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412 Curing The Phantasmagoria Part 2

 Izroth waited until the flames were about to make contact before he kicked off his back foot and flipped over the attack. He not only passed over the flames-but Sacred Blade as well. In one smooth motion, as he was mid-flip and upside down over Sacred Blade, Izroth tapped his forehead using the palm of his hand that contained the Corporeal Lucidity Moss.

Tap!

After doing so, Izroth landed on his feet without incident. Now, there was a faint glow being emitted from Sacred Blade's forehead.

"Now." Izroth said and immediately after that word left his mouth, a small plant could be seen rising from the ground beneath Sacred Blade's feet.

In an instant, the small plant split open the ground as a multitude of vines emerged and latched onto Sacred Blade. The more he struggled to get free of the vines, the tighter they became and the faster they grew. It reached a point where he was immobilized from the neck down! Though in Sacred Blade's eyes, it was as if an endless shadow was devouring him due to the effects of the Phantasmagoria.

"Restraint Earthly Embrace." Vanaheim lowered her staff after casting her spell. While the skill did not have an instant cast time, Vanaheim timed it perfectly to make it appear as such. If she were by herself, it would not have been possible to cast before being interrupted by Sacred Blade, but the small window of the opportunity provided by Izroth was all she needed!

"Not good..! I already used Breaking Chains. I can't break free!" Sacred Blade thought to himself. Just how bad was his fortune for that monster to be a magic caster?!

1... 2... 3...!

Three seconds quickly passed by as Sacred Blade's corrupted view of his surroundings started to clear up. The two shadow monsters had vanished and he felt somewhat light-headed as if everything had just been a bad dream. However, he quickly realized that something was amiss.

"This... Captain Vanaheim?" Sacred Blade said as he was surprised by the sudden change of events.

Vanaheim released a sigh. She knew that Sacred Blade was not himself just now, but she had a strong urge to blast a few fireballs at him to vent some of her frustration. However, she kept these thoughts to herself and maintained an image that reflected her rank.

The violet-colored flames around Vanaheim's wound disappeared the moment Sacred Blade returned to normal. She immediately consumed a High Grade Health Potion to restore her lost HP.

However, the violet-colored flames did not escape Sacred Blade's sights before it disappeared. That was a skill from his Mystical Bladesmaster class! Even more bizarre was the fact that the wound was in the same place as that monster he injured earlier! He was no fool. He was fighting two enemies and there were two people here. Not to mention, Vanaheim had the same wound as one of the monsters that he injured. This caused a flood of questions to pour into Sacred Blade's head. Everything, after they arrived at the beginning of those paths, was chaotic. Just what happened to him?

"Captain Vanaheim, I-" Sacred Blade was about to apologize, however, he was quickly cut off.

"Save it. It was out of your control. There was nothing you could have done about it. Right now, our top priority is to find the other members of our Blue Oasis and regroup with the rest of the raid party. Understood?" Vanaheim stated.

"...Understood." Sacred Blade responded respectfully.

Vanaheim took a moment to catch Sacred Blade up to their current situation, as well as, inform him of the events that transpired after he had fallen under the influence of the Phantasmagoria.

As for Sacred Blade, he described what it was like to be affected by the poison. In his eyes, he was transported to a world of shadows and darkness with a lingering purple mist and bizarre crystals. That was the reason he instinctively attacked Vanaheim, who was in front of him at the time, as he had mistaken her for a monster of that dark world. He had a feeling something was off, however, being alone in a strange place and without the ability to communicate with others-it was too risky to act based on feeling alone.

"I had no idea I was affected. There was no warning from the system and even the battle logs were powerless to catch it. It's fortunate that you were here, Captain Vanaheim. Otherwise, things may have ended on a deadlier note. You have my thanks." Sacred Blade stated.

Vanaheim shook her head and replied, "I am afraid I can not take the credit for this. You have him to thank for freeing you." She looked over towards Izroth who was staring at the crystals on the walls. He had been examining them closely ever since Sacred Blade regained himself.

To be truthful, Vanaheim did not know whether to laugh or cry at Sacred Blade's thanks. If it came down to it, she was ultimately prepared to eliminate him as soon as she regained her HP. After all, she could not allow a potential threat to the entire raid party to continue existing-even if they were under the effects of an external force.

Vanaheim remained curious as to what method Izroth used to cure the effects of the Phantasmagoria. She turned her gaze to the corner Izroth moved to earlier and noticed that the yellowish moss that was there before had disappeared. Not only that, but there were strangely no crystals growing in that same corner. Perhaps his method was linked to that moss? It certainly made sense considering the game would not hand players an impossible task.

"Was the cure really that close all along? No, more importantly... Are the others in a similar situation as Sacred Blade? What about the rest of the raid party? Are they also dealing with an identical set of circumstances? If that is the case, then the casualties may not be light. Just in case, I may have to start preparing for the worst possible outcome..." Vanaheim thought to herself.

While Vanaheim was briefly in her thoughts, Sacred Blade took the opportunity to approach Izroth.

'Hm?'

Izroth noticed that Sacred Blade had approached him, however, he kept his focus on the crystals. He discovered that the Arisia Crystals mentioned in the description for the Corporeal Lucidity Moss was, in fact, the same crystals that were not only capable of blocking his Energy Vision Sense, but also possessed the capability to absorb Sacred Blade's violet-colored flames.

