Of course, Gear was relieved that she did not know about that item from the Dragon King's Palace, however, he was still in a terrible situation. She would not believe him even if he told her that he did not have it on him.
Also, if he informed her that Izroth was the one carrying it, then there was no chance of him surviving against her! Plus, he was not the type to endanger others just to save himself, especially a young man with limitless potential like Izroth.
Just as the woman lifted her hand into the air and was about to make a move against Gear, she had suddenly vanished from the spot she stood in.
At first, Gear was startled, however, that was only until he looked up into the sky and saw an old man standing there with his hands behind his back. He instantly felt an immense pressure lifted off his shoulders after seeing that figure and nearly lost even the strength to stand due to being taken out of a high-pressure situation. That old man was Gear's master, Zhi!
"Hmph, causing trouble near my territory. That little girl sure has gotten bold these past few years. Little Gear, we have much to discuss." Zhi said as he furrowed his brows after seeing Gear's current state.
He then looked towards Tererestiaa and a rare smile appeared on his face as he said, "You as well, little one."
With a wave of his hand, Zhi, Gear, and Tererestiaa had arrived at a small hut located on top of a hill.
"First, we must do what we can to stop your wound from spreading any further. Come, I will personally see to it." Zhi said as he walked unhurriedly towards the small hut. Gear and Tererestiaa promptly entered in after him.
Thousands of kilometers away, a flash of purple and black light could be seen soaring through the sky, however, those looking up from the ground would only see it for a mere instant. That flash of light was none other than the leader of the League of The Eidolon!
She had been, in a sense, flickered away by Zhi over thousands of kilometers from her previous position.
After channeling an unimaginable quantity of energy, she finally managed to stop herself midair. However, by the time she stopped, she was in a place that was more than 100,000km away from where she started!
A playful smirk appeared on her face as she said to herself, "I suppose I got a tad too close to the tiger's mouth. How unfortunate." She then disappeared and all that was left in her place was a gentle breeze of wind.
At the same time in a small hut sat on top of a hill...
"I have managed to suppress the wound and prevented it from spreading any further, however, your body cannot afford to sustain such heavy injuries a second time. You may have the Imperious Rejuvenation Liquid, but even that legendary medicine can no longer assist you in the way that you're used to." Zhi said. His eyes narrowed slightly as he examined Gear's wound.
At the moment, Gear was floating within a small pool of crystallized blue liquid. The liquid encompassed his entire body until all that was visible was Gear's face and that wrong across the front part of his body. The crystallized blue liquid was extremely domineering and aggressive as it attempted to devour that corrupted wound, but every time it tried to do so, it was forced back and overwhelmed.
Zhi could not help but furrow his brows as he witnessed the interaction between the crystallized blue liquid and the corrupted wound. That was not just any liquid, it was an extremely rare liquid that was naturally formed over time by the energy of the world itself. In other words, it was an amazing treasure!
Even something like the Imperious Rejuvenation Liquid could not possibly compare to it! That was due to the fact that while the Imperious Rejuvenation Liquid was a legendary medicine, it was still something made by the hands of man.
On the other hand, the crystallized blue liquid was a natural creation of the world. Its properties were pure and untouched except by natural energy which made it impossible for it to lose its effectiveness no matter how many times it was used.
"I'm touched you're considered for my well-being, master. However, I wish you would have had such thoughts when you left me to fend for myself with those Demonic Death Wolves back then." Gear said with a grin on his face.
"Hmph, foolish boy. You were attempting to court my daughter. Do you think I would allow a weak and yielding man to take her away from this place?" Zhi responded.
Gear closed his eyes as he let out a small sigh of relief and said, "I see, so you knew all along. I've always had that feeling you were watching us that day."
"Don't think that I was unaware of what goes on through the minds of youths. After all, it may be difficult for you to believe, but I was also once at that same age." Zhi said.
"No way. Master, you've always been an old man." Gear tried to laugh, however, he quickly prevented from doing so as he winced from the pain it caused him.
"I see you still have enough energy to make jokes. That's good, I'll have you do some work around here for a while to repay me for my crystallized blue liquid." Zhi said.
"Surely you wouldn't make an injured man work?" Gear spoke with a helpless expression on his face.
Tererestiaa silently observed the two interacting with one another. Even though she could not see what was going on, she was more than capable of feeling it in a certain sense. In a way, it was much more descriptive than actually seeing what was going on with one's own eyes.
She could perceive the amount of respect the two individuals had for one another and how close they were. To someone like her who did not interact often with the outside world, it was a new and wonderful experience.
Most of her visions were about destruction, chaos, disorder, and many other terrifying thoughts that would make those without a strong heart, soul, and mind go insane. Therefore, experiencing this change of pace was definitely not a bad thing.
