That sinister aura was something Izroth was extremely familiar with. This was because while inside of the Shadahi Realm he could feel that it was lingering throughout the entire atmosphere.
Izroth figured that whatever Shadahi infected the scale, it could not have been recently. This was due to the fact that the Shadahi were currently sealed away in their own realm. In order to bypass the seal on that realm, Izroth needed the S-ranked magical item that the Seer Tererestiaa lent him, the Boundary Sealing Sphere.
He had no way of knowing for sure, but he was doubtful that there were many items like the Boundary Sealing Sphere around. While it was not impossible, it was highly improbable. Another reason he believed it to be so was due to the events which took place in the throne room that he observed.
Kashysh was not the only mermaid inside of that throne room. There was one more mermaid with sparkling pink scales on her tail.
Izroth did not manage to get a good look at her because of the angle at which he was spectating the events at, but he was positive that the mermaid he saw there was the same Nerita whose name was called out by Kashysh. It was also safe to say that it was the same Nerita who this cavern was named after.
He walked over towards the scale resting upon the bed of pure white pearls and grabbed ahold of it. When the scale touched his hands, he felt cold energy trying to gradually drag him under its influence. Strangely enough, he did not receive a willpower check alert from the system.
〈System Alert: You have received x1 «Nerita's Scale»〉
〈System Alert: 1/1 Retrieve one of «Nerita's Scale» located past the «Gravity Pocket», has been completed for the quest «Gem of The Sea».〉
Izroth took a moment to scan the small room he was in. He was looking for something that the sign outside promised him once he successfully reached the end of the center path, a reward. However, there was nothing in sight that appeared to be any kind of reward and he did not see anything in the system logs indicating that he had been rewarded.
'Could it be that even though I have reached the end of the pathway, I was unsuccessful in completing it?'
Izroth furrowed his brows, thinking back to the words written on the sign. He remembered every single word on that sign. There was no other instructions or requirements as to what he needed to do in order to have cleared the path successfully and obtain his reward.
In that case, there was only one plausible explanation and it was that he had yet to reach the true end of the pathway.
'I've left the gravity pocket and the Spectral Jellyfish have stopped chasing me. The Siren Call has ended as well... Is it still possible that the path continues on past this room?'
There was only one way to find out. Located just behind the bed of pearls was a door with strange carvings on it. It resembled the same carvings that were on that statue of Kashysh back when Izroth first entered into the Sea Palace Graveyard dungeon.
He opened the door and as he did, it made a small creaking sound as though this particular door had not been used for countless years.
When he stepped through the door, it immediately closed shut on its own. Izroth tried to open the door, however, it did not budge.
'It seems I have no choice but to continue moving forward.'
In front of Izroth were a flight of stairs that led down into darkness. There was no form of lighting and so it was very difficult to see the steps beneath one's feet. If one were not careful enough then it would be fairly easy for them to lose their balance and fall down the flight of stairs.
However, a little bit of darkness was not enough to impede Izroth. He swiftly traveled down the stairs and when his feet touched down onto the bottom of the stairway, Izroth felt himself being pulled underneath the ground below. He was slowly sinking into the ground and was unable to break free of it.
'It's like I'm trapped in some sort of quicksand... Though this is more troublesome to break free of.'
Unable to escape from the quicksand-like ground, Izroth resorted to using the skill Shadow Movement. He instantly turned into a dark shadow before leaving the area of the sinking ground and traveling forward at a high speed through the tunnel.
While in this shadow form, he could move around freely and did not have to worry about running into that sinking ground again.
Even though Izroth possessed heightened senses, he was unable to detect the sinking ground. Since there was no movement or activity going on within the ground itself, there did not seem to be anything off about the surroundings. After all, it was still impossible for him to see through the earth or solid objects.
'I suppose that sign was not kind enough to include everything.'
The walls began to tremor and they started closing in on Izroth. Thanks to his skill Shadow Movement, he could stay in the shadow form for up to 30 seconds while having his agility increased to 600. That was plenty of time to make it to the end of the passageway at his current speed.
On the ceiling of the tunnel, a few sharp pointed objects began to materialize out of thin air. They fell down from the ceiling as Izroth was moving forward, however, he skillfully evading them just before the objects were able to hit him in his shadow form. If he were to take damage while using Shadow Movement then it would forcibly cancel his shadow form.
Izroth spotted a faint glowing light up ahead. It was coming from a small square platform releasing magical energy. In just a few seconds, Izroth reached that platform with plenty of time to spare. The walls had not come anywhere near to closing all the way due to how fast Izroth traveled in such a short period of time.
While this type of trap may be dangerous to the vast majority of players, it was not a problem for Izroth who had personally experienced places many times more life-threatening than this tunnel.
After successfully making it to the square platform, Izroth's shadow form was automatically canceled as his body began to turn into countless bubbles. The square platform beneath him emitted a luminous light and it felt as if he was being carried off to another location.
'Where is this place?'
When the bright light died down around Izroth, he appeared before a beautiful pond. The water inside of the pond was constantly sparkling and it released a refreshing aura that made one feel rejuvenated.
