Monstrous Compendium Ch6 bit – Fork of Decision

He was serious about this, Klein realized, shocked speechless. Kirito actually believed Tae might be from another world-

She never complains about forks.

It was a little thing, in a world full of monsters. But it was weird. Even after months here, Klein couldn’t shake a guilty sense that he should be using chopsticks, like any other grown man. But only a few places in Aincrad seemed to know what chopsticks were. And if you used them, all the NPCs looked at you funny.

“A play is a play,” Tae said, uncertain. “A story on a stage with actors. What else would it be?”

Kirito nodded. “And what do you hear when we say movie?

Klein listened. Hard.

“Argentia-plega?”

He heard the sounds. They definitely weren’t Japanese. So why did his brain keep insisting he’d heard eigu?

“Lledrith-arian,” Kirito said firmly. “The game translates into what you know. Once you know enough Draconic… I’ve heard a few things. Silver illusion. What is that, where you come from?”

“It’s… illusionist plays,” Tae said quietly. “Sometimes with players, sometimes not… they make stories with magical images, to show you things ordinary actors could never do on stage. Have a dragon show up. Or see someone turn to stone. Things like that.”

As if it were normal. As if there were nothing else a movie could be.

“Definitely have to get you to see Star Wars,” Dynamm said wryly.

Harry One had to shake his head before he found his voice. “Are you saying… you’re from a world where there really are FX wizards?”

Tae swallowed. “I… this was a mistake. I shouldn’t have said anything-”

“Tae.” Kirito opened his inventory. “Harry. If you won’t believe her – maybe you’ll believe this.” Materializing a recording crystal, he tapped it.

“It’s not uncommon for young rangers to panic after their first summoning.” Vincent’s voice, low and deliberate. “Many of us have no elder mentors when we first nurture the wild lands. We protect the wild, knowing it will kill us if we are careless, or even unlucky. It shakes the soul to find that it will begin to care for us in return.” A soft breath. “A Moonsword draws on magic even more inhuman than the wild. I should have considered the reaction might be more intense. But there are none left who could have warned me. Or you.” A low growl. “Karrnath missed Stheno, despite their darkest magics. But Breland’s Dark Lanterns are skilled, and the gnomes of Zilargo had their own reasons to add assassins to the pot. By the end of Galifar’s Last War, all your predecessors were dead.”

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22 thoughts on “Monstrous Compendium Ch6 bit – Fork of Decision

      1. Just “a” fit? Pretty sure he can hear all his petty little plots getting jumbled like food in a blender right now.

        …although this being a Xanatos Gambit and all, it might have just worked out in his favor. Arg.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Well, work out likely results. The players don’t know the truth? They get everyone, some will be willing to fight. They do know the truth? Then if – if – the players find a way out, odds are not all of them are going to take it. For one reason or another. And those will be the ones even more motivated to fight.

        …Either way you still get a lot of people who want dragonhide boots, but Beniryuu thinks he can take ’em.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Bit out of left field, but I have always loved the story of Peter Pan. And one of the things I loved when I was younger was how the island seemed to me to be as much of a character in the story as anyone else, if one who strictly moved in the background. I even wrote a story about the friendship between Peter and Neverland. So when I read that line about the land taking care of the rangers, well, you know that picture of Hawkeye looking all gooey eyed over something off camera? That’s what I looked like. Love this story bit. Who knew forks were such tell-tales?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yeah, it’s a little hard to go from “we’re stuck in a VR game” to “we’re stuck in another world, in an experiment/training simulation created by youkai to replenish their lost numbers because of the war.”

    “Also? Kayaba is a dragon.”

    I think they’d require some hard to refute proof to even consider it seriously if they haven’t already suspected that something is fishy. Otherwise they’ll just think Kirito has cracked (it’s not like that’s hard to believe), but Tae having the exact same “delusion” should help at least a little.
    And then Fuurinkazan are all mentally bluescreening. 😀

    I’m looking forward to seeing how all those separate scenes come together in the chapter when you post it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d put forth that, to some degree (varying from person to person), Furinkazaan are actually considering that what Kirito and Tae are telling them is the truth. The fact that Dynamm says they need to show Tae Star Wars suggests that even if they’re having trouble believing it they /are/ taking Tae seriously.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. >They’re definitely considering it. There’s just all these little things that didn’t add up before!>
        And also even if they didn’t believe her, outright saying somebody one considers a friend is insane/lying to their face is rather rude and insensitive.

        None of Fuurinkazan want to be a Kibaou.

        Though if Cactus-head expands his rants from just ‘beaters’ to the ‘liars’ of Eberron and direct it at Tae (or nay of the Youkai in general), Fuurinkazan might decide to shut him up in a rather direct (if non-lethal) fashion.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. >Duct tape. *Nods* And if Aincrad doesn’t have it, they’ll invent it.>
        Or test some paralytic poisons to shut him up.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Could be Wizard-Wizard. Knives and Familiar.

        She doesn’t know she can cast, because her spellbook doesn’t exist because it is empty. That lasts until she starts getting spells dropped from enemies.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. So. Kirito uses class skill ‘In The Nick of Time’ to show up and corroborate Tae’s story. He’s putting his ranks there into good use. I have to wonder though, with what Vincent’s saying…

    We know Kirito performed his first Summon Nature’s Ally vs. the Nest. Well before this, we saw Stheno walk Kirito through his first accidental Invocation as a Warlock ‘Sorcerer’… But it sounds like somewhere during all this something happened. Something to do with specifically being a Moonsword that no one was there to help Kirito through, and Vincent… is apologizing for that? Because that’s what that explanation sounds like.

    ‘As a Ranger I’m explaining now what happened when you called for help and why I left you to it alone – because for most of us we go through it alone. In the same vein: Here’s why that will always be the case for you as a Moonsword.’

    It’s a non-apology, but that makes little contextual difference. There’s just no admittance of fault (which, granted, admittance of fault for this mess, in this world could carry extra mystical weight, and Vincent isn’t at fault, but otherwise that’s still an apology).

    Liked by 1 person

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