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/qst/ - Quests

It's time for work.

You've awoken late again. You rush out of your bedrobe and into your Autumn uniform. The sun pours in through your window, almost begging you to return to sleep, but responsibilities wait for you.

"Finally awake, huh?"

A voice breaks past your uniform as you pull it over your face, startling you.

"Ah--oh, Goshe, you scared me!"

Goshe, a tall and silvery gemstone stands in your doorway.

"Jeez, surprised again by the only person who ever takes the time to wake you? Your temperament must be as fragile as your body, Gyro."

"M-my body isn't... That fragile! Besides, my mental fortitude is unmatched by any." You place a hand over your upper arm to show how strong your thinking is.

The truth is, your body is that fragile. You're the softest of all your companions, or at least parts of you are. Your body is a speckled mess of white and green beneath your powdery coating, which changes day to day. The white portions are extremely soft, and crumble easily, while the green portions are fibrous and intertwined, resembling a monkey's fist knot. These green portions are artificially hard by their woven structure and resistant to breakage, although the physical hardness of the minerals within is unchanged from your burdensome title of two-point-oh.

Goshe rolls her eyes, "Your hair is green today, make use of that and comb it before the Lunarians arrive."


You flatten your hair and arrange it they way Kyanite showed you, then follow Goshe to the meeting hall.

"I've brought him."

Jet stands in front of the 23 other gemstones next to Kongo-sensei.

"Nice of you to finally join us, Gyrolite."

"Forgive me O great Jet, I'll work harder in the future!"

Jet gives you a glare as you happily trot into formation. Unbeknownst to him, you said the same thing the last times you overslept and still haven't done it.

"Since you missed our discussion I'll give you a brief summary. The Lunarians should be arriving today in approximately five hours. We've organized into our usual teams. Kyanite is leading the decorations team, consisting of Cuprite, Jasper, Paraiba, and Opal. Structure maintenence of the school has been delegated to Almandine's team of Malaya, Uvarovite, Goshenite, Morganite, Heliodore, Siderite, and Jacinth. The remainder of us are in my team, assigned to sweep the island for loose items or washed up sea creatures."

"What about Ant...?"

"Antozonite has already begun patrolling the far western coastline on his own. Gyrolite, because of your disposition we had to wait to assign you. If your arms are green today, you will be assigned to Almandine's team. If your legs are, you will be assigned to mine. If neither are, you will work with Kyanite's team. Please tell us, we've wasted enough time already."

Which part of myself is green? Well I can already feel it now I'm more awake, it's...

>Your arms
>Your legs
>Neither your arms nor your legs
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But I do have to say I am going to bed in about 20 mins, so I can't keep this alive.
>Your legs
same here, will be back in 6 hours
Welp, it's time, I too will be back in about 6, to 7 hours.
Hope the thread is still up then.
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gempu<ser was warned for this post>
Kyanite best gem.
Nut on her forehead
Oh shit, I was hoping for one of these! Gyrolite, huh? I'm excited to see where this goes. At any rate, >legs
Vote closed in favor of legs, sorry it's taken so long, thought I'd be able to push out first update before I had to run to teach a lesson
No problem mate, take your time.
Gembutts are unbreakable

"Today it's my legs. Lead the way, captain!"

"Very well. Alright everyone, let's get to work, not much time left now!"

Your LEGS are more often green than the rest of your body. This leads you to having a higher SPEED than an ordinary Gemstone of your hardness.

Everyone groups into their assigned teams and splits to begin their tasks. Jet leads you and the others out of the school and gathers you by the bell.

"We'll split into three groups, organized by our respective speeds. Myself, Gyro, and Citrine will get the eastern shore. Cider, Aqua, Iolite, and Anatase will cover the north. Tourma, Epidote, Cryolite, and Natrolite, you four cover the south since it's the closest. And in case you didn't hear before, best to steer clear of the west entirely, Ant's over there."

"Alright, we'll see you when the bell rings Jet!" Says Natrolite.

"Toodles~", says Siderite, the gem Jet previously referred to as "Cider".

With that, the three of you take off running for the east.

"Jet," you begin,


"How come you talk different in front of Sensei?"

"I think it's just because it's my job. It feels like I should talk that way."

"Oh, I guess I don't get it then."

"It's like when you delay so many morning meetings that you just keep doing it because it feels right. Jet's gotten in the habit of talking like a speaker whenever he's around, like he's his boss."

"Oh, I understand!" Citrine shoots you a stinkeye.

"He is my boss. Actually he's your boss too, Citrine."

"Yeah and he's also a huge softie."

"Well that's true but you still do your job."

"Most of the time."

You three arrive at the eastern coast, immediately you see your work will be hard today. Hundreds of jellyfish are washed onto the shore, waiting for high tide to take them back to their homes. You begin picking them up and returning them to the ocean. Your arms are too weak today to throw the larger ones back, so you have to wade into the water before you can release them. Eventually, the pull of the waves starts to take your powder skin away with them, letting your green legs like layers of yarn show.

Jet and Citrine continue to chatter as you try not to get distracted by the squishyness of the jellies, which is very hard to do. After about two hundred or so jellyfish are sent back to the sea, Jet notices your ankles.

"Oh, you know I never considered that Gyro. Your arms aren't as strong today, so you've had a hard time with the jellyfish on this side. I should've had you go to the north where they're smaller. I'm sorry, you go back a little early and see what Opal can do about your powder. We'll finish up your section of the beach."

"You're right, I didn't even realize how late it was... Thank you Jet, thank you Citrine. I'll see you both when the bell rings."

They wave at you as you start for the school.

When you're back, the school is completely transformed. Massive ribbons loop around the columns of the school and tie to stakes in the ground around it. Someone made a giant bow around the tip of the building. That someone was undoubtedly Kyanite. The school's usual rainstreaks are gone, and the windows free of splintered supports. Inside, the jellyfish bowls are arranged in decorative patterns and tied together with ribbon.

I'll bet everyone but Kyanite thinks these decorations are fine and went to take naps while he's still messing with everything trying to get it perfect.

Just as you thought, you find Opal sunbathing on the sill of the window in the recovery area. She looks rather peaceful and you're hesitant of waking her up, but it's almost time anyway.

"Hey Opal... Wakey wakey... Someone's using your resin without asking..."

Opal shoots up and takes a combative stance. "Aah! Where is the bastar--oh, hi Gyro... Are you using my resin?"

You put both hands up, "No, no, I just said that to wake you up, so you can put the hammer down."

"Hn, shame, I haven't had a chance to hit someone in ages."

Opal is scary sometimes.

You laugh nervously, "Jet asked me to come by and have you redo my ankles."

"That's no problem. Do you know which basket it is, so I don't have to move from this sunny spot?"

"Sure." You grab the basket with the seeds and a mortar and pestle for him.

While he's reapplying your powder, he starts up a conversation. "That crazy chick really gets on my nerves with this decoration. It's like he wants to make history with every single celebration."


"Who else."

>"He's just passionate."
>"Nah buck up. You get a whole three sunny days off from him."
>"You're lucky."
He’s just passionate
>"He's just passionate."
Since I've seen you posting in HnK threads, you should probably link this there if you haven't already.
Voting closed for "He's just passionate."

"He's just passionate."

"I hope he finds someone to teach all this to. He's more than 'just passionate', he describes-- Other leg please. Thank you. He describes every minute detail to you as he goes, as if every jellyfish has to paint a masterpiece."

"I'd love to learn about all that stuff."

"Be my guest. Okay, you're all set. I'm going back to sleep."

Just as he closes his eyes, the bell rings out across the island. Opal grumbles for a bit, and covers his head with the basket of powder seeds. You pull him along with you toward the front, ignoring his volley of complaints. You look up to see Almandine ringing the bell. Through the tall arch, you see it.

The sunspot, its tendrils stretching maybe hundreds of feet in any direction, hangs in the air silently. If you didn't know any better, it would look foreboding.

Almond's voice calls down from above. "I see Jet and Cider, everyone grab a banner and take positions!" A pot sits in front of the arch, full of tall Lunarian banners. You go to grab one, and take your spot. The others do the same, forming two lines aligned with the legs of the bell arch, facing inward. Everyone eventually arrives and takes places with banners of their own. It was your intent to watch the sunspot expand, the patterns are always so captivating, but something catches your eye. There's a glint on the far side of the plain, peaking over top of a hill, and it's ever so slightly purple...

It's... Antozonite. That's right, Jet did say he was on the west side of the island. Now that I look more closely, he's just sitting there, arms around his knees. And he's got one of the Lunarian banner--

Your thoughts are interrupted by a gentle hand on your shoulder.

"A-ah, Sensei! You surprised me."

"Again surprised? I stand here with you every celebration."

"Goshe was saying the same thing this morning."

"Goshenite is wise."

"Oh! Sensei, over there, can you see? It's Anto...zonite... He's gone."

"Look towards the sky now, worry later about others."

"Okay..." You pull your eyes away from the intoxicating hilltop basted in twilight and back to the sunspot.

The black star has expanded to a giant fractal Rorschach image. It hangs there for another minute or so, then the sound of heavenly horns flows out. It's joined by the rhythmic pounding of drums. Sensei's grip tightens on your shoulder; without realizing, you lift your right hand and place it atop his.

His grip eases. Then, they come.

First emerges the edge of their cloudlike platform, next the beautiful bannerwomen, who hoist the same banner you hold. The trumpeters and drummers next, and finally the central platform. Atop that platform is a chair, and in that chair sits the prince of the Lunarians.

Almond continues ringing the bell until the Lunarians finish their descent, and stops when they touch down.

The Lunarians sit silently while the reverberation of the bell diminishes.

"Welcome!" Shouts Almond, breaking the silence. All at once, you raise your banners and begin cheering as the Lunarians pour jump off their platform and come dancing and hopping through the line of waving banners you hold. The bannerwomen come and hug the gemstones they know, while the musicians march behind them with jubilant spring in their step. You are the recipient of a hug from one particular bannerwoman who is smaller than all the others. Out of all of them, even having met them several hundred times during your life, the smallest bannerwoman was the only you ever made a connection with. Bringing up the caboose is their prince. At least that's what Sensei told you his title was. He wears a smile, but walks slowly. Every time you see him, he looks to have lost more of his joy. Seeing him makes you feel sad, and wish that you could speak to him to ease his woes.

He always sits alone, or with Sensei. But even if I had the courage to approach him, he can't speak. None of them can when they're here, and Sensei says we can't go to the moon, that there wouldn't be enough sunlight.

After the precession has passed, you all follow into the school's main hall, where the festivities begin. The musicians play their songs, and everyone dances the Lunarian dances that they've learned by seeing a hundred times. Everyone aside from you.

You sit on a bench away from the fun, and stare. Your gaze is fixed on the prince. He sits with Sensei, who has brought him some kind of hot liquid in a glass. It seems to be a tradition of those two. You asked Sensei about it once before, it was called "tea." He told you it was a drink you shared with friends, but they both look unhappy, also seemingly a tradition of theirs, as you've never seen them smile at the same time.

"Good grief, quit lookin so forlorn kiddo."

"Hi Citrine... Oh about earlier, thanks again."

"Don't mention it. What's on your mind?"

>"How come they never seem happy?"
>"Who is the prince?"
>"Why do the Lunarians come here?"

idk why it erased my name last post, didn't post anywhere else
>"How come they never seem happy?"
I am back,
also this
Just found this thing out, looks quite interesting so far.
Let's go with this.
>How come they never seem happy?
Also wew does this take place in the past? Guess we will find out huh.
Heliodor is here, Yellow Diamond isn't and Goshe is, and every other gem except Sensei is new, either future or past I expect a twist.
>inb4 time travel
Could be a different Goshe. Or, yeah, into the future, set after HnK. I'm pretty excited.
I'm assuming it's the future simply because Yellow Diamond is considered one of the oldest gems, but it could also be an alternate universe of something.
Alternate universe must be it, but I feel like it could also work being set some thousands of years in the past before the Prince decided to take the gems or something like that.
Goshe is just an universal constant.
It could be the distant past, before Yellow was even a gem. She's one of the oldest surviving gems in the manga, not one of the oldest gems made.
Yeah, that could be it as well. I don't think there's ever been any mention in the manga about how long it's been since everything went to hell anyway, so it's fair game.
Wew lad y'all went ham while I was sleeping. I'm glad that the setting has sparked the intrigue that it has, that was definitely the intention. Anyway, vote's now closed in favor of "How come they're never happy?"
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>tfw your plan ends with no survivors, but you survive

"How come they never seem happy?"

"Because they aren't."

"But why?"

Citrine stares for a few moments at the two.

"Ah man you're really grillin me here... I dunno, but if you ask me, which you did, I don't think any of 'em are. The Lunarians I mean. Don't ask me why again!" The orange gemstone lightly bops the top of your head.

"Wh-- Right. Thanks."

"If you really want to know, I'd ask Sensei himself. Anyway quit your mopin' how old are you again?"

"I'm three hundred tomorrow."

"Well that's two hundred ninety nine years I've never seen you dance. Come on Gyro, let's go have a bit of fun."

Citrine grabs your arm and pulls you into the crowd of dancing gemstones and Lunarians.

"Careful I'll break!"

