〈System Alert: You have received a friend request from Menerva. (Note: "People say the setting sun marks the edge of the sky.") Do you wish to accept?〉
〈System Alert: You have added Menerva as a friend!〉
〈System Alert: You have sent a message to Player Menerva, "I look towards the edge of the sky, but cannot see my home."〉
'Should I add a third floor to the Mystical Realm Palace and start to make preparations for the Fireheart Apothecary Society? There's also this armor... It stands out a bit too much in its current state. I'll have to visit a tailor or check the auction house to purchase and copy the appearance of some special clothing.'
Izroth would rather not deal with the constant stares or questions about how he managed to come by his armor, therefore, he needed a different appearance to copy, at the very least, while he was within a place with high player traffic such as the capital city of Amaharpe.
After reading through the rest of his messages, Izroth found that most of them were from Mirage and Valentine. As for the contents of their messages... Valentine was basically ranting non-stop about his new understanding of magic within RML. However, Izroth understood that he was most likely the only player Valentine knew who had enough knowledge about magic to keep up in a conversation with him. Therefore, Izroth did not blame him for being a bit too enthusiastic.
When it came to Mirage, however, she wanted to drag Izroth away on a quest. She also sent him a barrage of pouting faces and accused him of ignoring her since it showed that he was online but not responding to her messages.
Izroth shook his head inwardly as he sent replies to both Mirage and Valentine. After doing so, he turned his attention to the message he received from the seventh captain of Blue Oasis, Niflheim.
'They're moving the date of the raid to tomorrow? It's sooner than I expected...'
Originally, Izroth wanted to spend a few days increasing the strength of his Boundless Emperor Void Perfection skill, as well as, his Apparel of Insatiable Transcendence. He also had to make a trip to Everpeak to visit Kryxelsia in order to have his mana pool fixed after overexerting it in the selection. After all, he could not simply depend on potions alone to regain his lost MP.
There was also the task of restocking the pill inventory of the Mystical Realm Palace, making the proper preparations for the raid that was tomorrow, reconfirming that everyone that he invited to the raid party could still make it after the sudden date change, stopping by the auction house to purchase items for his Apparel of Insatiable Transcendence, and this was only the beginning of the list.
In the end, Izroth was only one person and could not be in two places at once. With his current schedule, he rarely had any free time in between dealing with all the miscellaneous tasks. Between trying to increase his strength, running the Mystical Realm Palace, and dealing with whatever else crept up on him was too bothersome.
'I plan on handing the matters of pill crafting over to Worldly Skies and the Fireheart Apothecary Society. However, there's still managing the Mystical Realm Palace and handling other menial tasks. When it comes to the Mystical Realm Palace, it's possible that person would definitely not pass up the opportunity to manage it. As for the miscellaneous tasks... It looks like I'll no choice but to find an assistant.'
Izroth needed an assistant in both RML and the real world. However, he needed someone trustworthy which was the most difficult part since he did not know anyone in the real world who fit the criteria. It appeared as if he would have to go through other channels to find a trustworthy assistant. As for Zi Yi, Izroth ruled her out.
In the end, Zi Yi seemed to come from a family of standing that did not lack wealth. While it was alright for him to request her assistance when it came to short term matters, it was not a long term solution. Not to mention, he could already foresee the headache of having to listen to Mariposa's words for daring to make her younger sister into a mere assistant to handle menial tasks.
As Izroth was sorting his thoughts and coming up with a suitable plan in his mind, he suddenly received a response from the player he had just added as a friend a few moments ago. He did not expect to get a reply so swiftly.
〈System Alert: Player Menerva has requested a voice chat!〉
〈System Alert: Due to player privacy, your voice chat was automatically set to restricted use. Do you wish to fully activate it and continue?〉
'I had nearly forgotten about this feature.'
In RML, the long-range system voice chat was set to restricted by default. If a player wanted to use the voice chat function over long-range, they simply had to change the privacy settings from restricted to active using their system interface. Izroth, of course, accepted the change and his voice chat immediately switched from restricted to active after doing so.
〈System Alert: Do you wish to accept the incoming voice chat from Player Menerva?〉
Izroth found it somewhat strange that someone he had never met before sent him a friend request and then almost instantly requested to a voice chat after he accepted. There was not even a proper introduction or explanation as to why they wanted to have a conversation. However, since he had already accepted their friend request, Izroth decided to see things through to the end.
'Let's see what your intentions are.'
"Accept it." Izroth said as he heard the sound of a small bell. It was the noise the system made after a player had successfully started a voice chat.
〈System Alert: You have started a voice chat with Player Menerva! To end the voice chat at any time, simply say "Terminate Voice Chat" or open up the player system interface and manually end the call.〉
At first, there was silence. But, a few seconds later, a soft yet steady and calm voice seemed to sound off within Izroth's mind. Surprisingly, it was the voice of a young woman!
[Voice Chat] Menerva, "The words of Li Gou is not keened by many. You are quite well-read, sir."
Sir? It had been a while since Izroth had someone speak to him in an overly formal way.
[Voice Chat] Izroth, "I just happened to come across it during some casual reading. I consider knowledge to be a fortune of its own with a priceless value attached to it."
Although Izroth's words sounded humble, he actually did come across it by chance while casually searching up the history of this world on his phone. He really did just happen to come across it!
[Voice Chat] Menerva, "Your words are full of vibrant wisdom. Knowledge is the greatest gift to ever be bestowed upon us. Forgive me for the late introduction. Allow me to properly introduce myself. I am called Menerva. As for your identity, I have already heard much about you, sir."
[Voice Chat] Izroth, "You can drop the sir. I've never been one to care much for such tiring formal conversations."
Izroth spoke in a carefree and unhurried manner. However, his words seemed to have caught Menerva off guard as she fell quiet. Since Izroth insisted, she found no reason to turn down his good intentions.
[Voice Chat] Menerva, "Since you say that it is alright, I will take your good intentions to heart."
[Voice Chat] Izroth, "Now that that's out of the way, I have to say... I do not recall ever meeting someone with your name, therefore, I'll be blunt. For what reason did you contact me?"
Izroth wasted no time getting straight to the point of the matter. Menerva was a complete stranger to him and he was certain that their paths had never crossed. How could he not hold any suspicions or doubts whatsoever towards that kind of person with an unknown background?
Not to mention, Izroth was not oblivious when it came to his own rising fame within RML. Just being the owner of the Mystical Realm Palace, the first player-owned store, was enough for his name to be well known. There were all kinds of venomous snakes out there who were undoubtedly eyeing his Mystical Realm Palace or even the recipe for the pills sold inside of the shop.
[Voice Chat] Menerva, "I am glad to see that your words are not minced. Then, I too, shall not sneak around my words. I would like to extend a personal invitation to you on behalf of the Headhunter Syndicate and the guild leader, Vault. I hope that you can set aside some time tomorrow and grace us with your presence, Izroth. Or, would you prefer to be called Pill Emperor?"
Izroth was a little surprised when he heard those words leave Menerva's mouth, however, he did not allow for it to reveal itself through his voice. Although Izroth did not go out of his way to hide his identity as the Pill Emperor, there was only a hand full of people who knew that he was, in fact, the mysterious Pill Emperor. But, what really stood out was that she seemed to be someone from the Headhunter Syndicate!
Izroth's interaction with the Headhunter Syndicate was brief and he had only met some of their members back in the Towering Oak Forest when he first ran into Zi Yi and Guan Yu. After seeing the shameless behavior of their members, Izroth did not have a good first impression of the Headhunter Syndicate. But, Izroth did not judge them too harshly based on this fact alone. After all, there were bad seeds planted among even the most fertile of fields.
However, the rumors about them were consistent in that their actions were often overbearing, domineering, and ruthless. They were the new rising stars of RML and had replaced Sage Falls within the top ten guild rankings. At the moment, when it came to the pure quantity of members, the Headhunter Syndicate was well ahead of the other top guilds making them a force to be reckoned with. The rumors went that they rose to this position in such a short span of time through vicious methods and the leadership of their guild leader, Vault.
Izroth was no saint and so he did not care what actions the Headhunter Syndicate took to rise up in power. In the end, it was common knowledge that the greatest of kingdoms were built upon the blood and the countless lives of many others. As long as they understood that he had a bottom line that should not be crossed, there would be no problems. Otherwise, it would not matter if the Headhunter Syndicate was ten times stronger, he would make sure they knew the price of standing on his path.
'Headhunter Syndicate... Are they eyeing my Mystical Realm Palace? Or, are they attempting to draw me over to their side? Either way, it would be better to cut these troubles at its roots. Let's see what this Headhunter Syndicate's intentions are. As for this girl... Should I test her a bit?'
[Voice Chat] Menerva, "There is no need to worry. I am the only one who knows of your identity as the Pill Emperor within the Headhunter Syndicate. Not even the guild leader himself knows this."
Menerva took Izroth's momentary silence as becoming cautious against her and further putting up his guard in the process, therefore, she immediately tried to smooth things over.
[Voice Chat] Izroth, "I don't mind taking a small trip, however, tomorrow is not a good time. I'll pay a visit two days from now. You can message me the time and place. As for the other topic at hand... You sound quite confident that I'm this so-called Pill Emperor. Tell me, what proof do you have?"
Menerva was taken aback by Izroth's reply. Truthfully, she did not think that she would get him to agree to a meeting so quickly. She was even ready to entice him with some gifts she had prepared beforehand.
After all, even if Izroth did not lack money due to the revenue generated by his shop, that did not mean that he could freely purchase rare quality items. The vast majority of rare items and materials were still currently monopolized by the top guilds or the big guilds within RML.