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107 Source of Despair

 The closer the party moved towards the large mass, the more frequent a Chaos Fiend would appear. The party's surroundings also experienced an increased rate of cycling through various environmental patterns.

Though what interested Izroth was one of the items Luna picked up after they eliminated one of the first Chaos Fiends. It was a small purple crystal with three orbs at the center of it moving in an orderly fashion. According to Luna, the crystal was known as an Order Fragment.

In total, three Order Fragments had dropped from the Chaos Fiends that were defeated thus far. The usage of the Order Fragment was outlined clearly, yet it left something more to be desired.

Name: Order Fragment(Unknown)

Rank: Unknown

Usage: Sets order to chaos.

Special Note: This item cannot exist outside of the Chaotic Dogma Realm.

Izroth was still thinking about the Order Fragment's usage and cautioned against using it right away. At the moment, they were in a place where logic did not necessarily apply. It may seem like a blessing only to turn out to be a curse. However, they may not have much of a choice but to risk it at this rate.

'There are now thirty Chaos Fiends and the number seems to only be increasing. At this rate, we'll have no choice but to turn and fight. However...'

If Izroth was by himself, then he could easily shake the Chaos Fiends loose or even slowly deal with them one at a time. But, even if he stayed back and lured the Chaos Fiends away, there was no guarantee that more would not spawn and chase after the rest of the party.

If that happened then there was only one result that awaited the rest of the party, and that was an existence wipe.

'I suppose we'll just have to take that chance.'

"Don't stop running. In ten seconds, I'm going to grab the aggro on the Chaos Fiends. During the ten second wait, do not attack any further." Izroth said as one of the Chaos Fiends leaped towards him with its deadly claws.

Izroth leaned slightly to the side and evaded the claw while sending out a counterattack, sweeping his Blade of Lighting three centimeters upward from the center area of the Chaos Fiend's body.

«Critical Hit»

-808

After cutting at the Chaos Fiends a few dozens of times, Izroth had located one of their vital points. Since none of the regular vital points seemed to work, Izroth figured that as long as he cut from as many different angles as possible, he would eventually discover a weakness. In the end, his efforts had paid off.

"What do you intend to do? Not even you can handle thirty elite monsters." Luna frowned when she heard what Izroth suggested. If they ran away and left him to deal with things alone, then even with his amazing abilities, it was unlikely that he would survive.

Luna was against sacrificing someone just to save herself or someone else. It just did not sit well with her and so she protested the idea. It was at moments like these that Zi Yi would throw in her opinion, however, her attention was currently on attacking the Chaos Fiends. Zi Yi did not have the leisure to read lips.

Izroth gave a carefree smile, "I have a plan. However, if all of you are around then it'll only make things more complicated. Once you reach the large mass, try using some of the Order Fragments. I believe if you do so then our senses will return to us." Izroth explained.

Luna furrowed her brows as she thought deeply about it. She was unwillingly to leave Izroth behind, but she understood that since she was the one to lose her sense of smell, she had to stay with the rest of the party.

"Brother Izroth, we can't just leave you to face this alone! What kind of man would I be if I ran away from a battle?!" Guan Yu voiced his objection.

"One of the most important things in battle is knowing when to advance and when to retreat. If things don't go as planned, I'll simply escape using my Flickering Steps. Right now; this is the best available plan. Though if anyone has a better idea then we can, of course, go with that one instead." Izroth said.

Luna and Guan Yu were unable to come up with a better idea on the spot and so, they could only reluctantly go along with Izroth's plan.

"Be careful..." Luna waved to get Zi Yi's attention to inform her that they would be moving on ahead.

"He's insane!" Were the first words to leave Zi Yi's mouth, but she herself understood that Izroth's plan had the highest chances of success. Even if it was a long shot, what other choice did they have at this point?

Exactly ten seconds later, Izroth's Flickering Steps was off cooldown and he immediately activated the skill. His silhouette flickered throughout the crowd of monsters slashing them mercilessly with his sword. Since the other party members halted their assaults, it was quite easy for Izroth to gain control over of the aggro.

"Now!" Luna pointed forward and everyone broke away from Izroth as he led the Chaos Fiends in a different direction. A few moments later when they managed to create some distance between themselves and the Chaos Fiends, they noticed that no additional monsters had spawned to chase after them.

"We have to hurry. If this doesn't work, we have to rush back and help Izroth before it's too late." Luna said as the others nodded their heads in agreement and began to move with hastened speed towards the large mass.

Meanwhile, Izroth was being attacked from every possible angle by the thirty Chaos Fiends. With Flickering Steps active, Izroth focused mainly on dodging the incoming attacks and counterattacking when possible.

Swoosh!

One of the Chaos Fiends nearly touched Izroth with its claw, however, it missed by less than one centimeter.

'The sounds and vibrations are becoming too concentrated in one area. If I'm unable to find a way to separate each individual sound, it'll become troublesome once my Flickering Steps end.'

It suddenly dawned on Izroth, there was one thing he had yet to attempt that may help with his current situation. Or, at the very least provide him with enough time to think of an alternate plan.

Izroth shifted his focus on attacking instead of defending. His attacks were not random and were concentrated on a specific group of four Chaos Fiends. Hundreds of palms shot out towards the Chaos Fiends with only one true palm hidden amongst them.

«Critical Hit»

-808

«Critical Hit»

-808

...

Izroth's palm connected with the four Chaos Fiends with incredible precision. However, he did not stop there. His Blade of Lightning instantly released an oppressive aura that engulfed one of the Chaos Fiends and caused it to shriek as if it were fearful of the sword. The feared effect for Izroth's First Baneful Sword: Destruction had been successful in activating against the Chaos Fiend.

«Critical Hit»

-3,230

〈System Alert: Congratulations, you have successfully defeated Chaos Fiend〉

〈System Alert: You have been awarded 10,571 EXP〉

〈Battle Alert: The cooldown for the skill «First Baneful Sword: Destruction» has been reset.〉

Izroth's Blade of Lightning continued to reap the lives of the other three Chaos Fiends due to the cooldown time reset on his skill. Due to him defeating the Chaos Fiends on his own and the level difference, the system awarded him with much more exp than usual. He quickly swiped the loot that dropped from the four Chaos Fiends.

The random vibrations were finally making it too difficult to keep track of the various Chaos Fiends. Therefore, Izroth had to act fast before he lost control of the situation.

After he grabbed the loot, he was immediately besieged with nowhere to escape. However, just before the Chaos Fiends were about to overrun him, a strange yet beautiful multi-colored crystal started to grow on various parts of his body.

In the next moment, Izroth's entire body was covered with the multi-colored crystal. He used the skill from his Crystal Sea Head Ornament, Crystallization. Although he could not perform any actions while within the crystal, he would be invulnerable to all sources of damage for twenty seconds.

'This will give me twenty seconds to find a solution. In the meantime, they should have reached their destination by now.'

...

Luna, Zi Yi, Halls, and Guan Yu carrying Valentine reached their destination. The first thing that stood out was the constant change in temperature. One moment it was extremely hot and in the next, it became ice cold. The fluctuation appeared to occur in random intervals.

Floating above the ground was a huge black sphere with dark energy spinning around. It released a light purple hue on its surface and although it seemed to be solid, it was actually formless like a shadow.

Luna examined the black sphere and was surprised to find out that it was actually a magic item!

Name: Source of Despair(Magical Item)

Rank: SS-ranked

Durability: ∞(Indestructible)

State: Active

Usage: Unknown

Special Note: A concentrated source of chaos that generates despair in various forms.

There was not much information available besides what was listed on the special note section of the magical item.

"An SS-ranked magic item...!" Guan Yu was shocked. He had not even seen an A-ranked magic item, let alone one that was SS-ranked. However, it would explain why the effects were so strong and had such a terrifying range.

Zi Yi was also stunned when she realized that she was staring at an SS-ranked magic item. As for Luna and Halls, they had already seen an S-ranked magic item. Even though they were startled a bit, they were not in the same state of shock as Guan Yu and Zi Yi.

Luna approached the black sphere and reached out to touch it.

Bzzt!

Luna's hand was knocked away by one of the streams of dark energy circling around the black sphere.

"Careful!" Zi Yi called out. Zi Yi thought that it was unlike Luna to be so reckless.

Luna only gave a slight nod. She then removed a few Order Fragments from within her inventory. "Sets order to chaos..." Luna said in a low voice as she read over the effect of the Order Fragment once again. While she did not know if it would work, she had to at least try.

If the Source of Despair was a concentrated source of chaos, then there was a good chance that the Order Fragments would have a purifying effect on it.

Luna reached out once again towards the black sphere, except this time she had an Order Fragment in her hand.

The dark energy once again lashed out in her direction, however, when it was about to come in contact with the Order Fragment, it retreated in a fearful manner. It was as if it was alive and afraid of touching the Order Fragment.

When the Order Fragment came into direct contact with the Source of Despair, the entire Chaotic Dogma Realm began to shake violently as if an earthquake had arrived. The Source of Despair was attempting to resist the power of the Order Fragment.

When Luna saw that it was working, she immediately removed another Chaos Fragment from her inventory and pressed it into the Source of Despair.

When the second Order Fragment touched it, the black sphere shrunk in size. It had actually decreased in size by 33%! The Source of Despair lost a third of its total mass by becoming exposed to the Order Fragments.

Luna decided to put all of the remaining Order Fragments into the Source of Despair.

Ooooooooom...

The violent earthquake stopped throughout the Chaotic Dogma Realm and everything became eerily silent.

When Luna checked the status of the Source of Despair, she noticed that its state had changed from active to dormant.

"Did it work?!" Zi Yi shouted. However, when Zi Yi realized that she was shouting, she immediately lowered her voice. "This... I can hear again...!" Zi Yi had regained her ability to hear once the Source of Despair entered a dormant state.

"You did it!" Halls yelled. But, his loud voice was on purpose. Halls laughed happily as he was able to talk again.

Luna and Guan Yu had also recovered the senses they had lost. They had been successful in recovering their lost senses. Which meant that Izroth should also have his vision back by now.

However, there was one thing that they did not understand. Valentine, who was still being lugged around by Guan Yu, had yet to move in the slightest.

"Hey, I'm not going to continue carrying you around now that we have our senses back!" Guan Yu said as he shook Valentine. However, there was no response.

"What's going on...?" Luna furrowed her brows. Everyone should have been released from the negative effects of the Source of Despair. However, Valentine was still under its influence!