The interior had an elaborate layout that made one feel as if they just stepped into the room of a prestigious organization. There were tens of cauldrons at the center area of the room that immediately caught the eyes of Worldly Skies and the members of the Fireheart Apothecary Society. Why? Because every single cauldron was C-ranked!
The average player in RML could only afford E-ranked cauldrons capable of crafting grade one pills. As for those Apothecaries with skill, it was not impossible to acquire a D-ranked cauldron that could craft grade two or lower pills. But, C-ranked cauldrons were still out of reach for most players who were not members of a big guild. Even an Apothecary organization like the Fireheart Apothecary Society only had two C-ranked cauldrons after going through painstaking efforts to obtain them.
However, this was not an issue at the moment, given the severe lack of 3rd rank Apothecaries in RML. After all, as far as everyone knew, only two players had reached the level of crafting grade three pills! But, even if there were still some hidden tigers out there, the number of 3rd rank Apothecaries could still be counted with one's fingers alone.
But, what truly shocked them was a cauldron at the very center of the room. It was deep blue with the image of a dragon wrapping around its metal exterior. It gave off a strong feeling of intimidation, and if one looked at it too long, they would see the image of a dragon leap out at them. This effect caused some of the Fireheart Apothecary Society players, who stared at the cauldron for more than a few seconds, to shut their eyes, shout out, and put their arms up to guard themselves.
Though by the time they opened their eyes and realized that there was no dragon, a look of embarrassment quickly found its way onto their faces.
"Such a supreme cauldron...!" Worldly Skies said with a hint of shock in her voice. She was one of the few players not affected by the aura of the cauldron. But, even she had to admit that working with that cauldron, while exciting, would be equally as terrifying. It felt as if one wrong move would cause the cauldron to forget about the ingredients and devour the user instead. A cauldron that powerful had to be B-ranked!
Of course, Izroth did not get his hands on these cauldrons alone. Even if one had the money, they would not necessarily be able to purchase a batch of C-ranked cauldrons and a B-ranked cauldron. In order to do that, one needed connections—strong connections! Fortunately, Izroth had just the right connection who was an Administrator from the Seven Dreams Consortium!
When Izroth contacted Metronome, he was more than happy to meet Izroth's needs. However, even Izroth would have never guessed that Metronome had actually managed to get his hands on a B-ranked cauldron!
Even the Apothecary building in Amaharpe only had a handful of C-ranked cauldrons, which were reserved for 3rd rank Apothecaries. Unlike the D-ranked cauldrons, C-ranked cauldrons were not free to use for players, and the costs of using one required a fair amount of gold coins.
Izroth spent around 310 gold coins to purchase a single C-ranked cauldron. With the current gold to RMB exchange rate of 1:225, that was almost 70,000 RMB for one C-ranked cauldron!
As for the B-ranked cauldron, it was even more expensive and cost a whopping 2,825 gold coins—that was over 630,000 RMB! Just the total cost of the cauldrons alone on the 4th floor was worth well over 1,000,000 RMB.
Though the shock did not stop there over the "minor arrangements,". There were entire bookshelves lined up on the walls filled with books that ranged from herbs and climates to Apothecary insights and research.
For this part, Izroth had to revisit the Amaharpe Palace Library and the Apothecary building. It was at those places that he was able to purchase personal copies of the books. While that sounded easy to do, it was not so simple. If not for Izroth's good relationship with the Keeper of Books and the Apothecaries from the Apothecary building, it would not have been so easy to gather everything as smoothly as he did.
Izroth also made sure to include some of his own personal insights, as well as potential pill recipes with some descriptions of ingredients that he had yet to discover a substitute for in RML. But, he restricted access to most of his writings to Worldly Skies. There were still various tests for the others to pass if they wanted to gain his trust.
To top it all off, there was a small counter near the back of the room with a male NPC behind it named Onyx. He was a human who appeared to be in his late fifties to early sixties with gray hair and closed eyes.
"Who's that man back there?" Xing Bai asked curiously as his eyes landed on Onyx.
"That is Mister Onyx, the inventory manager of this floor. If you need access to any ingredients that are in storage, you will need to ask him. As long as the ingredient you want is available, there will be no trouble receiving it. Of course, if what you are looking for is not there, then all you have to do is follow the instructions Handler Izroth has previously given." Opal explained with a pleasant smile.
"You have really outdone yourself this time, Apothecary Izroth." Worldly Skies sighed in amazement. To be truthful, she had been somewhat worried about the area her Fireheart Apothecary Society would be given to work in. It was not that she doubted Izroth; however, even with is earnings from the Mystical Realm Palace, it would not be easy locating the proper items to set up a usable Apothecary Pill Refinery \u0026 Research Center. But, it would appear that she had once again underestimated Izroth. Any Apothecary in RML would kill for the opportunity to work in such a high-level place!
