1234: The Legend of Dragoon: The Eighth Spirit – Chapter Thirty

Title: The Legend of Dragoon: The Eighth Spirit
Author: PhoenixofShadows
Media: Video Game
Topic: Legend of Dragoon
Genre: Fantasy/Adventure
URL: The Legend of Dragoon: The Eighth Spirit
Critiqued by TacoMagic and Swenia

The writing is getting strangely erratic so far as length is concerned.  It seems that every other chapter is far, far longer than the one sandwiched between.  This is unfortunately one of the longer ones.

“It’s probably due to the author basing the chapters on which area of the game the group has traveled to rather than a more reasonable plot-based determination.”

Oh sure, use logic.

“Last time they played with gravity for a while, the blob fought another Virage and won without any real effort on their part, and then the fic spiraled further down into the realm of sexism.  Pretty bare bones, but then, most of this fic has felt bereft of content.”

Even so, I think you’ll be excited for today’s installment because we’ll finally be going to:

Chapter XXX: The Home of Gigantos

“Hellooooo, manmeat parade!”

Sadly, there’s only one left.

“I’ll make him do laps.”

Upon entering the ancient city once ruled by the Giganto, the group noticed someone running up the steps ahead of them.

Stop him!  He’s going up to the second floor of the void!

As they moved to pursue, hidden traps nearby began launching arrows at them, causing them to scatter.

“So wait, they not only build their base in an extremely secured area behind a labyrinth of crazy gravity, but they also put in arrow traps?  Overkill much?”

Hard one to call.  I know people who really are that paranoid.

Hiding in a nearby opening, Stryfe noticed a strange switch in the corner.

“The hell is Stanky hiding for?  What, did the traps come to life and start chasing them down?”

Please don’t give Bifocals new ideas.

When he pulled it back, everyone heard a loud clang, as if something was deactivated nearby.

“From PCC comes the new Plot Avoidance Lever™!  Write your character into a figurative or literal corner?  The PCC can SQDF in one of these little beauties to completely neuter any situation that threatens to add tension to your fic!  Order now and we’ll also throw in Extreme Fated Existence™ free of charge to make sure your special character isn’t just your run-of-the-mill Chosen One of the God(s), but is actually chosen by the very essence of the Infinityverse!”

I see you’re still on the PCC’s payroll.

“Can’t argue with the benefits.  A share in the companies plot coupons based on seniority and free access to the all hours pie buffet.  And full dental, which you just don’t see anymore.”

Heading out to look around, the group noticed that the traps had stopped firing each time they took a step.

Holy shit, the traps were walking around!  Bifocals has some ‘splanin’ to do.

Resuming their pursuit of the mysterious figure, they arrived at what appeared to be an ancient gate of sorts.

“I guess the scene was getting too specific so the author decided to add a conditional in there to vague it up a bit more.”

Hmmm, this misty whiteness isn’t featureless enough.  Let’s say that it’s sorta like misty whiteness!

Feeling as if they were being led into a trap, the group drew their weapons and slowly proceeded forward.

*SLAM*

Carbon Copy Syndrome: 87

I’d say that yes, you are certainly being led into a trap.  Seeing as you already got lead into a trap and all.

As they were about to cross the gate, Stryfe saw some thieves come out of the shadows, aiming arrows at them.

“The hell did those shadows come from?”

I think one of the clouds must have cast it or something.  Maybe roaming, sentient shadows are a thing here?  And they’re filled to the brim with random thieves?

“What, like the hedgehog?”

Don’t give the author ideas, please.

Stryfe: EVERYONE, MOVE!

Since nobody knows what’s going on, that’s singularly unhelpful.  You’re as likely to panic them into running further into danger, moron.

“Everyone is combat ready, all you need to do is point out the threat and let the team react based on their training.  For fuck’s sake, Stanky, you absolutely suck at leadership and you’re going to get people killed.”

Well, if Stanky is playing group leader, then technically he already did when Lavitz got stabbed.

Evading the shots, the group was pushed back to the entrance of the gate when the thieves revealed themselves, their annoying laughter causing Stryfe to grind his teeth in disgust of their pathetic tactics.

*SLAM*

Carbon Copy Syndrome: 88

Woof!  *Rubs throat*  Dammit all, author!

Pathetic tactics, eh?  Stanky, I’ve got the kettle on line-two for you.

Gehrich Gang A: I don’t know what you all want, but how the hell did you managed to get all the way here!?

Gehrich Gang B: We should play with them a little!

Gehrich Gang C: Yo men! Don’t kill’em! That’s what our boss said!

Gehrich Gang D: But…why don’t we stomp them till they hate being alive!

I’d complain about this, but it’s all verbatim from the game, even if it is clunky and mustache-twirly.

Dart: Run!

As the group tried to retreat, two members of the Gehrich Gang blocked their path.

Damn you, quantum linear superposition!  They’d have gotten away if not for your convenient foe teleportation!

Scattering to avoid being shot by the thieves, the group managed to hold out until the archers ran out of arrows.

*SLAM*

Carbon Copy Syndrome: 89

“Speaking of pathetic tactics. You idiots have both an archer and FUCKING MAGIC!”

This strikes me as just an extension of Stanky’s usual tactic of waiting around for the enemy to defeat themselves.

“Dammit, you’re right!”

With the help of Haschel, Stryfe jumped onto the edges and slew the thieves before they had a chance to react, his sword becoming more and more bloodier with each swing and each kill.

‘More bloodier’?  Really?  Be honest, author, you gave up trying to write anything worth reading about halfway through chapter one, didn’t you?

Jumping back down and rejoining the group, Stryfe pointed his sword at the two gang members blocking the exit, it’s blade dripping blood of their fallen comrades slain by his hand.

*Tilts head* “Wait, when did the gate get a sword?  And when did it kill!?”

Just then, the two members pointed their attention to another member behind them.

Author!  Stop writing as if senses are physical things!  You can’t point your attention at things.  You DIRECT your attention!

Gehrich Gang E: It’s been awhile since I’ve got a challenge! I’ll make you pay for taking my comrade’s lives!

Stryfe: We’ll see about that!

Dart: Wait, Stryfe! Let us meet with your boss! We have to talk!

“Stanky has a boss?”

Well, he’s the author avatar, so probably the author’s mother.

“She’s in the fic?”

Well, I guess.  Stanky’s mother kinda died.

“Aaaaaawkward.”

Stryfe: Dart, are you serious!?

Yeah, dude, he can’t take you to his mom, since she died the day… yours…

“Aaaaaaaaaaaaawkward.”

Gehrich Gang E: There will be no “talking”! You’ve already defiled our territory!

“I think he’s talking about Stanky.”

Death would be a release, he should make them leave and take Stanky with.

As the gang member assumed a fighting stance, Stryfe saw Haschel’s eyes widen as the stance was one that he knew well.

*GONG*

Stop making every. fucking. thing about your character.  Especially if it has absolutely nothing to do with him!

So at this point we get a canon conversation where Haschel recognized the rogue school stance and wants to know where the bandit learned it.  The bandit refuses to say and instead we get a battle.

“Another fight scene.  Great.”

As the Gang Members attacked, the group held off two of the three gangsters while Haschel fought with their leader.

*SLAM*

Carbon Copy Syndrome: 90

At least the author is letting Haschel have this fight and not giving it to Stanky.

“I think you may be calling that one too early.”

Meh, gang member E is pretty unimportant, so I’m sure the author is fine giving such a superficial victory to Haschel as long as Stanky gets the boss kill.

Stryfe had to adopt a nearly completely defensive strategy as the gangster he was up against had only a knife that had a blade that was as long as his feet.

“Quick rule for writing.  If you’re going to have your insertion be snide about enemy tactics, you need to make sure that he actually has better tactics, not insanely worse.”

I shouldn’t need to tell anyone why a dude wielding a twelve-inch knife putting Stanky on the defensive is probably the stupidest thing that’s happened in the fic so far.

Waiting for the right opportunity to strike, he got his opportunity thanks to Meru hitting the thief hard on the head with her hammer, followed by a few cuts from Dart and Rose’s swords and another smack from Meru’s hammer that sent the thief into a nearby wall.

It’s one mook thief!  Why the fuck does he require so much overkill!?

“Plot.”

Ahh, yeah, forgot about plot-based enemy difficulty.

Stryfe charged head on at the gangster before he had time to react, thrusting his zwiehander clean through the thief’s flesh and bone only to be stopped by the rock wall his opponent was stuck on.

Why the fuck are we still seeing the gruesome, over-the-top killing of this random, unimportant mook!?  What, did he take the author’s lunch money or something?  Sweet crap, My Immortal had better pacing than this thing!

“Still spelled wrong, by the way.”

