Nyris was the most excited of everyone once they were done analysing the laws of life, jumping up and down with joy. Now that he was a saint, his perception and sheer calculation ability had skyrocketed; during the advancement of the tree of life, he managed to comprehend a total of 209 law fragments. This was much greater than the 110 of Agamemnon.
The worst of Richard’s followers was Olar, and even then he analysed seventeen fragments. Tiramisu put both heads together for 102, while Waterflower and Phaser who weren’t particularly suited to this managed around fifty each. Mountainsea was the same, but she hadn’t even been trying; just sleeping under the tree, she had acquired the understanding with ease.
Spellcasters were obviously more suited to such a thing as comprehending laws. Asiris managed 170 fragments, while Noelene finished an entire 231. The two great druids of the Evernight Tribe had made great progress as well; they would soon enter sainthood and unlock their abilities.
Nyris didn’t think it was a shame to lose to Noelene, instead priding himself on the small gap. The priestesses of the Eternal Dragon were all geniuses, and Noelene was a grand priestess at that. The Fourth Prince smiled warmly once he learnt of her progress and looked for Richard, recalling he had lost the previous time. He wanted to test his own skills against the protege of Sharon herself.
When the prince asked the question, a number of eyes gathered on Richard. His aura had changed significantly, but their sense of his power level had also blurred. They couldn’t tell just how strong he was anymore.
Richard just laughed and didn’t answer the question. Each of these people was related to him in different ways, and he couldn’t lie. At the same time, telling them that he had cracked more than a thousand fragments to reach the 2,048 point would devastate the Fourth Prince.
And yet, the laugh alone said a lot. Nyris began grinding his teeth, already guessing that he had been beaten. He didn’t think Richard would exceed Noelene, so the difference was likely so small it was infuriating. The fake competition ended strangely, but that was understandable. One’s ability to comprehend laws also affected their chance to enter the legendary realm; even if the Forest Plane’s specific laws weren’t suited to a certain type of power, comprehending the laws of life would still greatly increase control. That was a form of strength as well.
With the episode complete, Richard’s subordinates found treehouses to rest in. They would need a few days to incorporate the new law fragments they had understood with their own abilities, boosting their strength in battle. The process was long, but it was best to start it early with the comprehensions fresh in one’s mind.
Many of the rune knights had gained quite a bit as well. Most of them had the talent to hit level 13 or 14, but it was unlikely for them to enter sainthood in their lifetime. Those like Rae who did qualified to become followers of major families with some autonomy. The shower of law fragments here improved everyone’s physiques and loosened their level caps a little. Nobody actually understood anything, but there was a slight chance for one or two more people to break into sainthood in the future.
The benefits to the elves were the most obvious. Many weaker elves jumped a level directly, while the others grew stronger as well. Anyone under the saint realm experienced growth in physique, while those beyond managed to understand a few fragments of law as well.
The first major step in understanding the Forest Plane’s laws granted Richard the ability to use nature energy in his attacks. Now, he could draw upon the latent nature energy in his surroundings to boost any compatible spells or attacks. This already approached the abilities of a legendary mage, but Richard himself was still hovering around level 19. Now that he was a grand mage, there were no shortcuts to improvement.
The broodmother had started swallowing the bodies of the tree of life’s predators. She had already inherited an understanding of woodpecking crows from the main body, and her analysis now stood at 400%. Myrmekes were also at 200%, while the cave spiders were just beyond 100%. This added a powerful underground unit to Richard’s army options in the future, but the clone was too weak to create them right now.
The biggest surprise was the beast tamers. Only two specimens had given her a full 50% analysis, which meant that this was a race of few creatures. The broodmother currently understood the structure of their limbs that allowed them to move quickly in complex terrain, and could apply it directly to the bird-eating spiders, worker drones, and anything else. She could even design new mounts that were designed for speed instead of load.
She had already sent him a preliminary design. The lower body was spider-like with six legs, but it could traverse most types of terrain quickly and was twice as fast at the mounts Richard currently used. Even in the forests, it could move at an amazing eighty kilometres an hour.
This design could be used as a standalone mount or with the upper body of another type of unit, forming a drone similar to a centaur. Richard thought over it as he looked at her analysis of various races, eventually choosing an elven upper body with the new mount style. He couldn’t help but think of a humanoid spider when he saw the final design, so he decided to call it a drider.
The driders could be made all the way from level 8 to level 15. The weaker ones could only use bows, swords, and leather armour, but even at level 10 they could diversify into druidic creatures. When the broodmother evolved to level 10 and unlocked her name, beginning to analyse the laws of the myriad planes, the driders could be strengthened and enhanced further. Elite units at that point would even resemble children of the forest, recognised and protected by the forest’s will.
Richard was quite happy with this new creation. These drones were even more suitable for forest battles than actual elves, and when they scaled to enough numbers he would be the only one in the current army capable of crossing a location they guarded. Most importantly, they wouldn’t be affected by the will of the forest at all; the broodmother took that into account when designing them.
This was the real horror of the broodmother; wherever she grew she adjusted herself to the environment, creating drones that were designed for fighting in the environment of the plane. This was an unparalleled adaptive capability; in planes like this one where the world itself was the biggest enemy, she was the greatest of weapons. The same held true in even more extreme examples like the abyss and the hells, where ordinary humans couldn’t even survive.
Once he was done with this, Richard turned his attention to the tree of life itself. It had stored up a lot of life energy since the last time he took a fruit of life from it, and with its advancement it had gathered enough to make two fruits that lasted ten years each. Thinking over things for some time, he had it create a single fruit that could last fifteen years and saved the rest for future growth. In ten years, the tree could advance once more.
He even spared the core branches that were used to form staffs of nature. Every branch harvested was one that had to be regrown, and he already had a total of thirty complete staffs and seventy branches to process from his multiple raids. He didn’t even have a hundred druids, forget great druids or stronger! There were other uses for these branches as well— they were a valuable material in crafting— but he didn’t really need the profits right now.
What he didn’t spare was the leaves of youth. He took more than a hundred in total; these leaves could make nobles of both genders go crazy. Few people in existence actually wanted to look older, and that number vanished into nothingness amongst nobility. These leaves would sell very well to the ladies of high society in Norland.
He also took a big tank’s worth of eternal springwater. This water could be used to create vitality potions, and this one batch could be sold for hundreds of thousands of gold coins. In total, the harvest was significant even for him who dealt in enormous sums. Heavily in debt as he was, he welcomed liquid currency.
“Hurry up!” he said as he patted the trunk with an encouraging smile. Right now, he and the tree had a common understanding.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: OMA
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA