January 22, 2021, 01:50:44 PM

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Messages - legomaestro

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I have a dream of getting through all the scrap paper I've collected. Digital really is awesome and is the way to go but I want to see how I feel after scribbling and drawing through all my stuff. Methinks I'll at least learn something.

Another good day but I definitely pushed it. Will still stay in the regimen but wanna slow it down.

Cars are so freaking annoying: I don't know what to use as a guideline for the shape, and forget about tires lel. Happier about the hands and shoes.

Manga Art Gallery / Re: Suuper's manga (+digital and 3D)
« on: January 20, 2021, 06:02:11 PM »
RE: 2 weekly report 15-11-2020

Basically I put a priority on anything getting done over nothing. So if I dont feel like working on certain things, that's fine, I work on somethings else. And if I dont feel like anything, then I sleep.

-I discovered this in a small simple way today - the jump to another project trick. I had that dull almost-headache you have when you're really demotivated to do a regimen you want to do so I jumped to my duolingo app and I did much better and even got a small push of motivation in general.

-I think it's basically a mechanical artificial way of 'flowing' Truly being in the flow means you're zoned out on exactly the same drawing and aren't really thinking but are still focused, but this sort of 'flow' is letting the obstacles be and moving on to something else unrelated but similar so that you still have forward momentum.
And yeah... I'm starting to think embarrasingly enough sleep is a legit way to get back in the game. I go for coffee or wine but that's not sustainable, so I've decided switching tasks and sleep are the way to go.

-Your colour art style is definitely an upgrade dude. It's that deceptive simplification that screws a lot of aspiring manga artists over: It looks simple and appeals to the eyes, but actually behind that is a buttload of work that was done to be able to execute that simplicity. Even a straight line requires a lot of practice (I would know haha). Love number 2's shyness, and going bold there with water effects dude, nice!

Re: second breakthrough

-The second breakthrough is freaking amazing! That IS basically lineart haha but even better that you can churn that out so fast. I'll try to play with zoom and resolution too. Also, gotta love her outfit.

RE: Tracing in general

-Tracing has always been something I defend and will absolutely add to my regimens again. It's really calming and after tracing Bleach pages I got such a fundamental boost in confidence and ego and at the very least understood the distance between my skills and goals. Funny enough, I feel these are not quite the art styles for you. The folds and details of the second image definitely and the expressive kawaii of the first, but not... Quite...

These days I'm starting to shift from having lots of stages of WIPs, and either doing it all in one go, or having a concept stage and an everything else stage. I will keep up the old method for now because each stage has a very specific purpose, and is good for training my art muscles, but it's not really part of my output as an artist, it's just practice.

- I honestly wish I stopped practicing and just went at my projects, but in my current slump and crisis I want to at least have an idea of my workflow in some sense to be able to commit to something. It annoys me but I am a bit too chaotic in my choices.

Also I am almost definitely sure that I want to be focusing on the concept and sketch levels of my work rather than the polished end, because so far my top level keeps improving when I put no work into it, and so I'd rather work with lots of sketches and ideas to try out all sort of concepts to break the ice with new genres and so on, and then every now and then do a high quality srt of pieces to check I'm going in the right direction.
- Sounds like a plaaan

RE: End of month report 01-12-2020

Re: Pose regime and traced manga pages

- Oh I want IN on that pose regime but gaaah I'm on my mannequins. By the way, have you noticed how freeer one is with making poses when you DON'T have a 3d mannequin? I'm trying to improve my 3 dimensional understanding so I'm using a wooden doll at the moment, but it felt so free and fun doing the 1,000 Stick Figures regimen... you can squish and squash them as you like, and even have time to add props like stuff in their hands or background objects.

- And on that note I'm appreciating how filled your drawings are.  Not only has your fashion become super cool, you're having your characters hold more stuff and/or really stand in space and environments. You're levelling dude.

RE: Trace post pics

- HOLY YES. I always did love the backgrounds for Hiro Mashima-senseis' works (Have you read Rave Master by the way? Still my favourite work of his. And I think he's the perfect role model for high output artist with good art)

I had a few issues and observations:

The lineart often contains hatching as a form of texture and/or shading. This is quite difficult to trace. But it made me aware that not all shade is added in the form of screentone/colouring, you can add texture with the lines as well.

-*Ding* *Ding* *Ding* Learnt this quite a bit from Naruto. Although I'm not quite a fan of full black and white fills, his work is detailed and yet so technically easy to work with. Even Kubos' deceptively simple art is harder to emulate because it's like it works with brush-strokes, and even at the highest levels of manga, cross-hatching done right looks so much better than the most 3d looking textures in my opinion.

-The resolution I was drawing at was higher than the original pages I could get a hold of, so I was working with a somewhat blurry image when zoomed in. I've noticed the same issue with my own WIPs that get upscaled before inking. The moral of the story is, as long as your PC can handle it, work at a higher resolution than a lower one. You can always downsize afterwards and the artwork will become crisper but you can't upscale as it will become blurry. And second to that, work at a resolution that is relevant to how your illustration will be used. If it's a poster, work at a massive resolution, if it's an icon, it can be pretty small. Take dpi (dots per inch) into account.

Backgrounds and buildings take ages to draw. It's only a sample size of 2, but in the above pages it took an extra 50% time to draw the additional details, mostly in the BG. I always knew this was an issue, and really, I dont intend to drop the level of detail to speed up my work. So I'll just have to learn to work faster and more efficiently.

-It's ridiculous how long it takes to draw, but also very informative. This is where tracing helped me out a lot. You not only learn to respect the amount of effort required in making a background but have a realistic estimate of any future illustrations or comics you want to make.

Focus level. I found my focus dropping in and out for this and my quality was basically all over the place. Not sure exactly where the problem lies but I'm guessing I was getting distracted with maybe more quality control and thinking instead of just drawing the lines.

-The bane of every artist

Posture. Bizarrely for all the times I have drawn for hours on end I have never had a real ache, but after each of these my body was totally aching. I'm blaming a couple of things. My posture may have been different to normal as I was using my arm to draw a lot more than my wrist, and my arm was more away from my body to be able to draw longer strokes. Also I think that I might have been leaning in and been more tense than normal because I'm trying for a good line quality, so I need to relax more if I'm going to have a higher output and not ache all the time.

I'm learning guitar a lot more these days and my idols warn me a lot about how bad back pain can get you when you practice too long. I also have a few other bad habits, so in general in every discipline it's real important to get the annoying important mechanical posture tips out of the way before you really start (and as a benefit, things are much more effecient)
Panel composition. Although its' just tracing I found myself thinking and analysing the panel composition as I was drawing. I think because you are tracing it's harder to skim over details because you are literally processing each line one at a time. So I noticed a lore more details.

-I'm out of pratice but I have a healthy understanding that 6 panels is the optimal 'medium' pace. 3 is action packed. '7' is also, funny enough, action packed. It's just my thinking of panels but yeah I have a sort of feel for the rythm of panels from tracing pro mangas.

Content/concept. Sort of same as above. Because it's someone else's work, it's out of my comfort zone so I am getting practice "drawing" things that I wouldn't normally. It also makes me aware of certain elements (such as BG) and how I could draw them closeup and far away, with varying levels of detail. So it's close to an artist study I guess.

-Exactamondo. The simple fact that you can figure out which brush and pressure sensitivity works best to make you follow the original lines as much as possible without having to switch them is already a big lesson.

RE: 2 Week Report 16-12-2020

Well it has been a crazy turnaround. I am now in the highest drawing state I have ever been in, at least in my digital records. I'll save the statistics for the end of the month for more impact, hopefully. I am keeping a massive track of factors affecting my productivity which I didn't do last peak, so I'm hoping it can be sustained, well, indefinitely.

- Wooooot


Dude, suuper! You say this is a way lower threshold than your top ability? Even more mindblowing! Holy freaking wowwwwwwwwww I wish I could draw like this. Like literally this would be an achieved life goal of mine to have this level of comicking (Is that a word?)

You understand the manga tics from the panelling, the camera angles to the gags (time travelling students, cleaning gal, mangaka and the romantic bump are my favourites btw) to the expressions to the clothing. Honestly, if you just put a contrast filter and turned it to full black I'd already post it as a full comic and claim it's my 'sketchy style' haha.

Man I definitely haven't paid attention to your progress in a while haha. I'm super jealous and want to reach these heights. Keep at whatever you've learnt the past couple of months dude because they've definitely helped hehe.

RE: End of month report 31-12-2021

Well, well well. How the turntables.
I don't know what to say.
Although I am somewhat suspicious, I think I can say with confidence that I have cleared one of my massive hurdles, and really one big step towards working as a pro.
I have completely solved the energy and focus issue that I had previously. Like, 100% solved. It's very strange, like a dream.

- WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT. Okay I definitely need to graph my life in general.  I shalt use this as an excuse to celebrate. Serious, objective, tanglible proof that your hard work has paid off: Awesome. Proud of you, suuper.

I'm just, completely fine. I'm emotionally fine, my energy is fine, everything's, fine.
In fact I've been so productive in other areas of my life as well, like I am more organised and more productive everywhere.
I was very suspicious about 1 week in because I have previously had good weeks but then it just fizzles out, but this time it's just going on and on. And it's becoming more and more stable.

I am basically permanently in the "zone" now.

- Hell yes man

Sleep (Gotta catch all those z's)

-As mentioned above in my new discoveries: True, too true
Avoiding Negative thoughts (distracting and demotivating)

-This is at the moment impossibru - But with artificial flow and/or sleeping I can perhaps circumnavigate that

Creating positive thoughts (motivating and energising)

-Total amateur at this but truth.
Good schedule (reduces wasted time and good for planning larger projects)

-THIS is one of my golden grails. If I could seriously have at least the semblance of a statistical system for my art habits I'd at least know how much I've drawn between one day and the next. It's soooo useful to see the hard numbers of your efforts: As your brilliant graph has so clearly shown.

Having good focus (reducing thinking about other things)
My focus died the moment my friend introduced me to the concept of 'tabs'. But yes, truth.

I have managed to put into place a positive cascade system so when I am having a bad day (and yes it still happens) I have an absolute course of action that can pull me out of it very quickly and I can regain my stability again.

-Teach meeeeeeeeeeee. (Except I suspect it's something that only really works for you personally. And I want to find my own in the end.)



-Yes. Just yes.

-Oh wait, the time travelling story had nothing to do with the student selection hahaha. Botched that one up.
The line art is sooo good dude. Awesome work ethic.

My "finished sketch" level has taken the beating once again and I've adjusted the quality.
-I sort of feel the gesture has been lost? I appreciate the simplicity but the cross-leg and slight look up into the viewers' eye feel is a bit lost methinks? But if it's faster it makes sense for sure and in the end seeing your previous work you already definitely have a sense for how a finished work can look even better even pose-wise, so niice.

RE: Last couple of weeks

-You've added not only backgrounds, held- objects but also other characters and them interacting with eachother. And judging from the numbers in record time too. Dude. Hooowwwww hahaha.

My favs are

-Twin-bed twins in Twin-bed gals

-Elf gal

-slumber party gals

-Gal tripping on teddybear-gal

- Reading book gal

- (Nuuuu whyyyy is she crying on the phooone)

- Triumphant long hair gal

- Terrified waiter and big appetite gal

- Mirror girl seriously deserves some recommendation. This alone deserves as much props as the level up in your sequential art. You've mixed all aspects from dimensionality, expression, storytelling and kawaii in one image. NICE.

- Accepting sleeping-classmate-gal

- Water gal

-  Shibari gal. She is my favourite. No I feel sorry for her. Ahem too smexy. But noo. But yeessss. But nooooo. But yessssssssssssssss. ((This comment will delete itself in 24 hours))

Very nice. Very nice.

Here's a before and after animation to show how much I change up the original idea these days.

- Dude yesssss. This means you can definitely go hard core on simplification of sketches, because your sense for a final product has improved that much. Means less time spent on WIP stage, means same result with awesome finish. Gaaaaah The first batch alone, the top three are sooo cool in their level ups. Duuuuude how much have you been drawing haha.

I've started another regime, another repeat regime, 1000 faces. I'm changing the rules to keep it a challenge as always, I'm doing mixed expressions and adding random clothes as well to the bust. I'm working to an inked quality so these should turn out pretty good.

- Yesss, join the dark side. Nice that you're working at different expressions too. Like the punky one bottom-rightish especially. She looks so haughty

RE: GIF Improvement for Faces Regimen

Holy cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese.

I love the twin-tails and Top buns and the expressions sell all of their hairstyles for some reason haha. These progression GIFs are so cool to see I swear I'll never tire of them.

One major change I have made in the last 2 weeks is removing my masterpiece WIP projects. These were originally normal sketches that I set aside to process at a higher level than my normal WIP sketches. The issue was that I never "felt like doing it" and so they just sat around for like years doing nothing. So I'm allowing them to filter back into my normal WIPs, for a couple of main reasons:

To reduce the number of projects I have by combining Standard WIPs and Masterpiece WIPs, making it easier for me to work with all my masses of sketches.

There is no need to keep them separate as my normal sketching ability has improved enough that I can confidently sketch at a consistent quality, so there is no need to separate ones that I want to do well, because they are all coming out good now.

I am creating a new Masterpiece project that will take concepts and finish them to a coloured illustration level at my maximum quality. This replaces the "Super Cute" project which resulted in my best 4 pieces ever that I don't stop talking about.

I'm putting around 20-30% of my time into my collaboration manga project, but I also want to keep my own creative spark going, so I'll be attempting to do some one-shots on the side through the year, sooner rather than later. So I'm pushing forward all my writing related projects, and I'll need to create some new writing projects to fill my skill gaps. A couple of writing regimes and some actual "throwaway" projects to get my teeth into.
I'll be working with how to best draft my idea and keep the story manageable as it grows and develops.
And to convert a script into a manga draft.

I don't know if I'll have a separate end of year post looking back, but looking forward into the new year I'm hitting the ground running, for a change. I'm not pulling on the brakes any time soon and I'm really going to just spam productivity.[/quote]

I like the sound of that. Overall it sounds like ther'll alwas be a complicated shifting of priorities to achieve your main projects, but I feel you've significantly reduced the amount of micro-decisions that you have to make for certain things. You've sort of 'risen above' certain considerations and now you have even more brainspace to tackle your time-consuming projects. The need for patience and quality is still there, but you've shed some scales for sure (IMO A LOT of scales) I need to reach this state.

I'm thinking what with taking on larger projects that 2021 might be the year to finally start doing commissions, or at least gathering a following on social media. I'll start with DeviantArt because I'm already there and see what happens.

But basically I'm massively busy and I'm massively productive. I couldn't be happier about how the year has ended.

Onwards and upwards!!!

