Fragment 103 Insight

One final relaxing entry in a row before we start rolling alongside some feels again. It’s the season to be merry, but to get there, some pinches of the opposite always help to brighten the highlights even more.

December is finally back in Chaldea. This is but the first of many fragments to feature it since there’s plenty of holiday material to reference and enjoy. To start it off (mostly because of some last foundations I needed to lay), I figured it’d be decent to begin with a perspective of the season from an outside view: An Oni’s. One who loves pleasures in excess, for a season that often revels in good cheer, festivities, and the kindest emotions.

As an Oni, Shuten’s impulses and reactions should evidently swing to the extremes. The difference is Shuten seems to pursue pleasurable excess as a focus. What helps the most is she usually indulges in alcohol, which by its nature is a depressant with sedative effects. That would feasibly make her mood swings far less common and her impulses a bit dampened… by virtue of almost constantly being drunk/tipsy.

That said, the extremes would still be pretty evident, and I tried to show it through both her and Ibaraki. Their vastly different mannerisms also help to convey that Onis, like people, can be wildly different and can’t simply be blanketed as “demonic beings”. There’s a bit of humanizing to them, but at the same time, I hope I made it pretty damn clear they’re still something else entirely.

That made the interactions a lot more diverse, I feel. Those the Onis would get along with. Those who’d be acquaintances by circumstance. The list goes on, but their actions and decisions would be very unusual by human standards. Ibaraki just taking entire trays and going all out against Rama. Shuten being so dangerously flirtatious and suggestive to Kintoki to toy with him. To interact with an Oni is to expect something in excess, and I hope many parts showcased that.

As noted, there was one final scene where I wanted to both relate Shuten towards similar ‘morally questionable beings’ (whether still or reformed) while also finalizing the biggest parts of a closing arc. Again, an issue with writing fragments where every entry is from someone else’s perspective, plus no repeats, means some scenes may inevitably be unfairly shown. The scene for Omar and Kiyohime is one heavy example where showing it feasibly through a vision orb would rob it of much of its emotion.

…But that’s why Lost Shards exists, right? The rightful perspective of that scene can be found there. Complete with permanent author’s note to point the way.

And, as I said, it’s time for the feel trips to begin anew.

Teaser: Despite her personality, so many were nice to her… Too many. It was ridiculous, really. Some even treated her well because of what she supposedly did in that future singularity. But she remembered none of it. Why would she need to? There was no way something like her would have done any of that. Saved these three masters, befriended them… loved them… No. There was no way, or so she so adamantly believed.

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