Chapter 498 Missed Timing, To Xanaharpe!
Once the event officially commenced, the first thing Izroth did was open his Event Interface to get a better understanding of its layout and features.
Izroth also received several messages from those he knew who had already joined a war branch and was deployed to complete war objectives immediately after the event started.
Seraphina, on the other hand, complained about her nap being cut short and left the Event Center not too long after the event started. Before she stepped out, Seraphina mentioned that Izroth should report to the General Support Unit's main base of operation before venturing too freely. Unfortunately, Seraphina did not bother to explain any more than that before she promptly disappeared—as if to escape having to go through the trouble of explaining in greater detail.
However, she was not the only NPC who took her leave. Tenze and all the other NPCs behind the information counters had also withdrawn from the Event Center. A group of ordinary NPCs who looked as though they originally belonged to the Event Center had shown up in their place. This was no doubt in direct relation to the registration period coming to an end. From here on out, if anyone wanted to participate in the world event, they would be randomly assigned to a branch and given the lowest war rank of Soldier 10th Class.
Izroth finished reviewing the Event Interface and discovered that it was similar to the Netherworld Exchange in multiple ways—but with a wider variety of features. Instead of vouchers, players could use their contribution points to purchase equipment, weapons, potions, materials, and just about anything else that came to mind. With enough contribution points, one could even buy a war rank promotion!
However, unlike the Netherworld Exchange, there was no instant delivery system. There were only two ways that players could claim the item of their purchase. One method involved spending extra contribution points to have the item directly delivered to them via delivery messenger. This delivery cost was not cheap, and it varied based on distance from the nearest allied outpost. This option was likely to be the least favorite for players as no one wanted to lose their contribution points for a mere delivery.
The second option was less convenient but did not cost the player a single contribution point. It was to pick up the item from the closest allied outpost. These outposts were spread throughout every kingdom; however, the further one traveled away from an allied kingdom, the fewer the outposts that would be available.
At the top-right corner of the Event Interface was the symbol of a spear pointing towards the sky with a wingless dragon curved around it. When Izroth touched the symbol, a blank list appeared before him with the words "War Objectives" written at the very top.
'Everyone else has started to accept war objectives and yet... I suppose the differences between the branches are already showing.'
Not even a half a second after Izroth opened the list, the message "No War Objectives Currently Available" appeared at the center of it. But, Izroth expected as much for the General Support Unit. This was even more so taking into account that the event had just begun.
'Since there are no war objectives, for now, I will head to the General Support Unit's main base of operation. As for this thing—I have no immediate use for it. But, it would be a shame to let it go to waste.'
Izroth's eyes landed on a majestic emblem in the shape of a blue-phoenix covered in flames. This was the insignia of the General Support Unit. However, this was not something that all players had as part of their system interface. It was likely that Izroth was only one of the few, if not the sole individual to have acquired it.
When Izroth waved his hand in front of the emblem, the war objectives list closed and was replaced by a new display.
[General Support Unit War Rank Assignment]
[10-Man Squad Leader: 0/15]
[5-Man Squad Leader: 0/30]
[Soldiers 1st-10th Class: 0/150]
Izroth did not think that Seraphina was serious when she told him to pick his own people. Wasn't this action a bit careless for someone who was supposed to be a war branch leader?
Nevertheless, even with access to the War Rank Assignment, Izroth could only promote official members of the General Support Unit. However, as Tenze explained earlier, no one but new and casual players would voluntarily join the General Support Unit. Even if Izroth could promote someone, he first had to find a somewhat capable person.
'It's a shame to let it go to waste. But, this much is fine.'
In the first place, Izroth never intended to command people—even with the war rank of Captain, as it would require additional attention that he did not wish to spare. There was no time to hold the hands of new players and walk them through every step. After all, he had his own goals for this event.
Izroth closed out the Event Interface after learning the coordinates of the General Support Unit's main base of operation. It was not located in the capital city but within the defended outpost city of Xanaharpe, situated near the Amaharpe kingdom's borders.
Izroth stepped outside the Event Center and was about to head towards Xanaharpe when he caught sight of a familiar individual out of the corner of his eye. This person had a gloomy and defeated aura about them as they sat on the staircase that led into the Event Center. At the moment, it was no longer crowded since all players had departed.
"Is something troubling you?" Izroth asked as he descended the stairs and stopped next to them.
