Author's Note Hare: Alright, folks, here's the deal: Fanfic writers have been treating Shadow Hearts seriously for too long. This is not acceptable. Shadow Hearts: Covenant had a humorous tone to it as well, and this must be represented. This fanfic is based off of the hypothesis: If the wolf is the sane one, you're in trouble. We, the management, have therefore decided to follow the comedic practice of taking things to ridiculous extremes…
"Wait a second," Style Hare cut in. "It's not good practice in comedy to explain your jokes. Just let them see it for themselves."
Author's Note Hare: Oh, yes, of course—jokes are frogs and all that.
Author's Note Hare: Mark Twain! He said that dissecting a joke is like dissecting a frog: You can do it, but when you're done, both the joke and the frog are dead. You're the one who's supposed to be up on literature, aren't you?
"Right," Style Hare replied. "Just get on with the intro."
Author's Note Hare: The hero of this story will be Blanca, the white wolf. He will be sent on a mystic quest to find the Maguffin, and will face numerous trials along the way. Some of this may seem quite ridiculous, but that is exactly the point. Don't try to make sense of the ridiculousness, just enjoy it.
"You're doing it again," said Style Hare.
Author's Note Hare: Ah, uh… sorry. So, what does that leave me to say?
"How about you shut up and we get to the actual story?"
Author's Note Hare: Good idea.
Chapter 1 – Descent
"Oh, Blanca," Yoshiko said with a lilt. "Where are you?" Her voice was soft and childlike, and she spoke in the human language.
"I'm right here, on the mat by the window," Blanca growled in the wolf's language. Sometimes he wondered why he bothered actually saying anything; most humans didn't even realize wolves had a language, much less bothered to learn it. In fact, the only human Blanca had ever known who'd understood any of his language was Yuri.
"There you are!" Yoshiko said playfully as she caught sight of Blanca.
"Right where I said I was," Blanca said flatly. He persisted in hope that Yoshiko might eventually realize he had his own language. So far, the signs weren't good.
"What do you mean by that?" Yoshiko said. "Aren't you glad to see me?"
Blanca rolled his eyes and walked over to Yoshiko. "Of course I am. Good morning, Yoshiko." He nuzzled her outstretched hands to prove his point.
"Aw, good boy," Yoshiko said as she started stroking him. "You want some breakfast?"
"As long it's not fish," Blanca said. Neither Yoshiko nor her grandfather, Naniwa, ever seemed to get the message that too much of anything was bad. Both of them were crazy about seafood, and had it at every opportunity. Blanca certainly enjoyed fish, but it couldn't make up the entirety of his diet.
"Come on," Yoshiko said as she led Blanca to the dining area. "We've got some huchen left over from last night."
Blanca growled. This growl didn't correspond to anything particular in the human language, but a few profanities would probably fit his intent.
After he'd choked down yet another huchen, Yoshiko told him, "Well, Blanca, it looks like you'll be on your own today. I'm off to work for the lottery, and Grandpa's gone Inugami village to check on Kurando. You be good now!"
As Yoshiko left, Blanca started to wonder what had become of his former traveling companions. Naniwa had visited Inugami Village often enough that Blanca got a good idea of what Kurando and Anastasia, who had decided to live in Japan with her new boyfriend, were up to. He'd also heard people mentioning on occasion how a new wrestler had dethroned the Great Gama, and he had his suspicions that this was Joachim.
Beyond this, however, Blanca didn't know anything concrete. Kato had told them all to envision their ideal world. Blanca had ended up with Yoshiko. Apparently Kurando and Anastasia had ended up together in Inugami Village. Joachim was a successful wrestler. Lucia and Geppetto had probably gone back to their old lives, possibly with Cornelia revived.
But, what had become of Karin and Yuri? Yuri had wanted nothing but Alice back, so he might be living with her now. Karin, on the other hand, had been happiest when she was adventuring with the rest of them. Was she off on another adventure, or perhaps something else entirely…?
Blanca resolved not to worry about it. Wherever they were, they were happy. All he had to worry about was what to do for the day. After brief consideration, he resolved to follow after Naniwa and see what Kurando and Anastasia were doing.
The shortest path from the Imperial Capital to Inugami Village cut through the Forest of Wind. It was here that their old party had been caught in some mystical trap made by the enigmatic Garan. Blanca had sensed the trap before they'd been caught in it and had tried to warn Anastasia, but she'd failed to get the message.
As Blanca walked through the Forest of Wind, he started to get a similar feeling to the one he'd had warning him of Garan's trap. No way I'm falling for this again, he vowed to himself. He turned off the path and into the woods, hoping to get around the trap that had been set up.
Unfortunately, a similar sensation cropped up as Blanca traveled in this direction. Frustrated, he turned around and tried the other direction, but found it similarly trapped. Fine, I'll just go home, he resolved, turning back along the path. He'd have enough of adventure, and there was no way he'd walk knowingly into a trap.
That would have been the end of it had a white rabbit not jumped onto the path in front him and held out its paw in a "Stop" gesture.
Blanca stopped and let out a throaty sigh. "This can't be serious," he muttered.
"Precisely!" the rabbit shouted in a throaty, masculine voice.
"What the!?" Blanca said in surprise. "A talking rabbit!"
"Of course not," the rabbit replied. "That would be silly." The rabbit hadn't moved from its stance and appeared to be trying to stare Blanca down.
"I think it's a bit late to worry about what's 'silly,'" Blanca said. "How about I just go home and pretend this never happened?"
"Hmm, no," the rabbit said, only pretending to think about Blanca's request. "That wouldn't be interesting."
"I've had enough of 'interesting,'" Blanca said. "Why don't you find someone else to entertain you? I'm going home." At this, he walked straight towards the rabbit, intending to walk right over it.
The rabbit held his ground until Blanca was but a step away, at which point it let out a shrill scream and flattened itself to the ground. Once Blanca had passed it completely, stepping on it once in spite, he heard it shout at him, "How dare you! No one walks all over the almighty Plot Hare!"
Blanca kept walking as he said to himself, "Well, at least that explains why he didn't want to be called a 'talking rabbit.'"
"That's it! Now I'm mad!" Blanca ignored this, and the Plot Hare said nothing further. He kept walking until he started to sense a trap ahead of him. He turned around to see that the Plot Hare had followed him and was grinning evilly.
"You're really annoying, you know that?" Blanca said.
Through gritted teeth the Plot Hare said, "I wouldn't be so annoying if you would just cooperate."
"And walk willingly into a trap?"
"Not gonna happen."
They stared at each other for a few minutes until the Plot Hare broke the silence by saying, "You know, I could just have the trap grow to right under your feet."
"If it comes after me, it's not really a trap, now is it?" Blanca pointed out.
"True," the Plot Hare said. "Which is why it's better for all concerned if you just walk into it and let it be a trap."
Again, they stood there staring at each other. This time, it was Blanca who broke the silence by saying, "You know, it's been a long time since I've had fresh meat."
The Plot Hare appeared confused at first. As realization dawned on it, its expression slowly changed into one of fear. Blanca took a step toward it and bared his fangs. "Alright, fine!" the Plot Hare shouted.
"You're going to let me go home?"
"No!" the Plot Hare said. Blanca gave it a fierce gaze. The Plot Hare stood up rigidly in defiance and said, "I guess it won't be a trap."
Blanca lunged at the hare, but never reached it. The hare faded from existence, causing Blanca to bite nothing but thin air. Thin air was all he landed on as well; he fell straight through the surface of the earth.
Author's Note Hare: Whadju think? Huh? Huh? What's gonna happen to Blanca? Will he die? Nah, that wouldn't be any fun. Hey, Style Hare, answer this: How do keep an audience in suspense?
"Well," Style Hare began. "You could end a chapter with a cliffhanger; that's what we did here."
Author's Note Hare: Nope! Wrong-o!
"No, actually that is a good method of putting the audience in suspense."
Author's Note Hare: No! Stop being so literal; this is supposed to be a joke!
"Oh," Style Hare said. "In that case, knock-knock."
Author's Note Hare: Tch! Fine, we'll go with your joke. Who's there?
"I'll tell you next chapter."