1141: Legendary Adventurers, Futuristic Saviors – Chapter Six, Part FourPosted: August 15, 2015
So, how’s your wife holding up?
Paulo: She is still encumbered by… residual complications… but is otherwise regaining her health steadily.
Good, good. Life ain’t fun when the lady’s out of it.
Specs: So I seriously have a kid with Bifocals in the future?
Specs: And you’re my kid?
Specs: …I don’t see it.
Goldie: It’s okay, it took you ten years to even think about hooking up with her, from how she tells it in my time. You’ve a while to come to terms with it, yet.
So! I see the audience is here, let’s get this show on the road!
Hello, and welcome back to Legendary Adventurers, Futuristic Saviors, by Stone-Man85! I’m your host, SC, and last time, Alex met a fox-squirrel, a creature who exists in other Ghibli canons, but not Princess Mononoke; said creature was named Isaac, and in true stupid anime fashion, was the owner of a pet store tended to by a doofus. The anime tropes flowed like honey as Alex then crossed paths with Jigo, the mercenary-disguised-as-a-priest who was a bit late for a rendezvous with a previously established villainess. After appraising Alex’s gold for him at a nearby miso shack, Jigo then decided to keep Alex around for his own nefarious purposes – and then BANDITS appeared to cap that part of the chapter off.
Paulo managed to get back just in time for whatever confrontation is to occur with these bandits, now don’t you feel special?
Paulo: Define, “special.”
The kids from last time were still hanging around, so I figured now would be a good time to drag Specs back in and introduce him to his future son Goldie. Should make for interesting commentary while slogging through this final part of the chapter – because I recall someone one saying that my OC interactions are what keep them alive through otherwise horrible chapters. Not in those words, mind.
Now, with that in mind let’s get back to those bandits:
Jigo sniggered as he took notice of the boy’s attention, without even having to look himself, “I see you’ve noticed that we’re being followed,” he said, glancing back at the group. “They’ll wait until we’re asleep, slit our throats, and steal our money. I guess that’s the price we pay for waving that gold around.”
Specs: Why wait? For what they know, there’s a priest and an outlander kid who has no idea how the country operates. Sure, Jigo might be a mercenary in private, and I grudgingly have to admit that Alex has the power to fight back as well, but these guys are bandits, what would they know about it at first glance? All they know is that these two chumps are loaded.
Paulo: To further that line of logic, it is rare to find bandits who are smart enough to consider all the odds before charging into battle. However, I feel as though Japan’s banditry would be rather foolish to mug a clergyman, considering what I’ve heard about Feudal Japan’s connection to religion.
I don’t think so. Bandits usually don’t care who their targets are unless it comes to bite them later.
Goldie: Hmm, I think it’s prudent to mention that “bandit” is a pretty broad term. In some circumstances, ninjas might even be known as bandits. They don’t know these two are fighters, and Alex and Jigo don’t know that they’re possibly not professionals. I think the two parties holding off until a time of convenience makes more sense than we’re taking into account.
Or it would if this were any other author. Recall that Stone-Man85 has yet to get anything right about anything he’s written, save for the one instance where he was spot-on with the Samurai description earlier last chapter. A bad author is capable of throwing all of our musings to the wind with their shoddy work, and I suspect that’s exactly what’s about to happen here.
Specs: …Wow, first paragraph and we’ve already got an intense discussion going! That’s gotta be a record!
Goldie: Even in my time, it usually takes like three other topics for you and I to start trading tactics with each other and critiquing the other’s work.
Specs: As it usually goes in this time, yeah.
Shit, then this IS a record!
“What does he mean ‘we’? He’s the guy who was waving it around,” Isaac whispered to Alex.
“Don’t worry about it, Isaac,” Alex reassured the little critter, “What’s past is past, right now we need to at least either fight or flee as fast as we can.”
Paulo: As Sir Specs has already pointed out, you have the strength of a demon, and Jigo is trained as a soldier of fortune. I feel the advantage is yours; so stand and fight.
Yeah, besides, running from them is a lot worse than holding firm. They might have an archer in their ranks, or they’ll have more stamina because they live on the move. They’ll just run you down until you’re exhausted and get you then when you can’t fight back.
Specs: Not to mention that a lot of bandits have a honed sense of when the pin’s about to drop. If they get the feeling that you’re gonna try and run, and they have superior numbers, they send their fastest guys up ahead to block you from the front so their heavy hitters can take you from the back.
Goldie: Worse yet, they could be persistent. You might get out this time, only to find yourself in a bind wherever you stop once you’ve got the idea that you’re safe.
Really, fighting is the only good option here.
“Those are some pretty good ideas, friend,” said Jigo, “But they’re probably too stupid to give up even if we beat them up. What do you say we show them how fast the three of us can run?”
Specs: …Jigo, I’m gonna need your mercenary card. If the bandits are too stupid to surrender, then you kill them. In the Feudal age, if the guards don’t see it, it never happened. And even if they do see it, it’s bandits mugging a priest and a traveler, who do you think they’re gonna step in for? Trust me, you’d be doing a lot of people a favor, and it’s still a much better option than running.
With that, the priest took off on his stilted feet, along with Alex and Isaac who followed just a few feet behind, leaving the three would be robbers behind in a cloud of dust.
…On the one hand, it was only three guys.
Paulo: On the other hand, I have borne witness to groups of three who were highly proficient at their duties, and could do the work of six men by themselves.
Goldie: On the other-other hand, any one of our other previous thoughts as to why running is bad could now risk coming to fruition.
Specs: I swear, sometimes these riffs give me the worst migraines…
Well, I suppose we’ll see what comes of this:
Later that Night
…So, you know… right now.
Paulo: Convenient, is it not?
The sounds of night echoed through the air, while the wind blew through the branches of ancient trees. In what appeared to be the remains of an abandoned river village, the three travelers sat around a crackling fire.
Paulo: Who is their third?
Alex told his story, save for the time traveling part, while Hash listened quietly, hunched over a bubbling iron pot.
Well, let me just bust out the fic this is ripped off from and find out!
~MUCH CHAPTER-SCOURING LATER ~
…Okay, so far I haven’t been able to find anything, but I don’t want to go too far ahead in either fic and possibly spoil what comes next for me. Because, you now, I’m SO EAGER to read more. But anyhow, we’ll assume for now that Hash is ripped off from somewhere.
Though there was something about Jigo’s personality that Alex was not terribly fond of, he felt thankful that the ugly little priest could cook.
Paulo: During the period of time where assassins sought my head, I was paranoid enough to kill a man for making me feel uneasy. Nine times out of ten, he turned out to be an assassin in disguise. One such instance was like what I now read here, where the man offered me a meal for the night. My nerves were all but shot at the mere sight of him, and I beheaded him then and there – come to find out, he had a bottle of potent poison, no doubt to be placed in the cooking pot, and a note with my bounty on it. So I feel well justified in naming Alex a fool, at this moment.
Specs: I couldn’t have explained it better.
“So, the Demon God turned out to be a giant boar,” said Jigo, stirring a wooden ladle through the thick soup he had made from a few handfuls of Alex’s rice and various spices he had been carrying around, “And in the end, you wound up with a curse that an Oracle had changed into a parasitic curse, causing you to become a half-demon whenever the power surges up.”
Holy shit, Alex can NOT go two seconds without spilling the beans to every person he meets! He even has concerns about Jigo’s trustworthiness this time, and he STILL told him!
I don’t care if people were more relaxed around each other back in those days, it DOES NOT MAKE SENSE that something as dangerous as Alex’s curse would be mentioned to anybody who would give ear! If it were me, I’d clam up the second the question came out, “so what’s your beef, kid?” I wouldn’t go yapping off to everybody who’d listen! Especially not if something about them didn’t sit right with me!
Either Alex is stupid beyond measure, or Stone-Man85 has no flippin’ clue how people work.
Goldie: I think we know the answer to that one.
“That pretty much sums it up, Jigo,” Alex replied, tossing another piece of smoked meat in front of Isaac who chewed on it contently,
Because fuck you.
“After I recovered from the fight, the village Oracle told me that the boar had once been a God that had journeyed from lands to the west. I tried following it’s trail but when I got to where it crossed a lake…”
“But you lost it,” Jigo finished, “Well, that’s just the way this world works. When you think you have a good hold on something, in the end you realize you never had squat to begin with, and that’s just life.”
Goldie: Way to be a fatalist, Jigo.
Paulo: Pardon, but what do losing a trail to a potential cure for an ailment and a fatalist philosophy have to do with each other?
Absolutely nothing at all.
He looked up and pointed to the crumbled remains of a house. “Take this village for example. When I visited this place a few years ago, it was thriving with life and was beautiful. Now there’s nothing left of it but a few rotting pieces of wood and crumbled rocks.”
Specs: That’s… nice? Should… should I care?
Oh hey Nathan, what’re you doing here again?
said absolutely nothing, even Isaac remained silent as soon as he stopped nibbling on the piece of smoked meat.
“I have no idea what happened to this place. A fire could’ve broken out, a flood, or perhaps it was even destroyed by a wandering band of brigands. The only thing that’s certain is that everyone who lived here is dead now.”
I feel like Stone-Man85 is trying to hint at San’s origins (she was thrown to Moro as a distraction so that her parents could run away when their village was attacked), but he might not be, so let’s just see where this goes.
Jigo reached into his rectangular basket and produced a small bundle of paper with a string tied around it. After he undid the string, he poured some of the powdery contents into the iron pot.
AY YO JIGO, YOU COOKING UP THAT METH DAWG?
*Specs and Goldie both fall to the floor in hysterics*
“They say that angry spirits are all around us these days, killed by plague, war, hunger and nobody cares. And in the chaos, powerful Demons are born of different origins, as are powerful half-demons such as yourself,” he replied as he looked to Alex, who seemed to fidget with his Curse Wrist Chian, “So you say you’re cursed, Boy? Well so what, so’s the whole damn world.”
Paulo: Your negativity is appalling, sir.
I know, lighten up already, Jigo.
Dipping his ladle into the bubbling rice,
Uh, why would the rice be bubbling?
You give Stone-Man85 far too much credit. We didn’t even know that existed until a few days ago ourselves.
Specs: Good point.
the priest scooped up a small serving and tasted it. His mouth widened with a large grin of satisfaction, “Ahhh, that’s good. I think it’s about ready now.”
Alex glanced at Isaac who just glanced back, but then went back to nibbling on the piece of meat. “You know,” he said, “For a holy man, you have a pretty pessimistic outlook on life.”
“Yeah, I get that a lot,” the stumpy man retorted and chuckled, “But why shouldn’t I? Just look at the world around us. Pain, hatred, chaos and suffering rule everything. People talk about loosing innocence, I say humans were never innocent to begin with,”
Specs: Not even da babbies?
Not even da babbies.
Goldie: Poor babbies.
He shot Alex a quick grin, “Take you for example.”
“Yeah, you. If it hadn’t have been for your curse, that one samurai would probably still be alive, and you would have been one of his many kills.”
What does this have to do with losing innocence?
Specs: I think he’s trying to imply that it’s because Alex killed a guy, but yeah, that one lost me, too.
Paulo: It distresses me greatly when one is so poorly versed in proper speech that they can not even form a coherent thought without befuddling those they speak to. It is why I choose to speak as plainly as I can, though it is well within my power to be quite eloquent.
I’m sure. Me, I prefer the blunt route. Especially if I tried being nice and got blown off.
“I know, that,” Alex replied as he unconsciously gripped the wrist chain, silently cursing it,
Goldie: *snerk* It’s already cursed, you dumbass.
“And every time I think about what I did to him and the rest of those men, I feel like I’ve become one of the things I hate.”
If it’s any consolation, you’re already the thing I hate.
Paulo: So when you said you prefer bluntness… you meant that in place of sympathy, did you not?
You think I’m going to SYMPATHIZE with Alex?!
“Ahh, they were just a couple of samurai thugs. You win some and you lose some.”
“That still doesn’t make it right,” Alex defended as he sighed heavily, “I know in this country killing is like a daily routine for some people, but where I come from, it’s not something that my people approve of.”
Uh, yeah, and they certainly wouldn’t approve of a bunch of bandits killing innocent people, and would likely kill said bandits in the same situation. So, what exactly are you still bitching for?
