Date: December 02 2021 11:35 AM Title: Rescue
Okay, just finished reading the last chapter and I gotta say I kind of felt bad for Thomas and Wei. Grace is shaping up to be a monster herself. And also holy shit! The scene with the trash can was super disturbing. Almost made me consider dropping the story for my own sake.
Date: December 01 2021 11:19 PM Title: Rescue
I swear, what happened to Eren's parents shook me a little. You have some fucked up imagination :D. But every time they killed one of those motherfckers - pure euphoria! Like, I legit reread some torture parts, I was so angry! Can't wait to read the rest!
Date: November 17 2021 2:26 AM Title: Relief
Well, let's see how that "conversation" unfolds. I do not know why I have the slight impression that many things will develop from the development of that conversation that will change the relationship between those two.
We will most certainly find out!
Date: November 16 2021 2:14 PM Title: Relief
"We now bring this latest meeting of the Mile-High Club to order so that we may welcome our newest 'member.' "
Sorry, Kardo. I couldn't resist. :-)
Let's just say that it was masterful the way you relieved reader suspense with the first half of this chapter. Only to rebuild with the last sentence or two before the cliff-hanger! Further indisputable evidence that you're excelling as a story teller, here.
Author's Response: I am very happy to hear that, I wanted the reader to have a bit of a more relaxed chapter for a while since the past several have almost all been major twists and turns. However at the end to ease into this new phase of the story, I am happy the tension was built very well! Thank you for the kind words as always!
Date: November 04 2021 9:06 PM Title: Rescue
Hello people. I have just read this story up to this point and I must say that it is extremely deep. It really touched my heart, because it deals with very interesting and very complex topics. Regardless of the GTS theme, this story touches on issues like what exactly defines us as human beings. In particular, the scene that struck me the most was that of the city of the little ones in the alley. The death of those children, women and men in such a cruel way, man that brought a tear to me. My mother was in my room and she asked me what was wrong with me. I told him it was just a story that I was reading and I passed it on to him. We then had an interesting conversation on these topics. What is it that makes us human beings or persons? Many times in history those simple facts are overlooked. What differentiates humans from animals? It seems obvious, human beings dominate the planet to a certain extent, but to my understanding it is not that. I think it's our reasoning, at least that's what the scientists say. But that capacity that humans have to feel love, morals, decency, ethics, sadness, human values r03;r03;in short ... I remember that a man I admire a lot named José Julián Martí Pérez said in one of his articles when observing the horrors of the Spanish colonial prisons in which a 12-year-old peasant boy had been sentenced to forced labor in the stone quarries said:
"Something inside me, and every honest man knew what it was, began to grow. 12 years, 12 years sounded in my head. 12 years old he was and the Spanish government put chains on him, 12 years old he was and the Spanish government sent him to the quarries to be destroyed. My heart wept with rage and helplessness. "
Although it seems like a somewhat pathetic quote, I would say that I felt the same as José at that time. When reading each scene of cruelty, I felt a chill thinking about the anguish, the sadness, the infinite pain of all those who lost people sometimes for similar reasons. Simply because they were different and at the mercy of others who had the power to harm them. For me the characters of Grace and Jisoo are a center of contradiction, on the one hand they claim that what they do they do with the purpose of saving the planet from humanity itself and on the other hand what I imagine implies the enslavement of it or at least submission to their company. I imagine that the way in which humanity will submit, in history, is implicit in the terror of what will happen if humanity rebels against its "goddesses". As Batman said to Robin (Damian Wayne), how do you intend to rule humanity without being part of it? Personally, I didn't think that the death of Thomas, Alice's brother, was the right thing to do on Jisoo's part. What kind of person would a brother blame for defending his sister? Much more when he promised it, is it that neither Grace nor Jisoo saw this? And so we see how they dehumanize themselves, becoming perhaps just as murderous as those who murdered for pleasure.
In short, excellent story, I really like it. I long to see how it will end. These stories that touch your heart are pleasant readings that make you think and on top of that you enjoy. Thanks for giving us your art in this way man and keep it up.
That's a really beautiful quote and I think it is extremely fitting! I applaud the thoughtfulness of your feedback and am touched that you shared it and were able to have a good conversation about it afterwards!
