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158 Unexpected Surprise

 Zelfyrion transported Izroth and his party to the peak of the mountain. What awaited them at the peak was a small black and gray cloud with purple bolts of lightning that crackled throughout its structure. It was no bigger than 30cm, but it released dangerous energy.

Valentine shook his head as he tried to regain his focus. The overload caused by the vast number of magic sequences that Zelfyrion's voice magic contained was too much for his Eyes of Magic to process. If not for Zelfyrion's help, then he may have needed at least another fifteen to twenty minutes to process everything.

However, the experience itself was incredible and Valentine now a much deeper understanding of magic sequences thanks to Zelfyrion. It was quite an unexpected gain.

But, what surprised everyone the most was not the small cloud at the mountain peak or Valentine's gain, but rather what happened to Luna.

Luna had experienced an astonishing transformation. When the green drop of liquid sunk into her forehead she began to undergo a total metamorphosis. By the time they finished transporting, it was complete and the changes were shocking.

Luna now had slightly longer pointed ears and her eyes were now deep sapphire in color. There was also this faint glowing aura around her that was hard to notice unless you focused on it, but it made her appear almost everlasting and full of vibrate energy.

On her forehead was an unknown and ancient looking symbol, imprinted where the green liquid had touched. This symbol soon vanished as if it too sunk into her forehead. Luna had transformed into a member of the Trephasia race with a powerful bloodline!

Although it obviously could not compare to Zelfyrion's bloodline, it was definitely a step above the average member of the Trephasia race. This was the parting gift Zelfyrion gave to them as a show of his sincerity.

Zi Yi stared at Luna with disbelief written all over her face. "Incredible, this should be the first known race change within all of RML! To makes things more interesting, it's to a member of the Trephasia race. I've read a few stories and legends about humans being granted the power of another race."

She then continued, "To my knowledge, it has been over one thousand years since anyone has last experienced a Trephasia race change." Of course, there may have been more cases that were unknown, but Zi Yi's current knowledge was limited by her access.

The reason Zi Yi wanted to complete this mission was not just for the rewards, but rather the chance at gaining access to the Amaharpe's Palace Library. If she could do that, then her knowledge of this world would increase to an entirely new level.

"Big sis Luna, you're like a fairy from those storybooks!" Guan Yu commented with amazement in his voice.

Izroth set his gaze upon Luna and examined her from head to toe. This, in turn, caused Luna's cheeks to flush with a light shade of pink from Izroth's staring.

A few moments later, Izroth nodded his head. "A great benefit indeed. It definitely suits you."

Of course, Izroth was referring to the benefits one were likely to receive after becoming a Trephasia. After all, it was common knowledge that members of the Trephasia race held a great advantage over other races when it came to magic.

Valentine was still a bit lost on the current situation, but he understood that something happened which allowed Luna to obtain something amazing.

"What exactly happened?" Valentine asked curiously.

Luna explained the details regarding her transformation. One of the most noteworthy things was that she received a reward from the system for being the first player to undergo a Race Metamorphosis. At the moment, she truly was the sole player within RML who was not human.

"I wonder what Zelfyrion meant when he said only you were compatible." Zi Yi said as she furrowed her brows. She was without a doubt happy for Luna, but she knew there was another specialty of the Trephasia race besides magic and that was archery! So, she could not help but be a little disappointed that she was not compatible.

Valentine, who one would believe to be the most depressed about not having received the transformation, was actually more curious about it rather than regretful of not obtaining it.

After seeing everyone's confusion and the weird looks they gave him as if expected some kind of tantrum, he explained that due to the unique nature of his class, even if he wanted to become a Trephasia it would probably not be wise.

A few moments later after everyone finished their discussion, they all turned their attention towards the small black and gray cloud at the center of the mountain's peak. The energy it released was not only powerful but also dreadful.

It was as if that cloud was enough to swallow the entire second floor whole in an instant.

