1110: Legendary Adventurers, Futuristic Saviors – Chapter Six, Part OnePosted: July 18, 2015
Contacts: No, dude, for real. You really shouldn’t invite her into this riff.
I didn’t invite her, that’s the problem! I told her, “no,” and she heard, “yes!”
Contacts: You have the power to forcibly change her mind! It’s not like you haven’t blown her head off before!
I didn’t want to give Paulo nightmares for the rest of his days!
Contacts: Since when was that ever an issue for you?!
Paulo: Oh come now, gentlemen, surely she is not as bad as you claim her to b-
*An ominous whirring is heard, followed promptly by a wall being blasted to pieces; in walks a combat-ready mech jacket*
*Paulo leaps to his feet and draws his swords*
Paulo: I warn you now, foul agent of wicked machination! I may only be human before your metallic form, but I shall not cease my assault until your threat is removed from this world hence-!
*The mech suit disassembles and folds itself up into a backpack on the back of none other than Bifocals
Contracts: …I fucking told you that you should’ve blown her head off.
Really, Bifocals? You couldn’t just use the door like a normal human being?
Bifocals: The doors were locked, and my keys were all missing.
*SC whirls around, but noticed Contacts no longer standing next to him; he turns again just in time for the thief to disappear in a shadow under the riffing room door beside Bifocals and escape*
Ugh, that stupid fuckin’ thief…
Paulo, this is Bifocals, Bifocals, this is Paulo.
*Paulo bows respectfully, sheathing his swords*
Bifocals: Oh! I did not realize I would be riffing with such a gentleman!
Oh, Paulo is the very definition of respectful. Which is why I’m hoping you’ll be on your best God damn behavior today, got me?
Bifocals: But I behave myself all the time.
The fuck you do.
Anyhow, hello, and welcome back to Legendary Adventurers, Futuristic Saviors, by Stone-Man85! I’m your host, SC, and in the last chapter, the author decided to wholesale-steal a villain from Inuyasha and make him a two-bit copy of himself, and Alex made a bunch of Samurai look bad with his totally unexpected(?) new demon powers, even though he had no reason to even be alive by that point, then ran off and bitched about killing more people than he actually did, for worse reasons than he actually had.
Joining me this week is Sir Paul Rori, naturally, and… Bifocals.
Who has already FUCKED UP AT BEHAVING HERSELF!
I swear, I just can’t with you.
We come now to chapter six, entitled, “Eyes of a Fox-Squirrel; Priest of a Thousand Faces,” which sounds about as nonsensical as the rest of this fic has been so far. Let’s see what Alex’s stupid ass is up to this time.
Good to be back?
Paulo: Good to be back.
Bifocals: Back? Back where?
Funny you should ask:
Outside the Forest
Two for two! I’m on a roll and we haven’t even started yet!
For what felt like hours, Alex had walked along the side of a country road in complete and total silence.
Bifocals: What? How did you know about my Gamma Orionis Decagun? I have not even built it yet!
That you named a weapon after a star, which also happens to be known by the Latin word for “female warrior,” indicating that only YOU can operate it, while also giving it the acronym “G.O.D.,” frightens me.
Paulo: …Will this be a regular occurrence?
But even though he was quiet, his thoughts remained engrossed and greatly disturbed.
Engrossed in what? You can’t just throw out words like engrossed and not go into further detail, fool.
Bifocals: Engrossed in science?
*SC quietly pats Bifocals’ head*
What disturbed him was what had occurred, or rather had he had done back at the village. “Now I understand what the Oracle had told me about the curse,” he said to himself, with a grimaced look on his face, “… and why they wanted me out of the village as well.”
Paulo: They would have shown him the door regardless, but the curse certainly expedited things.
“She and the Elders probably thought I was gonna lose it if I went into a mood swing.”
Bifocals: Speaking of mood swings, Eustace is putting up a fuss over his oil change again.
Can’t you just uninstall the thing’s emotional simulation protocols?
Bifocals: You make it sound so easy…
Paulo: I take it this Eustace fellow is a problem child of sorts?
Imagine this thing:
…But with the ability to simulate human thoughts and emotions. And then imagine that it decided to take on the personality of a petulant child.
Paulo: …And here I thought magic was frightening.
he stopped and sat himself on the edge of the road. “Just what happened back there?” he then looked at the golden binding wrist chain on his right wrist with a fearful expression.
Quick recap for the riffers who didn’t see it: Alex traveled around. He gawked at nature. He somehow managed to camp without dying even though he was given shit-all for resources, as Paulo knows. He complained about not being able to make a fire without a lighter, even though he claimed to have been educated in survival skills and you’d think the two sticks or flint-and-steel method would have been obvious solutions…
*Paulo sighs and puts his head on his hands*
…But then it turned out that he actually couldn’t MAINTAIN a fire, lighting it was fine.
Paulo: Gods be praised.
After that, Alex went to a village with Samurai in the area, who should have jumped him just for being armed despite not being nobility OR military, and after bitching about kids being ill-mannered, which was a pretty funny joke coming from him, rogue rōnin showed up and started wrecking shit. Alex was then overcome by his curse and made them all look like jokes in the stupidest fashion possible, even though they should have ruined him on sight, and then he ran away and moped about it, and here we are now.
Bifocals: Was für eine dumme kleine Schlampe.
He had remembered what had happened when he suddenly got angry. The metal just morphed and stretched out, encompassing his arm and hand in a vein-like armor that suppressed the black ooze that formed up. He figured that it must have been part of the curse; the ooze would try and encompass him while the metal bonded to his body shielding him from the curse itself… or maybe the curse and the metal had formed together to create some kind of cursed symbiotic armor, like in the comic books.
First of all, we all remember last chapter quite well, thank you very much. Second of all, the curse took over your arm and turned it into its own sentient being, that’s what happened. I don’t see what’s so hard about this.
“I guess I really am becoming a half-demon,” he said, resting his arms on his knees, “I never should have stepped near that tree. I should have just left it alone.”
I’ll say, then this fic wouldn’t have to happen and I could take a nap.
Paulo: I could be partaking in some much-needed practice right now.
Speaking of which, where’d your swords go?
Paulo: My-? Wh-what?! Where did they go?!
Paulo: Gods blessed, woman! What have you done to my swords?!
Bifocals: Gilderoy broke his, I needed to make him new ones.
That would be this fine gentleborg:
Paulo: …Well, I think I understand the situation better, now. But I still require new swo-
*Bifocals hands Paulo his swords back*
Paulo: Wh-! these are completely untouched! But how?!
Bifocals: I only needed them as a reference. I had the materials already – a sewing needle, a D-battery, and a sock!
Paulo: There are many, many reasons why that should not-
Don’t bring logic into this. It’ll cause her stuff to break, and she gets very touchy about that.
Paulo: …Duly noted. I suddenly realize that I would rather not know anyhow.
but this wasn’t the time to mope;
I dunno, you didn’t seem to care before.
he had something to start and finish.
Paulo: He is considering it; a good start, wouldn’t you agree?
With another defeated sigh,
At some point, he’s gotta stop being a whiny little cunt, right? Because this sighing is starting to get on my nerves now.
he stood up and proceeded once again down the road. “As if getting thrown in the most brutal time of Japan’s history,
I’ve become hose
Or, sure, let’s just completely drop that topic altogeth- wait, you’ve become a hose?
of a symbiotic demon parasite, that’s giving me destructive powers… which I have no control over.”
*Yet, because it will inevitably become some sort of Bleach bullshit where a bad thing becomes a superpower that you can trigger on demand and has very minimal downsides as compared to the multiple upsides. Trust me, in no stranger to that trope either.
Honestly, the ascending staircase of power thresholds is one of the most basic anime tropes. It’s not even funny how many times I’ve seen it get used. It’s always the same formula, too, even when you try and change it up. I KNOW Alex is going to miraculously learn how to control his new demon powers with a snap of his fingers, and I know it’s just going to get more and more dumb as he gets newer and stupider powers. I can’t even pretend that this plotline is interesting.
he sighed as he groaned, “I can’t see how things can get any worse.”
Buddy, it’s only chapter six. We have thirty chapters to go so far, not counting the four non-chapters, to see how bad it will get.
Suddenly, a bolt of lightning flashed through the skies, followed by the rumble of thunder. The next thing Alex knew, rain was pouring down from the clouds above by the gallons.
“You know…” he said sardonically, “… I’ve got at stop saying that.”
…I liked that joke better when Jane said it.
Honestly, author, your attempts to inject ironic humor into your fic are pathetic. That you need to swipe other jokes that were funny in their original context just to make your own joke is really telling in that regard.
And you know, the joke ISN’T funny in this context. It’s left me with more questions than giggles. Why did it suddenly start raining as soon as Alex asked that question? Why was it perfectly clear last chapter but is now apparently stormy in this chapter?
