Originally, Izroth planned to entrust the crafting of pills for the Mystical Realm Palace to the Sleeping Gardenia's Apothecary branch. However, after a brief discussion with one another, surprisingly Mariposa was the one who backed out of that particular arrangement.
In the end, Mariposa decided that the risk of the pill recipes leaking was too huge if it was left to Sleeping Gardenia's Apothecary branch. While she trusted the members of her guild, security was far from perfect.
After all, it was not uncommon for top guilds to place spies in other top guilds. If that kind of information was leaked, then it would put Sleeping Gardenia in an unfavorable position where they would be pressured from all sides.
Although Mariposa was tempted to still accept and have her guild learn the recipes, she understood what was best in the long term. That's why she suggested that Izroth locate his own people that he could trust to craft the pills. People who were not associated with any of the top guilds and their constant power struggles.
Of course, Izroth was not concerned about the recipes being leaked. After all, he had a multitude of pill recipes at his disposal. Many of which made the current pills he had already crafted look like trash in comparison. However, since it was something that he planned on doing eventually, he decided to take Mariposa's advice.
Xing Bai was left dumbfounded. Friendly wager? Both parties were putting everything on the line! If Izroth won then the entire Fireheart Apothecary Society would have to follow him! As for Worldly Skies, she would acquire the Mystical Realm Palace, as well as, all of its profits. One had to know just how challenging it was obtaining property within a capital city.
But, the Mystical Realm Palace was not in just any location. It was at a premium location that even those top guilds would salivate over if they had the chance to obtain it.
However, there was just one problem that remained. Could either side hold up to their part of the wager?
It was not that Xing Bai doubted Worldly Skies, it was just that the members of the Fireheart Apothecary Society may not necessarily want to stay if Worldly Skies had to forfeit the leadership role.
"H-" Xing Bai was about to speak but was swiftly interrupted by Worldly Skies.
"I know what you want to say, Xing Bai. Do not worry, I have no plans that involve forcing anyone to stay in my Fireheart Apothecary Society. Of course, I hope that you can understand that everyone has their own free will to choose whether to stay or not, Izroth. While I cannot hand you any insurances that the members of the Fireheart Apothecary Society will be prepared to do so, you have my word that I will keep my promise." Worldly Skies spoke in a calm and steady tone.
"Indeed, everyone must make their own choice. I won't hold it against Pill Emperor Worldly Skies." Izroth said with a carefree smile on his face. In the end, he did not plan on holding anyone against their will. He knew that individuals acquired that way would never truly give it their best effort. Besides, he wanted the Fireheart Apothecary Society dedication to the Apothecary profession.
He would make sure that the members who decided to follow him would not regret it. As for those who did not, in the end, it would be their own loss and nothing that he would lose any sleep over.
Xing Bai was still about to protest, however, he stopped when he saw that glaring look in Worldly Skies' eyes.
"Xing Bai, when is it that you started to have such little faith in me? Are you admitting that the Pill Emperor's skills are so much greater than mine that I stand no chance?" Worldly Skies questioned. If Xing Bai really did want her to back down, then that was the same as admitting that she was afraid that the Pill Emperor's skills were above her own.
Since she was only able to create a grade two pill during the Apothecary aptitude test no matter how much she pondered, she did not believe that the Pill Emperor, yet alone Izroth, would be capable of creating a grade three pill. While she did not hold pride for a multitude of things, she more than enough made up for it with pride in her craft.
Xing Bai took a moment to calm himself as he then released a helpless sigh and replied, "You're right, I apologize. I spoke without thinking. Just know that I will follow you no matter what you decide." Xing Bai no longer tried to prevent Worldly Skies from accepting the wager. Whatever the results turned out to be he would not turn his back on a comrade.
Xing Bai felt that maybe he was being a bit too worrisome. What were the chances of creating a grade three pill with those low-quality ingredients? Infinitely close to zero! In fact, it may even be zero! This was a huge chance for their Fireheart Apothecary Society and the odds were in their favor. They would be fools to give up something like this.
But, no matter how much Xing Bai tried to convince himself, there was still this nagging feeling eating away at him inside. He understood that Izroth was no fool and this is what troubled him the most.
Izroth inwardly nodded his head in approval. He could tell that Xing Bai was not simply putting on a show. Xing Bai truly meant what it was he said and this left a good impression of him in Izroth's mind.
Worldly Skies walked over towards the table that Izroth put the materials on and carefully checked over the ingredients one at a time. She wanted to make sure that Izroth did not have any ingredients that were not provided during the Apothecary aptitude test. Even if Worldly Skies did not think that he was a bad person with ill intentions, it was always better to be safe than sorry.
Izroth did not mind Worldly Skies going over the reagents. Only a fool would neglect to do so when there was so much at stake.
Worldly Skies gave a nod of approval as she finished her examination of the ingredients.
"Everything seems to be in order. Now that the matter is settled, shall we begin?" Worldly Skies said as she narrowed her eyes in a slight manner. It was finally time for her to find out whether Izroth was a fool or actually had the skill set to back up his bold claim.
Izroth removed the Dark Abyssal Cauldron from his inventory and placed it at the center of the room. When he summoned the cauldron, Worldly Skies and Xing Bai eyes widened in shock. He even had his own cauldron! But, with the revenue being generated by the Mystical Realm Palace, this was not the shocking part. What shocked them was that they had never seen such a domineering cauldron! What kind of cauldron was that?
