In RML, it was a well-known fact that when it came to resisting crowd control or negative effects, boss monsters were without equal. As a hardcore raid boss, and based on the knowledge gained from the fight so far, Vanaheim concluded that Ooudamu's resistance level was somewhere between 70-80%.
With such a massive resistance percentage to crowd control, skills that should normally last 3 seconds, would only stay in effect for 0.6-0.9 seconds. As for the skills with a lower duration, they were practically negligible!
Therefore, when Izroth stated that the voice magic would remain disabled indefinitely, how could Vanaheim maintain a straight face? But, once she took into consideration that Izroth had yet to deceive her, Vanaheim reluctantly accepted his word at face value.
Besides, what would she do? Demand that Izroth willingly gives up and explain all of his secrets down to the very last detail? Even if they were not currently in the middle of a boss fight, she knew that such a request would be extremely inappropriate.
"After this raid is over, we must get this man to join our Blue Oasis. Or, at the very least, not become his enemy." Vanaheim spoke under her breath. She then cleared her mind and returned her full focus onto the battle before her. After all, she could not allow herself to become so easily distracted even if the voice magic had been suppressed.
"Filthy oversiders! This place shall be your grave!" Ooudamu cried out as multiple miniature tidal waves rose from her location and traveled out in every direction. These tidal waves forced back the members of the raid group who were within melee range and created a layer of water on the floor of the boss room that was approximately 30 centimeters high.
〈Battle Alert: Player movement speed has been reduced by 20% for 10 seconds!〉
〈Battle Alert: Ooudamu's movement speed has been increased by 20% for 10 seconds!〉
〈Battle Alert: Ooudamu's damage has been increased by 20% for 10 seconds!〉
Although the tidal waves did not inflict any damage to the raid group, the effects were more than enough to make up for it. By reducing the raid group's movement speed and increasing her own, Ooudamu had an easier time avoiding attacks and launching her own. But, the biggest threat was, of course, the increase to her damage.
Out of nowhere, Ooudamu felt a heavy force descend upon her. Even with the movement speed bonus she received, Ooudamu's speed had somehow become slower than it was before!
Not too long after Ooudamu was affected by the unknown force, a narrow fissure opened beneath her. The fissure was not large enough for one to fall through, however, it contained a sharp sword intent that erupted from within and struck Ooudamu.
When Ooudamu was hit by the sword intent, not only did she receive some damage, but her movement speed had decreased again. Just as this took place, a blur appeared next to Ooudamu followed by the sound of clapping thunder.
The attack caused the water surrounding Ooudamu to shoot into the air forming a curtain. This made its appearance resemble that of a geyser violently erupting.
A blade pierced through the curtain of water as it began to fall. The tip of the blade was aimed directly at Ooudamu's throat and released an overbearing pressure. Being able to aim at such a narrow target with an obstructed view spoke volumes of attacker's skill.
As the curtain of water around Ooudamu fell, it caused the surrounding water to ripple violently. What stood before her was no blur. It was the same individual who continuously ruined her fun!
"Detestable Oversider...! You... You...!" Ooudamu scowled. Her tone was no longer playful as she glared at her attacker who was none other than Izroth!
After using Light Feather Footwork to boost his mobility, Izroth immediately used the active effect of his Concealed Heavy Wounds Inscription to increase Ooudamu's total mass. Naturally, this made it difficult for her to move as freely as before, but he did not stop there.
With flawless timing, Izroth executed his Fourth Sword Form: Dipping Valley and then instantly followed up with Enhanced Instantaneous Movement to arrive next to Ooudamu. Once next to Ooudamu, he used his Third Sword Form: Collapsing Thunder. Not only did this strike Ooudamu, but it was also the force that generated the curtain of water around her and obstructed her view.
Once his attack successfully landed, he shifted to his First Sword Form: Converging Paths which guaranteed a critical hit and cut through the curtain of water with his First Baneful Sword: Destruction empowered by his Soul Essence trait!
In less than a single breath, Izroth performed one high-level skill after the other leaving Ooudamu with little to no time to react.
Ooudamu was able to adjust her position at the last moment to avoid a direct hit to her neck, however, the damage she received was not light. That was when, all of a sudden, a vast concentration of magic started to swirl around her body.
Izroth fell back after he sensed the sudden change in the atmosphere around Ooudamu due to his Soul Sense trait. At the same time, the second wave of sword intent erupted from the fissure caused by the Fourth Sword Form: Dipping Valley and hit Ooudamu.
Meanwhile, the members of Blue Oasis were dumbfounded after they witnessed what had just taken place before them. From his movements to the execution of his skills to the damage he just inflicted—was he really a combat master? This kind of damage was on par with Vanaheim, who was undoubtedly one of the strongest mages in RML. No, it might even be greater! How could they not be dumbfounded?
"This... Have combat masters always been this strong?" Feint unconsciously questioned aloud.
