"Hm… is this the place?"
Sian followed Karltonheim. He took it slow to not scare other the nobles or commoners who were still crouching by the tree. The space below the roots was large so it took him some time to find the trace, but after following him for a while, he found that Karltonheim smiling proudly at something.
'He doesn't seem like a good man.'
A good man would not have created a secret room underground and dragged a man down wrapped by black snakes.
"Hehe… You should control your new recruits."
'Is he mad?' Sian became confused as Karltonheim was speaking nonsense to him.
"I don't know what you're saying, but I'll leave you alone if you give him to me."
Sian didn't want to spoil the man who seemed to be working hard, so he decided to talk it out. His experience told him it didn't end well when he used force.
"Hahaha! What is this! A Lorvall dog trying to solve things peacefully?"
"I don't know what you're saying, but I'm not related to Lorvall."
Karltonheim, no, Kikero, then looked at the man with weird eyes. There was no Lorvall seal on him. It was a cursed seal that he could have seen from afar.
"Then who are you?"
"It looks like you have business with that Conrad, but I do too. Can you give him to me?"
He was at a loss for words as the man didn't seem to be making sense when he was not even related to Lorvall.
"I don't want to threaten you… but I think it's better for you to just talk things out with me. I was really sad when no one ended up okay when I fought them. It looks like you're working hard and I envy that. I think you shouldn't get hurt."
He said it very carefully, but it meant that he was threatening him to hand over Conrad if Kikero wished to be spared. But he didn't care. He had fulfilled his goal and it looked like the man didn't want to solve things by fighting.
"Haha… well, we don't need to solve things by talking."
"Huh? You're mistaken-"
Then something came up from the ground and swallowed Sian.
'What's going on…'
After he was swallowed by the black snakes, his power or magic, everything was nullified. But at least the power of <connector of="" aksarai=""> still remained and allowed Conrad to check on the status.
[Escape from the Black Snake's stomach]
-Karltonheim's <black snake=""> magic trained by the Black Serpent sealed within <vladek> has consumed you. Escape immediately.
-Time limit: 5:14
The limit was decreasing even now.
'I should've gotten the seal.'
He refused it because he didn't want to be associated with one place. But he never imagined he would end up like this. Then a new alarm came up. Conrad looked at it, hoping that it was a reinforcement, but it wasn't.
[Black Serpent <vladek> has been resurrected.]
-Blue Serpent, Beta of Levara Tribe, Minion of Kikero
-Level : 1
-Skill : Gorge, Division
It was over. It was the one that went over its limit. The problem had gotten too big.
Kikero laughed like a madman as he watched <vladek> shooting out of the roots. It was a black pillar passing through the mile-long-roots of the Ciculus Tree. After Vladek swallowed the fool that walked in, it was moving by the roots with its huge space.
It was raised well until Karltonheim became a Duke. Kikero waited it out until Karltonheim became a Duke to begin, but it was worth the wait. He even managed to capture Conrad that used special magic. He didn't have the seal, but it didn't matter since he was connected to the barrier.
The biggest success anyway was that Kikero removed the magic that sealed Vladek. He wasn't sure why all these nobles wanted to watch two who were not even Alphas, but it helped him get energy enough to unseal the bind.
"I should tend to the Ciculus now."
Vladek was also very large, but it would take a long time for it to destroy this Ciculus Tree. It was the tree that was successfully bound the snake and sucked its life to grow. At that moment, black energy came out from Karltonheim's ears, mouth, eyes, and every opening and was absorbed into the roots.
It was now to speed up the infestation of this tree.
<vladek, go="" up="" and="" satisfy="" your="" hunger.="" nobles="" are="" good="" sources,="" but="" the="" commoners="" are="" okay.="" oh,="" eat="" him="" too.="">
Vladek was screeching constantly. Kikero then realized why.
<pain? is="" the="" seal="" still="" intact?="">
Kikero quickly sped up the infestation to the Ciculus. But the problem was much more severe. The great serpent writhed in pain between the roots but it couldn't move much as roots were too much. Then, at that moment, the neck part of the great serpent began to rip. It was hundreds of yards away from its mouth but the weird sound could easily be heard.
Vladek's insides weren't like the simple insides of an animal. It was the space of another dimension that sealed the power of the one it consumed. It wasn't something that could be ripped apart.
There were definitely ripping sounds coming from Vladek's neck.
At last, Vladek's neck was ripped and two figures jumped out of it. Vladek couldn't bear the pain and transformed to millions of small black snakes. It was Conrad and the man that Vladek just swallowed.
<dammit! vladek!="" block="" him!="">
He needed to buy time. He wasn't sure who that was, but he just needed to finish infesting this tree and he'd be invincible. Kikero then ran to the core while millions of snakes were attacking Sian.
"Ugh, you dirty rat…!"
Sian thought about chasing after him, but it might endanger Conrad who was unconscious so Sian began grinding all the snakes that were attacking him.
<what is="" that="" monster…?="">
Kikero couldn't believe what he saw.
He decided to give up on Vladek as it will not win against such a monster. He also decided to give up on Conrad and Karltonheim that he left behind. He just needed to infest Ciculus.
The infestation was now almost complete. The tree was turning to black smog and mud.
'Almost done… now I just need to remove the barrier…"
"You were here."
Kikero turned to the man standing behind him.
<dammit… but="" you're="" too="" late.="" the="" core="" is="" already="" infested.="" you="" must="" know="" what="" that="" means?="">
Sian was readying to smack Kikero but Kikero quickly replied frantically.
<w-wait! you="" fool!="" i'm="" now="" one="" with="" ciculus!="" you="" killing="" me="" means="" you're="" killing="" the="" tree="" also!="" is="" that="" okay?="">
"I don't know what you're talking about."
Sian clenched his fist but Kikero panicked even more.
<dammit! it="" means="" there="" will="" be="" a="" hole="" in="" the="" barrier!="" are="" you="" really="" okay?="" it's="" the="" barrier!="">
"I don't know what you're saying, but let me ask you one thing. So you're saying that barrier shouldn't be broken?"
"And you were playing inside here to kill the tree."
Sian asked and checked on the tree that was quickly dying out.
"That explains it."
But before Kikero could say much, Sian smacked the core that was the source of the infestation.</wai-></…></yes-></dammit!></w-wait!></dammit…></what></dammit!></what?></pain?></huh?></kiiiii!></vladek,></hehehe…></vladek></vladek></vladek></black></connector>