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Reborn as a Demonic Tree – Chapter 67: Tree Warfare Bahasa Indonesia

Ashlock felt a sense of kinship with the young tree—a sort of connection that was unmistakable.

Through the mycelium network, he could perceive the tree’s emotions. It radiated a sense of happiness—not the exuberant joy of a puppy greeting its owner after a long day but rather the contentment that comes from relief, akin to being rescued after drifting in the ocean or finally receiving that coveted promotion at work.

The young tree felt happy and relieved. It knew all would be well, and it was safe. Ashlock was no mind reader; these emotions were from the tree through the mycelium network. They weren’t coherent words, but Ashlock could understand his child just fine.

The young tree found the cultivators terrifying and had made the soil around it as acidic as possible to scare them off. It had even gone so far as to increase the production of its poisonous berries to show off its might.

Ashlock had never been more grateful for his sign-in system than now. If all he could do to combat threats were make the soil around him a bit more damp and unpleasant to smell, he would have gone insane.

“Hey, kiddo…” Ashlock spoke out in the hope it could understand. With their roots interlinked via mycelium, he had a longing that his shouting into the void of his trunk would result in something—

A wave of excitement came from the tree.

“So you can understand me!” Ashlock was over the moon. It might not be intelligent and able to form cohesive words, but it could hear and react to him.

“Do these cultivators frighten you?”

Excitement pulsed again—was the tree simply thrilled because he was speaking to it?

“Kiddo.” Ashlock didn’t know what gender his child was. Did trees even have genders?

He was distinctly male, but back on Earth, numerous trees were hermaphroditic, possessing both male and female reproductive organs. However, in this magical world where trees could develop souls, the rules might be different.

Putting gender aside, Ashlock needed to pose a simple yes or no question to determine whether the tree could grasp the meaning behind his words.

“Feel fear if you understand the intent of my words.”

Yet the tree remained excited and happy, displaying no trace of apprehension.

“So you can’t actually understand my words. Darn. I hoped my language skill would be enough.”

Ashlock felt sour about it, but there was still hope for him to converse with his offspring eventually.

He had dealt with enough communication challenges so far.

What were a few more?

He could already devise a few solutions.

Rolling the system for an upgrade in his language skill seemed the easiest, but also the option he had the least control over.

He could also wait for the tree to develop a super high cultivation realm and a nascent soul. Senior Lee claimed he had never met a talking tree before, but that didn’t mean it was impossible.

A more grounded and possible solution was learning to speak like a tree. How did that differ from what he was doing right now? “Hey, kiddo. Can you teach me to speak like you?”

More emotions. It wasn’t speaking at all. Instead, it was like conversing with facial expressions.

Ashlock thought back to how he felt when he was overwhelmed with fear. His body had been flushed with adrenaline. Could he replicate that and pass it on to his offspring?

Wait. In a way, he had already talked to his kid. When he flooded the mycelium network with his presence, it responded with happiness without him even talking.

Other than overwhelming the network with his presence, Ashlock tried to feel an emotion like joy and send it through forcefully, but his dulled emotions were getting in the way.

“Is this my fate? Do I have to wait for it to develop its soul enough?” Ashlock tried to send more Qi over the network, but the mycelium was fickle at best and became damaged if he tried to shove too much through.

Ashlock knew he absorbed Qi through his roots and leaves, so he sent his root to coil around the young tree’s roots. It only got happier the more he interacted, and it got excited when he flooded its roots with Qi.

“It doesn’t seem to be getting hurt by my Qi, even though it doesn’t have a spatial affinity soul core yet. Is this because we are related?” Ashlock had noticed that the families that inhabited this sect all seemed to have the same affinities.

For example, house Winterwrath all used ice Qi.

Were affinities passed down from parent to child?

Whatever the reason, Ashlock finished coiling around his kid’s roots and then proceeded to have his root break out of the soil and curl around his kid’s trunk like a snake. He wanted to cover as much surface area as possible to transfer more Qi.

A part of Ashlock had wondered if he could take over or mind control his offspring as if they were a mere extension of himself.

But within just a few minutes of interaction, he had confirmed without a doubt that these trees, although related to him, were independent entities. They had their own emotions and life.

But it wasn’t all for naught.

Ashlock could exchange excess Qi with his kid and, in exchange, receive an early warning system. For example, if he linked up with all of his offspring for thousands of miles, he would be alerted by their fear that a threat was coming.

Also, if he raised an entire forest of demonic trees, all with some level of cultivation, he would have more allies to depend on during the upcoming beast tide.

He could also use them as relays for his root growth into the big wide world.

Suddenly, Ashlock felt the tree flood him with fear again, and he could immediately tell the cause. A cultivator from the Winterwrath family had decided to lean against the young tree’s trunk.

He was a short man with slick white hair tied back into a bun. A sword hung loosely at his waist, tied by a rope. “What a disaster.” The man sighed as he leaned back on the trunk and closed his eyes.

Ashlock wasn’t sure how to handle this, but he felt angry.

To his surprise, it seemed his kid also felt his anger as the young tree’s fear lessened and was replaced with smugness as if it expected Ashlock to protect it.

He could create a portal via his roots and try to kill the man with {Devour}, but he might also damage or destroy his offspring when the portal collapses.

The same result would occur if he tried to use the explosion from the collapsing portal to kill the man. His control over his spatial Qi was amateur at best, especially at such a far range. It worked fine when he didn’t care about collateral damage, but he needed to be careful in this case.

“Wait, why am I instantly thinking of murder?”

The man wasn’t exactly doing anything particularly threatening, just resting against a seemingly random tree in a forest. Was that an insult worthy of execution?

“But he is here with the rest of his family to take over Red Vine peak. And I doubt he would be as magnanimous if he found Stella or Diana half dead somewhere.” Ashlock thought as he glanced around and saw other people resting near random trees and meditating.

This was war.

Ever since the Evergreen family sent a Star Core cultivator to siphon a part of his soul and nearly kill Larry, all chances of peaceful negotiations with these two families were off.

Not to mention, the man’s presence was scaring the shit out of his offspring, and what kind of father would he be to let his kid shake in fear and not do anything?

Sending another root to tunnel through the Earth and poke out of the ground a few tree’s away, he opened a portal in the central courtyard back on Red Vine peak under the sword that had belonged to the female cultivator that Diana had mauled to death.

The sword fell through the portal, and Ashlock chose its anchor point to be above the root in the tree’s canopy a few feet away from the man.

His eyes snapped open as a sword fell to the ground from seemingly thin air.

“Huh? A sword?” The man pushed himself off the tree and walked a few steps forward. He then bent down to pick it up the blade—a rift opened behind him, and Ashlock cast {Devour}.

Within a second, the portal popping closed was masked by a short scream, and the forest returned to its eerie silence other than the shouting in the distance.

[+22 SC]

The man had been relatively weak.

Ashlock’s Qi-enhanced vines had been enough to impale the poor man, and within a minute, the vines had retreated into the stone below—another corpse, another murder.

He felt it was time to get serious.

Larry was half dead and surrounded by silk. Maple was missing, and Stella was busy keeping tabs on Diana. The war had already begun, and Ashlock now had the power to be a prominent force.

Taking to the skies with his {Eye of the Tree God}, he peered through the darkness of the night without issue. The calm night wind and lack of sunlight made him feel somewhat sluggish, but the situation’s seriousness kept him in check.

He could feel his roots below the cultivator’s feet from high above, like toes in the sand. “Everyone gathered here should be below my realm, with most in the lower stages of the Soul Fire realm. My empowered roots are enough to impale and kill them like the man from earlier, but that comes with the added risk that they might attack through the open portal.”

Ashlock also knew his portals were unstable when attacked. Having his vines cut wasn’t an issue, but the Qi wasted on the portal’s creation was.

His Star Core had an advantage over his old Soul Core, it could produce Qi without needing meditation, but he could still drain it dry if he overused it.

“I want to cause the most havoc possible while still keeping enough Qi in reserve to fight one of the Grand Elders if they show up.”

