They then reached a spot where they could see the World Tree that was at the center of an area surrounded by large trees.
“Is it possible for me to have a quiet conversation with the World Tree?”
“I understand. I will make sure no existences who can hear you will be around here.”
That meant that she would make sure that the Elves, including her, and even the Elementals would leave the area.
Cale walked toward the World Tree alone after hearing the satisfactory response.
Adite bowed toward the World Tree and stepped back.
Cale walked at a not too fast, not too slow pace and arrived in front of the World Tree.
The World Tree gave off this feeling of stability as it looked the same every time, despite the new branches growing in spots from it losing branches every time they chatted.
“It’s been a while, ma’am. I kept saying that I needed to come back, but it ended up taking a while.”
Cale gave a light-hearted greeting before putting his hand on the tree and closing his eyes.
– Yes. It’s been a while.
The World Tree responded with a similarly light-hearted but welcoming greeting.
– The world is extremely chaotic right now. There must be a reason you came to see me despite all the chaos. For what reason have you come to see me in such a busy time and why do you wish to have a quiet conversation with just the two of us?
The questions that followed the greeting were not light-hearted at all.
The words that came out of Cale’s mouth next were not light-hearted either.
“…Do you know about immortals?”
The reason Cale didn’t bring the others with him…
“Immortals. There are also Reincarnators, Single-lifers, and Transmigrators. Do you know anything about these existences?”
Cale could feel the will of Drew Thames moving inside the diary in his pocket.
He then waited for the World Tree’s response.
– …I do not. Am I supposed to try to understand those words? I don’t think you are asking for the meaning of those words.
That was right.
Cale was not asking about something like that.
He was asking if there was anything the World Tree knew about the laws that the Thames household had been researching.
“Please let me give a simple explanation.”
Cale did not say everything.
He just explained what he read in the diary, especially the information about immortals and single-lifers. There was a need to do that. He felt that they were things the World Tree should know.
– Ho. They use such concepts to divide those people?
The World Tree could not hide its shock.
– Mm. It is my first time hearing about some of those things. Exceptions and variables? How surprising. Very surprising indeed. How did you find all this out?
“I’m sorry, but I cannot tell you that.”
He did not tell the World Tree about the Thames household, the hunters hunting the single-lifers, nor about the regressors.
Finally, he did not mention the ways to kill the different variables and exceptions.
– I guess it is dangerous information for you to reveal the source of it. Hmm……
The World Tree was quiet for a moment, as if it was organizing its thoughts.
Cale patiently waited.
And once the World Tree started speaking again… The first thing it mentioned was neither the reincarnators nor the immortals.
– Are you talking about the tribulators?
– Yes. It is a word I made up, but I call the souls that only live one lifespan ‘tribulators.’
Tribulators. Cale had never heard this word before.
– It seems that tribulators and single-lifers are pretty similar concepts. Hmm. I’m surprised that there was someone in this world that realized that concept.
“…What is a tribulator?”
– As the name implies, they are people who go through tribulations. Of course, nobody knows who will be born as a tribulator.
The World Tree let out a short gasp.
– There are some races that never get tribulators. The Dark Elves, Vampires, Wolf tribe, and others like them never get tribulators.
‘If tribulators are like single-lifers… There are races that never get single-lifers?’
That was odd in its own way. The World Tree must have seen the confusion on Cale’s face as it continued to speak.
– Mm. I guess I can tell you this.
It, as usual, had to think about what it could say and what it couldn’t say before it spoke.
– There was a Dark Elf in the past who had an ill-fated relationship with a tribulator. Not all Dark Elves are good; there are bound to be evil beings in any race.
– Unlike most Dark Elves who gathered dead mana from tombs or corpses, that Dark Elf killed living beings and gained dead mana from their death.
There was a tribulator who lost his family and almost died because of that crazy Dark Elf.
That tribulator eventually overcame all levels of tribulations and did something once he became a great existence.
One part stuck out in Cale’s mind.
‘A tribulator overcomes all levels of tribulation and becomes a great existence.’
The Thames family had concluded that a single-lifer could go to the Divine World or become something even greater at the end of their lifespan. They believed that single-lifers could become gods.
‘Does that mean that the story of this tribulator is the story of a god’s past?’
Cale had that question on his mind as he quietly listened to the World Tree’s words echo in his mind.
– That tribulator decided that anybody who uses dead mana is ‘evil.’
Cale thought of someone as soon as he heard that.
“…The Sun God?”
The Church of the Sun God had started a war against Dark Elves, Necromancers, and any race that uses dead mana in the past.
The final Necromancer had died at the Desert of Death, and no necromancers had existed until Mary became a necromancer in the Dark Elf City located underground in that desert.
– I did not say who that tribulator was, nor do I plan to say who it was.
The World Tree stopped for a moment before making up its mind and continuing.
– But I do know one thing. That tribulator is currently regretting his past. Furthermore, he now knows that the existences that he had deemed as ‘evil’ are ‘meant to be.’
