"I did not think that you would personally pay us visit... Captain Minus of Blue Oasis. I assume this visit is not without purpose, correct?" Ewan said in a relaxed and calm tone.
"Of course, I would not waste my time if it were a small matter. The guild leader of Cross Haven has a unique talent to see far ahead, therefore-" Minus responded, but he was quickly cut off by Ewan.
"Alright, there's no need to keep up this act. I heard that you already put on quite the show at the Protectors of Amaharpe event. If you've chosen to come in person, then it must be an important matter. Do not hesitate to speak your mind. After all, you are the sixth great general of our Cross Haven." Ewan said as a small smirk appeared on his face.
When those words left Ewan's mouth, a switch seemed to flip as Minus' entire demeanor changed.
"It's tiring donning the facade of a vengeful idiot all the time. Sometimes, I feel as though I almost forget my actual personality." Minus stated as he released a deep sigh. He appeared to be more calm and calculative than before. There was no malice nor anger in his expression, only a strange calmness.
He then continued, "You're right. The matter this time is not small, so Cross Haven has to act fast. Tomorrow... Blue Oasis will attempt to clear the first raid within RML."
One of the seven Captains of Blue Oasis was actually one of Cross Haven's generals?! If this news was to be leaked, it would cause fear to strike at the heart of the top guilds. While it was not uncommon for there to be spies placed into their guilds by other top guilds, it was restricted to regular members.
For one of Blue Oasis' top members to be a spy... This would be a devastating discovery for those within Blue Oasis.
The moment those words left Minus' mouth, Ewan, Wang Qiang, and Zhang Jie all jumped up from their seats in shock. So this was why Blue Oasis had been so quiet and lying low for so long! They were preparing for a raid! They knew about Blue Oasis discovering a potential territory thanks to Minus, however, it was a well-held secret between very few individuals. Not even all seven captains knew of its specific requirements until just yesterday.
Although Minus had already informed them of this, unfortunately, they were unable to dig up any additional information in time to properly contest the ownership of the territory. But, the raid was a different story altogether. Once Blue Oasis stepped inside the raid for the first time, its location would be broadcast to the entire world! Without a doubt, every single top guild would rush over at full speed. Once that happened, it was only a matter of time before the territory Blue Oasis wanted to claim was leaked out.
After that, even if they did acquire the territory, there would be greedy eyes on them from all sides. This was a dangerous position to be in, but the benefits were too great to pass up for any top guild. If Blue Oasis did not play their hand correctly, then they could suffer huge losses while also becoming public enemy number one.
"Originally, I wanted to wait a bit longer to bring this up, but they've moved the raid up ahead of its initial schedule. Though, there's another reason why I took a big risk coming here. There's a troublesome group that we can't ignore. It's best if you pull them over to our side as quickly as possible, otherwise, this is just a hunch but... We'll definitely lose out." Minus stated.
He then continued, "I'd do so myself, but that would involve me blowing my cover. Not to mention, 'Captain Minus' and that group is not exactly on friendly terms ever since what happened during the Protectors of Amaharpe event. However, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. It may just be enough to create a wedge between that group and Blue Oasis. But, of course, I won't go too far. The instinct of that Niflheim is terrifying. If I overstep too often, he'll surely start to catch on."
Group? What group was there that could possibly catch the attention of someone like Minus? When this thought crossed the minds of everyone present, a look of realization seemed to sink in. To their knowledge, there was one group that immediately came to mind when Minus spoke about not being on friendly terms with them since the event. It had to be that group!
"It's him again. It seems that he truly is the real deal. Your estimations were off, Wang Qiang." Ewan said to himself as a slight smile appeared on his face. The person Ewan was referring to was none other than Izroth. Lately, the fame of this person had been growing faster than he originally anticipated. At first, he wanted to slowly lure Izroth over to the side of his Cross Haven, however, his progress was too fast! Ewan felt that if he waited any longer than he already had, then it would be too late to draw him in.
Wang Qiang furrowed his brows as he responded, "I admit, I didn't expect for him to grow this fast. But, it's not completely out of our reach just yet. There's still a chance to draw him over to our side. After all, even if he is the owner of the Mystical Realm Palace, there are things that money cannot buy. I'm sure you understand where I'm going with this."
"Your evaluation of this Izroth is extremely high if you're willing to make such a suggestion. Though I can't say that I blame you. I've seen his fighting capabilities firsthand back during the event in front of Amaharpe. I have to say... It's been a long time since I've seen such flawless and natural swordsmanship. From what I've witnessed, when it comes to swordsmanship, he's probably on the same level as the sword freak from Fatal Touch." Zhang Jie commented.
"I lack an eye for such a precise measurement of swordsmanship, however, if our own Zhang Jie says so, then it must be true." Minus stated.
"Then, I assume there are no objections as to using that item to win him over?" Ewan asked as he swept his gaze across the room. There were no objections from anyone and they all seemed to agree that, while it was a heavy price, it was worth it in the long run. When it came to the ability to look at the path that lied far ahead, everyone present knew that Ewan would be hard-pressed to find an equal.
"I don't object, but I want to know what actions we'll take if he happens to refuse our offer. If possible, I'd like to not have this person as an enemy of our Cross Haven." Wang Qiang said as he and everyone else looked to Ewan.
"I, also, hope that we do not reach that point. However, as long as he also refuses to join another top guild, then it will not be much of an issue as the balance will remain... For the most part." Ewan stated.
"Now that that's settled... Wang Qiang, how do you suggest we deal with the Blue Oasis situation?" Ewan questioned.
Wang Qiang pondered Ewan's question for a moment before he replied, "If I'm being honest, the chances of our Cross Haven acquiring this territory are too small. We are not as well prepared as Blue Oasis and unless we're willing to start a full out war with them, then there's no possible way to delay their progress. Therefore, we're left with two options."
He then continued, "Our first option is to leak this information to the other top guilds so that Blue Oasis is forced to make some concessions with their territory."
"If we do that, then the territory will be as good as trash. Too many hands in the jar leaves everyone with nothing but crumbs." Minus said.
"Precisely, that's why it will only be a last resort tactic if the second option fails. As for the second option... We form an alliance with Blue Oasis and promise to help protect their territory. In exchange, our Cross Haven will receive some special benefits once the territory is successfully under their control. Even though we won't be owners of the territory, at the very least, we will still benefit greatly in the long run. It will also build a foundation for the later stages of our plans." Wang Qiang explained.
Ewan thought it over briefly as he gave a nod of approval and said, "We'll follow through with the second option. Let's hope that it doesn't come to the first option. I have a feeling that Niflheim will see ahead and know the potential consequences for turning down the second option, so I do not believe that it will be an issue. However, the question is how do we approach Blue Oasis without initially drawing in too much attention to ourselves?"
"You can just leave this part to me." Minus stated in a confident tone as he stood up from his seat and put on a cloak that hid away his features, as well as, his player information.
"I would expect no less from the Ghost Shroud General. I will entrust this matter to you. Deal with it as you see fit and contact us when things are ready." Ewan said. There was no exchange of farewells as Minus took his leave after gaining Ewan's approval.
"It appears that things will start getting busy after today." Zhang Jie commented as he released a small sigh.
"With this war between kingdoms approaching, we have no idea what to expect. We need as many benefits as we can get so that we can be as prepared as possible to face the unknown. We've already sent a few squads to locate Tempest and gather information. We can only hope that they are successful. For now, let's just focus on what's in front of us." Wang Qiang said.
"I agree. I have faith in the members of our Cross Haven. They will surely succeed. Besides, this territory, the upcoming war, I'm sure both of you know..." Ewan stood up front his seat as he began to walk towards the exit of the room.
Just before leaving the room Ewan finished his last few words, "This is only the beginning."
Kryxelsia currently had a blank expression on her face as she examined Izroth.
"Is it that you wish to permanently damage your mana pool? There's even a seal on the Seal of Ten Chakrams that has been broken through unnatural means. If you continue this reckless behavior, mana may no longer be able to gather in your mana pool. If this happens, even I will be unable to repair the damage done." Kryxelsia stated.
"I will be more careful in the future. I thank you in advance for your assistance." Izroth responded with a carefree expression on his face.
Kryxelsia went on to start fixing Izroth's mana pool and stabilize the first seal on the Seal of Ten Chakrams that was forcibly unsealed by Kayn. Since Izroth's mana pool was even more damaged than the last time she repaired it, the time it took to fix it was much longer. As Kryxelsia fixed his mana pool, Izroth discussed the events that led to his mana pool being damaged, as well as, the overall selection.
"The Lustrum Imperial Bout... So, it is that time once again. Though I can not say that I am too surprised that you acquired a Lustrum Imperial Token, however, I did not think that it would be the golden token that belongs to the second team. Obtaining 1st place as well, I did not take you for the ambitious type. But, acquiring the captain position is no small feat. Though the responsibility it brings about is a great burden. Are you certain that you wish to carry such a burden upon your shoulders?" Krylxesia said.
"A man who lacks any ambition will never set a foot upon the summit. I do not fear a challenge. Though from the way you're speaking, it would seem that you're quite familiar with the Lustrum Imperial Bout." Izroth said.
"Although it was a long time ago, I too, participated in the Lustrum Imperial Bout. During that time, teams did not yet exist and every realm went by their own rules. There was a large amount of pointless bloodshed caused by greed and misplaced pride. However, those days have long since become a part of history." Kryxelsia explained.
After Krylxesia finished repairing Izroth's mana pool and stabilizing his Seal of Ten Chakrams, the two spoke about various topics. As for the heavenly lightning that took place near the Sky Palace, Kryxelsia did not bring up this topic as she felt that it was beyond Izroth's present power to know anything about it. As to why Izroth himself did not mention it, he was unaware of the heavenly lightning itself. All he understood at that time was that something extremely dangerous was nearby.
When it came to the mysterious man that he met, Izroth asked Kryxelsia about him. But, in the end, Kryxelsia said that she had never met nor heard of anyone similar to who Izroth described. However, Izroth believed that Kryxelsia knew more than she was letting on. There was a split change in her expression when Izroth mentioned that man. Although others may not have noticed, it did not escape his attention.
Though Izroth did not take Kryxelsia as someone dishonest by nature. It was likely that there were certain reasons why she could not or would not discuss anything about the mysterious man. Since she had her reasons for doing so, Izroth would not press the matter and so he decided to change the topic.
"I've been meaning to ask, do you have any items that contain the Law of Void?" Izroth asked. However, when he asked that question, a look of bewilderment appeared on Kryxelsia's face.
"You know about the Laws of the World?" Kryxelsia questioned as a hint of disbelief found its way into her tone.
'Laws of the World?'
That was something Izroth had never heard of before within RML. What he was speaking about had to do with his Boundless Emperor Void Perfection skill. To increase the rate of its growth, he needed the Law of Void. It was one of the requirements listed on the skill. He believed that if anyone should know about this, it should be Kryxelsia with her incredibly high knowledge level.
"Does the Law of Void fall under the Laws of the World?" Izroth asked.
Kryxelsia gave a small nod as she released a light sigh and said, "You are correct. The Laws of the World are something that exists everywhere, however, it is not so simple to grasp. As for items that contain the Laws of the World... At minimum, they are all unique items. If it were the Law of Wind or Law of Fire, then I may have been able to lend you a hand somewhat, but for the Law of Void... I am afraid that anything short of a divine item cannot hold the Law of Void. You should understand what this means."
'Divine... How troublesome. It looks like I can only depend on my own ability to improve my Boundless Emperor Void Perfection skill for now. Forget obtaining a divine item, even an epic item is hard enough to come by at the moment.'
Even though it was a bit disappointing, Izroth knew that there was nothing that could be done about it.
'It would seem that I have to take the difficult route after all.'