Back when he fought against Kayn, for a brief period of time, Izroth had activated his Second State: Heavenly Cloak. However, what he used at that time could only be considered an incomplete version of it that did not contain its full potential. Only when one used the Full Mantle version of the Second State: Heavenly Cloak could it be considered as the complete version of the skill.
There were two reasons Izroth did not freely use the Second State: Heavenly Cloak. The first was that he was incapable of sustaining the Full Mantle part of the skill for a prolonged period of time. In fact, it was even worse than usual at the moment due to the effects of Sage's Maelstrom Domain. If he was not determined to end this fight as soon as possible before things spiraled out of control, and if he did not have the lifesteal provided by the Ring of the Exiled One, then he would have never risked using it in this kind of situation.
The second reason was that even with his current level and monstrous sense of perception, he was not capable of properly controlling the power of the Full Mantle. This was even more so when he already had Flickering Steps activated! However, he had a certain way to cover this temporary weakness. The problem was that it could only be considered a short term solution.
At the moment, there were currents of purple electricity constantly running throughout the mantle that covered Izroth. The movement and pace of the electrical currents almost made it feel alive as it resembled that of a heartbeat.
'While this Domain is clearly much stronger than her previous one, it's unfortunate that she seems to have no idea how to use it to its full extent.'
Izroth's figure began to warp and bend in a strange matter. At the next moment, a small flash of purple light appeared before he could no longer be seen. By the time he was discovered, he had already reached the blind spot behind Sage. The most bizarre thing was that his movements contained no sounds whatsoever! It was as if there was nothing there at all. No, that was not quite right...
Crrrckle... Crrrrckle! BOOM!
At the location where Izroth stood at just moments ago, a sound resembling that of an implosive thunderclap rang throughout the surrounding area. However, the sound itself was delayed as it could not keep up with Izroth's movements. In other words, he had just broken through the sound barrier with pure speed alone! After doing so, however, Izroth felt a large strain and heavy burden weigh down upon his entire body as a portion of his HP was shaved off.
'She was more dangerous with her previous Domain. Though I still can't afford to underestimate this one. Still... The strain of using Full Mantle is even greater than I expected. I really am incapable of maintaining this for too long.'
Izroth released a sigh inwardly. Just from that single movement alone, he had lost nearly 7% of his total HP. Added on to the damage he was receiving from Sage's Maelstrom Domain, it was far from being sustainable for extended periods of time. Though it would become even worse as time went on and his HP would deteriorate at a faster rate putting him into a dangerous position.
Luckily, he had the Ring of the Exiled One and activated it to temporarily counteract the losses he suffered. Of course, even the Ring of the Exiled One could not keep him safe forever.
Izroth swept out with his Sword of The Storm, however, as his blade got closer to Sage's body, it was continuously being coated and corroded by the Maelstrom Domain. Even an epic weapon like his Sword of The Storm was not immune to its effects! If his equipment and epic weapon kept being exposed to the Maelstrom Domain in this manner, then was it possible that they could be completely destroyed? Izroth did not even want to think of the possibility of losing his equipment, let alone his epic weapon!
In the end, Izroth's sword still managed to connect safely with Sage's body. Although he aimed for one of her vital points, the corrosive effects of the Maelstrom Domain were really too overbearing and this resulted in him landing a shallow hit. This bizarre Domain caused his movements to feel awkward, restricted, and out of place sometimes which only served to further add to the stress when using his Full Mantle.
'Just as I thought, it's no longer there.'
The thin strands that protected Sage from before had vanished when she switched to her Maelstrom Domain. Just before his Energy Vision Sense went haywire, Izroth had noticed this small change. In a way, this made it easier for him to launch attacks without having to worry about how he was going to force Sage to abandon her position and constantly press forward to prevent her Breath of Repulse from reforming.
"?!" Sage was already in a state of confusion and befuddlement due to the sudden change of her Domain, as well as trying to forcibly control the intensely overwhelming power that it contained. However, after being suddenly cut by Izroth, it was almost as if whatever little control she had left over herself was tossed aside and erased. Why? Why was this trash still alive? Why was he still able to fight back when she was clearly so much stronger? Trash was not capable of fighting that which was above them... Yes, she was certain that this was the case... Wasn't it?
All of a sudden, the resounding sound of thunder filled the entire Mortal Realm and sounded from above. Izroth, who was located on the Sky Palace, suddenly felt as though the weight of the world was placed on his shoulders. The pressure from the heavenly lightning was just that immense even from this distance!
'What's going on up there? It wasn't like this until that Domain of hers appeared. Could it just be a coincidence? That seems unlikely...'
Izroth wanted to take time to observe what was happening above, however, he could not allow his attention to fall away from Sage. She was presently unstable and this kind of individual tended to be most dangerous when they were in such a state.
However, what Izroth did not know was that he was not the only player who felt and heard the heavenly lightning. From Amaharpe to Tempest to the very edges and depths of the Mortal Realm, and even inside of dungeons it could be felt and heard by players. Immediately after it took place, the world chat and official RML forums were completely flooded!
"Wtf was that?! The entire world was shaking just now!"
"Devs! Fix your game! > : ("
"My whole party was wiped in a dungeon thanks to that bug! We were so close to defeating the last boss! I want compensation. -_-"
"Phew! I'm glad I'm not the only one who experienced that lol. I thought something was seriously wrong with my gaming equipment!"
There were players who said that it was the sign of a major special event, others speculated that it was a glitch in the game's audio files and sensory system. There were even those who said that it was caused by two powerful boss monsters clashing. In the end, it turned into a source of heated debate that would be discussed throughout the RML gaming community for a long time to come.
Meanwhile, in the area far above the Sky Palace...
