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406 Confidence or Arrogance?

 He'd simply cut his way through? What kind of nonsense was he speaking?! If it were just a handful of monsters, then perhaps it would have been somewhat conceivable. However, he wanted to "simply cut his way" through 100 hardcore elite raid monsters? What a joke!

Even the strongest damage dealer in their raid group, Road, would not make such an arrogant statement. Not to mention, they were in a time-pressed situation. How could he make a ridiculous statement like that with a straight face while others were trying seriously to come up with a proper plan?

The core members of Blue Oasis were not oblivious to Izroth's known feats. After all, they had to know what kind of person they would be raiding with. But, those feats did not come anywhere close to clearing a hardcore raid. At first, they had some respect for Izroth. He was the owner of the first player based shop which had a good reputation. He took 1st place in the Protectors of Amaharpe event, and he even defeated the first world boss, as well as, discovered and cleared the first dungeon in RML. Of course, none of them possessed knowledge about Izroth's participation in the second team selection.

But, when all was said and done, they believed that he was allowed to have a certain level of confidence and arrogance with such impressive feats under his belt. But, their impression and respect level for Izroth had dropped after that statement. This was no time for jokes!

Even Niflheim was taken aback by Izroth's statement as a frown appeared on his face. It was not that he underestimated Izroth's capabilities, however, saying that he could cut his way through those waves of monsters was a bit much. If it were anyone else that made that kind of suggestion, he would have not hesitated to reprimand them. But, he decided to give Izroth some face to stay on good terms.

"It's not that I doubt your abilities - It's just that I'm unable to send you into a situation where the odds are so highly stacked against you. As a guest of our Blue Oasis, how can I ask you to make such a sacrifice? I'm sure we can make it through as long as we work together." Niflheim said in a calm and understanding tone.

With these words, he would not be openly rejecting Izroth's idea in front of everyone, but instead, he was shifting the responsibility to Blue Oasis in a non-harmful manner.

Izroth was not blind to Niflheim's intentions. Since this raid was being led by Blue Oasis, he decided to respect the decisions they made as long as certain lines were not crossed. Although no lines had been crossed, Izroth had no intention of giving up. He had a simple principle - As long as someone was respectful towards him, he would return the same sentiment. Given how respectful Niflheim was about his request, Izroth would not make it too difficult for him.

"You've misunderstood my intentions. I don't plan on fighting them head-on. Since these sea creatures do not possess any crowd control abilities, I should have no trouble drawing the attention of those blocking our path towards me. You've witnessed my speed firsthand so tell me - Do you still think the odds are stacked too high?" Izroth stated in a carefree manner.

'This much should be fine.'

"This..." Niflheim had a thoughtful expression on his face. Indeed, he had witnessed Izroth's speed before, however, that was back in Opal Town when he fought against the three players who tried to frame him. But... Surely, his speed had not stagnated and instead continued to grow, right? If that was the case, then his current top speed should be even higher than some agility-type rogue classes. Not to mention, it would not make any sense for Izroth to foolishly throw his life away. In the end, Niflheim understood that Izroth was not the type to arrogantly brag to draw attention to himself.

With this in mind, Niflheim started to see that maybe Izroth's idea was not as impossible as he previously believed it to be. Indeed, the Great Palace Shark and the Great Palace Seeker Fish did not have any crowd control skills. Therefore, as long as he moved around and none of the raid members intentionally attacked the sea creatures, then it was a feasible plan! He knew that it would still be a dangerous task for Izroth, however, it could work!

"Why are we even entertaining this nonsense when we should be thinking of a real plan?! Are we going to put our fate into the hands of one player who isn't even a member of our Blue Oasis?!" Minus questioned in an outraged tone.

Some core members felt the same way, however, they did not openly express their displeasure since the conversation involved a captain of Blue Oasis. Therefore, only another captain could speak up in a situation like this. They were grateful that Minus said what was on their minds.

"Captain Minus, last time I checked it was I, not you, who was given command over this raid. I will decide what is best for this raid group. You will do well to remember it." Niflheim said with authority present in his voice.

Before Minus could even respond, Niflheim looked towards Izroth and continued, "Are you sure you can handle this task? I won't ask you to endanger yourself for our sake, but as the commander of this raid, I cannot overlook the safety of the members present. Therefore, I'll ask again - Are you confident, Izroth?"

Niflheim had a serious expression on his face as he asked that question. In the end, he was always the type to follow his instincts and judged individuals by their actions and demeanor. Right now, he felt that Izroth was not speaking out of arrogance. Since his instincts had never betrayed him, why should he choose now to ignore them? Also, he had to admit that even he was curious as to what skills and tricks Izroth had up his sleeves.

Niflheim saw that while Izroth's current damage output was not bad, it was not particularly amazing either. He knew the restrictions that combat masters faced and to be quite honest, even he was on the edge about placing Izroth on the main damage dealers list. After all, even if he had one or two powerful damaging skills, it could not compare to that of a normal class who could deal a consistent level of damage.

