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268 A Generous Donation

 For as long as Slayer could remember, he had always dominated anything that he touched. He would resort to whatever means necessary to ensure victory, even if others considered it to be morally wrong.

This became even more apparent once he entered into the world of gaming. Soon enough, he created Sage Falls, one of the most well-known guilds within the world of gaming. So what if others didn't like them? There was nothing they could do about it but silently accept their loss. After all, Sage Falls was not just any top guild, they were the most feared top guild!

However, the first truly fully immersive RML was a different breed of game. There were many players who were unable to make the transition and become top players within RML. For a guild like Sage Falls whose members relied more heavily on underhanded tactics instead of building one's own gaming sense and abilities, it was a nightmare adapting.

But, Slayer still managed to push on, recruit new members, and keep Sage Falls' status as one of the top ten guilds! However, for the first time, he and his Sage Falls had been on the receiving end of their own dirty methods.

The Headhunter Syndicate was merciless! Slayer wanted to tear Vault into tiny pieces and scatter the remainder of his ashes across a vast sea, however, he did not just want Vault to suffer, he wanted the whole Headhunter Syndicate to pay the price for crossing his Sage Falls!

In order to do that, he needed to build up their strength and fast. But, some of the core members he had recruited started to leave to join the Headhunter Syndicate and everything began to fall apart even more. He was desperate for a solution and Fan Yijun offered him one. He would just stick to his roots and what Sage Falls was good at, forcibly taking what they want by any means necessary!

However, the results were the complete opposite in what he had in mind!

"He's over here!"

"No, you idiot! He's right here! Hurry up and surround him before he-!"

"Eh? Steel Fist? Where did you go? Why'd you go so quiet?"

There was total and utter chaos within the Mystical Realm Palace at the moment. But, it was not Sage Falls who was behind the chaos, but rather the owner of the shop himself, Izroth!

After activating the Flickering Steps, there was not a single person here capable of keeping up with him, let alone landing a solid hit. Izroth's agility was currently over 5,000 points! Not to mention, the Skystep Boots granted him an additional ten percent movement speed boost. Therefore, by the time the members of Sage Falls had reacted, all they were truly seeing was a silhouette, not his true body.

With the damage stacked up from the Behemoth's Quake and the cooldown timer reset on kill for his First Baneful Sword: Destruction, as well as, using some of the other skills at his disposal, Izroth had already killed well over one hundred players!

As for the members of Sage Falls, they were spamming AOE and hoped to get lucky in hitting Izroth, however, they quickly stopped after realizing that crossfire on one another was inevitable. Therefore, they could only continue to aimlessly chance after Izroth's silhouette.

However, unbeknownst to them, they had begun to group up and move closer to the center of the room. It got to the point that everyone was beginning to bump into one another. A few arguments broke out as the average level of agitation in the overall group was incredibly high.

But, this was not a coincidence. Izroth had been leading them closer to the center of the room by positioning his flickering images in the correct positions. As he observed one of the players at the edge take that final step forward, he instantly moved to the center area of the room.

'That's the last one.'

In the next moment, a cold and terrifying force began to spread throughout the room. Not too long after, an overwhelming pressure fell on the members of Sage Falls. It was a suffocating kind of pressure that only lasted for a brief moment, however, it seemed like an eternity to them.

Immediately after this wave of pressure washed over them, over 98% of the remaining members of Sage Falls were killed! As for the remaining two percent, they were left in a weakened state. The players who were a part of that two percent were some of the last elite members of Sage Falls, and even they were not spared from the assault.

If only looked in from the outside right now, all they would see is a parade of particles dancing around in the air. For a small moment, the entire Mystical Realm Palace was filled with a shattering overflow of the particles produced when one died within RML.

In a way, it was a beautiful sight to behold. It was like watching countless fireflies drift off into the night sky. However, while that was how it may seem for others, the same could not be said about how the remaining members of Sage Falls saw it.

To them, it was nothing but pure death! They had lost all will to fight and stood there awaiting their deaths. What was the point? If even hundreds of players were unable to take him down, what chance did they have? Especially considering their current weakened state. It was all over. This fight, Sage Falls, everything- It was over.

Perhaps he would spare them out of pity now that they had surrendered themselves to their fate. However, that was only wishful thinking.

Izroth did not hesitate in cleaning up the leftover Sage Falls members who survived his Soul Pressure. He was surprised to see that they had not entered into a frenzied state since they had not died. After all, it was an effect paired with the weakened state of his Soul Pressure skill. In total, he used around forty percent of his Essence in that wave of Soul Pressure.

But, unknown to Izroth, the members of Sage Falls had such low Willpower after that skill was used that the system's Willpower Check was unable to force them into a frenzied state. Why? Because they had lost all will to fight! How could one with zero will to fight possibly enter into a frenzied state that would cause them to randomly attack anything in sight?

After he finished off the last of the Sage Falls members, the only player remaining was the guild leader himself, Slayer.

Izroth shifted his gaze to Slayer as he stood there at the center of the room surrounded by hundreds of items that dropped from the members of Sage Falls. There were even a couple of rare items and accessories mixed into the bunch! However, Izroth did not spare any of it a single glance. At the moment, his gaze was locked onto Slayer.

Slayer froze up when Izroth's gaze landed on him. Just a few seconds ago he had already unsheathed his weapon and began to rush over to engage Izroth, however, after only taking a handful of steps, he eventually slowed down before he halted his steps altogether. Slayer soon realized that he was the only one left! How?! How could one person hold that much power?!

