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249 Betrayed?

 〈Battle Logs: Nekrostis has summoned creatures from the Nether Realm!〉

〈Battle Logs: 20 seconds remaining for the «Restless Souls of the Undead»!〉

Cheeeeet!

After five seconds passed, six Undead Netherworld Skeletons climbed from out of the ground and immediately charged towards Izroth's party.

Halls wasted no time using Battle Focus so that the Undead Netherworld Skeletons would turn their attention onto him instead of going after one of the other party members.

Izroth moved swiftly to deal with the skeletons that spawned. Since they were the same as the previous skeletons that he most recently fought against, Izroth took care of them in a similar manner. With one sweep of his sword using the First Baneful Sword: Destruction, he was able to kill off each skeleton just moments after they spawned in.

"I guess I'll just leave them to you from now on." Halls said after seeing how easily Izroth dealt with the monsters that spawned. If he could take care of them with such ease then it would save him some trouble.

As Izroth eliminated the creatures, a faint violet colored mist passed through his body. After defeating six of the Netherworld skeletons, he gained six stacks of something called Restless Souls. Just like with the stacks of plague, there was no immediate consequence, however, Izroth knew that if he took it lightly then things could end on a disastrous note.

'Every time I eliminate one of them, I gained another stack of Restless Souls. I still have no idea what kind of consequences accumulating too many stacks will have, therefore, I should not take on too many for the time being.'

As the twenty seconds passed by, six level 38 Undead Netherworld Skeletons spawned every five seconds. Izroth handled twelve of the creatures while Guan Yu took care of the other twelve without issue. Both of them accumulated a total of 12 stacks of Restless Souls each.

Meanwhile, Zi Yi and Mariposa were not letting up on their damage output on Nekrostis.

After the Restless Souls of the Undead ended, Izroth and Guan Yu rejoined the main boss fight.

"I've played enough games! Now die!" Nekrostis said as it stuck its boney tail into the ground and stopped all of its movements.

Immune!

Immune!

"It's in a state of immunity so careful!" Zi Yi warned as she halted her assault.

Everyone else also chose not to waste their energy and mana on attacking something that was completely immune. Of course, these states were not uncommon in higher level boss fights, especially against rare bosses. When bosses entered into a state of immunity like this it usually meant one of two things.

The first was that the players had to do something special to get the boss to leave its state of immunity. The second was that the boss was preparing to use one of its stronger abilities. Either way, it was definitely a sign of trouble.

Halls released a deep breath and said, "I'd rather fight against that behemoth from the event again instead of this thing. At least then all I had to worry about was being crushed by a giant boulder."

Guan Yu laughed as he said, "I know what you mean. For some reason, this fight feels more complicated than the boss fights I'm used to. Though, I'm not necessarily complaining. I enjoy a good challenge either way."

"It's not a coincidence that this fight feels more complicated than usual. Not only is this an SSS-ranked quest, but we're also starting to truly leave behind the hand holding stage of the game. In other words, things will only become increasingly difficult from here on in. We can't afford to take these type of boss fights as lightly as the ones before, otherwise, we won't even know how we died." Zi Yi stated.

'She's right. All the boss fights up until could be considered a warm-up exercise. It seems we've arrived at the end of the first road.'

"This stage of the game is where the elite and experienced players are truly separated from the average bunch. There will be many hidden gems that finally steps into the spotlight." Mariposa commented.

Sheeeng!

As they were waiting for the immunity state of the boss to end, the sound of a blade being unsheathed could be heard coming from deep within the underground chambers in a corner of darkness. As the sound grew closer to Izroth's party, it became loud and sounded like a disharmony of metal blades clashing against one another.

"What's that?" Guan Yu said as he saw a large cloud of dust rising and rushing towards them. At the moment, it was around forty meters away and closing in fast!

It was hard to see through the cloud of dust, however, as it came into clear viewing distance, one could see something that resembled that of an operating mine flail, except it was made out of nothing but bones. But, from the sound of the bones colliding with one another, it sounded as if they were made out of metal.

The bones headed in their direction had spikes on the outside and as it made contact with the terrain it actually ground up the earth beneath it. It spanned across the entire underground chambers and so there was nowhere to run or hide!

"Everyone, try to position yourself on the same path as the boss. There's a good chance that the attack won't reach us that way." Zi Yi said as she moved into a position that was lined up directly on the path of Nekrostis. The others soon followed suit and moved as well.

As the spinning bones of death approached Nekrostis, instead of being stopped or hindered in any way, it simply phased through the body of the boss monster as if it was not even there.

Bang!

Halls was the first person the bones made contact with and it slammed up against his shield and caused his entire body to slid back a bit with the force of the impact.

«Blocked»

-2,063

Zi Yi observed the attack carefully and something instantly caught her attention. After the bones struck Halls, that small specific path where his body blocked the skill no longer had any bones on it. Not too long after Halls was hit, Guan Yu was next to face the attack.

