Chapter 797 The Root of the Problem Part 1
After the shopping spree, they went for a romantic night walk in one of Javvok\'s many parks.
Or at least it was romantic for Kamila and Lith, whereas for three single women, being surrounded by lovebirds was cringe-inducing.
Despite the late hour, there were lots of young couples, making the three Ernas mages regret their choice.
They had yet to finish visiting the park when suddenly something that resembled a Warp Gate but wasn\'t one appeared on a nearby tree.
Lyta the Dryad come out of it, extending her arms towards Quylla.
You\'re really playing hard to get. She said while closing in to her mark.
Good gods! Help me, Phloria. Quylla promptly hid behind her sister\'s wide back.
Phloria remembered well how flirty Dryads were from her days at the academy, especially that particular Dryad.
What do you want from her… Phloria attempted to ask before Lyta threw her arms around Phloria\'s neck and kissed her.
Lyta managed to give a good squeeze on her butt before Phloria recovered from the surprise and managed to push her away.
Dryads are very assertive and swing both ways. Quylla said after moving behind Friya, just to stay safe.
You don\'t say. Friya sneered, watching Lyta\'s every move.
They were all so surprised that they almost failed to notice Professor Duke Marth emerging from the dimensional corridor as well.
He was a man in his mid-forties, about 1.78 meters (5\'10) tall, with thick blonde hair.
Aside from his goatee, his face was perfectly shaven, giving him a calm and youthful appearance.
Yet his tense expression and the heavy bags under his eyes told them that he wasn\'t there for a courtesy visit.
Why the heck isn\'t your communication amulet available, Mage Ernas I\'ve been trying to reach you for hours. Marth said.
Because I\'m on vacation and I\'m not supposed to return to the academy before another week. Quylla replied while noticing that Lyta was now looking at Lith.
Long time no see.
Hands off the merchandise, sister. Kamila stood between them, not liking what she saw one bit.
Lyta\'s big red eyes sparkled in the park\'s magical light like masterfully cut rubies.
Everything in her visage was perfect, from her delicate features to her full lips.
She had waist-long silky hair, red like maple leaves during autumn, that gave her a wild and unrestrained allure.
She was wearing what looked like a skin-tight cocktail dress made out of leaves that left little to the imagination about her soft and full curves.
The only thing that betrayed her non-human nature was her light green skin.
You\'re really pretty, sister.
I don\'t mind sharing. Lyta replied.
But I do. Kamila\'s voice was stone cold.
Enough with your tomfoolery, Lyta. Marth said.
We really don\'t have time for this.
I apologize for her behavior, but without her, I wouldn\'t have managed to find you in time.
So you\'re looking for Quylla, not me Lith asked, half relieved and half worried.
He was really starting to believe that he was bad luck.
Now, if you\'ll excuse us…
You are not going anywhere with my sister without a proper explanation. Phloria towered over Marth with a threatening look.
Ever since she had been suspended from duty, everything in her life had gone south.
Getting harassed by a Dryad only made things worse.
She could use beating someone, even Headmaster Marth, to relieve her stress.
Marth had no desire to argue in front of all the people that had gathered to witness at the scene, so he just nodded and pointed at the Gate.
Please, follow us.
We\'ll speak in private.
Once they stepped through the dimensional corridor, they found themselves inside the living room of what looked like a cozy cottage.
Everything from the walls to the furniture was made of wood, while carpets and curtains were made of leaves.
Despite their simple looks, every single piece was heavily enchanted.
It was different from the magic that Lith was used to imbue.
Rather than being Forgemastered individually, to Solus\'s mana sense, it appeared as if the house had a powerful pseudo core that somehow was shared with everything else inside.
Marth invited them to seat around the big oval table at the center of the room and a wave of Lyta\'s hand made the table bloom seven sprouts that turned into wooden cups.
A second flick of her wrist filled them with what smelled like a strong tea with honey.
Where are we, exactly Quylla asked.
I wish I knew. Marth sighed.
We might be inside the Blood Desert for all I know.
What\'s important is that I need your help Quylla.
Lith stood up abruptly, looking out of one of the windows.
The street was perfectly light, but the stone pavement had been clearly realized with earth magic.
There were no bricks nor stones, it seemed like it had been carved out of a single massive piece of rock.
The light came from thin but tall trees that grew on the sides of the road, whose branches bore fruits glowing like torches.
Every house Lith could see, even the one they were in, was actually a very large tree.
Some of them were even several stories tall, with so many floors and windows to make him wonder if their owner was filthy rich by plant standards of if they were inhabited by several people.
\'Solus, I have a feeling we\'re not in Kansas anymore.\' He thought.
Everything he laid his eyes on was enchanted like the cottage, making his Life Vision incapable to see past their walls.
My help with what Quylla asked.
You are the fourth best diagnostician in the Kingdom, but the second best when it comes down to bloodwork and magical plant physiology. The cream of the crop in that specific field was Marth himself.
I guess that Field Assistant Yehval has already brought you up to speed about our undead issue, correct Everyone nodded in reply.
It will make explaining our current predicament easier since the root of our problem stems from that.
Pun not intended.
I\'ll skip the usual \'this is a matter of state\' speech and go straight to the point.
We\'re currently inside one of the city-states of the plant kingdom.
They are scattered throughout Mogar and are independent from each other.
The only things I know about this place are that it\'s called Laruel, that the city is located somewhere on the Garlen continent, and that it\'s experiencing a civil war.
I don\'t see how any of that is of any relevance for the Kingdom or connected with the undead migration. Phloria was eager to get out of there.
First of all, you must understand that despite the fact that they look like us, plant folks have a completely different approach to both life and morality.
They are used to feed on everything, even their own kin, and their reproduction cycle doesn\'t involve parenting.
Even once they become sentient, things like friendship, filial love, and family are meaningless words, only strength matters.
The ruler of each city-state doesn\'t get elected, nor the position gets inherited.
The ruler changes every time a stronger individual appears and manages to seize power.
Its current leader, Leannan the Titania, has long since established a friendly relationship with the Kingdom, whereas her current rival, Erlik the Draugr Treant, wants to turn Laruel into a safe haven for his fellow undead.
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