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96 The Beginning Of The Storm Part 2

 Ewan looked over at one of the other three players that were inside of the room along with him, Dragus, and Wess.

The player was a male with short black hair, dark green eyes and had an average appearance.

"Platic, how is the purchasing of the grade three pills going?" Ewan asked.

Platic had an excited expression on his face when Ewan mentioned the grade three pills. "Leader, it's actually going a lot better than expected. At first, Sage Falls was attempting to clear out the market of the pills, however, there was no way their own wealth could match up to all the other top guilds combined."

"When we showed that we were unwilling to back down, they had no choice but to give up on the pills that we're attempting to procure. According to the last update I've received from the members posted at the auction house, our bid for the thirteen pills are currently untouched and sitting at 25 gold coins each."

The only reason the Five Cycles Pill sold for 50 gold coins the first time was due to the fact that it was the only known grade three pill. Such an investment was definitely worth it to obtain the chance of unlocking its secrets and making a profit out of discovering its secrets.

However, its actual value was less than half of that. In fact, the pill itself should not exceed 20 gold coins, however, since Sage Falls was so persistent, it was difficult to force them to give up if one did not show an unyielding level of relentlessness.

"Since you've requested we obtain thirteen pills no matter the cost, I've had to pull back on some of our expenses for other necessities, however, the cost differentiation is negligible. So far, we've invested a total of 325 gold coins."

"I've left enough leeway so that even if we have to reach 500 gold coins, it should not be an issue. However, I highly doubt the bids will continue to increase at this point. I calculate other top guilds will not go over 30 gold coins to obtain a single pill. But, we still cannot rule out wealthy solo players." Platic finished his report without error to Ewan.

Ewan gave a slight nod in response as a small smile appeared on his face. "Good, very good. Once you've obtained the pills, send one to the Apothecary branch and have them run some test to see if they can learn and progress from it. The other twelve are to be delivered to me personally."

"Yes, leader. However, it will still be a while before the timer set on the auction runs out." Platic was the person in Cross Haven who managed their finances and divided resources. He, of course, knew of Ewan's intentions for purchasing exactly thirteen pills. Platic let out a sigh, "It's a shame that there are only 135 pills. With millions of players, such a small number is a drop in the ocean."

"Indeed... If a guild managed to get their hands on this recipe and produce it in large quantities, then there are two paths they can choose to take. The first is to keep it to themselves to increase their guild's overall combat prowess, or to regulate and sell it for a tremendous profit." Ewan explained.

Ewan then continued, "Although the pill cannot be used multiple times, the advantage it provides is too great to ignore. Right now, it's still not something the average player can afford. However, if that day comes then even if only one million players spend 1 gold coin on it, that still totals to one million gold coins."

"It's only natural Sage Falls wants a piece of that profit. Even I am tempted by such an astronomical amount of wealth. However, by that time the gold to RMB exchange ratio would be very different. Though, the profit will still not be small by any means." Ewan was interested to know more about the Apothecary who made the pill but for now, he had other important matters to attend to.

Ewan opened his interface and checked the countdown timer for the Protectors of Amaharpe event.

〈System Alert: Warning! The city of Amaharpe is coming under attack in 20 minutes and 12 seconds!〉

"We still have twenty minutes remaining until the attack on Amaharpe. Petals should be wrapping things up with Hyper Symphony by now. Platic, I want you to go and join your squad once you've confirmed the status of the pills at the auction house once more." Ewan stood to his feet. When he did so, everyone else in the room followed suit and also stood to their feet.

"I want everyone to prepare. Potions, pills, scrolls, whatever you need to ensure your full strength, I want you to acquire it. We'll meet at the front gates of Amaharpe ten minutes before the event begins. Dragus, Wess, you two will be with me. We'll meet up with Petals, Harp, and Too Risky to form the vanguard group. Dismissed." Ewan said, giving his orders out.

"Understood!" Everyone responded in synch and headed towards the exit to prepare for the upcoming event.

Ewan stood in the room alone and looked incredibly solemn, locked in that single moment. There was a part of him that was saying that something about the sequence of these events felt off. Such a huge event and there was no warning whatsoever? He had a gut feeling that there was something or someone who triggered this.

But, if that were the case then there was only one plausible explanation. However, it was something that he did not dare believe to be true. It was much too early for what he had in mind to be possible, but it would offer the best answer to his gut feeling.

"Someone has received a world quest..." Ewan speculated. The Crimson Corps Guards suddenly appearing, players having to defend the city, bizarre quest popping up all around Amaharpe, not being made aware of a major event... It was the only reasonable theory he could come up with.

