Live by the Sword

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Wrenisprobablyb0red
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Re: Live by the Sword

Post by Wrenisprobablyb0red »

Amazee Dayzee wrote: Tue Jun 07, 2022 12:49 pm I really enjoyed reading this chapter! Even if it made me hate Dragon even more.

I now need someone to write an alternate reality fanfic where Bino gets over his pain and trauma.
I'd probably do that if Krytus let me. I love doing fanfiction of fanfiction.
I came here looking for (noun), but this is so much better!
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D-Rock
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Re: Live by the Sword

Post by D-Rock »

Fan fic of your fan fic. That’s how you know your story is captivating.
Faith doesn't change circumstances. Faith changes me.
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Amazee Dayzee
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Re: Live by the Sword

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

PLEASE GO AHEAD AND DO IT YOU CUBONE LOOKING AVATAR PERSON! I would LOVE to read it!
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Wrenisprobablyb0red
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Re: Live by the Sword

Post by Wrenisprobablyb0red »

What's a cubone? Is that a pokemon?
I came here looking for (noun), but this is so much better!
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Krytus The Dreamer
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Re: Live by the Sword

Post by Krytus The Dreamer »

Wrenisprobablyb0red wrote: Tue Jun 07, 2022 1:38 pm
Amazee Dayzee wrote: Tue Jun 07, 2022 12:49 pm I really enjoyed reading this chapter! Even if it made me hate Dragon even more.

I now need someone to write an alternate reality fanfic where Bino gets over his pain and trauma.
I'd probably do that if Krytus let me. I love doing fanfiction of fanfiction.
If you do decide to go for it I'm cool with it. That'd definitely be an interesting read. I'd just like some credit for the idea though.
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Amazee Dayzee
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Re: Live by the Sword

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

Yes Cubone is a Pokemon and your avatar looks so much like one that I thought it was intentional. Here is what a Cubone looks like so you can see it for yourself.

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Krytus The Dreamer
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Re: Live by the Sword

Post by Krytus The Dreamer »

D-Rock wrote: Tue Jun 07, 2022 9:47 am A lot to take in with Fox’s part of the chapter; wondering when the right time would be to announce his relationship to Mungo,
Wrenisprobablyb0red wrote: Tue Jun 07, 2022 12:43 pm the focus on Fox and Mungo's relationship was an absolute joy to read. Fox being nervous about the way everyone responds makes a lot of sense, as he would have witnessed something similar with Fido, and he probably still feels guilty for how he acted during that time.
Happy Pride month! In all seriousness though, I hope I did their relationship some kind of justice and didn't tokenize them as "that couple." I remember watching a video from a youtuber who said the most interesting way to do a relationship is to start in medias res so that you actually get to see them as a couple and not flip flop around with will-they-won't they shenanigans.
Wrenisprobablyb0red wrote: Tue Jun 07, 2022 12:43 pm Reminds me of something I heard about where some person was not properly put under during a surgery, and the hospital was like "we do not want to be sued" so they drugged the man so he would forget it. However, he still had the trauma from the intense pain and being awake during the surgery, and had nightmares of being cut open and intense paranoia.
oof dude. As the son of two doctors this hurts, I hope the dude got some justice.
Amazee Dayzee wrote: Tue Jun 07, 2022 12:49 pm I really enjoyed reading this chapter! Even if it made me hate Dragon even more.
sometimes I feel bad about trashing her character here, and then I remember what she did in cannon and I feel slightly less bad about it.

A portion of this chapter was inspired by this soundtrack from youtube.

Episode 04: Those Who Have Forgotten The Past
Chapter 03

"Fox!" Sabrina continued to drone on. "Don't ignore me! Are you really going to do this to Fido? After the two of you had just made up?"

Fox didn't like the situation he found himself in.
It was the worst kind of Deja Vu. Evidence, compelling evidence at that, had been found accusing Fido of harboring Suicune. It was challenging to come up with a rebuttal or some kind of defense as to why Suicune's sword was hidden in Fido's house. Fox himself couldn't devise a logical reason why it would be there unless Fido had been harboring the criminal. That same reasoning answered just too many questions.

Fido had inside knowledge of police activity, allowing Suicune to evade capture. Because of his burnt arm, Fido had the perfect excuse to buy and supply Suicune with the medication he needed to recover. Fox didn't have the complete picture, but he had enough puzzle pieces that didn't pain Fido in the best light. Regardless of the outcome, there had to be an explanation, and Fox would get to the bottom of it.

"Fox!" Sabrina yelled much louder to grab the husky's attention over the deafening noise of the festival. "ANSWER ME!"

"I DON'T LIKE THIS EITHER!" Fox yelled back, making the crowd turn their heads toward the three pets and causing a scene.

Mungo placed a firm hand on Fox and Sabrina's shoulders, "Let's take this discussion somewhere else."

Fox and Sabrina looked at the scene they had caused and nodded their heads subtly. Then, after the three pets broke through the crowd awkwardly, Mungo found them a route with fewer pets and people. Nobody would notice the difference if they kept their voices to a reasonable level.

"Look," Sabrina began quietly, "I don't know how Suicune's sword got there, but it's clearly a set-up. You see that, right?"

Fox held back a snarl and clenched his fists in frustration. "My hands are tied, Sabrina. I don't like this any more than you, but the evidence is hard to dispute. We found this in his house, Sabrina;" Fox held up the sword covered by a white towel. "you can't deny that."

"If Officer Fido truly is innocent, then a light round of questioning shouldn't matter; he'll still be innocent," Mungo stated, frowning with a scowl similar to Fox.

"Even so," Sabrina sighed, "to barge in on the play? Isn't that going too far? Think about what it'd do to Askal."

"Sabrina, be realistic. We can't gamble on Fido's innocence. The play is the only scenario where we can guarantee his cooperation. We could lose him in the crowd if we wait until after the play. It's too big a risk. We have to follow protocol." Fox argued back.

The black cat stopped in her tracks, "I bet if it were Sasha, you wouldn't be too keen on following the rules, Officer."

Fox paused to process the verbal slap he had been handed. He had been reminded time and time again of his previous mistake. Had he done it because he cared about Sasha? Yes. Was it a misguided attempt at proving her innocence? Also yes. However, that's precisely what it was, misguided. Fox did everything in his power to move on and learn from that mistake, but here was the universe to once again remind him that he had made that mistake.

The husky took a deep breath to calm himself down but couldn't muster the strength to look Sabrina in the eye. "You're too emotionally involved, Ms. D'Angelo. I can't have you interfering with the case." The pain in Fox's hand continued to build as his clenched fist got tighter, but he was too angry to care. "Mungo, please see that she doesn't do anything to impede the investigation. I can handle talking to Officer Fido on my own."

Mungo reached out his hand to comfort the husky, "Fox, are you~

"Yes," he answered hastily before pausing to take a deep breath, "Sorry, yes, I'm sure."

Before the larger dog could speak again, Fox continued walking. The joyous revelry of the autumn festival grew to a dull roar. Children and pets were laughing, food sizzled as it cooked, and music played, but none of it could drown out the buzzing in Fox's ears. Each step he took, the louder the buzzing grew as he got closer to the play venue. Somehow, Suicune's sword got heavier in his hands, and his breaths became short and labored.

Eventually, it got so bad that Fox had to steady himself on a nearby wooden post to get his bearings. As Fox took a short breather, his mind continued to grow in chaos. A part of Fox reassured himself he had no choice and that what he was doing was simply procedure. However, another part of Fox, which he was sure he had long since moved past, asserted that what he was doing was a mistake.

Was he really going to bring in Fido? All the dogs may have cast him out, but Fox knew better. Fox knew Fido couldn't have harbored Suicune but was his emotions talking, or was it his logic? Torn by the two sides inside him, Fox could only continue to breathe in short quick bursts. Eventually, it took the sound of trumpet horns coming from the play venue to snap him out of his indecisive spiral.

Fox looked at the sword in his hands; he remembered the damage Suicune had done and what he was capable of. There was no telling what Suicune could do if he continued to roam free. This could be a turning point in the case, a chance to finally apprehend the elusive dog. Fox didn't like it, but it had to be done.

With a deep sigh, Fox gathered his will and trudged forward. From the post where Fox had his break down, it wasn't too long a walk. Not three minutes later, the husky was in front of a cat who stopped Fox from entering unless he had a ticket. Fox flashed his badge and claimed it was police business, and at first, the cat was hesitant to let the husky through. However, the cat quickly reeled when he glanced at Fox's muzzle, barely holding back a snarl, and ushered the dog in.

"I'm scared, brother," Despite being at the very back, Fox still heard Askal's voice loud and clear from behind a prop cage. "These accusations, I've done nothing wrong, but I can't convince them. Please, I'm scared."

Fox scanned the crowd, searching for Fido as Peanut delivered his lines to the same quality as Askal. "I swear on my blade no harm will befall you. I promise."

Eventually, Fox managed to spot Fido close to the middle of the seating area, intently watching the play before him. So with shaking hands, Fox lowered his head and made his way to the open seat next to Fido as the play continued.

"Hey Fox," Fido greeted casually as he made way for the husky to take a seat, "You missed a good chunk of the beginning, but luckily there's still a lot more to go."

"Yeah, lucky me." The husky sighed as he took the seat, his grip on the sword getting tighter.

Without taking his eyes off of the stage, Fido elbowed Fox gently, "Is something up? You're not usually this glum, and where's Mungo? He's missing the play."

"It's... uh..." Fox fumbled with his words, but he knew he needed to rip off the band-aid. "I need you to come with me."

"What, why?" Fido finally turned to the husky with concern on his face.

"Earlier, Mungo and I found this underneath your picnic table." Fox presented Fido with the sword as he grabbed Fido's wrist. "I don't think I have to explain what this means."

The gears turned in Fido's head before he turned to the stage. "Fox... not now, please."

"I'm sorry, Fido, but I have to bring you in for questioning."

"But Askal...

"Will have to deal with it. I don't like this, Fido, and please don't make this harder than it has to be. If you're innocent, I'll make it up to you and the pup somehow; I just need you to come with me and not make a fuss."

Fido glanced at the husky and then to the stage where Askal was still performing. Fox could see the sadness in Fido's eyes as he glanced at what was his adoptive younger brother. He knew how close the two had gotten, and he knew how much it hurt to disappoint Askal, but this was important. If Fido were innocent, Fox would kneel and beg at Kitsune's statue for an opportunity to make things right. But, sadly, for now, Fox's hands were tied.

"Later," Fido responded in a hush.

Fox took a deep breath "Fido, there is no later~

"I mean when the scene transitions." Fido clarified, "I don't want Askal to see me leave. It'll crush him."

"I can make that compromise." Fox reached into his collar and pulled out a pair of handcuffs before securing them to Fido's wrists.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

“Stagehands, that’s your cue; bring in props for scene fifteen. Go, go, go.” Peanut directed as he ran over to the collection of props to get what he needed.

Askal was thrilled.
All the weeks of practice and rehearsals were paying off. Each of Askal's line deliveries was picture perfect without a single stutter or fumble. The audience had even laughed at one of the lines he ad-libbed to add in a topical humor joke. However, Askal knew full well that they were only in the first half of the play. He couldn't afford to get complacent right now, not when an emotional scene was coming up.

After taking a brief glance at his script, Askal rushed back onto the stage while making sure the prop manacles on his wrists still held up. Once Askal took his place next to Peanut, two cats ran to their sides and grabbed onto their manacles, making it look like they were being escorted on stage.

Six seconds passed, and the curtains rose to reveal the audience. However, as Askal played his part, the young dog flinched slightly when he picked up on the ringing sound. He made a few cursory glances at anybody nearby, and if they heard it, they didn't react. So Askal did the same and ignored the strange sound. The show must go on after all.

"Brother," Askal quivered in practiced fear, "What's going to happen to us?"

"Everything will be fine, I promise." Peanut answered back as they slowly approached "W̴̳̔͘ë̸͚́'̷̖̥́͛́l̸̼̬͙͛̀ľ̶͈͛ ̷͍̩̇̈́̆h̷̘̃ä̸̭́̄̾ͅv̸̥͂e̶̺̔͐ ̴̦̹͠ͅf̸̧̼͌̓͝r̸̼͑͌͝e̶̳͕͝s̴̫͖̙͌̿h̴̘̳̓̚ ̸̧͓̙̾̊͠c̷̞̺̳̽̐a̵͖̬̕u̵̫̍͌͑g̴̨̲̓́͊h̷͓̀t̷̲̎̚̚ ̶̛̳͛H̵̜̒̊̊à̶̲ļ̷͇͌̐͊i̶̩̖̅͐͠b̸͉̌͝u̷̩͒̓͊t̶̢̬͒̀̀ ̸͈̲̤͋̎ẁ̴̟̳̲͂ḧ̸́̄̏ͅe̷̳͇͋n̴̙̯̉́ ̷̗̩́ͅt̴̰̲̄h̷͉̳̋i̵̢͉̘͌͗s̷͈͆̏̇ ̷͍͇̍͆i̵̦̍̂͂s̶̢͕̫͐̾ ̷̦̬̠̕ȁ̶̖̈͘ͅl̶̤̲͌̍͒l̵̲͓͐͗ ̶̥̐̇͌o̷͕̺̾͜v̸̩̖̈́è̷̟͋̚r̷͇͇͂.̶͇̦͘"

Askal had to bite his lip to stop himself from suddenly turning to Peanut in shock. That wasn't in the script nor anything they had rehearsed. Sure he had ad-libbed some lines before, but they were at least tangentially related to what the character would say. Still, nobody around him looked surprised by the line delivery, and Askal had no choice but to continue as if he hadn't heard anything.

Eventually, Askal and Peanut were brought before Max, who sat atop a convincing-looking throne with one hand supporting his head and the other carrying his spear. As the two-toned cat recited his lines, Askal continued to hear the ringing. It was getting louder by the second, and at this point, Askal was beginning to wonder why nobody else heard the strange sound but him.

"S̶͈̈ẗ̵̤̥͒̽ṳ̶̎̽͘ͅḍ̵̑͆ë̵̳͍͛̄͜n̶͖̮̦̈́͛͘t̷̳̰̑̚s̷̠̎̄ ̷̨̼̣̃͝o̶̗̻̒̈̇f̶̣͎̪̎̊ ̶͓̺͆ͅM̸̦̑̀̒ḁ̵̟̉̾s̵̮̜̰̃ṱ̵̗͆͒͒é̴̟͖̞̉̇r̸͍̙̣̈́́ ̶͍̙̪̉̅K̶̩͔̄͂a̶̙͉̐̆͑ͅm̶̲̬̓̿͑a̴̝̹͕͒̈͆d̴̨̗́͠ͅǫ̵̳̋͒̃," Max announced as Askal and Peanut approached, once again causing the young dog to flinch. "it pains me to have to do this, but Ṛ̶̠̏̃y̷̼̬̽ͅu̷͍͔͗̒ĵ̷̟͉̲͆͠ị̸̻́͝r̵̫̳̽́̆o̷͖̹͂̀,̷̝̗̞̒̇ ̸̮͎̇̍͠ḧ̵̦̲́́̿a̸̬̦̥͝s̸̮̩̘̆̍̕ ̷̢̜̅̇̎b̸͎͕͂é̵͇̬̊é̷͚n̵̤̙̓̒ͅ ̶̨̡̞̊͋f̴̮́̈́͑ò̴́ͅu̷̹͖͉̓̏͘n̵̙̺̖͋d̸͈̱̏͐͐ ̴̅͒́ͅg̵̖͆ủ̵͓̑̕i̸̩̖͒̓l̷̙̔͘͝t̸̛͜ỹ̵̤͂͌ ̸̝͕͗̃ö̷̠́̀͜͝f̶̥̏̑̍ ̵̞̰̼̀͆̅t̶̟͓͑̽h̴͙̰͈͆ĕ̴̱̦̜̈ ̵̰̬͗s̴͍̎̍͛ḽ̶͕̑̿a̸̱̫̽͑̌u̷͓̤͜͠g̵̫̎͂͝h̷͈͎̙͂̄t̴̮̯̐e̴͇͔̘͠r̵͈̊̿̾ ̶͈̩̝̓͛͑o̶̩̣̳͗͛͝f̴͕̚͘ ̵̻̼̱͐A̸͍̐͝r̶͖̀̊̀t̵͔̪̍̋̏i̷̟͈̦͆͗̓ş̵̥̮̚͝â̵͎̫͊n̵̫͖̰̈́̋́ ̶̮͔̂̓͑v̶͉̽͐i̴̼͈̽͠ͅl̵͎̩̊ḽ̸̞̬̚a̵̪̔́g̵͎̺̣̈́̍͌ȩ̴̂̈̀.̶̰̪͚̀”

The more Max continued reading aloud his lines, the more unbearable the sound became. Now, in addition to the ringing, he also heard dissonant whispers from around him. At first, the young dog thought it was the audience suddenly growing a distaste for their performance. However, when Askal glanced at the crowd, none of them looked like they were talking amongst themselves.

“M̸̫̞͍̓ỷ̸̨͉̓̕ ̴̙̒l̴̜̰̞̂̃ò̷͈̍̍r̵̠͕̉͂d̷̤̼̘͠,̴̘̞̬̆ ̵̧͍͚̓p̵̨̰̏͐̑͜l̴̘̐̈́̆ȅ̸̝̚ầ̷̡̪͛s̷̢̊̍̾e̴͉̖̾̃͂͜,̸͖̱̺͒ ̸̣̫̈́̋I̴̜̋͐́ ̶̢̪̖̍́͠b̵̛̻̘͔̏̂e̷̻͘g̷̱̥̩̑ ̴͍̗̏o̴̲͒f̸͚͎̅̑͠ ̶̯̊̊̚ý̷̪̥͉o̷̼̊͒͗ͅư̸̖͛̄͜,̷͚̐ ̷̬̱̌̈́ş̶̟̏p̵̔̃ͅă̵͍ŗ̸̹̥͌ẻ̵͖̽͋ ̶̡͚͖̈t̸͎̖̮͛̆h̵͉̫͎̓̄̇ȅ̴̯̳̋͑ ̶̤̞͌l̴̪̒į̶͓̥͑̎̇f̷͍́͊e̶̤̮̽̅̏ ̷̜̱̈o̸̘͉͊͐͝f̵̦̩͑ͅ ̶̢̬́͑͠m̵̡͚̽̈́́ỳ̴̜ ̸̳͌͝b̶̦̔̏͝r̶̤̈́̈͝ŏ̵͎̪̥t̸̙̀̚h̵͚̀̌͜e̷͔͆r̷̞̊ ̵̨̣̀́̚R̵̯̞̤̔y̷̬̔ù̷͓̕͜j̴̙̞͚͒̈́͊ű̵̙r̵̼̙̙̍o̵̗͕̅͐͑.̵̰̭́”
“You accusation cannot stand. We have done nothing to deserve this kind of punishment.” Askal had to grit his teeth as Peanut spoke his lines

“W̴̧̅͌͝h̸͑ͅă̸̪̩͓t̷̥̹͊͠ ̴̠̼̦̽͊̓ů̷̟̐s̴̺̽͌̕͜e̸̛̝̰̞͋̆ ̸͓̥͌͠w̶̥͇̉̑ò̶̦̫͎̊̚u̸͕̽̉l̶̳̙̑̂d̶̦̋͊ ̷̝̜̦͑͐̌I̴̪̚ ̴̨͓͚͑h̷͈̜͖̉͑͝å̸̝̘̼v̴͇͙̆̌e̵͎͒̀ ̴̗̏̄f̴͈̈̔͂o̶͔̲͍̒r̵͇̀̓ ̵̤̫́ȁ̵̫ ̵̪̈́̇̃m̸̜̣͔̆ū̵̼͖r̶͍͍̓̑͝d̶̠̳̐̚̚e̸̞͙̣̎̀̋r̵̭̙̓͗͘e̵̟͑̋ṛ̸̆ ̷̮̥̉̀͂i̸̯̝͆̈͘n̶͉̥̅͆͘ ̴̠̦̹͑m̸̧̅̂͑ͅy̵̤͌́̐ ̷̺̀̔c̶̜̗̐̏̃o̶̩̬͛̒u̶̮̓̓̅r̶͙̩̍t̴͖͈̠̏̔̊.̷̙̊ ̶̭̣̪̽̾W̸͎͒͘h̴̫̬̉̋a̸͓͐͆͜ṯ̴̛̙̏̕ ̴̛͔g̶͔̲̯̑͆͠u̷͓̽̿̚a̴̢̛̟͇͂̎ȑ̷͎̭̉͝ǎ̶̧̖̆͜ñ̵ͅt̶̻̾̈̏e̸̡̧̲̽ȩ̴̋ ̶͖͌̎̈́d̵̠̕ó̵͇́͋ ̶̡͖̓̕Ḭ̶̝͐ ̶̮̅̃h̸̪͚̽͜a̷͔̙̺̐v̸̢̱̬̽̒ȩ̷̩̯̎̌̈ ̵̭͙̈́̆o̴͍͛̊f̴̦̦͆͜ ̸̝̕h̸̨̛̹͋i̶̯͗̈́̏ș̶̽̔ ̴̫̥̆͂͑ǒ̴̢̗͓b̴̩͆͂̊e̴̞̋d̴̳͋͐͝i̴̹̳̥͂̕e̶̹̜̬̾ń̸̲̰c̸̺̓̒͗e̶̱̙͉̓̉.̷̘̲̕”
Max’s performance began to falter when he saw the pained look on Askal’s face. “I’ve seen enough of the aftermath with my own two eyes. You two are nothing better than common killers who destroy life wherever they go.”

̴͈̺̈̈̈́“̶̧̂M̸͍͉̗̓͑͝y̷̘̭̕ ̷̧͖̲̈́́͂b̸̪͗̑̅ṙ̵̫̯̣̅o̷̯̗͒̀̐t̷̨̳͔͐͆ḩ̷̱͈̌̀͠ë̷̡̯͈́ṛ̵̾ ̷̛͉̦̇̇ͅk̷̜̽̋̄n̷̟͕͌̇̅o̷̖͗̐͠w̸̙̙͋͝s̸̙̘̭͗̏ ̷͈̮̉̏t̵̗̩͔̓h̴͇͎͕̅è̵̢̊ ̸̲̿̍b̴̠̤͝r̶̰̅ȅ̴̲̯̥a̴̻̅͠t̴͈̞̫̐͑̑h̸̢̗̞̄͠ ̴͍̯̋̒͂o̵͙̖̼͠f̸͔̮͂ ̴͇͋͛t̷̔̋ͅh̵̢͎̪͐e̶̥̊̏ ̵͖̉̇S̵̰̔̍͛ṷ̶̡̉͠n̸̙̒͠ ̵̲̺̑̏̃S̴͕̆͝t̶̪͍͐ỳ̴̟͗͘ͅl̴̯̭̎ͅē̶͕̳̓͘ ̴̲̓͜ṫ̷̢̙̐̋h̷̥͉̭̽̋e̸̯̔̀ ̴͔̈́̒p̸͓̎̾r̸̫͂ó̶̯̣͂̂g̵̪̥̬̍̈́̚e̴̬̗͗͑̚͜n̵͙̩̱̋i̵̧̼̠͌̃t̶̛̰o̸̺͕̓͠ͅr̴̡͖͈͆̊̓ ̸̨̋͊ơ̷̲̓̈́f̵͔̻̫͛̈ ̴̧̦̯̒á̶̼͍̍͌l̸̡͓̕ĺ̵̜͙͛ ̴͍̉ỏ̶̗̑͑ţ̵̭̟̑h̴͚̆̏̒é̷̱̗͔r̵͚͍͆ ̷̠̰̎͠b̷̬̑ͅŗ̸͈͆͘̚ę̸͔͈̚ä̶̳̜͉t̶̫͕͂̈́h̵͙͂ ̴̡̩̠̀͝ṡ̶̳͚͉t̶̯͕̩͐̕y̸͓͚̩̍l̴̘̼̒̏̿e̴̩̬̿́̚ŝ̶̨̧.̴̛͖̹̤̍̚ ̶̡̪̙̕Í̵̤͎̕f̶̺̄̀͘ ̶̛̜̮̗͆̿y̶̤͆͆ö̶̠̭̘ṷ̶̩͘ ̸̨̱̤̽ḵ̷̤̐ẻ̵͖̹̻͂͝é̸͉ṕ̶͇͚̒ͅ ̴̧̖̑̋͆h̶̪̰́̈́i̷͙̊̚m̸͎͉͗͐͆ ̵̡̜͋͐̅a̷͔̐̓̕l̷͕͔̊̈́i̶͉͈̽͐̔ṽ̴̩̱̄e̴̜͊ ̷̞̮̳͌y̷̢̰̽͒̈́͜ó̸̹̓ü̵͈̱͑͌ ̵̼͚̃̽c̷̳̎o̷͈̎ȗ̷̡͙̙̕l̴̨̦̎͜d̸̛͎̈̀ ̶͔͔̀̐f̸͍̿o̸̡̳̾ř̶̖̇̎c̴̱̦͋͗̚e̷̬̅ ̷̤͔̈́̔͠ĥ̶̹̳͠i̶̘͕̕ḿ̷̲̜͌ ̵͕̣͚̀t̷͖̄͂o̶̲̕ ̴̜̺̈́̌́ͅt̷̺̞͈͊̅e̸̗̰͆̚á̸͕̘̅̀ͅc̵͚̪̺̓͐͠ḫ̵̗̰͑ ̴̤͔́͑́ͅǹ̸̰̲̜e̵̯̍ŵ̵̧͉̅̈ ̶͍̲͐̕̕ͅģ̵̠͌͊͘ė̷̫̤̖n̵̛͚͙̓̕ȅ̸̥r̶̪͋́͠ͅa̶̻̙͌́t̸̠̓͑̍ḯ̷̳͙̿o̵͓͙͗n̵͖̬͖͊̑s̷̩̓͝͝ ̴̤̹̟͑͊ȯ̷͉͑̈́͜f̷̹̰̊̎͠ ̵͍̤̆w̷̞̖̠͐̈́ä̴͙̯̐r̸͙͙̠̉̈̍r̸͇̳͑͗̚ì̷̦̠ͅo̸̢̠͋͘͠r̸̪̼̆͝s̶͇̊̍ ̵̜̖̰̔̈́t̴̼̲̒́o̵͇͙̜̔̍͑ ̷̜͆d̵̜̹͐̇͜͠è̴̢̠̐f̵̪̩̈̾̀é̵̩̈̃n̸̳̟̯̑͘d̵̦̬̈̆ ̵̣̰̟̄͝ṯ̵̃h̷̲̲͍́̎e̷̡̬͕͗̈̈ ̷̡͔̯̅͠p̶̢̳̎e̵͇̓ǫ̵͎̓p̷͇͆l̴͇̣̜͂e̶̪̳̞͗.̶̮̑̈́̾ Ǐ̴̥̀͛n̴̨̡̼̏̀ ̵̜̪͌͝é̴̩͋̚x̶͔͆͆͒ͅc̴̡̻͆̄h̵̯̺̚ä̴̝́͒͠n̴̞̕̚g̶̼͝e̷͕͕̎͠ ̸̖̓t̸̺̄͆a̵̦̰͎͒̂̚k̸̩͚̤͒e̵̬̺̅ ̴̖̖́͑m̸̟̬̑̾͛y̷͔̐̀́ͅ ̷̝̩̙̋̉l̴͔̩̅i̵̛̘͕̥͝f̶͓̬͗̎ë̴͓́ ̷̙͓̈́í̴̼̀̀n̶̹̏̇͠s̸̱̰̒͋̚t̴̠͛̍̋é̸̗̹a̸̝̣̟͘͠͝d̶̞̥͂̔̾.̵̲͌̕ ̸̧̠̳̓͗̊”̶͎͔̞̎̈̓
“Even so,” Peanut hesitantly continued, “You think my brother has that skill with the blade? Impossible, only I would have such talent. You yourself have seen me beat him countless times. I’m the one you want.”

“Very well,” Max waved his hands “This is acceptable. Take him away.”


Now terrified for his life, Askal scanned the crowd for the one dog who could help him. Askal remembered that Fido sat in the middle of the audience, but when he looked at the same spot, the police dog was no longer there. Frantically Askal searched high and low, no longer caring if his performance was suffering as a result. Askal's breathing was wild and untamed, something was wrong, and only Fido would notice and come running.

Finally, Askal managed to spot the familiar shade of brown in the distance, but the state Fido was in only made his heart shatter. Fido, his Kuya, the one who had been there for him, was being led away with bound arms. The sight alone made Askal's heart race with anxiety and fear. Askal relived his nightmare from weeks ago, the calm face of Fido as he prepared to end it all.

The young dog's breathing was erratic. Askal's legs were weak; he still couldn't move, and to make matters worse, the whispers and ringing continued to grow louder with each passing second. Suddenly the open-air venue of the autumn festival play morphed and twisted into a dark, damp area only lit up by candlelight. Askal was in a cage, forced to watch as the brother he'd known all his life was led to his death.

"NO!" Askal yelled suddenly, managing to surprise his fellow actors with his outburst. "PLEASE! I'M BEGGING YOU! NOT HIM!"

"whoa," The cat who acted as his guard nearly let Askal go and had to tackle him to the floor. "He's good. Uh... I need some help!" the cat called out, only for more extras to rush onto the stage to hold the young dog down.

"I'm the one you want!" Askal cried with tears flowing down his cheeks, "I’m the one who should be put to death! SO PLEASE TAKE ME INSTEAD!"

Askal struggled and struggled but he couldn’t move, couldn’t come to the aid of his beloved brother. It frustrated him to no end. However, the next sound he heard only managed to infuriate the young dog even more. He heard applause and cheering. How could they? How could the people applaude the death of someone who had risked his life countless times to protect them. Don’t they know how much he and his brother had sacrificed how much they had bled just to ensure no harm befell the people?

A spark had been ignited in Askal, causing rage to build inside of the young dog. He snarled and growled as he struggled to break free, desperate to save the last remaining member of his family. Askal didn't care about the consequences anymore. After all, he had done, the young dog was already treated as the worst of the worst criminals. He didn't care what it took; Askal was going to save his brother.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

“I’m sorry Askal,” Fido sighed to himself as Fox ushered him forward, “I really am.”

Fido knew full well how much work Askal put into practice.
He watched that young pup go from a scared street dog into the vibrant young dog he was now. Fido felt proud of how far Askal had come, granted he did assist in that endeavor, but he only guided Askal. The young dog worked hard every day to do his best, and it pained Fido that he was missing the crowning moment of all of Askal's efforts from the past month. However, as Askal continued the scene, Fido noticed something was wrong.

The way he spoke his lines was too convincing. There was genuine hurt in his voice as he screamed his lungs out. When Askal began screaming that he was the one who should die, Fido no longer felt something was wrong; he knew something was wrong.

"Fox," Fido pleaded. "You have to let me go back. Something's right."

"It's part of the act Fido; he is acting after all. I know the part in the book this scene is referencing. It's just a bunch of adlib," Fox sighed, not giving in an inch.

Fido tried to turn around, but Fox tightened his grip on Fido's shoulders and held him in place. "You don't understand; I know him better than anyone here. He's hurt for real. You have to believe me."

"I can't take your word for it right now, Fido." Fox growled, "How do I know you're not trying to trick me? How do I know you aren't just trying to get away. Comply, and things will go much smoother, I promise."

"ZENICHI!" a chill crept up Fido's spine at the pain in Askal's voice.

Suddenly, Fox fell backward and grunted as he tried to maintain his grip on the blade. However, because he fell, Fox was on his belly and dragged through the floor of the play venue. It was almost like an invisible force was pulling at the sword in Fox's grip, and because the husky was too stubborn to let go, he was brought along for the ride.

Eventually, the pull was too much, and the sword slipped from Fox's grip and sailed high into the air. On the sword's way back down, it knocked a few lights loose from the stage's overhead lighting onto the ground, causing a small fire and a panic to break out. In a matter of seconds the play had suddenly been reduced to chaos as screams began to fill the air.

As scores of people and pets ran for safety, Fido had to brace himself against a chair so that he would avoid being stampeded upon. There was no way he would leave the venue, not before confirming Askal was safe and sound. Once only a few stragglers were left to run, Fido headed directly for the stage where he last saw Askal. The police dog knew it was dangerous, but Askal could be in trouble.

"Oh no, you don't!" Fox growled as he latched onto Fido, who took a few steps toward the stage.

"For the last time!" Fido growled back. "I'm innocent; now, help me look for Askal or get out of my way!"

"Unhand him." Fido cringed at Askal's voice.

It wasn't that the dog sounded much different; a second voice managed to speak perfectly with his. Then, as the fire continued to rage on stage, Fido's eyes widened in horror as he saw the young dog's silhouette from behind the fire.

"Askal!" Fido called out, "Be careful!"

The young dog's shadow casually walked toward them, but the fire parted just as Fido was about to yell at the dog to stay back. Askal was perfectly fine despite the fire that burned around him, except his eyes had turned bright red and looked in Fido's direction with an expression that screamed relentless rage. In his hand was the sword that had started it all.

"Why?" Askal's voice quivered as it held back sobs. "Why must my family be from me? I watched as demons took my mother. I had to watch as you took my brother." as Askal approached the two dogs, the fire around him began to converge on him.

"I watched, and each time I let my family slip through my fingers. So I will watch no longer!" Askal unsheathed the blade to reveal it was only a stump, and the rest was missing.

Suddenly the flames converged around Askal and created a vortex. Fido had to watch in horror as sweet innocent Askal was enveloped in flames. Then, a few seconds later, a new dog stepped forward. Gone was Askal's somewhat frail body and patchwork light brown fur. In its place was dark-stripped fur in a tiger-like pattern. It was no longer Askal; it was Suicune. The new dog brandished his sword, now whole once more, as it slowly began changing from a light blue color to a vibrant red to match the flames around him.

In one swift motion, Suicune leaned forward and dashed, leaving behind a trail of burning hot winds that tried to keep up with him. Suicune was so fast Fido didn't even have a chance to turn his head before he heard Fox belt out a gut-wrenching scream of pain. Gripped by fear, Fido slowly turned his head only to be met with red.

End of Chapter 03
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Wrenisprobablyb0red
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Re: Live by the Sword

Post by Wrenisprobablyb0red »

Wow. I'll analyze this more later, but wow! Excellent chapter.
I came here looking for (noun), but this is so much better!
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D-Rock
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Re: Live by the Sword

Post by D-Rock »

Of the different ways I expected the connection between Askal and Suicune to be, this wasn’t one of them. Nice job.

Considerations; Suicune was a fragmented piece of Datu’s soul, a fragmented piece of Askal that the apparition from earlier managed to dislodge, or a projection of Askal’s born from the pain of what happened to Datu.
Faith doesn't change circumstances. Faith changes me.
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Re: Live by the Sword

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

I KNEW IT! I had an inkling that Askal was Suicune and thought it was so obvious! Especially since some scenes where you have Askal going on the offense another pet is going on the defense with Suicune! This is awesome!

So, is Datu Entei or Raiku? Though the way you described Suicune sounds a LOT like how you would describe Entei honestly.
Last edited by Amazee Dayzee on Sun Jun 19, 2022 11:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Live by the Sword

Post by Krytus The Dreamer »

Amazee Dayzee wrote: Sat Jun 11, 2022 7:38 pm I KNEW IT! I had an inkling that Askal was Suicune and thought it was so obvious! Especially since some scenes where you have Askal going on the offense another pet is going on the defense with Suicune! This is awesome!

So, is Datu Enti or Raiku? Though the way you described Suicune sounds a LOT like how you would describe Entei honestly.
I don't know about Datu yet who knows at this point... but Suicune was the public's nickname for Askal and was determined through footage circulating through the media. They didn't know about his fire powers yet so they couldn't have worked around what to call Askal other than something blatantly obvious.
D-Rock wrote: Sat Jun 11, 2022 7:13 pm Of the different ways I expected the connection between Askal and Suicune to be, this wasn’t one of them. Nice job.

Considerations; Suicune was a fragmented piece of Datu’s soul, a fragmented piece of Askal that the apparition from earlier managed to dislodge, or a projection of Askal’s born from the pain of what happened to Datu.
Hooray, misdirect! and those are interesting options I wonder which one it could be.
Wrenisprobablyb0red wrote: Fri Jun 10, 2022 12:25 pm Wow. I'll analyze this more later, but wow! Excellent chapter.
Thanks! I hope I can keep up with your standards.

Episode 04: Those Who Have Forgotten The Past
Chapter 04

Fido saw red, too much red.
As a police dog, he would inevitably see some gruesome crime scenes. The academy even had training sessions to prepare cadets for the less pleasant side of being a police dog. Out of all the things the academy made him do, the physical drills, the unfair tests, even the punishments for menial misdemeanors, it was without a doubt the worst thing Fido had to endure. However, Fido had always seen the aftermath; he had never seen one happen in real-time. The amount of red he saw was... sickening, and the worst part was it was coming from Fox.

He watched as the husky fell to his knees clutching the injured area with shaking hands. It was the lower-left area of Fox's stomach. Fido quickly went over the rudimentary medical training the academy provided. If he remembered correctly, there were no vital organs located in that area, so Fox had a chance. Unfortunately, those chances were rapidly decreasing the longer he did nothing. Fox needed medical attention immediately.

Despite still being in cuffs, Fido tried to come to the husky's aid. As Fido approached, he quickly flinched when he noticed Suicune raise his blade. The striped dog swung his sword at speeds too fast for Fido to react. However, instead of feeling an immense burst of pain, Fido then felt his wrists loosen. At first, Fido assumed the worst, but the sound of metal breaking apart and hitting the floor hit his ears.

Slowly but surely, Fido opened his eyes to see the cuffs had been cleanly cut from his hands. "How's that feel, Nii-San?" Suicune gave him a soft glance as he sheathed his blade.

"N-Nii-San?" Fido repeated, unable to process the situation happening around him. "Askal, i-is that you?"

"Askal? Nii-San, now's not the time for you to be making one of your jokes. We need to leave now, or reinforcements will catch us." Suicune frowned as he canvased the area.

Fido shivered at the way Suicune spoke. It carried none of Askal's speech patterns or intonations. But, in addition to how he spoke, this dog also looked different. The most obvious was his reddish-brown striped fur coat, but he was also slightly taller than Fido. What was once Askal's relatively skinny but healthy body as a pup was now a rugged and sturdy body that showed the hours of physical training he endured. What really sealed the deal for Fido was a glance at his eyes. It was now red, yes but also sharper, more jaded in contrast to Askal's wide and curious eyes. This was not the dog Fido knew.

"Zenichi Nii-San," Suicune gently grabbed Fido by the shoulder, "quit your daydreaming. I can't find my bearings; all this fire is messing with my sense of smell. The emperor must've brought us to an unknown location just in case we got out."

Fido shook off Suicune's hand and backed away slowly, "Whoever you are, please just let Askal go. Give me back, my brother."

"Nii-San?" Suicune's frown quickly became confused as he tried to approach the police dog, "It's me, Ryujuro. I'm your broth...

"NO, YOU'RE NOT!" Fido shoved the striped dog back. "Look around you, look at the destruction you’ve caused. Askal would never do something like this. He wouldn't hurt my friend. So please, Askal, if you're in there, fight it. It's me, your Kuya. Fight whatever's controlling you. I know you can do it."

Ryujuro took a step back and scanned the raging fires surrounding them. Suddenly the striped dog clutched his head and reeled in pain. Fido watched in awe as Ryujuro's red eyes began to fluctuate between red and silver, never staying in one color for more than a second.

"Yes," Fido grabbed Ryujuro's shoulders to hold him in place. "that's it, Askal, fight! You're almost there!"

"K-Kuya?" Ryujuro spoke through grit teeth, in perfect sync with Askal's voice.

Fido tried to pull Askal further to the surface by enveloping Ryujuro in a hug. "I'm here; keep going."

"I'm.... trying..." Askal struggled, his voice slowly overcoming Ryujuro's "Watch out!"

Fido felt the world suddenly shift around him as Ryujuro tackled Fido out of the way. Then, out of the corner of his eyes, Fido watched a golden cage made of light fall from the sky and crash onto where they just were a few seconds ago. Once the two dogs hit the ground, Ryujuro recovered from the fall quickly and drew his sword with a snarl.

"Explain yourself, Officer Fido." the police dog cringed when he heard Mungo's voice above them.

Despite not being his partner, Fido had spent enough time with the large dog to know when he wasn't in a good mood. Judging from his tone of voice, Fido knew full well that Mungo was well beyond anger; he was furious. Sure enough, when Fido craned his head toward Mungo's voice, he experienced for the first time a truly angered Mungo.

Mungo was clad in golden armor resembling that of Roman origin, floating effortlessly in the air. His eyes were far from his usual happy-go-lucky ones as they now burned with a firey rage similar to that of Ryujuro's. In each hand was a weapon made of similar light to his armor, resembling that of dual swords. His descent was slow, and when he landed, he barely made a sound, but his body language screamed utter hatred as he stood in front of Fox, who was still clutching his wound.

"I'm giving you five seconds to explain before I cut you both down where you stand." each word he spoke barely hid the rage behind his words.

"Mungo, it's not what it looks like." Fido started carefully.

"Four." Mungo counted as he took a step forward.

Fido felt Ryujuro take a step forward as well, a snarl escaping his lips, "Please, both of you, just calm down."

"Three." Mungo picked up the pace.

"It's Askal!" Fido roared in an attempt to explain quickly. "I don't know how but he's in here. He can't control it. Please believe me."

"Two." Mungo snarled as he drew back both of his arms.

Ryujuro put his hand to his blade, gearing up for the inevitable battle, causing Fido's brain to rush for an answer, any answer. "I don't know how else to explain it! Please!"

"One." Mungo still continued to count down.

"PLEASE, I'M BEGGING YOU!" Fido roared, his throat going numb from the strain of yelling, "I'M TELLING THE TRUTH!"

"Zero."

His countdown now over; Mungo then hurled both of his golden swords toward Ryujuro, who quickly shoved Fido out of harm's way. Fido watched in slow motion as Ryujuro drew his blade and deflected both of Mungo's. Then something odd happened as far as Fido could tell; who's in control depends on the color of their eyes. Ryujuro takes the lead if it is red, but if it is silver, then Askal's in charge. So because their eyes were red, Ryujuro was currently in control, but now they had a silver cloud of energy radiating from their eyes.

Fido had read the reports on Suicune, or more appropriately now Ryujuro. His victims report seeing water when he attacks his foes, and nothing in the crime scene ever points to the water being real. However, despite being in the middle of a raging blaze, water began to form around Ryujuro's sword. With practiced precision, Ryujuro swung his blade around and created a whirlpool that easily deflected Mungo's swords.

So far, everything lined up with the reports on Ryujuro's attacks until the dog hopped out of the whirlpool and the supernatural formation of water continued to spiral in Mungo's direction. It even managed to extinguish the flames he had started from the initial explosion. The water was now real.

Undaunted by the vortex of water headed his way, Mungo clapped his hands together to create a two-handed broadsword and effortlessly cut through Ryujuro's whirlpool. Once he was through, Mungo pulled the sword back again, ready to strike at Ryujuro. However, Fido noticed the subtle change in Ryujuro's form and how he held his sword. After taking a deep breath and exhaling, he waited for Mungo to approach. Once the large dog was finally close enough, Ryujuro unleashed two sudden slashes of his blade, creating two horizontal streams of fire. Mungo's armor was enough to deflect the first one; however, the second one knocked Mungo off his balance, causing him to land on what used to be the stage.

Taking full advantage of Mungo's poor positioning, Ryujuro leaped into the air and onto what remained of the stage's light rig. Now out of Mungo's reach, Ryujuro resorted to hit-and-run tactics, closing the gap with his blazing speed, landing a few blows on Mungo's armor, and then retreating to the safety of the rig.

If Mungo tried to fight back, Ryujuro would simply reposition and retaliate. Eventually, after repeated strikes he couldn't return, Mungo created a dome of light around himself. On the surface of the dome grew several sharpened tips of spears. Mungo threw his arms up with a mighty roar, causing his dome to shatter and disperse the sharp points he had created instantly.

In response, Ryujuro switched styles again and began to run around the remains of the stage to dodge all the projectiles headed his way. But, wherever Ryujuro stepped, a splash of water erupted, almost like he was running through shallow water. Quickly and carefully, Ryujuro maneuvered through Mungo's spears, eventually closing the gap to land a blow on Mungo's armor.

Fido that the two were fighting, but at the same time, he couldn't take his eyes off the battle. Their skill was evident, and while the fight looked to be in Ryujuro's favor, Fido knew that it was closer to even than it first appeared. Sure, Ryujuro had his speed and technique; he could even land more hits than Mungo. However, Mungo had the advantage of armor, meaning he could tank a few blows without worrying about damage, something Ryujuro didn't have. One wrong move, and Ryujuro was out.

So taken by the battle before him, Fido almost didn't notice that Mungo's spear burst attack hit the rigging above his head. Only when it started to give way did Fido finally realize the danger he was in. However, before he could get crushed by debris, a thin blue strand of energy wrapped itself around his wrist and dragged him through the dirt. Soon Fido found himself in front of Zeke and Rowan as the two worked on Fox's injury. Before he could speak, however, Rowan flicked his wrist and entangled Fido in his string in several layers all the way up to his muzzle before he pulled out a small dagger-looking object to sever his line. Once disconnected, the blue string began to lose its glow but remained strong enough to hold the police dog.

"That oughta hold you." Rowan sighed before turning his attention back to Zeke. "How's Sir Fox looking?"

Zeke took off his white chef's shirt and full body hair net and began to fashion a makeshift bandage. "Hard to say, I'm not as good at this as you are. But I can tell he's lost a lot of blood. The good news is that the puncture wound didn't reach his back."

"Move over." Rowan reached into his vest, pulled out a notebook, and began to flip through it, ripping out three papers.

After returning the notebook to his vest, Rowan took Fox's right hand and wrapped one strip of paper around his wrist and another around one of his fingers. The last and largest piece of paper went over Fox's wound. Once all the papers were in place, Rowan flicked his wrist and created a string connecting him to all the papers. The one on his wrist projected an ECG monitor, the one on fox's finger showed a number, and the one over his wound showed an x-ray of the internal damage.

"Ugh, this is bad." Rowan's eyes squinted with his grave tone.

"Please tell me it's something we can fix." Zeke peered over the x-ray, clueless then to his younger brother. "We can fix it, right?"

Rowan reached into his vest, pulled out two clear crystals, and closed his eyes to concentrate. "That sword did a lot of damage going in and out of Sir Fox. He's losing a lot of blood fast, and if he loses too much, he's going into shock."

"That's not a problem, right? We just learned conjoined casting. We know the words, we know the gestures, and there aren't any material requirements for a healing spell."

"It's not that simple. Even combined, our healing output isn't fast enough to outpace the amount of blood loss Sir Fox is undergoing. So I will have to do a rudimentary seal to stop the bleeding before we can even think about fully healing everything around that area." Rowan opened his eyes and slotted a blue crystal in Zeke's right bracer and a silver one on his left bracer. "Water and Metal. These should allow you to control Sir Fox's blood and act as a secondary heart to stabilize his blood flow. Be careful not too fast, or you might rupture a blood vessel, and go too slow, you risk Sir Fox going into shock anyway."

"I don't know, Rowan; this is a bit too complex for my control. I usually pick a direction and fire. I haven't gotten to this level of intricacy yet."

"There's no one else. So you have to do it, or Sir Fox won't make it."

"I'll... do my best..."

"Wait," all three dogs present looked at Fox in shock; somehow, through the pain and blood loss, Fox had managed to remain conscious. "Take me to Mungo. He can’t hear me cause his rage is blocking out my voice" He coughed out weakly.

Rowan was already hard at work using his threads to patch up Fox's wound. "We can't move you, Sir Fox. it's too dangerous."

"Yeah," Zeke grunted as he held his hands over Fox's chest. "Save your strength; we'll do our best here."

"No, you don't understand." Fox struggled to breathe as he weakly raised his hand to point to the ongoing battle. "Fido was telling the truth... Mungo... he's fighting Askal."

"Wait..." Zeke paused, his concentration almost breaking. "He was telling the truth?"

"Yes... now hurry... Get me... to him..." despite his coughing, Fox's eyes were determined.

Rowan had to halt his stitching but quickly flipped through his notebook. "We can't move you, but we can try something. I saw Kitsune-Kun do this to Askal earlier; in theory, I should be able to do it too. But, I warn you, it isn't perfect, so it might hurt."

"Do it," Fox said while looking directly into Rowan's eyes.

With a firm nod, Rowan ripped a page from his notebook with a drawing of a circle and a strange symbol and placed it over Fox's chest. Rowan then commanded his threads to enter through the circle using his left arm to steady his right arm. Once inside, Fox's body jerked in response to the pain, and his breathing increased. Then, in one quick motion, Rowan pulled his arm, and a whisp came from the circle with a line connecting the whisp to Fox's chest. A few seconds later, the whisp formed into the upper half of Fox's body.

Despite no longer being connected to his body, Fox breathed in deeply, "Oh dog, that was not pleasant."

"It worked; now go." Rowan scolded, "Zeke and I need to concentrate on working on your body."

"Wait," Fox pointed to Fido, who was still tied up. "I need Fido too. He was about to break through to Askal. I saw it."

With a snap of his fingers, the threads that bound Fido suddenly disappeared. Now that he was free, all Fido needed was a glance in Fox's direction. Had fox listened to him earlier, none of this would've happened, but that was neither here nor there. The important thing is that they get Mungo and Ryujuro to stop fighting before one seriously injures the other. The two nodded before they rushed off to where Mungo and Ryujuro had taken their battle.

Zeke and Rowan's hideaway was near the autumn festival's play venue entrance. So it was a short jog before the two dogs made their way back to the makeshift arena, which had only been drenched in more flames. Fido found Mungo and Ryujuro the same way he had left them locked in heated combat with neither side giving an inch to the other.

Ryujuro managed to land a blow on Mungo's armor, making a crack run along its surface, but in exchange, Mungo was able to knock Ryujuro away with a blow to his stomach. While Ryujuro had yet to hit the ground, Mungo created a multitude of golden swords that he fired after the striped dog. Seeing the attack coming his way, Ryujuro sheathed his blade before he drew it and made two slashes in quick succession. The two streams of fire Ryujuro generated managed to destroy the swords that came his way and hit the rigging above Mungo, causing it to collapse on top of the large dog. Luckily Mungo reacted fast enough to create a barrier that blocked the falling debris but doing so only managed to tire out the larger dog even further.

"That's new," Fox remarked with a hint of fear in his voice. "Since when could Suicune do that?"

"It's a long story, but it looks like they're winding down to catch their breath. So if we're going to intervene, we better do it now." Fido pointed out as he rushed ahead of Fox.

Like Fido had observed, both parties were winded even beyond their monstrous standards. However, the looks on their faces were clear signs that neither side would give up. As Ryujuro and Mungo held their swords at each other, Fido had to double his pace as he raced through the charred remains of chairs and lighting equipment.

When it looked like both dogs were about to reengage, Fido could only take a deep breath and yell out. "STOP!"

"Don't interfere, Officer Fido." Mungo panted, "I'm bringing Suicune in for grievously injuring Officer Lindberg."

"WHY WON'T YOU LEAVE US ALONE!? DO YOU KNOW WHAT WE'VE DONE FOR THE PEOPLE!? WHAT WE'VE SACRIFICED!?" Suicune shouted back, causing Mungo to snarl.

"What you've done is overstep the law and maim criminals beyond what was necessary! NOT TO MENTION HURTING FOX!"

As Mungo readied himself for battle, Fox took the opportunity to float in front of the large dog with his arms raised to the side. "Wait, Mungo, stop."

"F-Fox!?" Mungo's face instantly contorted into one of horror. "Are you...?

"No, no. I'm fine. Zeke and Rowan are taking care of my body. It's just a projection." he reassured. "But you need to calm down."

"Why should I? He hurt you, Fox; I can't let that slide." Mungo snarled at the striped dog.

Fox remained firm and continued holding his hands, "Because Fido was telling the truth. That's...

Without warning, Fox's apparition vanished without a trace. Horrified, Mungo reached out to where Fox last was. Mungo grasped at the air as if trying to put his partner back together from the nothingness he vanished into, sobbing uncontrollably. Fido could guess what had just happened but prayed to the powers that he was wrong.

Unfortunately, Rowan's urgent voice echoing throughout the venue was the confirmation Fido wished he didn't get. "We're losing him! Kuya, take the lightning crystals!"

"CLEAR!" Zeke yelled out, followed by a surge of electricity.

As Zeke geared up for a second shock, the sound of Mungo's sobs went deadly silent. While Fido also felt the world pass into slow motion, he couldn't fathom how hard the toll was on Mungo. He and Fox had been inseparable ever since their assignment together. When Fido saw how close Fox and Mungo had gotten, he had to admit he felt jealous of their friendship. Sure Fido and some of the other K-9 squad members were friends but not on the level he and Fox were. They had known each other since puppyhood, and to think of Fox as a past tense was undoubtedly something he never thought he had to do so soon.

"Mungo," Fido approached slowly, "I'm...

Before Fido could finish his sentence, Mungo suddenly stretched out his hand. In less than a second, a golden cage formed around Fido, followed by a rectangle that held his arms together and a muzzle. Mungo stood up slowly, and the face he had shook Fido down to his core.

"He'll pay." Mungo snarled.

End of Chapter 03

Obligatory Trivia Section

A)
It is actually poor form for EMTs and doctors to give out false hope to their patients by saying things like "Everything will be alright." or "There's no need to worry." because you never know what complications could arise when treating a patient. Instead, they have to say things like "We'll do our best." or "They're in good hands."

