Chapter 54: Tree punishment
I don’t know what came to the author, but his writing is beginning to get more complex, and that means it is a lot harder for me to translate.
I am in a place where the forest ogres’ sentence people to something called ‘Tree punishment’.
The forest ogres’ earnestly apologized, and what they revealed to me was the execution that was supposed to occur tonight.
Illusion like dancing and singing (no really, it seems it had a sort of meaning to it), and after they weaken the person with alcohol, they capture you and performed the execution. For them to still want to bring down their opponent even after he had defeated them once, how scary.
… That’s bad, I didn’t notice it at all.
When we talk about capital punishment, it reminds me of the death penalty, the one where you are incarcerated for an indefinite amount of time until you’re dead. However, it seems that’s not how their capital punishment works.
“Hoh~! For that punishment to have been revived. I wonder why they still do it” (Tomoe)
Tomoe seems to have already known about it, but it looks like she didn’t expect it and was surprised by the mention of that weird thing called Tree Punishment. She later told me that it’s a long lost punishment.
I had already given up completely on it, but it seems that they didn’t kill all the hyumans and there were even some strong ones that survived (narrowly) and have arrived to this village.
Ah~, it’s already no good. I drew my own conclusions and didn’t try to investigate myself about it, leaving everything to Mio. How pathetic of me.
Let’s take this as an example. When you get an SLG or RPG for the first time and don’t know left from right but you still go Leroy Jenkins and get killed. In games you can reset, so you can just say “DAMN IT!” and that’s it, but…
That there were a number of hyumans incarcerated.
It was truly a blunder.
The next morning, I was guided to the place of execution and discovered how heartless and scary this forest ogre’s punishment was.
Those guys, how dare they say the dark magic I used to scatter magic power was disgusting when they do these kind of thing.
By the way, I don’t think the hyumans were the ones who gave them that name, but I think I strangely understand why they were named ‘forest ogres’.
This is what I thought of them before I came here.
That their way of living was protecting the surroundings of the forest, or at least that was my impression. Being lumberjacks and hunters, maybe even carpenters. Honestly, it was to the point that I didn’t understand why they abandoned the ability to talk with spirits and plants.
Because I pictured them the exact same as elf that live in the forest after all.
That was too sweet.
The word forestry was truly a word that described them. Because they think of the plants and shrubs that grow and everything around that can be called forest as “targets to manage”. They weren’t targets for religious belief or targets for a friendly relationship.
Hearing their voice, understanding their wills, talking with them.
Any of those would have been bad influence for them.
The ability to talk with animals aimed for consumption, being able to trade your thoughts with the vegetables you farm and cultivate. If you ask me if it would be beneficial for the people…
At least for me, it would be impossible. I wouldn’t stand it.
Moreover, this Tree Punishment. It’s not completely, but it doesn’t give me the image of an elf that protects the forest.
The thicket of trees and shrubs that spread out before my eyes.
There is a reason I don’t call it a forest. It’s because the things that were growing there had a fixed interval and it reminded me of the afforested forests that were artificially made.
Moreover, all of them were developed to a certain extent. There were no signs of them slimming in between or breaking.
And below every tree. The planted area was strange.
Normally, there should be grass and dried leaves. The various evidences of it growing up and all of its circumstances were not there.
It’s the same earth as the wasteland I have been walking before.
“Is this the Tree Punishment?” (Makoto)
My words became polite unintentionally.
“This… everything?” (Makoto)
I was shocked, but it seems that Tomoe and Mio weren’t at all. Tomoe already knew about it so it’s okay, but for Mio to be like that as well. The standards of an otherworldler are, as expected, different from those in this world huh. Of course that’s the case.
A capital punishment that actually benefits the forest ogres.
A unique skill that they can use on races that have a certain amount of magic power.
It was the punishment ‘to change your existence to that of trees’.
The beings that are changed will lose their consciousness with time and, in the end, they will lose their own memories. After a while of being transformed (several years to several decades), since your sensations still remain because of your soul, when branches are broken or your skin and interior are damaged, you will still feel pain. What a nightmare.
The skill will be activated practically in an instant, and if the abnormal effect takes place, seconds later you will turn into a tree. What’s up with these guys?
“Yes, these are the people that have done outrageous things to the forest and the ones who invaded unreasonably”
One of the elders tells me as if it were nothing.