Zushuatri and Savarosa stood only a few meters apart from one another as their attention was focused on the firmament above.
Savarosa suddenly narrowed her eyes as she waved her hand. This caused countless ripples to form and spread throughout the surrounding space. There were some strange forms of energy that were forcibly dispersed by this process and broken down into nothingness before vanishing.
"Hmph, want to see what's going on here? Then I dare you to come in person." Savarosa said as a slight smile found its way onto her lips. Just now, there were some legendary realm existences, as well as, some kingdoms using a powerful magic formation or magic item to spy on their current location. However, Savarosa's move just now had isolated and destroyed those methods which left those individuals in the dark about matters.
Naturally, Savarosa did not do so to protect the Sky Palace, but her precious possession that was down below. Although she was not afraid of any direct confrontations, too much of her attention would be diverted to dealing with the heavenly lightning. Therefore, she found it too troublesome to also deal with the watchful gazes of those curious old things. However, there was one watchful gaze that she could not get rid of no matter how hard she tried.
"Hm? This is... I see, well it's fine. After all, that old thing won't interfere in any worldly manners." Savarosa thought to herself.
At the same time on top of a small hill at a faraway location, Zhi stood with his hands behind his back with his gaze set on the firmament. Even someone like him was alarmed by the appearance of the heavenly lightning, however, it appeared that it was not due to someone ascending into the Divine Realm.
After all, even if they did ascend, their chances of survival were low. The beings up there did not want the current balance disturbed, therefore, they strictly regulated who could and could not enter into the Divine Realm.
Of course, if one was confident enough in their own abilities they could force their way into the Divine Realm. However, doing so was akin to slapping the face of virtually every divine existence in the Divine Realm. Who was willing to take such a heavy burden unto themselves? In the end, all one could do was wait their turn.
"Someone is going against the laws of nature and from the presence of the heavenly lightning, it is no small matter... I see, if that little girl is behind this, then that explains it. Did she finally succeed in her madness?" Zhi thought to himself with a deep and profound look on his face.
"It's here." Zushuatri said as the firmament above split open. It resembled that of glass being cracked as terrifying energy rushed out from above the firmament. This energy took on the form of a massive bolt of lightning with the head of a vicious and ancient primordial beast. There were unique symbols scattered throughout the bolt of lightning that was indiscernible by those in the Mortal Realm as they were something that belonged to the Divine Realm itself!
"Mantra of the Sky: Twelve Cloud Summit." Zushuatri clapped his hands together as twelve thick barriers of clouds formed in the area above him. Although these clouds looked soft and easily broken through, they were far from being anything simple. They were easily capable of repelling and fending off the attacks of someone at the peak of the legendary realm. Though even with this being the case, the first three layers had immediately disintegrated before the might of the heavenly lightning.
To make matters even more terrifying, it had not even come close to touching the clouds themselves and was still far away! This showed just how devastating the power of the heavenly lightning was.
"I'll reinforce it." Savarosa said as she held the palm of her hand forward and a mysterious yet beautiful pink energy was embedded into the clouds which helped to reform the three that were lost.
"Supreme Breath of Augmentation." Savarosa completely infused the power of her essence into Zushuatri's Mantra of the Sky: Twelve Cloud Summit.
Zushuatri and Savarosa did not stop there. The two of them used a total of twelve reinforcement skills. Each of them was easily categorized as S-ranked or higher skills. As the heavenly lightning approached and smashed into the skills that were blocking its path, it cut through the first half without showing any signs of slowing down in the slightest. When it reached the halfway mark, it finally showed some signs of slowing, however, both Zushuatri and Savarosa's faces had turned pale.
The amount of energy being used by the two of them was immense and constantly being drained by clashing with the heavenly lightning.
However, at the same time, a small smirk appeared on Savarosa's face as the heavenly lightning approached. Just what was she up to?
Meanwhile, in the Living Forest region of the selection...
'She's completely lost it.'
"Kill... I'll erase it all. Everything... Trash, weaklings, everything in my path... It'll all be erased! Die! Die! Die!" Sage's words were not directed at anyone in particular. She had not even made eye contact with Izroth this entire time and it was as if she were having a conversation with herself. The look in her eyes showed that she was already far gone from reality and consumed by the Maelstrom Domain.
Even if left alone, Izroth knew that Sage's fate had already been sealed the moment the Maelstrom Domain gained total control over her.
With that being the case, the power of the Maelstrom Domain became increasingly devastating as the rate of corrosion sped up by leaps and bounds. Even with his Full Mantle active, Izroth found it difficult to approach Sage as the rate of corrosion had grown to a frightening degree.
In fact, the blade of his Sword of The Storm had already turned pitch black from the corrosive effect. This caused Izroth's overall attack power to be cut in half making it challenging to end the fight swiftly. However, he had not yet run out of methods at his disposal.
Izroth evaded the sudden bursts of winds headed towards him. The more he moved around, the faster the corrosive effects of the Maelstrom Domain took effect. This meant that before long, it was possible that both his attack and defenses would be rendered useless. Therefore, he had made a decision.
'Originally, I wanted to wait until I mastered all ten sword forms, however, it seems I'll have to give the final push here. If the first two are not enough, then...'
During this selection, the ten sword forms were not the only sword related skills Izroth had been focused on learning. Ever since he started RML, the first skill he learned as a combat master was a part of the Three Baneful Swords, the First Baneful Sword: Destruction. In the Shadahi Realm in his fight against boss monster Ekquilore, he learned the Second Baneful Sword: Kill.
Now, it was time for him to finally complete the Three Baneful Swords!
'I'll just have to rely on the third.'"Devs" is short for developers which are the people who well... Developed the game.