After talking for a few minutes, Gear finally stood up from out of that crystallized blue liquid. The wound had returned to its original state. Although its power had weakened, for now, it would not hesitate to take advantage of Gear should he enter into a vulnerable state again.
Zhi turned his attention towards Tererestiaa. Every time he saw her face, it reminded him of his own daughter. Even her talent was extraordinary, surpassing that of both her mother and father! Someday, his granddaughter was bound to become a legendary existence and step into a world full of endless dangers. For some reason, that thought put him into a brief melancholy mood.
"Little one, has it been so long that you have forgotten your own grandfather?" Zhi said with a smile present on his face.
Tererestiaa, however, shook her head and said, "How could I forget? It was grandfather who risked the wrath of the divine beings when creating the Lake of Tears to protect me from those who would do me harm. This is something I could never forget. It is one of my few cherished memories of childhood."
Zhi and Gear felt a tug at their heartstrings after hearing that statement from Tererestiaa. Due to various circumstances, Tererestiaa ended up growing up basically in total isolation. Her only company was the occasional worshippers of the all-seeing goddess in the Village of Tears and her own visions. A youth such as that could not be considered as having a childhood.
After discussing a few more things, the main topic at hand ultimately found its way to the forefront of the conversation.
"He cut off the arm of the envoy of the Netherworld? Interesting, I would like to meet such a young man willing to make an entire realm his enemy." Zhi said.
Gear was excited to hear his master say those words. If he could bring Izroth to this place then the benefits would be endless! This was even more so considering just how monstrous that young man's potential was!
"Then, I'll have to introduce you one day, master." Gear said in a respectful tone of voice.
Zhi simply nodded his head in response. From Gear's reaction, Zhi could tell that he must have a high opinion of the young man he mentioned. But, Zhi understood why that was so. After all, even he would not have dared to cut off the arm of an envoy of the Netherworld at such a young age. Bold? Arrogant? Confident? Or simply stupid? Zhi wondered just which of these that young man was.
Even though Zhi was not directly involved in worldly affairs, that did not mean that he could not listen and give advice on certain matters. This was even more so considering the existences the Mortal Realm could be potentially facing in the near future.
"It would seem you do not have much time for any rest. Even that old monster is making a move. Hmph, the Netherworld Monarch failed to break through the realms during the twin blood moons and now it wants to use other methods to enter this realm? Its wish must be to plunge everything into a state of chaos." Zhi said with a thoughtful look in his eyes.
"After centuries of obeying the ancient covenant, I'm surprised it has waited this long to make a move. Though, I'm still not sure it was the right thing to do keeping this a secret from the participants." Gear stated.
"You did your role and did not break the covenant. There is no shame in what you've done. Those who enter the Chaotic Dogma Realm must not know of its connection to the Netherworld, otherwise, the Netherworld Monarch would have an excuse to cross over into this realm without having to be so discreet about it. The Mortal Realm already has one problem to face." Zhi stated.
The ancient covenant involved an agreement made long ago between the Netherworld Monarch and one of the divine beings. The Netherworld Monarch was a unique existence and it was eternal. In other words, it was incapable of ever experiencing a true death!
For some reason, the Netherworld Monarch was naturally drawn to the Mortal Realm as if it was carved into the base of its nature to devour that which had life. Therefore, an ancient covenant was formed between the divine beings and the Netherworld Monarch that restricted its entry into the Mortal Realm.
He then continued, "Even from here, I can sense the seal of that being weakening as the days go on. Little Gear, as you know, I am unable to become directly involved in the matters of this world. However, there is no rule against giving you advice. That seal must be maintained at all cost. Otherwise, there will be no one capable in the Mortal Realm of stopping that being once it breaks free of its imprisonment."
Gear fell silent at Zhi's words. It was true. Even if he was at full strength and the others had grown stronger since last time, they would stand no chance against that monstrous existence. However, if the Netherworld Monarch was released at the same time as that being, then it was inevitable that the two sides would fight for dominance over the Mortal Realm.
If such an event occurred, it would be an even bigger disaster than the Great Undying Maelstrom! Two existences at their level fighting it out in the Mortal Realm with their massive armies would drive it into the ground! In the end, there may not be a single person who was spared!
All of a sudden, an elegant voice sounded out and said, "There are those who will be capable, in time. The path that lies ahead is one that stretches far beyond that which the eye can see. The one who leads that path walks before the rest. From one to three, from three to six, from six to many. They all share this path, but it is he who must lead it. The place he leads them is... The Nether Realm."
The one who spoke was naturally Tererestiaa. Zhi and Gear knew of her extraordinary gift, therefore, they did not doubt her words as she spoke them, but that did not lessen the shock. Someone capable of confronting the Netherworld Monarch? To be honest, outside of his master, Zhi could not think of anyone who could even come close to competing.
However, there was still one important question that had to be answered, who was that person?