I mean, we’ve gone past killer’s regret, now. When he first killed a dude, I understood Alex being not in a good way about it. We’re now well beyond that moment, and any normal human being, if they didn’t decide to let themselves self-destruct instead, would have started pulling themselves out of this funk.
Author, can we PLEASE move on from this? I am so sick of Alex’s moping, my God.
Jigo held out his hand towards Alex, “Here, hand me your bowl.” When the youth handed him the red bowl the Amishi had given him, Jigo proceeded to fill it with the hot rice.
Why’d the Emishi give him a bowl?
And in a similar vein to Alex moping, can you PLEASE find a different way to describe him than, “the youth?” It’s starting to become like “exclaimed” was in my very first riff, and I don’t need to go back to that, okay?
“The point I’m trying to make, Alex, is that bad things happen in life and people die. Everyone dies, from brothel girl to Emperor.”
Specs: People die when they’re killed!
When he finished filling Alex’s bowl, he handed it back to him and began to fill his own. “There’s a rumor going around that the Emperor’s even promising an entire hill of gold to whoever can find a way to make him live forever.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is why everybody is after Shishigami’s head – Shishigami has the power to create new life, hal wounds and cure sicknesses, amongst others, and the Emperor heard rumors that his head would be enough to instill immortality.
Even Asano’s offering more than that if they can find a way to lift the curse his daughter has.”
Also legitimate reasoning for this canon. Though I’m quite doubtful that some noble is going to have more money on offer than the Emperor.
“An entire hill, huh?” Alex asked suppressing a small chuckle and gulped his first mouth full of Jigo’s soup. For something that had been cooked by a man who probably hasn’t bathed for a whole year, it was actually pretty good. “That’ll buy a lot of bags of rice.”
Screw rice, pal. An entire hill of gold could be anywhere from as tall as your kneecaps to the size of your entire body, possibly more. You don’t just stock up on rice with that kind of cash, alright?
Jigo laughed at the remark and slurped his first serving down in a matter of seconds, “You could probably buy every rice paddy in Japan with all that gold,” he said giving himself another helping.
Paulo: Highly unlikely.
Specs: Not even close.
Goldie: Good that you have ambitions, but no.
“You do a lot of traveling around here, right?” Alex set his bowl in his lap and pulled out the iron ball, “Tell me, have you ever seen anything like this before?”
When the priest’s eyes came to rest on the jagged, black sphere they narrowed causing his reddish nose to wrinkle. He reached out with his chopsticks and plucked the iron ball from Alex’s hand like a piece of su-shi.
Really?! You don’t know that sushi is a single word?!
“Never have,” he said after examining it for a minute, “Why do you ask?”
Jigo knows full well how guns work and what bullet balls are. But, for the sake of his cover, admitting that might not be a good idea. Doesn’t mean I’m not gonna call him out on it, mind.
“After the Demon God changed back into a boar, the villagers said they found that iron ball within his remains. They believe that’s what caused him to become the Demon God in the first place.” Alex scratched the back of his head as he explained, “Though I wasn’t so willing to at first, I’m starting to believe it as well. I’m starting to believe a whole lot of things,” he finished as he looked at Isaac, who remained quiet.
Not me. Every other paragraph, I’m calling someone out on bullshit.
Specs: My suspension of disbelief is draining quickly.
Goldie: I never had a suspension of disbelief.
Paulo: I have simply stopped trying at this point.
The priest returned the iron ball to Alex’s hand, and continued to eat in silence, there was a slight frown on his roundish face; at least it looked like a frown.
If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it might be a duck. But, this is Stone-Man85’s fic. For what we know, he could have somehow never heard of ducks before and not bothered to do any research on them, so instead made up a bunch of utter crap about what he thinks they are.
‘Okay, this guy’s obviously not talking,’ Alex thought to himself, ‘Oh well, might as well shoot for the rebound.
As a kid who never really did well in basketball, let me be the first to tell you that that’s probably a bad idea.
Paulo: How so?
One time I threw a rebound shot, and the ball rebounded back into my face.
Paulo: And yet your features bear none of the concave flatness a ball might leave on impact.
It was a number of years ago, my face has had time to inflate back out where it’s supposed to be.
