Chapter 826 World Tree Part 2
I usually don\'t appreciate duplicity, but in your shoes, I\'d say that an honest rival is better than a treacherous friend.
Also, I\'m not done with the bad news.
Lith sighed and nodded for her to continue.
His situation was bad, but it could still become much worse.
What you\'re facing in Laruel is a big threat, almost big enough to involve the Council.
Unfortunately, this Erlik is a cunning bastard.
As things are right now, almost isn\'t enough.
No one of the involved parties is an Awakened, so the Council is likely to sit on their hands until is too late. Faluel said.
The Sapling isn\'t an Awakened Lith was flabbergasted.
The World Tree, from which all the Saplings descend from, is probably the first, but surely the most ancient Awakened on Mogar.
Legends say that its roots encompass our whole planet, allowing it to hold all the knowledge of the past, of the present, and even to catch a glimpse of the future.
Many Awakened and Dragons have spent their lives looking for it, in the hope to find answers that no one else can provide them.
Some seek the truth about the past, others look for redemption.
I get that being Awakened expands your lifespan, so a tree that could live hundreds of years on its own would live millennia, yet isn\'t this story farfetched No one can live that long. Lith said.
We call it the World Tree, but it\'s just an inherited title.
When the original Tree felt its end approaching, it didn\'t despair nor sought for a way to prolong its existence.
The Tree\'s only worry was that all the knowledge and secrets it had accumulated would be lost, so it found a way to preserve them.
At the moment of its death, its consciousness would travel through its roots to meet all of its offspring.
Once the World Tree finds a worthy candidate, their consciousnesses merge and a new World Tree is born from the Awakening of a Sapling.
It takes over the body of one of its children Isn\'t that forbidden magic Lith asked.
It would be forbidden magic if it consumed the Sapling\'s life force, but it\'s the other way around.
The World Tree gives what life force it has left to the Sapling, just like you did with Protector, allowing the younger being to live longer and inherit all of the Tree\'s memories but none of its emotions.
This way, only information is passed on, whereas all the traumas and the prejudices due to bad experiences die with the old Tree.
The new Tree can look at its newly acquired knowledge as if it\'s just reading a book.
Otherwise the emotional burden would drive each generation of World Trees insane with unpredictable consequences.
It\'s one of the reasons why the Saplings are referred to as plant Liches.
Each one of them is like a living phylactery that will allow the Tree to live on.
If Erlik gets his hands on a Sapling\'s mind, he might barter the knowledge it holds in exchange for the secret of Awakening.
At that point, he\'ll simply have to ask his new master to help him to join the undead Council so that no Awakened can mess with his turf.
The Sapling would provide him with all the knowledge he needs to buy himself not only a seat, but also several powerful allies. Faluel said.
So, basically the Council will not intervene because there\'s no Awakened involved, but once Erlik becomes a threat, they would not have the chance to intervene because he\'d have become one of them Lith asked.
No one is that stupid.
It\'s just that so far, you\'ve just reported me your guesses, but no proof.
I was just speculating.
If you are right, Erlik\'s plan is brilliant, but it\'s still just a plan.
There are countless things with it that can go wrong.
Leannan might kill him, the Sapling\'s mind could burn Erlik\'s, or even better, his invasion might awaken the Sapling from its slumber and make it wipe out all the undead.
Even if none of the above happens and he succeeds, the Awakened plant folks will unite and destroy him for tainting what they hold sacred the most.
For his plan not to be a death sentence, he must already have a contact among the Awakened, become an Awakened himself, and then gain the undead Council\'s approval.
Which of course is an unlikely sequence of events.
Unless you\'re missing some key element, he is bound to fail. Faluel said.
The tone of her voice contradicted the confidence her words implied.
She and Lith both realized that if Erlik didn\'t run away after his plan had been exposed, he had to be either desperate or incredibly clever.
Lith left the Hydra\'s lair and returned to Laruel, devoting all of his energies to learning about plant anatomy in search of a clue for a cure or at least unfolding the secret behind the Draugr\'s confidence.
Leannan\'s comb search of the city wasn\'t providing any new leads, so the Sovereign joined the human Healers and aided them at the best of her possibilities.
The Titania had limited knowledge about light magic, but thanks to her ability to merge with other plants, she had her own means to study the infected.
She even allowed the plague to take hold in small parts of her body to try and get rid of it, just to cut them off before it could spread to her whole body every time her attempts failed.
The discovery about the undead tissues belonging to a Draugr didn\'t help much in finding a cure.
That kind of undead couldn\'t move during the day, but they weren\'t harmed by sunlight.
It simply caused the disease to spread more quickly during the night, but as Quylla had noticed on the day of their arrival, the grey tissue was still able to be transported by its host\'s lifestream and infect newly generated tissues even when the sun was up.
To make matters worse, Draugr could feed upon their victims through various means like devouring their flesh, by feeding upon their fears, and by drinking their blood.
It gave the infected tissues too many ways to spread the disease.
A Draugr\'s major weak point was their inability to stay away from their burial ground, but the infected didn\'t show any discomfort even after being locked up for days.
I think we\'ve been facing the problem from the wrong angle the entire time. Quylla said after another failure at cleansing an infected.
Our problem lies in the fact that because our diagnostic spells are unable to distinguish the host from the symbiote, we can\'t kill one without dealing an almost lethal injury to the other.
The so-called cure that Professor Marth explained to us simply exploits the disease\'s trait of always remaining in the background.
It means that the weaker an infected becomes, so does the symbiote, but since it\'s devised to keep its host alive it dies before the infected can.
This is plain torture and is not a viable cure because if even one bit of symbiote survives, all the pain the patient has gone through would be for nothing.
I think that if we want to find a remedy, we must take into account that we are dealing with an undead, and a Draugr at that.
There must be a weak point that we can exploit to purge Erlik\'s tissues from his victims. Quylla said.
I agree with you, but it\'s not easy to find a solution. Marth replied.
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