'We have not arrived at our true destination and yet there are already elite monsters waiting to greet us.'
In most areas, the first group of monsters players would run into, be it a dungeon, raid, or just exploring, were usually normal monsters. Running into an elite monster right off the back was a major sign that this place was dangerous ground to tread on. Of course, Izroth and his party knew that this was likely to be the case considering the kind of quest they were on.
It was actually a good sign that the first monster they ran into was an elite. After all, it confirmed that this specific area was unnatural due to more than a simple heavy mist.
As Izroth struck the Netherworld Specter, it felt similar to slashing something that was intangible. That was now all that bothered him. He knew that the specter-type monsters were immune to physical attacks, however, he did not expect for his damage to be reduced by such a drastic amount even with a grade three Holy Blessings added.
'The holy attribute should not only allow us to harm the specters, but also increase the amount of damage we're able to deal to them. Even if it's a simple basic sword attack, I should have at least done a minimum level of damage. Now I can see why Azalea did not like this place.'
Halls positioned himself close to the Netherworld Specter and pushed forward with his shield and slashed out viciously with his sword in an arc, executing the skill Ferocity Slash. Just like with Izroth's attack, it went right through the body of the creature, but it still managed to deal some damage. However, something else strange was going on that made Halls frown.
"It's not changing targets!" Halls shouted as a warning. He tried using Taunting Aura after Ferocity Slash to further solidify his hold of aggro on the Netherworld Specter, however, it ignored his attempts and continued to pick out its targets seemingly at random.
"It's a specter-type monster, of course, they can't be taunted!" Zi Yi said as if it were common knowledge.
Halls felt slightly embarrassed at having to be told that by Zi Yi. He thought that they were only immune to physical attacks, not his taunts as well. But, how was he supposed to do his job as a tank if he could not even grab its aggro?! Wandering and random aggro was one of the worse things for a party to deal with, especially the healer since all the pressure would naturally fall onto them.
The Netherworld Specter rapidly approached Izroth despite the two attacks against it, however, he quickly managed to retreat a few steps back and avoided the attack. But, in doing so, the Netherworld Specter went after Guan Yu who was charging forward with his guandao to begin his assault.
For players who used physical damaging attacks like Izroth or Halls, even with a Holy Blessings enchantment stone, this place could be considered a nightmare.
As Guan Yu closed in on the Netherworld Specter, something he least expected happened. When he was positioning himself to attack and prepared to lash out with his guandao, the creature phased right through him causing him to feel cold down to the bone. If one looked closely, they could even see the frost coming from his mouth.
9,183/11,560 HP Remaining! (Guan Yu)
Not only did Guan Yu take a decent amount of damage, but he was also unable to move for a full second!
Luna cast a Healing Essence on Guan Yu without hesitation. Although it would not immediately return him to full HP, it would do so by the time the spell ended.
"Creepy!" Guan Yu could not help but say after experiencing that strange feeling. Who wanted to feel some strange looking creature go right through their body? The answer was no one!
While it may have been something for Izroth and the other physical attackers to adapt to, for players like Mariposa whose main source of damage came from magic, it was just like any other day.
Mariposa pointed her staff directly at the Netherworld Specter and after chanting a few words, one black dot appeared near the body of the creature. However, that one black dot quickly split into two separate pieces. Then, the two black dots split into four pieces. This continued until there were hundreds or maybe even thousands of small black dots surroundings the Netherworld Specter.
"Spatial Seeking Needles." The moment those words left Mariposa's mouth, the black dots reshaped itself into a long and sharp pitch black needle. Each needle was no more than 10cm in size and did not appear to be that harmless outside their sharp pointed ends. But, spatial magic was not something so simple.
The Netherworld Specter's next target was Zi Yi, however, before it could even reach her, the creature was met with a rain of spatial needles. The needles did not pierce into the creature's body, but instead, it seemed to disappear into thin air after making contact with it. It also halted the movements of the Netherworld Specter and locked it into place.
"Not bad." Mariposa said to herself. This was the first time she used the Spatial Seeking Needles skill. It was one of her more recently obtained skills, but she had not yet been able to find any time to test it before now. The most frightening thing about this particular skill was the amount of control over its target that it provided to its caster. It was a strong crowd control skill.
There were all sorts of damage numbers popping up when the spatial needles dove into the body of the Netherworld Specter. In the end, Mariposa ended up dealing around 2,300 damage while also disabling the creature movements all in one go.
Zi Yi released an arrow from her bow at point blank range of the Netherworld Specter.
The others also did not waste this chance and instantly launched a deadly barrage of attacks at the Netherworld Specter.
