As Izroth made his way back towards the rear of the caravan, Ying Yue was the first member of his party that he ran into. Even though she left a bit earlier than Mirage, she still did not manage to catch up to Izroth after he took off.
Ying Yue was just beginning to worry about Izroth when she finally located him on his way back towards the caravan. She let out a sigh of relief when she saw that he was safe and sound.
As for Mirage, she searched around blindly for a while before she gave up and sent a message to Izroth asking where he had run off to. Of course, if Midnight had not talked some sense into her then they may have wasted their time running around aimlessly for who knows how long?
Izroth informed Mirage that he was currently on his way back to the caravan and that he would meet her there. However, his response only caused Mirage to send him a stream of messages with questions about what happened.
Izroth shook his head inwardly at Mirage's high level of eagerness to know what happened. He could tell from the way she worded things that she wanted nothing more than to confront whoever attacked them. But, Izroth believed that it would be easier to explain things once everyone was gathered. After all, what he learned from Trinity had something to do with everyone.
As Izroth made his way towards the caravan along with Ying Yue, there was a lingering silence in the air. But, surprisingly, Ying Yue was the one to take the initiative and broke that silence.
"I'm beginning to learn that you can be very reckless sometimes..." Ying Yue spoke in a soft tone.
"Oh? Am I a thoughtless person in your eyes?" Izroth asked.
Ying Yue grew flustered as she quickly replied, "I didn't mean-!"
"I know." Izroth said as he gave a carefree smile.
Ying Yue calmed down as she slightly pouted. She believed that Izroth took her words as an insult when she was only expressing her concern. Who would have thought that he was only teasing her?
"You're bullying me." Ying Yue said in a playfully serious manner as she puffed her cheeks up. She soon found that an unexpected smile had appeared on her face. Even though she was right next to Izroth, she always felt that there was a massive and towering wall that she had to climb whenever it came to approaching him.
Ever since that conversation they had within the Chaotic Dogma Realm and the answer he gave to her question, she thought that maybe...
A few moments later, Izroth and Ying Yue arrived at the caravan. Mirage and Midnight were already there waiting for their return.
"Where did you run off to?" Mirage questioned as she frowned.
"I went to greet a few unexpected guests. Though, it seems we have a bigger issue at hand." Izroth replied. He then explained what took place inside of the forest area, as well as, informed his party members about the information he obtained from Trinity. By the time he was finished, everyone had confused yet thoughtful expressions on their face.
"Given the situation, are you sure that the information you received can be trusted? It could be a ploy to drive a wedge between us and the caravan." Midnight stated.
"It can be trusted. I have no doubts about the authenticity of it." Izroth responded. With his heightened senses and personal experience, Izroth could easily tell if someone was lying or not. Unless Trinity could control her reactions and attitude to a near-perfect level, there was no way that she would be able to sneak a lie past him.
As for how he got Mirage to willing give up so much information, well, this was a secret of his.
"League of The Eidolon? Never heard of them. But from what you've just told us, they sound like a pretty shady group to me." Mirage said.
After Izroth and his party discussed a few matters, Midnight brought up the question on everyone's mind.
"How are we going to confront Robin?" Midnight asked. However, no one answered his question immediately.
There were numerous things that could go wrong if they confronted Robin to find out the truth. The first was the most obvious of scenarios where they get kicked from guarding the caravan and automatically fail the quest. By doing this, they not only risked losing experience points but a rare item as well!
The large majority of casual players were only able to get their hands on uncommon items and a very small percentage were lucky enough to acquire a rare item. After all, not everyone had Izroth's insane luck when it came to obtaining quests that provided such luxurious rewards.
There was also the mystery reward that they would get which was bound to be something good.
The second was that Robin and the Silver Hawk Merchants Caravan would become hostile towards them. While they were not afraid of a fight with the weak caravan members, it held the same end result as the first scenario. In other words, they would gain no benefits from doing so.
Maybe it would just be better if they did not dig too deep and guarded the caravan as they were supposed to, but, in the end, it was up to the quest holder herself to decide what course of action they should take.
Even though Izroth was curious about the League of The Eidolon's intentions, he would respect Mirage's decision since it was a quest that she invited him to. Midnight and Ying Yue felt the same way and decided that the choice should be left to Mirage who was the main quest holder. But, given her personality, Izroth and the others already knew what her choice was going to be.
"We're going to get some answers!" Mirage said without the slightest bit of hesitation.
Of course, Mirage wanted to get to the bottom of things and not be left in the dark. Besides, she did not believe that Robin had the luxury of kicking her party out of the caravan, especially with the increasing monster attacks and the impending dangers of bandit attacks.
Not to mention, the atmosphere between the other two parties was extremely tense and it looked as if a fight could break out at any moment. Could Robin truly afford to not have their party around?
A few moments later, Izroth and Mirage arrived at Robin's carriage. She figured that just in case anything happened while they were gone, Midnight and Ying Yue would be there to properly guard the rear of the caravan.
Since Izroth was the one who originally acquired the information, it only made sense that he came along with her to confront Robin.
A personal guard who was assigned to Robin's carriage noticed Izroth and Mirage approaching which caused a frown to appear on his face.
"You two are assigned to protect the rear of the caravan. Why are you abandoning your post?" The guard said in a stern tone. Compared to the rest of the caravan members, the guard was a powerhouse.
Though to call him a guard was not entirely accurate. Even when there was a rush of monsters and bandits, he did not act. Even when that arrow came close to hitting Robin he did not make a move. So, could one truly call him a personal guard? However, if he was not guarding the caravan or Robin himself, then why was he even here?
There was one thing about the guard that made Izroth take a bit of interest in him and that was what appeared next to his name. It was the first time Izroth was close enough to view his information.
NPC Name: Jyuuriel, Crimson Corps Guards Trainee Candidate(Elite)
NPC Level: 40
NPC Knowledge Level: 25.37
NPC HP: ??? (100%)
The Crimson Corps Guards! There were no more than one hundred members of the official Crimson Corps Guards. To even qualify to become a member, an individual had to endure torturous training with no guarantee that they would make the cut.
Jyuuriel was only a trainee candidate. This meant that he, a level 40 elite NPC, had not even been accepted as a trainee! By this, one could only imagine the strength of a true Crimson Corps Guards member.
'His knowledge level is the second highest I've come across.'
Jyuuriel was the first NPC, excluding Orion, that Izroth observed who had a higher knowledge level than Kaz, Orion's assistant. While it was still lacking when compared to his own knowledge level, he could be considered a genius next to the average NPC.
"We want to speak with Robin!" Mirage responded.
"If you want to speak with the person in charge at the time, then you will have to speak with Lyn. No one is allowed to disturb the vice-leader while he's inside his carriage." Jyuuriel stated.
"We don't want the second in charge, we want to talk to Robin! He's hiding something and we intend to find out what that is!" Mirage said without backing down.
Jyuuriel narrowed his eyes as he looked at Mirage. However, as soon as his gaze was set upon Mirage, his eyes widened slightly as he instantly shifted his attention to the right side area behind Mirage. It was there that he saw a young man who looked to be in his early to mid-twenties with a carefree smile on his face.
Of course, that young man was Izroth. Even though he had a carefree expression, Jyuuriel could feel a dangerous aura coming from him, however, it soon disappeared. But, the feeling itself caused Jyuuriel to become somewhat guarded.
Just as the situation was becoming a bit awkward, the door to the carriage opened and Robin stepped out with a friendly smile on his face.
"Come now, Jyuuriel. If my young friends want to talk, I can spare some time for them." Robin said.
However, Izroth and Mirage noticed something strange about Robin. For some reason, it looked as if he had aged at least a decade since last they saw him!
Jyuuriel glanced at Robin before his gaze returned to Izroth.
"Understood." Jyuuriel said as he returned to his previous position next to the carriage.
"Come, my young friends." Robin said as he gestured for Izroth and Mirage to join him in the carriage.
Mirage was a bit startled at first that Robin was so willing to speak with them, however, she looked over at Izroth who gave a small nod before she entered into the carriage.
Izroth followed in after Mirage as the carriage door closed behind him.
The inside of the carriage was more spacious than it looked on the outside. The interior decoration was simple yet comfortable as though it were specifically made for extended periods of travel.
Robin took a seat on the opposite end of the carriage facing towards Izroth and Mirage. Not too long after they entered into the carriage, it began to move as the caravan had finally became reorganized after the last attack.
"To what do I owe the pleasure of your unexpected visit?" Robin asked being the first to break the silence.
"We want to know what's going on. The constant monster attacks, the secretive behavior, and why a group like the League of The Eidolon wants to stop this caravan from reaching its destination." Mirage said.
An expression of shock appeared on Robinarzin's face when Mirage mentioned the League of The Eidolon and it was soon replaced with a troubled look.
"League of The Eidolon... I see, then I am already too late. I was careless. Truly careless." Robinarzin released a deep sigh.
"Careless?" Mirage questioned.
"Look, if you want to continue keeping us in the dark then you can just forget about-" Mirage was speaking when Robinarzin cut her off.
"I do not have much time left. If the League of The Eidolon is already aware of the existence of this caravan, then I'm afraid my mission has already failed." Robinarzin said with a darkened facial expression.
He then continued, "My young friends, I'm afraid I have not been honest with you. It may be shameless of me to choose this moment to tell you the truth, however, I am but one man. One desperate man."
Robinarzin had a look of defeat in his eyes as if he had been consumed by the troubles that plagued him. He removed a necklace from his neck with a green crystal attached to it.
"This is crystal is known as the Truth Seeker Gem. Where I come from, they are extremely rare and difficult to come by. This has always allowed me to peer into the thoughts and hearts of those around me. Some remain dark and others remain free of worldly burdens. But, only I carry the truth. Indeed, it is a great weight to carry on one's shoulders." Robinarzin stated.
Mirage had no idea what Robinarzin was going on about, however, she could tell that there was something eating away at him from the inside.
Izroth, on the other hand, paid close attention to Robinarzin and the words he spoke.
'The Truth Seeker Gem is only found in one place and is never allowed into the hands of its citizens, let alone to leave its borders. But then that would mean...'
"From the moment we've met, I have heard nothing but the truth leave your mouths. Such a trait is rare amongst ones of your age." Robinarzin said.
After engaging in a conversation with Izroth and Mirage for a while, a look of certainty seemed to flash within Robinarzin's eyes. While there was still a bit of hesitation, he no longer had the luxury of delaying the matter any further. He had made his choice.
"I am not Robinarzin, vice-leader of the Silver Hawks Merchants Caravan. My full name is Robinarzin Tempest. I am the second prince of the kingdom Tempest."
'Just as I thought...'
The Truth Seeker Gem was a highly guarded and strictly circulated resource of the Tempest royal family. They would never allow it to fall into the hands of some nobody.
From what Izroth knew, Tempest was enemies with both Amaharpe and Proximus! So then, what was its second prince doing within Proximus borders? More importantly, why was there a Crimson Corps Guards trainee candidate, an individual loyal to Amaharpe, traveling with him?
Just when Izroth thought that he had a general idea of what was going on, he had this dropped in front of him. But, if what Robinarzin said was true, then...
'This complicates things.'