en English
en Englishid Indonesian

Reborn as a Demonic Tree – Chapter 41: (Interlude) Slymere Bahasa Indonesia

It was a beautiful Sunday morning in Darklight city, so the academy was naturally peaceful without hundreds of students walking around looking to cause trouble, which Stella greatly appreciated after the incident she faced with the students last time.

Stella looked at Diana, and she had mixed emotions. They had spent the last few months just a meter apart in a private booth, which the Head Librarian had been so gracious to provide them because they were reading ancient texts that had to be safeguarded in a rune-engraved room that prevented decay.

Diana had mostly read old fantasy books and spent the time relaxing her mind and meditating while Stella furiously studied the ancient runic language. On occasion, they exchanged words about life, and Stella found it hard to stay mad at Diana for what her family had done, especially with them now gone.

But there was another odd emotion—nervousness. Stella hated to admit it, but she hadn’t interacted with anyone in… years. What if she said something weird? Maybe Diana already found her strange with how much she interacted with Ash.

Stella shook her head to remove the useless thoughts and focused on their shopping trip.

The two naturally had their wooden masks back on, so people gave them odd looks as they left the academy grounds and strolled down the cobbled street flanked by Chinese-style pavilions.

“Hey Stella, what books did you check out from the library? I thought you had written everything down?” Diana quipped from the side as she released her hand from Stellas, and the two walked side by side at a relaxed pace.

“Books?” Stella tilted her head, “Oh! Those weren’t books. I took out some technique manuals.”

“Ah, technique manuals? I’ve never touched one before since I always had a tutor instead.” Diana sidestepped a couple arguing in the street and continued, “I heard they are challenging to understand. We could try and find you a tutor if you want…”

“Nah.” Stella chuckled, “These books aren’t for me…” Stella paused as she felt embarrassed, “I wanted to see if Ash could understand them.”

Although Stella couldn’t see through the mask to see her reaction—Diana rolled her eyes and didn’t comment anymore.

The two walked through the streets a while longer, and the further they ventured into the city’s heart, the wider the streets and the grander the pavilions became. This area of the city was primarily residential buildings with the occasional shop or restaurant here and there—but for high-end fashion, they would need to travel to the center.

Stella suddenly felt a weight on her head and, reaching up, confirmed Maple had made an appearance, “Hey little guy, how’s Ash doing?” The mythical squirrel chose not to comment and sprawled on her head, quickly falling asleep in the sun’s rays.

The blonde girl huffed and tried to ignore the stares of all the passing people. Although, to be fair, she did look rather odd, with her tattered clothes, black mask, and a white squirrel sleeping on her head. All the more reason for her to buy new clothes as soon as possible.


“I always forget how annoyingly big this city is sometimes,” Diana commented as her Soul Core died down and the blue flames vanished. “Been ages since I’ve visited the central area.”

Stella appeared beside her, purple lightning arcing along her legs and the squirrel still happily sleeping on her head. “You could say that again. Even with movement techniques, it took us two hours to get here… Wait, why are we at the airship station? Are we going to another city?”

Bells rang out as the sky darkened. An airship passed overhead and blocked out the sun. Suspended from its red balloon was a platform with hundreds of people wearing robes of various colors—they mingled around and looked over the railings at the city below.

Stella watched as the ballon skillfully lowered into the courtyard of a massive building.

“Yes, we will go to Slymere. It’s only one stop away. Their fashion industry is way better than here.” Diana said as she walked toward the airship station entrance, “Come on! The airship that just landed should take us there.”

Stella followed closely behind, nerves festering in her stomach. She had never traveled via airship to another city before. The feeling only worsened as they walked through the grand entrance with hundreds of people, mostly mortals, walking around.

Many people lined up at booths with workers in uniform handing out tickets, but Diana ignored all that and walked straight past.

“We don’t have to buy a ticket?” Stella wondered as they received annoyed stares from the people waiting in line.

Diana scoffed, “Of course not. Cultivators travel free and without the need for a ticket. Just flash your cultivation to a ticket inspector if they ask.”

“Is that a rule?” Stella felt that was a little unfair.

“Yes, it is and always has been.” Diana replied, “All the cultivator families manage their city’s airship station. The whole operation is run by cultivators, so we naturally travel for free.”

Stella just shrugged. It was likely another way for cultivators to flaunt their power and avoid arguments. The money gained from charging the few cultivators compared to the millions of mortals wasn’t worth the risk of a cultivator getting angry and destroying the station.

Her eyes wandered along the vaulted ceiling and almost gawked at how dense the runic enchantments were. From buying just a courtyard worth of runic engraved stone, Stella knew the cost of the stuff, so to have such a massive building constructed out of runic-enhanced stone just showed the true wealth flowing through this place. Stella couldn’t help but side-eye Diana. She would have been the heir of this entire city if not for the Winterwrath and Evergreen families taking over.

The two masked girls stood off to the side as a stream of mortals disembarked the airship that had just landed. Metal chains held the airship in place, and the metal platform hovered just a little off the cobbled ground of the courtyard.

“Don’t you feel angry?” Stella asked—her voice barely a whisper.

Diana’s white mask looked her way, “About what?”

“All of this?” Stella gestured around, “This should have been yours? How did the takeover of Darklight city even happen? I wasn’t here…”

Diana sighed, “Angry? No. I didn’t want the position, and my family was a bunch of psychos, but I have to admit it’s sad to be denied control over such a massive city…. but it doesn’t matter anyway.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well… it’s the same reason those families were allowed to invade without repercussions in the first place. It simply doesn’t matter anymore.” Diana crossed her arms under her chest as she leaned against the wall, “A beast tide is coming within the next few years. And according to the merchants, it’s the largest one yet. Therefore, none of this will exist soon.”

