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235 Stepping Into The Mist Of The Netherworld

 Izroth led his party towards the location on the Realm Chart. At the moment, he walked at the very front of the group with the Realm Chart in his hands, looking it over. Of course, he had already remembered every single detail about the Realm Chart, however, it still helped to have the physical image itself directly before him.

'I had no idea this many locations had already been discovered and explored.'

After viewing the high-quality Realm Chart, Izroth could tell that this definitely was not the work of a single person. There was simply too much ground to be mapped out and covered by a single individual. Therefore, it must have taken a dedicated team of Cartographers send in various different directions to make this Realm Chart.

'I wonder who's behind the creation of this Realm Chart.'

The Realm Chart had no item creator name listed in its description area and Azalea did not bother disclosing who it was, therefore, he had no clues whatsoever to go on.

There were numerous locations that caught Izroth's attention right off the back. For example, there was an interesting patch of land that had a certain marking that Izroth had recognized from back in the Endless Pandemonium Tower. It was a similar marking to the one found on that faceless statue. In other words, it most likely had something to do with the Trephasia race!

'I will have to investigate that area further when I have some time.'

Izroth did not forget about the quest he received to deliver the Empress Brooch to a member of the Trephasia race who shared the same bloodline as that mysterious Empress. However, there was no time limit to the quest and so Izroth was in no particular rush to finish it for the time being. Right now, he had to focus on the mission before him.

...

〈System Alert: You have left the first kingdom, «Amaharpe»!〉

〈System Alert: You have entered into the second kingdom, «O'Tohelm»!〉

〈System Alert: Warning, the kingdom «O'Tohelm» you have crossed into does not have an official treaty with the kingdom «Amaharpe» that you are leaving!〉

It took the group nearly two hours to reach the border crossing into a territory that was completely unknown to them. However, it did not take long for the system to clarify a few things. This specific territory belonged to the second kingdom, O'Tohelm.

The surroundings were similar to a normal forest, however, the natural color of the trees made it appear as if the season within this forest was stuck in autumn. The tree trunks themselves were a deep maroon color with shades of orange here and there.

As for the ground beneath their feet, the grass itself was surprisingly a lush green color. There was also no sign of any fallen leaves on the ground and it seemed as though the grass was completely unaffected by its surroundings.

Zi Yi explained what she knew regarding O'Tohelm from the Amaharpe Palace Library, as well as, the library that was available to the public.

In RML, there were countless different kingdoms and territories. However, there were only a handful of truly powerful kingdoms. The second kingdom, O'Tohelm, held a noticeable amount of influence and had numerous talented individuals with amazing strength. But, unlike most other kingdoms who embraced travelers, they were not very welcoming of outsiders.

"Do you think they'll attack us just from entering this place?" Halls asked.

Zi Yi, however, shook her head and replied, "No, that's highly doubtful. Even though they do not welcome outsiders, they won't go out of their way to attack them based on what I know. Well, as long as we don't enter into any of their sacred grounds that is..."

"Oh? Just how to do these sacred grounds look?" Izroth inquired.

"There wasn't any information regarding the appearance, just that the O'Tohelm people are very defensive when it comes to their sacred grounds. Apparently, they will attack outsiders who trespass without question. We still have no idea about how strong the NPCs guarding a sacred ground would be, but my guess is that they would at least be elite type NPCs. Therefore, we should be careful to avoid any sacred grounds." Zi Yi warned.

"How are we supposed to avoid something if we have no idea what it looks like?" Guan Yu said with furrowed brows.

"We'll just have to tread carefully, right?" Mariposa said in a nonchalant manner.

Around ten minutes later, Izroth and his party halted their steps. This was because of the strange phenomenon that was currently blocking their path. It was a strange mesh of light waves that were different colors. The light waves were bending, twisting, and swirling around each other forming an almost rainbow-like appearance.

"How pretty." Luna said quietly to herself as she watched the waves of light dance around. It almost resembled an aurora in the artic sky.

"It looks as if it's trying to guide us to a specific location up ahead." Mariposa said as she observed the light waves.

"Azalea did say that there was a village not too far our current location. I believe she referred to the residents as the League of The Eidolon." Izroth stated. There were not too far from their destination, therefore, there was a possibility that these light waves truly did lead to a village.

"Then do we still follow it?" Halls questioned.

"Hm, there's no guarantee that it actually leads to a village, that's only mere speculation. I say we continue on our current path. If we take a detour, we could end up spending an extra thirty minutes reaching our destination. However, the choice is yours, Izroth." Zi Yi explained.

Izroth thought about it briefly, but in the end, he was unwilling to take such a long detour based off a simple guess. Besides, if they really did come across the village, it was not as if he were afraid of a confrontation. Although he was never for intentionally making enemies, he would also not allow himself to be bullied or anyone to block his path.

If they were peaceful, then he would also be peaceful. However, if they wanted a fight then he would be more than glad to deliver it to them.

