Discovery & Adventurers
Year 72 Month 8
A small group of young adventurers appear, six of them, on horses.
Heavily armed, their horses exhausted, they made camp next to me.
It seems like being the only large tree in this vast field does seem to draw attention.
“I think that tree in the middle of the field looks nice.”
“I think so too.
Lets go have a look.”
These six adventurers, they stand next to me, examine my trunk and the leaves, and the trees that now flourish around me.
At this distance, I make out that there are four girls and two boys.
One of them look around, and she sits down on one of my protruding roots, then admires the view of the fields.
“Its a nice view, even though it's probably one made by the demons.”
"Yea, good place to take a nap.
Our journey to the rifts is still a few days to go, and we best enjoy this peace and quiet while we can."
"True." So they then set up camps next to me, and rest that night.
The next morning, a group of fifteen demons appear in the distance, and I learn from Jura that these large winged creatures are known as manticores.
They make their presence known with a loud roar, and that wakes the adventurers.
Silly, these manticores.
They should just keep their mouth shut and attack the adventurers while they sleep. The adventurers though seem unshaken, as if its a normal occurrence for them.
In fact, it seems the adventurers already set up some kind of magical defense, and a huge thunderbolt zaps the manticore that intrudes into the area marked.
A long haired girl shout some kind of chant, and an orb of red lightning float between her two palms. The red lightning leaps out of her two palms in a flash, and it zaps three of the flying manticores, and fries them instantly.
They fall onto the ground, charred.
The leader of the adventurers, a guy wielding some kind of warstaff, he raises it and creates a forcefield that blocks all the manticore's acidic spits.
And after that another chant, which cause all the manticores to move sluggishly. The other guy of the adventurers then takes out some kind of contraption that resembles a very long rifle, and fires a high speed orb.
It explodes mid air and blasts a few of the slow moving manticores caught in the explosion into pieces.
A short haired one wearing a thin armor, flicks something that looks like a fan, and a huge gust of wind appears.
The force of the wind pushes all of the manticores, and they fall onto the ground in a smack. The two remaining girls,, both pull out a pair of shortswords, and they slash the remaining grounded manticores to death.
One of the twinsword girls smile.
“I gain a level.
I get a skill!” She jumps around, happy.
“Oh what did you get” The other twinsword girl taps her on the shoulder
I didn’t get any.” The guy that cast the forcefield sigh, and he sits on one of my roots.
He takes out some kind of cloth and starts to clean his warstaff.
“Stop whining, you’re Level 75! I am just level 63!” The twinsword girl shouts.
Meanwhile, the mage girl is harvesting the remains of the manticore corpses alone with a small dagger and a bag.
After going through a few of the manticores, she notices she's doing it alone and then glances over at the rest of her teammates, and asks.
“You peeps not helping to collect them loot”
The rest of them unanimously shakes ther head.
“You do it.
We’ll just ruin it.”
The mage girl rolls her eyes.
You know my ability works as long as I am around!”
“Ain’t taking that risk!”
They banter for a while, and rest.
After cleaning up their camp, they soon set out towards the demonic rift.
Year 72 Month 8, two days later.
Five demon knights, on hellhounds arrive.
It seems they are following the scent of the adventurers. These demon knights are previously human, but their body has been corrupted by the demonic forces and then transformed. As they are once human, they still speak normally to each other, with the only difference is their voice.
“They were here.” One of the riders pat his hellhound, tracking their scent.
“They are headed for the southern rift.”
Another rider examines the dirt, and some of the little remains from the battle.
“Six of them, still on horses.
Probably rested here for a day.”
“No sign of any injury.
Looks like the manticores are unable to hurt them.
Will need more powerful monsters.” The rest of the demon knights nod.
Two of the demon knights start chanting some kind of spell.
It looks like some kind of communication spell.
At this point, I wonder whether I can beat these demon knights.
“You think we can take them on, Jura”
Jura shakes his head.
“They have abilities and skills like a normal human, so I am not sure of our chances.
They could be very strong, or just like a normal human.
I've never fought one, so...
I honestly can't say."
Somehow, I decide to let them go.
Year 72 Month 9
A huge explosion in the distance.
The earth shakes constantly, even though the explosion is so far away.
The sky above is filled with streaks of colors.
It’s not a pleasant sign, one of fighting....
“TreeTree, these explosions… They are starting to get nearer.”
More explosions.The vibration and shaking gets stronger. In the distance, a huge rupture, as rocks shoot up.
And Jura sees it.
Two large flying creatures, each breathing some kind of elemental attack at a small group.
