A higher spirit of Gerna, Karon mumbled.
He knew Lorvall would have been prepared but it was more than he expected. All the powerful beings worthy of being controlled had taken refuge under the mysterious tree. They weren't sure why, but it wasn't impossible to control those under the tree.
They never came out from the tree, but it didn't matter as they could control those Viscount, Barons, or Narija level races to attack. However, these cursed silver insects were roaming around and they were consuming his species at once. They were getting stronger, but if the barrier was fixed beforehand, it would be a failure. They needed to destroy this Ciculus Tree, but it didn't seem like it was going to be easy.
<I don't want to do it this way… but there's no choice.>
Something had to be done before the barrier was finished. Karon prepared his last resort.
"Oh, Sian. You're here."
Conrad greeted Sian happily.
"Did the people regain the energy?"
"Yeah. But they can't leave the tree."
The current barrier was only a quick fix so the radius of protection was only within the tree trunk. Therefore, all of the people including the commoners had to stay inside of the tree. Conrad also used his defensive magic, <Karaph>, on him to protect himself from being infested when he went out to work on the runes.
"There are a lot of Swarms."
"Yes, we can't defend everything when all of the people are staying inside. This place is a good target so we need a lot of Swarms."
Vladek was still huge even in its dried-up stage. But the vast area with the roots were all covered by a silvery wave of insects.
"What about others? And weren't there the Murakans?"
"Well, they are not the only ones that we need to fight against. We barely had room to use the Swarms since we were successful on strengthening the Murakans. But they should be enough. Oh, and there is a person who brought the Swarms here. Do you want to meet him?"
Sian nodded as he was curious about the Lorvall family.
"I'll get you to him before I install the core. Oh, but can you give me the core now?"
Sian took out the four cores and handed them over to Conrad.
"Anything wrong?" Sian asked in concern.
Conrad answered, "No. They're all unstable but we have four of them so it should do."
"How long will it take?"
"The core installation won't take too long. It will take a few hours. Come this way."
Conrad then jumped down to where the infested core was at. Sian and Stiel then found a man transferring energy to the place where infested core was originally located. The man with a weird word drawn on his forehead greeted Conrad.
"Conrad! This thing is so big that it's hard to even keep it alive."
'He's supplying the energy all by himself.'
Ciculus was providing energy to Vladek all by himself, and that normally required numerous commoners and nobles otherwise. Even as they talked, enormous amounts of energy were pulled out of Ciculus and were absorbed into the tree.
"So you brought the core. Good. Are they the ones?"
"Yes. I'll install the core while you guys talk."
Ciculus then stopped supplying the energy and Conrad went in. Ciculus greeted Sian and Stiel.
"Good to see you. I am Ciculus."
"Good to see you too. I am Sian."
"But it's amazing. You really brought the core! I went in there once and ran out right after. So you really are a third stage Beta."
"If that means that I went over three walls… yeah."
"It's really amazing. I barely went over one."
Ciculus seemed to be much stronger than Conrad. Conrad wasn't powerful enough to provide the energy to keep this giant tree alive.
"But Ciculus… are you the one that created this tree? The one from three thousand years ago?" Sian asked.
Ciculus grinned, "Yeah, the core allowed me to do that though. It's been a long time."
"How did you managed to live that long? Does overcoming the barrier allow you to live that long?"
Sian was confused. He heard that Dukes could live about a thousand years, but three thousand years was something else.
"Well, it's impossible but Lorvall had another way. I didn't want to live this long but the world was full of bad fools."
Ciculus spoke but Sian was surprised.
"I didn't imagine that there could be a way."
"Yeah. It does have some side effects though."
Sian had never heard about a way to increase a human's lifespan.
'No, wait. Lagaope did tell me something once.'
It seemed like Ciculus' way was different. Sian decided to ask him.
"So, what is the way?"
Ciculus hesitated. "Oh… uh, I probably can't tell you. It's only allowed if you join the Lorvall family."
Sian gave up. He was curious, but he wasn't interested in immortality. Even at his current stage, it seemed like he would live for thousands of years. They then changed subjects and talked about different things. Then the ground trembled.
"Don't say the tree will fall."
But the tremor grew worse as the time went by and they soon realized the reason behind it.
The tremor was now right beneath them. It was the underground dragons that usually never came up to the Ciculus Tree.
"Oh. It's the underground dragons. How do you deal with them?" Sian asked as he thought there must be a way to deal with them.
Instead, Ciculus seemed surprised.
"Uh… I've never thought about that."
"No, don't look at me like that. I don't know everything. Besides, they can't destroy the tree anyway."
The dragons that came up were about ten feet thick but they were much smaller than the enormous Ciculus roots.
"But these Gerna were in a hurry. They don't like controlling unintelligent beings."
"Yeah. They're a proud race so they only target intelligent races. That's why they love humans. But that's not going to be enough."
Sian said, "Underground dragons. They have Betas too?"
Ciculus nodded. "Yeah, we've never seen one before but they do exist. They are Rotans. How did you know?"
Ciculus wondered as Sian's question was more of a statement than a question.
"There's one coming right at us."
"That one might be strong enough to destroy the tree. We should get rid of it beforehand."
The Ciculus Tree was huge, but the one approaching was also enormous. If it began chewing the roots, even if the tree did not fall, it will not revive even with the core. Sian couldn't let that happen so he stood up and walked outside. It was still far out, or tens of miles away, but the tremors could be felt all the way from here.
Sian then walked out of the tree's range and began grabbing onto the space in the direction below.
Stiel flinched at the energy that was focused on Sian's fist but it didn't cause any destructive damage when Sian slowly pushed it out. The place he sent the energy toward only made a swirl but the result happened elsewhere.
A screeching sound came as something jumped out of the ground from miles away. It was as if a mountain of rocks emerged from the ground. The ones at the roots moaned. It was very far but the sheer size allowed them to see it all.
The monster's body had been destroyed and it was writhing in pain while the black smog was seeping out of the crack.
"It was infested."
Sian approached the dragon quickly and Ciculus sucked in a breath as he watched it from afar.
Even when it was the same Beta, a different race meant it had different sizes. Underground dragons weren't easy to deal with. The carapace that was created by the extracted rocks were hard for even a Beta to destroy. Unless they were a race that hated sunlight and was easily scared, they were probably the strongest race on the continent.
Yet, Sian easily destroyed the huge monster with one flick of a fist.
Ciculus then remembered and mumbled, "We… we do need a God."