Year 81 Month 6
The demonoids came over the hills, the giant walker, with the body of something resembling a mutant giant tortoise, with a castle on top. The castle consists of multiple reddish spires, with jagged edges, resembling the teeth of a monster.
It wasn’t hard to tell that it is approaching. The demonic army would cut down the trees in it’s path, and I could feel the walker’s energy, with each step, a bit more of it’s energy pushed back on my 'bubble', and cause the effective radius of my [lesser demonic suppression aura] to shrink.
But whatever that was, it only worked on the outer area. At this distance, in this valley, the aura from my main body is strong, and here, it overlapped against whatever that demon walker emitted.
Together, with the walker, the 50,000 or so demonoids crossed the rolling hills. By the scouts count, the army increased by 10,000, and this is due to the ‘bases; and the ‘walker’ itself, being a mobile demon production factory.
Or as Alexis called it, a “hive”. Like a beehive that made more bees.
The past 3 weeks, along the expected path of the demon army, we built a few more layers of walls, filled with traps, and places for the soldiers to retreat. And tunnels for the beetles to spring a surprise attack.
Honestly, I felt confident. A defensive battle is pretty much how I can fight, and it’s something that I’m good at. And we have been preparing for this fight.
And when the demon walker emerged, I felt ready.
The demon walker’s spires somewhat recovered, the damage from the blood hex magic is no longer noticeable, so we presume they have some self-healing ability. Until we saw the other side of the giant walker, where a large chunk of it’s body glowed purple, as if it oozed a magical rot. This massive giant tortoise, with a big castle on it’s shell stomped, and the earth shook. Luckily, the walls held. The roots and plants helped to absorb the shockwave.
“A zaratan.” Alexis’s being the one with a wide general knowledge. “A walking zaratan, instead of an island on it’s back-”
*ROOOOOAAAAAAARRRR* A loud, but deep roar shook the entire valley.
"Trivia will have to wait."
The demon walker roared, and that signalled the beginning of this battle. The army of demonoids charge towards the first layer of walls, into the [carnivorous plants] and [cactus defense systems].
And the sound of wood and demon colliding became the background chorus. The demons chopped the defenses down, but not before the Carnivorous Plants devoured some of the demonoids, and in doing so, gradually, but sure, reduced the number of demonoids. I reckon about 1,000 to 2,000 demonoids fell before the outermost layer is breached.
Jura, Madeus and Yvon prepared on top of the 4th makeshift wall layer. “Lausanne, Stay with TreeTree. This is not your battle, not yet.”
“But my level is already in the 30s! I should be out there fighting!” The young lady protested. She too, was armed for battle, and she had two anti-demon wooden short-spears on her back.
“She’s right. She’s a valuable battlefield asset. We need her on the field, together with the girls.” One of the captains said. The archers got into position. They’ve been waiting for this moment. Many had a good meal last night, perhaps in preparation of death.
“No. Not Lausanne, and not the kids. The Valthorns stay back.” Jura insisted. “Right, TreeTree?”
“Lausanne should be fighting, but let her take one of the flanks where it’s less risky. Together with Horns. The beetles will cover her.” The beetles are all hidden in the tunnels. All 10,000 of them. But I can spare some to act as Lausanne’s squad.
The demon walker roared, and the demonoids all received a boost it. My [lesser demonic suppression] is effective, and the roar merely offsets the effects of my aura.
Yvon nodded. “You can’t coddle her forever. Fighting demons is a regular affair, she best get some experience-”
The giant walker had a large head, and it’s head resembled part-tortoise, part-dragon, it had spikes and horns and it roared, revealing its fangs. It’s a different roar, the vibration was different. And that roar sent out an energy blast.
[Steelwood barrier] [Woodshield] [Shield Generators].
The Subsidiary Trees that function as shield generators create a large wall of wood, blocking the energy blast-
The energy projectile from the blast slammed into the shields, and it crushed the first barrier and woodshield, and then cracked the last shield.
“Okay fine. Go. Keep yourself safe.” Jura sighed, turned and faced the horde of demonoids. The demon knights lead the charge against the 1st layer walls. “Remember what we discussed. We’ve got to take on the demon knights. TreeTree will focus on the demon walker.”
