Chapter 834 The Root of Corruption
The year 1775, Month 11, Day 18 of the Beast God Calendar.
It was the fifteenth day of the otherworldly witches' invasion into Strongwoods Plane, and the planned blood ritual ceremony had finally begun!
A dense bloody aura had already engulfed Witherwater City before the sun had risen. The two hundred thousand orcs that the witches had captured and brought into the city instantly became victims under the blades of the witches, dying in the various hidden ritual spots.
Naturally, the primary location of the ritual was in the largest and most magnificent hall of Witherwater City.
It had once been the temple of Beast God Aruger, but it was now a ritual hall where his believers were slaughtered like pigs. The cruelty and bloodiness of the world were an eternal constant. It was a pity and a shame, but nothing could be done about it.
As many as fifty thousand orc believers had their throats cut apart and pushed into a deep pit that had been dug in the hall. Warm blood trickled from their contorted corpses in a strange and eerie pattern, gathering at the bottom of the hole. As the number of orcs pushed in increased, the blood started to rise, covering all the corpses in their blood.
The souls of the dead orcs slowly dispersed from their bodies and started ascending toward the sky in accordance with the planar laws. However, the moment they came into contact with the walls of the pit, mysterious glowing runes appeared and prevented them for leaving.
The souls that could not return to the mother river of souls began to become restless and unruly. Bright red lights lit up in their formerly dull and lifeless eyes. They crashed wildly into the walls, shambled amongst the corpses, or curled into a ball and started crying.
Many souls still seemed unable to accept the reality of their deaths. They continued wandering in the pile of corpses, trying to find their bodies and return to that warm and peaceful world.
As orcs continued to die, more and more souls gathered within the pit. This place had turned into a loud and boisterous market where the screams and shouts of the wandering souls could be heard everywhere.
A dozen black-robed witches with unkempt hair were sitting on earthen platforms by the hole. They looked at each other and started to perform an odd and almost comical dance around the pit. As they mumbled out their evil prayers, a strange power began to flow into the bottom of the pit, budding and growing.
A short moment later, an evil seed buried at the bottom of the pit emerged from the earth. From within the pool of blood and the mountain of corpses, it extended its first black sprouts.
With the dense aura of death in the pit of corpses and the incantations of the Agony Witches, this strange sprout started to grow taller and stronger at a rapid pace.
A mouth, filled with small, sharp white teeth opened on the sprout, and the plant started consuming the blood around it. The stem had initially been a finger thick. However, it quickly started to swell and grow in size. One could vaguely see the flowing blood and the undigested meat through its dark black exterior.
There was a strange slithering sound. A small opening had opened at the tip of the little sprout as a dozen tentacles emerged from within.
These tentacles started to grow thicker and stronger as the sprout grew in size and strength.
Soon, they were the size of pythons. They twisted and squirmed, piercing into the orc corpses around them before splitting, multiplying, and growing within the bodies. The sound of chewing could be heard as the orc warriors' muscular bodies started to wither and shrink at a visible rate.
Before all the nutrition had been drained of the orcs' bodies, new serpentine tentacles would tunnel out of the corpses' orifices and find a new target.
It was like an evil tree growing wildly through the consumption of blood and flesh. In the blink of an eye, these serpentine vine tentacles had skewered every single corpse in the pit. From a distance, these tens of thousands of orc corpses were like fruits hanging from this strange and chilling tree.
Devouring all of the orc corpses wasn't the end of it. The evil tree's fifty-meter-thick trunk once again opened up, and a swarm of strange, gray mosquitoes flew out. These mosquitoes swarmed toward the souls of the orcs like a black tide.
An originally intangible orc soul was suddenly entirely covered by these gray mosquitoes, causing him to howl and shriek in terror. However, a strange sucking sound was let out, and the screams of the soul faded in volume. His soul also started to become paler and fainter.
Finally, as the mosquitoes scattered, nothing was left of the orc soul they had surrounded!
These orc souls might have lost most of their memories, but they still retained their instinctual savagery and fear of death. Some of the souls started hiding out of fear, while others charged forward and started fighting the mosquitoes with their fists and feet.