As Stryfe pulled out his zwiehander’s blade from the stab wound, the thief slowly fell to the ground, lifeless.

WE FUCKING GET IT!  Stanky brutally slaughtered a dude like he always does.  Yadda, yadda, same old story.  CAN WE MOVE ON!?

Swinging his weapon to fling the blood off of it’s blade, Stryfe and the group finished just as Haschel defeated the thug leader in a battle of martial arts.

“Two things:  First, you’re a moron if that’s how you think you clean a blade.  Second, Taco, I told you it was too early to celebrate.”

Fuck me, the author still managed to make that battle about Stanky and not about Haschel.

*SLAM*

Egregious Author-Insertion Stu: 55

“Serves you right for having hope.”

At this point we launch again into a fully canon dialogue regurgitation where Haschel confronts the bandit.  Basically it boils down to that Gehrich, the leader of the gang, was kicked out of the Hascel’s village 20-years ago.  As it turns out, Gehrich is Haschel’s former student.  Then we get this:

Gehrich Gang E: Y-Yeah! But! You cannot defeat my boss! My boss is ten times as strong as me!

Stryfe scouffed at the gangsters overconfidence in his leader.

Stryfe: We’ll see about that.

“Shut your stupid noise hole you self-absorbed rectal hair!”

Haschel: It’s MY fists that will decide if I can defeat him or not!

Yeah, so back the fuck off, Stanky, and let the characters handle their own plot points!

The gang member, intimidated by Haschel’s prowess, fled out of fear. Noticing that the gate nearby was closed, Haschel approached it and calmed his mind. Stryfe then saw him unleash a single blow on a specific point of the gate, causing it to crack and collapse.  Stryfe was amazed that the old man still had that kind of prowess still left in him.

Author!  Stop. It!  Things can happen without it being directly viewed or commented on by Stanky!

*SLAM*

Egregious Author-Insertion Stu: 56

Stop making everything about your boring-ass avatar.

Stryfe: Wow…

Haschel: Shall we?

Stryfe, still in shock, looked at Dart, then back to Haschel, only nodding in response.

“Much pacing, very interest.”

As they proceeded to the next area, the group came across the entry into a giant structure that looked like where the bulk of the gang was hiding.

“Is it me, or is this fic getting even more vague as we get closer to the end.”

Yeah, I noticed that too.  I think the author’s interest is starting to wane.  Which, fair enough, this thing is powerfully boring to read, so it couldn’t have been very interesting to write.

Not wanting to take any chances of being ambushed again, the group decided to come up with a plan just in case if there were any more thieves lying in wait for them.

What do you mean, ‘just in case?’  You were ambushed by five bandits of an organization that has dominated an entire coastal village.  If you think you’re done after five, you’re stupider than I gave you credit for.

Albert: There may be more bandits hiding here.

Stryfe: Let’s get the jump on them this time.

Dart: How about we start looking in there?

“It’s like Stanky doesn’t exist.”

If only.

Dart pointed to the entrance to an abandoned mine shaft nearby.

“The hell did that come from?  And what is it doing inside the Giganto city?”

Mines are more of an aesthetic thing in their culture, being a more strength-based society and all.  So, they’re pretty much everywhere.

*Squints* “I have no idea if you’re making that up.”

It looked like a place where someone could carry out an ambush.

Okay, so, don’t go into the mine.  There, that problem is sorted, do we want to focus on something that’s actually pertinent?

When Rose and Albert walked in, Shana was about to follow when she noticed Haschel leaning and breathing heavily, which also caught Stryfe’s attention along with Dart and Meru’s.

Whoa now, back up there.  Albert was already in the room.  He had a speaking line!  How did he just speak a line, then walk into the room a few sentences later!?

“I think the fic is destabilizing.  Events are starting to happen in random, isolated pockets of causality!  With all the void in there, it was only a matter of time before it started to lose cohesion and tear itself apart.”

Shana: What’s wrong, Haschel?

Haschel: I think I used too much strength. My back hurts.

Dart: Can you keep going?

Haschel: Don’t worry about me. I’ll be alright. I just need to rest.

Possibly find an unrealistically comfortable chair to kick back in for a few hours.

“NO!  Mine!”

Meru: Man, you should’ve thought about your age!

“That’s kind of mean.  He’s a martial arts master; he’s probably in better shape than you are, dear.”

At this point we get another instance of Dart’s lines going to Stanky:

Stryfe: We can’t just leave him here, unguarded.

Meru: You go ahead, Stryfe. I’ll take care of him.

Stryfe: Meru…

Haschel: I can wait here by myself…

Meru: No way! We don’t know when they will come back!

Dart: I guess that settles that, then.

Stryfe: Alright. Meru…be careful, okay?

Meru: Don’t worry, Stryfe.

“So, basically the lines handed to Stanky as a means of furthering the crotch melding, then?”

Pretty much.  When you can’t have real character development, might as well steal dialogue and call it close enough.

Although hesitant to leave Meru’s side, Stryfe knew that Meru could handle herself in battle just fine.

Which are two thoughts in opposition.  Either you trust her to take care of herself, or you feel the need to insult her by acting as her protector.  You can’t have that one both ways, asshole.

“Why the hurry, anyway?”

What?

“They’ve spent several days getting here, and even took a night to lounge about in the King’s palace.  Why not just find a relatively safe spot and bunker down for a few?”

I suppose because the gang knows they’re here.

“Seems that only increases the danger of splitting the party.”

Look, it’s canon.  Even if it doesn’t make sense, it’s canon.

Heading into the shaft with Dart and Shana, all Stryfe and the others found were groups of Rock Fireflies.

Whose healing magic doesn’t work on Haschel’s back.  Because game mechanics.

Just then, Stryfe heard a scream from outside the shaft, he felt his heart race as he realized it was Meru who made the scream.

Racing back outside, he found Meru unconscious and Haschel missing.

Stryfe: Meru! You okay!?

Meru: Uhh…S-Stryfe? Oww…Something bumped my neck and then I…

“Did that dirty old man just Vulcan neck pinch her?”

Yeah.  The old coot kinda feels bad about his failed apprentice going all evil and wants to deal with him without putting the others in danger.  Not the right way to handle things, certainly, but it’s at least an understandable turn of events.

Meru jerked up, but then fell back down, with Stryfe still holding her in his arms.

Meru: Ugh.

Stryfe: Easy!

Meru: Wh-Where’s Haschel?

Stryfe: I don’t know. Wait, could he have!?

“Give his brain twenty or thirty more minutes and it’ll catch up to the painfully obvious.”

I think that’s giving Stanky’s brain a lot more credit than it deserves.

Dart: Did he go in there by himself!?

Stryfe: That son of a…!

Slowly their synapses connect on the obvious conclusion!

Racing into the structure, the group eventually found themselves in a throne room-like area with six torches ablaze.

“So, we have a room, presumably with a throne in it, inside some kind of structure, and there are six lit torches.  SETTING!”

Haschel was standing in front of the throne, with Mappi standing by the side of Haschel’s former pupil, the leader of the Gehrich Gang, Gehrich, who was sitting on the throne room.

*Cranes her neck back to look up*  “What the heck is he doing way up there?”

No idea.  Honestly, I’d be on the throne; seems more comfortable.

Drawing his zwiehander, Stryfe raced to Haschel’s side with Meru, Dart, Shana, Albert and Rose close behind him.

*SLAM*

Carbon Copy Syndrome: 91

“Still spelled wrong.”

As Mappi jumped at Haschel with his knifes ready to strike, Stryfe jumped in and deflected the attack, knocking Mappi back.

Pretty sure Dart was supposed to do that.

*SLAM*

Egregious Author-Insertion Stu: 57

Stryfe: Did we keep you waiting!?

“Uh, dude, he didn’t want you to butt in here.  So, no, he wasn’t waiting for  you and I’m sure your interference isn’t appreciated.”

Meru: It’s not fair leaving me like that!

Stryfe: Haschel…Do me a favor, and NEVER do that to Meru again!

Because Stanky is Meru’s keeper and Haschel would much rather do Stanky a favor than respect Meru’s wish not to be rendered unconscious.  Get over yourself, dickbag.

Haschel: Everyone…You…

So Stanky doesn’t count as part of ‘everyone’?

“I certainly wouldn’t want him included as part of an everyone that I’m in.”

Gerich: Master! If what you said was true, then why don’t you remind me of your so-called aching heart!

“One might say he’s the owner of an aching heart.”

It’s a lonely heart.

“He has a lonely, aching heart!?  That’s so sad!”

Oh for crap’s sake.

As Gerich and Mappi charged at the group, Stryfe and Meru aided Dart in fighting off Mappi while the rest of the group led by Haschel battled Gerhich.

Wow, there are like two or three character blobs all morphing around each other in this fight.

*SLAM*

Carbon Copy Syndrome: 92

Despite Mappi’s sneaky tactics, including his inhuman agility, Stryfe, Dart and Meru realized that Mappi would lose his balance if he tripped on anything.

“So much blob!”

*SLAM*

Carbon Copy Syndrome: 93

So wait, their big conclusion is that he’ll balance if tripped?  What next, if you stick your sword in him, he becomes stabbed?

“Is that what the kids are calling it these days?”

Ghostie is such a bad influence on you.

When Mappi began another charge, Meru unleashed a powerful strike into the ground, causing the ancient floor to crack and causing Mappi to trip.

Ancient ruins are probably not the best place to be unleashing earthquakes in order to trip a dude.

Stryfe, Dart and Meru charged at Mappi, with Meru using her hammer to unleash a powerful strike at Mappi’s head, breaking his neck, followed by a powerful flurry of strikes from Stryfe’s zwiehander before being finished off by a slash from Dart’s broadsword.

What the fuck, dude?  Why does every battle need to end in a needlessly brutal death?  It isn’t making your insertion look badass; it’s making him look violent and bloodthirsty.  You know, those traits that fit really well with villains.  And beyond that, STOP CHARACTER BLOBBING!

*SLAM*

Carbon Copy Syndrome: 94

“And I was worried we weren’t going to hit 100 on that counter.”

We’re about one more fight sequence away at this point.

As Mappi fell to the floor and bled to death from his wounds, Stryfe saw Haschel finish off his former pupil with a powerful strike to his heart from his fist, causing Gehrich to be flung at his throne.

WOOOF!  *Rubs throat* So like, not even an antihistamine or something?

“Antihistamine only seems to make it angry.”

Before anyone could catch their breath, the room began to shake as if an earthquake was occurring.

“Oh, well there you go.  No earthquake attacks in ruins.”

Words to live by.

Gehrich then saw a large piece of debris falling towards the group as he slowly raised his head after his defeat.

Might as well add gravity to the things the author doesn’t understand.

“Especially ironic, given it’s the superpower of his insertion.”

I think it only counts as ironic if we expected him to get it correct.

“Touché.”

Gehrich: Master! Please run!

“There is a huge piece of debris falling slowly toward you!”

As the debris was about to land on them, Stryfe embraced Meru and held her close.

Damn thing is sure taking its sweet time.

“Squash them! Squash them! Squash them!”

Just as he was about to face the end, he heard a loud sound.

Would that sound be be the hope of the audience shattering into a million pieces and then being sucked into the black void of depression brought on by horrible prose?

Opening his eyes, he saw someone that he and the rest of the group never thought that they would see again.

“Plos!?”

Dude, if Plos suddenly came to the rescue, this fic would earn the biggest redemption cookie ever!

Stryfe: What!?

Dart: Kongol!?

Kongol, his feet nearly pressed into the ground, threw the debris clear from the group and into the dark abyss below the throne.

‘Nearly pressed into the ground’?

“I think Kongol is hovering.”

He’s not hovering, the planet is just scared of offending Kongol by getting too close.

Meru: Umm…Stryfe?

Stryfe: Eh…huh?

Meru: You…can let go now.

In fact, never touch her again.

“I think she’s feeling more than a little queasy at this point.”

Yeah, he strikes me as being a kind of human ipecac.

Stryfe: Oh! Umm…S-Sorry.

Meru: *giggles*

Strange fact, grinning can suppress the gag reflex.

“Does giggling work?”

I have to hope so.

As Stryfe blushed and rubbed the back of his head, chuckling nervously with Meru, he then turned to his former enemy, wondering why Kongol saved them. But before he could ask any questions, he noticed Haschel holding his former student in his arms, who was on the doorstep of death.

Which is a shame, Death has a much nicer porch if he lets you in.

“He’s pretty stingy though, only lets people he likes onto the porch.  I got to see Death’s kitchen once.  Very nice, even had a beer tap on the breakfast nook.”

Man, Death gets the best stuff.  And talk about job security.

Haschel: Gehrich…Now I seem to be helping you remember the ache in your heart with my fists.

“‘Owner of a Punched Chest’ would have made a less catchy song.”

Dart: Will he make it?

Haschel: Barely, at least…for now. But if the Giganto over there hadn’t saved us, he would be dead by now…as all of us would be too.

So it’s more like he’s in Death’s parking lot?

“Walking along Death’s sidewalk.”

Passing by Death’s office.

