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Reborn as a Demonic Tree – Chapter 53: An Enigma Arrives Bahasa Indonesia

Ashlock ignored the sound of Diana working in the background to clean up the mess after the portal explosion and focused wholeheartedly on Stella’s reading as the title of chapter two made his demonic eye, sealed within his trunk, flash with interest at the mention of telekinesis.

Portals were neat and would give him more range, such as casting {Devour} through a portal to bring a corpse back for him to eat. But telekinesis fixed another issue…

His lack of hands—a problem he had somewhat circumnavigated with his {Root Puppet} skill, but to be able to write on a wall with a piece of chalk via telekinesis or move corpses into piles so he could section them out before devouring them would be a big boon for him.

Also, not to mention the offensive capabilities. Earlier, he had played with the idea of flame-covered leaves and using them to kill birds. What he had been lacking was a technique to control the leaves.

“Wait… telekinesis wouldn’t just solve my issue of no hands. It would quite literally give me hands.” Could he use telekinesis as a substitute for hand gestures?

After frowning at the book for an entire minute, Stella began to read very slowly, “Telekinesis, the most basic form of spatial manipulation. The natural world is filled with interactions demonstrating all things’ interconnectedness. For example, the grass breathes life into the soil, the flap of a bird’s wings seeks the heavens for greater heights, and the warmth of fire are manifestations of the heavens’ will to provide comfort and sustenance.”

Actually a surprisingly helpful piece of text. It spoke of how the heavens will affected all of reality and also told Ashlock what he was missing.

Enlightenment—A word Ashlock’s superstitious and logical mind despised. The art of cultivation should make sense. The fact grass produced nature-aligned Qi or a bird flapping its wings resulted in air Qi—it made sense on a pseudo-science basis.

But this wasn’t a world of science but one under heaven’s supernatural will. A force that seemed to work in mysterious ways. Comprehending these mysteries of the universe should lead to eventual enlightenment—allowing him to wield and bend the will of the heavens to his desires.

Stella grumbled to herself about something being complete nonsense before continuing, “Spatial Qi is a unique and ever-present presence that permeates all objects and environments. However, to access it, one must learn to look beyond the physical form of objects and not be constrained by preconceived notions of how the universe should behave. By doing so, one can learn to manipulate objects and events on the spatial plane, tapping into the subtle yet powerful forces that govern the universe.”

Ashlock could tell his {Language of the World} skill was doing the heavy lifting here and converting the flowery nonsensical language in the book into something he could understand. Stella was struggling. It may have felt like reading a scientific paper mixed with ancient poetry to her.

However, for him, the book talked about gravity in a roundabout way. “Wait. Stop thinking like that.” Ashlock mentally smacked himself—he had to change his way of thinking. It felt so easy to leap to the conclusion of gravity. But the text, helpfully translated, clearly stated that he should not be constrained by preconceived notions of how the universe should behave.

He needed to somehow reach enlightenment. If only someone could tell him how. Ashlock had cultivated for years, sat in complete silence, and absorbed Qi to further his cultivation. Yet, he never once felt enlightened. What more could he do?

“As the great monarchs of old have preached since the cultivation era. We all reach enlightenment by staying off the narrow path in our minds in different ways. No two people will achieve the same conclusion. What matters is how the heavens interpret our understanding of its mysteries and what we believe to be true.”

Stella threw the book to the side, stood up, and faced Ashlock with a pout. “Did you understand any of that? Because I sure as hell didn’t.”

Diana chuckled to the side while collecting the rubble into her spatial ring—which Ashlock thought was rather neat. If only people back on Earth had spatial rings, they would have many uses.

For example, rescue efforts would be a breeze after natural disasters. And going on holiday would be a bagless affair.

Ashlock still didn’t know the total capacity of those rings, but what if they could fit a car inside? Wouldn’t it be neat to summon a car out of thin air at any moment? You could even take it on holiday with you!

“What’s so funny?” Stella frowned over her shoulder at Diana.

“Nothing, nothing…” Diana waved her off, “It’s just that all my cousins had the same reaction as you when they were given those technique manuals rather than a personal tutor. I am so glad I never had to read one of those.”

“You lived in a rich family.” Stella furrowed her brows, “Why couldn’t everyone have a tutor?”

Diana rolled her eyes, “Didn’t you just read a passage on why that doesn’t work? We all reach enlightenment in our own way by straying off the narrow path. Some people, such as myself, respond very well to outside guidance, while others can form a deep connection with the heavens will on their own. Also, tutors are ridiculously expensive as they sacrifice their own cultivation time to teach.”

“What the young lady said is correct.” A man’s voice filled the courtyard.

Everybody paused.

An elderly-looking chap with a cane stood in the opened doorway to the pavilion—which had been closed a moment ago. His countenance bore a kindly, almost grandfatherly air that was hard to resist. He was clad in a white robe that, at first glance, seemed plain and unremarkable. However, upon closer inspection, one could discern that the fabric was of superior quality, though purposefully made to look unpretentious.

As he entered the courtyard, the man’s wooden cane tapped out a soft rhythm on the stone path with each measured step. The oddity of the situation held everyone’s attention as they watched him amble past Diana and then Stella. Finally, with a grunt of effort, he lowered himself onto the wooden bench beneath the welcoming shade of Ashlock’s canopy.

His almost withered hand, with bulging veins peering through his sunkissed skin, reached over and picked up the half-opened technique manual.

“Telekinesis, aye? Is someone here a spatial Qi user?” The man’s sharp eyes darted between Stella and Diana. Both stood in silence, neither offering an answer to the intruder.

