Three days later...
At the moment, there was a large crowd of players gathered around the front of the Mystical Realm Palace. However, they were not there in anticipation of a new pill being released.
Shocking news had spread throughout RML over the past several days that made countless players restless. The owner of the Mystical Realm Palace was holding a grand competition to recruit talented craftsmen to his shop! The reason this news was so big had not only to do with the reputation of the Mystical Realm Palace, but with what was being offered to those who were accepted.
After being admitted, one would immediately receive 50 gold coins! With the exchange rate of 1:202 gold to RMB, 50 gold coins were equal to a bit more than 10,000 RMB! But this was not the best part. On top of the bonus, they would also be granted a basic monthly salary of 75 gold coins—that was over 15,000 RMB every month! There was even room for raises and advances as long as one put in the effort.
It was also stated that the Mystical Realm Palace would provide materials to the craftsmen. As for rare or hard to come by materials, they were even willing to set up an in-shop credit line that could be used to purchase 225 gold coins worth of materials! The most satisfying part of it all was that everything would continuously scale with the gold to RMB exchange rate!
This meant that if the exchange rate changed to 1:101 gold to RMB, then they would receive a salary of 150 gold coins, and the in-shop credit line would increase to 450 gold coins.
Of course, many players believed that this was all too good to be true and remained skeptical. There was an old saying—if something sounded too good to be true, then it's usually because it is!
Unless one was a remarkable craftsman in RML, getting paid 75 gold coins monthly was a distant dream! After all, most craftsmen had to purchase or personally gather their own materials, sell it; then, the auction house took a chunk of their earnings along with the gold to RMB conversion fee. By the time all the fees were removed, and they deducted the cost of materials, they were barely left with a profit!
Although there were other benefits listed as well, everyone's main goal was to obtain a spot in the Mystical Realm Palace to earn the joining bonus and generous monthly salary. If they could devote their full concentration to crafting, then their future would be limitless!
But, in the end, everyone was nervous and anxious—waiting for the owner of the Mystical Realm Palace to make his appearance. Some could not hold their thoughts in and hide the creeping anxiety.
"Do you think it's all true? Or, have we been tricked?"
"Tricked? Who could pull a trick on such a grand scale? Besides, I have a solid source that this is not just some cruel practical joke!"
"There are so many people here—can I really make it?"
"I wonder what we'll have to do for the competition. I'm only a 1st rank Apothecary, so I hope we won't be asked to craft grade two pills."
"Ha! Just a 1st ranked Apothecary? As a 2nd rank Apothecary, I am practically guaranteed a spot! I don't know why any 1st rank Apothecary would even waste their time coming here just to fail! Hahaha!"
"Y-you! Don't think you are anything special! Hmph, compared to the Pill Emperors, aren't you just trash on the side of the road not worth glancing at?!" The 1st rank Apothecary snapped back.
"It seems you can't tell the truth these days without being barked at by a wild dog. Just wait and see how I, Polar Opposed, deal with you once I become a member of the Mystical Realm Palace." The 2nd rank Apothecary said coldly.
Every moment that passed, the crowd outside the Mystical Realm Palace became more and more agitated. This caused a lot of intense arguments to break out between some of the players present. Some even went as far as challenging the other to a duel! However, a few moments later, when the doors of the Mystical Realm Palace opened, and three figures stepped out, the anxious crowd immediately halted their actions. Right now, their full attention was on the individuals who had just made their appearance.
At the front and center was the owner of the Mystical Realm Palace himself, Izroth! As for the two at his side—virtually no one knew the identity of those two players. Almost instantly after Izroth and those at his side arrived, the crowd started to bombard them with questions. Many of them wanted to hurry up and confirm if what they heard was true or not.
"It seems you've managed to attract quite the crowd." Worldly Skies commented.
"The benefits are too good for the opportunity to be disregarded. Even if one has dedication and talent for their craft, it does not necessarily mean that they can be successful. This is even more so for those who are not a part of a big guild. Though I am sure, I do not have to tell you this of all people." Metronome stated.
Worldly Skies nodded and replied, "What you say is true. Even for my Fireheart Apothecary Society, although it was not a struggle, it was also not easy to remain self-sustaining."
