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Reborn as a Demonic Tree – Chapter 23: Suspicion Bahasa Indonesia

Diana trudged into the central courtyard and seemed to be eyeing Ashlock warily. Her brows were furrowed as if the sight of him baffled the badly beaten and bruised cultivator. She circled him a single time, eyes narrowed and dragging her feet with every step. Eventually, she flopped down to the grass beside the tree, crossed her legs, and began cultivating after swallowing a few pills.

A while passed with nothing happening, and Ashlock let out a nonexistent breath he didn’t know he was holding. It had been a stressful few days.

Ashlock had no clue how Diana Ravenborne survived the Grand Elder’s explosion, but that didn’t matter. What he needed to do first and foremost while Diana was distracted was decide his stance on the situation. How should he treat the intruder?

His opinion of the girl was… neutral. When they first met, she snooped around his courtyard for clues about something likely relating to Stella. That made Ashlock naturally wary of her, but then she killed her cousin, noticed his existence as a spirit tree, and was nice enough to leave the body for him to eat without chopping him down for spiritual firewood.

She then took the pill bottle and the storage ring containing his fruit, but she had no idea the ring carried fruit when she stole it from her dead cousin’s finger. And Diana also didn’t know the pills had belonged to him—what tree owned pills anyways?

So was Diana sly and untrustworthy? Yes—without question. Before she left her mountain peak, Ashlock overheard Diana’s mother, asking about a special mission Diana had been given by the now-dead Grand Elder. That was very suspicious and likely involved Stella again somehow… but he had no proof. For all he knew, the special mission could be entirely unrelated to her previous snooping around the pavilion.

Also, she was ruthless and maybe a little psychopathic… executing her cousin without asking questions first and then leaving the dead body for a demonic tree to eat was far from normal behavior, even with his knowledge of how the demonic cultivators acted.

But despite her flaws, she had taken him on an unknowing tour of the town that was now nothing but a puddle of molten slag and showed an acceptable demeanor and good fighting sense compared to the Evergreen cultivators. So other than some wariness around her motives and character, she seemed like an alright person.

And there was also the simple fact that Ashlock’s opinions on the girl ultimately didn’t matter. Even in her injured state, his {Devour} skill would likely only anger her, and there was no way she would consume a poisonous fruit—unless she was somehow as dumb as her cousin.

So Ashlock was simply out of options and would have to put up with her presence until she either left or Stella returned.

Ashlock watched Diana cultivate for a bit, and a thought crossed his mind. Could she help train Stella for her upcoming Grand Elder examination? Ashlock was still distraught for Stella.

“After seeing the godlike fight between the Grand Elders, I worry that Stella will struggle to pass the exam, even with a few more years out in the wilderness. She simply lacks a teacher…” Ashlock wasn’t oblivious to the fact Stella had practically raised herself. Apart from venturing down the mountain on a rare occasion for supplies, Stella kept to herself and silently cultivated and practiced up here on the mountain peak.

She lacked a teacher. Something he could never provide, as she often taught him things. “Not like I can speak anyways.”

Ashlock hadn’t seen Stella fight in many years and had no idea how she compared to Diana, so maybe she would be a secret prodigy, and Diana wouldn’t be able to teach her anything.

Ashlock paused at the distant memory of the first time he saw Stella fight. The two men who had freaked out when they saw the head pulled from the bag had utilized blue flames while fighting her. “Were they Ravenborne servants? Why had they freaked out like that over the head anyway? Who was the guy?”

Many questions and a disturbing lack of answers.

Actually, now that Ashlock thought about it some more, each family seemed to have a color of flames associated with them. Was that due to a family martial art technique? Or was the color of one’s soul flames determined from birth? Could a cultivator change the color of their flames?

Ashlock wished he could venture down to a library or ask to train under someone to get a better understanding of cultivators in this world—

“I’m getting off-topic, aren’t I? Right… back to the blue flame cultivators.”

Ashlock gazed at Diana, who was cultivating beside him. She had blue flames flickering across her body as she healed her wounds—and so had the other Ravenborne family members. Which led Ashlock to a disturbing thought. “Had her family tried to assassinate Stella?”

It was too early to draw conclusions. When Stella had nearly been poisoned by that servant, the two cultivators she fought off later that night had red and black flames. It may be a coincidence that those cultivators that attacked Stella all those years ago had blue flames… in fact, Ashlock couldn’t even remember the exact shade of the flames. Were they light blue or a darker tone like Diana’s?

