NPC Name: Aaruuzxqiiyeewkjsoo(Rare)
NPC Level: 52
'What's with his name?'
When the system displayed the information of the Phantasmal messenger, the first thing that stood out to Izroth was his bizarre name. Where was one supposed to even begin with pronouncing that name?
Of course, Izroth had come across strange names before back in the Seven Realms. There was a mystical and eternal race whose real name took nearly one thousand years to pronounce! To them, the time passed by in the blink of an eye, however, to those outside of their race they did not dare to even attempt saying it. After all, not everyone could spend one thousand years saying a name.
"My name is Izroth. If you can't even get that much right, then what's the point of listening to anything you have to say? Also, why is your name so complicated? Change it." Izroth said in an arrogant tone as he continued to walk.
"Hold on, wait for me! Izroth, right? See? I can say it properly- Wait, did you just ask me to change my name? Don't be ridiculous! Who makes such an unreasonable request?! I've had this name since I was born! If anyone has the weird name here it's you! Why is it so short? Could it be that its length matches-" Aaruuzxqiiyeewkjsoo spoke as he flew after Izroth, but immediately halted his words when Izroth grabbed onto the hilt of the sword on his back.
"A joke! Just a joke! Call me Aru, okay? Just don't go swinging that thing around!" Aru quickly said in an apologetic and slightly panicked voice. All he could do was run away if Izroth decided to attack him due to the curse on his race. If that happened, not only would he have failed his mission, but the others would laugh at him if they were to discover that he was chased away by a human! How could he ever show his face before the other Phantasmals if that occurred?
There was also the fact that even though Aru was nearly ten levels higher than Izroth, he remained cautious. This was because he had personally witnessed the extent of Izroth's Source. Even though it was in an infancy stage, it was abnormally powerful compared to the average infancy stage Source. If Izroth went all out with a single attack, even with his the skills of his race, Aru was not confident in escaping completely unharmed.
Izroth removed his hand from the Sword of The Storm as he inwardly shook his head. He wondered if all the members of the Phantasmal race were exactly like Aru. In the end, despite Aru's method of approach, Izroth was interested in what he meant by representing the Mortal Realm and being worth his while.
"Alright, Aru, I'll listen to your words but if you speak any more nonsense then don't blame me for being impolite." Izroth stated.
"Right, no nonsense. You have my word!" Aru nodded rapidly in response as if he were afraid that Izroth would suddenly change his mind.
Izroth continued to make his way back towards Amaharpe with Aru following next to him. There was one question that Izroth immediately wanted the answer to.
"Why have you been following me for so long?" Izroth asked.
Aru had been secretly following Izroth since his time back at the Willowed Forest near Opal Town. He did not have any connections with anyone around that time besides Gear. However, his connection with Gear at that point was still shallow at best, therefore, that did not add up. But, if it was not Gear, then who else could have been so interested in him that they specifically assigned a member of the Phantasmal race to tail him?
"Hm..." Aru placed his hands on the back of his head as he floated upside down next to Izroth. He had a troubled look on his face as if he struggled to find a correct answer.
"Well, because that person told me to. You think I enjoy following you around all the time because it's fun or something? You even completely disappeared so many times from my sights..." Aru said as he muttered the last part to himself. Of course, he was talking about the times Izroth traveled to the Shadahi Realm and the Chaotic Dogma Realm. Due to the restrictions, he could not follow Izroth to those places even if he wanted to.
"Oh? Who might that person be?" Izroth questioned.
"I can't tell you. But, what I can say is that it's not someone you can afford to offend." Aru said in a serious tone.
"Interesting, I've yet to meet anyone who I couldn't afford to offend." Izroth responded.
"Listen, I know all about your dispute with the Netherworld and cutting off the arm of ones of its envoys. The only reason you haven't already been killed and dragged into the Netherworld is because of the A-." Aru quickly stopped himself. He had nearly forgotten about the consequences of mentioning that to someone who had personally participated in the Chaotic Dogma Realm.
Aru cleared his throat and continued, "Just know that, in the end, the Nether Realm is not the Mortal Realm so you have some leeway in that matter, however, this person resides in the Mortal Realm itself. Becoming enemies with them will only lead to a disaster. While having a good connection can take you to places once thought impossible to reach." Aru explained.
'Looks like I'm not going to get much out of him about whoever sent him.'
As for Izroth being afraid to offend someone, it was just as he told Aru, he had not once met someone who he could not afford to offend! In fact, it had always been the other way around and others could not afford to offend him. But, Izroth would not press the matter as he knew it would ultimately be a waste of time.
"Then explain why you've finally decided to reveal yourself after all this time." Izroth said.
