Clear blue skies, a pleasantly warm temperature, a refreshing breeze, all of these elements come together to paint a peaceful day in anyone's mind. However, when the skies are gray, the temperature is cold, and the wind is either harsh or absent, we expect something unpleasant. But today was not one of those days; everything was perfect, calm, and no signs indicated trouble on the horizon. And yet, here they were, Saitama, Lady Boros, and the queens were in shock from not only what happened to Genos but what was approaching them.
A behemoth of a creature that towered over all of them and wielded destructive power that could be utilized at range. Its body was covered in scales that looked like natural armor, possibly indestructible, which told them it was a reptile of some kind. Or, instead, it said that to Saitama and Lady Boros, as the three queens knew who and what this was.
"It's...It's her..." Deep-Sea Queen muttered with widened eyes, "It's...Ancient..." She revealed.
"Ancient?" Saitama questioned, having heard her, "Wait, is this the last queen?" He asked.
"Y...Yeah...that'd be her..." She confirmed.
"Well then, I guess it's time to commit regicide." Lady Boros said as she began to walk forward.
"Whoa, there." He stopped her, doing so by stepping in her path, "Boros, calm down. I've seen that look in your eye before." He told her.
"Calm down? CALM DOWN? THAT OVERGROWN LIZARD HAS DESTROYED MOST OF GENOS'S BODY!" She shouted in response while pointing to the burnt cyborg, who Saitama still carried in his arms.
"Which is why you need to calm down." He repeated before holding Genos out to her, "He's still alive, I think. So, you need to take him back to your ship and get him fixed." He instructed.
"I will. Right AFTER I secure lunch for us by stripping all of the meat off of that worthless creature's bones." She growled, her anger already reaching that point.
"Boros, I understand why you're angry. But right now, Genos needs help, and he needs it fast. You're the only one besides me who can get him that help immediately before his condition gets worse. Plus, I still don't have the way to your ship committed to memory yet, so I'd waste time looking for it, which won't do him any good." He explained.
Damn it, WHY did Saitama have to be so level-headed?! Lady Boros wanted so BADLY to beat the ever-loving crap out of that prehistoric relic, but her champion was right that Genos's survival was the most important thing.
"...Try and leave some for me?" She asked with a disappointed expression as she took Genos from him, "It won't take long at all for me to get him safe and secure." She said.
"We'll do our best. But no guarantees." Saitama replied.
With that settled, Lady Boros took off from the ground and into the sky before flying away to get Genos the help he needed. However, before Saitama could talk to the Deep-Sea Queen or the Sky Queen about any potential plan, the outraged and passionate voice of the Subterranean Queen was heard shouting from atop the canyon wall.
"YOU F*****G BITCH!" She started with, pointing all four of her swords at the Ancient Queen, "I AM GOING TO SKIN YOU ALIVE AND USE YOUR BONES AS DECORATION FOR MY PRIVATE CHAMBERS! MY PEOPLE WILL WRITE SONGS AND STORIES OF HOW THEIR RULER KILLED SUCH A SAVAGE BRUTE!" She threatened and insulted.
The Ancient Queen stopped; the Subterranean Queen's words reached her fellow royal's ears and brought her to a halt. But, to Saitama's surprise, the Ancient Queen wasn't offended by what the other had said, which was shown when she let out a light chuckle. Although, given her size and the deepness of her voice, it sounded almost like thunder far off in the distance.
"Ah, I've missed that." She began, turning her head to look at the Subterranean Queen specifically, "You always were the most unruly of us. Never a moment went by during our conflicts when you didn't have a great arsenal of colorful insults and comments." She said.
"DO YOU BELIEVE I AM JOKING?! THAT I WILL NOT CLIMB YOUR MOUNTAINOUS BODY SO THAT I MAY PLUNGE MY WEAPONS INTO YOUR EYES?!" The Subterranean Queen asked.
"Heh, perhaps your mind has dulled since we last saw each other." She suggested, still amused by her display, "Did you forget that nothing in this world can harm me? HOW many times did all three of you attempt to so much as scratch my scales? Only to be met with disappointment and horror that even your best couldn't harm me?" She inquired.
"I NEVER WENT FOR YOUR EYES BEFORE! AND IF THAT PROVES TO BE INEFFECTIVE, THEN I SHALL ENTER YOUR MAW AND SEVER YOUR TONGUE FROM THAT WRETCHED MOUTH!" The Subterranea Queen responded.
