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385 Too Strong! An Unchecked Izroth?

 "Human, you shall become a living sacrifice for my master. Rejoice, for your once pitiful existence will finally have some meaning." Nekynigos stated as a large grin appeared on his face. However, it was quite a disturbing grin as it curved all the way to where the temples on his head should be located and revealed a row of sharp teeth.

'Only 85,000 HP? Strange... Either his power is focused in other areas, or being a rare elite creature is different from normal monsters.'

Izroth's first thought was that Nekynigos was similar to the individuals he faced in the selection when it came to his stats. What this meant was that the current Nekynigos most likely mimicked a level 50 player with full rare equipment, except he was slightly stronger due to his status as a rare elite. Although Izroth had only seen it with NPCs before, that did not mean it was impossible for some creatures to be the same way. However, this was just a theory of his as he had no definitive proof.

"I'm curious... Does everyone from the Netherworld enjoy hearing themselves speak? It was the same thing with the other one even after I severed his arm." Izroth said with a carefree expression on his face.

While speaking, Izroth took a moment to quickly glance over the quest. He found the contents of the quest, both the reward and failure, were interesting, to say the least.

Quest Name: Hunted By A Creature of the Netherworld

Recommended Level: 48

Recommended Party Size: 5-6

Quest Rank: S

Quest Objective: Due to the passive «Curse of the Netherworld», you are currently being hunted by a creature of the Netherworld named Dark Bones Nekynigos. Eliminate Dark Bones Nekynigos or face the consequences.

Time Limit: 1 Hour

0/1 Eliminate Dark Bones Nekynigos.

Reward:

-Unlock access to the «Netherworld Exchange»

-x8 «Spirit Voucher»

-Gain +225 world fame

Failure:

-Lose -5 levels.

-Lose -500 world fame.

-25% Chance for an Existence Wipe to occur

Special Note: This quest may be shared with any number of players as long as they are affected by the passive «Curse of the Netherworld».

'Netherworld Exchange?'

Since this was an S-ranked quest, then the rewards should be nothing to scoff at. But, the only recognizable reward that Izroth saw was the gaining of world fame, however, this alone was obviously not enough to act as a reward for an S-ranked quest. This was even more so considering the result of one's failure.

Therefore, this signified that the Netherworld Exchange and Spirit Vouchers had to be something of great value! Even if Izroth was unaware of the benefits that each provided, he understood that this was not an opportunity to be overlooked. Besides, it was not as if he had any other choice but to fight. Otherwise, not only would he lose 5 levels and world fame, but there was also a 25% chance of him experiencing an existence wipe which would completely erase his character. Of course, Izroth had zero intentions of starting over from square one.

If he met this Nekynigos not too long after his previous encounter with the Netherworld Envoy, then perhaps it would have been somewhat worrying. However, even if Nekynigos was a rare elite, how could he compare to the likes of the opponents Izroth faced during the selection? In his eyes, this Nekynigos was not even worthy of being a warm-up!

"Trying to get me mad? Hmph, don't think I'm as naive as you humans. I know that last time you had the help of a divine blessing. But, even with a divine blessing... If my master were here in person, then you would have been squashed like a bug beneath his feet. Without your divine blessing, you are nothing but my plaything!" Nekynigos stated as numerous dark bones began to sprout out of his body.

In an instant, Nekynigos' body was almost covered from head to toe in dark bones with sharp tips. There was an aura of death that lingered around each bone that revealed itself as Nekynigos lowered his stance until he resembled a wild quadruped beast ready to charge at its prey.

Izroth unsheathed his Sword of The Storm and immediately after doing so, he vanished only leaving the strong gust of wind that was generated by his sword being unsheathed.

Using Enhanced Instantaneous Movement, Izroth arrived in front of Nekynigos before he could make his next move. As for the sword in his hand, it was already traveling towards the head of the Netherworld creature without the slightest bit of hesitation!

