Monstrous Compendium Ch 11 Ficbit – Spellcheck

“Let us burn away these chains of fear,” Klein murmured, low and intent. “C’mon, we can do this people, just believe….”

Believe. Asuna swallowed, struggling to hands and knees. I want to believe. But

She couldn’t read the icons on her partner’s menu, but she didn’t have to. All Kirito’s ranger spells were on cooldown, and while he had a sorcerer’s invocations at his fingertips, no one could cast those forever. He’d burned most of his magic keeping them both healed through the boss fight, and there’d been no time to rest and meditate. He still had darkfire-

But Beniryuu is a red dragon, Asuna knew, fighting the press of magic; fingers brushing her rapier’s hilt as she read the set of her ex-guildmaster’s shoulders, the narrowed eyes that thought they had his opponent’s measure, the brace that meant Heathcliff was about to pull a shield-bash. Which made no sense. She knew Kirito, and his weapon stats. Fast as Heathcliff was, that bash wouldn’t have a prayer of clipping Kirito’s body, and no one with merely draconic strength could hope to damage those blades. Darkfire cuts through magic resistance, but even polymorphed, a red’s still going to have a dragon’s stats. Which means fire resistance, and- No!


Dark Repulser shattered, shards drawing blood from Kirito’s face. Only reflexes and a blink saved him from blindness.

The status blinking in his vision was almost worse.

Stun. Ten seconds.

I’m dead.

And his ghost was going to haunt the Rat forever, because one of those spell-splices must have managed polymorph, but not the baleful polymorph effects they’d prayed for. Meaning the Heathcliff he was up against was humanoid only in outward form.

Red dragon strength. No sword would stand a chance.


24 thoughts on “Monstrous Compendium Ch 11 Ficbit – Spellcheck

  1. Ah. This is the moment Asuna manages to throw herself between Kirito and his certain death, isn’t it? That was such an iconic moment in the original material. Plus, we’ve seen that people with a certain mindset when they die, may manage to escape the curse of death.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I would hardly say that Asuna was a distressed damsel in the original material when that happened. Sure she was dead, but she pulled off a heroic willpower save in a setting where those things /don’t even exist/ and while it probably would’ve been better if she’d sworded him yeah, who’s gonna be thinking clearly in that situation. Especially since her mind was clearly on “Kirito’s gonna die, must save him” rather than here where it’s more focused on “Kirito’s losing, he needs help!”

        Honestly most people who call Asuna a damsel in distress throughout various points of the series really aren’t giving her anywhere near enough credit. I can’t actually think of one period in time other than the Kayaba-Ex-Machina ending of Fairy Dance where she’s truly a Damsel in Distress by what I consider the classical definition.

        …sorry for mini-rant, it’s just been on my mind because someone on another site has been complaining and it always drives me up a wall when people criticize SAO about certain things that show they clearly haven’t actually paid attention to what’s been going on rather than the work’s real flaws.

        Liked by 5 people

      2. Concur with Canis. Preliminary reread of LN #4, the second half of Fairy Dance, reminded or showed me that Asuna’s active attempts to handle her situation was in fact critical to the happy ending.

        Kirito would have been S$&# out of luck at the entrance to the top of the tree without an access key card. Where did he get that keycard? Asuna gave it to him when he was able to briefly make contact with her through Yui. Where did she get it? Asuna grabbed it while out wandering. How did she get out? She was watching, and was able to exploit something Sugou wasn’t aware of to see his password when leaving her cell. Was all that left out of the anime?

        There are things I don’t like with the Light Novel. I did come away with a strong sense of ‘fixit’. In the context of Kirito as main character, Asuna has sufficient agency in Fairy Dance. I do not believe females are the only acceptable main characters. (On the other hand, the environment that arc establishes Asuna as being raised in… Shouzou, what part of Kouichirou makes /that/ look like a better heir? Were your investors dropped on their heads when they were kids? Though, given this thing coming out with the Boeing scandal, perhaps it is /I/ who doesn’t understand the real world. )

        Liked by 3 people

      3. Version of the novels published in English? Buried in that scene where she realizes what Sugou is doing with the sadistic experiments? Said that she knew how unbalanced he was, she knew him better than anyone, and had known him since she was a child.

        I think it is pretty clear that Sugou wanted her to know there was something wrong with him, as long as she didn’t have, or didn’t think she could have, anything to act on. Letting her stress over it for years was part of the fun for him.

        I’ve been asking myself since what the explicative is wrong with Shouzou. I have some better answers than I did earlier in my reanalysis, but I really do not like that element.

        For an arc with Kirito as MC, the Asuna elements of Fairy Dance are painted very heavily, as if with a trowel. My own damage is such is that I would be much more satisfied by a resolution where Sugou was spitting up metaphorical broken teeth because post-Aincrad Asuna no longer fit his victim profile.

        The anger with the original design choices has been giving me a lot of insight into my plotting problems.

        Liked by 3 people

      4. Oh, I prefer the way you handled it. Also, poetic justice, since Big Red regarded Asuna as part of his “hoard”.

        A bit of a blind spot had there for Beniryuu. After all, he had made such a great effort to forge a magical link between Earth and Eberron to pull the scheme off. He most definitely was a denizen of Eberron, and as such a powerful monster, a significant actor on the scales of fate…

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Nervewracking. 😁

    I finally got my Pearl of Fire today! Slightly odd since it was supposedly in customs last night and the packages usually takes two days from that point. Oh well, it’s nice to get a good surprice occationally. At least it arrived before I head off on the train-trip where I plan to re-read it – I’m off to see the Izzard. 😉

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Done with my first readthrough now and I’m crossing my fingers hoping you have healthy bunnies for a sequel awaiting their turn to nibble at you. 😉

        Loved it.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Will we get a cameo from Silica? I am fond of the character. At least in this storyline, she might have the chance to polymorph her cat into whatever pet/familiar she had in the game. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Wait, the full chapter’s out now?!?
    *Scrambles off t read*
    OK then, my thoughts/reactions:

    -And that’s if there’s just one, Kirito knew. If the hordes of the Abyssal Planes find the way to Earth – they wouldn’t stop. They’d just keep coming.-
    That is true. 6+ billion souls with no major magical defenses? That’s an all-you-can-eat buffet for demons.

    -“How.” Heathcliff’s voice was hammered iron. “Cardinal should have detected your racial status. Lady Stheno’s scrying read you as one of her own. How did you conceal this?”-
    Oh my, somebody is not happy about current events.

    In all honesty though it’s his own fault because whatever the reality, humans are incredibly innovative little monkeys. And Beniryuu gave them a LOT of motivation.

    -It was never meant to be a fair fight. How can we win when he made all the rules? –
    Because he never intended you to.

    -The wounded dragon huffed, lifebar bleeding away. “Then shall human and youkai fight, and crimson fall like rain. Who’d have thought the Prophecies… would hold here….”-
    That’s the fun thing about attempting to guide/direct/enable prophecies, Bennie boy. The would-be guider very often gets the short end of the stick.

    -Or at least out of the game with a headache, anybody think he’s really dead, the bastard.-
    *Dead silence, not even the crickets are chirping*
    Klein: “Yeah that’s what I thought.”

    Liked by 3 people

    1. -*G* Beniryuu = “crimson dragon”.-
      Yup, and there are two ways one could look at this chain events and the Draconic Prophecies.

      The first option i that this was always going to happen. I dislike this option since it’s basically saying free-will and personal choice is nothing but a pretty lie as literally everything is preordained and the future is set in stone.

      The second (that I prefer) is that while the Prophecy was always going to come true, the form in which it came true could differ. For example the bit Beniryuu quoted might have originally played out as expected: humans and youkai fight -> lots of death and blood.

      But then Beniryuu stepped in and changed things resulting in the original outcome not happening. But the Prophecy still has to come to pass meaning that the events the dragon set in motion will still result in said words being found to be true. Or as tvtropes calls it: Prophecy Twist.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Time for Sthenos and Vincent to activate their contingencies to make ABSOLUTELY sure Beniryuu is dead.

    If Asuna and Kazuto remain on Earth for some time, or ALO gets adapted to make scheduled travel possible (though it’s likely months, or years between going and returning), I see them both getting hired as consultants (even agents?) by the Japanese government to help deal with Interplanar Issues.

    Going to be interesting how the whole thing with the “youkai transformations” mental and physical get handled. And how permanent such changes are.

    Liked by 3 people

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