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260 A Race Against Time

 There was a faint and holy aura that encompassed Izroth, as well as, his fellow party members. If the Holy Blessings enchantment was comparable to a small puddle of holy power, then the Divine Blessing of the All-Seeing Goddess was a vast sea that stretched further than the eye could see. The difference between the two were just that great.

With the new holy aura that was encompassing them, Izroth and the others were able to take a peek at the power Nekrostalmenos held, however, they did not discover anything that they did not already know. That creature was undoubtedly strong.

Name: Arm of Nekrostalmenos, Envoy of the Netherworld(???)

Level: ???

HP: 9,800,000 (98%)

"What insane HP...!" Halls said after seeing the HP of that massive arm. Just one arm from that creature had more than nine million HP! Gear had even torn off one of its fingers and its HP only went down by two percent! If having a finger ripped off only did that much damage, how much effort would it take for them to force this thing to retreat?

"Its HP alone is more than seventeen times that of Nekrostis. If that's the strength of only one of its arms, it's hard to imagine how monstrous this creature is at full power." Zi Yi commented.

The group closed in rapidly on the arm of Nekrostalmenos. Of course, it did not take them long to reach within attack range given how much space that arm took up in this part of the underground chamber.

Nekrostalmenos scoffed as it tapped one of its fingers on the ground as Izroth and his party was on the move.

"Unworthy insects, perish." Nekrostalmenos' voice echoed throughout the chambers. There was a hint of anger hidden away in its tone. To have a bunch of weak humans and a member of that long-lived race willingly attack it was an insult! To Nekrostalmenos, it was as though a few insects were trying to block its path. How could it not feel disgusted and angered?

The moment Nekrostalmenos' finger made contact with the ground, a constant wave of tremors shook the underground chambers and straight at Izroth's party!

However, just as the wave of tremors were more than there quarters of the way to Izroth's party, they came to an abrupt halt and even began to be pushed back as Izroth's party charged forward. Around ten seconds later, the tremors stopped and Izroth, as well as, his party were completely unaffected.

"Oh? Those are... Quake Waves? It looks like he's grown even more than I anticipated." Gear said with a grin on his face.

After Nekrostalmenos made its move and tapped its finger on the ground to send our those tremors, Izroth used the skill Behemoth's Quake to send out his own tremors. In turn, he was able to cancel out Nekrostalmenos' attack! In other words, even though it had the first move, Nekrostalmenos suffered a loss!

Even if it was just a casual attack without much thought or effort, it was still an attack that should have been powerful enough to send the likes of Izroth and the others flying across the underground chambers.

While one could not see Nekrostalmenos' face, from the sudden spike in deathly energy that converged on its location, it was obvious that it had been angered.

Mariposa had a stunned expression on her face after she witnessed what had just occurred. That was Canceling! Izroth could actually use Canceling! Even top-level players like herself had a challenging time executing such an advanced skill!

The basic principle of Canceling was just as its name described, canceling out incoming attacks. The theory behind it all was that if two attacks that were of the same type, then the colliding attacks would be completely nullified. While it sounded so simple to execute in theory, actually doing so was exceedingly difficult, especially in the middle of an intense combat situation.

At the moment, the best-known player amongst the top guilds at using Canceling within RML, specifically Magic Canceling, was Wang Ping, the guild leader of Hypers Symphony. However, even he was nowhere close to mastering that technique and yet, Izroth had pulled it off in such a casual manner.

Mariposa released a small sigh. She found that every time she believed that she had finally gauged Izroth's full strength, he would always surprise her with something unexpected. What was most bizarre was that she was the only member of the party who was shocked by Izroth's feat. Everyone else seemed just as carefree and unbothered as Izroth.

However, how could she know that the others had already built up a certain level of resistance against Izroth's ridiculous feats after all this time? The others felt that Izroth could pick up a random rock on the side of the road and somehow find a treasure map that gave away the location of a legendary item. If Izroth knew that the others thought that about him, he would not know if he should laugh or cry!

"Resistance is futile, humans. You will regret your audacious behavior." Nekrostalmenos said as a red hue filled up the entire underground chambers. That red hue had a foul smell to it and made one's body feel heavier than usual. This was due to the highly concentrated deathly energy that was being released into the atmosphere.

"Well now, this isn't good." Gear said to himself as he felt the deathly energy in the surrounding area. Nekrostalmenos' strength was rising to a dangerous level. If this continued on for another seven minutes or so, then even Gear would be unable to prevent him from coming through the portal. At this point, it was a race against time!

"Those guys sure would be useful right about now." Gear muttered. Unfortunately, the other individuals known as the seven heroes were busy with more pressing matters. Gear's silhouette flickered as he appeared next to Izroth's party.

Everyone was startled by Gear's sudden appearance, however, it quickly passed when they realized who it was.

"I will keep its main hand suppressed. During that time, focus your attacks on the center area of the arm where he's the most vulnerable. I shouldn't have to warn you, but be careful. Even with that blessing, one wrong move and it could be the end." Gear said as his silhouette flickered once again and he was gone before Izroth and the others could even respond.

Woosh!

Gear appeared before the palm of Nekrostalmenos' hand and took the initiative to attack!

"You shall be the first human I kill once I cross over to the Mortal Realm!" Nekrostalmenos spoke in a cold voice as it smashed its hand into the ground and attempted to squash Gear into meat paste.

