Years ago, the tiny town of Maple’s Landing was an amazing sight. Bustling with activity, it seemed as though the land had received the Harvest Queen’s blessed touch; and it had.
Blissful life took a turn for the worse over a decade ago, when a great Calamity touched the land. Horrified by the events, the people rebuffed their Queen. Saddened by her people's snubbing, she put herself into a deep sleep and the land withered. Now, the town is tasked with saving their homeland before it's too late.
Join the townspeople in their arduous task and enjoy life in the meantime, form bonds, find love and live!
NOTE: If you are advertising an OPEN THREAD, type "OT" REGISTER your site handle, thank you!
• FESTIVALS & EVENTS •
AUT. 15 [6/29] | Moonviewing Festival
The one night of the year where the moon is at its most gorgeous and full! Grab a friend (or lover) and enjoy some stargazing.
AUT. 22 [7/13] | Masquerade
Intrigue and mystery fill the air at this festival! The villagers try their best to hide their identities behind costume finery that are not removed until midnight in a grand reveal. This year's theme is In-Game Lore, History, and Culture!
Skin: toadstools, with input from all of staff! Graphics: DayDreamer, Mona, & Half Alive Ice
We do not own Harvest Moon, Ranch Story or Story of Seasons - credit belongs to Marvelous, Natsume, & xSeed.
He really didn’t wanna be here. Aki didn’t like group projects as it was, because he just…Didn’t work well with other kids. He liked doing things solo, it all got done faster for him, and he didn’t have to answer any inane questions that the teacher might have covered a million times. And if he had to do a group project, he actually….Preferred working with Jo, which had its own pros and cons.
Pros, Aki had slowly become accustomed to her, especially since she made it a point to bother him whenever humanly possible. And she was…pretty much his only friend, so he didn’t have much choice in the way of selectively picking who to work with.
Cons, Jo had a terrible work ethic. The moment a book opened, she was up, out of her seat, or zoning out so hard you could hear her brain launching itself into outer space to be anywhere but there. She couldn’t concentrate, she needed everything to be repeated, she couldn’t keep her mouth shut…It was a whole list of things, and Aki dreaded it.
But just maybe, quite possibly, he hoped as he finally stepped onto Pine Needle Farm, that Jo would magically settle down and not be a menace in her own home. Cause Aki understood not liking school, he honestly wasn’t a fan of it either. Sure, he loved learning, but he hated the atmosphere of the school here, and just how wild and rambunctious Verendian students were. So juuuust maybe…Things would be better outside the school environment.
Aki walked up to the front door, and rang the doorbell. He jumped at the explosion of barks that came from inside the house. He knew Jo had a dog…A big one…But it still frightened him. He still wasn’t much of an animal person (as much as he wanted to be one day so no one would ever see him cry about it again).
The moment the doorbell rang and Sugar started barking, Jo thumped down the stairs. It had to be Aki this time, not Ray without a key, and definitely not the stupid mailman with a package. She had been expecting him only ALL DAY (okay, it was only, like, 10 AM, but same difference), and she was sooooooo ready to get started on this dumb social studies project. "Make a pamphlet on a Greek god or goddess" her butt. How was she even supposed to pick one?
Jo nearly plowed into the door, just barely skidding to a stop in time, and quieted Sugar down before she opened the door. "AKIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!" she greeted him with a big smile. Sugar sat and wagged her tail, wanting nothing more than to jump up and lick Aki's face. "You ready to make this dumb pamphlet? Come one!" Jo waved Aki inside and led him into the dining room with Sugar happily following behind.
"You think any about who we're gonna put? Becauuuuuuuuse I didn't," she readily admitted. She already had everything all set up on the table that they might need: construction paper, glue sticks, glitter, scissors, crayons, markers, colored pencils... EVERYTHING! Jo didn't bother trying to sit down and get started, though. Instead, she was already in the doorway to the kitchen, calling back to Aki, "Want anything to drink? We got water, apple juice, cola, milk, and iced tea!"
