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Reborn as a Demonic Tree – Chapter 73: Demonic Punching Bag Bahasa Indonesia

As it turned out, Diana didn’t have a death wish and surprisingly picked a suitable opponent—Bob, the weird slime creature that resided in the mines. Ashlock was glad about this, as Larry would struggle to hold back his strength, and if Diana had chosen to try fighting him, it wouldn’t have ended well as he lacked non-lethal attacks other than portals, which were messy and Qi intensive to use.

Diana had turned into a mist and shot down his hollowed-out root, dropping into the mines moments later.

She cracked her neck and knuckles as dark blue flames riddled with corruption flared to life across her skin and illuminated her path. Then eerie laughter echoed through the tunnels as she strode down the shaft and entered the cavern.

A root with a lot of slack dangled from the cavern ceiling and met with a vast puddle of lilac sludge that took up the center of the abandoned cavern. The space felt immense and barren, with empty houses and a lack of life.

As Ashlock had used Bob as a battery for spatial Qi, it was teetering on the fine line between returning to its normal grey form and still being under his control.

However, there had been nothing down here, so Ashlock hadn’t been bothered if he lost control of the slime. He could always reclaim control whenever he wished, as his roots now covered a large portion of the mine.

Surging just a smidge of his newfound power into Bob was enough to swing the handle of control in his favor—the slime pulsed with lilac Qi as spatial flames ran rampant through its body like a wildfire via the thousands of hair-thin roots.

While Ashlock had been pumping Bob with Qi, Diana activated her favorite technique—a dense grey mist filled the cavern with hints of corruption. Those laughing illusionary shadows that were part of the original technique had morphed into howling demons that stalked within the smog.

This proved to Ashlock that techniques were unique—able to morph to match every user’s needs and conditions—and maybe even grow alongside them as they furthered their cultivation.

But he did remember Stella mentioning in the past that her father had taught her some basic techniques when she was young and that they were the only ones she knew till this day, and it was clear from their previous fight that Diana’s techniques were superior somehow.

It was similar to how his system upgraded his abilities in exchange for sacrificial credits. Maybe even the techniques he learned from that book, like his portals, would evolve as his mutual understanding with heaven grew.

But what caused Diana’s technique to develop like this? Did the corruption grant her enlightenment or something?

A while passed, and Ashlock grew impatient due to the annoying laughter from the technique. He struggled to penetrate the smog as the corruption and water Qi blocked his spiritual sight through the root—he had no idea where Diana was, but he morphed Bob into a wave and began to attack in a random direction.

Suddenly the mist parted, and an enraged Diana appeared.

Flames so dark blue they were almost black shrouded her fist, and she punched Bob with a savage right-hand hook. The oversized jelly convulsed as it was knocked back, and the area that Diana stuck transitioned from lilac to black.

“Interesting.” Ashlock mused, “I see why she wanted to fight something that could take a beating now. Stella wouldn’t have been able to handle a corruption-filled punch.”

Was this the power of the truffle? Before Diana had consumed it, she was overwhelmed with corruption that devoured her sanity and seemed to slowly burn her life force for more power—but now she was semi-rational and able to resist the corruption and even imbue her attacks with it.

Diana didn’t wait and charged forward, delivering two more brutal attacks on poor Bob, leaving more corruption behind with every jab, which acted like a quick spreading poison.

With every attack Diana made against Bob, Ashlock noticed that Diana’s flames were taking on a lighter shade.

“I see.” Ashlock thought aloud as Diana went in for another corruption-filled punch. “She plans to punch the corruption out of herself by imbuing every attack with corruption. That way, her body can slowly fight back and recover. Is this what fighting one’s demons means? I thought it would be more of a mental thing that meditation could solve.”

In a way, this made sense to Ashlock. Heart demons were more than a simple state of mind or something that could be defeated with pure willpower alone.

If Diana was anything to go by, heart demons were a literal manifestation of corruption that could be suppressed with one’s own Qi and willpower for a while, but when they pushed themselves too far, the corruption won.

And they would be consumed by madness from within.

Ashlock watched the savage fight for a while longer. Sweat dripped from Diana’s hair as she dashed in and out of her mist. Whenever she punched Bob, she would yell a war cry that echoed throughout the cavern.

After a few more attacks, a large portion of Bob’s body was eaten away by corruption—which weirdly couldn’t consume Ashlock’s thin hair roots that he was using to control the slime.

However, the corruption did devour his spatial Qi, which might become a problem. Ashlock tried to pump more spatial Qi into Bob to suppress the corruption, and it worked for a while, but as Diana upped the tempo of her assault, the corruption began to win again.

“What if I just let the corruption win?” Ashlock contemplated the idea. He still had control over the parts of Bob that were thoroughly corrupted, so was surrendering Bob to the corruption so bad?

The slime seemed to absorb and adapt to whatever type of Qi its opponent used in the hopes of becoming utterly immune against its foe’s attacks.

If Bob became completely overtaken by demonic Qi, wouldn’t he be the perfect weapon against the beast tide?

