While the members of Blue Oasis celebrated, Izroth canceled his Twin Lasting Epoch Sentinels. The two ancient warriors faded away along with the sphere with the word "Seal" above it that hovered in the sky. Now that Luna was back in control of her actions, there was no longer any need to restrict her voice magic.
A stream of unknown energy that vaguely resembled a mist gradually made its way towards Luna and entered into her body. The second it did so, Luna felt a sense of completion. This unknown energy was, in fact, the essence of Luna's voice magic that was previously sealed away by Izroth's Twin Lasting Epoch Sentinels.
"Alright, I know that everyone is excited, but we cannot afford to waste a lot of time celebrating. We still have to clear the rest of the raid. Once we accomplish that task, I will personally take all of you out for a grand celebration." Niflheim stated. He was also excited that his Blue Oasis was the first to achieve one of the most highly sought after feats in RML—being the first to conquer a raid boss!
This was a monumental achievement that would be talked about for weeks! Not to mention, it was not every day their names were broadcasted to the world, which was guaranteed to boost their overall popularity in RML.
However, not only was this good for the reputation of Blue Oasis, but it was also bound to attract the attention of sponsors, which in turn would increase their overall worth. Furthermore, there was a high chance that skilled players who had yet to align themselves with any guild would come rushing to their doorstep after witnessing the strength and capability of their guild. After all, world announcements and the benefits it brought along were not something effortlessly obtained.
The members of Blue Oasis calmed their nerves, but the look of excitement on their faces did not diminish in the slightest. In truth, defeating Ooudamu removed a tremendous weight from their shoulders. It confirmed the fact that defeating a hardcore raid boss was indeed possible!
Even if they were confident in their abilities, in the end, there existed uncertainties that were difficult to suppress. While it was a heavy blow losing one of their guild members, everyone understood that it was a miracle to walk away from a raid boss fight with near nonexistent losses.
"We do not have much time, so let's divide the loot and move on to the next area-" Niflheim said, however, he was suddenly interrupted.
"Wait." Izroth stepped forward. This simple action drew the attention of every player present. Even Zi Yi and the others who were a part of Izroth's group did not understand what was going on—all except one.
"Hm?" Niflheim turned towards Izroth, who had just approached him and could not help but frown inwardly. Was he worried that the loot would be handled unfairly? Whatever the case, he had a bad feeling about this situation. But, he could only hope that he was mistaken.
He then continued, "Izroth, if it is the loot that you are concerned about, rest assured that my Blue Oasis has no intention of leaving out those who contribute. Captain Vanaheim already informed me that if not for your assistance, the losses this time around would not have been so light before we reached the boss room. It was also because of you that we were able to further minimize our losses in the face of the Aquatic Fever. Naturally, my Blue Oasis is not so small-minded as to ignore these facts."
As Niflheim spoke, he noticed that Izroth's facial expression remained unchanged. While Izroth had a calm presence about him, for some reason, it had an eerie feel to it that made Niflheim uneasy. Did he miss something important? Or, could it be that he was upset about Tagz's earlier words?
Niflheim, however, quickly dismissed the latter. If Izroth were indeed such a narrow-minded person, then he would have never been invited to join the raid group. But, if something really was wrong, then Niflheim understood that he could not allow it to spiral out of control. Right now, the raid group's morale was at an all-time high. No matter what, this had to be well maintained if they wanted to increase their chances of victory. Therefore, Niflheim decided to take the first step forward.
"How about this—since your contribution was not small in this battle, as long as the item is not epic quality or higher, you may choose any item you'd like first." Niflheim stated.
What?! When those words left Niflheim's mouth, the members of Blue Oasis were shocked! It was true that Izroth's contribution was significant in the fight against Ooudamu, but wasn't it a bit much to allow him to have his pick of the first item?
A single rare item was already quite valuable. But, imagine the price of a rare item obtained from a hardcore raid boss? Not only would it be one of the highest level items in RML, but also one of the strongest! After all, it was a well-known fact that items acquired from raids were stronger than other items of the same level. It was also not unusual for these items to have useful effects attached to them.
