Comic 411 - Access Denied

8th Feb 2016, 6:00 PM in Chapter Seven
411 - Access Denied
Average Rating: 5 (12 votes)
rufiangel 8th Feb 2016, 6:00 PM edit delete

Happy Monday, and happy Chinese New Year! :D And Chapter Seven starts off with a screeching halt! XD Oh boy.

Okay guys, I have a few things to get through today! Are you ready?

First, let's talk about the new update schedule. From now on, Serpamia Flare will update twice a week.

It's going to take me a while to update this information where necessary but for the foreseeable future, I am going to now post updates on Monday and Wednesday.

I want to thank you guys in advance for your understanding regarding the cut down in update frequency. After the first month of full-time work, and me seeing how many hours I actually have to work on the strip, I think the most feasible compromise is two updates a week. If I think I can somehow ramp it up, I'll let you guys know - I personally really like 3 updates a week, so I'll try to see if I can't find a way to make it happen. But for now, I'm sticking to two updates a week, effective immediately. Whew.

And now, blessings of guest art!! ;__;* <3

Last week I received a super cute fanart from LittleImoutoSis, who is continuing her wonderful trend of giving NPCs some super cute fanart love! X3 Ehehehe <33


ISAAC!! I never knew you'd receive such wonderful fanart!! ;3;* <333 Look at all those details <333 littleimoutosis, you really captured Isaac right at home! *glomp* <33 thankyew so much!! ;3;*

Also!! Cici-muffin of From Dust to Ruination fame also strikes again with an amazingly cute digital card for Chinese New Year that I just have to share with you guys! XD


Ahahaha I take no responsibility over this XDDD Thank you so much Cici-muffin!

And on that note: HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR! :D May you all have a prosperous start to your lunar calendar! See you guys on Wednesday! :)

HeSerpenty 8th Feb 2016, 6:13 PM edit delete reply
Ohhhh the colors are so pretty on this page <33

Lolol I love the group dynamics here! So many great personalities to work with! So entertaining to watch <3. Seriously Ruf..SF would make a great tv show!!!
They SO CLOSE! Yet so far away I feel XD
rufiangel 10th Feb 2016, 5:05 PM edit delete reply
Aww, thank you Serpy-kins! <3 X3 I'm glad the colours work! >3<

Funny, I think that SoO would make a BRILLIANT animated series <333 X3 I guess we should work on our pitches! lol <3

And yes, that's a very apt way of putting it, Serpy! XD <33
CiciEnixa 8th Feb 2016, 6:19 PM edit delete reply
Hm, what's this? Do I smell... a grinding session on its way? XD

Well, I guess it's safe-ish to say that Nemi is not at Lv 40 yet (dat squish attempt is adorbs though <3), but I wonder who else hasn't gotten there yet. Madou seems like he'd have a high level, and surely Cain received like a million exp going headlong into an LCF, right? XDDD

Wait, is that statue the dude on the cover?
Lukkai 10th Feb 2016, 9:06 AM edit delete reply
*checks cover, checks statue*

Hm... It could be I guess.

If it is, I'm pretty sure we'll soon have some exposition about it/him.
rufiangel 10th Feb 2016, 5:07 PM edit delete reply
@Lukkai: If by 'soon', you mean 'in several months', then you are correct! :D
MysticJanus 10th Feb 2016, 12:46 PM edit delete reply
Well done on the artwork, Cici! Fellow monkeys of the world, unite!
And yes, the dreaded grinding session! Hours turn to days, to weeks, to months...and we're STILL not level 40... T.T
rufiangel 10th Feb 2016, 5:08 PM edit delete reply
@MysticJanus: Ahahaha XDD well, that's ONE way to do a time skip! Should I...? >:D
rufiangel 10th Feb 2016, 5:07 PM edit delete reply
Oh gosh, that is a very keen sense of smell you got there, muffin! XD;;;

A part of the reason I wanted to do this World Guild Level Certification plot point is because I wanted the readers to have a chance to see what the scope of levels are relative to the Serpamia Flare universe, and the general abilities of the characters relative to each other. Hopefully it'll clear up some things. ;)

And you're very astute! XD I guess I shouldn't confirm so early, but... YOU'REPROBABLYRIGHTLOL
MST3KFan 8th Feb 2016, 6:20 PM edit delete reply
Hmm... This sound like the classic RPG bit where an arena fight becomes involved somehow.

Gotta love that second to last panel with Nemi there. LOL Her sneak skills for once were blocked. XD

Also, understand the schedule change, rufi. If it's gotta be, it's gotta be.
rufiangel 10th Feb 2016, 5:09 PM edit delete reply
Possibly~! ;) Or I could just be mentioning it for no reason ahahaha <3

Nemi usually gets past guards easily so this is confusing for her indeed XD

Thanks for the understanding re: schedule, MST3K! >_<*)o It really means a lot to me to continue to have your support! ;3;*
mjkj 8th Feb 2016, 6:31 PM edit delete reply

Nemiiii... - too cute...

So, they have arrived at the place where Kylie's brother is..., on to meet him...

Re updates: hey, Rufi, please do not feel pressured by me stating that I would prefer two updates - if that is too much, please reduce it to the one you had planned...
Furthermore if you have problems with updating you might consider updating monday and friday, too, because that is more equally distributed in the week.

Headgamer 8th Feb 2016, 9:29 PM edit delete reply
I don't know your schedule so of course it's your call, but I share the Monday & Friday giving you more time thought. It's fine either way though I just want to make it easyer on you lol.
rufiangel 10th Feb 2016, 5:13 PM edit delete reply
@Headgamer: Aw, thank you! >3<*

I'm going to try and work with Monday and Wednesday primarily because that would be easier for me. :) And I just like those days. XD

I appreciate your thoughtfulness re: making it easier on me! >3<*)/ Thankyew, always ;3;*
mjkj 8th Feb 2016, 10:22 PM edit delete reply
PS: did you see the cameos at DataChasers?
rufiangel 10th Feb 2016, 5:14 PM edit delete reply
@Mjkj: I haven't seen it in the latest update because I haven't caught up yet, and Centy told me it was spoilerific! But I know of it, and I've seen the WIP shots :)

If I can catch up with DC some time soon I'll definitely link to it! Thanks for giving me a headsup on it, though X3 <3 I appreciate it!!
mjkj 10th Feb 2016, 5:25 PM edit delete reply
You are welcome :D
rufiangel 10th Feb 2016, 5:11 PM edit delete reply
Nemi is always too cute XD

Yep, they're in Jem Citadel now, hopefully Kylie's brother hasn't run off somewhere in the meantime! XD;;

Honestly I think I'd go nuts with impatience with once-a-week, so I'll only resort to that if it turns out I'll go nuts with stress with twice-a-week first. No worries, the frequent update schedule was always to satiate my own impatience with the pacing moreso than to meet any reader demand XD *hugs* Thanks for being so understanding and consoling, though! :)

And I've chosen Monday and Wednesday precisely because that would work better for me than Monday and Friday because of my own personal schedule. At least, I believe it will, for now. We'll see how true that rings in the weeks to come XD
Matt Knab 8th Feb 2016, 6:44 PM edit delete reply
Matt Knab
Reducing the schedule is totally reasonable, Rufi. Even 2 pages a week at this level of quality is great!
Looks like it's time for our heroes to take a certification test? :)
rufiangel 10th Feb 2016, 5:15 PM edit delete reply
Aww Matt, that's so kind of you! ;3;* <3 Thank you!! Hopefully I'll manage - I'm not sure yet if I can XD

And you would be very correct, sir! X3 *gives Matt a cookie*
Seabiscuit 8th Feb 2016, 8:55 PM edit delete reply
Bad timing indeed!
...Ohhh a tourny! :D
(Oh gosh- I know the feel of switching to two updates. I'm amazed though, you kept up with three for so long! Plus all the side projects! You're a machine!~ Even two pages a week is amazing with the quality you put out, I don't know how you manage! You gotta do what you gotta do~ <3)
rufiangel 10th Feb 2016, 5:17 PM edit delete reply
Awww seamuffin, I think *you're* the machine! Well, the most dedicated and devoted of artists I know, anyway; with all the stuff you go through I'm always SUPER impressed by any single update you manage! ;3;* *hugs seamuffin tightly* <3

'Bad timing' is kind of the party's motto, I feel like XD or maybe in a warped way, it's 'good timing'? Hmmmm XD;;;
Headgamer 8th Feb 2016, 9:42 PM edit delete reply
I'm guessing some of them didn't get tested yet.

That said why do they need to go there again? Yes, her bother is there but... what it there again? It sounds like a tournament, but I though he was in a city. Is it a tournament city? No, no. She said bad timing. They are being blocked from going in to a ward... I'm guessing a ward of a city? And her brother lives there. Ok, That makes sense.... Sort of.

Edit: So ther upper ward is the part of the city where they sometimes hold this big tournament. For the duration of said tournament they block off the entire ward and only let the strong in "for safety." That just sounds impractical. What if you LIVE there? Can you not buy a house unless your WGLC 40? Or do they kick the week from there homes for a month/however long? Maybe residents have a pass, but then how can residents be "safe." Do they just lock themselves in there room and hide? Lol, idk. Sounds crazy.

Edit2: O wait, the ward is the spell! ...ok now I'm just confused again about what's going on. Where exactly are they being prevented from going and why is her bro there?
rufiangel 10th Feb 2016, 5:24 PM edit delete reply
So many questionnnns! XD I'll try to answer some here, though most of your questions should get addressed in the coming pages.

(I admit that I actually edited dialogue here that originally had some exposition to help readers out, but because the massive speechbubble from it covered half of Kylie in the second panel I decided 'never mind' XD;;; sowwie, it probably would have helped you out!)

To refresh your memory in regards to "How do they know Kylie's brother is here?" you can check out this strip - Isaac's Blood Reading brought up this information for Kylie.

Jem Citadel has not really be described or shown through any establishing shot yet, but it's basically a border city in Clandest that protects it from invaders that might come through the Astorian Plains. The city in itself is split into the commoner grounds (where Kylie's party is at) and the upper tier (where the main citadel is). I'll try to do an establishing shot that will mark this more clearly in later pages. The residents are able to pass from the upper tier to the commoner grounds and back again, but adventurers who are foreign and new to the place cannot when there is a tournament going on.

As for all the other questions you've asked, well, you'll see! :) Be patient, my friend XD <3 *hands over consolation cookie*
Crestlinger 8th Feb 2016, 10:06 PM edit delete reply
As with all barriers, check if they extend underground.
Have to wonder what everyone's fighting level Is currently.
rufiangel 10th Feb 2016, 5:18 PM edit delete reply
The ground is made of diamond! :O

Okay it's not, but it's something like that. It's "Jem(Gem?) Citadel" after all XDD

And yep! Hopefully this WGLC arc will satisfy some reader curiosity in that regard :D
azureXtwilight 8th Feb 2016, 10:31 PM edit delete reply
Fifth panel is definitely my favorite <3
rufiangel 10th Feb 2016, 5:19 PM edit delete reply
Nehehehe XD <3 Thankyew Azure, I'm so happy to know that squishy Nemi is popular XDDD <333

*makes plans to make more squishy Nemi in the future*
mjkj 10th Feb 2016, 5:29 PM edit delete reply
But please no bad squishy, bad squishy is like splat... XD
rufiangel 10th Feb 2016, 5:33 PM edit delete reply
No promises ;D
TheD-Wrek 9th Feb 2016, 4:50 AM edit delete reply
You so silly, Nemi... Lol
rufiangel 10th Feb 2016, 5:25 PM edit delete reply
She can't help being a silly foo foo sometimes XD
Allzephyr 9th Feb 2016, 8:57 AM edit delete reply
Two times a week is still a pretty high update rate so don't worry about it. Happy Chinese New Year.
rufiangel 10th Feb 2016, 5:25 PM edit delete reply
AWww, thank you Zephy for being so understanding ;_;* I hope I can still make those updates count!

And thank you!! <3 Happy Chinese new year! :D
kelverse 9th Feb 2016, 10:54 AM edit delete reply
Oooh what a lovely page! Oh Nemi, you silly little cupcake~

I totally understand about the reduced amount of updates, I'm in more or less the same boat myself right now =~=
rufiangel 10th Feb 2016, 5:27 PM edit delete reply
Awww, thankyew Rinkelle! X3 <3 Yes, Nemi is a silly little foo foo sometimes XD

*does the 'reduced amount of updates' handshake with Rinkelle* :'D Ah, life... if only I could have just like, I dunno, 10 extra hours on my free days XD;;;
kelverse 11th Feb 2016, 10:51 AM edit delete reply
I'll take either extra hours of free time or extra energy lol X'''D
Jarvi 10th Feb 2016, 5:50 AM edit delete reply
One more thing Nemi and Jinn have in common ;D Being idiots xD I love her face splashed against the barrier ;D
rufiangel 10th Feb 2016, 5:27 PM edit delete reply
Those two actually may have more in common than they realise~ XD but yesh, they are kinda idiots XDD <3

And yay <3 thankyew brother, I'm happy to know squishy Nemi is popular XDD <3
Lukkai 10th Feb 2016, 8:56 AM edit delete reply
Nemi, stop pushing like that! Your top can't hold it and...

You know what.

Keep pushing.
You're doing fine.
rufiangel 10th Feb 2016, 5:28 PM edit delete reply
You're awful XDDD though I kinda guessed some people might think that way with Nemi's new top for this chapter! *sigh* XD
Jarvi 10th Feb 2016, 5:49 PM edit delete reply
You think without the top she'll be able to sneak through the barrier? That thing has some major backdoor! :D
Allzephyr 11th Feb 2016, 12:00 AM edit delete reply
Oh dear; it would seem disreputability has finally infiltrated the comments. Whatever shall we do?
rufiangel 15th Feb 2016, 9:16 AM edit delete reply
*Rufi decides to leave this one well alone* :'D
Lukkai 10th Feb 2016, 8:57 AM edit delete reply
Oh, Cici... That picture, oh dear... :D

Did I mention I'm a monkey myself?

What? You thought that avatar was chosen randomly?
rufiangel 10th Feb 2016, 5:28 PM edit delete reply
Oh my! I can now calculate your age! You are now... *does the math* 72 years old! Of course!
Lukkai 12th Feb 2016, 8:04 AM edit delete reply



rufiangel 15th Feb 2016, 9:16 AM edit delete reply
Well, shucks.

Guess I'll gun for 60 or 84, then...
Lukkai 10th Feb 2016, 9:02 AM edit delete reply
Oh, and one final:

There's a tournament.

Her brother's taking part in it somehow. And will do so in the upper tier.
He's sitting on one of the upper tiers. And they, while offering a way better view, are somewhat dangerous because you could suddenly have a ricochet coming your way or something like that.

The upper tier has been warded off to weaker and not tested (for too long?) people for safety reasons.

They want in to see her brother, they'll have to enter. And for that, they'll have to take the test (and maybe train some in advance).

Did I get that about right? Because some people seem confused.
rufiangel 10th Feb 2016, 5:30 PM edit delete reply
Ah, you have some very good ideas, sir! ;)

Nothing has really been clarified yet in regards to where Kylie's brother is at (the party has no idea either besides what Isaac told them) soooo yeah, anything is up for grabs at this point! XD
Lukkai 12th Feb 2016, 8:06 AM edit delete reply
Aah, wait. So from your other comment I gather that it's the upper tier of the city. Not the stands or the tournament.

Should have thought of that as a third possibility, really.
LittleImoutoSis 10th Feb 2016, 10:46 AM edit delete reply
I should have expected a tournament to pop up in the story :))
Glad you like kt:))
rufiangel 10th Feb 2016, 5:31 PM edit delete reply
I really do!! X3 <333 I personally really like Isaac from my NPC roster so seeing him get some fanart gives me extra joy XD <333 thankYEW!!

And yeppp! There's almost always a tournament of some kind in most classic JRPG formulas eh XD ;)
MysticJanus 10th Feb 2016, 12:52 PM edit delete reply
Working F/T usually involves working overtime and leaving no time for anything else. ^^; If you have to cut down on updates in order to keep things balanced, Rufi, then so be it. Your comic is more than worth the wait.
rufiangel 10th Feb 2016, 5:32 PM edit delete reply
AWWW! <333 That is so kind of you to say!! ;___;* <3 Thank you MysticJanus, I really appreciate the kind words and the support and understanding re: new update schedule! I'll keep doing my best ;3;* <3
Outlaw 12th Feb 2016, 4:48 AM edit delete reply
As much as I enjoyed the side-story, it's so awesome to see the main cast again.
Nemi is freakin' adorable, as per the usual.

I'm also TOTALLY digging where the plot is headin', my friend. I LOVE tournaments!
rufiangel 15th Feb 2016, 9:17 AM edit delete reply
This is awfully sweet of you, Outlaw! X3 Likewise, I'm happy to be back posting the regular comic updates again... though the break *was* nice, lol XD

And I'm so pleased you like the mention of a tournament! :D I hope you'll like where this eventually goes~!