"?!" At first, they seemed startled to hear Izroth's voice and immediately became defensive; however, when they turned to see who it was with their pair of stunning silver eyes, they relaxed their guard.
"Palace Master? You're still in the city?" The person Izroth ran into had slightly curled light blonde hair with blue and white leather armor that resembled that of cloth, and at their side was a thin yet beautiful silver sheath that housed a blade. She was Maeva, one of the players who had recently joined Izroth's Mystical Realm Palace during the competition.
"The war is not going anywhere, so I am in no particular rush. Why are you sitting out here? With your skills, I am sure you will have no trouble making a name for yourself in the Resource Management Divison." Izroth stated.
Izroth was not polite with his words but merely speaking the truth. Not only was Maeva an Alchemist, but her talisman making abilities were nothing to scoff at and probably ranked among the best in RML. Making a name for herself in the Resource Management Division should not be a significant issue as long as she put forth the effort. However, Izroth's words seemed to have only worsened Maeva's spirits—as if he had just rubbed salt in her wounds.
'Hm? Did I misspeak?'
Maeva let out a faint sigh of disappointment as she said, "It is an error on my part. About this..."
Maeva then explained the reason for her current mood, and after hearing it, Izroth could not help but feel that she was simultaneously fortunate and unfortunate.
After learning that Gu Chao refined a superior-ranked material to ancient-ranked, Maeva's competitive spirit became active. Therefore, she spent her time crafting talismans in an attempt to break through her previous barriers. In the end, after much trial and error, Maeva was successful. She had managed to create a talisman with not one but two grades!
While the success rate was nowhere close to 100%, it was still a vital step forward on her path as a talisman maker! But, misfortune soon struck as the time had eluded her. One of the Alchemists from the Mystical Realm Palace had just returned from registering, and when they saw that Maeva had still not left, they informed her that she did not have long. They joked about her being automatically placed into the useless General Support Unit and wasting her time away during the event.
Without hesitation, Maeva rushed to the Event Center; however, just as she arrived at its top step, the world alert sounded off—she had missed the registration period!
'From the sound of her story, it appears that she did not get assigned to the Resource Management Division. Then...'
"What branch were you assigned to?" Izroth questioned. Since she missed the chance to pick manually, the system should have automatically assigned her to a random war branch.
"The General Support Unit," Maeva replied as another sigh escaped from in between her lips.
She then continued, "I do not know much about it, but one of the other Alchemists did not have anything good to say. Is it true that the General Support Unit is useless?"
"Hm..." The first thing that came to Izroth's mind was an image of Seraphina drooling with a smug smile on her face as she slept behind the information counter.
"I suppose it's not too far from the truth," Izroth answered.
He then mentioned, "War objectives are hard to come by, there is no real command structure, so everyone does whatever they please for the most part, and the members are far from plentiful."
Each statement was like an additional stab for Maeva. She felt as if she had asked the wrong person that question! Who thought that the Palace Master would be someone who enjoyed the misfortunate of others? However, just as this thought invaded Maeva's mind, Izroth's voice entered into her ears once again.
"But, I will say this much. If you had to have the protection of anyone during this war, one of the best would be the leader of the General Support Unit. Also, if you need some reassurance, I, too, am a part of the General Support Unit." Izroth said with a carefree smile on his face.
Maeva was astounded by the Izroth's sudden revelation. She wondered why someone of the Palace Master's caliber would join the General Support Unit instead of the War Brigade. With the Mystical Realm Palace behind him, he would even do well in the Resource Management Division.
"Light and darkness are usually never far from one another. Since your circumstances are set, you can only do your best to make the most of them." Izroth said.
Not too long after he finished speaking, Maeva received an alert from the system.
〈System Alert: Captain Izroth of the General Support Unit has promoted Soldier 10th Class Maeva of the General Support Unit to the war rank of Lieutenant!〉
"Until you decide on how to do that, you are welcome to accompany me, 'Lieutenant Maeva'," Izroth affirmed.
After traveling for several hours and passing various checkpoints, Izroth and Maeva finally arrived at the outpost city, Xanaharpe.
〈System Alert: You have entered the outpost city, «Xanaharpe»!〉
But, the moment the two stepped through the city's gates, they were met with a pleasant surprise.
〈System Alert: Your War Objectives have been updated!〉