Even though Izroth was unable to view any information from the system about the cloaked figure, it was obvious that they were not a mindless creature from the way they answered questions. The answers the cloaked figure gave seemed to be all over the place and often made no sense, however, Izroth made an unusual discovery.
The cloaked figure turned their attention towards Izroth and replied, "You see it too? You have the eyes?"
"Yes, I can see it. Is that significant?" Izroth responded. Of course, he could not actually see anything and he had no idea what the cloaked figure meant by "having the eyes", but he decided to play along for the time being. After all, if that cloaked figure was from the League of The Eidolon, they were a much bigger threat than the likes of Trinity and her group.
"See? See what?" Mirage said in a baffled tone.
"I'm not sure what they're talking about, but it seems like Izroth's got their attention." Midnight stated.
"Significant? Yes, significant... He has the eyes, maybe he can help us." The cloaked figured muttered to themselves in a fragile tone.
"Hmph, how can he have the eyes? Think, you fool, he's just a human. How can he see a faceless one? Let's just kill him." The cloaked figure said in a stern tone.
Without any warning, the cloaked figure slashed outward with their greatsword. A sharp and thin blade of energy ten meters wide was generated by the greatsword in their hand as it traveled forward at exceptional speeds. However, it was not aimed at Izroth or his party, but rather the merciless attack was being directed towards the Silver Hawk Merchants Caravan members!
The members of the caravan faces turned pale as they felt a powerful killing intent wash over them. They sensed that in the face of that attack, the shields in front of them might as well be paper!
"Omega-!" Qi Jiguang said, however, before he could even speak, there was already a circular shield that flew right past him and towards the members of the caravan.
"Already on it." A voice sounded from next to Qi Jiguang. The shield stopped in front of the caravan members and levitated in midair. But, how was one shield supposed to stop such a vicious attack?
All of a sudden, the shield shook slightly as a semi-transparent protective dome formed fifteen meters around the shield guarding the members of the caravan inside.
The attack from the cloaked figure collided with the protective dome and formed cracks throughout its entire structure. But, in the end, it was unable to break through the dome.
"They managed to put cracks in my Shield of Pacification already?" The player next to Qi Jiguang had a frown on his face. He had black hair that was a bit wild in its style, dark brown eyes, and had a slightly bulky build. He wore fully plated armor and had a one-handed battle axe at the side of his waist. He went by the name Omega and was the tank of Qi Jiguang's party.
He was also the one who protected the members of the caravan. They had already lost two of the caravan members during the wave of monster attacks and could not afford to lose anyone else.
Given the fact that Omega's Shield of Pacification was nearly shattered after one attack, that entire row of caravan members would have been killed off just now if he did not intervene!
After all, the average level of the caravan members was only between 20-25 and their HP value was a joke at best. While they may be able to survive a few monster or bandit attacks, that cloaked figure was a different story.
'I guess they're done talking.'
Izroth unsheathed his Sword of The Storm as a strong gust of wind blew out from around him. While he was ready to intervene and attempt to parry off the attack, he saw that Qi Jiguang's party had it under control.
"You can leave the safety of the caravan members to us." Qi Jiguang said in a tone of confidence. Even though he wanted to face that cloaked figure, he was more interested to see Izroth in battle. He may have caught glimpses of him fighting when the wave of monsters attacked, but it was only that, a glimpse.
He wanted to see just how right or wrong his instincts about Izroth turned out to be.
Izroth looked over towards Qi Jiguang and gave a slight nod. If he did not have to worry about protecting the caravan, then that removed a lot of restrictions that would have otherwise been placed on his attacks.
"Hey, there's only four of them and they don't even have a tank. Are you sure we shouldn't switch roles?" Omega questioned.
"They made a move before us, therefore, it's only right that we let them have a shot at it first. Of course, if they fail, then it'll undoubtedly be our turn to fight." Qi Jiguang replied in a calm manner.
"I guess we're really doing this." Midnight said as he called back his Duality Hare totem and summoned the Mighty Magnarvos totem in its place. Along with his Gaia Avis and Brilliant Regnouda totems, Midnight moved to a safer position.
"Looks like it. If they really want a fight, then let's give them one!" Mirage said as a current of electricity appeared around her body.
Ying Yue chanted a few words as the surrounding earth began to tremble. A few moments later, four pillars of stone with strange magic markings carved onto them emerged from beneath the ground. The pillars of stone formed a square around her party, as well as, the cloaked figure.
"Refrain from using any skills with crowd control effects. Any attacks with crowd control will only end up being reversed by that greatsword of theirs." Izroth cautioned everyone.
No crowd control? They were already lacking a tank and now they could not use any crowd control skills as well? What was next, no looking in the cloaked figure's general direction?
"I thought something was strange about that weapon. It's going to be a bit tricky without any crowd control. Can you manage?" Midnight said with his question being directed towards Izroth. Since they did not have a tank to draw in the focus of the cloaked figure, then the person with the highest damage was next in line to face the brunt of the attacks.
"I'll manage." Izroth said as he dashed towards the cloaked figure with Mirage trailing behind him.
"Do you also want to kill me?" The cloaked figure said in a fragile tone.