"There's a strong medicinal scent that lingers within that cauldron. Just how many pills have been crafted using that thing?" Xing Bai said as he felt shivers go down his spine.
Worldly Skies remained silent as she closely and carefully observed Izroth's every move to make sure there were no suspicious activities. When that medicinal scent drifted by her nose, Worldly Skies knew that the cauldron Izroth had just summoned was one that had crafted hundreds... No, maybe even thousands of pills!
However, to craft so many pills and leave behind that kind of medicinal scent, it could only be grade two or higher pills. It was at that moment Worldly Skies knew without a doubt that Izroth was, in fact, the mysterious Pill Emperor. Otherwise, how could he possibly have that kind of monstrous cauldron and the powerful medicinal scent that was attached to it?
But, even if she knew this Worldly Skies had no intentions of calling off the wager. A part of her was full of curiosity. Was it true? Did the Pill Emperor really manage to create a grade three pill using those mediocre low-quality ingredients?
Worldly Skies could feel her heartbeat increasing as Izroth began to heat the cauldron and a roaring flame erupted from within as it reached its maximum temperature.
"B-ranked fire core...!" Worldly Skies said in a tone of shock as those words left her mouth before she even realized it.
"B-ranked? How is this possible? Even we've only managed to obtain a C-ranked fire core and that was a headache to acquire." Xing Bai commented with a sigh. Was it even possible to have so much fortune trapped inside of one person? Shouldn't that kind of fortune be shared with others?!
However, just as Worldly Skies and Xing Bai were in awe of Izroth's cauldron and fire core, what he did next nearly caused them to faint from pure shock.
The first ingredient Izroth tossed into the cauldron was an Isolated Water Droplet.
What an amateur and ignorant move! That was the first thought that went through Worldly Skies and Xing Bai's minds. The Isolated Water Droplet acted as a purifying agent, therefore, adding it in as the first ingredient had absolutely no benefits as there were no other reagents present for it to purify. In conclusion, it was a useless action!
"Is this person truly the Pill Emperor?" Worldly Skies muttered to herself with a frown as doubt began to form in her mind.
Xing Bai shook his head and said, "It looks like I was really worried for nothing. Adding an Isolated Water Droplet as the first ingredient to any pill recipe is bound to end in failure as it serves no purpose. Even the most amateur of apothecaries know this basic information."
In less than a single breath, Izroth dropped the temperature of the cauldron and added the Yellow Roots. Unlike like time where he had to wait five minutes before increasing the cauldron temperature and adding in the Oak Treant Powder, thanks to the amazing temperature control of the Dark Abyssal Cauldron, he was able to cut that time down to a handful of seconds.
"What is he doing adding Yellow Roots and Oak Treant Powder to the same pill? Is he trying to explode his own cauldron?" Xing Bai stated in a voice that carried disbelief. One had to know that it was the equivalent of mixing together fire and water, it was futile!
However, unlike Xing Bai who clearly voiced his complaints of Izroth's obvious lack of knowledge of proper Apothecary skills, Worldly Skies suddenly felt a sense of overwhelming pressure. What was with this bizarre pill crafting method? Rising the temperature to extreme levels and then dropping it to a chilling temperature, adding in ingredients that are not supposed to mix with one another, the weird order in which actions were being performed.
Worldly Skies knew that everything Izroth did was fundamentally wrong on so many levels and yet, she was shaken to her very core. As she truly pondered the effects of each ingredient and pieced a few things together, she started to see that what she previously thought was impossible became possible in theory. Not to mention, those ingredients were the exact same used in the first grade three pill to make its appearance in RML, the Five Cycles Pill.
"Is it possible? Can he really pull it off?" Worldly Skies said to herself as she was overcome with a sense of anticipation. However, before she knew it, a voice traveled to her ears.
"It's finished." Izroth said as he stood before the cauldron with a calm expression on his face. He had already added in the last two ingredients to the Five Cycles Pill in that short period of time. At the same time, the cauldron halted its violent shaking as it returned to a calm state.
"So fast?!?" Worldly Skies exclaimed. It had not even been ten seconds! How could anyone be that fast? Impossible! Absolutely impossible! However, it had happened right before her eyes. There were no tricks involved and the smell that filled the room was unmistakably one that belonged to that of a freshly crafted grade three pill. Without a doubt, Izroth had just successfully crafted a grade three pill!
"That's- T-that's...! Grade three, it's really grade three!" Xing Bai could barely speak as his heart nearly jumped out of its chest due to pure shock.
The two apothecaries from the Fireheart Apothecary Society remained stunned and speechless as three grade three pills hovered above the Dark Abyssal Cauldron.
Learned a thing or two? What a ridiculous statement! This person before them, Izroth, was without a doubt at least a grade three Apothecary. If that was the case, then the identity of the Pill Emperor was as clear as day.
Worldly Skies shook her head as she released a helpless sigh and said, "It appears we have been tricked, Xing Bai."
But, instead of being outraged or upset at the fact that she had been tricked, there was a smile of intrigue that formed on Worldly Skies lips.
"However, a deal is a deal. Apothecary Izroth, I hope that you will treat me and my Apothecary Society well. From now on, we will be in your care." Worldly Skies said in a respectful manner.