«Parried»

-2,985

Guan Yu managed to successfully parry the attack by making sure his guandao took the brunt of the assault. The results were the same as Halls where a small path was left without bones as it passed by Guan Yu. It did not take long for Zi Yi to connect the pieces together.

"Quick! Stand on the same path as Halls or Guan Yu!" Zi Yi yelled in a hastened manner. They only had a few seconds to move, therefore, she could not waste time going into any specific details.

However, Izroth, Mariposa, and Luna were all very observant. The three of them managed to catch on just as Zi Yi did and had already begun to make their move towards the safe pathways created by Halls and Guan Yu.

Sheeeeng!

The wave of bones passed right by the four of them as they were able to successfully avoid the attack.

As the bones traveled towards the end of the chambers, it reversed its path and began to head back towards the party at an increased speed. The bones that were previously destroyed had been replenished. But, this time, everyone already understood what to do.

Everyone immediately moved behind Halls so that he would be the only person to receive any damage from the attack. It was a good thing that they did because the attack was even more vicious on its return trip.

«Blocked»

-5,109

+3,058

+1,390

Luna cast Heal on Halls followed by a Cure to restore most of his lost HP. She had no trouble keeping up with the damage being dished out by the boss monster, however, Luna's biggest concern so far was the stacks of plague. They still had not yet figured out how the stacks were being accumulated.

"Persistent bags of flesh!" Nekrostis roared as it pulled its boney tail out of the ground and resumed its physical assault against Izroth's party.

85%...

75%...

65%...

Woosh!

Izroth's Sword of The Storm sliced into the bones of Nekrostis with relative ease. After locating its weak point, Izroth made sure to take full advantage of it and locked the focus of his attacks onto that specific area. He found that after five attacks to a weak point, it would snap and enter into a state of self-repair. During that state of self-repair, one was unable to injure Nekrostis if they attacked that part of its body.

«Critical Hit»

-1,858

«Critical Hit»

-4,466

«Critical Hit»

-7,075

Just as Izroth's last Phantom Strike connected with the skeletal of Nekrostis, that area that he struck turned violet in color and became immune to damage.

As they fought against Nekrostis, everyone became more comfortable with its attack patterns. Every time its HP dropped by 10%, Nekrostis would enter into its purple sphere form. After doing so, it would unleash that deadly violet light and damage everyone while removing all stacks of plague at the same time.

Unfortunately, no one had been able to discover what was causing one person to gain more stacks of plague than the other. To be honest, it almost seemed as if the plague stacks were stacking on targets at random. But, they were able to figure out that each stack of plague dealt a flat 250 damage that ignored all defensive stats.

Therefore, for the time being, it was up to Luna to make sure that no one was in a dangerous situation HP wise when it came to plague stacks. They also found out that there was no consequence in attacking Nekrostis during its purple sphere state. In fact, it was quite vulnerable since it was stationary and easy to target in that form.

They were also able to confirm that the Plague of Death was behind the stacks of plague and the Aura of Death was that violet light being released during Nekrostis purple sphere form. Therefore, at the very least, they were able to discover what two of the abilities they were affected by was doing to them.

Unfortunately, the same could not be said for the remaining two skills, the Hand of Darkness and Restless Souls of the Undead. At the moment, excluding Luna, everyone had around 14 to 16 stacks of Restless Souls. However, there was nothing unusual going on as far as they could tell. As for the Hand of Darkness, they still possessed zero information regarding what its abilities were.

After leaving its purple sphere form, Nekrostis would immediately use Restless Souls of the Undead. Once that ended, it always followed up with its AOE skill "bones of death" as they were now calling it. It did not appear to be straying from this pattern, however, that did not mean that Izroth and the others expected things to stay the same for the rest of the fight.

60%...

55%...

50%...

"Get ready!" Halls warned everyone when as they reached the 50% HP mark. It was at this time that Nekrostis would enter into his purple sphere form and unleash that wave of violet light followed by its other skills. However, something strange happened this time around.

Instead of taking on its usual form, the skeletal form of Nekrostis transformed into a biped humanoid species that stood around six meters tall. Nekrostis still possessed its tail, however, its bones were now a grayish crimson color and its skull looked like that of a demonic beast.

〈Battle Logs: Nekrostis has entered into its second stage!〉

"You will regret this day for all eternity." Nekrostis bellowed as a deathly aura appeared around its now skeletal hand and fingers. It pointed its boney finger outward towards Izroth's party.

Woosh!

All of a sudden, a lone arrow soared through the air and disappeared into the void. Less than one second later, it reappeared right at the back of Halls' head whose attention was focused on Nekrostis and his new transformation.

Bang!

«Critical Hit»

-3,264

Halls felt a powerful force slam into the back of his head. When everyone turned and realized who the attack came from, they were all in a momentary state of shock.

"What are you doing?!" Guan Yu shouted angrily at Zi Yi who stood there ready to fire off a second shot. Had she lost her mind attacking one of her own party members?