Sacred Blade heard countless whispers regarding Izroth. Owner of the Mystical Realm Palace, friends with the Pill Emperor, clearing the first world boss and the first dungeon, taking 1st place in the first major event-there seemed to be an ever-building list of accomplishments that followed him.

It was because of this that Izroth had earned Sacred Blade's respect even though the two had never directly spoken to one another before.

According to Vanaheim, if it were not for Izroth, then he would have been fighting a neverending battle. How could he stay silent after learning of this matter?

"I heard it was you who cured me. This is a favor that I will not forget. I do not enjoy being in debt to others, therefore, if there ever comes a time where I can pay you back, I will be sure to do so." Sacred Blade spoke in a calm and unhurried manner. There was a look of clarity in his eyes when he spoke that showed the sincerity of his words.

Sacred Blade's words were met with silence. But, instead of being bothered by this, he took it as a sign of Izroth's concentration and did not persist. He made a respectful gesture before walking back towards Vanaheim.

"I will remember the words you have spoken today." Izroth said just as Sacred Blade began to walk away. Though his gaze was still set on the Arisia Crystals.

Sacred Blade halted his steps as he gave a small nod and continued on his way.

'Blue Oasis is quite fortunate to attract someone like that. Though it's a shame that if he continues at his present pace... What a waste.'

After that thought crossed Izroth's mind, he chose to return his full attention to the Arisia Crystals. He was shocked to discover that the Arisia Crystal was a type of rare mineral. This meant that it was possible to mine it! It may even be the largest and most valuable treasure trove to be discovered by a top guild within RML.

However, there were two major problems. The first was getting to this place. Izroth was unsure if the Arisia Crystals spawned in the Normal or Difficult levels of the raid. Either way, it was needless to say that the average party would not be capable of making it to this point.

The second problem was that although anyone could theoretically mine ores and minerals, in reality, it was not so simple. This was even more so when it came to a high-quality mineral such as the Arisia Crystals.

Name: Unrefined Arisia Crystal

Rank: Superior(82)

Usage: Although it is referred to as a crystal this mineral is, in actuality, a metal with natural anti-energy properties. It is often used to craft items that are capable of absorbing great amounts of energy and damage. Using a single shard is enough to provide an item with anti-energy properties. A special trait of this crystal is if it comes into direct contact with certain forms of poison for an extended period of time while in an unrefined state, it will corrode and leave behind a byproduct that can be used as a natural antidote.

Special Note: This item can only be found in environments that contain a high level of rare sprite activity.

Superior! The Arisia Crystal was a highly coveted Superior mineral!

When it came to ores and minerals, they fell into six categories. Common, Rare, Superior, Ancient, Mythical, and Divine. Those that were rare or higher in quality possessed a number next to its rank that had been named "toughness" by players. It judged how difficult it was to mine or work with that specific mineral or ore. The higher the number was, the more difficult it would be for the player to handle.

Although players had no idea what the limit to toughness was, the highest number that had been publicly disclosed was 42 and it was considered a nightmare to mine by players. The toughness of the Arisia Crystal was near twice that amount!

Even in its unrefined state, the Arisia Crystal was of the Superior rank with a toughness of 82! If enough was used to craft an entire piece of equipment, the defensive stats would be on a different level when compared to other equipment of a similar level. But, the number of players who had the skill to work with something like the Arisia Crystals were few and far between.

After all, according to the knowledge he obtained on the 2nd floor of the Amaharpe Palace Library, if one ever wanted to craft an epic quality armor or weapon, it was impossible to do so without first acquiring some Superior ranked materials.

'Perhaps...'

Vanaheim finished organizing her thoughts right when Sacred Blade had returned. She understood that rushing forward without a concrete plan could lead to a preventable catastrophe. Therefore, she decided the first thing she needed was to confirm the curing method of the Phantasmagoria with Izroth.

After that, they would shift their focus to locating and curing any other members of the raid party who were affected by the Phantasmagoria. Once both tasks were completed, they could finally aim to meet up with the rest of the raid party. Until then, she found that it was likely that they would have to fend for themselves.

"We'll be moving soon. But... What a wasted opportunity." Vanaheim thought to herself as she released a sigh and glanced at the Arisia Crystals. If possible, she would have liked to take every last Arisia Crystal with her, however, the toughness was too ridiculous. Even with the strongest set of pickaxes in Blue Oasis' possession, mining a single shard of Arisia Crystal may take hours and the results were not guaranteed. Unfortunately, this was not time they could afford to waste.

"Hm? What does he intend to do with that?" Vanaheim internally questioned as she frowned. She was about to approach Izroth and discuss the methods he used to cure Sacred Blade when something suddenly appeared in his hands. It was a pickaxe! However, the pickaxe in his hands was laughable at best. It was a Miner's Pickaxe-the worst pickaxe in RML! Didn't he know that he would just be wasting his time? Even if he mined for a full week with that pickaxe, even obtaining a single shard was just a dream.

Indeed, Vanaheim was correct about Izroth's pickaxe. It was the same one he received after defeating the Goblin Foreman Rthuja in the very first dungeon he cleared.

Weapon Name: Miner's Pickaxe

Weapon Rank: Common

Weapon Level: 1

Requirements: None

Attack Damage: 1

Miner(Passive) - The user of this pickaxe gains the ability to mine ores and minerals.

The Miner's Pickaxe was far from impressive, however, Izroth had no intention of spending a full week mining the Unrefined Arisia Crystal. He had another idea in mind.