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Reborn as a Demonic Tree – Chapter 28: Heart Demons Bahasa Indonesia

{Root Puppet [B]}was a rather odd skill. From the initial snippet of information provided by the system, Ashlock summarized that it was basically necromancy but worse in every way—but if there is one thing he had learned through his life with the system was not to underestimate its skills.

“It should allow me to control a corpse like a puppet.” Ashlock could already think of many applications, such as a possible way to communicate.

“Right. Step one is to get a corpse for the skill to use.” Ashlock looked around but quickly realized a problem. “How can I get a corpse?”


Early the following day, there was a shriek followed by a thud as an unlucky bird took a flying dagger to the face. Diana approached the bird, pulled free her blade with dull eyes, and got to work stripping the corpse of its white feathers and meat.

Her stomach was grumbling, which meant she hadn’t eaten in at least a week. Absorbing Qi offset the body’s natural need for nutrients for a long while but eventually, that nutrient debt would have to be paid back in full.

“A rather fat one today. Did it escape from the rebuilt Darklight city?” Diana mused as she skillfully removed the organs, ignoring the rancid stench from the blood that sprayed on her shirt and jeans as she dug deeper with her blade.

Wiping the sweat from her brow that had accumulated from a week of training—Diana pushed the blob of removed organs and stripped feathers to the side.

Then picking up the bird, she felt her Soul Core hum to life, and dark blue flames surged from her palm. Unfortunately, the fire she produced was not inherently hot, but the Qi in her flames reacted violently with the Qi left inside the bird’s meat, causing it to sizzle.

As Diana watched the cooking bird hanging by the neck from her hand, she couldn’t help but tighten her grip and bite her lip in frustration. She hated to come to terms with it, but her talent was holding her back. Even though she trained every day for every possible second of the last year while in this courtyard, she hadn’t progressed a single stage.

The lack of progress was both disheartening and alarming. How could she reach the Star Core realm before the Grand Elder exam if she didn’t grow after an entire year? She still had three stages to go and a heavenly tribulation to defy.

Was she truly this untalented? Fated to remain forever stuck at the 6th stage of the Soul Fire realm?

She had trained night and day in the family’s best facilities throughout her childhood and was showered with enough resources to create a small sect. Yet, she was still… average—compared to the other scions of houses, at least. Of course, compared to her cousins, she was leagues ahead, but that wasn’t good enough.

The smell of succulent cooked meat tickled Diana’s nose—breaking her from the depressing thoughts plaguing her mind. She just felt so angry that she wanted to scream—

Diana paused with the steaming bird still in hand as a terrible realization dawned on her. “I have heart demons holding me back. Why?” Closing her eyes and checking her body thoroughly, she confirmed her suspicions. Her Qi had become slightly corrupted at some point, causing a bottleneck.

Diana narrowed it down to two potential causes.

The most common reason for heart demons was the overconsumption of beast cores, too many led to a quick rise in power but an impossible bottleneck to form that eventually drove the cultivator insane. Diana thought back and confirmed that wasn’t the case. She had been meticulous about her consumption—even with her lust for power.

So she must be suffering from the other cause. Some regret, trauma, or mortal greed had been ignored for far too long and left to fester in her heart.

Diana absentmindedly tore the bird’s leg from its socket and bit into the flesh while thinking. Analyzing oneself analytically or from another person’s perspective was hard—her flaw could be any number of things.

Her own inferiority? Being called a failure and compared to her brother all the time? Condemned to death by her father with a suicide mission? Now that Diana thought about it, there could be any number of reasons for her heart demons—her life had been rough considering her privileged position.

Some time passed, and Diana had her fill of food and didn’t feel like starving to death anymore. Half the bird still had meat on it, but she felt too lazy and miserable to try and store it, so gathering up the clump of organs and feathers, Diana dragged the carcass to the central courtyard.

Diana wasn’t sure why she felt compelled to feed the tree. A part of it was simply for entertainment; watching it devour corpses was at least something to pass the time. But if she had to be honest, the main reason was so she didn’t feel guilty about squatting here. Watering—or in this case feeding the plants, was the least she could do for Stella.

“Maybe she won’t hate me then,” Diana grumbled as she entered the central courtyard through a spiderweb and dust-coated doorway. She almost sneezed due to the dense dust cloud that was visible in the morning sun. The Red Vine peak had fallen into complete disrepair, which was to be expected when a building that needed hundreds of maids to be functional was abandoned for so long.

