The moment the word "slow" left Aegis' mouth, from Izroth's perspective, Aegis who was about to be overwhelmed by his First Baneful Sword: Destruction had disappeared!
'This skill... It's the same as that time.'
This was Izroth's third time witnessing Aegis' use of that skill. At first, he believed that it was some kind of teleportation skill, similar to the one the Terminus used to travel around. However, after observing it a few more times, Izroth came to a different conclusion.
"Crashing Palm of Dissonance." A voice suddenly rang out from Izroth's side.
Izroth reacted instantly and without hesitation, he canceled the skill First Baneful Sword: Destruction. He then spun rapidly and used the momentum granted by the skill Phantom Strike to alter the path of his Blade of Lightning and intercept the incoming attack.
Even though Izroth's Phantom Strike met with the incoming attack three times, he was still sent sliding back a few meters from the force behind Aegis' Crashing Palm of Dissonance. That palm attack was definitely not a casual skill and had some kind of sound ability mixed in with it that made it tricky to counter.
The fact that Izroth managed to negate most of the damage was already impressive considering the position he was put in. This was even more so given Aegis' current agility advantage.
Aegis' attack had caused the ground five meters in front of him to be upheaved and split apart. There was a small cloud of dust that formed from the aftermath of the attack.
"Oh? That's the first time anyone has ever survived that attack. I have to admit, if I had acted a bit slower, I am unsure that I would have been able to survive that attack of yours head on. You continue to exceed my expectations, Izroth." Aegis said as the energy continued to rotate around the lemniscate pupils of his eyes.
Although Aegis appeared calm and nonchalant on the outside, he was shocked on the inside. It should have been impossible for Izroth's mind to even register what happened within that small frame of time, let alone react.
"That's quite the trick you use. However, why don't you try doing that again? I guarantee this, you will not be able to touch me again, Aegis." Izroth said as he stood up straight with a carefree expression on his face.
At the moment, Izroth's Blade of Lightning rested over his shoulder as tiny crackles of electricity could be seen becoming more active around it. He released a tyrannical level of pressure that seemed as if it wanted to crush Aegis and everything around him beneath it.
Although it only lasted for a split second, it was enough for Aegis and even those in the distance to feel it. It sent shivers down their spine. It was as if every part of their body was screaming at them to not to go against the ancient beast and to simply submit.
'Ah, I got a little too excited and lost control for a bit. It's the first time in a while that I'm able to stretch out a bit.'
Aegis eyes widened as he instantly retreated over twenty meters away from Izroth and felt cold sweat run down his back.
"What was that feeling...?" Aegis muttered to himself. For a brief moment, he felt suffocated and he believed that if he stayed there even a fraction of a second longer, he would have been cut to pieces.
"You... Who are you?" Aegis had a darkened expression on his face as he stared coldly at Izroth. There was only one other person Aegis knew of that could make him retreat unconsciously like that. However, that person was unique and stood at that level alone.
"Hm? Back in the forest, you said that you would remember my name, correct?" Izroth replied.
Aegis did not respond to that. He felt that Izroth purposely avoided any questions regarding who he was or where he came from. However, they were not exactly on such friendly terms that he would willingly give up information about himself.
There was something that Izroth said earlier that bothered Aegis. Izroth said that he would be unable to touch him again and even tried to provoke him into using his skill again. Aegis believed that Izroth was intentionally looking down on him.
Every skill or attack had some sort of weakness, however, there was no such thing as a weakness when it came to Aegis' trait. Aegis' trait was known as the All-Seeing Eyes, but that was not the true name of his trait.
Its true name was the Eyes of Providence. The All-Seeing Eyes was just one of the abilities of the trait, similar to how Flow of Essence was one of the many abilities of Izroth's Soul Essence trait.
For Izroth to say that he would be unable to touch him again was just complete and utter nonsense. Even if he just felt threatened a moment ago, Aegis did not truly believe that Izroth could be on the same level as that person. Therefore, he was confident that Izroth was attempting to play some sort of mind game to throw him off.
"You said earlier that I won't be able to touch you, right?" Aegis crossed his swords together in front him and slid them against one another causing both swords to become engulfed in scorching flames.
"I'd like to see just how you plan on keeping such a promise. If you believe that the All-Seeing Eyes is all there is to my Eyes of Providence, then you're sadly mistaken." The energy within Aegis eyes turned crimson red in color and began to circulate rapidly.
Izroth stood motionless with his Blade of Lightning still sat freely upon his shoulder. There was not the slightest change in his facial expression.
"Slow." Aegis said as everything around him became incredibly slow. It was to that point that even the snowflakes falling from the sky appeared to be frozen in place. This particular ability granted by his Eyes of Providence did not allow Aegis to do something as grand as manipulate time, but rather the speed of things around him.
