For what felt like an eternity, Seryu walked along the yellow brick road with Koro leading her forward. The prescription of the purple glasses made the whole world look like a blurry mess, and after a while Seryu began to experience nausea. Eventually, Koro came to a halt, and his master stopped behind him.

"What's wrong, Koro?" asked the Jaeger. Though she was glad to rest for a moment, the migrain was really getting to her, Seryu wanted to reach the wizard as much as possible.

Koro let out a bark and pointed towards both the left and the right in reply.

Seryu looked, and noticed that the path diverged sharply, and there was no sign revealing which way would get her to the Gilded City fastest. "So it wasn't just the glasses," exclaimed Seryu, "there really is a fork in the road. Well where should I go?"

A male voice answered, "A lot of people take the left. Though the right is travelled frequently also."

"Who said that?" asked Seryu, already reaching for her tonfa guns.

"Over here!" the voice replied.

Seryu looked towards the sound of the voice. She saw a large pile of stuffed black bags and flattened cardboard boxes. However, Seryu noticed a large dark blue object sticking out. She walked over to the pile of discarded objects by the side of the road, and the strange object became more clear. It appeared to take the shape of a man, though it lacked defined joints. And then there was the skin. It looked like. . . polyester?

"Excuse me sir, but who are you?" asked the Jaeger.

"I'm a bean bag man."

"A what?"

"You know, like a bean bag chair. Those things that were cool for a while, but then everyone realized that they're just awkward and uncomfortable."

"Oh," said Seryu, scratching the back of her head out of awkwardness towards the blue man's self depreciation. "What are doing out here?"

"Doesn't the other garbage make it obvious? I've been thrown away."

"Why would someone throw you away?"

The Bean Bag Man paused for a moment, thinking of how to best explain his situation. "Punch me in the chest as hard as you can."

"What?"

"Just do it. Trust me, it won't hurt."

Seryu was hesitant, but then threw her whole weight into a punch aimed at the blue man's core. Seryu watched curiously as her metal fist sunk deep into the Bean Bag Man's body. When she withdrew her hand, she was surprised to see how slowly the crater in the bag returned to its original shape.

"Unlike humans, I don't have a skeleton. My insides only have beans," explained the Bean Bag Man. "The idea of bean bag chairs is that they feel nice because they conform to the owner's body. But you can't really get that comfortable when you just sink down. Furniture needs at least some resistance to work, but I can't hold up anyone. If I only had a frame, I could support my friends when they sat down!"

Seryu listened patiently to the Bean Bag Man's troubles. "I'm sorry you can't find a way to feel useful, I wish I could help. Oh, that reminds me, I haven't introduced myself! My name is Seryu Ubiquitous, and this is my dog, Koro. We're from the Empire."

"The Empire? What's that?"

"It's the country where I'm from."

"Bit of a generic name for country, isn't it?"

"Well, in any case, that's where I need to go. Koro and I are going to see the wizard in the Gilded City so he'll send us home."

"A wizard? Do you think that if I came with you, that this wizard could give me the strength to be more supportive?"

"I mean, if he has the power to send people people home I guess putting a frame in you wouldn't be that outlandish. . ."

"Great! Please let me come with you! I won't be any trouble. I don't need to eat anything, and I won't try to force anything on you because I'm a pushover. Won't you take me with you?" pleaded the blue man.

"Well of course I will. Back when I was in the Imperial Guard, I escorted people all the time."

The Bean Bag Man jumped for joy. "Hurray! We're off to see a wizard!" Then, he began to sing a song to himself as he skipped down the road. "We're off to see the wizard. The wonderful Wizard of Ur. We hear he is a whiz of a wiz if ever a wiz there were. . ."

"Can you please not sing!" begged Seryu, "These glasses are stuck to my head, they have given me a horrible headache."

"Oh, sorry." Though the blue man continued to quietly hum the tune to himself as he skipped along the yellow brick road. Seryu and Koro followed, apparently haven forget the earlier dilemma regarding the split paths.

What an odd man. Seryu thought to herself. Though, there is something familiar about him.


Seryu, Koro, and Bean Bag Man continued their journey along the yellow brick road. After a while, Koro's stomach began to growl. Koro expressed his hunger by whining and poking Seryu's leg.

"I know you're hungry, boy. I'll keep an eye out for any evildoers for you to snack on."

"Wait, your dog eats people?" asked the Bean Bag Man, who was more than a little concerned.

Seryu laughed. "Don't worry, he only eats evil people."

"Right. . ."

Seryu looked around and noticed several fruit trees around them. "Look, boy! You can eat some apples. Just remember not to eat the seeds."

The Jaeger ran over and picked a piece of fruit, only for one of the tree's branches to shoot out and slap the apple out of Seryu's hand.

"What do you think you're doing?" barked the tree.

"We've been walking a long way, and my dog was hungry, so. . . wait, did you talk?"

"Her dog was hungry," mocked the tree, eliciting similar taunts from the other trees. "Well, how would you like to have someone come along and pick something off of you?"

"Is there anything in this land that doesn't talk?" wondered Seryu.

The Bean Bag Man ran up to Seryu and said, "Don't worry, Seryu, you don't want any of those apples."

"Are you saying my apples aren't what they ought to be?" asked the tree.

"No, she just doesn't like little green worms."

"Why you!" yelled the trees as they reached out to grab the blue man. He and Seryu quickly moved out of the tree's grasp.

"I'll show you how to get apples," whispered the Bean Bag Man into Seryu's ear, before making a rude gesture towards the trees. The trees then began pulling off apples and pelting him with them, causing the Bean Bag Man to fall over.