Diana debated cleaning up a little; her water-based techniques could alleviate some of the dust, but she was too exhausted and drenched in blood to care for such a thing.

Instead, she focused on the demonic tree that dominated the central courtyard casting a great scarlet shade over most of the pavilion. Watching the Qi condensing around the tree due to the runic formation was fascinating. Qi was sucked into the tree’s thousands of leaves every few seconds and dispelled back into the surroundings as if the tree was breathing.

“Still no poisonous berries growing on your branches. What an unusual demonic tree.” Diana said as she crossed the runic formation surrounding the now massive tree and stood before a patch of grass encircling the tree’s base for a few meters. Through some trial and error, she had discovered this to be the best place to leave offerings.

“Here, you glutton.”

Diana dumped the bird carcass with the lump of organs inside and decided to enjoy the mild afternoon weather while lazing on the bench. A while passed, but Diana didn’t hear the usual noises of the tree consuming its meal.

“Is it sleeping?” Opening one eye, Diana looked to the side and saw an unusual sight. A single thin black tree root Diana had almost mistaken for a snake slowly broke from the dirt and approached the carcass.

Curious, Diana got up from the bench; she didn’t dare get too close and instead stood at a distance and let the tree do its thing.


It had taken an entire day, but luckily to end Ashlock’s misery like a kid on Christmas denied his presents, Diana had been considerate enough to bring him a body to experiment on. His lack of agency was somewhat infuriating, but he had to remind himself it was only temporary.

Every day that passed, he became stronger and stronger, and with the nearly limitless potential of his spatial Soul Core, he was excited—but that utopian future was still a ways off. Luckily, it may not be perfect, but his new skill gave him some hope.

Now that he had a corpse to practice on, Ashlock eagerly activated {Root Puppet}. Qi surged from his Soul Core into the depths of his trunk, down one of his larger roots, and then paused right below the corpse. Then a thin root grew off his main root like a branch and snaked through the soil toward its target a few centimeters above it.

“So far, so good.” Ashlock hummed to himself as he controlled the thin root like an extra limb. “Now, according to the skill, I need to get as close to the creature’s center as possible.”

Finding the best point of attack, the black root approached the bird’s rib cage. It snuck through a gap of missing flesh that Diana had eaten and was now inside.

“Okay, now to take control…” Ashlock made the root’s tip slit open, and thousands of hair-thin threads emerged. They slowly crawled through the bird’s carcass, connecting everything like an intricate spiderweb. The threads intertwined with various muscle tissues, the organs were held together in a clump in the center, and feathers stuck out in random directions.

It was an absolute abomination. The bird was the size of a large dog, with its head hanging to the side connected by threads. Ashlock could see into its rib cage where a ball of organs dangled.

Diana seemed weirdly unphased by the whole thing, silently watching while standing a few meters away.

Ashlock paid the squatter no heed and continued his experiment. “With the threads in place, I should be able to control the corpse.” Ashlock channeled some Qi into the threads, and the corpse quivered.

Like a very jittery robot or a zombie suffering from Parkinson’s, the bird stood on its two clawed feet with as much grace as a drunken tightrope walker. It swayed from side to side and looked ready to fall over from a gust of wind.

In its current state, the bird was near useless. Ashlock tried to make it squark, but its mouth just gaped open and closed like a fish with nothing coming out—which was fair enough considering its severed windpipe. He also tried to make it draw something in the grass, but it just fell flat on its face.

Walking was also just as unimpressive as its balance was downright horrendous. But considering the corpse’s state, Ashlock was impressed that the grotesque thing could even stand. It was missing so much of its meat that it was more bone than flesh, and the bundle of organs dangling within its ribcage kept swinging around inside it like a counterweight.

“Yep, just as I feared, the skill is necromancy but without the magical touch to make dead things work when they aren’t supposed to.” Ashlock made the bird stumble around for a bit and noticed another issue. Wherever the bird went, the thin black root followed like a tether, and when the bird got too far, it tugged on the root like a dog chained to a kennel.

“Can’t go far then… what a shame.” Ashlock could still think of many uses for the skill, but it would require more testing—especially with a human corpse.

Ashlock made his puppet flap its wings in a vain attempt to fly, which was sadly not successful as it lost its balance almost immediately and face-planted into the ground.

With its limited range and the terrible condition of the corpse, Ashlock deemed the experiment complete… until a thought crossed his mind.

“If I channel enough Qi into it, will it explode?”


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