Unlike in movies, where you can just give this stuff a pass, you actually have to PLAN OUT your jokes in your writing, author. Shoving an inexplicable rainstorm into a scene right after a question that honestly doesn’t fit in tune with the rest of what’s been happening so far is not good planning, and therefore, the impact of the joke is lost.
Lrn2comedy, fool. Not everybody can pop off with the kind of snappy one-off jokes we Librarians make, and you fall squarely into that “not everybody” number.
He then looked up at the sky, wiping away the rain drops from his face, “I could be home right now, playing video games with Kari, skateboarding on the streets and the park.
Yes, and I wouldn’t have to read about your bullshit exploits anymore. But you went and fucked up everything, kid.
Bifocals: I hate when that happens.
Paulo: Anybody who did that in my old platoon was prone to getting the water in their canteen swapped out for, *ahem* “mysterious amber concoctions.”
That’s harsh, yo.
Paulo: My old platoon was something of a brotherhood of tricksters.
Heck, I’d take helping Dad in the clinic, sewing up gashes and split lips at this point.
In light of your recent medical outings? Dear God, they’d be better served getting shot to death.
Paulo: When I still served in His Majesty’s army, there were actually appointed “death nurses,” who were trained swordsmen not fit for battle that were transferred to medic status. Their objective was to swiftly behead any patient that couldn’t be saved from an injury so that they would not suffer in their dying moments.
If Alex worked in the clinic with his old man, those death nurses would see a new rise in business.
But now, I’m on a effortless quest to not only save my life and soul, but also to find a way back home.”
Pfft. “Effortless,” is it? Care to look up the definition of the word, champ? I think you’ll find it to be the exact opposite of what you meant.
slipping the bag strap to ensure it didn’t fall, Alex shook his head, causing water droplets to fall around him, as he started walking again, “Why does everything have to be so difficult?”
Because life is difficult, you whiny little shitbag.
Paulo: “The ones who complain are the ones who leave in shame.” That was a popular threat my training officers liked to use to silence the objections of recruits who felt they were being unfairly treated. I dearly wish one of those men were standing behind Alex to beat him soundly for his comment right about now.
Bifocals: Where would you like me to coordinate the ground strike of my Bitch-Be-Gone orbital warframe?
What the hell? When did you build that?!
Bifocals: A moment ago. I borrowed your rifle scope for the aiming and coordination parameters.
MESSER RIFLE, SPEAK TO ME!
Mssr. Rifle: Everything’s gone dark! I don’t like the dark!
Bifocals: I tried to be gentle.
Paulo: You monster.
Bifocals: What? It was either this or the marksman scope from Contacts’ bow, and he would not let me borrow that.
SO YOU MUTILATED MY RIFLE?!
Bifocals: Shades would not let me use any of hers.
Shades, peeking in: Are you kidding, mate? You barely use your rifle. I need my scopes a hell of a lot more than you need yours.
But before he could move onward, he heard the sound of an approaching cart.
I hope Bard was driving it.
Bifocals: …I do not get it.
Well, maybe if you’d sat down and watched Battle of the Five Armies with the rest of us, you would understand.
Paulo: Good gods, five armies, all engaged at the same time? What kind of massacre would that be?
According to Battle of the Five Armies, it went a lot better than you might think for the first three armies once they decided to stop bitching at each other and play nice, but not so hot for the last two.
Shades, peeking in again: Yeah, and Bolg proved to be more useful in one fight scene than Azog was in the entire trilogy.
Well, Azog did finally get Thorin and Fili.
Shades: And Bolg knocked out Bilbo and got Kili, where’s your argument now?
…We’re going to have words later, you and I, about how wrong you are.
Shades: Yeah? Come at me, fuckboy.
When he looked through the rain, he saw a small wheeled cart being pulled by a single black ox.
Sounds like one of those literary devices to help you enunciate your words, huh? “The small wheeled cart was pulled by the single black ox?” I could see it.
Paulo: Admittedly, it does. Akin to the one about the brown fox and the lazy dog, even.
Yeah! That’s the one I was thinking of!
When the cart rolled up alongside Alex, the driver who wore a straw cloak that completely shrouded him, looked down to him and smiled.
*Driver* “I’m actually Takemaru in disguise, what’s up little bitch!”
Or at least I wish it was like that.
“You need a ride to the next village, Boy?” the man asked with a deep but friendly voice, “I’ve got plenty of room if you do.”
Well, that’s mighty generous of you, literal random passerby! You have no idea if you’d be boarding a thief or murderer, or even a criminal outlaw who just ruined like twenty Samurai right out in the open, and yet you’re still offering him space in your house, potentially at the expense of yours and your family’s lives!
