Chapter 5:

1.5. Genders

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

“I forgot this was elementary school stuff..” Bookmark here

“What did you say?”Bookmark here

I muttered to no one, but Julien picked up my words.Bookmark here

“Something came to mind just now.”
“Must be that NFT thing again,” Brunette said.Bookmark here

“I’ve been thinking of getting an NFT myself, I don’t know which to get though. I heard that 98 percent of NFT projects will end up bust, you have to pick wisely if you don’t want to lose your money.”Bookmark here

“You have enough GoE to buy that? I thought those were super expensive.”Bookmark here

“Fiat currency is dying right?” Bookmark here

The two of them went silent at my words.Bookmark here

“What?” Bookmark here

Was I wrong about something?Bookmark here

“What’s fiat?”Bookmark here

“Paper money.”Bookmark here

“Oh, that. It is dying. Some places still accept it though.”Bookmark here

“Okay.”Bookmark here

Novelle said that she’ll write a part where the stock market crashes, and fiat currency finally goes to the drain after much struggle.Bookmark here

The timeline is a little odd. The world is set in 21XX, I expected paper money to be gone entirely. Bookmark here

In that regard, the digital dollar, currently in use as part of our daily lives. It’s part of the new universal currency basket. Bookmark here

The digital dollar, unlike open source cryptocurrencies, is money issued by the government. Which means the money is being manipulated in real time. Capitalism failed?Bookmark here

That’s big trouble. The economy is wack, the industrial complex is dying, old jobs are disappearing. Avner is aware of this. Although he lacks basically every skill required to even begin what he set off to do.Bookmark here

Damn. If Novelle were here, what would be her first move?Bookmark here

When it comes to earning a living, I’m nothing but an ignorant highschool student by this point.Bookmark here

===Bookmark here

“Chew on a lot of spinach and your teeth will become green. Green? Yucky right? Let me tell you why. There’s this known component inside the plant cell known as a chloroplast,” I drew a rough diagram of the chloroplast structure, the others can view the enlarged diagram floating in front of me. Julien had it in xe’s slides, but it’s incomplete. “This here is the chloroplast, there’s an outer membrane and inner membrane. This fluid area is called the stroma, and these disks are thylakoids. Photosynthesis happens in both parts, but the reason for the green color is found inside the thylakoids. It is here where the chlorophyll lies. Has anyone seen chlorophyll before? Can anyone tell me what colour it is?”Bookmark here

I looked at the students in class.Bookmark here

Wait a moment. I’m not in college.Bookmark here

“Do you know what.. chlorophyll is?”Bookmark here

I asked again. The class was silent.Bookmark here

Then came a timidly raised hand. Bookmark here

“It’s green.” Bookmark here

“Correct.”Bookmark here

I held back the urge to bite my lips. I can’t believe I only came to notice that xe's in my class. Bookmark here

Snow white hair, pink lips, blue irises. Hirs figure was small, but angelic, almost. Avner has a crush on hir, xe has a crush on Avner. Both of them have been sending hints to each other for the past month now. Neither had the guts to confess.Bookmark here

Xe’s totally different from what Novelle wrote hir to be in <Cookie Cult>. The Pu’er in the story is: belligerent and obsessively sticky to Avner. Bookmark here

Docile, timid, cowardly. This is the current hir, I find it hard to imagine how xe’s the person Novelle described as ‘devoutly loyal’. Bookmark here

Will hir personality undergo a big change somewhere in the next 3 months?Bookmark here

The presentation continued.Bookmark here

“Thank you to group 3 who gave an informative presentation, everyone may return to their seats.”
An applause resounded.Bookmark here

Julien put away the floating slides, I was about to walk off when Miss Wyn DM’ed me.Bookmark here

[Meet me at the teacher’s office later.]Bookmark here

[Got it.]Bookmark here

While my mind was busy contemplating the reason for Miss Wyn’s sudden request, the next group of presenters came on stage.Bookmark here

===Bookmark here

It was lunch. Previous classes were boring. Most of the things taught I already knew, just explained in angles unique to the teachers. I’m grateful Novelle didn’t create an entirely different academic system like magic studies and what-nots.Bookmark here

“Yo, what happened to you?”Bookmark here

“Something. I told you already, right?”Bookmark here

“Don’t tell me losing the NFT made you go cuckoo in the head.”
“Let’s go get lunch.”Bookmark here

“Sure.”Bookmark here

A light useless banter proceeded with Ares and I making our way out of the class. We passed by rover carts pulling food. Each class had one. An additional fee would be charged if you were lazy to get your butts off your chair. Bookmark here

