Comic 489 - Ara?

6th Mar 2017, 6:00 PM in Chapter Eight
489 - Ara?
Average Rating: 5 (13 votes)
rufiangel 6th Mar 2017, 6:00 PM edit delete
Thanks everyone for your patience as I took the whole of last week off to recharge. :)

There are very obscure references to these new characters in previous pages, actually. Ruthford was mentioned once in a strip long ago in passing (check the third panel), while Zion was shown as a child in the side story 'Unconditional', most clearly on this page though he wasn't named at the time. XD; It's not necessary to recall these obscure details at all, but I thought I'd let you guys know they've always been in the background, brewing. ;)

I hope you guys enjoy today's update~ Thanks for reading, and see you guys on Thursday!

mjkj 6th Mar 2017, 6:03 PM edit delete reply
So, are they the cause of the oak going rampant?

...why is he about to draw his sword? are they part or supporters of the zirkonia?

rufiangel 7th Mar 2017, 10:42 AM edit delete reply
Seia seems to think it's because the lapia oak took in too much aqua so if he's correct, then 'they' (the Lethian Knights, I'm assuming you're referring to) are probably not the cause. XD;

Regarding Ruthford, if you try drawing an imaginary sword from its sheathe on your hip like that, you'll notice that your knuckles would be facing your hip and your palm would face outward. Ruthford's palm is inward because he is no longer trying to draw his sword, and is retracting his hand instead. In other words, he *was* about to draw instinctively but isn't going to now. :) Sorry that it wasn't clear!
mjkj 7th Mar 2017, 5:05 PM edit delete reply
Yes, that is the they I meant.

Ah, now that you mention it it is clear that he is not drawing... thanks for pointing it out.

rufiangel 8th Mar 2017, 9:16 AM edit delete reply
Always clearer in retrospect XD; next time I'll know to draw it clearer :D thanks!
mjkj 8th Mar 2017, 12:20 PM edit delete reply
It indeed is. Thanks again.

MST3KFan 6th Mar 2017, 6:19 PM edit delete reply
Well, looks like there's some explainin' to do all around here.
rufiangel 7th Mar 2017, 10:43 AM edit delete reply
So it would seem! Certainly, Seia hasn't contacted the Lethian Guild since Lari Oasis up until this point, so they have no idea what's been going down...
Just_IDD 6th Mar 2017, 6:27 PM edit delete reply
I guess it says something that is soon as I read this page I was looking for the next one! Seia, what sort of shadings of Truth are you going to provide your friends?
rufiangel 7th Mar 2017, 10:46 AM edit delete reply
Awww Just_IDD, thank you! :D <333 I'm very pleased to know it made you want to know more ;v;* <3

Ophelia did indeed notice he hadn't even tried to contact his guild so Seia is prooolly not likely to reveal his whole hand here... >_> though which cards he keeps facedown, we'll see~ ;)
KAM 6th Mar 2017, 7:04 PM edit delete reply
Gee, why is the Lethian Knight killer worried about more Lethian Knights? ;-)

Rufi, I doubt it's a never-ending list. There's a guy I know who does a webcomic where it seems like he can't go 5 pages without introducing someone new. I made a snarky comment about that and he jokingly (I think) said that he has millions of people on his world and he plans to introduce all of them before the comic ends. ;-)
Lukkai 6th Mar 2017, 8:18 PM edit delete reply
Seriously, just take a look at Bleach the anime and how many characters they introduced for all their filler stuff (even though they would have already had tons of characters to reuse from the main, side or earlier filler cast).

This is absolutely harmless in comparison.

Not to mention they have already been hinted at earlier in the story (Pompadour as well).
rufiangel 7th Mar 2017, 10:54 AM edit delete reply
@Lukkai: I think I read 3 volumes of Bleach and stopped, but it does look like they have a ginormous cast so XD I can guess what you mean!

