Chapter 500 First War Objective, War Brigade Commander Aurie
Izroth nodded and responded, "This is a fair trade. I have no complaints."
Although Izroth was hoping for more contribution points, Hyasin was already giving him and Maeva a good deal. Besides, War Kits were mostly for players who lacked the financial resources to purchase their own potions and other generally useful items. Naturally, Izroth had no such shortage of funds thanks to the Mystical Realm Palace.
When it came to Maeva, not only did she still possess most of the gold coins she acquired at the competition hosted by Izroth, but she was also a talisman maker with the ability to produce graded talismans. Therefore, how could she be short on funds?
"Alright, then it's settled. In return for forfeiting your War Kits, each of you will gain three contribution points." Hyasin confirmed. Almost immediately after, Izroth and Maeve received a system alert.
〈System Alert: You have acquired 3 Contribution Points in exchange for the following item(s): «War Kit». [Total: 3]〉
"Good, the General Support Unit is lucky to have thoughtful individuals such as yourselves! We may not have much in terms of resources, but we do our best to take care of our own. That's why, if you ever run into other members in danger, I won't ask you to risk your life. But, if it is within your ability, I hope that you will assist them." Hyasin said with sincerity in his voice.
Maeva was taken aback by Hyasin's sincerity. After all, her first impression of the GSU was not that great. However, Maeva believed that perhaps she had been too hasty judging the book by its cover instead of the contents within.
"Now that you are all set. Feel free to check the GSU's War Objective Board. Our primary mission is to act as a supporting force to the other branches. This can be accomplished in numerous ways. I should also mention now that the GSU does not give out war objectives with direct-type classifications." Hyasin explained.
War objectives had four classification types—General, Vicinity, Direct, and Emergency. At the moment, Izroth and Maeva had only viewed the vicinity-type, which was when they first entered into Xanaharpe. As its name implied, a war objective would appear when a player stepped foot into a specific area.
As for the other three objectives, Izroth and Maeva only knew them by name due to the Event Interface; however, they had no knowledge of how it differed from a vicinity-type war objective. But, if their names were accurate representations, Izroth already had a good idea of how the other war objectives functioned.
Izroth decided to take Hyasin's advice and walked over to look at the GSU's War Objective Board. It was located near the back of the room, and its appearance was not too far off from the screen wall that was inside auction houses. It looked as though the board was projected onto the wall by some kind of magic.
'Is this everything? I expected it not to be much, but...'
[War Objective Board]
«Operation Identifier: Border Watch»
Min. Requirement(s): Soldier 10th Class
Min. Level Recommended: 20
Slots Remaining: 13/45
Objective: Assist the War Brigade on watch duty at the border of the «Unsanctioned Zone».
Reward: [+1 Contribution Point per 3 hours]
«Operation Identifier: Care Package Delivery»
Min. Requirement(s): Soldier 10th Class
Min. Level Recommended: 30
Slots Remaining: 6/12
Objective: Assist the Resource Management Division in delivering care packages to the border troops.
Reward: [+1 Contribution Point]
«Operation Identifier: Monster Clearing Party»
Min. Requirement(s): Lieutenant (Captain or higher approval needed)
Min. Level Recommended: 44
Slots Remaining: 26/52
Objective: Assist members of the War Brigade in clearing all monsters near the «Unsanctioned Zone» at the Amaharpe/Malentansium connected borders. Do not cross into the «Unsanctioned Zone» or Malentansium territory unless ordered by a Captain or higher in case of an emergency. Doing so otherwise will automatically administer the failure penalty.
Reward: [+3 Contribution Point]
Failure: [-10 Contribution Points]
'Isn't the penalty for failure a bit too harsh for the last one? Not to mention, the number of contribution points awarded makes its value only slightly higher than that of a War Kit. But the amount that can be lost is impossible to ignore. Is it the higher the rank, the greater the penalty for failure? Or...'
Maeva sighed, "The reward is better than the vicinity-type, but... It would be nice if the reward and failure could switch places for the Monster Clearing Party war objective. With so little available across the board—can we truly earn enough contribution points this way?"
"To obtain a sufficient amount of contribution points by completing the GSU's war objectives alone is not likely. However, what is seen as the GSU's biggest weakness is also its greatest strength. Just that this method takes a bit of effort." Izroth stated.
He then continued, "In this war, our place is nowhere. Yet, it is because of this that we can be everywhere. Though it not as if I am walking forward blindly without a plan. Right now is not the time to act upon it, but I can guarantee you one thing. When that moment arrives, we will not lack when it comes to how many contribution points can be earned."
