Recalling the scenes from her dream, she naturally remembered the image of the burning tree. Those who set the tree on fire were none other than a multitude of fairies led by Sol Noctis himself. Sol Noctis, who would always get worked up whenever Naskan insulted the divine tree?
This could also be a reason for Chrys to speculate that the ability of the Twilight Dragon, which she had not known until now, was to see ‘times that would never happen.’
The things she had seen so far. The nasty things Naskan did to her. The Twilight Knights and Axen Arc, who didn’t have such a bad relationship with her anymore. They were all things that could never happen.
Suddenly, a headache struck her.
The cries of the Parent Tree, which used to weave through the sky, resonated in her mind.
“…To create a better world, to protect the world, there are sacrifices that must be made. Among the countless possibilities, there were only times when we could choose. We had no choice but to endure them to avoid them.”
“Parent Tree, what you’re saying now is really strange. My choices among countless possibilities? Are you implying that I hope for that dream to come true? Am I supposed to become some kind of disaster?”
In truth, it was a sarcastic remark because she couldn’t bear this stifling atmosphere. However, the Parent Tree didn’t refute her words, and his expression became even brighter than before.
“…Why do you look like that?”
“How much do you know?”
“No, just explain so I can understand!”
How much did she know?
Nothing at all. Absolutely nothing.
She couldn’t grasp why the Parent Tree was displaying this attitude or what he meant by his words. She felt like she had touched something that shouldn’t be touched right now.
Why did the Parent Tree bring her here in the first place?
He talked about countless possibilities, saying that the variable causing the world’s destruction was someone’s choice and that the ideal world was achieved through the fascination with divine power. Then, what did her dream, which seemed to only show the worst outcomes, really mean?
“…Come to think of it, in the spirit realm. It was after you arrived. The rift opened up… Yes, maybe…”
The Parent Tree murmured to himself without even acknowledging her presence. Chrys looked around and took a step back. The atmosphere was getting increasingly unsettling.
“Wh, what are you talking about? I really don’t understand. Please stop, it’s scary.”
The Parent Tree suddenly raised his bowed head.
“The fact that you left the divine realm must mean that Kiskrios didn’t treat you right? So you’re hoping for that result? Isn’t that it?”
His gaze changed as he was questioning her. His emerald green eyes fixed on her seemed to be ablaze. The intensity of his gaze was so strong that it made the hairs on her body stand on end.
For a moment, Chrys almost mistook the divine tree for a devilkin. She couldn’t even utter a word in response.
It was strange how the Parent Tree, who had been constantly uncomfortable and cautious around her, suddenly changed his attitude as if flipping his palm. Furthermore, he kept repeating the same words, making her increasingly irritated. She almost wanted to scream and ask him to summarize in three sentences without being so frustrating.
While she stood there, her temper flaring, the Parent Tree smiled ruefully, almost like a devilkin.
“Child, how about staying in the spirit realm from now on?”
“In the spirit realm, Twilight will not be a fleeting moment but the most beautiful light in the world. I can treat you more precious than anyone else.”
“What are you suddenly talking about again?”
“I can take better care of you than someone like Kiskrios.”
Chrys tried to smile, but her face twitched.
What the Parent Tree was saying sounded like the Lords of the divine realm had been oppressing her all this time.
“…The Lord loves me.”
“Really? Though, why did Kiscrios hide so much from you?”
That wasn’t an easy question to answer.
To be honest, a bit of distrust towards the Lord had started creeping in since earlier, though that didn’t mean she believed the Parent Tree either. If asked whom she would trust between the Parent Tree and the Lord of the divine realm, she would naturally choose her own Lord.
Despite the current alliance, the spirit realm and the divine realm had a long history of war.
The Parent Tree suddenly claiming to treat the Twilight of the divine realm well was not only incomprehensible but also felt repulsive. Moreover, the Lord had raised her as her own child. The Parent Tree’s words sounded nothing more than an insult to her parents.
“You’ll be satisfied too.”
“I have things to do, you know? I can’t stay here. So…”
Chrys took a step back and reached into her outer pocket. She felt the drawing of the fruit she had made before entering the spirit realm.
“I have to go find this in the Underworld!”
At the sight of it, the Parent Tree turned like a ghost.
“I knew it! You knew everything!”
“No, I don’t know! This darn tree! Are you really senile!”
Eventually, she also lost her temper and shouted. For her, it had been a long time to endure such anger.
She remembered how the Twilight Knights, who should have served her, had taken every opportunity to insult the Parent Tree after the change of ownership. It seemed like the Parent Tree had indeed gone senile.
The plants around her moved at the Parent Tree’s gesture. Tree branches similar to the ones she had seen when she was invited here surrounded Chrys.
As the tree branches came closer, trying to grab her wrist, she recoiled and punched at it in fright.
“Let go! Are you insane?”
The branches approached relentlessly. As she tried to retreat, Chrys stumbled and hit her backside on the ground.
‘What should I do? How can I—’
Looking up at the manifestation of the Parent Tree advancing like a predator, Chrys instinctively felt the danger. Especially when the tree branches reaching towards her wrapped around her ankle, she found herself short of breath.
If the Parent Tree, with all its might, was determined to restrain her, Chrys couldn’t muster up enough resistance.
‘Someone. Someone, please help!’
At the moment when she desperately wished for help, a loud hallucination pierced her ears, making her feel dizzy and disoriented.
Clatter. Clatter. Clatter.
Along with the loud sound of trees burning, branches were spreading in all directions as if in rebellion. Charred roots revealed among the blazing embers.
The dream she had briefly had on her way to the spirit realm came back like a fantasy. This time, Chrys saw the face of the fairy who had set fire to the divine tree first. It had not appeared in her previous dream.
With his hair that had turned snow-white and dark complexion, the fairy seemed somewhat delicate overall, but his eyes were alive and glimmering.
After a while, a maniacal laughter burst from his mouth. He shouted loudly to the following fairies and gestured towards a certain spot.
As he did, fireballs flew from all directions, landing on specific parts of the tree.
Be it torches lighting up the dark sky, sparks caught on arrowheads, or fireballs conjured by magic, they spared no effort.
As long as it burned down the Parent Tree.
Chrys was jolted out of the fantasy by the tree’s tearing scream.
Smoke from the fire magic she had cast at her fingertips was rising slowly.
Regaining her senses, she realized her hands had just done what the fairies had done. Amidst the clattering noise, the plant stems that had touched her body recoiled and retreated from her.
[ You, you, you! ]
The Parent Tree’s wrathful proclamation echoed within the barrier.