"If someone really has triggered a world quest, then things may change very quickly before we even have time to adjust to the current situation at hand. RML as we know it may not be the same afterward." Ewan then walked step by step out of the room as the door slowly closed behind him.

...

All over Amaharpe, from the top guilds to the bigs guilds to the small guilds, everyone was preparing for the first major event to take place within RML, the Protectors of Amaharpe. In order to gain more benefits, some of the smaller guilds were grouping up with one another so that their numbers did not look so scarce.

After much deliberation, most of the top guilds decided on separate areas to stay in so that they would not interfere with one another. However, it was decided that if any boss level monsters were to spawn, it would be free game no matter which guild's territory it was in.

But, there were two of the top guilds who did not agree with that method and chose to do things their own way. Those two guilds were Sage Falls and Hollow Tempo. While the other eight top ten guilds agreed to the arrangements, those two guilds did not show any interest in doing the same.

Right now, something very peculiar was taking place in one of the sections located in front of Amaharpe's gates. The guild leader of Sage Falls, Slayer, was meeting with the guild leader of a guild that had recently been making quite the name for itself.

The guild was known as the Headhunter Syndicate, led by the player Vault. At the moment, Vault was talking face to face with Slayer about a potential partnership during this event.

"You must take me for a fool, huh?" Slayer looked coldly at Vault. There was no hint of warmth in his voice as he spoke to Vault.

"Quite the contrary, I think you are a very wise and insightful person. However, that's not the only reason I've brought this proposal to you and you alone." Vault explained. "The other guild leaders are too... Soft would be the best way to describe them."

Slayer stared at Vault without a change in his expression. However, he did not chase him away immediately which meant that he was interested in what Vault had to say.

Vault continued, "You, on the other hand, can do whatever it takes to get the job done. While I'm confident that your guild is powerful and can survive alone without any help, I still believe that my proposal would net us the most profit given the set of circumstances." A grin formed on Vault's face.

Slayer stayed silent as he observed Vault, looking for any signs of deceit or ulterior motives. However, Vault was just as his name implied, difficult to see inside of without the right set of conditions. While Slayer could not see any deceit in Vault, that did not mean he would let his guard down around him.

Slayer knew for a fact that people like Vault were the most dangerous type to deal with when it came to so-called "mutual benefits".

Although the core strength of the Headhunter Syndicate was not as strong as Sage Falls, the number of people within the guild itself was huge. It was unknown how a mystery force managed to grow so quickly, but there was no doubting their growing influence within RML. It would not be long before the Headhunter Syndicate joined the top ten guilds.

After thinking about it for a while, Slayer figured that the best course of action was to try and take the Headhunter Syndicate under his wing. That way the influence and power that Sage Falls had would increase by leaps and bounds. However, he knew that he had to handle Vault in the correct manner.

"I'm not entirely against... Cooperation as you've called it. I'll, of course, need to hear more of the details on the matter before I make an actual commitment. However, I do hope that this can be the start of a new and wonderful friendship between our two guilds." Slayer became a little more respectful, even if it was only for show.

"The guild leader of Sage Falls is wise, just as I've been told. If that much is true, the rumors about your immense strength and vast experience must also be the truth. It is a great honor for you to consider my guild as a friend of your own." Vault flattered Slayer, even if it also was only for show.

〈System Alert: Warning! The city of Amaharpe is coming under attack in 03 minutes and 05 seconds!〉

"We'll skip all of the formalities since there isn't much time remaining until the event starts, begin." Slayer said in an unrestrained manner.

"Here's what I had in mind..." Vault then went on to explain, down to the very last detail, the plan he had in mind for both of their guilds.

It only took Vault around two minutes to explain his entire plan, but by the time he was done, Slayer had a large grin on his face.

"Now I can see why the Headhunter Syndicate has been able to grow and expand at such a fast pace. You... Are quite ruthless, guild leader Vault." Slayer could not help but burst out into a fit of laughter. He had met some ruthless people in his time, but given what Vault had in mind... It could very well work for both of their benefits!

"Then since we're in agreement, I'll be taking my leave, guild leader Slayer. I'll see you on the battlefield." Vault cupped his fist and made a respectful gesture towards Slayer.

Slayer actually stood up and returned the gesture to Vault. "Our paths will soon cross once more. I'm looking forward to the future relationship between our two guilds."

After parting ways, Slayer turned to one of the men by his side and whispered a few words. That man only gave a slight nod and left from his current location.

...

〈System Alert: Warning! The city of Amaharpe is coming under attack in 10 seconds! Adventurers, the first wave is incoming!〉

It was finally starting at last. But, little did everyone know, that this event would be known in the future as one of the most merciless and cruel events to ever take place within RML.