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The Lost Dragon 4.1

by soundofmind


Chapter Four, Part 1: WORMS!!??!??

Matt was apprehensive, though he hardly looked it. Clandestine was hurriedly searching the barn with a focused gaze, digging through supplies before gently replacing them, and hurrying off to move something else out of the way. Matt wasn't sure what she was doing. The goblin was gone, and it wasn't like they were going to fit down that hole to go after it.

"I think that little bugger took some of their tools or something!" Clandestine barked, finally stopping her search. She pointed an accusatory finger at some empty hooks on the wall, the would've held tools, were they there.

Matt looked dully at where her finger was pointing.

"Doesn't that just confirm what they said though? There's goblins, and they're stealing things."

Clandestine's head snapped over to look at Matt over the crates between them.

"No, you don't get it! It happened on my watch now, and we were so close!" she said with determination. "Now we know they're here. Apparently... with worms too, which I still don't get but, ugh!"

Clandestine hurries out the door and Matt follows, lagging slightly behind her brisk pace. Just outside they could see Kaleb at the nearby corral, pouring feed into one of the bins. Matt flinched slightly behind her when she started to yell.

"YA GOT GOBLINS, MISTER SAINT!" she shouted with her hands around her mouth.

Kaleb's head popped up, and he shouted back. "OH WOW!"

"DON'T WORRY, I'M GONNA GET 'EM!" Clandestine shouted back before speeding off ahead of them, hand resting on the blade on her hip for just a moment.

Matt looked over at Kaleb, then back at Clandestine, who was still walking. After a moment of hesitation he hurried after her, catching up and coming alongside her.

"Uh... Clandestine? Where ya headin'?" Matt asked.

Clandestine looked back at him, eyes flickering to his arm, though she didn't say anything about it. "I'm... walking," she said, her pace slowing a little, to a normal walk.

Matt blinked. "Yes, I see that. But where?"

Clandestine pointed ahead at a gaping hole in the middle of the field. Matt's eyebrows raised.

"Okay, but... what's the plan? Should we try to fill the holes or somethin'?" Matt suggests.

Clandestine shakes her head, looking at Matt with a small grin. "Psh, no. They'll just make new ones. We'd just be wasting time and energy."

Matt's jaw stiffened for a moment, and he exhaled quietly. "Would... dropping explosives down the holes do anythin'?"

Clandestine scoffed, ponytail swishing behind her head as she looked over at him incredulously. "No, that would only provoke the goblins! And if we need to go in the tunnels or they need to get out we can't have them collapsing. Explosives just mean more cave-ins and I'm pretty sure we don't want anybody buried under the farm. And Kaleb probably doesn't want more sink-holes if we can help it. The place is already starting to look like a... uh..." she paused, frowning. "Something with a lot of holes in it," she mumbled.

Matt was... at a loss for words for how to respond to that. He looked ahead at the approaching hole in the ground, catching a whiff of a fetid smell as they stopped to look down into it. Clandestine appeared unfazed by the odor, folding her arms as she looked down into it with a thoughtful expression on her face.

"Hmm. Hold on," she says, before running away, back over to the farmhouse. "Wait here!"

Matt watches in confusion as she hurries off, looking back and forth between her and the giant, stinky, slimy hole in front of him. He leaned to the side, looking down it, seeing that it went down at an angle instead of straight down. He quickly concluded at the goblins or worms that dug out the hole had to have done so during the night, while Kaleb and Laura were asleep. Otherwise, with a tunnel of that size, they would assuredly be heard and caught in the act.

As Clandestine disappeared into the distant house, Matt began to feel uneasy. He'd signed up for this, sure. But he hadn't expected goblins to be in the picture.

Goblins made everything more... complicated.

It meant they weren't just dealing with monsters anymore. They were dealing with... people. Albeit, people who most of the human population considered less than people, but people nonetheless.

As for Clandestine, it was too early for him to gauge how she felt about goblins, but if she was like every other monster hunter in the world, he could assume that she saw them as just that. No more than monsters. Just monsters who could talk, and think, and had a whole culture of their own - though foreign to him - just as legitimate.

