After a work trip and several weeks to think about an anon’s wakup call review, I’d started taking the series a bit more seriously. The first glimpses of planning ahead, interlacing stories, and so forth. The biggest take was the focus on a single viewpoint rather than multiple. I was insistent to make sure the series still felt like a collection of shorter stories that together built a giant world view (Short Story Cycle), so it was still first steps onto a new design path.
Thankfully Astolfo’s entry lacked any sort of tense seriousness. Why would it have too much? This is Astolfo, the crazy paladin famed throughout the community for being carefree, enthusiastic, and, of course, lacking in reason/logic. So I capitalized on it with a Slice of Life treasure hunt which takes all sorts of wrong turns even he wasn’t expecting.
Every instance and interaction was tailored to help diminish some of the lingering tension from Dantes’ rather heavy fragment. When I revisited the fragment for grammar and tweaks, I found I was content with how everything fell into place. It wasn’t anything astounding, but it certainly fit the design path I was going for. As such, pretty much nothing changed except for the addition of a few foreshadowing drops, red herrings, and the usual expected fragments medicine.
My only personal qualm was that it doesn’t have too much development for Astolfo. It’s simply a nitpick of mine, but I know that it’s fine without it. Astolfo doesn’t need the development because he’s already a perfect fit for this zany place. It’s simply a matter of true Slice of Life feeling a bit more ‘unusual’ when following after such heavy introspective and challenging fragments like Dantes’ new and improved one. Nothing wrong with them, just a bit of rocky turbulence when shifting gears to smoother speeds.
Honestly, if I could only write more simple stuff like this, I’d be content. But that’s what Shards can be used for, right?