Chapter 135: Spring Comes Upon A Withered Tree (II)
Elves possessed their own sub-space. Unfortunately, due to the decline of power, Shang Ke could only hold up those ten seeds inside it. Moreover, he needed to release them to absorb the elements every once in a while, as the sub-space could only perform the most basic biological functions.
Shang Ke kept the ten seeds in the sub-space, and he temporarily hung the remaining two on his waist using woven ropes made of aquatic plants. After a friendly negotiation with a black bear, Shang Ke sat on its broad back and left the burned forest, accompanied by several small animals who had lost their homes.
The main activity area of the specters was in the northeast, so Shang Ke headed towards the southwest. However, he couldn’t be too far away from the center of the mainland. He had to be well-informed at all times so he could pick up the whereabouts of the phantom jade.
The forest burned by the specters was called “Wasier”, and it covered an area of nine million square kilometers. It was the second largest forest area in the continent of Anglo. It produced one quarter of the world’s oxygen and had active natural elements, making it one of the four forbidden areas that the specters abhorred the most. The world’s largest forest area was the original residence of the elves—Faesier. Although it was not completely destroyed, it had become a battlefield for the alliance and the specters.
The fire destroyed hundreds of thousands of trees in the north of Wasier. Although the total area destroyed was only a fraction, the rate of the specter’s destruction far exceeded the forest’s recovery speed. If they continued to burn pieces of it every now and then, it would be destroyed one day, no matter how large it was.
He used the continental map provided by the System and settled down near Yunning Lake, southwest of Wasier forest. It was only a few hundred kilometers away from Lundo City, which belonged to the Human Alliance. There was also a War Camp where mercenaries gathered. It probably won’t be easy for the specters to extend their reach over here.
The original spirit of this body hadn’t dared to contact any race. He wandered from place to place alone for nearly a hundred years, taking care of the elf seeds. Unfortunately, he failed to see the end to his journey.
Shang Ke stood in front of an enormous tree covered in vines and slowly raised his hands. Green light sparkled from the tips of his fingers, and it turned into a twinkling river that circled around the tree.
As the river of light flowed, vines twined and interweaved as though alive, and with the trunk as the pillar, a delicate and lovely rattan house slowly formed. Simultaneously, a small yellow flower bloomed on a branch, then the second, and the third. In an instant, the house was blanketed in flowers, like a lamp brightened with colorful lights.
The cheerful chirping of birds rang out clearly in the forest. The leaves swayed gently in the breeze, and the magical green luster sparkled under the sun. When the warm wind blew, the fragrance of flowers overflowed.
Surrounded by vibrant elements, Shang Ke could feel them singing silently to him, as if they were welcoming the arrival of Teldrassil with endless joy and adoration.
Deep in the woods, a man stood quietly, watching the elf immerse himself in nature, and taking in the beautiful view of his magic. He had been following the elf for several days from a distance, watching him shuttling through the forest with only animals for company. He saw him drink clear spring water, eat nectar, and perch on branches, looking carefree and serene. The elf was like a slowly unfolding image that made people unable to move their sight away.
He had seen many mixed-race elves, but they were more worldly in spirit. None of them had such a light spirit and incomparable natural affinity as he did.
At this moment, a gem-like object on the man’s wrist flickered a few times. He rubbed it for a while, looked up at the elf once more, before reluctantly leaving.
Shang Ke suddenly felt something and looked towards the disappearing man. He knew that someone had been following him these days, but he never exposed himself. The night before yesterday, with the help of the skill “leaf sight”, he glimpsed at his stalker secretly.
The man had dark brown hair and wore half a leather mask on his face, which made it difficult for Shang Ke to see him clearly. Standing about 200 cm, he looked like a mercenary soldier. Judging from the shape of his ears, he should be a human and a member of the alliance, since he wore a ring engraved with golden wings on his finger.
It was the symbol of the Uttar Empire, and it was the largest human nation in the alliance. They were one of the major fighting forces against the specters.
When he realized this, Shang Ke didn’t take any action and let him continue stalking. After all, he would need to use the power of various races to seize the phantom jade, eventually. Maybe this man could become an opportunity for him to contact the alliance forces.
Shortly after the man left, a seed on Shang Ke’s waist gave a slight jump, and a light crack resounded in the air.
Was an elf about to be born?
Shang Ke hurriedly removed the seeds from his waist. A crack appeared on the surface of one shell. His fingers slid along the crack, guiding the elements in the air to establish contact with the small life within.
Crack, crack… The crack on the egg grew bigger and bigger. With a final crunchy sound, the shell broke into pieces in Shang Ke’s hand, and a white, tender elf appeared before his eyes.
Pale gold short hair wetly stuck against the tiny head. A pair of pointed small ears were pale pink. The small face was round and lovely with a mouth opening and closing to absorb the elements evenly. Moments later, he slowly opened his eyes, revealing a pair of big wet orbs that stared at Shang Ke.
Pure blood elves differed from human beings. They carried a part of their ancestral memory with them when they were born, and their bodies grew stronger in a very short time because they absorbed the natural elements.
