Translator: Leo Editor: DarkGem
Angele had recently started to see things others could not see. He looked at the back of his hand and the silver accessory with a faint glint to it. Its size was smaller than before, but Angele was not sure what was happening.
‘Well, I should’ve spent more time studying Necromancy… It seems like I can see materialized curses and souls with hatred now? Strange.’
Angele’s brow furrowed, and he covered his hand with the sleeve again.
Lightning flashed, a shock of white brightening up the whole forest and forking silently to the ground.
Angele asked the hunter for some details, deciding to find some shelter from the rain. The hunter suggested that they go to the watch tower and Angele nodded. He quickly tied his horse and carriage to a large tree.
Angele grabbed all the important items and set up the alert system by spreading his energy particles in the area before heading to the abandoned watch tower with the hunter.
"I built a campfire inside, close the door and it’ll stay warm."
The hunter was leading the way ahead.
Lightning struck from time to time. As they walked through the forest, the surroundings were flashing in their sights.
"Is it really fine to leave your carriage there?" the hunter asked in a loud voice.
"It’s fine. I’ll find it even if it gets stolen."
Angele smiled at him.
The hunter was a bit confused, but he decided not to ask any unnecessary questions. They walked through several bushes, the grasses on the ground feeling like a soft, thick blanket.
They arrived at the wooden watch tower build on a small hill after several minutes. Angele stood by the door, then turned around and looked down. The place was not too far away from his carriage.
The gray door was thick and heavy. The tower was probably built many years ago since he could see cracks in the walls.
The hunter struggled for a while before managing to budge the door.
"The trees around the tower are way too high, I just found it today. Pretty good, huh?"
The door was pushed open slowly. Angele looked inside, but only saw a spiral staircase in the middle of the room.
The hunter had probably already cleaned the room since Angele couldn't find a single spiderweb. An extinguished campfire was left beside the staircase, but there was still smoke rising from it.
The warmth from the flame was still inside the room.
However, Angele sensed something wrong as he entered the place, and goose bumps rose on his skin.
He glanced around but did not find anything suspicious. The hunter walked to the campfire, poked the charcoals with a branch, and lighted it up again. Warm yellow light quickly brightened up the room.
"Sir, please have a seat. This is all I have, sorry."
The hunter put down a gray blanket beside the campfire.
The strange feeling disappeared as the campfire was lighted up. Angele nodded and sat down by the fire with his legs crossed. The hunter grabbed another blanket and sat down on the opposite side as well.
Angele watched the hunter put up a metal rack beside the fire and start to roast meat he took out from his bag.
"Hey, when you first entered the tower, did you see anyone else?" Angele decided to ask.
The hunter nodded. "Yeah, I set up the fire and then met you while logging, but this place was cold as hell."
Angele scrunched his eyebrows and stopped talking. Heavy rain was already pouring down the forest.
He looked outside the window but the curtain of rain was the only thing he could see. The door was rattling, and the howling wind was passing through the gaps; it sounded like a ghost crying.
The rain stopped almost as quickly as it came.
After half an hour, the sky turned clear and the gray clouds were gone.
Angele stood up as the hunter finished roasting his deer. The surface of the meat was covered in crispy crust, and it smelled incredible.
"Would you like some deer, sir?" the hunter stood up and asked.
"I’m good, thanks." Angele took out several silver coins and threw them to the hunter. "Thanks for the information and the shelter, but I suggest you don’t stay here for too long. The place is haunted."
Angele turned around, wiped the dust off his suit, and walked toward his carriage.
The hunter just stood there after hearing the parting words; he didn't understand why Angele would say that this place was haunted.
After several minutes, he mumbled, "What a freak…" He tossed the silver coins several times and smiled. "But generous."
The hunter sat down again and grabbed the roasted deer meat, starting to sprinkle seasoning onto its surface.
Angele drove the carriage down the wet path and kept advancing. The road between the trees looked endless. The only thing he could see was the wet mud on the ground.
‘Zero, show me my attributes,’ Angele ordered as he slowed the horses down a bit.
