1676: Legendary Adventurers, Futuristic Saviors – Chapter Thirteen, Part Four

Title: Legendary Adventurers, Futuristic Saviors
Author: Stone-Man85
Media: Movie
Topic: Princess Mononoke
Genre: Adventure/Romance
URL: Chapter Thirteen
Critiqued by SC, Scarlet, and Sir Paulo Rori

Hello, and welcome back to “Legendary Adventurers, Futuristic Saviors,” by Stone-Man85! I’m your host, SC, joined by Sir Paulo Rori and Scarlet of Mesyth, and last time, we finally learned why Alex got yoinked into the past – because the gods Spirit Kings of the Forest (fuck me, that hurts to type) gazed into the future, which they’re kind of not allowed to do because of obvious implications, and decided they didn’t like how the world was evolving, particularly since a devil with a really dumb name had a hand in fucking everything up along the way. So, their solution was to force some rando kid to fix the problems in the past that would lead to the future that he comes from – you know, because that can’t have any negative ramifications whatsoever. But lo and behold, pooling their collective powers together to kidnap some shithead through time and space kind of fucked them over, and now they’re slowly dying, so nice job, fellas.

Oh yeah, and it’s important to note here that Alex is apparently trapped in a perpetual time loop, thanks to how Somiesa’s dialogue has been worded. So thanks a fucking lot, you dicks, now Alex gets to fuck up our reality for time immeasurable.

Paulo: If I start growing some demonic gauntlet powered by my own rage, I will commit suicide.

Scarlet: I’m pretty sure I had one at one point.

Yeah, and then I remembered this fic existed and scrapped that idea.

Scarlet: And I was just starting to like the thing, too…

So, we now rejoin Alex and Ent-Ape-Thingo as they… continue to talk.

I swear we’ll get to the good stuff eventually, folks.

“Are you afraid, Alexander?” Somiesa asked.

“Am I afraid?” Alex asked, “Yes. I think it’s fair to say I am.”

“Why?”

Scarlet: “Because SC is holding a shotgun to the back of my head.”

Hey now, when I blew Alex’s head off, I always made sure he could see me doing it.

Alex hesitated. “I don’t know,” he eventually answered, “I think I’m afraid of myself. Of what I’ve become capable of over these past few weeks.”

Paulo: Was that ever a problem for you when you put yourself through your training regimen, sir?

Scarlet: I may have had a crisis of conscience once or twice, yes, but I got over it quickly enough. You?

Paulo: During basic training, no, but when I was a soldier on the battlefield, I admit to nearly abandoning my post a number of times out of shame. Nowadays, I have come to realize that this may have been more the mindset of a fresh recruit not yet understanding the necessities of war, as when I was captain of my own platoon, I had a number of younger men under my command turn tail and flee after having been hit by an immense wave of guilt born from killing enemy soldiers. It placed me in the uncomfortable position of having to call down the letter of the law on them for being cowards in the eyes of their king.

Scarlet: See, that, there, is why I was always perfectly happy to work alone. Being the man in charge is more a nuisance than it’s worth.

But isn’t working alone basically always being the man in charge?

Scarlet: Commanding yourself is a much easier task than commanding others.

He looked to the golden band that had absorbed the curse within him, and now did its best to hold it at bay. But so far, due to the transformations, it was becoming likely that he would forsake his humanity very soon.

Scarlet: Sounds like weak enchanting work to me.

Paulo: Sir SC and I merely assumed it to be an idiotic premise altogether.

Scarlet: What, imbuing jewelry to act as a curse ward? Not necessarily. It’s been a popular concept for a long time, in truth. It’s just a difficult thing to do, especially since curses exist to cause problems for others and are thus an evolving entity, because they lose their effectiveness when the problem stops being a problem. You wind up having to make your ward an evolving entity as well, so that it can continue to properly ward against said curse, and that’s what makes it difficult to pull off. Magic is infinitely flexible and can be shaped according to will, but manipulating it so that it shapes itself according to strict guidelines is something of a walk along the blade’s edge between “utter disaster” and “working too well, such as to cause a new problem altogether.”

Sounds like it’s just as tricky to make a curse, from the way you were talking about it.

Scarlet: There’s a reason why you never see novices in the dark arts trying to lay curses – they haven’t had nearly enough time to fine-tune their abilities to a point where they could pull it off without hurting themselves in the process.