Seryu was livid. "No one hurts my friend! Koro, equip me with number six!" The imperial arms bit Seryu's right arm, and left a large armored missile.

The trees immediately stopped throwing apples and gazed in terror at the Jaeger, who was now sporting a psychotic grin. "Holy crap, she's packing!" one cried.

"Taste Matsuzaki's Firework of JUSTICE!" screamed Seryu as she fired the missile. Upon colliding with the first tree, the missile exploded into an inferno that destroyed the apple trees, sending their fruits flying in all directions.

The Bean Bag Man looked on in horror at the carnage in front of him. "You didn't have to kill them. The apples didn't hurt or anything."

Seryu turned towards her friend, now back to her normal genki girl self. "Those trees were evil creatures," she explained cheerfully. "No need to worry, they won't trouble anyone else ever again. Now help me collect the undamaged fruit."

Seryu chased after the few apples that weren't ruined by the explosion. Her eyes landed on an especially ripe one, and reached down to grab it. However, before Seryu could touch the fruit, a small hand picked it up and offered it to her.

"Here you go, is this yours?" asked a soft, feminine voice.

Seryu looked up, and to her surprise, she saw a animate porcelain doll the size of a short girl. The doll was dressed in a black shirt, skirt, leggings, and shoes. Her eyes and short hair were equally black, contrasting with her pale porcelain skin.

"Oh, yes, thank you. My name is Seryu, and I'm here with my dog Koro and my friend the Bean Bag Man. What's your name?"

The doll just shrugged and said, "People just call me the Lonely Doll."

"You don't have a name?"

"Well, I never knew my family. I've been alone as long as I can remember."

"Oh, I'm so sorry. I know how it feels to be without a loved one," said Seryu, remembering the death of her own father.

The doll continued, "Nothing looks lonelier than a doll all by itself. If I had at least one sister, I would be happy. But no matter where I look, I can never find another doll like me."

An idea popped into Seryu's head. "You should come with us to the Gilded City to ask the Wizard of Ur to help you find a family. Bean Bag Man is going to ask for a frame for support, and I'm going to ask him to send me and Koro home."

"But what if the wizard refuses to help me find a family?"

"Oh he wouldn't do that. After all, we've come such a long way already. Besides, it's better than wandering around aimlessly for a sister."

"You're right, I'll come with you!"

Just then, the Bean Bag Man caught up to Seryu and noticed the doll. "Well, who's this? She's awfully cute," stated the blue man, before looking away bashfully.

"Thank you," beamed the doll. "I'm a Lonely Doll, and I'm coming with you so the wizard will help me find a family."

With everyone introduced, Seryu, Koro, Bean Bag Man, and Lonely Doll all continued down the road.


Eventually, the group's path led them into a dark forest. The trees blocked most of the sunlight, and the cries of various beasts travelled through the area. All of this put Seryu and her friends on edge, but the yellow brick road ran through the woods, so they kept going. The deeper they went into the forest, the more fallen branches, grass, and other such things covered the road. It became difficult to see the yellow bricks, so the group kept their eyes on the road instead of looking straight ahead. Despite their best efforts, the path almost seemed to disappear completely.

"Guys, let's face it. We're lost," lamented Bean Bag Man

"How did this happen? We were on the road. It just seemed to vanish," said a frustrated Doll.

"We can't give up. We've haven't come all this way just to lose ourselves in a forest. My comrades back home need me, and I will be getting back to them somehow. Everyone, spread out and call when you find the road," instructed Seryu.

Everyone began searching for the path while remaining within earshot. Seryu came across what appeared to be stone ruins, which were covered in moss and badly eroded. Seryu stared intently around her, hoping to spot a hint of yellow among the green, brown, and grey. Her search was interrupted when a gentle voice asked, "Excuse me, are you looking for something?"

Seryu spun around, looking for whoever had called out to her.

"Sorry, I'm over here," the voice said awkwardly.

Seryu turned around again and cried out in surprise at what she saw behind her. There stood a giant stone statue. It was well worn from the elements, but it was clearly made to resemble a man. It had a great build, one resembling an experienced bodybuilder. However, what was most alarming about the statue's appearance was its face. Or rather, the lack thereof. As Seryu was taking in the statue's intimidating appearance, Koro, Bean Bag Man, and Lonely Doll ran up to her.

"Hey, Seryu, we heard you yell, did you find the. . . AH!" shouted Bean Bag Man.

"Is that statue moving?!" cried Lonely Doll.

"Stand back everyone! I will protect you from this monster!" With that, Seryu drew her tonfa guns and prepared to fire.

"Wait, wait, I'm not going to hurt you!" shouted the statue. "You just looked like you were trying to find something, and I thought I could help."

After a tense standoff, Seryu put her weapons down. "Sorry, you just kind of snuck up on me. I wasn't sure what to think."

"It's fine. This usually happens I try to talk to people who enter these woods. I guess most folks are scared of my size and my missing face."

"What did happen to your face, if you don't mind my asking," asked Bean Bag Man.

"It must have slowly weathered away over time. Thanks to my appearance, everyone who looks at me screams and runs away. If only I could get a new face, I could talk to people again."

Seryu perked up. "We're all going to see the wizard in the Gilded City. Bean Bag Man wants a frame, Lonely Doll wants a family, and Koro and I are trying to get back home. If you could lead us back to the path and come with us, I'm sure the wizard would be able to grant your wish too."

"You think so! I'd be happy to accompany you all! Follow me, I know the way out of this forest."

With that, the Faceless Statue led the group of friends back to the yellow brick road, and their adventure continued.


AN: That concludes chapter 3. Thank you to everyone who favorited, followed, or commented. Your encouragement really motivates me, and I deeply appreciate it.