There were no signs that a trap awaited them on the other side of the door. Everything happened too fast and without warning. There was no time for anyone to react before the door closed shut.
"Such a vile trap!" Guan Yu was clearly upset that he was unable to help the person he declared a brother. He continued to attack the door, however, no matter what attack he struck it with, the door did not move.
"Striking that door will not accomplish anything!" Zi Yi sternly reminded Guan Yu after his countless failed attempts to breach the door.
"I have to at least try! It won't help if we stand here and do nothing." Guan Yu responded.
"Halls should not be in any real danger. After all, his HP bar in the party interface has not been affected in any way. Therefore, he should be safe... At least for the time being." Zi Yi pointed out.
Guan Yu took a moment to check the party interface and noticed that Zi Yi was correct, Halls was indeed fine according to his HP bar. He felt a bit embarrassed by his actions. The logical thing to do would have been to check the party interface before jumping to any conclusions.
"Halls is more than capable of taking care of himself for the time being. If the doors truly do lead to the same place then we should meet up with him once we go through one of the other doors." Izroth said in a calm tone of voice. Since Halls was a tank, Izroth was not worried about him dying any time soon even if he did come across some trouble. Plus, Halls was no pushover.
"It may be better if two of us enters at the same time. That way, if we are separated from the others, at least we'll be in pairs of two. As for the person who would go solo..." Luna suggested as she looked over in Izroth's direction. Guan Yu, Zi Yi, and Valentine's gaze all followed Luna in Izroth's direction.
It was obvious that if anyone had to go solo, it would be Izroth. His speed alone granted him the ability to escape from nearly any situation untouched. However, even if they were to ignore his speed, his attack power was the top within their party. He possessed the highest chances of surviving by himself.
Izroth gave a simple nod to show his agreement. He did not mind splitting off by himself since he felt that the others grouping in pairs of two would be the safest way for them to go about it.
"Why don't we all just enter through the same door?" Guan Yu asked.
"Although the chance is small, there's still a possibility that this is a trap. If all of us are caught in the same trap and are unable to escape, then everything would become hopeless. It's best if we split our chances and simply test our luck." Luna said not faltering in her suggestion.
"Then, I'll go with Luna. You can go with the magic freak." Zi Yi said as she moved closer to Luna.
"You-" Guan Yu wanted to object, however, it was already too late.
"I'll be in your care." Valentine bowed politely towards Guan Yu. But, those words were definitely not something Guan Yu wanted to hear leave from out of Valentine's mouth! When he heard those words, Guan Yu could not help but feel shivers run down his spine.
After deciding on the pairs, everyone moved towards different wooden doors.
"See you all on the other side... Hopefully." Guan Yu said as he opened up the wooden door he stood in front of.
Izroth also opened up his wooden door and stepped into it. He then noticed that although Guan Yu was able to step through the door he had chosen, Valentine was unable to follow after him.
The situation was similar for Luna and Zi Yi. Although Zi Yi was able to enter into her chosen wooden door, Luna was unable to step through the door. It was as if there was an invisible barrier that sealed off the entrance once someone had stepped inside.
However, that was all Izroth managed to see before everyone around him was engulfed in total darkness. The only thing he heard was the sound of the door closing and the faint voice of Luna trying to communicate something to Zi Yi.
'I can't see a single thing.'
Izroth tapped his foot a few times against the ground. He could tell that he was in a room that had a limited amount of space available. The room was empty enough that the echoes of his foot tapping against the floor could be heard clearly.
Though something caused Izroth to furrow his brows when he heard and smelled it. What he heard was a crackling sound. He also smelled that some type of wood and oil was burning nearby.
Izroth inwardly frowned. That did not make any sense. How could there be fire? The room was completely dark without a single source of light in sight. As he thought about it, Izroth then came to a sudden realization.
'Could it have something to do with the powers that the black hole possesses?'
The black hole had enough power to slowly rob him and everyone else of their senses. If that were the case, then the same thing may be happening to him here, except on a more concentrated scale.
Izroth did not feel any of his other senses fading. The only thing that appeared to be missing was his sense of sight. Everything else was in perfect order. But, that did not mean it would stay that way indefinitely.
He suddenly had an idea of what the purpose of the doors could be. It was possible that every door robbed them of one of their senses. The reason that each door only allowed a single person to enter may be due to the secrets it hid. There was a chance that each door represented a different sense.
But, there was something wrong with this theory which made Izroth have certain doubts about that being the case.
'There should only be five senses to account for in this place... Why does a sixth door exist?'
