Once Richard finished his harvest, the tree of life opened up a passage to its heart once more. As he headed down into the familiar room that could only fit one person, his body automatically relaxed with the density of life energy around it. The place was filled with the aura of nature, and at the bottom was a small puddle of green liquid. The tree still hadn’t finished its evolution completely, so the heart was still bathed in a milky white glow. One could see crystallised nature energy sticking out of the pith, a representation of its growth.
Surprised by the sheer amount of origin energy that the tree wasn’t using, Richard immediately sat down to meditate. Only moments later he was in the void of the Deepblue Dream, watching rays of life energy flit all around him. This energy was extremely useful for his elven bloodline, but it wasn’t his focus right now; concentrating on a scan of the surrounding space, he widened his reach by over a dozen times. His sensitivity to energy suffered at this range— he could no longer sense those life rays— but it wasn’t long before something replaced it.
He suppressed the excitement in his heart, focusing on the foreign feeling and drawing closer to it. Moving through the void for an unknown period of time, his view constantly shifted until he was eventually standing before an enormous green star that occupied all of his vision. His heart started beating violently before almost stopping; this was the origin force of the Forest Plane, but it was so enormous that he couldn’t even make it budge.
Even though the Land of Dusk was once a powerful plane as well, it was currently almost destroyed. The blood-coloured star he’d acquired from it was powerful, but nothing compared to the energy of a full live plane. Even so, less than 1% of a dying plane’s power had nearly destroyed him back them. This star was beyond his capability to control.
The green star continued to grow bigger in his sight. Richard quickly realised that the power was so strong that it was pulling him, but he wasn’t sure just what would happen if they collided. Hurrying to reel his mind back and away, he suddenly noticed a few green boulders that were slowly spinning around. Each boulder was like a mountain compared to him, but they were only pebbles in comparison to the entire star.
He couldn’t absorb the star itself, but one of these boulders would be within his limits. Richard moved out of the way and sent a stream of golden strands of energy towards a rock, slowly changing its trajectory and pulling it towards him. The exertion pushed him to the limit, but he managed to shrink it down and pull it into orbit around him.
It was at this moment that the pain assaulted him, pushing him straight out of meditation. He snorted blood as he opened his eyes, taking a long breath. The injury wasn’t light, but thankfully he had succeeded in capturing that energy boulder. The tree’s heart blood poured into him just as he relaxed, the pure life energy immediately permeating his body to repair the damage. Unlike eternal springwater, this liquid could even heal damage to the mind and soul.
After a short break, Richard entered meditation once more. This time, he saw the large boulder flying alongside the two other stars and sending pulses of nature energy towards his bloodlines. Surprisingly, this energy avoided the Archeron bloodline of its own volition and was instead absorbed by the five trees. The amount of energy being released was actually even greater than the two stars combined.
It was only now that he understood just how useful the tree of life advancing was. Even the smallest division of origin energy in this plane was almost beyond his control, but during its growth the tree tore this energy apart into smaller, digestible chunks. This was what allowed those with talent to analyse the laws of the plane. If not for the tree, one couldn’t take on such power without entering or at least approaching the legendary realm.
This success also confirmed one other thing— he would have no problems getting to the legendary realm. His blessings ensured that he could analyse most laws he encountered to some extent, and he could even see the specific flows of energy thanks to Insight. The blessing of truth was growing more and more useful by the day.
Richard now estimated that he would enter level 19 in a month or less. There was no new grade of spell to learn, no ability to unlock, but it was one step closer to the legendary realm. Both of the next level were only a preparatory phase for the next big leap, shoring up his mana pool and expanding his reserves. However, he wasn’t in any hurry to advance; he had already been growing so fast that there were things he’d left behind in the process. His research into grade 8 and 9 spells was still pitiful, but that was something that needed time. His bloodline abilities needed to be strengthened further as well, but that would detract directly from how fast he could grow his magic. Even otherwise, his huge debts would ensure that he focused on runecrafting for a while to come.
Just as he withdrew to reality, the tree’s voice sounded once more, “Are you ending your meditation, Master?”
Richard nodded, “I’ve already gained quite a bit.”
“Then there is one more decision for you to make.” Liquid green energy suddenly oozed out of the walls and ceiling, coalescing into a single translucent jade sphere that floated in front of Richard’s face. “This is the extra energy I collected during my advancement. I could use it to condense more eternal springwater, but with my new abilities you have a few more options to choose from.”
The green ball of light started to change, first forming an emerald gem that Richard recognised as the essence of the grove. This was something Richard had almost forgotten about; if the tree didn’t bring it up, he wouldn’t even recall.
However, that was only normal; it was the next thing that immediately caused his expression to warp. The energy now formed a green fruit that he recognised instantly as the seed of a tree of life; he only needed to plant it somewhere, and after years of protection it would form a new tree of life. Although he had guessed it before, it was only now that Richard realised where the trees of life actually came from. When he asked, he was informed that every tree could form a seed once it crossed the middle stages of adolescence all the way up to full adulthood. Any tree could produce a maximum of five seeds in its lifetime, even including the one formed after the end of their lives.
While another tree of life could be precious, there was another option as well. The tree showed him a bunch of seedlings for treants, the basis of an elite treant fortress. Just like the camp used by the Duskword Tribe, it could form a mobile base of operations once all the treants were grown.
Such fortresses could be extremely useful when trying to first settle a new plane. They still depended on the plane they were used in— it made no sense to put them in a plane of fire— but where they could be used they were perhaps even more useful than a tree of life.
Richard immediately fell into thought. Each of the three options had its own uses, and could mean different things to different people. It was hard to objectively quantify their value. Thinking over it for a moment, he shook his head and stood up, “Give me a few hours, I’ll go talk to Nyr and Ag.”
“Of course, Master,” the tree answered respectfully, but one could almost feel its disappointment. Its idea of a private bribe to earn Richard’s favour had failed.
Richard quickly headed out and met his two friends, spending the whole afternoon in discussion before deciding to take and sell the treant fortress in Norland. Every big family would be interested, and they had much more power than most powerhouses who would want the essence of the grove. Not many legendary beings were as rich as Sharon.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: OMA
Edited By: Theo