Date: November 04 2021 6:40 PM Title: Regrets
Wow! Tae almost sounds jealous of Maddie. Can Korean were-foxes shapeshift into green-eyed monsters, I wonder?
I never thought of it that way but it's very possible! Tae has a lot of similarities to a nine-tailed fox, maybe she secretly is one?
Date: November 02 2021 12:52 AM Title: Regrets
I'm so glad Maeve survived that encounter. I wonder if the cleaning lady was actually an Amrita agent sent to check on Maddie. And Maddie, good for her she realizes her ignorance and trying to make amends. Evidently, Jisoo has been convinced too, likely by Eren's decision, and is giving her a chance.
Also, referencing sandman579's review, he touches on a lot of good points. The Armita group talk about their "heavenly duty" but enjoy great wealth and have a "do whatever they want and get what they want" attitude. Jisoo's relationship with her adoptive family and her mother running off with family secrets is definitely suspicious in a "she had moral objections and fled to maybe form a resistance" sort of way.
Plus, and I mentioned this before, The whole shrinking humanity to save the world is one of those idealistic plans that has a lot of sacrifices and casualties in between. There was another story, After Shrink High, that touched on this exact scenario. Lots of people died due to where they or what they were doing when they shrank, infrastructure collapsed, civilization ground to a halt and regressed outside of a few designated cities in each region. Not everyone joins the new regime, plenty of outlaws and rebels and the regime sends its normal sized agents to secretly exterminate those who don't follow them under the guise of "eliminating bandits and terrorists". And once someone learns the truth, they have to focus on eliminating everyone who knows or risk the world rebelling and ruining their plans. Can't kill too many people or they'll have no one to rule over.
I'm really enjoying this story. It's much deeper and rife with lore than I expected and I love it!
I have not had the chance to read that story just yet but I may very well give it a go if there are some themes that would be good inspiration for me down the road! And the secrecy aspect is of paramount importance, to make sure that you don't end up as the ruler of ashes when all is said and done. I hope you enjoy future updates!
Date: October 27 2021 1:01 AM Title: Reawakening
Oh boy, Jisoo's showing some much more concerning and pronounced sociopathic tendencies these past few chapters. Or rather her consciousness is telling in detail how much she enjoys this. I'm a little worried about how it does seem to be rubbing off on Eren. But then again, maybe I've read Eren's character wrong. He may not be someone who can show forgiveness or take a "that would just make us as bad as them stance" since he wasn't able to stop himself from attacking Alice or believing she should be forgiven. It does make his acceptance of Thomas being killed though. He was a protective brother, and even when Grace probably showed him just how evil Alice was he probably had a hard time accepting it under the torture and duress he was undergoing, especially since I doubt Grace let him hang out and chat with Alice between their sessions.
I convinced the family and it's corporation is definitely hiding some much less noble and justified murders and killings in it's closet. Outside of speck concerns, they've definitely killed people to reach the point of owning and manipulating ruling leaders and parties of multiple countries and continue to maintain that hold. I'm waiting for it to simply be laid bare and done right in front of us. Jisoo technically already has done it for us, murdering a guy for throwing an insult at Eren and killing the bartender girl for not speaking up oor stopping Alice and her friend when they snatched and carried off Eren.For a family that's supposed to feel humbled and responsible for what they did to humanity, the Amrita's seem to have a lot of members who live lavishly and people like Grace have the smug confidence of knowing they can get their way and take what they want from anyone outside the family. Are the matriarchs really allowing their kids and grandkids to abuse their influence so freely?
What if Jisoo's appetite for killing and brutalizing people is something she was trained, conditioned, or encouraged to do once she was brought back into the Amrita fold? She could easily simply be a vindictive speck lashing out for her 16 years of abuse, but the family history event where she crippled her father (not biological but purely adoptive?) and how she did feel guilt and remorse about her actions has me thinking someone in the family was subtly working on and training her to start acting on her feelings.
The mentioning of the family having "Heavenly Duties" that are still being kept from Eren until he's properly screened and indoctrinated and this divine mission that the family is working towards has that nagging devil's advocate sense for her mother coming back up. Whatever the family's end goal is I suspect it has some heavy price or extreme immoral component to it. Such that she fled from the family, stolen peaches in tow, and had a daughter with either the husband the family picked for her or some other unknown man.
