Monstrous Compendium Ch 9 Ficbit – Of Libraries

Bouncing on his inn bed, Recon sorted through the half-dozen webpages floating in front of him in scholarly bliss, still amazed at the information available at the touch of a screen. On Khorvaire he’d have to have a wizard’s library to find even half of what a good search engine could turn up in a few seconds. Most people couldn’t get a peek inside someplace like the Library of Korranberg without a long trip by sea or lightning rail and the gold to spend for it… and a really good concealing illusion, if they were youkai. You could buy your own books, if you saved up, but a collection of the Korranberg Chronicle and other broadsheets was the only library most commoners could afford to keep.

That’s got to change. We’ve got to change it.

Fighting was okay. It wasn’t fun – well, unless it was like that practice bout he’d just had with Lyfa, where the weapons weren’t really real – but if you were a youkai in Aincrad you learned to fight, one way or another. Galifar soldiers didn’t stop to ask if you knew how to use a weapon. So you learned magic if you could, and you learned to fight with whatever weapon you could use without killing yourself. He didn’t have the strength for swordwork, but he could make daggers dance. So that’s what his flock had trained him in.

The idea that people could live in a world where they could go their whole lives without even thinking about killing someone….

I wish I could stay.

…Well, yes and no. Earth had its own problems. If he walked down the street with his real face, people would run screaming. Magic was a lot less strong, most humans had no clue how to do it, and if Earth medicine looked like magic to him there were hordes of sick humans who’d give anything for one cure disease. Youkai or humanoid, people were people; there were wars and crime and murder.

And curses. Recon let his gaze slide over toward the desk chair, where Lyfa was hunting through ALO forums and messages with a concentration fierce as a bared blade. Apparently at least two of the aosagibi had talked, and rumors were spreading about the deadly Black Swordsman like wildfire-

Green eyes narrowed. “Look at this.”

If that’s who I think it was, one message ran, it can’t be but if the screencaps aren’t lying – then Aidan’s group got off lucky.

If anyone sees him again, just – be kind. He’s hard to aggro. He doesn’t start fights.

If you know his name, contact me.


A/N: And now you can guess part of what the Taskforce is sitting on.

30 thoughts on “Monstrous Compendium Ch 9 Ficbit – Of Libraries

    1. Short answer: No.

      Longer answer: Psychiatrists, they need so many psychiatrists, the Taskforce is overwhelmed….

      Even longer answer: There is still an extremely high death rate. Just not everyone. The Taskforce has tracked down some of the factors they think are involved, but they can’t communicate that into the game, and it’s driving some of them a bit round the bend because they could save more people – not everyone, but more – if people only knew-!

      Liked by 6 people

    2. The game is supposed to spiritually transform them into Youkai, not physically.

      That might not be the key factor here. I think we know that Sachi was working on a heal build? There may be a mechanical choice that would save someone from the right sort of fatal injury in a human body, and have a relatively small opportunity cost.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. That meeting is going to be messy, but probably help Kirito. Of course, I do wonder how many people actually died (probably those who did not have the proper attitude for changing or have been transformed as standard were-beasts), since it is unlikely to be zero.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Ahhhh! I did not see that coming! Though it’s going to be very interesting to see if there are any other SAO survivors that recognize Kirito on the forums!

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Well, I remember a fic where someone pointed out that reasonably, with tech like this, you should be seeing around a ten percent tech failure rate. Meaning that roughly ten percent of the people who die should not die because the component to fry their brains failed. Would that be something in effect here, or would magic get around that?

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Well, the component failure maybe could be justified as something else. It really depends on exact mechanism of the fatality component, how the component was made, fragility in handling, and how much engineering time and effort was spent on things.

      Looking at the engineering side, Kayaba really should not have been able to pull things off so neatly in the first place. The plot leans so heavily on his cinematic technical genius that, ‘he should have killed a lot of people testing the mortality before hand, or accidentally have failed to kill a lot of his victims’ is picking one out of several equally viable arguments. Fail deadly tamper resistance isn’t easy, the software security side isn’t easy, there really should have been records about manufacture of Nerve Gear that would have permitted safe security breaches…

      Suppose the fatal component is an array, produced with twelve units, shipped with ten or more in working order, doesn’t start without eight working, the units are measured as part of the player experience, and only four are needed for a reliable kill. Set the thing to go off when you have still have five working, and you would expect a lower accidental survival rate.

      My feeling is that he may be relying on tech for the kill, because that way the rest of the magic is less aware, and the magic would be less happy if it knew how many people were dying. In which case, if he tested, as long as the magic wasn’t hooked up, emotional state wouldn’t strongly increase the accidental survival rate.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Though, there’s a decent argument that there should have been a much higher failure rate from hair growth. Of course, that way lies ‘either the hospitals should have trimmed off hair underneath the headsets, or they should have lost a lot of people from infection growing in the hair, oil, and sweat’. But I am neither a life scientist nor a medical professional, and I may simply be being too paranoid.

      Liked by 4 people

  4. Wow. And with this, Kirito is faced with a horrible, horrible choice once he learns.
    Tell everyone in SAO some people may have survived and sure, some people may get hope for the departed.
    Others may decide that ‘maybe I’ll live’ is a good enough chance to get /out/. And the survival rate doesn’t sound good.
    SAO doesn’t need more suicides, but it becomes real likely then.
    Not even counting the Mindscrew when any of the survivors who are playing ALO /do/ get ‘back in the game’.
    Or the problem that ALO is apparently a non-level based PVP…which means players have a very good chance of coming into Aincrad as level 1’s…horribly vulnerable, reckless level 1’s who are conditioned to think death is cheap.

    Really, ‘Kabaya’ would have trouble /planning/ a better multiprong attack on the spirit…
    Pity for him he obviously /didn’t/ plan this one all the way through. Oh, much of it is his fault. A lot of the rest is just human(?) nature at work.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I know I should remember it, but the guy who was the leader of Sachi’s Guild.

    If he’s alive, he’s going to get screamed out by A Lot of people for doing what he thought was suicide in front of Kirito and telling him it was his fault.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Galifar soldiers didn’t stop to ask if you knew how to use a weapon.

    People of that ilk usually don’t.

    Besides the worry of them invading Aincrad while SAO is still ongoing and the potentially resulting mess . . . what if some of their magic users / etc figured out how to gatecrash SAO?

    The idea that people could live in a world where they could go their whole lives without even thinking about killing someone….

    Yeah. *wince* That’s one of the reasons that SAO hit the players hard and why if Beniryuu really is trying to pull the ALO players into Aincrad, they are going to have problems.

    but if the screencaps aren’t lying – then Aidan’s group got off lucky.

    Very lucky. They aren’t aware of how lucky.

    But this will not be the first or last time Kirito will have to put the fear of HIM into someone.

    He doesn’t start fights.

    But he can finish one.


    Plot twist.

    (And if that really is Sachi and the Black Cats are back on Earth . . . I hope she punched Keita. Hard.)

    Liked by 1 person

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