- Yes. Definitely do this. Without even drawing a new illustration, posting your progress GIFs and explaining how you've personally levelled up as an artist in a long form text with images will at least gaurantee you a buncha likes, an opportunity for collaboration and a couple of subscribers. You've made a portfolio with your work-ethic suuper. Of course you'd need to package it to sell your audience but you cold from zero, stone cold without any new content gain at least a buffer following by saying 'Hey, I'm suuper and this is my journey as an artist.'

-Look up SrGrafo by the way. Awesome diligent artist dude (RPed in his universe) and you totally remind me of him in terms of presence at least on reddit.

-Basically whenever you're comforteable with it totally bite the bullet and go for making a social media prescence and stuff (I mean, your YT is already promising enough dude hehe)

I might be only posting once a month now as my projects get larger there's just not much to report on, and as long as my productivity is high then I don't need to reflect as much. This will give me more time to actually work on the project as well. All the same 2 weeks is a massively long amount of time and a lot can happen so we'll see :P

- Sounds like a plan.

Re: Half-monthly report 15-01-2021




YOU IMPROVED THE IMPROVED hahahahahaha. This has been an interesting chain of events. Daaaamn it's amazing how much tones add to a work. Iteration for the win. Sorry for the slump but I am absolutely blown away by the progress you've maded due.

I'm working a lot on resolved sketches at the moment, and this is forcing me to finalise details and proportions, something which I am not too used to. It's very good practice and it's giving me a lot of things to work on, in some ways it's helping to shape my own style. It's also very good practice for my manga pages as this is a necessary step to increase the detail and accuracy level in preparation for inking.

- Nice, nice. And damn that's a large amount of time addition, but knowing how you'll go these images will turn out quite awesome (They're already by my standards awesome but yeah you do you hehe. Can't wait to see the other iterations)

And GIFs make the world go round. Please keep on posting them. They're humbling as heck, but super encouraging because between beginning and final product I see a lot of liberal changes that I'm too scared to make normally and the fact that you even show how long it takes you makes it a realizeable effort that I totally want to emulate.

-I think I've said enough in between the comments so in general: HOLY YESSSSS SUUPER-SAN TEACH ME HOW TO DRAW LIKE YOU


-Props dude. Keep at it.

Comics and other Gallery / Re: Miscellaneous Arts and Sketchbook
« on: January 20, 2021, 09:50:45 AM »
Waking up early definitely helped today. The day vanishing in 2 seconds is definitely a thing. 4-5 o clock seems to be the magic moment

Develop Your Story / Re: Charred Life (Rewritten)
« on: January 19, 2021, 12:30:46 PM »
Chapter 16

" Tree could fall on you again.”

“The house could fall on me.”

 -A legitimate answer to a legitmate worry

2. Early in the morning, the two of them were off to another practice. As usual, Roun had left the house somewhat behind schedule and they trekked through the dew with breakfast still fresh in their stomachs. Dave glanced at his cousin. Ever since yesterday, Roun had been oddly quiet. He looked serious. Perhaps something had happened when he went to the fire pit last night, but he hadn’t shared it with Dave yet.

- Just in case: Make sure to be liberal with space and paragraphs for any final posts. Feel like 'Dave glanced at his cousin' could've been a new paragraph and for pacing 'He looked serious' could be one as well.
Just a general thought to future editing for any potential publishing *hint hint wink wink*

3. He’s right though. All the trees in the forest could fall on us.
- They could.

4.“Good morning.”

“What?” Roun looked confused.

- Ah, dat curse of being talked to by a voice nobody else hears hehe. Makes for interesting shenanigans.

5. “Step it up, Roun. We don’t have all day.” Crouched on a broken tree stump, Warden Coyen waved them along. “You can go over there. Dave, over there.”
- Same as point 2... Rule of thumb for dialogue is every new sentence deserves a paragraph. Formatting is unfortunately super important to holding a readers' interest. It's why webtoons
'get away' with blank panels. 
They understand that reading time is everybit as important as the content itself. Make sure in general to space out, slow down and speed up your writing as necessary (Just my opinion... Not trying to be nitpicky...)

6. When all the groups were confirmed, Warden Eleyew began his explanation of the day’s exercise in a slow and serious manner. They were to retrieve their team’s “Object” from somewhere in the forest using the tracking and scouting skills they’d been learning.
- More narrative voice and less exposition voice. It would be better to for example mention the time of the day or how Dave thinks about the general mood of the day. Maybe a random anecdote about where they're meeting and the forest? Does Warden Eleyew have a calm accent or is he military-like?

7. Dave’s focus soon wavered and he looked around to see who formed the other teams. Beside him, Dae was staring across the clearing. Following her gaze, he was surprised to spot Shira in the practice as well. Somewhere outside of his focus Dave heard the Warden mention something about venomous and reactive plants. He wondered if she would get along well with her group, appearing to be the youngest there. The creases on Dae’s face betrayed a similar concern.

- Hehe Dave is quite interested in Dae I see... I'm still on the fence but I might ship it.

8. Dave noticed more than that. Was it because of the Warden’s instruction that “anything goes if you want to devise a method to get the object” each of the teams seemed to be eyeing each other? Gestures passed behind backs. Subtle nods tracked from side to side. A few eyes met, blinked, and broke off, relaying some secret message. Was this exercise that intense or had he missed something?
- I understood what happened here but it could be better 'experienced'. Even just a snippet from Warden Eleyews' dialogue and Daves' reaction to that would be more effective to the reader. But I like how much he's thinking about this stuff hehe.

9. “Pig pens…” Dave didn’t like the sound of that. Neither did any of the others, judging by the groans and sighs. The energy on the grounds turned serious. His team gathered together to devise a plan. They were given small round wooden tokens engraved with the image of a snake, a clue for the location of their object bearing the same mark. Kon and Dae did most of the talking with a routine familiarity – detached and indifferent. Dave sensed their minds were fixated on something else. It unnerved him and from her blank face it looked like Kon’s sister had as little clue as he did on the matter.

- I like how Dave can really read people
- Too much happened in too few words imo

10. Warden Eleyew shouted over the rising hubbub, “When the time limit is up and you aren’t back at the grove after half an hour, we will come looking for you. Did I miss anything?”

- Nope, other than I just suspect you will not really help out these trainees if they get into mortal danger Sir warden sir...

11.Warden Coyen smirked. “You ditch, you’re done.”
- Qoute for the ages.

13. “Automatic penalty if you leave without notice,” Eleyew clarified. “That’s it. With that said, your time starts…. Now!”

- Let's go!!!

The exercise began. Each team sprang into the forest. Dave followed in their haste and tasted a bad wind.

- This is a moment where Dave should totally see how his comrades are feeling. It's that starting line pause... How do the others look? Determined? Scared? Proud? This is the point where Dave should either think or say how he feels about going into this challenge. (Selfishly interested in what he's thinking right now to be honest so yeah haha exposition plzzzzz) #

15. Then the children were gone. The Wardens held their breaths expectantly. Trees and plants stood in tense air. Amidst the leaves rustling in a breeze, no other sound was heard.

Eventually, Warden Coyen chuckled. “Growing up.”

Warden Eleyew sighed. “Reminds me of our younger days.”

“Hey, you hear what Waron said about the thing yesterday?”

“Yes. I’m not keen on seeing what the festival will look like if what he says is true.”

They listened to the forest sounds once more. Sitting down, Eleyew removed his watch and set it on the ground in front of him. Second by second the timer counted down.

“Hey, did you see that?”

“See what?”

Coyen was peering into the thick overgrowth. Eleyew himself saw nothing out of the ordinary.