With everyone attacking together, the Netherworld Specter's HP fell rapidly. However, a thin layer of darkness could be seen forming around it as the effects of Mariposa Spatial Seeking Needles ended. Not only that but just as Izroth was launching his attack against the Netherworld Specter, it vanished into thin air.
It was gone! As soon as its HP hit the 30% mark, the Netherworld Specter simply disappeared as if he had run away from the fight!
"Huh? Where did it go?!" Guan Yu said with a stunned expression on his face. It was here one second and then gone the next. It could not be that it actually ran away from the fight, right?
"It's still nearby. However..." Izroth spoke with a pondering look on his face. Indeed, the Netherworld Specter was definitely still around, but the challenging thing was locking directly onto its location. The Netherworld Specter did not simply vanish, it was now all around them! In other words, it had become a part of the mist itself!
"What is it?" Halls asked while staying on guard.
"It's odd. It's almost as if it has become a part of the mist." Izroth stated.
"If that's really true, then it would explain why my spatial marking reading is all over the place. However, this does makes things a little tricky." Mariposa said.
Of course, the first thing Izroth tried to do was slash at the mist, but nothing happened. It was becoming more troublesome due to the holy attribute losing its effectiveness against the mist.
At its current rate, in about fifteen seconds the mist would once again make it impossible for them to see a single step in front of them. If that happened while the Netherworld Specter was still loose and able to attack anyone it pleased, then things would only become increasingly difficult for them.
"Although I hate to admit it, that magic freak's Eyes of Magic would have been really useful right about now." Zi Yi commented.
"If you speak that way you'll make your big sis feel unwanted, my adorable little sister." Mariposa said in a playful tone of voice.
Zi Yi scoffed, "I'm just speaking the truth! You're so-" Before Zi Yi could finish her sentence, she felt something cold travel through her body. It was a piercingly cold and evasive feeling that caused her to shiver. It was similar to what happened to Guan Yu not too long ago.
"It's back near Zi Yi!" Guan Yu shouted. After experiencing that feeling firsthand, he knew immediately what was going on.
Everyone turned their attention towards Zi Yi and indeed, there it was, the Netherworld Specter had phased right through Zi Yi's body.
4,071/5,283 HP Remaining! (Zi Yi)
Luckily, Zi Yi had some magic resistance that reduced the overall damage of the Netherworld Specter's attack. It was also a good thing that Luna had such swift reaction time and cast Cure to bring her HP back into a relatively safe state.
"This thing is playing tag! So annoying!" Halls said in a frustrated tone of voice. Right now, he felt that he was completely useless because he could not even properly do his job as a tank because of the Netherworld Specter.
Zi Yi's facial expression darkened and turned extremely gloomy after the Netherworld Specter passed through her. It was like hundreds of little bugs crawling over one's skin and scampering around. How disgusting!
However, things were not over just yet. Not too long after the Netherworld Specter phased through Zi Yi's body, a lingering image of both Guan Yu and Zi Yi could be seen hovering above there heads. The two images looked like a miniature ghostly version of the two and it was shrinking in size every second. That was when everyone received the battle alert.
〈Battle Alert: Player Guan Yu and Player Zi Yi have been affected by «Ghastly Specter Touch»〉
Ghastly Specter Touch? What was that? There was no further information about the skill. All they knew was that Guan Yu and Zi Yi were affected by it and that the chances of it being harmless were practically nonexistent. However, it did not take long for everyone to figure it out.
Guan Yu and Zi Yi appeared to be losing a chunk of their HP every second that passed. From the looks of it, they were losing 10%! To make matters even worse, there was no specific time mentioned as to how long the effects of the Ghastly Specter Touch would last.
This meant that there was a good chance that if they did not defeat the Netherworld Specter in time, then both Guan Yu and Zi Yi would perish right here and now! If something like that occurred just when they first entered into this place and had just begun their quest, how tragic would that be?!
Luna tried her best to keep up with the daunting task of healing both Guan Yu and Zi Yi while also maintaining constant vigilance of her surroundings.
"This should go without saying, but I won't be able to keep this up forever. Also, I would appreciate it if everyone else could avoid being touched by the specter." Luna said in a calm and collected voice.
"If things become too much to handle, focus your healing on Guan Yu. If it reaches a critical point, I'll cover Zi Yi." Izroth said as he moved to confront the Netherworld Specter. He decided that a phantom should be greeted by another phantom.
Izroth's Sword of The Storm formed two phantoms underneath its blade.
Woosh! Woosh! Woosh!
All three strikes, infused with sixteen points of his Essence, cut through the body of the Netherworld Specter causing it to wail in pain due to the holy attribute.