The face of the Seer Tererestiaa was looking straight at the holder of the bracelet, Izroth. "I am the Seer Tererestiaa... One gifted with the eyes of truth by the all-seeing goddess, Helilatiaa. The one who possesses this bracelet did not happen upon it by chance, but rather by fate" the voice sounded light and delicate yet it carried along with it a heavy burden.
"You must seek me out by the 'Lake of Tears', it is where I will be residing and awaiting your arrival. Make haste, if you are receiving this message then it means 'they' have been freed from the seal of eternity. We do not have much time... Must... Hurry...." the face started to distort and become blurry before finally dissipating.
The bracelet on Izroth's wrist lost its brilliant glow and cracks began to form all over the item as it then shattered into little pieces.
System Alert: The item 'Strange Bracelet' has been destroyed. It has been removed from your inventory!
"The 'Lake of Tears' is it..." Izroth muttered to himself. Everyone else looked shocked by what they had just witnessed, it even more so for the Great Elder and Hajitin who revered the Seer. From the way the Seer spoke, it was as though something very significant was going to take place soon and they were right smack in the middle of things.
"Where is this 'Lake of Tears' anyways...?" Halls asked glancing over at the Great Elder and Hajitin.
"It is a sacred place that only the Seer of Helilatiaa may reside. It lies at the very center of the mountain region. If anyone trespasses there without approval, it is said that their souls are lost forever. You must be careful on your journey there as the forest has many unseen dangers... You must not stray from the holy path" the Great Elder was really polite towards their group. After all, these were people chosen personally by the great Seer Tererestiaa. It was their honor to receive such esteemed guest.
"Great Elder, if the great Seer is in some sort of trouble, should we not help?" Hajitin sounded worried when he heard the message just now. If he could do anything to aid the Seer then he would not hesitate to do so.
The Great Elder, however, shook their head in response to Hajitin. "We have not been chosen by the great Seer and so it is not our fate. But, nevertheless, there are other means by which we can assist them without directly interfering, so you must bear with only that" the Great Elder would've of course been more than thrilled to be of any assistance to the great Seer, but he understood better than anyone that only those the Seer had fate with could be of any true help.
"Hajitin will escort you to the edge of the forest territory belonging to the 'Lake of Tears'. He cannot go any further than that and so you will have to ultimately depend on your own strength" the Great Elder signaled at Hajitin and he stood up with eyes filled to the brim with admiration.
Hajitin gave a small bow, "I apologize for my rude welcoming earlier. Please, allow me to act as your guide as a sincere way to make up for my personal error of judgment" there was not a hint of arrogance or any kind of threat hidden within his voice. Those accepted by the great Seer were all exceptional people and could not possibly have any bad intentions. Even though he was a proud head warrior, at the end of the day he was still a man who knew when to admit his faults.
Izroth gave a slight nod to show his approval. He could not blame Hajitin for doing what he felt was only protecting his village from potential danger. Would Izroth be so shallow as to hold a grudge against him for defending what he loved? The answer was obviously no.
"I would propose for all of you to stay as a guest, but you must leave at once as the Seer requested. I can only offer you the best of luck on your journey. May the goddess Helilatiaa protect and guide you" the Great Elder spoke in a solemn voice.
Hajitin hurriedly moved to the exit of the building, showing a sense of urgency.
Izroth, Halls, Luna, and Scarlet all stood up to their feet and followed after him.
"I wonder what's at the 'Lake of Tears'. Since this is an S-ranked quest, do you think we'll end up fighting a Loch Ness monster or something?" Halls was curious and excited as they headed into the forest.
"This quest has been a bit too easy for an S-ranked quest. I fear that we have yet to come to the truly difficult part..." Luna spoke in a low voice.
Izroth believed that Luna was correct. Everything up to this point has been so easy that if all S-ranked quest were like this then wouldn't it be a little too simple? He felt as though the true battle was going to start very soon.
As the group advanced deeper and deeper into the forest, they noticed that they were not running into any monsters. It was as if there was some unknown force keeping them away, or that they just simply did not exist at all within this forest. But that could not be the case since the villagers made the inside of that building floor with the fur of multiple beasts.
Scarlet couldn't help but to inquire of Hajitin, "Hey, why haven't we come across any monsters yet? Are there none in this forest?"
Hajitin shook his head, "There are indeed monsters in this forest, but this is the path to the 'Lake of Tears'. No monsters would dare to trespass on such a holy pathway, it brings about a natural source of fear for them".
