Chapter 553: The Giant Tree of Life
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
In order to save time, Hao Ren divided the elven teams into two to conduct excavation work at the Volcano of Dusk and the Giant Tree of Life. Although the situation in the Volcano of Dusk was complicated, the survey data was detailed, so he did not have to worry about it too much. He decided to personally supervise the excavation at the Giant Tree of Life.
Of course, the main reason for that was because he heard about the place having a spectacular scenery. He decided to snap some photos and post them in the inspector's forum...
On the Holletta side, people were amazed by the teams that Hao Ren brought in. They were no nonsense individuals and got to work straight away without blinking an eye. So, they also organized themselves quickly and followed the excavation teams. The portal was rendered useless this time, as the size of the elven excavators had exceeded the limit of what could be teleported by current technology. Fortunately, the speed of the elven flying crafts was not slow. It would only take them a couple dozen minutes to cross the entire territory of Holletta.
After ascertaining the coordinates, the elven aerial excavation team immediately ascended to the air and headed towards its destination. Meanwhile, Hao Ren followed Marshal Ophra to the Giant Tree of Life through the portal. The other team that was heading to the Volcano of Dusk was under the command of the pope.
It was obviously much faster travelling via the portal. When Hao Ren arrived at the edge of the Giant Tree of Life, the excavation team was still on its way. This gave everyone a little time to enjoy the surrounding scenery.
The Giant Tree of Life was located in a vibrant and vast mountainous area. The whole area was surrounded by gentle mountains, forming a low-lying basin which was covered with green forest. The Disciples of Glory had a base there. It was an old monastery located on a nearby hill. The building was as old as the churches in the other two sealed lands, and inconspicuous in appearance. It was one of the oldest and most sacred facilities in the world.
The portal array near the Giant Tree of Life was directly situated next to the monastery: the Royal Knights did not have a garrison there, and the entire Giant Tree of Life was under the sole responsibility of the Disciples of Glory. The king had only set up a few knights there for show. They simply lived in the monastery.
Compared to the desolate condition of Dragonspine Ridge and the harsh environment of the Volcano of Dusk, the area around the Giant Tree of Life was as lively and pleasant as it got. No one could have linked this place to the terrible ancient legends just by looking at it from the outside. It was probably because of this that Holletta's surveillance of the Giant Tree of Life was laxer than the other two places, which had Royal Knights and Church Knights stationed at all times. Hao Ren and the rest stood in front of the monastery as they gazed at the surrounding mountains and forest. They felt relaxed. Y'lisabet quickly climbed up to her dad's shoulder and shouted at the distant mountains. "Big mountains!"
The demon princess was as innocent as one could get-but only when she was not a demolition monster.
Seeing the spectacular scenery around them, Lily could not help but run around the hills before she came back down with a handful of stones in her hand. "Mr. Landlord, which one looks better?"
Hao Ren randomly picked one and coaxed her away. He curiously gazed at the mountains and the dome-shaped peaks in the center of the basin (it looked like a volcano and was particularly eye-catching). However, he could not find the so-called Giant Tree of Life. "Ophra, where's that tree you talked about?"
Ophra lifted her finger and pointed at the center of the basin. "That's it-that's all that remains of it."
Hao Ren was startled. He realized that she was referring to the strange peak in the center of the basin!
"What the heck..." Before Hao Ren could say anything, Lily, who was playing with the stones, exclaimed, "That's huge!"
Hao Ren focused his eyes and finally saw some clues from the strange peaks: the "mountain's body" appeared to be too smooth, and the upper part appeared to be too even and uniform, to the extent that it was not like a normal mountain. Additionally, there was a large amount of winding ridges in the surrounding wilderness. At first he thought that those tectonic uplifts were mountains, but now he realized that they were actually the giant tree's roots!
They were the remains of the Giant Tree of Life, which had been dead for over 10,000 years. The tree's upper body had long crumbled and decayed, thus forming the soil and rock in the basin. The remaining stump had turned black and it was overgrown with vegetation, dense forests and shrubs, blending into the surrounding mountains.
Hao Ren inhaled and asked, "This is the tree?"
Before his voice trailed off, Lil Pea poked her head out from under his collar. Seeing the wooden forest, her eyes popped out of her head. "I can eat for a long time! I can eat for a long time! Daddy, I can eat for a long time..."
At this moment, a Hollettan army official was standing next to Hao Ren. The officer saw Lil Pea and was stunned. "What is that?" he asked.
But he glanced at Hao Ren, and quickly toned down his impoliteness. His face took a serious turn as he hemmed. "Oh, I apologize. I've forgotten that you are a different from us, Hollettan people can't perform Shadow Clone..."
Hao Ren had no chance to explain...
Lil Pea happily squirmed out of his collar. She grabbed Hao Ren by his clothes and pestered, "Daddy, I want to eat, I want to eat!"
The Hollettan officials around them saw this and they were astounded. A few record officers who looked like scholars quickly took out a small notebook and jotted down what they saw. Vivian tried hard no to laugh. She nudged Ophra and said, "Quickly tell them, this thing is neither an avatar of an alien, nor an alien kid!"
Ophra waved at her men authoritatively. "On your feet! Look at how disgraceful all of you are behaving!"
Then, she turned to look at Hao Ren and Lil Pea. Her face was as shocked as a lightning rod. "You two are father and daughter? What did you do to the fish?!"
Before Hao Ren could utter anything, Lily chimed in, "It was with a pot..."
"Oh God..." Ophra said.
"...Can you let me speak?!" Hao Ren interjected.
Fortunately, the confusion did not last long. While they were having fun-at least Lily was-the sky suddenly burst into a roar.
The excavation team had finally arrived.
The MDT, which had been silent for a long time, flew up and projected a hologram in front of Hao Ren. The image of a higher elven engineer appeared.
"Sun King, all the equipment have arrived."
Hao Ren looked at the giant tree in the center of the basin and nodded. "Let's get started."
After a few moments, the engineering equipment in the sky emitted a series of engine roars, and quickly dispersed to a height several hundred meters above the basin in an orderly manner. Meanwhile, two special flying crafts flew towards the center of the basin instead. The two flying crafts circled at a high altitude, and switched on their elemental sensors, before images of the underground were gradually displayed in front of the engineering equipment operators.
The technical capability of the Aerymian Elves may have generally been behind those of other interstellar civilizations, but they were strong in their own right-excavation, gravity control, deep scanning; these technologies were instrumental in transforming their planet into a space island chain. It could be said that these individuals with long ears were odd balls of the "magic tree". Except for spacecrafts, they everything else they created pretty much did not match their level of civilization.
Their elemental sensors, which were capable of penetrating hundreds of kilometers of rock could accurately scan a three-dimensional image of the strata layers. The image of the First Born that was sleeping under the Giant Tree of Life would soon be revealed in the holographic projection through the MDT.
Hao Ren saw the way the Giant Tree of Life bound the First Born: it entangled the First Born with layers of giant roots, bonding together with it.
The underground part of the Giant Tree of Life was far more magnificent than the surface part. Deep below the ground, there was a root system that spread nearly 200 km. This root system was entangled into a nearly spherical shape, caging the First Born within it. The tentacles of the First Born were also spread out in all directions, but they were basically held back in a limited area by the roots of the Giant Tree of Life. These two giant creatures were so tightly entangled together that they formed an underground scene of wonder.
Layer by layer, the hair on Lily's tail stood on end. "That's so disgusting..."
Vivian's brows were also knitted together. She nodded and said, "Well, it's just like a dishwashing ball."
The bat was once again, speaking from her house-chore perspective.