Yvon nodded, and then shrugged. “Though I would prefer to observe TreeTree in action, but I suppose we don’t have a choice... Be careful of the Knights.”
Lausanne smiled. “Okay. Stay safe, everyone.” Jura gave Lausanne a pat on the head.
“You too, retreat or ask for TreeTree’s help if you’re in trouble. Better alive than dead.”
An armor of wood surrounded Jura, and in his hand, a dark-brown wooden sword. There’s multiple wooden spears on his back, and multiple smaller wooden stakes, enchanted to weaken demons.
“And Yvon, you can watch after the ‘knights’ are destroyed.”
The demonoid horde still charged. And in one area where the density was highest, I activated [Root Surge] and skewered about 2,000 demonoids.
The walker stepped closer, and the earth shook. It roared again another energy blast, this time it aimed for the 2nd layer of walls. I couldn’t stop the full power of the energy projectile in time, and this time, a section of the 2nd layer walls disintegrated, and killed about 20 archers and the beetles hiding underneath.
“TreeTree, can you stop that blast?” Jura asked, while running towards the army. The archers have started their volley overhead.
"I am creating shields right in front of it, to deflect and absorb the blast. That should take the heat off you. But be prepared to run if I can’t stop it in time.”
“Great.” Jura cut down a few more demonoids in the way. He's looking for the knights.
A roar, and another energy blast, this time, I stopped it. It took 4 layers of [steelwood barriers].
A special demon, one with wings appeared, and it landed with a bang. The explosion from it’s ‘crash’ crushed another section of the 2nd layer of walls. And then it stabbed the few soldiers right in front of it.
“Jura, there’s a winged demon elite. Look out for it, it should be on your left."
“Aye. I don’t see it.” Jura’s deep in battle, fighting some more demonoids.
The horde breached through the new gaps in the 2nd layer of defenses, like a pipe with holes.
The mages conjured their fireballs and spells. And the demonoids raised a shield made of their demon-matter. Since when did the demonoids have shields? The explosions from the spells still destroyed a few demonoids, but the shields reduced the damage.
Two knights close in on Jura’s position. Tall, dark, and honestly quite-cool looking with that jagged-edged demonic body, one uses an axe, the other uses a spear. I should create wood knights. They look cool.
An energy blast from the walker again. My shields block it, but there’s still collateral damage from some of the deflected blast, a part of the 3rd layer walls is destroyed. It's using the blasts to open a way for the horde. These makeshift walls aren’t that tough, but the 4th layer was the one we built previously. The 4th wall is tougher, and where most of the men are stationed.
“So, you’re the demon knights.” Jura’s deep in battle near what remains of 2nd layer walls, and his wooden sword glowed. “Show me what you can do.”
[Speed slash] Jura’s sword flickered like streaks of light, and the first demon knight turned to mincemeat.
“Oh. Easy?” Jura looked at the other knight, and closed in. Indeed, the Level 80 warlord crushed the level 40-ish knight within 5 swipes. Honestly using his high-speed skill is overkill.
The walker stomped, and it interrupts the archers' and mages' spells.
Another energy blast, and somehow I got the angle a bit wrong. The projectile deflected and made a hole in one of the valley-cliffs.
The walker, it’s large size meant it could easily walk over the walls, and it did so. It stepped across the 2nd layer of walls. He’s entered the range where my root strikes are at full power. .
Something hopped off the demon walker’s back, and landed right in front of Jura.
A demonoid with wings, proper demon-like horns, and a sword large enough to to cut a cow in half, he radiated a magical aura.
Jura smirked. “So the demons now have tiers of elite forces too, eh? TreeTree, you watching this? This the guy?”
“Yes.” But my focus is on the Walker. My 3 artificial minds are working really hard to help. Trevor, Dimitree and Ivy’s manage the beetles, create root tunnels and help to activate all the the [subsidiary trees], [cactus defense system], [shield generators], and provide battlefield-intel to Horns who’s deep in the fighting with Lausanne. It’s a good thing I can delegate some of my abilities to them.