I feel like I should also clarify Paulo’s remark: We think the wristband is dumb because it was made from the blood and hair of the exact same beast that laid the curse on Alex in the first place.

Scarlet: …No, that is dumb. Yes, there is some degree of understanding of a curse that goes into making a ward against it, but you don’t use the curse’s catalyst to do the job, that only galvanizes the effect.

Chalk another one up for us, Paulo.

Paulo: I fear I may have lost count of our score at this point.

“Look at me, Somiesa. Look at what I’m becoming. I’ve killed one man already, nearly tore down two towns with just one punch and stomp to the ground, and have injured many more. Tonight, I almost destroyed Iron-Town. And if I had let myself, I could’ve killed everyone in sight.”

“And that is why you’re afraid?” Somiesa asked.

“Yes,” the teenaged outlander replied, “I’m becoming a monster, and there’s nothing I can do to stop it. They told me Shisha Gami is the only one that could lift the curse. But now… after seeing what humans have done to these forests, I don’t think he has any intention of helping me.” He closed his eyes, “And if that’s the case, I’m out of luck.”

Oh, spare me.

*SC slaps a button labeled “Edgy Music*

Scarlet: I feel like this song could easily apply to my entire family.

Yeah, and that’s kind of my fault, admittedly.

“I understand your anguish, young time traveler,” said Somiesa. “For like you, I, as well as the other Spirit Kings, am cursed.”

For fuck’s sake, is there anybody in this damn fic who isn’t cursed?!

Paulo: There must be some curse-laying madman out and about in Muromachi Japan.

Scarlet: Call the Muromachi Police!

So, the Samurai, then?

Scarlet: Sure, we’ll go with that.

Alex stared at him, “The day the Kings and I sacrificed our essence, we cursed ourselves and this world to a fate of death. For you see, when we all die, we will have no means of being reborn. We shall merely fade out of existence like a passing dream; slowly but surely, this will give Hexxus the opportunity to kill off this world much faster than he already is by influencing the hearts of the humans that he’s poisoned with his promises.” He laughed quietly, “All we can do now is wait for the day that our deaths shall befall us… and with ours, slowly but surely, so will this world’s death come much faster than expected.”

He looked down at Alex, “So you see, Alexander… this is why we brought you here… so that with your help, we shall live again, and that this world might continue to live on. But perhaps… with you here… we can once again live in harmony with the humans… and create a better future for us all.”

*Alarms Blare Frantically*

Stop scaring my fucking alarm!

That’s the last thing I needed to hear,” Alex said sullenly as he rubbed his right arm, “Now I have that on my conscience.” He sighed once more, “Just one last question.”

“Ask it.”

The youth locked eyes with the enormous Forest Spirit and replied, “Why me? Why am I so special?”

Scarlet: You’re not, supernatural forces just enjoy making you suffer.

Can’t say that I blame them, this far into the riff.

The question had caught Somiesa completely off guard. He looked back at the smaller creature, “Why do you ask?”

Alex frowned and crossed his arms, “I don’t know,” he said. “It just seems strange to me. Why, out of all those people who make up that six-billion in my timeline-

Seven.

-was I the one to be touched by the almighty hand of the Spirit Kings? Why was I the one chosen to save the world from total destruction? I mean, I’m nothing special.”

“Oh, believe me, my boy… you are more special than you can imagine.

Paulo: I feel somewhat certain that Alex was just insulted.

And for once, it wasn’t by me!

Scarlet: What, that’s unusual?

Shockingly.

And the only one who knows of this is the Forest Spirit Queen of Fire, Oto-Hime,”

Misread that as:

BOOBS- I mean, Orihime.

BOOBS- I mean, Orihime.

But to the actual name: Otohime is actually a Japanese deity, surprise surprise. Specifically, she is Toyotama-hime, daughter of Ryujin, dragon-god of the ocean, and is a dragon-goddess herself. As the myth goes, she had a child named Ugayafukiaezu no Mikoto via a romantic relationship with Hoori (full name Hikohohodemi no Mikoto, alias Yamasachihiko), a hunter prince who was descended from the sun goddess, Amaterasu. Now, Hoori had ONE JOB when Otohime was giving birth: don’t fucking watch, bro. Guess what he did? He fucking watched, bros. And in doing so, he happened to catch Otohime in her dragon form, which she didn’t want to happen. This made Otohime abandon her family out of shame, and the task of raising Ugayafukiaezu fell to her sister, Tamayori. As is typical in… actually, quite a lot of mythologies… Ugayafukiaezu ended up shacking up with Aunt Tamayori, and they had a child named Jinmu, who went on to become the first emperor of Japan.

Now, did you notice how “fire” was not mentioned anywhere in that paragraph? GEE, I WONDER WHY.

Scarlet: How much do you want to bet that his excuse is that his Otohime isn’t the same Otohime?

I think we’re beyond the point of his bullshit surprising me.

Paulo: I think you will regret saying that.

Oh, most certainly.

Somiesa laughed at this jest

Well, I’m glad he’s enjoying himself.

as he looked to the boy, “But incidentally…why is it so important for you to know?”

“Because it doesn’t make any sense! That’s why it’s so important to me!” Alex snapped, but not allowing the curse to transform him. “I can’t do this, Somiesa! I’m nothing! I’m just an American teenage outcast, with no friends, no permanent home hoping to strive for a job in the Medical Department.

*SC slaps a button labeled “Woe Is Me Music”*

I’m not futuristic warrior/savior/hero from the future.

*Alarms Blare*

I almost want to say that the alarm went off less regarding the redundancy and more because of those fucking backslashes.

But I know better – I have a different alarm for that:

*//Alarms Blare//*

Heck, I’d probably do more harm to my time than what I’ve done now! For all I know, it’s probably now a time where apes evolve from man… or worse, dinosaurs are roaming the world and all the humans have been turned into fish people!”

Uh, you’re heading a few billion years in the wrong direction, buddy.

“That may be, Time Traveler,” the Spirit King said gently. “But I, as does Oto-Hime, still have faith in your abilities, old and new. You are quite clever at the times when you choose to be. And you have managed to stay alive up to this point. That, and the curse has become an advantage; all you must do is conquer the darkness that Nago had imprinted in your soul…”

Paulo: His most clever feat was successfully building a campfire.

And he acts like not dying is an accomplishment, which I find to be pretty funny.

Scarlet: I’m intrigued how, exactly, a curse that acts up when Alex is especially angry could possibly be beneficial?

Sadly, that part’s true. See, Alex’s “curse” has thus far proven to be anything but. From the moment he acquired it, all it’s done is give him super powers at seemingly no adverse cost to him.

Scarlet: …That’s not how curses work.

Paulo: I lost count on the score for that response as well, I’m afraid.

We’ll call it “ten points.”

“That’s the point of all this! I don’t want this curse; it’s making me into someone I’m not: a monster!” Alex shouted pointing to the golden band. He then sighed dejectedly, “I’m sorry, Lord Somiesa. It’s obvious that you and this Oto-Hime picked the wrong person. I’m not your savior of the future. I can’t help you; I can barely save myself from a horde of apes without someone saving me.”

I’m running out of music buttons to properly accentuate the boo-hoo in Alex’s dialogue.

Scarlet: What about this one?

*Scarlet presses a button*

…Well, it’s not music, but it works.

He then turned around and began to make his way towards the cave, “…and even if I am this savior you’ve been waiting for… He glanced over his shoulder, “I can’t do this alone.”

“You won’t be alone in this journey, Alex.”

Yeah, you’ll be sucking Sannabe’s face the entire time!

*Paulo chokes on his tea*

Oh, like you don’t know it’s gonna happen.

At that last sentence, Alex went wide eyed with surprise in that last remark.

*Alarms Blare*

WILL YOU FUCKING STOP?!

Before he could ask what the half-ape, half-plant spirit meant by that, a small leathery bundle was tossed to him. Acting purely on reflex, the youth’s arms shot up to catch it.

And then he missed.

When he looked at what he had caught, his dark eyes widened. The bundle was in fact his supply sack that the Amishi People had given him, as well as the machete that Kaya had given him.

“I believe these were stolen from you,” Somiesa said, smiling. “My children found them lying on the ground after Saru and his tribe fled into the forest.”

2661683-yourecovered

Alex held up his sack and weapon, and gazed at it for what seemed like an eternity. He then looked back at the Spirit King of the Forest and gently smiled, “Thank you.” With that said, the youth slipped his arm into the bag’s strap and stepped through the mouth of the cave, dissolving into the shadows with every step.