She must've had some truly worthy goal if she convinced Byung-ho to not only raise and care for Jisoo but even take steps to keep the family from discovering her existence. He didn't simply take bribe money and then flush Jisoo down a toilet, but let his marriage and reputation fall apart shielding the tiny girl. I think Jisoo said in one of the chapters that her mother committed the greatest betrayal "to the family", so I'm suspicious the her mother confronted Baochai and/or Fang about their ultimate plan and killed or injured one or both of them.
It could just be to keep up public appearances letting some "reasonably young" like this Aunt Min running the public face of the family business, but neither Grace or Jisoo have addressed Baochai or Fang in a "present" tense and only talk about how it's Aunt Min who will judge and evaluate him as if she's the most senior member of the family's inner circle. As we've seen from the peaches, age shouldn't be meaningful, especially for someone with the family's unique blood so it doesn't seem unreasonable for a 150 yr old to be around and kicking. So it's very suspicious that Grace and Jisoo only talk about Aunt Min when discussing the inner family, even between just the two of them.
I'm leaning towards the family's end goal to be jump starting a 2nd Diminution event that will shrink the remainder of normal sized humans left since every person on the planet currently carries a dormant or active version of the virus. Possibly, what if the family actually manages to pull off an Inversion event? Where the 1/4 speck population gets restored while all normal humans shrink? The family matriarchs get to deal with their guilty conscious of letting half of humanity shrink and experience a drawn out century of abuse genocide. No matter what the core family gets to conveniently remain big in a world full of servants.
Touching on Maddie's arc, I'm curious about Eren and Maddie having a heart to heart talk. I wonder if Jisoo will relent about her grudge, honestly surprised she didn't try to murder Maddie for trying to slap Eren which would've killed him since she's literally killed for less. If she learns about and sees that Maddie's helped Maeve and wants to help more specks, I'm curious if Jisoo will make an appeal for her family to become a quiet investor/backer for Eureka. Helping them survive their founding Franklin invention and guiding them into doing an experiment to test how a company that helps vulnerable specks has an impact. Especially if it gets to do subtle jabs at society and open up its cracks by sharing stories or even footage of how a young speck can to lose a limb at a normal's hands.
Since it looks like we're closing in on Eren finally leaving for Asia to meet more of the Amrita clan, do you think you'll end this as a Book 1 and take a break before doing a Book 2?
For clarification Byung-ho is Jisoo's adoptive father, right now nothing about her biological father has been revealed. And as always you are definitely correct with a bunch of those speculations, or at the very least in the same ballpark!
As for for the possibility of taking a break as of right now I don't foresee one and will try to upload on a weekly or biweekly basis. Obviously I can't predict the future and what will happen but I definitely want to finish this story before I begin any other projects. I won't make a separate story, but rather begin an Act 2 within the same story to keep everything together. However that does not eliminate the chances of a sequel, but if there is a sequel then it will be after Jisoo and Eren's story has been concluded. Maybe there is a chance of a short spin-off at a certain point but that is all up in the air right now. I do want to explore other story ideas but won't commit to anything until I have a clear plan established.
Thank you for the continued feedback!
Date: October 25 2021 11:20 PM Title: Reawakening
Construction workers just never seem to learn: sooner or later, there is ALWAYS someone bigger and stronger coming along to kick their butts.
"How many times do we have to teach you this lesson old man?" - Fish man
Date: October 25 2021 7:36 PM Title: Reawakening
This moral downward spiral Jisoo is kind of going in is pretty enjoyable to witness, but it just makes me want Eren to snap out of the Anakin-like blind faith he has in her. Jisoo turning back into a monster has me eager to see if Eren's relationship with Maddie goes in a positive direction. Right now it seems like it's either get brainwashed into blindly following this nefarious overseas cult or snap out of it and be hunted by assassins. Maddie just seems like someone he can trust now that he's seen both sides of her, but we'll see whether he decides to forgive her and regroup with her or fall into line like Jisoo is hoping.
I'm very happy to hear that feedback! Jisoo started this story off trying to be a good person and as the story continued regressed back into her old ways. The previous chapter was her big turning point where she completely solidified who she was now, so I'm excited to explore the next stage of her character arc.
