Chapter 3:

1.3. Genders

The Writer's Illustrator is Stuck in Cookie Cult (LN)

After washing the sleep from my face, I came back into my room and started typing down pieces of information about the novel. Until a point I stopped. All ideas were drained, everything I knew about Avner can be contained within 1000 words. Bookmark here

It’s not a lot.Bookmark here

[With the legislation of carbon credits, paper prices have soared since the past year. Do you want the statistics, master?]Bookmark here

With digital being the norm, the print industry has fallen into a dip. But it wasn’t like hard copy books stopped existing altogether.Bookmark here

I have no idea how this information is important, but if Avner programmed Randell to say stuff like this, I won't complain. Intermittent trivia about this world might prove useful.Bookmark here

Let’s organize the facts together.Bookmark here

One, Avner is a demon who is supposed to be cursed. Gladly, Novelle did something to stop that from happening. The Avner in the original novel is a quiet person. And there is this elf by the name Pe’ur who tries to talk to him every time even though they’re in separate classes. Bookmark here

Pe’ur is an angel who, together with Avner, tries to resolve this angel-demon war. I remembered doing the concept art for Pe’ur, so I should be able to recognize hir. Provided that hirs face resembles the anime character I drew.Bookmark here

It’s as if I entered a live action version of the series. The only issue being that this isn’t a variety show.Bookmark here

[Based on the data I’ve collected thus far, I have a question.]Bookmark here

“What?”Bookmark here

[Do you have a crush on hir?]Bookmark here

“Don’t you know these are just names? I could write Buttercup Sandman and you could’ve asked me the same question, right?”Bookmark here

[An AI outsmarted by master, it has been determined that there is something wrong with master. Should Randell seek help from one, Daymond Cross, two, Narie Hill, or three, Alien Wought.]Bookmark here

I dropped the AR pen, and saw it disperse into particles. Daymond Cross is my father, Narie Hill is my mother and Aline Wought is my..Bookmark here

Right. I can’t believe I forgot a very crucial cultural difference this world has to my own.Bookmark here

[NYAN. NYAN. NYAN. NYAN. NYAN. NYAN.]Bookmark here

“Stop alarm.”Bookmark here

[BEEP. Good morning master~] Bookmark here

The ringtone ended with a girlish greeting. Bookmark here

“Nm? Big bro?” Bookmark here

I took in a breath of air.Bookmark here

“Morning.. Lia..”Bookmark here

I heard hir yawn.Bookmark here

“Turn on the lights already..” Bookmark here

At hirs words, the lights came on. I steadied my mind and turned around. Bookmark here

As ridiculous as it sounds, this is the new reality of the world I’m going to have to get used to. Bookmark here

Loose dress and short pants, auburn bed hair burned into two symmetrical twirls in the front. Rubbing hirs drowsy amber coloured eyes, xe looked up at me. Bookmark here

“Is there anything on my face?” hir asked, pointing at hirself. Hirs pointy ears bounced a little.
“No. Nothing.”Bookmark here

“Oh. Then, morning.”Bookmark here

“Morning Lia.”Bookmark here

What a normal human on Earth would consider an elf– is in the universe of <Cookie Cult>, the third gender.Bookmark here

Yes. Novelle wrote a world with 3 sexes. Bookmark here

And Lia Cross.. Bookmark here

Xe is my etler.Bookmark here

===Bookmark here

Suffice to say, with the inclusion of 3 genders, Novelle had to come up with new words. Fortunately, I had Avner’s memories so calling my etler using the proper pronouns feels like a normal thing. Just that, deep down in my mind, I couldn’t help but think that this is weird.Bookmark here

Here’s a draft list of the different pronouns:Bookmark here

He = She = XeBookmark here

Him = Her = HirBookmark here

His = Her = HirsBookmark here

Brother = Sister = EtlerBookmark here

Bro = Sis = EtBookmark here

Male = Female = ElfBookmark here

Father = Mother = AetherBookmark here

Dad = Mom = AeiBookmark here

Grandpa = Grandma = GrandoaBookmark here

Son = Daughter = IrulBookmark here

I’m sure there are many other words which I forgot to include. Some didn’t have a third variation. Like uncle and auntie. There’s no special term for elves. Anyways, this wasn’t a priority at the moment, so you’ll have to make do with it for now.Bookmark here

