"This is bad. Why aren't the healing potions working?" Vanaheim thought to herself. The second she phased away and escaped from Sacred Blade's attack range, she darted forward without putting much thought into the path she chose. Since the others had gone missing, her number one priority was to safeguard her life. After all, what use would she serve to her raid group dead?
However, what Vanaheim could still not understand was why Sacred Blade had attacked her out of nowhere. Even more so, how he was able to harm her while being in the same party.
Vanaheim looked down at the trinket on her wrist and when she saw that one of the small beads had lost its light, she released a sigh inwardly.
"What a waste... But, if not for this trinket, I may have had to confront him head-on at a disadvantage. Still, it pains me to lose one of the charges in this manner. The one major downfall of the Vestige of Ajasu is how long it takes for it to recharge a single bead." Vanaheim thought to herself as she took a brief moment to check through her battle logs and system alerts as she continued to make her way down the path.
After scanning it over, Vanaheim finally started to piece together what had just transpired—or, at the very least, acquire a better understanding of her current situation.
She was shocked to discover that something like the Phantasmagoria existed in this raid. It was the only negative effect that showed up for all the members of her group. Also, it was that same Phantasmagoria that activated her Vestige of Ajasu. If not for her Vestige of Ajasu fighting off the Phantasmagoria, then she would have undoubtedly succumbed to it just as the rest of the group had done.
"I was too careless..." Vanaheim tightened her fist. As the one in charge of the group and a captain of Blue Oasis, she naturally felt obligated to ensure the survival of her guild members. Vanaheim believed that if she had just taken the risk and sent someone ahead to investigate, despite the potential dangers, then perhaps this could have all been avoided. Of course, she knew that it was too late to regret her decision.
"I can't waste time dwelling on what has already transpired. Right now, I have a more urgent matter to attend to. I have to say, I knew that Sacred Blade's class was not so simple, but who knew it possessed such a troublesome skill."
For some reason, Vanaheim was unable to heal using potions. This was due to a skill Sacred Blade used called Violet Abrasion Strike. As an Elemental Mage, Vanaheim did not possess any healing skills, therefore, she had to rely solely on potions to recover her lost HP.
The damage Sacred Blade had done to her HP was not light, especially considering the fact her class wore cloth and Sacred Blade's skill was able to pierce through her Mana Shield.
Not only that, but the violet-colored flames were still covering the area around the wound she received from the blade attack. It was dealing damage every second, but fortunately, the damage was manageable as long as she did not take any further damage.
Vanaheim arrived in a fairly open and spacious room. It was there that she chose to wait under the stealth-like effects of her Vestige of Ajasu for her affliction to end.
"The more I move, the longer the effects of the Vestige of Ajasu will last. I have to hold out until my ability to heal is restored."
As she waited in the room, Sacred Blade came rushing in and sent forth a wave of violet-colored mystical flames. However, they were not being directed at Vanaheim. Sacred Blade's attack hit nothing but air before slamming against the crystals on the walls and being absorbed.
"Has he gone mad? No... It has to be the doing of that Phantasmagoria..." Vanaheim thought to herself as she witnessed Sacred Blade engage in a fight with an imaginary enemy.
A few moments later, something unexpected happened. Vanaheim noticed that someone entered the room. What threw her off was the fact that this person had a calm demeanor and did not appear to be in an almost frenzied state.
"It's him...! He survived?" Vanaheim was shocked to see that individual alive, after all, the last time she saw them they were surrounded by dozens upon dozens of hardcore elite raid monsters.
Even if they were seemingly confident about their success, Vanaheim quickly wrote it off as their way of simply trying to act cool. Therefore, a question instantly popped into her mind—how could they possibly survive such a suicide mission? The person in question who entered the room was, of course, Izroth. Vanaheim closely observed Izroth which caused her to unknowingly furrow her brows.
"He does not appear to be affected like the others-" But, just as this thought crossed Vanaheim's mind, she felt a piercing gaze lock onto her location.
"How long do you plan on hiding? You should have already discovered that I'm not affected by this poison." Izroth stated.
He detected her so easily while she was under the effects of the Vestige of Ajasu? Just how sharp were this person's senses?!
However, Vanaheim was secretly relieved that her previous thoughts were confirmed. After all, controlling the current chaotic circumstances alone was too much for one individual to manage. But, now arose another problem.
"It's no use... The messaging system is down so I'm unable to effectively communicate with him. My HP is still low and the healing debuff is also still active. I'll risk being attacked again if I undo the effects of the Vestige of Ajasu." Vanaheim wanted to warn Izroth that Sacred Blade was not himself, however, her present circumstances did not allow for luxury.
Sacred Blade abruptly turned his focus onto Izroth and launched an attack. When Vanaheim saw this her heart dropped. Even if Izroth was not a member of Blue Oasis, he was still under the care of her guild. If she allowed him to die under her watch, how could she call herself a captain of Blue Oasis?