Niflheim glanced over at Asgard as he spoke and was met with a simple nod of approval. Since Niflheim made sure to exclude epic-quality or higher items, then it would not hurt to show the generous side of his Blue Oasis. Plus, it may help in establishing stable cooperation with Izroth, the owner of the Mystical Realm Palace, as well as an acquaintance of the Pill Emperor. Although it would be their loss, it was a price worth paying for the potential long term payout.
Izroth saw that Niflheim was making an effort to maintain peace—despite not fully understanding the situation. If it were anything else, then perhaps Izroth would be willing to drop it with just this as compensation. Unfortunately, this was not a matter that could be brushed over with a simple apology.
Izroth held up the palm of his hand, which caused Niflheim to halt his next words.
"One of your guild members endangered one of my people. Tell me, how will Blue Oasis handle this matter?" Izroth spoke unhurriedly. He did not even acknowledge Niflheim's proposal!
Niflheim frowned, and he responded, "I am afraid that I have no knowledge of this matter. But, if a member of my Blue Oasis did endanger someone I have personally invited as a guest, then it is the same as directly slapping my face. So, you can be sure that they will be disciplined accordingly."
At first, the members of Blue Oasis were annoyed by Izroth's lack of gratitude. After all, he did not say a word of thanks to their Captain Niflheim! But, the moment Izroth spoke, everyone was confused by his words. What was going on? Who could be foolish enough to intentionally endanger one of their own party members during a raid?
"Endangered? Luna, what is he talking about?" Zi Yi asked. It was evident that it had something to do with Luna, given her more recent circumstances.
Luna briefly told Zi Yi and the others about her experiences. After they listened to her, if Izroth had not already stepped forward, then they would have gone over to teach that player a lesson personally!
"Hmph, serves them right. They're just lucky that we were able to save you. If something bad happened to you, I'm afraid this raid would have ended right here." Zi Yi growled.
Everyone knew how vital this raid was to Blue Oasis; therefore, if what Izroth said was true, then the punishment would not be light. Though most were unaware of what transpired, there were a few players from Blue Oasis who had troubled expressions on their faces. Feint, Tagz, I Do Zero Quests, and Abstract was amongst these players. But, there was one player positioned in a way that allowed them not to stand out too much. They had a look of nervousness written all over their face. This was player none other than Second Tyrant!
Originally, Second Tyrant was grinning inwardly after the raid boss had been defeated. With all the excitement and False Summit's death, it seemed that everyone had forgotten about his blunder. But, the instant Izroth spoke, Second Tyrant wanted to seal his mouth shut!
"Not good, I have to think of an explanation quickly." Second Tyrant's thoughts raced as he grit his teeth from anger and secretly cursed Izroth under his breath. Why could this person not be satisfied with the reward and let bygones be bygones?
Niflheim turned his attention towards Vanaheim and then towards Abstract. The two of them held the highest ranks among those who were first to engage in the battle against Ooudamu. Therefore, if anyone knew what Izroth was talking about and could confirm his words, it would have to be one of them.
"Captain Vanaheim, Captain Abstract—I am sure that I do not have to remind you of the importance of this raid's success. We cannot proceed with uncertainty left dwelling in the heart." Niflheim said. He chose his words carefully as he could not afford to place blame before being presented with the facts.
If it turned out that Vanaheim or Abstract was the one Izroth was referring to, then there was sadly nothing that he could do. Even though he was the raid group's commander, in the end, his rank was not higher than Vanaheim's nor Abstract's. Furthermore, the two of them were irreplaceable members of both their raid group and guild!
Abstract stepped forward, which immediately caused Niflheim's heart to drop. Could it be that one of Izroth's people and Abstract had some type of conflict? However, when Niflheim listened to Abstract, he was quickly overcome with a sense of relief.
Abstract sighed, "Truth be told, I originally planned on bringing it up at the end of the raid. But, since it is out in the open, I see no reason to wait that long. Though it is probably best to discuss it privately—Captain Peaceful Chaos should join us as well."
"Hm?" Peaceful Chaos brows rose when Abstract mentioned his name.
Along with Izroth—Niflheim, Abstract, Asgard, and Peaceful Chaos gathered together. After doing so, Abstract retold the events that took place swiftly and accurately.