Date: October 25 2021 9:39 AM Title: Rescue
Fantastic story so far! I do have some questions about Jisoo's family though.
1) Byung-ho isn't actually Jisoo's biological father, right? The story told to his ex-wife was false?
2) Is there a reason why Daiyu Fang's descendants go by a different surname (Chen)? If the clan's naming convention is matriarchal in nature (passes down through women), why would the surname change?
3) Are there male members of the Chen Family, or does the bloodline only produce women? It is mentioned earlier that both Jisoo and Grace started off as specks and went through an ascension later in life. Would males not go through this ascension and have to stay specks? It would be an interesting family dynamic to have all female family members be normal sized and all males be specks.
Thank you for the comment!
1) Correct, Byung-ho is her adoptive father and Tae-yeon is an adoptive older sister.
2) This will be said later but it's a pretty non-important spoiler: Chen is the surname of Baochai Fang's first husband, and after she assumed control of his company she decided to use Chen instead of Fang since it was more marketable to English-speakers.
3) There are male members of the clan, but you'll find out later what life is like for them!
Date: October 25 2021 4:40 AM Title: Reawakening
Wow. At first I was critical of Jisoo and her family with their "operation humanity's reduction" and the obvious problems with that. But after being reminded of the sort of "people" Jisoo and Grace typically hunt now I'm wondering why their family hasn't done round 2 yet. Are they short of certain resources or are they setting themselves up in every country before they flip the switch?
Part of me wants them to succeed so some ironic punishment can heaped up the brobs. Can't casualy dismiss specks as parasites when you become one now can you? Bonus if the specks turn on the former brobs for their poor treatment, like what Eren did to what's her name.
Another part of me wants them to succeed just so we can see the true "new world" they talk about. Besides those lost depending on where they were and what they were doing during Diminution round 2, I imagine there will be plenty who won't tolerate living as specks and plenty who will resist being ruled by the Amrita Corp. Like the saying goes: No plan survives first contact with the enemy.
Another great way to put that quote, everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.
Date: October 25 2021 2:09 AM Title: Reawakening
Too much mercy kills. They should be tortured over a long period of time. These evil people need to know something very terrible will happen, before their limbs are torn off.
She should force them to take all the body parts out of the elderly and children they killed. Carrying out children's bodyparts out at their current size will make them go insane. Than keep them for e week and tell them that their fates wil get much worst and that she will slowly rip of there limbs.
Liking this story very much.
Date: October 19 2021 1:57 AM Title: Reveal Part 3
Honestly. I don't know how I feel. I can kind of understand why you pushed Eren this way, but its also revealing of an unrealistic change in him. If he was vengeful he would've been vengeful after his parents died. He wasn't. His reaction to Mary(is that the girls name?) says such. He was indifferent. But now he feels vindicated to kill bigger people just because? No Thomas did not deserve to die. No justification they make is right. I feel you as the author understand that for sure, but I'd figure Eren would too. He's been written like that all along.
Overall I still like the story, I just see you're trying to force a relationship between Eren and Jisoo. It's fine, but its a recommendation to break ties then try to reunite them. I feel that would've been a better approach.
And honestly I think most people liked Thomas. He was a soldier, fought for his country and family. Was killed unjustly. Kind of like how most soldiers go, just left to die without a second thought; kind of like how specks are treated. So in essence Jisoo and Eren are hypocrites. Massive ones.
Also, I would want to make a spinoff when your story is done on it if that'd be alright. Cause well ngl Grace gets the loins going. But also because I feel like the backstory could be expanded in a weird way. Anyway it's up to you, and what you end up making of the story first, but yeah, good chapter, just feels forced though.
The last line of the chapter is really important here: only a speck can understand. Eren like most specks is helpless to do anything about the injustices faced by his people, so in most occasions they don't lash out or seek revenge since it's a hopeless endeavor. Instead they keep all those emotions under the surface for their own safety. However Eren when around his own people is a bit more forthright with violence (hence his fight with Oscar which started over a rude comment, and history of fights according to Gabriel) so he's not indifferent when it comes to people who he can feasibly interact with. With Maddie since she was a normal person who he could not feasibly do anything towards, and she had also earned his admiration, he responded with indifference not because he is opposed to vengeance but rather there was nothing he could have done to her if he wanted.
And this is where we get to Jisoo. She is a speck who became human and also part of a very wealthy, influential family. So she is in the very unique situation where she actually can get revenge on people who have wronged her. Unlike Eren and pretty much every other speck. He stays with her for a couple reasons. The biggest is what she did was pretty much emotional manipulation by bringing up his parents, and asking if he would do anything differently if granted the opportunity. As a speck he is one of the few people who can understand why she's so violent and vengeful towards bigger people. Furthermore, he feels indebted to her since she not only saved his life but also has provided a wonderful new life for him. Subconsciously he knows that if he left her that could all come to an end, and his old miserable life would come back. I hope this explains the reason for why he for the time being chose to stay with her.
As for a spin-off, I'm flattered but this story is so far from finished I couldn't really consider one. Grace is definitely a character who might get her own fun spin off but for now it would be best to keep them all contained to this story.
I appreciate the thoughtful review!
Date: October 19 2021 12:11 AM Title: Reveal Part 3
I'm really hoping Eren actually catches on to Jisoo's manipulation because ooooh boy am I starting to turn against them. I guess Eren is an engineer though so he might already be suspecting something, as he should be a decent problem solver. I'm really excited to see how Eren's old boss will tie in to all of this and if they'll even actually reunite. I came for the romance but now I'm hooked on the conspiracy.
Fingers crossed! We have not seen the last of Maddie, I can say that much!
Date: October 18 2021 7:03 PM Title: Reveal Part 3
While the backstory of Jisoo was nice, I think their judgment of Thomas was weak and hippocritical. Alice was a monster, true. However Thomas still tried to protect her out of familial love. He didn't condone her actions, he just still loved his sister and was reunited with her after a long ordeal only to be shrunken and tortured for trying to find a lost loved one. Thomas wasn't a monster, he was just misguided. I think that any amount of research into their lives, something that was almost certainly done would have revealed that aspect about him. To just lump him in the same category as his sister seems like a weak justification to do whatever they wanted. If they were as smart as you've written them to be, and with such a desire to make the world a better place I think they would've made an effort to reform him. Sure, he knew too much to be released, but he wasn't deserving of the torture and murde visited upon him. I like the story, but these last few chapters leave me feeling disappointed.
So as for their justification with Thomas, in the previous chapter it was stated that one of the reasons Jisoo outright killed Thomas was to prevent him from sharing his side of the story, since she wanted to sculpt what Eren thought of her actions. She knew she could manipulate Eren with memories of the trauma from his parents murder, and he would be more receptive since Eren already feels so indebted to her as is. Moreover it is worth noting that the world that Jisoo and Grace want may not necessarily be a place where people like Thomas exist to begin with, both have shown themselves to kill people for even the slightest provocation. To them Thomas is not really a person to be reformed and more of a thing to be used and then discarded, and they will simply use whatever justification they need to do Eren will remain on their side.
As another reviewer noted for this chapter, it could be interpreted that Jisoo either lied or omitted certain parts of the truth. Remember that her entire goal with this conversation was to make sure that Eren remained at her side, so she would be incentivized to paint her actions in a positive light and downplay Thomas’s place as a protector to his sister. If she had simply admitted that she killed Thomas because she felt like it and she enjoys how it makes her feel, Eren’s reaction would have been very different, so she came up with an excuse closer to home he would agree with.
Bear in mind that Jisoo considers herself to be a ‘monster’, as she agreed with Alice when she called her such. She doesn’t really consider herself to be a ‘good person’. To her being a good person means doing what she considers furthering her family’s interpretation as the greater good, not anybody else’s. Furthermore she is a former speck who suffered for years as such, and makes choices based on her emotions before anything else. I’m sorry that you haven’t enjoyed these past few chapters but feel like it’s important to understand the characters motivations and perspective, since it drives their decisions and what they say to each other may lies or half-truths, which a lot of this chapter was.
Date: October 18 2021 3:50 AM Title: Reveal Part 3
Why do I get the feeling that lies have been told to Jisoo.
Still, they simply could have been captured and tortured. This is a mercy kill.
Grace's fun is now been taken away.
In the last chapter, one of Jisoo's motivations was to ensure that Thomas's complete side of the story would never be told. It makes it a bit easier to lie when nobody can contradict you huh? : )