The King of Fantasy

Spoiler Alert!

It’s almost over…

This filth Orochi thinks he can kill all of humanity?

Hmph!

“I won’t be defeated by the likes of you,” says Orochi with calm contempt.

Its eyes then stare directly into yours, as if piercing your very soul.

“Kill Kusanagi and Yata…”

What?!

“…and smash the three sacred treasures, my child.”

Why the heck would…

!!

Numbing agony suddenly wracks your entire body and fury begins to fill your mind.

*cough* *choke* *cough *

…b-blood?

I-Is this…the “Riot of the Blood”?!

The rage within you builds…

“Gh…uh…gh…GGGAAAAAAAAAHHH!!”

All you can see is…red. Blood red.

You see…Kusanagi?

KUSANA…NO!!!

Orochi…this…KILL…MUST…

Toy with you, would he?! Let’s see how he likes his own life in another’s hands!

“Let’s finish this!”

…Kusa…nagi?

No. No. NO!

Orochi is yours to kill! YOURS!

“You intend to kill me along with this whelp?” Orochi calls out. “You’re sealing your own doom!”

“YAGAMIIII!”

So bright…so noisy…stop…screaming…

Oh, wait. That’s you.

This calm…peace…

Is this…death…? At least…the rage…will be no more…

The light gradually subsides and you open your eyes.

What…?

A forest…?

Where…are you?

“KIKIKIIIIIIIIIIII!”

The strange animal call from behind you breaks your reverie and you swivel around.

What are these…things?

Whatever they are, they definitely look like they want to tear you apart!

We’ll see about that!

You instinctively conjure a purple flame and cast onto the ground. It streaks forward until it reaches and ignites two of the little critters.

The other creatures halt with fearful hesitation on their faces.

So they do understand fear!

Their faces pinch with anger and they all rush you at once.

Trying to overwhelm you? Fools…

You conjure flames in both your hands and jump while spinning with your arms outstretched.

Charred bodies collapse on the ground around you.

Wretches…just lay down there and die…

Who’s th…?!

A girl? Who…

Uuunh…diz…zy…

The King of Fantasy: Iori Yagami’s Other World ~Remember When You See The Moon!~ (ザ・キング・オブ・ファンタジー 八神庵の異世界無双 ~月を見るたび思い出せ!~, The King of Fantasy: Yagami Iori no Isekai Musō ~Tsukio Miru Tabi Omoidase!~) is a light novel and manga written by Nobuhiko Tenkawa (天河 信彦, Tenkawa Nobuhiko).

About two millennia ago, the divine will of Earth, Orochi, arose to annihilate humanity for the destruction it had inflicted upon the planet for eons. The war between humanity and Orochi’s forces ended when the Kusanagi clan, the Yasakani clan and the Yata clan used three sacred treasures to seal away Orochi itself. In 1337, Orochi’s followers tricked the Yasakani Clan into making a blood pact with their master, granting them great power while cursing all of their descendants to eventually die young. The Yasakani also rename themselves the Yagami to distance themselves from their former allies.

On the 17th of September, 1997, Orochi is released by its followers and confronts the descendants of the clans that once banished him: Kyo Kusanagi, Iori Yagami and Chizuru Kagura. In the final moments of the fight, Iori throttles Orochi and a blinding flash of light ensues when Kyo delivers the final blow. After the light subsides, Iori finds himself attacked by several unfamiliar, ugly humanoids and dispatches them before he faints.

At the tournament, Iori evades Althena’s Sword Accelerator

Upon regaining consciousness, Iori meets the young knight Althena Viktorias, who explains that he had just saved her from goblins. She also explains that they are now in the Principality of Esaga and that Iori appeared during a lunar eclipse, a time prophesized to be when the Demon King will appear, heralded by fire. Realizing that he is no longer on Earth, Iori follows Althena to Shisaga, Esaga’s capital, where they participate in a tournament that will determine who will challenge the Demon King. After Iori is declared the winner, Prince Midou commands Iori and Althena to hunt a dragon causing trouble in southern Esaga.

Lilili restores the academy….after a fashion!

In the Higatsu Forest, Iori and Althena find the magician Lilili attempting to restore the magical academy she destroyed accidentally at her graduation! After Lilili joins the group and they rest at an inn, a passerby tells them about a dragon living at an abandoned mine in the mountains on the southwestern Esaga border. There, the trio find a horde of goblins, orcs and kobolds led by the passerby who is actually a mage! Prince Midou also reveals himself, for it was he who paid the mage to murder Althena. A huge melee begins.