Aegis referred to this ability as the Eye of Equilibrium. The All-Seeing Eyes allowed Aegis to view things with more clarity than others. In other words, something that may appear to be moving fast to others would seem incredibly slow through Aegis' eyes.
The Eye of Equilibrium amplified the All-Seeing Eyes part of his trait and allowed him to influence his surroundings to match the speed at which he perceives an object or person moving.
For example, even if he could see an attack coming directly at him, if it was too fast then he would be unable to do anything about it. However, with the Eye of Equilibrium, it would force that attack to move at the actual speed he perceived it at. Of course, they had a certain limit, but it should be nearly impossible for anyone to approach it.
But, it was not a skill that he could use freely this early on. Due to the unique nature of his trait, he could not afford to overuse the Eyes of Providence, or else the price he had to pay would not be light.
Aegis moved swiftly and closed in fast on Izroth. The flames around his swords seemed to howl and intensify as they grew closer to their target. Aegis swung in a sweeping motion towards Izroth as the flames leaped outward as if they wanted to devour him whole and incinerate him to ashes.
A faint sound drifted next to Aegis ears. It almost sounded like electricity crackling and buzzing. However, when Aegis saw how close his swords were to making contact with Izroth, he knew that it was too late for him to do anything that would change the outcome of the battle.
"It's over." Aegis said as his flaming swords sliced cleanly through Izroth with no resistance.
An explosion caused by the strong flames made a small crater in the ground where Izroth stood just moments ago. The flames had completely incinerated him, turning him into dust!
At least, that's what Aegis believed. But it did not take long until a frown found its way to Aegis' face as he furrowed his brows.
"I already told you, the same trick will not work again." Izroth's voice sounded from behind Aegis.
Aegis was stunned. His swords had indeed sliced through Izroth, however, there was a slightly weird flickering going on with Izroth's body. That's when Aegis realized that what he cut through was not Izroth, but instead, it was an afterimage!
Without thinking twice about it, Aegis once again used his Eyes of Providence and spun around using quick footwork. This time, a wave of flaming energy was released from his swords shot out towards Izroth who was less than one meter away from him at the moment. There was absolutely no way that Izroth could evade an attack at such a close range.
However, Aegis had once again underestimated just how monstrous Izroth was as an enemy.
Aegis struck nothing but an afterimage once again. Just as he was about to follow up with another again, a bolt of lightning struck down and paralyzed him. It was a lightning bolt from Izroth's skill Lightning Field.
Although the paralyze effect only lasted 0.25 seconds, it might as well be an eternity with Izroth's current agility stat which was off the charts. At the moment, Izroth had the maximum stats provided by Hellfire Rampage and gained a bonus of 100 agility points.
In addition, he received a 50% agility boost from his Lightning Field skill and a 400% agility boost from Flickering Steps. In total, this shot his agility up to a game breaking 3,312 points! If any player saw such a large number, they would think that the stat system was bugged!
Izroth appeared directly in front of Aegis while he was paralyzed by his Lightning Field.
"In your own words, it's over." Izroth said. He began to execute one of the skills he gained during the time he fought in the event Protectors of Amaharpe.
Aegis wanted to respond, however, Izroth was simply moving too fast! This level of speed should be impossible this early in the game! All he could do was watch as Izroth's Blade of Lightning descended down upon him.
"Third Sword Form: Collapsing Thunder." As Izroth said those words, a brilliant flash of light appeared that covered the surrounding fifteen meters in a blindly light.
Sometime just after Izroth and Aegis left to have their battle...
"You should all be grateful! It's not every day I waste my time on trash like you. Come at me all at once!" Ruin's tone of voice had completely changed when he was not speaking to Aegis. It was not playful at all and carried with it a heavy amount of disdain.
Everyone's facial expression darkened at those words. They knew from Zi Yi's words that Ruin, being a member of Heaven's Law, was incredibly strong. However, he was looking down on them too much and even had the audacity to call them trash! How could they not be furious?
"Do you think that I'll sit back and just allow you to insult us as you please?!" Guan Yu swung his guandao backward and kicked off his foot as he accelerated towards Ruin.
"Wait!" Zi Yi tried to get Guan Yu to call off his attack. It was too risky for any of them to move alone! After all, the smallest mistake could lead to an existence wipe and the last thing she wanted was for anyone to experience such a miserable fate.
However, it was too late and Guan Yu was determined to go through with his attack. Not only did Ruin dare to insult him to his face, but he also insulted those he considered to be his friends. How could he call himself a man if he did not fight?!
Guan Yu swung his guandao downward without restraint towards Ruin. He used his skill Arcing Armor Crusher, as he wanted to bypass Ruin's defenses.
"Fool." Ruin said as a grin found its way onto his face.