Sympathy For One's Own
-> RTS Page for Taboo-Tattoo 4
Taboo Tattoo 4
The story so far:
One day, Seigi rescued a man who was being accosted by hoodlums. In thanks, that man gave Seigi a tattoo-like crest. From that day onward, Seigi has carried a mysterious design etched into his right hand.
Before long, Seigi met a young girl. Though Seigi had confidence in his abilities, the girl dealt with him handily, and revealed that the crest is an ancient weapon called a Spell Crest. Each Spell Crests allows the user to produce a unique supernatural phenomena.
She gave her name as Bluesy Fluesy, (Izzie for short,) a Lieutenant of the US Army. Her mission is to recover spell crests that have leaked out of the USA, and after one thing led to another, Seigi is now helping her in her work. Seigi's crest is a special case, able to produce a void which can deal devastating damage to his surroundings, and without Izzie's assistance, carries the danger of going out of control.
Under these circumstances, enter Iltutmish, an assassin from Selinistan who is after the Spell Crests. The Kingdom of Selinistan is an emerging south Asian nation whose rate of economic development rivals that of America.
Though Seigi survived the danger of having his spell crest activated in battle, his childhood friend Touko was marked with the crest of Iltutmish. Unable to avoid getting Touko involved in the fight, Seigi is unable to hide his dismay. How will he cope?
float on book: Highly-acclaimed volume 1 on sale February 23rd
Given a spell crest by a man he saved in the street. Now targeted by Selinistani assassins.
\side tl note: Spelled Seigi here! It's slurred "Sehgi" everywhere else in the story, even on this page, but I'm returning to "Seigi" full-time because it sounds better in English.
Seigi's childhood friend. Was possessed by Iltutmish and still bears the crest on her forehead.
America / Team Blue Moon
USA Army Lieutenant. Nicknamed Izzie. Her body's growth is stunted by her spell crest.
Also of the USA Army. A young man serving in a supporting role to Izzie.
black box: Strained relations
Kingdom of Selinistan
Princess of Selinistan. Orchestrated a coup-d'etat, murdered her parents and claimed the throne.
Member of the Princess' private spell crest squad, the Brahman. Possessed Touko and attacked Seigi.
big bottom text: The 4th astonishing chapter begins on the next page!!
box: Summary: Having unexpectedly acquired a mysterious weapon, the spell crest, Seigi trains with Izzie, a young(?) girl associated with the USA Army, as they prepare to fight against spell crest-seeking assassins from the kingdom of Selinistan.
float: Alright, got her...!
red & black: From a right backhand, into a right reverse roundhouse! A magnificent combination!!
yellow: Tankoubon Vol 1 on sale February 23rd!!
title: Sympathy For One's Own
sfx on house: bang bang bang, vrrrr, clang clang
sfx down stairs: kabamm
As I thought,
Your reflexes are good and you adapt quickly to the "Drive", the state of having an activated crest.
But you need to stop fixating on throws.
It's good that you can do them, but the way you fight now, your movements are way to easy to read.
If you don't acquire a more flexible style you'll never be able to beat the agents of the Kingdom.
Should be fine against amateurs though...
float: I've never seen Seigi beaten by anyone except his grandfather before...
And so, we have this!
The Super Galactica Exotic Wooden Man!
I learned about this in a Hong Kong movie!
\tl note: The Jackie Chan movie "Shaolin Wooden Men."
Right, go kill him, Fido!
Hey, you mean "get him" not "kill him", right?!
Stop! Stop! I'm seriously gonna die!
handwritten: This ain't "wooden man" level!!
Touko-san, can I see your forehead? We'll use this film to cover it up.
handwritten: Product of NASA
Is Seigi really gonna be okay like that?
No need to worry, he's like a comic book character. By the next panel he'll be all healed.
Oh, sorry, did that hurt?
No, it's that bump I got... Does this tattoo not come off then?
It's not a tattoo, it's a spell crest.
If it were an imitation like mine it would be removable, but...
handwritten: In the state that I'm in...
Huh?! You can take it off!?
handwritten: ...I'm never gonna heal!
handwritten: It's impossible
Ah, yours can't though, Seigi-kun.
My spell crest is what's generally referred to as a "copy",
a by-product produced in the process of researching the originals.
They don't implant in the body so it's possible to remove them, but their performance is also lower.
As you can see, my wound is hardly healed at all.
Its abilities are limited to the "Noise Canceller", dispelling the supernatural effects of other spell crests.
So does that mean Izzie's is also...
Mine is an original.
*Beep* Battery is low.
handwritten: It runs on batteries?!
But really, this case is a first.
Yes. A spell crest's range is quite limited.
I can't imagine that girl being in range, using her ability all this time...
And yet it is indeed the mark of the stray cat.
You guys don't know how these work, but you sure do make a lot of use of them...
What's that weird yelp all about?
No-Nothing, nothing at all...
In order to survive, one needs to have an "assumption" of what one must do, and to know what the "outcome" of what happened.
Even if one doesn't know the theory behind how and the why, it's usually not a problem.
Do you bother consulting the blueprints every time you watch TV? Of course not.
