1258 The Torturous Reserve
After performing a surprisingly simple registration at Death Sickle's base, Lin Huang soon left the black market and found a nearby hotel to use as a temporary residence.
Only when he was at the hotel did he begin to study Death Sickle's website in earnest.
As Bloody had said, it was easy to join the Death Sickle organization. All he had to do was fill in an incomplete form and he immediately became a reserve member.
However, reserve members had extremely limited access.
On the official website, apart from public messages that could be found on the internet, the forum only contained a section for reserve members and a section for missions. There were also access restrictions in the missions section; he was only able to look at reserve-level missions.
As for the forum itself, there were access restrictions on even the message and trading sections.
"That's what you get for being a reserve member. It's no different from being a passerby," Lin Huang could not help but exclaim after giving the website a general once-over.
Not long after though, Lin Huang found a sticky that was pinned to the reserve members' section. The post was entitled Rules and Regulations For Promotion of Death Sickle Members.
He clicked on the post immediately, which took him less than a minute to read. Now he finally had a complete understanding of how Death Sickle's ranking system worked.
Just like what Bloody had found earlier, Death Sickle members were ranked in the order of reserves, Black Sickle, White Sickle, Gold Sickle, and Blood Sickle.
A normal registration would make one a reserve member straight away.
Reserve members only needed to complete three assassination missions within a year or take on three designated missions within ten years to become official Black Sickle members.
In actuality, there was also a real-name registration process that would allow one to bypass the reserves level and directly become a Black Sickle member.
However, this particular process required a recommendation from an official Death Sickle member. Not only that, the person would need to register their real name; their combat strength and ability had to be above virtual god-level as well. They would also have to pass an actual combat assessment. They could only skip over the reserves level and become a Black Sickle member if they passed their identity checks as well as their combat assessment.
Two conditions had to be fulfilled for Black Sickle members to be promoted to White Sickle members.
The first was to be in the top three places on the Black Sickle Leaderboard's monthly rankings for three consecutive months.
The second was to complete a True God assassination mission, which was a trial mission assigned when the promotion was requested.
The conditions for White Sickle members to be promoted to Gold Sickle members were similar.
Apart from being in the top three spots on the White Sickle Leaderboard monthly rankings for three consecutive months, one also needed to complete a Heavenly God assassination mission.
The conditions for Gold Sickle members to be promoted to the highest rank of Blood Sickle were even stricter.
The basic condition for promotion was to maintain the number one spot on the Gold Sickle Leaderboard monthly rankings for three years consecutively without missing a single month.
They had to carry out three trial missions, each to assassinate a half-step Lord.
"Judging by that last condition, although on the surface it seems as if there's no lord-level guardian in Death Sickle, the seven Blood Sickle members should at least be at the level of half-step lord instead of the ordinary peak-stage Heavenly God," Lin Huang exclaimed, unable to restrain himself, "If these seven Blood Sickle powerhouses have the ability to kill half-step Lords, the power of seven of them combined might be on par with a Lord."
After Lin Huang had finished reading this pin, he checked out other pins on the forum as well as the stickies with the most comments.
He only returned to the main page after scrolling over the reserve members section for over three hours.
"The access for reserve members is too limited. I must get promoted to Black Sickle level as soon as possible so I can take on missions to assassin Virtual Gods." Now that he had a rough understanding of Death Sickle's organization and hierarchy, Lin Huang was able to come up with a plan very rapidly. "I don't think I'll be able to go the route of using the identity check, so I can only be promoted through normal channels. That means I'll need to complete three reserve missions."
Once he had considered things to this point, Lin Huang clicked on the missions page and began looking for missions that suited him.
Due to the restrictions, Lin Huang could only access the reserves missions listed in the missions section. Despite that, he found plenty there
to occupy him.
After giving the matter some thought, Lin Huang chose to sort these missions by distance.
He wanted to be promoted as soon as he could, so naturally the closer the mission was, the better. He did not bother to take into consideration the difficulty level and the reward points.
"Mission: Assassinating Ai Yun"
"Location: Iron Fist Shelter"
"Target's Details: Son of Ai Rong the Iron Fist, combat strength: imperial-level"
"Mission Reward Points: 10,000 points"
Lin Huang was stunned when he saw the first mission that popped up according to distance.
The location was the Iron Fist Shelter, which was the Shelter that Lin Huang was currently in. In addition, it was worth 10,000 mission reward points. The points were comparable to those awarded for killing a new first-rank True God.
Lin Huang had never heard of Ai Yun. However, the name Ai Rong was familiar to him because it was the name of the Iron Fist Shelter's guardian.
According to the information that Bloody provided earlier, Ai Rong had been a ninth-rank True God since time immemorial. No one had yet been able to measure the extent of his abilities.
Lin Huang then looked through Ai Yun's information again. He discovered that not only was the boy Ai Rong's youngest son, he was also Ai Rong's only remaining son.
However, Ai Yun was only imperial-level in combat strength—or at least the combat strength that he demonstrated to the outside world was only imperial-level, and he did not seem to harbor any potential for cross-ranking battles.
Perhaps it was because Ai Yun was only imperial-level that the mission was also open to reserve members.
However, Lin Huang skipped the mission without hesitation and went straight to the next one on the list.
This mission was nearby, but it was not worth offending a top True God just to get promoted to be a Black Sickle member.
After spending some ten minutes doing simple filtering, Lin Huang selected three missions that he deemed suitable.
"Kill the Boa Seal Shelter guardian Vine Boa."
"Kill Violet Rat Shelter guardian Lumi Rat."
"Kill a Poisonous Swamp Frog to retrieve venom."
Both Boa Seal and Violet Rat Shelters were grade-1 Shelters. Moreover, they were both on the same planet and near the Iron Fist Shelter.
The reason nobody was willing to take on these two missions was not that both Shelter guardians were so powerful, but because both Shelters had a massive number of monster tribes in them. Though they were merely grade-1 Shelters, they housed about a million members of the same tribe. The population alone was comparable to that of a top grade-3 Shelter.
Meanwhile, both of the missions were only published in the missions section for reserve members for a reward of 100 points, respectively.
Given these missions were high risk and low return, it made sense that nobody was willing to take them on.
The Poisonous Swamp Frog was located on a miasmic planet close to the Boa Seal Shelter and the Violet Rat Shelter. The entire planet was covered in toxic mist, and almost all living things in its ecosystem were poisonous.
The layer of toxic mist alone could affect most living beings below virtual god-level.
Given that the reward points were low—only 300 points—it was only natural that nobody was willing to take such a risk.
All three of the missions happened to be in the same area and they were not far away from the Iron Fist Shelter. Lin Huang selected them without hesitation.