Zi Yi was the first to speak up as she said, "So, you finally decided to go through with it. If I'm being truthful, I'm surprised you have chosen to wait this long."
"Indeed, it has taken longer than I anticipated," Luna commented with a light smile.
"You two knew about this all along?" Halls asked in disbelief.
"Was it not only a matter of time?" Zi Yi replied.
In truth, Izroth never told Luna nor Zi Yi about his plans to create a guild. However, the two of them believed that it was inevitable. He was not the type to join another guild and work under someone else—this much was obvious. After all, if he wanted to, with his skills, he could have easily become a part of the top guild of his choosing! Instead, Izroth decided to move in his own direction.
This left Izroth with two options—to continue to move forward without changing, or to create a guild of his own.
If Izroth proceeded with the first option, even if he one day managed to reach the pinnacle, it would have been through an incredibly inefficient path. In the end, Izroth was one person. If he spent his time micro-managing every small detail, how could he concentrate his attention on becoming stronger with peace of mind?
Ultimately, Izroth accepted the fact that he was no longer the same individual that stood at the summit of the Seven Realms. This world was different and had its own set of rules. If one wanted to overcome and change the rules anywhere, then they needed one thing—power, and, right now, that was what Izroth felt that he lacked the most.
'Not yet. My strength is not enough to stand at the top of this world and the one outside. Until I reach that point, my life will always belong to those who are more powerful than I. No matter what world it is; this is unacceptable.'
Just knowing that his life could fall into the hands of another's decision at any time was intolerable for Izroth! He would not permit his fate to be determined by anything or anyone but himself!
Without warning, Guan Yu stood to his feet with a serious expression on his face as he looked over at Izroth. Everyone appeared taken aback by Guan Yu's abrupt action—especially those who had known Guan Yu the longest. They had never seen him behave in such a serious manner.
"Tell me one thing. What you said before, about standing above all others—do you mean it?" Guan Yu's gaze never left Izroth was he awaited his answer.
Izroth's expression shifted after Guan Yu asked that question. For a brief moment, his carefree nature completely vanished and was replaced by an overbearing pressure. This pressure caused cold sweats to run down the backs of those in the conference room. Izroth had not used a skill or any special technique to produce this effect. It was just that, at that moment, his overall demeanor had changed.
"If I said it, then naturally, I intend to keep my word," Izroth stated as the atmosphere became heavy. A deathly silence followed Izroth's words. However, the first to break this silence was Guan Yu as a convinced smile found its way on his face.
The tense atmosphere disappeared as Izroth's carefree expression returned, which caused everyone to breathe a sigh of relief.
"Good! I knew I was not wrong to call you my brother! A real man! What top guilds? Now that my brother is making a move, who can halt his steps?! Hahaha!" Guan Yu announced as he burst into a fit of joyous laughter.
He then continued, "Brother, of course, I, Guan Yu, will follow you!"
"I'm kind of offended that you even bothered to ask. How would I dare call you brother if I were to turn my back on you after all this time? All you have to do is say the word, and I will go charging forward." Halls said.
"I'm in. I have a feeling that by sticking with you, I will come across some interesting types of magic." Valentine commented.
"Right?! Doesn't he always attract some interesting things?! I'll never run out of adventures if I stick around here. So, you can count me in. Midnight's joining too." Mirage confirmed as she pointed over at Midnight with her thumb.
"Hey, don't just go volunteering people for things. But, I suppose I have nothing else better to do. So I might as well continue to babysit you; otherwise, who knows how much trouble you'd cause?" Midnight sighed as he rubbed the back of his head, helplessly.
"When do I ever cause trouble?!" Mirage scoffed.
"That's the part she denies first...?" Omega mumbled.
He then faced Qi Jiguang and asked, "What are you thinking, Qi Jiguang?"
"I'll join. I have witnessed his strength and character firsthand. He is someone worthy enough for I, Qi Jiguang, to follow." Qi Jiguang stated without hesitation.
"I had a feeling you would say that. Well, that old man would murder me if I left you by yourself. It should be fun to see where this takes us." Omega grinned.
Worldly Skies released a deep sigh as she said, "If it were a few days ago, I would be somewhat hesitant. After all, the reason I wanted to move to the Mystical Realm Palace was to avoid becoming caught up in the antics of the top guilds. However, it would seem that it is already too late to avoid them. Since that's the case, I might as well join someone I find trustworthy."
Worldly Skies had witnessed firsthand how the top guilds act when they don't get their way. She believed that Izroth was not the type of person to resort to similar methods.
Azalea, Gu Chao, and Metronome also agreed to join. But, most surprisingly, Metronome had resigned from his Administrator position in the Seven Dreams Consortium before his arrival! This meant that he predicted that the moment he had been waiting for had finally come. Still, it was a bold move for him to leave the Seven Dreams Consortium before anything was carved in stone. However, it did display the high level of risk he was willing to take.
It did not take long for everyone to give their answer to Izroth. Now, just two people were remaining who had not said a word—Luna and Zi Yi.
"Aren't you two going to say anything?" Guan Yu questioned with furrowed brows.
"Why would I need to say anything? I have already given my answer a long time ago." Zi Yi stated.
