Monstrous Compendium Ch3 bit – Inner Demon

“We can’t kill it!” Kirito leaped, in and out in a blur that drew a slash of darkfire across its gut. “Not alone. And we can’t let it get away. I don’t know what will happen if some other party kills it!” Black hair ducked, as a razor claws slashed by. “Get to Klein, get him moving-”

“I’m up,” Klein croaked, grabbing his katana with shaking hands. Cleared his throat, and tried again. “What do I do?”

Kunimittz and Dynamm were drawing the monster’s attacks, while Harry and Kirito harried it. Dale was the heavy backup, herding it away from the edge of the safe zone. Issin had been hanging behind him, ready to heal, before his head jerked between Klein and the fight. Swearing, he headed for his leader.

Kirito switched out with Harry long enough for a breath. “You have to kill it!”

“What?” Issin yelped, getting there just in time to catch Klein before he tipped over. “You never said-!”

“I told you it was dangerous!” In and out and dodge; the Moonsword was focused as a burning lance of sunlight. “Klein! This is your curse-” He ducked under a swing of claws.

My curse. And I’ve got to fight it? Klein didn’t feel up to making faces at a Green Slime right now, much less killing… whatever the heck that thing was, what pit of hell had it slunk out of-

My curse. A demon weretiger. And the way he felt scraped raw inside… hell. It still had his armor. “That was in me?” Klein stammered.

“Kirito yanked it out of you,” Issin confirmed; hands almost fumbling the healing poultice, as if he still couldn’t believe it himself. “We didn’t have time for questions, he just cast and- what the hell are you doing?”

“Killing it,” Klein said grimly, raising his katana. He could read the attack pattern his guild had set up; four of them keeping the damned beast centered in the clearing, while Kirito slashed and taunted it in a narrow arc Klein could see, clear as if he’d painted lines on twig-strewn earth. “You going to help me, or not?”

“Don’t die,” Issin ordered. “Here. Take this.”

Revigor Draught. Like a jolt of pure caffeine wrapped in cherries and smoke. Oh, he was going to pay for this tomorrow….

But he had his footing, he had his sword, and the moment was now. “Switch!”

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19 thoughts on “Monstrous Compendium Ch3 bit – Inner Demon

      1. The games are fantastic too. I’ve played them on the PlayStation, but I think you can also get them on the PC. Well worth a look if you’re looking for a new game

        Liked by 3 people

  1. Hmm, the heading switched us back to chapter two from three. Typo here, there, or did chapter 2 expand to include this fight?

    Like

  2. This brings a whole new meaning to inner demons . . .

    Fitting then that Klein has to kill it. Because other people can’t really fight your inner demons for you – they can help, they can give you support, but ultimately it is up to you to fight the good fight.

    Hmm . . . besides the bite transferring the curse, you think another reason it would be so hard to fight for the players is that they are angry? Just straight up red-hot furious at Kayaba and whoever else might be involved in trapping them . . . they need to pay but you can’t make them pay because they aren’t there . . . if you are decent person like Klein, you don’t resort to taking out that anger and fear on the other victims . . . fighting monsters is probably a good outlet for the pent-up anger but as therapeutic as that might be, the monsters aren’t the ones they are mad at.

    Not saying they don’t have good reason to be angry – they do and I would be just as furious in their shoes – just that it’s something that can hooked into by dark forces. Just like the person is angry, hurting, and terrified, they want the person who did this to them to hurt like they do, and there are very not-good things that will say “Hey, I can give you the power to make them hurt” while never mentioning that getting to your target will include a lot of collateral damage.

    And, of course, some people won’t care about that. As long as they got Kayaba, they don’t care just how many people get caught in the cross-fire (they should have gotten out of the way). And, of course, there are the little psychos littering this ‘game’ who just want to kill people because they like killing people.

    Don’t know if I’m making sense . . .

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It’s refreshing to see a fanfiction that portrays Klein as something other than “perverted guy with no actual personality traits.”
    The SAO Fandom doesn’t seem to like appreciating its side, and in my opinion more interesting, characters.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Eh, I assume they tend to mean Klein’s a ‘pervert’ in a more subtle Naotsugu kind of way.

        I don’t fully get it, but one of my roomies is a major Japanophile, and one point he tends to bring up is that Japan overt or open representation of sexuality is seen as a gag. So the media ends up containing characters like Jiraiya, Naotsugu, and a variety of ‘fanservice-y’ characters that are basically meant as jokes that Western readers aren’t primed to comprehend. Personally I tend to find some aspects of those jokes betray a pretty deep Values Dissonance between at least myself and Japanese culture, but I also tend to fine it hard to identify what’s the gag and what’s actually Values Dissonance, so… eh.

        The point is, Klein – especially in the Excalibur miniarc – tends to be the character SAO uses for those jokes, and so the fandom pigeonholes him. I don’t like it either, but I get where people are coming from.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The standard idea of a cultured adult Japanese male’s behavior is that you are stoic and only show your feelings in culturally approved ways and times, and that you maintain reserve between yourself and women not of your family/household. (Except someone like a mistress.) Teenage boys are supposed to be becomingly shy with girls, although adult males should be calm and manly.

        But in the proper time and place, like going out drinking after work, you are culturally allowed to blow off steam and be earthy. Or if you are a working class person, you are expected to be earthier. Older people or high status people are often expected to be earthier, too, as part of their lack of pretense after achieving their rank. (Jiraiya is older, higher status, and hitting back at society.) You are allowed to be earthier at home or with your close associates; just as in the US, friends may bond through dirty jokes or edgy discussions.

        In real life, a lot of Japanese do not obey the cultural strictures. Either they just cheerfully flaunt the rules; or they make sexual remarks around underlings and outgroup people as a sign of status. Obviously the groping and upskirt pictures on trains are extreme signs of not caring about propriety with people outside your group. Similarly, some people will mistreat folks inside their own household. Not quite so funny. So there are traditionally a lot of outlets for hostility or antisocial urges in Japanese entertainment and pastimes, because not becoming one of Those People in real life is something desired.

        But yes, a lot of “pervy” or oversexed characters in anime are supposed to be like Juliet’s Nurse in Shakespeare. They are funny and earthy, they are supposed to be openly funny to the groundlings; but they are also bonding with the audience by treating them like close associates, in a blowing-off steam situation. If you are watching late night anime after getting home from a bar session with your coworkers, I imagine this stuff gets funnier.

        Liked by 1 person

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