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Topics - OhGodHelpMe

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Howdy all.

I kind of hate asking, especially as I have nothing to offer in return, but I was wondering if there were any artist here that wanted to draw up some concept art for some of my characters from Death by Ex-Girlfriend and Senkumo War Stories. I'm especially lacking in the SWS department. Most of these characters are female and some have supernatural characteristics.

You can just pick any character that interests you and go to town with it! This went really well when people were doing art for the DbEG cast  :clapping:

Characters With No Concept Art

Taeko Senkumo
Hair: Long and black, typically wears it down

Eyes: Green. There's also a point in the story where she loses an eye in the battle against Shogun Yoshihisa. After that, she wore a white bandage around her head and covered her missing left eye.

Skin: It's Japan we're talking about here. All the characters have light skin and I don't care too much about specific tones.

Clothes: Usually wore the traditional black kimono of the Senkumo clan. It was tied with a white obi and bore the Senkumo crest on the back. The crest is three red clouds assembled in a triangular fashion. Interpret that how you will.

Other physical features: Laceration scars on her back, received from Bishamon as punishment for disobeying her lord's orders.

Personality: Before she lost her friend Ebina, she was a playful, flirtatious girl. She was always light hearted but very smart and able to analyze situations with a clear head. After Ebina dies, Taeko takes over Ebina's duties as she continues managing her own. She becomes bitter and much more cruel in her methods. She's generally an angrier, vengeful, 'the ends justify the means' kind of person. Do whichever you want.

The Man in Black/Orphan of the Katsura River

Hair: Shoulder length, unevenly cut black hair, but this is usually hidden beneath a tattered, wide-rimmed, black hat

Eyes: Red

Skin: White and pallid, like that of a corpse. He was brought back to life by Kagutsuchi (The Phantom Maiden) and Shogun Yoshihisa (The Phantom Soldier), two fiery ghosts that had been stalking Tsukiakari. His body had been dumped in the Katsura river after Tsukiakari's clan massacred his village, so he was quite literally a corpse.

Clothes: Tattered, black robes, the sleeves rolled back a bit to reveal his arms. Sandals.

Other physical features: Besides the pallor of his skin, his body is also riddled with slight deformities from the wounds and decomposition. Not sure if this is something you can really capture, but one of his arms is bloated, while the hand on the other is nearly skeletal. Face is malformed by burn scars.

Personality: Vengeful, but calm and calculating. Phantoms of the past are a big theme in Senkumo War Stories, and he represents a piece of that theme. He obscures his face with his hat and most of his body with his robes. He remains hidden, appearing and disappearing from shadows, the two fiery phantoms always at his side.

Noriko/Phantom of the Well
Warning because this one is gross and I doubt anyone could draw all of this anyway.

Noriko was one of the people killed in the village massacre that resulted in the Man in Black's death and revival. When Tsukiakari's men stormed the village, they beat her with a hammer, raped her, and threw her down a well to die. She was about 7 months pregnant as this happened. She's rescued by Tsukiakari, but she dies in premature childbirth caused by her wounds. Tsukiakari later finds that her spirit settled in the well, where she experienced true, child-like fear of death and the dark.

Hair: Long and black, flowing down to her breasts

Eyes: Completely black.

Skin: White, just like the Man in Black's. Her phantom form is akin to a giantess, so she's really big.

Clothes: None, other than her bruises

Other physical features: Like I said, giantess. She has long, talon-like nails in her phantom form. Also, and this is the gross bit, an umbilical cord and deceased, giant baby are hanging out from her vaginal opening. The baby is also pale and has no eyes in its sockets. In the story, Phantom Noriko is desperately trying to climb her way out of the cavernous, dark depths of the well, out of her fear of the dark.  As she climbs, her deceased baby hangs from its umbilical cord, motionless.

Personality: Severe Nyctophobia.

The Phantom Maiden
The Phantom Maiden is the corpse of Taeko's friend, Ebina, possessed by the fire goddess Kagutsuchi. Kagutsuchi had her body destroyed and became an Onibi, a spiritual essence of fire. Seeking form and flesh, Kagutsuchi returns to war-stricken Japan and feeds off of the emotions of people around her, possessing the bodies (or attempting to) of those that died with hatred in their hearts.

Hair: Gray, ashen color.

Eyes: Luminescent red. Her face is completely masked by darkness

Skin: Pale, as she is a corpse revived by Kagu.

Clothes: White or floral yukata, torn and dirtied. The sleeves are too long for her and obscure her hands

Other physical characteristics: She levitates most of the time, and often appears and disappears without being seen. Her feet are black with soot.

Personality: Doesn't really express once since she's a phantom. She finds herself beckoned by the hatred of several characters, including Tsukiakari, Taeko, The Man in Black, and others. She's constantly, silently seeking stronger hatred in order to try and possess the host and gain the body she lost.

Characters that do have art, but their appearances change and require new art
Osamu Ashikaga

Here's the big one. Osamu Ashikaga is the main character of Death by Ex-Girlfriend. Senkumo War Stories is a separate series, in a sense, but the two are connected. They share worlds and a lot of characters. SWS is really more like a prequel to DbEG. Just in case you're wondering he we can go from nyctophobic phantoms with dead children to this.

Hair: He had long black hair that went pretty far down early on, but his appearance changes in the War Cloud arc. His hair is like a black version of Robert Plant's hair here

Eyes: Brown

Skin: White, in a normal, living human being kind of way lol

Clothes: He has no defined outfit. He changes clothes everyday. He does wear a blue button up, white jeans, and bullet belt in Inari Standoff though. He also typically wears a silver peace sign necklace, or sometimes a Male symbol necklace.

Other physical features: He's pretty average build, but a little muscular too

Personality: Can't stop helping people to save his life. He's a pretty upbeat guy, always smiling and trying to help out however he can. He's a good natured man with a badly wounded heart.

Speaking of Inari Standoff, there's no art of him with Inari! If you want to take a crack at that, here's a pic of Inari for ya. The two had a fateful encounter in an empty airport, where Osamu agreed to help her fight off her hunters. They have a deep bond. Initially distrusting of Osamu, Inari eventually opened up to him. Since the both of them were brokenhearted at the time, the two made a promise. "We either win together, or we die together." They found solace in knowing that they would very likely die together trying to fight off the exorcists.

Inari is eating a heart here because devouring blood and flesh heals her and makes her more powerful. She has fallen very low since her appearance in SWS, where she was a gentle goddess of foxes, beloved by her peers and people. She's now a flesh-eating fox "demon", loved only by Osamu.

It's a very melancholic bond and the story is filled with tears and blood, as you can imagine.

I have to go, but I'll add more characters later. Do let me know if you're interested in any of these!  :thumbsup: Thanks in advance.

Manga Writers wanted / Beta Readers Wanted
« on: December 10, 2018, 06:27:05 PM »
Howdy folks, I'm in need of one or maybe more beta readers for Senkumo War Stories: Book of Betrayal. It currently stands at 11 chapters, 37,116 words, so it would take some time to read through. Perfectly fine with me, as I'm in no hurry to edit or release it. I just want the fresh pair of eyes going over it as I handle other tasks. SWS is a prequel series to my story Death by Ex-Girlfriend and features a few characters from there.

It takes place during the Warring States period of Japan and chronicles Tsukiakari's experiences during the war with the Senkumo clan and their bitter struggle to create an ideal society for themselves beneath the ruins of the broken, feudal state. Tsukiakari spoke briefly of her time during the war in DbEG, but this is a more detailed telling of everything that happened. It's kind of a dark read, given the historical era.

Please let me know if you're interested! When I do eventually get it released, I'll be sure you have a chance to get the book for free.  :clapping:

break Room / End of Avengelion: Infinity War
« on: August 31, 2018, 05:06:51 PM »
So...who else had the same thought when they saw this? :clapping:


break Room / If You Could Talk to the Deceased...
« on: January 04, 2018, 06:54:39 PM »
Howdy folks, I’m gathering some more insight and inspiration for the Book of Phantoms. I have kind of a sensitive question to ask you if you have deceased loved ones. If, one day, you saw your deceased loved ones, what would you say to them? What do you hope they would say to you? And if you see them, would you believe that it was actually them, or would you think they’re merely a fragment of your own heart trying to soothe you? That’s a lot more than one question, but I’m interested in hearing what you have to say. Hell, if it’s any help, I’ll gladly go first.

The first one that comes to mind is my middle school friend Ashton. Ashton always got terrible grades. He just wasn’t very book smart. However. What he lacked in academic smarts, he had in knowledge gained through his own life experiences. We didn’t start off too well, as the first few weeks of us knowing each other was mostly comprised of him softly bullying me, since he was tougher and taller than most of the other students. But that ended up being how we bonded, and a sort of respect was born between us. He always dragged me and the older girls along to go play basketball or soccer, and we always played to win with all the girls in attendance, cheerleading for us in the background. Whenever I tried sitting by myself in the cafeteria, he’d crash my parade of solitude along with the girls, who had become our close friends at that point. And if I wasn’t eating anything, he’d gladly offer me money to buy lunch. He wouldn’t even ask you to pay him back.

A few years after middle school, Ashton was murdered when he was 17. He was shot multiple times and died of his wounds in the hospital. During that time, we had grown estranged and our friendship deteriorated. Really, my connection with most people in my life had strained, and I often let that happen willingly. Should I ever be able to see him again, the only thing I’d wish he’d say to me is that he isn’t mad at me, because I sure as hell am not mad at him after all this time. Perhaps we just forgot that even children and teens can die in the most vile of ways, suddenly and without warning. Your life isn’t protected just because you’re young.

Another is more recent, with a Guitar student who practiced and performed at one of my old jobs. Always energetic and lively, always eager to make music and play with the other kids. Tragically, he and his family were killed in a plane crash while they were going on vacation. 13 years old.

With him, no words are really necessary. All I’d want to do is jam one more time, come up with a cool riff, or maybe a nice chord progression. Maybe he could learn how to use 7th chords as well as open chords so he could expand his musical vocabulary.

I’m not the type to believe in spirits, so I’m sure I’d come to the realization that these visions of the dead are just whatever mournful emotions that still ache somewhere trying to resolve themselves. But I like to think that these phantoms of mine would be accurately concocted enough that I could think that our exchange is how it would really go, if I could talk to the deceased.


break Room / Just Putting it Out There...
« on: October 17, 2017, 03:54:30 PM »
I had Sincerely Your Dearest Phantom removed because, well, for as much praise as it got, I didn't like it. Like, at all. But I realize that I kind of burned down the parade on that one with its swift removal. There's no way in hell I'll ever get back to writing that story, but I can at least tell you THE SHOCKING TWEEST

Yes, the world Shiya and whatever the other girl's name was a digitized simulation, one made of the collective conscious of thousands of other people. In the real world humanity had nearly come to an end and the Earth was torn asunder as the sun began to die and morph into a red giant. Humanity was only able to build a few Celestial Arks (Basically giant space-travelling ships) to save roughly 1 million people while the other billions were all killed.

Shiya and Whatsherface were able to get on because Whatsherface's father was one of the people working on Japan's Celestial Ark. He was also the one who invented the digitized space that everyone on the ship would live until their arrival to a hospitable planet, as well as the AI guardian of that space, Daedalus. Shiya was gravely injured as she first got on the ship, but was treated with prompt medical care before having her consciousness uploaded to the alternate world. Whatsherface had an organ complication and would certainly die in short time while in the alternate world. All 50,000 or so people on the ship were sent there, as it was meant to be a form of morale control and body preservation.

However, Shiya's body continued to suffer from complications during her extended time in her Chamber of Respite (the terminal by which people's minds are uploaded to the digitized world). There was one occurrence where Shiya collapsed in the digitized world because her comatose body was going into shock in the Chamber of Respite. This was when Yonaka collapsed in the classroom as Shiya (I just remembered her name lol) was cradling her. On that day, Yonaka's Angel was born and initiated the scene with the solar eclipse and mass rapture of souls into the dark orange sky.

Got all that? Notice the error in detail there? Okay.

Here's the truth.

In that scene, the one known as Shiya was cradling an unconscious Yonaka as the angel went on its rampage. Yonaka revisits this memory from Daedalus as she realizes something isn't right with it. Without telling her, Daedalus has it so Yonaka revisits the memory as she experienced it when it happen, so she's essentially reliving it. Yonaka could see what appeared to be Shiya cradling her, with her vision greatly blurred and POV taking place from the side (She thinks its an outer body experience like the first visit of this memory). Some surviving students came into the classroom to offer help, laying Yonaka on a row of desks until she woke up again. One of the students then says "But...what about her?" They all turn around and look directly at Yonaka. No, not the one on the table. The Yonaka witnessing all of this, having no idea that she's experiencing it exactly as it happened, and not as a mere spectator. Do you recall the angel that was detected by Daedalus in the classroom? Yonaka is experiencing all of what happened from her body.  :ninja: The one we've known as Shiya all this time was not the cute blonde either. Shiya was originally in Yonaka's body, and the angel they would both later despise was actually the blonde cradling who you knew up to that point to be Yonaka, but was actually Shiya at the time.

Right, so we have a 3-way identity swap here. Here's what happened. The story began after this swap occurred. Let me put this bluntly. As you Know them = How they were

Yonaka = Shiya

Shiya = Angel (forgot her name too)

Angel =Yonaka

The angel that served as the antagonist was Shiya's actual best friend and step sister in the real world. They boarded the Celestial Ark together and entered the simulated world together. Yonaka was a friend of theirs and a sort of role model to Shiya (who was the real source of the angel). Following that classroom incident, the Angel, turned the series of misfortune and loss of life in her favor. The less minds Daedalus has to tend to, the easier it is to simulate the world and tend to the person's body. Since Angel's father (the one you thought was Yonaka's father) was the keyholder of Daedalus, control over him and the world went over to her after the father himself died and released an angel.  Daedalus, under her command, diverted all of the ship's power to keeping Shiya stable, but it was clear she wouldn't last long.

And so she devised her master plan. A reckless, insensitive, and cruel plan.

Angel needed to save Shiya, and that would only be possible if she could receive a new body. She devised a plan where a mental switch would occur in the digitized world, where Shiya's consciousness could be tampered with, swapped out, and placed in her body. This was to fool the angel that was still loose in the world, throwing the heat off of Shiya herself in case it tried to destroy her. While this would happen, Daedalus would tend to her organs in the real world. This is the "Transfer" that is referred to in the story. However, Tenshi (Just remembered Angel's name too!) didn't quite want to die in all of this. So she switched her own consciousness with Yonaka's before doing any of this, without consent as Yonaka was still unconscious. Tenshi tampered with both of their memories, not just their bodies.

Yonaka = Received Tenshi's memories as her own and Shiya's original body, thinks she has been Shiya's best friend this whole time and inherited Tenshi's intense will to save her at all costs, bearing the brunt of the Transfer's consequence in Tenshi's place and becoming the decoy for the angel originally released by Shiya.

Shiya = Inherited Tenshi's original body and retained some of her own memories, but does not remember anything beyond her first day in Daedalus's world, helplessly thinks its the real world.

Tenshi = Stole Yonaka's original body, maintaining her memories.

The world is recreated with the populace that was killed during the disaster simulated by Daedalus instead of, you know, actually being alive. Daedalus is tasked by Tenshi to act as Yonaka's guardian for the sake of the plan to save Shiya, knowing full well the two would have to fight against each other. Daedalus, being the loyal AI he was, successfully fulfilled this role and followed Yonaka. While the first transfer between all three gave Shiya a new body, the second transfer between Yonaka and Shiya ensured that Shiya's original organs would be transferred to the new body in the real world. Otherwise, Shiya would've died from Tenshi's original, faulty organs.

From then on, Tenshi continued to play her role as a villain, provoking Shiya's sense of self throughout the story, fighting against Daedalus and his system, and outwitting Yonaka. In the final cour, Tenshi was to reveal all of this to Yonaka as well as a few other things.

1. Tenshi reveals that Angels are the manifestation of the subconscious will of self-preservation, in a world designed to do that for you. Thus, the angels are naturally destructive in this world, seeking to break free and set others free through rapture so they can freely fight to preserve themselves. Daedalus was supposed to mitigate this, but couldn't keep it under control when Shiya panicked as she neared death in the classroom. Her subconscious fought viciously to break free and maintain itself.

2. Tenshi gained her angel powers by devouring the heart of her father's angel, the one crucified in the church. She and Daedalus managed to grab hold of the angel's corpse after the father died in the first disaster. She decided to absorb the heart after Daedalus discovered it is the nucleus of the instincts that drive the angel. With his help, she was able to balance her own sense of self and the angel's inherent will to break free from the false world.

3. Tenshi reveals that she has played her role as a villain because the "voyage" as she vaguely refers to it, is nearly at an end. At this point, she is confident she has already won, and that Shiya will be perfectly fine now.

In the final chapters, Yonaka is completely destroyed. Everything she knew about herself was a complete fabrication. She remains at home, silent, naked, and too numb to even think of suicide. Tenshi confronts her again, apologizing for what she had done to her and thanking her for playing her role. Also at this point, Daedalus is gone and has not reappeared for some time, despite Yonaka's rather emotional pleas for his company.

With the world unguarded, Tenshi releases Yonaka's angel (though, it's really Shiya's angel), from the moon and initiates the end of the world. The moon approaches the earth just as it did the first time, but then splits open like a dissected eyeball, covering the world in blood. The souls of those that were raptured out come down as angels and begin rapturing the humans still left in the digitized world (yes, there were still thousands of them way outside the town Shiya and everyone was confined in).

Yonaka and Shiya watch all of this from the roof of a skyscraper and Daedalus finally reappears, explaining the role he took in all of this. He also leaves Yonaka with her final responsibility by explaining what Tenshi meant when she referenced the voyage. The Celestial Ark, low on power but still chugging it to its destination, was nearing arrival of a hospitable planet. Soon, there'd be no need for the alternate world. It was up to Yonaka to accept what had been done to her and give Shiya the push of bravery to step out from this eggshell world and awaken in the real world.

A lot of action, blood, and trippy visuals later, we reach the prologue scene where Yonaka and Shiya lie together on the beach, truly and completely alone in the world. Shiya, knowing the truth of everything now, has to make a choice. Stay with Yonaka, who has reached the end of the transfer and will die soon, and wander the desolate fake world alone. Or, wake up, leave Yonaka behind, the fake world behind, and live her new life on a new planet. It's here that Shiya understands the "I am you" dynamic presented in the prologue. Yonaka is trying to say that, through Tenshi's cruel actions, she inherited what was originally Shiya's body.

Tenshi appears in front of them, taking Shiya in her arms and carrying her off in the Fetal Moon. Daedalus sits with Yonaka on the bloody beach, the world locked in eternal, scarlet night. Its implied they remain there together until Yonaka dies.

Shiya and Tenshi wake up in the real world, the transfer successful. Tenshi had stolen Yonaka's body and gave her own to Shiya. They awaken next to each other, slightly malnourished with their hair and nails grown out wildly. A holographic letter sits in wait for Shiya as the Celestial Ark's door opens and lets in the light of the new world. The letter is the one Yonaka mentioned in the prologue, written during her final hours in the fake world. Whether or not Shiya or Tenshi are alone in the new world is left up to interpretation.

So there you have it. Yonaka was the subject of the transfer and was cruelly designated to act as the decoy for Shiya's angel, and as the last person who would remain on and die in the digitized world. The ship is also mostly a necropolis after it lands. All of its inhabitants except for Shiya and Tenshi were killed off (So that Daedalus could stay with Yonaka a little longer until she dies).

What a convoluted mess. I really just took the "identity swap" TWEEST from 6 Cataclysms: Guilty Rat and intensified it. I'm a hack lol

General Manga writer discussions / Tugging At Your Heartstrings
« on: September 19, 2017, 01:29:58 AM »
When you're reading a story, whether it be on here or elsewhere, what is it, when a story is trying to convey sadness, that really tugs at your heartstrings? Is it the mere subject matter, something like a dying loved one? Is it overt sadness and drama that gets you, or a slow, painful march into the ultimate sorrow ahead? When a story is trying to make you feel this way, what specifically about the story or characters actually makes you feel saddened?

Trying to master the art of crushing sadness in my writing, so any input would be greatly valued  8)

I'm seeking a talented artist to draw covers and characters for the Death by Ex-Girlfriend novels, which I'll be releasing online and selling very soon. The story as a whole consists of 10 arcs, which will most likely be divided into 12 individual books. The story as a whole is already written and completed, with two of the mentioned books edited and ready to be published. It's just that I would like some quality art to make the cover pop, to draw attention, of course. It would be most ideal to have the same artist for the entirety of the series, so your willingness to stick around for the long haul is most valuable.

Death by Ex-Girlfriend's arcs are partitioned into books as so:

Aika Crsis
War Cloud Part 1 & 2
Dawn and Dusk
Satori no Akuma Part 1 & 2
Himushi Redemption
Letting Go
Inari Standoff
The Corpse's Romance
The End of Osamu Ashikaga Part 1 & 2
Senkumo War Stories Part 1, 2, & 3

Arcs divided into separate parts like War Cloud and Senkumo War stories will have separate covers for those parts. So, having put that into perspective, asking you to draw covers for Aika Crisis and War Cloud would be asking for three covers.

There has already been art completed for much of the main cast, so you'll have good references to start from. I'm in no particular rush or time table of any sort, so you'll have the luxury to take your time. Not sure if anyone here is all that interested, but if you have the skill and interest, please do message me. We can work out how to split everything, how long we'll be working together, payment method, all that good stuff.

Thank you.

General Manga writer discussions / If You Could Build a Bioweapon
« on: May 17, 2017, 04:38:20 PM »
Greetings, Mankoraiders. I have an interesting question to ask you all for the sake of a story I'm working on.

I'm doing a bit of planning(wow, OGHM plans things?) for the next few chapters of 6 Cataclysms: Operation Guilty Rat, and I'm trying to dive into a topic I've always wanted to write about: Ethnic Bioweapons, or just Bioweapons in general. Chemical weapons are already a thing in the 6 Cataclysms universe, but I wanted to get really creative about Bioweapons. See, it would be easy to just do something like anthrax letters or shipping rice blast crops in the disguise of foreign aid, but as I said, I wanted to get creative.

So, I'm asking you to put yourself in a hypothetical position. If you were an evil mastermind that wanted to destroy a specific race or ethnicity of people at an extraordinarily fast rate, what would be your dream bioweapon? It can be as ridiculous as, say, toilets that eject pneumonic plague when flushed, similar to how they eject fecal matter upon flushing (this is why you put down the toilet seat, kids). Or fireworks loaded with some sort of powder light enough to be carried by the wind that only kills X race of people, or perhaps it infects specific crops or plants the population is dependent on.

You don't have to know the science behind it, and you can use anything, be it a munition, common object, or living organism as the vector. (There's no electronic technology like phones and computers in this universe, but even if your idea revolves around that, let me see it)

I've only come up with two so far.

Medicine-based Ethnic Bioweapon
Common vaccines suffused with inactive bacteria that is injected into the patient's bloodstream as they receive their medicinal shot. The bacteria becomes active upon contact with specific DNA sequences, thus being used to target certain races of people possessing those sequences.

But that's kind of lame huh? How about this one?

Currency-Based Bioweapon
If introduced, would probably be the result of the failure to make a true ethnic bioweapon. Banknotes and paper currencies are common between the Great Nations (Vevoskovia, Syvia, Sankadesh, Asaji). Smaller countries like Skalda used paper currencies out of a necessity to save their common metals for other uses. However, lack of resources prompted Skalda to recycle banknotes and denominated bills, then recirculate them after they were pressed and cleaned

Of course, Skalda took the necessary steps to ensure the bills were safe for everyday use until they could find a more supplemental source of paper. If I were the evil genius here though, I'd take advantage of the fact those bills are recycled. You wouldn't think a bioweapon can be applied to a paper currency, but recycled paper does contain binding agents such as starches and fillers that bacteria can feed and grow off of. The idea would be that, in lieu of making a more direct ethnic bioweapon, using a nation's currency as the vector for the weapon is just as good.

Whatever bacteria used would most likely be applied to smaller denominations of bills since they're used more often in common transactions. Man gives paper bill to children as allowance, children give it to their friends to borrow, those friends give it to a bakery cashier, money is then collected by hiring manager and paid out to employees at the end of their work week, those employees take that money on their day off and give it to the ticket salesman at a theater when they're on a date with their romantic others, etc etc. Money passes through a lot of people and it passes quickly. If one were to apply some sort of bioweapon to paper currency that facilitated the growth of the bacterial agent, I'd imagine it would be pretty damn devastating  :hmm:

The second one is probably the most thought out, but I'm still iffy on it. Give me all your wacky, crazy ideas for how you'd commit genocide  :clapping:

Develop Your Story / 6 Cataclysms: Nadiya Notes
« on: May 09, 2017, 06:51:15 PM »
Yet another developing tale from the 6 Cataclysms universe I built. Operation Guilty Rat. I know it tends to look like I know what I'm doing when I write, but I really don't. If anyone can read one of these chapters and give me some constructive criticism, I'd appreciate it. I don't expect anyone to know exactly what's going on or who everything is since this particular story takes place in the middle of the overall storyline, but just give me whatever you can.  :hmm:

Operation Guilty Rat

Set shorty after the death of Queen Kalina, King Tokahev takes the throne of Vevoskovia. Katya is now the commander of the Deshavi Black Ops, and joins her troops in a mission knows as Operation Guilty Rat, a mission to secure a researcher by the name of 'Nikolai', and extract him out of war-torn Sankadesh. The problem is that the Deshavi Black Ops are not the only ones who want Nikolai.

Nikolai was hired in secret by Queen Kalina prior to her death, to research the Forbidden Statue the Deshavi came in contact with during the events of Katyanaishka Chronicles. Somehow, details of what Nikolai was researching leaked to the other nations, forcing him to evade capture by fleeing to Sankadesh. Sankadesh Loyalist Guard and Syvian KGR are both on the hunt for him when it is discovered he is posted in one of the hospitals in Sankadesh. Without fail, Katya puts together the mission to secure Nikolai before the Sankadesh guard or Syvian KGR can capture him.

Much is at risk in this operation. Not even the Deshavi Black Ops know how the leak occurred, where it came from, or the extent of the leak itself. It seemed the other nations knew Nikolai possessed knowledge that could greatly aid weapons development, but did they know about what lurks inside of the Forbidden Statue? If it was Nikolai who leaked the information, Operation Guilty Rat will quickly become a mission to terminate him. If the leak came from elsewhere, Sankadesh and Syvia may not be the only other parties in search of Nikolai.

Lest the next world war be fought with cataclysmic demons, and the war after that fought with sticks and stones, Nikolai must be captured, and the mystery of the leak must be solved.

Guilty Rat
Coughing. Multiple people coughing, as if mildly sick with the flu. Chatter...references to medical conditions such as minor head trauma, with others being as serious as life-threatening infections of the pharynx, violent convulsions, and septic shock. Now she understood. Now she remembered.

She finally woke, brushing her blonde, voluminous hair to the side of her gorgeous, blue eye and remembering that she was in a packed hospital in the middle of Sankadesh. The floors were white, tiled, and polished to perfection, reflecting the flickering lights of the electric lanterns and oil-based lamps hung from the green walls as if they were still water. Though every bed was partitioned by white curtains, she could tell...the hospital was operating at maximum capacity.

Her vision was still blurred, to the point she couldn't even see her own hand in full detail with the aid of a candle on her night stand. Still, she could make out the obvious feeling, or lack of it, in her arms, which were both wrapped in white gauze up to her elbows. Small spots of dried blood stained the gauze from her hand all the way up to her elbow, and even more stained the gauze wrapped around her stomach.

So many people were groaning, writhing in pain from their injuries and afflictions as doctors and nurses tried to assure them they'd be okay. One of the suffering patients responded in vicious, loud anger, shooting down the doctors' reassurances as insultingly false hope. She could see none of it beyond her bed's partition.

She sat up in her bed as a voice echoed inside of her head, dressed in a thin and embarrassing hospital gown that failed to cover all of her butt and breasts. Who's 'she', you might ask? 

Voice: We got your signal. Commander Katya...'Monarch'...you've come to. 



Voice: We're ready to begin, Commander. We're starting the clock in three, two...one. All teams, Operation Guilty Rat is go.

Of course, the beautiful blonde with the ocean in her eye was none other than the newly appointed Commander Katya, unsung hero of her home country, Vevoskovia. Her usual eye patch was missing, replaced by more gauze wrapped around her temple, covering her missing eye. Her single eye traced the shoes of the doctors and nurses visible beneath the partition as she clasped her hands together, as if she were praying to God.

Katya: Understood, HQ. All teams, this is Monarch. Proceed with operation as planned. I'll try to establish contact with the target. Team two, are you already at the coroner wing?

As if the regular patients' quarters weren't clean enough, the coroner wing was twice as pristine, reflective, and clean. A team of 10 surgeons donning face masks and white coats marched through the halls of the other end of the hospital, each pair pushing a loaded gurney along with them. The bodies on the gurneys were wrapped in white sheets, concealing their deceased faces from the other hospital staff. Nurses ran past them up and down the hall, all of them in a hurry to complete some sort of dire task.

Upon reaching the autopsy room, two of the masked doctors held open the double doors, letting the other doctors pass by them with the bodies. Like Katya, one of them clasped their hands together and spoke softly.

Locke: This is Team two, we've entered the autopsy room with the bodies. We'll get to work immediately.

Telepathic communication, a power bestowed upon them by the Art of Venus, allowed everyone to communicate from afar, no matter the distance. 

HQ: Team two, you'll have 20 minutes at most to get those bodies prepped and dispersed inside of the crypts. Katya, that gives you 15 minutes to make contact with the target once the first phase starts.

Deshavi HQ was just as chaotic as the hospital. The communication team stationed there set up shop in the Lunar Cave of the base, a massive, round cave with an open view of the sky, exposing the whole room to moonlight, which was essential for the mission. As they always did, the Deshavi Black Ops utilized the moon as their own celestial eye, using it to spy and keep watch over the entire world. Luck for them, the moon and the stars were bright, beautiful, and full that night. 

Dozens of Deshavi agents ran around, in, and out of the room, bringing paper, charts, scolls, and other necessary items with them wherever they went. Chatter buzzed all around the base and echoed from within its cavernous halls. Twelve agents donned in black, short sleeve shirts and dark denim sat beneath the moonlight in the center of the room, all of them cross-legged and their hands clasped as if they were meditating as a group.

With their cooperation, a map of the area around the hospital, entirely made out of moonlight, reflected off of the floor like a glowing, neon sign. One more agent stood just outside of the ring, holding his open palms up to the moon above with his eyes closed. He was the one talking to the teams inside the hospital This operation was of clear importance.

Locke wiped the tiny beads of sweat off of his glistening, bald head and fixed his face mask as he and the other agent closed the doors.

Locke: Understood. We'll get it done as fast as we can. What's the situation outside?

HQ: A force of roughly 80 potential enemies are closing in on the hospital from the north and west. Identities not confirmed, but they're most probably Syvian KGR, Inodus Tachtussen branch.

Katya: If that's true, our intel was spot on. Somehow, the Syvians caught wind that Nikolai was paid a premium to research 'Material that could lead to a leap in weapons development'. 

Locke: Little do they know he was actually researching the Forbidden Statue. We're the only ones who know what's inside, including Nikolai.

HQ: Which is why it's imperative we catch him before he's taken by Syvians or Sankadesh revolutionaries. I want to remind everyone that although we want Nikolai brought back to Vevoskovia alive, you are authorized to terminate him should he be captured by the enemy or leak any of the information he gained during his research. The knowledge of the Forbidden Statue must not be allowed to reach anyone, be it the military or the public. Tokahev's orders.

Katya: Of course.

In five teams of two, the doctors unwrapped the fresh corpses and laid them on the metal operating tables, using electric lanterns as light. All of them turned their heads as a masked nurse opened the doors, pushing in a small cart covered with a sheet. With her flowery shirt and midnight blue hair, everyone knew it was Jaya.

Deshavi: You're late, Jaya. Did you bring them?

Jaya, panting through her mask like a tired dog, uncovered the cart, revealing the glorious contents within.

Jaya: Fresh canisters of ethylene and oxygen, comin' right up! How much time do we have?

Locke: Just under 20 minutes at best, probably less considering the KGR are already on their way. No time to waste, let's make our incisions.

Jaya: I'll pass these out to everyone then!

And so it began. With all the bodies laid out on the tables, the teams grabbed their scalpels, pressing them through the skin and flesh of the corpses and cutting down from the shoulders to the chests. From the chests, they all made one long cut down the stomach, a standard Y-incision. Weak streams of blood dripped from the cuts as Jaya passed out the containers of oxygen and ethylene as if she were passing out books to her students.

Deshavi: Sir, what exactly is this for? 

Locke: How much do you know about corpses?

Deshavi: Just what's written in the Deshavi Thanatology Manual up to Chapter Thirteen, sir.

Locke: Then you know that when people die, autolysis takes place immediately. It's like the body is digesting itself. With blood circulation and respiration put to a halt, the body, nor its cells, have any means of disposing of waste. Pull back that side of his skin for me.

Deshavi: Got it.

With their Y-incision complete, the skin and layers of fat beneath in the torso area of the corpse were pulled back, revealing the internal organs, intestines, and rib cage. Sudddenly, as the Deshavi agent's eyes traced back to the young face of the deceased man, he seemed less like a human and more like a doll, or a dissection frog. The elements of a human, their skin, their hair, their nails, even their very organs, all just seemed like playthings with no meaning or consequence.

Locke: Now, with all of that excess carbon dioxide just sitting in the body, things start to get a little..acidic. This causes?

Deshavi: Cellular membrane rupturing, sir?

Locke: Exactly. And when that happens-

Jaya so rudely, yet so helpfully chimed in as she set down the last containers to the side by Locke and the masked agent.

Jaya: When that happens, the cell's membranes release enzymes that causes the cell to eat itself from the inside out. Ethylene can burn in oxygen to produce carbon dioxide and water, hastening decomposition if it were to take place within a corpse! The enzymes help produce nutrient-rich fluids in the body, causing it to bloat and leak through the orifices! You know, if you let this occur on a patch of grass, the fluid is often so rich with nutrients that it kills the grass, but makes the soil more fertile for future patches!

Locke: Perhaps we're being a bit too...enthusiastic, Jaya. Vera's curse lives on...



HQ: Team two, how far along are you?

Locke: We're implanting the canisters now. We'll be ready to move the bodies to the crypts in three minutes. 

HQ: Understood. Katya, that's your cue to get ready.

Katya: Already on it.

Katya was already on the move, leaving the room filled with wounded and ill patients and their overloaded doctors and nurses behind. The halls offered no change in scenery. Most of the rooms were so full that many more patients had to be treated right in the middle of the hospital's halls. The sheer volume of chaos throughout the hospital startled Katya as she pressed on, making her steady, cautious march in search of Nikolai.

Katya: So much screaming...how many of these people are-

She was abruptly stopped by a patient who grabbed her wrist as she walked by. Most of his face was wrapped in bandages and soaked in blood. His long, black hair and scruffy beard poked out from beneath the gauze.


Doctor: Calm down, sir! You must compose yourself!

An elderly doctor aided by a group of young nurses all restrained the wailing patient, freeing Katya from his grip. His bloody hand print left a crimson stain around her arm bandages. Katya watched in awe as his gurney was hurriedly strolled away, disappearing into the sea of chaos to her rear as she prepared to march forth through even more of it.

Katya: We were right to try and pull him out. Nikolai is in danger here.



One room at a time, Katya quickly traced her eyes across the patients' faces in search of Nikolai. The same chaos in the previous room and the halls repeated themselves in a compact mess of screams and blood inside of the other rooms. The thunderous sound of a gurney rushing down the hall captured Katya's ears as she turned her head to see a team of nurses waving everyone out of the way. As they rolled by, yelling for space at the top of their lungs, Katya saw a little girl on the gurney, her pink pajamas soaked in blood as she loosely clung to her dirty teddy bear.

HQ: The loyalists started using rockets bought from Syvia a while ago, but lately, they've been using explosives packed with hydrogen chloride. No one in the international community wants to take responsibility for the loyalists using chemical weapons on civilians. It's a damn tragedy.

Katya: No...it's an atrocity.

Katya kept searching, coming up with negative results in every room she passed by. As she crossed the intersection in the hall, she heard a shuffle of footsteps behind her unlike all the others. They were much, much heavier and synchronized. Looking behind her, she spotted a small squad of Sankadesh soldiers rushing into one of the rooms. It seemed they were on the search as well.

Katya: All teams, this is Monarch, the Sankadesh guards are already searching for him as well. Team two, what's your progress?




Now in the crypts, Locke, Jaya, and the other agents loaded the unwrapped bodies onto the shelves. Dozens upon dozens of wrapped corpses, some in white sheets and others in see-through plastic, cluttered up the shelves and tables. Some were in good condition, others were already turning a blackish-green from the increase in sulfuric bodily compounds as a result from decomposition. Many of the corpses had their feet exposed so doctors could easily access the identification tags on their pale feet and toes.

Locke clasped his hands and replied as Jaya and the others loaded the corpses.

Locke: We're loading the bodies in the crypts now. We're ready to go on your mark, Monarch.

Katya: Once your done over there, get out of the crypts and take the central hall down to the Geriatric wing. The Sankadesh guard are searching the left hall on this wing.

Locke: Understood. We'll wrap up here quickly.




Katya: Where are you...

Katya picked up her walking pace, squeezing herself through crowds of doctors and severely wounded or sick patients. The crowd ahead of her all filled the hall with shrieks and yells as more Sankadesh guards ransacked the hospital rooms, forcing several patients and even nurses to either line up against the wall, or lay down on the floor with their hands on their heads. 

Katya: Damn it!

Katya immediately made a hard left, rudely and hurriedly squeezing past the gathering crowd of scared and clueless patients as the doctors and nurses tried desperately to ease their worries, shouting that everything was alright, that the Sankadesh guards were merely searching for some sort of criminal avoiding arrest. Despite their best efforts, frightened word of mouth circulated through those halls, building up their worry and panic. 

Pushing through the crowd in the opposite direction they were looking, Katya sought to get away from the more heavily cluttered areas of the hospital to get a better grasp of her surroundings. However, as she waded through the sea of wounded Sankadesh soldiers, most of them smelling of blood and explosive residue, yet another team of Sankadesh guards pushed through the crowd on the other end of the hall, heading straight towards Katya. She was alerted to their sudden intrusion by the sound of screaming and frantic yells ahead as the guards pushed patients out of the way.

Guard: To the side! Step to the sides, damn you! Move!

Katya followed the motions, stepping to the side of the hall and hiding her face as the soldiers passed by. Though she did not look at them for herself, the chatter among the crowd detailed the situation she was in.

Patient: Oh my god, are those the Heavies? No way they're just here to arrest one man!

Patient 2: Most of the people here fought against the Loyalist forces! They're probably here to exterminate us!

Nurse: Don't say that! It doesn't matter what side you were on! When you all came here, you became patients, not soldiers! It stays that way until you put your uniforms back on! We're just helping our people here!

Katya: Where is he?!

Katya proceeded down the hall for just a few steps, coming at another intersection where she intended to turn right. To her left, a loud crash echoed down the length of the hall, the sound of a trash bin being violently knocked over. 

Patient: No! Get away from me! You have the wrong guy!

It seemed to be another young man, perhaps another wounded soldier taken to the hospital. He seemed deathly afraid of the Sankadesh guards in pursuit behind him. 

Guard: Stop immediately! Stop, you fool!

The man ran up to Katya with tears in his eyes. She noticed now that one of his hands were missing, covered up with bandages that were slightly stained with blood. He placed his remaining hand on Katya's shoulder, screaming in her face for help.

Patient: Please! You have to help me! They're-

Katya hadn't even figured out how to respond or what to do when he suddenly shrieked and fell silent. His body was pushed forward by something, forcing him to hug Katya. She held him for a few seconds and saw the steel bolt shot into his back by one of the guards. Looking up again, she could see one of those guards withdraw their crossbow from their combat stance. His fellow guards pushed him against the wall as Katya let go of the patient. The dying man quickly exsanguinated from his hospital garments as the guards berated the shooter. The halls erupted into screams and cries as witnesses of the man's death circulated the words "He's dead! They killed him!" around the crowds.

Guard: Damn it! Why did you shoot?! 

Guard 2: We don't have time for this! He could be getting away! If anyone resists and they aren't the target, just shoot them! They're revolutionary scum anyway! If we don't hurry, the target will get away!

Katya's breathing grew more labored and heavy as the situation only intensified like flames being fed a sudden supply of gasoline. Another hand gripped her shoulder, forcefully pulling her back. It was another squad of guards, shoving her out of the way so they could partition that section of the hall.

Guard: Out of the way! Leave the hall immediately!

HQ: All teams, The KGR teams are 10 minutes away. 

Locke: Understood! Katya, we're starting now! Hurry and find Nikolai!

Katya: Easier said than done, but do it! 

Katya took one of the face masks laying on a hospital tray as she walked by, fixing it firmly over her mouth and nose. Having vacated the crypts, Jaya clasped her hands, utilizing the Art of Mars to ignite the canisters implanted inside of the corpses. The doors to the crypts were left wide open as team two put their face masks back on.

Locke: Those canisters are going to cause the corpses to bloat and rapidly decompose until their stomachs pop open. Jaya, we'll trust you with manipulating the resulting gas and flooding the hospital wings with it. Once you've done that, leave the area. The guards and doctors will surely converge here to seal the crypts.

Jaya graciously saluted.

Jaya: Gotcha! 

Deshavi: This stuff won't kill anyone, will it?

Locke: No, it should only make them sick to their stomachs to incapacitate them. Come on, let's help Katya search! Good luck, Jaya!

Jaya: Good luck to you too!

Mostly free from the overly congested halls, Katya was able to sprint in short bursts, checking every room and corner she passed by with only a few other patients in her way. 

Locke: Monarch, the gas is building now. 

Katya: Understood, I-

In the corner of her eye. Katya spotted a man walking into the bathroom, the light of the electric lanterns inside glaring against the metal "Male" sign on the door. Another guard dressed in a black rain cloak walked in after him, slowly and cautiously.

Katya: Hang on. I may have just found him.

Locke: Be careful, Monarch.

Katya crouched, sneaking by the door and slowly pushing it open just enough for her to see inside. The man she saw earlier was out of sight, but she could still see the Sankadesh guard. The guard seemed very, very cautious, taking slow, soundless steps as he opened each of the stalls, checking for the man he chased. The guard appeared to be armed with a wrist blade that protruded from under the sleeve of his cloak, glimmering like a star. Katya watched as he opened the second stall with no luck and proceeded to the third. 

Her eyes then turned to a pair of bare feet that quietly touched down on the floor of the fifth bathroom stall. She knew it in her gut that the patient was her target. 



The patient barged out of the stall, surprising the guard. His face was completely bandaged up, concealing his identity. Katya quickly entered, closing the door behind her as the guard swung his bladed arm. The patient crouched and tackled the guard against one of the urinals before he was kicked off, breaking through one of the stall doors. 

Katya sprinted in, grabbing the guard by his arm and using it to swing him into the bathroom mirror, shattering into into dozens of pieces. The patient stormed back in with a punch to the guard's cheek, drawing blood from his eyebrow. Clearly trained well in hand-to-hand combat, the guard did not let their attacks leave him open for too long.

He firmly planted his hands on the patient's shoulders, using them to hoist himself up and kick Katya square in her neck, cutting off her breathing. Stunned by the sudden blow, her feet scuffled backwards until she fell on the bathroom floor, barely even able to cough. 

As she tried to free up her airway with the Art of Pluto, the guard slammed the patient's face into the cracked mirror and withdrew his combat knife from its holster, stabbing the patient through his wrist to render his dominant hand useless. Just from the voice that yelled out in agony, Katya confirmed that the masked patient was him. It was Nikolai, the Guilty Rat.

The guard kicked him back into the stall and entered with him. Before Nikolai could get back up, the guard dunked his head into the toilet and held it there against all of his kicking and struggling. After restoring her airways, Katya knew Nikolai was drowning from the sound of his gurgling screams beneath the toilet water. She ran to the broken mirror, picking up one of the fallen pieces of glass and proceeded into the stall, pulling the guard off of Nikolai, who fell to the side coughing up the water from his throat.

The guard swung his knife horizontally, intending to slice open Katya's throat. She managed to dodge with a quick backwards lean, grabbing his exposed arm and dislocating his wrist with her own two hands. His wrist snapped with a loud pop accompanied by his screams, the signal that his guard was completely broken.

Still holding his arm with one hand, Katya slammed the back of his head against the green, tiled wall. She grabbed the knife from his loosened grip, stabbing it right through his throat and quickly drawing the blade out from the wound. Finally, she dunked the guard's head into the toilet, holding him down as he struggled to free himself from her grip. 

The guard was breathing, sucking in air through his open neck and airway and gargling on the blood and water through the wound. It mattered not if he managed to hold his breath through his mouth and nose, since his very airways themselves were flooded with his own blood, turning the inside of the toiler red. His struggling grew weaker and weaker until, finally, they stopped completely. Blood continued to drip down in streams as Katya released the dead guard, letting him fall opposite of Nikolai.

With no time to waste, she grabbed Nikolai's hand and forced him up, both of them breathing heavily, Nikolai even more so than Katya.

Nikolai: Hahaha! You found me! I knew you'd come!

Katya: Bastard, where were you?! 

Nikolai: I would've stayed in my room if the Sankadesh guards did not storm the hospital. I wrapped up my face and moved locations. It was the only way I could've traversed the hospital safely.

Nikolai unwound the bandages around his face, revealing his lightly wrinkled face and partially grayed, short hair. Nikolai appeared to be in his late fifties, and in mighty impressive health considering he managed to fight against a trained Sankadesh guard. With Katya's help, of course. 

Katya: You alright? We need to leave immediately. The whole world wants you dead, buddy. Thankfully, you're in King Tokahev's good graces.

HQ: Monarch, what's your status?

Katya clasped her hands and spoke aloud.

Katya: I've got Guilty Rat. I repeat, I have Guilty Rat. Preparing to exfiltrate now.

HQ: Alright, hurry and get out of there! You only have three more minutes until the KGR arrives! Jaya should be spreading the gas around the hospital now.

Jaya: Yep! I'm moving the gas through your wing, Katya. Be careful out there.

Katya: Understood, I've got a mask for Guilty Rat. We'll be safe. Team two, I've found Guilty Rat. Exfiltrate the hospital immediately. Jaya, once you're done, you go ahead and leave t-

All of a sudden, the electric lanterns died out, cloaking the bathroom in darkness. It wasn't just the bathroom, but the entire hospital. Every light source relying on electricity died out, some of them violently popping and shattering the bulbs.

Katya: What the hell just happened?

Jaya: Hey, did it suddenly get dark for anyone else?!

Locke: We're near the reception area now, all the lights cut out here too.

Nikolai: Those are carbon filament lanterns, all hooked to walls and support pillars. If they all went out at the same time, someone cut the master wires powering them all. Either that, or the storm outside.

Katya: Damn it...if I blow open the wall to create an exit, the KGR will hear it from their distance and converge upon us.

Katya turned her attention to narrow view outside of the rain-pelted window. Just the fact that it was raining was bad news.

HQ: Damn, we can't see anything anymore, Monarch. The storm moved in faster than we calculated. I won't be able to call out the KGR positions from here, but you're right in saying the'd hear the explosion. I suppose you'll just have to find a traditional exit, eh chief?

Katya: It's a pain, but alright. Stay close, Nikolai.

Nikolai: I'm a wanted man. You don't have to tell me twice.

General Manga writer discussions / Getting Started on Medibang
« on: March 19, 2017, 11:05:57 PM »
For all those wanting to get started on Medibang, here's a little rundown for you.

About Medibang
Anyway, Medibang. It's a pretty cool site where users share their manga/comics, artwork, and novels. You can find some pretty cool people there, all of them in love with what they do, be it a fancy manga or the occasional short story. If you're a writer/artist and you want another place to share your work, that's probably a good place to start.

Signing up and posting stuff
It's got a pretty standard sign-up process, and of course, it's a free service. They don't sell anything extra as far as I know. After you sign up, make sure you flesh out your profile, yes? Make it so people can get a feel for who you are if they see it. No one likes having seeing blanks where they want to see a bit of info about you. Next, you share some content. Now let's say you've got a short story you want to put up in the Novel section. If you have a PDF or something containing your story, you can just upload that, attach your cover (can also make one if you don't have one), and post it. It's as simple as that.

There's also a text editor there if you'd rather do that, which is probably a little more work, but it's my preferred option because I like to format things a little differently when a post a story there. If you don't plan on changing anything about your story, you can just go ahead and go for the other option. Otherwise, doing it by text editor allows you to quickly go back and correct any mistakes should you notice any down the line.

Some of the interface prompts are in Japanese, which isn't a problem for me since I know Japanese reasonably well, but you don't you're just gonna have to see which button does what you want it to do. Usually, the "accept" or "ok" buttons are green, so its easy to know what's a yes or a no.

There are ranking sections for manga, artwork, and for novels. I believe they're ranked by frequent and recent views and not overall popularity, but you can change how these things are organized if you want (views per month, views per week, default is views per day). For instance, Death by Ex-Girlfriend: Aika Crisis, is, at this moment, 4th place with a total of 5,277 views. Whenever that happens, I know people have been reading it in the past 24 hours. The creators themselves are also ranked by points, dependent on how much attention their works have been getting. If you post some quality artwork frequently, you're gonna see yourself in the top 5 positions a lot.

Take your ranking as a measure of how much interest there is in your work.

Talking to people on Medibang is a lot like...Facebook, I guess?  :hmm: You can follow and/or friend request people as you please. There's an Everyone's News section on the front page, where people generally share their thoughts, mundane life stories, upcoming works, discussion topics, pretty much anything. Not too different from the Chit Chat thread here, if you want to think of it like that. You'll find most users speak English, but quite a few mainly speak Japanese. You want my advice, learn Japanese so you can converse with everyone, because some of the best artists there are Japs.

Some other cool stuff goes on at Medibang. For instance, there are several interesting contests that occur there. Weekly Shounen Magazine partnered up with Medibang for a One-Shot manga contest, where everyone submitted their manga for review and possible cash prizes. The MCPO Award for 2017 just finished up there. They have people submit their art or manga for generally the same kind of rewards, as well as publication of the winning works. There's silent manga contests as well from time to time. If you've got some quality work on your hands, it's always a good idea to submit your stuff when these contests pop up.

Let's see...I think that's it for now. My brain is fried from writing nonstop, so I need to rest. Hopefully this helps anyone who wants to get started on Medibang. I go there quite often, mainly just to post the stuff I post here for a bigger audience. The biggest problem I had with it was some of the interface being in Japanese even when the site language setting was English, but I quickly got over that annoyance.

General Manga writer discussions / Me?! SELL MY WRITING?!?!
« on: March 09, 2017, 08:28:24 PM »
As more and more people have been reading Death by Ex-Girlfriend, I've been getting more pushes to go professional with the story, to publish and actually start selling copies. Now, I'm an extremely humble guy, almost to a fault, so I was pretty averse to this idea for a while. Buuut...if there's even a tiny bit of demand for it, why not satisfy the demand?

I've yet to piece together the exact steps I'll take to go through with this, but one of my hopes is to raise enough Freedom Bucks (US Dollars) to hire an artist to illustrate some of it, in comic/manga form. Of course, finding the artists who would be willing to do this would be challenging, but nothing in life is ever easy.

So, for anyone who has read Death by Ex-Girlfriend, I must ask you something. Do you actually believe that any part of the series is worth money? And if so, how much money would you be comfortable spending on it, per book? And I mean comfortable, not maximum, or "stretching it".

Your input is very valuable as I try to decide whether or not I should go for it.  :hmm:

Develop Your Story / Could You Love the Empress of Earth?
« on: February 06, 2017, 06:45:51 PM »
The fact that I wrote this is proof that God has abandoned us.

My Girlfriend Rules the World
(Imagine this: Your beautiful, blonde girlfriend is shielding your eyes with her smooth and soft hands, leading you to some fantastic surprise she's prepared for you on Valentines Day. You can hear her giggling as she teases you and eggs you on.)

Freya: Come on, Ivan! Keep going, keep going!

(Each strand of her hair is like a ray of sunshine, and her eyes...well, one of them is covered by an eye patch. The other is beautiful on its own, glimmering like the deep, blue ocean.)

Ivan: Freya, listen to me! I don't know what on earth has gotten into you, but you've taken things way too far!

Freya: Huh? Too far, you say? You just woke up and you already think so poorly of your sweet and pwecious wittle girlfwend? Hmm?


(Yeah...she does the cute little baby pronunciation thing when she's trying to persuade people. It's a stupidly obvious trick that works every time.)

Freya: Now, I know you just woke up and all, but I've got to be honest with ya, my man. You limp like you have polio or something. Are your legs really working? Are you gonna die? You're not gonna fall over and die, are you? Hey, let me know if you're gonna fall over and-

Ivan: I'M FINE, FREYA! I just need to get used to walking, which is impossible when you're pushing me all the damn time!

Freya: Shh! It's okay! We're almost there, sweetheart! I swear, you're going to love your Valentine's Day gift!

(Christ, I have so much to explain, don't I. Okay, okay, just bear with me. Now, where do you think we are? A house? The street? A gift shop? The first option would be the most accurate, and yet, it's still insanely wrong. What do you think this blonde goddess Freya is wearing? A spring dress, perfect for the sunshine and cool breeze outside? Perhaps some atrocious getup like a punk girl? Or perhaps a very formal outfit, like what one would wear to church. Wrong. It's none of those. Now perhaps you're thinking "Well, you're just being a dick and leading us into wrong answers!", but believe me, you wouldn't have gotten it right no matter how many times you guessed.)

The sound of their footsteps echoed far and wide, indicating to Ivan that they were definitely marching down a large and beautifully spacious hall...but to where?


Finally, Ivan felt the warmth of the Spring sun hit his skin. That cool, wonderful breeze blew through his thick and unkempt blonde hair, which curled around his collar bones and covered one of his green eyes, disregarding Freya's hands, of course.

Ivan: Are we...outside?

Freya: Yep!

Freya's lips curled with a smile that she'd been waiting to crack for minutes that felt like hours.

Freya: Okay, on the count of three, I'll remove my hands.

Ivan: I really don't want to-


Her hands lifted away from Ivan's eyes just as quickly as she blew through those numbers. Ivan was dressed in a hospital garb as his eyes adjusted to the light of the day. When the intensity of the sunlight died down to normal levels, and the colors of his surroundings weren't so harsh on his eyes, he could finally see his massive Valentine's Day gift.

Ivan: I can't see too well...is that...a golden skyscraper?

Freya: pffffttt.....keep- keep looking, babe! Just..haha! Just wait for your vision to clear up! I swear, you'll love it!

(Your vision is still blurry, but the image becomes clearer and clearer by the second. You realize you're standing on a balcony so high up from the ground that it becomes nauseating. You can see the entire city around you, all of the buildings and shops and...what? High walls? Why is the city surrounded by walls? And that golden skyscraper ahead...it's...wait...no....nooooo....it can't be!)


Freya stood right in front of him, pointing her hands to the statue in the far distance as if it was God's gift to earth. This woman was not wearing a nice dress or even a crummy punk outfit. She was clad in golden armor like some sort of knight or paladin. A white sash around her waist danced around in the breeze along with her alluring, blonde hair. It was thick and magnificent, much like the golden penis staring the entire city in the face.

(Now imagine being so mortified that you wish that a meteor would just strike the planet and kill all life inhabiting it. "Just end it all, God. We've clearly finished evolving. This is our peak. This is our finest moment. We're not worthy of your love.")

Ivan: FREYA! I can't believe you did this!? What the hell were you thinking?!

Freya: I know, right?! I forced the United States and the Netherlands to hand over all their gold at threat of exterminating their entire countries with our brand new Space Laser! They gave up so quickly! So, we had them build this just for you! It's my Valentine's Day gift to you, my love, for being the best boyfriend that an Empress of Earth could ever ask for! Behold its golden, phallic glory, piercing through the clouds and teasing the heavens! Soon, we'll even have the testicles built!

Ivan: What?! What did you just say?

Freya: Soon, we'll even have the testicles built!

Ivan: No, before that!

Freya: Uhm...you're the best boyfriend an Empress of Earth could ever-


Freya looked like a confused dog at first, but she heartily laughed it off and brushed her initial confusion aside.

Freya: Oh, my bad! That's right! How could I be so silly? You just woke up from your cryogenic stasis! You have five whole years of history to catch up on. Well, Ivan, I suppose now's a good time to just say it.

(Now imagine...)

Freya: Your girlfriend...

(Dating the most powerful woman on earth.)

Freya: Has become the Empress of Earth!


Freya: Your girlfriend has become the Empress of Earth!





Freya: Your girlfriend has-


Ivan slouched down against the wall, cradling himself in a fetal position as he desperately tried to wake up from what was obviously a nightmare.

Ivan: He...hehehe...I get it now...this is all just fake, isn't it? None of this is real. Maybe this is one of those weird community mods for that porn VR game I bought right? None of this is real at all. You're not real, the giant penis isn't real, none of this is real and you're not here! Yes, yes, it makes perfect sense! Haha! I'm just dreaming! Of course! How could I have been so blind?! When I wake up, you'll be 15 again, and we'll go on normal dates like we used to...

Freya: Hey...I'm almost 20 now, you know...

Freya pressed the side of her curled index finger against her lip, turning her gaze to the side as she too meandered in thought.

Freya: Hmm...it seems I'll need to properly adjust you to your new life. Come, my love! Let us take a tour of my Imperial Palace!

Ivan: La Li Lu Le Lo....La Li Lu Le Lo... La Li Lu Le Lo...

And so began the tour of what Ivan learned was a massive palace, constructed like a modernized and idealized palace from Babylon. Countless skylights above let the sun beautifully pour through and illuminate the halls and rooms, with its light radiating and bouncing off of walls, bleeding their blue or golden color onto their surroundings. So many potted plants filled the lounges, which were decorated like the lounges in a luxurious hotel.

Crystal chandeliers set the mood with their soft, warm light as the band on the stage filled the massive lounge hall with the sounds of upbeat jazz with attitude. Striking piano chords, walking bass lines, and quick drum fills all took Ivan by surprise.

Freya: This is our main lounge! I typically invite most of the world's major corporate and political leaders here for our annual World Conference! Leaders from Russia, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, China, Saudi Arabia, you name it! At first, we were only able to hold these conferences through threats of crashing their economic markets and nuking strategic positions valuable to each country, but now we only have to threaten to publish the occasional politician's sex tape and start a scandal!

Ivan: I can't believe this...you've got to be joking! Freya, tell me you're just kidding! This is just some weird role playing thing, right?!

Freya: Huh? Of course not! Geez, I conquer the entire earth for you and you won't even give me any credit! You're such a cruel man, Ivan.

(No way...there's no indication that she's joking about any of this...how would you even explain the statue, or this palace?! Is she seriously the empress of the earth?!)


Freya stepped up to the stage, waving her hands around to stop the jazz trio's performance.

Freya: That was beautiful, excellent work! Can you do your kind and loving empress who practically owns your lives and souls a huge favor and play Erika Marschlied?

Though Freya's smile was nothing but flowers and sunshine, the pianist was shivering as if he had a bad case of hypothermia, and sweating like he was running a marathon through the Sahara desert.

Pianist: E-E-Erika Marschlied, my lord?

Freya: Yes! You see, my mother was a native German who absolutely loved listening to Erika and other popular marching songs passed down from her parents! It would mean the world to me if you could play it!

Bassist: Boss, this song wasn't on the set list! We don't know what the hell she's talking about!

Freya: Hmm? What was that? What are you whispering about? Surely you can appease the Empress of Earth by fulfilling a simple song request, right? Can't you? You can do it, can't you? I don't have to sew your fingers to your dumb f*cking face and make you play the piano with it, right?! RIGHT?! YOU'D NEVER RUIN THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY TO AN EMPRESS, RIGHT?! YOU'RE LOYAL, AREN'T YOU?!

(Holy crap, is she possessed by Satan?!)

Ivan: Freya!

Pianist: Okay...w-we'll do our best...

Freya: Excellent! Don't mess up, or I'll...you know..."dock your pay".


Freya: Come, Ivan, my love! Let us continue!

Welcome to the Hall of Achievements, a literal hall decorated with pictures of Freya meeting with countless amounts of political and corporate leaders all around the world. All of them were beautifully framed, sitting above nightstands holding busts of some of her favorite historical figures, such as Alexander the Great, Cyrus the Great, Phillip of Macedon, Hammurabi, and Harun Al-Rashid.

Ivan: What is all of this?

Freya: A very expensive pat on the back in the form of a hallway! Over here is when I met with the US president to discuss a peace treaty following their series of catastrophic losses in the Arabian Wars 4 years ago. Ooh! And this one was taken in Qatar, when I fought alongside a reformist militia partly funded by yours truly to overthrow the Qatari government! Ahh, such beautiful memories! Oh, and this right here is a bust of you!

Ivan: What?

Indeed, Freya held up a marble bust of Ivan...with an incredibly exaggerated and almost inhuman jawline. Freya was gushing and squirming just holding the accursed thing.

Ivan: So let me get this straight...you erected a giant-


Ivan: You BUILT a giant, golden statue of my genitals and then made a marble bust of my head?

Freya: Hehe..."bust"...



Freya: Well, the bust came first, and then I built the statue. It's all in your honor, my dear! These past five years without you have been...unbearably lonely...you know?

Ivan caught a hint of sadness in her eyes as she caressed the bust. Her smile softened, and it seemed she entered a moment of somber reflection.

Ivan: I...don't really remember anything about going to sleep for five years. What exactly happened to me?

Freya: That's...well, that's a story I'll save for another time. But I promise, I'll tell you everything. I just don't want to overwhelm you, you know?

Ivan: I guess...

Freya: Be honest with me, Ivan.

Ivan: About what?

Freya: Are you...happy to see me?

Ivan: What kind of question is that? Look, I don't know what on earth is going on here, and touring this place is just making me more confused, but there's one thing I could never be confused about. I love you, Freya. Of course I'm happy to see you. I just need to get caught up on everything.

Freya bowed her head to hide her blushing face.

Freya: Good! I'm so glad!

Ivan:...Can we get rid of the giant-

Freya: Absolutely not.

Ivan: Okay, I won't argue then.

In their moment of awkwardly romantic silence, they could hear the band playing Erika just down the hall...out of tempo and out of key, a pure insult to the legacy of Freya's German ancestry.

Freya: Ugh, what is that abomination?! You call that Erika!? Unbelievable!

Ivan: Well, I wouldn't expect a jazz band to be able to play a military marching song.

Freya: What?! Your expectations should be exceedingly high and unrealistic! Like mines! I've had enough of this!

Freya whipped out her ultimate weapon...a flip phone.


Servant: Yes, my lord?

Freya: Hey, I need you to do me a favor. I need you to...dock the band's pay.

Servant: Ah, you mean you want me to take out the trash.

Freya: Yeah, take out the trash!

Servant: It will be done, my lord.


Ivan: What on earth were you talking about?

Freya: Oh nothing, dear! Come, let's go check out the ba-




Gunshots rang out from the distance, and the awful, dissonant music came to a halt.


Freya: So, how about those baths, huh!

Ivan: No! Did you just kill those guys!?

Freya: How could I kill anyone when I'm right here? Your sweet, innocent girlfriend would never order the deaths of a mediocre jazz band for insulting the performance of such a personally important song to her! Don't be silly, babe! Who do think I am, Satan?


Ivan: Another shot?!

Freya: Damn those idiots, I thought I trained them to shoot the back of their heads...

Ivan: So it was you!

Freya: So, how about this soda fountain, huh! Come darling, we have so much more to see!

Ivan: Don't try to change the subject!


Freya: Hmm?


Freya: Defense Minister Julius?

Julius: My lord, we have a problem.

Freya: Damn it! What is it? I told you, today was supposed to be perfect!

Julius: My apologies, my lord, but it seems the "Three Sinners" are here for an abrupt diplomatic visit. They don't seem too happy.

Freya: The Three Sinners, huh? Crap...and I wanted a stress-free day today. Alright. I'll be down there in a second. Let me just get Ivan to his room.

Julius: Yes, my lord.


Ivan: Three Sinners?

Freya: I won't bore you with the details. Sorry darling, but it looks like I'll have to cut this tour short. Your girlfriend has some business to take care of.

(It was so odd...her smile was the same...her behavior was still oddly, charmingly crude...but the air around her was so different. When did she lose an eye? What scars or tiny details is hiding on her body, beneath all the armor? How on did my girlfriend become the Empress of Earth in five years?)

Pianist: OH GOD HELP ME!



Freya: Christ...we really need to hire better executioners- F*CK, I JUST ADMITTED TO IT!



break Room / November is Upon Us, God Have Mercy On Our Hell-Bound Souls
« on: November 02, 2016, 01:42:07 PM »
"Hey! Look who came out of their cave! Join us, anon!"


The PTSD will never go away. The faces of family members I never wanted to see, the bland taste of slightly overdone Turkey, the torture of mentally flagellating conversations about nothing and stories about things and banal events that are less than nothing.

Can you hear it? That's the agonizing, melancholy polyphony of millions of introverted souls crying out in ungodly amounts of pain that you could ever only understand if Satan himself kicked you in the throat. That's the silent soldiers of this earth screaming as barrages of festive artillery and Eggnog Gas kill their comrades and soften their position.

'Nam ain't got nothing on this.

We're all gonna die here.

Alone, our stomachs full of turkey during the day, and our entire bottles of sleeping pills in the night. Prepare your souls to meet God, if he still even cares for the human race at this point.

I for one, am certain he has abandoned us all.

Develop Your Story / La-La-Laila!
« on: October 28, 2016, 06:50:02 PM »
One man. One little girl. One joyful walk through the countryside.

La-La-Laila: The Girl Who Only Sees Positive Things


It was a sunny, very warm day as two people took a stroll through the countryside of Koga. Flowers were blooming all around, the grass was a vibrant green, and the blue sky was so deep and beautiful it could make you cry. These two people, one 10 year old girl, and one 23 year old man. The little girl, singing an improvised tune as she skipped along the dirt path, was a native to Koga, gifted with their unique, hazel colored, perfectly straight hair. She had let it beautifully grow down to her her elbows.

(Meet her. Her name is Laila.)

Always smiling, Laila turned around to face her partner, pointing her finger down the road.

Laila: Just a little more! It's this way, Hugo!

Hugo: You said that same thing two hours ago!

Laila: No really, I'm serious this time!

Hugo: So you weren't serious the other times...damn kid...

(Me...I'm Hugo. I cannot tell you my last name. Certain reasons prohibit me from doing so. What I can tell you is that I've taken up the responsibility of making sure the girl got home safely. We found her lost in the fields, a long way from home. I figured, maybe if I could just take her back, god will forgive me for the sins I have committed in this land, and the sins I will be forced to commit once she returns and we go our separate paths.)

Hugo was tall, towering over the little girl as if he was her father. Most of his body and apparel were hidden beneath his green, hooded cloak, save for his brown boots. A natural blonde, he tied his long hair into a messy bun, keeping it out of the way of his green eyes.


Hugo: Why were you even so far from home in the first place? A little kid should never be two hours away from their parents unless they have a guardian.

Laila furiously halted her steps, unleashing pure hell on Hugo with her mere gaze of apocalyptic hatred.

Laila: I am not little! I'm 10 years old! In 4 years, I'll legally be and adult! And my sister told me I'll grow boobs too and become a mommy!

Hugo: Your sister doesn't sound like a very good influence...

Laila gasped, as if someone had just proudly uttered absolute heresy around her.

Laila: You take the back or I'll...I'll...

Hugo: Do what?

Lacking strength, she did the one thing a child could always do just to prove a point. Hold her breath until she was blue in the face.

Hugo: Come on, stop that.


Hugo: I said stop it!


Hugo: Whatever, you're just bluffing anyway. No kid would actually-


Hugo: BREATHE, KID! You win!

Laila let go of her breath, smiling as her lungs filled up again.

Hugo: I wouldn't be surprised if your parents abandoned you...

Laila: Hehe! You admitted defeat! I win!

A strange noise ripped through the sky. It sounded so far, yet so close, like the screech of a massive bird. The two turned their eyes to the ski, but saw no such bird above, nor anyone near them.

Laila: What was-

The boom of thunder captured Laila's ears, and turned her view to the other direction. It all began to make sense to her, as she spotted the possible source of the thunderous boom. It seemed the other end of the countryside was shrouded in dark clouds. It was like a massive wall of darkness, an approaching storm. The screeching and thunder continued even as she admired the breath-taking sight.

Laila: Wow! Mother nature can be so scary, right, Hugo? Hugo?

Hugo: Ah! Yeah...you're right. Come on, we should keep going. We definitely don't want to get caught in that.

Laila's smugness returned.

Laila: Hehe...don't tell me you're scared of thunder!

Those clouds did not amuse Hugo.

Hugo: Those kind of clouds are the most terrifying of all. We should just keep going.

Laila: Yes sir! You're still a wimp though! I love the thunder! My mother told me I was born during a thunderstorm too!

The two continued their walk with those terrifying clouds behind them. At long last, with their legs feeling like melted butted, Laila's village was in sight. The two experienced completely opposite reactions upon approaching the village. Laila was overwhelmed with joy, but Hugo wrapped his cloak around her, keeping her right by him.

Laila: Huh? Let me go, you weirdo!

Hugo: Don't just go running off like that! Don't you see what's ahead of you?! Every-

Laila: No way! So many people are napping by the tree together! We always did that when it got warm like this! Hugo, we have to be quiet as we pass by them! Not a sound!

Hugo: Napping? I...yeah, sure. We'll be quiet, so we don't disturb them.

Their walk was as silent as could be. In fact, all they could hear were the sound of their own footsteps along the dirt path, and the crunch of the tiny pebbles beneath their feet. So many people were fast asleep beneath those trees, some facing the sky, some with their faces buried in the grass.

Laila: It's called the Day of Rest! After a long, hard week of work, we all take the time to bond with our neighbors by sleeping with them beneath the trees and a warm day with a cool breeze.

Hugo: I see...

Laila: Hmm...hey, Hugo, that storm...should we wake them?

Hugo: Oh...uhm...no. I'm sure it will be fine. They'll wake up before it hits. They'll be able to sense when it gets colder and awaken.

Laila: Okey dokey! Come, my house is this way! We just have to cross Town Square now!

Laila so joyfully skipped through the village and arrived in the middle of town square, where the shops, bank, and community hall all formed a square around a beautiful stone fountain that spewed water up into the air, and back down into the fountain. Though, Laila was angered to find that even the people in town square were all napping on the grass.

Laila: Hmm? Here too? Some people are just so lazy! Hugo, do people nap in town square in your country too?

Hugo: Vevoskovia? No, we don't have any tradition similar to this....but...Laila.

Laila: What is it?

Hugo: We shouldn't disturb them. Let's just keep going to your house, alright? Let's hurry.

Laila: Geez, are you in that much of a rush to get rid of me?

Hugo: Yeah, now I'm certain your parents abandoned you.


And so, after 2 and half hours of walking, talking, smug insults, and strange occurrences, Laila and Hugo finally made it to their destination, or rather, Laila's stop. It was one of the biggest houses in the village, clearly belonging to an affluent family.

Hugo: This...this is your house?

Laila: Yep! We finally made it! Hmm...I guess this means we have to say goodbye, huh?

Hugo stayed silent, unable to draw his eyes away from the house.

Laila: Ah! I know! Come inside! I'll let my parents know you helped me get home! I'm sure they'll give you a good meal for the trouble!

Hugo: Laila-

Laila grabbed Hugo by the hand with a grip so tight it almost seemed desperate, gladly guiding him inside. The first thing she saw was the butler who always greeted her whenever she returned home. He was quite elderly, welcoming, and warm.

Butler: Good day, young master Laila! Welcome home!

Laila: Thank you! Glad to be back! This is Hugo! He helped me get home, so I'm going to introduce him to my parents!

Butler: Oh dear, a future husband?

Laila: HUSBAND?! N-n-no! He just helped me get home! If anything, it's like awarding a stray dog with some food! Anyway, just show me where my parents are!

Butler: They're actually preparing dinner right now. The should be setting the table, young master Laila.

Laila: Got it! Right this way, Hugo!

Hugo: Hey, hang on a second!

(Dragged around by a little girl...)

The dining room was large and lavish indeed, as one would expect from the house. Just as the butler told her, Laila met her parents just as they were setting down the food. Her father was gray in the head, but her mother looked very, very young and beautiful. The aroma of sweet buns, roasted chicken, and roasted potatoes filled her nose. Hugo dragged behind her, admiring the size of the house and all of the paintings hung on the walls. Laila didn't seem to notice.

Father: Oh! Laila!

Mother: Goodness, where were you? Did you sneak out again?!

Laila: Hehe...sorry! I wanted to go down to Locksville with my friends! Everything was fine, Mom!

Mother: Locksville? That's two hours away! Did you pay for a carriage?! It would've been expensive!

Father: Oh, calm down, love! She's fine!

Mother: Darling, you are much too light on her! Isn't a father supposed to be stern!?

Father: Yes, but we also have to give our children some independence. We taught her how to go out by herself, so I trust she was responsible. Besides, it's time to eat! I'm sure she's hungry!


Laila: Hehe...yeah, there it is...

Mother: Goodness...fine. I'll let it go for now. Come on and eat, darling. Did you wash your hands?

Laila: Yep! Washed them in town square!


Finally, a warm meal. Laila took her seat next to her father and took a big bite of her father's famous sweet buns. It was soft, buttery bread that was just slightly, perfectly sweet. Every bite was pure bliss.

Laila: Mmm! So delicious!

Mother: You just make sure to eat your potatoes, dear.

Father: Come on, don't nag at her!

Mother: I am not nagging! Am I, darling?

Laila: Yeah, you kind of are.


Father: So, Lockesville, huh? Did your friends get home too?

Laila: Yeah, they all shared a carriage home. Oh! That reminds me! I met someone today named Hugo! Admittedly, I did get a little lost, but Hugo is the one who helped me get here! I brought him in with me! Hugo! Come here!

Mother: Oh my, a guest? You should've said so!

Laila: Hehe...I smelled the food and forgot all about him.

Hugo entered the room, standing just outside of the hall and daring not to go any further. A sorrowful expression wore on his face as he stared at Laila.

Laila: Mom, Dad, this is Hugo! He's from Vevoskovia!

Father: Whoa, Vevoskovia?! They're a young country, aren't they? Only about 12 years old, but they're already so large and powerful!

Mother: I heard the kings of the Eastern States united and formed a single country together to prevent Syvia from absorbing them. Their king was from Omni, right? Taught by Phaedra Asane herself! What as his name again? I know his last name, the royal name is Menlayev, but what about the first?

Father: Ah, it escapes me...sorry young man, what was his name? You must forgive us, we rural folk aren't as well informed on the political world as others!


Not a word escaped from Hugo's lips. He kept his eyes only on Laila.

Laila: Hugo, how rude! At least answer the question!

Hugo: Laila...I'm sorry, but...no one is here.


The house was grand, but it was empty and in ruins. Though food was on the table, the fresh cooked meal Laila saw with her own eyes had already gone rotten. Her parents, the classic lovey-dovey couple with innocent arguments were not there. The butler was not there.

(Laila had not realized any of it. Maybe she didn't want to. The screams in the sky and thunder we heard, and the clouds we saw...those were the screams of rockets flying through the air. The storm clouds was the massive cloak of black smoke from the burning countryside from whence she came. I dared not tell her the truth then. The people we had seen napping under the trees and in town square, her fellow villagers and countrymen, were not napping. Rather, their sleep was an eternal one.)


(Her friends, who "shared a carriage", were but the corpses of her friends, hauled away from Locksville to be disposed of off-site. And I, the kind stranger who guided her home...)

Hugo's cloak moved aside as he placed his hand on the grip of his sword, sheathed to his hip. He was wearing a protective, lightweight vest and green thermal beneath. His belt secured his pants, but also held valuable tools given to him by his country, smoke bombs, gas canisters, daggers and the like.

The very center of his vest was a golden emblem, a lotus flower blooming beneath a crescent moon. It was the emblem of Special Operations and Espionage, a special military branch belonging to Hugo's home country, Vevoskovia.

(I was an SOE agent, deployed to Koga as the War of Four Corners broke out. In addition to the full might of Vevoskovia's military, the SOE were deployed as well to handle more underhanded operations. Other powerful nations like Asaji and Sankadesh joined the war on Vevoskovia's side.)

Laila: What do you mean? My parents are right here...aren't they?

Hugo: No. No one is here. Not a single living person is here.

(All three nations were fighting against the Kogans and the Syvians that were backing them. Laila was the most unfortunate child I had ever met, the first war orphan I had ever encountered. She was much too young to understand the reasons behind such a massive war, too young to understand the sounds of sword meeting sword, horses charging down the valleys, or rockets screaming in the sky.)

The pleasant and loving home she saw disappeared as reality set in. Everything was dead, destroyed, and rotten. Her head sunk low as she fought hard to return to her loving home. It grew farther and farther away from her.








(Welcome to the most destructive war so far in our history as a species.)


It's that time of year again  :ninja:

I don't actually expect to find anyone for this, but I figured I may as well let people know in case they want to go and submit something. Never hurts to try, right?

I've already got 8 and 1/2 friggin arcs of Death by Ex-Girlfriend written and divided into neat little novels, so I hope to get lucky and maybe make something nice, at least just a one shot.  :clapping: Anyways, hope this was useful/interesting

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