A few moments later, Mariposa summoned the members of her Sleeping Gardenia that met Izroth requirements. Including herself, there were a total of 18 players that had arrived.
"Amazing, there's not a single guy in sight! I guess the rumors are true that Sleeping Gardenia doesn't accept male players." Halls commented.
"Heh, the other rumors are true, too. Sleeping Gardenia is full of beauties!" Guan Yu stated as he gave a nod of satisfaction at the sight of the Sleeping Gardenia players.
"Hmph, you two have the fortune of ten lifetimes to be in the presence of us three beauties!" Zi Yi scoffed.
"Three? You and Luna are a given. But, who is the third?" Valentine asked with a smile on his face.
"Who else could it be but you?" Zi Yi responded.
"I'm a man, you know?" Valentine stated helplessly.
"Alright, we don't have much time to waste." Izroth said as he raised his hand, and everyone fell silent.
He turned towards the Sleeping Gardenia members and continued, "Breezing Gladiolus, Shao Qingge—the two of you come forward."
A few seconds later, two players from Sleeping Gardenia stepped forward. One had golden-brown skin, piercing red eyes, and short azure hair. She wore a leather-type armor with a pair of fingerless gloves and went by the name Breezing Gladiolus.
As for the other female player, she was quite short with a small stature and fair skin. She had cold light green eyes and silky black hair that stopped just past her shoulders. She wore a jade green robe and had three miniature light-green orbs rotating around her right wrist. She was called Shao Qingge.
Breezing Gladiolus and Shao Qingge sized Izroth up. Not too long ago, they received a message from Mariposa ordering them to this location as soon as possible. But, even more surprising, was the fact that not only were they going to attempt a raid, but they would also have to follow this person's orders!
This was their first time seeing Izroth, the owner of the Mystical Realm Palace, in person. Based on the rumors they heard, they expected him to have a fierce personality; however, he seemed well collected. Although this made them feel somewhat at ease, it was still uncomfortable having to follow the orders of a complete stranger. But, in the end, how could they go against their Guild Leader's direct order?
"I am Breezing Gladiolus. It is a pleasure to meet the owner of the Mystical Realm Palace." Breezing Gladiolus spoke in a straight forward and refined manner.
"I am Shao Qingge. So, are you big sister Zi Yi's man?" Shao Qingge asked innocently with a smile.
Zi Yi nearly coughed up blood from embarrassment when she heard Shao Qingge speak. She instinctively turned to look towards Mariposa, who greeted her with a devious smile. Mariposa had a look on her face that said, "Hmph, want to hide stuff from your big sister? See how I handle you!"
Before Izroth could speak up, Zi Yi angrily stomped her foot and said, "Gege! If you continue to speak such ridiculous nonsense, then even my sister won't be able to protect you! Besides, what big sister? Should I tell everyone that your actual age is-"
"Waaah! Alright, alright! I was wrong!" Shao Qingge quickly interrupted Zi Yi and apologized.
Izroth shook his head inwardly. Was this group going to be enough to make it?
After things finally settled down, Izroth asked Breezing Gladiolus and Shao Qingge a few questions about their classes.
"So, can you two do it?" Izroth asked.
"It's possible. However, we will be stretched for time, so everyone will have to move quickly." Breezing Gladiolus answered.
"There's no problem on my end. I'm kinda excited to experience it firsthand." Shao Qingge stated.
'Good. With this, there should be no problem clearing the Sprite Dwellings. Now, we just have to worry about what comes after.'
"Take these and distribute them to your guild members." Izroth said as he removed a bag of pills from his inventory and handed them to Shao Qingge.
The instant he removed the pills from his inventory, a strong medicinal scent filled the air and caught the attention of the Sleeping Gardenia members.
"What a potent medicinal scent. These are definitely grade-two... No, this fragrance belongs to grade-three pills!" Shao Qingge said with a hint of shock as she took a whiff of the pills Izroth handed her. Although she was only a first rank Apothecary, she spent the majority of her free time around pills; therefore, she did not even have to look at the pills to know that they were high quality.
Grade-three pills?! Everyone knew that only the Pill Emperor was capable of crafting grade-three pills. If that was the case, then this meant that these pills had not yet been made public! Everyone was immediately excited at the prospect of receiving a pill personally crafted by the Pill Emperor. They wished that they had the chance to meet him just one time! After all, if one could become the woman of the Pill Emperor, they would never lack in influence, power, and wealth!
Among the Sleeping Gardenia players, only Mariposa, and a few of her most trusted advisors knew of Izroth's identity as the Pill Emperor; otherwise, who knew the chaos it would cause if those present had their hands on this information?
Shao Qingge distributed one pill to every member of Sleeping Gardenia present. Of course, she also saved one for herself.
Mariposa examined the pill and sighed in awe. The pill was violet in color and released a faint purplish hue accompanied by a refreshing scent. She did not understand how Izroth found the time to develop new high-grade pills continually and still manage to keep his level high enough to participate in a hardcore raid with Blue Oasis.
"What I have given you is called the Evil Cleansing Pill. Everyone present must consume this pill right now—no exceptions." Izroth stated. He could not take any chances that someone might try to store the pill for greedy purposes. In the end, the temptation of a new grade-three pill was too great.