B)
So now that you know Suicune's true name let me tell you something interesting about making up names in the Japanese language. Basically, they have three sets of alphabet Hiragana for local words like Sakura (さくら) Katakana for imported words like Tennis (テニス) and Kanji which is imported from china but used to make their sentences shorter and distinguish two similar sounding words from each other.

Here's a funny example
Husband translates to Go Syu Ji N and is written like (ご主人)
Prisoner translates to Syu U Ji N and is written like (囚人)

When writing names in Japanese they usually take Kanji characters that they want to attribute to a person and kinda stitch it together with other characters.

Ryujuro when written in Kanji looks like this 流寿郎 and when breaking it down it goes
流 = Ryu = Current or flow
寿 = Ju = Longevity
郎 = Ro = Son

Zenichi when written in Kanji looks like this 善一 and when breaking it down it goes
善 = Zen = Good or virtuous
一 = ichi = One

obviously this is a massive over simplification but this is pretty much the gist of it. If you're curious here's the site I use to translate all the Kanji here.

C)
Nii-San (兄さん = にいさん) is what the Japanese call their older brothers. It's like their version of Kuya
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Re: Live by the Sword

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That fan up there? It’s been hit, hard.

At least we finally have a name for Suicune.
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Re: Live by the Sword

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I like reading this chapter though I am pretty sure Fox won't die. I mean we nearly lynched Sean for killing Fox off in his fanfic so I doubt it will happen again.

So Ryujuro can control fire and water then. What about the other elements?
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Re: Live by the Sword

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Amazee Dayzee wrote: Sun Jun 19, 2022 11:30 pm I like reading this chapter though I am pretty sure Fox won't die. I mean we nearly lynched Sean for killing Fox off in his fanfic so I doubt it will happen again.
Ah, you seem to doubt the power of “completely different author.” ;)
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Re: Live by the Sword

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D-Rock wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 12:58 am
Amazee Dayzee wrote: Sun Jun 19, 2022 11:30 pm I like reading this chapter though I am pretty sure Fox won't die. I mean we nearly lynched Sean for killing Fox off in his fanfic so I doubt it will happen again.
Ah, you seem to doubt the power of “completely different author.” ;)
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Re: Live by the Sword

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I stand by what I said.
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Re: Live by the Sword

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D-Rock wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 1:29 am I stand by what I said.
Yeah, I know. And I agree. Just pointing out backlash to someone else's decision can affect other people's decisions going forward.
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Re: Live by the Sword

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Both are owned by Hasbro, though. Difference here is that neither Krytus or Sean need Rick’s approval for these fics.

Just don’t want to encourage that writers can be harshly persuaded here with their own story, is all.
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Re: Live by the Sword

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Not trying to harshly persuade anyone as it was a joke on my part. Trust me if I wanted to persuade Krytus to add anything in the story it wouldn't be advocating killing off Fox.
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Re: Live by the Sword

Post by Krytus The Dreamer »

D-Rock wrote: Sun Jun 19, 2022 5:41 pm That fan up there? It’s been hit, hard.

At least we finally have a name for Suicune.
Funny enough the name was thought up on the fly mostly cause I got tired of referring to Ryujuro as "The Vigilante". Luckily for me I found a space to squeeze in mention of his cover name.
Amazee Dayzee wrote: Sun Jun 19, 2022 11:30 pm I like reading this chapter though I am pretty sure Fox won't die. I mean we nearly lynched Sean for killing Fox off in his fanfic so I doubt it will happen again.

So Ryujuro can control fire and water then. What about the other elements?
Oh yeah, I read past that part already and I was basically like
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Granted Fox wasn't playing a significant role in the story so I guess I can see why he offed him but still I kinda thought there'd be a bit more to it to really twist the knife in the wound to really sell Mungo's anger in the coming chapters... kinda like what I did here... that's funny.

I am in no way saying I did it better, I just expected it to be different thought about it, and then moved on to do my own thing.

There are a couple of really cool video on youtube from one youtube channel named "Overly Sarcastic Productions" that talks about this concept of character death and how by playing that card you're essentially giving up their potential relationships with other characters to fuel one character's growth, highly recommend it cause its informative and also cause Red's just really fun to listen to. (Trope Talk: Fridging & Trope Talk: Character Deaths

Man after watching those videos again and looking back at what I've written I now realized I fridged Askal's mom and siblings... whoops. hmmm maybe I can fix that somewhere... or not I dunno.
Welsh Halfwit wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 1:15 am Back in 1986, Hasbro had two films based on their properties coming out. Transformers:- The Movie and GI. Joe. With the idea of clearing the way for their next lines of toys in each franchise, several characters died. In BOTH films the heroic lead dies. Transformers came out first and the Fan backlash against Optimus Prime's death meant they changed Duke's death in GI Joe to him being put into a coma.
Oh, I remember this controversy I only saw the transformer's side but I heard about the GI. Joe one a few years down the line. I will admit I was sad when Optimus died but I was confused when they brought him back. Like okay but why though? yeah yeah to sell more toys but from a story perspective, it's a bit cheap and probably led to the status quo of Optimus dying and coming back in almost every iteration he's in... Spoilers: except for prime he kinda stays dead with that one but it's at the end so fair...
Amazee Dayzee wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 5:04 pm Not trying to harshly persuade anyone as it was a joke on my part. Trust me if I wanted to persuade Krytus to add anything in the story it wouldn't be advocating killing off Fox.
I'm a bit adamant in how I form these stories and it's a bit hard to get me to change course unless it's minor things, but even then I'm gonna do something to put a spin on it. here's one that I couldn't squeeze into the story organically and am currently unsure of where to put it.

Originally I didn't plan for Zeke and Rowan to have a love life. They're kinda swamped with a lot of things but the more I looked at it their personalities the more I realized they needed a bit of rounding out so I came up with the compromise that Rowan's basically like a Male Sasha girls randomly ask him out and because he's the social type he readily agrees if he isn't already booked for the night. The funny thing is because of their condition Zeke is just forced to come along as a third wheel and has to juggle staying far enough to not look like a stalker and being close enough to Rowan so that their conditions don't act up.



So rather than my internet going on the fritz again, this time the explanation as to why this is slightly earlier than expected is because A massive chunk of this chapter was lobbed off from the previous one. I've also been rewriting this chapter in my head for months now. So after a bit of on-the-fly tweaks to put things right, there wasn't much I had to do in the way of rewrites. Usually, I'd read it and go "hmm that's not right." but since I've been doing that for months now this was pretty straightforward.


(Notice: This is now a rewritten version. For transparency's sake I've included a google doc of the previous version just in case you're curious about the previous version and want to compare the changes. For the chapter written on the forum, the new changes are written in Red, if you're looking at the google doc the replaced parts are in blue. If you scroll down you can find a TL;DR version of the changes I've made to this chapter. Here you go.)

Episode 04: Those Who Have Forgotten The Past
Chapter 05

Mungo could only hear the sound of ringing in his ears.
His hands shook, his legs quivered, and his vision blurred. The world seemed to have lost all meaning as the color of everything around him seemed to fade. All the fatigue his body had accrued from fighting with Suicune seemed to fade away. Except there was only one place that continued to hurt and became more pronounced as everything else seemed to fade into the background—his chest.

Oddly enough, it was the area in his golden armor that sustained the least damage from Suicune's barrage. He still felt his heart beat as usual, but it hurt. It hurt like nothing Mungo had ever felt before. Usually, most blows to any part of his body felt like lovetaps, but not this time. Instead, Mungo felt a tightness in his chest that slowly began to feel like he was being suffocated.

"Second shock!" Zeke announced panic, coating his voice, "CLEAR!" A cackle of electricity sounded. "It's not working!"

Fox was dying, and Mungo wasn't there to stop it from happening. He blamed himself. Mungo saw Fox rushing off to apprehend Fido alone and thought nothing of it. He hated how wrong he was; if only he were there. If only he were a few minutes faster. Fox wouldn't be bleeding out in the middle of a burning festival.

"I think I have to do something crazy," Rowan's voice sounded grim. "and I need you to back me up."

"Whatever you need, bro, I'm with you all the way." Zeke tried to sound brave but couldn't mask the quiver in his voice.

“Pull out a fire crystal and follow my lead to the letter.”

Mungo was on autopilot as he put one foot in front of the other. The large dog didn't even feel his body move to block the incoming slash at his throat with a golden shield he materialized. Suicune... Mungo locked eyes with the striped dog, who dared to have a furious look in his eyes. If anybody should be furious, it should be him, not some vigilante who mercilessly struck down a dog in the line of duty.

Clenching his fist Mungo tilted his shield to allow Suicune's blade to slide off and stagger his opponent. As Suicune tried to process his next move, Mungo quickly pulled back his punch before twisting his entire body forward to put more force into his blow. Even though Mungo's fist had already connected with Suicune's stomach, Mungo continued to push, sending the striped murderer flying and into the last remaining metal post standing. Suicune hit the post with a clang and fell to the ground coughing up not nearly enough red to match Fox's.

As the dog tried to recover, Mungo slowly approached, dismissing his shield and cracking his knuckles. Due to Mungo's slow pace, Suicune had enough time to pick himself back up and readjust his stance. Suicune stood his ground and pulled his sword back before thrusting it forward into several quick jabs. However, rather than call up another shield or jump out of the way, Mungo simply walked through the onslaught.

The large dog didn't even quicken his pace. Instead, he just took blow after blow, only relying on the durability of his armor to keep him safe. Sure some jabs managed to chip some of the pieces off, but those were nowhere near any vital areas, so Mungo saw no need to do anything but walk forward. Eventually, Mungo got close enough to grab Suicune by the neck, causing the dog to halt any of his attacks.

"Why?" Mungo snarled, keeping his grip tight but loose enough for the dog to talk. "Why did you kill my partner?"

Suicune coughed but still answered. "I did what I did to protect my~ Mungo squeezed to cut him off.

"Don't you dare try to paint your actions in a good light!" Mungo bellowed in rage. "Fox was only doing his duty! That dog was only trying to do his best, yet you cut him down! I felt the pain you put him through and how hard he suffered."

With unwavering determination in his eyes, Suicune fought back against Mungo's grip. "I… Will… Protect…

"YOU WILL DO NOTHING BUT ACCEPT THE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR ACTIONS!"

Mungo tossed Suicune into the air and pulled his fist back to ready a fierce blow. Once the dog came back down due to gravity's pull, Mungo launched his fist as hard as he could, connecting with Suicune's stomach yet again. As a result, the striped dog was launched a fair distance away and crashed through a nearby tent.

Not enough, not nearly enough. Mungo wasn't done with Suicune, not yet. However, before he could pursue the striped dog, he needed to ensure the bindings he placed on Fido would hold. Both of them played a part in getting Fox to the state he was in, and Mungo would see to it that both would face justice. Once Mungo was sure his cage was secure, he marched angrily to the tent he had sent Suicune through. Fido struck the bars of his cell with the restraints on his arms. He tried to yell through the muzzle, but Mungo ignored him. He had no interest in what Fido had to say.

When Mungo arrived at the tent, he followed the trajectory of where Suicune should have landed, but the dog wasn't there. So Mungo took note of the ground and sniffed the air. Unfortunately, due to how close he was to the fire, all he got was smoke in his nose, and the ground was too muddled with frantic footsteps to get a good idea of where Suicune had gone.

However, the moment Mungo left the tent to search for more tracks, Mungo's ears perked to the sound of creaking wood. When Mungo turned around, he finally noticed that the three of the four posts holding up the tent had been cut clean through. Reacting fast, Mungo held out his hands to create supports around the posts to keep them from giving way until he was in the clear. The first two posts were no trouble, but when Mungo got to the third one, he noticed how weak the glow was compared to his usual standard. It even began to crack under the weight of the tent it had to support.

Mungo kicked off the ground and let his magic do the work to fly through the air back to where he had left Fido, narrowly avoiding the tent's collapse. Once his golden cage came back into view, Mungo found Suicune hard at work, hacking away at the golden material imprisoning Fido. Rather than create a new weapon and waste what little remained of his light reserves, Mungo decided to go bare-handed. It didn't matter how good Suicune's sense of smell was; the smoke should cover him, and because he was flying, Suicune couldn't even hear him approach.

Once Mungo was satisfied with his height, the large dog directed his magic to pull his body into free fall. Mungo pulled his fist back and readied himself to make contact with Suicune, but as he approached, Mungo noticed Suicune tense up at his descent. Since he had already committed to his strike, Mungo found it hard to turn around and continued with his attack. However, a split second before Mungo could make contact, Suicune kicked himself off of Mungo's cage and sent himself flying back, narrowly avoiding the attack. Then, with no one to hit, Mungo crashed to the ground, destroying what was left of the stage.

As Mungo picked himself up from his failed attack, he noticed Suicune a reasonable distance away, breathing in and out as he focused. Within seconds, Suicune pulled his sword back, causing water to form around his blade; this time, the water took the shape of a dragon. Ready to put an end to the fight, Suicune pushed off the ground and charged recklessly toward Mungo.

Hoping to throw Suicune off, Mungo created pillars of light with the remains of his reserves, but the striped dog was cutting through it all by twisting his entire body to put more force into his slash. Mungo could tell Suicune was betting everything on his last attack. They had been fighting for a decent amount of time; for most of it, Suicune had been running around. The dog had to have a limit somewhere, and Mungo guessed this was it. So, all Mungo had to do was survive, and Suicune would be useless.

Mungo gathered everything he could spare. He undid his armor and used it with the rest of his reserves to construct a dome to protect himself. With Suicune’s superior mobility, Mungo couldn’t risk the possibility of the striped dog flanking him and hitting him from behind. The dome Mungo built wasn’t as thick as Mungo would’ve liked, but it would have to do.