"Now that's an easy one. It's because you aren't too weak anymore. You should be able to hold your own as one of the representatives. Of course, the first team is out of the question. However, the second team is a possibility. After all, it's what that person wants. Still, I have no idea why they decided to make an exception this time around. To think they even made two exceptions this time. What are they thinking...?" Aru stated as he muttered the last bit to himself.
Teams? Representative? Exceptions? What was he talking about? Also, even though Aru had followed after Izroth for so long and even saw his fight against those bandits and the First Sword, he made it sound as if Izroth was lacking in strength using words like "possibility" and "exception".
He then continued, "Anyway, even if that person made an exception, you'll still have to participate in the selection process that takes place in nine days. Even just passing the selection will shower you with benefits."
Izroth was suspicious about Aru, as well as, his true intentions. After all, unlike with players, Izroth was unable to determine if Aru was telling the truth or not. There was also the fact that Aru was unwilling to mention anything in great details. Instead, everything could only be described as vague at best. However, Izroth decided to trust his words for the time being.
'Seldom does great gain come without even greater risk. Besides, if anything troublesome comes up I'll just deal with it at that time.'
"Then, want to tell me what all this representative of the Mortal Realm talk is about?" Izroth asked.
"Nice try! You'll have to attend the selection if you want to find out any more information. I've already told you more than you're supposed to know. I could get in serious trouble for it. See how generous I can be? Well?" Aru said with a smug expression on his face.
'Is there something wrong with his head?'
Izroth shook his head as he said, "Where's this selection taking place?"
Aru smirked and responded, "Where else would such a grand occasion take place?" He then pointed towards the sky.
'Now, how should I deal with that other matter? That person's intentions are still too suspicious.'
Izroth had just bid farewell to Worldly Skies and Xing Bai. Now that he had finished that task, he had to deal with that headache of a guy.
"Aru, I'm ready." Izroth said as he stood alone in the pill crafting room. If anyone else were there they would think that he was crazy as he talked to himself. However, a few seconds later, a thick mist formed inside of the pill room before quickly dispersing. It was from that mist that Aru emerged.
Normally, Aru would have never gotten so close to Izroth due to how monstrous Izroth's sense of perception had become. But, since he no longer needed to hide, Aru was capable of following Izroth even into places like the Mystical Realm Palace.
"Do you have everything you need? Once I take you there you only have two ways to get back. Either you claim one of the representative spots or die. There is no middle ground." Aru explained.
"Well there's also another way, but I'm not telling him. Maybe this will keep him shaken up for a while." Aru thought to himself.
"Just get me there and I'll deal with the rest myself." Izroth stated.
"Hmph, fine. But, don't say that I didn't warn you. Hold out the palm of your hand." Aru scoffed.
Izroth held out the palm of his hand. Aru then hovered near Izroth's palm as he began to chant in a strange language. As Aru did so, a unique magic symbol formed at the center of Izroth's palm. On the backside of Izroth's palm, the number 100 appeared and it looked as if someone had written it on with a permanent black marker.
'What's this number for?'
"Good luck. You'll definitely need it heh. Oh right, remember to land at the center platform. If you go anywhere else, you won't even know how you died." Aru said as if it almost slipped his mind.
Those were the last words Izroth heard before everything around him turned to pitch black. He had no idea where he was at the moment.
'A magic formation of isolated space? No, it's different from the magic formation at Kryxelsia's place in Everpeak. It almost feels similar to crossing over into the Lake of Tears.'
After spending nearly a full minute in complete darkness, Izroth began to feel as if he had been played by Aru. However, just as that thought crossed his mind, a bright white light appeared before him. He was pulled in towards that light and before he knew it, he was suddenly in the sky.
'Is this the place he meant when he pointed towards the sky? Am I still in Amaharpe?'
At the moment, Izroth was free-falling from the sky at a rapid pace. Beneath him was a gigantic piece of earth that was stationary in the sky. The surface was more than three hundred kilometers in diameter. There were four different regions that Izroth could see from the sky.
One region was blazing with endless flames, one was heavily forested with a rich and verdant environment, and another with a massive sea. As for the last region, there was a raging storm with constant thunder and lightning, as well as, numerous twisters spread all throughout the area.
There was an area at the center that connected every region together. A grand white palace with golden outlines sat there along with a large platform out in front.
'That must be the area Aru spoke of. Still, that guy sure is ruthless not warning me of this free-fall. I'll have to talk to him about that when I return.'
〈System Alert: You have entered the region «Sky Palace of Zushuatri»〉
As Izroth fell from the sky, he saw that there was a group of individuals already gathered on the platform. From what he could see, there were at least seventy people present.
'It looks like quite a few people have already arrived.'