Book 6, Chapter 100

Golden World Tree

Richard immediately agreed with Tzu’s request to see his bloodline. As a race that placed great emphasis on lineage, the elves of Norland had made great progress in methods to analyse such things. Silvermoon had been the last remaining base of the high elves, however, so he hadn’t been able to judge his bloodline very well. There were some records from the ancient elven empire in the Deepblue, but they were by no means definitive.

“I have five world trees in my bloodline, out of which the astral affinity has reached grade 5 and awakened a truename. The rest are all at grade 4,” Richard stated proudly, and not without reason. Although he had no idea about Lithgalen, he was certainly amongst the most powerful elves still remaining in Norland in terms of his bloodline. From what he could tell, most elves couldn’t awaken a single world tree while even elites normally only managed two or three. Only high elves could actually awaken more, and even then it took a royal to awaken five.

Unlike humans, who were at this point a melting point of different races that could borrow the bloodline power of most, elves had a more codified set of bloodlines. There were methods and spells to test one’s affinities and potential, which also made it easier to upgrade one’s bloodline abilities in that direction. There were advantages and disadvantages to their strict restrictions on bloodline: they made awakening one’s bloodline much easier for an elf, but on the other hand one could find humans talented in any field they could think of. The bloodline talents of the elves were more limited and singular.

The elves of Silvermoon were originally royalty even amongst the high elves, but even so it was rare for someone to be able to get five world trees to grade 4 or higher. Even back in the time of the ancient empire, Richard would easily have become a general that commanded thousands of soldiers. Of course, as a half-elf he would also have been imprisoned and force-fed poison to kill him; the Archeron bloodline would actually make them burn him under the world tree for fertiliser.

While the elven empire was a thing of the past, its power and glamour could not be questioned. Not one of Norland’s three human empires and three other empires were able to achieve even a small part of the power that the great elven empire held at its finest. The thought that he could have been amongst the royalty of that era left Richard extremely proud.

“You have five trees?” Tzu was surprised as expected.

“Yes. Affinities for the stars, moonforce, restoration, nature, and the elements,” Richard answered with certainty.

“Ah… Right,” Tzu nodded, “Not… bad… Is it really five?”

Richard froze, “How many should I have had?”

“Umm… Stand there and don’t resist, let me take a look.” Tzu waved her hand to cast a nature spell on him, the green energy entering his body and immediately activating his elven bloodline. Five phantom trees appeared above his head, with the astral tree entwined by dazzling starlight that had replaced the leaves and branches of its crowned. “Sigh… So it really was five trees of life…”

Richard found this disappointment strange, feeling like there wasn’t much room for growth. Would she only be satisfied if the four other trees had been grade 5 as well? And why was she calling them trees of life?

Tzu saw through his frown and laughed, “No, you’ve got it wrong. Well, I don’t have much strength left, doesn’t matter if I waste a little. Here’s mine.”

Pure nature energy surged out of her body, gathering above her head to form an image of a single tree.

However, this tree was enormous! It was many times taller than his own, radiating a dignity and poise that far eclipsed even his astral affinity. From what he knew, the images formed by such testing spells were completely to scale; this difference existed in the real world as well.

What left Richard truly shocked was the tree’s colour. The entire world tree emanated a pale gold lustre, looking almost metallic instead of natural. This world tree was fundamentally different from his own, and made him realise why she had called his affinities trees of life instead of world trees.

Tzu sighed, “Elena and I shared the same level of bloodline, but her tree was even taller and more radiant. I’d hoped your bloodline was like hers instead of the other silvermoon elves, but maybe my standards were too high. What you’ve accomplished is still amazing in its own right… After all, you don’t need to become a lord…”

The consolation went in one ear and out the other as Richard continued to stare at Tzu’s golden world tree in a daze. There were five branches on the tree that represented five different affinities; what he considered trees were only boughs on hers. The central trunk also went straight up, glimmering in golden light.

When Tzu sighed once more, Richard finally snapped out of his reverie and asked, “Become a lord? Lord of what?”

She smiled wryly, “Of Lithgalen. I was hoping you could go become one of the lords and get those deluded old men to open up. But that’s just wishful thinking, don’t take it seriously.”

“And I need to have a golden world tree bloodline to become one?”

“Not necessarily, but don’t go running off there anytime soon. The golden tree would have been the only way for them to accept a half-blood; those fools care more about someone’s strength than their mind. Instead of putting the intelligent in positions to make decisions, they just put in whoever is strong….”

Tzu immediately went off on a rant about intelligence not being equal to wisdom. It almost felt like she hadn’t gotten the chance to vent in a long time, so she spoke non-stop for minutes on end. However, she eventually saw the fire starting to burn in his eyes and grew alarmed, “I said not to run off there. They will almost certainly execute you under the charge of a taint to elven blood.”

That really was a convincing reason, quashing Richard’s thoughts of heading there soon. He had already started thinking of arrangements that would free him up to go there, but those plans were now shelved. He thought things over a little and asked, “If the golden world tree only guarantees lordship, are there any higher levels?”

“There are legends about a heavenly world tree that only those beloved of Alucia herself can awaken. These people are natural emperors and can control the laws of nature the moment they awaken. However, there hasn’t been such a world tree ever since the royal family of the Evernight Forest fell a long time ago.” There was clear longing in Tzu’s eyes as she spoke of the heavenly world tree. This was something every high elf dreamed of.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo