The next day...
〈System Alert: Welcome Player Izroth, to Realm of Myths and Legends!〉
After completing the raid yesterday, Izroth decided to log off and handle a few matters in the real world. Since he now had capital, many impossible things had become a possibility. Now, all he had to do was wait for the pieces to fall into place.
At the moment, Izroth was in Amaharpe at his Mystical Realm Palace inside of the room he used for pill crafting.
'I still have some time before meeting with the Headhunter Syndicate. Until then, I should restock the Mystical Realm Palace. As for the other matter, there is no rush. I will look into it after I finish things with the Headhunter Syndicate.'
The matter Izroth was referring to had to do with the message Azalea sent him yesterday as he was leaving the Great Sea Palace raid. Though it was not a pressing issue; therefore, Izroth decided to delay it until after he met with the Headhunter Syndicate.
'Let's get started.'
Izroth removed the Dark Abyssal Cauldron from his inventory and placed it at the center of the room.
Meanwhile, somewhere in Amaharpe at the temporary Blue Oasis headquarters...
At the moment, there was a silent and gloomy atmosphere in the room. Gathered in this room were the high ranking members of Blue Oasis. This included the guild leaders, captains, and the lieutenants of each squad.
The members of Blue Oasis were sat at a large round table after they arrived nearly 15 minutes ago, and since then, there had been nothing but silence.
Today was supposed to be a day of celebration. After all, they had become an official guild in RML! However, despite this fact, no one was in the mood to celebrate.
Naturally, they had all seen the world announcements yesterday and heard of what took place beforehand between their guild and the owner of the Mystical Realm Palace.
How could they not be dejected? They were so close to being the first official guild in RML, and yet it was snatched from them right under their noses!
The one with the most darkened facial expression, however, was none other than Asgard. A few seconds... The difference was only a few seconds! If only his Returning Scroll was not on cooldown or he left immediately after obtaining it, then this would not have happened! However, how could he know what Sleeping Gardenia would also acquire a Guild Order? Since when were Guild Orders so easily obtained? Even though they were common quality, its drop rate astronomically low!
But, this was not even the worse part! Now, Cross Haven was fully aware of the territory they wanted to obtain. Not to mention, they don't know how, but the other top guilds also got their hands on this information. So, currently, Blue Oasis was being pressured from all sides to disclose the method of obtaining territory. This would negate their previous advantage!
Then there was the fact that they lost one of their captains, Niflheim. Although they had a Guild Order because of it, given that they were not the first official guild, it was not worth it. For now, Nidavellir was filling in for Niflheim, but that was not a long term solution. Somehow, they had to win him back over!
Unfortunately, their losses did not end here. They had offended Izroth, the owner of the Mystical Realm Palace. This meant that they indirectly offended the Pill Emperor, who was behind him. Would he take action and restrict them from accessing his shop? If that happened, the gap between them and the other top guilds would increase before they knew it. That's why they had to find this second Pill Emperor and win them over no matter the cost.
"Have you located the head of the Fireheart Apothecary Society yet...?" Asgard asked in a stale tone as he broke the silence.
"Yes, thanks to the hard work of Captain Abstract and the 5th squad. But, we have not been able to make contact with them. I have discovered their base of operations; however, they seem to be preparing for a major move. I have some people asking around in that area. We should have some good news within a few days." Nidavellir responded.
"Good, we um... Need to keep..." Asgard rubbed the temples on his forehead as his words seemed to stray off. One could tell that he was having a hard time with the recent events.
"One of our Lieutenants Olohas and a core member by the name of Sacred Blade, have submitted their letter of resignation. There are also some other players from the 7th squad who are following in their footsteps. How should we handle this matter?" Nidavellir stated.
Niflheim was well respected and loved as the Captain of his squad. Therefore, it was not surprising that his Lieutenant, Olohas, and some other players of the 7th squad wanted to resign.
However, Asgard remained silent at the question as if he had not even heard Nidavellir speak just now.
Complex Assault saw this and furrowed his brows as he said, "Offer a small incentive to those of the 7th squad who have not put in for their resignation. When they see the benefits of staying, more will be reluctant to leave. As for Lieutenant Olohas and Sacred Blade—there is nothing we can do about these two. If they wish to resign, so be it."
Asgard stood up from his seat, which caused everyone to fall silent as their sights fell onto him. But, surprisingly, Asgard had not uttered a single word as he simply walked towards the door and left the Blue Oasis temporary headquarters.
