Niflheim stopped his hand just before it reached the Guild Order in Izroth's palm as he turned to look at Asgard.
"He Jinhai, I owe you all that I have today. If it were not for you, then my career in the gaming world would have been over before it even started. Therefore, I am unable to go against your request even though it means going back on my word."
Asgard inwardly frowned. Why was Niflheim suddenly addressing him by his real name?
"With your talent, how could those nobodies have suppressed you forever? Sooner or later, you would have made a name for yourself." Asgard replied.
He then continued, "I believe that you will always do what is best for our Blue Oasis. I hope you can forgive my selfishness in this matter; however, I am sure you understand that this can not be helped."
Niflheim sighed as he shook his head and responded, "You have always listened to and accepted my counsel over the years, even when you were not absolutely certain of my decision. I am asking that you put your faith in me once more—on this, you must reconsider."
"Captain Niflheim, we have already considered the matter. But, our guild leader is simply too kind to deny you any face. Therefore, while I agree that this is the best course of action, how about we cast a vote between us leaders and the captains of our Blue Oasis? That way, we can alleviate some of your troubles. If the numbers are in your favor, then we will reconsider. However, if they are not, then you must accept this Guild Order from our friend here. How does that sound?" Complex Assault said.
Izroth was somewhat amused that those of Blue Oasis still referred to him as "friend" after they threatened to practically rob that which belonged to him! Of course, if they truly attempted to take it by force, he would not have minded lifting a finger or two.
As for Complex Assault, although his words appeared fair on the surface, Niflheim realized that this was just a small way of trying to show him some face. Instead of having Asgard flat out reject him in front of everyone, Complex Assault wanted to create another path.
Vote? Was there even a need to when the outcome was so obvious? However, Niflheim was grasping at straws, and although the probability of a favorable result was infinitely close to zero, he still had to give it a try.
"Very well." Niflheim agreed reluctantly.
Complex Assault went on to take a vote between Asgard, himself, and all seven captains of Blue Oasis. The results were surprising, but the outcome remained unchanged.
"We have two against, two abstained, and five in favor." Complex Assault announced. It was clear that Niflheim would vote against it, but it came as a shock to everyone that Vanaheim, as well, voted against it. Also, while Road always abstained from any votes, Abstract, who usually held firm opinions, chose to do the same surprisingly.
As for everyone else present, needless to say, they were unmoved by Niflheim's words. This advantage and the potential benefits that would accompany it was too huge to give up!
The exact territory that Blue Oasis wanted to acquire was still well hidden. Not to mention, the requirements for obtaining that territory was not something that just anyone could satisfy. They may lose gold coins, and it would take them a while to find another suitable untouched raid to clear, but it required an enormous amount of luck to find a Guild Order.
In addition, their contract with Cross Haven would become void so that, in the future, they would not need to share half of the territory once they acquired it. There was also the fact that—even with the help of Izroth's party—in their eyes, the current chance of them successfully finishing the raid was less than 15%!
A raid contained too many unknown variables, and a hardcore raid carried even more. Therefore, between something that was 100% guaranteed to draw in great benefits versus something with a low probability of success—Blue Oasis believed that this was, without a doubt, the best course of action.
Blue Oasis found this situation to be an absolute win. However, the only downside was that their connection with Izroth, the Mystical Realm Palace, and the mysterious Pill Emperor would probably be severed. Still, this was a small price to pay to get their hands on the first Guild Order in RML. Not to mention, they recently discovered that there was a second Pill Emperor!
This Pill Emperor was the head of a newly discovered group of Apothecaries who were quickly rising to fame, the Fireheart Apothecary Society! As long as they made a good connection with them, then the losses incurred from offending Izroth was minimal at best.
"Then, it's decided." Asgard stated as all eyes fell onto Niflheim.
Niflheim looked towards Izroth, who still had a carefree expression on his face. He felt that there was always an indescribable pressure around Izroth that was generated from his calm demeanor. There existed a depth that he could not grasp no matter how hard he tried, and it was this that made him wary of Izroth. However, his gut feeling constantly made one thing clear—not to make an enemy of this person. At that moment, Niflheim believed that one day, his Blue Oasis would regret this choice and label it as their greatest blunder. Unfortunately, there existed no medicine for regret, and by then, it would be too late to make amends. Now, there was only one choice.
Niflheim released a deep sigh as he grabbed ahold of the Guild Order in Izroth's hand. The moment his hand came into contact with the Guild Order, Niflheim's eyes had a look of clarity and resolve. It was at that moment that Blue Oasis would never be the same again.
"From today onward, I, Niflheim, am no longer a member of Blue Oasis! Since I am no longer a member of Blue Oasis, the promise made between Izroth and Blue Oasis is no longer valid!" Niflheim declared.
There was a wave of silence that washed over the boss room. The present members of Blue Oasis all had dumbfounded expressions on their faces.
Did they just hear correctly? No, they must have just been hearing things. Captain Niflheim, who was arguably one of the most loyal members of Blue Oasis, declared that he was no longer a member? The wave of silence that had just descended did not last long.
"What? Captain Niflheim is leaving us?"
