en English
en Englishid Indonesian

Reborn as a Demonic Tree – Chapter 42: (Interlude) Tainted Cloud Sect Bahasa Indonesia

A plain-looking woman wearing far too much lavish jewelry that weighed down her ears peaked around the door and said flatly, “Ladies, the merchants are available to see you now.” Her eyes shifted from a plain brown to the darkest of blacks as she dipped back behind the door.

Stella sighed with relief. If she had to patiently drink another cup of tea while keeping a straight back and an uptight attitude, she feared she would go insane. Luckily Maple had left to explore the city. Otherwise, she would have died from shame with a fluffy white squirrel sleeping on her head.

What made the whole experience even worse was how easily Diana handled the aristocratic terminologies and mannerisms. She looked within her element as she skillfully dealt with the servants and managed to set up a meeting with the merchant group staying over in Slymere for the day.

Putting the cup of lukewarm tea on the ornate table, Stella stood up and joined Diana in following the woman to an adjacent room. Her eyes lingered briefly on the floor-to-ceiling crystal-clear windows that flooded the room with light. Clouds lazily went by, and Stella could even see the distant black dot within a vast valley that was Darklight city.

Taking a deep breath in a vain attempt to calm her nerves, Stella followed and relaxed her mind as their shoes clinked on the smooth stone floor, and they passed many paintings depicting alien worlds. Some had glass buildings reaching for the skies, while others were barren wastelands with nothing but red mud and weird creatures prowling the land. Like everything else sold on this floor of the Slymere consortium, they came from the rifts that appeared randomly in the wilderness.

Stella had heard many legends about the merchants that dared to traverse the wilderness. They were said to be both strong but somewhat insane. Only the genuinely foolish or twisted minds would opt for a life spent on the run through the wilderness in hopes of stumbling across rifts.

Stella’s wandering mind was returned to reality as the Voidmind woman opened the grand door with a resounding click and gestured them inside with a slightly off smile.

Diana took the lead, and Stella followed.

The moment Stella stepped through the doorway, an immense pressure pressed down on her shoulders, making each step a chore, as if she were walking underwater. The utterly white room was bare of any furnishings and was only occupied by three people wearing black cloaks and white skull masks standing in the center.

It was impossible to tell their genders or ages until the one in the middle of the three-spoke. “My name is Nox, and we are Merchants hailing from the Tainted Cloud sect west of here.” Her voice was feminine but had a gruffness that put Stella even further on edge. “Lady Voidmind informed us you wish to conduct a trade?”

Nox’s hand emerged from the folds of her black cloak. It was covered in vicious scars and callouses, likely from intensive training. However, the most shocking part was the many silver rings decorating her fingers. If Stella remembered correctly, they were superior spatial rings that could hold ten times more than the standard golden spatial ring.

“Not a trade.” Diana shook her head, “A purchase. Although I can throw the clothes I currently wear into the deal, they are heavily used and tattered, so I would feel prudish to offer them to your esteemed selves.”

Stella swore the pressure in the room increased a little, showing that at least one of them was a Star Core cultivator.

Nox nodded, “I see you wear artifact gear, so that is acceptable. What price range and item are you looking for? Weapon artifacts are naturally the most expensive.”

“Just clothes,” Diana replied, and Nox clicked her tongue.

“You brought us here just to purchase clothes?” One of Nox’s silver rings flashed, and the white room became filled with artifacts that floated around as if suspended by an invisible force. “None of these tickle your fancy? We obtain many items from the rifts where we risk our lives to explore; out of all, clothes are the most common. It will not have been worth our time to meet you here today if you only purchase clothes.”

Diana crossed her arms, “Stop trying to force me into purchasing unnecessary things.” Her gray eyes didn’t wander as a captivating dagger floated past her nose. Instead, she was entirely focused on Nox’s masked face.

Nox stepped closer and loomed over Diana—she leaned down—her skull-masked face a mere inch from Diana’s nose. “Quite the silver tongue you have.” Nox’s face then tilted to the left, ignoring Diana. Instead, she looked directly at Stella, causing the blonde girl to gulp.

Nox’s hand drifted over from the folds in her cloak, and Stella could smell the women’s perfume—she was that close. Nox’s hand slowly reached toward Stella’s red maple earrings dangling from a black chain that Ash had gifted her all those years ago.

“I could forgive your insolence if you add these beauties to the trade…” Nox whispered with a gentle voice with only a hint of gruffness, “I can feel their otherworldly power—”

Stella reached up and grabbed the woman’s arm, which made Nox pause. It was impossible to tell her expression due to the mask, but Stella could assume she was shocked.

“Don’t touch them,” Stella said flatly, an indescribable rage festering as she tightened her grip. She’d come here to get new clothes. If she ended up leaving without her earrings, she wouldn’t be able to live with herself. They had been gifted to her at the darkest moment and allowed her to prevail into the woman she was today.