"I, as well." Luna added.
Both Luna and Zi Yi had, in their own way, had given Izroth their answer. To them, it was never about if—but when!
"Since everyone has agreed to join me, then I will never betray your trust. In return, I only ask two things of you. The first is never to betray my trust or the trust of those in this room. As for the second—just remember one thing. We will always repay kindness tenfold and contempt a thousandfold. If someone helps one of us, then they are helping all of us. If someone bullies one of us, then they are bullying all of us—never forget this." Izroth declared as everyone carved his words into their minds.
A few moments later, after things settled down, it was finally time for everyone to make their introductions. After all, not everyone had met the other before now as their primary connection was Izroth himself. Luna, Zi Yi, Guan Yu, Halls, and Valentine all introduced themselves. They were followed by Mirage and then the less talkative Azalea, who gave a short introduction. Next up was Metronome.
"My name is Metronome, am ex-Administrator from the Seven Dreams Consortium. I had the pleasure of meeting Izroth in the capital city of Amaharpe not long after RML first launched. We made a few trades since then, and now here we are." Metronome said. Among everyone present, excluding Luna and Halls, he had technically known Izroth the longest! This was somewhat shocking as no one else knew of his existence until just a couple of moments ago!
"My name is Qi Jiguang. I am a fighter-type class who once journeyed together with Izroth and some of the other comrades here through the Proximus kingdom." Qi Jiguang said.
"You're 'that' Qi Jiguang?! The famous fighter Qi Jiguang?!" Halls exclaimed, to which, Qi Jiguang gave a small nod in response.
Qi Jiguang was known as one of the best, if not the best close combat fighter in not just RML, but the world! However, he was well known for keeping to himself. Countless guilds wanted to recruit him when they heard he joined RML, but Qi Jiguang turned them all down. Therefore, Halls was shocked to discover that the same Qi Jiguang wanted to join his brother's guild.
"Oh? Famous fighter? We should exchange pointers sometime!" Guan Yu said excitedly.
"Whenever you'd like." Qi Jiguang responded without hesitation. He was not one to back down from a challenge. Besides, he was also interested in the strength of the others.
The introductions then carried on with Worldly Skies taking the floor.
"I am called Worldly Skies, and I'm a 3rd rank Apothecary. My class is nothing special, as my main focus is on crafting. It is a pleasure to meet everyone." Worldly Skies gave a proper greeting. However, everyone was stunned when she finished speaking. She was a 3rd rank Apothecary?! Did that not mean that she was one of the two Pill Emperors?!
"It's ridiculous just thinking about it. The top guilds would be foaming at the mouth if they knew that both Pill Emperors belonged to the same faction." Metronome commented.
"Ah, that's right. Isn't the other Pill Emperor linked to this shop? Why are they not here with us?" Omega asked curiously.
"You're right! Are they shy? I heard the first Pill Emperor doesn't like to be seen in public." Mirage said.
"Who says they're not already here?" Metronome stated, which caused Mirage and Omega to raise their brows.
"I suppose now is as good a time as any," Izroth said as he officially informed everyone of his identity as the Pill Emperor. However, only a handful of them was surprised. After all, there were those closer to Izroth who had long since connected the dots.
"You—I thought it was suspicious that you could remove so many grade three pills on the spot back in the Blazing Tempris Domain. So, it turns out it's like this." Mirage sighed helplessly. Just how many other secrets did Izroth have?!
"Pill Emperor... To achieve that title while also wielding that much strength, can he be a traditional medicine specialist in the real world?" Qi Jiguang muttered to himself.
Not too long after, Midnight and Omega followed with their introduction. Just like Qi Jiguang, Midnight and Omega had traveled with Izroth during a quest in the Proximus kingdom.
It turned out that Omega grew up with Qi Jiguang. He was a tanky warrior-type class whose primary focus was attack interception and widespread party protection.
As for Midnight, he was a rare Shaman class called the Seven Chained Sage. It was capable of summoning totems that could augment and even heal players within its range of influence.
The last person to introduce themselves was Gu Chao. But, although Gu Chao was last, he was certainly not least. He shocked everyone when he announced that he was not a 3rd rank—but 4th rank Blacksmith!
Gu Chao heard about Izroth from Worldly Skies and went to the Mystical Realm Palace to personally see his character for himself. As a result, he challenged Izroth to a contest in front of the Mystical Realm Palace. Whoever could take out the highest quality item would win. Needless to say, Izroth won the competition.
Izroth ultimately earned Gu Chao's respect, who started referring to him as big bro as a way of showing it.
"The surprises never end with you, does it?" Metronome winced. Despite his vast sources of information, even he was unaware of Gu Chao's identity and relationship with Izroth.
Izroth, however, gave a simple carefree smile in return.
"Now that introductions are out of the way-" Just as Izroth was about to speak, the entire Mystical Realm Palace shook violently as if it were hit by an earthquake.
Oppressive energy descended on everyone in the conference room. It felt as though hundreds of pounds of weight had been dropped onto them! That was when Izroth received an alert from the system.
〈System Alert: The Time Limit for the quest «Awakening of The Lost Bloodline» has been modified.〉