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192 Nowhere To Escape In Avalonias Arboretum

 Luna saw the confusion on everyone's face when she told them to attract as many elite enemies as possible.

"Don't tell me we ran all this way just so that we would become plant fertilizer?" Su Cui said what was on everyone's mind. The believed that Luna's plan was just to run through the arboretum and let the vine traps slow them down. After all, that's what happened to them when the first passed through this place.

Luna shook her head and responded, "I have a plan, and it doesn't evolve us staying here to await our deaths. We don't have much time until they catch up, so we need to act fast."

Although everyone was a bit hesitant at first, they still chose to put their faith in Luna. Besides, they knew deep down inside that Luna was not someone to choose a method that involved them giving up so easily.

"We'll take care of it." Xun Guiying said as she broke off from the group and began to aggro as many elite monsters as possible.

Not too long after Xun Guiying took action, the rest of the group ran around the arboretum and drew in elite ranked monsters.

"Everyone, pull your monsters to the same area." Luna instructed.

Just as Luna had told them too, her party members gathered the elite monsters they had aggroed into one place. However, it was a frightening sight to see at least thirty elite ranked monsters swarming towards them all at the same time.

During the journey to complete their quest, Luna and her party were led through this place known as Avalonia's Arboretum. It was surprisingly an unmarked location that had a high concentration of elite plant-type monsters lurking about along with various vine and plant-based traps.

It took Luna and her party quite a while to safely make it through this place successfully. It was definitely not a place they wanted to visit again anytime soon, however, desperate times called for desperate measures.

"Nana now would be a nice time to do whatever you have planned!" Jia said as the elite monsters were getting ready to overrun them.

Luna waited for a little longer until all of the elite monsters were finally within range. Just as the first monster was about to lash out with its vines covered in thorns, Luna opened her mouth as a powerful surge of magic filled the surrounding area.

"Quiescent." Luna's voice echoed throughout the arboretum. She not only used her voice magic but infused it with Essence as well, increasing its overall effectiveness.

As Luna's voice reverberated within the arboretum, the elite plant monsters that were about to overrun them had come to an abrupt halt. Afterward, something strange happened. The plant monsters that were just so active and rowdy a moment ago now blended in normally with the surrounding plants.

It was as if they were no longer monster plants, but instead, they were just a normal part of the garden. Unless one knew of them beforehand, it would be nearly impossible to tell that they were present.

"Amazing..." Su Cui muttered as she witnessed the now dormant elite plant monsters.

"They should be arriving within a few seconds. We need to get out of the monsters aggro range before then or else we'll be their targets when they come to." Luna said as she had already begun to move away from their current location.

Everyone quickly followed after Luna. They shivered at the thought of being at that place when the monsters started moving about again. There was no way the people chasing them could survive such an assault!

"Heh, I never knew you were so devious, Nana." Jia said with a smirk on her face.

"What do you expect when she hangs around you?" Xun Guiying said as she shook her head.

"What are you talking about? I'll have you know I'm an elegant and refined lady with high-class taste." Jia said playfully in a pompous tone of voice.

"High class? Refined? Hah, who are you and what have you done with Jia?" Su Cui said.

Jia scoffed and turned towards Luna and asked, "Now what? Do we just keep running until we reach the other exit?"

"No, we'll back turn back and fight." Luna said as she suddenly stopped running.

Everyone was dumbfounded. Turn back and fight? Weren't they just trying to get away? Besides, there were at least thirty elite monsters waiting back there along with the group of players chasing after them.

"Fight? But, there's no way they will survive that pack of elite monsters." Starry said in a panicked voice. Truthfully, she did not want to turn back and fight them.

"That's true. However, even if they did somehow manage to break through, it should give us more than enough time to escape from this place. Why turn back and risk it?" Yu Lan asked.

"Because it's the last thing they'll expect. If you all truly want to continue to run away, then I won't try to talk you out of it. But, they may not give up so easily. To them, we are just frightened prey running from hunters. I think it's time the hunters become the hunted." Luna responded calmly.

Everyone was silent. Indeed, it did not feel good to be hunted down like animals and not even try to fight back. Did they want to run away? Of course not! But, it was ten versus six, they would not have stood a chance. However, Luna sounded confident and that confidence started to pour over to them.

During this entire situation, Luna had not once panicked or lost her cool. It was as if she knew exactly what to do at every turn and did not hesitate to make important decisions. Right now, even if it was twenty players chasing them, they believed that Luna would have a plan for it.

"You're right, I'm tired of running! Let's do things your way, Nana!" Jia said enthusiastically.

Soon after Jia spoke everyone else, even Starry who was the most frightened of the situation, agreed to go along with Luna's plan.

"Then, here's the plan..." Luna began to explain their next course of action.

...

"Leave him behind! Focus on getting through! Xue Hong, Hulong, try to draw the attention of the monsters on the outer layer." Owl ordered as he ripped right through one of the elite monsters with the talons on his hands.

