My attempts to manipulate demonic mana and energy have been mostly ineffective.
I’ve been too used to just ‘flooding’ any demonic creatures I met, without actually being focused and specific about it.
I tried all sort of manga-inspired moves.
I attempted to ‘spin’ the demonic mana, and instead all it did was cause the fires around me to spin into a tornado, kind of like a whirlpool made of fire.
I tried to concentrate the demonic energy, but all that did was cause one particular branch where it was concentrated on to just explode violently once it past a certain breaking point, and I experienced a pain so intense I instantly lost consciousness.
I also tried to push and pull it back, taichi-style, into the outer valley.
That just made the ‘demonic mana’ move faster through the designated ‘channels’ and just did nothing else.
I then also tried to force it underground, into the depth of the ground below.
Nothing happened other than some shaking and tremors.
All in, not very successful.
So, I spend time in my soul realm.
The soul realm has always been this flexible space, a pocket dimension for the departed to rest and recuperate for their onward reincarnation.
The cycle must continue, and the pieces will be replenished for the next bout.
The number of souls have dwindled quite a bit, the backlog starting to clear out.
Many have left to go into this unknown other world, this plane where they would go to be further reincarnated.
Maybe they have to roll the wheel like I do.
Or maybe they get lucky and don’t.
I think it’s quite boring in the soul realm, and if I’m trying to fall asleep, it’s quite easy.
All I need to do is count all the little souls that pop up.
Kind of like counting sheep, but only wisp-like souls instead.
I mean, if souls are still appearing, logically that meant there are people still dying, which also means, there are survivors.
Else everyone would have died instantly and no souls would pop up after that.
Since I have nothing else to do, I theorised that the presence of survivors was due to a few reasons.
One, is that there are people who have skills to protect themselves and others in such situations.
Perhaps the heroes, since it seemed like 5 of them survived.
Or there may be crouching tigers and hidden dragons, hidden experts who have laid low but now, in such situations used their powers to protect themselves.
Two, are the existence of ancient artifacts and formations.
Similar to the heroes’ magical protections, past heroes could have set up ancient formations, or made powerful artifacts that trigger under such serious events.
Surely, there are some who are paranoid about demon kings and have made ancient preparations for such things, especially heroes who survived their first demon king.
Three, is perhaps divine interference.
Given that the heroes are summoned by gods, and these gods do have some leeway in interfering with the world, maybe they would step in, for such exceptional circumstances.
Four, is luck and terrain.
Perhaps the terrain’s curvature, or the presence of other natural energy sources that ‘repels’ the demon king’s corruption.
high-levelled individuals, ancient magical formations, divine intervention, luck and terrain...
Perhaps, most unlikely, is demonic selection.
Some kinds of people have skills that allow them to resist demons
Anyway, I went back to looking at the little bobbing, floating souls.
I poked some of them.
They flicker a bit.
Like little fairy lights being disturbed.
Or like little fireflies.
I should have fireflies on my actual tree.
They would look pretty cool.
I remember this photo of a swamp where there’s a bunch of fireflies.
It’s both beautiful and creepy.
I think that’s a look I should aspire to.
I could even use fireflies to talk, you know, kinda like a massive LED board if I could control the fireflies and control which firefly lights up.
Of course, that also depends on them understanding the language.
But yeah, fireflies as a board of LEDs is entirely workable.
I should do that once I wake up.
I want fireflies now.
I should find some in a swamp or a bog somewhere.
Once I get out of this rotten demonic bog thing.
The fires are still pretty bad.
And I’m still thinking what the hell to do to get myself out of this situation.
But because I don’t seem to be making much progress, I’ve decided to disturb the souls in my soul realm more.
But then I had an epiphany one random day.
Why do I even need fireflies
I was able to somewhat manipulate the fires by moving the demonic energy within the body, guiding it in a certain manner.
could I move the demonic flames to make letters and signs To tell those outside that I’m okay
Is anyone watching
Would anyone know what I’m saying, and I don’t understand the languages of the world!
So, if I were to use the demon flames as a ‘screen’, I could probably show...
shapes Would shapes work I wish I taught the elves some basic morse code or binary language signalling.
Maybe I should still try it.
The deaths in the continent have slowed to a trickle.
There are still deaths, of course, but I’m starting to wonder where they come from, and so I’ve been poking them more.
Maybe some of them can talk, like how Meela was able to talk.
Most of them can’t.
Actually close to all.
I think Meela being an ex-hero, and Eriz being a contracted soul is different.
I kept trying to interact with most of them.
And I would say, 1 in 100,000 do not respond.
Maybe higher, I wasn’t really keeping track, but eventually one did say something.
“Oh, you can talk.”
Yes you died.” It sounded like Meela when she first came.
When her soul was damaged, she too spoke in short words and sentences.
Maybe most regular souls just suffer far more extensive damage, except those that somehow die close to me.
Isn’t it But darn! That meant I missed the boat on all the souls that died right immediately after the demonic corruption! Maybe those could talk!
But oh well, I was asleep anyway.
“Where did you die”
Where in the ** is that Morkan
“What level are you when you died”
“Oh, pretty high.
What kind of monster”
Maybe I could fix you.
