Sacred Blade swung the blade in his hand out before him in a perfect arc as a violet color wave of mystical energy rushed out towards Izroth.
The energy wave emitted a high pitched frequency noise that made one want to instinctively cover their ears.
At the same time, Izroth's Soul Sense caused alarm bells to go off in his head. This meant that the attack headed towards him was capable of causing him actual harm!
'It seems my previous theory was correct. Even though we're in the same raid party, the Phantasmagoria must have me registered as his enemy.'
Just as Sacred Blade's attack was about to collide with Izroth, his entire figure disappeared.
The violet energy continued forward and slammed into the crystals on the wall. But, instead of the crystals being shattered from the force of the attack and causing a small contained explosion, everything turned silent. The high pitched noise vanished and the violet energy wave could no longer be seen. As for the crystals that were struck by Sacred Blade's attack, they briefly lit up before becoming dim once more.
Sacred Blade was startled and immediately went on high alert after seeing that the creature before him had disappeared. In his eyes, Izroth was a shadowy humanoid figure with piercing red eyes that released a terrifying dark energy.
Sacred Blade did not believe that one strike was enough to eliminate such a creature. Besides, his attack felt as if it failed to connect to anything just now. What was even more bizarre were the crystals on the walls that appeared to have just canceled out the energy behind his Flowing Mystic Wave skill.
'For now, I'll limit his movement.'
Izroth used his Enhanced Instantaneous Movement to avoid the Flowing Mystic Wave before it could hit him. He then arrived behind Sacred Blade taking advantage of his blind spot to strike.
Izroth held his hand forward as a strong invisible force suddenly descended upon Sacred Blade.
The invisible force caused cracks to form on the ground beneath Sacred Blade's feet as he struggled with the simple task of standing up straight!
"What kind of skill is this?" Sacred Blade said to himself as he did not hesitate to use his skill Breaking Chains. This skill allowed him to break free of all crowd control effects and temporarily granted him a huge boost to his resistance against all incoming crowd control effects for a few seconds. It was a skill that could completely alter the course of a battle!
But, just as Sacred Blade was about to retaliate, he realized that his Breaking Chains skill was ineffective! No matter how much he struggled, it was as if gravity itself was working against him. Why didn't it work? Breaking Chains was supposed to clear all crowd control effects from the user and yet he was still under the influence of that strange creature's skill. Could it be that he was facing one of those rare encounter mobs that only appeared once every blue moon in certain dungeons and raids?
While Sacred Blade was struggling to break free and regain his movement, Izroth wasted no time as his figure disappeared before reappearing in the area of the room without crystals.
'I'm currently lacking proper containment skills. There's the Lightning Cage on my Sword of the Storm, but it requires too much preparation. I'll have to make do with using Concealed Heavy Wounds. It can only hold him for a few seconds, however, that's all the time I'll need.'
The reason Sacred Blade's Breaking Chains was ineffective had to due with the fact that Izroth's Concealed Heavy Wounds from the Five Way Imprint inscribed onto Izroth's Sword of The Storm was not classified as a crowd control skill. Therefore, even if Breaking Chains was capable of removing stuns, slows, and other crowd control effects, it was rendered utterly useless against Izroth's Concealed Heavy Wounds!
Not to mention, Izroth further strengthed the effect by pouring several points of essence into the skill. This made it so that Sacred Blade could barely move a step under the increased weight.
When Izroth approached the yellow moss, an alert popped up from the system as he examined it.
Item Name: Corporeal Lucidity Moss
Usage: A potent byproduct left behind by Arisia Crystals that have been infected with a specific form of poison. It can be directly applied to those affected to remove and grant permanent immunity to the specific form of poison.
Special Note: This moss makes a lovely decoration for your magic plant garden.
Izroth inwardly shook his head when he read over the special note of the Corporeal Lucidity Moss. A lovely decoration for a garden? Who would come to such a place to gather this stuff just to use it as a decoration in their garden?
Izroth swiftly collected all the Corporeal Lucidity Moss in the area. Overall, it was not much, but just one should be enough to clear the Phantasmagoria that affected Sacred Blade. As for the rest, he would use it on any others he came across who also fell under the influence of the poison.
'Hopefully, the specific form of poison mentioned in the usage is the Phantasmagoria, otherwise, I'll have to use a more heavy-handed method.'
While Izroth would try his best to cleanse Sacred Blade of the Phantasmagoria, if all else failed, he would not hesitate to do what had to be done. After all, if left alone, who knew how far the poison would go or what it would drive Sacred Blade to do? For a hardcore raid that already presented too many unknown variables, simply leaving Sacred Blade alone was not a risk that could be taken.
"Behind you!" A voice called out towards Izroth. However, before the voice even finished calling out, Izroth had already started to move. He used Light Feather Footwork as his movement speed briefly soared to new heights.
Two violet-colored waves of energy left a scar in the shape of an X on the walls that Izroth had just stood next to only moments ago. But, the energy did not dissipate like last time as it did when it struck the crystals. Instead, purple flames creeped out of the X and continued to burn fiercely.