The elf stretched himself in Shang Ke’s palm and reached out its limbs naturally. The delicate skin gradually became strong and powerful. In a few minutes, he flexibly turned over and sat up, looking around curiously before he began to climb up along Shang Ke’s arm. He stepped on his forearm with his small foot, held his upper arm with his small hand, and rubbed against him with a smile.
Shang Ke was enamored by him. He took the baby elf to the riverside to wash him. However, before he could squat down, the elf broke away from his arms and jumped into the water with a splash. He swam like a fish in water, occasionally spitting out a few bubbles.
“Are you a fish or an elf?” Shang Ke smiled. “Since you like spitting bubbles so much, I might as well call you Bubbles.”
The little head popped out of the water, spat a few bubbles at Shang Ke, then sank back into the water.
Whilst having a good time, the elf’s limbs suddenly spasmed a few times, and agony flashed across his face.
Shang Ke was shocked and immediately pulled him out of the water. The elf gasped, his face flushing with pain as he trembled all over. His originally pink nails slowly became dark. It didn’t seem to be caused by choking on water, but suffering due to severe pain.
The elf sobbed painfully and curled up in Shang Ke’s hand like a poor ball.
Shang Ke’s palm gleamed white as he wrapped the small ball in it, checking his body while comforting him.
A moment later, Shang Ke frowned. This elf had uneven elements and a weak constitution. If his guess was right, it should be because he left Teldrassil too early, and the polluted air contaminated him, resulting in physical deficiencies.
Shang Ke gently caressed the elf’s fragile body and whispered, “Don’t be afraid. I’ll take good care of you no matter what.”
The first elf was deficient, and most likely the remaining eleven were also the same. He must think of a way to help them recuperate, otherwise they may not grow up healthy at all.
Shang Ke sent the sleeping elf to the tree house and set up a barrier. Then, he ventured into the forest and collected some useful plants.
He sat cross-legged under a tree and used his magic to extract plant fibers from the stems to weave clothes for the elves. One by one, soft little clothes were made in Shang Ke’s hands—silver white, light yellow, light brown, aqua blue. They were all exquisite and concise, each with a natural fragrance.
Several small animals sat around Shang Ke and watched his movements curiously. A leopard cat with different colors leaned over, sniffed, and squinted in delight. Shang Ke decided to tie a tassel knot for it and hang it around its neck. It was very cute when it swayed.
The afterglow of the sunset sprinkled through the leaves into the tree house. The elf woke up from a deep sleep and rubbed his eyes. At first, he looked around in confusion, before staggering to the door naked and poking his head through the leaves. He found a familiar figure under the tree with various objects placed beside him.
The elf suddenly jumped up, swung down the trunk and landed beside Shang Ke.
Shang Ke saw him and smiled. “Come on, try it on.”
The elf deftly raised his arms, letting Shang Ke help him put on his clothes. The clothes, soft in texture and light and elegant like cat skin, made the elf look more elegant and lovely.
With his new clothes on, the elf was so happy that he threw himself on the leopard cat’s back and flew around, completely forgetting the pain from earlier.
Shang Ke smiled and packed up his things. He already had a rough plan for his future.
The next day, Shang Ke used magic to build several tree houses, and then took the elf to the forest to collect wood and seeds.
He used the wood to make musical instruments and various daily utensils. Seeds were for self-sufficiency and beautifying the environment. Besides absorbing elements, pure blood elves also liked to eat nectar, vegetables and fruits.
After a harvest, the food could also be used to trade goods with other races. The fruits and vegetables planted by elves were rich in spirit and very popular in human cities. However, since pure blood elves were now a rarity, spiritual fruits and vegetables on the market were almost extinct.
Half a month later, the second elf was born. His physique was slightly stronger than Bubbles, but his left eye was blind. His pupil was a light gray, so Shang Ke named him “Gray”.
Both elves had defects. Although Shang Ke was mentally prepared, he still felt distressed. Elves were the darlings of nature, but now they were so fragile. Their lives would also be shortened by the loss of their mother tree and the fountain of life.
For these elves, Shang Ke decided to postpone contact with the outside world, until the elves gained some self-preservation abilities at least.
“Catch him! Don’t let him get away!”
In the woods, more than a dozen mercenaries angrily chased after an injured man.
They chased him to a cliff. The man looked back at them, and he jumped down without hesitation.
The mercenaries looked under the cliff. The air was surrounded by fog, and the end was bottomless. Unless the man could fly, he would surely fall to his death.
“Motherfucker, if there’s no body, the reward would be at least halved,” a mercenary cursed.
“We have his ring, which is enough.” Another mercenary tossed a ring with golden wings in his hand.
“Should we go down and take a look?”
“What’s there to see? By the time we find him, a beast would have eaten his body already.”
The group of people discussed for a moment, before finally giving up the plan to pick up the corpse. They turned and left the cliff.
At the foot of the cliff, the man was not dead, as the mercenaries presumed. He staggered to his feet, propped up his badly injured body, and walked step by step towards a certain direction, leaving behind a long trail of blood.
He didn’t know how long he’d been walking. A bloody haze tainted the man’s vision, but a faint light pierced through the haze, and he smelled a tempting fragrance.
He was still here.
The man collapsed to the ground, wearily closed his eyes, and lost consciousness. His last sight was the blurry figure of that elf…