Izroth's party felt the powerful shockwaves wash over their body. That brief clash between Gear and Nekrostalmenos almost caused Zi Yi and Guan Yu to lose their balance. If that happened, there was a good chance that the channeling from the Half Mark Sealing Totems would have been interrupted. Fortunately, both of them were able to keep their balance despite the intense earthquakes.
"Do they plan to bring the entire underground chambers down on us?!" Halls said as the earthquakes and shockwaves finally stopped.
Halls rose his shield just in time to block the incoming whip that shot out from the back area of the skeletal beast. The whip was made out of bones that were incredibly flexible and while it was in motion one would think that it was just a normal whip. However, the bones were still very sturdy and the speed and power behind the strikes were quite troublesome to deal with.
"This thing doesn't quit." Halls said as he lashed out with his sword using Ferocity Slash to strike the whip made of bones was it pulled back.
The skeletal beast was still making its way towards Guan Yu, however, the whip made of bones that were on its back did not seem to discriminate against its target and attacked whoever was in range. But, its primary focus was still Guan Yu and Zi Yi who possessed the Half Mark Sealing Totems.
"Just a bit more!" Zi Yi said as she watched the portal in the near distance shrink down to its last few centimeters. While fifteen seconds may not seem like a long time, it felt like an eternity when one was counting every passing moment.
The portal that was originally three meters was now only around thirty centimeters. At the same time, the second portal that was opening up had already expanded to around two meters in size. It seemed that the near destruction of the first portal had sped up the second portal's stabilization process.
As the skeletal beast made its charge towards Guan Yu, Izroth's foot shot out and slammed into the creature. His leg moved like a venomous serpent striking out at its prey without mercy.
Izroth's Serpent's Bite connected with the skeletal beast and caused it to stop dead in its tracks. The paralyze effect from Serpent's Bite kicked in and immobilized the skeletal beast for two seconds. Izroth's sword immediately followed after his first attack as it slashed against the hardened bones of the skeletal beast.
Izroth instantly shifted his stance to the first sword form as his blade shot towards the skeletal beast with two phantoms lurking behind it; a prelude to the skill Phantom Strike.
As Izroth, Halls, and Mariposa rained down attack after attack on the skeletal beast, the two seconds flew by and it was able to move once again. However, just as the beast was ready to take off to attack its intended target, Halls crashed his shield into the creature's skeletal frame and knocked it to the ground with a single blow.
Halls did not stop there, after a bit less than one second passed, he swiftly struck out with his shield as a heavy aura appeared around it as it hit the skeletal beast flailing around on the ground.
Since Halls successfully timed and chained his Shield Slam and Shield Shield skills together with Izroth's Serpent's Bite, the two of them had managed to halt the movement of the skeletal beast for a total of five seconds! During that time, the first portal had finally been sealed by the Half Mark Sealing Totems.
A guandao came out of seemingly nowhere and burst forward with great momentum that caused the skeletal structure of the Undead Netherworld Skeletal Beast to fragment and crack.
The cracks were caused by the fragmented effect of Guan Yu's Arc Armor Crusher skill. It increased the damage that the skeletal beast received from all sources by 12%. With that kind of damage increase along with the Holy Blessings enchantment, as well as, the nonexistent physical defense of the skeletal beast, it did not last long under the party's assault.
〈System Alert: Congratulations, you have defeated an Undead Netherworld Skeletal Beast!〉
〈System Alert: You have received 21,758 EXP!〉
"Ah, that felt good!" Guan Yu said with a large smile on his face. He did not think that standing and doing nothing for fifteen seconds would be so difficult! Having to watch everyone fight without was a challenging task in and of itself.
"Don't get too excited just yet. The second portal is about to open." Zi Yi reminded Guan Yu. She had a feeling that if she did not remind him that he was holding one of the Half Mark Sealing Totems, then he would charge in head first without any hesitation.
After a few seconds passed, the second portal stabilized as creatures of the Netherworld poured out. Just as last time, there were one dozen normal skeletons and one elite Undead Netherworld Skeletal Beast. The only difference was that now, there was an elite Netherworld Specter that joined the creatures.
"Ugh, those things again!" Halls shivered at the memories of having to always be the one to experience that disgusting and chilling feeling from the Netherworld Specter passing through his body.
"We'll be counting on you, brother." Guan Yu said as a grin formed on his face. He felt a bit better now that he was not the only one suffering from the current arrangement.
Izroth and his party moved to take care of the second portal. Since they knew how to deal with the Netherworld Specter, it did not cause any unnecessary trouble. However, they decided to try a different strategy this time.
Since no other monsters came through the portal after the initial wave of the first portal opening, Zi Yi suggested that they simply eliminate all the monsters before activating the Half Mark Sealing Totems.
Of course, no one objected to it as that would make things a lot easier having two extra damage dealers to quickly take care of the monsters. However, every five seconds, six normal Undead Netherworld Skeletons would come through the portal. But, if it was just that, then there would not be any issues as the skeletons were not difficult to deal with.
After fifteen seconds passed, an additional Undead Netherworld Skeletal Beast, as well as, a second Netherworld Specter came from out of the portal! Zi Yi and Guan Yu had to stop fighting and use the Half Mark Sealing Totems in order to prevent any other creatures from coming through the portal.
"It seems that the Half Mark Sealing Totems not only seals the portals, but it also stops other monsters from coming through. I've put us into an unfavorable situation, everyone, I'm sorry." Zi Yi said as she furrowed her brows while channeling the Half Mark Sealing Totem. The third portal was already more than halfway open and now they had to deal with four elite monsters at once!
Without a healer, this would put Halls in a difficult position as the tank. Not to mention the fact that by the time the second portal was sealed, the third portal would already be opened and they may have to fight the creatures from both portals at the same time. Zi Yi's mood became extremely gloomy over her mistake.
"You saw an opportunity and we went for it. In the end, we all agreed with your suggestion. I am sure no one blames you. After all, who can predict every possibility that the future holds?" Izroth said in a carefree manner. There was nothing wrong with Zi Yi's suggestion, therefore, Izroth did not put any blame on her. It was just unfortunate that more elite monsters would spawn from the portal.
"Heh, you're underestimating my brothers, Zi Yi! Real men can handle a thousand elite monsters if they need to!" Guan Yu said with a burst of hearty laughter.
"Indeed, you can just leave things to us, my adorable little sister. Who would dare blame you while I'm here?" Mariposa said with a lovely smile on her face.
Zi Yi inwardly sighed. She shook her head as her gloomy mood disappeared. Everyone was trying to cheer her up, however, how could she allow herself to become gloomy over one mistake? Mistakes were nothing to be ashamed of as long as one learned from them.
Zi Yi could not help but feel good inside at the fact that no one pointed any fingers at her or criticized her, instead, they actually tried to cheer her up! If she stayed sulking after that, then how could she ever hold her head high around them again?
A look of determination found its way into Zi Yi's eyes as she said, "I won't let it happen again."
Now that Zi Yi and Guan Yu were focusing solely on sealing the portals, the creatures were no longer pouring through. This time when Zi Yi and Guan Yu used the Half Mark Sealing Totems on the portal, all of the creatures did not rush over towards them. It was only the normal skeleton monsters and one of the Undead Netherworld Skeletal Beast that headed for the two of them.
As for the other elite skeletal beast and the two Netherworld Specters, their main focus was still locked onto Halls.
'Could it be that one skeletal beast will always break off to attack those attempting to seal the portal?'
Izroth speculated on the matter a bit, however, it was still too early to tell. But, Izroth's biggest concern at the moment was the four elite monsters running wild. After thinking it over a bit, it did not take long for Izroth to make his decision.
"I'll be taking care of the monsters that spawn from the second and third portals." Izroth said. Izroth removed a crimson pill with a faint yellow aura lingering around it from his inventory. It was the Two-Solar Extremities Pill!
Zi and the others were shocked by his actions as witnessed Izroth remove that pill from his inventory. The situation was not so desperate that it required one of those pills to be consumed!
"Wait, that's..." Mariposa muttered to herself as she noticed something strange about the pill Izroth had in his hands. It looked just like the Two Solar Extremities Pill, except, there was something off about it. The aura around the pill was not yellow, but gold in color.
That was because the pill in Izroth's hand was indeed a Two Solar Extremities Pill, however, it had been affected by the Blessing of Craft from Izroth's Natural Pill Master trait!
Name: Two Solar Extremities Pill(III)
«Lunar Touch»: The duration of «Solar Extremity» is reduced by 20 seconds. The stat reduction received from the «Solar Extremity» after its effect(s) wears off is negated. The effective usage time period for the «Two Solar Extremities Pill» is negated. The effects of «Lunar Touch» only works once every 48 hours.
Izroth consumed the pill and immediately after doing so, his overall power shot through the roof! His attack had shot up to 3,726!
'If things get too troublesome, I'll still be able to use the Two Solar Extremities Pill, however, I'll have to deal with the side effects of the Solar Extremity at that time. It's too risky if two portals are open at the same time. If we fall too far behind, we may end up becoming overrun by the creatures that come out of the portal. Besides...'
An overbearing aura infused with mysterious energy appeared around Izroth's Sword of The Storm as he swept it towards the weak point of the skeletal beast that was rushing towards Zi Yi and Guan Yu.
The moment the sword's blade made contact with the skeletal beast, its movements came to an abrupt halt. Not too long after, its skeletal structure collapsed and all that was left behind was a pile of bones!
'I have not personally had the opportunity to test the Two Solar Extremities Pill.'