The shockwave discharged by the dragon turtle shaped like a water sphere that enlarged at a fast rate. Will knew he couldn't outrun this shockwave. He used his non-standard bard skill, Sound Shield. It created a protective shell around him. This defensive skill had a chance to deflect incoming range attacks. Any attack that it failed to deflect would have its damage reduced. The skill also protected him from any movement restriction resulting from the skill or spell that hit him.

The shockwave was an AOE attack, so the Sound Shield couldn't deflect it. It hit Will and sent him tumbling. Luckily, his Sound Shield reduced the damage he received, allowing him to survive. The push from the shockwave instead helped him widen his distance from the dragon turtle. The tunnel's large opening was now right in front of him. He quickly adjusted his direction and entered the tunnel.

Will looked back from time to time as he swam, the dragon turtle was furiously chasing him. It was angered because its last attack failed to incapacitate its prey. Fortunately for Will, it didn't use any more skill. It seemed that it had exhausted all its ranged skills.

Will continued to speed along the tunnel. He needed to draw the dragon turtle deeper.

As he swam further into the tunnel, the merfolk who had hidden near the large opening lifted large rocks that they had prepared. There were hundreds of them. Each one lifted a sizable rock much bigger than themselves.

The players were amazed by the feat. One of the berserkers in their group tried to lift one of the rocks, but it wouldn't budge. While merfolk with a similar level could do it with ease. It showed how the merfolk excelled in their physical stats.

The merfolk start dropping the large rocks by the entrance to the tunnel. It continued to pile until the whole opening was blocked. They continued adding rocks to the pile, just to reinforce it further.

The dragon turtle was oblivious to its escape path being blocked. Its attention remained solely on the glacier seal that was fleeing in front of it.

Bowler sent Will a message once the exit was sealed. He was not like John who put someone in danger just to get the maximum outcome. John would have waited until Will reached the other end of the tunnel before informing him, so that the dragon turtle took a longer time to swim back.

Will looked around for the nearest gap within the tunnel wall for an exit. As he did, he also looked back at the dragon turtle. Its powerful jaw was opened and Will saw that familiar water swirling motion.

'Shit! Its breath attack is off cooldown already…?!" Will thought with dismay. The nearest gap on the wall was still a distance away and there was no big enough cover nearby to hide from that breath attack!

When Will was still lamenting his inevitable demise, the water swirling in front of the dragon turtle's mouth suddenly fizzled out. The dragon turtle was visibly confused by what had happened, which slowed its speed by a little.

Will used this chance to put more distance. The dragon turtle won't be able to use any more of its skill. The Hex of Power Restraint had been activated.

The hex required one hour of static preparation to power up, which they had started an hour before. Bowler immediately activated it once he saw Will's predicament through the gaps in the walls and ceiling.

The dragon turtle didn't let this confusion halt it for long. It continued to chase after the odd glacier seal. It had come this far. It would be a waste to turn back now.

Will also lost the underwater propeller scroll's effect once the Hex of Power Restraint was activated. Luckily, he managed to swim to the wall when the dragon turtle was still confused. He immediately ditched the stone that emitted the glacier seal's voice and replaced his cloak. He then swam out through one of the gaps in the wall.

The dragon turtle was bewildered by its prey's sudden transformation. It looked at the stone that was still emitting the sound and then at Will who no longer resembled a glacier seal. It knew then it had been tricked. It roared with fury, but Will had already slipped into one of the gaps.

In its blind fury, the dragon turtle slammed into the wall, causing the whole place to shake. Its powerful jaw repeatedly bit on the rock wall where Will had slipped through.

The bites chipped the rock wall bit by bit. If they allowed it to continue doing this unhindered, it could probably create a hole large enough to go through. Hence, they didn't let it do this for long. The merfolk who had been preparing outside slipped in through other gaps. They headed to the dragon turtle once they were inside.

