〈You have been awarded 5,763 EXP〉
-x4 «Purified Earth Shard»
-x1 «Sealed Chaotic Essence»
-x1 «Heart of the Earth»
-x1 «Earth Devouring Gauntlets»
"So tanky! Are all the monsters inside of this place going to be the same?" Halls let out a small sigh.
"It could be due to the Earth Devouring Groundbull being an earth elemental type monster. The other monsters may not necessarily have such high HP. However, even considering that fact, it's likely that monsters within the Chaotic Dogma Realm are naturally stronger than the monsters we come across normally." Zi Yi responded.
"In other words, these monsters are super elites!" Guan Yu said as he placed his guandao onto his back.
The Earth Devouring Groundbull dropped quite a few items after its defeat. The closest to the loot was Izroth since he dealt the final blow to the monster. He started looking through the loot and was pleasantly surprised at how generous monsters within the Chaotic Dogma Realm were.
Name: Purified Earth Shard(Reagent)
Usage: A purified earth shard that can only be obtained from monsters and areas that have been submerged underground for long periods of time where a high level of heat is present. Can be consumed in its natural state to slightly increase the overall defenses of the consumer. However, when introduced to a pure and untainted water source, the purified earth shard qualities multiplies many times over.
Name: Sealed Chaotic Essence(Unknown)
Special Note: This item is currently sealed. To unseal it, you must locate and acquire a Chaos Fragment.
Name: Heart of the Earth(Reagent)
Usage: A nearly indestructible piece of earth that is incredibly difficult to use when making any item or piece of equipment. Though when it is properly integrated, it provides an aura of near indestructibility.
Armor Name: Earth Devouring Gauntlets(Uncommon)
Armor Level: 25
Armor Type: Leather
Requirements: 150 Attack
Izroth decided that everyone should have a chance to roll for the items that dropped, however, everyone rejected the idea. The reason was due to none of them having a profession that required the items that dropped from the Earth Devouring Groundbull.
Also, they received a grade three pill for free from Izroth. It did not take a genius to piece together what Izroth chose as his profession. After all, they too had heard rumors of a rank three Apothecary within Amaharpe. They assumed that it was just mere rumors at first, but after Izroth freely gave away so many Five Cycles Pill, they had a better understanding of things.
If these items would be useful to Izroth, then they would not bother competing with him to acquire them. This was their way of paying him back indirectly for the Five Cycles Pill he gave to them, even if it was only a small gesture.
As for the Earth Devouring Gauntlets, Zi Yi was the only other person who used leather amongst their party. But, she did not take a second glance at the Earth Devouring Gauntlets due to their lack of an agility stat.
Zi Yi preferred her current gauntlets which provided her with a higher level of mobility. It was not something she was willing to trade just for a bit of extra damage and physical defenses. Therefore, the item could only go to Izroth.
Izroth suggested that they still roll for the items and he would pay a fair price to whoever won, this was his way of being fair. However, this idea was immediately turned down as they insisted that Izroth simply take the items. If there was one thing everyone within this party had in common, it was that they were unwilling to back down.
Izroth did not continue to pursue the matter and accepted their good will. He equipped the Earth Devouring Gauntlets, replacing the level 10 uncommon Foreman's Gloves that he obtained back in the dungeon Goblin's Paradise.
He then put away the remaining items into his inventory.
'The Purified Earth Shards and Heart of the Earth may be exactly what I need to make up for my current lack of defense.'
Although Izroth was confident in his speed and reaction time, there was always the chance that something unexpected would occur or the attack may be instant and unavoidable. In that situation, his speed and reaction would be rendered near useless and he would have to rely on his natural defenses to absorb the impact.
"We'll search for the exit to this place and try to leave before we come across another one of those creatures." Izroth said as the party moved into their previous formation and traveled down the pathway they were on before being forced to return back to the location they originally arrived at.
If they kept having to fall back every time they walked down a passageway, then it would take an eternity to exit this underground cave. While they were interested in the loot and EXP the Chaotic Dogma Realm gave, it was still nowhere near close to the reward they would receive for completing this SS-ranked quest.
Around ten minutes later, Izroth and his party emerged from within the underground cave. When they reached the outside, the sight before them caused everyone to be left speechless.
For a place that was supposed to be chaotic, it was extremely peaceful and beautiful! There was a lush green forest surrounding them. Within the sky were three spheres that resembled suns that were all different sizes. The skies were crystal blue with white clouds drifting by at their own leisure.
An abundance of magic energy filled the entire atmosphere. The difference between the underground cave and the surface was like the difference between night and day!
"I expected this place to be all gloomy and full of undead monsters or something but this is..." Halls was the first to voice his opinion.
"You can take a vacation at a location like this!" Guan Yu eyes darted in every direction, taking in his new environment.
"The magic energy here is so dense!" Valentine's eyes sparkled as he felt the immense natural magical energy within the atmosphere. As he thought about the source that was able to release such concentrated magical energy, he began to drool uncontrollably at the prospect of discovering it.