And with a brush of the wind, he was gone.

Gone where we can’t follow.

Paulo: Fare thee well.

Scarlet: Well, I guess that’s this riff done, then?

Ha ha, no.

“The young one lacks faith in himself,” Somiesa said quietly.

“I know, your Highness,” replied a voice, “But at this time, with Hexxus building a massive army of demons, and very few allies still alive… we have no other choice.”

Oh no, Sauron’s amassing a dark army in Mordor.

Scarlet: Again?

Paulo: You would think the first time that failed would have taught him better.

there was a small pause in the voice until he answered, “I’m just surprised you didn’t tell him that the tree you and the other Kings forged your essence in… is connected to both the past and the future, unhinged by time and space. Incidentally… he has a way to go home and back here whenever he wants to.”

Oh, well THAT would’ve been fucking nice to know!

And that’s another element ripped from Inuyasha: In that series, main female lead Kagome has the power to traverse past and future on a whim because the magical well she falls into is a doorway that’s basically always open, unless someone decides to be a cunt and seal up one side, in which case it just becomes a regular old well.

Gee, I wonder if the tree is going to get uprooted at some point and prevent Alex from world-hopping? Wouldn’t that be totally unpredictable and cool?

Scarlet: …He said, with so much sarcasm.

“I’ll leave it up to you to tell him that.”

Oh, nice, jackass.

The Forest Spirit King looked towards a cluster of shadows that covered a section of the cavern, “I also fear that the curse may not be that far from completing its cycle.”

“That is why we have to act quickly, Somiesa,” the voice replied again, “He’s reaching a very unstable point in his development. And I’ve seen the destruction he is already capable of.”

Somiesa shook his head, “It can’t be helped, Isaaku. There’s nothing we can do about it.”

So THAT’S where that little shit went off to!

Paulo: You say this as though you really cared.

Not so much, no, but it did seem like Isaac had just disappeared again for a little while, there.

He sighed, “All we can do now, is hope that the Forest Spirit lifts the Darkness within Nago’s curse before it’s too late.”

“Until then, I’ll continued to observe and protect him until he no longer needs me.”

“Oh? Are you not afraid of the danger you will be putting yourself in?”

“I am, Somiesa. Well… maybe just a little for myself. But mostly for the boy,” the voice said,

You can stop pretending, author, you just outright told us that it’s Isaac.

“But what else can I do? When the time does finally come for him to approach the Forest Spirit, King Shisha Gami, he’s gonna need me. I won’t forsake him, my friend. Not now, not ever. After all, like you, he also has become my friend as well.”

Somiesa laughed and crossed his long, dirt created and vine covered arms, “You always were the stubborn one, Isaaku.”

Paulo: Isaac’s attempts at formal speech offend me greatly.

Scarlet: I mean, I don’t even bother with formality, and even I can tell how fake this is.

I’m more offended that “Isaaku” has made a return in this fic. We’ve covered before how Isaac wouldn’t translate to Japanese like that.

“I know,” said Isaac, but then mumbled, “And don’t call me that.” He then took a few steps forward and moved out of the shadows, allowing his small. furry body to be illuminated in the blue glow of the cavern.

If you’re trying to paint Isaac in some holy light, author, I don’t see it and likely never will.

“But you should know by now that us fox-squirrels, who are members of the Fox Family, are stubborn by nature.”

*Alarms Blare*

For fuck’s sake! What is this, chapter eleven all over again?!

His pointed ears twitched as a clever grin stretched across his long, furry maw,

OH, YOU DID THAT ON PURPOSE, YOU LITTLE SHIT!

“And besides, I find Alex’s company to be rather pleasant at times.”

Paulo: I found him to be quite insufferable, personally.

“May I ask when you’re planning to tell him the real reason why you accompany him? Or of what Oto-Hime asked of us Kings to do?” Somiesa returned the fox-squirrel’s grin.

Isaac furrowed his bristly eyebrows, “I’ll tell him when I’m ready too, Somiesa,” he answered and began to make his way towards the cave where his human companion had disappeared into. “But for now, I’m perfectly content on being his ‘lil’ buddy as he so likes to call me at times.”