No one argued with Izroth's decision after he made it and they followed along the path of the rainbow light waves. During their travels, they saw that the light waves would occasionally disappear and flicker out of existence before reappearing once again. Although the path remained unchanged, the patterns and colors came back differently every single time.

"So strange!" Guan Yu couldn't help but comment after feeling dizzy from the sudden and constant change of colors.

Soon enough, Izroth and his party arrived at the end of the trail of light waves and what awaited them was a giant wall of gray colored mist.

'I can't see through it, but I can still sense the creatures roaming around within the mist.'

Even Izroth with his amazing sight was unable to peer through the thick mist covering the area before them. It was to the point where it would be impossible for someone to see their own hand in front of their face if they entered into the mist. However, there was no sign or indication of any village nearby whatsoever.

'Could it be that we passed by the village without realizing it? Or have we just not gone far enough yet?'

"We'll have to stay close together so that no one gets lost in the mist." Zi Yi said with a frown on her face. She knew that the mist would be difficult to see through, but she did not think that it would actually be underexaggerated.

"You can leave that small detail to me." Mariposa spoke with a hint of confidence in her voice as she tapped her magic staff on the ground six times in quick succession.

"There, done." Mariposa said.

Everyone had a confused look on their faces as if they were awaiting answers. Done? Done with what? All they saw was that she tapped her staff against the ground a few times and that was it. Even after checking the battles logs they were unable to notice anything different about themselves. At least, this was the case for everyone except Izroth.

This was due to the skill Spatial Awareness that Izroth learned back in the Endless Pandemonium Tower. It allowed him to see things that most players, unless they specialized in spatial magic, would be unable to perceive. Attached near everyone in the party's shoulder was a small black circle with tiny magic symbols floating around inside of it. It was a type of spatial magic!

"Ah, I forgot it doesn't show up for most people on the logs. I just attached a... I guess a space beacon would be the most accurate term, to each and every one of you. If anyone should get lost, I will be able to guide them out using my spatial magic." Mariposa explained.

So that was it! Everyone now had a look of understanding and clarity on their faces.

Zi Yi released a small sigh and muttered under her breath, "Just say that from the beginning next time..."

After that was settled, Izroth removed four Holy Blessings enchantment stones from his inventory. He gave one to Halls, Zi Yi, and Guan Yu.

"The monsters inside the mist are specter types, therefore, physical attacks are useless against them. However, that's only the case if a weapon does not have the holy attribute attached to it. The effects will only last for 24 hours, but that should be more than enough time to finish up what we came here for." Izroth said.

Izroth tapped the enchantment stone against his Sword of The Storm as it disappeared. A few seconds later, a faint divine aura appeared around his sword. It was the holy attribute that had just been added from the enchantment stone.

After thanking Izroth, the others followed suit and used the Holy Blessings on their weapons as well.

Now that Mariposa had marked everyone with her spatial magic and Izroth had handed out the enchantment stones, it was time for them to head into the mist.

Izroth, Halls, and Guan Yu were the first to enter inside the mist. Following right behind them was Luna, Zi Yi, and Mariposa. Everyone made sure to stay close to one another, however, they were unable to see even one meter in front of them.

〈System Alert: You have entered into the «Mist of The Netherworld»〉

'Mist of The Netherworld?'

The name alone sounded incredibly ominous! As Izroth and his party moved forward through the mist, they were surprisingly able to stick close to each other. Every few moments, each person would check in to make sure that none of them had strayed off. If someone did move off from their group, they would all come to a stop and allow Mariposa to guide them back with her spatial magic.

Suuuuuuuuuo...

All of a sudden, Izroth and his party heard a noise that almost sounded like someone wailing senselessly.

"Something's closing in fast from the mist. It's closing in from the east." Izroth warned. The moment he did so, everyone immediately halted their steps and prepared for an engagement.

Izroth unsheathed his Sword of The Storm as a strong gust of wind blew in the surroundings. However, that was not all that happened. Due to the holy attribute attached to his weapon, the location two meters around Izroth was now clear and he was actually able to see! Of course, this was severely restricted to the two meters around him.

The same thing happened when the others who used the Holy Blessings on their items drew their weapons. They were excited at finally being able to see through the mist, however, they could see that even with the Holy Blessings, the mist was slowly starting to fight back against the holy energy. It was rapidly expanding and would soon rob Izroth and his party of their sight once again.

'It looks like there's a time limit to how long we can see after drawing our weapons. I assume there must be some kind of cooldown time as well.'

As Izroth was pondering about the holy attribute, he quickly slashed his sword out in a sideways arc. However, his sword felt as if it hit absolutely nothing. But, there was a loud screeching sound that followed as though something was in a great deal of pain. That was when Izroth laid his eyes on a ghost-like a creature with beady black eyes and a formless body.

-1,389

The body of the creature constantly morphed into different monstrous shapes and it was frightening to witness it firsthand.

Name: Netherworld Specter(Elite)

Level: 37

HP: 101,361(99%)