Izroth followed the coordinates sent by Menerva and arrived at a remote corner of Amaharpe. There was minimal player traffic, and even the presence of NPCs was lacking compared to the whole of Amaharpe. At the moment, Izroth stood before an old yet sturdy building. It was one of the few buildings on the street that did not look completely rundown.
'These are the correct coordinates, however...'
Based on the rumors Izroth heard floating around, the players from the Headhunter Syndicate were haughty and prideful. Therefore, how could this small and plain building be their headquarters? Most likely, it was a place where they conducted meetings like the one with Izroth.
'Not much is known about the inner workings of the Headhunter Syndicate. Their main headquarters is also well hidden. The people behind this guild are quite sly.'
The Headhunter Syndicate had an advantage that no other top guild in RML possessed, and that was the fact that they were completely unheard of before RML! While they could gather information on top guilds with relative ease, it was challenging for other top guilds to do the same with them.
Izroth looked towards the door as he heard footsteps approaching. A couple of seconds later, someone opened the door. It was a woman approximately 150cm with perfectly neat purple hair that stopped right at her shoulders, eyes the color of honey topaz, and indifferent facial expression. But, despite her impassive expression, her looks were above average. What stood out the most, however, was that she wore purple and golden leather-type equipment with a beautiful longbow on her back that was almost twice her size! How would one even go about wielding such a massive longbow?
"It is an honor to receive you, owner of the Mystical Realm Palace, Izroth." The woman spoke in an unhurried and formal manner.
The moment Izroth heard the woman speak, he immediately recognized her voice. He had spoken to her once before via the system voice chat.
Izroth nodded as he said, "You must be Menerva."
"Indeed, that is the alias I have inherited," Menerva replied.
She then continued, "If you will follow me, I shall guide you to the guild leader of the Headhunter Syndicate. He is anxious to meet with the owner of the Mystical Realm Palace."
Menerva appeared to be in her late-teens to early-twenties—it was challenging to find someone that age who was so overly formal.
Izroth accompanied Menerva into the building as the door automatically closed behind them. The inside was not very spacious and consisted of a narrow hallway with a single door at the end. This meant that there was only one way in and one way out.
Of course, the Headhunter Syndicate did not own this place and could only rent it temporarily. After all, obtaining permission to own land was not something just anyone could do, and this included the top guilds.
Menerva stopped at the door before knocking once so that those inside were aware of her arrival. Then, exactly five seconds later, she opened the door at the end of the hallway, revealing a decent size room with a wooden small wooden table at its center that only seated two.
"Reporting—the owner of the Mystical Realm Palace, Izroth, has arrived." Menerva announced as Izroth stepped into the room.
'To think they would have the combat safety restrictions off. How bold.'
The first thing Izroth did when he entered the room was to scan his surroundings. In total, excluding Menerva and himself, there were five players present. Four of the players stood at different corners of the room and were hidden in the dark corners. As for the last player, he was sat at the small wooden table with his fingers connected. He displayed a look of arrogance and confidence as he sized-up Izroth.
"I am Vault, the guild leader of the Headhunter Syndicate. I'm glad you could make it, Izroth. We have much to discuss that will benefit both of us. No need to stand on ceremony, have a seat." The player who sat at the table spoke as he introduced himself.
When Vault examined Izroth, he frowned inwardly. Why did this person seem so familiar? He tried to remember where he saw Izroth before; however, he could not remember. Therefore, he figured that if they did ever meet, it must have just been passing by one another.
But, the moment Izroth saw this player, his eyes turned cold. It was rare that Izroth exhibited such behavior before someone he had never met before; however, there was a part of him that wanted this person to suffer.
'So, your hatred is this strong, after all.'
Izroth instantly regained himself as a carefree expression appeared on his face. What he just experienced was not the sole manifestation of his own feelings, but rather, his body's original owner caused the intense hatred! Though Izroth understood just where this hatred came from, after all, how could someone not hate the person who betrayed them and then later left them for dead?
Vault, the guilder leader of the Headhunter Syndicate, was none other than Jin's ex-best friend, Wendell! This was the person who abandoned him, stole his girlfriend, and then left him for dead in the middle of the street after running him over! Not to mention, he dared even to have thoughts of striking Reilei!