Somehow Aki managed to keep himself from slapping his hands over his ears. He could not understand why Jo felt it necessary to scream right at him when he was a mere few inches away from her. Yes, his eyes worked fine, and it was clear hers did too. His ears however? His own name would be forever ringing in them. ”Hey,” Aki replied simply with a lot less enthusiasm.
"You ready to make this dumb pamphlet? Come on!” Jo asked him as she welcomed him inside, then leading him through the house.
”Ready as I’ll ever be,” Aki replied passively, keeping a careful eye on Jo’s gigantic dog as it trailed after them. It looked all too eager to see him, and Aki knew that it was deep down plotting the best way to tear him asunder. Well, he wouldn’t let it! Even if it meant being hyper vigilant the entire time he was here, Aki would not let the mutt win.
"You think any about who we're gonna put?” Jo asked him. "Becauuuuuuuuse I didn’t!”
”Of course not,” Aki muttered. Why would she? Whatever. He’d figure it out. He was the brains of this operation here. And Jo could just…color or something. Judging by the amount of supplies on the table, she looked more ready to open up a craft’s store than actually work. Aaaaaand, all his hopes of her focusing were already flying out the window as Jo was halfway out of the room before he could even pull up a seat.
"Want anything to drink? We got water, apple juice, cola, milk, and iced tea!”
”Water, please!” Aki called back after her. Sighing, he opened up his backpack to pull out the instructions to their project, as well as he notes he had taken on it. His gaze flicked over to the panting great dane that still sat there near him, looking at him with eager, adoring eyes, tail wagging furiously. What did it want from him???
”Listen you,” Aki started in a low voice, just to keep it between them. ”I’m not here to play, nor am I here to fall for any of your….tricks. I’m only going to ask this one time, politely, for you to keep your distance. Okay?”
Sugar simply wagged her tail harder at him. His gray eyes narrowed down at her. She could play dumb all she wanted, but Aki knew the truth. He would be hyper vigilant today. Finally, Jo returned with drinks in her hand.
”So here’s what I was thinking,” he said to her. ”I thought about the ones I felt like you would be most interested in. There’s Ares, the god of war. And then there’s Artemis, she’s the goddess of hunting and the moon. And then there’s Pegasus, he’s a flying horse. I’ll let you choose between those three, make it easier on you.”
"Oh good, I'm not the only one," Jo replied, completely misunderstanding Aki's comment. She walked right past the dining room table and into the kitchen, calling behind her, "Want anything to drink? We got water, apple juice, cola, milk, and iced tea!”
"Got it!" Jo began humming one of the newer songs on the radio as she fumbled about the kitchen, looking for her favorite cups. After shifting things around in one of the lower cabinets (because that's where they stored her cups, so she could actually reach), Jo found her plastic cups with little swirly designs inside, one blue and one green, and filled one with water and the other with cola. Mom wasn't home, she had a friend over, and so it was toooootally okay to have a "caffeinated drink."
Jo concentrated on trying not to spill the drinks as she carried them into the dining room. ”So here’s what I was thinking,” Aki began as Jo set his drink in front of him and took a huge gulp of hers. Delicious~ ”I thought about the ones I felt like you would be most interested in. There’s Ares, the god of war. And then there’s Artemis, she’s the goddess of hunting and the moon. And then there’s Pegasus, he’s a flying horse."
Whatever Aki said next didn't matter in the slightest. Jo slammed her hands on the table in excitement as she shouted much louder than intended, "WHAT?! A FLYING HORSE!?" Jo paused for a moment before continuing on in a much quieter voice, "Sorry. But yeah! Let's do the horse one! That'll count, right? Is the horse a god or something? I... can't really afford to get a bad grade on this," she confessed. The last thing she wanted was to get major points off for not doing the project right.
With a slight pout, Jo finally sat down. "Maybe we better do one of the others instead. Artemis sounds cool, I guess. She's the one with the bow and arrow, right? I'm pretty sure I saw a picture in our textbook." She supposed a kick butt hunter was better than nothing if she couldn't have the flying horse.
Something bumped Jo's knee, and she peeked under the table at Sugar sniffing around. Silly dog. It wasn't dinner time. "Hang on, I think she's hungry. I'mma get her a treat real quick." And just like that, Jo was gone again. Would she ever start this project? The world may never know.