In case you hadn’t picked up on it, I’m being thoroughly sarcastic.
Alex raised an eyebrow at this sudden offer of aid. So far, he had been traveling for more than what felt like a week or more, and not once did anybody he had met along the way, show even the least bit of kindness, concern, or regard towards him.
Paulo: Those were better days…
All Alex could do was smile simply to him as he honestly replied, “To tell you the truth, I don’t really know where I’m going.”
“You mean you don’t have a destination?”
That would be what is implied by not knowing where someone is going.
Don’t you even dare, alarm.
Bifocals: Should I lend him my compass?
…That’s not just a compass, is it.
Bifocals: *giggle* of course not! It is also calibrated with GPS tracking systems and holographic range finders that estimate the distance to the nearest point of civilization in any direction specified!
…Well, at least it doesn’t blow shit up-
Bifocals: It also has a small compartment filled with nitroglycerin mist that you can spray in attackers eyes and light them on fire if necessary.
I really should know better than to open my fucking mouth…
“Not really,” Alex simply answered as he shrugged, “Wherever my destination may be, all I know is that I’m supposed to head west to reach it.”
The driver looked at him confused, but then finally laughed, “Those are pretty vague directions, boy,” he said, then looked up at the raining clouds. “And today’s definitely not the day to be traveling across Japan with vague directions.”
You know, something occurs to me – was Japan even KNOWN as Japan in the Muromachi period? I mean, I imagine it was elsewhere, but did the actual occupants of the country see it with the same name that everybody else was starting to piece together in the 13-1700’s?
Paulo: Considering that this is a very earlier period of the country’s existence, I would imagine not. Historical texts say that my homeland, upon its conception, was known for many millennia by an older name before finally accepting the title given by our neighbors as the new option. Of course, this is merely my history, and could potentially have no bearing whatsoever on how Japan’s history went.
“Well, I’m afraid I really don’t have much of a choice,” Alex replied, “I’ve got to get where I’m going as soon as possible.”
“You have a place to stay for the night?”
Alex merely shook his head to answer, and the driver patted the place next to him and smiled, “Then please let me offer you shelter at my house for the night. I’m sure that my wife wouldn’t mind preparing an extra meal for you.”
Refer to my previous statement about generosity and how dumb you are. Also your wife’s gonna kill you, fuckhat.
I… don’t even know where that one came from.
Alex looked up at the clouds as he had done so just moments earlier, then looked at the man himself. Ah, why not. With that, he pulled himself onto the cart and sat next to the driver, “I really appreciate this, Mr., uh…”
“The name’s, Fujita, the driver replied, whipping the ox with the reins. The animal cried out from the sudden pain, and began to make its way forward.
Really, with the ox just then? Man, PETA’s gonna rip my ass apart.
But anyhow, on to that name. Fujita is about the closest to being actually Japanese without stealing anything Stone-Man85 has gotten so far, I think. Let’s see…
…You named your freaking cart driver after the method of categorizing tornadoes? (That would be the Fujita-Pearson Scale, in case you were wondering. Or, nowadays, the Enhanced Fujita Scale.)
Uh, anyhow, the name Fujita means “Wisteria rice paddy,” apparently. It’s a name that sounds way cooler when you don’t look up the translation.
Fujita made a few more whips with the reins and then looked back at Alex, “And what would your name be?”
“It’s Alex. Alex Killian.”
Fujita chuckled, “Ahh, then you are an outlander. But I could tell that just by looking at you, lad.”
Alex gave an aggravated sigh, as he sarcastically replied half heartedly, “Really? What gave me away?”
Paulo: Other than everything?
“Oh, nothing much. Just several things about ya,” the cloaked man answered,
Shit, is Raven here, too?
“But it was mostly your clothing, and your tanned skin. We don’t see many people like you around these parts.”
…Author, did you just try and tell me that TANNED SKIN would be an uncommon sight IN FEUDAL JAPAN?
*Paulo shakes his head in disappointment*
If you translate both those words separately, the village is literally, “Nail-fish village.” GEE I WONDER WHAT THEY DO HERE?
Paulo: Obviously, they are bow hunters who have a fondness for roof shingles.
Oh by the way, this means that Tai in my ToV: BAR riff is very appropriately named. CAUSE HE SMELLS FISHY AS SHIT, AMIRITE?
*SC holds up a hand for a high-five*
Paulo: …I am not returning your gesture. You have not earned it.
Along the way to the village which was like hours for the two, along the ride Alex and Fujita had been talking pleasantly.