This was that same trash combat master class that was supposed to be completely useless in real battles? How was it possible for one individual to possess that level of strength? Slayer could not comprehend it!

When his gaze met with Izroth's, Slayer suddenly felt a rush of cold sweats running down his down. It was like staring into the eyes of a terrifying and ancient beast! Slayer believed that if he looked away for even a single moment, he would not even know how he died!

Izroth was not using any kind of special skill or even Soul Pressure, just his gaze alone. There was a deadly level of calmness to his facial expression, however, that was what made it so terrifying. That look in his eyes that seemed to be above all else and hold Slayer in absolute contempt had snapped Slayer back into reality,

As reality crept up on Slayer, he finally began to wake up to the realization of what kind of situation he had gotten himself into.

"Do not think that this is the end. Your Sage Falls no longer have a place within RML. If after today I find out that you are still running around playing pretend guild, I will personally see to it that you pay the price. Every time I hear a mere whisper of Sage Falls trying to form, I will find you myself and... I will kill you. It's just that simple. If you want to blame anything, blame your own weakness." Izroth said.

Slayer wanted to open his mouth and snap back at Izroth, however, the strangest thing happened. The words would not leave his mouth! Was it some kind of silence skill? Maybe the equipment was malfunctioning? No, Slayer realized that he was unable to speak because of one reason and one reason only, he was afraid! When he looked down at his hands, he noticed that he was actually shaking!

Hearing the words that left Izroth mouth, as well as, seeing himself cower in fear like those he had intimidated so many times before had sent Slayer back into a blind rage. As someone who was not used to being on the receiving end of this kind of situation, it was too much for Slayer to handle. He took a single step forward to begin his charge towards Izroth, however, Izroth was no longer there.

Slayer's eyes widened as all he saw was a fading silhouette where Izroth had just stood and before he knew it, he felt something cold slip past his neck. There was a burst of overbearing aura that followed after it, however, he was not able to react at all! He stood there with a dumbfounded look on his face as if he still could not comprehend what had just happened.

"...Monster...!" Those were the last words that managed to escape from Slayer's mouth just as he turned into particles and followed in the footsteps of the other members of Sage Falls. A few seconds later, a sword with a faint glowing aura around it dropped where Slayer had just stood before his death.

It may have seemed like a long time, however, everything ended in less than one minute! If others knew of what had just transpired, they would not have believed it even if they had witnessed it with their very own eyes! After all, one player fighting alone against hundreds was something straight out of one of those old fantasy war movies!

Izroth's figure finally stopped flickering as he walked over towards Opal. He did not even bother looking at the sword dropped by Slayer even if it was a rare item. After all, how could it possibly compare to his Sword of The Storm, an epic ranked weapon? It was not even worth his time!

"Opal, gather up all the items scattered onto the floor." Izroth said.

"Understood, Handler Izroth." Opal responded as she gave a respectful bow before doing as Izroth commanded.

A few moments later, the floor of the Mystical Realm Palace was once again spotless without a single item left behind. It looked the same as it did during the grand opening.

Opal approached Izroth after she finished collecting the items and said, "I have successfully stored all items as per your request. Should I proceed to list the items at five percent below their market value?"

"No, I already have something else in mind. Our customers have been waiting for quite some time now. It's only right that we have a grand sale. Opal, this is what I want you to do..." Izroth said as he explained what he wanted from Opal.

...

A few minutes later...

Everyone standing outside the Mystical Realm Palace was restless. What was going on inside? Everyone present was whispering amongst one another guessing what was going on inside. They were all anxious to find out! After all, the shop was currently locked and no one could enter inside.

Valkyria had furrowed brows the entire time. It should have only taken a single moment to kick the members from his shop. Just what was he doing in there?

It was not until they saw Izroth step out of the shop door that everyone immediately went quiet.

"As the owner of the Mystical Realm Palace, I'll have to apologize for the delay and trouble you've experienced. In return for your patience, today the Mystical Realm Palace is having a grand sale on equipment. Common, uncommon, and even rare items, they will be for sale in my Mystical Realm Palace." Izroth said.

What? Even rare items?! Everyone had completely pushed Sage Falls to the back of their minds. This was a rare item he was talking about! To the average player, rare items were still incredibly difficult to obtain and required a tremendous amount of effort!

However, they began to shake their heads inwardly after being realistic with themselves. Even if it was on sale, it was probably dozens or even hundreds of gold coins. They did not have that kind of money.

"For this special grand sale, the price of any equipment is... One bronze coin." Izroth said as he held up one finger to indicate that he had not misspoken.

There was a wave of silence and a look of disbelief appeared on the face of everyone present. Did they just hear right? Any equipment was just a single bronze coin? Even the rare items?! Everyone began to grow restless. They wanted to get into that shop as soon as possible! Even the poorest of players had one bronze coin! This was a once in a lifetime opportunity!

"Of course, none of this would have been possible without a very generous donation from our friends of Sage Falls. A gift due to a simple misunderstanding. Be sure to give them proper thanks." Izroth said with a carefree smile on his face as he once again allowed access to his shop. He was actually selling all the items that dropped from the members of Sage Falls for a single bronze coin!

The members of Sage Falls would cough up blood if they knew that the items they had so painstakingly earned was currently being sold off for one bronze coin! Some of those rare items were worth hundreds of goin coins!

Donation? Sage Falls? Did those two words even belong in the same sentence if one was not "donating" to Sage Falls? Since when was it the other way around with them?