"It's just a vocal promise. It's not like our Captain signed a contract or anything. Why is he taking it so seriously?"
"If Captain Niflheim leaves, who will take over the 7th squad?"
There was a stream of chatter that started to flow around the boss room as everyone tried to make sense of everything. Though, of course, the individuals most shocked by Niflheim's choice were the leaders and captains of Blue Oasis.
"You would leave our Blue Oasis over such a small matter? Does loyalty mean nothing in your eyes? Do not forget who took you in when you were down." Asgard stated as his facial expression darkened.
"He Jinhai! You may question me in many things; however, loyalty is not one of them!" Niflheim spoke in a slightly angered tone. It was not often that he expressed his anger, but he felt as if he had been stabbed by a close friend when Asgard questioned his loyalty! Did he want to leave Blue Oasis? Of course, not! But, what choice was he left with other than breaking his word?
"You should not speak such words without seriously considering the consequences. Don't forget, you signed a two-year contract just like the rest of us and even accepted the bonus that came along with it. If you go back on that contract, not only will you have to pay back everything you've been given, but you will also have to pay for canceling your contract." Nidavellir spoke in a severe tone.
"Naturally, I understand the weight of my choice. I will personally wire the amount I owe to the guild and submit an official withdrawal request." Niflheim responded as he calmed himself.
"You really won't change your mind, Xiang Enlai?" Asgard questioned with furrowed brows. Niflheim was the Captain of the 7th Squad, otherwise known as the Strategic Division. Without him, a large void would be created that would be incredibly difficult to fill.
Indeed, there was no shortage of talent in RML, but Niflheim's instinct was something that could not be mimicked. This made Asgard hesitate and ask if the Guild Order was worth losing someone like Niflheim? But, it was only a brief moment of hesitation. As a guild leader, he had to make tough choices and look at the bigger picture. On this matter, he found that Niflheim was too narrow-minded and headstrong. Plus, how could he, as the guild leader of Blue Oasis, put his personal friendship with Niflheim over the great good of his guild?
"I'm afraid not. It has been an honor serving as a captain of Blue Oasis. I will never forget the kindness that I have been shown these past few years." Niflheim said as he switched his focus to Izroth.
He then continued, "I have kept my word. I am no longer a member of Blue Oasis. Therefore, the promise I previously made with you is no more. There is no issue, correct?"
'A bold move.'
When Niflheim touched the Guild Order, if at that moment he truly went back on his word, the consequences would have been disastrous. Izroth would have immediately slaughtered every member of Blue Oasis present! However, by declaring that he was officially leaving Blue Oasis, he was no longer going back on his word.
To be honest, it came as a slight surprise to Izroth; he did not expect Niflheim to take such drastic action.
"Correct. My word still stands, this Guild Order is yours to do with what you will." Izroth handed the Guild Order to Niflheim. Sadly, Blue Oasis was unaware of the astronomical price they had just paid for that single Guild Order.
Niflheim nodded as he walked over and presented the Guild Order to Asgard.
"This is my final gift to Blue Oasis." Niflheim stated as Asgard accepted the Guild Order. Now, he could only hope that one day, this moment would not come back to haunt Blue Oasis.
"Your contributions to my Blue Oasis will never be forgotten." Asgard replied as he felt a sense of relief the instant the Guild Order was in his possession. It was not a dream! The first Guild Order in RML belonged to their Blue Oasis! Typically, an event this significant caused for a huge celebration, but having Niflheim walk away from Blue Oasis left a bad taste in the mouth of those present. Who was in the mood to celebrate?
"Then, this is where we part ways." Izroth said.
"Don't be hasty. This is still a hardcore raid. Why let small differences stand in the way of gains that are beneficial to us both?" Nidavellir stated as he tried to convince Izroth to stay. However, how could such meager benefits tempt Izroth? He did not bother with a response as a system alert sounded that made his answer clear.
〈System Alert: Player Izroth has left the raid group!〉
Not too long after Izroth left the raid group, a stream of alerts followed after it.
〈System Alert: Player Luna has left the raid group!〉
〈System Alert: Player Zi Yi has left the raid group!〉
〈System Alert: Player Halls has left the raid group!〉
〈System Alert: Player Guan Yu has left the raid group!〉
〈System Alert: Player Valentine has left the raid group!〉
Naturally, if Izroth was no longer participating, then Luna and the others had no reason to stick around. Wouldn't that be the same as abandoning their comrade for a few extra rewards? If they did that, then they would be no better than Blue Oasis! Besides, they believed that Blue Oasis made a colossal mistake today! To trade a Guild Order for Izroth's favor, what a joke! Was his favor worth so little in their eyes?
〈System Alert: You are no longer in an active raid group. You will be transported outside of the raid in 10 seconds!〉
Niflheim wanted to ask Izroth to stay, but he was unable to do so. He asked himself, would he have stayed under similar circumstances? The answer was obviously no.
"One step in the wrong direction will cause you a thousand years of regret. Indeed, a pity." Izroth stated with a carefree expression as a magic circle appeared beneath him and teleported him away from the boss room along with Luna and the others.