As Izroth and his party continued towards the tower, they noticed that monsters seemed to be becoming more scarce.
"Strange, we have not come across any monsters." Zi Yi said as she observed her surroundings.
Everyone else had realized this as well. Now that their sense of perception was clearing up, it became much easier to notice certain things that they would have missed before. After all, even though Soul Sense was useful, it could still not replace their natural sense of perception in situations like this.
'Does this have something to do with the tower in the distance? Or...'
Izroth was thinking to himself as he heard a soft voice next to him speak.
"There are three people that seem to be heading on an intercept course with us." This soft-spoken voice naturally belonged to Ying Yue.
"Hm?" Izroth looked at Ying Yue. His current sense of perception was at a monstrous level with the Heavenly Golden Body, Five Cycles Pill, and the recent addition of Soul Sense. Right now, he could positively say that there was no one within all of RML who had surpassed him in this aspect.
Therefore, if even he did not sense anything, he wondered how Ying Yue was able to do so. Luckily, Izroth was not so narrow-minded as to dismiss Ying Yue's words. There were countless other methods within RML that he may be unaware of. However, he still had to confirm how she came by that piece of information.
When Ying Yue saw Izroth look over at her, she understood that he sought an answer regarding how she could tell when no one else could.
Everyone else in the party was also curious about this. They all knew how astonishing Izroth's sense of perception was and so if Ying Yue could detect something even Izroth was incapable of, then how monstrous was her own perception?
Ying Yue was a bit flustered when everyone focused their attention onto her, however, she still maintained a somewhat calm demeanor.
"It's due to a skill I possess. Whenever I pass through an object, I leave behind a residual trace for a limited period of time, about an hour or so. As long as anyone or anything passes near that object, I will know immediately." Ying Yue explained.
So that was the case! It wasn't that her perception was greater than their own but rather due to a skill.
However, everyone had a slight look of disbelief on their face. Wasn't that skill a little too overpowered? From the sound of things, while it had a time limit, it did not appear to have a range limit.
Therefore, Ying Yue would be able to keep track of anything for a full hour that passed by an object affected by her. If this worked on stealth players as well, she could be a rogue's worse nightmare.
Izroth was a little surprised by Ying Yue's skill. He was curious as to what class she was and the rank of the skill she used. However, they currently had a more pressing matter to attend to.
'Three people? Could it be his group?'
There was only one party that entered into the Chaotic Dogma Realm with three people. It was the same group that Aegis belonged to. While the last time they met Aegis was separated from his party, there was a good chance that they had already regrouped with one another.
However, there was also the possibility of it being Mariposa and the remaining two members of Sleeping Gardenia. Since the interference in the space near the tower was pretty much nonexistent by this point, it would not be difficult for Mariposa to locate a spatial signature and head there.
But, what would be the purpose of doing so? There were currently multiple possibilities.
"Can you tell who the three individuals are?" Izroth asked.
Ying Yue shook her head, "At my current skill level, I am only capable of differentiating between players and non-players. I'm sorry I cannot be of more help to you..." Ying Yue looked down with a small frown on her face.
Luna stared at Izroth with a meaningful look in her eyes. Strangely enough, Zi Yi also turned to give Izroth a similar look.
Halls was still unsure of what exactly was going on and was just looking back and forward between everyone with a slightly confused facial expression.
Izroth sighed inwardly. Since when was he, the number one cultivator in the Seven Realms, pressured into doing anything by mortals? However, Izroth was not a heartless individual. Also, it may be due to the fact that Ying Yue reminded him of a certain person back within the Seven Realms, but Izroth felt a wave of remaining wash over him which invoked his next action.
Izroth placed his hand on top of Ying Yue's head. "You've done well." A rare and genuine smile appeared on Izroth's face which surprised everyone. Ever since they had first met Izroth, they had yet to see him genuinely smile. There was always a carefree expression or a small change, but never one like this before.
'If only I had been stronger at that time...'
There was a distant look in Izroth's eyes at that moment. But, he soon regained himself and removed his hand from the top of Ying Yue's head. That carefree expression had once again found its way onto its face.
Ying Yue was startled at first, but it was instantly replaced by a feeling of happiness. A blossoming smile found its way onto her face. She understood that Izroth only looked similar to the person she knew, but she had always wanted to meet him ever since she knew of his existence.
She knew that she was only living in a fantasy. She knew this and yet...
"Ah..." Without even realizing it, tears began to fall from Ying Yue's eyes. Though they were not tears of sadness, but rather that of joy. For just that brief moment, it was like her dream had come true. But still, that alone would not be enough to spark such an emotional response.
When Izroth saw Ying Yue tears and her smile that was paired with it, it reminded him of that person he had met long ago within the Seven Realms. He had seen this exact response before in her.
'It would seem as though the both of you have been isolated.'
Izroth was an orphan and so he never really had any family growing up. However, there were a few that came close to a true family member, such as his teacher and the girl in memories. But, Izroth never really understood family until he came to this world and encountered Reilei.
He never realized how strong a true familial bond is until he felt it for himself. It was like something infused into every cell in the body that would be impossible to break free of. However, would one truly want to break free of such a thing?