So far, Ashlock had targeted people that were alone, and through his efforts, he had assisted in killing around twenty cultivators so far. But there were hundreds still loitering around at the base of the mountain.

“Portals are great and all, but they are more suited for transportation than killing. How could I kill as many cultivators as possible with spatial Qi?”

Ashlock didn’t care about their corpses. He could fetch them later or let them rot.

Honestly, for how little sacrificial credits those in the Soul Fire realm provided, it felt almost a waste of Qi to gather and consume the corpses.

Ashlock identified a group of cultivators that were a mix of Evergreen and Winterwrath off to the side of the main groups. They had an arrogant air about them, and their cultivation realms were on the upper end of the Soul Fire realm.

“These must be the arrogant young masters… a perfect test group,” Ashlock concluded they would be less likely to back down and run due to their overinflated pride, making them great target dummies.

The tips of a few roots poked through the ground like surfacing earthworms, drawing the cultivators’ attention.

“Stella Crestfallen is attacking again.” An Evergreen man calmly stated as his eyes darted between them. Green flames instantly sprung to life, and a great sword bigger than him materialized in his hand.

Ashlock still found it rather funny that they thought this was all Stella’s handiwork, but he wouldn’t complain.

“As expected.” Another cultivator sneered, “That brat can only run and hide like a green-furred fox.”

If only they knew they were being bested by a magical tree that couldn’t even move. Also, what the hell was a green-furred fox?

With a chuckle, Ashlock checked on his Qi reserves. By his estimates, they had depleted around thirty percent so far from his twenty kills, which would take about half a day to recuperate.

His foes were on edge. He could see people rushing toward the isolated group and would arrive soon.

“I should test if exploding a portal right next to them would do anything first.”

Even if it was inefficient, as portals required a lot of Qi to make an anchor and connection between the two openings, he already knew how to make them, so it wouldn’t be too hard to conjure them up within seconds.

And he did precisely that.

A portal materialized right next to the one with the great sword, but before Ashlock could even collapse it, the man swung his great sword shrouded in green flames with impressive speed and cut it in two.

There was no explosion, and the spatial Qi dissipated harmlessly into the wind.

Ashlock tried again, this time making the portal a little further away.

The man couldn’t cut it in time, and it exploded as planned.

But even with the absurd amount of Qi he shoved into creating it, the explosion was too far from them to do anything other than rustle their hair and wipe out the soul fire coating their skin briefly.

Then something happened that Ashlock hadn’t expected but he really should have seen coming.

“Land of eternal ice!” The same technique Mike had used when he fought Diana a while back. It flash-froze the ground, and even with his first stage Star Core Qi coating his root, it could not protect it from the chill.

“So frost is indeed a natural counter to me then,” Ashlock grumbled—the feeling of having his roots frozen stung. Surging some Qi into the roots broke them free from the ice, but it was too late.

The great sword-wielding cultivator had decapitated his poor roots before he could pull them back.

“So long-range assault just by myself is going to take more work than I thought.” Ashlock didn’t want to admit it, but his allies had done most of the work in the previous fights, with him offering support and corpse disposal.

His slothful mind tried to devise a spatial attack that could kill these fools. Was there one in that technique manual that Stella had been showing him? Telekinesis? Was there something he could do with that?

[Ashen Prince {Larry} has begun to evolve]

[Please select {Larry} evolution path…]

A sudden string of notifications interrupted Ashlock’s trail of thought. It was about Larry’s evolution to an A-grade summon. Something that could prove desperately helpful in the coming days.

“Huh?” Ashlock read the notification but was confused. “There’s only one option this time?”

[Ashen King]

His Eminence, Prince Larry, has been deemed worthy by the nine realms of ascension to a calamity class monster and will be granted the power to rule over all Ashen spiders across the realms.

Henceforth, his ancient bloodline will awaken, and he will be known as the Ashen King.

“Well, that sounds rather ominous.” Ashlock chuckled, but he was looking forward to seeing Larry’s evolution as there would be a lot of snacks awaiting his hungry pet at the mountain’s base.


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