Every merfolk carried a long weapon like tridents, spears, or other pole weapons. They stabbed the dragon turtle from behind. The dragon turtle who was already furious was enraged by these backstabs. It hurled back and slapped several merfolk who were too slow to dodge. These merfolk were sent tumbling to the other side of the tunnel while suffering high damage.

The other merfolk didn't stop their assault, they stabbed at the dragon turtle while swimming around it. Their top speed at swimming might not be faster than the dragon turtle, but their maneuverability was better. Their cooperation with each other was also good. They circled the dragon turtle, confusing it with their numbers and movements, and stabbed its rear whenever they could. They targeted the limbs and avoided stabbing the shell part because the shell was too tough. The resulting damage was too low.

However, the merfolk didn't have an easy time. The dragon turtle's powerful four legs and tail flailed around wildly, hitting the merfolk once in a while. Those that were hit lose a large percentage of HP. But since they had the number, their rank was easily replaced by other merfolk who were on standby. As long as the dragon turtle didn't use any skill, they could wear it down without any casualties.

Or so they thought, until one moment, the dragon turtle's head suddenly shot out with unbelievable speed. Its powerful jaws snatched one of the merfolk who was swimming past its front. The jaws then bit down with crazy strength. The caught merfolk screamed and lost a third of its HP from that single bite. But the jaws didn't let the merfolk go, it bit down again a second time and the third. The merfolk's body was severed.

This kill took the merfolk aback. Even without the ability to use skill, the dragon turtle was still deadly.

Seeing her merfolk were rattled, the sea mother entered the tunnel and motivated them.

"Fight, my warriors! Teach this beast the true ruler of this gulf! Let it know what happened to those who steal our children…!" Ama rushed forward. She was carrying a golden trident that was one and a half times longer than the others.

The golden trident struck the dragon turtle's neck, causing critical damage. The dragon turtle's jaws came for retaliation, but it bit only water. Ama's swimming speed was faster than the normal merfolk. The other merfolk cheered from their sea mother's display. Their fighting spirit was ignited and they redoubled their effort in fighting the dragon turtle.

All of a sudden, the dragon turtle showed a shocked expression. Its head turned in the direction of its lair. It ignored the merfolk who were still stabbing it and started barging its way toward the exit. Smacking any merfolk that stood in its way.


Back in the dragon turtle's lair, John had received a message from Bowler that the adult dragon turtle was now trapped in the enclosed tunnel. John and the others immediately came into the cave hall from the small holes they had been hiding in.

The baby dragon turtle saw the intruders. It immediately sent a signal to its parent.

"Get it!" John commanded. All of them swam directly to the baby dragon turtle. They needed to reduce its HP to below 30% before they could use the Giant Capturing Cage and the Tame Aquatic Guardian scroll on it.

Their target was still a newborn, so it had virtually no combat ability. The baby dragon turtle retreated into its shell. Even the holes where the limbs, head, and tail retracted into were covered by some sort of translucent layer.

Those who had ranged attacks fired their attacks on the baby dragon turtle.

"Holy crap!" They uttered when they saw the damage numbers. The damage produced was only one-tenth of the normal output. "Its defense stat is way off the chart in that state!"

"Don't stop! Just keep attacking. It can't counterattack, so do as you wish! Use all your available skills!" John commanded.

He had heard from Peniel about this. Another skill that every dragon turtle had was what this baby dragon turtle used now, Total Defense. The dragon turtle couldn't attack or move in this state, but its defense stat skyrocketed. It also gained increased HP recovery. That's why John asked them not to stop their attacks. If they do, the damage they inflicted would be offset by the recovery. The others also saw the HP recovery number appear above the baby dragon turtle and its HP bar was refilled again.

"F*ck!!" All of them cursed. They then sent their attacks in a frenzy.

"Hurry!" John urged. "We need to tame it before its parent broke through the blockage."

All the while, the merfolk in captivity watched them from their water prisons. They were both confused and anxious about these trespassing land dwellers.