Book 6, Chapter 88

Growth

After resting for a while, the infant broodmother finally flipped itself back onto its stomach.Eating up all of the hundred or so magic crystals that Richard had prepared, its body now filled with more than enough energy to hit level 3 immediately, it crawled up a large tree nearby. The only thing it needed for advancement right now was food, and it wasn’t a picky creature.

Although young, the broodmother had extremely sharp pincers that allowed it to cut into the solid wood as though it was cheese. In only a few minutes the enormous tree was cut apart, the worm feeding on the broken pieces from within. The shell constantly cracked apart, only to be filled in with yellow liquid that solidified and turned black the moment it was exposed to the wind. However, these cracks weren’t nearly as dark as the original pitch-black of the shell.

One could almost see how fast the broodmother was growing. It quickly informed him that it would prioritise growth, looking for materials to help its body grow, and while metals formed stronger shells they were also more difficult to digest. Its aim was to grow as fast as it could, so even if it ended up a little fragile for now it wouldn’t mind.

That wasn’t to say the child was weak. Only recently having crawled out of its shell, even a level 5 warrior would need a hammer or battleaxe to injure it significantly. It— no, she now— was growing much faster than the original broodmother. She was feeling an enormous sense of threat right now, eating like someone who had gone hungry for weeks on end.

Sitting quietly, Richard used Devout Prayer to heal himself. Augmented by the thousand sections of the law of life that he could not understand, he could draw upon twice the life energy he could elsewhere. Anyone with acute senses would see the faint green energy that he was pulling out from the trees and grass, the recuperation comparable to that of a healing spell.

Moving his aching body, he started setting his broken bones one by one, flooding them with life energy so the cracks would start to mend. Normally he would need a few days to heal from this damage, but with the boost from the life energy it would only take a few hours.

A quick mental message brought all of his followers rushing over, the earth trembling with Tiramisu’s footsteps even as Waterflower, Phaser, and Mountainsea had already appeared before him. Seeing his state, all of them went on alert.

“What happened, Master? Was it an ambush from the elves? There must be a tree of life nearby, let’s burn it!” the ogre roared. With his current strength, he could kill off most of the guardians of a tree of life; burning one up really wasn’t an exaggeration. Their problem now lay more in finding these trees than putting them on fire.

Richard chuckled, “Trees of life are priceless, why would I let you burn one? Don’t worry, the broodmother and I just had a fight with the will of the forest. While I’m like this now, the forest didn’t get away much better either. Moreover, there won’t be any need to worry about spiritual attacks from the forest so long as she’s around.”

Even unhatched the broodmother had managed to supplement him long enough to make the forest’s attack impossible. Now that she was hatched and growing, he would even have the ability to fight back.

Mountainsea immediately jumped over to the broodmother that was eating the tree, crouching down to look at it, “This thing is called the broodmother?”

“More precisely, it’s a clone. The main body isn’t on this plane,” Richard clarified.

The young broodmother seemed to sense something and stopped eating to gaze back at Mountainsea. She spread her wings threateningly and ground her mouth blades, but her body actually recoiled in fear. The barbarian girl looked over its body once before sniffing it, asking earnestly, “Can I kill it?”

“What? Why?” Richard was surprised, but Eleventon had already been pulled off her back. The young broodmother immediately squealed in fear and took to the sky, rushing behind him. “This thing is soulbound to me, it’ll become an important aid in war. There’s no reason to kill her.”

“Her?” Mountainsea looked at the broodmother and then at Phaser, her expression darkening, “So this is the Worldeater.”

“Worldeater?” Richard asked in confusion.

“It’s knowledge passed down from the Beast God. Within the depths of the myriad planes is a powerful species that can eat anything, viewing all life with soul as its food. They are the natural enemy of all life.”

“Did the Beast God say what these worldeaters looked like?”

“No. It’s said that the race is extremely secretive, living in the depths of the void. Some of our most powerful warriors made contact with them once, but they barely survived a war with their puppet armies. It was a wretched victory.”

Richard smiled, “That’s very far in the future. Don’t worry, the broodmother is soulbound to me.”

Mountainsea sighed, giving up on her persuasion, “Soulbonds aren’t invincible. It’s said that the worldeaters can fight battles of the soul the moment they are born— do you really think you can control them?

“Whatever, I can clean this up later,” she turned towards Phaser and stared coldly, “And you. My eyes are on you.”

“Alright, alright. Let’s eat!” Richard waved the broodmother away before walking towards the camp. Seeing him finding it difficult to move, Mountainsea picked him up and started on the way. This time, she was a little softer than before.

“I think she’s right,” the Medium Rare head suddenly spoke up, “Phaser… I just hate her for some reason. What about you?”

“Why?” Waterflower asked.

The ogre fell silent for a minute before answering, “She gives me this unsettling feeling, especially recently. After… After…”

“She’s an assassin, of course she unsettles you.”

“Hmm? That’s not it. Aren’t you an assassin too? I still like you. Her… Right, ever since she went to the broodmother this last time, she’s made me very uncomfortable.”

This time, Waterflower didn’t answer.

……

It wasn’t as though Richard had no doubts about the broodmother, but he had a certain degree of confidence in the Eternal Dragon. The old dragon was a businessman like any other, and businesses that sold life-threatening goods without warning wouldn’t grow to as large a scale as this one had.

In only a day the larva formed its cocoon, breaking out that very evening. Already a metre tall and three metres long, the now-level-1 broodmother contacted him mentally, “Do you need me to create combat drones, Master?”

Richard immediately recalled the level 4 raptors that the broodmother could make with her current level, shaking his head. Although those creatures had been useful once upon a time, they meant nothing here. Looking at the information she had sent, he confirmed that the only things she could make were the raptors and workers.

“Master,” the child interrupted his thoughts, “if you do not need these combat drones than I suggest the workers. I will grow much faster with many eating for me.”

“Mm, do as you will until level 4. I won’t need any combat drones from you until then. I’ll give you more than enough magic crystals to level up,” Richard responded. He’d already thought this through; low-level units didn’t serve much of a purpose in this plane without open spaces, so he had to prioritise drones that could use the terrain to their advantage. His main goal right now was to design something that could take on the natural enemies of the Tree of Life. A level 5 or 6 broodmother would be the best way to form an army that could hold the line.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA