Something about this bloggie

Ok, I admit that I've failed somewhere before. But anyway welcome. Just a brief intro on what you should expect here:
1. Football. Not gonna post much of that any soon since season is over. :S
2. Anime, Games, etc. Just abt anything conceivable under the Japanese radar barring anything and everything Rule 34. Now that's illegal. Period. -.-;
3. Music. Everything to do with it is listed under the tab.
5. Unacceptable humour: Anything and everything is fair game here. As long as I don't get rounded up by the ISA. -.-'

The Known World=Fantasy world building in process. I: Used to be glossary, now devoted to random rambling; II: Character Concepts; III: Lore.
7. der Wolf=my Fictionpress account under the moniker Tsumujikaze no Soujutsu. A Ranger's Tale is hosted under this page. :)
8. New section now upped. Maybe I should also gun for upping A Ranger's Tale here since I do have this funny feeling that traffic coming to here is way more than whatever I'll get in FP.

Statement of intent: Everything said here is a figment of personal opinion, be it me or anybody commenting. I try to be responsible, but my parents=/=parents of the world.

@Druid of Luhn: Crap. Should have remembered far earlier to give you the credit for your CSS text box code. :(

A/N: But sadly, it seems that your CSS text box code has now been halved efficiency wise. :(

That most important note I should have added: Any images posted in this blog are NOT my own stuff. I got them from Google image search, I don't earn any shit by being a thief and liar. Those responsible for the pictures, rest assured that you all are great artists in your own regards. Sadly, we all know what limited space means in terms of posting.

Latest Note: Changed alignment for my page widgets due to my worry that I can't centre align the thing.

Note on A Ranger's Tale: In case any complaining fella wants to have a legal case with me, let this be known that A Ranger's Tale is rated M by default. I've upped the swearing and somewhat a bit on the dark/gritty factor. You all have been warned, let no little boy and girl enter the forbidden realm.

Latest on ART: A Ranger's Tale now starting to kick back in gear. But I really hate the insanely fluctuating climate here in S'pore.

P.S: Oh, and one more thing. Vid below is yet another ideal OP for A Ranger's Tale.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Tsukihime (H&K)

We all know the remake will be coming anytime soon, but for now, this will be about Shiki and his chicks *cough*cough*.

Far Side of the Moon
I'm going by ascending order this time round. Firstly, this is the gaiden portion of the plot where the side story's focus is on the family politics surrounding the Tohno family. In spite of being the so-called main antagonist, Roa/SHIKI bore no relevance to any FSotM route. Yet, it must also be said that SHIKI was the catalyst behind every family tragedy made possible...
Note-Far Side actually covers the Tohno aspect of the plot, therefore the theme of eternity vs living is quintessentially non-existent.

Hisui & Kohaku
The reason why I put the twin maids together is down both having a mutual antithesis kinship. Why did I say so? Very simple, for Hisui was never the abused one while Kohaku was never the cheerful one. Quite the other way round, for Shiki ended up confusing Hisui for Kohaku and vice-versa.

This has to be the darkest route in-game (note that I'm talking about Hisui+Kohaku, not individually). In particularly, Kohaku's half was especially cynical given the fact that she's that rape victim, not Hisui. As a 3rd party observer, I believe what truly defines my opinion was how Nasu utilized two different POVs with exact nature. Sounds cheem? Well, let's put things this way: It's all about common identity and symbolism vs both being two different characters. Hisui was wearing mask, ditto for Kohaku. In short, 'tis a story defined by self-deception. Nowhere in Tsukihime had we seen anything like this, even the Heaven's Feel route (arguably the darkest plot Nasu ever did so far) in Fate/stay night is all about being true to oneself.

We all know Hisui's decision to maintain a cold exterior was down to protecting the older Kohaku, we all know which sibling got raped by the previous family head of Tohno, Makihisa. Ironically, the only reason justifying Hisui protecting Kohaku was the latter making the same decision pertaining to whatever sexual abuse suffered under Makihisa.

Kohaku's life mirrors Shiki's, this is why only Shiki could unlock her heart. Hisui could never do it because her role is a guardian, not someone walking the same path. To prove what I'm saying might not be a long shot, try understanding why Kohaku was the one giving him the ribbon before he left for the Arima family. I'm NOT talking about Shiki being the only one noticing her existence behind a room window, but rather HOW on earth did he manage to do so, something others failed to do.

One interesting plot play is a switch in identity, that Hisui was wearing Kohaku's actual self as her mask while Kohaku also did the same where Hisui is concerned. While Hisui was doing it to protect her sister, I believe Kohaku's mask was proof of her weakness, that she could never live like the real Hisui. This is why she called herself a doll. A doll to Tohno Makihisa, a doll to the Tohno family, and most importantly, a doll to herself. In this respect, Kohaku has got to be the most ironic heroine in-game. This is also why she's the reason why shit has to happen due to her deliberate schemes to destroy the Tohno clan. She loathed the fact that she's the only one suffering, she couldn't bring herself to hate Hisui because shit happened out of self-volition. It was also this conflicting mindset which defines Kohaku's journey from slavery to freedom. And I believe this is why Kohaku's True Ending is also considered her deserved Ending.

As for Hisui, she's wearing a mask of weakness hiding her strength. Yet, we mustn't forget that Hisui, like your everyday girl on the streets, deserves a shot at actual happiness. I do find it interesting that despite having no actual powers (apart from that... erm...(*゚ェ゚*)... ), that girl is actually emotionally the strongest. When Tohno Shiki first arrived in the family, he didn't want to venture beyond his shell due to his real family slaughtered by Makihisa's machination. Hisui was the only person around brave and kind enough to offer him friendship, this particular chapter in Shiki's life managed to go a long way in defining his view on life. Lest we forget, Shiki has to carry the burden of seeing death, not to mention the absolute power to kill just about anything. If Aoko's presence gave him a definite path to tread, then Hisui's gesture would be the source. Without Hisui, we can be very sure Shiki would have gone insane.

Come to think of it, aren't we the same as well? We all have our worries and sorrows, sufferings which we do not want our loved ones to know. Why? Because we fear hurting them? Or maybe we feel they won't be able to help? There are two types of trust: Either you trust those willing to listen or you end up trusting those who suffered in similar ways. This is what Nasu is trying to bring across, I believe. That there will be more than one way to happiness, fortune will always favor the bold. Yet, such boldness can never be obtained in the classroom or living room. This is something which only the other person can give, that empathy is the only route to true love.

Respective Endings
Hisui-Two Endings, one True and one Good. First, the Good Ending. Kohaku attempted suicide, Shiki managed to save her in time. True Ending is quintessentially a tragic conclusion to a tragic family drama. I used to read a bit of Shakespeare (not even good enough to consider myself as a novice though) despite my apparent failure in formal education, that was during my teenage years. If Hamlet is all about revenge, then Kohaku is your Rule 63 Hamlet. They tend to say karma is a bitch, Hisui's True Ending highlights the answer why. In a bid to end her bitterness, Kohaku discovered there's already no place left for her, that only death can liberate herself and even more importantly, Hisui's future with Shiki. This has to be the most cynical ending Tsukihime has to offer since this is indeed a story of vengeance where death is the only mercy available at the end.

Kohaku-Only one Ending, which is considered both True and Good. In particular, the Nanaya forest now being a backdrop of hope is what I'll call the best "happily ever after" technique. You see, Shiki's actual family was Nanaya, a clan of Demon hunters prone to brutality in hunting down their prey (i.e. Demons). In this sense, the Nanaya clan are more akin to those they hunt rather than who they are (i.e. humans). No thanks to Makihisa employing that BA half-Demon, Kishima Kouma, the entire clan got brutally massacred apart from Shiki (and please don't ask me why Makihisa spared him. I suspect this might be some kind of stupid plot armor). No matter what, if Hisui's True Ending is all about realism, then Kohaku's is 100% idealism. To further prove Nasu is a nutcase for irony, this is a case of cynicism begetting idealism. Remember that is was a place brimming with sorrowful memories, a parallel to much of Hisui's life. In a very real sense, this feels like the most apt way to conclude the Far Side half since Kohaku was, after all, the actual villain in the grand scheme. A symbolic case of confronting the past in order to achieve victory?

To be cont'd...
Next up-Akiha ojou-sama


I suddenly realised one scary thing: Once I get 100% focused, I will become 200% OCD mode. Nature due to my perfectionist character? Or nurture due to challenging surroundings+zero confidants? Before the main course comes, I guess Tender Huang and Jessica Liu do make an interesting screen couple. Yes, this statement=100% unrelated b/c I feel like upping this.

I don't profess to know 100% of the Tsukihime plot. Like a lot of other stuff, everything is me doing speculation via 3rd party analysis. Oh, and music clip URL above should be Arc-Shiki instead.

So what's so special abt a H-game?
Call me a liar, but I nvr had any experience in playing VNs, let alone anything done by TYPE MOON. In short, you'll be amazed over how much you can know via mere curiosity. Seems that despite my Chinese zodiac sign being a dog, my character is more like a cat.

A certain Met in a certain forum once poured scorn on Tsukihime b/c he believed nothing good can come out of any plot H in nature. I disagreed with him back then, I realised I sucked at debating back then also.

Arguably the crucial fictional work awakening the Vincent van Gogh in me, this was where I started going philosophical mode even till now. Met, whatever prejudice you had back then is now invalid, mark my words.


Tsukihime's focal theme is all about life. In short, this is NOT your customary Twilight romance, so if you're a Twi-hard, you can close this window unless you really want to know some super cheem philosophy about humans and other freaks.

Any Tsukihime fan can and will tell you that the philosophy factor lies in the conflict between eternity and mortality, but to me, the concept of eternal living is merely there to highlight the fragility called life.

What is the meaning of life?
Interestingly, the main character is NOT the titular character. Tsukihime (lit: Moon Princess) refers to Arcueid Brunestud. Main character is some generic boy named Tohno Shiki. If not for a certain "accident", Shiki would still be living your everyday life. Sadly for him, this is not the case.

We all know he had the ability to perceive death. Everything in this world has an end, said end is called death. Death isn't merely the process of dying, but rather the absolute end of any existence. Try to see things this way: If the world is a massive database and any given existence being part of the data, what will happen once that data got deleted? Or maybe you can ask yourself what's the difference between delete and reformat.

And herein lies the most fundamental meaning of life: Life itself has no meaning apart from having that certain end called death. This is especially poignant when Nasu started linking "beginning", "process", and "result" (in this order) together. 'Tis really scary when we consider this to be a linear pattern nobody can win against.

