Izroth thought back to the time when they were first transported to the front gates of Amaharpe, or to be more precise, their avatars were sent here. He immediately felt that something was off at the time. Then, he went over the words listed on the Vessel of The Endless One in his mind.
There were two parts in particular that bothered Izroth. The first was the text shown in the special note section of the item.
'To those who are unworthy only a disaster awaits. However, to those who are worthy, it will grant good fortune to.'
The question that bothered Izroth was how did the Vessel of The Endless One determine one's worth? While it was possible that it was put there just to give the item a bit of a dramatic flare, Izroth believed that there was more to it than that.
The second thing that concerned him was how vague of a description the usage effect was given. It talked about creating a unique crystal that could bend space and held other mysterious abilities, however, there was never any direct mention of the Returning Shard.
It then dawned on Izroth that maybe they were going about everything the wrong way this entire time.
"What do you mean right in front of our eyes?" Zi Yi asked curiously.
The others were also curious as to what Izroth had to say. After all, they had tried everything to get the Vessel of The Endless One to its fully charged state and failed in doing so.
"We became too focused on what we'd managed to obtain, that we almost lost sight of the true nature of the first trial." Izroth said in a calm tone of voice.
Luna furrowed her brows as she pondered Izroth's words. She closed her eyes turned her concentration on the words the voice said to them. She made sure to remember each of the voice's words as it concerned the potential existence wipe of her character.
A few moments later, Luna opened up her eyes as a hint of clarity could be seen hidden within them. "Everything is hopeless in the end..." Luna muttered to herself. "Everything is hopeless in the end...!" Luna spoke loud and clear enough for everyone to hear this time.
"Big sis Luna, you shouldn't give up hope just yet. We can do anything as long as we put our fists to it!" Guan Yu said.
"First off, it's minds, not fists. Secondly, Luna is not giving up hope, she's just repeating the words that incredibly rude voice said to us. Before he vanished, he said those exact words." Zi Yi explained.
Halls frowned, "Wasn't he just trying to scare us? What do those words have to do with anything?"
Izroth was secretly surprised that Luna was able to pick up on things so fast.
"Those words were more than just a simple taunt, they contained an important clue on how to finish the first trial." Izroth said. Even Izroth was a little shocked that the game would go this far in its level of difficulty when it came to noticing small details.
Izroth underestimated RML and did not give it much thought after they had discovered the Vessel of The Endless One. After all, the goal was clear and there for them to see. It took him seeing no goal in sight to truly question and scrutinize every single detail. However, he would not be so careless again.
Luna nodded, "While the voice was indeed being rude, our original assumption was that it did not give us any leads. But, it turns out that it really gave us all the information we needed." Luna explained.
She then continued, "The Vessel of The Endless One is exactly that, endless! In other words, we could spend an eternity trying to fill up that item and it would never be fully charged no matter how many monsters we defeat. The truth is, there is no such thing as worthy or unworthy. In the end, it's an item that ultimately leads to a dead end, a disaster."
Everyone was speechless as they listened to Luna speak. This entire time when they believed that they were getting closer to the end, there was never an end to begin with! How were they supposed to accept that?
"It must have been that voice that planted the item and tricked us! How cowardly!" Guan Yu said in a frustrated manner.
"I thought something was off, but I never imagined that overlooking just a few words that were said would bring about a near existence wipe experience for all of us." Valentine said as he released a small sigh.
Zi Yi, on the other hand, was a little depressed. In the end, she was the one who told them about the story involving the shard that sent the man home from his journey. She almost led everyone to their end and she would not have been able to forgive herself had it got to that point.
When Luna saw how distant and gloomy Zi Yi looked, she couldn't help but to try and cheer her up. "You shouldn't blame yourself, Zi Yi. We were the ones who asked and you provided the information to the best of your ability. We decided together and so we all share things equally."
Zi Yi only gave a small nod. While she knew that Luna's words were true, she still blamed ultimately blamed herself. However, she did feel somewhat better after Luna's attempt at comforting her.
"No one is to blame. Naturally, it's something we all overlooked. But, it's not too late to succeed and that's all that matters." Izroth said.
Zi Yi shook her head slightly. Izroth was right, they still had time to get out of this mess. Instead of wasting that time feeling sorry for herself, she would use it to redeem herself.
"What's the new plan?" Zi Yi asked with fire in her eyes. She was ready to take action as soon as possible.
"We'll have to head into the Towering Oak Forest in the distance. I believe our answer is waiting for us there." Izroth said.
"What answer might that be?" Luna asked. While she understood one portion of things, she still did not understand everything that needed to be done.
"Well, how are these monsters getting here?" Izroth asked.
"Aren't they all just coming from inside of the Towering Oak Forest?" Halls responded.
"Oh? What about the Brooding Behemoth Basbus?" Izroth questioned.
"This-" Halls did not know how to answer that question. Indeed, where did that boss monster come from if every monster came from the Towering Oak Forest? There was no way something like the Brooding Behemoth Basbus would have been left undiscovered. Also, it was listed specifically as a rare event boss, not a world boss.
"It could have just been generated by the system for this specific event." Valentine said.
Izroth nodded, "That's true, however, I'm willing to bet that it has something to do with the opening of the Chaotic Dogma Realm and the Endless Pandemonium Tower. After all, it's too much of a coincidence that this event started around the same time we entered into the Chaotic Dogma Realm."
"There's just one problem. How are we suppose to reach the Towering Oak Forest when the next wave is starting so soon?" Luna asked.
The next and final wave would be starting in less than three minutes. There was no way that they could make it to the Towering Oak Forest in the distance in such a short amount of time. Even if they could, what would they do once the monsters spawned? It was impossible for them to fight hundreds or even thousands of monsters at once that were at level 28+.
"I have a plan. Though, I did not expect to use this item at this place." Izroth said as he opened his inventory and removed five thin glass-like beakers. Inside the beakers was transparent and looked just like plain water. The only difference was the tiny sparkling particles floating throughout the liquid.
This was one of the potions Izroth had requested from Metronome before he entered into the Chaotic Dogma Realm. Although everyone here was capable of holding their own ground, they all lacked one thing that may be necessary at some point and that was stealth.
Even Izroth did not have any stealth abilities at the moment. While the shadow form from Shadow Movement was close to stealth, it was still not a true stealth ability. Therefore, one of the two items Izroth had Metronome prepare was an Invisibility Potion.
Name: Invisibility Potion
Usage: Consume this potion to become invisible for 5 minutes. The user cannot attack or use any skills for 15 seconds after the invisibility ends.
Cooldown: 10 minutes
The downside to the Invisibility Potion was quite obvious, however, it would give them the opportunity they needed to reach the Towering Oak Forest. Also, while fifteen seconds was a long time to go without attacks or skills, if they ran into any trouble they could still rely on their natural abilities to survive until the time was up.
Izroth handed one Invisibility Potion to everyone. When everyone read the effect of the potion, they were startled. An Invisibility Potion? This was their first time seeing such a thing within RML.
"It looks just like water!" Guan Yu said as he examined the beaker in his hand.
Zi Yi had another question on her mind as she asked, "How much-"
But, before she could even finish her sentence, Izroth held up his hand to stop her. "Not a price to be concerned with. Right now, we have more important things to worry about." Izroth said.
Izroth turned his attention towards the Towering Oak Forest as he said, "We will have to move fast. Wait until the last possible moment before consuming the potion. Until then, we'll cover as much distance as possible."
Everyone nodded in agreement as they had their potions on standby and ready to use at a moments notice.
"Let's go." Izroth said as he began to sprint towards the Towering Oak Forest. Of course, he did not use his full speed as he did not want to leave everyone behind.
Some players on the frontline noticed what Izroth and his party was doing but they were dumbfounded. The tenth wave was about to start and they were rushing in the same exact direction that the monsters spawned from. Did they plan on taking on the entire tenth wave alone?
Of course, such a thought would be foolish so that probably wasn't it. However, the only thing that awaited them going in that direction was death. A few players shook their head in disappointment. It was a shame that such skilled players would willingly run to their deaths.
It did not take long for the tenth wave to finally begin. Izroth and his party continued onward and just as they charged into the group of monsters, they disappeared!
The spectating players were shocked! Did they die just like that? What was the point of such a ridiculous course of action on the last wave?
Minus, who was back in control of that area, received a report from one of his scouts who he asked to keep tabs on Izroth and his party. When he heard that they had willingly strolled to their deaths, his mood became much better. Finally, something was going the way he wanted it to.
"In the end, fools will have a fools death." Minus said with a smirk on his face.
'We made it.'
Izroth and his party safely arrived inside of the Towering Oak Forest with just seconds to spare. They found a spot to conceal themselves while the side effect of the Invisibility Potion wore off.
"What's that over there?" Halls noticed something not too far away from them. It was a very faint light that seemed almost ethereal. However, what really shocked Halls was something else entirely.
Izroth and his party looked over in the Halls were focused on. Izroth narrowed his eyes as he had a better view of things than anyone else did from their current position.
'One thing's for certain, we've found the source of the monsters.'