“Nevermind,” Coyen muttered. “Just thought I saw something.” His lips curled back in an unpleasant smile. “Something we might not have put in there.”

- OK ignore my earlier comment/suggestion. This might actually be the better way haha. I like how quiet it got and love how much more curious it makes me

Dave followed behind his team closely. Kon and Alena did most of the work, tracking out the least dangerous path through the trees. They winded through bushes and over tree roots, avoiding all sorts of plants bearing bright and hazardous looking stripes and spots. Always preferring to be off the ground, Dae kept up with them in the branches by jumping and swinging from tree to tree. They said nothing to each other, but Dave sensed a mutual understanding among them that they didn’t want to be the ones cleaning the pig pens.

- How athletic is Dave btw? can he also jump tree to tree?

17. After twenty minutes the terrain became steep. Kon led them upwards. Slightly out of breath, Dave paused to catch his breath before following them.
- redundancy with breath-catching

18. Around them was quiet, only the rustling of leaves. He wondered if the other teams had reached their objects already. The thought prompted him to start up the hill when he stopped again. At first, he thought the frequencies in his ear had gone dead, but Dave quickly recognized the high-pitched tone cutting through the other woodland noises.
- 'Frequencies' always suggests radio... Does Dave have a radio or does he literally hear reallly really good? curious.

19. His head shot up. There was no mistaking it. It was the song of the bird he’d heard in the garden before the tree had fallen. What else made that steady lulling call? He listened hard, trying to trace its location. The longer he listened, the more it sounded like a human voice instead of an animal. Why, he could almost make out words…
- Dun dun duuun

“Ouch,” Dae cried out. She’d slipped on the branches and dropped to the ground ahead of him. Dave leapt over to help her up.

- How far was the fall? Just want to visualize it better.

“Did you hear that?” he asked.

“What?” Dae dusted off her clothes.

- And people think chivarly is dead hehehe. I shall totally ship Dave and Dae at a point... Still on the fence.

22. But the sound had stopped. They caught up with the other two and continued on. It was a little later they arrived at a little glade. It was similar to the one behind Gran Cera’s house, a little  clearing filled with little blue plants, but the statue was different. This one had a lizard qfigure, wrapped up in vines and leaves, holding a black orb in its jaws.

- Interesting


“This is the place. Split up and search the area,” Kon instructed. “If it’s not here I have another place in mind.”
Not sure where to even start looking, Dave decided to check out the statue. As he got closer, he heard the whistling of the strange bird again.

- I like Dave's initiative

24. Immediately, they dove into searching the many large holes riddling the ground.
- Business-as-usual Roun knowing how to do things hehe. He's super edgy but I really respect this dude.

25. “Seriously? There’s no way...” Roun hurried over. There it was, a round wooden ball, about the same size as a softball, sitting in a small recess, with the wolf image carved on it. He frowned. “What the cret. That’s not a wolf den. Talk about misleading.”
- What the heck is that?

26. “Huh?” His teammate picked up the ball to uncover a hole.

Instantly, two long antennae poked out of it, followed by a large insect head that fit the opening exactly. The children jumped back in surprise. Seeing them, the creature pulled the rest of its long black body, the size of a rabbit, out of the hole and began chittering angrily. Out of the bushes responded a multitude of screeches as streams of giant insects shot out of their holes and swarmed towards the children.

- Feels a bit too much like a summary to an event rather than how exciting it could be. I want to hear the screech, think about who was shocked or if they braced themselves or not. Did the creature come out of the hole alone first and THEN came the other insects or did they all pour out of that small gate of hell. Sell the ickiness, the horror, and put a few pot-shots for character development.
-That being said: RUN OH GAWD RUN

27. Roun cringed. “Cret - Tunnel Ants! Run!”
- I've heard 'bullet ants' before as a term and understood how nasty they were, but 'tunnel ants' is a whole new level...

* * *

28. “Don’t attack them!” Shira yelled unheard amidst the screaming of her team and the buzzing of bees, Zerakis bees the size of small dogs.
- Damn those are huge bees.

29. One of the children fell from the trees with a stinger in his arm. The thick traditional clothing hadn’t been enough to deflect it.
- Sam waited in the trees, realizing how bad the situation was. He was still alert though but THUK, a stinger hit his arm, oh no he fell (this is a terrible approximation of the building up of suspense and action that I feel might spice up your work a bit)

30.  Shira’s eyes widened as she anticipated what would happen next. A mob of bees drawn by the released pheromones swooped towards the boy.
- Here would be a perfect moment for one of the kids to say 'They're following the pheromones!' Then the narrator would explain what that sentence means. Echo, your worlds are super developed and I'm pretty sure you know exactly who knows what, what characteristics the creatures have and at least 70% of the non-named characters' looks and personality traits, so use that advantage to throw in some random shouted dialouge and narrative commentary on that dialogue and I think you could enhance and make the world much 'realer' for your readers---

31. After a couple painfully tense seconds, the buzzing faded away. Shira let go of her breath and peeked at her surroundings. They were unharmed. The bees had passed them by. The insects were up in the trees again, chasing after the others. Quickly, Shira dragged him under a cover of tree roots. Then she yanked a syringe from her side pouch, popped off the cover, and jabbed the needle into the boy’s arm that was starting to turn blue. Lastly, she took a bottle from her bag and sprayed him with blue mist that smelled like glass cleaner.
- Shira saving people like a boss hehe. Nice.

“You’re fine now. I gave you the antidote. Don’t move. I’ll get the others.” Shira wiped sweat from her forehead with a grim look. She muttered dolefully, “This sucks…”
- And yeaup it sucks for sure, tis situation haha...

33.Dave gaped at the creature. “What is that?” Just like the boars and wolves, the lizard itself was several times larger than your average reptile, this one easily the size of a small car. A sweet and musky odor filled the air, making him grimace. The lizard croaked loudly when it saw him. Its large angular head flipping back and forth with short abrupt movements between the surprised children.
- Nope nope nope and nope I would just run haha. Holy cheese is that a fat lizard. 

“Blueberry pancakes - that’s a Maned Cat-Lizard!” Kon exclaimed. “I thought they were registered as hostile!”
- Man would love to see a sketch of one of these.

35. Then how’d it get past the fence? was Dave’s thought, And if it got through, what else did?
- Very good questions.

36. They were interrupted by the lizard’s croaking. When it stopped, Dae sounded apprehensive. “Kon, if this is actually that then - then something might’ve happened to the other teams too. I’m gonna find Shira!”
- Yeaup definitely an attack. I hope they get to go toe to toe with their enemy now.

37. In a breathless second, Dave caught a glimpse of Kon dashing back towards her, not before Kon also noticed the lizard focusing its eyes on himself. Two things happened at the same time – Kon shoved Alena out of the way and the lizard dove forward. Fast as a whip, it struck the boy full in the chest, knocking him back into a tree. Kon hit the ground limp.
- Ooof

38. Dave couldn’t believe what he was seeing. He couldn’t seem to breathe and then suddenly he was breathing hard, his heart pounding. Somehow, this feeling overshadowed his previous experiences. With the wild boar, he felt too surprised to be scared. With the berserk Wardens, he was too distant from experience to be afraid. With the falling tree, he realized for the first time he could actually die. An overwhelming sense of dread locked his muscles in place. No matter how many times it happened his reaction didn’t change. He didn’t know what to do.
- NUUU Don't freeze on us now Dave!

“Um - uh -” Dave stumbled backwards, his eyes darting back and forth.