‘Scanning… Transferring results. Angele Rio. Strength, 3.5. Agility, 5.2. Stamina, 6.1. Mentality, 21.3. Mana, 20.7. (Mana increased as Mentality increased). Gene limit reached. Healthy.’
Angele’s eyebrows furrowed. He meditated every day after breaking the limit, but his Mentality had only increased by 0.1, and Mana was still lower than Mentality. It meant that some of it were not converted into mana.
It was part of the side effects brought by the potions. The Black Lead Potion increased his mentality greatly, but there would be side effects when one’s mentality jumped like that. His progress was very slow recently, and it could be part of that.
‘My next stage is Liquid, but it’ll take me more than thirty years if I don’t find a shortcut. Also, increasing the purity of my mentality should be my priority, otherwise, it won’t increase at a normal rate.’
Angele knew what he should do.
‘After this, I need to find a way to concentrate my mentality.’
He quickly searched through the database for information about mentality and started reading as the carriage moved.
The trees on the sides were much taller than before. Angele met many forks on his road, but was still getting closer to the Shadow Forest. He traveled without stopping for another two days.
Finally, Angele arrived at a crossroads the next afternoon. It was another cloudy day. The chilling wind kept blowing in the trees, and the leaves were shaking.
A brown road sign was in the middle of the crossroads, the words on it blurry, and the rain made it even harder to read.
Angele jumped off the carriage and walked to the sign. The Shadow Forest was on the left, the direction he had come from was named Watch Tower in the Woods, while the other two paths led to two different towns. Some of the letters were missing, so he wasn't sure about the names of those towns.
Angele looked in the direction of the Shadow Forest and was met there with a deep, dark path. The trees on both sides left no gaps for the sunlight to pass through. It almost looked like a tunnel made by the trees. The only sunlight came sideways, and those rays of light looked like white lasers.
Angele turned around and returned to his carriage.
He raised his whip and hit the seat. The horses started moving to the left after he pulled the reins.
However, for some reason, the horses stopped in front of the tunnel and started walking to the sides. They kept neighing and refusing to enter.
Angele got a bit nervous and whipped them several times, but the horses would just not move. He looked at the dark path, then entered the carriage to equip his gear.
He jumped off after several seconds with a large silver metal bow on his back along with a full quiver. He had also put on a silver chest armor. Angele looked wild and strong with the long brown hair trailing over his shoulders.
There was a bag of supplies in his hand since he was not sure about the distance between him and the Shadow Forest. Again, he spread some Wind energy particles around the carriage to set up the alert in case anyone approached.
After everything was prepared, Angele walked onto the road that led to the Shadow Forest. The wind here was warm and gentle, and he could smell the fragrance of flowers. There was a gray rabbit one the path. It stood there and stared at Angele.
Angele stepped on a branch, making a loud sound.
The rabbit got scared and immediately jumped back into the bushes.
Angele kept glancing around as he advanced. He was moving fast, and his footprints were deep.
The clouds converged in the sky until it was almost dark, the light from the setting sun bringing some warmth to the sea of trees.
Angele walked for a while, then took out the map to check his location again. After turning several times, he reached an empty ground that was covered by grass.
A huge tree with a diameter of more than ten meters stood in the middle of the ground quietly, drops of golden sunlight filling up the gaps between the shadows made by its leaves.
Angele took out the wood piece he'd received from Omicade and stepped forward. He stopped near a part of the roots that was above ground, and the dark trunk of the tree started trembling.
Two dark red cracks opened slowly on the tree, and a large human-like face appeared on the surface of the trunk. The branches gathered together on both sides, turning into two arms.
"You’re a Dryad? I brought Omicade’s keepsake, and I have several questions to ask."
Angele stared curiously at the tree for several seconds, then threw the wood piece into the air.
The wood piece was grabbed by several twisted branches and taken to the eyes of the Dryad.
"It is the item I gave to Omicade, well, ask anything you want then."
The Dryad’s voice was deep and hoarse.
"Where are the tree elves that lived where the Andes Alliance is now?"
Angele decided to ask about his mother first.
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