The guard sighed as he could tell from their reaction that this truly was their first time visiting Everpeak. He also knew that they must not be from Proximus. After all, unless they had been living under a rock this entire time, they should have known that they would not be granted access into a major city like Everpeak without an entry scroll.
"Those without an entry scroll or a proper identification document are not allowed to set foot into the city of Everpeak. Since you don't seem to be from Proximus, I can forgive you for wasting my time. However, I'll have to ask that you leave immediately as you're delaying others who seek entry into the city." The guard said.
One could tell from the guard's tone of voice that he found their ignorance irritating. Gate duty was already enough of a hassle without having to deal with adventurers, and so he was practically telling them to get lost!
Mirage frowned and grumbled, "He doesn't have to be so rude about it."
'This is troublesome.'
Robin nor Jyuuriel had given them any kind of official document or entry scroll that would allow them to enter into Everpeak. However, when he thought about how one needed an official recommendation letter to enter into the capital city Amaharpe, it made sense. But, where were they supposed to obtain an entry scroll?
"How we can acquire an entry scroll?" Izroth asked. Of course, he would not simply leave after being turned down. To complete the first part of the quest, they had to step inside of Everpeak. Not to mention they had to meet with the Wiseman of Everpeak once they were inside. Therefore, it was not an option to turn around when they had already come this far.
The guard seemed annoyed by Izroth's persistence and he was not the only one. There were some small merchant caravans and people who had traveled from all over to reach this place. They wanted to hurry up inside and relax after a long journey and there seemed to be some difficulties at the front of the line. How could they not be frustrated?
"Hey, what's taking so long?!"
"Move it already! If you don't have a document then get out of the way!"
"We're tired! Hey guard, what are you doing up there?! Hurry up and shoo them away!"
The people behind Izroth and his party were beginning to grow impatient as they started to get a bit rowdy.
"These guys...!" Mirage scowled. What was their problem? This was their first time coming to this place so, of course, it would take them a bit longer. Was everyone in Proximus so impatient and rude?!
"What a rowdy bunch! If anyone has a problem with us taking our time then you're welcome to take it up with me!" Omega roared as he turned towards the people who had begun to hurl insults at them.
Qi Jiguang set his hand on Omega's shoulder and said, "Calm down."
"We don't want to cause a scene here. Remember, we're not in Amaharpe. They may handle things a bit differently here." Qi Jiguang stated as he cut Omega off mid-sentence.
"Fine, I got it. Those guys aren't even worth it anyway." Omega said in a slightly frustrated manner.
The guard's facial expression darkened as he spoke in a mocking tone, "Sure, I know where you can get one. You just have to put in for an official document to the capital city. After you pay a small fee, you'll receive your official entry scroll in, let's see... Ah yes, you'll receive in five to six days. I may be able to put in a good word for you to get it in four days, for a small personal fee of course."
"Five to six days?!" Mirage exclaimed. By the time they received their entry scrolls, it would be too late and the quest would be considered a failure. If that happened, the consequences would be catastrophic!
Izroth was no fool. He could see that this guard was intentionally making things difficult for them. For what reasons? He did not know. However, there was definitely something he was not telling them.
Also, he was clearly trying to extort them. He may be able to put in a good word? He was a gate guard for crying out loud. What kind of good word could he put in that would make any difference?
"Surely, there must be a faster way to obtain an entry scroll. Is it possible to get one here in Everpeak?" Midnight inquired.
The guard was just about to dismiss Midnight, however, an idea suddenly formed in his mind. They wanted to enter the city so badly? Fine, then he had the perfect solution when it came to dealing with stubborn adventures.
"Since I'm in a good mood today, I'll let you in on a little secret. There's another way to enter into Everpeak without an entry scroll or any documentation. However, my memory seems to be a bit fuzzy..." The guard said with a smirk on his face. He looked as if he was trying really hard to think, but he glanced out the corner of his eye with one of his hands held out.
"You-" Mirage wanted nothing more than to strangle this guard. Between the guard and the people behind them screaming insults, she was willing to take her anger out on anything at this point.
Izroth held his hand up to stop Mirage. When Mirage turned to look in his direction as if she had been wronged, she saw a carefree smile on Izroth's face. This caused Mirage to let out a deep sigh and throw her hands up helplessly.
"We'll take our leave." Izroth stated. However, when those words left his mouth everyone was speechless. They were going to leave just like that? What about the quest? Were they supposed to just simply abandon it?
"Though, I hope a mere gate guard can face the consequences for turning away guests of the Wiseman of Everpeak." Izroth said with a sharp look in his eyes.
The people behind Izroth and his party who were just hurling insults moments ago went quiet when they heard those words. They started to talk amongst themselves in a nervous manner.
"Guests of the Wiseman? Is he serious?"
