"It appears I'm at a disadvantage as you've heard much about me and yet, I know so little about you." Izroth said.
"Surely you jest. Listening and experiencing firsthand are two separate matters. I am sure that we will get to know each other very well and sooner than you expect. Though I must confess, I am not that interesting of a person." Worldly Skies replied.
"Being too humble can be a bad thing. I wouldn't call someone able to craft grade three pills at this point in time, uninteresting. Think about how the members of your Fireheart Apothecary Society would feel if they heard you speak such words." Izroth stated.
Worldly Skies narrowed her eyes slightly as a small smile appeared on her face.
"It seems that Xing Bai failed to mention that you were so outspoken. But, it is not as if I dislike that type of man." Worldly Skies responded.
"As you've said, I'm sure that we'll get to know each other very well. Shall we?" Izroth said in a carefree tone as he gestured for Worldly Skies to take a seat.
Worldly Skies gave a small nod as she said, "Then, I shall intrude upon your kindness." She gracefully took her seat at the opposite end of the conference table. As for Xing Bai, he stood behind Worldly Skies and remained silent as the two spoke. He could not follow the direction of their conversation, however, he was impressed with Izroth's ability to keep up with Worldly Skies.
Usually, Worldly Skies dominated conversations and others often found it hard not to be steered into the direction she wanted. However, Izroth had not let up and was very quick on his feet to exchange words with her. But, there was one thing bothered Xing Bai and that was the fact that the Pill Emperor, who Izroth was supposed to invite, was nowhere to be found! Could he be running late or simply not bothering to show up?
Izroth and Worldly Skies exchanged some small talk. They jumped from topic to topic, however, the two of them did not let up as neither allowed the other to take full control of the conversation. It was at that moment that Worldly Skies finally decided to shift the subject to something that could ultimately not be avoided.
"Forgive me for being impolite, but I believe there is an important matter that cannot be overlooked." Worldly Skies said in a steady tone.
"Oh? What matter might that be?" Izroth asked even though he already knew exactly what it was that Worldly Skies wanted to say.
"I am sure that you are aware that this meeting was supposed to also include the Pill Emperor. I will be blunt, although I enjoy our conversation, my reason for making this trip was to meet the Pill Emperor. If this is something that cannot be done, then I am afraid that I will have to excuse myself." Worldly Skies spoke in a calm tone.
'Oh? It looks as if she's finally run out of patience. However, she's a bit tricky to read in this type of relaxed environment. Then, should I take that path?'
"You seem anxious." Izroth said with a carefree smile on his face.
"Anxious? Here I thought you were beginning to understand me, Izroth. I simply have more important things to do than to be kept waiting. Could it be that you wish for me to devalue my time?" Worldly Skies stated.
"I wouldn't dream of it." Izroth said in a nonchalant manner as he stood up from his seat.
He then continued, "You wish to meet the Pill Emperor? Then, you shall meet him."
Worldly Skies was a little taken aback at Izroth's response. Could it be that she was mistaken in her original assumption?
Worldly Skies stood up from her seat as she followed after Izroth along with Xing Bai.
A few moments later, Izroth, Worldly Skies, and Xing Bai arrived inside of the pill crafting room located in the Mystical Realm Palace.
Xing Bai was in a state of awe as his eyes darted around the pill crafting room. The room they stepped into was the dream of every Apothecary within RML!
"Amazing...!" Xing Bai could not help but let that word escape from his mouth.
Worldly Skies was also pleasantly surprised by the pill crafting room. She did not expect the Mystical Realm Palace to have a place like this.
"Your good fortune knows no bounds. I must admit, I am quite envious." Worldly Skies sighed softly.
The pill crafting room in the Mystical Realm Palace was even better than those rooms in the official Apothecary building. This was due to the fact that Izroth splurged when it came to building the pill crafting room. Since he knew it was something he would be using long term, he was not afraid to pour gold coins into making his life easier. Besides, he if needed anything else, he could always add it at a later date.
"My luck happens to be quite good, that's all." Izroth responded.
"Being too humble can be a bad thing." Worldly Skies said as she turned Izroth's own words against him. This caused Izroth to give an amused smile in return.
After Worldly Skies and Xing Bai's initial excitement calmed down, they looked towards Izroth as if they were waiting for him to call out the Pill Emperor. However, Izroth had something else in mind.
Out of nowhere, Izroth removed a batch of ingredients and set them on one of the nearby prep tables.
"This is..." Worldly Skies and Xing Bai immediately recognized the ingredients Izroth set out. They were the same exact ingredients provided at the Apothecary aptitude test!
"What's the meaning of this?" Xing Bai asked curiously.
"I'm curious. What grade pill did the two of you create during the Apothecary aptitude test?" Izroth asked.
Worldly Skies and Xing Bai did not understand what Izroth had hoped to accomplish, however, they decided to show him some face and go along with him for the time being.
"I crafted one of the grade one pill recipes that were provided for the examine. I passed it on my first try by the way." Xing Bai said with a hint of pride on his face. Many individuals were unable to even craft a grade one pill even with the pill recipe and instructions. Those who did manage to pass usually did not do so until the second or third and final time.
