'I thought their combat styles would be similar, but the way she's fighting is...'
Izroth evaded a thin needle aimed at his throat. At the same time, he shifted his left foot in a counter-clockwise manner and used the sudden momentum to rotate his body. As he spun, Izroth raised his left arm in the arm slightly as though he were planning to strike Aelaza with the back of his hand.
Aelaza saw the incoming attack and without hesitation, she clenched her fist and swept it upward to meet with Izroth's hand.
However, as his body was rotating and his left arm was positioned to launch a potential attack, Izroth's right leg rose up as he finished turning and struck at towards Aelaza as if it were a snake sinking its fangs into its prey.
Aelaza's body froze in place as she became unable to move. This was due to the paralysis effect of Serpent's Bite. Izroth's left arm acted as a simple feint while his true attack was with his right leg. At the moment, Izroth was using his bare hands to fight and did not have the Sword of The Storm in his hands.
He found that there was something strange about this place. At first, he believed that the loss of control he had over his weapon was due to a skill that Aelaza used, however, she had also lost complete control of her daggers and was currently using hidden weapons, as well as, her bare hands to fight. Therefore, Izroth figured it was one of two things.
The first was that Aelaza, for some reason, chose to fake her own inability to use weapons in this place. Or, there was some kind of restriction set up that prevented anyone from constantly wielding a weapon.
Izroth felt that the first option was too nonsensical, however, Aelaza had a very odd personality and so he would not put it past her to do something along those lines. This was even more so when taking into account the little act she put on earlier. But, Izroth felt that the latter was likely to be the cause of things.
After all, this would not be the first place Izroth had been to within RML that had restrictions in place. Though, it would be the first place that did not allow the extended use of weapons.
As Izroth exchanged blows with Aelaza, he could tell that she had the upper hand when it came to speed, however, he had the advantage when it came to reaction time, as well as, power.
But, no matter how many times he struck her, or how much damage he dished out, Aelaza would not fall. There was definitely something going on here and he believed that if he stayed on this path, then there would be no end in sight to this battle. It would be a waste of his time if he remained here any longer than he already had. He also knew that everyone was probably worried about him at this point.
Izroth kicked off the heel of his foot and landed a few meters away from Aelaza who was still locked into place by the Serpent's Bite.
"Between my lifesteal and your apparent inability to die, what do you say we end this absurd battle?" Izroth said in a carefree tone of voice. In total, Izroth had dealt more than 30,000 damage at this point. Based on that, along with how reckless Aelaza's fighting style was, Izroth determined that for some reason, she really could not die here.
However, she could only dream if she wished to defeat him in hand-to-hand combat. Even if she did use hidden weapons, Aelaza was not Izroth's match. Even she should be able to tell that much by this point in their fight.
The paralysis effect on Aelaza ended as she looked at Izroth with a slightly confused expression on her face. It was as though she could not comprehend the words that had just left his mouth.
"You still don't understand this place, do you?" Aelaza spoke in an unhurried manner.
"It's true that I'm unfamiliar with this place. Maybe you would care to enlighten me." Izroth said as he stood up straight with his hands behind his back.
"The Monarch of the Netherworld is unforgiving to those who trespass in his domain." Aelaza said.
'Monarch of the Netherworld?'
Based on the previous information he received, Izroth knew that the Roaming Village of the Netherworld was under the influence of a faction known as the League of the Eidolon.
'Could this Monarch be the person overseeing this village or wherever this place is?'
Aelaza darted towards Izroth and with a wave of her hand, a spread of thin needles shot out in Izroth's direction. They were headed straight for his vital points!
Izroth took a quick step back as he inwardly shook his head. Aelaza still insisted on fighting this pointless battle. However, even if she was prepared to waste her time here, he was not necessarily willing to do the same.
Izroth evaded the incoming needles, however, he felt something light brush up against the side of his face. A few moments later, a small cut appeared on his left cheek. Then, as Izroth tried to move his body once again, he was unable to do so. It was as if something was holding him in place and prevented him from moving his body. He felt a gripping force wrapping around his body.
"Did you truly believe that I had been attacking this whole time without a purpose in mind? If so, you're even more foolish than I originally thought you to be." Aelaza said as a holing fan appeared in her hand. The folding fan was made out of some kind of metallic-alloy, however, it was deep midnight blue in color with strange markings etched into the fan's unfolded surface.
Although one was unable to see it with their own eyes, there was an abundance of tiny almost invisible threads thinner than a strand of hair attached to the end of the folding fan.
'These are... Wires?'