I do try to re-use characters if I think they're relevant, just because it feels tighter and more consistent on the whole in the story. So I'm glad you feel the general new character introductions feel relatively harmless XD;

Kylie is about to come up against some tournament peeps that *weren't* shown at all previously though, which is why Zion and Ruthford are sort of only the beginning of this onrush for this chapter :'D but hopefully it won't feel like too much at once!
Lukkai 7th Mar 2017, 11:14 AM edit delete reply
Well, can't be helped about the tournament.

And you've read some of the manga. But trust me, the anime is way worse when it comes to the numbers of characters. Because of the many fillers it has and a tendency to introduce new characters with every single filler story.
rufiangel 8th Mar 2017, 9:18 AM edit delete reply
I'm starting to recall the vast amount of anime filler I've seen in the past and it's giving me shivers XD;;; I'd forgotten about that!

Are Bleach fillers any good at least? Or at they like... you know... the usual type XD; (read: disposable)
Lukkai 8th Mar 2017, 10:18 PM edit delete reply
Well, can't say I've seen more than a small handfull. I know a lot of people who did though. And the general consensus I've heard is that Bleach's fillers individually are just about average when it comes to quality. The main problems however being A) The sheer amount of filler (there seems to be more than actual content, at least it feels that way) and B) The incredibly vast amount of extra characters introduced. Which makes the whole thing a lot worse. (Or "unwatchable/unbearable" as some of my associates would call it.)
rufiangel 9th Mar 2017, 1:10 PM edit delete reply
This concept of filler is very fascinating to me, really... XD; I'm surprised they just want to introduce new characters (with the tried and tested 'monster/problem of the day' formula I suppose) rather than just do something with the main cast. Someone I know's favourite episode of Dragonball is actually a filler episode where Piccolo and Goku have to get a driver's license? XD; Something silly like that seems like harmless filler fun. Not everyone would agree though, I suppose.

Technically the entire run of Fumoffu from FMP could be seen as intense filler between the actual plot, but it's definitely got some great material in there, too. XD;
Lukkai 9th Mar 2017, 10:45 PM edit delete reply
The Dragonball driving's license story is great and absolutely hilarious! It really brings the old kind of humour from the start of the series back into the later run.

Fumoffu is awesome as well. As well as the FMP Overload! manga, that I'm reading currently.

One of the best Naruto fillers is a visit to an Onsen after he and Jiraya found Tsunade. It's funny, it's all in-character and perfectly fits into canon. And it doesn't need to introduce new people save some background characters, instead focusing on the ones already running around.

Where am I going with that? To a simple advice:
If you want/need to do a filler, don't bring in ever more and more main plot characters (even if it's only the fillers main plot). Depending on the setting, it makes sense to have one or two for the hook-up. But the focus should always lie on already existing characters. They should be the ones acting and in the spotlight.
Also, your filler does not have to be the best storyline evah!!1!11 and the highlight of the series. It has to be entertaining and fit in. So don't go over the top. Just fill in the gaps. There will always be one or more characters that aren't currently the focus of the not-filler storyline. You can show what they are up to in the meantime. Or fill in a part of a time jump in the main storyline. Heck, you can even use a flashback to further explain a character's attitude and/or standing.
There's a lot you can do without introducing an ever bigger flood of new spotlight characters and without grasping for storylines that are completely out there. Instead you can not only keep from annoying your readers/viewers, but also further flesh out the world and the people living in it.

And if you really want to introduce a new spotlight character: Take the unnamed toll guard seen in the background of the main characters' latest big brawl and make a "A day in the live of" about him. Showing both his usual routine and how the brawl went down from his perspective. That way you do not actually break, just bend the first rule above. Stay true to the second rule. And can flesh out the world really well, while at the same time make it really funny (or tragic, if that's your cup of tea).
rufiangel 7th Mar 2017, 10:48 AM edit delete reply
@KAM: She's outnumbered three to one, killed one of their own and has a reason to be murderised or interrogated by them and currently has zero way of defending herself because Seia took her dischold hostage. So... she has a lot of reasons XDDD

And dang, every 5 pages? :'D That's amazing, I find it so much work to design new characters and palettes I just get super lazy about it!
Lukkai 6th Mar 2017, 8:20 PM edit delete reply
Really getting a veteran and disciple vibe from these two. From where we've seen them before/what we've heard of them before, it would also make sense.
rufiangel 7th Mar 2017, 10:55 AM edit delete reply
<3 Yay Lukkai! :D I'm very glad with what little screentime they've had so far, they still manage to give off that vibe X3 I try!
Jarvi 6th Mar 2017, 9:29 PM edit delete reply
Mmmmmm I think I found my new love <wraps arms around Zion and hisses at everyone else> :3 <3
rufiangel 7th Mar 2017, 11:05 AM edit delete reply
LOL Jarvi-nii!! XDDD Well, I'm glad you like him so much already <33

Zion is an interesting one, you'll see in the pages to come... (I wonder if he'll be more impressive the less he talks, though XDDD Zion, enjoy this possibly short-lived popularity for now!)
CiciEnixa 7th Mar 2017, 12:02 AM edit delete reply
I vaguely remember Ruthford's name, though I wasn't sure why until I clicked the link XD And yaaaaayyyyy Lightning Lethian~ I find it fascinating how Zion's armor is more angular and a tiny earring and and... Rince, I think you may want to exert dominance or Zion might pass you in the List of Cici's Fave SF Characters XD
rufiangel 7th Mar 2017, 11:10 AM edit delete reply
WHOA WHAT you remembered that?? XD;;; *SO IMPRESSED* dang you've got the memory of an elephant!

I took some time tinkering with Zion's armour design, I hope it works ;v;*

Rince is just like "Oh yeah, sure, I just appeared for an entire chapter, Zion can appear on just one page and steal the show, why not ^^" <--not bitter at all XDDD
CiciEnixa 7th Mar 2017, 10:42 PM edit delete reply
I'm afraid that while you have a smoldering presence, Rince, Zion's splits the sky in half in a way that sends electricity running up your spine ;D
Lukkai 7th Mar 2017, 11:09 PM edit delete reply
Now, now! Don't go messing with a guy that is on fire!
Jarvi 8th Mar 2017, 3:10 AM edit delete reply
One is hot, the other one is electrifying ;3 I can take both, no need to fight <3
rufiangel 8th Mar 2017, 9:19 AM edit delete reply
Rince is all, "Sure, why not? :)"
Zion is very confused as to how this Jarvi Harem Application Form got filled out and submitted on his behalf. XD
Lukkai 8th Mar 2017, 10:19 PM edit delete reply
But is he the most electrifying Knight in the Guild?
Centcomm 7th Mar 2017, 3:27 AM edit delete reply
YAY help arrives!! :D
rufiangel 7th Mar 2017, 11:11 AM edit delete reply
Yeppers, definitely a form of help indeed when it comes to tackling irksome oaks XD

Though whether Ophelia will agree this is a good thing remains to be seen... ;D
Seabiscuit 7th Mar 2017, 3:53 AM edit delete reply
Aw yeah! Some more friends.:D
rufiangel 7th Mar 2017, 11:12 AM edit delete reply
Yep! :D We have temporary expansion of Seia's party <3 ;D
Matt Knab 7th Mar 2017, 4:47 AM edit delete reply
Matt Knab
Just in time!
Haha, everyone looks surprised for one reason or another.
rufiangel 7th Mar 2017, 11:14 AM edit delete reply
Yep, Matt! XD; These knights are definitely taken aback by Seia appearing in this area. Hopefully I'll manage to squeeze in some geographical context in later pages XD;
Seia didn't expect to see Zion and Ruthford here either, though he's not *as* surprised.
Ophelia's just terrified :'D
The Accidental Ninja 7th Mar 2017, 7:20 AM edit delete reply
The Accidental Ninja
New friendly folks! This is probably a good thing for Seia. Maybe not such a good thing for Ophelia x'D
I can't help but think that, with that hairdo, Ruthford looks kinda like Seia but like 30 years older x'D
If Zion is referring to Seia as "-rin", I guess that means they're good friends, or Zion is Seia's senpai? (although he looks younger than Seia tbh) Just curious.

Lol I finally got around to making a CF account x'D I now have a face nyeheheheh
rufiangel 7th Mar 2017, 11:18 AM edit delete reply
Woooo you have an account! :D Nice to see a cute little avatar to your comments now! ;) And you can check on responses to your comments by clicking 'My updates' on the CF page ^3^*)/
As for these new folks - that's right, Kat! XD Ruthford definitely has a similar hairstyle to Seia's (lol) but he has this... hair thing on the front. It's not so obvious on this page but maybe in later ones, you'll see what I mean. XD He's not quite 30 years older than Seia but... maybe not that far from that >.>
As for Zion, he's actually Kylie's age! But Zion is quite familiar with Seia, and treats him accordingly. If my script goes to plan, you'll see why in later pages XD;;
The Accidental Ninja 10th Mar 2017, 4:06 AM edit delete reply
The Accidental Ninja
...Why *wouldn't* your script go according to plan? O_o

(lol thanks for the CF tip I didn't know that x'D)
rufiangel 13th Mar 2017, 10:09 AM edit delete reply
The most common thing that happens is that I don't account for how much space I actually have versus how much I've written, so I end up having to cut out a lot. XD; One scene this was most egregious was when Madou had Kylie tied to her sword in Chapter 5, where I ended up cutting down what was a really long monologue all the way down to just the bare bones. :'D Similarly, Zion and Seia have some background but it's not strictly relevant to the plot, so if I run out of space, we'll just get what's important. If that happens, I'll fill readers in off-panel~ :'D

(And no worries, it took me a while before I realised what that link did myself XD)
Lukkai 7th Mar 2017, 11:11 PM edit delete reply
Heh, I like the name you chose. Close enough that I could recognize you immediately, yet special enough to stand out.
The Accidental Ninja 10th Mar 2017, 4:08 AM edit delete reply
The Accidental Ninja
Lol thanks XD
Better than THE Kat 012130145? x'D
Lukkai 15th Mar 2017, 11:51 PM edit delete reply
Yyyyes. Indefinitely. ;)
DLKmusic 7th Mar 2017, 8:32 AM edit delete reply
I want that Halberd!

What's he doing way out here? Good question, Ruthford! When you find out, could you please let us readers know? I've been wondering that for a while now!
rufiangel 7th Mar 2017, 11:19 AM edit delete reply
Eheheh, yay! :D I'm really pleased you do, I had a lot of fun looking into halberd design XD <333

As for Seia's internal motivations and goals, we'll see how much of that he lets on in the pages to come... ;)
Crestlinger 7th Mar 2017, 10:36 AM edit delete reply
When in doubt ask anyway, because illusion spells Are a thing.
rufiangel 7th Mar 2017, 11:20 AM edit delete reply
Probably a good rule of thumb in any fantasy story, especially ones with political mayhem and deceit going on XD;
Gilrandir 7th Mar 2017, 1:12 PM edit delete reply
Well, theoretically Seia should be able to get some healing now.
Lukkai 7th Mar 2017, 11:12 PM edit delete reply
Only if one of them is better at it than him. Which is not very likely. From what we know, healing is not necessarily a speciality of Lethian Knights. At least not when it comes to supernaturally heal others.
Gilrandir 7th Mar 2017, 11:56 PM edit delete reply
They might or might not have healing themselves. But, even if they didn't, I am assuming Green Magic is sufficiently versatile to include some kind of summons with heal/regenerate capability.

While the two of them were alone, obviously it would be extremely dangerous to try and get healing from Ophelia. But, with his two comrades there it seems very plausible for Seia to say "You can summon up some healing for both of us, if you promise to be good. And, at the first sign of you trying something tricky, these two will put a stop to it. With prejudice." ^_^
rufiangel 8th Mar 2017, 9:27 AM edit delete reply
Ah, that's an interesting point to bring up!

There are various ways things can go from here, but hopefully it'll make sense as to why the characters choose what they do.

I suppose I'll throw this out there: is what Seia needs a normal 'heal'? ;)
Lukkai 8th Mar 2017, 10:21 PM edit delete reply
I'm actually thinking he might be on "wishing stone only" level. D:

Though a very strong cleric might do the trick as well. Who knows? (Well, you do obviously.)
rufiangel 9th Mar 2017, 1:15 PM edit delete reply
Lukkai 7th Mar 2017, 11:07 PM edit delete reply



rufiangel 8th Mar 2017, 9:28 AM edit delete reply
I could have gone for Ere or Iri or Uru, but I felt like Ara worked better. ;) Oro was patented by a certain red-head...
Lukkai 8th Mar 2017, 10:22 PM edit delete reply
I really dig those live action Kenshin movies they did, by the way!
rufiangel 9th Mar 2017, 1:16 PM edit delete reply
I only watched the first one, and I have mixed feelings about it XD; I probably should have gone into it with lower expectations. It definitely had some super pretty shots though!
Lukkai 9th Mar 2017, 10:54 PM edit delete reply
And the soundtrack!


Oh? How do I implement videos again? Or does that only work in the author comments above?

Anyway, here's the link.
Proxy170 8th Mar 2017, 4:19 AM edit delete reply
So much for getting away, Ophelia ;)

So I'm hoping that they may be able to help Seia's health situation, but am I being too confident in saying they can help the Lapia Oak? >.> I'm kinda hoping you'll give us more of those puzzle pieces with this scene, Rufi ^_^

Also, we never did confirm if Rince is actually dead, right? D: I'm gonna go with Game of Thrones logic and say if we didn't see them die, they aren't dead T__T
rufiangel 8th Mar 2017, 9:32 AM edit delete reply
Ophelia's chances at catching Seia off-guard and escaping are scuppered at this point, pretty much XD

I'm gonna say... you're not being too confident ;D fufufu. Definitely this situation will bring a lot of Plot to light XD I hope you'll find it interesting! ;v;*

And ohhh, Rince! No one's really asked about him I think? XD; (OR I forgot if they did :'D) We-ell, the next time we see him, he'll be... ... ... agh I can't say XD we'll seeee <3 :'D
mjkj 8th Mar 2017, 12:35 PM edit delete reply
Oh, the next time we see him he will be in his last throes???

rufiangel 9th Mar 2017, 1:16 PM edit delete reply
Ooh, that's a great idea, Mjkj! Thanks! ;D
mjkj 9th Mar 2017, 4:45 PM edit delete reply
You are welcome =)
Vincethestick 8th Mar 2017, 9:24 PM edit delete reply
So I finally got around to actually reading this and suddenly I ended up reading the whole archive. It was an emotional rollercoaster, but I like it a lot! The world building, characters, and art are really engaging and nice to look at! I'll be sticking around for more for sure!
Lukkai 8th Mar 2017, 10:24 PM edit delete reply
"One of us! One of us!"

Yeah, do I ever know these sudden archive binges. ;)
DLKmusic 9th Mar 2017, 8:07 AM edit delete reply
Welcome to the clubhouse! We have donuts!

rufiangel 9th Mar 2017, 1:24 PM edit delete reply
OH hello Vince! <33 Oh gosh, that is just the neatest compliment, thank you so much!! ;v;* I'm so honoured you decided to spend time to check out SF, and super touched you took more time to let me know your thoughts ;v;*** Thank you so much <333
HeSerpenty 10th Mar 2017, 4:31 AM edit delete reply
Oohhohoo more lethain Knights! In yo FACE, Ophelia!

I'm glad to see Seiah has some backup now.. just in case X"D
rufiangel 13th Mar 2017, 10:12 AM edit delete reply
That's right, Serpy, there's a high chance they're gonna get all up in her grill XD that should teach her to go on a murdering spree!

Three to one is definitely not good odds for Ophelia -v-