“Very well, my friend,” the Great Tree-Ape replied as he watched the small fox-squirrel scamper towards the cave. “But there is one that you must always bear in mind when you’re with him, Isaaku.”

Isaac groaned at that, not liking his traditional name as he mumbled, “Don’t call me that.” The fox-squirrel stopped and looked back at Somiesa, “And that is, Lord Somiesa?”

“If Nago’s curse completes its terrible cycle, despite the attempts of the band suppressing it… and should the Spirit King refuse to lift the rage of the curse from Alex’s body.…” Somiesa’s expression darkened as the room seemed to shift when he sighed, “I fear the boy will eventually possess a power more destructive and more terrifying than anything this world will ever see. He will not only have the strength, power, and rage of a God, but the lethal intelligence and craft of a human. That, my friend, is a combination that must never be made.”

Scarlet: Oh, so Isaac is rather like the Swordsman’s Second, then? Your closest ally, but who will just as quickly be your headsman if the need should ever arise?

That would actually be an interesting character development for him, if I’m completely honest.

“If that happens, then I’ll have to kill him,” a voice said in the darkness, surprising both the fox-squirrel, and the mighty tree-ape King.

…So, of course, it’s not going to happen.

Scarlet: The level of my disappointment cannot be measured in words.

Then out of the darkness, a figure stepped out of the shadows to make themselves present.

*Alarms Bla-*

*BKAM!*

*The alarm falls off the wall in a smoking heap as SC ejects the empty bullet case and stows Mssr. Rifle back under his desk*

…Anyhow, I always have to wonder why people like standing in shadows so much. I mean, if they’re Contacts, I get it, because that’s kind of his schtick, but…

Paulo: I feel it must be some law of nature. For some reason, there will always be a shadow in a well-lit room that is dark enough for a mysterious somebody to stand within and be perfectly hidden.

Scarlet: In my homeland, the dark, broody individual who stands in shadows and makes ominous statements is the cowardly idiot who you’d be better off ignoring, because he’s usually speaking nonsense.

Mesyth spits on your drama.

Scarlet: Quite.

it was a sixteen-year-old girl, Asian descent, pale skin with a slim and slender figure that could rival the Wolf Princess’s.

Oh my God, not this shit again.

Scarlet: “Again?” How many times has this happened?

Paulo: Too many.

her hair was raven black, short with only her bangs going to her shoulders, and two thin long ponytails braided, ending in two little tussles;

Short hair.

Long braids.

I didn’t realize Muromachi Japan had hair extensions!

Scarlet: I don’t see the point, honestly. If you want to wear your hair long, just let it grow out. Personally, I prefer mine short and manageable.

Paulo: I wore a ponytail for a time, back when I was a knight. Since then, the thought of my hair being that long again just bothers me. It was such a pain to wash…

Dude, my hair curls after a certain point, and the last time I had a haircut was back midway through 2016. How do you think I feel, right now?

her eyes were violet and sharp, showing her slightly emotionless in her physical appearance.

Oh no, purple eyes, this kid’s not fucking around.

Paulo: In my experience, purple eyes is a trait that identifies a well-studied mage. Something about how the magic permeates the person’s blood and alters the coloration of the pigments over the course of many years, I believe.

Scarlet: I think we have something similar, but with magic in my homeland, your eyes turn golden and start glowing when you’ve overtaxed your body’s ability to absorb arcane energy for spell casting. And if you keep using magic after that, you run the high risk of collapsing into a coma.

Have some personal experience with that, do you?

Scarlet: I’ve had my eyes turn golden and start glowing, but then I get a massive head rush and decide to stop before I push myself too far, so I can’t say I’m familiar with the falling into a coma part.

Paulo: So, magic in your world is twice as dangerous to the user as it is in mine. Yet another reason I have no interest in learning.

She was dressed in a sleeveless yukata shirt, with her back exposed from neck to her waist, with the collar colored black, as was the left side, while the other side was red, with a black sash belt tied around her waist. Her legs seemed to be in what were black stockings, with only sole-less and toeless moccasins, exposing her toes and heel out.

Ah, a Square Enix character! You can tell, because they have no fucking clue how clothing works.

Scarlet: Do people not realize that there’s something to be said for the appeal of a longcoat?

Paulo: Or a pair of cuffed boots?

