Chapter 576 - Izroth's Gentle Approach
Judging from the number of individuals, her vocal presence, and the fact that the group was following her orders, Izroth believed that the young woman with sapphire eyes was a 10-Man Squad Leader.
While this may not sound as impressive as his Captain's rank, one had to remember that the war event had just begun a few days ago in-game time. Acquiring a command position so soon meant that she was no pushover.
As for why she did not recognize Izroth's player name despite him still being placed first on the event leaderboards, she was simply not close enough for it to appear through her system interface.
'There are more important matters to attend to. Still, they are allies, and killing them here could negatively affect my contribution points or rank. I suppose I'll have to use a more gentle approach.'
"We are not your enemy," Niflheim said; however, his words fell on deaf ears as the group pressed forward with their assault.
"Enough nonsense! I've already seen through your lies! I, Zanna, guild leader of Echo, will not fall for the same trick a four-... f-first time!" The young woman with sapphire eyes, Zanna, scowled.
"Echo? Zanna—I've never heard of either of those names. Also, why did that last part sound so forced..." Niflheim said to himself. He made it his business to know the name of every major or rising guild, as well as the name of their guild leader and core players. The fact that Niflheim did not know of Zanna's identity meant that they were either relatively new or a small no-name guild still trying to make a name for themselves.
Niflheim leaned more towards the former. After all, to him, who had several years of experience in a top guild, Zanna resembled a complete amateur trying to gain recognition. Niflheim understood this all too well since he was also once at that point.
"We should try not to hurt them. I'm not sure why they're so on guard, but a magic signature isn't just erased from an insignia without reason. A big event must have taken place during the time we spent in the challenge." Niflheim said as he accessed his inventory and equipped his sword and shield.
Niflheim raised his shield and blocked two incoming arrows from the ranger-type classes that stayed back to provide support fire. At the same time, a thin yellow layer formed around Niflheim's shield.
"There is no need to worry. Their leader seems a bit... dense. So talking will do us no good. Fortunately, I have quite the gentle hand when it comes to situations like this." Izroth said in a carefree manner as he turned his body sideways to avoid an incoming lance made of ice.
The remaining players from Zanna's squad finally arrived in melee range; however, before they could strike, a sudden unbearable pressure descended upon them.
"W-what is this? Why do I feel so weak all of a sudden?"
"I don't really feel like fighting anymore..."
"What are you guys talking about?! Now's not the time for jokes!" Zanna shouted as she angrily stomped her foot.
She then looked to the rangers at her side and said, "Hawk! Dove! Keep laying down support fire! Hawk? Dove? What are you two-"
"Do this, Hawk. Do that, Dove. Just do it yourself. I'm tired." The male ranger, Hawk, stated.
"Ehhh? That sounds like a lot of work, leader. Why bother fighting? We'll never be good enough. Sigh..." The female ranger, Dove, sighed helplessly.
"Jeez! I don't get you guys! I really don't, all of you—you're all acting so weird! You said you'd follow me, and we'd make a guild, but now you're all being so mean!" Zanna's eyes began to tear up.
"I just wanted... I just... Waaaaaah!" Zanna cried out as she fell to her knees and started to bawl her eyes out.
"Meanies! All of you are just a bunch of meanies! Waaaaah! We're not friends anymore, you stupid heads! Waaaaah!" Zanna rolled around on the ground, throwing what could only be described as a tantrum!
"This is..." Izroth was caught off guard by the group's behavior—especially the young woman, Zanna, whose arrogant attitude abruptly took a full turn.
Izroth used his Soul Pressure, being careful not to pour too much Essence in and accidentally kill one of them; however, it should not have had this type of effect on them.
Niflheim also seemed surprised by the group's actions as he looked to Izroth and said, "Did you do something?"
"Yes, but its effects should not be this strong. They should only have lost some willpower and experienced a feeling of weakness in the process. But, at most, they would enter a frenzied state." Izroth stated.
Niflheim gave a helpless smile as he shook his head, "So that's it. No wonder my Demoralized Spirit skill has such strong effects. If it's mixed in with that, then it makes perfect sense."
Niflheim's Demoralized Spirit also weakened its opponents' willpower. It differed from Izroth's Soul Pressure when it came to its ability to inflict its targets with a Demoralized status. The lower the target's willpower, the greater the effects of Demoralized, and paired with Izroth's Soul Pressure, its effectiveness increased severalfold!
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