"Just a small matter not worth discussing," Izroth replied nonchalantly. However, Worldly Skies and the members of the Fireheart Apothecary Society felt that Izroth was being too humble. But, how could they know that Izroth was simply speaking the truth? Compared to the Apothecary establishments of higher-ranked Apothecaries, the 4th floor of his Mystical Realm Palace would probably be considered a child's playroom!
However, Izroth was in no rush to reach this point. He understood that as long as he continued on this path, then even the Apothecary establishments of those high ranked Apothecaries would not come close to comparing to the one in his Mystical Realm Palace!
After Opal finished giving Worldly Skies and the Fireheart Apothecary Society a full tour of the 4th floor, they were excited and anxious to get to work. But, in the long run, Worldly Skies believed that there were still too few members to run efficiently and made sure she brought this to Izroth's attention.
Being an Apothecary was more than crafting pills. One had to understand and continuously research various subject matters. Not only that, but countless experiments that may end in numerous failures usually awaited them before they received their desired result. Without multiple people working on different fronts, the overall progress of their pill research and development would be incredibly slowed.
"Leave this matter to me. Though I may need to borrow your presence for a bit when the time comes." Izroth said.
Worldly Skies nodded and replied, "Just say the word, and I will be there—of course, as long as I am not in the middle of crafting something important. Rare ingredients are still challenging to come by, and it would be a shame to see Apothecary Izroth's hard work gathering such materials go to waste."
Izroth and Worldly Skies ironed out some last-minute details before Izroth left the Apothecaries on the 4th floor to their own devices.
'The world event is only 18 days away. I will have to start preparing. If we have to return to the Shadahi Realm or the seal in the Lake of Tears is broken, then RML will be thrown into a state of chaos. I have to find out what Tempest is doing behind the scenes as soon as possible. Hopefully, "she" is making some progress on that end. There's also the matter of the Great Duke I have to resolve.'
Izroth found that he had unknowingly made many enemies in RML. The entire Nether Realm, the Shadahi, a Great Duke of the Pzenium kingdom, the Tempest kingdom, and now, there was the Undying Maelstrom, which he had little to no information about.
As for a small character like the Headhunter Syndicate, typically, they would not be worthy of Izroth's attention. But, as long as he was in this world, there was no room for him, and the Headhunter Syndicate to both exist!
Izroth received a sudden alert from the system. Unexpectedly, it was from Niflheim who had requested a voice chat!
〈System Alert: Player Niflheim has requested a voice chat!〉
〈System Alert: Do you wish to accept the incoming voice chat from Player Niflheim?〉
'I have not heard from him since we parted ways back at the Great Sea Palace raid.'
The day of the Great Sea Palace raid ended, the top guilds received some shocking news that was almost too absurd to believe. The 7th Captain and main strategist, Niflheim, had left Blue Oasis!
Niflheim's loyalty to Blue Oasis was well known, and he was not an insignificant name in RML. This was a massive blow to Blue Oasis and an immense opportunity for some of the bigger guilds not counted a top guild. Unfortunately for them, Niflheim flat out rejected all offers citing "personal matters" as the reason. Naturally, this left many disappointed. But, the enemies of Blue Oasis were secretly celebrating. Losing Niflheim was like having an arm of a leg cut off of Blue Oasis! From this point on, they would be seen as crippled!
'Let's see what he wants.'
"Accept." Izroth said.
〈System Alert: You have started a voice chat with Player Niflheim! To end the voice chat at any time, simply say "Terminate Voice Chat" or open up the player system interface and manually end the call.〉
[Voice Chat] Niflheim, "It's been a while, Izroth. Also, congratulations on drawing the Fireheart Apothecary Society over to your side. Honestly, you seem to have more secrets than one could keep track of."
[Voice Chat] Izroth, "I see news travels quite fast to have already reached your ears. Then, I suppose I should thank you for your congratulations. Though I am curious about the reason behind your contact."
Izroth was not surprised that someone with Niflheim's connections and intelligence knew of his relationship with the Fireheart Apothecary Society—especially after the events that happened over the last few days. After all, even if he was no longer a captain of Blue Oasis, it did not mean that he was not without his own methods.
[Voice Chat] Niflheim, "Despite what occurred, a promise is a promise. I have called to keep my end of the bargain, Izroth. Or, have you already lost interest? To the method of obtaining a territory, that is."