Part 79: Alexandrite
I...I have no idea where to begin with this one. Basically, the daughter of the Domina weapon shop owner decided to escape her suffocating family life by meeting with the witch Thesines and swapping bodies with a student. She was a blue jiggly and swapped with a green wiggly.
So the girl, Rachel, appears to her dad as a blue jiggly to tell him as such. Also, there may or may not have been a teapot rocketship. ...There are really no words for this one.
Well, the Succubus jumped ship once it was apparent I wasn't meeting enough things for her to feast on. I think I found another potential ally here, though.
There we go.
Welcome aboard, soldier.
It's nice to have a soldier experienced in defense. Could be handy against something strong since my armor's not that great.
I really hope something more interesting than family drama is happening up at Domina. It's been a long time since I've had a real adventure...
Hey, Elazul and Pearl again! Something interesting usually happens with those two. Let's see what they're up to today.
I was hoping that perhaps you could take Pearl.
Well, not as exciting as I was hoping for, but better than nothing.
Of course I'll help you guys.
I feel safe knowing that you're watching over her.
Heh, I remember when he was so gruff and antisocial. I guess saving his butt a few times has made him friendlier.
There is a place I must visit. You go on ahead.
Elazul thinks it's his fault that he failed to protect Esmeralda.
Honestly, that was more my bad than anything. Don't really feel like thinking about it, though...
Let's get going, then.
Maybe it's a good idea to check in on Diana. Didn't she want me to bring Pearl to her?
What should we do?
This sort of thing happens all the time. Heck, I've cured petrification once in the past couple months. We should have this fixed soon enough.
That's right. After all, you're with me...
Didn't Rubens have a thing for Diana? All I have to do is drag him out of the Underworld and have him sing a song and she should be cured.
Though I guess finding the cause first would work, too.
Oh, that diamond Venus statue... I don't know either.
I once heard that Jumi who close off their hearts turn to stone.
It's a ceremony of choosing partners. One Jumi first gathers keys of the heart. Then the Jumi awakens a stone guardian to become her Knight.
Ah... So it's simply a matter of finding these so-called "keys." I wish I knew what they looked like, but they can't have gone too far.
It's one of them, madam. A Jumi.
What? She is...?
Guess I'll have to look around each place again. Just like searching for those sisters.
Well, there's a key, but surely this isn't-
My core is shining! That must be a key of the heart...
...You know, I wasn't expecting the key of the heart to be, you know, a literal key.
But I don't think this is the only one...
Two more to go...
At least now I have an idea of what we're looking for.
I feel...like I'm being watched.
Hmmm... That's everywhere. Maybe I should retrace my steps...
Huh. I'd have imagined I'd have seen this one right in the middle of the entrance, but whatever.
Did you hear something? Maybe it's just my imagination.
Don't think I did, but it wouldn't be the first time.
Well, let's see how this whole key thing works.
Don't know why you'd bother with that, but whatever.
Ah, there she is.
I don't know. I kinda like it.
Before Diana could meet us... She turned herself to stone to avoid being killed by the jewel hunter.
Funny...Last I saw her, she was wanting the jewel thief to kill her. Maybe something changed her mind.
What did you want to say? The truth about the jewel hunter?
Yes. But first I must explain the jewel hunter's motive, revenge against the Jumi.
I'm here, and it's better than dealing with green wigglies.
This was because they tried to preserve themselves by giving tears to the wounded. Tears composed of life itself...
But when the age of massive Jumi hunting was over... They changed to preserve themselves... So that they could no longer cry, nor give life to others. And so the Jumi cut themselves off from other races... And lived hidden in a city of their own.
Quite a woman. Started a total war with Deathbringer using Florina as a sacrifice. That's right. As long as we have Florina's tears, the Jumi are invincible.
Bring her here immediately. These children will need her tears.
Such is the Jumi's way of survival... Florina does not object.
I think I'm starting to understand some of the resentment against Diana. Not that I agree with it necessarily, but it seems the jewel hunter personally wants to protect Florina, since she's literally giving up her own life to keep the Jumi race alive with her tears.
We mustn't kill her. We still have to get our tears back.
If so, then why don't you cry!? You'd become the sacrifice instead of Florina!
Only Blackpearl can stop her... Find her!
The leader of the Jumi is now gone. So what now? How will the Jumi survive without leadership?
Look, Pearl! See what Diana left...
We need to think...about ourselves, Jumi, and the jewel hunter.
Give up on the Jumi race? You really think me that selfish? That heartless?
Heh...If they want me to stop now, they're going to be disappointed. Just because the Jumi are near extinction doesn't mean they're extinct yet, and I'll make sure they live on if I can find any way to do it!