She then glanced over at Izroth and said, "They are too numerous to enter the Mystical Realm Palace all at once. What do you intend to do?"
"There's also the problem of potential spies being planted by the top guilds. A chance like this is one that I'm sure they have been eyeing for a long time." Metronome said.
"Naturally, we will have to shave down the numbers before we proceed. However, I have already prepared for this in advance. As for the situation regarding the top guilds—I will deal with this matter when the time comes." Izroth responded with a carefree expression.
"Then, in that case, I will leave you two to your own devices. It seems these next couple of days are going to be sleepless nights." Metronome smirked as he said his farewells to Izroth and Worldly Skies. There were other things Izroth asked him to prepare that did not allow him the luxury of remaining idle.
"If you wait any longer, I'm afraid this restless crowd will start to riot." Worldly Skies said half-jokingly.
She then continued, "Not to mention; I would like to get back to work as soon as possible. The books you provided are incredibly detailed and insightful. At my current rate, I may have to visit Danaharpe soon to take the 4th rank Apothecary test."
While other players still struggled to become a 3rd rank Apothecary, Worldly Skies was close to advancing to the 4th rank! She deserved her title as one of the Pill Emperors!
Izroth was impressed with Worldly Skies' ability to digest information so rapidly. In just three days, Izroth had witnessed a stunning transformation in her overall technique. It was as if every day, it was becoming more polished and refined. He believed that if she continued on this path, the results at the end of it would be frightening!
'My eyes have not deceived me.'
Izroth swept his gaze over the crowd of players. He estimated that there were at least 800 players, and the numbers appeared to be increasing by the minute! It got to the point where the NPC guards arrived to make sure that order was maintained. Outside the auction house, a gathering of this size in a single spot was extremely uncommon!
There were too many players to speak over vocally, and the local chat was also out of the question. Therefore, Izroth used one of the features he unlocked after adding the 4th floor to his Mystical Realm Palace called a Vicinity Alert. This allowed Izroth, as a shop owner, to send an alert to players within a certain range of his Mystical Realm Palace. This feature was limited to once every 24 hours; however, it was possible to use it up to two additional times per day as long as one paid 500 gold coins. While this amount was unthinkable for most players, it was well worth it for shops trying to draw in as much business as possible. Of course, with the famous reputation of his Mystical Realm Palace, Izroth had no need for the feature as a means of advertising. But, that did not negate its usefulness.
〈Vicinity Alert: Player Izroth, "I will start by saying..."〉
Over the Vicinity Alert, Izroth confirmed what had been eating away at the minds of everyone present. He officially announced the rewards and benefits of becoming a craftsman for his Mystical Realm Palace! The joining bonus, the monthly salary, the credit line—it was all true! The moment this was confirmed as such, the crowd could not hold back their excitement!
But, this was just the first part of the Vicinity Alert. The second part mentioned the details of the first challenge.
The first challenge was simple. In order to enter the Mystical Realm Palace and participate in the main competition, one had to answer five questions. If one answered a single question correctly, then the system would automatically grant them access to the Mystical Realm Palace. Every player only had one shot!
"Eh? That's it? We just have to answer one question right to get in?"
"Maybe he meant if we answer one wrong, then we will fail. It can't be just answering one correctly..."
One of the players near the front of the crowd asked Izroth if he made a mistake with his Vicinity Alert; however, he reassured them that he did not make an error.
"Just one question? So easy...! This must just be a formality. The real test has to be inside the shop." One of the players commented.
"So, who would like to go first?" Izroth asked as his gaze landed on the players located at the front of the crowd. However, they all seemed hesitant to be the first one to step up. In the end, they still had no idea what questions would be asked; therefore, they wanted someone else to go first. That way, they could learn from that person's mistakes. Even better than that, they could message that person directly and ask what the questions were so that they would be prepared! Who wanted to give up such a supreme advantage?
Worldly Skies frowned, "Is no one going to step forward?"
After seeing that no one was making a move, Izroth was about to choose one at random to get things started. However, just before he could pick one out of the crowd, surprisingly, someone who was a bit further back stepped out.
"I'll go." The player who moved forward said.
'Oh? It seems everyone is not as hopeless as I thought.'
Their words and actions immediately drew the looks of the nearby crowd. Who was this bold player that dared to go first?!