"This isn't fair! There was obviously something wrong with this cauldron!" One of the participants shouted as if he had been wronged.
"That's right! This furnace was acting up as well! I made an item numerous times using the same method and materials—how can it fail this time?!" Another player chimed in.
"That woman next to him didn't even move from her spot. Maybe they knew that no matter what we did, it would be useless. Otherwise, why else would the owner of the Mystical Realm Palace offer to double our rewards?"
"Yeah! We want a redo! A fair contest!"
"Yeah! No one passed! Redo!"
"Give us a redo!"
The 57 players who had been scrambling around for the last hour had gone past their breaking point. They failed time and time again without knowing why, and it was too much for their pride to bear.
"This was a waste of time. I had no idea the owner of the Mystical Realm Palace just wanted to assume himself by watching us fail." One of the participants grumbled. He believed that this entire competition was just one big joke! Even the worst craftsman should be able to create one item within an hour using what was given to them in this room.
Although Izroth claimed that the equipment he provided was in perfect condition, they refused to believe it! After all, if they were in excellent condition, how come no one was able to produce an item?
"Fools..." Maeva said to herself. She sighed as she watched the unsightly behavior unfold before her.
Worldly Skies shook her head. They failed due to their own ignorance and incompetence. Now, they wanted to complain and demand a redo? What a joke!
"It would seem that you all are not convinced that your failure is justified," Izroth stated. However, the aura around him changed and caused the unsettled crowd to fall silent as they felt an overwhelming pressure descend upon them.
Izroth used a weakened version of his Soul Pressure trait to bring the crowd under control quickly. If one wanted to make demands of him, they first needed the power to do so!
A few seconds later, when things calmed down, Izroth released his Soul Pressure as the pressure in the atmosphere evaporated.
"I shall now announce the results—is there anyone who wishes to protest?" Izroth said as he swept his gaze across the group of players. But, no one dared to protest! They did not know where that pressure came from, but right now, no one had the will to object.
"One by one, step forward and present your item," Izroth stated after no one protested.
Was he alright in the head? He just witnessed for himself that no one had been able to craft anything, and now he was asking that someone step forward to present their item?! Did he want to infuriate and mock them to death?!
Maeva walked forward and stopped in front of Izroth. Maeva's actions caused a look of confusion and bewilderment to appear on the faces of the majority of the participants.
'This item... A great find indeed.'
"You pass. Welcome to my Mystical Realm Palace." Izroth said as a small money pouch appeared in his hands. He tossed this money pouch to Maeva, who caught it without issue.
The money pouch contained a total of 125 gold coins! 50 gold coins for joining and 75 gold coins to cover the monthly salary. Just like that, she had earned over 25,000 RMB!
"I thank the owner of the Mystical Realm Palace for his generosity," Maeva stated.
The item Maeva showed Izroth just now was a talisman! This meant that not only was Maeva a skilled Alchemist, but also she managed to unlock the rare side ability to create talismans! But, it was not just any talisman—it was a graded talisman!
Name: Fleeting Seal Talisman(Rare)
Item Creator: Maeva
Usage: This talisman temporarily seals the last skill used by a target within 8 meters from the user's location for 2 minutes, preventing them from using that skill for its duration. If the target has used no skill within the last 2 minutes, then a random skill will be sealed.
«Grade Bonus » - This talisman also affects all hostile targets within 5 meters of the original target and applies the same effects.
Cooldown: 1 minute
In RML, by default, all talismans were grade zero. It was not until a talisman acquired a grade one or higher than its grade was revealed. However, the number of graded talismans circulating in RML was miniscule when taking into account the grand scheme of things.
Standard talismans could not be compared to graded talismans as the benefits granted made them a force to be reckoned with. After all, Maeva's talisman was only a grade one, and yet, the bonus effect was nothing to scoff at. In a battle against multiple enemies, it was capable of completely changing the flow of battle!
Almost everyone watched with dumbfounded expressions. Wait, she passed? But, she did not even craft an item! How was this possible?!
"Don't screw with us!" Just Havoc blurted out. He could no longer contain his anger even if he offended Izroth in the process.
He then continued, "You—was this your plan all along?! To toy with us?! First, you let her in without taking the first challenge, and now she passes the second challenge after not taking one step?! How could she craft an item?! I don't care what anyone else says; you're clearly showing unfair favoritism!"
Those who failed to craft an item secretly cheered on Just Havoc. He took the words right out of their mouths!
