Halls reacted quickly and raised his shield as he pushed his entire body forward and into the path of the crimson light.
"If you're going to tell us to die, you might not want to give us a warning next time!" Halls said. At the moment, the tip of Grim's scythe was directly connected with his shield. Although it was a wide arc slash that was originally intended to be an AOE attack, Halls had intercepted the scythe before the skill could be completed. Essentially, he turned the AOE attack into just another basic attack!
Normally, it would have been impossible for him to accomplish such a task due to the limit of his agility versus his actual reaction time. In other words, even if he saw the attack coming, it would be useless if his body was unable to react in time to the attack.
However, thanks to a new item he obtained from one of the Rare Item Chests he acquired from the Protectors of Amaharpe event, he now possessed the ability to intercept attacks on a moments notice. Of course, this item had its restrictions and limitations, but its effectiveness could not be denied.
That was not all that happened. Grim felt an overwhelming invisible force spread on the outside of his body. It felt as though something was pushing him back against his own will. This was because Halls did not perform a simple block, but instead, he used the core skill of his class, Rebound.
Grim was knocked back around four meters away from where he was previously standing. However, he managed to maintain his footing and stabbed the tip of his scythe into the ground to prevent himself from going any further. By the time his body stopped moving, he had a vicious look in his eyes as he stared down Halls.
"Oh? What was that? A skill?" Grim asked as he chuckled.
"Come hit me again and you can find out for yourself!" Halls scoffed as he took on a defensive position.
At the same time, Grim was sent flying back, the two Puppet Chained Assassin's took action. They vanished and entered into a stealth mode. The higher the level of NPCs or monsters, the more intelligent they became at responding and reacting to certain situations, especially combat. A level 40 elite NPC like the Puppet Chained Assassin could not be compared to a normal elite monster.
As for Ghost, she stood there with her eyes closed and her arms folded, not moving from her spot. However, if one were to think that she was completely defenseless because of this, they would deeply regret it.
"Ten." Grim said with a huge grin on his face and that vicious look still lingering around within his eyes.
Ten? Ten what? Halls was confused by his statement, but in the end, he brushed it off as nothing more than Grim talking to himself.
'Should I end this quickly?'
Izroth wondered if he should not waste time here and end this fight as fast as possible. After all, there were too many unknown factors nearby. This was a potential SSS-ranked quest and the risk of failure was disastrous.
The destruction of Amaharpe also meant the destruction of his recently opened shop, the Mystical Realm Palace. If this truly was the location, which he was quite positive of at this point, then he could not allow anyone to interfere and risk setting off a chain of events that would change the world of RML itself.
But, in the end, Izroth decided to use a more moderate approach for the same reason he thought about ending things quickly. He could not afford to use his skills with long cooldowns recklessly in this place. A few minutes or even seconds could make all the difference between a party wipe and survival on a quest such as this.
Izroth was unable to sense, hear, or see the Puppet Chained Assassins. However, there was more than one way to break an opponent's stealth. He lightly tapped his foot on the ground causing the surrounding 30 meters of earth to tremor violently.
The moment Grim and Aelaza felt that something was off, they immediately retreated from their current positions. However, it seemed that no matter how far away they retreated, the quaking earth would follow them. It was not until they were around 30 meters away from Izroth did the quaking stop.
"What's with that broken AOE range?" Grim said with his scythe placed over his shoulder.
Aelaza silently locked her gaze onto Izroth. She could see it. Not in a figurative sense, but rather a quite literally, she could see it. How did she come to this conclusion? Simple, it was due to the power of a rare trinket she possessed known as the Eye of Judgement.
Accessory Name: Eye of Judgement
Accessory Rank: Rare
Accessory Skill: Insight & Weakpoint(Passive) - The user of this trinket can see a player or monster's «Combat Capability» as a numerical figure based on various factors, as well as, level(regardless of a level gap) and name. This item also reveals all enemy «Weak Point». Striking a «Weak Point» grants the user a 50% critical hit chance and increases the user's damage by 5% when striking that specific «Weak Point». (MAX: 50% per «Weak Point»)
Out of everyone present, surprisingly, Izroth currently had the highest Combat Capability reading. It was uncommon in most parties for magic casters not to possess the highest Combat Capability within their current level range. However, in this case, it was actually a physical attacker! However, Aelaza was not worried in the slightest about this discovery for one simple reason.
"He's still too weak..." Aelaza said to herself.
When the first tremor was sent out by Izroth's Behemoth's Quake, the two Puppet Chained Assassins stealth skill was broken after taking damage. Izroth dealt a total of 2,000 damage to the NPCs. He did not bother infusing any Essence into the skill because it would have not done much against these type of elite NPCs. Instead, he simply used the AOE skill to break their stealth and reveal them.