“Waving at Death in the next car over at the stoplight.”

Skyping with Death.

“Oh, I like that one!”

Stryfe: Kongol…why are you here? Why did you save us?

Rose: Such a strange way to get revenge on us. What is going on in your mind?

“Did we mention that you guys are traveling around with Stanky?  Death would be a release.”

Yeah, Kongol is just prolonging your suffering.

“And ours.”

Kongol, you’re a jerk!

Kongol: You enemy no more. Here Holy place of Gigantos. Me survivor.

Shana: What about the other Gigantos?

Kongol: Humans killed us. They stole Giganto’s treasure.

Stryfe: They…what?

Kongol: Human thinks other species can die. Human selfish creature.

“That’s a fair cop.  Just look at what you monkeys did to the Neanderthals.”

Oh sure, you genocide just ONE parallel evolutionary species and you never live it down.

Albert: Then what was the reason why you joined the Human’s war?

Kongol: It’s for Emperor Doel. Me still small and ran. He saved Kongol. He fought against bad people. Kongol comes with you. So Kongol is here.

Stryfe: So it was Doel…that made you realize that…not all Human’s are selfish?

Kongol: Emperor Doel say he make world where every species equal. World needs strong leader. Whether you can be leader, Kongol will watch to the end. Giganto’s sadness should not be repeated…

Of course then Doel went off his nut because his brain was magicked in the face.

“Eloquent.”

Stryfe was touched by Kongol’s story and his newfound trust in him and Dart.

For the love of the gods, author!  Can you fucking show ANYTHING!?  Anything at all?

He then began recalling the day Neet was destroyed by the Black Monster, a tear running down his cheek as he remembered his mother’s last words as she handed him the Space Bound Dragoon Spirit.

“Space Bound Dragon!  That’s what the spirit was called!”

See, told you it was stupid.

Meru: Stryfe?

Stryfe: Sorry…It…it’s nothing…

“Is he talking about the fic?”

Apropos either way.

Rose: There is no such world where “equal” exists. What we have is killing and being killed. That’s it.

Harsh, but somewhat in line with very simplistic Darwinian theory, I guess.

Stryfe: Rose…would it kill you to be positive at least once?

Hey, asshole, shut yer yap!

Dart: I have my own objectives. I’m continuing my journey to head towards them. I don’t think I’d make a good “leader”. Neither would Stryfe.

“He’s not wrong.  He doesn’t have enough personality in this fic to be a leader, and we’ve already covered, in agonizing detail, why Stanky is the last person who should lead others.”

Stryfe: Yeah…I’m not the kind of person who likes to have the attention of crowds…

“Says the guy who showboats, makes snide commentary on everything, has a stupidly large and speshul weapon, and has stolen every leadership moment and major accomplishment from the real main character.  You’re entire being is basically screaming LOOK A ME AND VALIDATE HOW AWESOME I AM!  Don’t want attention my ass.  You are absolutely desperate for it.”

Not to mention that leadership has absolutely nothing to do with being recognized by crowds.

“Which is another reason why he’d make an appallingly bad leader.  I think I’d rather follow Goeth into combat.”

Kongol: You two defeat Emperor Doel with Strong, Strong Power. Stronger than Emperor Doel. Kongol wants to see where the power goes.

It probably goes in the little power room.

Stryfe: But…

Meru: I think so too! Cuz more people make us feel more secure. Besides…I understand how he feels to be attracted to you, Stryfe, Dart.

“I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.”

There must be something, wherever you go. I still don’t know what it is…but…I wanna be with you two and do something. Don’t you all feel the same that way?

Nope.

“Not even a little.”

As Stryfe looked around, he and Dart saw everyone looking at him, giving them a kind smile with the exception of Rose, who only nodded to them in response.  Stryfe couldn’t help but smile upon seeing that his and Dart’s friends were that confident in their skills to lead them wherever their paths took them.

The way it’s layed out, it’s almost like this scene is only supposed to be about one person!  Probably because it is.

*SLAM*

Carbon Copy Syndrome: 95

When he looked at Meru, he saw her blush as his eyes gazed into hers.

Stryfe: Meru…

*Grins maniacally* Just grin through the gag reflex and you’ll be okay!

*Also grinning crazily* “My jaw feels like it’s going to fall off.”

Dart: You guys…

Kongol: Friend…It sounds good.

Rose: Have you forgotten the most important thing?

If it’s insulin, we’re way ahead of you.