"Unfair this, unfair that—shut up already, will ya? All of ya are like dogs who won't stop barkin' cause they can't have their way. Ya mad? Just get good kid." One of the 15 players who stayed back along with Maeva stepped forward. He was a thin yet muscular male with wild black hair, piercing green eyes, and wore a fierce-looking fighter's robe. There was a visible scar on the lower right side of his face and bandages wrapped around his four limbs and shoeless feet. Attached to the side of his waist by a string was a gourd with the word "Spirit" carved into it. This player went by the name Top Tiger.
Top Tiger's words caused nearly everyone to cough up blood from anger! What gave him the right to talk down to them?! Who did he think he was?!
"You-" Just Havoc was about to speak; however, he was cut off by Top Tiger.
"Me what? If ya have somethin' to say, then say it. Just don't keep makin' excuses cause ya suck." Top Tiger stated nonchalantly.
He then tossed an object towards Izroth, who caught it with ease. It was a scroll. To be more precise, it was a Realm Chart. This indicated that Top Tiger was a Cartographer.
Izroth opened the Realm Chart and looked it over. There were some areas he was already familiar with thanks to his own Realm Chart. However, there were smaller unknown areas that he had no idea existed on the Realm Chart Top Tiger handed him. In terms of overall quantity, Top Tiger's Realm Chart could not compare to that Realm Chart Azalea gifted him. But, when it came down to detail, Top Tiger's Realm Chart held a definite advantage.
'Good quality. Having a skilled Cartographer will be beneficial in the upcoming event.'
Izroth gave a nod of approval before tossing the Realm Chart back to Top Tiger along with a money pouch that contained 125 gold coins.
"You've passed," Izroth stated.
"Then, I'll take my leave. If ya need anything, just send a message. I'm startin' to lose brain cells just being in the same room as those guys." Top Tiger said with a grin. After sending Izroth a friend request and having it accepted, Top Tiger immediately took his leave from the Mystical Realm Palace.
Since he was a Cartographer, there was nothing for him to gain by staying within the Mystical Realm Palace. Unlike Apothecaries or Alchemists, Cartographers had to constantly explore to discover and map out new areas. Otherwise, there was no way for them to remain relevant. Understanding this point, Izroth did not mind Top Tiger leaving. As for being worried about Top Tiger taking the gold coins and never returning, Izroth was not concerned. After all, it would be considered their loss, not his.
"Hold on; I didn't see him craft that item! Didn't you say that we had to turn in an item crafted using the materials on this floor?! It's obvious that he didn't create that Realm Chart during this competition!" Just Havoc stated angrily.
"You are mistaken. 'To pass this challenge, you must present an item you created that is of acceptable quality.' I believe these were the exact words used. As for presenting an item they created, it was only stated that outside materials could not be used—not that an outside item could not be presented. There are many ways to reach one's goals. Unfortunately, you all chose the arduous path due to your lack of understanding." Worldly Skies explained in a stern tone.
Just Havoc's eyes widened in shock as a look of realization found its way onto his face. This... Was it really that simple? The other 56 players who failed also regretted not listening closer. Instead, when they heard that the reward would be doubled, their focus was only on being the first to craft an item. None of them had even thought of carefully examining Izroth's words!
When it came to craftsmen, what Izroth sought was talent. However, he did not mean talent in the traditional sense. Anyone could learn how to craft in RML with time. But, one's comprehension, awareness, and observational skills were not things that could be readily changed.
There was a reason Izroth immediately followed the rules with an announcement of a potential double salary and bonus. He wanted to see who was capable of keeping a clear head in the face of great temptation.
With the first challenge, Izroth tested one's character. In the second challenge, he tested their comprehension and awareness. As for testing their actual crafting skills, he never had plans to do so!
Some things could be taught, and some could not. One's crafting skill was something that could surely be developed. But, when it came to one's character and comprehension—these were things nearly impossible to teach to someone who had already mentally developed.
"The equipment... Right, the equipment! What about that? Why didn't the equipment work?!" Just Havoc said as he found something to grasp onto.
Izroth inwardly shook his head. It was just as Worldly Skies stated earlier; there was more than one way to achieve one's goals. In this challenge, there was, in fact, another way to pass.
"It seems everyone here will not be convinced unless they witness it themselves," Izroth stated.
He then looked over at Worldly Skies and said, "Care to put on a demonstration?"
"With pleasure. The fast we finish up here, the faster I can return to the 4th floor." Worldly Skies responded as she walked over to one of the tables and collected some ingredients. She then approached a cauldron located at the center of the room.