Once the initial mixed feelings of shock and excitement died down, Izroth walked over to pick up the loot that Zephyr dropped after his defeat. While Zephyr only left behind three things, it was understandable after seeing just what one of the items were.
The Skill Book: Warpath Blade: Gale Zone Guard was the fourth skill book that Izroth had come across after eliminating countless monsters and numerous bosses within RML. It may have been due to his 1 Luck stat, however, it was abnormal for any player to run into that many skill books!
Shadow Movement, Behemoth's Quake, Death Chant, and now the Warpath Blade: Gale Zone Guard. Unfortunately, the Death Chant skill book that was dropped by Nekrostis was incompatible with his class as it was designed for a magic caster. However, it still did not change the fact that his luck was exceptional.
Skill Name: Warpath Blade: Gale Zone Guard
Skill Level: 1/4
Skill Rank: A
Requirements: Level 45, Sword Equipped
Mana Cost: 250
Active: Summons forth a gale of wind that protects the user from all incoming attacks and crowd control for 5 seconds. The user cannot attack or move during this period of time or the gale of wind surrounding them will disperse. During the period of time that the gale of wind is active, it absorbs 35% of all damage received and converts it into an attack with the wind element. The total converted damage amount cannot exceed five times the user's attack power (MAX Damage Converted: 10,305). The user's next sword attack will deal bonus damage as wind damage based on the amount of damage converted.
Cooldown: 5 minutes 25 seconds
Description: The Warpath Blade seeks peace, but embraces war.
'This must be the same skill he used just before his defeat.'
Of course, just like with Gear's Flickering Steps, the system undoubtedly handed him the watered-down version of the skill. But, nonetheless, it was still a helpful skill. Even more so since it offered a form of defense, an area that Izroth was currently lacking in.
No one contested Izroth for the skill book seeing as how it required a sword to use.
Since he was the sole sword user within the party, and taking into consideration his massive contribution to the fight, none of his party members were shameless enough to ask to roll for it. Not to even mention the fact that he gave each of them a grade two pill without asking for anything in return.
Izroth set the skill book into his inventory for the time being.
'It's useless to me at the moment since I still need another three levels before I can use it. I'll just keep it in my inventory.'
The 25 gold coins were split five ways between the others giving them each 5 gold coins. A skill book was obviously worth much more than 25 gold coins, therefore, Izroth insisted that they simply split it amongst themselves.
As for the last item, it was a bit unusual. However, due to the fact that it was a magical item, that immediately made it something valuable. Even lowest-ranked magical items sold for 50 gold coins! After all, how difficult were magical items to come by?
Name: Warpath Blade Insignia: First Sword(Magical Item)
Special Note: Proof that the holder of this insignia is the First Sword of the Warpath Blade. Wield it with authority! Those without talent for the sword and unworthy of possessing this honor will be rejected by the insignia.
It was actually a C-ranked magical item! While the usage was unclear, the special note explained a few things.
"It looks as if this drop table was made just for you, Izroth." Qi Jiguang said as he shook his head in resignation.
The insignia could only be held by those with a talent for the sword. If Izroth did not meet that requirement, then who could possibly dream of ever holding that insignia?
Izroth gave a carefree smile as he responded, "My luck appears to be a bit good today." He set the insignia into his inventory along with the skill book he looted.
Mirage released a long sigh as she said, "Who would've thought that you were being serious at that time. I can't believe you can actually fly. What a cheat skill!"
"Yeah, but it's too bad you aren't a magic caster or long-ranged physical class. Otherwise, having such a skill at your disposal would be an even more frightening thought." Midnight commented.
Indeed, classes who could launch long-ranged offensive assaults would definitely be able to put a flying-type skill to use. However, that was only one of many ways of looking at it.
After they finished looting, Izroth and his party resumed their previous route.
"That has to be the last guy, right? If they send someone even stronger than him, won't we have to face an epic NPC?" Mirage questioned.
"Who knows? Maybe they'll even send a legendary NPC our way." Midnight said in a joking manner.
"You really think so?!" Mirage replied in a shocked tone.
"I- No, never mind." Midnight was about to explain something to Mirage, however, he realized that it was a rabbit hole he did not want to travel down.
Izroth shook his head inwardly at Mirage and Midnight's conversation. He was quite interested in how someone like Midnight became friends with Mirage. Though considering how outgoing Mirage was and how easily she seemed to get along with others, he could sort of imagine how it happened.
Thirty minutes later...
'Strange, thirty minutes have already passed and yet...'
Surprisingly, there were no longer any attacks on Izroth and his party for the last thirty minutes. What made it so unusual was the fact that not only were the bandits no longer attacking them, but even the monster waves had stopped ever since they defeated Zephyr. It felt liberating, but bizarre at the same time.
