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'Tempest, Malentansium, the shadahi, and the Netherworld—all four are currently linked together. The Tempest royal family wants to regain their lost absolute authority, and Malentansium is probably acting based on orders from the Netherworld. The shadahis have a clear objective in that they likely aim to free the eternal chaos that's sealed below the capital city of Amaharpe. But the Netherworld... There's still too much that I don't know about the Netherworld Monarch and how things work in the Nether Realm.'

Although Izroth formed a Soul Binding Contract with the Death Emperor and learned many things from him about the Nether Realm, Satoras sealed away the parts of his memories that held onto the greatest secrets. There was also the fact that it had been countless years since Satoras was last in the Nether Realm. Who knows how much could have changed in his absence?

Not to mention, even to someone like Satoras who once stood at the peak of the Nether Realm, the Netherworld Monarch remained a complete enigma. Therefore, it was difficult for Izroth to make any speculations surrounding the other party's ultimate goal.

One thing that Izroth did know was that, not too long ago, the Envoy of the Netherworld attempted to cross over into the Mortal Realm with an army called the Legion of the Nether Realm.

Fortunately, with the help of his companions, along with Gear and the Seer Tererestiaa, Izroth was able to stop the invasion from ever occurring. However, how could an existence like the Netherworld Monarch, who ruled over his realm with absolute authority, be willing to give up on something he set his sights on?

Izroth was curious as to what was driving the Netherworld Monarch's hostility towards the Mortal Realm. Why is he so desperate to see it fall to ruins? Did he merely want to spread his absolute authority to other realms?

In Izroth's eyes, whether it was a kingdom, sect, or realm, after one seized full control of their own territory, the next natural step for most with even the slightest of ambition was to expand their influence beyond their own domain.

However, Izroth's instincts told him that the Netherworld Monarch had a different purpose. There was something about the Mortal Realm that the Netherworld Monarch was drawn to. Or, more precisely, maybe it was not something "about" the Mortal Realm that drew his attention, but perhaps something "in" the Mortal Realm.

Of course, if that turned out to be true, the question for Izroth then became something else entirely—what could be so valuable in the Mortal Realm that the Netherworld Monarch desires so strongly to retrieve it?

'For the sake of the Mortal Realm's future, I won't be able to ignore the Nether Realm and those that support them in the shadows. But, for now, I will have to set it aside. What's more important is to deal with the threat before me in the present and prevent the invasion of the shadahi. That starts by stopping the Night Lord Zarolas' revival and finding a way to close this spatial rift that ties the Mortal Realm to the Shadahi Realm.'

Bang!

Izroth kicked off to the side with his right foot, narrowly evading the attack from one of the Lesser Shadahi Patrollers who finally managed to catch up to him.

Woosh!

In the same motion, Izroth's sword lashed out and cut cleanly into the shadahi who targeted him. He used one of the active effects from his Second Sword Form: Returning Wave, Sword Counter. This allowed him to instantly launch a counterattack with his sword that ignored all of an opponent's physical defenses.

Roooragh!

The Lesser Shadahi Patroller released a battle cry as it swiftly recovered from Izroth's strike and charged forward at a speed that was at least twice as fast as their previous movement. The momentum behind the charge was much greater than any of its earlier attacks as it carried a violent aura of devastation.

In a flash, the shadahi arrived before Izroth. However, right as the creature was about to crash into him, Izroth's movement speed exploded in a short burst as he repositioned himself in the shadahi's blindspot and immediately struck the side of the creature's neck mid-movement.

'I have one more use of the Sword Arts: Four Steps of Death until it goes on cooldown. Flickering Steps is back up, but with Full Mantle still on cooldown, I'd rather not use it unless it becomes absolutely necessary. Deploying the heavenly field in this chamber would have been ideal; however, there's no use thinking about what's already passed. I will just have to make do with the movement skills I have available.'

Based on their exchange up to this point, Izroth found that the speed of a Lesser Shadahi Patroller was slightly above his own base speed. This gave them a small advantage when Izroth was not using any movement skills. That being said, Izroth knew that as long as he stayed a step ahead of the Lesser Shadahi Patrollers and reacted appropriately to their Demonic Charge, he would have no trouble chipping away at their health.

Needless to say, with the energy generated by their battle being pulled toward the coffin, Izroth understood that it was best to end this battle in as little time as possible. However, he also knew that it was imperative to proceed with a certain level of caution when faced with a shadahi. If they were not dealt a proper killing blow, they would only return stronger with a greater number of immunities.

Izroth carefully scanned the battlefield as he skillfully weaved around the three Lesser Shadahi Patrollers.

Lances was holding up well on his own as he used the explosive strength of his inferno to suppress a group of three Lesser Shadahi Patrollers.

Jol'Kil and Zel'Kan were also performing their tasks of assisting where needed splendidly.

Izroth was also impressed by the level of growth Guan Yu displayed. If he were going by the last time they met, Guan Yu would not have been able to contend head-on against a Lesser Shadahi Patroller without assistance. But, at the moment, Guan Yu seemed to be holding up incredibly well and was even in an advantageous position.

'That ancient blue aura around his weapon contains a mysterious force that even my Energy Vision Sense can't entirely see through. It also appears to be slowing down the regenerative powers of the shadahi to an extent. Though it may not work for much longer, it's still an impressive feat. If utilized correctly, it can make landing a killing blow against a shadahi much easier.'

As for Halls and Niflheim, both were performing their roles without fault and to the best of their abilities. But, Izroth could tell that those two, along with the other members of the vanguard, were having a rough time keeping the shadahis attention on them. Naturally, this made it so that the vanguard had to be infinitely more aware of their surroundings, position, and the timing of their execution of skills.

The vanguard was not to blame for this unexpected increase in difficulty. Unfortunately for them, even if the shadahi were not inherently immune to taunt-type skills, it was plausible that they had already built up a resistance to them.

As for the members of the 9th Division and 5th Unit, the majority of them were struggling to hold their ground against the Lesser Shadahi Patrollers.

Out of everyone, the supporters seemed to be having the hardest time adjusting to the battle. Many of the supporters were just not used to dealing with enemies that disregarded their frontline protectors. There was also that insane charging skill that shadahis used and the other skill that robbed them of their movement and made them feel momentarily helpless. If not for Izroth's warning and the vanguard intercepting the strange claws of energy that acted as if it wanted to pull them in, who knew how many losses they would have initially suffered from their oblivion?

'Our side is holding their ground well, but we're still being slowly pushed back. At this rate, everyone will be overwhelmed by the adaptive abilities of the shadahi. We have to come up with a way to work around their ability to adapt. Then...'

Izroth lifted his hand as a forest-colored trinket in the shape of a crescent moon appeared in between his fingers. He lightly touched the trinket as he casually evaded another one of the shadahi's strikes.

Haaaaaaaaaaaa!

Out of nowhere, a mesmerizing voice that originated from the trinket rang throughout the atmosphere as a beautifully carried note sounded within the chamber.

〈Battle Alert: Player Izroth has activated the effect «Siren's Song»!〉

〈Battle Alert: The perception of all friendly forces within 60 meters has been increased by 50% for 5 minutes!〉

〈Battle Alert: The perception of all hostile forces within 60 meters has been lowered by 50% for 5 minutes!〉

As the sound reached every corner of the chamber, the 9th Division and 5th Unit saw the world around them transform as little details that had previously gone unnoticed suddenly jumped out at them.

Additionally, to everyone's surprise, the attacks and movements of the Lesser Shadahi Patrollers abruptly turned messy and easier to perceive.

"Woah, what the... Everything looks so much clearer now!" Guan Yu exclaimed.