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The moment Izroth and his party noticed the violet light building up, they began to move into various positions.

"I hope you're right, my adorable little sister." Mariposa said in a teasing manner with a smile on her face.

"It'll work." Zi Yi replied without hesitation. She had absolute confidence that it would work and not a shred of doubt lingered within her eyes.

Mariposa fell silent after seeing realizing that the corners of Zi Yi's lips had risen to form a smile. She was not sure if her younger sister herself realized this yet, but it was clear that Zi Yi had changed. It may have just been due to the fact that this was a world where the burdens and hindrances of reality seldom crossed one's mind.

However, Mariposa was sure that it was this group of player's before her that helped drag Zi Yi further outside of her comfort zone. For that, she was eternally grateful. After all, how could she not be happy if her adorable little sister was happy?

Izroth and Guan Yu moved next to each other. Not too long after, a spatial rift appeared in between them. Mariposa stepped out of the spatial rift and stood within close proximity of Izroth and Guan Yu.

As for Luna, Halls and Zi Yi, they maintained their current positions. A few moments later, the violet light spread throughout the underground chambers and quickly made contact with Izroth's party.

Ooooooooom!

-7,500 [Halls]
+392
+1,529
-500 [Luna]

Luna cast Healing Essence followed up by a Heal on Halls. The healing she produced was reduced by 50% on Halls thanks to the Aura of Death, and so her heals were not as effective for the time being.

After a few seconds went by, the violet light dispersed. The thing that surprised everyone was that only Halls and Luna had received any damage to their HP. As for the rest of them, they were completely unharmed!

"It's not there! The plague stacks are gone!" Guan Yu said in a shocked tone of voice. Once he realized that he was unharmed, the first thing he noticed was that the plague stacks that were previously on him had vanished.

Everyone verified that their situation was the same as Guan Yu's, all of their plague stacks were gone. After doing so, they swiftly moved back into their original spots and continued their battle against Nekrostis. They could only helplessly sigh and be thankful that they had someone like Zi Yi on their side. If not, this fight would have been many times harder than it already is.

While Zi Yi had time to herself to think, she discovered that there were times when Izroth and Guan Yu would not receive any damage. Then, there were times when Mariposa and herself would not take damage from the Aura of Death. She found this strange, however, she was still unable to determine what the cause behind it was.

But, in the end, she found that she was overthinking things. Often the most complex of things was simple at the core of its own understanding. While this fight could not be considered overly complex on the grand scale of RML, it was well above the level of fights that players were currently used to.


The most important bit of information for Zi Yi was the common factors. Stacks? Environment? Attacking? There was an abundance of information to take in, but Zi Yi picked out two main common factors every time the situation where at least two players would not receive any damage from the violet light.

The first had to do with location. Zi Yi found that at every instance someone managed to escape unscathed, they were never alone. In other words, there was always someone within their immediate vicinity.

The second was that, no matter what, Halls and Luna always received some kind of damage. While it could be attributed to simply being unlucky, Zi Yi could slowly see a pattern form. Then, after the Hand of Darkness skill was used on her and Luna explained a few things, she had the final piece of the puzzle that she had been missing all along.

After being taken over by the Hand of Darkness, Zi Yi's stacks of Restless Souls disappeared. However, those were not the only stacks that disappeared. The plague stacks also vanished along with it.

When she finally finished tying everything together, Zi Yi came to the conclusion that not only were the Plague of Death and Aura of Death skills tied together, but the other two skills they were affected by were as well.

She had been thinking about it the wrong way all along. Originally, she believed that Plague of Death and Aura of Death complimented each other just like Hand of Darkness and Restless Souls of the Undead did, however, all four skills actually complimented one another! It was like a tangled web of skills that were all intertwined. But, there was a rock, paper, scissors effect to them.

To counteract the plague stacks, one needed stacks of Restless Souls. However, you could only get the Restless Souls stacks from eliminating the Netherworld creatures that spawned during the Restless Souls of the Undead skill. In order to become affected by the Hand of Darkness, one needed to possess stacks of Restless Souls.

As for the Aura of Death skill, it was of course, useless without the plague stacks generated by the Plague of Death.

If one wanted to avoid receiving damage from the Aura of Death, then they would have to acquire Restless Souls stacks. However, they risked being controlled by the Hand of Darkness skill. But, they had no choice but to obtain stacks fo Restless Souls, otherwise, they would be overrun by Netherworld creatures. After all, they could not simply ignore them and do nothing.

But, if they had allowed one person to take on all the stacks of Restless Souls, then it would have been countless times easier to manage the overall fight. For example, it would have idle for either Halls or Guan Yu to be controlled by the Hand of Darkness. Since they were both plate users and Guan Yu, at the very least, possessed the skill Taunting Aura, the situation would have stayed under control.

