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Reborn as a Demonic Tree – Chapter 75: A Two Faced Facade Bahasa Indonesia

Ashlock had spent enough time around Stella to know there were two sides to the girl—growing up alone and without anyone to rely on had caused her to mature faster than her peers and develop a ruthlessness that she exhibited when fighting.

Ever since she’d appeared in his limited vision as a small child when he was nothing but a sapling—holding a bag containing a severed head, he knew the girl had a screw loose.

Stella was far more reckless than Diana, who was a bit more reserved. For example, Stella’s crazy loyalty towards him almost got her killed when she impulsively tried to punch heaven’s lightning to protect him. Ashlock believed this impulsiveness was partly due to her lack of parental guidance.

The fight with the Star Core Evergreen cultivator was another good example, as Stella had charged right in, and Diana had hung back, trying to assess the situation. Because Stella charged in, she was almost decapitated.

Her recklessness and disregard for danger were bad when she was on the back foot, but when she had the upper hand in the conflict, it turned her into a villainous foe that was impossible to read.

Ashlock almost felt bad for the Redclaw cultivators…

“You want to work things out with my ancestor?” Stella said in disbelief, and the Redclaw cultivators gulped again at her act. “You can’t even speak in the only language my ancestor understands? What could your measly family possibly offer a cultivator that had graced the lands before the new era?”

Stella turned her back and began to walk behind Larry, “Dispose of these fools and hunt down their nine generations, guardian beast. You must protect the ancestor’s secret existence.”

The pressure returned as the halo of ash orbiting Larry’s crown of horns sped up. All of the cultivators struggled to resist—the veins running down their necks bulged, and blood rushed to their faces as they desperately fought the pressure.

Larry opened his maw, and a wave of ash spiders poured out. They lept forward, latching onto the cultivator’s garments.

The fools tried to swing their swords, but the pressure from Larry was too much. Even their own cultivation was suppressed, so burning the spiders with their Soul Fire was difficult.

“Wait!” The Redclaw Grand Elder roared as the spiders crawled up his neck and into his hair. Larry ignored the Redclaw Grand Elders’ plea and reached forward with a mighty limb, impaling one of the nearest cultivators and bringing the limp body to his gaping maw, biting once and swallowing it whole.

The Grand Elder attempted to bring out an escape talisman from his spatial ring, but a dome of swirling ash formed around them, blocking its capabilities. They were well and truly trapped, and unlike the last time Larry had trapped someone in his cage of ash, the spider was far stronger now.

Defeat for the group and the demise of the Redclaw Grand Elder was inevitable. A shame, but Ashlock trusted Stella’s judgment on the matter. If her words were true, and there was no need to keep them around—a quick execution was for the best.

“I concede, oh great spirit beast!” The Grand Elder screamed as ash spiders crawled into his open mouth, “I swear upon the heavens will that I will trade my freedom for your mercy!”

Stella had an obscured wicked smile and whispered as she patted Larry, “Let them live.”

The wave of ash spiders ceased their assault as the Ashen King called them off with a grunt, but the pressure from Larry pinning the exhausted cultivators remained.

The Redclaw Grand Elder collapsed to his knees and yelled as blood spewed from his mouth onto the lush grass below, “Stella Crestfallen, I pledge my loyalty to you! Please accept my pledge of devotion and spare my family. Your secret will be safe with us!” All the men furiously nodded and grunted in agreement with their Grand Elder.

Stella strode over, placed a single finger under the man’s chin, and slowly raised his weary eyes to meet hers. The sun shone from behind, casting an eerie shadow and obscuring Stella’s wicked expression.

Ashlock could tell she was taking out her anger on them from having her enlightenment interrupted and enjoying every second of it.

“Do not pledge your loyalty to me. Rather hold the Ashfallen sect in reverence.”

“Ashfallen sect…” The man mumbled the words as if they were foreign, “May I know more about this elusive Ashfallen sect? I fear I have never heard its magnificent name before—”

Stella gripped his chin with her nails, and the man groaned. “No further question. Make the oath first, and then we can talk.”