For those who did not pass the Apothecary aptitude test after the third time, they could only choose another profession and would never be able to become an Apothecary.
Worldly Skies held up two fingers as she said, "Grade two."
Xing Bai sighed and shook his head as his confidence was immediately splashed with a wave of cold water. He had forgotten for a moment just who he tried to compete with for the best aptitude test. While he was one of the top apothecaries in the Fireheart Apothecary Society, he was still a far cry from being on the same level as Worldly Skies.
Izroth was secretly amazed by the fact that Worldly Skies was able to successfully craft a grade two pill. One had to know that the Apothecary aptitude test only provided players with grade one pill recipes. This meant that just like Izroth, Worldly Skies had created her own unique pill!
"Do you know what grade pill the Pill Emperor crafted?" Izroth asked in a calm tone.
"From the pills Xing Bai has shown me, the Pill Emperor should have had the ability to craft a grade two pill." Worldly Skies answered.
"I'm afraid you're mistaken." Izroth replied.
Worldly Skies and Xing Bai were stunned. The Pill Emperor failed to craft a grade two pill? If so, then that meant that he must have only been able to craft a grade one pill! Maybe he was trying to hide his talent at the time? However, that would not make any sense since he had no reason to do so. But, if that was the case, then did that not mean that Worldly Skies was superior to the Pill Emperor?
"Could it be that the Pill Emperor lacked the proper fortune during his aptitude test and crafted a grade one pill?" Worldly Skies questioned.
Izroth shook his head and held up three fingers as he said, "The Pill Emperor did not craft a grade one nor a grade two pill, but a grade three pill."
"Impossible!" Xing Bai blurted out without thinking. However, he did not regret his word choice. It was impossible to create a grade three pill during the Apothecary aptitude test. Even Worldly Skies could only create a grade two pill after a mountain of effort and perseverance. Not to mention, there was one glaring flaw that could not be ignored.
Worldly Skies gave an amused smile as she said, "Xing Bai is correct. It is impossible. The cauldron made available for the aptitude test can only craft grade one and grade two pills. Excuse my poor choice of words, but what you are saying is complete nonsense. Your sense of humor is truly boundless."
There were just too many things wrong with that statement. For one, the ingredients provided were all low-quality reagents. Creating a grade two pill could already be considered a miracle, however, creating a grade three pill was an impossibility.
"Then, would you like to have a friendly wager?" Izroth asked with a carefree smile on his face.
"Wager? Amusing. What did you have in mind?" Worldly Skies asked. She was never one to back down from a wager, therefore, as long as it was something reasonable she did not mind participating.
"I am also an Apothecary. Since I have a close relationship with the Pill Emperor, I was taught a thing or two. If I can create a grade three pill using nothing but the ingredients on this table, I want you and the entire Fireheart Apothecary Society to follow me. Of course, you won't be treated poorly." Izroth said in a calm tone.
Worldly Skies narrowed her eyes and the smile that was on her face disappeared as a serious look appeared in her eyes.
"Your sense of humor is growing dull, Izroth. Tell me, what can you possibly offer that can compare to my Fireheart Apothecary Society? Depending on your answer, you may have to experience my unpleasant side." Worldly Skies said in a slightly cold tone.
Xing Bai felt cold sweats trickle down his back. This was the first time he had seen Worldly Skies serious outside of crafting pills. He inwardly sighed and became a bit dejected. He did not think that Izroth would be so bold and arrogant before Worldly Skies. It appeared that he had made a small error in the judgment of Izroth's character. He had to find a way to, at the very least, salvage their current relationship and stay on friendly terms.
But, just as Xing Bai was about to speak, he choked on his words and became speechless after hearing what Izroth said next.
"You're standing in it. If I fail to produce a grade three pill after one attempt, I will hand over complete ownership of the Mystical Realm Palace and all of its profits to the Fireheart Apothecary Society. What do you think, is this enough?" Izroth said without any hesitation whatsoever.
Worldly Skies was dumbfounded. She actually lost her composure for a brief moment. What a bold wager! Offering the first shop in RML was something that she could not ignore. There was something gnawing away at her, but she could not put her finger on it. A single try? What made him so confident?
However, in the end, Worldly Skies was unable to give up such a prime opportunity.
"Alright, I accept your wager. If you can create a grade three pill using nothing but the same low-quality ingredients that were provided during the Apothecary aptitude test, then I will admit defeat. However, should you fail, I hope that you will remember your promise." Worldly Skies said. Although she was unable to own property in Amaharpe at the moment, she would find a way to solve that problem after she obtained the Mystical Realm Palace.
After all, she did not truly believe that Izroth was capable of crafting a grade three pill with those mediocre ingredients.
"I always keep my word. I just hope that Pill Emperor Worldly Skies can keep her word as well." Izroth stated with a calm expression.
However, although his expression was calm on the outside, he was smiling on the inside. Everything had gone just as he had hoped it would. Now, all that was left was to take the final step.
'Fireheart Apothecary Society, acquiring you will be my first step.'