"Follow my lead!" Citrine, being one of the oldest, has mastered these dances. He matches the movements in perfect rhythm, and leads you through the steps as well. You fumble through the beats, being tossed around between partners, but it actually is fun. Maybe you'll join in next time. Eventually, the music stops, and with it all the laughter and dancing. It's time for the main event.

The gemstones clear out of the way, to the sides of the hall. Sensei stands and walks to the center of the room. The musicians set down their instruments, and join the bannerwomen. The Lunarians gather around sensei, and kneel. They take positions of prostration, but your attention is once again drawn away from them and towards one. The prince never kneels with them, he watches on with a pained expression. The Lunarians stand after about twenty minutes. While everyone else goes down to say goodbye to them, you continue watching the prince. He is gazing down, and his cup is shaking in his hand. He places a second hand over it after some tea begins to spill. You've never seen him like this. After the Lunarians begin walking back to their platform, he simply stands and follows them, expressionless.

Watching him like this gives you a confusing feeling, one that you don't like. You want to run up to him and offer some kind of comfort, but the courage isn't there today. So instead, you join everyone else in goodbyes. The smallest bannerwoman offers you a final hug before running off after her companions. You wave as they climb back upon their platform.

Almond once again climbs the arch and begins ringing the bell once the prince has climbed on, and the Lunarians take off into the sky. The sunspot re-forms, and soon they are gone, back to the moon.

It's the final month of autumn, so there's no guarantee you'll have another third sunny day before winter hibernation, although you hope there will be. You'd like to see them again before spring.

Suddenly, Almond and Jet take charge. "Alright everyone, it's time for cleanup! Everybody find something to do!" Says Almond.

"I'm going to gather the stakes and remove the ribbon, someone restrain Kyanite!"

Kyanite is sat on the grass, clutching her knees. Her eyes are wide and hair messy. She's mumbling, something about "just leave it a few more minutes."

"I've got her!" Says Cuprite, as he picks up the vagrant Kyanite.

"Alright, on me, let's all grab a stake if you can!" Shouts Jet.

You can't lift the heavy metal stakes, but you can undo the ribbon.

"I can't bear to watch! Turn me around if you have any kindness in you! It was so perfect!"

Almond shouts "Begin!" as he rings the bell once, before jumping down onto the school's roof.

In a synchronized motion, the stakes are lifted from the ground, and lowered until you can untie the ribbon from them. At the same time, Almond pulls the ends from the giant bow around the tip of the school.

"You're all torturous fiends! Demons, how could you, that was the best part! N-n-no don't touch that! I take it back that's the best part!"

Kyanite continues her ravings as you go inside and start removing the ribbons from the jellyfish bowls. You look inside them and--

He tied bows... on the jellyfish too.

You pull off the ribbon from the jelly, and you can't help but think it looks disappointed.

"Don't look at me like that."

The cute jelly's wiles overpower you and you leave the bow on after going around and removing the rest of the ribbons.

Cuprite walks past you as you're cleaning. He's humming happily, carrying Kyanite.

"This world is a cruel place that offers no respite for the artistically inspired..."

Oh, that sullen attitude reminds me. The prince spilled his tea, I should clean that up. You walk over to where he sat to wipe it up, but...

It's stained. I'll have to get something from Opal later.

Aside from the stain, you've finished cleaning the inside of the school. Outside, people have finished as well. Almond, Malaya, and Uvaro enter carrying the stakes, ribbons, and banners to the storeroom.

Wait! I remember, Ant had one of the banners. We're not quite done yet. He'll probably bring it back on his own, but it might be polite to bring it back for him. The stain also won't clean itself, but I doubt anybody will ever notice it. And I wanted to talk to Sensei about the Prince... Alright I've decided. I'll...

>Retrieve the remaining banner from Antozonite
>Get something from Opal to clean the stain
>Speak with Kongo-sensei about the Prince
Shit, that's a hard choice.
>Retrieve the remaining banner from Antozonite
We can speak to Sensei in the evening.
>Sensei says we can't go to the moon, that there wouldn't be enough sunlight.
In the manga, the gems go to the moon just fine in the last few chapters. I'm wondering if Kongou-sensei is lying here or if the circumstances differ. Don't answer that, QM!
I won't answer it, but I will say that I've read the entirety of the manga currently available and am doing my best to make sure it's consistent
Get the banner.
That's great news. I'm really excited QM. How long does it take you to write up each post about?
Takes about 2 hours to write it if I'm slow, including going back over and making sure all the choices are established and that it doesn't contradict my plot outline. Going back and forth between errands usually add another couple on top of that.

Current tally is 2 for >retrieve the remaining banner. I'm gonna close voting in about 20 minutes.
No problem, I was just wondering, given how high-class the writing is. I can completely see it taking two hours! Thank you for being so wonderfully dedicated, QM!
Voting closed in favor of "Retrieve the remaining banner from Antozonite"

...Go and find Ant. Maybe I'll even have the chance to talk to him.

It's close to night, but your body is a little more suited to functioning in the dark than most. The green parts of your body trap light between their fibers, while the white parts redirect light onto them. Last you saw Antozonite, he was on the west side of the island, so you decide to start there.

He's not on the hill where you spotted him earlier, nor can you find him anywhere inland. So then, he's probably along the coast. No sooner do you think it than you notice a Lunarian banner flown above a cave on the northern end of the beach; it's not far from where you are.

"You're looking for the banner, right?"

A gust of wind sweeps by you as you turn to face the voice, picking up fallen leaves along the way.


"That's okay, you can take it back. You shouldn't stay by that cave too long though."

"I saw you today."

"Oh really, you saw that?" He laughs, "I always like to pretend I'm part of the festival."

"Then why don't you come?"

He stares at the cave for a moment. "I make the Lunarians sick." The banner flaps in the wind, and the waves gently tug the shoreline. Ant looks back to you, "Oh, sorry. I was thinking again. You know what, I'll grab the banner for you, that cave is dangerous even for gemstones, since I've stayed there so long."

"Wait! I... wanted to talk to you more."

"Being around me is dangerous." He smiles. "Don't worry about me, I'm happy."

"A part of me can't believe you. All alone out here for years, not even a job. All because of some poison that we can't even see?"

"It's very real. Besides, I do have a job."

"Oh, I uh, didn't forget that did I? I kind of don't want to prove your point."

He laughs again, "No I don't think I've ever shared it with any of the others, except Cryolite. I'm developing ways of fighting."

"Fighting? Against who?"

"I don't know. In truth I'm not sure we'll ever have a need for them, and I hope we don't. But one day the thought occurred to me that we have no means of protecting ourselves. I explained it to Sensei and he approved. I've only ever used them on ice floes during winter, and I've been trying to teach Cryolite to do it too, but I think he's too timid to really learn."

"I would love to learn from you."

"Can you stay awake during winter?"

"I can be out at night."

He cocks his eyebrows. "That's not what I asked."

Antozonite walks past you to retrieve the banner. The moonlight glints off his beautiful violet hair, the color contrasting against the quiet black surface of the ocean. You can't help but notice how triumphant he looks with the banner.

I guess I don't give him enough credit, even if he is lonely.

He returns to you and hands over the banner.

"Thanks for talking. You made me happy." he says.

"Oh... No problem... I'll see you later?"

He smiles and nods. "Mm. Later."

A gust of wind sweeps by you as you both turn away.

Back at the school, everyone else is already asleep, so you take care bringing the final banner to the storeroom. Something about leaving that stain is nagging you, but you're too tired to do anything about it.

I wish every day could be like today. Normal days are always embarrassing, I can never contribute as much as I should. If only I could control which parts of me were green or white...

"Not planning on keeping us waiting again tomorrow, are you?"

You hadn't noticed Natrolite come from around the corner. Sensei is with her.

"No, I'm going to bed now. It's just that Ant had one of the banners with her."

"That one... I don't know what she's after with this fighting business."

"You know about it?"

"Kongo-Sensei was helping me. It's my job to know what everyone's job is, and catalog it. I keep the library and the records after all."

"That's true I guess."

"Gyrolite," says Kongo-Sensei,


"The prince. Why do you take such fascination with him?"

"Ah, I can sense this is a conversation he wants to have with you alone. I'll see you both in the morning." Natrolite leaves you alone with Sensei.

"You told me you were friends,"

"We are."

"But neither of you are happy when you're together."

He takes a seat on a bench facing a window, and you follow suit. Outside, the stars obscure the night sky, and the glow of jellyfish makes the shores appear like diamonds.

"Friends are two people who share something in common. We share our unhappiness. We are friends because he hates me, and I him, and therefore I cannot do anything but love him."

"I don't get it, but it seems sad."

"It is. But that sadness should not weigh on your shoulders, it is mine and his to bear."

"O-okay. I think I understand."

Starting to drift off, you hardly notice you're leaning against his body. His hand sets itself on your head, the comforting pressure dragging you further into a lull.

"Wake early, there's work to be done."


An instant before sleep takes you, he says one more thing that barely registers to your ears, yet sticks in your mind.

"Do not involve yourself with the prince."



It's time for work.

You're awake and Goshe isn't chiding you, you must have woken up on time.

I'm in my own room. Sensei must have carried me after I fell asleep.

The sun is hidden by clouds today. It's rare for there to be more than one sunny day in a row in autumn, so it comes as no surprise. You change into your autumn uniform, and check your hair. It's white today, so there's no point in attempting to conquer it. Not even Kyanite or Cuprite can tame the wild beast that is white gyrolite bedhead. And so, you go to the hall and assemble with the others for the morning meeting.

Jet takes special notice of your punctuality.

"You're not the last one here? I can't believe you actually followed through with a promise you made. A miracle must've befallen you last night."

You smile your biggest and salute, "Anything for you, wisest of commanders!"


The remaining gemstones and Kongo-Sensei file in, and the meeting begins.

"Good morning everyone. I'd like to offer thanks for yesterday's festival. You all worked hard, and made it a success. Today, we'll begin stockpiling resources for use in the winter. Opal will tell you what we need and will organize you into teams to obtain it. With that, I'll allow him to take the stand."

Jet steps away from the front, and Opal takes his place.

"Today we'll focus on snagging the juice from those tree bast--", She clears her throat, "Obtaining resin, powder seeds, and beetle husks. The fastest of you will be assigned to capture the beetles, the strongest to sap the resin, and the most well coordinated to picking the seeds from the barbed plants."

Opal reads a list she prepared, assigning everyone to a group.

"And finally, Gyrolite, which part of you is green today?"

I feel like I've heard that recently. Either way I can feel it, it's...

>Your legs (Speed)
>Your arms (Strength)
>Neither your arms nor your legs (Coordination)
A few things while I read over. First, Gyrolite is a really cool gem with a marvellous gimmick for a protagonist. Secondly, upon doing some quick research, I figured out that antozonite is radioactive, which is probably why she makes the Lunarians sick with something that can't be seen. I couldn't find any link between gyrolite and radiation, but we'll have to see what come sup. Anyways, moving on with my musings as I go.
Something's certainly off about the stain. Hopefully we try to do something about that tomorrow, or at least investigate it.
>We share our unhappiness. We are friends because he hates me, and I him, and therefore I cannot do anything but love him.
What a sensei-like thing to say! This also makes me think that this is in the past, after Sensei has stopped praying, but before the Lunarians have grown so desperate as to cut contact.
I also like seeing the fact that we're dealing with their yearly gathering and so on. It's a nice little worldbuilding touch.
We already did legs, so let's try arms today.
>Your arms (Strength)
Voting closes in 11 minutes.
Antozonite is mildly radioactive, and it produces pretty significant quantities of ozone, which is ten times as poisonous as cyanide gas, but the real danger is that the radiation causes it's structure to break down into fluorine gas. The stuff smells like death and is highly, poisonous, acidic, flammable, and explosive. It even melts glass, they have to use specially made plastics to contain it because everything else melts or spontaneously combusts on contact. The output is slow and gradual, building up over time, but it also forms many pockets/bubbles throughout the material, so it releases a very large amount when broken or crushed. Antozonite is also extremely soft, brittle, and has perfect cleavage.

So he constantly outputs a cloud of foul smelling poison gas that gradually builds up over time until it can start melting the walls and starting spontaneous fires, and if he breaks, which he does extremely easily, a massive cloud gets released all at once. Also, that cave is not only highly dangerous, but also pitch black, since the jellies would die form the poison, and fire would cause a massive. Luckily Antozonite is a type of fluorite, so it readily glows under impact, heat, UV light, friction, and radiation, and he's also radioactive. So he glows dimly at night, much brighter during the day, not that you'd see it in direct sunlight, and probably during any intense movement or impact.

>Neither your arms nor your legs (Coordination)
Wew, glad to see that we know someone who knows much better than I do about gems. Thanks for the information.
I'm just better at using wikipedia and google.
That's what I've been doing. Take special note of a specific property of one of the gems I've mentioned... Might help explain something coming up soonish.
Voting closed in favor of Arms
All I've learned so far is that we've got a lot of EXTREMELY valuable gems this time around, and it's a REALLY good thing they don't use fire because a surprising amount of them react surprisingly badly to it.
Cuprite is precious. Take that as you will.
>The term "malaya" was derived from a Swahili word meaning 'outcast' or 'prostitute'
Ohohohoho, Malaya pleases moonies for money
"My arms."

Due to the structure of your ARMS, you have a boost in POWER for the day.