However, Izroth was not worried that someone would try to uncover the pill's secret. It was just that if this pill was not taken, then there was a good chance that Sleeping Gardenia would not be as lucky as Blue Oasis when they reached the Sprite Dwellings. There was no guarantee that he would be a member of the group who would experience the Phantasmagoria. The Phantasmagoria was a frightening experience to players who lacked a poison resistance skill, and this Evil Cleansing Pill was to cover for that weakness.
Name: Evil Cleansing Pill
Usage: The user who consumes this pill permanently gains the passive skill «Evil Cleansing».
Special Note: Consuming this pill more than once will not grant any additional effects. However, consuming a higher grade version of the pill will replace its effects.
*«Evil Cleansing»: The user of this skill is resistant to some forms of poisons and evil illusions. When poisoned or caught in an illusion, all negative effects will be automatically cleansed from the user. This effect can only occur once every 2 hours.
"Then, we will not reject your kindness." Mariposa said as she consumed the Evil Cleansing Pill.
She then turned to the members of Sleeping Gardenia, "If I find that anyone did not consume the pill graciously gifted to us by the owner of the Mystical Realm Palace, then that person will have to answer to me."
Everyone from Sleeping Gardenia consumed the pill without hesitation. As for those within Izroth's group, he had already given them one to take.
"I will now go over the plan. Everyone, listen closely..." Izroth stated as he started to go over the raid details with Sleeping Gardenia.
A few moments later...
Izroth, Luna, Zi Yi, Guan Yu, Halls, Valentine, Mariposa, and the members of Sleeping Gardenia had arrived at the entrance of the Great Sea Palace raid.
Mariposa looked on curiously when they reached the doors to the raid. She was interested in what idea Izroth had to deal with the raid cooldown. As for as she knew, there was no way around the cooldown timer besides waiting it out.
"Halls, you're up." Izroth said.
"Heh, so it's finally my time to shine." Halls stated as he cracked his knuckles and approached the sapphire gemstone embedded into the top of the cylindrical stone.
Halls removed a scroll from his inventory that emitted a faint golden light. He opened the scroll before the sapphire stone as it gave off a bright glow before dissipating.
〈System Alert: Player Halls has used a «Raid Reset Scroll»!〉
〈System Alert: The cooldown timer of all raid group members for the «Raid: Great Sea Palace» has been reset!〉
A closed lock and chain appeared over Izroth, Halls, Luna, Zi Yi, Guan Yu, and Valentine's heads. The lock opened up, and the chains shattered. The moment it did so, Izroth and the others received an alert from the system confirming that their raid cooldown timer had been reset to 0!
This was the work of the item Halls received from the Rare Item Treasure Chest after completing Phase One—the Raid Reset Scroll. Just as its name described, it allowed one to reset the raid cooldown timer for their entire raid group!
Name: Raid Reset Scroll
Usage: This scroll can be used to reset the raid cooldown timer of any raids between levels 40-60 for the user and their entire raid group. This scroll can only be used once.
To be honest, Halls was disappointed and felt as though he had been cheated when he first acquired the Raid Reset Scroll. He was even tempted to trade with a Blue Oasis member for one of their items. Fortunately, Zi Yi was nearby at the time and stopped him before he made a terrible mistake. A Raid Reset Scroll was probably the most valuable item that dropped from any of the Rare Item Treasure Chests since it could allow one to run a raid with a long cooldown timer instantly! This was something Blue Oasis would have wanted to get their hands on—or rather, any top guild for that matter. After all, double raid runs meant double the loot. That would be enough to give any top guild a considerable power boost!
"Such a valuable item... What a waste." Mariposa muttered to herself. She could not help but feel a stinging pain in her heart when she saw the Raid Reset Scroll used by Halls. She was unaware that such a wonderous item existed! But, it was gone, just like that.
The raid doors opened after the scroll in Halls' hand disappeared.
"Second time's the charm." Valentine commented in a playful tone.
"Heh, Blue Oasis won't even know how to regret for offending my brother." Guan Yu said.
"Everyone, remember the plan and stick to it. As long as you follow my orders, I will not allow you to fail." Izroth stated in a carefree manner as he stepped through the raid doors along with the raid group.
They had finally arrived back in the Great Sea Palace!
〈System Alert: You have entered the raid «Great Sea Palace»!〉
"Luna, Zi Yi," Izroth said; however, he did not need to utter another word as Zi Yi had already begun to move.
"On it." Zi Yi replied as she sped ahead at full speed.
As for Luna, just as Zi Yi was about to take off, a powerful wave of mana spread out in every direction affecting Zi Yi and the other members of the raid. At the same time, everyone instantly consumed a High-Grade Mobility Potion.
"Haste." Luna's voice magic echoed and carried in every direction as it granted the members of the raid group a massive movement speed buff. But, it did not end there.
"Diminish Friction! Weightless Body!" Shao Qingge chanted two buff skills as a green, and yellow light encompassed the bodies of the raid group members.
"Start." Izroth ordered as he took the first step.
Wooosh! Wooosh! Wooosh!
The whole raid group rushed forward at unimaginable speeds, leaving an intense burst of wind in their wake!
"While Zi Yi takes care of the relics, we will blitz our way through." Izroth stated.
"Yes!" The raid group responded in unison.
'20 minutes. If everything goes as planned, within 20 minutes, we will defeat Ooudamu.'
The 20-minute countdown had officially commenced!