The slime seemed to handle Diana’s relentless attacks just fine, and she was a high-stage, demonic Qi-empowered Soul Fire cultivator. Although Diana was using brunt punches rather than her sword, which had been sharp enough to cut Bob in half the last time they fought.

Bob didn’t handle sharp things very well.

As more time went by, Bob became entirely corrupted, and Ashlock continued to have no issues controlling him, nor did the corruption spread up his root.

“So I really am immune to corruption. Even my root puppet skill seems unaffected.” Ashlock didn’t know how to feel about that, “Is it because I’m a demonic tree? Or are all trees immune to corruption?”

A fragment of that dream flashed by, and his soul shuddered. He didn’t want to become such an emotionless and chronically bored tree, left to grow throughout the realms for eons.

Either way, the revelation did help to quell his fear about cultivating with the demonic Qi of the hellish realm that may reside below and somehow turn him into the same state as Diana. He was completely immune to the stuff.

Eventually, Ashlock grew bored of watching Diana fight Bob.

Her complexion improved with every punch, but she still had a long way to go as the corruption ran deep, and she was only attacking faster and faster. Luckily, Bob was unfazed by her efforts; like a brick wall, Bob didn’t even ripple as she punched with all her might.

Deciding to just command Bob to stay in place and let her have at it, he returned his sights to the surface.

Stella had left and was busy eating the truffles in the other courtyard. If her rosy cheeks, devoid of a single blemish, were anything to go by, she had started with the skin-improving truffle.

Ashlock was glad to see the good results of the skin-improving truffle, as he had plans to sell that one for high prices to the merchants. If he used alchemy, he might even be able to dilute the truffle into a paste or cream that could be packaged up and mass distributed to fund the sect’s activities.

He also wanted to do this for the other truffles, as they were far too dangerous to sell to the merchants without weakening their effects first.

So he would save the good stuff for those close to him and maybe future sect elders.

One look around the courtyard was enough to make Ashlock grumble about funds. The walls all required replacing, and this place needed a cleanup from a team of maids. It had been years since the pavilion was last looked after correctly.

Since everyone was busy, Ashlock cast {Eye of the Tree God} and surveyed the surroundings. Such a massive war and heaven splitting open a few days ago should have had some effect on Darklight city.

A quick pass over of Darklight city felt unusual as it was deathly quiet. Everyone seemed to shut themselves in their houses, and only a few drunkards wandered freely—their jolly tunes and laughter starkly contrasting with the vacant streets.

Ashlock covered quite a distance and even located the airship station in the vast city center. Within the courtyards of the docking stations were chained airships and no sign of anyone coming or going.

Was the entire city under lockdown?

If so, someone had to have enforced it. Who ran Darklight city when the cultivators weren’t around? Did it have a government or mayor of some kind?

Ashlock had been under the assumption that the Evergreen and Winterwrath family ruled over the city like monarchs did in ancient times. But it seemed the reality was different—unless some of the cultivators had escaped from Larry and were now holed up somewhere deep in the city and managing things from a bunker.

“What are these mortals scared of, though?” Ashlock wondered as he left the city and zoomed toward the mines. “Without their overlords, are they even working?”

To Ashlock’s surprise, they were working. With beaming smiles plastered on their sweaty faces, they hauled spirit stones out of the depths of the mine like a stream of worker ants.

Without the Winterwrath man to shake them down for stone in exchange for coin, Ashlock wasn’t exactly sure what they planned to do with the spirit stone ore. He knew the ore was useful to cultivators, as he had also made great use of the spirit stone deposits but to ordinary mortals? He couldn’t see the appeal.

Maybe a black market had already formed, or they would sell it to other cities. Whatever they did with the ore, Ashlock wasn’t too bothered for now as he didn’t care for the stuff. Even though that mine was technically under his sect’s control, he couldn’t blame the workers for not knowing that.

His sect had yet to take a stand, and he simply didn’t have enough people to manage one mountain peak, let alone two. How he could go about recruiting more people was also an issue…

He was a tree that couldn’t communicate other than through an ancient runic language or Larry, who spoke the same. Only Stella could help bridge the gap between him and potential new sect members.

Ashlock moved his vision up the mountain and looked at the white stone palace. It was far more presentable and majestic than the Red Vine pavilion in every way.

“This peak should be where the Ashfallen sect trains new disciples and most elders live.” Ashlock mused to himself as he looked at the palace from all sides, noting its massive size—fit to house thousands of people, “Whereas Red Vine peak can be rebuilt into a suitable place for myself, and only those closest to me can live here.”

Ashlock was about to conclude his ventures outside, return to the Red Vines pavilion, and practice his spatial techniques when something caught his eye.

A group of flaming red-haired cultivators donning scarlet robes emerged from the white stone palace’s doorway with frowns on their faces, and the aged man in the middle had the gravitas of a Star Core realm expert.

The man glanced to the side, and his sharp eyes landed on Red Vine peak in the distance—his frown deepened.

“Larry!” Ashlock yelled through his tether, “Get Stella and go and meet this group of cultivators over at the white stone palace on the other mountain peak!”

“Right now, Master?” Larry asked as he crawled down from his canopy and crept over toward Stella.

“Yes, right now.” Ashlock replied, “I will open a portal to send you over.”


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