GDK 647: Tree of Life

The energy brimming with vitality inside wood elite zombie was consistent with the edictal energy of life. After gaining the extreme treasure of wood, the Viride Leaf, he managed to evolve even further. Hence, it shouldn’t be a problem for him to cross this barrier.

Right after the wood elite zombie was summoned, he started looking all around in astonishment before he pointed towards the barrier and transmitted to Han Shuo, “Father, there’s something strange inside there!”

Han Shuo could sense the abnormality within and therefore was not surprised by the exclamation. He nodded and said, “That’s right, there’s something strange in there. It could be useful to you. Can you enter the barrier?”

"I don't know!" wood elite zombie transmitted. He paused for a second, then continued, "But I can try."

“Well, try your best to open it and see what is actually inside,” Han Shuo instructed.

"This... That... What is really going on?" the sea monster cried out in surprise seeing another person suddenly appear out of nowhere.

As the five elite zombies gradually evolved, they less and less resembled stiff, lifeless zombies. As their strengths rapidly soared, the aura of death on their bodies gradually vanished and they began to look like normal human beings.

This was especially the case for wood elite zombie. After having obtained the Viride Leaf, the wood elite zombie managed to evolve one step further with not a trace of the aura of death to be found on his body. One could even sense that his body was filled with vitality. He even looked rather different from his normal self. His complexion paled pinked to a more humanly one.

“It’s none of your business. Stay right in place and don’t move an inch!” Han Shuo coldly instructed after shooting a glance at the sea monster.

After the previous round of battle, the sea monster became deeply terrified of Han Shuo and dared not to disobey any of his words. His heart felt like an unsolved puzzle, but he did not ask any more questions and fell dead silent. He narrowed his attention on wood elite zombie in an attempt to figure out what he was up to.

After walking to the front of the barrier, wood elite zombie put his hand forward. An energy of sheer vitality flowed into the barrier through his hand.

The same barrier that was hostile towards Han Shuo and spontaneously attacked him when he approached, responded with calmness towards wood elite zombie.

“Father, I can enter it. This energy makes me feel very comfortable and it’s not hostile towards me at all,” wood elite zombie transmitted to Han Shuo cheerfully.

Han Shuo had of course anticipated this. After listening to wood elite zombie’s words, Han Shuo thought for a moment and replied, “Alright, enter it and see what is actually in there. If you can, try and remove the barrier.”

"Okay!” wood elite zombie replied in an excited and impatient tone. He seemed to be very interested in what was across the barrier.

Wood elite zombie, whose palm was pressed against the barrier, crossed into it as though his body had melted into it. He did not trigger the slightest reaction from the barrier.

"He, he disappeared? He disappeared inside! How is this possible?!" the sea monster who had been carefully watching wood elite zombie all along cried out in surprise when wood elite zombie entered the area with no resistance right before its eyes, something which the sea monster had failed to accomplish in all his time there.

“Shut your damn mouth and watch!” Han Shuo lightly groaned.

The sea monster was again silenced. Its soul became extremely unsettled. Many of the tentacles on its body were oscillating subconsciously. They were an obvious sign of its amazement and disbelief.

Although Han Shuo could still detect wood elite zombie’s position inside the barrier, he wasn’t able to sense what was going on in there through wood elite zombie. Just like the sea monster, Han Shuo maintained his silence and watched from outside the barrier, waiting to see any kind of changes that might happen to the barrier.

Not long after, the invisible barrier once again gave off a soft, green glow that was as weak as the bioluminescence of a firefly. That soft green glow seemed to be gradually pulled and withdrawn by some kind of energy along with the barrier. Han Shuo could sense that the energy of the barrier that had been obstructing him was being eliminated.

The sea monster had also noticed the phenomenon. Its tentacles were oscillating at an even greater magnitude but it did not dare make a noise.

Soon enough, the soft green light completely receded. The scene that was blocked by the boundary all along was finally revealed to Han Shuo’s and the sea monster’s eyes.

A small but luscious tree with verdant leaves was revealed under the island. Although the tree appeared small, each and every one of its leaves was as green as emerald and even gave off a faint green light. The small tree was thriving, its branches intertwined. The aura of life was extremely exuberant.

Standing beside the small tree was wood elite zombie, staring at it as though he had been enchanted.

“How is this possible! How could any tree survive under the sea?” the sea monster again couldn’t restrain its amazement as it exclaimed.

“Nothing is impossible!” Han Shuo replied. Immediately, he transmitted to wood elite zombie, “Try to absorb the energy in the tree.”

By now, Han Shuo was no longer ignorant and ill-informed. Through the memories left by the original owner of the skeletal staff as well as certain knowledge from Bechymos and the person trapped inside the Holy Grail, Han Shuo knew a thing or two about those living in major material planes.

That little tree with intense aura of life ought to have been a Tree of Life as told in the legends. It was said that those who cultivate in the edict of life, right before their death, under some unique circumstances, could pass on their energy of life by transforming into a Tree of Life.

There likely was an existence eons ago who cultivated in the edict of life that, knowing that his life was near its end, through certain unique means, transformed himself into the Tree of Life standing before their eyes. In some sense, this godly existence who had transformed into a Tree of Life did not actually die but lived on in another way.

The Tree of Life not only contained an immense amount of the energy of life, but might even retained the knowledge that the god had. A Tree of Life was beyond precious. However, Han Shuo had merely heard of the legend that those who cultivated in the edict of life could transform themselves into a Tree of Life and that the Trees were very miraculous. Han Shuo wasn’t particularly clear about the specifics.

Han Shuo believed that the Tree of Life would be extremely useful for wood elite zombie. From Han Shuo’s point of view, it would be by taking over the Tree of Life that wood elite zombie could maximize his gain. There was no better way of doing that than absorbing all the energy of life inside the Tree of Life.

Wood elite zombie stood before the Tree of Life and stared blankly for quite a while. He remained silent and did not immediately respond to Han Shuo’s command.

After a while, wood elite zombie seemed to finally grasp Han Shuo’s instruction as he withdrew his extreme treasure of wood attribute, the Viride Leaf. He then pressed his hand on the Tree of Life with the Viride Leaf in between.

In an instant, both the Tree of Life and the Viride Leaf blossomed with a captivating green radiance. A vigorous energy suddenly erupted from the Tree of Life and flowed into wood elite zombie through the Viride Leaf.

“It can actually be done!” Han Shuo was flabbergasted.

Although Han Shuo had indeed given wood elite zombie the order, he wasn’t completely certain if wood elite zombie could actually absorb the energy of life within the Tree of Life. Therefore, when the exuberant energy within the Tree started to rush into wood elite zombie’s body, Han Shuo was in awe.

"Wha… What is he doing?" Again, the sea monster couldn’t help himself but ask.

“He’s absorbing the energy within - the same energy that turned you from a small octopus to the humongous monster that you are now!” Han Shuo said ecstatically as he laughed loudly.

“I, I want some!” the sea monster uttered after staring blankly for a long while.

“You? Haha, that will kill you!” Han Shuo looked at the sea monster as though looking at a clown and continued disdainfully, “There is absolutely no way that your body could support much of that type of energy, so give up on the thought.”

Han Shuo was speaking the truth. Wood elite zombie could absorb the energy because the energy he cultivated in was analogous to the energy in the Tree. On top of that, wood elite zombie was born with a unique body structure that allowed him to absorb and store the energy found in the Tree of Life.

It was indeed true that the energy of life from the Tree of Life gave rise to the sea monster transformation. However, Han Shuo reckoned that the transformation must have occurred a long, long time ago. The strength that the sea monster now possessed did not originate directly from the bit of the energy of life that struck it, but from the sea monster’s slow and gradual evolution. That bit energy of life that strayed off to it had merely opened a door for the sea monster and it should have been its own effort in further evolving after that point.

If one were to compulsively absorb an excessive amount of energy that one did not cultivate in, one would end up dead. The sea monster was fortunate that it was merely hit by one wee bit of the energy of life back then. Had it been hit by an excessive amount of that energy, it likely wouldn't have endured and would have died on the spot, never getting the chance to evolve to this stage.

Under Han Shuo’s attentive gaze, the energy within the Tree of Life rapidly gushed into wood elite zombie while the brilliant radiance of the Tree gradually faded.

Soon enough, the Tree of Life started to wither. The leaves browned and dried before they fell off one after another. The exuberant energy was no more. In contrast, the pale face of wood elite zombie turned rosy and looked more youthful and healthy. The Viride Leaf in his hand too looked verdant and filled with plenty of energy.

In the end, the Tree of Life was completely drained of energy. Surprisingly, right before Han Shuo’s eyes, the base of the Tree of Life turned into skeletal remains with no trace of any wooden quality. It appeared that after the energy of life was drained, the original appearance of the god who had transformed into the Tree of Life would be revealed.

While wood elite zombie indulged himself in the massive amount of energy that he had just obtained out of the blue, Han Shuo focused on observing the area around the skeletal remains. He found nothing that would indicate or reveal his identity.

After a long while, when Han Shuo was still checking all around for any traces, wood elite zombie suddenly said to him, “Father, I know that you are injured. I can help you!”

Han Shuo, who had sunken deep into contemplation, was immediately roused. He asked in a rather startled manner, “Help me? What do you mean?”

"I don't know why, but I believe that I can use this new energy to accelerate your body’s recovery process!" wood elite zombie transmitted.

Han Shuo was startled. He thought for a moment and felt that perhaps the energy of life really could help him in rejuvenating his body. Hence, he nodded happily and said, "Well then, let's try that out!"

Upon finishing those words, Han Shuo again carefully examined the base of the Tree of Life that had turned into skeletal remains after losing all its energy of life. With a raise of his big hand, the soil stirred up. The remains of that god who had died however long ago were buried deep underground. 

So what if one cultivates in the edict of life? One will still face death just the same. Such are the laws of nature. Who could actually escape that? Does altering the form of life truly mean getting to live again? Han Shuo thought to himself as he ascended to the surface.

The sea monster pitifully followed behind Han Shuo back to the surface of the ocean. Seeing that Han Shuo was leaving, the sea monster carefully asked, “Erm, have you forgiven me?”

“Yes, I have forgiven you. But I need you to stay in a place for a while,” Han Shuo replied indifferently after thinking for a while.

If those from the Church of Light or the Shrine of Ice were to find the sea monster, they could possibly crack it open enough to discover Han Shuo’s hiding place. Therefore, Han Shuo decided to take the sea monster into the Cemetery of Death until the matter was over.

"But, but I can't leave the water for too long." the sea monster replied anxiously.

“In this realm, can’t you alter your body size?” Han Shuo asked smilingly after thinking for a short while.

"I can, actually." the sea monster answered honestly.

“That’ll do, then. Alright, get yourself a little smaller. I will make sure you have water,” Han Shuo said beaming ear to ear.

The sea monster had a bad feeling about this, but nonetheless complied and shrunk, in fear that Han Shuo might kill it. By the end of it, it had transformed itself into a strange-looking octopus with shell-like armor just slightly smaller than an adult human.

A large container made of glass suddenly enveloped it. After filling the glass container with water, Han Shuo said with a sinister smile, “See? This will do just fine. There’s no way you could run out of water.”

“Ahh! No! I don’t want to be like this. This is too humiliating!” the sea monster loudly complained. It seemed to be on the verge of tearing up.

“You don’t have a choice!” Han Shuo said with a mischievous smile. After applying several boundaries around the big glass container, Han Shuo carried it back to the gourd island and returned to the Cemetery of Death.

After casually placing the sea monster somewhere, Han Shuo and wood elite zombie walked to where his main body was. The injuries on Han Shuo’s main body were extremely severe. Even with remarkable healing ability, it wouldn’t be an easy task to recover within a short period of time.

When wood elite zombie arrived, he placed the Viride Leaf above the chest of Han Shuo’s main body. The energy of life was slowly injected into Han Shuo’s heavily injured main body via the Viride Leaf.

As Han Shuo’s main body did not contain one bit of the elemental energy of death, the exuberant energy of life did not repel his main body. Under wood elite zombie’s control, an amazing transformation immediately took place.

The slow recovery process of the main body was accelerated by several dozen folds under the effect of the energy of life. His organs, meridians and bones were all healing up at speeds noticeable by the naked eye. It was a miracle.

Pretty soon, all the essential organs and parts within Han Shuo’s body could operate as normal. Not a wound could be found on his skin. His demonic yuan could rapidly and unimpededly circulate throughout his body. Most of the injuries that Han Shuo suffered from activating the ‘Demonic Blood Disassembly’ technique were healed all at once. 

“A miracle! The energy of life is absolutely astonishing!” Han Shuo’s main body stood up and exclaimed with a chuckle.

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