The Old President dropped his cup on the table. The hot black tea was spilled all over the table and soaked the paper. However, the Old President didn't seem to care. He just stared at Sereck who sat before him in disbelief. He couldn't help but look at Sereck, who wryly smiled.
"You dare come early in the morning just to kid me? Do you not think that I might beat you up, Sereck?"
"I wish you would, old bud."
Facing the Old President's half-threatening words, Sereck helplessly spread his hands.
"If you can really beat me out of this dream, I'd really appreciate it."
Upon hearing Sereck's words, the Old President stared at him for a while before he sat down again, but even now, his face was still pale.
"You know what? You make me feel like you're telling a joke. Two legendary level figures under 20 years old? Even a drunken fool wouldn't say such a thing. "
"I wish I were crazy, but it's true."
Sereck was not surprised by the Old President's reaction, which was actually much better than his. The thought of what had happened to him last night made him sweat profusely even now. The Dragon Soul Continent was a place that worshiped the strong. Though Sereck was much older than either of those two girls and was more reputable than they were, he still showed them respect because of their strength. After that, Sereck shook his head and handed the Old President two pieces of paper.
"Here are those two ladies' mercenary qualification approval; I'll leave them to you, my old friend."
"I still don't believe you."
The Old President took Sereck's approval with a complicated expression and looked at it carefully, then frowned. He looked up at Sereck with a puzzled and queer expression.
"Canary? Mini Bubblegum? What kind of weird names are these? "
"Maybe it's an alias, or maybe it's a unique custom there. Anyway, those are their names."
Sereck laughed helplessly. Just like the Old President, Sereck's first reaction was thinking whether the other party was joking or not when he heard the two names. But judging by their serious faces, Sereck was unable to say anything. It seemed that that was a peculiar quirk of geniuses or part of the unique customs in the Eastern Plains. Sereck shook his head helplessly and pointed out the window.
"Besides, as you can see, old bud, it's very crowded out there now."
No matter in which world, which era, the most extensive news was always spread from mouth to mouth. Even on the Earth, in the age of the internet, phone, television, and 3D animation, there were no advertisements that could be spread more effectively than verbal ads. The most powerful human technology was still vulnerable to the most primitive human instincts, and it was the same here.
In just one night, rumors that two legendary figures had appeared had spread all over Deep Rock City, which affected many mercenaries. Some were surprised, some were overjoyed, and some were curious. But in any case, it was evident that Starlight had now become the sole focus of all the mercenaries in the Paphield area. Since morning, there had been a lot of mercenaries who were lining up all the way to the market to sign up and join Starlight. There were about thousands of them waiting in line. Some of these mercenaries were not part of any group. They might be somewhat strong, but they hadn't joined any mercenary group because of various reasons. Moreover, to them, a mercenary guild was a better option. Some of them were also members of other mercenary groups, bringing along other members to join Starlight and hoping to get a place there.
Facing this sudden scene, many people in Starlight were a little unprepared.
"Leader, I think you should do something!"
As he wiped the sweat from his forehead, Kavos laid the material on the table and complained helplessly.
"There are more and more people out there. We're shorthanded. I'm afraid there will be trouble if we go on like this!"
Hearing Shauna's voice, Rhode got up and looked out the window. Outside the gate, the mercenaries were lining up like a tide and blocked the whole road. Though Shauna and Anne were maintaining order at the gate, they were still shorthanded.
At the beginning, before the Midsummer Festival, Rhode's Starlight had over a hundred members, but because Rhode was pretending to be weak, making Starlight look very bad, some people chose to leave in the end because they couldn't bear the humiliation and shock. Rhode had been prepared for it, which was why he told Shauna and Kavos to record the names of those who left. Since they couldn't follow him during bad times, then they wouldn't need to enjoy the good times with him.
As expected, when Rhode won the Midsummer Festival, those mercenaries returned, but Rhode didn't even give them any chance and drove them out of the house. After they left, there were only about 60 people left, which consisted of 35 swordsmen, 10 thieves, and 15 clerics.
According to Rhode's estimation, 500 people would have been enough for Starlight, but now there were about a thousand applicants out there. It was quite difficult to pick from the remaining 400 people out of that crowd.
