81 Chapter 27: The Troubles of Running a Guild
Laura set comfortably in a chair in one of the meeting rooms that she had set aside in her guild for her to discuss things in private. At the moment she was calmly drinking some coffee as she looked over some files that had piled up after her last expedition. Natalie was sitting across from her helping her go through some of the more urgent documents that she needed done by the end of the day to keep things in order with the guild. Her ability to speak telepathically with other members of the guild was a blessing in the current situation sense she could iron out the information on the documents from whoever had submitted them without even having to go searching for them. Of course they could do that with the system, but not with multiple people at a time and without having to distract people from what they were doing at the moment. It made running the guild so much easier.
"Well that should just about finish any urgent business guild master." Natalie said as she put a few documents to the side. "We should be able to meet up with Madalyn and see how things are going on her side of things for now."
"Enough with the guild master stuff Natalie. You know you can always just call me Laura." Laura responded as she glared at Natalie for a moment.
"Fine, fine. Just trying to be more formal like the others while we're working, but if you don't want me to…" Natalie started to say before Laura waived her off.
"I don't. We're friends Natalie, so don't think of yourself as a subordinate or something along those lines. I don't even think of Amy that way and I haven't known her as long as I've known you." Laura said getting a smile in return from Natalie. "Well anyways let's go see what that snake has been up to. I had Amy working with her group on a small scale expedition so that should be interesting."
Natalie let out a tired sigh before nodding and standing up with Laura following suit. "That girl is a handful. I don't know where she gets all that energy from, but it does come in handy on long expeditions. I'm sure she handled herself well."
"I hope so otherwise I'm going to have a long talk with her when she comes back and an even longer one with Joshua next time I see him." Laura said with a stern look as they made their way out of the room and headed over to the bigger meeting hall that they usually met up with Madalyn at for discussions. "Have you heard from him by the way?"
"Well According to Amy he's been back to training for the past few weeks ever since he came back from his first expedition. Apparently he's consolidating his levels before he goes out again. Amy seemed to be pouting a bit when I asked her about it." Natalie said with a slightly confused expression.
"Knowing her she probably challenged him to another spar the second he got back and lost. I guess his first expedition must have gone extremely well if it's taking him this long to max out on his training once again. What about Adrian and the others? Any news from them?" Laura asked.
"Nope there still out exploring last I heard, apparently they've found some hidden dungeon that they plan to take down on their own. I'm sure they can handle it though, they put every other guildless group to shame, and some of the smaller guilds can't match them either." Natalie said with a smile as they approached the door of the meeting hall.
"That's not too surprising. Even without a guild they've been catching up to me and Madalyn in levels. They can handle themselves in a dungeon on their own. Unlike some other groups we know of." Laura replied getting a frown from Natalie. That statement alone was easy enough for her to interpret as the group Laura was talking about was the same one she use to work for. The world government guild was still large, but of all the guilds in the world it had the highest mortality rate. This was simply do to the fact that because of the shift in power that was taking place the world government guild was becoming a bit two overzealous in its approach to reclaiming territory.
Now that people knew that whenever small towns or dungeon areas were taken down by a guild they would gain rights to the area, many guilds were taking on far more than they could handle at the moment. These rights didn't mean they owned the area or anything, but it did mean that guild members would get a boost in resources when exploring said area. Experience would be easier to gain, rare plants and beast would appear for said individuals more often in that area, and the rewards for any dungeon cleared in the area would be far greater for guild members. All of this looked like a juicy prize to guilds and created somewhat of a race to see which guilds would progress the fastest.
The alliance Laura had with Madalyn's guild and with Joshua's three friends made it far easier for them to take over towns and areas together which sped up the rate at which they grew in strength in comparison to other guilds. The only guild that had more territory than them was the world government guild, but that came at a cost. Not only were they loosing several people sense they challenged towns filled with haze and dungeons while being under leveled in comparison. They also had to split the territories they gained with all the competing members' within the guild causing some friction on who got what. In the end even though they had more territory than Laura and Madalyn's alliance it wasn't nearly enough to provide for the large amount of members of the guild resource wise.
"It's what they get for how they've been handling things so far. I'm sure they'll try to change the tide in some way soon, so we have to be careful." Natalie replied getting a simple nod in return from Laura as they entered the meeting hall. It didn't take them very long to take notice of Madalyn sitting calmly at a table near the back of the room drinking some whine. Next to her was an energetic Amy that was clearly trying to reenact something as she flailed her arms around in weird ways as if trying to depict an exciting situation. She stopped and turned towards them with a bright smile when she noticed them entering the room.
"Laura! Natalie! It's good to see you two make it." The girl nearly shouted as she waived them over. "I've got so much to tell you guys about our expedition. It was so much fun!"
"Alright, alright already. Settle down Amy. We're all right here so you don't have to shout." Madalyn said before turning back towards the two of them. "I guess you two are done with all the paper work now. You should hire a secretary for that. Isabella has been a god send for me ever since I got her helping me with the guild work."
"I'll think about it." Laura simply replied.
"Oh don't pout, you can't handle everything on your own. It's a guild after all, more than one or two people should be involved in how things are run. Especially with how big both of our guilds are getting." Madalyn said. She took another sip of her whine before continuing. "As long as you don't let it get to the point where there are so many people involved that things become confusing like some other large guilds then you should have no problem."
Natalie and Laura simply nodded before taking a seat at the small table. "Well how did the expedition go? Based off of how energetic Amy is I'm guessing things went fairly well?" Natalie asked.
"It was awesome! Madalyn even let me take charge for a few fights and I kicked that over grown monsters butt. Though it is annoying how it kept healing whenever we took it down. The thing even tried to run away and hide." Amy said before telling them more about how the encounter with the haze monster went. The monster wasn't all that difficult sense it was a small town and all, but it seemed to have a higher healing ability than most haze monsters on that level. "In the end Laura's poison kept it from being able to heal anymore and I was able to break its core while the others kept it distracted."
"Sounds like things went well. Any interesting resources in the area?" Laura asked as she turned towards Madalyn.
"Nah, not really. There is a new dungeon, but it is a system generated one so nothing to special. There was a good area with some decent monsters nearby though so we can use it for training people around the level of thirty going forward. Plus the dungeon will drop a decent skill on the first clear, but I doubt will find any amazing materials from inside of it." Madalyn said as she thought it over.
"Well that's not so bad. We can use the area to train some of our new recruits sense we've upped the level needed to join the guild. That area should be perfect for training some of our weaker members, but we're going to have to take down a bigger town soon if we want better training areas for our top members." Laura said getting a nod from everyone else.
"I guess will prepare to search for a good location in our next expedition. We will probably have to wait for Adrian and the others to come along as well if we want to take down a tougher boss without any major issues. We don't want to be tossing people's lives away like some other people." Madalyn said with a grim look on her face. The others all agreed with her sentiment, but before they could continue their discussion there was a knock on the door that surprised them.
"Guild Masters there is a guest from the world government guild that has come to discuss some things with the both of you." A feminine voice said from the other side of the door. The four of them looked at each other in surprise for a moment before the voice continued. "Would you like to meet them in your office or here?"
"Well sense they didn't bother to call ahead and make an arrangement for this meeting you can just bring them here." Laura said after they all agreed on the response.
"I'll be right back Guild Masters." The voice said before they could here footsteps walking away.
"What the hell do those assholes want?" Natalie asked getting smiles from the other three before they all turned a bit more serious.
"Who knows…they lost a lot of members in their last attempt to take on a bigger town. They got ahead of themselves and paid the price." Madalyn responded before she looked towards Laura. "It doesn't matter what they want though, we won't be agreeing to it. They don't treat a lot of members in their own guild well, there is no way they will treat outsiders any better." They all nodded before they could hear two separate pairs of footsteps approaching the room. Soon two people made their way inside.
The first person was someone they all knew well. A young woman around the same age as Laura that was on the shorter side standing at only five foot three inches. She had short straight hair that only reached just above her shoulders that was slowly changing from a blond color to a pure white. She had a petite figure and even with her pair of glasses you could see the cold stare that she almost always had on her face. This girl was Isabella Wright and she was Madalyn's secretary. Although she was a part of Madalyn's guild whenever her guild master came over to Laura's guild she would always follow along and help with whatever the two guild masters needed. Over the three years she had grown from a simple rookie girl that was just a member of the guild into Madalyn's right hand woman.
Walking a few steps behind her was a man none of them knew, but by the smug look on his face and the overly priced clothing he wore, that he must have spent a ton of money on the system to obtain, he already left a fairly bad impression on them. The man was of decent height standing around six foot two inches, but he had a far lankier frame than most combat personal which told the group that he was either a support class or one of the second generation that was being spoon fed in the world government guild. Based off the way he looked they were leaning towards the second option. He had short and well combed black hair that had a purple tinge on the edges of it that was most likely caused by his soul beast. He wore a pair of glasses that framed his face well and he kept up a well-mannered smile that didn't set well with them.
"It is nice to meet the two esteemed guild masters of two of the strongest guilds in this new age." The man said with a slight bow of his head. His voice was already grating on Natalie's nerve and the smug look he had when he glanced towards her didn't help. It was clear that he was pointing out the fact that Natalie and Amy weren't worth talking too sense he ignored them both from the start. "I am Theodore Walker, an ambassador of the U.S portion of the World Government Guild."
"Why exactly are you here? Last time I checked your guild was busy failing at taking over a larger town." Madalyn said with a sneer that caused the man's mouth to twitch for a moment, but his fake smile didn't leave his face just yet.
"It is true that we have been busy with trying to claim territory all over the world, but we have hit a bit of a wall in that department. So instead of charging head on like before we have decided to make a deal with some of the guilds in the areas in which we are trying to gain territory." Theodore replied without dwelling too much on their failures.
"What sort of deal?" Laura simply replied trying to get to the point.
"We are willing to pay other guilds to help us take on larger towns and are also willing to allow said guilds to have certain rights in those territories after they come under our control. We know that you smaller guilds don't have the numbers to take on big towns just yet, but you do have individuals more than strong enough to lead the assault."
"Humph, you would have such individuals as well if you didn't step on them and leave them in the dirt so that wimps like you could rise to the top." Natalie said with a snear causing Theodore to frown for a moment before his fake smile once again spread across his face.
"We don't need a response to the suggestion just yet. There will be a gathering of guild masters all around the world at the end of the year and we will be waiting for your response at that time. If you will excuse me, time waits for no man." Theodore said before waltzing out of the room while trying to look as dignified as possible.
"So…we're not going to agree are we?" Amy asked innocently.
"Hell NO! They'll just use us and gain most of the rewards in the end. It would be better for us to take the territory ourselves. It'll be a while before anyone is ready to take on larger towns anyways. The boss monsters there are near level one hundred at this point." Natalie replied rather angrily.
"I agree, but we'll have to keep an eye open for whatever they're up to. They could ruin our expeditions in the future if we don't be careful." Madalyn said getting a nod from the other three.
"Well, let's go get something to eat then. I'm starving." Amy said jumping up from her seat. The energy she gave off just completely changed the dreary and serious mood the group had.
"Alright then, you can tell us all about what your brothers been up to over lunch." Laura said getting a bright smile from her in return. She would think about guild matters later, right now she needed a break.