Slime After Slime

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Slime After Slime is a story written and illustrated by Iron Eater. It ran in Issue 73 at http://www.shousetsubangbang.com/mirror/slime-after-slime/

Summary[edit]

An aging hero on the edge of retirement reunites with an old friend, though quite a lot has changed since they last saw each other.

Once the ointment kicked in and the pain wasn't quite a knife prying at his patella, Lyón ran through the details he'd been collecting in his head until he felt he'd properly solved the little mystery Guerry had unknowingly set before him. It was time to make his next move. "You don't have to hold it in anymore if you don't want to," he said.

Guerry paused mid-winding. "Hold what in?"

"Oh, you know." Lyón wiggled his hands in a ta-da! gesture. "Galu! Lulu! You used to pepper your speech with those sounds all the time, so much I almost didn't recognize you without 'em. Should've known you'd be the one to fix me up again after all this time, Guérisseau." He smiled as genuinely as he was able. "I'm glad you got your wish after all."

Guerry finished dressing Lyón's knee, wiped off his hands, and sat back in his chair next to the tea tray. He didn't say anything.

Lyón's smile dimmed. "Guerry?"

"I was hoping maybe you'd forgotten me," he said. "It might've made things easier."

Connections[edit]

The lead characters in this story are based on Ragnar and Healie from the game Dragon Warrior IV for the NES (more recently rereleased as Dragon Quest IV for various portable systems).

Related Links[edit]

Aside from a certain song which infected certain editors during the process, a different work by the Japanese fansong maker Hyadain proves other people have actually put thought into human/slime relations. The latter has English subtitles which can be toggled via the captions button.

Author's Notes[edit]

This story was inspired by a friend of mine who has shipped the characters from the source material for literal decades, and was partially created as a present for them. The actual game very heavily glosses over how, exactly, Healie becomes a human; he just shows up accompanying Ragnar in a later chapter with a troubadour's sprite with zero explanation save that he might've been traveling with humans a lot, and is henceforth ignored by the script. In this version, I opted for a decision summarized by my spouse thusly: "I can't believe he wished on the Dragon Balls for a really good dick."

While slime-Healie is more of a floating jellyfish, slime-Guerry defaults to looking a bit like a floating Glaucus atlanticus, or blue angel nudibranch. It's safe to assume the version of him in the "title screen" image has had some artistic license applied; that, or he consumed a lot of extra water and is straining a bit to look extra big for the picture.

"Guérisseau" is taken from "guérisseur" (French for "healer") with a masculine diminutive applied to the end, while Lyón is a variant Japanese transliteration of "Ryan." "Guerry" is pronounced similarly to "Gary," just a little fancier.

This story was untitled for the majority of its creation and briefly had the name "Cold Comfort" for my beta reader's original pass. "Slime of Your Life" was another possible, but ultimately rejected, title.

My first draft actually started at the gala with Lyón desperately looking for somewhere to sit. That particular story structure had the flashbacks present as stories he was telling other people at the party, with the Guerry rescue and reveal being at the very tail end of the plot; as I continued working on things I realized that the most interesting part of the story was at the tail end, and that Guerry's identity was a straightforward enough guess it didn't make sense structuring the plot around Lyón learning who he was. This way I also got to give them a lot more time around each other, because they're just cute as little buttons, really.

I hadn't originally thought to include physical therapy for Lyón's knee; the more I worked on the story the more it felt like it'd be a good way to show Guerry's resourcefulness as well as give them more excuses to be around each other all the time. Lyón's drinking problem was an idea I'd started with, then wandered away from, then walked back, since it felt like a pretty reasonable flaw for a man used to having various sources of discomfort fixed for him ASAP for several years. It also felt like another good way to show that Lyón was adventuring to live instead of the opposite way around, as your typical murder-hobo isn't going to have the time or resources for personal maintenance unless they get very lucky (or adjust their lifestyle).

Whatever game Lyón stars in is presumably either a turn-based title or some form of vaguely Zelda-like action RPG; in the case of the former I saw it very much like a Playstation or PS2 title where tool use is required to navigate an environment.

The illustrations were both created in Clip Studio Paint EX and "inked" with a Frenden pencil brush, as I enjoy the crunchy look of the lines and it keeps me from spending countless extra hours trying to make everything look crisp and perfect. I also lucked into designing characters that are extremely fun to draw, so I'll probably doodle one or both of them in the future.