Chapter 523 The Suspended Silver Thread
Izroth had no time to spare as he was uncertain whether or not his second arrow was effective against Zarolas.
After he canceled the Preserving Breath of Life Talisman's effects, Izroth used his Shadow Movement skill to morph into a formless shadow and went forward without looking back. By now, he had put a decent amount of distance between himself and the two Skounae; however, Izroth understood that he was not out of danger just yet. He felt a watchful gaze tracking his every move, and there was little doubt in Izroth's mind that this gaze belonged to Zarolas.
'Leading him into Amaharpe is out of the question. If it's like this, then...'
Since no one near the Unsanctioned Zone could match the strength of a Night Lord, Izroth had to revise his initial plans.
The primary reason why Izroth chose to mock the Night King in front of Zarolas was to keep their attention on him instead of the Unsanctioned Zone or Amaharpe. Of course, Izroth's intent was not to play the hero.
As a Captain of the GSU, if Izroth led someone like Zarolas back to Amaharpe, they could easily slaughter the troops stationed at the border. As a result, the system would undoubtedly penalize Izroth and have his actions deemed detrimental to the war. If that happened, who knew how many contribution points the system would take from him? After all, he had already viewed the harsh reward to failure ratio for war objectives.
But, more importantly, even if the border Commanders teamed up to face Zarolas, at most, they would be able to buy some time for the soldiers to retreat. However, that kind of thought process—Izroth was aware of how optimistic it was in nature.
With nowhere to retreat and no place to advance, Izroth was left with a limited number of options.
'Should I head deeper into Malentansium?'
The Malentansium kingdom was vastly unexplored by players due to the natural aggression and disdain the Skounae had against other races in the Mortal Realm. Exploring an unknown land where all its inhabitants were against you was not exactly an ideal set of circumstances for adventurers.
In the end, Izroth made his choice as he adjusted his path to head deeper into Malentansium territory.
Thirty seconds swiftly went by as Izroth's Shadow Movement skill came to an end. He took a moment to access his inventory and consume a High-Grade Health Potion to restore some of his lost HP. Moreover, since he had been out of battle for so long, his natural HP regeneration increased and sped up his rate of recovery.
'Did something happen?'
Izroth inwardly furrowed his brows. The watchful gaze that was on him had abruptly gone away. Although his tactics may have granted him some much-needed breathing room, it should not have been so much that he completely outran the two Skounae.
At the very least, Zarolas and Essirie should be somewhere within his range of observation, but there was nothing.
'Have I miscalculated?'
Izroth believed that insulting the Night King and agitating Zarolas would force his hand, ultimately drawing the Night Lord away from the Unsanctioned Zone. Could it be that his plan had failed?
Izroth briefly studied and investigated his new environment and soon discovered a small cave. The cave itself was only around 25 meters long and had some monsters that moved about inside.
Izroth entered the cave, but the monsters ignored his presence. Their levels were below 25, and due to that huge gap, the monsters did not take the initiative to attack Izroth, as if sensing that they were not his match.
Izroth found an isolated corner of the cave without monsters and sat on the ground. He started to circulate his Source Chant to increase the recovery speed of his Essence that was in a miserable state.
At the same time, Izroth received an alert from the system informing him that his communications had been restored.
Without hesitation, Izroth opened his system interface and saw that his communication functions had, indeed, returned. It seemed that he was finally far away enough from where the City Magic Grid explosion occurred for it to be restored.
The moment Izroth accessed his system messages, he was flooded with a barrage of messages from various individuals. However, he had no time to look through them as he immediately located the name he was searching for.
〈System Alert: Player Maeva has sent you a message, "Is it true that you went with the Skounae?"〉
〈System Alert: Player Maeva has sent you a message, "Are you still with the Skounae? You didn't respawn in Xanaharpe already, did you?"〉
〈System Alert: Player Maeva has sent you a message, "How did you get access to a leaderboard? No, never mind that, how did you get so many points? That explosion—was it your doing?"〉
〈System Alert: Player Maeva has sent you a message, "We successfully captured the Unsanctioned Zone without a fight. The Skounae retreated back into their own territory... I'm still unsure why my messages are not getting through, but I hope everything is going well on your end. I'll try to keep you updated."〉
〈System Alert: Player Maeva has sent you a message, "I'm accompanying Commander Aurie and her unit's 4th Division Captain Gritt to check on the situation at Vostracane. I've been informed that the surrounding space has been damaged, so communication may not be possible once we enter. I guess I finally figured out why my messages failed to get through. Are you still alive? If you are and end up leaving Vostracane before we arrive, rendezvous with us at the following coordinates...〉
'Is it possible?'
To Izroth, this situation was too much to be a coincidence. The time Maeva sent her last message to him was not too far off from when the watchful gaze had vanished. Was it possible they ran into Zarolas and Essirie while they were on their way to Vostracane? If so, the situation may have taken a turn for the worse.
Izroth tried to contact Empyrean via Mind Link; however, there was no response. Empyrean was either out of range or experiencing the same kind of communication interference that Izroth had been submitted to!
Since Izroth ordered Empyrean to watch over things from a distance and act accordingly, there was a good chance that he was now in close proximity to Vostracane.
'I have to return.'
Izroth stood to his feet as he made his way towards the cave's exit. He had fully recovered his HP and MP, but most of his high ranked skills were still on cooldown. However, he had no time to waste.
If Izroth's thoughts were correct, then Empyrean, Maeva, and Aurie had run into some serious trouble!
'If it comes down to it, I'll just have to use that. If it fails... so be it.'
While Izroth was troubled about Maeva's wellbeing since she was one of the people of his Mystical Realm Palace, his biggest concern was what would become of Empyrean if he perished at the hands of Zarolas.
Despite being Izroth's Soul Avatar, Empyrean possessed his own unique personality. With the Mind Link connection completely severed, Izroth was uncertain how far Empyrean would be willing to act based upon his previous orders.
The system treated Empyrean as a half-player but did not specify what this actually meant. If he died and was incapable of respawning like regular players, then the effort Izroth went through to bring him into existence would go down the drain!
Izroth went back towards the direction he entered and quickly reached the cave's exit.
'Hm? This was not here earlier.'
Hanging right outside the cave was a thin silver silk-like thread. The most bizarre thing about the silver thread was that it was not attached to anything. It remained suspended just above ground level, and when Izroth looked up, the silver thread appeared to originate from the skies itself as there was no end in sight to its length.
There were no signs or warnings of danger; therefore, Izroth continued forward. The instant he stepped in the immediate vicinity of the silver thread, he was prompted with a system alert.
〈System Alert: You are within the usage range of a «Heaven Connecting Tether»! To utilize its effects, please grab onto the tether.〉
Heaven Connecting Tether—Izroth was positive that this was related to Empyrean's Sky Domain! But, the question was, how did it end up out here with no Empyrean nearby?
Izroth did not know the effects of the Heaven Connecting Tether; however, he knew it could not be anything harmful if it were from Empyrean.
"There's only one way to find out its purpose," Izroth said as he grabbed onto the tether as the system instructed.
In a flash, the tether wrapped itself around Izroth's wrist. Then, as if it were pulled on, it yanked him upward, causing Izroth to sail through the sky at unnatural speeds!