The huge hand that appeared from out of nowhere was even bigger than the Shadahi Izroth had met in the throne room while he was within the Shadahi Realm, Syxirius. The death aura being emitted from that mysterious giant arm was many times more vicious than that of Nekrostis.
The arm seemed to pour out of the portal as if there was no end to it, however, after reaching out a bit over thirty meters from within the portal, it came to an abrupt halt. It almost appeared as though a powerful force was preventing it from crossing over all the way into their world.
"If it's arm alone is that huge, how massive must its entire body be?" Guan Yu said with a hint of shock in his voice.
Of course, he was not the only one who was shocked. As the others observed the massive arm that reeked of the aura of death, they were left momentarily speechless. Whatever creature this was, judging by the size of its arm alone, it was even bigger than the Behemoth Basbus that appeared during the Protector of Amaharpe event!
Just the palm of that creature's palm alone was enough to squash most boss monsters to death with a single slap.
It was not the creature's arm or hand that was trembling, but rather, the Vozrak's Gift that was in his possession. All of a sudden, a vast amount of pure magical energy rushed out of the S-ranked item and the small orb within Izroth's hand, launched itself towards the hand of that massive arm.
Everyone was stunned when they witnessed the item in Izroth's hand jump out to attack that monstrous arm. How fearless!
The entire underground chambers shook violently when Vozrak's Gift collided with the palm of the creature's hand. However, it did not take long for the vast magical energy to cease pouring out of the item as it was smacked away by the creature's hand effortlessly.
Even Izroth was a little surprised by the outcome. While he knew that the creature was much stronger than Nekrostis, he could not determine its full strength from a simple arm. But, even if Vozrak's Gift was not an offensive magical item, it was still an S-ranked item created by a legendary being within RML! To slap it away so effortlessly meant that the creature was immensely powerful!
Vozrak's Gift retreated back into Izroth's inventory. The sound of the wind chimes was extremely faint and almost sounded like a light whistle.
'To make an S-ranked item retreat as if it was child's play. What kind of creature is trying to escape from this portal?'
Although Izroth was always up for a challenge, he realized that there were limitations that simply could not be ignored within RML. Even if he fought at full strength with his current level of power, he would be unable to kill beings like Syxirius, Gilidore, Vozrak, or this creature before him.
There would once come a day when he gained the power to sweep across any enemy that stood in his path, just as he had done in the Seven Realms. This was something Izroth was confident in accomplishing. However, it would take time and this was something that he understood.
After all, bravery and stupidity were just two different sides of the same coin. A blurry line that one could easily mistake one for the other.
"It's not doing anything." Halls said with a frown on his face. After that giant hand slapped away Vozrak's Gift, it just sat motionlessly and ignored Izroth and the others as if they were not even there.
"There's no information about the creature on the other side, however, it must be massive given the size of its arm. Maybe it's ignoring us because it doesn't' perceive us to be a threat?" Zi Yi speculated.
"No threat? Should we test that theory?" Guan Yu said as he brandished his guandao.
However, Zi Yi quickly stopped him and yelled, "Are you an idiot?! Do you want to get us all killed?!"
Guan Yu shrunk back and spoke in an apologetic manner as he replied, "It was just a joke, a joke."
Zi Yi released a long sigh as she shook her head and said, "I don't know how much longer I can survive your sense of humor. I think you've already managed to shave a few years off my life..." Zi Yi muttered the last part to herself.
Mariposa giggled and said, "It's good to see you enjoying yourself, my adorable little sister."
"Bah! Enjoy your head! Who's enjoying themselves? Do you see what I have to deal with every day?" Zi Yi scoffed. However, despite her words, Mariposa could tell that her younger sister truly was enjoying herself. But, it was not something she would so openly admit to.
Izroth looked over towards Luna who had been silent this whole time as everyone was talking and trying to figure out a solution to their current problem. Zi Yi, Mariposa, and Guan Yu went to search around for anything strange or unusual.
As for Halls, he stayed behind and did not let his sights off of the mysterious giant arm. If it tried to make a move, then he would have to act as the first line of defense.
Luna, however, had a pale complexion ever since the appearance of that giant arm. This was not the first time Izroth noticed a change. Ever since they had arrived within the tomb, Luna became extremely uncomfortable.
Izroth's first thought was that Luna was afraid of dark eerie places like this, however, she had traveled with him to the Shadahi Realm, as well as, the Chaotic Dogma Realm. Even in the Netherworld Mist facing those specters, she was completely fine. Therefore, Izroth had a difficult time believing that she was scared. Maybe she was just feeling ill? Whatever it was, Izroth would find out.
