While other small-time bandits could be fooled by that phony one billion gold coins, the NPC before him should have known better. After all, there was no way an individual of that power who resided within the Tiger's Mouth could possibly be that naive.
"We were polite enough to wait for you. Don't you think you should return the favor by telling us what your purpose is?" Izroth said in a carefree manner.
Zephyr set his gaze upon Izroth. When he saw the sword on Izroth's back, he narrowed his eyes.
"Remaining brave before the face of adversity is a trait not often found in those who possess such youth. It's a shame that I have to kill you with my own hands. But, to grant your final wish, I will let you know the reason behind your impending death. The mind beads are bound to you. Only with your deaths can they be relinquished." Zephyr explained.
He then continued, "If you want to blame anyone, blame the man who set such a heavy burden upon you."
'As I thought, he's also after the mind beads. But...'
"Do you believe a Faceless One will truly be able to pay you one billion gold coins?" Izroth asked.
Zephyr was shocked that Izroth had knowledge of that matter. How could he possibly know that it was the Faceless One who sent him?
"Interesting, I was unaware that you already acquired such information. However, if you know that, then you should also know that it is not gold that I'm after. What I seek is only peace." Zephyr responded as he closed his eyes.
At the same time, the strong gust of wind that had died down before returned once again.
'Looks like he's done talking.'
In truth, Izroth was not entirely certain that a Faceless One was behind the bounty placed on their heads, however, Zephyr had just helped to confirm his previous suspicions. Although he would have liked to probe for more information, it did not seem like Zephyr would waste any more words.
〈Battle Alert: Player Izroth is within Zephyr, First Sword of the Warpath Blade's «Gale Zone»!〉
Izroth was not the only one to receive the battle alert as every single member of his party was affected by the skill. However, no one had any idea what purpose the skill itself served as none of them felt any different or received any kind of debuffs.
"Resisting will only delay the inevitable. These are not words of arrogance I speak, this is the truth." Zephyr said in a calm tone and at the same time his right-hand twitch ever so slightly.
Izroth swiftly unsheathed his Sword of The Storm and swung out directly in front of him.
At first, everyone was a bit confused as to why Izroth suddenly attacked the area before him when there was nothing there. However, they heard the sound of metals clashing against one another as they saw Izroth's arm forced back.
The overheal shield that had built up thanks to Midnight's Brilliant Regnouda totem was destroyed in a single strike. Even with the physical resistance bonus provided by the Gaia Avis totem, as well as, his natural physical resistances, Izroth still received more than 2,000 damage directly to his HP. However, there was something that caused Izroth to narrow his eyes as he observed Zephyr.
'I couldn't see it.'
That attack just now was similar to Izroth's own Tempest Strikes, however, given that Zephyr's sword was still in its sheath, he must have used a quick-draw sword skill.
Izroth not only had the Heavenly Golden Body, but he had taken a Five Cycles Pill as well. This meant that his sense of perception was at a monstrous level that most players could only dream of. However, even with the Heavenly Golden Body and the Five Cycles Pill, he was still unable to see Zephyr's attack just now!
If not for the warning of his Soul Sense and the small twitch in Zephyr's right hand that Izroth noticed in time, then there was no doubt that he would have been struck by that sword attack head-on.
"Oh?" Zephyr raised his brows in surprise. That attack just now was meant to reap the life of its target in one strike. It was his fastest sword attack, the Warpath Blade: Quick Drawing Arts. With its incredible speed, it held a reputation in the Tiger's Mouth as being an unblockable and undodgeable skill.
Zephyr aimed right for Izroth's neck and should have taken his head off with a single swing. The fact that Izroth not only avoided a critical hit but even reacted in time to parry his sword strike was enough to leave him pleasantly surprised.
Izroth's figure disappeared and in an instant, he had arrived before Zephyr with his Sword of The Storm already descending upon him.
Zephyr was caught off guard by Izroth's sudden movement and knew that it was impossible for him to avoid the attack. Therefore, he shifted his position and avoided a critical hit, or at least that's what he thought. Two phantom swords managed to strike his vital point.
Zephyr quickly drew his sword and swung it outward in an arc causing Izroth to move out of attack range to avoid the blade.
There was a cold look in Zephyr's eyes as he looked at Izroth. When was the last time that he, the First Sword of the Warpath Blade, was struck by another sword? This was a great humiliation to his pride as a swordsman!
Everyone was amazed by the brief yet high-level exchange that just took place. Did this guy really plan to go head to head with a rare NPC?!
