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As promised in my previous post, today I present to you the mystery and wonder of Rice Boy Book Two. And what wonders await.



After the dark events of the previous chapter, Book Two begins with a bright, sunny morning. Gerund, now healed by the Tree Keeper, is in much better spirits. But she has other plans for Rice Boy, and the two go off to speak of prophecy.





I did promise wonders, didn't I? Teach you to doubt me.



The Tree Keeper takes Rice Boy to a chamber beneath the oldest tree in the Dorlish Wood, a chamber which holds a treasure of sorts. The prophecy itself.





The Tree Keeper tells Rice Boy he needs to seek a man named Perod in the Red Mountains of Scortch (this is sounding more epic all the time, isn't it?), who will be able to provide him with further guidance.

Meanwhile, strange forces are stirring.









HELL YEAH, T.O.E.!

*ahem* Moving on. After the fight, Golgo did not escape entirely unscathed, having had his mechanical spy-eye destroyed. This puts him in a bad mood, and he argues with Dolly. She knows that he's killed the machine man and isn't happy about it, claiming that he's just blaming the "black drink" he seems addicted to for his own actions. She, with the aid of a pair of magic boots she wears, takes off to search for T.O.E.

Back at the woods, it's time to check up on Rice Boy and Gerund. Yay Gerund!





Aww, he's so sensitive. Be nice to him, Rice Boy.

The two creatures, who have the gift to know the past and future (respectively), give them plants to eat as gifts, which will allow them to pass through the woods to the gates of Lonely Land, where the Bleach Beast has been said to dwell.

And what of Dolly and T.O.E.?





Knosus explains that while T.O.E. is still alive somehow, he remains poisoned. He needs the fruit of the Tree of Thought, of which only one remains. In the homeland of the machine men, the Black Teeth.





Despite T.O.E.'s objections, they set off for the Teeth. Before they go, Knosus tells T.O.E. to return in a year or so, and in a very human moment T.O.E. extends his hand for Dolly to go with them. It's a very interesting scene all around.

As the gates close behind him, Rice Boy suddenly finds himself again separated from Gerund, alone in the desolate blue-tinged night of Lonely Land. The landscape broken up only by strange light towers and inhabited by strange mechanical creatures with light bulb eyes, Rice Boy feels more out of his element than ever. Worse, when he drinks of a stream he finds, he too turns blue and his language taken from him. As he lies on the bank and cries, others come to find him.





But as the Dimmons move to take him away, they are scattered by a much larger creature who they seem to have respect for. He carries Rice Boy off to his tower, musing aloud that this "little blue person in my little blue land" dreams quite large dreams indeed, and resolves to find out more.

Back at the edge of the Matchwood, ironically near where the story began, T.O.E.'s party stops for the night, and he tells the story of his part in the whole drama of prophecies and gods.







T.O.E. goes to sleep, an act which prompts Maquin to state, "You're not legendary, you're just insane!!"

But EEEE! LITTLE T.O.E., SO CUTE!

Back to the story, shall we. Or do you need more squeeing time? I understand, really I do.

Golgo, having spilled the last of his black drink, goes to the apothecary, Olga, who calls him "brother" but I question whether she's actually related to him. It doesn't seem possible with the timelines involved. In any case, she tells him the drink is changing him, and he has sex with her. So that's that.

Back in Lonely Land, we discover the plans the Dimmons had for Rice Boy.



Oh. Oh dear. But what could be larger than Rice Boy....





That's it, Gerund! Show those horn-breaking bastards a thing or three!

Gerund escapes, the Dimmons not daring to touch him now that he's proven to be a warrior after all. And as to Rice Boy, he lies under the scrutiny of the Brain Child.





Rice Boy awakes, finding himself summarily dumped by the far gates of Lonely Land, a clear sign to get the hell out if I've ever seen one. Yawning at your guests has nothing on this, let me tell you. He leaves, crossing a bridge and passing under an arch marked "Whetton", but lost in thought he doesn't seem to notice.

At the campsite, Maquin manages to ambush a frog spy who refuses to offer useful information. He stabs Maquin's hand, and gets shot in the head in return. T.O.E. is less than pleased.







T.O.E. apologizes to Maquin, and the three ride off in silence, leaving the frog spy where he lies.

Here lies the end of Book II. Book III will likely come tomorrow.

As I said, many mysteries and wonders, this whole comic is an exercise in spectacle. As Evan himself puts it, "self-indulgent splashes" are common, but he puts them to good dramatic effect. What I particularly love, aside from the design style, is the dreamlike logic that the story follows. Prophecies are solid things, a land of depression lies between mystic forest and ancient city, machine men grow and eventually die, save for one. It's all very consistent though, so you accept it all.

Ah, but you can see all that for yourself, can't you?

28 pages out of 85

Suggested tags: creator:Evan Dahm, series:Rice Boy, genre:webcomic
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