With extensive knowledge and a strong foundation in planar war, Norland’s nobles had no problem dealing with treants. Nyris and Agamemnon constantly dodged the thrashing of the ancient treant with unpredictable movements, using the axe and sword to grind away at its roots. Agamemnon’s sword was not one whit inferior to Nyris’ legendary axe, sending roots flying with every swing.
The treant howled in pain, its wild strikes occasionally hitting the mark, sending one of the two flying away. However, they immediately returned to the battle, most of the time not even reaching the ground before they turned around. The cracked armour had astounding defensive abilities, and they had three personal priests buffing them and healing their injuries.
When Nyris was bashed once more, a greater heal and reflex buff landed on him at the same time. He stumbled up from his landing, spitting out a mouthful of blood for his carelessness, but his injuries were fixed by the time he was done. Powerful divine light glinted on his body, making him feel like power was bursting out of every pore. The glow of his axe grew even more intense, the absurdly large weapon beginning to expand further.
“War Construct!” Nyris was surprised and delighted, turning back to yell, “I love you, Flowsand!” The prince then cried out as he charged back into the battlefield, radiant axe brandished like the wind as it sent bark and branches flying.
War Construct was a spell only gods whose domain was linked to war could grant to their priest, and only those with special talent could control it well enough to guarantee success. The Church of the Eternal Dragon was the most proficient at this spell in Norland, Flowsand’s cast possessing an additional effect of boosting one’s weapon as well. This twofold ability was what had gotten Nyris so excited.
Richard grabbed hold of his nameless sword, a look at the situation on his side giving him the urge to bash his head against the wall. Nyris was just far too excited, using his immense strength to chop every piece of bark he saw. Although this was rather frightening to behold, the random strikes actually slowed down the battle greatly. The Fourth Prince was likely stifled all this while, hoping for the fight to drag on as much as he could to utilise the War Construct spell to the fullest.
However, Agamemnon was unwilling to play along with his antics. His sword moved like the wind, continuing to send roots flying with every chop. It didn’t take much time at all for the treant to lose balance, tumbling to the ground.
Once the ancient treant fell, it was basically waiting to be killed. Agamemnon jumped on and found a lethal point, the 1.5-metre long sword buried inside to the hilt. He bellowed with both hands on the weapon, energy surging out of every pore of his body like a fountain of fire erupting into the sky. The surge of crimson felt like a deluge of blood more than any actual flames, the specks of gold mixed in difficult to notice.
The attack left a huge pit where the heart was, Agamemnon’s body sinking an entire metre down. The treant released an earth-shattering cry of misery, branches trembling constantly as the eyes on its trunk slowly closed.
The death of Uranor was the destruction of the elves’ last hope. The grand elder had already fallen into enemy hands, and all of the druids were injured. Many instantly fled into the forest, only a small number continuing to resist. When the last of the treants was cut down, the war finally came to an end.
Seven treants, about 70 warriors, and 200 ordinary elves had been killed. Outside of the grand elder, one more druid, ten old warriors and 300 commoners had been taken captive while the rest had fled into the forest. However, the greatest gain here was the Tree of Life.
Four of the thirty men Richard had brought along were now dead, with most of the remaining ones injured. However, with multiple priests around, even the most serious of injuries could be healed without issue. The greatest loss was the death of one of the rune knights, but compared to the immense gains from this expedition that was nothing.
The battle had gone much better than planned. Richard had only planned to deal the tribe a heavy blow before retreating, but now he had destroyed them and captured the Tree of Life in its entirety.
The thunderous prison had been the key to this accomplishment. They hadn’t expected all the elven powerhouses to be gathered in one house, but the opportunity had allowed for all of them to be injured by a single spell. Another important fact was that they had moved quickly and thrown the druids off the tree instead of engaging in a proper melee; from start to end, the elves had no opportunity to showcase their strength.
However, the joy of this glorious victory was short-lived. Bloodsucking vines were growing everywhere in the elves’ prison, wriggling and twisting around the human soldiers’ bodies in an attempt to squeeze more blood from their empty husks. The thirsty vines continued to wring them even though they were drained dry, breaking the bodies apart into smaller and smaller pieces. Nobody knew how many human soldiers had been imprisoned before, but Lina was made aware that the 200 or so soldiers who had disappeared in the past would never be found again.
Richard turned around to leave the place, sighing deeply when he stood on solid ground once more. An unspeakable burden was now placed on his back. Others quickly walked out behind, no one willing to stay in that ghastly environment any longer. A tall, sturdy royal guard spat with hatred, exclaiming in anger, “We should kill all those wretched greenskins!”
“Don’t run your mouth!” Nyris scolded, causing the warrior to resentfully close his mouth. The Prince then turned towards Richard, asking, “Richard, what are your plans now?”
Richard sighed, “What else can we do? Just deal with it as per usual, keep those who surrender and lock them up. We just established ourselves on the Forest Plane, there’s no need to start a massacre right away. And this is true in the future as well; there will be no killing if there’s no benefit to it.”
Nyris shrugged, “Fine, you’re in charge here anyway. Hey, cheer up! We still have another important thing!”
As he spoke, he pointed to the majestic Tree of Life. This tree was just far too enormous, to the point that it almost blended into the background of the world, but it was more valuable than the entire elven tribe.
The group stood under the tree, looking at the huge thing in a moment of silence.
“Offering,” Agamemnon said after a while.
“A very good offering,” Nyris added.
“Top-notch,” Flowsand judged.
Richard looked at it for a long time before asking, “But how are we going to sacrifice it?” This was a question that left even Flowsand silent.
The Tree of Life was just far too enormous, exceeding all imagination. It just couldn’t be transported away. The elves’ trees of life and world trees normally chose one place to settle down and grow, not moving much at all; this was a fact in multiple planes. If they weren’t so large, these trees would be able to move about on their own like treants. Some trees of life that were very young could be moved, but they would lose that ability once they grew to a certain extent. If moved forcefully, they would have to pay an impossible price, unable to become a world tree that could anchor the entire plane.
The Tree of Life in front of them was young enough to move about on its own, but even so would it be willing to? Why would it walk itself to the altar? No living being would want to do something so opposite to their instincts.
It was then that Tiramisu suddenly spoke up from the side, “Cut it to pieces!”
This was an uphill task, but a feasible proposal nevertheless. The broken pieces would be much less valuable than the whole thing, but even Richard with his vast knowledge couldn’t think of a method to take the tree through the planar teleportation gates. Just the level a mage would have to reach to be able to do that was unimaginable.
Brutes like the ogre could sometimes solve methods from an angle those more intelligent wouldn’t consider. Their methods were always straightforward, based on success instead of the process. Any expense was worth it for a high-grade offering.
Just as Richard and the rest started evaluating the feasibility of the plan, an elven warrior who had been taken captive suddenly floated into the sky. The Tree of Life shook its branches and leaves, shooting out countless rays of light that illuminated the elf in his entirety.
Richard and the rest took several steps back, on guard but not panicked. Be it a tree of life or a world tree, they did not possess any offensive abilities and relied entirely on elves and treants as protectors.
The elven warrior floating in the sky slowly opened his eyes, but they seemed dazed and lost. A hazy voice reverberated from his mouth, one completely different from those of the elves, “Visitors from a foreign world, why must you bring death and destruction to mine?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Ying
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA