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184 Looking At The Bigger Picture

 "I'll need two hours to prepare a few things. Do you have any objections?" Izroth said.

Mariposa furrowed her brows at Izroth's request. She herself wanted to give Izroth the time, however, she was still a guild leader and personally responsible for Sleeping Gardenia. Therefore, she was conflicted.

Personally, she believed that Izroth would keep his word. After all, she did not feel that he had any bad intentions. However, as a guild leader, she could not always prioritize her own opinions over facts and to be quite frank, the facts were not on Izroth's side.

Zi Yi glanced over at her elder sister and noticed the dilemma she was in. She could not afford to think of only herself and her own wishes being in her current position.

Izroth sat patiently in his seat as he awaited Mariposa's answer. From her troubled expression alone, he could tell that she was stuck before a crossroad.

As the silence continued to fill the room, Zi Yi was surprisingly the first to break it.

Zi Yi released a long sigh as she said, "I will personally cover any losses Sleeping Gardenia suffers. Of course, with interest."

'Oh?'

Mariposa frowned as she listened to Zi Yi's offer. Her sister could not have known Izroth for that long and yet she was willing to vouch for him to such an extent?

"Surely you know that the total would be nearly double of our original investment of 80,000 gold coins. Not to even mention factoring in the exchange rate at the time the deal was made. That would be almost 200,000 gold coins with interest added. Even for you that investment is-" Mariposa tried to explain.

"If I said it's fine then it's fine! I'm perfectly capable of managing my own finances the way I want to." Zi Yi said without hesitation.

200,000 gold coins? Considering the drop over the last few days in the exchange rate, even if it was currently as low as 1:700, that would still be 140,000,000 RMB! Just how wealthy was Mariposa and Zi Yi's family that she would have free access to such a large amount?

Izroth understood what Zi Yi was trying to accomplish. She was offering Mariposa a way to accept the deal she wanted without having to worry about the potential backlash.

In his eyes, there was no such risk that existed. Izroth was positive that he would profit no matter what happened here today. However, in the end, he would not allow Zi Yi to suffer any losses for his sake.

Izroth shook his head and said, "While I appreciate the gesture, this was a problem caused by me. Therefore, I will be the one to accept the risk."

After seeing how far Zi Yi was willing to go to assist him, she had shown him once more that he did not make a mistake in trusting her. After all, 140,000,000 RMB was by no means a small amount that one could put on the line.

Izroth continued, "I am willing to forfeit the Five Cycles Pill recipe and creation process, as well as, all of its ownership rights to you and the Sleeping Gardenia guild. I am sure this should be more than enough insurance."

Mariposa and Zi Yi were shocked. He was really willing to risk a massive money making item like the Five Cycles Pill?

"You can't be serious! You'll be giving away an entire fortune by doing that! I really don't mind-" Zi Yi tried to talk Izroth out of it, but when he looked over in her direction with that calm and carefree expression of his, she could not find any other words to say that would convince him.

"You- Fine, see if I care. Don't say that I didn't warn you!" Zi Yi said as she folded her arms in a frustrated way.

Mariposa, however, had a serious look on her face. Was it wrong of her to hope that Izroth would fail whatever he tried to accomplish in the next two hours? Of course, Izroth's suggestion would be more than enough to cover any potential misgivings.

"Alright, I accept your terms. We'll meet back here in two hours and see where things will go from there. I truly hope that you will keep your side of the deal when the time comes, Izroth." Mariposa said.

"I intend to. Then, you'll have to excuse me." Izroth said as he stood to his feet and left the building.

"I'm surprised he rejected your offer, my adorable little sister. Most people would have jumped at the opportunity for someone else to suffer the loss and yet he chose not to. Still, I'm even more surprised that you offered to cover for him. Is it love?" Mariposa said teasingly.

Zi Yi scoffed and stomped her foot as she said, "Your heads are in the clouds again! I just know what type of man Izroth is! I knew that he would most likely reject my offer, but it was still worth a shot. You didn't truly plan on not allowing him the two hours, right?"

Mariposa had a helpless expression on her face as she shook her head and said, "Of course not. I'm no fool. Even if he was late an entire week I would have given him the two hours. I'm sure he knew this as well. I had no choice but to put on that little perform for the sake of Sleeping Gardenia."

She then continued, "Even if I received the 200,000 gold coins from rightfully terminating the contract, I would have not been looking at the bigger picture. I doubt that a mere Five Cycles Pill is as far as that man will go."

Zi Yi set her sights on the door that Izroth left through just moments ago. She began to think about the first time they met and their journey inside of the Chaotic Dogma Realm. Izroth was someone full of constant mysteries and surprises.

"Indeed, how far will he go...?" Zi Yi muttered to herself. It was as if something had dawned on her at that time.

...

'Two hours should be plenty of time to settle this matter.'

After leaving the meeting with Mariposa and Zi Yi, the first thing Izroth did was head to the auction house. He needed to find a few items with certain traits for what he had in mind. Also, he needed to collect his earnings from the x150 Five Cycles Pills he put up for auction.

It was just as he thought, the current exchange rate had fallen the past four days of his absence from 1:842 to 1:781. The Five Cycles Pills sold for a total of 3,930 gold coins or 3,069,330 RMB with the new exchange rate.

However, after the conversion fee was taken out, Izorth was left with 2,762,397 RMB.

'It's a good thing that the in-game time ratio dropped down to a 3:1 ratio, otherwise, the exchange rate would have fallen even further during those four days.'

As for the ingredients he had hoped to acquire, in the end, he managed to obtain all but two. Of course, he knew that it was unlikely that he would find what he was looking for in the auction house alone. He had another way of potentially acquiring the items he needed.

Izroth contacted someone he had not spoken to since entering into the Chaotic Dogma Realm, Metronome. Although he did not completely trust Metronome, he had to admit that based on the few encounters they had so far, he was incredibly resourceful.

When Izroth contacted Metronome he did not go into the details of why he needed the ingredients, but simply gave him their descriptions.

Of course, being the person he was, Metronome tried to dig for more information but gave up in the end once he realized that Izroth was redirecting every last one of his probing questions.

〈System Alert: Player Metronome has sent you a message, "I can have the items to you within the next ten to fifteen minutes or so as you've requested. I'll meet you at the following coordinates. If you need anything else don't hesitate to send a message my way."〉

Just as Metronome promised, he met up with Izroth on time at the arranged coordinates and delivered the items to him. In return, Izroth gave Metronome 20 gold coins. It was enough to cover the items, as well as, a small bonus for obtaining the items on such short notice.

"Pleasure doing business with you as always, Izroth. You know, I've heard some interesting rumor. The word is that you have some connections with Sleeping Gardenia and have paid them quite a few visits. I wonder if such rumors are true?" Metronome said as he observed Izroth's reaction.

"Rumors, is it? I wonder as well." Izroth said with a carefree expression on his face.

Metronome shrugged his shoulders and said, "Just a baseless rumor then, I guess. Well, I'll be on my way since everything seems to be in order." Metronome quickly took his leave.

Izroth shook his head inwardly. It appeared that someone had eyes on the traffic going in and out of the Sleeping Gardenia building. Either that or someone within Sleeping Gardenia was no good at keeping a secret.

Izroth went on his way and soon arrived at the Apothecary building. He went straight up to the third floor and entered into one of the free rooms. The first thing he did was spread out the ingredients he purchased onto a long table.

In total, Izroth spent 10 gold and 20 silver coins on the large variety of ingredients he acquired. Of course, this did not include the 20 gold coins he paid to Metronome.

'That pill should theoretically work, however, some of the core ingredients are a bit different. But, for the others...'

Izroth closed his eyes and organized his thoughts. A few moments later, he reopened his eyes with a near look of clarity present within them. He looked remarkably calm as he removed his Dark Abyssal Cauldron from his inventory and began the heating process.

'One or two pills are not enough to open up a pill shop. That's why I'll take this chance to kill two birds with one stone. I will create not one, but five new pills.'

According to pill grades the system had given his previous creations, Izroth predicted that he would end up with two grade one pills, two grade two pills, and one grade three pill. At the moment, it was still impossible for him to craft a grade four pill due to the weak fire core in his Dark Abyssal Cauldron.

Of course, Izroth was looking at the bigger picture. Not everyone would be able to afford a grade three pill. In fact, the vast majority of players would be unable to casually purchase a grade three pill. Therefore, in order to reach the millions upon millions of casual players, Izroth decided to create some lower grade pills.

After he revealed a bit of his hand, would Mariposa truly want to keep the old contract? Although Izroth was satisfied with the previous arrangements, he was just that, satisfied.

Now that he had enough RMB to breathe freely, he did not desire a short term profit. No, he wanted to build and create something much bigger. In order to do so, he required the assistance of Mariposa and Sleeping Gardenia.

'It will be a small price to pay for what I gain in the end.'

Izroth then cleared his mind of useless thoughts and went to work.

'The first pill I'll be working on is one of the lower end Spirit rank pills, the Heart of the Heavenly Dragon Pill.'

The lower Spirit rank pills always seemed to have the most extravagant names to make up for their simplicity. Despite its domineering name, it carried quite a simple but useful effect.

However, the main reason Izroth chose this pill recipe was that just like the Five Cycles Pill, it required a new unique method in order to be successfully crafted. Though unlike the Five Cycles Pill it was nowhere close to becoming an Earth rank pill.

Izroth started the Dark Abyssal Cauldron's fire on the lowest possible setting.

'The first step is the most crucial in crafting the Heart of the Heavenly Dragon Pill. It will determine if one succeeds or fails.'