"There it is."
Sian and Stiel gasped at the size of the tree that appeared over the horizon. They had been seeing larger trees each time they moved to another place, but it didn't get old.
"Is that the largest Ciculus?"
"Haha, yes. You have seen the largest one now."
"It's really enormous. I heard no commoners live there."
Lorvall Ciculus was rumored to be too dangerous, so no commoners lived there. It also meant that there was no Akra supply, but the tree was even larger than Vladek.
"Well, the people staying there are all Dukes who have overcome the wall. It's no wonder the tree was able to grow that big."
"Is there some old race buried beneath it too?" Sian asked. An ancient serpent, Vladek, was buried under the Vladek tree. It worked as a nutrient to the tree so Sian thought that was a possibility.
"Well, I haven't seen it in person, but I was told that a number of Betas were killed by the tree so they are probably all absorbed as nutrients. On the second thought, those are probably all fed to Murakans, so maybe not."
Sian could imagine how fierce the war front might be.
"Lorvall has come out to greet us."
There was a well-built and tall man at a distance standing under the tree, waiting for them.
"Conrad, long time no see."
"Yes, Lorvall. It looks like Lagaope's research went well?"
"Yes. It's a success. You did good work too."
Sian looked at them weirdly as he watched Lorvall and Conrad talk. Lorvall turned to Sian.
"Good to see you. I am Lorvall."
"I am Sian."
Sian looked at Lorvall curiously. It wasn't because he was mighty strong or anything. The reason Sian was looking was because of the strange blood within him. Blood that looked like that of humans, but different. It didn't seem like it was because he was a Beta. Something more superior was coming from within him.
Lorvall was intrigued by Sian's attention and spoke.
"Oh… you see something?"
"Yeah, I see something… but I'm not sure. I'm sorry if I was too rude."
"No, no. It's amazing. So a being who has surpassed three barriers can see through everything! I'll tell you all later. We have more things to talk about for now."
Lorvall laughed and guided the two inside.
"Conrad, Aren't you coming in?"
"I have things to discuss with Lorvall later. I'll prepare for your teleportation for now. It will take… about a week or two. We need to stabilize the barrier first."
"Take your time."
He'd spent a hundred years in Apental. It was easy to wait just two more weeks so Sian nodded.
They talked about different things as they walked in. Then saw a fierce fight going on from a distance. Sian focused on the sight and found two peculiar groups fighting each other.
"Hm… what are those?"
"Oh, the ones that are fighting?"
"Yes. I guess one of them must be a Murakan…"
Sian heard about the Murakans but he'd never seen them before so he could not guess which one was which. Both groups looked grotesque.
"The ones with different shapes and sizes are Murakan. And ones with the fins… are Merpeople."
Sian became confused as mermaids were something he heard in fairytales. And they didn't fit the description he was familiar with. The type of mermaid he knew was a half-human, half-fish with a beautiful human top with a fish tail. But these were different. They had steel-like muscles with claw-like teeth. They also had eight slit eyes that allowed them to dodge Murakan attacks.
"I am not sure about mermaids, but I call them Merpeople. They are the children of Liona. Really strong. We can barely fight them outside the water. If it was inside…"
Lorvall shivered as he reminisced about his old memory.
Lorvall wanted to place a defensive post across the peninsula as the two peninsulas were hard to defend and the defensive line was too wide. But after looking at them, he had to give up the idea. Those crazy monsters allowed other monsters to pass but they did not let any of Lorvall family to pass. Even with the Murakans and Swarms, it wasn't possible to cross the water.
But they became weaker when outside the water so it barely allowed them to push the monsters back. Princesses were still a great danger, but now it was more easier.
Lorvall smiled but Sian was thinking of something else.
It was the name he heard from Nekra's memory. It seemed like Liona was one that lived within the sea.
The fight was almost over. The Murakans were pushing back the Merpeople. After they won, they began devouring the dead bodies. The Murakans that ate the bodies began growing scales and fins sprouted out of their body.
"Oh, so they eat them all like that. I thought they would put some of them by the tree."
Sian thought some were used to be absorbed by the tree, but the Murakans ate them all.
"The Lorvall tree has finished growing so it doesn't need any nutrients. This way."
Three of them walked into the tree trunk.
"Any more questions? You will leave soon, so I will try my best to answer any of your questions."
Lorvall didn't seem to be interested in holding Sian back.
Sian had many questions but he couldn't think of one when asked so he hesitated. Sian then decided to ask about the building. It was the one of the most peculiar things on this side of the continent.
"The building that I got the core from… what is it?"
"Oh, the laboratory? The one by the western coast?"
"Was it a laboratory? What did you do there?"
It did look like a place to conduct experiments and do research, but Sian didn't know what was it for.
"I am not sure."
"I went there once, but I never went in. Especially to the place where cores were stored."
"Wasn't it you who took it out from there?"
Sian was puzzled. If it wasn't him, no one would've been able to pass through the space so Sian thought Lorvall was only one who was able to do that. In fact, the Ciculus Tree was known to be developed by co-research between Ciculus and Lorvall.
"Someone handed it over to me as well."
"Was there someone that strong? No, I actually thought you were the one who built that place."
If someone got out of there, they must have been at the second stage. Therefore, that person would most likely be alive right now. But Lorvall shook his head.
"No, I didn't build the place and you don't need to be strong. You don't fight your own guards when you go into your house. The person who gave me the core was the one who used to live there."
"Oh… but they were guards? So are the cores that important?"
Sian didn't think the cores were that important to be guarded by a bunch of Betas.
"No, it is important but not to that extent. I think those guards were also test subjects."
"Test? What test?"
Sian wasn't sure what kind of experiment required so many Betas. Besides, those were captured alive, which was even more interesting.
"I think there's someone who can answer your questions better."
"Who is it?"
"It's the researcher who lived there. Wait here."
Lorvall then began a sending message to someone and a figure soon came into the room.
"Haha, Mister Sian. It has been a long time. I never thought I would see you on this part of the land."
It was a familiar face.
"Lagaope… you were the researcher?"
Lagaope smiled and took a seat.