Since Izroth, Guan Yu, and Mariposa were the only three with Restless Souls stacks at the moment, they had to group together to remain safe from the Aura of Death when it arrived. Of course, Halls and Luna did not participate in killing the Netherworld creatures and therefore neither of them acquired any Restless Souls stacks.

Unfortunately, she had discovered all of this too late. However, if others found that Zi Yi was disappointed in being "too slow" on uncovering the secrets behind the skills of this kind of rare boss, they would curse under their breath and think that she was trying to intentionally brag.

As the fight went on, now that everyone was on the same page with Zi Yi's new findings, the boss fight became incredibly smooth and organized.

35%...
30%...
25%...

"You will regret this day for all eternity." Nekrostis bellowed as it prepared to use the Hand of Darkness. Its target this time was Izroth who currently had the most stacks of Restless Souls.

"Luna!" Zi Yi signaled. As she did so, Luna wasted no time and immediately targeted Izroth with her voice magic.

"Sleep." Luna said as her voice reverberated throughout the chambers and washed over Izroth at the very moment he was affected by the Hand of Darkness. Even Nekrostis was affected by Luna's voice magic, however, that did not last long given its increased resistance to all crowd control effects, especially those such as sleep.

The twenty seconds passed without issue and just as the Hand of Darkness skill ended, Luna's voice magic wore off and Izroth immediately rejoined the fight.

20%...

Nekrostis used the Aura of Death skill once again, but the group was already ready for it. Izroth's party had become comfortable with the strategy they were using against the rare boss and quickly shaved away at its HP until it finally reached the 10% mark.

15%...
10%...

〈Battle Alert: Nekrostis has entered into an enraged state!〉

After hitting the 10% mark, Nekrostis entered into an enraged state and experienced a massive power boost.

«Blocked»
-5,295
+3,058
-5,295
+3,495

Luna cast Heal, then Holy Flash Heal after Halls took on that second attack. The amount of damage Nekrostis was dealing exceeded that of what Luna could heal for per second. In other words, it would soon reach a point where Luna's heals were insufficient to keep Halls alive. However, Luna was not worried in the slightest.

Not only did she still have some skills reserved for moments like these, but she felt that she would have no need for them. This was because as soon as Nekrostis hit the 10% mark, everyone went all out with their damaging abilities.

Woosh!

Two arrows sailed through the air and disappeared into the void before reappearing next to Nekrostis. However, these two arrows were not the same as the usual arrows Zi Yi shot out. There was a strange spiral to them that actually left behind a small fracture in the void on its way out.

As soon as the arrows left the void, they fused together and formed a pure black arrow that pierced through the body of the rare boss.

-10,968

Guan Yu, Mariposa, and even Halls went all out on the offensive!

As for Izroth, he struck out with his Sword of The Storm as the sound of a thunderclap echoed and a bolt of lightning struck down on Nekrostis.

-6,260

However, the third sword form was only the prelude for Izroth's true attack. An overbearing aura encompassed his Sword of The Storm. Circulating within that aura was a mysterious energy that came from the Essence Izroth had poured into the skill. Not only that but from his stance, one could tell that he was also using the first sword form.

With a single swing of his sword, a terrifying energy of destruction spread throughout the atmosphere.

«Critical Hit»
-27,419

"Nooooooooooo!" Nekrostis roared as its skeletal structure collapsed into a pile of useless bones. It had lost its previous aura and color as the bones return to their original color.

"Unruly! You dare go against the Nether Realm?! Know this, insignificant bags of flesh, you have made an enemy today for all of eternity! My master will see that you experience a state worse than death!" Nekrostis voice slowly faded out before disappearing altogether. Soon after, Izroth and his party received an alert from the system.

〈System Alert: Congratulations, you have defeated Nekrostis, Servant of the Netherworld Envoy!〉
〈System Alert: You have been awarded 859,029 EXP!〉
〈System Alert: You have leveled up to level 36!〉
〈System Alert: You have gained +3 stat points for leveling up!〉
〈System Alert: Your Netherworld Fame has been decreased by 300!〉

Loot Table:
-Nether Death Torso
-Boots of the Nether
-Bones of the Netherworld
-Concentrated Deathly Essence
-Death Chant

'If this was the welcoming party, I can't help but wonder what lies guarding the depths of these chambers.'

...

Meanwhile, at the capital city of Amaharpe...

There was currently a large group of players gathered at the entrance to the Mystical Realm Palace. However, unlike the excited looks on their faces that one would expect happy customers to have, everyone appeared to be furious.

Standing in front of the doorway that way into the Mystical Realm Palace was Silver Crux with two other players who looked intimidating. There was an emotionless look in his eyes as he listened to the crowd before him babbling on.

"Let us in!"

"What gives you the right to hog all the spots?!"

"Sage Falls has grown so bold. Are they not afraid of how the other top guilds will react?"

"This shop is currently occupied by the members of Sage Falls who is shopping at their own leisure. If you wish to rush the members of my Sage Falls, then you're simply dreaming." Silver Crux said with a smirk on his face.

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