Chapter 937: Disloyal Knight
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
“This is weird.” Han Sen frowned. Only the Knight Tree had a lifeforce in the vicinity.
“Maybe the tree absorbed the life from the soil all around it?” Han Sen asked, looking at Moment Queen.
“All plants absorb energy from the ground, but they never take more than their fair share. If there is an insufficient amount of nutrients available for its growth, it does not drain the surrounding area; it just accepts its own demise. It would not grow,” Moment Queen said, with her eyes fixed on the Knight Tree.
“The tree has… a problem?” Han Sen said, as he eyed the six knights that hung from the boughs.
Moment Queen replied, “Yes, it has a big problem. For this tree to grow, with dead earth all around, should be impossible.”
Han Sen nodded to display his understanding, and as he turned back to watch the tree, his face turned grim.
“There is something amiss with the fruit, also.” Han Sen’s forehead flexed again.
“Why? What do you see?” Moment Queen asked, with her own ardent curiosity.
Han Sen, with his eyes on the six knight fruit, said, “The Knight Tree is strong, as we have surmised. But the fruit it bears are weak. And you said it would take another thousand years for them to mature? They seem too weak to adhere to your estimate. And…”
Han Sen froze.
“And… what?” Moment Queen was not used to the way Han Sen was speaking.
“This knight tree has seven fruit, actually. There is one behind the tree, but it avoided our attention at first,” Han Sen explained.
“There is another one?” Moment Queen’s face changed, and so she went to the other side of the tree.
Han Sen brought the Dragon-Blood Snake and Little Wind with him to circle the tree. He was keen to get a better look, but he made sure to keep his distance.
On the other side of the tree, the fruit there was different than the other six. It was similar in shape, but it didn’t look quite as natural. It was more like a statue of a knight.
The other six wore bright steel armor, but this one wore green-copper armor. Its presence there was a mystery.
Han Sen felt a powerful energy coming from the knight, and the other six combined seemed to be no match for the green-copper enigma.
As Moment Queen’s eyes fell upon it, she exclaimed, “Disloyal Knight! It is a Disloyal Knight! The tree has birthed a Disloyal Knight!”
“What is that? Is there a difference between Loyal Knights and Disloyal Knights?” Han Sen looked at the green-copper fruit in confusion, and so he asked Moment Queen to clarify.
“Well, of course there is. Duh! They aren’t the same type of fruit; can apples grow on a peach tree?” Moment Queen retorted.
Han Sen did not know much about botany, so he frowned and said, “Maybe it was lonely on its own tree. Hey, do you think a Disloyal Knight will be loyal to me like the Loyal Knights?”
Moment Queen looked at Han Sen with eyes of fire, wondering whether or not his stupidity was genuine. She told him, “No, of course not! Are you serious? Disloyalty is the opposite of loyalty, and so the Disloyal Knight is the opposite of a Loyal Knight. If you are the first person it sees, consider yourself marked. It will be your greatest nemesis; a foe that will not relent in its pursuit of you until you are dead.”
Moment Queen continued in her speech, saying, “I once saw an emperor grow a Disloyal Knight Tree. It hadn’t matured yet, and he said it would take nine thousand years for it to grow the single Disloyal Knight it would bear.”
“Ooh, so that means it’s a treasure. That’s some good stuff, right? Can we get a beast soul if we kill it?” Han Sen asked.
Moment Queen did not answer him directly, and she merely continued on from her previous dialogue. “Do you know what he did to grow that Disloyal Knight Tree?”
“What did he do? He didn’t bury a real knight beneath that tree, right?” Han Sen wondered.
Moment Queen answered, “Ten thousand knight spirits cannot compare to the strength of a single Disloyal Knight. It could very well be a super creature. At the very least, any ordinary Disloyal Knight can be birthed to the rank of a berserk sacred-blood creature.”
“Could you answer my question, please? The emperor that wanted to grow the tree; what did he do?” Han Sen asked.
Moment Queen said, “Before he grew it, he had a grand expanse of land dedicated to the cultivation of Knight Trees. There were over ten thousand of them. But when the Disloyal Knight was born, they all withered and died.”
“Um… okay. But that at least explains why there is no lifeforce in the area around this tree,” Han Sen said.
“Ah, but there’s another problem. Disloyal Knights are birthed on trees of their own. They cannot grow on a traditional Knight Tree. I remember this emperor saying that without the energy of the Loyal Knights, the Disloyal Knight could not grow. What? Do you really think this place once had thousands of Knight Trees?” Moment Queen said.
Han Sen looked around and replied, “I’m not sure, but this is deep inside Thorn Forest. Thorns clog every path, and as such, there cannot be many trees.”
“Even if there was, the Disloyal Knight should not be growing on the same tree. Unless…” Moment Queen said.
“Unless what?” Han Sen asked, inquisitively. He did not know much about geno plants or other botanical fields, so he needed Moment Queen to explain everything she knew or guessed.
“Unless a Disloyal Knight died beneath this tree, and the Loyal Knight tree absorbed the deceased Disloyal Knight and somehow mutated,” Moment Queen explained her line of thought.
“And what’s the bottom line, if that is what has happened? Does it benefit us in any way?” Han Sen wasn’t really interested in how the tree was grown, only what rewards he might be able to reap.
“If things are indeed like this, then maybe the Disloyal Knight will be different and we’ll be able to claim it,” Moment Queen said.