1242: Fire Emblem: ReAwaken – Chapter Four, Part 3Posted: November 19, 2015
Hello ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Fire Emblem: ReAwaken! I’m your host, Herr Wozzeck, and—
Whoah, guys, hang on a sec! I haven’t even started and you’re already—
Ninja: But you’re not SC!
Oh. Right. Yeah, about that: considering that SC has a lot on his plate with LAFS, and further considering that I just came off of a longer riff myself, I offered to take Fire Emblem: ReAwaken off his hands in the Secret Clubhouse. So from now on, I’m gonna be snarking this fic, particularly since, as the resident hardcore Fire Emblem fan, I can kind of keep a lid on things going on.
So let’s get going, shall we?
We pick up where SC and gang left off with this:
One of the bandits tries to decapitate me with a swing of his axe. I duck under and move behind him, stabbing him in the back before turning my attention to my next opponent, who swings overhead. Not much ability with an axe there, guys…
Hey, don’t dock them for that! People tend to lose their ability to wield an axe when a possible Gary Stu is involved!
Also, um… Weapon triangle, dude. You do remember that’s a gameplay mechanic in Fire Emblem, right?
I step to the side as his attack misses, propelling him forwards and onto my sword. There’s a look of surprise as I plunge it in deeper, the blade shooting out of his back, before kicking him off of it in time to use my sword catch an axe swing from someone else.
Wait, so he swings overhead, and he didn’t even have the presence of mind to, I don’t know, plant his foot so he didn’t launch himself forward with his own attack!? Pretty much every combatant usually plants their feet properly when making a swing, and this dumbass forgot that part of the whole routine immediately!?
And suddenly, I get the feeling Kale’s shitty tactics might actually work against these idiots. What the ever-loving fuck?
This is kinda frightening… I’ve never even used a sword before and I’m able to counter, block, and parry like I’ve done this my whole life. Did something happen when I entered this world, or have I always been able to do this, like an instinct?
Better question: why are you consciously thinking about that in the middle of a battle?
I shake off the idea of me being a natural born killer in time to throw back my assailant and lash out with my sword. The end of the blade runs across his neck, splitting it open and showering me with- Don’t think about it, don’t think about it, don’t think about it…
Hey, at least you haven’t fainted from the sight of blood. It even affects big guys: just ask El Primo from Juan de los Muertos!
I try and keep my focus as I look over to see how Garrett is doing.
Oh, by the way: is now the point where I mention that all the ficbits featured above were in the same goddamn paragraph? Good formatting? What’s that!?
I wish I hadn’t. Looking at his fighting, I see now what getting hit by one of those axe swings will do to- oh, so that’s what half a brain looks like. Wonderful to know.
Okay, I… actually… do not understand what is up with this narration. Most of it is being detailed in first person as if it were a stream-of-consciousness narrative, and yet sometimes it’ll italicize things that could count as thoughts? Why the hell would you write something in a way that constantly illuminates people’s thoughts, and then italicize some strands that are thoughts and then not italicize others?
And yes, I’m harping on this, having written in a similar style myself! This is… what the hell!?
In between making sure that all of my limbs remain attached to my body and killing those who’d separate us, I notice something odd about the way Garrett fights.
Which means you weren’t doing those things, since your attention was on Garrett’s fight and not your own fights. Good job, you just got a free axe to the face!
Instead of charging up to the enemy and swinging wildly like them, he stays still while they charge him, waiting until their close enough before bisecting them with a single chop. I remember hearing about that style of fighting before: iaido, the art of removing your sword from its scabbard, finishing the enemy in one blow, removing the blood, and placing it back in the scabbard, all in one movement. He’s pretty much doing all of these things, minus the scabbard part. Guess he’s a practitioner of iaxedo.
Um, yeah, I’m pretty sure all of that sounded good in your head, author, but I’ve just got a question: why the fuck would you equate axemanship with swordsmanship!? I mean, you are aware the two weapons are not the same, right? I mean, shit, you’re talking about a giant hunk of metal on a stick versus a fucking sword! And really, equating it with a Japanese sword art? In case you haven’t noticed, European-style swords (like the ones frequently featured in Fire Emblem) are not the same as Japanese swords! So even on that level, this… what…?
I really just thought that, didn’t I?
Much to our chagrin, yes. Yes you did.
Ignoring my brain’s capability to produce horrible, horrible puns,
Wait, there was a horrible pun in there? Um, yeah, Kale, funny thing about that: in order for it to be a pun, it’d have to make sense. What this pun lacks is any kind of context. So you know what I say?
If you have to explain why something is a pun, it fails as a pun! End of story!
I continue on with the fight, ignoring the fact that I’m slowly becoming part of the Red Man Group. (There I go again. Bad puns aplenty, ready to distract me in the heat of battle…)
I also am pretty sure that “Red Man Group” doesn’t count as a pun. So hooray, you’ve just mislabeled your attempt at humor!
As I drive my sword through the last bandit’s chest, I look up and let out a heavy sigh at the force I see coming towards us. “Garrett… is that your boss?” I tiredly say.
“Yep. That’s Gath.”
Whoah, whoah, what!? We’ve only got three paragraphs of fight with the others before you get to the boss? And mind you, those weren’t even three paragraphs of specific action! Fucking shit, dude, talk about fast-paced!
And no, patrons: no, I did not cut anything out of what we just saw. It really is paced like this in-story!
Wonderful. Coming towards us, with a group of what looks to be about fifteen more bandits, is possibly the largest, fattest guy I’ve ever seen in Fire Emblem, aside from Gheb. Maybe.
You know, I never got why Gheb became memetic material in certain subsets of Fire Emblem fandom. I mean, he’s not even a recurring villain in Sacred Stones, and he also shows up only in Ephraim’s story. (Which, for the record, I never finished all the way through, though Gheb shows up before the point I stopped at, so…) He also wasn’t really very memorable, as evidenced by the fact I had to run to the Fire Emblem Wiki to refresh my memory on who he is. So yeah…
The armor covering his torso is barely able to fit over his protruding belly and it looks like he’s in danger of falling over every time he takes a step. It’d be pretty funny if it weren’t for the bloodlust in his eyes and the axe he had slung over his shoulder.
So basically, he’s the kind of guy who gets more description than most fight scenes in this chapter. Good to know we’ve got our priorities straight!
“Kill ’em, boys! First man to bring me one of their heads gets a big, juicy piece of meat tonight!” he shouts.
The bandits all give a war-cry before charging towards us. I let out a groan as I start running forward,
“Ugh, I have to kill more of these assholes? Ugh, please, can’t we just eat that cake we were promised already?
stopping when I hear something fly by my head. Archers! Standing behind the wall of flesh that his Gath, I can see maybe ten archers standing at the gate, all with their bows ready. Even if their aim is horrible, we’re directly in their path. If they all shoot at once, we’re screwed.
And that’s why you don’t charge bandit compounds after calling attention to yourself: it gives the enemy time to formulate a plan like this that can screw you. Though, where the hell did those guys come from, anyway? ‘Cause I specifically remember Specs throwing a bitch fit about how you got insanely lucky to not get speared by a bunch of arrows last time we were with this fic. So did they suddenly run down from the ramparts?
“Garrett, break off to the side! They’ve got archers at the front! Krysta, with me!” I yell as I run to the right of the oncoming tide of bandits, cutting down two of them to get their attention.
Oh, good, you did decide to take Krysta with you. Considering how quick she was to heal your stupid ass last time, that’s probably the first smart thing you’ve done in this whole chapter.
As I turn to face my opponents, I let out a sigh of relief as I see Garrett and Krysta took my advice.
Advice!? The command you gave them to split up was advice!?
No wonder he sucks at tactics: he doesn’t even call a command what it is!
