"My magic..." Ying Yue said in a baffled tone. She did not cancel her transformation magic on her own, therefore, something must have forcibly disabled it! But, she was in too much of a panic to notice the system alerts that had just popped up.
'It seems that the security measures of this place are capable of dispelling skills. I suppose it's only natural that it included her trinket.'
〈System Alert: You are being scanned by a magic formation.〉
〈System Alert: Your skills have been disabled by the magic formation.〉
〈System Alert: Your stats have been reduced by 99%.〉
'Still, what a fearsome magic formation to have as a security measure. In this state, even a complete beginner has a chance of dealing a fatal blow to someone.'
[EXP: 1,146,285/1,856,112 (61.76%)]
[Level: 42(Stat Points: 6)]
[Title: Protector of Amaharpe(Secondary), Scholar(Solitary)]
[Class: Combat Master]
[HP Regen: 0.21 HP/s]
[MP Regen: 0.05 MP/s]
Izroth tried to remove his Sword of The Storm from its sheath, however, it would not budge.
'I see, even though the item stays equipped, we're still unable to use them.'
The Sword of The Storm required 500 attack in order for someone to wield it. Therefore, it was not too surprising when Izroth discovered that he could not draw it with a measly 21 attack.
"My stats!" Omega yelled in surprise.
It only took a few moments for everyone to discover the system alerts and understand what had just happened to them.
Sorval was also patient enough to explain to everyone that this was a normal occurrence for those who entered into the Wiseman's abode. After all, given the Wiseman's popularity and influence, it was natural to assume that they had countless enemies hiding in the shadows. This magic formation was a safeguard against those enemies who would wish the Wiseman any harm.
Everyone calmed down and regained themselves. However, how could they not have been shocked when all their stats had suddenly vanished?
Mirage let out a long sigh of relief and said, "I thought all my hard work and progress had been erased."
"That'd be a bit unreasonable even if this is an S-ranked quest." Midnight commented.
Izroth suddenly turned his attention towards the spiral stairway located in the center of the mansion.
Even though all of his skills were disabled, his Soul Essence trait was unaffected by the magic formation, therefore, he was still able to use the abilities attached to it. He sensed someone coming down the stairs with his Soul Sense and was about to use Energy Vision Sense when a voice suddenly sounded next to his ears.
"I wouldn't use that ability here, Izroth." The voice carried a feminine, alluring, and carefree sound that lacked the troubles bestowed upon one by the world.
Izroth stopped himself before he activated his Energy Vision Sense. The fact that she understood what it was that he was about to do surprised Izroth. But what really caught him off guard was that she knew his name!
Since her warning seemed to be sincere, Izroth decided that there was nothing to lose by halting his Energy Vision Sense.
"A good choice." The voice sounded in Izroth's ears once more before fading away.
'This person is dangerous.'
At the moment, Izroth nor any of his party members had any way to defend themselves due to the magic formation. But, he understood that if the person who controlled this magic formation wanted to do them harm then they would have already done so.
The sound of footsteps could be heard coming from the spiral staircase. A few moments later, a young woman who appeared to be in her late-teens to early-twenties arrived at the bottom of the steps.
The young woman had long and glistening silver hair that traveled down to her knees with rainbow-colored highlights near its edges. Her eyes were the color of the sun and her appearance was breathtakingly beautiful. However, when one noticed the pointed tips that were her ears peeking out from the side of her hair, it was easier to make sense of her beauty.
The young woman was, in fact, a member of the Trephasia race! She wore extremely elegant robes and held onto a marvelous staff with some type of strange crystal that emitted a great power.
"Wiseman." Sorval said as he cuffed his fists together and gave a respectful bow.
Wiseman? That beauty was the Wiseman?! Mirage was the one left most dumbfounded. She thought that the Wiseman would be some old grumpy man, not a young woman with a brilliant glow!
The young woman gave a small nod in response to Sorval's greeting. There was a calm and neutral look on her face as her gaze swept across the present members before her.
"Allow me to properly introduce myself. I am the Wiseman of Everpeak, Kryxelsia. It appears that your journey to this place has been one filled with countless troubles. Come, we have much to discuss and yet very little time." Kryxelsia said as she gently tapped the staff in her hands on the ground.
Immediately after doing so, a large magic circle formed beneath everyone's feet as a flash of bright light appeared. The moment that light vanished, there was no trace of life left inside of the room!
Izroth drifted through an area that was completely devoid of light and yet somehow one could still see everything that was around them. There were broken stones frozen in mid-air and the surrounding area was filled with an unusual purple hue. That purple hue was not a light source, but instead, it appeared to be some form of energy.
Although Izroth currently lacked his Spatial Awareness skill due to the effects of the magic formation, he had a vague sense of what this place was.
A purple light enveloped Izroth and a few moments later, he appeared in a spacious room with a simple layout. There was a wooden desk with papers scattered over it and shelves filled with various precious and rare ingredients that would make even the top guilds drool.