Elves, you could also say, came in two kinds: a more feminine disposition, or the other, a more masculine disposition. Lia was the former. Bookmark here

I haven’t really sunk in with Avner’s memories, but what I know for sure is that Avner isn't a calm person to begin with. So why is it that I feel so chill about this whole ordeal of being sent into some unknown world?Bookmark here

“Your exams are coming up, are you prepared?” My mother, Narie poked at me.Bookmark here

“No. I haven’t.”Bookmark here

There was silence in the dining room.Bookmark here

I tried to recall. This reaction was to be expected, I think? Though I may not know how Avner managed to get into highschool with his grades, what I know is that Avner is a crap student. The mid term is next week.Bookmark here

Two more days until Friday. After the weekends, D-day.Bookmark here

I can only hope that the subjects to be tested on are ones I’m familiar with. Based on Avner’s knowledge, I’ll probably do fine for most except ICT. I’m not good with coding. I have no choice but to sacrifice that. Bookmark here

How did Avner come to a decision to become an NFT collected without even knowing an inkling about code?Bookmark here

“You have to study alright,” Aline Wought, my aether said. Returning to hirs seat after taking hirs bowl of rice, hir poured me a bowl of soup.Bookmark here

My father, Daymond, said nothing. But I could tell by his expression that he was slightly ticked off.Bookmark here

How nostalgic. It’s been a while since I experienced family tension. Staying in a dorm with Novelle working all day on new stories beats being with family.Bookmark here

You could even say I have no lingering attachments towards my parents in my previous life.Bookmark here

“What? You think you’re so smart are you?” my mother jeered.Bookmark here

“No. I’m not smart.”Bookmark here

I picked up the spoon.Bookmark here

“You think this house feeds parasites?”Bookmark here

I stopped just as I was about to put the food in my mouth.Bookmark here

How long has it been since I’ve heard those words? I hate this. Bookmark here

“Avner, you have to study really hard from now on. You should aim for a pass at least,” my aether tried to placate my mother by using me as a scapegoat.Bookmark here

“Getting a pass isn’t not enough. He has to get at least all Bs if he is to enter the science classes.”Bookmark here

Aether looked at me with a gaze full of concern. My mother, on the other hand, looked like she wanted to rip me to shreds. Bookmark here

“Alright.”Bookmark here

“You better keep your word. There’s no next time.”Bookmark here

Only then did I take my first mouth of food since coming over to this world. It’s a home cooked meal I’m not familiar with. It suits Avner, but I think it’s pretty weird. Bookmark here

I tasted the soup. The kombu and miso is good.Bookmark here

“This tastes good.”Bookmark here

My compliment was met by silence. Whoops, it seems my past life habit reared its ugly head.Bookmark here

“Eat,” my father voiced.
I turned to Lia, my etler who was holding hirs spoon. It was trembling.Bookmark here

“What? You think it’s so easy to cook?”Bookmark here

“No.. it’s not..”Bookmark here

“No, no, no. Only know how to say no. You never listen, how many times have I told you to not be so scared? I feel like I’m talking to the wall every time,” my mother griped.Bookmark here

She stood up.Bookmark here

“Honey, where are you going?”
“I’m full,” she gave me a look, “Don’t call me to cook next time.”
And promptly left. A conflicted look on both my father and aether’s face.Bookmark here

“I know dear.. I'll go talk to her after this.”Bookmark here

“Thank you.”Bookmark here

We resumed breakfast in silence. Bookmark here

It wasn’t really silent. Lia’s silent sobs could be heard ringing beside me. Bookmark here

===Bookmark here

Author's Notes:Bookmark here

If you're liking the chapters so far, if you want to have more people join you in reading the story, if you want to see the story rise up the rankings--Bookmark here

Could you do me a favour and 'like' the chapters? It would mean the world to me if your contribution can help the story reach one more person. Thank you for your kindness, thank you for spreading the word! Bookmark here

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