[Side Story]

[Isolde and Leonel]

Amidst the vast expanse of the Pink Desert, where the sands shimmered like a sea of rose-tinted jewels and the air was filled with a gentle, warm breeze, members of the Great Dynasty and Fate Alliance guilds huddled together in whispered conversation.

A player of Fate Alliance leaned in with an air of anticipation as she peeked at the Rose Sand Wyrm. Her emerald eyes gleamed with excitement as she addressed the assembled players, her voice a melodious yet commanding presence in the tranquil desert.

"This is our chance," she declared, her words laced with a sense of urgency. "The appearance of this Hidden Boss is a gift from the gaming gods. It's our opportunity to raise our position in the guild and claim new rare loots!"

A player of Great Dynasty nodded in agreement. His voice carried a deep, resonant tone that reflected his authority.

"Indeed," he concurred. "We've been waiting for a chance like this, and we won't let it slip through our fingers. Let's cooperate and bring it down and claim the loots."

A player posed an innocent question, "But . . . who will claim the title of first blood?"

The leaders of both guilds shared a knowing glance. They were acutely aware that only one of their groups would have the honor of their name on that coveted notification.

Securing the distinction of being the first to achieve this milestone held immense significance for a guild's reputation. The rewards and prestige that came with it were not to be underestimated.

Consequently, each guild leader harbored a strong desire to seize the first blood for their own guild, but they didn't let it show on their face.

"Let's discuss that after we defeat the wyrm."

"Yes. Let's deal with those two and the hidden boss first. Even better, let those two handle the boss first and KS it when it's weakened."

Other guild members nodded in agreement, and they readied their weapon to attack.

Meanwhile, Isolde and Leonel were confronting the boss while casually talking with each other.

"Isolde," Leonel said with worry as he snatched the aggro to him, "are you sure it's all right for you to still be part of World Conqueror after everything that's happened?"

Isolde responded with a resolute, "Yes. It's alright. My father supports my decisions, as well. And we both agree that we owe Ren a favor. We wouldn't be in this position in the first place if Ren didn't give me Jibblinplip's kill."

Jibblinplip was the first world boss that appeared and Guns and Knives shot into the ranking because of those past events, thanks to Ren.

The watchful players from Fate Alliance and Great Dynasty leaned in closer, their eyes fixed on the scene before them, ready to KS the boss.

"Our family has a long-standing tradition of never forgetting our debts, no matter the circumstances," Isolde continued while firing blows upon the wyrm.

The Rosa Sand Wyrm was greatly weakened because of the dessert rose that Ren crafted, but they had to be fast because it would only bought them ten minutes.

"I know it's not easy for you." Leonel parried the Rose Sand Wyrm's attacks with his improved giant shield [Reflecting Shield].

The shield offered total protection to its wearer for three times a day. It also reflected 50% damage back to his attacker.

Isolde was a little shock at Leonel's tone and serious face, but she gave him a warm smile that softened her features.

There was something between them. The air around them was different every time they were together. She could feel it.

However, right now, Isolde was contended with whatever they have –– for now.

While Isolde and Leonel were engaged in their conversation and the wyrm, Fate Alliance and Great Dynasty remained vigilant, their strategies forming silently as they watched and waited for the right moment to make their move.

"Is that really a hidden boss?" one of the player asked in a hushed voice. "Why is it so weak? They're even chatting like they didn't care at the fight at all."

"It must be those weak hidden bosses."

"The hidden boss isn't important. What's important are the reward and the firstblood."

Suddenly, a deafening roar echoed through the chamber, and the very ground seemed to shake as if in response.

The Rose Sand Wyrm was about to be defeated by the combined strength of Leonel and Isolde.

However, before they could take the kill, Fate Alliance and Great Dynasty sprang into action. The guild members, previously concealed and watching from the shadows, revealed themselves with a flurry of spells and the unsheathing of weapons.

"Now is the time! Attack!"

Her command set off a chain reaction as Fate Alliance members unleashed a barrage of spells and abilities while the imposing figures of the Great Dynasty moved in with weapons drawn.

The chamber became a battleground, a clash of blades and magic as the two guilds joined forces to confront not only the Rose Sand Wyrm but also Isolde and Leonel.

Isolde and Leonel found themselves caught in the crossfire, the cavern echoing with the chaos of battle.

The Hidden Boss, the Rose Sand Wyrm, seemed indifferent to the conflict, lashing out with its thorny tail and unleashing devastating breath attacks on all who dared to challenge it. Its cavernous maw snapped at anyone who ventured too close.

"W-wha-?! I thought it's weakened!"

"Why did its HP suddenly increased?!"

"It's the Berserk Mode!"

"Damn! How could you forget about that?!"

"I simply forgot!"

It was not always that they had encountered a Hidden Boss, and bosses in dungeon raids were only limited to the core members.

Amidst the chaos, Isolde and Leonel evaded not only the Hidden Boss's attacks but also the relentless assaults of the Fate Alliance and Great Dynasty.

"So you have finally show yourself," Isolde muttered.

"Egh? You know?" Leonel asked and Isolde stared at him.

"You didn't?"

Leonel cleared his throat and laughed it off. "O-of course, I did. I just didn't tell you because . . ."

"It's not important," Isolde said and changed the topic. "The desert rose lost its effect the moment the wyrm entered berserk mode, so be ready."

"R-right. What about them?" Leonel nodded to the guilds that were after them and the wyrm.

"Forget about them. They're not important. They're only weakling in their guild, so let the wyrm take care of them and chipped them one by one."

"Got it."