Yvon landed next to Jura after killing one demon knight. “Need help?”
Jura shrugged. “I’ll let you know. But I’ll try to handle him myself, for now. I got skills I’ve been itching to test out on... something strong.”
“Alright, I’ll keep the demon knights from meddling.”
“What should we call this demon?” Jura looked at Yvon, and the demon-elite looked quizzically back at them. It’s large sword glowed red, and then black. A black flame emerged from it.
Demonfire, again. How nostalgic.
The walker stepped closer. A bit more. I just needed it’s entire massive body entirely within range. Most of the horde of soldier-demonoids crossed the 2nd layer of defenses. Those makeshift walls really don’t last very long, but it served the purpose.
“For TreeTree!” Horns mentally shouted. “Battle-beetles, let’s go!” There’s no new beetle type, it’s just a name Horns came up with. It’s punny, he says. Wisp say their personalities take after an aspect of their creators, so I think Horns inherited a punny part of me.
Beetles streamed out of the tunnels under the 2nd and 3rd layer of walls, charging into the mass of demonoids from both sides, and the entire area turns into a massive brawl.
Strangely, despite the chaos of the brawl, all the demons had the sense to avoid the demon-elite and Jura, both in intense, rather high speed combat.
The demon-elite or general could fly, but at that distance, neither could really hurt each other, It seemed that the demon-elite wasn’t much of a spellcaster, so they went into a full melee.
Jura ducked, dodged, and sidestepped the demon-elite’s large bastard sword repeatedly, often narrowly avoiding mini-explosions from the sword-blast.
“Demon-general’s a better name?” Jura’s sword cut the demon-general’s wings, but the wings regenerated. It roared in response, its mouth shot out a mini-projectile at Jura. “And screw this.” Bamboo generated a massive wooden shield in front of Jura. The wooden shield disintegrated, but it seemed like the demon-general didn’t have that many uses of that projectile, since it went back into melee..
Right above, the demon walker stepped even closer. It’s feet now crossed over the 3rd layer walls easily. It roared again, this time the energy blast is aimed right at the forest, right at me.
“It can sense our presence, master.” Trevor commented. “It knows of the magical energies you are radiating.”
In my mind, I don’t think so.
[Steelwood barrier] x 5. Thank goodness I seem to have more than few hundred uses of these shield-skills per day. Multiple large wooden barriers once again appeared to block the energy blast. Four barriers disintegrated, but the last one held. “Well, what do you know, my shields at this distance can stop that blast.”
Below it, the beetles and the demonoids fight it out in a massive brawl. The militia and the order’s soldiers keep up the volley of arrows, but in such state, there’s quite a bit of friendly fire. The beetles large size don’t help.
The walker roared again, and... the spires on its back glowed red, another spire glowed purple. Once that started, the demonoids glowed red too, and they went into a kind of battle-frenzy, and the ‘damage’ suffered by the demonoids seemingly regenerated.
“Oh. That castle’s an aura-machine.” I mentally smack myself. Of course, the castle imparts passive buffs, like me.
The spires started to shoot out smaller, less powerful energy blasts.
“And it’s equipped with laser-turrets.” Alexis looked in amazement. “It’s a walking laser tank.”
For me, those glowing red spires reminded me of the Obelisk of Light.
“The blood-rituals don’t look so bad now.” I sighed. To be fair, without the walker, I’d defeat the 40,000, even 60,000 demonoids without a problem. 10,000 beetles would’ve taken out 20,000 demonoids, easy. Clearly, for regular humans without special anti-demon skills and weapons, they would need to gather a large group of high level individuals. At least multiple level 80s.
It really makes my multiplier against demons a great advantage.
Madeus, together with the mages of New Freeka changed their targets to the giant walker, since it’s hard to avoid friendly fire with the beetles fighting literally in the ‘trenches’. Lausanne’s doing fine. She’s got a whip-like weapon that seems to cut through the demons like they are made of paper, and only against the knights that she needed help from the beetles.
