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Reborn as a Demonic Tree – Chapter 45: Ashlock’s betrayal? Bahasa Indonesia

Swarms of flies angrily buzzed around in the warm summer air, and the nauseating smell of decay and damp acidic soil tickled Stella’s nose. She had walked this same path a few times throughout her life, and it had almost always been the same. Fresh air, a beautiful forest of vibrant green, and the chirp of birds.

Somehow in just half a year, it had devolved into this—a graveyard masked by nature.

Stella furrowed her brows as she walked past yet another demonic tree, this one taller and surrounded by more corpses than the last. And it was not alone, as there were five more up ahead—they were dotted around, nestled between clusters of evergreen trees.

Stella could see signs of rot plaguing the evergreen trees surrounding the demonic ones; their lush leaves were drooping and losing their color, some even withering away completely. A slow death.

Approaching one evergreen tree stuck between two demonic tree saplings, Stella noticed the soil became a viscous mud that clung to her shoe. She feared getting her new white clothes dirty, so she stepped back.

“I hope Ash is benefitting from this somehow.” Stella frowned and scrunched her nose in disgust from the putrid smell as she looked at the mud, “I dislike how the gorgeous scenery around here has been ruined. It almost reminds me of the wilderness with all the death.”

Diana nodded, “I agree. I have seen groves of demonic tree’s like this before. Eventually, the wildlife moves away or dies out, and the demonic trees decay from a lack of food.”

Stella kept walking through the dying forest with a sense of dread. Had Ash changed, or was this always part of his nature? With their barrier in communication, Stella could only derive so much meaning from his actions. But hopefully, that was set to change.

With the ancient runic language crammed into her head, some of her questions may finally get answered. Shaking her head, lightning and purple Qi flared to life. “Come on, let’s get moving. I have some burning questions that need answering.”

Diana nodded, and the two ran side by side, leaving a blazing trail of purple and blue Qi in their wake.

With some distance still to go, Stella decided to busy her mind with a conversation—anything to distract her from the dying forest and terrible stench. “How are your heart demons?”

Diana’s legs were a blur as she kept pace with Stella. Her dull eyes and flat stare always made Stella a little uncomfortable, but she had gotten used to it.

“My heart demons? From consuming beast cores?” Diana returned to looking ahead as she continued, “Cultivation has become nigh impossible, but I feel the bottleneck loosening with every day that I resist the temptation of those accursed stones.”

Even from the side, Stella saw a slight pain in the young women’s gaze.

“But… I will admit, I never thought going cold turkey from those beast cores would be so difficult. My sleep is plagued with nightmares, and my mind wanders and visits memories buried deep, forcing me to relive times I would rather forget.” Diana gave Stella a thin and weak smile, “I think this is the right step forward—I can’t ignore my festering heart demons anymore.”

Stella gave a reassuring smile back. “Well, that’s good. Do you still plan to try and become a Grand Elder?”

The whistling wind and blurring scenery helped drown out the stifling silence as Diana mulled over the question. “Grand Elder, huh. You know, the more I think about it. The more I despise the idea.”

A moment of silence passed before Diana added in her monotone voice.

“But I think we should both still do it.”

“Huh?” Stella was so flabbergasted she tripped and stopped running. Why in the nine realms of hell would she want to become a Grand Elder and serve the patriarch, the man who wishes to create a pill in her stomach and use her life force and cultivation as fuel before discarding her dead corpse for the dogs.

“Well, if Ashlock has a way to keep us safe from the beast tide, are you fine with me staying behind with you and that gluttonous tree?”

Diana was looking at Stella, but the blonde girl kept looking ahead, refusing to answer. Thoughts rushed through Stella’s mind. The idea was not bad—but did she trust Diana enough?

“Maybe.” She eventually answered and offered an awkward smile.

Diana looked away, her face emotionless and impossible to read. “What is your plan for when the beast tide passes?” Her tone was serious, “Although this land is less valuable now, smaller demonic sects looking to relocate after the beast tide will come to seize this land.”

Stella didn’t know that was a possibility, but the more she thought about it, the more it made sense. If the massive demonic sects like Blood Lotus were to relocate, they first needed to identify a place to move, one far enough out of the path of the incoming beast tide.

Those smaller demonic sects didn’t have a chance of competing with the large sects for the limited places that were both close enough to move to and far enough away to steer clear of the beast tide.

“What’s your point?”

“You will need people.” Diana saw Stella’s doubt written all over her face, “If it’s just you and Ashlock, alone on a mountain peak, how will you fight off hundreds of small-time demonic cultivators. Once you are in the Star Core realm, you will be stronger than almost all of them, but they can just wear you out slowly and strike at a moment when you are at your weakest.”

Stella nodded as the wind whipped her hair around. Everything Diana said made sense. “What does this have to do with becoming a Grand Elder, though?” Truth be told, Stella knew little about the sect and her surroundings. With nobody sticking around to teach her from a young age, she was left alone to figure things out.

“The Grand Elders get to select disciples from the mortals found to have a spiritual root and talent for cultivation. You could round some up and kick-start your own demonic sect—”

Diana was cut off as the trees rustled, and something massive shot past overhead in a blur, even faster than them. The exit to the forest was just up ahead, but it darkened as something titanic blocked the way.

Stella and Diana halted a few meters away from the looming threat in a cloud of dust, flashes of gold accompanied daggers materializing in both of their hands due to the environment. Swords would be a poor choice in a dense forest with low-hanging branches in the way.

As the dust cleared and sunlight trickled through the canopy, the enemy became illuminated. It was an all too familiar spider. Its legs looked like spindly trees, and dinner plate-sized scarlet eyes stared them down. There was a sickening crunch as the behemoth bit down on the animal corpse dangling in its maw, and blood dripped from its fangs.

Diana gulped, her dull eyes appraising the monster. “Isn’t this Ashlock’s pet? Has it come to kill us.”

Every muscle in Stella’s body tensed, including her heart. She felt fear, but worse of all… betrayal. With them gone, had Ash decided it was time to dispose of those that knew his darkest secret? The fact he wasn’t a simple demonic tree, but rather the next world tree? Her knuckles turned white as the grip on her dagger tightened—the very same wooden handle she had been gifted as a child by Ash.

The spider, a creature that had crawled through a rift from another realm to serve its master, stayed motionless, blocking the path while munching on its food. A silk sack, likely full of bodies, was secured on its back.

Moments passed, and nothing happened.

“It’s not attacking?” Diana’s stance didn’t change, but her posture relaxed slightly, “Does the tree not want to kill us?”

Instantly, the spider moved—it lowered to the ground as if ready to pounce.

“Oh no—” Blue flames shrouded Diana, and she dived to the side. Stella just stood rooted in place, glaring at the abomination.

The spider flew up into the tree canopy in a whoosh of air and vanished from their sight. Branches and leaves tumbled to the ground in a cloud of splinters, and flies swarmed after the corpse’s distant scent.

Diana stumbled slightly but kept her eyes glued to the dense canopy overhead. Apart from the buzzing of flies and distance chirps of birds, there was the sound of wood creaking—but the noise was moving further and further away.

The spider was leaving.

Stella wiped her sweat-soaked hair from her face with a shaking hand. Her breath was chaotic, and her knees felt weak.

Not only had the monster been terrifying, but it was the implications. Had the spider attacked and slaughtered them in cold blood, was it Ash’s fault, or was the spider acting autonomously and simply deemed them a threat or a tasty snack.

The demonic trees surrounded by skeletons and half-eaten corpses and the appearance of Ash’s pet executioner all pointed to worrying signs.

Had Ash finally decided—or become able—to take an active role in this world. Would he even need her now? Stella’s finger twitched, a terrifying thought crossing her mind. Could she even winif she needed to fight to take back Red Vine peak from Ash?

Ash was a tree, one that had displayed some capabilities in combat with the black vines. But his true strength lay in his spirit beasts. Like most powerful spirit trees out in the wilderness, Ash utilized the strength of contracted beasts to do its bidding and protect him.

There was an urge to leave, turn tail and run—just on the off chance her wild theories turned out to be true.

Stella didn’t want to confront Ash and discover the tree had turned against her. Surely their bond was deeper than that… right? She let out a deep, long breath while closing her eyes. Her nerves washed away, and a grim determination rose up.

“You okay?” Stella felt a hand on her shoulder, and looking back, she saw Diana’s dull eyes showing a hint of concern.

“I’m fine.” Stella hated how shaky her voice was. “Just… give me a second to collect my thoughts.” A while passed, and the spider didn’t return. Nothing was obscuring their path to the mountain’s peak, which had transitioned from a warm home to daunting and hostile in Stella’s mind.


Ashlock was having a fantastic week.

Ever since discovering the abandoned spirit stone mine, his mind had been racing with ideas that distracted him from the stifling loneliness. It had given him a focus, like a minigame.

For the birds, he had already ironed out a system that had been working so far and required little input. He produced a set group of fruits of various colors and randomly assigned them the poison and {Demonic Tree Seeds}.

Unlike an ordinary tree, which wouldn’t have the intelligence or capabilities to randomly switch which fruit contained the poison, he did. It worked like a charm but was so damn dull. Watching birds die was only fun the first hundred times.

Whereas the mineshaft was an active warzone. Rat versus tree. The mushrooms had worked like a charm, and the stupid rats fell for it every time.

Sure, there wasn’t action all the time, just like now. But by paying half attention, whenever he felt something step on the roots coating the mineshaft floor, he would send a surge of Qi down his root and turn the tunnel into a furnace of lilac flames.

The lovely cooked bits of rat would then be brought up his roots via the sap conveyor belt. However, something had been bothering him.

“Where was the darn entrance to this place?” He inspected every nook and cranny of the mountain with his {Eye of the Tree God} skill.

After searching the entire mountain five times, Ashlock was ready to conclude it had been cleverly sealed up, likely to prevent the rats from escaping and terrorizing the villagers nearby.

But as Ashlock looked past the forest surrounding the mountain, he saw two figures crest the ridge. Their clothes had changed since he last saw them, but he could recognize that blonde hair and cheery smile anywhere.

Once again, the passing of time felt surreal. Ashlock didn’t want to admit it, but the relief they had returned made him want to cry—luckily, he was a tree and lacked the facilities to create such a scene.

With excitement, he pulled on his mental tether with his pet spider, “Oi Larry, get back here! The girls are back. I need those bodies to communicate!”

Ashlock then listened in on the conversation between the two. The idea of them becoming Grand Elder and starting a sect around him made his mind wander with endless possibilities.

If a sect was built around him after the beast tide, he wouldn’t ever have to be alone again. Also, he would have a group of minions to order around to gather corpses for him to feast on! It was almost too perfect of a plan.


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