That can of worms, however, he wouldn't get a chance to open up. Because Matt wouldn't do that.

Clandestine came bounding over with a lamp in her hands. It was a wonder the flame inside stayed burning even within the four glass walls as it bounced back and forth. Clandestine skidded to a stop beside Matt and put a hand on his shoulder.

"Well, are ya ready to go in?" she asked with a smile growing on her face.

Matt furrowed his brows and looked at her with wide eyes. "Wait - what? You're just going to jump in?"

Clandestine's smile faded ever so slightly. "Wh-" she looked at her lamp, and held it up to him. "Yeah! With a lamp!"

"You can't be serious," Matt replied in disbelief, looking at the lamp with increasing concern as it was the sole evidence of any preparation. "Surely there has to be a better plan or something before you just run in there."

He wasn't sure why he was telling her this. She should know this. She was a professional monster hunter. Or at least, allegedly. She did have falsified documents, but he'd had no reason to question the legitimacy of her occupation and her experience up until this moment.

Clandestine just smiled and nodded as he continued to warn her of all of the things that could go wrong and all of the unknowns. She didn't look worried at all.

"You haveta go in more prepared," he insisted.

Clandestine gave him one more nod before she jumped down the hole, sliding down the slimy dirt incline and calling out to him.

"Come on!"

Matt stuttered, reaching out after her in vain as she disappeared beneath the ground. He hesitated as he looked down into the dark hole, that went indeterminately deep. With a begrudging sigh, he cautiously slid down, following in after her.

Why the hell am I doing this?

She was crazy going in blind.


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Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:26 am
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HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world)

And jumping into chapter 4.

First Impression: Well looks like we might finally be looking at some actual action soon. And more secrets here. I sense lots of secrets from Matt. Also some especially good humorous undertones in this one which is always amazing.

Anyway getting to it,

"No, you don't get it! It happened on my watch now, and we were so close!" she said with determination. "Now we know they're here. Apparently... with worms too, which I still don't get but, ugh!"


Well it's not like she was actually watching all of the places at once.

"YA GOT GOBLINS, MISTER SAINT!" she shouted with her hands around her mouth.

Kaleb's head popped up, and he shouted back. "OH WOW!"

"DON'T WORRY, I'M GONNA GET 'EM!" Clandestine shouted back before speeding off ahead of them, hand resting on the blade on her hip for just a moment.


Didn't she herself mention earlier that shouting was bad for them? Did she just forget that?

"Okay, but... what's the plan? Should we try to fill the holes or somethin'?" Matt suggests.


Didn't the farmer tell them that was not working out earlier. Why would he suggest this again? Judging by he has noticed the fake credentials he seems like a pretty sharp dude.

Otherwise, with a tunnel of that size, they would assuredly be heard and caught in the act.


You would probably still be heard even at night. Also where's the slime coming?

As for Clandestine, it was too early for him to gauge how she felt about goblins, but if she was like every other monster hunter in the world, he could assume that she saw them as just that. No more than monsters. Just monsters who could talk, and think, and had a whole culture of their own - though foreign to him - just as legitimate.


This is an interesting bit of backstory on how goblins are seen in this world. Very interesting indeed.

Because Matt wouldn't do that.


I refer to myself in the third person sometimes. I think he's doing it for the same reason I do. Strange developments indeed.

Clandestine's smile faded ever so slightly. "Wh-" she looked at her lamp, and held it up to him. "Yeah! With a lamp!"


That sounds like a very silly answer right there.

Clandestine just smiled and nodded as he continued to warn her of all of the things that could go wrong and all of the unknowns. She didn't look worried at all.


Looks like magic might have a hand in that confidence. Or maybe not.

Why the hell am I doing this?


Good question. It's not like he has to do it. But it does show how their relationship is building up.

Aaand cut!

Overall: I'm glad that we might finally get a bit more excitement after a lot of walking around the farm. And well Clandestine seems to occasionally act really immature and tries to make a few more jokes than necessary. That's not a bad thing or anything but I just wanted to point that out.

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry




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Magebird wrote a review...



Hello, hello! I'm back again to leave you another review.

So let's get to it, shall we?

Small Comments

Chapter Four, Part 1: WORMS!!??!??


Oh worm.

Matt looked dully at where her finger was pointing.

"Doesn't that just confirm what they said though? There's goblins, and they're stealing things."


You're slipping, buddy. You're totally being yourself right here.

Clandestine's head snapped over to look at Matt over the crates between them.

"No, you don't get it! It happened on my watch now, and we were so close!" she said with determination. "Now we know they're here. Apparently... with worms too, which I still don't get but, ugh!"


I love how differently Matt and Clanny view this event. Matt focuses on the practical part: the goblins have shown up, and they took tools. This proves our theory. On the other, Clanny's more focused on doing the job of being a monster hunter; she's upset because she doesn't seem competent, and because she wanted to do better. It's a nice, subtle way of showing the differences between them, and I really love how you wrote that part!

"YA GOT GOBLINS, MISTER SAINT!" she shouted with her hands around her mouth.

Kaleb's head popped up, and he shouted back. "OH WOW!"

"DON'T WORRY, I'M GONNA GET 'EM!" Clandestine shouted back before speeding off ahead of them, hand resting on the blade on her hip for just a moment.


Like @Kirkiln, I absolutely love the comedy here!

"Hmm. Hold on," she says, before running away, back over to the farmhouse. "Wait here!"

Matt watches in confusion as she hurries off, looking back and forth between her and the giant, stinky, slimy hole in front of him.


I think you meant "watched" here. :)

As Clandestine disappeared into the distant house, Matt began to feel uneasy. He'd signed up for this, sure. But he hadn't expected goblins to be in the picture.

Goblins made everything more... complicated.

It meant they weren't just dealing with monsters anymore. They were dealing with... people. Albeit, people who most of the human population considered less than people, but people nonetheless.


Matt is too good for this world. <3 I'm really happy that you're treating the goblins as people in Matt's eyes. I've known for awhile that he's very, very good about treating people equally, likely because he understands what it's like to be an outcast and knows how to see the world in multiple ways, but it's really refreshing to have a protagonist not hate goblins in a fantasy story because they're "nothing more than monsters".

As for Clandestine, it was too early for him to gauge how she felt about goblins, but if she was like every other monster hunter in the world, he could assume that she saw them as just that. No more than monsters. Just monsters who could talk, and think, and had a whole culture of their own - though foreign to him - just as legitimate.


I know I'm running the risk of going full-on English class student here, but I think that Matt might be jumping to the wrong conclusion. Going off of the story alone - and ignoring what I think I remember you telling me about Clanny's past in Story Interviews - Clanny has magic. I'm 99.99% Matt saw her use it and pretended he didn't, but, even if he hadn't, Clanny seems very aware of what goblins are like. She even mentions knowing that they don't leave their homes. Besides that, she didn't seem upset about not being able to kill the goblin - she was upset about failing at her task, and upset that the tools got stolen right in front of them.

Plus Clanny's a wonderful person in general, but I don't think he'd include something like that. :P

But this part does also serve as a good testament to how wary Matt secretly is of other people, and how he's in the camp who thinks people are bad first and good later.

That can of worms, however, he wouldn't get a chance to open up. Because Matt wouldn't do that.


I love how you're hinting that Matt isn't our favorite boi's real name. <3

She was a professional monster hunter. Or at least, allegedly. She did have falsified documents, but he'd had no reason to question the legitimacy of her occupation and her experience up until this moment.


I admit I don't usually laugh out loud when reading funny things, but I just cackled when I read this line. Of course Matt would notice something like that! I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner, but it just makes so much sense now. It's hilarious thinking that Clanny's being incredibly cautious around him when it comes to things like that, but Matt ultimately can see right through her.

With a begrudging sigh, he cautiously slid down, following in after her.

Why the hell am I doing this?

She was crazy going in blind.


That's the Matt I know and love!