“We’ve got them held up at the 3rd layer.” One of the captains said. Well, the 4th layer is the last layer of walls, and after that its New Freeka’s own town walls or the forest itself. I’m not keen on letting the walker anywhere near the forest, since the Treefolks’ village is between me and them.
The walker stepped, and kicked the 3rd layer’s walls with its large feet.
“Oh.” I kind of forgot that it could just... hit things instead of using the energy blast. And it kicked again.
And that segment of the walls crumbled. Most of the men had retreated to the 4th layer, it’s mostly just ranged combat, except for beetles. Some of the soldier-elites also tried to fight the demonoids. By now, the demonoids thinned to about 30,000, and I’ve lost about half of my beetles. Somes losses on the soldiers or the Order, mostly from the walker. But it looks like they will have to bear some more.
The walker stepped through the crumbled sections. It kicked the 4th layer walls with incredible force, and then, strangely, walked past the 4th layer of walls. It walked towards me. As if it knows I’m there. Waiting.
“Oh, it dares to approach TreeTree?” Alexis grinned. “Even though TreeTree has anti-demon powers?”
It roared. My wooden shields blocked the energy blast. Good. Come.
“Get as close as you need to. So I can shove all the roots I have through your body.”
Hmm, let’s see whether there’s going to be any collateral damage.
“Have the Treefolks evacuated?”
“Let me check... yes.” Trevor said.
Most of them are now in the designated ‘safe-houses’. Those that can fight are on the 4th wall, and some back at New Freeka’s town walls. The demonoid army’s still behind it, caught up in the brawl with the beetles, though some are trickling past the 3rd wall.
Jura and the demon-general fought toe-to-toe, as Yvon focused on fighting the other demon knights that tried to come to the demon-general’s aid.
Jura’s still has an edge, but if there’s 2 of them, he’ll be in trouble. He took a few hits, but thankfully the armor bore the brunt of it. Yvon on the other hand, focused on the other demon knights.
At first Yvon wanted to help, but her own level is only about 60, so she changed her targets. Jura and the demon-general traded blows.
The demon general leaped high up, half of it’s wings torn from an earlier well-placed slash. It’s large bastard sword cracked, and a massive wooden fist punched it right in the body. It staggered back, and Jura changed weapon, again. The wooden swords don’t last long, but he has a whole lot stored.
“So, any tricks?” Jura’s body is surrounded by Bamboo’s wood-armor, and it’s flexible form means it’s also a weapon. “Or are you just faster, stronger, and hit a whole lot harder?”
The demon-general’s staggered, even with the aura-effects from the Demon Spires. There’s three wooden spears lodged in its body, the wooden spears are enchanted with holy magic and made from TreeTree’s anti-demon wooden stakes. It’s enchantment meant it drained some demonic energy out of the demon-general.
“Well, time to end this. [Speed Slash].”
A flash of light, and the demon-general’s body was cut in half, then it disintegrated.
“Just a faster, stronger demon knight. I’d be worried if they start having actual skills.” Jura did a fist, and then he realised there’s still a whole lot of demons to fight.
“Good, I’m going to be fighting the demon-walker now.”
“Is this how godzilla looks like? It’s massive.” Meela looked in amazement. “Are we going to have a monster-fight now? Tree versus demon-walker.”
Size-wise, it is larger than the earlier demon-champions. But it feels like maybe it’s not as strong. Or maybe there’s some trade-off. It certainly doesn’t feel as threatening, despite its enormous size.
A demon champion. I’ve long awaited this day.
The special anti-demon bolts are ready. I’ve gained 20 levels and many skills since I last fought the demon champions 8 years ago, and I have more hero fragments too. I have prepared for this moment, with skills, and items. I believe I can take it, and now, to see whether I can.
The giant demon walked, and now it’s on the very edges of my forest.
And that’s as far as I’m going to let it go. A wall of wood shields appear in front of it.
“You shall not pass!” Alexis shouted.
Meela did a facepalm. “That’s lame.”
[Super anti-demon rootstrikes] x 5. All tipped with the specially-made demon bolts. One rootstrike for one of those giant legs. The roots shoot out of the ground, a dense energy surrounds each of the bolts and the edge.
