Edited: Yoni, Myoni
Sponsored: Kenny K
One of the important variables that made up an ecosystem was the relationship of natural predators.
If there weren’t any natural predators, unlimited reproduction would destroy the ecosystem and in the end destroy itself.
The bugs in front of him were like that.
If they ate up all the roots, the bugs would most certainly die.
However, the Fire Tar wanted him to just remove the bugs.
‘The Art of Death skill can’t be a solution all the time.’
He could make the bugs into an undead.
At most, he could create 100 of them a day.
But most importantly, he couldn’t make them multiply like he did with the zombies.
‘Undead is a curse normally cast on humans and other humanoid races.’
Bugs weren’t a humanoid race. Of course, they weren’t included.
‘I need natural predators.’
It seemed necessary for him to make ‘natural predators’ protect the Poom tree.
A natural predator of a bug everyone knew was a bird.
However, it wouldn’t be able to consume a fist-sized bug unless it was a quite a large bird.
It was hard to get flocks of huge birds immediately.
Muyoung picked up a bug and looked at it carefully.
As he pressed on the bug’s bulging belly, he was able to feel that it was full of water.
They had already sucked out the Poom tree’s sap.
Bugs like aphids tended to extend their lives like this.
‘The natural predator of aphids are beetles.’
He had learned about bugs when he was training to become an assassin.
He became proficient at the skills of assassination by using everything including poison, animals, bugs and etc.
There were some bugs that were useful depending on the situation.
For example, there were bugs of solitude that died when their partner died, some that reacted to a specific sound and some that followed a specific scent. It was a world of infinite possibilities.
‘The Plutoniannian Beetle…’
Soon after, Muyoung remembered its name.
The Plutonian Beetle was a beetle type monster that lived in the Underworld and grew up to 1 meter.
It dug up the ground and used its long mouth to eat the aphid-like bugs living underneath the ground.
Normally, they were scattered all over the Underworld and although he wasn’t sure if these monsters would eat these bugs, he felt it was worth a try.
Muyoung took out a talisman.
Soon, a flock of 100 harpies flew around Muyoung.
“Search as far as you can and find bugs that look like these. Bring them back alive.”
Muyoung drew a picture on the ground.
He described its characteristics and ordered the harpies to paralyze the bugs and to bring them to him alive.
Harpies possessed a paralyzing poison in their wings.
It should definitely be possible for the harpies to fulfill this task as the Plutonian Beetle were very strong.
After a day, 30 harpies returned.
Muyoung knitted his brows after looking at the different types of bugs the harpies brought him.
Maybe it was because they were undead or perhaps it was because they were birdbrain but there were no Plutonian Beetles.
As time passed, more than 20 appeared but the situation was the same.
‘Did the others that didn’t return die?’
Muyoung was able to see the last few moments when a ghoul or a zombie died.
However, he was unable to confirm if the others died possibly because harpies had small brain capacities.
‘More than half came back alive.’
But, it was still a relief that this much had come back alive as they recklessly ventured all over the Demon God’s Territory.
He expected only about half to survive but 70 percent did.
‘But, there is still a chance.’
Muyoung still held on to this slight chance. Among these, there could be a bug that might react to the giant aphids.
He dug a hole and made a tunnel and placed the aphid and the bugs that the harpies brought together.
However, it didn’t result in any great effect as he hoped.
‘The bugs can’t use their strength.’
It was strange.
Did something go wrong when the harpies brought in the bugs?
Besides the aphids, all the rest of the bugs didn’t move properly.
Their movements seemed stiff as if they were shivering in fear.
Every day, Muyoung continuously let the harpies out to investigate the cause.
And using all the undead, he was restricting the territory of the bugs.
It was to protect its roots even a little longer.
And after 7 days, Muyoung was finally able to get the one he wanted.
‘The Plutonian Beetle!’
Finally, he was able to obtain a Plutonian Beetle.
Only 10 harpies were left.
It was by sheer luck.
On top of that, the Plutonian Beetle was bearing eggs.
Only about 1% of the 1000 eggs it bore became larvae but if Muyoung could arrange an environment he could increase it to 10%.
However… like the other bugs, the Plutonian Beetle’s body was stiff. It was scared.
“What do you think is the problem?”
“I, don’t know.”
Muyoung questioned the Blazing Spear Soldier as he sat on a rock.
Although the Blazing Spear Soldier had the knowledge of Fire Dragon Woo, it seemed like this problem exceeded his ability.
It seemed like it would become a problem if he didn’t find the reason why the bugs were scared, even if he did find a natural predator.
If he used the ‘Eye of the Sky’ skill, he would be able to use the knowledge in the Sky Library but what would he search for if he didn’t even know the cause.
‘I have analyzed situations more complex than this.’
Although it was when he was brainwashed, Muyoung was able to succeed in everything from analyzing and infiltrating to assassinating.
It wasn’t like he couldn’t do it anymore.
Muyoung climbed up the tree.
The Fire Tars would have scolded him if they found out.
However, he needed to be daring. Nothing would change if he just stood there.
Then Muyoung closed his eyes as he assimilated with his surrounding, his body swaying with the wind.
The sky was quiet.
Even the ground was quiet.
This place was especially quiet.
Muyoung shut off his emotions. Even his spirit was shut off.
He attempted to become a weak living organism.
It was his last resort to find out why the bugs were afraid of this place.
However, it wasn’t enough. His primal human nature refused.
Although Muyoung had become the wind and the ground as he concealed himself, he never had become a weak living thing like a small animal or a bug.
‘This is also a challenge for me.’
He challenged unknown fields that he never attempted before.
He tried to become weak. To shut off his instincts.
It wasn’t easy. That was why this was a challenge.
Soon, Muyoung’s senses widened and even a distance quite a distance away came into his sight.
Bugs that didn’t approach him started to climb on top of his body.
Muyoung just stood there like a scarecrow.
<Your Intelligence increased by 1.>
<Your Intelligence increased by 1.>
As time passed, Muyoung fell into a deeper state of mind.
Muyoung’s body shivered in fear.
No bird could approach him. The bugs weren’t able to move.
He seemed to understand why only the giant aphids were fine.
‘The Poom tree suppresses fire attributes.’
That was right. The giant aphids sucked out all the sap of the tree and neutralized the attributes of fire. That was how they were able to grow so big.
The bugs who were instinctively afraid of fire couldn’t move.
Then, where was the fire?
Muyoung’s eyes turned towards the far away location where a huge village was situated.
‘The problem is the village of Fire Tar.’
The Fire Tars respected the Poom tree. It was natural for them to gather around here.
That was the biggest problem.
The fire attributes of the Fire Tar were too strong. It didn’t subside.
Other weak monsters and bugs would follow their instincts and wouldn’t approach this location as they feared it.
Only the giant aphids were able to be active as the tree neutralized the fire attribute.
Muyoung climbed down from the tree.
He quickly walked towards the Fire Tar’s village.
“You really want to get killed, don’t you dokkaebi?!”
Late in the evening.
The gatekeeper of the Fire Tar’s village greeted Muyoung at the entrance.
It wasn’t that welcoming but Muyoung didn’t even budge.
“Call out the vice-chieftain. I have an appointment with him.”
“There is no reason for our vice-chieftain to make an appointment with a dokkaebi! Go away or I will show you why the Fire Tars are known as the most ferocious, ill-tempered race.”
He tried to scare him.
However, Muyoung was far off from getting scared from that sort of threat.
“I have solved the secret to why the bugs are eating the roots of the Poom tree. If you don’t call out the vice-chieftain, I will just leave.”
Muyoung didn’t explain twice.
He just looked up the giant covered in flames.
The gatekeeper could only ponder if this information was true or not.
If the dokkaebi was lying, the dokkaebi would die horrifically but he would also get reprimanded for believing in a dokkaebi.
On the other hand, it would become a bigger situation if the dokkaebi was telling the truth.
The thing the whole clan wanted the most.
For that to become a waste because of him?
It wouldn’t be able to repay it all with even his life.
The gatekeeper decided that it was better to be reprimanded alone than risk the whole village and nodded.
“If you are lying, I will make you taste all the sufferings offered in this world. I will go to your clan leader and burn him and make sure he never breathes another breath.”
A short answer.
Muyoung was calm even when the Fire Tar was spitting fire.
Instead, the flames the Hellhorse breathed out were scarier. Fire Tar was a monster few ranks below the Hellhorse.
The gatekeeper left huffing and puffing. After 10 minutes, he brought the vice-chieftain.
The vice-chieftain tilted his head to the side as if he never expected Muyoung to show up.
“You really found a way to exterminate the bugs?”
He had said it to play a trick on him.
Never in his dreams did he expect Muyoung to find a solution.
Muyoung spoke clearly.
“There are two ways.”
“There are even two?”
The vice-chieftain glared at him as if he couldn’t believe what Muyoung was saying.
Although the Fire Tars weren’t the smartest bunch, they were unable to come up with an answer even after they put their heads together.
They tried lots of different ways but it was still the same.
It didn’t make sense that Muyoung solved this in 10 days.
What was more, he found two methods.
If it was true, it seemed like the pride of the Fire Tars were going to collapse.
“First way is to move the Poom tree. In a rocky place, bugs can’t lay their eggs. It won’t be able to bring in enough nutrients and it will dry up quickly but it will still live 5 more years.”
“That can’t ever happen!”
As he expected.
The Fire Tars believed the tree was sacred.
But to pull its roots and to move it?
It would be a blasphemy.
The vice-chieftain’s eyes were filled with disbelief as if he couldn’t believe the dokkaebi had said this as a solution.
“What’s the second method? If the second method is also worthless, I will save your life as I was the one who requested this but you will face some harsh punishments.”
The vice-chieftain Fire Tar threatened him.
Muyoung chuckled out loud.
It seemed like their personalities were all similar.
They were all ferocious and ill-tempered.
Even their threatening routines were the same.
Of course, Muyoung also didn’t think they would choose the first method.
Muyoung shrugged his shoulders and spoke.
“Leave this village.”
“Leave… this village?”
The vice-chieftain’s body trembled.
He believed that Muyoung was mocking him.
Before he exploded, Muyoung continued to talk.
“All Fire Tars must distance themselves from the Poom tree. You also need to reduce the number of times you visit the Poom tree.”
Just in case he didn’t understand, Muyoung explained.
“You guys are a hindrance to the Poom tree.”