"I'm afraid you won't get that chance, old man." Gear said as a plain-looking dagger suddenly appeared in his hand as he swept it outward to meet with Nekrostalmenos' palm!

BOOM!

When the two attacks collided with one another, it sent out a shockwave that was similar to the one that broke Mariposa's Spatial Seeking Needles earlier against the Netherworld Terror. This time, however, everyone was protected by the buff Tererestiaa had given them and remained unaffected by the shockwave.

Izroth was the first to arrive near the center area of the arm as he slashed down mercilessly with a simple sword strike to test the waters.

-37,340

'Even with the holy damage, its defensive abilities are impressive.'

Having 10,000% holy damage added to his attacks meant that he was dealing 100 times his normal damage. In other words, with his base attack being at 1863, before any defenses came into play, he should be doing over 180,000 damage with his sword strikes.

However, almost 150,000 damage was cut off due to the high defenses Nekrostalmenos possessed. Of course, Izroth expected no less from a creature of such raw power. Izroth immediately took it up one step as he switched his stance to the first sword form.

Izroth's sword, followed by two phantoms of itself, sliced across the massive arm three times in quick succession. Afterward, he shifted his position and struck out with a single finger, piercing through every last bit of defense the arm possessed with Fissuring Point.

«Critical Hit»

-37,340

«Critical Hit»

-74,520

«Critical Hit»

-111,780

«Critical Hit»

-372,600

"Brother, don't go having all the fun by yourself!" Guan Yu roared as he charged forward and cleanly swept his guandao on the arm. There was this sharp aura hidden behind his guandao and it seemed to slice through the defenses of the arm almost as easily as Izroth's Fissuring Point. It was the Arcing Armor Crusher! However, Guan Yu was a bit disappointed that he failed to activate the fragmented effect.

-370,880

In the blink of an eye, just between Izroth and Guan Yu, they had managed to almost deal one million damage! That was nearly ten percent of the arm's total HP value in just a few seconds! If things kept going at this rate, then it would not take them a long time at all to defeat this thing.

"Heh, isn't this arm a bit too weak now that we have this buff?" Guan Yu stated after seeing how much damage his strikes were dealing. Even his basic attacks were hitting for just over 39,000. Also, Nekrostalmenos seemed too preoccupied with Gear to do anything about them, therefore, he was practically just a punching bag for them!

For Guan Yu who had to stay out of the fights in order to seal the portals, this was definitely a breath of fresh air!

"Don't let your guard down. We still have no idea what this thing is capable of. Also, don't forget what we were told not too long ago. Despite how it looks now, with one wrong move, everything could change instantly." Zi Yi reminded Guan Yu as she shot off two arrows with her skill Void Jump.

-55,800

-55,800

"I know, after all, I don't plan on dying in this place." Guan Yu said as he unleashed a vicious assault on the massive arm.

Less than twenty seconds had passed, however, Izroth and his party had managed to reduce the arm's HP down to less than three million! Seven minutes? They would not even need one minute!

However, Izroth inwardly frowned. For some reason, he felt that something was off and he could not shake this strange feeling.

'Even with Gear keeping it suppressed, this fight should not be this easy.'

Just as that thought was passing through Izroth's mind, more than ten Undead Netherworld Skeletal Beast rushed from out of the same portal that Nekrostalmenos' arm currently occupied!

"Careful!" Halls called out as he noticed the skeletal beast leaving the portal. However, instead of running over in their direction, something bizarre happened that no one could have foreseen.

Chomp!

Everyone was momentarily dumbfounded by what they witnessed. That was because instead of targetting them, the skeletal beast attacked the massive arm!

"What are they up to?" Zi Yi spoke under her breath. However, she was not the only one with that question on her mind. But, it would be foolish of them to take their attention off the arm of Nekrostalmenos when it was so close to death.

Around five seconds after the first wave of skeletal beast left the portal, yet another wave made its way out and bit into the arm without hesitation, latching onto it. At the same moment the second wave of six skeletal beasts bit into the massive arm, the first wave of creatures sunk into the corroded skin it was latched onto.

〈Battle Alert: Arm of Nekrostalmenos, Envoy of the Netherworld has absorbed the Undead Skeletal Beast!〉

22% -> 100% HP Remaining! (Nekrostalmenos)

In an instant, all of the damage Nekrostalmenos had received in the past few moments had become nonexistent!

"Guan Yu, guard the portal!" Zi Yi said after realizing what was going on.

"Leave it to me!" Guan Yu said as he pulled off the massive arm and hurried over towards the portal.

Exactly five seconds after the second wave of skeletal beasts, seven more appeared from within the portal and their goal was the same as their predecessors. However, this time, Guan Yu was there to confront them. Thanks to the holy aura, he could easily one shot every skeletal beast that walked through that portal. For the time being, the problem had been taken care of.

"The numbers keep increasing with every wave that occurs once every five seconds. Eventually, even if he could take care of every skeletal beast in one shot, Guan Yu will not be able to fend them all off alone." Zi Yi said with furrowed brows.

This could all be solved by them simply changing locations, however, its defenses were already so high in this area that was supposed to be its weakest point. Therefore, would they even scratch it if they attacked anywhere else?

However, something still bothered Izroth. He thought that after the appearance of the skeletal beasts that strange feeling would disappear, but it still remained.

'Why is it that I can't shake this feeling? I have to be missing or overlooking something important, but what is it?'