Halls acted swiftly and used Battle Focus to draw in the aggro of the Puppet Chained Assassins. Luckily, they were not specter-type monsters and his taunt skill was successful. He finally felt like an actual tank again!
"Guan Yu, can you handle him alone?" Izroth asked.
"Yeah, you can just leave it me!" Guan Yu said with a voice full of confidence. In truth, he was looking forward to fighting against someone wielding a scythe as it was something he had never done before. He charged forward in Grim's direction with his guandao gripped tightly within his hands. He was incredibly quick for a player who wore plated armor!
"Have brave of you to welcome your slaughter with an open heart, little sheep." Grim said as he charged forward to meet head-on with Guan Yu as the two were soon locked into a heated battle.
Two arrows soared through the air before disappearing, and in the blink of an eye, reappearing exactly 25cm before the two Puppet Chained Assassins. Each arrow pierced right through the skull of a Puppet Chained Assassin without giving them any time to avoid it.
The power behind Zi Yi's Void Jump had obviously increased a great deal since her time within the Chaotic Dogma Realm.
Izroth's palm shot out as hundreds of palms rained down upon the two Puppet Chained Assassins. The Myriad Elusive Palm slammed into their body without much resistance.
He then unsheathed his Sword of The Storm as the sudden gust of powerful of wind made the two NPCs stagger back slightly. Izroth swept his blade across one of the NPCs and immediately after his first attack connected, he followed up with the First Sword Form: Converging Paths combined with the skill Phantom Strikes.
Izroth's Sword of The Storm moved with a high level of precision as it struck up against one of the Puppet Chained Assassin's bodies. His sword strikes showered down without mercy and seemingly without an end in sight.
The chains wrapped around one of the Puppet Chained Assassins suddenly spun around its body rapidly. The attacked struck Halls' shield multiple times, however, he was able to successfully block it.
Luna wasted no time casting a Heal to restore some of Halls' missing HP.
As for Izroth who was in melee range of the attack, he evaded the final chain strikes and when the third one came around, he used the Second Sword Form: Returning Waves and aimed it right at the head of the Puppet Chained Assassin.
The sound of something vibrating intensely rung throughout the atmosphere as two spatial rifts appeared next to the other Puppet Chained Assassin who was currently attempting to surprise Halls from behind after falling back previous for a moment.
Around one second later, the Puppet Chained Assassin that was rushing towards Halls fell into one of the spatial rifts that were placed on the ground beneath its feet. A few moments later, the NPC appeared in the air at the location of the second spatial rift before it fell down once again into the spatial rift positioned on the ground.
Every time its body traveled through the spatial rifts, it would seem to be fragmenting and shattering as the sound of something being torn apart could be heard. This was due to Mariposa's skill Spatial Rend. It could not be compared to her previous use of the skill. After her fight with Silent Steps, she focused even more on mastering her spatial skills and had arrived at an entirely new level of power.
As Izroth and the others dealt with the two level 40 elite monsters, Guan Yu was overpowering Grim at every turn.
Every time Grim would parry one of Guan Yu's attacks, he would stumble back from the sheer force behind the attack! His scythe was not meant to stand up and clash directly against a weapon like a guandao. However, for some reason, he continued to fight a head-on battle without retreat. What's more, he kept counting every time his scythe made contact with Guan Yu or his guandao.
Guan Yu frowned and said, "Are you practicing for a test or something?!" His attacks became even more fierce once he finished speaking. If Grim had time to count during their battle, it meant that he was not taking this fight seriously enough. Guan Yu would make sure that Grim would be unable to focus on anything but defending himself.
After clashing a few more times, Guan Yu released his left hand from his guandao and spun his entire body around, bringing his guandao around with him. There was a light blue energy gathered around the blade of the guandao that appeared calm, but deadly.
A strong gust of wind blew past Grim, however, he did not move a single step from the spot he stood in. In fact, there was a smirk on his face after receiving Guan Yu's most recent attack. The bloodlust around Grim's scythe strengthed to a terrifying degree and spread throughout the whole battlefield.
"Zero." Grim said. At the same time, a rush of black smoke rushed from out of Grim's scythe.
Guan Yu was surprised by the sudden change of events, however, he hastily retreated. But, just as he felt as though he had already moved ten meters away, he found that he had not moved even a single step! Before Guan Yu knew it, he was surrounded by pure darkness.
"This is where the fun part begins. Welcome to the Nether Realm." Grim's voice echoed throughout the darkness!