BOOKY! STOP THROWING BRICKS AT PEOPLE!
[Fucking make me! You’re not my dad! -Book Specs]
As they continued onward, the rain had stopped and the skies began to clear. Most of it was where Alex was going and why he was going to there. He had told the cloaked man this whole story; what with the curse and all.
So you just bust out with your curse to any random person who asks? Buddy, if I were cursed and potentially losing myself to demonization, I wouldn’t want anybody knowing that, for their own safety as well as mine!
Ever heard the saying, “some things are better left unsaid,” Alex? THAT WOULD BE ONE OF THOSE THINGS.
Bifocals: Much like how I don’t talk about how I died the first time because of how foolish it was.
Paulo: What did you do?
Bifocals: I looked down the barrel of a gun I was working on and did not realize it was loaded, or that my finger was on the trigger.
…You fucking idiot.
Bifocals: That is why I do not talk about it!
“So what you’re telling me,” Fujita said, scratching his bristled chin, “is that unless you find a way to lift the curse, or at least control it, you’ll eventually become a full demon yourself?”
“Yeah, or something along that line,” Alex replied as he looked at the forest/countryside.
Really, Stone-Man85? Really, with that fucking backslash? I oughta’ take that thing and beat you with it!
Fujita shook his had and sighed, “You’ve got yourself some very bad luck there, my friend.
Paulo: Really. How do you wager.
Must be pretty lonely traveling out there by yourself. In an unknown country away from all your people. Breaks your very heart.”
God, but this reads like the author speaking through this character to try and hint-hint-nudge-nudge his readers into feeling bad for Alex. Goading the audience is not how you inspire them to feel the emotions you’re trying to evoke, Stone-Man85.
Alex nodded, though he avoided telling him that he was from the Future. Trying to convince the driver that his Demon God encounter as being true was hard enough.
This is Feudal Japan. Mythology is a very strong subject in this age. I’m not sure it would be difficult to convince someone, I think they’d just have trouble wrapping their heads around it. Now, modern day Japan? Then that might be a different story.
Telling them that he was from the future would have pushed them to believe that he was completely out of his mind.
Bifocals: And yet nobody bats an eye when I show up with robots in tow?
I think they’re too terrified to.
“I do the best that I can,” he said. “And to tell you the truth, I’m used to being alone.”
Paulo: No, I am used to being alone. After the last time I was involved in warfare, I secluded myself from regular society for several years – in part because assassins, hired by the scum who used their knighthood as an excuse to abuse others, sought all of my platoon’s heads in retribution for our revealing of their employers to the king; but more because I was ashamed that I had taken part in the last war, in particular, which was truly nothing more than angry men venting their emotions on the innocents who happened to be protected by our enemies. Only after meeting Captain Pendra did I begin coming out of that shell, and even now that I am married, I only truly seek the company of those I consider close to me. Alex claims to know what being alone is, but from the very moment we were introduced to him, he has been surrounded by other individuals on a very frequent basis. So far, most of them have even been friendly towards him. This child needs to stop pretending that he is dealing with a struggle of the self, when in fact, he is not.
What he said, folks. So, Alex, tell me exactly how you’re used to being alone?
“Oh come, now, young man,” the middle-aged man replied slapping him gently on the back. “No one likes to be alone in this world.”
Unless you’re my OC, Speechless, so named because he swore a vow of silence after an… unfortunate incident. Which also plays into why he prefers to be alone!
Bifocals: But Alex is not Speechless.
No he is not, and thank God for that.
“Well the fact that my family’s always on the move back home explanation on its own. Because of that, I didn’t have a lot of time to make any long-term friendships,”
Yeah, so what? My family has been moving around a lot too – within a much smaller area than your family, albeit, but we have. But that’s still not being alone because you’re surrounded BY FAMILY, and so long as you connect with your friends enough to get their phone numbers or emails or whatever, you can still maintain contact with them. I would know, I’VE DONE IT MYSELF.
(Which reminds me, I should really drop a letter in Mikey’s inbox and see how he’s been doing since he and I hung out in Modesto that one time before I moved back to my old hometown…)
The dark haired youth shrugged. I guess you just get used to it after awhile.
Yeah, IF YOU’RE ACTUALLY GOING THROUGH IT.
“Well that may be how it is, where you come from,” Fujita said, “I still can’t believe that a God would attack a small village like that. Demon or not, everyone knows that the ancient Gods have always preferred to distance themselves from the mortal world.”
You know, right up until they get shot the fuck up by some jackass with a matchlock who decided to tempt fate by screwing with a deity-in-mortal-coil. Then they want to destroy fuckin’ EVERYTHING.
Paulo: Hard to blame them, at that point.
Though the cartman let a sad smile show on his face, “They’re probably angry at us humans.”
Oh you think so, do you? However did you reach THAT conclusion?
Alex had a look of confusion; silently asking the man what he meant by that.
Oh my God, you’ve been here for actual DAYS now – weeks, according to this riff – and you STILL DON’T GET WHAT’S GOING ON?
Pick up the pace, Alex! Nago even fucking TOLD YOU he had a beef with humans, and that that was why he cursed you, so that you would become his weapon of shit-up-fuckery!
Almost sensing or thinking on what was,
I’m sorry, what?
Bifocals: Did Booky throw another brick?
[DO SOMETHING, BITCH! I’LL BRICK THIS FUCKER TO DEATH, TRY AND STOP ME! -Book Specs]
he sighed, “With the way humans treat the land the ancient spirits had labored to create, why shouldn’t the Gods be angry?” he then chuckled a bit as he finished, “But we do what we do to survive. The Gods should at least respect that.”
You know, it’s funny that you should bring that up, because that’s actually a really big underlying issue in the movie: respect for one’s actions. Everybody has their own reasons for doing what they’re doing, and for the most part, all of it is legitimate. Eboshi is cutting back the forest to get after the resources she needs for her guns and fortifications so that she can make Irontown like a fort against any invading Samurai who would seek to harm her people, many of whom are sick and outcast with nowhere else to go. The forest spirits are fighting back against her because her objective has made her into a very cold-hearted woman who doesn’t care in the slightest that she’s destroying the ancient home of many beings, and killing them and their kin in the process. As for the Daimyo, though their reasons are mainly political, they’re not without substance either, because governmental power in Feudal Japan was basically THE lifestyle to spring for, if you were into that sort of thing, and everybody who had the opportunity wanted a crack at it, which means a lot of bloodshed, which means a lot of expenditures, which means that anybody who can get to Irontown and utilize their firearms, bountiful natural resources, able bodies, and favorable position as a strong, self-reliant outpost located across a lake deep within difficult-to-traverse territory, would have a powerful upper-hand in the political death match.
Then we have Ashitaka, who’s only involved in the first place because he’s looking for a way to get rid of a curse he got hit with, otherwise he’d probably just be home in his village not caring or knowing about any of it at all.
There really isn’t a hero in this story, and there really aren’t any villains, because as much as you wish you could hate any of them, you can’t help but respect why they have to do it, because if it were you in their place, odds are you’d do at least some of the same things; and, honestly, in their own way, they’re not unjust for taking the stances they do, so how can you really cry foul about it?
So because of all this, the heart of Ashitaka’s struggle really ends up being, “how do I respect and help others, while also having to stand against all of them?” Because he does – for every single faction, Ashitaka is opposing them at some point or another in the story. San and the forest spirits, he opposes by refusing to let them kill Eboshi; Eboshi, he opposes because he disagrees with her destruction of the forest for her own needs; and the Daimyo lords, for putting Eboshi, her people, and so many other innocents in their positions to begin with due to their warmongering. At the same time, as per the Oracle’s warning, Ashitaka has to somehow keep his mind unbiased about all of it, or risk losing himself to the curse even faster.
All these layers of conflict are based around the concept of respect, and how anybody can take any one side when everybody makes an equal amount of sense and nonsense at the same time. It’s really a deep-thinking story.
…Which I’m sure was completely lost on Stone-Man85, unfortunately.
Paulo: Disappointing, really. This fic could easily have been a study into a deep internal struggle suffered by all, but instead is merely the fool’s fairy tale we find ourselves reading now, about some hero figure going off to fight the single-faced villains in order to undo something that went wrong because of said villains.
It really is sad.
It was while the conversation went quiet as they entered near the village, he reached into his jean pockets and pulled out the ball of iron the Oracle had given him before he left the Amishi village. “What can you tell me about this? He dropped the ball into the large palm of the cartman.
Fujita looked at the little ball of iron carefully, studying it centimeter by centimeter. He then brought it to his nose and sniffed at it, which to Alex was an awkward scene to play out of. “Well,” he began, “It’s definitely made from iron, fairly pure iron too.”
Oh gee, thanks for the rundown, Captain Obvious.
He looked up at Alex, “Where did you get this?”
“It was found in the remains of the Demon God after it revealed itself as a gigantic boar,” Alex explained, “I’m pretty sure that this iron ball was what turned him into the monster that cursed me.”
*Bifocals nods in confirmation*
“Hmmm,” the man replied looking at the iron ball one more time before returning it to Alex. “I’m afraid that apart from what I’ve told you, there’s nothing else I can say about this ball.”
I mean, nothing that Alex doesn’t already know.
“Do you have any idea where it came from?” Alex deposited the ball inside his pocket, “Any idea at all where it was made?”
Fujita shook his head, “I’m afraid that I don’t.” Alex sighed in hopelessness at yet another dead end on his journey. it was quiet as the they came into town as the cart stopped. But before Alex could hop off, Fujita then spoke up again, “However…”
Alex immediately lit up by that as he raised his eyebrows, “However?”
“Most of the iron around these parts comes from Lady Eboshi’s Iron Town.”
Irontown is one word, pal. That’s even specified on the Studio Ghibli wiki.
“Lady Eboshi’s Iron Town?” Nathan asked as he hopped off the cart, “Who’s Lady Eboshi?”
Refer to my introductory picture of Lady Eboshi from way back in part one of this riff. That’s who she is.
“She’s supposedly the daughter of one this province’s Governors. One way or another she was able to get her hands on a large plot of land that’s rich with iron. It’s said that the grounds are so full of the stuff you just need to reach your hand in and pull out a chunk.
The way I remember it, she’s actually the wife of a lord – can’t remember if Daimyo or just the standard lord – who went away on business and left her with the entire town to herself. But, that could be me misremembering things. All the wiki really says is that she showed up with a gunner company and took over Irontown. Peacefully, mind, since the people there were unable to really defend themselves before she showed up.
“I don’t suppose you know where this ‘Iron Town’ is by any chance, would you? The dark haired youth asked with a hopeful look.
“I’m afraid that I don’t, friend,” Fujita answered, “But if it’s directions you want, you might want to try asking around here in Kurenai,”
I love how he’s just naming all his villages after Naruto characters.
He then hopped off the cart as he made his delivery of furs and cloaks, “This is one of the places Lady Eboshi does trade with. But to tell you the truth, I wouldn’t go there if I were you.”
“And why’s that?” Alex asked, slightly worried on that last part.
“This province is constantly being raided by armies of samurai.” Fujita stated as he went for the second load, “They appear by the hundreds without warning; slaughtering anyone who strays into their sight. It makes traveling around these parts rather dangerous. I’m pretty sure you saw them attack somewhere near by, am I right?”
Wait a minute, they launch large-scale raids like the one from last chapter REGULARLY? Well shit, how have the villagers not tried to set up any defenses? Or, you know, how are there still any villagers left in the area?
“Yeah, I was in one of those villages. Luckily I survived it with a few others,” Alex stated, leaving out the fact that he had chopped the arms and crushed the head of one of the bandits, as well as created a huge crater in the ground,
Bifocals: What, did he channel Monocle or something?
If Monocle fought like a dumbass, sure.
“Who’s samurai are they?”
Fujita shrugged, “In times like these, they could belong to anyone who has enough money to afford them.
Although as a rule, Samurai or Rōnin looking for employers tend to prefer guys that don’t insult them by paying less than they want. So, you know, Daimyo lords – or the Emperor, that works, too.
But rumor has it that they hold their allegiance to Lord Osano, the Daimyo of the lands north of here.
Let’s see, what does Osano mean…
Well, it IS a surname in Japanese, but for some reason I can’t find anything about it. However, in Italian, of all languages, it means “dare.”
Huh. “Lord Dare.” Not the most intimidating name, you know?
But rumors that his daughter, Yashahime, was the one who is in control of the armies; the one who hired them.”
“Yashahime?” Alex asked.
“Aye, the Devil Princess, as they call her,” Fujita stated as he took a break and a swig of some sake,
You do not “swig” sake, you heathen.
Also, Yashahime’s name literally translates to “Demon Princess.” Coincidentally, the insult she is known as by the villagers is, “Devil Princess.”
Seriously, the best insult they could up with was HER OWN NAME?
“They say that she was cursed by some sort of Dark Demon on the day her mother was killed by the Former Wolf God, Hyakushiki.
Uh, no. In Princess Mononoke, Moro is the ONLY wolf god. There was no mention of a predecessor. Nice try, though.
On that note, Hyakushiki means “Type 100.” Sounds odd for a wolf god, doesn’t it? Kinda like Bifocals might have named it.
Ladies and gentlemen, that, right there, is MSN-00100 Hyaku-Shiki, from Gundam Zeta and Gundam ZZ. We have now ripped off a God damn MECH.
