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V8C17 Part 1
Simple Life of Killing Demons
“You…” The tree’s mouth moved, and the voice, like its face, was extremely old, “you’re here.”
“Huh?” I was stunned after hearing what the tree said, “you knew that I was coming?”
“Of course, I have been following your trials throughout.” The ancient tree moved, and the leaves on the branches rustled.
“Who are you? Why do you care about us so much?”
“People call me a tree soul. We as plants don’t have a name and we don’t need one.”
Ordinary spirits are different from humanoid spirits, and they have no names. The masters give them names after contracting.
“Uh…how long have you been here?”
“I don’t remember, it was still a small forest at the time.”
Did it mean a long time then?
“Then back to my question just now, why are you so concerned about us?”
“I am not concerned about you, I’m actually concerned about the trialists, as I’m the real examiner of the trial.”
“Huh? Can you tell me more in detail?”
“No, I have no obligation to tell you, and it is not in compliance with the rules.”
“Well…” I thought about it carefully, and thought that it’s right. Tree Soul had no obligation to tell me what its plans were. However, if it’s the examiner, then how should we pass the trial? If we couldn’t get some useful information from it, we might not be able to find the way out…I was lost in my thoughts for a while, and I was afraid that I would encounter wild spirits like the iron-tailed wolves again and get the students injured…
“Haha~ well, look at how miserable you are, I’ll tell you something.” Tree Soul smiled heroically, and the leaves on his body kept making rustling noises, “when this small forest slowly became a big one, I was designated by humans to make the woods into a maze, and let people come in for trials.”
“What advantages does it bring to you?”
“I’m doing this to protect the trees from the demons. It will do good for us if we nurture competent human beings to fight against demons.”
“Then, according to what you just said, why did you sound like you knew I was coming?”
“You seem to be an amazing human being. I feel a different kind of spirit from you, so I pay more attention to what you do. Just now, when you were climbing the tree, I knew that you’d discovered the existence of this place. So I was waiting for you here without changing my position. Your help and consideration for your companions made me admire you very much. You are not the same as the previous trialists. Also, after seeing your flames which look like dragon’s flames, I’ve decided to talk to you more.”
“Is that so…”
“Well, anyway, you and your companions have already been qualified. And I can tell you the content of the trial. You only need to keep it secret from other trialists. There are more than 300 passages in the ancient road maze, and you can reach the exit through only one exit.”
“Only one? Isn’t the possibility to successfully leaving the maze extremely small?”
“Yes, if you only rely on luck, the chances are very slim. However, many people still passed. This is one of the conditions for becoming an exorcist, and that’s luck.”
“Luck?” Indeed, luck is very important. Luck is also the key to victory.
“Another thing is to protect your companions and you should never abandon them when they are in danger. This is another condition of the exorcist – responsibility. To become a strong person, responsibility is vital. If you frightened when fighting against the demons and retreat, doesn’t it look bad? However, those lucky ones can still pass even without meeting this requirement. It’s because whoever gets to the exit first would be the winner.”
“Wait, isn’t this weird? So you can pass the trial with luck alone? And you don’t need to be responsible?”
“Yes, this is the rule set before. And I am only the one implementing it. Different areas have different requirements for clearance. Here in Dakhla, lucky people can reach the exit by themselves, but the responsible ones cannot. When you get to the exit, I will show him the way. It’s a bit like cheating, but in this forest, I am the master. Of course, there are still certain challenges. When your team encountered the rare earth buffaloes, although you and the guy with blond hair successfully drove them away, the other people encouraged you instead of getting scared, this is the first requirement of responsibility. When facing the huge amount of iron-tailed wolves, none of you escaped and you tried to face them together. This has completely fulfilled the requirement of responsibility. That’s why I agreed that you’d all passed the trial.”
“Finally, there was another condition, and that is tolerance. A strong person needs to have a tolerance for the weak. When facing the trialist who tried to manipulate the fiery bear and the rare earth buffaloes, your way of handling fully complied to this requirement too. That’s to say that you’d already achieved both conditions. However, in terms of luck, you’re actually not heading to the exit…”
After hearing the words of Tree Soul, I suddenly understood why the Azart failed to pass the previous ten trials. That’s because he had knocked down all the trialists he had met before, and he did not meet the requirement of tolerance. Also, he liked to act alone, so he didn’t meet the conditions of responsibility either. Obviously, he’s not lucky either…
“So when can we…”
The old tree soul seemed to see my doubts and smiled, “you are almost at the end of the maze. If you move on, you will only enter a dead end. And if you go back, you will see five intersections. Choose the third one from the left, move on, then choose the one on the left at the three intersections, then…”