A/N-There's a difference between cutting the lines and piercing the dot. The former case is all about cutting apart target existence without any chances of healing/recovering. Latter case, however, is the true process of reverting any existence back to nothing (death). The dual Origins belonging to Emiya Kiritsugu (Fate/Zero and Fate/stay night), namely Binding and Severing, actually gives us a clear visualization on how cutting the lines work. Albeit to be fair, I believe this to be some accidental coincidence on Nasu/Urobuchi's part.

Shiki and Sensei
Shiki possessed the power to reformat rather than just pressing delete. The only catch? Said reformatting is a one way traffic. In short, any data (i.e. existence) Shiki kills (erases) can never be recovered. No one believed Shiki when he mentioned the lines, everyone thought him to be a mischievous fibber.

This brings to mind a certain episode where I got my glasses cracked during secondary school due to me crashing down the stairs (said process actually involved the kid at the staircase entrance tumbling down, which resulted in me being squashed at the bottom). Any attempt to make straight my glasses' frame ended up in failure, one lens got cracked. Despite my most truthful protests, my mom was convinced I got myself into this fix due to running around. Why was she so sure? Because the uncle running the spectacles shop said so.

Similar to my aforementioned past, he ended up cutting apart a wooden table in his hospital ward (whether that's also part of original VN plot, I dunno since I'm talking abt the manga adaptation). Doctor asked him what happened, Shiki told him the truth. Again, he became the liar despite being truthful. Everybody started seeing him as some crazy kid where in fact he's perfectly sane.

Having nobody to confide in, Shiki got unwittingly shunned by those who should be believing him (or at least granting him some benefit of doubt). This is understandable from the adults' POV b/c that's Nasu's way of telling us "people can only perceive things they chose to believe in".

Shiki could perceive death in its entirety, the rest couldn't. This is why he has to live a life no normal human being can understand/empathize.

Enter Aozaki Aoko, Shiki's teacher (sensei). Suffice to say, fate did truly bring them together since Aoko is a character acting on personal impulses/whims above all else (albeit in Mahou Tsukai no Yoru, she's arguably more reckless).

At this point of time, let me just ask you all one simple question: When you're feeling all alone and afraid, how would you feel if someone comes along and assure you of a listening ear?
*Note that I'm talking about childhood/teenage phase, not grown up stage.*

This was Shiki's only chance of being heard, he's actually taking a major risk in trusting a stranger. Yet, we must know that Shiki had nothing to lose by then, that even the simplest indulgence any kid should have was brutally taken away from him. In this sense, I believe we all can identify ourselves with little Shiki.

You see, any human being will go mad once he/she got subjected under prolonged solitude/ostracizing. We're not born this way, this stems from the human instinct to feel loved/needed. Given the nature of Shiki's actual lineage, that's the last thing he (or the society at large) wanted.

Amazingly, Aoko never got tired of talking with him. I believe it's down to her innate tendency towards self-accountability, which is an important character development point for her in Mahou Tsukai no Yoru. And this actually extended towards respecting every manner of living things/existence. This is NOT to say the user of Fifth Magic is a good person (since she won't hesitate to destroy anything even if it's for whimsical purposes). But suffice to say, at least Aoko is decent enough to devote 100% effort towards anything she decided to do. Which in this case, her relevant decision was Shiki.

Struggles and Morals
Why Aoko felt a deep affinity towards Shiki's anguish is still beyond me, I think we will only discover the full answer come the much awaited sequel to MTnY. Either that or I'm missing out something important due to the much obvious 3rd party syndrome. No matter what though, it's a no-brainer to see Aoko having 100% obligation towards her charge. Interestingly, said trait might have rubbed off on Shiki years later if we're talking about his character dynamics with Arc (albeit this would have already spiraled out of control per proven in Arc's True Ending).

The decisive moment in Shiki's character actually came about after he killed a tree via cutting its "lines". Apparently, Aoko wasn't amused and slapped him without questions asked. Given how Aoko activating the Fifth Magic meant the imminent destruction of the world (as evidenced/implied in Notes. ****ing hate the fact that Gun God died despite symbolic importance being legit. *cough* Shirou *cough*), 'tis only natural to guess correctly her reaction even though one needs to play MTnY first to understand.

Ofc given Shiki's just a kid, he ended up crying. Why? Not just because he got slapped by that only person who cares about him, but above all the innate knowledge that what he did was wrong. As Aoko stated what little Shiki did is wrong, our little future protagonist managed to apologize before things got out of hand. While it's likely that Aoko's company had matured a little boy beyond teenage standard, we must also note that kids will always be kids, they'll always be out to please/impress the nearest person. For Shiki, the only one present turned out to be the only one willing to approach him. Ironically, this reason behind his apology was the EXACT reason why he killed that tree. Needless to say, such emotion also justified his stance that only Aoko is deserving of his respect (hence, the term sensei although Shiki's original intent was down to Aoko disliking her full name. Not to mention Aoko IS indeed a bossy woman).

On Aoko's side, she felt an obligation to give him a pair of glasses stolen from her elder sis, Touko (and we all know this is a sibling rivalry turned somewhat violent due Touko being the Fifth Magic's original heir). The glasses, however, could only block out the lines from sight as taking them off means going back to square one. Eerily speaking, this was a symbolic moment where Shiki's future struggle against his murderous alter-ego is concerned.