Iori decapitates one of Alighieri’s three heads

After the mage casts an Explosion spell, a huge three-headed dragon appears and kills both the mage and the prince with its fiery breath. The dragon then introduces itself as Alighieri, the Dragon of Flame. Despite seemingly hopeless odds, the trio are able to overcome the dragon in a furious battle. Back in Shisaga, the king of Esaga listens to Althena’s report while grieving his son’s death. When Iori bluntly reveals that he arrived in the fantasy world during a lunar eclipse, the irate king believes him to be the Demon King and banishes him from Esaga. The three companions then travel south to the Magical Kingdom of Higatsumi.

Elsewhere, orcs declare Kyo Kusanagi to be the Demon King after he swiftly kills Durante, the Dragon of Ice…

Left to right: Lilili, Althena Viktorias, Iori Yagami

Main Characters

Iori Yagami (八神 庵, Yagami Iori), 20-year old descendant of the ancient Yagami clan. Blunt, independent-minded, serious, sullen and unapologetic, his generally unpleasant demeanor conceals a grudging gentleness. Although Iori often seems bloodthirsty and sadistic when fighting, he is actually a pacifist and does not fight unless provoked. He also does not like to rely on others and has a poor opinion of those who would use their power to oppress those weaker than themselves. As the latest descendant of the Yagami clan, Iori is an expert of the martial arts style passed through his family for countless generations, which mostly uses claw strike techniques and pyrokinesis. Because of the Yagami clan’s blood pact with Orochi, Iori’s flames have a purplish hue and his body carries Orochi blood. Certain influences, such as Orochi’s presence, can cause Iori to undergo the Riot of the Blood (血の暴走, Chi no Bōsō), a state of near-mindless fury in which he becomes stronger and faster. In modern-day Japan, Iori is a band guitarist of some renown.

Iori plays for a tavern crowd

Althena Viktorias, 17-year old knight of the Principality of Esaga. Humble, outgoing, polite, responsible and virtuous, she is the only female knight of her country. Because she doesn’t openly flaunt her authority, she is well-liked by commoners but also scorned by several Esaga aristocrats including Prince Midou. Having spent most of her life training in the ways of war, Althena is a very capable swordswoman who enjoys fighting strong opponents. She is deeply attracted to Iori, who has demonstrated to be stronger than her and yet caring in his own way. Althena’s techniques include Blue Gale, a slashing wave, and Sword Accelerator, which increases the speed of her sword strikes. She also keeps a bag of magic potions for use in emergencies. As an aside, Althena is frightened of locusts and spiders.

Althena fighting off a horde

Lilili, 15-year old magician. Exuberant, friendly, proud and talkative, she was the best student in her magic academy before she accidentally destroyed said academy during her graduation ceremony! In order to officially graduate as a magician, Lilili must fully restore the academy. As a result of extensive studies, she is very knowledgeable and is familiar with the concept of parallel worlds. To cast magic spells, Lilili must break open latinum (gems containing magical energy) and chant incantations. When doing so, she uses her mask as a focus. Lilili’s spells include Kou’en (a fireball), Fire, Fire Infusion (infuse a weapon with fire that slowly drains its wielder’s life), Heal and Protection (a magic shield). She is frightened of octopuses and bald heads.

Lilili’s strongest attack

Personal Thoughts

In this story, there are many references to the video games produced by the SNK Corporation, particularly the King of Fighters franchise which began in 1994. Chief among them is Iori Yagami, the “bad boy” rival to the main hero Kyo Kusanagi, and his unique combat moves. Althena Viktorias is based on the titular heroine of the 1986 arcade game Athena who was born in the Kingdom of Victory. Lilili is based on Yuri Sakazaki, a former damsel-in-distress from the Art of Fighting series who later became a martial artist in her own right. The fantasy world features several other lookalikes of various characters from the SNK fighting games. The goblins in the story have appearances similar to that of Genan Shiranui, a green-skinned character from the Samurai Shodown series.

Relaxing and planning their next adventure!

The most interesting twist of The King of Fantasy is that both Iori and Kyo appeared in the fantasy world during a lunar eclipse. Since both of them are powerful martial artists who can conjure fire, both could conceivably be the prophesized “Demon King”. While he appears to be a stubborn, sullen villain at first glance, Iori has a strong, but well-hidden, moral code. At the same time, Kyo is a carefree, well-meaning young man with a strong sense of justice who happened to befriend orcs first. His fierce, heated rivalry with Iori is very personal.

Right and wrong often, but not always, become dependent on a person’s perspective. For example, in the aftermath of World War I, Germany was crippled by debt and unemployment as a result of the Treaty of Versailles. Because of this, many of Germany’s citizens grew to resent England and France and saw Adolf Hitler as a hero who restored their country’s dignity and strength. Life is much more complicated than what a simple good/evil belief might suggest. People often make hard decisions based on the challenges their lives give them, whether for the sake of survival, love, ambition, etc.

Moral

One’s perspective often decides right and wrong. Be understanding of others’ desires and situations.

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