1055: Legendary Adventurers, Futuristic Saviors – Chapter Three, Part Four

Title: Legendary Adventurers, Futuristic Saviors
Author: Stone-Man85
Media: Movie
Topic: Princess Mononoke
Genre: Adventure/Romance
URL: Chapter 3
Critiqued by SC, Sir Paul Rori and Glasses

Hello, and welcome back to Legendary Adventurers, Futuristic Explorers, by Stone-Man85! I’m your host, SC, and God damn, it is good to be back on the riffing list. I was starting to get sick of the oneshots, honestly.

When we last left off, Alex found the Emishi watch tower and then he and the elderly watch guard promptly fell under attack by Demon!Nago, who paid them little mind and went about his way. The old guy called Yakul over to him, and told Alex that he was basically Ashitaka now, so he needed to go save the village.

So, you know, there’s that.

With me this week, as always, is Sir Paul Rori – good to have you back, by the way.

Paulo: It has only been a few months, but I feel like I have forgotten everything about this whole riffing thing.

Don’t worry, it should come back to you.

Also, I couldn’t wrangle Simon this week – caught him at a really bad time, when he was basically slammed with Demonslayer duties. So, instead, I’ve brought along Glasses for this riff, who was unusually excited about helping out despite not knowing anything about Princess Mononoke.

Paulo: Could it have anything to do with lustfulness?

Why do you say that?

*Paulo gestures to his right arm, which Glasses is hugging tightly and also gently nibbling*

…Oh.

Uh, anyhow, my system is gonna be a bit different going forward from here – instead of switching off every fic in my list each week, I’ll be focusing primarily on this one, and then A Witch needs her Cat, and then I’ll go back to switching off between ToV: BAR and Fire Emblem: ReAwaken. Herr brought it to my attention that my old system was actually not that efficient, and I was actually riffing slow as balls in comparison to everybody else. Like, the reason I have anywhere close to as many completed riffs as everybody else is because of all those oneshots. I’m the only Librarian so far who has not completed a single full riff. So, if anybody was expecting the old system, sorry but no. I’ve been riffing these same fics for like two years now, I need to get a move on.

With that in mind, let’s start this thing and pick up where we left off with Alex, shall we?

‘I can’t believe I’m doing this,’ biting his lip, Alex took hold of the elk’s large antler and swung himself on to the saddle.

Yeah, well believe it pal, you’re doing it. It’s either that, or Nago fucks up the village, and the real hero of the story is nowhere to be found, so make your choice.

He then grabbed the reins and turned the elk down hill, “Alright, here we go!” with a kick to the elk’s sides, and a light snap of the rains, the elk lurched backward and in a flash, took off.

Paulo: One moment – has this boy even ridden a steed before in his life?

Glad you brought that up. He probably has not. So controlling Yakul should be near to impossible right now without the old man helping him, but for some reason, it isn’t.

“Young man, be careful,” the old man shouted before Alex disappeared from sight, “That thing is cursed! Don’t let it touch you!” and he stood there, watching both the elk and the strangely dressed young man disappear into the trees, he could hear the sounds of loud yelping and swearing; but mostly yelping.

Or, I stand corrected. It’s happened before.

Paulo: Nothing about being thrown off and stomped on? Still not very accurate.

Glasses: I can throw myself on you, if you want.

Paulo: Milady, I am a married man.

Whoa, seriously? When did that happen?

Paulo: I’ve been married for a number of months now, actually. I was betrothed to my wife by the end of our previous riff of this story. I simply never felt there was any need to mention it.

Huh! So who’s the Missus?

Paulo: Dame Cassia Ardmorin, one of the sparse, but present lady knights in His Majesty’s Elite Guard.

*Paulo produces two pictures from his tunic’s left inner pocket*

Lady Cassia in full armor...

Lady Cassia in full armor…

...and Lady Cassia after marriage!

…and Lady Cassia after marriage!