Stella felt Nox push easily against her arm, and her fingers closed around the earrings, tugging on them slightly—Stella instantly activated the earring’s power as she glared at Nox’s masked face.

To everyone else’s surprise, Stella effortlessly slapped Nox’s hand away, and the towering woman took a quivering step back. Stella deactivated the earrings as quickly as possible to avoid using the power on anyone else. It wasn’t ideal for displaying their power, especially to someone interested in them, but if Nox had taken them, what could she do to get them back.

With the aura of despair gone, Nox naturally calmed down and retracted her hand. “Interesting.”

Stella felt ready to run if that was even possible, but a light cough from the side of the room made her look over her shoulder at the lady from the Voidmind family.

“Merchants of Tainted Cloud. Attempting to rob a junior while conducting business will be noted against your record. I hope you can complete today’s transaction without any more incidents.” She smiled, but her abyssal eyes weren’t, making Nox take a few more steps back.

“Excuse me, lady Voidmind.” Nox bowed slightly, “I let my curiosity about high-grade artifacts get the better of me.” Then, breaking eye contact with Stella and returning her masked sights to Diana, Nox snapped her fingers—everything vanished, and the room became vacant.

“You want clothes? Let’s get this deal done quickly and not waste any more of my team’s precious time.” A flash of silver shone through a gap in Nox’s black cloak, and the empty white room was overfilled with display cases containing clothes.

“You have ten minutes to pick out the artifacts you want. It will be five high-grade spirit stones or ten Dragon Crowns per item. You will also be leaving your current artifacts here with me whether you choose anything or not—”

Diana didn’t wait to hear Nox out and was already dashing between the display cases, never spending more than three seconds looking at each item. Then, deciding it was the only way to escape Nox and because she also wanted to take a look, Stella joined Diana in searching through the display cases.

However, the more she looked, the less thrilled Stella became. The clothes were all similar to the ones Diana had worn before, and she didn’t feel the style would suit her.

That was until she ran into a section with clothes that appeared similar to the ones she was used to… just a bit more revealing. But to be fair, she had always worn black cloaks or dresses that covered her entire body, whereas these clothes were the opposite.

Other than a black headband with a golden crescent moon that she could use to manage her hair better, the rest of the outfit was a white kunoichi with black trimmings. A short skirt with flaps would expose her thighs, but a fishnet helped obscure the gaps, and almost waist-high white stockings would keep her legs warm.

It was… perfect. Stella felt it would suit her perfectly. “Hey, Diana!”

The room was rather large, so Diana peeked her head over a stack of cases and shouted back, “What?”

“Can you… buy something for me?” Stella felt awkward admitting she was completely broke, but she had fed all the corpses she obtained to Ash, so she never had the opportunity to sell them. “I can pay you back!”

“No need.” Diana ducked back down, and Stella lost sight of her, “Pick whatever you want, and I’ll buy it. I may be out of spirit stones, but I still have plenty of Dragon Crowns to spend.”

Stella had to remember that Diana had been the scion of one of the most wealthy families in the Blood Lotus sect. She may have been cut off from the family and lacked spirit stones to buy cultivator resources, but she still had plenty of mortal currency.

Deciding not to waste Diana’s generosity and her own time, Stella grabbed the clothes and dashed back to Nox. The women still terrified her, and she feared she may go after her earrings, but what was she supposed to do? Stella decided the only way out of this situation was to act arrogant and put on a confident facade.

“Lady Nox, do you have any spatial affinity scrolls for sale?” Stella had taken some from the library, but they were basic ones that were freely available and not guarded. Basically trash. The clothes were a great find, but she felt this trip would have been a waste if she couldn’t find a way to further her cultivation with techniques.

Nox seemed to shiver hearing her name called by Stella, but she answered in her usual gruff tone. “Hammond here might have some. He is a spatial affinity user as well.”

One of Nox’s teammates stepped forward, and a hand larger than Stella’s face emerged from the black cloak with only a stack of silver rings on his pinky finger. The lowest one flashed, and a scroll appeared in the man’s waiting hand.

“This one lets you create short-range portals.” His voice was higher pitched than Stella expected, considering this hand size, but she bared with it.

The man then added, “It’s perfect for assassinating people. Just open a portal next to their head, shove a dagger through, and BAM. Dead. Killed plenty of… old acquaintances that way.”

Stella thought of Ash’s main way to attack. Since they had the same spatial affinity, she wanted a technique they could both use.

Could his black roots go through a portal and drag someone back to be eaten? Stella wasn’t confident of her favorite tree’s full capabilities, but she felt the ability to open portals would also be helpful for her.

“I’ll take it,” Stella replied, and the man dropped the scroll through a swirling purple portal, and a second one opened above Stella’s waiting palm.

“That will be a thousand Dragon Crowns.” The man chuckled and stepped back.

Stella nervously laughed with the man. She really hoped Diana had enough money.


Leave a Reply

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

Chapter List