Once Mungo’s dome had finished forming, Suicune instantly clashed with its golden light. Mungo’s barrier held for the moment, but as the water-shaped dragon tried to force Suicune’s sword through, Mungo noticed cracks starting to form all along his barrier. Mungo strained himself to keep his construct from falling apart, but Suicune kept pushing, eventually making Mungo fall to one knee from the effort.

Eventually, the two had finally reached a standstill. Neither Mungo’s dome nor Suicune’s barrier was budging from the force the two dogs clashed against each other. However, when Mungo breathed a sigh of relief, the cracks in his barrier began to deepen. Before Mungo knew it, the entirety of his barrier fell apart under the immense pressure leaving Mungo defenseless.

Mungo watched in horror as Suicune’s blade slowly approached his neck. He wasn’t fast enough to create any defenses to protect himself, and even if he was, Mungo had no more light to work with to make those defenses. Suicune was going to cut him down. He was done for.

Before Suicune's blade could make contact with anything, Mungo heard the familiar sound of a fired gun. Unfortunately, due to the situation he was in, Mungo found it impossible to track from where the bullet was fired but what he could tell was that Suicune was the intended target. Suicune covered up the entirety of the hole in Mungo's barrier. There was no angle from which the bullet could've come to hit Mungo.

Thankfully due to the force of the bullet hitting Suicune, the trajectory and power of his sword swing were thrown off. So instead of landing a devastating blow to Mungo's neck, the sword blade lightly grazed Mungo's shoulder, cutting a few fibers but not enough to deal lasting damage beyond a scar the size of his palm.

As Suicune landed on the ground with an unceremonial thud, Mungo put his senses to work to find out where the gunner had come from. Unfortunately, due to exerting himself in his fight with Suicune, Mungo's senses had dulled. The pain and exhaustion made it hard for Mungo to fully grasp the situation around him. Of course, Mungo wanted to know who went out of their way to rescue him, but that would have to wait. Capturing Suicune before he could escape was his top priority now. So, reaching into his collar for his cuffs, Mungo cautiously approached the downed Suicune.

The closer Mungo got to Suicune, the more he noticed the dog's eyes. It flickered weakly between the fiery red Mungo knew and an eerily familiar silver. At first, it eluded Mungo where he would've remembered seeing those eyes, but it only took a few seconds before it dawned on Mungo. As Fido’s words from before the fight began echoed in his mind, Mungo felt the familiar strain of his mana running out.

"A-Askal?" Mungo gasped as he reeled back.


*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Fido had no time to feel relieved when Mungo's constructs disappeared.
When it came down, he rushed over to Ryujuro's side with tears streaming down his face. There was no doubt about it; he heard a gunshot, and Ryujuro falling over was all the confirmation Fido needed to know where the bullet had ended up. Fido rushed with all his strength to be by Ryujuro's side. There was still a chance the shot had ended up somewhere superficial; that had to be it.

"Askal," Fido dropped to his knees and ignored Mungo as he stood frozen, "stay with me, buddy, you're gonna be alright."

Fido didn't have to look long to notice the left side of Ryujuro's neck was shot through. Panic began to set in as he gripped the area tight—the carotid artery. From what Fido remembered, it was a major blood vessel of the body and was usually the target for quick murders. If the wound was shallow, simply gripping the area tight to stem the blood should be sufficient to keep the patient alive. Unfortunately, the red spilling through Fido's hands told him it wasn't shallow.

"Darn it!" Fido growled, trying to keep it all in, "Askal, listen to me. Stay with me whatever you do, do not fall asleep. Just focus on me, okay?"

"Kuya Fido," Askal smiled softly, their eyes still constantly shifting between red and silver, "you're okay."
"Zenichi Nii-San," Ryujuro smiled softly, their eyes still constantly shifting between red and silver, "you're okay."

A fresh batch of tears began to fall, "Please don't talk. Save your strength. You'll get better, I promise."

"It's alright," Askal and Ryujuro spoke, their voices overlayed on top of each other "What matters to me is that you're safe. That's all I can ever ask for."

"No, you can't go. Please, don't go." Fido sobbed.

"I was tired of sitting on the sidelines, watching you get hurt for me. Now… it's… my turn… to… protect~

Fido watched in horror as the shifting colors in their eyes dulled significantly before they slowly closed. “NO!” Fido shook Ryujuro’s body, “Please come back!”

Fido pressed his ear against Ryujuro’s chest and found their heartbeat slowing down to a crawl. They were alive but barely. Frantically Fido reached for his phone and began dialing. At this point; it didn’t matter if Ryujuro was a wanted criminal. Fido just wanted Askal to live, he didn’t care if Askal ended up in a prison cell, that can be an issue for another time. Unfortunately, because of how panicked he was and because of all the red on his hands, the phone’s touch screen was virtually useless.

“Darn it!” Fido cursed allowed, nearly throwing the device in frustration. “Just make a phone call!”

"Fido," Mungo finally spoke up,

Unfortunately, all that did was make Fido angry, "SHUT UP!" Fido yelled, still fixated on the phone, “If you had listened to me in the first place Askal wouldn’t be in this situation.”

"You can lecture me all you want but that won’t change the fact that the paramedics won’t arrive on time."

"So what? Am I just supposed to let him die?"

"That's not what I'm saying!"

"Then what are you saying, Mungo!? You didn't listen to me when I tried to beg you to stop! You didn’t even give me a chance to explain beyond five measly seconds! So either do something useful or get out of my way!"

"Zeke and Rowan," Mungo sighed solemnly, causing Fido to stop fiddling with his phone, "those two are capable of healing; if we find them, Askal might still have a chance."

Fido almost slapped himself for not remembering those two, but he had no time to lose and needed to move quickly. First, he tried to get Ryujuro to let go of his sword and sheath, but the dog seemed to have an iron grip on the weapon even as he lay dying. After the first attempt, Fido decided against getting him to let go; he didn't have time to waster and slung one arm over his shoulder.

Fido began his long trek towards where he last saw the two brothers, but because Ryujuro was heavier than he looked, Fido began to lose balance almost immediately. Before Fido could topple over, the police dog felt the weight he was carrying suddenly lessen until it was entirely gone. Mungo had taken Ryujuro into his arms, moving him with little to no effort even though Mungo had been in a grueling battle a brief moment ago.

"Before you yell at me, your choices are this, or you carry him slowly." Mungo sighed as he placed the striped dog on the floor. Mungo then took off his collar and a handkerchief before securing the two to Ryujuro’s neck.

At first, Fido wanted to retort, but due to the circumstances, he had nothing. After everything he had witnessed, it felt wrong to let Mungo handle Askal's life, but he didn't have much of a choice and pressed onward. Askal had to survive; he had to. But unfortunately, when Mungo and Fido reached the entrance where Zeke and Rowan were treating Fox, the trio was nowhere to be found. In their place was a wooden peg pinned to the ground holding one of Rowan's strings with a note attached.

"Needed space to treat Sir Fox, follow string if injured. IMPORTANT: avoid decaying plant life at all costs.
-Z&R"

Fox and Mungo shared an uneasy look before pressing on to follow the string. Due to their situation, both dogs were in a sprint, following the trail Rowan had left behind. Given the string's blue coloring, it was easy to see through the grass, but it didn't glow like usual, which led Fido to believe it's been cut. However, Fido could see the string was pulled taut, so it was at least secured to something.

So far, following the string had led them in a straight line towards the forest of Babylon Gardens. Thankfully the play area was distanced well enough that the fires couldn't jump into the woods. It also helped that the wind blew in the opposite direction. So Fido didn't have to worry about the forest on fire. What bothered the police dog was Rowan's warning of decaying plants. Fido shook his head; he didn't have time to waste worrying about cryptic messages.

"Rowan!" Fido called out, hoping to speed up the process, "Askal's been injured! We need medical attention!"

"Rowan!" Mungo called out as well, "Please, it's serious!"

While it had only been a few minutes since they started following Rowan's trail, the police dogs found no end to the string that led through the woods. It caused Fido to wonder how much space they needed to treat Fox's injuries. Sure there was the possibility of the fire worsening, but after they had passed the tree line, they should have been safe enough to continue treatment.

"Call... Kitsune..." Fido stopped in his tracks when he heard Zeke's voice followed by the dial of a phone on loudspeaker,

At first, it caused relief to well up from Fido, but something was odd about Zeke's voice and how he encountered it. Rowan's string continued deeper into the woods, yet Zeke was far from his brother. Ever since he had met those two dogs, they had been inseparable. If Zeke were around, Rowan would be nearby; that was just a fact between those two brothers. Additionally, Zeke's voice sounded strange. It was deeper than Fido was used to, and it sounded like he was holding back a snarl.

"Heyo," came Kitsune's voice, but sadly Fido could quickly tell it came through a phone speaker, "You've reached Kitsune; let's continue this conversation in person, shall we?" Then, nothing, there was no swirl of air or puff of smoke that signified the fox’s arrival.

"Darn it... Kitsune..." Zeke snarled, "Please... Help... us... Can't... hold... on... much... longer..."

"Zeke," Mungo called out, "Is that you?"

"Is Rowan there?" Fido followed up hastily.

Fido heard the creaking of ropes being pulled taut, "No... Keep... going... further... ahead... almost... there..."

"Do you need help?" Mungo sounded concerned, "We can

"NO!" Zeke roared, causing both dogs to reel back, "Don't... want... to... be... seen... not... like... this..."

Mungo looked like he was going to speak, but the sound of creaking wood caused him to hold his breath. From above them came a tree branch that fell unceremoniously to the floor. A glance showed that it had lost all of the healthy colors it should've had for autumn and was slowly starting to decay. Now that their attention had been called to it, Fido noticed a portion of the greenery was slowly beginning to die out in the direction of Zeke's voice. Rowan's warning suddenly made less sense; why would he tell Fido and Mungo to avoid his brother at all costs?

A weak cough followed by a wheeze from Ryujuro caused Fido to snap out of his stupor. He didn't have time to worry about anything else. Askal was on the verge of dying.

"Zeke, are you sure?" Mungo took a few tentative steps before being pushed by Fido.

"No time to worry about that now," Fido rushed, "We'll come back once we drop Askal off with Rowan."

Just like Zeke had mentioned, it only took a short jog before the two dogs reached a breach in the treeline and found themselves in a clearing filled with white flowers. Despite being in the middle of autumn, the flowers looked like they had just bloomed and weren't bothered by the inappropriate temperature in the slightest.

While the sight was beautiful, Fido didn't have the time to take it in; he had to find Rowan. So Fido scanned the field, following Rowan's trail until he saw a healthy tree standing tall at the very edge of the garden. Sitting at the base of its trunk were Rowan and Fox, who looked to be fast asleep as they leaned on the tree and relied on its shade.

Overjoyed at the sight, Fido gestured to the pair and dragged Mungo along with him. However, as the two drew closer, a horrified look found its way onto Fido's face. Rowan had a cut in the same area Fox had and an x-shaped incision in his chest. The white dog sprouted thicker versions of his threads from both of these wounds. So much so that instead of looking like string or yarn, it looked like hemp rope. These ropes then connected to Fox's initial injury and a new one on the right side of Fox's chest.

Rowan looked terrible as he gasped desperately for air, almost like an asthma attack. The white dog's face was riddled with pain as his hands clenched the tree's roots for some kind of relief. Now, Rowan had an ECG bracelet too that projected the monitor right next to Fox's. While Fox's was weak, it still beat at the same pace as Rowan's. Fido could at least breathe some relief knowing Fox would make it; he still couldn't process what he saw.

"He's..." Mungo's voice shook, "He's using himself as Fox's life support."

Fido's eyes widened, "That means..."

"He can't do anything else." Mungo finished as he gently lowered Ryujuro to the floor. "I'll... give you two... some space...

This was it; he had no other options. Due to how weak he had gotten, Ryujuro's grip was loose enough to let go of the sword to make way for Fido's hand to hold. The dog's breathing was shallow, and Mungo's collar was soaked with red. He felt Ryujuro's pulse get slowly weaker and weaker. It was almost time.

"I'm sorry I couldn't protect you, Askal." He sobbed, the tears slowly cascading from his face. "I'm so... sorry."

'I'm the luckiest dog in the world.' Fido paused when he heard Askal and only Askal's voice in his head, 'To have not one, but two loving and caring Kuyas.'

Fido could only wrap his arms around Ryujuro, hoping his touch reached Askal hidden within. The police dog couldn't hold back the tears and wept openly as he cradled Ryujuro's body. He wasn't ready to say goodbye to someone he held so dear to his heart, and his grip tightened. It was a foolish hope that if he held the dog tighter, then Askal could stay for a little longer. Sadly, Fido knew how the world worked and could only dread the coming of his final breath.

As Fido cradled Ryujuro's body waiting for the end, he felt a strange warmth grow from the dog. He thought he had been dreaming when he felt it, but as the heat continued to build, Fido pulled back. He wouldn't be able to handle it if it was some hallucination, so Fido studied Ryujuro's body carefully. At first, he found nothing, but he noticed a ripple spread across Ryujuro's body before he could give up.

More ripples continued to travel across the surface of Ryujuro's body, almost like he was made of water. Eventually, with so many waves Fido couldn't see Ryujuro's body. Then, slowly but surely, the ripples began to die, and in Ryujuro's place was Askal. Fido rubbed his eyes to ensure he was seeing Askal, and when his vision cleared, it was still Askal. He had returned to normal except for Ryujuro's stripes on Askal's fur coat, but Fido didn't care.

He undid Mungo's collar and still found the wound, but it was now shallower than it used to be. Fido redid Mungo's collar and embraced Askal with tears of joy in his eyes. Askal was going to live.

Before Fido could fully celebrate, however, he noticed a strange glow start to build on Ryujuro's sword. Next, a greenish emblem in the shape of a bull's head appeared as energy crackled around it. Then, faster than Fido could react, a small explosion erupted. Not enough to destroy the sheath of Ryujuro's sword but enough to leave singe marks.

Suddenly a gale began to pick up, scattering the white flowers surrounding the five dogs. From the burst of wind came forth Kitsune, who looked at the scene before him with terror and confusion. He cast his glance at Fox and Rowan, still intertwined at the base of the tree, and then to Fido, who still cradled Askal with a new striped pattern on his fur.

"I've been played." Kitsune snarled through grit teeth.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

"I'm impressed. I was honestly not sure if he'd pull the trigger or not."

"I've been studying these pets for a long time now. I told you this one would be a good fit for you."

"While he is promising, I need to continue my surveillance, I want to see more of him."

"Better hurry your window is closing fast. If you don't make up your mind soon it'll be another year before you can get in contact with him again."

"In any case, your intel has proven useful. You have my thanks, Taurus."

End of Episode 04
Last edited by Krytus The Dreamer on Thu Jun 23, 2022 6:52 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Live by the Sword

Post by Wrenisprobablyb0red »

Sorry for not commenting on the last chapter. I'm currently on vacation, so I can't be online much. This was a really fantastic chapter though, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time!
I came here looking for (noun), but this is so much better!
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Re: Live by the Sword

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Krytus The Dreamer wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 3:51 am
Originally I didn't plan for Zeke and Rowan to have a love life. They're kinda swamped with a lot of things but the more I looked at it their personalities the more I realized they needed a bit of rounding out so I came up with the compromise that Rowan's basically like a Male Sasha girls randomly ask him out and because he's the social type he readily agrees if he isn't already booked for the night. The funny thing is because of their condition Zeke is just forced to come along as a third wheel and has to juggle staying far enough to not look like a stalker and being close enough to Rowan so that their conditions don't act up.
Does this mean I can have my character take them both out for a date then instead of just choosing one in that case? :P

Anyway I really loved how this chapter has come out! It is very nice!
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Re: Live by the Sword

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Judging by the end, things will only get worse, and no one is in any position to keep fighting. Hope Kitsune is still good at improvising a plan.
Krytus The Dreamer wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 3:51 am
Man after watching those videos again and looking back at what I've written I now realized I fridged Askal's mom and siblings... whoops. hmmm maybe I can fix that somewhere... or not I dunno.
Looks nervously at the fact that I did the same with Artemis
Eh, sometimes it can work.
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Re: Live by the Sword

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Words cannot express my complete disdain for Mungo in this story, lol.
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Re: Live by the Sword

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I get it, grief and rage are blinding emotions at the worst of times.
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Re: Live by the Sword

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NEXT CHAPTER: Mungo gets disbarred for the attempted murder of a child! Read all about Zeke and Rowan's harrowing amateur surgery with kitchen utensils to try and save Askal's life (but beware the spoooooky flying I.V stand)! Can't wait to read the courtroom documents!

Also, yeah, grief sucks D-Rock. It ruined a huge chunk of my and I'd imagine most other peoples' lives.
Pray for those who have fallen away, to be brought back to God. To their loss they are crucifying the Son all over again and mocking him.
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Re: Live by the Sword

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It was definitely self-defense. Ryujiro threw the first strike that nearly killed Fox. Plenty of witnesses to the fact, too.
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Re: Live by the Sword

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

As far as Mungo knew, Ryujiro was very dangerous and could have ended up causing a lot more damage or killing others outright and Fido was helping him. I doubt that they would punish him for that. HOWEVER...

The consequences COULD most likely be Mungo feeling tremendous guilt for not listening to Fido and Fido being angry at him for not listening and causing this damage and I can see where a rift may form. Also I have a feeling that Rowan and/or Zeke may end up dying to save Fox. Considering that Rowan is using HIMSELF for life support he could drain all of his energy into Fox and that could kill him. If Rowan and Zeke are linked then it would be curtains for Zeke also.

If there is gonna be a death, I put my money on one of those two or both.
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Re: Live by the Sword

Post by Krytus The Dreamer »

As it turns out, there is a reason why I re-read the whole chapter before I post it cause I just made a big oopsie. With all the chapters I've been writing it was bound to happen eventually.

Before I continue I want to state this isn't a roll-back to save Mungo's character. The events that happened in the first version of the story were just written in such a confusing way and that's once again my bad.

I've rewritten the parts that didn't jive well with what I wanted to write and highlighted them in red. I also included a google doc of the original version to compare and contrast for transparency's sake. This post is a TL;DR version of the events I changed, if it isn't mentioned here it isn't changed.
  • Mungo and Ryujuro clash.
  • At first Mungo's barrier holds but it begins to break as Suicune continues to apply pressure
  • Once the barrier breaks Ryujuro is shot by an unknown shooter that Mungo is unable to track because of how exhausted he is.
  • Mungo tries to cuff Ryujuro but reels back in horror once he realizes that he's been brutally beating up Askal the whole time.
  • A bit of Fido's dialogue has been changed to reflect the changes above
  • There is now a short conversation between two entities at the end of the chapter
  • one of the voices name drops the name Taurus.
This is pretty rare for me and I hope it doesn't happen again. Thankfully this is a fanfiction on the internet and the edit button exists but I'll try not to rely too much on it in the future.
Wrenisprobablyb0red wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 7:49 am Sorry for not commenting on the last chapter. I'm currently on vacation, so I can't be online much. This was a really fantastic chapter though, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time!
It's cool, I was wondering where you were but I get it. Thanks and I'm a bit sorry to have to seemingly roll-back some of the tension.
Amazee Dayzee wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 11:35 am Does this mean I can have my character take them both out for a date then instead of just choosing one in that case? :P
Anyway I really loved how this chapter has come out! It is very nice!
Thanks! You could and Rowan would be excited as for once he gets to take his brother along too, but Zeke would be sweating bullets if he could since due to his condition going on a date would be out of the question for him. That would technically be his first date ever.
D-Rock wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 9:22 pm Looks nervously at the fact that I did the same with Artemis
Eh, sometimes it can work.
After looking at her bio, yeah kinda, but we're not professionals so the occasional fridging can be forgiven. Luckily Askal's powers are an in-universe excuse to have a flash back so maybe I can un-fridge Askal's mom somehow... now that I think about it would that be a microwave then?
Harry Johnathan wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 10:47 pm Also, yeah, grief sucks D-Rock. It ruined a huge chunk of my and I'd imagine most other peoples' lives.
I hear that. Unfortunately, we don't live in a perfect world and while it might take some time there's always a way to pull ourselves out of it with the help of a few good friends if we're lucky. or at least that's what my dad tells me.
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Re: Live by the Sword

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I thought I was the only one wondering about the gun. Since no one else mentioned it, I started thinking that Mungo secretly had it on him for when Ryujiro got close. What hurt that line of thought was that Mungo wanted to bring him to Justice, while the shot was fatal.

And killing or writing off a character important to another is a tricky thing, but it can help people understand the later actions of those affected. That being said, it’s also very easy to see when someone does it just to be edgy. Saw a review of The Killing Joke that held it as a bad example of fridging a character.
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Re: Live by the Sword

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D-Rock wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 12:26 pm Saw a review of The Killing Joke that held it as a bad example of fridging a character.
If you ever see he animated movie, DON'T watch the first thirty minutes. It's ENTIRELY unconnected and does massive damage to the characters...
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Re: Live by the Sword

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Review I saw mentioned that, too. By Linkara, if you’re interested.
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Re: Live by the Sword

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

Krytus The Dreamer wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 6:45 am
Amazee Dayzee wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 11:35 am Does this mean I can have my character take them both out for a date then instead of just choosing one in that case? :P
Anyway I really loved how this chapter has come out! It is very nice!
Thanks! You could and Rowan would be excited as for once he gets to take his brother along too, but Zeke would be sweating bullets if he could since due to his condition going on a date would be out of the question for him. That would technically be his first date ever.
Is there anyway that Zeke could eventually manage his condition in some way so that he could date if he wanted to?
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Re: Live by the Sword

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Welsh Halfwit wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 1:38 pm
D-Rock wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 12:26 pm Saw a review of The Killing Joke that held it as a bad example of fridging a character.
If you ever see he animated movie, DON'T watch the first thirty minutes. It's ENTIRELY unconnected and does massive damage to the characters...
I'm pretty sure that Jim Gordon would brutally murder Batman if he found out what happened in that film, lol.
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Re: Live by the Sword

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

I'm sure we would all end up understanding that but still not a good idea to take the path Batman took in it.
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Krytus The Dreamer
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Re: Live by the Sword

Post by Krytus The Dreamer »

D-Rock wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 12:26 pm I thought I was the only one wondering about the gun. Since no one else mentioned it, I started thinking that Mungo secretly had it on him for when Ryujiro got close. What hurt that line of thought was that Mungo wanted to bring him to Justice, while the shot was fatal.

And killing or writing off a character important to another is a tricky thing, but it can help people understand the later actions of those affected. That being said, it’s also very easy to see when someone does it just to be edgy. Saw a review of The Killing Joke that held it as a bad example of fridging a character.
Imagine my surprise when I checked in and saw everyone's comments. Again it's a good thing the edit button exists but hopefully, I don't rely too much on it.

Speaking of DC movies that fridge characters purely on shock factor alone. I remember the first time I watched Justice League: Apocalypse War. A lot fo the deaths on there didn't serve much other than "Oh no (Insert Character here) is dead!?". A lof of the deaths there didn't feel earned to me.

Welsh Halfwit wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 1:38 pm If you ever see he animated movie, DON'T watch the first thirty minutes. It's ENTIRELY unconnected and does massive damage to the characters...
I'm not a big batman fan but even I knew on my first viewing that something was up with these characters.
Amazee Dayzee wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 2:45 pm Is there anyway that Zeke could eventually manage his condition in some way so that he could date if he wanted to?
Nope. Zeke and Rowan need to be within range of each other at all times, otherwise, terrible things could happen to either of them.


Anyway Just wanted to check in and say no chapter last week and this week cause my parents took me on a last-minute vacation to Paris. I say last minute cause even though we've got our visas set up there were a few circumstances that made us unsure if we would push through. I have to say it's a bit weird here, the sun doesn't set until like 10 pm. My tropical island, equator-adjusted brain can't process the amount of sun time I'm getting it's wild. since I'm on a walking tour of the place I don't get a lot of windows to sit down and crank out a chapter. I'll be home by like July 9 or something and even then I have to recover from jetlag and the sheer amount of walking I had to do so until then I'm going on a break. Catch you guys later!

Just for funsies, here's the title of the next episode:
Chapter 05 The Land Forgotten by Legends
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Re: Live by the Sword

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Hope you e been having a good vacation.
Faith doesn't change circumstances. Faith changes me.
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Re: Live by the Sword

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

Glad that you are able to take time out and relax for a bit! We will all be looking forward to what you have coming up!
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Krytus The Dreamer
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Re: Live by the Sword

Post by Krytus The Dreamer »

Hey Guys! I'm alive! Thanks for the well wishes!

France and Switzerland were cool, I got to eat a baguette, see the Eiffel tower ride a buncha trains, and then some. Buuut I had to deal with a 6-hour jet lag. I know I've survived 12-hour jetlags before but this was after being stuck in one place for so long. Then I also had to recover from a blockage of the writers and art variety. Thankfully that's all over now (a bit, it's 12 am as I write this so I'm 90% the way to fully resynching with my timezone just a bit more.) So I decided to do a bit of a tie-over and not complicate the naming scheme and go for something like chapter 0.2 or something stupid like that just to get my feet wet in writing again.

Episode 05: The Land Forgotten by Legends
Chapter 01

"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."

Fox was in a daze.
Fox didn't know where he was or how he got there; all he knew was that it was hot. His tongue lolled out as he panted in a desperate attempt to cool himself off. It was hard to maintain a coherent thought, and all Fox could do was stand with a blank expression on his muzzle.

It's not like there was much to see anyway. All Fox could see was a blank white void spread out endlessly before him. Usually, he'd be excited whenever his dreams were like this, but this time there were no pink and green angels to greet him. It was just an empty void.

"Tay," The same young voice cried out again. "I'm so sorry."

However, this time a new voice responded. "Andres, I know you're sorry, but we need to focus right now."

"B-But Tay, what about Sora!? He hasn't moved since... since," Andres cried with a shiver in his voice.

"I know. I'm worried about your brother too, but we need to hurry. I don't know how long we have before they realize I took both of you. I know I'm asking a lot, but your Tay needs time to prepare."

"Where will we go?"

"I don't know, but you have to trust me. Anywhere is better than here."

Then, as if a painter had finally struck inspiration, color began to seep into the white void. A flood of greens rushed to fill in a forest of lush trees while blues formed a vibrant sky. Slowly but surely, the landscape began to take the shape of a small cluster of mountains. And these mountains were unlike anything Fox had seen before. Typically, mountains either had a steep or gentle slope, but they had a slope. This mountain had giant stairs carved into its side that harbored pools of water. It wasn't natural, but there was something magnificent in its simplicity.

However, as more of the landscape was painted, a black stain eventually revealed itself. It sickeningly coated the landscape as if an oil spill somehow managed to happen on land. Like a sour note in an elegant sonata, the black stain disrupted the harmony of the landscape around it. Even in his dazed state, Fox found the stain unappealing and revolting.