Its the six adventurers!
The earth shakes so badly, my roots increases its grip on the earth, reducing the shaking.
More explosions and spells criss cross the skies.
The explosions and destruction sends huge plumes of dust into the air, and it creates a minor dust storm, blocking some of the sunlight.
More explosions, and I could sense the adventurers fall back.
The adventurer group retreats, while retaliating with ranged attacks.
The two large demonic wyverns are also accompanied by a huge swarm of hellhounds and lesser demons, but they keep their distance.
It seems the wyvern's elemental breaths deal a whole lot of collateral damage.
Bam! An explosion right at one of the demonic wyvern's chest.
And it falls onto the ground, and the earth shakes from the impact.
“Ugh yes!” The adventurers take the opportunity to run, and three of them are heavily injured.
The remaining wyvern try to chase, and a nicely placed fireball from the magegirl manage to tear one of its wings.
Unable to fly, it chases after the adventurers on its two large foot.
Luckily, it's a lot slower this way.
They run towards me, and at this time they notice a large group of demons appearing on the other direction.
The demons have the adventurers surrounded with hellhounds.
Let's fight there.” The fan girl points at me, and they try to run as fast as they can. Well, any cover is better than no cover.
As the adventurers reposition themselves around me, I can now sense that the gunner man , and twinsword girls are injured.
Their spirits is wavering, flickering, and one of the twinsword girls' spirit seems engulfed in some kind of demonic fire, or rot.
I'm not sure.
Around me, it's hordes of hounds, and lesser demons.
Only the now lumbering demonic wyvern approaches, but this is after a moment of hesitation.
“They… the rest don’t seem to be approaching”
“Huh! Great!” One of the mage girls seem really surprised, and she scrambles over to help her injured compatriots.
"You guys deal with it.
I need to look after them."
The wyvern roars, and then it charges at me and the adventurers.
It’s already injured from all the ranged attacks, so the moment I feel like I can get a good shot.
It stabs it right in the abdomen.
Some of its inner matter splurt out, but nothing too serious...
Its not dead yet, but the stab slows it down.
[Root strike] x 2 I hit the abdomen of the wyvern again, and this time one of the roots manage to pierces through, and stabs the wyvern right through the chest.
And it falls.
The death of the wyvern scares the rest of the hounds and the lesser demons, and causes them to be afraid to approach.
“Oh wow.” The forcefield man touches my trunk.
“A tree spirit! We're saved!”
The mage girl shakes her head, still trying to look at her friends.
“They are dying!”
“Bring them to me, I mentally tell the mage girl, and she uses a kind of magic to levitate all 3 of the injured adventurers next to me, and a small branch reaches out, touching them.
The wounds start to close a little, and I could sense their spirit start to stabilise.
Two of them recover quickly, their wounds and cuts heal, except the twin sword girl, who took a deep stab into her chest.
She's the one who I seem to see some kind of demonic presence in her body, gnawing away at her. She yelps in pain.
“Don’t die.” The mage girl holds her hand.
The twinsword girl smiles weakly.
I keep trying to heal her, but that demonic energy is interfering with the healing.
Or more like, it's just undoing whatever healing we apply.
“No.” The mage girl holds her hand tightly.
“No, no, no.”
The demons keep trying to get close, but without the giant demon, the rest of them are just small fries, easily defeated by the forcefield dude, and the other wind-wielding girl.
I extend of my thinner feeler-like branches, touch the wounded girl on the head, and activate my healing abilities.
The wounds recover a bit, but it lasts only for a short moment, before it somehow opens again.
Damn them! They used some kind of special demonic rot attack, and the effects are still in her body… it will keep burning away at her body, despite our attempts to heal her.
To really heal her, we need to remove that demonic rot, and in the meantime, all we can do it keep her alive.” The mage girl curses, and then glances up at the tree. “We need to coordinate our healing.
We cast healing alternately, so that her body does not deteriorate too much.”
With the other twinsword girl and gunner healed, the remaining 4 adventurers unleash their fury, and slaughter the remaining demon swarm.
The huge numbers of the hellhounds mean very little for this group of powerful adventurers, now fueled by anger and desperation. The demon’s numbers fall quickly, as the 4 healed adventurers unleash wave after wave of attacks.
The hellhounds start to flee, it seems they too are frightened of the adventurers.
And about two hours later, there's not a single living demon in sight.
They have all either fled, or died.
That then shifts the focus to the injured twinsword girl, still battling against the demonic rot inside her.