Wow gee, that got her attention, Aki never would have guessed.
"Sorry. But yeah! Let's do the horse one! That'll count, right? Is the horse a god or something? I... can't really afford to get a bad grade on this...Maybe we better do one of the others instead. Artemis sounds cool, I guess. She's the one with the bow and arrow, right? I'm pretty sure I saw a picture in our textbook."
"The horse counts, it's fine.' Aki assured her. If it was the one thing that would keep her focused, then by all means, that's who they would go with. "You sounded more interested in that anyway so-"
"Hang on, I think she's hungry. I'mma get her a treat real quick."
Asdfghjk, no???? But there she went, back into the kitchen with that monster-dog following her. Aki groaned and rubbed a his face. For someone who "couldn't afford a bad grade", she wasn't too keen on making sure of that, was she? Okay, whatever. He figured he'd start anyway, cause at least HE actually, truly cared about his grades.
When Jo came back finally, Aki pushed some paper at her and said, "We're doing the horse. Draw one with wings in the sky or something....And I'll tell you about him if you want."
A few minutes passed with some concerning crashing noises coming from the kitchen before Jo returned with a snack for the two of them to share. "I was getting kind of hungry," she announced as she put the bag of fish-shaped cheese crackers on the table.
Aki didn't seem to care too much, though. Instead, he pushed a small stack of paper her way and said, "We're doing the horse. Draw one with wings in the sky or something....And I'll tell you about him if you want."
"Aye aye, captain!" Jo replied, already reaching for the crayons. Little did Aki know that Jo was an expert on drawing horses! The wings might be a little weird, but the horse part she totally had down. Jo continued humming her little song from earlier as she surveyed the different crayon colors. What color did she want to do? Were these guys like... actual horses or did they have weird colors?
"Actually, tell me about them, first! I gotta get a feel for the personality," she commanded, pushing the crayons away in favor of a pencil. Before Aki could even begin to explain, though, Jo began asking questions. "How big are their wings and what color are they? And how up in the sky do they fly? Like, are we talking clouds or are they just kind of like birds? Well, I guess birds can fly in clouds, too, but not all of them." She looked at him expectantly, more than ready to put pencil on paper.
Jo finally came back, bag of crackers in hand, and Aki wasted no time in setting her to work. She had sounded pretty enthused about Pegasus, so that’s what they’d focus on, if it meant that Jo would actually pay attention. She didn’t seem to mind that he mad the choice for them, she actually sat down and got to work with a cheery, "Aye aye, captain!”
Huh, wow. Could he somehow work horses into every assignment they ever did together? Cause Aki would if it meant that Jo would you know, work.
"Actually, tell me about them, first! I gotta get a feel for the personality,”
It’s a flying horse! What more did she need?!
"How big are their wings and what color are they? And how up in the sky do they fly? Like, are we talking clouds or are they just kind of like birds? Well, I guess birds can fly in clouds, too, but not all of them.”
UUUUUUUUUUUGGGGHHHHHHH! Aki inhaled deeply, and let himself breathe and think before answering. He felt like Jo was trying to make this difficult on purpose. Trying to put off work as much as she could and waste his time. He could be doing other, more important things right now than helping her do their homework. But fine, okay, whatever, whateeverrr.
”He’s a big, white horse, with big, white wings. Like bird wings, but bigger,” Aki started explaining. ”So draw that.”
And he waited until Jo actually started drawing before he continued on. ”So in the old stories, Pegasus was born when the hero, Perseus, cut off the head of the gorgon, Medusa. You know, the snakes for hair and could turn you to stone? Yeah well, she gets her head cut off, and then from what’s left of her, Pegasus is born. So yeah…It’s pretty gruesome…But he’s a cool horse.”
Jo seemed like the kind of person into blood, and guts, and….stuff.
”He’s a big, white horse, with big, white wings. Like bird wings, but bigger. So draw that.” Aki explained, and Jo nodded along as she sharpened her already perfectly sharp pencil. Big white horse with big white wings. She could do that.
