Chapter 610 - Mazi's Offer
"I know you probably have a lot of questions you want to ask. Unfortunately, sustaining this direct link for an extended period of time is too costly. Just know that I am not your enemy. In fact, you can even call me your ally in a sense. That's why you should accept my blessing. Not only will it be beneficial to your growth, but it's something you require if you ever hope of confronting that thing in the Nether Realm." Mazi explained.
Izroth inwardly furrowed his brows. It sounded as if Mazi had been observing him for quite some time from the way he spoke. If that was the case, perhaps the God of Craft knew the identity of the one who put that restriction on him?
As if sensing his question, Mazi commented, "I should say this in advance, but I cannot reveal anything related to the Divine Realm to you. Even if you accept my blessing, the answer will be the same. Not only would it make no difference given your present strength, but it would also give a certain group of annoying people a reason to interfere further."
"Then, answer me truthfully. You may be known as the God of Craft, but I'm an Apothecary. I don't remember reading or hearing anywhere about your achievements in the field of pills. Why have you decided to reach out to me now?" Izroth inquired.
"I didn't earn the title God of Craft just for show. There is much about me that has been lost to the passage of time. If you want to know the reason I reached out to you, it's because that woman said it was time." Mazi replied.
"Haven't you already obtained a lesser blessing from her follower?"
Blessing? After that clue, Izroth knew that there could only be one person Mazi was referring to.
"The All-Seeing Goddess," Izroth uttered.
Upon delivering the Anivarity's Bell to Tererestiaa after returning from his visit to the Shadahi Realm and completing the quest Journey to the Seer, Izroth received the Blessing of Helilatiaa from Tererestiaa.
The skill's description did mention something about the blessing being granted by the Seer Tererestiaa in the name of the All-Seeing Goddess; therefore, it was not a genuine divine blessing. That was not to say that it was fake, just that it could not be compared to a blessing received straight from the divine being themselves.
"You have yet to step into the legendary realm but have somehow already uncovered a truth written in the Book of the Beginnings. If you proceed forward at this pace, it won't be long before you attract attention to yourself—some good, and others bad." Mazi revealed.
"What? Are you telling me you and that All-Seeing Goddess want to protect me out of the kindness of your hearts?" Izroth asked in a sharp tone.
"No. In the end, this is something we are also doing for ourselves and what is to come inevitably. You are a means to an end. Use what I offer you as a way to further yourself, Izroth. As I, too, will use you to get what I need. A mutual relationship of use—what do you think?"
〈System Alert: The God of Craft is making you an offer! If this offer is not accepted before time runs out, it will disappear for good. Would you like to view the offer? [Time Remaining: 59 second(s)]〉
"Display it," Izroth said as a new window opened up before him.
The God of Craft, Mazi, is making you an offer! If you accept their blessing, you shall receive the following:
-Blessing of Mazi(Skill)
-Exemption: This individual may not access divine power from the God of Craft; however, they are not bound by the restrictions of a follower.
Condition: The individual who accepts this offer must not ignore the well-being of the Mortal Realm. Failure to comply with this condition will result in a harsh penalty and cause all benefits gained through this offer to be removed. This condition will remain in effect until the individual becomes a Plane Ascender.
Izroth swiftly scanned over Mazi's offer. The Exemption made it so that he could not utilize Mazi's divine power, but it certainly erased most of his worries. It was a fair tradeoff as far as Izroth was concerned. However, wasn't this deal a little too much in his favor?
'This deal is too one-sidedly favorable towards me. Is his goal solely the protection of the Mortal Realm? No, there's something more to it. I don't know what it is, but he's hiding something, and it's likely related to the current state of the Divine Realm. But, how does it connect to the events that are going on in the Mortal Realm?'
The only condition listed was that Izroth could not ignore the Mortal Realm's well-being; however, wasn't he already doing that through the quest he had been receiving? If so, why not earn some additional benefits along the way?
〈System Alert: Warning! The time for «Mazi's Offer» is about to expire soon! [Time Remaining: 30 second(s)]!〉
"I'll accept your blessing, but you should know one thing about me. I always return kindness tenfold and contempt a thousandfold. Divine being or not, if you ever betray me, I will kill you." Izroth said with a cold gaze.
"..." Mazi stayed quiet until around ten seconds were remaining.
"She was right about you, Izroth. You really are just like that man." Mazi said in a slightly amused voice.
〈System Alert: You have accepted «Mazi's Offer»!〉
〈System Alert: You have received the skill «Blessing of Mazi»!〉
〈System Alert: You have received the skill «Appraisal»!〉
〈System Alert: You have received the skill «Unparalleled Craftsman»!〉
A golden light emerged from Izroth's forehead. A few seconds later, a golden hammer appeared at the center of his forehead before sinking into his skin and disappearing as the light died down.
"W-" Just as Izroth was about to inquire further, Mazi's voice began to fade away as he received an alert from the system.
〈System Alert: The mysterious force in your conscious is fading!〉
"Ah, looks like my time is up. Make sure you put what I've given you to good use, Izroth. Oh, and nice armor, by the way. Whoever crafted it must have been a genius, wouldn't you agree? Take good care of her for me." Mazi's voice faded out with those last few words.
〈System Alert: The mysterious force in your conscious has faded!〉
Izroth felt that it was a bit regretful that he did not get to have a more thorough conversation with Mazi. After all, how often would he get to talk to beings from the Divine Realm? However, he did unlock some clues regarding what was happening beyond the firmament.
'Given how cautious he was when it came to revealing information about the Divine Realm, something big must be taking place up there—or rather, is getting ready to. I can't say that I trust him fully, but his words seemed genuine. A mutual relationship of use, is it? How amusing.'
Of course, the biggest take away from this brief encounter was the benefits Izroth gained from accepting Mazi's offer.
'He lives up to his reputation as the God of Craft.'
Skill Name: Blessing of Mazi
Skill Level: MAXED
Skill Rank: S
Passive: +50% Crafting Speed, +2% Blessing of Craft, +1 Luck
Special Note: A blessing bestowed upon those deemed worthy by the God of Craft, Mazi. Only a select few are lucky enough to receive this blessing!
It was not an A-ranked blessing like the one he got from the Seer Tererestiaa, but an S-ranked blessing and the advantages it provided was nothing to scoff at.
'50% crafting speed... If applied with the Superior Pill Crafting from my Natural Pill Master trait, my total crafting speed will have nearly doubled. If the Mind of Pill Craft effect also activates, then it may even quadruple.'
Izroth may have hired craftsmen for his Mystical Realm Palace; however, he did not plan on allowing his own skills to suffer as a result.
Another pleasant surprise was the Blessing of Craft bonus he acquired from the skill.
'My Natural Pill Master trait only gives me a 0.1% bonus for Blessing of Craft, but this alone grants me 2%—that's twenty times more. This will greatly increase my production rate of pills with Blessing of Craft attributes.'