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45 Returning to Amaharpe Part 1

 "Welcome back, brave adventurers" the party heard a voice coming from behind them and when they all turned around they saw it was the Seer Tererestiaa with a lovely smile on her face.

"Your trip seems to have been a great success" Tererestiaa was very sensitive to divine energy and easily perceived the «Anivarity's Bell» located within Izroth's inventory. Such powerful divine energy could only belong to "that item".

Izroth nodded, "If not for you lending us the «Boundary Sealing Sphere» then things may not have gone so smoothly" he said before removing the «Boundary Sealing Sphere» from his inventory and handing it over to Tererestiaa.

When the sphere landed in Tererestiaa's hands it disappeared. They figured that she must have held onto an item or some type of storage device similar to their inventory system.

"You must make haste and return at once to «Amaharpe». What you have just accomplished may have just saved an entire city from annihilation. Even if no one else knows of your deeds, I and the all-seeing goddess Helilatiaa will always remember, brave adventurers" Tererestiaa lightly clasped her hands together.

〈System Alert: You have received the skill «Blessing of Helilatiaa»〉

Skill Name: Blessing of Helilatiaa

Skill Level: MAXED

Skill Rank: A

Passive: +15% Magic Resistance, +15% Physical Resistance, +1 Luck

Description: A blessing bestowed upon those deemed worthy by the Seer Tererestiaa in the name of the all-seeing goddess Helilatiaa. Only a few are lucky enough to receive this blessing!

Izroth was not the only one who obtained the passive, but Luna and Halls also received it. Unfortunately for Scarlet, she did not get the skill because she did not have the quest «Journey to the Seer» within her quest logs.

Izroth examined the skill he obtained from Tererestiaa and knew immediately what the magical resistance and physical resistance stat was, however, he saw something else for the first time. He had a good idea of what the effect of it was though just based off its name «Luck» alone.

"Luck..." Izroth took a moment to search through the memories of the hardcore gamer and came to a conclusion soon enough. "I see... So it most likely provides me with a higher chance of obtaining good loot or receiving special quests" that was the general information he found out.

There was not a single downside to having luck as he thought. Even though he was unsure of how it worked in this game, it should not be too different from what the memories showed him.

Luna and Halls were both excited from having obtained their very first A-Ranked skill. They would never forget that this was all possible thanks to Izroth bringing them along on his quest.

The two of them would remember this moment and if Izroth ever needed something from them, he only needed to say the word for it to be done. They respected Izroth's character and his strength. Both of them were glad that they were not his enemies.

Tererestiaa and the party headed up the stairs and to the main temple above the underground area they were currently located, heading in the direction that they originally entered into the temple at.

After returning from the desolate wasteland that was the Shadahi realm and seeing the beautiful sight just outside the temple entrance, the group could not help but feel a sense of relaxation overcome them.

"Then, we'll be on our way. Take care, Seer Tererestiaa" Izroth gave a slight nod to the Seer Tererestiaa. Now that they were done here, the only thing remaining was to return to «Amaharpe» and give the «Anivarity's Bell» to Terminus. The party started to journey back towards the way they entered into the «Lake of Tears».

"And you... Brave adventurer..." Tererestiaa spoke in a soft voice after the party had already left.

...

It did not take long before the group returned back to the «Village of Tears». When they walked into the village this time, the villagers were all bowing down towards them. No one knew why they were doing so, after all, even if they were chosen by the Seer Tererestiaa, wasn't this a little much?

The Great Elder of the village approached them and also gave a deep bow. "We welcome your return to our humble village" the Great Elder was looking towards the group with eyes full of envy.

"What's going on? Why is everyone bowing down?" Halls was confused as to why the villagers were bowing down towards them like they were some sort of deities or lords.

"You have the blessing of the great all-seeing goddess Helilatiaa. We are sensitive to the power of the divine one. The villagers can feel the divinity flowing out from you in large quantities, which belongs to the divine one. They feel as though they are within her presence, and I as well. We can only bow to show our utmost respect" the Great Elder explained.

"So it even has an effect like this hm..?" Izroth thought to himself before saying, "We must return at once to «Amaharpe». Is there a quicker way out of here besides the «Valley of Death»?" he believed that there had to be a faster way out of this place.

The Great Elder shook his head and let out a deep sigh before responding, "Alas, there is only one way in and one way out of our village is that is through the «Valley of Death». It is why no one besides the village chief and the head warrior would dare to venture outside the mountain range".

Izroth could only inwardly sigh, but it was worth a shot asking. "Then, we must be on our way. We thank you for your warm welcome" Izroth gave a slight smile.

The Great Elder wanted to ask them to stay for a grand feast, however, he understood that they were on an important mission regarding the great Seer. The Great Elder nodded his head, "Please, stay safe on your journey. May the all-seeing goddess Helilatiaa protect you" the Great Elder gave one last deep bow.

Izroth nodded as him, Luna, Halls, and Scarlet began walking towards the «Valley of Death».

...

Outside the «Valley of Death» were three people hiding using the «Stealth» skill. These three were the players who were discovered by Izroth back in «Amaharpe», Coldface, HappyTimes, and FatalSymmetry. With their «Stealth» ability, it was pretty easy to slip past the monsters of the mountain region unnoticed.

"Hey, how long is this gonna take? We've been waiting here forever man!" HappyTimes was getting a bit agitated after having been in «Stealth» for such a long time. It felt like they were waiting an eternity for them to come out of the valley.

"Just have some patience. I don't know why Scarlet changed her mind the last second and decided to call off the attack, but we won't let such a juicy target slip away through our fingers" the one known as Coldface spoke.

"Who knows? Maybe she just fell for that guy or something. Either way, there's no way we can just let things go that easily. With this, we'll make a ton of cash" FatalSymmetry had a greedy look in his eyes as he spoke.

The three of them did not understand why Scarlet decided to call off the attack as she gave them no reason whatsoever. How could they accept that? It was fine if she did not want to participate as it meant more money for them, however, if she tried to interfere then she couldn't blame them for getting nasty.

A few moments later, the three heard footsteps coming from within the valley. It must be them!

They instantly became alert and prepared to ambush them, however, when they saw who came from out of the valley they were a bit surprised. It was not an entire party of people, but only a single person. Did his party members stay behind and he decided to come out by himself? If that were the case, then this would be even easier than they originally planned.

The person who exited from the «Valley of Death» was Izroth. When he stepped out of the valley, he still had that carefree facial expression. "How sly..." Izroth thought to himself as he remembered what Scarlet did a while back.

...

A few moments ago just before the group entered into «Valley of Death»...

As the party was walking towards the crevice which led into the valley, Scarlet suddenly halted her steps. When the others noticed that, they all paused and turned to look back at Scarlet wondering why she was stopping.

Izroth narrowed his eyes as he observed her. Was she finally going to make her move? But he did not sense anyone around them laying in wait, so it would be suicidal of her to try something against them now after seeing how strong he was.

Scarlet let out a sigh, after having thought about everything she knew the nature of those three idiots and they were unlikely to give up. She had already completed her task plus repaid the favor, and so there was no need to go any further.

"This should be more than enough for that guy to be satisfied with... Those three won't provide anything worth sticking around for..." Scarlet thought to herself.

Scarlet looked over towards Izroth, it was unclear what was going on through her mind at that moment. "Careful on your way out..." she said in a low voice before the party suddenly received a system alert.

〈System Alert: Player Scarlet has logged off〉

〈System Alert: Player Scarlet has disconnected and been removed from the party〉

The entire party stood there blinking with a bewildered expression on their faces. Luna and Halls were wondering what that was all about. Scarlet had suddenly logged off after muttering some words.

Izroth, on the other hand, understood her intentions from her actions and words. It appeared as though whatever she originally had planned, she felt as though it was not worth it to proceed. Otherwise, she would not have said those words to him before leaving.

Izroth had to admit, he expected a lot of different outcomes, but this was one he did not foresee. Since the «Village of Tears» was considered as a safe zone and they had yet to enter into the «Valley of Death», Scarlet took the opportunity to log out and avoid the problem altogether.

Izroth could only inwardly shake his head, it seemed like not everyone was eager in bringing about their own inevitable demise like those players he met back in «Opal Town».

Izroth would not bother going out of his way to find a method to confront Scarlet since they did not have any sort of deep grudge. If she did something unforgivable that crossed his bottom line, then it would not matter where she chose to hide as he would eventually find her and repay the event a thousandfold.

The one thing Izroth had a difficult time comprehending was Scarlet's actual goal. What was it that she wanted to accomplish? He noticed her observing him throughout the entire journey, but he thought she was just looking for potential weaknesses to exploit. Maybe there was something to this than he thought?

Everything about her character felt forced and off from the very first time they met. Others may not notice, but with his heightened senses from the «Heavenly Golden Body» and having dealt with a large variety of people throughout his lifetime, he could perceive things that most would easily miss.

"There's no point in thinking about it now that she's gone" Izroth thought to himself. "She isn't returning. We should keep moving on. Also when we get to the exit of the valley, stay back for a while. It'll be much easier to deal with the little creatures that way" Izroth said to Luna and Halls.

Naturally, they thought that Izroth was talking about those illusionist bugs that they faced on the way towards the «Valley of Death». They nodded in agreement and walked to the crevice that led into the valley.

...

Izroth stood out in front of the valley with a carefree expression on his face. "Haven't you all stayed hidden long enough? Why not show yourselves? It's one versus three after all" Izroth spoke in a voice loud enough for them to hear clearly. Their «Stealth» skill was nowhere near good enough to evade Izroth's perception.

The three players laying in wait were shocked, how did he discover them? Could it be that Scarlet really betrayed them? Maybe this was some kind of trap... No, it didn't matter.

At the moment it was one versus three and they were confident that if all of them attacked together, there was a high chance that his rare equipment would drop upon his death. With their combined attacks and high agility, they could eliminate him, pick up the rare item, then escape before help could come if it was indeed a trap. This was too huge of an opportunity to give up.

Obviously, the three of them would not leave their «Stealth» and forfeit the element of surprise. They remained practically motionless while communicating with each other to all make a move at the same time.

"That's fine then... If you won't come to me, then I'll just come to you" Izroth said. The three of them were confused by his words, it sounded like he actually knew where they were. Was that some kind of joke? They were currently in «Stealth» and staying near perfectly still, even the most skilled of players would have a difficult time finding them, let alone some random player.

Suddenly, the three players saw something that made them think they were hallucinating. The player who was just standing outside of the valley... His figure began to flicker as though it was there but not there at the same time.