"To be perfectly honest, I did not expect to find all of you at once like this. I was unsure of who we would run into first." Valentine said.
He then continued, "As for how we managed to find you..." Valentine then went on to explain in the same way that he explained to Guan Yu. Except for this time, he did not have to leave out as many parts as before.
When Izroth heard Valentine's explanation, he was a little surprised. However, he knew that if anyone could see through the Chaotic Shift it would be either Valentine or Zi Yi. There was also a chance for Luna to do so, but it would not be nearly as fast as the other two.
As for Halls and Guan Yu, if they were in a party with players that were the same as them, they would be running around the Chaotic Dogma Realm like chickens with their heads cut off.
'I should find some time to learn a bit more about the way higher level magic works in RML.'
Although Izroth had come to the same conclusion as Valentine, it had not been through an identical method. If not for Izroth's sensitivity to certain changes around him, given the strong power of his soul, then he would not have been able to arrive at the same conclusion as Valentine so fast.
"We're all together now, but..." Valentine glanced over towards Ying Yue who was hidden slightly behind Izroth.
Now there was another problem at hand. What to do with the extra player? The maximum number of players that could be in a party was six. Obviously, it would be unreasonable for any of them to give up their spot.
However, they could not just leave her here all alone. What kind of heartless people would they be if they did that?
Everyone understood what Valentine was trying to say. What would they do with Ying Yue?
"Little Yue can still travel with us even if we can't be in a party together. She just has to stay close is all." Zi Yi suggested. She was against leaving Ying Yue to simply fend for herself. Even if they had yet to run into any monsters within this area, that did not mean it would continue to be that way.
If they left Ying Yue by herself and something happened to her, Zi Yi would have a guilty conscious.
However, Valentine shook his head in response to Zi Yi. "There's no guarantee that the tower we're going to will be safe. In fact, it may be safer for her to remain outside of the tower where there are no monsters instead of dragging her into the tower where potential danger awaits."
Zi Yi furrowed her brows when she heard Valentine speak. She, of course, had thought about this too.
After exchanging a few more words and seeing that both Zi Yi and Valentine still had their disagreements, Izroth believed that they were overlooking one very important thing in all of this.
Izroth turned his head slightly to the side to look back at Ying Yue who was still hiding behind him.
At the moment, Ying Yue felt as if she was just causing trouble for everyone.
When Ying Yue noticed that Izroth was looking directly at her, she stared at him with a curious look on her face.
"What is it that you want to do?" Izroth asked. He believed that every person had to make their own choices. After all, that person would have to live with the consequences of their actions and so it was only right that they were the one who chose.
When Zi Yi and Valentine realized that during their back and forth they had not even once asked the person in question what they wanted, both of them felt a little ashamed. Who were they to decide for someone perfectly capable of choosing for themselves?
Ying Yue looked as if she wanted to say something, but she was hesitant to do so.
"We will respect whatever decision you make, Little Yue." Luna said after she saw the hesitation written all over Ying Yue's face.
Izroth also gave a small nod to show that he would stand by the words Luna just spoke. He understood that not just anyone would receive an SS-ranked quest.
It would be different if Ying Yue was tagging along with her other party members, but she was actually the quest holder! Which meant that she was definitely not completely helpless. However, in everyone's eyes, she was still just a child.
Ying Yue felt relieved and no longer hesitated as she said, "I want to go with all of you..."
Zi Yi nodded, "Then it's decided, you can-"
"However, there is something I must accomplish no matter what while inside of the Chaotic Dogma Realm. That will be impossible to do from that tower. Therefore, I must part ways with everyone." Ying Yue said reluctantly as she gave a polite bow.
Everyone was surprised as they thought that Ying Yue would want to tag along with them no matter what. So it was quite unexpected when she said otherwise.
Zi Yi frowned, "Something you must accomplish no matter what? Isn't there anything we can do to help you?"
Ying Yue shook her head, "You've already helped me enough with the information about my party members. Big sis Zi Yi, thank you for your kindness." Ying Yue said with a smile on her face. Though one could still see a slight unwillingness hidden behind that smile.
"But-" Zi Yi still wanted to object, but Izroth cut her off.
"Alright Little Yue, we'll respect the choice you've made." Izroth said.
When Zi Yi was getting ready to say something once more Izroth spoke, "You appear to be taking after your elder sister, Zi Yi."
Zi Yi considered Izroth's words and soon realized that she had been treating Ying Yue almost exactly the same way that Mariposa treats her. Although she understood that Mariposa tried to do what was best for her, there were still countless times when she did not want to speak to her elder sister because she felt that she was being unfair.
Zi Yi gave a helpless smile as she let out a sigh. Izroth was correct, she was behaving just like her overprotective elder sister. However, this did help her to see things from Mariposa's point of view and have a newfound level of respect for some of the choices her elder sister made.
