“Where's that zombie mage?”

After the young city lord defeated an elven skeleton mage, she looked around the battlefield with surprise, but she wasn't able to find the fallen chief's corpse.

“On the ground, in the air, pretty much everywhere.
Look around on your own.”

The elves were all shocked.

That was just way too unbelievable.

They've all witnessed just how powerful the fallen chief was.
Yet, a powerful being actually ended up utterly annihilated, blown to smithereens.

So the Demon King's might is actually that terrible?

Is this the might of a Dragon King?

The elven elders felt like rejoicing.
Thank goodness Giantree City chose to submit to this Demon King.
Otherwise, they might have already been blown to smithereens as well.

Zhang Nu spoke, “There are still a great number of undead and various monsters in this forest.
In order to avoid it becoming a threat to Giantree City and the Tree of Life, next, we'll need to send in more hunting parties to purge them.”

Nancilia immediately spoke, “Don't worry, leave it to us.
We can definitely handle such minor matters.”

Zhang Nu was a bit disappointed at not being able to get the reward treasure chest right away.

However, on second thought, the undead and monsters in the Giantree Forest are quite high leveled, so the rewards for defeating them are quite rich.

Thinking about it in terms of profit, doesn't that mean that the more there are, the better?

Thus, Zhang Nu left the work of cleaning up to his subordinate army.

He himself went over to the ruined temple that the fallen chief had lived in.

Nancilia followed after the Demon King.
She poked her head in, and when she saw an enormous crystal ball in the center, she immediately spoke, “Isn't that the Omniscient Crystal Ball?”

Zhang Nu walked over and grabbed the crystal ball.

[Omniscient Crystal Ball].
Blue quality item.
When enough MP is put into the crystal, it allows the user to observe everything within a hundred meters.

“Not bad!”

“This thing is quite useful.”

Although it does overlap a bit with the effects of certain detection type magic, it has an enormous range and the effect is stable too.
Plus, anyone can use it, so it works especially well for placing in the Demon King Castle and having subordinates take shifts using it.
This way, they'll be able to monitor the entire area at all times and act as a quick warning system.

After putting away the crystal ball, the Demon King and the young city lord continued forward.

The temple was left to rot for three hundred years now, so it's very dilapidated and covered in dust.
The wall carvings and statues were already ruined beyond recognition, so there's not much of any worth left anymore.

However, just then, Zhang Nu discovered a Goddess of Nature statue standing in the center of the temple.
The Goddess was holding an utterly unremarkable staff covered in dust.

Anyone else probably wouldn't have paid it any attention.
After all, the staff didn't look special at all, so they'd just consider it an accessory for the goddess statue.

However, Zhang Nu saw past that, so he immediately took it and hummed in appreciation.

[Elf King's Scepter].
Gold quality special equipment.
Magic damage +100%, cast speed +50%, MP +400, HP +400, all stats +40, training effectiveness +500%.
This item is a bloodline equipment, only usable by one with the Elf King's bloodline.

This equipment's stats were explosive.

Even Zhang Nu, who never used equipment before, was a bit tempted.

Unfortunately though, this thing is bloodline bound.

If not for that, there's no way that the fallen chief would have let such a powerful staff just gather up dust.

If the fallen chief was able to use this staff, his powers would definitely be in a completely different league, and Zhang Nu would have needed to put in a lot more effort to deal with him.

“This is…”

Nancilia was drawn to it at first sight.

She just felt like the staff was mysteriously calling out to her.

Zhang Nu spoke, “This should be an important treasure of your race.
I suppose that it has returned to its rightful owner now.
Go ahead and take it!”

With that, he casually tossed it over.

The moment Nancilia caught it, a powerful burst of energy blew away every speck of dust on it.

The head of the staff bloomed out like a flower, each petal blossoming out in the shape of wings and exposing a brilliant green gemstone in the center.

The unremarkable looking staff now looked beautiful and magnificent.

Nancilia also felt her bloodline resonate.
She was overjoyed and immediately bowed to the Demon King, “This is the Elf King's Scepter.
It's indeed extremely important to us elves.
Thank you for returning it to us.”

The young city lord was greatly moved.

This is a priceless treasure after all, yet the Demon King just tossed it to her without even giving it a second glance.

Zhang Nu just plain didn't care though.
For one, he never relied on equipment in the first place, and for another, it's not like he'd be able to use it anyways.

As for selling it?

That requires there to be someone willing to buy it in the first place.

Plus, after having this staff, Nancilia instantly got a lot stronger.
She's basically reached pseudo Overlord level right there and then.

Since the Elf King's Scepter can greatly increase the speed of an Elf King's training and even increase the speed of her bloodline's awakening, she's probably not long from her breakthrough to level 4.

Just then, the Ancient Tree High Priestess came over.

“My lord, we found the entrance to the seal!!”

The entrance to the seal isn't far from the temple.

An enormous altar shaped like a Mayan pyramid was built here.

It's possible to enter the altar, and a disturbing energy and aura was coming out from it.

[You've been corroded by negative energy.
HP -2!]

[You've been corroded by negative energy.
HP -1!]

[You've been corroded by negative energy.
HP -2!]

