1302: Legendary Adventurers, Futuristic Saviors – Chapter Ten, Part FivePosted: January 16, 2016
Title: Legendary Adventurers, Futuristic Saviors
Topic: Princess Mononoke
URL: Chapter 10
Critiqued at the expense of Alexander Killian by SC, Ethan, Bifocals, and a horrible piece of SC’s past
Ethan: Hey miss, don’t I know you from somewhere? I feel like I do.
Bifocals: …I am sorry, but I have not met you once in my life before now, sir.
Ethan: You sure? You look really familiar, for some reason.
Could that, by any chance, be because you spent some time traveling with a princess at one point who happened to bear resemblance to Bifocals?
Ethan: Oh, you know, it could be!
Bifocals: I was compared to a princess. I suppose I cannot be too disappointed by this. Better than being compared to the local village madwoman, certainly.
No, that’s what I compare you to.
That tape over your mouth tight enough, Killian?
Alex: *angry, muffled complaining*
Hello, and welcome back to Legendary Adventurers, Futuristic Saviors, by Stone-Man85! I’m your host, SC, and last time, Alex met Eboshi and Yashahime, pissed off Gonza, and was a massive hypocrite. I expect this will continue to be the case as we progress further into the ungodly-long monster that is Chapter Ten this week.
Something else we’re doing this week… well, there’s a reason why I taped Alex’s mouth shut. It’s a pretty long story, and I don’t need him interrupting.
So, as of April, this year, I’ll be twenty-one. Subtract eight from twenty-one, and I was thirteen. Subtract eight years from 2016, and I was thirteen back in 2008.
Where’s this going? You’ll see.
Back in 2008, I was weeaboo as fuck. To the uninitiated, “weeaboo” is a none-too-polite way of identifying someone as being waaaaay too into anime and manga, and basically deluding themselves into thinking that Japan is equal parts heaven and a battleground of giant robots, kaiju monsters and magical girls. Spoiler alert: it’s not.
So, how much of a weeaboo was I?
Oh, the bug bit me HARD.
Let me just summarize it: It was at a time where Naruto was starting to get super popular, and it had sparked my curiosity. World of Warcraft was a huge thing in the gaming community (and, to a degree, still is), and I was awe-struck watching my dad play. Even though I first saw Princess Mononoke and Castle in the Sky back when I was like eight, memories of both still lingered. I had just finished watching Dragonball Z, s-CRY-ed, two Gundam series (Seed and 08th Mobile), and was in the later chapters of Black Cat. I had gotten my hands on a copy of Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children, and watched it near-endlessly. The Tales games were new territory I’d yet to truly explore.
To sum it up, if there was a way for me to be more weeaboo than I was, it would likely have required that I find a basement to hole up in. And also, I would probably have started collecting creepy memorabilia, gotten super fat off of ramen, illegally pirated animes I didn’t want to buy, and had to rename myself “otaku.” Be glad that this didn’t come to pass.
Thirteen years old was also when my writing was actually starting to get somewhat decent. And my sister KittyNoodles, the foolish fool that she is, decided to introduce me to the world that was fanfiction. She even let me read a few of her early works. Now, you’ll recall that I make it a point to tell people, “none of my old fics ever made it to the internet,” but that doesn’t mean they were never written. Oh no, they were certainly written. In fact, what ended up happening was that I took all my old fics, not realizing at the time how crappy they all were, and slammed them together into what I thought would be the single greatest epic crossover tale of all time.
It was when I was older that I realized I had actually made a colossal mess. The protagonists were all power level whores, and the antagonists were all mustache-twirling Bond villains, and that’s just one example.
It was epic, though. For as horrifyingly bad as it was, I was so damn invested in it that I started creating some kind of fucked up original canon out of it. I spent years creating this incredibly diverse jigsaw puzzle world, comprised of all the worlds that played host to the canons I subscribed to. You had the ruined city of Midgar, evacuated by Shinra due to multiple, massive structural weaknesses as the central point for a lot of the combat; Azeroth contained much of the plot for the protagonists; the many worlds of Kingdom Hearts outlined the struggle between the second-generation heroes-to-be and a shady group of villains who had sprung up on the coattails of the main villains; City of Heroes was where minor skirmishes took place, and Paragon City in particular was, of course, where the heroes all made their ultimate alliance and trained the younger generation to carry on the fight, as “evil is a force of nature that can never truly die, but only be forever stymied by the ceaseless efforts of good so that the innocent may hold on to what little peace that can be had” (by the way, I was a massive Edgelord too).
And as for the characters, if I wasn’t out-and-out ignoring their canon designs, I was molding them to fit my weird-ass universe. You had names like Cid (FF7 Cid, naturally) and Trunks leading massive, sky-based engagements against millions of enemy hordes, often led by Creed Diskenth, Van Grants and Sephiroth because reasons, and Train Heartnet was once Hokage or whatever and his never-was-and-never-will-be son, Sora from Kingdom Hearts, was essentially Naruto, and Kira Yamato from Gundam Seed was a fire wizard of no equal, and Shiro Amada of the 08th Mobile Gundam series was… I honestly forget what he was, but he had a bad habit of dying like Krillin. Squall and Vincent often found themselves crossing blades or trading bullets with Legretta and Kuja. Kazuma and Ryuho competed in Budokai tournaments. Pretty sure I had Harry Potter in the Chuunin exams. The list goes on FOREVER. I think Inuyasha is in there somewhere, to boot.
Interspersed between all these canon names were original characters who were Gary Stu as all hell, too. And somewhere along the way, I made a Self-Insert of myself… As the main, and most powerful hero of the protagonist alliance. I had the personality of Hatake Kakashi, the wisdom of Gandalf, the strength (and inability to stay dead) of Goku, and had a sword that just looked like a regular katana when sheathed, but much like Tessaiga (oh, THERE’S the Inuyasha part of it!) would transform into a World of Warcraft sword when drawn that I once thought was really cool, because my dad’s character used it at one point, but I now realize it’s dumb as hell. Oh, and here’s how invested I was in this bullshit: my Self-Insert character came from some Asgardian clan or another, and he had two brothers – one which got cursed by accident and now works undercover as a school teacher, and the other off doing Odin-knows-what, but it was probably evil because I remember him being the brother who fell from grace due to some off-screen tragedy. I even made long, extensively detailed lists of my character’s range of powers and weapons. He had X amount of super sayian levels. He knew X number of Harry Potter spells. Motherfucker even had his own set of Naruto-style jutsus. I went online and looked up the handsigns and general structuring of Naruto jutsus for the sake of accuracy. I PRACTICED the handsigns to make sure that they could actually be pulled off.
My character had two names, one being his human guise of… well, myself, and the other being his real form, Aries Weirmoore.
I am not kidding. That was the name I went with.
It was probably a mix of my star sign, Jaina Proudmoore’s surname and wherever the hell I got “weir” from, who knows. But that was the name. And my character had two sons with equally bullshit names: the younger one was named Skye, and he was basically Cloud, and the older one-
…The older one was named Narsokka. I can’t even begin to tell you what went on in my head when I came up with that one. I think I was watching Avatar: The Last Airbender at the time. Anyhow, Narsokka was a Ghost unit from StarCraft. Because sure.
Now, you’re probably about to jaw-drop at who their mother was.
Go ahead, take a guess. You have about a billion possibilities, but take a shot.
…My character was married to San.
And San had stupid anime powers and stupid anime armor. So did Moro and her pack. And so did my character – it started in his right arm, encased it completely in ridiculous armor plating, then spread to the rest of him and made him stupid-powerful. It was referred to as a curse, because he got it from the same phenomenon that created the Alter-Users in s-CRY-ed.
Sound familiar, Killian?
*Alex blinks in shock*
Yeah, it should. When your author first created you, little did he know that he was copying ME, but on a much smaller scale.
Ethan: Uh… heh… this is all really, uh, enlightening, but why are you telling us this? We have a riff to get to-
*SC flinches as a being from his nightmares teleports into the room*
…Because we’re going to be riffing with this motherfucker.
Because my idiot brain figured that the best way to silence my past for good is to confront it. So I am. God help me.
Aries: Hmm? Ah, yes, I know you. You and I are one in the sa-
YOU SHUT YOUR WHORE MOUTH! I AM NOTHING LIKE YOU!
Aries: My, so violent. I’ve only just gotten here!
And I’m already about to make you leave in a body bag.
Aries: As though that will amount to anything.
Go fuck yourself. And sit your sorry ass down, we’ve stalled long enough on getting to this riff, all because I was so damn busy introducing you.
*Aries shrugs and takes a seat; Ethan and Bifocals slowly turn and look at SC*
Ethan: …What the fuck, man.
There aren’t enough words to express how sorry I am.
Alex followed close behind Lady Eboshi as she led him through the inner workings of Iron town that still were buzzing with human activity despite the hour.
Aries: Eboshi?! Why is he hanging out with that witch?! She led an aerial bombardment against Stormwind City!
Just… just… stop. It is beyond impossible for you to be anymore wrong.
*SC reaches over and rips the tape off of Alex’s mouth*
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I actually would prefer to hear you talk.
Ethan: We’ve reached a new low, Beth.
Bifocals: …My name is not Beth.
Men tending to the oxen, women carrying heavy boundless of laundry or straw baskets and even loads of iron over their shoulders.
Ethan: I imagine boundless laundry would be a bitch to wash.
Aries: I could probably handle it.
Continue bragging about how powerful you are, and I’ll put a bullet in you.
Aries: As if that’s going to do any-
*Aries pitches over backwards, dead; a moment later, he respawns*
Aries: W-what the?! How can this be?! Bullets have never been able to hurt me before! Your power level must be-
I’ll fucking shoot you again, don’t think I won’t.
Alex: Okay, but, how DID that work? If he’s as powerful as you built him up to be, couldn’t he have just, like, dodged it or whatever?
There’s a million things he could have done. But regardless of the fact that he’s a Self-Insert Stu of me, he’s still a character of my creation. That means that I can decide what he is and isn’t capable of, and I’ve decided that he can’t do shit.
Aries: You bastard!
But the work that seamed to dominate over all was the hammering of the freshly smelted iron. Every where Alex looked he saw groups of people huddled around chunks of the hot metal, slamming them with hammers, and flattening them into the small slabs that Eboshi had been inspecting earlier.
Bifocals: Those are called ingots, Dummkopf.
Aries: Oh! You sprecken zee German, too?
*Loud creaking noises as Bifocals slowly turns and glares at Aries*
Bifocals: …Gilderoy, kill him.
*Gilderoy, who had been standing silently in the back, draws both laser swords and tackles Aries*
Bifocals: Aim for the head, Gilderoy, that way he cannot continue to speak.
Ethan: You might not be that princess I traveled with, but you’re as hardcore as she was!
Bifocals, blushing: Oh, you charmer.
Alex: Where can I get a robot like that?
Bifocals: You cannot, because I will not build one for you.
Hey, them’s the breaks when you’re a Stu, pal.
It was strange seeing women working in hard labor like this, Alex had thought to himself. Though he wasn’t an expert in history, he did know that much about ancient Japanese culture, he did know that the only place where one would find women working was either in a kitchen, a tea house, rice fields or in a brothel.
*Bifocals’ eye twitches*
Uh, yeah, Alex? Peasant women did just as much work as their husbands in feudal Japan. Just FYI.
Aries: Personally, I thought all Japanese women were like San.
Okay, I think it’s time for you to die again.
You know, you’d think I’d feel badly for shooting myself in the face over and over, but in fact I feel nothing.
Anyhow, so let me get this straight: Alex, you are in the presence of Japanese nobility in the form of Lady Eboshi. You were in the company of the Emishi people, whose women are trained and armed to fight if they need to. You even passed through a town where a woman was working as a soup vendor. And yet you somehow believe that women in ancient Japan were nothing but housewives or homewreckers? Do you know nothing of the priestesses and female Samurai and royalty that existed throughout Japan’s history? Did it not enter your mind at all that the women did just as much hard work as men, and perhaps even more so? You really have this backwards idea in your head that all a Japanese woman did was be pregnant and do housework? Or serve tea? Or fuck a man for cash?
*Alex shifts uncomfortably*
Alex: …When you put it that way, I kind of feel like a dick now.
As well you should.
Ethan: …Man, if there were a mirror in this room, you could totally see how hilarious the look on your face is, kid.
Alex: hilarious for everybody who isn’t me, right?
It was then that Alex remembered the smell of the iron works and held his hand against his face to block the foul air.
Ethan: That shit’ll give you black lung real quick.
There’s a reason why forges are typically required to be open-air facilities. Or at least have huge vacuum fans installed, if we’re talking about modern day forges.
Bifocals: Specs usually just wears a gas mask. U-uh, n-not that I notice or anything! I DO NOT HAVE A CRUSH ON HIM, ALL OF YOU SHUT UP!
Aries: Nobody ever said anything to that effect.
Besides, we all know about it at this point.
Bifocals: You know nothing! Because there is nothing to know! There are no crushes being had on anybody, and certainly not by me, and certainly not towards Specs! Stop questioning me!
Alex: Is she always like this?
You have no idea.
“I just realized something,” Eboshi said, glancing over her shoulder, “You still haven’t told me your name.”
Ethan: Somehow, the need to know never came up. Which, you know, that’s a first, usually names are the first things people want to know.
I mean, clearly it’s not impossible to get away without identifying yourself, but damn, usually that’s information you try and withhold if you’re undercover or something like that.
“It’s Alex, Alex Killian. Alex is short for Alexander, in case you’re wondering.”
Aries: *gasp!* No way.
That’s just crazy talk.
Ethan: Holy shit, how amazing.
Bifocals: Contact the government, we have made a scientific discovery fit to bring about a new age of human evolution.
Alex: W-well, maybe she didn’t know!
And maybe I’m Ebenezer Scrooge. Give me all your money, you Christmas-loving bitch.
“Alexander… ,” Eboshi studied the name for a moment before continuing. “It has a very foreign sound to it. Like the Roman conqueror?”
…*sigh* Here we fucking go.
*SC removes his glasses and hooks them on his shirt collar*
First and foremost, because so much of Japan’s history was being isolated from the rest of the world, I kind of doubt that Eboshi would know who Alexander the Great is. Especially since his campaign never went anywhere near Japan, so there would be no native documentation of his exploits in the country. It would have to have been brought in from other areas of Asia where Alexander’s campaign stretched, and that would have had to have been via trade, and as established earlier in the riff, Japan during the feudal age was loathe to play nice with anybody. In fact, the rest of the world had to FORCE them to open their borders and trade goods. So the odds of Japan gaining access to, or frankly even caring about Alexander’s exploits, are already pretty low. The odds of Eboshi, some random-ass noblewoman in Irontown, the ass-crack of northwestern Honshu, knowing about him? Even lower.
Moving on, Alexander the Great isn’t Roman. He was born in the city of Pella, capital city of Macedonia. Macedonia is in Greece. Furthermore, Alexander the Great was born into the Argead Dynasty, making him not only Greek, but Greek royalty. And it isn’t just that he wasn’t born Roman – he never even GOT to Rome before he died. His military campaign stretched through Persia, Pakistan, Egypt, India, and all the way to Babylon before he finally died in his thirties. If he had lived ten or fifteen years longer, maybe he would have gotten to Rome. Maybe. It was either that or he would march of Ethiopia. But, the fact remains, he didn’t make it to either of them.
Jesus Christ, Stone-Man85, you couldn’t even be bothered to do your homework regarding one of the greatest military masterminds of human history? For real? Maybe don’t name your Gary Stu after a historical figure if you don’t know who they are, hmm?
*SC puts his glasses back on*
*Aries and Alex have been roasted to death by SC’s eye lasers during the ranting; Ethan and Bifocals peek out from under the desk*
Ethan: Wow! That was an adventure!
Bifocals: And you were going to complain about me tackling you.
Ethan: Hey, I apologize, I didn’t know there was a good reason for it!
The Specs and Co. have developed a Pavlovian response to whenever I take off my glasses, you see.
“I guess you could say that,” Alex answered.
Ethan: Yeah, and then be mocked by people who know history better than you.
Like me. Even if I do have to refer to Wikipedia a lot.
The continued to walk through paths between the buildings until they came to a opening in the huge wall that surrounded Iron Town. When Alex saw Eboshi walking through, he shrugged and followed her.
When he stepped through the opening on the other side, he found himself looking at another open space surrounded by a log-wall that was adjoined to the man wall. The space itself consisted of a fairly good-sized garden of various vegetables, herbs, and exotic followers. The smell of the iron works was amazingly faint here, making it easier to breathe.
Bifocals: Probably because the ironworks are on the other side of the town, and the opening to the garden is small enough to act as a sort of air filter.
I can attest to that. I spent a night at Fort Ross (an early 1800’s Russian settlement in the California bay area that plays host to historical reenactments of the lives of the Russian settlers who lived there) on a field trip in the fifth grade and slept up in one of the blockhouses. I was part of the Militia group, so we had to sleep there. It was far enough away from the campfire, and the cannon windows were small enough that I wasn’t kept awake by the woodsmoke.
Ethan: You were part of a militia?
It was part of a little reenactment we were doing. There were five groups – Cooks, Artisans, Militia, Hunters and I think Clergy. Or… Medics. Something like that. Been a long time, so I can’t exactly remember. There is a chapel in the fort, though. The Militia group was responsible for “protecting” the fort, so we got to carry around old Russian sabers and black-powder firearms (unloaded, naturally), and we did patrols and had fake swordfights and kept track of the time and shit like that. And we all had Russian names and backstories for accuracy. I was Kirill Timofeevich Khlebnikov, an accountant out of Alaska who was living in the fort for a year on a permit but was pressed into guard duty after a wave of sickness left the militia in a state of disrepair and badly in need of fresh recruits.
Ethan: What is it with you and always having grim backstories?
I don’t know, man. Sometimes it just happens and I don’t even mean for it to. I had no say in that particular one.
Anyhow, at the end of the field trip, the Militia group got to fire off the gigantic cannon in the middle of the fort grounds as a celebration of sorts. My ears were ringing for hours.
Bifocals: And this was the fifth grade? Aww~!
It was fun. And it was my first time ever holding a real sword, so hey, bonus!
Ethan: Glad to see we share priorities.
His attention was suddenly pulled away from the scenery when he heard something move just a few steps to his left.
When his eyes followed the sound, he found a figure slouched over on the ground. The figure was completely covered in bandages making it impossible to determine whether it was a man or a woman. It then lifted its head and looked up at Alex with its one eye.
That would be one of the many lepers Eboshi took in.
Its arms were wrapped around a long staff-musket with iron bottle muzzle attached at the tip.
Thanks to a group of historical weaponry and armor enthusiasts on Facebook that I follow to help with my research whenever I write const scenes, I actually have a picture of what that weapon looks like:
Probably not drawn to scale. Or this one was meant as a stationary artillery placement. But that’s the general look of it.
Aries: Kind of looks like a mortar.
That’s basically what it was. Also, when the hell did you revive?
Alex: Just now, same with me. Could have warned us about that before you went and exploded our heads.
Why in the world would I do that?
“Uhhhh…hi there,” Alex stammered. The bandaged figure just nodded.
Bifocals: That is not stammering, Dummkopf.
Alex: …What does that word you keep calling me mean?
Bifocals: Why would I waste my breathe explaining it to you, Dummkopf?
It’s a very impolite word that brings your intelligence into question. Kind of like what I’ve been doing, only in German.
Bifocals: I will end you.
Aries: What? I’m simply speaking in your native tongue. I thought you’d appreciate that?
*Bifocals sputters in rage*
Everybody fucking down!
*No sooner does Gilderoy tackle Aries again than Bifocals summons Old Saint Nick – a triple-barreled laser cannon/minigun hybrid named after Santa because of the “presents” it delivers*
Bifocals: STERBEN, DU SCHWEIN!!!
*This, along with many other horrific German obscenities, are screamed at the top of Bifocals’ lungs as she unleashes all the lasers; eventually, Old Saint Nick runs out of ammunition, Gilderoy drags himself back in a decidedly bad state of disrepair, and there isn’t enough of Aries left to sweep into a test tube*
*Also, the riffing chamber and the hallway beyond are totally fucked*
Ethan: …Wow! It got hot in here, man!
How in the hell can you smile after all that?!
Ethan: Hey, it’s what I do.
Alex: I have seen the face of death; it’s a terrifying thing.
*Bifocals gently pats the worse-for-wear Gilderoy*
Bifocals: I am sorry, my darling baby; mother did not mean to shoot you full of high-intensity, super-focused laser holes. I will make you a fresh new combat chassis to make up for it, does that sound good to you?
Gilderoy: Vocalizing reply based on recorded damage estimation data – Ow.
Hit the Sleep Mode, Gilderoy, you done good.
Ethan: Hey, where do I get one of those cannons?
Bifocals: You… probably should not.
Ethan: Fair call.
Alex: …So what about him?
We’re getting pretty close to the end of the riff. I’ll give him one more chance to not be a fuck-up, then I’m writing him out of existence.
“I’m afraid that she no longer has the ability to speak,” Eboshi said. “The poor girl has lost so much flesh in her mouth and throat that her voice can longer he heard by our ears.”
Ethan: Anybody else want steak after reading that?
Bifocals: Why do you get hungry after reading gross things?
Ethan: Dunno. I just do, for some reason.
Alex: Pretty sure I can’t eat steak now.
The young outlander stared at her for a moment before returning his eyes to the bandaged girl on the ground. There was a grieved frown on his face.
Keep in mind, Alex has barely given a shit about anybody up to this point. Two nearly dead guys with reasonable fears about traveling through a forest invested with angry gods? Bunch of whiners. People curious about who he is and where he came from (which is understandable because he sticks out like a sore thumb)? Nosy jerks. Gonza giving him the stink eye upon arrival, because he has no reason to trust that Alex isn’t waiting to pull something? He was just being a tough guy. But someone has leprosy? Oh heavens, how terrible a fate for them!
Ethan: It kind of is, though.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, I agree. But coming from Alex? Sorry, I just can’t see myself taking it seriously.
He then looked back at Eboshi, “Just what exactly is this place?”
“My Garden,” Eboshi answered, “It’s the one in this compound where I can just forget about everything and enjoy a few moments of peace.” She gave the youth a cold smile, “None of the townspeople dare to set foot in it. It’s probably best if they don’t, if Yashahime found out about it, she would burn it to the ground.”
“Why’s that?” Alex asked.
“She hates the forest,” Eboshi answered, “Anything that resembles it, she goes into a raged frenzy and destroys everything that grows.”
Bifocals: FUCK THESE TREES!
*Bifocals kicks over a potted plant*
Go clean that up.
Bifocals: Yes sir.
“She walked towards the small building that stood squashed up against the wall at the other side of the garden. When she reached the doorway she looked back at Nathan who had not moved an inch,
*SC smacks a buzzer*
Hi, Nathan!: 12
Aries: Who’s Nathan?
The character whose life Alex’s author stole and called Alex’s own.
Alex: That still just feels weird to know.
Also, you’re on thin ice, so maybe think about not being a shitlord from now on?
Aries: Who, me?
Was I talking to someone else?
“Come inside, if you wish to learn my secrets.”
‘Why do I have a really bad feeling about this?‘ Alex asked himself as he moved away from the entrance and followed Lady Eboshi into the small building.
I’d like to say because it leads to your doom, but I’ve seen how many more chapters there are in this son of a bitch.
Alex: I always get so close to thinking we’re on good terms, and then you say stuff like that and I remember that you actually hate my existence.
Once again, upon stepping through the entrance he found himself in yet another strange surrounding. Everywhere he looked he say more of the bandaged people, working and toiling way with different tools. Some sat on straw cushions, carving chunks of wood with chisels, while others worked with small pieces of metal, bending and hammering them into odd shapes.
This is Eboshi’s crafting team. They don’t exactly have it in them to work the forges, so they get the relatively easier job of putting the actual guns together. I say relatively because there’s still a lot of small details to worry about.
“We’ve finally finished the first three, Milady,” Someone said.
Mr. Someone is working overtime, I see.
Bifocals: He is so dedicated.
Ethan: Real go getter, that guy.
Alex turned to see Lady Eboshi standing before a small group of the mummy-like people. In her hands, to Alex’s shock and horror, it was what looked like a primitive version of a match-lock rifle.
No, it’s a musket. I’ve already gone over what the deal with rifles was (though it turned out later that I was horribly off the mark. Ha! Marksmanship jokes).
“I see that I was wise in leaving you all in charge of this task,” Eboshi said while examining the weapon, “The design is perfect, but still a bit too heavy.”
“Perhaps it wouldn’t seem that heavy, if you didn’t handle it so delicately, Milady,” a woman teased, laughing gently.
“Milady,” a man who was hammering out a strip of metal added. “If we make them anymore lighter, they fall apart the first time you fire them.”
This is why we eventually ditched iron for steel: much, much sturdier material, and lightweight to boot.
Ethan: And it makes funny wobbling noises when you shake it.
…Dare I ask why you know that?
Ethan: I’m not allowed in foundries anymore.
Eboshi laughed lightly, “I’m sure that you’ll be able to solve that problem. You’ve been able solve all the other ones up to this point.” She brought the rifle to her shoulder and took aim, “And besides, these new rifles aren’t just for me.” She then pressed her thumb down on a small trigger, which caused the rifle’s hammer to spring forward. “They’re for the other women. I want them to be able to use these new rifles as well as I can.”
The man laughed, “That certainly will be interesting to watch.”
Though it seems counterproductive to, you know, ensuring that the women can’t betray her, this detail is unfortunately canon so I can’t say anything about it.
Eboshi looked back at as she still held the rifle on he shoulder, “This is the latest rifle I’ve asked these people to design,” she explained to the young teen boy, “The ones we brought back from China were far too heavy for most of the towns people to handle.
To be fair, those guns were basically just small cannons on sticks, so I’m not really sure what you expected.
These new rifles will kill the largest Forest-Gods and pierce the thickest samurai armor. There would not be a force in all of Japan that could stand against us in battle.”
“You’d best watch out young man,” chimed one of the carpenters. “The lady Eboshi wishes to rule the world one of these days.” The whole room became filled with laughter.
Alex: What a bunch of stuck up, arrogant little-
I think it’s about time that Alex leave the riff for this week. We’re coming up to a pretty annoying part anyhow, and I don’t need him mouthing off.
Eboshi laughed as well, “I’m sorry that I’ve been pushing you all so hard like this for these past few days.” She picked up the ceramic bottle she had been carrying and set it down on one of the carpentry tables. “I wanted to give you all something in return for hard work, so I brought this sake back from our last trade expedition.”
“Oh Milady, you do us far too much honor than we deserve!” beamed the woman.
Ethan: Isn’t rewarding them counter to her whole, “not getting betrayed” deal?
No no no, the women with leprosy, she doesn’t have to worry about. They’re already too weak to do any real harm to her, and there would be nothing to gain from it. It’s the healthy women that she tries to keep on her toes around.
Annoying part incoming.
“First you stole Nago’s lands from him and turned him into a demon. And now that you’ve got everything you want, you’re making new weapons that are ten times deadlier than the ones you already have,” The laughter suddenly died and all became silent. All eyes were on the young outlander, “Why did you bring me here, Eboshi?” Alex asked angrily, “Was it to give the knife you’ve already stabbed me with another twist? Is that why you showed me all this?”
The young woman’s eyes narrowed, “Yes, I did kill the Boar-God,” she said, “I admit that I am the one who fired the shot, and I’m sorry that you suffer because it, Alex, I truly am.” She shook her head lightly, “That brainless monster. I should have been to one to receive that curse, not you.”
“He wasn’t brainless… he was in pain… and afraid that he would let Shisha Gami down…,” Alex snapped viciously. The burning was once again rising all over him and he could sense the gem on his wrist chain begin to glow bright once again, “Your sympathy doesn’t mean a thing to me, Eboshi! Do you hear me?” He could no longer hold control over his rising anger, “NOT A THING!”
Hey, remember why Alex said he was here?
I’ve journeyed here… to see with eyes unclouded by anger and hatred.
So, how do you guys think that’s going so far?
Aries: It certainly didn’t take long for that to dissolve, did it?
Bifocals: I have built machines in the blink of an eye that took longer to finish than he did to make a liar of himself.
Ethan: I have legitimate memory loss issues, and I still would have done a better job keeping to my word than that.
Suddenly, his whole right arm was encompassed in the black ooze film, and followed it was the gold band’s metal encompassing it. After it had finally hardened, the armor was complete, showing that Alex’s right arm was encased in a skin tight golden yellow armor. His shoulder was in a spherical shoulder guard. His bicep was covered in a golden yellow armor as well, but the line detailing his muscle was showing to be the black ooze. His forearm was three times bigger than ever, with two tusk blades stuck out from where the elbow was. His right hand was also armored in detail, almost looking cybernetic’ the inside and the palm were both covered in the black ooze film armor, and the gem had fused into the right wrist, changing from red to a glowing topaz color. Connecting his shoulder to the chest, a horn shot up that was only one foot up. The right half of his chest was covered in the black ooze film; it was skin tight that it showed his muscles underneath, making it seem that he had no shirt on. It went from his neck as well, and also had armor on him that covered half of his right chest and back, making it look like he had a skin-tight vest on, and around his neck was a golden neck guard of sorts. The same glyph marks appeared under his eyes, and his right eye again, showed it had gone black, and the pupil gone golden yellow… like Nago’s.
I – DO – NOT – CARE what the fucking curse looks like, Stone-Man85! That you insist on describing it every single fucking time it comes up only makes me care less!
Aries: This sounds a lot like my curse-
Don’t you fucking start! You don’t have a curse, you ripped off Kazuma’s powers from s-CRY-ed!
It was clear, that the curse had gotten stronger, but only showed half of it now, due to Alex’s anger boiling inside of him.
Ethan: So, he’s super pissed… but the curse is only half-activated… despite the fact that it’s been built up as this thing that’s triggered by anger. Huh?
My thoughts exactly, buddy.
Bifocals: That is the stupidest non-logic I have ever heard. But then again, so is everything I have heard about this curse up to now, so I suppose I should not be surprised.
Alex: I think it’s actually kind of cool.
Bifocals: And this is why little baby Alex will never be a first-class inventor like I am.
Alex: Well, maybe I didn’t want to be!
*Bifocals waves her wand, and a Saberdroid (a variant of the Bladroid) appears out of a tech portal, hovering beside her with the aid of its A.I.; it is followed by several other droids that Bifocals purposely picked for how cool they look*
Bifocals: A shame to hear you say that, Alex.
You can almost hear his jealousy.
Aries: Like a screaming kettle.
Suddenly, without him knowing it, his right arm lunged right at Eboshi’s face. Luckily, Alex grabbed it with his free normal hand, holding it back. The bandaged men and women watched in complete horror and huddled close to each other in fear.
Eboshi on the other hand, despite what was occurring around her, remained as she was, not even batting an eye. She didn’t even make a move to evade the clawing motions Alex’s right hand was going for her face, obviously lusting to crush her head and tear her face off her skull. When it looked as though the bloodthirsty, armored hand’s fingers would bury themselves deep into her skull, the movement stopped as the hand balled up into a fist, just inches from her face.
Eboshi reacted about how I think any of us would react to this: completely unimpressed.
Aries: She wouldn’t have been so calm with me. I’d have put her through the core of the earth, the witch!
And just like that, you’ve made an ass out of yourself for the last time.
*Calling upon the Ancient and Terrible Powers of Author, SC writes Aries out of existence in a very flashy display that can’t be described here*
Alex: Holy crap!
Ethan: Oh shit, that could totally happen to me if I’m not careful.
And this is why I don’t ever talk about my old fanfiction career. I’ve been trying to wash my hands of that bastard for years, destroying his story by not backing up any of his files before my old computer died was just step one in that process. Kind of wish I didn’t have to pop author powers on him, though. It’s a huge waste of my stamin-oh fuck.