"His path is crossed with mine. It is crossed with you, grandfather, and you as well, father. It is he who holds the keys." Tererestiaa said.
"The keys to what exactly?" Gear asked.
"The key to destroying it which is eternal. The key to removing it which does not belong within this world. It is he who holds the keys." Tererestiaa said. In the next moment, lost all her strength and fainted. However, as she about to fall over, Zhi gave a light wave of his hand as she was gently lifted into the air and placed onto a nearby bed with the utmost care.
Tererestiaa had fainted from simple exhaustion of the divine energy that was being channeled through to her. There was nothing that could be done to replenish that lost energy besides letting her rest.
"She is a reckless little one, just like her mother. Drained of divine energy and yet she still wishes to see things which are not meant to be seen. Little Gear, it would seem that you have your work cut out for you. I have already interfered more than I should have in this matter." Zhi said as he shook his head. However, even though he said those words, he could not help but be impressed by her tenacity.
"It would be nice if for once a Seer's visions weren't so vague." Gear released a deep sigh. Someone whose path crossed even his master's path? Also, there were very few people who have even met Tererestiaa considering her unique situation, therefore, who could it possibly be?
Was it someone they had yet to meet? Some kind of hidden and powerful individual? Maybe it was someone they knew? But, if that was the case, where had they been all this time? Besides, he did not know of anyone besides his own master capable of suppressing the Netherworld Monarch.
There were simply too many unanswered questions still. However, he understood that all he could do now was wait patiently and hope that the others were currently having better luck than he was.
Of course, Gear had no idea that there was one certain individual that had crossed paths with everyone present, including his master, that he personally knew! But, he was unaware of that individual's meeting with his master.
Zhi set his gaze out the small hut window and into the far distant. His gaze pierced through the firmaments and for a brief moment, he caught a glimpse of what lied beyond. He closed his eyes and released a small sigh.
"What is reality but the illusion of one's mind? What is existence but the awareness of one's self? What is the soul but one's consciousness set adrift? Little Gear, what is it that defines life?" Zhi said as a deep and profound look could be seen present within his eyes.
Gear looked at his master and did not know how to answer. What is it that defines life? That was a question with many answers and yet no answers.
Zhi shook his head as he said, "Just the ramblings of an old man. Forget it. Alright, come, I have some work for you to do."
Meanwhile, back at the Mystical Realm Palace...
"This... This is total chaos..." Valkyria said with an expression of disbelief on her face as she watched the scene that unfolded before her.
There were players shoving and pushes just to get to one of the shop kiosks.
"It's mine! I actually got a rare item! Hahahaha! Ladies, you should know that I'm currently single!"
"Hey~ Why don't you give that rare item to me, hm? I'll make it worth your while~"
"I said I'm single, not desperate! Get lost!"
"You- Who really wanted you anyways?! Loser!"
Amongst the chaos, Valkyria could see Izroth silently observing from the side. He seemed to be unbothered by the sight before him. However, it was as if his gaze was not on the crowd in front of him, but rather, it was set to see far beyond this place.
For some reason, seeing him standing there alone in total isolation made him a bit difficult to approach. This was even more so since she was currently alone and the other members of Sleeping Gardenia had gone to take a look around.
"If you continue to stare, I'll be forced to misunderstand your intentions." Izroth said in a carefree manner without turning his gaze away.
Valkyria was taken aback. She had not realized that she had been rudely staring at him this entire time. But, she did not allow herself to become flustered and immediately regained herself.
"My apologies, you seemed to be lost in your thoughts. I did not wish to disturb you for small talk." Valkyria responded as she approached Izroth.
"Lost in my thoughts? I suppose that's one way of looking at it." Izroth said.
"If you don't mind my asking, what were you thinking about?" Valkyria asked curiously.
"Well you see, I'm not actually from this world. I'm from a place called the Seven Realms. There, I was a powerful being capable of plucking stars from the night sky with a single thought. However, I somehow ended up in this world inside of a powerless body with no way to return home." Izroth said.
Valkyria blinked a few times. However, she simply shook her head and said, "If you didn't want to talk about it you could have just said so. There's no need to make up such a ridiculous story." She even let out a light chuckle after hearing Izroth's story. Of course, she believed it was just that, a story.
Izroth inwardly shook his head. Just as he thought, such a thing sounded like something straight out of a storybook for those within this world.
"Indeed, a ridiculous story." Izroth said as a carefree smile appeared on his face as he began to walk away.
"Hm? Where are you going?" Valkyria inquired.
"To think of a continuation to my ridiculous story." Izroth said as he gave a light wave while continued on his way.
He headed towards the pill crafting room he had set up within the Mystical Realm Palace and entered inside. The second he entered, the chaos that was within the shop had completely vanished. There was nothing but pure silence that lingered about.
Now, there was only him.