For people like Avner and Ares who don’t have a lot of allowance to spare on such luxury services, walking down to the cafeteria is the best choice.Bookmark here

Just, I find buying food from school much more wasteful than making peanut butter sandwiches from home. I think such a sandwich combo still exists in this world.Bookmark here

“Ares, where’s the baking club again?”Bookmark here

“The baking club is on the third floor, why?”Bookmark here

“Just curious. Want to tag along after lunch?”Bookmark here

Lunch break is 45 minutes. There should be a remainder of 15 minutes to investigate the possibility of vampires within the school even if we took our time to eat. Bookmark here

“I have to catch up on my other homies, I can’t. You really got knocked hard in the head huh?”Bookmark here

“Yup. No doubt about it.”Bookmark here

I got a simple bowl of noodles with cricket powder and plump silkworm larva. Ares got himself some curry chicken and a protein shake, also made with insect powder. Bookmark here

Come on, it’s not that bad alright? Once you get used to it, it’s not disgusting. A diet of insects can save the planet, you know? Red meat prices are soaring, and the eco-friendly movement is global. Bookmark here

In this world, humans managed to keep the Earth alive. Carbon capturing technology to send carbon dioxide back into the ground, and giga seawater thermochoreographs built near coral reefs to protect coral and sea life by controlling the temperature of the surrounding waters.Bookmark here

Forests are no longer the main oxygen source. Scientists have found a way to use genetically modified algae to convert carbon dioxide back into oxygen. Much more effective, takes up much less space and is much easier to grow.Bookmark here

As for energy, there’s this complex hydrogen-cell nuclate system which Novelle didn’t really explain in detail. The gist of it is that it’s a safer nuclear reactor, but it requires geothermal energy as one of the components.Bookmark here

Look. The genre is sci-fi. I wouldn’t be able to explain the logic of this world to you even if I wanted.Bookmark here

“What are you going to do now? The NFT you’ve been aiming for so long has left the house.”
“I think I’m going to start drawing.”Bookmark here

“Really? Good luck on that, I’m counting on you,” Ares bit into the curry. The cutleries are made of sterile, hyper-compressed fungus. They look like cardboard, and are biodegradable.Bookmark here

“You should really do things for yourself,” I sighed. Bookmark here

“But I don’t know how?”Bookmark here

“I don’t know either. But what I do know is that everyone has their own path. If I manage to earn money through whatever means online, that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to do it the same way I’m doing it.”Bookmark here

“What? I thought you said the method to earn money online is the same?”
“It is. But it’s a question of are you willing to put in the hours of effort to make it work? If you’re doing something you don’t like just for the cash, you won't be able to persist through the grind.”Bookmark here

One reason why Ares and Avner were best buds was that they have this same character of not wanting to work as an employee. Academic competition is a bloodbath leading to one’s own misery; Better invest this time to develop ‘real’ skills.Bookmark here

I’ve always thought that year 21XX is to be one where entrepreneurship reaches its all time high, namely due to the lack of jobs and the death of industrialization. Novelle purposely slowed down the industrial-complex shift to self-sufficiency because she wasn’t able to imagine that far into the future. The sci-fi tag is an excuse she uses often.Bookmark here

As the artist to her novel, trying to come up with character concepts and environment designs are a pain.Bookmark here

“I don’t get it.”Bookmark here

“And that’s why you have to do it to understand.”Bookmark here

“You’re like a different person today.”Bookmark here

“I know.”

The alarm I created set off. I swiped it away. Bookmark here

“What’s that?”Bookmark here

“I just remembered. Miss Wyn wanted to see me,” looks like I won't be able to investigate the baking club today.Bookmark here

“Eh? Why?”Bookmark here

“No idea.”
“That’s very suspicious. Is this forbidden love?”Bookmark here

“You think?”
“Yes.”Bookmark here

Ares’s head went up and down in all seriousness; My head went left and right in all seriousness.Bookmark here

===Bookmark here

dotturndot: Well now, I’m not well informed about NFTs and Crypto and stuff, so take what I’m writing with a pinch of salt lol. Or roast me all you want! It’s sci-fi! Bookmark here

Cookie Cult is a combination of 3 series ideas I came up with back when I was still working on My Demon Queen. And let me tell you why I came up with the idea of 3 genders: it’s because of how damn difficult it is to not write a harem! As the saying goes: if you can’t beat them, join them. Thus I’ve made it an integral part of this story ahem, cough, fuck!! Bookmark here

What do you think? Ain’t 3 genders cool?Bookmark here

P.S. Thank you @ potadd for liking the chapts. HAhaha--Bookmark here

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