*SC passes out on the desk*
Ethan: …Bathroom break, then.
Bifocals: I needed to fix Gilderoy anyhow.
Alex: I could go for a-
Bifocals: Nobody cares, Dummkopf.
~ONE BATHROOM BREAK LATER ~
*snort* Huh? What? Oh shit, are we still riffing? Fuck, what happened?
Ethan: Oh, hey! You kind of went god-mode on that Aries dude and took a nap. Princess fixed up her bot buddy, and we’ve been playing Go-Fish.
Bifocals: That is not my name.
Oh, hell, that’s right. Alex is still here, right?
Ethan: Yeah, we’ve been keeping him from running off, no worries.
Alex: These ropes hurt so bad.
Bifocals: Cry harder.
Alright, uh… well, thankfully we’re really close to the end of the riff, so let’s just finish this up real quick-like.
“Does that demon inside of you wish to kill me, Alex?” she asked completely unfazed.
“If doing so would lift the curse and rid me of this symbiotic armor…” Alex clenched his teeth while trying to push the growing power back under control, “…I’d let it rip the flesh off your face, and crush your skull.”
Would it also help you stop talking as stupidly as your author writes?
Alex: I can’t help how I talk!
The fuck you can’t. If Ishi can refer to himself as “I” instead of “one” every once in a while, you can speak without it sounding awkward and stupid. Quit being a bitch.
He cringed and was finally able to pull his arm back, “But I doubt that would solve anything, would it?”
“No it wouldn’t,” Eboshi replied, “It would have to kill every man and woman in Iron Town before it could finally be at peace.”
“If that’s the case…” said Alex, his rage diminishing, and once again he had regained control of his hand. And then the black ooze melted off and the armor retracted back to the wrist chain as the gem’s glow dimmed once more. “I’d rather die. Because the last thing I want to become is a cold-blooded murderer like you.”
And here, I just woke up.
*SC removes his glasses and hooks them on his shirt collar*
Mmm, smell that hypocrisy.
So it’s okay for Nago to fight humans on behalf of the forest denizens who don’t want to see their homes destroyed… but it’s not okay for Eboshi to retaliate on behalf of Irontown and the humans who don’t want to see their homes destroyed. Interesting.
And another layer on top of that: Alex stepped in and fought Nago on behalf of the Emishi village, who didn’t want to see their homes destroyed. He did the exact same thing as Nago and Eboshi, but Eboshi is the villain, guys.
Oh, and let’s put another layer on it: Alex doesn’t want to become a cold-blooded murderer like Eboshi – but he shares joint responsibility for killing Nago. According to Alex’s opinion, Nago is basically the hero, here. Eboshi wounded him, Alex finished him off. So, by that logic, Alex is already a cold-blooded murderer.
And let’s put yet another layer on this: Alex sees Nago as the tragic victim of murder, when all be was trying to do was protect his home. But, wasn’t Eboshi protecting Irontown? She’s looking at war from two fronts, now, when before she only had the Daimyo as her enemies. Her killing Nago was an attempt to bolster her own strength by gaining Irontown as an asset, after all. And didn’t Alex protect the Emishi from Nago, even though he had no connection to their problems whatsoever? He ended up getting cursed for his efforts. So, then, wouldn’t that make all three of them tragic victims of unfairness, by that logic?
Oh, but Eboshi is the villain, no argument.
LAFS: a prime example of why seeing the world in black and white is a stupid, stupid thing to do.
*SC puts his glasses back on*
Ethan: I notice you didn’t roast the room during that.
Oh, don’t be so sure. Notice how quiet Alex got?
*Ethan and Bifocals look down to see Alex’s charred remains on the floor*
Ethan: …I think he might have gotten burnt.
Bifocals: Perhaps he should see a doctor?
Call Ishi, I’m sure he can fix Alex right up.
For a Long time
Not a Chang time or a Yun time, but a Long time!
Bifocals: Did you just make a Chinese surname pun?
I’m not apologizing.
the two remained silent, Staring at each other like two vipers ready to lash out, baring their venomous fangs.
It’s Snake versus Big Boss all over again!
Bifocals: Stop that.
Thanks for reading, folks, and stay tuned for next time! Next week is Alex’s last week here, so I’m bringing in those of the Specs and Co. who haven’t gotten a shot at him yet, and Paulo, because he needs to get his ass back in here. Until then, I’m SC, and on behalf of Ethan and Bifocals, and at the expense of Alexander Killian, I’ll see you next time!
Ethan: …I think you forgot someone.
I have no idea what you’re talking about.