While everyone was in a small state of panic about the missing quest from their quest logs, Izroth took the opportunity to check his own. After all, the system clearly stated that he had successfully unlocked the second part of the world quest.
'It's there alright.'
When Izroth checked his quest logs, the second part of the world quest was there just as the system had said it would be. After looking over the quest,
Quest Name: The Beginning of Beginnings
Recommended Level: ???
Recommended Party Size: 6
Quest Rank: SSS
Quest Objective: The 'Relic of Power' is a divine item that should not be in the hands of mortals, as it contains the power to corrupt the strongest of beings. Gilidore has unsealed the guardian of the firmament and corrupted them with the 'Relic of Power'. If Vozrak is permitted to become fully corrupted, there is no telling what will become of the entire world. You must put an end to this before the day of beginnings. Adventurer, know that this is only the beginning.
Time Limit: 120 days
-1/10 Collect the remaining scattered memory fragments of the «Memento Clam».
-0/1 Find and obtain the second lost page belonging to the «Book of Beginnings».
-1/1 Obtain a Source, a mysterious energy that allows one to overcome natural limitations.
-0/1 Clear the Path of Dragons. (This part must be completed alone by the main quest holder.)
-Gain +2 levels
-Gain +20 stat points
-Gain +600 world fame
-Gain +100 gold coins
-x1 Skill Mastery Token V
-One Epic rank equipment
-Lose -5 levels
-Lose -1,000 world fame
-Destruction of the Capital Amaharpe
Special Note: This quest may be shared with up to 5 other players.
'On the bright side, it seems that I'm already a quarter of the way done.'
Izroth had a vague idea of what a Source was given the general context surrounding it, as well as, having firsthand experience using it. However, he had a feeling that there was more to this Source besides the bits and pieces of information he knew about it. One thing was absolutely certain, those with a Source had a huge advantage over those who lacked it.
He did not know where to start when it came to everything else listed as a quest objective. But, the most eye-catching thing was the part he must complete alone, the Path of Dragons. It sounded interesting, but where was this so-called Path of Dragons even located and how was he supposed to get there?
As for the rewards, they were quite generous as usual, but he did not know what a Skill Mastery Token or the ??? part of the reward was as both were a complete mystery to him. However, he understood that whenever the system used ???, the reward had to be something incredible, especially when it came to a world quest that was SSS-ranked.
'The failure penalty is harsh as always.'
Losing five levels may not seem like a lot, however, if he reached a much higher level, those five levels could cost him tens of millions of experience points! Losing 1,000 world fame was not dire, but it would probably rob him of some potential benefits. It also seemed that Amaharpe was not yet free of danger since its destruction was still a possibility if he failed.
But, in the end, what concerned Izroth the most was not any of that, instead, it was the ??? sat right at the bottom of the failure list. As amazing as the ??? was for rewards, it was the exact opposite for failure. It would likely be something even more disastrous than the destruction of Amaharpe and could shake the entire foundation of RML!
One of the interesting things about this world quest was the fact that Izroth did not lose the ability to share the quest with other players.
'It appears that after completing one part of the world quest, I am the only one who receives the next part. Who knew this ruthless system was capable of being so thoughtful?'
Being able to choose his party every time after one part of the world quest ended was something unexpected, but welcomed by Izroth. After all, there were countless circumstances that could occur between the long periods of time in which a world quest lasted. The time limit was 120 days this time and 90 days last time.
A lot could happen within that time period and so if he did not have the ability to, at the very least, choose his own party members after each part he completed, then it could be a potential drawback. Since the beginning, there was still a part of him wondering if giving the final slot to Mariposa was the right thing to do, even if they were allies and still building foundations.
After all, Mariposa was an incredibly skilled and useful player with her spatial magic, however, she was still the leader of a top guild. She had other responsibilities and priorities. In other words, she would always put the needs of her guild before anything else. While that was not a bad thing, Izroth preferred someone without that kind of mindset.
There were still many unanswered questions, however, Izroth understood that he could only cross those bridges when he comes to them.
After he finished reading over the quest logs, Izroth explained to everyone what was going on and they immediately let out a sigh of relief. So that was why they had not received the quest! They had thought that it was some kind of system bug. Losing an SSS-ranked quest due to a bug would have been a catastrophe!
"Phew... So the system lets you pick who to share the quest with every time a part's completed? That's pretty convenient." Halls said.
"Indeed, it makes perfect sense considering the time span of each part. Plus, it is Izroth's quest to begin with, therefore, it's only right that he gets to decide who he wants to share it with." Zi Yi commented.
