Balancing Act – Page 1077

TRANSCRIPT:   IPOLA:  So - hello, Mentl. MENTL: Ma’am.  Uhh … your Majesty.  Ma’am. (oy) IPOLA: You did it. TULA: Yes. IPOLA: Of course you did.  And so much more. I could not be more proud of you right now, Tula. TULA: A lot more was at work than just us. IPOLA: It always is. I’m still proud of you. Both of you.  My girls! IPOLA: (To Mentl) And you. MENTL: Your Majesty. IPOLA: I need to balance a few things between us. MENTL: Wha - no ma’am, you didn’t do anything … IPOLA: I know what I did and what I didn’t do, Mentl.  I also know what I bear responsibility for. MENTL: You were just trying to look out for your people.  I … freaked out. That’s on me, not you. IPOLA: Yes it is, but not completely.  I was afraid. I acted and spoke out of fear and I passed that fear on to you when there wasn’t anything to gain by it.  To act out of fear alone is always an offense to the cha, no matter the cause.   There are always consequences. And I owe you for my part in it.   MENTL: So - what do we do? IPOLA: It can be very simple. Ask any honorable thing of me, and if it’s within my power I will grant it. MENTL: Wow … well, I don’t need … I mean, you don’t have to.   You - ZONA: Yes, she does. TULA: Yes. She does. MENTL: Oh.  Umm …   MENTL: Well, you know, now I think of it, yeah.  There is something.  

35 thoughts on “Balancing Act – Page 1077

  1. So is he going to ask for Zona’s hand officially?
    or is he going to ask something totally unexpected? And I have no ideas what it could be.
    I can’t wait to see what it will be, I have to say.

  2. Honor their marriage? Cause she IS the queen, I feel like she does have SOME say in this. Even if she weren’t Zona’s mom, she’s the Champion.

    Because Tula said she and Karna are the only ones with the power to annul it. Getting Mom off your back is a solid start. Karna…. ‘Big Sis’ Can handle Karna.

  3. The only out there thing I can think of would be for him to ask that she bless him and Zona joining the Sun Tribe. We know that in one alt-timeline he and Zona were part of that tribe, and it would give queen of his heart a chance to be the queen of a tribe. But the timing doesn’t seem right for such a request. We’ll soon see. Unless the next post is another video montage. 😉

  4. Five bucks he requests a torque.

    1. I don’t think so, Mentyl wasn’t born an Erogenian. Torque’s are worn after coming of age as
      an Erogenian so Mentyl wearing one just wouldn’t be appropriate.

  5. Blessing the marriage is the first thing that sprang to mind here too, naturally. If only because of Tula’s stern, insisting look towards him.

    Then again, I can see three other things that he could aim for.

    First, to ask for Erogenian citizenship. It would be nice. Not all that earth-shattering, but it would still need Ipola’s blessing.

    Second, to ask for the major Erogenian authority on magic to train him. That would be nice.

    Third, if it is honorable to do so, to invoke Luna’ blessing (and maybe that of the other nice Gods too) on Zona so that she can bear children, I think that’s the best thing he might ask her. Based on what we’ve seen in possibly alternate futures.

    What’s your favorite?

  6. As I understand it They need permission to wear the Gold chain. Mom is a particularly strong voice in the decision ESPECIALLY as it was the doubt that Zona’s love for him was the result of enchantment in the first place that lead to the Cha imbalance between Ipola and Mentyl to begin with.
    Mentyl would be in effect asking Ipola to acknowledge that Zona’s and his feelings are genuine.
    I commented before that for Mentyl they were separated for a year, by Zona’s personal time line they were apart for a few months. The gold path does require a separation before the union can be blessed, again if I remember correctly.
    So by asking Ipola to Bless the Union he would be doing three things at once.
    1. balancing the Cha between them by in effect nullifying the offense. (Doubting Zona’s feelings as genuine)
    2. satisfying the requirement that Zona and he be separate “for a while” before they walk the gold path.
    3. allow him the give Zona a gold chain in full “compliance” with the Erogenian traditions.

    that’s my $0.02

  7. I just realize, @Calisto01, this might be what he’s going to ask for, like he did with Yanora back then: ask for a gold chain?
    On the other hand, if I remember correctly, they already exchange it… or was it silver?

    1. He got copper chains from Yanora.

      They’re currently silver bonded.

      1. yeah. I remember the copper chains and I was windering if they were silver bonded or already gold… I couldn’t remember what they exchanged when on Earth and when Tula gave her blessings.
        So, Mentl could ask for a gold chain to Ipola, like he did back there (but for copper) to Yanora (that’s what I wanted to say but, again, I couldn’t say it correctly :p )

        1. If I remember correctly they need to wait for five years before gold chains are exchanged.
          Asking Ipola for a gold chain would not change anything since he would just have to wait to
          give it to Zona anyway.
          Plus when He asked Yanora for a copper chain it was because he had just learned about them
          and Yanora had given him the diamond ring. (which made him think of it)
          Also I do not believe that asking for a gold chain would do much to balance the cha if Ipola
          gave him one, the gold chain would not be anything until he gave it to Zona other than a gold
          chain. I don’t see something of intrinsic value being worth anything as far as Cha is concerned.

        2. hum, you’re right… oh well, I suppose I will have to wait and see.

  8. I really love that Tula seems to have inherited Chera’s poncho. I wonder if she will give it back to her before they leave.

    And I’ll join the chorus that Mentl will ask her to acknowledge that Zona’s feelings for him are real and to honor their marriage and silver chains, so they can walk the golden path in five years time.

    1. Disclaimer: I know they didn’t actually have time/opportunity to get married on Earth, but they did get engaged and had a party.

      1. Sister, she asked him to marry her (right before he proposed silver-bond to her) and since they said “Yes” in presence of a priestess, by my reckoning it qualifies as marriage as much as possible (it being understood that Earth authorities cannot recognize Zona’s existence as a person and have thus no way to validate the wedding officially).

        Because I love that page, here’s the link again:

        1. Oh, I’m sure it counts for them, but we did see Nan working on the wedding dress for Zona, so we know they were planning an actual wedding with whatever that entails for them on Earth. They just didn’t get the chance to get there.

        2. Very good point; I didn’t remember that. In your honor I archive dove and, wonder of wonders, found the very page!

  9. The thing about Erogenian culture that I see, the way I see it, is that these cha-balancing apologies *have* to be done in public. In front of others, in front of olders and age-peers and especially children. It has to be done in a way that discourages sarcasm or mockery of the one apologizing. It has to be openly done, it has to be acknowledged, and it has to be *explained* (as Ipola is doing for Mentl)…so that people grow up understanding the importance of why as well as how to balance the cha. Which means kids have to be taught to let go of their hurt and their anger, to constructively think past those things, and to breathe deep and set aside their pain, etc, so that they can listen to the other side.

    …I wish our own culture made an everyday, heroic-viewed virtue of apologizing AND acknowledging the wrongs that are done, and an heroically-viewed virtue of ACCEPTING apologies without mocking or dissing or “pwning” attitudes.

    1. Lady sis, I’m not entirely sure these apologies have to be public. I seem to remember quite a few times where they were done while no one else was around. Then again, right now I can’t think of one time where private apologies have been made about something that happened in public. Maybe that’s the dividing line.

      And I agree with your wish from the deepest of my heart and mind.

  10. It just hit me that I’d love Mentl to ask for something else, though I’m wholly unsure of how he could even think of asking for it: for someone to track down Ginsha and if it can be ascertained that she could be fit for Snake Tribe, take her back to them.

    Because let’s face it, what he’s done to her is pretty awful, even though he was fighting for his survival and following the more knowledgeable Vito’s instructions, so I’m certainly not questioning his ethics on that. (And by the way, while they were fleeing he did show that his own actions has unhinged him quite a bit, and rightly so.)

    I’m of half a mind to conclude that by Erogenian standards, what he’s done to her is worse than killing her because he’s driven her mad and thus restrained her free will, which Erogenians value higher than life.

    And since I know I’m not alone in wishing that Ginsha find redemption one way or another, it would be nice if that topic came up here. I guess it’s far-fetched, but I re-read the evasion from the Urtt cave recently and I wanted to put this up.

    (By the way, I’m not making a half-bright point that our apparent good guys are in fact evil. I don’t believe that. They’ve killed and maimed sentients, but there’s a war on. I can’t honestly fault them for using violence.)

    1. Except Mentl doesn’t know that Ginsha is still alive. He thinks he killed her, not knowing how tough even a half-urtt can be, physically. All three of them believe her to be dead and left behind.

      1. I was afraid of that, but your answer has prompted me to dive in and check: in , he says he beat her “probably to death”.

        With the company he’s been keeping, he must know that may not mean much. After all, Tula thought she had killed Gorshash too, and she was proved wrong quite soon after that.

        1. Mentl’s gentle, though, and that was his first, ah, “kill”…so he probably shies away from the memory. He’s also from a world where tropes are known and studied, but he’s not an author/editor/fanfic writer, so he may only know the major tropes of Major Baddie Survives Far Too Often…but unless you dive deep into trope studies, you often think minor characters don’t survive all too often. So he doesn’t actually know. Yes, he’s toughened up by now, but while they know Gorshash survived once or twice, Ginsha hasn’t made any re-appearances. So I don’t think he thinks she’s going to show back up. If he does think it at all, it’ll probably be a fleeting thought of her showing up like a villainess out to bite his head off (literally as a half-urtt). I don’t think he’ll be expecting her to be anything like she is now.

  11. In the penultimate panel Tula looks creepy – like a vampire …

  12. Eh guys, quick question: Do we know where is the book?

  13. @ Emma C- the book “went away” before they knew Zero had been killed. I think to “force” them to make there way to the desert to meet all the others they came to before getting back to the cave with the mirror.

    @jd- I do not think it was Mentyl who made her “go crazy”. I believe his magic just affected her to such a degree that her lust over rode her judgement to free him from the chains. Then he just took full advantage of the situation and beat her into unconsciousness. Afterwards our little troop found Gorshash we learned that he took much of the troops he had to track down Zona and Tula. I believe this is when Ginsha had the chance to escape. I think she just has many deamons that haunt her, the fate of her young brother (son?) being just one of them.
    Also I think Jean is right about them believing Ginsha is dead, if nothing else they have no reason the think she is alive AND they haven’t had any reason to even think about what happened to her after Mentyl left her for dead.

    Just my $0.02

    1. The Book saw to it that it was later delivered by Jenny Everywhere after “Kevin” heaved them through the portal. They knew about Zero by this time. I believe it didn’t drop into the cave with them though.

      1. The book fell with them, it beaned Mentl as it fell. They had it after the mirror episode, and I seem to recall it being with him at the ladder up to the sun tribe. But I don’t remember seeing it since then.

        1. Probably staying in their rooms.

    2. Esteemed Official Royal Advisor to the Queen of All Erogenia, I’m far from being any authority in psychology. Still, I submit that a person who can play guilt-inducing sadness as in is if not entirely sane, at least not as badly raving and ranting as we see her, for instance, here:

      I agree that little Kensha may have haunted her for longer than we know.

      And I insist that to me, she was functional before Mentl worked his magic on her and now she’s obsessed with him to the point of inability: .

      By the way, while archive diving for the above, I read at the end of the story with the wool merchant a comment by JED himself that Mentl and Ginsha will meet again. (That was here: ) I sure do hope it’s on non- or slightly-confrontational terms.

  14. –AAAARRRRGH!! The suspense is killin’ me! Post the next page already!!! I mean, I love the action, I love the worldbuilding, I love so much…but this imbalance in the cha has been weighing on us for YEARS! (lol)

    1. Honey, try decaf

    2. I *only* check once a day. Maybe twice. 😉 Y’know, time zones and such things.

    3. Ahh the joys of Patreon membership. We found out yesterday. And no. I’m not giving even a hint. 😀

      1. Because…. spoilers. Not trying to be rude. Just making sure it didn’t come across the wrong way.

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