Luna and Mirage were greeted by a sudden sandstorm the instant they reached the outskirts of the village. After they received a system alert that one of the villagers had been killed, Luna used the word "Haste" with her voice magic to speed up their journey.
"First, a random thunderstorm and now this—how did all this sand get here?!" Mirage exclaimed. The entire village and the neighboring area that was once green and full of life had been transformed into a sand-filled desert! The sandstorm also made it difficult to see more than a few meters in front of them, and so, they could not tell what was happening in the village.
The two tried to send a message to Izroth and Azalea; however, neither of them were responding! This meant that there was a high possibility of them being in the middle of a battle with the remaining two enemies.
Mirage looked down at the young Trephasia in her arms. She wanted to rush forward, but how could she put this young girl in harm's way? As for leaving her here, that was also out of the question. After all, she had not yet fully recovered. Who knew what would happen if they left her alone, and she awakened?
"We will wait here until the sand clears." Luna said calmly.
"But, it's an S-ranked quest. The enemies may not be something Izroth and Azalea can face alone." Mirage commented as she furrowed her brows.
Luna, however, shook her head, "It will be okay. Those two can take care of themselves. For now, we should focus on keeping her safe." She replied as her gaze landed on the Trephasia. For some reason, that brooch made the Trephasia side of Luna feel protected and at ease. She did not know for sure why this was the case. Still, she believed that it definitely had something to do with the mysterious Trephasia named Zelfyrion, who gifted her the Trephasia bloodline and the statue of the faceless empress he was protecting.
"I hope you're right, Luna." Mirage sighed as she stared off into the distance. Somewhere in that sandstorm, Izroth and Luna were fighting opponents of unknown strength.
'This familiar feeling—a domain?'
Izroth stood in the middle of the sandstorm with his eyes closed. He did not expect Falcinean to possess a domain! Though in terms of power, it was not as strong as Roudin's Main Upper Eight Mountain Domain. This meant that Falcinean's domain was likely a Lower Domain. But, even if it was a Lower Domain, its power could not be underestimated.
Izroth activated his Energy Vision Sense at its maximum range of 199 meters.
'Oh? They've arrived?'
Izroth recognized Luna and Mirage's flames that were lit up near the edge of the village. He also witnessed two flames that were closeby that appeared to be continually exchanging blows with one another—these flames belonged to Azalea and the Sandstorm Walker Leader.
As for Falcinean's flame, it was nowhere to be found. Or to be more precise, it could be found everywhere! Everything made from sand possessed the same flame as Falcinean. So, even with his Energy Vision Sense, Izroth was unable to pinpoint his exact location!
Izroth deactivated his Energy Vision Sense. Using it at its maximum range expended too much Essence for Izroth to maintain it for an extended period of time. Otherwise, if he left it active for too long, then he would experience Soul Weakness.
'My understanding of domains is still rudimentary—I will have to find a way to correct this flaw soon.'
All of a sudden, Izroth's Soul Sense went off as he swung his Sword of the Storm out at his right side as it struck something solid. However, before he knew it, a long cut had appeared on the left side of his body near his lower waist!
13,992/20,839 [Izroth's HP Remaining]
Izroth immediately used his Light Feather Footwork skill and moved back from the area he had just received the attack. He was positive that he had evaded that blow successfully!
It was not often that Izroth was unable to react to an attack properly. However, he had encountered a similar feeling to the one he had just experienced during his fight against Roudin at the Sky Palace. It was the same danger he felt when Roudin used that strange silver energy to attack him.
At that time, Izroth was also confident that he had evaded the strike, but somehow, he was still hit. There was obviously more to a domain than the influences it had over certain elements.
A faint light green aura appeared around Izroth as he activated the Rapid Regeneration skill attached to his armor.
Izroth started to recover the health he lost as his in-battle HP regeneration increased by 200%.
'Rapid Regeneration will last for 1 minute. I have to find a way to break his domain before then.'
Izroth lightly tapped his foot on his ground as tremors spread out within a 45-meter radius! He infused some Essence into the skill Behemoth's Quake to improve its range and power. If a frontal assault would not work, then he would have to rely on AOE skills.
But, Izroth's Behemoth's Quake only managed to damage one individual—the Sandstorm Walker, who was caught in its range.
"It's useless." A voice sounded from behind Izroth.