Slowly, Jo started to sketch out a rough drawing of a horse, but her drawing quickly dwindled to her tapping her pencil on the page as Aki started talking again. "So in the old stories, Pegasus was born when the hero, Perseus, cut off the head of the gorgon, Medusa. You know, the snakes for hair and could turn you to stone? Yeah well, she gets her head cut off, and then from what’s left of her, Pegasus is born. So yeah…It’s pretty gruesome…But he’s a cool horse.”
"Ew, gross!" Jo laughed and glanced down at her drawing once more. The neck probably needed to be a little longer. "So, like, how does that even work? How do you get a horse out of a person, especially if he doesn't even have any person parts?" Jo rubbed her eraser all over the horses' neck, and the graphite smudged. That was okay. She could color over that. For a moment, Jo was completely unaware of Aki's presence as she really focused in on finishing this horse so she could get to the wings. Jo dropped her pencil and held up her paper, extending her arms so she could get a good look at it. Something was off. Maybe the back legs were too close to the butt... Yeah, that totally could have been it.
Yeaaaaaah, it was pretty gross. A lot of those stories from Greek mythology seemed to be. Like the man who had his liver picked out by birds everyday and it would grow back and again and again...It didn't make any sense, and it was really disgusting, and it made his stomach churn unhappily. But Pegasus? Pegasus he could handle.
"So, like, how does that even work? How do you get a horse out of a person, especially if he doesn't even have any person parts?"
"Uhhh, Medusa wasn't a person, she was a monster so...I guess it's different?" Aki shrugged. "Plus, Pegasus was born out of her neck AFTER the head was cut off. Sooooooo, I dunno, it's whatever."
They lapsed into a small, comfortable silence as they worked on their pieces each. Jo was surprisingly dedicated to drawing Pegasus right, Aki had never seen her so concentrated on something. Looked like she had potential after all. But now he was a little stuck, because he couldn't remember how to spell a word...The word in Anglish that was a collection of stars in the sky...
"How do you spell...Con-sta...looooo-aaayy-shun?" he asked. "Consta...errayshun....Uhm....You know when there's a group of stars at night? Those things, how do you spell it??"
By the time Jo actually finished the horse part of the horse, she began to grow bored. She didn't feel like drawing the wings right now. She knew they were going to be too hard with all of the feathers and all... but she supposed she had to... Just not right this very second. Instead, Jo emptied a bunch of the cheesy fish crackers onto the table and started eating them one by one. She briefly wondered just how these little guys were made before Aki provided a much needed distraction.
"How do you spell...Con-sta...looooo-aaayy-shun? Consta...errayshun....Uhm....You know when there's a group of stars at night? Those things, how do you spell it??"
"Constellation?" she asked, squirming around in her seat until she was sitting on her feet. "Easy. C-O-N-S-T-A-L-A-T-I-O-N. Constellation." She nodded a nod of confidence to herself. "Why? What's that for?" she asked, leaning over his shoulder to see what he was doing. "Gotta be better than drawing horses... It'd be helpful if I had a model actually."
Then, a lightbulb lit up in Jo's head. "WAIT I'LL BE RIGHT BACK!" And once again, Jo rushed out of the room, this time upstairs to her bedroom to grab one of her various toy horses, and soon she was back. She proudly placed the horse on the table. "Now I can really make sure it's a good horse." This project was never going to get done.
Wa-….Was that right? Aki wrote it down on the paper, but it….It didn’t feel right, but since he barely knew the word in English as it was, he was gonna have to trust Jo on her spelling there.
"Why? What's that for? Gotta be better than drawing horses... It'd be helpful if I had a model actually.” Jo commented as she leaned over his shoulder. Aki was a little surprised she didn’t know, it wasn’t like she lived in Horse Land or anything-
"WAIT I'LL BE RIGHT BACK!” Jo screeched into his ear, and while his eardrum rang, she scampered off out of the room again, and with his good ear, Aki could hear her feet thumping against the floor. Aki cradled his head into his hands, why couldn’t they just…Work? For like a minute without yelling and screaming and running around? They weren’t little kids anymore, this shouldn’t…be right?
