1277: Fire Emblem: ReAwaken – Chapter NinePosted: December 24, 2015
Title: Fire Emblem: ReAwaken
Media: Video Game
Topic: Fire Emblem: Awakening
URL: Chapter 9
Critiqued by Herr Wozzeck, Sterling Bengtzing, and Crunchy Raptor
Sterling Bengtzing: *walks in wearing a Wiggles T-Shirt, tight David Bowie-style pants, and a hot pink leather arm sleeve* WHERE THAT BITCH AT? WHERE THE HELL IS HIM?! HE’S GOING TO DIE! *flips his chair*
Crunchy: And why on Earth would you do that? As far as I am concerned, I have done you a major favor on the fashion front.
SB: Shut up! You’re done!
C: You said that last time and look how well that turned out for you. Do you really want to keep this—?
SB: *punches Crunchy in the face*
C: *pauses* Nobody has… ever punched me like that before… *frowns* You are—
C: Ow, my beautiful face!
SB: I’m gonna make mince meat outta it!
Oh, for fuck’s… Will both of you stop it? For fuck’s sake, it’s been nothing but non-stop bitching from you two ever since Sterling got here! And Crunchy, I know better than anyone that Sterling fights can get wild, but dammit, you definitely didn’t help!
C: He ruined my complexion!
Yeah, yeah, put a sock in it. You kept mis-species…ing him! I think he’s got more than a little right to be pissed off, especially considering that speciesism is, in fact, a theme that shows up in the FBA every so often.
SB: And it was something dad dealt with, too!
Yeah. So you had no right to do that.
SB: See? Even Flappy Bird here knows where is a—!
And you! Don’t even get me started! Kicking Crunchy out of the snarking chamber like that? What the fuck?
SB: Hey, that’s what he gets for fucking with me all this time!
I don’t care if he called you a dumbass raccoon in make-up, that doesn’t make it right! Both of you, stop it! Stop it right now! I don’t want to force a whole Library reset!
C: But supposing that—!
Do you want me to summon Sura again?
C: I… no.
Good. Then the both of you will stop trying to kill each other, at least until we get to the end of this.
SB: Fuck that, I’m not waiting until this shit ends. That’s too far a—
SB: You wanna be sent flying to Mars like the newt here?
The next time I touch you, it’s to put a ball gag in your mouth. Now sit down, we have a fic to snark.
SB: Just so you know, as soon as this chapter ends, I’ll—
Yeah, I’d like to see you try. Anyway. Fanfic. Snark. Now. Be quiet, polecat.
*wipes wrinkles out of shirt*
We open our next chapter with this:
“This is where we found it, right there in the ground.” Garrett said, motioning to a spot on the ground where they had found Kale’s sword with said sword.
C: Good thing Swenia is not around.
SB: Who now?
Swenia. You might’ve seen her, big anthropomorphic lion? She has a tendency to bark at awkward prose.
SB: …Lions don’t bark.
Sterling, you will find out if you stay in the Library any longer that logic often has no place in a lot of things. So… yeah.
“Well, I guess Albert’s the one who found it. Rather, his foot did.” He snickered slightly at the indignant expression on the cavalier’s face before turning serious again.
I’ll just say Albert proceeded to shove that armored foot up Garret’s asshole and we’ll call it a day.
C: You are surprisingly violent, parrot.
Yeah, I know. You both bring it out in me, I suppose.
Anyway, after this, Garrett asks what the plan is.
“Plan?” Marco asked, somewhat confused and tired. He was already tired from the battle and the subsequent explosion that had thrown him into a tree, and the walk to the forest clearing where Genevieve was watching over Krysta didn’t help matters much.
Oh for fuck’s sake, as if dealing with you two wasn’t enough!
SB: Blah blah attack, blah blah get down. Pro-tip: Invest in a fucking security system!
C: But that would require funds!
I’ve got it under control. They won’t get past the basketball launchers I’ve set up in the hall.
SB: Alrig-wait… what?
[Scene Redacted for Extreme Violence]
SB: How… do you get basketballs to do that?
Too metal for you?
SB: Is more fucked up… but yeah pretty fuckin’ metal.
C: For once, we can agree on something.
It’s a DRD punishment, come on!
“I… I don’t understand. Yes, we found his sword, but how does that mean that he’s in danger?”
C: Because he was not seen next to his sword? That may have quite a bit to do with that assumption, you dumb monkey.
From the way Myra and Garrett had been acting when they’d talked about Kale, Marco had feared the worst, that he might be dead. As it stood, he didn’t see anything wrong.
Except, you know, for the obvious absence of the sword’s owner.
“What makes you think anything is wrong?”
SB: Seriously? You’re in an area that was just under attack by a bunch of motherfuckers in the middle of the woods, you have no idea where he went, he has no way to defend himself… and aren’t there things in the woods to watch out for?
What, like lions and tigers and bears?
C: Oh my!
SB: … Shut up, Dorothy. Anyway, point is, you’re not exactly in a city. You’re out in a forest. You tell me why you’ve got nothing to worry about, you damn basic.
C: Our little polecat is learning.
SB: Shut it, newt.
Well, at least nobody else will agree with his idiocy.
“I’m going to have to agree with Marco, Garrett.” Myra said.
She was lying against Marco, who was lying against a tree. After returning from the mansion, she’d suddenly lost all of her energy and had nearly collapsed.
And you didn’t think to establish the scene before, because…?
C: Do you not know, parrot? I would have assumed you knew from all the years you have been doing this.
Shut up, it’s a rhetorical question.
“I mean, I’m worried about Kale too, but I don’t see how he’s in danger. From what I saw, he freaked out and ran. Couldn’t he have just dropped his sword here as he… well…”
And that’s all the more reason you have to go find him, you stupid bitch!
SB: Is there someone who is fucking sane here? Go find ‘em!
Yes, please. I think that’ll help us out a lot.
She looked down as she remembered the sight of Kale running away, the look on his face still worrying her. “Anyway, why do you say he’s in trouble?”
“Right, you probably don’t know much about tracking…” Garrett muttered, turning away from the group. “Alright, one of the things that I learned while I was a bandit was-” He was interrupted as Albert suddenly put the tip of his lance at his throat, though Garrett seemed to care very little about the fact that he had a blade at his throat. “Kid, what the hell do you think you’re doin’?” he asked, looking down at the cavalier.
Albert puffed out his chest slightly as he faced up against the former bandit. “You’re a bandit! You’ve killed, plundered, and pillaged from the good people of Ylisse! As a knight in the service of the Lady Exalt, I can’t just let you-“
C: I see our author has not relieved himself of his penchant for improperly structured paragraphs.
SB: What? More grammar nazi nitpickin’?
He means from a pacing standpoint, Sterling. And really? Literally the second after he says “was a bandit”, Albert is like “no, you dead bitch, you’re a bandit and you do shit to people, raaaaah!” Come on, he just nearly got killed by a bunch of things with you! I know you’re in service to a knight, but really? You’re that fast to try to kill Garrett?
C: I must say that it also makes him a rather self-righteous hypocrite, considering he had no ethical issues aiding and abetting a thief. Granted, he did so under orders from his superior, but he displayed no issues when it came to letting her help on the battlefield when she returned. Therefore, he has no room to talk.
SB: …Basic. Is it basic? I’m callin it basic…
Yep. Sterling hit the nail right on the head.
Thankfully, Garrett gets a rant where he’s like “I was a bandit”, and then it’s—
Albert looked like he was about to say something, only for Genevieve to cut him off. “I must agree, my brave knight, that you are acting rather uncouth. This man has shown us no ill will, nor has he shown any intentions of returning to his previous way of life. If he wishes better for himself, than all we can do is allow it.”
SB: Hold on rewind that shit…Was that a moment of sanity?
Thank fuck for minor miracles, right?
Chewing his lip, Albert looked between Garrett and Genevieve before finally swearing under his breath and kicking at a tree. “Fine. I’ll accept that he’s not a bandit anymore, but that doesn’t mean I’m letting him off the hook. I’m taking him to Ylisstol where he’ll be tried for his crimes. The first step he should take, if he is trying to be a better man, is to pay for what he’s done. So, if you’d be so kind as to follow me, we’ll be-” He stopped as Garrett suddenly took a step back and took a stance, as if he was preparing to fight. “What are you doing?”
SB: Getting you to shut the fuck up, that’s what.
C: It is refreshing to know I am not the only one who wishes to see this little monkey put in his place.
SB: Jävla helvete…
“You just don’t stop, do ya?” Garrett chuckled. “You’ve got guts, I’ll give you that. Unfortunately, guts don’t mean that I’ll be going anywhere, especially to some cell or the executioner’s block. But, I’ll tell you what: beat me in a fight, man-to-man, and I’ll go with you. If I win, you forget about this whole thing and the idea of sending me to prison, got it? Hell, I’ll even make it interesting for ya: I won’t use either of my arms.”
Um… Guys, isn’t there a friend of yours who is currently missing that some of you speculate may be in danger? What the fuck are you guys doing hosting some weak attempt to solve a dispute?
SB: Some friends these guys are. The second their friend is in danger they move around like mongoloids with their own petty squabbles. Fuck me…
C: I find it difficult to argue with your logic.
Yeah, I’d say that too. This is just… *headdesk*
Albert smiled and cracked his knuckles. “Then you’re as good as mine!” Albert yelled, running towards Garrett with his fist reared back. “Get ready to-” The fight was over already. Realizing that Albert would act the way he did, Garrett stepped to the side and extended his foot, tripping the cavalier. Before Albert could stand, he felt Garrett’s boot on the back of his head.
“Fall?” Garrett asked, a smile plastered on his face.
“I HAIFE VY LOIFE!” Albert shouted from beneath the boot of the bandit.
“Alas, my brave knight has fallen. Perhaps in the future he shall look before he leaps.” Genevieve sighed.
And then it turns into a comedy routine. And of course, I bet you guys anything this is never going to get mentioned again. Thus, we have a big lipped alligator moment.
SB: A wh—?
SB: … You’re all nerds.
And proud of it.
Anyway, after that incredibly pointless and time-consuming detour, Garrett mentions that he learned how to track people. He then points out there were signs of someone being carried away, and how that might mean Kale has been kidnapped. Of course, Marco has questions, but before he can get them asked Krysta wakes up.
Everyone, save Albert, looked up in shock as Krysta muttered Kale’s name. Slowly, her eyes opened. “Wh-what happened to Kale? Where is he?” she asked, trying to sit up only for Genevieve to slowly lower her back down.
SB: These two be bonin’.
C: No, not yet.
SB: But these two can’t stop talking about each other. Come on, you can smell the pheromones as much as we can smell your breath.
C: Polecat, I have actually seen couples who were boning the moment they met. That relationship eventually morphed into horrific child abuse that I would rather not revisi-Wait what?
Yeah… Let’s hope you never have to read A Jedi’s Destiny. Seriously…
Anyway, Garrett reassures Krysta and tries to get her to rest. She insists on asking where Kale is, and then Garrett tells her that someone took him and that he should still be alive.
After that, we cut to…
“…we’re losing him!”
YOU IDIOTS! FUCKING FIX ME OR I PROMISE YOU I WILL HAUNT EACH OF YOU FOR AN ETERNITY! I silently scream in my head as I hear the doctors frantically trying to save me.
Trying being the operative word. I’m pretty sure it’s a bad sign when I just pop in and I’m already in critical condition. For the love of God, I know this is Arkansas, but can we please have some competence?! And we wonder why so many people make fun of our state…
C: When did this turn into an episode of Grey’s Anatomy?
Um… it didn’t?
C: But I am rather certain it has become a medical drama.
Yeah, and it’s also not in the Pacific Northwest. Your point?
C: … When did this turn into an episode of Grey’s Anatomy?
I let out an inward sigh …This has just been one of those days, hasn’t it? I start feeling withdrawal, I turn my back on my friends, I freaking lose it, I get kidnapped, and now I’m dying.
SB: I’d be wondering what the fuck I was doing in a hospital in Arkansas just after fighting zombies in a lame fantasy world, but… whatever if that’s yer thing…
…I’m really dying…
Fuck my existence… I resign myself to whatever the doctors can do to me. They’ll do what they can, I suppose, and it’s not like I can do much in my current state. Best to just let nature take its course. I mean hey, at least I’m not back in-
–a good fanfic?
why do I feel like I’m being sucked away? Wait, this is another world transition, isn’t it? But I don’t want to go to- Suddenly, I feel a wave of exhaustion hit me and before I even realize it, the world begins to fade away as I lose consciousness.
Um… Right, that was a thing that happened.
We then get another line break, where we cut to…
“Well, this isn’t what I expected.” I mutter as I slowly sit up from where I was laying.
C: At least we agree on something.
We then get a long description of Kale in a white room, and he’s standing in front of a solid black mass. And of course, as he does…
“So, I see that you have chosen to continue meddling.” it says. Great, even the voice makes it indistinguishable. It sounds like a man and a woman are speaking at the same time, trying to overlap each other. The result is every other word coming out in a different pitch and tone.
C: If that is supposed to be menacing, I believe he may wish to take a remedial course on Evil Voices at the Awesome McEvil Academy.
Yeah, really. I mean, who would want to be this kid:
SB: *bursts out laughing* The fuck is with that kid’s voice?
Let’s just say it was an attempt to make her sound disturbing gone horribly, horribly wrong.
“However, I also see that you have finally seen the results of your interference.”
SB: That they found a dude who ransacked one whole mansion?
C: But he could prove to have more ambition than that, no?
SB: Come on, you have all that power and the first thing you think to do is raid one tiny little mansion in the woods for shits and giggles? Come the fuck on, rape and pillage! Or get rich and be a tyrant, I don’t fucking know!
C: Well, most villains do start out rather small.
I think now is the part where I point out that I don’t think this mansion existed in the game.
C: Be quiet, polecat.
The results… Wait, it is not pinning the freaky mage on me! “Hey, I had nothing to do with that Grimleal freak back there! I-”
“But you did. Do you not remember?” The thing waves one of its hands and suddenly, that little baby from Southtown just materializes in front of me.
Um… was that supposed to be a plot twist? Because if it was, you really picked the wrong time to reveal that.
C: So we can add ‘bad pacing’ to the list of sins this fic has perpetrated upon us? Excellent, I shall inform Ghostie at once.
“I attempted to warn you the first time, yet you refused to listen. From the moment you arrived in this world, your actions have altered its course. From now on, everything that happens in this world shall be a result of your existence.”
C: I was under the distinct impression that Kale’s arrival in this world was strictly out of his control.
It was. But hey, don’t expect Kale to bring that up. I mean, he’s the king of the basics, as Sterling was so generously able to point out. I don’t expect him to—
“The hell do you mean, ‘my existence?’ For crying out loud, I didn’t even want to come here! Hell, I don’t even know how I’m in Ylisse!” I’m practically fuming at this point and I feel like knocking this- Calm down, Kale, calm down… I close my eyes and take in a deep breath and let it out slowly, running my hands through my hair. “Look. I don’t know what happened to me, okay? I don’t know why I’m in the hospital in my world dying or in Ylisse. All I do know is that I’ve been doing everything that I’ve been doing because it’s felt like the right thing to do. So I’m sorry if I’m somehow ruining this perfect plan or something that this world is supposed to go by, but I’m not going to change how I act just because of what you say.”
SB: Wait, what? The king of the basics showed some spine? Take a shot, people!
C: I must admit, I did not expect that.
Neither did I. I mean… Jesus, where was that earlier?
The figure is silent for the longest time, its arms crossed and folded against its chest and I swear its studying me,
It’s probably figuring out how to tell you that you just used the wrong form of “it’s” there.
like I’m some alien from another- okay, I am technically from another world, but still. “Very well. Then allow me to show you the pain and suffering your actions shall cause this world.”
That doesn’t sound good… I suddenly grab my chest as I feel all the air leave my body. Screams of pain, agony, hate, and fear start ringing through my ears as I collapse to the ground, tears already forming in my eyes. My entire body… the pain I’m in is indescribable. I think being set on fire would be nearly painless compared to this. Brutal images flash through my mind: bodies practically torn to shreds, people running in terror as Risen run across the landscape, strange monsters that I’ve never seen before silhouetted against flames that are razing towns, the mage in black brutally killing the few men and women who try and fight back, and the Fell Dragon Grima itself is reining destruction down. This… can’t be my fault! I’m going to cause this much pain?
“Do you now realize what your very existence means for this world?” I hear the figure say. “You are a curse, a malignant tumor that has invaded this innocent world and has irreparably corrupted it. I wish I could simply remove you from this world here and now… It would make things so much simpler.”
SB: Then why do you not just do it? Hell, why did you not do it earlier?!
C: This being truly does need to go back to the Awesome McEvil academy.
What I’m wondering is how much power does he have to actually do that? From the way he’s talking here, he’s sounding like some kind of god-like entity who puts pieces in place and shit. So if that’s the case, how much power does he actually have to change anything? Because even if he only has enough power to move things like you would in a game of chess, you still have to establish that. Granted, maybe you’re not establishing it now, but right now, you’ve got a gaping plot hole: if this guy is supposed to be all-powerful who has made up this perfect plan, why did he allow Kale to get involved to mess it all up?
“T-then… do it!” I sob out. I’m twitching on the ground, any strength I may have had suddenly gone. The sheer pain and agony I felt… it’s horrible and I still feel waves of it hitting me. And I shall cause it just by existing… It would be better to die now. “Just- just kill me, damn you! I don’t want to live if I’ll cause this!” Would this be considered suicide? …I think it would be, but it would be for the best… Why should I live if it will make the world suffer further?
C: And he has returned to whining like a little ninny.
SB: Shocker, no?
C: Not really.
SB: Sarcasm, motherfucker.
“If only it were that easy.” The figure starts to walk towards me. “You see, though it would bring me great pleasure to snuff out your life’s flame, it would accomplish nothing.” My eyes widen in fear as it stops and kneels down in front of me. “No, you have already caused too much damage to this world. Your death would be meaningless, as the events have already been set in motion and I am unable to stop them. Regrettably, ending you is not an option. However, I believe killing you would be what you would want at this point, correct?” It lets out what I swear is a laugh, though it’s so cold and heartless that I don’t know what to call it. Definitely not a laugh. “No, I believe that the best course of action is to allow you to live, to suffer through life knowing that this world shall suffer due to your actions. Enjoy what miserable life you have left, Kale.”
I don’t even have a chance to say anything before my entire world fades to black.
C: I see this entity has taken from Sven-Stu’s playbook on how to know what you are talking about. There is more substance to his ramblings, and indeed they have everything to do with the plot, but they maintain the same self-aggrandizing, holier-than-thou speechifying that constituted Sven’s rants.
Oh, and let’s not forget that there are numerous other ways this guy’s “perfect plan” can fail even without this kid’s interference. I mean, you are aware that Awakening has a “Game Over” screen, right? So that implies a failure condition already. Hell, there was a failure condition in-universe before Lucina and the other kids went back to try to set things right.
SB: Why is this guy even making that big a deal about this? I mean he hasn’t totally fucked the world over…yet.
C: What do you mean?
SB: Well, that baby wasn’t in this lame game, was he?
He was not.
SB: And what about that other guy, the only one who even had a chance of stopping him?
… He’s not in the game either…
SB: And that’s where this dumbass black thing’s whole point falls apart. If this evil baby was saved by fruitcake here, shouldn’t it have also spawned that other guy who saved the other fuckers?
Yeah, that’s actually a really good point, isn’t it? It’s not like Kale irreversibly fucked the world over: there are still elements in play that can save the world. And hell, some of them can arguably be traced back to Kale! I mean, without the evil baby here, the other guy probably wouldn’t have had cause to rise up against him, right? So yeah, Kale might destroy the world, but he’s also got the ability to put it back together. The story itself showed us that with the other overpowered guy!
SB: So, he’s freaking out over nothing.
C: Well, that could be what the author is going for. After all, is it not common for a hero to save everything and fix his mistakes when he has messed up?
Yeah, but if MaesterDimentio’s going for that, we shouldn’t have elements in place that can allow the reader to give this deity-type a Patrick Stewart speech this early in the story! For fuck’s sake, this is this weird guy’s second appearance in this fic, when we’re not even halfway through the entire posting of a story that isn’t even fucking finished yet! Why are we getting this now, instead of later?
Seriously, MaesterDimentio, why the meta-narrative? Meta-narrative of the type you’re attempting to do here is actually incredibly hard to pull off without it coming across as pretentious—and that’s when it doesn’t completely fall apart first! I won’t say it can’t be done, but the way it’s being done here comes off as incredibly preachy!
This shadow guy right here is the most superfluous method of commenting on the role of the author avatar I’ve ever seen! Surely there’s a more subtle way to get this across! Either move this guy’s first appearances to later, or cut him out entirely!
Come on! Think, MaesterDimentio! You’re better than this! At least, I thought you were. I’m starting to have my doubts now…
SB: Are we going to continue or what?
After… that, we get a line break, and we cut to this:
“…far are we to Plegia, boss?”
After that, we get a narrative rambling about that quote as Kale wakes up. He then hears another voice who he dubs “Nasal Voice”, who is bitching about “we’re close to Ylisstol, be happy we haven’t been seen, and we have to stop”. And then, after a silence, “non-nasal” (I swear, that is the actual wording in-story), kicks Kale’s sack. The lackey is all “shit, knock him out”, but nasal voice guy says “nah, let him stay awake, I think it’s time to show him my face.”
C: Hold, what? Let me see that!
“No, let him stay awake.” Nasal Voice says, laughing slightly as he says it. “I think it’s about time he knew who his host was, don’t you?” Actually a good question, thank you. I manage to open my eyes, though my head still hurts like it was hit with a hammer (granted, it might have been) and look for the source of the- Well, this was unexpected. You can’t be serious… My eyes practically fall out of my head as I see who the voice belongs to: the swordsman from Southtown, standing over me and sporting a very crooked nose.
C: Oh no.
SB: What is it this time?
C: A true Awesome McEvil! And he is only the lackey! No!
Well… let’s see. After that, he’s all “you recognize me”, while kicking Kale in the rib. Kale is then all “why are you taking me to Plegia”, before—
Taking a look around, I see a massive amount of bandits- no, not bandits: Plegian soldiers, each trained to fight to their death I’m sure. They’re looking at me like I’m a monster, like they’re ready to tear me to pieces.
C: And he has also unleashed the hordes of needless soldiers meant to capture exactly one person!
“Quite a lot of men, eh boy? Bet you’re wondering why I’ve gathered them all, just to hunt you down. Oh, it’s pretty simple, really.” the swordsman says as he places a hand on my shoulder. “You see, my friend and mine’s families are real close. You’d almost call the two of us brothers, considering we grew up so close. So, imagine how angry I was after I watched you spill his guts on Ylissean soil.”
C: And now he has the evil speech explaining his motives. No, why?
SB: Fuck, calm those tits, man…
C: Quiet, polecat!
SB: At this rate he’ll be like…
… The fuck?
C: … Let us not speak of that again.
He suddenly punches me in the stomach, causing me to groan in pain and double over, though he grabs me by the chin and hoists me back up. He looks me in the eye and smiles. “Then, take in the fact that we both came from two noble houses in Plegia and that these men who surround you have all been aided by our families in one way or another!” He hits me again, in the side. “I’m taking you home to dear ole Plegia, where our families and friends will happily tear you to pieces, bit by bit, in revenge for my brother.” I brace myself and close my eyes as I see him rear his fist back, though nothing can really prepare me for the pain that comes as he punches me directly in my face. I fall to the ground as he and a few other people laugh.
C: And he laughs at the misfortune of the hero! No! Stop that!
Yeah, Crunchy, what’s gotten into you? This isn’t like you.
C: He is a nameless lackey, at best! Why is the lackey the one who is behaving like a proper Awesome McEvil? That is not how it works!
SB: Watch the tits, newt. He’ll get it soon enough.
C: I should bloody well hope so! This is a travesty! No lackey can be this evil! What room is there for us proper villains if this lackey is there stealing our glory?
Yeah, you keep talking.
After this point, Awesome McEvil here basically unleashes the hounds on Kale while also being all “to war, boys!” Of coure, right as that’s about to happen, it rains, and then a bolt of lightning strikes the tree. Before anything else can be processed…
“For the glory of Naga!” I hear someone oddly familiar call out. Why do they sound familiar? As I struggle to sit up, my ribs still feeling like they’re on fire (pretty sure one’s at least cracked… either that or I’m just that weak… probably the latter) I see a group of men and women rushing the bandits. Leading them is- Libra!?
SB: Here comes the cavalry now.
C: I am still annoyed this was allowed to happen.
Oh hush, Crunchy, you’ll be alright.
Anyway, after this, Libra rushes in to fight these guys. He then sees a bandit drop his axe, and immediately gets to work cutting the ropes binding him on that axe. That happens, and he comments that it’s nice to see a friendly face. A different war monk then proceeds to heal Kale, and Kale asks him what’s going on. The monk introduces himself, says the raven-masked man sent them after Kale, and he then goes over, picks up a sword, and—
“NO!” I scream, backing away hurriedly. “Get that thing away from me! I won’t kill anyone again, do you understand me?! I WON’T HAVE MORE BLOOD ON MY HANDS, DAMN YOU!” Shit, calm down! If I don’t get my medicine, or some equivalent of it, I’m going to completely lose it… I try and will myself to stand or apologize, but my body instead starts to curl itself into a ball as tears start rolling down my face. “No more… I don’t want to kill anymore…” I sob.
You know, with that sudden outburst, I’m not certain that anxiety is Kale’s only problem.
SB: So this fucker ain’t cuckoo enough?
No… It might actually be bipolar depression, too.
C: Is it, though?
Well, I mean, how else do you explain this sudden outburst? It came right out of nowhere, it had a specific trigger… That shit is caused by something else. In combination with anxiety? Who knows, but anxiety alone is definitely not it.
C: Are you certain? You have been wrong on those things before.
No. Which is why it would be really nice if Fraug could show up in the comments again and elaborate on this! Fraug! Get over here!
SB: Bah, it’s not worth talking about!
Hey, if the author is going to bring mental illness into this fic, then that colors everything differently. And unfortunately, he’s now put us into a position where we have to talk about it in relation to Kale’s personality, ‘cause that shit changes you. Either way, whoop de doo!
We then get Kale being all “I don’t want to fight”. Nasal Voice retreats, introduces himself as Randell of the Dunes, and then runs off. Libra comes in and is all “hey, it’s alright, nobody’s gonna hurt you, now who are you and what did they want with you?” Kale suffers a mental breakdown, and after telling Libra why Randell is after him, he’s just all “I don’t want to fight anymore”, before he passes out due to stress.
SB: I thought we’d already seen him bitch about not wanting to kill anyone already.
C: And now you understand the frustration we felt when this plot thread was reprised the first time.
SB: No kidding. No wonder you were annoyed with him before he became Marcus Knight on steroids.
Yeah, really. Can’t he just let it fucking rest already!? It’s no longer relatable, it’s annoying!
We then get a line break, and we cut to:
“They managed to rescue him after all… Good.” The raven-masked swordsman nodded in satisfaction as he stepped from the tree line, sheathing his sword.
Oh hey, it’s the raven-masked man! Hi there!
So then the raven-masked man expresses some happiness to Libra at how they went after Kale. Libra then thanks the guy, before going on about how he knew where the camp was. Raven-masked man says something along the lines of “I’ve been around, animals were acting weird, et cetera, before he turns his attention to Kale.
The monk frowned. “I wish I knew what was wrong with him. He was simply crying, as though a great tragedy had befallen him. Whether one has or has not, I cannot tell.”
SB: Eh, don’t worry about him. He’s just doing his dumbass shit he does.
Raven-masked man then gives Libra the run-down of what happened with Kale and Randell. Of course, this gets Libra to look at him weird, at which point he says:
“Yes, I was watching the entire conflict. I chose not to intervene for two reasons. One: it appeared that your force was more than capable of defeating these bandits. Two: I’ve had to travel more today than I have in weeks. I apologize for being tired but I’m afraid that I would have been of no assistance in battle.”
SB: Oh, come on! I wasn’t asking if everyone in this story was a basic because I wanted that! I WAS JOKING!
C: Truly? The “I’m tired” excuse? Of course he would use lethargy as an excuse not to act. No, he might have actually killed that damned lackey if he had intervened, and we cannot have that!
Settle down, Crunchy. Or do you like Eliza’s calming pies.
C: Oh, those little things? They are delicious, why would you use them on me?
Because I think she made them with the Carolina reaper this time…
C: Bah, I am not afraid of any little Carolina reaper!
SB: At this rate he’s going to get it for sure… *lays back on his chair, arms behind his head to rest his head* Why are they scooting away?
Anyway, Libra forgives him that, and then he’s all “we’ll take care of him.” And then…
The swordsman stepped to the side and held out an arm. “May you be safe on your travels, friend.” As Libra was walking past him, the swordsman suddenly reached out and grabbed him by the sleeve of his coat. “Forgive me, but I must ask a favor. Please, make sure that you take good care of this young man.” He looked at the unconscious figure and sighed. “Don’t ask me why, but I feel as though this person… No, I know this person is in some way, shape, or form, is responsible for me being alive right now. I wouldn’t wish any harm to come to him.” Walking over to the young man, he knelt down and pushed a few strands of hair from his face.
“Stay safe, Kale.” he whispered.
Just so you know, we freaking called it!
SB: It’s what happens when you’re a basic. At some point, you fall apart, and we see you for what you are.
We then cut to Randell after a line break, and we get a long rant about how angry he is. One of his men then tells him “hey, Kale’s friends are over there”, and then he’s all “I want to know where he is going! And then, we—
C: You would never dare!
Oh, I would, Crunchy:
Sighing, he knelt down on the ground, using his scabbard as support. “Ever since I saw that boy cut down my brother, I’ve sought nothing but vengeance. I gathered together as many men from the infiltration cells that King Gangrel sent into this accursed country as I could in order to hunt down that brat. I got lucky when I crossed by Alech and learned that he’d been by there and had a small group of people with him. We followed them, waiting for a chance to strike and nearly got torn apart by those beasts in the process, but we finally managed to catch him, and for what? To have him be rescued by a group of monks?” Growling, he stood up and pulled out his blade. “No. No, I will not allow him to escape like this!” Standing up, he moved over to the clearing where the remainder of his men, numbering close to a hundred, rested and recuperated. He cleared his throat, gaining all of their attention.
C: No! This cannot be happening!
SB: *snickers* Priceless!
“Men, what happened today was an insult. Not only to the name of my blood brother, but also to the name of we Plegians! We were chased off by mere monks, men of the cloth who barely know of what true battle is! We, who have grown strong and wise as we lived in the harsh desert and endured the battering sands, shall we allow this to go unpunished? No! We shall not stand for this! Our plan has not changed! We shall still march across the countryside, striking in the darkness and plunging the knife of fear and terror into the hearts of every Ylissean. But first, we must strike at one of the places where they gain their strength, one of the places where they would not dream we would attack.” Holding his sword into the air, he let out a shout. “We attack the home of those monks and raze it to the ground, with all of them inside! From there, we march and do the same to the entire country! On my name as Randell of the Dunes, I swear that we shall not fail!”
“Randell! Randell! Randell!” the soldiers began to cheer as their leader looked down on them from the ledge he stood, a smile on his face.
For his family, his country, and his brother, he would burn this country to the ground.
C: For heaven’s sake, must I do everything myself?
SB: Hah, it’s actually fun seeing you get angry!
C: Be quiet, puppy, I am not—
*Eliza rushes in, tossing a calming pie right at Crunchy*
C: OH GOODNESS MY EYES! MY EYES! HOW IS IT POSSIBLE FOR THEM TO BURN THIS MUCH!?
Hey, gotta remember Awesome McEvil rule number four: there is always a breakdown somewhere.
SB: Hah, I can’t wait to tell Tryce about this. Making pies with the Carolina reaper? That shit is hardcore.
I can have Eliza give you the recipe if you’re really curious!
SB: Nah, I’m good. I don’t want to know what that would turn into if I actually tried it. Already melted two stoves back at home…
*Several Hours Later*
C: *returns* Oh, thank goodness. I never thought the burning would end…
Good. Now, can we trust you to keep your cool around Awesome McLackey there?
C: *grumbles* I swear he will pay for this.
SB: In your dreams, newt.
Anyway, we then cut back to Kale, wherein…
Where the heck am I? The last thing I remember was… me bawling like a baby on the ground while Libra and a few other monks watched me. Great… never going to live that one down…
SB: The only thing you won’t live down is what you just said.
I mean, really? He passes out in a sobbing mess, and then immediately as soon as he wakes up he’s worried about how embarrassing it looks? Yeah, I’m pretty sure anxiety doesn’t work like that.
He then wakes up, realizing he’s in a room with a bed, and he’s all bandaged. As he sits up, though…
“The healing can only do so much. Even with staves, a broken or cracked rib will need time to recover, though it won’t take as much time. You should be fine in a day or so.” I look up as someone speaks. Standing in the doorway and leaning against the door, which I swear was closed a moment ago, is a young man about my age. His hair is a mess of black and dark blonde that’s been roughly cut, hanging just above his dark green eyes and down to the nape of his neck. He’s wearing a black and green coat that trails along the ground over a black shirt, though the shirt’s barely able to be seen as the coat’s buttoned nearly to the top. I can see what looks like a necklace hanging around his neck, though the rest is hidden beneath his shirt, and tied around his waist is a dark red and gold belt that has a scabbard hanging off the left side. He has a light brown pair of pants on with a pair of black boots covering his feet.
So, did anyone else skim over that description?
SB: Me! *raises hand*
C: As did I.
Points for the fact that it manages to avoid being purple, but still. Too long! Not to mention full of costume porn!
“No, I don’t read minds, so don’t bother asking. Just figured from the look on your face that you were wondering why you needed the bandages after being healed.” He says with a smile. Walking over to me, he extends his hand. “It’s a pleasure to meet you. The name’s Daven.”
SB: Who wants to bet on how long it takes this guy to become a basic like everyone else in this story?
C: So soon?
Well, you can’t deny pretty much everyone in this story starts bitching about their lives or otherwise acting like utter morons at some point, right?
C: Fair. I was simply expecting him to wait to open the betting pool long after his introduction.
SB: And why wouldn’t I open it now? You know it’s gonna happen!
Yeah, that’s also a good point.
Kale introduces himself to Daven (who is probably reader-insert character number *mumblety*, for all we know), and then he’s all “where are my clothes?” Daven says people are fixing them up, before changing the topic.
He just shrugs and turns around. “Right, well, you should probably come with me. Brother Libra said he wanted to talk to you as soon as you woke up.” He laughs again as if something’s funny. “Man, can you sleep or what? It was barely dark when they got you in last night and its already past noon right now.”
SB: And? Why is that funny?
SB: I just opened the betting pool! Really?
C: Relax, polecat, he has not done anything especially… ‘basic’, yet.
SB: Don’t steal my words, ragetits.
C: I think it is rather apt. Anyway, shall we keep going?
