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Reborn as a Demonic Tree – Chapter 77: (Interlude) Annoying Mortals Bahasa Indonesia

Stella detected with her spiritual sense that Tree had dealt with the monster, so she focused wholeheartedly on the stone that had drawn her interest.

Other than hearing a soft sobbing sound from beneath the stone, she could detect something alive below it.

Removing the stone was a trivial affair—it was lighter than she had initially thought from its looks, and the fact the soil around it had already been partially dug out from the insect monster allowed her to get some grip.

As she pushed the stone to the side, the wailing stopped for a second, and Stella came face to face with a human child—the boy was deathly pale, gaunt from lack of food, and his lips were cracked from no water.

He was shaking and caked in mud as if he had been buried alive.

“Hey.” Stella said as softly as she could, “The monster is gone. Are you alright?”

The child blinked, more from the sudden sunlight than her words. She moved her body a bit to the side to shade the poor boy and tried to carefully pull him from the damp hole.

He resisted at first, trying to look past her to see if the monster was really gone. “It’s already dead… see?” Stella gestured to the insect’s corpse and maintained her gentle tone.

Honestly, this was the first time she had ever interacted with a child, so she wasn’t sure how to proceed. Should I look for his parents somehow? Stella thought as she scanned the treeline but couldn’t see anything.

“Miss, did you kill the m-monster?”

The child’s mumblings brought Stella out of her stupor, and she offered the child a reassuring smile—of course, she hadn’t actually killed the insect herself, but explaining to the boy that a spirit tree had killed it with leaves from a mountain away seemed like more of a pain than it was worth…

“I did.” Stella nodded and swore she felt an intense gaze on her neck. “It’s all safe now, so there’s no need to be scared… where are your parents—”

“Are you a cultivator, miss?” The boy gripped her clothing and sounded far too excited, “A real one?”

“…Yes, but—”

“Can you teach me?” The boy wouldn’t even let her finish a single sentence. Stella held back the urge to push the child back into the hole and walk off.

“Listen.” Stella placed a finger on the boy’s lips to stop his blabbering, “What is your name?”

“Sam!” He shouted as he shoved her hand aside with his feeble strength, “I want to be strong too and kill scary monsters like you! And protect papa and my little sisters…”

As much as Stella appreciated the child’s enthusiasm, she had no interest in taking on a disciple—she paused, and her eyes widened as the realization hit her—she was supposed to be running a sect! What use was a sect without disciples? If anything, this was a heaven-given opportunity.

“Well Sam, let me check if you have the potential for cultivation,” Stella said with a light smile, and she could practically see the stars of excitement in the half-dead boy’s eyes that were reddened from tears.

Stella put two fingers around the boy’s boney wrist and closed her eyes to avoid looking at Sam’s expectant expression. She injected a tiny bit of Qi, and she could feel the boy shiver in her grasp.

As she cycled the Qi through the boy’s body, she couldn’t help but frown. His spiritual roots were nonexistent, so his chance of becoming a cultivator was… zero. Well, almost zero. Of course, there were ways to forcefully create spirit roots within a person’s body, but it was never worth the effort.

The boy had lacked the potential to be a cultivator since birth—he could still absorb some ambient Qi, but there was no hope for him to cultivate enough Qi to form a Soul Core.

Stella released the boy’s grasp with a sigh, but her heart tightened seeing his childlike excitement and hope.

It’s better to lie to him now while he’s in such a weak state and then clarify what I mean later… I mean, Sam technically can still cultivate. He just won’t get very far.

“You can cultivate,” Stella said with a weak smile, and Sam practically flew out of her arms in excitement but immediately fell flat on his face with a groan as his frail body failed him.

Stella shook her head as she retrieved a fruit and waterskin from her spatial ring—placing them both beside the groaning boy’s head. She then looked around.

“Hey tree, what should I do.” She whispered to a random nearby tree but then felt silly. There was no answer. She crossed her arms and drummed her fingers as she sighed. This was annoying—she felt responsible for the child now, but she had no idea which village to ask first or where the nearest one was.

Also, the idea of speaking to people she had never spoken with before felt… daunting. Was she scared of talking to mortals? Would they find her weird?

“Sam! Where are you Sam!”

Stella’s head snapped toward the shouting, and with her enhanced senses, she could see a group of mortals moving toward her, following a floating… stick.

She couldn’t help but roll her eyes at Tree’s nonsense. Then, feeling a bit skittish, she got herself together by slapping her cheek. “Just act aloof and move on quickly,” Stella muttered as she walked back toward the boy and assumed a leaning-against-tree pose with her eyes closed.

Moments later, the group of mortals broke the treeline.

“Sam!” The same voice she had heard before shouted with far more gusto, and then Stella heard running.

“Barry, get back!” A woman shouted—likely this Barry fellows wife by her tone. Stella slowly opened her eyes and looked at four middle-aged villagers one by one. They were all holding farming equipment. A wooden handled scythe, two rusting pitchforks, and one heavily used spade.

The man she quickly identified as Barry had paused mid-stride and was eyeing her as if she were some monster—the battered spade trembling in his grip.

There was a moment of awkward silence as they stared at each other, and Stella hated to admit it, but her mind had gone blank. She had no idea what to say.

“Papa?” Sam croaked from the ground, but Barry didn’t dare to break eye contact, much to Stella’s growing anxiety.

To be fair, the entire situation did look bad now that Stella thought about it—from their point of view, they couldn’t see the dead monster off to the side, nor the fruit and waterskin she had placed beside Sam.

Stella could only huff in annoyance and rolled her eyes again as Barry shrank back while eyeing her cautiously.

Sick of the silence and seeing that Barry’s wife was about to try and speak, Stella decided to wisen up and take charge of the situation. “Took you long enough. I have matters to attend to back at the sect, so now that you’re here, I can leave the child in your care.”