The needle on the Isolation Compass pointed directly towards the small cloud.

"What a frightening aura." Halls said as he observed the small cloud. It felt viler than the time he came across Syxirius inside of that palace room within the Shadahi Realm. Even that Shadahi's aura seemed feeble before that tiny cloud.

'It reminds me of the Egg of Chaos back in the room with the stone tablets.'

Izroth did not mean that the two had the same powers, but instead, they had a similar origin. The origin is that unlike most items or phenomenons within RML that were crafted by a certain individual or players, it was naturally created by the world itself.

"Everyone, beneath us!" Luna exclaimed which caused everyone to react immediately.

Less than two seconds later, six Fal'Jika appeared from beneath the snow and tried to ambush them. However, the Fal'Jika were shocked when they realized that they had been discovered.

"Can't be! Leader, they know! Know!" One of the Fal'Jika cried out.

"Know! Must retreat! Go! Wish death later!" The leader of the Fal'Jika ordered as they began to sink back into the snow.

"Stay." Luna said as a strong wave of magic crashed into the bodies of the six Fal'Jika. The ancient magic symbol that had vanished earlier was now once again located on Luna's forehead.

"That voice magic... It's Zelfyrion's!" Valentine said as he was stunned. Although it was not even close to being on the same level as Zelfyrion's voice magic, it was still incredible to witness.

'Oh? It seems Zelfyrion was wholehearted about his sincerity.'

"She holds the voice! Holds it!" The Fal'Jika seemed frightened by Luna as if it were ingrained into them to fear that voice.

"No! She not him! Voice strong! But she not him! We wish death!" The leader of the Fal'Jika said. After Luna used the voice magic, the Fal'Jika seemed to be unable to retreat back into the snow. It was as if there were restrictions placed upon them by the voice magic Luna used.

The voice also allowed Izroth and his party to finally see information about the creatures they were dealing with for a brief moment.

Name: Fal'Jika Hunter(Elite)

Level: 29

HP: 39,420 (95%)

Name: Fal'Jika Hunter Leader(Elite)

Level: 30

HP: 66,420 (97%)

"Heh, finally! These are the little things that have been following us all this time right?" Guan Yu said as he brandished his guandao. He had not forgotten about their sneak attack against him from before and wanted to pay them back properly.

The Fal'Jika did not just charge in like normal monsters, but instead, they appeared to be very calculative. It was the first time Izroth and the members of his party had come across this type of monster.

Most of the Fal'Jika held onto jagged daggers smeared with the Fal'Jika poison. However, their leader wielded a sickle with a chain attached to the end of it. The blade of the sickle was covered in the Fal'Jika poison.

Izroth unsheathed his Blade of Lightning and immediately dashed towards the group of Fal'Jika. Since they were being so cautious, it was highly likely that they did not accel in direct combat. Even if things got dangerous, Izroth was confident in his ability to pull back if necessary.

The Fal'Jika Hunter Leader spun the sickle in his hand before tossing the chain outward towards Izroth.

Izroth waited until the last moment to shift his position as he successfully evaded the chain. However, the attack did not end there. The chain curved back around like a snake and wanted to surprise Izroth by striking him from behind after it missed.

But, as if Izroth had eyes in the back of his head, he ducked just before the chain was about to strike and dodged the attack.

Halls and Guan Yu began to make their way forward as well. As soon as Halls arrived within 15 meters of the Fal'Jika monsters, he used the skill Battle Focus to make sure that their aggro would be locked onto him instead of Izroth.

Izroth managed to close the distance quite easily since the leader of the Fal'Jika was the only creature with any kind of ranged attack. However, Izroth was still cautious of the poison dart from earlier. If he got struck by a few of those at the same time, then even Luna would not be able to keep him alive from her heals alone.

Izroth came to an abrupt halt near the center area of the six Fal'Jika as hundreds of palms swiftly barraged the vital points of the Fal'Jika creatures.

«Critical Hit»

-2,100

...

