While those affected by the Aquatic Fever were gone, four more players had been targeted.
Along with Halls, the four of them followed the actions of Niflheim and the other players who had just returned.
It was not long before the Aquatic Fever was under the complete control of the raid group. As soon as anyone was infected, they would immediately rush towards the pond outside the wall of water to have it cured.
If Niflheim and Halls were affected at the same time, then just one would go while the other cured themselves. After all, both tanks could not be missing from the fight, or else the raid group would not last five seconds now that Ooudamu could use her own offensive magic.
However, this did not mean the end of their troubles. One of the players who was not affected by the Aquatic Fever accidentally bumped into the wall of water while avoiding Ooudamu's Aquatic Surge. In the end, all of their buffs were forcibly removed, and they lost nearly 90% of their HP!
It was with that unforeseen accident that the raid group was able to confirm something important. They determined that only those who had the Aquatic Fever could pass through the wall of water—aptly known as Ooudamu's Advanced Water Screen—safely. Otherwise, if one tried to force their way through, they would be stripped of all safety nets and receive a massive amount of damage while they attempted to do so!
But, the biggest question on everyone's mind was how Izroth managed to discover the cure of the Aquatic Fever so fast. Usually, it took many boss fights to realize specific advantages; however, Izroth had found one within seconds!
He could not have run this raid before—even just considering it could be deemed an absurd notion. After all, this was the first raid to be discovered in RML!
Therefore, the members of Blue Oasis were convinced that Izroth must have had some unique skill that allowed him to uncover certain hidden secrets. From his actions earlier, they speculated that it was a powerful search-type skill—though they had no reliable information to back this up.
"Disappear Oversiders! I will not forgive you! I will never forgive any of you!" Ooudamu roared as her attacks grew increasingly fierce. However, with the Aquatic Fever contained, things started to progress smoothly as Ooudamu's remaining HP was shaved away.
The time in between Ooudamu's use of Aquatic Surge shortened, putting more pressure on the melee players and supporters. But, the raid group did not let up on their assault. Instead, they started to unleash some of their higher-ranked skills. Though being so close to victory caused a few raid members to make some mistakes—some bigger than others.
"Whoever makes the next mistake will have to undergo our hell weekly training camp! None of you are newbies!" Niflheim roared to motivate those who were making avoidable mistakes.
The Advanced Water Screen started to shrink in size as it forced those who were ranged to move closer to the center area of the battlefield. In turn, this made it difficult for the melee players to move around as freely as before. The restricted movement of the raid group also raised the challenge of dealing with Ooudamu's Aquatic Surge.
"Come to me!" Oodaumu yelled as five spheres, no larger than one's fist, emerged from the Advanced Water Screen.
If one scrutinized the spheres, they would see that it was not just water at its center. Little water sprites were floating in the spheres; however, their size was much smaller than Ooudamu's original form. This was the work of Ooudamu's Call of the Water Sprite Queen!
The water sprites glid around the battlefield before crashing into some of the players. Although they tried to avoid it, such an action was not easy given the limited space. Not to mention, the Advanced Water Screen was still becoming smaller with every passing moment!
〈Battle Alert: Player Emberheart has been entrapped!〉
〈Battle Alert: Player Complex Assault has been entrapped!〉
〈Battle Alert: Player...
In total, five players were encased in a sphere of water. To make matters worse, three of out five of those players were supporters!
Nidavellir, Complex Assault, Plays Two, Vanaheim, and Zi Yi was among those trapped. All five had their skills sealed while inside the sphere; therefore, they were unable to break free using standard methods.
Having three of their supporters removed from the fight was simply the result of Blue Oasis' poor luck! Since the sprites summoned by Ooudamu chose their targets at random and still managed to pick out three supporters—what else could it be but bad luck?
Ooudamu's HP reached the 1% mark, but the raid members were not celebrating just yet. All five players were still trapped inside the water spheres. Due to this, Halls and Niflheim had to continuously exchange aggro to make up for the lack of incoming heals.
"One last push, everyone! Don't let your guard down! Emberheart, we're counting on you!" Niflheim stated.