Ashlock cursed. If only his stupid system had unlocked faster, he might have gotten his {Eye of the Tree God} and {Language of the World} skills before the incident, and then he would have understood what was happening through their conversations—even his vision would have been improved, everything was blurry back then like looking through a plane of frosted glass.

“So, in conclusion, I have almost zero information about this girl, and I think her family wants to kill Stella…” Ashlock picked at his memories for a few hours, and a conversation came to mind. “Stella told me she killed the scion of house Ravenborne in a duel with the help of her new earrings I gifted her.”

Well, now Ashlock had discovered a potential motive for why both house Ravenborne and maybe Diana, in particular, may despise Stella’s existence.

Ashlock’s mind felt trigger happy on the {Devour} skill for the rest of the day.


Idletree Daily Sign-In System

Day: 2784

Daily Credit: 2

Sacrifice Credit: 0

[Sign in?]

Ashlock awoke the next day to his usual sign-in notification. Briefly dismissing it into the corner of his mind, the young demonic tree examined his surroundings. Although half destroyed by the Grand Elder’s blast, the courtyard was in good form.

It was the 6th month of the year, so summer was in full swing with all the pleasantries that came along with it. The sky was blue, the clouds fluffy, and the warm sun shone on his scarlet leaves.

There was just one thing to dampen his mood—an uninvited guest. Diana stood up and stretched. She wore odd clothing that didn’t match the era—a pair of black jeans and a white shirt with an undone top button. Her raven hair was short and hung casually over her grey eyes.

Honestly, she reminded Ashlock of a modern teenager from Earth going through a tomboyish emo phase—but considering she could shoot flames out her sword and cut avalanches in two, she could act and dress however she darn well pleased.

She rolled up her shirt sleeves and inspected her arms, likely for any lingering bruises or cuts she had failed to heal overnight. Then, rolling her shoulders, she walked around the courtyard, studying the runic formations as she went.

She seemed baffled, not by its runes but rather by its purpose.

“Is that girl crazy?” Diana huffed and crossed her arms.

Mumbling to herself, Diana stroked her chin while looking straight at a certain ominous tree. “Such an expensive formation, yet almost all the captured Qi is lost because it was built outdoors. Is that girl just stupid or…”

Her eyes seemed to follow the flow of the ambient Qi like a curious girl watching a fish swim by. She followed it, walking toward the center of the formation, and stopping just a step away from Ashlock.

She seemed to pause as she frowned at the ground. “My cousin’s body is already gone? There is no way a demonic tree could eat him and his clothes that fast… Did a vulture get to it?”

Looking up, she furrowed her brows, “No, the canopy would have hidden the corpse from the sky…” Drumming her fingers on her chin, the girl seemed deep in thought. Sadly, Ashlock was no mind reader, so he just sat… stood… swayed? Ashlock had no clue about the proper term. Being a human mind in a tree was sometimes confusing. But only sometimes, he rather liked his new body.

Diana seemed to come to a conclusion as she looked at his naked branches, devoid of any fruit. “You should be a demonic tree sapling, yet there are no poisonous berries on your branches, nor are there any fruit. So where did my cousin get that…”

Her thoughts seemed to wander again.

Ashlock found it odd to be learning about his fellow demonic trees. Spirit trees aren’t that rare in this world, as most people that had interacted with him seemed mostly uninterested. “Am I like a venus flytrap to them? I used to like feeding dead flies to mine back at home.”

Now Ashlock felt silly. Here he was as a man-eating tree, but in this dog-eat-dog world, a murderous magical tree was about as interesting as some dumb plant that took days to digest a single insect.

Diana reached her hand out, and Ashlock felt the familiar feeling of invasive Qi flooding his trunk. He couldn’t hide his Qi in the corner of his body, hoping she wouldn’t find him because… well, there was a massive spiritual lake of Qi floating in the middle of his trunk. It was rather hard to miss.

To Ashlock’s surprise, Diana was rather respectful. Her Qi never went too close to his spiritual lake, and her prying only lasted a minute before she pulled her hand back.

Her eyes narrowed. “How did it change so much in just two days? That should be impossible. I have never seen a spirit tree progress so fast.”

As flattering as her statements were… Ashlock feared he had been found out.


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