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422 Suppressing The Indomitable Voice Magic! 1/2

 Not too long after the effects of the Lightning Cage wore off, Ooudamu stopped levitating as her feet gently touched the ground. This simple action caused the members of Blue Oasis who were in melee range to react fast and temporarily retreat.

"Why did she suddenly stop levitating?" Feint questioned with a visible frown on his face. He was one of the players who had just fallen back.

"Who knows? I don't know about you, but I've never fought a boss like this before. Everything about this boss' is weird and impractical. They resemble an NPC rather than a dangerous boss monster." Ace of Saint stated.

"Yeah, I get what you mean. I guess the devs weren't kidding when they said RML raids would be a unique experience compared to what we're used to dealing with." Feint replied.

Before RML was released the developers, or "devs" as players called them, were extremely secretive when it came to discussing anything regarding more than the absolute basics of raids within RML. However, due to various factors and wanting to generate a greater buzz about the game, they released an official statement.

Even though it was a short statement, but it was more than enough to excite countless players. The statement went as followed:

"We have accomplished something that will forever change the way gamers experience raids-a unique experience compared to what they have encountered in the past. Although I cannot elaborate on what that unique experience may be, know this-there exists a multitude of novel implementations that separates RML raid bosses from the raid bosses of other games, however, one thing stands out the most and that's... True Real-Time Awareness."

All NPCs and monsters within RML possessed Real-Time Awareness-most of which was determined by their hidden knowledge stat. This is what gave RML a realistic feeling when it came to interactions between players and NPCs.

But, only special NPCs and monsters had what was known as True Real-Time Awareness. In simple terms, True Real-Time Awareness gave special NPCs and monsters their own unique personality instead of one that was highly generalized.

While this may not sound like that big of a deal, it completely changed how players had to approach special NPCs or monsters with True Real-Time Awareness.

For example, if a normal boss uses a skill in specific intervals and players find a way to counter it every time, that boss would never change its strategy. However, a boss with True Real-Time Awareness would react to their skill being countered and try a different approach. Naturally, this increased the difficulty more than tenfold! This was also the main reason why currently, outside of those top guilds and big guilds, it was virtually impossible to clear a raid.

At the moment, Abstract and I Do Zero Quests were currently positioned a few meters away from Izroth-they were the closest to his location. Since their main goal was to protect Izroth for fifteen uninterrupted seconds, there was no need for them to go on the offensive. Instead, they would act as the final line of defense if Ooudamu happened to successfully make it through the other members of their Blue Oasis.

"True Real-Time Awareness... Who knew that it could be this terrifying?" I Do Zero Quests said as he furrowed his brows.

"We chose to undergo a hardcore raid with no prior information. We may have prepared as best as we could, but there were bound to be scenarios that we were unable to foresee." Abstract stated.

He then continued, "You are well aware of the consequences if we fail. Our Blue Oasis will have suffered a huge loss and the other top guilds will not hesitate to exploit that weakness. True Real-Time Awareness? That changes nothing. In the end, we just have to find a way to make that bosses HP drop to 0-that's it."

Abstract's eyes turned pitch black as an aura of death spread out into his surroundings. All of a sudden, a bubbling pool of thick black liquid that spanned 24 meters in diameter appeared on the ground.

I Do Zero Quests was shocked when he witnessed the pool of black liquid that had formed beneath his feet. It did not just engulf the ground he stood on, but Izroth also positioned within the black liquid.

"Desolate Assembly: Blight of Demise." The aura of death around Abstract spiked to new heights as he held his arm outward with the dagger in his hand pointed down towards the black liquid. He opened his hand into a palm as he released the dagger as it sunk into the black liquid as if it were being absorbed and devoured by it.

"Captain Abstract, that skill is-!" I Do Zero Quests looked on his disbelief.

"Resolve yourself, Tang Lin."

Tang Lin, better known as I Do Zero Quests, was taken aback. Abstract was willing to use such a valuable skill against the first raid boss?! However, he understood what Abstract was trying to say. The raid boss they were facing was abnormal. It was reasonable to no longer think about the path ahead and focus solely on the present.

In the end, if they died here, what path would there be left for them to take? Therefore, they had to do whatever was needed to survive-there was no time to think about the next boss when they may not even make it past the one they were facing!

Meanwhile, as Abstract and I Do Zero Quests prepared to face the inevitable confrontation, Izroth calmly examined the small black box in the palm of his hand. As for the black liquid that had appeared beneath his feet, he immediately connected it to Abstract who was giving off an aura of death similar to that of the black liquid. Not to mention, his Soul Sense would have warned him if it was dangerous, and so, he did not pay it too much attention.

'I purchased this item from the Netherworld Exchange after I defeated that assassin that was sent by them. But, I never thought that I would be using it so soon.'

Izroth pressed the tip of his finger against the purple emblem located on the front of the small black box. The moment he did so, the black box crumbled away and disappeared. What emerged in its place was two rings that were the same in size. Each ring was about five centimeters and could easily fit on the palm of one's hand.

'I haven't had the time to test it out personally, however, if it functions the way that it's described, it should operate as a makeshift counter to the voice magic without issue.'

"Let's see, I believe the word was... Infuse." The second the word "Infuse" left Izroth's mouth, one of the rings in his right hand shot towards his left hand and latched onto it. In the next moment, the rings that were latched onto both of Izroth's hands started to slowly sink into his skin! It was quite the bizarre sight to behold.

〈System Alert: You have infused with the magic item «Twin Lasting Epoch Sentinels»!〉

〈System Alert: The current energy output available for the «Twin Lasting Epoch» is 100%. Do you wish to activate this magic item? (Warning! Activating this magic item requires the user to be uninterrupted for 15 seconds. Being forcefully interrupted can result in a dangerous backlash from the magic item.)〉

"Activate it." Izroth responded without hesitation.

Ooooom... Ooooom...

The faint sound of a breathless pulse was released from Izroth's hands as a huge surge of magic energy encompassed them.

'If the worst comes around, I can just use Crystallization as a safeguard. It may interrupt the activation sequence of the magic item, but it should help reduce the potential backlash. Not to mention, the backlash pales in comparison to that of the Compressed Lightning Movement.'

While Izroth had other methods at his disposal, this one was the fastest and most efficient given the set circumstances.

Ooudamu, as if sensing and reacting to the abrupt surge in magic energy, lightly kicked off her back foot and soared towards Izroth's direction.

"Stop her!"

"Don't let her through!"

The members of Blue Oasis reacted swiftly and shifted their focus to the use of their crowd control skills. Although it was true that crowd control skills were not all that effective against boss monsters, that did not mean that they were useless-especially in a time where every second counted.

Woosh!

Tagz fired a stunning arrow with a strong pulse behind it towards Ooudamu, however, she tilted her head slightly to the side and avoided it.

"Haven't you heard that it is rude to play with sharp objects? Sightless." Ooudamu targeted Tagz with her voice magic and the word "Sightless" to instantly rob him of his sight!

"My vision! I can't see!" Tagz warned. He felt as if he had suddenly be thrown into a world of darkness. As a Pulse Ranger without his sight, he was rendered utterly powerless!

"Stop right there! Taste my glacial fists!" Feint roared as he clashed his fists together and a bone-piercing chill filled the air. He then punched forward as a gust of icy wind blew out to engulf Ooudamu!

"Rise." Ooudamu said as the ground shook slightly before a wall of earth rose before Feint.

Bang! Chiiiiii!

Feint's icy wind connected with the wall of earth and froze it over, however, it was stopped there as it was unable to reach Ooudamu who continued forward without pause.

"How ridiculous!" Vanaheim thought to herself. Not only could she control people's actions, but the environment as well? How could this be anything but ridiculous?

"But, fortunately, she's stepping into that place soon. Once she's inside, even if it's a boss monster, they should not be able to escape from it without any trouble. As for me, since I've already come this far, I might as well finish it." Vanaheim raised the magic staff in her hand as the red, green, and white lights around the magic staff started to rapidly spin in circles.

"You are taking our Blue Oasis too lightly. That will be your downfall." Vanaheim said as the look in her eyes grew cold.

"Simultaneous Casting, Silent Casting, Smart Casting, Area Casting, Cold Winds, Earthly Shift, Inferno Approach, Elemental Reshape..."

Boom! Boom! Boom!

Vanaheim was able to cast several spells at once thanks to her Simultaneous Casting. As for the Smart Casting skill, it reduced the mana cost of spell casting by 50% and casting time by 20% for a set period of time! Area Casting, on the other hand, increased the overall range of the spells Vanaheim would use within a set time frame.

Cold Winds to chill the surrounding air, Earthly Shift to spread her mana influence to the nearby earth, Inferno Approach to quickly heat the ground and Elemental Reshape to make sure the heat generated by Inferno Approach could fully take effect.

By the time she finished casting, even with a 50% mana cost reduction, Vanaheim had used over 60% of her total mana pool! Even though her mana pool could not compare to the likes of Luna who was a Trephasia, when matched up against other players in her level range, it was by no means a small amount.

As Ooudamu sped forward, the scene before her had changed out of seemingly nowhere. Izroth, who she was getting closer to, had suddenly appeared further away! But, that was not all that changed.

All of a sudden, everything grew somewhat hazy in the eyes of Ooudamu. At the same time, the presence of the people before her seemed to be vanishing one by one.

Of course, this was no coincidence. Ace of Saint did not spend his time idle and continued to cast Noise Suppression and Remove Scent on the members of the raid group.

"Reveal." Ooudamu used her voice magic. She wanted to force Vanaheim and the others to show themselves. But, that was when something surprising happened.

"Reveal! Reveal!" Ooudamu shouted, however, she was met with nothing but silence. For some reason, her voice magic had not worked!