Chapter 839 Clash of Titans Part 1
Lith had yet to find a way to raise the Balor\'s corpse as a lesser undead without the effects of the black eye amplifying the spell and turning the dead monster into a greater undead with a will of its own and a big grudge against him.
Kalla was a much better Necromancers, so her green wisp carried enough of her willpower to harness the full potential of the creature while retaining full control over its ever-growing blood core.
On top of that, Trouble-Kalla shared his thoughts with her original body, keeping the Healers updated about the events unfolding inside the Sapling.
There\'s no time to lose, we must go help them! Marth said once he understood how deep was the Sapling\'s betrayal.
You will never make it in time. Trouble-Kalla shook his head.
Dimensional magic is sealed even to those with an acorn.
The Dryad tried to open a Gate leading to the city and failed.
She tried several times, changing the destination, but to no avail.
If you want to evacuate, you must do it by flight.
Even the powers that Leannan bestowed upon me don\'t work anymore. She said.
That, or we could move to the infected treehouses. Quylla said.
Professor, we didn\'t choose to stay behind just to run away.
We did it to deal with any trick that Erlik might have left behind.
If we stay here and the treehouses activate, whatever their purpose is, we\'ll never make it in time.
\'As long as there\'s hope for victory we cannot retreat.
Yet I can\'t just fool around either.
I need to warn the Kingdom about the threat that such a powerful being could pose to us if it sides with the undead.\'
Marth sent a couple of mages away, to get out of Laruel and report everything to the Crown.
Then, the mages in the lab split into three teams and moved towards the three known places where Erlik had left bundles of his tissues.
Kalla-Trouble took flight thanks to the Balor\'s wings while appreciating how the black eye of the Balor naturally replenished the creature\'s blood core while the other two eyes were charging up with elemental energy.
\'Such a wonderful specimen.
Too bad that Scourge is unwilling to give it to me.\' Even a sliver of Kalla\'s mind would worry about her research first and about her own impending death later.
As Manohar would say, first things first.
Leannan was having a hard time dealing with Erlik.
The Draugr was inexperienced compared to her at handling the Sapling\'s resources cost him a lot of focus.
They had been standing still nearly for a full minute, yet no one had disturbed their fight and for a good reason.
Both of them were trying to use the Sapling\'s wooden tendrils to attack the enemy faction, but due to their conflicting willpowers giving conflicting orders with almost the same authority, a vortex of squirming wood had surrounded them.
It blocked all kinds of magic and turned whoever came even close to it into shreds.
Erlik was blocking dimensional magic within the entirety of Laruel for anyone but undead and manipulating the wooden tendrils, whereas Leannan was just manipulating the tendrils while trying to open a dimensional pathway for her allies from the other city-states.
In theory, having fewer things to control, and with her superior knowledge, she was supposed to overpower the Draugr.
Unfortunately, the Saplings begged to differ.
The ancient creature was slightly sided with the undead, tipping the scales in their favor.
\'Why are you doing that Have I not upheld my side of our bargain for all these years\' Leannan wanted to curse and threaten the Sapling, but she knew better.
Were the true ruler of Laruel to believe her, it could end the battle in seconds.
Even though she despised it for its betrayal, she had to parlay.
\'You\'re only partly correct.\' The Sapling replied.
\'Yes, you kept providing me knowledge, but it\'s useless.
My days are about to end, I have barely a few more centuries in me.
\'You didn\'t find a single exceptional mage, nor did you persuade a single Awakened to live here, just like your predecessor.
Erlik, instead, found a solution to all my problems in a matter of months.
\'His symbiote will prolong my existence, so that once I Awaken, those centuries will turn into millennia, giving me the time I need to find a way to pass my knowledge onto a new generation and becoming a second World Tree!\'
\'That\'s it You\'re blaming us for your failure to Awaken\' Leannan was flabbergasted.
\'You still have plenty of time to Awaken, plus you could just entrust your knowledge to us.
Death is not the end, just the beginning of a new cycle.
\'Plenty of us die every day, yet none of them sacrificed a whole city for petty reasons.\'
\'Plenty of time\' The Sapling sneered.
\'Without the symbiote, even if I were to Awaken tomorrow, it might not be enough.
With the feeble minds you lesser beings have, the population of the entire city can barely hold a fraction of the wisdom I gained through the millennia.
\'Also, it\'s easy for you to speak about life and death since you are still young.
Once I die, you just have to find yourself a new Sapling, whereas I\'ll rot here, abandoned like trash.
\'I won\'t allow myself to just become a footnote in history! You should be grateful that I\'m still giving you the opportunity to prove me wrong.
Erlik\'s greed knows no bounds, hence I can\'t trust him fully.
\'Sure, his alleged ally in the Council will Awaken both of us, but how much of my knowledge they\'ll demand in exchange What if their method fails In the past, I\'ve discovered at my expenses that the same technique doesn\'t work for everyone, especially for those belonging to a different race.\'
\'If you don\'t trust him, then why go along with his plan\' Leannan asked.
\'You are his last test.
If Erlik doesn\'t manage to defeat you, it means that he\'s too weak to succeed.
I can\'t support a weakling, otherwise his Awakened master will just take what they want.\' The usually strong voice of the Sapling was filled with doubt and desperation.
Leannan could somewhat understand their reasons, but not condone their methods.
The World Sapling was just looking for an easy way out, something that would have a steep price and that would take much more than it would give.
Yet the Sapling didn\'t care because it wasn\'t the one paying the piper, otherwise it would have just asked to be turned into an undead.
\'Who is this Awakened master\' Leannan asked.
\'I don\'t know.
I\'ve clouded my mind to Erlik just like he did to me.
I only know that it\'s an undead and it\'s very powerful, which is exactly the reason why I need Erlik to prove to me that he\'s more than a brilliant mind.
So far, he disappointed me.\' The Sapling replied.
\'Only one way to find out!\' Leannan cut off the mind link that the tattoos on her back had created and requested the Sapling to activate the ancient ritual of the Chosen.
The vortex of vines surrounding the contenders grew in size and power.
Each one of them became covered in runes, suppressing all the artifacts within its premises and leaving the Sovereigns with nothing but their skill.
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