LUO YAN slammed down the long knife he was holding, killing off his 20th Blight.  Then he heard the familiar bell-like notification, indicating that he leveled-up.  He immediately jumped away from the area where he was fighting the Blights.  He first began eating red berries to renew his HP and then opened his Stats Tab.  

He was now level 10.  Which meant he now had 4 stat points to add to his Basic Stats.  He didn't hesitate to add 2 points on STR and then 1 points each to his AGI and DEX.  

He saw a vine creeping at his periphery.  Luo Yan immediately moved.  His swing was much faster than the vines attack, allowing him to kill it in just three moves.  That's the 21st Blight.  Luo Yan smiled and looked at the vines around.  

[Now let's kill 9 more.]

He moved like a whirlwind - slashing, jumping, dodging.  He put all his strength in his every attack.  His every movement was precise and knife like.  As if he was taught by some master to fight like this.  But, of course, that was impossible.

Luo Yan didn't practice any martial arts.  He didn't have the money to learn anything of those sorts.  All his moves were based on the moves his character made when he was playing the PC version of Arcadia.  He just had to think about it and his body would move accordingly.  It's probably a good thing that he had a pretty good memory, a shitload of imagination, and, one might as well add, fast brain activity.  With the combinations of the three, he was able to move and fight freely.  

Soon, he finally managed to kill 30 Blights.  Then a notification screen appeared in front of him.

[Congratulations!  You now finished the Elder's task of killing 30 Blights.  Please go back to the village and get your reward from the Elder.]

Of course, he wouldn't go back to the village.  He still had to do the additional task - looking for the source of the Blights and kill it.  Now how should he go about doing that?

Luo Yan jumped to the branch of the tallest tree around.  From there, he observed the surrounding.  It seemed like killing 30 Blights didn't really do much since there were still a lot of Blights around.  He looked carefully and then noticed something.  

When he started killing the Blights earlier, these vine monsters only moved when he entered their attack range.  But right now he noticed some movements.  Some vines started to move further towards North.  Their movements were slow, barely noticeable in fact, but Luo Yan still saw it.  He raised one of his brows.  

These monster vines wouldn't move for no reason.  There's no one here aside from him who could enter their attack range.  And since he's up here and not anywhere near them, there's no reason for them to move.  So, the only thing he could think of why they're moving right now was because it's related to the reason they're invading this part of the forest.  Him killing those 30 Blights was probably what triggered this phenomenon.

He smiled and jumped from one branch to another, following the slow moving Blights.  Because they're moving as slow as snails, it took a very, very long while before it went anywhere.  When it did, he noticed the sparse amount of trees around.  The remaining ones looked like they were dried up or something.  

There was no sign of life here, unlike the rest of the forest.  One look and you just knew that something wrong was going on here.  He saw the Blights moving further the forest.  He noticed that their movements were actually getting faster since they arrived at this area.  Luo Yan no longer followed them and completely bypassed the monster vines.  

Then ten minutes into his run, he stopped and jumped backwards.  The place where he just stood was now attacked by a huge branch.  Before he could see which kind of tree monster attacked him, his foot was suddenly entangled by something.  Then he was roughly dragged forward by that something.  He could feel the stones scratching his back.  Some might have even directly punctured his skin.  But this was a game, so that meant his HP was now currently decreasing.  Then he was suddenly lifted upside-down.  After hanging for a second, he finally saw his attacker.

It was a huge tree that looked like an old dried-up bark.  It didn't have any leaves.  It's branches were long and thick.  Anyone could see that just one attack from those branches and it would surely deliver a lot of damage.  Its roots were uprooted from the ground and was moving like freaking tentacles.  One of the roots was actually the one entangled around his foot.  But that's not all, it also had a face.  A pair of red eyes looking angrily at him and a zigzagged mouth that seemed to want to eat him.    

If Luo Yan was the type who's easily scared, he'd definitely pee on his pants right about now.  Having been played the PC version, he knew some of the monsters in Arcadia looked pretty scary.  He just didn't expect that they would look scarier in this VR version.  Once again, he couldn't help but want to express his admiration towards the game developer and its design team.  They're really doing a good job in this.

His thoughts were immediately broken when he was lifted even higher and suddenly slammed down on the ground.  If this was real life, he would definitely hear his spine breaking.  That's how much it hurt.

[Damn, that hurts.]

The monster tree lifted him up again and he knew it was planning to slam him down on the ground again.  Luo Yan didn't let it succeed.  He took his long knife and slash it towards the root entangling his foot.  Once he was free, he immediately ran to an area where it couldn't reach him.

When he saw that it was not following him, he breathed a sigh of relief.  He winced when he saw his HP was now half its original amount.  He took a small red potion and drank it.  He immediately felt its effect, reducing his pain and increasing his HP.  

Luo Yan looked at the tree monster at the distance.  He was a hundred percent certain that this was the source of the Blights.  As evidence of the monster vines creeping closer and closer.

[Now how should I solve this creepy looking tree?]

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