"Have you published the announcement that I asked you to make before?"
"Yes, Leader, it has been announced. After seeing those announcements, many mercenaries have left, but most of them stayed and more people are coming..."
Kavos shook his head. Just before, Rhode told him to post a notice at the gate, announcing the qualifications for recruits. First, Rhode announced that the guild fortress would be built in the Land of Atonement, at the same time telling them that they would have to go to the Land of Atonement. Secondly, Rhode had certain requirements: he would only accept casters and mercenaries above the elite level. Rhode also announced their guild rule that everyone would get a contract, but if they didn't perform well within the term, they'd be kicked out of the guild.
It had to be said that these qualifications really deterred many mercenaries. As mercenaries, they were naturally aware what kind of place the Land of Atonement was. Most people who had lived here for many years were already married. The very thought of taking their families to such a dangerous place made them couldn't help but retreat.
Though there were others who were single and unafraid to go to the Land of Atonement, they were still not strong enough and were therefore subject to compulsory exclusion, so they couldn't help but leave. The remaining people were aiming for the welfare and status of guild members. They didn't expect Rhode's qualification to be so strict. They thought that once they entered the guild, their futures would be prosperous. So they eventually backed down because obviously, they were not strong enough to survive the competition.
But Rhode also knew that this did not mean that the rest of them would fit the bill. In the game, he had seen a lot of people like these. When Starlight became strong, a lot of players wanted to join them no matter how difficult the requirements, from their status, level of equipment, to even their level of achievement. Rhode wasn't able to stop their decision to join Starlight because some of them did not even care how long they could stay in the guild. They only cared about the welfare and status of the guild. Many of them just wanted to take what they could and walk away without caring about the others.
Rhode believed that there were quite a few of these mercenaries among them. Even though he couldn't read their minds, Rhode had his own ideas.
"How many people are left now?"
"I don't know, Leader. I've never seen so many mercenaries in my life. Perhaps the mercenaries of the entire Paphield area have gathered here..."
Rhode nodded as he heard Kavos's report. He thought for a moment and spoke.
"Go and tell them again: the first five hundred can remain, while the rest of them may go. We will first select a hundred of people from these five hundred, and then we will choose again afterward. The rest of them will have to wait until then. "
Hearing Rhode's calm answer, Kavos agreed at heart. Of course, he understood the advantage of Rhode's actions. Not only they could appease those mercenaries for the moment, they could also change the current situation. The mercenaries who left certainly would not think that Rhode was deceiving them. After all, if Rhode only chooses 100 men, it would not be enough for him, so he would certainly have to sift through again.
Of course, Rhode could easily take these 500 people directly into the guild, but this would make the other mercenaries dissatisfied and feel like they had been tricked.
"But, Sir, how will you choose...?"
Rhode shook his head and interrupted Kavos's question.
"Just leave it to Canary and Mini Bubblegum. They know what to do."
As Kavos had expected, after he announced Rhode's words to the mercenaries, the mercenaries who stood in the back chose to leave. Instead, there was some commotion ahead. As each mercenary was expecting to be among the top 500, they were even resorting to violence. If Marlene hadn't been there to see the situation and cast a few magic spells to wake up the hot-headed ones, it would have been a big problem.
In the end, the first 500 lucky ones walked through the gate proudly, while the other mercenaries were forced to leave and wait for next time because there was no extra quota.
The mercenaries looked nervous as they entered the gate. They looked around anxiously, but they did not see Rhode. Even so, Anne and Marlene who stood by were enough to put them under a great deal of pressure. Soon, the mercenaries were led down into the backyard by Shauna, where they saw the two rumored 'legendary figures'.
Mini Bubblegum wiggled her legs and stared at the mercenary before her while twitching her mouth.
"Just them? Leader's requirements certainly are a little low. "
"They're NPCs, Bubble, you can't ask for too much."
Canary looked at the mercenaries with her usual smile and nodded to her.
"So, as always, you pick the guys, I'll do the tests."
Hearing Canary's voice, Mini Bubblegum jumped up in disgust, then walked towards the mercenaries. She looked at them for a moment, and then put out her hand.
"You, you, you and you, you, don't look around, it's you... The ten of you, get ready to be tested."
