Journal of Miyara Kyosuke (54)

    We are in mud.  Goru is unconscious, and Ashu looks like he is about to collapse at any moment.  Rabena immediately tends to them both.  We are not attacked immediately, so she has some time to do her healing work.  We have worked our way to the uppermost ridge -- some were below the surface when we arrived -- and rest there for a while.
    It takes half an hour before Rabena has finished.
    It only takes a few minutes for Goru to put the stone back. [if he wants.  If he does not want, then we have a problem.  Miyara will try to convince him as his leader, in which case he would do as she wants.]
    Shon does not know when it is.  This was not where he intended to be.  He stands there with a stupid expression on his face, much as barbarians often do.
    Miyara points out that as long as the time is not after we found it, it really doesn't matter when we are.  It could be anywhere between the time we take it out and the time we take it out later.
    Pireseri points out that we could be putting it in for the very first time.  Goru points out that there is mud here, therefore it is not the first time.
    I point out that we don't have to know when it is.  As long as we are preserving the integrity of our timeline, then we are preserving the integrity of our timeline.  As long as we don't know when it is, we do not know that we are disrupting continuity, and therefore we aren't.

    Now we need to help KO find his way.  We know we had not done that, so we need to do that after we left.  So our only obligation now is to return to the future and do that.  Each of us has a piece of leather to anchor us to that time.  Shon works the box and we travel.  Since the leather was created before we left, we need a place that will not allow us to interfere with our leaving the first time.  Miyara says we will return to the battle with the green things in the forest.  That was before Baluku made the leather, but we would then be far enough away.
    We touch the boundary.
    We are in the forest where we fought the green men, where the demons fought each other.  All we need to do now is hang around for a few days and then go to KO.

    We all get a strange feeling of weirdness, with a nagging thought that we are just up the hill in KO.  I guard against anyone leaving the camp.  No-one will get up the hill alive.
    The days pass.  We go to KO.
    I have closed my circle and fulfilled my obligations.  Miyara needs only to return the statue to Nippon.  Nevertheless, given the time this has taken, and the time the statue has been away, there is time to return it.  She also remarks as an aside that she could do that with the box to travel.  I say that it is a thing of chaos, and does have side effects, but it would be an honorable use and that might offset the chaos.  She discusses it with Shon in private, and she later tells me that he has a really bad feeling about using the box, and strongly recommends not using it for things we could do ourselves.  That makes sense to me -- every time we use the box, Tzeench gets to watch, and no doubt laugh.  Miyara decides that she will retain the statue for the time, and Goru will continue in his task as its bearer.
    Pireseri says that we should retrieve the stone of stones and send to its own beginning.  We can do that with all the stones.  That puts them in a closed loop, and they no longer exist from the moment we sent them back.  The act of sending them back is what created them.  It is entire in its consistency.   I look at Pireseri with a new respect.  The barbarian has become enlightened -- some.  Of course, we don't have to do it.  It's pretty cool to be carrying these things around.

    We return to KO.  No-one seems to be in the outer city.  I go to pay my respects at the grave of Og's master, and tell him that Og was successfully delivered, and trained in the skills he needs to fulfill his destiny.
    Then we enter the inner city.  We go to Ostahar's room, and find him there.  He welcomes us.  I really want to ask him about Mendi, but I won't because I don't want him to tell us anything inconsistent... but that train of thought leads to madness.
    O asks Sun to make sure everyone has a beer.  The boy complies.
    When we are settled, O looks at me and says in a serious but appreciated tone of voice tells me that he remembered last night what it was I did for his king and his heir.  I bow modestly.  O nods to Goru and Ashu as well.  He says that I made it possible for his king to pass on his <dwarvish word> to his heir.  Again, I bow modestly, secretly pleased that my taking on an entire ogre army is part of history and can be talked about now.  In addition, O says, he has had success in clearing out the last of the Grey Mountain clan orcs, and KO is now completely his.
    O asks if we have had a quiet few days.  I say we have, and Miyara says that we have been enlightened.
    I say we have been reflecting on past events, as you did.  He says perhaps it was just hte proper time to be reflective.  I say yes, the time was proper.
    So now you've secured this place, your way is clear?  I ask.
    Yes, he says.  The next steps are obvious.  I need to get a message to my liege and convince him to mount a party of colonists.

    KO has found his way.  The sequence is complete.  We can now get the stone of stones again, and choose whether to close its time loop yet or not.  This will be our next move.  This is a higher priority for Miyara -- once all four stones are together, then she can go back home with the statue.  Were the stones to fall into the wrong hands, that would have repercussions back in Nippon too.  She and I agree that fate has put us into this, and we should therefore follow through with our destined path.
    The journey here took three months.  It is now later summer, and it would be winter by the time we arrived.  We have experienced winter in the mountains, and it holds no fear for us now.  In addition, it has been a long time since we have brought Chaos to Curutusofen and we need to check in on the inn we own there.
    Pireseri says we have no clues for the stone of water.  I say we need none.  Chaos follows us, as we will come across it.

    KO suggests a feast, and it would be rude to turn it down.  Sun and Hosei cook up the food, while the remaining members of the entertainer troupe put on a show.