"Aye, Lady Shymi... I am afraid that our ancestors have long since left this world. As for their direct descendants... Perhaps you are the only one remaining. With the current state of affairs in the great sea, it is difficult to confirm." Cal stated as he shook his head in disappointment.
"Grandpa Cal, why can't I return to the great sea? Isn't the great sea our home? Since I lack any memories of the great sea and was taken away when I was just born, I cannot say that I have a long yearning for it. But... Grandpa Cal and the others are different. All of you grew up in the great sea and called it your home... Isn't everyone sad that their away from home..?" Shymi said as her voice turned meek and soft as a small frown appeared on her face.
Even though Shymi lacked most experiences of the world, she was highly intelligent for her age. She understood that if not for her, then Grandpa Cal and the other seafolks would never have left the great sea. Therefore, how could she not feel guilty whenever she thought of others abandoning their home for her sake?
"Lady Shymi, I am unable to lie to you and say that we do not miss our home. Indeed, we all miss the great sea." Cal stated.
His words seemed to sadden Shymi as the guilt in her continued to rise. There was always a small part of her that believed there were some who resented her because of this. For someone so young, this was a heavy burden to shoulder.
"However, whether it's me or anyone else in Clearwater, even if we had the choice to choose again our decision would remain unchanged. While we miss the great sea, your safety is our highest priority. When you were born, there were many people who were threatened by your existence. It has been more than 50 years since last a member of our race was born with the bloodline of our ancestors. Not to mention, a bloodline with such high purity as yours." Cal explained.
He then continued, "Without a doubt, the blood of our ancestors strongly flows within you. It is just that you have yet to awaken this bloodline. It is the power of this bloodline that those who divide and rule the great sea fear with all their hearts. It is also this bloodline that we proud seafolks who brought you to this place are willing to protect with our lives."
"Grandpa Cal, why do they fear this bloodline so much that they were willing to kill an innocent child because of it?" Shymi asked as her voice was lightly shaking from anger. She was not upset that she was their target, just that they were people who were members of the same race as her that was so heartless as to attempt an assassin on a newborn child. How could someone as kind as Grandpa Cal and the other seafolks be apart of the same race which had those kinds of savage and ruthless people within it?
"I knew the day would come when we would have this conversation. However, I never thought it would be sparked by some randomly passing oversiders." Cal said as he closed his eyes. A few moments later, he reopened his eyes with a look of clarity within them.
He then continued, "Lady Shymi, I planned on waiting a few more years before telling you this, but I believe that you are ready to know the truth. You want to understand why those who hold power in the great sea fear your bloodline? Even though you possess the bloodline of our ancestors, it is not simply because of this. If it were just this, then while you would be considered a headache in the future for those in power, you would have still been left alone for the most part as long as you never stepped over any lines."
"But, your bloodline is different from that of the individual who was born more than 50 years ago. Lady Shymi, you not only possess the bloodline of our ancestors but the bloodline of the Sea Goddess Eotl. Throughout history, those who awaken the Sea Goddess Eotl's bloodline have a certain ability known as the Sea Goddess Eotl's Song. It is this ability that creates order in the otherwise chaotic great sea. The Sea Goddess Eotl's Song dominates all creatures of the sea no matter how powerful they may be. It is a voice that no sea creature or seafolk can resist against." Cal said in a solemn tone.
Shymi widened her eyes from shock. She had the bloodline of the Sea Goddess Eotl?! But... How was this possible? No, it should be impossible!
"This..." Shymi was rendered completely speechless, however, a few moments later she was able to collect herself enough to say what was on her mind.
"How is this possible..? Grandpa Cal, didn't you say that Her Majesty Kashysh was the last member of our race who possessed the bloodline of the Sea Goddess Eotl?" Shymi questioned with an expression of disbelief. Since Kashysh was the last to possess the bloodline of the Sea Goddess Eotl, then since she did not have any children or siblings, the bloodline should have been cut off forever.
"Indeed, the words you speak are correct. The bloodline should have ended after Her Majesty Kashysh's disappearance, however, I wish things were so simple... Lady Shymi, do not burden yourself with this knowledge. You must remember that no matter what happens, we will never allow those people to have their way." Cal sighed deeply as he turned his attention back towards the oversiders swimming away into the distance.
As for Shymi, her thoughts were all over the place. She had a feeling that she was different from everyone else, but she never thought that it would be something this shocking. No wonder Grandpa Cal and the seafolks always treated her with so much respect and care.