“This was a long lost ability of ours, but the person over there…”
At the place where he points out, there was the muscle brain who was staggering while being carried by AB’s shoulders.
“It may be because of an ancestor. He awakened this power, so the Tree Punishment revived”
“I see, his blood must have been thicker or his element attainment was uncommon. To think that there was an individual that could reach such a level. What a surprise-ja na” (Tomoe)
Tomoe seems to be convinced by something and nods repeatedly.
“Along with the barrier’s weakening, invaders have begun appearing in the area that we supervise and in our village. We left the combat matters for those fellows to deal with”
The combat leaders huh.
Certainly, those type of people are… how to say it…
They have that kind of unreasonable strength and reliance. If one of them takes a flag, it would make you think that person is the bodyguard of a king. It’s the type of muscle brain that is sweltering and has an excelling amount of instinct. Moreover, there are some that may actually think things thoroughly and have multiple types of brain tissues, the cheat type. I hope they are not that kind of type.
This time, the situation was clearly hopeless. Those two that were supposed to be goners, were perfectly saved.
Those AB that would soon wear me out if I try to keep them company, may be in an aide-like position with that man. They are lending him their shoulders and having a face that clearly tells the people in the vicinity of their worry.
“I have a plan regarding the barrier. Don’t worry” (Tomoe)
“Lord Shen, I truly thank you very much. With this, there is no need to fear foreign enemies and we will be able to live in peace once again”
This is not a place I want to stay for long. I have finished most of what I came to do in their village.
I signal Tomoe with my eyes and it seems that she understood what I was trying to say. I can’t help but feel gloomy here.
“Then, let’s return. And also, forest ogres. I am Tomoe-ja. Don’t make me repeat myself so much” (Tomoe)
“Wa, yes, Tomoe-sama”
The words of Tomoe were filled with anger.
I have to shake off these chills running down my spine one way or another. Maybe it’s because this is the first time in my life I have come to an execution place. It’s extremely unpleasant.
At the end, once more.
I look at each and every one of the trees which I don’t know what their past was about. Maybe they are hyumans, maybe demi-humans, or they could even be demonic beasts.
Even when I use [Sakai] or Mio uses cure and curse release, they didn’t return to their previous form. The moment it’s activated, even I am unable to do anything. In my heart I carved the fact that this people have existed in this world.
I don’t plan on leaving it like this.
They committed a crime, so they received their punishment. It is one thing if they only use this power for these situations, but there is also the chance that they go rampant and use this power in battle as well.
I don’t know if I can do it, but I will try to look for a cure to it. Luckily, I have a skilled spider and her brethren as well.
~ Muscle Brain ~
I didn’t notice at all that a gross guy like Lich was using my body as a nest.
The fatigues I have had lately and the strange sensation of getting steadily stronger doesn’t seem to be because of awakening the power of the Tree Punishment.
No, he may have been there before my ability awakened. This is something that no one will know though.
The dragon that had created a barrier for us called Shen dealt with Lich. The deep mist that resembled haze, enveloped that fellows’ body and erased it without leaving any trace behind.
There wasn’t even a fragment of miasma left, it was a high-ranking usage of power. I see, I have clearly understood what kind of existences are those so called superior dragons.
My body was not properly listening to me, but I was somehow able to attend the trip to the execution place.
It’s shameful to have Akua and Eris lend me their shoulders, but they told me that my vitality was drying up or something like that, a pretty dangerous state, so I couldn’t say complain about it. I should be grateful that I am still alive.
While I was doing small talk, I observed the black woman and the masked man, and also the dragon woman.
No, to be honest, I was looking at the masked man.
That guy seems to have used an unknown skill to defeat Lich. The dragon woman seems to be of the superior dragon race which Nirgi old man has been telling me stories of endlessly since I was small. The black woman as well, I don’t feel like she is a hyuman.
But that guy, that kid is a hyuman. And despite this, those two hold the same appearance as him. Could they be obeying him?
I don’t understand.
Lately, since the time I returned from outside, I have been cautious of one unrestful guy.
The elder’s son who has been moving strangely.
Because I was in bad condition, the management of the area and protection of the forest has been entrusted to other people. The times I stayed in the village grew longer.
The movements of that guy, who seemed as if he were searching the village, convinced me that my worries were not needless.
There were times when he seemed to be keeping in contact with someone, but I couldn’t get a hold of that person.
— It was at that day —
Akua and Eris returned safely without any injuries along with the invaders.
In short, the intruders held back and they still managed to lose. Lately, the pattern of them losing and baiting the hyumans to the village has been more frequent. This is the first time for Akua and Eris, but with this I will have to make everyone go through the super training course.
That means, later the intruders will be crushed in the banquet and throw into jail, is how it should go but… Adonou moved.
Maybe they are the ones he has been keeping in contact with?
I thought about that, but it seems that wasn’t the case. He made a number of questions and went somewhere else. I was wrong huh.
In the room there was only them and my disciples.
It seems that my disciples wanted to bring them to my place.
Even though I am so close to them, they still don’t notice my presence. I will have to scold them severely later.
That means they are that much of a danger huh.
To the point that they want to skip all that banquet business and bring them straight to my place.
Then there’s a change of plans.
I will defeat these guys first. The result will be the same after all.
“Yo! Are you guys the guests?!”
I quickly break down the walls and greet them.
The black woman was vigilant of my disciples while taking me in mind. She is good, this one is strong.
The masked one also grew vigilant the moment the sound rang out. Fumu.
However, it is futile. Against me.
It seems that they bullied my disciples, so I will be finishing this promptly.
“I heard that you treated Akua and Eris as kids? That’s quite impressive, hey, the Nii-chan over there, handshake! Let’s do a handshake!”
I do a big smile and stretch my hand to the masked one. My disciples seem to have noticed what I intended to do, I could feel their slight tension.
And then, I certainly forced the masked man to do a handshake with me.
This is it.
Tree Punishment activated.
In a few seconds, this guy will be turned into a tree and…
He didn’t turn.
I try to grip him a number of times. I could feel the sensation transmitting, but the reaction is weak.
“C-Can you release me already?”
I could tell the strength in his hand was leaving. Just a bit longer huh. But this is the first time this has happened. What is going on?
It’s somehow… interesting. Nice. These kind of situations also happen huh.
A moment later.
A shock ran through my wrist.
By the time I noticed it was pain, in front of me something appeared!
I felt an overwhelming impact in all of my face, and while I was forcefully getting a hold of my face, what I saw was the posture of the black woman holding a folding fan.
I was hit! I couldn’t react at all!
Feeling numerous strong shocks from my back, I continued in the momentum and fell. At the place I fell onto, I became the 大 character.
Terrific. That woman is terrific!
To think that she could throw such a fast blow with that appearance. Just what in the world is she?
While I was hearing the voice of my disciples in the distance, I take out a tobacco from my breast pocket.
— Those were my last memories from yesterday —-
After that, it seems I did a lot of actions, but I didn’t have any memories of it. It’s still in the area of conjectures, but Lich was probably using my body as he wished.
My consciousness returned at the morning of the next day.
My whole body was unbelievably heavy and sluggish.
They told me that the existence called Lich came out from my mouth like black smoke, or something like that.
And the one who defeated that Lich was this masked man. I don’t know with what or how he was able to defeat him, but it seems that the real finishing blow was dealt by the blue haired Shen.
Raidou. The newbie merchant from Tsige huh.
That’s definitely a lie!
The conversation with those guys and us, the forest ogres, continues even after returning from the execution place.
However, it was only the elders and them.
We couldn’t even hear the outcome.
In this case, I will keep in secret that I did the Tree Punishment on Raidou. I feel like it would only make the situation more complicated.
But, why didn’t it work? This hasn’t happened before.
“Shishou, I want to ask something”
Akua, while waiting for the meeting to end, began speaking to me with a strange tension.
“About that guy called Raidou…”
“Ah, uhm… Later okay?”
I wanted to answer her question, but it seems that the meeting was over.
What will be our future treatment? In the worst case, we will become their slaves. In the best case, it would be somewhere around retainers?
A meeting with the black woman, the dragon woman, and the merchant that had both of them at his sides. It wouldn’t be strange to be forced an impossible order.
Well, if anything happens, I will take front. Even if the Tree Punishment doesn’t work, it doesn’t mean that I can’t fight.
If I somehow get that Raidou in a one-on-one, even I should have a chance.
Also, if I make it a fist fight…
Magicians are all like that, if you get close and are able to hit them once, they are done for.
The hard part is to make Raidou enter a one-on-one with conversation skills though. But I will have to do it somehow.
The one who has the highest ability in combat among the forest ogres is, with no doubts, me.
Raidou and the others.
Don’t think that we will yield obediently.