Izroth used the spinning momentum from his Phantom Strike skill to swiftly turn as his sword slashed out in a full circle, followed by two sword shadows.
Once again, Izroth's sword hit nothing, but the air as a blade wound appeared on his right chest area!
"No matter where you try to hide in my Passage of the Desert, your fate will not change. You only have yourself to blame for offending the Great Duke of my Pzenium Kingdom." Falcinean's voice echoed.
Great Duke? Izroth had offended many individuals and factions in RML, but he had never heard of some Great Duke from the Pzenium Kingdom. That's when Izroth suddenly remembered that someone he fought during the selection was screaming something about his father being a Great Duke of Pzenium.
Of course, Izroth did not care if his father was the Grand Sovereign of Pzenium since he wanted to claim his life, then it was only natural that he be prepared for his own death! Not to mention, what happened inside the selection, stayed inside the selection. It was a great taboo to seek revenge on the participants as it was the same as offending the owner of the Sky Palace, Zushuatri—not to mention the countless powerful existences that were at his side.
But, what Izroth did not understand was how the Great Duke discovered that he had killed his son during the second team's selection. It was unlikely that someone of Zushuatri's status would be pressured into giving up his identity. So, just what method was used to track down his exact location in an isolated place like the Millennial Veiled Oasis?
'If it is me that they are after, then I have disturbed this village's peace. I suppose I should take some responsibility and avenge the lives of those who have fallen. Though it would seem common techniques won't work against him.'
Izroth opened his eyes, and despite his great vision, he was unable to see more than five meters no matter which way he turned.
While Falcinean's domain was not as strong as Roudin's, it was far more refined for actual combat—no doubt due to the time Falcinean spent on the battlefield.
Izroth grasped a basic understanding of Falcinean's domain after the second attack. In a sense, Falcinean was the sand, but the sand was not Falcinean. The reason Izroth could not see where the cuts were coming from had to do with the bizarre energy the sand emitted as a result of merely being a part of a domain.
Usually, coating his Sword of the Storm in Essence should work to harm Falcinean, but the amount of Essence required to do any real damage was too much. Not to mention the fact that Izroth had already used up quite a bit of Essence in a short time. If he continued to push it any further, then he was bound to face the consequences of Soul Weakness. Fortunately, Izroth had another idea in mind.
'I still can't access its full power for another month in-game. But, even with its current strength, since it's not a Main Upper Eight Domain, it should be enough to contain him. Though I'm not sure for how long.'
Izroth removed and consumed a High-Grade Health Potion from his inventory to restore some of his lost health.
He then stabbed his Sword of the Storm into the pile of sand before him as he held out the palm of his right hand. A few seconds later, a colorless ring appeared above his hand. This ring contained no mana or energy whatsoever—only nothingness. It was as if one was staring into an endless void!
Izroth stood still as if he were waiting for something, and in less than a single breath, a cut appeared near his upper right torso.
12,501/20,839 [Izroth's HP Remaining]
At that exact moment, the colorless ring about Izroth's palm expanded and covered a radius of 20 meters in every direction. Simultaneously, the sandstorm came to an abrupt halt as the grains of sand within the colorless ring were forcibly expelled!
Out of nowhere, Falcinean fell to the ground with a look of shock and disbelief on his face. What just happened to his domain?! Why had it suddenly disappeared?!
The moment Falcinean's real body appeared, the remaining sand that covered the entire village and the nearby surroundings had disappeared. Everything had returned to its once green and lush state.
Falcinean swiftly stood to his feet and assumed a battle stance. However, he soon discovered that something was wrong with his crimson blades!
"Why is the Sanguine Thirst not responding?" Falcinean facial expression darkened.
One of the things that made Falcinean's attack so vicious was the Sanguine Thirst magic effect of his Crimson Scimitars. The more opponents he defeated, the greater the strength of his Crimson Scimitars. But, the current scimitars in his hands did not give off the same pressure or bloodlust as before. Instead, the scimitars appeared to have reverted back to the weak state they were back when Falcinean first acquired them!
"Is this your doing?" Falcinean stared coldly at Izroth. He had never heard of someone being able to forcibly cancel a domain unless the difference in strength of their opponent was far beyond their own. But, Falcinean refused to believe that someone as young as Izroth was so much stronger than him that he was capable of performing such a feat!