Although Izroth was blind, all of his other senses were functioning at very high levels. So in a sense, even though he no longer had his sight, he was not blind.
Chi... Chi... Chi...
Izroth's ears twitched slightly as he picked up a strange sound. It resembled the sound of someone shaking around a basket full of beads. However, it was extremely faint and difficult to pick up if one were not concentrating on trying to hear it.
All of a sudden, the forest transformed into a wasteland. Then, only a few seconds later the wasteland turned into a land of snow. A fierce snowstorm appeared out of seemingly nowhere with chaotic winds. Just a few moments after that, it returned to a peaceful forest once again.
Everyone was baffled by the constant changes in the environment. It was as if this location was running on some type of environmental setting roulette.
"I've been to places with moody weather before but this..." Guan Yu said in low voice.
"There's one thing that stayed constant throughout all of that." Luna had activated the effect attached to the ring she received from defeating the world boss, the Eye of the Wolf.
It boosted her senses greatly and allowed her to perceive many things she would normally miss. She had not bothered using this skill since Izroth already possessed such a monstrous range of perception, however, he did not have his sight at the moment. Therefore, she had found that now was the best time to use this skill.
Luna pointed towards the northwest direction. "There's a strange mass located over in that area. It looked just like the black hole we ran into earlier, except its many times larger."
"Is there anything else that appears to stand out?" Izroth asked.
Luna continued to examine her surroundings, however, she came up empty-handed. "There does not appear to be anything else that remained throughout the multiple shifts in the environmental settings."
Izroth nodded, "Then we'll pursue that lead."
"Yes, but in our current state if we run into any trouble then..." Luna frowned. If one were to look at their party from an outside point of view, then they would be labeled as a bunch of cripples.
To make matters even worse, their strongest player was blind and would most likely be unable to contribute much. If that wasn't enough, they had one player who was completely out of commission. They were also unaware of how close the other teams were to reaching the end of the Chaotic Dogma Realm. Right now, nothing appeared to be going well for them.
"If we stay here and do nothing then there's no guarantee that we won't run into any trouble! We should get rid of these side effects as soon as possible so that we can continue with our quest!" Zi Yi shouted. She was still not used to adjusting her voice after being made deaf.
Halls pat his chest and gave a reassuring smile. It was as if he was saying, "You can count on me".
After deciding on their next course of action, Izroth and his party began to move northwest towards the large mass.
As they were walking, Guan Yu who was in the back of the group carrying along Valentine observed Izroth. When he saw how Izroth seemed to have no problems getting around with his sight taken away, he couldn't help but to ask curiously, "Brother Izroth, how come you can get around so easily while being blind?"
Since Halls considered Izroth to be his brother, then Guan Yu would naturally do the same. A brother of his brother is his brother!
"Now that you mention it..." Luna was also curious as to why that was. In fact, she had slowly started to forget that Izroth had lost his sight in the first place.
"One does not see using only their eyes. We see in many ways that are often overlooked because our sight some times heightens our ignorance to what lies around us. I can still hear, smell, and feel. Every step, every movement, I can "see" all of it. Just not in the sense that you are used to." Izroth said.
"Using your other senses to see? Is such a thing even possible?" Guan Yu asked a little skeptical. Although he had heard about other senses becoming stronger after someone loses one of them, he did not believe the effects to be as exaggerated as Izroth made them out to be.
Izroth gave a carefree smile in response. "One is only limited by the limits which one sets as their limit."
Guan Yu was even more confused than when he first asked his question. However, he did not simply brush Izroth's words off and instead took a moment to contemplate its meaning.
Luna remained silent as she also absorbed those words. Some times, she felt as if Izroth possessed wisdom that far surpassed his age.
As the group continued towards the large mass, Izroth heard the same sound as earlier. Not too long after that sound, the environment once again underwent a cycle of changes.
Once may have been a coincidence, but two times caused for a bit of suspicion.
A shadow suddenly rushed out of the forest. Its form was similar to Izroth when he was using the Shadow Movement skill. It had no absolute form and moved at an incredible speed.
"Halls, your right side." Izroth warned as the shadow closed the distance in the blink of an eye.
Chi! Chi! Chi!
Two more shadows soon appeared not too long after the first one. They followed down the same path as the first shadow and launched an attack without warning. It was an ambush!
When Halls heard Izroth call out, he immediately adjusted his position to block whatever was heading in their direction. Although he did not see anything at first, he did not let down his guard for a second. Not too long after he got into position, he felt a strong force crash into his shield.
The impact sent him sliding back one step, but he was still able to maintain his balance. However, before he had time to make his next move, he felt two additional powerful forces slam into his shield. This time, he was sent sliding back a few meters with the combined attack of the two shadow creatures.