"Then, you can die as well." The cloaked figure's voice grew cold as they rushed forward to meet Izroth head-on!
Izroth was forced back by the attack and slid two meters back from the strong impact of the clash. He chose to face the first attack head-on in order to gauge the basic strength behind the cloaked figure's attacks.
'What high attack power.'
Thanks to Midnight's Gaia Avis, Izroth gained a 10% increase to his physical and magical resistance. With that being added to his normal resistance stats, he negated 30% of all physical and magical damage even if he did not defend against an attack.
But, even with that damage reduction, along with a successful parry, as well as, his normal defensive stat, that cloaked figure was capable of shattering the overheal shield provided by Midnight's Brilliant Regnouda and still deal damage to him. That shield was equal to 20% of his total HP!
Even though the leftover damage was not much and his HP was immediately restored to full thanks to Midnight's totems, Izroth understood that the cloaked figure had only used a simple basic attack. Therefore, he could only imagine the potential amount of damage of that thin blade of energy the cloaked figure used just moments ago when they launched an attack towards the caravan.
Although Izroth was struck by the attack, he did not allow the cloaked figure to get away unscathed.
In that split moment after Izroth parried the cloaked figure's greatsword, his Sword of The Storm swiftly shot out and cut them just before he was forced back.
However, he was a little surprised with how quickly the cloaked figure reacted to his sudden attack. Izroth went straight for their neck, but they managed to shift their position at the last possible moment to avoid a critical hit.
The skill Izroth used was called Flash Counter. It was one of the skills he created during the wave of monster attacks the caravan faced. He immediately maxed the skill out after learning it, using some of the skill points that he had not touched for quite some time.
Skill Name: Flash Counter
Skill Creator: Izroth
Skill Level: MAXED
Skill Rank: B
Requirements: Sword Equipped
Passive: After the user successfully evades, blocks, or parries an attack, the user's next basic attack with a sword ignores any attack speed restrictions or cooldowns. This attack deals 125% of the user's attack as damage and increases the chance of on-hit effects occurring by 100% of their original values.
Cooldown: 20 seconds
While Flash Counter was not a part of the Way of The Heavenly Sword and its ten sword forms, it allowed Izroth's attacks to become more unpredictable by nature. Not to mention the fact that it also increased the chance of on-hit effects like his Blood Stigma by 100%! This meant that when he used Flash Counter, instead of a 10% chance of activating Blood Stigma, it was increased to 20%!
There was something else that Izroth walked away with during that brief exchange. He finally got close enough to view the information of that cloaked figure provided by the system.
NPC Name: Faceless One(???)
NPC Level: 43
NPC Faction: League of The Eidolon
NPC Knowledge Level: Unstable(1-20)
NPC HP: ??? (89%)
It was the first time Izroth saw unstable listed next to one's knowledge level. It was also the first time he came across a range for one's knowledge level. However, he did not find it bizarre considering how the cloaked figure acted in general.
Another thing he managed to confirm was that the cloaked figure, or Faceless One as the system showed them to be, was indeed a member of the League of The Eidolon!
Just as Izroth was slightly pushed back by the Faceless One's attack and successfully landed his Flash Counter, along with having the effect of his Blood Stigma activate, Mirage came rushing in from the side. Her fist soared through the air as a strong electric current flowed around it.
Mirage's fist connected with the Faceless One's shoulder, but just as she was about to follow up with her next attack, she felt a powerful force slam into her body that sent her flying sideways!
Fortunately, she managed to shift her position just before she was hit. She lifted her knee up behind her forearm and used it to reinforce her guard. In doing so, she was able to guard against the greatsword using her armguards.
Like blocking and parrying, guarding also reduced the amount of damage a player would receive. For those with shields, blocking was their main source of damage reduction. For those with weapons like swords and spears, parrying was the most convenient method.
But, for those without weapons or shields, like Mirage who was a fighter-type class, guarding was their way of defending against attacks. In terms of damage reduction, it was slightly better than parrying but still quite far away from blocking with an actual shield.
Mirage was lifted off her feet and sent nearly four meters away, twice that of what Izroth experienced. However, she landed safely on her feet and stopped herself from sliding back any further.
"How can he swing that thing around so freely with one hand?" Mirage said as she furrowed her brows.
Usually, when wielding a greatsword, it required a person to use two hands due to its weight and size. However, that Faceless One was swinging that greatsword in their hand around as if it was a light twig they found on the side of the road!
"So you all want to kill me? How cruel..." The Faceless One said in a fragile tone as a purple crescent formed on the top area of their greatsword.
Izroth narrowed his eyes when he saw that purple crescent appear.
'It seems I've miscalculated.'
Izroth believed that the purple crescents could only form after the Faceless One successfully redirected an attack with their greatsword, however, it appeared as though that was not the case.
'Once it reaches five purple crescents...'
At that moment, Izroth made a decision. If he could not end the fight by the time the fourth crescent moon appeared on the greatsword, then he would use whatever means necessary to prevent it from forming its fifth crescent!
Right after the first crescent moon formed, Izroth wasted no time making his next move. After getting a decent grasp of the Faceless One's strength firsthand, it was time for the real battle to begin.
Izroth's body suddenly started to flicker in and out of existence!