"The Sea Goddess Eotl's Song... If I learn this, Grandpa Cal and the others can return home to the great sea, right? If that's so, then I have to try my hardest to awaken my bloodline, otherwise..." Shymi thought silently to herself as she also turned to look into the distance towards the oversiders who were slowly disappearing from sight.
It was because of those oversiders that this conversation came up. She secretly thanked those oversiders in her heart as she watched their silhouettes fade out of view.
"Surely, one day..." Shymi said softly to herself.
Izroth and his party swam until they reached the outer area of the True Settlement of Clearwater. At the edge was a massive dome that stretched for hundreds of kilometers. However, one could not see into the dome due to it being blocked by a strange energy that resembled that of a purple cloud of smoke.
"This should be the dome Niflheim talked about." Izroth said as he observed the swirling purple cloud of smoke. There was a bizarre aura being emitted from the purple clouds that made one instinctively wary of it.
"Then, our meeting spot should be just below this place." Zi Yi stated as she looked down towards the depths of the water. Although there was no end in sight, one could see a narrow opening not too far away from their current position.
"Let's go." Izroth said as he swam downward towards the opening and enter through along with the others. The moment he did so, he was dragged in by a strong force and a few seconds later, he was floating inside of a small lake. Although it could be called a lake, from its size that was only around 50 meters in diameter, one could tell that it was man-made.
'Blue Oasis was able to find a raid hidden away in a place like this?'
Blue Oasis must have used a vast amount of resources and manpower exploring Amaharpe and the surrounding lands for someone to have found this place. It was likely that luck played a huge role in this discovery.
When the others finally turned up, Izroth pointed upward as he began to swim in that direction. It did not take long for him and his party to reach the surface area of the lake. Surprisingly, they were greeted by a gentle breeze that brushed across the skin on their faces. Air! There was air down here! Not just that, but there was even land to walk on. If one had been suddenly teleported to this place, they would not believe that they were underwater.
"That explanation isn't good enough! As of right now, you are suspended for one month without pay! You can consider this a light punishment. If we fail due to your mishaps... Don't even think about getting off with a simple one-month suspension." A voice sounded from the distance.
'Hm? Looks like they're just about to finish things up here. It seems our timing isn't too bad.'
The voice that sounded cold and furious was none other than Asgard. At the moment, he was handing down punishment to the player who recklessly opened the entrance to the raid. To be truthful, Asgard wanted to directly toss this person out of Blue Oasis, however, he did not want to risk lowering morale when there was so much at stake. Therefore, the punishment he served could be considered extremely light. After all, how much had gone into this operation?
When Asgard heard the sound of people emerging from the water, he regained his composure and calmed himself. He did not want outsiders seeing any signs of internal strife or disorder within Blue Oasis. Now that Izroth and his party had arrived, he would set this matter to rest for now.
Izroth and his party exited the lake and went over to meet up with the members of Blue Oasis. There were more players than Izroth remembered entering the tube. However, he quickly pieced things together when he saw that one of the grayed-out names on his raid party list was visible once again.
'These must be the players tasked with guarding the entrance to the raid.'
In total, there were 25 additional members of Blue Oasis present. In the end, Blue Oasis did not want to take any chances of another guild entering this place before them.
"Now that we're all present, Captain Niflheim will explain the arrangements we've made. Everyone, make sure you pay close attention. Remember, this is for the benefit of our Blue Oasis!" Asgard announced in a grand manner.
"Yes!" The members of Blue Oasis all roared in unison.
Niflheim stepped forward and said, "We will form two raid groups. Raid group A will consist of those attempting the Hardcore difficulty. As for raid group B, they will be focused on the Normal difficulty. The task of raid group B is not to clear the raid, but to act as scouts and raid group A's main source of information. If by chance group B is able to clear the raid, they are not permitted to do so. This has already been agreed upon and failure in this regard will not result in a simple one-month suspension."
He then continued, "Group B's job is to get to any boss fight as fast as possible and learn as much as they can about its abilities. This way, once group A reaches that same boss monster, we will already have a general idea of some of its skills and attack patterns."
Since group A would be attempting the raid on the Hardcore difficulty, their pace would be slower than that of group B. Therefore, Niflheim's idea was to use this to their advantage and have group B act as real-time scouts that delivered information as soon as they obtained it. He was not worried about them trying to show off and clear the raid since he had already informed them of the punishment for doing so.