◈ Episode 463 The cycle of life and death (2)
“What is that?”
Darish couldn’t hide his bewilderment at the feast of roots protruding from the inside.
Did the druids work together to use something to prepare for the gate being breached?
However, Darish’s instincts were screaming otherwise.
Even if he looks like this, he is the head of Radix, who is in charge of the defense of the capital.
Even if they lacked practical experience, it wasn’t enough to mistakenly believe that druids could use such spells.
‘Bentmin Refre. What did you do?’
It was embarrassing for the soldiers as well.
After confirming that the gate was broken, they tried to use this momentum to push inside.
But suddenly, living roots like octopus legs protruded and overflowed, and I was at a loss as to what to do with this.
“What are you doing! Just push on! It’s a tree root anyway! Just cut it over!”
At the cry of the lead commander, the soldiers each raised their weapons and approached the root of the tree.
Darish felt an unknown sense of incongruity and vague fear at that figure.
Something, the elf’s senses were shouting that it shouldn’t be left as it is.
“Everyone get out of here!”
I shouted urgently, but the roots moved faster than the command.
Animated roots moved like a whip and wrapped around the body of one of the elven soldiers.
The captive elf at the moment tried to escape somehow, but there was no way to escape from its strong roots.
“Hey, let go of this… … Aagh!”
Caught at the root, the elf screamed as he tried to call for help from his companions.
Then, slowly, his body began to dry up like a mummy.
“What, what is that?”
The other soldiers who watched the scene in front of their noses froze in their seats.
In the end, the soldier caught by the root was stripped of all vitality and bodily fluids, and collapsed helplessly as a mummy.
After stealing one life, the root stretched out its demonic hand towards the next victim as if it were not satisfied with that alone.
“Oh, don’t come!”
The targeted soldier instinctively swung his sword toward the root.
However, the moment it touched the black root, it broke with a strong metal sound, leaving only a few scratches.
Soon, the elf was caught by the roots, and met the same end as the elf who had just died.
Similar situations began to occur in several places at the same time.
“Ouch! Moo, back off!”
“Don’t back down! What are you doing! It’s just a tree!”
“Spread, no ordinary root! Even the spirits are avoiding it!”
Confusion arose in the power lines, and roots dug in through the cracks.
Dozens of soldiers were thrown back with every swing of the giant root.
The roots burst through the floor as if they had been waiting for the starting point of the castle gate, and made the nearby elves their scapegoats.
Loud voices and screams from all directions.
And even the elves who are deprived of all their energy and face a cruel end.
The battlefield turned into hell in an instant.
“This, what the hell are you talking about?”
Darish took a step backwards at the surreal sight.
* * *
Now that the soldiers of the three nobles were in a mess due to the roots that suddenly appeared, even the neutral faction could not be safe.
A soldier was caught on a giant root and floated high into the sky.
the soldier screamed.
No matter how brave a soldier may be, he saw clearly what had happened to his comrades who had been caught by this root a little while ago.
The end of being ugly and withered like a mummy.
For an elf, there was no death more brutal than that.
It stirred the primal fear of the elven species and made even well-trained soldiers scream like children.
Then Ambella jumped up and cut down the roots of the tree.
It was a hard root that could only be scratched by moderate attacks, but it was helplessly cut off by Ambella’s greatsword.
“Everybody back off!”
The elf soldier, who had fallen to the ground at Ambella’s screams, hurriedly got up and stepped back.
The roots that missed their prey shook their bodies in regret.
Ambella frowned at the sight.
“Bentmin Refre. You’ve done a damn thing.”
The sight of the roots protruding from all over the beautiful Serendel Castle, wriggling like a haze, gave somewhere a dreamy grotesque.
Ambella recalled the taste she felt while cutting the roots.
Even she, who had the confidence that she could cut through anything, was surprised by the sense of resistance from the tip of the sword.
Perhaps the other elves couldn’t even respond properly.
Moreover, it was unbelievable to see that figure extorting life force while holding on to it.
“Lord Ambella. That… … .”
Even Vierano was puzzled by the situation.
Ambella, bitten back by the wire, spat on the floor and spat.
“okay. That is the root of the world tree.”
“The world tree? I can’t even believe it when I see it. The World Tree, the hotbed of life, steals life force?”
“Life is not just birth. Same goes for death. It sprouts, grows, and finally reaches its twilight stage and returns to the soil. The entire process is life.”
The source of life was, after all, in circulation.
Everyone regards the World Tree as a divine beast that helps conceive new life.
But that was only half true.
The true power of the World Tree is that it can bring ‘death’, which can be said to be eternal rest in the ecosystem.
In fact, Ambella only listened to it.
Because it was all I could barely confirm in the old books handed down from the family heads.
After all, how could a sacred tree that emits such a brilliant light bring death?
“Then, are you saying there is no way out?”
“If you send halfway guys, everything will be nourished by that root.”
Ambella glared at the castle and the World Tree with only one eye left.
“I have no choice but to wait for the guys who went first to do well.”
* * *
“Ahaha. okay. This is it.”
Bentmin felt everything that happened in the interior beyond what was visible with his five senses.
Wherever the roots of the World Tree reached, it was also her domain.
She saw what the World Tree saw, and she felt what the World Tree felt.
“But still. It’s still not enough.”
As she assimilated with the World Tree, the power she raised to the point was less than 5%.
Bentmin gave up being an elf and merged with a part of the World Tree.
If it was an ordinary elf, it would have collapsed here, become a part of the world tree, and enter eternal rest.
But Bentmin did not.
An outstanding pedigree, a willingness to stop at any cost for a purpose, and even the data accumulated through experiments so far.
The fact that she could remain sane like this was only possible because she used the countless corpses she had piled up as a stepping stone.
Bentmin’s beautiful appearance gradually changed to a dry tree-like appearance.
As her elf appearance disappeared, she felt her power grow stronger.
At the same time, even the fact that there are still limits to this power.
Bentmin’s gaze turned to Sedina.
What she wants is not yet available.
The key to fully access the World Tree owned by the Plante family.
“say. Where is the key your mother gave you?”
“What the hell is that… … .”
“Are you still thinking about getting out? Ella Plante. You have the core code of the World Tree, “Central Dogma,” that bitch took while running away, right?”
Sedina couldn’t understand Bentmin’s words.
What is Central Dogma?
At least Sedina had no memory of inheriting anything from her late mother.
Bentmin was not aware of Sedina’s reaction.
Do you really not know, or are you pretending not to know?
Bentmin didn’t bother with that.
“Well, okay. If I kill you and dissect your corpse, I might be able to salvage something hidden inside.”
Bentmin gave orders to the Wood Zombies.
Wood zombies rustled their skins and moved bizarrely, approaching Sedina slowly.
At that moment, a magical storm swept through the Wood Zombies.
Zombies shattered and scattered like pieces of wood and were pushed in all directions.
“John Doe. Are you going to make a fuss in this situation?”
Ludger replied, recovering the mana that had been swirling around with incredible grip.
“Is there an idiot who just watches in this situation?”
“At least I can let you go painlessly with the affection of an old colleague.”
Bentmin sincerely thought it was possible.
Because now she was something that transcended the limits of being a creature.
Then, a solid white line was drawn, and Bentmin’s head was cut off.
It was a surprise attack from Alex, who was hiding his presence in this situation.
However, Bentmin’s head fell to the floor and laughed at Alex.
“I told you. I’m not going to die from that anymore?”
The fallen head was absorbed into the cradle and disappeared, and the severed head was regenerated on the body that had lost its head.
“What are you going to do with just that knife?”
“… … hey I never thought in my life that I would be fighting monsters like this.”
Alex laughed and sneered at Bentmin.
“If it can’t be done with a knife, how about making powder with greater energy?”
Before Bentmin could even ask what he was talking about, a huge magic cannon engulfed her body.
The magic cannon, fired in a straight line, pierced one side of the wall of the cradle and continued to the outside.
Even the soldiers who had been bitten by the wires saw a single blue flash that pierced through the resistance.
The spot where the flash had passed left only a black burnt mark.
Bentmin, who had been standing just a moment ago, had also turned to powder and disappeared.
Hans, who had been lying there pretending to be dead, got up and came to Ludger’s side.
Then Bentmin’s voice echoed throughout the cradle.
“The idea of completely turning it into powder wasn’t bad. But that only works when I’m normal.”
At the center of the cradle, tree roots twisted like ropes and took the shape of Bentmin.
“I can’t kill you no matter what you do.”
[I’m going to turn around.]
Hans trembled at the appearance of Bentmin, who did not die even in the surprise of his spleen.
“Then I will kill you until you die.”
These were the words Alex, who had come close to Bentmin before he knew it, swung his sword.
Bentmin stayed still even when he saw the sword flying towards his neck.
On the contrary, he even smiled conceitedly, as if asking him to try it if he wanted to.
Sparks rose and Alex’s sword ricocheted off.
Alex’s sword did not reach Bentmin’s neck.
It is because someone intervened before that and blocked it.
“Yeah. Did you follow me all the way here?”
Bentmin’s faithful servant, the strongest warrior of the Shade Warden.
The gray-haired elf bowed toward Bentmin, ignoring Alex’s sarcasm.
“I’m sorry. Because of my lack of ability, I dared to place too much burden on the head of the household.”
“It happened. It was meant to be like this someday.”
Bentmin didn’t dwell too much on what he had become like this.
If it’s not sad, that would be a lie.
However, much more was gained than what was lost.
So is the power that makes you feel this omnipotence.
“I want to enjoy this feeling a little more, but unfortunately time doesn’t allow it. Bereborn?”
“yes. Lord. Please tell me.”
“Get rid of that pesky fly. Can we do it right this time?”
“… … I take orders.”
Bereborn stared at Alex.
Alex laughed at Bereborn and took out an ampoule of red liquid from a pouch hidden under his cloak.
“okay. I need to make a proper decision with you.”
Alex swung the ampoule straight into his chest and broke it.
The red liquid contained inside was exposed to the air and became a red powder that spread through the air.
Eventually, the red powder was absorbed into Alex’s body and healed all the wounds on his body.
“This is why it is good to be supported by rich people. I even received a recovery medicine that instantly recovers quickly without drinking it.”
Alex bent his neck from side to side and turned to Ludger.
“leader. I’ll take care of that.”
After Ludger’s permission was granted, Alex disappeared.
Then Bereborn followed him and disappeared from his seat.
They moved the battlefield for their own fight.
Hans was nervous.
Now that Alex is gone, there is no one left to fight for the vanguard in this party.
“Hans. Don’t be nervous.”
“You do what you can.”
At Ludger’s words, Hans nodded heavily.
Bentmin, who had been silently watching the scene, spoke.
“I don’t seem to understand what’s going on.”
Wood zombies rose again from the bottom of the cradle following her gesture.
“You don’t have a choice. All you have to do is follow me in silence.”
The roots that made up the cradle broke apart and aimed their sharp ends at Rudger and Hans.
“Look at this sight. I am a Legion now.”
This entire cradle became a living entity, antagonizing them all.
“How are you going to fight against the Legion with just the three of you?”
“How are you going to fight?”
Rudger took out an artifact from the inside of his cloak.
The sword with the magic stone attached was specially designed for knights to use.
The sword, which had been modified by Seridan, was overloaded with magic stones according to Ludgar’s will and shattered into powder with intense light.
Before long, huge magical energy gathered in Ludger’s hands, and he drew a complicated magical spell.
A throbbing gigantic power shot up to the ceiling.
A large hole was opened in the air of the cradle, and the sky and the world tree were visible outside.
Ludger floated into the air and looked down at Bentmin from outside the cradle.
“If you are an army.”
The cloak of shadows wrapped around Ludger’s body spread wide like the wings of a crow.
Artifacts stored in the shadows came out one by one and wandered around Ludger.
under. Artifact only?
Bentmin tried to laugh at that.
But her arrogance did not last long.
The growing number of artifacts showed no sign of stopping.
‘How many of them… … .’
When the number goes beyond the hundreds and approaches the thousands.
Bentmin’s expression was no longer relaxed.
Ludger proclaimed towards Bentmin.
“I have a weapon capable of fighting that legion.”