Glasses: …Well, shit.

Damn, nice catch, man.

Paulo: Well, in truth, she caught me. We had started having a budding romance ever since I first joined the Elite Guard. When I was cleaning out my personal belongings from the barracks after retiring from the Elite Guard, she presented me with a ring and told me to think on it. Shortly after I joined Captain Pendra’s guild, I decided that my answer was yes, and around chapter two of this riff was when we finally had our wedding.

Huh. Well, remind me to invite the Missus to come riff with us sometime. I suppose Glasses is gonna pout now.

Glasses: Nah, I’m over it.

Wow. Katy Perry’s Hot n’ Cold just popped into my head.

Anyhow, so now, we find ourselves:

In the Forest

Where:

For Alex, riding an elk was like riding a living roller coaster, and he felt as if he was just seconds away from puking his guts out.

Be honest with me: would Mrs. Rori call Alex a wimp?

Paulo: In a heartbeat. Riding a steed – bare-back, even – is not as bad as Alex is making it seem. He simply has no control over the reigns, and so the animal is acting out. Keep in mind, this is a tamed elk steed. Elk, on their own, are quite calm most of the time. It is not as though he is trying to break a wild stallion or anything of the sort.

Glasses: By the way, Spirit breaking the Yankee troops and their colonel was my favorite part of that movie.

Oh, you mean this?

Glasses: It’s missing the part where the colonel gets HIS shit wrecked, but otherwise yes.

Paulo: I must be honest, because I was never a part of any equestrian units, I have never experienced what hard-breaking a horse actually looked like. I am not sorry for that, seeing this example now.

He pressed his body flat against the elk’s body and held the reins tightly. ‘Get a grip, Alex,’ he told himself as he tried to focus on the job at hand, ‘There’s a giant Demon God on the loose, and you’ve got a village to warn!’

Oh good, you remembered why we’re here! I was beginning to worry I’d have to explain the whole riff all over again.

His eyes scanned the rapidly moving forest, searching for the Demon God, or whatever the hell it was. It was nowhere to be found, but that could have been because he was moving too fast to really look carefully.

I would like to remind people: at full speed, Yakul only barely outpaces Demon!Nago. So, no, this is not a good reason for not seeing him.

Then suddenly, from out of nowhere, the rippling mass of the Demon God burst out from behind a thick clump of bushes, turning them to smoldering weeds as it touched them.

Also, Demon!Nago was waiting to surprise Alex because it was his birthday.

Glasses: Mazel tov!

*Glasses tosses confetti*

…I said birthday, not Bar Mitzvah.

Glasses: Same difference.

It’s really not.

The elk, with only a fraction of a second to make its next maneuver, dodged the larger creature with Alex clinging tightly to its neck.

Paulo: How many times now has Alex made it a point to inform us that he is clinging tightly to Yakul’s neck?

Dude, it’s your first day back in this riff and you bust a DRD alert on me? Not cool, bro.

*Alarms Blare*

Glasses: I got it!

*Glasses picks up her axe and goes out into the hall*

Paulo: …My wife is, herself, a rather slender woman capable of lifting incredible weights, but this seems more than a little ridiculous in that regard.

Well, Glasses used to be a cat, if that means anything.

Paulo: I beg your pardon?

*Glasses walks back in, covered in blood*

Glasses: I did the thing, now give me cookies.

That wasn’t part of the deal.

Glasses: We didn’t make a deal.

Aha! Double whammy! Now sit your ass down.

Glasses: Well, shit.

“Great!”, he exclaimed look back at the Demon God which was now just a meter or so behind them, “now it’s chasing us!”

Glasses: He’s all, “Sir! Sir! Do you have a moment for our lord and savior, Shishigami?”

*Paulo starts laughing heartily*

Well, apparently door-to-door Jehovah’s Witnesses exist in Paulo’s world, too!