But, Niflheim believed that Izroth was an exception to other combat masters. After all, how many combat masters were there in the game that had reached past level 40? If he had to guess, it was probably less than the number of fingers on his hand! There were millions upon millions of players within RML, therefore, such a small number was astronomically low.

"I'm sure you're aware that actions speak louder than any words," Izroth said as he held up one finger.

He then continued, "I can give you one minute. I'll attract their attention towards me and draw them away from the entrance. In exactly one minute after I take my leave, the raid group should have already made its move and entered into the underwater stream. After everyone has successfully entered, I also will make my way into the underwater stream."

After pondering it over for a few seconds, Niflheim nodded and faced the raid group as he stated, "Alright, we'll go with this plan. Everyone, be sure not to lag behind once the path is cleared. Even if the sea creatures have their attention pulled away, there's no guarantee that more whirlpools won't form. On my signal, we'll move out!"

Niflheim then turned his attention to Izroth and said, "We're ready when you are."

Izroth gave a small nod in return. He did not waste another word as he took off in the direction of the wave of monsters that was quickly closing in on the raid group's position.

After Izroth left, Asgard approached Niflheim and asked, "Should we send a few people to support him?"

Niflheim shook his head and replied, "There's no need to increase the amount of risk and exposure to danger. I've already taken enough chances and we're still down six players - Well, seven now that he has gone to draw their attention. We can't afford to split off any additional players as our overall power has already been cut by nearly 30%. After we enter the underwater stream, we'll have to tread carefully. Besides..."

Niflheim glanced over at and observed every one of the players who came along with Izroth. There was no hint of concern on their faces. They did not even attempt to talk Izroth out of doing something so reckless. Was it that they were so confident in him that there was no need for concern? Or, did they simply not care what happened to their comrade?

"Only time will tell, I suppose." Niflheim thought to himself as he looked on as Izroth swam off into the distance.

...

'I'll deal with the strange light later. First, I'll have to attract the attention of the sea creatures.'

Izroth did not have any skills similar to Taunting Aura that could secure aggro on the sea creatures, therefore, he had to use a rough method.

'The monsters are too spread out... Even if I were to use Essence to increase the range of my skills, neither Great Storm nor Behemoth's Quake will be enough to completely cover the distance. In that case, let's do it this way...'

Izroth quickly arrived within the attack range of a Great Palace Shark and the dozen Great Palace Seeker Fish who accompanied it. The Great Palace Shark opened its maws as it swam rapidly at Izroth wanting to devour him whole in one bite!

Izroth had witnessed the damage of the Great Palace Shark against a tank such as Niflheim. Even after blocking, the damage was at least 10,000! Izroth understood that if he was too careless, one good shot or two hits would be enough to completely erase his HP. Of course, Izroth had no intention of letting this happen.

Izroth returned his Sword of The Storm to its sheath as storm clouds suddenly appeared above him where the sky would be if the outer layer was not currently submerged in water.

Crrrrrckle...! Bzzzzzzzt!

These storm clouds had sparks of purple lightning dancing within them and released a faint crackling and humming noise.

'Call of the Thunder God... First State: Heavenly Descent.'

BOOOOOM!

The resounding sound of a thunderclap rang throughout the surroundings as two bolts of purple lightning struck down at Izroth's exact location.

When the raid group saw this in the distance, they became highly alert. What was that bizarre purple lightning that appeared out of nowhere? Could it be another attack similar to the tidal wave from earlier?

However, everyone remained leveled-headed in wake of this frightening lightning. In the end, they were still core members of a top guild and would not let panic overtake them so easily. After seeing through the system interface that Izroth's HP remained untouched, they believed that the purple lightning must have been his doing. This is what separated top guilds like Blue Oasis from the average large guilds who were highly disorganized.

After the purple lightning dissipated and the storm clouds settled, there was a figure that remained in that spot where the purple lightning struck. This figure currently had two swords in his hands that were formed from pure purple lightning. The amount of energy being released by the two swords was both terrifying and domineering.

The same question popped into every member of the raid party's head at that moment - Just what kind of skill was that?

Even Luna, Zi Yi, Guan Yu, Halls, and Valentine were surprised by the purple lightning. After all, it was their first time seeing Izroth use Call of the Thunder God.

Valentine secretly sighed as he shook his head inwardly and a helpless smile appeared on his face. He remembered his fight against Izroth back at Kryxelsia's estate. He already knew that Izroth was holding back, however, he never understood just how much so. A part of him wondered if Izroth had already acquired this skill back then during their fight.

Everyone seemed to be in a light daze after witnessing that purple lightning, however, they were snapped out of it when Niflheim's voice sounded.

"We're going! Stay close!" Niflheim ordered as he and the raid party made their move.