Or, in the case of Japanese fashion, large, billowy sleeves?

Scarlet: Hmm, that and robes, I could never really pull off. They always catch the wind too much and slow down my reaction time in a sword fight. I suppose it’s due to my lack of experience wearing such garments – warriors of Mesyth actually tend to wear as little as possible, in a show of battlefield dominance. “I’m so powerful, I don’t need armor to survive against you,” that sort of thing.

So, they’re like Spartans?

Scarlet: Yes, but without the enormous shields.

Paulo: I find robes to be uncomfortable as sin. I had to wear a ceremonial robe on the day of my promotion to Knight of the Realm, and I hated every moment of it. Strangely, it was one of my best looks, so says the king’s court.

Scarlet: Stuffy nobles like stuffy clothing, I suppose.

I like how we’ve managed to derail ourselves into a whole other discussion every time the author’s tried to describe this character.

Paulo: Anything is better than having to acknowledge that we read about it.

Truth.

Isaac grimaced as he looked at the girl, “Rukia…”

“What?”

he then sighed as she made her way towards his side. “What are you doing here? I thought Oto-Hime sent you on some mission?”

This is my mission, you stupid little rodent,” Rukia answered, her voice not even showing any sign of emotion.

Scarlet: Why, she’s just as rude as my oldest son! I think he’d love her.

Paulo: Now that would be a match made in hell.

Scarlet: Oh, definitely. I’m so glad the wife he actually ended up with was such a polite lady. I don’t know how I would have stood for two rude brats carrying my name about.

And yet, there’s somewhere around a few hundred rude brats carrying your name about – your eldest son’s bloodline is perhaps the most, uh, “hardworking” of the six.

*Scarlet sighs in dismay*

“Oto-Hime has sent me to ensure that the boy doesn’t become possessed by the hatred and rage that Nago left within him.” both Somiesa and Isaac knew that was the real problem: the rage and hatred that Nago had imprinted on the boy when he cursed him.

*The alarm coughs*

Scarlet: You should really finish the poor thing off, it’s clearly suffering.

Oh, it’ll be fine. Watch, next riff, it’ll be like nothing happened.

“I will protect him when the dangers become too… severe for you to handle.” the girl’s eyes narrowed even more, almost as if a darkness plagued her heart as she finished, “but when he loses control… when the demon has consumed his very flesh and soul, as well as his disgusting human heart… I will… kill him.

Meh. Captain Price did the “we will kill him” thing better.

Scarlet: Chilling. Unfortunately, the Mesythian in me wants only to mock him relentlessly, because that’s what my people did to all broody soldier types. I mean, we still respected them as fellow warriors, don’t get me wrong, but we always found it rather humorous that they chose to spend their time being glum and sour-tempered.

Paulo: There was at least one such individual in my old platoon. If I recall correctly, that man now tends a graveyard of fallen knights. Because he certainly did not have enough to brood about, you know.

You’re not much better, at times.

Paulo: Admittedly not, but at least it is not every waking moment of my life, as it is his.

That’s fair.

Isaac immediately paled as he asked in shock, all of his fur standing on end, “Kill him? Rukia, this boy might be our only hope for a better future!”

“I detest humans,” Rukia shot out, her eyes returning to their steely gaze as she walked away from the cave. “Humans are our instruments; this boy is nothing more than that. If he becomes defective, we’ll simply throw him away and get a new one.”

Right, because one San wasn’t enough for this fic.

Scarlet: I always get a good chuckle out of the people who “detest” a certain group and consider them to be little more than a means to an end. Inevitably, someone who fits their category of “things to detest” comes along and promptly makes a fool of them, and so far, I’ve managed to be present to see the look on their faces every single time it’s happened.

I imagine it’ll be the same thing with this fic, but less enjoyable for you because we already know it’s going to happen.

Scarlet: The difference being, the person in question is thoroughly unlikable, so the humor I derive from this situation will be lost because one buffoon will be winning out over the other, rather than an underdog giving a foul salute to the grumpy snob.

Paulo: Out of curiosity, what does a “foul salute” look like?

You know how flipping the bird here is really offensive?

Paulo: Oh, so, like that, then.

Scarlet: Yes, only it’s more like actually saluting, but with a good deal of exaggeration, and after you’ve pulled your trousers down to let your member hang about in the wind.