"Good. You're with Almandine."

Everyone stands in silence, waiting for Opal to continue as he simply looks at his clipboard. He looks up at you all, "What are you doing?" Several snickers escape the crowd.

"You didn't tell them they were dismissed... or anything. I... I guess I usually do that."

Opal shakes her head and points at Jet. "Alright you heard the lady, dismissed or whatever. If you need me you know where to find me and how to wake me up."

The group disperses, and Almond runs off to the storeroom. She returns carrying four taps, then leads you outside. Almond, yourself, Malaya, Uvaro, Goshe, Morga, Heliodore, and Jacinth start eastward to the yellow forest. "We'll split into four groups of two. One will work the tap, and the other will try to dislodge any that has hardened. Pair up!" Everyone gravitates toward their friends, leaving you and Goshe unpaired.

"Gah, I just can't seem to get away from you can I?"

"My charm is irresistible."

You and Goshe split off from the group and dive into the woods. This time of year, the yellow forest earns its name. Whatever leaves the trees have not shed are a pastel yellow. With the branches that are bare, it gives the impression of a blaze sweeping across the wooded place. The forest floor is littered with leaves of similar colors, that trap the moisture of past rains. Walking on them evokes memories of playing here once before.
"C'mon kiddo, I'll bet if you just try you'll be able to climb it."

"But I'm not fast or strong like you Citrine!"

"You're also not heavy like me! All it takes is a little courage and a jump!"

"O-okay, here I go!"


"What was that?"

"Oh, nothing. I'm just remembering."

"Well quit wasting time and come remember over... Oof!... Here, with your back against this tree. I can't get the tap in."


When did I lose my courage?
"I did it! I got up like you said... Citrine?"

"Over here!"

"Wha!? You're so far away!"

"I just did the same thing, but over not up! Try and catch me!"

"You're on!"

"Do you remember whe-uhf-n Citr-uhf-ine w-uhf-as teaching me ab-- Oof!" Your words are cut off when Goshe gives up trying to gently insert the tap and finally just punches it in.


"Guess not..."

"'d'you say something?"

"Nothing really."
"Citrine w-what do I do!? I can't walk!"

"Hey calm down, we've all broken a couple times. We'll get you back to the school and Opal can fix you right up."
That day, when I couldn't control which parts of me where green or white anymore.
"Hey Goshe,"


"When you were young, was there anything special you could do that you can't do now?"

"You mean like you? Not exactly the same, but my structure is less unique than yours. We all have a lot more... Spunk maybe, when we're kids. Our inclusions give off a lot of extra energy from the heat and pressure they absorbed beneath the chord shore. Once they exhaust that and are relying entirely on the sun, they have to learn to be more efficient, so we lose something. For me I just got weaker, for you it was the ability to control your body's structure."

"Did you ever get your 'something' back?"

"Sort of. You can never get all of it back, but The more control over your body you gain, the more you can exert yourself with less energy. It's a lot easier for those of us with common structures though, so don't get worked up about not being able to do it yet. Besides, I'm three times your age anyway.

"You're right. Thanks for the kind words."

"You know, you seem different from yesterday. More reliable? Something like that. Something happen?"

"I talked to Ant. He got me thinking about things. I keep feeling like something's going to change soon."

"That existential weirdo's always thinking too much. He's going crazy from isolation cause he chooses to stay on his own all the time."

You laugh, "Yeah maybe."

"Oh you know what, you should talk to Tourma and Paraiba. Those two might have some insight about your abilities. After all, great boron monosilicates think alike."

"And what about courage?"

"I wouldn't even know where to start. That sounds like a Sensei question."

"Okay, I'll do that. Hey, I wanna do the next one!" You and Goshe take turns running the tap, until you hear Almond calling you back near on dusk.

Back at the school, everyone presents their hauls.

"Aww For me? You generous bastards, you shouldn't have." Says Opal. "I'll get started organizing it right away." She sings a song with a mash of lyrics about sorting methods and napping while she carries the baskets away.

You retire to your room for a short while to collect your thoughts, saying hello to Squishy, the cutest of all the jellyfish who you brought here after the festival yesterday. You're not quite tired enough for sleep, so you decide to...

>Speak with Sensei about Courage
>Speak with Tourmaline and Paraiba about Control
>Other (Write-in)
Voting will close whenever I wake up.
I've got work today in about 8 hours, so I'll try to get out 1 update before I gotta go, but no promises.
Speak with Tourmaline and Paraiba about Control, we have already spoken with sensai once and I can't think of something else to do, so speak with the gems we haven't spoken to before seems the most interesting.
>Speak with Tourmaline and Paraiba about Control
Voting closed in favor of Tourma/Paraiba
I have a clarifying question: in the manga, all of the gems are meant to be the same gender, usually translated with he/him in English (I routinely refer to all gems as she/her myself, although I don't consider them gendered). But here, you're calling some gems 'he' and others 'she'. My question is, is this purposefully different from gem society in the manga, or do you also refer to different gems in the manga as different genders?
>Our inclusions give off a lot of extra energy from the heat and pressure they absorbed beneath the chord shore.
Now this is pretty neat! I like your touches of worldbuilding.
I would vote, but I'm already late for it.
If I let a "she" slip through it's just a typo. I keep finding myself typing "she" and "hers", etc. and I don't always catch it.

There are two instances where I've intentionally used female gendered words in reference to a gem, but neither are pronouns. Those were Opal's use of "Chick" to describe Kyanite, and also when Opal referred to Jet as "the lady."
I thought you were mixing up the pronouns purposefully, I think there's even different ones for the same character. I personally don't mind either way.
I seem to somehow always miss when the voting is open but I just wanted to say I'm really enjoying everything so far, especially the characterization.
Much appreciated anon. Stick around in the next hour or so, and turn on the thread watcher.
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Thanks for answering OP! I was just testing to make sure that I wasn't going loony.
And that bit about Opal sure is interesting...hm...
...Follow Goshe's advice and speak with Tourma and Paraiba. And, if you remember anything about their character, they should be...

Writing. These two, I swear.

"Oh, Hi Gyro.", "Ah, Hi Gyro."

"Hi Tourma, Paraiba. What are you writing?"

"We're writing yesterday.", "All of it.", "...In case that wasn't clear."

"Right. Is it okay if I stay and talk, or is it a bad time?"

"Never's not a good time.", "We're always writing. Every time is bad." "So they're all good." "What's caught your mind?"

My head...

"I was talking with Goshe earlier. I want to learn how to control my body again. He said you two might be a bit more knowledgeable about how I can do that."

"Control has to be learned." "It can't be taught, though." "Exactly what I was thinking." "It comes back through experience," "doing things you shouldn't." "Making your body work when it normally wouldn't." "A thing you can do you thought you couldn't." "Sometimes it's something you can't do you thought you could." "That's what worked for us.""For a year we kept ourselves separate." "Now we can think in each other again." "Make sense?"

"I think so. Thank you, I guess I'll let you get back to it."

"Please stay." "Writer's block." "Tell us yesterday," "from your eyes."

You do stay, describing everything you did the day prior. The sound of their pen against the paper draws you in, distracting you from their hypnotic voices and occasional rhymes. The soft radiant glow of a jelly lights the ceiling, pulsing in time with nothing else. You decide to leave out your conversation with Ant, since he seems to be wary of sharing his work. Paraiba sits just behind Tourma, his head on his shoulder, him watching as he writes. Paraiba's finger follows just behind the pen.

"Oh, there's a spelling mistake." "No there isn't." "I know. I was teasing you." "I know."

I think that's my cue to leave.

"Going already?" "Shame."

"Yeah I'm uh, pretty tired. Don't want to keep everyone waiting tomorrow."

"Okay." "Thanks for helping us."

"Yeah, you two as well. Good night."

You return to your room for sleep.

Something I can do I thought I couldn't. There's only one person that comes to mind when you think about those words, but Sensei's warning echoes the halls of your thoughts. And what Paraiba said, the other way around. Something someone else said floats in the icy waters of your consciousness as you begin to drift off.

One day, I'll be like you.

Time for work.

You're awake on time again. You used to wish that Goshe had a snooze button, but now you kind of miss his company in the morning. It's cloudy.

"Good morning Squishy."


"Why thank you, I do look quite the ravishing figure this morning. Of course you do too." You run out of the room, but your destination isn't the morning meeting. You come upon the library quickly and enter. Natrolite sits there, reading.

"Gyrolite? My, how unusual! The last time I saw you in the library was."


"N't. What can I do for you?" Natrolite closes his book.

"What's that thing the Lunarians are always doing? The one with the mouths."


"No, the other one."


"That's it! Tell me about that."

"Well, like how we get energy from the sun, they get energy by--"

"Right right, I know that part, but what do they eat?"

"Uh, food."

"Food! Where does food come from?"

"It... Food is... It's...
W-why do you even want to know?"

"So you don't?"

"...No I don't. I'm sorry Gyro, you were so uppity, I didn't want to disappoint you. I only know what's in these books, and by now they're almost all just daily records taken by Tourmaline and Paraiba."

"Oh, that's okay. I thought I'd figured out a way to make someone happy, but back to the drawing board." You turn around to go to the morning meeting, but Natrolite stops you.

"Don't get disheartened! Information has a habit of hiding, and maybe someone else will know." You smile back at him. Maybe he's right, but it's beginning to dawn on you that change comes slow, even big change. No one day can mean the difference between happiness and sadness. So until change comes, it's back to the daily grind of odd jobs.
It's another day of resource gathering to nobody's surprise. Opal once again stands at the front, delivering assignments.

"Aside from Gyrolite, everyone will remain in the same groups as yesterday. Almandine's team will gather extra minerals from the chord shore in case of emergencies, Kyanite's will harvest silk for making this year's spread, and Jet's will adbduct more jellyfish for extra light as the days get darker and shorter. Gyrolite, I think you're familiar with the routine."

Deja vu. Really hoping that change comes soon. "Yeah, today it's...

>Your arms (Almandine)
>Your legs (Jet)
>Neither your arms nor your legs (Kyanite)
>Now we can think in each other again
Now this is wildly interesting. I'm not sure what to make of it, but it's something to note.
By the way, OP, I really like your sense of comedy. It's very in-keeping with HnK's own balance of humour.
As for the decision:
>neither your arms nor your legs (Kyanite)
let's go for neither so round things off
Neither as well. Let's see how Kyanite (and Cuprite perhaps?) is doing after the festival.
Voting closed in favor of the choice everyone knew we were going to make

...Neither. Slow and steady."

The uniformity across your body yields a slight boost in CONTROL for the day.

“Very well.” Silence hangs for no more than a second or two, then Jet quickly jabs Opal’s side.


Kyanite takes you to the ardent plains, just east beyond the yellow forest. It's there that you will find the larvae of the beetles that inhabit the island. Those larvae create silk threads, and it takes a steady hand to retrieve them.

"Kyanite, do you mind if we go off on our own?" "Pretty please?"

"Go ahead." He smiles, but his eyes contain fire, "Just don't tear your uniforms."

"Thank you!" "Thank you!"
The two run off together, leaving yourself, Kyanite, Cuprite, and Jasper.

"Gyro, follow me for a second, I'll show you how to gather the silk." He leads you to the closest bush. "See inside? Those sharp barbs will scrape through our uniforms, and scratch any of us with hardness below five." Past the thorns, you see movement. Little worms crawl along the branches, densely packed together. "Reaching in there bare handed wouldn't yield anything except gross worms, so we use these." He pulls out a forked stick, just narrow enough to fit between the barbs. On the handle side, it has a crank, which spins the tines around. "We coat these in dye from the beetle husks Jet's team brought yesterday. The pheromones present coax the silkworms into thinking it's a safe place to start a chrysalis. A good number of them will glue a piece of thread on, then you slowly pull it out of the bush and turn the crank. The silkworms will just keep letting thread out until they can't make it anymore, then they'll let go and go back to their lives."

"Okay, got it!"

"Whenever you finish a bush, bring the turner over to that bag and scrape the threads off. Hop to it!"

You're not thrilled about putting your hand near the worms, but you're less thrilled about the possibility of angering Kyanite. Here goes. You slowly move the turner in, being careful of the bush's sharp teeth. Sure enough, the worms set their threads right on cue. Taking the turner out again, time starts to move quickly. In no time at all, the turner is covered in a thick white jacket of silk.
The amount they make...

"It's encouraging, isn't it?" You sense a radiant warmth from behind you. Something about them, you can tell they're smiling, no matter where you are.

"I was thinking it was sad."

Cuprite giggles, "It could be, if you think of it that way." He sets his hand on your head. His optimism practically seeps through your hair.

"I didn't know osmosis could occur by sheer good attitude."

He smiles through you. "It's a long way to winter yet. They'll have time to make enough again, so don't be sad." Cuprite reaches into the bush without hesitation, somehow expertly avoiding the barbs while keeping her happy eyes locked with yours.

"How can I be sad when you're around? Stop, go away, you're interrupting my sulking." He removes his hand. There's five or six silkworms across it, crawling about. One of them holds a leaf. "See? Look at this one. Come on little guy..." He picks up the worm with the leaf onto his other hand's index finger and draws it close to you. "He's already hard back at work. If he's not sad, why should you be?"

You stare at the worm. He's undistracted by the beauty of the gem behind him, although the same can't be said for you. He works along, quietly munching the lea--

The leaf!

"Cuprite, he's eating the leaf!"

"Hm? Let me see you little wormey... Oh you're right! I always thought they were exercising when they did that."

"That's the answer... I have to tell Natrolite!"

"Huh? W-wait don't go yet, Kyanite will yell at me! Whatever it is, can't it wait until we're back?"

"I- I guess you're right." It makes the remainder of your time spent spinning silk seem twice as long, but Cuprite's company made the wait more bearable, at least.

"Alright everyone, finish your current bush and group back up!" Shouts Kyanite.

"Finished." "Finished."

"Ac--! When did you get there!?"

"There weren't any more bushes." "There wasn't any silk left." "So we came back early."

"G-good to know. Ah, Cuprite, Gyro, welcome back. Drop your last silk in the bag and help me carry it back to the school." You all walk with the bag of silk lifted above your heads, like a victorious group of ants carrying a slice of apple back to the colony. But once you get the bag back to the school, all bets are off.

"Okay I'll see you later!" You rush away immediately after the bag touches the ground.

"What's his deal?"

"He said something about Natrolite earlier."

"Hey Cuprite..."

"What is it Kyanite?"

"Why is your glove torn?"

You whip your way around pillars and doors, fighting your way to the library. "Natrolite!" There's the door. I'm close! My body feels like it's moving faster than it ever has before! You burst through the door, "Natrolite... I know what it is! I can make him happy!"

Time for work.
Today though, it's different. Something's changed.
"C-calm down Gyro, my body can't take frights like that!"

"Food. I know what it is."

"Really? See, what did I tell you, information has a habit of hiding!"

"You were right, and it was hidden right under our noses."

You're awake earlier than you have been in a long time. Most of the others probably still haven't even started to rouse. You look out the window. The sky is clear and the sun just starting to peak above the hills. It's going to be sunny today.
"Come on don't just keep it to yourself!"

"Plants... It's plants."

"Plants, huh. That's a solid idea. What makes you say that?"

"Lunarians aren't the only ones that eat. The silkworms today, after we exhausted it of silk, Cuprite took one from the bush. It was holding on to a leaf, and when I watched closely, it was eating it."

There's still a long time left in the month before winter, two sunny days more before then shouldn't be too much to ask.
"I'll be... Gyro I think you may just have stumbled on something big. Hold on, you go talk to Kongo-Sensei. Ask him if you and I can take tomorrow for study. It's time for me to dust off these old books again."


Starting today, you'll be undertaking a new job.
But before it can begin, the morning meeting.
That's why you're up so early, you wanted to walk outside before the meeting.
"Wha--! Sensei are you serious?"

"It is your discovery, I think it only natural you lead a team to uncover its secrets."

"But... Being a leader... I'm not like Jet or Almond, and I'm the youngest! Wouldn't Goshe or Citrine be more--"

"Being a leader, that is something you can do. You must have the courage to face that idea."


I still don't know if I'm courageous. How can I ever?

Your walk is long, but you reach your destination nonetheless.

"There's no banner here for you to take today."

A gust of wind sweeps by you as you turn to face Antozonite.

"I'm not here for a banner."

"It's just 'later', then?"

"Not quite. I got a job-- A real one. I'm leading a team to study the plants of the island."

He smiles, "Wow, congrats! Who's on your team?"

"Well..." You catch his cave in your vision. "That's the thing, I have to choose today. I wanted you to know that I would've chosen you if I could, just in case word spreads." The pallid sky turns a burning orange as the sun rises.

"Thank you, that's very thoughtful."

The two of you exchange smiles, and you begin walking back to the school.

"Oh, Gyro, one more thing." Antozonite's violet silhouette casts its shadow over you, the only details visible on his figure the glints of burning sunlight refracting through his hair. "I know you feel sad all the time, but the truly sad thing is that you ever wasted your kind heart on me." He turns and walks back to his cave, leaving you alone with the sunrise and leaves in the wind.

I'll keep wasting it.

You return to the school, where people have begun gathering for the morning meeting. Once everyone is there, Jet begins.

"Good morning everyone. I have some good news. Due to some miracle work by Tourmaline and Paraiba, Kyanite has told me we have enough silk for half of the winter bedding. This is much better for this point of autumn than in previous years, and could mean hibernation beginning up to a week earlier than usual. Now, as you might expect, today will be another focused on gathering--"

"Actually, before that, allow me to say something." Says Sensei.


"Last evening, one of you made a potentially grand discovery. Three of you will be chosen to work with this individual, even during this resource gathering season, to help uncover the wider implications of it." Murmurs erupt around you, speculation on the discovery and discoverer.

"That individual is Gyrolite." The murmurs double in volume, the majority voicing confusion or disbelief. "Gyrolite, you may take the front and choose your three team members.

"Y-yes... Sensei." You walk to the front, standing beside Jet. As the murmurs begin to die down, everyone looks at you. Some faces expect choices, while others expect you to admit this was all a practical joke.

It's no joke. No, I have to make a decision. I choose...

>Name three gemstones aside from Almandine, Jet, Kyanite, Opal, or Antozonite.

Here is a list of all gems available:
Natrolite, Tourmaline and Paraiba.
Goshenite, Cuprite and Natrolite.
Natrolite, Tourmaline and Paraiba
Natrolite seems rather interested already. Having someone to record everything would be nice, but I'd like to know more about other gems too and the Tourmaline twins (?) take up two spots, would be a little cruel to just choose one. Shoot. Cuprite seems like a good choice to prevent future discouragement. A small part of me wants to choose Jacinth just because the etymology of that name comes from a flower. But Goshe also just seems to be reliable in a way others weren't.
Well then, let's go with Goshenite, Natrolite and Cuprite.
Natrolite is a [i]given[/i], then Goshenite and Cuprite, as several other anons have already said.
Whoops, looks like I'm truly a Master Scholar.
Vote closed after sleeping for way too long.

Final tally:
Natrolite - 6
Goshenite - 4
Cuprite - 4
Tourmaline - 2
Paraiba - 2

Winners are Natrolite, Goshenite, and Cuprite. Have to say I expected more support for the weird monosilicates, and at least one vote for Citrine. I knew yall would pick Goshe, but Cuprite winning surprised me, to be honest I was a little worried you might think she's a diamond clone. She's definitely different but those differences aren't wildly apparent yet.
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Now that you mention it, that could have worked too, but I thought, and still think, the trio, Goshenite, Cuprite and Natrolite would be the most fun to see interact.
And I didn't get the impression Cuprite was a diamond clone at all when reading it the first time. I can get where you're coming from with him being positive and kind, but those are traits not unique to diamond.
I'm looking forwards to how it is going to turn out.
I wasn't thinking at all about Cuprite being a Diamond clone, honestly. The thought didn't even cross my mind until you said something. Even then, I wouldn't say she's like Dia.
I also didn't think about Dia at all. You're doing a real good job at establishing some parallels (like Ant and Shinsha, the twins) while still maintaining its own flavor and originality.
Sorry about the long wait. Today ended up being way busier than a Sunday should be.


...to be courageous.

"My team will consist of Natrolite, Cuprite, and Goshenite. We'll begin today. Thank you." You look at Jet, then to Kongo-Sensei. He nods, and you return to the crowd.

"O-okay, thank you Gyrolite, I suppose we look forward to what your team will bring. Now back to today's tasks..."

Today you happen to be standing next to Citrine. He whispers while Jet brings Opal to the front. "Look at you, climbin' the ranks!" He ruffles your hair. "So what's this big discovery?"

"I learned what food is."

"Aww that's it? It sounded so much more exciting."

Opal's voice rises over, "Now with the exception of... Gyrolite's team, you all have your assignments." Opal shoots a glare at Jet. "Dismissed."

Citrine grunts. "Gotta go chase some tumble coral. Tell me more about it later, and make it cooler."

"See you."

Everyone disperses, leaving four gemstones present in the now silent hall of the school. The golden light of the early sun draws shadows from the columns, stretching beyond your feet. Goshe, Cuprite, and Natrolite wait patiently for you to offer direction.

Oh, right. You let out a small laugh, I'm the leader.

"Sorry to make this so sudden. Goshe, are you okay with this?"

"I'm surprised by it, but I'm not upset or anything. You've been way more reliable recently, so being a leader will suit you. And at least I don't have to go digging for those dirty roots this year." He clenches his fist as his voice waivers with the memory of something awful, or awfully boring.

"I don't really know where we should start, but I'll explain what happened to get you caught up. Yesterday, when Cuprite here showed me a silkworm up close, I realized it was eating a leaf. That reminded me of the Lunarians, since they eat too."

"I checked everything in the library. The few times we've seen the Lunarians eat, we didn't know what it was, so we just called it 'food'." Says Natrolite.

"So we're entirely in the dark. What are we actually studying?" Asks Goshe.

"I want to see what else on the island eats, what it eats, why it eats, and how it relates to the plants."

"That's something! So then, got any ideas?"

Cuprite speaks up, "Hmm... Gyro, since it's where you first noticed, maybe we should go back to the ardent plains?"

"I was thinking the same thing," Says Natrolite, "If we see it in a new context, it could spark new ideas."

"Mm. You're both right, this is why you're on the team!"

"Cuprite just wants to see the worms again because he thinks they're cute..."

Cuprite lets a mischievous smile and giggles.
You arrive at the ardent plains shortly after. Along the way you spotted Kyanite's team at the white hills attempting to catch windflower seeds from the air. Their attempts were mostly unsuccessful. At the plains a low breeze pushes against you, and the sun lights the silkworm's homes. The bright day gives a different atmosphere to the plains. Where the bushes were once harled monsters, servants of a grey sky, they now seem happy centers of life, lost among the swaying grass fields. Cuprite skips to the first bush he sees.

"Oh little worms, come out and play~!" He reaches inside the bush, moving his arm around as if he's searching for something. When he pulls it back out, probably forty or so worms walk along various parts of his arm, quite a few carrying leaves with them. He carries the worms back to you, and extends his arm out.

"I don't want to have all the fun. Everybody take some." You and Natrolite cup your hands beneath Cuprite's, as he places a few in your palms.

"You three..." Says Goshe, wide-eyed. "Don't bring those things near me..."

"But Goshe, they just want to be your friend," You say, as the three of you close in on him.

"S-stay back! I'm stronger than all of you! I won't hesita--" His words stop dead as one of the worms lands on his nose.

Goshenite sits alone with his back to you, watching the single worm on his finger. "Yeah, I guess you're kinda cute, but only a little." You and the others sit together, watching as the worms share the leaves between them. As time goes on, the leaves become smaller as more and more holes break down its shape.

"They eat so much," you say.

"It must be so they can make those big cozy chrysalises over the winter."

"You think they somehow make the leaves into their silk?" Asks Natrolite. "Well, I suppose the material must come from somewhere."

"I wonder... Is it only leaves?" You tear the tip from a blade of grass and place it in among the worms. At first it's ignored, but soon they begin eating it too.

"How smart, Gyro! We can use these worms to see what is and isn't edible on the island."
You stand up, no longer transfixed by the motion of the worms.

"You're right. Let's all find as many different kinds of plants we can, and meet back here to test their edibility. Natrolite, you run back to the school and grab something to write this all down. Goshe, say goodbye to your new friend for now, we've got work to do."

You split away and begin searching for other plants.

"Shh, don't listen to that meanie."
You return with an armful of leaves from various bushes. You find Natrolite with a pen ready, and Cuprite with a bright bouquet.

"Cuprite, you only grabbed flowers..."

"I know, I forgot what I was doing and ended up finding the prettiest things I could. Now it's so pretty I don't want to let them eat it... Oh well." He places a small yellow flower into the group. "Here you go. Enjoy it, I worked hard on it for you."

My heart.

The petals are eaten first, then the stem, but the rest remains untouched.

"Small yellow flower... Petals... Stem... Okay, next. White flower, petals, stem. Next." This process is repeated with all of Cuprite's flowers and your leaves. When Goshe returns, he's holding bright yellow leaves.

"I went to the yellow forest, sorry it took so long." He sets down a leaf, but it goes uneaten. "Hey what gives! My leaves not good enough for you!?"

There's just enough time left to test another area, and Goshe certainly isn't one to let you get away with wasting time. So, you decide to test the plants of...

>The white hills
>The southern coast
>The western plateau
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The white hills. Perhaps Kyanite could share some windflowers.
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>The plant contains poisonous chemicals that are toxic to animals including humans, but it has also been used as a medicine.
Didn't even know that before posting. That would certainly be an interesting discovery.
The Southern coast, Let's see if the worms can eat sea food.
We also get to see Citrine if I'm not mistaken.
Just woke up. Seems there's a tie between white hills and southern coast.
I'll leave the vote open for another 45 minutes or so.
The Southern Coast, the jellies are potentially interesting
Voting closed in favor of southern coast. Classes start again today, will be a bi,
but hopefully not as long as yesterday.

...The southern coast. It seems pretty apparent now that most plants and leaves will be edible to some degree, the minutiae of those that are and aren’t can be determined later. For the time being, the southern coast offers something that the rest of the island doesn’t: coral. At Natrolite’s suggestion, dividing different kinds of things into general categories to begin with will help organization later on.

“Okay, everyone grab some worms, we’re going.”