Now, the archers can’t hit us from inside and will have to come out if they want to-
Oh yay, onomatopoeia. How I missed onomatopoeia in prose.
*BAM* *BAM* *BAM* *BAM*
“The hell was that?” Blubber yells as the noise from the explosion fades away.
That is the sound of the author realizing that poetic devices typically don’t work in prose, when their head is at the bigger end of Alma.
Was that Myra? Didn’t know fire magic could make that much of an explosion.
You’re not in a game anymore, honey. Game rules do not equal real life engagement.
“Men, kill ’em while I go to find out what the hell that was!” he commands as he waddles (it’s the best way I can describe how he walks, seriously) away.
Thank you for that completely unnecessary aside, author. Seriously, not even I did that shit when writing Mass Vexations, what the hell!?
Before I even have a chance to go after him, a pair of bandits charge me from either side of me. Oh, I can’t pass this one up. I’d hate myself for passing this up. I wait until they’re both relatively close to me, their axes held out to the side to cut me in half. As they start to swing, I jump back and out of their path. Physics, do your thing! I watch with a mixture of amusement and disgust, and possibly some horror that I find it amusing, as the two of them dig their axes into each others sides. There’s a moment where they both look at each other in disbelief before they fall back to the ground.
Fuck’s sake, when did this turn into an Itchy and Scratchy short? Surely those bandits have better battle awareness than that! Or at the very least, they’ve got more control of their muscles than to fall for that bullshit tactic! I just… seriously? This is a viable fighting tactic in this fic!?
Oh, and by the way, Kale? Yeah, you know how they swung their axes? I’m going to assume they swung their axes laterally since you mention the axes dig into each other’s sides. So you know what that means? Congratulations, dumbass: depending on the direction they swung and the timing of your jump, you logically should’ve jumped right into the path of one of the axes. So unless you can duck really quickly? Yeah, I call bullshit.
Specs, I am so sorry for the aneurism this fic has likely given you.
Both of us turn around to see three bandits slowly advancing on Krysta, wicked smiles on their faces. Shit, we’re too far away!
Oh calm your tits, Kale. They’re approaching “slowly”, you just said that yourself. If they’re approaching “slowly”, then you can always approach them “quickly” to get at least one of them off of her ass. Granted, you’ve got those fucking archers, but given how well you came out of a situation with archers that should’ve killed your stupid ass I’m going to go out on a limb and say they’re actually not that useful right now.
“Krysta! Run!” I shout as I start running towards her, only for another of the bastards to step in my path. “Damn you!” I yell as I duck under his axe and cut through his midsection, running past him as soon as the first drops of blood start hitting the ground. I watch in fear as one of the men grab Krysta around the arm and raises his axe, ready to deliver-
See, this is why you don’t leave your healers to try to catch up with your faster units. You can leave them out in the cold, which means they’re fucked if the enemy gets the brilliant idea of flanking your stupid ass. Now, cue the scene where Krysta dies and we all imagine it as Kale’s fault for—
“Sorry, but this is your last dance!”
Oooooooor, the plot will send in the next character to save Kale from his own stupidity. Hooray.
Wait, why does that line sound familiar? I get my answer in the form of a young man with light brown hair coming from… well, I’m not sure where actually. He just kinda… appeared.
Yeah, the SDQF does that. By now, we’ve learned not to question it. So as someone who’s seen the SDQF in action, you’re best off doing the same.
Then again, Lucina has that habit too. Guess Inigo can do the same thing, if he wants to. What’s important is that Inigo comes out of nowhere and manages to catch the man holding Krysta by surprise, cutting him down before he can even see him.
Wait, Inigo saves this guy’s stupid ass? Inigo? The dumbass who decided to charge an entire fort of promoted mercenaries for the kiss of a village girl? Really!?
Wow, you know you suck at tactics when fucking Inigo is the one who has to save your ass from your own stupidity.
The other two bandits turn on him, but by now, I’m standing next to the future child, my eyes blazing in anger as I place myself between them and Krysta.
“Thanks for the assist.” I tell him as we square off with the bandits. “Mind giving me a name so I can properly thank you?”
Okay, fair enough Kale. You do have cover to maintain as to knowing who this guy is. Though, again, why are you thinking of properly thanking him in the midst of battle!? There are other things to concentrate on! Like, I dunno, the bandits who would’ve killed Krysta if Inigo hadn’t saved her from your stupid tactics? This is why the Fire Emblem series stopped putting support conversations on the battlefield after Sacred Stones!
Before he can answer, the two bandits lunge at us. I drop to one knee and thrust my blade upwards, catching one of them in the stomach, while Inigo lops off the other one’s head, spinning around as he does so. Guess his dancing worked its way into how he fights… I tear my sword out of my opponent, kicking him to the ground before I face Inigo.
You know, I’ve figured out the problem with these fight scenes. Despite all the things that this guy keeps throwing at Kale, whenever it comes to actually describing how they fight, there’s no tension. We get one sentence of Kale facing off against a guy (two if we’re lucky), and in that one sentence, Kale pretty much owns a bitch! There’s no struggle! It’s just a collection of “watch bandits get owned”!
Well, this fic has gone down the shitter with impeccable speed. Good to know!
“Now that that’s taken care of, who are you and where’d you come from?”
He smiles as he completely ignores me and walks over to where Krysta is standing, a light-red blush coming over her face as he takes her hand. “Hello there. My name is Inigo. Mind if I-“
“–act completely out of character and just jump for the nearest vagina even though I have more control over my libido than that?”
“No, mind if I cut in?” I ask him as I place my blade in between the two of them. You see, this is why you’re not in my top five!
Hey, at least he isn’t fucking EclipsePheniox. You can take comfort in that, right?
“So, it’s Inigo, is it?
Why yes, and you also killed his father. Prepare to die.
Hey, I had to get the obvious Princess Bride joke out of the way! Don’t judge me!
Mind telling us where you came from?”
A look of unease crosses his face as I step between him and Krysta, my blade still at his chest. “Calm yourself friend. No need for bad blood.
Wait, what? Inigo, being a voice of reason!? What sorcery is this!?
That’s… um… I have no further comment.
Rather, consider this repaying a debt that I owe you.”
“A de- what?”
“A debt. Wasn’t it your two friends who broke me and the other prisoners out of that bandit keep?” Wait, Inigo was prisoner?
Apparently. I mean, in order for him to be a prisoner as opposed to the prisoner, there would have to be more than one, right? And so far, none of the other ones have shown up.
So yes, Inigo was prisoner. Much like all your base are belong to us.
…then again, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were several bandits after his head. There’s a reason womanizers never quite seem to live long.
“Yes, the lovely girl with the white hair and the fierce-looking warrior, that’s who they were! Of course, I doubt I’d be able to forget them, given how wonderful she looked and how… dangerous he looked.”
Okay, that’s more like Inigo.
I chuckle slightly as I sheathe my sword. “Well, Inigo, if you want danger, I suggest going after her. Remember the big guy with the sword?” He nods once. “That’s her big brother.” I have to suppress the laughter that’s building up inside of me as his eyes become as big as saucers and his mouth drops open in shock. “Yeah, they’re related and I know from experience that he’s rather protective of her.
Um, Kale, you do remember that you’re right in the middle of enemy territory, right?
Anyway, we’ve still got a job to do. Care to join us?” I ask, motioning at the fort.
Ah, thank you, I guess now we can get to the part where—
Garrett’s already taken the liberty of reducing the archers to bloody piles of flesh for us and is currently standing in the middle of it all, tapping his foot in annoyance.
Wait, so while Kale here was busy faffing about with Inigo, Garrett did all the grunt work of taking acare of all those archers? So Kale literally did nothing but just chat Inigo up?
Wow, Kale really is a useless dumbass. Fic, this should be a good indication to you that you might want to consider dropping him as protagonist.
“Eh, sure. Why not?” he says, though his usual cheer seems to have vanished. Dude. It’s one girl. Get. Over. It. God, you chase more tail than just about any other character in Fire Emblem than I can think of.
I can think of a few other examples, actually. Sain from Rekka no Ken comes to mind, mostly ‘cause he’s actually good at womanizing. Oh, and let’s not forget Gatrie from the Tellius-verse games.
“Right, then let’s get going. I think a large pig managed to sneak by us and-”
“Who’re you calling a pig, squirt!?” Gath asks as he walks out from inside the fort, carrying, to my and Inigo’s horror, a limp and unconscious Myra over his shoulder. “Now, drop all your weapons or I’ll cut off her pretty little head!” he shouts.
Oh fuck’s sake, really? The tough girl gets knocked out and carried off so the hero has to save her ass?
You know, somehow, I should’ve expected that this would happen, but nope.
And watch, someone else is going to do something stupid as fuck that’ll get him to do it.
Begrudgingly, Inigo and I both comply, though Garrett does something strange. Instead of dropping his axe, he walks over to one of the fallen bandits and picks up another, smaller axe. “So, Gath old buddy.” he starts, throwing the axe into the air and catching it again. “I’m sure you remember me, right? It’s me, Garrett. Remember, Garrett the Butcher? Garrett, the Master of the Axe? Garrett, your right-hand man?!” His tone suddenly becomes as sharp as the axe he’s holding in his hand. “Or was it Garrett, the man you left for dead?”
Like that, for instance.
Gath lets out a bellowing laugh as he drops Myra to the ground and places the head of his axe against her head. She lets out a faint moan of pain as he presses down on her skull.
So, just so we’re clear, you placed the head of your axe against her head. So, did you place it by the edge of the axe’s blade against her face, or not? Because if it was the axe’s blade, I’m not sure that you’d get quite the same results. Especially if that axe is still sharp. I’m not banking on it being sharp, but you might want to be more careful with how you handle that axe if you plan on using her as a hostage.
“So what, Garrett? You know how being a bandit works. How many people have you left for dead, eh? Hell, most of them were in better condition than you were at the time, and you still left them behind.”
“Yeah, well, I’m better-looking than you, bitch; that means I get to join the party! So go ahead and chew them apples!”
Something dark flashes over Garrett’s face as Gath lets out another laugh. “You’re right, I did. And I’m not gonna lie and say that I didn’t enjoy being a bandit. There were a hell of a lot of perks: free food, free gold, always someone itching for a fight.” He tosses the axe in the air again and catches it. “Hell, I won’t even say I regret my time as a bandit, because I didn’t. There’s only one thing I ever regret doing: wasting my life serving under your fat ass!”
So he’s not totally over his banditry? I can imagine that being an interesting dynamic to go with. And… well, to be honest, I have more faith he can keep people IC than the Kamen Rider Ryuki guy, ‘cause even if there is OOC involved he can at least keep the characterization consistent.
But there’s always that lingering doubt, ‘cause we said that about Kale at first, and look at the dumbass he’s turned into…
With that, and before anyone can react, he throws the axe directly at Gath, who watches in surprise as it sinks into his arm, cutting straight through it. Both limb and axe fall to the ground in a sickening splat.
I hope that was the axe you tossed and not the axe Gath was holding. ‘Cause if it was the axe that Gath was holding, then congratulations, you just killed Myra!
“Oh yeah, I had one last name, didn’t I? Garrett the Savage!” he shouts as he picks up his axe and charges Gath, bringing his weapon over his head as he runs up to him. The large man can only watch as Garrett brings down his weapon. I turn away as it connects, though from the look on Inigo’s face, I’m glad I did. I had no idea someone could turn that green…
I hope Inigo’s going green from watching what Garrett did to Gath and not from the fact that it also likely caused Gath to drop the axe. And, you know, kill Myra. And that’s if it didn’t give her a concussion serious enough that Krysta’s going to have to run over there and heal her immediately.
