At the moment, Emberheart was still confused as to what had just occurred. One minute she was fighting for her life against some strange creatures and the next minute her raid group had appeared out of nowhere! What was happening?
"Everyone... Wait—where are we? I was just in a dark room and... Just what's going on?" Emberheart massaged her temples as she tried to process everything.
"You were affected by something called Phantasmagoria..." One of the Blue Oasis members, False Summit, went on to explain the details of their current situation to Emberheart. By the time he finished speaking, Emberheart was left with an expression of disbelief.
There was such a dangerous thing in this place?! From the way False Summit explained it to her, if not for that Izroth guy locating the cure, then wouldn't things have taken a turn for the worse?
But, just as those thoughts crossed her mind, she suddenly remembered that Izroth was the same player who stayed behind to draw the attention of the monsters outside of the Sprite Dwellings. She had personally witnessed him being surrounded by dozens upon dozens of monsters just before she stepped into the Sprite Dwellings. How was it possible that he escaped and made it to this place in one piece?
As if sensing Emberheart's thoughts, False Summit shrugged and shook his head as he said, "I know what you're thinking. I, myself, still find it difficult to believe. If not for Captain Vanaheim being a personal witness, I would still have some doubts. But, what matters now is that we're all safe and we have him to thank for it." False Summit and Emberheart looked over towards Izroth.
'The Sprite Dwellings is more massive than I thought. Without my Energy Vision Sense, I'm unable to grasp its full size.'
Izroth was exploring the environment around him. He had already discovered the way out through one of the nearby passageways. Now, he was simply taking some time to examine the area. But, he soon discovered that there was nothing of interest left in this space.
'Although everyone is more than capable of taking care of themselves, there are too many unknown variables in this hardcore raid to simply ignore. I have to find a way for us to safely regroup as soon as possible.'
Izroth could only hope that Luna and the others had not come across something as terrifying as the Phantasmagoria. It would not be an overstatement to call it a raid group killer. Unless one was prepared beforehand, it was almost guaranteed to completely wipe out a raiding party! Even though Izroth was able to control the situation with his group, who knew what kind of hardships the other groups were facing?
"What's with this guy? Is he really just a Combat Master?" Vanaheim thought to herself as she carefully observed Izroth. Although she still found it hard to believe, Vanaheim already knew the answer to that question. After all, the party interface clearly displayed Izroth's class as a Combat Master.
To be honest, Vanaheim was somewhat skeptical about Niflheim's decision to invite Izroth and his party to join them on such an important raid for Blue Oasis. But, she was slowly starting to understand why Niflheim was so eager to create a solid connection with this individual.
Strength, connections, and influence—these were the traits necessary for a new top power to emerge within RML and Izroth possessed them all in abundance. She believed that while it may be nearly impossible to tie such a person down to their guild as a member, at the very least, creating strong ties with him should be possible.
"The Mystical Realm Palace, a connection to the mysterious Pill Emperor, and taking the highest achievement in the Protectors of Amaharpe event... I'm afraid we've waited too long to make a move." Vanaheim sighed inwardly.
She felt that if they had given Niflheim more leeway in the matter, then perhaps Izroth would have already joined them back in Opal Town! However, even the starting position of a commander was not enough to entice him at that time. This naturally caused some of the Blue Oasis captains, such as Vanaheim, to believe that Izroth was being too arrogant and did not deserve such treatment from their Blue Oasis. But now, Vanaheim felt as if their offer of making Izroth a commander may have not seemed sincere at all in his eyes.
"Captain, what are your orders?" Ace of Saint asked.
Vanaheim snapped out of her thoughts and reorganized herself. That's right, now was not the time to allow her thoughts to wander. While they avoided the worst-case scenario, the other groups may not have been so fortunate. If Izroth had not appeared when he did, Vanaheim predicted that at least two members would have died before she even had the chance to discover the cure to the Phantasmagoria—and that would have still been the best outcome.
"Our main goal has not changed. We will find a way to regroup with the main raid group. Let's-" Just as Vanaheim was about to give the order to proceed onward, she suddenly received an alert from the system. However, she was not alone. The alert also popped up for the other Blue Oasis members present.
Needless to say, the alert was received by Izroth as well. But, when he saw the contents of the system alert, it caused him to narrow his eyes in response.
'Why do I have a bad feeling about this?'
〈System Alert: 1/1 Locate «Ooudamu's Pool».〉
Someone had just located Ooudamu's Pool! Did this mean that they had also discovered the location of the first raid boss, Ooudamu? This was the main question on everyone's mind. After all, besides those who had just uncovered the location of Ooudamu's Pool, no one knew for certain if the actual boss was stationed in that area. If the raid boss was indeed in that area and that group accidentally engaged it in a fight, then there was only one outcome—death.
"We will speed up our pace. Move with haste, but do not ignore your environment. Let's go." Vanaheim commanded as a sense of urgency flashed through her mind. They could not afford to lose a single member of the raiding party or else their overall power would be greatly reduced. If they lost an entire group of six players then this raid would, without a doubt, end in failure!
Izroth and his group safely made their way through the passageway. There were a couple of normal monsters along the way, however, Vanaheim was able to create a path that avoided direct contact with them. This allowed the group to proceed onward at a steady pace without getting into any unnecessary battles.