"It's a pity. I wouldn't have minded being trapped into completing an SSS-ranked quest. But, there's no need to worry. I have no plans pushing my luck any further. This reward alone has made everything worth it. Of course, I would not be against tagging along again if you need a spare hand." Mariposa said in a slightly teasing manner.
"You- Could you be any more shameless?" Zi Yi scoffed.
Mariposa lightly giggled and responded, "As a guild leader, it is my job to have a bit of shamelessness, my adorable little sister."
"Brother, she is challenging you for your title of the shameless king. She must not know how shameless you can be." Guan Yu said as he put his arm around Halls' shoulder in a brotherly manner as he released a burst of laughter.
"Who's the shameless king?! If anyone here should have that title it should be you. Being shameless is a natural gift one is born with under a certain star and brother, you have the greatest gift I've ever seen." Halls retorted as he elbowed Guan Yu in the chest with a grin on his face.
"Ugh, betrayed by my own brother again!" Guan Yu said as he shook his head.
Luna stepped next to Izroth and faced the same direction as him. The two of them stood there looking out towards the others who were simply having a good time. At the time, things seemed strangely peaceful and serene.
"I will support you." Luna said without any warning and seemingly any context.
Izroth looked towards Luna and saw that she had a charming and genuine smile on her face. There was a slight hint of pink that snuck onto her cheeks. It may have been due to the aura of the Trephasia race, however, for just for a single instant, Luna reminded Izroth of an otherworldly fairy from the Seven Realms. A race whose members were all natural born beauties.
"Whatever you choose to do from this point on, I will support you." Luna spoke with a look of clarity and certainty in her eyes. There was not the slightest bit of doubt or hesitation present. She truly meant the words she said.
Izroth turned his sight back towards the others who were currently enjoying themselves and still celebrating the completion of the world quest.
"I know." Izroth responded with a slight smile on his face.
Now that everything here was settled and there was nothing left for them to accomplish at this place, it was time for them to return to Amaharpe!
A few moments ago back in Amaharpe in front of the Mystical Realm Palace...
"I'm surprised that you can afford to waste time here instead of recovering from the substantial losses you took during the event. Boy, Sage Falls sure is becoming more and more brazen with their actions these days." Valkyria said as she glared at Slayer.
Valkyria had been called back the Amaharpe in the middle of questing at He Huian's request. Normally, He Huian did not have the authority to command her nor the Lotus Guard, however, these were special circumstances. She understood the importance of the Mystical Realm Palace to Sleeping Gardenia, therefore, even if He Huian did not call for her, she would have returned on her own.
While she could not forcibly remove Slayer or the members of Sage Falls since they were located inside of a safe zone where players could not cause any damage, Valkyria could only apply pressure and hope that they cave in. However, they were extremely stubborn and she did not understand why.
Didn't these fools know that once Izroth returned he could simply kick them off his property? There was quite literally nothing to be gained by this except angering everyone within Amaharpe, including the top guilds, and creating a hostile relationship with a grade three Apothecary! Surely Slayer couldn't be that stupid, right?
"Hmph, bark all you want but don't think I can't see what you're up to, mutt. If you want to act like a dog so badly, then you'll do well to sit and play dead in front of me. Otherwise, don't blame me for getting nasty. Why women love to play pretend gamer, I'll never know. You and the rest of the mutts following after your tail should know your place!" Slayer mocked as he belittled Valkyria and the other members of Sleeping Gardenia.
The other players that were around were disgusted by Slayer's attitude and behavior. They couldn't believe that a guy like that was the leader of a top guild! It was true what they said about Sage Falls, the members all had nasty personalities and were unafraid of causing trouble.
Valkyria's facial expression darkened when those words left Slayer's mouth. Mutt? Sit and play dead? He dared to humiliate not only her and the members of her guild that were present but the entirety of Sleeping Gardenia as well? Valkyria was rarely ever truly boiling with rage, however, Slayer had just stepped on dangerous a land mine!
"Do you dare say that to us outside of Amaharpe?!"
"Watch your tongue! Our commander isn't someone you can badmouth freely! And neither are we!"
The other members of Sleeping Gardenia and even those female players in the crowd who had no relation to them were speaking up. They were obviously angered by Slayer's comment.
"Good, very good... It looks like you actually have lost your mind. Let's see how much longer you can hold on to that arrogance of yours." Valkyria spoke in a cold and distant voice.
"Lost my mind? Far from it. Arrogance? So what! I've given the owner a chance. It is he who refused a toast only to be forced to drink a forfeit." Slayer scoffed.
He then continued, "Everyone appears to have forgotten lately just what the name Sage Falls means and it's time they remember. It means fear! Dominance! Pow-"
"Stupidity!" A voice carried over and interrupted Slayer halfway through his sentence. That voice was like a localized thunderclap.