Nekynigos was surprised by Izroth's abrupt movement skill. However, there was not a look of panic on his face, but an expression filled with a mocking sentiment. He wanted to cut through his dark bones? Keep dreaming!

The dark bones around Nekynigos' neck extended outward and swiftly created an enclosed barrier around his head. The dark bones moved naturally as if they were simply an extension of Nekynigos himself. To him, it was no different than moving his arms or legs.

Woosh!

Izroth's sword collided with the dark bones and released a sound similar to metal clashing against metal. There were even a few sparks created from the impact, however, right when Izroth's sword made contact with Nekynigos' dark bones, a sharp sword intent flew out from his Sword of The Storm like a wave in the ocean. It was his Fifth Sword Form: Receding Tides.

Nekynigos could not evade the attack given how close he was to the sword and could only depend on the defenses of his body to block the incoming sword intent.

Bang!

-4,418

The sword intent phased right through Nekynigos' as it damaged him in the process. There was a small trace of the holy element present in Izroth's attack. This was due to one of the effects granted to him by the Curse of the Netherworld skill. With this skill, Izroth was able to deal 100% bonus holy damage to creatures of the Netherworld. Naturally, this included Nekynigos.

Given that Izroth already possessed high attack power, this bonus holy damage was like giving wings to a tiger! Even with the assistance of his dark bones, Nekynigos still suffered a great deal of damage from the fifth sword form.

'It's a shame that this bonus holy damage is only useful against creatures of the Netherworld. Even using a low damaging skill like the fifth sword form is extremely effective with this kind of empowerment.'

After reaching its maximum range, the sword intent traveled back towards its point of origin. This time, however, the damage was even greater than before.

«Critical Hit»

-13,356

Izroth's 8% critical hit chance went off and the damage of the returning sword intent soared to the next level. As for Nekynigos, he never expected the sword intent to launch a second attack from his blind spot! What left him the most dumbfounded was the fact that Izroth's sword intent actually carried with it a hint of that vile holy aura which all creatures of the Netherworld despised.

"Dark Bones Nesting Grounds!" Nekynigos roared out in fury as the ground within thirty meters began to shake violently. A few seconds later, countless dark bones started to rise up from beneath the ground. All of a sudden, one of the dark bones transformed into a carbon copy of Nekynigos. The sole difference was that this copy was created entirely out of dark bones! Not before long, other dark bones started to transform into copies of Nekynigos. However, the time between each appearance of a new copy seemed to be spaced out.

Izroth paid no mind to these copies of Nekynigos as he pressed forward with his next assault. He twisted his body as he spun around in quick succession as two phantom blades trailed behind his Sword of The Storm. But, right after two phantom blades appeared, something bizarre happened that had never occurred before when Izroth used his Phantom Strike.

In addition to his first sword strike and the two phantom blades that followed in its path, the sword in his hand appeared to split into two as a mirage image of his first sword strike showed itself along with two more phantom blades. This made a total of two swords and four phantom blades rushing towards Nekynigos. During the middle of this action, Izroth had shifted his sword stance to match that of First Sword Form: Converging Paths.

Swoosh! Woosh! Woosh!

Nekynigos was mercilessly struck by a bombard of attacks without any time to respond or create distance after using his Dark Bones Nesting Grounds. There were also two waves of sword intent that was just like the attack launched against him earlier! Of course, this part was the passive of Izroth's Fifth Sword Form: Receding Tides being activated not once, but twice!

But, it did not end here as Nekynigos was affected by stack upon stack of Blood Stigma! Then, after pouring some Essence into the Sword of The Storm, an overbearing aura descended down upon Nekynigos. All of this happened in the mere blink of an eye.

«Critical Hit»

-2,763 [Phantom Strike]

-268 [Blood Stigma]

«Critical Hit»

-6,775 [Phantom Strike]

-4,418 [Fifth Sword Form: Receding Tides]

«Critical Hit»

-10,788 [Phantom Strike]

-536 [Blood Stigma]

«Critical Hit»

-2,763 [???]