Lastly (for now), Aoko actually complimented Shiki's forthright honesty in facing up to his own mistakes, that even though she wouldn't demand this scarred little boy to be saint, Tohno Shiki will still nevertheless become a splendid man ten years after.

To be cont'd....

Part 2-Tohno Shiki's interaction with the various chicks and how the actual dynamics work themselves out. Weirdly enough, some Tamil aunty in a certain dept actually joked that everyone in a certain sub-dept can be certified as my sisters. Yes, said sub-dept is all-female and that include all the young ones. Way to go there, makcik. You might have accidentally created an Akiha joke w/o knowing what is Tsukihime. :o

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

To all who may concern...

@Mr Tay Tai Ming-I still remember what you said abt Shebby Singh, you said the ball is round, anybody can win.
@Mr Eric Soh-You nearly destroyed your protege's morale when you said it's very difficult for Boro to reach promotion due to the competitive nature of Championship football. Key words are "nearly" instead of "totally" and "difficult" instead of "impossible".
@President Ah-lee-bama and VPKX-This post is specifically for you two. If you two super zun on this, you both sure can tender resign letter.
@to all within the relevant dept-Above address is just 4tehlulz, pls don't kill me the next time I kenna subbed in.
@all the rest-You all know who you are, the Championship season might have gotten even more super siao in the next few weeks...

But firstly an address to a certain Mr Tobias Fong
To quote a certain big man of Wales, "Tobias Fong! You are in a very deep trouble..." Okay, not really the case since I'm not gonna say anything in this blog on your beloved Blackburn Rovers. But still, I'm seeing some interesting trollolol from Gary "Not Lee" Bowyer. [1]

So let's get onto the game
Let me just say that as a Christian, I don't believe in gambling. Everyone has the unfettered right to make decisions, the same goes for me. In short, personal declaration means nothing to other people unless they really care to know.

So apparently, Paul Dickov truly fancied his chances in taking down the Riverside. Sadly, even though our stomping ground ain't any Winterfell, Dickov ain't Theon Greyjoy also. What blew me away, however, is this: We won not by 1 goal, 2 goals, or even by 3. We scored 4 and leaked none!

Okay, granted this is Doncaster Rovers, a team whose greatest claim to fame lies in One Direction (but then again, isn't Harry Styles' fave manager Ser A.Fergie?). Still, we were a team in crisis and still are. The fact that we won four kosong will account for nothing next to shit if we can't hack down 3 pts at Edwood Park.

In short, we're only as good as our last match despite making 1/5 of the global female population flowing tears like the River Thames. [2]

Have the Old Gods spoken?
At least King Gibbo who sits on the Iron Throne has spoken: Mogga got the axe. Despite my personal reluctance, I can only agree with Gareth "Edmure Tully" Southgate's assessment that football is a results-based industry (although individual domestic leagues vary). With Eddard Stark gone, there's no one to defend the North even though there must always be a Stark in Winterfell. So who are the faves to take over House Star... erm, I mean Boro.

Never before Teesside had became the greatest hotseat in recent English football history, this time round we got all kinds of talented blokes vying (?) for the job. Firstly, let me destroy all the rest and highlight the elite.

Mark "you try getting ****ing near him!" Venus used to be Mogga's Hand, will he be go from pretender to Lord of Teesside? If our 4-0 win managed to push 1/5 of global female population to nigh despair, they would be happy to know that when Ryan "Earl of Wales" Giggs was young and fiery with the ball, Veno got trolled non-stop. [3]

Interesting enough, the 4-2-3-1 formation was eerily reminiscent of what Mogga was trying to accomplish. Which ultimately resulted in the Tale of Veno Turncloak. (Not so) Amazingly enough, even FB Boro fans could recognise your stereotypical tabloid tactic. [4]

Limpeh says-Not so likely. Four swallows don't make a summer, King Gibbo should know better than me. Lest we forget, this was how we got our arses relegated after an early season undefeated streak promising us nothing next to shit. [5] More likely the most random candidate in terms of probability.

Mike "Hand of Red Keep" Phelan has gotta be the overwhelming fave, both for the odd makers and fans. One Directioners might actually know that we got a certain history with Team Harry Styles. Steve "Jon Arryn" McClaren used to be Fergie's Hand, they always say "the King shits and the Hand wipes". Whether McClaren really wiped Ser A. Fergie's shit is now irrelevant, what's relevant is the fact that we actually wiped Team Red Keep 4-1. Forgotten this episode? Go ask Keano. [6]

Limpeh says-Most likely if we're talking abt Teesside's history with the second men. Okay, I technically lied b/c only McClaren was part of this. Given how the previous Pope asking who's that team they called the Boro [7], can we discount Nightcrawler taking permanent command again? [8]

Third in order is Ian "the Blackfish" Holloway. Recently sacked over a dispute so subtly acrimonious, the only statement equally, if not more, subtle is most likely about Portugal in a nutshell. [9] Never mind whether he'll be exiled to the Wall, let's be frank here. This is one son of a gun synonymous with the term "loose cannon". [10] Yet, what gets me chuffed over his availability is the fact that Barking Mad Ian's YOLO football is the closest thing to Mogga's football ideology. [11]

Limpeh says-Best candidate by far. His days at Blackpool were curtailed by disputes over transfer kitty, the only time bomb factor is whatever he pulled off at the Selhurst training ground. [12]

Will this Amigo Madridista be our Sir Galahad? Unless my half-arsed joke on Tito being Azor Ahai end up going Asshai mode, then Sir Terry Pratchett's words might proved themselves to eerily prophetic. [13] 'Tis a no-brainer UK Pools is out to make a killing, how believable should be the odds? Lest we do not know, this=Catalunya's fave vid due (?) to this. Yet, do not discount Aitor joining the comforts of London rather than being his own hombre de la nordeste. That's why I'm saying UK Pools is out to make a killing, pls don't be bluffed.

