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SF's "Write Your Butt Off" II - Return of Writer's Block

SF's Write Your Butt Off! II Votals  

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  1. 1. Which submission will you vote for?

    • "The Heart of Dedication"
      0
    • "The Strength Within"
      5
    • "Simply a Hunter"
      0
    • "One More Time"
      3
    • "Perfected"
      2
    • "No One Is Iredeemable"
      0
    • "Going Forward"
      1

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  • Poll closed on 03/09/2019 at 10:00 PM

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Just now, SoulWeaver said:

No. No we don't. I don't think it's possible to beat that majestic piece of pure literature we were treated to yesterday.

I don't know about that :XD:

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When is the deadline...I could check myself, but I'm on mobile and the effort to go back through pages goes beyond what I'm willing to invest.

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6 hours ago, Jotari said:

When is the deadline...I could check myself, but I'm on mobile and the effort to go back through pages goes beyond what I'm willing to invest.

September 25.

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Alright, here's mine. For some light context, this is a sequel to a Choose Your Own Adventure story I made for the Serenes Scribbles competition in 2016. Reading that story isn't at all necessary to read this one, but it does warrant being mentioned (and plugged) just to establish that these absurdly out of character versions of Tauroneo and Volug have a history together. Thanks to AnonymousSpeed for some edit checking. 

Title: Tauroneo and Volug's Excellent Adventures, or, the Emblem Saga

Word Count: 4789

Spoiler

               “Oh man,” Volug said. “I can’t believe we left the door unlocked.” He and Tauroneo were standing at the entrance to a rather generic looking private detective office.

               “Did anything get stolen?” Tauroneo asked.

               Volug walked over to a shelf and took down a box labelled Valuables. “Looks like everything’s here. Still, we should lock the door in future.”

               “Is it really wise to keep your stuff in a box labelled valuables?”

               “Is it really wise to keep the door unlocked?” Volug countered.

               Tauroneno was pretty sure it wasn’t meant to be his job, but he didn’t want to provoke Volug, so he kept his mouth shut on the matter. Instead, he said, “what should we do next?”

               “Well, we did just have a series of varied and crazy adventures. If someone happened to follow and record our myriad decisions, it would make for an entertaining evening of reading. Right now, however, I’m feeling in the mood for something less sequenced.”

               “What an impeccably odd thing to say. What do you even mean by less sequenced?”

               “You know, less in a sequence. Like, something completely unrelated to our previous adventures. So if someone starts recording our lives from this moment, they wouldn’t need any previous information to follow what was happening.”

               “How in the world would we accomplish that? We’re private detectives, everything we do is basically going to involve exploring our local area.”

               “Hmm. Well there’s always this.” Volug reached into his box of valuables and removed a black and white picture with a red frame.

               He handed it to Tauroneo. The picture seemed to be of an unremarkable man in a business suit. “Huh? What is it?”

               “I bought it from a vendor a few months back. Apparently it contains the spirit of a divine manakete.”

               “What’s a mana-keith?”

               “I think it’s like a dragon laguz.”

               “What are we meant to do with it?”

               Volug took the picture back. “I’m not sure, but the vendor did promise it would bring a multitude of adventures. That’s even the exact word she used. Multitude…Think I was ripped off?”

               Tauroneo frowned. “I’m afraid so.”

               Just at that moment the picture burst into flames. More from surprise than pain, Volug dropped the frame. A voice echoed around the room. “Thank you kind heroes. You have partially freed me from the Fire Emblem.”

               Tauroneo looked to Volug hoping the wolf knew how to react to this unexpected situation. “How exactly did we do that?” he asked when Volug had nothing to provide.

               “You spoke the key words. I’m afraid so.”

               “You’ve been trapped in a painting until someone said I’m afraid so?” Volug scratched his head. “Why I’m afraid so?”

               “The people that sealed me spoke a more archaic version of your language, back when I’m afraid so meant I’m so afraid.”

               “Hey Tauroneo,” Volug said. “Does that make any sense at all?”

               “I honestly have no idea,” Tauroneo admitted.

               “Oi,” Volug shouted at the painting. “Who are you.”

               “I am the Divine Dragon Kaga. Unfortunately, I am not completely free yet, which is a very bad thing. During the nineteen years I’ve been sealed, my great enemy, the System Dragon Intellect has roamed free.”

               Tauroneo placed his hand on his chin. “You’ve been sealed for nineteen years?”

               “Em, yes…Is there a problem?”

               Tauroneo shrugged. “Kind of expected you to have been trapped longer. Like, for centuries. Seems to be how these things go. Oh, plus I’m afraid so didn’t mean I’m so afraid less than twenty years ago.”

               “Never mind about that,” Kaga said. “The world is in grave danger. The System Dragon Intellect will surely destroy the entire world if he isn’t stopped immediately. You, brave heroes, must be the ones to stop him.”

               “Well Volug, it does sound rather different to everything else we’ve been doing up until this point. What do you say?”

               “Eh…I could take it or leave it. What do we have to do?”

               “You must travel to six different worlds and collect six sacred items known as the Fire Emblems. With their collective power, I should be able to free myself and do battle with Intellect.”

               Volug let out a sigh. “That doesn’t sound even remotely interesting.”

               “I’m afraid I can’t accept you’re refusal,” Kaga said. “It’s much too important, and you’re the only ones around.” Suddenly the floor of their office vanished, replaced by swirling portal of energy. “Do not fret, I will be with you every step of the way.”

 

               “Chrom, we have to do something.”

               “What do you propose we do?”

               “I don’t know.”

               Tauroneo opened his eyes to see a blue haired young man and an even younger blond haired girl inspecting him.

               “I see you’re awake now,” said the boy, who Tauroneo assumed was called Chrom. “There are better places to take a nap then on the ground you know.”

               “God damnit.” Tauroneno heard Volug’s familiar voice. He looked over to see his friend (and Tauroneo used that word quite loosely, turns out Volug is a bit of a dick) also lying on the ground a few feet away. “That goddamned dragon whisked us away without my permission. He didn’t have my consent for this.”

               Tauroneo sat up. “He said the world was at stake. I think you can cut him some slack.”

               “I’ll cut him open is what I’ll do.”

               “You realize I can still hear you both?” said Kaga’s disembodied voice.

               “You better damn well hear me,” Volug growled. “I’m not happy about this.”

               “It seems there’s an interesting tale behind your presence here,” Chrom said. “Funny thing actually, this is the fourth time this week I’ve found people asleep in a field.”

               “Oh shut up,” Volug said. He got to his feet. “So Naga or whatever your name is.”

               “Kaga.”

               “What are we supposed to do here?”

               “The shield on that man’s arm, it is the Fire Emblem of this world.”

               Chrom looked down at the rather ornate shield on his arm. “Hmm. This is the Fire Emblem. It’s a rather precious family heirloom, but I guess I could part with it if your world is really-”

               Chrom’s voice was cut off as Volug suddenly turned into a wolf and leaped as his neck. The girl started to scream. All Tauroneo could do was shake his head and mutter “not again.”

               “Fredrick!” the girl cried. Tauroneo suddenly noticed a heavily armoured knight riding towards them.

               “Eh, Volug. We got company.”

               “Deal with it!” Volug ordered as he struggled with Chrom, who was fighting valiantly, but was also clearly on death’s door.

               “I don’t have my lance,” Tauroneo said. “I left it by the umbrella stand when we came in.”