Izroth had no way of finding out for sure or of confirming his theory. However, his current situation remained unchanged. He was blind and had to find a way to meet up with the others if it was possible. He would have to find a way to undo this blinding effect. After all, he would rather not go through an entire SS-ranked quest without his vision present.
Though, thanks to his other heightened senses and his strong soul, Izroth did not have any trouble maneuvering around while being blinded. It reminded him of a special training not too long after he started his cultivation journey.
The situation was very similar to the one now, except it was a bit crueler and more suitable for a cultivator.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
Izroth listened closely and heard the sound of footsteps heading in his direction. These footsteps sounded extremely familiar and he had heard them quite often.
He then heard the sound of a wooden door slowly creaking open followed by the sound of footsteps which rushed over towards him. They seemed to be in a hurry and slightly flustered. No, excited was closer to the way they were feeling. The individual reached out and gave Izroth a friendly pat on his shoulders, like a friend saying "good to see you".
'This is... Halls?'
"Halls?" Izroth asked even though he was already quite sure of the answer to his inquiry.
Halls nodded intensely, however, he noticed that Izroth's vision had been unfocused this entire time. It was as if he was not even looking at him ever since he stepped into this room.
When Halls entered into the wooden door, he had lost his ability to speak once the doors closed on him. One could say that he actually managed to get off with one of the lighter effects, but for someone who enjoyed talking and socializing as much as Halls, it could be seen as one of the worse senses to lose.
'Could it be that the sixth "sense" in this case is speech? Or is it just a substitute for tasting?'
The five basic senses, in this case, were sight, smell, touch, hearing, and tasting. However, tasting would not deter players in any way. Therefore, there was a good chance that tasting was intentionally replaced with speech. From Halls lack of response and his constant use of shoulder pats as a means to communicate, Izroth could only conclude that the wooden door Halls went through represented speech.
As for the other wooden doors, they should have a similar effect and rob one of a specific sense. However, if he was correct about speech being the replacement for tasting, then that still left the sixth door full of mystery. But for now, they had to regroup with the others.
"We should regroup with the others. Are there other rooms in this area? You can tap your foot to communicate. One tap for yes, two taps for no." Izroth said.
A few seconds later, he heard one tap sound out from the floor. Luckily Halls did not lose his ability to hear, or else this situation would have been a little awkward trying to find a way to communicate.
"You'll have to lead the way. I'll follow behind you." Izroth said.
After hearing Izroth's instructions, Halls walked back towards the door he entered in from. Izroth followed after him without the need of any assistance. In fact, it would be difficult to tell that Izroth had lost his sight.
Soon enough, Izroth and Halls had checked all of the nearby rooms and everyone was indeed within them. Just as Izroth expected, everyone had one sense taken from them.
For Zi Yi it was hearing, for Guan Yu it was touch, and for Luna it was smell. Luna could be considered the most fortunate amongst everyone present. A sense of smell was something that did not have any major drawbacks in this situation.
As for Valentine, he appeared to be perfectly fine on the surface. However, his current situation was more severe than everyone else.
Valentine could not see, hear, speak, or even feel them touching him to get his attention. There was a good chance that he had lost every last one of his senses!
"We have to find a way to break this! Is this the doing of another black hole?!" Zi Yi yelled unknowingly. Thanks to her lack of hearing, she could not control the volume of her voice. Thankfully, she was quite skilled at reading lips and so she could still understand everyone as long as she was looking at them.
"Since Luna only lost her sense of smell, I think that she should take the lead until we all find out what happened to us! Guan Yu, you'll have to carry the magic freak!" Zi Yi added.
Izroth and everyone else agreed with this arrangement. Although Izroth did not have any trouble getting around while being blind, if he came across a place with too much sound and became unable to separate the noises, it would prove to be quite challenging.
'It's too bad I have yet to reach the 5th stage of the Heavenly Golden Body Physique. Even if I lost all of my senses, it would not be an issue.'
Luna, of course, had no problem taking the lead until they removed the restrictions placed upon them.
There was only a single door that the group had yet to go through which was located at the end of the hallway. Luna moved closer to the front of the group near Izroth and Halls as they made their way through the door.
When they stepped through the door, it was as if their bodies were being transported to a different place. By the time they reappeared, they were startled by their new surroundings.
"This place... Isn't it similar to the forest illusion?" Guan Yu asked.
"If we had the magic freak we could verify how similar, but we'll just have to rely on our own judgment. From what I can tell, this place is definitely the same type of illusion as the forest, however, it's many times more powerful and feels... Real." Zi Yi stated.
'So this is the place that the black hole was attempting to escape to.'