Chapter 328: Last Wishes
Seth felt a lot better traveling through the ashen desert. It was as if a weight had fallen off his heart, with all the trees gone.
Also, the constant trickle of kill notifications lifted his mood a lot. Many forest critters were losing their lives in his fire and Seth had raked in a good bunch of experience through this.
When the notifications finally slowed down, he had already reached lv 56. He had gained whopping 4 levels by starting a forest fire.
Two of the most recent notifications he had gotten had surprised him in particular.
These were the biggest chunk of experience that came in.
It was the second day after the battle but Seth couldnt tell how far away this tree would have been as he had no idea how quickly his flames had moved. He would have expected to see such a humongous structure at the horizon.
Seth couldnt believe that his fires had managed to kill a hangingtree. Just the memory of the giant tree that reached into heaven and covered the whole city still struck fear in his heart.
He was sure there must have been something wrong with the tree. It might have been young, or weakened. The level was definitely too low for the terrifying field boss he remembered.
But this was not important. It was not important how much he doubted it. The notification clearly stated that somewhere out there his fires had killed a hanging tree and its dryad.
“Marcel, come over here for a moment!” Seth called the guild master and leader of the remaining adventurers.
“Yes, Caravan leader?” the swordsmen came over to Seth.
“I have to leave for a while. You guys keep heading north. I will meet you later.”
Marcel was a little confused and wanted to stop him. But there wasnt really anything he could do facing the determined Seth.
~ You do know those souls will probably have dissipated by the time you find the place. ~
All was in a bad mood lately. She had finally gotten Seth to promise to make her a true vessel but now they were stuck in the middle of nowhere, traveling with a bunch of baggage.
“Still, I have to try. I am completely out of souls right now and getting my hand on the soul of a hangingtree and maybe even its dryad? Imagine what interesting abilities those could have.”
~Ugh, fine. But hurry.~
~Where are we going? ~ Puffles asked excitedly. The caterpillar was extremely bored drudging after the caravan all day long. He was up for some action.
Seth had to think for a while before he decided to head straight east for now. From what he remembered about the hanging trees he knew that they would only be born in the center of a huge swath of forest.
In the west was A-City with the giant field boss he remembered, so it was probably not that way. Other than that, he trusted his intuition. He felt pretty good about his insight because of the Cloak of Hekate.
After he told the Ivicer the course the nightmare centipede lifted into the air. Behind him, he heard the surprised screams of Lynri, Wedan, Duhu, and Evan.
He had completely forgotten about them! Well, he didnt plan on doing anything dangerous so it should be fine.
While Puffles soared through the skies, Seth used the Argus Eye to search the ashen desert below for souls that were left behind.
Although the centipede could fly for long, his maximum speed in the air was incredible. For an hour of flight came five hours of traveling on the ground. Since they were not forced to travel at the same speed as the caravan, they still made a lot of distance.
The tens of strong legs kept hitting the ground in quick succession and created a rhythmic drumming as they ran along the desert, leaving a huge dust cloud behind.
It took a good while until Seth started spotting souls here and there. Somewhen during their third time on the ground, he finally saw some small souls here and there floating over the ground.
Instead of having Puffles swerve around to collect them, Seth would hum the same song he had used in Delta to increase the range of his
Night had finally fallen. They were just getting tired and ready for a break when Seth spotted a big light in the distance. Everyone stood awake just a bit longer as Puffles sprinted to the place the blacksmith had pointed out.
Corrupted and incomplete? Seth observed the soul with some disappointment. If this soul was also unusable, then this trip was really for naught. On their way here he had only collected 50 small and 3 medium-sized souls which was a joke compared to the consumption he had recently.
To make it worse, all of them were corrupted. They had a fine net of dark webbing inside them that slightly dimmed their light. Corrupted didnt sound like a very beneficial status. Before he found out what exactly it was, or how to remove it, Seth deemed such souls as unusable.
The corruption was most like the darkness that had spread, but why was the soul incomplete? He didnt want to think too hard and simply asked the expert.
~ Isnt it obvious? Its because the tree gave birth to a Dryad despite not being supposed to be able to. ~
~ Only special trees are able to give birth to dryads. If a normal tree mutates and gives birth to a dryad, it means that the soul is split between the tree and the dryad. ~
“I see, i see. So…?”
~…The soul has to be somewhere close by since a dryad born like that cannot leave its host tree. ~
Following the lichs helpful advice, he scanned the surroundings again but could see anything. Even if it was a small hangingtree like he suspected, the diameter of its crown would still have been around 30 km.
“You guys can camp here; I will make a few rounds with Puff,” he told his fellowship who dismounted the centipede in a hurry. Even the big strong tiger man just wanted to take a break and catch a bit of sleep.
In the meantime, Seth went in circles and looked out for another glow in the distance. It felt like he was playing Dim Souls, looking for items or souls left in the landscape.
It didnt take long to spot the light in the night. When they got closer, he could see an irregularity in the soft ashes that covered the earth. Seth recognized the pattern when they got closer.
Sticking out from the ashes was a roughly humanoid shape. Like a wooden puppet that had been charred beyond recognition. The soul was silently floating above the corpse on the ground that seemed to have died while staring into the distance.
< Quest: A Mothers Last Wish Difficulty: D Karina, the Dryad was born from a terrifying existence. Despite her origins, she had a big heart and gladly accepted the homeless and hopeless with a pure heart as her children and took care of them. A great calamity struck her home and she was forced to make her children leave. Her only wish was for her children to be able to leave the forest safely. Requirement: Make sure her Children can safely leave the forest. Rewards: Caring Soul, Purification of the Hangingtrees Soul>
Again, a quest. He really had enough on his plate right now but… he also kind of felt bad because he suspected the great calamity to have been his fire.
That said, the reward was not bad at all. Not just the souls but also that the rest of the trees soul would be purified.
Seth had been moping a little when he thought the trip was a dud. He had even thought about doing something crazy like going south from here and looking for Deltan. There were definitely a lot of souls to harvest in that place. And he was already here so…
But it could be really dangerous. Lynri and Wedan were not exactly strong and he didnt want to bring them into danger.
The quest was a good excuse to stave off such thoughts.
So he accepted the quest.
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