"Leave it to me!" Emberheart responded. She was the only supporter who was not hit by one of the sprites, and so, all supporting responsibilities fell to her. The average player would collapse under this kind of demand; however, a light small had formed on Emberheart's face as her eyes displayed a high level of focus. The timing of her heals became more precise as she carefully managed her mana pool. Despite the increased pressure, Emberheart's performance went up. She was thriving under pressure—this was the main difference between average players and pro players!
"Begoneeeeee!" Ooudamu cried out as she used Outburst. It was much stronger than the last few times she used it. As a result, every raid member had 75% of their HP removed, putting them in a critical state so close to the end when Ooudamu was at her strongest.
Fortunately, Emberheart had not let up, and no one died from it. Although she had to burn through some long cooldown skills, the cost was cheap to ensure the survival of her fellow raid members.
But, despite Emberheart's best efforts, she was only one person trying to keep track of the HP of almost 20 other players. If her class did not specialize in healing multiple people, who knew if she could have held on for so long?
The Advanced Water Screen had shrunk to around 15 meters in diameter, and the speed of its closing increased. The raid group knew that they had to finish this before they were all shredded to pieces by it!
That was when, out of nowhere, Izroth abruptly halted his movements and returned his sword to its sheath. While everything and everyone else was chaotic, at that moment, he was perfectly still with one hand placed on his sword sheath, and the other rested on its hilt. There was a concentrated killing intent that lingered around his Sword of The Storm—though it only lasted for a brief moment before it vanished without a trace.
In the fraction of a second, a high-frequency pitch boomed in every direction. The frequency was so high that only a few members of the raid group who possessed the best hearing senses were able to hear it! Though even then, it lasted for such a short time that the piercingly sharp sound it made was hardly perceptible.
'Seventh Sword Form: Motionless Killing Stroke.'
That was when something bizarre took place. The Advanced Water Screen that had been shrinking stopped in place. The spheres of water that had entrapped some of the raid members earlier had fallen apart, which freed everyone in the process.
Ooudamu, who had just been raging about with her last breath, came to a grinding halt as a thin line no bigger than a hair's width appeared across her neck.
"No... Noooooooo! My majesty... Please... Forgive me..." Ooudamu screamed as a burst of immense energy erupted from her body. At the same time, the physical changes to Luna as a result of Ooudamu's possession started to revert as she fell towards the ground.
The majority of the Blue Oasis members were baffled by the last few moments. They did not see anyone land the killing blow, and yet Ooudamu's HP had dropped to zero! But would they complain about it? The answer was obviously no!
Before Luna hit the ground, a flickering silhouette appeared and caught her. This person was, of course, Izroth.
'How unlike you to end up like this.'
There was something that bothered Izroth. Not only was Luna sensible and cautious, but she also had the Soul Sense trait. Even if it was not as strong as his Soul Sense, it was unthinkable that she would feel nothing when approaching a raid boss.
Did something unexpected take place that prevented her from doing so? Could she have informed her group, but they chose to ignore her? If so, then that would mean that ultimately, Luna's unfortunate circumstances were not of her own doing. If that were the case, then Izroth would not let go of the matter so easily.
'Since you are one of my people, naturally, I will not allow you to suffer a loss or any type of injustice.'
As these thoughts crossed Izroth's mind, a cold look flashed in his eyes. Things may have turned out alright this time, but who knew what would have happened if he had arrived late?
Even if it were unintentional, the result would not change if he found that any member of Blue Oasis had placed one of his people in danger.
Luna's eyes started to flutter as she regained her awareness. She blinked a few times as a slight look of confusion was vaguely written on her face. The last thing she remembered was being hit in the head by Ooudamu's sneak attack!
That was when Luna noticed that she was leaning on something—or rather, someone. She looked up and was greeted by Izroth's carefree smile. The cold look in his eyes from before had long vanished.
Luna hurriedly stood straight as she immediately turned away from Izroth. It was the first time she had been that close to another man. That paired with having just regained her awareness, it took Luna a moment to gather herself. Though no matter how much she tried to calm her heart, it was beating so rapidly that it seemed as though it was going to jump out from her body. She managed to calm herself but still felt that she needed a few more moments before she could directly face Izroth.