The journey to the coast is slowed by the burden of easy-to-drop silkworms and easy-to-distract Cuprites, but eventually you find your way there. A large bag contains a collection of tumble corals; old pieces of coral that are broken by the waves which are useful as materials when repairing the school. Just then, two heads emerge from the water.

“Hmm, seems we’ve got another crew ‘passin on our turf. Want me to give ‘em some muscle, boss?” Citrine pounds his fist into his palm.

“Oh, Gyrolite. What are you doing back so early?” Says Jet.

Dejected, Citrine surrenders to your gang’s authority. “Sheesh, you’re no fun…”

“Actually we were hoping we could ask you for a favor. Could we take a small piece of this coral?”

Jet ponders for a moment. “If it’s just a small piece I doubt Opal will mind. Why do you need it?”

“Cuprite,” you say. The red gem raises his worm coated arms from behind his back. Jet turns away and blocks the sight.

“I take it back, I don’t need to know…”

“Oh, way cool! I didn’t know this kinda stuff was what studying was. Now I’m all jealous I don’t get to go with you.”

“Feel free to trade with m… m-m--” Goshenite begins to stammer as Cuprite walks menacingly toward him. “Monster, begone! Put those things away!”

“What’s wrong Goshe, I thought you liked them now Goshe... Don’t make them sad Goshe!” Says Cuprite.

“N-No, Worminite’s the only one!”

You take a smaller piece of coral and let the silkworms inspect it. It goes completely uneaten.

“So you’re checkin’ to see what the worms do with different plants right? There’s other plants and stuff down there, you want me to grab some for you?” Asks Citrine.

“Oh could you!? Thank you Citrine!” You run up and hug the orange gemstone, staying there while time ticks away.

“... Hey hey, you’re gonna rub the resin off…”

“Yeah, sorry. Everything’s just been so good recently.”

“I feel what you mean.”

The sea breeze runs past you, carrying salt through the air. The waves froth against the sand and start to run over your shoes. Time floats as you and Citrine are pulled into the wetting sand.

“Ah, come on now, I gotta go. And you stay outta the tide, it’ll wash your powder off.”

Citrine releases the embrace and goes back into the water. He returns after awhile with various seaweeds and bulbs, which the worms seem to really enjoy. As the sun begins to drop below the hills on the west the sea begins to glow, a kaleidoscope of the jellyfish. They provide enough light that you can see Jet’s whole team running around on the shelf, chasing after tumble coral, but they soon notice the lights and return to the surface.

"When you're down there at night, it's like you have a whole new sky. Makes you wanna stay forever just watching it. Anyway, who's gonna help me carry this back?"

You can't, as your body is mostly white today, but Cuprite and Natrolite offer their help with the coral, leaving you and Goshenite to return the worms from their trip abroad.

"I'll... carry some, but only as many as will fit in my hands. I don't want them crawling on me."

You walk, carrying most of the worms. The weight is odd. The ocean splits from your trio after a short while, taking the mottled lights of jellies with it. As you walk you start to get used to the weight of the worms, they begin to feel lighter. It's a welcome relief as you continue down the path.

"Uh, Gyro,"

"Hm, what is it?"

"Mine aren't moving anymore."

"Huh?" You look down at your arms. Almost all of the worms are gone, and you watch as one of the last few falls into the grass. Panicked, you act quickly and raise your voice. “Run to the plains and put them back!"


Come on, where are you!? You frantically search through the grass for the worms that have fallen, but you are unable to find any. Where did you go!? Please...! Falling to your knees, you carve away at the blades, revealing the ground beneath, but the silkworms are nowhere to be seen. Not only this, but all but one of the remaining worms have fallen from your arms, also vanishing to the veil of green. You wrap the only worm that remains in your hands and hold him close to your head. You're still moving... Even just one, I have to try! You sprint as hard as you can for the plains, far harder than you normally can. The weakness in your legs begins to lay itself bare, as they start to crack under the stress. All I have to do is get you home...

With each impact of your heels you can feel the fracture spreading. The stars cheer you on, extending their palms to pull you forward. The fracture is at your knees.

I... I can't... It's too far!
"C'mon kiddo, I'll bet if you just try you'll be able to climb it. All it takes is a little courage and a jump!"
"O-Over... Not... up!"

You can see Goshenite ahead, he's bent over at the bush. With a final push, you leap forward, protecting the gentle heart in your hands.

"Gyro! Are you okay!?"

"I told you... I'd keep wasting it." You open your hands, revealing the worm, safe and still moving.

"Good morning, Gyro."

"Goshe?" You sit up.

Opal's voice rings from behind you, "First day on the job, and already broken. You're a real fragile bastard. A real pain to put back together too. Hmph."

"I brought you back here and got everyone to help search for your fragments," says Goshe.

"Thank you. Opal, were you fixing me all night? I'm sorry, it's my fault. I got panicked because I didn't know what was happening, and it made me do something irresponsible."

"Gyro... Don't think that way. What you did was--" Goshe looks toward you, but her thoughts are interrupted by the loud stomping of a very angry orange.

"Alright, where is that dumb lil' sack of rocks!?" Can be heard echoing from around the corner. As he comes around, his fierce fiery figure approaches you at mach speed. "What were you doing going and pulling a stunt like that--"

"Citrine, I--"

"--when I wasn't around to see it!?"


"Aww man, Goshe told me all about it, you risked your own body just to save one little silkworm! Gah, that's so cool, but he's the only one that got to see it! This sucks."

"Oh, I uh... Sorry." You smile and scratch the back of your head.

"By the way, since we're so far ahead of schedule, I decided to let everyone take the day off from resource gathering," Says Opal.

"That reminds me! Natrolite said she found something in the library that might be helpful. And I think Sensei also wanted to talk to you. Anyway I'll leave you to it."

Goshenite leaves, and Citrine leaves after an appropriately long noogie. You stand on your recently repaired legs and wander the halls, contemplating your choices.

>Speak to Natrolite
>Speak to Sensei
>Other (write-in)
>Speak to Natrolite
I hope we have enough time to talk to Sensei after.

Can I just say that I love how comfy this quest is so far?
God this Goshe is precious. Everyone is, in fact, I love these gems already.

The stain! What even was up with that, I'm still curious about that thing. Sensei probably wants a report, so it's best to talk to him after whatever news Natrolite has. So perhaps something like
>Other (Get something from Opal to clean the stain before speaking to Natrolite)
Though I suppose that'd be two prompts in one so if it had to be just one of the two, let's deal with the stain and get that done with before proceeding maybe.
I think we should talk to Sensei first.
Careful anon, you don't want to jinx it and trigger the suffering to come e̶a̶r̶l̶i̶e̶r̶ do you?

General rule of thumb for me is once a choice is offered it isn't offered again,
unless I offer a write in, which you usually sacrifice some other kind of opportunity for.

I'll try to do 2 updates tomorrow supposing this vote isn't tied when I wake up.
I'll support this if we can swing it, otherwise, just speak to Natrolite.
Speak to Natrolite.
>Speak to Natrolite
Vote closed in favor of speak to Natrolite

[i]I can't very well go and just not speak to Natrolite after all his help yesterday.[/i] You didn't notice earlier, but it's sunny again today. [i]Maybe they actually will come again before winter. Don't come tomorrow though, I'm not ready just yet.[/i] The halls of the school call back with your own footsteps as they lead you to the library, but Natrolite isn't there.

"Oh, hi Tourma."

"Hi. Looking for Natrolite?"

"Yeah, he's usually here."

"He isn't. Neither is Paraiba. Hard to talk normally now, sorry."

"That's okay. Do you know where they are?"

"Yes." Tourmaline reaches up and places a book back on its shelf. "All done!" He stands there, satisfied with whatever task he was working on, then remembers he was talking to you. "They're in the lookout. Oh, I only organized half the books."

"Thanks!" You say, now trotting away from the dusty room. The lookout is on the second level of the school, giving a wide view across the entire island, and Natrolite sits there with Paraiba. The two are talking, bent over stacks of documents.

“At that point we had categorized most of the plants nearby, so we decided to move to somewhere else.”

“The southern coast.”

“Yes. With help from Jet’s team we tested…” He rifles through his collection of papers, looking for something specific and finally noticing you.

“Gyrolite! I’m glad you’re here. Come and join us.” You sit with them as Natrolite continues describing yesterday’s activities. Afterward, you give what happened next from your perspective. Once Paraiba has finished writing, he collects his pages and leaves the lookout.

“Goshe told me you found something.”

“Right, yes. I brought it with me it’s… Somewhere, he--re! Found it. It references something called ‘cake’. I never realized it was a kind of food since there’s no reference to eating, but now that we know what constitutes the basis for foods, check near the end.”

“Top your cake with some brightly colored berries of your choice, and it’s ready.”

“And earlier, it references this process called ‘baking’. That remind you of anything?”

Your memories flash to your lessons in geology.
“Baked contacts.”

“Exactly. So here’s my thinking: This ‘cake’, it’s a combination of different edible parts, baked together to make something more complex. I don’t know what those parts are, but it’s something.”

“Then if we can figure out what they are, we can make one of these ‘cakes’. Natrolite this is a great find!”

He smiles. “I was thinking what might be a good place to start. Even if we don’t know what the materials are, we have someone who can bake them. We can keep trying different combinations of materials until we end up with something like this.” He points at the page.

“You’re a genius, Natrolite. Let’s find Jasper.”

“Mm, Let’s.”
Jasper’s laboratory is a place not many venture to go; he spends a lot of time in there performing strange experiments. Sometimes these experiments sound… Explosive. “Here goes…” You say.

Your knocks reverberate through the door. Incidentally, this room is the only in the school with a physical one, that opens and closes.

“I’m coming!” A loud bang and the crashing of various things to the floor can be heard. Then, the door opens, revealing the dust covered face of the red and black gem. “Sorry. Rushed the decanting. Bad results, probably shouldn’t touch it. Actually, just don’t come in for about,” he dips his head back inside the door, “Eh, you know it’s probably fine. Not [i]that[/i] acidic anyway.” He pulls you two in through the door, leaving it wide open as he grabs a cloth. “What can I do for you wonderfuls?” He takes the cloth and starts fanning dust out of the lab.

“We wanted to know if you could help us. We need to bake something.”

“My oven is not for public use. I need something in exchange.”

“What kind of something?”

Jasper thinks for a moment. “There’s a rare species of coral with a unique chemical composition a few miles off the eastern shore. I’ve only ever seen it once before, but if I had it again, oh I shudder to think of the building paste I could formulate from it. I suppose I could also let you off with a day’s work for me.” He forms a wry smile, “Or I could always use a bit of your hair, with its sweet Silicon, yes, and the Hydroxides! Imagine…!”


>Retrieve the rare coral
>Work with Jasper for a day
>Offer up some of your hair
Work with Jasper for a day, seems to be the least dangerous option.
First a question. If we choose working with Jasper for a day, is the entire team of Gyrolite going to work, or only Gyro?
>Work with Jasper for a day
Got to get to know him
>Work with Jasper for a day
That's might be fun.
So they have an oven... Now all I can think about is this >>2204926
Hopefully Jasper is aware of the eventual reactions some of his gembros can have, though going from that last paragraph he seems knowledgeable. Let's find out more about him.
>Work with Jasper for a day
I'm curious now though, does Gyro even have a lot of hair to offer up? This particular interest Jasper has might come in handy in the future.
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Well, with the amount of votes for working with Japser, the question becomes a bit redundant.
I vote for working with Jasper for a day.
Let's hope this won't mean the end of Goshe.
Voting closed in favor of work with Jasper for a day.
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I've only done a little bit of sketching (and that is only of green hair gyro), and I'm certainly no character designer, but she certainly doesn't have a great deal of leeway with hair.
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Those are some cute gembutts
Oh, that's not at all what I imagined. I though something along the lines of Cairn's hair, but more curly.
I wouldn't take this as definitive or anything. In the end, however you imagine her is the best way.
“...I’ll pass on the hair, and the ocean is really dangerous for me, so pass me an apron.”

Jasper seems somewhat disappointed, but hands you an apron and gloves. He fastens his own, and shuffles Natrolite out of the room. After he's gone, he closes the door.

"Stand still."

"Stand still?"

"No questions. Just... Stand... Right-- Surprise broom!" In an instant you are assaulted by Jasper with a hand broom, brushing off your every surface. "This is a sterile environment, I can't have you in here if you're going to be a contamination threat."

"Agh--! Then why didn't you brush me off outside?"

"No ques--"

"Right, no questions." This is going to be a long day. At first his tasks for you are completely mundane. 'Wash the residue from this container', 'hold this while I pour', 'move this balanced stack of playing cards I made while I was bored', 'pick up those playing cards you dropped all over', etcetera. Soon though, his asks become more and more eccentric. 'Wear this hat once while I run this reaction, then we'll do it again with it off', and other nonsense.

"Okay, for this experiment I'm gonna need you to dip your finger in this." He presents a container of blue liquid.

"Do I want to?"

"Probably not, it's going to dissolve the crystalline structure and isolate your inclusions in the bottom."

"Is that safe?"

"The inclusions will be fine, we'll just have to get them back in you. That's the hard part. I think I can do it though."

"How encouraging. Better not be any important memories in there." You dip your finger into the solution, and almost immediately it begins to bubble. Soon, an inch off the tip of your finger has been completely dissolved into the solution. He runs water over your stub and into the container to be sure he has them all, and he sets it aside.