“Its not getting any better.” Mage girl sighs.
“We been trying to heal her….”
“We have to take her somewhere, to the town.”
“No.” Magegirl shakes her head.
“I don’t have enough mana to keep healing her...
We won't make it back to the town in time.
If I stop healing her, the demonic rot will kill her within three to four hours.
We can maintain it now because the tree spirit's healing abilities is gives me room to recover my mana."
“Huh…” The fangirl holds the injured girl's hand.
She's asleep at this point.
I can use a mix of healing and regeneration abilities I have as a tree to keep the injured girl alive, but I am unable to remove the demonic presence gnawing away at her body.
So its a constant battle between the healing forces and the demonic rot.
So here’s the plan.
The three of us will stay.
And the three of you find the rest, and find a cure for demonic rot or anyone who has any inkling of what sort of cursed power that demon champion used.
The three of us will be here because she needs healing, and working with the tree spirit, we can keep her alive.
I will stay back for protection.”
The three, one twinhair girl, the fan girl and the gunner guy nod.
best chance we have then.
Let’s go, no time to waste.”
At that point, it occurs to me that they never asked whether I agree to the plan, but fine.
Since these adventurers will be here for some time, I ask Jura and Laufen to come out.
“We live here.
Tree spirit says we should meet you.” Jura and Laufen introduce themselves.
"We heard your plan to stay with the tree spirit."
We mean no harm.
We need the tree spirits help to keep my friend alive.” The mage girl explains.
"I can't do this on my own..."
Jura and Laufen look around, and nod.
“Then please come in.”
The elves bring them into the secret hideout, and the injured girl is placed on the floor of one of the rooms.
At that point, a popup appears [Do you want to initiate Life Support protocol]
At that moment, the room shakes a little, and multiple branches appear around the injured girl, attaching itself to her.
“What’s happening” The forcefield dude asks, he seems worried and reaches for his warstaff.
The magegirl stops him, “The tree spirit is doing something.
I think it's putting some kind of magical ‘support’ mechanism.”
The branches all form into like a hospital bed like shape, and a few little wooden feelers attach itself throughout her body.
The feelers, supply a mix of condensed healing fruit juice, and whatever regeneration ability I have.
It also gives a minor version of whatever passive healing ability I have.
“It’s like a…” The forcefield dude and the mage girl look at each other. “A hospital bed.”
“Thank you for help us.”
Jura and Laufen shrugs, “It seems the tree spirit agreed to help you, so we'll be okay.
We just hope you're not like the other humans.”
We promise we won't bring you any harm.
We just want to save our friend's life and I pray we won’t take too much of your time or space.” The forcefield guy nods, and sits down.
Mage girl looks at her injured friend, and after a while, she too rests next to her injured friend..
The tree spirit is using some kind of constant healing, channeled through the branches connected to her.” The magegirl observes, using some kind of spell.
Laufen passes them some fruits to clear the tension.
“What's your name I am Laufen.”
“Hendry.” Forcefield dude then munches on the healing fruit.
“Alexis.” Mage girl too takes a bite, and she then points at the injured girl.
“This place… its a magical pocket dimension inside the tree spirit, right” Alexis asks.
She's into the whole theoretical basis behind magic and finds it really fascinating on how magic works and interacts,
“Uh…” Laufen scratches her head.
Laufen had never thought about such things.
“It's bigger inside than the tree itself, yet not underground.
It has to be.” Alexis explains, and to be honest, that is the first time it occurred to me as well.
Meela's asleep, as I use a mix of liquid healing fruit extract that I feed into her body via the branches, and occasionally [solar healing] via a leaf that is right above her head.
Alive, and asleep.
With the healing powers between myself and Alexis, we could heal her completely, but the demonic rot would just reopen the wounds again. Whatever it is, this demonic rot is pretty nasty.
Exhausted, both Alexis and Hendry soon fall asleep, but not before casting a wide range of precautionary spells.
They are careful, and prepared.
[You gain two levels] [Level 89]
Life support unlocked.
Suspended animation unlocked]
The next few days
Their three friends will take some time to come back to them with any kind of cure.
Alexis would peep at Meela, who is still asleep, every few hours to check on her.
Hendry seems restless, paces about and takes long walks around, and seems to be talking to himself about demons and monsters.
He would go on long 'walks', where he slaughters any lesser demon he comes across.
“Yes.” Alexis munches on a bread that she pulls out nowhere.
“I don’t want to lose her.
We, don’t want to lose her.
It would be unbearable to me.”
Laufen nods, and tries to reassure her.
