Chapter 824 Battle of Wits Part 2
Attack the ones they love and they will either lose their focus or become mad with revenge.
Quylla Ernas and Lith Verhen have proved to be too dangerous, but luckily, I know how to dispose of both of them at the same time.
Are you insane Kaelan laughed, incapable to believe his own ears.
It would take me months to reach Lutia and attacking Archon Ernas in her own home would be a fool\'s errand.
I understand now why you\'ve fallen from the Night Court\'s grace. Erlik said with a voice full of contempt.
Your brain doesn\'t match your power, just like a lesser undead.
Kaelan held his rage in, waiting for an explanation.
He had nothing to lose listening to the Draugr until the end.
You don\'t have to move from Othre.
Give the Archon and her pupil what they want and they will willingly come to you.
Manohar I have no idea where to start to search for him and even if I did, I wouldn\'t dare face him.
The last time the Night Court tried to capture him during one of his escapees, it was a massacre.
He turned his assailants back into mortals long enough to slaughter them like pigs.
I survived only because he mistook me for a passerby.
My powers returned after less than a minute, but it was the longest minute of my life. Kaelan shivered at the memory.
He was a powerful vampire, but in life, he had been weaker than most.
This is actually great news.
If Manohar came to Othre in the past, it will make the false report more believable.
Change the appearance of one of your thralls so that he resembles Manohar and lure the Archon to you. Erlik said.
\'This vampire is an idiot, but only an idiot and a desperate one at that, would believe my promise.
Once I\'ll have control over the Sapling, once I manage to Awaken, I\'ll have no need for the Courts.
\'Conquering the plant Kingdom is a pipe dream.
Once news of how I bested Leannan comes out, my plan will never work again.
Yet I only need it to work once.\'
The Draugr had never shared his real goal with the Courts, otherwise they wouldn\'t support him.
One Sapling was more than enough to build Erlik\'s undead kingdom.
He would be the only one capable of opening Gates at will, to move troops or bringing his subjects to safety with nothing more than a thought.
Even if the plants united against him and somehow managed to defeat him despite the power of the Sapling, Erlik would still retain all the knowledge gained through their symbiosis.
As long as his plan succeeded, it was only a matter of time before the Draugr could give his people the country they deserved.
City-state of Laruel
After Leannan had unraveled Erlik\'s plan, she had yet to find a way to stop him.
All her attempts to locate his position via the bond she shared with the World Sapling had failed.
Her only option was to mobilize her troops and hope to find Erlik\'s lab among all the withering treehouses.
The problem was that Laruel was a big city, taking an area of 1,285 km2 (496.3 sq mi).
Relying on eyesight and citizens\' reports to identify the enemy position was akin to finding the proverbial needle in a haystack.
The only silver lining in such a dire situation was that Erlik\'s claim on Laruel didn\'t stand any longer.
Even though he was an undead, he was still considered a plant folk and as such, he had to abide by the tradition.
To challenge a ruler, after defeating his constable, a pretender had only two possible choices of duel.
The first was to challenge one on one the current Sovereign, without the aid of any external means.
For the pretender, it meant that they couldn\'t rely on artifacts, while for the Sovereign it included even the possibility to call upon the Sapling\'s power.
Such rule was meant to put to the test the abilities of both contestants instead of showing who simply had more resources.
Erlik had refused such a possibility because he was aware that on fertile ground, he wouldn\'t be a match for Leannan, plus the time of the duel was decided randomly.
If it happened during the day he might as well commit suicide.
The second was a battle army versus army, which usually required the contender to be a citizen of a city-state and have grown their forces over time.
It was the path that Erlik had apparently chosen, using the plague to gain followers since it wasn\'t allowed to foreigners, even if plant folks, to take part in the matters of a city-state.
Just like Leannan, Erlik was entitled to have his own court, which allowed him to employ his most loyal followers like Gremlik, even if they weren\'t citizens of Laruel, but the custom was very strict about their numbers.
Now, however, it was pretty clear that Erlik didn\'t mean to follow the tradition.
His growing army of undead and his guerrilla tactics were only meant to stall for time and give the impression that he was trying to rally more soldiers.
His real aim was to gain control of the World Sapling and use it to take control of Laruel.
Since now Leannan had proof to back her claim, she had alerted the other city-states of the threat at hand and even requested their help.
I can send you troops to help you search Laruel, but until Erlik is found, I can\'t risk sending away my elite troops.
I\'ve already changed the city arrays so that they don\'t grant access to undead plants anymore.
I can\'t risk repeating your mistakes. Erwal the Redcap said.
Like all the Fae of his kind, the top the vegetation composing his hair was deep red due to the blood of the enemies he had feasted upon.
It allowed a Redcap to use the skills and spells of his fallen enemies, but each use would consume some of the stored blood, plus such abilities couldn\'t be studied nor learned.
Thanks. Leannan replied.
This is a race against time.
If I can find Erlik before he infects the Sapling, the battle will be over before it can even begin.
Yet if he somehow gets full access to the city\'s resources, I\'ve no chances of defeating him alone.
Don\'t worry, even if Laruel falls, we\'ll help you with all our means. Erwal, like all the Sovereigns that Leannan had contacted, were much less confident than he appeared.
Giving to undead plants the opportunity to enter a city-state had always been nothing more than a ruse to lure the hated fallen members of their race and kill them.
All of the challenge\'s rules had been written to make it impossible for an undead to prevail.
No one had ever considered the possibility that one day someone would exploit their mockery to invade their home.
Meanwhile, in the research lab, once Lith had understood that he could do little to contribute in finding a cure due to his ignorance about the anatomy of plant folks, he had asked Lyta to bring him back to Lutia.
Thanks to their mystical connection, World Saplings could open Warp Gates almost anywhere as long as there was plenty of vegetation and no defensive array.
He told her that he wanted to visit his family, but he actually meant to ask for Faluel\'s help.
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