«Critical Hit»

-2,100

The number of palms continued to increase until hundreds became thousands. Thanks to the effect from Izroth's Myriad Elusive Palms skill, the cooldown timer was reset after his attacks successfully hit the six Fal'Jika. In total, Izroth used the skill four times and dealt 8,400 damage!

Since his higher level skills did not require the use of energy, Izroth was not reserved at all when it came to putting it to use.

Just as Izroth finished his assault, Zi Yi unleashed a rain of arrows which showered down upon the Fal'Jika.

-1,335

...

-1,335

With the HP of the Fal'Jika rapidly dropping, Guan Yu did not want to miss out on the fun. The Fal'Jika tried to withdraw themselves from the battle or at least create some distance, however, their specialty lies in their ability to travel through the snow at will. With this ability gone, their total combat prowess had greatly diminished.

"This is for the sneak attack!" Guan Yu shouted as his guandao swept in a perfect arc and smashed into the bodies of the Fal'Jika.

After seeing that it was impossible for them to be victorious, the leader of the Fal'Jika released a strange cry. The other Fal'Jika followed suit. The cry sounded like a cross between a monkey's cry and the roar of a beast.

"What are they up to?" Zi Yi said as she frowned.

"I'm not sure, but we shouldn't give them the chance to do whatever it is they're planning." Valentine responded as he started to cast a spell.

However, before he could get the spell off, the entire mountain shook violently and interrupted him. It also caused Halls and Guan Yu to halt their attacks just to maintain their balance.

As for Izroth, he was going to continue his assault, until he sensed terrifying energy developing behind him. This caused him to put a stop on his attacks and immediately use Flickering Steps to retreat.

The instant just after Izroth disappeared from the spot he just stood in, a dark purple bolt of lightning shot through his silhouette and towards the six Fal'Jika.

"No! No wish death us great Maelstrom! They wish death! Wish death them!" The leader of the Fal'Jika cried out, however, it was too late as the purple bolt devoured the Fal'Jika and turned them into nothingness.

'That was a close call. If I had delayed a single moment later...'

Everyone was relieved to see that Izroth was alright and it was just his afterimage that the purple bolt went through.

"What happened to those little creatures? I still didn't get enough payback." Guan Yu said with a bit of regret in his voice.

"Whatever happened to them had something to do with that small cloud. They referred to it as the great Maelstrom. I think it's pretty safe to consider it's directly related to the Undying Maelstrom." Zi Yi said.

"That little thing that you can sneeze away is the world ending Undying Maelstrom?" Halls said as he was dumbfounded.

"Hm, from what I've seen and heard, it's possible that this is not the actual Undying Maelstrom but rather just a tiny fragment." Valentine speculated.

Zi Yi nodded, "I was thinking the same thing. Though if this is only a fragment, I can only imagine how powerful the actual Undying Maelstrom is. But what I can't understand is why the Undying Maelstrom would harm the creatures it apparently created."

Zelfyrion referred to the Fal'Jika was vile creatures of the Maelstrom, so the Fal'Jika and the Maelstrom were obviously related.

As everyone spoke to one another, Izroth turned to look towards the mountain pathway that would have originally led them to the mountain peak if they had not been transported by Zelfyrion.

"Hm?" Luna noticed that Izroth was looking off into the distance as they were speaking as if his attention was on something else entirely.

"It seems fate continues to cross our paths with one another's, Izroth." A voice sounded out from the distance which surprised everyone there. There was someone here who knew Izroth's name and it sounded like a player! Was someone else attempting the endless trials as well?

When that person finally came into view, he was being followed by one other person. Well, there were two other people, but one of them was apparently unconscious and being carried by the other player. That player at the lead of the group was Aegis.

'Oh?'

Izroth felt that there was something different about Aegis. He appeared to be more serious this time around as if he had a goal in mind.

"I'll keep it simple. Three of you, hand over your lives." Aegis said without a single bit of hesitation.