Finally, the last of the colors seemed to fall into place, revealing a simple room, and the magnificent view of the strange mountain was a view from a window. Fox found himself in a storage room of sorts. There were several boxes of what Fox assumed were supplies, but it was hard to tell what was inside. Now in the shade, Fox found some relief from the heat, but it was easy to tell it was still blistering outside.

"Why are they doing this to us? I thought we were all family." Andres whimpered.

"I thought that too, Andres," the voice sighed, "but they're scared."

"But it was an accident! I didn't mean to."

"I believe you, but they don't see it the same way I do. It's not safe here anymore, and we have to leave."

The finishing touch of the painting was three dogs, one white, one black, and the oldest of the trio, a brown one. The white and the black dogs were only pups, younger than King's pups but not by much. The black one carried the unconscious white dog, tears streaming down his red eyes. The older brown dog was hunched over, busy stuffing foodstuffs into a backpack, a plastic full of eggs, another plastic bag, this time filled with grains, various fruits, anything he could get his hands on. He bore a look of desperation in his eyes.

As far as Fox could tell, the brown dog was the same age he was, but he was a few inches shorter and definitely less bulky. He had short fur like the two pups, and his eyes were brown, just like his fur coat. Nothing stood out about this dog; Fox could tell he'd quickly lose this dog in a crowd if he weren't paying enough attention. The only thing that did stand out about this dog was how desperate he was as he searched. With how he was acting, the dog looked like a criminal trying to hide contraband at the very last second before Fox or any other K-9 unit was asked to do an inspection.

The brown dog zipped up the backpack and held it out to the black pup, "This might be a little bit heavy, but I need you to carry some of this."

"I-I can't handle that." The pup stepped back, easily holding up the weight of the white pup,

"Yes, you can, Andres. I've seen you handle far heavier; you're stronger than you realize." The brown dog set the bag down, "We'll depend on this when we leave." He gave Andres one reassuring look before turning back to a second backpack and began filling it too.

Andres gave the backpack a tentative look before looking at the white pup on his back. The young dog took a deep breath before shifting his brother's weight onto one side so that he could make room for the backpack on the other side. Strangely enough, the young dog's legs didn't buckle under the added weight.

Andres had no time to celebrate as a low murmur could be heard from the window. Fox turned his head to the source of the sound and saw a group of people in the distance; they held shovels and pitchforks or anything they could use as a viable weapon. The only thing they were missing now were some torches, but because it was day, it wasn't essential.

"They're here already?" The brown dog gasped as he zipped up the bag and slung it over his shoulders. "Come on, Andres! We're running out of time!"

Once his backpack was secured, the brown dog grabbed onto Andres' wrist and made for the door. Unfortunately, the moment the brown dog swung the door wide open, a masked human man was waiting for him with a pistol aimed directly at the brown dog's forehead. The Human was about average height with short black hair and, despite the heat, wore a suit and a mask with a sad expression covered his face.

Despite seeing an armed man aiming a weapon at a defenseless animal, Fox couldn't muster up the drive to move or do anything. Fox screamed at his body to move, but nothing was working. He was in too much of a daze to do anything other than watch as the brown dog interposed himself between the masked man and the two pups.

"I didn't expect the disturbance to be a pair of dogs, but it's not the weirdest thing I've seen in this business." The masked man sighed as he unclicked the safety on his gun.

"P-Please," the brown dog's voice trembled in fear, "let them go. They're just pups."

The man simply shrugged. "I can't. I have a job to do."

Before the man could pull the trigger, a snarl escaped Andres' mouth. Faster than anyone could react, Andres, tossed aside his brother and the bag of supplies. Then he got onto a feral-like stance before he jumped at the masked man with teeth barred and full intent to kill.

The beautifully painted world suddenly faded to black as the final sound Fox heard was an echoing gunshot.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Fox's eyes slowly opened as he felt the warm embrace of a blanket.
At first, the light was blinding, but his eyes soon adjusted, and the husky found himself in a familiar-looking room. The interior design made it look like a tree was hollowed out to make room for some living quarters. There were a few nicknacks scattered about the room, but they served no purpose other than to bring life to the room while windows allowed ample light to flood in. The ceiling was much lower than Fox was used to, meaning wherever he was, it wasn't built with humans in mind. What stood out to the husky was the curtains that isolated his bed from the rest of the room.

Even though Fox had escaped the strange dream, he still felt like his mind was in a daze, but bits and pieces were returning to him. His injury, Askal, Mungo eventually Fox got a working explanation as to where he was. Zeke and Rowan had probably taken him somewhere he could recover.

Driven by curiosity, Fox brought his hands underneath the blanket to where his injury was. No surprise, Fox found a generous helping of bandages wrapping his torso. What surprised him was that even though he pressed down on the injury spot, Fox felt no pain. Other than being slightly out of it, Fox felt right as rain. The only oddity of note was his hands and his nose. While it was nowhere near feverish, Fox felt an odd warmth in his hands and only his hands. No other body part had the same heat flowing through it. His nose, on the other hand, was picking up the scent of something. Due to his mind swimming through a fog at the moment, Fox had a hard time discerning what it was.

Interrupting Fox's inspection was the soft creak of the door opening. "Kuya? Are you awake?" Rowan's voice came in a whisper.

"I am now." Zeke groaned back as Fox heard the sound of bed sheets stirring.

"Sorry," Rowan weakly chuckled. "Guess I should've checked a bit quieter."

"Don't be; I was starving anyway. Can’t hide that scent from me."

"Can't fool your nose, eh? I made you Crispy Pata, your favorite."

"You made this? How come it's not on fire?"

"Okay, you caught me; I found a place that delivers."

"All the way out here?"

"I know, right? I had to be generous with the tip; the lady was lovely too. Do you need help, or...?

"Just put it on the floor. As much as I hate eating like this, you feeding me is much more embarrassing. I'm the Kuya here, for crying out loud."

"One serving of Crispy Pata coming right up. Aw carp."

Fox reeled back at almost the exact time Rowan did as he felt a prick on his right index finger. Bringing his right hand up for inspection, Fox found a small cut on it that was letting out a sample of his blood. Thankfully the prick was enough to snap Fox out of his daze to the point where Fox could move his body to a sitting-up position.

The rustling of Fox's bed sheets was enough to get Rowan's attention. "Kuy- I mean, Sir Fox?" his voice radiated concern and relief simultaneously.

"Yeah," Fox coughed out his throat a little too dry for his liking, "I'm awake. How long was I out?"

"Two weeks, give or take," Zeke responded casually.

"Two weeks!?" any residual drowsiness Fox felt evaporated almost immediately as he tried to stand,

Before Fox could even plant his two feet on the ground, Rowan's strings rose from underneath the white curtain to restrain Fox to the bed. "Wait!" the white dog commanded, "I need to give you some news."

"News!?" Fox was dumbfounded and didn't care, "I don't care about that unless it's about Mungo or Askal."

"They're both okay if that's what you're worried about. Sir Mungo is a little rattled, but he'll live. Askal was touch and go for a bit, but he's fine now. He's recovering somewhere else." Zeke relayed loudly and to the point.

Now somewhat calmer that Mungo and Askal had survived the ordeal, Fox took a deep breath and exhaled, "Alright, fine, what do you need to tell me."

As Rowan's strings detached and slid back underneath the curtain, silence began to brew. Even though Fox couldn't see through the curtain, he knew that Rowan was struggling with himself. It was obvious enough when the dog was pacing non-stop. The only sound that could be heard was the crunch of something crispy.

"Rowan?" Fox sighed. "Are you going to tell me or not?"

Rowan took a deep breath and exhaled. "I guess there's really no point hiding it. Let me just adjust the curtains; Kuya Zeke doesn't like anybody seeing him in his current state." Fox heard the soft clicks of curtain rings hitting each other before he saw a glimpse of a white hand breach the curtains in front of Fox, "Here goes nothing."

With a definitive pull, Rowan brushed aside the curtains that separated the two dogs and revealed what the dog had been so hesitant about. Scars. Rowan now sported two scars on his body, an X-shaped one at the center of his chest and a smaller one to the lower left of his stomach; the same place Fox's injury was. Fox was dumbfounded, and his mouth was left agape. The last time he saw the white dog, he was untouched. Fox could only wonder what had happened to him.

"You were flatlining." Rowan didn't make eye contact and resorted to staring at the floor. "Kuya Zeke and I were running out of options, so I had to do something risky."

Fox found it hard to swallow but eventually found his voice, "What did you do?"

"You already know I can give anyone my excess mana, but to bring you back, I had to take it a step further." Rowan held out his hand, and his strings flowed out of it, "My strings act as a conduit for my powers to anyone I attach it to; it's like the wires of an electrical appliance. The more energy I flood into it, the more it has to change shape to accommodate it."

Rowan flicked his wrist, and the strings tangled together to form a ribbon, which then intertwined further to create a hemp rope, "When you were dying, I knew I had to do something, so I attached my rope to your damaged areas and connected it to my own body. I allowed my heart to beat for both of us, allowing yours to rest, but that kind of magic has its toll. As it turns out, the stronger versions of my tether have binding properties. And... it..." Rowan twiddled his fingers.

"We're linked?" Fox finished for him

"Yeah," he sighed, "Kitsune-Kun spent a week trying to separate us. If left unchecked, my tethers would've continued to bind us closer and closer. First on a physical level, then a mental level, then finally, it would've reached our souls and forever merged us. We may have exchanged some memories, but thankfully Kitsune managed to stop it at the physical level, but he can't restore us to our original states."

"I'm sorry," Fox rubbed his temples, trying to understand "this is new territory for me; can you explain? What does being physically linked mean for us?"

Zeke gave another loud crunch to whatever he was eating, "The good news is you're not dependent on staying near Rowan. You can go where ever you want without having to worry about dying if that's what you're worried about."

"I'm sure you can already guess what it means being physically linked." Rowan sighed, a look of guilt written on his face.

Fox's eyes widened as he raised his palm to examine the prick he had gotten not too long ago. Rowan could only nod as he raised his right hand to reveal a slightly bleeding finger on the same hand as Fox.

"I-I'm so sorry," Rowan sobbed, "I was reckless. I could've bound us together in a way not even Kitsune-Kun could've undone. I not only put your life in danger but also jeopardized your soul."

"Rowan," Fox sighed

Fox felt Rowan clench his hands extremely tightly, "No, I don't deserve sympathy. I wasn't prepared. I should've done better."

"Rowan," Fox repeated, this time a little louder.

"I'M A FAILURE!" Rowan yelled out.

Fox gritted his teeth and pulled his arm back. Then, in one swift motion, Fox slapped himself in the face; thankfully, he was right in his assumption, and Rowan reeled from the impact as well.

"You saved my life," Fox massaged the area where he had slapped himself. "It wasn't ideal, but you did it. Thanks to you, I get to see Mungo again. I have the chance to apologize to Fido and Askal. I will always remember what you did for me at the expense of yourself."

Fox pushed aside the blankets and planted his feet firmly on the ground to stand and meet Rowan with a hug. "So please don't let guilt consume you."

At first, Rowan was hesitant, but after a few moments returned the embrace. Fox felt Rowan's tears drip onto his back, but because of their link, Rowan pulled away almost instantly.

"Sorry for getting snot on you," he chuckled weakly, wiping away any stray tears. "Come on. Let me change your bandages and disinfect your wounds. I can already feel them starting to itch."

Now that he had mentioned it, Fox did feel a bit of itching, but he was in too much of a daze lately to notice it until now. Rowan slowly set Fox down on the bed as he ran over to a nearby drawing to retrieve an ointment and a fresh roll of bandages. As Rowan undid the wrappings, Fox got a good look at his injuries. Sure enough, his lower left stomach now had a scar, and there was now an x-shaped scar on the right side of his chest, not quite like Rowan's but similar enough. The sight was enough to make Fox laugh.

"What's so funny?" Rowan chuckled his earlier emotional breakdown now over.

"First, I get scratched on my eye now; I got these two." Fox winced when Rowan put the ointment, but thanks to their link Rowan eased up, "I'm just collecting scars, aren't I?"

"Well, try not to get too many cause any you get, I get too, but I do want to ask you something."

"Shoot."

"Well, not to be all cheesy or whatever, but I did link our hearts together; we're practically family. Do you mind if I call you Kuya?"

"Hey," Zeke interrupted, "What am I chopped liver?"

"You'll always be my Kuya, Kuya Zeke, but the more, the merrier, right?" Rowan smiled warmly.

Fox could only return the warm smile in kind, "Alright, I don't see why not."

End of Chapter 01

Obligatory Trivia Section

1. The area Fox saw is a real place called the Banaue Rice Terraces. ages ago, the people who built their town on the mountain decided they wanted rice too but didn't have an open field to make them so they carved the terraces into the mountain so they'd have enough space. Keep in mind this was done before machines so the amount of work that went into this is kinda surprising.
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1.2 In infinity war's end credits Thanos gets the scene where he's on a farm right? well, it's confirmed that the place they used as a base for all the CGI is the Banaue Rice Terraces. Hooray, my home is the retirement place of a genocidal maniac!

2. The names Andres and Sora actually come from real people.
2.1 Andres comes from Andres Bonifacio who was the leader of the revolution against the Spaniards also known as the Father of the revolution.
2.2 Sora comes from the title Tandang Sora which means "Elder Sora." given to an elderly woman named "Melchora Aquino de Ramo" who took in injured and hungry revolutionaries and nursed them back to health and is also known as the Mother of the revolution.
Last edited by Krytus The Dreamer on Sat Jul 23, 2022 9:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Live by the Sword

Post by D-Rock »

It’s really cool how you’re implementing history into this story. Also, the placement of Fox’s new scars got me curious, and very nice implementation of the scars we see on Winter.
Faith doesn't change circumstances. Faith changes me.
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