In an instant, Halls had lost over 1,000 HP even though he successfully blocked all of the attacks. However, he did manage to get a good look at the shadow creatures who attacked him. Once they made contact with his shield, they took on a more solid form.
Name: Chaos Fiend(Elite)
HP: 35,000 (100%)
To put their appearance in simple terms, they resembled shadow demons. The monsters had razor-sharp claws in place of their hands and released a sinister aura. A pair of pure red eyes stared at Izroth and his party. While the Chaos Fiends took on a more solid form, they were still closer to a state of liquid.
Izroth made his move and dashed towards the Chaos Fiends. He swiftly arrived within melee range and activated the skill Lightning Field attached to his Blade of Lightning.
The crackles of lightning around Izroth's sword became increasingly intense as bolts of lighting began to strike down within a 15 meters radius of Izroth. The first strike managed to paralyze all three of the Chaos Fiends.
Izroth's palm struck out in various angles creating a myriad of strikes that rained down upon the Chaos Fiends. His true palm was elusive and hid behind the illusions of his other strikes. Each palm was able to hit its target without fail.
To everyone's amazement, Izroth was able to move at his usual speed without stumbling over. But what surprised them, even more, was that even while being blind, he could still aim his attacks with such precision. In fact, his attacks seemed even more precise and deadly than ever before!
Luna cast a Healing Essence on Halls so that he could slowly regenerate the damage received from the Chaos Fiends initial attacks.
Guan Yu set Valentine down and removed his guandao from his back. Although he had lost his sense of touch, he was beginning to get used to moving around without it. At first, it was a really weird and foreign feeling. However, as this was his second time experiencing losing his sense of touch, he had a much easier time adapting to the sudden change this time around.
His movements were sloppy compared to the way he usually moved, but it was definitely a great improvement when compared to the last time. He swirled his guandao at his side in a constant circular motion as he charged forward. Guan Yu swept past the Chaos Fiends with his guandao and almost instantly after his first attack connected, his guandao slashed out in the shape of a full moon.
With just two sets of attacks, Guan Yu had shaved off almost 10% of the Chaos Fiends total HP. Their physical defenses were not that high at all, however, they did have some form of resistance to physical attacks.
Two additional Chaos Fiends had appeared from within the forest making for a grand total of five Chaos Fiends! Izroth and his party were now facing five elite ranked monsters at once that were stronger than regular elite monsters.
Everyone's expression darkened when they saw that two more Chaos Fiends had shown up. However, before they could even accept what happened to them, three more Chaos Fiends joined the fray! Now, there was a total of eight Chaos Fiends.
At this point, they were not even sure if there was an end to these things. Five was already pushing it in their current condition and now they had to face eight?
Everyone was extremely tense and on edge at the moment. They felt that if they made a single mistake, then they may very well be faced with an existence wipe.
'It seems we're starting to truly experience the challenges of an SS-ranked quest.'
Izroth's body began to constantly flicker as he took on a simple but profound sword stance with his Blade of Lighting in hand.
"Hehe, what luck that our paths would cross like this, don't you think... Little butterfly?" A man wearing a cloak said as he playfully tossed the throwing knives in his hand up and down.
Mariposa stared coldly at that cloaked man. "Silent Steps, are you aware of the consequences of your actions?" At the moment, she and her party were at the brink of collapse. What infuriated Mariposa the most was the fact that one of her party members had been killed by Silent Steps and his party performing a despicable ambush as she was scouting ahead.
"Good or bad deeds, all have consequences which we must be willing to live with. Trust me little butterfly, I am willing to live with this." Silent Steps had a vicious look in his eyes.
"There's nothing to be gained by fighting amongst ourselves besides giving the other teams an opportunity to reach the end. Your actions are inconceivable!" Mariposa was trying to stall for time to figure a way out of her current predicament.
While Mariposa had a high chance of escaping by herself, she would not leave her fellow party members behind.
"Nothing to gain?" Silent Steps burst into a fit of laughter. "Such short a short-sighted view. You see, I have plenty to gain. You have no idea what this quest is truly about, do you? Save Amaharpe? Like I care about something like that! You see, I was made a much better offer. As long as I complete the task given to me, who cares about a useless epic rank item?"
Mariposa was shocked by those words. A useless epic ranked item? One had to know that within all of RML, not a single player had managed to obtain any epic ranked items as of yet. How could they be useless?
"I would offer you a chance to join me, however, my instructions were very clear. Leave no one alive." Silent Steps held one of his hands up as five other shadows appeared.
"You're mad..." Mariposa scowled as she prepared herself for the fierce battle to come.