Overall Comments

This chapter was an absolute delight! Obviously I love all of the chapters you've written because you're an awesome writer with an awesome world and awesome characters, but it's no secret that Matt is my favorite one of all. It was hilarious seeing how he viewed what was going on. A Clanny chapter would have been good too, but this chapter was great at highlighting Matt's inner conflict. I honestly don't have any critics for this, so good job on that!

I can't wait to see what happens next chapter. <3

Image




soundofmind says...


I'm really happy that you're treating the goblins as people in Matt's eyes. I've known for awhile that he's very, very good about treating people equally, likely because he understands what it's like to be an outcast and knows how to see the world in multiple ways, but it's really refreshing to have a protagonist not hate goblins in a fantasy story because they're "nothing more than monsters".

:,) thamk u,, i'm trying

I know I'm running the risk of going full-on English class student here, but I think that Matt might be jumping to the wrong conclusion.

LET MATT BE WRONG SOMETIMES MAGE!!!

<3 <3 thank u so much for your reviews and ur fangirling i love it and ily



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Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:36 am
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Omnom wrote a review...



Let’s get right into this!

Okay, so I love Clandestine yelling at Kaleb and him yelling back. The comedy there is subtle, but oh so worth it.

This chapter doesn’t have too much to it, but I’m liking Matt’s inner thoughts so far. I think there’s a cool can of worms to open about the idea of goblins being people to Matt and only being monsters to Clandestine, even though I don’t think she would do something like that. Maybe she would? Perhaps that’s her character moment I was talking about last chapter.

So, more and more I’m thinking that Clandestine just isn’t an actual monster hunter. That itself is a big proclamation, as why would she be doing this if she’s not a monster hunter, and does she know who Matt truly is? Because, listen if she’s also faking, then there’s a reason that she’s joined teams with James. There has to be, right? I’m just confused at this part, because there’s so many questions. The thing is, we’ve gotten Clandestine’s perspective before and she doesn't seem to have anything that would convince me she’s doing this monster hunter thing for nefarious reasons, only that she’s inept at it.

So, I like and don’t like the idea of Clandestine just rushing into this half cocked. My reasoning is that I like how spontaneous it is but it still just screams how inept Clandestine is at everything she does regarding monster hunting. I feel like this would have been a better chapter ending than the last chapter ending was. I feel like there’s quite a bit of filler here, which I totally get because of LMS, but this seems more like a good chapter cliffhanger than the actual one that happened. I hope there’s some good action scenes! I still stand by my action comment from the last review ^^




soundofmind says...


IDK WHy THIS KEEPS EATING MY REPLIES



soundofmind says...


i'm???? HOW DID THAT GO THROUGH BUT NOT MY BIG PARAGRAPH I'VE TYPED UP TWICE NOW!!! AGHHH OKAY TIME TO WAYYY SUM UP!

1. I really want Clandestine to seem legit b/c she's supposed to be so! Big thing to work on and imma try real hard on that.

2. Her running in at the end of the day moves the plot forward, so idk. I've wrestled w/what else to do and felt kinda stuck. If she chooses to wait, the goblins are just gonna be more careful since they know she's there now (the goblin who saw her) and they're not gonna provide and opportunity for them to fight on their turf up top. It's gonna end up underground one way or another. I feel like Clandestine has that gut feeling and just... acted rashly on it b/c she doesn't have a good sense of self-preservation ayyy the one thing James and her have in common



soundofmind says...


Also yeah there's no nefarious plans behind Clandestine :,) it's just her doing what she knows



Omnom says...


xD see now her rushing in half cocked makes sense because of the whole not caring about her own life! So, that complaint is fine at this point XD but yeah i felt she was so inept by this chapter part that i started coming up with theories about her being not who she says she was xD if that tells you anything



soundofmind says...


LOL it's ok :,,,) i come up with theories too! I just like to go WILd



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Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:25 am
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mellifera wrote a review...



Hey sound! I'm back again wheee


"YA GOT GOBLINS, MISTER SAIN!" she shouted with her hands around her mouth.

Kaleb's head popped up, and he shouted back. "OH WOW!"


I'm sorry this made me chuckle I love it haha.

"No, you don't get it! It happened on my watch now, and we were so close!" she said with determination.


Determination? doesn't seem like the right emotion here. (also, out of curiosity, is she just frustrated with herself for the goblins doing stuff even though she couldn't have stopped it or was she actually patrolling through the barn too during the night?)

Clandestine shouted back before speeding off ahead of them,


Ahead of whom? Matt's behind her, and Kaleb's in one of the corrals? So which of them is she running ahead of? I mean, I'm assuming Matt but, if she has to yell, I'm taking it as Kaleb isn't that close to her so they'd be in somewhat opposite directions?

then back at Clandestine, who was still walking.


From the "speeding off ahead" I got the impression that she was moving faster than a walk?

"Hmm. Hold on," she says, before running away,


From here and the beginning of the next paragraph, you have a tense change :)

That can of worms, however, he wouldn't get a chance to open up.


that can of worms. I love it.
(also! I love how we get lil hints through this chapter that Matt isn't who he says he is)

"Yeah! With a lamp!"


this fixes the situation completely c'mon Matt.

She was crazy going in blind.


nO YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND SHE HAS A LAMP.


Okay so! I like that the plot is starting to kick into gear now- they're going after some unexpected goblins and MattJames is starting to slip (literally and metaphorically ;) ) and we get to see some action + character development which is awesome! I think this chapter read a little more smooth that the last ones I read. There was parts in the beginning that I think? Could have done with a little more description? Mostly where the dialogue became one-liners and such. And then I think the part where Clandestine is walking away? Could be clarified a little more?

But still! I'm excited to see what's going to happen :D

That's all I have for you today, keep it up! Glad to be catching up with these haha.

I hope you're having a good one, and I'll see you around later <3




soundofmind says...


SCRIBS??? can i just say hello i love your reviews ??? lov,,, u

Determination? doesn't seem like the right emotion here. (also, out of curiosity, is she just frustrated with herself for the goblins doing stuff even though she couldn't have stopped it or was she actually patrolling through the barn too during the night?)

tbh when i wrote that sentence i was like... "this is the wrong word, but i can't think of anything else lol" so SAME, and also uh, she just feels bad about something she couldn't control b/c they didn't patrol the barn in the night

Ahead of whom? Matt's behind her, and Kaleb's in one of the corrals? So which of them is she running ahead of? I mean, I'm assuming Matt but, if she has to yell, I'm taking it as Kaleb isn't that close to her so they'd be in somewhat opposite directions?

I.... I dON't KNOW ANYMORE LOL now I just gotta go back and rewrite that bit/rethink it cuz I'm all directionally challenged

ALSO I'M GLAD U LIKE/GET MY HUMOR LOL AND bless you for catching my bad bad tense changes :,)

See you later <3 and thank u and bless u



mellifera says...


ahHH thank you!! love you too!!

also sorry I don't,, reply more often but I promise I sEE YOU <3

I guess it just felt more like?? frustration?

yes!! i will see you around and I'm glad I could help!! :D



soundofmind says...


YAAAAAS and lol yeah its probably more like frustration haha

<3



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StellaThomas wrote a review...



Hey!

So first thing to mention before I forget - you slip up and call him James at one point! Is that intentional? Is it James himself slipping? If so, I love it! If not, then, uh, you might want to change it!

I enjoyed the bit of extra action going on in this scene after the lovely character piece we had last time so good job at hitting the balance! And I like how, while we're getting invested in the infestation of the Saints' Farm, we're also wondering about Clandestine and just how experienced a monster-hunter she really is and James-I-mean-Matt. I thought that it was quite deftly done :)

I am intrigued by how they've been so unlucky to get both the worms and the goblins in the one place, and I'm excited to see the outcome of this. Also, I'm just interested by the goblins in general - so they're humanoid and considered people but like, discriminated against? Maybe? Cool! I would love to hear a little more about them and I'm sure that they will.

I don't know if I have a lot of actual criticism for this segment, it's really just pushing the plot forward and it was a fun read. I just knew they were about to jump into the hole. I just knew it.

As such, I don't think I have much more to say for this part, other than:

Image

Toodles!

- Stella x




soundofmind says...


BLEeHh ,,no the James wasn't intentional hahah *facepalms* sORRY TO DISAPPOINT!! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE REVIEW THOUGH!!! <3 And omg yes, that GIF I love it hahaha



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Oxara wrote a review...



Well well, It seems I am the first to review this one. So let's make it a good one, anyone let's hope in.

World building/character building: well, my thought was right that his name was fake, and I am very happy you did that. And also man the entire character building with goblins and their society and how their viewed, really well done. I am really glad you did not just show us that matt was lying that not show us his real self, And please continue to do so. These character's are really engaging and I want to see more of them

Random thoughts:

"Something with a lot of holes in it," she mumbled-not half bad comedy there my friend.

Well most of this review is just praising you, because it is really good. However I would still like to stress just how important it is to try to look for clunky or hard to read phrases. I don't always point them out, But when you do your second draft (if you do your second draft) that is a major thing to look at. Because there are time I still have to re-read over and over again to understand what you mean, or I sometimes just have to skip it. For instance "He leaned to the side, looking down it, seeing that it went down at an angle instead of straight down. He quickly concluded at the goblins or worms that dug out the hole had to have done so during the night, while Kaleb and Laura were asleep. Otherwise, with a tunnel of that size, they would assuredly be heard and caught in the act." took multiple re-reads, part of it may be that I was distracted at the time, but the entire thing of it going at a angle was just confusing at first, because of the way you worded it.

And since I will remind you about one more thing while I am here. Sometimes your descriptions can be off, which may be part of having clunky sentences. It is a minor issue and I only notice every now and again for I thought it worth mentioning. For instance as I will say in nit picks "giant, stinky, slimy hole" it just feels unneeded, repetitive and I almost skip over these descriptions sometimes. I mean every time you talk about the hole you pretty much add "slimy" and most of the time you add large or massive or similar words. And I as the reader, don't need to be reminded that the hole is slimy every time you talk about it. It's not like you can't remind me of it, but when you do it every single times it just doesn't feel easy to read.

Anyway's I know I have talked about those reminder's before, however I just wanted to stress it again. And sorry if you already know that, and let me know not to cover topics I already have in that case. However for me I like being reminded of my main problems especially with nit-picky reviews. As I sometimes try to focus on too many things, so having a reminded let's me say just focus on this and that for now. However if you don't need or want those reminder's let me know and I'll glad stop.

Nitpicks:
"empty hooks on the wall, the would've held tools, were they there."- not sure what the were they there meant to mean. It sounds like a end of a question but it isn't a question so I am not sure what you mean by this?

"whiff of a fetid smell"- our character has been around these holes before, yet you never said anything about the smell.

"between her and the giant, stinky, slimy hole in front of him"- We really already know it's stinky, slime large, and you saying it again isn't really needed here? If for instance you had them set the slime aflame or something then you might want to say "the slimy hole" but as we already know everything and it isn't important to know again I would just say "hole".

Conclusion/last statements: I always am trying to help the writer in my reviews, and I did it the best I could this review. However I felt like most of it was some what repetitive or just saying you did this well, which is good information to have. So I am not sure, what you as the author want me to point out to you in the future. Anyway's let me know if this was helpful and what you want.

Just wanted to let you know, these part few chapter's have just been getting better and better. Both in terms and story, and it feel so much easier to read than before. Anyway keep it up I love this story

Oxara




soundofmind says...


I'm glad you're enjoying reading it and you think it's getting better!! That's encouraging to hear!! I'll definitely look out for those awkward and clunky phrases when I start editing/work on the next draft, so it's good to note! Thanks for pointing it out so I can keep it in mind in future chapters and when I got back through these ones!

Also lol, I didn't realize how much I kept saying the hole/tunnel was slimy and stuff haha. I'll definitely get rid of all those extra descriptors when I have time.

Thanks so much for your review!!




It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.
— Voltaire