Bifocals: Heeey, that guy from Anaheim Electronics stole my blueprints! Dass Arschloch!
I’m sure Project Zeta appreciated the, uh, “donation.”
It was only until she was older, did she hire rogue samurai to hunt and kill the god.”
I highly doubt Samurai against a mech the size of an office building was a very good outcome.
Paulo: As a general rule, fighting titans with swords usually does not tend to go very well for anybody.
Unless you’re Eren Jäger. But, that’s a whole other thing entirely.
Alex grimaced as he gulped nervously, and replied sarcastically, “That just sounds beautiful.”
He crossed his arms and gave Alex a stern look. “You run into those people and you’ll be as good as dead.”
What, you mean the Samurai who probably got stomped on by Hyaku-Shiki? Yeah, I doubt that.
“I’ll take my chances,” Alex replied, “I have to find a way to lift this curse before I do more damage than I already have.”
“I suppose you’re talking about that bandit you tore apart around back in that village, Fujita said and glance at the youth’s shocked expression, “Don’t look so surprised, you did it in front of an entire village, a village I do business in.” With a lopsided grin, he patted him on the shoulder, “Don’t worry, those men were no friends of mine.”
Paulo: I should hope not.
Yeah, they’re kinda jerks.
Alex shook his head slowly, and looked at the busy market square that he’d go through to get supplies with a saddened look,
They didn’t have a single box of pocky.
Paulo: Uh… perhaps that is a good thing? Pocky sounds like some horrid disease.
No no no, it’s this biscuit stick dipped in a sweet glaze. Here, I’ll show you, even:
That one’s the chocolate flavor. I’ve actually seen a strawberry flavor in my local Raley’s. Odd that Japanese food products of that nature would find their way to a Californian market chain (veggies, fruit and meat are another story, of course), but hey, it gives me a small look at the modern Japanese culture, so I’m not complaining.
Paulo: Well, now that I have seen it, I can sympathize with being disappointed that there is not any available.
Bifocals likes to gorge herself on that shit.
Bifocals: They are addicting!
“I almost killed the whole bandit army, and destroyed the village and villagers while I was at it.
Why you gotta go killing the mood, Alex?
And stop being dramatic. You only smashed up the ground a little bit, the village didn’t see any harm by your hand. (*snerk*)
The power was like water pouring out of a geyser, I couldn’t stop or control it, just let it run its course until it died down or until I calmed down.”
Or until you drowned it in even more water.
He looked up at Fujita who was just looking at him quietly, “I sound crazy, don’t I?”
“No,” the blacksmith answered, “Just scared.”
Uh, yeah, we just sai-
*ALARMS BLARE, MOTHERFUCKA*
FUCK, I WAS RIGHT AT THE END OF THIS PART AND I CALLED THE FUCKIN’ DRD DOWN ON MYSELF!
Paulo: Truly, the fates be unkind this day.
Bifocals, do something!
Bifocals: Oh, Gilderoy~!
*Bifocals’ bodyguard mech, Gilderoy, bursts in dramatically through the ceiling and stands motionlessly at attention*
Bifocals: Können Sie uns bitte einen lieben und gehen kümmern unserer Freunde für Mutter?
Gilderoy: Reihenfolge empfangen und bestätigt : Die Suche und zerstören. Aktivieren Kampfprotokolle . Zieldefinition : DRD . Umzug in zu engagieren.
*Bifocals tosses Gilderoy’s new swords to it as it moves to intercept and eliminate the incoming DRD squadron*
…How come Gilderoy is German, but all your other bots that have vocal processors are English?
Bifocals: Because Gilderoy was my first baby, back when I was an engineer in Munich.
So, it’s country-coordinated?
*Bifocals nods happily*
Well, in any event, this is indeed where I’m ending it for now, so thanks for reading, folks, and stay tuned for part two! I figure Gilderoy might expect an apology from me, so I’ve gotta go do that. In the meantime, I’m SC, and on behalf of Sir Paulo Rori and Bifocals –
*Horrible screams of agony erupt in the hall*
– A-and Gilderoy, of course, I’ll see you next time!
…Oh man, here he comes. Oh, he looks pissed…
*Gilderoy walks back into the room*
Heeey, buddy! So, uh, sorry for you having to do that, I didn’t mean to call in the DRD like that.
Bifocals: Dieser nette Mann gerne für Sie verursacht Probleme, Schatz entschuldigen.
*Gilderoy leans in menacingly*
Bifocals: …I do not think he forgives you.