"Now we wait."

"So if this was your plan how come I had to wear the hat?"

"I thought it was cute."

"Fair enough, but only because you acknowledge it." Jasper passes the time by building a playing card model of the school, then removing different cards one by one until the structure collapses. Getting impatient, you start to complain. “How long does this part take?”

“Shouldn’t be too long now. If we do this part too early the inclusions might explode.” He picks up the transparent container and observes it closely. “Yes, it’ll be ready soon. Look here.” He holds it steady and points to the bottom. A thin layer of grey sits below the bluish liquid, “That’s your inclusions. We’ll just wait a bit more to make sure it’s all settled, then we’ll move on.”

That’s what inclusions are like?”
“Surprisingly dull looking aren’t they. I tried making mine more colorful once, but they just went grey again in a few days. I think it’s ready by now, come and hold this.” He has you hold a filter steady as he decants the solution. After the flat colorless powder is separated, Jasper performs several reactions with the drained liquid, and you help in whatever way you can with a missing finger. You constantly keep one eye on the dark sand, checking over your shoulder to ensure you don’t knock it over.

“Just one last drop, and--” A puff of smoke flies up into Jasper’s face. The container now holds a whitish pale green syrup. He looks to you, face coated in blue powder. “It’s ready!”
He takes your silty inclusions and mixes them into the syrup. He washes the mixture into a crucible. “If this works, which I'm at least partly sure it will, your finger should grow right back where it was while we flame this. All you have to do is set your stub just on the surface of this liquid and be a little patient."

You do as you're instructed, it's seemed to work out decently so far. Jasper sets the crucible in a small furnace and opens a valve. Some kind of gas flows into it, which he lights by sparking two stones. Although you can't feel it, as the temperature begins to rise excess water from the hydrate begins to boil off. Sure enough, undoubtedly with the help of your inclusions, your finger begins to regrow just as it was. Jasper starts laughing.

"Yes! Just look at this yield, that's at least ninety six percent of his original finger!"

"N-ninety six? It feels like all of it..."

"Hey, that's a good number when you're working with an amateur."

"You did all the important things!"

"I know, I never claimed to be a professional."

Suddenly feeling less confident about letting him dissolve parts of you, the subject is quickly changed. "Whatever! Can we use your oven now?"

"Yeah go for it, just don't touch anything else. Anyway I need to go wipe the rest of you off my face. See you later."


After retrieving your team, the remainder of the day is spent trying out different combinations of crushed plants in the oven. Taking some of the techniques you learned from Jasper, you carefully instruct Cuprite to wear different hats while baking.

My hypothesis was correct. He's cute in all of them.

Goshe and Natrolite take turns running out for different plants, while Cuprite and yourself handle the labwork. He trades off with you between grinding the plants and running the oven. Most of them you try simply get shriveled and burnt on their own, or boiled and flimsy when mixed with water, but there's one that prompts a different reaction. The ground wheat grains from the inbetween meadows mixed with water forms a sort of paste. That paste doesn't burn or shrivel, but solidifies into a soft but dense block.
"This one's much different! Your hard work's paying off Gyro."

"This seems close-ish to what this describes, let's double check here... 'Ice the cake', I don't think we can do until winter, and then there wouldn't be a point since the Lunarians don't come in that season, so we'll skip that. Next is 'Make any designs you want on the top, something like 'happy birthday!' is always a hit'. Goshe, do you have a pen with you?"

"No, give me a second I'll get one from somebody." He runs out and after an angry shout can be heard in the distance, returns with Jet's pen. He writes "Happy birthday" just as it's written on the page.

"Perfect! Then all we need now are the berries."

"Natrolite's bringing them, I’m getting so excited!” Says Cuprite. It doesn't take long before Natrolite returns and the cake is complete.

"Hmm, this doesn't really look like the picture." Says Goshenite. "Are you sure this is it?"

"I don't know, I think it's close enough. I doubt we can do much else with it. There aren't any other references to cakes in the library are there?"

"Not a one, sorry. I can look for other dots to connect, but I'm not sure anything else would come up."

"Don't trouble yourself, you've already been amazing. Then everyone, thank you for all your help today and yesterday. We're making excellent progress." Everyone leaves Jasper's lab except you. You've got to figure out where to keep the cake.

"You done in here yet?"

"Oh, Jasper. We've finished, just trying to find a place for this."

"You can keep it here. I've got a container which will keep it from rotting like the leaves at the yellow forest."

"Are you sure?"

"Yeah, I'm tired, so we'll call it a favor. Thanks for letting me melt you today, that was fun. Let's do it again."

You laugh, Jasper does as well in a slightly less sane manner. "I'll see you tomorrow Jasper. Thanks again." After leaving, he closes the door behind you. While walking, your eyes fall to your right hand, fixated on the index finger that you didn't have for a while. The sun has long set, and a breeze fills the corridors of the school. Was that morbid sand really me? It looked so boring and sad, I hope that doesn't reflect my personality. Your shadow faintly swings across the floor like a heavy pendulum, marching to its own lamentations as you pass jellyfish bowls.


Suddenly you see two feet in proper position in front of you. You look up, it's Almandine. This is the first time he's ever been alone and spoken directly to you.

"Do you have a moment?" He asks.

"Uh... I--"

"This is important."

Shoot! Sensei wanted to see me... I don't want to just ignore him for the whole day, but this sounds important, maybe he'll understand. Yes, I can't do that. I have to...

>Speak with Sensei
>Speak with Almandine
>Speak with Almandine
Surely nothing can go wrong.
>Speak with Almandine
We can talk to sensei later, r-right?
Speak with Almandine, Sensei can wait a bit.
For the sake of encouraging conversation (even if it doesn't at first appear so, this one is a bigger decision), I'm leaving this vote open til I wake up about 6 hours from now. Tomorrow is a long day, potentially no update until late again, apologies this keeps happening. We're nearing the end of the first chapter though.
Ok, so why would this choice be important?
Let's think. What would Almandine want to talk to us about? Why would Sensei call us?
It seems Almandinite holds some authoritative power: he's assigned as a group leader and couldn't be selected as a member of Gyro's research team. This gives reasons to believe it really is an important matter if Almond says so.
I predict Sensei, on the other hand, just wants to hear a report about Gyro's first day as a group leader.
Yeah, I guess I'll keep my vote for Almandite
I mean there's no reason not to right now
Speak with Almaninde, what could go wrong right?
Vote closed in favor of speak with Almandine
...Talk to Almond right now, if it’s really so important. Sorry Kongo-Sensei, maybe tomorrow.
You steel yourself in your decision. “Yes I do. What is it?”

“Private. Please come with me.”

“Sure.” Almandine is taller than you are, and although not the oldest, as that title belongs to Natrolite, holds the greatest authority. Almandine and Jet meet early in the mornings to coordinate assignments for the day. The few times you’ve been awake to see those meetings they were done no later than they started, Almond being as efficient as he is. Even his walk, as you observe his figure from behind, is perfectly postured, and every step a uniform distance from the last. “Almond, where are we going?”

“I told you, it’s private. Just keep following.” He leads you well beyond your own room, the hall, and even beyond the grass just outside it. Following some invisible path through the night darkened island, you come upon a single jellyfish bowl in the center of a field. There, a small black ocean sleeps among the tall grass. “Jet, he’s here.”

His hair reflects the dim jelly as he slowly sits up. His speech is slurred at first, “Oh, Almond. I fell asleep. You brought Gyro?”

Almond’s tone softens, “That’s fine, it’s late.” He sits beside Jet, who pulls his knees to his chest and hands nearer the bowl.

“Have you told him yet?”

“No, I waited until I brought him here. All the better that you can pick up wherever I can’t.” Jet tilts his head toward you while looking at Almandine. “Right, I’ll start. Gyro, first I want to say sorry for not telling you this until now, and secondly I want to say sorry for telling you this.”

“You’re worrying me.”

“It’s a worrisome matter. Gyro, do you trust me?”

“Less than I did a few minutes ago. But, I’d still do anything you say.” Jet giggles, and Almond pushes him.
“And do you trust Sensei?” This question surprises you, and you’re silent for a moment, letting the atmosphere settle.

“Of course. More than anything.”

“Good. Hold on to that, keep that trust in a safe place in your heart, and don’t let what I’m about to tell you break it.” As if in tune with Almond’s demeanor, the jelly’s light dims. “Sensei has been lying to us.”

“Lying…? About what?”

“The moon. Do you remember why we can’t go there?”

“There’s not enough light, we’d just go to sleep and never wake up again.”

“Yes. That was a lie.”
Almost like your own mind refuses to accept it on your behalf, your eyes are drawn up to the moon. It shines down brightl--
The moon is bright.

The seed of skepticism sown by Almandine heralds new thoughts and questions.
“I can see it on your face, you know it now don’t you?” Says Jet.

The lock box in your heart begins to open. Despite your disbelief, you nod, looking back to the two. “If there was no light on the moon... how could we see it?” Jet nods back, pulling his hands from the bowl.

“You know, you’re quite bright. That concept took days to explain to Almond.”

“Sh-shut up… It wasn’t days.” Jet starts laughing, and places his hand on the dark brown gemstone’s shoulder. You don’t join in the fun.

“Why?” Feeling your attitude, they stop.

“We don’t know, but we need your help.”

“I’m going to go to the moon.” Says Almond.

“Don’t just go saying that! we hadn’t agreed it would be you,” says Jet. “Gyro, one of us is going to the moon, to learn why.”

From within that little lockbox, every memory of Kongo-Sensei you have begins to leak. His teachings, his comforting embrace, his stern encouragement. It boils in you. “That… That’s not what I asked. Why are you telling me?” Caught off guard by your sudden anger, they both retreat their tone.

“Gyro… I’m sorry. This came as a shock to us too. The truth is, we debated about telling you since yesterday morning. It wasn’t until we heard last night from Goshe what you did, pushing yourself beyond your limits for the life of one small creature, that we decided to tell you.”

”Worry later about others.”
More memories spill out into you, it burns.
“Now, we need your help. We heard you found out how to make that thing the Lunarians eat…”

”I don’t get it, but it seems sad.”
“It is. But that sadness should not weigh on our shoulders, it is mine and his to bear.”

That piece of your heart, which used to be so full begins to crack. This time, it doesn’t burn. It hurts.

“Your cake, you were planning on giving it to him, right? We want to put a note inside. It’s a simple plan, and it’s completely up to the Lunarians if they even want to go through with it. Are you in?”
”Do not involve yourself with the prince.”
Why not!?

That piece of your heart, the one where you kept your trust, breaks; your thinking is calm again. “I’m in.”

It’s time.

Sixteen rainy days have passed, which you've spent getting acquainted with your new routine. Every day you take Goshenite, Cuprite, and Natrolite to the ardent plains. There, you retrieve an amount of silkworms, and split up to the four cardinal directions. You individually sweep a portion of the island, searching for as of yet untested plants, and return the worms home before the temperature drops at night.
"The next sunny day will be another festival. At some point, when the prince is alone, your team will present him your cake. We'll have a note inside that says one of us will be sneaking onto their platform. It also describes a signal that he can give to call it off. The most important thing is that we're on the same page with him. We don't want to cause mistrust or animosity, we just want to learn the truth.
"What if Sensei's was the truth?"

"That's why it has to be me. I can't let you or Jet go, in case he was telling the truth."


"Jet... I'm not letting you say anything else. I know how smart you are, and you'll find some way to convince me to let you go. But if nothing else, I understand when something feels right."

The sun pours in through your window, almost begging you to go back, but a promise you made waits for you.

"Finally awake?"

"Oh, Goshe."

"Jeez, it's been forever since you overslept. You feeling alright?"

"Yeah," you smile. "Sorry. Maybe I'm nervous about the Lunarians coming."

"Come on, lots of work today."

As Goshe walks with you through the sunlit halls, he recounts for you the morning meeting so far. "Our team is being split up for the day to help with preparations for the festival. Even though it's only been eighteen days, it feels like forever since I worked with Almond. I hope he still likes me!" Goshenite laughs with you as you emerge into the meeting hall.

"Gyrolite, I'm glad you're here." Says Jet. "Has Goshenite informed you of today's assignments?"

"Yes he has."

"Perfect. Then which parts of you are more green today?"

I missed this. No, I think I will miss this. Something's going to change today, one last day of how things were, I'm grateful. Let's see, I can feel it, today it's...

>Your arms
>Your legs
>Neither your arms nor your legs
When something inevitably goes horribly right we need to fuck off as fast as we can
>Your legs
I like the way you think.
>Your legs
Never skip leg day
Legs, like the others said.
Well, it's pointless to vote for anything else now, so let it be legs.
Those anon's said it right, it's leg day.
Voting closed in favor of leg day
“My legs.”

“Alright, just like last time you’re with me. Dismissed!” Everyone splits into three groups, the other two being led by Almandine and Kyanite, and begin the day making preparations for the arrival of the Lunarians. Almond and Jet’s plan won't go into action until later, for now it's just a normal day. At least, it’s mostly normal.

“Jet, we’re meeting on the southern coast, right?”

“Hmm? Yeah, we always do.”

“Okay. There's something I meant to do early this morning, I’ll meet up with you there.”