He picked his head back up as he heard her come stomping back, and Jo returned with a toy horse that she proudly set on the table. "Now I can really make sure it's a good horse.”
”Please do that then,” Aki said as he picked his pencil back up. ”….Also, I asked earlier cause Pegasus became a con-stell- The star group thing. Zeus made him one.” he tacked on. ”He made a lot of heroes those…So I guess if you’re her-oi-ic enough, then you get some stars.”
”Please do that then," Aki replied, getting right back to work.
"I think I will." Jo sat down in her chair, glanced at the horse, glanced at her drawing, and realized that there was no way in h-e-double-hockey-sticks that she could do this right now. She could try, but she just wasn't feeling it. Actually, now that she thought about it, the dining room felt really tiny. Like, super duper small. The kind of small feeling where you just want to pop out of whatever bubble you're in and just be free. That was the feeling she was getting.
"Blah blah heroes, blah blah, then you get some stars.”
"What? Jo looked at Aki with a blank expression. She didn't understand a single thing he just said... except for the last thing, but that didn't make sense all by itself.
Jo didn't really give him much time to repeat himself, though. She was just way too antsy today. "Can we take a little break and then come back?" Jo asked, standing from her seat as she started swinging her arms carelessly about. She smacked her hand on a chair in the process, but she only stopped momentarily to shake it out.
"Come on, pleaaaaaaaaaase? I can't focus right now," she pleaded, folding her hands together and giving him the biggest puppy dog eyes she could.
Aki sighed, why did he even bother? How had he tricked himself into thinking that Jo actually cared about the subject at hand? Aki felt like he was losing a great battle with the ebb and flow of the ocean, every time he stood up on his feet, the waves would come in and knock him back down. That's it what felt like right now. That no matter how much he grounded his feet into the sand, they still came loose and down he'd go.
"Can we take a little break and then come back?" Jo asked him, already out of her seat. "Come on, pleaaaaaaaaaase? I can't focus right now,"
'Since when can you ever?' he thought. "Sure, but we HAVE to finish most of this by the end of today, okay?" Aki said as he set down his pencil and climbed out of his seat. He shoved his hands into his pockets, and looked to Jo expectantly.
"So what do you wanna do for our break?" he asked. The sooner Jo could work out her restless energy, the better.
"Sure, but we HAVE to finish most of this by the end of today, okay?" Aki agreed as he slid out of his seat.
"YES!!" Sugar looked up at Jo from her spot in the corner of the room and happily thumped her tail twice.
"So what do you wanna do for our break?" Aki asked, and Jo tapped her chin.
"Hmm... Let's go outside!" She didn't even wait for Aki to agree before she bounced into the kitchen and out the back door into the yard. Sugar followed along. They weren't even outside for a minute before Jo placed her hands on either side of her face, suddenly remembering something important. "Holy schmoley! It was my turn to let the animals out!!" Oh man, she was gonna be in deep doo doo. It wasn't too too late in the day, right? No... It was only, like... basically lunch time. Pawpaw was gonna get her goose if he found out... Heck, he probably already knew.
Like a bullet, Jo took off for the barn and unlatched the doors. She briefly braced herself and tugged heavily at the doors until she finally managed to pull the barn doors open. But there were no animals inside. Jo turned and ran to look past the side of the barn, and there were the cows, out grazing in the field. Her shoulders sunk at the sight. Pawpaw wasn't going to be happy.
So…he guessed they were going outside. Jo left him to literally eat her dust, her dog racing after her. Aki came along much slower, only catching up to them once they were all outside, but then Jo cried out, "Holy schmoley! It was my turn to let the animals out!!” and then she raced away across the property to the barn. Aki sighed to himself and settled down on the porch to watch her run around.
He propped his elbows up on his knees and settled his chin into his hands. They were never gonna get anything done. Why did he even bother? An actual belief that they could get something done and call it a day? Ha! He should have stayed at home and taken care of it all himself.
Jo eventually came back, looking like a kicked dog, clearly a little distraught. Aki arched a brow at her, asking, ”….Soooo, those animals huh?…Now what do you wanna do?”
Maybe it sounded a little harsh, but Aki didn’t really notice, or care.