Izroth's knowledge of the True World or even RML in general was incredibly lacking, therefore, he did not even know if the True World was an actual place, a time period, or a specific quality or state of an item.
However, there was one thing that Izroth was absolutely certain of and that was the fact that from the little information he had obtained so far about the True World, anything that had a direct connection with it was extraordinary.
'That black speck definitely has a connection to the True World.'
It was at times like this that Izroth wished he had spent some time in the palace library. But, given how thin his time was already spread lately, it left him with too little time to spend reading books. Luck for him, there was someone in his party who just so happened to enjoy reading books in her spare time.
"Zi Yi, what do you know about the True World?" Izroth asked.
Zi Yi was caught off guard by the question. True World? Why did he want to know about something like that at a time like this? However, despite having many questions, Zi Yi knew that Izroth must have had a good reason for asking her about it.
"Let see... There's really not too much that I know about the True World, to be honest. I've seen it mentioned in a few texts within the palace library, however, it's always simply mentioned without there being any sort of direct context surrounding it. But, what I can tell you is that it doesn't seem to be a location in a way that we would normally perceive a location to be. It's difficult to explain with words alone." Zi Yi stated.
She then continued, "I should have prefaced this by saying that it's all mere speculation; if it can even be called that. The item I received from the True World Treasure Chest from completing the SS-ranked quest in the Chaotic Dogma Realm is also a bit unusual. To be truthful, I have no idea where to even begin with it. But, why the sudden interest in the True World?"
"It's possible that arm may be using a True World item to sustain itself." Izroth said.
Once those words left Izroth's mouth, Luna, Zi Yi, and Halls were all startled. That creature was using a True World item to sustain itself? Every one of them had received a True World item and although they did not yet understand how it worked, they knew that it had to be powerful given its mysterious origins.
But, if that was the case, how were they supposed to defeat it? Wasn't the system being a bit too unreasonable even if this was an SSS-ranked quest?
"Seriously? Then, what are we supposed to do now? Wait here until the time runs out?" Halls said in a slightly frustrated manner. It seemed that every time they took one step forward, the system would smack them ten steps back and laugh in their face. How could he not become agitated after a while?
"Sitting back and waiting is definitely out of the question." Zi Yi said.
"I hate to be the one to say this, but our situation is becoming dimmer with each passing moment. We only have around three minutes left and-" Just as Luna was speaking, the entire underground chambers began to shake violently!
All of a sudden, the portal widened by a few meters as the skeletal beasts all stood in place and released an ear-screeching cry. There were hundreds of skeletal beasts by this point and Guan Yu, as well as, Mariposa tried their hardest to shave away at the number of creatures.
〈Battle Alert: You have been stunned for 10 seconds by «Terror of the Netherworld».〉
"What the- I can't move!" Guan Yu said as he struggled to break free of the stun. He even used one of his crowd control disabling skills Break Restraints, however, the system did even allow him to use it!
It was the same for everyone else as well. They had suddenly been stunned without warning and was unable to take any action whatsoever. All they could do was look on as the skeletal beasts turned into ashes before drifting towards the arm of Nekrostalmenos. The ashes of the skeletal beasts then slowly disappeared as it made contact with that massive arm and dissolved into it.
"Now you shall all witness true fear, hopelessness, and despair." Nekrostalmenos spoke in a deep and resonating voice that filled the chambers as its arm was engulfed in frightening deathly energy. That deathly energy alone felt as if it was an entire world that was created out of thin air. The pressure was extremely suffocating and even made the holy aura around Izroth and his party waver.
Luckily, Tererestiaa was able to reinforce the holy aura and as it regained its structural integrity. However, that put an incredible strain on her and one could see that her face had lost some of its color in the process.
'Could this part be something that was ultimately inevitable?'
Izroth knew of a certain gaming term from his memories called staging. What staging meant was that no matter what a player did, eventually, it would lead to a scenario that was unavoidable. If that was the case, then this stun was simply meant to keep them in place to witness what was taking place before them. However, it was still difficult to watch each second tick away.
Everyone could clearly see Gear fighting against the giant palm and as its strength grew, it seemed that Gear's own power was weakening. Of course, this was not due to Nekrostalmenos, but the wound on Gear's body that was acting up.
Gear coughed up a large volume of blood, but the coloration of the blood was off. Instead of being a normal red color, it was mixed in with black liquid that released a putrid scent. Gear's appearance was slowly changing as he was beginning to lose his more youthful appearance and regain the looks of a more aged man. Even though it was a slow and agonizing process, he still held on.
Nekrostalmenos, however, did not miss that small window of opportunity! Deathly energy gathered at the center of its palm as ten black spears with chains attached to their ends fell from the sky and surrounded Gear by piercing into the ground around him. The chains danced in the air and formed a cubed prison with a purple barrier around it that encompassed Gear and trapped him inside.
Everyone was shocked! Nekrostalmenos had actually managed to imprison Gear! This was bad, really bad. Their facial expressions darkened as they watched on helplessly. The feeling of their imminent failure was slowly creeping into their minds. Maybe they had been too hasty and confident in their own abilities by attempting an SSS-ranked quest and accepting it so readily.
However, even though everyone else was feeling the pressure, there was one person amongst the party who maintained that look of carefree confidence in his eyes. There was not the slightest bit of panic or worry of failure that could be seen from his expression. Of course, this person was Izroth.
After seeing how perfectly calm Izroth was and seeing that aura of confidence lingering around him, it made everyone feel angry with themselves for having such useless thoughts when they were at a critical moment. A renewed look of confidence could be seen in their eyes and they were even more fired up than before. It was not over until the very end!