Nothing made sense. Ashlock hadn’t heard him open the door. The man’s confidence was uncanny for someone without a hint of Qi coming from them. Was this man truly a mere mortal? Or was he hiding his cultivation somehow?

Ashlock then saw Maple blink out of existence and reappear at the far end of the courtyard, as far from the man as possible. Larry was also creeping backward across Ashlock’s branches as if trying to escape.

“Ah, come on, this old man doesn’t bite!” The man broke down into a hearty chuckle that diffused the tension somewhat.

Ashlock didn’t believe for one second the man came with good intentions. He had enough superficial knowledge of this world to know people don’t help each other out of the kindness of their hearts. It’s a dog-eat-dog world. Survival of the fittest. Especially the demonic cultivators, and if this man’s withered appearance was anything to go by, he might even dabble in the darker arts—

“S-sir, I don’t believe we are acquainted.” Stella furrowed her brows as she saw the old man sitting on her bench and holding the technique manual she had been reading.

From Stella’s respectful attitude, Ashlock deduced she was also suspicious of the man’s true cultivation realm. Old monsters were eccentric fellows and easy to anger, the true enemy of any protagonist due to their unpredictability.

“Oh! Silly me.” The man shook his head, “Where are my manners in my old age? The name’s Senior Lee, or at least that’s what my buddies call me.”

Lee then waved the book in front of Stella’s face, “I have met quite a few spatial Qi cultivators in my travels. Maybe I could be of some assistance?”

Stella looked utterly stumped. Her mouth moved, but no words came out for a while, much to the man’s apparent amusement. “Senior Lee… your offer is most generous, but I fear I have nothing to offer in return.”

Lee chuckled and waved her off, “My life will end sooner rather than later. What use have I for worldly desires? Rather, I seek fulfillment from teaching the next generation. Passing on my knowledge… and hopefully, seek a cure to this dying world.”

The silver ring on his hand flashed with power—a teapot and teacup appeared. Just like his robe, they were plain white without any remarkable details, but anyone could tell the china was of excellent quality.

Without taking his eyes off Stella and keeping a relaxed composure, the teapot and cup remained floating in front of the man as if they were perched on an invisible table. The teapot then tilted, and steaming hot golden tea carefully filled the teacup to the brim before vanishing in a flash of silver back into his ring.

Ashlock didn’t have a sense of smell, but just from the liquid’s color, he guessed it was lemon tea. The man took a careful sip and seemed to relish the taste as it wet his lips.

It was a fantastic display of telekinesis, assuming that is what he used. But most important of all, there were no hand gestures. So unless he had managed to do them secretly from within the folds of his robe, away from prying eyes, Ashlock had further evidence the hand gestures were pointless.

Stella shifted nervously on her feet, clearly unsure of what to do. Diana was hanging in the back, also unmoving.

Ashlock couldn’t blame them for their indecisiveness. The stranger’s strength and true purpose were unknown. There was a saying that if you are the dumbest person in the room, allow the smarter ones to yap away their secrets and learn until you are the smartest there with your cards held close to your chest.

The man was the same. Rather than flaunting his wealth or cultivation, he gave subtle hints that kept you second-guessing. Another example was he gave such a generic name and didn’t boast about his family or sect.

He was an enigma. A dangerous and confusing individual of unknown skill and origin. This was how a true cultivator should act. The hidden masters that kept to themselves lived long, while the arrogant young masters flaunting their family’s wealth and fame inevitably met the same fate.

An early death.

In a way, Ashlock followed the same principle since that night Stella murdered all the servants in the pavilion—to always observe before taking action.

As a tree, unable to run away, if Ashlock attacked the man and he turned out stronger than expected and escaped, he could return later with friends or an army and decimate the Red Vine peak.

The tension was running high. Ashlock had always observed from afar, and those that visited Red Vine peak in the past were either arrogant young men without the cultivation to back up their ego or that one time a Grand Elder from the disciplinary committee visited. But he had been an old friend of Stella’s parents.

Was Lee a friend or foe? If Diana could somehow bait him into the mine below, he could use Bob to overpower him, considering he is alone and displayed talent in using spatial Qi… but what if Lee was a dual-core? Or so strong he could just slap Bob into another dimension?

Maybe he could try and use his {Demonic Eye} to inflict the same mental damage that Stella and Diana suffered? Or could Larry chomp Lee’s head off? Probably not.

If only he knew Lee’s true strength. For all he knew, the man was using artifacts to imitate telekinesis, which is why he emitted no Qi signature. Or maybe Lee wasn’t even human.

Despite the tension, Lee sat happily and drank his tea. He was completely unbothered, and a cheery smile never left his face. Either this guy was an oscar level actor… or that tea was really that good.

After the awkward silence became unbearable and Lee showed no interest in engaging in idle chatter, Stella gathered the courage and asked, “Senior Lee, do you mind if I have a cup of tea?”

Without another word, the old man summoned a tea cup and poured tea with the still-hot teapot. “Of course you can! Here, catch.”

“Wha—” Stella stumbled forward as lee threw the teacup to the ground in front of her—Stella’s purple Qi flared to life, and the cup of tea paused a mere inch above the ground before it could hit the stone and shatter.

Ashlock watched the elderly man chuckle to himself, which made Stella shudder. He took a final sip of tea before the teacup vanished into his ring. He then leaned back and looked at the purple flames coating Stella with an amused expression.

“So you were the one with spatial Qi all along.” Lee smiled. “Let’s talk.”


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