There was a wavering resolve in the man’s eyes, but he tensed up and nodded when he saw Larry crawl a step forward and loom into view.

He brought a hand to his chest and closed his eyes.

“I, Grand Elder of the Redclaw family, pledge my loyalty to the Ashfallen sect.” He took a deep breath as the Qi of heaven swirled around him, “If my loyalty is to falter, may my cultivation be forever crippled and my heart demons unleashed upon my unfaithful soul.”

The other Redclaw family members followed their Grand Elder’s movements and words, pledging their loyalty.

Ashlock watched in interest and saw the man wince as he finished the vow. Could the heavens really manage something like contracts? It seemed so alien and weird of a concept to Ashlock, but to be fair, if the heavens can bend reality, why couldn’t they do something as simple as a soul contract?

Stella nodded and released her vice grip on the Grand Elders’ chin, leaving some nasty marks, “The Ashfallen sect is built around my ancestor. The Patriarch is but a simple Grand Elder of the Ashfallen sect.”

The Redclaw Grand Elder let out a shaky breath as he processed the entirely made-up words. “Your ancestor must truly be an ancient immortal to lord over the Patriarch.”

“Absolutely. My ancestor is a rather tall fellow.” Stella smiled, but it was far from a kind smile as it didn’t reach her ears. “But he is also benevolent to those that show faith and loyalty to the Ashfallen sect. So if you work hard, reaching the next realm before your lifespan expires isn’t impossible.”

A spark of hope was seen in the aging Grand Elders’ weary eyes. Ashlock realized that if the man was to reach the next realm, he would become a semi-immortal as those in the Nascent Soul realm could transfer themselves into a new vessel and cultivate from scratch again—or so he had heard from Stella in the past.

But out here in the lawless wilderness, few seemed to reach the Nascent Soul realm before being killed. Even the Grand Elder of house Ravenborne had two families sent after him to dispose of him before he could consolidate his new cultivation base and prepare a body for his infant soul.

Ashlock couldn’t help but feel proud of Stella. She had managed to spin a plausible story that wouldn’t hold up to enough scrutiny, but making it sound so secretive would stop these Redclaw fellows from spilling the beans too soon, especially to the Patriarch.

“Larry…” Ashlock pulled on the black tether as Stella seemed unsure of what to do with these new disciples of the Ashfallen sect. He then explained his plans to the spider, and the Redclaws shivered as the spider slowly relayed Ashlock’s instructions with the blood and guts of their eaten brother dripping from his fangs.

“Hmm, I see.” Stella nodded to herself as she stalled for time to translate the ancient words in her head. She then scanned the group of red-haired cultivators still kneeling on the ground, “You.” She pointed to a random guy with a scar on his cheek that was kneeling next to a red-haired girl.

“Yes… mistress?” The man hesitantly replied.

“Gather everyone from your family,” Stella said and then pointed up at the white stone palace, “That palace will be your family’s new home. Any Redclaws who don’t come here and swear an oath of loyalty to the Ashfallen sect will be hunted down and consumed by the spirit beast.”

A plume of ash vacated Larry’s nostrils as he snorted.

“Y-yes.” The Redclaw with the scar got up to his legs, still shaking. “I will leave right away to gather the others.”

“Good.” Stella nodded to him, “And make sure to bring supplies and people such as maids, chefs, builders, and anyone else you need, as we cannot provide any.”

The man gave a deep bow and took off running. He then yelped as Ashlock opened a portal right before him, causing the man to stumble through the rift and instantly appear halfway across the forest. The man blinked in confusion as the view of Darklight City’s wall came into view.

Ashlock kept an eye on the man for a while longer, but he didn’t even pause to grab lunch or talk to anyone. Instead, he just barreled down the street like a crazed person toward the airship dock in the city center with orange fire blazing around his feet, giving him the desired speed.

“Does that loyalty thing really work?” Ashlock was skeptical. From the sounds of the oath they made, their cultivation would be crippled if they betrayed their new overlords, which was basically a death sentence for any cultivator, especially if their heart demons were unleashed, causing them to end up in a similar state to Diana.