Zhang Nu headed into the depths without caring and reached an enormous and tightly shut stone gate.
An enormous amount of complicated magical runes were carved on it.

This stone gate and altar were extremely ancient.

Its history is even more ancient than the elf tribe here, so it's very likely that it wasn't built by the elves.

Zhang Nu looked at the stone gate, and the relevant information popped up.

[Sealed Land].
Level 5 Overlord zone.
Extremely high exploration value…

Summary: “…
This is an alternate dimensional seal gate.
It links to a labyrinth built in the alternate dimension.”

“A portion of a certain evil god's power is sealed in the deepest part of this labyrinth.
Although this power has already greatly weakened , it's still not something a mere mortal can resist or covet.
This place is extremely dangerous, so please explore with caution…”

Zhang Nu was frozen in shock.

Level 5 Overlord zone?

That really is a terrifying existence.

Zhang Nu had guessed that the seal under the Giantree formation is by no means simple, but when he truly saw the relevant information, it was still beyond his expectations.
No wonder it needed the elves to keep guard over generations.

“Your majesty, what happened? Is there an issue with the seal?”

Just the slightest bit of the aura leaking out from the seal was enough to make Nancilia terrified.

She was very worried.
The disaster that struck the tribe 300 years ago was caused by an abnormality with the seal, so if any problem happened with the seal, then wouldn't Giantree City end up affected

Zhang Nu however spoke, “Don't worry.
The thing inside the seal spent a great deal of its energy during its awakening 300 years ago, so it's so weak now that it can only slumber.
It can't possibly awaken again anytime soon.”

The young city lord let out a sigh of relief.

Now isn't the time to open the seal yet.

It's far too dangerous to do so with his current powers.

Zhang Nu felt like he needed to be at least level 4 before he could possibly challenge this level 5 Overlord zone.
For now, he has no choice but to just leave it alone…

After they're done looking at the seal, Zhang Nu went back.

Zhagn Nu handed all the work of clearing the Giantree Forest over for Giantree City to do.

Although the monsters in Giantree Forest are very high leveled, Giantree City had an army of nearly 10,000 camped right there.
Plus, they have multiple level 3 Lords holding down the fort, so there won't be any real issues.

Not long after Zhang Nu got back to the Demon King Castle.

Bloody Giant Wang Shi: “Your gems are ready!”

Zhang Nu replied with satisfaction: “Thanks for your hard work.
Let's trade then!”

The money and goods traded hands.

After getting the materials, Zhang Nu leveled up the Castle right away.

[Level up successful!]

[You've gained “High Demon King Castle”!]

Leveling up the Demon King Castle cost a great deal.

The change in appearance was quite shocking.
The pitch black and somewhat rustic looking castles now changed to be dark gold in coloration.
It's now both brilliant and threatening.

This main color scheme is somewhat similar to the color of Zhang Nu's scales.
In fact, Zhang Nu suspects that the Demon King Castle's style may be related to the Demon King's identity.

The Castle is not only bigger and taller now, the most important part is that its stats have increased.

[High Demon King Castle].
Entire territory's production +80%.
All units within a radius of 100km of the Castle +50% to all stats.
Within the Demon King Castle, recovery speed +200%, all stats + 100%.
-25% stats to all Heroes within the Castle.
Castle Barrier can be deployed.

As expected! Worth it!

This effect is way too strong!

First, the radius of effect for the Castle has increased.

It went from the original 10km directly to 100km.

It now affects the entire Darkness Valley.
This even includes the army camped at Darkness Canyon.
The unbelievable 50% increase to all stats is enough to explosively increase their fighting power!

Other than the various explosive increases, the Castle now has a new “Castle Barrier” ability.

Although it costs a somewhat great deal of gold, with such a tough barrier, it would allow him to sleep a lot better when he's not home, especially when he's out traveling far away.

From now on, he won't need to fear Heroes doing stealth raids anymore.

Looking at things from that angle, the costs are quite reasonable.

The Castle level up here is very much necessary.

This expedition to the Giantree Forest had earned around a full 500k gold.
This is an enormous and unexpected income.

This, he first spent 210k gold to hire 35 super soldiers.

This way, he has an even 50 super soldiers now.

These are top tier and flight capable level 3 Elite units.
Don't underestimate the power of the super soldiers.

The differences between different units of the same level and quality can sometimes be enormous.

Take skeleton soldiers and minotaur warriors for example.
Both are level 1 Normal units, but the latter is capable of easily taking out five to eight skeleton soldiers.

While the super soldiers are the same level as the undead elves of the Giantree Forest, in terms of combat power, super soldiers completely outclass the elves.

50 super soldiers are enough to form a powerful force!

Plus, after getting 50 super soldiers, it also grants him the ability to get a spot for the level 3 Lord unit “draconian marshal”.

This is also one of Zhang Nu's goals here.

He selected the longest serving of the 10 draconian generals, Zhang San, sent him up on the altar, spent 50k gold, and promoted him from draconian general to draconian marshal.

Draconian marshals are top tier combatants among level 3 Lord units!

They've nearly reached the power of pseudo overlords, possessing even better leadership abilities and combat skills.
It's more than enough to greatly raise the strength of his territory!

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