As the group was walking on the path towards the 'Lake of Tears', Izroth decided to check on the progress of the skill being processed by the system. It would not be much longer until it was 24 hours from the moment the system first started generating the skill. He tried to circulate that mysterious energy which resembled spiritual essence in the same way as cultivating the 'Boundless Emperor Void Perfection' heavenly law. Not too long after he received a system alert!
Ding! The system cannot generate this skill at the moment!
Ding! The original time required is insufficient to generate this skill... Processing...
Ding! The data required to form this skill is limited by system parameters!
Ding! Because you possess the skill 'Breaker of Limits' system parameters have been bypassed!
Ding! This skill processing time has been increased to 30 Days!
Izroth had a helpless look on his face and issued a small sigh when he saw the massive increase in processing time. Wasn't it supposed to just be 24 hours? How did it become 30 days all of a sudden? Just as he was trying to comprehend what was going on, he heard Hajitin speak, "We're here. This is as far as I'm permitted to go. Please be cautious on your way there. While there are no monsters that would dare to attack you while on the path to the 'Lake of Tears' you should still be careful"
Izroth pushed it to the back of his mind for now and there was nothing he could do about it. "Well, I suppose I'll just have to wait out the 30 days and see how things turn out" Izroth thought to himself. Even though he was a bit disappointed it wasn't as though he would not receive it at some point.
Hajitin gave a slight bow, "May the great Seer guide you" he then turned around and proceeded back towards the path they just came from. To be honest, he was tempted to disobey the Great Elder and rush onward to help them. However, he was not chosen and he just had to accept that fact.
Izroth and the party continued forward following the path ahead, but then something unusual happened. It was as though they passed through some type of gel as the atmosphere around them seemed to have shifted from one plane of existence to another. When looking back they could see a ripple in the air similar to as if someone tossed a stone onto the calm surface of some water.
"Woah... What was that?" Halls imagined that was exactly how it would feel to swim through a pool filled up with lead instead of water. It felt heavy while on the inside but as soon as your body came out onto the other side it felt incredibly light.
"I think this is the reason why Hajitin said he could not follow us all the way... It may be some kind of protective barrier that only allows certain things or people to pass" Luna speculated.
To Izroth it was comparable to a boundary rift from the seven realms. Its purpose was to separate a plane of existence into two different parts while maintaining the natural connection. It was usually used by powerful beings to hide away from the world due to just wanting to be isolated, or because someone was after them. He thought to himself, "With the power to see into the future, one would have many people after them"
"I'm going to scout ahead a bit, wait here for a little while" Halls said holding out his shield in front of him and moving forward through the trees. If there was any danger then he was confident enough that he would be able to retreat or at least hold off until everyone else managed to come to his aid.
Scarlet was silently observing Izroth the entire time. Of course, he felt her staring at him but decided to not pay it any mind. There was no chance that she would cause trouble at this point under such unknown circumstances. Scarlet thought to herself, "What was that strange energy a few moments ago... I don't remember seeing anything like that in-..." her train of thought was soon interrupted by a shout from within front of her.
It was Halls who went to scout out the area ahead and what he saw was extraordinary! "You all have to come and look at this!" Halls urged the group onward waving them over with his hands. Everyone walked over and saw an elegant scenery. There was a large lake with crystal clear water, it appeared as if not even a single drop of impurity was within it.
There was a small temple with steps leading up into it. Even though the temple was small, it still gave off a divine and majestic aura as if it were above the realm of mortals. On the very top of the temple was a statue of a beautiful woman whose appearance transcended that of a human and she could only be called a goddess. That's exactly what that statue was, the all-seeing goddess Helilatiaa.
Luna pointed over in the direction of the temple, "That statue on top is similar to the one I saw before at the clerics building. I think that must be the all-seeing goddess Helilatiaa that the Seer was talking about. She has to be inside that temple or somewhere nearby"
Izroth nodded and began to walk towards the temple, "Then we should go check it out". There were no monsters in sight and it wasn't as though Tererestiaa was going to personally invite them here just to attack them.
A few moments later the group all arrived in front of the small temple.
"I have been expecting all of you" a voice sounded out from within the temple. Not too long afterward, a woman resembling that of a pure maiden appeared at the top of the temple steps. There was a pair of blindfolds covering her eyes as if to blind them from the lies and impurities of the world. She had pure silky black hair that reached all the way down to her ankles and she gave off a divine aura as if she were blessed by a great deity.
"I am the Seer, Tererestiaa. We finally meet, brave adventurers" a smile soon found its way onto the face of Tererestiaa.