The clone went silent for a while before responding, “Hmm, I have information on nine other elven races, and there are a total of 130 others that I can refer to in part. It would take three months or more to come up with a perfect optimisation.”
“Three months is fast enough. I have some requirements for the new race. Preserve the external appearance of the forest elves to within 20%, and make sure that they can acclimate to all forest environments. I also want them to have at least fifty years of life and the ability to reproduce.”
“Impossible!” the avatar said in shock, “That’s the same as building a new race. This is the job of a master of creation, I’m just a weapon that can create combat drones. Reproduction is beyond my realm.”
“Sigh… I see,” Richard frowned, his expectations crashing to the ground. The conditions of the Forest Plane were unique, and elven warriors were the best type of drone here. He had been hoping to create a version of the forest elves that didn’t depend on the trees of life for reproduction, giving him a chance to infiltrate the forest and take out the World Tree eventually, but she was right. His requests were indeed in the realm of a new race, not just a set of drones.
“Sigh… Can you at least create elites that are self-aware?” he asked with disappointment, forced to reevaluate the importance of the elves subordinate to him. Unlike the drones, they could grow in number slowly yet steadily to form his empire.
As they conversed for a little while longer, Richard was surprised by another piece of information, “You can level up?”
“Yes, Master. I was waiting for when you arrived, but you seemed to be in a rush so I just suppressed it to not bother you. Do you have any instructions?”
“Hmm… No, stay on your path,” Richard decided after a while. Since she had already chosen to focus on troop creation, he didn’t want her to abandon that now. The ninth level upgrade would boost her drones by an additional level in this scenario, allowing her elven elites to be level 15 instead of 14. Even a few dozen of these warriors would be the core of an entire tribe, while druids would become elders in smaller councils.
However, the broodmother couldn’t yet create druidic drones; she didn’t have an adequate comprehension of the laws of life, so any druid she created would only have elemental magic, not the natural magic it was supposed to. The solution was to absorb a large number of beings or objects that possessed the laws of life.
When he learnt this, Richard froze for a moment. Laws of life? What was more suitable than the trees that controlled them? He had just obtained two trees of life, and outside of the cores he didn’t really have a use for everything else on them. He would have sold it all off for money, but if feeding it to the broodmother granted a chance to create druids, that would solve the last deficiency in his army. He quickly ordered the ancient treants he controlled to change course once they entered Emerald City, taking the trees to the broodmother instead of the portal.
A few days later, Richard was back at Emerald City. With the impossible requests of long lives and reproduction removed, the broodmother’s clone already had a set of four prototype elites waiting for him upon his return.
He almost mistook them for silvermoon elves when he saw them; they were taller and larger than the forest elves, with their bodies striking a perfect balance of dexterity and speed. They weren’t as fast or as stealthy as forest elves, but in a one-on-one fight they had a huge upper hand. As was typical, the vital organs of these drones had all been moved around. Locations like the pit of the stomach and groin were now just traps, making them more effective against new opponents.
The clone had quickly concluded that forest elves were mostly useless in smaller skirmishes, their weak bodies ensuring that they were only suited to assassination and scouting. The warriors amongst the locals had limited defensive capabilities, which was why they relied on treants for physical prowess. Trying to hurry out the prototypes for his arrival, she had ended up building something very similar to the high elves of Silvermoon.
Richard couldn’t help but agree; there was a reason the silvermoon elves were considered rulers even amongst high elves. They had strength, longevity, intelligence, agility, and magic, making them perfect mages, clerics, warriors, archers, and a plethora of other classes. If not for their low fertility, the elven empire would not have crumbled so quickly.
There was another bonus to choosing this design. Having a point of reference himself, Richard could give the avatar a long list of improvements she could implement. Some she would only be able to implement at level 9, others at level 10, but she would also make her own changes at those points. By the time she hit level 15, her level 20 drones would be no different from true silvermoon elves.
Richard had only seen two high elves that had awoken their bloodlines in his life, namely his mother and aunt. However, he had observed one for all of his childhood and the other had showcased her full ability in front of him. Relying on his own elven blood as well, he could extrapolate many of the attributes that made them what they were.
There was actually another pleasant surprise when he arrived. The four elves were meant to be level 13 elites, but they were all level 14. The Golden World Tree had sensed their creation, and for some reason had been able to imbue some strength into them just before they hatched. The clone had already talked to the tree, and it had confirmed that it really liked this new drone. As long as they were made in range, it would strengthen them whenever she could.
To the Golden World Tree, it took an insignificant amount of energy to strengthen these elves. However, a level each for a full troop was a huge boost; most importantly, this meant the level 9 clone would be able to create full level 16 elites, almost no worse than the main body!
This one change greatly increased the Forest Plane’s worth in Richard’s eyes. A torrent of elven drones would soon stream out from within, following him on his expeditions into the rest of the boundless void. He had to suppress his excitement to speak, “Let’s call them night elves. Maybe you can actually make them a new race if you keep at it, hmm?”
A faint wave of emotion was transmitted from the broodmother’s clone in response to the joke, but it escaped Richard’s attention. Dismissing the elves, he had her begin advancing.
The broodmother’s clone advanced in different conditions from the main body. She no longer needed to sleep when she was undergoing changes, but she couldn’t create any drones. With Richard acting as a constant conduit between the two, she also had access to enough information on every level up to make the process quite short. It would only take a month for her to be finished.
The first tribe of elves arrived at Emerald City two days in, six giant treants, hauling the enormous trunk of the tree of life to the broodmother’s lair. Four more carried the roots, and even amidst her evolution the clone started eating. A tree of life was enormous to most, but compared to a true colossus like the clone there was no comparison. She fed day and night for a week to get through it all, shortly after which the second set arrived as well. Finishing that off too, she lay down and calmly analysed the laws of life within.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Styles
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA