“Talk now.” Alina said as she crossed her arms. She was not surprised e that Queen Mother knew about her and Alex’s identity as Travelers. “Let’s see if what you will say really had some merit.”
“Oh, I am sure that you will accept it.” Queen Mother replied as the tone of her voice changed.
“I am a World Tree, just like what I told you earlier, and this world is the place where I grew up.” Queen Mother said as her body swayed. “This World is quite nice, I grew up quickly here.”
“I knew about that fact already.” Alina said as she shook her head. ”What I want to know is how were you able to get into this World. Did you just spontaneously appear, or were you intentionally planted here?’
“Oh, the answer to that is just simple.” Queen Mother replied. “You see, when a Mature World Tree reaches its peak size, it will create a single fruit. Inside this fruit is a seed, which will be the source of a new World Tree.”
“…” Alina kept quiet as she continued on listening.
“Once the fruit is ripe enough, that Mature World Tree will let that fruit float to the Outer Space.” Queen Mother said with a hint of amusement in her tone. “That fruit had specific designs that allows it to freely travel towards space.”
“What happens then after that?” Although Alina already had an inkling on what could happen next, she still asked Queen Mother with this question.
“That fruit will continue on floating on space, until it lands on a planet with suitable resources.” Queen Mother replied quickly. “As long as the planet that the fruit had landed on had water, firm soil, and good atmosphere, that fruit will be able to release its seed inside that planet.”
“….” Alina tried not wince as she felt somewhat weird after hearing the last sentence that Queen Mother had uttered.
Queen Mother showed no indication of her snickering at her innuendo as she continued talking.
“That was how I was born. A fruit from far away fell into this World, and after years of staying still in this world, I was able to take root.”
“Even without using my All-Seeing Eyes, I could not help but believe what you say.” Alina replied wryly, as she realized that if Alex and Asteria were here, they would be both shouting ‘That’s so cool!’ at the top of their lungs.
“I’m glad you think of that.” Queen Mother replied. “So, do you have any questions now?”
“Yes, I have one.” Alina said as she raised her hands. “Why are the Monsters worshipping you? You are a World Tree, and there is no way for you to create Monsters like them, right? In that case, why are they spouting nonsense like you are the one that created them?”
“Well, I really created them all.” Queen Mother replied as she tilted her canopy. “My followers don’t lie, you know.”
“But…” Alina stuttered again, as she realized that Queen Mother is once more telling the truth. “How could that happen?”
“It’s because of an innate ability that all the World Tree have.” Queen Mother replied serenely.
“And what could that innate ability be?” Alina replied as she waited with bated breath for an answer.
But instead of answering back, Queen Mother let out a slight giggle as she said,
“Before I answer that question, let me ask you something. What do you think a normal plant will do once it was invaded by something like pests?”
“Umm... create chemicals to combat the pests?”
“That’s one of the steps, but there is something that other plants do.” Queen Mother replied.
“You are talking about plants taking protection by having a symbiosis with small animals.” Alina replied as she let out a faint smile. “There are some plants that have ants crawling around them, and these ants will attack any pests that will harm the plants. In exchange, the plants will give these ants some sort of sustenance.”
“Right, that is basically the gist of it.” Queen Mother replied as she seemed to be clapping with her non-existent hands.
“And how is that related to you creating the Monsters?” Alina asked as she let out a sigh.
“Well, just like the normal plants, even us World Trees have natural enemies too.” Queen Mother replied.
“Natural enemies? With you size, you can just squash anything in your path!” Alina replied as she remembered that massive size of Queen Mother’s real form. “Nobody will try to attack you with a body that big!”
“Let me remind you something first. Even if I am a World Tree, I am still a Tree and I have very limited range of movements.” Queen Mother said as she wriggled her body.
“You see this body in front of you? This is just an offshoot of my root, something that I made to allow me to communicate with the Monsters.”
“Fine, fine. I get it.” Alina replied as she waved her hands. “You are still immobile, so no powerful shenanigans right there. So, how are the Monsters tied to you?”
“Well, since us World Trees needed our own line of protection against things that can harm us, we developed an ability to create sentient life.” Queen Mother slowly said as she observed Alina’s expression. “And that Innate Ability allowed me to create the Monsters, which are protecting me quite fiercely.”
“That’s bull**it.” Alina replied quickly.
Even though her eyes had shown her that Queen Mother was telling her the truth, Alina still found it hard to believe what Queen Mother had said.
“Us World Trees have catalogues of biological data compiled by our ancestors.” Queen Mother said as she seemed to ignore the expression on Alina’s face. “Using these catalogues, I was able to create the optimum race that was in my opinion, will be able to protect me. And in my case, I created beings that of are monstrous origin, since their abilities to fight are quite great.”
“Let me summarize it first, ok?” Alina said as she wiped off the sweat that formed in her forehead.
“You, Queen Mother, was a World Tree that was born in this World many years ago. In order to protect yourself from any kind of harm, you created a sentient race that will protect you from said dangers. And this sentient race are the Monsters…”
“That sums it all right up.” Queen Mother said as her bark seemed to glow. “You are becoming one of my favorite conversation partners.”
But even with this confirmation, there is still one thing that is confusing Alina right now.
“But if that was the case, then what about the Humans in this World?” Alina suddenly said as she refused to be overwhelmed by Queen Mother. “Were they living in this World when you were born? Did you create the Monsters to protect yourselves from the Humans?”
“Well, the answer to your questions are both NO.” Queen Mother replied as she shook her canopy. “There are no sentient races living in this World when I first came in, and those Humans were not in this World when I created the Monsters.”
“But… how could the Humans be here then?” Alina asked as she felt more and more confused. “Were they some sort of intergalactic travelers who only came at this World in an attempt to colonize it?”
“As much as I think that premise is cool, it is unfortunately not the right answer.” Queen Mother replied as she let out a sigh. “You can say that the creation of the Humans… is partially an accident.”
“An accident?” Alina narrowed her eyes as she looked at Queen Mother. “Please explain.”
“You remember what I told you about the fruit of the World Trees, right?” Queen Mother said. “You remember how they are supposed to facilitate the birth of a new World Tree, right?”
“Yes, I remember that.” Alina replied, feeling somewhat annoyed with that question. “So how is that related to the accident?”
“Well, when was able to fully mature my own fruit, you can say that I got… unlucky when I released it to the Outer Space.” Queen Mother replied as she let out another sigh.
“And what exactly happened?” Alina ask as she felt that that big twist is about to come.
“Well, after I released my fruit to the Outer Space, a celestial body suddenly passed by, colliding against my fruit. Of course my fruit had been designed so well that it was not destroyed by the impact. However, that impact pushed my fruit back to this World…” Queen Mother shook her body as she let out her third sigh.
“Are you telling me that…” Alina’s trailed words were fortunately continued by Queen Mother.
“Yes, once my fruit was pushed back to this World, it immediately burrowed itself to its core.” Queen Mother said with a hint of annoyance in her voice. “Because of that, another World Tree had sprouted in this World.”
“…That’s got to suck really bad.” That was Alina’s only reply as she let out a grimace. “So, that another World Tree created the Humans in this World?”
“Exactly.” Queen Mother replied with a hint of exasperation in her face. “Although the Humans in this World could not be actually considered as real Humans. They have certain characteristics that makes them different from real Humans.”
“How so?” Alina asked as she realized that she should suspend her disbelief for now.
Questions and answers first, and the disbelief will come later.
“Well, the second World Tree made sure that the ‘Humans’ that she created will have organs that will allow them to cultivate a special type of Essences. Real Humans can’t do stuff like that. Only the Essence Humans that the second World Tree created can do that.”
“Essence Humans huh.” Alina mumbled as she slowly realized the whole plot in this World.
Alina then leaned forward, making sure that her eyes were close to Queen Mother’s bark as she said,
“Queen Mother, maybe it’s just me, but is the reason that the second World Tree created Essence Humans was because it wanted to defeat the Monsters and kill you?’
“You really are sharp, dark one.” Queen Mother said as she heard what Alina said. “You are right. After it became large enough to create sentient life, the second World Tree did not like my presence. Of course I did not like its presence too, but I can still tolerate her stay here. After all, she is technically, my daughter. But she seemed to be not thinking of me the same way.”
“She wanted me gone from this World.” Queen Mother said as she let out her fourth sigh. “So, she did her best to create a sentient race that will combat my own race, and that was how the Essence Humans came into being. She also made sure that both sides will not like each other, which resulted to the current situation today.”
After hearing all of this, Alina went silent for a minute, as if she was digesting everything that she heard.
Once a minute had gone by, Alina stared at Queen Mother deeply, before letting out a deep breath as she said,
“So, why did you tell all of this to me? You did not just say that story to help us, right? You want to request something from us, especially to me.”
“That is right, dark one.” Queen Mother replied quickly. “Don’t worry, even if you are unable to fulfill my request, I will still help you out with your Mission.”
“…Fine, speak up then.” Alina replied as she waited. With her All-Seeing Eyes, Alina could see that Queen Mother was sincere.
Queen Mother will still help out Alex and Alina even if they are unable to fulfill her request.
Since that was the case, then it will not hurt if Alina will listen to Queen Mother’s request.
“What I want is just simple.” Queen Mother said as her voice turned low. “What I want is for you two to-“
But before Queen Mother could give her request, she suddenly freezed up, as if she suddenly saw something that shocked her.
“Those f**king idiots!” Queen Mother snarled as anger began to overflow from her body. “Are you trying to f**king ruin my plans? Blasted idiots!”
“…” Alina found no words to say, as she could feel theanger coming out from a cosmic plant.
“What the hell is happening now?” Alina thought to herself as she was somewhat paralyzed by the anger coming out of Queen Mother. “Did something apocalyptic just happen?”