Standing up, I slap him on the back of the head. Not hard, but just enough to get him to stop laughing. “Hey, I had a pretty rough day yesterday, alright? So cut me some slack, will you?” I snap. I walk past him and make it to the door when I realize he’s not following me. I turn around and instead see him standing there, an odd look on his face. “What’s the matter? I didn’t hit you too hard, did I?”
Yep, definitely not just anxiety. I don’t think anxiety alone can produce these kinds of mood swings, you know?
C: It is certainly a question for Fraug to answer. Where is he?
My words shook him out of whatever trance he was in, as he shakes his head suddenly. “No, that’s not it. Just… it’s nothing.” He still looks a bit shaken as he strides past me. “Come on, Brother Libra’s room is this way.” he says without looking at me. I let out a sigh as I look out the door and see just how long the hallways are. I start moving after him, as I’m sure I could easily get lost in here without a guide.
After that, we get a line break, and…
…I totally knew it. I knew I would get lost here. Sure enough, it barely takes me fifteen minutes to lose sight of Daven and get lost in the maze of long, complex mess of a hall system they have here. How do the monks and nuns get around this place? You’d need a freaking map to find the front door!
Probably the same way anyone can walk through the Sarah Winchester house without getting lost: a map, and lots and lots of time getting acquainted with it.
C: Neither of which he has, to be fair.
True, but still. Worth pointing out.
SB: What I want to know is how he lost sight of his guide. Seriously?
Yeah, that’s also true, isn’t it? Assuming he was standing close by and Daven was paying attention, how did that work? Because I doubt something like that would happen given these circumstances.
C: Why would it happen, more importantly?
I take a look at the hallway I’m currently in. It’s completely devoid of anyone else, which is surprising, though there is a door at the end of the hall. I immediately start walking towards it. If a door is at the end of a hallway, it’s usually important.
It was so he could be unmolested and stumble across the latest plot coupon without anything in the way, wasn’t it?
C: I have seen some very lazy ways of making a hero find an item of great significance to their quest. This here happens to be the laziest one of them all. He could not even be bothered to explain why the separation happened, only that it happened.
SB: Why the hell does the king of the basics keep getting rewarded?
Because Gary Stu, that’s why.
Let’s just hope it’s not the women’s restroom.
Which wouldn’t exist as you know it in a setting based on Medieval Europe, but okay, let’s run with it.
As I finally make it to the door, I’m slightly confused by the fact that I hear no noise whatsoever coming from the other side. I give it an experimental knock to check and see if anyone will reply. Nothing. If no one’s in here, then it might be for a good reason. I should probably- Screw it, we’re going in! I turn the doorknob, which is surprisingly unlocked, and walk inside.
SB: You know, for as much as I hate basics, I can at least say I don’t want to kill most of them. I think this is of the few basics I actually want wiped out.
Wow, really? Jeez, it’s an accomplishment when you can do that!
It turns out that he steps into a massive-ass library, which is also cold. He then gets lost in that, before he hears a voice beckoning to him. He follows the voice, to find…
I’m rewarded with a sword in a glass case.
C: Oh, excellent, a sword. I suppose I shall place a bet it is one of those mystical swords that chooses its wielder?
SB: And you were bitching at me about that earlier?
He’s got you there, Crunchy.
C: Be quiet, parrot.
Walking up to it, despite my reluctance to take hold of a sword ever again, I can see that just the scabbard itself is a masterpiece, a regular work of art. Intricate gold designs run up the length of the black sheath. The grip is a mixture of ivory, gold, and some dark wood, with a small golden hilt. Walking around to the other side of the case, I see that the other side of the scabbard doesn’t have the same patterning. Instead, there’s some strange text there, though I can’t make it out.
“‘Here rests the Sword of Arashi, the Beast of the Heavens.’ That is what it says, Harbinger.”
At least it’s just a scabbard. I’d flip out if this were the actual sword…
I fall back as a voice suddenly rings out from seemingly nowhere, dropping all of my books in a pile.
Wait, when was he carrying books?
C: Perhaps he acquired some in the time that he was separated from his guide?
Huh. Yeah, that must be it. It actually explains a lot, now that I think of it in those terms…
“W-who’s there?” I shout, looking around wildly. I hear a deep chuckling coming from near the case. I stand up to look and see if anyone’s there, only to realize that the chuckling isn’t coming from near the glass case.
It’s coming from inside of it.
“Finally, someone who hears my voice. I was getting impatient waiting for one like you to arrive.”
C: And I believe that means that, in the lingo of those younger and less evil than I, ‘I called it.’
SB: *grumbles, handing Crunchy a five dollar bill* “Fine, whatever.
C: I am glad we could reach an agreement on something, polecat.
After that, we’re treated to the customary author’s note. This time, it doesn’t actually say anything substantial, so I’m just going to skip it. Which means we’re done for the week!
Now, are you two calmed down now?
SB: Eh, I guess…
C: I suppose things have calmed down a little.
Good. Now, I won’t ask you to apologize, but… I will ask you not to get at each other’s throats.
SB: Is my way home ready by now? I need to get back to practice…And maybe shower…
C: I am certain Bifocals is working on a new dimensional travel device as we speak. You will be out soon.
Yep. Well, folks, I’ll see you all next time, when we continue with this fic. See you all then!