"Captain Abstract, Commander Second Tyrant is a member of my 4th squad. While I do not believe you would speak lies, I am obligated to make sure that those under me do not suffer an injustice. Therefore, I want to hear directly from him what took place before we decide on anything." Peaceful Chaos said with a hint of fury in his tone.
"Of course, such a thing is well within reason." Asgard nodded. Just like Niflheim, he was also relieved that it was not a captain of his Blue Oasis who was allegedly responsible.
Second Tyrant was called over to the group. He had time to organize his thoughts and found that it was best if he just called it a mistake. Then, he can simply shift blame onto Luna for being careless and getting possessed by Ooudamu!
"I-" However, just as he opened his mouth to speak, Second Tyrant felt an overwhelming pressure descend upon him.
Izroth, Niflheim, Asgard, Abstract, and Peaceful Chaos had their gaze locked onto Second Tyrant as if they were waiting for the slightest error in his statement.
"Commander Second Tyrant, I'm sure I do not need to remind you of the consequences of dishonesty. So before you speak, make sure you choose the next words that leave your mouth very carefully." Peaceful Chaos warned in a severe tone.
Second Tyrant closed his mouth and quickly swallowed his words. Even though he previously planned on what he should say, his mind turned up blank! Under the immense pressure and gaze of everyone, he knew deep within his mind that the instant he uttered a lie, it was all over for him. Therefore, he was left with only one option.
"I have no excuse for myself. I made an inexcusable error as the acting leader even though I was notified in advance by Miss Luna. I am prepared to receive any punishment!" Second Tyrant declared as he bowed.
Niflheim and the others were surprised that he so readily admitted his wrongdoings. Though when they honestly thought about it, they were not too shocked. After all, it was Abstract's word against his, and it was apparent which side had more trust. If he did lie to them just now, then his time as a member of Blue Oasis would have ended on the spot!
"Good, very good! I suppose I am to blame since it is a commander of my 4th squad who was so incompetent. As a captain, I am sure that it reflects my own incompetence." Peaceful Chaos scoffed with a grin on his face. But, from the tone of his voice, one could tell that he was intentionally suppressing his anger so as not to cause a big scene. However, the fact that he was furious could not be completely hidden.
Second Tyrant was filled with rage and hatred at that moment. But, more than anything, he felt utterly humiliated! He had never been this humiliated in his entire life! Right now, he wanted nothing more than to tear Izroth apart limb from limb.
Asgard shook his head in disappointment at Second Tyrant before he turned towards Izroth and said, "You can be at ease, Izroth. Guild member Second Tyrant will be dealt with appropriately. However, given our current circumstances, I hope that you can settle for our Captain Niflheim's previous offer. Once the raid is over, hmph, wait, and see how I deal with this insubordinate guild member. Captain Peaceful Chaos, I'm sure you have no objections?"
Asgard made sure to emphasize "guild member" Second Tyrant instead of Commander. This meant that Second Tyrant's demotion was immediately in effect!
"None." Peaceful Chaos responded in a cold and distant tone as he glared at Second Tyrant. How could he object? Had he not been embarrassed enough by Second Tyrant's incompetence?
"Then, we shall leave it at this— for now. However, I would like your word on this matter, Captain Niflheim." Izroth stated as he turned his attention towards Niflheim.
"Naturally, if Guild Leader Asgard has made a decision, then-"
"No, I would like your personal word that this matter will be settled appropriately." Izroth said as he cut off Niflheim.
Niflheim was a bit taken aback by Izroth's persistence; however, he gave a slight nod before he replied, "Since you feel so strongly about it, how can I refuse? You have my word, Izroth. As long as I am a captain of Blue Oasis, what we have agreed upon in this moment will be carried out."
Izroth gave a small gesture of approval, as he stated, "Good. Remember Captain Niflheim; a man is only as good as his word."
"Then, it's decided. Until the raid is over, this matter is considered closed. Izroth, my Blue Oasis knows how to honor their word. Therefore, you may choose any item you'd like first. Of course, the previously listed conditions still apply." Asgard stated.
"Then, I won't be polite." Izroth said as he walked over towards the area where the loot dropped.
But, what Blue Oasis did not know at the time was that this moment would go down as their biggest regret of the raid.