Chapter 550 Blessing, Curse, and Opportunities
Silence filled the command tent for a few moments before Aurie was the first to break it.
"Your achievements in this affair are anything but modest, Captain Izroth. While Captain Gritt's death is a great loss for Amaharpe, he always understood the mission better than anyone—too well, if you ask me. He knew what needed to be done in the moment and made sure that it happened regardless of the cost. I am proud and feel privileged to have served with him at my side. I will personally see to it that he receives an honorable burial." Aurie stated.
"I'm certain he felt the same way, Commander," Izroth commented.
Maeva stared at Izroth as he spoke with Aurie. She was in deep thought after listening to him recall the events of the dreamworld.
Before she even entered the Mystical Realm Palace, Maeva heard plenty of rumors surrounding Izroth. Some of them were reasonable, but others appeared to be blown out of proportion. Therefore, she was skeptical and did not know what to expect.
To be honest, Maeva initially planned to turn down Izroth's invitation and sit out the event after being assigned to the GSU. After all, she felt that it would be a waste of her time, given the fact it seemed to be targeted towards inexperienced players. She would be better off spending her time crafting or completing quests.
But, Maeva was curious. She wanted to glimpse at the truth with her own eyes, and in less than a day, she had gotten her wish. If before Maeva only respected Izroth out of obligation and visible accomplishments with the Mystical Realm Palace, now she held a genuine form of respect towards him.
"His behavior, his achievements, a strength hidden so deep I feel that I have only barely scratched the surface, and just being near him makes one feel at ease—as if everything will somehow work out. Just who is he? I've played many games before RML, but I've never heard of anyone like him rising in the comp scene. How can someone with this much talent have stayed hidden for so long? Better yet, how come he has not joined a top guild?" Maeva internalized.
There were several questions that raced through Maeva's mind; however, she could not piece it all together.
"...t... nant... Lieutenant." A voice suddenly snapped Maeva out of her deep thoughts as she looked towards Aurie, who called out to her.
"Y-yes?" Maeva did not realize that she had been zoned out for several minutes.
Aurie gave a helpless smile and said, "To gaze at your Captain so intensely—is there something on your mind?"
"Gaze?" Maeva turned towards Izroth, who had a carefree smile on his face.
The moment it clicked that she had been staring at Izroth the entire time, Maeva's cheeks flushed a light shade of pink as she raised a fist to cover her mouth and gently cleared her throat.
"I was merely in my thoughts. I hope my actions did not bother you, Palace Master." Maeva said. She instinctively returned to her formal tone with Izroth as she closed her eyes and tried to contain her embarrassment.
"Think nothing of it," Izroth responded casually.
After a brief moment of awkward silence, Aurie got back on topic and stated, "As I was saying, it is both a blessing and a curse that the Antumbra of Decay did not bring along his Spirix. If he did arrive on this battlefield with it, then I'm afraid my Dream Domain may have been unable to contain him for even a tenth of the length it did this time around."
She then continued, "The main issue is that as long as Zarolas' Spirix remains intact, even if he falls, he will be reborn. It's the same for the other Night Lords as well."
"He's still alive?!" Maeva exclaimed. She was not the only one surprised by this revelation.
'Oh? It seems I won't be able to avoid the trouble after all.'
Just like Maeva, Izroth was also caught off guard by Aurie's words. What was this Spirix that allowed named NPCs like the Night Lords to revive even after death?
"Isn't this bad? You've called off the retreat and evacuation, but won't he return here for revenge?" Maeva questioned.
Aurie shook her head, "No. Worry not, Lieutenant. Our efforts have not gone to waste."
"According to our intel, it takes roughly two weeks for a Spirix to revive its Night Lord. During this time, it will be under heavy guard within the Night Lord's Crypt. But, it's not like we'll sit still and let this moment pass us by. I have already sent word to the Warmaster informing him of the situation. Without a doubt, an elite force led by a Warlord or High General will be sent to the Night Lord's Crypt in an attempt to destroy the Spirix. After all, this occasion is not one that comes around often." Aurie explained.
"For now, I'll have to ask that you two keep everything we've discussed here today to yourselves. Not only for the safety of those who will infiltrate the Night Lord's Crypt but also for your own protection. Although this cannot compare to your performances, I have a small reward for the two of you."
〈System Alert: Your Contribution Points has increased by 250! [Total: 1,992.07]〉
"For the time being, it is the most I can do until everything is settled. But..." Aurie released a long sigh.
She awarded Izroth with 250 contribution points and Maeva with 100 contribution points for their efforts. However, due to the situation's sensitivity and what was at stake, she could only do this much until the raid on the Night Lord's Crypt was underway. Though this was not the sole problem.
In the end, regardless of what was said, this achievement would be attached to Aurie. Even though Izroth dealt the killing blow to Zarolas, his death would not have been possible if they were not under the restrictions of Aurie's Dream Domain. Therefore, not only did the system not register the kill as Izroth's, but those higher up officials would see it the same way.
Naturally, Aurie had already explained the views of the higher-ups to Izroth. She was even ordered to keep silent about the true order of events. Needless to say, it left a bad taste in Aurie's mouth.
"There is a truth to their thought process. Without your Dream Domain, things would have turned out very differently at the Unsanctioned Zone today. I do not fault you, Commander. You have shown me your sincerity—this is something I will never forget." Izroth said in a carefree manner.
While it was regrettable that he did not receive any contribution points for eliminating Zarolas and Essirie, Izroth obtained several benefits from Aurie's Dream Domain. Besides, how could he be so short-sighted as to blame her for a decision she had zero control over? In his eyes, even if he killed the Night King of the Skounae, to him, it was only a small step towards the pinnacle of this world.
Izroth's aim was not to be number one among players, nor was it to be the best in the Mortal Realm. His goal was to become the strongest existence in RML!
After speaking for a few more minutes, Aurie wrapped up the conversation by asking Izroth and Maeva an unexpected question.
"This may seem somewhat premature; however, I'd like for you to take over the 4th Division and officially join my 2nd Unit," Aurie stated.
She then continued, "I'll be blunt. I feel that staying in the General Support Unit would be a waste of your talents. You will never acquire the opportunity to advance past the rank of Captain given the GSU's lack of members. In the War Brigade, you will be taken as far as you push yourself. Most importantly, I believe Captain Gritt would rest easy knowing that his division was left in your capable hands."
"Although it pains me to say this next part, even if you wish to join the Resource Management Division or War Intelligence Group, I can make it happen. We need more capable people like you in command positions. This offer applies to you as well, Lieutenant Maeva. So, what do you think?"
"?!" Maeva was shocked. Initially, she wanted to apply for the Resource Management Division as it would be the perfect chance for her to improve and refine her talismans. Now, she was being given an opportunity to do just that.
"I appreciate your offer, Commander. But I will have to decline." Izroth replied with little to no pause against Maeva's expectations.
 Short for "competitive scene". Basically, where all the pro players mingle.