The mercenaries were surprised to hear the little girl's instructions, but they still walked out of the line under Mini Bubblegum's instruction. At this time, the other mercenaries finally realized that the little girl had chosen a very disorganized group. Among them were swordsmen, thieves, rangers, and even a few mage apprentices, which made them look like a ragtag army.
"Alright, let's get ready to start testing."
Saying this, Mini Bubblegum was about to turn away. At this moment, a huge figure came out of the line and stopped in front of her. Seeing the man in front of her, she couldn't help but sink down in discontent.
"What do you want?"
"Hehe, I don't want to do anything, Miss."
Hearing Mini Bubblegum's inquiry, the man lifted both of his hands and stepped backward, then he looked at the Mini Bubblegum with an ingratiating smile on his face as he pointed to one of the swordsmen in the line that had been chosen by her before.
"The two of us are together, I hope... can you switch another person and put me in the group there? The two of us are good partners, and I believe that together we can definitely bring out the best in ourselves... Hey Lizst, isn't that right? "
Hearing the man's inquiry, that swordsman's face turned stiff and he rolled his eyes a little. However, he still nodded in the end. Seeing his response, the man proudly spoke and laughed.
"Well, there it is, my dear young lady. Do you think it would be convenient to...?"
The man's words had not yet finished, but he was already blatantly rejected by her. Mini Bubblegum coldly stared at the man before her; obviously, she didn't have any good feelings towards him.
"The leader has given the choice to us, which means, we have the final say. It's my choice to choose whoever I want and it's none of your business."
Hearing this, the big man's face darkened.
"That's not right, Miss. We..."
"I shall repeat, it's my choice to choose whoever I want and it's none of your business!"
Mini Bubblegum's face sank for a moment, then she turned away. When the man saw she was trying to leave, he finally reached out his hand.
"Stop right there, I'm not finished..."
"Don't touch me!"
The big man's words had not finished, and accompanied by her shouting voice, a light suddenly burst out and spread to all directions.
That man's body trembled and he was thrown away like a tattered rag doll, banging against the wall, leaning sideways. Finally, he lost his consciousness.
"Just a mere NPC and you dare be so arrogant! If it weren't for Leader, I would have already skinned you alive, turned you into an alchemy potion, and fed it to a frog!"
Mini Bubblegum coldly watched the fainting mercenary. She snorted and then murmured. On the other hand, the mercenaries were looking at this scene in amazement. Although they had heard that Starlight had two legendary figures, most of them thought the rumor was just exaggerated. Now, watching Mini Bubblegum, such a little girl, knock an elite level mercenary just by shouting and without even moving a single hand, it made the rumor sound more reliable... Even if this girl wasn't a legendary level figure, she was definitely not someone that they could deal with.
After complaining, Mini Bubblegum turned around and gestured to Canary.
"Alright, big sister, you're up next."
Canary was still smiling as usual as she looked at this scene. She walked to the chosen ten mercenaries and nodded to them. Her warm smile made the mercenaries, who had been uneasy at the sight of Mini Bubblegum's tyranny, calm down and salute her. Then, Canary took a step back and moved her right hand.
Soon, people saw a two-meter high silver circle rising out of the sky. It looked like a mirror, spinning so fast it blurred their sight.
"Well, all of you can go in, and if you can safely get out of this space, then you pass," Canary said to the crowd with a chuckle. The mercenaries were hesitant to accept her invitation. It was no wonder; after all, humans would hesitate in the face of strange objects. However, soon, a swordsman walked in proudly, and when someone took the lead, the others followed from behind.
It was not easy to get into the portal.
The light was so blinding it felt as if the world were spinning, making the mercenaries feel a little overwhelmed. When the light dissipated and they stood on solid ground once again, they finally opened their eyes.
Then, they stared at the scene in front of them in amazement.
In front of them was a dense forest, and there were a few armed undead creatures moving slowly towards them.
"What the hell is this place?!"
A thief screamed as he drew his dagger out and looked at the surroundings uneasily. The swordsman who stood in the front frowned while he carefully observing the undead creatures before him. Not long after, he drew his sword.
"Whatever this place is, let's fight!"