"Little Yue, what's wrong?" Zi Yi asked after she saw that Ying Yue's tears.
Ying Yue shook her head as she rubbed the tears from her eyes. "I am just happy, big sis Zi Yi."
As Izroth and his group continued their journey, according to Ying Yue, it seemed that if they stayed on their current set course, they would run into the three players within approximately five minutes.
After being reminded of Aegis words, Izroth believed that it would be best to make sure everyone was prepared for a potentially hostile engagement.
"Remain vigilant." Izroth warned.
Of course, everyone would follow that advice, especially in a place as unpredictable as the Chaotic Dogma Realm.
As Izroth and his group moved closer and closer to the three players, Izroth began to sense two familiar presences. However, the third one was unknown.
A few moments later, they arrived at the location where the next spatial anomaly should be located.
"This should be the location that either Guan Yu or Valentine was transported to." Izroth said.
Izroth then turned his gaze towards the direction of that the three players were coming from.
'Oh? It seems both of my original assumptions were incorrect.'
As the three players approached their position, Izroth immediately recognized two of the players. They were surprisingly Guan Yu and Valentine!
"I'm telling you there's no way that's-" As Guan Yu was speaking, he was thrown off by the sudden appearance of the players before them. It was the other members of their party! Well, there was one unfamiliar face among them.
Luna, Zi Yi, and Halls were just as shocked as Guan Yu. What were the chances of them running into each other like this? No, it was definitely not a coincidence.
"Hm? It's him." Luna recognized the other player that was with Guan Yu and Valentine. It was the same player she saw fighting against Silent Step. If she remembered correctly, he referred to himself as Qi Jiguang. But, what was he doing with Guan Yu and Valentine?
To be honest, Luna was mostly surprised by the fact that he was still alive. She wondered what kind of lifesaving skill he used. However, since none of his other party members were present, there were only two possibilities. The first was that they experienced a Chaotic Shift.
However, that was highly unlikely in this particular case. The other was that his party had been wiped out by that strange power Silent Step revealed.
"What's this brother? Are you replacing us with another member so soon?" Guan Yu said jokingly as he saw Ying Yue.
But when Ying Yue saw how direct and open Guan Yu was, she hid slightly behind Izroth. For some reason, Ying Yue had a hard time dealing with people like Guan Yu who was so outspoken and full of energy.
"I was not intending to take anyone's place..." Ying Yue said in a soft voice.
"Hey, hey I was just kidding you know?" Guan Yu rubbed the back of his head as he gave an awkward laugh. He did not expect her to take it in such a literal way.
"Are you going to resort to bullying children now?" Zi Yi said as she scoffed.
"This-" Guan Yu didn't know how to respond.
"Ahahaha! Brother, do you know your sins?!" Halls could not help but laugh and poke fun of Guan Yu.
"Ugh... Betrayed once again by my own brother!" Guan Yu said as he shook his head.
Izroth inwardly shook his head at Guan Yu and Halls' behavior. He then looked towards Qi Jiguang who was simply standing there with his eyes set on Izroth.
"That guy..." Qi Jiguang muttered a few words to himself. Call it a vague feeling or a fighter's sixth sense, but for some reason, Qi Jiguang felt that the player before him was capable of rivaling him when it came to combat!
There was a certain natural air that experts gave off. However, Qi Jiguang felt absolutely nothing from Izroth! He had come across countless people, however, never had he felt nothing at all from a person. But, there was something else that warned him that Izroth was dangerous. Beneath that nothingness, for just a mere instant, one was able to sense an overbearing pressure.
It was like being stared down at an ancient beast who was constantly warning you not to challenge it!
A part of Qi Jiguang was excited because there were few people who were capable of making him feel this way. In fact, he could count the number of people on his fingers alone.
"This is Ying Yue. Her party met with misfortune inside of this place and now only she remains." Izroth explained.
Izroth then turned his attention towards Guan Yu. "It appears you've made yourself a new friend."
"Hm?" At first, Guan Yu was confused by Izroth's words. But then he remembered that Qi Jiguang was still with them. He had forgotten since he was so quiet most of the time!
"Ahahaha! Brother Izroth, you're mistaken. I was just protecting this guy who was completely defenseless. You can just say that I'm his hero!" Guan Yu said with a hint of pride in his voice.
Qi Jiguang's face turned extremely ugly at that statement. While it was true that he did help him out, he was still nowhere near close enough to be considered a hero! "You- How can you say such shameless words with such a straight face?!" Qi Jiguang said as he was obviously bothered by Guan Yu's words.
"What? Did you not following me around like a puppy when you were weakened?" Guan Yu asked.
Qi Jiguang almost coughed up blood at Guan Yu's words. He had to get out of here before he did something he regrets to someone he was supposed to repay. "You're with your members now! I, Qi Jiguang, shall take my leave!" Qi Jiguang quickly turned and left that place.
After traveling for a bit, Qi Jiguang managed to calm himself down. Now there was only one other thing on his mind, to find and eliminate Silent Step.
Izroth still had an important question to ask the Valentine and Guan Yu. Well, really this question was for Valentine since he knew the chance of Guan Yu having anything to do with it was practically nonexistent.
"How did you find us?" Izroth asked. He did not believe that it was just a coincidence.