"You will regret standing in my way, human. Now watch on helpless and powerless as I eliminate the worthless insects you have tried to protect in front of your own eyes." Nekrostalmenos spoke in a cold tone of voice as it turned its focus on Izroth's party!
Gear tried to break free of his imprisonment, however, he was injured and it would take him some time before he could break free with his current strength.
"Will I have no choice but to use that item at this place...?" Gear muttered to himself with a torn expression on his face. However, if he used that item from the Dragon King's Palace at this place then he would not only be potentially dooming Amaharpe but the entire world!
But, if he did not, then Nekrostalmenos would definitely go after that thing hidden underneath Amaharpe. That was something that could not be allowed to happen no matter the cost.
The ten-second stun finally ended and immediately after it did so, Izroth and his party received an alert from the system.
〈System Alert: The arm of Nekrostalmenos has been influenced by a mysterious power.〉
〈System Alert: Warning! 3 minutes remaining until the quest «Halt The Invasion» is failed!〉
Name: Empowered Arm of Nekrostalmenos, Envoy of the Netherworld(???)
HP: 20,000,000 (100%)
A carefree smile appeared on Izroth's face, however, it was a smile that sent shivers down one's spine just from looking at it. This whole time Nekrostalmenos had been insulting him and treating him as if he were nothing. It did not even bother speaking directly to them as though it was afraid of dirtying its own reputation. Izroth may have been a very patient person, however, he was no saint.
'Good, very good. It's been a long time since someone has dared to look down on me this much.'
"Aren't you looking down on us a bit too much?" Izroth spoke in a nonchalant manner.
Izroth removed a Two Solar Extremities Pill from his inventory. This time, it was a normal Two Solar Extremities Pill, therefore, he would not receive the benefits of the Lunar Touch since it was still on cooldown. He consumed the pill without hesitation as he felt a surge of power overflowing inside his body.
As everyone observed Izroth, they felt an overwhelming pressure being placed upon them. Seeing him this way when he was usually so carefree about everything was a terrifying experience!
"I'll take care of this alone, you all don't have to lift a single finger." Izroth said as his gaze never left the palm of Nekrostalmenos.
Everyone was dumbfounded. He would take care of it alone? That was twenty million HP and they only had three minutes! Not to mention, they had no idea what kind of tricks that arm still had up its sleeve and yet he wanted to face it alone? Even if it was Izroth, they could not help but have some reservations towards his statement. After all, this was an SSS-ranked quest!
"The chirr of a mere insect about to be crushed into nothingness. Perish." Nekrostalmenos sounded angered as Izroth said that he would take care of it alone. It was the envoy of the Netherworld! A being of vast power and yet a mere human who had just left his mother's womb dared make such an audacious statement before it?
Its massive palm was headed directly for Izroth and his party! It wanted to annihilate them all in one shot for Izroth's insolence.
The palm was descending fast as a gentle breeze floated around Izroth.
As the palm was still traveling in mid-air, a blade of wind rushed out to greet it. That attack had an overbearing aura behind it as it crashed into the palm of Nekrostalmenos. It was Izroth's First Baneful Sword: Destruction infused with the Tempest Strikes from his Sword of The Storm! After that strike, Izroth stood in the stance of the first sword form.
Nekrostalmenos could not help but smirk at Izroth's sad excuse of an attack. That was the power it had hoped to defeat it alone with? Arrogant! It was true arrogance at its finest!
"Such bold words, yet such little power." Nekrostalmenos said as its palm was only a few meters away from reaching Izroth and his party!
The span of the palm was simply too big to even think of avoiding! Therefore, everyone tried to position themselves in between the opening spaces of the fingers. Everyone had worried expressions on their faces as the palm approached. They could only hope that Izroth knew what he was doing.
All of a sudden, a flash of light appeared at the center of the arm of Nekrostalmenos. That light carried with it an aura that was drenched in endless killing intent.
The power behind that attack was so terrifying, that even Nekrostalmenos did not dare face it head-on as it tried to avoid it, however, its massive arm was simply too huge of a target and there was not enough room to maneuver with the portal limiting it!
Gear, who was still torn between what he should do was jolted by the sudden spike in power. At first, he thought that a being of great power had appeared to lend a hand, however, when he noticed where that energy was coming from, he was stunned.
"Impossible..!" Gear said as he was shaken! Even with the holy aura, his power should not be able to reach such a terrifying level!
Izroth slowly sheathed his Sword of The Storm as the palm that was just descending towards them stopped in its tracks. That gentle breeze that floated around his body had vanished. His appearance became pale and that frightening aura from before transformed into something feeble and weak. It was as if all the energy had been drained out of his body!
There was an eerie silence that filled the underground chambers.
"You are weak. What a disappointment." Izroth said in a carefree manner as he continued to stand straight despite his current weakened state.
At the same time, a small clean line could be seen running across the center area of the arm of Nekrostalmenos. The next moment, that line started to grow and increase in size as it began to rain black liquid!
That massive arm, from its elbow on forward, had been completely severed!
"YOU DAAAAAARE!" Nekrostalmenos voice was basked in neverending rage. His voice alone actually caused the entire kingdom of O'Tohelm to experience a wave of horrifying earthquakes. It was the true anger of a being with unimaginable power. It had half of its arm cut off by a frail human!
Izroth had managed to severe the arm of a legendary existence! It was a terrifying display of power!
At that moment, the same question was on everyone's mind, what just happened?