“You ever heard of a place called Iron Town?”
“I may have heard its name mentioned here and there,” Jigo answered not looking at the young outlander, “Why so interested?”
Alex shook his head, “There’s a good chance that this iron ball came from there. And if I’m going to find a way to lift my curse, the first place I should start looking is at the source of its cause.”
Specs: Generally speaking, yeah.
As a fan of cop dramas and murder mysteries, I can indeed confirm this. Not that I need to.
The two continued to eat in silence, until Jigo finally spoke again. “You know,” he said as his smile returned to his face, “If it’s a way to lift the curse your looking for, you might want to try asking Shisha-Gami to lift it for you.”
Naw, really? Ask the forest deity of life and healing to remove a curse? That’ll never work.
Paulo: Absurdity incarnate.
Alex’s eyes widened, as Isaac’s ears perked up, almost alerted to that name, “Did you just say Shisha-Gami?” He recognized the name from the legend Aunt Jun had told him the night before he was thrown into this century, “As in Shisha-Gami, the spirit of forests?
Oh crap, we’re not find rehash this bullshit again, are we?
“More specifically, the King of the Forest Spirits,” Jigo corrected but nodded, “Legend has it that Shisha-Gami will perform miracles to those he deems worthy. You never know, he may take pity on you and lift the curse from your head.”
Goldie: For once, I hope Alex is deemed worthy, so he’ll lose his bullshit powers.
“Miracles,” Alex echoed giving Isaac another chunk of meat, “Seeing as how strong the curse actually is or getting, it’s going to take a miracle to help me get rid of it,” He then looked up at Jigo with a raised eyebrow, “There’s a catch to this, isn’t there?”
Specs: Wh-? Pfft, you weren’t seriously hoping you’d be getting this info for free, did you, pal? Of course there’s a hitch.
“A very big catch,” the priest answered. “He can only be found in the forests far to the West of here. It’s said to be guarded by ancient Gods which makes it forbidden to all humans; you know, giant beasts that have been that way since the Dawn of Time itself.
Random nonsensical capitaliZations to emphasizE Drama and Significant Plot eleMents.
No one who’s ever entered that place has made it out alive. But if it’s answers you’re looking for, you should try looking there.”
That’s like Fatal Frame logic: nobody’s made it out alive and I should probably get the hell out while I still have the chance of not becoming another statistic, BUT APPARENTLY I NEED ANSWERS MORE THAN THE PRESERVATION OF MY OWN LIFE, MAN.
Difference is, on this case, answers and preservation of life are the same thing.
Alex was silent after hearing all that. If Jigo was speaking the truth, and there really was a being who had the power to lift the curse, then maybe, just maybe Shisha-Gami also had the power to return him to his own time. Alex brought the red bowl to his mouth and finished the last of his dinner. This journey of his was becoming stranger by the minute, and it was starting to bother him.
It’s BEEN bugging me.
And it’ll probably continue to do so well into:
The Next Morning
But that’s another matter entirely.
When morning finally came, Alex and Isaac bid their farewells to Jigo, and started off towards the west once again.
As Jigo watched the youth and the small fox-squirrel shrink into the distance, he smirked,
Hey Jigo, those mercenary skills of yours any good against gongs?
“That boy’s got quite the journey ahead of him. And a lot of trouble following in everywhere he’s going.” He really thought the boy would have been useful in the future. But the moment Alex had shown him that iron ball, the priest knew that he was probably going to be more trouble than he was worth.
“No point in taking any chances,” Jigo said to himself as he proceeded to pack his belongings into the large basket. When he placed the last of his things inside the basket he slung it over his shoulders. He had worked too hard to just let a little outlander like Alex destroy everything. But now, there was no use in worrying about it anymore.
Goldie: Woooooooo scary.
As he started to walk, he asked himself, “Hmmm, should I have warned him about Moro and her Wolf Princess?” he scratched the back of his head on thought, but then shrugged as he continued, “Nah, he’ll be alright. He’s got a demon’s power in him. He’ll either make it to the town, or he’ll be wolf excrement.”