“Oh, sure I guess. Just don't take forever.”

“Thanks!” You smile and wave to Jet before running deeper into the school, destination storeroom. Inside is exactly what you hoped you’d find, a complete set of banners, yet untouched since they were put away nearly a month ago. Kyanite obsessively resews them for every visitation ceremony, a bad habit of his. You’re lucky to have made it to them before he did, otherwise you never would’ve gotten your hands on one.

They’re all here. Good, all it will take is one.

You grab a single banner and head out for the west. It’s soon that, as he always does, he calls out from behind you.

“Bringing a banner, for me? How thoughtful.” Says Antozonite.

“I remembered what you said.” The wind turns you around to face him. It picks up whatever few leaves are yet decomposed as it sweeps past the both of you. “Today…”

“I can't come. I told you, the Lunarians get sick.”

“I’m not asking you to be there, but you should come watch as they leave.”

“That's an odd thing to say. If I didn't know any better I’d say you had something planned. Well, either way I haven't decided if I’m going at all.”

“Not even for the welcoming?”

“Maybe not, I have a bad feeling about today. Even the island was in a sour mood for so long. You’ve been feeling it too, right? The air, it’s been heavy and stale. Something’s coming, and I’m afraid of what it will bring.”

“So I’m not the only one. I’m afraid too, but we’re all going to have to be courageous, and face it head on.” You say. Ant laughs and walks up to you, placing his hand on the banner. You both hold it for a moment.

“You sound like Citrine,” He says. “Fine. I’ll be there.” You release the banner to him and say goodbye, returning to Jet and your task.

"Welcome back. We're just getting ready to split up. Last time you came east with Citrine and I, but I remember you struggle--"

"I can do it."

"Oh...! Well if you're sure. Alright everyone, you all know when to come back, we'll see you at the festival!"
Natrolite and Cider wave as you, Jet, and Citrine run off to the east. Like the previous time, the beach is covered in a purple and blue blanket of jellies. You spread out across the beach each covering about a third. The jellyfish are large and heavy, but not beyond your limits. Tossing them to the sea doesn't seem as difficult anymore, and although you can't match pace with the others you at least no longer have to wade into the water. The rhythmic patterns of squishing and splashing as the jellies are picked up and thrown steal the time away, and the beach is clear well before the bell rings.

"Wow, you've sure gotten a lot stronger kid."

You laugh nervously on instinct, "I just wanted to be like you."

Citrine slaps your back. "Seems you got what ya' wanted then!"


Jet laughs, and you return to the school to help with other preparations, however it seems everyone has finished ahead of time. The school is decorated with two large ribbon sashes, looped around the tip of the building and tied to two stakes out in front, leaning away at an angle. You can see people going about their own business. Almandine sits alone atop the arch. If you could see far enough to make out her face, you might think she looked apprehensive. Just then, Almond springs up and begins striking the bell.

"They're early," You hear from above. "Everyone in positions!"

To the south, the black sunspot hangs in the sky. There's still an hour until they usually come. Everyone around you bursts into action, scrambling for a banner and lining up before the bell, and you do the same. Soon, the sunspot expands and out comes the sounds of the Lunarian music, followed by themselves. Their floating platform touches down and some tension keeps the air silent longer than usual, but Almond breaks it the same.


Aside from the pause, everything else proceeds normally. The bannerwomen come rushing through, hugging the gems they know. However noticeably absent is the smallest bannerwoman. The musicians come, happy as ever. The prince comes last as he always does, smiling a sad smile.

Just wait, prince. I've worked hard. The last time you were here, I had no courage. But this time, I can be brave. I found a way to make you smile a real smile. You and Sensei, you'll be friends because you're both happy.

As if he can hear your thoughts, the prince sees you staring at him. He nods, and goes back on his way into the school. Inside, everyone dances together. The prince and Sensei sit together. Your plan is to present the cake while Sensei is making tea, but there's still time before that happens. You spot Almandine and Jet leaving the room, while Citrine and Goshenite are dancing with the others.

There's a feeling in my heart. Anxiety? Excitement? Some kind of mixture of the two. Either way, I should find something to do to take my mind off it. I'll...

>Follow Jet and Almond
>Dance with your friends
>Sit with the prince
Follow Jet and Almond.
>Follow Jet and Almond
Sit with the prince
Vote will close in about 40 minutes
Vote closed in favor of following Jet and Almond
rip thread
...Follow those two. Go over everything one more time.

You duck away from the music and fun, following after Jet and Almandine. Corner after corner you spot them just turning, but it's clear their direction is Jasper's laboratory. Upon reaching it, you can hear their voices from inside.

"You're sure about this?" Asks Jet.

"I know, once we put the note in there's no going back. I've already decided."

"That's not what I meant... Are you sure about--"

"Jet, I'm sure. I couldn't... If it were you, I don't know what I'd do. I'd be lost."


"It's not just me, so would everybody else. If I'm gone you all have Citrine, you have Jacinth, or Malaya, Uvaro, Goshe... There are so many who are strong. But if you're gone, there's nobody like you."

"Almond! Stop it!" There's a clank as the two collide. "I don't know where you get this, you're more than just strong!" Jet's voice is breaking. "I need you..."

"J-Jet, what are you saying? I need you too, but they need you more than me."

"I don't care about them, I just want you to stay!"

"Hey, your eyes... You're acting like I'm not coming back. You did the math yourself, it--"

"It's not about what should happen, it's what might! And just the thought that I might lose you--Nn!" Another clink, and the two are silent from behind the door for a few moments.

"Jet, I'm going. Goodbye." You hear Almandine start walking toward the door. Not wanting him to realize you were eavesdropping, you run and hide behind a column on the other side of the lab. The door opens and Almond walks out back toward the celebrations. Jet doesn't follow. You give it a few minutes, then walk to the lab. You find Jet kneeling on the floor, a black liquid has welled into her eyes.

"G-Gyrolite! We were just uh, I was just putting the note in the cake."

"I heard, sorry for eavesdropping."

“Right, well,” He wipes the oil from his face, then places the note inside. “If you see Almond again, tell him goodbye for me.” Jet leaves you alone in the lab. You take the cake and walk back to the hall, standing just outside and watching. Neither Almandine nor Jet are anywhere to be seen. Tension swells inside you when Sensei stands and walks away, leaving your opportunity open.
This is it. Only courage now. You walk, holding the cake out in front of you. As they see you, bannerwomen and gems stop dancing and follow you with their gaze. The musicians slowly stop playing as well when everyone is still, following their eyes to you. Goshe, Cuprite, and Natrolite join you as the prince takes notice. He cocks his head and sits forward, intrigued. One step, two, three, four climbing to the balcony. As you approach him, you notice something on the table. An old stain you forgot to clean, that feels like an age ago. While your attention is caught by the spot, you trip, and the cake goes flying. By some cruel joke of physical laws, the cake lands against the prince's face.

You recover to see the cake has broken apart, and the berries squished against his face. You notice he slides the note into his pocket, but primarily you're mortified, and your team members stand silent in shock. But the prince doesn't frown or stay silent. He smiles, and he begins to laugh. It's no sad smile, this has a real happiness inside. His laughs bellow forward, and soon everyone has joined in. The musicians begin playing again, and the dancing resumes. He jumps up and grabs your hand, and takes you into the crowd. He's much taller than you are, but doesn't seem interested in any kind of coordinated dance. He's having fun, and you are too. From your corner eye you can see Sensei has returned. In his hand he holds tea, but in his face he holds surprise. That surprise morphs into confusion, then into intrigue as Almandine appears and begins explaining to him what you did. Almandine disappears again after he's finished.

Kongo-Sensei's intrigue morphs once more into something you didn't expect, a smile. He approaches the happy crowd, towering above everyone, and extends a hand out to you. "It seems I might have been wrong, Gyrolite. Thank you for making him happy again, even if for but a moment." You place your hand in his, and he holds it with a firm grip. Then, he releases yours and gives his hand to the prince. Next was a series of events you never knew you had wished so badly to see: Sensei dancing. The prince and Kongo-Sensei danced together, and everyone was happy for a moment. Then came the main event.
The floor is cleared, and the bannerwomen and musicians prostrate before Sensei. Even the prince kneels at the front. About twenty minutes pass, and the prince stands. His smile remains, but something seems different. His eyes no longer have the same gleeful warmth as they did moments ago. He turns to you and lifts just the edge of Jet's note from his pocket. At first you're afraid Sensei will see, but you quickly realize he's sleeping. The prince nods to you and pushes the note back down. He and the other Lunarians start to stand and shuffle out. You follow them and line up again before the arch. Just as he said he would, Ant has come to watch, and sits on the far hill. The prince is the last to board the platform. He looks behind his chair. Whatever, or as you know it to be, whoever he was looking for was there, evidenced by his facial expression.

A tap on your shoulder and a whisper steals your attention.

"Gyro... Where's Jet? I wanted to tell him something before I left, but I can't find him anywhere...!" Almond is shaking.

You look toward the platform, and back toward the distressed Almandine, your eyes widen with a realization.
"If you see Almond again, tell him goodbye for me."

Before you finish, the bell rings.

"N-No..." He says.

The Lunarian's platform begins to rise from the ground as the sweet note of the bell flows across the island.


Almandine starts off for the platform, and time slows down. One idea flashes through your mind, to take the place of both Almond and Jet, but is quelled by some invisible stain on your conscience. Instead, you must make a split decision and either...

>Stop Almond
>Let Almond go
Oh jeez, this is a tougher choice than I thought.

>Let Almond go
Let Almond go. I think he's better suited for a moon trip.
Hopefully this means we'll get to see the moon from Almond's perspective.
>The stain
The next time something from the past bites us it’s probably going to be worse.
Anyways, stop Almond.
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Man, I was wondering why you brought up the stain so much, but it worked out in the end.
Also, was that the sound of gembutt kisses OPaline?
But to answer the question:
Let Almond go. I don't know if this choice will mean that they both go to the moon or that Almond pushes Jet from the platform, either way I think that the moonies won't start up the grinders just yet meaning we will see them again and will hear the knowledge they unearthed. Furthermore, I don't think Almond is going to be in a good state of mind after us stopping them and him losing Jet maybe forever. Gem society also need Jet more then Almond, so there is that too.
And lastly because this seems like the most interesting choice.
Vote closed in favor of let Almond go

left that intentionally up to the reader. It was intended to be interpreted either as the two hitting each other or some kind of embrace. There's plenty that might suggest a kiss if you interpret it that way
I didn't even think about it that way at first.
"...Let him go. That was a choice they had to make, I thought."
You stopped yourself short of grabbing his arm, and Almandine sprinted for the platform. Various confused voices raised from the others. Almond jumped atop with the Lunarians.

Immediately after Jet left the lab, he resolved himself to take Almond's place, believing that it was better for everyone. He went and boarded the Lunarian's cloud, sitting behind the prince's chair where he knew he would not be found. When the prince finally boarded, he looked to see Jet there. Being as the note simply described that "One of us will be aboard before you leave", he was unaware that Jet was not the agreed upon stowaway. However, when the bell began to ring and the cloud to rise up, Jet heard the longing cry of Almond. Dreading facing him but having nowhere to go, he simply closed and covered his eyes. He then heard his voice.

"Jet," said Almond, "Jet..."

Almond grabbed Jet's hands and gently pulled them away from his face. "It's okay... I-I'm sorry, but I know now. You and me, we'll both go, together." Jet's eyes began to fill with oil again, and he smiled. At this point, the two embraced each other one final time more than a thousand feet above the earth, and Jet fell.
"No, that's not true. I was pushed off, I just don't want to think it might've been Almond who did it." Says Jet. "Part of me... Sensei I'm--"

"That's enough, Jet. Rest here, Opal will finish repairing you."

"Okay..." Jet closes his eyes, and Opal returns to piecing him back together. Sensei looks toward you. This is the moment you were afraid of. Although his facial expressions don't vary much, something new, or at least something very old that hasn't seen the light in a long time is hidden beneath his brow, a something that scares you.

"Gyrolite. Come with me to my chambers." He simply turns and walks slowly and out of apprehension you follow. He is silent along your walk. Outside, you can see the decorations being disassembled. It's now late into the night, and the shores are once again lit with the fire of jellyfish. In his chamber, he sits, and insists you do the same.

"I told you thank you, for making him happy again. With what happened, I see that was wrong of me. You becoming involved was a poor choice, for which I am to blame."

"I just wanted to make you both hap--"

"You will no longer lead a team come the spring."

"W-what? I only tried because..."

>Confront him about his lie
>Change the subject
I-it's not like we could make it any worse, r-right?
Confronting seems like an option that couldn’t have any possible reprecutions whatsoever, so let’s go with that.
Confronting Sensei seems like the path of the master scholar.
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>Making assumptions about Sensei
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Confront, though we know how that usually goes.
Also, what does "OO" in the title mean?
In Japanese, large circles are used as blank characters. You see this in censorship in works with inappropriate titles all the time, stuff like マ〇コ. Here the intended effect is to hide information about the setting. There are a lot of different combinations of 2 characters that could be placed there, things like 後で and 前に and many many others.

Also vote closed in favor of confront him
That gets me intrigued, didn't think there would be spoilers hidden in title.
“...Because I wanted to know why you lied! The moon, you told us there wasn’t enough light. That was a lie, wasn’t it?”


