating speed had skyrocketed. Because of this, the Guild's management personnel, such as Gentle Snow, had a chance to relax and found more free time to tend to their own interests.

In addition, Zero Wing's ability to investigate and recruit players with potential had improved substantially. For a time, the Guild recruited many low-level players that lacked renown.

Meanwhile, while God's Domain's various large Guilds frantically snatched up elite players, Shi Feng's group had arrived before a bottomless pit.

Gray smoke filled the pit, robbing all life from the earth around it. Moreover, Zero Wing's team heard daunting roars from within, deterring any Demonic Creatures from approaching the pit.

And yet, as if he hadn't heard the roaring, Shi Feng approached the pit and descended the spiral pathway at its edge.

As they ventured deeper into the pit, the team felt an intense pressure weighing them down. By the time the team reached the pit's lowest area, even experts like Shadow Sword felt stifled.

As these Zero Wing players began to fear the pressure that filled the pit, they noticed a colossal cave in a corner, leaving them stunned.

"A Manatite vein?" Aqua Rose stared with wide eyes at the numerous, dark-silver ore deposits along the cave's walls.

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