So it wasn’t so much as mind control, and they could still betray him. They would just sacrifice themselves to do so. “Not a foolproof solution then, but it works as a bandaid to keep them quiet for now.” Ashlock mused as he returned his sights to the forest, “Hopefully, we can raise some actual loyal people before the whole lie gets revealed.”

Ashlock now knew he was operating on borrowed time. He needed to reach Nascent Soul realm or train someone up to that level before the Patriarch left closed-door cultivation, which could be any time from now until just before the beast tide.

Looking back at Stella, Ashlock saw her showing the Redclaw Grand Elder a stack of parchments with a sweet smile. “Grand Elder, these are my notes of the ancient language. Please learn it in due time, so my ancestor may converse with you in the near future.”

There was some merit in keeping the ancient language to themselves as a sort of secret language, but considering Stella could learn it in a year from public records in the library, trying to gatekeep it from others in the Ashfallen sect seemed counterproductive.

If the Redclaws learned the ancient language, Ashlock could converse directly by writing on the wall or sending Larry to talk with them. Stella deserved to not be interrupted from her cultivation whenever he needed to talk with them. There was also the bonus of him being able to order the Redclaws around to do menial tasks directly.

The Grand Elder bowed as he took the notes, “I will have these copied out, and the originals returned by the weekend, mistress.” Then, with a flash of silver, the stack of parchments vanished into his spatial ring. “Does the mistress require my family or me for anything else?”

“Not for now.” Stella replied and waved them off, “You may settle into your new residence. I may come by in a few days to discuss your future within the Ashfallen sect in more detail.”

“As you wish. We will then excuse ourselves.” The Grand Elder bowed, and they left to ascend the mountain’s path.

Stella watched the departing families’ backs with her hands crossed beneath her chest. Her smile turned into a nasty scowl that sullied her face, and Ashlock could tell she was furious.

Ashlock decided making her wait around in the forest would only sour her mood further, so he opened a portal nearby.

Stella side-eyed the rift with a sigh, “You know if you didn’t interrupt me for these fools, I could make portals too?”

As she stomped through the portal and popped back into existence in front of his trunk, Ashlock summoned up the {Magic Mushroom Production} menu and set many more truffles to grow.

The mushrooms in the garden courtyard also had many valuable effects that could be harnessed by turning them into pills and creams with alchemy. Some might have even been of interest to Stella…

Ashlock wanted to ask Stella to either start learning alchemy or find someone who knew, but her mood seemed far too foul to request anything of her at the moment.

Ashlock decided to wait and see. Maybe one of the Redclaws was well-versed in alchemy.

Stella ignored him and strode into the adjacent courtyard with the runic formation—grumbling and cursing to herself the entire way—and sat down in its center. The formation of grey stone engraved with silver lines lit up with a purple hue when she cycled her Qi.

“Ash, I will not be happy if you interrupt me again.” She shouted toward the central courtyard as if he couldn’t hear her, and then with a huff, she tossed the remaining truffle into her mouth—the one that would improve her spirit root.

Ashlock chuckled and vowed to leave her alone this time. In truth, he likely could have waited a while longer before demanding she went to meet with the Redclaws, but he hadn’t known she was in the middle of enlightenment. So it was his fault, and he felt terrible for it.

While she was busy improving her spirit root—Ashlock calmed his mind, cycled his Qi, and focused on a random stick hiding amongst the purple grass of the central courtyard. It was time for him to try and self-learn telekinesis.

In fact, telekinesis was pushed even higher up his list of necessary skills with the Redclaws moving in next door. If his portals could be used wherever his roots were, then logically, so could telekinesis. If he grew a root up to the white palace mountains peak, he could talk to the Grand Elder through a stick of chalk by controlling it from afar.

Ashlock planned to maintain his elusive persona for as long as possible, as he doubted the Redclaw Grand Elder would be thrilled to learn that he was taking orders from a spirit tree of all things.


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