Ding! You have been awarded 1,155 EXP!
You have leveled up to level 13!
You have been awarded +3 stat points for leveling up!
You have been awarded +1 skill point for leveling up!
-x1 Concentrated Demonic Beast Core
-x1 True Blood of the Shadahi
"The EXP these things give is amazing, it's more than a 50% increase from what the 'Valley Lurker' gave us!" Halls almost wanted to say forget the quest and focus on farming these monsters to level up. However, he understood that he would end up regretting it in the end because the quest reward included a rare piece of equipment. He was already in possession of a rare weapon and so if he received another rare item on top of that, then wouldn't he be comparable to those top-ranked guild players? He might even surpass them with gear alone!
"It's because the 'Valley Lurker' was, in the end, a normal type of monster. The thing we just fought was of the elite rank so naturally, it would give us more EXP and better rewards" Luna spoke while also being pleased with the amount of EXP they gained. If they kept things going at this pace then all of them should be able to level up again in no time at all.
"We should hurry and loot so we can continue towards the palace. Since that creature was on patrol, if it doesn't report back at its usual time then whatever or whoever is in command of this realm or that palace will grow suspicious" Izroth said as he sheathed his 'Nameless Blade'. Of course, he wasn't entirely sure that they would show up in greater numbers, but it was safe to assume so given the name of the Shadahi. It would not be a problem to face one, two, or even a bit more. However, this was the realm of the Shadahi and they could not die due to the passive they possessed. Therefore, if they kept fighting and the Shadahi kept coming wave after wave, not only would they fail the quest but it could lead to all of their deaths!
Understanding Izroth's intentions, Halls hurriedly picked up the loot. He first divided the coins evenly giving each member, including himself, 2 silver and 50 bronze coins. As for the other two items, each person rolled for them. The 'Concentrated Demonic Beast Core' went to Luna while the 'True Blood of the Shadahi' found itself in the ownership of Izroth. Halls could only envy how lucky Izroth was when it came to rolling for loot.
Crafting Material Name: True Blood of the Shadahi
Usage: This item is used in crafting mid to high ranked potions. Adding this item to any batch of potions will increase their strength by 20%.
Special Note: This item cannot be used on low ranked potions as it will overpower the entire mixture.
Izroth examined the crafting material and thought that it should sell for a decent amount. He was no alchemist and so he had no use for it. "That Metronome guy might be interested in something like this" Izroth thought to himself as he placed it into his inventory.
The group took a few moments to wait for Luna and Scarlet to regain their MP. Thanks to Luna's skill 'Healing Essence', Halls was pretty much back to full HP by now so they did not have for too wait long.
They finally started moving again heading towards that palace in the distance.
10 minutes later the group could faintly see the palace just ahead of them. It was barely discernible due to a weird fluctuation of energy dancing around the whole structure. For some reason, a strong cold and oppressive aura stayed lingering within the atmosphere. Though all of them were completely baffled when they saw the sight in front of the palace.
"This... Isn't this a little impossible?" Halls eyes were widened in shock.
Luna let out a long sigh, "It seems like an S-ranked quest is an S-ranked quest after all"
"Hey... Shouldn't we turn back? Isn't it better to just give up instead of running to our deaths willingly?" Scarlet spoke with a gloomy expression on her face. She did not want to go into that monstrosity down below and end up dead!
Izroth narrowed his eyes as he observed the scene before him. In front of the palace was a large group of Shadahi numbering within the thousands! It appeared as though not even a drop of water would be allowed to penetrate through their defenses. Izroth felt that with his 'Flickering Steps' and 'Shadow Movement' he would have no trouble sneaking past all of the Shadahi without them being aware. However, there were two things wrong with that plan. The first was obvious and that was the fact the party would not be able to come along with him if he were to do that. The second thing wrong was he held no clues as to what lied inside the palace. Even if he did make it inside unscathed, he would have no way of escaping if he were to be surrounded by thousands of them within the palace walls as well. Even if he was extremely confident in his combat abilities, he did not currently possess the strength to handle thousands of enemies at once.
To Izroth this all did not add up. It was only an S-ranked quest, not SS or SSS. Even though the difficulty level was supposed to be high for this kind of mission, this was obviously an impossible task for even 6 players at level 15. Given how logical the system was, it would not assign them something that could not be completed. "There must be another way in..." this was the thought that came across Izroth's mind. He narrowed his eyes while scrutinizing every single angle of the palace.
