Monstrous Compendium Ch7 bit – Eye

They’re staring, Asuna realized. Not at me. At Kirito.

The shaman’s door banged open. “Inside,” the elderly weretiger growled, fangs visible. “Now.”

Jaw set, Kirito followed her in. Asuna took one more look around, seeing how the furred and feathered villagers seemed to relax a little.

This can’t be good.

Asuna shut the door just in time to muffle Kirito’s yelp from the listeners outside. “Lady Tetsutora!”

“Did I not say ye should not call me that?” One clawed hand gripping the swordsman’s shoulder, the weretigress finished rubbing something thick and black, with a glitter like shed scales, across the nape of Kirito’s neck under his hair. “There. That should throw it off the scent for now.”

Asuna breathed in, noting something oddly missing. “Kirito, you… you smell like a draconic.”

“Mistfeather scales,” Tetsutora told them both, wiping her hands on a much-abused towel. “The beast would never believe a weretiger scent. Not when the cub here always smells of feathers.” Her growl was audible, though her fangs were receding. “I asked ye to come here first.”

“I know.” Kirito’s gaze flicked toward the door, and the lake far beyond. “But we saw… what happened?”

The shaman sighed, her own glance going to the silver spear by her door. “Tinctoria Village is no more.”

Asuna felt a chill prickle down her spine. One of the villages on the 40th floor was gone? Please tell me there was no one there when it happened… oh, no. Please, let no one have teleported there! “How?”

“Was anyone rescued?” Kirito asked, hard on the heels of her words.

“’Twould seem a certain Power took offense to the Lady Aeris granting her Healing Rain to a firebird shaman,” Tetsutora growled. “In the midst of night, the very heart of the earth where Pollista’s nest fell, cracked and shuddered. The mountains themselves trembled, and Risia’s moon blazed bright as day, and… the waters washed all away.”

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22 thoughts on “Monstrous Compendium Ch7 bit – Eye

  1. …well crap. Either she means Beniryuu, or an actual Power. If the latter, “well //crap//” may be an understatement.

    And what beast is she referring to? Because that’s going to be a can of worms right there.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Is our unfavorite red dragon powerful and old enough to count as a Power? I’m not saying he isn’t powerful or nothing but I’m not sure if he’s that powerful . . . . through he did create MCO so maybe within that context he can be considered one.

    The beast does not sound promising for anyone’s long term health. And I’m guessing from the comments that it might have an interesting in eating Kirito. Or something. (Which I don’t recommend – besides the fact that he turns to be armed with lots of pointy things, you don’t know where he’s been. And I’m pretty sure he’d give whatever eat him indigestion).

    The red dragon might be that sour . . .

    Or some other Power, maybe one that supports the youkai being wiped out and was pretty happy to see the medusa all but gone, isn’t happy about Stheno making an adoption. And while she will not force Kirito, people who know what to look for can see that she marked him. And that if he said yes, she would adopt him.

    I have the feeling that the word cluster might be needed soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’d note that Risia is what Asuna’s affinity is.

    In some of the lore used in Chinese Xianxia, Tigers can grow wings, making them super powerful.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. What is Kirito’s affinity? I had trouble determining it from the Wikipedia page, but I think it might be Mabar. I know next to nothing about Dnd, though.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. At first glance it seems some people banned, and the village removed to cover up/explain why they are missing. But if things change so much, then the rear lines will have to be reinforced, and any PK will be more dangerous for the front line.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. My bet is that Beniryuu is involved somehow. This is probably his way of setting up a cleric class discovery quest or something.

    Say what you will about the D&D greater powers (and one can say a lot, particular in the Forgotten Realms ‘verse) when ‘divine’ judgement is applied it’s generally fairly accurate in their targeting.

    Tinctoria village was barely even connected to the Pollista mess, and they certainly didn’t have anything to do with the Healing Rain. Ergo something else is going on.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Of course, it’s also possible that Some*thing* Else is trying to break into the ‘game’, and using the violation of rules by the Youkai Lords as a wedge for that. Which means that Kirito’s Favored Enemy: Abomination may well get a lot more use…

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I only noticed that even though the story is called Monstrous Compendium Online, the characters call the game Sword Art Online. Did I miss something?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you did miss something, it probably wasn’t very obvious.

      Titles are something of a label for a story (or other document.) Sometimes you design a title to fit certain branding and feel. Ilona Andrews’ Magic Xxxxx books, or Jim Butcher’s Dresden. (Butcher’s Dresden titles often are two words of the same length. Peace Talks. Summer Knight. Cold Days. Ghost Story.) Or Larry Correia’s Hard Magic, Spellbound, and Warbound. Monster Compendium Online Fits the “three word, last one probably online” format that is often used to show that a story is a SAO fanfic. It also says ‘D&D’ and ‘index of creatures’. The latter theme seems only partly developed in this draft. Change of Fate has a Star Warsy feel. Waking to Another Sky doesn’t explicitly call out to Star Gate or SAO, but it evokes both, especially Star Gate.

      What you call a fictional game inside of a story serves a different purpose. If I wrote a SAO fanfic involving a half dozen of the canon games, called them each something different, and heavily re imagined them, the readers would be more confused than not. Canon SAO’s SAO matches what the reader is told about it being a VRMMORPG made by a man obsessed with melee combat, and art. (SAO: Progressive makes some comments about Kayaba’s use of musical terms, which is suggestive of his headspace.) CoF’s Old Republic Online tells the reader that it is sort of a mashup of SAO and SW: The Old Republic. ORO’s differences from SAO are central to the story. It says less about Kayaba, which may be appropriate, as Kayaba has less presence and is more of a mystery in that story. WtAS and MCO use SAO because they are made by a Kayaba similar to canon in personality, for a similar market. Plus, MCO is expected to use an ALO cognate, so SAO has be to closer to canon in order to minimize reader confusion.

      Liked by 1 person

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