*Paulo grimaces in disgust*

“Things Paulo Regrets Asking, Volume 8.”

Paulo: “Series ongoing.”

As Rukia disappeared from sight, Isaac just looked to the exit of the cave in worry… for Alex. Somiesa frowned as well, as he spoke only in a whisper, for he and Isaac to only hear, “My dear Rukia… humans are more than mere instruments… they are creatures with wills and hearts of their own. They cannot simply be manipulated; they, like us, have the gift to make their own choices.”

Yes, but in Alex’s case, every choice is the wrong one.

And with that, the riff is done for the week! And even though I said this was about a third of the entire chapter, we’re actually most of the way through chapter thirteen, so I shouldn’t need too many more parts after this.

Thanks for reading, folks, and stay tuned for next time! After today (note: at the time of my writing this, it was Wednesday), I have the rest of the week off, so I might be able to push out a couple more riffs. Ooor I’ll just sit on my ass and play video games all day. Whichever. But, in the meantime, I’m SC, and on behalf of Sir Paulo Rori and Scarlet of Mesyth, I’ll see you next time!

…And would somebody please get Rukia some actual clothes?

Scarlet: Whoa now, let’s not get too crazy.

Paulo: Sir, I shall have to ask that you cease such ludicrous behavior, post-haste.

Yeah, I had a feeling you’d say that…

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35 Comments on “1676: Legendary Adventurers, Futuristic Saviors – Chapter Thirteen, Part Four”

  1. BatJamags says:

    “I detest humans,” Rukia shot out, her eyes returning to their steely gaze as she walked away from the cave.

  2. BatJamags says:

    Holy shit, maybe this chapter wouldn’t be so long if Stone-Man85 would stop fucking repeating himself.

  3. Leider Hosen says:

    I swear we’ll get to the good stuff eventually, folks.

  4. Leider Hosen says:

    “I understand your anguish, young time traveler,” said Somiesa. “For like you, I, as well as the other Spirit Kings, am cursed.”

    For fuck’s sake, is there anybody in this damn fic who isn’t cursed?!

    …Uh, SC and Co.? Don’t panic, but I think you’ve been cursed to become one with the Riff and the barrier between Badfic and Library has been dissolved.

    …In which case we should PANIC A LOT

  5. Leider Hosen says:

    I’m not futuristic warrior/savior/hero from the future.

  6. Leider Hosen says:

    Sadly, that part’s true. See, Alex’s “curse” has thus far proven to be anything but. From the moment he acquired it, all it’s done is give him super powers at seemingly no adverse cost to him.

    Scarlet: …That’s not how curses work.

    Now you see, I actually have “curses make you super-powerful” myself, but it’s all in the execution, because curses as a double-edged sword is a good trope, and can be very interesting, but only if you show the character cutting themselves. I also have curses with beneficial side-effects as something that is unintentional since no-one in their right mind would risk potentially making their enemy more powerful.

    A good example of mine is Abrelepine. His distant ancestors subverted a holy ritual to bind their souls to the Dark Gods and a shared blood-curse. The downside is when they die, instead of passing on, their descendants inherit their soul and all the souls they’ve captured, trapping them in limbo for eternity. It sucks for them, but this means each generation is stronger than the last one, and the fewer alive the more powerful the one’s remaining. So ultimately, it was less a curse than an investment since it’s only a curse if you die, otherwise you reap huge rewards.

    Abrelepine was “cursed” because he was defective, his power was incomplete, which was causing him to slowly die. Once he got the complete version, he became hell-fuck strong and gained the nifty power to bring himself back from the dead since he is one of less than a dozen still alive at this point, which gives him power greater than Death itself.

    So it still makes sense as a curse, but by design it’s meant to be helpful and prevent the downsides from appearing until your death. Then again, I actually put thought and effort into explaining why the curse isn’t an outright blessing or vice versa.

    • SC says:

      We’re one of a similar mind, then. Although, my curses tend to focus more on being debilitating first, and empowering later.