"In theory, the potential of combat masters are limitless. But, in the end, a theory is just a theory. Creating multiple high-level skills as a combat master should not be possible." Vanaheim stated as she furrowed her brows. While she was uncertain of the exact number, Vanaheim knew that at least two of the skills Izroth used could be considered high-ranked.
Just having one high-ranked skill as a combat master was a huge struggle—not to mention having two! However, Vanaheim had a strong feeling that Izroth still had yet to display all of his skills.
Just as everyone was still processing Izroth's actions, the walls of the boss room started to tremble. As a result, everyone went on guard to prepare for what was to come.
Since the magic energy around Ooudamu suddenly spiked, it was almost a certainty that she was getting ready to unleash a powerful skill!
"Everyone, if it comes to it, do not hesitate to use any high-grade potions and lifesaving skills! Emberheart, prioritize your own life over everyone present!" Vanaheim ordered.
Given how Emberheart was their only supporter who could heal, they could not afford to lose her so early into the fight. Therefore, Vanaheim made sure to remind Emberheart of her importance.
"Understood!" Emberheart responded. During a raid boss fight, losing one or two damage dealers was no issue. However, losing even a single tank or supporter created a harsh vacuum that was virtually impossible to fill. As a supporter and a core member of a top guild, Emberheart understood this better than anyone.
〈Battle System: Ooudamu has activated «Outburst»!〉
"Ahhhhhhh!" Ooudamu screamed as a monstrous wave of magical energy swept out in all directions filling every corner of the boss room. As soon as the wave of energy made contact with the members of the raid group, it felt as though the wind had been knocked out of them and immobilized them.
The attack lasted for three full seconds before it finally dispersed and the movement of the raid group was restored. However, there was a look of terror present on the faces of the members of the raid group.
Emberheart hastily consumed an HP potion and healed herself back to full health. She then started to unload every healing skill in her arsenal to hurriedly restore the lost HP of the other raid group members. As a result, her mana was being rapidly depleted! The moment her mana fell before the 50% mark, Emberheart consumed a high-grade mana potion and continued to heal the raid group.
Some of the raid group members still had their HP potions on cooldown, but there were a few who were able to consume one to ease the burden on Emberheart. But, even still, if this was something that would occur frequently, everyone knew that regardless of potions and Emberheart's efforts—they would not last in this fight!
"I thought the voice magic was taken care of... Did he lie to us?" Tagz questioned in a doubtful tone.
"We almost died thanks to his carelessness!" Second Tyrant chimed in angrily. Perhaps with this huge mess up, others would forget about the mistakes he made earlier. How could he let this chance go?
But, before they could go any further and things spiraled out of control, Vanaheim shouted with a darkened expression, "Enough! This was not voice magic. This is the hardcore effect, Outburst!".
The first thing Vanaheim did when she regained her movement, besides consuming an HP potion, was quickly review the battle logs. To be honest, her first thought was similar to that of Tagz's, however, it did not add up. She knew that something was off for two reasons. The first was that the sphere with the word "Seal" above it was still in the air.
As for the second reason, Ooudamu's voice magic seemed to require a specific word to use. Never had she once simply yelled and something happened. The voice magic was incredibly refined and almost acted as an extension of the user's will.
After Vanaheim's swift explanation, the Blue Oasis members felt more at ease. Second Tyrant, however, was disappointed that he could not hide his own mistakes behind that of Izroth's. Now, his only hope was to make a huge contribution or perform highly for the rest of the raid, otherwise, the repercussions would not be small. At best, he would lose his status as a core member of Blue Oasis!
Vanaheim was uncomfortable with how little information she had about hardcore effects—Outburst in particular. Since she did not know its trigger or how frequently it occurred, it was impossible to plan against it ahead of time.
The best she could do now was memorize Ooudamu's precise actions just before Outburst was activated. Fortunately, none of the raid members were eliminated. But, at this rate, it was only a matter of time unless they could find a way to defend against it.
As the members of the raid group recovered and restarted their assault on Ooudamu, the tremors on the boss room walls came to an abrupt halt.
Izroth noticed something strange happening to the walls on the opposite end of the boss room. If not for his Heavenly Golden Body and the fact that he consumed a Five Cycle Pill, this small change would have been impossible to perceive right away.
On a small area of that wall, its structure seemed to be unstable and in a constant state of flux.
In the next moment, something emerged from within the wall—or to be more precise, someone!
"What an odd sensation. To think a passageway would be hidden this way. As expected of a hardcore raid." The person said to themselves. That was when they noticed that, in the distance, a group of familiar faces appeared to be locked in an intense battle. However, they seemed to be focused on whatever they were fighting and remained unaware of the fact that someone else had arrived in the boss room.
"That's... Brother Izroth...! He survived! Then, is big sis Luna here as well?!" There was a hint of excitement present in the voice of the person when they spoke. Though this was to be expected, after all, the last time they saw Izroth was when he was surrounded by hardcore raid monsters! Even if they knew Izroth was strong, how could they not be concerned?
"Ah, I should tell the others! Heh, those three will be relieved once they know." The person who emerged from the wall was none other than Halls!