"He's insane..." Omega muttered in a low voice. Even though he said those words, there was an excited look on his face. His blood was boiling and his fighting spirit was invoked.
Izroth had used for visiting.
"Gaia's Embrace." Ying Yue said to softly as she connected her fingers together with open palms.
A few moments later, the earth beneath Zephyr's feet began to shift around and deform as ten pillars made of earth shot out from the ground and up into the air. The pillars then caved inward and crashed down mercilessly into Zephyr.
The pillars caused the ground to tremble when they struck down.
Lines started to form on the pillars and in the next moment, the pillars shattered into countless pieces as if they had been cut through multiple times.
Zephyr broke free of the pillars, however, he was welcomed by a fist covered in electricity aimed right at his face.
Mirage's fist collided with Zephyr's face and send him flying back a few meters in the process. Her entire body could be seen covered in electricity as sparks jumped around freely.
Zephyr was unable to move as electricity could be seen flowing over his body. He had been paralyzed by Mirage's Voltaic Strike.
Zephyr seemed to be completely overwhelmed by the barrage of attacks from Izroth and his party! Due to his status as a rare NPC, all crowd control effects against him was reduced greatly and so Mirage's paralyze effect did not last long.
The moment it ended, he immediately made his move as he slashed out and released a sharp and visible blade of wind in the process towards Mirage. It was nowhere near as fast as the first attack he used to attack Izroth, however, it was still a fast sword strike.
A rotating shield appeared before Mirage and blocked the attack.
"Dream on!" Omega roared as he successfully intercepted Zephyr's attack. He could freely move his shield around the battlefield to block incoming attacks. Of course, the range itself was limited and he still received any damage from attacks that struck his shield as the two were connected.
After practically spending over two hours straight fighting with one another, the synergy and timing of everyone's attacks, as well as, their skills were nearly perfect.
Every time Izroth put pressure on the Zephyr, Qi Jiguang would attack from one of his blindspots. This caused Zephyr to either receive his attack head-on or retreat. However, every time he chose to retreat, Mirage was right there to greet him with her fist.
As for Ying Yue, she would cast a magic spell at Zephyr whenever there was an opening in his defenses.
When Zephyr tried to retaliate with an attack, Omega would react in a timely manner and block the sword strike with his shield. Even if Zephyr did not focus him, Omega was still able to act as the tank and absorb damage.
Midnight stayed at a safe distance and had three of his totems summoned at all times. On occasions, he would briefly summon a fourth totem depending on the situation at hand.
With everyone working together as one party, Zephyr's HP dropped down at a steady pace.
There were parties that had been together through multiple games that did not work this well together. The communication was brief and to the point whenever someone did speak out, but for the most part, it was almost as if everyone had a certain grasp on each other's playstyles.
While there were still mistakes every now and then, someone was always there to cover for that error. As the battle raged on and Zephyr's HP reached the 50% mark, Izroth and his party received a battle alert.
〈Battle Alert: Zephyr, First Sword of The Warpath Blade has entered into the «Warpath State»!〉
A powerful burst of wind was released from Zephyr's body as it forced Izroth and his party to retreat back. What happened next caused everyone to become dumbfounded.
Two small gales of wind appeared beneath Zephyr's feet before lifting him up twenty meters into the air as he levitated in mid-air above Izroth and his party.
"He's flying!" Mirage said in a shocked tone.
"How are we supposed to attack him from down here? Isn't that cheating?" Omega questioned with a frown.
Zephyr took on an offensive sword stance as he unleashed a barrage of sword strikes that rained down upon Izroth's party. Each sword strike did not contain that much power, however, it was spread out over a large range and dealt a decent amount of damage.
Omega activated his Shield of Pacification to protect everyone from the rain of sword strikes, however, cracks were rapidly forming throughout the barrier.
In truth, Zephyr was not actually flying, but instead, he used advanced wind magic to hold himself up in the air. He could not move around freely and only travel straight up or down within certain limits. But, to players who had never come across such methods before, it looked as if he were flying in a natural manner.
However, was he the only one who could soar in the air?
'Don't think that you're safe in the sky.'Improvised Instantaneous Movement has been changed to Enhanced Instantaneous Movement.Fighter-type movement skill.Magic-type skill. Ten pillars raise from the earth and crash down on the stone momentarily disabling them and dealing damage.Fighter-type skill for Mirage's class. damage + paralyze effect.