Even though Izroth could not see the wires, despite possessing such strong eyesight, he could still see the impressions of the wires pressed up against his flesh. He could tell with a single glance that the impressions were being made by some kind of wire-like material. However, to be so thin that even he was incapable of sensing or seeing the wires meant that it must be quite an impressive item.
"Interesting item." Izroth said as he seemed unbothered and did not panic in the slightest even after he was caught within the entanglement of the wires.
"A gift from the Monarch's Envoy. You said not too long ago that this fight was pointless. In a certain sense, you're correct, it is pointless. From the moment we've met you've never had a single chance at victory. So, I'll it to you once again, you cannot win." Aelaza spoke in a monotone and emotionless manner.
"It would seem that I'm being severely underestimated." Izroth stated.
"Your bluffs are useless. With my Eye of Judgment, I know that you are the strongest member of your little party. Even with the combined strength of your other party members, it'll be impossible for them to deal with the two Puppet Chained Assassins. After all, they are also incapable of experiencing death in this place." Aelaza said.
Izroth narrowed his eyes slightly at that statement. He wondered before why the two NPCs failed to grant any experience or loot drops, and now, it would seem that he received his answer. It was because they did not truly die even after their HP reached the zero percent mark!
If the others were fighting against those two elite NPCs without him and Guan Yu, who was probably in a similar situation to his own, there to help deal with them, then it was difficult to say if they would be able to survive for long.
However, Izroth knew that if anyone could think of a plan to find a way out of that kind of unfavorable situation, it would be Zi Yi and Luna. Therefore, even though he was not worried about their survival, for the time being, he still wanted to find a way to leave this place as soon as possible.
But, in truth, Izroth had no idea of where this place was located! After all, the coordinates listed made no sense whatsoever.
"You can die peacefully knowing that you will be joining your friends soon. If you want to blame anyone, blame the piece of trash that dared send you to this village." Aelaza said as a rush of corrupted and dark energy surged through the wires attached to the folding fan in her hand. In a few moments, the energy would pierce into Izroth's body and destroy him from the inside out.
However, would Izroth allow himself to fall so easily just because of a few wires? Just as he was about to use his skill Shadow Movement to escape the confines of the wires, Izroth could hear a light whistling sound echo within his head. He had no idea where this ringing sound came from but in the next moment, the ringing sound disappeared.
Then, in front of Izroth appeared a golden medallion that shone brilliantly and washed away the surrounding darkness. The golden light the medallion emitted was blindingly bright and one was unable to keep their eyes open before its presence.
Aelaza instinctively shut her eyes to avoid being blinded by the light. At the same time, the dark energy that was headed towards Izroth melted away. One could actually see small puddles of dark purple liquid scattered across the ground. As for the wires, they had been cut and Izroth was freed from his binds.
Izroth's vision did not seem to be impaired by the brilliant light being released by the golden medallion as he took a good look at what was happening before him.
'It's the item from that time. It seems to be purifying the surrounding dark energy on its own. No, that's not right... It's actually devouring the dark energy as if its food.'
The dark purple puddles of liquid that was on the ground a few moments ago were evaporated and its essence was drawn into the floating medallion. It was the same medallion that Izroth received from an old man he met a while back on his way returning to Amaharpe after completing the Sea Palace Graveyard dungeon, Zhi's Medallion!
Almost as if reacting to the fearsome presence of the medallion, a streak of purple lightning filled with a foul yet endless power rushed in from the distance and crashed into Zhi's Medallion.
The clash between the streak purple lightning and Zhi's Medallion send shock waves throughout the atmosphere. A few moments later, cracks could be seen forming in the surrounding space itself from the sheer intensity of the clash between two mighty powers!
With the purple lightning present, Aelaza could finally open her eyes without being blinded by the brilliant light and saw what was going on. She had a confused look on her face as though she did not understand what was going on. What was that purple lightning? What was that floating object that appeared in front of Izroth? There were many questions going through her mind at that moment.
However, Aelaza's eyes widened in shock as she suddenly realized something.
As the atmosphere around them shattered and crumbled apart, Izroth charged towards Aelaza. Although he had no idea what the purple lightning was, or why Zhi's Medallion appeared outside of his inventory on its own, he knew that he still had to leave this place after finding out that the others might be in trouble.
Even if Aelaza said it was useless, that did not mean that he would sit back and do nothing. But, what took place next surprised him and came unexpectedly.
Aelaza, who saw Izroth's incoming attack, actually retreated at a rapid speed and maintained her distance! For the first time since the start of their fight, Aelaza had backed off of a direct attack and made the effort to dodge!
'Oh? Something's changed.'
"What did you do?" Aelaza spoke in an icy cold tone of voice as she glared at Izroth.