There were no monsters or other lifeforms within the water and there was not a single drop of contamination. He could feel his body that was scattered into countless bubbles, converging and rematerializing at a single point.
'This pond is even more flawless than the Lake of Tears.'
Although the pond was not that large in size, only spanning a few meters, that did not make it any less impressive than the Lake of Tears. When Izroth's body finished materializing, he received an alert from the system.
〈System Alert: Congratulations, you have successfully cleared the center path.〉
〈System Alert: You have received x1 «Underwater World Treasure Chest»〉
Name: Underwater World Treasure Chest(Soulbound)
Usage: Contains a single preserved Common, Uncommon, or Rare relic of the Great Kashysh Sea inside.
Common Item Chance: 20%
Uncommon Item Chance: 50%
Rare Item Chance: 30%
Special Note: This chest is rewarded to those who manage to successfully complete the center path inside of Nerita's Cavern located within the Sea Palace Graveyard dungeon on their first try. This item is soulbound and cannot be traded or sold. This item cannot be opened while inside of the dungeon Sea Palace Graveyard.
It was the reward he'd been waiting for, ever since taking on the most challenging of the three paths. The chest showed the chances of obtaining a rare item which could be considered quite high. The good news was that there was at least a 30% chance of him acquiring a rare item.
The bad news was that there was also a 20% chance of him receiving a common item. Though the most likely outcome was obtaining the uncommon item, as it had a 50% chance assigned to it.
Izroth shook his head after examining the Underwater World Treasure Chest. The system made him go through all of that just for a chance to possibly receive a common item? How cruel would that be if he were to obtain a common item when there was a chance to acquire a rare item?
'Let's hope that my 1 Luck stat comes in handy.'
Izroth set the Underwater World Treasure Chest into his inventory for now. After doing so, he approached the edge of the pond. He opened up his inventory and removed the Nerita's Scale from it before placing it down into the pond.
The corrupted energy that surrounded the scale became faint before disappearing completely and not leaving a single trace behind. The only thing remaining was the dazzling pink scale that seemed to gain a new breath of life when the dark aura was extracted from it. It gently floated to the bottom of the pond.
〈System Alert: 1/1 Take one «Nerita's Scale» and place it inside of the «Dreaming Wave Pond», has been completed for the quest «Gem of The Sea».〉
〈System Alert: Congratulations, you have completed the quest «Gem of The Sea».〉
〈System Alert: You have been awarded 10 silver coins〉
〈System Alert: You have been awarded 5,000 EXP〉
〈System Alert: You have been awarded x1 «Aquamarine Gem»〉
Inside of the Dreaming Wave Pond, a small hexagonal shaped gem floated up to the surface of the water. It was aqua in color and continually released pulsating energy waves throughout the pond.
Just being near the object itself caused one to feel as though they were being weighed down by an invisible force. The Sapphire Gem and Moonstone Gem in Izroth's inventory were shaking as if calling out to that hexagonally shaped gem.
The gem rose up into the air and stopped right in front of Izroth. He reached out to retrieve the gem and it felt much heavier than the Sapphire Gem or the Moonstone Gem he previously obtained.
Name: Aquamarine Gem(Dungeon Item)
Usage: This gemstone creates powerful gravity pockets outside of its immediate surroundings. When used together with its counterparts the Sapphire Gem and Moonstone Gem, allows its possessor to pass through one of the deepest levels of the Underwater World.
Special Note: By itself, this gem does not have any value or use. If this gem leaves the Sea Palace Graveyard, it will be destroyed.
He set it into his inventory with the other gems before looking over at the large metallic door on the opposite side of the room.
Positioned in separate areas within the room were three circular shaped discs placed on top of a stand made from a solid stone type material. Each of the circular shaped discs possessed a slot in the middle of it that would only fit a specifically shaped object into it. The slots shapes matched those of the three gems Izroth obtained while inside of the Sea Palace Graveyard.
When Izroth reached the large metallic door, a hologram was projected in front of him. It was projected by the magical symbols carved onto the door. The hologram was instructions on how to pass through this door and enter into a deeper level of the Underwater World.
After reading the entire hologram, Izroth remembered back to the moment when he was just about to step into the entrance for this dungeon. Wess had warned him that he would be unable to finish this dungeon alone. It was not because Wess believed he lacked the skills to do so, but simply because of this door in front of him.
Izroth finally understood why Wess said those words to him.
'Now it makes sense... That's why he said it would be impossible for me to complete this dungeon alone.'
Izroth remained calm despite his current set of circumstances and he could not help but laugh inwardly.
The reason that this would normally be impossible to do alone was due to the fact that in order to enter through this door and into the deeper levels of the Underwater World, each gem needed to be set into the proper slot within less than one second after another gem was placed in.
This meant that if one gem was set into its slot too late, then it would not work and Izroth would be unable to continue on with the dungeon. Normally at this part, a party of players could easily split the gems among themselves and set them into the slots at the same time without issue.
But, Izroth was currently running this dungeon solo and although the room itself was not that huge, the circular discs were still located at least 30 meters apart from one another.
Wess would have been correct if it were any other player, however, the player just happened to be Izroth.
'I might cut it a little close, but it should be possible.'