“Yup, got the darkwraiths distributing it to the audience right now.”

Meru: Oh yeah! We gotta find Lynn!

Right!  The person who is in mortal danger and needs to be rescued.  Totally forgot about him during all the Stu stroking.

Shana: The Dragoon Spirit too!

“Oh, yeah, the ancient relic that unlocks the power of the Dragoon.  Surprised we forgot about that, really.”

Kongol: What you are looking for may be down there. You push the thing up there.

Kongol pointed to a switch on one of the throne’s arms. As Dart pulled it, the throne slowly sank into the ground, revealing a pack of stairs that led to a hidden chamber.

“Wow, a pack of stairs!  You usually don’t see those much outside of the Serengeti.”

Wonder how they kept them fed.

“Lynn, probably.”

Gehrich: Ugh…

Haschel: Gehrich, you have come around.

Gehrich: I’m glad…to receive your fist, Master…

“That sounds really, really kinky.”

Haschel: Shut up. Talking will make you die.

If that were actually true, Stanky would have died thirty chapters ago.

Gehrich: I gotta…tell you…this. Or I’ll die…as a real fool…It’s about the Princess Emille…in the Castle…She’s…a fake…That woman…was switched…Ugh…!

“I suppose this was normally a plot twist?”

Eh, even in the game it was fairly predictable.  Not one of the finer plot moments, certainly.

Haschel: Don’t say anything!

Gehrigh: Ugh…! The real one…is hidden…in…the castle…

“It’s generally a better idea to kill off the person you’re doppleganging.  Creates less situations where you’re unmasked as a phony.”

That seems strangely gruesome advice.

“If it works, it works.”

That, uh, isn’t coming from the voice of experience is it?

“Naw, power transfer is much more straight forward in a pride-state.  You formally challenge the queen, spend a few hours locked in combat, then the victor gets the throne.  There are other ground rules and challenge requirements, of course, but at the end of the day the last one standing gets the prize.”

You killed your mother for power!?

“Heaven’s no! I beat the snot out of my mother for power.  The catharsis was just a bonus.”

Gehrich’s eyes turned gray, his head slouched over lifeless. Haschel, his face shadowed, picked up his former pupil and turned to Stryfe and the rest.

Haschel: I’ll catch up with you all later. I have to entomb him.

“Which is handy because Kongol just made all that rubble!”

Too soon.

While Haschel left, Kongol guarded the entrance while the rest of the group headed down the pack of stairs and found that they led to a room filled with stolen treasure, along with a prison cell. As Stryfe and Meru observed the cell, they saw a shadow moving about inside.

Why the crap are you sneaking up on Lynn being in the cell, author?  He’s the person that they’re here to get.  You aren’t going to surprise anyone, so no need to be all coy with the information!

Meru: Lynn! Are you in there!?

Lynn: Meru! Are you here to rescue me!?

Meru: Of course! Kate’s totally worried about ya!

Stryfe: Meru, stand back!

Stand back!  He’s going to attempt to use the plot!

Stryfe found a switch on the wall next to the cell.

“PCC is pretty damn pinpoint with those lever deliveries.”

They don’t have 98% of the badfic plot market for nothing.

As he pulled it downwards, the cell slowly opened up and Lynn stepped out, pale from the lack of exposure to the sunlight for at least a week.

Well that’s not very nice.

“Wha?”

It takes a lot longer to go pale from lack of sun exposure.  It’s pretty likely that Lynn just has a fair complexion.  No need to shame him on that, author.

Lynn: Meru! Thanks! Do you know these people?

Meru: Yeah! These are my friends! We’re traveling together for a variety of reasons!

Lynn: You all came to such a dangerous place…You’re incredibly brave!

Stryfe: Is that a compliment?

Are you really so dense that you don’t understand when you’re being complimented!?

“Well yeah, we’ve estab-”

Rhetorical.

“Right.”

Lynn: Yes! I’m glad to see that people’s courage hasn’t dried up yet!

“He must not have seen the sign about not feeding the insertion’s ego.”

Dart: Well, you showed it yourself.

“By being captured?”

Well, he did try to do what the villagers wouldn’t and negotiate.

“Still, he was captured.”

Well, Dart said he was brave, not necessarily smart.

Meru: But, why did you come alone?! I had lots of things to say to the gang too!

Lynn: I wanted to solve this by myself. Besides, I thought I might be able to talk to Gehrich if he hadn’t changed. But something had changed. Probably,
the person who joined him half a year ago changed him.

