Meanwhile, somewhere in RML...
There was a secret gathering taking place within RML between one of the top ten guilds, Blue Oasis. This meeting was in a secluded place that was quite some distance away from Amaharpe's capital city. It was a rare moment where the guild leader and all seven captains of Blue Oasis were all in the same place at the same time. The current topic required all of them to be present due to how delicate the discussion was.
Player Name: Asgard [Guild Leader of Blue Oasis]
Class: Blood Berserker
Player Name: Niflheim [6th Captain of Blue Oasis]
Class: Assimilation Guardian
Player Name: Abstract [5th Captain of Blue Oasis]
Class: Death Stalker
Player Name: Minus [7th Captain of Blue Oasis]
Class: Fists of Combustion
Player Name: Nidavellir [2nd Captain of Blue Oasis]
Class: Holy Paladin
Player Name: Vanaheim [3rd Captain of Blue Oasis]
Class: Elemental Mage
Player Name: Peaceful Chaos [4th Captain of Blue Oasis]
Class: Bestial Champion
Player Name: Road [1st Captain of Blue Oasis]
Class: Wave Swordsman
"Hm? Where's the vice leader? Heh, it's not like him to be late to a meeting." Peaceful Chaos said with a grin on his face.
"Assault is currently guarding "that" place and making sure that no suspicious movement is going on in the area. After all, we can't be too careful when it comes to this matter." Asgard explained.
"Heh, I bet that guy's just slacking off right now and enjoying some free time." Peaceful Chaos said as he shrugged his shoulders.
"Mind your manners. You may be a Captain, but Assault is still the vice-guild leader of our Blue Oasis. You should show some respect." Vanaheim stated in a calm tone as she released a small sigh.
"Oh? What's this? Vanaheim, since when were you and the vice-leader so close? You've already turned down my affection so many times and shattered my heart to pieces. Tell me, how can I ever love again?" Nidavellir said in a playful tone.
"Hmph, you would say the same words to any woman who crosses your path. As for the vice-leader and my relationship, it's nonexistent and strictly professional. I simply wish to prevent our Blue Oasis from falling into chaos from disorder in our ranks. If we do not set and lead by example for our guild members, then how can we expect to have their respect? As the 2nd Captain of Blue Oasis, you should be enforcing this even more than me." Vanaheim said in an unhurried manner.
"Relax, we're the only ones here. How can I show my true colors around our guild members? You understand, right Road?" Nidavellir stated as he put one of his arms over Road's shoulder in a friendly way.
"..." Road met Nidavellir's question with silence.
"I see you're still as shy as ever. Ahahaha!" Nidavellir said in response to Road's silent treatment.
"Idiot..." Minus muttered under his breath.
A few moments later, things settled down and the atmosphere turned serious. Everyone present knew what the gathering was about and how important it was for the future of Blue Oasis. After all, if they were able to pull this off successfully, then they would be one step or even two steps ahead of the other top guilds.
"As you all know, the other top guilds are starting to become suspicious of our movement. The original plan was to wait another three days to prepare as much as possible, but we'll have to move up our plans. The fact that it's stayed under wraps for so long is already a miracle. Not to mention, there's a huge event coming up soon. We'll need every advantage we can possibly get. I'm sure all of you understand this." Asgard stated.
Vanaheim furrowed her brows as she said, "Ideally, we'd all be level 50 with a set of full rare equipment before we attempted this. To make matters worse, we're unable to send in any scouts beforehand to assess the situation and collection information. Attempting a blind run on a Normal raid is already difficult enough, but doing so for a Hardcore raid can be seen as close to an impossibility."
"We don't have much of a choice. The moment we take one step into the raid, it'll be announced to the world and the other top guilds via the system. Those guys may be willing to show us some face for a dungeon, but a raid is an entirely different story." Nidavellir said.
"Precisely, that's why we can't afford to take any more risks than we already have. The decision has already been made so there's no reason to focus on that point. Niflheim, I'll leave it up to you to explain." Asgard stated. After that, all eyes fell onto Niflheim who had yet to utter a single word.
"I'm sure you're all wondering why we only have three groups when a raid requires four." Niflheim started off.
Everyone knew that raids were done with a total of 24-players, which was the equivalent of four full parties within RML. While it was possible to attempt a raid with fewer players, it would be considered a suicidal act to do so for a Hardcore raid. Even a Normal raid was bound to be countless times more difficult than any of the dungeons they had faced thus far.
"You guys have been holding back on us for quite some time. How could we not be curious? There's no one I can think of in our Blue Oasis guild that has the ability the join us for this raid besides the members we've already chosen. The rest are either not up to level or lacking the proper equipment. Even for us, providing 24-players with a proper set of rare quality equipment is just too unreasonable. The only thing I can think of is that... You've decided on someone outside of our Blue Oasis, right?" Nidavellir said with a grin on his face.
The other captains were shocked when they heard his words. Someone outside of Blue Oasis? That was a joke, right? But, if Nidavellir was the one to say it, then there was a good chance that it was true. Despite Nidavellir's previous playful behavior, he was quite insightful, especially when it came to sensitive matters. If not for Niflheim's presence, he may have been chosen to be the main strategist for Blue Oasis in RML.