Stella then nodded toward the wall dyed with green blood in the distance, “The monster that had almost eaten the child has been disposed of. If there is nothing else, I shall be on my way.”

Stella then tried very hard to keep her straight face as all the villages turned to look at the dead monster, let out shocked gasps, and then snapped back to look at her with awe rather than fear.

Barry walked forward and bowed deeply, which was awkward considering the size difference, “Miss cultivator, may I please ask what happened to the Winterwrath and Evergreen families? Without their protection, we have suffered greatly.” His voice was stained with nerves, and his hands were clenched at his sides.

Stella surveyed the other villager’s reactions, but they also seemed worried.

Again, she decided to lie—for now. “They were assigned new posts by the Patriarch. Soon, two other families will move into the area to take over their duties…”

Barry straightened his back and sighed with relief, “Who are these families if you don’t mind me asking?”

“Redclaw and…” Stella paused.

Should she use Crestfallen—her family name that would be familiar to them or start spreading the Ashfallen sect’s name? They would need to begin recruiting people under their sect sooner rather than later, and keeping a low profile would only work for so long.

But I told the Redclaws that the Ashfallen sect was a secret, so exposing ourselves so soon might be counterproductive.

Stella offered the man an apologetic smile, “I cannot mention the name of the other family for now, but I can say I’m a part of them.”

Barry seemed unconvinced but nodded anyway. “I see. Well, I can only thank you for saving my son. Unfortunately, I have nothing of value to offer…”

Stella’s eye twitched. She hadn’t wanted any of this, and the last thing she desired was some reward from a mortal. I didn’t even kill the monster. All I did was overturn the stone. Stella cursed in her head but didn’t show her irritation.

“No need. I will be off now.” Stella said, and the villages nodded respectfully to her. A quick glance at them confirmed none of these mortals possessed the potential for cultivation, as they were all stuck at the first stage of the Qi realm despite being late into their lives.

Building a sect might be harder than she thought… basically anyone with a slither of potential to cultivate had been sent to the Blood Lotus sect’s academies, where they were trained to become cannon fodder, guards, or servants to the families.

So the chance of her stumbling upon a villager with a talent for cultivation was unlikely. The lingering earthy taste of the spirit-root-improvement truffle made her think Tree might have a plan or ability to make cultivators out of talentless villagers, but it was a long shot.

The Darklight city did have an academy, and since they were now the rulers of the area, they could pinch the cultivators from there, but it was a massive headache as the academies were run by the Blood Lotus sect rather than whichever family was ruling the area so they would start asking questions as to why they were taking the cultivators away and get the rest of the sect involved.

From what Stella had gathered from talking a lot with Diana, the Blood Lotus sect was a collection of families under one banner led by the strongest member, the Patriarch. They competed for resources, and the Patriarch didn’t care so long as all the cities run smoothly.

Having one family eradicated was fine. But Stella doubted the Patriarch would remain idle if he knew the Evergreen and Winterwrath families had also perished as the Blood Lotus sect was now significantly weakened.

Usually, Red Vine peak would be doomed, but Ash is an intelligent tree, so it changed things.

Instead of being a single Star Core cultivator with a limited area of control and a fleshy body that could be impaled by a sword, Ash was far more durable and had a much wider scope of control, meaning he could face off more people at once.

The dead monster was a good example. Red Vine peak was far away, yet this monster had died to a threat it couldn’t see.

Even if I reached the Star Core realm, I doubt I could do that, as I wouldn’t even know the monster was here. Ash can be truly terrifying when he wants to be.

Stella blinked as she realized she had been momentarily lost in thought. Because the villagers had brought up how the lack of cultivators affected their lives, Stella realized this situation was a little more out of hand than she’d thought.

“Miss cultivator!” Sam croaked out from the side as he weakly rolled over and faced her.

Stella just raised a brow in response at the boy—she was rather bored dealing with this farce. She wanted to return to Red Vine peak to cultivate and maybe check on Diana to see if she was doing fine in the mine.

None of these mortals had talent or use, and their questions ruined her mood.

The child returned an innocent smile, “Miss, you said I can be a cultivator, right!”

Stella ignored the villager’s shock and replied with a nod. Why couldn’t he have just kept his mouth shut?

“How can I cultivate to be strong like you?”

Well, the answer was simple—he couldn’t. But this was already annoying enough, and Stella had no interest in chucking a cultivation manual at his forehead to shut him up, so she just pointed into the distance. “You see that mountain? I live up there. If you grow up big and strong and can climb to the top of that mountain. Then I will tell you the secret.”

The idea that such a scrawny and half-dead child could climb one of the tallest mountains in the Blood Lotus sect without any cultivation was laughable, so Stella felt relatively confident she wouldn’t see the scrawny boy anytime soon.

Before they could ask any more questions, Stella whispered under her breath. “Ash, open a portal behind me.”

An intense ripple of spatial Qi made her hair flutter, and the villages stumbled back with yelps. A rift in space formed behind Stella, and she could see the distorted courtyard and Ash’s black trunk through it.

Letting out a sigh of relief, she stepped through, and with a pop, she left those annoying mortals behind. Her body quickly adapted to the wind chill and different climate at the top of a mountain compared to being down in the forest, and she eyed the bench under Ash’s inviting canopy.

The portal collapsed behind her, and Stella relished in the silence.

Although she had only been gone for a bit, that experience had taken far more out of her than she thought reasonable.

Walking over and laying back on the bench. Stella felt the cool wood on her exposed thighs and shoulders. She frowned and looked up at the rustling red leaves overhead with unpleasant thoughts about the future.

“Running a sect is going to be so annoying.”


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