The effect of Concealed Heavy Wounds had worn off and Sacred Blade could finally move freely again.
"Is this thing toying with me?" Sacred Blade thought to himself as a cold look appeared in his eyes. When he turned around, all he saw was the shadowy creature ignoring him and staring at some moss in the corner. Why didn't it attack when he was defenseless? Out of the kindness of its heart? No, the only reason he could think of was that the shadowy creature did not view him as a threat. How could he swallow such humiliation?
'They finally decided to show themselves. But, that voice just now... It's her?'
Izroth looked over in the direction that the warning came from and noticed that it was Vanaheim!
'Did she use some kind of stealth item to hide?'
Vanaheim's class was Elemental Mage. Needless to say, they were not known for having stealth-like skills, therefore, Izroth believed that she must have used some kind of item that mimicked the effects of a stealth skill.
The moment Vanaheim revealed herself, Sacred Blade's gaze locked onto her.
Vanaheim immediately realized this and a troubled expression appeared on her face.
"This is bad... I gave away my position too early. Why did that guy have to show up now of all times?" Vanaheim thought to herself. There was a small and concentrated violet-colored flame located near the center of her chest that matched the same flames that were aimed at Izroth earlier.
A few moments ago just as the raid party entered the Sprite Dwellings...
"Even though Captain Abstract warned us of this, hearing about it and experiencing it firsthand are two different things." A male with sunken yellow eyes and short slightly curly blue hair spoke. The clothing he wore was somewhat baggy yet elaborate. On his back was a metallic weapon shaped like an upside-down V. He had the player name False Summit, and he was one of the core Blue Oasis members placed in the clean-up damage dealer group of the raid party.
Vanaheim opened her system interface and tried to send a message over the raid chat, however, it was currently grayed out and disabled. Indeed, long-range communication was impossible in this place. This increased the danger of their situation more than tenfold, especially when considering their lack of a proper tank.
"I am unable to contact the others. We will have to find the way out by ourselves. Pay close attention to our surroundings and keep an eye out for any visible exits. Also... I don't know why, but this place feels dangerous. Whatever you do, don't stray too far away from the group." Vanaheim said.
"Yes." Everyone responded in unison. Since Vanaheim was the highest-ranking individual present, of course, no one would disobey the orders she set. Not to mention, Vanaheim was known as being one of the more stringent captains in their Blue Oasis. If they got on her bad side, who knew what the potential consequences would be? They may even be demoted from their status as a core member!
After giving a few orders, Vanaheim and the other members of Blue Oasis started to move deeper into the Sprite Dwellings using extreme caution.
However, as the group journeyed deeper into the Sprite Dwellings, they felt that the atmosphere had started to become heavier.
At the front of the group was Sacred Blade. Although he was not a tank, he was the player with the most HP and his Mystic Bladesmaster class wore light armor. As for the others, Vanaheim and Emberheart were both magic users, while False Summit and Ace of Saint were classes that required the player to wear leather armor. Therefore, Sacred Blade was the best choice to act as the temporary vanguard until they met up with the rest of the raid group.
The group stopped before a path that split off into six separate directions. There was no clear indicator as to what lied at the end of any of the paths and this caused them to be at an impasse.
Vanaheim walked to the front of the group as she closely examined each of the six paths. Normally at times like this, Abstract and a few others would venture ahead and check each path to find a secure route. Unfortunately, no one present possessed a suitable scouting class. Although Ace of Saint had a few skills that could be used to explore, most of them were low-tier which made it too risky for him to venture ahead alone. Not to mention, their group size was already small and losing even one member was something Vanaheim was unwilling to do.
"Which path is it?" Vanaheim thought to herself as she inwardly furrowed her brows. If she chose wrong, would she lead this group to their demise? But, what if the others were waiting for them at the end of one of these paths? What if this was just a trap? Was there an absolute correct path? These were the questions that flooded Vanaheim's mind.
However, while Vanaheim was deep in thought, a system alert went off. But, before she could properly check the alert, she felt an overwhelming sense of danger wash over her from behind.
Vanaheim's eyes widened as a wave of intense heat with an odd cooling sensation brushed past her. As if acting on nothing but muscle memory, Vanaheim cast Mana Shield to protect herself.
An eerie silence filled the room. Vanaheim found that her movements had become limited. As she looked down, she noticed a blade covered in violet-colored flames was sticking out of her chest. More surprising was the fact that her Mana Shield had disintegrated! But even more shocking was that she actually recognized the blade!
"Y-you...! What's the meaning of this, Sacred Blade?!" Vanaheim said in an outraged tone. However, there was no response as she was met only with a deathly silence. When she looked back, all she could see was a distant look in Sacred Blade's eyes followed by endless darkness. The other members of the group had disappeared!
At the same time, a change occurred on the trinket around Vanaheim's wrist with the appearance of a bracelet. Attached to the bracelet was three beads that emitted a faint glow, however, one of the lights on the beads dimmed before being extinguished.
When that happened, Vanaheim's body became transparent as if it were phasing out of existence!