“Your friends will be back with a cure.”
“I hope so.”
“What did you fight, that caused such a bad wound”
“A demon champion.
Some kind of earth snake that seems to be corrupted by huge amounts of demonic energy.
It had a special weapon, a kind of venom…”
“A demon champion!” Laufen gasps, her hands to her mouth.
We killed it, but not before another hidden assassin demon retrieved that special venom and stabbed Meela with it.”
Must have been a big expedition into the rift.”
On the horizon.” Hendry comes back into the hideout.
“A lot of them.
Hounds and a lot of mid tier creatures.
Maybe they will hide some powerful demons inside as well, so we should be careful.”
“Huh Demons can do that” Jura seems surprised that demons are capable of such sophisticated tactics.
yes.” Hendry nods.
Jura shrugs, and then looks at the two adventurers.
“I think we should hide.
Normally they will ignore us.
Our tree spirit has all sorts of defensive buffs, and the demons can't scratch him.”
“Treetree.” Lausanne interjects, and Laufen catches her.
Treetree has all sorts of defensive buffs.”
“Hmm… very well.” Hendry retreats inside, and the demon swarm approaches.
They fan out, covering most of the area, destroying the regrowing shrubbery.
Some come close to me, but they mostly walk past me.
A few attempt to attack my now thick and large trunk, but not a scratch. Hendry seems surprised when the swarm eventually leaves.
“It's really neat, right That's how we survive so long out here.” Emile smiles, her words a little hint of bragging.
“The demons just pass by us like… we are not there.
And even when they do notice the tree, they can't hurt us.”
“That is so strange.” Hendry sits, he rubs his chin, and then his head.
Later on, Laufen eventually tries to make some conversation.
“So… how long you think it’ll take”
To find a cure.”
Hendry and Alexis shake their head.
Alexis rubs her chin and explains.
None of us have any specific anti-demon abilities.
We don’t even know the specific magical nature, or the mechanics of the disease or demonic rot that Meela is having… We'll just have to try whatever they bring back.”
“Ah….” Laufen felt like she just asked a question that led to a technical question way out of her depth.
Meela screams in pain, and all of them rush over.
“Meela, are you okay” Hendry and Alexis grab her arms, Alexis quickly using some kind of diagnostic spell.
As it turns out, the constant heal-destroy cycle actually results in a surge in pain, as the body regains the sense of the healed area, and then gets damaged again.
And that sensation accumulates, abruptly jolting her into an intense pain every now and then.
I don't have any kind of pain reduction spells.” Alexis sighs.
“If only we had a pill or something.”
Hendry shakes his head.
“Meela… you got to hang in there.”
Meela collapses, unconscious.
The demonic rot is also weakening her spirit, ao I suspect that also contributes to her inability to remain conscious.
“Tree spirit, do you have any pain reduction spells”
But I wonder I can produce saps or materials that can suppress the pain.
I recall quite a few medical products that are derived from plants.
[Tree’s natural abilities unlocked : Tree extracts & saps ]
A menu pops up and shows me a huge list.
Rubber, oils, poisons, fragrances, saps…
“Pick some leaves and make tea.” I mentally tell Laufen.
A small branch with odd colored leaves appear right next to the wall.
“Huh Oh okay Tree-Tree.” Laufen runs to get hot water, quickly snap a few leaves off the branch, and quickly mashes it.
The process of making the herbal tea takes about an hour, but eventually the fragrance of the tea starts to come out , and they feed Meela the tea.
She yelps from the hot tea, but as the tea flows into her body, it releases a pain-suppression effect.
Alexis grabs the remainder and examines it, just to make sure its nothing dangerous.
Meela falls back into slumber.
They make the tea for Meela every 6 to 7 hours, as the pain would pop up every now and then, and a few more days pass by.
Year 72 Month 10
Meela’s still in a state of assisted living, her body still affected by the demonic rot.
[Tree saps & extracts upgraded]
Thanks to constant use of the leaves for the pain-numbing tea, it levels up, and it’s more potent and longer lasting.
Thanks to it, she could stay awake for about 30 minutes to an hour per day to talk, which helps Hendry and Alexis’s mood greatly.
“Don’t worry, I won’t die.” Meela smiles, looking around the room.
“This feels like a hospital.
It’s a familiar place.”
Alexis shakes her head.
We’ll get you fixed up again, okay”
Hendry frequently spends his time climbing up my branches, and sometimes just sitting out in the sky.
This is probably his way of coping with being trapped here, his friend wounded in this manner.
