Imperial Jade had blasted through the imps that had appeared to fight her with ease; surprising even herself with the power she had.
She'd always known she would be physically stronger as one, but she'd never really had any opportunity to know how much. If the absolute murder canyon she'd carved through the imps and other underlings who'd appeared to stop her were any indicaiton: very.
She'd picked up from her sprite that she was on a planet called LoSaM, Land of Screams and Marble.
Seemed like a rather foreboding land, but so far she'd not heard many screams; save for the noises the imps made before she either crushed them under foot or sent them flying with a punch.
There was plenty of marble on offer though. The forested area she'd arrived in had large slabs of it about the place, and when she finally found what looked like a town, it was made almost entirely out of it.
"Odd to hear you actually talking by the way." Imperial Jade said to her sprite.
"Odd to be able to." The Song Stone admitted, "But I think I like it. Hope its not too bothersome."
Imperial Jade chuckled, "You were constructed to have a marvelous voice, I doubt I'd get bored of hearing it." She said.
They arrived at the edge of the town. It was very… primitive, though the marble gave it a more grand look at a glance. Imperial Jade rose her fists when she saw the population before her sprite informed her that they were not hositles.
"Oh.. sorry, never seen anything like these creatures before.." She said sheepishly.
"Should perhaps have warned you ahead of time, but I seem literally incapable of doing so. These chameleon folk are the consorts of this land. They live here and, while not players of Scrust, are just as at risk to the monsters of LoSaM as you. Perhaps more so."
Imperial Jade nodded, figuring that talking with these creatures would be a good place to start getting to the bottom of things.
Ceylon sat down with her communicator. Her Carnaliens had fused together, and were currently protecting their sapphire as she spoke with the other gems.
With the three of them fused together, the merciless mace and raw power of the strikes made it impossible for any of the enemies to get anywhere near Ceylon.
The three of them weren't entirely sure where they were, nor were they certain why their sapphire was currently glowing and floating, but she assured them that everything was fine, and they trusted her as always.
Ceylon: I've reached LoPaL safely. I'm quite certain everyone else has reached their lands.
Ceylon: land of Prophecy and Limits, my personal land as a hero of time.
Lazurite: Hero.. of time?
Ceylon: Forgive the flowery language. I'm already naturally inclined towards it, and being my own sprite seems to have only amplified it.
R: You're your own sprite? Is that a thing that can happen?
Ceylon: Certainly seems so. While this comes with the drawback of the enemies having access to my future vision, it's an acceptable price for the greater knowledge granted by the sprite, even if I can't articulate it all verbally. Combined with my innate future sight, and my coming time based abilities, I'll prove to have been a crucial move.
Olive: I'm going to need clarification on several things.
R: I mean, it seems pretty clear that these enemies get the powers of whatever we put into the sprite, but that's about all I got from it.
Ceylon: All Scrust players are considered to be heroes of the world, each a hero a different aspect of the world. I can see vaguely what all of us are, but as I'm sure you've seen with your own sprites, I can only say so much. What I can do is ask about the progress with the task I gave to the two mechanics of the party.
Olive: It was coming along well before we entered, just needs some touching up. Is it possible for me and R to meet up for it?
Ceylon: Indeed. There are Gates that players can pass through to reach the lands of other players. You'll need to find the right one however.
R: I'll get things ready for you Olive.
Olive: In route.
Ceylon nodded and closed the communication, knowing that her timing would have to be perfect going forward; and not just because of her aspect's dependance on it.
She did, thankfully, have time to spare to watch her fused Carnelian utterly destroy a few more monsters..
Caroline's axe had been brought out almost immediately upon entering this new world. Granted she'd initially been trying to cut up Thornsprite.
In retrospect, she should have put something in with a mouth so it could speak. Lacking one, the hovering thorny vine bush had needed to assemble its vines into words to communicate before Caroline either killed her or got absorbed into her.
Apparently sprites didn't just merge with the first thing they touched, but also the second.
Caroline wasn't sure this was true, but didn't want to risk it, and had heard out what the sprite had to say. It explained the basics, telling her that she was LoDaD, Land of Doves and Demons.
What this meant was well beyond the rose quartz, but the good news came by almost immediately. At current, her only objective seemed to be to destroy any and all enemies.
Finally, after all these thousands of years, she could fight. She didn't even see the first imp, having destroyed it with her initial charge out into the land from the rocky slab she'd rode in on.
She cleaved through several more imps on her way deeper into LoDaD, which was proving to be a very barren environment.
And not naturally barren either. Even after all these years, Caroline could still recognize the aftermath of a large scale battle when she saw one. Whatever the battle was, she was quite certain it was nothing to do with these creatures. They were too.. Mindless.
Too unorganized to be soldiers of any kind. They could certainly be strong on occasion though, which Caorline learned upon getting nailed by the kick of a much larger monster, the health bar identifying it as an Amber Ogre. It let out a sickening roar, its many limbs flailing out in different directions.
A mechanical attachment at its shoulder rose up and fired plasma shots at Caroline. She deflected with her axe, destroying several imps by pure accident in the process.
She ducked under a strike from the ogre from one of the extending extra limbs. Thick, thorny vines stretched out from its body towards Caroline.
She cut through them almost effortlessly. She'd spent eons cutting away that foliage with her axe, and with it gone, she curled up and launched herself; a classic quartz attack.
She fired herself into the ogre's shoulder, destroying the mechanical appendage, then swung her axe down at the extra arm, lopping it off of the ogre's body.
It hissed, stumbling back away from Caroline.
It planted one foot down hard, and sand began to swirl across the ground, rising up around Caroline and trapping her, squeezing around her. Caroline grit her teeth, straining against the grip of the sand for several moments before finally the sand gave way, practically bursting away from her.
She launched herself towards the ogre's head, this time with her axe out; effectively turning herself into a high speed buzzsaw.
The ogre's head split in two from the impact, the ogre collapsing into a pile of those different colored crystal things that all the enemies seemed to convert into.
She was confused that single bodies seemed to contain multiple gems, even more confused to see how they seemed to vanish when she touched them. She didn't dwell too much on it, proceeding forward.
Before long, she found that her previous assessment was correct. She'd been going through battlegrounds, and now had found the combatants..
White Corundum was used to being confused.
In fact she was pretty sure she'd get nervous if she ever wasn't. But even for her, she was truly lost in terms of what was happening.
She couldn't recall ever being outside the white room, and suddenly the roof of it was gone, showing a bright blue sky above. Corundum just stared at it for.. She wasn't even sure how long.
She might have just kept staring if Shardsprite hadn't gotten fed up and levitated her up and out of the room. She hadn't known they could do that.
They floated through the ceiling and followed silently as Corundum looked around the thick, lush forest they'd been brought to.
White Corundum tried to ask where they were, but lacking a mouth, Shardsprite couldn't exactly do much talking.
Plenty of fighting however. Corundum watched with awe as the multi-armed monstrosity dispatched several threats before she could even be certain of what they were.
It continued to protect White Corundum as she wandered aimlessly through the foliage, trying to get to grips with what was happening.
After some time, she realized part of the problem. Despite how odd her situation was, it wasn't Shardsprite or the plant life or the monsters or the sky that was making her feel.. Off.
It felt like something was missing, like a thread had been cut on some level that she couldn't get her head around.
Hessonite's teeth were threatening to shatter from how hard she was grinding them together. She'd found her way across the chrome landscape to what looked to be a town.
She was unsurprised to find no gems there, but very surprised to find a local population. Obviously much lower in terms of civilization, and struggling with the curse of being organic, they were non-hostile, which made them immediately preferable to the various monsters she'd found outside of the towns.
All her training and instincts told her to do away with these organics immediately, but she was quite certain that doing so would attract an entire swarm of those other monsters, and she couldn't let such things slow her down, so for now the fuzzy, yellow, winged things got to live.
She walked through what looked to be a market of some kind, fiddling with one of the few pieces of her equipment that she thankfully still had on her, trying to get the thing working. It had taken some damage from whatever had sent her flying back at the peridot's workshop.
"Care for some honey?"
Hessonite strained against her instincts to avoid simply beheading the organic that dared to interrupt her business. Turning to it, she found it to be offering her what looked to be a jar of viscous golden liquid, glowing slightly.
"And for what reason do you believe I would genuinely wish to consume your local energy sources?" Hessonite questioned with as much bile as she could muster.
The organic didn't seem phased by it, had eyes that looked to have not been phased by anything in quite a long time. It simply shrugged, "You look like you've got work to do. The honey helps. Keeps you focused. Keeps you going. Everyone here has some."
Hessonite scoffed at this, looking down at the jar, doubting that something created by an organic could be of any use to her or any gem.
But… upon looking around, she had to admit, the organics did all look to be hard at work. Pointless work of course, but hard at it nonetheless; laser focused. She'd seen quite massive structures on her way here, ones that surprised her to see created by organics.
Perhaps they had found their way to something useful. She supposed that worst case scenario she could use her shapeshifting to dispel it from her.
"I'll accept, if only to see what you organics consider 'useful'." She offered a block of what she presumed to be the local currency, having stocked up quite a lot of it from destroying things on her way.
While she'd not been able to collect the various colored crystalline objects, she'd been able to gather up coins and bars.
The organic seemed to accept it, and gave her the jar; as well as two more, evidently the amount she had purchased. She opened the first and, after a long hesitation, tipped it into her mouth.
She was surprised by the sweet taste, and even more surprised by the sudden sharpness in her vision, in her hearing; in her everything. She felt infinitely more aware of herself and the world around her.
She immediately set to fixing her device, and what had taken her several minutes prior was done in mere moments now. The machine pinged to life, showing the approximate coordinates of all local gems.
She smiled, knowing that now she could get down to business.