“Lloyd?”

Sorta, this is where the plot actually does get kinda twisty.

Albert: And that person is now assuming the form of Princess Emille. We need to get back to the castle and warn them!

“Oh crap!  Lloyd is posing as the princess!”

Swing and a miss.

“Well, he does have the hips for drag.”

Rose: AFTER we find the stolen Dragoon Spirit.

“I really do like her.  So pragmatic.”

As the group looked around the stolen goods in the room for the Dragoon Spirit, Dart eventually found it among a pile of barrels. When he held it in his hand, Stryfe saw it glow intensely like a new star that was born in the night sky.

And suddenly, random purple!

“Lackluster purple at that.  If feels like the author is so bored with his work at this point he can’t even work up enough energy to fail hard.  He just kinda fails blandly and without energy.”

Shana: It seems happy to see you again, Dart.

“Is that a dragoon spirit in your hand or are you just happy to see me?”

Dart: Now, let’s go back to Feltz and tell Princess Lisa everything!

Stryfe: Yeah!

Leaving the building behind, the group rendezvoused with Haschel, who made an unmarked grave for Gehrich.

“Luckily, there was plenty of rubble!”

Too soon.

With a newfound ally in Kongol now by their side, the group left the ancient city of the Giganto race behind and started their journey back through the Valley of Corrupted Gravity, and back to Feltz. As Stryfe continued walking, he took Meru’s hand and looked at her with a smile on his face, an expression she returned as they continued onward…

“Dear Lord I hope this thing ends before they bone.  A gal can only take so much!”

And with that, another chapter peters out.

“I suppose it’s too much to hope for that the pacing picks up the next chapter.”

Quite.  If anything the fic slows to a crawl at this point until it eventually just fades away into bland background noise.

“You make it sound so good.”

Until next week, patrons!

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33 Comments on “1234: The Legend of Dragoon: The Eighth Spirit – Chapter Thirty”

  1. Tie Dye Mage says:

    “So wait, they not only build their base in an extremely secured area behind a labyrinth of crazy gravity, but they also put in arrow traps? Overkill much?”

    Hard one to call. I know people who really are that paranoid.

    I’m sure at least half the people here are paranoid enough to booby trap the Library several times over. I know this because just yesterday, I found one trap that threw a key lime pie in my face.

  2. Tie Dye Mage says:

    Hiding in a nearby opening, Stryfe noticed a strange switch in the corner.

    “The hell is Stanky hiding for? What, did the traps come to life and start chasing them down?”

    Please don’t give Bifocals new ideas.

    Yes, the Library is already chaotic enough. No need to add sentient booby traps.

  3. AdmiralSakai says:

    the thieves revealed themselves, their annoying laughter causing Stryfe to grind his teeth in disgust of their pathetic tactics.

    The thieves were 4chan trolls?

  4. Tie Dye Mage says:

    “I think the fic is destabilizing. Events are starting to happen in random, isolated pockets of causality! With all the void in there, it was only a matter of time before it started to lose cohesion and tear itself apart.”

    The fic is collapsing under the weight of its own stupidity. Soon, there’ll be nothing left but a black hole.

  5. AdmiralSakai says:

    Gehrich Gang D: But…why don’t we stomp them till they hate being alive!

    “Why don’t we… make them read “The Eighth Spirit”? MUAHAHAHAH!

  6. AdmiralSakai says:

    With the help of Haschel, Stryfe jumped onto the edges and slew the thieves before they had a chance to react, his sword becoming more and more bloodier with each swing and each kill.

    Wait, what “edges”? There’s nothing around to even be edged!

  7. GhostCat says:

    “Is that what the kids are calling it these days?”

    Ghostie is such a bad influence on you.

    :high-fives Swenia:

  8. GhostCat says:

    Kongol: Emperor Doel say he make world where every species equal.

    So he’s invented trans-species Communism?

  9. GhostCat says:

    “Which is another reason why he’d make an appallingly bad leader. I think I’d rather follow Goeth into combat.”

    Even Jiwe would make a better leader than this idiot.

  10. AdmiralSakai says:

    Kongol, his feet nearly pressed into the ground, threw the debris clear from the group and into the dark abyss below the throne.

    Why is there a dark abyss below the throne?

  11. AdmiralSakai says:

    Gehrich’s eyes turned gray, his head slouched over lifeless.

    His head slouched over lifeless, but his body got up and started walking around! Strangest thing…


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