And it exploded right on the legs. The demon-walker roared, and this time, it shot out a few energy blasts. I blocked three of them, but the fourth one left levelled a patch of forests, and destroyed a section of the Treefolk’s village.
Still, I’m happy. The rootstrikes did what I expected it to do. It stopped walking, as large chunks were taken out of its 5 legs. It looked unsteady, as if it’s going to crumble on it’s own weight. But it didn’t.
It roared again, this time it turned it’s head. It’s not aimed at me, but at the 4th layer walls.
Shit! I created the wood shields in the wrong place, and the blast vaporised a large chunk of the 4th layer walls. Some of the beetles and soldiers there were killed.
“TreeTree! Don’t let it shoot at us!” Jura shouted, some of the men were buried under the rubble.
Heh, all it can do now is shoot? The spires on it’s back glowed and shot out red beams and it set a portion of the forest on fire. It’s large head roared again, and blasted one more energy blast.
My wooden shields caught the shot, but still, the impact caused the space right before the shield to burst into flames.
[Constrict] Using vines, I attempt to force the head to aim only at me.
[Super anti-demon root strike] x 5. More bolts, and this time, before it could release another round of energy blasts, I took out it’s 5 feet. The giant crashed into the ground, and with it came a huge shockwave of smoke and dust. But it’s not dead yet, the spires on it’s back still shooting beams.
Still, I’m confident. Let’s see whether it has any tricks left.
[Super anti-demon root strike] x 5.
More bolts. I have about 90 bolts left, and have many more super-root strikes to go.
It roared again, and more energy blasts. This time, I think it used a special attack, because it blasted through all of the defensive shields I had, and then blew up three [subsidiary trees] and then the energy blast smacked right into my main body.
And I felt a chunk of my bark fall off. “Oh. I’m still alive.” Thank goodness for all the fragments.
Well, let’s retaliate.
[Super anti-demon root strike] x 10. The hard shell around the main body shattered on impact, and a few of my roots struck whatever’s inside. I think I hit something important.
The ground shook, like something exploded inside of it’s body..
It’s head roared again, charging another energy blast. This time, because of the poor angle, the shot went wide and flew into the sky.
No chances. I shot out another 10 [Super Anti-demon Root Strike], aimed at the giant head. It cracked, and then the entire head crumbled.
The spires of the castle collapsed. A humanoid giant appeared in it’s place. It’s... body is half-hexed, as if the demon-flesh is rotting, and each step, chunks of it fall off, as if it’s melting. If this is what the hexbomb does, it feels like the future’s gonna be quite... grim.
The giant humanoid demon stepped forward, and more parts fall off. Yet, I see it struggling, as it attempted to regenerate the destroyed parts. It’s an ongoing battle between the demon’s regeneration and the corruption of the hexbomb.
It’s a demon, and there’s no time for caution.
[Super anti-demon root strike] x 2.
Two roots shoots out of the ground, and impaled the giant through it’s chest and what I suspect is the head. Seriously, a humanoid demon.
And then it disintegrated, along with the rest of the demon walker body.
“Uh... is that it?”
“The walker is down! The walker is down!” Alexis shouted and clapped her spirit-like hands.
I mentally made a fistbump. I’ve finally reached the point where I can take on a champion by myself.
As the body disintegrated, the aura from the spires faded too. The elves, centaurs, treefolks and beetles who are busy fighting the regular demonoids, suddenly found their opponents become far weaker than they originally were. The energy that was resisting and offsetting my [lesser demonic suppression] gone, and now, they felt the full effect of the aura.
What’s left of the 20,000 or so weakened humanoid demons fell to the might of the remaining forces. Or skewered in the flood of root strikes that followed.
[Level up! You are now level 137! (+5 levels)]
[Skill acquired : Healing Aura]
[Skill upgraded : Subsidiary Trees - 15,000. Subsidiary Trees gains a share of main body's environmental adaptations & Auras. Only applies to Subsidiary trees within 100km of main-tree]
[Skill upgraded : Woodcrafting]
[Skill upgraded : Steelwood Barrier]
[Skill upgraded : Root tunnels]