"Then it's decided, we'll part ways here." Izroth said.
Ying Yue looked a little saddened when she heard Izroth speak those words. But, she knew what she had to do.
"I thank all of you for allowing me to accompany you this far. I hope that we can meet again soon." Ying Yue said in a soft tone of voice.
"I am sure that we'll meet again outside of the Chaotic Dogma Realm." Luna said.
Zi Yi nodded, "Make sure to take good care of yourself. If things get too dangerous, don't be afraid of retreating." Zi Yi cautioned her.
Ying Yue was constantly twirling her fingers in a nervous manner. "If it is not inconvenient, I would like to add you as friends..." she muttered. They had not known each other for that long, but no strangers had ever treated her with such genuine goodwill. All of her life, there were only two types of people she had met.
The first were the people who only wanted to get close to her because of her family. The second was those who only had their own agenda to benefit themselves. Even those she invited to go with her on this quest were the same, but she refused to believe it at the time and even felt guilty about their existence wipes.
Luna and Zi Yi looked at one another with smiles on their faces. Soon after, Ying Yue received a friend request from both Luna and Zi Yi.
Ying Yue happily accepted their friend requests. She then turned her attention towards Izroth. Ying Yue's eyes were sparkling as she stared at Izroth as if she were waiting for something.
Everyone else also stared at Izroth with smirks and grins on their faces. Unless he was completely heartless, there was no way he could back out of giving Ying Yue what she wanted.
Izroth shook his head inwardly. He had planned on doing so regardless since there were still some unanswered questions. There was no need to look at him as if he were trapped with no way to escape. He then sent a friend request to Ying Yue.
A lovely smile immediately found its way onto Ying Yue's face when she received Izroth's friend request. Of course, she accepted without hesitation.
After saying their final farewells to one another, Ying Yue waved goodbye as her body began to slowly sink into the ground.
Everyone was shocked at first, however, they soon remembered how she popped out from inside of a tree, as well as, the way she described her skill earlier. But, the same could not be said for Guan Yu and Valentine who were completely baffled. What kind of skill was that?
In less than a few seconds, Ying Yue had disappeared from their sights. Although they could still feel a faint presence, it soon faded into nothingness. Ying Yue had gone her separate way.
Valentine was now a bit regretful that he did not have the chance to ask her more questions about that skill and her magic.
'Interesting... But, now that everything else is settled...'
Izroth and all the members of his party were finally together again after being forcibly separated by the Chaotic Shift.
The tall tower in the distance was much closer than it was before the Chaotic Shift occurred. Their destination at this point was quite obvious.
"We'll head to the tower. I have a feeling the answers we've been looking for all along awaits us in that place." Izroth said.
Izroth, Luna, Zi Yi, Halls, Guan Yu, and Valentine began their journey towards the tower. However, no one knew that what awaited them in that place was not only the answers to their questions but also, the beginning of their inevitable demise.
Around ten minutes after Ying Yue went separate ways from Izroth and his party, she arrived somewhere quite far away from the tower. Thanks to the skill set her class possessed, she was able to travel to places much faster than most other classes.
Ying Yue stood before a tombstone with strange and unknown symbols carved into it. However, there was a single line that any player would be able to read.
"The beginning of beginnings..." Ying Yue said quietly to herself as she read the words carved into the tombstone.
If Izroth was here at the moment, he would recognize those words immediately!
Ying Yue placed her hand onto the tombstone. As the palm of her hand made contact with the tombstone, the symbols began to emit a bright red light. A few moments later, the tombstone along with Ying Yue had disappeared from that spot.
Izroth and his party finally reached the front of the tower.
If one looked up from beneath the tower, they would still be unable to see where the tower ended. If one looked down, they would be unable to tell where it began.
That was because there was a large abyss surrounding the entire tower. In order to enter the tower, there was only one way and that was by walking onto a rope bridge that led to its entrance.
Inside of the abyss was total darkness. However, one could hear the sound of howling and a turbulent wind blowing coming from within.
"This place gives me a really eerie feeling." Halls said as he observed the gloomy atmosphere surrounding the tower.
"If we fall down that hole, how far do you think we'll fall?" Guan Yu asked curiously.
However, there was no one present willing to test it out. If the top of the tower seemed endless, then there was a chance that the bottom was endless as well. Even if it wasn't, there was a good possibility that they would simply fall to their death.
'What's this peculiar aura I'm sensing coming from the very depths of this tower?'
"Let's go." Izroth said as he walked towards the rope bridge that led to the tower. As soon as his foot stepped onto the bridge, he received an alert from the system.
〈System Alert: You have entered into the «Endless Pandemonium Tower»〉