"No way! I think... Probably... Maybe he wasn't paying attention to us?"
"Fool, if they really are guests of the Wiseman then we're finished in Everpeak! Even the lord of this city has to show respect to the Wiseman."
The crowd was growing uneasy and restless. Had they just offended someone they shouldn't have?
The guard was shocked by Izroth's words and it could be clearly seen by his facial expression. However, he quickly regained himself and a grin found its way onto his face. How could this group of inexperienced adventurers possibly be associated with a great figure like the Wiseman? They were obviously lying!
"Hah, you expect me to believe a group of novice adventurers like yourselves are guests of the Wiseman? Keep dreaming!" The guard said in a confident tone.
All of a sudden, a small object flew at the guard. He instinctively caught it in his hand, however, he was furious that an object had just been thrown at him without warning. But, just as he was ready to scream out in rage, he caught a glimpse of the object from out the corner of his eyes. Out of curiosity, he looked down at the object in his hand.
When the guard saw the object, his facial expression went from anger, to shock, and finally to fear.
"That's a small gift we acquired for the Wiseman on our way over. Be sure to inform the Wiseman that you turned us away at the gate when you deliver it to them. Let's go." Izroth said as he turned and walked away from the gate.
Although everyone was confused by Izroth's actions and words, they knew that there was a method to his madness. Therefore, they decided to follow his lead and started to walk away from the gate.
However, before they could get far a voice called out to them with a tone of panic present to it.
"Benefactors, wait! Please wait!" The voice belonged to none other than the guard who had just been giving Izroth and his party a hard time. The guard quickly chased after the group as he moved in front of them with a large smile on his face.
"I truly had no idea that I was dealing with guests of the Wiseman. I seek your forgiveness for my ignorance, honored benefactors. You may, of course, enter into the city. I only ask that you find it in your honorable hearts to not mention this small and unfortunate incident to the Wiseman." The guard said in a rushed voice as if he were afraid Izroth and the others would leave before he finished. He made sure to keep a smiling face the entire time he spoke.
How disgusting! That was the only thought that crossed Mirage's mind at that moment. He had been rude from the moment they met and now his personality had taken a full 180-degree turn. She did not know what Izroth did to make that guard change his attitude so fast, but she definitely enjoyed seeing how panicked the guard had become.
"Since I'm in a good mood today, I won't mention this matter. However, don't blame me for what happens if we're late meeting with the Wiseman because of your actions." Izroth said as if hinting something to the guard.
The guard swiftly picked up on Izroth's intentions as he handed the small object back to Izroth and said, "I will gladly arrange entry scrolls for all of you. Free of charge, of course."
The small object had started to cause a strange sharp pain to shoot up his arm the longer he held it, therefore, the guard made sure to promptly return it to Izroth.
The guard ran off to fetch the entry scrolls, not daring to complain about the pain he had just experienced. When he left, everyone looked as Izroth with a dumbfounded expression.
Mirage couldn't help but ask, "How did you do it?" While it was true that they were technically guests of the Wiseman, the guard did not believe them. But, a few seconds later, that same guard was practically begging them to enter into Everpeak!
"With a little help." Izroth said as he held up the small object that he originally tossed over to the guard. It was the insignia that he received after defeating Zephyr. The First Sword of the Warpath Blade was a famous figure who was one of the strongest individuals within the Tiger's Mouth. An adventurer having his insignia in their possession meant only one thing, they had taken it by force!
The guard returned around thirty seconds later with six scrolls in his hand. Each scroll had the symbol of a green leaf on the front with an official stamp next to it. He personally handed Izroth and his party members one entry scroll.
"Your skill with the sword must be unparalleled throughout the lands, honored benefactor. To hold the insignia of the First Sword without experiencing any pain, truly your might is boundless and your bravery is-" The guard was showering Izroth with praise as if to get on his good side, however, he was quickly interrupted.
"The Wiseman has already waited long enough. Do you wish to delay us even further than you already have?" Mirage said in a cold voice. She did not want to let Izroth have all the fun, after all, she had to vent some of her anger. However, while it was fun and refreshing for her, it was a frightening experience for the guard.
"No, of course, that wasn't my intention! Please, have a safe journey." The guard said in a fearful tone as he bowed in a respectful manner to send Izroth's party on their way.
Mirage smirked with a look of victory on her face. How refreshing!
Izroth and his party stepped through the gates as their entire surroundings completely changed! At the same time, they were immediately greeted by two system alerts.
〈System Alert: You have entered «Everpeak».〉
〈System Alert: 3/3 Reach the city of Everpeak located inside of Proximus territory.〉
They had finally stepped foot into the city of Everpeak and completed the first part of their quest. But, would meeting the Wiseman of Everpeak truly go as smooth as it appeared to be?