Though of course we are studying the mechanism behind the spell crests.
I guess that's true...
In spite of this, you have used the Void Maker without even understanding the "outcome".
Well... Back then, my mind was just wasn't thinking straight...
I never thought it would come to that...
Come here and have a look.
handwritten: What's this?
This is a test subject, in a failed experiment implanting a key-less spell crest.
If Void Maker runs wild, it can carve away flesh and bone as easily and completely as it carved away my house.
Look, you can clearly see his organs in cross section...
I get it!
Enough already, I get it!!
The "void" created by the Void Maker make no distinction.
Whether it's yourself or others, living things or dead, it swallows it all.
And what's more is we have absolutely no means of defense against it.
If your opponent had been any less nimble than that stray cat, there wouldn't have been a drop of blood left of her. She'd be annihilated without a trace.
Are you prepared to accept such consequences?
Now you have an understanding of the "outcomes."
That thing is dangerous... Very dangerous.
I want you to promise me that you won't use it without my authorization.
I... I promise.
float: Back then, that girl shouldn't have had anywhere to run. How did she get outside the house in that short instant...?
All right then!
On with the training session!
The boost in physical abilities one receives from an active spell crest is proportional to one's natural abilities.
To put it in extreme terms, the fastest runner in the world would also be the fastest runner among Shields.
And the one with the most brute strength in the world would also have the most strength as a Shield.
That bear guy is a good example.
Although combat skills are important too,
basic abilities like speed, strength and stamina have a direct influence on the battle.
So in short...
You're saying I should up my physical fitness!
Right, and to that end you're to run 10km! Now get a move on!
Awright!! I'll do whatever it takes to be stronger! Let's goooooo! \slant: Gueh!!
Oh, hold on a second, please.
An active spell crest detection device.
It sounds an alarm when someone with an active spell crest is nearby.
It also sends an alert to my and the Lieutenant's cell phones.
Even if you do get attacked by a shield, we'll be right over to help you.
Hmm, that could be helpful...
Okay! Off I go, then!
And no going into deserted areas!
sfx: bangs, clangs, vrrrr, etc
Oh wait up,
I'll come along too! \handwritten: By bicycle!
At any rate...
Speaking the Kingdom...
Considering the lack of discord in the country after the coup-d'etat, and the mobilization of the Brahman,
\bubble on the right: There must have been considerable groundwork laid in advance.
The Kingdom's parliament has announced their support of the Princess as well...
At her age, I can't believe how precocious she is.
More importantly, our biggest problem now is how our situation with Seigi was leaked.
Since then, I've done everything from sweeping for listening devices and cameras to scouring the network, but found no trace of the information having leaked.
Hmm, in that case...
I suggest we bring the boy back to America for protection.
We must avoid the Kingdom stealing the key-less spell crest at all costs.
He's liable to be attacked again at any moment...
It's impossible for just the two of us to protect him through this!
I'm going to pick up the intel on our next target from the leader of White Rose.
...I'll get back to you.
How can she be so laid-back...? What is the lieutenant so hung up about?
I guess this has turned into a pretty strange situation, huh?
Sorry... It's all my fault...
Why are you apologizing?
It's not your fault, is it? \small: I've heard the story now
You just don't get it, Touko! We're caught up in something deadly serious here!
Truth is I probably don't fully understand it myself yet... Anyway, I'm sorry.
I'm a little happy about being able to share a secret with you.
Don't try so hard to hide things from me from now on...
I'm your guardian after all.
Plus, having a secret only the two of us can know is kinda romantic...
sfx: caw caw caw
Huh? What was that?
Okay! Enough resting, you gotta run!
sfx: screeech, pedal pedal pedal
What is it, Touko!?
That was a shock...
float: What's yer problem? Y'ain't never seen a stray cat holdin' a fish 'efore?
A stray cat...?
Touko's got pretty good reflexes herself...
It looks like... a stray cats' den.
The kittens are so cute! <3
cat right: 'the hell're you lookin' at?
cat left: Get lost, chump.
I'll just pet a little...
She says leave them alone.
float: Hmm? One of them looks...
It just goes to show that those with power are meant to protect those without.
It's the same even among animals.
I won't let you get into any more dangerous situations, Touko.
I'm going to make myself stronger, and protect you.
Stop it! you're messing up my hair!
Yeah... Somehow you seem more dashing than usual, Seigi.
Wh-Why d'you gotta say something gross all of a sudden?!
What do you mean, gross!? I was actually complimenting you!
Fine, fine! let's get going!
That boy's quite the dreamer.
And also... arrogant... and childish.
Unfortunately, one's dreams are about as distant from reality as the M78 nebula is from the Earth.
float: You're one to talk.
And just... how many light years... away is that...?
Bah, I dunno.
If you don't know... don't just say whatever... dimwit.
More importantly... should we be ignoring... the key-less spell crest?
If they take him to America... it'll be all kinds of trouble.
Ah, The key-less spell crest, eh? \small: Loud-mouthed brat
seigi: Touko, slow down!!
He'll probably stay within reach for the time being.
The fact that they haven't made a move, even though we could attack at any moment, proves that.
Seems like they're hiding the boy from their own people in the army. Monday Rabbit must be up to some something.
Anyway, no sense worrying about him, he's under full-time watch anyway.
They won't get away from us, no matter what they decide to do.
This one's a real piece of work!
Am I right?! What did I tell ya, this is what reality is like!
If taking care of someone is just dragging you down, in the end they get the boot!
Hahaha! What is it? Did that momma cat say something to you?
I bet it's something like "put him out of his misery", eh!
Oh, lookin' good, lookin' good!
Oh my, it looks wonderful on you ma'am!
Now this time, try holding this teddy bear.
float: How did you have room for that?
Ahhhhh! Izzie you're just like a doll! Just too adorable! \small: (in an annoying voice)
Miss customer, it extremery, super-ultimate suits you!
"Bery good" ma'am!
Wait, Lisa, I know I asked you to help me shop for clothes, but this kiddy stuff's a bit too...
I "sujesto" this would be "za besto", what do you think?
Great! You've got a good eye for this!
float: Wha... Huh!? The salesperson getting into it too!?
margin note: And what's with the Engrish?!
I didn't mean I wanted this loli fashion!
Oh go on! You know you like it too.
And if you want to say you're an adult, say it like this:
float: Leader of Team White Rose: Lisa Lovelock
"I'm not a child you know!"
Like that! \smaller: Go on, say it Izzie!
Izzie-tan, Izzie-tan! <3
You know I hate being taunted.
What? I was honestly picking out clothes for you.
And just where do you think I'm supposed to wear those frilly outfits?
Here's your order of cake.
Where? Well, there's places like Akihabara...?
I don't go there!
You complain, but you did end up buying something.
Th-This is for missions, to be used as a disguise which leverages my physical characteristics... \small: Just so we're clear.
handwritten: straining herself...
book: Seekwet file <3
Here's the info concerning your next target.
Good work, once again. We'll get it back in no time.
float right: sip
float left: A "copy" Shield? Should be easy.
Still no word on the whereabouts of the researcher though.
That's why I hate the smart ones.
No sugar for your coffee? Aren't you a little young to drink it black?
My patience is wearing thin...
By the way, Izzie, about the recent attack on your house...
Why would specifically they target your place?
...who knows. My cover was already blown, so it's not surprising that my hideout would also be known.
Maybe that's why.
I've heard some kids have been dropping by your place lately...
Might that have some connection to it?
Those are just personal get-togethers. Nothing to do with the spell crests.
No need to be suspicious.
A boyfriend? And here I thought you liked older guys, Izzie.
No no, I'm not interested in children.
Then what's your relation to them?
Nothing really... Just pals to play video games with.
...We met in an on-line game.
sfx: nom nom
After that coup-d'etat, the princess is now in control of Selinistan and circumstances are changing fast.
You already know this, don't you?
The reinforcements to America's spell crest detachment in Japan are already allocated.
What we should be doing right now is sharing as much planning-relevant information as possible.
You look like a kid that just got scolded by her parents...
That's not like you.
float: cute though
It's not like I want to grill you on this either. Even if I tell you, you probably won't listen.
But if you're holding back something shady, it's best to spill it before it gets you in trouble.
You mustn't forget you're still a soldier.
Right! Enough serious talk! \small: I don't wanna talk about work while I'm off duty!
Waiter! More cake!
Whadaya mean it's not free!?
float: It was free for the coffee!!
You're so shameless.
box: Several days later
float: Brahman Japanese division hideout.
Come on... Don't... struggle...
Look how calm... Mickey is being...
float: Mickey (Capybara - male)
small: Capybaras: largest of the extant rodents, related to mice.
If you don't settle down... I'll kill you...
handwritten mickey: phew. That was a nice bath.
What are you anyway...
A male... huh...
You hurry back too, Deputy Commander.
bag: Medicine <3
bag: MF veterinary hospital
Dammit, vet bills aren't cheap y'know.
It's a damn strange whim for kid with no conscience.
If anything happens to Mickey I'm the one the Deputy Commander's gonna be angry with. \small: Cats are natural enemies to mice.
Would you keep it down!
I keep tellin' ya not to tear around the house...
Hey now, you're coming out like that? \small: show at least a little shame.
tiny handwritten: little toe.
God Dammit Iiiiil!!
If you have a problem... take it up with this guy...
Actually... you should have dodged...something like that... you lunkhead.
How old were you again?
float: I'm pretty mad, dammit
14... years old... \small: probably
float: 14, huh...
handwritten: flat as a board
float: It'd be nice if she was just a bit more curvy, but...
Lurker... So that's the way... you swing...
If you ever... try anything... I'll kill you...
Nah, I was just thinking your body does nothing for me...
Anyway, there's also that.
It was delivered for you.
handwritten: My new one...
And this came too.
handwritten: Well, I'll be the one using it though.
I was just talking to the Deputy Commander.
Our current orders are to prioritise eliminating the American Spell Crest detachment.
Our first objective is this one's team.
Go rampage to your heart's content.
black float: The assassin's hand draws nearer the White Rose...!