“I’m out of time.” Bracing every fiber in his body, Dave snatched a dagger from his belt and threw it at the creature. A long blue thing shot out from the reptile and caught the dagger. With a whoosh and smack the lizard’s tongue retracted back into its mouth. If he had a mirror, Dave bet he would see his face turning into the same shade of blue. Meanwhile, the lizard’s body turned red as it chittered in pain. Its eyes fixed on him.
- Damit this thing is fast, but yes way to go Dave

41. “I’m sorry!” Dave took off at a dead run into the trees  with the lizard hot on his heels.
- Hey a distraction is a distraction!

The ants soon outran the children. Roun swung around, at the same time drawing his sword to slice an ant jumping at him. More followed behind it like a swift river. His team was surrounded. Everyone had drawn their weapons, attempting to cut a path through the insects. Normal ants might have scrambled away in confusion, but with increased brain size came increased intelligence. The giant ants fought like barbarians. Cutting down one meant five others to avenge it.

“There’s too many!” one of the others cried.

“Keep going!” Roun urged. His blade moved constantly, cutting easily through the soft bodies. Very slowly they pushed towards what he hoped was south. The panic-generated adrenaline gave them energy, but there were just too many targets to deal with.
- Rouns' experience with terrible odds shining here.

43. “Cret…” Roun cleared the area around him with a series of slices, jumped up, swung off a branch, and landed near the young girl, squishing an ant in the process.  “Cover my back!” he yelled at the other two. He took out a smaller dagger and started quickly but carefully stabbing the ants clinging to the child’s clothes.
- Yeaup definitely knows his stuff.

44. “Oonrwon Tree Oil?” the other boy gasped.
- Is having tree oil standard equipment?

The second girl also pulled out a bottle that sprayed a yellow mist. They all covered their faces to avoid breathing it in. Its effects on the ants were gradual, but after a minute the insect attacks became weak, their movements scrambled, and some curled up and became still..
- What substance is the yellow mist?

“Give it here.” Roun put down the wounded child, took the bottle, and sprayed a layer himself and then all the others. “That should rid some of the scent off us. Still think fire works better. Get back to the Wardens. Don’t wait for me.”
- Man Roun really knows what he's doing haha.

He whistled loudly before quickly wrapping the child’s wounds.
-I guess everyone has a standard medical kit too?

48. A wolf jumped across the stream like it had been waiting for the call. Roun set the child on its back and directed the other girl to get on as well.
- Nice wolfies... Cute wolfies! I want to pet them!

49. “A mob of Tunnelling Ants could’ve killed a kid. It's not the style of the Wardens. Go on.”
- To be honest I think the Wardens are hardcore enough to let something like this happen haha.

50. Shira couldn’t stop the bees from attacking the rest of her team but she could maybe stop the buzzers from outright killing them. Keeping as low in the bushes as possible, she threw daggers at the bees, pinning a few of them to trees to redirect the attention of their comrades. There were so many of them she didn’t have to be accurate. The constant buzzing made her heart beat faster.
- The creatures in this forest are real extra large haha.

“Hey, get out of there!” Shira yelled. They couldn’t hear her. Just as she troubled over what else she could do, she got the strong sense that something was heading their way extremely fast. It came so fast that it gave Shira a little shock when it tore through the thoraxes of three bees in a row and nailed them to a tree. Three more shot through in close succession with the same result, taking the insects out by twos and trees. By then, Shira saw the familiar fletchings and nocks of the objects sticking out of the hostiles. There was only one person who would pull off something like this.
- Damn Shira is super accurate, and observive.

52. “Shira!” It was indeed Dave, looking flustered and exhausted. His face lit up when he saw her, He blurted breathlessly. “Are you okay? Where’s everyone? Hold on – we can’t stay here, the caza – I mean the lizard - cat - thing – ”
- Haha looks like he survived well enough till now!

53. A deep-throated croak sounded from the trees. A giant red-skinned lizard broke through the bushes and spotted them. Dave made a face. “Great.”
- It's baaaack. Ruuun

54. It didn’t take Shira two eyes to assess the situation. At least this was much less trouble than those pesky insects. Very simply, she snatched the object from his hand and chucked it into the trees. Without hesitation, the lizard chased after it, causing mayhem through the bush. Soon after they heard a loud crash, as if the lizard had fallen into a pit or something.  An awkward silence followed.
- Nani!?

55.“You’re welcome,” said Shira while Dave gawked. “Orosis Nectar. Lizards love it. Surprised you didn’t notice the smell. You’ve got it all over your hand.”
- Bahahaha so that was the problem. Hahahaha.

56. “We need to talk!” shouted a fourth voice. Dae swung down from the trees with her bow strung and few arrows in her quiver remaining. She stormed up to them so out of breath she pulled down her face mask to show a dark scowl.
- WIth the amount of arrows she shot I would think she was already out.

57. A wolf’s howl pierced through all sounds of commotion. The children listened to it rise and fall. Roun said, “Emergency signal. Everyone has to return. Training is over.”
- I would bet monehs that wasn't proper training. Something seems so fishy here.

They looked at each other. Grim. Tired. Confused.

Dave gasped. “Kon!”

Chapter 17
“So what sort of ordeal did you experience, boys?” asked the Warden in a voice tired of repeating the same thing.

“Tunneling ants, in the old wolf dens,” said Roun. “A whole colony. My teammates were all bitten. It was like the object was set up to provoke them.”
- Yeaup, totally.

“No joke, I can still smell it. If you don’t wash it off you’ll attract more things. Ask the Healer to make a solution for you to get it off. Did you two notice anything else weird while you were in the forest?”
- Now I want to try out some of that nectar.

The Warden cut him off quickly, “That’s what we’re looking into it. Now go get yourselves checked by the Healer.”
- Dammit Wardens I need to know whats' happening in this vilaaage

“Guess we don’t have to hang around anymore either.” Dave got up and stretched, feeling sore all over his body. The ointment the healer had applied had a cooling effect to his cuts that would have been nice if he wasn’t already feeling stiff as a board.
- Wonder who is responsible for harvesting all the medicine plants and stuff. Most definitely not a walk in the park.

5. “I’m glad,” Dave said. When they’d found Kon bloodied and unresponsive, he ‘d dreaded his friend and relative had died. Fortunately, because the lizard had smacked him rather than crushed him, Kon’s injuries summed up to some impressive bruises and several broken ribs. Dave was worried for him, for Alena, and was grateful nothing worse happened. If Kon had died…

- Damn.

“Is your mom the loud terrifying type or the quiet strict type?”

Shira shook her head. “Not in trouble with mom. In trouble with Gran. She’s the quiet terrifying type.” She suddenly pinched her nose. “Your hands still stink.”
- Scary grans are scary
- And haha damn that nectar smells strong

7.  Dae marched up to the center of the yard where the concrete blocks were broken up in several places by enormous tree roots. Roun sat down on these roots with a mind not to get up for a while. He wondered how she still had enough energy to rant after the brutal exercise. His own energy levels were so sunk he could barely think properly.
- Ma man needs himself some sleep haha.

8. He snapped back to her earlier comment. “Hey, not everyone is some super long-ranged lemur. I had a mob to deal with and teammates to protect. Unlike someone who abandoned theirs and escaped without a scratch.”
- It's called 'tactical positioning.'

9. “I heard from Dave you left them. You should’ve stuck together with your team. They needed your help and Kon got hurt because of you.” The words left his mouth before he knew it.
- It was absolute chaos dude haha.

10. “You were supposed to work together with the others. That would’ve resulted in less casualties,” Roun retorted.
- Well to be fair Roun did do an excellent job leading his team.

“I saved Shira!”
- Good point

“We lost our best tracker!”
- Also good point haha.

Dae screamed at him in a tight voice. “This isn’t about the exam anymore, Roun! Everyone was seriously hurt this time - you know this is them. They have something up their sleeves and you're letting them get away with it. Shira and the younger kids are in danger!” Her eyes glistened, her body shook. “Six weeks, broken ribs, and a giant lizard. How are you going to make that up to Kon? He can’t do the exam this year and who knows if his parents will let him come back next year. If this ever ends, are you going to tell him you did nothing to make up for his loss?”

-Yessss more good points. Now please act!

Roun said nothing, but stared at her stricken. His mouth hung open.“Then let’s tell the Wardens,” he said blankly.
- Nuuu the Wardens will do nothing :(

The suggestion caused Dae’s pupils to shrink into stabbing pinholes as her upper lip curled back. “Do you even hear yourself?” she said in a shaky voice.
- Exactly!

16. Roun’s head throbbed. “You know the rules. If this isn’t about the exam anymore, we have no more reason to hide it. I’m not going to fight them. Let the Wardens settle this. There’s no way they haven’t caught on.”
- Um... They've definitely caught on. They just have super secret reasons for not doing anything for some reason.

17. “I’m standing by my decision. It’s that, or you calm down and go home and rest.”

“Or nothing,” Dae snapped. “Roun Tiuruh, I’m so done with you. I ain’t gonna promise you a thing because you can’t even seem to keep your own words. If you won’t do something to stop the Nionis, then I will,” she growled as she stalked away from the courtyard.
- YES DAEEEEE. Sorry I was a couple accidents and hidden secrets away from being tired of the passive route the kids are taking. They gotta do something or they're doomed.

“Dae!” Roun rose to his feet. “Don’t do anything stupid!”
- No no no please do Dae

19. “Will you keep an eye on Dae and make sure she doesn’t go charging into the Nionis Family Area?” Quo’s bark pitched up at the end. “I know you can’t climb trees. If anything happens, just report to the Wardens like you should and then come get me – don’t tell them I asked you to. They’d think I was planning something. ‘Kay, off you go.”
- I respect Roun more for this. Between his leadership in the forest (asskicking while saving people) and doing this to help out Dae even if he's against her I'm OK with him. Noice.

Panic washed over Roun. A sick feeling rushed over him. He scrambled to his knees and coughed it out. Dizziness came next. He fell over again and the exhaustion finally let his eyes close in sleep.
- Hey, unconsciousness is one way to get some sleep.

21. Beside him the animal stood up on its hind legs and squeaked again. Roun held out his hand. The animal grappled it with its two short front legs. Roun chuckled. “Well met. You’re Enn’s otter, right? What does she want?”
- Aw, otters are too cute.

22. The meetup point was a bridge that crossed over a wide river southeast of the Tiuruh Family Area. On this side of the river, the giant archway in front of the bridge was dark blue. On the other side stood a red arch. Small umbrella plants and flat mushrooms grew on the riverbanks, their soft white glow spreading through the water, clearly revealing the silhouettes of fish and other aquatic creatures.
- Pretty scenic and beautiful place.

23. Roun took a breath. “You know when the tree fell in the backyard? That was the Nionis.”
- Someone at least prank the Nionis dammit.

24. “That’s the thing. We don’t know or when they did it,” Roun scowled. “But it’s them. They’re the only ones that have the gall to do something like this. And we've had scuffles with them before. You remember how Huks was so quick to pick a fight with us when you came to the village? It’s a family rivalry thing. They want to be first in the Exam and so… they’re trying to pick on our family, because we have - had the most participants.”
- It's time to fight back guys!

Roun’s sorry look quickly turned guilty as they crossed the bridge. “Ahh… two years ago, we had a similar spat with the Nionis. We kind of thrashed the Hakara Family Area while we were at it.”
- That's a story to hear haha.

Chapter 18

1. Instead of cube fixtures, lanterns hung from short poles at regular intervals lit the way. The path traversed over several glimmering streams that grew larger the further they went. Many flowers of different colours grew in the underbrush, planted among large stones, little animal statues, and miniature structures that looked like shrines.
- Another beautiful place haha. Would like to take a walk in something peaceful like that some time... In Spring... When it's warm.

2. The lake water was clear, so clear he could see straight to the bottom, but the light caused it  to shimmer with rainbow colours across its surface. Beneath the water bioluminescent plants swayed and small creatures darted to and fro. Small spore-like light wisps danced through the air, creating a dreamy haze. Giant lily pads and flowers glided over gentle ripples. Long-legged birds waded in the water while in the distance small flocks fluttered low over the lake. Short trees also grew from the water, but nothing that rose past waist height. For the first time in a while he remembered what open space felt like. It had a very refreshing effect on the young Acor.
- Now this is the natural scenery of the village that I'd appreciate more haha. After such a stressful forest raid looks like a holidy.

3. There were no roads or platforms. The houses sat on top of the water, raised by wooden or stone supports and connected by wooden bridges. Each had a shallow triangle roof that curved up at its sides and was set with red tiles. The Tiuruhs lived in a close knit family community complex, the Hakaras built their dwellings a good distance from each other, sprawled throughout the lake without obscuring and scenery. It reminded Dave of high-end housing.
- Classy. And really nailing it with the descriptions in these bits.

4. Dave glanced around. “Yeah… where is everyone?” They’d seen not a soul since arriving. If the people were all inside, they were doing a wondrous job of keeping quiet.
- Oh no it was too good to be true.

5. Dave sniffed the air. “I smell water.”

Roun kept scanning the area. “I smell smoke.”
- Dave needs some sniffing tips from a bro hahaha.

6. Smoke? There was a faint trace of it that Dave wouldn’t have noticed if Roun hadn’t pointed it out. That didn’t seem so strange. The smoke could be coming from someone’s chimney… except there was a burnt building right up ahead.
- Dammit Dave get some observational training hahaha. Dae could give some drills too.

7. “That’s the Hakara Main House,” Roun said in a small voice.
- Wait, this isn't something that only the two of them could've noticed right? I'd expect fires to raise at least one eyebrow of a responsible adult nearby.

Then he saw the organized garden on the land, full of spicy scented herbs, and put two and two together.
“This is…the Healer’s house?” Dave said.
- Dun dun duun.

9. Enn held her long white sleeve out. “Please, let us converse inside. I have prepared some refreshments.”
- Ah, so not a serious fire.

10. “What are you going to do about the Nionis?”
- I am less than surprised

11. Enn was unwavering. “Something happened in our Area recently too. You saw the number of patients in the healer’s house? Early this morning, one of the warden candidates was nearly killed by a water buffalo. A littler later, a number of the residents, young and old, started feeling ill from contaminated water. Some think the buffalo attacked because the water made it temperamental. Some think one of our maids also became ill and accidentally started a fire in the kitchen. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt there, but our manpower has been too divided to focus on practices. Over half our family is out of commission and it all happened the same time as the incidents during your practice. It’s like someone wanted to say, ‘there’s no way we could have done it because we have an alibi’, don’t you think?”
- Damn somebodys' really intent on starting something in this village.

12. “If that’s the case… why don’t you just tell your suspicions to the Wardens?” Roun asked.
- Because Wardens don't do anything...

13. Enn shook her head. “If they can make trouble this bad for others, I’m sure creating trouble for themselves will be easy. My point is,” she said coldly, “the reason for their behaviour is because they see Huks as their leader, and Huks wants to get back at you. This isn’t about which family is the most successful in the exam. This is a survival match between you and Huks. The Nionis want to beat you, Roun.”
- If the gauntlet is thrown down then I say rise up to the challenge and retaliate.

14. Roun looked displeased. “What the cret… Listen, Enn, you’re mistaken if you think I’m going to fight back like I did two years ago. That was a mistake. I promised my mom I wouldn’t start anything like that again. I’ve told the others not to retaliate and I don’t intend to either.”
- Oh come ON Roun. You don't even need to seriously harm them or anything. Just fight back instead of waiting for something to go wrong darnit...

15. “Well then, son of the heiress,” Enn said darkly, “You’re mistaken if you think this problem isn’t your responsibility. You will end up beaten. Your family can only hold out so long. What are you going to do if -”
- Yess

16. “When did she get up there?” Dave puzzled.
- Niiinja. But she better not be here to advise against retaliation because I'm tired of everyone else doing what they want and attacking the clan.

17. Dave thought it a pity they couldn’t stay longer. He’d been too afraid to eat amidst the heavy atmosphere and since the refreshments were basically light snacks and not dinner, his stomach was yearning to taste more of the desserts.
- If anyone makes good pastries its' gotta be a healer.

18. Dave thought of the Hakaras, the Nionis, and the Tiuruhs. What did they think it meant to be an Acor? No one’s definition seemed to be the same. Every turn was bringing a new danger. Uneasiness over this wouldn’t leave him. Until now, everything had felt surreal. The forest. The village. Even the practices. What would happen next?
- Everything bad, unless you get some real information bro

As long as you do as your dad says, your life won’t be in danger.
“My dad was the one who let me come here…”
- Did you even want to come, Dave? I mean I get everything is scary and strange but your initiative is a bit worrying. But not gonna lie with his skills he could fit in the village. Maybe getting to the exam will clear things up.

20.Roun whisked his hair back into a ponytail. “The remaining kids in our family want to opt out of the exam… think it’ll discourage the Nionis from making any more moves, but...based on what Enn told us last night, I don’t think it would make a difference. I’m going to talk with them.”

“You look like you’re preparing for battle,” said Dave. Roun had thrown on the type of clothes they used for practice - gloves, rugged pants, and even a couple belt pouches containing medical supplies and such, lastly grabbing his sword that he kept nearby at all times.
- Yes is this what I think it is? Is Roun stepping up? Wondering what Dae is doing now.

22. “Alright. ‘You’ll definitely die.’ Nice knowing you.” Dave pressed his hands together and bowed.
- Haha death flag avoided.

23. He wondered if Gran Cera would be willing to mend them.
- I wonder who the local blacksmith is to make equipment.

24. It made a nice selection of stuff in his small bag.
- Now that's what I call gearing up.

25. “Adsoku Family Area. I sent in some reinforcements from the other families, but the… rabid hawks are proving to be tough.”
- Rabid hawks sound like a problem haha.

26. “So that’s what happened last night,” said Dave, tossing a small brown berry into his mouth. “I’m surprised that the other families listen to Roun.”
- Yeah Roun was surprisingly polite.

27. Four o’clock Dave arrived at Gran Cera’s and found the lady serving an afternoon snack to Shira. He joined them, of course. More than Hakara desserts, Gran Cera’s cooking was not something you passed up. So it was closer to five when the two children actually got to berry picking while the elderly lady worked on making dinner.
- I'm definitely hungry right now.

28. “Both families pulled off some prank stuff for a week till some of us decided to get back at them for good. Ended up trashing the Hakara Family Area and got into big trouble because of it, Roun included.”
- Eh, that sounds like exactly the thing to do to be honest, at the very least. I don't get how they got in so much trouble for a prank war when their sabotage is so bad.

29. That was just it, he realized. He didn’t want to get involved. Fighting an animal was one thing, but fighting other people seriously still unsettled him deep down. If it did happen, he didn’t know what he would do. He wasn’t sure what he was expected to do.
- I mean their sparring was already pretty intense, I thought that'd at  least get the edge off the concept of fighting someone else. But it might be a different feeling I suppose.

30. “The wardens are acting weird... ” Dave meant to say to himself, but Shira overheard him.
- You can say that again.

Dave stopped. He didn’t know why. He didn’t hear the voice. He heard only a quavering high-pitched sound, a siren’s call, growing in his ears by the second. Out of nowhere, the grip of fear held him in place as dread shot through his body.

The spell broke. Dave swung around to see Shira double over, red liquid dripping from her mouth.
- Oh Damn!

Chapter 19
1. Poisonous berry. She needs an antidote.
- Please tell me he got a little training for this.

2. Snatching it up, Dave pulled her up onto his arm when he realized he couldn’t pour the antidote into her mouth because of her mask. The moment he tried to remove it Shira’s eyes flashed. She slapped his hand away.
- Damn even in a matter of life and death.

3. “Yes, thank Cretanneh. It was good that you were here, Dave. Any later and she may have suffocated. We need to subdue the inflammation in her throat even more. Can you bring her into the house, Dave? I’m going to call her mother.”
- Okay this better mean war now.

4. The trill of the phone wavered over the rumble of weapons echoing off rock walls. Shadows of several figures cast by lamps flitted across the uneven surfaces. There was nothing to distinguish the people fighting each other. They all wore black and they all fought with the auras of those ready to kill. Many bodies lay on the floor of what seemed to be a meeting room, blood splattered over the wooden tables and chairs. It was hard to tell if they were all dead. Including the incapacitated ones, there were a total of thirty converged upon the four Wardens fighting back.
- Daaaaaamn this looks like a busy brawl! Holy heck somethings going down here.

5. “No, I take that back. I couldn’t! I know these faces too well. Shame on you, Waron!”
- So they're fighting undead? Huh. Wonder who ressed them.

6. Those who tried to escape him met with the Chief’s second bodyguard, Shira and Dae’s mother, Nuyori Tiuruh. She remained in one place, unmoved by the action around her. In one hand she took out her phone. In the other, she held a small metal Warhammer that struck the surrounding hostiles with deadly accuracy. Her awareness did not falter even when she glanced at the caller ID on her phone.
- Now that's what I call being chill, badass and dangerous. Damn.

7.  On cue, the Wardens put their hands to their ears and all but Waron ducked to the ground. The man reached up, yanked down his scarf, and roared. The rock walls rumbled. The chairs and tables rattled. Those without hearing protection keeled over, clutching their ears, but they couldn’t escape the deafening ring piercing into their minds.
- Wait are they fighting human opponents or zombies? Might have misread something there. Also voice powers for the win.

8. “We found it, sir,” the warden said breathlessly. “Underneath the family area, right below the mountain – there’s a huge negative energy pocket.”
- Dun dun duuuuun.

9. Dammit… dammit dammit dammit! Her bitter whispers filled his ears.


“I can’t do this anymore,” Dae gasped. “I’m not taking anymore of this crap!”
- But I thought she already went off to  do something?

10.  Dae said, shakily, “I... think the Nionis are setting their traps remotely.”
- Trap Magic. Or something.
11. She opened her hands. Clutched in each were two different samples of dirt, one black and one red. Dave wasn’t sure what to make of it. “This pretty much proves it. This red dirt is what you find around the village. But the bush was planted completely in black dirt, Deep Woods dirt. And it’s still moist. They didn’t dig a hole. If they came in themselves, they would have left traces - you could tell if it was newly planted. But they left it with the original soil. Somewhere in the Deep Woods is probably the original berry bush. I don’t know! It’s the only thing I could think of.”

- Now that's an interesting technique to use.

12. “Are you crazy?! Dude, I just said it’s a theory - there’s no proof it could actually be true. As if anyone would even believe it. Forget I said anything!”
- Aaaaaand they wouldn't act on the theory anyways. Booo to the Wardens and adults! Deal with this yourselves, guys trust me.

13.  Dave could feel his heart pounding in his chest. It was the same for when he met the boar and dodged the tree. Thinking back on it, he couldn’t have survived either without the voice’s guidance. Back then it hadn’t asked. Even now when he couldn’t see the danger, it felt like he wasn’t alone. He ran ahead without hesitation.

“…yes, please,” he replied.
- Yes benevolent, disembodied voice.

14. Dae walked into the living room and balked with wide eyes when she saw who was on the patio. She was so startled she couldn’t speak for a few seconds.


- Dun dun duuuun.

General Comments
- Welp took a lot longer than I planned to catch up. Looks like a lot of things are brewing, and I'm curious about that negative space the Wardens found, and who exactly they were fighting, and I want Dae to go crazy and show these bastards how to fight. Liked the scenic descriptions and I'm still learning the clan names a bit, so it's getting easier to catch on. Rouns' fighting was epic against the ants and that lizard thing was quite crazy. I'm looking forward to Dave shining though and really doing something haha.

As of now I'm putting all my bets on Dae at least shaking something loose because all this cloak and dagger nonsense is going too far. I hope to at least see the exam so that even if they have to officially exact their revenge they kick ass in there during the tournament.

P.S Take with lots of scepticism. My reviewing game is a bit rusty these days haha

Comics and other Gallery / Re: Miscellaneous Arts and Sketchbook
« on: January 19, 2021, 12:28:45 PM »
Cars are the devil. I made a toy car even, and jeez louise my line discipline is terrifically horrible haha.

In a legendary slumps of legendary slumps but I put in +10 for all the regimens at once today and I hope I can keep the streak reasonably long enough this time. If not that'll suck, but I really want to keep drawing.


break Room / Re: Merry Christmas MangaRaiders - 2020
« on: December 30, 2020, 01:55:01 PM »
Super duper belated Merry Christmas. Hope it went well. I got rabbit stew brought over to me so definitely a different, solitary Christmas, but I've really enjoyed having time for myself during this twilight of the year.

See you on the other side Raiders!

MR Pub / Re: Milestones
« on: December 30, 2020, 01:53:48 PM »
I don't even want to know how long I've been here hahaha.

Congrats Manimal!

General Manga writer discussions / NaNoWrimo 2020
« on: November 11, 2020, 04:59:07 PM »
Joining in for fun, really. Damn the interface has changed haha.

The last time I did this was 2011 so a few years ago at least.

As with Inktober, I've sort of let this pass me by because I was too anxious (ironically) of completing it successfully or doing it properly, so I'm joining this Nano with the explicit expectation that I will not be able to reach 50,000 words by the end of the month, but I'm glad to have participated.

I'm usually a lot more sure and gun-ho about this stuff (or was) so I'm hoping this will knock something loose productivity-wise.

Also joining Nasoalmo for sure.

General Discussion / Re: Hey guys a question can you answer me?
« on: November 11, 2020, 05:58:51 AM »
It's super hard to get into the japanese market, but that's no problem: The internet allows you to reach an even wider audience, so just focus on getting your manga done.

Hiroya Oku is indeed a legend, and those panels from Berserk are inspired. All I know is that they use a lot of 3d software, a lot of references and take their time.

I have no idea how to draw hyperrealistic backgrounds though to be honest haha. Just don't be scared of using references or 3d software to help make accurate looking buildings. Take photos and draw directly from them, even. Use tools to make as enhanced an image as possible.

And one last thing: The art can look as beautiful as possible, but the story has to be interesting too. So don't forget even though detail is great, the reader still needs to be entertained.

Holy heck No1sy I have a running gag with a couple of friends about how impossible it is to catch up with Wheel of Time series. This is pretty cool. Avoiding all spoilers like the plague but your first post has definitely sold it to me. In fact, I have the first volume gathering dust in my room right now!

2 hours commute daily hmmmm. If it's as you say that's some inspiring stuff right there. I'm nowhere near as busy as you, but I do have a lot of 'empty-time' waiting for something or being in transit that I haven't been capitalizing on as much as I'd like haha. Will keep that in mind

And man, world-building is something that I haven't done enough of in too long. Really want to craft a world just for the challenge and fun of it. It's fun figuring out a system for a universe.

Manga Art Gallery / Re: Legomaestro's Art Box
« on: November 11, 2020, 05:52:20 AM »
Welp, it was good while it lasted haha. Lions and tigers come running whenever I'm in the zone it's ridiculous. Definitely been knocked down a few inches optimism-wise, but at least I'm still drawing haha.

I'm exploring my ability to express ideas more rather than the infinite journey for anatomic perfection. They're not mutually exclusive, but I'm going to try to focus on a more thumbnail concept expression of art than focusing on the final finished product.

It might help me win over my fear of backgrounds, and potentially improve my 'sketch stage' (of which, tbh doesn't exist on my front) so that my complete stage looks just a tad bit better.

Comics and other Gallery / Re: Miscellaneous Arts and Sketchbook
« on: November 11, 2020, 05:49:40 AM »

Made progress but hot daaaamn it's annoying to go at every regimen in on sitting. I'll have to make entire weeks dedicated to one regimen or it'll drive me a wee bit mad haha. Though drawing is something that combines all sorts of elements and I'm really just going for the number, I find what little concentration I have vanishes if I have to juggle such different motifs.

Tis week I'll work on shoes. Next week cars maybe.

And who knows? Blocking out themed weeks might actually help me organize other stuff. If I feel good about such structure I could plug in prompt weeks for my other drawing projects as well to streamline my process.

Just rambling.

Also oh gawd cars are impossibru to draw haha

Comics and other Gallery / Re: Miscellaneous Arts and Sketchbook
« on: November 07, 2020, 06:59:16 AM »
That's actually something I'm applying more in general. Real baby steps so it's not super detailed but it's nice to just get a piece of paper and write what you plan to do. It helps unbelievably haha.

Comics and other Gallery / Re: Miscellaneous Arts and Sketchbook
« on: November 05, 2020, 05:33:29 AM »
Yeah definitely going for just doing stuff ad-infinitum. I think too much and stagnate as a result haha. I want to really look into the styles I want to draw though for real.

Very wonky this batch and still warming up. I'll try breaking down the car. It's really funky getting the proper 3d down on paper haha.

@ Echo thankee! And yes indeed I have a mannequin. And haha damn I forgot I was doing a mannequin regimen too. Jeez I have 4 1,000 regimens xD This'll take a minute to complete, but I'm looking forward to it.

General Discussion / Eating Aeroplanes
« on: November 05, 2020, 05:26:35 AM »
You may have heard of this dude in passing https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_Lotito

I think I've found the thing that'll make me keep at regimens all the time, and drawing and music in general. It's sort of vague and personal idea but basically, if you can eat an aeroplane, then given enough time and with smart planning and compartmentalisation you can tackle even huge random ridiculous tasks like say writing a million words or drawing something 1,000 times.

And I've always felt weird about the aimlessness of doing something repeatedly or tackling huge tasks, like what's the point? My answer is like: Why not? Monsieur Lotito did get some fame and that's something tangible and nice to have, but I think even that just doing it because I want to is more than enough.

Sort of a big breakthrough and I need to frame it better over time but yeah that's my basic rambling.

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