Though just as Vanaheim was about to cancel her Vestige of Ajasu something bizarre took place.
Izroth, who was the target of Sacred Blade's attack had disappeared into thin air! By the time he reappeared, he was already behind Sacred Blade. As the ground beneath Sacred Blade cracked and shattered, Izroth had vanished again before moving over to an isolated corner of the room.
"Fast!" Vanaheim was shocked beyond belief. How can someone be so fast?! No wonder he was confident in escaping the pursuit of so many hardcore raid monsters. She had not even blinked and yet she could not track his movement with her eyes alone whatsoever! If he had been a rogue-type class or a mage-type class with a high ranked movement skill, then it would make sense. But, how was it possible that someone with the combat master class was capable of such a feat?
However, what truly shook Vanaheim was how casually and easily he subdued Sacred Blade. He was a core member of Blue Oasis, therefore, Sacred Blade was far from being a pushover.
While Vanaheim was still in a state of shock, she noticed that Izroth seemed to be lost in his thoughts as Sacred Blade regained his movement. Without hesitation, Sacred Blade immediately resumed his attack on Izroth. Even if he was fast, Vanaheim did not believe he could avoid such a vicious attack with his back turned while being distracted. Therefore, she gritted her teeth and reluctantly canceled the effects of her Vestige of Ajasu.
"Behind you!" Vanaheim warned. Fortunately, Izroth was able to successfully avoid the unexpected attack from Sacred Blade. Though it was not a moment for celebration as Sacred Blade's eyes fell upon her.
"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.
"I just needed fifteen more seconds." Vanaheim frowned as she inwardly sighed.
"Well, it's too late now. I'll do what I must to ensure my survival." Vanaheim resolved herself as she held her hand out and an elegant staff that emitted a faint aura with three different colored embers levitating around it appeared. The embers were red, green, and white—each with a magical glowing magical symbol at the center.
"He's being controlled by some kind of influence in this place! We have to find a way to snap him out of it!" Vanaheim stated hurriedly.
Sacred Blade kicked off his back foot and dashed towards Vanaheim. Since the creature was already injured in his eyes, he decided that it was best to finish it off first before dealing with the stronger one that had recently appeared.
"I already have a method, however, he'll need to be restricted for three seconds after I apply it. Even just one second will do. Do you have a way to restrain his movements for that long?" Izroth responded nonchalantly. He had to apply the Corporeal Lucidity Moss directly to Sacred Blade who had to stay in place for at least three seconds, otherwise, it would be ineffective. Although it was not impossible for him to do so alone, he found the methods or time needed to accomplish it to be a waste.
To be honest, Izroth felt that using two charges of his Enhanced Instantaneous Movement was already too much of a loss on his part. There were too many unpredictable variables in a hardcore raid and he had to stay prepared for them. More importantly, even though his Serpent's Bite could paralyze Sacred Blade for two seconds, Izroth did not possess any other low-ranked crowd control skills and the high-ranked skills worked on an unreliable probability. Not to mention, he may end up mistakenly killing Sacred Blade if he used high-ranked skills!
A look of disbelief appeared on Vanaheim's face. He already had a method? Didn't he just enter into this room only a few moments ago? How could he already have a method? However, time was of the essence and so she decided to trust Izroth. In the end, he gained nothing by spewing lies.
"Three seconds... Alright, I can buy you that much time! I'll go on your signal! This method of yours had better work properly..." Vanaheim muttered the last part to herself as she pointed her staff at Sacred Blade. Since he wore light armor, while he was not fast, he was not too slow either. At the speed that Sacred Blade traveled and how far away Vanaheim was positioned, it would only take him a handful of seconds to close the distance between them. Therefore, they needed to act fast!
Izroth removed some of the Corporeal Lucidity Moss from his inventory. Although it was moss, the texture resembled that of a smooth medicinal paste and turned Izroth's right palm a golden color.
Izroth's overall speed was much greater than that of Sacred Blade even without the use of movement skills which made closing in a simple task.
Sacred Blade almost instinctively started to retreat as that dangerous monster accelerated out of nowhere. To fight both monsters at once was too risky. However, Sacred Blade forced his body to continue onward. He knew that letting the other monster recover would be an even riskier move. Also, the frightening speed of the monster who most recently appeared was a headache! He just had to reach the injured monster and deal the finishing blow to even out the playing field. It was all or nothing!
The violet-colored flames wrapped around Sacred Blade's blade grew in intensity. Despite the seemingly imminent threat, Vanaheim remained calm. Staying calm and collected was something easier said than done when one was under pressure, however, she was a captain of Blue Oasis for a reason.
At the same time, Izroth arrived next to Sacred Blade. In response, Sacred Blade swept out with his blade in an arc as the violet-colored flames formed a full circle before dispersing into every direction.