“Then, why?”

“The moon-- the prince, is dangerous for different reasons, ones I thought it best you all didn’t understand.”

“So, Almond’s okay? He’s safe, and Jet can see him again?” Kongo-Sensei replies at first with only silence.

“He can exist there. Whether he is safe, I cannot say.”

“And those other reasons,”

“Are not mine to give. If all goes well, Almandine will return tomorrow and share what he learned. If it does not, I fear those reasons may make themselves clear.”

“I don’t understand, why won’t you tell me-- tell us?”

“I protect you from these truths because above all else I love you, and wish only for your happiness.”

The lock box in your heart is open again. “That… How can I be happy if I don’t know the truth?”

“Happiness is found and worked for. If the truth is what will make you happy, then find it. Information has a habit of hiding.”

An old conversation with Ant surfaces in your mind.
“Then, the winter, can I--”

“I do not permit it. Winter is too dangerous for some as adventurous as you. If you were not so headstrong to encourage Jet and Almandine’s dangerous ideas, I might have thought differently.”

“I… Isn’t this unfair?”

“I am strict now because you are not ready for winter’s cruelty. It is in concern for your safety. Even simply staying awake during winter requires a constant dedication and discipline, a sense of responsibility which you have foregone in pursuit of courage and change.”

Wind flows through the chamber, pulling against the corners of his kimono. “I understand, Sensei. I’m sorry about getting involved. Goodnight.”

“Goodnight Gyrolite.”

As you walk back from Sensei’s chamber, you decide to check up on Jet.

“Gyro, how was it?”

“The scolding? Pretty bad. Be glad you get a chance to sleep before it’s your turn.”

“That bad huh. Did you talk about…”

“We did. You were right, it was a lie.”

Jet’s face lights up “Then-!”

“He doesn’t know if he’s safe.”

The bright glimmer disappears from Jet’s eyes. “Ah… Then all we can have right now is hope.”

“Hey, I’m working hard on this, keep still you talkative bastard,” grumbles Opal.

You both look up to the moon, as if you'll be able to see him. “If it helps, Jet, the moon looks brighter when he’s on it.”

“It does, thanks.”

It’s time for work.

This final day before winter is led entirely by Kyanite, who has spent the last week sewing at light speed. Although nobody could shake the tense atmosphere about Almandine and whether he would come back, work continued. The island is covered in a thick fog today, and it makes coordination difficult as you all attempt to maneuver the massive sheet of silk, but it is hung nonetheless within a reasonable amount of time.

It’s now public knowledge that Jet, Almond, and yourself all worked together to send one of you to the moon. While Jet was describing what happened, he talked about it all, from when he first started suspecting Sensei. This means that Sensei’s lie is public knowledge as well, and yet nobody else seems as distressed as you became about it.

“Gyro,” says Goshenite, approaching you after tying up a corner of the spread. “How are you doing?”

“I lost my job.”

He nods, not surprised. “That does tend to happen. But hey, you’re still here. I don’t think there’s much more--” Goshenite is interrupted by the call of the bell pushing its way through the fog. Confused, everyone stops what they’re doing and rushes to the arch.

Citrine’s voice calls down from above, “Can you see it?” The fog is too thick to see anything at first, but some force blows it away from the south. In the sky is a sunspot. Jet sprints to the front of the group, waiting to see Almond again. The sunspot hangs in reverent silence, not responding to the calls of Jet’s heart. The sunspot remains in its shape far longer than any sunspot has before, and soon Jet falls to his knees before it.

“Please Almond…” He says. At that moment, the sunspot begins to shift and morph, but not in any way you've seen. This sunspot does not expand, but contorts and twists into some horrible shape, before shriveling up and disappearing.

“What does that mean?” says Goshe. Many other voices speak up in concern or confusion at this event which they’ve never seen. Jet doesn’t take this well, and runs away into the school.

“I think… I think I may have seen that before once,” says Natrolite, “A very long time ago. I can’t quite remember.

Citrine comes down the arch. “False alarm, I guess. Anyway, no time to dwell right now, let’s get back and finish up,” he says.

“Sometime before… I can’t remember what. How strange.”
When the spread has been laid, Kyanite helps you all change into your winter sleepwear, which he’s also sewn for you each individually. He arranges your hair in special ways as the day’s light fades and tiredness creeps in. Soon, you all stand within the darkened central chamber of the school, dressed in various ornate clothings. Sensei, Cryolite, and Antozonite stand in the doorway.

“Goodnight, everyone,” calls Sensei.

“Goodnight,” everyone calls back.

The three who stay awake in the winter close the doors, shutting out all light from the chamber. You lay down, and fall asleep, as do the others. However, your hibernation does not begin just yet.

You awake to a soft feeling on your face. Opening your eyes, you see someone is touching you, trying to get your attention. It’s the smallest bannerwoman, just barely illuminated by the light of an unknown day in winter peeking through a small crack in the door. You sit up, and she removes some sort of collar from her neck. She looks very sad and hugs you, then speaks as loud as she can muster, just barely higher than a whisper.

“I’m sorry.”

Before you have a chance to respond, she begins to cough violently and runs out of the chamber, closing the door behind her.

“Gyro, you’re awake… What’s going on?” whispers Goshe, who slept very close to you.

“I had a very strange dream,” you say, “but I’m going back to sleep now.”

“Okay, goodnight,” he says, closing his eyes again.

“Goodnight.” You lay down once more and return to your hibernation.

Chapter 1: Peace and the Lunarians,
Thanks for reading everybody. Now that the first chapter is finished and archived, I'll be around to answer any questions you might have, supposing it won't spoil what I have planned for later chapters. Speaking of later chapters, I'm thinking that the next chapter will go live on Friday the 26th, roundabouts 10:00a PST. Chapter 2 will probably be quite a bit shorter than the first, so I may end up using the same thread and jumping right into chapter 3.
Everything is going to be fine, right? The moonies won't start killing everyone yet, r-right?
>the moon looks brighter when he’s on it
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Well, I can say I really enjoyed this quest so far.
Since you said you would answer questions in main thread on /a/, I would like to ask some:
>1: What made you decide to start this quest and did you expect it to get the attention it has gotten?
>2: What experience before did you have in making a quest? Is this your first because if so it's pretty good so far or have you made quest's before this.
>3: Who is best gem in the source and in this story?
>4: I was going to ask if you will continue the story and when, but you answered that while I was still writing, so question 4 will be: How did you come up with the personalities of the characters in your story?
>5: How did you come up with these minerals and why did you decide these rocks/gems/gembutts would fit into your story? Did you just go to wikepedia and go to the minerals category or something?
>6: Since the prince and sensei are characters with prior established personalities, how do you incorporated them into the story without them becoming oc, or too oc?
>7: How do you write your story whilst having all these variables every update? Do you have a main line you want to follow or do you make it up as the polls are completed.

I think that's enough questions for now. The main thing that I want to know with these questions is what goes on behind the story. How do you make your characters, how do you come up with your story line, what goes on before and during the writing progress, that's what I'm also interested in. The other thing I, of course, want to know is how the story will unfold, but I can't expect a straight answer to that.
Again, nice thread and I hope the questions aren't to much to answer.
>“I think… I think I may have seen that before once,” says Natrolite, “A very long time ago. I can’t quite remember.
The twist is that it actually happens in the future, isn't it?
Well, anyway, good work.
1: Houseki no Kuni was a very enthralling read. I started with the manga, ate it up because the artful paneling and framing made my braindick hard, then wanted more and watched the anime. When there was nothing left but speculation and shitposting in /a/ while we wait for the next chapter, I wanted something to fill that void, so I brought up this idea in the threads and seemed to get a decent response.

2: This has definitely been my most popular quest, but it's not my first. I also run "I Can't Understand what my Isekai is Saying!" A story about a guy who gets truck-kun'd into another world, but isn't able to speak the language. It takes itself less seriously than this one in terms of narrative, and I'm trying to focus that more on working like a giant logic puzzle, players collaborating and decoding the language from scratch.

3: In Houseki no Kuni, my favorite character is Diamond, but I've got a soft spot for Rutile, and there are a lot of very interesting things Ichikawa did with properties of various crystals and how that would integrate into the characters, (things like the crystal twinning, dual structure, etc.). As for this, my personal favorite is Jet. It's pretty noticeable that most of the characters have some kind of equivalent in HnK, and Jet's is Jade. I felt like there were interesting stories that could be had with someone in his position, and was disappointed with how little attention Jade got in the original work, so I knew from the start that Jet would be very important to this story.

4: Most of their personalities are actually unwritten. With something so character dense I knew that only some would end up with any dialogue at all. So, with that in mind I tend to write their personalities as they are necessary. I think that shows a bit, and to the detriment of the characters I did it with, but it definitely makes the stronger characters stand out more. Natrolite is probably the biggest example of this. The only thing I knew going in was that Natrolite would be the oldest, and the way he acted changed drastically over the course of the chapter as I introduced more and more backstory when I needed to. But, there were some characters that I had nailed down from the start. Goshenite, Citrine, Gyrolite, Antozonite, Cuprite, Jet, Almandine, one character which has yet to be introduced, Cryolite, and the Tourmaline siblings (note I did not use the word twins), all have very hard thought personalities. I also planned Kyanite's character, but not as well. In the end I think that ended up being a disservice as the character turned into a very one dimensional comic relief. Notice that these are all the characters that closely share some traits with one or more of the characters from HnK.
5: Before I had the story planned, Gyrolite, Antozonite, and Kyanite all came from a rolling game in /a/ turning up some pretty neat stones with very interesting characteristics. The others aside from Jet and Cryolite were all selections based on which names sounded the best. I wanted Jet because it's not exactly the same as the other stones, it has organic origins, and I wanted at least one stone that could cry. Crying dead dinos seemed good enough to me. I wanted Cryolite because I thought the name was a nice analogue for Antarcticite.

6: My solution to this problem was to avoid writing them. Let the reader assume their actions to their perception of the source by making them appear to be commonplace additions, but their actual descriptions, actions, or dialogue to be sparse.

7: A part of any quest is illusion of choice, to some extent. I do have a main story, and the fact of the matter is that player choices won't change the big picture of what I have planned. I don't really believe that it matters though, so long as the choices you make still present themselves as leading to that conclusion. However, don't think that player choices don't have consequences. It does change the way that the story is experienced, and there are a lot of things that could have been different. In this chapter alone, player choices determined
-Who went to the moon
-Gyrolite's knowledge of Jet and Almandine's plan
-What Gyrolite's job was
-How that Job would involve the prince
-Whether or not Gyrolite would be awake during winter
-Whether or not the prince would have a day of happiness again
-Which part of Gyrolite (stat) would have a permanent boost
And these choices cascaded from early on. Not cleaning the stain was an important choice that had an effect on the entire chapter, and if you had done it the chapter would have been very different, but the main story would be relatively the same. I hope that makes sense, I'm certainly not saying every vote will lead to the same outcome just because the main story will go about the same.



I don't know if I ever stated this in an update, but Natrolite is roughly 12,000 years old. The closest is Citrine, who's only half that, yet both of these characters are twice the age of the oldest gem that we know canonically in HnK, Yellow Diamond (I think Pad might be 'older'? I don't remember if we learned his actual age).

Now, what Natrolite was talking about was what readers of the manga will know to be a hollow sunspot. However, the origin of hollow sunspots has yet to be explained in HnK, all we know for sure is that "they're rare", or something along those lines, and Citrine did not know what it was. I have also been extremely deliberate with the words I use in reference to the prince. Maybe those two facts may lead to some more ideas regarding the time that OO is set in.
Could you, perhaps, describe what the gems look like (hairstyles, that is), at least the ones this chapter focused on?
This has been pretty nice, but if some new info pops up in the manga that contradicts something you've written here will you take that into account or just keep going with what has been established so far?
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Thanks for writing such a elaborate response to my questions. It's very interesting to know what goes on behind the story, how you came to some of these conclusions and how you dealt with some of the potential problems.
Citrine has longer orange hair. Similar to Pad, but not as long. Same kind of wild feel to it. Ant's hair is a deep violet, just short of shoulder length, somewhat well kept but not styled in any particular way. Gyrolite's varies from straight and divided into stylable portions when it's green, and untameably curly when it's white. I dropped a sketch of one potential style for green haired gyro earlier in the thread, but that's not definitive. Tourma and Paraiba have different hairstyles and hair colors. Paraiba's is more colorful, and his personality is more funloving as well. They formed from the same deposit of boron monosilicate from the same set of inclusions, but compounded with different group 1 and 2 metals later on before being born on the same day. They have very similar figures and faces. Jet's hair is unsurprisingly jet black. It's not short or unkempt but I don't have a style picked out. Almandine's hair is dark and just past shoulder length. It is perfectly straight. Kyanite changes his hair often. Natrolite has a bun, and Jasper's hair is short and nuts. Completely unkempt, no style, just slightly insane dork. Those are all the ones I ever thought about.

Depends on what contradicts what. I'll cross that bridge if it happens, but unless Ichikawa decides to drop some major lore bombs in the next like 2 chapters I think I'm relatively safe. OO will have a total of 5 chapters, and that may end up only taking 4 threads depending on how long the 2nd chapter ends up being and if I feel like there will be time to do the 3rd as well in the same thread.

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