Niflheim released a deep sigh as he said, "As I thought, it's difficult to hide anything from your eyes. You're correct, the last group will be someone who's not a part of our Blue Oasis."
Nidavellir narrowed his eyes when he heard Niflheim's words. As for Abstract, they simply remained silent as a result. But, for the other captains, there was a certain level of outrage present.
"You would even give away this secret?!" Minus leaped up from his seat. He had not forgotten Niflheim's attitude towards him during the Protector of Amaharpe event. He just wanted to fan the flames a little and put some pressure on him as payback.
"Nonsense!" Vanaheim shouted as she suddenly stood to her feet.
She then continued, "Only a group from another top guild would be capable of meeting the level and equipment requirements to assist us during this raid! However, how can we trust a party from another guild? Captain Niflheim, explain yourself!"
"I hate to discuss matters like this, but I think you were a bit too reckless this time, Niflheim. Our leader respects your advice, but isn't this taking advantage of his kindness and goodwill?" Peaceful Chaos said as he released a small sigh and shrugged.
"...An explanation is required." Road spoke in a low voice that one could barely hear. If even the usually quiet Road asked for an explanation, that showed just how against this idea everyone was.
"It's an unaffiliated party. In other words, they don't belong to any guild." Niflheim explained before things got too out of hand. He could understand their caution and outrage over this important matter, so he believed that he should at least make that much clear.
"Ahahaha, come now, everyone. There's no need to get all worked up over such a small matter. Do you all take Niflheim for a fool? I'm sure he has already thought ahead this far. Why don't we listen to everything he has to say first, alright?" Nidavellir said as everyone calmed down and took their seats.
"Tch..." Minus did not expect Nidavellir to step in and speak up on Niflheim's behalf. What a wasted opportunity!
Asgard only gave a helpless smile as he inwardly shook his head. Though he was secretly happy to see that everyone was so passionate about Blue Oasis and was not afraid to speak up if they felt that something was wrong. They also knew when to take a step back and listen which seemed like a simple trait, but many people lacked this.
"So, who is the mystery party?" Nidavellir asked the question that was on everyone's mind.
"I'm sure you're all aware that during the Protector of Amaharpe event, there was an unknown party that obtained 1st place. A guild would not dare to let this chance slip away to promote themselves, so it's impossible that they would register as an unknown party. The party joining us will be that group. The party who placed 1st in the Protector of Amaharpe event." Niflheim explained.
Everyone was startled by Niflheim's answer. Indeed, the identity of that group was shrouded in mystery. There were even some rumors going around that it was actually the members of Heaven's Law that secretly grabbed the 1st place in that event. It was a feverish discussion on the RML official forums even to this day! Now, it turns out that Niflheim actually knew the identity of this party!
"I see, so it's actually that mysterious party... To think you were able to discover their identity, this is huge news. We should have them officially join our Blue Oasis." Vanaheim said.
"Do you think I haven't already made that offer?" Niflheim replied with a helpless smile on his face.
He then continued, "Well, that's a matter for another time. As for the party joining us, it's the party of that person is a part of. The one who placed 1st for in the individual points category during the event. His name is... Izroth."
Izroth? The owner of the Mystical Realm Palace, Izroth? Who within Amaharpe did not know this name?!
"It's him..!" Minus thought to himself as he remembered the party who contested him for the Brooding Behemoth Basbus event boss. How could he forget having a rare boss monster snatched from him by a bunch of nobodies? Now, he was going to be working together with that party? Niflheim was going too far!
"Now that you know, I want you all to make any preparations you have to. Tomorrow, we attempt the first raid in RML. We'll gain glory for our Blue Oasis and a territory that other guilds can only dream of. Tomorrow, we conquer the Raid: Great Sea Palace! Dismissed!" Asgard announced. The moment he said dismissed, all seven captains of Blue Oasis stood to their feet.
Reilei's Orb of Creations crashed into the body of the Ouroboros. Although her damage was strong, the Ouroboros resisted the staggering effect due to its status as a high-level boss monster. With Reilei joining the battle, they managed to reduce the Ouroboros' HP down to the 50% mark. However, things were still not looking too good for their party.
Even though Phoenix had reserved most of her mana at the beginning of the fight, she had to start using more heals when Two Tons was no able longer to sustain himself. This put a sudden increase in pressure on her healing, as well as her timing. If she did not make the most of her mana, then there was no way that they would be to survive against the Ouroboros.
"Something strange is happening to its body! Beware!" Two Tons roared as he fended off another of the Ouroboros' attacks. At the same time, the scales on the Ouroboros' body lit up a bright green color. All of a sudden, the Ouroboros slammed its body on the ground and slithered around in circles at the center of the room. This forced everyone to retreat back to a safe distance.
"What is it doing?" Hidden Pulse questioned as he saw the bizarre actions of the Ouroboros. This was the first time the Ouroboros had done something like this and it happened as soon as its HP hit the 50% mark. This meant that it was likely to be one of its more powerful skills and raise the stakes of the fight!
The Ouroboros continued to slither in a circle for nearly five seconds before suddenly stopping. Once its body was in a perfectly circular shape, the Ouroboros did something completely unexpected. It began to devour its own tail!
Phoenix's face turned extremely pale as she witnessed the sight and she could not help but blurt out, "How disgusting! It's really eating its own tail!"