Specs: That’s… that’s nice, Jigo. Just feed some poor traveler looking for a cure for his ailment to an angry wolf goddess and her 66% wolf, 33% human pack. Fuck you, Jigo. I mean, yeah, it’s Alex, but just the morals of it…
Next Chapter: The Lady in White; Tales of the Wolf Princess
Oh man, the closer we get to San’s debut in this fic, the closer I get to depress-
Huh? What’s this? An author’s note from Stone-Man85? That’s unusual for him.
I was thinking about it really hard on this, so I did it. I gave the OCs voice actors of their own.
Here are those that I’ve already gotten figured out so far.
Alex Killian – Will Friedle
*insert spit-take here*
WILL ALAN FRIEDLE?!
As in the same Will Friedle who was the voice of Ron Stoppable in Kim Possible, of Deadpool in Ultimate Spiderman, of Bumblebee in Transformers Prime, of Batman in Batman Beyond, of Blue Beetle in Batman: the Brave and the Bold, and of Lion-O in the 2011 ThunderCats reboot?! Who also played a lead role in the old Disney sitcom Boy Meets World?!
In what universe would he ever stoop to the level of voice-acting your god-awful OC?!
Oh, don’t think I don’t know that he has delusions of this fic becoming a real thing, he has listed voice actors on the stupid wiki for this as well. Although I assume that this must have been long before the Avengers came out, because he’s since changed Alex’s supposed actor to – wait for it – Chris Evans, who we ask know better as CAPTAIN AMERICA.
*Specs falls victim to the giggles*
Oh my God, this is fucking hysterical!
Kari Killian – Dakota Fanning
That would be Hannah Dakota Fanning, one of the lead actresses in 2005’s War of the Worlds. She’s also responsible for a much more recent and likely better known role as Jane from the Twilight movies – ONE OF THE VOLTURI, TO BE PRECISE.
You know, the Volturi? The VILLAINS of the Twilight series?
*Paulo slowly lays his head in his hands*
Mr./Dr. Killian – Nathon Fillon
It just keeps getting worse!
That name could only be Nathan Fillion, whose perhaps best known roles are as Richard Castle, eccentric murder mystery fiction author and future private investigator from the show of the same name, and – this one’s the real biggie – Captain Malcolm Reynolds, star protagonist of Firefly and its sequel, Serenity. Guy’s one of the biggest names in nerd culture. What in the actual hell makes you think that he’d even WANT to voice-act for your shitty fic?!
Anju – Lindsay Lohan
Specs and Goldie: LINDSAY LOHAN?!
Uh, this fic was written in ’09, right? Wasn’t that about the start of Lindsay Lohan’s wild adventure with drugs and jail time? Are you SURE you want her voicing anybody in your fic, buddy? Because I’m not sure that you do!
[Some clarification: she probably started having her issues in 2009, perhaps earlier, but it became big news in 2010. -Book Specs]
Takemaru – Jonathan Holmes
That one’s pretty obscure. Jonathan Holmes starred in Hulk Vs. in 2009, for your information. But you’ll probably know him better as THE ACTUAL ENGLISH VOICE ACTOR OF TAKEMARU’S CHARACTER IN INUYASHA, which, if that ain’t flat copyright infringement, boooooooooy…!
Isaac/Isako – Martin Short
MARTIN GODDAMN SHORT?!
The two roles of Martin Short that I’m most familiar with are Jack Frost in The Santa Clause 3, and the nutty robot with faulty memory, B.E.N., in Disney’s Treasure Planet. The guy sounds about as crazy as the two characters in question, and I recall both of them being intensely annoying to me, and Stone-Man85 SERIOUSLY WANTED ISAAC TO HAVE THAT SAME ISSUE?!
Kill me. Someone fucking kill me.
Well, uh, I guess thanks for reading, folks, and stay tuned for next time (if your sanity can handle it)! I… I’m fuckin’ SCARED of what’s gonna happen next, after that. In the meantime, I’m SC, and on behalf of Specs, Goldie and Sir Paulo Rori, I’ll see you next time!
…Oh God my chest hurts from laughing so hard.
Goldie: I can see sound, I’m pretty sure I laughed my equilibrium off-kilter.
Specs: Just… just give me a second, I’ll be fine…
Paulo: Some days, it truly is a struggle to even force myself out of bed.