[Yes, those are a thing – they give you little pamphlets about the Watchtower. They’re friendly enough, but once you tell them what religion you already belong to, those smiles get a little bit forced. -Book Specs]

He returned his attention forward and saw that they were now coming into another clearing. “I can’t see how anything could possibly get any worse!”

Suddenly:

In the Clearing

We wind up:

Near the small village down the hill,

And find:

three girls were making their way to it.

…Which is the lamest way of writing that I think I’ve ever seen.

The girls were of Asian,

Glasses: No shit, Sherlock, you’re on Japan.

Wait… “of Asian?” What, is Asia a noble house now or something?

Paulo: Considering what we have established of Asia being a landmass, that would be one rather large noble house.

between the ages of twelve to fourteen, had short light brown hair that was tied up in buns, and had brown eyes.

If we’re talking about Kaya and her sisters, I’m pretty sure they didn’t wear their hair in buns. I mean, as I recall, their hair was actually done up in topknots.

Also, o hai, Kaya!

Also, o hai, Kaya!

Kaya is Ashitaka’s betrothed before he becomes exiled from his village. Ashitaka meets her on the road coming back to the village, which is the first time he heard of the village being in danger. Later on, he then has to save get and get sisters by diverting Demon!Nago’s rampage with an arrow through the eye. After he is exiled, Kaya sees him off with a ceremonial dagger that she gives him in her memory, seeings as they’ll never meet again. Made me feel bad for her, honestly. I mean, look how adorable she is!

Glasses: Aww.

See?

They wore short sleeved blue kimono shirts with red trimming and blue skirts with it. It was held on by a light blue sash, and they had a basket bag strapped on to their shoulders. On their forearms were blue leather guards, and on their calves, blue bandages.

Let me just stop you right there, Stone-Man85, and show you exactly how wrong you are.

Kaya's full outfit.

Kaya’s full outfit.

Now tell me, author, does this coincide at all with your description of the girls? Because boy, it sure doesn’t look like it to me.

They had just got back from the watch tower, and had been told by the old man, Gisan, to warn the village.

So guess what: I tried looking up Gisan on Google, and got every result but the old man. It’s not like there’s no point in the movie where you don’t get a good look at the guy, so I’m pretty sure that I should have pulled up at least a profile shot of him.

You know what this tells me, author?

THAT’S NOT HIS NAME.

I’m pretty sure he never gets named, either. In fact, if I’m not entirely crazy, I’m pretty sure “Gisan” is another one of your bastardized misspellings of Japanese words – namely “Ōjiisan,” which is translated from Japanese as the formal way of saying “grandfather.” Considering the watch tower guard is quite elderly, it makes sense that the younger villagers might refer to him respectfully as grandfather.

But they suddenly stopped as they saw movement from the forest. Then they saw Gisan’s elk ride in, with a strange young man in even stranger garments. Following them, the Demon God charged right at him, but halted. It turned as it saw the girls, and the village… and immediately, it charged right towards them.

Paulo: Well, this has become an unfortunate turn of events.

All canon too, except for Alex.

One of the girls screamed, “It’s a demon!”

Glasses: Yup.

You get a cookie, missy.

The eldest girl took charge as she ordered, “C’mon!” and the trio of girls ran towards the village as fast as they could.

Paulo: If Kaya’s profile is accurate to the rest of the women in this village, their feet must hurt terribly.

Oh, I would imagine they’re just gigantic calluses shaped like feet at this point. You get to going everywhere barefoot, eventually your feet become bricks to accommodate the pain.

Glasses: And then you kick people in the face and they go flying!

I endorse this.

Then, as if Alex’s question was answered, he saw the Demon God go after the three girls.

I know that seems like a sudden dialogue jump. Trust me, I copied this chapter word for word and went over it three times to make sure I didn’t forget anything. That’s exactly how the author wrote it. So, you’re right, it IS a sudden dialogue jump.

When he saw this, he grumbled, “I just had to ask,” he then gave Ah-Uh another kick, “C’mon, boy!” and like a bolt of lightning, they both darted down the hill in pursuit of the Demon God.

Yakul’s probably like, “the sooner I can get rid of this idiot who can’t even get my name right, the happier I’ll be.”

Paulo: My former captain’s steed would kick the poor fool who said its name wrong clear across the field if they were close enough.

Ouch.

Paulo: That was about the only word they could say afterwards.

The three girls ran as fast as their feet would carry them. But even with all their efforts, they were still unable to keep a good distance between themselves and the horrible monster advancing on them.

I know I’ve said it twice now, but I’ll say it again: even on elk-back, you’ll only barely outpace Demon!Nago. Not that I fault the girls for not realizing this, mind.

The one leading them suddenly caught her foot on a rock protruding from the ground and fell flat on her chest.

Glasses: Ooh. Falling on boobs hurts.

Paulo: Erm… I can only agree, not knowing anything about it myself.

Well, part of being a writer is knowing weird stuff like this in case I ever need to use it in my work, so allow me to confirm: falling on boobs hurts like a bitch.

Paulo: Then it is good that my wife wore full plate during her time in the King’s Elite Guard. She had a tendency to trip over her feet and fall down quite frequently. Still does, even.

Graceful as a swan, eh?

Paulo: *chuckle* Do not tell her we spoke of this.

Nah bro, I gotcha.

Glasses: I’ma tell her.

david-tennant-dont-you-dare-reaction-gif-on-doctor-who

As she looked up she saw that the two other girls had not noticed her fall.

“Go! Run!” she cried out to her companions while holding her ankle in pain.

If they didn’t notice you busting your face, ma’am, I’m pretty sure they’re still running.

The two other girls wanted to help her, but they were too consumed by their own terror that they took her advice and fled. She looked behind her, and saw that the monster was only several yards away and the distance was quickly lessening.

Just as the Demon God was about to pounce, the girl was suddenly yanked from off the ground and pulled into a saddle as whatever it was, bolted right out of there before the Demon had a chance to slaughter her. The Demon God was so caught off guard that it fell over itself when it tried to follow the elk that had cut across its path. It’s enormous bulk rolled along the slope of the hill like a piece of clay and crashed against the side of a large boulder.

Holy uncanonical action scenes, Batman!

So here’s what actually goes down: one of the girls does go down and bust her face. But Kaya and the other girl stay behind to try and defend her (they have little swords on their belts, if you noticed from Kaya’s profile), but before Demon!Nago gets to them, Ashitaka intervenes and fires an arrow into his eye which diverts his rage away from the girls and onto Ashitaka, allowing the girls to get the hell out of there safely.

However, because this is shitball Alex and Ashitaka doesn’t exist for whatever reason in this world, we had to improvise in a contrived way that would allow Alex to be some kinda big damned hero.

Way to Stu it up, Alex.

When the elk slowly came to a stop, Alex looked down at the girl he had just saved. From the look of her face, she mast have been only twelve years old, just like his young sister.

Paulo: I would not think you would need to stop in order to ask such questions.

Not with a pissed-off demonized boar god on your heels, certainly. He’s not dead, all he did was go derp and fall over.

“Are you okay?” Alex asked, his male nurse instincts and actions kicking in.

There had to be a less stupid way of writing that.

Because the girl was so dazed from what had just happened it took her awhile before she was able to answer. “I’m alright,” but she winced a bit. “My ankle,” she said with a few tears in her eyes, “I think I twisted it.”

Glasses: That she can even understand what Alex was asking is amazing.

That’s what Herr was saying about the guard tower guy, too. Well, if you swap “amazing” for “fucking bullshit”, that is.

Forgetting that he was talking to a girl, or the fact that there was a Demon God on the rampage, Alex hopped off the elk, and let her sit on the saddle as he examined her left ankle. The skin around it was swollen and purple, “Yeah, it’s twisted alright.”

Yo, what the fuck are you doing?! Now is not the time to play field medic! There’s a gigantic motherfucking demonized boar god on your ass!

Paulo: You know, most field medics make it a point to stay out of the way until they have a moment of peace to perform their work. Or, if they happen to be combatants, they try and finish the fight quickly first.

Well, in my world, medics will drag you behind a wall while still fighting off the other guy and work on you with shit flying by their heads the whole time.

Paulo: Quite an impressive work ethic they have.

You don’t even know, man.

The angry sounds of rage drew both their attention away from the injury and towards the Demon God which was now back on its feet.

Yeah, hi, jackass! Remember Nago?!

Alex suddenly stood up and stood his ground at the ready.

“Wait! What do you think you’re doing?” The girl asked, clinging to the elk’s reins.

“That thing won’t chase you if it’s already chasing me,” he replied,

That’s the stupidest line of logic I’ve ever heard.

“And the old guy at the tower told me to warn your village about it.” He turned and gave the girl a serious look, “But you’re gonna have to do it for me. Can you ride that thing?”

The girl nodded confidently, “A lot better than you can,”

Glasses: Hello, police? I’d like to report a murder.

Paulo: I have known archers who wish they could have fired such shots.

Holy shit, I didn’t think you’d be able to jump in on this one!

Paulo: Oh, please, give me some credit. In my world, witty retorts are a work of art.

but hesitated as she asked, “What about you?”

“Just get your butt out of here; don’t worry about me,” Alex reassured her as he returned his attention to the task at hand.

Pfft, bitch I was hoping you’d be dead by now! Trust me, the audience is not worried.

The girl frowned then nodded again in agreement when she saw that there was no way of negotiating with this strange looking foreigner. “Alright,” she said, “But take this.” She unsheathed a machete-sized sword and handed it to him.

Oh great, she’s given him a sword. Paulo, I’d like to apologize for any poor swordsmanship you’re going to see.

Paulo: In all fairness, technique and method do not matter to me if I am trying to stay alive. So I can likely give a pass to this.

Alex took the weapon quickly and without hesitation, but looked at it with a raised eyebrow. “Well at least I’m armed, but how am I gonna…”

Paulo: Three words: Figure. It. Out. You have been given a tremendous asset, now you must learn how to use it in the heat of battle. There is no time for you to be worrying about the details.

He was suddenly cut off by a slimy tentacle that the Demon God had shot towards him. He dodged it and tumbled to the ground. As soon as he regained footing, he shouted to the girl, “Get out of here! GO! NOW!”

Aaaaand dramatic cut!

Paulo: Ending it already? I’m shocked; usually you go for much longer than this.

I did a fuckton of oneshots not too long ago. They’ve kind of ruined my riffing game. I need to practice again.

Anyhow, thanks for reading folks, and stay tuned for next time! This chapter is never going to fucking end, I swear! More of this next week according to my new riffing habit, so you’ll be seeing plenty more Paulo to come. Simon, too, if I can wrangle him at all. In the meantime, I’m SC, and on behalf of Glasses and Sir Paulo Rori, I’ll see you next time!

…So, you getting back into the feel of things?

Paulo: Somewhat, yes.

Oh, good. Remember to bring Lady Rori with you next time, in itching to meet her.

Paulo: I will do that.

Glasses: You know, I didn’t say a lot this riff.

I know, what was up with that? Off-day?

Glasses: I guess?

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33 Comments on “1055: Legendary Adventurers, Futuristic Saviors – Chapter Three, Part Four”

  1. agigabyte says:

    I read this fic more for your OCs than the actual riff.

  2. GhostCat says:

    So guess what: I tried looking up Gisan on Google, and got every result but the old man.

    The way it’s written almost looks like “Jisan”, which means uncle and is typically used to address middle-aged men, but I think the author meant to use “Jiisan” – it’s an informal way of saying “Ojīsan” (grandfather), the equivalent of calling someone Gramps or old man.

    • SC says:

      The Emishi village thinks of each other as family, I don’t know that they’d be informal about addressing each other… and certainly not in that time period.

      • GhostCat says:

        It wouldn’t necessarily mean they were close, it’s common to use terms like auntie, uncle, grandmother, or grandfather when referring to people older than you (or to imply that someone’s older than you in a less than flattering way.)

  3. "Lyle" says:

    “Alright,” she said, “But take this.” She unsheathed a machete-sized sword and handed it to him.

    When did this girl turn into the old cave man from the Zelda games? "It's dangerous to go alone. Take this!”

    • SC says:

      Well, I mean, Alex didn’t have a weapon on him and she did, so I figure it’s only fair.

      Although now that you mention it, I am getting that vibe…

      • Herr Wozzeck says:

        And now I am once again reminded of that song the Game Grumps made that turned that old man into a horndog.

        My childhood is forever ruined. Fuck my life…

      • "Lyle" says:

        I actually blame you for me thinking this, Herr. I just recently read the fic you put that link into.

  4. TacoMagic says:

    One of the girls screamed, “It’s a demon!”

    And it’s riding an elk!

  5. TacoMagic says:

    “That thing won’t chase you if it’s already chasing me,” he replied,

    Alternately: “It can’t kill you if you’re already dead!”

  6. TacoMagic says:

    The girl nodded confidently, “A lot better than you can,”

    That’s such a good line, I’m surprised it came from this author.

  7. Herr Wozzeck says:

    For Alex, riding an elk was like riding a living roller coaster,

    Bwa?

    *headdesk*

    The roller coaster enthusiast in me is now crying his face off…

  8. Herr Wozzeck says:

    Demon God which was now just a meter or so behind them,

    Ah, tense shifts. How I did not miss you at all…

    • SC says:

      At a certain point, I just started pretending I had misread it because trying to understand was a bigger chore than I wanted to deal with right just then.

  9. Herr Wozzeck says:

    three girls were making their way to it.

    *headdesk*

    Wow, that’s awkward. That’s just… eesh.

    Still better than anything we found in Legend of Dragoon: The Eighth Spirit, at least.

  10. Herr Wozzeck says:

    The girls were of Asian,

    *headdesk*

    He says, as if Japan had all those visitors that it didn’t fucking have!

    *BAM*

    Sheesh, most of the Western World didn’t start running off to Japan until the 16th Century, didn’t they?

  11. Herr Wozzeck says:

    Considering the watch tower guard is quite elderly, it makes sense that the younger villagers might refer to him respectfully as grandfather.

    Hm…

    Do you think maybe he is called Jiisan in the original Japanese voice-overs?

  12. Herr Wozzeck says:

    Graceful as a swan, eh?

    And I imagine this was sung at the wedding:

    • SC says:

      I’m pretty sure his wife would have started dicing up the wedding party if they had tried. Part of me feels like she wore armor down the isle for safety’s sake, though. XD

  13. Herr Wozzeck says:

    However, because this is shitball Alex and Ashitaka doesn’t exist for whatever reason in this world, we had to improvise in a contrived way that would allow Alex to be some kinda big damned hero.

    Am I the only one to notice too that it turned Kaya into a damsel in distress so our main Stu could be the big hero. You know, it took Kaya and reduced her from a woman willing to stand up to fucking Nago into something to be saved so our hero gets cheap heroism points?

    Way to throw casual sexism in a canon with a bunch of strong women, StoneMan85…

    • SC says:

      Like, the WHOLE MOVIE was a feminist statement about how women are just as capable, if not more so, of handling themselves as men are.

      Lady Eboshi leading her own army in the three-way war, San single-handedly infiltrating a heavily guarded city, Kaya staring down Nago, the Irontown women learning how to use and forge firearms…


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