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Don’t believe the haters, Hirotomo! *cough*nataku*cough*

Honestly, I teared up when I drew this page. I’ve been stewing on the broken Wataro family dynamic for literally half of my life. It’s almost amazing to me that we’ve reached this point, even if Joe and I set out with the strong intention of bringing the story to a conclusion after we came back from that year-long hiatus (shnikies, that was six years ago!!).

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  • foducool

    I was a feudal warlord like you but then I took a bullet to the back

  • Sunwu

    So uhhh… You guys gonna put pressure on my wound or get a doctor? or are you gonna watch me bleed out?

    • Minando

      Narrative imperative says he dies now.
      Not without a death speech, of course.
      Also, none of them remembered to refresh their first aid course.

    • Xinef

      They’re mending his broken heart… but first figuratively, before they get to doing it with surgery.

      … though since they have no scalpels around, they’ll have to do heart surgery with Genchu’s daisho.

      • Turul

        A true samurai has no need for scalpels.

        • Xinef

          True. But Japanese do make the best scalpels in the world. Coincidence? #Idontthinkso

    • Sythirius

      You can’t put pressure on that kind of wound. From the back it looks like the bullet lay have penetrated the chest cavity and caused a lung to collapse. Even if it hit the abdominal cavity, pressure will definitely not help. Actually both are contraindicated for this type of injury.

      • Sunwu

        Would puting him on his side help?

  • Turul

    Aww. (but I repeat myself)

  • charles81

    Well… now that’s all sorted, I guess it’s time to find out how the spirits figure into all this and see three people of different faiths walk into a bar together.

    …I think Ina’s sister was supposed to figure in here somewhere as well. I always thought it would just be some clan she married into coming to their aide against the Wataro army but I guess not.

    • Jonathan B

      I forgot that Ina had a sister….

    • suburban_samurai

      Ina has three sisters, actually! And they were all married off in various political marriages. The original plan was that Ina, Yori, and co. would visit each sister to drum up support in defending Senshin land from the Wataro invasion. It’d be an amusing romcom+politics scenario where Ina would encounter her sisters in various states of matrimony, and they’d in turn comment on her will-they-won’t-they relationship with Yori. But we ultimately cut that to move things along faster.

      Once the comic is complete, I intend to share a lot of plans and ideas about the story that changed over the last 18 years. Maybe we’ll do a reader Q&A.

  • (Fig.2) Ocean Burning

    Poor Eji : P

  • clogboy

    Powerful page. It’s easy how quickly Hirotomo is swayed though, now that he doesn’t have to carry the burden of the future. I’m happy he’s passing as his true self. I’m happy that Yori and Eji both know the truth about Eji’s origin, and I’m happy that it doesn’t strictly matter anymore who’s going to be heir, now that the feud is being settled. Hopefully this releases Ina from her side of the deal so she can marry whomever she wants to marry (if anyone, I won’t judge) and hopefully Eji and Yori can decide in good harmony who’s going to succeed their father. Although they seem to have the same goals now and Yori is the older, battle-hardened, idealistic and wise brother with a loyal retinue.

    • Arkone Axon

      Agreed – which is why Eji should be the new Daimyo. He’s far better suited to rule, while Yori is far better suited to lead troops under Eji’s rule.

      Of course traditionally it’s still the eldest to inherit. But Yori doesn’t seem to WANT to be ruler.

  • Slograman

    “Medically, he is completely healthy. For reasons we can’t explain, we are losing him. He has lost the will to live.”

    Then, in a massive plot twist….

    “He’s carrying twins. We need to operate quickly if we are to save the babies.”

    • suburban_samurai

      We’ll send one to live at the Senshin royal palace. We’ll send the other one to, I dunno, live in a desert.

      • KungFuKlobber

        Be sure to hide the boy in the living parent’s home territory, with his only other relatives, under his real name. No one will think to look for him there!

        • animalia555

          Not that Anakin would want to go back to the one place that brought him so much misery. So there is a method to the madness.

          • Bombom13

            We all know what Anakin though of sand, so putting Luke in the place with the maximum possible amount of sand possible isn’t completely stupid. It’s just mostly stupid.

      • Sunwu

        We’ll lock the other away in Jail, no one will know his face. From the makers of “NN4B” comes “No need for an Iron mask.”

    • Minando

      I am sure no one saw that coming.

  • Warcodered

    You’ve proven you’re the good son since you killed me unlike some people whom I’m still very disappointed in.

    • clogboy

      Right? Eji just learned now that his father never saw him as his own.

      Bastard should’ve shot him way earlier. Note how I mean ‘bastard’ in the figurative sense and not the literal.

  • Talina M

    Well done!

  • Ginger Mayerson

    A death tiles reconciliation. This is very beautiful and touching. I’ll be sad when there’s no more weekly NN4B to read every Monday morning. But we’ll always have the GNs… eventually.

    Shnikies! Was the hiatus 6 years ago? Time flies, lads. Have I really been reading this wonderful webcomic for 17 years minus 1 hiatus? Oh well, I’ve been reading Adam and Andy, Sluggy Freelance, and Kevin and Kell since 2000, so I guess it’s not that alarming. Huh.

    • suburban_samurai

      Webcomics. A timely and efficient means of longform storytelling they are not!

      • Namaphry

        Yeah. It’s hard to sympathize with myself for struggling with the idea of perhaps taking 5 years to finish three books, when I’m reminded of my favourite webcomics.

    • Ladon

      I started Sluggy Freelance late last year. I only finished the archive trawl recently. Freakin webcomics, dude.

      • Ginger Mayerson

        That’s a lot of archives. I salute you.

  • Namaphry

    I’m curious what this means for the succession. Doesn’t seem like he’s steering toward his last words being ‘now, we all gathered here for a sword fight, so give my sons their swords and decide my replacement, chop chop.’

  • Ladon

    Guys, you are NOT making me feel this emotional about a comic that used “holy flipping shinkies of death” as actual dialogue. You’re not. I refuse. I- *sniff* I’m adamant about this.

    • Xinef

      It’s ‘SHNIKIES’ not “SHINKIES’!
      *gets really emotional about a spelling error in a fictional word*

  • Archangel

    Don’t get sane on me now. Your psychosis was just reaching a climax. I was looking forward to it!

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