      As I’ve explained with House Scarlet’s curse, it feeds off of their pride and love of battle, and makes it so that they become utterly consumed by a need to have both, to the point where, in their delirious condition, they will commit suicide or go on excessively violent rampages just to have either. The drawbacks are painfully obvious, but unforseen benefits come from it as well: Those who manage to stave off the curse have to develop a peaceful mind, one that isn’t driven by blood and glory, and the result of this is that House Scarlet has begun to see a rise in scholars and medics and priests, and even a rekindled interest in magic, which had been dead since the days of Scarlet’s six sons. And those who are strong enough to hold the curse at bay while still holding firm to their code of honor typically wind up becoming downright noble – namely, Eduard Scarlet, who took over the Scarlet Knights, once a ruthless band of warmongers and marauders, and reformed them into a defensive force that acts as an indomitable bulwark between their enemies and the people they’ve sworn to protect.

      So, by being cursed with the threat of absolute insanity, House Scarlet has gone from being just shy of barbarians to being paragons of peace and knowledge.

      • Leider Hosen says:

        That’s…. genius. The curse basically becomes a training tool that weeds out the barbarians from the actual good warriors of Scarlet’s lineage, and prevents them from abusing their strength to hurt people. And in this case the Curse doesn’t have an upside, it’s up to the person with the curse to either work around it or succumb to it, they create the upside for themselves.

        It seems our design philosophies are pretty similar when it comes to how magic should work so it has logical downsides and investments instead of becoming an OP Hax power that quickly waters down the characters, as well as making magic a defining part of someone, rather than a package of superpowers for them to fuck about with.

      • SC says:

        Yeah, because we’re actually good at this whole “mechanics” thing that exists in storytelling.

        YA KNOW, UNLIKE CERTAIN AUTHORS I COULD MENTION.

  7. Leider Hosen says:

    Ah, a Square Enix character! You can tell, because they have no fucking clue how clothing works.

    Oh Gods! You just gave me flashbacks to my idiot fashion design when I first started out. “How Does Clothes?” seems to be a thing with a lot of aspiring writers who don’t know better.

    Abrelepine: “Idiot” doesn’t come close. Fishnets on bellbottoms? And a sleeveless vest and long hair? With that much fabric flying all over the place it was a miracle I could move at all. Not to mention the anachronism and the fact it couldn’t pass for a military uniform in any timeline that exists now or will ever exist in the future.

    It was cool at the time!

    Abrelepine: It was exaggerated, wildly impractical, and hideously gaudy… much like my personality back then. I still grit my teeth in embarrassment thinking about it.

  8. GhostCat says:

    Dude, my hair curls after a certain point, and the last time I had a haircut was back midway through 2016. How do you think I feel, right now?

    :flips waist-length mass of curly hair over shoulder for the two-millionth time today:

    Oh, you poor thing.

  9. GhostCat says:

    She was dressed in a sleeveless yukata shirt, with her back exposed from neck to her waist, with the collar colored black, as was the left side, while the other side was red, with a black sash belt tied around her waist.

    :eye-twitch:

    That’s … That’s not what a yukata looks like. Yukata are not shirts, they are ankle-length robes that are essentially casual versions of kimono. With both kimono and yukata the collar is usually pulled back from the neck with a large enough gap to insert a fist, because the nape of the female neck is considered very alluring in Japanese culture. (There’s little plastic inserts that go in the collar these days to make it stand out and keep it’s shape.) Since it’s considered casual wear, yukata are typically printed with an all-over pattern rather than the elaborate decoration often found in kimono, so none of the “black and red” nonsense. Yukata are traditionally made from a single bolt of fabric, including the collar, so the collar should be the same color as the rest of the garment. (An undergarment is usually worn, but it’s usually a plain white garment and there’s not the same sort of elaborate layering of collars at the throat that you see with formal kimono.) And yukata are worn with obi, not a simple sash.

    This sounds more like a happi coat, which are worn during festivals. The are waist-length, often have a black collar, feature bold designs, and are belted with a sash. They still have a back, though. I have no idea where he got that nonsense from.

    • SC says:

      He’s trying to make his character look cool, without stopping to remember that this is supposed to be a fic about ANCIENT JAPAN.

      That’s the majority of the issue, right there.

      • GhostCat says:

        :headdesk:

        This isn’t even European fashion, which changed every time there was a stiff breeze – traditional Japanese clothing hasn’t changed in any significant way for over fifteen hundred years!

      • SC says:

        It would be so nice if Stone-Man85 could learn this and stop trying to make his characters stand out via how little they fit in with the setting.


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