However, from his reaction, Vault did not appear to recognize Izroth. But, this was to be expected. After all, Izroth had undergone a metamorphosis thanks to his Heavenly Golden Body. Not to mention, in Vault's mind, it was impossible for someone like Jin to be so well known. He was just another nobody—in the real world and RML.
Izroth decided to play along, for now, to see what he was up to. But, one thing was for sure. Now that he knew the identity of the person behind the Headhunter Syndicate, it was not a matter of how, but when they would be exterminated!
'Enjoy what little power and time you have left.'
Izroth knew that even if he were to kill Vault once or twice in-game, given the pure quantity of members in the Headhunter Syndicate, it would be impossible to destroy them at their roots with such small thinking. Fortunately, the perfect opportunity would soon show itself! The world event that was just nine days away, or 27 days in-game time—the First Declaration of War! If they dared to choose the side of the Shadahi, it would be the perfect time to cut them at their roots! Until then, Izroth decided to bide his time. After all, this was only the first step towards keeping the promise he made with the original owner of his body. By the time he was done, the name Vault and Wendell would not even be a whisper in the wind!
"My time is precious, guild leader Vault. So, if you have something to say, then you can just say it." Izroth stated nonchalantly.
Vault grinned and replied, "Good! Very good! I like those who do not beat around the bush about matters! Then, I'll speak plainly. Join my Headhunter Syndicate and convince the Pill Emperor to become our exclusive pill supplier. If you do this, then I can guarantee you that whatever you want—money, fame, power, woman—all you have to do is say the word, and it will be yours. Of course, we will also be taking over direct ownership of the Mystical Realm Palace."
Izroth obviously had no intention of accepting his deal. Even if they were on good terms with one another, in the end, it would be Izroth's loss in the long term. What surprised him was that Vault did not seem to know of his identity as the Pill Emperor!
Izroth glanced towards Menerva, who maintained a neutral expression. It was Menerva who had deduced his identity as the Pill Emperor. She previously informed Izroth that not even the guild leader of the Headhunter Syndicate his status as the Pill Emperor. However, based on what he knew about the Headhunter Syndicate, Izroth found it difficult to believe that one of its members would hide such vital information from their guild leader.
That was when one simple question came to Izroth's mind—why? Why had Menerva chosen to keep it a secret? Gain his trust? It was unlikely seeing as how she knew little to nothing about him. Of course, what Izroth found the most bizarre was that someone with Menerva's talent and demeanor worked for Vault and the Headhunter Syndicate.
Although they had not exchanged too many words, Izroth understood that Menerva was not just some nobody. In terms of readability, she hid herself even more profoundly than the guild leader of Cross Haven, Ewan. Izroth did not know what method Vault used to pull someone of Menerva's caliber over to his side, but he would not be surprised if he used some underhanded tactics. After all, this was a person who was willing to leave someone he once called his best friend to die!
"I will have to decline your offer. Money? I do not lack it. Fame? Just yesterday, I helped to clear a hardcore raid. Along with my status as the owner of the Mystical Realm Palace, I lack not in this area either. Power? If I said I was second, who would dare claim to be first? Women? Even if you searched the entire world twice, with just you, how could you find a woman worthy of me that I cannot find myself?" Izroth replied in a calm and carefree tone.
When Vault heard those words, his facial expression instantly darkened. This Izroth person was too arrogant! Did he genuinely believe that just because he was the owner of the Mystical Realm Palace, that their power and influence could be considered equal? Just by talking to him face to face, Vault felt that he was already giving Izroth more than enough face. Yet, he dared to spit on this favor? Audacious!
"I urge you to reconsider, Izroth. In life, one must learn to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. There are people who you can and cannot afford to offend—always a higher peak to be reached. Do not allow your modest achievements and pride to get the better of you. Otherwise, you will wake up one day, finding that all you once had, has been lost." Vault stated coldly.
"You should be careful with your words, guild leader Vault. That almost sounded like a threat." Izroth said as he narrowed his eyes.
"Hear it as you will; however, that does not change the fact that the words I speak are the truth." Vault responded.
"Is this the legendary sincerity of the Headhunter Syndicate?" Izroth asked.
"When my Headhunter Syndicate shows its 'sincerity', trust me, you will know." Vault said.
An eerie silence entered the room as the atmosphere became intense. It looked as if a fight could break out at any moment!