'Using low-level and mid-level magic skills in this manner... It would seem that the talent pool of top guilds is not small after all.'
Vanaheim's creativity caused Izroth to reevaluate his original opinion of the top guilds. Previously, he thought that it would be at least another month or so before they discovered things like enhanced skills. But, he felt that he had underestimated top players like Vanaheim.
Using just three skills and with some assistance from one of the Blue Oasis members, Ace of Saint, she had created a way to avoid aggroing the monsters with little to no effort!
Vanaheim used three magic skills. Silent Casting, Earth Wall, and Elemental Reshape.
Silent Casting was a mid-level skill that allowed Vanaheim to cast a spell without attracting the aggro of nearby monsters. As for Earth Wall, it did just as its name stated and created a wall of earth. Then, using Elemental Reshape which gave Vanaheim the ability to manipulate the shape of existing elements made out of her mana, she created a dome around the monsters.
At the same time, Ace of Saint used two skills on the party—Noise Suppression and Remove Scent. Although both were low-level skills and was almost useless in direct combat against monsters, they possessed low cooldowns and mana usage. Not to mention, they could also be used on allies.
With Vanaheim completely obstructing the view of the monsters and Ace of Saint erasing their footsteps and smell, the normal monsters did not even realize that they were passing by!
"Captain Vanaheim is amazing as always. To immediately come up with this solution so that we do not have to waste our time and energy fighting. Our captain is amazing." Emberheart could not help but smile as she commented and sighed in admiration.
"What do you expect? When it comes to Elemental Mages, the captain's on a whole different level. Most Elemental Mages can only use one primary element and one or two secondary elements that usually acts as a support to the primary element. However, for Captain Vanaheim it's different." False Summit stated.
"Ah, are you referring to the incident at the mage building in Amaharpe?" Emberheart asked.
"As I thought, it would be strange for a member of our Blue Oasis not to know about it. Then, you should be aware that Captain Vanaheim did not acquire a secondary element. Instead... she possesses all elements as her primary element. She's a Perfect Elementalist." False Summit said.
He then continued, "Some say that if she gets serious, even Captain Road is not her match."
A Perfect Elementalist! It was something that all Elemental Mages dreamed of obtaining within RML. Why? Because it allowed a player to freely use any of the elements as their primary element! This meant that a player would have more access to high-tier skills, as well as, a highly versatile skillset.
As for secondary elements, their overall power was much weaker than that of an Elemental Mage's primary element and the level of mastery one could obtain with them was limited. But, if one was a Perfect Elementalist, that limit did not exist for them! If that was the case, then their power was theoretically boundless.
"You two, focus on your surroundings. Did you forget where we are?" Vanaheim spoke in a stern tone.
Emberheart and False Summit gave a small apology as they ceased their conversation.
'Perfect Elementalist? I see. It would seem she still has many unplayed cards in her possession.'
Izroth was aware of the term Perfect Elementalist, however, this was his first time meeting one in person and seeing them in action. Since virtually everything was made up of the basic elements, Izroth understood the limitless potential behind a Perfect Elementalist.
'Blue Oasis' fortune is quite good.'
As this thought crossed Izroth's mind, a myriad of alarm bells sounded in his mind. It was his Soul Sense ability warning him of potential great danger. The spike in danger was sudden and it emerged seemingly out of nowhere.
'Where did this come from?'
While there was a dangerous presence constantly spread throughout the entire Sprite Dwellings, Izroth was well aware of it and continued to pay it close attention. But, the warning he experienced just now dwarfed that of what he sensed before.
"There's a dangerous threat up ahead." Izroth stated in a calm tone as he did not halt his steps.
"Dangerous threat? Could it be that we are headed towards the boss room?" Vanaheim asked as a visible frown appeared on her face. She knew of Izroth's ability to sense danger as it was how they were able to safely locate and cure everyone without running into any monsters along the way. Therefore, she did not doubt his words. However, he had never used the term "dangerous threat". This indicated that whatever was up ahead could not be taken lightly.
"It's a strong possibility. Either way, we should be prepared to-" Izroth was speaking, however, he abruptly stopped mid-sentence.
All of a sudden, a flickering image of Izroth could be seen in the place where he had just stood.
Everyone was taken aback by Izroth's figure flickering in and out of existence. What was going on? However, before they knew it, Izroth had disappeared entirely! But, there was a trail of fading flickering afterimages that led deeper into the Sprite Dwellings.
"Is that a movement skill? So fast!" Ace of Saint exclaimed. Though he and the other members of Blue Oasis did not have time to be impressed.
"Everyone, follow the afteriamges!" Vanaheim ordered as she and the rest of the group followed after Izroth. For Izroth to suddenly take off like that could only mean one thing—the situation up ahead was serious.
A few seconds after his Soul Sense went off, Izroth noticed that the restriction placed on his Energy Vision Sense had been lifted. Without hesitation, he used his Energy Vision Sense to gauge his surroundings and found something shocking!
He uncovered six flames, however, one of the six flames was bizarre. It was almost as if it was mixed in with one of the flames creating a mysterious seventh flame. But, it was that same flame that was the source of the danger!
However, that was not the reason for his sudden departure. The flame that was infused with the mysterious seventh flame was one which with he was familiar!
'That flame unmistakably belongs to her... Luna.'