Unfortunately, these mosquitoes were the counter to spirit beings. It didn't matter how the orc souls tried to resist or retaliate; they could not do anything to the mosquitoes. Meanwhile, the bugs' large mouths allowed them to pierce into the bodies of the souls and absorb their pure soul energy.
Mosquitoes whose abdominal sacs had filled up would return to the evil tree and feed the soul energy to it. This action immediately caused the corrupt tree to grow and strengthen even faster.
An odd black barrier started to appear around the evil tree. Within that boundary, the planar laws of Strongwoods Plane began to materialize as silver chains. The strange tree then extended its serpentine tentacles toward these planar law chains.
The silver planar law chains promptly gave out an unbearable sizzling sound when they came into contact with the tentacles of the evil tree. Black smoke started to rise as the planar laws invested even more potent force into the backlash against the tree.
Several ruptures immediately appeared on the previously sturdy trunk and branches of the evil tree. Blood and flesh spilled out of these wounds, and the corrupt tree squirmed and trembled as it uttered horrifying shrieks.
The tree had no mouth, ear, eyes, or nose. Naturally, it could not let out a sound. This shriek could only be heard on the spiritual level.
Almost every single adept, orc, and lifeform in Witherwater City could hear this strange cry. The ones with more resilient Spirit fared better and were barely able to resist the effects of this mental cry. Meanwhile, those of First Grade and below were severely affected. Purple streaks of blood started to flow from all of their orifices. It struck a tremendous blow against their Spirit.
Some individuals with weak Spirit died directly to this spiritual shockwave!
Even the few First Grade adepts that Greem had brought along had been injured, grasping their heads and calling out in pain. Naturally, the goblin engineers and technicians, without exception, had all died to the mental attack.
"No! The Root of Corruption isn't faring well against the planar laws! Hurry, bring all of the high-grade sacrifices over." Death Witch Khesuna had been carefully monitoring the entire process. She immediately shouted at the sight of what had happened.
Several orc elites were immediately brought to the side of the pit under her instructions, before being pushed in alive.
These powerhouses started cursing at the witches when they saw the mountain of corpses inside the pit, along with the strange and terrifying tree. At this moment, many black tentacles emerged from the bodies and dove into their nostrils, ears, eyes, and mouths before tunneling into their green skin.
The orc powerhouses immediately fell silent!
This place was once again drowned in the loud devouring sound.
With the flesh and souls of these orc powerhouses as replenishment, the defeated evil tree once again extended its tentacles toward the planar law chains. With the increasingly violent planar backlash being unleashed, the chains turned from solid silver to a blinding gray.
A chilling scream abruptly rang throughout the entire plane!
At this moment, be it orc or centaur, male or female, strong or weak, every lifeform in Strongwoods Plane stopped what they were doing and turned to look into the distance, confused and lost.
Something terrible for them seemed to be happening there.
Only the more spiritually sensitive or those who had come into initial contact with the planar laws could sense the Planar Consciousness' rage and fury through the vibrations of the planar laws.
Someone had deeply angered the Planar Consciousness!
In fact, it seemed as if they had even caused it to sustain some damage.
The powerhouses were horrified.
What was the Planar Consciousness?
It had no solid form and was not a pure being with a conscious of its own. Instead, it was the amalgamation of the collective consciousness of the hundreds of billions of lifeforms and substances within the plane. Before the plane grew to become a large one, this Planar Consciousness was like an embryo growing within it. It had no complete or independent consciousness, only crude and straightforward instincts.
Of course, these outsiders had managed to hurt it through special means, causing it to feel a threat to its existence. It used this unique method to imprint its deep hatred for all the invaders in the depths of the souls of all living beings of this plane.
The plane was its body, and the Planar Consciousness was its crude instinct that it had just awakened. Meanwhile, the planar laws were the tools with which it ruled and controlled a planar space. Now, some outsiders had invaded the planar laws and were fighting with it over control of the planar space. These were mortal enemies that could not be forgiven!
The very next moment, these evil witches had successfully turned themselves from powerful enemies to its unforgivable mortal nemesis.
Only those who had personally experienced the consequence of doing so could understand the terror of having done so!
Greem pushed apart the wooden windows in his room and looked at the terrifying, crimson sky. For the first time, he felt the unrelenting hostility coming from the Planar Consciousness.
His breathing suddenly became forced and labored!
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