After finishing off the Assassin Mantis hunt, we moved further and arrived near the edge of a forest known as the Tree Sea.
It’s said that the Treants reside within this forest.
However, the Treants have a tricky nature.
“Treants are generally gentle and friendly monsters, even towards people. However, if one of their own is in danger, the entire race will attack all at once. Treant materials are excellent for various purposes, but due to this reason, they’re not easily obtainable.”
Listening to Alizée’s explanation, we found ourselves in a dilemma.
Even Keuko and the others seemed unaware of this trait.
Regardless, we wanted Treant materials, so we decided to venture into the forest.
The Treant’s domain, the Tree Sea, was densely packed with trees, as if it was actively repelling intruders.
In fact, when I walked without using my compass, I was repeatedly redirected back to the forest entrance.
The forest itself gave the illusion of preventing entry, as if it had a will of its own.
Why was that?
Guided by the compass, we ventured into the forest for about two hours, and suddenly, a moth larger than my body fell from above! What the…?
“That’s a Shroud Monema!”
“I will incinerate it! Everyone, step back!”
Thanks to Tomoa’s magic, the giant moth known as Shround Monema was turned into charcoal by flames.
Tomoa then retrieved a magic stone from the ashes and began examining it.
“This Shroud Monema seems to have been in the middle of its growth. The magic stone is small, indicating it hadn’t filled with much magic yet.”
“What kind of monster is a Shroud Monema?”
“It eats tree leaves to grow… well, think of it as a pest that turns into a monster. But if a Shroud Monema has fallen from the trees…”
(Our gratitude, Children of the People)
As Tomoa was explaining, a sudden voice echoed through the forest.
Upon closer inspection, face-like patterns appeared on the surrounding trees.
Could it be that all these trees are Treants!?
(These, devouring us.)
(Might have been just one, but grateful.)
I see, the Treants were troubled by this Shroud Monema.
In that case, there might be room for negotiation!
“Um, may I ask if there are still any more of these around?”
(Not around here. Numerous around the Eldest.)
“Then, if we were to get rid of the Shroud Monema for you, would you be willing to share your materials with us?”
After hearing my words, the Treants seemed to be discussing amongst themselves in voices we couldn’t hear.
After a brief pause, they came to a decision.
(If you defeat, you paid. However, injure friend, you are not allowed.)
“Understood. Let’s go, everyone.”
“That’s right. Dealing with the Shroud Monema might be disgusting, but as adventurers, we’ve faced equally unpleasant monsters before, so it shouldn’t be a problem.”
(Will guide, to the Eldest. This way.)
A path opened up amidst the Treants, likely leading to the eldest of the Treants.
We followed that path and along the way, whenever we encountered a Shroud Monema, Tomoa and I used our magic to shoot them down.
The Shroud Monema themselves seemed to be weak monsters, but they formed groups, which is why they were classified as Blue-ranked monsters.
They were weak to fire and have slow flight speed, making them easy targets for me and Tomoa.
As we progressed along the path, the number of Shroud Monema increased.
When we finally reached a large tree that seemed to be the Eldest, the entire sky felt like it was covered with Shroud Monema.
Dealing with this many would be quite challenging.
“What should we do? Taking down all these numbers…”
“Hmm… Talat, can you use your thread to immobilize a significant number?”
(Leave it to me!)
Talato climbed up to the top of a tree, which was lower than the big tree, and spit out a large amount of thread from the end of its branches.
The Shroud Monema were ensnared in the threads and plummeted to the ground.
Still, it didn’t look like their numbers were decreasing…
“It seems this is going to be a battle of endurance.”
The battle against the Shroud Monema went on throughout the night, and as we finally defeated the last one, the sky was beginning to lighten.
To be precise, we hadn’t completely defeated every last Shroud Monema; a few of them had managed to escape into the distance.
(You have done well, Children of the People.)
After we finished dealing with the aftermath of the Shroud Monema, a voice, presumably from the large tree, echoed.
(The forest was afflicted with Monema. We had no effective means of counterattack and allowed them to flourish. Allow me to express our gratitude.)
“Not at all. We benefit from this as well.”
(You want our material, don’t you? Wait a moment.)
When the Eldest Treant trembled, several large branches fell in front of us.
However, these branches were colossal, around ten meters wide and about two meters thick.
I wondered if it was really okay for us to take these.
(That’s about all I can give you for now. I apologize, but I have to use my magic power to heal myself.)
“No, this is more than enough. Thank you very much.”
(Mhm. You can receive thanks from my family on your way back. Be careful on your way home.)
Just as the Eldest Treant said, on our way back, we received many branches from the Treants.
According to Tomoa, with these Treant branches, we could create quite powerful staffs.
After we returned to Alizée and had her examine them, it turned out that the branches we received from the Eldest Treant were from branches of the Elder Treant.
Since it would definitely cause issues if we tried to sell them, we were strictly instructed to use them all ourselves…