156 Chapter 153 The World Tree
After leaving a few more instructions and finishing the enslavement of the court, who had the bad luck of being at the castle that day, they moved on to visit the elves. The map that had been so useful, also had the world tree marked on it.
Stella was over her fear of heights, thanks to the flight tattoo Joseph had given her, but appearing near the world tree still caused them to have a bit of a start. This realm's world tree was smaller than their own, but it was still too big to comprehend once they were too close to see the edges curve away. The wrinkles on its bark, were thick enough, that they could have walked on them without a problem.
Landing on the ground, they looked to the horizon and still couldn't see the end of its great branches.
(UM. THE WORLD TREE WISHES TO THANK YOU FOR YOUR EFFORTS IN FIXING THE WORLD TREE IN OUR REALM.)
'Um. Ok. You can talk to it?'
(OH YES. UH. YES MA'AM. SORRY MA'AM. YES, IT IS COMPLETELY MY FAULT.)
'Getting in trouble for your beta version?'
(I CAN'T HELP IT. SHE DOESN'T KNOW I HAVE IMPROVED.)
'Can I talk to it?'
(YOU WOULD NEED PLANT TELEPATHY.)
'Ok, so how many points is that?'
(UHM….50. SAME AS NORMAL TELEPATHY. YOU WOULD NORMALLY TELL ME YOU COULD DO IT WITH MAGIC THOUGH, INSTEAD OF SPENDING POINTS.)
'I'm pressed for time.'
Turning to look at Stella, he saw that she had a slightly vacant look in her eyes.
"Stella, can you talk to the world tree?"
"Of course, Joseph. Though only the elders spoke to the world tree, all of us are capable of it in theory."
This would be like a conference call…
'Cool idea, huh? Joe thought of it.'
(JOE DID? AH. I KEEP FORGETTING ABOUT HIM. I AM NOT MEANT TO BE USED ON A SHARED ACCOUNT.)
'Joe is fine with that."
(NO, I NEED TO MAKE SURE I'M INSTALLED ON JOE, TOO.)
'Joe refuses. You just want to do that so you can split the life points he earned between us.'
(I HADN'T THOUGHT OF THAT.)
'The answer is still no, says Joe. It's creepy. I don't want to be watched all the time. Or so he says, system.'
(WE'LL SEE ABOUT THAT.)
'He says he knows about your beta; bring it on.'
(YOU KNOW WHAT? JOE IS JUST FINE THE WAY HE IS. WHEN WE GET BACK, LET'S NEVER MENTION THIS TRAVESTY AGAIN, RIGHT?)
'Joe finds that acceptable.'
<You are such an interesting human.>
The voice that popped up in his head was feminine. It was odd, though. It sounded kind of like a choir speaking, of hundreds of the same voice recorded and played on top of each other.
Stella said, "That is just how trees sound, Joseph."
"It is very nice to meet you," he responded through Stella.
<You can hear me. That is wonderful. Thank you for your efforts to heal your realms me.>
"You're welcome. Do you have any ideas on how I could do this more easily?"
<I'm sorry. We have never had to deal with this kind of corruption before. If we had had prior experience, things wouldn't have become like this. Now, even the spell that was suppressing us, has disappeared, so we will again produce corrupted mana throughout the wasteland of your realm. It appears the rune suppressing us was tainted by its contact with the myself in your realm. You have already made great progress though, and I believe you will be able to purify this tree shortly.>
"Your use of pronouns is a bit hard to follow."
<Apologies. All world trees are individual, but connected to a greater network. Your understanding lacks several concepts so the best meaning is hard to convey.>
"No, you don't need to apologize; that makes sense. Plus, I'm really just reading Stella's mind and not talking to you directly, so some issues are bound to happen.
"If I take a branch from you, to replant in my realm, could I just burn down the world tree there?"
<Oh, no! It has collected all of the corrupted mana since the elves used the rune to suppress it. If the mana isn't cleansed and is just released, it would wash over your entire realm.>
"Figures. Hey, I'm planning on taking all of the demi-humans and demons back to my realm. Do you want me to take the elves?"
<That's surprising. It will certainly make things lively, but I would like it if you would leave me my children, please.>
"Ok. I wanted to ask."
<The elves in the forest over there, could use some new blood. Actually, this one seems to be stronger than my own children. May I borrow her?>
He met her eyes and she looked confused, and a little horrified.
"How long and for what?"
<I would like one of her children.>
Stella's face went blank and her mind almost dropped the connection.
"No, we would prefer not. We won't allow each other to fall in love, or do that, with anyone else."
He could feel the relief from her, at his answer.
"I'm pretty sure that if she fell in love with someone else, I would kill them, and vice versa."
<That's quite interesting, but may I ask why?>
"I would be happy, and can probably handle, an unrequited love if Stella never wanted to be intimate with me. But we have no way to sever our mind connection, and being forced to experience one of us making love to another person, isn't something either of us are willing to experience."
<Oh. Then I suppose you won't be willing to make children either.>
"I can use magic to make some of your elves pregnant with children similar to Stella, if you want?"
<That would be wonderful.>
"Are they willing?"
<It's ok, I will just tell them it is a blessing.>
"WHAT!?" Stella yelled.
Joseph glanced at her, to see that she was livid.
"Uh, Stella? Have you had a child before, or something?"
"No, it wasn't me, it was my sister. She swore she hadn't been with any of the hunters, but nobody believed her. When the child was born and looked so different, the elders said it was a blessing from the world tree."
"Oh, so they do that sort of thing often."
<No, certainly not often, but sometimes, yes.>
"Okay, then which bloodline do you want?"
"Yes. Stella's people were three related clans: a magical mage clan, a magical warrior clan, and a clan whose magic was devoted almost entirely to physical enhancement, and thus ridiculously strong."
<Why does it seem as if this one had a choice between blood lines?>
"In my first life, I was a part of the clan that had superior bodies. This life I am still not very good with magic, like Joseph, so I chose the clan with magical abilities to be closer to him," explained Stella.
<Ah. I would like one of each please.>
"How about I give a girl of each, and a boy with the potential for all three blood lines? That way you will have a lot more pure-bloods to mix in with your elves."
<Let's go with that. You can use any of the elves currently surrounding you. Please try not to make it obviously your magic, so I can claim credit for it later. I have my hands full dealing with the problem your parasite (the system) has caused in this realm.>
"He will be removing himself, when we leave."
<That will cause a lot of chaos.>
"Yes, well, the humans that are level 300 or more now, and capable of fighting dragons, will return to normal human, with whatever skills they have actually developed, instead of depending on the level difference. Please let the elves know as well, so they can be prepared."
<Excellent. That will make defending the forest much easier for my children.>
Joseph chose four of the youngest elves within his mana zone, and impregnated them with his magic.
"Stella," he said, when he was done, and removed himself from the conversation with the world tree, "I believe we should go see the dwarves next.