But I have no access to my soul forge.
What else, what else.
Anyway, a couple of months later, another soul could talk! Yay!
“Hi, little soul.
Who might you be”
Where are you from, where did you die”
“No idea where that is.
Cause of death”
“Okay, another one for the checklist.
What does this monster look like”
It’s a demon, it has horns, and probably look like an animal.
A demonic unicorn, a black unicorn perhaps, or a bicorn Or maybe it’s just a demonic cow “Alright, how many horns”
Okay, bicorn or cow.
I went on and asked a bunch of questions about the monster, so it’s sort of a horned monster with two horns, spiky body, and resembles a cow more than a horse.
So, it’s stocky.
Things I do to entertain myself in the incredible idleness of...
being in a coma.
It’s pretty much a tree-coma, if such a thing were to exist.
A state where the mind and the body is disconnected, because the body’s in incredible pain.
Why doesn't it rain Can rain put out the fire I mean, if it rains, maybe the fire wouldn’t be that strong, then maybe I’ll be able to regenerate faster.
It’s not going to rain, is it I don’t recall it raining for a few years now.
I wonder how the elves are doing, at least those surviving.
Well, it’s still pretty quiet.
Nothing much is happening, other than me constantly attempting to endure the pain, and practice with the demonic flames.
I sort of think I am getting the hang of it.
I think, anyway.
Time just feels...
like a rubber band.
At the rate this is going, I think the next demon king is going to appear soon.
I wonder whether the world can take something like this again.
[Ivy was destroyed]
[Treeveller was destroyed]
[You gained 1 level.
[You gained Ivy’s skill - Surveillance State]
[Surveillance State allows monitoring of multiple individuals simultaneously, and allows playback of all recorded interactions.
Also automatically ranks individuals in accordance to a perceived threat level.]
Ivy’s been so helpful in keeping track of all the bad people that came to New Freeka, but I do recall the skills are not perfect, in the sense that they can be bypassed.
Like that druid from Hutan that managed to elude our detection until it’s in New Freeka.
Or that assassin fellow,
I suppose a key thing I need to remember, is that skills are all fallible.
They are offset, and beaten by skills of other people, and so, I must always consider the possibility that there are always people who have the right skillset, that happens to counter what skills we have.
Like this stupid demon king.
I have tremendous anti-demon resistances, and yet I’m still in this immense pain.
Some days, I feel the pain and I wake up to see fire.
I attempt to move the fire aside, and attempt to look past the fire, and all I see is just more...
What’s happening out there
I wonder what destroyed her after so long.
Monsters Or just other things Have the monsters or the survivors turned on each other How are they going to cope with the next demon king
I kinda miss my fellow minds.
It’s nice having their gorgeous overlays.
I think my supermind project is still around I don’t recall seeing a notification it was destroyed.
I wonder whether all my orchards are still around too.
I can’t sense any of them.
It doesn’t make sense.
Why does the demonic fire burn all my contact points to the outside world There must be something I can do.
I don’t like being trapped.
Like, I’m a tree! I’m meant to feel the earth, taste the air, absorb the water.
Fire’s part of the renewal cycle of trees, no, like some countries and places have regular fires that help refresh the landscape.
A tree can survive fire.
No, it can thrive and coexist with fire.
I already have fire resistance.
What more do I need to reach the point where I can endure this fire
Or is it not actually fire I mean, what if...
What if this corruption is just pure mana, and the fire is something of a reaction Kind of like a lightning strike.
The lightning creates the fire, and it is not as if the fire itself that burns me.
Is that possible Perhaps the demonic corruption has a low burning point, so it always tend to flare up, but it isn’t actually fire.
Maybe it’s like...
oil Coming back to my whole Exxon Valdez and Deepwater Horizon comparison, if this entire demonic corruption is just a massive magical oil sludge, and because magical oil and tree equals a recipe for easily combustible fire, therefore it becomes this way
Wait, are demons actually just...
cars Like some kind of steampunk, magical demon-oil powered creatures And the people of this world are powered by water That’s why their demonic bodies are so ‘dry’
I should see whether I could test that concept, whether it has any actual basis.
I went and checked on the two heroic ‘shadows’.
And they were almost entirely demon now.
80%, I’d say.
“I can’t even free myself.”
“Help us.” Simone said, her body entirely demon, what’s left is her head and her neck, and strangely one of her arms.
Not in this state.”
STATE” They both asked together, and I knew it was the demon now.
It’s presence was unmistakable.
“You sound smart.
You should figure it out.”
The two flailed like mad men, but they couldn’t reach me like two angry people on an internet video call.
There’s no saving them.
Not in this state.
And maybe, not me.
Nothing much happened.
But the demon king should emerge soon.
[The demon King Iblis has descended.]
About two, no, three months later, I felt it.
An incredibly intense surge of mana and energy from a hexbomb, but...
way, way stronger.
I wonder how many people were sacrificed this time.
One hundred thousand One Million
[The demon King Iblis has been destroyed]
[The Hero Astra has been excommunicated.]
[Astra is now a Fallen Hero].
[Killing of a fallen hero grants special blessings and gifts.]
[Killing Astra will not create a hero fragment]
What the ** is happening out there