"Alright! Enough!" Sky Queen, of ALL people, was the one to intervene as she rose from her place against the other canyon wall, "Both of you! Cease this instant! We are ROYALTY! If we have issues, we must be CIVIL about it! Is that not WHY we formed the treaty so many centuries ago?" She asked while stepping forward.
"Funny, you mention the treaty now of all times." The Ancient Queen said, now looking to her, "If I recall, the treaty was that NONE of you would EVER come upon MY land. It was to be left to my people and me. And yet, here you stand." She pointed out before turning her attention towards Saitama, "Alongside...a monkey?" She guessed, unsure of what that creature was.
"Huh, that's the first time someone's insulted me without mentioning my head. It's...weirdly refreshing." He admitted, strangely complimented that she didn't make a bald pun.
"EXCUSE YOU! Saitama is a HUMAN! And a damn fine one at that!" Deep-Sea Queen exclaimed, standing up for him.
"Wow, thanks, Deep." He told her, surprised she'd say something like that.
"Think nothing of it. You're my friend, my trainer, and you spared my life. The least I can do in return is defend your honor." She replied.
"...Hold on..." The Ancient Queen spoke up, the best expression of confusion she could muster present on her features, "Did...Did I hear you right...that...creature...who is so small...he...spared you?" She inquired.
"Don't let his size fool you, Ancient. Saitama here is EASILY the strongest thing on this planet. Possibly the entire universe. It's as if gods dwell within him." Deep-Sea Queen informed.
"BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!" The Ancient Queen exploded into thunderous laughter, it being so loud and powerful it shook the ground.
As she continued to carry on in her chortling, each of the queens had a different reaction. The Subterranean Queen's rage, which was already quite intense, became equal to the boiling magma beneath the Earth's crusts. The Sky Queen initially had a smirk appear on her face, as she was amused by what would become of her after this insult, but then she quickly changed it to an expression to not draw attention to herself. Then there was the Deep-Sea Queen, who wasn't taken aback in the slightest by the Ancient Queen's laughter, as she understood the absurdity of that statement given how she and Saitama met.
Speaking of, Saitama didn't react at all, just like her. For him, it didn't matter if the Ancient Queen believed he was strong or not; what mattered was her apologizing and accepting responsibility for attacking Genos.
"Oh...Oh my...that...that was so...wonderful..." The Ancient Queen chuckled out, having to wipe a small tear from her eye due to how funny that was, "Tell me, hooman. How DID you manage to make the ruler of the oceans surrender to you?" She asked, eager to learn what was undoubtedly a hilarious tale.
"Human." He corrected since she said it wrong, "And, as for the story, there isn't one. Deep challenged me to a fight, I showed up, she attacked me for a bit, realized she couldn't hurt me, then when she asked what I was, I clapped my hands, which split the ocean, and then I swam back to shore. The end." He told her.
"Hmph, an imaginative hooman, I see. I wonder if all of your species are like that." She replied before looking at the Deep-Sea Queen, "Deep. Please, tell me the true story of what happened." She requested.
"I Can't. Saitama just did." Deep-Sea Queen said.
"...Alright, is this a joke?" She questioned, no longer amused, "Are all of you trying to deceive me? In the hope that I'll leave and let you have the land all to yourselves?" She asked.
"NO! YOU STUPID LIZARD!" The Subterranean Queen shouted, her fury not lessening in the slightest, "SAITAMA IS THE STRONGEST BEING ALIVE! AND IF YOU CONTINUE TO INSULT HIM SO CARELESSLY, HE'LL PUNCH YOU!" She warned.
"Oh? He'll punch me, WILL he?" The Ancient Queen inquired.
"YES! SO YOU BETTER MIND YOUR MANNERS, YOU IGNORANT OAF!" She responded.
For a few seconds, nothing happened, as everyone could tell that the Ancient Queen was thinking about what to do next. But then, without any more words spoken, she turned her head towards Saitama, opened her mouth, and began to charge a beam.
"Oh shit!" Deep-Sea Queen exclaimed with widened eyes before quickly getting out of the way.
The Sky Queen did the same; only she took off into the air to avoid the incoming blast, which came right after both of them were safe. It flew from the Ancient Queen's mouth at the same incredible speed from when she had fired it at Genos, hitting Saitama with enough force to create a decent-sized crater. She maintained the beam for thirty seconds, intent on reducing the hooman to a pile of smoldering ashes.
"There." She said once she was finished, doing so with a proud smile, "As you can see, your hooman was no match for me. I have seen through your pathetic attempt at deception." She bragged, feeling superior.
However, to her surprise, none of the other queens spoke; their gazes were all fixated on the crater, and yet they didn't seem shocked. Then, to the Ancient Queen's befuddlement, the hooman casually climbed out from the hole.
"Aw, man. She scorched my cape." Saitama noticed as he looked behind himself, "Thankfully, my suit's not damaged. At least, I don't think it is." He added before he started examining his jumpsuit.
"Well, what do you think, Ancient?" Deep-Sea Queen asked with a smug expression as she and the other queens looked back at her.
"Very well. I will admit that these hoomans have durability on their side. It makes sense. How else would they survive against my species otherwise?" She answered, offering a question of her own.
Hearing her say that brought a moment of clarity to the Subterranean Queen, temporarily getting her out of her anger.
"...Her...species..." She spoke quietly to herself, slightly lowering her weapons, "Ancient...doesn't know..." She realized.
"Hooman!" The Ancient Queen called out, getting Saitama's attention, "Be truthful, is your species as strong as the Deep-Sea Queen claims?" She asked.
"Hmm...that's a little tricky to answer..." He began as he crossed his arms, "We're not ALL super strong. A lot of us are pretty weak when compared to things like you and the other queens. We can die easily, get sick easily, get injured easily; you get the point. People like me are exceptions. I mean, I'm not trying to brag, but so far, I haven't found anyone in my species or otherwise that are as strong as me." He explained.
"I see. So, would you go so far as to say you are the best of your kind? The apex predator, if you will." She inquired.
"I...guess if you want to describe it that way...then...maybe?" He replied.
"Then, I apologize." She said, which was unexpected, to say the least, "I shall show you the respect that is deserved to every alpha. Just as I did with the queens long ago when we formed the treaty." She told him.
"Oh, does that mean you're going to apologize for cooking our friend and not go on a rampage?" He asked with a hopeful smile.
"Hm? Oh. No. Of course not. I just meant that I will battle you to assert my dominance." She clarified.
"Ah, okay." He said, taking a moment to dust himself off, "Well, I guess I have to punch you now." He decided.
"WHOA, THERE!" Deep-Sea Queen shouted before hurrying over to him, "Look, Saitama, I KNOW Ancient's been a bit thick-headed so far. But she's been asleep ALL this time. So don't you think punching her is a LITTLE too much?" She asked.
"Hey, I'm up for other ideas. I don't want to kill her. But I don't think a slap on the wrist or a stern talking to is going to make her change her mind." He answered.
"Dear, if I may." Sky Queen spoke up as she descended to stand beside him like the Deep-Sea Queen, "Perhaps, if all three of us come together and fight her on your behalf, we'll be able to defeat her and assert OUR dominance. At which point, she will lower her head and agree to listen." She suggested.
"Do you guys think you can beat her?" He asked as he looked back at the Ancient Queen, "She's big, says she's indestructible, and her laser beam does hit pretty hard. I don't want any of you getting hurt or even killed when I can handle this." He said.
"Aw, that's so sweet, Saitama." Deep-Sea Queen replied, finding his gentleman side to be very charming, "But, I agree with Sky. We've NEVER worked together to fight Ancient. So, we could have a real chance of defeating her if we cooperate." She reasoned.
"Well, alright. If you guys are so sure." He accepted before looking up at the canyon wall, "Hey! Sub! The plan is all three of you are going to take on Ancient! Is that okay?" He asked, relaying the plan to her.
"Uh, yes! Of course! I AM still furious about what she did to Genos!" The Subterranean Queen responded, her mind still thinking about her earlier realization.
"Ha! So, THAT is the arrangement, then?" The Ancient Queen questioned, "What happens when they inevitably lose? Do I get to fight you then, hooman?" She inquired.
"Sure. But we're trying to prevent you from getting injured TOO severely or even dying, so we're hoping that'll work." He explained, which made her laugh some more.
"Your self-confidence is impressive, hooman! Or, perhaps it is ignorance?" She replied before becoming serious, "Whenever you three are ready." She told the other queens, waiting for them to start the fight.
"Alright, ladies! Let's do this!" Deep-Sea Queen exclaimed.
"Be ready to back up your words, Sub! It'd be a terrible display if you don't carry out your threat from before!" Sky Queen told her as she spread her wings and flew into the air.
"Right...yeah...the whole skinning her alive thing...on it." The Subterranean Queen said as she readied her swords, a maelstrom of emotions swirling inside of her.
Like a standoff between two gunmen at high noon, all four queens remained motionless for a few seconds to ready themselves. Then, right as a new gust of wind blew through the canyon, the battle commenced. The Deep-Sea Queen was the first to act, rushing ahead with great speed towards the right side of the Ancient Queen. The Subterranean Queen would do the opposite, running on top of the canyon wall for her approach so she could attack their opponent's left side. Finally, to no surprise, the Sky Queen approached from above to try and land some blows against the Ancient Queen's head.
As for the Ancient Queen herself, she didn't do anything because she wanted to see how long her rivals would wail upon her armored body until they realized it was pointless. Starting things off, the Deep-Sea Queen, once she reached the Ancient Queen's right leg, sent out her eel, which latched onto the limb and proceeded to deliver its electric shock. The Subterranean Queen was next; she lept from the canyon wall, flew through the air, then landed on the Ancient Queen's left shoulder, where she began to climb by using her swords. Following that was the Sky Queen, and what she did was conjure fireballs in her hands and throw them at the Ancient Queen's face, where they exploded upon impact.
Sadly, the electricity, the swords, and the fireballs did absolutely nothing. And whether or not it was intentional, the Ancient Queen released a yawn, seeming to be bored by their actions. However, the Sky Queen saw that as an opening, which she pounced on by throwing a barrage of fireballs into her open maw.
"Oh, clever." The Ancient Queen complimented after yawning, still showing no signs of being affected by the fireballs.
"Tsk, damn it." Sky Queen cursed before she looked down at the ground, "HEY! DEEP! COULD YOU MAYBE TRY SOMETHING ELSE OTHER THAN THE EEL?!" She shouted at her ally.
"WAS JUST ABOUT TO!" Deep-Sea Queen shouted back as she retracted the eel into her mouth, "How about THIS?" She asked as she wrapped her hair around the shin, trying to afflict it with her poison.
"Oh no. Stop. Please. It's too much. I can't take it." The Ancient Queen said, sounding as unimpressed as she could.
"You won't be saying that for long!" The Subterranean Queen exclaimed, having reached the top of her head, "This is for Genos!" She said before plunging her four swords into the Ancient Queen's left eye.
When she did that, two things happened. First, the Ancient Queen shut her eye, which indicated it had an effect. Unfortunately, that's when the second thing happened, which was the Ancient Queen letting out a heavy sigh.
"You DO realize I have rested within volcanos before, right?" She asked her attacker, "Meaning that the energy that flows within you, while annoying, does NOT harm me in the slightest. So, your blades will do nothing." She explained.
"Well, what if they're empowered?" Sky Queen asked before readying more fireballs, "Sub! Prepare yourself!" She ordered.
Understanding what the Sky Queen wanted to do, the Subterranean Queen nodded her head to convey that. Then, spreading out her arms in preparation, not a second later did the Sky Queen respond by throwing the fireballs at the other's body. In the same way, she had done the day before in her first fight against Genos; the Subterranean Queen absorbed the fire as it would strengthen her and her swords.
"ALRIGHT!" She shouted, feeling the surge of heat flow throughout her form, "GET READY!" She warned the Ancient Queen before she leaped into the air and unleashed MASSIVE crescent slashes of fire at the top of her head.
Wave after wave, the slashes were delivered, the Subterranean Queen managed to create well over twenty in ten seconds before she landed. But, unfortunately, as all of their efforts had been thus far, that attack did nothing at all to the Ancient Queen.
"Are we done with this yet?" She asked, curious to know how long they'd keep this farce on for.
"GOD! YOU ARE SO FULL OF YOURSELF!" Deep-Sea Queen shouted from the ground, now punching with all her might at the other's leg.
"Hm, I wonder why that is?" She asked before letting loose a fang-filled grin, "Allow me to show you." She offered.
What happened next was...sad, honestly super, super sad. The Ancient Queen reached up and grabbed ahold of the Subterranea Queen, applying just enough pressure to her to cause immense pain but not end her life. In response, the Sky Queen tried to offer her aid but was stopped by the Ancient Queen when she reached out with her mouth and caught the winged woman in her teeth. Seeing this unfold, the Deep-Sea Queen was going to let go of the Ancient Queen's leg and try to save her allies, but couldn't do so before the appendage was raised and she was put beneath its foot. All three queens were now screaming in pain, each of them having horrible pressure be applied to their bodies and so much agony inflicted.
But this was not the end of the Ancient Queen's show of strength, for she threw the Sky and Subterranean Queens to the ground so they could be with the Deep-Sea Queen. Once that was done, she turned around, raised her tail, and brought it down on top of all three, causing a massive shockwave to be sent out in all directions. Letting it rest there for a few seconds before she raised it, the Ancient Queen was proud of what she saw. All three of her opponents lay broken side by side in the Earth, their bodies mangled with blood splashed everywhere, including the Subterranean Queen's blue energy.
"My...My...wings..." Sky Queen tried to speak but was struggling both due to her injuries and the horror she felt as she looked at what became of her beautiful wings.
"I...I can't...I can't move my arms!" The Subterranean Queen exclaimed, panic quickly taking hold of her as she realized each of her limbs were broken.
"Hrk...guh...uck..." Deep-Sea Queen sputtered out, her mouth and lungs far too damaged to be able to say anything at the moment.
"Did you HONESTLY believe there would be a different outcome?" The Ancient Queen asked, astounded by their stupidity, "NONE of you can match me! I was the first creature to walk upon the Earth. I was the first to assert my dominance over ALL life on this planet. I was the first to-"
...What...just...happened...everything...suddenly...went dark...did...she close her eyes...no...there was...a loud sound...right before everything went dark...what was it...what happened...she needed to open her eyes!
"...Ugh...what...is...going on?..." The Ancient Queen asked, an overwhelming feeling of exhaustion coming over her, "Am...I on...the ground?..." She wondered aloud as it felt like she was lying on something.
After struggling for what felt like minutes, the Ancient Queen, at last, managed to open an eye. But, that was the thing; she could only open ONE eye because she couldn't feel the other one for some reason. However, she'd soon discover why, for when the Ancient Queen began to look around, she noticed a great deal of blood, bone fragments, and flesh was scattered everywhere...and...it was HERS. She recognized the scales AND the giant eyeball that wasn't too far away, causing her to look at the left side of her face, which was now in pieces.
"H...How...How is this possible?!" She asked as she began to hyperventilate, "My...My face...what...who...how...I...I don't understand!" She exclaimed.
Unfortunately, now that the Ancient Queen was conscious, that is when the pain started to hit. Letting loose a scream, she struggled to move, which prevented her from getting back on her feet. It was then, amidst her screams and pain, that the Ancient Queen suddenly felt an overpowering presence, which was the first time in her life she'd EVER felt something like that. It was approaching her from behind, getting closer by the second; it instilled so much terror in her that it ended her wails.
"Oof, damn. I am sorry." A voice apologized to her, "I seriously didn't mean to do THAT much damage. I was hoping your indestructible scales would lessen the blow." It explained.
That...voice...it...it belonged to...the hooman?!
"H...Hooman?..." She questioned, unable to see him from her position.
"Yeah, it's me." He responded, thankfully stepping into her vision so she could see him, "Also, it's human. HU-MAN." He sounded out for her to try and help her say it correctly.
"What...What happened...what...struck me?..." She asked.
"This." He answered as he held up his right hand.
"N...No...it...it isn't possible..." She muttered, her brain on the brink of breaking due to how insane this was, "You...You couldn't...that...that doesn't make sense..." She said.
"Yeah, I know. It defies all logic and reason." He replied while lowering his arm back to his side, "But look, you're hurt pretty bad. So are the others. I can explain everything after we get you guys some help." He told her.
"Help...you...you would help me?..." She questioned, "But...I...I insulted you...attacked the other queens...it is by law that...you kill me..." She said.
"What law? I've never heard of that." He asked.
"The...law of nature...the strong survive...the weak...die...or they serve...the strong...that is the natural order...that is how it has always been..." She answered.
"Maybe back in the day when everything was trying to eat each other, but we don't do that now." He responded, "But, look, I can't get into it right now. I need to call some people I know. And be ready for when Boros comes back because if I don't stop her, she'll nuke you. So please, stay still, don't exert yourself; I promise everything will be fine." He assured her before walking away.
This...This didn't make sense...NONE of this made ANY sense at all to the Ancient Queen. So many thoughts, emotions, and painful sensations assaulted her mind, far too much for her to try and sort out in her current condition. Thankfully, she wouldn't have to, as she grew more tired with each passing second.
"H...Human..." She spoke softly, her eyelid becoming heavy, "N...No...Saitama..." She said, managing to remember the name the Deep-Sea Queen had used, right before she slipped into slumber.