               “Don’t worry,” Kaga said. “I got your back.” The ground beneath them suddenly opened up and they once again found themselves falling through the trippy void.

 

              They landed in a dimly lighted room in a castle. After the girl recovered from the shock of the trip, she started screaming again and fled from the room without hesitation.

               “I feel like really bad,” Tauroneo said. “We could have handled that much better.”

               Volug resumed his human form and took the shield from the bloodied body that was once called Chrom. “Meh, fate of the world’s at stake. Nothing done in service against the absolute evil can be considered evil. That’s how ethics work.”

               “Yeah, but…no?”

               “I agree it was unorthodox, but we succeeded in our mission," said Kaga's disembodied voice. "Time is still short, however. You must find the next Fire Emblem as soon as possible.”

               Tauroneo looked around the room and noticed a man sitting on a throne a few meters away. His face was obscured by long (and rather fabulous) red hair. He held his hands against his eyes and had somehow remained completely oblivious to the bizarre visitors to his castle. “I’ll handle things this time,” Tauroneo told Volug. He approached the throne and cleared his throat. “Good sir, we are travelers from afar-”

               The man looked up and stared straight into Tauroneo’s eyes. “My son just murdered my wife.”

               There was an extremely awkward silence as Tauroneo tried to find something appropriate to say. “I’m eh…sorry to hear that. Sounds like…possibly the worst thing in the world. You know my wife left me and took away my children, so I kind of know how you feel.”

               “It’s not the same.”

               “Well…it kind of is.”

               “My only daughter is also missing and I just discovered that my wife is also my biological half-sister.”

               “That’s…you’re having a rough time.”

               “Tauroneo,” said Kaga. “We’re in a hurry.”

               “Yeah, Tauroneo,” Volug said. “Get on with it.”

               “Ah…okay. Hey, you’re a king, right? Do you know of anything called a Fire Emblem?”

               The man looked at flag hanging beside the throne. “The flag of my homeland is called the Emblem of Flames. Do you mean that?”

               “Eh…I’m not sure. I was expecting some kind of relic or something. Kaga, is this what you’re looking for?”

               “It’ll have to do. Grab it and we’ll be on our way.”

               “Eh, do you mind?” Tauroneo asked the king.

               “No, I don’t care. Don’t really care much about anything anymore.”

               “Okay…hey, I really hope things turn around for you.” Tauroneo took the flag and returned to Volug’s side.

               Volug poked Chrom’s corpse with his foot. “Hey, we’re going to leave this body behind,” he said to the king.

               “I think I might hang myself,” the king replied.

               “It’s time to go,” Kaga said. “Brace yourself for the journey.”

               “What about the girl we brought here?” Tauroneo pointed out. “We can’t really just leave her stranded.”

               “Ah she’ll be fine,” Volug said. “I’m sure this world is a nice and safe place that cares greatly for its women and children.”

               “That’s a pretty baseless assumption,” Tauroneo said, but before he could get a response, they were whisked away again.

              

               “We won’t back down!” a young woman with white hair said. “This is my…this is our destiny! Ready your weapons! Fight for your friends! With this seal of flames…With the Fire Emblem on our side! We fight for our world!!” A portal suddenly appeared just in front of her and her companions. Tauroneo and fell out and landed roughly on the ground.

               “Hey, I think I’m starting to get used to this warping thing,” Tauroneo said.

               Volug got to his feet. “Hmm. I’m still getting used to it. Where the bloody hell are we? Space or something?”

               The group of warriors were staring at Tauroneo and Volug dumbstruck. There was suddenly a massive roar. Tauroneo and Volug turned to see a massive dragon right behind them. “Cripes!” Tauroneo shouted. “Get us out of here, Kaga!”

               “Huh?” Volug looked down at the shield he had taken from Chrom. It had suddenly started to glow. The dragon before them convulsed in pain.

               “Now’s our chance!” the white haired girl said. “Attack him while he’s…distracted?” Her companions rushed forward, but she remained behind to talk to the strange visitors that had entered her world. “I must thank you for your assistance strange visitors that have just entered my world. I wasn’t sure we could claim victory on our own, but that shield you have there seems to be able to incapacitate Anankos merely by its presence.”

               “That sword she has,” Kaga said. “She called it the Fire Emblem, you must take it.”

               The woman looked down at her weapon. “This sword is linked to me. It has helped me through many battles, evolving alongside me. It is perhaps one of the most precious things in my possession, but I have had my fill of war. When this battle is done, I never want to fight again. You may have it, after I strike the final blow.”

               “That sounds fair,” Tauroneo said, hoping they could claim this relic without doing anything morally questionable.

               “Can I see it for just a second?” Volug asked. “To make sure it’s really the weapon we’re looking for?”

               The woman surveyed the battle. It was going well. “Just for a second,” she said. She handed the weapon over to Volug and nervously looked at the giant dragon. “I’ll need it to deal with Anankos as soon as his head comes into my range.”

               “We’ve finished striking his arms,” one of the members of her army said. “He’s all yours, Corrin.”

               “Okay, now is the time. Give it back.”

               “Give what back?” Volug asked. Another portal opened beneath him and the two strangers were gone. With the shield gone, Anankos suddenly seemed to regain his strength.

               Corrin looked down at her empty hands. “Goddamnit.”

 

               “Volug, you’ve got to stop doing shit like that,” Tauroneo said. They had arrived in the middle of a moonlit forest. “She said she’d give it to us once the dragon was dead.”

               “Bah, she was far too naïve. It’ll develop her character.”

               “You mean it’ll build character?”

               “I meant what I said.”

               “Taur…Tauroneo? Is that you old friend?”

               Tauroneo suddenly realized he and Volug weren’t the only ones in the clearing. Standing before him was his old comrade Gawain. Nearby was another familiar face (or, well, helmet) he hadn’t expected to see, a man clad in ebony armour, Zelguis, Black Knight of Daein. “What? This…can’t be real!”

               “What are you doing here?” Zelguis said. “Does Ashnard think me ill-equipped to deal with this matter?”

               “You know these people?” Volug asked.

               “Yes. Don’t kill or rob or maim anyone!”

               “Why are you out in the middle of the forest with a half-naked Laguz?” Gawain asked.

               Tauroneo rubbed the back of his head. “Oh wow. This is so hard to explain.”

               “Father!” came a cry from the forest. “Father!” Suddenly a younger version of Ike emerged from the treeline. “Father!...Father? What’s going on?”

               “I honestly have no idea,” Gawain said.

               “Ahem,” said Zelguis. “This is all rather distracting. Can we get back to our duel?”

               “No!” Tauroneo said, suddenly connecting the dots and realizing where exactly he was. He took the sword Volug had stolen from the women in the previous world and stepped between Gawain and Zelguis. “You will not harm my comrade.”

               “You would disobey your king?” Zelguis said. “So be it.” He ran at Tauroneo with surprising speed. Tauroneo didn’t think he’d be able to, but he managed to parry Zelguis’ attack with relative ease. “That weapon you have,” the Black Knight said. “It’s no ordinary weapon. It might even be able to pierce my armour.” Suddenly a roar came from the forest. “And the King of Beasts is here too. Hmm…There are many unexpected elements. I think it wise to retreat. We will have our duel some other time, General Gawain. I look forward to it.” He threw some strange powder onto the ground and vanished without a trace.

               “Well, Tauroneo,” Gawain said. “I think it’s about time you gave me some kind of explanation.”

               “In short, we’re from the future. He was about to kill you. We need Lehran’s medallion to save the world and apparently we don’t have much time.”

               “I see,” Gawain said, seemingly believing everything Tauroneo had just said without question. “Well Mist should have it. Let’s head back to the fort and get it. Be careful not to touch it though.”

               As they walked back, Volug pondered over what had just happened. “So, that man is Ike’s father, and he was supposed to die just now?”

               “Yep,” Tauroneo said, sounding quite proud of himself. “And I saved him.”

               “So…what’s going to happen next? He’s going to bring the Crimeian princess to Begnion and basically do everything Ike did to become a legendary hero?”

               “Uh…I guess so. Although the nerves in his arms were cut, so I don’t think he’ll be able to defeat the Black Knight if they encounter each other again.”

               “And without being thrust into the leadership role and forced to hone his skills, Ike might not be able to do it either,” Volug pointed out.

               “Not necessarily,” Taurneo said, suddenly becoming a little glum about how things had…were…will be(?) turning out.

               “And what’s going to happen to you? The Black Knight saw you here, but your past self is still serving Ashnard over in Daein right? You’ll probably be executed as a traitor or something.”

               “I eh…didn’t think of that…Oh shit. Am I just going to disappear as soon as Zelguis makes his way back to Ashnard!?”

               Volug let out a barking laugh. “Ha. You didn’t even need me to screw things up this time around. Good job.”

 

               They received Lehran’s medallion and were swiftly whisked off to the next world. “We might just make it in time,” Kaga said. “This is the second last world we need to go to. While you were walking to that fort, I was able to pinpoint the exact time and place when this Fire Emblem was at its most vulnerable.”

               “No more giant dragons then,” Volug said. “That’s always a plus.”

               They landed in a grassy valley. Right away they noticed a girl with a fabulous head of curly blond hair rushing towards them. Behind her, was a small platoon of soldiers. “This is when its at is most vulnerable?” Tauroneo questioned.

               “Give or take a few days,” Kaga said.

               “Please! Please! Help me!” the girl cried as she reached them. She hid behind Tauroneo, as if expecting him to take on the entire platoon himself. Which he might actually be able to. The soldiers did look like they were the unpromoted kind.

               “Hey girl,” Volug said. “You ever hear of something called a Fire Emblem?”

               “What? Are you from Etruria?” the girl said. “I have it here.” She stuffed something into Volug’s loincloth. “Leave me, protect this with your life.”

               The soldiers finally reached them. “Hand over the princess or forfeit your life,” the head soldier said.

               “No problem, here she is,” Volug said, pushing what turned out to be a princess forward. “We’re just passing through. Mercenaries. We didn’t see nothin and don’t know nothing.”

               The soldier smiled. “Excellent. If you’re mercenaries, then I suggest travelling to our castle nearby and signing up. There is much glory and riches to be gained in the army of Bern.”

               “We’ll consider it,” Tauroneo said. “But we don’t want to slow you down.”

               “Of course. Farewell random and not at all suspicious strangers.” With that, the platoon rode off along with their captive.

               “Don’t start,” Volug said when they were both certain the army was out of earshot. “We did the right thing. She would have been captured anyway if we weren’t here.”

               “Yeah, but…” Tauroneo said uncomfortably. “She entrusted this Fire Emblem to us and told us to give it to someone called Etruria, yet we’re just going to run off. What’s going to happen now? Isn’t it sort of important?”

               Volug felt uncomfortable, so he removed the Fire Emblem from where the girl hid it. He wasn’t really sure what to call it. Looked like just a lump of metal not even large enough to be a shield. “Who cares? This was by far our easiest adventure yet. Take us to the last world, Kaga.”

 

               “And now…I shall destroy the Fire Emblem…and see my father’s smile once more.” The young magician raised a knife in preparation to destroy the shining stone that lay in front of him. Suddenly a portal opened up and Volug and Tauroneo landed on him.

               Dazed, Tauroneo got to his feet and inspected the boy. “Are you alright?”

               Volug gave him a slight nudge. “I think he’s concussed…having a big armoured guy fall on top of you would do that.”

               “Oh wow. Is it really impossible for us to go somewhere and not be responsible for someone getting hurt or lost or captured or something?”

               “If it helps, there’s a half decayed body sitting in the corner there, so this guy is probably an asshole. I also see a glowing stone on an alter over there. Is that what we’re looking for?”

               “Yes,” said Kaga. “The final Fire Emblem...for now.”

               “What do you mean for now?” Tauroneo asked.

               “Well we might discover another one in a few years. The multiverse is a very big place.”

               “Yet it only contains five known Fire Emblems?” Volug said.

               “Well there is a sixth…but it’s like…an opera song. So we don’t like to talk about it. That is indeed a disturbing universe.”

               Volug picked up the shining stone. “So what do we do now?”

               The stone, the lump of metal, Lehran’s Medallion, the sword, the flag and the shield suddenly floated into the air. “Absolutely nothing,” Kaga said. “With these items, I can finally free myself!” There was a flash of light and suddenly a man in a business suit appeared in front of them. In his left hand was the shield, in his right was the sword. Tied to his back was the flag, and floating around him were the other three Fire Emblems.

               “Oh,” said Tauroneo. “I thought you said you were a dragon.”

               “He is a dragon,” Volug said. “He’s just in human form. I guess manaketes and laguz are the same things.”

               “Quiet!” Kaga said, his voice suddenly fierce. He then gave a deep laugh. “You fools. You had no idea.” He pointed forward with the sword. “I, Kaga, have betrayed you!”

               “Egads!” Tauroneo said. “What a twist!”

               “So all that guff about a system dragon was a lie?” Volug said.

               “No. My enemy, Intellect the System Dragon, does exist, but they have no interest in destroying the world. In fact, they wish to preserve it. I am the one who wishes to destroy the multiverse and start anew.”

               “Why!?” Volug said. “Why do you wish to destroy our multiverse?”

               “Why?” Kaga laughed. “Look around you. This world is corrupt. Everywhere you turn you see poor writing and contrived plots. It must be annihilated. My new land will be different. It will be interesting and deep. Everyone will be special and there will be no fanservice.”

               “I’m at a bit of a loss,” Tauroneo admitted. “You want to destroy the world because of bad literature?”

               “And also because one of my friends died in a tragic car accident after he was betrayed by my countrymen.”

               “You turned evil because someone you loved died,” Volug said. “And I thought you hated clichés.”

               “What’s a car?” Tauroneo wondered.

               “Prince Lyon! What happened?” came a voice from a nearby stairwell. Someone dressed similarly to the person Tauroneo landed on entered the room. “Prince…?” Kaga glared at him and hissed, turning the unfortunate mage to dust.

               “Oh wow, he just got plain unlucky wandering in here at this time,” Tauroneo muttered.

               “Forget about that, now’s our chance!” Volug yelled. “Attack!” Volug transformed into a wolf and lept at Kaga’s sword arm. Tauroneo looked around for a weapon and spotted the corpse Volug had alluded to before.

               Kaga threw Volug off him. “Wretched beast. You stand no chance against me.” Tauroneo threw the spear he’d looted. It pierced Kaga right in the torso. “Gah! What the hell?”

               “The Fire Emblems!” Volug said. “We need to take them away from him.” He lept forward and grabbed at one of the Fire Emblems floating around him. It was the rather useless lump of metal.

               While Volug was close, Kaga swiped at him with the sword, injuring the laguz. Why he didn’t just turn Volug to dust like the random mage is anyone’s guess. Tauroneo ran at Kaga from behind and yanked at the flag tied to his back, tearing it away and putting his enemy off balance. Kaga landed on the spear still protruding from his body. “Shit, shit, shit.” He scrambled to his feet.

               “What do we do with a piece of cloth and a lump of metal,” Tauroneo asked Volug, but before his friend could answer, Kaga was rushing towards Tauroneo. Without thinking, he threw the cloth over Kaga’s head and grabbed one of the two Fire Emblem’s still floating around him. It was the shining stone. It felt a little better to hold, but he had no idea how to use it and kind of wished he had the surprisingly effective flag back. “You going to help me, Volug?”

               “He’s cut me right open,” Volug said with moderate to severe discomfort. “You’re on your own, bro.”

               Kaga threw off the flag and glared at Tauroneo. He raised his shield hand and summoned a lightning ball in his palm. “Insolent cur.”

               Once again, without thinking, Tauroneo reacted and held up the stone, which somehow deflected the lightning bolt back at Kaga, although the force of the blast still send him flying backwards too. He lay on the ground, stunned and hoping Kaga was worse off than him.

               “You two were meant to be imbeciles,” came Kaga’s voice from the other side of the room. “An unlikely pair of characters off on a wacky adventure with no chance of taking on a real threat.” Kaga got to his feet, his eyes burning red with anger and maybe a bit of pure evilness or possible a natural lack of melanin. “In the end, you prove to be that, and a major annoyance. I think I’ll just destroy this entire world now, with you two inside it.”

               Tauroneo thought of all the people they had met in their brief travels. All the people he had accidentally stranded or helped kill. It wasn’t the most inspiring montage of memories as far as they go, but Gawain was in it, which Tauroneo liked. Maybe that alone was enough for him to find the strength to get back to his feet. “Not yet, Kaga. Not yet.”

               “Forget it Tauroneo. I’m a super powerful dragon spirit that created this entire multiverse in the first place. You can’t-oof.”

               With as much strength as he could muster, Volug threw the lump-of-metal Fire Emblem at Kaga, nailing him square in the forehead. “Now’s your chance, Tauroneo!”

               Taurnoeo ran forward, grasped the spear head still protruding from Kaga’s body and pulled it free, sending Kaga spinning on the spot. Tauroneo reached out and grabbed the last Fire Emblem still orbiting around his enemy. He only had a moment to realize it was Lehran’s Medallion before the chaos overwhelmed him, giving him renewed strength at the cost of all rationality. He swung the spear more like a bat than a polearm, battering Kaga furiously and repeatedly. The super powerful dragon spirit that created this entire multiverse in the first place was unable to do anything but hold up the shield in weak defence against Tauroneo’s wild onslaught. All the while the only thing Tauroneo could say, for reasons incomprehensible even to him, was “lance beats sword! Lance beats sword!”

               The shield came lose in Kaga’s arm, he used this advantage to swing it off him and smack Tauroneo in the face, knocking Lehran’s medallion out of his hand in the process. Tauroneo found himself regaining his senses along with a very hurt jaw. Kaga stood over him, the last Fire Emblem remaining in his possession being the sword. “I must say, you’ve fought well, Tauroneo,” Kaga said. “Surprisingly well. But it ends now.” He swung down with the sword. Tauroneo found a final kernel of energy and grabbed Kaga’s wrists. The ridges on the sword began to rotate along the blade, causing a sort of death saw like effect.

               “Oh, so that’s what those are for,” he dimly commented, being too tired to even be terrified.

               Kaga smiled manically as the blade inched closer to Tauroneo’s face. Suddenly he let out a yelp as Volug bit him on the leg. His grip slackened and Tauroneo twisted his wrists, forcing him to drop the sword. “No!” he cried. He stood up and stepped back, clutching at his body. “My Fire Emblems! My Fire Emblems! Give them back to me! They belong to me!” In a flash of light, he disappeared.

               “Is it…is it over?” Tauroneo asked weakly.

               “I think without any of the Fire Emblems…he returned back to the state we found him in.”

               “So with each Fire Emblem we took from him, he grew weaker. That actually explains how we managed to beat him despite the overwhelming odds.”

               “Yes, but it means he’s out there, still with the ability to talk to people and transport them to different worlds.” Volug picked up the sword. “We need to destroy the Fire Emblems. To ensure he’s never released again.”

               “Does that mean we’re trapped here, in this world, in this country?”

               Volug shrugged. “I guess so. According to the conveniently placed text on that alter over there, this place is called Grado.”

               “I guess Grado is our new home now.”

               “Sure is,” Volug said. “What’s the worst that can happen?” He swung down the sword and cut the shining stone in two. Coincidentally, at the same time, there was a light tremor in the earth below.

 

Edited by Jotari

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6 hours ago, Jotari said:

Alright, here's mine. For some light context, this is a sequel to a Choose Your Own Adventure story I made for the Serenes Scribbles competition in 2016. Reading that story isn't at all necessary to read this one, but it does warrant being mentioned (and plugged) just to establish that these absurdly out of character versions of Tauroneo and Volug have a history together. Thanks to AnonymousSpeed for some edit checking. 

Title: Tauroneo and Volug's Excellent Adventures, or, the Emblem Saga

Word Count: 4789

  Reveal hidden contents

               “Oh man,” Volug said. “I can’t believe we left the door unlocked.” He and Tauroneo were standing at the entrance to a rather generic looking private detective office.

               “Did anything get stolen?” Tauroneo asked.

               Volug walked over to a shelf and took down a box labelled Valuables. “Looks like everything’s here. Still, we should lock the door in future.”

               “Is it really wise to keep your stuff in a box labelled valuables?”

               “Is it really wise to keep the door unlocked?” Volug countered.

               Tauroneno was pretty sure it wasn’t meant to be his job, but he didn’t want to provoke Volug, so he kept his mouth shut on the matter. Instead, he said, “what should we do next?”

               “Well, we did just have a series of varied and crazy adventures. If someone happened to follow and record our myriad decisions, it would make for an entertaining evening of reading. Right now, however, I’m feeling in the mood for something less sequenced.”

               “What an impeccably odd thing to say. What do you even mean by less sequenced?”

               “You know, less in a sequence. Like, something completely unrelated to our previous adventures. So if someone starts recording our lives from this moment, they wouldn’t need any previous information to follow what was happening.”

               “How in the world would we accomplish that? We’re private detectives, everything we do is basically going to involve exploring our local area.”

               “Hmm. Well there’s always this.” Volug reached into his box of valuables and removed a black and white picture with a red frame.

               He handed it to Tauroneo. The picture seemed to be of an unremarkable man in a business suit. “Huh? What is it?”

               “I bought it from a vendor a few months back. Apparently it contains the spirit of a divine manakete.”

               “What’s a mana-keith?”

               “I think it’s like a dragon laguz.”

               “What are we meant to do with it?”

               Volug took the picture back. “I’m not sure, but the vendor did promise it would bring a multitude of adventures. That’s even the exact word she used. Multitude…Think I was ripped off?”

               Tauroneo frowned. “I’m afraid so.”

               Just at that moment the picture burst into flames. More from surprise than pain, Volug dropped the frame. A voice echoed around the room. “Thank you kind heroes. You have partially freed me from the Fire Emblem.”

               Tauroneo looked to Volug hoping the wolf knew how to react to this unexpected situation. “How exactly did we do that?” he asked when Volug had nothing to provide.

               “You spoke the key words. I’m afraid so.”

               “You’ve been trapped in a painting until someone said I’m afraid so?” Volug scratched his head. “Why I’m afraid so?”

               “The people that sealed me spoke a more archaic version of your language, back when I’m afraid so meant I’m so afraid.”

               “Hey Tauroneo,” Volug said. “Does that make any sense at all?”

               “I honestly have no idea,” Tauroneo admitted.

               “Oi,” Volug shouted at the painting. “Who are you.”

               “I am the Divine Dragon Kaga. Unfortunately, I am not completely free yet, which is a very bad thing. During the nineteen years I’ve been sealed, my great enemy, the System Dragon Intellect has roamed free.”

               Tauroneo placed his hand on his chin. “You’ve been sealed for nineteen years?”

               “Em, yes…Is there a problem?”

               Tauroneo shrugged. “Kind of expected you to have been trapped longer. Like, for centuries. Seems to be how these things go. Oh, plus I’m afraid so didn’t mean I’m so afraid less than twenty years ago.”

               “Never mind about that,” Kaga said. “The world is in grave danger. The System Dragon Intellect will surely destroy the entire world if he isn’t stopped immediately. You, brave heroes, must be the ones to stop him.”

               “Well Volug, it does sound rather different to everything else we’ve been doing up until this point. What do you say?”

               “Eh…I could take it or leave it. What do we have to do?”

               “You must travel to six different worlds and collect six sacred items known as the Fire Emblems. With their collective power, I should be able to free myself and do battle with Intellect.”

               Volug let out a sigh. “That doesn’t sound even remotely interesting.”

               “I’m afraid I can’t accept you’re refusal,” Kaga said. “It’s much too important, and you’re the only ones around.” Suddenly the floor of their office vanished, replaced by swirling portal of energy. “Do not fret, I will be with you every step of the way.”

 

               “Chrom, we have to do something.”

               “What do you propose we do?”

               “I don’t know.”

               Tauroneo opened his eyes to see a blue haired young man and an even younger blond haired girl inspecting him.

               “I see you’re awake now,” said the boy, who Tauroneo assumed was called Chrom. “There are better places to take a nap then on the ground you know.”

               “God damnit.” Tauroneno heard Volug’s familiar voice. He looked over to see his friend (and Tauroneo used that word quite loosely, turns out Volug is a bit of a dick) also lying on the ground a few feet away. “That goddamned dragon whisked us away without my permission. He didn’t have my consent for this.”

               Tauroneo sat up. “He said the world was at stake. I think you can cut him some slack.”

               “I’ll cut him open is what I’ll do.”

               “You realize I can still hear you both?” said Kaga’s disembodied voice.

               “You better damn well hear me,” Volug growled. “I’m not happy about this.”

               “It seems there’s an interesting tale behind your presence here,” Chrom said. “Funny thing actually, this is the fourth time this week I’ve found people asleep in a field.”

               “Oh shut up,” Volug said. He got to his feet. “So Naga or whatever your name is.”

               “Kaga.”

               “What are we supposed to do here?”

               “The shield on that man’s arm, it is the Fire Emblem of this world.”

               Chrom looked down at the rather ornate shield on his arm. “Hmm. This is the Fire Emblem. It’s a rather precious family heirloom, but I guess I could part with it if your world is really-”

               Chrom’s voice was cut off as Volug suddenly turned into a wolf and leaped as his neck. The girl started to scream. All Tauroneo could do was shake his head and mutter “not again.”

               “Fredrick!” the girl cried. Tauroneo suddenly noticed a heavily armoured knight riding towards them.

               “Eh, Volug. We got company.”

               “Deal with it!” Volug ordered as he struggled with Chrom, who was fighting valiantly, but was also clearly on death’s door.

               “I don’t have my lance,” Tauroneo said. “I left it by the umbrella stand when we came in.”

               “Don’t worry,” Kaga said. “I got your back.” The ground beneath them suddenly opened up and they once again found themselves falling through the trippy void.

 

              They landed in a dimly lighted room in a castle. After the girl recovered from the shock of the trip, she started screaming again and fled from the room without hesitation.

               “I feel like really bad,” Tauroneo said. “We could have handled that much better.”

               Volug resumed his human form and took the shield from the bloodied body that was once called Chrom. “Meh, fate of the world’s at stake. Nothing done in service against the absolute evil can be considered evil. That’s how ethics work.”

               “Yeah, but…no?”

               “I agree it was unorthodox, but we succeeded in our mission," said Kaga's disembodied voice. "Time is still short, however. You must find the next Fire Emblem as soon as possible.”

               Tauroneo looked around the room and noticed a man sitting on a throne a few meters away. His face was obscured by long (and rather fabulous) red hair. He held his hands against his eyes and had somehow remained completely oblivious to the bizarre visitors to his castle. “I’ll handle things this time,” Tauroneo told Volug. He approached the throne and cleared his throat. “Good sir, we are travelers from afar-”

               The man looked up and stared straight into Tauroneo’s eyes. “My son just murdered my wife.”

               There was an extremely awkward silence as Tauroneo tried to find something appropriate to say. “I’m eh…sorry to hear that. Sounds like…possibly the worst thing in the world. You know my wife left me and took away my children, so I kind of know how you feel.”

               “It’s not the same.”

               “Well…it kind of is.”

               “My only daughter is also missing and I just discovered that my wife is also my biological half-sister.”

               “That’s…you’re having a rough time.”

               “Tauroneo,” said Kaga. “We’re in a hurry.”

               “Yeah, Tauroneo,” Volug said. “Get on with it.”

               “Ah…okay. Hey, you’re a king, right? Do you know of anything called a Fire Emblem?”

               The man looked at flag hanging beside the throne. “The flag of my homeland is called the Emblem of Flames. Do you mean that?”

               “Eh…I’m not sure. I was expecting some kind of relic or something. Kaga, is this what you’re looking for?”

               “It’ll have to do. Grab it and we’ll be on our way.”

               “Eh, do you mind?” Tauroneo asked the king.

               “No, I don’t care. Don’t really care much about anything anymore.”

               “Okay…hey, I really hope things turn around for you.” Tauroneo took the flag and returned to Volug’s side.

               Volug poked Chrom’s corpse with his foot. “Hey, we’re going to leave this body behind,” he said to the king.

               “I think I might hang myself,” the king replied.

               “It’s time to go,” Kaga said. “Brace yourself for the journey.”

               “What about the girl we brought here?” Tauroneo pointed out. “We can’t really just leave her stranded.”

               “Ah she’ll be fine,” Volug said. “I’m sure this world is a nice and safe place that cares greatly for its women and children.”

               “That’s a pretty baseless assumption,” Tauroneo said, but before he could get a response, they were whisked away again.

              

               “We won’t back down!” a young woman with white hair said. “This is my…this is our destiny! Ready your weapons! Fight for your friends! With this seal of flames…With the Fire Emblem on our side! We fight for our world!!” A portal suddenly appeared just in front of her and her companions. Tauroneo and fell out and landed roughly on the ground.

               “Hey, I think I’m starting to get used to this warping thing,” Tauroneo said.

               Volug got to his feet. “Hmm. I’m still getting used to it. Where the bloody hell are we? Space or something?”

               The group of warriors were staring at Tauroneo and Volug dumbstruck. There was suddenly a massive roar. Tauroneo and Volug turned to see a massive dragon right behind them. “Cripes!” Tauroneo shouted. “Get us out of here, Kaga!”

               “Huh?” Volug looked down at the shield he had taken from Chrom. It had suddenly started to glow. The dragon before them convulsed in pain.

               “Now’s our chance!” the white haired girl said. “Attack him while he’s…distracted?” Her companions rushed forward, but she remained behind to talk to the strange visitors that had entered her world. “I must thank you for your assistance strange visitors that have just entered my world. I wasn’t sure we could claim victory on our own, but that shield you have there seems to be able to incapacitate Anankos merely by its presence.”

               “That sword she has,” Kaga said. “She called it the Fire Emblem, you must take it.”

               The woman looked down at her weapon. “This sword is linked to me. It has helped me through many battles, evolving alongside me. It is perhaps one of the most precious things in my possession, but I have had my fill of war. When this battle is done, I never want to fight again. You may have it, after I strike the final blow.”

               “That sounds fair,” Tauroneo said, hoping they could claim this relic without doing anything morally questionable.

               “Can I see it for just a second?” Volug asked. “To make sure it’s really the weapon we’re looking for?”

               The woman surveyed the battle. It was going well. “Just for a second,” she said. She handed the weapon over to Volug and nervously looked at the giant dragon. “I’ll need it to deal with Anankos as soon as his head comes into my range.”

               “We’ve finished striking his arms,” one of the members of her army said. “He’s all yours, Corrin.”

               “Okay, now is the time. Give it back.”

               “Give what back?” Volug asked. Another portal opened beneath him and the two strangers were gone. With the shield gone, Anankos suddenly seemed to regain his strength.

               Corrin looked down at her empty hands. “Goddamnit.”

 

               “Volug, you’ve got to stop doing shit like that,” Tauroneo said. They had arrived in the middle of a moonlit forest. “She said she’d give it to us once the dragon was dead.”

               “Bah, she was far too naïve. It’ll develop her character.”

               “You mean it’ll build character?”

               “I meant what I said.”

               “Taur…Tauroneo? Is that you old friend?”

               Tauroneo suddenly realized he and Volug weren’t the only ones in the clearing. Standing before him was his old comrade Gawain. Nearby was another familiar face (or, well, helmet) he hadn’t expected to see, a man clad in ebony armour, Zelguis, Black Knight of Daein. “What? This…can’t be real!”

               “What are you doing here?” Zelguis said. “Does Ashnard think me ill-equipped to deal with this matter?”

               “You know these people?” Volug asked.

               “Yes. Don’t kill or rob or maim anyone!”

               “Why are you out in the middle of the forest with a half-naked Laguz?” Gawain asked.

               Tauroneo rubbed the back of his head. “Oh wow. This is so hard to explain.”

               “Father!” came a cry from the forest. “Father!” Suddenly a younger version of Ike emerged from the treeline. “Father!...Father? What’s going on?”

               “I honestly have no idea,” Gawain said.

               “Ahem,” said Zelguis. “This is all rather distracting. Can we get back to our duel?”

               “No!” Tauroneo said, suddenly connecting the dots and realizing where exactly he was. He took the sword Volug had stolen from the women in the previous world and stepped between Gawain and Zelguis. “You will not harm my comrade.”

               “You would disobey your king?” Zelguis said. “So be it.” He ran at Tauroneo with surprising speed. Tauroneo didn’t think he’d be able to, but he managed to parry Zelguis’ attack with relative ease. “That weapon you have,” the Black Knight said. “It’s no ordinary weapon. It might even be able to pierce my armour.” Suddenly a roar came from the forest. “And the King of Beasts is here too. Hmm…There are many unexpected elements. I think it wise to retreat. We will have our duel some other time, General Gawain. I look forward to it.” He threw some strange powder onto the ground and vanished without a trace.

               “Well, Tauroneo,” Gawain said. “I think it’s about time you gave me some kind of explanation.”

               “In short, we’re from the future. He was about to kill you. We need Lehran’s medallion to save the world and apparently we don’t have much time.”

               “I see,” Gawain said, seemingly believing everything Tauroneo had just said without question. “Well Mist should have it. Let’s head back to the fort and get it. Be careful not to touch it though.”

               As they walked back, Volug pondered over what had just happened. “So, that man is Ike’s father, and he was supposed to die just now?”

               “Yep,” Tauroneo said, sounding quite proud of himself. “And I saved him.”

               “So…what’s going to happen next? He’s going to bring the Crimeian princess to Begnion and basically do everything Ike did to become a legendary hero?”

               “Uh…I guess so. Although the nerves in his arms were cut, so I don’t think he’ll be able to defeat the Black Knight if they encounter each other again.”

               “And without being thrust into the leadership role and forced to hone his skills, Ike might not be able to do it either,” Volug pointed out.

               “Not necessarily,” Taurneo said, suddenly becoming a little glum about how things had…were…will be(?) turning out.

               “And what’s going to happen to you? The Black Knight saw you here, but your past self is still serving Ashnard over in Daein right? You’ll probably be executed as a traitor or something.”

               “I eh…didn’t think of that…Oh shit. Am I just going to disappear as soon as Zelguis makes his way back to Ashnard!?”

               Volug let out a barking laugh. “Ha. You didn’t even need me to screw things up this time around. Good job.”

 

               They received Lehran’s medallion and were swiftly whisked off to the next world. “We might just make it in time,” Kaga said. “This is the second last world we need to go to. While you were walking to that fort, I was able to pinpoint the exact time and place when this Fire Emblem was at its most vulnerable.”

               “No more giant dragons then,” Volug said. “That’s always a plus.”

               They landed in a grassy valley. Right away they noticed a girl with a fabulous head of curly blond hair rushing towards them. Behind her, was a small platoon of soldiers. “This is when its at is most vulnerable?” Tauroneo questioned.

               “Give or take a few days,” Kaga said.

               “Please! Please! Help me!” the girl cried as she reached them. She hid behind Tauroneo, as if expecting him to take on the entire platoon himself. Which he might actually be able to. The soldiers did look like they were the unpromoted kind.

               “Hey girl,” Volug said. “You ever hear of something called a Fire Emblem?”

               “What? Are you from Etruria?” the girl said. “I have it here.” She stuffed something into Volug’s loincloth. “Leave me, protect this with your life.”

               The soldiers finally reached them. “Hand over the princess or forfeit your life,” the head soldier said.

               “No problem, here she is,” Volug said, pushing what turned out to be a princess forward. “We’re just passing through. Mercenaries. We didn’t see nothin and don’t know nothing.”

               The soldier smiled. “Excellent. If you’re mercenaries, then I suggest travelling to our castle nearby and signing up. There is much glory and riches to be gained in the army of Bern.”

               “We’ll consider it,” Tauroneo said. “But we don’t want to slow you down.”

               “Of course. Farewell random and not at all suspicious strangers.” With that, the platoon rode off along with their captive.

               “Don’t start,” Volug said when they were both certain the army was out of earshot. “We did the right thing. She would have been captured anyway if we weren’t here.”

               “Yeah, but…” Tauroneo said uncomfortably. “She entrusted this Fire Emblem to us and told us to give it to someone called Etruria, yet we’re just going to run off. What’s going to happen now? Isn’t it sort of important?”

               Volug felt uncomfortable, so he removed the Fire Emblem from where the girl hid it. He wasn’t really sure what to call it. Looked like just a lump of metal not even large enough to be a shield. “Who cares? This was by far our easiest adventure yet. Take us to the last world, Kaga.”

 

               “And now…I shall destroy the Fire Emblem…and see my father’s smile once more.” The young magician raised a knife in preparation to destroy the shining stone that lay in front of him. Suddenly a portal opened up and Volug and Tauroneo landed on him.

               Dazed, Tauroneo got to his feet and inspected the boy. “Are you alright?”

               Volug gave him a slight nudge. “I think he’s concussed…having a big armoured guy fall on top of you would do that.”

               “Oh wow. Is it really impossible for us to go somewhere and not be responsible for someone getting hurt or lost or captured or something?”

               “If it helps, there’s a half decayed body sitting in the corner there, so this guy is probably an asshole. I also see a glowing stone on an alter over there. Is that what we’re looking for?”

               “Yes,” said Kaga. “The final Fire Emblem...for now.”

               “What do you mean for now?” Tauroneo asked.

               “Well we might discover another one in a few years. The multiverse is a very big place.”

               “Yet it only contains five known Fire Emblems?” Volug said.

               “Well there is a sixth…but it’s like…an opera song. So we don’t like to talk about it. That is indeed a disturbing universe.”

               Volug picked up the shining stone. “So what do we do now?”

               The stone, the lump of metal, Lehran’s Medallion, the sword, the flag and the shield suddenly floated into the air. “Absolutely nothing,” Kaga said. “With these items, I can finally free myself!” There was a flash of light and suddenly a man in a business suit appeared in front of them. In his left hand was the shield, in his right was the sword. Tied to his back was the flag, and floating around him were the other three Fire Emblems.

               “Oh,” said Tauroneo. “I thought you said you were a dragon.”

               “He is a dragon,” Volug said. “He’s just in human form. I guess manaketes and laguz are the same things.”

               “Quiet!” Kaga said, his voice suddenly fierce. He then gave a deep laugh. “You fools. You had no idea.” He pointed forward with the sword. “I, Kaga, have betrayed you!”

               “Egads!” Tauroneo said. “What a twist!”

               “So all that guff about a system dragon was a lie?” Volug said.

               “No. My enemy, Intellect the System Dragon, does exist, but they have no interest in destroying the world. In fact, they wish to preserve it. I am the one who wishes to destroy the multiverse and start anew.”

               “Why!?” Volug said. “Why do you wish to destroy our multiverse?”

               “Why?” Kaga laughed. “Look around you. This world is corrupt. Everywhere you turn you see poor writing and contrived plots. It must be annihilated. My new land will be different. It will be interesting and deep. Everyone will be special and there will be no fanservice.”

               “I’m at a bit of a loss,” Tauroneo said. “You want to destroy the world because of bad literature?”

               “And also because one of my friends died in a tragic car accident after he was betrayed by my countrymen.”

               “You turned evil because someone you loved died,” Volug said. “And I thought you hated clichés.”

               “What’s a car?” Tauroneo wondered.

               “Prince Lyon! What happened?” came a voice from a nearby stairwell. Someone dressed similarly to the person Tauroneo landed on entered the room. “Prince…?” Kaga glared at him and hissed, turning the unfortunate mage to dust.

               “Oh wow, he just got plain unlucky wandering in here at this time,” Tauroneo muttered.

               “Forget about that, now’s our chance!” Volug yelled. “Attack!” Volug transformed into a wolf and lept at Kaga’s sword arm. Tauroneo looked around for a weapon and spotted the corpse Volug had alluded to before.

               Kaga threw Volug off him. “Wretched beast. You stand no chance against me.” Tauroneo threw the spear he’d looted. It pierced Kaga right in the torso. “Gah! What the hell?”

               “The Fire Emblems!” Volug said. “We need to take them away from him.” He lept forward and grabbed at one of the Fire Emblems floating around him. It was the rather useless lump of metal.

               While Volug was close, Kaga swiped at him with the sword, injuring the laguz. Why he didn’t just turn Volug to dust like the random mage is anyone’s guess. Tauroneo ran at Kaga from behind and yanked at the flag tied to his back, tearing it away and putting his enemy off balance. Kaga landed on the spear still protruding from his body. “Shit, shit, shit.” He scrambled to his feet.

               “What do we do with a piece of cloth and a lump of metal,” Tauroneo asked Volug, but before his friend could answer, Kaga was rushing towards Tauroneo. Without thinking, he threw the cloth over Kaga’s head and grabbed one of the two Fire Emblem’s still floating around him. It was the shining stone. It felt a little better to hold, but he had no idea how to use it and kind of wished he had the surprisingly effective flag back. “You going to help me, Volug?”

               “He’s cut me right open,” Volug said with moderate to severe discomfort. “You’re on your own, bro.”

               Kaga threw off the flag and glared at Tauroneo. He raised his shield hand and summoned a lightning ball in his palm. “Insolent cur.”

               Once again, without thinking, Tauroneo reacted and held up the stone, which somehow deflected the lightning bolt back at Kaga, although the force of the blast still send him flying backwards too. He lay on the ground, stunned and hoping Kaga was worse off than him.

               “You two were meant to be imbeciles,” came Kaga’s voice from the other side of the room. “An unlikely pair of characters off on a wacky adventure with no chance of taking on a real threat.” Kaga got to his feet, his eyes burning red with anger and maybe a bit of pure evilness or possible a natural lack of melanin. “In the end, you prove to be that, and a major annoyance. I think I’ll just destroy this entire world now, with you two inside it.”

               Tauroneo thought of all the people they had met in their brief travels. All the people he had accidentally stranded or helped kill. It wasn’t the most inspiring montage of memories as far as they go, but Gawain was in it, which Tauroneo liked. Maybe that alone was enough for him to find the strength to get back to his feet. “Not yet, Kaga. Not yet.”

               “Forget it Tauroneo. I’m a super powerful dragon spirit that created this entire multiverse in the first place. You can’t-oof.”

               With as much strength as he could muster, Volug threw the lump-of-metal Fire Emblem at Kaga, nailing him square in the forehead. “Now’s your chance, Tauroneo!”

               Taurnoeo ran forward, grasped the spear head still protruding from Kaga’s body and pulled it free, sending Kaga spinning on the spot. Tauroneo reached out and grabbed the last Fire Emblem still orbiting around his enemy. He only had a moment to realize it was Lehran’s Medallion before the chaos overwhelmed him, giving him renewed strength at the cost of all rationality. He swung the spear more like a bat than a polearm, battering Kaga furiously and repeatedly. The super powerful dragon spirit that created this entire multiverse in the first place was unable to do anything but hold up the shield in weak defence against Tauroneo’s wild onslaught. All the while the only thing Tauroneo could say, for reasons incomprehensible even to him, was “lance beats sword! Lance beats sword!”

               The shield came lose in Kaga’s arm, he used this advantage to swing it off him and smack Tauroneo in the face, knocking Lehran’s medallion out of his hand in the process. Tauroneo found himself regaining his senses along with a very hurt jaw. Kaga stood over him, the last Fire Emblem remaining in his possession being the sword. “I must say, you’ve fought well, Tauroneo,” Kaga said. “Surprisingly well. But it ends now.” He swung down with the sword. Tauroneo found a final kernel of energy and grabbed Kaga’s wrists. The ridges on the sword began to rotate along the blade, causing a sort of death saw like effect.

               “Oh, so that’s what those are for,” he dimly commented, being too tired to even be terrified.

               Kaga smiled manically as the blade inched closer to Tauroneo’s face. Suddenly he let out a yelp as Volug bit him on the leg. His grip slackened and Tauroneo twisted his wrists, forcing him to drop the sword. “No!” he cried. He stood up and stepped back, clutching at his body. “My Fire Emblems! My Fire Emblems! Give them back to me! They belong to me!” In a flash of light, he disappeared.

               “Is it…is it over?” Tauroneo asked weakly.

               “I think without any of the Fire Emblems…he returned back to the state we found him in.”

               “So with each Fire Emblem we took from him, he grew weaker. That actually explains how we managed to beat him despite the overwhelming odds.”

               “Yes, but it means he’s out there, still with the ability to talk to people and transport them to different worlds.” Volug picked up the sword. “We need to destroy the Fire Emblems. To ensure he’s never released again.”

               “Does that mean we’re trapped here, in this world, in this country.”

               Volug shrugged. “I guess so. According to the conveniently placed text on that alter over there, this place is called Grado.”

               “I guess Grado is our new home now.”

               “Sure is,” Volug said. “What’s the worst that can happen?” He swung down the sword and cut the shining stone in two. Coincidentally, at the same time, there was a light tremor in the earth below.

 

EEEEEEEYYYYYYYYY references to SFS stuff is always fabulous! That was actually pretty solid, this might be a toss-up between you and Anonymous for me here.

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12 hours ago, Jotari said:

Thanks to AnonymousSpeed for some edit checking. 

Insert generic thumbs-up GIF of your choice.

 

On 9/22/2018 at 1:17 AM, SoulWeaver said:

My dude.

MY DUDE.

MUCH ENJOYMENT WAS HAD.

On 9/22/2018 at 1:31 AM, SoulWeaver said:

No. No we don't. I don't think it's possible to beat that majestic piece of pure literature we were treated to yesterday.

I'm glad to see such positive reception- I quite look forward to seeing everyone's more in depth thoughts, though it's a shame Shoblongoo's "I am my own Grandma" idea didn't get used. Are you submitting something? I wouldn't normally ask but three entries is a bit small.

 

1 hour ago, Dragoncat said:

I might have to drop out of this round :( I've had writer's block, been busy, come down with a cold, etc...

Quite unfortunate that you couldn't find time to write something- it's such a small pool, but it's better that you get better instead.

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5 hours ago, Dragoncat said:

I might have to drop out of this round :( I've had writer's block, been busy, come down with a cold, etc...

Aww that's not good.  I hope you feel better soon!  Also make sure to drink plenty of water and rest.  I find that helps with colds.

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Been on extended hiatus from the site--back.

Sorry @TheSilentChloey -- I see I have an unread message from you for a proofreading request. Missed it. 

Haven't read anything yet. I'll check em out later.  Hope you guys had fun with the theme.

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7 hours ago, Shoblongoo said:

Haven't read anything yet. I'll check em out later.  Hope you guys had fun with the theme.

Much fun was had. It cost a couple of late nights/mornings but it was worth it.

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23 hours ago, AnonymousSpeed said:

I'm glad to see such positive reception- I quite look forward to seeing everyone's more in depth thoughts, though it's a shame Shoblongoo's "I am my own Grandma" idea didn't get used. Are you submitting something? I wouldn't normally ask but three entries is a bit small.

Right now I'm busy trying to get caught up with my own writing and a semi-collab thing I'm doing with Chloey, who's a lot more diligent about this writing thing than I am. I would've tried to come up with something, but I'm already procrastinating way too much with what I've already committed to, so not this time around. I'll see where I'm at next time.

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1 hour ago, SoulWeaver said:

Right now I'm busy trying to get caught up with my own writing and a semi-collab thing I'm doing with Chloey, who's a lot more diligent about this writing thing than I am. I would've tried to come up with something, but I'm already procrastinating way too much with what I've already committed to, so not this time around. I'll see where I'm at next time.

Yeah I should know lol.  :XD: Good thing I don't mind waiting lol!

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1 hour ago, TheSilentChloey said:

So we need to vote...hmm...three entries...not an easy choice...

There's four entries.

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26 minutes ago, TheSilentChloey said:

Who else entered?  I haven't seen theirs.

 

Maybe you weren't counting @eclipse's (which could be warranted as it was posted more as a sequel to the previous story, but I think given the simulated worlds it could fit comfortably enough into the theme).

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42 minutes ago, Jotari said:

 

Maybe you weren't counting @eclipse's (which could be warranted as it was posted more as a sequel to the previous story, but I think given the simulated worlds it could fit comfortably enough into the theme).

Likely that then.

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1 minute ago, eclipse said:

. . .uh, what was the theme, exactly?

Quote

Fire Emblem Fandom based comedy about the unintended consequences of messing with time travel, or outrealm gates that grant access to alternate-timeline versions of the present.

 

It can be a light comedy or a dark comedy--writer's choice--but there has to be some element of humor to it.

Though on those grounds eclipse's wouldn't count @Jotari because it's not Fire Emblem based.

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. . .yeah, mine doesn't count.  I'd have to write a bunch of characters in.  Thanks, though!

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On 25/09/2018 at 11:39 PM, AnonymousSpeed said:

In case no one else gives notice, the competition deadline has now passed.

Sorry, I didn't see that. Been busy and all.

I'll open a poll shortly.

It's done.

Edited by Rapier

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12 hours ago, Rapier said:

It's done.

Weren't votes supposed to be hidden? Not just who voted for what, but how many each entry got.

Since I only have two stories to comment on, I'll cover them both in one big pseudo-comparative analysis.

While Chloey's story is the weakest in terms of comedy, and as she herself admits, I think it does the best job of presenting the "unintended consequences" aspect of the prompt.

Jotari's story kind of touches on this, but the various realms visited are mostly separate levels holding various McGuffins; Tauroneo possibly screwing his past self over comes close but nothing really comes with it. The same could be said of my story- the realms are really just different locales to be visited and don't induce any existential crises and fail to alter the character's original world.

Meanwhile, Chloey's story comes closer to the idea that Lucina's world has been irrevocably mutated because of these dimensional shenanigans. I feel that its main failing is in that same area though- making the differences result from the tactician rather than Lucina's interference severely weakens what could have been the best execution of this idea. I'm not entirely sure my opinion here is final, though- there is an argument to be made for trapping yourself in an unrecognizable reality making for one hell of an unintended consequence.

I had my vote here because I forgot I thought I wasn't supposed to share it so now it's not here.

 

Now, for some of my favorite lines/bits and comments on specific moments:

Spoiler

Chloey:

The idea of Lucina having a different mother than in her own reality is actually really dark and really interesting, especially if (as the story implies but could do more to imply) she kind of has to hide that fact.

I also feel that romantic bits at the end are a bit rushed- maybe it should have been sprinkled more throughout or the story should have ended around B support, but I get what you were going for, it's a nice moment held back by being undercooked.

Jotari:

Using "Kaga" as a sort of deific being calling back to Naga is a masterful idea.

On 9/23/2018 at 8:24 AM, Jotari said:

  “I’m at a bit of a loss,” Tauroneo said. “You want to destroy the world because of bad literature?”

This is a fantastic line.

When I was proofreading the story, that last line wasn't there. I feel the ending is actually more effective and engaging when it isn't.

 

Edited by AnonymousSpeed

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