The demon king didn’t come this year.
The entire year though, the heroes were out and about attacking and fighting any demon walkers that appear.
This time, they mostly resemble regular demons.
No unusual demons.
The large demon champion or demon walker-class monsters were just giant upright demons with massive wings, massive claws that resembled something out of typical RPG games.
It’s a good thing, I think.
Just regular demonic monsters that look demonic.
As the heroes travelled the world to fight demons, they occasionally dropped by.
This year, Harris managed to obtain another 15 spell matrices of very good quality, so the heroes now have 25 crystals, of which, I kept 4, so each of them have 21 crystals, with 3 charges each.
These crystals are far superior to the ones used by the mages from last year that created the defensive matrices.
They contain more runes, and various crystals meant to absorb a different aspect of a spell or ability’s effects.
It’s through a combination of all the components within the spell matrices, that they are able to store a wood shield that contains almost 90% of my real wood shield’s power.
It’s impressive crafting, and something Harris paid a lot of good money for.
“I come here so often I probably should set a teleportation beacon here.”
“If you want to set it, set it up in Freshka.
It’s good that the [message] system is partly online.
Even if it takes a bit of...
work.” Thanks to extensive clearing of the demonic sludge, and the conversion of more hybrid trees into my network, I’m able to suppress the effects of the magical interference, and so, [message] can now work, but it must be routed through the southern exits.
Kind of like having to build telecommunication towers around an impassable mountain.
Without Astra, the heroes no longer have a flexible teleportation system, so they’re forced to use the teleportation system of the natives, which meant portal magic, like the one used by Madeus when I healed the Princess.
Harris was not a mage, so if he wanted to use portal magic, he had to use a beacon and a scroll.
Something normal mages didn’t, since they could manipulate the portal magic spell directly.
Of course, this is a good lesson.
Just like me, as a tree, there are some things I’m naturally better at.
Like offensive abilities, mine is very low, if not for all the other boosts I get.
The class system, while it works to amplify certain skills, at higher levels is quite limiting.
“Why don’t you take mage classes” Curious, I asked Harris
“I already have 5 classes.
Shield Hero, Warrior King.
Weaponmaster, Inquisitor and Master Trader.”
“Don’t some of those overlap Why not remove it”
“I needed their offensive abilities to cover my defensive focused [Shield Hero] class, else I would be quite useless in the battle against the demon king, and magic didn’t synchronise well with my base hero class.”
“Then the trader class”
“My kingdom was poor when I started.
The Master Trader skill gave my kingdom some financial boost.”
5 classes for a human hero
“You must be very high leveled.”
“If I add everything up, I’m almost level 220.
But I think that’s not how it works, because one hero level converts to about 4-5 normal class levels at the higher normal class levels, and if you divide it up using that principle, I’m probably about level 140 or so.”
“So your base hero is about...
“Yes, about there.
With 40 or so levels in King, and about 20 levels each in the other 3 classes.”
“You haven’t unlocked a domain”
“In terms of pure hero levels, Gerrard’s the highest because he only traded away 10 hero levels for his 45 levels in Master Brewer.
So his hero class level is 135.
Embarrassing, isn’t it, to think that Gerrard the Drunkard actually managed to keep most of his hero levels, and we two, the sane ones supposedly, traded more of our hero levels away.” Harris said, he placed his cup on the table.
“Is this supposed to be some kind of classified information” I asked.
Levels doesn’t seem like something one should state out publicly.
“On the contrary, as King, it’s in my interest to publicly state my levels.
My levels help to encourage and convince the citizens of my ability to protect them, and the benefits that we have.
Assassins are deterred by the fact that I’m so high level that they don’t even bother.
But my children....
they have reasons to keep their levels secret.”
“They’re going to fight each other”
“I could use another pot of tea right now.
Everyone’s jostling to be the next crown prince.
I’ve already told them that the will explicitly states that the country is to be broken up should it fall.”
“Isn’t it better for it to be together”
yes.” Harris said.
“But already I can see that my children are preparing for conflict should I not survive this next demon king.”
Why do you not punish them”
In the end, they are all my children, and what they are doing is building up their own group of supporters, and they have been clever enough not to actually start a fight.
My spies tell me they’ve been goading and baiting each other to start an incident.”
“The younger ones will suffer.”
“I know, the lines are somewhat drawn by my wives.” Honestly I’m not interested in his Kingly drama.
This is the kind of thing that China or Hongkong Ancient CHina Period dramas are super fond of.
“It’s going to be like the warring states era...”
“Oh, so all the children of the same mother band together.
How many wives do you have again”
7” 7 splintered kingdoms.
“And how many kids”
“I think 29 now...” 29 smaller districts split into 7 wives.
“You’re absolutely insane.” I mused.
“You aren’t even being a good dad.”
“Look, I’m not cut out for it, and my wives...
they’re so sexy! And hot! When they speak and tease me I just can’t help myself, and my wives refuse to take any contraceptives! They say it’s a sin to not receive my seeds, and the way they say it is so sexy and hot, at that moment I just can’t think! I’m human too, and I need their care, their gentle touch, their pleasant, warm embrace.
I’m alone in this world, and they are the closest thing I have to my old family, and they are my new family! I feel their love is genuine, even if I’m aware they are subtly manipulating me, and taking full advantage of my status as a hero.”
I just felt so sorry for Harris then. I used a vine and just poured another pot of tea for the poor guy being manipulated by his harem.
But, it is an equal exchange, no “All human”
“I took one elf, one they call Sandpeople, and yes, the rest humans.
I prefer humans, I mean, but elves are sexy too.”
He’s just thinking with his dick, isn’t it But then, the demon king was defeated, he was at the age where his libido was bursting.