«Critical Hit»

-6,775 [???]

«Critical Hit»

-10,788 [???]

-804 [Blood Stigma]

-4,418 [Fifth Sword Form: Receding Tides]

-6,053 [Fifth Sword Form: Receding Tides Return Strike]

-6,053 [Fifth Sword Form: Receding Tides Return Strike]

-46,900 [First Baneful Sword: Destruction]

...

A stream of damage numbers flooded the battle logs as Nekynigos' HP fell at a rapid pace. The large grin that was previously on his face was no longer anywhere to be found as it was replaced by a look of disbelief. What was going on? How was he being completely overpowered by a frail-looking human like this brat? Wasn't he supposed to be a weakling without the assistance of that divine blessing?

Before Nekynigos could even register what was going on, his body had already begun to be sliced apart and dissipated into countless particles! He did not even get the chance to properly use his skills. The dark bones and carbon copies that he created had turned into piles of dust.

"How disappointing." These were the last words Nekynigos heard that left from Izroth's mouth as he sheathed his Sword of The Storm. Nekynigos reached his hand out as he wanted to grab ahold of Izroth, however, his hand crumbled away into nothingness. Just like that, Dark Bones Nekynigos had been eliminated!

Strong! Too strong! With this kind of attack power, did other players have any hope of competing with Izroth? Even a level 50 rare elite was taken care of by him without even exerting his full strength! This... How could the system allow a player like this to exist?

〈System Alert: Congratulations, you have completed the quest «Hunted By A Creature of the Netherworld»!〉

〈System Alert: You have unlocked access to the «Netherworld Exchange»! You can access the «Netherworld Exchange» directly from your system interface.〉

〈System Alert: You have received x8 «Spirit Voucher»!〉

〈System Alert: You have gained +225 World Fame!〉

'Using a sword form learned out of combat versus using one learned during combat feels entirely different. However, the sixth sword form did not disappoint me.'

The skill Izroth used earlier that caused a mirage of his Phantom Strike to form was the Sixth Sword Form: Double Blooming Lotus.

Skill Name: Sixth Sword Form: Double Blooming Lotus

Skill Creator: Izroth

Skill Level: ¼

Skill Rank: B

Requirements: Sword Equipped

Active: Instantly mimics the last sword skill executed by the user. Depending on the rank of the skill, its power and effect(s) may be decreased by up to 95%. This skill cannot be activated if the user has not used a sword skill within the last 10 seconds.

Damage Reduction: [SSS-ranked: 95%][SS-ranked: 90%][S-ranked: 80%][A-ranked: 50%][B-ranked and lower: 0%]

Special Note: This skill can also be leveled up through repeated usage and proper execution.

Cooldown: 5 minutes

This was something Izroth took the opportunity to learn during his time in the dark cave when he needed to take a break from his grueling Boundless Emperor Void Perfection skill.

'To send only this one creature... This must mean that the Netherworld Envoy is unaware of my current strength. But, after finding out that Nekynigos failed, it's possible that he'll send someone stronger next time. I'm looking forward to it.'

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Izroth, without looking back, resumed his journey towards the meeting point. It was as if that entire situation did not take place. S-ranked quest? What a joke! Before the current Izroth, it might as well be an F-ranked quest.

However, the question remained... How long would the system allow for an unchecked Izroth?

...

As Izroth continued his journey, he opened his system interface after examining the Spirit Vouchers that appeared in his inventory. Needless to say, he was curious about this Netherworld Exchange. After all, it was a reward given to him by an S-ranked quest.

Item Name: Spirit Voucher(Soulbound)

Usage: The user can exchange this voucher for an item in the Netherworld Exchange.

Special Note: This item cannot be destroyed. This item can only be traded or removed from the user's inventory after being used to exchange for an item from the Netherworld Exchange.