It seems negotiations did not proceed well. If it’s not clear, there is more than one dark armored fellow here – the one in panel 1,2,3 is different from the one in panel 5. The two halves the squad from earlier are both on site (minus the one that ran afoul of certain prototype…).

Kally probably didn’t need to see what happened to Naomi to want nothing to do with shenanigans from behind, though a ethereral shield is more effective against bullets than null casters (it is, in fact, not very effective at all against null casters). Kally is unsuited for the more point defense sort of magic, so tends to shore up her weaknesses. An animated ethereal tends to be somewhat autonomous. Kally does not, for example, need to tell the dragon “if some dude is coming at me, bite the that dude”; that’s built into the spell that summons it (intentionally or otherwise); though Kally can control it more directly, it tends to be more “go bite that guy” rather than the nuances of moving a dragon with four legs and wings and all. This is the same reason that Ila uses a hand – a hand can be commanded to “grab” or “flick” very easily as that’s the sort of things that hands do. Trying to do the same thing with an abstract shape would be much harder. I’ll get to cover a little bit more on this next page.

Your eyes are not deceiving you. The buffer is now at FOUR comics. That’s two weeks! If I can hit 6 by Jan, that means there will be no January break when I go traveling! I still can’t guarantee that, as I have to deal with Christmas and what not coming up, and don’t actually have the next week off work. It is actually a little offputting for me to update out of the buffer. I am always more excited about pages closer to drawing them, so drawing pages that people won’t see for weeks I don’t like as well (I’ll get used to it, but eh, I do like to complain!). We’ve achieved this progress through the deregulation of coffee. It is amazing how much more I can get done with more coffee, particularly in lifting the no-coffee-after-work ban (it was actually no coffee after 5pm, but it boiled down to the same thing most days). Minus Years will be getting it’s second page this weekend.

PS: I don’t know if I will get a chance to explain too much depth in the mechanics of null casters. I recommend it as a question for a future Q&A if there is curiosity.

I feel there was something else I was supposed to mention at this commentary, but it’s already sleepy time and… Zzz..zzzz…zzzz.