After all, Izroth and his party had been fighting for more than two hours straight without really any chance to rest in between. Suddenly going from such an intense and high pace situation to the polar opposite made them feel a little paranoid if anything.
"Why do I have a feeling something bad is going to happen?" Mirage asked with her brows furrowed.
"When you say that it reminds me of this old action film I saw back when I was a kid. Whenever things seemed too peaceful, the protagonist would always say 'it's quiet, too quiet.' and it was usually followed by something bad happening to them." Omega said.
Qi Jiguang shook his head and said, "You watch too many movies, Omega."
"Sometimes you have to enjoy the simple things in life." Omega replied with a grin on his face.
A few moments later, Izroth and his party saw a clear opening ahead between the densely packed forest.
"Look, there's the exit!" Mirage said in an excited tone as she pointed towards the opening. She sprinted ahead of the party and was the first to leave the forest.
Izroth, along with the other members of his party, also stepped out of the Tiger's Mouth and they were greeted by a heavy downpour of rain.
"What's with all the rain? Why is the weather so different outside the Tiger's Mouth?" Omega questioned.
The strange thing was that there was no rain behind them when they looked back at the Tiger's Mouth. The trees may have been densely packed, however, it was not to the point of them being able to block rain from falling down in the forest.
'The sudden change in weather reminds me of that place.'
Back in the Chaotic Dogma Realm, there was this area with weather that constantly shifted and cycled through different stages. Of course, this was not the same, but the sudden and drastic change was similar.
All of a sudden, the scroll in Izroth's hands emitted a bright light. A few seconds later, the light died down and the previous route that was on the scroll had been completely altered! However, all the dots seemed to remain in the same location.
'Why did it suddenly change routes?'
"Did something happen?" Qi Jiguang asked as he had observed the light emitted by the scroll.
"The route on the scroll has been altered. It's telling us to travel straight forward from this point." Izroth explained.
"Why would it change?" Mirage frowned.
Midnight said with a thoughtful expression, "Maybe it's a hidden security measure that the scroll has that stops those who may have seen it before from knowing the holder's exact route. Though, this is only baseless speculation."
First, the wave of monster attacks and bandit assaults had stopped, and now, the route on the scroll had changed by itself! How could they not become suspicious?
"There's no point in thinking about it too much. Regardless of what happens with the scroll, our original object remains unchanged. We still have to make it to Everpeak." Izroth said in a carefree manner.
Everyone agreed with his words. Maybe the lack of action after so long and the previous events with that Faceless One they ran into had made them paranoid.
Not to mention, there was apparently another Faceless One out there that wanted the mind beads at any cost. Therefore, they were on a constant level of high alert and now that their adrenaline had died down, it was inevitable that they felt the mental drain that followed.
Izroth and his party change directions to match the new path on the scroll. Although everyone still felt a bit uneasy, the new route was much faster since it was in a straight line.
'It's amazing how this scroll can even account for the surrounding terrain.'
Izroth wondered just how much skill and gold it took to create a scroll of this level.
One uneventful hour passed by as Izroth and his party came before a town with tall walls and a gated checkpoint that everyone went through.
'We're finally here.'
Izroth and his party had, at last, reached the city Everpeak. The city had walls that were almost as tall as the ones around the capital city Amaharpe. The walls were a gorgeous silky black color that was made from a strange stone, and there were large magic symbols every thirty meters that ran along the surface of the walls.
"Woah, what is that thing?" Mirage asked as she pointed towards the sky above the city.
Positioned above the city in the middle of the sky were three massive golden rings. The outer ring was the largest and spanned approximately one kilometer in diameter. The other two rings were placed within that massive outer ring with each being half the size of the one before it.
"It's a magical weapon's array. Proximus is known for its advanced use of magic after all." Izroth said as he and everyone else walked towards the checkpoint.
"Magical weapon's array? Never heard of it." Mirage stated.
"It's something that could kill thousands of Zephyrs without any effort. Of course, that would be a waste of its power. From what I understand, the one placed above the magical capital city is ever grander than the one here." Izroth explained.
Even killing one thousand individuals with Zephyr's strength would be a waste of its power? If that was the case, just how dangerous was such a weapon?
"I don't know how comfortable I feel entering into a city that constantly has a weapon pointed towards me." Omega commented.
"There's no need to worry. It's only activated under extreme circumstances and as a last resort." Izroth said in a carefree tone.
It took Izroth and his party ten minutes to reach the front of the checkpoint line.
"Entry scroll." The guard stationed at the checkpoint said.
Entry scroll? Everyone was taken aback when the guard asked for an entry scroll. How could any of them have an entry scroll when this was their first time in Proximus?!
The guard frowned when he saw that Izroth's group did not immediately hand over their entry scroll.
"Is this your first time traveling to Everpeak?" The guard asked.