Everyone else was looking helpless and felt that trying to continue the quest would be just as Scarlet said, running to their deaths willing.
Luna was trying to think of a possible solution to the situation. Even though she could not see through things as fast as Izroth, she was still very talented when it came to thinking during difficult times. To be honest, she also felt a bit helpless but that did not mean she would give up without trying. Just as she started to form a theory similar to Izroth's, she heard a voice sound out.
"There has to be another way in. I'm sure of it" Izroth was the one who spoke sounding confident in his words.
Luna's facial expression still appeared as though she were in deep thought as she said, "I've come to the same conclusion... There must be a hidden entrance. If not, then that means our quest objective must be in another location within the realm of the Shadahi" she felt given the heavy guard of the place it was highly likely that this was the location they needed to visit. But, she would not totally rule out the possibility of it being the incorrect place.
"If that's the case then, where do we even begin to look?" Halls said as he started looking everywhere. This palace was enormous and if they wasted time searching all the way around it then there was a chance they would never find it before the time limit of the quest was up.
Izroth thought to himself for a moment before finally deciding on their next course of action. He first put 4 stat points into his agility stat and the last remaining 2 stat points into his attack stat. With this, his agility was now at 150 and his attack went up to 200. "Stay here. I'm going to search the surroundings" before anyone could even respond Izroth's figure flickered as he moved at an insane speed towards the palace. He used the skill 'Flickering Steps' and his agility shot up to a monstrous 600. All the party could see was the slight flickering afterimages of Izroth.
"How can someone be so fast...?" Halls sighed and thought how cool it must feel to move so fast. There was a small part of him that even wished he chose the Combat Master as his class. But there was also another part of him that knew how troublesome it was to actually play such an unpredictable class. Only people like Izroth could make it look as though it were as easy as breathing air and drinking water.
Izroth only had 20 seconds so he must act quickly. He flickered throughout the outside area of the palace. The hidden entrance had to be in a location that lacked a proper guard or else it would not be hidden. Therefore, the question wasn't how he would find it, but rather when. He maintained a safe distance from the Shadahi grouped up around the palace as his eyes darted all around, "Where is it...?" he thought to himself as the time was ticking away on his skill bit by bit. As Izroth was zooming by a certain place, something caught his attention from the corner of his eye. "Found it...!"
Halls, Luna, and Scarlet were waiting for Izroth to return from his search.
Scarlet kept to herself not bothering to socialize with either of them.
Luna and Halls felt a bit awkward having her around without Izroth nearby. After all, he was the one who personally invited her to join their party. But it seemed as though she had no interest in holding a conversation with them.
Just as things were growing more awkward, they felt something rush past them before stopping nearby. They were all alerted and were about to defend themselves, but they noticed it was a flickering image of Izroth and so they relaxed.
Izroth's 'Flickering Steps' finally ended as he looked normal once again. "I found the way in" he got straight to the point.
The others felt relieved when they heard he'd found another way in. They had a chance to complete this quest after all!
"I'll lead the way" Izroth started walking but he was not going towards the palace but rather off to the side. The other party members looked a bit confused by his actions. Weren't they going away from the palace? However, since Izroth said he found the way in there was no reason to trick them. They all followed closely behind him.
After walking for approximately 12 minutes, Izroth stopped in the middle of the wasteland still a bit away from the palace. Everyone was looking around for the entrance but found nothing except more wasteland. Just as someone was about to ask where the entrance was, Izroth reached down towards the ground and pulled upward revealing a small entryway. Most players would be stumped by this part of the quest, as the path was so well hidden that if one did not have sharp senses, a skill, or stumble upon it by chance then the probability of them find this small underground door was almost 0%!
"Let's go" Izroth was the first to go inside as everyone else followed in after him.
It was damp within this narrow passageway, but a gentle red light lit up the entire underground path. It was strange because there was no visible source of lighting to be found anywhere nearby.
A few moments later the group came upon a small door located on the ceiling with some wooden stairs leading up to it.
Izroth gave Halls a slight nod as Halls moved to the front of the group and slowly opened up the small door and took a look around to make sure the area was safe to exit from. He did not see any Shadahi and so gave a thumbs up before climbing all the way out. Everyone else trailed behind and as they left the underground passageway they all received an alert from the system.
Ding! You have entered the 'Palace of Syxirius, The Unworthy'!
They had successfully penetrated the defenses of the palace and arrived on the inside!