"So annoying! Big bro Owl, we can't let them get away with this!" Du Cheng said in a frustrated tone of voice as he pushed forward with his group. However, their movement was limited as they were being attacked from all directions. Not only that, but there were vine traps on the ground and if one of them stepped onto it, it would wrap around their leg and temporarily immobilize them.

But, despite the overwhelming odds, Owl and his group were able to push forward at a steady pace. Although two of their party members had already been trapped and killed thanks to the vine traps and then being overrun by the plant monsters, they were still well organized and above average players.

"We're almost through!" Du Cheng said excitedly as he could see a clear opening directly up ahead. Thankfully, they were all DPS classes and so with their combined damage output they were able to clear a few elite monsters by focusing their attacks onto the same target. This allowed them space to potentially maneuver out of the encirclement.

Swoosh!

An arrow flew from out of nowhere and pierced directly into one of the players trying to escape the encirclement. That player had an expression of disbelief written on their faces and they were stunned into place by the arrow and unable to act.

Not too long after that player was hit by the arrow, a holy light descended from above and struck him. Then, it did not take long for the elite monsters to take advantage of that player's weakened state and finish him off. Just like that, Owl's group was now down to a total of seven players.

"It's them! They're alive!" Du Cheng said with shock apparent in his voice.

Owl's facial expression darkened when he saw the group of female players up ahead. None of them were rushing forward and instead, they sat back patiently while attacking them from a range. But, how? How were they able to get through this without being killed by this large group of monsters?

"It can't be...!" Owl muttered to himself as his eyes widened from realization.

"This is so satisfying!" Su Cui said with a lovely smile on her face. She was the one who shot the arrow that stunned the player who most recently died.

"It looks like they're already down to seven people. We can actually finish them off!" Jia said. However, she was a bit disappointed that she was not a ranged class and could not lend much assistance in this attack.

"That's the goal. Su Cui, Yu Lan, keep up the ranged attacks. Be sure to use any crowd control skills you have first. That way there is a greater chance of them being taken care of by the elite plant monsters." Luna said as she cast another Superior Holy Smite and struck yet another one of the players.

Although it was not a crowd control move, the cooldown was only two seconds and the cast time was instant. Not to mention, it had plenty of range making it ideal for their current situation.

"Gladly." Yu Lan said as the thin aqua colored wand in her began to emit magic energy. Soon after, a swirling whirlpool of water appeared above her head. She pointed forward with her wand in the direction of Owl and his group as a barrage of water bullets shot out from the whirlpool.

Su Cui lined up her shot with her bow and released an arrow. About halfway into its flight, the arrowhead opened up and released a net that wrapped around one of the enemy players and caused them to be immobilized.

"Big bro Owl, what are we going to go?!" Du Cheng said as he struggled to avoid the incoming vines, as well as, the barrage of attacks coming from in front of them. At this rate, they would all die in this place! How could they face their boss if that happened? They would not have any face left to show!

"Ah!" One of the players got struck by the water bullets which slowed them down and caused them to accidentally step on a vine trap. Soon enough, both he and the player caught by Su Cui's net suffered the same fate. They had gone from ten players, all the way down to five players in a matter of moments.

Owl remained silent as he had no idea what to do next. They were unable to turn back and retreat because of the plant wall that blocked their escape. There were only two options left for them, fight through the monsters, kill the players in front of them and somehow escape, or the more likely slowly die one by one until none of them remained. This situation was hopeless.

"We're doing it! We're really going to defeat ten players!" Jia said as she jumped around full of energy. Even though it was all thanks to Luna's plan, she still felt excited just by being there to witness it firsthand. No one would probably believe her if she told them this story.

Woosh!

Luna's heart suddenly skipped a beat as she felt a strong sense of danger coming from behind them. However, before she could warn her friend it was already too late. Instead, she quickly cast Healing Essence.

Just as Jia was cheering, a spear with a chain attached to it drilled right through Xun Guiying and stuck out of her body.

"Eh?" Xun Guiying saw her HP rapidly fall as her entire body was suddenly pulled away like a ragdoll and flew back towards the same direction the spear came from. Her body was dragged across the ground until she arrived right before someone's feet. However, her body paralyzed and so she was unable to so much as lift her head up.

Luna and her party were stunned. When everyone turned around, they saw that a new group of players had arrived on the scene. From the sound of things, they appeared to be on the same side as Owl.

"This is bad..." Jia muttered as her cheerful expression had long since disappeared.

Luna stared coldly at the player standing near the front of the group with eleven other players with him.

"Pathetic! You can't even handle a bunch of women by yourself, Owl!" A smug voice sounded out which caused Owl to be both relieved and filled with regret at the same time.

"It's the boss! Even big bro Savage is here...!" Du Cheng said in a baffled manner.

"They just got lucky, Savage." Owl said as his facial expression turned gloomy as he responded to the player who just spoke in a smug manner with a chain wrapped around his hand. The one called Savage was the same person who threw the spear at Xun Guiying.

"What should we do, boss?" Savage asked the player who stood at the front of the group. Of course, that player was the leader of the organization Fatal Touch, Silent Steps.

"Don't touch the healer, she's mine. As for everyone else, kill them." Silent Steps said without the slightest bit of hesitation.

...