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39 Palace of Syxirius, The Unworthy: Commander Ekquilore

 When the party climbed up into the palace, they checked the surroundings trying to figure out their current location. The room had what appeared to be stone walls with a deep green seaweed color, as well as many different shapes and sizes of cauldrons spread throughout the room that was accompanied by a wretched stench.

"What is this place...? It really stinks!" Halls was the first to be hit by the smell when he left from the underground passageway. He guessed even the sewers would not smell as bad as this.

"You can turn your sense of smell down through the character settings" Luna instantly turned her settings down as soon as that stench floated across her nose. She loved the realistic elements the game provided, but most people would not choose to endure such a terrible odor willingly.

Scarlet already had her smell sense on low ever since they entered into this realm. The weird smell here was strange and she did not find it pleasant at all.

Halls went into his character settings to turn down his sense of smell and felt much better.

Izroth shook his head, "Purposely limiting your senses lowers your overall awareness" he thought to himself. This odor did not bother him at all, he was much more interested in what purpose these cauldrons served.

Magic Item: Demonic Cauldron

Magic Item Rank: C

Magic Item HP: 1,000/1,000

Magic Item ATK: 0

Magic Item DEF: 0

Usage: Processes various materials to form a demonic brew. The uses of this demonic brew are unknown to all but the Shadahi.

"We have to be inside some type of alchemy room within the palace" Izroth said as he pointed to the east side of the room. "That appears to be the only way in and out excluding the pathway we just took to get here" Izroth found the lack of enemies a bit disturbing. Usually, rooms like these were always under heavy guard because it contained many precious materials or resources. However, there was not a single Shadahi in sight. But the more he thought on it the more it started to make sense.

"If the Shadahi are basically demons, they most likely have a hierarchy where the strong rules over the weak. Add that on to being within the safety of their own realm and palace, it made sense to have no guards here. After all, who would dare to even think of stealing from someone far more powerful than them on the food chain?" Izroth had a feeling that the source of that strong and oppressive aura he sensed earlier was the leader of these Shadahi. Even though he was curious as to what the use of the cauldrons and the concoction inside of them was, they were on a time limit so he must first complete the task at hand.

The party started to advance towards the door with Halls and Izroth acting as the vanguard. When Halls approached the door he pulled it open with his shield protecting him.

...

Deep within the 'Palace of Syxirius, The Unworthy', a Shadahi that was similar in appearance to the 'Lesser Shadahi Patroller' was kneeling before a throne. The main difference was that this particular Shadahi was over 4 meters tall and released a much more powerful aura than the patroller.

Sitting upon the throne was a huge Shadahi who was at least 10 meters tall with chains and locks around it that bore a striking resemblance to the 'Chains of Mazi' which sealed the 'Realm of the Shadahi' except, they were much weaker in comparison. However, even though the seal was much weaker, it was still strong enough to suppress the creature who made normal Shadahi look like little children in comparison.

"Lord Syxirius, the boundary between our plane that the mortal plane has been bypassed!" the kneeling Shadahi spoke in a respectful manner. Its voice carried a mix of fear and awe for the powerful Shadahi it was in the presence of.

The one who sat upon the throne was indeed Syxirius, the lord of this palace. He shook violently for a moment before calming down. A deep voice resonated throughout the room, "I can feel it Ekquilore...! The power of the 'Boundary Sealing Sphere'... It is here!" Syxirius sounded impatient as though he was waiting for eons. "You must retrieve that sphere at all cost! With it, we will all be restored to our former strength and glory. The mortal plane will stand no chance against our invasion and you my loyal servant... You shall be handsomely rewarded by me personally!"

Although Syxirius could not move from the throne thanks to the chains, he was still powerful enough to instill fear into a mighty Shadahi like the one named Ekquilore before him. That alone was a testament to his strength. If he could have such influence while being severely limited by his current state then one would only be able to imagine his true level of power.

Ekquilore stood to his feet, "My lord, I shall bring you the 'Boundary Sealing Sphere'. I will not fail you" he gave a deep bow before turning to leave the room after being dismissed by Syxirius. When Ekquilore left, he glanced at the two 'Lesser Shadahi Patrollers' outside the door and said, "Go and check if anyone is missing. If they are, send someone to report back to me immediately and then start a widespread search within 35 kilometers in every direction. You can focus more within the immediate vicinity of the boundary"

The two 'Lesser Shadahi Patrollers' left to execute the orders without question. In the world of the Shadahi, as long as one was powerful enough there was not a single being who would dare to defy them.

Ekquilore let out a deep groaning sound, "My lord has been bound to the throne for many centuries already. I cannot fail him...!" he would personally go and search for the sphere. Even though he was very strong when matched against most other Shadahi, he was not worth mentioning before Syxirius. His lord was in a weakened state during this time, but he remained an insect when comparing their power. Ekquilore feared the consequences should he fail in this task as he may lose the strength granted to him by his lord.

...

Izroth and his party were currently fighting against a 'Lesser Shadahi Patroller'. For some reason, the Shadahi's presence seemed to have increased greatly in the last few moments of their arrival within the palace. At first, there were only a couple of Shadahi in sight, but after wandering around the palace for a while, their numbers appeared to spike out of seemingly nowhere.

"Could it be they've discovered we're here?" Izroth thought to himself as his 'Nameless Blade' slid across the neck of the 'Lesser Shadahi Patroller'. He understood that there was a possibility of his guess earlier about the patroller was accurate and that someone knew that they were here. However, they were probably unaware of their exact location or else they would have already been overrun by the Shadahi, considering the massive numbers waiting outside the palace. If that happened, then there would be no escape!