Apparently the stars are beautiful, and there are more moons here.
Later that month, we had demonic visitors again.
“The demon knights.” Hendry grips his warstaff.
Riding on the hellhounds, eight of them.
They wield a mix of weapons, three with swords, two with spears, two with bows and arrows, and one with a staff. Alexis holds him back, “No.
You can win, but we must hide.
We do not want the entire demon swarm coming down on us.
The demon knights are looking for us, you know it.
Not with Meela injured.”
Hendry sighs, but agrees.
The demon knights ride up to me.
“Hmm, their scent fades here.”
“Some went that way… but not all of them.”
maybe three is here.”
They look at me, and three of the demon knights raise their sword.
Their sword flashes, into a burning sword, and the three of them slash my trunk repeatedly.
And… it feels like an itch.
“Huh.” The demon knights pause, as their slashes do not seem to work.
To be honest, I’ve always found my defense against demons extremely strange too.
But hey, not complaining.
They slash a few more times, before the demon knight with a staff walks close and cast some kind of spell.
There’s such a spell.
The demon knight pauses.
The other demon knights turn and look, “What”
It has [Demon immunity : Midtier] and [Elder demon damage reduction - 84%]”
I’m shocked too.
“How!” One of the demon knights ask, their attacks now stopped.
They probably realise it’s futile in face of that sort of resistances.
“It looks just like any other large tree.”
At this point, I realise I probably should not let these knights run, and a few [root strike] surges out of the ground, right through the hellhound and into the demon knights.
One manage to leap, but still the root crushes through his demonic armor.
Turns out these demon knights are just pretty much humans in armor, so in an instant, all of them are dead, skewered by roots.
They probably are tougher than regular humans by a bit, but against my root strike it's still just paper.
After the battle, Hendry and Jura asks.
“Tree-Tree, how did you get your demonic damage reduction”
“Uh…” I don’t know.
“Is it an item you have” Alexis asks.
“Some items reduce damage from demons.
At this point, I can only think of my fragments.
I attempt to take out one fragment, but an error pops up.
*Fragments cannot be separated.
It’s fused to your body.*
Oh, but I can move where they all are.
“Alexis, Laufen, I’m going to show you something, help me examine and inspect it.”
They both nod, and the roof shakes a little.
And the wooden roof move in a circular fashion, , revealing a lantern-like object made of intricately shaped wood, with dozens of little lights floating inside.
It pulses in a regular fashion, with tiny flashes within.
“Oh it’s beautiful.”
[Inspect equipment] Laufen uses her only inspection ability, and then shakes her head.
“I can’t see a thing.
It’s just filled with unknowns and question marks.”
[Thorough Examination] Alexis has a far superior identification spell, and after she uses it she loses her strength and sits on the floor.
“You okay” Hendry tries to hold her.
I am.” Alexis points at it.
“I’m just stunned.
that thing is your heart, isn’t it”
I think so.” It kinda does feel like it is my ‘center’.
They are right now inside me, anyway.
“[The Tree’s Heart and Spirit-Lantern], this is the heart of the tree, adorned with the fragments of 56 heroes, it gives the tree 2800% increase in experience gain, 560% extra damage against midtier demons, 280% extra damage against elder demons, partial demon armor-negation, immunity to lesser demons, damage reduction against elder demons and significantly reduce damage from fire.”
So all the fragments do have a function after all.
“Alexis, are you sure”
“We must tell the others.
We must revisit how and where the battles with the demons is fought.
This ability transforms this location into a favorable battlefield for us.
We can save lives!”
Jura and Laufen sit, “Tree-Tree, I didn’t know you’re so amazing.”
Alexis then looks at Meela, who’s still asleep.
“TreeTree, can you please move your heart closer to Meela”
It is right next to her now.
A prompt appears. “Do you want to absorb “Meela Adams””
I shake off the prompt, answering no.
Alexis looks at Meela’s condition.
The rot is still there.
It seems the resistance is not shared by the glow.
I keep my heart back, suddenly realise it’s probably very dangerous for me to reveal it that way.
Perhaps if it is destroyed, I would die I think so.
Now that I know the source of my past effectiveness is due to the fragments, that means against non-demon enemies, I’m actually significantly weaker, and someone of incredible power like Hendry or the humans could probably easily destroy me.
[You gained 3 levels.
You are now level 92.]
[Skills upgraded : Secret hideout - healing chamber adaptation]
[Obtained skill : Summon insect warriors]
[Obtained skill : Super anti-demon root-strike]
[Obtained skill : Customisable branches]