That is why he wishes to help one of those people who are meant to be.
The World Tree’s voice softened a bit as it continued.
– That is all. That is all that I can tell you.
‘Meant to be.’
Cale thought of Alberu Crossman for some reason when he heard that phrase. This person who was ‘meant to be’ that the Sun God was helping… It was possible that the person was one of the Sun God twins, Jack or Hannah.
– …I am unfamiliar with the other concepts as well. Am I an immortal?
“That is what I believe.”
– I guess it makes sense to see me as an immortal.
Cale said something else now that they got this far.
“The White Star is a reincarnator and I need the power of the immortal to get rid of him.”
It was at that moment.
The World Trees and the trees surrounding it made a noise as their leaves smacked each other despite there being no breeze.
– …What do you mean by that?
“There is an ancient power that allows the user to see the annual rings of life.”
Cale started to explain.
First, the reincarnator’s largest ring of life needed to be destroyed in order to completely kill a reincarnator.
Second, a person needed the ability to see annual rings in order to do that.
Third, the power of an immortal was required to destroy that annual ring.
– So, what you are saying is that you, as someone who can see a person’s annual rings of life, would be able to stop the White Star, who is a reincarnator, and get rid of him for good using a weapon that has the power of an immortal?
The World Tree scoffed in disbelief multiple times.
– I am able to get rid of a reincarnator? How surprising! I never even imagined such a method! There is still so much I do not know in this world!
It then calmed down as it asked.
– So, you need a weapon with my power in it.
“Yes, ma’am. Do you remember the sword you gave me last time?”
The World Tree had given Elf healer Pendrick a chopstick-like branch to give to Cale as a sword when he was dealing with the fake World Tree incident at the Molden Palace’s underground labyrinth.
– Mm. That does have my power in it.
The World Tree seemed a bit hesitant.
– …But that is weak.
– The power in that branch is not the real thing.
It was at that moment.
Cale could feel the area around him shaking. He flinched but did not open his eyes.
– If that method really works…
The World Tree was still speaking to him.
– I should give you the real thing.
Cale wanted to ask what it meant by that. But he could tell that something was already happening around him.
The leaves were making noises as they fluttered even more.
The shaking underneath his feet was getting stronger as well.
It felt as if something that was supporting this village with the World Tree was moving.
– I said that the branch was a sword.
However, that branch was the youngest existence that had not survived very long.
The ground shook quite a bit.
Cale could feel it at that point.
Something big was shooting out of the ground.
– I should give you the oldest thing in my life.
– That would be considered the foundation of an immortal, a part of my existence.
The thing that was shooting up was a root.
– This is the tip of my oldest root.
Cale could hear something piercing through the ground and rising up.
– Open your eyes and take a look.
Cale took his hand off the World Tree for a moment and opened his eyes.
As he looked down in front of his feet…
He saw a black and white root that was the size of a small dagger.
Cale was only seeing a portion of it, but he could tell that the root that was still underground was extremely large.
That was why the ground had been shaking.
Cale reached his hand toward the World Tree again and closed his eyes.
– I will cut off the tip of this root for you, so use it. This is a sword as well.
…I cannot let the world fall into darkness again.
The voice sounded grim, as if it had made a big decision.
– The power of this root sword will activate once you put the blood from your heart on it.
Cale couldn’t help but ask.
“Umm… must I put blood on it?”
– Yes. The blood from your heart.
The World Tree sounded serious.
Cale couldn’t help but ask again.
“What is the principle behind it?”
‘What kind of weapon required the blood from his heart?’
Cale could not understand at all. His face looked disgruntled without even knowing it was happening.
The World Tree’s voice sounded grim.
It responded seriously.
– It is simple. My body… The part of me that is cut off will be in a state of asphyxia once it is removed. It needs the blood from someone with ‘healing’ or ‘rejuvenation’ in order to awaken it.
– That power cannot be the power of a god and must be the power that a living being possesses. Furthermore, the blood must come from the central location of that power.
– Only the person who awakens the root with their blood will be able to use its powers.
The immobile World Tree seemed extremely willing to help as it had a way to help the world this time, unlike when it had been helpless during ancient times.
– Cale Henituse. You have an ancient power related to rejuvenation and healing. That power starts from your heart. That is why you must become the caster and use it. Furthermore, you are perfect for it since you said you can use that annual rings ancient power as well. Perfect!
Cale’s expression slowly turned odd as he listened.
The World Tree did not notice and just continued speaking.
– Don’t worry. You will not die. It will be grotesque since you will bleed a lot, but it will actually be helpful to you too. I guarantee it. It’ll end quickly if you close your eyes and do it. You might have to stab your heart a few times if you don’t go deep enough, so just give it one strong stab. That’s all it’ll take.
– Easy, isn’t it?
Cale finally said something.
“…Not at all. It is not easy at all.”
Cale imagined himself stabbing this root dagger into his heart and then using that bloody sword to take down the White Star.
It was not easy at all.
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