As for Izroth, Zi Yi, and Luna, they were all strangely silent. They too were surprised by the sudden shift in the environment. However, something felt off about this seemingly beautiful paradise before them. It seemed to be almost... Illusionary.
Zi Yi frowned, "This doesn't feel right. I know we were told that this place changes every time it appears, however, it definitely does not feel chaotic at all."
"It could just be another variation of the Chaotic Dogma Realm." Luna suggested, but she herself did not believe that to be true.
Izroth gazed into the distance and furrowed his brows slightly as he realized something. It was still a bit unclear, however, he could not risk ignoring the possibility.
When he thought about how powerful the source of this phenomenon had to be in order to produce something on this scale, he cautioned his fellow party members.
"We're being observed by something or someone." Izroth said as his gaze never left the direction he was looking in. But, no matter how hard he tried to, Izroth was unable to fully grasp it from this distance.
"Is it similar to the creatures we ran into back in the Valley of Death?" Luna asked curiously.
Izroth shook his head, "No, it's different in many ways. One of which is that whatever is there may be responsible for this little trick." Izroth smiled in a carefree manner.
'Strange, it almost feels as if I'm staring at nothing. But there's definitely something there.'
"Little trick?" Zi Yi glanced towards Izroth. It appeared that she was right in her decision not to accept this at face value.
Izroth nodded, "If I'm correct, once we walk for a certain period of time within the forest, we'll be returned to the location where we originated from. Of course, this is just a speculation." Even though it was only a speculation, Izroth was sure that he was correct.
"Well, there's only one way to find out." Zi Yi said.
"It's an illusion, I'm sure of it. Quite a powerful one too." Valentine suddenly said as he was still absorbed in trying to further understand the magic energy around him.
"How can you be so sure?" Zi Yi asked.
Valentine pointed towards the forest, and what emerged a few seconds later was a floating teal colored orb about the size of a fist. It was the same orb that Valentine had sent out before they had to turn around to face the Earth Devouring Groundbull.
Valentine noticed the bizarre inconsistencies of the magic sequences back inside of the cave when they first arrived within the Chaotic Dogma Realm. He sent out the orb earlier to confirm his theory.
The orb slowly drifted towards Valentine. He held out his hand as it gently landed on his palm before losing its brilliant and turning into a small rock looking object. Valentine set the item back into his inventory as he explained, "The orb should have kept moving in a single direction until I called it back, however, it returned to me of its own accord."
"So you're saying that you never changed its direction and yet it still somehow managed to turn around and move back towards the cave? If that's the case, then Izroth's speculation may not simply be mere speculation anymore, but rather a fact." Zi Yi was amazed at how perceptive Izroth was.
She just had a vague feeling, but Izroth spoke as if he knew his words were true, despite his humble choice of words. Just who exactly was this person?
"We'll head towards the source. We should find some answers on how to escape from this illusion there." Izroth and his party entered into the forest and began to head towards the source of the illusion.
Less than thirty seconds after Izroth and his party made their way into the forest, a mist started to form out of thin air. However, this mist did not obstruct their vision, but rather their hearing and sense of touch.
Even Izroth with his astonishing hearing ability could not hear a single sound. The group looked towards one another and spoke, but no one could hear anything the other person said.
Each step everyone, except Izroth, took was incredibly awkward. This was because they could not feel a thing! There was no feedback from their feet touching the ground and so they had to constantly look down every so often to not lose balance. If one was to make a comparison, it felt as if they were constantly standing still and felt nothing at all.
Izroth had no trouble adapting because he had been in many battles when he had to rely solely on instinct to fight due to all of his senses being robbed from him. Also, since Izroth was a cultivator, it was much easier for his body to rely on pure instinct and adapt, unlike his fellow party members.
Izroth checked his battle logs to see if he was unknowingly affected by some sort of skill, but the only information listed on his battle logs was from the fight against the Earth Devouring Groundbull. There was nothing that appeared to be out of the ordinary.
Since the message system was revoked, there was no way for them to communicate with one another outside of using hand signs or making certain gestures.
'Is this the work of the thing that has us within its illusion? Or, is it something completely unrelated?'
Izroth made a gesture to focus everyone's attention onto him. He then pointed straight forward towards their previous heading. He was attempting to tell them to continue towards the source. He then pointed two fingers at his eyes and then waved one of his fingers in a circular motion above his head a few times.
Everyone seemed to understand Izroth's intentions. From his gestures, he wanted them to move in the direction he pointed while making sure to pay attention to everything around them. In other words, he wanted them to be cautious as they advanced forward.
After making a few more gestures, the group was now walking in a tight formation. This was so that they could respond if one of them were to be attacked. After all, without their sense of hearing or touch, if they did not see or smell the enemy then it may be too late if someone got ambushed.
'The question still remains, how do we undo this restriction?'