Chapter 365 - The Hero's Reputation Is Most Likely…
After being released by Alice, the little treant remained in a daze by the lake for some time.
Then, he hurriedly returned to the settlement and voiced his return so that the other treants didn't think he had stumbled into the lake and drowned.
It wasn't strange for a treant to take their time returning after getting a drink from the lake, so the other treants in the settlement didn't think much about the little treant's slow return.
However, when they glanced at the returning little treant, they couldn't help but be startled.
This was because they noticed obvious burn marks on the little treant's head.
It wasn't raining currently, so there shouldn't be any risks of a lightning strike.
Temperatures in the Kalu Forest's central region were also moderate due to the lush foliage here.
So, logically, it shouldn't be possible for the little treant to catch fire.
Upon seeing this unexpected sight, the other treants immediately tensed up and gathered around the little treant.
"What happened with your head" The person who spoke was the oldest treant in the settlement.
The old treant had already lived for thousands of years, so unlike the younger treants, he remained relatively calm even after seeing the little treant's burnt head.
Then, in a low voice, he asked, "Did you encounter something while you were getting a drink"
"I don't remember.
I only remember drinking from the lake.
Then, just as I was about to leave, I lost consciousness," the little treant said in a depressing tone.
Then, while touching his shrunken and burnt head, he continued, "My head was already like this when I regained my senses."
"Could this have something to do with the human who came here a few months ago, Elder" another treant who looked relatively ancient asked as he looked at the oldest treant.
Although the treants had a tiny population, seniority still existed among them.
Meanwhile, they regarded the oldest treant as their elder.
"Ever since that human appeared, the air and mana in the forest have also seemed to be polluted.
Maybe that person is scheming against us."
The treant elder fell into thought.
Although the treants' "facial features" were only wrinkles on tree bark, his current expression still clearly expressed his confusion and dilemma.
Going by the current circumstances, it indeed seemed like someone was scheming against them.
However, he simply couldn't think of a good reason anybody would try to scheme against them.
The only reason he could think of for anyone to target them was their Living Wood.
However, Living Wood didn't have many practical uses.
Apart from letting their race nurture more talented descendants, the only other major purpose Living Wood could be used for was to house souls.
However, there existed many tools that could be used to house souls.
While Living Wood was one of the better ones, it definitely wasn't the best.
There were still many others superior to it in this regard.
Even in terms of acquisition difficulty, it would be much easier to obtain those superior tools than it would be to acquire Living Wood from their race.
So, he found it hard to imagine anyone would be willing to waste so much time and effort to acquire their race's Living Wood.
While the treant elder pondered the enemy's goal, a person suddenly walked out of the nearby forest.
The other party did not bother to hide their footsteps or presence, so the treants, sensitive to their surroundings, instantly noticed the other party's arrival and looked at the other party simultaneously.
The visitor was a muscular man of the human race.
Just by looking at the other party's robust back and waist, anybody could tell that the man's body packed frightening strength.
Yet, unlike what one would expect, the muscular man did not have a ferocious face.
On the contrary, his face was delicate, so much so that others would assume he was a woman if they only got to see his face.
Of course, all human faces looked more or less the same for the treants.
Even so, the other party's powerful body was still enough to make the treants realize they were dealing with a formidable opponent.
Hence, even though the treants didn't have any favorable feelings toward humans, they didn't attack this human right away.
"Who are you Why have you appeared in our territory Didn't the human guards outside tell you that humans allowed entry into this place" the treant elder asked, his expression looking a little ugly as he stepped forward and looked at the human male.
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Because the treants lived a primitive lifestyle, they naturally had no opportunities to come into contact with the internet.
Rarely would they even read books.
Hence, the treant elder naturally did not know what the human male's muscular body and beautiful face represented.
Then, the treant elder added:
"Or...are you the one who injured Adams"
Adams referred to the little treant.
However, when the little treant looked at the muscular human, a look of confusion appeared on his face.
It was only natural that the little treant didn't recognize the muscular human since he had never seen the other party before.
Setting aside the fact that Alice had wiped the little treant's memories of his kidnapping, even if Adams's memories weren't wiped, he still probably wouldn't recognize the other party.
The last time Alice used her power armor was a few months ago in the Elven Forest.
After hearing the treant elder's questions, Alice, who had disguised herself as the brawny Hero once again, suppressed her voice with mana and responded in a muffled voice:
I hold no ill will towards treants.
I am not the one who injured this little treant, either.
In reality, this little guy got injured because he accidentally triggered a mechanism left by the person who intruded on this place a few months ago."
Alice naturally wouldn't turn herself over to the treants.
The damage the little treant suffered wasn't a significant problem for a treant.
It couldn't even be considered a minor injury, as it wouldn't affect his movement in the slightest.
However, if she were to admit to her crimes, it would definitely earn her the treants' dissatisfaction and make her life much harder.
So, Alice chose to blame the person who had planted the Pollution Roulette in the Kalu Forest.
"A mechanism left behind by the person who came here a few months ago" The treant elder was momentarily stunned when he heard Alice's words.
"So, are you saying the intruder has done something on our territory"
In fact, it is for this reason I have come here today," Alice said.
Upon hearing the treant elder taking the initiative to drop the topic, Alice naturally followed suit and moved on to the main topic.
"I'm sure you must have noticed that the air and mana in the area have become polluted recently."
Going by the little treant's reaction when she interrogated him, it was evident that the treants had already noticed the change in their living environment.
We have indeed sensed the air and mana becoming polluted recently.
The pollution has also reduced our absorption efficiency of natural mana significantly, resulting in varying problems with our physical condition," the treant elder said, nodding.
"But how can we be sure that you aren't directing a one-man show For all we know, you could have created this pollution to blackmail us."
How perceptive, Alice thought as she looked at the treant elder.
However, she didn't find the other party's perceptiveness all too surprising.
After all, the treant elder must have lived for a very, very long time.
If he didn't even show this much vigilance against a stranger, he'd have lived all those years for nothing.
Fortunately, Alice had more or less expected the treants to show such suspicion toward her.
She had also thought of an appropriate countermeasure.
Immediately, with her power armor's large hand, she unsheathed the longsword she carried on her back.
At the same time, Alice opened a gap in the center of her power armor's right hand.
Then, she slipped her hand through the gap to hold the sword's hilt.
Immediately afterward, a blinding light burst from the longsword, and a tremendous amount of light mana instantly filled the area.
The divine runes etched on the longsword were clearly visible.
Although the treants did not know much about the modern era, there was no way they wouldn't know about the Hero's Sword, a weapon that had been passed down over ten thousand years ago.
You're the Hero."
The treant elder's expression changed slightly.
Because of his bad impression of humans, he naturally didn't hold much respect for the existence of Heroes.
However, he knew that anyone capable of being chosen by God to be a Hero must have a noble soul.
He also believed such a noble soul wouldn't play dirty tricks on him.
This wasn't because he trusted humans.
Instead, it was because he trusted in God and the legends surrounding Heroes.
So, even though he didn't have favorable feelings towards humans, he didn't think the Hero would use dirty means to deceive him.