Abstract sighed, "What are we going to do now? Something has to be done about this depressing atmosphere."
"Vanaheim, besides our guild leader, you're the closest to Niflheim. Do you think you can convince him to return?" Nidavellir asked.
Vanaheim, however, shook her head and replied, "I am afraid that is impossible. He is a prideful man. Once he does something, he will follow through until the end."
"Bullshit! If he were a real man, he wouldn't have abandoned us over some small verbal promise! Hmph, I always said he gave too much face to that Izroth guy. Now, look where it got him." Peaceful Chaos scoffed.
"I suppose a real man is someone who goes back on their word and talks ill of others behind their back." Vanaheim stated as she narrowed her eyes as her voice turned cold.
"You-!" Peaceful Chaos was about abrupt in anger; however, someone immediately cut him off.
"Enough! We are already in this situation! The last thing we need is for our Captains to be fighting amongst themselves! For now, we will give our guild leader some time to straighten internal things out. Until then, I will take over decision making." Complex Assault declared.
He then continued, "We need to focus on recovering from our losses. Everyone will coordinate with Captain Nidavellir. Captain Abstract and the 5th squad will continue to look into the second Pill Emperor—this is a top priority as we cannot afford to be the only top guild without access to grade three pills. Meeting adjourned!"
Complex Assault dismissed everyone as he, too, took his leave. The last two players to leave were Vanaheim and Abstract. However, just before leaving, Abstract called out to Vanaheim.
"Captain Vanaheim, wait a moment." Abstract said.
"Hm? Do you need something, Captain Abstract?" Vanaheim asked as she turned to face Abstract.
"Yes, however, I had to wait until everyone else left as this subject is quite sensitive." Abstract stated in a grave tone.
He then continued, "I did some digging and found that something is off. I don't believe that Ewan found the Settlement of Clearwater by chance. Also, the rumor about the territory that spread around—this is not by chance. After piecing everything together, I discovered something unsettling. However, this stays between the two of us. Right now, besides you who I cleared, there is no one else I can trust."
Vanaheim furrowed her brows. What could be so important that Abstract could not inform the other captains or even the guild leaders themselves?
Vanaheim nodded and replied, "Alright, as long as it does not go against what I stand for, then you can trust that I will keep this a secret."
"Remember, what I'm about to tell you is purely circumstantial. However, I believe that, without a doubt, one of the Captains from our Blue Oasis is a mole." Abstract said.
Vanaheim's eyes widened in shock, "Ridiculous...!"
How could one of their Captains be a mole? One did not simply become a Captain of Blue Oasis without a thorough investigation and inquiry!
"At first, I was reluctant to believe it, too. But it is the truth. There is a saying that the greatest empires fall not from an outside enemy, but from within. If we do not discover this mole, then our Blue Oasis may very well continue down this path of destruction." Abstract stated.
Vanaheim understood that Abstract would not have even mentioned this if it was not a real possibility; therefore, she could not simply dismiss it. Just when they needed Niflheim the most...
Vanaheim released a deep sigh. It was too late. Now, all they could do was try to uncover this mole—if they indeed did exist.
"What can I do?" Vanaheim asked. While she was still skeptical, for now, she would see what facts Abstract had to present. After all, if word got out that a Captain of Blue Oasis was actually a mole, it would throw the top guilds into a state of internal panic! Infiltrating a top guild to that level was practically unheard of!
Meanwhile, back at the Mystical Realm Palace...
'That should do it.'
Izroth had just finished crafting the pills and restocked the Mystical Realm Palace. While he did not mind crafting pills, it was not sustainable long term. After all, if he had to take a journey far away from the Mystical Realm Palace for weeks in-game time, how would pills be made without him there? That was why he looked forward to Worldly Skies and the Fireheart Apothecary Society's move into his Mystical Realm Palace. If he could entrust the task of pill crafting to them, then it would free up a lot of his time in the future.
Not long after he finished restocking the Mystical Realm Palace, Izroth received a message alert from the system.
〈System Alert: Player Menerva has sent you a message, "Hello, Izroth. Is this a good time? If so, I have affixed a set of coordinates at the end of this message. The Headhunter Syndicate looks forward to your advent. Coordinates..."〉
'Looks like it's time. I hope you do not disappoint me, Headhunter Syndicate.'