Diana paused before adding, “The Blood Lotus sect has remained in this same spot for around forty years, so there’s not much more to mine or gain, so the families unanimously agreed to flee at the last summit, and the patriarch went into a final seclusion in preparation for the move.”

“But do the other families not care? Don’t they want house Ravenborne to survive?”

“Survive?” Diana tilted her head in confusion, “Why would they want that? I bet the other families were cheering from the sideline as we were slaughtered. You see… once we move to a new location, there will be a fight over who gets what resources and land. So the fewer families to contend with, the better it is for the smaller families. But you should know all this already—since you are aiming for the Grand Elder position to claim some land in the new location, right?”

Stella shook her head, “No, I didn’t know any of this. I was ordered by a Grand Elder from the disciplinary committee to become a Grand Elder of the sect and pass the test since I was the sole heir to Red Vine peak—which I now know is bullshit. The Patriarch just wanted me to cultivate hard so he could use me as a pill furnace—”

Stella was interrupted by a man shouting, “Airship A3 to Slymere, leaving in five minutes!”

“Forget that useless stuff that will only cloud your heart. Come on, let’s go.” Diana patted Stella on the shoulder before leading the way.

The ticket inspector gave them an odd look when they didn’t present their tickets, but when Stella flashed her purple Qi, he waved them onto the airship’s platform without another word.

All the mortals piled on, but they gave Stella and Diana a corner of the platform to themselves.

After a while, the metal chains keeping the airship tied to the building were unclipped, and a woman wearing a light grey robe stood on a platform in the center of the platform, right below the airship’s balloon. Stella could tell the woman was in the first stage of the soul-fire realm. Light grey flames shot from her hands, and a gust of wind lifted the airship.

“Wind element.” Diana whispered over the roaring wind and shook her head in pity as she leaned over the railing, watching the courtyard get smaller as they rose, “This is the best job they can get with such a useless element.”

“Mhm.” Stella agreed, and she also looked over the railing.

They were sailing high in the sky over Darklight city within a few minutes.

White clouds partially obscured the city, which spread out for hundreds of miles in all directions within the shadow of the mountain range. As they got higher, the wind rustled Stella’s hair, which she put behind her ear as she searched the skyline for something.

Her eyes lit up as she could see Red Vine peak in the distance, but she was too far away to make out the pavilion or Ash. To her, the Red Vine peak was her entire world, but from so far away, it seemed so insignificant. Simply one of many mountain peaks that made up the colossal mountain range that had been heavily mined over the last few decades.

Just another pointy lump of rock—like any other in this vast world. Except for Stella, it was special as the mountain peak had a dear friend that couldn’t move living there.

Diana leaned on the railing, her fringe flapping in the wind as the airship moved south of the mountain range, “Say, Stella, what do you plan to do when the beast tide comes?”

“Stay…” Stella said hesitantly, “There is no life for me anywhere else. I am sure Ash will have a way to keep me safe.”

Diana hummed, didn’t say anything more, and simply watched the world go by—which Stella also indulged in. However, something about this airship ride helped put her life’s significance into perspective. “How many cities like this are there under the Blood Lotus sect?” Stella couldn’t help but ask as Darklight city became a black dot in the distance, and they passed over another mountain range.

“Nine, but they are various sizes. Darklight is one of the largest, but its entire economy is based on spirit stone mining. Slymere, where we are going, is much smaller and depends on the Voidmind family’s genius in creative industries and education.”

Stella just couldn’t wrap her head around it all. Her father had mentioned the extent of the Blood Lotus sect in passing, but to hear there were eight other cities under their control was hard to conceptualize. “And how do all these people move to the new area when the beast tide comes?”

Diana took her mask off as they had left Darklight city and smirked, “That’s the worst part, they don’t. These mortals breed like rabbits and live for too long, so the undesirables are left behind while those who can pay the exorbitant fee are allowed to escape.”

Stella tensed her grip on the railing—leaving loved ones behind didn’t sit right with her. The pain of losing her family still ate away at her heart. But the more she thought about it, the more it made sense.

Traveling across the wilderness was dangerous and resource-heavy. Each airship needed a soul fire cultivator of the wind element to control, and each one could only carry so many people.

Even if they had thousands of soul fire cultivators, all able to control an airship that could take hundreds of people, Stella couldn’t see how nine cities worth of mortals could all be moved.

This world is brutal, and only the strong survive. A phrase Stella’s father had said before leaving to cultivate, a decision he never returned alive from. Evidence that this world is not only brutal on the helpless mortals— but also on the cultivators. Both her family and Ravenborne had been wiped out in power struggles.

“Now arriving in Slymere!”

Stella was broken from her depressing thoughts as the light grey-robed women shouted about their arrival. Then, looking over the railings, Stella saw the clouds part as the airship began to descend, and she caught her first glimpse of Slymere.

It was a city of black stone with spires that reached for the skies shrouded by a swirling cloud of smoke, but its most impressive feature was how it was built into the side of a mountain and was a multilevelled city.

As Stella’s eyes wandered up from what appeared to be the industry sector at the mountain’s base, she noticed the architecture got less crowded and more exquisite the closer to the mountain’s peak she looked with a grand building right at the top.

“Beautiful, isn’t it?” Diana commented from the side. “A city that is the personification of the creative industry. The starving artists wallow away at the mountain’s base, doing back-breaking work for little recognition while those that make a name for themselves live high in the clouds.”

Diana then pointed to the palace of black stone that lored over it all at the mountain’s peak, “And we will be heading there, to the peak. That is where the artifacts are sold, and we can buy you the perfect clothes to impress your Tree friend.”

“What?! It’s not like that…”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Chapter List