"Are you feeling ill?" Izroth asked. If she was, then Izroth did not mind calling off this quest for now. After all, they still had plenty of time to complete it even if they chose to delay it for a bit longer. However, Luna shook her head and placed her hands on her both of her arms as she shivered.
As she exhaled a breath of air, one could actually see cold frost leaving her mouth. But, the strange thing was that it was not nearly cold enough in this location for that to happen.
Also, even if she was sick in the real world, it would definitely not have this kind of effect on her within RML. Therefore, there had to be something about this place that did not sit well with Luna, be it her class, a specific skill, or her race.
"I-I don't know what's going on. I suddenly f-feel so cold and yet, nothing in the b-battle logs or system alerts shows that anything is wrong..." Luna struggled to speak as her shivering became even worse than before. It had been somewhat hidden before, but now, it was obvious and anyone would notice with a mere glance.
"Your forehead..." Izroth watched as an unknown and ancient looking symbol formed at the center of Luna's forehead. It was the same symbol that appeared where the green liquid touched that Zelfyrion used to evoke Luna's transformation into a member of the Trephasia race.
Back then, that symbol had disappeared into her forehead and never showed itself again after Luna's initial transformation. However, for some reason, that symbol had now made its appearance once again.
'Could she be undergoing a second kind of transformation?'
"Eh? You okay Luna?" Halls asked as he went over to see what was wrong. He had been secretly grinning after seeing that Izroth took the initiative to talk to Luna alone, however, he felt a chill run down his spine. That was when he realized that Luna was practically as white as snow! Not only that, but she was so cold that every time she breathed out, a small cold wave spread throughout the area.
There was not much that Izroth knew about the Trephasia race, therefore, he could only speculate aimlessly. But, there was someone in their party who was more knowledgable when it came to this type of stuff.
Izroth quickly recalled Zi Yi and the others to join them so that they could figure out what was going on.
"I've never heard or read about anything like this happening to a member of the Trephasia race. There are still too many unknown variables to take into consideration when it comes down to it. But, it could be something as simple as a secret skill she has been affected by. We just don't have enough information." Zi Yi stated with a visible frown on her face.
Secret skills were incredibly rare, even for bosses or environments like this to have. They were skills that did not show up on the battle logs at all. Even if a player was affected by one, they would not realize it until they died or eliminated the source of the secret skill.
However, most players did not even know secret skills existed, therefore, Zi Yi took a moment to explain it to everyone to save some time.
'Secret skill? It's certainly a possibility. However...'
The thing that bugged Izroth the most was that symbol that appeared on Luna's forehead. Its appearance was the main reason he believed that it was directly connected to her race, however, in the end, it was only mere speculation at best.
"Interesting, if this really does have something to do with her being a member of the Trephasia race, then this could be some kind of... Allergic reaction? I suppose that's the best way to put it." Mariposa theorized after learning of Luna's condition.
"Allergic reaction...?" Zi Yi muttered to herself. After thinking about it for a bit, she started to recall all the information she had on the Trephasia race. Although it was not much, it was still enough to come up with a rough idea of what was going on, even if it was a bit of a stretch.
"That's possible... If we think about how strong the life energy of the average Trephasia is, as well as, how closely connected to nature and life of the world, then it could be as simple as Luna being well, sick." Zi Yi said.
"Sick? Is it even possible for someone to get sick in RML?" Guan Yu said in a tone filled with disbelief. This was not reality, how could one get sick playing a VRMMORPG?
"Of course, the death energy...! Can it be that it's-" Just as Mariposa was about to follow up on what Zi Yi had to say, all of a sudden, the giant arm that had remained motionless all along began to squirm around violently.
An intense wave of tremors shot throughout the underground chambers and caused some of the earth to split and chunks of earth to fall from the ceiling of the chambers.
"It's moving!" Halls said as he immediately positioned himself towards the front of the group.
〈System Alert: Warning! A rupture in space is forming in the immediate vicinity!〉
〈System Alert: Warning! A portal to the Netherworld is being forced open!〉
〈System Alert: You have received the quest «Halt The Invasion», do you accept?〉
Before Izroth even had time to read over the quest information, he went on full alert mode.
Izroth narrowed his eyes and moved to unsheathed his Sword of The Storm. He felt two presences closing in fast on their current location! Too fast! He did not even have time to fully unsheath his sword and distinguish who or what it could before two figures were already standing in front of him.
Izroth had a surprised look in his eyes. He actually recognized the two individuals that had arrived!
'It's them..! But, what is she doing outside of that place?'