“Myra!” I turn around and- ah God, why’d I do that? Damn Garrett, just… damn… I try and ignore the pile of flesh that was Gath and walk over to Marco, who, despite being pretty well bloodied,
—and also despite the fact that he is still recovering from the motion sickness involved with being coughed out by the SDQF—
looks no worse for the wear and is hovering over his sister. “Myra, wake up! Myra!” he shouts, roughly shaking her shoulders. She lets out a faint groan and opens her eyes, much to everyone’s relief.
“She’ll live.” Garrett says bluntly as he looks down on the remains of his boss. “Gath was the biggest coward of our entire gang. He wouldn’t have the guts to actually kill her. At most, she’ll have a bad headache.” He roughly kicks Gath’s remains before turning to face us, causing a few… parts to spill out.
Yeah, and your idiocy could’ve made it worse, jackass! In fact, the only reason I’m sure you didn’t make it worse was because your author was kind enough to both forget to describe things too specifically, and then to forget that Gath’s axe was hovering right over Myra’s face!
Well, at least Kale is no longer the only village idiot around here. I’ll take what victories I can…
Dammit, Garrett… I already feel like puking. “So, how’d that even happen?”
“Bastard snuck up behind her while I was helping free the captives. He hit her and just picked her up. I chased after him, but a couple of his goons jumped out at me.
So in other words, it was exactly what we thought it was. Good to know!
Krysta, get over here and make sure Myra’s okay, alright?”
Krysta jumps at the mentioning of her name, as if she just remembered that she’s in this world. She runs past Marco as he limps towards us, holding his left leg. “Uh, Marco-”
“It’s just a flesh wound. They nicked me a few times, is all.” he says.
“That, and you’ll be healing me immediately after you deal with my sister, right? So everybody wins.”
Turning to Inigo, he frowns slightly. “Wait, aren’t you the guy who turned tail and ran out the moment we freed the prisoners? Actually, I’ve been meaning to ask that: why were you with the women and children, anyway?”
Inigo suddenly goes from green to probably the palest I’ve ever seen someone. “Er, well, that is…” He nervously taps the ground with his foot as he tries to get an answer. “Ah, that reminds me! I have to go and meet someone today! Well then, I must be off.” He quickly starts to turn away, only for Marco to grab him by the back of his collar. “…may I ask what the problem is?” he asks in a small voice.
“Marco, let the poor fella go.” I mutter as I look at the carnage of the battleground. Ugh… my stomach doesn’t like this.
Yeah, never as pretty as it looks in the picture books, is it?
“He helped save Krysta and took out a few of the bandits. From what I can tell, he’s just some womanizer. He probably snuck into the woman’s prison to try and win some of them over.” I ignore the look on Inigo’s face as I tear off a piece of one of the bandits’ cloaks and wipe my blade with it, clearing off the blood.
A piece of one of the bandit’s cloaks… that may or may not be caked in blood, so what the fuck would that do for cleaning your blade, dumbass!?
Do like Peter did in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe and use the ground! Well, once you’re outside, anyway.
“Let him run off and enjoy his merry little life. We’ve got more important things to do.” I say, a startling lack of emotion in my voice. I sheathe my sword as I start to walk away from the fortress. “Let’s get the villagers back home, alright?” I can feel everyone staring at me as I walk away, but I don’t care. Because, at the moment…
…I don’t feel anything…
And on that kind of out-of-nowhere note, we end the chapter. And with the end of the chapter, comes an author’s note! I’ll go ahead and skip it, ‘cause it’s the typical “here’s what’s going on in my life, sorry for posting it late” stuff we’ve come to expect from some authors around here. So I’ll just leave it there.
And next week, we’ll move on to the next chapter! And this time, I promise I’ll keep it moving at a fast clip. And if that means I skip a few things? So be it.
Anyway, that’ll be all for this week. Stay tuned for next week when we pick up with the rest of the fic. On we go!