Chapter 822 Poisonous Tree Part 2
\'Best case scenario it\'s another unexpected side effect of the experiments since now I got Erlik\'s energy signature and it matches the symbiote\'s.
\'Worst case scenario, it\'s a trap that we might trigger by trying to remove the scarring.\' After his meeting with Faluel, Lith had practiced the meditation techniques she had taught to her, enhancing his willpower perception.
To control Domination, the first step was learning how to sense willpower, while the second step was to identify its focus points in a spell and replace it with his own.
Lith was still inexperienced due to the lack of time for training, but the mass of willpower in front of him was powerful enough for him to easily sense it.
He immediately covered them with a Hush spell and shared his discovery with Kalla, who had a hard time suppressing her enthusiasm.
I never thought about using darkness magic in such a fashion.
I must have a talk with this Erlik before he\'s put down like the madman he is. She said.
Fascinating or not, we must check if the tree is infected, and we need it for yesterday! Lith had met two Liches in his life, and judging by her level of craziness, Kalla would be a perfect addition to the club.
Since according to Solus\'s mana sense the treehouse had no blood core, both the Awakened used the diagnostic spell Marth had taught them to check on the nearest wall.
Unfortunately, the spell was meant to study small samples, not gigantic creatures.
The area that Lith managed to study with it was clean, but that meant nothing.
If it really was a trap, then the symbiote was likely to be dormant.
Kalla and Lith grimaced, neither of them wanted to use Invigoration.
The treehouse was a giant living being, each cell of which shared a part of its consciousness.
The first time Lith had attempted such a thing he had almost fainted due to sensory overload.
He focused solely on limiting the area analyzed at a time while Solus searched for anomalies.
Just as he feared, they found several small lumps of inactive symbiote located in the treehouse\'s key points.
They had been arranged so that once the infection started, it would take them less than a minute to spread to the whole building.
\'This is actually good news.\' Solus thought.
\'Depending on the trigger, we might be able to safely cleanse the parasite.
I doubt they expected that this could happen.
It would also explain why they didn\'t care for fake mages studying the phenomenon and sent a thrall against you instead.
\'They were afraid of what only an Awakened could discover.\'
\'Well, yes and no.
Sure, we can remove them, but there are too many lumps and we have no time to waste.
A partial cleansing would slow the spreading of the symbiote and nothing more.
Moreover, we have no way to explain what needs to be done and why.\' Lith replied.
Kalla had examined a much smaller area than Lith due to the strain of not being overwhelmed by the tree\'s voice, yet her findings were similar.
Kalla, do you know how to establish a mind link with spirit magic Lith asked, hoping to avoid talking under the effects of the Hush spell in front of so many people.
Is such a thing really possible Her surprise gave him the answer he wanted.
After a quick exchange of opinions, he and Kalla were of different minds.
Lith wanted to leave the lumps alone, to not risk activating the trap, whereas Kalla wanted to trigger it on purpose.
If this thing comes alive, Erlik could use it as a giant soldier and screw us in a snap.
We are not equipped to deal with something this big. Lith said.
I agree, but at the same time, isn\'t it better to see what it\'s capable of What if the treehouses we enter are in the same condition Do you want to enter inside the belly of such a beast without any preparation Was her objection.
First, the darkness element has a will of its own.
It means that it might alert Erlik and warn him of our arrival.
Sure, we\'d see what a possessed treehouse is capable of, but we\'d also lose the enemy in the process and we\'d walk into a fully prepared ambush when we find his base.
Discovering the tree\'s abilities is pointless if we lose the element of surprise.
Their arguing went on for long enough that everyone noticed and asked them what was going on.
Both of them refused to answer to not cause panic and decided to leave the decision in Leannan\'s hands.
By the time they returned to the lab, Leannan was there as well.
I have good and bad news. Kalla said.
They had decided she would take full credit for the discovery, to not draw any more attention on Lith.
The good news is that the energy signature of the \'scarring\' is the same as the symbiote.
If it belongs to Erlik, then the infected plant folk have Draugr tissues mixed with their own and we can work with that.
The bad news is that the treehouse is rigged.
She explained everything they had found and their conflicting opinions as well.
Thanks, Lady Kalla.
I must admit that at first, I feared your presence here.
I thought that your partial undead nature would make you sympathize with our enemies, yet you\'ve proved yourself to be a loyal ally time and time again.
You deserve my sincerest apologies. No one missed Leannan addressing the Wight with a title.
Marth already felt his neck in danger and it only became worse when the Titania gave both Kalla and Lith a deep bow.
Everyone assumed it was because she had appreciated his participation, but Leannan was actually old and smart enough to notice that every huge discovery had happened in his presence.
\'The situation has stagnated until the arrival of this Verhen.
According to Lyta, Kalla is a natural Awakened.
If the human is the one helping her, it means that not only is he Awakened as well, but also a powerful one.\' Leannan thought.
As for the danger the infected treehouse poses, I\'m sorry but I\'m with Lord Verhen.
I can wither a whole neighborhood with a snap of my fingers, whereas finding Erlik is not that simple.
If we lose him again, we might not find his trail until it\'s too late.
Erlik the Draugr Treant\'s Headquarters, now.
Just like Lith had described them to Kalla, the scar tissue between roots was actually a mass of darkness element bearing Erlik\'s willpower.
What he had failed to notice due to his inexperience in dealing with plants and to his paranoia, afraid to trigger the trap, was that inside that mass there was a good chunk of Erlik\'s symbiotic tissues.
Magic was magic, after all.
Even an array wouldn\'t have lasted for so long without a good number of powerful mana crystal, let alone a simple tier five spell.
Lith and all those who had examined the situation after him, had thought that the spell drew sustenance from the treehouse, but they had been only partially right.
To sense an external threat, to manipulate a treehouse from a distance, Erlik had left parts of himself behind.
Quylla checking them the first time had worried him to the point of rushing the relocation of his lab.
The moment Erlik perceived multiple external willpowers interacting with his own, he knew that either he was the luckiest being on Mogar or his plan had been figured out.
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