146 Protected Estate
Sian examined the Akra that flowed into him.
The Akra was trying to absorb the surrounding energy and Sian inspected it. It wasn't bad to become stronger, but Sian grew disappointed.
Stiel curiously asked, "Why? Is it not working?"
"It's not much help to me."
The Akra that flowed inside Sian tried to absorb the energy, but it was overwhelmed by Sian's blood. A small amount did successfully reproduce, but it was not even close enough to help Sian grow more powerful and then it melted away. Sian wasn't too disappointed though as it was what he had expected.
"I see… but is there a place where I can get more of this? It will take time for it to grow within the body."
Stiel glanced around and turned to Parhum. She was like a predator hunting for its prey. Sian sighed and stopped Stiel.
"You should take it slow. By the way, the Akra seems to be really useful. I guess the nobles of a huge estate will collect a lot of energy."
"It should… but there are more nobles so they won't collect a lot. Higher-ranking nobles do collect more though."
Sian was very fascinated by this world since it was very different from his. They soon arrived at their destination.
"Is that the protected estate?"
It wasn't a huge castle with commoners living nearby like Sian imagined. There was a huge tree. It was so huge that its tree trunk was much larger than an ordinary castle. It wasn't as if it was a holy tree or anything like that, but its sheer size was very mysterious. Then Sian realized there was a huge town beneath the tree.
"Gods… so that's the Viscount's estate?"
"Yes. That is Locke Estate. Have you… not seen the tree either?"
'Where did he come from?'
Parhum was intrigued by Sian and Stiel who had not seen a Ciculus Tree before.
"Did that grow on its own?"
Marquis Ciculus was a powerful noble who wielded powerful magic. His tree was the one of the masterpieces that his servants created. It helped humans grow in power and live in protection. The Marquis wanted to monopolize the tree, but Duke Lorvall pressured him to share the tree with the other nobles who were trying to create their estates. It was distributed amongst the larger estates, so the place where Parhum used to live did not have the tree.
However, the Ciculus Tree was a must for nobles to create a protected estate based on its size. The tree that grew with the energy of a noble and commoners was a must. When it was planted, it absorbed the power of the noble and grew at an incredible speed. It grew as it absorbed the land and minerals. When its trunks and roots had all grown, it was time to build the town.
The powerful roots helped deter any underground dragon attacks while the bark and branches were good materials for building houses. It was so durable and strong that some nobles even used the parts of the tree for training. The most important part about the tree were the leaves and fruits.
The leaves allowed an individual to regain their energy when made into tea, and the fruits were very tasty with helpful nutrients that became valuable food to commoners who had to hunt for their food otherwise.
"We might have managed for a bit longer if we had the tree, but the Baron's estate is too small for it."
"We have to go out to hunt if we don't have the tree. Crops aren't enough."
"So, you'll settle down once we get there?"
"Hopefully. I thank you very much."
Parhum thanked Stiel and Sian as he remembered Baron Raul's scoff. The Baron must have figured that Parhum would not survive through the journey. He decided to leave the estate as he thought he knew the dangers that lurked outside their town by the experience he acquired from hunting, but the roads were much more dangerous. If it wasn't for Stiel and Sian, they would have been killed a long time ago.
As they talked more, they got closer to town. And as they got closer, Sian was now able to see details of the town. The town wasn't comprised of buildings. It only had caves that were made by digging a weaker part of the tree roots. It seemed primitive, but the tree roots were so large that it seemed like they provided large rooms as residences.
Besides, the roots were very clean and the people living there also kept it very clean. So it was like a town of fairies from the fairytales.
Parhum opened his eyes.
"They don't need to build houses as that is sufficient enough. They do have to provide a small portion of energy to the Ciculus Tree if they live in there, but it's small enough to recover through living normally so it's okay. Actually, they become more healthier with the energy flowing through the tree."
"So… how are you going to find a place to live? Do you know the people living here or something?" Sian asked.
"Haha, no, I don't. I'll just find a good place and dig into the tree to make one. It will take time but we have the Muvakal to stay in while we do that."
Sian thought there might be someone guarding the entrance as they entered the town, but there was nothing.
Sian and Stiel said farewell to Parhum and parted ways. Parhum thought it was a weird experience as Sian and Stiel weren't like any nobles he'd met before.
'Oh… maybe I should've told them this… well, I guess it doesn't matter now.'
Parhum realized he had forgotten to tell them one important thing about Akra, but it was too late now.
Parhum said the nobles stayed in the high branches of the tree. Sian felt powerful energies on the branches. The tree roots that were revealed above ground was also very large but a lot of people filled them from within. Sian then realized the answer to one of his questions.
"So… that's how they receive all the Akra."
"Huh? What do you mean?"
"I was curious. If they have to get the Akra by hand, it will take too long if they collected Akra routinely."
It did seem like the Akra could be transferred via air, but it couldn't work from a distance.
"This tree works as a tunnel to collect the Akra."
"Can you even see that?"
"Of course. I can't look deep into the trunk, but I can see the energy flowing from the roots to the trunk. I guess it's flowing to that Viscount Locke. Or the other Barons below."
"So it's like taxes. But this would be easy for larger estates to collect it then."
Sian and Stiel walked on the road created by roots. They had no way to find Lagaope any time soon so they were more relaxed now. Sian was now thinking of looking around this new world while he was here.
Then Sian felt something awkward.
"…I think these people are ignoring us. Is that just my feeling, Sian?"
Stiel spoke and Sian realized where the awkwardness was coming from.