Limpeh says-Forget all the drivel on Aitor flopping in the Championship. Did not Gus "Me Gusta!" Poyet succeed with Brighton before? [14] The difference between a mediocre piece of shit and rough diamond lies in how one adapts to foreign footballing climate. This is also the main reason why English football was ridiculed post-El Tel. This is abt having BOTH ability and balls of steel. At the same time, one admirable trait abt Jose "El Especial" Mourinho is having a sharp eye for managerial/coaching talent.

We must know that nurturing players is different from nurturing coaches/managers if you are one yourself. Managers like Le Professeur and Ser A. Fergie are player nurturers. To do that, they must constantly approach any situation like a parent because no player is bigger than the team. [15] Nurturing managers/coaches, on the other hand, will be strictly about mentor and protege. This is because you're gonna create a somebody working at the same level, NOT on the pitch. [16]

As for this the amigo, he used to coach La Furia Roja U16 squad, someone who shared a close working relationship with the Mou. In fact, I've heard before that whenever Los Blancos had to do a pre-match conference, Aitor Karanka would always play la Vanguardia. Granted it will take him some time to adapt before finding his feet (that is if he really wants to manage the only shit NE club that belongs to us), but life is all about harsh lessons taken and learnt, no? [17]

[1]: Tactically speaking ofc!
[2]: Whether a shit town in North East will create online catfight (?) remains to be seen.
[3]: Every carrot soup chef should know wtf relevant episode entails.
[6]: Shota Harry should try getting this tape.
[7]: If you think I'm telling the truth, then you don't understand a thing. If you think this is an insult, go crucify Roy Hodgson first.
[8]: No, I'm not shitting you guys here. Kurt Wagner DID assume leadership of the X-men for a while.
[9]: "He's six foot something, fit as a flea, good looking - he's got to have something wrong with him. Hopefully he's hung like a hamster - that would make us all feel better. Having said that, me missus has got a pet hamster at home, and his cock's massive."
[10]: Albeit nothing gets better than this.
[11]: Albeit Mogga's footie is more of a 50-50 between defence and attack. Which is why we got slaughtered by Blackpool and Palace last time round when we tried playing Mad Ian off his park.
[12]: To be honest, I can't formulate a sensible conclusion b/c there's nothing sensible behind whatever written, be they truth, half truth, or otherwise.
[13]: May we live in Interesting Times.
[14]: And more recently, the latest Tyne-Wear derby with a Gaelic knight and Yankee sniper.
[15]: Take a bow, King Kenny. You're the one who arguably made this logic famous.
[16]: Mr Eric Soh, you should know this better than me since your beloved team is a certain Hong Jianxiang's most hated team. Jianxiang, don't buat bodoh. I know you're a Gooner, I also know you're that latest mod for our current OSM private league. Benny should learn a thing or two from you. ;)
[17]: Robb was used to winning, he died. Jon was born a loser, he survived.

P.S to President Ah-lee-bama and VPKX: Pls dun assume me to be Satan incarnate in case you two fancy a bet. I don't grow two horns and a tail, I don't wield pitchfork for a living. If anything cock up, every lady and girl in your dept will kill me. T_T

A/N to self: Suddenly wondered how many Koreans/Japanese/Chinese support Man Utd and Real Madrid. I blame my father for being pro-PRC, my mother, sister, and aunt for leaning towards pro-Korean (although mom and sis' case might be down to this). Plus me myself for being a J-geek.

Monday, 28 October 2013

A Voyage's Prologue

Sail the seas and take their gold, the pirates say.
Sailed the seas, their gold are ours and their finest wenches chaste gladly whored, sang the knaves.
Man the ships and take their heads, the soldiers say.
Manned the ships, their heads taken and our honour rightfully won, prevailed the righteous way.
~Scoundrels and Men~
Author unknown
A Ranger's Tale
“Oh don’t give that look!” laughed a youth around my age, his face somehow reminding me of my Gaffer.
“Look, Emma…”
“…clearly loves you. Is that what you’re trying to say?”
Both men smile in spite of whatever funny circumstances buggering them, well that’s me and Catts alright. Then again, the other bloke looks nothing like my best buddy. First, he’s quite obviously some noble. Second, Catts is a fiery redhead while that fellow’s a brunette.
Wait a holy sec, am I talking about gay Lukas?
As I ask myself this retarded question, a strong gale buffered my face. I can feel the wind entering my gaping mouth, I can feel my body forced backwards. Yet, I still keep my eyes open, everything before me gone in a jiffy. I think Southgate once told a joke about kids disappearing in a puff of smoke, which was of course bollocks.
Then I hear her sing a haunting song, something about love. I don’t know her, but it seems that she knows me. At least she looked at me with a funny stare. With a finger on her lips, everything goes black. Way to go, Guy Cody. Your life is definitely synonymous with shit outta luck…
Searing pain assailed Guy’s muscular frame as his spine suddenly stiffened, cold sweat coating his burning torso. He could not recall what the girl look like nor the song she sing, only vaguest impression reminding him of his lady fair remains true.
Recalling why he was at Teesside in the first place, boiling impulse forced his mind onward. Alas for the same pain, but more severe, commanding him to bend his knee.
“Recovered your senses but not the rest, I see.”
Trying to straighten up his semi-crumpled form before the brazen speaker he knew so well now, the young lion’s sapphire orbs ended up encountering a woman’s naked breasts.
Fuck you, bitch.
Attempts in retaliating against any rising lust merely made things equally bad, if not worse. Guy Cody had that white haired bitch to thank especially when it comes to a pair of ripe tempting fruits dangled before him. Thankfully Moggray Tonn’s words struck a soothing blow to alleviate his galloping heart, a resolve named fire and steel sustaining his fragile fortitude.
“Remember why you lads are here! Either live as men or get brayed like little boys!”
Griping against a topless helper was an arduous chore, fighting back his passionate loins an excruciating task. He loathed Lara von Dirkwind with a fervour, her presence reminding him of a certain somebody. Granted the Half-Elf was a pirate by profession, yet…
A seafaring Ranger? Shit feels so real.
An innocuous hand then brushed across his crotch, the young lion uttered a primal growl. Seductive Lara was promptly shoved away, voluptuous breasts acting as cushion. Picking up her crimson corset, the lady brigand entertained erotic fantasies pertaining to the blushing boy in front of her. She had seen many men before this Kalaran lad, no one ever accused her for being a lady saint. Even saints need to get laid, noted the half-blood rogue cynically.
“You’re in pain,” smirked the redhead as she finally fixed her top back, “Figure it’ll take you two cycles or more to start moving freely though.”
“Blood flare?” gasped Karen Tenias, her countenance unbecoming of nobility status, “Good healer, surely…”
“…the Mass Pain was a matter of five years ago,” smiled the kindly physician, “Milady, the world is all about unpredictable chaos, please do not assume unless proven. Now if all you kind ladies excuse, I’m off to another call.”
“Wait a sec there, good bloke. May I know what call are you speaking of?”
None had taken heed on when Lara von Dirkwind appeared at the staircase, deathly silence making itself at home. Below the entire lot, Bigan managed to spark off a mini-brawl. Or at least assumed so. The attractive sellsword was never an honourable one to begin with, her abrupt presence nonetheless shocking everyone momentarily.
“Of course another patient’s call!” huffed the goateed man, “Now if you excuse me…”
“Good bloke!” hollered Lara von Dirkwind as the physician froze in his tracks, a mischievous grin greeting his wide eyed gaze.
“Your purse.”
Quite obviously enjoying himself, the gold Edrake Stroff received was more than suffice to last an entire lifetime. He tried healing others out of altruism, that was many years ago where an impressionable youth had yet to cherish the lure of glitter and gems. Four decades passed and he’s finally struck a goldmine. Of course there wasn’t any mistake in his diagnosis. After all, it wasn’t his fault to see the fair jewel of House Tenias jumping to conclusions. Indeed he never said anything on the blood flare nor any assurance that the Mass Pain has made an unwanted return.
Unsteady gait accompanying his unabated lust, the lecherous healer stumbled just in front of a finely crafted bed. Giggling uncontrollably, he knew the old hen had promised him the best wench Desirable Love had on offer. Getting his feet up while staggering could be a chore for any other man, but not this one despite reaching near sixty five winters. Grabbing the red velvety bedding, his scrawny hands yanked the cover off.
Only to reveal a Half-Elf fully bared and teasing her quarry with a come-hither gesture.
If Edrake had tried mustering any reaction, said response froze itself alive. His was not a visage of pleasant surprise, but contorted features of unwanted shock. He expected that doe eyed brunette no older than fifteen, not this familiar sight. Before a voice calling for help could be uttered, the deadly redhead vanished abruptly. Confusion lasting only for one split second, searing pain promptly branded its mark in his throat. Barely finding himself alive, the hapless Human knew he was nevertheless doomed. Body numb towards naked breasts pressing tight, a slender hand slithered upwards against his chest.
“Remember your purse? It isn’t yours, good bloke. The leather was smooth and soft… just like Granad’s little girl. Why not I give you a wide bloody smile”
Whispered mockery sounding her victim’s knell, the pirate queen deftly cut open Edrake Stroff’s throat. Such was her technique with the dirk, a mere flick of the wrist fulfilled swiftly that final promise most macabre. Surely ‘tis better to depart with a smile rather than wearing fear, mused a sardonic killer blinked away.
“Eh, this doesn’t look good,” drawled Lars before a crackling campfire, “One hour after dusk and we got crows making noise.”
“We’re in a forest,” said Arondight as he chewed off a piece of pheasant roasted on a spit, “Makes a bit of sense at least.”
“A bit of sense?” noted the attractive youth, his tone notably sardonic, “We’re all used to killing people, both good and bad.”
“Which means someone just died,” replied the hulking man.
“You forgot to add ‘with plenty of blood’, good Ser.”
“Oi! So where’re your balls? Gone and fed to the goats?”
The young boy could only afford trembling before this murdering maniac towering over him, callous taunts launched akin to a storm of swords dissecting his tattered soul. He tried screaming for help, nobody bothered lifting a finger. Little wonder they opted not to, for he’s a fugitive on the run. Due to no fault from his own, he got implicated and abducted as a result. So long for being an accidental witness to some botched kidnapping attempt, at least his captors treated him better than some abusive father and timid mother. Alas for the bounty set, that dead girl was the only daughter belonging to some major House. Never mind her manner of death was down to accidental suffocation, Tiries saw first-hand the mockery behind his violent father’s words.
“Yer dun pay da price wif’out doin’ da job!”
This is a cruel joke… fuck that drunken dad of mine, whispered a petrified Tiries. Indeed his executioner looked every part the scoundrel, he spared no qualms hammering home the point. Then it all happened slowly. A blade crackling blue held in reverse grip, the dark killer casually casting his weapon tip down. Flaring myriad of blue and red burning away his life, the last thing ever heard was a seeming sneer and his new friends already brutally killed.
Greeted by the high noon sun, Salt Harbour was now a bustling sight. Noisy merchants and equally noisy vendors thronged the wide swathing path along the coastal port, law and order took secondary priority to profits waiting to be made. This was Teesside’s only major place of commerce, Cinha traders unloading their exotic wares were far more commonly sighted than otherwise rumoured. Segregating themselves from the rest were Sudhlit merchants boasting huge followings of attractive servants male and female, but mostly the latter. The locals had no chance against these foreigners, they could only choose whatever scraps left. A little wonder why many a leer was cast towards lasses and maids, be they from the Furthest East or arid Southlands.
“What?” gaped Southgate Garrat, “You fucking mad, boy? This is House Nances we’re talking about!”
“Guess hanging around with certain people tends to mess with your brain,” answered Guy Cody nonchalantly, his sapphire gaze drinking in the sight of sea and sky.
“I hope this isn’t a compliment, laddie buck,” sighed the stocky soldier, his fingers caressing the sword that was Gemma’s final gift, “This is gonna be the last we’ll see from Salt Harbour for at least a few weeks or even months.”
“Only for a while,” quipped a beaming Joenne, “As the future First Poultress…”
“…I can give you my word,” clucked Lara’s tongue, “So make sure don’t get yourself armed unless you want some arms groping your tits and ass.”
“Wha… wha… what are you hinting about?” stammered the outraged brunette, “I demand you to declare everything!”
“Declare everything or just my words?” smiled the smug Half-Elf, “I don’t mind the latter, but I prefer the former.”
Then Joenne found herself groped, Lara’s sudden appearance behind forcing the young noble lady into absolute shock. Her lacking cleavage had been the brunt of mocking japes, she was always called Cruax’s little boy-girl. In a bid to exact petty revenge, she shorn off her long straight hair and wavy curls reaching only till shoulder height still remains.
“I don’t mind exploring a little girl’s chest,” whispered Lara von Dirkwind, “If you’re old enough, you’re good enough.”
“Oh shit, there goes the weasel lass,” whistled Bigan as he passed along, “No offence, Stonegate, but that’s how I see her temperament.”
“You don’t have to say sorry, Big Gun,” retorted Southgate wryly, “We’ve seen it all within the past couple of days to be frank.”
“Yeah…” sighed the lecherous Goblin, a leer directed to the cloudless skies, “If only fairest Karen can offer me her sweetest ass…”
Uttering nary a word, Guy Cody strode to the fore. If Lara possessed any idea on what the young lion is going to do next, she made no expression of it.
“Hey, Bigan the Flare!”
No sooner Bigan turned around to face Guy, the Kalaran lad sent his regards via an arcing slap. Unable to control herself, Joenne burst out laughing in spite of Lara’s slender arms staying wrapped around her. Not so amazingly, this sudden act earned a thumbs up gesture from a smirking Southgate. Soaring seagulls continued their course, their screeching call resembling the audience’s mirth.
“Wait, so you’re telling us to follow someone only years older?” exclaimed Jase Steele, only to have Moggray’s scarred visage silencing him via a frown, “Most honoured Northern Lion, I find this interesting.”
“You don’t have to play sarcastic,” snorted the veteran, “I’ve been through more than enough to know how this game is played.”
Resounding rage making its impact known, Konnor Riples tried his utmost best in holding his ginger counterpart back. Time halted by simmering tension, Konnor murmured his thanks to the Holy Quintet upon seeing Jase’s body language. This was a show of reluctance, not of peace. But at least his liege and House Steele managed to avoid potential scandals from erupting.
Milord, you’re indeed right about this Northern Lion. Sparking a fight in a bustling brothel will only invoke unwanted attention unto Lord Brynn. To think someone capable of choosing a battlefield others cannot win actually used to be some militia head.
Konnor might have seen little, but five years of servitude alongside Louthes Eliaden enabled him to hear many and discern equally much. And this includes inept butterflies who didn’t know a shit about war, mused the cynical boy. Unable to withstand the unspoken standoff, the young Home Guard could only shift his attention somewhere else. He had heard of whores and bitches, but this was the first time culture shock bared itself before personal unease.
Many look not so pretty, but I can see some really attractive… damn you Konnor! You better try looking at something else!
Relief coming in the form of a giant ticking clock, the young raven haired lad could finally rest his ever racing heart. Casting a glowering glance unbeknownst to his engrossed counterpart, Jase snapped a similar glare towards a casual Moggray Tonn sipping his tea. Never a fool, the young scion would never forgive what his intended senior had done.
Lady Karen will travel with Lara’s girls. I can’t trust the male majority in her band, that’s the best I can do.
Is this sandy blond taking for him as a cretin, that he who is blessed with higher learning shouldn’t be privy to details most vital? House Steele won’t be amused, swore Jase under his breath. Either a Fool or Peerless Steel, ‘tis House Steele’s motto. Brynn was truly a harsh father, but some shameless liar he is not. That’s why he will always be my father and I his son, assured the ginger fighter to himself.
“A falcon flew by just this morning,” Moggray stood up as he changed the subject suddenly, his athletic frame casting a very large shadow indeed, “Some asshole managed to tell me where we can find sufficient funds for this batshit crazy voyage.”
Both Jase and Konnor stayed their calm this time round, Moggray smiled in spite of potential predicaments to come. Then again, certain things are best left uncovered.
“Said asshole wasn’t fibbing, we actually got ourselves quite a haul.”
“Ill-gotten gains,” dismissed Jase derisively.
“Lawful bounty,” corrected the invigorated lion, “I don’t know who the jackass is, but he’s surely some sucker.”
“So when will the bounty come? I mean whatever supplies bought,” questioned Konnor. If Jase’s dirty look was that of disapproval, Moggray merely showed his approval via a brief nod.
“Already here!” chimed a shrilly voice, “Guns, powder, food, and rum! A pity someone forgot the bitches.”
“You look wet,” mused Moggray, “Did you happen to go swimming beyond the port?”
“Shut the fuck up,” an annoyed Bigan gritted his yellow teeth, knowledge on what “swimming beyond the port” means not lost on his green bald skull,  “I’d cough up my entire fortune just to see your little cub swimming naked with that little weasel girl.”
“Why is a greenie here?” Konnor blurted in excitement, “I mean…
“…our technology rock, is that your truest thought?” Bigan flashed a toothy grin, Konnor found the entire transition from anger to joy outright comedic.
“Erm, this is not…”
“Don’t you fret over the dangers, m’lad! Let us all fired ourselves up like the most spectacular fireworks!” whooped Bigan.
“Dumb pose and gesture…” muttered Jase darkly.
I’ve done what I could, the rest is up to you. If you fail to save that little girl, at least let me have a go at her.
~Die Scharfrichter
Guy Cody did not know the actual truth behind this addressee’s name, he was however able to formulate a portrait in his heart. That of an executioner standing alone, his bloodied hands bereft of mercy. As he stared impassively at the cryptic message written on a parchment, images from the past rained a deluge over him.
There’s no way we can return back when we’re young. Not today or ever, Alestrial. At least Lukas was more intelligent than me when he said only monsters will remain the same. Shit, why did I have to meet that bastard?
The wind blew gently, parchment in hand billowed along. The breeze then morphed into a violent gale, Guy Cody at least chose to let go. Departed from his fingers, the parchment’s flight became akin to some stray arrow guided by a wild force unseen. Then a silvery streak zipped across the turbulent air, its unerring course cutting true and pinned the parchment against a wooden crate.
“A good day to fight, don’t you agree, lion of Teesside?”
Guy Cody glanced to the left, only to sense Lara von Dirkwind’s presence at his right. Vicious dirk meeting Gae Buidhe's shaft, the young lion managed to repel his opponent with a sidestep and fiercest flick from the Golden Barb of Mortality. The Half-Elven redhead, however, was already beyond reach, her figure lithe and nubile perched on top of the nearest wall. The Human lad wasn’t blind, he could discern this attractive sellsword to be so much more than some mere harlot.
“Your boots got high heels,” there was no complacency hidden in Guy’s tone.
“So you’ve realised,” smiled Lara naughtily, her descent light but steady, “Many horny scoundrels failed to understand what delicate balance is.”
Without mouthing a single word, Guy walked past his future ally and potential adversary, sapphire orbs fixated in front. Caressing her covered eye, Lara had already seen through Guy Cody’s worth. This is a boy who will be a man, a soldier destined to lead. It does not matter whether it’ll be via the frontline or deployment from behind. Many men came and went, none impressed her like her newest prey.
Cruax Nances won’t be pleased to spot only Lady Tenias and not his dearest daughter. Everybody hates that Noble Rat and that includes Granad’s fellow nobles. Seemingly reckless, yet so well-calculated. ‘Tis a strategy meant not to force any party’s hand, but staying them put.
Background notes
Blood flare: A potentially fatal disease where survival is often left to chance. Symptoms include high fever and intensive pain felt at the ribcage and skull. Incubation period is still something the Physicians’ Academia (i.e. the only official guild for physicians) has yet to solve, but the acceptable consensus is that either the victim will die within three days or declared fine after surviving this short period of suffering.
Mass Pain: A blood flare epidemic breaking out during NE 236. Rumoured to be a sabotaging act staged by the Slarvs (Slarveans), the Mass Pain altogether claimed one tenth of the Kalaran Empire, mostly the smallborne.
First Poultress: A title reserved for the best female physician in the Empire. Female counterpart to the First Poulter. Note that poulters/poultresses are quintessentially physicians either of noble birth or serving the nobility.
Swimming beyond the port: An idiom referring to any embarrassing circumstances. Originated from the smallborne’s tendency to dive naked in the sea whenever intoxicated by drink or drugs. Needless to say, survival rate under such a situation is basically nil.
A/N: Die Scharfrichter means The Executioner in German.