"So because we happened to be the ones to discover a Love Jewel and to use it, all the other Tribes must submit to our rule?"
"Exactly. Without us, they wouldn't even be around. We were the only tribe before the Love Jewel."
Lafrindyx's brow furrowed. "Anyone could have found it. A human, a phoenix...anyone!"
"And then the other tribes would submit to them instead of to us."
"Or we could let them live under their own laws."
I shook my head vigorously. "Think what would happen! It would be utter chaos. We'd lose the entire familial structure of our Tribes. Some might even permit intermarriage between Tribe members, and we'd lose our individuality. Mystic Fire Topaz doesn't rule over the other tribes because we are power-hungry. We do so to prevent the other Tribes from ruining themselves."
"They are just as wise as we are," said Lafrindyx. "They would make good decisions. We could all decide things together, and everyone would be treated fairly."
"These are nothing but fantasies, Lafrindyx," I said. I put away the hairbrush. "People don't tend toward peace. They cause chaos. Mystic Fire Topaz may rule absolutely, but at least we maintain order in the Mine."
Lafrindyx crawled onto her bed—far too hard for humans, but we Tribe members are used to sleeping on gems. "I wish I could find a Love Jewel," she sighed. "I'd birth a new Tribe and set them free. Then everyone could see how well it worked out, and we'd release all the other Tribes and be through with this parent-child nonsense."
Her dreams were so pure, and yet so pointless. Devoid of a reply, I bid her goodnight and went to my own bed in my own tiny room. Tomorrow night was the night I was supposed to meet the other Gemkeepers on the Only Strip.