He’s not even twenty, and no wonder he succumbed.
“Honestly, I’m not even sure if that’s all the women I spent time with.
I only invited 7 into my harem as my consorts, but I may have had more than that.
I mean, before i even started the Kingdom I already was kinda...
He’s absolutely thinking with his dick.
“Well, now that you might die, your mistakes are now starting to act up.
I wonder what your kids think about you, that have many wives.”
“That’s a strange question from a tree of this world.
Most people in this world are very accepting of a harem and that question has never popped up.
It is a medieval world where kings like to have many wives.”
Did I just outed myself
“But my kids, well, they accept it.
It’s just the norm here...
Maybe because heroes that survived in the past...
many end up having harems too.
Even the women, who keep an army of pretty boys around them.”
Harris finished his second cup of tea.
“Anyway, let’s get to work.”
We made armor and shields.
One of the ideas they had, if the crystal matrices were insufficient, was to make actual shields that are strong enough to take a few hits.
Gerrard and Mirei both are a little weak on defense, so Harris, being the guardian, with an army of summoned shield units, wanted to make real versions, using my enchanted anti-demon wood as the base.
A mix of both heroic enchantments, star mana, and a dense, naturally anti-demon wood.
Over a course of 2 weeks, we made 5 sets of enchanted wooden armor for each of the 3 heroes, and 10 shields for each of them.
They would store them in their pocketspace for later use.
As payment, we also made 5 sets for myself, which I may someday award to any of my promising minions.
Well, actually 1 set is already meant for Jura.
I call these 5 sets, the Woodshield Set.
I’ve learned a lot from making these items with Harris.
The heroes essentially get a special system bypass, since they get to use their mana to shape a certain item, just by thought, without needing much effort.
They also have a special skill that all heroes get, called the [Hero’s Forge], which is used to make the special hero-class weapons.
It’s kind of like some games where the heroes have the option to unlock upgrades and buy new equipment without actually having to go to a blacksmith or physical shop.
The system handled those nitty gritty stuff on their behalf.
The rest of us plebeians just have to do it the old fashioned way.
But, observing how one of them used it constantly made me learn more about how the system did it, and I developed a better understanding behind the process of making their heroic weapons, and as a result, I got my skills upgraded.
[Skill : Woodshaping significantly upgraded.]
[Skill : Subsidiary Tree option expanded.
Woodshaping Workshop unlocked!]
I’m not sure why Harris is quite amicable with me.
Why couldn’t I have such a relationship with Meela and Alexis Where did I go wrong Or was it them that did it wrong
They must be alive, right I didn’t get a notification.
What have they been doing the past twenty years
I shifted my focus back on the hybrids, and the growing Freshkans and Freshlands.
To me, their segments 1 to 10, but each of them refer to themselves differently, and they have names that I felt too lazy to even remember.
Kavio too, came rather frequently to provide briefings.
He’s gradually getting used to the role, and to ease his mental state, I made a [tree of prayers] at the meeting place, and told him to present it as if he is talking to the smaller, much, much more peaceful looking tree of prayer instead.
It’s a mental crutch, because apparently his [fear] charms broke every other week.
The regular updates are mainly for news, diplomatic activities, things that I can’t see using my trees.
Jasmine, Ivy’s replacement has been hard at work securing the border together with Trevor and Dimitree, and I made three more artificial souls to help oversee my massive territory.
I named them Acacia, Brootus, Cyprus, and their task is well, to monitor the new refugees, and ensure that the Protected Forests remain protected.
“How about some more beetles” Horns asked.
“We represent massive untapped potential, master! Imagine it, an army of massive hero-level beetles.”
And I agreed.
It’s been too long since I made more subordinates, and now is the time for massive expansion.
Alright, I actually struggle with that concept.
So I made two more artificial souls to accompany Horns.
I named them Bugsy, and Thorex, and sent them out to gain levels.
They need to fight monsters, demons, to hit their level caps, but Horns was just super eager to show off to his two new juniors.
I think Horns is going to be quite useless in actual combat against the demon king, since, well...
they’re too powerful.
I need to think about activating my Titan Walker, preferably with a hero’s soul.
Maybe it’s a good thing that Harris is close to me.
If he somehow dies of old age I’ll get the soul.
Oh and Lilies.
I better check in with them.
< Do you want the fragment back Could you lend it to me again once I get the other piece >
> Hold on to it.
We do not need it.
I have questions.
You once said that the demons won before.
Do you know the details Like, how did it happen What happened next What do you mean, by won >
> God’s champions destroyed, a decade of slaughter.
Still, the world recovers, and life finds a way.
It didn’t answer me.
Seeing that I wasn’t going anywhere with it, I went back to my own affairs.
My attention is back on my large territory, and the hybrid trees.
Within each protected forest there are patches of demonic hybrid trees.
I’m beginning to understand them, at least, their inner structure.
In a way, imagine a natural tree that has to deal with an overabundance of oil, and part of it’s chemical reaction is to manage the oil surplus in the environment.
Naturally, they may try to break down the oil, or burn the oil, or store the oil somewhere.
The demonic tree reacts to the natural mana, air and water, and so it ‘spends’ these natural mana the way it knows, which is to blow it up.
In a greenhouse environment tailored to them, they’re probably just as harmless as a normal tree.
Something tries to make trees that are adapted to the environment.
I suspect, maybe it’s the spawning system.
Perhaps there’s a spawning god, who’s main job is just to populate the world.
Quite like playing a strategy game with randomly generated maps and enemies.
In it’s logic it tries to create something that suits the environment.
Now it would be quite lame if this entire thing is just a game, no
[Skill : Hybrid Botany upgraded]
[Control over hybrid trees improved]