"Can you tell me what happened..?" Luna asked in a soft tone as she remained faced away from Izroth. After seeing everyone gathered together, she knew that something must have happened during the time she spent in a state of unawareness.
"I was going to ask you the same." Izroth responded as he started to bring Luna up to date on the events that transpired.
Luna was shocked to discover that so much had taken place during her state of unawareness. She was a boss monster that they had been fighting all this time? A part of her even wondered what would have occurred if they failed to defeat Ooudamu. Would she have simply remained under her control until they gave up and left the raid? Or worse...
Once Izroth finished helping Luna catch up, she explained to him what led up to her encounter with Ooudamu, as well as how she presumably fell under the boss monster's control.
'It's just as I thought. The price of endangering one of my people is not something that anyone can afford.'
"Luna, are you okay?!" Zi Yi rushed over after she noticed that Luna appeared to have returned to normal.
"Hahaha! Big sis Luna, did you know Zi Yi would not stop crying this entire time because she was so worried about you?!" Guan Yu smirked.
"Crying your head! Do you want me to take care of you?!" Zi Yi scoffed as she angrily stomped her foot. In truth, she had been worried about the others ever since they separated in the Sprite Dwellings. But, she was most concerned for Luna, who lacked defensive skills and mobility. Not to mention, excluding Valentine—who she had known since she was a child—Zi Yi was closest to Luna and already considered her to be her sister.
"Take care of me? Hm, alright, but first we have to marry! Otherwise, how can I call myself a real man?!" Guan Yu proudly declared.
"Oh? Brother, does that mean that I have to refer to Zi Yi as sister-in-law from now on?" Halls chimed in.
"You- You-! Both of you leave the party right now! See how I deal with you!" Zi Yi said as she drew her bow and notched an arrow.
"Kidding! Just kidding! How can you take us brothers so seriously? How about we-" As Guan Yu spoke, he felt a breeze brush past him.
The arrow flew by and missed Guan Yu's head by a couple of centimeters.
"Tch, I missed." Zi Yi said as she notched her bow once again and aimed it at Guan Yu.
"Zi Yi, where are you shooting-" Another arrow shot out at Guan Yu, and this one was even closer to hitting him! Before he knew it, he was being forced to run around the boss room to avoid Zi Yi's arrows.
Halls burst into a fit of laughter as he watched Guan Yu run for his life.
An arrow flew by Halls' head as he immediately ceased his laughter. In the blink of an eye, he had joined Guan Yu in running for his life!
"Both of you stand still! Let me hit you once, or you will not know how to respect a proper lady!" Zi Yi stated.
"What proper lady shoots arrows at people!?!" Halls shouted.
Of course, Zi Yi was not truly trying to hit Guan Yu or Halls. After all, with her skillful aim, how could she miss her targets from such a short distance?
As for the members of Blue Oasis, they were cheering excitedly, and many of them could not take their eyes off the system alerts. At first, they were still in a state of disbelief. However, the disbelief quickly turned into a wave of cheers.
〈System Alert: Raid Boss Ooudamu has been defeated!〉
〈System Alert: You have gained 4,525,901 EXP!〉
〈System Alert: Loot is in restricted mode! Only the Raid Leader may pick up and distribute dropped items!〉
〈System Alert: 1/1 Defeat boss monster Ooudamu.〉
〈System Alert: 1/1 Survive.〉
When it came time to decide whether or not to announce their victory to the world, there was no hesitation. Niflheim temporarily transferred control of the raid party to Asgard. This was necessary as the announcement would be made to the entire server!
Asgard accepted as he readily approved for the system to make the grand announcement before handing back control of the raid group to Niflheim.
〈World Announcement: The first raid boss has been defeated by the party «Blue Oasis»! [Party Leader: Asgard] [Party Members: Niflheim, V...] They have been rewarded for their efforts!〉
〈World Announcement: The first hardcore raid boss has been defeated by the party «Blue Oasis»! [Party Leader: Asgard] [Party Members: Niflheim, V...] They have been rewarded for their efforts!〉
They had won! They defeated the first raid boss in RML!
But, it was not just any raid boss—it was the first hardcore raid boss! This was shocking news that would shake other top guilds to their very core!