"Plan?" Maeva raised her brows out of curiosity. This was the first time she heard Izroth mention anything about a plan. With his seemingly carefree personality, Maeva thought that he would just go along with the flow of things until an opportunity arose.
'It may be too dangerous to bring her along. That place contains too many unknowns, so I cannot guarantee her safety. But, this choice is not one that I should make for her.'
"Would you like to hear it—my plan?" Izroth asked as he motioned his hand towards the War Objective Board and accepted one of them.
A few moments later, Izroth reached the border of Amaharpe that neighbored the Unsanctioned Zone and connected with the Malentansium territory.
After acquiring a war objective, Izroth and Maeva did not waste time any as they immediately made their way towards the border. However, Maeva's brows were currently furrowed as a serious and thoughtful expression was revealed on her face.
When Maeva learned the details of Izroth's plan—no, it could not even be called a plan. Reckless! That was the only word that came to Maeva's mind. But, if Izroth was serious about what he told her a few moments ago, he was not exaggerating when he stated that they would not lack a way to earn contribution points!
While Maeva was still unclear on some parts, she understood that if news of this got out, it would be enough to move the allied kingdoms!
"To think such a great secret exists in that low-level place..." Maeva muttered to herself.
"We're here," Izroth stated, which caused Maeva to snap out of her thoughts.
Izroth and Maeva came before a marsh surrounded by dense thickets and tall thin trees at its heart and outer edges. Spread throughout various areas of the marsh were hundreds of troops who belonged to the Amaharpe War Brigade. These troops included players and NPCs.
"Don't fall out of formation! You are there! Where is your focus?! I've seen better teamwork from mindless wild beasts!" One of the individuals shouted. She was a woman with short french rose hair pushed back and held up neatly by a headband. Her eyes were fierce, and the color of honey and her skin a warm beige.
The woman wore sleek light-armor, and on the lower part of her back was a pair of black tonfa with unlit magic symbols engraved into them.
NPC Name: War Brigade 2nd Unit Commander of the 1st Legion Aurie(Epic)
NPC Level: ???
In the end, Izroth chose the Monster Clearing Party from the GSU's War Objective Board. Since he was at the rank of Captain, he did not need permission from anyone to accept it.
Izroth also discovered that when he accepted the war objective, it allowed him to assign others to be a part of it. However, this seemed to apply solely for those directly under his command, as Maeva was the only one listed to be assigned. As a Captain, the penalty was also within his control if he could justify the situation as an emergency.
'To have a Commander positioned at the frontlines and using troops to clear the surrounding threats... It seems my previous suspicions were correct.'
When Izroth thought about how closely this location hugged Malentansium's territory and the Unsanctioned Zone, it made perfect sense that Amaharpe would not leave things to chance. Without a doubt, they would be making a move on the Unsanctioned Zone sooner rather than later.
Izroth then turned his attention towards Aurie, who attempted to correct the clumsy teamwork of the players who had recently joined the War Brigade. Unfortunately, the large majority of players were used to charging in without a plan. They failed to think about their position and the position of everything around them. Against wild beasts, it could be ignored to a degree. But, against those who possessed intellect and experience, it could prove to be a fatal mistake.
'She is not as strong as Seraphina. It's just that her presence feels somewhat off.'
Izroth could not put his finger on it, but there was something different about Aurie. He activated his Energy Vision Sense to take a more in-depth look; however, he could not discover anything out of the ordinary.
"Hm?" Aurie shifted her gaze to Izroth the instant he used his Energy Vision Sense. She had long since been aware of Izroth's and Maeva's presence on her battlefield. As they were not members of her unit, it was only natural that she kept a close eye on them. However, it seemed that one of them lacked manners.
"Peeking at this lady—have you seen everything you want to see?" Aurie said with a stern look as she turned to face Izroth and Maeva, who approached her.
Izroth deactivated his Energy Vision Sense and replied with a carefree expression, "If I have offended you, Commander, it was not my intent. It's just that your presence feels quite different from that of a normal person's."
"Oh?" Aurie briefly narrowed her eyes at Izroth's statement. It was clear that she did not expect to hear those words leave his mouth.
She then said, "Identify yourselves."
Izroth removed a light-blue insignia in the shape of a phoenix from his inventory. This particular insignia belonged to the General Support Unit and was automatically placed into Izroth's inventory upon joining. All war branches had a similar insignia that varied in color and appearance. These insignias displayed a player's official war rank and were soulbound to the individual.
"I am Izroth, the GSU's 9th Division Captain of the 1st Unit. This is my Lieutenant, Maeva. We will be in your care for a while, Commander." Izroth responded nonchalantly.
"GSU? 9th Division?" Aurie questioned with a slight frown. Everyone knew that the GSU only had eight divisions—since when did a 9th appear?