"You'll have to forgive my use of caution, however, what we have to discuss should not be heard by those with prying ears. This area is an isolated pocket of space that I have full control over. With this, we can speak freely." Kryxelsia said as she stood before the wooden desk.
"Before we tell you anything, what did you do with Ying Yue?!" Mirage questioned with a frown on her face.
Kryxelsia's facial expression became a bit perplexed when Mirage asked her that question. She set her sights on Ying Yue who was still flustered. She soon realized that for whatever reasons, Ying Yue must have been hiding her appearance if even her own party members were unaware of her transformation magic.
Unfortunately, Kryxelsia did not have time to cater to anyone's personal whims.
"If it is your companion you are searching for, why do you not ask the young one herself?" Kryxelsia stated.
"Hm? What do you mean?" Mirage said as she and the rest of her party members turned to look towards Ying Yue.
Ying Yue felt embarrassed by the constant stares as she looked towards Izroth with pleading eyes. She looked as if she wanted to cry! Her biggest fear was that everyone would misunderstand her and believe that she was trying to purposely mislead or deceive them.
Izroth saw the pleading look in Ying Yue's eyes as he inwardly shook his head. While she was transformed, she gave off this strong and silent type aura. Unfortunately, the moment her transformation ended it was a different story.
Since they were a bit pressed for time, Izroth explained the situation to everyone himself.
After hearing Izroth's explanation, everyone was stunned. It turned out that the two of them had actually met before! Not only that, but Izroth even knew about her transformation skill the entire time.
"But, why did you want to hide your appearance from us? Did you think that we would not take you seriously just like your former party members?" Mirage asked. However, just as Ying Yue was fumbling about for an answer, they were interrupted by Kryxelsia.
"I'm afraid that matter will have to wait for some time." Kryxelsia said as she interrupted their conversation.
She then continued, "It is saddening that Robinarzin was unable to endure the long journey, however, his death will not be in vain due to your efforts. For this, you have my gratitude."
"There's one thing I'm curious about. Just how are you, the Wiseman of Everpeak within the Proximus kingdom, connected to the second prince of Tempest?" Izroth asked.
Sorval was shocked when he heard Izroth's words. The Wiseman was connected the Tempest? Impossible! She had always been a loyal citizen of the kingdom! Besides, everyone knew that Proximus had been enemies with Tempest for countless decades.
"Young man, I cannot forgive those words you've just spoken to slander the name of the Wiseman." Sorval said in a serious tone.
"It's alright, Sorval. This is part of the reason why I have invited you here to join us as captain of the Evercrest Knights." Kryxelsia stated.
She then continued, "I will have to correct you. It is not Tempest I am connected to, but the second prince and I have crossed paths. It is because of this that he has trusted me to such a degree."
Kryxelsia waved her staff out in front of her as six sapphire beads shot towards the crystal on her staff and rotated around it rapidly.
"This is only known to a select few individuals, however, Proximus has been in contact with the second prince for nearly ten years now. The mind beads were my personal gift to the second prince to use if things ever got too out of control, but I fear that it was not enough. The situation must have been deteriorating rapidly in Tempest for him to take on such a huge gamble." Kryxelsia said.
"We've never been able to get anywhere close to infiltrating Tempest and yet we've had its second prince on our side all along?" Sorval was dumbfounded.
"It's a little more complicated than that. But, that will have to wait. We must first uncover what the mind beads contain." Kryxelsia stated. She then pointed her staff forward as a stream of purple light shot out from the crystal on the staff. A few seconds later, the purple light turned sapphire as a spiral of energy formed in the middle of the room.
The spiral energy showed vivid pictures and memories that were locked away deep inside of the mind beads by Robin. As the events in the mind beads played out, everyone in the room grew silent and the atmosphere became heavier. When the spiral energy finally disappeared, Izroth and his party received a system alert.
〈System Alert: 3/3 Meet with an individual who goes by the name of Wiseman of Everpeak.〉
The person with the most concerning expression was, of course, Sorval. From what he had seen in the swirling vortex of energy, a great danger was right around the corner for his kingdom! He had to hurry and warn the king of this matter!
"Wiseman-" Sorval was about to speak but he was cut off.
"I know what you wish to say, Sorval. Do not worry, we will make a trip to the magic capital city at once." Kryxelsia said putting Sorval's mind somewhat at ease. But, he could not help but feel a creeping sense of a potential catastrophe.
'The Shadahi are becoming more active. Is this due to her leaving the seal unguarded?'
Izroth was referring to Tererestiaa who was nowhere near the Lake of Tears the last time they crossed paths. However, there was definitely something more to it given how the Shadahi had been tied to the kingdom of Tempest for quite some time already.
If what the mind beads showed them was true, then they may already be too late to stop what had been set into motion for numerous years. In other words, there was a good chance that the Eighth War of the Titans was bound to happen.
"Adventurers, you will also accompany us to meet the king of Proximus in the magic capital city." Kryxelsia said as she waved her staff and summoned what looked to be a Travellers Sphere. The only difference was that this Travellers Sphere was at least four times larger than the ones that were flying around Everpeak.