Critical Hit!

-293 HP!

0/5,000 HP Remaining! (Lesser Shadahi Patroller)

Ding! You have been awarded 1,155 EXP!

Loot Drop:

-10 silver

This was already the 7th Shadahi they ran into so far within a 25 minute period. If they kept going at this pace even though they would gain great EXP, their MP and HP would be unable to hold up. The party would end up going through all of their potions without having the slightest chance to rest and eventually be slaughtered.

Luna furrowed her brows, "We have to get out of these halls and find a proper place to recover. If we keep going on like this then I'll ultimately run out of MP" the intervals between battles was currently too short and so her MP was not able to be fully restored while outside of battle fast enough. Until she received an MP regen skill that was effective while in battle she would always have to depend on potions and resting.

Scarlet was slightly better off as she learned the mage class basic MP regen skill at level 15. However, even she would run out of MP at this rate.

Izroth did not have such a problem since the Combat Master class possessed the energy stat which was constantly being restored even during the middle of a fight. He also did not have to worry about taking much damage due to his reaction speed and high agility. However, other classes besides the rogue did not have the same advantage of having an energy stat.

"We'll try to find an empty room to stop and rest in. Though we do not know for sure if at this point any rooms will be empty" Izroth spoke while continuing to move forward. For now, they could only fight and survive.

Halls picked up the silver coins before dividing it between all of them and took the lead in front of the group. The way this palace was structured made it difficult to navigate but thankfully Izroth seemed to remember all the different routes they took so that their party never ran in circles.

Izroth suddenly sensed a strong presence nearby. But it was a challenge trying to figure out its exact location because of the interference of whatever or whoever was releasing that strong and oppressive aura he felt when they first arrived in the palace. Just as he was about to warn everyone-

"This palace is just simply too big. We'll be searching forever in this pla-" as Halls was speaking and turned a corner he bumped into something solid.

"Be careful!" Izroth warned Halls when he finally managed to lock onto its position, but it was already too late.

Halls blinked a few times before lifting his head up and while doing so his face began to turn quite unsightly. He swiftly lifted up his shield, but before he could fully comprehend the situation and properly block, he was knocked away over 10 meters tumbling across the of the hallway like a rag doll by a huge dark red fist with a pair of claws.

-800 HP!

450/1,500 HP Remaining! (Halls)

Everyone was shocked when they saw Halls flying across the hallway and crashing into the floor. Their facial expressions turned dark when they saw the amount of damage that thing did. This was the worse possible time to run into this kind of monster! Luckily Halls HP was not too low or else he would have died in one shot.

Izroth narrowed his eyes at the creature before them. It was a Shadahi but it was more than twice the size of the 'Lesser Shadahi Patroller' and obviously much strong. He unsheathed his 'Nameless Blade' and charged at the Shadahi keeping his movements simple yet unpredictable with each step.

"What's this? Little bugs wandering inside the castle of my lord Syxirius? Hand over the sphere!" the one who spoke was Ekquilore, a commander and loyal servant of Syxirius, The Unworthy. These intruders must've been the same group who killed one of the 'Lesser Shadahi Patroller' outside the palace. They had to be the people in possession of the 'Boundary Sealing Sphere' as there was currently no other way into their realm for mortals.

Name: (Weakened)Commander Ekquilore(Rare Boss)

Level: 17

HP: 25,000/25,000

ATK: 600

DEF: 100

AGI: 150

MAG: 300

Skills:

Demonic Hellfire(Active): Rains down a demonic hellfire dealing 50% of its magic as damage every 2 seconds for 6 seconds within a 25 meters radius.

Demonic Press(Active): Swings outward with their large fist at a target enemy dealing 150% of its attack as damage. The enemy hit with this skill will suffer a 'Knockback' effect, the stronger the attack the longer the distance of the 'Knockback'.

Demonic Suppression(Active): Randomly stuns a single enemy target within a 30 meters range for 2 seconds.

Shadahi World Blessing(Passive): If a Shadahi is within their own realm they cannot die. Instead, they will enter a state of deep soul slumber and eventually regenerate within 1 day.

Physical Resistance(Passive): Reduces all physical damage it takes by 15%. This counts as physical defense.

Magic Resistance(Passive): Reduces all magic damage it takes by 15%. This counts as magical defense.

Power of the Seal(Passive): At random intervals, the 'Commander Ekquilore' will be unable to act for 6 seconds due to the power of the seal placed upon his lord Syxirius who he draws his strength from. During this period of time, all of its defenses are ineffective and damage dealt to 'Commander Ekquilore' is increased by 100%.

This was the power of the Shadahi creature in a weakened state? How strong were they at their peak strength? Those were the questions going through their minds at that moment as Halls stood up and rushed back towards the battle. He was feeling somewhat gloomy after being flicked away like nothing by this Shadahi.

'Commander Ekquilore' spread his hand into a palm trying to crush Izroth into a paste.

Izroth quickly kicked off his left foot and ran up the wall inside the hallway. He used the skill 'Wall Walking' to avoid the palm of the Shadahi before stepping off the wall and flying over the head of the 'Commander Ekquilore' and used 'Serpent's Bite'. Izroth's leg moved like that of a snake as it struck towards the neck of the huge Shadahi.

Critical Hit!

-170 HP!

24,830/25,000 HP Remaining! (Commander Ekquilore)

Battle Alert: Player Izroth has 'Paralyzed' Commander Ekquilore for 1.5 seconds!

Izroth knew from the moment he saw the 'Commander Ekquilore' and its abilities, that this would be his most challenging fight yet.